Adam Ward (courtesy inquisitr.com)

“A Texas man on death row for killing a worker who was on his property looking for city code violations was put to death Tuesday,” dfw.cbslocal.com reports. “Adam Ward was given a lethal injection for shooting and killing Michael Walker, a code enforcement officer who was taking photos of junk piled outside the Ward family home in Commerce, about 65 miles northeast of Dallas.” Fair enough? Before you answer, consider this fact about the 33-year-old killer . . .

Ward’s attorneys, both at his trial and later for his appeals, described him as delusional and mentally ill. Hours before his execution, the U.S. Supreme Court rejected an appeal that argued his mental illness should have disqualified him from the death penalty.

Again, fair enough? More generally, do you support the death penalty? I don’t, for one simple reason: I don’t want the government being in the business/habit of putting people to death. Regardless of the validity of the trial process or the costs of lifetime incarceration. That said, I realize that my opinion could change if a killer took the life of one of my friends or family. What’s your take?

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188 Responses to DeSantis Gunhide Question of the Day: Death Penalty. For or Against?

  1. there are acts for which people deserve to die, but i do not trust any level of government to handle its administration.

    how many death row people have been exonerated so far?

      • George Stinney would like a word.

        But really, the bigger thing is that once the execution has been carried out, the justice system, courts, and elected officials simply will not continue or open investigations and actively shut down 3rd party investigations, its in none of their interests to find that they made that kind of boo boo.

      • Who is George Stinney? Who is Cameron Todd Willingham?

        The political aspirations of malfaesant politicians depend on keeping unjust convictions secret. There is a reason conviction integrity is an underfunded, under-manned afterthought. Gullible idiots defend the death penalty by defending the same system that has no interest in investigating their mistakes.

      • @ Jonathan – Houston
        There have been a number of people executed that were later determined to have been innocent, including in Texas as recent as 2004. In 1992 Cameron Todd Willingham was convicted of arson and murder after “evidence” showed him to be responsible for those crimes. In 2004 he gets the needle. Later, the state determined the fire was factually accidental and the previous “evidence” had been misinterpreted. The State of Texas concluded none of the evidence used against Willingham was valid.
        Oops?

    • Not really against it , but I could never do it myself , that is kill someone that was already captured and incarcerated , too many reasons to go into here . I do not favor our current system of incarceration however , believing it to be far to easy on the victimizer and in most cases far to hard on the victims . I think chain gangs and work crews were very useful as a deterrent and helpful as a social tool to do the dirty work most people will not do . These are jobs that illegals are often hired to do now or jobs that local , state and federal agencies over pay folks with tax dollars to do because they are so laborious and mundane . I say kill three birds with one stone and bring back work crew chain gangs .
      I actually would like to see murderers and violent punks cleaning , sweating , digging , picking , etc. their existence away .

    • NJ2AZ summed up my feelings nicely. And by the way, I’ve killed people, and I’ve witnessed a state execution in Texas. Zero satisfaction in the later for any of the parties.

  2. I’m against people killing people in general. The only exceptions are if someone’s life is in danger and their defensive actions result in the death of their attacker, or in the case of a truly justified war.

  3. IN my book, “A Time To Kill: The Myth of Christian Pacifism”, I have 3 chapters on the Bible and the death penalty. In my leagal carrier, I’ve spent 2 stints at the AL Court of Criminal Appeals. So I have some insight as to the appellate process. God authorizes the death penalty from Gen. 9: 6 to Revelation.

      • Yes but God has a greater purpose that we as mere mortals are incapable of understanding. Pretty convenient huh!

    • Did you reference any new covenant scripture in your book ?
      Just curious .
      I have no issues with defending oneself , family , country , or otherwise defenseless people from victimizers but once caught and incarcerated , I think these perpetrators could be more useful to society as work mules and in some cases I believe we can study them and learn how to better protect society from others like them and perhaps mend some of the holes that make them . I also understand how the families of victims often want the perpetrators of these crimes executed because they need closure , but I also think more would favor live imprisonment if #1 , it really meant life and #2 it meant a life of hard labor .
      Just my opinion .
      I have never , by the grace of God , been a victim personally , of a violent crime or had a family member murdered .

      • Yes. Mark. Rom. 13: 1-4; I Tim. 1:8-11.
        Jesus endorsed it against the Pharises for violating “honor mother and father” Mark 7: 6-13.
        Finally, when told by Pilate that he had power to execute Jesus, had Jesus been anti-death penalty, He had a perfect chance to preach a sermon against it. He did not. Jn. 19: 10- 12. Paul before the Sanhedrin said he had no objection to execution IF he’d anything worthy of it. Again passing up the chance to preach against the death penalty. Acts 25: 11.

        • You have to consider the context of the time, though.

          “A Sanhedrin that puts a man to death once in seven years is called destructive. Rabbi Eliezer ben Azariah says that this extends to a Sanhedrin that puts a man to death even once in seventy years. Rabbi Akiba and Rabbi Tarfon say: Had we been in the Sanhedrin none would ever have been put to death.”

          And then if you look at their bar to convict someone, that explains why it was actually so rare:

          – It requires two witnesses who observed the crime. The accused would have been given a chance and if repeated the same crime or any other it would lead to a death sentence. If witnesses had been caught lying about the crime they would be executed.
          – Two witnesses were required. Acceptability was limited to:
          * Adult Jewish men who were known to keep the commandments, knew the written and oral law, and had legitimate professions;
          * The witnesses had to see each other at the time of the sin;
          * The witnesses had to be able to speak clearly, without any speech impediment or hearing deficit (to ensure that the warning and the response were done);
          * The witnesses could not be related to each other or to the accused.
          – The witnesses had to see each other, and both of them had to give a warning (hatra’ah) to the person that the sin they were about to commit was a capital offense;
          – This warning had to be delivered within seconds of the performance of the sin (in the time it took to say, “Peace unto you, my Rabbi and my Master”);
          – In the same amount of time, the person about to sin had to:
          * Respond that s/he was familiar with the punishment, but they were going to sin anyway; AND
          * Begin to commit the sin/crime;
          – The Beth Din had to examine each witness separately; and if even one point of their evidence was contradictory – even if a very minor point, such as eye color – the evidence was considered contradictory and the evidence was not heeded;
          – The Beth Din had to consist of minimally 23 judges;
          – The majority could not be a simple majority – the split verdict that would allow conviction had to be at least 13 to 11 in favor of conviction;
          – If the Beth Din arrived at a unanimous verdict of guilty, the person was let go – the idea being that if no judge could find anything exculpatory about the accused, there was something wrong with the court.
          – The witnesses were appointed by the court to be the executioners.

          (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Capital_and_corporal_punishment_in_Judaism#Stringencies_of_evidence_in_capital_cases)

          In effect, these mean that capital punishment could only be applied to someone who deliberately decided to commit suicide by court. Or by flagrant violation of the established process, as was the case with Jesus.

          So if you’re arguing in favor of death penalty on account of the Bible, I would dare say that we should go all the way and follow the Talmudic approach above.

          It’s also worth noting that the modern State of Israel has executed two people in its entire history – one was by a military tribunal, of a person wrongly accused of treason; the other one was a high-ranked Nazi war criminal.

          When Jews – who only have the Torah, and not the Gospel! – are much less gung-ho about capital punishment than Christians are, and were that way even 2000 years ago, I think it behooves the Christians to, at least ponder, why that is the case, and whether Jews have some valid considerations that are equally applicable.

      • Gregolas ,
        I think our positions may be closer than you would think and our areas where the lines would break parallel are more of Hermeneutics than beliefs . I interpret in literal or grammatical-historical and steer clear of allegorical methods so I do not read into your referenced verses a pro or con in regards to capital punishment .
        If Jesus had used the occasion of His condemnation before Pilot to argue against the death penalty He would have been acting contrary to Gods will .
        God bless brother .

