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Death Row & Capital Punishment Discussions Discussions relating to inmates on Death Row / facing capital punishment in the United States and abroad that don't fit into any of the other forums

View Poll Results: Which do you think is a tougher penalty?
Life in prison 252 56.25%
Death penalty 196 43.75%
Voters: 448. You may not vote on this poll

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  #51  
Old 04-27-2006, 10:04 AM
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crzyrussel, I agree about LWOP being a harsh punishment, and that the time comes when they may have lost touch with their loved ones, but I cannot agree that DR inmates get all the attention. Most of them we ( general public ) don't know about until it is time for the execution. There may be people who are advocates or even groupies for DR inmates but in my opinion that does not make up for the treatment they receive at the hands of the prison system. Also! I think if you polled the inmates involved they would still choose life over death.
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  #52  
Old 08-01-2006, 03:14 PM
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I totally agree with Atalie.. LWOP is very harsh, but D/R inmates are NOT the centre of attention! There are, admittedly, some very high profile D/R inmates and maybe they do get attention - but there are high profile lifers too.
My man is on Death Row and I know he'd choose life or LWOP in a heartbeat! At least if he's alive there's a chance that circumstances may change.... Remember the old saying - "You're a long time dead...". Life over death anyday!!
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  #53  
Old 08-02-2006, 02:26 AM
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Admittedly I was quite surprised when I saw this thread had been revived. I understand the original poll was over which would be a tougher penalty - Life in prison or the Death Penalty. First off, to torture a cliche; I do not believe in the Death Penalty in any respect.

However something about LWOP doesn't agree with me either. Don't get me wrong, there are some people out there that make me consider it, yet never the Death Penalty. For me LWOP doesn't agree with my own reasoning; locking someone up forever and a day, if you were to do that to someone it is undoubtedly 'punishment,' yet for me still lacks reasoning.

This of course leaves me in a state of stalemate, which I have yet to overcome. As I've already stated; I simply cannot come to grips with shutting someone away from society for the rest of their natural life. For one, as Albert Camus once said:

"To assert in any case that a man must be absolutely cut off from society because he is absolutely evil amounts to saying that society is absolutely good, and no-one in his right mind will believe this today."

I have a feeling the above will not be popular amongst a few people. Yet in stating my opinion, I am not intending to start any form of debate. It has simply been on my mind for a long time now, and I felt now is the right time to express it.

- Ben.
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  #54  
Old 08-02-2006, 06:43 AM
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In my country there is no death penalty, the highest punishment is life - and that is life without parole. This sentence is hardly ever imposed because of the seriousness of it (you send somebody to prison to die there, that's quite something). Currently there are 30 (!) people serving a life sentence in my country. I must add that we have 200 - 250 people permanently locked up (basically for life) in mental penitaries (mental hospitals run by the prison system). Here 99.99% of all criminals are released someday. Of our most violent offenders, for whom we have a special program, 80% is released successfully. Rehabilitation is an option and a realistic one. I say let's use it.

I am against the death penalty because it is my firm conviction that there is one punishment that is worse than any form of punishment humankind can come up with: remorse. From what I gather, people in America generally don't attribute much to it, while the general feeling over here is "they'll have their conscience to live with for the rest of their lives" when we hear of a sentence we feel is too low - even victim's family members.

Many people on Death Row have no time to think about what they've done and become remorseful: they're far too busy fighting for their life and preparing for their own death after they lose their final appeal. That doesn't leave much time for reflection.

People who serve a life sentence on the other hand, have a whole lifetime to think about what they've done, the consequences of what they've done and the pain their crime has caused. As one of my pen pals, who is a lifer, once said in a TV interview: "Every morning I wake up and know that I'm a destroyer of the most precious thing, which is life. And I live with that because that's what I deserve: to wake up every morning and know that."

My pal should've been executed in the 70s already but her sentence was commuted to life (with parole but I doubt she'll ever get paroled as her original sentence was death). If she'd been executed back then, she would've never gotten the insight and the amount of remorse and the living hell she's enduring today. Because back then she was convinced what she did was right and she was ready to die for her convictions.

