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Give Us Your Feeble and Your Weak, We'll Kill Them

Clarence Ray Allen, 76, blind, crippled and riddled with diabetes and heart disease, is set to be executed at San Quentin tomorrow. Yesterday, the 9th Circuit denied his appeal in a 35 page opinion (pdf). [Update: the Supreme Court has declined to intervene.] Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger denied Allen's request last week that he be granted clemency so he could die of natural causes in jail. He's been on death row for 23 years. (Background here.)

I'm reminded once again of the words of Martin Luther King, (and Gandhi before him)

That old law about "an eye for an eye" leaves everybody blind. The time is always right to do the right thing.

Perhaps the Supreme Court will listen and stop the execution. It's doubtful. Next year, with Judge Sam Alito on the bench, when another one of our graying, feeble prisoners on death row is carried to the gurney, there will be even less reason to hope for a reprieve.

The Los Angeles Times opines Allen's execution is about us, not about him, and calls for a moratorium on the death penalty.

Additonal Reads:

[Graphic created exclusively for TalkLeft by CL.]

Update: The San Francisco Chronicle has an editorial today, Death with Indignity:

It seems that each execution comes with its distinct set of absurdities that raise the question of what, if anything, the state of California is accomplishing with these spectacles. But none has been quite as absurd as this one.

...Clarence Ray Allen is a despicable, barbaric character. He belongs in prison. But Californians will not wait for a natural end to his sorry life. Just after midnight, he will be pulled out of his wheelchair and ushered to his San Quentin deathbed for an injection of lethal poison. In the great scorecard of humanity, will it matter whether the guards are gentle or rough in the final moments? Does California get extra points for sparing him from a silent, ordinary death by heart failure on Sept. 2? Was it cruel or compassionate to schedule his death exactly one minute after his birthday?

Set aside the moral issues. Will Allen's execution deter a single killer? Consider this: Allen was responsible for one killing when there was no death penalty in California -- and three more after it was reinstated.

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    Re: Give Us Your Feeble and Your Weak, We'll Kill (none / 0) (#1)
    by pigwiggle on Mon Jan 16, 2006 at 09:50:23 AM EST
    How is a man’s age or health a reason not to carry out the death penalty? And , in particular, this man’s health and age are testament to a lengthy and thorough appeals process. But really, it is this man who is being put to death, Allen in 1970, just before the crime.

    Re: Give Us Your Feeble and Your Weak, We'll Kill (none / 0) (#2)
    by ras on Mon Jan 16, 2006 at 09:54:04 AM EST
    There are valid args in favor of, and in opposition to, the death penalty. Sympathy for coldhearted killers is not one of them.

    Re: Give Us Your Feeble and Your Weak, We'll Kill (none / 0) (#3)
    by caramel on Mon Jan 16, 2006 at 09:57:25 AM EST
    It's not a matter of age, it's a question of decency. At a time when the US is pretending to enforce democracy elsewhere on this planet, it cannot continue to behave like a banana republic. Killing is wrong no matter what and particularly when it's meant to serve as punishment to prove that killing is wrong... Nobody should be executed, it is not the way of the future. Justice is not about vengeance although America has a very strange sense of punishment overall. No justice system should kill, wihtout exceptions.

    NPR was quoting people the other day who said that support for the death penalty is eroding again - I certainly hope so.

    Re: Give Us Your Feeble and Your Weak, We'll Kill (none / 0) (#5)
    by swingvote on Mon Jan 16, 2006 at 10:13:12 AM EST
    At a time when the US is pretending to enforce democracy elsewhere on this planet, it cannot continue to behave like a banana republic. Caramel, Does this reference to democracy imply that if we held a vote and a majority of the people in this country chose to keep the death penalty for certain offenses, the cries about it being unfair would go away? Do the people in a democracy have the right to set the laws, and the punishments for breaking them, in all cases? Or are there things that are simply not permitted to the public, even in a democracy?