    • Yep, god’s death pentalty is only for horrible things like:

      Drinking in church (Lev 10:6)
      Banging your step-mother (Lev 18:8)
      Banging your daughter-in-law (Lev 18:15) (Also, she gets the axe as well)
      Banging your neighbor’s hot wife (Lev 18:20) (Also, unsurprisingly, she gets the axe as well)
      Gay sex (Lev 18.22)
      Bestiality (Lev 18:23) (And the animal, too)
      Cussing out your parents (Lev 20:9)
      Cussing out god (Lev 24:14) (Kinda a fragile ego, there)

      Oddly enough, banging someone else’s slave is NOT punishable by death.

    • I have no problems with God authorizing/endorsing the Death Penalty. My problem is when he invests authority in others to carry it out. Let him do his own dirty work, and keep government out of it.

      • I understand the feeling. I have argued with and yelled at God in vicious ways justifying it with thoughts that He couldn’t take it then He wasn’t strong enough for me to worship.
        When I do this so vehemently I AM WRONG.
        None of us are wiser than He. He does what He does for the ultimate of His Good.
        He also because of free will, allows us to do good? and mess things up with consequences or not i n His mercy.
        In short ….telling God what he can and cannot do is not a good idea

    • I’m curious about how you reconcile your assessment of it with Judaism approach, which basically is “God authorizes death penalty in theory, but in practice our justice system is never going to be good enough to actually implement it”. And these guys had a lot more time to mull over the Old Testament than any Christian…

      • As you know, Christianity has been a bloody and an intolerant religion from the first time it tasted power. From at least the 4th Century A.D., Christianity wiped out all dissent in its path, usually through murder. It is quite funny to see justification for pacifism by referring to Christian teachings. If, in fact, today’s Christians want to use the religion for such a justification, in the interests of intellectual honesty, they should properly label many of the Saints as murderers and re-evaluate (not re-write) their rosy view of the golden age of Christianity.

        • I don’t think that can be blamed on the teachings of Christianity, really. It’s true that as soon as it became the state religion, it got very intolerant pretty quickly, with the state enacting punishments for apostasy and blasphemy, forced conversions etc.

          But I think that the real reason for it are the centuries of persecution that preceded it. Reading the New Testament, it’s undeniably a very pacifist, mellow religion at its heart. And when you look at how Christians behaved when they were persecuted, it very much adds up. Was there any armed uprising of Christians against Roman authorities, in attempt to secure their right to life and safety? No, not even at the darkest hour. They would go and die preaching their creed, but it never crossed their mind to take the sword and defend it by force, even though no man could begrudge them that, given that they didn’t start it. And they didn’t even try to hide, either – they proclaimed their faith openly to anyone who would ask.

          Which, of course, meant that the Christians who were actually preaching the teachings of Jesus were suppressed very successfully. It’s a testament to the resilience of the faith that in such a hostile environment, and so poorly prepared to survive it, there were still any Christians by the time of Constantine. But here’s the thing… those repressions would strike the purest strains first. Those who were unabashedly pacifist, and those who wouldn’t conceal their beliefs, were wiped out in droves. Those who were cowardly enough to conceal what they are, and possibly even lie when asked under oath; those who would fight back when discovered; in all short, those who believed that surviving to spread the faith later was more important than standing up and witnessing before the lions – those were the ones that made it through.

          And those were the people that finally came out in force under Constantine, and developed the state-backed Christianity that is at the root of all the modern denominations.

          Is it any surprise, then, that the faith has regurgitated what Jesus had preached, and stripped it of most of its moral core, either by ignoring it outright, or by understanding it “metaphorically” and conjuring various conditions and exceptions out of thin air? Just ask any Christian crowd today of “turn the other cheek”, and see how many of them start coming up with excuses as to why they don’t actually practice it – and how few will admit it’s because they are too weak to follow the commandment, and most will try to explain it away by claiming that it was an allegory, or it doesn’t really apply in such and such circumstances.

        • Today, it is impossible to be quite sure of what Jesus thought and taught. Nothing that he said was written contemporaneously. All his sayings, although claimed to be verbatim, were written decades later, in an age when people were used to mixing reality, imagination and hyperbola in one breadth. And on top of that, much of what he did say was intentionally corrupted by the Church in the 4th Century, as is evidenced by the records of the Dead Sea Scrolls. So, on the surface, it appears that Jesus was teaching tolerance and passivity, but in the end he promised unimaginable tortures and sufferings to unbelievers or sinners. It didn’t take long for the very devout to help God in these matters, with a bit of fire, steel, rope or whatever implement came handy.

          I agree with you that the early Christian culture was pacifist, but that changed quickly with ascension to power and became the foundation of the Christian Church and faith. A great many Christian saints behaved more like murderers and thieves than like Jesus. I am not here to judge the past or to apply 21st Century standards and values to the 11th, but it is hypocritical of today’s Christians to base pacifism on the teachings of the Church which is soaked in 1,500 years of bloodshed.

        • >> Today, it is impossible to be quite sure of what Jesus thought and thought. Nothing that he said was written contemporaneously. All his sayings, although claimed to be verbatim, were written decades later, in an age when people were used to mixing reality, imagination and hyperbola in one breadth.

          Yes, but it is possible to make some educated guesses. If you focus on what Jesus himself said (as reported), you mostly see all the pacifist stuff. If you look at various epistles instead, that’s where you start seeing all the crap proscribing certain societal norms, damning the unbelievers etc. And most of these come from Paul. So I do believe that the “Pauline Christianity” theory of perversion of the original doctrine is likely to be mostly true.

          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pauline_Christianity

        • Yes, there were many distortions, and many were done on purpose. Including the two-thousand-year legend that Jesus was condemning the Pharisees – Jesus was in fact a Pharisee himself, but the Pharisees were opposed to Rome (as Jesus’ fate attests to), so the early Christians falsified Jesus’ loyalties and attributed them to Sadducees, who were Rome’s Jewish allies and whom Jesus condemned – who would tell, many years and many leagues away…? Another “popular” distortion – Marry Magdalene – portrayed for centuries as a prostitute, yet research indicates that she was probably his wife. This, of course, was a lie to remove the female part from the Church hierarchy, completely ignoring that pesky commandment against lying and bearing false witness… Anyway, back to the original topic – I am not saying here anything for or against the death penalty; only pointing out that some Christians’ argument against it based on the teachings of the Church is laughable. Of course, they can refer to the teaching of Jesus himself, but then the dissonance becomes too obvious and they would have to disown centuries of Church’s teachings, along with most of its saints.

  4. the death penalty should be on the table, but upon reaching that conviction, the jury, not the state should pull the trigger.

    • In that case, why even empanel a jury, that’s just gather a posse and lynch ’em! Let the mob sort them out! /sarc

      Against – regardless of who decides. Killing another person should only occur to avoid the imminent death of innocents. killing the incarcerated is not defense, it’s revenge.

  5. Yes, as a general statement, I am in favor of capital punishment.

    I’d be willing to make a deal, though: outlaw all capital punishment, on the condition that abortion (except in cases of risk of life of the mother) also be outlawed – spare the lives of the most violent offenders in all of society, in order to preserve the life of the most innocent among us.

    • Seeing as those two issues have absolutely nothing to do with each other, your horse-trading idea is… well, stupid. Insulting on the face of it, in fact.

      Why do you want to go meddling in innocent women’s lives, anyway? What they do is none of your damn business.

      • Seeing as those two issues have absolutely nothing to do with each other, your horse-trading idea is… well, stupid. Insulting on the face of it, in fact.

        Bovine excrement. The connection is obvious: both capital punishment and abortion involve the killing of a human being.

