Thursday, March 27, 2008

The death penalty

We don't have the death penalty in the UK anymore. The last man sent to the gallows over here was in 1964; the last woman, Ruth Ellis, in 1955.

Truthfully, the death penalty is an abhorrent idea.

But isn't it sometimes just necessary? Isn't it?

I don't often find myself between a rock and a hard place. But this does it to me every time. What to do?

I've spent some time here in recent weeks writing about the attacks on goth couple Sophie Lancaster and Robert Maltby. Both were kicked into a coma. She died. It seems only right that I keep documenting the story.

Two teenage boys have been found guilty in court of her murder. Here they are, on the right. I can't say I wish them anything other than death. I would like it to be a long, drawn-out, painful death.

I wish the same thing upon this chap, too, who so enjoyed killing his 24-year-old victim that he got his girlfriend to take pictures of him next to the corpse afterwards.

Can you really tell me, in the face of indisputable evidence, that there is any real alternative but to rid ourselves of such worthless specimens? They literally do not deserve to live.

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28 Comments:

Blogger Red said...

It's hard to disagree.

27 March, 2008 16:48  
Blogger furiousBall said...

No argument here.

27 March, 2008 17:42  
Blogger lightupvirginmary said...

I agree.

27 March, 2008 18:55  
Blogger Milla said...

As much as I think these two worthless specimen are worthless, I don't think it's up to us to decide whether they should live or die. The fact that the death penalty is made legal by a goverment doesn't mean that it is any better than other kinds of killing.

It would be much better to send these two to force labour and make their life useful that way, breaking stones to build railways, cleaning beaches from oil spills pollution, make them live without what is consider as 'essential' for the human beings to have a normal existance. We could export these people to Kolima camp, ask Putin for advice...

Also, what about their parents? We should also send THEM to Kolima camp, first and foremost.

27 March, 2008 19:38  
Blogger FOUR DINNERS said...

I know it you know it everybody (with enough intelligence to see it) knows it.

There are certain times (and crimes) when the death penalty IS the only way.

It isn't a solution. The dead won't come back, they're families will continue to suffer the loss.

Sutcliffe, Brady, Hindley et al should have died. I suspect they won't ever be released (well Hindley won't anyroad) but more current killers are.

If life really meant life with NO remission I could possibly accept no death penalty.

A posthumous pardon means fuck all to the executed if justice gets it wrong.

Beyond all reasonable doubt is life - so you're at least alive if justice screwed up.

A 'dead' certainty like West and Shipman and Sutcliffe is death.

What do we know eh? We're just the minnions of our undemocratically elected elite.

27 March, 2008 22:53  
Blogger Wandering Coyote said...

I don't know what to say. I came over here after reading about this over at Milla's...Where I basically said I have no words.

However...and I'll probably regret weighing in on this later...but since I'm feeling like I'm on a war path nowadays anyway, what the hell? I think the death penalty is more about anger and vengeance than justice. It may make us feel good or better about how we've handled crime, but it is not a solution, IMO.

27 March, 2008 23:03  
Blogger d34FpUpPy said...

if u has real dna evidence kill tha bastards

27 March, 2008 23:03  
Blogger _z. said...

Hard to say man...

They surely deserve to die... eye for an eye style...
I am also sure that since the story or the incidents did not touch me personally, I find myself leaning towards echoing what milla said... have them clean oil spills, or do useful hard labor... but there is a chance they might escape at some point, or get parole, or even get pardoned in years to come... who know who will take over in years to come and how will they amend rules and laws...

That’s the risk...

But that's also claiming righteousness, coz if the story had touched my close circle, I would say kill the bastards...

28 March, 2008 01:36  
Blogger Cynnie said...

I consider myself liberal
but i'm so for the death penalty..
what the fuck is 15 years in jail after killing someone for no good reason other than your entertainment?
I'm sick

28 March, 2008 04:24  
Blogger * (asterisk) said...

4D: That's what I mean: when there is absolutely no doubt. A posthumous pardon is worth shit.

Milla: I'm all for chain gangs, but I'm convinced that's too good for some people. Sure, state-sponsored murder is not ideal, but what are the real alternatives?

Coyote: Yep. Sometimes the best revenge is not simply living well.

