Ohio Bill to ban capital punishment

Discussion in 'Politics, Religion, Social Issues' started by Lord Blackadder, Mar 15, 2011.

  1. Lord Blackadder, Mar 15, 2011
    Last edited: Mar 16, 2011

    Lord Blackadder macrumors G5

    Lord Blackadder

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    #1
    A bill has just been introduced in the Ohio state legislature that would ban the death penalty. I just heard on local radio that the bill would also change existing death sentences to life without parole. The bill is said to have bipartisan support, and the proponents have pointed out that it would save the state tens of millions of dollars. Of current topical interest is the fact that the lawmakers supporting the bill are marketing it as a cost-saving measure more than anything else.

    Ohio is currently one of 34 (I think) states that have a death penalty, is currently second only to Texas in the number of inmates executed yearly, and at the moment has monthly executions already scheduled through November.
     
  2. iJohnHenry macrumors P6

    iJohnHenry

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    #2
    We'll take them, at $10M per head (negotiable).

    Our Inuit brothers, up in Nunavut, will look after them, and they can put the money to good use.
     
  3. leekohler macrumors G5

    leekohler

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    #3
    I would be surprised if this goes through. I don't have a lot of faith in my former home state.
     
  4. Lord Blackadder thread starter macrumors G5

    Lord Blackadder

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    #4
    It might get extra support on fiscal grounds, if moral fence-sitters on the issue find the financial arguments against capital punishment attractive in the current environment.
     
  5. iStudentUK macrumors 65816

    iStudentUK

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    #5
    We can hope!

    I wonder if there will be a critical point where enough states get rid of it so the rest follow?
     
  6. likemyorbs macrumors 68000

    likemyorbs

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  7. Lord Blackadder thread starter macrumors G5

    Lord Blackadder

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    #7
    I don't think so, at least not in the forseeable future. Some states will probably keep the death penalty for many, many years. Also, the federal government still uses the death penalty in certain cases, though only three people have been excecuted by the federal government since the '60s. The US military also have captial punisment on the books, though again they have not executed anyone for over 40 years.

    It's interesting to note that Michigan is the only state that constitutionally forbids the death penalty - all other death penalty bans are statutory.
     
  8. R.Perez macrumors 6502

    R.Perez

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    #8
    So you have absolute 100% confidence in our "justice" system?
     
  9. Lord Blackadder thread starter macrumors G5

    Lord Blackadder

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    #9
    Looking at it within the current context, the question is "is the death penalty cost-effective"?
     
  10. Thomas Veil macrumors 68020

    Thomas Veil

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    #10
    Being an Ohioan, I think I can say that in the current environment -- hysterical Republican budget-hacking -- this just might go through.

    Which would be ironic, because it'd certainly show the Republicans for the hypocrites they are. Tough on crime -- unless it costs money!
     
  11. skunk macrumors G4

    skunk

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    #11
    Too bad indeed.
     
  12. Lord Blackadder thread starter macrumors G5

    Lord Blackadder

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    #12
    Indeed, it's an odd juxtaposition. In order to not appear to be hypocrites on their budget reform, some Republicans may have to backtrack on all the moral rhetoric they use to defend the death penalty.

    If we are in such dire straits that we need to cut unions' collective bargaining in order to balance the budget, why should we need to spend tens of millions of dollars killing prisoners?
     
  13. R.Perez macrumors 6502

    R.Perez

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    #13
    Oh boy don't assume. Keep in mind, even with all these "much needed" emergency austerity measures, most of these states managed to give away billions in tax cuts.
     
  14. KingYaba macrumors 68040

    KingYaba

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    #14
    It's somewhat sad how people's lives may boil down to a state government looking to save a few dollars. If it will save the money I will support ending it.
     
