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#41085 - 07/07/16 08:53 AM Retribution ≡ Justice
grelber Offline


Registered: 08/05/09
Loc: North of 49th ||
[Begin RANT]

Definition of retribution: punishment that is considered to be morally right and fully deserved.

That said, let's bring into (high) relief the calls for "justice" in the patently obvious murders of black Americans by police over past while and/or the exploitation of the innocent by pedophiles and/or the exploitation of refugees/migrants by unscrupulous scum and/or [other examples ad nauseam].

Everywhere in the world where such practices occur and where the so-called justice systems allow such behavior to be let off with minimal consequences — Pay attention Canada and the USA! — we need to bring back (or at least advocate to bring back) more effective means of punishment which suit the crime.

Not only should the death penalty be restored and applied more liberally in those jurisdictions where it has been renounced, but the forms of same should suit the crime: this is restorative qua retributive justice.

This planet has upwards of 7 billion inhabitants which can already barely be supported. It is pretty clear that not all lives matter in the grander scheme of things, no matter how grandiose the rhetoric in first-world countries.

Unless Gaia gets truly pissed off at the abuse which is heaped upon her and decides to annihilate at least our species, it is up to us to deal with realities.

Coming back to the point: Egregious offenses to societal norms need to be treated equally egregiously, as in "let the punishment fit the crime". And that includes those who for some hazy reason have been deemed "not criminally responsible". They aren't needed and are just a waste of space, skin and air.

Bring back drawing and quartering, even stoning (despite its currently politically-incorrect association with sharia law*), as viable [ wink ] options. Maybe it will help, maybe it won't. It can't hurt to try it (back on) on for size.


(* Islamic canonical law based on the teachings of the Koran and the traditions of the Prophet, prescribing both religious and secular duties and sometimes retributive penalties for law-breaking. It has generally been supplemented by legislation adapted to the conditions of the day.)

[End RANT]

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#41087 - 07/07/16 09:32 AM Re: Retribution ≡ Justice [Re: grelber]
Ira L Offline


Registered: 08/13/09
Loc: California
Haven't studies [find your own source] shown that the death penalty is not a deterrent? It only provides an "eye for an eye" sense for some (not all).

Perhaps the best solution was one presented in a work of science fiction [find your own source] that I read some time ago: perpetrators of rape were castrated and so were all blood relatives of the rapist. It was believed the crime was the result of a genetic disorder. Maybe you would like to see this approach extended across all egregious offenses? For example, cut off the hands of the thief, as well as the hands of all blood relatives. Now that might actually be a deterrent! wink
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#41088 - 07/07/16 09:37 AM Re: Retribution ≡ Justice [Re: Ira L]
grelber Offline


Registered: 08/05/09
Loc: North of 49th ||
Originally Posted By: Ira L
Haven't studies [find your own source] shown that the death penalty is not a deterrent? It only provides an "eye for an eye" sense for some (not all).

Maybe not for others, but the original perpetrator is taken out of the equation — no chance of re-offending (which often seems to be the result of more lenient punishments). As noted, they're a waste of space, skin and air — completely unnecessary to the "betterment" of society. Use them for compost.

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#41090 - 07/07/16 12:06 PM Re: Retribution ≡ Justice [Re: grelber]
ryck Online


Registered: 08/04/09
Loc: Okanagan Valley
Originally Posted By: grelber
….the original perpetrator is taken out of the equation — no chance of re-offending...

You don't mention another "no chance" which is far more important than any other. There's no chance of restoring the life of the innocent person you executed. In Canada, due to advances with DNA, there are already nearly a dozen overturned murder convictions.

In my opinion, capital punishment has no place in a civilized society.


Edited by ryck (07/07/16 12:06 PM)
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#41091 - 07/07/16 01:20 PM Re: Retribution ≡ Justice [Re: ryck]
grelber Offline


Registered: 08/05/09
Loc: North of 49th ||
Originally Posted By: ryck
Originally Posted By: grelber
….the original perpetrator is taken out of the equation — no chance of re-offending...

