Jump to content
Join the Unexplained Mysteries community today! It's free and setting up an account only takes a moment.
- Sign In or Create Account -

Why the death penalty is incompatible with democracy


Still Waters

Recommended Posts

Quote

In the Athens of 399BC, a public assembly voted to put one of the city’s outstanding citizens to death: Socrates, one of the fathers of western philosophy. They convicted Socrates on trumped-up political charges, yet he accepted this sentence because it was democratically adopted by a majority of his fellow citizens.

Today’s democracies were designed precisely to avoid such miscarriages. Although many of them still imposed the death penalty until relatively recently, modern constitutions included special judicial protections for these criminal defendants. The aim was to avoid an Athenian-style death by majority rule, and in the third decade of the 21st century, the argument of the abolition of the death penalty has widely triumphed.

Yet one of the horrors with which we begin the year 2024 is the death of Kenneth Eugene Smith.

https://theconversation.com/why-the-death-penalty-is-incompatible-with-democracy-222023

  • Like 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

 

I can argue the whole death penalty issue from both sides.  Personally I am equivocal on the issue.  For the sake of the forum I'm going to argue pro-death penalty within a democratic system.

For a start, to compare Kenneth Smith to Socrates is grossly unfair.  Socrates was an anti-democratic agitator and homosexual lover of one of the worst political opportunists Athens had ever known, namely Alcibiades.  Kenneth Smith was just someone who agreed to kill a woman in Alabama for money.  The fate of a city didn't hang on the influence of Kenneth Smith over its most prominent citizens.

The fundamental opinion of Socrates about Democracy was that the will of the people would always gravitate to the most stupid answer, which was why an autocrat would always win.  History has proven Socrates wrong more than he was right however.  Once tried, fully democratic systems, rather than the random system used in Athens to invoke the "will of the gods", have proven quite robust.

As to the issue of the death penalty.  When a body has a tumor, a doctor removes it.  When a society has a truly malignant member who has done something unspeakable, so to, it seems wise to remove them.  One doesn't think twice about shooting a rabid dog, but humans who run amok in public and survive like school shooters are allowed to spend life in jail at public expense; often with a chance of parole.  

It seems to me that if a crime of violence is committed, where the evidence is clear and the accused is unequivocally guilty (such as multiple witnesses, film, physical evidence etc all pointing in one direction), and the crime involves torture, more than one murder, or the deliberate killing or torture of a minor, that the death penalty should be applied.  A society needs to protect itself from the mad dogs in its midst, and if they are left at their liberty, they simply offend again, and offending once was far too much for society to tolerate.  

  • Like 4
  • Thanks 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 1/26/2024 at 3:35 PM, Alchopwn said:

I can argue the whole death penalty issue from both sides.  Personally I am equivocal on the issue.  For the sake of the forum I'm going to argue pro-death penalty within a democratic system.

For a start, to compare Kenneth Smith to Socrates is grossly unfair.  Socrates was an anti-democratic agitator and homosexual lover of one of the worst political opportunists Athens had ever known, namely Alcibiades.  Kenneth Smith was just someone who agreed to kill a woman in Alabama for money.  The fate of a city didn't hang on the influence of Kenneth Smith over its most prominent citizens.

The fundamental opinion of Socrates about Democracy was that the will of the people would always gravitate to the most stupid answer, which was why an autocrat would always win.  History has proven Socrates wrong more than he was right however.  Once tried, fully democratic systems, rather than the random system used in Athens to invoke the "will of the gods", have proven quite robust.

As to the issue of the death penalty.  When a body has a tumor, a doctor removes it.  When a society has a truly malignant member who has done something unspeakable, so to, it seems wise to remove them.  One doesn't think twice about shooting a rabid dog, but humans who run amok in public and survive like school shooters are allowed to spend life in jail at public expense; often with a chance of parole.  

It seems to me that if a crime of violence is committed, where the evidence is clear and the accused is unequivocally guilty (such as multiple witnesses, film, physical evidence etc all pointing in one direction), and the crime involves torture, more than one murder, or the deliberate killing or torture of a minor, that the death penalty should be applied.  A society needs to protect itself from the mad dogs in its midst, and if they are left at their liberty, they simply offend again, and offending once was far too much for society to tolerate.  

I like your stance, but I would go further. All crims on a sentence of 5 years or longer should get the bullet. The reason is, its not fair for the tax payer to fund the scum being locked up.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...
On 1/30/2024 at 10:06 AM, Electric Scooter said:

I like your stance, but I would go further. All crims on a sentence of 5 years or longer should get the bullet. The reason is, its not fair for the tax payer to fund the scum being locked up.

