General Question

ibstubro's avatar

What would happen if the death penalty was optional for anyone of sound mind facing an extended prison sentence?

Asked by ibstubro (11018 points ) 1 month ago

Anyone judged to be sane that receives a sentence that effectively ends their life.

A 26 year old man facing 45 years in prison.
A 70 year old pedophile facing 20 years.
Anyone facing life without parole.

They could simply ‘call it’ and choose to be put to death in a humane way.

How would it change society?

Observing members: 0 Composing members: 0

26 Answers

Dan_Lyons's avatar

It wouldn’t work. If the convict is truly of sound mind then they would never opt to die.

johnpowell's avatar

People with stage four cancer would be running around murdering so they actually have a chance to end their misery in a humane way.

rojo's avatar

@Dan_Lyons I disagree. Sometimes the sane choice is death. What you are postulating is the “Catch 22” Scenario.

To whit: “There was only one catch and that was Catch-22, which specified that a concern for one’s own safety in the face of dangers that were real and immediate was the process of a rational mind. Orr was crazy and could be grounded. All he had to do was ask; and as soon as he did, he would no longer be crazy and would have to fly more missions. Orr would be crazy to fly more missions and sane if he didn’t, but if he was sane, he had to fly them. If he flew them, he was crazy and didn’t have to; but if he didn’t want to, he was sane and had to. Yossarian was moved very deeply by the absolute simplicity of this clause of Catch-22 and let out a respectful whistle.”

ragingloli's avatar

Sound mind. Lol, what a joke.
Seriously, being faced with extended prison sentences places one under duress.
Any decision to die in such circumstance must therefore be judged as invalid.
Besides, the corrupt justice system would start to coerce convicts to “volunteer” for death, by threatening to make the time in prison a living hell.

Also, the death penalty and their supporters are inherently immoral, so I would reject any such system without ever having to contemplate the moral and ethical ramifications.

Hypocrisy_Central's avatar

A 70 yr. old man who even groped a minor these days would get way more than 20 yrs. Prisoners that receive “Buck Rodgers” sentences do not need the state to give them the option, the state gives them bed sheets; they simply hang themselves.

Paradox25's avatar

I would definitely choose this option. I could barely handle a brief stint in juvie. The alternatives for a good-looking introverted guy in prison are not promising. Maybe a supermax prison would be a better alternative for me, but that’s a fruitless existence too. I oppose the death penalty, but ironically I’d prefer this option for myself (if I could) over living a miserable life in prison losing most of my freedoms. To all who disagree with me, I’ll simply say enjoy your new life behind bars. No freedom is death to me.

Being very knowledgeable about electricity, and nearly being electrocuted several times myself working as an industrial electrician I’d choose homicide by electrocution. If done correctly, unconsciousness should occur in milliseconds with your body pulling more than four amps of electrical current. Needles scare me, gas is truly torture, I don’t want to be shot by trigger-happy law enforcement officers and I don’t like the thought of hanging.

ibstubro's avatar

I believe I would choose death, @Paradox25, as well, if I was guilty. I hear of people having been on death row since 1983, and it just seems like death would be such sweet relief. I wouldn’t want to adapt to that kind of environment, but would rather end it before I got on that treadmill.

Paradox25's avatar

Yeah, the it’s what you make of it argument starts to lose ground to me when a certain threshold is reached.

Coloma's avatar

I am one that completely believes one can make a conscious choice to exit this realm and therefore would agree that this certainly should be an option. I do not beleive that suicide or choosing to die has to to involve being mentally unsound. One is perfectly capable of making a rational decision to be done depending on their own personal value system and quality of life choices of which nobody else has a right to intrude on.

“Quality” of life is multi-facited, incorporating mental/emotional health, physical health, financial health, lifestyle quality, on and on.
I’d rather die than spend decades of my life in an oppressive and poor quality environment devoid of all freedom.

Dan_Lyons's avatar

Why would anyone even consider either living in prison or dying to avoid it?

Will no one choose option C?

Response moderated (Off-Topic)
Dan_Lyons's avatar

No @Coloma Option C is escaping from the prison. I can’t believe no one even thought of it.

Coloma's avatar

@Dan Lyons
Yeah, but, escape is not easy and if it is unsuccessful or you are recaptured you’re really going to want to be dead after they tack anther 20 years onto your original sentence. haha

Response moderated
Response moderated
Response moderated
Response moderated
Response moderated
Response moderated
Response moderated
Response moderated
Response moderated
Response moderated
Coloma's avatar

Mmmm..I dunno, hope is not empowering, action is. If someone is institutionalized for a serious crime they are guilty of, well, hope is not going to make any difference. If the imprisoned person is innocent then hoping they will be exonerated might help, but not without the necessary actions of filing appeals and due diligence towards their case.

ibstubro's avatar

I agree that the acceptance of guilt is key. I did it. I’m sorry. My life is over. Sooner rather than later.

Pazza's avatar

I would imagine that, so long as there is money to be made from incarceration, that legislation giving a prisoner that option would never come into being. In any case, prisoners always have the option of checking themselves out with a slash of the wrists or bed linen around the neck. And if the legislation did get passed, if the only options where gas, needle or electric chair, I think I’d still prefer checking myself out.

Answer this question

Login

or

Join

to answer.

This question is in the General Section. Responses must be helpful and on-topic.

Your answer will be saved while you login or join.

Have a question? Ask Fluther!

What do you know more about?
or
Knowledge Networking @ Fluther