Poll: More punishing; Death Penalty or Life in Prison

tippy2k2

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A pretty big thing happened with the Boston Marathon Bomber trial earlier today...

Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, the co-bomber of the Boston Marathon Bombings, was sentenced to death.

There have been much debate over whether he deserves death or life in prison but I'm not worried about that part as he is merely inspiring my thread over being the subject of it. What I would like to know is this...

Take away all the red tape. There is a 100% chance that the person in question is guilty. There is NO chance that they did not do it. There will be NO red tape at all; if sentenced to death, it will be right then and there with no appeals and no time (eliminating one of the biggest problems a lot of people have in that it's cheaper to let them rot then it is to go years and years of appeals). If it helps your decision, you get to decide how he dies (whether you want to save money and just slit the guys throat or whether you want it to be painful like lighting him on fire) but they HAVE to die (so no beating him to the point of death and letting him live). Did I cover everything in terms of arguments against the death penalty? If I did not, pretend I did and assume it's not a problem.

Like the death penalty option where you would choose their mode of death, you also get to choose the prison if you go prison for life as your option. The prison does have to be a "First World" prison so no going The Dark Knight Rises and sending them to The Pit. Similar as well to the death penalty, take away the financial part so if "paying to support the prisoner in prison" is a problem for you in real life, don't worry about that here.

My question; is it a bigger punishment to put someone to death or is it a bigger punishment to have them rot in a maximum security prison?

On one hand, there are maybe three people in the world that are TRULY AND 100% unafraid of death. Even the few who are not afraid of dying, most people are hardwired to want to survive and will do whatever it takes for it to happen (even if their life is a prison room with a few chances a day to go be active). Death is final; life gives at least a slimmer of hope...

On the other hand, life in prison (I imagine at least for I've never been to a maximum security prison) is not exactly a great life. Your world is a small cell with minimal to do. Maybe you get a book to read, some exercise time every so often, and three meals a day but ultimately it's not a good life. For someone like Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, it could have been decades of sitting in that small room with nothing to do...

TLDR (you wound me D:); taking away the politics and red tape, what's the worse punishment; life in prison or death penalty?
 

KyuubiNoKitsune-Hime

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Life in prison is the worse fate. Being stuck in a violent correctional institution with no basic freedoms, as I grow old and feeble, before dying there basically alone, in a prison hospital bed... Terrible face.

The death penalty on the other hand is a lot simpler, however many years on death row, before being executed. There's time to get my mind ready for it, make my peace, it's actually a relife when the day finally comes.
 

tippy2k2

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KyuubiNoKitsune-Hime said:
Life in prison is the worse fate. Being stuck in a violent correctional institution with no basic freedoms, as I grow old and feeble, before dying there basically alone, in a prison hospital bed... Terrible face.

The death penalty on the other hand is a lot simpler, however many years on death row, before being executed. There's time to get my mind ready for it, make my peace, it's actually a relife when the day finally comes.
I don't think it'll change your mind but keep in mind in the question I've got there, there is no time to make peace or anything like that. If you choose death penalty for the person, it's GAME OVER right then and there...
 

KyuubiNoKitsune-Hime

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tippy2k2 said:
KyuubiNoKitsune-Hime said:
Life in prison is the worse fate. Being stuck in a violent correctional institution with no basic freedoms, as I grow old and feeble, before dying there basically alone, in a prison hospital bed... Terrible face.

The death penalty on the other hand is a lot simpler, however many years on death row, before being executed. There's time to get my mind ready for it, make my peace, it's actually a relife when the day finally comes.
I don't think it'll change your mind but keep in mind in the question I've got there, there is no time to make peace or anything like that. If you choose death penalty for the person, it's GAME OVER right then and there...
Even in the worst case there is time for last rites and last meal situation to play out. I'd also say death by firing squad, or hanging. Either would require schedualing, not only for setup, but to get the gallery of whitnesses. That way there is just enough time for someone to come to terms with the fact that it's all over for them.

Side note: Chose those two methods would be because they're instant and relatively painless when done right. No screw ups from chemicals, none tortureous death in poison, electricution, drowning, head alive several seconds to minutes after decapitation, or bleeding out. Just a split second and done.
 

