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Thread: Capital Punishment: Is it right?

  1. #101  
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    There are a couple of factors that might be skewing the data. You will notice that the numbers vary widely from state to state. Crime in the US is mostly a problem of the big cities and the denizens thereof. If a state has a high murder rate it would be politically easier to pass a capital punishment bill because people would think they needed to do something about the problem. Also, just having the death penalty on the books is not enough to be a deterrent if there is a perception that you will live on for many years filing appeals before being executed. And I think that perception does exist.
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  2. #102  
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    Yea i guess your both right, i just can't think of any other way to see weather or not the death penalty is a deterrent or not and to me thats the only reason it can be justified. I suppose thats why we are still able to have this debate.

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    Just out of interest, which American state has the largest population ?
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  3. #103  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cat1981(England)
    Yea i guess your both right, i just can't think of any other way to see weather or not the death penalty is a deterrent or not and to me thats the only reason it can be justified. I suppose thats why we are still able to have this debate.

    ---------

    Just out of interest, which American state has the largest population ?
    California.

    To me it is simple logic, if you accept the premise that punishment deters crime and harsher punishment is more of a deterrent than lighter punishment. This is really the basis for every legal system that I am aware of. Without a penalty, there is no law, only a suggestion. Why should capital punishment be an exception?

    Some people are saying life in prison is equally harsh. Then if that is the case what is the moral objection to capital punishment? It is no worse a penalty than life in prison to impose on a possibly innocent person.
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  4. #104  
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    California.
    Thank you.

    The difference is a person can be released latter if they are found to be innocent, someone who has served the death penalty cannot. I don't believe that the death penalty is a harsher punishment than life in prison. I'm getting the feeling now that I'm just repeating what i said earlier, so i think i'm going walk away from this debate now, unless i can think of something new to say. :-D
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  5. #105  
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    There is one deterrent that is very effective for keeping the honest, honest.

    During my 39 years, I have had NUMEROUS opportunities to deal drugs. I could have easily made a lot of money doing it. I knew a lot of people...it would have been easy. Do you want to know why ole Mac never ventured down that path of the dark side?

    Prison...anal....rape.

    I have no fear of going to prison...what I fear are the people IN prison....they'd use a guy like me for currency...I'd be some big guy named Bubba's new girlfriend.

    THAT'S what keeps me on the straight and narrow.
    Fixin' shit that ain't broke.
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  6. #106  
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    Prison...anal....rape.
    LOL, well if i ever get locked up in the US i'm going to request immediate execution then.
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  7. #107  
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    Since I am not going to read 7 pages, I can assume the forum members are competent enough to argue both sides with equal coverage and valor.

    Therefore, I shall only submit this humble opinion: I believe that, at best, it should be the choice of the prisoner whether or not to die. After all, sitting in prison for your first 20 years makes you realize an important factor. You're not getting out.

    Due to that, it would be prudent to allow prisoners the option of suicide. Call it Euthanasia if you will. While some of the more theistic moralists will be up in arms about my suggestion, I offer this statement:
    Is it equally moral to force someone to live a life they do not wish to live, just to preserve or enforce your world view on them?

    EDIT: as a side note, prison rape is very rare within the USA (or so I've researched). It's a myth, basically.
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  8. #108  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jeremyhfht
    Since I am not going to read 7 pages, I can assume the forum members are competent enough to argue both sides with equal coverage and valor.

    Therefore, I shall only submit this humble opinion: I believe that, at best, it should be the choice of the prisoner whether or not to die. After all, sitting in prison for your first 20 years makes you realize an important factor. You're not getting out.

    Due to that, it would be prudent to allow prisoners the option of suicide. Call it Euthanasia if you will. While some of the more theistic moralists will be up in arms about my suggestion, I offer this statement:
    Is it equally moral to force someone to live a life they do not wish to live, just to preserve or enforce your world view on them?

    EDIT: as a side note, prison rape is very rare within the USA (or so I've researched). It's a myth, basically.
    I think whatever deterrant capital punishment or life in prison is, giving the choice to the prisons lessens it that much more. If they are going to kill/rape people, then why on earth should we give them any say in their punishment?
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  9. #109  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Neutrino
    I think whatever deterrant capital punishment or life in prison is, giving the choice to the prisons lessens it that much more.
    Quite the opposite. It changes nothing at all. if he choses death himself that cuts back tons of paperwork and money required to sign someones death warrant. Whether the prisoner lives or dies should be of no concern to the populace, since punishment is served either way. Unless you're actually so uncivilized that you want someone to be dead. But that wouldn't make you any better than them, now would it?

