Capital Punishment

wil

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Fully in agreement. Funny thing for me it took the execution of Timothy McVeigh to change my mind. And then the decision that he was not allowed to be buried in Arlington due to his crime...was icing on the cake.

Why when it has been studied and restudied and shown not to be a deterent do we do it. How can we (the US) have capitol punishment while playing the human rights card on other peoples? How can we possibly both convict people for murder and murder them?

Our system of appeals and protection on death row all of which I am in favor of if we are to continue to be barbarians, at least insure that we quit killing innocent people....all of this creates the cost of killing someone for a crime much more than incarcarating them for life.

I was dreaming the other night about a reward system in prison. The more you do, the better you do, the more amenities you recieve...make a mistake and back back down the ladder. To the point of having companies, factories where prisoners 'earn' a significant wage...most of which goes back to pay for their incarceration, and upgrades...and some to support their children. How many 'dead beat' dads are we also picking up the tab for...

Yes for rehabilitation of the prisoner.
Yes for rehabilitation of the system.
Yes for illiiminating the death penalty.

namaskar to all those incarcarated.
 

Quahom1

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Williams was convicted of murdering 4 people in the 70s. He was convicted and his sentence was death. He had 24 years to make a difference for his life, and the life of others (which he did). But that does not excuse the four deaths he was convicted for.

It isn't revenge...It is justice. "I'm a changed man", doesn't fix the loss of life he caused.

He used the time he had left and benefitted children around the world. That is an honorable man. He went to his death, for taking the lives of four others.

Do I think this is right? I don't know. I can't supercede the judge or jury.

I would celebrate the good he did, during the time he had. I think he did good for alot of children...time will tell.

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wil

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Do I think this is right? I don't know. I can't supercede the judge or jury.
I agree you are 100% correct but we are the people...and our state is one of those that has kept the death penalty, as is our country. As with all things if we have an opinion we elect law makers who tell judge and jury what they can and cannot do.
 

Quahom1

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wil said:
I agree you are 100% correct but we are the people...and our state is one of those that has kept the death penalty, as is our country. As with all things if we have an opinion we elect law makers who tell judge and jury what they can and cannot do.

So, You are asking is there a time for a death penalty? And is it worth it? I think it should be left on the books as an option. And I think it should be left to a jury of our peers to decide whether or not to invoke that option. I also think the Judge should listen and take counsel by the Jury of one's peers, but not lose sight of their own position as judge (ultimately).

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Quahom1 said:
It isn't revenge...It is justice. "I'm a changed man", doesn't fix the loss of life he caused.

With all due respect, it's not justice; at the very least, it's injustice. Over the past several weeks, I have heard many people speaking out against this execution, several of them youths who attribute Williams, through the books he wrote, with reaching out to them and changing the course of their lives.

Justice in this case would be allowing this man to continue his good work and continue to redeem the mistakes in his life. In a written apology from 1997, Williams stated:

Stanley "Tookie" Williams said:
I am no longer "dys-educated" (disease educated). I am no longer part of the problem. Thanks to the Almighty, I am no longer sleepwalking through life.

I pray that one day my apology will be accepted. I also pray that your suffering, caused by gang violence, will soon come to an end as more gang members wake up and stop hurting themselves and others.

I vow to spend the rest of my life working toward solutions.

It's not as simple as him saying, "I'm a changed man," either; his actions are speaking for him.

Killing him for killing others--even though he maintained that he was not guilty of the four murders throughout his life and in his death*--is in no way justice and may be seen as revenge and retribution. It is punishment in black and white, not rehabilitation.

*note that he did not maintain that he was innocent of crime. He acknowledged his wrongs, and again I quote from the written apology:

Twenty-five years ago when I created the Crips youth gang with Raymond Lee Washington in South Central Los Angeles, I never imagined Crips membership would one day spread throughout California, would spread to much of the rest of the nation and to cities in South Africa, where Crips copycat gangs have formed. I also didn't expect the Crips to end up ruining the lives of so many young people, especially young black men who have hurt other young black men...

