Do you believe in capital punishment? (Yes I know, yet another thread, but with a twist.)

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Jun 11, 2000

<< The criminal gave up his right to life when he took the life of another.. >>

First of all, didn't Zoltar say that you don't know any details of the trial? And I believe that there are many more crimes these days that punishable by death other than murder.


Senior member
Jan 9, 2001

You do not understand the issue. I know liberal-bashing is all the rage with the AT-OT neanderthals, but do give it a bit of thought.

I, as a stated liberal, believe the death penalty is widely over-used, but should not be abolished. There are crimes for which the death penalty is justified, but states like Texas take capital punishment to a new level.

In their race to exterminate all the criminals, the risk of killing innocent people sky-rockets. Bush presided over 140 executions during his tenure in Texas. That isn't something we want to continue at any level.

Almost monthly you get stories of people on death row who were found innocent after DNA testing or other evidence surfacing. What do you say to someone who has sat for 10 years on death row, knowing that he was innocent, that his country hated him, and was going to kill for something he didn't do? How is that for a question? Why don't you try answering that one for us &quot;liberals&quot;.

Someone on this board recently made a statement that no person put to death has ever been proven innocent after the fact. Well that is just stupid (but so was the poster). The government closes cases upon verdict, and unless overwhelming evidence surfaces, they don't reopen. Also, in the case of capital punishment (after the fact), they will *NOT* actively investigate a case once the alleged perpetrator has been killed. Reason? What if they find out they made a mistake, or didn't have enough evidence originally to merit capital punishment. The ramifications are too profound, especially for death penalty advocates.

Your little question you posed, zoltar, is one on morality. Ethically, a society can set forth the rules that permit capital punishment, however, that does not make it a moral thing to do. So few people know the difference between ethics and morals that it is very distressing. &quot;Thou Shalt Not Kill&quot; didn't have any caveats or strings attached.

Today, when a criminal is found innocent on death row, it is hardly ever a state agency that is responsible for finding this out. Almost always, a private group or a group like amnesty international does all the background work, and then lobbies state agencies to hear their case. In some cases, innocence is proven, and a man's life is spared. Sometimes not.

Regardless, I believe it was Indianna that has a moritorium on state executions. The governer (who was pro-capital punishment) was presented with sobering news that after DNA testing, several men were proven innocent of their alleged crimes. How do you tell these men you are sorry? Could you do it zoltar?

Or more importantly, do you trust the justice system in the united states so much that you could be 100% assured that the person you were executing was culpable of their crime? Especially, as you put it, &quot;Assume you know no details of the trial.&quot;

Do you have any idea what you are implying?

And what if we find out that the man you executed was innocent. That makes you a cold-blooded killer. Do we now execute you too? (a bit of an off topic question).

No, too much risk involved in capital punishment. You take the approach &quot;can't make an omelet with breaking a couple of eggs&quot;. Human life is more valuable than that. For us Liberals, risking killing an innocent man out weighs the social value of capital punishment.



Golden Member
Oct 9, 1999

<< First of all, didn't Zoltar say that you don't know any details of the trial? And I believe that there are many more crimes these days that punishable by death other than murder. >>

No there isn't. The only other possibility would be being a traitor, but noone's been sentenced to death for that in quite some time (except maybe in the military, but I'm not sure).


Golden Member
May 31, 2000
Zoltar, can I throw your second question back at you?

You say you have no details of the trial, or the guilt or innocence of the person
sentenced. Let's say you agree to carry out the execution, then find that the
person was not guilty, and furthermore, if they had been freed would have been
able to prevent more crimes from taking place.

How would you feel then?

What if you were confronted with the parents, aunts, uncles, grandparents of the
person whom you were responsible for taking the life of, and indirectly for
the new crimes that had taken place?


Feb 2, 2000
Well, since I am against the death penalty, I would have to say no. But I know I would be pretty torn, knowing I may have just let a murderer or child molestor go free...