    If they are going to kill/rape people, then why on earth should we give them any say in their punishment?
    Letting them choose their punishment doesn't matter. Since both punishments are as bad as the other. Life in prison (essentially dead), or death (dead dead). What a choice. You're between Lucifer and Hell, it's no better either way.

    This also has the added bonus of making sure that people who are innocent are kept alive. Since they will almost always choose life while their lawyers set about trying to prove them innocent. Meanwhile, most who are guilty would most likely choose the death penalty. It is, overall, a more effective way to judge them. By letting them judge themselves.
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  10. #110  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jeremyhfht
    Quote Originally Posted by Neutrino
    I think whatever deterrant capital punishment or life in prison is, giving the choice to the prisons lessens it that much more.
    Quite the opposite. It changes nothing at all. if he choses death himself that cuts back tons of paperwork and money required to sign someones death warrant. Whether the prisoner lives or dies should be of no concern to the populace, since punishment is served either way. Unless you're actually so uncivilized that you want someone to be dead. But that wouldn't make you any better than them, now would it?
    This seems a little naive to think that it changes nothing at all. If I'm thinking of murdering my wife but I'm petrified of the prospect of being put to death, wouldn't the knowledge that I could elect for prison instead lessen that deterrent? Or if I decide I want to take my shot at offing her but the prospect of rotting away behind bars for 50 more years is unbearable, I can instead take the "easy way out" and just take a needle if I get caught; likewise there goes that deterrent. How exactly is that "changing nothing at all"?
    Granted, a lot of the time people don't care about deterrents when they're committing crimes like these but that is not always the case - so why remove deterrents?

    This also has the added bonus of making sure that people who are innocent are kept alive. Since they will almost always choose life while their lawyers set about trying to prove them innocent. Meanwhile, most who are guilty would most likely choose the death penalty. It is, overall, a more effective way to judge them. By letting them judge themselves.
    This seems really simplistic also. Do you seriously believe that people who are guilty, upon getting caught, go "OK go ahead and stick that needle in me! I did it, after all!". I don't think so. They appeal their ass off is what they do and try to prolong punishment as long as possible.
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  11. #111  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jeremyhfht
    Therefore, I shall only submit this humble opinion: I believe that, at best, it should be the choice of the prisoner whether or not to die.
    That's all fine and good...but when they decide NOT to die...I gotta pay for their sorry ass to be in prison. I hate paying taxes, only to find out they went to amenities for life-sentence criminals.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jeremyhfht
    Due to that, it would be prudent to allow prisoners the option of suicide. Call it Euthanasia if you will.
    Problem is, some of those criminals try to use religion against suicide. Either they believe they'll go to hell, or they try to use it as a sympathy card.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jeremyhfht
    While some of the more theistic moralists will be up in arms about my suggestion, I offer this statement:
    Is it equally moral to force someone to live a life they do not wish to live, just to preserve or enforce your world view on them?
    I think the trouble is that the people making the policies don't really know how to deal with the moral dilemmas they face in carrying out these actions. They don't want to take responsibility for claiming that their laws and punishments are absolute. At what point does a crime require a death penalty? That line is very fuzzy, so you get a lot of hesitation. It's easier to lock someone up and wait, then it is to kill them and face the many guilts. There's also voter concerns, too...


    I never really agreed with imprisonment to begin with. It's a relatively new concept in society, anyway. Life-sentences don't make much sense to me at all. If a person is absolutely undeniably guilty, and sentenced to life with no chance of getting out...then they're just dead weight on the tax-payers wallet. What's the point? Yer stuck in prison until you die, with no way to impact society, yourself, no future, no nothing. You just rot.

    Unless something can be done with these people, I shouldn't be required to pay for their imprisonment. A cell is all they need to keep them in place until they die.

    On the other hand, that's a captive labor force that can be put to use.

    On a wildly different note, I remember there being this one episode of Outer Limits where they mind-wiped criminals, essentially lobotomizing them, and turned them into street cleaners and such...
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  12. #112  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Neutrino
    This seems a little naive to think that it changes nothing at all. If I'm thinking of murdering my wife but I'm petrified of the prospect of being put to death, wouldn't the knowledge that I could elect for prison instead lessen that deterrent?
    Quite simple, you don't understand why it isn't a deterrent yet. You'll get there. Eventually.

    Still, it isn't naive. Since in both cases you are essentially dead. Unless you like the prospect of basically being a zombie that has no purpose other than simply existing and walking around all day. If so, then be my guest.

    Welcome to my radical views of politics.