        I am in favor of capital punishment for the most violently, heinously criminal in our society, and I am in favor of protecting the lives of the most innocent and vulnerable in our society. I would trade the former, in order to ensure the latter.

        • Abortion is the ending of pregnancy by removing a fetus or embryo before it can survive outside the uterus. If it can’t survive outside the uterus, it’s not a human being, its a fetus or an embryo.

        • Abortion is the ending of pregnancy by removing a fetus or embryo before it can survive outside the uterus.

          “Fetus” and “embryo” are simply terms for developmental stages of life – no different from “adolescent” or “adult”.

          If it can’t survive outside the uterus, it’s not a human being…

          Can you cite some source that establishes the criterion “can survive outside the womb” for identifying something as a human being? Maybe start with a high school freshman biology textbook, which it would seem you forgot to read.

          Ability to survive outside of the womb is largely a function of our own technological advancement, which today has proven to be able to sustain a human being as early as 22 weeks of gestation. Further: not even a fully gestated, newborn human being can survive on its own outside the womb. Identifying a life as a human being or not based on such criteria is capricious.

        • cantoutrunmotorola, by you logic no one is human until they’re at least teenagers and cease to be human once they retire.

          Premature infants are surviving earlier and earlier. At some point they’ll be able to take a freshly fertilized egg out of the womb and raise it in an incubator. At that point all embryos and fetuses will be human and all abortion will be murder, but for now women can do whatever they want to their children. You can’t base morality on the current state of technology.

        • Thought experiment:
          In 2000 years, we’ll be capable of making humans, exact humans, if not with better features, off of production lines. Can a person that was born out of the womb of a female freely trade in these manufactured humans? If yes, can the said person destroy said property without commiting a murder? If yes, why is the manufactured human, every bit identical to us, not protected under the law? If no, why is it protected by the law as a natural human being even though it’s manufactured like any other merchandise? Does this imply that other merchandise shall be protected by animal protection laws?

          Technology advancement, huh?

        • Thought to chew on.
          God says if even a sparrow falls to the earth ( dies) He knows about it. We are much more important than a sparrow ( debatable in my book….sometimes).
          So taking animals out of this though I do believe they have a place in Heaven, ANY human being whether conceived in or out of the womb…at conception because they have a soul…is a living human being so therefore is under the same protection. To kill innocent people….born or not yet born is wrong though I will concede if my wife was going to die giving berth I would say to take the baby and ask God for His Mercy in hope that I had made the right decision.
          That said…with medical technology the way it is…those cases by far are EXTREMELY rare. However we are not to condem those that have had abortions but rather show them love without condition or condoning what they have done.
          Interesting but valuable topic even for a gun website.
          Nuff on this from me.

        • It is very difficult to verbalize God concepts to Godless people , Chip , as we often discover here on TTAG and being without the Spirit of God doesn’t necessarily make one a bad person , obviously , nor does it leave one incapable of good reasoning on issues of humanity and social woes or the sciences as we can see time and time again , as with int19h , who I enjoy bartering with here immensely , but lacking Spiritual guidance bears greatly in the debates of Spiritual things and in ones ability to argue or understand Spiritual concepts as you or I may , as in the case of your abortion argument and in our ability to understand the broad support for Donald Trump . If we could remove the Spiritual part of ourselves , more to the point , our Christianity , we may view Trump entirely differently . Of coarse , we would also have to believe he is being truthful .
          God bless .

      • Is it also not anyone else’s affair when a person murders another? We don’t give people a pass to kill who they want, so why do we an unborn child? The women’s, and the man involved, choices were made when the child was conceived, not after they made the mistake of concieving.

      • If it’s none of my business if murder is legal than what’s the point of having a government at all? The only purpose it could serve is for the rich and powerful to abuse the masses.

  6. Some people need killing. The problem is that we spend way too much public money keeping these scumbags comfortable and paying their lawyers to file endless piles of pointless appeals.

    • Well, there’s a reason that expensive process exists, and without it innocent people who are now free and vindicated would have been murdered.

      I totally agree that some people need to die, but the system has prove it cannot be trusted not to fail the innocent.

    • Perhaps that’s the price of demonstrating our resolve?

      How many killers plead guilty, avoiding the expense, risk, and distress on witnesses and victims’ lived ones, on the condition that the death penalty be taken off the table? How many would-be capital murders are never committed in the first place, for fear of the death penalty?

      In these ways, the death penalty can pay dividends offsetting the explicit costs of its administration.

      • “How many would-be capital murders are never committed in the first place, for fear of the death penalty?”-lots of research has been done on this. The very widely accepted conclusion is that the death penalty has zero general deterrent effect.
        Sacrificing innocent people to prove our resolve is a pretty horrible concept, especially if it’s your kid.

        • “-lots of research has been done on this.” Lots? Well then, please cite 2 or 3 research papers that show “zero deterrence effect.”

        • Wrong. John Lott and others have done the math. See, “Freedomnomics” (Regnery 2007) studies both prior to and after the Supreme Court’s 1968 moratorium on the death penalty show that it IS in fact a deterrent.

        • Because, of course, nothing else whatsoever changed between the time period before 1968, and after it…

    • You might feel differently if you were on Death Row for a crime you didn’t commit. Happens every day.

      I have no problem with killing certain people for certain crimes, but the number of people exonerated is too high and it’s climbing, so until that is sorted out and we stop sentencing innocent people to death to goose some goal-minded prosecutor’s conviction rate, we need to stop all of them.

      • The exoneration rate is a tiny fraction of the total and almost exclusively applies to cases that were in the system with antiquated forensic technology. (Such as hair follicle matching, rather than DNA.) In 2016, it is very hard to prove a capital case without some very solid physical evidence.

        • Nonsense. People (mostly men and mostly black) are convicted and sentenced to death on no more than circumstantial evidence, misidentifications, and/or coerced confessions all the time. And innocent people have died because of it. Physical evidence is preferred but not required to support a conviction. Prosecutors are infamous for railroading suspects into convictions, and for failing to turn over possibly exonerating evidence despite several decades of clear and unambiguous controlling authority requiring them to do so. (The prosecutor in the Duke Lacrosse players rape proceedings was one such prosecutor–and not only did he lose his job, he was disbarred.) Police investigators are infamous for focusing on whom they have become convinced is the perpetrator, ignoring all evidence to the contrary, examples of which abound in the news. Although several examples come to mind, the most egregious involved a case of a developmentally impaired black man who was railroaded into a conviction through a coerced confession, but despite irrefutable proof developed years later (through genetic testing conducted by the Innocence Project) that the defendant could not possibly have been the rapist/murderer, the sheriff who was responsible for the focus on that defendant and the confession adamantly refused to accept that he had got the wrong man.

  7. I am not against the concept, some people do need to die and richly deserve to be put down.

    However, I’m against the death penalty in practice simply because I do not trust the system not to kill innocent people, as it has done in the past (especially with the number of death row inmates freed in recent years), and I’d rather live with life in prison for those that deserve death than even a very tiny chance of executing an innocent person. An innocent person can eventually be exonerated, a dead one cannot come back to life.

    So, not against killing those that need killing, but I just dont trust the system not to make mistakes, and so oppose the death penalty on such grounds.

    • “I’m not opposed to the Second Amendment, concealed carry or armed self-defense, in principle. I’m just against them in practice as I don’t trust all those squirrel hunting, Palin-loving, hillbillies not to make a mistake and kill an innocent person, as has happened many times. So ban all private ownership of firearms.”

      Fair enough?

      • No, because I dont trust the government to manage firearms either. Thats a rather absurd way to try and rephrase my argument. I trust them to neither regulate firearms nor capital punishment. These are not exclusive lines of thinking.

      • Watch your Hillbilly degradation , Houston . Texas would still be desert with out unemployed West Virginians , Kentuckians , and Tennessean’s . Thems fietten words boy .

