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Thread: UK and execution policy

  1. #1 UK and execution policy 
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    The UK currently has no death penalty and a condition of EU membership is that no member state can execute prisoners regardless of the crime.

    Should the UK do a deal with other governments around the world to prevent any of it's citizens any where in the world from facing execution?


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    Well....the options seem to be either building diplomatic agreements with other nations to extradite citizens when they get in trouble, your or building yourself a military that spends half the weapons money on the planet--I recommend the former.


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    They do their best.

    They also refuse to extradite any UK resident to any country if the charges attract the death penalty.
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    One option may be to advise UK citizens to refrain from committing a capital crime whilst visiting a foreign country.
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    One option may be to advise UK citizens to refrain from committing a capital crime whilst visiting a foreign country.
    Oh dear. I pity the poor embassy staff of the UK and Australia every time some witless drongo gets collared for importing drugs to various Asian countries.

    I know our 'travellers advice' government websites warn Australians travelling overseas about the various draconian policies of many countries - as well as the downright weird ones of some places, eg Greece had Panadeine-even-with-a-prescription as attracting severe penalties, though obviously not death. I'd presume the UK does the same kind of travel advisories.

    We can only go so far in protecting fools from the consequences of their own actions.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Harold14370 View Post
    One option may be to advise UK citizens to refrain from committing a capital crime whilst visiting a foreign country.
    Harold I agree that when visiting other countries people should respect there laws, but I would add it is impracticle to learn all the laws of each country you may wish to visit also that the death penalty is the ultimate santaction and they don't always get things right take Amanda Knox for instance, if italy had had the death penalty she might not have still been alive when her innocence was proved.

    I put forth the question because it was reported in the news yestaday that a british grandmother had arrested in Bali for allegedly trying to smuggle drugs and if convicted could face the death penalty.

    Since the UK government has a responsibilty to protect all of it's citizens, just like with every other government, shouldn't this also extend to it's people abroad? Well I think it must because the government's responsibility does not extend to foreign governments. Also obviously the balinese legal sytem isn't going to be the same as the UK's the UK government cannot be sure she is guilty even if she is convicted nevermind actually allowing it to be acceptable that she could be executed.

    Currently the UK government has in place agreements with several other countries that ensure if there citizens are convicted of crimes abroad that are sent back to serve there sentence in a UK prison at UK tax payers expense, I think this should be extended to all countries, and through international agreements not threats or war, to ensure people are protected and especially in cases where people could end up being executed.

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    Shouldn't a government always put it's own people first?
    They do. And not just their own citizens. Australia refused to allow an American citizen to be extradited to the USA after completing his sentence here (for mansalughter of his wife) until we got guarantees that he would not face the death penalty when retried for differently framed charges under his home state's laws.

    But there are limits to what you can do by remote control. And as for that woman British citizen. She's done her best to attract clemency or pardon by cooperating with the police in getting to the rest of the group.

    But that cooperation has resulted in the arrest of two more British citizens who are likely to face more serious charges - and they've done nothing to reduce the severity of the charges and penalties they face. The best the UK government can do is maybe to put the maximum effort into the case with the best chances for some success. The embassy's resources are not unlimited. I very much doubt they could get clemency for all 3 of these people.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lynx_Fox View Post
    Well....the options seem to be either building diplomatic agreements with other nations to extradite citizens when they get in trouble, your or building yourself a military that spends half the weapons money on the planet--I recommend the former.

    I think many governments maybe receptive to the idea, however the fact that if a person from another country commits a capital offence in their own country then flees to the UK the UK is then obliged to only return them after first securing agreement that they won't be executed. This problem may prove a deal breaker with some countries.

    The UK has the fourth largest defence budget in the world, but this doesn't mean it could or should try to intimidate other countries though.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chrisgorlitz View Post

    Harold I agree that when visiting other countries people should respect there laws, but I would add it is impracticle to learn all the laws of each country you may wish to visit also that the death penalty is the ultimate santaction and they don't always get things right take Amanda Knox for instance, if italy had had the death penalty she might not have still been alive when her innocence was proved.
    What I don't get is, there are a lot of ways a person can accidentally die. You could slip on a banana peel, and whack your head on a concrete floor and die from that.

