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Will we ever be able to abolish prisons? Watch

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    (Original post by BIGJohnson777)
    The only situation where it should be reasonable to put someone down is where that person has committed numerous violent offences and almost certainly will continue. I literally just read a news story where a guy who had over 100 violent crimes on his record- beaten someone to death for a fiver. This is the type of people who should be put on a distant island and made fight other scumbags for food.
    I don't believe in giving people like that second chances, considering the level of the crime they have commited. For minor crimes fair enough, it's not as bad.

    For murders, rapists, paedophiles and acid attack people deserve ultimate death.
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    Unless we revert to the Middle Ages and hang people for virtually anything then there will always be a need for prisons.
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    One could conceivable develop a eugenics programme in our working class communities.
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    No one is thinking of abolishing prisons lol

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    If mars were readily accessible, we could always drop them off there.
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    ...why on earth would someone want to do that?
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    (Original post by Observatory)
    Capital punishment is more expensive in the USA because of extreme judicial opposition to actually carrying out any death sentence. That isn't the only way the death penalty has to, or has historically, worked.
    There isn't extreme opposition from anyone other than the defendants who appeal constantly. If we brought back capital punishment we'd have to have that same appeals process which would end up costing a fortune.

    (Original post by Observatory)
    I would probably agree that capital punishment isn't a much bigger deterrent than long prison sentences but I would disagree that corporal punishment isn't a bigger deterrent than short prison sentences for most criminals.
    Well you're entitled to hold baseless opinions.


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    (Original post by Underscore__)
    There isn't extreme opposition from anyone other than the defendants who appeal constantly. If we brought back capital punishment we'd have to have that same appeals process which would end up costing a fortune.
    The vast majority of these appeals are frivolous. The contemporary American judiciary applies a much higher standard of scrutiny to death penalty cases than to any other cases.

    When Britain had the death penalty it wasn't handled this way, frivolous appeals were simply dismissed, and most sentences were carried out within a month of conviction. In Britain in 1950 the death penalty was certainly a cheaper way of dealing with murderers than imprisonment.
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    (Original post by Observatory)
    The vast majority of these appeals are frivolous. The contemporary American judiciary applies a much higher standard of scrutiny to death penalty cases than to any other cases.

    When Britain had the death penalty it wasn't handled this way, frivolous appeals were simply dismissed, and most sentences were carried out within a month of conviction. In Britain in 1950 the death penalty was certainly a cheaper way of dealing with murderers than imprisonment.
    In the 1950s human rights laws were barely even in existence and certainly didn't exist in U.K. law. Now there would inevitably be more appeals and the cases would receive more scrutiny. The simple fact is there is only one country in the world culturally and legally similar to us that uses capital punishment and they waste billions of dollars on it


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    (Original post by Observatory)
    The vast majority of these appeals are frivolous. The contemporary American judiciary applies a much higher standard of scrutiny to death penalty cases than to any other cases.

    When Britain had the death penalty it wasn't handled this way, frivolous appeals were simply dismissed, and most sentences were carried out within a month of conviction. In Britain in 1950 the death penalty was certainly a cheaper way of dealing with murderers than imprisonment.
    Your description of the position in the past is correct, but your analysis of the reasons is not correct.

    There is no sign that the judiciary is institutionally anti-death penalty in the USA.
    The essential problem in the USA is a mismatch of resources.

    US murder trials are generally conducted by county trial judges, many of them elected, and few of discernible legal quality. By comparison in England capital cases were tried by High Court Queen's Bench judges drawn from the pick of the bar.

    They are prosecuted by local district attorneys, again usually elected and usually people using the post as a first foothold in politics. Defence counsel are general publicly funded and in small town America are not even full time, overworked, public defenders but are private practice lawyers offering to do the work for the lowest fee.

    There is no doubt that in England the finest talents in the criminal bar defended murderers. The leading defence counsel would almost invariably be a QC unless it was a figure known as an exceptional junior.

    In England the first appeal would lie to the Court of Criminal Appeal almost invariably presided over by the Lord Chief Justice sitting with two Queen's Bench Division trial judges.

    In the USA in most states appeal lies to an intermediate appeal court presided over by another legal nonentity.

