A more compelling argument for the Death Penalty?

maccool

Diabloii.Net Member
A more compelling argument for the Death Penalty?

Clicky

The AP said:
HUNTSVILLE, Texas (AP) -- A death row inmate confessed to over a dozen killings just before he was executed Wednesday night, about a month after his punishment was postponed while courts considered an appeal.

After he was strapped to the death chamber gurney, Billy Frank Vickers, 58, admitted for the first time that he shot grocery store owner Phillip Kinslow during a botched robbery in 1993. He was being executed for that crime.

"It was nothing personal, I was just trying to make a living," Vickers said.

Vickers also took credit Wednesday for more than a dozen other killings. He said there were "several more that I had done or that I had been a part of, and I'm sorry but I am not sure how many. There must be a dozen or 14, I believe, all total."

He mentioned no names, except in the case of a former Texas oil millionaire who was accused and later acquitted of killing his stepdaughter in 1976.

"One I would like to clear up is Cullen Davis -- where he was charged with shooting his wife," Vickers said, without elaborating or taking clear responsibility for the slaying.

Cullen Davis was accused of killing his second wife's 12-year-old daughter at his Fort Worth mansion. Priscilla Davis, his second wife, was wounded and her boyfriend was killed. Cullen Davis was later acquitted of murder-for-hire charges in a separate case.

Jack Strickland, a former prosecutor who worked on the Davis case, said Wednesday night that he had never heard of Vickers and doubted that he was involved in the shooting.

"For some perverse reason known only to him (Vickers), he once again screwed with the system. I certainly don't put any stock in it, not the slightest bit," Strickland said.

Vickers also referred to an inmate serving a life term for a murder, but said the inmate's father was responsible for the crime. "I did not do it, but I was with his daddy when it was done," he said.

Vickers also expressed remorse.

"I wish to say to my family, I'm sorry for all the grief I've put you through," he said.

He died at 6:21 p.m., six minutes after lethal dose began. It was his second visit to the death house in about seven weeks.

On December 9, Vickers spent about 10 hours in a small holding cell just outside the death chamber while courts considered an appeal challenging the constitutionality of the lethal drug combination used in executions.

When the appeal was not resolved by midnight, six hours after he was scheduled to die, the execution warrant expired and Vickers was returned to death row.

It marked the first time since Texas resumed carrying out capital punishment in 1982 that a condemned inmate's death warrant expired without a reprieve or without his death.

A similar appeal failed Wednesday, with the Supreme Court ruling about 30 minutes before Vickers was taken to the death house.
Another hot button topic in the OTF, guaranteed to degenerate at some point. Rationalizations for the death penalty generally take the revenge/deterrant stance. Fine. The death penalty is in effect in 38 states. It may be wrong, but it is the law. If you don't like it, you can work to change the law in your particular state. All you ever wanted to know about the death penalty, but were afraid to ask (Fun quiz inside!)

But, in this particular case, the inmate confessed to a bunch of other murders. The article doesn't say whether or not the murders were unsolved, though I suppose that inference could be made. It seems here that the threat of imminent death brought closure to at least 12 families who lost a loved one.

Isn't that a better reason to execute someone than revenge or as a warning to other would-be killers?
 

Yaboosh

Diabloii.Net Member
There has never been significant statistics that have shown that the death penalty has any deterrent effect.

Think about it. His killings seem to have to do with robberies. He probably isnt going into these robberies thinking he is going to kill somebody, so the death penalty wouldnt apply in his mind even if he would have thought about it.

Tell me why he would not have been taken care of with a life sentence? He would be incapacitated for the rest of his life. It wouldnt matter how many murders he committed. His career would be over.
 

maccool

Diabloii.Net Member
Llad,

I'm OK with the concept of the death penalty but not necessarily the way in which it seems to be arbitrarily applied to certain groups of people. That is to say, I have no moral objections to the death penalty and I don't feel strongly about it one way or the other.

I guess the purpose of my post was to say that, in this single case, the enforcement of the death penalty, or the threat thereof, elicted further confessions (at least the way I interpret the article, it's kinda fuzzy) giving the families of the victims a sense of closure. My entire arugment is based on the shaky assumption that the condemned was telling the truth, but it's still an interesting topic.

