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Death penalty- for it, against it? Why?

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Angel Rand
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since 09-04-99
Posts 140
London UK, and Zurich Switzerl


0 posted 11-24-1999 03:45 AM       View Profile for Angel Rand   Email Angel Rand   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Angel Rand

I am against it.
Why? In a society where murder is the highest of crimes, life itself must be of the highest value. Therefore the crime cannot rightly be punished by the same crime.
The law states that killing is only then justifiable when a person is under immediate threat of life. In other words self-defence. If a dangerous murderer is apprehended and put in prison he or she poses no direct threat to society. The law may not be exempt from the law.


------------------
"I swear -- by my life and by my love of it -- that I will never live for the sake of another man, nor ask another man to live for mine." Ayn Rand, Atlas Shrugged
"Any alleged "right" of one man, which necessitates the violation of the rights of another, is not and cannot be a right." Ayn Rand

jbouder
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since 09-18-99
Posts 2641
Whole Sort Of Genl Mish Mash


1 posted 11-24-1999 01:04 PM       View Profile for jbouder   Email jbouder   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for jbouder

I believe that the death penalty is, at times, an appropriate punishment for certain crimes.

I agree with Angel to the extent that premeditated, deliberate murder, with malice aforethought, without justification, excuse or mitigation is the highest of crimes. I would broaden those qualifications to include murders that took place while other crimes such as arson, rape, robbery, malicious wounding, or kidnapping.

I disagree, however, with the notion that retributive justice is unwarranted and, as Angel puts it, a crime when it is executed upon someone duly convicted of murder as I described it above. My question for Angel is this: In a nation where life itself is of the highest value, how can one justify anything less than the most severe punishment for the malicious taking of an innocent (and valuable) life?

I must also point out that not all homicide is deserving of a death sentence. Murder that takes place as a result of the murderer's recklessness should be severely punished, but not, I believe, by death. Murders resulting from criminal negligence (involuntary manslaughter) should be punished but not by death. Murders taking place during a heat of passion (when you walk in on your spouse in bed with another) should not be punishable by death. Murders taking place when one justifiably responds with deadly force (self-defense) should not be punished. And murders that are excused (executions following due process of law, times of war) should not be punishable.

Sometimes we don't think about the many people killed by Colonial Americans so that our independence could be won. We don't think about countless others killed so that our liberty could be preservered. There were thousands of civilians killed in the fire bombings of Dresden and Tokyo during WWII. Should the bomber pilots and crews be held accountable for their deaths? Was the killing justified or unjustified? Is the law exempt from the law in these cases?

Vigilante justice is always, in my opinion, unjustified. But when a man is put to death after being convicted before a jury of his peers and after he has been given ample opportunity to appeal, then that execution of justice is not only justified, but it is also the only appropriate penalty for such a horrible crime.

------------------
Jim

"If I rest, I rust." -Martin Luther

Angel Rand
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since 09-04-99
Posts 140
London UK, and Zurich Switzerl


2 posted 11-24-1999 01:39 PM       View Profile for Angel Rand   Email Angel Rand   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Angel Rand

Jim,
I guess the question is does a person who commits such a murder as you describe revokes his or her inalienable rights as a human being (provided they ever had those inalienable rights). If the answer is no, then execution is not justifiable. If the answer is yes, the question arises as to who gives you those inalienable rights? In my opinion no one. Not the state you live in and not government and not your peers. But rather being born as a human being comes with automatic rights (unfortunately they are not recognised by most countries on this planet): your right to life and to equality. So therefore no one is above your right to life.
I had an idea for a punishment but it probably would not really work. Anyway here goes: The state ensures that its citizens' rights are upheld. Should someone go against the inalienable right of another to his or her life I think it would be a fitting punishment and solution if that criminal lost his or her citizenship (and therefore lost his privilege to be protected by that society) and where moved to a penal colony. I think it is justifiable that a society protects itself against a threat such as a killer like you mentioned above by removing that threat. The murderer should be exempt from all social benefits that a free society can provide him with and he should have to work hard for his own upkeep. Cause to rely on the tax payers money to keep a murderer alive is really a bit too much asked. And once his guilt is proven he is sent to that colony for the rest of his life and there may not be a pardon. This punishment is of course only for the worst cases of crimes such as you mentioned above.
As for war, I am of the opinion that it is only right as a defence measure against an attacker. So therefore any killing done in such a war is a matter of self-defence.

I have to stop here. I have the flu and my head is somewhat foggy. So if I was unclear or weirdness itself ( ) please forgive me.
Angel


------------------
"I swear -- by my life and by my love of it -- that I will never live for the sake of another man, nor ask another man to live for mine." Ayn Rand, Atlas Shrugged
"Any alleged "right" of one man, which necessitates the violation of the rights of another, is not and cannot be a right." Ayn Rand

jbouder
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since 09-18-99
Posts 2641
Whole Sort Of Genl Mish Mash


3 posted 11-24-1999 03:05 PM       View Profile for jbouder   Email jbouder   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for jbouder

Angel:

Your idea sounds similar to a movie I saw back in 1993 (I think) called "No Escape" with Ray Liota. I wouldn't object to such a penalty. Cheap, effective and efficient. But such a punishment, I believe, is a death penalty by, if nothing else, instrumentality. If you send a convict to a place where he is as likely (if not more likely) to die as he would be were he on death row, then how is that different than execution?

As to the question of the origin of unalienable rights, the Founding Fathers believed (or at least said they believed) that unalienable rights of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness (and some added the right to own property) were "endowed by their Creator". Those rights were irrevokable by any individual. They also believed that governments were given divine authority to punish wrongdoers and reward (by protecting liberties) those who do good. This is basic Common Law doctrine. The Founding Fathers, incidentally, saw no conflict in maintaining basic human rights and executing those guilty of capital crimes.

I agree that keeping the death row convict alive with taxpayer money is not equitable. Get it over with and kill them I say!

Good thoughts, by the way, for one so sick! I hope you are feeling better soon.

------------------
Jim

"If I rest, I rust." -Martin Luther

Brad
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Jejudo, South Korea


4 posted 11-25-1999 02:02 AM       View Profile for Brad   Email Brad   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Brad

I'm with Angel on this one but perhaps not for the same reasons. All governments make mistakes, nobody's perfect, and the death penalty is something that you can't take back. If one innocent person is killed through the process, then that process should be abolished.

Admittedly, being in prison for twenty of thirty years only to be set free once a person has been found innocent is not exactly a brilliant solution but at least it allows some moment of opportunity. I have offended many people with this line of thinking because I'm, in a sense, questioning the ability to know anything. Many people usually point out that any decision is impossible if they follow my basic premise. My counter-argument is usually something along the lines that since no decision is still a decision, we all have to make decisions anyway. The difference, as I see it, is all decisions should be inherently provisional. The death penalty is not.

Brad
Angel Rand
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5 posted 11-26-1999 10:43 AM       View Profile for Angel Rand   Email Angel Rand   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Angel Rand

Jim,
I wonder if the founding fathers were not influenced by "the divine right" by which monarchs claimed their right to the throne back then. Do you believe that a court of law is endowed with divine right over life and death?
When I said that criminals should be moved to a penal colony I did not have in mind that they should live in some savage desert where their survival would be near impossible. Plus there would have to be some sort of police or warden presence as to ensure that they would not escape. They would not be allowed to lounge about all day but rather follow a severe and tight day plan. But the prison colony would grow their own food and could maybe produce something that they could sell so that they could buy essentials like clothing and hardware supplies etc. I believe this would be possible and has already been tried successfully in the US. At least according to a film with Robert Redford I once saw ( ). What would make this difficult is all the so called humanitarians who are so ready to protest against such treatment of criminals but remain strangely silent in the face of human rights violations against innocent ppl in other parts of the world... but that is just me being bitter and cynical I guess.
And as for my flu, ty Jim yes I feel better already.
Big from Angel


------------------
"I swear -- by my life and by my love of it -- that I will never live for the sake of another man, nor ask another man to live for mine." Ayn Rand, Atlas Shrugged
"Any alleged "right" of one man, which necessitates the violation of the rights of another, is not and cannot be a right." Ayn Rand

Alicat
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since 05-23-99
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6 posted 11-26-1999 01:36 PM       View Profile for Alicat   Email Alicat   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Alicat

Allow me to preface that I appreciate and respect the views hitherto put forward. And on some points I agree. But let me pose this question, which has always been raised in such discussion: If a deadly, violent, multiple instance crime happened to a member of your immediate family (ex. Your 11-year old is abducted, raped, killed, and dismembered by a 35-year old) and you see this offender in court, would you be able to forgive the offender enough so that death would not be given? Personally, I don't think I could. Nor do I think I would give this person the chance to make it to trial. In a related anecdote from Heinlein, "There are many against gun control, but when something happens to them, they raise the Jolly Roger." (paraphrased)

Now, on to prison farms. I lived on one from 1972 through 1986. My dad worked as a guard at Retrieve Prison Farm, Texas Department of Corrections (now Texas Department of Criminal Justice), and, by-and-large, the system worked. Inmates worked the fields and the shops on site, earning money (I think it was $.10/hour) to buy cigarettes, books, and magazines. Helped not only to raise their esteem (earning by working), but it also allowed them to indulge in luxury items (when a pack of cigarettes could easily go for $10/pack). All this served to keep them sane. It is worth noting that when the fields where shut down, and the inmates confined to the inner grounds (due to poor warden management and the pressure of special interest groups) the incidence of homicide and escape attempts rose dramatically...they had no other way to work off their aggression. And when Texas banned the use of tobacco on prison farms (guards, families, visitors, and inmates) the cow pat really hit the fan. Luckily, my dad had retired and moved off-site when all that went down. But I digress. By and large, this system of punishment works. The inmates are removed from 'society', they can work for luxury items, income is provided to the guards and staff, and income is provided to the state.

