As a lifelong opponent of the death penalty I find any discussion of the rights and wrongs of killing your own citizens bizarre. What are the reasons? What are the motivations? And I am not referring to the initial crime.
Reason 1 - Justice - otherwise known as the eye for an eye defence Justice is only served when the victim of the capital crime is brought back to life when the perpetrator is executed. THAT is justice. Anything else is revenge.
Reason 2 - deterrant - otherwise known as the watch out defence Most murders are committed in the heat of the moment - no amount of future punishment will stop their being committed. And since 1976 have capital crime levels dropped? I didn't think so.
Reason 3 - economic - otherwise known as the conservative rich defence It costs more to keep someone on death row with all the appeals, stop-start execution on-off, and all that the death penalty entails than just to lock them up for life.
Reason 4 - Biblical - otherwise known as the small-minded defence Because it says to kill those that kill in the bible is ok, just so we understand that my wife wears cotton, wool and polyester at the same time it is ok that I arrange her stoning this weekend (leviticus 24). Right!
Reason 5 - Political - otherwise known as the you are as fucked as they are defence It is seen as politically expedient to be tough on crime. Fair enough. But when a life is a political issue and the politician sees favour in promoting a death then the politician is as morally bankrupt as the criminal in question.
I find the current situation in the US embarrasing. Surely you can see this. You have the highest crime rates in the developed nations. You have the highest murder rates. You have the highest gun crime rates. KILLING MORE PEOPLE IS NOT THE FUCKING ANSWER!!!!!!
You have a case of child murder, terrorism or any other heinous crime and any poll taken in the aftermath would suggest a massive surge of support for the death penalty. So what. Hell, I sometimes grit my teeth and wish death on the evil-doers when I hear some stories on the news. Then I calm down.
Murder can be in cold blood or in the heat of the moment. Execution is always in cold blood. And as a punishment, who has learned the lesson?
Revenge is after the event retribution. It is redundant, as the main event has occurred, and one of the the major participants is beyond reparation. We could open a coliseum and make revenge a major entertainment as well as an important salve for the inadequacy of society to progress ? It plays to our most basic needs/wants. 'I do not like it' - 'Stop it, Ban it, Kill it!'
Capital punishment seems to fill the same niche. I would point to deterrant as one of the flawed arguments for capital punishment - it just does not work. All we are satisfying is our age-old thirst for blood. And playing 'God', as if he/she, should he/she exist, would give a shit.
If you don't see a downside, I feel sorry for you.
As for justice, well reparation is a good start. In legalese 'Making good'.
As for Court TV, you are advocating the system being televised, what I was suggesting was the end result being televised. We could even dispense with the trial bit and round up the usual suspects and the one who performs (televisually) the best will be innocent.
I do have a few problems with it. Could we put a few other statistics on there as well. Economic growth rate. Gap between top 20% and bottom 20% economically. General crime rate. Capital crime as a proportion of crime rate. Price of oil. Price of a colour TV. As a statistician in a former life I can see that the the graph is supposed to be incendiary and I will dismiss it as such.
Perhaps if I saw lag times leading to a general overall fall in capital crimes or that the vertical axis reflected accurately the same proportions. Absolute numbers and nos. per million on the same axis, shame on you!
I did not assume diddly squat - I just accused use of wilful misuse of numbers.
Graphs!! More graphs!!! I am beaten into a corner with visual depictions of reality - help me!!!
What do the greyed out parts of the graph mean? What does adjusted mean in adjusted figure?
As an example graph 2 - does this indicate that 3/5 of all households in the mid-70s were victimised each year? Wow - were you ever in trouble. You obviously are a great place to be now, only 1 in 5 properties are victimised every year.
Graph 3 - violent crime isn't recorded crime - is it hearsay crime?
Anyway - time for bed - but a quick note - the stats in the graphs, what are the criteria, what is the data collection method, who asked the questions, who answered them? - I only ask because I would never, ever use a graph unless I had compiled the data myself, and my intention was never to call you a liar, a proponent of anything, other than random drive-by graphics.