A question of Death
2005-01-18 22:15:51 ET

At 12:01 am tonight, a man who murdered two women over a $200 drug deal in 1981 is going to be executed by lethal injection at San Quentin prison in LA, California. There are so many moral and ethical arguments against the Death Penalty, in the past, I am sure I have addressed this, but since it is indeed a sensitive subject, and this event has once again inspired me to express my own opinion pertaining to this particular social issue. Now, it has taken me a great deal of time to decide wether I was for or against the Death Penalty. The Death Penalty exists as a deterrent to the perpetrators of violent crimes. This is also the major fault of the system, in my opinion. The vast majority of those who commit violent crimes are in no way deterred by the idea of The Death Penalty. These people, and I use the term loosely, live their lives on the edge, forever aware of the fact that the path they have taken in life will most likely lead to their ultimate demise, one way or the other so thusly, the threat of dying would be of no consequence to one of their ilk. I have always had a deep interest in criminal psychology and have studied extensively through my own independent research the criminal mind, the ways in which it works, more specifically, violent criminals, murderers, rapists, and serial killers. This by no means implies that the perps are not afraid of dying. Even the infamous serial killer Ted Bundy had to be practically carried into the lethal injection room because he was nearly having a fainting spell at the thought of his uncoming destiny. I am merely stating that death is not going to deter anyone who has it in their mind to commit acts of violence against others, in most of them, it is in their very blood, the desire to kill and do harm onto others, deep rooted psychology, the true psychopaths, those who live without conscience, without the ability of remorse, humans without empathy for others might as well be dead. I suppose that is where the proponents of the Death Penalty get their reasoning from, these perps expressed no remorse for their crimes, oh, they try to make it look like they do, in prison they find God, in a weak attempt to try to make it look like in some way they feel some sort of guilt for the crimes they have committed, but you know what they feel sorry about, getting caught in the first place. In the minds of those who support the Death Penalty, these people are already dead inside, and since we hold so much store in people's abilities to sympathize with their fellow man, it would stand to reason that one who lacks such feelings would be considered less than human, therefore, it is not a crime to kill them, since they are not equal to other human beings. Yes, I am sure this is all well and good but I have yet to say wether I am in favor of the Death Penalty or not. I would have to say that I am against the Death Penalty because it fails at what it sets out to do, but nor do I feel sympathy for those who lose their lives at the hands of Justice if you will, though I am under the belief that an eye for an eye will leave the world blind, but if that is the case, than what alternatives should be used instead of the Death Penalty? Life in prison is a far more sobering thought in my mind than the idea of death, at least with the Death Penalty, you know that your torment would be ending eventually, though in this day and age, it takes 20+ years for a death sentance to finally be issued out, and for some people, that is a lifetime.
Heh, alright, I do believe I have bored you all enough for the time being, so I shall give your mind a bit of a breather, thank you for your time dolls! ^_^

2005-01-19 01:10:46 ET

not all who are on death row are inhuman psychopaths. many are wrongfully convicted, severely mentally handicapped, or just happen to be poor and black in a system that is stacked against them. the u.s. is the one of the few countries that still executes people who were under 18 when they committed a crime.

2005-01-19 02:20:22 ET

yeah, reminds me of the movie The Life of David Gale (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0289992/). Some people are of course guilty of their crimes, but for those that are not it must be total hell sitting on death row.

2005-01-19 03:29:24 ET

I apologize in advance for not reading your entire entry, but somethine near the begining caught my eye and I had to reply.

I don't believe your assessment of the criminal mind is wholly correct. Those with the inclination to commit violent crimes do not live life on the edge, or realize that thier path will end in thier death. Quite the contrary, these creatures exist only in the present, with no thoughts to past or future. It is this that leads them into trouble, this failure to recognize the consequences of their actions.

HOw do you teach someone who refuses to learn? You can't.

2005-01-19 11:38:28 ET

MissAnthropy: One, I used to use a name similar to that quite awhile back, I just had to mention that. Two, that was my mistake, I admit it, I did not mean to insinuate that all death row inmates are inhuman psychopaths, I was thinking more in the vein of serial killers. Though I do have to disagree with your opinion that most of those on Death Row are wrongfully accused, there are those cases where death row inmates have been found innocent of the crime they were convicted of, but those are a rather small percentage. If you have any compelling evidence on this, I would certainly be interested in reading it. Most of the people on death row are violent offenders, most of who if freed, would most likely commit crimes again, not all though. And of course the US is one of the few governments that still allows the Death Penalty, this is a country of barbarians who do not care wether or not someone is guilty as long as someone is punished. Not everyone is like this, but alas, most people are. Cops are lazy, I know this for a fact, since I have several cops in my family, if possible, they would rather not take out the time to truly investigate a crime, they are already too busy, and under so much pressure and scrutiny from a blood thirsty public.
NightShade: Indeed, I have been meaning to see that movie. I never said all people on death row are guilty, my post was strictly pertaining to those who *are* guilty of violent crimes.
Demonix: Hmm, you are correct, that was my mistake as well, though I do think that violent offenders do live with the knowledge that their path will cause their death, but just like a true psychopath, they just don't care. Indeed, a few have concocted elaborate scenarios in which they take their own lives before they are ever caught by the authorities but in the end, they cannot go through with it.

2005-01-19 15:43:25 ET

The US is only one of few countries that still imposes a death penalty? Are you sure about that? Or maybe it just doesn't include the countries where they'll just shoot the person on site rather than take them in to prison or for a trial at all?

The way I always looked at it was not neccisarily eye for an eye but that we believe this person has shown themselves to be so incredibly unscruppled as to not be capable of being part of a civilized society or worthy of any rights for the crimes they have commited against others. And if a person is a demented psychopath why should we take him out of society only to shelter, feed, bath, entertain him, ect for the rest of his/her natural life. We'll make sure that this person recieves all of this including medical treatment that will prolong their lives and so forth with out them having to do anything in return for it and they'll get it because they have commited heinous crimes while there are people who have never commited such crimes out on the streets who will probably die there and for no good reason.

2005-01-19 16:38:07 ET

okay, i'm gonna be a picky bitch and point out that i did NOT use the word "most"... i'm sure the vast majority are guilty.
basically what i was trying to say is that in trying to bring about justice, the death penalty often creates injustice.

2005-01-20 14:51:09 ET

Phoenix: I agree with you completely, and the ones responsible for paying for these criminals and their perks are the good taxpayers of Ca, and other states, maybe it is just me, but I am not particularly okay with that. I mean, in San Quentin, the convicts on death row actually have cable tv, and other such special treats.
MissAnthropy: Very well, the actual word you said was *many*, I was incorrect in that respect. And I understood what you were saying, and I agreed, I am against the death penalty, but purely for the reason that it is not a viable deterrent for violent offenders. I did hear recently than in one case, I apologize for not remembering what state it was, 17 convicts were released from Death Row after forensics were used to clear them of all guilt. A lot of the current inhabitants of death row were put there in the 70's, 80's, and early 90's, before the advent of modern forensics. I think that they should go over the older cases to see if justice was truly delivered, unfortunately, most justice departments have neither the time nor the funds to do this.

2005-03-06 01:24:39 ET

Alright, point of contention. It's a minor one but it bears sorting out. Serial Killers are a whole different breed of malfunction. For whatever reason, they kill for a sexual thrill. Murder is the only thing that truly gets them off. Most are trophy takers, have been sexually abused, have SEVERELY skewed views of gender roles and commit their attrocities in repeatable manners reminiscent of a sexual act.

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