    Re: Give Us Your Feeble and Your Weak, We'll Kill (none / 0) (#6)
    by jimakaPPJ on Mon Jan 16, 2006 at 10:13:42 AM EST
    Caramel - One of the basic reasons for the governments to be formed was to eliminate blood feuds between families and clans by providing justice that was satisfactory to those wronged. Thus executions of murderers by the state is one of the very cornerstones of law and justice. As I have noted before, if there is any doubt about the guilt, then the penalty should be LWOP. In this case there isn't.

    One good argument against, from the LA Times Op-Ed referred to above:
    In recent years, 14 former death row inmates have been exonerated across the nation by post-conviction DNA analysis, according to the Innocence Project, which opposes capital punishment.
    How do death penalty supporters respond to evidence that innocent people have been wrongly sentenced to capital punishment, and wrongly executed?

    PPJ: One of the basic reasons for the governments to be formed was to eliminate blood feuds between families and clans by providing justice that was satisfactory to those wronged. Now this link, I gotta see.

    Re: Give Us Your Feeble and Your Weak, We'll Kill (none / 0) (#9)
    by pigwiggle on Mon Jan 16, 2006 at 10:17:02 AM EST
    “…it's a question of decency.”
    No, it’s a question of justice.
    “Killing is wrong no matter what …”
    Killing can be justified in many circumstances. For example, defending your life and the lives of your loved ones against men like this.
    “Justice is not about vengeance …”
    It absolutely is. Revenge is simply an action taken in response to a wrong. And certainly there is nothing extraordinary about this punishment in relation to the crime.

    Re: Give Us Your Feeble and Your Weak, We'll Kill (none / 0) (#10)
    by roy on Mon Jan 16, 2006 at 10:21:55 AM EST
    Ras,
    There are valid args in favor of, and in opposition to, the death penalty. Sympathy for coldhearted killers is not one of them.
    Who made up that rule? In a democracy, "valid args" are whatever arguments people feel like using. If one feels sympathy for a coldhearted killer -- maybe simply because he's still a human being -- then why doesn't that justify opposition to executing him? And if one feels that execution is just horribly horribly wrong, then whatever argument works is the right argument. (I have zero sympathy for the murderer, but I don't dismiss those who do)

    Re: Give Us Your Feeble and Your Weak, We'll Kill (none / 0) (#11)
    by Edger on Mon Jan 16, 2006 at 10:22:49 AM EST
    I think Dr. King would argue that a people that cannot or will not envision alternatives to the death penalty, kill themselves spiritually a little with each execution... And I think that is the strongest argument against it.

    Car: Justice is not about vengeance... pw: It absolutely is. Seems to me that sentencing can be used to punish, to rehabilitate, or to keep innocent people safe by incarcerating dangerous people. IMO, punishment is weakness.

    Re: Give Us Your Feeble and Your Weak, We'll Kill (none / 0) (#13)
    by pigwiggle on Mon Jan 16, 2006 at 10:45:05 AM EST
    “How do death penalty supporters respond to evidence that innocent people have been wrongly sentenced to capital punishment, and wrongly executed?”
    The 14 folks quoted by the Innocence Project were all exonerated through the appeals process; none of them were executed. They are, in fact, evidence that the process works, not that it doesn’t. Although, I have to say I have no doubt innocent folks have been executed. For me the execution of innocent folks is the only reason to suspend executions. I think most would be hard pressed to manufacture any sympathy for a certain killer. And this is why the widespread use of DNA evidence to exonerate might end up being a detriment to the anti-death penalty folks. When DNA evidence becomes the gold standard for conviction, casting doubt on the evidence is going to be difficult when it had always been good enough for exoneration. So really, in the end, death penalty opponents are probably going to need a better argument than innocents have been convicted in the past. Oh, and arguments like … “kill themselves spiritually a little with each execution...”, and “IMO, punishment is weakness.” actually look pretty silly.

