To Execute Or Not

MJS

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A new study finds that its actually cheaper to keep people locked up for life vs. killing them.

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/29552692/


After decades of moral arguments reaching biblical proportions, after long, twisted journeys to the nation's highest court and back, the death penalty may be abandoned by several states for a reason having nothing to do with right or wrong:
Money.
Turns out, it is cheaper to imprison killers for life than to execute them, according to a series of recent surveys. Tens of millions of dollars cheaper, politicians are learning, during a tumbling recession when nearly every state faces job cuts and massive deficits.
 

Bill Mattocks

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I am of mixed mind on the death penalty.

I am not in favor of the state taking human life. I do not think that the death penalty is an effective deterrent. However, I do think that the death penalty is the end of a particular person's ability to harm our society and our citizens. Some people are unable to live within the rules of society, and only the permanent solution of death will protect us from them in a dependable way.

One the one hand, while it may be cheaper to keep an inmate housed for life, an inmate who is alive remains a threat. A threat to the guard staff, a threat to other inmates, even a threat to people outside of prison, depending on his prison-gang connections. A person convicted and sent to prison for 'life' may not serve actual life. Even when that is the original intent of the judge and jury, things change - sentences get reduced, convictions overturned, and there is always the chance, however minimal, of escape. A convict who has been executed will not offend again, and that is the only finality the system offers.

On the other hand, I am troubled by the small-but-growing number of men on death row who are later found to be innocent due to DNA evidence that was not available at the time. I also find, as many governors of various states have, that the death penalty is inequitably applied, with a far greater frequency of death penalties given to black men who commit crimes similar to those of whites given lesser sentences. While a policy is essentially racist, I find it impossible to support. If that problem can be overcome, then I have no other objections to the death penalty in principle.

The 'financial argument' is an interesting one, because it does not address the one thing that could tip that balance the other way - by putting an end to 20 to 30 year appeal processes and endless frivolous appeals at the taxpayer's expense. China has a process which is far simpler, and the cost is limited to the cost of the trial itself. While I do not argue that we should follow China's policy of a bullet to the back of the head immediately after conviction, I think we could control costs by putting a cap on the number of years and appeals that convicts are allowed.
 

StrongFighter

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I am for the death penalty because some men do not fear prison. They fear death itself and prefer their victims to be dead while he is alive roaming the earth.

DNA evidence will continue to improve as well another truth finding tools so I would vote to keep the death penalty and it is cheaper than sentencing some sick pervert or evil animal to life imprisonment and it is far more safer for the prison guards.

Some crimes do not call for the death penalty.

Sometimes, 20 year sentences are appropriate.

Another times, the death penalty is appropriate.
 

tshadowchaser

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I think a bullet or injection is far cheaper than keeping a person feed and clothed, housed for life.

I also feel that any gang related murder should old an automatic death sentence to be carried out with in year of the case being held. Appeals must be completed within this time or the sentence is carried out.
I know this may bring discussion that needs a separate thread so rather than comment on my personal thoughty start a thread if ou want to discusses my thoughts on this
 

Bill Mattocks

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I think a bullet or injection is far cheaper than keeping a person feed and clothed, housed for life.

Technically, it's not - that's the point of the OP. The appeals process for an inmate condemned to death costs more than the average life sentence.

I would be interested in your thoughts on the disparity in race between blacks and whites convicted of similar crimes.

http://www.deathpenaltyinfo.org/race-death-row-inmates-executed-1976#defend

I'm not against the death penalty, per se, but I can't support it while it remains an essentially racist institution.
 

Rich Parsons

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A new study finds that its actually cheaper to keep people locked up for life vs. killing them.

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/29552692/


From data I read a few years ago, it costs about $32,000 USD to keep a minimum to medium security prisoner in detention for a year.

It did cost about $3,500 a year for maximum security in third world countries in South America.

Of course their life expectancy was only about 3 years.
 

StrongFighter

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http://www.deathpenaltyinfo.org/race-death-row-inmates-executed-1976#defend

I'm not against the death penalty, per se, but I can't support it while it remains an essentially racist institution.

Gang warfare is a racist institution on wheels.

If gang members were put to death within 30 days of sentencing. No more gang warfare would exist.

I understand innocent people have been executed both white and black in the past but please keep in mind that DNA and another truth finding tools are rapidly changing the landscape of crime and punishment. Less people are committing crimes for fear of being discovered because of DNA forensics.

