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Straw Poll

Discussion in 'The Lounge' started by BigWill, Jun 13, 2001.

  1. BigWill

    BigWill Gorgeous oversensitive Nikon-loving cream puff

    This has nothing to do with photography (has anything in the lounge!)but as everyone knows by now Timothy McVeigh was executed by lethal injection in the USA for probably one of the most horrific acts of mass murder committed in modern times. As photographers we have minds and opinions like everyone else so I would like to know where you stand on the issue of the death penalty. Is it justified given the horrific nature of the crime or is it a barbaric anachronism which we would do well to keep off the statute books.(as in the UK) My own gut feeling on the matter is that "Two wrongs don't make a right" and that it would be best abolished. However, I can sympathize with those who lost loved ones in this horrific incident and it is perhaps hypocritical of me to make such a judgement without "having first walked a mile in the shoes of a victim". Perhaps then my opinion would differ. What think you?
    BigWill
     
  2. Clive

    Clive Well-Known Member

    I think there are some people whose crimes are so horrific and heinous that I do think they deserve to die. Whether McVeigh was given what he wanted is of no consequence. However, I am actually against the death penalty on several grounds, one of which is that my faith in the legal system to always get the right verdict is pretty low, and one innocent victim of a state death penalty is one too many. However, I have nothing against life meaning life - which is more common in the US than the UK.
    Clive
     
  3. BigWill

    BigWill Gorgeous oversensitive Nikon-loving cream puff

    Good point Clive, miscarriages of justice tend to be permanent when you have the death penalty.
    BigWill
     
  4. Steve L

    Steve L Well-Known Member

    There are many problems with the death penalty as a punishment in a civilised society.
    First, the justice system in any country is not infallible enough to have the death penalty as the ultimate sanction. Where would all those innocent victims of miscarriages of justice be ?
    Second, for once I agree with Will; there is an inherent hypocrisy about taking a life for a life. How would you feel as a jury member knowing that your decision could send someone to their death ?
    Third, I would like to think that in the 21st century, we can find a more humane way of punishing miscreants without resorting to the death penalty. This throws up some questions about rehabilitation, making people pay back there debt, using prison time constructively, three strikes and your out etc. Stats show that the death penalty has no effect on crime figures.
    I would rather we keep someone in prison for life, working off their debt in some way and only letting them out in a casket, then condoning the death penalty.
    No, I’m not a lily livered liberal, but there has got to be a better way to punish people like McVeigh.
     
  5. PJMorley

    PJMorley Well-Known Member

    It's impossible to to compensate the relatives for any loss of life and no punishment or rehabilitation will ever undo what has already been done.

    I agree that the death penalty may not be the answer but quite often in these cases, it is pointed out how horrific and barbaric the death penalty is but less often mentioned is how horrific and barbaric the crime that warranted the death penalty in the first place. However I note it has been mentioned here.

    Whether or not Timothy McVeigh deserved to die for his crime is obviously open to question but he suffered the consequence of a choice he made. He had the the chance to prepare for his death and in truth, his death was probably quite peaceful and quick and pain free, at least in the physiological sense.

    The same can't be said of his victims, many of whom will have been absolutely terrified, confused, buried under rubble, gasping for breath and survived hours in pain before eventually dying. They didn't have the luxury of preparing for their deaths either practicably or spiritually and certainly didn't die as a consequence of any choice they made, except to be in the wrong place a the wrong time.

    Try as I might, I cannot feel any sympathy or even care about Timothy McVeighs demise, maybe that's a sad reflection on a society that allows the death penalty but it's the same society that produces people capable of such a crime.

    It's the world we live in, the world we made and the world we have to deal with. And it's the people in this world that say, until someone comes up with a better way of dealing with the likes of Timothy McVeigh then that's how it is.

    John
     
  6. PJMorley

    PJMorley Well-Known Member

    It's impossible to to compensate the relatives for any loss of life and no punishment or rehabilitation will ever undo what has already been done.

    I agree that the death penalty may not be the answer but quite often in these cases, it is pointed out how horrific and barbaric the death penalty is but less often mentioned is how horrific and barbaric the crime that warranted the death penalty in the first place. However I note it has been mentioned here.

    Whether or not Timothy McVeigh deserved to die for his crime is obviously open to question but he suffered the consequence of a choice he made. He had the the chance to prepare for his death and in truth, his death was probably quite peaceful and quick and pain free, at least in the physiological sense.

    The same can't be said of his victims, many of whom will have been absolutely terrified, confused, buried under rubble, gasping for breath and survived hours in pain before eventually dying. They didn't have the luxury of preparing for their deaths either practicably or spiritually and certainly didn't die as a consequence of any choice they made, except to be in the wrong place a the wrong time.

