Scott Hardie | February 24, 2004
Following the brouhaha over a singer's breast being exposed on national television - where children could see it! - is a poll indicating that two-thirds of Americans support televised executions, and 21 percent said they would pay to watch Osama bin Laden executed.

I reserve my comments till some of you have a chance.

Mike Eberhart | February 24, 2004
I would have no problem with televising executions. I think that this would really be a deterent to crime. The only problem is, I don't like the current methods of execution. They are too easy, and not painful enough. I would really like to see the courts sentence people to die by the way that they killed the other people. Then you have something. Why should someone who stabbed a guy 30 times, then shot him get a nice little shot in the arm, and put to sleep. That guy should get the same treatment that he gave his victim.

As for Osama, I would definately pay to see him executed. I think every American should get a chance to personally do something to him. They should have a lottery to where the winners get to personally execute that SOB.

That's my thoughts on the subject, I'm sure I'll be the only one that feels this way.

Anna Gregoline | February 24, 2004
You're so adversarial, Mike! "I'm sure I'll be the only one that feels this way."

Your feelings on the matter are how many, many people feel about it. I'm not sure about the TC crowd yet. I'm on the fence about capital punishment. On the one hand, it doesn't act as a deterrent, but that might be because it takes so long for our courts to finally say ok to kill someone, whereas other countries do it immediately. I'm not saying that's necessarily a bad thing, considering all the innocent people on Death Row now being released with new DNA testing of evidence. On the other hand, what do we do with the people who commit the worst crimes we can imagine?

I think it's better to make them live their lives in prison, but when I say prison, I think they should have no contact with anyone, at all. They should live in a windowless cell with only food and water for the rest of their days. That's a much worse punishment than death, in my opinion (My mom would probably add that the walls should be covered with the faces of their victims). I wish that rapists were given harsher sentences too - most rapists (if they are caught and found guilty, a difficult task), will only get a few years in prison, if that. It's sick.

As far as Osama goes, it would never happen. But I'm sure that a majority of Americans would watch and possibly pay-per-view to watch him be executed.

I don't think I'd watch executions on television. I might watch one, but after that, no. I think it's kind of barbaric for people to make money off of the death of others, no matter what the venue. Can you imagine the televised executions on Fox, with commercial tie-ins to American Idol and Malcolm in the Middle and Ford trucks and Coca-Cola? Disgusting.

Mike Eberhart | February 24, 2004
Anna, I only threw that last tagline in there because of my track record here at TC. It seems that every time I post something on a topic like this, everyone else posts the exact opposite. I have no problem trying to get my point across, but lately, it seems like I'm the only one that see's my point of view, and I'm seriously out numbered. So, I make my initial statement, and then sit back and see how it plays out.

Mike Eberhart | February 24, 2004
In response to your post though, I like your plan to isolate the prisoner's in single cells with no windows. The only problem with that is, as a taxpayer, I will be paying for that loser for the rest of his life. I would definately support a move to faster execution dates for people that have been proven guilty 100% and without a shadow of a doubt. They don't deserve to be alive for one more minute. After the judge hands down the order, they should be immediately taken to the prison and executed. I would fully support this.

Jackie Mason | February 24, 2004
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John E Gunter | February 24, 2004
I have no problem with capital punishment, though I agree with the fact that the courts go to slow. But I think I would rather have the courts go at the speed they do so that an innocent person has less of a chance of getting executed.

Would I watch an execution? No way. Sorry, but I'm not into watch others suffer, even if they did something that they should suffer for.

Now, personally, the letting the guy sit in a prison cell for the rest of his life idea, I don't like it. I'm a tax payer also, and I don't like the way these social deviants get treated. Some of the live much better than people who deserve much better treatment.

Say for instance the worker who was injured because of his company's negligence. The way most state's workers compensation is set up, the insurance company is the only one who benefits. But that's a subject for another discussion.