In my opinion her current sentence did more for her than the original one: it made her realize her mistakes and she's now getting the chance - albeit small - to do something back for society: raising guide dogs for the handicapped, lending her voice for audio books for the blind, and counselling other inmates with drug problems (she had drug problems before her incarceration). Her biggest wish is to go to schools (she's even willing to sit there in a cage if need be) and spread the message about the danger of drugs to teenagers.

I feel that rehabilitation should be acknowledged and that everyone should be given the chance to make a positive change. Even behind bars there are many things inmates can do in order to give some positive things back to society. Killing somebody never solved anything and won't ever make the world a better place.

That's how I look at the whole matter. Thankfully it's not a realistic debate for me as politicians in my country don't even want to discuss it in a hypothetical manner (somebody tried to stir up a 'what if' debate last year), it's simply a non-issue here. And I'm glad and proud to be able to say that.
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  #55  
Old 08-03-2006, 04:55 AM
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I know this is probably a long shot, and will come out of the blue. Perhaps this is just my PTO account giving me the run around? Thought I would go to the direct problem - Although it makes things off topic. Let me explain:

The last post on this thread according to Subscribed Threads is YapYap at Today 08:06 PM (New Zealand time). However I received no e-mail, and when opening this thread the last post on here is from YapYap at 12:43 PM today. I also recall YapYap had posted at 5:30 PM or so earlier.

However as I have said there is no new posts showing up. At first I thought perhaps the post could have been removed, however since it is saying the last post was at 8:06 PM I find this very unlikely.

I am hoping there will be some sort of logical reasoning for these events. Right now I am crossing fingers this post will register, and perhaps solve my original problem. Strange I know.

- Ben.
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  #56  
Old 08-06-2006, 01:15 AM
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I voted that death would have to be worst. I say that because everyday you face the fact that you are going to die. There is no question after all your appeals it's going to happen. To have to go day by day counting down the days that you know you will be killed is the hardest thing in the world to face I would think. Doing a life sentence is hard yes but you still have that wonder when the end will come. The I don't know is still there...death is death and I feel it would be torture to know the exact date and time I was going to die.
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  #57  
Old 08-06-2006, 05:53 PM
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I think that a DS is the worst. But I have my Bf looking at a DS and his brother is looking at LWOP....neither are easier...but I know his brother will be around...my boyfriend...probably not!
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  #58  
Old 08-06-2006, 06:29 PM
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The reason that the latest post is shown later than the time on the actual posting you can read, is that if someone stops by and votes on the poll but doesn't post a message - that is the time that the system will register the latest post as having been received.
So it was someone that voted but didn't post - does that make it all as clear as mud??
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tranquility
I know this is probably a long shot, and will come out of the blue. Perhaps this is just my PTO account giving me the run around? Thought I would go to the direct problem - Although it makes things off topic. Let me explain:

The last post on this thread according to Subscribed Threads is YapYap at Today 08:06 PM (New Zealand time). However I received no e-mail, and when opening this thread the last post on here is from YapYap at 12:43 PM today. I also recall YapYap had posted at 5:30 PM or so earlier.

However as I have said there is no new posts showing up. At first I thought perhaps the post could have been removed, however since it is saying the last post was at 8:06 PM I find this very unlikely.

I am hoping there will be some sort of logical reasoning for these events. Right now I am crossing fingers this post will register, and perhaps solve my original problem. Strange I know.

- Ben.
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  #59  
Old 08-06-2006, 07:34 PM
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Thank you Rach! I remember reading about this from a previous thread some time ago, now after reading your post I'm sitting here thinking 'Why didn't I think of that?' But yes clear as mud it is!

- Ben.
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  #60  
Old 08-13-2006, 11:25 PM
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Please dont get mad at me

From the family point of view it seems the DP would be the harsher sentence. Your family member is still there and you can talk and visit even if it is in a prison.

From the inmate point of view I think it is the life sentence. I think the few moments of joy would never out weigh the bad.

