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Passions in Poetry

The Death Penalty

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JBaker515
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0 posted 08-14-2001 12:08 AM       View Profile for JBaker515   Email JBaker515   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for JBaker515


Ok..

Simple...

What are your thoughts, feelings, ideas about the death penalty.

Are you for it or against it??

Lets get into one heated debate...

Ill be the judge..LOL

PRO or CON??

You tell me....

~Jeff~

Hi Javi, Acire, Carly, Jen, Marge, Nan, Ron, Kit, Allan, Marie, Alby, and everyone else in PIP!!

Alicat
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1 posted 08-14-2001 01:00 AM       View Profile for Alicat   Email Alicat   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Alicat

Well, I'm for the death penalty, but against how it is carried out. I see no sense in housing someone at taxpayer expense, providing them with shelter, food, clothing, and legal aid that the majority of the populace cannot afford (the legal aid that is). It has always struck me as somewhat unfair, especially given the number of years one can sit on Death Row. And for those states that did away with the Penalty, only to reinstate it, any inmates who were on Death Row during the time of no Penalty are exempt from the Penalty...they cannot be executed, neither can they be allowed in general prison population, so they spend the rest of their days on the Row, eventually dying of old age at, again, taxpayer expense.

It is my opinion that those given the Death Penalty should only have one appeal, and that sentence should be carried out with maximum speed and competency. Rope is very cheap and can be reused.

I'm also for public displays. No, not the media circus that usually surrounds these events, but as a tacit reminder to the populous of the repurcussions of one's actions, of responsibility, of accountability (something I feel is sadly lacking in this day and age). Ever wonder why the Philipines do not have a huge vandalizism problem?

[This message has been edited by Alicat (edited 08-14-2001).]

Erin
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2 posted 08-14-2001 01:25 AM       View Profile for Erin   Email Erin   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Erin

I am for the death penalty..up till a certain extent.

For example: Christa Pike (ever heard of her?) at one point she was the youngest female on death row (i dont know if she is anymore). Well she deserves what she got coming to her. She was a jealous girlfriend and her, her boyfriend and a friend beat a girl to death cause she thought this girl wanted her boyfriend, they tortured this girl for an hour. Beating her, carving pentagrams in her body then they bashed her skull in when they finally gave up and she was still alive. Its a crazy story and when I find my book I will give you the name of the story if you would like to read it.

Another one Annette Williams..her, her boyfriend and a friend murdered a whole family. The woman they killed was a friend to them. And the mother of one of the guys that killed hers baby and pregnant with one of his kids. She was also 9 months pregnant they murdered her then cut the baby out of her body. Killed her daughter and tortured her son and killed him. Now shes on death row. She sure deserved it.

I am a fan of true crime books. I enjoy reading them for some reason.

The 2 examples I used I think that those women were perfect examples for this reason because they both deserve it.

I have alot on my mind right now on this subject and when the wheels slow down up there I am gonna release what else wants to come out. And I am getting really frustrated trying to type everything out cause I keep thinking of something new to write. But you will see me soon!

By the way this is a really good topic you brought up.

Whats your opinion on it???


~Alicat~

You know how much it supposedly costs to house an inmate for 1 year? $24,000.


"If you should die before me, ask if you could bring a friend."

[This message has been edited by ERIN (edited 08-14-2001).]

Local Rebel
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3 posted 08-14-2001 01:44 AM       View Profile for Local Rebel   Email Local Rebel   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Local Rebel

The problem with the death penalty is our justice system has very little to do with justice and everything to do with rules and precedents.  The system is slanted toward returning the guilty an 'innocent' verdict. (which is for a reason and one that I support).  This is proof that it is a flawed system.  IF it has this flaw -- then it will also return guilty verdicts against the innocent -- even on appeal.

Convictions only require beyond 'reasonable' doubt evidence -- which is not beyond 'all' doubt.

There is no doubt in my mind that some criminals have perpetrated crimes deserving of execution -- but we don't always know who those criminals are.

Resorting to killing for any reason is admission that we aren't smart enough to think of a better solution.
JBaker515
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4 posted 08-14-2001 01:06 PM       View Profile for JBaker515   Email JBaker515   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for JBaker515

I am for it.  Period.

I just dont like how much it costs to kill an inmate, and how long they wait on Death Row.  I always say, and eye for an eye.  Right??
For Example..

