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The Death Penalty: Why Not?

CollinF posted this thread...
Sept. 18, 2012 at 6:51 pm

Any good arguments against the death penalty? I realize that many people are iffy on it because they believe humans are too precious to justify the killing of one for any reason. But think about this: Is it not a greater tribute to human dignity to hold others accountable, even to this extreme, and to judge them based on the choices which they have freely made? Rather than treating them like animals, as if they did not make the moral choice to do horrendous things and not be nice guys?

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half.note replied...
Sept. 18, 2012 at 9:45 pm

I have nothing against the death penalty, but I wouldn't strongly advocate it either.
The death penalty is a good deterent, but it's not perfect.
The problem with the death penalty is that we can't always be 100% sure that someone is guilty. If someone innocent ends up in jail, and they are later discovered to be not guilty, they can be let out. But if they were executed, there's no going back.
Also, killing is not only wrong for the obvious reasons, but because it is doing the act of God.
Let me explain: when someone dies, their "probation" closes and God is no longer sustaining them. Normally it is God who "controls", so to speak, when people die. Killing somone is taking God's place as ruler and judge.
Even if it is part of a dealth penalty; the choice to extinguish someone's life is something only God should decide.
God is the perfect judge, and he will serve perfect justice in the end. We need to focus on keeping people safe rather than serving out our idea of justice.
I hope I'm making at least some sense...

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savetheplanet replied...
Sept. 18, 2012 at 11:03 pm

Obviously I know that we do not always have the luxury of having a nice long trial for every criminal.  Bad people are usually killed during wars.
But at the same time, where do you draw the line for being accountable?   And how do you know for sure that the person you just in effect killed was actually guilty?  Where do we get the right, authority, and idea of our own self-importance that we think it's actually our duty to decide life and death for others?  And even in the face of crimes such as murder some of them can still be turned back to society and they feel geniunely sorry for their actions.  Granted I know many don't care, but should we condemn the minority for the majority?  Did not God once save a morally corrupt city for the sake of the one innocent person there?  While it's not always practical, I think that we should as a nation aspire to the highest standards possible.  The question comes down to who are you willing to sacrifice in the thirst for vengeance?  Can any sacrifice ever be truly justified?  Or does it just come down to statistics and reducing people to numbers so that you no longer have to look at the names of fathers, daughters, sons?

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Kenrichi replied...
Sept. 19, 2012 at 5:53 am

Sometimes living is harder then dying. Jail isn't a walk in the park, don't call me a sadist but they will get tortured in jail just about every day by fellow convicts, and I think that can be sustainable punishment. In fact we would have more of them to execute themselves if the warden of the jail gave them there belts. Ultimately though, 25-to-life and the death penalty are both acceptable punishments.

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contemplatorThis teenager is a 'regular' and has contributed a lot of work, comments and/or forum posts, and has received many votes and high ratings over a long period of time. replied...
Sept. 19, 2012 at 11:10 pm

Priest's Graveyard by Ted Dekker. Read it! 
In short, who are we to say that were better than them? Are we not all worthy of death? If not, what need have we of Jesus Christ, who came not for the self righteouss, but for the sinners. 

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Breece6 replied...
Sept. 20, 2012 at 5:55 am

I think the death penalty should only be considered when dealing with a highly dangerous, mentally unstable serial killer or the like.  Pretty much only when necessary.  All other criminals can be put to work during a life sentence and contributing to the society they took away from.  Who knows?  They might even find redemption during their life sentences and make peace with their God(s), I think that's worth letting them live for, as long as our prisons are secure and the prisoners aren't psychopaths that won't cooperate.

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Sept. 20, 2012 at 8:30 am

I am for the death penalty even though it's not a terrible death. A life sentence is worse because you spend years on years in prison where terrible things happen but the civilians have to pay for them to eat. It's disgusting how we have to keep a vulgar person alive. So either way is fine as long as civilians don't have to pay for a criminal to live. :(

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Kenrichi replied...
Sept. 20, 2012 at 11:09 am

Breece: The funny thing about your first sentence is that, the ones who are (or claim) to be unstable are the main ones that don't get death. The only ones that are actually eligible for death is if you are "perfectly" sain upon the time of the murder. When you brought that up it kind of shows how imperfect our legal system is.

