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All in fvour of the death penalty say aye!
Posted: 29 January 2008 03:34 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 31 ]  
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goodgraydrab - 29 January 2008 07:17 PM

I won’t give an opinion as to my stance on the death penalty at this time. However, it was interesting to see a video clip of George Bush when he was governor of Texas giving the go ahead for an executuion over the phone. He did not issue a stay and added, “He’ll have to answer to a higher authority now.” Mighty secular of him? Or, doing god’s work?

Those ‘pro-lifers.’ They’re such a riot!

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Posted: 30 January 2008 06:18 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 32 ]  
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Jack’s Smirking Revenge - 29 January 2008 08:31 PM

I’m not exactly sure what you mean by ‘the uneven application of capital punishment.’

In part, I mean the racial disparities in sententing, which I’ll discuss in a moment.

Jack’s Smirking Revenge - 29 January 2008 08:31 PM

(And by comprehensively humane, I’m referring to the disparity that exists between the countless people living in poverty, many through no fault of their own, versus the serial killer who’s given free room and board for the rest of his life at ridiculous, unnecessary costs to the rest of us who don’t go around wantonly slaying our fellow humans. To say nothing of the inhumanity of locking someone in a cage for years on end.)

Valid points, but I’m saying that the ultimate inhumanity that one can commit is to take another’s life against the other person’s will. Nothing else even comes remotely close. (To clarify, I make an exception for cases where a terminally ill person wants to be put out of his or her misery.)

Jack’s Smirking Revenge - 29 January 2008 08:31 PM

In other words, if I’m reading you correctly, you’re asking if I see a difference between the serial killer who kills children and the serial killer who kills other serial killers.

That is not my meaning. This might explain:

http://www.baltimoresun.com/news/local/bal-md.rodricks24jan24,0,3273460.column

“You are four times more likely to get a death sentence in a rural area as an urban one,” Turow said the other day. “Whether you receive a death sentence depends on whether you kill in an affluent area or a poor one”...

He notes that the killing of a white person results in the killer going to death row far more often than when the victim is black. In Illinois, white murderers were sentenced to death at a rate 2 1/2 times that for black murderers - largely because their victims were white.

“In a racially divided society,” Turow explains, “whites are more likely to associate with, and thus to murder, someone white, and that - choosing a white victim - turns out to be the controlling variable. Killing a white person made a murderer 3 1/2 times more likely to be punished with a death sentence than if he’d killed someone black.”

A University of Maryland study found that blacks who kill whites are 2 1/2 times more likely to be sentenced to death than are whites who kill whites, and they are 3 1/2 times more likely to be executed than blacks who kill blacks.

That’s what I mean by emotion - judges and juries are letting their personal emotions about people determine who gets sentenced. In effect, they’re saying that certain lives are more valuable than others.

Jack’s Smirking Revenge - 29 January 2008 08:31 PM

But again, that does not preclude the necessity of the action.

I’m proposing that the emotional basis makes it impossible for us as humans to judge whether this particular action is necessary, compared with the necessity of other sentences.

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Posted: 30 January 2008 09:51 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 33 ]  
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First of all, as with Byron, I couldn’t agree with you more that the ‘justice’ system is fucked, so I won’t bother to address the statements that deal with that subject. I’ll simply remind/clarify once again that I’m not advocating CP for anyone other than those indisputably guilty of profoundly heinous crimes, no matter what color they are, what religion they are, what flavor of ice cream they prefer - the serial killer, the serial rapist. The… ‘promoters of boy-bands like N’Sync,’ and those of professional ‘wrestling.’  grin

Carstonio - 30 January 2008 11:18 AM

I’m saying that the ultimate inhumanity that one can commit is to take another’s life against the other person’s will.

How accommodating your earlier reference to Shawshank (one of my all time favorites, btw), which I will quote, and simply request that you compare/contrast your statement with those of Red…

“... and when they put you in that cell… and those bars slam home… that’s when you know it’s for real. A whole life blown away in the blink of an eye. Nothing left but all the time in the world to think about it.

