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Old 12-14-2007, 01:12 PM   #21
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I just don't think you've found a reliable source of guidance for capital punishment policy.
Not just that samclem......... I was trying to use the Bible as a source of stock picking guidance and it didn't work out worth a hoot! I tell ya, it was a big disappointment!
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Old 12-14-2007, 01:14 PM   #22
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Not just that samclem......... I was trying to use the Bible as a source of stock picking guidance and it didn't work out worth a hoot! I tell ya, it was a big disappointment!
Sorry to hear that! You should have prayed harder!
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Old 12-14-2007, 01:23 PM   #23
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Not a deterrent?
The "Not a deterrent" is a straw man argument. No death penalty law says it is being done as a deterrent.
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Old 12-14-2007, 01:25 PM   #24
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The Innocence Projects, which work on looking at old evidence with new DNA analysis to see if a conviction is supported, only work on death penalty cases. And they don't have the time or funds to review any cases of people already executed. However, the number of conviction errors is very troubling. This occurs not only for capital offenses, but any number of offenses. One glaring example was the series of trials and convictions for child sexual abuse by day care workers, with allegations of satan worship and all sorts of peculiar stuff. The evidence that was elicited was highly unreliable. (For example, when kids get anatomically correct toys, they naturally tend to play with the equipment. And if you keep asking kids leading questions, they will eventually give you the answer you want.) It was an embarrassment to the legal system. Isn't it interesting that there are no big scandals anymore about daycare child abuse? Another example is a series of recovered memory cases where adult children ended up suing their parents for sex abuse they recalled through recovered memory work with therapists. Again, unsupported by scientific evidence. In fact, when bad things happen to you, you are very likely to remember them.

The justice system needs some work.
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Old 12-14-2007, 01:32 PM   #25
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The "Not a deterrent" is a straw man argument. No death penalty say it is being done as a deterrent.
Punishment(vengeance?) or a deterrent. One or both are generally used as arguments.

Criminal law is based on punishment, deterrence, and rehabilitation theories. Throw in cost for flavor.
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Old 12-14-2007, 02:23 PM   #26
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Why is it that :

A) If a person is found guilty of a minor crime and is fined, we don't say that the judicial system 'stole' from the guilty party.

B) When a person is found guilty of a more serious crime and is jailed, we don't say that the judicial system 'kidnapped' the guilty party.

So, when a person is found guilty of murder and is given the death penalty, why do some people say that the judicial system 'killed' the guilty party?

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Old 12-14-2007, 02:58 PM   #27
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Because "killed" is the right word. Much like "five people were killed in an accident today." Or, "not enough exercise and too much diet coke killed him."
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Old 12-14-2007, 03:07 PM   #28
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and being held against your will is called 'kidnapping'. No one says 'after being convicted of armed robbery, the defendant was kidnapped for five years'.

So the question still stands.

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Old 12-14-2007, 03:12 PM   #29
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Illegally held against your will or the will of the state is kidnapping. If it is legal, it is something else (prison, boarding school, being grounded. . . ).

In contrast, the word kill does not imply something illegal was done. There the appropriate words are murder or homicide.

From Webster's: kill, slay, murder, assassinate, dispatch, execute mean to deprive of life. kill merely states the fact of death caused by an agency in any manner <killed in an accident> <frost killed the plants>. slay is a chiefly literary term implying deliberateness and violence but not necessarily motive <slew thousands of the Philistines>. murder specifically implies stealth and motive and premeditation and therefore full moral responsibility <convicted of murdering a rival>. assassinate applies to deliberate killing openly or secretly often for political motives <terrorists assassinated the Senator>. dispatch stresses quickness and directness in putting to death <dispatched the sentry with one bullet>. execute stresses putting to death as a legal penalty <executed by lethal gas>.
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Old 12-14-2007, 03:14 PM   #30
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Martha, is it cold and dark up in your neck of the woods today?
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Old 12-14-2007, 03:17 PM   #31
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and being held against your will is called 'kidnapping'. No one says 'after being convicted of armed robbery, the defendant was kidnapped for five years'.