    Why is the prospect of accidental death by false conviction so special to people?

    I put forth the question because it was reported in the news yestaday that a british grandmother had arrested in Bali for allegedly trying to smuggle drugs and if convicted could face the death penalty.
    Wouldn't it also be objectionable for her to have to spend 10-20 years in prison? It seems to me that the central problem here is that some countries have different measures of due process than others, not that some execute and others do not.


    Since the UK government has a responsibilty to protect all of it's citizens, just like with every other government, shouldn't this also extend to it's people abroad? Well I think it must because the government's responsibility does not extend to foreign governments. Also obviously the balinese legal sytem isn't going to be the same as the UK's the UK government cannot be sure she is guilty even if she is convicted nevermind actually allowing it to be acceptable that she could be executed.

    Currently the UK government has in place agreements with several other countries that ensure if there citizens are convicted of crimes abroad that are sent back to serve there sentence in a UK prison at UK tax payers expense, I think this should be extended to all countries, and through international agreements not threats or war, to ensure people are protected and especially in cases where people could end up being executed.

    Shouldn't a government always put it's own people first?
    So, the UK should focus on protecting its own citizens, and ignore the safety of Bali's citizens? Focus on keeping its own people safe from the Bali government by impeding the Bali government's ability to keep its own people safe from criminal behavior on the part of UK tourists?

    Those are the two things that have to be balanced.

    1) - Safety of the accused from wrongful prosecution

    2) - Safety of the victim from criminal actions.

    We wouldn't want to create a situation where gangsters from the UK start migrating over to Bali and setting up shop because they know their home government will bail them out if they get caught doing anything they oughtn't to be doing.

    On the other hand, you don't want British tourists getting wrongfully arrested by corrupt Bali cops, and then held (effectively) for ransom until their family members can bail them out (and/or pay a large bribe).
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    Quote Originally Posted by kojax View Post
    What I don't get is, there are a lot of ways a person can accidentally die. You could slip on a banana peel, and whack your head on a concrete floor and die from that.

    Why is the prospect of accidental death by false conviction so special to people?
    One can hardly describe being injected with a lethal cocktail of drugs, or suspended from a rope by the neck, or having a substantial electric current passed through you, as being accidental. (Or do you suspect that JFK's assassination was accidental?)
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    Quote Originally Posted by John Galt View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by kojax View Post
    What I don't get is, there are a lot of ways a person can accidentally die. You could slip on a banana peel, and whack your head on a concrete floor and die from that.

    Why is the prospect of accidental death by false conviction so special to people?
    One can hardly describe being injected with a lethal cocktail of drugs, or suspended from a rope by the neck, or having a substantial electric current passed through you, as being accidental. (Or do you suspect that JFK's assassination was accidental?)
    Well said John.

    And kojax the idea of wrongful convictions, and especially the death penalty is very important to people for several reasons.

    Firstly they reflect on our society, they make a statement about who we are, what are our values and on where we are at with our social evolution. To many the idea of executing criminals is no less barbaric than chopping off peoples hands for stealing. I think this is a useful comparison as it helps to explain how people can feel about this.

    Then we come to the security issue, the whole idea of accident is something that is unfortunate but unavoidable they just happen, the wrongful exexcution of someone is infinitely worse because it is done by people and with those people knowingly having agreed to kill that person. Also it makes all the other people that allowed them that power complicate. How can you feel secure knowing that you could be wrongfully executed be the very people that have been given the responsibility and power to protect you.

    Being human in a civilized world should always mean that you are free from state violence or execution.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chrisgorlitz View Post

    And kojax the idea of wrongful convictions, and especially the death penalty is very important to people for several reasons.