    Re: Give Us Your Feeble and Your Weak, We'll Kill (none / 0) (#14)
    by ras on Mon Jan 16, 2006 at 10:45:38 AM EST
    If protection of innocent life is the gauge, then, absent the d.p., one must keep all convicted killers who are also members of gangs in solitary confinement for life, since the number of killings of innocents ordered by such people, from prison, exceeds the number of potential executions of the wrongfully convicted. Roy, If you sympathize with convicted psychopaths who murder without remorse, that's your choice, I guess. I wouldn't call it a valid arg, myself, but you can if you want. Diff'rent strokes.

    pigwiggle: The 14 folks quoted by the Innocence Project were all exonerated through the appeals process; none of them were executed. They are, in fact, evidence that the process works, not that it doesn’t.only because a non-profit organisation took an interest in their cases, how can we doubt that many who were as innocent were executed? The system is broken.

    Re: Give Us Your Feeble and Your Weak, We'll Kill (none / 0) (#16)
    by soccerdad on Mon Jan 16, 2006 at 10:52:06 AM EST
    The death penalty advocates always make the incorrect statement that being against the death penalty equals sympathy for the killer. Thats a false construct. One can be against the death penalty on moral grounds. I feel that killing anyone is a heinous act [self-defense exempted]. One heinous act does not then justify another. I have no symapthy for the killer, he can rot in jail. You want to believe differently fine, but don't accuse us of having sympathy for the killers.

    pw: The 14 folks quoted by the Innocence Project were all exonerated through the appeals process; none of them were executed. They are, in fact, evidence that the process works, not that it doesn’t. So, you're OK with a long appeals process then?

    Some people prefer capital punishment over life without parole, because they don't like the cost associated with LWOP, but isn't it true that after the costs of lengthy appeals, capital punishment becomes more expensive than LWOP? (I can look for a link on this if you want, it's been a while...) This has led some supporters of the death penalty to want to do away with the long appeals process, which you just said makes the system work.

    Re: Give Us Your Feeble and Your Weak, We'll Kill (none / 0) (#19)
    by pigwiggle on Mon Jan 16, 2006 at 11:04:45 AM EST
    “So, you're OK with a long appeals process then?”
    No. I would like to see truly innocent folks immediately released and truly guilty folks immediately killed. But it is what it is. Like I said, my only objection to execution is the risk of executing an innocent man. Although, it does seem that as the state of forensics advances the appeals process itself will become less relevant.

    The death penalty advocates always make the incorrect statement that being against the death penalty equals sympathy for the killer.
    Wow, talk about your false constructs... Anyway, all this talk of DNA evidence reminds me of an post-acquital interview I saw with one of the OJ jurists in which she said something to the effect of: "DNA evidence? They just try to confuse us with that stuff. It don't mean nothing."

    pw: The 14 folks... were all exonerated through the appeals process... evidence that the process works... me: So, you're OK with a long appeals process then? pw: No. Oh. Well, alright then.

    Re: Give Us Your Feeble and Your Weak, We'll Kill (none / 0) (#22)
    by Edger on Mon Jan 16, 2006 at 11:39:22 AM EST
    In reading the comments on this thread, I note that there have been various arguments made against CP. All of them are valid, none of them are the final word, or will persuade all who support CP. Curiously, and perhaps telling, unless I missed something here, there have been no justifying arguments made for CP by those who support it... only criticisms of the opinions and arguments of people who favor abolishing CP. Advocats of CP need better arguments, or at least some arguments. It appears that they have few, if not none.

    Before supporting clemency, you might want to do additional research. For instance, is there anyone else CRA could order the murders of from behind bars?

    Good point edger, perhaps the CP supporters that visit this site are tired of posting their just-as-valid arguments over and over and over and over...

    sarcastic: ...perhaps the CP supporters that visit this site are tired of posting their just-as-valid arguments over and over... sounds like you are suggesting then, that they are just here to be snarky.

    Re: Give Us Your Feeble and Your Weak, We'll Kill (none / 0) (#26)
    by soccerdad on Mon Jan 16, 2006 at 12:13:25 PM EST
    Wow, talk about your false constructs...
    valid criticism let me rephrase The death penalty advocates who make the incorrect statement that being against the death penalty equals sympathy for the killer

    This is perfect. What better image to cast out there to the rest of the world, to show what this country has become and truly means. Shameful. And embarrassing.

