Death penalty

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Byron Angel
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Re: Death penalty

Postby Byron Angel » Sat Jul 13, 2013 2:41 pm

..... I too have reservations about the death penalty, derived principally from the small but steady succession of murder conviction reversed in the USA as a result of the appearance of new evidence or confession by the true perpetrator. OTOH, the relative difference in expense of capital punishment versus incarceration is strictly a function of the elaborate procedural and appeals process that has been erected by the state in connection with capital punishment.

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RF
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Re: Death penalty

Postby RF » Sun Jul 14, 2013 7:07 pm

northcape wrote:
RF wrote:]

IWell the murderer that gets executed won't be repeating the crime, whereas the killer who does his/her time and is released or escapes from imprisonment can kill again.

Execution of murderers has over time prevented further killings.


With this line of argument, every person, no matter if he/she has killed before, is a potential killer and should be executed. Or are you implying, that all murderers are born as such and can nothing else but kill ?


No, my statement says that convicted killers that are executed have no opportunity to kill again, which will save lives. It didn't say anything about the rest of the population or about whether killers are born as such. I believe in innocent until proven guilty. Conviction for murder is the event triggering execution.
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northcape
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Re: Death penalty

Postby northcape » Mon Jul 15, 2013 2:26 am

RF wrote:No, my statement says that convicted killers that are executed have no opportunity to kill again, which will save lives. It didn't say anything about the rest of the population or about whether killers are born as such. I believe in innocent until proven guilty. Conviction for murder is the event triggering execution.


And by that you say exactly that a person who is convicted of a (one-time) killing, has to be executed, because he will kill again. And that means that you imply that killers are born as such.

I can understand to say that those who deliberately kill, have lost their right to live and thus need to be executed. (Note, that I don't share this opinion; but I can understand this, although I would not call it a line of argument - it is more a principle). But in no way I can understand that the majority of people who deliberately committed a murder, are natural born killers. Of course, there are exceptions (Stalin, Hitler, and several other clinical cases who believe in and enjoy killing) - but this does not account to the vast majority of murderers.

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RF
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Re: Death penalty

Postby RF » Mon Jul 15, 2013 6:04 pm

northcape wrote:And by that you say exactly that a person who is convicted of a (one-time) killing, has to be executed, because he will kill again. And that means that you imply that killers are born as such.


I didn't say or imply any such concept of ''natural born killers.'' That is a line of reasoning you have introduced. I don't actually believe that people are necessarily born to kill - it may be however that a person who kills for the first time may find it easier to kill a second time and this has been advanced to explain serial killers.
No what I think is that a judge on the conviction of a killer may decide that that individual has become so dangerous that there is a risk that they may kill again.
And with respect to the phrase ''has to be executed'' that is a matter for the judge not legislators. The death penalty I don't believe should be automatic.

. Of course, there are exceptions (Stalin, Hitler, and several other clinical cases who believe in and enjoy killing) - but this does not account to the vast majority of murderers.

These two dictators didn't on the most part personally kill - their underlings did it for them.
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Re: Death penalty

Postby Vic Dale » Tue Jul 16, 2013 11:04 pm

Any discussion about the death penalty would be lacking if it did not look into the method.

I think we are all far enough advanced to agree that if the death sentence is passed, that execution should be as quick and painless as possible, so it is necessary to examine a few methods.

Shooting is not very quick. The arrangements for securing the intended victim loading the weapons and keeping everyone safe generally means that execution will not complete sooner than 20 minutes after the condemned has been brought out of their cell. Successful execution depends on the accuracy of the shots and even though every shot passes through the heart, death is not that instantaneous. The victim will experience very great pain as the rounds enter the body and only the shock induced by the violence and pain, may cause rapid loss of consciousness.

Beheading, is very quick and can be carried out safely within less than a minute after the condemned is brought from their cell. Death will be through loss of blood supply to the brain though it is not certain the head striking the ground is not felt. Death by the sword or axe, depends on the accuracy and skill of the headsman and occasional misses have caused untold suffering before the head finally cams off. A guillotine is much more certain, but does require the victim to strapped down which adds to the time and consequent agitation for the victim.

