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-s/<itzo-
01-23-2003, 03:16 PM
The governor of Illinois, just days before leaving office, has cleared the state's death row and commuted the death sentences of 167 inmates. Did he do the right thing or should he have reviewed each on a case by case basis. The families of the victims are furious - anti-death penalty activists are elated. What are your thoughts?

Breton
01-23-2003, 04:12 PM
Since I am against death penalty anyway, then I guess this is kind of nice, as long as the criminals still get a long time in jail. Don't really care about the familys, if they honestly wants death over another human being, they are rather bloodthirsty and inhuman, IMO.

C'jais
01-23-2003, 04:20 PM
There is a fine line between Justice and Vengeance.

It is hypocritical in the utmost extreme to go by the old biblical wisdom -"an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth".

Keep them locked up. Make them regret their actions for a long time. Psychic punishment is a fate worse than death.

-s/<itzo-
01-23-2003, 06:13 PM
Personally, I am very pleased with former Governor Ryan's decision. Considering all of the problems Illinois has with false confessions, botched investigations etc.. it was the only reasonable thing to do.

Gov. Ryan has stated that his committee has reviewed these cases over the past 3 years. I feel that the general conclusion was that the death penalty application was so flawed that the best course of action was to reduce the sentences to life without parole, which is what most received.

On the issue of punishment, it depends, I suppose, on what we define as punishment. To me, a penal code should do two things - first, protect general society from criminals, and second, to provide a deterrent against crime. That is justice. Getting even with criminals, eye-for-an-eye justice, and revenge should have no place in a modern society. Capital punishment has been shown NOT to be a deterrent, and a properly controlled prison can proctect society from the criminal. Capital punishment is a legally sanctioned homicide. Do we, as a society, have the right to take a human life, or is that the responsibility of some higher power?

ET Warrior
01-24-2003, 11:59 AM
I think the death penalty is bad....it just doesn't seem to do anything. Murder still happens in states with the death penalty.

The only problem with life sentences is the cost of keeping inmates in prison for life causes increased taxes for the law-abiding citizens..........but i agree with that former governors decision.

griff38
01-24-2003, 03:51 PM
I have had a hard time with this one. I am against the death penalty and think that comuting all the sentences on the roster was a good idea. None of them will ever get out of jail. And I guarantee you they are ALL gonna die, eventually.

But I have read Governor Ryan's decision was not motivated by his desire to perfom justice, but to save his ass. He is in alot of trouble for a wide range of offenses during his administration. And this will at least give him a smoke screen while he gets out.

Back to your question, I think the death penalty should be allowed in certain rare situations.

Syfo-Dyas
01-24-2003, 07:45 PM
I honestly figured there would be screaming for blood, and Ryan's head on a stake. Instead, I find a lot -if not all- who have posted to be against the death penalty...

These ARE violent games we're playing here, right? Aren't we supposed to be influenced by all of the killing and dismemberment in JO and similar games that we all would not only be in favor of the death penalty, but would want to have front row season tickets to the executions!?!?

I live in Illinois, so I guess I'm affected by this more than most. I personally am not in favor of the death penalty. I have ethical problems with it. But ethical issues aside, does the death penalty work?

I thought the idea behind it was that people wouldn't commit murders because they would be afraid of being put to death... Has it worked? In prior history, we certainly have found some creative ways of dealing criminal execution. Has any of that worked? Not really...

So what's the point in executing them, and isn't one execution of an innocent person, one too many?

I agree with what Ryan did. None of those criminals will be released into society again -they just won't be executed. I support the right of the families to be outraged by this -I would be too, if my child or wife had been murdered by one of these people. But a life for a life equals two lives lost... There is no restitution... There is no resolve...