    In all the posts that I have read only one ref. the mans deeds that landed him on death row. Of those none of them were from the murdered individuals families. I can say with honesty and sincerity as someone who's step-father was murdered in 1989 by a man with a butcher knife over a pack of cigarettes.... I did not wish to seek the death penalty then and do not agree with it now, However, I do not understand the sympathy for this 4x multiple murderer because he has become ill in the prison system. I do hope that the Gov. allows him his Stay of Execution. Not on the grounds of sympathy but on the grounds of Morality. "Thou-Shall-Not-Kill" and as the constitution of this country has been slaughtered by generations past so shall the Ten Commandments. For a Nation without Moral Guidence is doomed to fail.......

    lea-p: to the rest of the world... Who cares what the rest of the world thinks? What do we need them for, anyway? Oh yeah, that.

    Re: Give Us Your Feeble and Your Weak, We'll Kill (none / 0) (#30)
    by pigwiggle on Mon Jan 16, 2006 at 12:38:20 PM EST
    “me: So, you're OK with a long appeals process then? pw: No. Oh. Well, alright then.”
    You did read the qualification, didn’t you? We can both agree that a short appeals process is best when the end result is the exoneration of an innocent man. Right?
    “Advocats of CP need better arguments, or at least some arguments. It appears that they have few, if not none.”
    I have one single argument; forget about deterrence and so forth. It is simply just, parity in crime and punishment. When someone commits a crime, the victim should be made whole at the perpetrators expense, with some additional penance for the act and interest of course. When it is murder and the victim cannot be repaid the victim’s family is next in line to collect the debt. And, as little value as the life of a willful murderer has, it is really all they have to repay the debt. They are owed the satisfaction of seeing the man die.

    pw: You did read the qualification, didn’t you? Yes. pw: We can both agree that a short appeals process is best when the end result is the exoneration of an innocent man. Right? Right, the only situations that are of grave concern to me are the ones where an innocent person is executed. From earlier, pw: ...as the state of forensics advances the appeals process itself will become less relevant. Link please.

    Re: Give Us Your Feeble and Your Weak, We'll Kill (none / 0) (#32)
    by jimakaPPJ on Mon Jan 16, 2006 at 12:46:19 PM EST
    SD wrote:
    One can be against the death penalty on moral grounds. I feel that killing anyone is a heinous act [self-defense exempted].
    Actually, it isn't about "you." Now I know that many of our younger citizens can't grasp that concept when they run up against a rule they don't like, but that is a fact. What it is about is providing justice for two distinct groups. One is the family and friends of the victim. I made the point earlier that one of the reasons for government is to eliminate blood feuds between families and clans to extract justice for the death of one of them. When that basic concept falls apart, then the victims' families and friends develop an easy to understand distaste for the law, and the system is undermined. The second group is society. The killer has offended "society" as a whole by his actions. If the punishment doesn't fit the crime and appear to deter further crime, then society as a whole starts to see that government can not protect them from the bad guys and the desire/need to protect themselves increases is reflected in increased gun sales, security systems, etc. Again the system is undermined. So capital punishment in cases where there is no doubt of guilt is mandated.

    Re: Give Us Your Feeble and Your Weak, We'll Kill (none / 0) (#33)
    by Edger on Mon Jan 16, 2006 at 12:47:10 PM EST
    PW: ...as little value as the life of a willful murderer has, it is really all they have to repay the debt. They are owed the satisfaction of seeing the man die. I think most understand the emotional satisfaction stemming from desire for revenge and retribution that lies behind that view... By the same logic we should be raping rapists, stealing from thieves, molesting molesters, etc. etc... Those are absurd suggestions, I think you'd agree. We, society, none of us, would gain or be better off in any way from such actions. We gain nothing and are no better off from executing anyone...

    edger: By the same logic we should be raping rapists, stealing from thieves, molesting molesters, etc. etc... guess you've never been in a lock up.