There are so many what if's in this type of situation. I know I would never want to be the one to judge another person. Who am I and I never had to walk in that person's shoes so how could I judge them. I understand that law and order is a must but I also agree it has gone to far. This kill them all and let God sort them out is just not humane. but what do I know I am still trying to figure out at what moment did people stop caring. I am not talking about PTO but society in general.
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  #61  
Old 08-19-2006, 02:24 AM
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Headingthere, I too, would never want to judge the life of another person. As I once posted in another thread, when a jury hands down a death sentence, they are not only sentencing that person to death. At the same time they are also saying they are not fit to live as a human being and be a part of this Earth. Don't worry about the last comment; I am also trying to figure out at what moment people stopped caring. My guess is the day the definition of Justice by some means executing fellow humans. Not to mention putting a price on someone's freedom, and at times their life.

- Ben.
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  #62  
Old 10-06-2006, 07:49 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tranquility
Headingthere, I too, would never want to judge the life of another person. As I once posted in another thread, when a jury hands down a death sentence, they are not only sentencing that person to death. At the same time they are also saying they are not fit to live as a human being and be a part of this Earth. Don't worry about the last comment; I am also trying to figure out at what moment people stopped caring. My guess is the day the definition of Justice by some means executing fellow humans. Not to mention putting a price on someone's freedom, and at times their life.

- Ben.
There is still a lot of care in the world. If you look around you you will set it, at least in the USA. But if you murder somebody you demonstrate that you are unwilling to live by society's rules and should be removed so that you can no longer pose a threat. Do we want to guarantee safety through capital punishment? I personally think that LWOP is a worse punishment and far cheaper. But that is for the people of each country, sate, etc to decide.
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  #63  
Old 10-06-2006, 09:48 AM
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I wonder if juries realize that by sentencing a man or woman to death -- that they are also sentencing the loved ones of the prisoner to the same circumstance as that of victims family?

only this time the murder is most certainly pre-meditated.
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  #64  
Old 12-09-2006, 12:47 PM
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The United States is almost the only country in the developed world that still has the death penalty, and has a higher violent crime rate than any other developed country. Not only does it not act as a deterrent to crime-just the opposite. It contributes to a culture of death and violence that actually creates more violence.

The only people that receive the death penalty in the US are people with no money and lousy lawyers. An advocacy group in the US has succeeded in vindicating 135 people that were sentenced to death, by use of DNA evidence. Many of those people aren't alive any more. And, in fact, the government was totally disinterested in the subject of whether these people were really guilty or not. On top of that, many people in the US that receive a death sentence were convicted on purely circumstantial evidence. The government, courts, and prosecutors really couldn't care less if these people are guilty or innocent anyway. It's mainly an exercise in cowboy justice and in demonstrating how powerful the state is.

An independent candidate that recently ran for governor in Texas (and lost) was in favor of completely rethinking the whole idea of the death penalty in Texas. He asked the question, 'when was the last time Texas executed a rich man?' Everybody knew the answer to that.
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  #65  
Old 12-10-2006, 01:47 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by crzyrussell
But that is for the people of each country, sate, etc to decide.
I'm a person--how about the rest of you?
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  #66  
Old 12-26-2006, 01:18 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BillieJo
I wonder if juries realize that by sentencing a man or woman to death -- that they are also sentencing the loved ones of the prisoner to the same circumstance as that of victims family?

only this time the murder is most certainly pre-meditated.
You can't begin to compare what the defendants family will be going through to that of the victims family. The defendants family will know ahead of time when their loved one will die. They will get to spend time with them beforehand. Most importantly, they will get to say GOOD BYE!

A victims family gets a visit from a police officer to say their loved one is dead.

There's no comparison.

