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I noted a small item in the editorial column of a paper a short while back that kind of caught my interest. It sparked a couple of thoughts off in me, and I'd kind of like to know what others think about the topics it raised.

The item in question was a letter, referencing the execution of a man who had been on Death Row for nearly three decades. The writer of the letter stated that he felt himself, along with every other citizen of the state, was guilty of murder in the death of this convicted criminal. (The man was convicted of killing a young woman, as I recall.) The letter writer's argument was that the man put to death wasn't the same man as the killer. Not that the two were different people, but that 'that man was a 19 year old hothead, while this man is a 46 year old who's spent the last 27 years of his life looking death in the face' or something to that effect. (Not an exact quote; I'm paraphrasing it as best I can recall.) The letter writer also brought up the ancient bit of 'well-known knowledge' about how over time, every cell of the body gets replaced, so this also means that the man who was executed wasn't really the killer.

The whole point of the letter was about how the executed criminal should have been offered mercy by the state, rather than being executed.

The whole thing got me thinking. What's the balance point between offering justice in the legal system, and extending mercy? I know what my own beliefs are, but I'm kind of curious as to what others here might think. Any opinions?

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Last Post by EnderX
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>'that man was a 19 year old hothead, while this man is a 46 year old who's spent the last 27 years

i might be apt to agree except that now many 19 year olds would commit murder because after 30 years his older self would get a pardon

>, every cell of the body gets replaced, so this also means that the man who was executed wasn't really >the killer.

many people resorts to this ancient knowledge but it is mostly incorrect. in this specific case we have to consider brain cells. they are very rarely replaced and since the mind is seated in the brain it is still the same brain. the killer is still the same mind.

some may say that the soul is not in the brain but that only back up my point since the soul gets replaced never!

also the DNA has more to say in this matter since the replacing cells retain the function, position etc of their predecessors. and the DNA stays the same.

>The whole point of the letter was about how the executed criminal should have been offered mercy by >the state, rather than being executed.

justice is about more than vengeance. it is also about retaining order. if the human race has reached the point where law is no longer needed for the tasks which should be performed by conscience then offering mercy to the occasional transgressor might be fine. but until then murder should be be punished in order to keep the heartless from murdering at will.

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He claims that his single murder was because he was a hotheaded teenager, but the Death Penalty in the 'States is usually reserved for only premeditated murders. Premeditation isn't an action simply explained away by being hot headed. The courts obviously saw that between the way he killed the woman and his actions afterwards, he deserved death even after his retrial.

Keep in mind, criminals that have spent a long time in prison learn to be slick tongued with all the free time they have. I remember watching an interview with Charles Manson and even started liking the guy just because he was so confident with his speech and seemed to have a a clean argument for everything the interviewer could throw at him. He obviously wasn't innocent nor was he changed (you could tell by the swastika carved in his forehead), but he sure could make you question whether he belonged in prison at all and not out feeding the starving children in Africa. :(

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@ the gathering

i have met real life ones like that! i was forced to do some manual labour for a while and one job was near a prison. these guys are really slick of tongue but every once in a while you hear some things about them.

anyway in case hearing is not enough.

also in south africa prisons are dominated by the numbers gangs. two types of numbers are the red 28 (you get the white one as well but that is another story) and the 27. the only way to become one or advance in rank is by murder. like a rite of passage.

i have spoken to some very civilized red 28 and 27 people. the thing is. you have to murder while in prison so just do the mathematics. once this man is released he is civilisation itself!

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He claims that his single murder was because he was a hotheaded teenager, but the Death Penalty in the 'States is usually reserved for only premeditated murders. Premeditation isn't an action simply explained away by being hot headed. The courts obviously saw that between the way he killed the woman and his actions afterwards, he deserved death even after his retrial.

Remember, the person making the claims wasn't the actual criminal. If I read the article correctly, the criminal himself has been executed already.


Nobody else has anything they want to add to this discussion?

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Actions have consequences. If that is lost on an individual, it is not an excuse.

The individual is responsible for the actions, not some group of cells acting in concert.

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The solution here is simple: don't keep him waiting for 30 years. :icon_rolleyes:

Since it's too late for that, his punishment should still stand. He was convicted and he has to pay the consequence. Also, as quintioncoert said, it's a dangerous precedent. Before you know it, it'd be down to 5 years because as we all know, "doing time will change a man..."

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I agree. The death penalty should be carried out the same year as the conviction.

Now that we have DNA to clear a wrongly accused person in most cases, the probability of a false conviction has gone way down.

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My opinion is that the death penalty is not as bad as it seems. Once you die your body stops working so all suffering you are feeling is lifted. Life in prison without parole, at a federal prison, kept in your cell for 22 hours a day is a lot worse. However seeing as we have the death penelty it should be carried out as soon as possible.

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My opinion is that the death penalty is not as bad as it seems. Once you die your body stops working so all suffering you are feeling is lifted. Life in prison without parole, at a federal prison, kept in your cell for 22 hours a day is a lot worse. However seeing as we have the death penelty it should be carried out as soon as possible.

i agree that death is less bad then life in prison. but for that exact reason death penalties should not be carried out as soon as possible.

if a person commits two crimes of which only one deserves the death penalty then he should finish the time for the other one first.

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i agree that death is less bad then life in prison. but for that exact reason death penalties should not be carried out as soon as possible.

if a person commits two crimes of which only one deserves the death penalty then he should finish the time for the other one first.

Assume it's only one crime, the DP-level one. Would you then be in favor of executing swiftly?

And am I getting the general consensus here is for justice over mercy to the convict?

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If the murderous scumbag had shown mercy to his victims he'd not have gotten the death penalty.
If he'd not insisted on going through the motions of appeal after useless appeal for 30 years and spending millions of taxpayer dollars he'd have been executed far sooner.

Fry 'm all.

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Hell, I coulda saved 'em a ton of time and money (which are really the same) just by spending a few bucks on some rope... it's reusable too, so they can keep using in and keep saving money.

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@enderx

i would only be in favour of quick execution if there is a valid reason. like he would die of natural causes before we could give him the rope.

i dont know if infarction was trying to make a point but buying a rope and doing it quickly in order to save some money would work too.

and yes consensus is to hang the fool. at least that is my consensus!

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What's the lawyer for? To sue the corpse afterwards? By the time it reaches this point, I'm doubtful a lawyer'd be able to do much unless you're willing to permit the endless rounds of appeal.

And my next question: How many people here are doing the same thing I suspect the original letter writer did, using the term 'mercy' when they really mean 'lenience'?

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