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     Tuesday Mar 6 11:07 AM



From Texas's death row, the table on which people are strapped to die.

What this makes me think is: what if a really short person is on the table? Their legs won't reach so far, maybe their arms stick out awkwardly, not right along the bar, and the straps only reach their wrists. Instead of the clean, normal-looking death chamber you have things that remind us of our uniqueness, our humanity.



  Tuesday Mar 6 12:18 PM

Question: Am I the only one who sees the similarity between this and one of Theseus' trials on the road to Athens?

Just checking.

~Mike



  Tuesday Mar 6 01:44 PM

Odd as it may be for a Traditional Jew to point this out...

It seems to me that someone strapped into this contraption would almost appear to be being horizontally crucified.

And has anyone else noted the irony that many members of the Christian religious right are in favor of the death penalty, when that is precisely how Jesus died?

As I said, it's ironc tat I, of all people, would note the above,
Z



  Wednesday Mar 7 11:19 AM

Adam, what's that supposed to mean, exactly?

Bear in mind, I'm not defending the Right (I divert from them in many a form, and I'm a Christian myself on top of it) but I just want to know as to what point you're trying to make.

It might be the light-headedness (haven't eaten yet today, damned school and it's "here's the homework, but I'm sure as hell not going to teach you how to do it."), but I'm not firing all cylinders. I'd appreciate an explanation.

(Bets himself 5 bucks he'll have figured it out after lunch.)


~Mike



elSicomoro  Thursday Mar 8 01:27 AM

I personally believe that the death penalty may be the most useless punishment ever devised by man. But in regards to the points made above, what exactly is CRUEL and UNUSUAL punishment? I find that contraption to be rather degrading to a person's dignity. To me, lethal injection, while not as cruel as the electric chair, is a power trip for families of victims. Sort of the "Yeah, we've got you by the balls now!". No offense to the families of victims, but the whole "eye for an eye" thing hasn't changed things much over several thousand years, so perhaps we should look at alternatives...



  Thursday Mar 8 04:39 PM

"Eye for an eye" doesn't work in everyday life (A hurts B, B hurts A back in similar fashion, A[the schmuck that he is] doesn't know enough to prevent B's retaliatory strike in the first place, or realize all things are even now, and as such, strikes back. Repeat process.), but in punishmental form, I feel it works. If someone killed my brother or my friend, I'd want justice. The way the system works is laughable and in such a case, only immediate justice would suffice.

And IMO, victims' families deserve a power trip (known as "closure" in the psychiatric world) in such cases. If anything, I would bring back public executions. In old times, publicly executing someone had a twofold purpose:

  • Bring closure to relatives of the condemned's victim(s)
  • Demonstrate to the general populace that the justice system does work, and that there will be serious punishment for the violation of a serious law.

(And before anyone gets any ideas, I know McVeigh wants his execution televised, and no I wouldn't permit it simply because he wants it to happen, which means he's planning something.)

Continuing, I don't expect this to happen because this is a situation that could only happen in a perfect world. The American justice system is based purely on opinion and instinct, not on fact. If the prosecution paints a better picture than the defense, the accused is convicted. Vice versa, the accused goes free.

As such, I'm not such a capital punishment enthusiast that I would turn my ideas loose on such a system. We ARE talking about a human life, and if it is to be taken, we should be damned sure that it deserves to be. Public opinion is far too rickety a thing to lay so heavy a burden upon.

~Mike





  Thursday Mar 8 09:51 PM

Re: 3/6: TX death row

Quote:
Originally posted by Chewbaccus
As such, I'm not such a capital punishment enthusiast that I would turn my ideas loose on such a system. We ARE talking about a human life, and if it is to be taken, we should be damned sure that it deserves to be. Public opinion is far too rickety a thing to lay so heavy a burden upon.
I once had nothing above to disagree with. Then I saw PBS Frontline that concentrated in particular on a TX legal system. That after reading same from other sources changed my mind. The above is correct, in theory. But the practical application is seriously flawed - especially the part where prosecutors routinely try to stifle and obstruct 'after conviction' evidence, trials where the defense attorney actually sleeps in court and an appeals court has no problem with that fact, and cases where the convicted man has been found not guilty when he finally does gets cooperation from a DA.



elSicomoro  Thursday Mar 8 10:27 PM

[quote]Originally posted by Chewbaccus
If someone killed my brother or my friend, I'd want justice. The way the system works is laughable and in such a case, only immediate justice would suffice.

I would agree to that. I don't deny that there are times when I see crimes so gruesome that I think they deserve death. The whole "speedy trial" concept has disappeared as well, which I feel is a disservice to both the victim's family and the suspect.

And IMO, victims' families deserve a power trip (known as "closure" in the psychiatric world) in such cases. If anything, I would bring back public executions.

My only complaint against that is that nothing can bring back the victim or take away the crime. I also question just how healthy the death penalty is in relation to closure.

In old times, publicly executing someone had a twofold purpose:

  • Bring closure to relatives of the condemned's victim(s)
  • Demonstrate to the general populace that the justice system does work, and that there will be serious punishment for the violation of a serious law.


I must admit that I'm for public humiliation of convicted criminals (see my remarks on Mardi Gras). Although, truth be told, my ideas may violate people's civil rights. ;-)

Unfortunately, while the times have changed, the way we handle people involved in crimes has not changed much. I'd even say it's gotten worse. Our society focuses too much on punishment and not enough on rehabilitation. Given the proper resources (money, people, and time), I do believe that the majority of criminals could be rehabilitated. (Not all though...some are simply bad seeds from day one.)

(And before anyone gets any ideas, I know McVeigh wants his execution televised, and no I wouldn't permit it simply because he wants it to happen, which means he's planning something.)

I would, for one major reason--he is quite possibly the most hated criminal in American Society. I think a lot of people would watch...but not on a major network. PBS...simple...to the point. (If I recall, PBS tried to televise a live execution once, but something stopped it.)

As such, I'm not such a capital punishment enthusiast that I would turn my ideas loose on such a system. We ARE talking about a human life, and if it is to be taken, we should be damned sure that it deserves to be. Public opinion is far too rickety a thing to lay so heavy a burden upon.

I don't Joe Q. Public really thinks about the death penalty on a wider scope. They see this--man kills woman in vicious beating. Man is considered vile and should be punished. Guilty until proven innocent.

I applauded Illinois when they put a moratorium on the death penalty. There have been too many close calls in recent years across this country. I realize that we can never be 100% sure, but I think we could at least be 99.9% sure. Not to mention, while some may complain about the cost of a prisoner for a year, I'd like to think that it's money well spent--the man has to sit there for years...tortured by thoughts of something he did, facing assault, rape, and death on a daily basis. To me, it's worth $30,000 per year.

--
"Blame God...how can you lose?"--David Byrne
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