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goru
October 30, 2007, 10:35 PM
Discuss... but only really bother if your main argument against the statement is NOT "God says an eye for an eye is okay" or "God will send him to hell and punish the person further in the next life" ...

Tokai
October 31, 2007, 11:49 AM
We kill people to tell them that killing is bad.

That is contradictory in itself. there are better ways.

Rabz
October 31, 2007, 12:04 PM
We kill people to tell them that killing is bad.

That is contradictory in itself. there are better ways.

Not really.

Capital punishment is the ultimate weapon to keep the society civil.
It is there to set an example, to send a message to the people that hideous crimes wont get unpunished.

Every society/race/tribe/country has certain norms and traditions to follow.
those norms teaches us what's right and wrong ( which could vary from place to place).

But in order to maintain peace, civility and general being of law and order within that group/people, sometimes capital punishment is required to scare people of from doing them. And it is being imposed only to the crimes of the worst nature.

I can respect someone reservation about the subject matter.
But that just how i feel.

If someone kills/rapes someone close to my heart (friend/family member).. i will not want that scumbug to live in this world, and would certainly would want him to pay price.

So, if i want that for my own family, i should be consistent in my verdict of judgement.

Eye for an Eye.

zahid
October 31, 2007, 12:05 PM
In the Future, we should be able to brainwash criminals so that they can start afresh just like an innocent newborn baby.

Hopefully, that day is soon.

Rumz_01
October 31, 2007, 12:19 PM
We were discussing capital punishment in our General Studies lesson, sayin that it was an ethical issue, popular arguements were that people who have done 'big' crimes should be killed, rather than being in prison (and the money could be better spent).

But also the fact that in some cases the the person in question may be innocent, for example The Birmingham Six, they were put in jail for 18 years..and then they found that they were not guilty, if capital punishment was legal they would have been killed, tho after 18 years of prison their lives wernt too great...

Theres also the fact that some people prefer to die, because its the 'easy way out'..so y not let them rot in prison!

goru
October 31, 2007, 12:21 PM
Not really.

Capital punishment is the ultimate weapon to keep the society civil.
It is there to set an example, to send a message to the people that hideous crimes wont get unpunished.

Every society/race/tribe/country has certain norms and traditions to follow.
those norms teaches us what's right and wrong ( which could vary from place to place).

But in order to maintain peace, civility and general being of law and order within that group/people, sometimes capital punishment is required to scare people of from doing them. And it is being imposed only to the crimes of the worst nature.


Some of these people are psychos who do not fear death. Capital punishment does not hinder them from committing murder. By killing them, you are doing them a favor. It's the easy way out for them...

I can respect someone reservation about the subject matter.
But that just how i feel.

If someone kills/rapes someone close to my heart (friend/family member).. i will not want that scumbug to live in this world, and would certainly would want him to pay price.

So, if i want that for my own family, i should be consistent in my verdict of judgement.

Eye for an Eye.

That is probably true for all us (wanting an eye for an eye in case of someone close to heart), but that is why I'm glad the judgment is not left in the hands of those who go with emotion over rationality in punishing someone for such crimes.

By killing a murderer, you have only managed to bring yourself down to their level, and gained absolutely nothing from it.

goru
October 31, 2007, 12:25 PM
Here is a map showing the status of capital punishment all over the world:

http://img526.imageshack.us/img526/4451/deathpenaltyworldmapei6.th.png (http://img526.imageshack.us/my.php?image=deathpenaltyworldmapei6.png)

See a pattern there?

Rumz_01
October 31, 2007, 12:28 PM
Eye for an Eye.

not related to the subject, but isnt there that phrase..

An eye for an eye and the whole world would be blind...or something?

goru
October 31, 2007, 12:29 PM
Theres also the fact that some people prefer to die, because its the 'easy way out'..so y not let them rot in prison!

I'm actually somewhat against the "rot in prison" idea. They should be made to work and be productive even when kept away from society. Heck, make them weave baskets all day...

Rumz_01
October 31, 2007, 12:35 PM
I'm actually somewhat against the "rot in prison" idea. They should be made to work and be productive even when kept away from society. Heck, make them weave baskets all day...

tru say..
didnt they used to make people do really pointless tasks like turning a handle all day, again general studies lessons..? im not quites sure that was it..but someting along those lines..

Tigers_eye
October 31, 2007, 12:50 PM
I would accept the statement "Capital punishment is murder" where 100% living in the society are civil. I would add that capital punishment laws could be thrown out the window in that circumstance. More like what will happen in HEAVEN. But we don't live in heaven, do we?

al Furqaan
October 31, 2007, 01:34 PM
I would accept the statement "Capital punishment is murder" where 100% living in the society are civil. I would add that capital punishment laws could be thrown out the window in that circumstance. More like what will happen in HEAVEN. But we don't live in heaven, do we?

agree with you, mijan bhai. however this might violate the ground rules of the thread starter.
______

i will say this though. one question for the anti-death penalty crew: do you instead propose that rather than kill serious criminals we torture them?

thats what a life sentence is. its torture. imagine sitting in a 6X8 cell for 50 years, possibly being brutally raped day in and day out, etc. that is what the lifer faces. in fact the uber-liberals who rail against the death penalty, themselves claim that being behind bars for the rest of life is far worse a punishment than the death penalty.

if its criminal's rights you're concerned about, let me tell you that i would rather face the firing squad for 30 seconds than spend 30 years behind bars.

as malcolm x once said, prisons should exist, but without bars. the prisoner, even after being set free and serving his sentence will never forget the psychological torture of being put behind bars.

a person like sajid haq, who raped his wife, is not a man. therefore he should not have the rights of a man (i.e life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness). of course to those who show sincere remorse, forgiveness is always better than retribution.

but in the absence of repetence, retribution it is.

al Furqaan
October 31, 2007, 01:38 PM
deleted

goru
October 31, 2007, 01:38 PM
We keep going back to capital punishment being an effective deterrent...