“They send you here for life, and that’s exactly what they take. The part that counts, anyway.

I’m proposing that the emotional basis makes it impossible for us as humans to judge whether this particular action is necessary, compared with the necessity of other sentences.

Here’s the thing: A life sentence is nothing more than a really long death sentence. No matter how you slice it, the inmate will die in the hands of his or her keepers. How is this any less inhumane than ending the inmates life quickly?

It isn’t. Period. In fact, it is profoundly more inhumane (for everyone concerned) than simply ending the existence of someone who’s, frankly, given up their right to exist.

Now, if you’ve a practical, humane alternative to putting an indisputably guilty serial killer out of his and everyone else’s misery, I’m all ears. I no more want to have to kill anyone than anyone else with a conscience. I simply realize that keeping such vermin alive is, at best, unnecessarily inhumane for all concerned.

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Posted: 30 January 2008 10:14 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 34 ]  
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Jack’s Smirking Revenge - 30 January 2008 02:51 PM

I’ll simply remind/clarify once again that I’m not advocating CP for anyone other than those indisputably guilty of profoundly heinous crimes, no matter what color they are, what religion they are, what flavor of ice cream they prefer - the serial killer, the serial rapist. The… ‘promoters of boy-bands like N’Sync,’ and those of professional ‘wrestling.’  grin

No argument on the last two…

I understood that to be your point already. I was merely saying that because of human imperfections and emotions, no justice system is capable of even coming close to that ideal.

Jack’s Smirking Revenge - 30 January 2008 02:51 PM

A life sentence is nothing more than a really long death sentence. No matter how you slice it, the inmate will die in the hands of his or her keepers. How is this any less inhumane than ending the inmates life quickly?

Hmmm…How about this idea? The mandatory sentence for first-degree murder would be two years of hard time, enough so the murderer has some feel for the reality of incarceration. Then at the end of that period, the murderer must choose between continuing the incarceration for a lifetime or going straight to Ol’ Sparky. This may sound wimpy, but this would make the decision the murderer’s.

Jack’s Smirking Revenge - 30 January 2008 02:51 PM

In fact, it is profoundly more inhumane (for everyone concerned) than simply ending the existence of someone who’s, frankly, given up their right to exist.

For one thing, I believe that the right to exist should be irrevocable, because anything else equates to complete subjectivity. For another, we don’t know if a quick death is humane because we don’t know what it’s like to die.

Jack’s Smirking Revenge - 30 January 2008 02:51 PM

I no more want to have to kill anyone than anyone else with a conscience.

I go further than that. I don’t know if I would ever be capable of killing someone for any reason, even a terminally ill loved one begging me to pull his or her plug.

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Posted: 30 January 2008 11:37 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 35 ]  
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Carstonio - 30 January 2008 03:14 PM

I was merely saying that because of human imperfections and emotions, no justice system is capable of even coming close to that ideal.

Even a ‘justice’ system cannot refute the evidence against, say, a John Wayne Gacy or an Ed Gein. Emotion and human fallibility are all but utterly irrelevant.

Jack’s Smirking Revenge - 30 January 2008 02:51 PM

A life sentence is nothing more than a really long death sentence. No matter how you slice it, the inmate will die in the hands of his or her keepers. How is this any less inhumane than ending the inmates life quickly?

Hmmm…How about this idea? The mandatory sentence for first-degree murder would be two years of hard time, enough so the murderer has some feel for the reality of incarceration.

I’m not (necessarily) advocating CP for a single instance of (even 1st degree) murder, so this isn’t (necessarily) addressing the proposal. But it is, at best, an utter waste of resources, not to mention unnecessarily inhumane for all concerned.

Then at the end of that period, the murderer must choose between continuing the incarceration for a lifetime or going straight to Ol’ Sparky. This may sound wimpy, but this would make the decision the murderer’s.

The serial killer made that decision long before he was in court when he did not extend the option of living or dying to his victims.

Jack’s Smirking Revenge - 30 January 2008 02:51 PM

In fact, it is profoundly more inhumane (for everyone concerned) than simply ending the existence of someone who’s, frankly, given up their right to exist.

