General Question

Hypocrisy_Central's avatar

Why is the death penalty a non-view event when it could be assessible to all by cable?

Asked by Hypocrisy_Central (26783points) February 5th, 2010

After a spirited debate with death penalty supporting friends, why isn’t the death penalty accessible to the populace? If the ideal of the death penalty is to make people think that if they killed someone they could end up in the gas chamber choking on poison gas like a Jew in the death camps or a Kurd in pre invasion Iraq or juiced full of volts in the electric chair. We have the needle now guess it is societies attempt to be more humane about killing those convicted of killing inhumanely.

Why do they do it in the wee hours of the morning or the middle of the night? Why only allow a few reporters, the family menders and some other suits to watch it? If they are going to kill someone in my name I think they should do it at high noon and televise is on cable pay-per-view, then if I wanted to see it and I don’t but I would like the choice, or anyone else who cares to see it to know for sure it is done. I feel it is better at being effective since we are a visual graphic nation more than not, to showing how you may end up if you kill someone. The proceeds the bigger the murderer the higher the view fee would go to the victim’s children 1st then the surviving spouse, then other close family.

If you are going to have it you should not be squeamish about seeing it carried out, after all, there are cable raw video shows that show horrible accidents, shoot outs and worse or it is on the evening news, far worse than a guy getting a needle in the arm.

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124 Answers

gemiwing's avatar

I agree that it shouldn’t be shied away from- especially if one supports it.

However, showing it on television would violate a few laws. So to get around those it would have to be either a pay per view or online showing.

Pay per view would still fall under the FCC rules but no one would see it by accident. Yet, where would the money go? Who gets to profit from this death?

Online would be the most likely way but it really wouldn’t work because the killing is by a government entity so even trying to broadcast it- even on the web- would cause a shitstorm the likes we haven’t seen in years.

Then the fact that we live in a litigious society means someone, even if they paid to see it, and was disturbed by it could sue for pain and suffering.

Like I said, I agree that if we really do support it then we should watch it and witness it for what it is. I just don’t see how it will happen with the way our communication and broadcasting system is set up.

DominicX's avatar

Makes sense to me. It’s not as if anyone would be forced to watch it, but it would at least be available. It’s almost viewed as something that we need to have, but we kind of have to pretend doesn’t exist. To me, that’s bullshit. If you’re going to have it, acknowledge it. Stare it right in the eye. Back in older times, executions were public events with cheering crowds (not to mention they were much more graphic and bloody). Whatever happened to that?

That said, I am opposed to the death penalty.

Violet's avatar

I think Pay-Per-View is a great idea, but I think the profits should go back into the prison systems. That way, millions tax dollars can be put to better use, like schools/education.

ragingloli's avatar

Yeah let us turn the death of real human beings into entertainment. Like the Romans when they pitted slaves against lions. That is so civilized.
I am disgusted by that notion.

Hypocrisy_Central's avatar

@gemiwing “Pay per view would still fall under the FCC rules but no one would see it by accident. Yet, where would the money go? Who gets to profit from this death?” If you really wanted you can cut the FCC right out of the picture by having an encrypted download straight to your computer as an mpeg, AVI, VCD, etc or even burned onto purchasable DVD or Blu-Ray discs. Who will profit? 75% of the proceeds would go to the victims’ children (if under 18) if older then divided equal with the wife (present one) not the ex, then the parents if they are still alive, grandchildren, then siblings then any other close family. The people promoting it will get no more than 25%.
“Then the fact that we live in a litigious society means someone, even if they paid to see it, and was disturbed by it could sue for pain and suffering.” Like many programs, games and networks one joins in the digital age you have to read a TOS (terms of service) and checked the box saying you agree. By doing so you agree that you read the disclaimer, agree to the TOS, KNOW YOU ARE GOING TO WATCH AN EXECUTION and if you need therapy after you chose to watch it you have no right to sue anyone. Since you are the purchaser it is up to you to protect it and make sure no unauthorized access to the content is available or you take responsibility if ANYONE ELSE watches your video or download and needs therapy, commits suicide etc. They can protect themselves from greedy scammers.

jrpowell's avatar

There was a movie called The Running Man. Yeah, that is kinda why you don’t want to do it.

Steve_A's avatar

I would not pay for that crap, what a waste of money.

But I would get in on the deal if I could some how, sounds like you could make money of it, and thats reason enough for me.

I might not watch, but I will invest and support if I can get a dollar or two ya know. ;)

the_state_of_wisconsin's avatar

you are needlessly generalizing the majority of people into a single, negative portrait…

as if somehow all people are for the death penalty, but are too afraid to watch it. this is a shallow assumption…

as for the question of profits…i’m glad you all feel that you can legitimize killing someone if it makes someone money…

if it is your idea of acting as some type of deterence, than why don’t we start chopping off shop-lifters hands again? wait, better yet, we could televise it! yeah, and give the proceeds to the store owners…

frankly, it seems like you must be in love with the idea of the spectacle…“freedom” isn’t about having the choice to watch someone being executed.

get a grip!

ignorance is dissapointing

Hypocrisy_Central's avatar

@johnpowell No not a game show, carried out as it always had just out of the closet, so to speak. And c’mon, we cloak justice in vengeance all the time, someone has to pay, better to fry 2 innocent men then let one guilty go free…..that is the way I heard it.

ucme's avatar

I prefer the method shown in Monty Python’s Life of Brian, a public stoning. Bring the kids along, buy a bucket of stones & receive a free packet of gravel.Oliver Stone could be the M.C he thrives on controversy.