    Firstly they reflect on our society, they make a statement about who we are, what are our values and on where we are at with our social evolution. To many the idea of executing criminals is no less barbaric than chopping off peoples hands for stealing. I think this is a useful comparison as it helps to explain how people can feel about this.
    So our ideal is a non-violent society. And yet..... we are still unable to get all of our citizens to behave non-violently.

    It just seems really hypocritical to say we abhor violence so much we won't use it, but then effectively tolerate it it by not stopping it. We turn the murderers into victims, and parade them around as conduits for our love and affection - which in many cases is exactly what they hoped to gain by acting out.

    Or rather, society kind of divides into two camps. One camp wants to shower the poor wretch with love and affection, hoping to cure the childhood abuse they must surely have suffered. The other wants to stick a needle in their arm and then throw the corpse out like so much trash. Whichever side wins, and how strongly they win, determines what message we are sending. I'd prefer to live in a world where murderers and other severe criminals are considered trash. I hate offering a positive incentive to bad behavior, regardless of what is being expressed by it.


    Then we come to the security issue, the whole idea of accident is something that is unfortunate but unavoidable they just happen, the wrongful exexcution of someone is infinitely worse because it is done by people and with those people knowingly having agreed to kill that person. Also it makes all the other people that allowed them that power complicate. How can you feel secure knowing that you could be wrongfully executed be the very people that have been given the responsibility and power to protect you.
    I feel secure the same way I manage to feel secure knowing I could slip on a banana peel and crack my head open. I know the statistical probability is very low.
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    Quote Originally Posted by John Galt View Post
    One can hardly describe being injected with a lethal cocktail of drugs, or suspended from a rope by the neck, or having a substantial electric current passed through you, as being accidental. (Or do you suspect that JFK's assassination was accidental?)
    Why couldn't you? Dead is dead. In one case your bad luck was slipping on a banana peel, in the other case your bad luck was getting a stupid jury. What does it have to do with an assassination?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chrisgorlitz View Post
    How can you feel secure knowing that you could be wrongfully executed be the very people that have been given the responsibility and power to protect you.

    Being human in a civilized world should always mean that you are free from state violence or execution.
    How can you feel secure knowing you could be wrongfully executed by some criminal breaking into your home?
    Being human in a civilized world should always mean that you are free from criminals. They can kill you as dead as the state can, and with a much higher probability.
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    I am not unduly concerned that I might be mistakenly executed.

    I am very concerned that someone should be incorrectly executed on my behalf by the state.
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    Quote Originally Posted by John Galt View Post
    I am not unduly concerned that I might be mistakenly executed.

    I am very concerned that someone should be incorrectly executed on my behalf by the state.
    .
    I am more concerned that someone will be murdered by a criminal who was released on my behalf by the state.
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    Lifetime incarceration would address that problem. That allows for release if the conviction turns out to have been mistaken.
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    Quote Originally Posted by John Galt View Post
    Lifetime incarceration would address that problem. That allows for release if the conviction turns out to have been mistaken.
    I agree. There are many cases of wrongful conviction of innocent persons. Having a lifetime incarceration provides an opportunity for those persons to have their cases repealed.
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    If we allow the principle that someone can be executed then how does that make us any better than the criminal? Who gives us the right to take human life except in self defense or the defense of ones family? How can we respect our own lives if we don't respect all life?

    It devalues us as people, we have now evolved to the point of understanding that life is the most precious thing of all, the idea of the criminal justice system should be about protecting the public and rehabilitation never about revenge.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chrisgorlitz View Post
    If we allow the principle that someone can be executed then how does that make us any better than the criminal? Who gives us the right to take human life except in self defense or the defense of ones family? How can we respect our own lives if we don't respect all life?

    It devalues us as people, we have now evolved to the point of understanding that life is the most precious thing of all, the idea of the criminal justice system should be about protecting the public and rehabilitation never about revenge.
    I don't know Chris. What gives us the right to throw somebody in jail and deprive them of their freedom, or what gives us the right to fine someone and steal their money from them? It is called "laws." All societies have them. They always involve penalties of some sort. Societies couldn't exist without them.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Harold14370 View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Chrisgorlitz View Post
    If we allow the principle that someone can be executed then how does that make us any better than the criminal? Who gives us the right to take human life except in self defense or the defense of ones family? How can we respect our own lives if we don't respect all life?

