November 16, 2005

U.S. Death Penalty by the Numbers

from - smijer

Hippy Dave. My additions are in the comments, typos and all:

0 - people brought back to life by 944 state killings
0 - amount of good done by 944 state killings
944 - families that continue to sufferr because of state killings
1 - nation of taxpayers who have both innocent and guilty blood on their hands.

Once again, for what? In a futile attempt to satisfy adolescent cravings for vengeance: cravings that cannot be filled - only grown out of.


Posted by smijer at November 16, 2005 07:56 AM

0 - Recidivism rate for murderers that were appropriately convicted and summarily executed

univar.jpg Posted by m on November 16, 2005 07:54 PM
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Compared with what recidivism rate for "appropriately convicted" murderers who were kept in prison until they died or were later exonerated of their crimes?

univar.jpg Posted by smijer on November 16, 2005 09:02 PM
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0 - Recidivism rate for murderers that were appropriately convicted and summarily executed

As Smijer said, this argument does not work. The recidivism rate does not matter when your options are death or life without parole.

Do you realize that 122 people since the 70's have been found guilty of murder and sentenced to death, but later were found innocent?

And do you realize that in the last century 31 people have been killed who have later been found innocent?

All in a quest for vengeance and "justice" that is built on false pretenses.

univar.jpg Posted by dave on November 17, 2005 11:29 AM
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In my opinion, the recidivism arguement is the only arguement that does work for capital punishment.

Other arguments that don't work
- Cost. It is cheaper to imprison some for the rest of their life then to put them to death because of the cost of appeals.
- Deterent. People don't seem to think about the potential consequences when they do something the would merit the death penalty. If they did, they likely would rethink their action in the first place.
- Life in prison w/o parole vs death. This has been tightened down some (especially in Federal prisons) but life w/o parole doesn't always mean what it says.

I would agree that our system of justice that proscribes "beyond reasonable doubt" is insufficient when combined with the death penalty. Perhaps if the level were set to "beyond any doubt"?

The argument that it is better for X guilty men to go free than for one innocent man to be put to death is compelling. Right up to the point that one of the guilty guys that goes free is someone like the BTK killer from Kansas and it was your family or daughter that he killed. Society is better off without guys like the BTK killer in it.


univar.jpg Posted by m on November 18, 2005 12:35 AM
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m - that's a thoughtful analysis. I would argue that boosting the "without parole" condition would be a better solution to recidivism than continuing executions, though. I do appreciate the way you are thinking about the issue.

univar.jpg Posted by smijer on November 19, 2005 09:31 PM
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