Hypocrisy_Central's avatar

@the_state_of_wisconsin I said FRIENDS OF MINE, FROENDS OF MINE lets read the question please :-) BTY congrats on yout Skin Diver….

Violet's avatar

@the_state_of_wisconsin “ignorance is dissapointing” that is a very rude comment. I don’t think @Hypocrisy_Central is ignorant is all! (oh, and you spelled disappointing wrong)

TheJoker's avatar

Firstly, I suspect it’s because the death penalty as a deterant is known not to work. Secondly, because it’s grossy indecent to view things like this.

Hypocrisy_Central's avatar

@Violet Thank you my dear, someone can read a question. Remind him where I said “if I wanted to see it and I don’t but I would like the choice”.

Steve_A's avatar

@Hypocrisy_Central I understand what your saying, you are correct it would be your choice to watch it.

How much would you charge?

Violet's avatar

@Steve_A but she doesn’t want to watch it..

the_state_of_wisconsin's avatar

@Hypocrisy_Central—what about friends of yours? it just says you had a debate with them, and that they support this…—-

@Violet *disappointing

@Hypocrisy_Central i specifically referenced you “wanting the choice”...

gemiwing's avatar

@Hypocrisy_Central I’m not entirely sure why you are yelling at me- but I can run with it.

I don’t think it would work. There would still be people who would sue just because they can- and even if a case is thrown out of court there is still money spent on it. Plus, who knows, some judge somewhere may think ‘aha! this is the way to stop it!’. There are so many variables.

I still wonder about what profit sharing things would mean in the long run. It’s still a profit for someone- deservedly so or not. deservedly being up for debate as well Would this lead to more people agreeing to the death penalty because they feel that the victims ‘deserve’ the profits?

It’s an interesting can of worms to be sure.

Steve_A's avatar

@Violet I thought that was the point?

Violet's avatar

@Steve_A that she wanted to watch it? No, in her details it says she does not want to see it.

Steve_A's avatar

@Violet Oh, sorry I had meant that if it was set-up pay-per view and had rules, so you knew what you were going to watch before hand, than I think that is your choice.

Violet's avatar

@Steve_A Wait, when you said “your choice” when talking to Hypocrisy_Central, did you mean her choice, or “your” as in whoever?

Steve_A's avatar

@Violet I meant when she said ”“if I wanted to see it and I don’t but I would like the choice”.

I agree, which is why I said it would be your choice, and ultimately ,I had meant to to say it would be everyone’s personal choice to watch it or not.

Violet's avatar

@Steve_A gotcha. And you asked her how much she would charge.. what is the going rate of a pay per view fight?

the_state_of_wisconsin's avatar

how do you minimize the idea of watching someone die so much?

it isn’t quite like watching dad get hit in the nuts with the whiffle ball on America’s Funniest Home Videos is it?

just because “shows that show horrible accidents, shoot outs and worse or it is on the evening news” (this seems like a exagerated opinion), doesn’t make legitimizing this sort of thing, even in concept, okay.

its not like this is some sort of movie…or “pay per view fight”...

Steve_A's avatar

@Violet Just curious, what would be a fair price for this?

I also like the idea of putting the money to good use, as you suggested.

Steve_A's avatar

@the_state_of_wisconsin Honestly I question to a degree how much people would really care, the world is becoming more and more desensitized.

Violet's avatar

@Steve_A $50 ??
@the_state_of_wisconsin so it’s ok to pay to watch people beat the crap out of each other on tv? How is that any better than watching someone be put to death?

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Violet's avatar

@the_state_of_wisconsin so you don’t think I know the difference between fighting and death, hu? That was nice little personal attack.. that seems to be your thing. Good luck with that..

the_state_of_wisconsin's avatar

your passive aggressive sarcasm is noted…also, check your grammar if you are going to correct people on their spelling…it makes you seem foolish if you don’t

Violet's avatar

@the_state_of_wisconsin I only corrected you on your spelling because you were calling someone ignorant!

Steve_A's avatar

@the_state_of_wisconsin I was thinking more on the proposed ideal that it would be under pay-per view(is still considered public?), regulated under some kind law/agreements. If you were to order it would be your choice.

I suppose I am playing devils advocate some what ;) but I am just looking at it the way I see it, and if the money could go some where good, then I don’t see why not…..

But really though the chances of it happening don’t seem likely so if anything I am just having conversation my friend ;)

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markyy's avatar

[mod says:] Calm down everyone. This is a legitimate question. Let’s focus on trying to answer the OP’s question without resorting into name calling. Personal attacks will be removed.

