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Should death penalty/life imprisonment be banned?

Hi everyone, ive a concern about death penalties. Death penalties are punishment for very serious offences(eg smuggling cocaine etc) in many countries. Yes, they can be a major drawback for anyone who wants to commit a crime, thus dramatically bringing crime rates down. However, my concern is, is it right for the government to take away one's life just like that? I do not think that it is very reasonable as this is our own life and i feel that nobody should take away other people's life just like that.
Instead, i feel that death penalties should be replaced by life imprisonment. However, i still feel that life imprisonment is also another violating of human rights. I feel that at least during imprisonment, they should be given productive work to do , and the imprisonment periods can be shortened if the prisoner shows good attitude(which some country has). Life imprisonment or death penalty is simply morally wrong to me. Nobody should be denied of life. Hows that different from killing an animal or locking an animal in a cage. Many did these serious offences in a matter of folly, this does not mean it can be assumed that they will have these same attitude throughout their lives and should be locked up so as to prevent further damage to the society. If they can show sustained good attitude and improvement, their sentences should be reduced and they can even provide some contribution to the community after release.
I would like to get some feedback on my views

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    Jul 1 2013: your sense of ethics is spot on. if you dig the topic a little, you will find two kinds of arguments for the current system: 1, utilitarian arguments, and 2, revenge induced bloodthirst. none of these ought to be sources of moral.

    the only moral argument in these cases is self defense. people should be able to employ the necessary means to defend themselves against theft, murder, violence or fraud. these means should be the necessary minimum, and should be reasonable. any measures above that are acts of violence, and should be morally condemned.
  • Jul 1 2013: So I agree your moral fundamentals, but we must not overlook the fact that true justice ought to serve two proposes: 1) to rehabilitate (or reeducate if you will) the criminal and then restore it to society as a "decent citizen", and 2) repair the damage and/or compensate the victim, when ever possible and as much as possible. Punishment (prison) should only be applied for people who shows no signs of regret or doesn't do any progress in the rehabilitation process.

    Just a brief example of how I think a truly just legal system should work: Imagine someone who commits homicide, if you give them the death penalty none of the justice goals are fulfilled, it is more of a kind of revenge, if you put them to serve a life in prison none of the goal is fulfilled either... but what if instead we make that person to provide the family of the dead person with food and shelter for a life time, that without neglecting their own family, I think that servers better the two goals I talked about first. So if you kill someone you automatically get the responsibilities of a second family but without the benefits, besides of the supervision and control of the state on your "providing habitability". I'm sure some people will argue this kind of legal system is impractical and maybe they are right, but think it is a more fair and just approach and worth exploring.
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    Jul 30 2013: There are many reasons for the death penalty and incarceration in general.

    Protecting civilized society- Saving that particular victim is too late, but now we have the perp as a suspect for future crimes. S/he should have a controlled environment within which to earn the trust of society back.

    S/he should serve as an example to deter future offenders.

    S/he should be made to recompense damages, not only to the victim and their family, but to society in general for injecting fear and distrust.

    Rehabilitate not just be punished, but be indoctrinated with what is acceptable behavior to society.

    Death does not accomplish all of that.

    There is also the power of government. take a look around the globe and tell me you trust every government with the power to execute people.

    There s also the tiniest doubt of their guilt. We've all been manipulated into looking like the bad guy at sometime or other. Look at the statistics of how many people have been put to death only to be proven innocent later. We are not omniscient.

    Giving any institution the power of life and death means it can be corrupted and used for political gain.

    I'd support the right to life no matter your crime as the first human right.
  • Jul 29 2013: The death penalty may be a morally objectionable deterrent to crime, but it is an effective, yet un-testable, deterrent. Life imprisonment simply means that you put them in a holding area until they die with free food, clothing, place to live and sleep, and they are not required to do anything to work towards it.