Penal colonies...hmmm...hasn't this been done before? Australia? Siberia? Reservations? Alcatraz? Nuff said.

Death penalty...doesn't work. There are people sitting on Death Row under a Grandfather Clause...they will die there of old age before they will ever be executed. It costs too much to keep these creatures in comfort while awaiting their demise. Bullets are inexpensive, and can be re-loaded. And the way the system is now, going to prison sure beats working. Yeah, you might be corn-holed, but the same happens to the working man. You are given shelter, food, clothing, television, internet access, books, satellite, a gym, and a field for playing group sports. No bills, no mortgage, no premiums. True, it's a tad too structured for the likes of most people, but so is the military.

Getting back to the original question about the death penalty. I realize that innocent people have been put to death, and that is a travesty of justice. And I hate to sound trite, but mistakes do happen, even ones this terminal. But, however inefficient the system is, it works. Dangerous, amoral people are removed from society. Would you want a sadistic serial-killer's sentence commuted to life, then given parole for good behavior and prison over-crowding? Would you want this person walking through your neighborhood? Would you like to see Jeffrey Dahmer in your grocery store, standing by the meat counter, eyeballing your son? There are some people just too dangerous to live. And yes, I would take accountablity for delivering the execution of their sentence. For the sake of my children yet unborn, I would take the responsibility for the condemned death. And I would answer for that when the Great Trumpet sounds.

In closing, there are many against the Death Penalty, irregardless of administration. I must wonder how fast their tune will change when it happens to them.


Alicat

[This message has been edited by Alicat (edited 11-26-1999).]
Angel Rand
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since 09-04-99
Posts 140
London UK, and Zurich Switzerl


7 posted 11-26-1999 03:29 PM       View Profile for Angel Rand   Email Angel Rand   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Angel Rand

Alicat, this is something I have always wondered about. Ever since I saw that film A Time To Kill. And I do think that a father/mother who kills the murderer and rapist of his daughter or son should be let off. But I don't think that a law should be based and passed on such an emotional state. I believe the law has to be dispassionate yet respecting passionate deeds such as mentioned above.
I do however agree with you that prisons are way too comfy sometimes. Here in Switzerland our prisons compare to 3 star hotels! A prison farm like you mentioned is a very good idea. I only mentioned a penal colony cause I believe the only thing a state endows its ppl with is the protection under its citizenship and the benefits that come with it. Someone who breaks the law so badly as not respecting the life of another should no longer enjoy the benefits of that citizenship. Maybe the endeffect of that aspect of punishment is really only symbolic but fitting nevertheless I think.
As for death row, I agree it is awful and very "chinese torture" like. Almost like dying by slow painful inches. Maybe some would think its befitting the crime, even better than being killed right off but I think torture is babraric. Of course I say this now, untouched by the extreme pain of losing a child or another loved one to a beast like you mentioned. I do hope that it will always be so.
Angel

------------------
"I swear -- by my life and by my love of it -- that I will never live for the sake of another man, nor ask another man to live for mine." Ayn Rand, Atlas Shrugged
"Any alleged "right" of one man, which necessitates the violation of the rights of another, is not and cannot be a right." Ayn Rand

Alicat
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Posts 4277
Coastal Texas


8 posted 11-26-1999 03:59 PM       View Profile for Alicat   Email Alicat   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Alicat

So do I, Angel. So do I.
Trevor
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since 08-12-99
Posts 744
Canada


9 posted 11-28-1999 02:55 AM       View Profile for Trevor   Email Trevor   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Trevor

Well, well, well,
what do we have here?

I am for the death penalty and I'm for lowereing the standards in prison. Why am I for killing the killers?, because they serve no purpose other than an example of how not to be.

ANGEL:
"Why? In a society where murder is the highest of crimes, life itself must be of the highest value. Therefore the crime cannot rightly be punished by the same crime.
The law states that killing is only then justifiable when a person is under immediate threat of life. In other words self-defence. If a dangerous murderer is apprehended and put in prison he or she poses no direct threat to society. The law may not be exempt from the law. "
Executing a murderer is self defense. It is protecting other individuals from them so that no one has to be their victim...ever again....many people escape prison each and every year....would you want a prison built next to your house? Probably not because there is always a chance one of them could escape.

"I guess the question is does a person who commits such a murder as you describe revokes his or her inalienable rights as a human being (provided they ever had those inalienable rights). If the answer is no, then execution is not justifiable. If the answer is yes, the question arises as to who gives you those inalienable rights? In my opinion no one. Not the state you live in and not government and not your peers. But rather being born as a human being comes with automatic rights (unfortunately they are not recognised by most countries on this planet): your right to life and to equality. So therefore no one is above your right to life. "

What's the difference between keeping them in jail and violating their rights or executing them? Jail is a violation of rights yet you don't have a problem with that. I don't mean this in an insulting way but rather I'm just trying to get a read on you Angel, I find you very interesting, but here's where I can not understand you, on another thread you complain about having to pay taxes to help shelter, re-educate, hospitalize, feed the poor and homeless innocent masses yet you have no problem paying for these luxuries for murderers. I don't understand....and sorry for bringing in another thread into this discussion...just curious.

"I think it is justifiable that a society protects itself against a threat such as a killer like you mentioned above by removing that threat. The murderer should be exempt from all social benefits that a free society can provide him with and he should have to work hard for his own upkeep. Cause to rely on the tax payers money to keep a murderer alive is really a bit too much asked. And once his guilt is proven he is sent to that colony for the rest of his life and there may not be a pardon. This punishment is of course only for the worst cases of crimes such as you mentioned above."

To ensure they stay on that island would cost a ton'o'cash and how many criminals do you think can farm, build shelter...etc, etc.? So many of them would die, isn't that the same as execution? Putting someone intentionally in a situation that would kill them?

BRAD:
I can't believe there is something disagree on

"I'm with Angel on this one but perhaps not for the same reasons. All governments make mistakes, nobody's perfect, and the death penalty is something that you can't take back. If one innocent person is killed through the process, then that process should be abolished."

I agree it's an extremely raw deal for those convicted of something they did not do and sentenced to death....but in the same turn, I'm sure a lot of people over the years have served life sentences and were really innocent but the truth never discovered. When these people get out of jail their life is over, they can't get a good job because they have a police record. They have no life, can't travel freely because they are on parol....if they served a lot of years, their friends are probably all gone, family might be gone too. They lack social skills and probably feel just all around awful because they spent so many years of their life locked away for something they've never done. Now in a way I guess you could say that man was killed by the system...should it then be abolished? With today's forensic technology it makes convicting wrongful doers a more accurate thing...I'm not saying it's perfect but it's gotten a lot better and although I have no stats to back it up I will say that I'm sure a vast majority of people convicted of murder, did in fact do it....but if you walk down a death row they'll all tell ya their innocent

I'm find it very disturbing when I hear that people won't kill murderers, rapists, pedophiles, etc. and will pay for them to keep on living, and not living poorly when at the same time they'll let people freeze to death and starve to death (I'm not saying this about you Brad but just in general). I think people need to get their priorities in order....let the murderers die and give those who still have something to offer a chance so that they won't turn into criminals.

ANGEL:
"They would not be allowed to lounge about all day but rather follow a severe and tight day plan. But the prison colony would grow their own food and could maybe produce something that they could sell so that they could buy essentials like clothing and hardware supplies etc. I believe this would be possible and has already been tried successfully in the US."
Angel is not forced labor a violation of a person's rights? I don't see how shipping them away from society and making them slaves is not a violation of rights and the death penalty is? And the cost of such a project would be astounding.

"Do you believe that a court of law is endowed with divine right over life and death?"
It must, that's why they can imprison someone for life. Sentencing someone to a long jail term is much like taking away someone's life or at least some of their freedom. A court must have rights above an individual in order for it to succeed.... otherwise, why bother?

ALICAT AND ANGEL:
In some ways I agree prison farms are a good idea....probably more so for first time offenders. But for hardcore repeat and violent offenders, they should get no such priviledge as being able to work a job especially when there's unemployed, hardworking, honest citizens that could do the jobs the criminals are doing.