Hypocrisy_Central's avatar

@the_state_of_wisconsin “you are needlessly generalizing the majority of people into a single, negative portrait…
as if somehow all people are for the death penalty, but are too afraid to watch it. this is a shallow assumption…”
My friends are the ones I have had the conversation with and they (as many other supporters here even) don’t want to view it or have it fewed so before it was just those I knew I cast no blanket over anyone, you did that.

“as for the question of profits…i’m glad you all feel that you can legitimize killing someone if it makes someone money…”
I don’t feel it is legit to kill anyone but if you are going to do it, don’t hide it like you are ashamed, bring it out for the closet like a queen at the Gay Pride parade though the Castro. The only way you can get it out of the closet is a form of pay since no network will are it in primetime or even late night for that matter. Since money is involved might as well go to those who will need it the most, the children left with out a parent(s).

“frankly, it seems like you must be in love with the idea of the spectacle…“freedom” isn’t about having the choice to watch someone being executed.”
Spectacle, hardly, transparency yes; especially of you do it in my name with my tax dollars. I don’t think there should be a death penalty but I guess I was out voted with many others last time it was on the ballot. Before going off half cocked with no target don’t generalize….

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Hypocrisy_Central's avatar

@gemiwing Sorry to seem as if I was yelling at you I was just trying to hone in on the fact that IF it were and was to be seen those watchig it would know what they were watching and have to agree not to sue before they could even watch or get access to it. :-)

Sophief's avatar

@Violet I was looking through and thinking the same.

Hypocrisy_Central's avatar

@markyy Thank you for calming things down and getting back to the question civilly I would hope.

Anonymoususer's avatar

Do you really want to see society travelling backwards, to become more and more inhuman?
Public executions look more like the Middle Ages, maybe even the early Renaissance and French Revolution (1789) or something. Maybe som Arab countries still carry them out, but not all and I hope everybody abolish it. Not a modern Western society. (I oppose the entire capital punishment, and think poverty causes much crimes).

Today we have much more and better entertainment, like television shows, radio, concerts, books, comic books, cinema, theater, video, ice hockey, soccer, baseball, basketball, American footbal, rugby football, cross-country skiing, alpine skiing or some other sports or entertainment.

stranger_in_a_strange_land's avatar

Why don’t we also allow suicide to be broadcast, profits going to the persons family or estate? We can also allow homeless unemployables to fight to the death in a gladiator-type setting? All consentual and papers in order. I’m sure that media companies cound play this up to a good profit margin. It will probably put WWE et al out of business.

Us worthless peons could at least provide some entertainment value to our superiors. Maybe keep the masses entertained so the day of reckoning against the corporate masters is postponed a bit longer.

Even at 53, I know enough battle tricks to hold out at least 15 minutes against some martial arts stud. What am I bid?

augustlan's avatar

I cannot imagine living in such a society. I would be horrified to return to the bad old days of real violence as entertainment, though I feel like we’re on the road to it already. Those ‘reality’ shows of horrifying videos and such aren’t a long way off from this proposal. The only good I could see coming from it is if everyone were forced to watch… then we might get disgusted enough to do away with the death penalty altogether.

BoBo1946's avatar

By allowing that, it would be a regression to the days when everyone watched someone hang! There has to be some respect for all human beings that die. After all, at one time, everyone was once an innocent baby. Until you have walked in a man’s shoes, don’t be so quick to judge!

stranger_in_a_strange_land's avatar

Make them fight it out to the death in the arena. Not just death-row inmates, but anyone else who sees no purpose in living. The old Colosseum of the Roman period. Beer and munchies for the masses. Sponsored by your favorite mega-corporations. Instead of the Emperor, the CEO would preside. “We who are about to die salute you!”.

Steve_A's avatar

I thought it was something interesting to talk about , I was indeed playing devils advocate a bit. @the_state_of_wisconsin just to get me thinking of different views on it.

Honestly the likely hood of this ever happening I highly doubt it which is why I never took the question in such a serious matter and if it is passed or happens I would not stand for it.

Not to mention all the violence already on TV I mean just because you know its fake on TV it still looks like some being killed and they are only getting more realistic.

From my understanding you would be watching this pay-per view honestly I might find a scary movie or reality show as someone stated more entertaining or horrific.I mean really a needle in the arm, you want me to pay for that?

Not to mention if you want to watch some one being killed you can find it on the internet, I watched some videos before not too grand of a spectacle…

The biggest problem with it to me, is the money factor is the only thing that might give this some merit. Because if you had just said make death sentences public to all I would disagree from the get go.No one would go for it.(well maybe someone, but the majority)

When you say you can profit off something and heard by the right person, they would possibly try and even worse could possibly(very slim) make it happen.

stranger_in_a_strange_land's avatar

@Steve_A There are probably many of us old warriors out there with no reason to live. We could provide some entertainment value to keep the masses quiet.

