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View Diary: The Progressive Moral Case for the Death Penalty (142 comments)

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  •  speak for your own damn self (11+ / 0-)
    When a human being is utterly broken and a proven man eater, it should be destroyed.   We don't think twice about this concept with chimps and lions and pit bulls and other similar cases when a face is torn off or a child mauled.
    the hell "we" don't.

    speaking of sophisms,

    OK you say, the moral case makes sense, but in the real world in which we live, the death penalty cannot be enforced in a moral way.   Mistakes are made, the expenses of maintaining the sanction cost more than the costs of housing the prisoners for life, and the penalty falls in unequal ways on unequal classes of person.   That is the essence of this diary.

    To that I say:  you are substantively correct.   But the moral choice is not to abolish the penalty, but to drive to perfect it's use and lower its cost.

    and how many innocent people will be put to death in the meantime?  how many millions wasted while this all gets sorted?  if you truly believe the former, proposing the latter is absurd.
    Having only a single procedure and apparatus, all by itself, solves innumerable problems of inequality and maladministration.  If a state wants to execute a prisoner, that prisoner should be remanded to the federal justice system straight away.
    could you drop the plunger yourself?  would you carry out the government's order to commit cold-blooded murder?

    no?  then you really don't support the death penalty.

    income inequality creates crime, so therefore, punishing criminals is automatically unequal, and thus immoral.   So why stop with the death penalty?    The same argument holds for everything from traffic stops to grand theft.    Brown people suffer more on every level in our society.    Do we work on improving that, or do we cease to apply sanctions on everyone to avoid over- sanctioning disadvantaged groups?  

    now this is where your solution to make improvements makes sense, because yes, you are right that the inequity needs to be addressed at all levels.

    but death is permanent, yo.  at least someone railroaded into prison on a trumped-up case can get out someday.  unless the law and our system is guaranteed 100% corruption- and flaw-free, the death penalty is wrong.

    the massive amount of money spent running the current system costs more than imprisoning for life, and those  are “precocious dollars” that could otherwise help the poor.   So if the administration could be streamlined and less costly than life without parole,  the death penalty is then better for the poor?
    this is just patent nonsense.  study after study after study has indicated that death penalty cases cost way, way more than life sentences.  the appeals are pushed to the very last, at great expense to the state/courts.
    the death penalty is pursued for atavistic reasons  “out of a need to indulge our most barbarian instincts of revenge and anger” and is thus irrational, IOW immoral.   So likewise, is any argument for the sanctity or specialness of human life invalid because of a need to indulge our religious or metaphysical instincts?
    if i could suss what your point was here, i'd smack it down, too.
    Conservatives love strident anti-death penalty positioning.  They love it because they know progressives are by and large on the wrong side of the argument to great numbers of Americans.  We should not be on the wrong side in the first place, and we should seek to avoid giving the other side that potent example – that mirror image really- of intellectual hoop jumping in support of a desired ideological outcome.
    LOL

    opponents of the death penalty are not on the wrong side of this one, and history will vindicate that.

    Please don't dominate the rap, Jack, if you got nothin' new to say - Grateful Dead

    by Cedwyn on Sun Jan 06, 2013 at 09:53:14 AM PST

    •  you smacked nothing (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      OffTheHill

      and misused the definition of murder.

      Out of my cold dead hands

      by bluelaser2 on Sun Jan 06, 2013 at 10:51:25 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  LOL (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        lyvwyr101, mythatsme

        okay, technically murder is "unlawful" killing, but really...the solution to murder is more killing?

        and are "murder" and "killing" really so different in spirit in the context of capital punishment?  is one any more the cold-blooded taking of a life than the other?

        and really, seriously:  could you do the deed yourself?

        Please don't dominate the rap, Jack, if you got nothin' new to say - Grateful Dead

        by Cedwyn on Sun Jan 06, 2013 at 11:44:48 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  duty (0+ / 0-)

          I would not seek, nor in any way enjoy doing the job, but like any other dirty job, someone has to do it, so I guess I could.  

          that's a pretty big technicality.