    We really aren't speaking of morals though we are speaking of justice for the victims of crimes. If the death penalty and life in prison are removed, what will the penalty then be? What is morally acceptable? Do we put these people back on the streets and allow them to re-offend? What level of crime is then acceptable for life in prison?

    One could argue that the death penalty is not as effective a deterrent as it could be because it is not used enough, even with known guilty individuals.
  • Jul 24 2013: There is another death row no-one talks of.

    It's where the inmates of get no lawyers, no say, no reprieve, no time off for good behavior.

    It's called the Graveyard. It's where the innocent victims go.
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    Jul 4 2013: Ban greed and you will not need to ask this question no more.
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    Jul 3 2013: Welcome to Human Nature-101. The penalty for fishing without a license is $50. The cost of a license is $62. The odds of getting caught fishing without a license are less than one. People frequently fish without a license. If the penalty was execution then people would not fish without a license. When a criminal is choosing how to be armed for a crime they will be less likely to choose a lethal weapon in they know the result could be death, both their victim and theirs. The difference in severity of penalties for armed and unarmed crimes is stark. If you relax the penalty you invite disobedience.
    • Jul 3 2013: For your examples, there will still be people doing it again however harsh the punishment will be, at least the minority. But my concern is, do we have the power to just decide how a human should live however bad they did? Is the power in our hands to decide the fate of another human? I do not think this is morally right.
      I do not think death penalty should not be implemented, rather life-imprisonment(which i also do not really support). I did not relax the penalty. Like ive said for shortening of sentences for good behavior thats implemented in several countries or many countries. I mean why not? Death penalty is certainly wrong. What if the person did it out of folly and thats death for him seriously? He should be given a chance to learn and eventually show good behaviour in prison.
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        Jul 3 2013: Many people have no freedom because they live under dictators and warlords. How is depriving an offender of their freedom any different than the day-to-day existence of such unfortunate souls? If you are arguing that the death penalty has no deterring influence on capital crimes you are not being persuasive at all. Many capital crimes are surely averted because of the severity of the punishment. Again, surely, if the severity is reduced the crimes will increase. One who is guilty of stealing a days wages from someone should be made to restore two days wages to the victim. One who wrongfully and intentionally (non-accidentally) takes the life of another should me made to pay with their life. The death penalty is not "certainly wrong" as you propose. The death penalty is a necessary control mechanism for social order. People are not as good as you seem to think they are. There are many in our midst who would find murder to be a fulfilling experience. They are restrained by the threat of losing their own life if caught. Do you really want to lift those restraints? Thank you!
        • Jul 4 2013: im just simply saying death penalty is morally wrong though a great deterrent. For your last example,they would still be under bad-behaviour status and thus sentence not shortened, as simple as that.
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        Jul 3 2013: Daryll,
        What Edward said..
        I think it is too hard to make this conclusion based on a single point of view or society. For example, national standards for prisons in the USA, including food, clothing, shelter, medical services, recreation are probably superior on many levels then the living conditions the prisoners came from. Admittedly, there are slums in a number of large American cities. Jails in other countries as reported by media are a living hell having not changed in 500 years.
        So, a convicted person of a heinous crime in the USA not sent to death would live in relative comfort albeit confined for the rest of his life. So much so, that prisoners needing organ transplants are routinely accommodated.
        The same crime in another country could warrant a 10 years sentence in their jails and be equally punished.
        • Jul 4 2013: So what if its more difficult provide lounging for them? From what you've said, you perceived these criminals abit lowly. You gave me an impression that they are useless and should be discarded off.
          Simply no death penalty to me