    Re: Give Us Your Feeble and Your Weak, We'll Kill (none / 0) (#35)
    by jimakaPPJ on Mon Jan 16, 2006 at 12:53:51 PM EST
    Wayne Lane - Execution under law is not murder. It is a legal act and is as moral as killing an animal for food, given that both acts are done to further the good of the person(s) to be fed and for society to exist as an orderly and lawful group with protection for all.

    Re: Give Us Your Feeble and Your Weak, We'll Kill (none / 0) (#36)
    by caramel on Mon Jan 16, 2006 at 12:58:35 PM EST
    Justpaul Caramel, Does this reference to democracy imply that if we held a vote and a majority of the people in this country chose to keep the death penalty for certain offenses, the cries about it being unfair would go away? - No because abolition is a political decision even if it's also a moral choice too. Numerous countries have abolished despite a majority of the population against abolition. This didn't stop those candidates from being elected and re-elected. We have to trust our governments (ha/ha) to do the right thing for long term democracy. Do the people in a democracy have the right to set the laws, and the punishments for breaking them, in all cases? Or are there things that are simply not permitted to the public, even in a democracy? - People in a democracy have the right to elect candidates who will best represent their views and sadly no the majority cannot be trusted to directly set the laws, however the same people have great power (if only they use it) to influence their representatives to vote and pass bills. Criminal issues in general will raise emotion reactions from the victims, their families and the public, however a justice system is there to balance the issues at stake to decide in all fairness and humanity. The very worrying thing in America today is that the justice system is becoming a dangerous tool for political propaganda and doesn't serve the founding principles of justice or the constitution itself, more sadly very few American citizens appear to care or to realize how many of their rights are beig taken away one by one.Human justice will never be infalible and therefore should never use irreversible punishment in any form or shape.

    Re: Give Us Your Feeble and Your Weak, We'll Kill (none / 0) (#37)
    by pigwiggle on Mon Jan 16, 2006 at 01:02:24 PM EST
    “We, society, none of us, would gain or be better off in any way from such actions.”
    You are confused; it’s not your obligation. Society is an abstract, a construct, it doesn’t have rights, or needs, it can’t hold debts or extend credit; these are things individuals have. The victim owns the obligation, not you or society.
    “By the same logic we should be raping rapists, stealing from thieves, molesting molesters, etc. etc... Those are absurd suggestions, I think you'd agree.”
    The idea isn’t to emulate the crime with the punishment; it’s to attempt to provide parity, plus a bit extra. Molesting a molester, as you suggest, would hardly be commensurate. I don’t know, maybe a couple decades of forced labor from which the victim would benefit. Anyway, when someone willfully murders they owe more than can be extracted; so they pay the ultimate price.

    Re: Give Us Your Feeble and Your Weak, We'll Kill (none / 0) (#38)
    by Edger on Mon Jan 16, 2006 at 01:02:29 PM EST
    punisher:
    raping rapists, stealing from thieves, molesting molesters, etc. etc... guess you've never been in a lock up.
    Oftener than I care to discuss here. But that's irrelevant. We don't do such things and call them justice under law.

    Re: Give Us Your Feeble and Your Weak, We'll Kill (none / 0) (#39)
    by Edger on Mon Jan 16, 2006 at 01:06:42 PM EST
    PW:
    so they pay the ultimate price.
    LWOP. No freedom, ever. No parole, ever. Security is a separate issue. Punishment and deterrence are both satisfied. If that's not enough then revenge and retribution are the only motivators.

    Re: Give Us Your Feeble and Your Weak, We'll Kill (none / 0) (#40)
    by pigwiggle on Mon Jan 16, 2006 at 01:23:00 PM EST
    “From earlier, pw: ...as the state of forensics advances the appeals process itself will become less relevant. Link please.”
    Link? That’s not how this works; you say ‘I disagree’ and then provide some kind of reasoning.

    me: From earlier, pw: ...as the state of forensics advances the appeals process itself will become less relevant. Link please. pw: Link? That’s not how this works; you say ‘I disagree’ and then provide some kind of reasoning. Oh. No thanks. If I'd known you were just making stuff up, I wouldn't have bothered to engage with you at all.