  8. Against Capitol punishment. Until prosecutors and judges are angles from God instead of morally compromised politicians, no way.

    And people who are released after being “found” innocent, then the prosecutor, judge, and jury should get the same sentence.

  9. I see the application of the death penalty as both a just punishment and a fair punishment for some crimes. However, any government employee or elected official who can be found to have contributed to a wrongful conviction or even prosecution should be subject to a worse sentence than would have been applied to the person who was charged. So, instead of a relatively painless death by injection, these individuals should die a painful death. Oh, if the death penalty is going to be applied in the interest of deterrence, it should be carried out in a public place. Although, I doubt the death penalty deters many criminals.

    • There is NO evidence that criminals are deterred by the possibility of the death penalty. The only criminal “deterred” is the one who committed the crime. Criminals tend to think that their plan is flawless and that they won’t get caught. Most criminals aren’t very smart, either; many get caught simply because they can’t help bragging about their exploits.

      Or think about it this way: “civilized” man has had the death penalty for various crimes (and always for murder) for thousands of years–yet we still have crime, and we still have murder committed in the course of a crime.

  10. For as a matter of convenience. We don’t have enough room for thousands of life time sentences.

    Against as a matter if punishment. Murder convicts shouldn’t get off that easy.

  11. Hang ’em high. That’s my 2 bits.

    I want that case to be rock solid, though. I am talking finger prints, hair samples, murder weapon, history of violence, video tapes, semen was found underneath the fridge – no way it wasn’t you.

    Like the Aurora Colorado shooter. I wish they would have fried that dude. What good is it for that dbag to be alive in prison? None, says I.

      • And all for what? He pled guilty so he could live out his days in prison and be famous.

        And we are left squaring up the tab. If I was DA, I would’ve have taken it through trial and pushed for the death penalty (assume CO has it.)

        You get all the rights afforded to you and if you’re found guilty, once your appeals are gone, you get to ride the lightening.

  12. Yes, but no, but yeah, but not really…..

    Are there some crimes so heinous as to warrant executing the offender? Yes.

    Do I trust the State and/or Legal system to get it right? No.

    Should we set the bar very high for the death penalty. Yes.

    Should we allow the State and/or Legal system to be able to move that bar? No.

    I support the death penalty as a concept, but I don’t trust the Government at any level to be in charge of what qualifies. It is like so many other things when the people enforcing the rules are also the ones who make the rules, what is to stop them from changing the rules about what does or doesn’t qualify for the Death Penalty?

  13. Against. 1. People get wrongly convicted. 2. Appeals process is costly and time-consuming. 3. 8th Amendment yada yada yada.
    A guy from my 11th English class once said, “Why kill a guy, who killed a guy, to prove killing is wrong?”

    • I can see your point if you view it terms of wrong and right.

      But I see it as a dog that turned on people and gets put down. We can argue about how the dog was treated or what the owner did or didn’t do or inbreeding or whatever. But my question is what good is to come out of the dog being in lock up for rest of life?

      Now, I know we are talking about a human, and that is vastly different. However, when an organism is broken, it’s broken. So, what do we do about?

  14. So many people have been wrongly convicted. Remember that 50 years ago DNA was virtually unknown. So many people were exonerated due to DNA that it casts doubt on the whole process. How do we know what technology will be like in another 50 years. The death penalty can be an attractive punishment for certain crimes but I think it is wrong no matter who the bad guy is. You can always release someone from jail but you can’t bring them back from the dead

  15. I’m all for it for offenders such as the Tucson and Aurora shooters. There is absolutely no doubt they committed the acts. Yes they are crazy. Sane people do not commit mass murder. There was much planning involved in each attack. Premeditation negates any insanity plea.

    • If they’re bat sh*t crazy that is all the more reason to smoke ’em.

      If everyone can agree without a shadow that a mass murder is guilty and nuts (as they are.) Then why not execute them? What’s to be gained from letting them live in prison for 60 years…

      Ex: Manson. Why is that looney tune left to be a drain on the tax payers?

      • I wouldn’t expect you to try and conceive to walk in his shoes , many have worn his shoes and worse , and turned out ok , but his childhood was truly horrendous and some if not most ‘ inanity ‘ is no different than arthritis or type 1 diabetes or myopia . It is brain dysfunction not by will .
        If C. Manson had been forced into hard labor these last 40 years he probably would have departed this realm by now or at least you would be less pissed off .

        • Granted.

          Now, what is the gain for his three hots and a cot on the tax payer since the 1960’s?

          I’m not arguing the “ifs” of hard labor nor how I would be given abuse throughout my life.

          But, what I am saying is, what’s the gain? I don’t see one, unless you’re just morally opposed to the death penalty. Which I am not, so I need more than just “the death penalty is bad, mkay.”

          What’s the point of keeping a broken person locked in a cage until death, only to become more broken? Cui bono?

  16. I’m in favor of the death penalty. That said, I am intrigued by Bill O’Reilly’s idea of a super max prison in the wilds of Alaska with no weight room, gym, cable; etc. and days spent in manual labor. Let the bastards break rocks for the rest of their miserable lives.

  17. For, I think that death or rehabilitation/training are the only forms of punishment that really improve society.

  18. Those two degenerates that did that home invasion where they raped the daughters and burned the house down around the father didn’t get the death penalty but a guy that shoots a stranger on his property does? Something ain’t right.

  19. I am very much for the death penalty, and I believe wait times should be shortened, appeals limited, nooses and electric chairs reinstated, and life sentences changed to death sentences. We should not have to pay upkeep for people who need to be permanently removed from society.

    • Thats how innocent people die. There are people free and vindicated now that would have been out to death had your way of doing things been implemented. Thats certainly not justice, and with violent crimes at historic lows, it would appear the need for executions as a social deterrent is at an all time low as well, particularly relative to when executions were carried out much faster.

  20. As a rule I am for the death penalty. In the case of the above I am not.
    Reason(s) being is that he wasnot a serial killer. He did not go looking for someone to kill. And most importantly in my opinion ( I know. Opinions are like a…..holes. Every body has one) is the fact that he did suffer genuine mental illness. This does not negate the tragedy and loss to loved ones so please don’t say I am not thinking of the victims family.
    It is another case of ” how did he get possession of the gun in the first place?”
    When people are involved there will be mistakes and tragedies. ALWAYS. That does not make them less tragic but should give us reason for pause in a case like/similiarto this one.
    On another note….I also agree with the biblical references and what was said about the killing of innocent children ( yes, they are alive) through abortion. When it comes right down to it…young children and animals are the only truly innocent ones with a few exceptions regarding older kids/adults with a mental illness such as above that are incapable of knowing / comprehending right from wrong.

  21. Against.

    I can see the state putting people to death as one of those issues that is morphing across stereotypical left/right lines. As mistrust of a police state spreads through the right the once side of “law & order” will cease to support the act while support among the left will grow as it is pushed as a humane and cost saving alternative to growing old and debilitated.

    The sides will flip but in the end the state will still get to put people to death. Rather than in the name of justice it will be in the name of mercy.

    Kind of like the difference between a republican bombing a country for security reasons and a democrat bombing a country for humanitarian reasons. The state just keeps on dropping bombs.

  22. Do I support the death penalty? I theory I do, but in practice I don’t. Why you ask? Why would I allow the same government that can’t seem to deliver my mail to my correct address to kill my fellow citizens.

    • You wouldn’t trust the hospital janitor to do surgery on you, I’ll wager. Does that mean you shouldn’t trust a experienced surgeon who works for the same hospital?

      I think ‘the government’ is an overly broad generalization in the sense you used it.

  23. Death Penalty? Sure, televise it during prime time, All channels, for all to see. Not behind closed doors with a few people watching. The pre-show can show the details, ALL the details with the real photos not the CNN fluff. Just the facts, No “feelings” included. I think this would curb alot of crime.