Anonymoususer's avatar

Gladiators were around in Ancient Rome, not today. As I said, we already have boxing matches today (sometimes with deadly accidents), and ice hockey, where some players look like they are more interested in fighting than the puck).

I think we should re-habilitate criminals from the violent way of acting, not the other way.

BoBo1946's avatar

wow, we are regressing now! Abu Ghraib should be a reminder of that we are a country of laws and each person’s rights should be respected, regardless of whom!

jfos's avatar

All we are saying is give peace a chance.

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

Two suggestions. Don’t mess with Violet and watch the hockey cracks. Sabres rule! Does killing someone in public really benefit society? How does ending a life improve someone else? Prision guards maybe, but that’s all I can see.

tinyfaery's avatar

Seems to me that the only people who would be interested in watching something so horrible are the vengeful and the violent. Do these people really need more encouragement?

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

@tinyfaery Exactly. Where is the overall benefit of watching this? It only goes to the animalistic part of people. I enjoy hockey for the speed and grace of the players. The hitting and violence are part of the game, but there are unwritten rules that keep it manageable. To make a spectical of killing someone is a step back, not forward. (How do you spell spectical?)

stranger_in_a_strange_land's avatar

If America is going to rule the world, a la Rome. The society has to be programmed to accept and want such violent displays. Making violent criminals, anti-American radicals and volunteers with nothing to lose fight to the death in a public arena will prepare society for the role our corporate and political masters intend. The vast majority of the excess US population is really destined to become cannon-fodder for Pax Americana. The Senatorial and Equestrian classes (poloitical and corporate elite) would sponser these events for the unwashed masses, complete with free beer and junk food.

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

That is not a place I would want to live in. Wow, just contemplating that creeps me out.

Sophief's avatar

@Adirondackwannabe The c and p are the wrong way round.

jfos's avatar

@Dibley I think you’re thinking of skeptical.

Sophief's avatar

@jfos Yes I was, but we have a c where your k is.

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

@Dibley I’m pretty lousy at proofreading my own stuff.

Sophief's avatar

Really, I would never of guessed. I sliced half my thumb in the cheese grater yesterday.

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

@Dibley How did you do that? Gives whole new meaning to Brits saying Bloody ***

Sophief's avatar

@Adirondackwannabe The clue is answer above, grating cheese!

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

@Dibley Its grating cheese. Not grating body parts.

Sophief's avatar

@Adirondackwannabe The cheese was soft and it snapped and my thumb kept going. I cried. I am a bit of a baby.

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

@Dibley I’ve had all kinds of kitchen accidents. Fingers and thumbs are the worst to slice, because their so sensitive to pain.

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

@Dibley Would you be willing to do me a favor? Stranger in a strange place is in a bad place. Willing to go with me to help him out?

ragingloli's avatar

@Dibley
I once cut off half my thumb tip with our bread cutting machine when I was a kid. Soiled the carpet pretty good.
Then I burned my upper leg with boiling water and went to school next day with the untreated wound. Oh the pain.

Sophief's avatar

@Adirondackwannabe I’ve already been pm ing him today. I know he isn’t good. He’s talking through it, slowly.

@ragingloli Ok, you win. I couldn’t cope with that pain.

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

@Dibley Thanks I’ll get back to you in a minute.

Merriment's avatar

I think the hole in the logic is that an execution isn’t first and foremost a deterrent to “other” people as much as it is justice for the particular victims of the particular criminal. So by rights, only those directly affected are privy to the details.

Also there is an attempt to make it a more humane death than the criminal themselves afforded their victims.

And, lets face it, televising the gory details is more apt to inspire some other killer by feeding their twisted thoughts than it is to deter them. Whilst the cold hard reality of death minus the sensational details is more a matter-of-fact declaration of “kill others and we (society) will put you down like the mad dog you are” In other words, the sterility and privacy of the proceedings is part of the deterrent.

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

@Dibley I’m back. We seem to have lost track of the question.From death penalty to kitchen accidents? A Brit would appreciate this. We were having tea at my aunts house. she poured the boiling water into my cup, I put my spoon in the cup, and then managed to catch the spoon with my arm and sent the water all over my chest,groin and legs. Ow.

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

@Dibley No. I did rip off the foulest string of curse words I have ever uttered in public, while ripping off clothes.

augustlan's avatar

[mod says] Back to the topic, please.

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augustlan's avatar

[mod says] Continuing to ignore the [mod says] can adversely affect your membership. Seriously.

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

Understood. Sorry I get a little carried away sometime, especially on Fridays.

jfos's avatar

[In an effort to save the day, as usual] What if criminals who were to be put to death had an option to participate in this type of event??

DominicX's avatar

I think a lot of people misunderstood the question. I took it to mean either have executions filmed or don’t have executions in the first place. Obviously I took the latter option.

Factotum's avatar

@Merriment Nice answer!

Personally I am in no hurry to feed the ghouls who like to watch other people die. Public executions, particularly with the cheering and worse, or with the audience participation, are abhorrent to me. Perhaps that is the point, the idea that we would not be able to continue to execute people if the (possibly) enlightened public were to see it squarely.

