View Thread : I Want Everyone's Opinion on This...


Darunia
...I identify myself as a conservative, and a republican, but a moderate-republican. That said, I'm torn on one key issue...I used to have a conservative stand, but then it went very liberal, and now I'm torn between the two, and to help me decide my ground, I'd like to hear what our best political minds can produce. The topic:

The death penalty.

I don't think that two rights make a wrong, and I don't think that the state should have the power or life and death over it's citizens; but given such horrible tragedies (most recently the abduction and murder of 11-year old Carlie Brucia in Florida,) I am compelled to kill that bastard myself.

Commence---NOW!

Ryan
My opinion is that it's not the best method to punish crime, but my idea of harsh, forced labor will never be adopted.

So, it's the best method that's practical. The process needs to happen a lot faster though. My reservations about the death penalty aren't about life and death; I think anyone who willfully takes a life no longer deserves the right to live. I merely think that society can get more use out of forcing extremely harsh and undesirable labor on capital criminals than merely killing them. It would serve as a better deterrent (and a worse fate) than death, with the added bonus of the criminals actually repaying their infinite debt to society.

I think the current alternative, 'life sentence' (which is so often reduced to lesser sentences) is extraordinarily wrong. Not only are we wasting tax money supporting a scumbag who doesn't deserve to breathe the same air us real human beings breathe, but they often serve this sentence in the presence of such luxuries as cable TV, weight rooms and basketball courts. Prison should be a punishment, not a rent-free hotel. Prison should be where capital inmates sleep and eat for the six hours they aren't spending reflecting on their evil while performing the most exhausting physical labor the men in charge can come up with.

A Black Falcon
I am against it (obviously). I know it's tempting to want to kill people who did evil, but "an eye for an eye" isn't the most moral thing we can do... killing someone is never right, even if they did do evil. Life (without parole, probably, if the alternative is death) is the best option...

DMiller
Living in Illinois has convinced me to stand against the death penalty in its current form since our state had a huge number of death row inmates found to be innocent that led to the Governor temporarily commuting the death penalty in the state a few years ago. Although there are many horrible criminals that deserve to die I think it's worse if they are put in jail without the chance of parole. Maximum security prison is not a pleasant place and seeing them rot there is more satisfying to me than seeing them put to death.

N-Man
If they're never coming out, what's the point?

geoboy
Bringing death to a murderer relieves the families of victims by helping them feel more secure, and it's like a chapter of their lives has closed. Plus, it's probably more cost effective for states to enforce the death penalty, as terrible as that may sound. More prisons will have to be built and more prisoners will have to be fed if they're alive.

I agree with Weltall and Bill O'reilly who have the opinion that bigtime convicted murderers should be forced to do hard labor. Not only is it punishing, but it's also productive. However, until the interpretation of "cruel and unusual punishment" changes, that will never happen.

Ultimately, your opinion should be determined by how you personally feel, whether you were sickened by a murder story or whether you've experienced such a tragedy. I absolutely HATE it when people act like sheep and base their opinion on whether they are liberal or conservative. Make up your own mind for once.

Great Rumbler
I think that in some cases the death penatly should be used. Cases such as serial murder [or in some cases, one count of murder, depending on certain factors], terrorists acts involving casualties, and in some cases of high treason. It's not something that should be handed out lightly but I think there are some criminals who do deserve it.

EdenMaster
My take on capital punishment is a bit different, but I believe it'd make an impact.

If a person kills someone else, that person should die by the exact same way they killed their victim. If the killer stabbed someone, they shoud be stabbed. If they shot someone in the chest and let them bleed to death, that should be their fate as well. To wrongs may not make a right, but facing the exact same wrong may persuade the killer not to commit the first wrong.

The whole "cruel and unusual" punishment amendment prohibits this, but I think it'd be damned effective.

A Black Falcon
"Eye for an eye" is a primitive and nasty idea whose time ran out centuries ago...

Most of the rest of the world bans executions, because they know they are brutal and not really a civilized thing to do. And they aren't as bad a punishment as life, either... the person dies, instead of living for the rest of their lives in a cell...

And I just think that killing people (unless you have absolutely no alternative, which we most certainly do in this case) is just unconcionable.

EdenMaster
Really? OK then, let's put this into perspective.

Say some psychopath goes on a shooting spree in a crowded area and kills someone you know, a friend or family member perhaps. Now then, you're understandably distraught, and the judge declares life in prison. You're telling me that you'd be perfectly happy to know that the person who killed your friend is sitting in a bed with four walls, reading a book, watching TV, or playing basketball in his free time, not having to work another day for the rest of his life. On top of all that, it is YOU and every other hard-working taxpayer out there giving your hard earned dollars to the penal system to keep him there watching television. THAT, my friend, is what is absurd.