    It devalues us as people, we have now evolved to the point of understanding that life is the most precious thing of all, the idea of the criminal justice system should be about protecting the public and rehabilitation never about revenge.
    I don't know Chris. What gives us the right to throw somebody in jail and deprive them of their freedom, or what gives us the right to fine someone and steal their money from them? It is called "laws." All societies have them. They always involve penalties of some sort. Societies couldn't exist without them.
    I agree with that, but just not with violence against people because it degrades that very society. We need to move on from the barbaric practices of the past for the sake of our future social evolution. Again I refer you to my earlier example, would you still consider it acceptable to chop off someones hand if they're caught stealing? Many people hundreds of years ago would consider that acceptable, but most people now wouldn't because we have moved on from there. This is also what we need to do with capital punishment, move on from it.

    The death penalty needs to be consigned to history books in civilized countries.
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    Some people just need killing. It's not for your garden variety, run of the mill murderer.
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    Quote Originally Posted by John Galt View Post
    Lifetime incarceration would address that problem. That allows for release if the conviction turns out to have been mistaken.
    .... if we catch the mistake. Do you think even 1/2 of the wrongful convictions in this country are ever overturned before the person ages to the end of their natural lifespan and dies?

    Quote Originally Posted by MrMojo1 View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by John Galt View Post
    Lifetime incarceration would address that problem. That allows for release if the conviction turns out to have been mistaken.
    I agree. There are many cases of wrongful conviction of innocent persons. Having a lifetime incarceration provides an opportunity for those persons to have their cases repealed.
    But with how high a probability? How dramatically the does probability change that you will be wrongfully convicted and never have it overturned? Some sliver of a percentage point?

    Quote Originally Posted by Chrisgorlitz View Post
    If we allow the principle that someone can be executed then how does that make us any better than the criminal? Who gives us the right to take human life except in self defense or the defense of ones family? How can we respect our own lives if we don't respect all life?

    It devalues us as people, we have now evolved to the point of understanding that life is the most precious thing of all, the idea of the criminal justice system should be about protecting the public and rehabilitation never about revenge.
    The first mistake is thinking we are "better than" anybody. That's where crime starts in the first place. Someone somewhere decides they deserve a better deal and takes violent action to assert their newly invented entitlement. Nobody is honestly better than anybody else, but some behaviors are better than other behaviors.

    It's also not a matter of one group using fear and another not using fear. Both groups use fear, because that's the only thing the least civic-ally minded (insert some small number here) percent of the population will respond to. (Civic-ally minded individuals will likely respond to philosophy/reason... etc. If everyone were like them we wouldn't need laws.) It's a matter of one group's system of fear induced behaviors coming together to form a functional society, and another group's system of fear induced behaviors not coming together to form a functional society. If the mafia ran the world, the economy would be 1000% worse than it is right now, because those goons don't think in terms of what makes a good system, only in terms of what benefits them specifically.
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    Quote Originally Posted by kojax View Post

    Quote Originally Posted by Chrisgorlitz View Post
    If we allow the principle that someone can be executed then how does that make us any better than the criminal? Who gives us the right to take human life except in self defense or the defense of ones family? How can we respect our own lives if we don't respect all life?.
    The first mistake is thinking we are "better than" anybody. That's where crime starts in the first place. Someone somewhere decides they deserve a better deal and takes violent action to assert their newly invented entitlement. Nobody is honestly better than anybody else, but some behaviors are better than other behaviors.

    You are perfectly correct, I would certainly agree that 'Nobody is honestly better than anybody else', what I meant to say was that if we the people allow the state to execute people in our name with the power and authority that we give them then we our selves are complicit in 'actions' which are no better than that of any criminal we may wish to execute.