For one thing, I believe that the right to exist should be irrevocable, because anything else equates to complete subjectivity.

It’s all subjective, Carstonio. If you’re proposing that there is some sort of objective standard that applies to CP, I’m all ears. (I will suggest, however, that if there is an objective standard to apply, it would be nature itself, in which innumerable organisms are killed every second to preserve the quality of life for those who remain alive. Why should it be any different for us because we eat with silverware and shit in toilets?)

For another, we don’t know if a quick death is humane because we don’t know what it’s like to die.

Sure we do. We were all effectively dead before we were born. Of course we can’t experience it directly, but that doesn’t mean we can’t inferentially know what means to no longer/not exist.

Jack’s Smirking Revenge - 30 January 2008 02:51 PM

I no more want to have to kill anyone than anyone else with a conscience.

I go further than that. I don’t know if I would ever be capable of killing someone for any reason, even a terminally ill loved one begging me to pull his or her plug.

As much as I can appreciate that, how long to you think you could actually stand there while your loved one is suffering before you can finally no longer bear their suffering?

On the same token, could you bring yourself to keep someone locked in a cage for years on end? Are you willing to foot the bill for keeping him alive, and could you do so knowing that just around the proverbial corner an homeless family of four is freezing and starving? Are you willing to take responsibility for the serial killer’s actions should he kill again? Etc. Etc.

Someone has to do the dirty work, and someone has to take responsibility for the serial killer’s future actions as he exhibits no inclination to do so. Again, I can appreciate the fact that you might find it repulsive to do one or both, but there are plenty of us out here who, though we’d assuredly find it unpleasant, would have no substantial qualms about ending the life of human vermin, any more than the surgeon has any substantial qualms about slicing into someone to remove a malignant tumor.

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Posted: 30 January 2008 12:00 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 36 ]  
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I see promise in Carstonio’s idea that we give the convicted murderer an option at some point in which he can continue to live (imprisoned at a subsistence level) or choose to take his own life (given the humane apparatus to do so himself). 

However, I also am convinced that conscience and linguistic ability are the twin offshoots from the same cognitive blueprint.  What I mean here is that the same cognitive accomplishments that produce our particular human linguistic skills also preside over our moral awareness.  (In this sense the particular linguistic skills of different animals also mimic their own moral capacities.)  In people who can commit murder without a sense of moral indignation or guilt, or those who appear to be without a conscience, language use is the key to reestablishing a connection in them with their conscience.  To this end we must break the linguistic bond that connects the incarcerated murderer with the rest of the human population, and this must be part and parcel of his life sentence.  What I mean is that someone who can plan and carry out the killing of another person, has already abdicated any right of return to honesty, integrity, promise-keeping, and all other of the linguistic practices that connect people together. The prisoner must become linguistically isolated (lied to, kept uninformed, steered wrong, etc.) to the point where language itself becomes meaningless.  In this form of extreme isolation a murderer will be forced to confront his own personhood or go mad in his inability to do so.  If at some point, when given the option he chooses suicide over continued incarceration then he should be accommodated.

At present, it appears to me that murderers can exploit the parameters of language to take advantage of both the judicial system and the penitentary system.  Through the language of inherent rights they take advantage of every avenue that our social networks offer, because even though they can remain liars and deceivers of the highest nature, they know that what comes back from the institutions that imprison them are truth, honesty, and integrity.  These manipulators depend on this linguistic connection to others so that they can continue to exploit their situation and to play on the consciences of others in order to lessen the severity of their incarcerations. In this same sense they actually win the battle (over conscience) when they can “force” us (as a society) to submit them to capital punushment.  It may seem like a hollow victory to be a dead “champion” but if you die knowing that society has capitulated to your own moral depravity, then the stain left on social conscience of every citizen is the trophy for the murderer. Every instance of capital punishment carried out is that lowering of our collective moral standard no matter how eloquently we justify that action to our own demoralized conscience. 