Darunia
I think that making a convict work is indeed cruel and unusual. However, I know that if I were murdered, I wouldn't want the culprit to retire to prison. I'd want to be avenged. And especially these child-killers (again, the Floridian case just this week) really touch me on a personal note. These killers do NOT deserve to live, but I think it's wrong of the state to pass such judgement and take and give life. That's in a sense playing god.

Well, I'm still at an impasse.

N-Man
I think that although there does exist a component of "punishment", what you mainly want to do is remove the killer from society altogether, so he no longer threatens anyone. You can do this by keeping him secluded from society for the rest of his life, or you can simply terminate said life. The latter is more efficient, usually less costly, and accomplishes the same goal.

I will add that holding someone prisoner for all his life is no more or less humane than killing him, unless the conditions in jail are very lax, in which case the punishment is not adequate.

Jail does have one advantage, in the event that the courts f*cked up at some point. If the guy's in jail, he can just be released; if he's dead, he ain't coming back.

A Black Falcon
Yeah the issue of innocents being punished is a huge issue and execution cannot be recinded once you've done it... that is a very strong arguement against capital punishment if you ignore decency (that everyone has rights, no matter if they acknowledge that in others or not).

You'd probably say that terrorists who ignore our laws should not be given the protection of them when we capture them. I would say the opposite. Same for Milosevich in the court in The Hague -- the fact he mocks the court and draws out proceedings and clearly does not care about them does not mean I think he should not be given his opportunity to defend himself and get a fair trial! Doing that would be doing as the evil ones do and (as cliche as it is) doing as evil does, even to evil, is not good.

Yes, as I said, passions make you want to kill them... you want the people who do evil to die. But evil as they are I would say that killing them is no solution. They're dead. The ultimate punishment yes, but they only suffer for a while... while life means they suffer for a lot longer... oh and you seem to act like prison is some summer camp or something, I'd hardly say that...

As for costs, as I know I've mentioned here before, it is extremely expensive to have people on death row. Far more expensive than your average prison inmate. Death row inmates actually cost a LOT of money... I'm not sure of the exact comparison but it is not a money-saving measure. It might actually be more expensive than a life sentence when you include the many years in high-security prisons while numerous lawsuits are gone through, the costs of endless appeals, and everything else... the arguement for capital punishment as a way to spend less is just wrong.

Ryan
I think that making a convict work is indeed cruel and unusual.
Why?

Ryan
Yeah the issue of innocents being punished is a huge issue and execution cannot be recinded once you've done it... that is a very strong arguement against capital punishment if you ignore decency (that everyone has rights, no matter if they acknowledge that in others or not).

You'd probably say that terrorists who ignore our laws should not be given the protection of them when we capture them. I would say the opposite. Same for Milosevich in the court in The Hague -- the fact he mocks the court and draws out proceedings and clearly does not care about them does not mean I think he should not be given his opportunity to defend himself and get a fair trial! Doing that would be doing as the evil ones do and (as cliche as it is) doing as evil does, even to evil, is not good.

Yes, as I said, passions make you want to kill them... you want the people who do evil to die. But evil as they are I would say that killing them is no solution. They're dead. The ultimate punishment yes, but they only suffer for a while... while life means they suffer for a lot longer... oh and you seem to act like prison is some summer camp or something, I'd hardly say that...

As for costs, as I know I've mentioned here before, it is extremely expensive to have people on death row. Far more expensive than your average prison inmate. Death row inmates actually cost a LOT of money... I'm not sure of the exact comparison but it is not a money-saving measure. It might actually be more expensive than a life sentence when you include the many years in high-security prisons while numerous lawsuits are gone through, the costs of endless appeals, and everything else... the arguement for capital punishment as a way to spend less is just wrong.
Bah. I don't want them to 'suffer' in prison. I want them suffering under the hot sun or removed from this world altogether. What punishment is it to sit in a cell all day? If you get bored easily, perhaps.

The reason I support the death penalty is because it removes these people for good, as N-Man said. Not because of passion, not for revenge, and not because it's what they deserve, it's doing the rest of us a favor. It ensures that at least one bit of evil is removed from this world for good. Besides, aren't you a moral relativist? The concept of good and evil is in the eye of the beholder, is it not?

I agree that the death penalty is way too drawn-out and costly, but that's the fault of the liberalization of the justice system, with the endless appeals and such. It needs to be set at one appeal, so the process can be over and done with in a year or two, for good or for bad. If it were done correctly, it would be exponentially less expensive than serving a life term.

The idea of a murdering monster living off my tax money until he finally has the courtesy to die naturally is repugnant to me. Life imprisonment should not be an option at all.

N-Man
Costs.

I doubt life in jail is less expensive that execution. Consider that there will still be lawsuits and everything you mentioned even if the guy isn't on death row. I'll concede that just keeping killers in jail probably won't bleed the taxpayers dry though, so the point is pretty moot.

Forced Labor.

It just takes work away from your friendly neighborhood construction worker, imo. Maybe we could have convicts build large and physically stunning yet entirely useless things like the pyramids, or clean up radioactive waste or something, but it has to avoid taking jobs away from non-chainsaw murderers.

