Why I believe in the death penalty...and you should too!

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The entire article.

http://edition.cnn.com/2006/US/02/09/entwistle.arrest/index.html

Assuming he is found guilty, think of this paragraph...

On January 22, the bodies of his wife and daughter were found shot to death in their rented home in Hopkinton, Massachusetts.

Police found Entwistle's car in a parking garage at Logan Airport on January 23.

Rachel Entwistle, also 27, was shot in the head and died immediately, and her baby was shot in the stomach and bled to death within minutes, according to the medical examiner's report. It said that a small-caliber weapon was used but that an exact time of the deaths could not be determined.

Ok, so he didn't even have the mercy to kill the baby quick...but shot the baby in the stomach, a painful 'gut shot' and let the baby bleed to death...in minutes.

Ok my colleagues who don't support the death penalty...tell me again why, if convicted, this individual should be allowed to live (he will, btw...Mass has no death penalty)?

I don't really have a position on the death penalty. I've lived in societies that functioned perfectly well with it and without it. Folks who know me know I'm not much influenced by moral arguments.

That being said. I don't see how this case strengthens the case for capital punishment.

Explain it to me like I were a 5 year old.

Pigpen wrote:

Ok my colleagues who don't support the death penalty...tell me again why, if convicted, this individual should be allowed to live (he will, btw...Mass has no death penalty)?

I'm not sure. What good would it do to kill him? Will it bring back the wife and baby?

Also, and this is just a minor point: he is innocent until proven guilty. Your comment, "Ok, so he didn't even have the mercy to kill the baby quick...but shot the baby in the stomach, a painful 'gut shot' and let the baby bleed to death...in minutes." suggests that he should be considered guilty until proven innocent. Let's wait to discuss whether or not he should die until after he's convicted or not, first.

I don't see much in the article to even give him a shot at innocence...

wife and baby killed on 20th
he flies out on one way ticket on 21st
leaves car there
doesn't return for funeral
motive is financial

I did toss in the 'assumption' and such, because I do agree he is innocent until proven guilty. Based on the basis that 'whoever' killed the family, I'm still going with the death penalty. Why - because a) what good does this individual have to offer society (answer: nada) b) why should taxpayer revenue go to supporting an individual that would do this (answer: it should not) and c) can the individual be rehabilitated (answer: it will be life without parole, so no; and he shot a baby in the stomach, so no)

Yah, I've always kinda been on the fence when it comes to the dealth penalty. If you can show me some statistical evidence that says the death penalty results in a tangible decrease in crime (or maybe even my tax dollars), I might just buy in. I don't buy the whole 'he deserves it' argument. As far as I'm concerned, he deserves to live a long life so he can contemplate his guilt and cowardice. Killing him is almost too easy (assuming he's found guilty as Katerin stated above).

Wouldn't it be better to tattoo the faces of both the kid and wife on his chest/back, bar him from wearing shirts and then make him do other things for the rest of his life?

Pigpen wrote:

b) why should taxpayer revenue go to supporting an individual that would do this (answer: it should not)

But likewise, why should taxpayer revenue go to subsidizing his death? I mean, I don't know if I want my taxpayer money going to murder a man, even if he did it first, even if he did it to a baby. Because if I'm funding it, then indirectly, I'm killing him too. Which makes me a murderer. I dunno, I'd rather my money go to a school or something.

Honestly, I can't really see how the death penalty is anything more than revenge. It's too bad we don't have a wilderness to which we could alternately exile our potential Death Row'ers. Damn you, Australia, for going legit.

As for the article not providing much evidence for his innocence, I hesitate to pass judgement on just one news paper article. I mean, CNN is in the business of selling CNN, so to a certain extent, they need to be overdramatic and inflammatory, to get more readership. I wonder if the court evidence might tell a more sober story.

Pigpen wrote:

Ok my colleagues who don't support the death penalty...tell me again why, if convicted, this individual should be allowed to live (he will, btw...Mass has no death penalty)?

Because not having a death penalty prevents people from being wrongfully sentenced to death.