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        Jul 4 2013: RE: "I'm just simply saying death. . . " First of all I am pleased to read your acknowledgement that the death penalty is a great deterrent. You do recognize that many, possibly thousands of, innocent lives are spared from forced slaughter by that very deterrent? The death penalty is morally wrong you say? Do you believe it would be morally wrong for you to use lethal force against a man who is about to-- forgive me for this ugly illustration-- forcibly rape your young child? If your answer is "no" and you believe lethal force is justifiable, and preferred, in certain cases, why would you deny such a justifiable, preferred option to society? Sadly, Daryll, we have more than a few among us who are restrained from acting-out their heinous desires only by the knowledge that they will be killed if convicted for doing so. To unleash them upon society would be immoral. Thank you!
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        Jul 4 2013: Daryll,
        I don't believe you understood the point I was trying to make. If you believe that bad behavior deserves punishment, but not death, I understand your position.
        What I was trying to say that punishment in the USA prisons is not comparable to that in other countries. Am I bragging that we have nice jails and you don't?
        Some of our prisons have been describe as resorts, so there is little punishment, in fact, here there is education, rehabilitation, job training, but the bad news is the USA has the highest recidivism rates
        But, we do have the death penalty in some states. In my state, if you murder with callus indifference, murder children, and other egregious acts, you will be charged, if convicted, given the death penalty.
    • Jul 4 2013: That has been a very interesting conversation. My feelings on this subject are quite mixed. and my thoughts are generating more and more questions... such as:
      1. I wonder if death penalty could be a tool for the society to get rid of its "bad elements".
      2. If a society approves the death penalty, could it also approve euthanasia? ( "a deliberate intervention undertaken with the express intention of ending a life, to relieve intractable suffering" ) , and the opposite?
      3. if a rapist and murderer of a child should be sentenced to death, should the same rule be applied to a meat production company that releases the e-coli bacteria in the market ,causing the death of hundred of children?
      4. What the world be like, if Socrates wasn't sentenced to death?
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        Jul 4 2013: 1) To CONTROL bad elements is precisely what it is for. 2) "a deliberate intervention undertaken with the express intention of ending a life, to relieve intractable suffering", this could serve as the definition for abortion also. I agree that euthanasia, abortion, and capital punishment share a common purpose. . . to end a human life. Only one of them is done to protect the innocent, strengthen the society, and control evil human deeds. There is no logical necessity for a society to accept all three. 3) If malice of forethought is proven those who knowingly participate in such a mass-murder should pay with their lives. If it was a result of carelessness, or was an accident, the penalty should not be death. 4) The world would be exactly as it is today.
  • Jul 2 2013: I firmly believe in punishment, I firmly believe in life-long imprisonment, and I firmly believe in the death penalty for certain cases. If someone commits mass-murder, such as perhaps the Boston Bombers or the Columbine shooters, then there is no reason why I should "feel sorry for them" and let them free only after a few years of punishment. You think they felt sorry for their victims?
    If someone drives home drunk and strikes a car with a family, killing or seriously injuring a child or parent, then I believe they should be punished for a long period of time. Yes, they might feel bad and sorry and whine about how they didnt mean to do it, but they DID do it. They made that very poor decision, they had no concern for the other drivers.. Why should we have concern for him and what HE wants? You get what you give.

    In fact, I think rapists should have one of their balls cut off, and if they commit rape again, their entire penis should go.
    Cold-blooded murderers like thugs should have a hand chopped off, and if they repeat their offense, chop the other off. Let's see them commit murder again.
    • Jul 3 2013: Yes i know that the person(s) convicted for such heinous crimes like mass murder are totally bad and seems as if theres no excuse for them to continue living and therefore should face the death penalty. Yes this is bad and he should receive harsh punishment .
      But my concern is, do we have the power to just decide how a human should live however bad they did? Is the power in our hands to decide the fate of another human? I do not think this is morally right.
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    Jul 2 2013: Kalaa Paani is an alternative to incarceration or killing

    Leave them in an unapprochable,fertile, marooned island for 5 years.

    Than bring them back and see the change
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      Jul 2 2013: Hey, the British did that and look how Australia turned out. A beautiful island where people drive on the wrong side of the road.
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    Jul 1 2013: There is a lot to say about the death penalty. One thing is that it sure cuts down on recidivism.