Personally I strongly oppose the death penalty in virtually all cases and weakly oppose it in the other cases.

Dr_Dredd's avatar

I don’t think we should televise for all to watch, but I do think that anyone who is going to sit on a jury that considers the death penalty should be made to watch an execution. They should know exactly what will happen if they reach that verdict.

Merriment's avatar

@Dr_Dredd what if the result of that was not to eliminate the death penalty but to lead people to absolve criminals of their actions because they just can’t stomach the proposed penalty?

It would make more sense to force lawmakers to watch it and change the laws regarding death penalties. To make average people question their ability to sentence someone to death and have to choose between allowing an offender to get away with murder or being personally able to watch a death sentence carried out is a burden the average Joe shouldn’t have to bear.

DominicX's avatar

@Merriment

So the alternative to the death sentence is allowing someone to get away with murder?

Dr_Dredd's avatar

@Merriment The decision is never death versus complete acquittal. It’s usually death versus life without parole, or life with parole, etc. I disagree that it’s not a burden the average Joe should bear. I think it’s exactly what should be borne. It should be considered part of the civic responsibility of jury duty.

But I do like your idea about lawmakers being forced to watch…

Merriment's avatar

@DominicX to many people’s way of thinking, yes it is. Hence the current laws.

Merriment's avatar

@Dr_Dredd – no not complete acquittal but a punishment that many people feel is inadequate punishment for the crime committed. That they personally can’t pull the switch or don’t wish to allow the criminal to taint their souls by making his payment for his crimes happen in their presence doesn’t mean that the punishment should be withheld.

All of us have things that we just can’t handle..and that makes us choose to leave those things in the hands of others who can. The reality of this difference in people who would serve on juries is why we have a system wherein those who can tolerate the reality of capital punishment (the prison professionals) do and those of us who can’t are removed from the process.

Imagine if they did make it standard procedure that you must watch an execution to serve on a death penalty case. In case A the jury is made up of people ,who for whatever reason, have a higher tolerance for seeing the sentence carried out.

In case B it’s a jury made up of people who get squeamish at the thought of butchering a chicken.

Same crimes, different jury reactions, different verdicts based on those reactions. It really takes “impartial” judgment and throws it right out the window. Where would the justice be in that scenario?

Factotum's avatar

@Dr_Dredd Another way to look at it is as a choice between the death penalty and life with the possibility of escape.

filmfann's avatar

Back in the old West, it was considered civic duty to watch a hanging. It was amusement to some of the townfolk, and a reminder to stay on the straight and narrow path.

Violet's avatar

@Adirondackwannabe I love this comment! “Don’t mess with Violet and watch the hockey cracks.” (not sure what hockey cracks are though)

Hypocrisy_Central's avatar

@jfos, At least there are some who are not baking cookies, getting a latte or surfing channels to still be on point.

@Factotum Holla! @Adirondackwannabe “Public executions, particularly with the cheering and worse, or with the audience participation, are abhorrent to me. Perhaps that is the point, the idea that we would not be able to continue to execute people if the (possibly) enlightened public were to see it squarely.” I never said public, just a chance to view (If I ever wanted to) what is already going on and being done in MY NAME. There is an audience now, but it is limited to a select few like a secret execution club.

@Dr_Dredd “..but I do think that anyone who is going to sit on a jury that considers the death penalty should be made to watch an execution. They should know exactly what will happen if they reach that verdict.” I SO agree and all the politicians should watch one too. If you are going to order stinking rap music for the party you should have to sit and listen to it.

@Merriment “To make average people question their ability to sentence someone to death and have to choose between allowing an offender to get away with murder or being personally able to watch a death sentence carried out is a burden the average Joe shouldn’t have to bear.” Society makes the average Joe bear a lot. About a decade ago poor kids who went into the armed service because some slick recruiter told them they would get good training, decent pay and a G.I bill to go to college on was made to go out on the battle field to kill people when the closest they ever got was a single-shooter video game. They survived it. Who is allowing anyone to go free? The issue is not have the death penalty or if you don’t kill them let them go free.

“no not complete acquittal but a punishment that many people feel is inadequate punishment for the crime committed. That they personally can’t pull the switch or don’t wish to allow the criminal to taint their souls by making his payment for his crimes happen in their presence doesn’t mean that the punishment should be withheld.” Punishment is not being withheld it is being made transparent. For those who would be “tainted” in their soul (would not apply to atheist it won’t affect them that way) there are those who not only would want to watch BUT hit the button, pull the lever or whatever. Wonder why they would feel haunted by something done with their blessing? If they had voted against it as I have, they would not have people killed in their name.
“Same crimes, different jury reactions, different verdicts based on those reactions. It really takes “impartial” judgment and throws it right out the window. Where would the justice be in that scenario?” If law was called like a penalty in a football game, the same way for everyone who commits the foul be he Pro Bowler, Super Bowl MVP, United Way spokes athlete or some douse like Rodman it is the same penalty maybe law would be respected more as actually “fair and impartial”. That disparage of justice happens everyday just in the shadows. Sammy “The Bull” Gravano was involved directly or indirectly to the murders if 19 people, did he get death? No, he got the opportunity to plead guilty to one of the murders and so wino time in prison until he was released to witness protection. Because the government wanted Gotti so bad (maybe because he was making monkeys of them) that they were willing to let the deaths of 18 people go unpunished and the death of the last go (in many opinions) under punished. What justice did those 18 people get? So much for the equality argument.

