Question about the Death Penalty vs. Life in Prison

Discussion in 'Politics, Religion, Social Issues' started by bobindashadows, Sep 3, 2003.

  1. macrumors 6502

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    #1
    Isn't giving someone Life in Prison, without Parole, also killing them?

    The debate with the Death Penalty is whether we have a right to kill people, correct? (feel free to latch on to this and spin it out of proportion)

    Isn't the alternative also killing them? The only difference is that they get to spend more time with their family, and a chance to grow old and suffer in their cell until they die of something else, like natural causes, disease, or murdered by another inmate. (or a combination of the above... however that might work)
     
  2. macrumors 601

    zimv20

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    #2
    Re: Question about the Death Penalty vs. Life in Prison

    errrr.... no.
     
  3. macrumors P6

    IJ Reilly

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    #3
    You might as well say that the person the prisoner murdered isn't really dead, but is actually sleeping underground in a box.

    Oy yeh, my head hurts.
     
  4. thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #4
    Re: Re: Question about the Death Penalty vs. Life in Prison

    Yeah, screw it. That was a stupid idea. Though IJ Reilly's statement doesn't make any sense to me.
     
  5. macrumors member

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    #5
    There would be a point saying that Life in Prison is more expensive than the death penalty, however for some reason people don't know how to be efficient. Keeping someone alive in prison costs in the range of $10,000 - $25,000 per year. You can kill someone for under $10,000 very humanely (sp I know, I'm too tired to get it checked though).

    It could also be argued that life in prison without parole and no way of getting out is torture. So not only would they die in prison, they would have also been tortured on top of that.

    Bah, I'm too tired to even understand that myself. If no one understands I'll come back tomorrow after I get some sleep, g'night all.
     
  6. Ugg
    macrumors 68000

    Ugg

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    #6
    Nazi Germany was efficient but there was no justice. Hopefully the US values justice over efficiency?
     
  7. macrumors P6

    IJ Reilly

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    #7
    Re: Re: Re: Question about the Death Penalty vs. Life in Prison

    It wasn't meant to.
     
  8. Inu
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    #8
    You might see it in a religious way (as it seems, religion has a big place in some areas of the US): If you make a sinner (well, murder sure is, no matter what religion (*cough* 10 Commandments *cough*)) suffer and see the error of his ways, he might get a chance of "getting away better" in the afterlife (be it heaven, or a better shot at reincarting, whatever floats your boat).

    From an atheistic point of view, there is no reason to keep the criminal suffering and using up ressources, besides the fact that he could be innocent and his innocence could only be prooved in the years to come (real Criminal shows up, new forensic Methods reveal real Criminal (DNA Tests werent there 10 Years or so ago)). If the (now proven) innocent is already dead... Releasing him wouldnt make sense.
     
  9. macrumors member

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    #9
    How hard is it to execute people fairly while giving them a fair trial and cheaply? The actual execution should cost well under $1,000. The judges and such pay shouldn't really count because they'd most likely be at work if the appeal was made or not. That would leave the only cost to a public defender, which would not even be close to the cost of incarceration for say 30 years ($300,000-$600,000). Where's all this extra cost coming from?
     
  10. Ugg
    macrumors 68000

    Ugg

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    #10
    I'm not sure where your estimate came from but it seems naively low, perhaps you could come up with a source for the true costs of killing someone?. More of a judge's time means fewer trials that he can hear which means more of a backlog or hiring more judges. The same with the prosecutor and the clerk and the recorder, the public liason. Executions have to be staged which requires a great deal of coordination. My estimate is closer to $100,000, excluding court costs. Of course the more people killed by a state, the costs would go down somewhat I would think, on a per body basis.
     
  11. macrumors 6502

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    #11
    Re: Question about the Death Penalty vs. Life in Prison

    OK (disagreeing, does that automatically spins it out of proportions?):
    I think it's barbaric and I don't get it why a civilised country still uses the death penalty.
    I think the usa is the only "civilised" country that still executes prisoners. Too bad it portrays itself as the "one and only" civilised country, the rolemodel for the rest of the world.
    Other than that, I think it's wrong to kill to prevent killing, it doesn't make sense. If killing is promoted by a government as a viable way of punishment, some other people might get that same idea. Are there any numbers out there that might tell me it's the other way around?
     
  12. macrumors 601

    Backtothemac

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    #12
    No, it is different. To die of natural causes while locked up is one thing. To be led down a hallway, strapped to a chair or table, and have your life taken is another. Not nearly the same thing.
     