Wanting prisoners to suffer as badly as possible.

That, I just don't get. Let's avoid the repressed sadist in all of us, please.

(that everyone has rights, no matter if they acknowledge that in others or not)

I disagree. I think once someone kills, he declares he's not willing to play within the same set of rules as the rest of humanity, so we should treat him that way.

DMiller
I agree that the death penalty is way too drawn-out and costly, but that's the fault of the liberalization of the justice system, with the endless appeals and such. It needs to be set at one appeal, so the process can be over and done with in a year or two, for good or for bad. If it were done correctly, it would be exponentially less expensive than serving a life term.

No way. That is the entire problem with the death penalty in that there are so many cases of the courts getting it wrong even after all of those appeals. I did a report on the death penalty back in my senior year of high school fully expecting to build a good case to support keeping the death penalty, but what I found really surprised me. ABF is right about death row costing much more than life in prison; it isn't even close. Maximum security prison is certainly not a place anyone would want to go and I'm sure there aren't too many lifetime-sentenced inmates who are really happy they didn't get the death penalty after sitting in prison for a few years knowing they are spending the rest of their lives there.

Darunia
I think that all people should be treated with dignity and respect; we're all humans--even killers; yet killers deprive others of their lives, so I also feel that they should be terminated in retribution---ugh.

A Black Falcon
No way. That is the entire problem with the death penalty in that there are so many cases of the courts getting it wrong even after all of those appeals. I did a report on the death penalty back in my senior year of high school fully expecting to build a good case to support keeping the death penalty, but what I found really surprised me. ABF is right about death row costing much more than life in prison; it isn't even close. Maximum security prison is certainly not a place anyone would want to go and I'm sure there aren't too many lifetime-sentenced inmates who are really happy they didn't get the death penalty after sitting in prison for a few years knowing they are spending the rest of their lives there.

Agreed on all major points. Death row allows FAR, FAR more appeals... they go on for years, often decades. Not true for normal inmates. And as I said costs are significantly higher for those inmates. I know I have read that death row is a lot more expensive than life. Surprising? Yeah, until you consider how expensive all those extra hearings and legal proceedings are and how death row is a special and more expensive part of the prison system...

And also (repeating again) the position that life in a maximum security prison is easy... so absurd... it flies in the face of everything I've ever heard about prisons...

And as I said life without parole is a worse punishment than death! Death ends it faster... life they spend a long time being miserable. No comparison really.

I disagree. I think once someone kills, he declares he's not willing to play within the same set of rules as the rest of humanity, so we should treat him that way.

No matter what an individual thinks, what is moral does not change. It is not moral to kill. Now with self-defence you have a excuse, but with this? There is none. And it is not moral to compromise human rights for vengeance (deny that that's what it is Weltall, but that's really the only case for the death penalty as opposed to life without parole...). Slobodan Milosevich may spit on the Balkans War Crimes tribunal in The Hague, but that doesn't mean that we can spit on it too and just get rid of him. We need to uphold what is right! Killing people does the opposite.

Let's take Osama Bin Laden. Obviously a very, very evil man. But I wouldn't support killing him, or 'accidentally' shooting him if we capture him alive, or something like that. He may hate democracy and everything about our way of life but to me that doesn't mean that we can too... resorting to a peremptory and partial tribunal and a quick death sentence is NOT upholding our Constitution or our moral responsibilities as citizens of a country supposedly founded on law and morality (see the Declaration of Independence...).

Now it is true that like everything else what is "right" changes over time. We cannot base our morality on the morality of the past... and, to me and to many other people, like the citizens of Europe, capital punishment is a old type of judgement that does not hold up when we look at it from a modern view of what is right.

Ryan
Ah, but the Constitution only applies to American citizens. We're not bound by it to spare Osama, or any foreign threat, their lives. War Crime tribunals are good. Nuremberg was good. We ended a lot of Nazis that way. No one cried over them. I don't think many people would argue that hanging those excuses for human beings was a wrong or evil thing to do. If anyone ever had it coming, they did.

I agree that the act of killing is wrong, but I must again stress that the alternative of life in prison is not palatable. I've had the same internal conflict Darunia has now, though I ultimately decided that death is a better solution, and it has nothing to do with vengeance. It's for society. Like I said, I'm all for good alternatives, there just aren't any that will ever come to be.

Maybe we should lobotomize them. That way, we're not killing them physically, but we're certainly eliminating their threat.

DMiller
Ah, but the Constitution only applies to American citizens. We're not bound by it to spare Osama, or any foreign threat, their lives. War Crime tribunals are good. Nuremberg was good. We ended a lot of Nazis that way. No one cried over them. I don't think many people would argue that hanging those excuses for human beings was a wrong or evil thing to do. If anyone ever had it coming, they did.