JERRY SPRINGERS FINAL THOUGHTS (more or less a disclaimer )

I don't have the answers nor do I think what I have written is close to what should be done but rather an expression of my thoughts at this time....ask me on another day and I'll probably tell ya I'm against the death penalty. So many reasons for and against how can one not sway side to side. There can never be a perfect society for society is made up of too many variables for it to be completely controled....and I don't believe any rules and regulations without an adaptable nature can truly succeed in human society....maybe there shouldn't be any written law but only judges made up of our peers, randomly selected to pass judgment on those who've fallen from grace. Maybe if we all had input we could find the punishments that truly fit the crime....who knows???? I certainly don't but I believe that many problems arise from an unflexibility in the law...maybe some murderers should be killed and some shouldn't. Take care everyone.
Angel Rand
Member
since 09-04-99
Posts 140
London UK, and Zurich Switzerl


10 posted 11-28-1999 02:37 PM       View Profile for Angel Rand   Email Angel Rand   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Angel Rand

Hi again Trevor

"Executing a murderer is self defense. It is protecting other individuals from them so that no one has to be their victim...ever again....many people escape prison each and every year....would you want a prison built next to your house? Probably not because there is always a chance one of them could escape."
I don't agree with that. Obviously prisons should be made secure enough that no one can escape from them. But as soon as a criminal is in prison he causes no immediate threat to society. Executing him would be like using excessive and unnecessary force. As if you where attacked and you manage to make the attacker unconscious and then instead of tying him up, still shoot him. That might be justifiable under an emotionally charged one-to-one situation but not in a court of law where (IMHO) sentences should not be based on emotions like vengefulness and hatred.

"What's the difference between keeping them in jail and violating their rights or executing them? Jail is a violation of rights yet you don't have a problem with that. I don't mean this in an insulting way but rather I'm just trying to get a read on you Angel, I find you very interesting, but here's where I can not understand you, on another thread you complain about having to pay taxes to help shelter, re-educate, hospitalize, feed the poor and homeless innocent masses yet you have no problem paying for these luxuries for murderers. I don't understand....and sorry for bringing in another thread into this discussion...just curious."
I think there is a distinct difference between killing someone and locking them away. And I did say:
"The murderer should be exempt from all social benefits that a free society can provide him with and he should have to work hard for his own upkeep. Cause to rely on the tax payers money to keep a murderer alive is really a bit too much asked."

"To ensure they stay on that island would cost a ton'o'cash and how many criminals do you think can farm, build shelter...etc, etc.? So many of them would die, isn't that the same as execution? Putting someone intentionally in a situation that would kill them?"
Building the initial prison is a service to society and me, I would gladly pay. So therefore I would also gladly pay for the wardens that would keep the criminals there. Just not for the criminals' daily upkeep. And I don't think that anyone would die from farming for their own food. Besides there are other jobs they could do like cooking, cleaning etc.

"When these people get out of jail their life is over, they can't get a good job because they have a police record. They have no life, can't travel freely because they are on parol....if they served a lot of years, their friends are probably all gone, family might be gone too. They lack social skills and probably feel just all around awful because they spent so many years of their life locked away for something they've never done. Now in a way I guess you could say that man was killed by the system...should it then be abolished?"
So in order to avoid for an innocent man to have to face that you think it would have been kinder to have him killed right of?
"Angel is not forced labor a violation of a person's rights? I don't see how shipping them away from society and making them slaves is not a violation of rights and the death penalty is? And the cost of such a project would be astounding."
Well either they work for their food or they die. Isn't that what happens in nature too? Is that cruel, is that slavery? I don't think so. After all they would be working for themselves. But then it should be up to them. They should have the choice to either work and eat or to not work and die. Wardens would be there to make sure they do not steal. Criminals just do not have the choice to leave there. And as for the cost, no I think keeping a man on death row for 20 years on the tax payers money is more expensive in the long run than having them work for their food.

"A court must have rights above an individual in order for it to succeed.... otherwise, why bother?"
Yes the court must have the right to protect the citizens from a threat but as I said I do not believe that they have the right over such fundamentals as death and life. I said:
" The state ensures that its citizens' rights are upheld. Should someone go against the inalienable right of another to his or her life I think it would be a fitting punishment and solution if that criminal lost his or her citizenship (and therefore lost his privilege to be protected by that society) and where moved to a penal colony."
After all you can not just throw them out of the country and let other states have them on their hands.

"In some ways I agree prison farms are a good idea....probably more so for first time offenders. But for hardcore repeat and violent offenders, they should get no such priviledge as being able to work a job especially when there's unemployed, hardworking, honest citizens that could do the jobs the criminals are doing."
I don't see why it is taking away anything from the hard working citizen if prisons farmed their own land and made things they could sell. It is not as if by making things to sell, they stop honest ppl from selling things too.

"I'm find it very disturbing when I hear that people won't kill murderers, rapists, pedophiles, etc. and will pay for them to keep on living, and not living poorly when at the same time they'll let people freeze to death and starve to death (I'm not saying this about you Brad but just in general)."
I agree in as much as we should not be forced to pay for them that is why I suggested the prison farms/penal colonies. If I may quote myself again:
"What would make this difficult is all the so called humanitarians who are so ready to protest against such treatment of criminals but remain strangely silent in the face of human rights violations against innocent ppl in other parts of the world... but that is just me being bitter and cynical I guess."
That is all for now. Shall eagerly await new thoughts and want to tell you all that is has been very interesting and stimulating to the sluggish brain.
Angel


------------------
"I swear -- by my life and by my love of it -- that I will never live for the sake of another man, nor ask another man to live for mine." Ayn Rand, Atlas Shrugged
"Any alleged "right" of one man, which necessitates the violation of the rights of another, is not and cannot be a right." Ayn Rand

Trevor
Senior Member
since 08-12-99
Posts 744
Canada


11 posted 11-29-1999 02:39 AM       View Profile for Trevor   Email Trevor   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Trevor

Hello everyone,

ANGEL:
"I don't agree with that. Obviously prisons should be made secure enough that no one can escape from them."

If one can get in, one can get out. It's a nice thought though but probably an impossibility....and the cost....of such a secure prison, but then again, the cost of not having one secure is also high.

"Executing him would be like using excessive and unnecessary force. As if you where attacked and you manage to make the attacker unconscious and then instead of tying him up, still shoot him."
But what if you thought the attacker would try to kill you again if he/she had the opportunity? Would your actions be unjustified? Would killing someone who has intent to kill you not self defence as well? Say you knew someone like Charles Manson was out to get you....would you not want him dead? Some people have nothing but malicious intent all the time, they think of nothing but sick, twisted deeds. Why should someone who has nothing but evil intent be allowed to live?....what purpose do they serve?.....we kill vicious dogs....should we not just lock them up instead? DO other animals have the right to life or is that strictly a human right? Some things are better off dead, for our sake and maybe even theirs. If there was a machine that did nothing but hurt people would you just turn it off or would you dismantel it?

"That might be justifiable under an emotionally charged one-to-one situation but not in a court of law where (IMHO) sentences should not be based on emotions like vengefulness and hatred."

I agree, a sentence should not be based on vengence or hatred but rather logic and the pros and cons of ruled actions, that's why they have judges and jurors who have no emotional (or at least are not supposed to have) attachment to a case. I still think a PERMANENT resolution is occasionally needed.

"I think there is a distinct difference between killing someone and locking them away. And I did say:"
IF I was locked away for life I would die...I'd probably kill myself....quite often people do kill themselves in prison or develop habits that kill them.....so sometimes there is no difference, putting them in a situation where they will die or killing them is not really all that different.

"Building the initial prison is a service to society and me, I would gladly pay. So therefore I would also gladly pay for the wardens that would keep the criminals there. Just not for the criminals' daily upkeep. And I don't think that anyone would die from farming for their own food. Besides there are other jobs they could do like cooking, cleaning etc."

Just to ensure no one would escape from an island would cost sooooo much money. You'd need numerous patrol vessels, helicopters, ground crews, constant mass policing around the area. You may be glad to pay for such a thing but what about people who don't want to pay for such a thing....should they be forced to pay? Say someone doesn't think that is necessary....should they have to pay? Say some people don't even want a prison system....should they have to pay...who should decide what should be a forced bill on people and what shouldn't? Yeah I know this kinda flows into an earlier thread again...sorry.

"So in order to avoid for an innocent man to have to face that you think it would have been kinder to have him killed right of?"

My point was that just because a system is flawed doesn't mean that it should automatically be abolished but rather improved.

"Well either they work for their food or they die. Isn't that what happens in nature too? Is that cruel, is that slavery? I don't think so."
Well you do have a very valid point....I think after hunger took effect they'd gladly put in a day's work.

"Wardens would be there to make sure they do not steal."
The cost again.....to police a emalgamated(sp?) prison system, kept on an island would be huge....plus who the hell would like to be on the ground level in a prison system like that....if a criminal did something wrong like steal or even worse, kill a warden....what would be their punishment?....sent to another island prison?....if the island is the worst punishment then why not still be evil, there is nothing to really fear past what your already in.... No ultimate price to be paid for your actions. Why is it ok that we've let people go out to die to protect liberties but it's not ok to execute those who would destroy what others have died protecting? Was it wrong to kill the slavers in order to free the slaves? There didn't have to be an American Civil War...both sides could have just let the other be....but sometimes killing, in situations other than self defense, like for the defense of others, is a necessary thing....to protect the herd....maybe no one is born with the right to life...maybe that's what makes us equal at birth (our lack of everything) and not the fact we are all born with the right to life....and some earn it and some don't.

"And as for the cost, no I think keeping a man on death row for 20 years on the tax payers money is more expensive in the long run than having them work for their food."