  15. likemyorbs macrumors 68000

    likemyorbs

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    #15
    Of course not. However, there are certain cases where the death penalty should be applied. The arizona shooter for example who killed a 9 year old girl and many others, he should be fried. It's not like there's any possible chance he could be innocent. While i don't buy the argument that the death penalty costs more than life in prison, even if this argument was factually true, i would still support the death penalty. There's just no reason for some people to be alive after what they've done.
     
  16. Sydde macrumors 68020

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    #16
    No, you are mistaken. What you are talking about here is called "retribution", which is not what justice is supposed to be about. There is more evidence to suggest that the death penalty makes things worse for everyone than when it is not employed. One major example of this might be Canada, which has quite a lot of guns, no capital punishment, and is generally a safer place to be (though I cannot vouch for iJohnHenry's neighborhood ;)).
     
  17. Lord Blackadder thread starter macrumors G5

    Lord Blackadder

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    #17
    There is one - I see no reason that we should kill them.

    I'm perfectly satisfied with locking criminals away for the rest of their natural lives for the mot heinous crimes. I don't see a compelling reason for us citizens to kill criminals through the state. That isn't justice. That is revenge, or blood lust. It's barbaric.
     
  18. Apple OC macrumors 68040

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  19. Sydde macrumors 68020

    Sydde

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    #19
    We will just exile them to eastern Ontario ;)
     
  20. mrkramer macrumors 603

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    #20
    Why, what good does it do, does it bring back the people who where killed? Or if your goal is just to keep him from doing it again then wouldn't locking him up for life do the trick?
     
  21. SwiftLives macrumors 65816

    SwiftLives

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    #21
    What's the point of the death penalty? Does it deter people from committing murder? I think our current murder rate disputes that. I see it as nothing more than retribution. And I don't think our justice system needs to be involved in that.
     
  22. likemyorbs macrumors 68000

    likemyorbs

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    #22
    No, it's just principle. Some people just need to be "removed" from the world. It's as simple as that. Like if you rape a baby for example, i think you pretty much just stripped yourself of your right to be alive. Euthanize them like a dog, why not? And also, you don't know if some judge 50 years in the future will release them for good behavior and so they can "die in peace".
     
  23. IntelliUser macrumors 6502

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    #23
    Why kill 'em when you can give 'em free food and lodging for life?
     
  24. skunk macrumors G4

    skunk

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    #24
    It is in fact a lack of principle. The principled stand is that killing is bad, period. It brutalises the society on whose behalf it is carried out and panders to the basest instinctual desire for revenge.

    Actually in this case the DP is being abolished precisely because it is cheaper to give them free food and lodging for life.
     
  25. Lord Blackadder thread starter macrumors G5

    Lord Blackadder

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    #25
    Here is a video (not the best quality) from the press conference in which the two Ohio reps present their case to the media. It's a half hour long, and I skimmed though it, but the firt four minutesd of it lays out the case in it's essentials. The issues with the death penalty that this bill would address:

    • Costs more
    • The consequences of wrongful convictions are irreversible
    • Is unevenly applied between counties
    • Shows evidence of racial disparity in convictions that is out of proportion to the demographics of crime
    • Lack of evidence that the threat of death is a useful deterrent
    • Public belief that the sentence of life without parole is sufficient

    The reps went on to point out that the process of convicting and executing a criminal is 2.1 to 3 times more expensive than incarcerating a criminal for life, and that since DNA testing became available 5 people wrongly convicted and sentenced to death in Ohio have been exonerated (one of whom takes the podium to speak briefly). From this it is reasonable to conclude that a significant number of innocent people have, before the avilability of DNA testing, died at the hands of the state for crimes they did not commit. Even with DNA testing mistakes can happen that result in wrongful convictions.

    Based on this evidence, I simply do not see how a supposedly civilized society that values rule of law - and above all, life - can condone killing people even for heinous crimes. Our society is thus saying "Killing is wrong - except when it it OK". And that sets a bad example. Homicide should always be the extreme exception to the rule, even for the state.
     

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