    Rope,Firing Squad or Old Sparky. Those three things are in adequate supply so no worries, malfunctions or complaints about the cost.

  24. I don’t support the death penalty, the government could screw up and put an innocent to death…Hmmm, I guess I also don’t support life in prison, the government might also mess that up and keep an innocent caged for life… and I guess I also don’t support any long prison terms, just in case an innocent might get caught up in that too. So yeah, it now occurs to me it’s quite obvious the government has no business punishing criminals at all…

    So in summary, a man who rapes, tortures, and kills a child should not be subject to the heavy hand of the state. It is more important that the aggrieved family of the dead kid wake every day knowing that the killer of their child has been spared the incompetence of the all powerful state. Justice!

  25. I support the death penalty when the evidence is incontrovertible and the crime is especially heinous. Examples of especially heinous crimes would be something like a man who rapes a female and then, while she is alive and fully conscious, sets her on fire to kill her. Spree killers and terrorists (like the Paris, France attackers) would fall under that category as well.

    Whether or not I trust government to carry that out is a different matter.

  26. I always felt that the state should be held to the same standard as civilians when it comes to execution. There is that narrow window where any citizens is justified in using lethal force based on the A-O-J triad. I don’t believe that should be any different for the state, other than I suppose cops have a slightly different standard under TN v. Garner. But it still is very limited in scope compared to the option to put a citizens to death years or even decades after they were in the situation where lethal force (allegedly) could’ve been justifiably used on them.

    Plus, the state screws up criminal cases on a regular basis. Overzealous investigations and prosecutions, overworked court-appointed defense lawyers with limited resources, discovery violations, witnesses who just flat out lie and then recant years later, the list goes on and on of issues with the court system, and that’s just in general, not even when “death is on the line” (to quote a well-known Sicilian). Even when there are clear screw ups, the state often still can’t acknowledge that it has screwed up, usually to simply avoid paying out a huge sum in a civil suit.

    The state shouldn’t be in the death business, IMHO.

  27. It’s funny, some of the same people who stand ready to mete out death themselves in their own split second decision on a darkened street, now object to a multiyear bright light process yielding the same result involving perhaps hundreds of people collecting, assessing and deliberating over the evidence.

    Illusion of control devotees, or just hate the government that much?

      • Nope, exactly the opposite. Happy to do the killing myself, again. And willing to be held accountable for it if I get it wrong. Not trustful enough of my government and the current criminal justice system to do the same thing, as they will not be held ultimately accountable for it. Maybe if we imprisoned and executed jury members, prosecutors, and judges in the cases of exonerations I’d think differently.

    • There’s been a number of examples of the system massively screwing up and gobs of pressure to avoid acknowledging auch screwups.

      A person that makes the wrong call in an alley can be tried and sentenced themselves, a cop, judge, or prosecutor generally cannot be.

    • I think a lot of that stems from pressure to secure convictions, the politicized nature of criminal justice, and the observation of innocence.

      The first two are interrelated. There can be significant public pressure, primarily through the media, but also grassroots efforts, to convict and sentence the perceived criminal a certain way. Look at, for example, the Boston Marathon bombing. Even before the trial (let alone conviction), many in the rather liberal state of MA were calling for blood. Many prosecutors and DAs are elected, meaning they need to satisfy the bloodlust of their constituency when crimes are “deemed” worthy of it.

      Second, and I consider more important, is that while some capital crimes are observed and can absolutely determine the perpetrator, many involve significant investigation and rely on testimony and forensic evidence. As techniques and motives change, a convict may be exonerated. Compare that with the observed criminal (like Aurora or the man in your alley). In that case, the threat is identified and directly confronted. I think that is why many supported the idea of death in Aurora and why many here would have the seemingly contradictory positions here.

      As for me, my stance is continuously evolving. I know it is not what it was 10 or 5 years ago, and it may be further refined. But for NIMBY, I believe an isolated true-supermax, federally operated on behalf of all states, with no contact beyond their attorney, involving hard labor sounds admittedly attractive. The trouble is, we hated Stalin’s gulags.

    • >who stand ready to mete out death themselves in their own split second decision on a darkened street

      The hilarity of someone who confuses self-defense with the government killing someone with a demonstrably flawed system.

      Or maybe you are simply projecting your own homicidal urges which you hide behind the “good guy with a gun” meme. 🙂

    • In the first case, there’s no other option. If you want to be safe, you have to shoot, and it has to be that split second decision. Extreme circumstances

      In the second case, you have options. You don’t have to use lethal force.

      That’s all there is to it.

  28. Got to help put a serial killer away. But because he plead guilty, the death penalty was off the table.
    He is out already, back in society.

    Yes. I’m for the death penalty.

  29. This is an interesting conversation.
    I have not read anything so far that didn’t seem valideven if I have disagreed in part.
    I do agree in cases of planned with absolute proof that the death sentence should be handed down and once proclaimed swiftly carried out. I also agree that no sane person would do such things BUT that does not mean they did not know and understand right from wrong. If they run or attempt self destruction…. They knew.

  30. Against. Done.

    Govt killing taxpayers?

    Dont give me that “trial by judge and jury”, everyone knows there’s no way it could be conducted without incompetency or conspiracy.

    Just what happened to forced labor? For penalty above life in prison without parole, give them a choice: death, or work(humanely managed) forever. Make them do something, or make something simple and difficult to sabotage.

    If someone kills my family? You bet I want them dead. I’d rather do it myself (which i would prefer even if death penalty is there) and risk punishment, than condone the govt having a means of legally killing citizens, seriously.

    • Forced labor has a rather sordid history. Typically in the south, convicts were hired out as road crews to contractors (see e.g Cool Hand Luke). Inadequate housing, food, clothing, nonexistent medical care, abusive guards, etc. guaranteed a high death rate among convicts. In Louisiana, for example, one in seven prisoners died every year, which means that in general, a sentence of hard labor for anything more than seven years was in effect a death sentence.

  31. Heart of the matter is always the same, It’s Money folks plain and simple. I’d like to know what the cost of IT ALL is? TO US the guys footing the bill. Prisons,Courts, Lawyers and all FOR PROFIT. They don’t want the death penalty, they want them in jail forever and YOU can pay for it. If you can go down to your local traffic court or county courthouse, bring a calculator and start punching. You would be shocked at the revenue they are hauling in. It’s obscene. The average speeding ticket in the land of the “free” is +/- $200. How mnay tickets a day are written? oh, I forget it’s “for the children” Bull$hit

    • Let’s do some simple math, shall we? Although the cost varies among states, the average annual cost, last I heard, was around $27,000 per prisoner. Let’s round that up to $30,000. Now multiply that by, say, 60 years (which is longer than most men live if they are convicted at age 20). That works out to $1,800,000 for a life sentence. Now let’s compare that to the cost of the average death penalty appeal. The process starts, of course, in the trial court. Death penalty cases are more expensive to try, for both sides, because there are two phases, first the guilt phase, and the second the punishment phase (as to whether this defendant should be executed), the second phase may be longer than the first, if the defense attorney has adequate resources (which the State is always loathe to pay for, despite the money and resources lavished on the prosecution side). The we go up on appeal. In California, death penalty appeals go straight to the Supreme Court, other states go through the regular court of appeal and supreme court process. Hundreds of attorney hours later, there will be a verdict, possibly a retrial for prejudicial errors. Assuming no error, the next phase is the habeus corpus review in the federal courts. By now, we are likely three to five years post conviction. The federal court review, and possible appeals to the US Supreme Court, will take at least another five, and many times more, years to complete. And we are still not done, with last minute petitions for clemency, no issues raised by new evidence discovered, and so on. While California is probably exceptional (Texas is faster), it will be ten to fifteen years (and in some cases much much longer) before a convict will actually reach the death chamber. All during this time, the convict is incarcerated. The attorneys fees and costs for a death penalty appeal, counting both the defense costs and the prosecution costs, average $5 million and may go up, depending on the circumstances. (And by the way, the court appointed “death qualified” defense attorney will do well to get paid as much as your mechanic or your plumber. The courts, the prosecutors and the prison guards are not “for profit.” Although there are private for private prisons, most are state run facilities. If state run institutions were “for profit” they wouldn’t cost you any tax dollars.)