You don't mention another "no chance" which is far more important than any other. There's no chance of restoring the life of the innocent person you executed. In Canada, due to advances with DNA, there are already nearly a dozen overturned murder convictions.

I wasn't speaking of the innocent "perpetrator" (which should have been obvious from my presentation); I was referring to unequivocally guilty scum (FOR EXAMPLE, the police officers in Minnesota and Louisiana who have merely executed another human being, and I don't care whether the officers did so because of faulty training, psychological imbalance or whatever); I would dearly love to see such folk — these scum really have no place in civilized society — drawn and quartered, even to the extent of goading the horses.

The scum list would also include Paul Bernardo, Vince Li and similar nut cases — just to include the cream of the Canadian crop.

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#41092 - 07/07/16 02:23 PM Re: Retribution ≡ Justice [Re: grelber]
joemikeb Online
Moderator

Registered: 08/04/09
Loc: Fort Worth, Texas
Originally Posted By: grelber
Maybe not for others, but the original perpetrator is taken out of the equation — no chance of re-offending (which often seems to be the result of more lenient punishments). As noted, they're a waste of space, skin and air — completely unnecessary to the "betterment" of society. Use them for compost.

And you know beyond a shadow of a doubt the person is guilty because... they are of a different race, they speak another languange, they are poor, they worship in a different church/synagoge/mosque/temple, they were in the vicinity of the crime, DNA found at the scene has been identified as theirs, they were arrested by the police, or maybe just your gut feel?

Admittedly for many incarceration is a graduate program in criminal behavior and the rehabilitation rate is close to negative numbers, but the threat of execution has not noticeably reduced the murder rate anywhere so neither works. Does that mean we should simply give up and become murderers ourselves?

As long as we continue to treat the symptom -- crime -- we are unlikely to see any significant improvement and it may get worse. The long term "fix" is to treat the cause and not the symptom. But that is hard and EXPENSIVE. The same could work to reduce terrorism as well. Nothing will ever eliminate crime or terrorism completely, there will always be those who are going to rebel against society but better some improvement than none or making things worse.
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#41093 - 07/07/16 03:30 PM Re: Retribution ≡ Justice [Re: joemikeb]
grelber Offline


Registered: 08/05/09
Loc: North of 49th ||
Originally Posted By: joemikeb
And you know beyond a shadow of a doubt the person is guilty because... they are of a different race, they speak another [language], they are poor, they worship in a different church/[synagogue]/mosque/temple, they were in the vicinity of the crime, DNA found at the scene has been identified as theirs, they were arrested by the police, or maybe just your gut feel?

Not sure how this impression came about given the clarification I made immediately prior to this relating the unambiguously/unequivocally guilty — mens sana/insana.

EDIT: Note that none of the police officers qua executioners in the earlier example was non-white. Add to that some of the more unambiguously guilty murderers in US history: Ted Bundy, Mark David Chapman, John Wayne Gacy, Charles Manson, Timothy McVeigh and Charles Whitman.

----------

Not to put to fine a point on it and a caveat to all and sundry:
I meant what I said and I said what I meant ... and phrased it unambiguously. If every jot and tittle is to be parsed in ways inimical to linguistic clarity, the misconstruction is not mine to correct.


Edited by grelber (07/08/16 01:31 AM)
Edit Reason: Additional info

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#41094 - 07/07/16 04:39 PM Re: Retribution ≡ Justice [Re: grelber]
ryck Online


Registered: 08/04/09
Loc: Okanagan Valley
Originally Posted By: grelber
Not sure how this impression came about given the clarification I made immediately prior to this relating the unambiguously/unequivocally guilty — mens sana/insana.

Yes, yes....and you made it equally clear that it should not just be death, but an excruciating death (drawing and quartering, stoning) depending on the offense.

None of this belongs in a civilized society.
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#41096 - 07/08/16 09:20 AM Re: Retribution ≡ Justice [Re: grelber]
grelber Offline


Registered: 08/05/09
Loc: North of 49th ||
I have been reminded of Martin Luther King Jr's comment that
Returning violence for violence multiplies violence, adding a deeper darkness to a night already devoid of stars. Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only love can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that.