    ...perhaps the CP supporters that visit this site are tired of posting their just-as-valid arguments over and over...me
    sounds like you are suggesting then, that they are just here to be snarky. punisher
    punisher, thanks for the definitive example of what makes it so tiresome.

    sarc: punisher, thanks for the definitive example of what makes it so tiresome. So in addition to masochism, what is it that keeps bringing you back?

    Re: Give Us Your Feeble and Your Weak, We'll Kill (none / 0) (#44)
    by pigwiggle on Mon Jan 16, 2006 at 02:22:07 PM EST
    “Oh. No thanks. If I'd known you were just making stuff up, I wouldn't have bothered to engage with you at all.”
    Right. OK, appeals based on insufficient evidence should become less frequent, at least less frequently granted. Take the simple example of trace evidence. A hit and run driver convicted predominantly on the color of paint transfer may have once had a shot. Now that transfer cannot only be matched to color or brand, it can be analyzed for an exact composition, which would enable it to be uniquely identified to a surface. An appellate court might find the color coincidental but not the exact paint. The corollary of the insufficient evidence argument is the case of new evidence. For new evidence to be considered it’s presence would need to have made a material difference. With the credibility of forensic evidence it becomes increasingly improbable for any single piece of new evidence to make a material difference. Further, juries are becoming more conditioned to expect this kind of evidence. Court TV, primetime crime drama, crime fiction; folks expect DNA, hair, fiber, and so forth. Over time they should be less apt to convict someone in absence of forensic evidence. And last, as the accuracy of forensic evidence improves so will the identification of the true perpetrator. Fewer innocent people will be tried and convicted for crimes others committed. And of course, when actually guilty folks stand trial there should be abundant evidence; they were there, they committed the crime. More evidence precludes appeals on lack of evidence and the weight of new evidence. Oh, and your link.

    The U.S. Supreme Court just rejected his appeal.

    Wayne Lane - Execution under law is not murder. It is a legal act and is as moral as killing an animal for food, given that both acts are done to further the good of the person(s) to be fed and for society to exist as an orderly and lawful group with protection for all.
    Execution is not murder because it is the law? Again you justify my earlier comments....The Ten Commandements have been slaughtered just as the Constitution has been. Show me in the Ten Commandments where it states "Thou Shall Not Kill (unless some government 3000 years from now determines that they shall determine it is legal)" Sorry, Thou Shall Not Kill. Period;End of sentence; TAP CITY

    edger... By the same logic we should be raping rapists, stealing from thieves, molesting molesters, Hey...you may be on to something there! Molest a child...and big bubba will molest you. Steel something and we will break into your place & steel your stuff. Rape a woman and you will be raped.... hummmm...!!?? The old "eye for an eye" ...(for those of you that like to quote the Bible or the Ten commandments) ... Maybe that would stop most of the crime? Well, at the very least I think part of your punishment (debt to society) should be to repay the victim of your crime in some fashion.

    Re: Give Us Your Feeble and Your Weak, We'll Kill (none / 0) (#48)
    by pigwiggle on Mon Jan 16, 2006 at 03:23:08 PM EST
    “… The Ten Commandements have been slaughtered just as the Constitution has been. Show me in the Ten Commandments where it states "Thou Shall Not Kill (unless …”
    Actually, your interpretation is a fine example of the misrepresentation of that particular commandment. The Hebrew translation of that commandment is closer to ‘Thou Shall not Murder’, where murder is rough translation of the Hebrew word ratsach; to kill by negligence, or kill as a wild animal. But to understand the true meaning of ratsach in relation to the commandment you would need to read each instance of it’s use in the Hebrew Bible or maybe the masoretic text. Anyway, if correctly interpreted to allow capital punishment, so what? It’s still a fairy tale.