My take on what we should do with the worst violent offenders? I feel that they should be put inside a facility with no guards on the inside. Give them what they need to grow their own food, clothes to wear and that's it. If they want to kill each other, then go to it. They are in jail because they can't follow what society says is right, and let me tell you, our society will let you get away with quite a bit.

So why should we as a society feed, cloth and make sure they are entertained? Let them create their own society in their little box, but just make sure they can't get out. Any caught trying to escape, shoot to kill. That's what I would do instead of a death penalty.

John

Anna Gregoline | February 24, 2004
I like the "Lord of the Flies" idea. Let them kill each other.

It IS supposedly more expensive to kill someone, because of our lengthy appeals process. I think people should get one appeal, and that's it. As it is, I think they get three or more.

Prison would be less expensive for the taxpayer too, if it was reserved for the truely dangerous people, the murderers, assaulters and rapists, instead of full of people charged with drug offenses. Yeah, I don't want a drug dealer on my corner, but I also don't want him spending more time in prison than a child molester.

Dave Stoppenhagen | February 24, 2004
Mike I will agree with you on this one, execute them in the same manner as their victims.

Anna Gregoline | February 24, 2004
Care to weigh in, Scott?

Jeff Flom | February 24, 2004
Barbarism.

How dissapointing that a society that prides itself on being advanced gets entertainment out of crime and punishment.

Court TV, Cops, The O.J. Simpson trial, etc. Americans are perverse in their desire for these things, why stop there, why not televise executions?

An eye for an eye leaves everyone blind.
The Reverened Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Anna Gregoline | February 24, 2004
I know that the majority probably thinks we're advanced, but I don't. I think of America as a very lucky society. We're very lucky to have the rights and freedoms we do. But we're just as animalistic as any other country.

Scott Hardie | February 24, 2004
I don't usually endorse the death penalty, but if we're going to do it anyway, I think it could be a good thing if we televised it, assuming it was done in a dignified way. Many Iraqis refused to believe that Uday and Qusai were dead until they were shown photographic evidence, for instance. Sure, witnessing the execution of Osama bin Laden would strengthen the resolve of some of his troops, but it would deter even more of them. I could be wrong, but I don't see a lot of martyr potential in Osama: He is more dangerous alive and active.

As Dan Savage once mentioned, the only fair punishment for Osama is to rebuild the towers in defiance, take him up to the roof, set his ass on fire, and throw him over the edge.

Jackie Mason | February 24, 2004
[hidden by request]

Anna Gregoline | February 24, 2004
Does anyone think it's weird that we still have multiple means of execution? Personally, I think firing squad is one of the easier ones. Gas chamber is the worst - very painful, I hear.

Scott Hardie | February 24, 2004
Beyond the firing squad's infliction of pain, it has got to be one of the scariest ways to be executed. People get injections and fall asleep all the time, but who wants to get shot dead with rifles?

Anna Gregoline | February 24, 2004
I think it'd be a super quick death though, except I heard about one way back in the day where the firing squad purposely missed so to make it more painful. But I think if they tried that today, somebody would sue somebody else.

Amir H. Sufyani | February 27, 2004
I'm not going to say that the criminals in question don't deserve whatever's coming to them, or that they don't merit punishment equal to their crime, but consider the fact that one of the best gauges of a civilization's attitudes has always been the treatment of its prisoners. If we punish violent criminals with more violence we condemn an act by condoning it. It may sound soft, but barbaric treatment of inmates is a first step on that slipperly slope of morality. State-sanctioned sadism sets up a system where those depraved actions and behaviors becomes "justifiable" which, if anything, encourages vigilante justice. It leads to a situation where the difference between the criminals and the justice system is no longer their means or standards, but who has the power, and who claims to have the moral "high road."

Anna Gregoline | February 27, 2004
But don't the people who do vigilante justice often justify their actions by saying it was better they did that then the guy living a cushy life in prison?


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