Social Question

LornaLove's avatar

Would you feel better if someone was put to death?

Asked by LornaLove (6460 points ) April 16th, 2014

The death penalty is a contentious issue for many reasons. If you watch people on death row awaiting the death sentence you do often get an insight to their own issues.

There is also the idea that no matter who ends life is really a murderer aren’t they? Even if it is the state who does it.

Watching a death row program I was stunned at a girl who was brutally attacked and shot say on the hour of her perpetrators execution: “Oh well that is that sorted out, let’s go and get McDonalds”.

If the crime came close to you, your family or friends, would you eat a burger afterward? Would you be the type to seek a dialogue with the criminal? Looking for an apology instead? What about rehabilitation? Or is it simply heads-off is the best route?

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38 Answers

Coloma's avatar

All I know is I wouldn’t want anyones blood on my hands. I pray I am never called to jury duty involving the death penalty.

whitenoise's avatar

Death penalty is wrong in so many ways…

China, Saudi Arabia, Iran… Nice to be among them?

Cruiser's avatar

In defense of the girl, by the time most executions actually take place years have gone by and gives people plenty of time to reconcile the criminals execution and I would assume many are indeed relieved the ordeal is now finally over.

jtvoar16's avatar

The death penalty would be great… if we actually used it. So many of the people on death row just sit there until they die of a natural death.
I have no problem with the death penalty. The way I see it, if you have done something so heinous as to warrant death, then you stop being human, you stop being important, and you stop being worth something, and thus, should be removed from the populace. So who cares if the state does it, or some inmate? Death, and by proxy murder, is natural. Yes, we have constructed a society here in America, that denounces such a aspect of life, and rightfully so. However, there will be those people, in any generation, in any culture, in any society, they will trespass upon the most basic and moral human rights we have established. They are scum, they are worthless, and they don’t deserve to be called human, or even treated that way.

Darth_Algar's avatar

@jtvoar16

How trusting are you of the government?

Symbeline's avatar

I wouldn’t feel better. Putting a criminal to death is barely even cutting the leaves, it doesn’t get to the root of the problem. No matter how many you kill, it won’t stop murderers and rapists from existing. Nor will doing so bring back the victims, or fix what has been done to them if they’re still alive.

The idea of justice is to protect people, at least in definition. Therefore, if a dangerous criminal is locked up for life, I have no problem with this. (although I understand that killing them costs way less on tax payers than it does to keep them fed in prison for years)

I wouldn’t feel better because it isn’t a solution, certainly not a long term one. Crime is something so deeply rooted in societies that no one will ever be able to stop it. The only person in history I’ve heard that managed to have a peaceful kingdom was Vlad the Impaler, and he did it through fear. No one would dare commit any crime for fear of what would be done to them if they were caught. I’m not entirely sure people would want to live under such rules though.
Coming back to today, I feel that the death sentence is like giving meat to a pack of raging wolves, it’s an action done to appease a mob brandishing pitchforks and torches, and gives us the illusion that justice has a steady hand on issues, but it does not.

Having said all that, I will not celebrate the death of a convict, however if a rapist or murderer is given the death sentence, in my personal feelings, I won’t feel sorry for them, either. Otherwise this is hard to answer, as nothing has been done to me that put me in a situation where I would have to think about what is being done to my assailant. I can only armchair it. (hopefully it stays that way)

Hypocrisy_Central's avatar

No, it is a travesty.

Darth_Algar's avatar

@Symbeline “although I understand that killing them costs way less on tax payers than it does to keep them fed in prison for years”

Actually the death penalty costs tax payers a hell of a lot more than housing them for life.

Symbeline's avatar

@Darth_Algar Really? I did not know this. How do they kill people on death row, injection probably? Must be some pretty expensive chemicals. :/

Seek's avatar

I am opposed to the death penalty in all cases.

However, I do like the idea of old-fashioned exile.

Symbeline's avatar

@Seek Heh, not related really but. Read an interview in a magazine once, some famous serial killer, forgot the name though lol. He was interviewed in jail, where he will stay until the end of his days. The last question he was asked in the interview was, if you were set free, what would you do? The killer says, I’d probably find my own island and just stay there. I wouldn’t bother anyone. Unless they came on my island.

Probably shouldn’t find that funny, but I did.

zenvelo's avatar

I am opposed to the death penalty.