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Dynamo replied...
Sept. 20, 2012 at 1:02 pm

I think we ought to decide who actually is guilty. Besides serial killers, everyone who is a murderer has a motive that has been left unresolved by the law(in most of the cases). So listen to 'em first before hangin' 'em.

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Dynamo replied...
Sept. 20, 2012 at 1:02 pm

I think we ought to decide who actually is guilty. Besides serial killers, everyone who is a murderer has a motive that has been left unresolved by the law(in most of the cases). So listen to 'em first before hangin' 'em.

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Kdskc replied...
Sept. 24, 2012 at 10:37 pm

I do not believe that the death penalty is a right or just way to punish ANYONE, no matter what they have done.  Life is too precious.  Who gave us the right to decide whether to end someone's life or not?  No one.  It is not our right to execute anyone.  Killing is killing. Execution is murder. People who sentance people to the death penalty are they themselves murderers.  They are no better than those being sentanced.  
Just my opinion on the matter.

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ZephyrPunk replied...
Sept. 28, 2012 at 3:45 pm

I'm not sure if this would be considered a good argument (for like a thesis or what ever), but I believe taht everyone deserves another chance. Even the "worst" person in the world could end up doing something good later on. for example, if person A killed person B, then was killed through lethal injection, then later on when aliens invade, we find out that person A was, for whatevr reason, the only person in the world who could have stopped them/persuaded them to go away, we wouldn't have person A around anymore because we killed him/her. Some people would say that the obvious answer to this solution is only kill people with no skills, but, 1. anyone capable of committing a bad enough crime to get lethal injection obviously has skills, and 2. we never know what kind of person we would need. If that argument is too far fetched, as some would say, try this one: killing person A after person B is already dead is pointless. while it may deter a few people from murder, or whatever else causes the death penalty, most of them are probably insane enough to not care. 

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CollinF replied...
Sept. 28, 2012 at 11:28 pm

to half.note:

I understand your sentiments, but I disagree a little here.

1) I'm not advocating killing people on heresay in a Salem Witch-hunt here where Lucy gets the noose for lookin at Bob's cows wrong. However, your qualm here is really with the legal system, not the moral ground for killing a man guilty of a heinous crime. We're not justified in fining a guy five dollars if he's not guilty either. If we trust in it to give us a truthful verdict on a matter like that, then we should trust it for the death penalty as well. Besides, most people who get the death penalty have an overwelming amount of evidence stacked up against em and have a million ways out of it. My freshmen class sat in on a local trial where a guy stabbed his wife repeatedly (at leat 20 times) in their car. Witnesses said the car shook violently he was going at her so hard, and when he got out of the car blood he was drenched in blood. The judge wouldn't let the prosecutors put the gruesome pictures on the display screen because our class was there. Why did the guy do this? Cause he suspected his wife of cheating on him. Prosecutors wanted the death penalty. He got off cause his IQ was deemed too low or some other crap. It was like 80-something, which probably describes half Georgia's population anyways.

2) My friend, however much we may wish for it, God does not always intervene and punish evildoers in Korah-like fashion. Justice is in our hands a vast majority of the time. It's why a masive portion of the O,ld Testament is devoted to laying down laws and ho they are to be enforced by Israel's government. Psalms 86 even refers to judges as "gods" in the sense that they're given the task of doing God's work among men. God is the perfect judge, but He's not the only one. He tells us to judge as well, and seems fairly liberal with the death penalty. Humans, as morally conscious beings, can lose their right to life by violating the rules which are built into the fabric of our being. We have the ability to twist into something quite inhuman if we allow circumstance to do so, and for this the death penalty is a logical solution. Punishment should be proportional to the crime, so unless we start torcherin folks, the death penalty is the best we've got for the world's worst. We can't give a bankrobber and a guy who skins little girls alive the same punishment. It violates ethical axioms and is just plain dumb.

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dainbramaged replied...
Oct. 16, 2012 at 5:55 pm

I don't know. The death penalty does seem kind of harsh, and imagine being in that position. Imagine sitting there, knowing you made a mistake like all humans do, but because you made the wrong mistake you're now going to have your life cut short. Jail seems much more effective in the sense that they still have to suffer through, but when they get out they get a second chance to better themselves. Not everyone who comes out of jail is automatically a waste of space.

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