In Defense of Capitol Punishment

Discussion in 'The Fire For Effect and Totally Politically Incorr' started by ysacres, Mar 6, 2003.

  1. ysacres

    ysacres Well-Known Member

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    whiteclouder
    V.I.P. Member
    Posts: 345
    (2/8/03 1:08:40 pm)
    Reply In Defense Of Capitol Punishment
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    Clouder’s thoughts on murder and capital punishment.

    First I want to put my case for the use of the word ‘murder’ over the word ‘kill’ in the biblical commandment "Thou shalt not kill (or murder)". There is dissension among those who study the Hebrew texts about exactly which interpretation is correct. Both sides adopt the Mormon-like trait of interpreting it as it suits their cause. I subscribe to the word murder because frankly it bolsters my position on supporting and imposing capital punishment under the law, therefore making it a rightful taking of a life. Such is my right and privilege here.

    Some argue that there is gross injustice inflicted on a disproportionate number of minorities. This disproportion or mal-distribution inheres no more in capital punishment than in any other punishment. Mal-distribution between the guilty and the innocent is, by definition, unjust. But the injustice does not lie in the nature of the punishment but in the distribution. Capricious distribution would neither make the penalty unjust, nor cause anyone to be unjustly punished. Some would escape the penalty for a crime committed but the escapee’s fortunes are not a concern to the punished. One does not go unpunished just because another did so.

    Is it a deterrent? Perversely, those who object to the death penalty appear to value the life of a murderer more highly than they value the lives of the innocent victims who might be spared by deterring prospective murderers. Sparing the lives of even a few prospective victims by deterring their murderers is more important than preserving the lives of convicted murderers because of the possibility, or even the probability, that executing them would not deter others. Whereas the lives of the victims who might be saved are valuable, that of the murderer, because of the crime, has only negative value.

    An English jurist once said, and I paraphrase, - a few people will not murder because they fear that if they did they would be hanged. Hundreds of thousands of others abstain from it because they regard it with horror. The primary reason for that horror is that murderers are hanged -.

    Are we going to occasionally kill an innocent? Despite precautions, much human activity, such as transportation, electric power distribution or heavy construction, cost the lives of some innocent bystanders. We can not give up these activities because the material advantages outweigh the unintended losses. There is a vulgar but precisely pointed expression "Shit happens" that applies here. We are not perfect therefore neither is our society.

    Is it cruel and unusual? I don’t think so. Their punishment is deserved. Their victims deserved none of the suffering inflicted. Their punishment is to vindicate the law and the social order undermined by their commission of murder. Those opposed claim that the death penalty legitimizes killing. I could respond that the incarceration of a kidnapper does not legitimize kidnapping; neither does a speeding fine legitimize speeding. The difference between murder and execution is that the first is unlawful and undeserved, the second is the reciprocal, the lawful and deserved punishment for an unlawful act. That there are similarities between the punishment and the crime is irrelevant, the differences are social, not physical.

    We threaten punishments in order to deter crime. We impose them not only to make the threats credible but also as retribution (justice) when the crime is not deterred. Threats and punishments are necessary to deter and deterrence itself has sufficient practical justification, that of saving the life of a prospective victim. Retribution has, I think, an independent moral justification; we exact it for many crimes other than murder. Although the death penalty is repulsive and those punished can be pitiable, in a sense, the infliction of legal punishment on a guilty person cannot be unjust. If it is legal it cannot be unjust; you just may not like it. By committing the crime, the criminal voluntarily assumed the risk of bearing a legal punishment that he could have avoided by not committing the crime. The punishment he suffers is the punishment he voluntarily risked suffering and, therefore, it is no more unjust to him than any other event for which one knowingly volunteers to assume the risk. Thus, the death penalty cannot be unjust to the murderer. By murdering, the murderer has so dehumanized himself that he cannot remain among the living. The social recognition of his self-degradation is the punitive essence of execution. To believe, as some do, that the degradation is inflicted by the execution, actually reverses the direction of casualty, the grossest degradation was suffered by the person murdered.

    Clouder..


    warpig883
    *TFF Staff*
    Posts: 6195
    (2/8/03 1:18:41 pm)
    Reply
    Re: In Defense Of Capitol Punishment
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    A whole different topic


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    the Mormon-like trait of interpreting it as it suits their cause
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    I am not going to comment on the rest of it Clouder until I get a chance to sit down and read it. Got to go lay some carpet now and had to just skim over it.