He's off the streets whether he gets executed or lifetime in prison. Having a death penalty or not is a question which is more expensive for society in terms of cashee-money and the benefits of eventual deterrence vs. innocents killed. (Personally, I'm very keen on the latter not occurring, but ymmv.) As satisfying as screaming bloody vengenance can be when you feel outraged at crimes like these, it really shouldn't rank very high when deciding on policy.

I'm not sure. What good would it do to kill him? Will it bring back the wife and baby?

Because it would feel damn good to be the one that exacts the vengeance, even if it is vicariously. I'm not even being rational in my judgement here. I presume that you don't have a child Kat, and I know that a year ago, I could sit and break down the case and appropriate punishment objectively with you. But after having one (rather, after seeing my wife have one), the very thought of shooting a baby in the gut and leaving it to die slowly simultaneously reviles me and fills me with rage. If someone could do such a thing for a financial motive, is he even capable of feeling remorse and regret over it?

As satisfying as screaming bloody vengenance can be when you feel outraged at crimes like these, it really shouldn't rank very high when deciding on policy.

I completely agree with this on an objective level, but it sure is better than what the monster deserves.

While campaigning for the presidency, George W. Bush was interviewed by Bill O'Reilly. O'Reilly pointed out that Bush had named Jesus Christ as his model political philosopher and suggested that this might be a contradiction with Bush's own support of the death penalty. Bush replied, "I can't justify the death penalty in terms of the New Testament. I'm going to justify it in terms of the law"…" (from No Spin Zone by Bill O'Reilly, p. 102). O'Reilly then stated, "I don't believe he [Jesus] would be embracing the death penalty if he were here today." Bush: "We can both agree on this."

Sorry Pigpen, Jesus > Bush, as the kids might put it.

It's too bad we don't have a wilderness to which we could alternately exile our potential Death Row'ers. Damn you, Australia, for going legit.

That's why we need to get to Mars!

I'm against the death penalty because of mistakes like the Snaggletooth Killer, who was initially sentenced to death. It's also expensive - I'd rather put them to work pressing license plates, breaking rocks, picking up trash, etc. with anything earned beyond their incarceration costs going as restitution to the vicitim's familiy.

Honestly, I can't really see how the death penalty is anything more than revenge.

Versus life without parole?

I mean, I don't know if I want my taxpayer money going to murder a man, even if he did it first, even if he did it to a baby. Because if I'm funding it, then indirectly, I'm killing him too. Which makes me a murderer. I dunno, I'd rather my money go to a school or something.

So think of your money as going to the school budget then.

Pigpen, how do you think can I resist from throwing a Christian angle on this?

Sorry Pigpen, Jesus > Bush, as the kids might put it.

Is God > Jesus? Because if you believe the Bible, God certainly killed a lot of people, even if Jesus did not. So which do you worship? If you're a christian, remember the 2nd commandment...

I think that it would be easier for proponents of the death penalty to compromise and agree to "life in prison" being the be all end all of sentences if our prison system wasn't seen as being so lenient on it's inmates.

TV? Playtime in the yard? Libraries? If you murder someone, like in this case, you don't deserve such amenities.

In 2000, Mass had the 13th highest population in the country. It's murder rate was 41st. It has had no death penalty since 1947.
http://www.disastercenter.com/crime/...

For the years 1990 to 2004, the murder rate in non-death penalty states stayed below that in death penalty states, and generally the gap between them has widened over the period, to around a 40% difference in the murder rates.
http://www.deathpenaltyinfo.org/arti...

Draw your own conclusions.

I fail to see how the death penalty has any practical benefit whatsoever. It's more expensive then life in prison, you may get the wrong man, it creates a stupid controversy that I have to read about all the time...why is this a good thing in any rational light?

buzzvang wrote:
I'm not sure. What good would it do to kill him? Will it bring back the wife and baby?

Because it would feel damn good to be the one that exacts the vengeance, even if it is vicariously. I'm not even being rational in my judgement here. I presume that you don't have a child Kat, and I know that a year ago, I could sit and break down the case and appropriate punishment objectively with you. But after having one (rather, after seeing my wife have one), the very thought of shooting a baby in the gut and leaving it to die slowly simultaneously reviles me and fills me with rage. If someone could do such a thing for a financial motive, is he even capable of feeling remorse and regret over it?