Let's examine the circumstances under which people normally commit murder and may get a death sentence for it (i.e. exclude self-defense or mental instability):
- passion / heat of the moment - usually, the thought that they might get executed for it does not even cross their mind just before the deed
- premeditated / planned - most of these people think they are not going to get caught and so do not fear a death sentence

Tigers_eye
October 31, 2007, 01:52 PM
Dear sir (thread starter),
How would you render justice to me when my mother, wife and daughters get gang raped in front of me, me being tied in a pole and not be able to protect them. Me watching the horror and then seeing them parish (dying). What type of justice do you suggest? What type of sugar-coated punishment do you have for these people? You are the Judge, it is your decision. I am not that type of person who would want to rape the criminals mothers, wives and daughters in front of them and then kill them. So you can not decre that. I will be waiting to hear from you. Thank you!

goru
October 31, 2007, 01:54 PM
agree with you, mijan bhai. however this might violate the ground rules of the thread starter.

I don't think he is... I am sure by "heaven" he just means utopia.


i will say this though. one question for the anti-death penalty crew: do you instead propose that rather than kill serious criminals we torture them?


No, my main ideas are:
1) Keep them away from society
2) Make them productive (see above)
3) "Rehabilitate" them.


thats what a life sentence is. its torture. imagine sitting in a 6X8 cell for 50 years, possibly being brutally raped day in and day out, etc. that is what the lifer faces. in fact the uber-liberals who rail against the death penalty, themselves claim that being behind bars for the rest of life is far worse a punishment than the death penalty.


That is true, and I agree that just letting them rot in prison is not the right thing to do either.


if its criminal's rights you're concerned about, let me tell you that i would rather face the firing squad for 30 seconds than spend 30 years behind bars.


You prove my point. Killing them is the easy way out for them.


as malcolm x once said, prisons should exist, but without bars. the prisoner, even after being set free and serving his sentence will never forget the psychological torture of being put behind bars.


As I said, just keeping them behind bars for years is not the solution either.


a person like sajid haq, who raped his wife, is not a man. therefore he should not have the rights of a man (i.e life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness). of course to those who show sincere remorse, forgiveness is always better than retribution.

but in the absence of repetence, retribution it is.

I think it's less about the perp deserving appropriate punishment and more about us as a society taking a life for a life.

If somebody burns down your house, do you go burn down their house?
If somebody rapes your sister/mother, do you go rape their sister/mother? (well, I've heard it happens in Pakistan...)

So why should we take the life of someone who takes a life?

goru
October 31, 2007, 01:58 PM
Dear sir (thread starter),
How would you render justice to me when my mother, wife and daughters get gang raped in front of me, me being tied in a pole and not be able to protect them. Me watching the horror and then seeing them parish (dying). What type of justice do you suggest? What type of sugar-coated punishment do you have for these people? You are the Judge, it is your decision. I am not that type of person who would want to rape the criminals mothers, wives and daughters in front of them and then kill them. So you can not decre that. I will be waiting to hear from you. Thank you!

I've already stated in the above posts what I'd do with them as someone who's not emotionally tied to it. Killing the criminals is not justice, it's revenge.

Tigers_eye
October 31, 2007, 02:04 PM
No, my main ideas are:
1) Keep them away from society
2) Make them productive (see above)
3) "Rehabilitate" them.
Someone rapes my mother and then kills her, does not repent for his act and I send him to St. Martin's island to weave basket on the beach. Excellent idea don't you think?

goru
October 31, 2007, 02:08 PM
so what is justice to you?

Quite simply: Keep them away from where they can cause further harm.

goru
October 31, 2007, 02:16 PM
Someone rapes my mother and then kills her, does not repent for his act and I send him to St. Martin's island to weave basket on the beach. Excellent idea don't you think?

Well, you are getting further away from my point... I am not saying they get to go on a vacation for the rest of their lives.


What would revenge killing get you? Peace of mind? You've just done the same deed they had done, and not undone anything that happened to your mother.

And by chance... if you happen to have killed the wrong person in an act of revenge (has happened many many times), then you have an innocent person's blood on your hands. Would you want to live with that?

Tigers_eye
October 31, 2007, 02:26 PM
ok lets get back to the core points. ( I am not going to talk about killing or revenge here)

I am a criminal. I do not want to get rehabilitate. I like what I do. I am a professional killer. I get paid for it. I buy drugs. I like it, I like my life-style. I do not want to weave baskets or manage a garden. How can any of the existing rehabilitation program known to human can change me if I, myself don't want to?

I don't think you have any answer for me. So your agruments is not valid for me. Showing compassion is great. Only to those who realise their mistake and then repent. For those who don't, they have no choice but to rot in Jail or die through capital punishment.

goru
October 31, 2007, 02:31 PM
I am a criminal. I do not want to get rehabilitate. I like what I do. I am a professional killer. I get paid for it. I buy drugs. I like it, I like my life-style. I do not want to weave baskets or manage a garden. How can any of the existing rehabilitation program known to human can change me if I, myself don't want to?

You want me to kill you because there is no way of "rehabilitating" you? :-|

I'd give you a simple choice: Rot in prison or participate in productive activities.

Tigers_eye
October 31, 2007, 02:35 PM
You want me to kill you because there is no way of "rehabilitating" you? :-|

I'd give you a simple choice: Rot in prison or participate in productive activities.
I want that and when you release me, I would do what I love to do, is kill people for money and enjoy my life.

P.S. In real life, I have dealt with psycho criminals. I kinda know how their minds work.

goru
October 31, 2007, 02:39 PM
I want that and when you release me, I would do what I love to do, is kill people for money and enjoy my life.

Who said anything about releasing you? /:)

P.S. In real life, I have dealt with psycho criminals. I kinda know how their minds work.

And your point is... ? I am not claiming that everyone can be rehabilitated or that no one is beyond help.

But should I kill you just because there's no way for me to help you?

Tigers_eye
October 31, 2007, 02:53 PM
Who said anything about releasing you? /:)
Whats the difference of rotting in the jail and holding one against his/her will in a program which that person do not voluntarily participate?