@Adirondackwannabe “Where is the overall benefit of watching this?” Maybe no better than executing people to even the score. Where those who were victimized be they directly or because their corner of the world now feels less safe they may want to see the “dirty killer rapist” get his. For those who have it forced upon us (because we didn’t have the votes to get rid of it” we should have the option to see what everyone voted for me but don’t want to watch themselves.

@Steve_A “Not to mention if you want to watch some one being killed you can find it on the internet, I watched some videos before not too grand of a spectacle…” Never did I say the word public or spectacle. I said it would be done as it is being done this year somewhere in America just that it will be able to

@BoBo1946 “There has to be some respect for all human beings that die. After all, at one time, everyone was once an innocent baby. Until you have walked in a man’s shoes, don’t be so quick to judge!” Yeah I agree with that, none should die but since we have it we either make it open or close it to just the reporting media, the warden or his people, and the people carrying it out—no one else; no victim’s family and such just who has to be there so the condemned can die by himself.

@Anonymoususer ”I think we should re-habilitate criminals from the violent way of acting, not the other way.” (running on front of this kind being with a flame –proof shield) That is why they use to all them penitentiaries and reformatories, to give a guy/gal a time out to repent and be reformed back into society, then vengeance took over and it was all about getting even. I think we as a society will one day have to reinvest in these people are they will just become better criminals each time they go through the system. And 3 strikes sounds good until you have 700,000 ill geriatric inmates with tons of medical problems that WE the people will be paying for.

Merriment's avatar

@Hypocrisy_Central – so your argument against it being potentially unfair to place the ability to stomach the sight of an execution of the particular jurors rendering drastically different verdicts for the same crime is that it’s an injustice that has occurred before due to the government’s zeal for snagging a criminal who was clowning them?

Sorry that isn’t an argument against seeking to avoid future unfairness in my book.

I think you are also overplaying the importance of seeing the person actually gasp his last (which is pretty clinical these days) and the average Joe’s understanding of what they are sentencing the criminal to. You don’t have to see them die to understand they will be dead as hell….once the zillions of appeals and $$$$$$$ of public funds are exhausted.

Why would we seek to traumatize people who have spent their lives not killing people by forcing them to watch an execution in order to punish someone who has spent some time killing people…under far less “humane” circumstances.

I think suggesting the jurors have to view an execution beforehand is a disconnect in the the understanding that the people on the jury are just there to render a decision based on the letter of the law. Not the emotions of executing the sentence or the criminal.

Hypocrisy_Central's avatar

@Merriment “Why would we seek to traumatize people who have spent their lives not killing people by forcing them to watch an execution in order to punish someone who has spent some time killing people…under far less “humane” circumstances.” They would not be forced if during the voir dire portion they know it is a capital murder case and to sit on it they have to be willing to view an execution so they have a full idea of what they are asked to do. If they don n0t want to see it they can sure say they would never convict if the death penalty was a factor and I can bet my donuts to anyone’s dollars the D.A. will toss them from service and they won’t have to do it.

Keep them coming that is why I get excited when you show I know you won’t just lie down and take anything off face value :-)

Merriment's avatar

Aww, if a girl who won’t lie down and take it appeals to you…I’m you’re girl :)

But you do see, don’t you, that if the jurors who aren’t willing to stomach the actual nitty gritty of an execution are removed from all juries you will have stacked the deck?

I don’t think even the criminals themselves want to be put in the hands of only people who can overcome their aversion to witnessing death.

After all, if they can get over that hurdle then the jurors are even more capable of instituting the death penalty not less. I bet the criminals would prefer to have some squeamish men and women deciding their fates.

Besides this, as I said earlier, it makes far more sense to force lawmakers and politicians view an execution. That way, if it is deemed an unacceptable punishment it will be removed as an option.

I’m interested in hearing your thoughts on this portion of my earlier response to you:

“so your argument against it being potentially unfair to place the ability to stomach the sight of an execution of the particular jurors rendering drastically different verdicts for the same crime is that it’s an injustice that has occurred before due to the government’s zeal for snagging a criminal who was clowning them?”

Hypocrisy_Central's avatar

@Merriment “Besides this, as I said earlier, it makes far more sense to force lawmakers and politicians view an execution. That way, if it is deemed an unacceptable punishment it will be removed as an option.” I think I mention or I intended to that I was all over that. I believe all politicians who are in favor should be made to watch one. Same as they should spend a day in a wheel chair to see how their great ideas for the handicap would really work.
“so your argument against it being potentially unfair to place the ability to stomach the sight of an execution of the particular jurors rendering drastically different verdicts for the same crime is that it’s an injustice that has occurred before due to the government’s zeal for snagging a criminal who was clowning them?”