Exactly. While I'm not sure why my mother vs. non-mother status should impact how repulsive and horrifying I find the idea of shooting a child in the stomach, I will agree that the idea inspires me to rage and disgust. And I don't think we should create laws based upon rage and disgust, but upon logic and reason.

If someone I love has been murdered, the law should not cater to me because I am angry, but because I have been wronged, you know? And I fail to see how giving the death penalty to the murderer makes me less wronged. It certainly would make me less angry, but not less wronged. It still won't bring back the victim, and in fact, you're just adding to the number of people who've died.

Not to mention the awful, terrifying possibility of killing an innocent but wrongly convicted man or woman. As others have said before, if there's no death penalty, that can't happen anyway.

DrunkenSleipnir wrote:

I fail to see how the death penalty has any practical benefit whatsoever. It's more expensive then life in prison, you may get the wrong man, it creates a stupid controversy that I have to read about all the time...why is this a good thing in any rational light?

There is fantastic benefit to the death penalty. It is a clear wedge issue that allows politicians to pretend they are doing something about crime while painting their adversaries as limp-wristed communists and bedwetters.

I'm surprised at you.

LeapingGnome wrote:

Is God > Jesus? Because if you believe the Bible, God certainly killed a lot of people, even if Jesus did not. So which do you worship? If you're a christian, remember the 2nd commandment...

Apparently you've never heard of the Holy Trinity.

Eye for an eye went out with the Nativity. If you're a Christian, you are bound by not only the 10 Commandments (ahem...thou shalt not kill), but Jesus' "new" commandment to not only love one another, but to love your enemy. It's pretty difficult for a Christian to look at that and then turn around and find the death penalty compatible with the teachings of Christ, unless they rationalize it with, "oh he didn't really mean it that way."

I'm with Jesus, Certis and O'Reilly on this one.

Podunk wrote:

If you're a Christian, you are bound by not only the 12 Commandments (ahem...thou shalt not kill),

There's twelve of them? CRAP. No wonder I'm not saved yet.

Pigpen, how do you think can I resist from throwing a Christian angle on this?

Rom 13:1-4
1 Let every person be in subjection to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those which exist are established by God.
2 Therefore he who resists authority has opposed the ordinance of God; and they who have opposed will receive condemnation upon themselves.
3 For rulers are not a cause of fear for good behavior, but for evil. Do you want to have no fear of authority? Do what is good, and you will have praise from the same;
4 for it is a minister of God to you for good. But if you do what is evil, be afraid; for it does not bear the sword for nothing; for it is a minister of God, an avenger who brings wrath upon the one who practices evil.
(NAS)

Is God > Jesus? Because if you believe the Bible, God certainly killed a lot of people, even if Jesus did not. So which do you worship? If you're a christian, remember the 2nd commandment...

Do you mean..

Exod 20:13
13 "You shall not murder.
(NAS)

I don't believe God ever murdered anyone.

Hmm. I was always under the impression that the no graven images was the 2nd Commandment. Either that or it was the right to bear arms. Can't remember.

KaterinLHC wrote:
Pigpen wrote:

b) why should taxpayer revenue go to supporting an individual that would do this (answer: it should not)

But likewise, why should taxpayer revenue go to subsidizing his death?

Because you have to choose one. You don't get to just say "why should we have to pay for X?" to every option, because in the end, you have to choose one (or choose just letting the guy go). As a wise man from the Great White North once said, "If you choose not to decide, you still have made a choice."

So why should the taxpayer pay for his death? Because it's cheaper than housing the guy for a lifetime that he doesn't deserve. And because our law doesn't allow us to just dump the guy in the middle of Antarctica and let him freeze to death. (But even that would cost money to do)

*Legion* wrote:
KaterinLHC wrote:
Pigpen wrote:

b) why should taxpayer revenue go to supporting an individual that would do this (answer: it should not)

But likewise, why should taxpayer revenue go to subsidizing his death?

