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Passions in Poetry

Minors and Death Penalty

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Alicat
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0 posted 03-01-2005 01:38 PM       View Profile for Alicat   Email Alicat   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Alicat

At what age responsibility for actions?  Those who committed capital crimes and executed others prior to their 18th birthday will no longer be eligible for execution themselves.  John Lee Malvo, part of the DC Sniper duo, will instead sit behind bars at taxpayer expense for decades, receiving free medical, free clothing, free shelter, free meals, free entertainment, free education, and free legal assistance.  So will all the others who committed heinous acts before their 18th birthday.  They knew what they were doing when they killed others, some rather methodically and with intent and forethought.  Premeditated.  Yet, for some very odd reason, juveniles are thought to have lesser thought processes than adults, not knowing the repurcussions of their actions, which I think to be complete balderdash.  They knew and still they acted, and will continue to act, knowing they will never be fully held responsible for their actions, so long as they commit their heinous actions before they legally turn 18.

And yet Progressives think this is a step forward.  Perhaps forward in that no one will ever be held responsible for their actions.  What a nice and pleasant utopian world that would be.
LeeJ
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1 posted 03-01-2005 03:16 PM       View Profile for LeeJ   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for LeeJ

I believe we should ask the parents of the murdered?  

My son is a police officer, and we've discussed this issue many times...candidly, I'm on the fence, but can certainly understand your views on the subject...cuz, I'm there to...
There are some people in this world that are a menace to society...and should be deemed as such, held accountable and be put away...

Lets take this further and ask the same question about sex offenders...????

As I believe they are in the same catagory...these people absolutely ruin people's lives....entire families...

the effects on the lives of the remaining living families sorely suffer....

I must tell you, sometime I become so angry I could have them all put to sleep, but decission made from anger or the want of revenge brings me down to the offender's level....and so....I deem they should be put away for life, or castrated, regardless the age...cuz if the parents never taught the child respect for life, I don't know that that murder will ever respect anyone?

What I do know is...there are way to many of these people walking the streets, like jungle preditors....

Mistletoe Angel
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2 posted 03-01-2005 05:00 PM       View Profile for Mistletoe Angel   Email Mistletoe Angel   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Mistletoe Angel's Home Page   View IP for Mistletoe Angel

In my heart, I just believe all capital punishment involving death is morally wrong, and you bet I see this as one great step forward for America.

Personally I believe the most intense form of punishment and holding criminals accountable is by forcing them to think. I mean, I feel just killing someone has no educational value to either the suspect or the victims, and in some way it's ultimately not much of a punishment. But to be incarcerated (and I do believe the worst of criminals should be locked away in high-security cells and such without those luxuries you spoke of earlier except for the basic necessities of some food and water) is like a punishment with so much dimension. You're left alone, alone with your thoughts, and by God how those sorts of thoughts of guilt and injustice can haunt and give migraines to so many.

That's just my opinion.

And, as much as I desire ever so strongly to see the death penalty abolished in all forms, I suppose I can't argue either the facts of public opinion right now:
http://www.clarkprosecutor.org/html/death/opinion.htm

Unless it was 1966, which could have been an opportune time to close the doors, capital punishment has been consistently approved by two-thirds or more of Americans since 1978, and before then every year except for 1966 saw the issue leaning in support.

So I hold onto my opinion and oppositional stance, but won't bother arguing the death penalty issue much further. Nevertheless I am more than happy to see one form of it ending.

Sincerely,
Noah Eaton

"If we have no peace, it is because we have forgotten that we belong to each other"

Mother Teresa

Alicat
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3 posted 03-01-2005 05:25 PM       View Profile for Alicat   Email Alicat   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Alicat

The solitary confinement you speak of has already been struck down more times than the death penalty, Noah, for being 'cruel and unusual punishment'.  Never mind that murderers have already deprived many of 'life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness'.  There are many special interest groups, like the ACLU, who feel such criminals should not be deprived of the same rights those same criminals brutally stripped from others.

Personally, I don't much care for our current death penalties, mainly for being insanely expensive over the total period of incarceration, not to mention the cost of the actual execution.  Knocking someone out cold before they are killed by lethal injection, though the most humane method now, is daft to me.  Bullets and rope are infinitely cheaper, and can be reloaded and/or reused.