The idea that the deliberate destruction of language is an extreme form of torture is no moral highground given the immoral act that makes a murderer a murderer in the first place.  As a matter of fact, by preserving the integrity of language in our relations with the purveyors of capital crimes, we (as a society) are submitting ourselves to a kind of self-inflicted torture.  These prisoners are under no obligation to be honest or truthful, in fact it is to their benefit if they are liars and deceivers; but when we treat them with the same linguistic integrity that we treat people of conscience, we are falling prey to their unconscionable character, plain and simple.  If we kill them, then we are falling into their own state of despicable inhumanity.

By committing a murder (first degree), they are relinquishing their right to morally justified treatment by others.  THis does not mean that we (as a society) can now justifiably take their lives because that would make us morally equivalent to them. However, they cannot be treated with the same moral respect as we treat others who actually have a conscience and are guided by that conscience.  Murderers deserve, by their own ethical behaviour, no respect.  In taking away their language, we can deny them the equivalent of what they denied their victims - moral empowerment (and personhood).

Bob

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Posted: 30 January 2008 01:11 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 37 ]  
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Jack’s Smirking Revenge - 30 January 2008 04:37 PM

(I will suggest, however, that if there is an objective standard to apply, it would be nature itself, in which innumerable organisms are killed every second to preserve the quality of life for those who remain alive. Why should it be any different for us because we eat with silverware and shit in toilets?)

Because we have recognized the consequences of our actions.

Jack’s Smirking Revenge - 30 January 2008 04:37 PM

Sure we do. We were all effectively dead before we were born. Of course we can’t experience it directly, but that doesn’t mean we can’t inferentially know what means to no longer/not exist.

Good point, but I was talking about the process of dying, not its aftermath. I just recently found out why hospitals give morphine to dying patients.

Jack’s Smirking Revenge - 30 January 2008 02:51 PM

As much as I can appreciate that, how long to you think you could actually stand there while your loved one is suffering before you can finally no longer bear their suffering?

I’ve never been in a Schiavo type of situation, so I can only imagine how conflicted I would feel. I would probably feel guilty either way, never being sure if I did the right thing, wondering if I misread the situation or used faulty judgment.

Jack’s Smirking Revenge - 30 January 2008 04:37 PM

On the same token, could you bring yourself to keep someone locked in a cage for years on end? Are you willing to foot the bill for keeping him alive, and could you do so knowing that just around the proverbial corner an homeless family of four is freezing and starving? Are you willing to take responsibility for the serial killer’s actions should he kill again? Etc. Etc.

That’s part of the moral objection to murder - the murderer is forcing society into a moral dilemma. That’s different from facing a naturally caused moral dilemma.

Jack’s Smirking Revenge - 30 January 2008 04:37 PM

would have no substantial qualms about ending the life of human vermin, any more than the surgeon has any substantial qualms about slicing into someone to remove a malignant tumor.

That’s part of my point about subjectivity. By taking life, the murderer makes a de facto claim of a right to decide who lives and who dies for everyone. (I doubt that murderers think that way, but I’m talking about the moral effects of their actions.) If I favored executing the murderer, it would feel like I was making the de facto claim.

[ Edited: 30 January 2008 01:14 PM by Carstonio]
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Posted: 30 January 2008 01:54 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 38 ]  
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CanZen - 30 January 2008 05:00 PM

I see promise in Carstonio’s idea that we give the convicted murderer an option at some point in which he can continue to live (imprisoned at a subsistence level) or choose to take his own life (given the humane apparatus to do so himself).

Most accused persons, from general observation, appear to choose life over death when first given the option through plea bargaining agreements, etc., which might arise for evidentiary considerations. This decision may be due to the sheer finality of death, the lack of conscience (I don’t deserve to die), or hope of some kind (for the sentence to be commuted, for a new trial, for religious redemption). Most appear to opt for appeals and requests for stays. Of course, these may be procedurally required, and I’m not certain the rights can be waived.

However, even when a defendant pleads guilty to the crime, in most DP states I believe, there is a second phase to the trial whereby the jury has to weigh mitigating and aggravating circumstances and, based on that, suggest a life or death sentence, with the judge usually having the final say. When you’re on a jury for that purpose, emotions don’t usually win out when you’re sworn to follow the law.

