All this kind of annoyed me, since to my mind the main thing was whether or not he had killed the child and how the law should deal with him for that crime. All the talk about a good side or his being totally evil just seemed irrelevant to me and something that shouldn't be muddying up the real issues. One juror kept getting hung up on these side issues and bringing him around to the criminal facts was difficult but in the end they succeeded.
Absolutely. Even Hitler's dog loved Hitler - because Hitler was good to his dog.
"Good and Evil" isn't a static value in people. People are good in this stituation, and bad in that situation. The issue, as you said, is if they were good or bad in the criminal facts/scenario that's in question.
I wouldn't say everything else is entirely irrelevant - in certain situations it may provide evidence of credibility for if the actions were "by accident" or "fully intended." In your particular example - with "ongoing abuse" on such a large scale - I would completely agree that no level of "very nice to everyone else" matters at all.
Something about being annoyed that issues were brought up about morality that people shouldn't have to spend so much time trying to resolve. I guess this is because I have the Christian point of view that we're all sinners, any of us could have been in circumstances that caused us to act criminally, in a way it's all God's grace if we don't. But nevertheless crimes must be punished. The Bible clearly says that if someone kills a human being he must die for it. So all the ponderings about whether or not someone is completely evil or partially evil or what not are just red herrings.
Perhaps, for you, it is because of your Christian point of view. But, in general, a Christian point of view isn't required to come to the same conclusion.
I'm atheist and my moral code does not come from the Bible. And my conclusions are the same as yours - for other reasons - but the conclusions are the same.
There are some cases where there is absolutely no doubt about the guilt. Those should be executed if there's any way to separate them from the doubtful ones.
I, actually, completely agree with this statement.
But, I think there's a lot of confusion/disagreement on what "such cases" actually are. Which cases are "worthy" of killing the criminal? - Some are easy to identify, others are not - the issue isn't the easy-to-identify ones, it's for the hard ones - where does the line get drawn?
Also, the big question is: How do we, actually, "separate them from the doubtful ones?" Our track record on this terrible.
And I don't like the idea of "trying to figure these out" by implementing systems that "might work and might not" - it's gambling with innocent people's lives.
Is there a way to "figure out" these issue without trial-and-error on innocent lives and then implement a "perfect system?" -if so, I would be interested in looking at it and probably implementing it -but nothing like this is possible or even proposed at this point - as long as this is the fact-of-the-matter: I find it abhorrent to "gamble with innocent people's lives" just because others would appreciate it if it did actually get figured out "one day."