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Author Topic:   Nobel Prize vs Proof that the Death Penalty MUST kill innocents
Zhimbo
Member (Idle past 4328 days)
Posts: 571
From: New Hampshire, USA
Joined: 07-28-2001


Message 166 of 236 (199432)
04-14-2005 6:38 PM


OK, Let's assume there's a "certain" case...
OK, pick a case you think is reasonable as a "certain" case. Your call. Dahmer, Gacy, Columbine, Hilary Swank taking foreign fruit into New Zealand, whatever.

Let's pretend we agree that it's "risk free" to call this case "certain" and go ahead and execute the person.

What workable, fool proof system do you make, that can apply to ALL incoming cases, based on this?

You've been chomping at the bit for quite some time, many people have asked what your system is, and I'm just curious.

Put forward your specific case. Let's pretend I agree. What is the legal system you build from this?

I know this is prone to get bogged down into folks questioning the original case...but I'm interested in what sorts of actual *systems* you have in mind to generalize from this one case to all incoming cases.

Because there are at least two issues here - a logical one, and a practical one. Assuming you're right about the logical case (which I'm not conceding at all, mind you!), you still have to make the practical case - that an actual functioning legal system could also work perfectly in practice.

This message has been edited by Zhimbo, 04-14-2005 05:40 PM


  
Zhimbo
Member (Idle past 4328 days)
Posts: 571
From: New Hampshire, USA
Joined: 07-28-2001


Message 167 of 236 (199449)
04-14-2005 7:43 PM
Reply to: Message 155 by Silent H
04-14-2005 4:27 PM


quote:
I'm saying that in many situations, we're going to know enough, and know it confidently enough, to put a man in jail, possibly until he dies. But I'm saying that we don't know enough to kill him. We'll never know enough; it's not possible to know enough.

This is saying quite clearly that rules of knowledge (when we can say we know) need to be adjusted due to moral reasons.

Is the following an example of adjusting rules of knowledge due to moral reasons?:

1. I'd be willing to bet $10 on what you had for breakfast this morning (the truth to be determined by a hidden camera) based SOLELY on your report to me on what you had this morning. If you told me you had an omelette, I'd be willing to lay down $10 that you had an omelette.

2. If the bet was for $1000, I'd want more evidence - another witness, at the very least.

3. If the bet was for $1,000,000, I'd require a hell of a lot of evidence - witnesses, surgical determination of your stomach contents, maybe a video of my own...

4. If the bet was on the life of a randomly selected person from the world's population, there is no practically possible level of evidence I'd accept.

Is this what you mean by rule-changing based on moral reasons? If not, why is what we're saying about the death penalty any different? If it is, what's wrong with it?


This message is a reply to:
 Message 155 by Silent H, posted 04-14-2005 4:27 PM Silent H has not yet responded

  
Ben!
Member (Idle past 1938 days)
Posts: 1154
From: San Diego, CA
Joined: 10-14-2004


Message 168 of 236 (199475)
04-14-2005 9:47 PM
Reply to: Message 164 by Silent H
04-14-2005 6:07 PM


holmes,

Let me explain something as a forward apology. On top of trying to deal with the flurry of posts, I am currently dealing with a pretty serious illness. In fact I will be gone at least three days next week due to surgery (or if it goes, bad perhaps longer).

Good luck. Keep us informed here about it. It's the second time I read a blurb about it (first time in passing). I'd open a subject in "short subjects" about it, where you can keep us on the up and up about it (and where we can talk about how worried we are about you while you're gone ;) ), but I'm not sure if that would make you feel uncomfortable. Anyway, best of luck with that.

I will write tomorrow. Guaranteed. And I will give your posts higher priority. Man do I feel bad all over the place. I really did not mean to insult you in any way at all.

First of all, thanks for your approach with this post. Second, I'm sorry. I didn't intend to make you feel bad.

Third, ... take your time. For me, time is not of the essence. Just confusing when you're writing so vigorously to others. take your time, and I'll look forward to discussing when you post.

Which is a good segway into the "free will" discussion having to do with "war on drugs." I finished collecting my thoughts and am ready to put up a post later today. Feel free to take your time on that one as well. I'm heavy in reading about "genetic assimilation" (thanks to Brad & mick for the references), as well as my usual projects.

