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The Forum > Article Comments > The death penalty is not progress in modern society > Comments

The death penalty is not progress in modern society : Comments

By Michael Hayworth, published 24/5/2013

For years scientists have theorised that it's not intelligence that makes mankind unique, but our conscious ability to learn, and to improve.

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I don't think killing people is necessarily any less humane than locking them up for decades; all it does is to give the prosecuting parties an easy out if they turn out to have been wrong. And I think that by calling it the 'death penalty' you stack the odds against it immediately-- it's not a 'penalty' at all, or shouldn't be, just a way of removing someone who cannot live peacefully in our society. Yes, it often fails as a deterrent, simply because many of these tortured killers actually WANT to die. Perhaps legalised no-questions-asked euthanasia is the answer here.

Having said that, your article consists mainly of examples of people who shouldn't suffer the death penalty whether it is on the statute books or not, and of course I agree that it is not appropriate to apply it in these cases.

But Martin Bryant? The Oklahoma Bomber? All talk of 'penalties' aside, don't you consider that society would be a lot safer if people of this type were permanently and irrevocably removed?
Posted by Jon J, Friday, 24 May 2013 7:41:06 AM
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I'd gladly support capital punishment for any elected representative who lies, misleads, distorts, misrepresents or otherwise deludes the sheeple. Furthermore, any collusion with lobbyists, developers, big business or any other organization or individual not being a registered voter to be treated similarly.
Posted by praxidice, Friday, 24 May 2013 9:57:48 AM
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Is risk of execution a deterrent? What deters minor criminals or accidental witnesses from grassing on powerful criminals?

The real danger of state execution is the risk that someone is executed who doesn't deserve it. Executing innocent people is a national sport in jurisdictions like Texas. How can the state deter THAT?

An appalling string of innocent people in Australia have been gaoled for murders they didn't commit. Strictly, police and prosecutors who perverted the course of justice to obtain conviction of innocent people could have been deterred if they had been subject to the same penalty, no ifs or buts, if it had transpired that the convicted person (like Lindy Chamberlain and a considerable number of others) had been railroaded. The same rule would deter execution of innocent people. Execution would require a nod from the Attorney General who stood to be hanged if wrong. America might have benefited if this was applied to Governors of Texas. Retrospectively.
Posted by EmperorJulian, Friday, 24 May 2013 11:30:29 AM
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"But when some governments around the world are permitted to kill and to use outdated and barbaric forms of punishment like the death penalty, when lives are at stake, it is time to ask ourselves and the societies we live in the difficult questions."

Indeed, particularly when Amnesty International turns a blind eye to the killing of unborn babies! Amnesty International's official policy is that they "do not promote abortion as a universal right" but "support the decriminalisation of abortion". (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Criticism_of_Amnesty_International#AI.27s_new_abortion_policies_and_the_Roman_Catholic_Church)

There is no doubting that abortion is a barbaric form of punishment -- it is the imposition of the death penalty on the most innocent human beings, unborn babies.
Posted by Raycom, Friday, 24 May 2013 12:01:32 PM
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I often hear the old chestnut that the death penalty doesn't deter violent crime, nonsense. I heard on the radio a chap (some UN envoy from Qatar) say all the Middle Eastern countries who behead violent criminals have the very LOWEST crime levels, and have so for years.

This other rubbish about how the punishment is cruel and unusual - what! What's cruel and unusual about a needle in your arm as they do in Texas? Or the gas chamber! You get needles all day, every day in hospital!

I'll tell you what is "cruel and unusual", the horrific rape and murder of women and girls where they are bashed raped and murdered. What's worse, a needle in your arm or the above!

Somebody mentioned that Tasmania killer Bryant. Does he not deserve to be "put down" like a rabid animal? Those two in Bali who had all that smack, they were full of themselves originally, now these creeps are getting worried. Think of all the hundreds of lives these two were prepared to destroy with their heroin? Shoot them I reckon, and soon.
Posted by misanthrope, Friday, 24 May 2013 2:21:09 PM
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I agree with the author. The death penalty is barbaric, and itís a great shame that it is being resumed in some countries, after decades of a trend towards abolition, especially in democratic countries.

Jon J Is right, locking people up for life may not be any more humane than killing them. But it is at least reversible. I lived in the UK in the 1970s when the IRA was bombing civilians, and the strength of public feeling again those suspected of being bombers was, understandably, incredibly intense. If the UK had maintained the death penalty at that stage, I have little doubt that those convicted of the bombings would have hanged. Yet it turns out that many of those convicted were innocent. The same outpouring of public fear and outrage that is prompted by the most awful crimes puts pressure on police, judges and juries than can make miscarriages of justice more likely
Posted by Rhian, Friday, 24 May 2013 2:53:01 PM
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