I agree that the act of killing is wrong, but I must again stress that the alternative of life in prison is not palatable. I've had the same internal conflict Darunia has now, though I ultimately decided that death is a better solution, and it has nothing to do with vengeance. It's for society. Like I said, I'm all for good alternatives, there just aren't any that will ever come to be.

Maybe we should lobotomize them. That way, we're not killing them physically, but we're certainly eliminating their threat.

What threat is there from these criminals when they are in a maximum security prison for life without parole? Yeah, they could try and escape from prison, but you don't hear about many prisoners escaping from maximum security prisons. It's called maximum security for a good reason. As for lobotomizing them? I don't think the Jack Nicholson treatment would go over too well even as an alternative to the death penalty.

Ryan
What threat is there from these criminals when they are in a maximum security prison for life without parole? Yeah, they could try and escape from prison, but you don't hear about many prisoners escaping from maximum security prisons. It's called maximum security for a good reason. As for lobotomizing them? I don't think the Jack Nicholson treatment would go over too well even as an alternative to the death penalty. They're a threat to each other. They assault, rape, maim, and kill each other in lockup. Thus, by sparing their lives, you might be responsible for condemning others, not all of which are capital inmates.

Boy, now that's a paradox for the debate team. :)

N-Man
No matter what an individual thinks, what is moral does not change.

Well, we're just gonna have to agree to disagree on that. I don't think there's such a thing as absolute morality.

We have a convention between human beings to treat each other respectfully; it's not set in stone, it's an agreement we have between each other. We decided it's the only way society could work (and it's true: imagine a world where it's fine to kill others without retribution). Someone who decides otherwise, by the terms of that agreement, can't live in society and needs to be removed by whatever means.

Now, if locking people up does that job better than executing them, go for it. If you say it does, I'll believe you, 'cause I haven't really done any research on the subject. However, I think we ought to keep execution as a viable option, should it turn out to be, in certain individual cases, more appropriate than imprisonment (Osama might be a prime candidate for example... after trial, of course).

Darunia
Too bad we can't exile them to Siberia or Easter Island.

A Black Falcon
Boy, now that's a paradox for the debate team.

When I was on the debate team in high school one of the topics was capital punishment, actually... :)

Well, we're just gonna have to agree to disagree on that. I don't think there's such a thing as absolute morality.

We have a convention between human beings to treat each other respectfully; it's not set in stone, it's an agreement we have between each other. We decided it's the only way society could work (and it's true: imagine a world where it's fine to kill others without retribution). Someone who decides otherwise, by the terms of that agreement, can't live in society and needs to be removed by whatever means.

Innate human rights from birth for everyone are a idea we have from the Enlightenment... again, see the Declaration of Independance -- "life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness" was a straight Liberal Enlightenment ideal that by now has been accepted by most everyone... all people have the right to being treated fairly, to not be persecuted unfairly, etc... now the question should be 'when you commit a crime to you surrender those rights and make it okay to ignore them when considering your punishment', not the existence of those rights. After all if we didn't believe in that these days we'd still be living in monarchies. :)

My position is that yes we obviously need to punish those who break the rules of society, but we should not do things to them that do not meet our moral bounds... they might not respect those bounds but if we disrespect them too while punishing them we are almost as bad as they!


They're a threat to each other. They assault, rape, maim, and kill each other in lockup. Thus, by sparing their lives, you might be responsible for condemning others, not all of which are capital inmates.

That's the fault of the prison system, not of morality or law... we try our best, that is all we can do. Of course if we could without doubt see that this person would cause great harm (to the prison population) they should be isolated, but execution is an extreme step that crosses a line that should not be allowed to be crossed.

But saying that death is better because they harm prison inmates... poor arguement. Yes by my rules those other prison inmates should not be subjugated to undue punishment (assualt by fellow inmates), but saying that that is an excuse for murder is absurd. The 'great harm to society in general' line? Not if they're permanantly in a maximum-security prison... I don't see how them being there forever will cause great harm to society...

And I don't see anything good about life in prison. "Not palatable"? Where are these prisoners? As you say it's hardly a hotel...

Ah, but the Constitution only applies to American citizens. We're not bound by it to spare Osama, or any foreign threat, their lives. War Crime tribunals are good. Nuremberg was good. We ended a lot of Nazis that way. No one cried over them. I don't think many people would argue that hanging those excuses for human beings was a wrong or evil thing to do. If anyone ever had it coming, they did.

Natural laws (again that Enlightenment ideal that led to the birth of modern democracy) say that everyone has rights... and international law sets standards for what all nations can accept. Now I know people like you hate international law, the International Criminal Court, the United Nations, etc. but I see them as vitally important parts of this world and having it run in a fair and good manner. We need to follow international law with such people. Sadaam should not be tried by some kangaroo court in Iraq, he should be before a UN War Crimes Tribunal like the one Milosovich is facing. And we should recognize the ICC... saying that we won't sign the treaty unles Americans are exempted as Bush has is insane and very dangerous in regards to our world position. They wouldn't execute of course, and the sentence for people like Sadaam and Osama is a forgone conclusion, but that does not in the least excuse not having a full and fair trial that meets and probably exceeds all international standards.