A California death row inmate imprisoned for 21 years dropped his appeals Monday, setting the stage for a rare execution in the state with the largest number of condemned inmates. Robert Massie, 59, could be executed within months for the 1979 murder of a San Francisco liquor store owner. Of nearly 600 condemned men and women in California, eight inmates have been executed since 1978, the year state voters reinstituted capital punishment. U.S. District Court Judge Charles Legge dismissed Massie's federal appeals late Monday. The judge has already ruled Massie competent to quit fighting his conviction, and gave Massie until Monday to change his mind. In his petition to end his appeals, Massie told Legge that he would rather die than continue living on death row in San Quentin, which is located a few miles north of San Francisco in Marin County. He said life on death row is a ``lingering death.'' So even if his death sentence was somehow reversed or commuted by an appeal, he would remain in prison for the rest of his life for shooting Boris Naumoff to death at a San Francisco liquor store. That is why he wants a ``swift execution.'' Massie has spent most of his life in prison. In 1965, he was convicted of murdering a San Gabriel woman and sentenced to death. But his death sentence was commuted after the U.S. Supreme Court struck down California's death penalty laws. Because of lenient parole laws at the time, he was paroled in 1978, a year before he killed Naumoff.

There is why I am for it.

~Jeff~

Hi Javi, Acire, Carly, Jen, Marge, Nan, Ron, Kit, Allan, Marie, Alby, and everyone else in PIP!!

JBaker515
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5 posted 08-14-2001 08:19 PM       View Profile for JBaker515   Email JBaker515   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for JBaker515

anyone..??

~Jeff~

Hi Javi, Acire, Carly, Susan, Jen, Marge, Nan, Ron, Kit, Allan, Marie, Alby, and everyone else in PIP!!

"Poetry unwritten
As the pen, no

Local Rebel
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6 posted 08-14-2001 10:16 PM       View Profile for Local Rebel   Email Local Rebel   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Local Rebel

Patience Mr. Baker... tis a slow moving forum.  Not too many are brave enough to ford these waters.

JBaker515
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7 posted 08-14-2001 10:21 PM       View Profile for JBaker515   Email JBaker515   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for JBaker515

LOL, ok gotcha  
hush
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8 posted 08-14-2001 11:54 PM       View Profile for hush   Email hush   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for hush

I am very against it. Maybe it's because I'm a pacifist, or an idealist, or a sucker. But I don't believe in taking human life. I don't think Timothy McVeigh should have been executed.

I have this idea... and maybe it's a stupid idea, but it's one I'll stick by. I think people get what they deserve... in life, or in death. People who don't have the chance to balance the scales in life, to good, or towards bad, will have to do so after death... and by ending someone's life early, it is a guarentee that they will have to do that. So sure, some people are probably thinking that murderers deserve hell, or whatever it's existing equivalent is. But I'm sore those people will get what they deserve in the end, too... that is, if thought is really just as bad as committing an act... another topic altogether.

But, something about it just makes me very unsettled... I don't take any death very well, or any suffering... even if the person 'deserves it'.

I eat only sleep and air -Nicole Blackman

JBaker515
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9 posted 08-15-2001 01:12 AM       View Profile for JBaker515   Email JBaker515   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for JBaker515

hush -
OK....thats cool..

But Timothy McVeigh was slightly deserving, honeslty?? dont u think so....

He planned to kill many many poeple, and did so.....
Thats twisted-period.  He was a dangerous man.
Local Rebel
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10 posted 08-15-2001 02:07 AM       View Profile for Local Rebel   Email Local Rebel   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Local Rebel

Since this is a conversation and not a formal debate... ahem...

Hush -- we're obviously on the same side of this issue -- but I'd like to explore part of your line of reasoning here -- even though it may take a turn off topic -- it's fair game since you've used this as justification for your position...

Did an innocent child killed by a tornado get what he deserved?
JBaker515
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11 posted 08-15-2001 12:04 PM       View Profile for JBaker515   Email JBaker515   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for JBaker515

Lr
Thats a good point.

~Jeff~

Hi Javi, Acire, Carly, Susan, Jen, Marge, Nan, Ron, Kit, Allan, Marie, Alby, and everyone else in PIP!!

Soul Survivor
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12 posted 08-15-2001 07:49 PM       View Profile for Soul Survivor   Email Soul Survivor   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Soul Survivor

I do NOT believe in the death penalty.  I don't believe that two wrongs make a right.  I do however think that placing people in jail and letting them have privileges is wrong.

This is how I would handle the system (cough) if it were up to me.

The convicted person owes a debt to society...agreed?  Does that person pay their debt by either being put to death or by sitting around in jails.  I think not.  Even though I am Canadian, I believe that both the U.S. and Canada have chopped social programs, school budgets, medical expenses, etc. during the last decade.

