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Unread July 27th, 2004, 07:29 AM
loftus75 loftus75 is offline
Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 19
Default Re: Criminal Reponsibility/Filicide

Without getting into a philosophical discussion, I think the answer is (technically at least) no. "Murder" is a crime; "killing" isn't necessarily a crime." Crimes are defined by the people who make the laws

I take your point that what determines a crime is a social construct. However, (and I freely admit I'm not fully certain of this), I seem to have a vague memory that the United Nations have covered this in the laws concerning human rights. The prisoners have rights which include they should not be exposed to cruel and unnatural punishments, or something along this line. I realise these declarations can be defined to some extent by governments own standards. I also accept there is a high degree of vagueness in these proclamations. To this extent don't governments give up a certain level of sovereignty when they sign up to agreements that standardize crime and punishment? And if this is the case, aren't governments that initiate a system of death penalty which prolongs the life of accused though a series of appeals failing in the agreement?

I believe this to be particularly pertinent at the moment considering the USA's activities on an island off of Cuba, where closed courts may issue the death penalty. I should add that my concern here is not the circumstances of the event, but rather the application of the US constitution and the UN Laws on Human rights, here I would suggest there are violations of these articles already and will be compounded by the application of the death penalty.

I will understand if no one wants to touch this last point as it is a highly emotive and sensitive issue at the moment.

(That is, a death penalty opponent from, say, the U.K. really can't say an execution done in another country is "illegal" solely because it is illegal in the U.K., no matter how he/she may define it philosophically.)
This is not strictly true and is illustrated in the extradition laws between the USA and the UK. The UK will not allow extradition to any State, including those States in the USA, where the death penalty is used. To this extent some legal system's effected in one country override the legal system of another. This goes beyond a philosophical issue.
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