Law School Discussion

Poll

The jury recommended the death penalty in the Scott Peterson case today.  How do you feel about the verdict?

I think he should fry.
I think he should have been sentenced to life.
Not sure.

Scott Peterson Death Penalty Poll

klasyk gyrl

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Re: Scott Peterson Death Penalty Poll
« Reply #50 on: December 16, 2004, 01:23:22 PM »
if running a red light led to an execution, i think you'd see a lot less of that.

actually you would induce murder in that anytime someone ran a red light if he thought he'd be executed for it he'd try to kill any witnesses right then and there because he has nothing to lose by killing them and everything to gain.

(this is actually an issue economists have addressed when approaching the law)

though i agree, to a certain extent execution does, in theory, act as a deterrant and is valuable in preventing crime.  the problem is that in practice, with many other, often unanticipated variables, it may have no impact, or an impact opposite of that intended.

economist approach huh. interesting. but looking at the investment being made i wonder if the time and energy needed to kill all witnesses of this would lead to the outcome of more dead bodies. unless people drove around with an automatic in the backseat of course. 

trogdor

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Re: Scott Peterson Death Penalty Poll
« Reply #51 on: December 16, 2004, 01:26:50 PM »
He deserves what he gets, but he deserves worse than just dying and wasting all of my tax dollars. The Bible doesn't say, "Thou shalt not rape;" however, it does say, "Thou shalt not kill." I don't believe institutionalized killing is different than criminal killing. I also believe that we shouldn't play God. Deciding when someone should die is playing God.

actually, it doesn't save tax dollars.  by the time they sit in jail and have countless appeals, more of your precious tax dollars are spent than life in prison.  

and the rape comment is appalling.  while it may not say specifically, "thou shalt not rape", i can't imagine you actually think that it's okay for people to rape each other.  i certainly hope you're joking.  

amelus

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Re: Scott Peterson Death Penalty Poll
« Reply #52 on: December 16, 2004, 01:45:45 PM »
if running a red light led to an execution, i think you'd see a lot less of that.

actually you would induce murder in that anytime someone ran a red light if he thought he'd be executed for it he'd try to kill any witnesses right then and there because he has nothing to lose by killing them and everything to gain.

(this is actually an issue economists have addressed when approaching the law)

though i agree, to a certain extent execution does, in theory, act as a deterrant and is valuable in preventing crime.  the problem is that in practice, with many other, often unanticipated variables, it may have no impact, or an impact opposite of that intended.

economist approach huh. interesting. but looking at the investment being made i wonder if the time and energy needed to kill all witnesses of this would lead to the outcome of more dead bodies. unless people drove around with an automatic in the backseat of course. 

lol.  i agree in your stated case of when to execute the streets might get a little messy!  but you would never want anyone proposing that we execute for traffic violations because seems punishment too much for crime.

how about something people do consider giving the death penalty.  armed robbery.  now if the purported reason for giving the death penalty is to act as a deterrant then it fails miserably.  the idea would be that someone knows beforehand if he tries to commit armed robbery and is caught he will be executed. this should stop people from committing armed robbery.  however, those who do commit armed robbery will now have ZERO incentive to leave anyone who sees them, be it in a bank or in an alley mugging, alive.  they will have al lthe incentive in the world to kill them.

this is the idea of unintended consequences as it relates to the death penalty as a deterrant.  again, doesnt prove that death penalty is useless as a deterrant, only that the idea of figuring out when, where, how etc... is a lot more complicated than proponents make it seem.

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Re: Scott Peterson Death Penalty Poll
« Reply #53 on: December 16, 2004, 01:46:06 PM »
I think that rape is wrong. I was just stating that it wasn't flat out said. Many experts say that death costs more than life because death has a lot more appeals. Those appeals are also more lengthy and expensive.

Re: Scott Peterson Death Penalty Poll
« Reply #54 on: December 16, 2004, 02:03:46 PM »
as far as death as a deterrent, i think it's somewhat valid. if running a red light led to an execution, i think you'd see a lot less of that.

Well, no, it is not valid, whatever your personal opinion is on the subject.  Countries with the death penalty tend to have more violence and higher recidivism rates in pretty much all cases.  There is exactly zero proof to suggest death penalty deters.

amarain

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Re: Scott Peterson Death Penalty Poll
« Reply #55 on: December 16, 2004, 02:06:01 PM »
as far as death as a deterrent, i think it's somewhat valid. if running a red light led to an execution, i think you'd see a lot less of that.

Well, no, it is not valid, whatever your personal opinion is on the subject.  Countries with the death penalty tend to have more violence and higher recidivism rates in pretty much all cases.  There is exactly zero proof to suggest death penalty deters.

While I agree that the death penalty does not deter ( or at least there is no evidence for that), couldn't it be true that there other factors that lead to those countries having higher crime and recidivism rates? Isn't it possible that those rates would be even higher without the death penalty? I'm not saying that they would necessarily, but we don't know for sure.

Re: Scott Peterson Death Penalty Poll
« Reply #56 on: December 16, 2004, 02:10:16 PM »
While I agree that the death penalty does not deter ( or at least there is no evidence for that), couldn't it be true that there other factors that lead to those countries having higher crime and recidivism rates? Isn't it possible that those rates would be even higher without the death penalty? I'm not saying that they would necessarily, but we don't know for sure.

While it is 100% true that in social sciences it is impossible to find direct causation, here's an interesting stat: countries that ABOLISH the death penalty tend to experience a drop in violent crime following this action.  If death penalty deters, it really should be the opposite.

amarain

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Re: Scott Peterson Death Penalty Poll
« Reply #57 on: December 16, 2004, 02:14:50 PM »
While I agree that the death penalty does not deter ( or at least there is no evidence for that), couldn't it be true that there other factors that lead to those countries having higher crime and recidivism rates? Isn't it possible that those rates would be even higher without the death penalty? I'm not saying that they would necessarily, but we don't know for sure.

While it is 100% true that in social sciences it is impossible to find direct causation, here's an interesting stat: countries that ABOLISH the death penalty tend to experience a drop in violent crime following this action.  If death penalty deters, it really should be the opposite.

Hmm...that is interesting. Which countries have seen this happen?

I'm really kind of torn on the death penalty issue. I used to be strongly against it until I ended up closely following one case that, for some reason, affected me very personally. I just could not fathom any reason why this particular person should not be executed and removed from society permanently. And so, I have reconsidered my position on that issue. But even so, I see that there are compelling arguments on each side.

Re: Scott Peterson Death Penalty Poll
« Reply #58 on: December 16, 2004, 02:30:35 PM »
I'm really kind of torn on the death penalty issue. I used to be strongly against it until I ended up closely following one case that, for some reason, affected me very personally. I just could not fathom any reason why this particular person should not be executed and removed from society permanently. And so, I have reconsidered my position on that issue. But even so, I see that there are compelling arguments on each side.

Well, Canada for one ;)

Death penalty was abolished in 1976, following an extremely violent era from about 1973-76.  Every year since then, murder and violent crime has dropped--starting immidietely from the abolishment.

A good book to read on the issue is: Deterrence, Brutalization, and the Death Penalty.

buster

Re: Scott Peterson Death Penalty Poll
« Reply #59 on: December 16, 2004, 02:34:19 PM »
I predict that by the time of my LSD retirement you will have made up your mind to flatly oppose the death penalty.  ;)

I'm really kind of torn on the death penalty issue. I used to be strongly against it until I ended up closely following one case that, for some reason, affected me very personally. I just could not fathom any reason why this particular person should not be executed and removed from society permanently. And so, I have reconsidered my position on that issue. But even so, I see that there are compelling arguments on each side.