While I generally revere the practices of the good doctor, his preachings leave me cold. If Christian beliefs were reality, all might be right with the world. As it stands, the evidence is to the contrary, and all such homilies are simplistic and Pollyannaish. Think of Ahab searching for the great white whale.

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#41182 - 07/19/16 04:48 AM Re: Retribution ≡ Justice [Re: Ira L]
Virtual1 Offline


Registered: 08/04/09
Loc: Iowa
Originally Posted By: Ira L
Haven't studies [find your own source] shown that the death penalty is not a deterrent? It only provides an "eye for an eye" sense for some (not all).

It depends greatly on who you ask. None of the studies paid for by phillip morris could find any link between nicotine and addiction. So you really need to look at a large sample to figure out what the "social norm" is.

One of my favorite studies was done in a jail. They interviewed a bunch of people that had been convicted of breaking and entering. "What's your greatest fear when you break into someone's home?" The answer, by a landslide, was "homeowner with a gun".

Criminals may not be the brightest bunch, but they know to look out for #1. They make their decisions like you and me: they consider the possibilities, count the pros and the cons, weigh the odds, and make their decision based on the expected return. Throw in a dash of "it may get you killed" into the process and it usually has a significant effect on their decision. It's foolish to expect it to change their mind all of the time, but it will certainly have an effect. Arguing against it because it's not 100% effective is just plain stupid, nothing is 100% effective.

I remember a conversation I had years ago with a kid in my town that was fairly well known as your typical punk. We were discussing some argument he was having with someone else we knew and he was talking about how he was going to severely beat up the guy if he ever caught him. I asked why he'd do something like that, even knowing the consequences, and he simply shrugged and said "ya gotta do what ya gotta do". Those are the ones that really scare me, the ones where the consequences simply don't matter. So IMHO, the death penalty works just fine for them too. Put some constructive fear into the ones that can be scared, and permanently remove from circulation the ones that can't. The argument that "for some the death penalty isn't a deterrent" is not an effective argument against it, it's actually an effective argument for it.
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#41192 - 07/19/16 07:25 AM Re: Retribution ≡ Justice [Re: Virtual1]
Ira L Offline


Registered: 08/13/09
Loc: California
Well, let's also throw into the mix that the justice system is not perfect. So better to execute no one than to execute one innocent person?
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#41197 - 07/19/16 09:27 AM Re: Retribution ≡ Justice [Re: Ira L]
Virtual1 Offline


Registered: 08/04/09
Loc: Iowa
Originally Posted By: Ira L
Well, let's also throw into the mix that the justice system is not perfect. So better to execute no one than to execute one innocent person?

In an imperfect world, the only justice system that guarantees an innocent person will never be found guilty or punished is the one that lets everyone go.

It's going to happen. It has to happen. All you can do is try to keep the number as small as possible. Either let everyone go free, or accept that at least every rare now and again it's going to affect an innocent.
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#41199 - 07/19/16 09:41 AM Re: Retribution ≡ Justice [Re: Virtual1]
ryck Online


Registered: 08/04/09
Loc: Okanagan Valley
Originally Posted By: Virtual1
It depends greatly on who you ask. None of the studies paid for by phillip morris could find any link between nicotine and addiction. So you really need to look at a large sample to figure out what the "social norm" is.

Okay. Using statistics from the U.S. census and the FBI's murder rates from 1990 to 2014 , a Death Penalty Information Centre analysis shows that states without the death penalty have consistently lower murder rates.


Edited by ryck (07/19/16 09:41 AM)
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#41200 - 07/19/16 09:45 AM Re: Retribution ≡ Justice [Re: Ira L]
ryck Online


Registered: 08/04/09
Loc: Okanagan Valley
Originally Posted By: Ira L
Well, let's also throw into the mix that the justice system is not perfect.

That's for sure….and you can add those cases where the justice system is perverted by representatives of the justice system who decide who must be guilty and then ignore or hide important exculpatory evidence.