There is a lot in there so let me make sure I am saying it correct. What I say was more about:
“Same crimes, different jury reactions, different verdicts based on those reactions. It really takes “impartial” judgment and throws it right out the window. Where would the justice be in that scenario?”

With Gravano he was a worse murderer than many sitting on death row now but the justice was not metered out equally and it never really is. If it were called like a penalty in a football game it would not matter who did it, a Pro Bowler, Super Bowl MVP, the poster player for UNICEF, or some player no on hardly liked the call and the penalty is the same. The government itself doesn’t care to apply their own law as the law is in many cases, in the case of Sammy “The Bull” Gravano they essentially ignored the murders of 18 people because Gotti was someone they wanted to jail more and they were not smart enough to do it; not with out Gravano turning coat on him.

If a jury rendered two different vertices from similar cases I would think it was not because one jury was more able to man up and watch an execution while the other one wasn’t. I think it would have to do with a lot of different factors. Cary Stayner killed Carole and Silvina Sund a naturalist Joie Ruth Armstrong and Silvina’s teen friend from Argentina, He is sitting on death row; only 4 murders to Gravano’s 19. I guess maybe they figured most or all of Gravano’s victims were other mobsters and bad guys so WTF. If Stayner is going to get the needle for 4 women then Gravano should have had his date even if it meant Gotti walks, if they could not get the goods on him but had it on Gravano that is the way the biscuit breaks. Having convicted Stayner to die I say do it openly. Myself, I would have had a more creative way to punish him than to kill him, and I don’t mean physical torture or anything either.

the_state_of_wisconsin's avatar

@Hypocrisy_Central this is good, but i still have a few issues with your argument here.

i agree with the idea that politicians and law makers should be willing to put themselves in the shoes of their constituents, however, when making key policy decisions, like the ones about the death penalty, i don’t think that its really a good idea to base such a decision off of something as subjective as their ability to “stomach” watching an election in person.

when making these types of decisions, we need to both blend our values, with practicality. you’re right in saying that we should not let our zeal for a particular criminal affect our decisions on another criminals case. fairness under the law…that is justice.

again though, i think that you’re incorrect in your evaluation of juries. the idea that somehow because there are different juries on any given case, that they are therefore biased, or ineffective misses what is actually great about the jury system…

the_state_of_wisconsin's avatar

edit to my last response…it should read ”...their ability to “stomach” an execution in person…”

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

@Violet I just remember I made a few flippant aswers to some of your questions an A/B and you handed my butt to me.
@Hypocrisy_Central How does killing the dirty rapist make the victim unraped? Okay, by permenantly removing the rapist it takes away the possibility of him doing it again, but does it heal the victim? that was why I don’t think the actual killing doesn’t benefit society or even the score. My emotional side says anyone who would commit rape or harm a child along with other crimes should be punished in the most extreme fashion possible. But the harms done.

Merriment's avatar

@Hypocrisy_Central I understand the shortfall of justice in the legal based upon who is on trial and what those in charge want from them. But I don’t understand how the lack of impartiality in the past makes setting up a system to contain more of the same helps the situation.

Hypocrisy_Central's avatar

@Adirondackwannabe What punishment of any criminal ever heals the victim? As you say, you can’t un-rape a girl, you can’t un-beat an old man, you can’t bring the murdered back from the dead. What the punishment seem to do is give the victim (or his/hers relatives) closure in the since “I got even” the state gives them the vengeance they could not get or was unlawful for them to do; that is all, it don’t heal no one.

@Merriment To be able to follow a sentence out to its conclusion however distasteful is not impartial. If it is a byproduct of the impartialness then maybe that should be fixed but to hobble the process because the front end is jacked up is a double whammy. The system will always have a measure of error so long as humans are involved in it. One day I would hope A.I. would be smart enough to take all the evidence just as evidence sake and render a verdict, until then it is a tug of war, unless the miracle happens where as soon as the jurors inter the room they are all on the exact same page then it is all about signing the slip and marching right back out to hand it to the judge guilty or innocent. If they have to spend any time in that jury room someone is trying to talk someone else onto changing what they though.

Merriment's avatar

@Hypocrisy_Central – you say

To be able to follow a sentence out to its conclusion however distasteful is not impartial. If it is a byproduct of the impartialness then maybe that should be fixed but to hobble the process because the front end is jacked up is a double whammy.

Actually this is the point I was making to you. If you make juries wherein the death penalty plays a part in the trial, first “prove” their understanding of what the death penalty means then you would be contributing to the lack of impartiality.

What I mean by this is the jury would be comprised of people who can tolerate the thought of a death sentence 100%, instead of the mixture that the criminal would get with a jury made up of random peers.