      Conclusion: If you want to save precious tax dollars, oppose the death penalty in favor of life without possibility of parole. It will save millions and millions of dollars every single year.

  32. Putting someone in prison is justice.
    Killing someone is vengeance.

    I’m in favor of a government of the people taking care of justice, and letting God take care of the vengeance.

  33. I enthusiastically support the death penalty, especially for mass shooters. James Eagan Holmes is still alive, and his victims are not. Here’s how I’d handle that. The families of the victims killed and those who survived could volunteer to serve on the firing squad for Holmes. If they don’t want to volunteer, people like me would. Further, I’d advise future mass shooters and terrorists that I would allow victims and family members to serve on firing squads. In this manner, no mass shooter, as defined by the FBI, would survive more than 1 year beyond their shooting. This would remove some of the sick power fantasies that these freaks have – they could hold all the power over lives for a few minutes, only to have that power placed back in the hands of their victims. And of course it would remove all of the mass shooters from our population.

    There would be due process, as in all criminal cases. In the case of Holmes, guilt is a certainty. The death penalty would apply in mass murder or murder cases when guilt is certain. There is such a thing as an iron-clad case. I’m talking about things like multiple reliable eye witnesses, video evidence, DNA, fingerprints, etc. If a case isn’t exceptionally sound the death penalty does not apply.

    Do I trust government? Heck, no. But there are some cases that are so obvious that even the government can’t screw them up, and some people so depraved that they should be removed from this world. In reality, the criminal justice system is a combination of government and civilian decisions. Therefore, cases that consider the death penalty should have wise and professional jurors. Police officers are normally disqualified from jury duty, but educated police officers would make ideal candidates for murder cases. So also would taxpayers who understand the constitution, jury nullification, self defense, and the 2nd Amendment. I’m generalizing a bit here, but the soft-hearted liberal progressive typically lacks the brains to be any sort of effective juror. I say that from being in LA and having a jury of dumba$$es screw up some sound cases.

    Notwithstanding all of the above, the 2nd Amendment is supposed to be the original defense against mass murder by enemies foreign and domestic. Shooting an assailant multiple times through the chest and the death penalty aren’t that different.

    Should we kill murderers to prove that killing people is wrong?! Yes. That’s the primary reason I carry a gun in the first place.

    • Jesus Christ, you really don’t understand the death penalty, do you? There is a guilt phase and a penalty phase. You are talking about meting out death because of the guilt phase, which we can all acknowledge is often a forgone conclusion in a case where the state invokes death as the punishment. The more difficult part is the penalty phase, which your system of “due process” completely ignores, because, ya know, “some case are so obvious.” When you can start looking beyond the act itself, you let me know when you’ve found an “obvious” one.

      BTW, that you are from LA is telling, since it has one of the worst records of indigent defense, right to effective counsel, and access to justice in the country.

      • Yes, genius, I do understand the death penalty. I understand a solid crimal case can be made within a year because I’ve done it. How many murder cases have you filed? Have you arrested any murderers? I’ve done both.

        I’m taking about speeding up the death penalty in mass shooter cases, using Holmes as an example. It’s a speedy trial thing.

    • To suggest that killing all mass murderers will “eliminate then from our society” is naive. There have been mass murders throughout human history, and no matter how many are killed, there will always be more. People like Holmes are insane. They believe that by killing they will stop the voices in their heads. They will not be and cannot be deterred by the certainty that their death will follow–heck, most intentionally don’t survive their rampages as it is. Try again. The death penalty is not a deterrent to future crime.

      • It doesn’t need to be a deterrent. The effects of the death penalty as a deterrent are minimal and arguable. Fair enough. I’m talking about recidivism. Dead murderers escape at 0% and commit additional murders at 0%. They can’t run their gangs from jail with a smuggled cell phone or otherwise harm anyone ever again. I’m using the James Eagan Holmes case as an example because he shouldn’t be alive and his execution should have been expedited.

        I’m also speaking to an audience of a lot of people who haven’t been in fights, haven’t had to arrest a murderer, haven’t filed murder reports, and haven’t notified the next of kin of the victim’s family about a murder case. That’ll haunt your dreams. It’s the worst part of my job, and I pray that I’ll never have to notify parents that their child had been murdered (or killed in a car crash). Nor have many here – excluding Tom in Oregon – had a murderer let go to commit additional crimes.

        I’d overhaul the death penalty system with expedited executions under specified conditions – such as multiple victims combined with clear evidence of guilt. In such cases I’d want the best possible jury pool, to include retired LEOs who normally get rejected by defense attorneys during the jury selection process.

        Maybe people here who’ve never arrested murderers, never stopped murderers, never wrote arrest reports charging murder and have never reviewed arrest reports think I have no idea what I’m doing. Ok, fine. Reviewing arrest reports and helping officers investigate crimes – including murder and attempted murder is one of the things I get paid to do. The last such case I helped to investigate was in February of 2016.

        I’m still saying I absolutely support executing mass murderers. Gosh, I’d even support the execution of the next ISIS mass murderer. Somehow I still don’t feel like a terrible or incompetent person. I’d rather my tax dollars go to a firing squad than 3 hots and a cot for the rest of his life.

        In the grand scheme, though, prison without the chance of release is still a hefty punishment. But there is a better alternative, and that is the death penalty with proper checks and balances in place.

  34. For the most heinous crimes I support the death penalty as the most human solution. They didn’t lock Old Yeller up to live out the rest of his natural life because that would be inhumane. I don’t see why we should treat the sickest of humans with less compassion than we’d treat a dog.

  35. As they are now, executions in this country serve no purpose. They’re costly, time consuming, and are not a deterrent. For most on death row, it would be cheaper to lock them up for the rest of their natural lives, than to go through the trouble and expense of the appeals process and eventual execution.

    Not to say the process can’t be.. streamlined. But to do so we would need to reserve it for cases of incontrovertible guilt.

    • As I have detailed above, I completely agree. I have no moral opposition to the death penalty for those that deserve it–some have clearly forfeited their right to live by the crimes they have committed–but the costs of killing them are higher than the cost to incarcerate them. Moreover, incarceration for life preserves the chance that those (far too many) who have been wrongfully convicted will have the opportunity to clear themselves.

  36. While there are crimes so heinous that those truly guilty perpetrator(s) should indeed be put to death, after reading in detail about the millions of innocents murdered by their governments from 1917 onward for various “crimes,” (having meat in the family soup pot in Lenin’s Russia marked one an “enemy of the people”) I became very cautious of governments that execute criminals they deem worthy of such punishment. A thoroughly politicized justice system is a frighteningly powerful weapon.

  37. In principle, I have no objection to the death penalty. I see it as society doing on behalf of the victim of a violent crime what he would have done for himself had he been better able to defend himself.

    In practice, so many convictions have been overturned because of new evidence that I am sure innocent people have been executed. In my state, Nebraska, we have had one set of convictions overturned after the people convicted had spent years in prison (Google “Beatrice Six”) and two men spend months in county jail awaiting trial for a murder they hadn’t committed (Google “Stock murders”). The head CSI in Douglas County was convicted of falsifying evidence. (Google “David Kofoed”). As a result, I have more confidence in the judgement and integrity of a terrified homeowner, with a gun in one hand and a phone to 911 in the other, than I do in the judicial system.