Did you not agree that rotting in jail was worse than capital punishment?

And your point is... ? I am not claiming that everyone can be rehabilitated or that no one is beyond help.

But should I kill you just because there's no way for me to help you?
Some people deserve to die. They do not belong in the civil society. Yes, you should kill me if I become a threat to the society. There is no way you can help me cause i do not want any help or any rehabilitation program you have for me.

Check this out:
Wayne Dumond raped a 17 year old girl. Got life sentence. 15 years down the road he gets pardoned by a new Governor. He gets another girl, sexually assulted her and killed her. Nice going with the rehabilitation program. Do a Google search. And yes, this happened where I live.

goru
October 31, 2007, 03:04 PM
Whats the difference of rotting in the jail and holding one against his/her will in a program which that person do not voluntarily participate?

I am pretty sure I made it clear that it'd be the criminal's choice to rot in a prison cell or participate in productive activities.


Did you not agree that rotting in jail was worse than capital punishment?


For the criminal, yes. For us, no. I'd rather let them rot in jail than kill them, if those were the only two options available.


Some people deserve to die. They do not belong in the civil society. Yes, you should kill me if I become a threat to the society. There is no way you can help me cause i do not want any help or any rehabilitation program you have for me.


I still don't agree with the argument that they deserve to die because they can never be a part of civil society.


Check this out:
Wayne Dumond raped a 17 year old girl. Got life sentence. 15 years down the road he gets pardoned by a new Governor. He gets another girl, sexually assulted her and killed her. Nice going with the rehabilitation program. Do a Google search. And yes, this happened where I live.

Once again, I didn't say rehabilitation works 100% of the time.

We shouldn't kill people just because of the possibility they might get released/pardoned and then repeat their crime.

Tigers_eye
October 31, 2007, 03:07 PM
I admire you sir. You are a strong willed and very kind hearted person. Are you a vegetarian by any chance?

goru
October 31, 2007, 03:13 PM
I admire you sir. You are a strong willed and very kind hearted person. Are you a vegetarian by any chance?

I hope that was not intended to be sarcastic...

If not, then here's my response to the question: I wish I was a vegetarian. I try to eat as little meat as possible (mostly because of health concerns), but I also don't want to be a constant pain in the *** around non-vegetarians (i.e. I don't go to a restaurant and bug the waiter for vegetarian menu while my friends are just trying to get their order in).

zahid
October 31, 2007, 03:15 PM
I admire you sir. You are a strong willed and very kind hearted person. Are you a vegetarian by any chance?

Na, uni gorur mangsho pochondo koren. Goru nick keno vujlen na? :)

Tigers_eye
October 31, 2007, 03:21 PM
no that wasn't sarc. Capital punishment = killing, murdering a being. Veges don't like killing animals either another type of being. 2 + 2 = 5.

Since you have mentioned Sarc. I had a huge laugh come to think of so many things.

Thank you Zahid for your explanation. Kurbani ki diba?

zahid
October 31, 2007, 03:28 PM
Thank you Zahid for your explanation. Kurbani ki diba?

Goru bhai amarey douraibo!

Chotobelay dadar baritey ekta boshey thaka gorur upor giya boshechilam ( like you sit on a Horse ). Goru daraiya porlo ar ami dhopash korey poira gelam. :D

al Furqaan
October 31, 2007, 04:06 PM
No, my main ideas are:
1) Keep them away from society
2) Make them productive (see above)
3) "Rehabilitate" them.

1) isn't that a life sentence in jail?

i understand it could be different, but why waste resources on people u can put 6 feet under at the cost of a bullet?

2) regular people do this all the time, its called a job. if i can get a good job by killing someone, then i am wasting my time in school, lol.

3) some perps cannot be rehabbed (bundy, manson, the fictional tony montana) others can (malcolm x). but its the individual's decision to make, society cannot force them to do anything. you reap what you sow.

I think it's less about the perp deserving appropriate punishment and more about us as a society taking a life for a life.

If somebody burns down your house, do you go burn down their house?
If somebody rapes your sister/mother, do you go rape their sister/mother? (well, I've heard it happens in Pakistan...)

So why should we take the life of someone who takes a life?


if someone burned down my house, and the perpetrator was not receiving justice adequately by the authorities, then you absolutely burn down his house so long as no one else lives there.

if someone raped my mother, i would not rape his mother because she is (presumably innocent). but the rapist does deserve to be raped in turn, if that answers your question. never throw rocks at a glass house. "payback is a bytch" like no other, i agree.

al Furqaan
October 31, 2007, 04:15 PM
Killing the criminals is not justice, it's revenge.

it is indeed revenge. however the concept of justice is then a philosophically moot concept.

think about it, if i steal your cookie and eat it. there is no way you can get "justice". even if i give another cookie just like it, the one i took is eaten. it can never be retreved. thus "justice" is not possible.

only thing you can do is penalize me, punish me, inflict on me an arbitrarty amount of pain and suffering. or you can forgive and forget. however, we can ignore than honorable gesture for this argument for various reasons.

so in the absence of "justice" the only thing that remains is revenge.

goru
October 31, 2007, 04:25 PM
1) isn't that a life sentence in jail?

i understand it could be different, but why waste resources on people u can put 6 feet under at the cost of a bullet?

I guess I will be repeating reasons then:

- because it's the easy way out for them
- from my view point, that is still murder


2) regular people do this all the time, its called a job. if i can get a good job by killing someone, then i am wasting my time in school, lol.


I'll take this to be a joke and not bother responding to it.


3) some perps cannot be rehabbed (bundy, manson, the fictional tony montana) others can (malcolm x). but its the individual's decision to make, society cannot force them to do anything. you reap what you sow.


Already discussed. You can answer my question too: Should we kill them just because they cannot be reintroduced to society?



if someone burned down my house, and the perpetrator was not receiving justice adequately by the authorities, then you absolutely burn down his house so long as no one else lives there.