Back to topic, telling teens they will not face the same fate they so willingly bestowed upon others is just another slap in the face, since already there's laws on the books in many states that teens won't ever be held accountible for their offenses against society once they turn 18.  Those records will be permanently sealed, unless those perpetrators committed felonies.  So after 18, they can legally put on applications that they were never convicted of any wrongdoing, and would not be falsifying their applications.  All proof of past misdeeds has been safely locked away, never to darken those 'reformed' criminals' steps again.  All it does is reinforce the message that irresponsiblity is OK.  Committing state crimes is OK.  Just do it before you're 18.  And killing others is just hunky-dory.  Barring any incident inside prison, you'll be sheltered, educated, and taken care of for the fullness of your days and never be executed for killing others, so long as you do it before you're 18.

Sarcasm aside, there are those that fully deserve to die, irrespective of age.  Malvo, his cohort, Berkowitz, Yeats (who methodically chased down her fleeing kids and drowned them, one by one).  Then there's the teen who broke into a lady's house, forced her into her vehicle, forced her to drive to a bridge, covered her head, hogtied her, and tossed her over the railing into the water.  He knew exactly what he was doing, but he was under 18 when he killed her.  How about the teen who shot his grandparents (his grandfather in the face), burned down the house, stole the car, and drove away.  He confessed, then later tried to blame it all on meds.  He deserves to live?  Anyhow, if this ban is later repealed, all those teens will be protected by the Grandfather Clause, just like so many prior Death Row inmates, now lifers, in California and other states have been in the past.
serenity blaze
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4 posted 03-01-2005 10:13 PM       View Profile for serenity blaze   Email serenity blaze   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for serenity blaze

I started to answer this earlier, but decided that I would spend more time thinking on the subject. Especially after I read John's thread in Philosophy:
http://piptalk.com/pip/Forum8/HTML/000591.html

and I wholeheartedly believe that anyone is capable of murder.

As you know, since you know me, I am not an advocate of capital punishment. And since the release of "America's most rehabilitated prisoner", Wilbert Rideau, I have been fumbling confused with the entire issue of even "rehabilitation."

(for those who don't know, Wilbert Rideau is a free man, recently released from Angola State penintentiary. He is a self-confessed murderer, and Life magazine proclaimed him as the most rehabilitated prison inmate after he received international acclaim for his writing in a prison newsletter, The Angolite. He was granted a new trial and convicted of a lesser charge of "manslaughter"--and thus released for time served.)

But anyhow, back to the subject at hand. I used to believe in the death penalty, but I started questioning that belief when I pondered the possibility of MY involvement in that. In other words, if it were left up to me alone, as an individual, I simply could not, willingly and with foresight cause another's death.

(I say this knowing I have a terrible temper and anxiety problems that could possibly result in someone's death too. I do have some very rash moments of desperation.)

I'm working on it folks.

But I can't advocate legislation that I could not enact myself.

Here's where it got tricky for me too, bro.

Because if I want to quibble the point with myself (and I do quibble points with myself alot) I have to admit that if I had to hunt/slaughter animals for meat, I would be vegetarian. The fact that there are others I pay to do that for me doesn't lessen my lust for red meat.

But then, I thought, we're not talking about ALL capital punishment per se, we're talking about killing kids who kill.

I just can't quibble my way into buying that one, bro.

I'd like to ask too? Do you consider rehabilitation a waste of time and money for convicted murderers?

And thanks for bringing up the question at all. You always make me think and stretch.


Ron
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5 posted 03-02-2005 09:02 AM       View Profile for Ron   Email Ron   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Ron's Home Page   View IP for Ron

quote:
Yet, for some very odd reason, juveniles are thought to have lesser thought processes than adults, not knowing the repurcussions of their actions, which I think to be complete balderdash.

So, Ali, you would have fifteen-year-olds able to enter into legally binding contracts, marry as they wish, have sex, carry guns, vote and run for political office, drink, drive, and generally do everything else any adult can do?