    Looks like a good read though




    Ignorance is a crime in 49 states. In the other one it is bliss.




    280freak
    V.I.P. Member
    Posts: 1166
    (2/8/03 1:31:04 pm)
    Reply Re: In Defense Of Capitol Punishment
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    Clouder -

    Are you just trolling, or have you had a change of heart on this issue?

    About a year or two ago, over at Brand X, you took the opposite stance. I remember this quite vividly, as we were on different sides regarding capital punishment, and I know that I haven't changed my mind, so that leaves .......?

    whiteclouder
    V.I.P. Member
    Posts: 346
    (2/8/03 2:17:03 pm)
    Reply Re: In Defense Of Capitol Punishment
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    280:

    You surprise me, my friend. An intelligent person can argue either side equally well. Some of the greatest debates during the Greek era were between men who chose to argue the side opposed to their own personal feeling, just for practice. Consider this a practice session, so poke away at my arguements. It's really too bad we can't do this over a campfire and a bottle of Royal Salute.

    Clouder..

    280freak
    V.I.P. Member
    Posts: 1168
    (2/8/03 3:14:00 pm)
    Reply Re: In Defense Of Capitol Punishment
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    Aah, brings back memories of Debate class! (Was never much good at it, hated straining my brain that much, having to argue the merits of something that I didn't believe in.)

    I have the feeling that you would really love talking with my uncle; doesn't matter what issue you are discussing, he will ALWAYS take the side opposite yours. Just for the heck of it, and to test out my hypothesis, I switched over to his side once, saying that he had convinced me. He immediately took over the side that I had been on, just to keep it going, it would seem.

    As far as poking any holes in the argument that you presented here, I would truly have a difficult time of it, as it suits the way I feel so well (and you DO know, I hope, that I jest ain't near as intelligent as some of you fellers, right?)

    The only thing that I would take any issue with would be the rather cavalier attitude of "Shite happens". The one and only thing that has ever bothered me about capital punishment is the idea that an innocent person be put to death. That bothers me a great deal.

    I would consider it an honor to share a campfire with you. That goes for most of the members here, as well. I can think of only a handful (mostly all of that handful would be from GB) that I wouldn't care to sit and bs with around a campfire.

    kdub01
    *TFF Senior Staff*
    Posts: 2020
    (2/8/03 3:28:45 pm)
    Reply Re: In Defense Of Capitol Punishment
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    Agreed, 'Clouder -

    Debating this over a campfire with a coffee royal would be enjoyable. Heck, any topic would be an enjoyable discussion in such circumstances!

    The crux of the justice system is to bring or serve justice for injustices. That's what the word means.

    A word that used to have meaning as a deterent was "penal". We used to support penal institutions with our tax money for the incarceration of wrongdoers to serve a penal sentence for their actions against society. That word is no longer "PC" and we must call them Correctional Facilities, or Rebabilitation Centers. With the advent of the changeover, the concept of penalizing the wrongdoer got lost and now the social services and do-gooders want to protect the slob from society and it's responsibilities. Since doing away with "penal" institutions the crime rate has soared, and not just in line with population growth. Criminals know full well the conditions and benefits provided at taxpayer expense are far better inside these "facilities" than most experience outside of them.

    Many disagree, but my way of thinking is that a murderer has forfited his/her right to exist when deliberately taking the life of another beyond the bounds of that society. Acts of war, law enforcement or self defense are excluded.
    "Keep Off The Ridgeline"


    warpig883
    *TFF Staff*
    Posts: 6199
    (2/8/03 4:10:20 pm)
    Reply
    Re: In Defense Of Capitol Punishment
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    I do take issue with the following statement.


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    Threats and punishments are necessary to deter and deterrence itself has sufficient practical justification, that of saving the life of a prospective victim.
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    I disagree, I don't think that people who are of the state/sickness of mind to commit murder are deterred by laws and punishments that will result from the murder.





