Forum Thread

Humane Death Penalty

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  • Democrat
    Illinois
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    Why do states continue to stew over lethal injection? Are they still into some kind of cruel punishment, but can't decide how? Or, are they so narrow minded they won't consider alternatives? Or, does making it easy reduce the seriousness of the occasion? I don't agree with the death penalty, but there is a humane way to do it. Inert Gas Hypoxia (look it up on Wikipedia). Thirty seconds in a nitrogen chamber and it's all over with few side effects.
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    Yes, that sounds like a good alternative. Also, the old fashioned rope (for hanging) is very cheap, easy & effective. None of us like to think of this (the death penalty), but I guess it is one way to deal with massive crimes going on every day in modern society. With all the guns around, there is going to be lots more gun violence, and you just can't keep millions of murderers around in little cages, like a human zoo. The cost of all their food, +laundry, haircuts, & lawyer fees would feed at least a couple of medium-size countries. How can we (bankrupt from all these useless wars) ever afford it?
  • Liberal Democrat
    Democrat
    Colorado Springs, CO
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    This thread raises some additional questions:

    Death Penalty Information Center: Time on Death Row

    When the constitution was written, the time between sentencing and execution could be measured in days or weeks. The average time for a death row inmate has increased over the years. By 1984 it was 6 years from initial sentencing to execution. In 2012 the number had risen to 16 years. Most of this increase is driven by mandatory sentencing reviews that have become the norm, and continual changes in laws and technology that have necessitated reexamination of individual sentences.

    Of course the longer time adds to taxpayers expense because many on death row do not have the financial resources to appeal. So legal counsel is assigned. From the above article:

    "The years it takes to carry out a death sentence exact a huge toll – on taxpayers, victims’ families and inmates themselves. Yet without thorough appeals, mistakes in death penalty cases would be missed."

    Justice Stephen Breyer noted in 1995 "that the “astonishingly long delays” experienced by the inmates were largely a result not of frivolous appeals on their part, but rather of "constitutionally defective death penalty procedures. Where a delay, measured in decades, reflects the State’s own failure to comply with the Constitution’s demands, the claim that time has rendered the execution inhuman is a particularly strong one.”

    Justice Breyer has called the long waits on death row a cruel and unusual punishment: "I have little doubt about the cruelty of so long a period of incarceration under sentence of death."

    From the article:

    "Psychologists and lawyers in the United States and elsewhere have argued that protracted periods in the confines of death row can make inmates suicidal, delusional and insane. Some have referred to the living conditions on death row – the bleak isolation and years of uncertainty as to time of execution – as the “death row phenomenon,” and the psychological effects that can result as “death row syndrome.”"

    Changing the method used to execute a person will not save money. That is the cheapest part. Reducing the time it would take not only save legal costs but also mitigate the "cruel and unusual punishment" of convicted felons living as much as 33 years on death row.

    Doing away with the death penalty entirely would satisfy both ends.
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    I just wonder if getting rid of the death penalty would help, or hurt worse? For one thing, the threat of a death penalty is supposed to act as a "deterrent" against people committing murders & other abhorrent crimes. But does it really stop anyone? We will never know, but maybe millions of people never committed the crime of murder, because they feared the death penalty. They never brag about it, but many people have always thought that it would never be worth it, as you would have to pay the worst penalty yourself.

    If the convicted murderers just have to sit around in prison until they rot, it would cost the taxpayers million$ in food, laundry, dentistry, haircuts, legal fees, healthcare, etc --- just to keep them under guard nite & day. A free hotel with all benefits provided, for the criminals. With no fear of death. That alone would bankrupt the US govt. & would not be TOO punishing to the criminals. So what is the answer?
  • Liberal Democrat
    Democrat
    Colorado Springs, CO
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    Death Penalty Information Center: Facts about Deterrence and the Death Penalty

    "A recent survey of the most leading criminologists in the country from found that the overwhelming majority did not believe that the death penalty is a proven deterrent to homicide. Eighty-eight percent of the country’s top criminologists do not believe the death penalty acts as a deterrent to homicide, according to a new study published in the Journal of Criminal Law and Criminology and authored by Professor Michael Radelet, Chair of the Department of Sociology at the University of Colorado-Boulder, and Traci Lacock, also at Boulder.

    "Similarly, 87% of the expert criminologists believe that abolition of the death penalty would not have any significant effect on murder rates. In addition, 75% of the respondents agree that “debates about the death penalty distract Congress and state legislatures from focusing on real solutions to crime problems.”

    "The survey relied on questionnaires completed by the most pre-eminent criminologists in the country, including Fellows in the American Society of Criminology; winners of the American Society of Criminology’s prestigious Southerland Award; and recent presidents of the American Society of Criminology. Respondents were not asked for their personal opinion about the death penalty, but instead to answer on the basis of their understandings of the empirical research."

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    I agree with the findings. I don't believe the death penalty is a deterrent for those that in the heat of passion and rage conduct murder...or plan murders.

    And most murderers are not planning on getting caught...they only live for the moment. Just look how many people in anger and rage pull out their guns...road rage...spousal rage...employer rage...bigot rage...and later followed by regret. Sure nice to have that gun ready to answer your rage. Shoot the Bastard!