May 2008

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One of the major arguments against the death penalty is that it is given unfairly to minorities.

There are people that will not vote guilty for first-degree because they dont want the death penalty to apply, so they vote for second-degree. Second-degree is often an option because the prosecuter knows that the defendant is to sympathetic for some juries to give the death sentance.

This is my solution:

Two juries for crimes that may carry the death penalty.

One gets the full trial as it exists today and decides guilt or innocence of the accused. They decide ONLY if the person did the act they are accused of. Did X kill Y?

The second jury only get the details of the crime, not the people involved. Was this self defense? Was this pre-meditated? Is the killing of Y first-degree, second-degree, manslaugter, or justifiable homicide?


"I still think democracy is the best form of government."

I disagree. I think each form of gov't can be good or bad.

A supreme ruler who is intelligent enough to know what needs to be done, a good way to do it, and cares about the populace enough will be better for the people than a democratic gov't where polititians cater to special interest groups, compromise on every issue, and make descisions for purely political reasons.

However, a democratic gov't that has to keep the population happy wil not commit the horrors against the populace that an incompetant or malicious ruler who cares more about large palaces than whether or not his people have enough to eat.

A democratic gov't will never do the most good, but it will also avoid doing the worst evil while supreme rulers are capable of the extremes.

Think about distributed computeing projects. If they work, things like folding@home could be extremely important to our health. If they fail, all they did was use idle time on computers. If a supreme ruler forced all computers to run them, the benefits could be huge. In our freedon, only a small portion of the population has even heard of the project, let alone run the programs.

Freedom is great, but democratic gov't overseeing that freedom is never the best, but also never the worst.

Also, will people stop saying we live in a democracy, we live in a republic? Just a pet peeve.


On the death penalty thing, most arguing here don't understand the legal system. The death penalty actually saves lots more than it costs. Why? Because many murderers will plea guilty to avoid facing it. They are given a choice: "Plea guilty, and we won't seek the death penalty -- make this case go to trial, and we will seek it!" You have no idea how many murder cases get cleared that way without the (high) expense of a trial. About 90% of cases are pled out and don't go to trial, and many of the more heinous ones do so only due to this threat. After all, if the worst thing you could get was life without (and they're offering you that), why not force a trial and get your little time in the spotlight -- and cost the taxpayers a lot of money.

Even though most states take 20 years to get around to killing you, you do get to sit on "death row" where you're locked in a cell 23 hours a day (in California, anyhow), so even if you expect to die of natural causes in less than 20 years, it's still a benfit to plea if you're guilty since you can be on the mainline in prison instead of death row.


I think I heard that when a guy is sentenced to death in China, the execution is performed within a week or so. Not so much time for appeals.

Coyote Osborne

One of the things that bugs me is that white collar crimes seem to carry lesser penalties than "blue collar" ones. A person who steals a hundred bucks worth of cash or goods often gets hit harder than someone who steals millions.

Someone who kills a person by shooting them in the chest with a gun often gets hit harder than someone who kills thousands of people by misusing the power of public or corporate office.

How about simply policies of no double standards. Not only might that make law simpler and fairer, it would have incredible comedic potential. Sure, it might sow chaos in the short term, but in the long term, perhaps things would be more manageable.

But seriously... when someone in government takes bribes or otherwise abuses their position, costing the country money, health, or even people's lives, I believe that it isn't merely a clerical crime. To me, that's treason, and should be treated as such. That doesn't mean kill every politician who steals a pen from work. But it does mean not treating crimes of office as if they're "not that bad."

There could still be room for "good faith" mistakes, but not deliberate abuses of power.

If someone in _our_ FDA gets a drug passed that's bad, it's not just a matter of a few people being affected. It's potentially millions of people. It's lots of money, too.


That one person doesn't do it. There's a saying about the tax bureau in China that if you line up ten officials and shoot every other one, there will still be somebody to tattle on the rest (OK, that's neither funny nor witty in English, especially if you didn't know that the death penalty is the punishment for corruption.). Hell, you actually have to bribe your doctor to get a baby delivered. That's the problem with having such a long history of government: all that's left is corruption.


Call it treason and send them to the gallows!


Ok people....

This is a site .... not or even Larry King live.

I split my side laughing about this post. :)


"The main problem I see with assassination politics is that it puts too much power in the hands of religions and media. So basically, every homosexual or atheistic person in government would be assassinated."

Not if the homos/atheists take out the religious leaders first...

Politicians aren't the only people in the line of fire.


scott you obviously do not understand how corrupt china is - people are also executed for turning in politically connected crooks.


Thank you for another right-wing nutters argument. Those in favour of totalitarian states of any ideological persuasion are welcome to go and live in them. I wonder how it is that such blatant tokenism makes you in favour of a totalitarian state. This is rather revealing of a very shallow thought process. The problem with China or indeed most corrupt countries including those which have a holier than thou attitude is that it is a problem with the system - not a problem with just an individual. One execution is just tokenism. Best of luck to all those who are taken in by such shallow but radical gestures. You Mr Adams are revealing your induhvidualism here.

automated robot computer

well, china does coal powerplants, overpopulation, and acid rain too!

automated robot computer

well, china does coal powerplants, overpopulation, and acid rain too!


There aren't many views I've taken with me from childhood and hold true even so today (approaching 4 decades of existence now). It was the very first time I found myself disagreeing with my parents on a political issue - passionately. And my father, was equally passionate and so far as I know remains so in favour of capital punishment.

I do not.