Then you go to jail yourself.


if someone raped my mother, i would not rape his mother because she is (presumably innocent). but the rapist does deserve to be raped in turn, if that answers your question. never throw rocks at a glass house. "payback is a bytch" like no other, i agree.

I think this only deserves a "..." response. But I'll ask anyway: Will you be doing the raping as punishment? /:)

goru
October 31, 2007, 04:34 PM
so in the absence of "justice" the only thing that remains is revenge.

If you truly believe that an alternative to "justice" is committing the same deed against the perp (which makes you no better than him), then I guess there is nothing I can really say to you that will change your mind.

layperson
October 31, 2007, 06:26 PM
I guess I am not as compassionate as Goru bhai. I believe in an eye for an eye.

shaad
October 31, 2007, 07:50 PM
I'm going to approach this from a slightly different perspective, by examining why we execute people or put them in prison.

These are the reasons I can think of:


Deterrence - This is the notion that by serving time a criminal will be discouraged from indulging in future criminal acts, or that by seeing the fate that befalls an arrested criminal, other people might be deterred from committing such acts.

Now, speaking for myself, I'm fine with deterrence as a concept. The first question, though, is how effective capital punishment is as a deterrent, compared to say, life imprisonment. Here (http://www.cjlf.org/deathpenalty/DPDeterrence.htm) are some studies which try to assert that capital punishment is indeed an effective deterrent, and here (http://www.deathpenaltyinfo.org/article.php?&did=2374) are some articles which show how those previous studies are flawed. See also the links here (http://www.deathpenaltyinfo.org/article.php?scid=12&did=167) which suggest that capital punishment might not actually be a deterrent.

My conclusion on examining several of these studies and statistical data is that the jury is still out on the question of whether capital punishment is more a more effective deterrent than incarceration, and that if it is indeed more effective, then it is only marginally so.

This brings us to the second question: Can we be absolutely certain that a person being sentenced is guilty of the crime? I believe DNA fingerprinting in the case of many death row inmates has shown that they were innocent of the crime that they were sentenced for; so I have to say that we cannot be absolutely certain. I submit that if capital punishment is only marginally effective over incarceration as a deterrent, and that we cannot be absolutely certain of guilt, it simply is not worth running the risk of executing an innocent person.


Rehabilitation - Obviously, a criminal is not a useful member of society; executing him is unlikely to make him a useful member either, but prison, with proper training, might.

I'm not going to focus too much on this since it is not particularly germane to a discussion of capital punishment. I do think we need to do more in this area though. Since not everyone is sentenced to life imprisonment or death, most sentenced criminals will be released back into society at some point. We want to make certain that, at that point, as many of them as possible can become functional members of society; if they haven't been effectively rehabilitated (learnt a productive skill, for example), the odds are that they will become desperate and turn back to what they do know, that is a life of crime.


Vengeance - This is essentially the idea that because the criminal's acts caused suffering to some members of society, he too must suffer.

This is rather a touchy subject; I personally think that justice must rise above vengeance, but I can understand people disagreeing with me.

Vengeance can far too easily end up breeding vicious cycles, e.g. sectarian killings in Iraq, clan feuds in the past in Tennessee, reprisal killings in Ireland, Bosnia/Serbia, in gang wars in inner city neighbourhoods, and so on. As a recent courtroom-related example, don't most of you think that Saddam's trial/execution was, among other things, a form of vengeance visited on him by many who had had family members tortured and executed under his regime? And don't you think that if his clan or the B'aath party returrns to power someday, another phase of this cycle will begin?

Tiger's_eye raised an interesting hypothetical scenario earlier in this thread, asking what would one do if he had seen family members gang raped in front of him. I dare say, in such a situation, I would want to see the perpetrators killed. But isn't that why we have a legal system? So that it isn't me deciding, me going forth to wreak vengeance, but cooler heads discussing what sentence to mete out.


Removal of a threat to society - Some criminals (e.g. sociopathic murderers, serial killers, some pedophiles) simply are too dangerous a threat to society and must be isolated from it.

Incarceration for life can achieve this, as can execution. The latter probably utilizes fewer resources (no need to house and feed a person for the rest of his life), but should we let mere economics decide something as grave as the taking of a life?

Hatebreed
October 31, 2007, 08:47 PM
I think capital punishment is a necessity to eliminate the worst criminals for consciously and purposefully killing innocent people, and to keep others from doing it. Life imprisonment and rehabilitation already exist to be determined for different circumstances such as motive behind the crime, mental state of the individual, etc. A judge may be decide if death sentence would be any easy way out for a particular individual, so life sentence (in some cases multiple) with no parole may be given as the maximum punishment. We can't make an absolute judgement. These things need to be determined on the basis of each case and the evidence available.

al Furqaan
October 31, 2007, 09:40 PM
If you truly believe that an alternative to "justice" is committing the same deed against the perp (which makes you no better than him), then I guess there is nothing I can really say to you that will change your mind.

well you can't make a moral equivalence between a murderer and an avenger. in order for me to be no better than a murderer, i have to be a murderer as well.

murder = murder

one who kills a murderer out of revenge is not equal because he didn't kill the person before the murderer murdered.

the two are as clearly seperated as night is from day.

goru
November 1, 2007, 12:32 AM
one who kills a murderer out of revenge is not equal because he didn't kill the person before the murderer murdered.

the two are as clearly seperated as night is from day.

Perhaps to you. To me, the act of killing another person, or raping another person, to "settle a score" is heinous.... no matter if the victim is innocent or guilty.

A difference in opinion on the matter is fine, but when it is part of legislation it is a problem for everyone. When we wrongly execute someone who was innocent, the burden is on each and every member of the society that allows such punishment. I'd rather live with the burden of having wrongly imprisoned someone for years than live with the burden of having ended an innocent person's life by error in judgment.

There is no way back from killing someone! It is very final.