Ultimately, like _z., says, I'm of the opinion that most people would feel state-sponsored murder IS the answer if this was your own loved ones we're talking about. And that's the kicker, ain't it?

28 March, 2008 13:08  
Blogger Milla said...

I don't know what the real alternatives could there be besides what I wrote, but killing the killers I don't think can be one...

28 March, 2008 15:45  
Blogger tweetey30 said...

In some states here in the US we have the death penalty but I see it as maybe they should go to prison and have the same fate there victim had. A beating until death. Esp with a larger inmate kicking them where they couldnt get up and such. Alright a little drastic coming from me but still. That poor girl and her family. I hate seeing people killed for no reason. Goth is in some places and you either accept it or you dont but you dont kill over it. Its sad really. Just looking at these photo's I wish I could get my hands on these two boys and give them a piece of my mind.

28 March, 2008 15:55  
Blogger Martha Elaine Belden said...

i'm pro death-penalty... so yeah, i think these guys deserve to die.

there are people out there who you just can't risk the possibility that they might one day get out.

send 'em to texas... we'll take care of 'em ;)

28 March, 2008 18:20  
Blogger angelsarentfree said...

I didn't realize the death penalty had been outlawed in the UK...
It is a difficult situation. Teenagers kicking someone to death where the fuck are their parents? Should they die too? I'm not sure what to think on these kinds of issues. It is so difficult to look at someone and decide. I think the manner of the crime and the emotions of the criminals have to be taken into account before deciding. For example, obviously the man who had his picture taken next to the corpse has no remorse and in my opinion is not capable of rehabilitation so why not just kill him? The teenagers...if they show any kind of remorse I think they deserve life in prison. Let them rot away in a cell for the rest of their long lives dreaming of a life they will never have with the regret eating them from the inside out.
Hmm, I'm kind of morbid today I s'pose.

28 March, 2008 20:08  
Blogger Candy Minx said...

Hmmm...you've always got such good challenging subjects...

Weeeeellllll....

I can't represent economy for UK...

...but in Canada and the US...it is infinitly cheaper to imprison a murderer than to give them the death penalty. To support life in a prison is less than a 100,000 dollars. For the death penalty it can go into multiple millions (with appeals).

Now as for serial killers. I have very mixed feelings about that. One, argue supporting keeping them alive is "scientific study" we alsreayd know what makes a serial killer. It isn't a mystery so we don't need to "study" them anymore.

A srerial killer is a danger to their caretakers the prison wardens and fellow inmates. Having said that the fact of three square meals a day and no substance abuse (most serial killers are self medicating by booze and or drugs) they actually settle down some of their trolling urges.

When Clifford Olsen was put in prison a criminal profiler interviewed him and realized he had a computer...and that she was his "type"...he hadn't changed or learned anything was visiting sites supporting his illness. (I believe his computer has been removed) One of the prison guards made a good point.

He said that the nature of Olsen's personality was in torture in prison and he was punished. The prison guard hoped that Olsen would live to 150.

Basically...I feel we can avoid the karma of the death penality by ralizing the money we save on imprisoning killers can be spent on community service programs for white collar criminals and armed robbers etc...

Keep the motherfucking killers tightly locked up...they are ill and dangerous ina tangible way.

... and let all those Enron type pigs...oil company executives and environmental abusers help with social community services while serving their sentences...in fact...

Money could also be better spent on employment and art projects and urban planning innovations...thereby perhaps helping heal what creates killers.

28 March, 2008 20:34  
Blogger Candy Minx said...

p.s. Have you or any of your visitors ever seen the Kevin Spacey movie called "The Life of David Gale"?

28 March, 2008 20:35  
Blogger Wandering Coyote said...

Ah, yes: blame the parents! The other easy answer!

Look, you're BORN a sociopath, OK?

Candy: I saw that movie. Man, I have a terrible memory, though. I should take another look.

28 March, 2008 22:23  
Blogger Red said...

Coyote, when evidence against their "darling" children kicking someone's head in was being given at the trial, the families were sitting in court sniggering and laughing. So, in this particular case, I would agree with Angel and make the parents pay too. And sterilize the fuckers while we're at it (they're probably only my age or thereabout, so plenty more scope for breeding idiots). Clearly they're not fit for the job.