I don't agree that a murderer should be allowed to live twenty years...there should be a more quick resolution (it's not much of a deterant if the guilty party gets to die of old age) while still protecting the right to appeal a verdict....because mistake do happen and it would be unfair to not let a person faced with such a irreversable sentence appeal it.... But as far as a penal colony, I still think the cost would be tremendous even if they were to grow their own food.
Perhaps instead of treating cuts with bandaids we should try and prevent cuts....find the social disorders (other than insanity) that creates killers. Why do people kill? Poverty? sometimes.... Greed? that too... Survival? occasionally. Perhaps societies have created killers by holding on to a haves vs. have not's (keeping up with the Jones's) type of mentality. Perhaps the strain of a material world is too heavy for some people? I dunno...just throwing out some idea'rs.

"Yes the court must have the right to protect the citizens from a threat but as I said I do not believe that they have the right over such fundamentals as death and life."
So the right of a killer superceeds the rights of society. A killer can keep on killing and the worst you would do to him/her is put them on an island to farm where they could continue to kill inmates or wardens if they so wish. If killing is the ultimate crime then shouldn't death be the ultimate punishment? Shouldn't the punishment fit the crime? Why do you think that there is so many repeat offenders? I believe it's because the punishment does not fit the crime. Almost everything humans do now-a-days destroys some animal or another and I for one would rather we concentrate on saving one tiny bird then a prison full of sadistic killers who only want to destroy for the ultimate action of selfishness....protect that which deserves to live, and that which deserves to die, kill it.
Why should a person like Hitler have been allowed to live, even in a prison, if he didn't die in the war? By your definition of rights to life, Hitler, if he was caught, had the right to life even after his attempts at genociding races. I'm sure if the dead had a tongue for a day, there would be about 6 million Jews and millions of other dead people who would disagree with you about the right to life stuff....some people I believe do not have the right to life and it's because they forfeit it or do not earn it through heartless actions.

"I don't see why it is taking away anything from the hard working citizen if prisons farmed their own land and made things they could sell. It is not as if by making things to sell, they stop honest ppl from selling things too."

So you want local farmers to compete with prison made vegetables that are worked on for "free"? Why should killers get to hold a marketplace that competes against an honest, good, hardworking citizen? A prison could easily make things at a lower price for the labor cost (which is usually the most expensive company overhead) is almost nothing. Prison labour is a big industry this decade. Many large companies, such as TWA, SPRINT, numerous manufacturers, etc. use prison labor, and are allowed to, because it dramatically lowers their costs....however it also means that they aren't employing law-biding citizens....so I ask again, why should a prisoner be allowed to work when there are unemployed law-biding citizens? Criminals, whether in or out of jail, seem to always be stealing something from society. Maybe if they could grow enough food to support just themselves it would be okay, but then again to do so they'd need modern equipment.....very expensive.....large amounts of land....(and why should they get land to cultivate for free when there are law-biding citizens without land?)....and costs go up again....what about in the winter when they can't grow their own food? Modern preservation techniques cost money. Should we give them a cannery as well?

"I agree in as much as we should not be forced to pay for them that is why I suggested the prison farms/penal colonies."
I will say again although I'm sure my stance is clear, it would still cost a bundle to keep them alive....more so then implamenting social programs to try and prevent people from feeling hopeless and commiting such crimes.

Drugs, alcohol play a huge part in crime. I read somewhere a few years ago that 80-90 percent of crime is commited under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Now I believe that drugs and alcohol are a form of escapism.....but why do people want to escape reality....I think because their reality is unpleasant, and I think that some people's reality is unpleasant because of poverty and that poverty isn't always a choice....they have enough money to drink to forget why they only have enough money to drink and forget....thus beginning a dangerous circle.

One more thing.....if people shouldn't be forced to pay for social programs such as welfare in order to prevent the creation of criminals then why should someone be force to contribute a prison of any kind or anything for that matter, (such as roads, or police or fire prevention)? Forced payment is sometimes a necessity and unfortunately we are clouded by greed sometimes (and I'm not exempt from that statement either...I wish I had more money sometimes) and feel as if it is an injustice rather than a privledge of living in a stable society.

Anyways, thanks again for shooting the...well I can't finish that phrase or I'll be "bleeped". Take care Angel,
Trevor
Angel Rand
Member
since 09-04-99
Posts 140
London UK, and Zurich Switzerl


12 posted 11-29-1999 08:23 AM       View Profile for Angel Rand   Email Angel Rand   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Angel Rand

Hi again

"If one can get in, one can get out. It's a nice thought though but probably an impossibility....and the cost....of such a secure prison, but then again, the cost of not having one secure is also high."
So you mean to say to prevent a possible escape they should be put to death? What about those escapees who weren't on death row? Or do you think that only pocket thieves and small time criminals should not be put to death?

"But what if you thought the attacker would try to kill you again if he/she had the opportunity? Would your actions be unjustified? Would killing someone who has intent to kill you not self defence as well? Say you knew someone like Charles Manson was out to get you....would you not want him dead? Some people have nothing but malicious intent all the time, they think of nothing but sick, twisted deeds. Why should someone who has nothing but evil intent be allowed to live?.... "
Yes, as I said, on a one to one basis it is justifiable. I do find killing under great emotional stress such as grief over a murdered child somewhat more acceptable than a government having the right over life and death.
"what purpose do they serve?"
For that matter, what purpose do I serve?
".....we kill vicious dogs....should we not just lock them up instead? DO other animals have the right to life or is that strictly a human right?"
Such rights are applicable to sentient beings alone. But don't get me wrong, my heart bleeds for every animal that is tortured. Ppl who would beat their dogs and make them vicious are the ones I want to hurt really badly, and I don't want to hurt anyone ever.
"Some things are better off dead, for our sake and maybe even theirs. If there was a machine that did nothing but hurt people would you just turn it off or would you dismantel it?"
I just don't see how I could have the right to decide what is better off dead and what deserves to live. I don't want to make such judgements. It's dangerously close to fascism.

"maybe no one is born with the right to life...maybe that's what makes us equal at birth (our lack of everything) and not the fact we are all born with the right to life....and some earn it and some don't."
But then killing babies would be ok as they could not yet have earned their right of life!? No if ANYthing you loose your right to life (still don't agree with that though) but who were to decide when and how you may humbly earn the right to not be killed??

"if the island is the worst punishment then why not still be evil, there is nothing to really fear past what your already in.... No ultimate price to be paid for your actions."
"So the right of a killer superceeds the rights of society. A killer can keep on killing and the worst you would do to him/her is put them on an island to farm where they could continue to kill inmates or wardens if they so wish. If killing is the ultimate crime then shouldn't death be the ultimate punishment? Shouldn't the punishment fit the crime? Why do you think that there is so many repeat offenders? I believe it's because the punishment does not fit the crime."
Maybe this is a coincidence but most European countries do not have capital punishment, yet America does. When it comes to crimes Europe is no where near the brutality or frequency of crimes in America (sorry, no idea about Canada). So the conclusion must be that the threat of the death penalty does deter ppl from committing murder either. And no it does not supersede. It reconfirms the INALIENABLE right to life.

"Just to ensure no one would escape from an island would cost sooooo much money."
To live and not to live cannot be a question of money. A life's worth cannot be weighed against money.

"You'd need numerous patrol vessels, helicopters, ground crews, constant mass policing around the area. You may be glad to pay for such a thing but what about people who don't want to pay for such a thing....should they be forced to pay? Say someone doesn't think that is necessary....should they have to pay? Say some people don't even want a prison system....should they have to pay...who should decide what should be a forced bill on people and what shouldn't?"
"One more thing.....if people shouldn't be forced to pay for social programs such as welfare in order to prevent the creation of criminals then why should someone be force to contribute a prison of any kind or anything for that matter, (such as roads, or police or fire prevention)?"
National safety, roads, police and fire prevention is a matter for the government cause it is in the best and direct SELF-interest of each citizen. And besides why is it that poverty is and was so terrible ESPECIALLY in socialistic countries (i.e. the former East Germany)? Why, if there are so many social programs do ppl still suffer so much? I'll tell you why. Cause in a socialistic system there are not enough work-willing cows to milk to feed the masses.

"Why should a person like Hitler have been allowed to live, even in a prison, if he didn't die in the war? By your definition of rights to life, Hitler, if he was caught, had the right to life even after his attempts at genociding races. I'm sure if the dead had a tongue for a day, there would be about 6 million Jews and millions of other dead people who would disagree with you about the right to life stuff....some people I believe do not have the right to life and it's because they forfeit it or do not earn it through heartless actions."
As to that monster… he killed himself cause he knew that, were he to be caught alive, a far worse fate would await him than death could ever be. Yes I do think that a man like Hitler should be kept alive. Such a monster deserves to live a long and awful life in one of his own concentration camps. I wonder if all these massacred Jews would not also think that death would be too easy for one like him. But then that would be speaking with high emotions again. And as we both agreed, the law has to be objective and dispassionate. Difficult in a case such as this…

"So you want local farmers to compete with prison made vegetables that are worked on for "free"? Why should killers get to hold a marketplace that competes against an honest, good, hardworking citizen? A prison could easily make things at a lower price for the labor cost (which is usually the most expensive company overhead) is almost nothing. Prison labour is a big industry this decade. Many large companies, such as TWA, SPRINT, numerous manufacturers, etc. use prison labor, and are allowed to, because it dramatically lowers their costs....however it also means that they aren't employing law-biding citizens....so I ask again, why should a prisoner be allowed to work when there are unemployed law-biding citizens? Criminals, whether in or out of jail, seem to always be stealing something from society. Maybe if they could grow enough food to support just themselves it would be okay, but then again to do so they'd need modern equipment.....very expensive.....large amounts of land....(and why should they get land to cultivate for free when there are law-biding citizens without land?)....and costs go up again....what about in the winter when they can't grow their own food? Modern preservation techniques cost money. Should we give them a cannery as well?"
To be honest I don't understand what you are saying here. Do you mean to say that inmates should live off the taxpayers money cause that would hurt less law abiding citizens than if prisons grow their own vegetables? Or do you mean to say that all inmates should be put to death to avoid costs and so that the land the prison would stand on can be sold to law-abiding citizens?

