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 How I Would Restructure the Death Penalty

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PostSubject: How I Would Restructure the Death Penalty   Sat May 22, 2010 9:27 pm

I am a supporter of the death penalty in theory, but I do not like how it is implemented in this country. This country uses it as a means of punishment, for those that commit crimes that we find repugnant and indefensible. This is patently unfair, and demonstrably wrong. It is impossible to maintain a fair, just, and consistent legal system if we punish based solely or primarily off of what offends us.

Because of this misuse of the death penalty, supporters of it are never able to intelligently defend it. The most common argument that people will give in support of the death penalty is that is acts as a “deterrent”. This line of reason has also been proven wrong. The statistics show that many states that use the death penalty still have higher murder rates than those that do not. This is because of many different factors, but the claim of the “deterrent” can be demonstrated to be inaccurate based off of basic human psychology. People, who are commit crimes of passion, are too enraged to consider all of the consequences of their actions. And people who plan out their crimes are focused on the reward they will receive with its completion, and typically plan to not get caught; therefore they do not worry about the death penalty either. Furthermore, no one wants to spend their life in jail either, but it is not always a sufficient enough reason for some people to follow the law.

So how do I think it should be used? In my opinion the death penalty should be used when there is a high risk for the convicted criminal to continue harming people, whether they are other inmates, guards, or civilians. This would be based off of their history (I’ll provide a rough outline at the end). This would also be better than the current system, because in most cases it would require multiple violent acts, which would greatly reducing the risk of an innocent person being sentenced to death, because it is highly unlikely that someone would be wrongfully convicted multiple times.

While we may all be created equal, it is stupid and inefficient of us to leave violent, repeat killers with no sign of a conscience alive to harm those of us who aren’t violent, and would be identified as innocent. We have to make certain trade-offs in order to live in and maintain a functioning society, and one of those trade–offs is that we cannot cause harm to others, unless in self defense. If you break this rule, you have made yourself a danger to the innocent, and preserving their rights are more important than the rights of someone so self centered that they are willing to take someone else’s life for their own gain.

Now I will lay out how one would progress to the death penalty in my system.

My system includes rape (which I think is in general the worst crime to commit), murder, attempted murder, and vicious unprovoked attacks.

1st offense- 10 years to life in jail.
2nd offense- life in jail without parole, with the possibility of the death penalty.
3rd offense- death penalty.

Amendment- serial killers and rapists, as well as mass murderers, and spree killers go right to step three. Because they all had time (with only a minor exception for mass murderers) in between their first victim and the subsequent victim’s, to realize their mistake and change their ways, and they chose not to.
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PostSubject: What is the deal with Imprisonment   Sun May 23, 2010 5:09 pm

These individuals should not receive 10 years in prison on the first offense. They have made the ultimately selfish decision to take the life of another(or in the case of rape, their body and mental health) which requires the individual to believe that their rights are more important than their victim. In these situations, the offenders should be put to death on their first offense. Both because their crimes deserve the punishment of death, and because they have proven to be capable of heinous crimes which puts others at risk. I agree that the death penalty is used incorrectly, but I disagree with your continued use of imprisonment in your example. We waste an insane amount of money as a country with prison sentences. Besides the incredible waste of money housing these people, placing an unstable individual in a place full of other unstable people will not teach them to act appropriately. It will serve to decrease their mental stability. Instead, after a first offense of a smaller crime, individual offenders should be placed in a prison system for a period less than two years. The prisons should be set up to offer more treatment oriented rehabilitation. Then after the sentence, if the individual commits another crime they should be put to death. in my mind, there is nothing more important that a life. It is irreplacable, you only get one. So it is necessary that everyone's life is protected. 
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