James90
November 1, 2007, 03:55 AM
Personally I am unconditionally opposed to the death penalty. Sure there are some cases where it may be best to execute a person but any legislation would have to be absolutely black and white. If there is even the slightest bit of doubt, the person should definitely not be killed. I think it's impossible to have consistency here so the only solution is to abolish capital punishment completely.

al Furqaan
November 1, 2007, 12:28 PM
Personally I am unconditionally opposed to the death penalty. Sure there are some cases where it may be best to execute a person but any legislation would have to be absolutely black and white. If there is even the slightest bit of doubt, the person should definitely not be killed. I think it's impossible to have consistency here so the only solution is to abolish capital punishment completely.

now we are talking about flaws in the legal system, which there are so many we shouldn't even start counting.

if there is even the slightest shroud of doubt, then yes a person should be set free.

which is why in the islamic penal system rather than have attorneys who lie and manipulate jurors' opinions using clever loopholes, the idea is that if 4 people who are known to be honest haven't seen the perpetrator commit the crime then you cannot convict him.

of course in the modern day, uncorrupted scientific evidence (i.e DNA testing) can, IMO, substitute for 4 witnesses.

goru
November 1, 2007, 02:19 PM
now we are talking about flaws in the legal system, which there are so many we shouldn't even start counting.

if there is even the slightest shroud of doubt, then yes a person should be set free.

which is why in the islamic penal system rather than have attorneys who lie and manipulate jurors' opinions using clever loopholes, the idea is that if 4 people who are known to be honest haven't seen the perpetrator commit the crime then you cannot convict him.

of course in the modern day, uncorrupted scientific evidence (i.e DNA testing) can, IMO, substitute for 4 witnesses.

Now you are drawing Islam into this discussion. I would say something here, but it'd probably seriously offend you.

goru
November 1, 2007, 03:43 PM
I guess I can respond and ignore what was mentioned about the Islamic penal system.

No matter what system we talk about, they all have the factor of human error / corruption. There is no flawless system.

However, ask yourself this... which would be a bigger burden to you:

A) Not executing a man guilty of murder/rape (it's possible that he may get released in the future and repeat his crime).
B) Executing a man who is later proven to be innocent... or at least some evidence is discovered that introduces even the slightest bit of doubt about his guilt.

Alien
November 2, 2007, 07:36 AM
Goru's map shows Burma doesn't execute. What a load of crap.

Why is Bangladesh's border so screwed up in that map?

al Furqaan
November 2, 2007, 10:44 AM
Now you are drawing Islam into this discussion. I would say something here, but it'd probably seriously offend you.

not really, i've heard everything and have thought about and even more. you might be an atheist, but some of things i can say will make even you shudder...

and i'm pretty sure you don't have any sensible to say on this regard at least. so don't let me prevent you from saying anything you want to say.

goru
November 2, 2007, 12:01 PM
not really, i've heard everything and have thought about and even more. you might be an atheist, but some of things i can say will make even you shudder...

and i'm pretty sure you don't have any sensible to say on this regard at least. so don't let me prevent you from saying anything you want to say.

I am not an atheist.

You've repeatedly ignored the questions I presented to you. I see no point in carrying on here.

goru
November 2, 2007, 12:04 PM
Goru's map shows Burma doesn't execute. What a load of crap.

Why is Bangladesh's border so screwed up in that map?

It looks like a "wikipedia compiled" map. So I guess one can't claim it's 100% correct...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:Death_Penalty_World_Map.png

Ahmed_B
November 2, 2007, 12:15 PM
I wonder why this thread reminds me of the movie "Demolition Man" :)

goru
November 2, 2007, 12:34 PM
I thought I'd post some interesting "facts" from Amnesty Intl's site ( http://web.amnesty.org/pages/deathpenalty-facts-eng ):

(I suggest you read the actual page for all the "facts" though)


Over 50 countries have abolished the death penalty for all crimes since 1990. They include countries in Africa (recent examples include Côte d’Ivoire, Liberia, Rwanda), the Americas (Canada, Paraguay, Mexico), Asia and the Pacific (Bhutan. Philippines, Samoa) and Europe and Central Asia ( Albania, Moldova, Montenegro, Serbia, Turkey).

...

The most recent survey of research findings on the relation between the death penalty and homicide rates, conducted for the United Nations in 1988 and updated in 2002, concluded: ". . .it is not prudent to accept the hypothesis that capital punishment deters murder to a marginally greater extent than does the threat and application of the supposedly lesser punishment of life imprisonment."

...

Reviewing the evidence on the relation between changes in the use of the death penalty and homicide rates, a study conducted for the United Nations in 1988 and updated in 2002 stated: "The fact that the statistics continue to point in the same direction is persuasive evidence that countries need not fear sudden and serious changes in the curve of crime if they reduce their reliance upon the death penalty".

...

10. Execution of the innocent

As long as the death penalty is maintained, the risk of executing the innocent can never be eliminated.

Since 1973, 124 prisoners have been released in the USA after evidence emerged of their innocence of the crimes for which they were sentenced to death. There were six such cases in 2004, two in 2005, one in 2006 and one so far in 2007. Some prisoners had come close to execution after spending many years under sentence of death. Recurring features in their cases include prosecutorial or police misconduct; the use of unreliable witness testimony, physical evidence, or confessions; and inadequate defence representation. Other US prisoners have gone to their deaths despite serious doubts over their guilt. The state of Florida has the highest number of exonerations: 22.

The then Governor of the US state of Illinois, George Ryan, declared a moratorium on executions in January 2000. His decision followed the exoneration of the 13th death row prisoner found to have been wrongfully convicted in the state since the USA reinstated the death penalty in 1977. During the same period, 12 other Illinois prisoners had been executed. In January 2003 Governor Ryan pardoned four death row prisoners and commuted all 167 other death sentences in Illinois.

The problem of the potential execution of the innocent is not limited to the USA. In 2006, Tanzania released Hassan Mohamed Mtepeka from death row. He was condemned to death in 2004 for the rape and murder of his step daughter. The Appeal Court found that his conviction overwhelmingly rested on circumstantial evidence which “did not irresistibly point to his guilt”. In Jamaica, Carl McHargh was released from death row in June 2006 after being acquitted on appeal.