If it makes it any better I'll stop answering crash to start answering you.

Well... I'm kind of embarrassed to say something like this, but here we go.

I'll never understand why you want to spend so much time butting heads with crash and others. For me, if I get in a disagreement with somebody and I repeat myself 2, 3 times max, then I simply drop it. There's something more going on with either me, the other poster, or both of us and, given the nature of these boards (highly asynchoronous, I find it unlikely that my further repetition will change anything.

Maybe sometimes it's better just to walk away. Well, at least it jives with me. Don't take it as a criticism, just a suggestion.

Eh, anyway. Take it easy bro.

Ben


This message is a reply to:
 Message 164 by Silent H, posted 04-14-2005 6:07 PM Silent H has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 173 by Silent H, posted 04-15-2005 9:39 AM Ben! has responded

  
jar
Member
Posts: 31643
From: Texas!!
Joined: 04-20-2004
Member Rating: 2.6


Message 169 of 236 (199480)
04-14-2005 10:05 PM
Reply to: Message 164 by Silent H
04-14-2005 6:07 PM


Hey Holmes
May all go well. My prayers will go with you.


Aslan is not a Tame Lion

This message is a reply to:
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tsig
Member (Idle past 1225 days)
Posts: 738
From: USA
Joined: 04-09-2004


Message 170 of 236 (199502)
04-15-2005 1:39 AM
Reply to: Message 152 by Silent H
04-14-2005 4:06 PM


innocent til proven guilty
You have a duty to provide proof of innocence or you are found guilty.

You are innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. The prosecution has prove your guilt.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 152 by Silent H, posted 04-14-2005 4:06 PM Silent H has not yet responded

  
nator
Member (Idle past 486 days)
Posts: 12961
From: Ann Arbor
Joined: 12-09-2001


Message 171 of 236 (199530)
04-15-2005 8:38 AM
Reply to: Message 156 by Taqless
04-14-2005 4:36 PM


quote:
1. Randomly chosen judges from across the country after fitting a set of criteria based on judgements they have passed down prior to being on the "short list".

Still doesn't protect against bias such as racism.

quote:
2. Since these panels would not be meeting on a regular basis, the judges could be notified and then meet at a designated location.

Same problem as above.

quote:
3. The names of the judges would not be divulged.

...except somebody knows who they are, and that person could be more or less corrupt.

quote:
4. All judges must agree on the final verdict.

A randomly selected group of judges could still all be biased or racist.

quote:
5. Also, let's remember that it is not everyday that a detective gets lucky enough to get the evidence list holmes presented.

I am considering this, but that still doesn't protect against the bias I mentioned.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 156 by Taqless, posted 04-14-2005 4:36 PM Taqless has responded

Replies to this message:
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nator
Member (Idle past 486 days)
Posts: 12961
From: Ann Arbor
Joined: 12-09-2001


Message 172 of 236 (199535)
04-15-2005 9:07 AM
Reply to: Message 159 by Silent H
04-14-2005 5:30 PM


Yes, but even Gould defines the acceptance of facts as "provisional", and the conclusions reached from those facts as "tentative".

quote:
1) Gould is NOT GOD, and everything he did and said was not all that could be said or is believed within science or philosophy of science... or more importantly what one considers knowledge for onesself.

No, Gould is not God.

But, his definition of "fact" and "theory" are widely accepted and used among scientists around the world. Certainly, they like it over at TalkOrigins, and lots of the Evos on this board have used it many times to explain to Creos how science cannot ever "prove" anything.

I was just wondering if you agreed with him.

So, do you agree with him or not?

quote:
2) Although facts may be provisionsl, and conclusions tentative, that does not relieve anyone of the burden of what I pointed out. When you have only one remaining logical possibility that is not excluded, and the rest would be excluded, it is invalid to say any but the remaining choice is correct.

Wait, where is this "logical" possibility coming from?

I thought we were talking about your "practical possibility", which doesn't seem to be the same as a "logical possibility". I assume you can't possibly mean "logical possibilities" in this case.

Anyway, how do you know that you only have one practical possibility left? How do you know that you have thought of every possible choice?

quote:
Provisional acceptance, when it means accepting the equality of theories that are normally rejected, would be a bad idea in my mind.