Why not have these convicts pay their debts by going into the communities (under supervision) and building schools which would not normally be afforded, or replant the forests that have been stripped, or going to schools where our children may be able to see a future that is as unpleasant as can be.

I think that this would be the way to repay their debt to society.

Just my view, anyone else?

Soul Survivor

We know what we are, but not what we may be. - Shakespeare
††††††††††

Alicat
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13 posted 08-15-2001 08:50 PM       View Profile for Alicat   Email Alicat   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Alicat

Many states and communities do have those programs. Student talks, highway cleaning, community services and so on. However, due to the possibility of escape, 'hardened' criminals, or those of a violent background, cannot feasibly be allowed to do this. Of course, such societal acts are priveledges for the inmates, though they may disagree. At least that way they can leave the premises legally, if only for a short time.

I was raised on a prison farm in Texas. My dad was a guard on Number 2 Picket. Retrieve was a maximum security prison, but did allow, until about a decade ago, inmates and trustees (old lifers) to do yard work and field work for pay. True, the pay wasn't much, but it did allow them to have some self-worth, and to buy items available on site. But this was a priviledge, and could and was taken away for inmate actions. Seeing some of those old lifers, though pleasant people, wasting away slowly, an anachronism, shaped my opinion on the Death Penalty and the criminal justice system.

My family lived there 14 years.
Erin
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14 posted 08-16-2001 02:01 AM       View Profile for Erin   Email Erin   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Erin

How could anyone think Timothy McVeigh didnt deserve it??? I think he deserved it very much. Its so horrible what he did. Its just sad that he got away with it so easily. They let him off the hook to quick. Just look at all the lives he ruined.

2 wrongs dont make it right. But look how much money it would cost to keep all these people in jail for life. It would be like taking care of another person living with you.

Lots of people deserve what they get and others dont.

Local Rebel
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15 posted 08-16-2001 12:17 PM       View Profile for Local Rebel   Email Local Rebel   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Local Rebel

But why waste human life?

Why not take mean murderers and rapists and put them to good use?  Thousands of innocent lab animals loose their life in testing that wouldn't be as efficacous as if conducted on humans.  We could use convicts.

Or -- how about this?  Use the low down dirty rats to clean up hazardous waste sites?

At least that way we'd get our money's worth.  Right?

Now, someone may want to point out that these notions constitute cruel and inhuman punishment which is unconstitutional in America.  To which I say -- balderdash.  We do far worse things.  (My tongue is in my cheek)

It's much more humane and civilized to tie a rope around someone's neck and let them dangle from a gallows for all to see.

What better way to get the point across to our children that killing is wrong than by showing them executed convicts?

Or of course there is the gas chamber -- a bullet -- letheal injection -- there must be fifty ways to kill a convict -- all resulting in death -- which -- is humane.

An eye for an eye right?

How about if we take those boys in Texas who dragged that man behind their truck until he was beheaded -- and just do the same to them?

But wait..

Let's take a look at Clyde Charles.

He spent 18 years in a Louisana prison convicted for a rape he didn't commit when DNA testing finally released him just before Y2K celebrations broke out across the world.

"The most common cause of wrongful convictions in our judicial system is mistaken identification."
--U.S. Dept. of Justice Study

Yet -- our justice system thrives on eywitness identification of perpetrators.

Perception, memory, suggestibility, cross-racial, and stress factors all effect a witnesses ability to pick out a suspect in a line-up or in a court room.

These are easy ways (translate cheap) to lock people up -- which is what law enforcement and legislatures are under pressure to do.

Eager to appear tough on crime, state and federal legislators have been rough on justice in recent years by sharply limiting the number of appeals convicts may have and the time in which they may seek the reviews.

But, consider this -- if the innocent are denied appeals cases remain closed -- and the real perpetrators are still out there.. or.. er.. out here.

The lack of effective lawyers for lower income, often Black/minority/disenfranchised, defendants is another serious failing of our judicial system.

Stephen Bright, from the Southern Center for Human Rights in Atlanta says, it's better to be guilty and rich in this country, than innocent and poor. (O. J. Simpson may know something about that).

I don't debate whether some perpetators deserve to die -- but even if they do -- must we kill them?  Is that the best way to enforce law?

And -- given the failings of our judicial system -- would you be willing to throw the switch?  Yank the cord?  Pull the trigger?  Push the button?

Consider this:

Since the death penalty was reinstated in 1976, 87 people on death row have been set free because of newly discovered evidence. Thatís one innocent person for every seven who are executed.