29 March, 2008 07:51  
Blogger cappy. said...

kill the evil fuckers.

chain gangs? that'd be ok if it wasn't for the fact that they then go back to their cells to play on computer games or watch dvd's.

nope, with the technology we now have to prove 100% guilt, then let them hang.

29 March, 2008 09:04  
Blogger * (asterisk) said...

Milla: I like to think of it not so much as killing the killers; more of pest control. They are the bugs we don't want crawling around in our kitchen.

Tweetey: It's not such a bad idea to give friends and family an hour with the killers, y'know.

Martha: I wouldn't waste the airfare on them...

Angel: The mother of one kid was in court laughing as the case against her Satan-spawn was being read out. The apple doesn't fall far from the tree...

29 March, 2008 11:48  
Blogger * (asterisk) said...

Candy: One of the things that astonishes me is the cost of the death penalty. If there is DNA evidence and absolute proof (i.e., no potential for miscarriage of justice), then why waste money. Get a 12-gauge shotgun from a local farmer and shoot the doer square in the face. Hell, go the whole distance a buy a couple cartridges. Must be, what, a dollar each. There you go: cost-cutting, prison-space-saving solutions from Asterisk! Then you can spend the rest on employment and art projects and urban planning innovations, like you wanted!

(Heard of the David Gale flick, but don't think I've seen it.)

29 March, 2008 11:51  
Blogger * (asterisk) said...

Coyote: Like Red said.

Red: Yup.

Cappy: Yeah, it's like fucking Butlins in British prisons these days. Cunts.

29 March, 2008 11:52  
Blogger Gardenia said...

Because so many killers and child rapists are released to repeat performances, I too am in favor of execution in especially horrible crimes. I include child rape because basically a life is stolen and the victim is sentenced to hard labor just trying to live. So who plays God so to speak. I don't know. Its a very difficult subject.

Fifteen years for the kid that posed with the corpse is a joke and an insult.

Yesterday I watched "Dead Man Walking" with Sean Penn. I mean I wished I had watched it with Sean Penn, actually he starred in the movie. I cried at the end, even though I would not have changed the end. Sarandon's portrayal of the nun was too sugary sweet for me, but all in all, it was a pretty good movie. Against Penn's character's "sorta remorse" at the end were flash backs to a horrible crime that he had committed.

No, too many of these devils end up back out on the street to keep on killing unless there is a death penalty.

One question that has arisen, is what about the innocent who are found guilty and sentenced to death? I don't know, I just don't know the answers.

29 March, 2008 19:41  
Blogger Avid Andy said...

i'm torn on the death penalty. redemption vs punishment.. i used to be for it no questions asked, but now maybe just convictions with no doubts. ending someone's life is taken too lightly these days.

30 March, 2008 23:06  
Blogger Say It said...

I have no issue with the death penalty. I just want to know that the system determining guilt is 100% positive with no reservations first. Nothing worse than incarcerating and killing those not guilty of the crime they are punished for.

There is something to be said about the literal translation of eye for an eye.

31 March, 2008 20:21  
Blogger Biddie said...

I agree. A death sentence is warranted when there is absolutley no doubt in a case like these.
These animals deserve no mercy.
None.

01 April, 2008 00:35  
Blogger Candy Minx said...

Oops...sorry I've taken so long to get back here and read your response Asterisk...yes, that is cost saving.

The thing is though...if there is no karma or soul...okay cool. No cost to our weight of our soul for taking such final action.

The thing is...couldn't a murderer use that same argument and feeling of no-soul or repercussions to justify their actions?

As you can see, I like thinking about this stuff...but not sure of what would be the course of action that is good on all layers. You make a great point by saying if I'm worried about money then we should shoot them. But if we don't believe in souls or karma or ethics (whatever word one prefers...I realize there are several philosophical points of view reading your blog...)

...then if we are existential about the whole process...why do we get so upset when someone kills someone else...and is intolerant and beats people?

No the fact is...we actually DO CARE about the processes...because they reflect the importance of our caring in general about life...

And the act of letting people serve out a prison sentence tends to support our own feelings that we value the life of our friends, family and neighbours.

Ah...but I have enjoyed reading all the points of view here very much.

01 April, 2008 02:09  
Blogger Wandering Coyote said...

I kinda like that saying "An eye for an eye makes us blind."

01 April, 2008 02:52  

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