To me, that's a better reason to kill someone than the oft used retribution or deterrent arguments that in my opinion, really don't hold water.
 

toader

Banned
Yaboosh said:
Tell me why he would not have been taken care of with a life sentence? He would be incapacitated for the rest of his life. It wouldnt matter how many murders he committed. His career would be over.

Problem is that the taxpayers have to pay for him to live there for the rest of his life. I support the death penalty for bad cases. I think its stupid to pay for people to be in jail taking up space for their entire life. They are either gonna rot away in jail and die, or eventually be let out on parol or something. I dont favor guys with bad crimes such as murder, molestation, ****, bad crimes like that being let out on parole, and I also dont favor paying for them to rot away taking up room for people that could be in jail for downloading music :xgrin:
 

Yaboosh

Diabloii.Net Member
The cost to put somebody to death is greater than imprisoning that same person for life.

Discuss.
 

Satans_Advocate

Diabloii.Net Member
I don't believe in the death penalty because i think it is inhumane, but because i don't think it is a harsh enough punishment for such atrocites. You massacre 12 people, but get to die humanely in a chair due to a shot? I say abolish the prison system and the death penalty, and send all convicted felons to a government run mining camp in the rocky mountains where they can work off what they did. Whatever useful they mine can be given to the victim as reparations, and for crimes like ****, murder, and child molestation, they can work there until the end of their natural life span.
 

Lithium

Diabloii.Net Member
Maybe so, but some people would rather pay money for putting a murderer to death than paying money for keeping him alive.
 

Yaboosh

Diabloii.Net Member
Why this morbid desire to kill him? Why do something so irreversible when it is just as useful to keep him alive imprisoned and to be able to reverse it in the future if it is found he was not guilty?
 

toader

Banned
Yaboosh said:
The cost to put somebody to death is greater than imprisoning that same person for life.

Discuss.

Really....can you provide evidence for this? We must also be sure to incorperate the costs of building new prisons because fill up old ones faster.

If it really is that much to put someone to death...we need to contract it out.

If its open for bid....I can do it for $4.95
 

Underseer

Diabloii.Net Member
I don't have a moral problem with executing murderers. The problem is that it's impossible to produce a system that can determine guilt with 100% accuracy. Thus any system you come up with will execute a certain percentage of innocent people. Sure, you can take drastic measures to lower the percentage, but you can never eliminate it.

I cannot accept a single execution of an innocent, much less several.

With the relatively recent advent of DNA technologies, we have had an unusal opportunity to gauge the accuracy of our justice system, and the results have been sobering. Regardless of which study you believe, all the results have been much higher than I'd assumed them to be.

Our founding fathers put together a justice system built on the premise that in general it is better to let a guilty person go than punish an innocent person.

Also, I find it completely barbaric that we're willing to execute people for crimes committed as children. Waiting until they become adults to execute them hardly makes this excusable.

On the flip side, I think many of our punishments for "lesser" forms of murder (e.g. manslaughter due to negligence, 2nd degree murder, etc.) are far too lenient. Crap like nine month sentences or allowing parole is completely unacceptable.
 

Kitana

Diabloii.Net Member
Yaboosh said:
The cost to put somebody to death is greater than imprisoning that same person for life.

Discuss.
Now see, this is what I do not get, nor do I really believe.

What costs are being used in putting someone to death? Paying the lawyers for all the appeals? Paying the judges for all the appeals? What are we talking about here? I just find it very hard to believe that shooting someone up with a bunch of drugs costs more than keeping someone in jail for the rest of their lives. The numbers can be VERY skewed.

What costs are being used in factoring how much it costs to hold someone in jail? You have to figure in the cost of the electricity to their cell, their cell itself, the guard's wages, etc. It's not just food we are talking about here. Also, do not forget the Doctors that will be overseeing them, the Shrinks, the medication they will probably be on.

Is any of that figured in as well?
 

festers50

Diabloii.Net Member
Yaboosh said:
There has never been significant statistics that have shown that the death penalty has any deterrent effect.
The only one with 100% deterrent is the one executed.

