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Passions in Poetry

capital punishment?

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Jaime Fradera
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since 11-25-2000
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Where no tyranny is tolerable


0 posted 12-13-2005 02:46 PM       View Profile for Jaime Fradera   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Jaime Fradera

Capital punishment isn't punishment.
It is really restotution.
The taker of human life should be asked,  at the very least, be asked to make retribution by giving up his or her own life as something of equivalent  value.

SC
Susan Caldwell
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1 posted 12-13-2005 02:58 PM       View Profile for Susan Caldwell   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Susan Caldwell

"asked"

??

Because someone should get a choice?

"too bad ignorance isn't painful"
~Unknown~

Mistletoe Angel
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2 posted 12-13-2005 03:40 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

This thread must be inspired by this morning's high-profiled execution of Crips-gang founder Stanley "Tookie" Williams.

Look, as I have previously mentioned here, I am opposed to the death penalty, where I believe far beyond the obvious scope that it is just inhumane to an extent, that it just doesn't teach or resolve in the end. I wish that our prison system could be reformed so that our tax payer dollars wouldn't go into ensuring luxuries for prisoners and simply go to incarcerating the worst criminals, which I absolutely agree with that argument, but I believe solitary confinement without parole is a more effective punishment where the one who commited the heinous crime, including shooting as many as four police officers with a shotgun, is forced to live in anguish and grapple with the pity and pay the emotional, psychological price of his/her actions, and hope though you must continue to live the penalty, you can recognize your faults and actions and such.

The death penalty I believe just cancels out that process; it's abrupt, and it's a lesson or anguish left unheard, unlearned.

With that said, I also don't believe Stanley Tookie Williams fulfilled the full requirements of clemency (clemency by spiritual definition) because, as a Christian myself, I believe in forgiveness wholeheatedly, but in order for forgiveness to be pure, one must seek penitence, which the first step is genuinely admitting your crimes or follies. Tookie never confessed to what he was accused of and the fact he never rised above the first mountain has me believing he wasn't fully worthy of clemency.

What Tookie failed to realize is, forgiveness is a natural process, often what I like to think of as a "velvet boot camp", and in order for forgiveness to be genuine and pure, the one yearning for forgiveness must understand these truths to forgiveness.

*

First of all, forgiveness is not forgetting. You musn't let the experiences dwell on the future, nonetheless you must understand what it is you're asking forgiveness for and seek resolve.

*

Secondly, forgiveness isn't avoidance. It should always be about revival. Forgiveness is designed to restore whatever relationship or harmony that was afflicted, and that is exactly what makes forgiveness such a powerful thing.

*

Finally, forgiveness does not come wrapped in excuses. Denial and the lack of closure for where we've wronged only subtracts our dignity as humans, for it is taking responsibility that is the learning experience that help us grow into better, more appreciative people.

*

The golden truth and dogmatic aim of forgiveness is the ability to observe ourselves and others more compassionately, to make wiser, and more conscious choices with respect to any unsatisfying emotional and belief patterns. Forgiveness is valuable because it helps us balance the energies of both love and will in our hearts, and use both of these lifeforces with greater skill, to become both nurturing and strong at the same time. And, finally, forgiveness grants us the gift of making better contact with their Higher Self, the very source of love, strength, wisdom and creativity within each of us, which is the intrinsic motivation to increase the ability to love unconditionally both self and others.

*

That's also exactly why I don't understand why many see Tookie as a "hero" to youth and such. How could we be convinced that he's the changed man he claims he is if he never had the heart to conquer the first phase of this "velvet boot camp"? While I believe it wrong for him to be executed, Tookie was clearly no "hero" and he was indeed a criminal and deserved to remain behind bars for life, where the least he could do was hope that no young mind will make the same ugly mistake he did in books and such.

*

With that said, I'm opposed to capital punishment while also a staunch supporter of life sentences for the worst of criminals. I certainly also wish there could be more efforts to promoting rehabilitation and education programs toward our youth which I believe can help mediate large numbers of these conflicts from happening and while there will always be troublemakers, at least doing such a thing can keep our prison system from being overcrowded as it is now.

Sincerely,
Noah Eaton


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

Mother Teresa

[This message has been edited by Mistletoe Angel (12-13-2005 04:11 PM).]

littlewing
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since 03-02-2003
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3 posted 12-13-2005 06:08 PM       View Profile for littlewing   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for littlewing

I don't quite understand the first post but agree with a lot of what Noah is pointing out even though I am for the death penalty.  

(FOR the penalty because there are NO strict sanctions)

I also wish to see stricter sanctions on criminals than just death because death, to me,
is a sweet release from the world they would otherwise have to live in.

OR a sweet release compared to stricter laws and actions for certain crimes.  

Mistletoe Angel
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4 posted 12-13-2005 06:26 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

Beyond just believing that the death penalty is just inhumane, I just believe just that as you pointed out about the practice; it is indeed a "sweet release" for the criminal.

