Death Penalty- Yay or Nay?

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Re: Death Penalty- Yay or Nay?

Postby wolfeyedangel » August 4th, 2011, 2:31:40 pm

Could you provide links to the actual study or sites that might help us track down the study itself? (Yes this is something else you really need to reference.) Where did you run across this study? If in a magazine, which one? What rough time frame?

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Re: Death Penalty- Yay or Nay?

Postby Penumbra » August 5th, 2011, 4:07:44 am

It was a study referenced in the court case that outlawed the death penalty a few decades ago. I don't know if I can find the actual study, but I can find information about the court case and other articles.

http://www.aclu.org/capital-punishment/ ... th-penalty

This talks about how the race of the victim impacts whether one will be sentenced to the death penalty.

http://www.capitalpunishmentincontext.org/issues/race

This too

http://www.amnestyusa.org/our-work/issu ... y-and-race

It's a well-covered fact, and there's multiple studies about it. Overall though, the consensus is that race plays a disproportionate and completely inappropriate part in the capital punishment system.
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Re: Death Penalty- Yay or Nay?

Postby wolfeyedangel » August 5th, 2011, 10:35:53 am

Those look like good places to look for the study itself, good places to start. Definitely let us know if you find it. Oh, and for the record: The death penalty has not been outlawed. I'd also be interested in seeing a few demographical statistics. (Comparing the conviction/arrest ratios, etc. Looking for them might lead you to the study. Also check your local library see if they have an exchange program with a research library, or if you have a college or university in your town see if their library is open for perusal by the public.)

note such statistics can be found on state department of justice pages for example: http://www.tdcj.state.tx.us/stat/deathrow.htm I haven't checked all states but it might be another good place to go for more information. Again court records are by and large open to the public and many of them are readily available on line. Site: .gov will narrow the search a little, though it's not as efficient as www.google.com/unclesam was.

If it is a "well covered fact" then it shouldn't be too hard to find multiple studies on the topic and those demographics, the more current demographics the better given the cultural and legal changes over the last 50 years. That would be another interesting trend if someone wants to take it up for this thread: how the system has actually changed over time and how the perceptions are influenced by what was, as well as efforts to review cases tried prior to things such as DNA testing etc, then tying it back to how that influences the question as a whole.

A complete tangent someone might try though it might make a better thread in and of itself: What is the actual purpose and intention of the prison system?

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Re: Death Penalty- Yay or Nay?

Postby Sanne » August 7th, 2011, 7:59:25 am

a very short yay for a few reasons and under a few conditions.
It has to be 100% sure the person has done said crime ( confession, witnesses, dna, even better it's caught on camera) then I believe the death penalty is best. Also another thing, I do believe that for the people who are for certain the one who did the crime, they shouldn't be on death row that long.
For these reasons I am for the death penalty:

1. They don't hold any space in jail, there is no change of them getting out (good behavior or escape),and don't cost as much money.
2. Closure for the family, you know the person is dead..end of story.
3. Detergent for other criminals, how minimal it may be.

Let me tell you how $%^&# the justice system is in my country.

* life sentence, means 25 years in my country, and often they don't stay in jail more then 15 years.
* TBS is something we have, which is a mental institutian where criminals get rehabilitated. Murderers, rapist, pedophiles pretty much anybody will go to TBS instead of jail...and the worst thing is we've had a LOT of escapes from these institutions. Not by some elaborate escape plan...no...these criminals either LITARALLY walk out the front door, never come back from their " weekend leave" or just walk away from the guards.
Our guards are NOT allowed to ficically touch the criminal....meaning if they walk away there is nothing the guards can do. We've actually had deaths because of this.
* In Holland criminals seem to have more rights then vitims.
* A good example, a 12 year old girl get's raped by a neighboor. He gets 1 year in prison (yeah I know) after 9 months he is released from jail and given a new home....a street away from the girl he raped and SHE is the one who has to move.
* The largest penalty for a murderer is 7 years! WTF?
* Animals are seem as personal possesions, so raping an animal is not concidered a crime, hurting an animal is considered damaging personal property. So the it's not concidered a crime and the owner of the animal can only get a small conpensation of the damage.
* Petty crimes, like shoplifting, robbery, theft ect usually don't even get a penalty, maybe a day of jail and they they walk out of the jail smiling planning their next thing. All because the cops don't have the time to do the things they need to do. Why? Because the covernment says they need to write 18 A4 papers full when they catch a criminal in the act. Can you inmagine how much they need to write when they don't catch them in the act?