I think your position is too severe.  The fact is, most jails are businesses these days and if you want to talk about American success stories, we lead the world in free market prisons.  I also think we should totally decriminalize recreational drugs, with the only penalty being for driving under the influence of them.  Now consider how many people in jail for stupid drug laws who have sentences over 5 years...  I do think selling drugs of addiction to minors, including tobacco and alcohol, should be a crime, but mainly I think adults who want to dose themselves on something should have that option in a free market, and it is only between themselves, their seller, and their doctor, but NOT the state.  That would cut prison populations by 70% permanently, meaning that the public can now afford to incarcerate people.  

We must also remember that the death penalty has a LOOOOONG and EXPENSIVE  appeals system.  The facts and stats are in and it actually costs less to incarcerate most people than to kill them.  Thus I'd only want to kill the sort of offenders who have done something notably awful, and for whom there is very little room for doubt about their guilt.

  • Thanks 4
Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 1/29/2024 at 6:06 PM, Electric Scooter said:

I like your stance, but I would go further. All crims on a sentence of 5 years or longer should get the bullet. The reason is, its not fair for the tax payer to fund the scum being locked up.

Most prisons are "for profit" now. 

  • Like 4
  • Thanks 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...
On 2/7/2024 at 3:42 AM, Piney said:

Most prisons are "for profit" now. 

Hi Piney

That is why I have always called justice an industry.

  • Thanks 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

8 minutes ago, jmccr8 said:

Hi Piney

That is why I have always called justice an industry.

Out of likes.

👍

  • Like 2
  • Thanks 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

13 hours ago, jmccr8 said:

Hi Piney

That is why I have always called justice an industry.

To be fair, it wasn't always an industry, but it is now.  I have a lot of trouble with the idea of for-profit jail systems, that benefit from slave prison labor, and have a strong commercial incentive to keep prisoners in jail.  There is too much room for systemic abuse and corruption, and nowhere near enough oversight.  Perhaps this is okay for lifers who have next to no chance of parole, but the chances of a corrupt company fabricating evidence or reports to keep someone inside is too high.

  • Like 2
  • Thanks 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

29 minutes ago, Alchopwn said:

To be fair, it wasn't always an industry, but it is now.  I have a lot of trouble with the idea of for-profit jail systems, that benefit from slave prison labor, and have a strong commercial incentive to keep prisoners in jail.  There is too much room for systemic abuse and corruption, and nowhere near enough oversight.  Perhaps this is okay for lifers who have next to no chance of parole, but the chances of a corrupt company fabricating evidence or reports to keep someone inside is too high.

I love how Starbucks uses cups made in prison factories and pretends to be caring liberals. 

Then there's McDonald's....well consider the source.

  • Thanks 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

38 minutes ago, Alchopwn said:

To be fair, it wasn't always an industry, but it is now.  I have a lot of trouble with the idea of for-profit jail systems, that benefit from slave prison labor, and have a strong commercial incentive to keep prisoners in jail.  There is too much room for systemic abuse and corruption, and nowhere near enough oversight.  Perhaps this is okay for lifers who have next to no chance of parole, but the chances of a corrupt company fabricating evidence or reports to keep someone inside is too high.

Hi Al

I remember when some things were different but in my country prisons are not private enterprise like they are in the states but justice is very much an industry and lawyers will barter this win for that loss and cops offer deals wheeling and dealing this guy for your sins. I have had my share of dealing with both cops and courts and have had them try to leverage, intimidate and threaten me but just took my lumps and did my time. I changed my life a long time ago got rid of everyone I know just got up and left not telling anyone that I was going to or where I was going. I don't associate with anyone since and haven't spoken to anyone from my past as I came here to be a grampa which is what my life is now. I have know cops, judges, lawyers and procecuters that did drugs and who their dealers were not to mention other social sins that I had nothing but cintempt for as I watched them passing judgement on others that were doing the same thing. 

  • Like 4
Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 1/26/2024 at 3:11 PM, Still Waters said:

I think differently.

Sometimes society needs to exact violence against one of its members, it helps clear the air for them. But I do think the rule of law should come first to prevent random votes to execute people with no valid reason.

I think all serious offenders should be put through an automatic appeal and have a psychological assessment done. If they fail both let the family and friends of the victim have first shout. If they don`t want it hand the offender over to the mob.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Maybe if our country promotes the death penalty, the people would stop the killings  and they would be afraid to kill :(  

Link to comment
Share on other sites

 
12 hours ago, jmccr8 said:

Hi Al

I remember when some things were different but in my country prisons are not private enterprise like they are in the states but justice is very much an industry and lawyers will barter this win for that loss and cops offer deals wheeling and dealing this guy for your sins. I have had my share of dealing with both cops and courts and have had them try to leverage, intimidate and threaten me but just took my lumps and did my time. I changed my life a long time ago got rid of everyone I know just got up and left not telling anyone that I was going to or where I was going. I don't associate with anyone since and haven't spoken to anyone from my past as I came here to be a grampa which is what my life is now. I have know cops, judges, lawyers and procecuters that did drugs and who their dealers were not to mention other social sins that I had nothing but cintempt for as I watched them passing judgement on others that were doing the same thing. 

