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View Diary: Meet The Worst Serial Killer in US History (40 comments)

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  •  Yeah, he was one crazy Albanian. (1+ / 0-)
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    Aramis Wyler

    Maybe not worse that Enver Hoxha or Koci Xoce, though.

    Anyhoo, the two obvious rejoinders to your ingenious formulation are (a) plenty of things are wrong for individuals to do but not for government, starting with punishing people at all, and (b) if the government removed the avenues to executing people about whom there's a non-fantastical change that they're innocent, would you be OK with capital punishment?  Because that's quite easy to do.  Capital punishment of the guilty is murder like imprisonment of the guilty is kidnapping.  It may be wrong, or not worth the trouble, for other reasons but that can't be one of them.

    You know, I sometimes think if I could see, I'd be kicking a lot of ass. -Stevie Wonder at the Glastonbury Festival, 2010

    by Rich in PA on Sat Sep 28, 2013 at 08:22:56 AM PDT

    •  BTW, the two best arguments against CP (0+ / 0-)

      ...in my opinion, are  (1) to give it the procedural and substantive safeguards it deserves as irrevocable punishment simply makes it too expensive and cumbersome, i.e. a purely pragmatic argument, and (2) we should eliminate it as an explicit act of grace, i.e. to show that we're better than that.  That second one is different, in its moral/political appeal (which is what counts when you're fighting against an entrenched reality), than what I am accustomed to seeing, e.g. in this diary, which is that CP's existence is evil and we need to stop it in order to stop doing evil.  It's unnecessarily hard to win a moral/political campaign that puts all of the evil on government and citizens, and none on the criminal.

      You know, I sometimes think if I could see, I'd be kicking a lot of ass. -Stevie Wonder at the Glastonbury Festival, 2010

      by Rich in PA on Sat Sep 28, 2013 at 08:28:59 AM PDT

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      •  "We're above that" portrays common decency (0+ / 0-)

        and reason as some kind of heroic mercy.  I agree that it would be heroic for a victim's family to let go of vengeance, but not for a state otherwise acting cold-bloodedly just to slake public bloodlust.

        Always apart, always asking Why.

        by Troubadour on Sat Sep 28, 2013 at 09:57:22 AM PDT

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        •  Do you want to eliminate the death penalty... (0+ / 0-)

          ...or force society to admit some wider failing?  If eliminating the death penalty were super-important to me (and it's not), I'd probably cast my argument in the way that was most likely to achieve the goal, rather than worrying about some wider expiatory agenda.

          You know, I sometimes think if I could see, I'd be kicking a lot of ass. -Stevie Wonder at the Glastonbury Festival, 2010

          by Rich in PA on Sat Sep 28, 2013 at 10:09:03 AM PDT

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          •  I want to go to the heart of the matter. (0+ / 0-)

            Because a lot more than capital punishment can be solved by understanding that the state is not entitled to do things that human decency forbids individuals from doing.  Self-defense is the only justification for killing, whether on the scale of nations or the scale of relations between a state and its citizens.

            Always apart, always asking Why.

            by Troubadour on Sat Sep 28, 2013 at 10:17:40 AM PDT

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            •  That will delay the elimination of CP, though. (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Troubadour

              Typically I'm sympathetic to the idea that it's better so seek systemic solutions rather than anecdotal ones, but in this case the anecdotal one (if you will) is of unique significance so I'd be inclined to ditch the systemic approach.  In other words, if asking people to change their whole moral orientation delays or makes more difficult the elimination of CP compared to a purely pragmatic appeal, I think it's a moral imperative to go with the latter because everything is secondary to the state killing people.  Of course, this is mostly an exercise in empathy for me because I'm not totally put off by the state killing people, but I'm doing my best to offer genuine advice...and I think people more or less like me are the target audience for anti-CP appeals.  People to my Left are anti-CP already, and people substantially to my Right will never lose their bloodlust.  I'm the swing group here.

              You know, I sometimes think if I could see, I'd be kicking a lot of ass. -Stevie Wonder at the Glastonbury Festival, 2010

              by Rich in PA on Sat Sep 28, 2013 at 10:30:11 AM PDT

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              •  An argument rooted in pragmatism (0+ / 0-)

                goes out the window every time some heinous new crime is committed by someone with no shred of humanity.  There has to be a moral critical mass for consensus to crystallize on a robust basis.

                If you look at the stats on public opinion in Europe, they're not actually that different from here.  Anywhere from a third to a half of people in European countries with no death penalty support reestablishing one, but there is moral consensus among the people who reflect on issues and make decisions.

                Always apart, always asking Why.

                by Troubadour on Sat Sep 28, 2013 at 10:38:54 AM PDT

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    •  Only if you see prison as revenge (0+ / 0-)

      rather than (a)protecting the public and (b)rehabilitation.  If you see prison as revenge and treat it as such, then the hypocrisy of that is evident too since no one involved in a false conviction is prosecuted when an innocent is sent to jail and then vindicated.

      Always apart, always asking Why.

      by Troubadour on Sat Sep 28, 2013 at 09:55:35 AM PDT

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