    Ignorance is a crime in 49 states. In the other one it is bliss.




    whiteclouder
    V.I.P. Member
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    (2/8/03 5:47:26 pm)
    Reply Re: In Defense Of Capitol Punishment
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    Warpig:

    You said:


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    I disagree, I don't think that people who are of the state/sickness of mind to commit murder are deterred by laws and punishments that will result from the murder.
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    You can’t duck and run like that. Disagree, fine, but you have to present an alternative to the original position that deterrents are necessary. There are a few sociopaths who do not care about anyone else and in that case, you’re right, there is no deterrent other than punishing them for being sociopathic. Whether that is fair is for another debate. But for the preponderance of the population, they know what they are doing and if the odds of going undetected are enough in their favor and/or the punishment makes it worth the risk, they will commit the crime. And that is the crux of my argument for that particular part, they take the risk --they absorb the punishment if they get caught.

    Based on your statement, I’m led to believe you think anyone in a state of mind to commit murder will not be deterred by anything, because laws against it and punishment for breaking the laws are all the deterrence we have. Does it not follow then that the law against murder should not apply to anyone who murders. Logically, that’s what you are saying and put like that it sounds absurd. And it sounds like that because it is.

    Bishop takes pawn,

    Your move.

    Clouder..


    LIKTOSHOOT
    *TFF Senior Staff*
    Posts: 6950
    (2/8/03 8:49:15 pm)
    Reply Re: In Defense Of Capitol Punishment
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    Queen takes Bishop.......CHECK!



    warpig883
    *TFF Staff*
    Posts: 6201
    (2/8/03 9:36:47 pm)
    Reply
    Re: In Defense Of Capitol Punishment
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    You can’t duck and run like that. Disagree, fine, but you have to present an alternative to the original position that deterrents are necessary.
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    Why? This is just a dialogue, an exchange of thoughts an ideas isn't it?

    I still think deterents are necessary, not 100% of murders are commited by insane sociopaths. Deterents serve a useful purpose in teaching right and wrong, to young people especially. My point is that many criminals/murders are oblivious to the laws and penalties and for them the deterent is useless.


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    Does it not follow then that the law against murder should not apply to anyone who murders. Logically, that’s what you are saying and put like that it sounds absurd. And it sounds like that because it is.
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    Yes, put like that it is absurd.
    Punishment and derterent while being the same thing serve different purposes. One punishes the guilty, the other deters the potential guilty. If the deterent fails, as it does every day, then by all means the punishment should be swift to the guilty. I do think that once a person has decided to kill a person that they are beyond deterents.



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    But for the preponderance of the population, they know what they are doing and if the odds of going undetected are enough in their favor and/or the punishment makes it worth the risk, they will commit the crime.
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    The larger part of the population knows right from wrong and the lure of commiting a crime and and getting away with it will not cause these people to commit crimes.

    Many states have capitol punishment which I support. I do think it needs some changes to be truly effective as a deterrent. It submit that Capitol Punishment, while a excellent punishment is a miserable deterent until is it unsanitized and made a bit more public.

    King me




    Ignorance is a crime in 49 states. In the other one it is bliss.




    Edited by: warpig883 at: 2/8/03 9:55:43 pm

    AGunguy
    *TFF Staff*
    Posts: 3335
    (2/9/03 11:14:36 am)
    Reply Re: In Defense Of Capitol Punishment
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    You want truth from a murder suspect, have him or her wired up to lie detector machine with a triggering mechanism hooked up to tell-tale lie wavering ink pointer, this mechanism is attached to double barrel 12 gauge shotgun pointed at suspect. Ink pointer goes zing in a wide sweeping lie, shotgun goes boom into a messy blob of goo.

    It suspect lies look at all the money we save on the judicial system and cost of jailing murderers over life sentences.

    Only trouble with this scenario, if they tell the truth and admit to the murder the shotgun won't go off then you would have to take em' out and hang em high.

    And if they tell the truth and do no murders let em' go.

    Is this the wave of the future...I think not.

    Gunguy

    Edited by: AGunguy at: 2/9/03 11:17:57 am

    whiteclouder
    V.I.P. Member
    Posts: 348
    (2/9/03 2:37:41 pm)
    Reply Re: In Defense Of Capitol Punishment
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    warpig:

    Punishment is the deterrent.

    You are correct, this is simply a dialogue. I get caught up in it and as I did in my response, come close to insulting you, I apologize.

    Gunguy has it right, if we could just get an infallable lie-detector machine. Justice was supposed to swift but lawyers saw a way to make it pay if appeals were allowed, endlessly.

