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| |-+  Individual Politics (Moderators: Grad Students are the Worst, Torie, Sheriff Buford TX Justice)
| | |-+  Do you support the Death Penalty
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Question: Yes or No?
Yes (D)   -14 (11.7%)
No (D)   -38 (31.7%)
Yes (R)   -22 (18.3%)
No (R)   -7 (5.8%)
Yes (I)   -15 (12.5%)
No (I)   -24 (20%)
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Total Voters: 119

Author Topic: Do you support the Death Penalty  (Read 13172 times)
AkSaber
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« Reply #25 on: October 28, 2007, 03:41:32 pm »
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I support the death penalty.

As do I.
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Mr. Paleoconservative
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« Reply #26 on: October 28, 2007, 03:46:11 pm »
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People who commit murder or molest children should, if the states and the juries so choose, face the death penalty.
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« Reply #27 on: October 28, 2007, 03:48:25 pm »
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Yes, though it's application should require a heinous crime and enough solid evidence to remove any reasonable doubt of innocence.

How can a libertarian support the use of the death penalty?
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« Reply #28 on: October 28, 2007, 04:04:00 pm »
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I support the death penalty in theory but have a lot of problems with it in actual practice.  I agree that some individuals deserve to die.  The death penalty can also be a strong tool for prosecutors when negotiating with guilty defendants, such as in the Gary Ridgway case.  (Though many were disappointed that the prosecutor in question did not seek the death penalty for Ridgway).

In practice, however, the death penalty has serious issues.  In Illinois, for instance, they had to put a moratorium on their death penalty when DNA evidence exonerated several convicts on death row.  The fear of executing an innocent person is a huge deal for me.  If we are going to have the death penalty, it goes without saying that the process must be held to the highest possible critical standard.  It is like brain surgery -- there is no room for error.
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Hashemite
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« Reply #29 on: October 28, 2007, 04:22:26 pm »
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I support it only for indisputable evidence of child molesting (that led to the death of the children), mass and/or serial murder (over 10 persons killed by the same person), high treason, and war crimes. In other cases, no. (I/Oth)
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« Reply #30 on: October 28, 2007, 04:34:56 pm »
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Looking at the Wiki map Jas posted, it's quite interesting that Turkmenistan has outlawed the death penalty. Was Turkmenbashi pro-life? :p
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IDS Judicial Overlord John Dibble
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« Reply #31 on: October 28, 2007, 04:40:20 pm »
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Yes, though it's application should require a heinous crime and enough solid evidence to remove any reasonable doubt of innocence.

How can a libertarian support the use of the death penalty?

There's no requirement in libertarian philosophy that requires a libertarian to support keeping or abolishing the death penalty. Like abortion, it's at least partially an issue of personal morals and the Libertarian Party has no official stance on the subject.

My personal view is that it is the only way to truly remove a very violent and dangerous criminal from society so that they will not pose a threat to anyone. You could put such people in prison for life, but this will not necessarily mean they can't cause any harm. Often such people can and do harm prison guards, nurses, etc. as well as their fellow inmates who may include non-violent criminals. (ideally non-violent and violent criminals would be separated, but unfortunately that isn't always the case) High ranking gang leaders who have been imprisoned on multiple life sentences still somehow manage to direct their gangs from a prison cell. Though rare, there's also the chance of escape. Theoretically, you could lock them in solitary confinement for life, but this still involves guards, nurses, etc. having to interact with them occasionally which can put them at risk. There's also potential mental and physical health issues associated with solitary confinement, so it could be construed as cruel and unusual. (personally, I think solitary confinement for many years is much worse than dying)

To me, the first goal of a good justice system is to protect the people from criminals. Punishment and (where applicable) rehabilitation are secondary. I hold no particular love for the death penalty, and again I stress that it must be applied only in rare situations, but I do feel that it's use is unfortunately a necessity in those situations.
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« Reply #32 on: October 28, 2007, 04:43:00 pm »
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Yes, though I would be fine with life-imprisonment if capital punishment was overturned.  This really isn't an issue I am particularly passionate about, so I am fine whichever way the wind blows. 
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Tetro Kornbluth
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« Reply #33 on: October 28, 2007, 06:14:30 pm »
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Yes, though it's application should require a heinous crime and enough solid evidence to remove any reasonable doubt of innocence.

How can a libertarian support the use of the death penalty?

Al, haven't we learned by now that *ahem* "libertarians" are only for liberty for rich, white, protestant men? Respectable people who know their place in society.
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« Reply #34 on: October 28, 2007, 06:51:43 pm »
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There's no requirement in libertarian philosophy that requires a libertarian to support keeping or abolishing the death penalty.