I question our entire notion of 'punishment'. I don't see it working. Although I am in favor of rehabilitating criminals, I also feel that rehabilitation is a LIFELONG process. Too many people are released only to offend again. Some people just cannot handle freedom: They can't fight temptation. They can't control their obsessions. I really don't get the impression that Jeffery Daumer<sp?> was a bad person. But I DO think he was a sick person, with a very bad obsession. That didn't make him evil, but the things he did were evil. Now that he's been locked away -and killed by another inmate-, we'll never have a chance to get inside him and understand what drove him to do those things. Hence, we'll have less insight to aid us in avoiding future killings of that sort.

I feel that, as a society we owe it to ourselves to NEVER give up on people -even people whom we know will never walk the streets free again. We should NEVER discard people. It's a matter of principle. People are valuable and have potential, and it is in our best interest to see to it that each person reaches their full potential -even at great expense. Why? Simple. It's the RIGHT thing to do.

Just my thoughts on this

XWING5
01-24-2003, 08:04 PM
Originally posted by Cjais
There is a fine line between Justice and Vengeance.

Keep them locked up. Make them regret their actions for a long time. Psychic punishment is a fate worse than death.

The way Al Capone regretted his decision while he was watching color tv, sleeping in a hotel type cell, chatting with friends on the outside, getting his conjugal visits? Some of these lifers nowadays get more than that. Do you really think Charles Manson is regretting anything? He hardly seems to know what is going on. Ted Bundy? If anyone deserved to die for their crimes, it would be this guy. Not to get into a death penalty debate here, but I for one think the decision was wrong. I too have heard that there were ulterior motives for his decision, though I ceertainly don't know for sure. I do know that he promised some of the families that those inmates would not have their sentences commuted. He lied to them and they were understandably hurt.

And I would hardly consider those families "bloodthirsty." The anger and hurt can't even be imagined by me or anyone else who has never been in that situation. They want those criminals to pay for what they did, rather than the families ending up paying for the prisoners room and board in already over-crowded prisons. If some of them are innocent, then they should be set free, but the state should have taken more time to study these cases individually. Gov. Ryan and his staff just got lazy and decided mass pardons were the way to go. :tsk:

Taos
01-25-2003, 01:08 AM
Even though I'm not as much in favor of the death penalty as I once was......I think it's irresponsible of the governor to do that. He should have had those cases reviewed and then decided on a case by case basis.

Syfo-Dyas
01-25-2003, 01:33 AM
Originally posted by XWING5
The way Al Capone regretted his decision while he was watching color tv, sleeping in a hotel type cell, chatting with friends on the outside, getting his conjugal visits?

I don't think they had color TV yet during that time, but that's beside the point. Are you implying that Capone was happy being locked up?

Originally posted by XWING5
Some of these lifers nowadays get more than that. Do you really think Charles Manson is regretting anything? He hardly seems to know what is going on

Manson is insane, of course he wouldn't know what is going on -his perspective is totaly skewed.

Is he regretting anything? No. He is buried deep delusions, denials, and rationalizations. He was the abused son of a drug addicted street whore. He has no clue which end is up.

Originally posted by XWING5
Ted Bundy? If anyone deserved to die for their crimes, it would be this guy.
From what I know of Bundy, yes, I think he possibly has regret for the lives he took. If I remember correctly, he offered his unique perspective as a serial killer to help stop the Zodiac Killer. The case remains unsolved, but it was worth a try. What was Bundy's interest in doing that? It wasn't going to profit him in anyway... Now does that mean that he could be set free? That he would never kill again? No. He knows he would kill again if he had the chance. He's criminally insane. He's a very intelligent man. He knows these things.

Originally posted by XWING5
Not to get into a death penalty debate here, but I for one think the decision was wrong. I too have heard that there were ulterior motives for his decision, though I ceertainly don't know for sure.

I don't know if there were or not -though I don't know what it could be.
But it doesn't surprise me to hear that people are saying that. I hear it all the time. Everything is always a BIG smokescreen to hide the truth about the secret conspiracy. Who really knows anything about anything anymore?