"Now I believe that drugs and alcohol are a form of escapism.....but why do people want to escape reality....I think because their reality is unpleasant, and I think that some people's reality is unpleasant because of poverty and that poverty isn't always a choice...."
No, you are right. Poverty isn't always a choice but drug taking always is (unless it's slipped to you without your knowing of course). And this day and age NO one can convince me that they thought their life would turn out better rather than far, far worse if they took drugs.
The credo of the AA is: "God grant me the serenity to accept things I cannot change, courage to change things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference."
Many ppl spend their lives not having that wisdom and fighting things they cannot change and full of resignation towards things they could. And yes sometimes fighting against poverty is futile. But even the attempt HAS to be better than taking drugs instead. And anyone with half a brain should see that and abstain from drugs.

Must… stop… brain on fire.
Angel


------------------
"I swear -- by my life and by my love of it -- that I will never live for the sake of another man, nor ask another man to live for mine." Ayn Rand, Atlas Shrugged
"Any alleged "right" of one man, which necessitates the violation of the rights of another, is not and cannot be a right." Ayn Rand

jbouder
Member Elite
since 09-18-99
Posts 2641
Whole Sort Of Genl Mish Mash


13 posted 11-29-1999 12:14 PM       View Profile for jbouder   Email jbouder   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for jbouder

ANGEL:

The Founding Fathers actually believed in "Lex is Rex" as opposed to "Rex is Lex". Law is King rather than King is Law. The government administers justice but the trial is before a jury of one's peers. I believe the rightful powers of government include the administration of justice and, yes, I believe that to include capital punishment under certain circumstances (that I outlined, ad nausium, above).

ALICAT:

I do not believe the current American practice of capital punishment works. I do not, therefore, think it should be practiced until the US policy makers get their act together. Convicts die of old age before being executed and, because their deaths take place behind closed doors, the death penalty loses a good bit of its horror. I think executions should take place immediately after the denial of the last available appeal and that they should be public, serving as examples of what happens to someone who commits such an attrocious crime.

I really like the idea of hard labor (for criminals, of course ). Let them smash hard rock with sledge hammers 14-16 hours a day then haul it up a hill for someone else to haul back down again later (something like the punishment in Tartarus in the Greek myths).

BRAD:

I think the appellate system has given us a very fine safety net. To abolish capital punishment for an isolated mistake would be a travesty to those who survive victims of murderers.

TREVOR:

Do you have a job? Or do you get paid to post replys?

I think we see eye to eye on a lot of this stuff. I think if I had a close, personal relationship with a murder, rape, mayhem, or pedophilia victim, I would want to personally administer justice (even though I know I shouldn't and couldn't)and would feel betrayed and unjustified if the criminal's penalty did not fit the crime (the door swings both ways on "punishment fitting the crime").

I favor restitution over retribution in punishment of crime but how, really, can a first degree murderer pay for taking the life of another in any way other than by forfeiting his/her own life?

------------------
Jim

"If I rest, I rust." -Martin Luther

Trevor
Senior Member
since 08-12-99
Posts 744
Canada


14 posted 11-30-1999 01:38 AM       View Profile for Trevor   Email Trevor   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Trevor

Hello everyone...again

JBOUDER:
"Do you have a job? Or do you get paid to post replys?"
Of course I have a job, in fact many jobs....I'm the leader of a communist abortion club, the VP of The NSFC (Not-So-Fast-Capitalist) squad, the Black masked executioner in Texas and the guy behind the guy who stands behind the green curtain.....oh yeah and a dishwasher as well

ANGEL:
"So you mean to say to prevent a possible escape they should be put to death? What about those escapees who weren't on death row? Or do you think that only pocket thieves and small time criminals should not be put to death?"
I'm saying to prevent anymore harm already done by vicious individuals they should be put to rest. I'm saying murderers should be put to death for the harm they have done and because there is a chance they will do it again if let free or escape. I also think they should be put to death because the ultimate act should have the ultimate punishment....not much of a deterant if the punishment is less than the crime...not fair justice being done if you are sent to your room for killing your brother. As far as petty thieves go, I think there is a good chance that they can be rehabilitated and should be given a second chance to conduct themselves appropriately in society....I hardly think people should die over a stolen t.v. Can't say I'm too worried about losing my t.v. set....just my life.

"Yes, as I said, on a one to one basis it is justifiable. I do find killing under great emotional stress such as grief over a murdered child somewhat more acceptable than a government having the right over life and death."
So then it should be up to the victim's family and friends if the murderer lives? Sounds good to me. Don't you think the majority of victim's family would like to see the murderer dead....if this is true why not bring back the death penalty? Or are you saying that only if the loss of someone has made you crazy then it's okay to kill the murderer but it's not okay to kill a murderer if you've had time to think about it and thought about it rationally?

"what purpose do they serve?"
For that matter, what purpose do I serve?"
I often ask that about you as well J/K Actually if you think that a murderer has as much right to live as you then that's fine. Let me ask ya something....If Charles Manson and Ghandi were both hanging off a cliff and you only had time to save one of them....which one would you choose? and why? The purpose of one was destruction....destruction of lives, a negative chain reaction throughout generations....who knows where and when his bad influence stopped or will stop, whereas the other individual....I believe his actions justify his purpose for having lived.

"Such rights are applicable to sentient beings alone. But don't get me wrong, my heart bleeds for every animal that is tortured. Ppl who would beat their dogs and make them vicious are the ones I want to hurt really badly, and I don't want to hurt anyone ever."
I think the animal world being excluded from the class of "sentient beings" is still open for debate. To say that we think and feel more than, say a dog, is a pretty bold statement. It is now known that some animals have a sense of self, such as guerillas (sp?). If they know they exist, have a structured society, can feel emotions and think about what they percieve they how can they not be considered a sentient being? Just because we do not understand the thoughts or actions of another animal doesn't make them less intelligent creatures but rather just different....can you prove to a dog that you are a sentient being? No, so why should it have to prove it to you?
Hypothetically, if you had to make a decision about who would live, "fluffy" the playful and friendly dog that likes humans, or Charles Manson, a human who by his own admission has stated that what he'd like to do if he was set free is kill people, who would you pick??? By your own rules you'd have to pick "fluffy" to die because Charles Manson has the right to live and "fluffy" doesn't....shouldn't some things be a little more based on good and evil....right and wrong?

"I just don't see how I could have the right to decide what is better off dead and what deserves to live. I don't want to make such judgements. It's dangerously close to fascism."
And so we shall disagree.....again Maybe you don't want the right to "permanently" protect yourself from those who would not blink an eye if they were to kill you and kill you over a look you gave them but I think many people would like that right....maybe it should be up to the friends and family of the victim? If you knew that someone was planning to kill someone you knew wouldn't you try to stop it? And that's what the death penalty is....you know this murderer kills and you don't want them to ever do such a crime again, so you give them the ultimate punishment for the ultimate crime....death. A permanent resolution to a problem that could effect anyone.....for we all are victims when there is a horrendous murder. What effects the one often effects the many.

"But then killing babies would be ok as they could not yet have earned their right of life!? No if ANYthing you loose your right to life (still don't agree with that though) but who were to decide when and how you may humbly earn the right to not be killed??"

Well a baby can't live on it's own. What I was trying to say is that maybe everyone should walk on eggshells (no one is expendable) because maybe your founding fathers of the constitution were wrong. Maybe killing is a right, just like life and liberty are....Truthfully, who really has any power over anyone. We all have the right to do as we please, that is what being a conscious being means. Do as we please, kill if you want, but then be prepared to die. Try telling a serial killer that he shouldn't kill you because it violates your rights. Rights are nothing, individuals usually behave themselves because either they are empathetic/sympathetic or there are consequences to their actions. No one has the right to live....nothing does...it's a gift and a mystery and should be treated as one and not boasted about how you automatically deserve to live without ever having to contribute something good or you deserve to live even if you kill millions of people. Maybe no one has the right over another because there are no rights....maybe it's just make believe....like most human things.....I just read what I wrote and honestly it's not supposed to be as harsh as it reads....just kinda getting a little passionate about the subject at hand so forgive me if I'm coming off as a rude SOB. I guess what I'm trying to say is that maybe rights should be something earned by good deeds....deeds not open to "good or bad" interpretations but kind, decent acts like treating other things with respect. I dunno....you're wearing me out

"Maybe this is a coincidence but most European countries do not have capital punishment, yet America does. When it comes to crimes Europe is no where near the brutality or frequency of crimes in America (sorry, no idea about Canada). So the conclusion must be that the threat of the death penalty does deter ppl from committing murder either. And no it does not supersede. It reconfirms the INALIENABLE right to life."