    Or if I decide I want to take my shot at offing her but the prospect of rotting away behind bars for 50 more years is unbearable, I can instead take the "easy way out" and just take a needle if I get caught; likewise there goes that deterrent. How exactly is that "changing nothing at all"?
    In both cases, you're dead. It doesn't matter if you want it, justice is still served in equal amounts. Making them get the opposite of what they want is a little childish, and only works temporarily (they adapt rather quickly).

    Granted, a lot of the time people don't care about deterrents when they're committing crimes like these but that is not always the case - so why remove deterrents?
    since "a lot of the time" it doesn't matter. It's far more simple, civil, and accurate, to let the prisoner decide.

    This seems really simplistic also. Do you seriously believe that people who are guilty, upon getting caught, go "OK go ahead and stick that needle in me! I did it, after all!". I don't think so. They appeal their ass off is what they do and try to prolong punishment as long as possible.
    You looked at one side of the coin and decided to go on rampage. Don't be so ridiculously obtuse. Reread what I said until your bias is removed from your response, please. I wont waste my time re-explaining the obvious.
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  13. #113  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jeremyhfht
    Quote Originally Posted by Neutrino
    This seems a little naive to think that it changes nothing at all. If I'm thinking of murdering my wife but I'm petrified of the prospect of being put to death, wouldn't the knowledge that I could elect for prison instead lessen that deterrent?
    Quite simple, you don't understand why it isn't a deterrent yet. You'll get there. Eventually.
    Enlighten me.
    Quote Originally Posted by Jeremy
    Quote Originally Posted by Neutrino
    Or if I decide I want to take my shot at offing her but the prospect of rotting away behind bars for 50 more years is unbearable, I can instead take the "easy way out" and just take a needle if I get caught; likewise there goes that deterrent. How exactly is that "changing nothing at all"?
    In both cases, you're dead. It doesn't matter if you want it, justice is still served in equal amounts. Making them get the opposite of what they want is a little childish, and only works temporarily (they adapt rather quickly).
    Who said anything about making them get the opposite of what they want? I certainly didn't. I would make them get the legislated penalty for their crime - like with every other conviction.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jeremy
    Quote Originally Posted by Neutrino
    Granted, a lot of the time people don't care about deterrents when they're committing crimes like these but that is not always the case - so why remove deterrents?
    since "a lot of the time" it doesn't matter. It's far more simple, civil, and accurate, to let the prisoner decide.
    Well you mentioned concern for the innocent death row inmate earlier- what about concern for the now DEAD person who might have been spared had the deterrent of the death penalty not been removed? Does it matter that the deterrent is not 100% effective in ALL cases? Of course not. You merely want the deterrent to be as effective as possible to save as many lives as possible. If YOU are the one person spared I doubt you'd complain about how ineffective the deterrent is in "most" cases. The victims who could have been spared are more important than a choice given to murders/rapists that you yourself admit has one option being just as bad as the other. I don't think that's worth innocent lives - do you?
    You looked at one side of the coin and decided to go on rampage. Don't be so ridiculously obtuse. Reread what I said until your bias is removed from your response, please. I wont waste my time re-explaining the obvious.
    I'm not on any kind of rampage - I just happen to disagree with you. And when people disagree with you, you tend to say things like the above paragraph.
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  14. #114  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Neutrino
    Quite simple, you don't understand why it isn't a deterrent yet. You'll get there. Eventually.
    Enlighten me.
    [/quote]

    despite the fact you admitted to wanting to kill your wife, I will anyway. It comes down to a few variables:

    Is your life worthless enough that you'd be willing to spend it in life imprisonment/waste it on death? If so, might as well shoot yourself now, since you're worthless to the world.

    Similarly, if that's the case, you aren't deterred from it to begin with. It is mainly the reason why I have not gone on a bloody rampage that makes VT and similar massacre's look like small-time murders. My life is still capable of doing something worth while. If something manages to prove that impossible, however, the world better be very afraid.

    Well you mentioned concern for the innocent death row inmate earlier- what about concern for the now DEAD person who might have been spared had the deterrent of the death penalty not been removed? Does it matter that the deterrent is not 100% effective in ALL cases? Of course not. You merely want the deterrent to be as effective as possible to save as many lives as possible. If YOU are the one person spared I doubt you'd complain about how ineffective the deterrent is in "most" cases.
    Plea to empathy. Now you're just getting ridiculous, neutrino.

    I care not for those now dead, or those who would be dead. I don't know them, so wasting my already-stressed mind on those lost wouldn't be prudent unless I was familiar with them. Being overly empathetic is a flaw, not a bonus.