Wakey87

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People can adapt to alot of things, to my knowledge a 10 foot drop with a noose round your neck isn't one of them.
 

tippy2k2

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LeathermanKick25 said:
Also OP. Being unafraid of death doesn't mean one can't be hardwired for survival. I've been in some hairy situations where I've come out on top due to my survival instincts, but I wasn't afraid of dying (which has almost happened a fair few times).
Oh most certainly and frankly, I don't think I worded what I was thinking there very well but I'm thinking of the average person in that statement. Basically, I mean them as two different points but the way I worded it makes it sound like one long point...I'll try to think of a better way to put it.
 

Saltyk

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First and foremost. I am quite happy with the verdict. If there was ever a perfect candidate for the death penalty, it was this lowlife scum. The sooner he joins his brother burning in Hell, the better, in my opinion.
Note: I refuse to learn his name. Much like I refused to learn the name of the Columbine Killers. I will not remember his name, but only his actions. He doesn't deserve to be remembered.

Honestly, this is a tough question. I can see the arguments for both.

From what I read, if he had been sentenced to life, he would be spending 23 hours a day in a Cell without any view of nature, only more of the building (the windows are designed with this intent). Any time he left the cell, he would be in hand and ankle shackles with prison guards escorting him and would remain in them at all times. He'd have little more than another cage to exercise in. And food would be slid in via a slot, allowing the minimum of human contact. Even his communications would be monitored (letters and personal visits).

Basically, he'd be a caged animal all but forgotten in some tiny room with nothing but himself and his thoughts. From what I know, it's Hell. Others in similar confines have been effectively driven crazy and even committed suicide. He could eventually be placed in a less restrictive environment, but it doesn't seem that likely.

On the other hand, death is pretty permanent. I've often thought that I would rather be given death than sit in prison for the rest of my life. Even if I didn't commit the crime (do the guys serving life ever even have people investigate whether they actually did it or advocate for them?).

But no one wants to die. It's a frightening prospect. Few can really say they actually want to die. Odds are, if they said it, they probably have some sort of mental disorder.

So which is worse? Honestly, I don't care. This monster doesn't deserve to live. That's enough for me.
 

Zhukov

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If you were to line up all the lifers in the world and asked each of them, "Would you like to die a painless death right now?", how many do you think would say, "Yes please"?
 

ecoho

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honestly I think they should have taken him outside right after he was convicted and shot him in the head. Quick, painless, and for the fraction of the cost, no repenting no salvation just a one way ticket to hell. Now should this be the case for everyone? no but if you do something like this guy did then no mercy, understanding, or pitty should be given.
 

Lufia Erim

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tippy2k2 said:
KyuubiNoKitsune-Hime said:
Life in prison is the worse fate. Being stuck in a violent correctional institution with no basic freedoms, as I grow old and feeble, before dying there basically alone, in a prison hospital bed... Terrible face.

The death penalty on the other hand is a lot simpler, however many years on death row, before being executed. There's time to get my mind ready for it, make my peace, it's actually a relife when the day finally comes.
I don't think it'll change your mind but keep in mind in the question I've got there, there is no time to make peace or anything like that. If you choose death penalty for the person, it's GAME OVER right then and there...
This is what i was going to say. Death is the worst fate. Because when you die, that's it . It's game over man, game over. No 1-Up, no continues. It's the end. Life in prison will suck, but it's still life. I'll take a shitty life over no life anyday. I think that people who thing Death is easier, don't understand what death is. It's literally, THE END. No more. You cease to exist.

That being said. The only thing worst that being dying, is knowing you are going to die and when. See we all "know" we will die one day, but we don't know when, so we don't think about it. But once you know "when" you are going to die, shit get's real. Ask anyone with a terminal illness.
 

Lufia Erim

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ecoho said:
honestly I think they should have taken him outside right after he was convicted and shot him in the head. Quick, painless, and for the fraction of the cost, no repenting no salvation just a one way ticket to hell. Now should this be the case for everyone? no but if you do something like this guy did then no mercy, understanding, or pitty should be given.
No salvation? I don't think it works that way. Plus who are you ( or i or anyone for that matter) to deny someone salvation or repentance ?

[small] unless you were joking or sarcastic [/small]
 

Jadak

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Umm... Death penalty? Can always kill yourself if prison isn't working out, making it equivalent at worst.