It is easy to empathize with the victim’s family desire for ‘justice’. There is no doubt that the element of vengence is there. Many of these crimes are so horrendous that an emotional reaction for ‘torture’ seems justified. But a humane execution is considered civil and we can’t even get that right even with modern technology.

Actually, I’m on the fence on this issue at this time, pro-choice on others. But unless you have been in the position to decide the issue of life or death, on a jury or pulling the plug for a loved one, or held a dead fetus on the cusp of her third trimester in your arms, it might be wise to keep the shit from spewing from one’s (not you CanZen) mindless mouth.

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Posted: 30 January 2008 04:28 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 39 ]  
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Carstonio - 30 January 2008 06:11 PM
Jack’s Smirking Revenge - 30 January 2008 04:37 PM

(I will suggest, however, that if there is an objective standard to apply, it would be nature itself, in which innumerable organisms are killed every second to preserve the quality of life for those who remain alive. Why should it be any different for us because we eat with silverware and shit in toilets?)

Because we have recognized the consequences of our actions.

I’m not sure what you’re saying here. Please explain.

Jack’s Smirking Revenge - 30 January 2008 04:37 PM

Sure we do. We were all effectively dead before we were born. Of course we can’t experience it directly, but that doesn’t mean we can’t inferentially know what means to no longer/not exist.

Good point, but I was talking about the process of dying, not its aftermath. I just recently found out why hospitals give morphine to dying patients.

I’m right with you on this as well. Current execution methods are abhorrently cruel. Electric chairs? Jesus christ, it amazes me that they’re still in use. Lethal injection? Many times an excruciating death.

I personally propose we bring back the gallows.

Jack’s Smirking Revenge - 30 January 2008 02:51 PM

As much as I can appreciate that, how long to you think you could actually stand there while your loved one is suffering before you can finally no longer bear their suffering?

I’ve never been in a Schiavo type of situation, so I can only imagine how conflicted I would feel.

I have. Not with a human life, mind you, but a being whose life I personally valued far more than many humans. A being whose life I personally euthanized. One of the hardest things I ever had to do, but utterly necessary given the circumstances.

I would probably feel guilty either way, never being sure if I did the right thing, wondering if I misread the situation or used faulty judgment.

And again, I can appreciate that. Fortunately, nature saw fit not to endow some of us with such reservations.

That’s part of the moral objection to murder - the murderer is forcing society into a moral dilemma.

I personally don’t consider execution a moral dilemma in the least. Other than perhaps the moral issue of insuring the execution is painless.

On the flip side of that coin, however, we could go on all day about the immorality of sustaining the life of human vermin while the homeless family of four freezes and starves…

If I favored executing the murderer, it would feel like I was making the de facto claim.

And yet again, I can appreciate that. But if you don’t think locking someone in a cage for the rest of his or her life is taking that life (‘the part that counts, anyway’) against its will, I don’t know what else to say.


(Awww… was that a swipe at me, drab? If it was, c’mere and sit next to ol’ Jack and let him tell you where he’s been. I’ll even give you some mouthwash so you can get the taste of your foot out of your mouth… again. If it wasn’t directed at me, please disregard the previous two statements, and have a wonderful day.)

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Posted: 30 January 2008 05:42 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 40 ]  
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Jack’s SR: Someone has to do the dirty work, and someone has to take responsibility for the serial killer’s future actions as he exhibits no inclination to do so. Again, I can appreciate the fact that you might find it repulsive to do one or both, but there are plenty of us out here who, though we’d assuredly find it unpleasant, would have no substantial qualms about ending the life of human vermin, any more than the surgeon has any substantial qualms about slicing into someone to remove a malignant tumor.