    I've said my piece, I'll leave it to the rest to chime in or not.

    Clouder..

    1952Sniper
    V.I.P. Member
    Posts: 1038
    (2/9/03 4:46:43 pm)
    Reply Re: In Defense Of Capitol Punishment
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    Capital punishment is a very effective deterrent. See how the Taliban used it to deter all kinds of people from doing all kinds of things. The trick is, you have to keep it in peoples' thoughts. Our current practice of "humanely" killing death-row inmates behind closed doors doesn't do much as a deterrent.

    I'm in favor of capital punishment, as long as it's used responsibly, and as long as the punishment fits the crime. I would like to see some fool-proof method of ensuring that a guy is guilty beyond all doubt (not just reasonable doubt), before putting him to death. I think that's a fair request.

    I also think that the decision to end a man's life should not be made by a jury composed of soap-opera addicted housewives. Our current system of selecting a jury is pathetic. The only people who end up serving on juries are the ones who are too dumb to get out of jury duty (this is a generalization, I know, but you get my point). I also think that emotion should be left out of it. People are far too eager to see a man die just to satisfy their need for revenge. It shouldn't be about revenge. Killing a man is a decision that should be made by level-headed individuals who don't let their brains get fogged by emotion.

    I know it's the natural human instinct to want to kill a man when he hurts or kills someone you love. So, while I do agree with the concept of capital punishment, I would hope that we could rise above our basic primitive instincts and act reasonably. Far too many innocent men have been executed after being convicted by juries who were swayed by emotional testimonies.
    Macht kaputt, was euch kaputt macht!

    whiteclouder
    V.I.P. Member
    Posts: 349
    (2/9/03 6:39:45 pm)
    Reply Re: In Defense Of Capitol Punishment
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    1952:


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    I also think that the decision to end a man's life should not be made by a jury composed of soap-opera addicted housewives.
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    Sexist SOB!

    Clouder..

    warpig883
    *TFF Staff*
    Posts: 6211
    (2/9/03 7:23:23 pm)
    Reply
    Re: In Defense Of Capitol Punishment
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    hmmm lawyers




    Ignorance is a crime in 49 states. In the other one it is bliss.




    AGunguy
    *TFF Staff*
    Posts: 3338
    (2/9/03 7:34:03 pm)
    Reply Re: In Defense Of Capitol Punishment
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    See my lawyer joke in the Pump House.

    GG

    SouthernPainter
    Member
    Posts: 1
    (2/10/03 6:09:25 pm)
    Reply Re: In Defense Of Capitol Punishment
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    1952Sniper:

    Evidently you are unmarried and/or from under a rock.

    I would say that the majority of housewives are smart, level-headed and well informed. We can run a household, pay bills, rear our children, keep the schedules of all in the house, cook, clean, teach, involved in our communities and churches and the list goes on and on. Not much time for soap operas in this house. Most of us left the workforce to rear our own children on a 24 hour basis so that this generation could be better. Have you ever heard the old saying, "The hand that rocks the cradle, rules the world"? If you "all too important men" would use that big brain of yours to serve on a jury instead getting out of your civic duty, maybe our justice system would not be so pathetic.

    You, sir, are just insulting!

    Edited by: SouthernPainter at: 2/10/03 6:11:01 pm

    LIKTOSHOOT
    *TFF Senior Staff*
    Posts: 6961
    (2/10/03 7:27:27 pm)
    Reply Re: In Defense Of Capitol Punishment
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    TOO-SHAY!!!

    and WELCOME!!!


    hehehehe

    LTS




    Zigzag2
    *TFF Senior Staff*
    Posts: 5530
    (2/10/03 7:54:14 pm)
    Reply Re: In Defense Of Capitol Punishment
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    SouthernMoss
    Member
    Posts: 49
    (2/10/03 8:58:00 pm)
    Reply Re: In Defense Of Capitol Punishment
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    Hey, SouthernPainter...nice to see another southern belle on board!

    Don't be too hard on 1952Sniper; he's actually a pretty good guy. And I don't think he was implying that ALL housewives are soap-opera-addicted. He was just trying to make the same point that you made: that when so many people shirk their civic duty, you end up with a jury full of folks that have no business being on a jury.