Pachy's avatar

I’ve struggled with this question all my life. On the one hand, I believe it’s morally wrong to kill another human being. On the other, I believe nothing less than that is sufficient punishment for people who commit brutal crimes like premeditated murder, terrorism, and crimes against children (provided due process of law, including appeal, is applied).

I just don’t understand why we should cherish and preserve the lives of people who have taken the lives of other people.

The only way I can reconcile my mixed feelings about the death penalty is to tell myself I believe the death penalty is justified in certain cases, repulsive as that sounds to some people, and I submit that such people might feel differently if a heinous crime were perpetrated on one of their their family members.

GloPro's avatar

I have not read the responses.
I can only tell you my experience. One of my good friends was raped, stabbed 27 times, and left to bleed to death with her own panties duct taped in her mouth. In her own home, the perps sent by her ex-boyfriend. They were found and charged fairly quickly. The trial drug on for years. When the nastier of the two men was sentenced to death I called the victim’s brother, who was one of my very best friends. I congratulated him for the sentencing and hoped he could move on.
He told me that he didn’t celebrate the sentence. He had forced himself to forgive those men, although he still mourned and felt like a part of himself had been murdered, too. He told me he could not live his life waiting for someone to be appropriately punished for what his sister had been through. He had even stopped watching the trials of the three men. He told me that nothing would bring his sister back, and he could not harbor such hateful feelings and move on with his life.
I, on the other hand, had been keeping up meticulously for years, and I felt such hot hatred for those men. I tried to imagine the terror and pain she went through, as if putting myself in her shoes could somehow vindicate something. I went through years of feeling such strong hate. I celebrated hearing those bastards were going to die.
After my friend told me how he felt I went to see a pastor. I am not religious. I needed to be re-taught the lessons of forgiveness. It was very, very painful for me to let go and move into the place my best friend had. I’m still not sure I’m there, and I cry writing this.
So I am incredibly conflicted with this question. If I don’t know the victim or the perpetrators then I am 100% in favor of the death penalty and the sooner the better. We don’t need to waste time and money on filth. Fuck violent criminals.
But knowing first-hand what this family has gone through, and knowing that my friend has worked hard to concentrate on forgiveness and letting go, so that HE may live… I have also stopped watching for the hammer to fall on those men. Concentrating on justice serves no purpose in healing.
RIP LMR.

bolwerk's avatar

Retributive death is fine, when all else fails, but the state is the last mafia that should be allowed to do execute anyone for the very reason that never needs to kill people. No matter how heinous the crime, the state can afford to imprison the criminal indefinitely; indeed, the Amerikan pig state’s prison-industrial complex cheerfully houses hordes of non-violent “criminals” indefinitely for the sake of profit. Nothing is meaningfully gained when a death row inmate dies. Killing them even takes away their punishment. Nobody is made safer.

If you’re going to execute someone, it should be to keep other people safe for real. If someone wants to kill some fascist swine like Joe Arpaio or those oinkers in New Mexico who shot Andrew Lopez for the crime of being outdoors while poor, be my guest. They will never be punished by the law, despite the blood on their hands. But then, capital punishment supporters usually aren’t bothered by the police doing violent things that would be “crime” for us mere mortals.

Winter_Pariah's avatar

I’m not a really empathetic person but I wouldn’t feel better. Not to say I’d feel worse because I certainly wouldn’t. So I’d be up for a burger, but not from McD’s.

Aside from that, if say the person being sentenced to death had killed one of the few people I actually bother to feel for, well, I’d say I still wouldn’t feel better. They’d still be gone and the death of the individual responsible for killing them isn’t going to fix that hollowness. I admit, being allowed to kill said person myself might give me some ephemeral high and satisfaction so in that sense, yes, I’d feel better for a little while.

AshLeigh's avatar

I honestly think the death penalty is a kinder fate than life in prison. I would go crazy, I think.

My best friends father murdered him over two years ago. Watching his father die would not make me feel any better. Killing one person won’t bring the other back.
He’s still dead.

Darth_Algar's avatar

@Symbeline “Really? I did not know this. How do they kill people on death row, injection probably? Must be some pretty expensive chemicals. :/”

It isn’t the execution itself but rather the trial (death penalty trials tend to cost a lot more), the (extremely necessary) appeals process, the cost of housing them on death row (which, also tends to be more expensive), and so on. It’s far cheaper to simply sentence someone to life imprisonment.