How about ten-year-olds? Five-year-olds? At what point do you judge a child too immature to no longer be treated as an adult?
Alicat
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6 posted 03-02-2005 10:01 AM       View Profile for Alicat   Email Alicat   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Alicat

I can only go from personal experience, Ron, since I knew the consequences of my actions at a very early age.  And I'm talking about me coming to those conclusions, not someone else saying what I did was wrong.  I could go into other country traditions, but that would be unapplicable here.  I've no problem at all regarding rehabilitation for criminals who's actions had a lesser impact on the lives of the victims in terms of viablity, if they are alive.  I'm well aware psychological, mental, and physcial impacts could be quibbled.  For those who did not steal a life from another, there should be options of rehabilitation.  For those who killed another, irrespective of age, they should never have the opportunity to improve themselves, becoming productive citizens in the fullness of time, living their life to the fullest of their capability.  What about the lives of those snuffed short?  Do they have the opportunity to live out the rest of their lives?  What makes killers so special as to deserve decades of taxpayer care and coddling?

With teen killers who do not have the option of parole, they still have a death sentance: old age, barring mishap.  On the prison farm I where I was raised, there were Lifers who had committed murder and homicide in their 20's and 30's.  No parole, and they would eventually die of old age.  None of the Trustees (all Lifers) were under 60.

If a teen or even a child can commit 'adult' crimes, such as deliberately killing another, then yes, they should be held to the same standards as adults.  Teens can legally drive at 16 with permit and adult.  Teens can legally work at 15 with parental consent.  Teens can enroll in college.  Teens can enter JROTC and ROTC.  Teens can create their own businesses.  And teens can kill with full knowledge of their actions.
Alicat
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7 posted 03-02-2005 12:00 PM       View Profile for Alicat   Email Alicat   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Alicat

One day after the Supreme Court ruling, an under 18 teenage male shoots his bus driver as he boards in Cumberland, TN.  If it was indeed a fatal shooting, under this new ruling, he'll get life as the strongest sentence.  Tax payer dime for the next 70 years.

And I fear this is only the beginning, as there's one less consequence for actions.  Pre-18's know they will not be executed for willingly and purposely killing others.  Instead they will get the type of care that others have to pay heavily for, such as medical, legal, and education.  All you have to do is pull a trigger, and you'll never have to pay for those things out your own pocket.
Mistletoe Angel
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8 posted 03-02-2005 12:06 PM       View Profile for Mistletoe Angel   Email Mistletoe Angel   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Mistletoe Angel's Home Page   View IP for Mistletoe Angel

Alicat, I just form my opinion simply on my instincts at heart, and just feel if we want America to be a nation of morals and values that values life and such, I just feel we have to fulfill that promise and in my mind this sort of capital punishment is morally wrong and I consider it a victory not for progressives, but for America at large.

And, truly, if you still believe otherwise, well, maybe we might want to think about making teenagers eligible to vote and such, eh? (even if only 8% will go to the polls anyway) If you can get penalized as an adult for crimes such as this, then you might as well be given the rights as an adult as well for being civil. Just a thought.

Sincerely,
Noah Eaton

"If we have no peace, it is because we have forgotten that we belong to each other"

Mother Teresa

Ron
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9 posted 03-02-2005 12:11 PM       View Profile for Ron   Email Ron   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Ron's Home Page   View IP for Ron

quote:
Teens can create their own businesses.

Not really, Ali, not when the parents have to sign every legal document. While technically I guess you could say the teen creates the business, the reality is that the parents own it. They are the responsible parties, not the teen.

And you didn't answer the question. If a five-year-old intentionally burns down the house with the parents still in it, do we strap the kid in the electric chair? If not, where do you want to draw the line?
Mistletoe Angel
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10 posted 03-02-2005 12:12 PM       View Profile for Mistletoe Angel   Email Mistletoe Angel   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Mistletoe Angel's Home Page   View IP for Mistletoe Angel

All I can say, Alicat, is perhaps if someone in our government would finally do something in, say, renewing the assault weapons ban so young kids and potential terrorists are not always within arms reach of these weapons that kill often the most unsuspecting victims, maybe we would have less of a problem with things like this you speak of.

That's the sort of lesson we should have learned long ago, especially after the Columbine tragedy, and I am just saddened and astounded by the hypocrisy ever since then in ensuring these public killings don't repeat themselves.