  38. RF- I get your arguement, though I believe it to be too simplistic. You don’t want governments to get in the habit of killing citizens. I would counter by asking if instead of killing citizens, governments imprisoning citizens is a better concept to approve?

    My opinion is that prisons serve two purposes: punishment and rehabilitation. The punishment part is obvious. But if a convict can’t be rehabilitated enough to rejoin the population (and returned ALL constitutional rights), that person should be eliminated and the threat of recidivism removed. Don’t take this opinion to the Nth degree, but as a general concept.

    The guy in the story above was “mentally irregular,” but that didn’t stop him from killing a man. Mental capacity should not be a factor in criminal cases, especially in violent cases. (Note that I have no other knowledge of this particular case and can’t give an informed opinion on the ruling or sentencing.)

  39. All you people saying a govt shouldn’t get in the “habit” of killing its citizens. When a person has committed a heinous crime and is found guilty beyond a reasonable doubt by a jury of his peers then I see no reason why execution shouldn’t be an option. Mass shooters ( Dylan Roof for example ) should be hanged in public for all to see. Set an example that murderers and violent criminals cannot and will not be tolerated. If you think shooting someone threatening your life is justified then the death penalty is justified as well for people guilty of the highest offenses.

  40. As a concept, I would say I support the death penalty to a degree. First of all, when properly applied it is not a Government killing per se. It requires the approval of a jury of 12 citizens on top of the Government’s desire. Now in practice, their are several flaws in the system. First and foremost is the fact that our courts have taken to deliberately lying to juries through juror instructions manipulating the outcomes of their verdict, specifically by telling the jury they can only rule on the facts of the case and not the law. Second, I do not agree with a first time offence death sentence. I would want to see a pattern. It should be reserved for those who are truly evil. I don’t think one murder proves evil intent.

  41. I support the death penalty 100% for capital crimes. The key being make sure you are beyond reasonable doubt when its carried out.
    You want the government out of the killing ? Then you need to work for the military being recalled to American shores and see to it that everytime a Leo murders a citizen,they die for it.

  42. The problem with the state killing people, is that “fair trials” are not always fair. This is because the court and the prosecution seek out and obtain particular individuals (low information individuals) who follow their instructions well rather than recognizing their own duties and the purposes of their positions. The state bureaucracy and its self generated red tape gets in the way of justice, and most importantly, people are using the “beyond a reasonable doubt” approach, which works “most” of the time. Key word – “most.”

    So no – i’m not into state killings.

    • “Thou shalt not kill” is the King James translation, and is inaccurate.

      “Thou shalt not murder” is a more accurate translation. Murder, of course, has a very specific definition. Not all killing is murder.

      There is plenty of scripture that should lead us away from capital punishment, but the sixth commandment isn’t relevant to the question.

  43. Yes. Cook’em. Especially the ones that are clearly monsters. Don’t give me that “how could we know for sure BS”; I bet half of the death row turds we’d all agree needs flushing

    At some point you have to take the faulty product out of quarantine, and grind it down and recycle it, lest it find it way back into circulation.

  44. I generally support the death penalty but not with circumstantial evidence (including DNA). Farago – If you don’t want the government in the business of putting people to death for criminal offenses, do you support that government waging war on other nations?

    If a government (Federal, State, Local) doesn’t have the right, do individuals have the right? We have the rule of law to prevent a few individuals (posse, vigilance group) from deciding who to end. It would also be easy to make the leap that no one has the right to end the life of another even in self-defense (like Britain).

    The problem is not always the laws we have but how they are implemented. It should always be a difficult and terrible decision to end a life. Even with what we consider the worst among us. Our republic was established to prevent mob rule and ensure the least of us were protected.

  45. In short, I oppose the death penalty unless the crime was extremely severe, predatory, and violent towards innocents, the criminal is unrepentant and incapable of ever being trusted in free society, and the evidence linking crime and criminal is beyond overwhelming and concrete. There can be no room for doubt that he deserves to die, else you become a murderer yourself.

    • In a self defense situation, I have the advantage (and misfortune) of being there to know what he’s doing firsthand. It’s easy for me to accept and be ready to kill to protect my life or my family’s lives.

      In a courtroom, hearing it all 2nd or 3rd hand, I want to be as certain as possible without having been there

  46. I suggest that we hold the government to the same standard to which they hold us.
    We cannot use deadly force unless there is a real and imminent threat.
    Generally, incarcerated people are no longer a threat.
    So, automatic temporary suspension of the death penalty until such a time as the condemned becomes a threat once again. (Harming or attempting to harm other inmates, guards, visitors, etc. Arranging hits outside of prison. These things would trigger a quick removal of the temporary suspension and the sentence carried out.)
    In most cases, the death penalty would become ‘life without parole’ (unless exonerated).

  47. No, because no trial system is perfect. One innocent person wrongly executed is to many. I agree some people have it coming but there is always the possibility that the wrong person is convicted.

  48. I say we bring back Saddam’s Rape Rooms. Think about it, everybody gonna raped anyway. Why not make it official. Executions are cool and all, and I’ll support them. But you figure if all these wimps are too butthurt by it, then we just sentence these monsters to a life of brutal rape, which would likley happen anyway, but now the victims know it will happen, and can even watch.

  49. YES. And I come from an angle not mentioned in this endless thread. In Illinois the death penalty was outlawed by convicted felon Governor George Ryan. Soooo…no matter what any lowlife evil scum can shoot babies,torture and murder women and cut infants out of their mother’s womb. Which actually occurred. SEE: Fidel Caffee(spelling). Does the state get it wrong? Yep. Any case should be airtight with witnesses. I stand with Chip and Accur81…

  50. For. As in criminal misdeeds.
    Most painful and slow way possible preferably.
    Ok maybe an innocent may get overlooked and offed. But Id sacrifice one for the many.
    Even if the one might someday be me. Innocent that is.

  51. I completely support the death penalty, but only in cases where there is undeniable evidence, and only when they’ve done something deserving of it, such as intentional murder.

    And before anyone tries to use the Bible for that, God says he never changes, and in the Old Testament, He commanded the death penalty. There was also no insanity defense in the OT.

    Now whether that death penalty needs to happen at the first or third offense is up to the populace. I’d be fine with the first offense, but only (again) with undeniable evidence.

    To never dish out the punishment that fits the crime (i.e. death penalty for murder) is to enable criminals to continue their actions. And with a 77% repeat crime rate for violent felons (FBI stats), I doubt our penal system knows how to rehabilitate anyone. There must be a point at which enough is enough.

  52. I am opposed to the death penalty because I do not believe that any government should have the power to take the live of a citizen. That is simply too much power to have.

  53. 3 practical reasons to be against the death penalty:

    1. Due to the high cost of trying a death penalty case, the unlimited number of appeals, the cost of housing a death penalty prisoner with a (ironically) 24 hour suicide watch for a decade or more, and the maintenance costs for separate housing, transportation, and security for death penalty prisoners, it’s almost always considerably cheaper to put someone in prison for life than to execute them and the effect (removing them permanently from society) is essentially the same.

    2. The idea that the death penalty (as we do it in the U.S.) is some kind of deterrent to crime is a myth.

    3. Mistakes have been made.

  54. If you carry or own a gun for self defense, and are willing to use it, one might argue that you are a defacto supporter of the death penalty (in some circumstances) by default. Minus the due process, even.

    So I guess I am a supporter.

    • It would be a very stupid thing to say, because there’s a world of difference between making a split second decision in circumstances where your life and limb hinges on it, and making a decision regarding a person that is already in custody, and can be retained in custody for as long as necessary. The second scenario doesn’t have an imminent threat of death or bodily harm.

      • OK, I will fess up to playing devils advocate with that post. Your point is valid, clearly.