When the Terri Schiavo case was a big issue in the Catholic world, I was in nursing school.  I’d already gotten my BS in biology, and had then worked in IT for years, but I knew enough for the issue to be controversial within my own mind.  I believed (as every sentimental prolifer would) what the parents were saying, along with the villain son-in-law being an adulterous cad who wanted his wife dead so he could marry again.  *rolling my eyes*  Life is never that simple.  Looking back now with atheist eyes, the bottom line for me would have been: Is she suffering?  If yes, and there’s no evidence of brain activity (which there wasn’t), then there’s a strong case towards euthanasia.  If she’s not suffering, her parents have the money to keep her and take care of her, then I think there’s more merit in giving her family peace than in being “right” about her brain function.  Who really knows what the husband really did and said?  It was a complicated situation and I’m not a judge.

In my mind, the decision of euthanasia should be decided case by case, between the family and medical staff (and preferably with a living will).  The same can be said for abortion (up until viability).  Perhaps also with capital punishment?  Unrealistic, unfortunately.  Part of me thinks of it as culling the herd - getting rid of the serial killers, etc.  But I don’t trust authorities enough to decide where that line ends - what if they start killing disabled or mentally ill people?  On the other hand, prisons are overcrowded and costing the taxpayers a load.  Let’s be serious - not everyone can be reformed.  In fact, it’s likely that most can’t.  So incarceration is mostly to separate these people from the rest of us.  In the movie “The One,” there is no CP, so Jet Li’s evil character is punished by being teleported to a prison world.  There, survival is up to the individual.  Interesting idea.

I just saw an episode of CSI where Brass was asked why a criminal did a certain thing, and his response was cool - he said something like, “a jury wants to know why, but there isn’t always a why.  The truth is it’s never that clean.  People want to believe that life isn’t random…”  That’s aptly put.  Perhaps I put too much focus on practicality instead of the pure science of philosophical and ethical debate, but I feel like there isn’t a good answer for the CP issue.  Maybe as my brain gets used to the freedom of atheism, I’ll be better at letting things play out in my mind without feeling driven to find a workable answer.  For now, people’s behavior just seems too random to be able to figure out answers to these questions.

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Posted: 30 January 2008 07:23 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 41 ]  
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Jack’s Smirking Revenge - 30 January 2008 09:28 PM
Carstonio - 30 January 2008 06:11 PM

Because we have recognized the consequences of our actions.

I’m not sure what you’re saying here. Please explain.

I was referring to our awareness of death and suffering and our capacity for moral choice. (It would be weird to imagine wolves debating the morality of eating young lambs versus old rams.)

Jack’s Smirking Revenge - 30 January 2008 09:28 PM

If I favored executing the murderer, it would feel like I was making the de facto claim.

And yet again, I can appreciate that. But if you don’t think locking someone in a cage for the rest of his or her life is taking that life (‘the part that counts, anyway’) against its will, I don’t know what else to say.

While I agree that it does equate to taking that life, I’m not sure that it’s worse than actual death. That’s why I proposed letting the murderer decide.

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Posted: 30 January 2008 11:49 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 42 ]  
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Pro-death penalty people often dismiss rehabilition as a reason to abandon capitol punishment in favor of jail time. From my own life experiences, coupled with anecdotal reports from the local monks who teach meditation in the maximum security prison here, I think it’s a travesty to completley disregard even the most hardened criminal’s ability to reform-

Meditation, Vipasana help change Tihar inmates’ lives: Study

NEW DELHI, DECEMBER 15 A study conducted on Tihar inmates has shown that meditation and Vipasana — an ancient method of medication — help transform their lives and also lead them away from the world of crime.

The study was conducted by students of Vivekanand College in Delhi on the inmates in Tihar and the impact of Vipasana.

The study also shows that high self esteem or low self esteem are always associated with criminal mind therefore Vipasana helps to maintain the equilibrium. The study further found that inmates who have undergone Vipasana understand the suffering of others. It also helps to develop inmates’ inter-personal relations and also their relations with senior officers.

The study emphasised the need for such meditation programme in Prison all over the country, which can help in reform of the prisoner. During the tenure of Kiran Bedi in Tihar, several meditation programmes were introduced. During the study, psychological impact on Prison inmates was studied by the students. Forty two inmates in two different categories were selected for the study.