As for Nuremburg and the other WW2 war crimes things, that was definitely one-sided 'justice'... yes they were guilty but in a better world the hearings and trials would have been more fair. :)

alien space marine
The current Penal system is a shame in canada , Were sex offenders only do three years tops for serious crimes.Murderers who were sentenced to 10 years are only serving three years? Whats the justice for the victims when felons get slaped on the wrist because of over crowded prisons. Also when your in prision you should have to earn any kind of priviledge, and having tv and parties every saturday after masacring children and spend your time dancing away in prison isnt justice.

I dont think the death penalty should be baned , I think each region should decide what they will do with crime.When you got bums like John Muhamud killing people to try to get money and fame I think once it is proven beyond a possitive doubt yah go ahead and nuke him.It isnt revenge , Revenge is when someone goes out and takes things into their own hands without a damn about the consiquences. But evil doers have a chance to defend himself in court and I think that giving him his right to defense is what makes it not revenge.We live in a Age of DNA testing and every death penalty case should have DNA testing and if you cant prove that he commited the crime with DNA then he gets a life sentence.

Fittisize
"Eye for an eye" is a primitive and nasty idea whose time ran out centuries ago...
Exactly...to quote Ghandi, "An eye for an eye will only leave the world blind".

I think the current alternative, 'life sentence' (which is so often reduced to lesser sentences) is extraordinarily wrong. Not only are we wasting tax money supporting a scumbag who doesn't deserve to breathe the same air us real human beings breathe, but they often serve this sentence in the presence of such luxuries as cable TV, weight rooms and basketball courts. Prison should be a punishment, not a rent-free hotel. Prison should be where capital inmates sleep and eat for the six hours they aren't spending reflecting on their evil while performing the most exhausting physical labor the men in charge can come up with.

You're telling me that you'd be perfectly happy to know that the person who killed your friend is sitting in a bed with four walls, reading a book, watching TV, or playing basketball in his free time, not having to work another day for the rest of his life. On top of all that, it is YOU and every other hard-working taxpayer out there giving your hard earned dollars to the penal system to keep him there watching television.

Uh...I think you two are forgetting some other 'activities' that go on in prison. Forced anal sex, for one.

I think anyone who willfully takes a life no longer deserves the right to live.

I disagree with that...everybody deserves to live, no matter what wrongs they may have done. So they killed somebody...that is an extremely unforgivable act, but to take away the only thing that they have, the only thing that ANYBODY really has, their life, is just inhuman. So lock his ass up then. You (and Edenmaster) make it sound like prison is a nice little getaway, where the inmates have no cares and are free to do pretty much whatever they want. Bleh. ONE YEAR. Could you imagine spending a mere 365 days in prison, away from your family, away from your (*gasp!*) videogames! The only sex you'll have is that which cannot be spoken, and sure you'll get TV, but uh, in many ways I don't see how that would brighten up the joint at all. Basketball? Meh. Weights? Meh. TV, basketball, and weighlifting would maybe bring a little happiness to your life in jail, but uh, I don't see how that could make a life sentence seem like a "rent free hotel". Yeesh. I can't think of ANY punishment that would be better than a life sentence.

Darunia
Uh...I think you two are forgetting some other 'activities' that go on in prison. Forced anal sex, for one.

You make it sound as though the government administers it directly. And if they're in there long enough, they'll probably be dishing it out themselves.

EdenMaster
Uh...I think you two are forgetting some other 'activities' that go on in prison. Forced anal sex, for one.

There is a crude hierarchy in prison just as in nature. The small, weak ones will be bossed and pushed around, while the stronger ones control them.

Didn't you watch Oz :)?

Fittisize
Uh...no. I haven't watched Oz.

And if they're in there long enough, they'll probably be dishing it out themselves.

WTF. What makes you say that?

Darunia
Logic.

Ryan
Darunia, you never answered my question. I'm curious as to know why you think making inmates work is cruel and unusual punishment.

Fittisize
Work isn't cruel and unusual...I do think that forced slave labour IS though. See I thought that the whole part of slavery was something that USA was trying to forget, or at least, stray far far away from.

Ryan
Work isn't cruel and unusual...I do think that forced slave labour IS though. See I thought that the whole part of slavery was something that USA was trying to forget, or at least, stray far far away from.
I would think the glaring differences in circumstance between the completely race-based chattel slavery the Civil War ended and the forced indenture of convicted capital criminals is quite obvious. I can explain them to you if you require.

Fittisize
No, no, no. Don't bother. I was just trying to make a point: under no circumstances is slavery acceptable. What in the fuck would it prove, anyways?

A Black Falcon
Just that Weltall thinks that prisoners have absolutely no rights...