...As a contribution to the struggle to end child-on-child brutality and black-on-black brutality, I have written the Tookie Speaks Out Against Gang Violence children's book series. My goal is to reach as many young minds as possible to warn you about the perils of a gang lifestyle.

"An eye for an eye" is, in my opinion, not an acceptable method of justice. Indeed, Williams' efforts to work towards peace and justice in the world were cut short by this misguided principle. Here is another quote from Williams' protocol for peace, which he wrote in an effort to reduce gang violence by peaceful reconciliation between warring gangs:

There are many reasons why warring factions should avoid this cycle of violence and retaliation, of lextalionis (eye for an eye): innocents are injured or killed, and the psychic and social scars on adults and children are handed down to next generations

I feel I should emphasize, to avoid the quote being misinterpreted in the context which I have presented it, that Williams is not speaking out for a stay of execution for himself in the above quote. It should also be noted that the Petition for Executive Clemency On behalf of Stanley Tookie Williams is not a letter that was written by Williams to Arnold Schwarzenegger saying, "I'm a changed man." The petition is a long document written by a third party. Attached to it are several quotes from pieces of mail that Williams received--not only from youth, but from teachers, prison workers, parents, and military officers.

Qualholm, you are correct in saying that "I'm a changed man," doesn't fix loss of life. Yet, Williams did much more than say, "I'm a changed man;" hell, I don't know if he ever even said that (do you?). What is obvious to me, though, is that he touched the lives of many people and changed them in a postive fashion. Executing him not only robbed an individual of his life, it also struck down a figure of redmeption and hope for many young people living hellish lives.
 

wil

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Nice post Pathless, eloquently spoke...
Originally Posted by Quahom1
So, You are asking is there a time for a death penalty? And is it worth it? I think it should be left on the books as an option.
I'm always wondering what part of forgiveness people don't understand.

Of course it takes a while to 'get it' a friend whose sister was murdered by a nephew... if she was able to learn forgiveness....surely I can.
 

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We have to ask if there is any purpose behind capital punishment. If it does not deter other people from crime then what is the purpose? Why?
 

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I am free said:
We have to ask if there is any purpose behind capital punishment. If it does not deter other people from crime then what is the purpose? Why?

Well, on the plus side, it has a 100% success rate in preventing recidivism.
 

wil

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Well, on the plus side, it has a 100% success rate in preventing recidivism.
I remember when that was my regular response..

But the fact is we continue to kill people that were innocent of the crime. I just heard Texas has destroyed all the DNA on past executions trying to eliminate future lawasuits for the above.

Capitol Punishment pure and simple is revenge and retribution. Life imprisonment is punishment, and successful in preventing recidivism...

There was a Senator from Nevada that proposed a bill that any prisoner that killed another prisoner should get a month off for good behaviour for saving the country money....I remember when I agreed with that as well.
 

Quahom1

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wil said:
I remember when that was my regular response..

But the fact is we continue to kill people that were innocent of the crime. I just heard Texas has destroyed all the DNA on past executions trying to eliminate future lawasuits for the above.

Capitol Punishment pure and simple is revenge and retribution. Life imprisonment is punishment, and successful in preventing recidivism...

There was a Senator from Nevada that proposed a bill that any prisoner that killed another prisoner should get a month off for good behaviour for saving the country money....I remember when I agreed with that as well.

Capital punishment is scriptural. And the reasons for such were sound. Still are.

What must be insured is the guilt of the "offender". That has been ramrodded in the past.

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iBrian

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wil said:
Capitol Punishment pure and simple is revenge and retribution.