That's about the same odds as Russian Roulette if you pull the trigger it's an innocent man/woman.

Ready to play?
    


[This message has been edited by Local Rebel (edited 08-16-2001).]

hush
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16 posted 08-16-2001 12:31 PM       View Profile for hush   Email hush   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for hush

Okay, for everyone who is argueing the McVeigh thing, let me provide a little background. McVeigh planned the bombing as an act against a government that he saw as becoming fascist and overbearing. He considered it an act of war. He also professed ignorance that children were in the building. It was unquestionably a stupid act, as well as heartless... but that's another discussion... I'd be willing to discuss the ins and outs of the oklahoma bombing any day though, if anyone's interested. My e-mail's listed.

Now, let me provide a good counter-example. During world war II, our American government made plans for not just one, but two very destructive bombings that took not just over one hundred, but tens of thousands of lives. These people, citizens of two very large Japanese cities, were not soldiers. Many were women and children. I could go into details about some first-hand accounts of the suffering felt by those who were not killed immediately, those who were burned horribly, and those who became ill and eventually died long horrible deaths from radiation poisoning... but I think everyone gets the point.

The U.S. governemnt considered those bombings an act of war. Should we execute the men who dropped it? OR, since they were just following orders, should we execute the President?? It's that same thing... 'cept the government tells us we were right, so we swallow it.

Now, LR, regarding the innocent child killed in a tornado.... I never said that I had any proof or backing for my idea... in fact, it's sheer blind faith. It's something I believe because if I don't, I don't know how well I could handle things that go on. I do not want to become hardened, and I never want to wish death on another.... so, I keep on believing that there are reasons, and that life is sacred, and all that drivel to keep myself sane. What if that child was simply being punished before he had a chance to commit a crime? Or his death prevented something much more terrible to happen? I geuss it's kind of an arguement for fate over free will, which I don't believe in... but I guess if there was no reason for something, it wouldn't happen.

I eat only sleep and air -Nicole Blackman

Local Rebel
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17 posted 08-16-2001 02:10 PM       View Profile for Local Rebel   Email Local Rebel   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Local Rebel

The targeting of civilian population centers is a moral issue that humanity has had to grapple with as technological advances in the art of war have made it easier and easier to do so.

America and the Allies were as guilty of this (the fire bombing of Dresden for example) as was Hitler and Hirohito.

Some say the general population of Japan at the time were as prepared to fight as the military -- and -- can we not believe this is true?  If the mainland of the U.S. were under invasion would our civilian population attempt to defend itself or just say -- "oops -- you got past our army -- guess we lose."

In the case of McVeigh -- if he was fighting a declared war -- he was behind enemy lines, out of uniform, and guilty of espionage -- a crime punishable by death as well as the murders that convicted him.

Under Federal statutes -- if he was guilty -- he clearly 'deserved' to die -- and in his case we have a confession (which is another issue entirely).

A better question in this case is; even if Mr. McVeigh deserved death -- must we kill him? And what purpose does it serve to do so?

Further -- if we were to extrapolate the 'must have happened for a reason' theory in this case we could assume that the innocent children who died in this bombing did so for a reason -- presumably one held by God or whomever you deem responsible for death -- in which case one could argue McVeigh was merely an agent of God.  Is this truly the line of reasoning that's going to prevent the universe from unraveling?

[This message has been edited by Local Rebel (edited 08-16-2001).]

citizenx
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18 posted 08-16-2001 03:36 PM       View Profile for citizenx   Email citizenx   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for citizenx

Bible says THou SHall not kill.
OK lets look at this way, America has the death penalty, has it honestly improved things there. Being a European from a small
insignificant country, we don't have the death penalty but have over crowded prisons. Ok the death penalty does free up prison space but it is not stopping crimes against humanity.

my view has always been hard labour, take these prisoners to some hell hole make them work in terrible conditions. If they commit a terrible crime they give up the rights to be part of our society and be treated as such. However murder is still murder, to kill a killer does not make it right or bring back the people who have died at the hands of these killers.

SO bring back work camps, get these scum to do work that will serve humanity.  



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Moon Dust
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19 posted 08-16-2001 06:54 PM       View Profile for Moon Dust   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Moon Dust

Its like to me to kill, or have a murderer killed, is mke u just as bad as that person.
And like to put a person in prison is like worst than killing them, so it isn't a very effective detterant. But I'm not saying they should be locked up in the worst conditions either.

You don't have a choice to die but you do have a choice how you meet it.