    Also someone suggested that we shouldn't really treat people executed through miscarriages of justice any different than people who have died in accident. I at first dismissed this idea as I thought it was wrong, after careful reflection I can understand this way of thinking, but I still don't subscribe to it and I still think it's wrong.
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    Quote Originally Posted by kojax View Post

    But with how high a probability? How dramatically the does probability change that you will be wrongfully convicted and never have it overturned? Some sliver of a percentage point?
    I don’t know the answer to that. The judicial system is run by human beings who are prone to make errors, and who are easily corrupted.
    What matters is the policy the judicial system is based on. Is it to prevent citizens from being victims of a tyrannical state? Are the rights of the individual equal to that of the community? If you rather have innocent people not be wrongfully convicted as a priority, then burden of proof of guilt is the responsibility of the state and convictions should be investigated when new information is acquired.
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    These are all good questions. I'm glad your asking them. It helps analyze.

    Quote Originally Posted by MrMojo1 View Post
    What matters is the policy the judicial system is based on. Is it to prevent citizens from being victims of a tyrannical state?
    For this question, there is a saying "The road to hell is paved with good intentions." I think that's very applicable here. Keeping people alive on the off chance that maybe new evidence will emerge during their life time is a wonderful expression of our good feelings about justice, but what practical value does it really provide?


    Are the rights of the individual equal to that of the community?
    If we don't execute heinous criminals, then what we're saying is that the rights of the individual are greater than the rights of the community. For them to be equal, murder would have to be met with equal and opposite retribution.

    Everyone keeps trying to convince themselves they're better than someone else. We feel like if they kill and we don't, then we're better than them. But that's a false, silly, and childishly vain way to reason. We should settle for being equal with them, and focus on looking for the best practical outcome.


    If you rather have innocent people not be wrongfully convicted as a priority, then burden of proof of guilt is the responsibility of the state and convictions should be investigated when new information is acquired.
    Yeah. But this can be taken too far. If we set the burden of evidence high enough, it would become impossible to convict anyone of any crime, because the odds of us being wrong about their guilt can never quite reach zero.

    We have to strike a balance somewhere. We have no choice but to endure some risk of false conviction. The only question is: how much?
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    We should settle for being equal with them, and focus on looking for the best practical outcome.
    Never in a million years.

    I am not perfect, just as everyone I know is not perfect. But it is absolutely true that 98+% of the population is better than the worst criminals. We're probably only marginally better than the average none-too-clever bozo prison inmate, but here we're talking about people who are beyond society's pale.

    Our standards of justice should reflect our society's standards for behaviour. One standard is that we do not kill people - and we do not ask others to kill on our behalf. (That after all is the real reason why we should think more carefully about getting involved in war. Most of us are willing to die, or at least to risk death, for things that are really important to us. It's another thing entirely to be willing to kill, or to ask others to kill on our behalf.)

    Resisting legislation to inflict the death penalty in my own society is one thing I might, if worse came to worst, be willing to die to prevent.
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    Quote Originally Posted by adelady View Post
    We should settle for being equal with them, and focus on looking for the best practical outcome.
    Never in a million years.

    I am not perfect, just as everyone I know is not perfect. But it is absolutely true that 98+% of the population is better than the worst criminals. We're probably only marginally better than the average none-too-clever bozo prison inmate, but here we're talking about people who are beyond society's pale.
    I'm content to accept that many of these people were the victims of severe abuse in their childhood, or unfortunate indoctrination in their early years that made them believe in a different system of ethics/non-ethics. I don't know how well I can say with confidence that I would be the person I am if I were born under other circumstances.

    However, from a practical standpoint, I agree that regardless of their motives, they need to be stopped. You can't always expect to reeducate a person once they've already reached adulthood, but.... there is another alternative.....

    Also, I don't believe that not everyone in prison has done something so awful that they deserve to have to spend time in an environment full of dangerous psychopaths who might kill them. Once the death penalty is gone, there is nothing left to threaten those people with in order to keep them from killing fellow inmates. What are we going to do? Add a few more years to a sentence that's already over 200 years long?