I personally think he acted out of a personal ethic, that he was in the unique position to be able to make a change that nobody else could really do, and felt that if per chance one innocent person should be put to death because he failed to act, that their blood would be on his hands.

What would you do? Could you allow a person to be put death if you had the power to stop it and you knew there was less than a 100% chance that they actually commited the crime?
Could you sleep at night if you allowed it to happen and later found out they got the wrong guy?
It's happend before...


Originally posted by XWING5
And I would hardly consider those families "bloodthirsty." The anger and hurt can't even be imagined by me or anyone else who has never been in that situation.

Agreed. Having someone close to you be murdered -often for such senseless reasons- is a pain I cannot imagine, and one I hope and pray I never have to bare.
I don't begrudge those families one ounce of their pain, anger, or desire for vengence.


Originally posted by XWING5
They want those criminals to pay for what they did

And I would agree with that too, if there were a way.
If someone steals from me, fine. Pay me back. You might even compensate me for disrupting my life.
But this??? How does one pay for taking a life?
By giving their own life?
It makes sense, except that it isn't a repayment.

The truth is that there IS no way to pay for a crime like that. A life is a priceless irreplaceable thing. All of the treasures in the world, and a million criminal executions will not pay for the loss of one innocent life -it's not even a partial downpayment.

The conclusion? You have no option but to take the loss and endure the pain. Is it fair? Hell no, it's not fair! But that's reality. You mourn the loss, you carry the memory in your heart, and you move on. That is all you can do.

Yes, they want the offender to pay for their crime. But until we can find a way to resurrect the dead, what the families want will remain something they cannot have -no matter how much they deserve it. That's the sad cold truth.

Originally posted by XWING5
ending up paying for the prisoners room and board in already over-crowded prisons.

Room and board in overcrowded prisons is the price we as a society pay for having criminals. We can't let them roam free -they have to be put somewhere. Prisons are where we keep them. They are expensive. But they'll still be overcrowded and expensive with or without a death row.

Perhaps a better strategy would be to learn from our criminals and develop ways to help ensure that other's don't end up committing the same crimes. Thus decreasing the prison population and the number of crimes that are being committed.

And this already happens in limited forms. But a sustainable solution won't happen until we as a society start to acknowledge that people are not things that can be discarded... That mentally ill homeless people aren't funny to look at from our car window... That wealthy Enron execs don't deserve special consideration for their crimes, just because they're obscenly rich white guys... That it's wrong to be greedy or arrogent... That it's not okay to lie... That every life is sacred and priceless and worth society's investment -even the poor bastard child in the ghetto; and even the hardened criminal.

Until we as a society come to the realization that we live in an imperfect world, but that we still must strive to do what is right, we will always have the expensive burden of finding places to store those who cannot live in our society.

C'jais
01-25-2003, 11:49 AM
"Let he that is without sin cast the first stone..."

Put yourself in the shoes of the person who has just got his loved one murdered. Would you without a moment of hesitation kill the criminal who had done it?

Now put yourself in the shoes of the criminal - Hard to imagine, and undoubtedly takes a lot of empathy. Would you regret your decision to kill that person? In hindsight, would you still have killed him given the same scenario? Would you try to reach out to the family and achieve some sort of forgiveness? Do you think the family would want that?

I honestly don't think that the relatives of the victim will feel any better by getting their petty vengeance.

I honestly believe that for us to co-exist peacefully, we'll have to learn to forgive, not to deal out death and hatred. Those saying that the death sentence promotes a more peaceful, relaxed society haven't even begun to grasp the concept of a peace.

XWING5
01-25-2003, 02:48 PM
Originally posted by Syfo-Dyas
I don't think they had color TV yet during that time.....

Ummmm....yeah, I uh, knew that. My bad.