This is not at all what Gould or I mean by "provisional acceptance".

There is nothing in the definition that mentions anything about "accepting the equality of theories that are normaly rejected".

Here is the pertinent part of the quote, bold added by me:

Moreover, "fact" doesn't mean "absolute certainty"; there ain't no such animal in an exciting and complex world. The final proofs of logic and mathematics flow deductively from stated premises and achieve certainty only because they are not about the empirical world. Evolutionists make no claim for perpetual truth, though creationists often do (and then attack us falsely for a style of argument that they themselves favor). In science "fact" can only mean "confirmed to such a degree that it would be perverse to withhold provisional consent." I suppose that apples might start to rise tomorrow, but the possibility does not merit equal time in physics classrooms.

Clearly, Gould does not think that rejected theories deserve equal time, as the last sentence above shows, evern though he accepts that, however small the chance, all facts and theories could be wrong.

If your contention is that facts and theories in science can ever be accepted beyond tentativity and provisional acceptance, can you show me which facts and theories in science are not allowed to be tested?

This message has been edited by schrafinator, 04-15-2005 08:09 AM


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Silent H
Member (Idle past 4136 days)
Posts: 7405
From: satellite of love
Joined: 12-11-2002


Message 173 of 236 (199544)
04-15-2005 9:39 AM
Reply to: Message 168 by Ben!
04-14-2005 9:47 PM


To Ben and All: And apology and explanation and an example...
Apology

I want to start by apologizing to everyone. Even when I started this topic, I probably shouldn't have, but I couldn't quite have known how things would go. As it is my posts were less clear than they should have been (even I was seeing something was wrong) and definitely more emotion laden than they should have been.

It may be true that some helped things along with their own bad habits, but recently I have been trying to avoid that completely, and failed miserably, most notably yesterday.

I am also going to apologize in advance as this will be my last post for at least a week, perhaps two. I suppose if things go really bad, some more.

Explanation
I don't want to get into specifics, and really never wanted to get into this at all, but I suppose I should, since it has effected (and will effect) my posting here for a bit. Wel I still won't get into the specifics.

I had been suffering from a condition which I mistook as something else, less harmful and temporary. Just recently it was diagnosed as something harmful and not temporary. No its not terminal, but it is not good and can have some serious "quality of life" repercussions. It certainly was cutting into the quality of my life already.

Yesterday, I was in the hospital and it was determined that it is likely one of the more complicated forms of the condition and I will be having to have surgery next week. And then they discovered perhaps another problem.

And before anyone starts trying to guess, neithert have anything to do with diseases or anything that can be transferred. This is functional problem that just happens sometimes, and is made more likely by a chronic functional problem I have had since young... lucky me.

I have no idea what possessed me to write any posts after receiving pretty bad news at the hospital. Let me recommend against others doing this in the future. It is quite certain that this was not helping me write as lucidly as I should have been, and its more than likely my frustration at not making my point, or other simply not getting my point, got fueled by my frustration at not understanding what is happening to me physically. Thus I lashed out over more than just what I was reading.

As it was I was going to have to be out for some days next week, due to the surgery. But I have decided that it is probably best that I stop posting at EvC until I have recovered. The stress of debating does not help me gain the positive place I need to be in during this period, and nor will it will I am trying to recover.

Not to mention I have to cut out caffeine beforehand which will make me really cranky, and afterward I will be on painkillers.

So hopefully you'll see me back next Friday or the Friday after that. No one has to post kind words or anything, though I thank those who already have. Just channel positive thoughts or whatever you feel might help.

Example
That said I am not going to leave people empty handed regarding something from me on the topic of plausible systems. If I wanted to get into what I thought we ought to have as a justice system, that would take a whole other thread (essentially a small essay). I believe the current adversarial approach we have is not the best, and conducive to bias and mistakes not necessarily available to other court systems found in the world.

And even assuming we stick with sort of the same system we have now, I think there need to be reforms, which could also be a topic in an of itself.

So keep in mind I want a greater reform than simple evidentiary expectation changes. But that is what I will stick to here...

(oh yeah, and for brevity's sake I'll skip moving through thought experiments and just mention what certain requirements are meant to exclude. Though they were generated through the method I was trying to start with in this thread.)