So the question still stands.

-ERD50
"kidnapped" implies an unlawful act.
"killed", to me, does not. If a person says the "inmate was killed by the state," that is just a statement of fact. If a person says "the inmate was murdered by the state" that is a term of that contains an element of judgement. I suppose "executed" or "put to death" is a rosier way of saying it, and I would agree that those terms are more appropriate than "killed"

English, an amazing language. If you want a shade of meaning, there's usually a word to accomplish it.
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Old 12-14-2007, 03:18 PM   #32
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Martha, is it cold and dark up in your neck of the woods today?
OK, I get the hint.
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Old 12-14-2007, 08:00 PM   #33
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Until we fix the racial disparity issue, the death penalty is a non-starter. Amnesty International USA: Abolish the Death Penalty
It's the sex disparity that needs fixing.

Women commit 10-15% of homicides yet make up only 2% of those sentenced to death and are 1% of those actually executed. This gender disparity is more than 10 to 1.

On the other hand, there is little or no racial disparity. The black/white ratio is about 1 to 1. Blacks commit approximately the same number of homicides as whites (but a greater rate since they make up a smaller portion of the population). The number of blacks sentenced to death and/or executed is about the same as the number of whites sentenced to death and/or executed. In fact, although the difference is small and perhaps in the noise, whites convicted of murder are slightly more likely to receive the death penalty than blacks convicted of murder.

The Amnesty International reference is correct in that the death penalty is more likely to be imposed when the *victim* is white. However, what the reference fails to mention is that the death penalty is more likely to be imposed when the victim is a woman. That is, the real indicator is if the victim is a white woman.

Amnesty International completely ignores the most significant predictor of whether a convicted murderer will be sentenced to death and then be executed. These death penalty opponents talk about race and class and economic status, when the most significant factor is the sex, not race, of the accused. Instead of using the strongest argument, they use sound bites such as "racial injustice" while completely ignoring the 10 to 1 gender disparity. Clearly, they do not care about death penalty injustice when they try to twist what primarily is a gender difference into a racial difference.
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Old 12-14-2007, 09:25 PM   #34
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Illegally held against your will or the will of the state is kidnapping. If it is legal, it is something else (prison, boarding school, being grounded. . . ).

In contrast, the word kill does not imply something illegal was done. There the appropriate words are murder or homicide.
Martha and samclem - thanks for explaining it, had not thought of legal/illegal use of the different words.

So, I'll go back to my original question and rephrase it:

Why do some people refer to capital punishment as 'murder'?

Google "is capital punishment murder" OR "capital punishment is murder"

>15,800 hits

-ERD50
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Old 12-14-2007, 09:41 PM   #35
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Why do some people refer to capital punishment as 'murder'?
-ERD50
Because they believe, and want others to believe, that the deliberate taking of a life in this way by the state is immoral and unethical. Thus, they believe it is murder. It is the same as the abortion debate and terminology: Those who believe that an abortion is an unethical taking of life will likely call it "murder," while those who believe the procedure is not unethical will find another term.
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Old 12-14-2007, 11:08 PM   #36
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Well since I can't have it my way i.e. public execution at high noon in the town square where the offense occurred carried by networks live if desired; I'd settle for confinement if a super max facility like Pelican Bay for life without parole.

DNA evidence used to convict should be the driver between the death penalty and life without parole. All convictions to date should be reviewed for DNA evidence. If it is not present then commute to a life without parole in a Super Max facility. If DNA is present and provides proof of murder then execute them. Do the execution within 1 year of conviction.
I agree with that whole heartedly. If there's DNA evidence to prove they're guilty....execute them! There's a worthless dirt-bag form my home town, sitting in a cell, being supported by my tax dollars, for committing 2 brutal murders. The 1st was a young women on her front porch with her children. There were a couple of (adult) eye witnesses. He was convicted and received 3 life sentences for the murder, and 30 years for home invasion.

