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The Capital Punishment Debate

Should it be brought back?


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57Chevy

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Brutus said:
Even if it did, is vengence for the family more important than assuring we don't execute the wrong man?

Vengence can never have anything to do with an execution.
 

canada94

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Its not just the fact that if we "want" it to be legal. We must remember that our charter, states we have the right to; Life, Liberty and Security of person. Taking away someone's right to life is against the charter.

We also have the right to escape "unusual" forms of punishment. Is killing someone not unusual? Im not  saying im against the Death penalty, neither for it just giving my  :2c:

Mike
 

HavokFour

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Hang 'em high.

In my eyes, the perfect system would include...

Murder: Death
Rape: Death
Pedophilia: Death
Theft (under $1000): 5 years
Theft (over $5000): 8 years
Drugs: 15 years
DUI: 20 years

etc.

Some may find it a bit extreme, but that's like your opinion, man.
 

readytogo

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Although the evidence in cases such as Bernardo, Olsen, and other such criminals is overwhelming and they have been found guilty in a court of law what about the cases in the last 30 years where the evidence was also overwhelmingly in favor of a conviction that turned out to be wrong???  Names like Stephen Truscott, David Milgard, or Guy Paul Morin (not sure if i spelled those correctly)  In reading the history books Truscott escaped the gallows on a couple occasions when he was still a child?? These men would have died for crimes they did not commit, is that a mistake you could live with?  On the other side of the coin maybe today with introduction of irrefutable DNA evidence perhaps the death penalty could be a seldom used extreme measure?

RTG :cdn:
 

Container

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Truscott was not found innocent- it was just impossible to have a new trial as would usually be required. He testified in front of the supreme court and they found him confused and untrust worthy in his testimony in the 60's.

Milgaard- that was terrible. DNA would have avoided this.

Morin- DNA eventully freed him.

The specific nature of DNA makes me quite comfortable in the execution of people shown to be guilty of heinous crimes where DNA is involved. (not just transfer DNA)
 

readytogo

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How old was Truscott in the 60's???? maybe a teenager? if I was 16ish standing in front of the supreme court accused of murdering somebody that I didnt i think my nerves and fear would cause me to appear "confused and untrust-worthy"  I agree DNA eventually did free Milgaard and Morin but if the death penalty was still allowed at the time of their trials then it seems safe to say they wouldnt of been around to get there "I told you so" moment. 
 

Container

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true. I wouldnt have been as keen on the death penalty prior to DNA.

I wouldnt ever put someone to death on witness testimony alone. Fingerprints and DNA are good to go however. (for me)
 

ballz

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HavokFour said:
Hang 'em high.

In my eyes, the perfect system would include...

Murder: Death
Rape: Death
Pedophilia: Death
Theft (under $1000): 5 years
Theft (over $5000): 8 years
Drugs: 15 years
DUI: 20 years

etc.

Some may find it a bit extreme, but that's like your opinion, man.

I see MADD is having an effect on some people...
 

Brutus

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What about the moral aspect of CP? Is it morally correct for the State to kill when the reasonable alternative guarantees no recidivism? IMHO, this relegates CP to mere vengeance, which as stated by another poster, should NEVER be a component of sentencing.
 

mariomike

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ballz said:
I see MADD is having an effect on some people...

U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration NHTSA:
"North Carolina and Kentucky, have charged impaired drivers with capital murder.":
http://www.nhtsa.gov/people/outreach/safesobr/13qp/facts/facthom.html
 

TimBit

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What about the moral aspect of CP? Is it morally correct for the State to kill when the reasonable alternative guarantees no recidivism? IMHO, this relegates CP to mere vengeance, which as stated by another poster, should NEVER be a component of sentencing.

Agreed.
 

readytogo

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Good for Kentucky and North Carolina!!!!  Having experienced a couple of "near misses" with pissed up a*&holes forgetting the difference between a gas and a brake pedal(one guy barely missed me while my kids were in the truck with me)  I say they are absolutely guilty of 2nd degree murder at least!!! Bravo and hopefully that kind of legislation sweeps over North America like a plague!!


RTG :cdn:
 

Container

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Brutus said:
What about the moral aspect of CP? Is it morally correct for the State to kill when the reasonable alternative guarantees no recidivism? IMHO, this relegates CP to mere vengeance, which as stated by another poster, should NEVER be a component of sentencing.

But I dont really consider there being an alternative that guarantees that it wont happen again. Gingras is a good example.

As long as it takes place in a moral fashion its not really a moral issue (for me)
 

Brutus

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Container said:
But I dont really consider there being an alternative that guarantees that it wont happen again. Gingras is a good example.

A Life Sentence with a Dangerous Offender designation will accomplish the same thing.

As long as it takes place in a moral fashion its not really a moral issue (for me)

How can the dispassionate killing of a person by the State be done in a 'moral fashion'? My contention is that it is inherantly immoral. Life is a basic human right. In fact, it is the most basic human right. By definition, rights can be restricted, but never taken away.
 

Container

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Brutus I think that we are running into issues over what is moral.

To me it is immoral to let some languish in prison for 60 years waiting for them to die. I do not believe that CP needs to be "revenge" by anyone. It can be a response to a threat.

The dangerous offender designation to hardly applied one could argue that its been extremely ineffective in its implementation. People in jail get day passes and escape by other means. They also kill CO's or other inmates.

There is no way to completely remove the threat except through the swift painless execution of the offender.
 

Fishbone Jones

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You can't bring morality into it. Morality is a human condition of varying degree to each individual given their mental state, upbringing, geography, religion, the list goes on.

You can't impose your morals on someone else, anymore than you can impose your own opinion for, or against, capital punishment on anyone else.

To say it is morally wrong is to state a personal opinion and holds no real value.