+ Cases based solely on forensic evidence, or witness testimony, no matter how credible, are available for the death penalty. As has been pointed out we must keep our minds open for possible future counterevidence. With only one form of evidence there are still other sources of future evidence which could be contrary.

+ Cases available for the death penalty would be required to have ALL of the following evidence:

1) Undisputed forensic evidence positively linking the defendent with the crime. By undisputed I mean the defendent does not dispute the authenticity of the evidence whether by mishandling or intentional alteration. By positive, I mean that it shows a reasonable link to the defendant through something unique to the defendant. An example of something not being a reasonable link is simple blood type match as that is not personally unique (even if the blood type is rare). Challenges do have to be serious, and not having a person on stand simply say "well it's not".

2) Layered forensic evidence. There must be more than one source of evidence linking the defendent to the crime. Thus sets of fingerprints would not be enough, nor a sample of DNA at the scene. The number of layers can be selected in an arbitrary fashion according to desire of the community, but I would argue for at least two separate forensic connections (that would realistically be enough). By separate I mean not a part of the same object, nor toward one aspect of the case.

3) Undisputed evidence including that beyond forensics, placing the defendant at the crime scene, or at the very least with the dead or dying body of the victim. This could include eye witness testimony, photographic evidence (though technically I suppose this would be forensic), or testimony of the victim (before death).

4) Although eye witness testimony can come from police officers, it must also include witnesses not connected to law enforcement (or at the very least not connected to the force handling the investigation). Neither can it include testimony from someone with a motive against the defendant (of course this goes back to the undisputed part). Eye witness testimony must also include reasonable proximity, time, and contact with the defendant relating to point 3 such that the likelihood of error is not plausible. Thus there is a difference between someone identifying a fleeing figure, and one who grabbed the defendant at the scene, immediately before the arrest.

5) An undisputed psychological examination of the defendant, indicating a personality disorder prone to more acts of violence. Or in the case of a dispute, a history of violent acts capable of killing another will suffice. Thus a guy getting in simple fist fights, or robbing banks, is different than a person charged with multiple armed assaults and rapes.

6) I do not believe a confession is necessary given most of the above points. However I am amenable to putting that in as it does provide additional positive evidence, which is not likely to have alternative sources to refute it.

NOTE: Some people have brought up forced confessions (ala Powers), or lately the Ingram case. Both are a bit of a strawman as the first does not deal with the system I am talking about, and the latter (and not to a little degree the former) have none of the other points my suggested system includes. Evidence would be in dispute despite the confession. The requirement is to have ALL and one does not negate the need for the rest. Interestingly enough the Ingram case, if one reads about it, will find his confession did not stand past the sentence and he appealed. In the system I am suggesting any appeal, even if denied for finding guilt, which contains a refutation of confession or reasonable dispute of evidence woul remove the possibility of the DP and force a conversion to life.

In any case the confessions would also have to have rules around them. While police may gain confessions and use them to build cases. The confession must be supported by the defendent outside of police custody, by which I mean interrogation and direct control, in order to allow the DP to come into play. It could even be made mandatory, that an independent analyst come in to determine for the court (not connected to defense or prosecution) if the defendent is confident with the confession.

7) DP cases should have one automatic appeal placed which forces it into a review situation by another court, whether the defendant requests it or not. The defendant may always place another appeal after the first one, to a higher court of review. And may initiate a new appeals process based on any new dispute or reversal of position on confession. This last part is more or less an avenue for the defendant to remove the possibility of the DP, creating a conversion. Will smart killers that don't want to die use it... my guess is yes.

Frankly I'd be happy enough without the automatic conversion on a new appeal, whether it gets them found innocent or not. But I realize that is a pretty good catchall for any potential "extreme conspiracy" setups.

Now remember, I am for some other changes in how courts work, and tagless has already been mentioning different types of panels of judges. This is definitely a good move (to start thinking about how to create better reviews). I'm not sure if its necessary to get into that here, but I suppose it does fit in the manner Tagless was working it (his method making it difficult for conspiracy within reviews by judges).

With the above, I am happy to entertain any hypothetical challenges to it. Create one that will push an innocent person into a chair and we can then see if there are any rules to be made to avoid it. Frankly I don't see how one is going to come up with a real life scenario which does that.