My opinion of the death penalty practise is much like Jbouder, takes too long and is not shown publicly as an example. If people could see what it is like to serve the ultimate punishment I'm sure it would deter many from killing.
Yes the states has more than it's share of killers. Now this might also be a coincidence but USA is one of the most populated Westernized countries and is also the most capitalistic of them as well. They have the most slack gun control laws also...now some may argue that guns don't create killers, but if someone is a coward and they are given the opportunity to kill at a distance rather than a more up close and personal level which I speculate would be much more difficult both physically and mentally, would this not also "encourage" the creation of a killer? Also not all of the US practises the death penalty....in fact I'm pretty sure it's the minority of the States that still have that law.

"To live and not to live cannot be a question of money. A life's worth cannot be weighed against money."
...Now are you a capitalist or a communist...make up your mind I agree, but priorities are needed, should we take care of killers or the law-biding needy....if we can't do both who should live? There's a poor person and a serial killer hanging on a cliff......

"National safety, roads, police and fire prevention is a matter for the government cause it is in the best and direct SELF-interest of each citizen."
But it's not in the best intrest of the criminals....do they not have a say? First you say no one should be "forced" to pay for certain programs because it violates their rights then you say people should be forced to pay for certain things that you feel are in your best SELF-interest for their own good??? Who should decide what's best for who? A lot of people think social programs are in SELF-intrest, so shouldn't you be forced to pay???

"And besides why is it that poverty is and was so terrible ESPECIALLY in socialistic countries (i.e. the former East Germany)?"

Because the people had no say and the leaders milked it and ran the country into the ground because there was no real consequence to most of their actions. Also they failed to realize the needs of the people and instead suppressed them, told the people what they can make, what they could have and what they could think and do....which is not the communist philosophy but rather quite the opposite. The people tell the gov't what they want and need and the gov't organizes the tasks. The old "socialists" demoralized the working class thereby disabling an individuals drive to excel.

"Why, if there are so many social programs do ppl still suffer so much? I'll tell you why. Cause in a socialistic system there are not enough work-willing cows to milk to feed the masses."
Or often tax money paid does not reach the needy or is spent on "unfit" programs. In Vancouver, Canada, instead of using money to set up long term substance abuse programs, the gov't decided to make safe houses where people could go and smoke crack and shoot herion....and they even went a step further....they gave out free needles. Most current social problems are answered by the gov't with a cheque instead of a real solution....it's easier to get and stay on welfare for life then it is to get funding to go to school for a year so that you can get a decent job. Hell it's easier to get money for an education in prison then it is for a lawbiding citizen to get money for school. A prisoner gets sick, he gets treated for free, a law-biding citizen gets sick he/she may have to mortgage their house to pay the bills. SO why should a criminal get a social program and not a law-biding citizen?....I think I'm starting to get a little off topic here...sorry....but my point is social programs can work...but the ones in place don't.

"As to that monster… he killed himself cause he knew that, were he to be caught alive, a far worse fate would await him than death could ever be. Yes I do think that a man like Hitler should be kept alive. Such a monster deserves to live a long and awful life in one of his own concentration camps. I wonder if all these massacred Jews would not also think that death would be too easy for one like him. But then that would be speaking with high emotions again. And as we both agreed, the law has to be objective and dispassionate. Difficult in a case such as this…"

I disagree....that's why the Jewish Death Squads were formed. They hunted down many of the war criminals and executed them shortly after the war...documented fact. But I agree maybe a life of torture would fit Hitlers crime....but would he survive being tortured six million times??? And to keep him alive he would have to have his own special guards and his own special room. He wouldn't even feel a fraction of the pain his victims did, nor his victims family's, who still suffer from what he did ....that's why it would be better just to rid the world of him if he had lived.

"To be honest I don't understand what you are saying here. Do you mean to say that inmates should live off the taxpayers money cause that would hurt less law abiding citizens than if prisons grow their own vegetables? Or do you mean to say that all inmates should be put to death to avoid costs and so that the land the prison would stand on can be sold to law-abiding citizens?"

NO what I'm trying to say that keeping a killer alive costs money no matter if they're on an island or in a jail and should be put to death. They shouldn't be allowed to have jobs that effect the marketplace, jobs that could go to law biding citizens. They shouldn't be allowed the priviledge to hold down jobs and be paid for them....Honestly if they could support themselves, Ie. grow enough food to sustain them, and live somewhere they could NEVER escape and cost me absolutely NO MONEY then I'm all for it. I just don't feel good about keeping someone alive and healthy(and working and profiting from their work and taking jobs from honest people), who would have no problems slitting my throat and pissing on my corpse and then gladly do the same to someone else. Makes no sense to pay for the upkeep of someone who wants to kill you at the cost of people who want to work with you.

As far as minor criminals go, I think they should only be allowed to "better" their situation once they've served their sentence, which should be more harsh then it is....Honestly, I like Jbouder's idea of the "Tartarus" punishment....If I have to pay for them then shouldn't I have a say in their punishment? Also give them the minimum, cheap food and poor accomodations, no cable, no computers. Once they've served their sentence I'll gladly help them get on their feet by providing tax dollars for re-education, decent shelter and good food and social programs.....maybe better social programs would reduce crime anyways. The states have poor social programs and high crime....one American city has more murders than all of Canada combined. Toronto is around the fifth largest city in North America and doesn't even compare crime wise to American cities with half of it's population....maybe it has to do with the social programs, honestly I don't know but I think it might play a significant role.

"No, you are right. Poverty isn't always a choice but drug taking always is (unless it's slipped to you without your knowing of course). And this day and age NO one can convince me that they thought their life would turn out better rather than far, far worse if they took drugs."
Addicts don't think their life will turn out better by using drugs....but they also don't think it will turn out worse....hence an illusion of hopelessness, the feeling that no matter what they do, things will not get better. And when you think your life will not see a better reality then you create an illusion of something better, like being stoned....lets you forget that you have nothing and that you think you will never have a decent life. And you are right, taking drugs is a choice, but when faced with what appears to be no choices, no way to escape your crime ridden neighborhood, no way to escape the fact that you can't pay your rent, no way to escape the fact that you have no job then sometimes people mistake drugs for a good escape plan....a momentary bliss where you don't have to think about all your troubles, unfortunately this usually causes more problems. Try to see it through the eyes of others and not in terms of your strong willed self, we all have our breaking points and some, when broken, turn to drugs....and sometimes the stresses society creates causes people to break. Try telling some woman who sees no other way, or no other way is available, to feed her daughter other than having sex with strange men for money, not to do drugs or that drugs isn't the answer. We get to take vacations...what do they get to escape their lives? Society tells people that money isn't everything but then calls you a failure if you are a bum and homeless. Now I'm not trying to excuse actions because of addictions, the blame still lies on the criminal but in some ways does society perpetuate criminal behaviour and is there a way to curb such behaviour? I believe it does and there are more viable solutions....what they are...I'm not sure....different solutions for different people I guess.

"Many ppl spend their lives not having that wisdom and fighting things they cannot change and full of resignation towards things they could. And yes sometimes fighting against poverty is futile. But even the attempt HAS to be better than taking drugs instead. And anyone with half a brain should see that and abstain from drugs."

First we should all "walk a mile in their shoes" and see how we would hold up living their life. I think most of them know abusing drugs are bad but when faced with no happiness whose to say who would hold up under the stress. Also nothing is futile except believing in futility. Anything that can be dreamt, can be done....at least that is what I aim for.

Thanks again for getting the membrane flowing and I hope some of this response doesn't come off as harsh, I think by now you know that my intention is not to hurt but rather communicate. Thanks for your time. Take care,
Trevor.


Angel Rand
Member
since 09-04-99
Posts 140
London UK, and Zurich Switzerl


15 posted 12-01-1999 02:24 AM       View Profile for Angel Rand   Email Angel Rand   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Angel Rand

Hello again Trevor
Sigh, yes I am beginning to feel the strain too. Am I convinced? Au contraire mon cher!

"So then it should be up to the victim's family and friends if the murderer lives? Sounds good to me. Don't you think the majority of victim's family would like to see the murderer dead....if this is true why not bring back the death penalty?"
I guess where we really don't see eye to eye is on the distinction between what might be morally justifiable still can be ethically wrong. I think morally it might justifiable to kill the murderer of your child, ethical it ain't. Laws are or should not be built on morality but on ethics and sometimes these two do not merge. Morally it is a nice thing to say ppl should help ppl but this is not an ethical obligation. You cannot say that an ethical conduct asks you to give every beggar you see some money or you are baaaaad. Therefore it should not be a law.

"Or are you saying that only if the loss of someone has made you crazy then it's okay to kill the murderer but it's not okay to kill a murderer if you've had time to think about it and thought about it rationally?"
Precisely. It then is premeditated murder; and even worse when executed by the law.