    I want the prison system to be as efficient as possible. If society wasn't as flawed as it is, you wouldn't have to worry about using the death/life penalties as a deterrent. Everyone would already know that they're both one in the same.

    As a side note: people that commit murders have nothing to lose. Those that would commit a murder if said "deterrent" was missing have nothing to lose either. They're just pathetic. Since they'd most likely kill someone equally pathetic, it's win/win. Thus the world improves by forced eugenics (sociopathic, isn't it?).

    The victims who could have been spared are more important than a choice given to murders/rapists that you yourself admit has one option being just as bad as the other. I don't think that's worth innocent lives - do you?
    In states that have abolished the death penalty, murder rates have not abnormally risen or fallen. They remained, essentially, the same.
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  15. #115  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wolf
    That's all fine and good...but when they decide NOT to die...I gotta pay for their sorry ass to be in prison. I hate paying taxes, only to find out they went to amenities for life-sentence criminals.
    Fact: because of all the paperwork that needs done, it costs more to kill a prisoner than to keep them alive. If choice was implemented, you'd win/win.

    On the other hand, that's a captive labor force that can be put to use.
    Alas, slavery is outlawed. Stupid innit?
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  16. #116  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jeremyhfht
    despite the fact you admitted to wanting to kill your wife
    I, of course, did nothing of the sort. I'm not even married in fact. The implication that I did is a little childish.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jeremy
    It comes down to a few variables:
    Is your life worthless enough that you'd be willing to spend it in life imprisonment/waste it on death? If so, might as well shoot yourself now, since you're worthless to the world.
    Similarly, if that's the case, you aren't deterred from it to begin with.
    I'm not seeing the leaps of logic you are making here. So you're saying everybody who commits murder considers their life worthless? I think I'd disagree here. First, people generally don't plan on getting caught. Some try and cover it up, some commit a crime in the heat of the moment - it's situational. You can't just throw everyone into the same bin.

    It is mainly the reason why I have not gone on a bloody rampage that makes VT and similar massacre's look like small-time murders. My life is still capable of doing something worth while. If something manages to prove that impossible, however, the world better be very afraid.
    I am *really* not getting this paragraph. So a sense of right and wrong, or personal ethics, or caring for other people isn't why you don't go on a murderous rampage? It's because you can still achieve something that you don't? I'm not sure how to even comment on that.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jeremy
    Quote Originally Posted by Neutrino
    Well you mentioned concern for the innocent death row inmate earlier- what about concern for the now DEAD person who might have been spared had the deterrent of the death penalty not been removed? Does it matter that the deterrent is not 100% effective in ALL cases? Of course not. You merely want the deterrent to be as effective as possible to save as many lives as possible. If YOU are the one person spared I doubt you'd complain about how ineffective the deterrent is in "most" cases.
    Plea to empathy. Now you're just getting ridiculous, neutrino.
    ...are you being serious? This whole discussion is revolving around your suggestion to let the death row inmate choose their own penalty. The first reason you gave to support this is whether it's moral or not to force someone to live a life they don't want to live because that's imposing our morals on them.
    Your first reason was a moral concern for someone convicted of murder/rape. You also mentioned the innocent death row inmates.
    Yet you are calling it "ridiculous" for me to show concern for a murder/rape victim. That isn't making a lot of sense to me, it's extremely inconsistent.
    Doesn't the entire death penalty issue REVOLVE around "empathy" in some form or another?
    I think instead of addressing the point I made you'd rather just dismiss by calling it "ridiculous".
    Quote Originally Posted by Jeremy
    I care not for those now dead, or those who would be dead. I don't know them, so wasting my already-stressed mind on those lost wouldn't be prudent unless I was familiar with them. Being overly empathetic is a flaw, not a bonus.
    Well, this is a very difficult paragraph to response to as well. You don't care about murder victims - unless you know them. Well, more power to you but preventing murders tends to be high on most peoples priority list. Forgive me if I'm misinterpreting your statements but I'm not sure how else to take them.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jeremy
    I want the prison system to be as efficient as possible. If society wasn't as flawed as it is, you wouldn't have to worry about using the death/life penalties as a deterrent. Everyone would already know that they're both one in the same.
    They're not one in the same. In one, you have a dead person. In the other, you have a live person. Significant difference to most people.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jeremy
    As a side note: people that commit murders have nothing to lose. Those that would commit a murder if said "deterrent" was missing have nothing to lose either. They're just pathetic. Since they'd most likely kill someone equally pathetic, it's win/win. Thus the world improves by forced eugenics (sociopathic, isn't it?).
    Blanketing again - people commit murder for different reasons. Even pretty normal people in desperate circumstances can be pushed to very drastic courses of action.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jeremy
    In states that have abolished the death penalty, murder rates have not abnormally risen or fallen. They remained, essentially, the same.
    One study shows this, another study shows that. Not really that interested in the studies in general, nevermind when the results aren't particularly conclusive.
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  17. #117  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Neutrino
    I, of course, did nothing of the sort. I'm not even married in fact. The implication that I did is a little childish.
    Simple misread of your original statement. Ignore it.