Because you have to choose one. You don't get to just say "why should we have to pay for X?" to every option, because in the end, you have to choose one (or choose just letting the guy go).

So why should the taxpayer pay for his death? Because it's cheaper than housing the guy for a lifetime that he doesn't deserve. And because our law doesn't allow us to just dump the guy in the middle of Antarctica and let him freeze to death. (But even that would cost money to do)

Actually, the numbers don't back you on this one. At present, it actually costs more to execute a prisoner than it does to lock him away and forget about him.

*Legion* wrote:

So why should the taxpayer pay for his death? Because it's cheaper than housing the guy for a lifetime that he doesn't deserve.

I alluded to it before, but it is MUCH more expensive to give someone death then to give him life in prison.

Paleocon wrote:
*Legion* wrote:
KaterinLHC wrote:
Pigpen wrote:

b) why should taxpayer revenue go to supporting an individual that would do this (answer: it should not)

But likewise, why should taxpayer revenue go to subsidizing his death?

Because you have to choose one. You don't get to just say "why should we have to pay for X?" to every option, because in the end, you have to choose one (or choose just letting the guy go).

So why should the taxpayer pay for his death? Because it's cheaper than housing the guy for a lifetime that he doesn't deserve. And because our law doesn't allow us to just dump the guy in the middle of Antarctica and let him freeze to death. (But even that would cost money to do)

Actually, the numbers don't back you on this one. At present, it actually costs more to execute a prisoner than it does to lock him away and forget about him.

I have a cheaper alternative.. drop them off on a deserted island somewhere in the South Pacific. Let them fend for themselves. If they escape they escape, but I don't see it as very likely.

Mayfield wrote:
Paleocon wrote:
*Legion* wrote:
KaterinLHC wrote:
Pigpen wrote:

b) why should taxpayer revenue go to supporting an individual that would do this (answer: it should not)

But likewise, why should taxpayer revenue go to subsidizing his death?

Because you have to choose one. You don't get to just say "why should we have to pay for X?" to every option, because in the end, you have to choose one (or choose just letting the guy go).

So why should the taxpayer pay for his death? Because it's cheaper than housing the guy for a lifetime that he doesn't deserve. And because our law doesn't allow us to just dump the guy in the middle of Antarctica and let him freeze to death. (But even that would cost money to do)

Actually, the numbers don't back you on this one. At present, it actually costs more to execute a prisoner than it does to lock him away and forget about him.

I have a cheaper alternative.. drop them off on a deserted island somewhere in the South Pacific. Let them fend for themselves. If they escape they escape, but I don't see it as very likely.

Why not just have them chased on television by costumed gladiators with chainsaws or sharpened hockey sticks?

I believe in the death penalty but only if the public is trying to accomplish one of two specific goals:

1. The individual being sentenced to death is such a danger to the others around him that anywhere he was incarcerated he would be a serious and inevitable threat to another person's life. Whether that person be a guard, lawyer, another inmate, or anyone unlucky enough to encounter the individual should he or she ever escape.

2. The crime committed by the convicted individual is so unprecedented and heinous that an example be made that people in the world that commit this type of crime will simply be removed from it. I want to be specific in saying that the crime would have to be unique. I personally think it's pointless to put someone to death as an example for murder as people usually don't think before they kill someone, or, have weighed the consequences and done it anyway.

You might say number 2 contradicts itself but in my head it makes sense. Anyway, as far as this man who allegedly killed his family then I see no point in putting him on death row. Nor, do I see a point in incarcerating him. I wish there was a place that we could take people who have proven themselves worthless to our civilization and just put them in a hole. Just like flushing a fish down the toilet. There's no emotion in it for me; I just wish we could erase people from the board as it were.

Just throw them in the former survivor set.

KaterinLHC wrote:
Podunk wrote:

If you're a Christian, you are bound by not only the 12 Commandments (ahem...thou shalt not kill),

There's twelve of them? CRAP. No wonder I'm not saved yet.

Whoops.

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