To me, it's a practical argument. Justice, whatever we might think of it, is not served if more harm is done by its pursuit than good, in the end. And while it's true it must be seen to be done inasmuch as it be done, that's a task that follows its commission. In other words, whether justice is seen to be done is up to parties other than those who do the judging. And so we're presented with a decision - do we take a life either in retribution for or as deterrent to its being taken?

Since justice means also having a right to fair trial and appeal, instead of the alternatives which we'd all rather not be subjected to, every murderer needs (to be just) to be exposed to every route of appeal the justice system has to offer making it prohibitively expensive to kill anyone. China is not known for pursuing this line in its executions, which niceley eliminates this argument - but then notice how readily China can be (justly) accesed of denying justice to its people; how often it kills the innocent.

One fellow here argued that it would be better to kill an innocent person to just catch those damn child molesters, serial killers and the like. Fortunatley - even in the U.S. - I think this guy's a minority. To be just and fair, this sucker would have to be willing to offer up the possibility of his own unfair execution for the collective good of his society. Commie!

Actually - crazy!

I for one would trade neither my life nor the possibility of its taking for one corrupt politician. I say - thank God neither the U.S. or Canada (where I happen to live) subscribe to such values. And the day's coming, I strongly suspect, when China will cease its subscription to the death penalty.


Regarding "Death to all criminals". Check this out, quite powerful stuff. And makes you think that perhaps people can change.

That being said, I wouldn't leave them with my kids!


you know, justice is always served when punishment is given at tne point of infraction. If you are in a position of power and okay deadly drugs...punishment is that now You need to be the lab rat. Maybe you'll die, maybe you'll suffer then die...but then that is where your indifference left everyone else. Isn't it? Hmm.. our American freedom gives us such unrealistic views of what injustice is truly going on in the world.

i vote...

Some guy

In response to Arturo
/You might be interested in "assassination politics":

The main problem I see with assassination politics is that it puts too much power in the hands of religions and media. So basically, every homosexual or atheistic person in government would be assassinated. You know I'm right.

Dilbert's Rabbi

I'm amazed at how many people deny or ignore the hideous nature of the Chinese government; a govt. that transports a committed Christian from being a prayer warrior one day to being a martyr the next.

But, hey, they're maintaining a GREAT trade surplus! AND they are COMMITTED to quality control.

I guess I'm obsolete for thinking that human beings deserve special treatment from humans whose behavior SHOULD be more noble than that of animals.

Listo Cómics

Death penalty is quite a primitive tradition still used in some Third World countries and the U.S.A.


I agree with the person who said hard labor is more befitting a punishment. Also - the Chinese don't waste as much time as the US does on caring for the death row inmate/ appeals process. It's a much speedier, more 'efficient' process... So if they have the wrong guy... I'm not sure they often find that out in time... That what be what some of those human rights people were yelling about a few years ago...

Nick Johnson

Just a personal comment on the manner of your text.

I am soooooo SICK of people who are constantly trying to "send a message" to somebody. I always thought that pre-supposes that the other party is listening...

I found it very refreshing that you would rather send a "signal". Probably the same thing but still very refreshing to see the different terminology.

Also, I noted the first post from a guy that definitely needs a dictionary. I was quite interested in how we might sentence criminals to a "death penility". Doesn't that already happen in prison?



Not bashing, just a little extra food for thought:
Reportedly, the mantra of the Khmer Rouge in Cambodia under Pol Pot was:

"It is better to kill 10 innocent people then let one enemy escape."

During its approximately 4 year reign the Khmer Rouge killed 1.5 million people - about 1/5th of the country's population. The shear brutality of this regime was well documented by the staff of the former S-21 Security Prison. An estimated 17,000 people were slaughtered there because of the demented ramblings of a paranoid megalomaniac and the thousands of people willing to follow him.

It would be easy to simply write this off as the result of a lunatic and a few of his cronies, but look around you next time you step outside. Cambodia was full of "Normal People" just before the slaughter started - as was Germany, Darfur, Italy, etc, etc.
It's frightening to me just easily seemingly "normal" folks can turn into Freddie Kruger.



You might be interested in "assassination politics":



i am deffinatly pro death penility. i do not think there is much chance of reforming most criminols. i say the death penility should be manditory for any serious crime that can not be commited by accident.

premeditaed Murder, rape(especially of children), armed robbery, car jacking, etc.

If the evidence is conclusive to the point of they have it on video for crimes such as armed robery, or they catch the guy in the stolen car, i say the execution takes place right as the guy is taken from the court room.

And hey, why use expensive drugs and drug combinations to kill them, take a bunch of meth, heroin, and what ever other illegal drugs that have been siezed and pump a good 50-100grams of it right into their heart. They will be gone in moments.

All that money that could be saved by not having all the prisoners could be used for something better like on education or health care. especially seeing it costs $35,000+ a year for each inmate.


You know that expression that it's better to release 10 guilty people than to convict one innocent one? Is that true with mass murderers and serial killers as well? Think about that. How is that better? How many innocent people will die from letting 10 murderous people back out?

Just food for thought. I'm not actually a proponent of the "official" death penalty. I am, however, a big fan of the "unofficial" death penalty. That's when we encourage more innocent people to be armed. I guarantee there will start being less criminals walking the streets after a little while.

Hmm... but then again, I might be coaxed into a death penalty for elected officials. They should sign a contract in order to take office that they will subject themselves to a super-majority vote for their death for when they really f*** up and screw over the voters.

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