Dark Jaguar
People need to work anyway Darunia. Leaving all other issues aside, the least that can be done is to force all prisoners to work while in jail. I can't see how anyone can say that's cruel. In fact, I believe prisoners should be doing an amount of work as close to what it takes to keep the facilities running as possible. They should be the ones to fix the plumbing, repair the wiring... oh wait, scratch that for obvious reasons :D. Okay, they should be the ones to repair anything that DOESN'T put the security system at risk :D. If the TV breaks, either they fix it or they never watch TV again. It's NOT inhuman to deny someone a frickin' TV. Don't a good chunk of prisoners make liscense plates and such? Well, keep them doing that stuff, only have ALL of them do it.

Never saw Oz either. Looks utterly stupid, trying to "keep it real dawg" far too much to be taken seriously.

Death penalty? On the issue of sentencing people to death for their crimes assuming perfect courts, I support it in the cases where the judges decide to sentence them that way. My issues are with the fact that the court system isn't perfect, and in fact a lot of people are found guilty who aren't. Now, for whoever said "well, what's the diff if it's life in prison?". Well, if they manage to live a while longer, they could be found innocent and RELEASED, as opposed to the death penalty, which is REALLY tough to rescend. Back in Biblical times, to be found guilty of a crime, you had to have 2 eye witnesses. Certainly a LOT of guilty went free. But hey, I'd rather 1000 guilty go free then chase after them... Wait, that's not right...

One thing ABF. When you say "the Enlightenment" like that, with the capital letter, and the huge superiority thing, it makes people want to hurt you :D. I'm sure I'm not the only one who wants to say this, but I'm the first who actually WILL. The idea that we are such an incredibly "enlightened" society, superior to the "barbaric savages" of the past (and don't disagree here, the second you claim us as enlightened, you are automatically labelling all previous cultures as savages), is EXACTLY what Europe did so long ago, and remember what happened there? Entire peoples were labelled savages and considered less than human because of it. While I can agree that certain values CAN be absolutely better than others, in fact that's a part of my belief system, it's simply terrible to have this "we are enlightened compaired to those monsters" mindset. Sets you up for a huge ego of "I can do no wrong", and eventually it can cause you to treat primitive cultures horribly. And don't go on about violence, it's not just that. Deciding that someone from a primitive culture needs to be "coddled" or "trained in the ways of civilized society" while being given stares of "oh that poor misguided creature" is just as much an example of xenophobic hatred as the more violent things one can do.

Eh, back on topic, when it comes to the death penalty, I support it's existance but not when so many innocent are being found guilty. Even if the system has to be changed in such a way as that some guilty are let free, if it meant no innocents were wrongfully imprisoned (or as close to none as it could get) I'd be far more behind such a punishment. Perhaps rather than the stupid things lawyers are doing now, SCIENCE should COMPLETELY take over the court room for instance.

Ryan
I do not see how indenture would infringe on prisoner's rights, so long as they weren't mistreated. I mean, prisoners don't have freedom, which is a 'right' as well.

It would be on the same order of community service. Just quite a bit harsher.

What would be the point? Punishment. A lifetime of hard labor would likely be a better deterrent than death or life in prison.

Fittisize
No it wouldn't. :p

A Black Falcon
One thing ABF. When you say "the Enlightenment" like that, with the capital letter, and the huge superiority thing, it makes people want to hurt you . I'm sure I'm not the only one who wants to say this, but I'm the first who actually WILL. The idea that we are such an incredibly "enlightened" society, superior to the "barbaric savages" of the past (and don't disagree here, the second you claim us as enlightened, you are automatically labelling all previous cultures as savages), is EXACTLY what Europe did so long ago, and remember what happened there? Entire peoples were labelled savages and considered less than human because of it. While I can agree that certain values CAN be absolutely better than others, in fact that's a part of my belief system, it's simply terrible to have this "we are enlightened compaired to those monsters" mindset. Sets you up for a huge ego of "I can do no wrong", and eventually it can cause you to treat primitive cultures horribly. And don't go on about violence, it's not just that. Deciding that someone from a primitive culture needs to be "coddled" or "trained in the ways of civilized society" while being given stares of "oh that poor misguided creature" is just as much an example of xenophobic hatred as the more violent things one can do.

*note -- I know this post is confused and doesn't really make connecting sense, but oh well the effort to fix it wouldn't be worth it... :D

Umm... the Enlightenment was a philosophical and eventually social movement, like the Renaissance before it... 1700s, when as I said we started really moving towards democracy. It doesn't say other people are wrong... you are right Europe was hardly perfect. But it's where our intellectual tradition comes from. And by the 1700s Europe WAS the most powerful part of the world... so its ideas mattered more than just their weight in the number of people in the area.

Look, hunter-gatherers were happy as hunter-gatherers because they know nothing better. Up until the British colonized Austrailia the Aborigines were hunter-gatherers... but the British wiped many of them out and the ones that were left were forced to stop. Now when you just uproot a people and try to settle them it doesn't work -- they need the base to be able to cope there and they don't have it so they'd be miserable... so you can't do that. But, I'd say, it is also wrong to leave them exactly as they are in some ways... it is irresponsible to not get better medical care to people if you can provide it, for instance.