Isn't retribution much cheaper in itself, though? ;)

I'm sure I read recently that capital punishment for criminal convictions was only introduced in the 1970's. Was very surprised by that. The impression is given of a far more established tradition in America.
 

wil

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I'm sure I read recently that capital punishment for criminal convictions was only introduced in the 1970's. Was very surprised by that. The impression is given of a far more established tradition in America.
Don't know where that came from, we been hangin'em or firing squad for a while...electrocution and now the needle are relatively new...both of which as they were introduced were deemed to nice by those that say it isn't vengence.....

Our original country didn't have jails except to house people until the judge got to town, the sentence was either monetary, enslavement/indentured servant, some time at the pillary or stockade for public abuse and amusement, banishment, or death....death was an option from the beginning...and fairly swift back then.
 

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Quahom1 said:
Capital punishment is scriptural. And the reasons for such were sound. Still are.

I'm not sure what you're getting at here. If your point is that because capital punishment is scriptural, it makes a sound law, I disagree. This may not be the point you are trying to make; but I'm not sure what else you could be getting at with this short comment.

The founders of the United States of America were explict about separating church and state. Laws in this country are not based on scripture. Arguing for capital punishment because it is scriptural is ridiculous. One might as well argue that every male should be compulsorily circumcised under American law because it is Biblical law.
 

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brucegdc said:
Well, on the plus side, it has a 100% success rate in preventing recidivism.

I am sorry I dont understand. Are you saying that if a person is put to death he cannot go back to a life of crime? Wouldn't life imprisonment ensure that?
 

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Pathless said:
I'm not sure what you're getting at here. If your point is that because capital punishment is scriptural, it makes a sound law, I disagree. This may not be the point you are trying to make; but I'm not sure what else you could be getting at with this short comment.

The founders of the United States of America were explict about separating church and state. Laws in this country are not based on scripture. Arguing for capital punishment because it is scriptural is ridiculous. One might as well argue that every male should be compulsorily circumcised under American law because it is Biblical law.

The founders of the United States were explicit in ensuring church was not subjugated by state. That is all. Thomas Jefferson, in his letter to the AniBaptists of New England is the only place where church being seperated from state was ever mentioned...and that was a private letter, and he was assuring the folks up north that the state would not subject them or anyone else to a state run religion...

There is nothing in the Constitution, the Declaration or the Articles that mention anything about the seperation of church and state.

The founding Laws in this country are founded on scripture, always have been.

And Captital punishment is scriptural, and counts today as much as it did 2000 years ago.

Just because others decide to interpret otherwise doesn't change facts.

Asked if the death penalty is viable in this country, 65% say yes. Ask between the choice of death penalty or life in prison without parole 56% still say death is proper.

These are facts, not my opinion.

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Hi Y'all,

In looking around for a diversion during a bout of insomnia, I found this conversation. I read all the way back through the thread, and decided to bite.

I do believe that justice exists as a very real thing. I do not wish it for myself--of this I am certain, and I am not just referring to this "life" or "realm" or "dimension" or whatever one chooses to call where we are right now. No, what I desperately desire is mercy. I also believe that if I desire this for myself and do not desire it for others, then I am a hypocrite.

That said, I am acutely aware that we imperfect beings frequently fall short of being able to truly implement mercy. Why? It isn't practical. We don't know how to make it work (sometimes I think we do not want to). It would be difficult, and it would mean rethinking and restructuring systems that have been in place for ages. Politicians would not get any votes if they proposed many of the solutions, and existing government officials would see their approval ratings dwindle to zero. Social workers might be able to see some solutions and even have some success, but alas, they have no power to do so without the approval of these same governmental entities.

