Thread: death penalty
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Old May 27 2013, 04:46 AM   #45
Locutus of Bored
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Re: death penalty

Unicron wrote: View Post
Couldn't one argue that warfare is essentially a form of state-sponsored murder, and one that seems to get far more of a free pass than the death penalty?
Sure, it can be, and if it's found to be conducted illegally then the perpetrators should be held accountable before the international criminal court. But at the same time, most nations, factions, or leaders don't just quit their wars of aggression or genocide and submit to judgment just because you ask nicely, so war is sometimes required to bring their wrondoing to an end.

I can't speak for JarodRussell, but I do think his examples have a valid context to them. Life without parole is far better in my mind as a maximum punishment for most crimes, but it could still be argued to be a death penalty. The state just won't kill you quickly.
No, it's not valid, because there's no practical replacement for prison sentencing to prevent dangerous or recidivist criminals from harming the public at this time. No one is advocating for the complete abolition of jail terms (nor do I think Jarod actually would either, which is why the argument was stupid), but they are advocating for the abolition of the death penalty, so bringing up the former to discredit an argument against the latter makes little sense.

Plus, he wasn't just talking about life sentences, he was talking about any long term sentence where an innocent was put in prison. It's a stupid argument, because any human endeavor is going to be fallible by its very nature, the justice system included. But that doesn't mean we just stop prosecuting dangerous criminals entirely because there might be a mistake. We should try to prevent those mistakes as best we can of course, but we won't eliminate them completely. Which is why, as tragic as it is for anyone who is innocent to be wrongly convicted and imprisoned, it at least gives you a chance to correct your mistakes if you don't execute them in the meantime.

Extending the issue to include war and non-capital crimes only serves to confuse and distract from the issue of the death penalty. I think it's serious enough to be discussed on its own without throwing in every tangent that requires you to overcome human nature to solve. It's a hell of a lot more realistic to put an end to the death penalty in our time than it is to completely eliminate the necessity for war or imprisonment. Let's deal with what we as a people can actually put a stop to in the near term.
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