In the first categories, there were 21 inmates, who had never undergone Vipasana and the other category comprised of 21 inmates, who have undergone Vipasana at some point of time.

The next phase of the study was to rate these two different teams on various parameters like self esteem, emotional stability and social responsibility. Interestingly, in all the cases, the inmates, who had undergone Vipasana earlier showed positive results than the inmates who never received any Vipasana.

On the third day of colloquium organised by the Bureau of Police Research and Development (BPR&D;) in Delhi, a discussion for a reform in Prison system in India was undertaken. The study on inmates by students was also discussed.

‘Reform criminal justice system’

Speaking on the need for reforms in prisons in India, Former Commissioner of Delhi Police, Ved Marwah said, “ Before reforming our prisons, we need to reform our criminal justice system, which includes police and judiciary. The day our criminal justice system is reformed, the prisons in India will automatically be reformed.” “66 per cent of the inmates are in prison for very petty offences or are first-timers and most of the inmates come from poor section of the society and cannot do anything to speed up justice. So there is need to reform our criminal justice system,” he added.

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Posted: 31 January 2008 01:26 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 43 ]  
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Carstonio - 31 January 2008 12:23 AM
Jack’s Smirking Revenge - 30 January 2008 09:28 PM
Carstonio - 30 January 2008 06:11 PM

Because we have recognized the consequences of our actions.

I’m not sure what you’re saying here. Please explain.

I was referring to our awareness of death and suffering and our capacity for moral choice.

We are not the only beings aware of death and suffering and the distress they cause the living, and the only reason our capacity for moral choice is as complex as it is is because we have the capacity and tools to act in far more moral or immoral ways than, say, the wolf.

Even so, how many wolves do you think a serial killing wolf could kill before the rest of the pack rips it to shreds to protect the rest of the pack?

(It would be weird to imagine wolves debating the morality of eating young lambs versus old rams.)

Well sure… not on the level which WE can debate such things. But watch that wolf as it mourns the loss of the pup it cannot feed because the lambs aren’t there to slaughter. The elephants who mourn the deaths of THEIR loved ones… the same elephants who have arguably figured out that humans are dangerous and have taken to aggressive acts against any they happen across.

While I agree that [life incarceration] does equate to taking that life, I’m not sure that it’s worse than actual death.

Ever seen “Johnny Got His Gun?” You should watch it sometime…

That’s why I proposed letting the murderer decide.

Again, the serial killer made that decision when he killed 39 people.

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Posted: 31 January 2008 01:39 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 44 ]  
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meloncolin - 31 January 2008 04:49 AM

Pro-death penalty people often dismiss rehabilition…

People who propose a serial killer be rehabilitated invariably want nothing to do with being responsible for the serial killer’s actions should he go on to kill again. “We did the best we could to rehabilitate him. Sorry he killed your mother/father/son/daughter/brother/sister/wife/husband. But that’s just, you know, life.

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Posted: 31 January 2008 01:57 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 45 ]  
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Jack’s Smirking Revenge - 31 January 2008 06:26 PM

We are not the only beings aware of death and suffering and the distress they cause the living

I was unaware of this. Would you offer examples?

While I agree that [life incarceration] does equate to taking that life, I’m not sure that it’s worse than actual death.

Jack’s Smirking Revenge - 31 January 2008 06:26 PM

Ever seen “Johnny Got His Gun?” You should watch it sometime…

I read the book after seeing the Metallica video years ago. It’s interesting that in the book, Joe doesn’t ask for death first. Instead, he asks that he be put on display, sort of like a concert tour, so people can see the true nature of war.

Jack’s Smirking Revenge - 31 January 2008 06:26 PM

Again, the serial killer made that decision when he killed 39 people.

Sure. That’s why I proposed a limited range of choices.

Aside - I’m curious to know why you choose the serial killer as the example for this discussion. As heinous as their crimes are, serial killers are relatively rare. There are so many other causes for murder - domestic disputes, gang wars, drug deals gone bad, murder for hire. Equally as heinous, obviously, but driven by different psychological motivations.

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