I believe reeling and maturing through the five stages of grief truly brings out the fullest effects of punishment for criminals in that they are forced to wear the proverbial crown of thorns each and every day. Denial (which I feel Tookie has long stalled at), anger, bargaining, depression, and finally, which not all criminals reach, acceptance.

The death penalty I believe almost frees the criminal from this ordeal. And so, like I said, it's like a lesson left unheard, or a punishment left unresolved or unfulfilled.

I can absolutely understand how some feel there just isn't any option to handling the worst of these criminals without our tax-paying dollars offering them undeserved luxuries and freedoms, but I believe there's just deep cynicism rooted in the death penalty, and I argue immoral as well.

Sincerely,
Noah Eaton

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

Mother Teresa

Midnitesun
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5 posted 12-13-2005 06:37 PM       View Profile for Midnitesun   Email Midnitesun   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Midnitesun

Amigo, this is one area where I have personally bounced back and forth a couple of times, mostly on the side against capital punishment.
For the most part, I don't believe it deters anyone from anything, which is the argument I was given way back in the 60's when I first debated this issue in a high school civics class. Playing devil's advocate (as I often did)I chose the support side, won the debate, then got up an ripped apart my own statements, showing where they were either illogical or just plain BS. Being a Gandhi follower as well as an Amnesty International member, I've always preferred to err on the side of LIFE in prison, no chance for parole, and keep myself free of bloody guilt. But a couple of times over the years, when I've read of cases that involved incredibly inhumane torture? well, I gotta say, I said "!FRY the creep and be done with it!" more than once.
Mistletoe Angel
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6 posted 12-13-2005 06:45 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

Yesterday there were a number of protesters who were declared "anti-death penalty" who gathered in Los Angeles to challenge the decision, which included celebrities, activists and religious leaders.

For those who simply were there to protest capital punishment, I do very much agree with them. But what bothers me is that many of the people were there were also heralding Tookie as a hero, an icon, a symbol of redemption.

I'm glad that to many who've read his books that the message readers were struck with is of not resorting to gang violence and such, but I can't seriously begin to depict him as someone who has went through a whole nonviolence metamorphosis or tragic hero or anything like that when he never successfully completed the first stage of the redemption process.

Those who were there to simply challenge the death penalty I share belief with. Those who were there praising Tookie as something he isn't are only embarrassing themselves.

Sincerely,
Noah Eaton


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

Mother Teresa
inot2B
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7 posted 12-13-2005 08:20 PM       View Profile for inot2B   Email inot2B   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for inot2B

I say put them to death!!!  Why should they get to live and have their families visit them, and the state to have to feed and give medical care.  The families of the victims never will be able to visit with their loved one.  
ice
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since 05-17-2003
Posts 3059
Pennsylvania


8 posted 12-13-2005 09:04 PM       View Profile for ice   Email ice   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for ice

"The taker of human life should be asked,  at the very least, be asked to make retribution by giving up his or her own life as something of equivalent  value."

It seems that Ahnald was in the end responsible for the state sanctioned murder of a California citizen. I suppose that he should give up his own life in the same tit for tat kind of way?
Or is it the men who put the needles in that criminals arm that should be the next in line for injection as retribution?

Should we just admit that society has not advanced past the stage of committing the sin of revenge?  In my mind, this is what it is, plain and simple it is an act of revenge...

I feel that
the death penalty is murder in cold blood...Williams was killed in cold blood..
By that I mean that the murder was planned in advance and carried out without  remorse...I would bet that Williams killed his victims in the heat of passion , and was driven by some kind of uncontrollable emotion, and even if he looked cool at the time, his adrenalin was pumping.
What makes him near the same as his killers is that he apparently never showed remorse for his victims...

Please note, that I am not sticking up for this guy, I think he was a menace to society, and that he should have been barred from rejoining it for the rest of his life..The soft part of me says that even if this guy was kept there (in prison) he should have been treated with a restorative response to crime program...such as the one in effect in Minnesota..

Kay Pranis, the Restorative Justice Planner for the State of Minnesota's Department of Corrections, says:  "A restorative response to crime is a community-building response."

I ask-    
Can the death penalty ever build community?
Can it reconstruct lost relationships?
Can it bring back those whose lives were lost?

Paul McCold (A Quaker criminologist)  is currently running a discernment process for the United Nations to arrive at an international working definition of restorative justice. He believes that the harm done to "offenders" under current retributive practices is a leading cause of recidivism.
"When harm is done in the name of justice, the cycles of violence and crime are only perpetuated. Equity-Restorative justice calls for the mending of the 'fabric' of society by attending to the relationships among and between everyone involved in transgressive incidents."  

You can probably tell, I lean their way.... admitting that those programs are probably best used in criminal cases where the person will be most likely released back into society someday...I still believe a program of this sort should be mandatory for all prisoners...even those with life sentences.


It has been proven over and over again that the death penalty does very little or nothing to deter serious crime.

A well worn saying is "Why should I pay for this persons keep until he dies in prison with my hard earned money"
That doesn't hold water either...it costs far more to kill a criminal than keep him in prison long term...
It is a simple matter of math (dollars spent) that proves this in almost every case.