    Our standards of justice should reflect our society's standards for behaviour. One standard is that we do not kill people - and we do not ask others to kill on our behalf. (That after all is the real reason why we should think more carefully about getting involved in war. Most of us are willing to die, or at least to risk death, for things that are really important to us. It's another thing entirely to be willing to kill, or to ask others to kill on our behalf.)

    Resisting legislation to inflict the death penalty in my own society is one thing I might, if worse came to worst, be willing to die to prevent.
    And yet..... we have forces currently deployed in Afghanistan doing exactly that on our behalf. Does the hypocrisy of it bother you sometimes?

    Why not just admit we're party to a few deaths, and live with it?
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    Quote Originally Posted by John Galt View Post
    I am not unduly concerned that I might be mistakenly executed.

    I am very concerned that someone should be incorrectly executed on my behalf by the state.
    Me too. Whether we like it or not the sad fact is if you're the wrong color, or at the wrong place at the wrong time....or some combination, there are many places at least in the US where you won't get a fair trail and could be found guilty of a capital crime. I'm not fond of the idea of irreversible sentence imposed by a fallible justice system.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lynx_Fox View Post
    I'm not fond of the idea of irreversible sentence imposed by a fallible justice system.

    If they put you in jail for ten years and then (by sheer luck) happen to reverse your sentence, will they also give you back those ten years? Maybe a gene therapist can reverse age you to your mid twenties, now that you're 35?

    Convictions are only slightly reversible as it stands. You really need quite a lot of strong evidence that hadn't originally been available at trial in order to get a guilty verdict reversed. Appeals are mostly weighed on procedure, not reexamining any of the evidence itself. Admittedly, new tech sometimes helps, though. A lot of convictions got reversed once DNA evidence became available.
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    You really need quite a lot of strong evidence that hadn't originally been available at trial in order to get a guilty verdict reversed.
    Quite often the evidence that emerges later is about the lack of quality of the scientific or police processes. Or the active suppression of evidence in the defendant's favour. The most famous combination of prejudice and scientific cack-handedness in Australia was of course the Lindy Chamberlain case.

    If they put you in jail for ten years and then (by sheer luck) happen to reverse your sentence, will they also give you back those ten years? Maybe a gene therapist can reverse age you to your mid twenties, now that you're 35?
    That's what compensation is for.

    And remember, there's always pardon available when it's perfectly obvious that the system stuffed up and there's no legal, procedural way open to unspill the milk.
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    Quote Originally Posted by adelady View Post
    You really need quite a lot of strong evidence that hadn't originally been available at trial in order to get a guilty verdict reversed.
    Quite often the evidence that emerges later is about the lack of quality of the scientific or police processes. Or the active suppression of evidence in the defendant's favour. The most famous combination of prejudice and scientific cack-handedness in Australia was of course the Lindy Chamberlain case.
    How large a percentage of false convictions do you think actually get overturned?

    The trouble with anecdotes, or "testimonial" type observations is they don't tell you what the ratio of successes to failures is. The off chance some very lucky soul will get a good outcome is no stronger than the arguments in favor of a state lottery if the odds are very poor it will happen. (I would be very surprised if it should turn out that there have been more false executions averted or not averted in the last ten years than there have been lottery winners.)

    However, for a prospective criminal, the odds of getting caught and punished are genuinely quite high if they kill someone. You might even say there is a "realistic" chance of that happening.

    If they put you in jail for ten years and then (by sheer luck) happen to reverse your sentence, will they also give you back those ten years? Maybe a gene therapist can reverse age you to your mid twenties, now that you're 35?
    That's what compensation is for.
    [/quote]

    Couldn't the state write a check to your next of kin?
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    How large a percentage of false convictions do you think actually get overturned?

    The trouble with anecdotes, or "testimonial" type observations is they don't tell you what the ratio of successes to failures is.
    What ratio of innocent people put to death by the government on your behalf is acceptable?