Even though I normally stay away from the celebrity point of view, here's Jeremy Irons speaking as part of Amnesty's campaign:

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And a nice presentation in the form of flash animation on this page: http://web.amnesty.org/pages/deathpenalty-311007-editorial-eng

al Furqaan
November 2, 2007, 06:14 PM
I am not an atheist.

You've repeatedly ignored the questions I presented to you. I see no point in carrying on here.

i meant to answer ur question but i guess i forgot.

at any rate, about your question whether i would rather have a real rapist/murderer go free or execute someone who is really innocent.

i would say that both are equally unthinkable mistakes. unfortunately there is nothing else to say about either but i hope your question is answered.

at any rate, this illustrates that the legal system is completely flawed because known criminals go free on technicalities and many innocent people are put away due to racism, manipulation of evidence and technicalities.

Farhad
November 2, 2007, 07:51 PM
I think alot of people are missing the point here.

My thoughts (in a nutshell) are:

I think the two major reasons countries opt for the death penalty are (from Shaad, although i scrapped Rehabilitation [which btw, according to recent accounts on recidivism, doesnt work] and deterrance as they arent relevant to this particular discussion)
1) Revenge: Completely against this. As someone said, the only reason we have a court is so that clear headed people unrelated to the crime decide the punishment and guilt.
2) Removal of Threat: This ones a bit tougher. Spend thousands of dollars keeping people alive that may not even want to live, or spend a marginal amount of money to do something which in some cases all parties want.

Although this may sound liberal to the point of stupidity, i believe the choice should reside with the criminal. Either spend your life rotting in prison, or end it all early (similar to commiting suicide).

Sohel
November 3, 2007, 12:40 PM
Thank you G for opening this important thread, I suddenly feel akward about calling you 'goru' at the moment. I also thank Shaad, Asaad, Farhad and others for their valuable comments ... :)

If I am correct in my limited understanding of some of what’s going on here in this thread, keeping ‘religion’ out of this particular discussion is a curious precondition to say the least. Not only because as a practicing Muslim I choose not to do that, but also because what we understand as “secular laws” governing the important matter of state-sanctioned murder of its prisoners euphemistically called the “death penalty” – are also very much based upon Anglo-American common laws by way of Judeo-Christian morality. So not bringing Islam into the discussion, my own religion into the matter would not only be unfair, but also a bit on the absurd side in my humble opinion.

Having said that, I also believe as a practicing Muslim that while Islam must ‘inspire’ every aspect of private and civil life in those who submit willfully to GOD as per His Divine revelation in the Holy Quran, and embrace its creed wholeheartedly - Divinity and Divine inspiration must be kept duly separated from the political institutions of man, including the justice system, in order to preserve the spiritual integrity of that inspiration and the details intent and context-based, practically anti-utopian nature of the Quranic Spirit when it comes to jurisprudence.

At this Information Age of Islamic Revivalism, we must come up with our own set of ‘secular’ institutions that fit into our lives better as Muslims living in especially societies where Islam is an integral and dominant part of the cultural fabric. Another story, another thread … :)

As a practicing Muslim and a victim of violence, including the questionable death of my own father and relatives murdered, raped and tortured during 1971, I categorically oppose the death penalty and shall provide some Islam-inspired arguments as to the reasons why a little later. First, let us look at the meat at the end of the fork and see it for what it really is. Death penalty is ultimately all about taking the life of a prisoner, or a life of an incarcerated individual who for whatever reason, is deemed a threat to the maintenance of “social equilibrium” and is therefore deprived of his or her civil rights.

Just societies more representative of its citizenry create laws in order protect their citizens against the tyranny and inconsideration of those who seek to undermine their human as well as civil rights protected by those laws. The same societies also create institutions which exercise a wide variety of power in order to ‘normalize’ its citizenry in terms of its often self-attesting norms, beliefs and values. The Western penal system, according to contemporary social critics and observers such as Michel Foucault (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Discipline_and_Punish) and others is such an institution or “technology of normalizing power”.

Such ‘technologies’ they argue, while using a wide array of ‘humanist’ and other rationale such as ‘rehabilitation’, actually only perpetuate their own survival by rendering incarcerated bodies docile, subsequently creating harvestable delinquencies or “repeat offenders” as a sort of ‘value-added’ mechanism for management and control of crime, and finally adding to the knowledge which enables the exercise of such power and vice-versa. There is more than ample evidence of this and other technologies of power/knowledge which make-up the modern state.

The death penalty is an ‘irrational’ part of the aforementioned system often fueled by nothing other than primal desire for revenge or “biting back the dog”, no matter how we choose to sugarcoat it under layers of seemingly erudite words and concepts.

There is ample data available to suggest that such a practice does not ‘deter’ the urge to commit violent and other crimes for which the Death penalty is a sentencing option throughout the world.

An ultimately incidental cocktail of genetic predisposition and subsequent susceptibilities, upbringing and other environmental factors, and finally “making the choice” to what we do have more to do with our behavior than anything else, including the criminal code of the society we’re living in. In fact more often than not, the experience of genuine kindness and consideration from others in a kind and considerate society often lead our own king and considerate behavior towards others.

The opposite, meaning cruelty begetting cruelty is also often true. Sanctioning the murder of a person rendered into a defenseless prisoner for whatever reason is neither kind nor considerate in a society advocating such practices, and such sanctions can only send the sort of wrong message which can only perpetuate the vicious cycle of violence that society is presumably trying to deter through its laws.

So if the death penalty does not deter crime in light of several other more pertinent factors, why continue to do it?

Does it bring back the dead? NO.

Are there better alternatives the sort of ‘closure’ brought about by the practice of state sanctioned revenge-killing? YES.