Just my two cents....

Peace___________ice
                ><>

Midnitesun
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9 posted 12-13-2005 09:31 PM       View Profile for Midnitesun   Email Midnitesun   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Midnitesun

I am glad you had two cents to give, ice. Hugs to you. I feel that living a long long long life in prison...without an internet connection and a PC mind you, or a cup of java, would be sufficient eternal punishment to deter me. But then I am not a violence-oriented being. those who have no qualms about taking life don't generally think about the consequences at the time of the crime.

I doubt they'd serve me my grilled veggie burgers in prison!
Jaime Fradera
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since 11-25-2000
Posts 582
Where no tyranny is tolerable


10 posted 12-13-2005 10:15 PM       View Profile for Jaime Fradera   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Jaime Fradera

My what a tremendous discussion I kicked off!  Thank you.  my point is that if punishment is intended to correct undesirable behaviour, capital punishment is a euphamism, since it can an not correct the behaviour or elicit the contrition of an executed person.  When a football team incurs a penalty on the field, we don't shoot all the players in an effort to make them straighten up and fly right, but rather allow the team the opportunity to reverse their field position and work harder to prevail.
I must stop now as my motor finger walking coordination  is d d d The sleep goddess is calling me to bed with her ... ... ...
DYME
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11 posted 12-17-2005 01:46 AM       View Profile for DYME   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit DYME's Home Page   View IP for DYME

I totally agree with Noah.

First off, Tookie Williams did not deserve to be excused from his original punishment because he never gave any reason for anyone to believe he ws innocent. He is not a hero. He created a monster that has spread around the nation and is the reason that so many young people have turned to a life of crime that they may never turn away from. His actions have also sparked the glamourization of a dangerous, devestating and very ignorant lifestyle.

Back to the subject at hand...

I am not a firm believer in the death penalty. Prisoners get too many luxuries in prison and, as result, many criminals have no fear of prison. The only way the government feels it can teach the public a lesson is by killing criminals. The death penalty is extreme and has not proven very successful at scaring people into not committing murder. It only teaches them to not get caught.
Prisoners should be punished severly through seclusion from the outside world (including the media) and zero tolerance for repeat offenders. A person's life should not be taken because they took someone elses. After all, it won't bring the victim back.

I'm not crazy...I have papers to prove it!!

No weapon formed against me shall prosper... ISAIAH 54:17

majnu
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12 posted 12-18-2005 02:32 AM       View Profile for majnu   Email majnu   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for majnu

costs me less money to keep 5 guys in jails for 35 years each than to kill one (because of a system that is highly unlikely to change). based on that i oppose the death penalty. otherwise, i think sexual crimes should be added to the list of capital offences. as far as I know they cause far more suffering than death.


but then, i also think we should bring back prison labour while some think that is akin to slavery.

-majnu
--------------------------------------
Timid thoughts be not afraid. I am a Poet.

LeeJ
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13 posted 12-19-2005 09:10 AM       View Profile for LeeJ   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for LeeJ

Majnu....thank you, thank you!!

I believe if you've done the crime you do the time, even if it takes your life...my goodness...there is just no fear of consequences for actions anymore???
and majnu...I am horrified by the citizens of this country, that they constantly keep turning their heads and ignoring the fact that sexual offenders are allowed rights, allowed to live around the corner from, my grand daughter, allowed to function in normal society...actually, I'm more disgusted with society then the offenders for not getting up on their soap boxes and demade these offenders are put away for good.

But then, unless it hits home, why should anyone make a fuss right?

We owe it to our public, most of all our children to keep them safe...anyone in my mind who sexually abuses a child should be

garysgirl
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14 posted 01-17-2006 06:06 AM       View Profile for garysgirl   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit garysgirl's Home Page   View IP for garysgirl

I would like to say that I don't believe in the death penalty. Life in prison is much more punishment for the individual who has committed the crime. The family also suffers. It is no picnic to visit someone in prison, either.

So, whoever says that the prisoners have a life of leisure, have never been inside one of the places. I have heard this many times, but I know for a fact that it isn't true....especially in the state of Florida.

Oh, and as far as the medical attention, the prisoners, (or their families) have to pay for some of their medical attention in Florida.

I have heard the Federal prisons where the politicians, etc, get sent to is more like a boot camp. But, the Florida State Prisons is an entirely different story.

And, someone mentioned the labor? Well, a lot of new prisons are going up in Florida and guess who builds them? Yep, the prisoners do most of the work. They also do labor in swamps that are full of snakes and alligators. Oh, and they have a waiting list of prisoners volunteering to do any job that is available. They say doing a job helps the time in a day to pass a little bit faster.

I know some of you think they all deserve whatever they get....but just remember that their families and loved ones are innocent but they are also getting punished every day right along with the inmates. Even a phone call is $5.31 for 15 minutes, and that is not including all the taxes added to each call. In some states it is more than that.

So, like I said up there, it isn't as easy on the inmates as most people think.... especially in Florida.
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