    --
    Here's a list of 140 released from death row...17 because of DNA tech. Most states stopped reviewing the already dead because of uncomfortable number of falsely accused by states that dead.
    http://www.deathpenaltyinfo.org/inno...reed-death-row
    Last edited by Lynx_Fox; June 3rd, 2012 at 12:27 AM.
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    To be honest, any ratio less than that of lottery players to lottery winners would be fine. It really doesn't scare me that I should have the same odds of being put to death early as suddenly being made into a multi-millionaire. Here's a basic sense of what the threat of wrongful imprisonment has to compete with:

    How many lottery winners are there in a year? « Talking About Numbers

    http://ezinearticles.com/?Lottery-Millionaires---How-Many-People-Win-at-Least-a-Million-Dollars-Every-Year?&id=2982378


    Once you put it in perspective, it's easier to look at it rationally.


    Quote Originally Posted by Lynx_Fox View Post
    [
    --
    Here's a list of 140 released from death row...17 because of DNA tech. Most states stopped reviewing the already dead because of uncomfortable number of falsely accused by states that dead.
    Innocence: List of Those Freed From Death Row | Death Penalty Information Center
    You mean the ones who didn't get saved by the lack of a death penalty, but died out in prison anyway?

    ...... I'm sure in many cases those people were stabbed to death by lifers who already had nothing to lose, and therefore no reason to refrain from killing fellow inmates. Pretty sad deal if you go in on a minor drug charge and run into one of those guys, isn't it?

    Why do we think as a society aspiring to be civil, that we need to start with the worst people and be civil to them first? Why not start by showing concern or civility toward the middle level mediocre people? Why not start by making sure a marijuana seller doesn't get threatened into giving his shoes to a convicted murder the moment he sets foot in the very facility that is supposed to be helping to "correct" his lack of respect for the law?

    If a bunch of fire fighters are trying to save people from a burning building, they don't go after the guy that's only 15% likely to be saved first, knowing it will take all the resources they have and another 20 easier saves will go un-achieved in the meantime. They save as many as they can, regardless of if it's "fair" or not, because they're trying to maximize their success. You go after the hard ones after you've got all the easy ones to safety. Now, medical can be the reverse of that sometimes, because they go after the ones in critical condition first, but that's not an apples to apples comparison. For medical, most of the light injuries are not life threatening.
    Last edited by kojax; June 3rd, 2012 at 01:03 AM. Reason: added second statistic
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    I think children should be taught from being little at school so that they all understand why we shouldn't execute people. Then we won't have people growing up not understanding this.
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    While we're at it, let's teach them to follow the one true god also.
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    Quote Originally Posted by kojax View Post
    While we're at it, let's teach them to follow the one true god also.
    We teach children that slavery is wrong, we teach adults not to hit their children anymore, we teach that torture is wrong and we teach that rasism is wrong.
    All things that were once considered acceptable until people stood up and said 'enough, no more this is wrong', right now we have many people across the world saying that executing people is wrong, some such as adelady believe so strongly as to risk their own lives to stop it. So I really don't think teaching children that it is wrong is far fetched.

    Nor does it have anything to do with God or religion, it is about education and knowing right from wrong.
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    Kojax's point is that opposition to capital punishment is ultimately a value judgement. It is thus a cultural artifact and is no different from teaching religion to children.
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    Quote Originally Posted by John Galt View Post
    Kojax's point is that opposition to capital punishment is ultimately a value judgement. It is thus a cultural artifact and is no different from teaching religion to children.
    The problem I have with that though is I don't think it should be just a value judgement, somethings are wrong and this is one of them, that's why I class it as the same as racism and slavery.

