View Single Post
Unread July 19th, 2004, 03:31 PM
loftus75 loftus75 is offline
Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 19
Default Re: Criminal Reponsibility/Filicide

Second, I disagree that the death penalty is so closely related to the U.S. Bible Belt, or to religion in general. The many states in the U.S. that allow the death penalty are not all in the so-called "Bible Belt," and there are lots of examples of death penalty countries in which religion does not prominently influence the national policy (China comes to mind).

I stand corrected on my point that religion itself plays a role in the issue of the death penalty, perhaps I should have said ideology, this would encompass those areas outside of religion as well as religion itself. My apologies to anyone that might have been offended by this comment. In the case of China, it is the ideology that influences the government to use the death penalty.

The point is that "murder" is a crime, but "killing" is not necessarily a crime. In order to commit a crime such as murder (speaking generally; there are exceptions), the person must intend to commit that crime.
Doesn't this then follow that the death penalty itself is a crime? Accepting the fact the governments do carry out the death penalty and that laws embedded in their constitutions allow for this, isn't there a question of duality here?

Many countries do not allow for a death penalty, and I'm fairly certain the current evidence is that the death penalty does not act as a deterent. Arguably the death penalty could be seen as an economic expediency, that it's simply cheaper to despatch the accused rather than pay for the imprisonment or mental health care. I should add, I'm not taking a naive stance here, I am aware that there are individuals that deserve little mercy. I would suggest that a life time inside a prison is less merciful than being dispatched. However, it does leave a window open for future forensic development. As we have seen with DNA and other forensic testing, these can, and have been instrumental in proving someone's innocence long after the initial trial.

Beyond this, each time we execute a killer, we take away a piece of resource. The more we can learn about the psycho-social and biological aspects of murders the more our knowledge will grow, the more accurate will be our assessment of the potential future murderers and the better our forensic knowledge will be during investigation.

It is not my intention to use this as a platform for the anti-death penalty groups, but to suggest that the mad/bad argument is to some extent misdirecting the issue. If we are to have the knowledge base that allows us greater accuracy in the diagnosis of psychopathic disorder, we need to have the resource to study, this resource is the killer. By dispatching our subjects, we cannot develop an in-depth model which can be universally applied, cross culturally and without prejudice.
Reply With Quote