Alicat
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20 posted 08-16-2001 07:29 PM       View Profile for Alicat   Email Alicat   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Alicat

Now, this isn't directed or targetted at anyone here, as a prelude. People will always be against the death penalty, until someone kills one of their own...then they raise the Jolly Roger. There have been very few who are willing to forgive so grievous a personal injury and ask for the prisoner's release from not only the Death Penalty, but also from prison. And then there are those who say prisons and labor camps are inhumane and overcrowded, that we should pardon and release all inmates...but hear the hue and cry when a registered sex offender moves into their neighborhood.

And true, with the advancement of technology, namely DNA testing, many who were convicted were subsequently released...while others were only proven innocent after their deaths. I know the American legal system is not the best out there, nor is it the worst; but, it's what we got. And, by and large, it works.
Local Rebel
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21 posted 08-16-2001 07:54 PM       View Profile for Local Rebel   Email Local Rebel   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Local Rebel

Speculative at best Alicat

While it is true that some would change their opinion many who oppose the death penalty have actually tried to spare the lives of perpetrators of crimes against their families.

Speaking for myself -- my own position has evolved and I can say that revenge solves nothing.
hush
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22 posted 08-17-2001 02:05 AM       View Profile for hush   Email hush   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for hush

Only my own universe, LR.  

I would like to thank you, though, for being the only person who has ever provided an intelligent rebuttal to my McVeigh/A-bomb comparison. I'm a little too exhausted to reply now, but I'll make a point of coming back to it.

I eat only sleep and air -Nicole Blackman

doreen peri
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23 posted 08-17-2001 12:35 PM       View Profile for doreen peri   Email doreen peri   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for doreen peri

before i make my statement about this issue, i'll say that I didn't read any of anybody's comments... only the question

for some reason, lately, i've lost the will to debate any issue at all

i'm responding to this thread only because i have a very strong adamant opinion about this so here goes....

Plain and simple. The death penalty is archaic, inhumane, and barbaric. If it helps the families of the victims in some way, I don't think it's a healthy way. Revenge does little for the human spirit. The death penalty is murder. It is the state legally murdering a human being. In addition, the death penalty is often carried out in a public setting, meaning the families of the victims can watch and sometimes it is telecast, or at least sensationalized with newscasters keeping the public informed minute by minute up until the act is complete....which is also barbaric, archaic,  inhumane and literally disgusts me.

the sensationalist reporting of the recent murder of Tim McVeigh made me physically ill to the point that I thought I would lose my breakfast and lunch, and i literally cried several times, and grieved for days.

No matter the crime, i cannot believe that a country which professes to be civilized can do this type of thing to a human being, no matter how evil and destructive his acts and crime.

There's no justification for murder. None. And absolutely no justification which would make sense to me for murdering a human being in public in retaliation as an act of revenge.

Inhumane, barbaric, disgusting, and sickening.

The same dollars spent for this type of barbarism could be spent to help criminals recover from addictions, learn skills to survive in society and give back to society, and for counseling to help victim families deal with their losses.

There are some people which can never be rehabilitated, true. And some people, i believe, have no conscience and are inherently "evil" which is another topic we have discussed here. To waste tax dollars on this barbaric practice rather than using the funds for more productive programs, only feeds on itself and is not only useless, but can have negative, rather than positive effects on people, communities, and criminals in dire need of help.

I won't be back to debate this. This is my opinion and belief and I thank you all for having a place to state it. Especially, I thank Ron for providing this forum so that these type of issues can be discussed.

Local Rebel
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24 posted 08-18-2001 12:40 AM       View Profile for Local Rebel   Email Local Rebel   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Local Rebel

Well Doreen, I wish I was as evolved as you -- unfortunately I'm not.  I can argue against the death penalty on the grounds that we inadvertantly kill innocent people -- but my own feelings lean toward the 'deserve to die' camp.  That said -- I don't think it means, as I've said, that we must kill simply because we can or that should even if justified.

You wrote an excellent position peice though.  I appreciated it.

Hush--
Always glad to make an intelligent rebuttal -- even against someone on my side..lol

Alicat --
I was going to wait for more participation before I asked this but -- may as well go ahead now.  You said our justice system has flaws (which I stipulate) but by and large it works.

My question is: how many innocent people is it acceptable to execute?

(It should be told that in modern times there is no documented case of an innocent person being executed -- but -- for the most part cases are pretty much closed after the switch is thrown and we really don't expect prosecutors to come forward post mortem with new evidence (can you say suppression?) for obvious reasons.)

[This message has been edited by Local Rebel (edited 08-18-2001).]

 
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