I'm not saying that the defendant's family feels nothing... Of course that's not true. Their pain is far different from that of the victim's family. The defendant's family has had approximately 20 extra years to spend with the defendant...something the victims family never got to have with the victim. It's difficult on both sides of the fence...but don't ever make them sound remotely similar.
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  #67  
Old 01-18-2007, 08:14 AM
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The feeling of grief and loss is the same in both situations, I'm 100% certain of that. Of course the situations are totally incomparable, but the feelings of losing a loved one are always the same. It hurts like hell, and you'll miss your loved one. Every day.

You're right, you can spend more time with your loved one and prepare for his/her death together. But at the same time you have to deal with an extra burden: the knowledge your loved one has taken a life or done something else completely terrible. I think you'll find that virtually all of the condemned people's families and friends will tell you they were absolutely shocked when they heard about it - they probably couldn't believe it at first. That's a tough thing to deal with, and in many ways a punishment. Because people will look at you differently and probably treat you differently too once they know about your loved one. Even though it's something you basically had nothing to do with, you too get judged over it.

On top of that you're punished even more by having your loved one killed in order to pay for the crime (s)he committed. That's tough. Very tough. Especially if you have to deal with angry victim's family members who'll spew venom after the execution, saying your loved one didn't suffer enough to their liking. I don't want to know what it must feel like to go through that.

It's hard to say what's worse and I honestly can't say who we should feel more sorry for. So I feel equally sorry for both and I hope I'll never be in either party's shoes.

BillieJo's question is a fair question to ask in my opinion. Actually, I wonder about it too. And I like to add another question to the list: How much support, help and compassion will the friends and family members of an executed serial killer receive to help them cope with their loss?

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  #68  
Old 01-18-2007, 02:49 PM
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In answer to your question yapyap. in my experience.......there is no support for familys of people that are executed. Sure his friends and family had chance to say goodbye, that does not make it any easier to come to terms with. Regardless of what a person has done please dont forget that they have family and friends that love them, and that love is unconditional, the death penalty just adds another set of victims to the list, and yes i will say that my friends family were victims they did nothing to deserve to sit and watch their son die, and what exactly the state of texas got from that i dont know, is it a safer place? well i'm pretty sure there has been no decline in violent crimes since they killed my friend!
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  #69  
Old 01-20-2007, 02:09 PM
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I voted that the LWOP would be the harsher of two because, like most, I wasn't looking at the whole picture. I was thinking the death penalty itself rather than the whole sentence on DR. It is a bad poll in which the way it's worded and doesn't make you have to stop and think about all aspects before voting. In my opinion, I believe both are extremely harsh sentences to be given out and both should be given a second looking at by our judicial system. Like I said before and will say again this is my opinion and not up for debate..but the only time I truly believe anyone should get either a death or LWOP sentence is if they are such mentally ill,violent,recurrent offenders that they should never be released under any circumstances..perfect example is serial killers who even proudly admit themselves that they have done it numerous times and would do it again if given the chance and who will never show compassion nor remorse for any of it. I know of and have heard of too many people on here dealing with the LWOP or worse sentences for much, much less, some first time offenses,others for alot less than killing someone. These people who are good and remorseful and who would give anything to be released back into society who could/would teach and add back to many communities if only they could/would be given a chance. Broken families that could be pieced back together if only the judicial system could and would not only give these people a second look at their sentence but also take in consideration all the aspects. Not just see people as the animals/worthless individuals that should be locked up and thrown away the key or put to death like society wants them to be portrayed as. Including the victims..I understand that victims want pain..punishment..an eye for an eye..that is human nature but is it not also human nature and christianity in all forms to also show forgiveness, compassion, and understanding as humans as well? Why does people as a society and the system seem to overlook or forget this as well? I think you all get the message and see what I'm saying..it's a war that will never end as long as it continues to be a double edged sword.
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Old 10-10-2008, 03:46 PM
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I didn't vote because that's a tough question. To die gives you no more options. The end. It's over. History. At the same time, it is a means to an end. You suffered prison for however long and went on to a final resting place. To suffer life in prison I think would be horrible. Living, but living inhumanely. Being told what to do when for the remainder of my life? Just my luck, I'd live to be 114. That cold steel bunk and long crib mattress has got to be hella uncomfortable. Talk about bed sores. The scent of prison forever. No true companionship. Yeah, letters, visits, phone calls, but what about when out of the blue I have my emotional breakdown and need someone right then?