I wish we had the american justice system, it would be a lot better then our way to social justice system.
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Re: Death Penalty- Yay or Nay?

Postby TheReaper » September 28th, 2011, 4:15:38 am

Well, we just studied the death penalty this week in social studies. We were listening to a documentary about sean sellars and his case of a triple murder. Since this study I have formed a very stong opinion that the death penalty is not the way.

Personally I think that the victims of criminals that ask for them to be sentenced the death penalty, are just as bad as the murders themselves. If not worse. (depending on the case of course) Basically the victims, are asking for the criminals to be put to murder out of revenge and cold blood. Same as the murderer! After a death penalty has been carried out, the person is sent to an autopsy as it isn't a death of natural causes. On each report, it is recorded as a homicide. Murder. In Sean Sellars case, he murdered 1 innocent grocer, and his parents. His step-sister begged him to plead guilty and accept the death penalty. Before he was injected he had 1 last chance to say something to the people in the viewers room. He named a few people, and told them that they would still be angry with him in the morning. That this wouldn't make them feel better, that it would make them feel the same as they were now. And he was right.

Whats the gain?

The losses. Remember, the criminals have family too.

On another note. I also think that the death penalty can be unfair and unjust because:
    In the USA white females and rich people who are found guilty of murder are less likely to be exceuted.

    There is no definate proof that the death penalty deters people from murder

    Because of this, innocent people will and have been murderd
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Re: Death Penalty- Yay or Nay?

Postby wolfeyedangel » September 28th, 2011, 10:16:06 am

Midnight Mustang: Can you cite a documented case of someone in recent history who has been executed and was not guilty? Read back a couple of pages to my responses to Penumbra and Randomname. You need to document and/or (preferably and) provide logical well, reasoned responses especially in a case like this. You have a decent premise, but you need to flesh it out. Also there is no 'of course' in a case like this, so what circumstances do you think would make up that 'of course' you listed?

Things you might look for studies into the psychologies of the victim's families. What circumstances seem to produce the best healing response in the victim's family? Is the correlation (if any) with the death penalty, or some other factor surrounding the situation? Could you expand on your reasoning, especially since you seem to focus on the motivation of family... would you be reacting the same way if the family professed to be acting out of concern for potential future victims?

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Re: Death Penalty- Yay or Nay?

Postby TxCat » September 28th, 2011, 12:53:57 pm

Midnight: I would also like to see documentation/studies/demographics proving that white females and rich people avoid the death penalty. I know of many cases in which that is not true and have yet to read one where that has been the case. In cases where the death penalty was NOT handed down, either the evidence had not been processed properly leading to a case for reasonable doubt or the state could not put forth enough evidence on all the cases (these are usually serials) to gain the death penalty.

Some links which have bearing on the points being made:

http://www.deathpenaltyinfo.org/women-and-death-penalty

As of January 1, 2010 there were 61 women on death row. This constitutes 1.87% of the total death row population of about 3,261 persons.

In the past 100 years, over 40 women have been executed in the U.S, including 12 since 1976. See, Women Executed in the U.S. Since 1900 for the date, state, race, and method of each execution.


That site has a list of women executed, the date they were executed, and the relationship to the victim. You will find, unfortunately, that a large number of these relate to domestic violence cases. For some reason --- and criminal psychology has not chosen to look at this closely --- women seem less inclined to commit the crimes which would lead to the death penalty.

I believe, though I have no substantiation, that it has to do with the US' and possibly the western world's (I would like to see data from other countries which still hold the death penalty and see how they compare to ours) reluctance to kill females combined with an artificial belief, present since pre-Christian times, that a woman is either an animal who cannot help herself or has an inherently weak character resulting in same.