One of these days, it may be possible for DNA forensics to lift fingerprints from latex gloves, even if no latex gloves are found.

Science and technology will continue to improve.

New laws need to be passed or changed to save the taxpayers money with the appellate process and justice court related expenses.

Better yet, a cheaper and more ancient method that really works is to obey the sixth commandment of the Ten Commandments.

Thou shalt not kill. (Hebrew ratsach, to kill, slay or murder. Killing in self defense is acceptable in the Sight of G-d for the preservation of human life, to defeat and vanquish evil.)
 

Bill Mattocks

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From data I read a few years ago, it costs about $32,000 USD to keep a minimum to medium security prisoner in detention for a year.

It did cost about $3,500 a year for maximum security in third world countries in South America.

Of course their life expectancy was only about 3 years.

Sounds good, doesn't it? Let's say that criminals are not deserving of the minimum standards of care we currently provide. Change our standards, stop 'molly coddling' criminals, treat them harshly, etc, etc. I get it. I even feel it from time to time.

However, a couple of things - and please bear in mind that this is not from a liberal, but from a genuine Goldwater conservative (me).

First, we are a nation of laws. A large part of the expense we assume in feeding, clothing, and housing prisoners has to do with Constitutional challenges that have succeeded. Ignoring that is ignoring our constitution's prohibitions on such things as 'due process' and 'cruel and unusual punishment'.

Second, I'm proud of our country. I love the USA and what we stand for. I like to thing we're not just the best country to live in, but we're a morally just country. Yes, we make mistakes, and yes, we fall far short of perfect. But we are decent people, we strive to do the right thing. I do not want to live in a nation which decides that we will ignore the Constitution's protections for all for the sake of saving money to punish criminals.

And third - if you think our recidivism rate is bad now, wait until people get out of US prisons that are like those in South America. They won't want to go back, that's for sure. So one can expect that any confrontation with the police will end in a gun fight to the death. I really think that's a bad idea.
 

CuongNhuka

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It's cheaper because of the endless stream of appeals and lawyers. Get rid of that, and execution becomes cheaper.

Note: the above post is NOT to be taken as my approval of, or disdain for, the death penalty. I'm just stating a fact. I'm undecided on the matter.
 

Bill Mattocks

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Gang warfare is a racist institution on wheels.

That's a red herring - an attempt to distract from the facts of death sentences.

Look at the stats. These are juries exhibiting what clearly appear to be racist inclinations to sentence blacks to death. Nothing to do with gangs.

The highest rate of death sentences occurs when a black man kills a white man. Nothing to do with gangs. When the same death sentence is not given to a white man who kills a black man, that's not 'gang' anything - that's racism.

I do not have a problem with putting people to death who are deserving of such a sentence and who will represent a threat to the safety of decent citizens for the rest of their lives. They must be removed from society forever for our own sakes. I do have a problem with the current process, which sends far more blacks than whites to death for similar crimes.
 

Bill Mattocks

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It's cheaper because of the endless stream of appeals and lawyers. Get rid of that, and execution becomes cheaper.

So how do you do that and not violate US Supreme Court findings on 'due process', 'equal representation under the law' and 'cruel and unusual punishment'?
 

Rich Parsons

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Sounds good, doesn't it? Let's say that criminals are not deserving of the minimum standards of care we currently provide. Change our standards, stop 'molly coddling' criminals, treat them harshly, etc, etc. I get it. I even feel it from time to time.

However, a couple of things - and please bear in mind that this is not from a liberal, but from a genuine Goldwater conservative (me).

First, we are a nation of laws. A large part of the expense we assume in feeding, clothing, and housing prisoners has to do with Constitutional challenges that have succeeded. Ignoring that is ignoring our constitution's prohibitions on such things as 'due process' and 'cruel and unusual punishment'.

Second, I'm proud of our country. I love the USA and what we stand for. I like to thing we're not just the best country to live in, but we're a morally just country. Yes, we make mistakes, and yes, we fall far short of perfect. But we are decent people, we strive to do the right thing. I do not want to live in a nation which decides that we will ignore the Constitution's protections for all for the sake of saving money to punish criminals.