    I'm not seeing the leaps of logic you are making here. So you're saying everybody who commits murder considers their life worthless? I think I'd disagree here. First, people generally don't plan on getting caught. Some try and cover it up, some commit a crime in the heat of the moment - it's situational. You can't just throw everyone into the same bin.
    Yet you persist in doing so with my statements. If someone commits a murder they expect not to get caught with, it means if that person survives it will deprecate their life. Exceptions are with people who live to kill.

    Seriously now, simple correlations can make my seeming "leaps" more like steps. At least pay attention enough to try and make sense of what I say, I can't make my posts any longer by spoon-feeding. They're lengthy enough already!

    ...are you being serious? This whole discussion is revolving around your suggestion to let the death row inmate choose their own penalty. The first reason you gave to support this is whether it's moral or not to force someone to live a life they don't want to live because that's imposing our morals on them.
    my morals revolve around rationality. A mix of empathy and Logic. Your attempted "point" was a fallacy, a complete plea to the empathy of the reader/other poster alone, without any corresponding logic behind it. Need I explain further as to why that's a fallacy? See: what politicians/evangelicals/etc do ALL THE TIME

    Your first reason was a moral concern for someone convicted of murder/rape. You also mentioned the innocent death row inmates.
    Yet you are calling it "ridiculous" for me to show concern for a murder/rape victim. That isn't making a lot of sense to me, it's extremely inconsistent.
    Not really, it's entirely consistent. Only you are showing concern in replacement of a proper suggestion. This stops progress. My suggested ideas so far have only been in mind of increasing the efficiency of the system, nothing further. The victims of such crimes come second, since they aren't really correlated directly to the punishment the criminals receive.

    Thus, it's off-topic. If you'd like, you can start another thread regarding a proper solution to lower the crime rates of varying crimes (rape, murder, child molestation, etc). But it has no place here.


    Well, this is a very difficult paragraph to response to as well. You don't care about murder victims - unless you know them. Well, more power to you but preventing murders tends to be high on most peoples priority list. Forgive me if I'm misinterpreting your statements but I'm not sure how else to take them.
    As I said, the victims are another discussion entirely. Hence my cold outlook towards them on this topic. you'll have to excuse that.

    They're not one in the same. In one, you have a dead person. In the other, you have a live person. Significant difference to most people.
    In one, you're the living dead, in the other you're dead. Honestly, that is no difference at all. But since that just appears to be a difference of opinion, you could at least consider my view due to my background in hobbyist psychology (and inevitable degree). Or ask further clarification

    Blanketing again - people commit murder for different reasons. Even pretty normal people in desperate circumstances can be pushed to very drastic courses of action.
    You answered yourself. "pushed". My above paragraph about deprecation of their life applies here.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jeremy
    One study shows this, another study shows that. Not really that interested in the studies in general, nevermind when the results aren't particularly conclusive.
    Difference of opinion.
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  18. #118  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jeremyhfht
    Fact: because of all the paperwork that needs done, it costs more to kill a prisoner than to keep them alive. If choice was implemented, you'd win/win.
    That sounds like more an argument for reform.

    If it's costing more for paperwork than it does for electricity, food, entertainment, extra security to ignore internal gang wars, etc...something's wrong. But that's the bureaucratic engine, isn't it?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jeremyhfht
    Alas, slavery is outlawed. Stupid innit?
    It seems to me that terminal criminals (ie - those who aren't ever coming out) are a resource to be used. Although this sounds black and white, they wasted their "free" lives so now it's society's turn to take the controls. They could be used for a variety of tasks, including farming (they're not illegal immigrants).

    Of course, I think we should use this as an opportunity to bring back blood-sport! Gladiators and Unreal-Tournament! Entertain the masses while making a buck or two. What's more American than that?
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  19. #119  
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    Well Jeremy - I'd like to respond but most of your post consists of accusing me of 1) not reading 2)not attempting to see your point 3)being off topic 4) committing logical fallacies 5)not paying attention.
    Apparently I'm not on the same intellectual plane as you so it would probably be in my best interests to bow out and learn from the master.
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