You aren’t helping a criminal to avoid the death penalty. Unless, and I think this may be what you anticipate happening, people will refuse to consider a death penalty and always go for the lesser punishment of life without parole.

I think you underestimate the horror and sense of injustice that many crimes inspire in people. And I also think you underestimate people’s abilities to do the “tough thing” if they feel it is justified.

Of course a trial is all about convincing jurors to think the way you want them to and one of the biggest checks and balances to that influence are people’s individual personal beliefs and convictions.

So by having the jury peopled with “able to stomach flipping the switch” you have removed at least one significant difference in beliefs/convictions..all the better to get a jury to go all one way or the other. If the shock therapy of an execution didn’t convince them it was “barbaric” that could be really bad news for Mr. Bad Guy.

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

@Hypocrisy_Central Okay. I’ll agree that the knowledge that the son of a bitch is dead and no one else will ever have to go thru whatever the victim went thru might help with the closure for the victim or the victim’s family, so they can start to move on. I’m still having a hard time with the concept of killing someone as entertainment. My views on the value of life have changed a lot over time. All life. I used to hunt a lot, and thought nothing of shooting a rabbit or squirrel so I’d have something different to eat. A little while ago one of the red foxes that lives around my house was crossing the road and got hit by a car and killed. I said a prayer over his body and buried him. Your question gave me and others a lot to think about. I’ll have to put some more thought into it to see if I have anything to add. Excellent question.

Hypocrisy_Central's avatar

@Merriment “Actually this is the point I was making to you. If you make juries wherein the death penalty plays a part in the trial, first “prove” their understanding of what the death penalty means then you would be contributing to the lack of impartiality.” To leave them ignorant of what they are actually being asked to do is to me no better. I am sure when they get their summon or during the voir dire portion of seating a jury they will know that upon conviction the state will see seeking to kill the defendant. The potential jury gets vetted out with a whole battery of questions as to if they can sit on the jury and consider only the facts, even if they are a mother in a molestation case that they don’t transfix their child into the position of the alleged victim and rule off that emotion.

“What I mean by this is the jury would be comprised of people who can tolerate the thought of a death sentence 100%, instead of the mixture that the criminal would get with a jury made up of random peers.” I believe when a jury sits a capital murder case they know and or told it is a death penalty case or that death is being sought. I also believe people on the jury have the concept of the death penalty in a surreal nebulous way because they seen the chamber, they see it simulated on TV or in movies but they have never seen a real one, what goes on with the condemned. If they did and they see a live man goes in and a corpse come out, they will then have the 100% full understanding. Because they can sit through or stomach it in my mind don’t mean all that do are supporters of it. People do their duty and fight wars and kill people because it is their duty, even though they may not be 100% on board why they are fighting.

“I think you underestimate the horror and sense of injustice that many crimes inspire in people.” Maybe so but what I have seen I can’t imagine being much worse but people are people and go off emotion more than logic. I don’t underestimate in the sense that they take to too lightly, many times they go over the tip in order to make sure “we got them, they didn’t get us”. 3 Strikes, give a guy life for swiping a piece of pizza? C’mon…..

“If the shock therapy of an execution didn’t convince them it was “barbaric” that could be really bad news for Mr. Bad Guy.” It may just have the effect to make people conceive how horrible it is because it was not a generic sanitized version they seen. Seeing the chamber and it explained on the news is like being told how a how is butchered and where your lunch meat came from with out actually seeing the process. Some who see it might become vegetarian while others will still say “pass the tri tip!”

@Adirondackwannabe No, no, no, there IS no entertainment watching. It is not presented as a spectacle. It is just viewing what is already going on with no more flair then watching meetings and such on C-span etc. No Jumbotron, no card girls or cheerleaders, flashing lights or daily doubles……..just seeing it done (if you wish) they way it is always done just in the shadows, in secret in the wee hours of the morning as iff you are stealing something or doing wrong.

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

@Hypocrisy_Central So just available if the individual wants to see it. Okay, I see your point.

Sophief's avatar

@Adirondackwannabe Your allowed your own opinion, you don’t need to back down because someone doesn’t agree with you.

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

@Dibley I’m not backing down that killing as entertainment is abhorent. I’m just agreeing if a victim or victums family wants to watch some evil person die, they should be able to. I don’t see where it would benefit me, but someone might be able to watch the perp die and use it as a place to start picking up the pieces of what was their life and try to put things back together.

Just_Justine's avatar

Oh god not more reality TV

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

@Just_Justine Who’d be a good host?

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

@Just_Justine That’d be a good one, but who wants to die with that being the last thing you see?

Just_Justine's avatar

@Adirondackwannabe I think it might help prepare you for what you may see if you had been a naughty boy or girl on earth? who would you like to see last?

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

@Just_Justine I was going to say “A super hot chick” but now you made me think. Would knowing I’ll never see something that good make dying worse or not?

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

@Just_Justine Maybe the last thing I would want to see is a fat man’s hairy ass coming at my face, and death would look like a good alternative. That’s going to make me think on a very disturbing thought.

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