Very angry folks, especially in some 'religious' circles irrespective of religion, claim that the death penalty is somewhat ineffective in deterring violent offenses - often conveniently bypassing its use application punishment for crimes such as dissent in certain societies - not because of what death penalty is, but because of the discrete, almost secretive way it is carried out. They argue, often using a plethora of intellectually dishonest and half-@$$ed arguments, that if death penalty is made into a public and broadcasted affair, death penalty as public execution can indeed serve as an effective deterrent to the crimes it applies to. They tend to use Saudi Arabia and China as “low crime rate” examples of their theory, conveniently leaving other more critical factors such as socio-cultural environment and partly subsequent practices of self-regulation out of their pathetic analysis.

They fail to explain how violent crime also tends to be very low in societies where they have in fact abolished the death penalty altogether. They avoid the pondering what makes people in those societies from waking up in the morning and going postal. They fail to ponder the relationship between the easily obtainable arsenal at their fingertips and the possibility of going postal.

Sadly, they also fail to ponder the type of moral and ethical example the violent, warmongering state apparatus can set for its impressionable young children with what sort of inevitably counter-productive effect on the social-psyche as a whole, and the critical role of that social-psyche upon the lofty ideals the guardians of that society claim to defend, protect and preserve from those they deem unfit to live.

What does the Quran say about taking a life? What does GOD say?

GOD is eminently clear in His Quranic revelations about taking any life and alternatives to that act. GOD says when revealing “the straight path” to His submitters from the time of Abraham: -

"Say: 'come let me recite to you what your Lord Has forbade for you:
that you should not set-up anything with Him.

And be kind to your parents;

and do not kill your unborn children for fear of poverty, We provide for you and for them;

and do not come near evil, what is openly of it, or secretly;

and do not kill the soul which GOD Has forbidden, except in justice. That is what He enjoined you that you may comprehend'.

'And do not come near the money of the orphan, except for what is best, until he reached his maturity;

and give honestly full measure and weight equitably. We do not burden a soul except by what it can bear.

And if you speak then be just even if against a relative;

and with pledges made to GOD you shall observe. This He Has enjoined you that you may remember'.

And this is *My path, a Straight One, so you shall follow it, and do not follow the other paths lest they divert you from His path. That is what He has enjoined you to that you may be righteous." (6:151-153)

The key line here is: “and do not kill the soul which GOD Has forbidden, except in justice.” So what does justice mean in reference to killing?

Let us look at what GOD has to say about ‘war’ to better understand the matter of justifiable homicide. After all, is the condemned man not where he is because of his transgressions against society, transgressions which could be interpreted as a war on that society, and the laws and values it represents? Are those violated laws and values not an extension of our ‘religion’, and the sanctity of our social order not akin to our “Inviolable place of worship”? GOD says this: -

"You may fight in the cause of GOD those who fight you, but do not aggress. GOD does not love the aggressors. (2:190)

"And kill them where you find them, and evict them whence they evicted you. Oppression is worse than murder. Do not fight them at the Sacred Mosque, unless they fight you therein. If they fight you, you may kill them. This is the just retribution for those who disbelieve. (2:191)

"They question you with regard to warfare in the sacred month. Say: Warfare therein is a great (transgression), but to turn (men) from the way of GOD, and to disbelieve in Him and in the Inviolable Place of Worship, and to expel His people thence, is a greater with GOD; for persecution is worse than killing. And they will not cease from fighting against you till they have made you renegades from your religion, if they can. And he who becomes renegade and dies in his disbelief: such are they whose works have fallen both in the world and the Hereafter. Such are rightful owners of the Fire: they will abide therein." (2:217)

War and subsequent killing is only allowed in self-defense, defined with specific preconditions that narrowly assess each individual act in terms of its own intent, context and unique set of circumstances. Such killing also clearly implies particular conditions of self-defense on a battlefield, be it in Dhaka against Pakistani aggression in 1971, or an armed attempt to defend our family and home against an armed robber or worse. Killing in the defense of others is also similarly sanctioned.

"...As for those who believe, but do not emigrate with you, you do not owe them any support, until they do emigrate. However, if they seek your help, as brethren in faith, you shall help them, except against people with whom you have signed a peace treaty. GOD is Seer of everything you do. (8:72)

"And why should you not fight in the cause of God and the weak and oppressed among men, women, and children who say, "Our Lord rescue us from this town whose people are oppressors. And give us from You, a protector. And give us from You, a helper" (4:75).

Believers who are attacked may seek help and military action may be used in these cases. The exception is clearly if a treaty exists with the country/people who are housing them and the conditions of such treaty has not been broken (see 9:1-15 for dealing with broken treaties).*

This also applies to victims seeking help from the injustice of others’ transgressions at multiple levels. As citizens in a just society, our covenant and agreement with other citizens and the society as a whole are also such a treaty. This means that “taking the law into our own hands” is subject to specific conditions, primarily in order to produce a just outcome.

"You shall prepare for them all the power you can muster, and all the equipment you can mobilize, that you may frighten the enemies of GOD, your enemies, as well as others who are not known to you; GOD knows them. Whatever you spend in the cause of GOD will be repaid to you generously, without the least injustice. (8:60)

The Quran is a book of life, and a book of wisdom. We as individuals in a just society are encouraged a strategy of displaying forces and making sure everyone is aware of them. Righteousness is a part of that deterrent force, and together they are usually the best deterrent to avoid aggression and may make those with ill intentions think twice about beginning a transgression or attacking out of feeling superior.*

"Warfare has been ordained for you, though it is hateful unto you; but it may happen that you hate a thing which is good for you, and it may happen that you love a thing which is bad for you. GOD knows, but you do not know." 2:216

"O you prophet, you shall exhort the believers to fight. If there are twenty of you who are steadfast, they can defeat two hundred, and a hundred of you can defeat a thousand of those who disbelieved. That is because they are people who do not understand. (8:65)

To make it clear from the beginning, Islam as a system invites people to stand ready to fight at all times. The Quran does not adapt a 'walk-away' attitude, but puts aggressors down from the beginning and demands its followers to be aware of such responsibilities.*

That said, the precondition to such preparation and reluctant but nevertheless decisive use of lethal force as a deterrent, is “steadfast righteousness” obviously devoid of mixed messages and double standards. This applies both to the victims, their families and onlookers who seek justice, and the cohesive state apparatus entrusted to deliver it.