From what I know of Bundy, yes, I think he possibly has regret for the lives he took. If I remember correctly, he offered his unique perspective as a serial killer to help stop the Zodiac Killer. The case remains unsolved, but it was worth a try. What was Bundy's interest in doing that? It wasn't going to profit him in anyway... Now does that mean that he could be set free? That he would never kill again? No. He knows he would kill again if he had the chance. He's criminally insane. He's a very intelligent man. He knows these things.

After reading a coupla books on Bundy and interviews he gave, this guy was all about himself. Arrogant and at times, a spotlight grabber. I do believe he had selfish motives for trying to help the police. It put him is the papers again.

I don't know if there were or not -though I don't know what it could be.
But it doesn't surprise me to hear that people are saying that. I hear it all the time. Everything is always a BIG smokescreen to hide the truth about the secret conspiracy. Who really knows anything about anything anymore?

Like I say, I don't know the Governor's true motives behind his decision, which is why I said that I have just heard it. It just seems peculiar for someone pro-death penalty to change his mind. I just think he could have examined case by case rather than just taking the easy way out.


What would you do? Could you allow a person to be put death if you had the power to stop it and you knew there was less than a 100% chance that they actually commited the crime?
Could you sleep at night if you allowed it to happen and later found out they got the wrong guy?

Absolutely not. I wouldn't want a substitute, I would want the actual offender. But if I knew that he was the one, I would sleep very well.

Room and board in overcrowded prisons is the price we as a society pay for having criminals.

Sounds like mass punishment. You guys screwed up, so even though I am doing the right thing, let me help you get settled in there so that you can regret things. Or not, depending on what you think about it all, given your mental state.

Perhaps a better strategy would be to learn from our criminals and develop ways to help ensure that other's don't end up committing the same crimes.

That will never happen. You can't stop crimes commited by others. People are just too different. You cited Bundy trying to help, but in the end it didn't. Manson, Gacy, Dahmer, etc. They can't explain it, because if they could, they would hopefully be smart enough to know not to do it.

That mentally ill homeless people aren't funny to look at from our car window... That wealthy Enron execs don't deserve special consideration for their crimes, just because they're obscenly rich white guys... That it's wrong to be greedy or arrogent... That it's not okay to lie... That every life is sacred and priceless and worth society's investment -even the poor bastard child in the ghetto; and even the hardened criminal.

No they are not.......No they don't.......sure..... tell that to Gov. Ryan..... it certainly is...... and I respect your opinions, but I disagree.

Breton
01-25-2003, 07:54 PM
Originally posted by XWING5

And I would hardly consider those families "bloodthirsty." The anger and hurt can't even be imagined by me or anyone else who has never been in that situation.

Well, I was primely talking about those famylies who actually watches the execution. That's sick.

And I am sure the famylies of the victims feel a lot of sadness, but the problem is that they turn this sadness to anger and hate, and, as Yoda states in ep1, this leads to suffering. Also, have you heard about "two wrongs don't make one right"? Killing a killer won't bring the victim back to life, instead it will cause even more misery, since most likely, the killer has a family.

Edit: Yay, I'm a sith!

ET Warrior
01-25-2003, 08:14 PM
Why do we kill people who kill people to show that killing people is wrong?

Andy867
01-28-2003, 11:14 AM
it goes back to the time of the Babylonians and middle-eastern cultures. They coined the term Eye for an eye. For those who dont know that phrase, it means if you steal, you will lose your hand. If you kill someone, you lose your life. And things along that line. The U.S. sees it was a way to stop the killing which will never be possible. But since I live in IL, i have to hear about the former Governor's decision, which for the most part, I think is wrong. I agree with those who said that when this story first broke, each case should have been assigned to special investigative teams to determine based on the results of that person's trial and evidence if they should still remain on death row, or have their sentence made less severe to say life in jail with no chance of parole, which obviously, EVERY death row inmate received eventually. So instead of spending a few thousand dollars on a one-time basis, we the tax payers are having to shell out money to keep these prisoners alive and in better health, and provide them with food, water, and even a place to exercise.