    Try as I might, I cannot feel any sympathy or even care about Timothy McVeighs demise, maybe that's a sad reflection on a society that allows the death penalty but it's the same society that produces people capable of such a crime.

    It's the world we live in, the world we made and the world we have to deal with. And it's the people in this world that say, until someone comes up with a better way of dealing with the likes of Timothy McVeigh then that's how it is.

    John
     
  7. Col. Hogan

    Col. Hogan Well-Known Member

    Thank you! I couldn't have said it better myself.
     
  8. Biggie5

    Biggie5 Well-Known Member

    Is the main purpose of the death penalty to punish the guilty party or to give the victims a sense of retribution and the punishers a sense of being just and mighty.

    personally I don't agree with the death penalty on many grounds. Especially in light of many cases of miscarriages of justice. I think the death penalty is a gross use social power often by people with the greater good in mind but it is still a misuse of the power given to them.

    Life is too precious....

    Dave 5ash
     
  9. Benchista

    Benchista Which Tyler

    Pretty much my feelings on the matter.

    Nick
     
  10. SCT

    SCT Well-Known Member

    Having worked in a country that still has the death penalty on its criminal code. And being there when Ochalan was arrested and deported back to Turkey.

    Most locals wanted the death penalty carried out. And yet he had'nt his day in court.

    I cannot and will not support such a final act of vengence for a crime how ever bad that crime was.

    And my experiance in Turkey on this subject only reinforces my view.

    BTW the rest of my time in Turkey was great and the people nice.

    Steve C Thompson /img/wwwthreads/smile.gif
     
  11. nicxx

    nicxx Well-Known Member

    God this is something I could go on for hours about...and I guess most of the rest of the world could...it just throws up so many questions, a lot of which people would prefer not to answer.

    One of the big ones is what is the reason behind every sentence you give? Are you doing this to punish the criminal? If so is it really for you to do? Or are you doing it as retribution for the victims and their families/friends who are victims too? I dont think thats right either. Is it a deterrent? This is the main reason why we supposedly do these things, but in these cases (as in probably most) it doesnt work. People dont think Oh, i wont go and kill those hundreds of people because they might put me in jail, or they might kill me. You either think youre going to get away with it or you dont care. This applies to much "lesser" crimes too.

    Then you have to consider, whichever of these you choose as your reason, imagine that the whole of society had decided that it was OK to use punishment or retribution as the reason. Do you really believe that killing someone else "as punishment" is not still murder? But apparantly murder is acceptable in certain circumstances? I'm not religious but Im shocked to find even people who are condone this. It may be difficult, probably impossible to forgive what McVeigh and others have done but hurting in return (to put it lightly)? And do you think you will ever, ever, stop feeling angry, sad, hating him, it is going to screw you up inside but this isnt going to solve that. Thats something much deeper and it will need a lot of work to even start on mending it. Itll never be mended properly. It will take years even to begin to accept what has happened.

    Thirdly, being in prison. Would it not be more functional, something useful to the rest of society, to be inside for the rest of his life, and I mean life? Doing something constructive. And surely if its punishment that you took as your reason, its probably more of a punishment to have every second of your liberty taken away from you for the rest of your life, than take the "easy option" (forgive me if I make this sound light) and let there be no life to take the liberty from. Its all over, hes never going to remember now. They should have made him work, and pay something back, even if that something was infinitesimal compared to what he had taken away.

    Under no circumstances can I or will I accept capital punishment for whatever the reason you chose. No I am not victim, Im not feeling what theyre feeling and I hope to God this will never have to affect me like that, but I do think theres a lot you must consider before just throwing an opinion into something as deep as life. (Im not saying any of you have done so, but this is *my* opinion). Theres too much in this world people just throw their opinion into without thinking through (voting being one of them...)

    I cried when they executed McVeigh, and it was nothing to do with sorrow for him, it was sorrow for how sick we are that we can find it acceptable to do something like that and the huge amount of coverage that went with it - which could have been a good thing, and mde us *think*, but it wasnt, they just used it for the shock factor, as a fascinating, gory horror story.
     
  12. Biggie5

    Biggie5 Well-Known Member

    Also on the bbc news on Monday I think it was they said that there is one execution in the States approximately every 3 days.

    The Mc Veigh execution was brought to prominence because of the size of the crime.


    You might think that convicted criminals would be able to be employed in the manufacturing of some goods or providing some sort of service. Something that benefits society and potentially shows them that as a law abiding citizen they are of value in society and in themselves.



    Dave 5ash
     
  13. PJMorley

    PJMorley Well-Known Member

    Col. Hogan

    Am I right in thinking you're in agreeance with me or have I just read your reply out of sync.

    John
     
  14. PJMorley

    PJMorley Well-Known Member

    I agree the media coverage of the execution was nothing more than a horror show to capture viewers and improve TV ratings but we shouldn't let that detract from the real issue.