Again I say a tough decision. My life is priceless yet life in prison is comparable.
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Old 10-12-2008, 01:23 PM
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Somebody said earlier in this thread that it was "easier" to get the death penalty. I don't see how being strapped to a gurney and put down like a dog in front of a hostile audience is "easy".

I think LWOP is preferable. Humans are surprisingly adaptable and most prisoners will adapt to their environment and make the most of what they've got. What about the 3/4 of the population who have to exist on less than $1.50 per day? They're "free", unlike prisoners, but don't get much chance to enjoy their freedom. They spend most of their time and energy just trying to survive. So would it be a kindness just to put them out of their misery? I don't think so, and I don't think they'd think so either. We have an amazing will and are genetically programmed to survive, and we make what we can out of the life we have. LWOP is definitely the preferable option to death.
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Old 10-17-2008, 06:44 AM
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I couldn't decide, which was worse. And here's why: One way or another, if you've got either sentence, you're screwed out of your basic desire to live free. On the one hand, the death penalty is a mercy considering how 'free' freedom is becoming lately... note the sarcasm there.

On the other hand, life without parole is no picnic either. Because it messes with your head, being THAT close to people for years on end, in an enclosed space.

Hell... if I could re-design the justice system, I'd suggest penal colonies. A sort-of free-range prison system, where prisoners could have their own concept of society... just so long as it's without contact to the 'main' society that condemns them in the first place. In some ways, I'd consider that a blessing more than a punishment. Because some of these laws today... oy. I mean, they do free-range for animals like chickens... and they give a little habitat for animals in some ZOOS... couldn't prisoners be treated at LEAST as humanely as some chickens I know...?
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  #73  
Old 11-07-2008, 02:09 PM
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I believe in neither of the two. This life without parole is no alternative. Unless you are a sort of sick person or serial killer, then there should be places for people like that where they can stay, some kind of institution and then for the rest of them, depending on the kind of crime they committed they need to be sentenced to a certain amount of time and after that they should be free again. This whole attitude of saying they are outcasts for the rest of their lives has to be re-considered. Countries in Europe and other parts of the world are having the same kind of criminals that America has and there is no such a question that a person should become an outcast because they have once committed a crime. With the exception of those who have a prognosis that will let them do the same crime over and over again and they need to be kept away from society of course. But America has the same attitude concerning animals. If they are not picked up by someone then they are put to sleep after a certain time. I have no idea why some people in America claim that what is working for us cannot work for them. And most of all why they are defending what they do within the Christian religion. We are all Christians and the message is that God has loved mankind enough to send his son to take away the sins from those that believe in him and he has not wanted revenge and things like that. I would imagine the Bible is the same everywhere. So this is just the way I feel about it.
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Old 11-10-2008, 05:35 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Retired-10 View Post
I just saw this poll on cnn.com. Without hesitating, I voted that the death penalty was the harsher sentence. You lose your life! That seemed like common sense to me, at least. To see the current results on the cnn.com poll be - 62% life in prison and 38% death penalty - I was shocked! I wanted to get a PTOers take on this so I created the same poll here.

Personally, I do support the death penalty in certain cases...serial killers, situations where there's a "smoking gun"...but NOT in situations like the Scott Peterson case where everything is so circumstantial.

I'm very interested in hearing everyones response!
I think this quote is very interesting because if you're keeping track with PTO's poll, the stats are about the same...
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  #75  
Old 12-05-2008, 09:33 PM
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The death penalty, in my mind, would be harsher: it's the ultimate sentence. First of all, if there's still life, there's hope. Once an innocent person is executed, you can't bring them back to life and say, "Oops! We made a mistake!"

God said, "Thou shalt not kill." Even if a convicted murderer breaks that commandment, two wrongs don't make a right. I believe that commandment applies to all, including the prison officials who carry out executions. One does not justify the other.
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