This is an interesting article on gender discrimination:

http://nicomachus.net/2006/12/gender-discrimination-in-the-us-death-penalty-system/

This one delves into the realm of the psychologist and proposes the following:

Although the demographics on male versus female death-row prisoners suggest that males are the criminal justice system’s primary targets, I argue that the system also discriminates against women. Utilizing contemporary feminist theories of gender, I argue that female prisoners are punished primarily for violating norms of gender correctness.


Here's an article from the ACLU, which cannot be considered unbiased, which addresses the racial issues:

http://www.aclu.org/capital-punishment/race-and-death-penalty

The color of a defendant and victim's skin plays a crucial and unacceptable role in deciding who receives the death penalty in America. People of color have accounted for a disproportionate 43 % of total executions since 1976 and 55 % of those currently awaiting execution. A moratorium of the death penalty is necessary to address the blatant prejudice in our application of the death penalty.


Unfortunately for the author, he runs into the same problem as the criminal psychologists did: no one has closely studied WHY these minorities tend to be the ones in the criminal justice system who warrant the death penalty. There's lots of speculation about racial bias, gender bias, and racial tendencies but very little data (ie: where the offenders are from, what background, etc. and how that compares to non-violent offenders and people who do not commit crimes). The fundamental question remains: is it ecological, is it racial, is it a bias?

Until those questions are answered the debate will keep going. Hopefully these links will give you something on which to further your premises. I'm looking forward to hearing what you have to say.

-- Tx, not in mod mode
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Re: Death Penalty- Yay or Nay?

Postby Ktanaqui » September 28th, 2011, 9:36:07 pm

We were actually discussing the death penalty in class just two days ago. It's really amazing about what is and isn't punished by the Death Penalty. Things that should be aren't. Things are shouldn't be are. I find it to be very pathetic. A male in Atlanta, Georgia finally received the Death Penalty not too long ago. It ended in riots in Atlanta, and people swearing up and down that he wasn't guilty - including he, who, his lasts words stated that he was Not Guilty and that people would regret putting an innocent human to death for it.

I would love the Death Penalty to be handed out more. And to be completed quicker, because, as everybody knows by now - prisons get crowded very quickly. However, I don't know if it would actually help matters. I do believe in harsher punishments, but matters prove difficult to actually enforce such punishments. Inevitably, somebody innocent will be punished for somebody else's crimes. So is the risks of increasing punishment worth it? I don't know.

I've been reading through this thread, trying to see everybody else's opinions on it. I've seen several mentions of innocent people being executed according to the Death Penalty. I have heard, vaguely, of a few cases mentioned around me about such cases. However, as was mentioned by Wolf, no evidence was provided. I have no idea whether they were true or not.

On the other hand, the mentions about race, gender, social standing, and whatnot were also mentioned. In this scenario, I am one of the people who believes this to be true. People with social standing talk their way out of matters every day; we see it on TV. "So and so was sentenced to yadda-yadda weeks in jail with no bail." and not but a mere week or two later, they are walking free. Bribery? I don't know. Corruption? Probably.

And that's the problem. The system is corrupted now. Hell, it was probably corrupted back in the older days too. Race is a big factor, whether any one person desires to acknowledge it. Gender is as well, as Kitty mentioned. A good deal of it, I believe, goes back to practices of older days. Which practices? I'm not so sure. It is a proven fact that the majority of the people in jail or prison is Black Americans, closely followed by other minorities. White Americans have always made up the least percentage of folks in jail or prison. The same follows strongly for women, though it seems to be changing drastically to not matter quite so much any more.
Incarceration Rates by Race Graph
Incarceration Rates by Race
Incarceration Rates by Race 2

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Re: Death Penalty- Yay or Nay?

Postby TheReaper » October 10th, 2011, 10:26:59 pm

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/07/0 ... 88516.html

I got my information from a study we did on the Death penalty in school. We used resources such as a video on the sate of illinois death row, and the state of illinois innocent excecutions which I will link to the topic when I find a copy of the 2.
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