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#132488 08/23/02 09:43 PM
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Because of the deaths of Jessica and Holly, the UK is experiencing a new call to reinstate the death penalty. There has been a rash of child abductions and murders these past few weeks which has people on both sides of the Pond very nervous - with good cause.
Statistics were released yesterday by the Home Office that shows that violent crime in the UK has risen 125% since the repeal of the death penalty in the 1960's.
Do you think there is a connection? How do you feel about the subject?

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#132489 08/24/02 01:32 PM
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Are those two really well connected? That is, was crime increasing steadily even before that point, so that choosing that point is sort of an arbitrary dot on a steady line? Or was it really low before then, and then spiked after then?

I just find it hard to believe that someone who does really nasty things like that really thinks about consequences. They're not thinking about what will happen if they get caught. They're already not thinking properly ...

I have mixed feelings about the death penalty. I don't mind that exists. To say that you're going to stick someone in prison for say 70 years and pay for them, for cable TV, for health insurance and everything else all that time seems really insane. We have non-harmful people starving to death on the streets and we give this great treatment to people who we say are actively harmful to society.

I'd rather just end the life of people who are so nasty that they are an active threat to the rest of us. And yes, every once in a while we might get an innocent one by accident. But innocent people die all the time in car crashes, in the water, in storms, in simple household accidents. When they build giant buildings they always make the assumption that a few people might die during its constructions. I think we as a society have to come back to accepting death as a part of life instead of fighting so hard to keep every single person alive no matter what the general harm to our society.

We'll be at the point soon where we can only legally buy food that's squeezed from a tube because knives and forks are too "dangerous" to be in the public's hands ... I heard they already banned glass containers in some British pubs, yes? Because they might break?


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#132490 08/24/02 11:12 PM
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You know, we have the problem of always wanting to save EVERYONE. Some people don't want to be saved. Some people are happy to rot in their misery. The whole, let's let a bunch of people who've commited crimes that makes horror stories look like walks in the park, on the off chance that someone MIGHT be innocent, kind of drives me nuts. It's like we're saying, hey! We've got this great legal system up, that's supposed to weed out the bad guys, and protect the innocent, but we know that it's not going to work, so don't use corporal punishment.

This same concept has been put to use in our school systems. "No one gets left behind!" "Save everyone!" So everyone gets to drag along, because one kid has decided that education is not for him. (I do know that there are special classes for children who are truly behind... why make the entire class on the lowest level?) Anyway I bring this up because it plagued me when I was in school, and now it is plaguing my siblings (I have twin 9year old baby sisters) and soon will drive my own kids nuts. I took a special program to get out of school early because of this same attitude. Anyway I digress.

So, I have mixed feelings about the death penalty, but a man was caught (in the next neighborhood over ) in the act of raping and then violently beating an 11 year old girl. He is also suspected of raping a 32 year old woman a week before. He took this little girl out of her own bed and basically tried to kill her.... I don't think that a person like that should be "rehabilitated" they just need to be removed. Maybe in the next life (or in hell depending on your religious beliefs) he will figure out that you just don't do that.

Sorry to rant <img src="/images/graemlins/smile.gif" alt="" />

#132491 08/25/02 02:29 PM
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I agree with you completely on that one. We're talking about fully formed adults that have chosen a path in life. Sure, it might have been a bad path, and they might have been nudged onto that path. But they still chose it. There are millions of children that grow up in not-happy households that still turn out to be wonderful adults. It's an insult to them to say that they're helpless to become good people because of their past.

So if someone chooses to beat up and rape and kill people, that's their choice. And we as a society have made it clear that it's an invalid choice in our society. They could have chosen to go somewhere that it's accepted (joined a terrorist organization or something). But instead they chose to stay here in our society *and* follow that path. So when we then catch them, I think we have a right to remove them from our society.

I would really like an Escape from New York sort of solution where we have an island we dump them. If they want to live like that, they can do it away from our society. It'd be great if we could tag them somehow so they could never get back in to any country that chooses to block them out, either. But until we get to that point, I don't think paying for them to live comfortably for the rest of their life is a way to spend our money, when we have kids and elderly and other people counting pennies.


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#132492 08/25/02 04:39 PM
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Not to mention all the programs that provide a genuine service, that are going without funding. Our food bank is so low on food, that they don't know how people are going to survive the winter this year. And there are lots of people who become homeless through bad luck and circumstances, not because they are lazy bums. There isn't enough funding to help these people, who generally are good people, just down on their luck.

The death penalty isn't for just commiting a crime, this is for the most heinous of crimes! You have to have seriously done some bad stuff to get that kind of a sentence... and in order to be convicted of something like that, they have to have some pretty strong proof. The cases where there isn't much strong proof, but they choose the guilty verdict anyway, tend to have a lighter sentence (I think it's done subconsiously)

#132493 08/25/02 10:17 PM
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Back to the original thought - are you ready for an outrageous, kick [censored] solution?! If so, let's go. <img src="/images/graemlins/laugh.gif" alt="" />

I'm not sure that a "death penalty" would necessarily persuade a hardened criminal to choose a more acceptable lifestyle. It's not immediate enough! There's years of trials, appeals and waiting on death row (all while enjoying 3 meals a day, cable TV and free health benefits). There's possibly a more immediate solution to the problem and one that other statistics bare out.