    Re: Give Us Your Feeble and Your Weak, We'll Kill (none / 0) (#49)
    by kdog on Mon Jan 16, 2006 at 03:26:23 PM EST
    BB...looks good on paper, but it's been tried and and all of those crimes are still with us. Besides, with "eye for an eye", in addition to innocent men occasionally being wrongly incarcerated or executed, they will be wrongly raped, molested, assaulted, or burglarized by the state. Not cool brother.

    Re: Give Us Your Feeble and Your Weak, We'll Kill (none / 0) (#50)
    by Edger on Mon Jan 16, 2006 at 03:39:16 PM EST
    BB: Hey...you may be on to something there! You may get your wish. If BushCo continues to set such a fine example, all laws will be disregarded by every child growing up now. It will become a free for all... you know... might makes right... "You p*ss me off, bang, you're a dead man"

    Killing to show that killing is wrong, smacks of illogical behavior to me. A nationwide poll I would have to guess would probably end up a 50/50 split on this issue. A whole hell of a lot of people hell bent on payback. Lets just call the death penalty what it is: A revenge killing. The govermnent serving the purpose of the lynch mob.

    Re: Give Us Your Feeble and Your Weak, We'll Kill (none / 0) (#52)
    by Patrick on Mon Jan 16, 2006 at 05:01:23 PM EST
    well goatboy, you would be wrong.

    Re: Give Us Your Feeble and Your Weak, We'll Kill (none / 0) (#53)
    by ras on Mon Jan 16, 2006 at 05:30:47 PM EST
    Strip away the holier-than-thou posing and associated fluff, and there's really only one good arg against the d.p. But it's very good. *** Re the govt: how you gonna control their killing? You can't even control their spending. The great massacres of history have all been done, one way or the other, by govts. When they run amok, the scale is so devastating as to preclude any arg against letting them kill. The body counts of history, "retail" crime vs govts, attest to as much. The parallel arg in the US is to the 2nd amendment. Occasional gun deaths are tolerated because the fear is that an unarmed citizenry would end up slaughtered eventually by their own govt and that would be worse. History agrees with this view and pronounces the 2nd amendment very wise. But then, doesn't it go both ways? If the goal is to restrain the greater threat - govt - by arming the populace, does it not make sense also to take away the govt's ability to kill, as well? *** Other args against the d.p. are usually based on loving up the killers, or pretending that weakness is strength. The defence-against-govt arg is the only one I know of that holds up on closer inspection. It can still be countered - e.g. one can argue that the 2nd amendment's protections make the d.p. possible by providing the necessary protection - but it at least makes sense.

    Re: Give Us Your Feeble and Your Weak, We'll Kill (none / 0) (#54)
    by soccerdad on Tue Jan 17, 2006 at 03:13:24 AM EST
    Other args against the d.p. are usually based on loving up the killers,
    the usual, unfounded BS

    - People in a democracy have the right to elect candidates who will best represent their views and sadly no the majority cannot be trusted to directly set the laws, however the same people have great power (if only they use it) to influence their representatives to vote and pass bills. Caramel, You use the word "democracy" but what you really mean is oligarchy. You don't want the people to actually have the power to choose for themselves unless they choose as you or your pre-selected group of "wise men" have determined they should.

    goatboy... Killing to show that killing is wrong, smacks of illogical behavior to me. Actually...that's not why it's done. Everyone knows (or at least should) at a very early age that killing is wrong. The state kills (as you put it) to extract revenge / justice. BTW...I am known as "goatboy" to my friends due to my kick ass 66 GTO. " Little GTO...she's really lookin fine...3 deuces and a 4 speed and a 389"

    The death penalty should be abolished. it's about time America starts joining the rest of the "developed" world and stop executing people. i heard that there's one execution every 2 days in America. In Europe people have been beheaded, hung, drawn and quartered, had their heads stuck on a pole. they've been stocked, stretched, had their tongues cut out,and so on. this should all be history now. As a civilized society there is prison and that's a humane way of punishing people. Please, how can anyone justify the death penalty even if they are 100% guilty. "an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth" is also ancient history.