More pertinent question is why anyone should care about 'punishing'. Kill him, leave him to rot, it's a pointless motivation.

Realistically, it's just a matter of how best to remove him from society for good. Beyond that, largely question of where one stands on the morality of killing and the expenses involved in execution vs life imprisonment. (or in other words, if it's cheaper to kill him and you have no problem with killing, be done with it. If it's not or you're not, don't)
 

Sleepy Sol

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I think it partly depends on the offender, but as someone who's not a fan of the death penalty in general I am personally rather partial to the idea of just letting them have life in prison to either think over their actions or to simply suffer as long as possible for the lives they damaged and took. Death feels like far too much of an easy way out (but maybe this perspective is just influenced by my own views of mortality, I dunno).
 

Redlin5_v1legacy

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Even split here with the voting stats right now.

I'm against killing people in all circumstances. Box them in, use them to make license plates and wait (especially if kids were involved) for fellow inmates to hand down their decision. A flat out execution lets their existence end while their victims and the families of the victims get to continue to suffer. There is brief satisfaction when you get to hear that capital punishment sentence passed but it doesn't change the fact their crime took place. It's far more justified in my opinion to let them live without any freedom as their guilt eats them up inside. If they have no guilt, well, their bodies will deteriorate around them without accomplishing anything else in their life while waiting eternal damnation so there's that. I prefer Life in Prison as the harshest sentence because of those reasons for punishing the condemned and there is one other reason. You can't reverse a false death sentence when its carried out. If someone is proven innocent and is still in prison, they get to have their freedom back. The dead care little for pardons.

Then there are all the financial reasons why execution costs a state more but that's not what Tippy asked to cover.
 

Recusant

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I can actually offer some insight here. I live in Illinois, which (functionally) abolished the death penalty in 2000. In so doing, governor Ryan commuted the sentences of everyone on death row to life without parole. In order for this to be finalized, however, each of the prisoners had to write in and specifically ask the governor for clemency. Faced with the choice of serving out life sentences in prison against execution when the governor's moratorium was lifted, every last one of them ended up writing in (or, in one case, having a letter written for him). And these were people who were already in prison, who had seen (and were seeing) just how bad it got. I can't say for certain that I'd make the same decision, though.

Lufia Erim said:
I think that people who thing Death is easier, don't understand what death is. It's literally, THE END. No more. You cease to exist.
That's making the assumption of no afterlife or reincarnation or anything; it may be true, but you don't know that's the case any more than they know it's not, and the vast majority of people believe that it isn't. Beliefs play no small role in shaping decisions.
 

f1r2a3n4k5

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Death is worse because it is irreversible.

I oscillate back and forth on the death penalty, I really truly do.

To me, the biggest objection is that the person could be innocent.

But, in a case when it is so clear-cut like this one, I'm really not sure.

Can people forfeit their right to life? It's not an easy question.

Certainly, the fact is that we accept that such criminals forfeit other rights. The right to freedom? The right to autonomy? Those are permanently forfeited by the criminal because of their actions. Is it such a stretch to think that the right to life cannot also be revoked?
 

Chefsbrian

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Life in prison is worse. Even if you serve twenty years of a life sentence, then find that you are in fact innocent and get released... Do you really have a life? Your twenty years removed from all your real experiences, friends, family, your previous employable skills are probably completely useless, if not incredibly rusty, your record is still marred with "Served twenty years of a prison sentence", and there's no financial compensation for wrongful imprisonment that I'm aware of. You'll never retire, all your old belongings are long gone, you'll just die poor and alone anyhow, scrambling to recover scraps of a life lost.

I'd rather take the firing squad. A conviction worthy of life or death will have already destroyed my name in the face of the public, regardless of the reversal. Your dead at that point regardless.
 

Grey Edwards

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Worse for him? Life in prison. What I'd want? Given your options, I'd have him immediately taken out back after he's sentenced and have a bullet put in the back of his head. It doesn't matter what punishment you use, it's not going to deter criminals anyway. Save the taxpayers the hundreds of thousands it would take to house and feed him. Just a buck or two for a bullet. Maybe more if you need a second shot. Remove the burden from society without adding a different one.