In 1998 all guns were removed from law abiding British citizens (how many criminals do you think voluntarily turned theirs in?). A study done at the Center of Defense Studies at King's College concluded that criminal use of handguns increased 40% in the two years after legally owned firearms were removed from private hands. Whoops! Does this make sense? Now the bad guys have all the guns and the good guys are unarmed and defenseless.

OK! Now they said the crime rate went up 40% in the two years after they took away the good guys guns. But it turns out they were lying. It went up much more than that because not all violent crimes were used in the original statistics. The new statistics will be released in October. But it's looking more like a 60% increase in just two years.

So you can see who gets the upperhand when the general public can't defend themselves. The same sorts of criminals that now understand that everybody they plan to assault can't do didley about it. Who are you going to call - the cops? Most violent crimes are committed before police protection can arrive. Lord knows they're busy enough as it is.

Here's an alternate solution, if anyone is interested. Legally arm law abiding citizens and train them how to safely use their firearms. That would be an immediate solution. A hardened criminal isn't any more interested in dying than the person they assault. If the bad guy knows that there's a chance of being shot by their "victim," then maybe they will think twice.

Ask yourself this, if you were a criminal hellbent on commiting a crime, would you rather look for an unarmed victim or a person packing some heat?

Criminals want victims. If we refuse to be victims, there would be a lot less criminals.

I told you it was outrageous! <img src="/images/graemlins/wink.gif" alt="" />

#132494 08/26/02 11:53 AM
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I like that solution Moss! We're having a lot of problems out here with people wanting to make guns illegal... and they throw out statistics about you being more likely to shoot a family member, or your kids will shoot each other. I feel like the people who throw those thoughts out are trying to use scare tactics to get us to follow their party line. I personally don't like guns, but that's only because I have holes in my eardrums, and when a gun goes off the noise HURTS!!!!

People who commit crimes are looking for victims. When I went to college in california, I took night classes. I always carried a can of pepper spray, and I had a small pocket knife with me. It may not look like much, but if some guy tried to carry me off, he'd be in for a world of hurt <img src="/images/graemlins/laugh.gif" alt="" />

#132495 08/26/02 02:45 PM
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I don't think it's that outrageous. They have done studies in towns where most people carried a gun on them, and crime in those towns was incredibly low. Criminals are criminals because they want easy money, and they don't want to work for it or bother with big risks. Facing an armed person for a $50 take isn't worth it to them.

The studies that say that family members kill each other assume these are all accidents. But they're not. A lot of those deaths are women protecting themselves from violent boyfriends/husbands. And I would GLADLY arm every woman to give them half a chance against a violent boyfriends and husbands. It's the one equalizer in life, to help someone that is older or weaker have a chance against a stronger attacker.

The studies that say kids get killed are counting any child over 16 (or over 13 in some studies) and include all inner city gang shootings. I'm sorry, those kids didn't buy their guns legally and aren't affected by gun law changes ...

When I lived in a city, I had a group of 18 year old drug types try to break into my home when just me and my infant son were home. You better believe me that I grabbed my pistol and yelled to them that I had a gun. And they took off. But if it was just me and my son, and no gun, do you think they'd have left? And if I called the police, and they took their normal 10-15 minutes to show up, it would have been way too late.


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#132496 08/26/02 03:14 PM
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There was a one woman crime spree about a year ago, this woman would drive from snowcone shack to snowcone shack and hold the teenagers who worked there up with a razor blade. You can bet that if there was an armed person working there she wouldn't have tried that!

And a pizza delivery man was beaten, almost to death, for the twenty bucks he had. If he was armed, chances are the robbery would have turned out differently.

That's why there are so many crimes commited against children, they are almost the ultimate victim, being so helpless.

Nope Moss, I totally agree with you that we should have the good guys armed. <img src="/images/graemlins/smile.gif" alt="" />

Those guys who flew the planes into the world trade towers hijacked the planes with a blade (I can't remember the details, but I'm pretty sure that it was a razor blade) Anyway, imagine if there was an armed person (even a cop or a steward... or even the pilots themselves, well maybe not the pilots, since they would have to concentrate on flying the plane, but an official of some sort would be good,)on board. Pretty hard to hold up a plane with a knife if you've got a gun pointed in your face.

#132497 08/27/02 09:40 AM
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Moss, I couldn't agree with you more! I think it's about time that criminals, or would-be criminals, knew that there would be some kind of consequence for their actions.

Taking the firearms away from honest, law abiding citizens only gives criminals the advantage. And it seems that the courts and the legal system cannot rehabilitate offenders.

Generally, I don't believe in "an eye for an eye" but when it comes to murder, I just don't see how someone can be rehabilitated.

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