Sincerely,
Noah Eaton

"If we have no peace, it is because we have forgotten that we belong to each other"

Mother Teresa

Alicat
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11 posted 03-02-2005 12:21 PM       View Profile for Alicat   Email Alicat   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Alicat

Well Ron, I've been thinking of that case in England when 2 kids under 10 kidnapped and killed a 3 year old.  If a 5 year old burned down his house knowing what he was doing and what what going to happen to the people inside, I'd go with putting that kid in the ground.  That's just me though.  Odds are, that 5 year old would be placed in a psychiatric institution and heavily medicated for the rest of his life.  There are monsters out there, and they have no age requirement.  All it takes is amorality.  And yes, there is a far distinction between immoral and amoral.  The former knows it is wrong in society's eyes, the latter does not, or doesn't care.  And I think the amoral should be put in the ground as quickly as possible, irrespective of age.
Mistletoe Angel
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12 posted 03-02-2005 12:50 PM       View Profile for Mistletoe Angel   Email Mistletoe Angel   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Mistletoe Angel's Home Page   View IP for Mistletoe Angel



Alicat, check your e-mail!



Sincerely,
Noah Eaton

"If we have no peace, it is because we have forgotten that we belong to each other"

Mother Teresa

Marge Tindal
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13 posted 03-02-2005 02:15 PM       View Profile for Marge Tindal   Email Marge Tindal   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Marge Tindal's Home Page   View IP for Marge Tindal

Ali~
Email me with the address where I can send my donation to your election campaign fund~

And bless you for speaking out on this turn of events that is incomprehensible to so many of us~

Let a tragic loss of life, committed by someone under the age of 18, hit closer to home and see how the same folks respond~
Heaven forbid !!!
~*Marge*~
Alicat
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14 posted 03-02-2005 03:19 PM       View Profile for Alicat   Email Alicat   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Alicat

Well, guess that 14 year old who killed his bus driver when she came to his stop wouldn't have gotten the Death Penalty anyhow, since it's been banned for those 15 or under for many years.  But I reckon that murderer didn't know that until his lawyer informed him, which is probably a good thing, else he would've pulled the trigger long before this.
Sunshine
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15 posted 03-02-2005 06:33 PM       View Profile for Sunshine   Email Sunshine   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Sunshine's Home Page   View IP for Sunshine

What is disconcerting to me is the fact that all sides have a very valid point of view in BOTH directions.

Underage humans have the distinct possibility of being under such control from adults that they have lost their own ability to know right from wrong. Yes, think brainwashing. We've seen it in cults, we know it exists. They are stripped of their own self-esteem, they only know to follow "the one they love/respect/admire".

And that is where I have the problem of knowing how to respond, even interact in this thread. I know the possibilities of mental illness, persuasion, moral and mortal responsibility, etc.

In ways similar to serenity's, and while she hasn't been put to the test [?] I know that killing "meat" is not something I would do on a thrill/pleasure seeking mission, but if I had to feed my family and the crops were gone, by God I know how to catch the chicken and fix the meal. From scratch. And I don't believe God would condemn me for that.

In knowing and valuing right from wrong, I sometimes think my own face gives me away in voir dire when the simple count is that we are dealing with a thief. [Life!]

All joking aside from the last paragraph, I do believe the court system is becoming too lenient just as I believe that we have to be VERY careful in handing out death sentences. We cannot be a vigilante crowd. We have to have ALL the facts, leaving no stone unturned. We have to go outside the box and find whatever we can legally and logistically find about not only the "criminal" but the victim, as well. There are always two sides to a story, and all of the rocks need to be turned to the light of discovery.

Ok, I've rambled, and I haven't done justice to Ali's honest initial post of how it should be. All of the sides of this post count...and NONE of them should be discredited. And that is where we have to put "feelings" aside, and think "logically". And there is no "logic" to life and death. It is all, simply put, "emotional". It if ever becomes "logical" then the machines win.
LeeJ
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16 posted 03-03-2005 08:53 AM       View Profile for LeeJ   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for LeeJ

Sunshine, your words are always wise and well thoughtout...gave me new perpectives to think about...

Noah, I don't know about the ban on certain guns...not that your idea isn't in the right place...but a criminal will always get their hands on weapons, no matter how banned they are...it's us that won't by them...law abiding citizens...but the criminals, will sell their souls for drugs, weapons...etc.

Here's my take, after reading all your feed backs....

People do not assume responsibility for their actions...I believe our laws are way to leinant...and how can one expect citizens to be forthright, when our own government personal is not.  

In otherwords...if your government is corrupt, so to shall be it's people.  

We don't live by a srick set of rules, and they're always bent by those with the right contacts and/or money.  

I believe, prision should be an awful, scary place to go...no tv's, computers, tiled floors, work out equipment, or the opportunity to obtain a college education...