Electrocution is very quick if sufficient voltage passes through the victim's body, but this depends on good electrical contacts and all too often the victim has been burned before they expire, because there was not a good connection between the victim and the voltage, because the victim may have been dehydrated, or because the electric chair itself was faulty.

Lethal Injection is thought to be the soft option, but like the electric chair depends on gadgetry working properly. On occasions the first of the three syringe drivers has become stuck, so that the heavy sedative element is not given before the more painful lethal elements are pushed into the bloodstream. This can be a very painful way to go.

Gassing is a very complicated affair and is a long and drawn out process. The victim must be strapped to a chair, so they cannot run around in a panic. The cyanide gas can easily condense into droplets on coming into contact with surfaces which are not heated to 25 degrees. The gas will revert to it's liquid form below 25 degrees C. The droplets are highly explosive and are equivalent to nitro-glycerine. A panicking victim could could easily caused an explosion which would blow the gas chamber apart and kill everyone near to it. The gas chamber itself is heated and the victim must be strapped into a chair, the heavy steel door is closed from the outside and a 10 inch vacuum is drawn by extractor fans, before the potassium cyanide pellets are dropped into the sulphuric acid. A four inch vacuum will make your ears pop. Death may not occur until 20 minutes have passed. Poisoning by cyanide is an extremely violent affair as the body contorts and the victim suffers terrible hallucinations, through oxygen starvation to the brain.

Death By Hanging can be very quick. Albert Pierpoint the British hangman once recorded a time of 8 seconds between entering the condemned cell and the victim swinging at the end of the rope. His method was the long drop of between 6 and 8 feet depending on the victim's weight, strength of neck and shoulder muscles. The noose is passed over the head with the standing part across the throat. The trap door on which the victims stands open and they drop through, the noose tightening as it takes the weight of the body and the heavy brass thimble through which the rope passes comes round and under the chin forcing the head back and snapping the neck, hopefully between the first and third cervical vertibrae. When a female is hanged the shock of the body being suddenly arrested by the rope after an 8 foot drop will likely cause prolapse of the uterus.

There are shorter drop methods but they require the intervention of the hangman who must ensure the neck breaks appropriately.

In Iran the state uses the slow lift when it hangs it's victims. It may be thought that this is quite barbaric, but having watched a number videos of such executions I am satisfied that this is actually the most humane method of execution. Almost as soon as the weight of the victim is taken by the rope, unconsciousness sets in as the noose tightens. Death can be certified after 20 minutes, though strong pressure on the carotid sinus can quickly arrest breathing and stop the heart. The so called dance of death is due to circulation running down and the nerves starved of oxygen cause the limbs to jerk slightly, resulting in a swaying motion with the body circling slowly at the end of the rope.

Garrotting is probably as quick and relatively painless as the slow hanging method. My study and understanding of martial arts strangulation, leads me to believe that slow hanging or garrotting is about the least painful method of execution.

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RF
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Re: Death penalty

Postby RF » Wed Jul 17, 2013 7:18 pm

Vic Dale wrote:Beheading, is very quick and can be carried out safely within less than a minute after the condemned is brought from their cell.


It isn't necessarily quick, as the botched executions of Thomas Cromwell and the Duke of Monmouth demonstrated.
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Vic Dale
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Re: Death penalty

Postby Vic Dale » Wed Jul 17, 2013 10:02 pm

I thought I had covered that when I wrote;

Death by the sword or axe, depends on the accuracy and skill of the headsman and occasional misses have caused untold suffering before the head finally cams off.


Just after the bit about beheading being very quick.

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RF
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Re: Death penalty

Postby RF » Thu Jul 18, 2013 1:09 pm

What I was getting at was they were deliberately botched - in the case of Cromwell I believe a youth was engaged as executioner who wasn't physically strong enough to properly wield the axe and after eight or nine blows had failed to kill someone else had to complete the job...
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