"If Charles Manson and Ghandi were both hanging off a cliff and you only had time to save one of them....which one would you choose? and why? The purpose of one was destruction....destruction of lives, a negative chain reaction throughout generations....who knows where and when his bad influence stopped or will stop, whereas the other individual....I believe his actions justify his purpose for having lived."

Ghandi of course! And you knew that when you wrote it. But that is totally beside the issue. It is not as if you are faced with a choice that says either let that criminal live and a good person dies or kill the criminal and the good person can live. And just in case you were going to argue that it is cause with the tax payer money that goes towards prisons a deserving poor person may have got more money I might remind you that most ppl in prison are not on death row and the few that are make not much difference to the overall cost. (Unless you are for stricter death penalties that would eliminate more ppl than it does at present.) But anyway I don't think you can found your philosophy on life on a "life-boat" situation. It rather should be based on everyday occurences that are relevant. Therefore without meaning any offence I don't think that that cliff comparison is a valid argument.

"can you prove to a dog that you are a sentient being? No, so why should it have to prove it to you?"

I could if the dog had the capability of understanding.

" I guess what I'm trying to say is that maybe rights should be something earned by good deeds.... "

Are you for guilty till proven innocent, or innocent till provenguilty?

"My opinion of the death penalty practise is much like Jbouder, takes too long and is not shown publicly as an example. If people could see what it is like to serve the ultimate punishment I'm sure it would deter many from killing."

Unfortunately death is only shocking as long as you are not used to seeing it. Think of the Roman circuses and the mob killings of the Aristocrats in the French Revolution. Ppl cheered and ade any execution a public holiday. I don't want that to ever happen again, it's barbaric and lets us forget the value of life in the face of entertainment. But as another point I have heard of ppl who were for the death penalty and then went to witness an execution and were so shocked that they since fight against it. But that I think was cause it was conducted so privately and silently. If you could hide behind your TV screen the reality of the goings on in that death cell would not affect you so badly.

"Who should decide what's best for who? A lot of people think social programs are in SELF-intrest, so shouldn't you be forced to pay???"

If property is a given by law, then law may not infringe upon that right. If state security is also a right a citizen has to, then that citizen rights of property are not infringed upon when he r she has to make contributions. It is however when you say that other ppl have a right to my earnings. And no I do not pay for the criminal but for the prison where he or she will be locked away so that I can live safely. I am NOT for the paying of their upkeep. ONLY for the initial building of the place where they would go and maybe for the salary of the wardens IF there would be no way that the prison can be totally self-supportive.

"Try to see it through the eyes of others and not in terms of your strong willed self, we all have our breaking points and some, when broken, turn to drugs...."
"First we should all "walk a mile in their shoes" and see how we would hold up living their life"

TY for the compliment ! Yet you see there was a point in my life where I was not this jolly and happy little Angel you got to know. In fact I nearly had no will left except the will to not die. And I did not turn to drugs, I turned to reason. I reasoned myself into a spine and into the life and the confidence I have now. And believe me if I could overcome my problems so can other ppl too. And I am not talking about monetary problems but the ones that go much deeper and affect your own self worth till you think you are worth less than an insect. So I do know what I am talking about.

And no I am not insulted or feel harshly talked to. And even if, I can take it
Thank you too Trevor
Angel


------------------
"I swear -- by my life and by my love of it -- that I will never live for the sake of another man, nor ask another man to live for mine." Ayn Rand, Atlas Shrugged
"Any alleged "right" of one man, which necessitates the violation of the rights of another, is not and cannot be a right." Ayn Rand



[This message has been edited by Angel Rand (edited 12-01-1999).]
Alicat
Member Elite
since 05-23-99
Posts 4277
Coastal Texas


16 posted 12-02-1999 06:04 PM       View Profile for Alicat   Email Alicat   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Alicat

JBOUDER: I thoroughly agree with you.

TREVOR: I think there are a few maximum security prisons that have not yet been escaped from in the U.S. However, activists have deemed such as being 'cruel and unusual punishment', since the prisoners are put singly in a cell, are not coddled, are not joined into a general population, and do not associate in any way with other prisoners during their stay there. They see no one but guards, who feed them, escort them to the showers, and take them to the small exercise yard...all one at a time, one prisoner out at a time. Think of it as a more spartan, less roomy Death Row.

Alicat
Trevor
Senior Member
since 08-12-99
Posts 744
Canada


17 posted 12-04-1999 03:53 PM       View Profile for Trevor   Email Trevor   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Trevor

...Must keep writing....so tired...must go on Hello again Angel and everyone else.

ANGEL:
"I guess where we really don't see eye to eye is on the distinction between what might be morally justifiable still can be ethically wrong. I think morally it might justifiable to kill the murderer of your child, ethical it ain't. Laws are or should not be built on morality but on ethics and sometimes these two do not merge. Morally it is a nice thing to say ppl should help ppl but this is not an ethical obligation. You cannot say that an ethical conduct asks you to give every beggar you see some money or you are baaaaad. Therefore it should not be a law."
Yes I agree that we do have different morals and codes of ethics, I often confuse the two, ethics and morals-doesn't always seem to be too different. Probably ethically we are obligated to help one another(is ethics conduct, the application of morals??? not a hundred percent sure of the difference of the two) because every westernized country taxes it's citizens and some of the tax money helps the poor. But morally we are not, some people don't think they should have to help another. I dunno...I guess there's something else we can argue about.

""Or are you saying that only if the loss of someone has made you crazy then it's okay to kill the murderer but it's not okay to kill a murderer if you've had time to think about it and thought about it rationally?"

Precisely. It then is premeditated murder; and even worse when executed by the law."

So putting to death Ted Bundy was actually worse of a crime then Ted Bundy mudering something like sixteen college women, women who barely even began living, innocent women? I personally see nothing wrong with eliminating a person from society who wants to murder people. The right to live for sixteen women was denied by Ted Bundy, sixteen women who would have contributed a lot more than Ted Bundy ever could, shouldn't the crime fit the punishment? He showed no mercy on his victims, so we should show mercy, mercy on the innocent people that he hadn't yet killed, mercy on the lives of the victim's family by destroying that which forever changed their lives negetively and mercy on society so that fraction of evil will never burden nor prey upon it. I equate killing murderers as saving the innocent.

"Ghandi of course! And you knew that when you wrote it. But that is totally beside the issue. It is not as if you are faced with a choice that says either let that criminal live and a good person dies or kill the criminal and the good person can live."

Of course I knew that you'd say Ghandi....well I did have my doubts for a second

"And just in case you were going to argue that it is cause with the tax payer money that goes towards prisons a deserving poor person may have got more money I might remind you that most ppl in prison are not on death row and the few that are make not much difference to the overall cost. (Unless you are for stricter death penalties that would eliminate more ppl than it does at present.) But anyway I don't think you can found your philosophy on life on a "life-boat" situation. It rather should be based on everyday occurences that are relevant. Therefore without meaning any offence I don't think that that cliff comparison is a valid argument."

First let me say that the big reason I'd like to see the death penalty used is to forever protect innocent people from killers and not just for tax dollars(but that is a secondary part of my argument). NO one (or any creature) should have to die for the sick pleasures of a person.
I do think my "life boat" example is relevant. I do think more people should be on death row and be eliminated permanently from society and the money spent on housing criminals who should be, but are not on death row could be better allocated. Now for aurgument's sake, lets say that in the States it costs 20 million dollars a yr. to imprison all the criminals who have killed. Now in a budget that is probably 500 million dollars, it's just a speck....but in the real world it isn't. 20 million dollars could take thousands of people off the streets, feed and shelter them, educate them so they won't need social assistance and give them medical care as well, but instead we have chosen to save the "Charles Mansons" of the world because we feel his right to life is more valid than someone who dies of exposure (which many do even in the US). We will shelter, feed, educate and medi-care a person who would kill us if he had a chance yet we won't do that for someone who won't hurt us and may actually give back to society in the long run. We as society save the Charles Manson and let the Ghandi die. Even if a homeless person will never give back to society don't they deserve to live more than a homicidal maniac? The homeless person may not do anything good, but they don't do anything bad as well. Now like I said before, if you can find a system where society would be absolutely protected from convicted killers and would be cheaper than executing them, then I will gladly give my endorsement. But I personally would rather protect society by eliminating those who kill and spend my money on helping those who deserve a chance to stay alive. How can you talk of the right to life when you condone a system that lets homeless people doing their best die and killers doing their worst live? I just don't understand how you've come to your conclusion that you are being ripped off when you have to pay to keep the poor alive but you feel it's okay when you have to pay to keep the killers alive? Yes I know I'm starting to be a little redundant with my points, sorry

""can you prove to a dog that you are a sentient being? No, so why should it have to prove it to you?"

I could if the dog had the capability of understanding."

And so would the dog if you had the capability of understanding it. You know little of its world and it knows little of yours. Please elaborate on why you think humans are more intelligent than animals? I'm curious to know why you think humans are above the rest of nature.

"Are you for guilty till proven innocent, or innocent till proven guilty?"