But the question really is 'how civilized was this society'. Are we talking about Aborigines or Bushmen here, or are we talking, say, the people of India who had a high-level civilization that just wasn't able to hold off the Europeans... saying that people are worse than you just because their beliefs are different is obviously wrong, as is saying that your way of life is the best... but you have a point if there are concrete things that are objectively better -- like modern medical care. Or if nothing can be done to save their original way of life (in its natural state), given how humans are...

Yes, Europe did many very bad things in its colonies. That much is very, very obvious. And they took their technological superiority as moral/religious superiority too... that is not right. But is it always wrong to try to make things better for people who do not have things? No! Destroying native ways of life... very tricky issue. On the one hand you don't want to get rid of a culture... ideally you'd let the culture develop on its own and have it grow its own way towards change and betterment, but we just don't have that luxury living in the real world for the most part... given how human nature is often not very nice.

But this is all beside the point... I mean, how is the Enlightenment the cause of all this? Imperialism (and all its faults) started before it after all...

Dark Jaguar
Is the Enlightenment you speak of something Democrats made up or is it all over the history books? Never heard of it until now.

A Black Falcon
You must not have done well in history... :)

Geno
My stance on the death penalty... well, it's tempting to kill a murderer, and some people do deserve it, but it's not uncommon for someone on death row to be innocent. However, the luxuries of prison should be taken away; no cable TV, no basketball court, none of that... just a bed, a bathroom, and three meals a day will do. (And nothing fancy either, perhaps some bread and water.) Take all those royalties away and the life sentence is the way to go. Of course, the worst of the worst should also be forced into labor for the rest of their lives. We can't lean too much towards the extreme harsh nor towards the extreme leniant. These are criminals and they should be punished, but death isn't always the answer.

Darunia
Maybe extreme cases should be executed; i.e. mass serial killers who will not be remorseful, but maybe spur-of-the-moment killers could be jailed for a decade or two. We're all prone to anger. I feel that jailing is only the state being vengeful; you're NOT going to "punish and correct" someone by putting them away for life.

Geno
If it's someone crazy like Charlie Manson, maybe...

alien space marine
The only way inmates can ever get the internet and computers or any luxury is after 5 years of good behavour. The Prison system is for rehibilitation of Theives and one time burst of angry killers.

And serial killers ,child predators cannot be rehibilitated so slave labour and executions may be necessary.

Dark Jaguar
Did VERY well in fact, but never once was taught about this supposed phase of societal conciousness. Renaissance? Check. Industrial revolution? Check. Anything else? Nope, never was taught. Weltall, you have any say on this? I'm going to assume this is just something from one particular party unless I'm informed otherwise.

A Black Falcon
Pretty poor history of the 1700s then... or history of the United States, as I said the Founding Fathers were part of it and the Declaration of Independance was a Enlightenment work... "life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness"? "inalienable rights"? Those are Enlightenment ideas.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Enlightenment

Dark Jaguar
So this is referred to as a time of "enlightenment" eh? Well, while I was certainly taught of those things, I never once heard of them all referred to altogether as the "age of enlightenment" or anything of the sort. Just as well, what would be the point aside from an attempt to make students feel superior to everyone else.

A Black Falcon
Because like the Renaissance, it's the name of the period? Why should we give names to anything? Who cares?

Dark Jaguar
The period was always called the start of the revolution in my history classes. Enlightenment... that almost sounds offensive...

Ryan
It was called the Age of Enlightenment because there was a significant period of social, economic, political, and scientific advancement within it. It's a fitting name, though in my opinion calling it "An age of Enlightenment" is more appropriate than "The Age of Enlightenment", since the 20th Century was far more important in that regard.

http://mars.wnec.edu/~grempel/courses/wc2/lectures/enlightenment.html

DMiller
I remember learning about the Enlightenment. I just took it as another period of change like the Renaissance and the Industrial Revolution.

Darunia
How can you not know what the Enlightenment was.

A Black Falcon
I know... Oklahoma must have poor history education...

I remember learning about the Enlightenment. I just took it as another period of change like the Renaissance and the Industrial Revolution.

That's what it was... :)

And calling it the Enlightenment doesn't mean that it's the only period where people were enlightened of course, it just means that during that period people became more enlightened...

Dark Jaguar
I've just never ONCE heard of that era EVER called that... EVER. Even if my history classes are lacking (which they ARE), I would think I'd have heard it called such elsewhere.

In other news, everyone is leaving this sinking ship of a state lately, and I'm hardly going down with it. I'm leaving this dump of a state as soon as possible myself. No state pride because there's nothing to be prideful in. I can't find a single thing about myself that I owe to this hunk of worthless stateitude (outside of stuff that applies to America in general anyway). You see, pride in my state left completely after a local fire department burned down. BURNED DOWN! I WISH that was a joke. In fact, I heard something similar on the Simpsons before, but this actually happened!