I had been under the impression that the whole point of libertarianism is opposition to the power of the state.
Otherwise what is it but an ideology created to defend the lifestyles of those who follow it?
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Colin
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« Reply #35 on: October 28, 2007, 08:00:38 pm »
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Yes, though it's application should require a heinous crime and enough solid evidence to remove any reasonable doubt of innocence.

How can a libertarian support the use of the death penalty?

A question that I pondered for some time before finally deciding that I could not. If you follow the libertarian ideology of the minimal state and reducing the power of the state then taking away its power to take life is an essential part of that. If a government has power over the life and death of its citizens it therefore has the ultimate power over all it rules. If judges and justices hold the power of capital punishment then they hold a power that I seriously don't believe that any libertarian would condone.
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« Reply #36 on: October 28, 2007, 08:20:23 pm »
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There's no requirement in libertarian philosophy that requires a libertarian to support keeping or abolishing the death penalty.

I had been under the impression that the whole point of libertarianism is opposition to the power of the state.
Otherwise what is it but an ideology created to defend the lifestyles of those who follow it?

The whole goal, as I understand it, is a maximization of rights and freedoms.  It seems to me that a case could be made that those who are known to be murderous individuals are both a danger to others' rights and freedoms and undeserving of their own rights and freedoms, having taken those of other people away, and as such, that removing these people from society helps achieve the goal I stated.

A similar justification could be found for allowing the state to imprison people; indeed, if someone supported neither the death penalty nor imprisonment for the reason you gave, that person would be an anarchist, not a simple libertarian.
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« Reply #37 on: October 28, 2007, 09:10:55 pm »
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Libertarianism is a political philosophy of non-aggression against the person and property of individuals. But it is not a political philosophy of non-retaliation. If it were, not merely capital punishment, but imprisonment as well, would be incompatible with it.

I had been under the impression that the whole point of libertarianism is opposition to the power of the state.

Few libertarians oppose the punishment of crime, legitimately defined. An anarchocapitalist would wish to separate this function from the state; a minarchist would see this as one of government's only legitimate functions. In either case, there is no inherent conflict with capital punishment.

There are, of course, numerous philosophical trappings when it comes to libertarian law enforcement. For who is to be the judge of whether a person is actually guilty, and where does he (or they, it, whatever) get this authority? Someone's rights are, in some sense, going to be held at the mercy of others. But this is equally true when it comes to imprisonment or even imposition of a fine.

Al, haven't we learned by now that *ahem* "libertarians" are only for liberty for rich, white, protestant men? Respectable people who know their place in society.

We are not for the equal liberty of criminals.
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Nym90
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« Reply #38 on: October 28, 2007, 10:02:03 pm »
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There's no requirement in libertarian philosophy that requires a libertarian to support keeping or abolishing the death penalty.

I had been under the impression that the whole point of libertarianism is opposition to the power of the state.
Otherwise what is it but an ideology created to defend the lifestyles of those who follow it?

The whole goal, as I understand it, is a maximization of rights and freedoms.  It seems to me that a case could be made that those who are known to be murderous individuals are both a danger to others' rights and freedoms and undeserving of their own rights and freedoms, having taken those of other people away, and as such, that removing these people from society helps achieve the goal I stated.

A similar justification could be found for allowing the state to imprison people; indeed, if someone supported neither the death penalty nor imprisonment for the reason you gave, that person would be an anarchist, not a simple libertarian.

True, but similar justifications could be made for any expanse of government power. In fact I would argue that the vast majority of government programs actually enhance freedom overall, when one truly considers all people and all possible types of freedom.

Libertarianism as a philosophy seems to focus on the idea that the only source of tyranny and oppression is the government, which is in my opinion its biggest failing.

Libertarianism is a political philosophy of non-aggression against the person and property of individuals. But it is not a political philosophy of non-retaliation. If it were, not merely capital punishment, but imprisonment as well, would be incompatible with it.

Interesting and well put.

The problem with this, however, is that it's a bit simplistic; what exactly constitutes property is very much in debate, for one. For example, what would the libertarian position have been on slavery? Or what about intellectual property such as copyright?

What about things like one's emotions, hopes, fears, dreams, or ambitions? These all could, or could not, be considered property, depending on how one wants to define the term. The entire concept of land as property was, of course, the greatest overall source of conflict in the settlement of the Western world.
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« Reply #39 on: October 29, 2007, 03:59:04 am »
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ABSOLUTELY! (R)
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« Reply #40 on: October 29, 2007, 04:59:51 am »
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I support it only for indisputable evidence of child molesting (that led to the death of the children), mass and/or serial murder (over 10 persons killed by the same person), high treason, and war crimes. In other cases, no. (I/Oth)

Interesting!  So if I killed one child with a blunt object I would not be executed, as long as it wasn't my blunt object?
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« Reply #41 on: October 29, 2007, 06:03:50 am »
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No, not really. I might make an exception for Hitler/Bush types, though.
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IDS Judicial Overlord John Dibble
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« Reply #42 on: October 29, 2007, 08:19:52 am »
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True, but similar justifications could be made for any expanse of government power.