    Wether I give money to a certain charity to me is a value judgement, but I don't class that the same as allowing some one to be executed in my name on my behalf. Sorry buts that my opinion.
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    Tell me again what is wrong with slavery?
    On an absolute basis. Scientifically.
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    Quote Originally Posted by John Galt View Post
    Tell me again what is wrong with slavery?
    On an absolute basis. Scientifically.
    From which perspective? the slave, the slave owner or the observer?
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    Well, if you are introducing perspectives you are introducing value judgements, which is exactly my point.
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    John are you suggesting slavery is a value judgement?
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    Slavery is not a value judgement just because someone might be able to make it look like one, it's just wrong.
    The same goes for executing people, OK some people might make it look like a value judgement but it is again just wrong, which is my point.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chrisgorlitz View Post
    John are you suggesting slavery is a value judgement?
    If John is not suggesting it, then I will. Slavery is a value judgement.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Harold14370 View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Chrisgorlitz View Post
    John are you suggesting slavery is a value judgement?
    If John is not suggesting it, then I will. Slavery is a value judgement.
    How about racism would you also consider that a value judgement?
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    Yes.

    Ethical issues are value judgements reflecting interpretations of our genetic drives.


    I believe that selecting a purpose both individually and for humanity is what makes life meaningful. Setting this goal in a way that maximises both the individual and the species will tend to lead to the rejection of practices such as slavery, capital punishment and (hopefully) reality TV shows.
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    Guys I have strong veiws on what I believe is right and wrong and I just don't think we're gonna agree on this so I'm not going to participate further as I have no desire to offend anyone.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chrisgorlitz View Post
    Guys I have strong veiws on what I believe is right and wrong and I just don't think we're gonna agree on this so I'm not going to participate further as I have no desire to offend anyone.
    That's the issue right there: if any value is going to be taught in public schools, then it should be one over which there is either absolutely universal agreement, or very nearly absolute universal agreement (at least within the society that is funding the school). Slavery is one of those issues. Racism is fortunately getting to be one of those issues. Opposition to racism also has a scientific basis now. That is to say anthropologists and geneticists agree there is very little fundamental difference between people of different races.

    That is why we shouldn't adopt your personal view and teach that in public schools. You may feel it strongly but not everyone agrees with you, and those who oppose your view should have the right not to see their children indoctrinated to agree with you. If you want to open a private school, then you may teach those children anything you want.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chrisgorlitz View Post
    Guys I have strong veiws on what I believe is right and wrong and I just don't think we're gonna agree on this so I'm not going to participate further as I have no desire to offend anyone.
    Chris, nobody wants you to change your values or beliefs. However, I think it would be a good thing for people to recognize the difference between their value judgements and scientific or logical facts. That way, they might be a little more tolerant of people who hold different beliefs.
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    Quote Originally Posted by kojax View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Chrisgorlitz View Post
    Racism is fortunately getting to be one of those issues. Opposition to racism also has a scientific basis now. That is to say anthropologists and geneticists agree there is very little fundamental difference between people of different races.
    In what way does this provide a scientific basis for opposition to racism? If there were a great difference, would racism be justified? How much fundamental difference would provide a basis for racism?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chrisgorlitz View Post
    I think children should be taught from being little at school so that they all understand why we shouldn't execute people. Then we won't have people growing up not understanding this.
    Some of those children, who are taught at an early age, that we should not execute people, will be executed at some point by their fellow pupils. Murder happens, it always will and needs to be dealt with. The UK is far too soft on criminals. Just off the top of my head, here are a few murders that need to be deep sixed.

    Fred West - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    Moors murders - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    Peter Sutcliffe - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    Murder of Joanna Yeates - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    Cumberland News | News | Man who murdered farmer's wife near Carlisle launches freedom bid

    The last one is very local to me, and says it all about our soft justice system.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Harold14370 View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by kojax View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Chrisgorlitz View Post
    Racism is fortunately getting to be one of those issues. Opposition to racism also has a scientific basis now. That is to say anthropologists and geneticists agree there is very little fundamental difference between people of different races.
    In what way does this provide a scientific basis for opposition to racism? If there were a great difference, would racism be justified? How much fundamental difference would provide a basis for racism?
    The old racist theories claimed that some people were actually a different, lower species, like how a dog is a different species.

    Clearly we feel ourselves entitled to treat dogs differently than humans. We don't hate dogs, but they're expected to be subservient, and it's not considered murder to kill one.
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