    Edited by: SouthernMoss at: 2/10/03 10:43:18 pm

    SouthernPainter
    Member
    Posts: 2
    (2/10/03 10:35:58 pm)
    Reply Re: In Defense Of Capitol Punishment
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    Thanks for the welcome. I didn't mean to sound too harsh. I have been reading this board and have enjoyed just about every post. This group is an excellent group! Ya'll are very knowledgeable and have strong convictions. I admire anyone that has enough convictions to stand for what they believe whether I agree or not.

    kdub01
    *TFF Senior Staff*
    Posts: 2039
    (2/10/03 11:12:22 pm)
    Reply Re: In Defense Of Capitol Punishment
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    Yep - and the same goes for you and all the other homemakers (my wife of 43 years corrects me when I say "housewife"). Without a doubt, a woman's lot in this life is a tough one, especially if she elects to raise a family, work and perform civic duties. My hat's off this old bald head in respect!

    I too, think Sniper was using a figure of speech to point out that juries today can be swayed by slick attorneys, media and tv dramas. Don't wanna put words inta his mouth - he's more than able to defend his actions. Just my slant on things.

    BTW - a big WELCOME to TFF and it's many forums. Hope you'll join us in all of them.
    "Keep Off The Ridgeline"


    AGunguy
    *TFF Staff*
    Posts: 3348
    (2/10/03 11:50:31 pm)
    Reply Re: In Defense Of Capitol Punishment
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    Southernpainter, you are as welcome as the sun coming up every morning. Glad you have joined us at TFF and hope you'll make it your other home and tell your lady friends too.

    Gunguy

    Zigzag2
    *TFF Senior Staff*
    Posts: 5537
    (2/11/03 7:53:00 am)
    Reply Re: In Defense Of Capitol Punishment
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    Southernpainter, it's good to have you with us.



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    "Tell the gossipers and liars I will see them in the fire" - Johnny Cash, Let the train whistle blow
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    ZiggedandZagged@aol.com



    ibtrukn
    V.I.P. Member
    Posts: 1695
    (2/11/03 9:27:15 am)
    Reply Re: In Defense Of Capitol Punishment
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    To the "southern" belles......climb aboard an enjoy. Let me be the first to invite y'all to the pumphouse for a little refreshing libation. Just stay away from Bob's Best, it tends to make you do things that heretofore you thot impossible. But if y'all stick close to me I will make sure no harm comes your way.
    Now there will be certain, shall we say, miscreants, who will try to tell you this is not the "real" ibtrukn, but some imposter up to no good. To them I say:















    BITE ME!!! an dats da troot!!

    1952Sniper
    V.I.P. Member
    Posts: 1049
    (2/11/03 9:40:38 am)
    Reply Re: In Defense Of Capitol Punishment
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    Uh oh, looks like I've stirred up a hornet's nest.

    SouthernPainter, I apologize if that insulted you. I did not mean that as an affront to all housewives. And for the record, I am married and my wife is currently not working. She is a licensed vocational nurse, but only works when it's convenient and when we want some extra money. She prefers to stay home. The children are already raised and out of the house. She is indeed a housewife at this point. And I respect her more than most working men I know. The value of being a housewife is not my point.

    As some others here who know me have pointed out, I made that comment to get across a point of how our system selects juries, not as a blanket insult to women. I have been called for jury duty and have always showed up ready to do my duty. But it seems that the ones who always get picked are the ones who are easily swayed by the lawyers. And I fault the lawyers for that. They have been conditioned to pick jurors who they perceive to have weak minds that they can control through emotional testimony. At the risk of insulting you yet again, I will say that women, especially non-working women, tend to make decisions based on emotions over facts and logical thinking. I'm not trying to start a war of women vs. men, I'm just stating a fact. That has been proven over and over again, especially in the field of law. I'm not saying that men don't make emotional decisions. I'm just saying that women use emotions more than men when it comes to making hard decisions. And it really disgusts me to see lawyers using that to their advantage. Prosecutors use emotional testimony to drown out reasonable doubt, when they know they don't have the evidence to prove their case. And the justice system fails because of it.

    Again, sorry if you're offended by that. But I have no interest in political correctness; I call it as I see it. I'm glad to see women on this board, and I hope that even if we continue to disagree on this point, that you continue to visit and post here.
    Macht kaputt, was euch kaputt macht!