AbE: Just remember I will likely not be back for at least a week or two. Take your time and craft one reply to my post, if you have some counter hypothetical, not several. I don't want to come back to multiple posts from single posters.

This message has been edited by holmes, 04-15-2005 08:41 AM


holmes
"...what a fool believes he sees, no wise man has the power to reason away.."(D. Bros)

This message is a reply to:
 Message 168 by Ben!, posted 04-14-2005 9:47 PM Ben! has responded

Replies to this message:
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nator
Member (Idle past 486 days)
Posts: 12961
From: Ann Arbor
Joined: 12-09-2001


Message 174 of 236 (199553)
04-15-2005 10:03 AM
Reply to: Message 173 by Silent H
04-15-2005 9:39 AM


Re: To Ben and All: And apology and explanation and an example...
Be well, holmes.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 173 by Silent H, posted 04-15-2005 9:39 AM Silent H has not yet responded

Replies to this message:
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crashfrog
Inactive Member


Message 175 of 236 (199566)
04-15-2005 11:42 AM
Reply to: Message 173 by Silent H
04-15-2005 9:39 AM


Re: To Ben and All: And apology and explanation and an example...

"If you haven't got your health, you haven't got anything."

Sorry to hear about your troubles, bud. Take it easy.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 173 by Silent H, posted 04-15-2005 9:39 AM Silent H has not yet responded

  
tsig
Member (Idle past 1225 days)
Posts: 738
From: USA
Joined: 04-09-2004


Message 176 of 236 (199617)
04-15-2005 3:43 PM
Reply to: Message 173 by Silent H
04-15-2005 9:39 AM


Re: To Ben and All: And apology and explanation and an example...
Get well soon. Be lucky.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 173 by Silent H, posted 04-15-2005 9:39 AM Silent H has not yet responded

  
Trixie
Member (Idle past 2022 days)
Posts: 1011
From: Edinburgh
Joined: 01-03-2004


Message 177 of 236 (199620)
04-15-2005 4:16 PM
Reply to: Message 173 by Silent H
04-15-2005 9:39 AM


Re: To Ben and All: And apology and explanation and an example...
Hi Holmes, take care of yourself. I'll miss you while you're not posting and hope to see you back online very, very soon.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 173 by Silent H, posted 04-15-2005 9:39 AM Silent H has not yet responded

  
truthlover
Member (Idle past 2375 days)
Posts: 1548
From: Selmer, TN
Joined: 02-12-2003


Message 178 of 236 (199627)
04-15-2005 5:06 PM
Reply to: Message 173 by Silent H
04-15-2005 9:39 AM


Re: To Ben and All: And apology and explanation and an example...
Best wishes, Holmes. May the whole event go smooth and be a major success.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 173 by Silent H, posted 04-15-2005 9:39 AM Silent H has not yet responded

  
Taqless
Member (Idle past 4230 days)
Posts: 285
From: AZ
Joined: 12-18-2003


Message 179 of 236 (199663)
04-15-2005 8:01 PM
Reply to: Message 171 by nator
04-15-2005 8:38 AM


Ironclad? Almost
Hence the criteria for the "short list"?

Well, crappity crap Schraf :laugh: Being a scientist as well as attempting most of the time to be concientious I cannot offer an ironclad scenario. However, everything taken TOGETHER I think truly reduces the chances of an innocent getting zapped to almost ZERO:

1) Likelihood of a crime meeting the list holmes set up to be eligible for the death penalty.
2) Combined with the likelihood of the cops trying to frame a person.
3) Combined with the forensic techs in on the frame.
4) Combined with the likelihood of EVERY SINGLE judge being racist.

Wow! If you met all those unfortunate requirements you must have really had a nasty prior life!!!!


This message is a reply to:
 Message 171 by nator, posted 04-15-2005 8:38 AM nator has not yet responded

  
Taqless
Member (Idle past 4230 days)
Posts: 285
From: AZ
Joined: 12-18-2003


Message 180 of 236 (199664)
04-15-2005 8:03 PM
Reply to: Message 173 by Silent H
04-15-2005 9:39 AM


Re: To Ben and All: And apology and explanation and an example...
Take it easy holmes.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 173 by Silent H, posted 04-15-2005 9:39 AM Silent H has not yet responded

  
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