    However, and this is the key difference in the USA , it is normally only once the case has lost its initial appeal is the case taken up pro bono by huge amounts of legal talent dissecting what has gone before. The leg work is done by large number of America's brightest and best law students. There are charities working for death row inmates. They are assisted by the some of the finest lawyers.

    Rather than the judiciary leaning over to find reasons not to execute people, in many cases what the judiciary are engaged in is a process of trying to preserve the convictions of the obviously guilty despite flawed investigation and trial process.

    What you are describing as frivolous appeals are in many cases serious procedural flaws in a legal system that is much more ready than England is to exclude improperly obtained but relevant evidence.

    No legal system can withstand a process by which poor standard decisions are dissected, with limitless resources, by the brightest and the best. Furthermore, only one current US Supreme Court justice has ever presided over any criminal trial; Sotomayor J.
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    (Original post by Underscore__)
    In the 1950s human rights laws were barely even in existence and certainly didn't exist in U.K. law. Now there would inevitably be more appeals and the cases would receive more scrutiny. The simple fact is there is only one country in the world culturally and legally similar to us that uses capital punishment and they waste billions of dollars on it


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    Singapore uses the death penalty without these problems; Singapore's procedure is directly inherited from the British Empire.

    Japan also executes murderers without significant problems.

    The United States is unique in having so dysfunctional a system. This is because the death penalty is a political war zone: more resources are devoted to trying to make it as expensive, slow, and complicated as possible than to ensuring guilty murderers are executed.

    Although nulli tertius claims that I am wrong to characterise the American judiciary as actively trying to obstruct the death penalty, the fact is that all those Yale and Harvard pro bonos are not taking up death penalty cases because they think the defendants are innocent. They are taking up these cases firstly because they morally object to the death penalty and secondly because they believe they will win favour from other people who morally object to the death penalty by acting against it in as high profile a manner as possible.

    This is true even if it is correct that the initial trials often are procedurally improper. The vast resources dedicated to getting off death row felons on any grounds possible will not accept better investigative procedures leading to sounder convictions as a second best. They are very happy that there are a lot of procedural flaws they can exploit.
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    (Original post by Observatory)
    Singapore uses the death penalty without these problems; Singapore's procedure is directly inherited from the British Empire.
    Singapore is hardly a good example, yes their justice system is developed from us however they're culturally very dissimilar and there haven't been, to my knowledge, any studies suggesting they have an economically reasonable means of execution. They also rank below the UK in terms of human rights in every respected human rights index. It's also not without problems, I'm sure I could find you stories of people being executed who weren't even fit to stand to trial.

    (Original post by Observatory)
    Japan also executes murderers without significant problems.
    Japan also ranks lower than the UK in terms of human rights. According to one study it costs Japan 100x times as much to execute people as it does to imprison them, also a poor comparison make.

    (Original post by Observatory)
    The United States is unique in having so dysfunctional a system. This is because the death penalty is a political war zone: more resources are devoted to trying to make it as expensive, slow, and complicated as possible than to ensuring guilty murderers are executed.
    This is such a baseless claim, it takes a long time because appeals are necessary when the end consequence is irreversible and so severe.

    (Original post by Observatory)
    Although nulli tertius claims that I am wrong to characterise the American judiciary as actively trying to obstruct the death penalty, the fact is that all those Yale and Harvard pro bonos are not taking up death penalty cases because they think the defendants are innocent. They are taking up these cases firstly because they morally object to the death penalty and secondly because they believe they will win favour from other people who morally object to the death penalty by acting against it in as high profile a manner as possible.
    Does that not tell you something? By your own admission, the top legal academics in the USA oppose capital punishment. I'd expect them to have a pretty developed understanding of what constitutes an effective criminal justice system. The fact is even this point is wrong; the majority of defenders in capital murder trials are overworked, underpaid and inexperienced, there are even stories of lawyers falling asleep in court. Capital murder trials are a haven for disbarred drunks.

    (Original post by Observatory)
    This is true even if it is correct that the initial trials often are procedurally improper. The vast resources dedicated to getting off death row felons on any grounds possible will not accept better investigative procedures leading to sounder convictions as a second best. They are very happy that there are a lot of procedural flaws they can exploit.
    There aren't vast resources dedicated to getting murderers off, I suggest you do some research before making uneducated claims
 
 
 
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