        But just for the sake of further debate, might some murderous offenders be considered dangerous enough to present a perpetual imminent threat to others around them, including guards and other inmates, even while incarcerated? Numerous federal prisoners have been killed by other inmates already serving life sentences for murder, for example. If this level of threat could only be mitigated by either executing an inmate or keeping them in perpetual solitary confinement for the rest of their lives, which some human rights groups have said is akin to torture, is the execution option really less humane or less moral?

        Also, with respect to the self defense scenario, you didn’t miraculously acquire a gun in the split second you chose to use it. You made a conscious and deliberate decision, in a moment when bodily harm was not imminent, to purchase a firearm, and to be prepared and willing to met out lethal force on another human in a split-second role as judge-jury-executioner, should the need arise.

        I accept any rebuke you may offer for my continued argument of these points, without hard feelings. I find this stuff as interesting as it is important to think about.

        • >> If this level of threat could only be mitigated by either executing an inmate or keeping them in perpetual solitary confinement for the rest of their lives, which some human rights groups have said is akin to torture, is the execution option really less humane or less moral?

          It is a valid question, but it is also a subjective assessment that only the inmate themselves can do. So I’m in favor of providing euthanasia as a free and readily available option for any inmate that’s behind the bars for life (or maybe even longer than a certain cutoff, like 20 years or something like that) – they only need to ask. If they actually want to die and specifically ask for it, the original ethical quandary no longer applies. If they would rather live the rest of their life in solitary, again, it’s their free choice.

          This would also take care of the category of criminals who express remorse and desire for retribution to be applied to themselves – they can request to be euthanized immediately after being sentenced.

          I believe it would also resolve the issue with the use of imported drugs, and having actual doctors (who give an oath) perform, in these executions, since voluntary euthanasia is generally considered acceptable.

          >> Also, with respect to the self defense scenario, you didn’t miraculously acquire a gun in the split second you chose to use it. You made a conscious and deliberate decision, in a moment when bodily harm was not imminent, to purchase a firearm, and to be prepared and willing to met out lethal force on another human in a split-second role as judge-jury-executioner, should the need arise.

          That is true, but I acquire it for an explicit purpose of using it later in a split-second decision, in circumstances where there’s imminent threat of death or bodily harm to myself. In other words, the moral assertion that I’m making by virtue of buying a gun is that at some later point, if confronted with such a decision, using lethal force is an option (and even that only to stop, not to intentionally kill, although the latter may be a side effect). I do not decide to “execute” any particular person in advance.

          If you fully unravel this analogy, buying a gun and carrying it is like having death penalty in law, but actually using a gun in self-defense is like applying death penalty to a particular lawbreaker. The former two correspond reasonably well – you assert that in some cases, killing someone may be an appropriate way to prevent them from doing you harm. But the latter two is where it diverges – one is always a split-second decision that may involve lethal force as the only option producing the desirable result, while the other one is never like that. Now, armed with that knowledge, you may go back and say that the original decision to carry a gun was valid (because there is an actual case where it’s the only option), but the decision to allow death penalty is not (because there is never a case where it’s the only option).

        • I may have painted myself into a corner by supporting that argument on humanitarian grounds. Now forming a rebuttal to your voluntary euthanasia alternative is a challenge. For the moment, I’ve got nothing.

          There are some arguments to be made for the death penalty as state-sanctioned retribution, where it serves as a buttress against the dangers of vigilante justice and lynch mobs in a society that perceives the judicial system as failing to met out punishments that are proportional to the gravity of the crime. I have seen some disturbing videos of mob justice events on LiveLeak, though it is generally in countries with inept legal systems where the conviction rates for murder are so abysmally low that sentencing is hardly relevant.

        • Well, at that point it depends on your take on whether retribution is desirable and/or acceptable, or neither of these two things. I’m of an opinion that it is never productive, and so the society should strive to avoid it, and deal solely in categories of harm and its mitigation when it comes to law and justice. But this is subjective, of course, and I don’t believe there is an objective answer to that question.

  55. The death penalty should be eliminated. The Government can’t be trusted and frequently makes mistakes. Someone incorrectly convicted and sent to prison can be set free and financially compensated. The dead can’t be resurrected.

    If the perp dies while commiting the crime because the victim defended him/herself, that is OK.

  56. !. Do I support the Death Penalty?
    Yes I do.
    Even though I know the state has tried and executed the wrong person at times.
    We don’t have a perfect Judicial system by any stretch and we never will.

    But also if a person were to murder someone in my family, my first reaction would be to retaliate and try to kill them then.
    But if after my temper had subsided, I don’t know if I could or would kill that person, given the chance.
    I don’t know if I would want to carry that around on my head for the rest of my life even though they would
    deserve it.
    I would rather the state do that.

    2. In this particular court case, the first question that should have been asked is
    did the shooter act “reasonable”?
    Was the code enforcement officer presenting a threat?
    No.
    Was the code enforcement officer trying to break into the shooters home?
    No.
    What the shooter did was not reasonable, therefore his action was not
    a Justifiable Homicide.
    I would have had no problem finding him guilty if I were on the jury.
    3. If the shooter just didn’t want this intruder on his property, he should have used some
    non-lethal means like a Taser.
    At least he would not have ended on death row.

  57. I think there are really two questions here: 1) Being for the death penalty in general, where it is justified, and 2) Being for the death penalty the way it is administered in our justice system. I am OK with #1, but #2 I am completely against.

    Here’s what I would need to see to be for it:
    1. A higher standard of proof. Instead of “beyond a reasonable doubt,” for the death penalty, it should be “beyond any doubt.” Solid evidence, not circumstantial, not based on just one witness. Absolute “smoking gun” evidence.
    2. A standard for how heinous the crime needs to be. Something like premeditated, by a repeat offender, done with willful cruelty, etc. Not sure of the right words here, but it should be the worst kind of homicide done by the worst kind of killer. Terrorists, gang, bangers, organized crime, definitely.
    3. Automatic appeal on all aspects of the case, like in the military does under the UCMJ. If it’s a death penalty case, you know it’s going to get appealed anyway, so just make it automatic, on all aspects of the case, one complete appeal and done.
    4. Speedy carry-out of the sentence after the mandatory appeal.

    If we can’t do it that way, we should not do it.

  58. In cases with multiple witnesses (say 7 or more) such as any of the recent mass shootings (San bernadino, aurora, fort hood etc) no problem with it at all…don’t care if they are troubled, crazy, insane, misunderstood, religious fanatic or whatever…we are better off as a people and a planet without you if you pull that sh^t…

  59. There is nothing wrong with the government killing people who have been found guilty. Just about everyday the government somewhere in america kills someone.
    The police kill all the time. It’s even justified.
    Was every japanese guilty? Was every Italian guilty? Was every German guilty? It’s called war. The government kills. It’s ok.
    When libertarians call for the police to be disarmed then I might take their argument against the death penalty seriously.

  60. I used to go back and forth a bit on my views on capital punishment. Now I am solidly for it on the grounds that it is (or can be) more humane. Caging a man for the rest of his life with no chance of getting out is far more cruel than accelerating an inevitable death.

  61. Some people need killing – Timothy McVeigh, Osama Bin Laden, Jihadi John – and, at times, the government is tasked with doing it. I’m fine with that.

  62. “I don’t want the government being in the business/habit of putting people to death.”

    I don’t want the government being responsible for keeping dangerously violent people quarantined away from innocent people, either. It’s a tough choice either way.

  63. I would be very careful quoting the Bible when talking about life and death. “He who is without sin may cast the first stone.” “Judge not for lest ye be judged.” One that has always haunted me, at least for concealed carry, Luke 22:36-38, people read the first part, 36, but fail to read 38. Lord, we have two swords, that will be enough. Jesus later tells Peter, “He who lives by the sword shall die by the sword.”

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