Most criminals don't believe they will get caught.
 

llad12

Diabloii.Net Member
Thx for the reply Mac.

Personally, I am not an advocate of the death penalty. To me, it seems like hypocrisy. In executing a prisoner, we are, in effect, committing the same act for which he was prosecuted. There is no real closure for the family of the victim. The death penalty does not seem to deter others from committing similar crimes.

Our society should be above the heinous acts of criminals.

I understand what you are saying here ... but how often does that happen?


Just my opinion for whatever it is worth.
 

giantpinkbunnyhead

Diabloii.Net Member
Well I support the death penalty. I also encourage more barbaric, brutal punishments. Lets not hold the hands and comfort those who have killed others while they die.

As long as somebody is in prison for life... THere is the chance they could get paroled and re-offend. They could escape. They could kill a guard. Their mischief doesn't end with lifetime incarceration. But it does end with their much-earned death.

Violent criminals deserve no respect and no rights. They deserve to die. So they were only 16 when they killed someone? So what. It's not as if being 16 makes the dead victim any less dead.

I think society is so bent on "appearing to be" moral that most people dont want to admit that they have a lust for revenge and vengeance. For me... I just feel better knowing that a murderer was put to death for his crimes. And I would GLADLY pay my share for execution, even if it was substantially more than paying for lifetime incarceration. If I had a choice, I wouldn't pay a dime towards somebody sentenced to life in prison. But I'd pay through the nose to have them executed.
 

Lithium

Diabloii.Net Member
Illad, so if the authorities lock someone up they are committing a crime for some reason?

I mean, punishment is punishment.
 
llad12 said:
Thx for the reply Mac.

Personally, I am not an advocate of the death penalty. To me, it seems like hypocrisy. In executing a prisoner, we are, in effect, committing the same act for which he was prosecuted.
This is what has always bothered me about the death penalty. Someone, presumably not a murderer, has to pull a switch, push a button or the plunger of a syringe, whatever...and is effectively committing the same crime for an arguably better reason.
There is no doubt that murderers deserve death in a good many cases. But it is indeed a hypocrisy of sorts. I don't think I could pull that switch, no matter how heinous the crime, unless I was personally involved in the case (say the victim's father, for example.) Even then I would be committing murder, whether or not the death is deserved.
I do not have an answer that would work, of course.
 

maccool

Diabloii.Net Member
llad12 said:
I understand what you are saying here ... but how often does that happen?
First time I've heard of it ever happening. Usually they plea before trial. Gary Ridgeway, the Green River killer, comes to mind. To avoid the death penalty, he copped to something like 7 murders and told the police where to find some of his victims' bodies. This is a guy who killed forty-something women (I'm not sure about the exact numbers here).

Anyway, I'm glad this discussion has stayed civil thus far. Death penalty type things can bring out many emotions.
 

Yaboosh

Diabloii.Net Member
Oh my, lots of challenges.

Ok, lets see here. Parole is gone in most, if not all states. If you are sentenced to life, that is just what you will serve. Otherwise, you must serve at least 80% of your sentence, and that percentage is going up.

Next, yes, the cost of imprisoning someone is around 24k per year for men on average, and that includes the costs of electricity, building new prisons, food, labor, all that stuff.

The cost of putting someone to death includes the automatic appeals that are necessary in order to help filter out those that may be innocent or had an unfair trial.

Most criminals actually do realize that they have a chance to be caught. These career criminals think they have a better chance to get caught than they actually do. The problem is that most murders are acts of passion, and the two things required for deterrence to work are Reasoning and Knowledge. They may have the knowledge, but they dont have the reasoning during the act. The bottom line is that the death penalty has little to no effect on deterring criminals. This is basically accepted.

The death penalty argument essentially comes down to a moral argument. The only viable argument that is supported by any kind of argument is the moral argument. Not many scholars recognize any benefit besides people thinking that murderers deserve to die. This is why arguing the death penalty reaches a stale mate when either side has a good grasp of the real issue. It comes down to morality, and that is basically the end of the debate. The argument is whether or not they deserve to die, and that their dying is worth potentially losing any innocents. My argument is that as a free country, 1 innocent person dying is not worth putting a million murderers to death. Our freedom just should not allow it.
 
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