          Out of my cold dead hands

          by bluelaser2 on Sun Jan 06, 2013 at 01:06:54 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  really? you could take a life in cold blood? (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            lyvwyr101

            what if the state got it wrong and the person is later exonerated?  could you live with that?

            Please don't dominate the rap, Jack, if you got nothin' new to say - Grateful Dead

            by Cedwyn on Sun Jan 06, 2013 at 01:21:20 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  if the system were correct (0+ / 0-)

              the chances would be vanishingly low.

              surgeons kill people by mistake every day.  they keep going anyway....

              Out of my cold dead hands

              by bluelaser2 on Sun Jan 06, 2013 at 01:44:16 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  How do you support that claim? (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                lyvwyr101

                "Vanishingly low"? Based on what reasoning? Because you certainly haven't provided anything other than a vague promise to "drive" towards perfection. And that's a fairly empty promise when, as has been revealed in numerous comments so far, you don't even seem to understand the system as it exists. Which is true, at least, if you seriously think that apply the death penalty only in really bad cases is a substantive reform proposal.

                •  can you read? (0+ / 0-)

                  substantive reform proposal:

                  - federalize all capital cases and remove capital cases from the states

                  - narrow the standing rules for those cases to fitting cases

                  - create a trained and more efficient process to handle the cases  

                  result: lower cost, removed incentives toward local perversion of justice= vanishingly small screw-ups

                  Out of my cold dead hands

                  by bluelaser2 on Sun Jan 06, 2013 at 03:34:55 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Really? Beacuse the feds never make mistakes and (0+ / 0-)

                    you still have good old Anton Scalia on the SC with his lovely ruling that proof of innocence is not cause enough to overturn a death penalty conviction...not even to afford the accused a new trial. Based on actual innocence! What's your "Federal" solution for that?

                    "On this train, dreams will not be thwarted, on this train faith will be rewarded" The Boss

                    by mindara on Sun Jan 06, 2013 at 03:55:42 PM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  so "no proposal" (0+ / 0-)

                      becomes, "your proposal sucks"

                      progress !

                      Out of my cold dead hands

                      by bluelaser2 on Sun Jan 06, 2013 at 05:54:32 PM PST

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  "Create a more efficient process" isn't a proposal (1+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        mindara

                        Neither is "narrow the standing rules." Those are statements of intents. Describe what your actual proposals are, and there might be a discussion to be had here. How will your narrow the standing rules in such a way that is different from the status quo? What will you do to improve efficiency? You can't just will an outcome into existence.

                      •  Way to avoid the Supreme Court question I posed... (0+ / 0-)

                        The feds are human too...they make mistakes and the SC is the last option for those who have been wrongly convicted and their current stance that actual proof of innocence is not enough to overturn a death penalty conviction is something that cannot be ignored if you are going to defend and advocate for the death penalty. Do you not get the fact that INNOCENT people have been executed?? And as long as human beings are involved in the process of investigating and prosecuting other human beings mistakes will be made. How anyone can find that is an acceptable risk when it comes to taking the life of another human being is beyond me.

                        "On this train, dreams will not be thwarted, on this train faith will be rewarded" The Boss

                        by mindara on Sun Jan 06, 2013 at 09:57:00 PM PST

                        [ Parent ]

      •  Homicide is homicide, plain and simple. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Cedwyn

        The manner of death on the death certificate of a person executed by the state or the Federal gov't is Homicide, the same manner of death that is on my 12 year old cousin's death certificate. Homicide by definition is murder. And when you try to justify your positiion "morally" by basing it on flawed (very, very flawed) economic reasons, maybe you also need to understand what "morality" means as well.

        "On this train, dreams will not be thwarted, on this train faith will be rewarded" The Boss

        by mindara on Sun Jan 06, 2013 at 03:51:45 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  humanity will expire (0+ / 0-)

      before capital punishment will

      Out of my cold dead hands

      by bluelaser2 on Sun Jan 06, 2013 at 11:00:41 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

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