I can't help wondering about the pros and cons (no pun intended:)) of perhaps, instead of spilling more blood, institutionalizing hopelessly unremorseful criminals in order to study their psychological states? I don't mean putting them up in the Holiday Inn, either, but in the highest security setting with a strict work regime for life. I have always thought that serial killers, rapists, mass murderers, etc., must be mentally ill in some way. But I might be wrong about that--I have a dear friend who says I am. He says that some people are just plain evil. Perhaps he is right, but to me, that simply means "spiritually ill". LOL-now, I am not suggesting that the state pay for exorcisms in prisons or anything like that, but certainly spiritual advisors would be welcome at their own expense, just as they are now in U.S. and many other prison systems. I am sure that there is probably something along these lines already in place, but maybe not to the extent that it yields enough results to possibly help society in the prevention of these sort of crimes. I know it may sound crazy, but I still wonder about stuff like this. Would it really cost any more than some of the ways we already operate, and would the long-run benefits outweigh the costs? And then, what about the risk of large numbers of escapees in the event of natural or manmade disasters?

I also think that it would be extremely helpful if our prison systems were not corrupted. How can we rehabilitate anyone or learn anything if prison officials are in cahoots with self-serving government officials, or when our prison guards have no higher morals than the prisoners they are there to guard? (Please, I am not saying that this is always true, or even mostly true, but we all know it happens way too often.)

I honestly don't know if any good thing came out of the execution of Williams--I really doubt it. If he had lived, he could have continued his crusade to undo a lot of damage he did way back then. However, I do not think that any prisoner should be allowed to make book deals or give interviews or even run a website or magazine for personal gain while they are incarcerated. I believe they should be allowed to publish, but with proceeds going to charity after the publisher gets paid--and the publishing fees should be public record and subject to monitoring and certain restrictions. I believe this should be true for everyone from Williams to Stewart to Manson. Maybe it already is, but I don't think so.

Now then, I am compelled to add that no one I love dearly and know personally has ever been murdered. I have, however, lost loved ones because they "fell through the cracks" of a greedy society. The two situations may not seem much alike, but they may have more similarities than we realize. You know what I wish? I wish that the people responsible for this death could feel what I felt--maybe what my loved one felt. But I don't wish them to die. I just wish they understood the suffering caused by their indifference or their actions. Who knows, though, how I would really feel if someone brutally murdered one of my children. I guess we do not know things like this until it happens, and I hope I never find out.

InPeace,
InLove
 

wil

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Originally Posted by Quahom1
Capital punishment is scriptural. And the reasons for such were sound. Still are.

Also scriptual....judge not less ye be judged....ye without sin cast the first stone....love your enemy as yourself....forgive 7x70...take the log out of...

always so nice to pick and choose...
 

Quahom1

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wil said:
Also scriptual....judge not less ye be judged....ye without sin cast the first stone....love your enemy as yourself....forgive 7x70...take the log out of...

always so nice to pick and choose...

Not picking or choosing anything. "To everything there is a season...and a time for every purpose, under heaven..."

One must accept it all.

Mr. Williams's days were numbered (as are all of ours), and he chose to make the best of the days he had left, for the good of others. He is to be commended and blessed for that. But he had a price to pay for his indiscretions a long time ago, when he didn't care for others.

Joshua, forgave those who asked him to, for their indiscretions, but still had them put to death as per God's command. That was the law. Today, we have law. Law is no good, if we ignore it.

If law is unjust, then there are means for changing it. However the majority must be convinced, before change can take place. Just because a few say something is wrong doesn't always make it so.

v/r

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wil

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Not picking or choosing anything. "To everything there is a season...and a time for every purpose, under heaven..." One must accept it all.
enlightening, so as the Christian Forum Moderator you are saying...that we ignore Jesus's statements of
...judge not less ye be judged....ye without sin cast the first stone....love your enemy as yourself....forgive 7x70...take the log out of...
hard to get through the eye of the needle if we are insisting on carrying all the old baggage with us..
 

Quahom1

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wil said:
enlightening, so as the Christian Forum Moderator you are saying...that we ignore Jesus's statements of hard to get through the eye of the needle if we are insisting on carrying all the old baggage with us..

My status has nothing to do with scripture. The Old testament is still in effect. Jesus taught Mercy where Justice is deserved, but did not say get rid of justice.

That is a cheap shot by the way...

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