LOL, just make sure the Judges don't hear about your contempt for the system JMCCR8, that's a crime apparently.

In terms of cops, the main thing is to get your lawyer into the picture ASAP and refuse to say anything otherwise.  Cops will use dirty tricks on even innocent people to try to get them to admit to things.  Now, unless you are the one bringing charges, you don't really want to have much to do with the legal system.  As for people in law enforcement using recreational drugs, well that is just symptomatic of how stupid those laws are.  The USA in the 1920s introduced Prohibition of Alcohol, and the Prohibition of Drugs kicked in soon after.  They are both stupid laws.  We The People got rid of the stupid Constitutional Amendment regarding alcohol, and now we have to get rid of the stupid law regarding recreational drugs. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

2 hours ago, Alchopwn said:

LOL, just make sure the Judges don't hear about your contempt for the system JMCCR8, that's a crime apparently.

In terms of cops, the main thing is to get your lawyer into the picture ASAP and refuse to say anything otherwise.  Cops will use dirty tricks on even innocent people to try to get them to admit to things.  Now, unless you are the one bringing charges, you don't really want to have much to do with the legal system.  As for people in law enforcement using recreational drugs, well that is just symptomatic of how stupid those laws are.  The USA in the 1920s introduced Prohibition of Alcohol, and the Prohibition of Drugs kicked in soon after.  They are both stupid laws.  We The People got rid of the stupid Constitutional Amendment regarding alcohol, and now we have to get rid of the stupid law regarding recreational drugs. 

Hi Al

I don't have contempt with the system just with those individuals that don't live up to the standard of the law. I know a lot of decent men and women that hold positions in the justice system and hold respect for them. The others are like alcoholics telling a drunk to sober up and think their sh!t don't stink, it does.

I pay to have a justice system and have never had issue with them doing their job arresting, procecuting or judging me that is what I pay them to do and have an expectation that they live up to the law that they charge, prosecute, and judge me by end of story.

Edited to add

Won't ever have that problem now pot is legal and I can grow my own.

I am a grampa living in a different city the only times I see cops is the ones on foot or bike patrol that wave, give a nod or smile when we pass. Back home it was because I knew so many people from every walk of life and knew things about all of them, and some brought their problems to my doorstep. I died as far as anyone knows back home and I am good with that as it was the plan.

 

Edited by jmccr8
  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 1/29/2024 at 3:06 PM, Electric Scooter said:

I like your stance, but I would go further. All crims on a sentence of 5 years or longer should get the bullet. The reason is, its not fair for the tax payer to fund the scum being locked up.

What if trump is sentenced to 5 years for one of his multiple crims?    https://www.forbes.com/sites/alisondurkee/2023/08/16/trumps-total-charges-could-result-in-more-than-700-years-in-prison/?sh=440f8e364e96#:~:text=Trump could spend more than,counts)%2C five years for false

   “Trump could spend more than 70 years in prison if he were convicted on all counts, based on maximum sentences of 20 years for racketeering, three years for solicitation (three counts), 2.5 years for conspiracy to impersonate a public officer, 7.5 years for forgery conspiracy (two counts), five years for false statements (two counts), 2.5 years for conspiracy to commit false statements (two counts), 10 years for filing false documents and five years for conspiracy to file false documents.”

Edited by lightly
  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

As much as some people need executing, if one innocent person is put to death then it is worse than bad. People get set up by law enforcement all the time and what if it's your innocent child or mother sent to the gallows? If you look at the places and people that still condone capital punishment it says it all. 

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

9 hours ago, lightly said:

What if trump is sentenced to 5 years for one of his multiple crims?    https://www.forbes.com/sites/alisondurkee/2023/08/16/trumps-total-charges-could-result-in-more-than-700-years-in-prison/?sh=440f8e364e96#:~:text=Trump could spend more than,counts)%2C five years for false

   “Trump could spend more than 70 years in prison if he were convicted on all counts, based on maximum sentences of 20 years for racketeering, three years for solicitation (three counts), 2.5 years for conspiracy to impersonate a public officer, 7.5 years for forgery conspiracy (two counts), five years for false statements (two counts), 2.5 years for conspiracy to commit false statements (two counts), 10 years for filing false documents and five years for conspiracy to file false documents.”

But instead he will do no time and hold the world's highest position, says a lot for humanity. :no:

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.