  13. macrumors member

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    #13
    My estimate came from common sense knowledge. You give me even $100 at noon, by midnight I'd have a reasonable form of execution that does not cause pain. Many things in government are overdone, the death penalty being one of them.
     
  14. Ugg
    macrumors 68000

    Ugg

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    #14
    Not long ago I read that Saudi Arabia has an official executioner. He uses an axe or a sword to behead and behand (?) people. Of course there is a lot of so-called Muslim justice involved and the sword is specially made but I doubt even his costs run under a $100 per event.

    I'm sure you could kill someone for under $100 but the issue is, would justice be served in the manner you chose?

    I think part of the problem with the cost of state-sanctioned killings is that it brings out the ghoulish side of people and the cost of having observers must be substantial.

    I agree with you that the death penalty is overdone. It does not serve as a deterrent nor is it a sign of an enlightened society.
     
  15. macrumors member

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    #15
    Axes and swords are very inhumane ways of killing though, seeing as in many cases people don't die on the first hit.

    I mean there are plenty of reasonable ways to kill someone humanely and cheaply, it just takes a little know how. I don't quite understand though what you mean by "would justice be served in the manner you chose?"
     
  16. macrumors 601

    zimv20

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    #16
    using cost as an argument for capital punishment is boorish.
     
  17. macrumors member

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    #17
    I bring that up however because I often hear things like "killing someone costs as much money as it does to incarcerate them for life."
     
  18. macrumors 601

    zimv20

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    #18
    then incarcerating someone for life is just the cost of "doing business." having a civilized society incurs costs and that's something we just have to accept.

    when we start talking of killing people who incur too much cost, i'd say we've lost our civilized society.
     
  19. macrumors 601

    Backtothemac

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    #19
    I have to say that I think killing them should be an option for the most violent criminals especially those that kill children.
     
  20. macrumors 68040

    mactastic

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    #20
    I've always thought that it would be pretty hard to argue cruel and unusual punishment if you gave someone a massive dose of heroin. Pretty cheap too. I'm still morally opposed though.
     
  21. macrumors 68040

    pseudobrit

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    #21
    Wow, you can find a flock of lawyers, judges and court staff willing to work hundreds of billable hours for just $100?

    What happens if your bargain basement execution goes awry? You can get a medical examiner and enough guards and personnel for an execution for $100?

    Putting someone to death isn't quite as simple as putting your old dog down at the vet, you know... :rolleyes:

    ...if you were on death row or had a loved one who was, you'dn't want a $100 execution. Why should that change just because it's someone else? Do unto others... judge not lest ye be judged...

    It would be invariably dangerous (might not work right away, might hurt others, etc.), cruel, inefficient and imprecise.
     
  22. macrumors 68040

    pseudobrit

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    #22
    Re: Re: Re: Question about the Death Penalty vs. Life in Prison

    I'm glad you quickly saw the fallacy of your original argument.

    It's a sad day for our society when someone who's been killed by their state is found innocent.

    It's a wonderful day for justice when someone who's been "killed" (sentenced to life in prison) is found innocent and set free (or guilty of a lesser crime, or found to not have recieved a fair trial and gets a new one with a new, fair sentence), which happens at an alarming rate.
     
  23. Ugg
    macrumors 68000

    Ugg

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    #23
    You've got that one wrong, it costs more. Life sentences are rarely appealed, death sentences always are, even when the person to be killed doesn't want an appeal. That is part of justice, making sure that there are no mistakes when handing out the ultimate in sentences. Of course, there have been plenty of overturned sentences proving that justice is rarely just especially if you are a black person who supposedly killed a white person.

    Why this obsession with the death penalty? It seems morbid to me, wanting to see another person killed.
     
  24. macrumors 601

    zimv20

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    #24
    and that's a whole different discussion. a much more valuable one ("does their act merit continued life?") than the cost argument ("it's cheaper to kill them than house/feed them").

    i'm morally opposed to capital punishment, but i think you know that.
     
  25. macrumors member

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    #25
    The DA's are already working, judges often have many cases to look over nowadays.

    Guards aren't paid much more for an execution, if they are paid more at all. ME's aren't that expensive, overall under $1,000 is very reasonable. But is it possible to execute someone for $100? Yes, shoot them full of tranquilizers while they're in their cell to the point where they go into a coma, then you could kill them via rifle shot to the heart. If that doesn't work, then it is truely an act of god as someone would survive a probably overdose of tranquilizers, while having no heart.

    If I had a loved one who was on death row, would I want them to have a $100 execution? Sure, it's cheap, effective, and doesn't cause any pain if executed correctly (like the above method which is basically idiot proof).
     

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