This page has some info on the cost of the death penalty (and it’s a pretty good resource all around about the death penalty).

majorrich's avatar

Realistically I can say that I would feel some satisfaction in the execution of those who do harm to children. Even people in prison would feel the same. I am speaking strictly from a visceral point of view.
And, to make it more economically feasible, I have read that in some countries, once a death sentence is passed, the prisoner is guided through a small door and shot in the head. Death is instantaneous and nearly painless save for the microsecond of consciousness before the lights go out. AND that would save a lot of cost of care and protection for the most heinous of criminals.

Darth_Algar's avatar

@majorrich

That might be a swell idea assuming the person is in fact guilty. But in our own country, with all the legal protections afforded a person charged with a crime, it was been proven that the state is not reliable when it comes to this.

BeenThereSaidThat's avatar

I guess it would depend what the person did. Some people deserve the death penalty.

ibstubro's avatar

How is ending someone’s life more punishing than keeping them confined in a small space for their lifetime of reflection?

How is keeping someone who has committed a mortal sin alive advantageous to society?

I think it will eventually come down to mental illness versus sin. Treat the ill, stone the sinners.

filmfann's avatar

If it was my psycho ex boss who has promised to shoot me in the face, I might be a bit relieved, but I do hope he will find his faith, and become a better person.

Paradox25's avatar

I highly doubt I would be celebrating the execution of someone that murdered a person close to me. I’d probably still be too sickened by being reminded of the events that ended up leading to the execution, and the fact another person is losing their life at the same time. I highly doubt I’d be shedding too many tears for the condemned person (even if I was convinced myself they were likely guilty), but I don’t think I’d be in celebration mode, or be in my normal mode for that particular day.

I’ve noticed the usual types of people who tend to celebrate executions appear to be the same types of people who love violence in other aspects of life and put an emphasis on hypermasculinity over other characteristics. I’ve found it uncanny that the guy ordering a pizza behind prison grounds before an execution to celebrate it is also usually the same type of guy who tends to justify the random beating of a person that simply does not fit the characteristics he approves of in a person.

I’ve read enough comments on various online forums and news sources to notice these patterns in these types of people, and I can’t be the only to have noticed this either.

@Coloma If you openly admit to not supporting the death penalty, or admit to having the inability to vote for death in a capital murder case trial following a guilty verdict they would eliminate you from serving on a jury for that trial during the screening process.

Hypocrisy_Central's avatar

@ibstubro How is keeping someone who has committed a mortal sin alive advantageous to society?
Because it is greatly conjecture.

whitenoise's avatar

@Hypocrisy_Central , re your question for @ibstubro

Keeping the convicted ‘sinner’ alive, will allow the society, as a whole, to stick to one of the principal guidelines given to man… We shouldn’t kill each other.

It prevents that as a consequence of this sinner’s sin we would all become killers, through the government that represents us.

It allows for judicial faillures to be (at least partially) corrected, in case of wrong convictions.

Just to name a few.

ibstubro's avatar

OMG, I think @Hypocrisy_Central and @whitenoise might be on the same page??

whitenoise's avatar

@ibstubro.

Yeah, I noticed.

Almost made me change my mind. ~

ibstubro's avatar

^^ I suspected as much!

Hypocrisy_Central's avatar

@ibstubro OMG, I think @Hypocrisy_Central and @whitenoise might be on the same page??
If that is the case, you might want to declare a holiday.

whitenoise's avatar

It seems that way, though.

Pancakes on me and lurve for all.

ibstubro's avatar

More like an emergency alert. ;)

Everybody to the basement, away from windows.

rojo's avatar

^^ GET UNDER YOUR DESK,
PUT YOUR HEADS BETWEEN YOUR LEGS,
AND KISS YOUR ASS GOODBYE!

(this is actually an old nuclear attack drill that some of us are old enough to remember.)

Darth_Algar's avatar

@rojo

Hell, they were still giving those drills when I was in school in the 80s (pretty much kept giving them up to the collapse of the Soviet Union).

rojo's avatar

@Darth_Algar that is just sad. I suppose we can look forward to seeing them re-implemented if this Ukraine thing continues much longer

ibstubro's avatar

I graduated HS school in 1979, @rojo and around this rural area the nuclear drill was already taught as history. Maybe it’s regional, but I was also told that our area was a prime target because there is an installation of missiles nearby.

Darth_Algar's avatar

It might have been because of Reagan seemingly wanting to provoke the Soviets into war.

rojo's avatar

@ibstubro young whippersnapper

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