    It never ceases to amaze me how quickly and easily people, in the name of humanity, defend the rights of criminals with only an arbitrary mention of the horrendous crimes they commited that put them in the position of losing their lives in the first place, but who stands up for the victims, not just the dead but the surviving relatives who live with the grief for the rest of their lives.

    Of course, killing is wrong, no one would disagree with that and it is well established now that the death penalty is not a deterrent for the reasons you gave. (criminals just don't expect to be caught). It does however stop them doing it again.

    The majority of posts here seem to be against the death penalty regardless of the crime committed and the view seems to be that any life is precious. I can't agree with that. Not all life is precious, at least not one that is capable of killing 160 other lives and destrying thousands of others in the process. You asked is murder acceptable in certain circumstances? Well yes it seems it is. Murder is acceptable in war and in self defence or self preservation.

    Isn't that what capital punishment is about on the macroscopic scale, it's a self preservation mechanism for society as a whole. A single life that has proved capable of destroying hundreds of lives has to be removed in the same way cancer cells are removed from a body.

    Imprisonment is an option but no matter how secure a prison is, it doesn't entirely remove the threat to society. And the truth is if enough people felt strongly enough about capital punishment then it simply wouldn't exist. Everytime we hear about a situation like this then all the opinions come out about how precious life is and the barbarity of capital punishment etc.

    It may be that society is quite comfortable as a whole with capital punishment but feels the need to vent off some of the associated guilt that goes with it from time to time.

    I'm not intending to sound cold about this whole affair but simply trying to put across a point in non emotional terms which is difficult given the subject matter. I'm also not whole heartedly in favour of capital punishment but trying to put the whole thing into some sort of pespective.

    I think there must be some sort of acceptance of capital punishment by all of us. We all feel strongly enough to voice an opinion but how many of us feel strongly enough to get out of the house and actively campaign against it.

    The truth is.. I don't..... How about anyone else?

    John
     
  15. TheFatControlleR

    TheFatControlleR :Devil's Advocaat: Forum Admin

    I have to agree with Amnesty International, 'The death penalty is not justice, it's revenge'.

    Adieu,

    TFC
    [Nothing IS a Problem for Me/img/wwwthreads/wink.gif]
     
  16. linnet9

    linnet9 Well-Known Member

    In the night(ours), I phoned an old Internet chum in Oklahoma. We put the world to rights as usual. He is what in the irreverent days of my youth we called a bible basher. He did say his beliefs were his and not for thrusting on me or anyone else.
    He was adamant that no one but the Lord had the right to take a life. He went on to say they were all cock-a hoop in his neck of the wood about the death. I said he needed to make up his mind - was the Lord the only one who could take away the life he had given or not?
    We parted friends - he has a big heart but has had a hard life. Such things affect the way we think on most issues.
     
  17. Glenn Harper

    Glenn Harper Well-Known Member

    McVeigh's motive for mass murder was supposedly to avenge the deaths of those at Waco, and so by his own reasoning he deserved to die himself.

    I don't think any of us are best suited to judge exactly how this individual should have been treated, but equally I suspect that those involved in retrieving bodies from the rubble in Oklahoma might have a more vehement case against him.

    It is a little too easy to be moral about things which few of us have been witness to nor can understand.

    Photography and media coverage surely shocks us, but still is a vastly censored rendition of the sights,sounds and smells which are actually occuring.

    Civilisation shelters many evils, and at the same time renders the individual almost powerless, which is perhaps why we become apathetic. If McVeigh had been turned over to the masses he would have ceased to exist a long time ago, and his exit would surely have been less painless.

    I've a very strong feeling that natural retribution is more divine intervention than that metered out by the 'civilised' society that we all claim and clamber to be a part of.

    Harsh ? Perhaps barbaric even.

    We have come this far as a race by natural selection and evolution, and the increasing tendency towards political correctness and the 'right thing to do' casts a veil over the far greater damage that is being done to our chances of longevity as a race.

    Heavy stuff eh ? I'm going out to take some snaps.
     
  18. Britcat100

    Britcat100 Active Member

    Mmmm, I had exactly the same conversation with my lovely lady the other night...she's dead (excuse the pun) set against it but I am truly undecided...I tend to side with you Will but if someone blew up my family I would want retribution.
    So if forced to say one or the other I'm for it...ahhh the good old colonial days...the smack of wet rope, the snap of the hangmans noose the terrible gurgle of the dying villan the voiding of the victims bowels....no changed my mind I'm against it...messy business after all.
     
  19. PJMorley

    PJMorley Well-Known Member

    I think that the describing ourselves as a 'civilised society' may be part of the problem. The truth is that we are far from civilised and compared to most other species on this planet are probably the least civilised.

    The problem is... most of us have difficulty recognising that fact..

    John

    John
    http://
     

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