    SouthernPainter
    Member
    Posts: 3
    (2/11/03 11:32:07 am)
    Reply Re: In Defense Of Capitol Punishment
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    1952:
    Yep, I think that we are on the same page. Women (not just housewives) in general are more emotional. We do tend to throw emotion into the mix of things but most of us can still be very logical. Our jury pools are really in sad shape. The last time I was called to jury duty, they were several (men and women) that showed up with their excuses ready and the judge would not excuse them. He then proceded to berate them for the very thought of trying to get out of their duties. It was a joy to watch. I have been called for jury duty just about every other year since I have been a registered voter (20+ years) and have yet to serve on a jury. Of course, I have only been in the housewife category for about 4 years. So maybe some slick attorney will pick me next time thinking they are getting a soap opera addicted housewife as an easily swayed juror.

    Zigzag2
    *TFF Senior Staff*
    Posts: 5541
    (2/11/03 12:41:57 pm)
    Reply Re: In Defense Of Capitol Punishment
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    SouthernPainter, welcome to TFF jury pool



    Edited by: Zigzag2 at: 2/11/03 7:45:04 pm

    1952Sniper
    V.I.P. Member
    Posts: 1053
    (2/11/03 5:09:49 pm)
    Reply Re: In Defense Of Capitol Punishment
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    SouthernPainter, bring a set of knitting needles, wear curlers in your hair, and wear a Maury Povich T-shirt, and I'll bet you a dollar you'll get picked.
    Macht kaputt, was euch kaputt macht!

    LIKTOSHOOT
    *TFF Senior Staff*
    Posts: 6965
    (2/11/03 5:37:36 pm)
    Reply Re: In Defense Of Capitol Punishment
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    Now that we have slobered everyone to death, can we continue-----or as one would say..."can we talk?"


    LTS



    SouthernMoss
    Member
    Posts: 50
    (2/11/03 5:44:57 pm)
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    To the "southern" belles...... if y'all stick close to me I will make sure no harm comes your way.
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    Thanks IB! What a gentleman!

    Oops, sorry LTS. Slobbering again!

    SouthernMoss
    V.I.P. Member
    Posts: 51
    (2/11/03 5:48:58 pm)
    Reply Re: In Defense Of Capitol Punishment
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    Hey Ziggy, your image to SP isn't displaying properly. I don't think Tripod allows remote loading.

    AGunguy
    *TFF Staff*
    Posts: 3357
    (2/11/03 7:15:52 pm)
    Reply Re: In Defense Of Capitol Punishment
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    I just plain give up on these photo hosting service sites, they'l post your picture and 20 minutes or less and you get the big no display logo.

    But better days are a coming for TFF, we'll have our own photo site and your pictures will stay put.

    GG

    Zigzag2
    *TFF Senior Staff*
    Posts: 5544
    (2/11/03 7:40:46 pm)
    Reply Re: In Defense Of Capitol Punishment
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    ooopppssssss... sorry about that.


    whatever you say LTS, just for you... turn up the volume



    Mauser45
    V.I.P. Member
    Posts: 51
    (2/12/03 3:36:40 pm)
    Reply
    Re: In Defense Of Capitol Punishment
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    Clouder, I have always believed in capitol punishment. Not just as a deterrent but as simple justice. There probably is no way to determine how many or what type of people are detered by the thought of a death penalty. I believe that the number of people is substantial enough to justify having a death penalty. To me, having a death penalty is simple justice. If someone were to kill a member of my family or a friend, I would want that person to die. I would want to kill that person myself! If that makes me politically "incorrect", too bad!
    I don't buy all of the popular thinking that says that due to a persons upbringing or environment that they are not responsible for their actions. I don't care how a person was raised, or where, or what color they are, if they kill someone else they have "stepped over the line". We have to have rules in order to be a civilized society, in order to be able to live together or we will have total chaos. We still have enough of that even with all of our laws! I have read that the average time served in this country for murder is only about 8 years. This is not a deterrent! With all of the plea bargaining going on in our courts it seems as if it it very diffficult to maintain any kind of a deterrent against murder.
    How can our society make excuses for the mass murderers that we have seen in the past? How about the two crazies that ran around the Washington area, shooting randomly at people as the opportunity presented itself? I don't care what their reason was for shooting people, they need to be taken out of society the same as a rabid dog!
    Last edited: Mar 6, 2003
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