True, which is why as people of intelligence we must consider such arguments in depth rather than taking them at face value. Some degree of government is necessary otherwise you get chaos and anarchy which likely leads to tyranny in the long run. Too much government however leads to the people being controlled and freedoms being restricted. While similar justifications could be made for many government expansions, that doesn't mean those justifications are necessarily valid. We may come to different conclusions, but what matters more to me is that we use logic and reason to come to those conclusions.

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Libertarianism as a philosophy seems to focus on the idea that the only source of tyranny and oppression is the government, which is in my opinion its biggest failing.

It isn't the only source, but it is a large one. Since the government has the most power, (they probably wouldn't be in charge otherwise) it has the greatest ability to oppress the people, so it seems natural to concentrate one's efforts mainly on the government. For the same reasons, other oppressive forces will often concentrate their efforts on getting the government to do what they want. Take for instance corporations lobbying government for corporate welfare, land seizures for private use, etc. - libertarians oppose these things, but we aren't going to get them to stop lobbying for them by asking the corporations nicely. It's the government that gives them these things, so we need to get the government to say "no" before anything else can be done.

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For example, what would the libertarian position have been on slavery?

Libertarian views of property start with self-ownership, so slavery is abhorrent to libertarians.

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Or what about intellectual property such as copyright?

Most libertarians would agree to some degree of law involving copyright. That degree varies by individual though.

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What about things like one's emotions, hopes, fears, dreams, or ambitions? These all could, or could not, be considered property, depending on how one wants to define the term.

One's emotions, hopes, fears, dreams, and ambitions are part of one's self, so under the doctrine of self-ownership they belong the person they came from.
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« Reply #43 on: October 29, 2007, 07:20:59 pm »
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People who commit murder or molest children should, if the states and the juries so choose, face the death penalty.

While I do not support the death penalty in any case, it find it interesting that one would support the death penalty for child molestation (if it doesn't result in the child's death).
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« Reply #44 on: October 29, 2007, 07:48:44 pm »
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People who commit murder or molest children should, if the states and the juries so choose, face the death penalty.

While I do not support the death penalty in any case, it find it interesting that one would support the death penalty for child molestation (if it doesn't result in the child's death).

Though I don't agree with that idea, there is an argument to be made that it might be even worse for a child to get terribly molested and then live, scarred for life.
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« Reply #45 on: October 29, 2007, 08:15:27 pm »
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People who commit murder or molest children should, if the states and the juries so choose, face the death penalty.

While I do not support the death penalty in any case, it find it interesting that one would support the death penalty for child molestation (if it doesn't result in the child's death).

Though I don't agree with that idea, there is an argument to be made that it might be even worse for a child to get terribly molested and then live, scarred for life.

It's also viewed as a heinous crime by pretty much everyone - even prison inmates hate child molesters. Might have to do with our maternal and paternal instincts that drive us to protect children.
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« Reply #46 on: October 29, 2007, 08:16:02 pm »
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Weakly support, and only in the case of premeditated homicide (or whatever the legal term is for cold-blooded murder).
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Sam Spade
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« Reply #47 on: October 29, 2007, 08:39:55 pm »
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Weakly support, and only in the case of premeditated homicide (or whatever the legal term is for cold-blooded murder).


In most sensible jurisdictions nowadays, the bump-up from first degree "intent to kill" murder to a death-penalty eligible murder occurs through the occurrence of aggravated circumstances in the crime as defined by statute - such as killing a police officer or being convicted of aggravated robbery, as well as murder in the same crime.

This occurred because of the difficulty of defining what "premeditated murder" is.  Does it occur in a split-second or does it take a period of time?  Courts are all over the place on this one.
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Sam Spade
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« Reply #48 on: October 29, 2007, 08:41:58 pm »
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Oh, and I support the death penalty (even for some members of this forum, likely).  Repeated child rape, murder with aggravated circumstances, probably not much more than that.
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« Reply #49 on: October 29, 2007, 08:53:39 pm »
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Weakly support, and only in the case of premeditated homicide (or whatever the legal term is for cold-blooded murder).


In most sensible jurisdictions nowadays, the bump-up from first degree "intent to kill" murder to a death-penalty eligible murder occurs through the occurrence of aggravated circumstances in the crime as defined by statute - such as killing a police officer or being convicted of aggravated robbery, as well as murder in the same crime.

This occurred because of the difficulty of defining what "premeditated murder" is.  Does it occur in a split-second or does it take a period of time?  Courts are all over the place on this one.

I assumed there would be some confusion over how 'premeditated' is defined.

I don't quite agree with the idea that the question "who have you killed?" should play a part in determining whether a homicide is aggravated or not. But it is somewhat rational, so I suppose I support it.
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