Life in prison - is it more civilised than execution?

Discussion in 'Law and Justice System' started by Diuretic, Apr 17, 2010.

  1. Diuretic
    Offline

    Diuretic Permanently confused

    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2006
    Messages:
    12,653
    Thanks Received:
    1,397
    Trophy Points:
    48
    Location:
    South Australia est 1836
    Ratings:
    +1,397
    In another thread http://www.usmessageboard.com/law-a...th-penalty-for-white-collar-crimes.htmlGeorge Costanza wrote:

    Is it civilised? This is not a new question. J.S.Mill spoke for the death penalty and against life imprisonment but I think it was from the position that prisons of his time were so bad that it was merciful to execute someone rather than allow them to spend the rest of their life in a squalid prison.
    Man dies in custody after 54 years behind bars | Courier Mail

    One reason for life imprisonment is that you can let the person out if they've been wrongly convicted so I suppose in many ways this is a question with a ready-made answer but I wonder if keeping someone in prison for life is any more civilised than executing them. If it is more civilised, why?
     
    Last edited: Apr 17, 2010
  2. uscitizen
    Offline

    uscitizen Senior Member

    Joined:
    May 6, 2007
    Messages:
    45,941
    Thanks Received:
    4,791
    Trophy Points:
    48
    Location:
    My Shack
    Ratings:
    +4,807
    Life in prison is a easy way out of making a hard decision.
    Wussing out you might say.

    We must do all we can to ensure that the innocent are neither imprisoned nor executed. But as things go it is much more exacting and accurate than say war or even driving down the road.
    More innocent are killed on the highway in America in one month than in 20 years of executions.
    And will killed enough innocent in Iraq to cover the innocent error rate for executions for the next 1,000 years or so.

    Nothing man does is perfect.
     
    Last edited: Apr 17, 2010
  3. George Costanza
    Offline

    George Costanza A Friendly Liberal

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2009
    Messages:
    5,179
    Thanks Received:
    1,087
    Trophy Points:
    155
    Location:
    Los Angeles area.
    Ratings:
    +1,187
    That's MR. Costanza to you. ;)

    Good question. Frankly, I think LWOP (life without possibility of parole) is much more cruel than execution. So, for all of you "the bastard deserves it" pro-death penalty folks, take heart - there is a valid argument that LWOP is indeed worse than death.

    Suppose you are given the choice of death by lethal injection or LWOP. Honest to God, I'd have to think about it.
     
  4. LuckyDan
    Offline

    LuckyDan Sublime

    Joined:
    Dec 16, 2009
    Messages:
    2,327
    Thanks Received:
    607
    Trophy Points:
    48
    Location:
    The mountains of North Central Texas
    Ratings:
    +609
    I don't see what's uncivilized about execution.

    I'm pretty sure I would prefer death by injection, or better, by guillotine, to life deprived of liberty.
     
  5. Modbert
    Offline

    Modbert Daydream Believer Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2008
    Messages:
    33,178
    Thanks Received:
    2,957
    Trophy Points:
    48
    Ratings:
    +2,962
    This is all we need to know about the Death Penalty in the United States.

    Sidebar - Group That Shaped Death Penalty Gives Up on Its Own Work - NYTimes.com


     
  6. goldcatt
    Offline

    goldcatt Catch me if you can! Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Aug 4, 2009
    Messages:
    10,330
    Thanks Received:
    2,331
    Trophy Points:
    48
    Location:
    CentralPA
    Ratings:
    +2,331
    I agree with the ALI.

    I oppose the death penalty in general, for reasons of personal conscience. But if it's going to be applied we need to have a system that makes damn sure a person is guilty, makes sure they have competent counsel, examines the case with an eye toward exculpatory evidence and applies the penalty evenly and objectively. There is too much evidence this is not happening. And the fact that Death Row inmates whose crimes occurred prior to DNA testing availability do not have the right to a test is especially deplorable. If anything, we need to err on the side of caution. If we screw up, it's not like we can apologize and let them go.
     
  7. RadiomanATL
    Offline

    RadiomanATL Senior Member

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2009
    Messages:
    24,944
    Thanks Received:
    3,823
    Trophy Points:
    48
    Location:
    Not here
    Ratings:
    +3,836
    So let me see if I have this right...

    LWOP is worse than death....AND has the added benefit of letting the person loose if they have been wrongly convicted.

    win/win. :thup:
     
  8. George Costanza
    Offline

    George Costanza A Friendly Liberal

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2009
    Messages:
    5,179
    Thanks Received:
    1,087
    Trophy Points:
    155
    Location:
    Los Angeles area.
    Ratings:
    +1,187
    Yeah, but LWOP just doesn't satisfy the blood lust of the mob, don't you see?
     
  9. Modbert
    Offline

    Modbert Daydream Believer Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2008
    Messages:
    33,178
    Thanks Received:
    2,957
    Trophy Points:
    48
    Ratings:
    +2,962
    In part, it's also class warfare. Those who can afford a competent lawyer are more likely to not receive the death penalty then those who cannot. Plus, there's the evidence shown in more than a few studies that the death penalty is racially biased. A person who killed a white person is several times more likely then to receive the death penalty then someone who is not white. Plus, considering what percentage of the population that African Americans are, they are a heavy percentage of the total amount of the people on death row.

    I just did a paper for a class on the Death Penalty, it only reverified my stance of being against it.
     
  10. goldcatt
    Offline

    goldcatt Catch me if you can! Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Aug 4, 2009
    Messages:
    10,330
    Thanks Received:
    2,331
    Trophy Points:
    48
    Location:
    CentralPA
    Ratings:
    +2,331
    Class certainly has a lot to do with it. Horror stories aside, and they certainly exist, in some areas public defenders are still drawn from a pool of attorneys who may specialize in any area but passed the bar exam and therefore are considered "competent" to defend a capital case. That means a defendant could end up with a tax attorney defending him, or a family lawyer. Nothing wrong with that until you consider not only is the entire procedure different, but the law itself is simply too big a subject for anyone to know it all.

    Race per se may play a role, but I would again refer back to classism as the underlying factor. If you look not at skin color but at income levels and representation, how many on death row come from poverty and had public defenders for their trials? There are public defenders who believe in their work and do an excellent job, don't get me wrong. But representation is going to be a big factor in whether a death penalty is handed down.
     

Share This Page