We're way to quick to excuse criminal action...my goodness, watch the news...then ask yourself what do we expect, when we make heros out of criminals...our children lack moral education, like Karilea said...and now, they want to tear down the 10 commandments...what influence of moral guilt and effect will govern our children's lives, if not by parents...

Just this morning, I saw a tape of a teacher in NJ, of which one of his students taped from his cell phone...the teacher was so angry, and told the kids, they will stand quietly while reciting the Pledge of Alligence...

I don't blame the guy...kids get away with murder...literally, and my hats off to any teacher in today's world...seriously...it's no picnic out there, if a child harbors no respect for himself, he will not respect others...

How does a community/society enforce moral obligation?  Think about it, the next time we allow someone to infringe on our rights.  I'm speaking about the 10 commandments and public prayer...public displays of faith.  

You may not agree with what the Bible speaks, or whatever religion...but...it does put forth a set of rules to guide our lives by...and without rules, there is chaos...

Forgive me for saying this, but we've done it to ourselves...with liberal thinking and allowing people to get away with taking our rights away...freedom of speech...we are loosing respect and values for other people's beliefs...regardless if they are right or wrong...they have the right to worship, smoke, say what they wish about the government...and shun bad behavior...

Some say a child has no concept of what life is...then, it is time, we all take responsibility to reestablish those concpets...we're all in this as neighbors, as a community...what one does affects us all, and certainly reflects on ones family...we lack moral education, and the ability to assume responsiblity for our wrong doings...anything goes today...and it's ok, cuz some lawyer will bleed the hearts of the juriors...making you feel sorry for the criminal...

Know what, we've all had bad lives, some of us more then others, but did we ever once, think of taking someone else's life b/c of it?  Did we use it as an excuse?  We don't turn our backs to criminals...we embrace them?  Everytime we hear something on the news, we should deem ourselves the parents or family of the one lost...pretend it is our child whose life has senslessly and heniously been snuffed out and taken away from us....

Laws are not always fair, nor will they ever be, but they are needed for a reason, to prevent these events from happening...and when they do, we've got to set an example, we've got an obligation to get into these bad schools and teach morals and respect...and I say...here here, to that teacher in NJ...parents have all teachers scared to repromand their children...

God...our parents got a note from the teacher on bad behavior on our part and we got wacked...and I'm not worse for it...I wasn't mared for life...I knew most assuridly, there were consequences for my actions...what in the world is wrong with that???

We've got to get a little tougher, more involved, stop turning our backs, and start sewing these liberal acts right back...we're becoming the minorities....we're loosing our rights...when all we've done all our lives is work hard...we don't teach our children to work for what they want and desire...????

Our children today know nothing about responsibility...and all about sex and violence.  If you cure the violence, the sex will cure along with it....


Now I'm done rambling....
jbouder
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17 posted 03-03-2005 11:18 AM       View Profile for jbouder   Email jbouder   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for jbouder

Read Scalia's dissenting opinion at the end of the Supreme Court Opinion.  I agree with him.  If minors have the capacity to make moral decisions in other matters, they should have the capacity to be culpable for capital crimes.

http://a257.g.akamaitech.net/7/257/2422/01mar20051300/www.supremecourtus.gov/opinions/04pdf/03-633.pdf
hush
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18 posted 03-03-2005 02:18 PM       View Profile for hush   Email hush   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for hush

I was going to make Ron's point, but instead I'll make another. If your 15 year-old kid committed a murder, would you stand by and let the child for whom you still bear legal responsibility be killed by the state?

Besides, I guess the point of the death penalty escapes me. We just rack up more dead bodies and replace one murderer with another.

Christopher
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19 posted 03-03-2005 07:13 PM       View Profile for Christopher   Email Christopher   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Christopher

quote:
Higher execution rates can actually increase violent crime rates. California averaged 6 executions a year from 1952 to 1967, and had twice the murder rate than the period from 1968 until 1991 when there were no executions. In New York, from 1907 to 1964, months immediately following an execution showed a net increase of two murders - an average over a 57-year period. - From IDEA
And there are plenty more references along these lines if you're not too lazy to look (like I am).

If you have these types of increases in homocides that have been consistently linked with the execution of capital punishment - might it be even worse with what most people consider children?

Just a thought.

egowhores.com - really love yourself.

 
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