It's a straw man argument and has no place in the discussion.

You guys are starting to go in circles. Come up with something new or be satisfied to agree to disagree. Because no one is changing their minds any more than the last couple of time this was discussed here.
 

Brutus

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Container said:
Brutus I think that we are running into issues over what is moral.

I agree. If we argue what is moral for me vs. what is moral for you, it's a very short converation. But I think we are talking about collective Candian moral standards here, and not mine or yours specifically.

To me it is immoral to let some languish in prison for 60 years waiting for them to die. I do not believe that CP needs to be "revenge" by anyone. It can be a response to a threat.

What threat? If they are imprisoned for life, there is no chance of repeat offences barring an escape.

The dangerous offender designation to hardly applied one could argue that its been extremely ineffective in its implementation.

I'm not sure what you're trying to say here. Are you saying the Dangerous Offender designation hasn't worked? I think it works rather well due to it's simplicity - if you are designated, you are held indefinately until you are deemed to not be designated.

People in jail get day passes and escape by other means.

Pickton, Olsen, etc. do not get day passes and never will.

They also kill CO's or other inmates.

This problem should be addressed by securing the offender better, protecting the CO better, etc. The solution is not 'well, shoot, let's just kill him then.'

There is no way to completely remove the threat except through the swift painless execution of the offender.

Agreed.
 

GR66

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What exactly is a "slam dunk" case?

Does a "positive" DNA match meet the criteria?

from 60 Minutes - DNA Testing: Foolproof? http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2003/05/27/60II/main555723.shtml

or from bioforensics.com - Evaluating Forensic DNA Evidence: Essential Elements of a competent defence review
http://www.bioforensics.com/articles/champion1/champion1.html


Does even the accused/convicted's confession "prove" they are guilty?

from Northwestern Law - False Confessions Study - Illinois Cases
http://www.law.northwestern.edu/wrongfulconvictions/issues/causesandremedies/falseconfessions/FalseConfessionsStudy.html


I'm certainly no DNA expert or psychologist but I'll freely admit my opinion that any (hypothetical) potential death penalty cases in a future Canada where faulty evidence or false convictions would lead to a wrongful conviction and execution would be excedingly rare.  The question though is exactly how many potential wrongful exectutions would be acceptable?  Is even one "OK" for the supposed greater good?  The cost of keeping these prisoners behind bars is very high, but compared to the cost to society of killing someone wrongfully I personally think it's a price worth paying.  Certainly lets look at changing the Criminal Code of Canada to keep those that are convicted of the most serious crimes safely locked away forever...with not even a "faint hope" of release hanging over the heads of their victims/families and society as a whole.

I fully believe that death would be a JUST punishment for many evil people in our world, however I do not have enough faith in our own infalibility to be confident that we can be sure that we are incapable of ever wrongfully executing an innocent person.  For that reason, and that reason only, I am personally against Capital Punishment.
 

readytogo

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This is the enternal argument (discussion) How can we say that to take away someone's life is immoral and wrong and then turn around and say we are morally justified in doing the same thing to the offender???.  As it has been agreed upon in this and other threads, those who prove a signifigant risk to offend against other inmates and or themselves are placed in nearly permenant segrigation  When said inmate is out of his or her cell, all other inmates are safely locked away.  If said individuals are able to hurt another inmate or CO then that is a terrible circumstance but prisons are an inherantly dangerous place.  Inmates know this before they go and I feel its reasonable to assume that CO's know this when they accept employment.

  By all means we do what we can to minimize this risk to all parties involved, but I stand behind the fact that an eye for eye style justice is simply bringing ourselves to the serial killers level. 

In response to the statement that dangerous offender status doesnt work, I believe I read that Paul Bernardo was due for release in 2016? or somewhere around there.  I dont think anyone would say that he will be released on that time frame or anyother time frame around there, he and others like him will languish in prison until the day they are placed in the grave.  Th end result is as Container said, there is no permenant solution to this other than execution, but we as a civilization have to be better than that.



RTG :cdn:
 

Container

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The designated offender program doesnt work because the courts do not impose the status on offenders out of fear of being appealed.

Example of people on a life sentence who are let out on day passes (murderers)-

"Daniel Gingras was a career armed robber serving a life sentence for murder (committed while at large from his sentence) when in 1987 he was granted a "humanitarian" birthday pass to the West Edmonton Mall. Gingras , who was inexplicably allowed to chose his escort for the day, overpowered the unarmed guard. Just weeks after this latest escape, Gingras murdered Joseph Piquette, a rodeo clown in Edmonton, because he didn't like his face and wanted Piquette's identification. Still at large, Gingras then abducted 24-year-old Wanda Woodward from Medicine Hat, Alberta. He strangled her with her own shoelaces on August 14th "because she was crying like a cow." The Correctional Service of Canada (CSC) attempted to cover the details of the case, but an independent investigation found that the warden of the institution where Gingras was imprisoned was "willfully negligent". The parents of Wanda Woodward subsequently sued CSC and eventually settled for an estimated $250,000. Gingras is eligible to apply for his judicial review on August 20, 2002."

As for the DNA links- those examples do not dispute the validity of DNA based convictions. They dispute shitty lab and court work. The DNA in your link on the 60minus link has to do with the amount of information looked at by the lab. They were able to make the mistake because they do not use appropriate  thresholds. In fact the probability was only 1 in about 600 000. Thats terrible.

In Canadian forensics we use thresholds that have prbabilities in the billions far exceeding the population of the planet (living now combined with the amount taht have EVER lived) 

Anyways I respect your position Brutus. Clearly we will be unable to resolve out differences over a message board!

I recall a prison walkaway from max right out the front door because of human error. Locking someone up does not remove the threat!
 
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