While in prison, he murdered his cell mate.....while they were locked up together in their cell.....just the 2 of them. Even though his cell mate was found bludgeoned to death in their locked cell, some fool couldn't prove that he had done it, so he was never charged! WTF!!!

I like statement "Iím from Texas. In Texas we have the death penalty. And we USE it.

Thatís right, if you come to Texas and kill somebody, we will kill you back. Thatís our policy.

Theyíre trying to pass a bill right now through the Texas Legislature that will speed up the process of execution in heinous crimes where thereís more than three credible eye witnesses. If more than three people saw you do what you did, you donít sit on death row for 15 years, Jack, you go straight to the front of the line.

Other states are trying to abolish the death penalty Ö my stateís puttiní in an express lane."
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Old 12-14-2007, 11:47 PM   #37
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I agree with that whole heartedly.
I don't agree. I do not believe the state should have the death penalty option, that is simply too much power in the hands of our amazingly wonderful and competent politicians.

I prefer our "deadly" convicts serve life without parole. But not the currently defined "life" in prison thing with the daily eats and comfy bunks. No, I'm thinking, life with cheap hot-dogs, life with cheese sandwiches (not grilled), life with beans and very little rice, life sleeping on a concrete bench. A "life sentence" should be miserable, not terminal. If by some miracle they are found innocent, then they at least have their life.
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Old 12-15-2007, 02:48 AM   #38
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It's the sex disparity that needs fixing.

Women commit 10-15% of homicides yet make up only 2% of those sentenced to death and are 1% of those actually executed. This gender disparity is more than 10 to 1.
My brother and I have had a hobby of collecting stories of egregious female murderers who get no time or a very light time.

Organizations like you mention above are not in business to right wrongs, they are in business to collect money to keep their salaries and perqs going. Hence they can't really tell the truth, since you can only sell what the public is willing to buy, and so far the public is not willing to buy the picture of violent murderous females.

Life is more bearable if you can approach it with at least some degree of cynicism. You will likely never develop enough to fit the reality, but whatever you can muster may be some protection.

Ha
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Old 12-15-2007, 04:11 PM   #39
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It's the sex disparity that needs fixing.

On the other hand, there is little or no racial disparity. . . .The number of blacks sentenced to death and/or executed is about the same as the number of whites sentenced to death and/or executed. In fact, although the difference is small and perhaps in the noise, whites convicted of murder are slightly more likely to receive the death penalty than blacks convicted of murder.
What is your source for this statement?
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Old 12-15-2007, 08:31 PM   #40
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What is your source for this statement?
Compare the people who commit murder with the people who receive the death penalty.

Look at the Uniform Crime Reports from the FBI. They usually provide crime numbers by year. As an example, for 2006, the number of murder offenders was 17,399. Of those, 5339 (31%) were white and 6843 (39%) were black. The race of a large number (4922, or 28%) was unknown. The rest were other. Likewise, 11,508 were men and 1151 were women (unknown sex was 4740). The statistics vary but are not all that different for other years.

From 1977 to mid-2006, there have been 1029 people executed for murder. Of those, 590 (57%) were white and 350 (34%) were black. The rest were other. Likewise, 1018 were men and 11 were women. As of mid-2006, 3370 people were on death row. Of those, 45% were white and 42% were black. Likewise, 3314 were men and 56 were women. For example, look at The Death Penalty in the United States.

In summary, for the year 2006 anyway, at least 31% of murderers were white and at least 39% were black. However, of those executed between 1977 and mid-2006, 57% were white and 34% were black. Of those on death row as of mid-2006, 45% were white and 42% were black. Blacks make up a slight majority of murderers but whites make up a slight majority of those receiving the death penalty.

If anything, whites get the short end of the stick, although the racial difference is small. The 10 to 1 gender difference remains.

Despite the data, the response from Amnesty International and other death penalty opponents is to cry out against the nonexistent racial disparity and to completely ignore the quite significant gender disparity.
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