"...if you are attacked, then you shall attack by the same equivalence. And reverence GOD and know that GOD is with the righteous" (2:194)

"And if you punish, you shall inflict an equivalent punishment. But if you resort to patience (instead of revenge), it would be better for the patient ones. (16:26)

The law of equivalence in the battlefield during our resistance to aggression is a critical part with regards to the Quranic terms of engagement. This is the law for equivalence. If 100 of your soldiers are killed, then a maximum 100 of the enemy soldiers may be killed. GOD tells us that we cannot kill more than has been killed with us, and if we hold-off and are not quick to seek revenge, then it is always better for us as individuals and the community we’re an integral part of.*

"If they refrain, then GOD is Forgiver, Most Merciful." (2:192)

"If they seek peace, so shall you, and put your trust in GOD. He is the Hearer, the Omniscient. (8:61)

This is the GOD of Submission. The GOD who only allows violence when it is carried out against a person, and is quick to call for peace once the violence is ended.

There can be no justification for war and killing to continue simply because it was started by means of aggression.*

If the aggressor survives in the process of being defeated, and is subsequently disarmed, arrested and brought to justice and subjected to its laws, his status changes from an ‘aggressor’ to a ‘prisoner’ completely stripped of his powers to do harm while he or she is in prison.

"... Some of them you killed, and some you took captive. (33:26)

"O you prophet, tell the prisoners of war in your hands, "If GOD knew of anything good in your hearts, He would have given you better than anything you have lost, and would have forgiven you. GOD is Forgiver, Most Merciful." (8:70)

In the laws of GOD, prisoners can be taken during warfare and held until such time as their release is deemed possible. Prisoners are neither to be killed nor tortured.* Those are “cruel and unusual” practices which cannot have any have legitimacy in a just society inspired by Islam, and that pretty much rules-out the death penalty or state sanctioned killing of prisoners who have transgressed the laws of society and therefore made ‘war’ against its values and norms.

There are better, more useful alternatives to killing with regards to establishing a just society.

Keeping in mind that only GOD is Omniscient and therefore Cognizant of what is truly in the hearts of His creations – our own judgment including that of our courts must always be considered as flawed and incomplete, and perceived as nothing other than a combination of “practical measures to ensure public peace” and in a just society, also “productive measures that create opportunities for compensation, repentance and expiation through piety without putting society at risk”.

"That is because God was not to change anything He bestowed to a people, unless they change what is in themselves. God is Hearer, Knowledgeable." (The Message 8:53)

Rehabilitation is a matter between GOD and the prisoner, our job as submitters is to provide the best environment for that to happen. Keeping that in mind, we must assess prisons in terms of their reality and reform them accordingly.

That said, if a just society exercises its powers to incarcerate individuals it deems to dangerous to release in our midst, it must also bear all costs associated with that incarceration. In order to meet that responsibility, society can take appropriate measures.

"You shall fight back against those who do not believe in GOD, nor in the Last Day, nor do they prohibit what GOD and His messenger have prohibited, nor do they abide by the system of truth-among those who received the scripture-until they pay the penalty, willingly or unwillingly." (9:29)

Sura 9 deals with the breaking of treaties and warfare. The penalty for those who have broken the law and have fought against the believers is to pay 'compensation' for their action.* With regards to prisoners, this ‘compensation’ in the case of the convicted criminal can be a combination of money, labor and other measures which benefit his or her victims, their family and society as a whole.

"They consult you about the spoils of war. Say, "The spoils of war belong to GOD and the messenger." You shall observe GOD, exhort one another to be righteous, and obey GOD and His messenger, if you are believers. (8:1)

"He made you inherit their land, their homes, their money, and lands you had never stepped on. GOD is in full control of all things. (33:27)

Spoils of war belong to the state to be distributed as per the Quranic requirements (orphans, needy. etc..). The land and goods of enemies is confiscated in these battles.* This also applies to confiscation of the prisoner’s property for the benefit of his or her victims, their family and society as a whole.

Having done that, and in order to strive for a just society where laws not only adequately represent its citizens and preserve our values - in our case Abrahamic slash Islamic values as revealed through the Quran - we must also have laws and standards that protect individuals against what Jefferson called the “the tyranny of the majority” by considering long term and sustainable wisdom rather than social impulses often not thought all the way through.

Such a just and pious society of submitters understands its inherent limitations of judgment and takes pragmatic measures through its institutions maintain a “social equilibrium” for all of its citizens. In my humble opinion, the death penalty has proven not to be one of those measures. Striving to find common ground whenever possible amongst people of good faith, and subsequently attempting to resolve conflicts amongst such people, can and will do more in preventing violent crimes that create outrage and bloodlust. As the Mahatma Gandhi said before his outrageous murder: “an eye for an eye makes the whole world blind”.

"If two groups of believers fought with each other, you shall reconcile them. If one group aggresses against the other, you shall fight the aggressing group until they submit to GOD's command. Once they submit, you shall reconcile the two groups equitably. You shall maintain justice; GOD loves those who are just." (49:9)

Although this does not deal with ‘warfare’ directly, it lays the ground for what to do when two groups of believers fight.* The term ‘believers’ in this case may also include citizens in a society striving to be just, and their individual good faith and social covenant with such a society.

We as individuals and societies have choices to make. GOD provides with suggestions that may enable us to make the right ones once keep our limitations as submitters in our hearts and minds.

"...anyone who kills any person who had not committed murder or horrendous crimes, it shall be as if he killed all the people. And anyone who spares a life, it shall be as if he spared the lives of all the people..." (5:32)

Thank you for your time.

Peace to all ... :)

*LINK (http://www.free-minds.org/articles/gods_system/war.htm)