Edited by ryck (07/19/16 09:45 AM)
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#41201 - 07/19/16 09:49 AM Re: Retribution ≡ Justice [Re: Virtual1]
ryck Online


Registered: 08/04/09
Loc: Okanagan Valley
Originally Posted By: Virtual1
Either let everyone go free, or accept that at least every rare now and again it's going to affect an innocent.

Really? You'd agree to kill innocent people rather than look for an alternative? How about a lifetime jail sentence?

That way, when you find out that you've convicted an innocent person, you can at least give them back some of the life the imperfect system stole.


Edited by ryck (07/19/16 09:51 AM)
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#41204 - 07/19/16 11:12 AM Re: Retribution ≡ Justice [Re: Virtual1]
joemikeb Online
Moderator

Registered: 08/04/09
Loc: Fort Worth, Texas
Originally Posted By: Virtual1
In an imperfect world, the only justice system that guarantees an innocent person will never be found guilty or punished is the one that lets everyone go.

It's going to happen. It has to happen. All you can do is try to keep the number as small as possible. Either let everyone go free, or accept that at least every rare now and again it's going to affect an innocent.

I agree that perfection is impossible but as there are humans involved that is plainly an impossibility. I wonder what your definition of "very rare" is. Is it a 0.01% error rate, 0.1% 1%, 10%, 20%, what? Certainly if you are innocent any error rate is unacceptable. But even as a citizen given the numbers of people having been and being released from federal and state prisons because they were convicted by "infallible" DNA, ballistic, and other scientific evidence from the vaunted FBI crime labs not to mention a substantial number of highly reputed state and and major municipality crime labs.

In my home county county the district attorney has long employed a staff of some of the best investigators and prosecutors dedicated to being certain the right party is prosecuted and the innocent are not prosecuted. Even with that level of effort there have been erroneous prosecutions and convictions because of improper lab techniques, invalid assumptions or outright prejudices on the part of "expert" witnesses from various agencies, laboratory reliance on out of date and proven invalid analytical techniques, etc. (FWIW most of those errors occurred where state and federal resources were used because of their supposed greater experience with unusual or tricky evidence.)

On the other hand the District Attorney in a neighboring county for decades ran his office on the basis of a conviction rate approaching 100% of cases reaching his office. The current DA is literally having nervous breakdowns attempting to rectify the number of questionable if not flatly erroneous convictions of her predecessor. Part of her angst, I expect, is the number of reversible convictions that involve long since executed persons.
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#41205 - 07/19/16 11:14 AM Re: Retribution ≡ Justice [Re: ryck]
Virtual1 Offline


Registered: 08/04/09
Loc: Iowa
Originally Posted By: ryck
Okay. Using statistics from the U.S. census and the FBI's murder rates from 1990 to 2014 , a Death Penalty Information Centre analysis shows that states without the death penalty have consistently lower murder rates.

Be careful with statistics. Correlation does not mean cause. A very high percentage of dead people were found to have high levels of Dihydrogen Monoxide in their system.

It's basically impossible to suggest a cause based on a single correlation. You really need a control (that stays the same) and a variation (that changes) to see if the observation changes in response to the variable change. You try to minimize the variables and control everything else that might affect the outcome. It would be more helpful to look at states that have enacted or struck down the DP to see how it affected crime. You can't just look at another state with a different DP status, because so many other variables have changed in addition to the DP.
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#41214 - 07/20/16 06:12 AM Re: Retribution ≡ Justice [Re: Virtual1]
Ira L Offline


Registered: 08/13/09
Loc: California
Originally Posted By: Virtual1
Originally Posted By: Ira L
Well, let's also throw into the mix that the justice system is not perfect. So better to execute no one than to execute one innocent person?

In an imperfect world, the only justice system that guarantees an innocent person will never be found guilty or punished is the one that lets everyone go.

It's going to happen. It has to happen. All you can do is try to keep the number as small as possible. Either let everyone go free, or accept that at least every rare now and again it's going to affect an innocent.


Whoa! It is a big step from "don't execute" to "let everyone go free". If there is no death penalty (which does not mean let them go), you will never execute an innocent person. Death (as far as we know) is irreversible. Locking them up is not.
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