And third - if you think our recidivism rate is bad now, wait until people get out of US prisons that are like those in South America. They won't want to go back, that's for sure. So one can expect that any confrontation with the police will end in a gun fight to the death. I really think that's a bad idea.


Bill,

It does sound good.

It sounds even better on the surface if you say fly them down in first class and feed them steak on the way then write a check to the country in question. They in a couple of years the payment stops.

Nice and easy and simple.


But as you stated the US Constitution has rights and even responsibilities for citizens of the US and the existing court systems have made precedence. I believe in the US Constitution, and also that a society is measured by how it takes care of those it deems unfit for society and also those unable to be active productive members of society.
 

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1- executions are ONLY more expensive because of the YEARS of appeals. Cut that out, and an execution is a LOT less expensive. The amount of appeals should be limited to 3 years, max from date of sentencing.

2- the dealth penalty isnt racist, it isnt being applied in a racist manner. You know why more browns and blacks get executed? THEY KILL MORE PEOPLE more often. Also, minorities usually have a more extensive criminal record than whites. past criminal record is a factor in sentencing.

Now, before you mini-sharptons get your underwear in a knot.
Disclaimer:
In no way do I think that genectics makes someone more inclined to crime.

BUT

culture DOES

poverty DOES

and the fact is that browns and blacks have, by and large adopted a culture that embraces crime. Gangs are still mostly brown and black people.
Plus, POOR people comitt more crimes than people who are not poor. And minorities tend to be poor in larger numbers.

Poverty and Culture. Now someone will STILL call me a racist, but the numbers are in, the facts are facts, but they will still cry and whine and deny.
Nor does skin color.

that being said, the problem with executions is, we dont do them enough. And we dont do them soon enough. The list of crimes that are death penalty crimes needs to be expanded. some rapes, child molestation (with DNA evidence), selling drugs to children, production of child porn, cop killing, dessertion, i could go on and on.
 

LuckyKBoxer

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From data I read a few years ago, it costs about $32,000 USD to keep a minimum to medium security prisoner in detention for a year.

It did cost about $3,500 a year for maximum security in third world countries in South America.

Of course their life expectancy was only about 3 years.

Hrmm how about working a nafta deal and exporting all our maximum security prisoners to third world countries for the duration of the sentences, we could save ourselves over $20,000 a year. sounds like a win win to me...
 

LuckyKBoxer

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Technically, it's not - that's the point of the OP. The appeals process for an inmate condemned to death costs more than the average life sentence.

I would be interested in your thoughts on the disparity in race between blacks and whites convicted of similar crimes.

http://www.deathpenaltyinfo.org/race-death-row-inmates-executed-1976#defend

I'm not against the death penalty, per se, but I can't support it while it remains an essentially racist institution.

I do not think these stats in and of themselves indicate racism at all.
There is alot of key information unavailable here.
Sure it says the majority of convictions were based on whites being killed, but what if most of the murders in the US happen to whites? That stat is not listed there is it? Since whites happen to be a majority of the population, should it not also go that they would be a large percent of the murder victims if everything is equal?

It also does not say how many sentences for the death penalty compared to how many charges with a possible outcome of death penalty.
for example is 10,000 Blacks Were charged with crimes capable of having a death penalty sentance and only 1000 were given it, that would be fairly equal to 1,000 whites being charged with the same and only 100 being sentenced to it?

Now I do not know the numbers, and it still very well can be something that comes out to be race based, but I am saying there is not enough information in your link to definitely anything of the kind
 

Bill Mattocks

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Now, before you mini-sharptons get your underwear in a knot.

The fact that you think anyone who thinks the death penalty as currently applied is racist is the same as Al Sharpton reveals your bias. How unfortunate - I didn't call you any names.
 

searcher

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Please understand, I am not a fan of the deatth penalty. Never have, most likely never will.

But I don't understand how a keeping someone in prison is less expensive than a rope or a .22lr shell for that matter? Keeping convicts from the death penalty from an economic standpoint is pretty pathetic. The ones who cameup with that need to get something a little bit better.


Now, I am all for changing the prisons from resorts to "HARD TIME." But I don't think that will happen any time soon.
 

Archangel M

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What is the racial disparity in total number of crimes worthy of the death penalty? Im betting more men then women get the death penalty...it is "sexist" too?

What is the disparity in the race of VICTIMS??

The "death penalty" isnt more expensive. The legal process in getting people there is more expensive.
 

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