Shikanosuke wrote:I actually think your making it alot more complicated than it actually is.
I'm not talking about how it is, I'm talking about how it should be. Join me in theorising capital punishment for a while. Before we can support or oppose something, we have to understand how it's supposed to work at a fundamental level (and if that's even possible).
Shikanosuke wrote:Laws are already in place. Though the system has many issues it works. I find it funny saying all this because I don't currently support the death penalty, but I don't think this is a valid argueing point.
This thread is 23 pages long. Everyone's chimed in with little one-liners stating that they agree or don't agree with the death penalty. I'm just changing the direction of the discussion. The legal/moral foundations of the death penalty are a perfectly valid question to raise.
The death penalty seems to be something that is unevenly applied, and has such an enormous history that it is worth trying to iron out what it means and what it's for. Before the first wave of prison reform (well... the invention of the penitentiary), execution was pretty much the default punishment for a huge variety of crimes. There were relatively few solid criteria in place to guide its use.
My questions, then, are very pertinent. If we are going to have a death penalty built into our legal/justice/penal system, what is the reason for it to be there? What are its guiding forces? What is the moral basis for deciding that we can indeed kill someone and have it be OK? With that established, we move to the more specific. Who has the moral authority to decide when the law is appropriate and when it is employed? [You'll note that I am not asking who currently has this authority—that would be pointless!] How do we invest these people with such an authority. Etc. Etc. Etc. The system needs to be interrogated if it's ever going to work in an even and "just" manner.
Shikanosuke wrote:(This is all speaking from an American stand point by the way, outside of the U.S. I have little idea how legal systems work.)
Well, there's no death penalty in Canada, so if it helps you, just pretend we're trying to figure out all of the logistical loopholes of getting one implemented. And doing it right, not just inheriting it as a default punishment for some vague category of "really bad crimes."