On schools in particular, teachers never go out of their way to teach anything aside from enough to get their pig fat (small) paychecks. I was never even taught what on Earth a GPA was until my mom finally told me. I took computer classes every single time I was in a school that offered one, trying to get an edge up on what I already knew I wanted to do. Alas, they would list goals at the start of each year like learning simple languages, and I'd end the year with NONE of those goals met. Every single computer class I ever took in public school always amounted to boosting typing speed and occasionally learing how to use a COMPLETELY outdated word processor (I'm talking old DOS stuff here), and they always tried justifying it too. Sadly enough, I boosted my WPM the most by going to this very message board. Finally, I'm not sure where they got the text books, but the science ones for instance taught frickin' MYTHS as facts! I was reading about how water spins one way in the north and the other in the south in my SCIENCE BOOK! Yeesh, that's a myth! That effect only has such a noticable effect on very LARGE spinning things like hurricanes! VERY annoying.

So, maybe it really is a common phrase for that era. I'm not denying that OK schools utterly SUCK. It's just fortunate that I was a nerd and was always reading science books on my own outside of school and playing around with computers with a dad who works with them for a living, otherwise I'd probably have the same doom everyone else who graduated with me had, the doom of realizing the only skills they learning in high school were just enough to get a fast food job, and the doom of them giving up on themselves and not even trying to get into college.

I'll only say that that's not the only source I had for info, and even the various stuff I've read online and seen on things like the History channel never called it as such, so that's why it surprised me. Not that my school didn't teach me that, they didn't even teach me english standard measurement conversion (I happened to be one of the lucky people who got taught metric instead because that particular year all the teachers had thought everything was going metric). Well, metric is a better system of measurement anyway at least, too bad standard is what US continues to use despite the superiority of metric (it's SO easy for instance, just divide or multiply by 10)

A Black Falcon
[QUOTE]I've just never ONCE heard of that era EVER called that... EVER. Even if my history classes are lacking (which they ARE), I would think I'd have heard it called such elsewhere.[/QUOTE

Then as I said your history classes were poor and you don't read much of any history about the 1700s.

Oh, it was an age of revolution, but the revolutions were because of enlightenment ideals so The Enlightenment is a much better name than "The Age of Revolutions" or something like that. And it's not exactly some technical term no one except history professors use or something like that...

As for Metric, they teach it for science class (I remember learning about centimeters in first grade) because science is obviously a lot easier to do with Metric... but that doesn't affect the fact that for everything else (just about) we use Standard...

I guess I'm fortunate we have a decent school system then... not the best ever or anything, but decent.

Darunia
any history about the 1700s.

The 1700's? Dude, what's that---you must've just made that up. Is that supposed to be a century or something.

A Black Falcon
And 1800s. :)

Ryan
[QUOTE]I guess I'm fortunate we have a decent school system then... not the best ever or anything, but decent.
Except in Biology.

Dark Jaguar
I'm just glad I had the chance to get into a private school when I did. Interesting thing about private schools: The student population is a mix of punk kids who's parents confused private schools for a military acadamy, super rich kids, and middle class nerds who were sent to private school to get away from bullies and the like. I was one of the latter. As a strange result, the whole social grouping is very weird there and so people actually end up respecting each other, especially in a really small school where one can't afford to hate anyone.

Geno
I, too, attend a magnet school and it's a huge improvement over the public schools in the area. I've heard it's only gotten worse at those schools; it seems like there's a stabbing of some sort every three or so months at one of those schools. Here, almost everyone shares the same interests and views as each other and so fights are uncommon. The principal rarely has to use her authority for anything, but the disciplinary rules are much stricter here than at other schools. (One reason I flocked here.) For those reasons, fights very seldom occur. In fact, the last real fight at this school was about two years ago, and even it wasn't that big a fight; just ended with a broken nose.

A Black Falcon
Except in Biology.

I only took 10th grade normal Bio, not AP Bio in 12th... a lot of people took AP Bio but I don't like biology so I took Physics instead. :)

Ryan
Did you sleep through it in 10th grade?

Geno
My 10th grade Biology teacher was the same as my 11th grade Environmental Science teacher, yet we rarely did anything in Environmental Science. Are people starting to no longer care about the environment or something?

DMiller
I've found that the schools in the suburbs around here, especially in the north suburbs, which are considered the "rich area" of Chicago, are pretty good. The kids in the junior high I work at have a lot of resources at their disposal, and the teachers here are really good. The special ed. program also focuses on inclusion so the special ed. kids take as many normal classes as they can. The problem schools are those in the inner city where I have a friend who teaches. I'd talk more about it, but the bell is going to ring so I have to go.

A Black Falcon
I did just fine in Bio. But it has nothing to do with your "complaint".