Yes, it does matter. If there is greater X than the X you have, then you do not have all X, and thus cannot say absolute. In your case, there is greater certainty than practical certainty, and thus even having the maximum practical certainty, you cannot say that your certainty is absolute. There's more certainty to have, and you don't have it. It's as oxymoronic as "I'm absolutely pretty much sure."
You guys are trying to use math to evaluate the death penalty and our justice system but you are forgetting the most important equation. Which can be expressed in a number of ways:
Rich = innocent, Poor = guilty (at least from a probability perspective)
$$$$$$$$$$$ > $$$$
A good friend of mine always brought up this excellent point:
"What would people call OJ Simpson if he was poor"
"OJ the black murderer" (or more probably black would be replaced by the n-word)....
In any case my opinion is that the death penalty is stupid, expensive and counter-productive. However, that doesn't mean that tookie williams deserved any special clemency because he wrote children's books.
So we need to work on eliminate the death penalty (which, although I have some moral objections, my practical objections are much stronger).... instead of working on finding excuses to pardon criminals (unless there is good reason beyond thinking the death penalty is wrong)
We had to stop using the death penalty here in illinois because they found out there were large questions about the guilt of some significant percentage of the people being executed. (If anyone is interested I can look up the article)
I appreciate that a few token gestures won't, in your mind, offset the killing of several people in cold blood. But what gestures would? What more did he have to do than he did to merit a stay of execution and a life of imprisonment?
Crash, in principle I agree with you. I think the death penalty is stupid, wrong, immature and barbaric. However, the law (even though it is totally corrupt) is what it is and I would like to see it applied somewhat fairly.
You do raise an interesting question about the justice system. What does someone have to do to repent. One thing I think is completely wrong with our system is that it's goal is always punishment and no rehabilitation. I personally would rather see people get rehabilitated and re-integrated into society if possible instead of paying 50,000 a year to incarcerate them.
Of course the prison system is a whole other topic. Anyone who is imprisoned in the united states is being subjected to cruel and unusual punishment due to the prevelance of prison rape.
In fact (and this is off-topic) any guard or warden that knowingly looks the other way or ignores sexual assault complaints should be jailed for conspiracy to commit rape. Also any prisoner who is raped should receive compensation.
The death penalty is just a symptom of a larger problem with our legal system. (i.e. it doesn't work). We send non-violent criminals to jail and they come out as hardened violent people.
This message has been edited by Mini_Ditka, 12-30-2005 10:00 PM
What an intelligent, righteous, mature, and civilized argument to make. I'm for the death penalty. While you may feel so offended by the death penalty that you wish the above were true, its not true. Let's leave off the name-calling okay?
Sorry man, didn't mean that to be directed at anyone poster. Just my opinion on the death penalty itself. People can certainly disagree....
One thing I will agree with you on (and I think you were expressing this) is that the death penalty is the LEAST of our problems with the legal system. There are much bigger problems to tackle