I'm for, the guilty are the guilty and the innocent are the innocent. If you are guilty, then you are guilty and neither being proven innocent or otherwise in court will change that fact, only the punishment or lack thereof. So does being proven innocent mean you are innocent? If you kill and are found not guilty then does that mean you are innocent? And if you are found guilty and never did the crime, does that make you guilty? Courts are flawed and only those directly involved in a situation know the truth. The legal system does not know the truth but instead decides it. And I know that both works for and against my aurgument.

All this talk of making mistakes and sentencing innocent people to death has gotten me thinking, what about all the guilty killers who have been found innocent and have killed again? I know this is slightly off topic, we are not talking about the guilt or innocence of a person but rather the punishment of those found guilty, but my point is all systems will be flawed and many mistakes will be made but I'd rather have a flawed system that might deter in the long run than a flawed system that doesn't.
I wish we didn't have killers and didn't have to serve a punishment but harshness is needed to deal with harsh crimes. I believe that we should practise preventative medicine and try and cure the ills of society so that fewer murderous individuals are created instead of a system that only treats the wounds after the fact.

"Unfortunately death is only shocking as long as you are not used to seeing it. Think of the Roman circuses and the mob killings of the Aristocrats in the French Revolution. Ppl cheered and ade any execution a public holiday. I don't want that to ever happen again, it's barbaric and lets us forget the value of life in the face of entertainment. But as another point I have heard of ppl who were for the death penalty and then went to witness an execution and were so shocked that they since fight against it. But that I think was cause it was conducted so privately and silently. If you could hide behind your TV screen the reality of the goings on in that death cell would not affect you so badly."

Well the Romans cheered because it was their criminals or enemies being executed, not their innocent citizens. They didn't just randomly grab a person a throw them in with the lions, they took their murderers and thieves and whoever else stood against the empire and killed them. I don't condone all the ancient Roman's legal practises but the part about killing their killers I do. As far as the French Revolution goes, the aristocrats did it to themselves, maybe if they had social programs and practised a more responsible aproach to capitalism that wouldn't have happened. What about the Russian Czar during their revolution? Was it fair that the King of a country lived with more wealth than the majority of its people put together? I can't think of too many revolutions where I believe the initial actions of the revolters were not justified in some way....what happens after the revolution is not always good though.
I agree that the more one witnesses murder the less shocking it might eventually be. But if you saw what your fate would be if you murdered someone, wouldn't that be somewhat of a deterent, at least more so than a prison with TV, decent food, computers, a library, and a gym? Unless suicidal, people naturally don't do things that they think will kill them. Even in war a person's actions are usually for self preservation. If you don't want to kill but are in the front lines of a war, you quickly learn to shoot back.

"If property is a given by law, then law may not infringe upon that right. If state security is also a right a citizen has, then that citizen rights of property are not infringed upon when he or she has to make contributions."

Rights are something created. Rights are an imaginary term made up by the law. There really aren't any rights but humans have created them in order to maintain a "fair play" society because one is needed for its survival. These are not the true laws of the universe. Why should my life be governed by your rights? Are your rights more important than my life? Are your rights more important than your life? On a planet that no one owns, who should decide its fate? If you feel that a prison is the best way to keep your property safe and I say it isn't, I just want a gun of my own and kill those who try and harm me, then why should I be forced to pay for a prison? It seems you feel that your rights should be payed for by everyone but what other people feel are their rights, you shouldn't have to pay for. I believe that everyone, from birth has the right to own as much land as the next person, land is a birth right of everyone, should this law all of a sudden be practised just because I think it's a right? If you live in a society, you have to let the society make some decisions, otherwise the society would fall prey to the individual...and vice versa applies as well.
One thing the constitution mentions is the right to bare arms? Should we all be allowed to walk around with guns? Just because it is written doesn't make it right, and the same applies for what I just wrote. What is right is right, what is true is true, and the opinion of people does not change facts but only our belief of what actually is.

"TY for the compliment !"

NP for the compliment. I do think you are a strong willed person and that can be something great.... however it usually comes with a stubborness as well

"I reasoned myself into a spine and into the life and the confidence I have now. And believe me if I could overcome my problems so can other ppl too."

So does that mean if you can jump ten feet high others can do the same as well? If you can solve the most difficult math problem than everyone can do that as well? We all have our strengths and weaknesses, and some things that are but "blips" in one's life is a major event in another. I believe most have the potential as the next person and if everyone was given an eternity to grow than we would probably all end up exactly the same, however in our reality we are not all the same and everyone's breaking points and ways of dealing with such are different. Something that may make someone drink heavily might make another become a stronger person, and vice versa.

"And I am not talking about monetary problems but the ones that go much deeper and affect your own self worth till you think you are worth less than an insect. So I do know what I am talking about."

Most people here do. Remember most talk is of opinions and opinons of the truth and not of facts or the truth itself. BTW how much is an insect worth?

This may sound redundant but thanks again, it's always pleasurably interesting debating with you, take care.

ALLICAT:
I'm sure your right but what are the costs of such a facility? And what would be the cost if we were to treat all killers that way? The secondary part of my argument is that the money used to shelter and "protect" convicted killers could be more usefull spent on helping those in need and maybe preventing people from turning to murder. Fix the problem before the problem occurs rather than treat the wound and ignore why it happened. I see by your earlier comments you are for capital punishment so my response is more of addressing the issue and not your stance on the issue.
Thanks for your comments and take care.


------------
Trevor

"nanananannanana!", the Six Million Dollar Man's bionic leg when he jumps.


BlOoD TiEs
Junior Member
since 10-02-1999
Posts 31
New York City


18 posted 12-05-1999 12:19 AM       View Profile for BlOoD TiEs   Email BlOoD TiEs   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit BlOoD TiEs's Home Page   View IP for BlOoD TiEs

to put it simplythe death penaly is fine by me as long as it can be administer in a fair and just way and only to people who r classified as down right evil
if Hitler didnt kill himself who here thinks he deserves life in prison

------------------
Dont bet on fast horses, bet on slow rabits.
Isis
Member Ascendant
since 09-06-99
Posts 6390
Sunny Queensland


19 posted 12-06-1999 08:15 PM       View Profile for Isis   Email Isis   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Isis's Home Page   View IP for Isis

I'll try to keep this short and sweet  
If the offender has admitted he/she blantantly raped, attacked, tortured and killed someone, do they get the death penalty?
In any case, if they don't get the death penalty would should their punishment be?
A life inside, oh, that is so hard...
If it is proven or the offender admits his guilt there is no other punishment worthwhile. He murdered should he expect no less?
When there are doubts in proving them guilty that is another story.  But then how do we punish them?
It is an endless series of questions that I afear we may never find the answers to.
I for one know if anyone killed a member of my family or close friends I'd want and expect them dead.
In Australia we don't have the death penalty at all, it was abolished.  Over here we wonder if that is right or wrong???
And every case is different and should be judged accordingly.
One of our famous bushrangers Ned Kelly never killed anyone and he was hung, in the end they had a showdown of sorts and he had no choice but to shoot to kill then.  Most Australians believe he should never have been put to death.
I watched Dead Man Walking and bawled all through it, I don't like death penalities but what other choice is there?

 The more you praise and celebrate your life, the more there IS to celebrate.
~Isis~
(Daughter of Mystery)

Isis
Member Ascendant
since 09-06-99
Posts 6390
Sunny Queensland


20 posted 12-07-1999 10:43 PM       View Profile for Isis   Email Isis   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Isis's Home Page   View IP for Isis

Every day I rush over here and you haven't responded Angel, so please Do! And let me know what you think  

 The more you praise and celebrate your life, the more there IS to celebrate.
~Isis~
(Daughter of Mystery)

Angel Rand
Member
since 09-04-99
Posts 140
London UK, and Zurich Switzerl


21 posted 12-08-1999 07:29 PM       View Profile for Angel Rand   Email Angel Rand   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Angel Rand

Isis I am sorry I have not responded to this as I didn't know the question was addressed to me. I thought I stated my opinions so often here that ppl would go "yeah, yeah we know what YOU think.." LOL
But ok I will answer your questions.
I believe a law should not be based on the question how do we punish our criminals but on the more basic questions on the value of life:
a)is the value of life a birth right and immeasurable?
b)if so, is premeditated cold-blooded murder is the highest of crimes?
c)does that mean that taking a life is NOT permissible?
To me these answers are:
a) yes
b) yes
c) YES
A life taken is a life taken, no matter how the killer dies, his victim remains dead. And to say if one of my family members was murdered, I therefore want him dead too, is basing a law on emotions and not ethics as it should be. If it is unethical to kill I find it doubly unethical to give the law the right to kill.
And on an emotional level, I think it is often easier to die than to live life in prison. Why else would so many inmates commit suicide? Yes it might be a terrible thought to lose one's life but ultimately, once dead all suffering and all thought is over. Where is the punishment then? So yes I think real life imprisonment (and not 25 years as it is so often nowadays) is a very fitting punishment.
As for your Ned Kelly, I know nothing about him but I think that in self-defence is the only excusable killing there is. And no, no one should be hung for defending him or her self.


 "I swear -- by my life and by my love of it -- that I will never live for the sake of another man, nor ask another man to live for mine." Ayn Rand, Atlas Shrugged
"Any alleged "right" of one man, which necessitates the violation of the rights of another, is not and cannot be a right." Ayn Rand

 
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