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Jane Lake and Saddam Hussein!


I am saddened that people feel that the death penalty accomplishes anything more than proving that mankind has not yet learned the meaning of love or mercy.

Killing other humans makes us no more than premeditated savages. Saddam Hussein (once just an innocent boy as you can see in the picture) probably was responsible for many horrific crimes, but spending the rest of his life in prison is the only viable humane punishment we know.

How can we expect our children to grow up to believe it is wrong to kill, use guns,and solve problems with violence when we as a society support the death penalty, war, and the right to have an abortion?

I think what we really need to do is to start killing as many people as we can with KINDNESS! Only then will future generations inherit a world worth its weight in milk and honey.

seems like we've done a lot more damage, destruction and killing than saddam ever did

I'm not for capital punishment myself, but if we simply imprission 'for life' everyone that commits a horrible crime. Someone, has to pay for that persons prison space, food, possible rehabilitatino programs, the guards etc. Eventually the system will be overloaded and their is no more room.

I'm not saying prisions are in any way 'nice places to live', but those in one need to somehow pay ($) for their stay I don't think it should be the taxpayers responsiblity.

Anon:

Putting a dollar value on someone's life sounds like some bizarre futuristic sci-fi novel.

You can use the same warped argument to eliminate the sick and disabled.

If there is a cost to living in a moral, just world, I for one am willing to pay it!

To say flat out: "It is wrong to kill." is stupid.

It is right to kill when you are being threatened with death.

Which leads to the second proposition you made: "It is wrong to use guns."

Guns are tools. It is right to use them as weapons when your life is being threatened.

Which, or course, leads to your final proposition: "Violence does not solve problems." As demonstrated above, violence does solve certain types of problems. When you are being exposed to violence, fighting back necesitates violence and will solve the problem.

To state things in such a black/white way is childish, and will not prepare your children for the world they are going to have to deal with when exposed to it.

The evil lies not in killing, guns, or violence per se; it lies within the people who use these things in evil ways.

David:

I realize it is difficult for people raised in a world of violence, hatred, wars, guns, and killing to perceive of a world without these things.

It is easy to look for extreme examples to try and prove your point. I wonder how many times in your life that your life has been threatened, and a gun saved you.

I'm sure you can tell me about someone you know where this has occurred. The reality is that most of us never have our lives threatened and never have to use a gun.

We need to help those who do get their lives threatened and do use guns to learn there are other ways.

I have to say I do believe in some instances it is necessary that lives must taken. Mostly in self defense. I do believe that murderers perhaps should be put to death if it is shown that they made the choice to kill and were not acting in any kind of self defense..and are capable of knowing right from wrong. Unfortunately there just isn't enough space for everyone to be in prison for life.

One of the prices of living in a just, moral world appears to be a death penalty, still willing to pay Jane?

Bisker (which means "an infant" in urban slang!):

Unfortunately we do not live in a just and moral world. I would give it a 6.5 on a scale of 1 to 10.

Getting rid of the death penalty would get us to a 7!

I would have agreed with you completely at one time. As I've got older, I'm not so sure.

If we accept the principle that society has the right to punish certain members through lawful means (a principle which your post seems to accept), the key question then becomes, "What is an appropriate punishment for the particular crime?"

Confronted locally with a particularly appalling case of child abduction, rape and murder a few years ago, I began to ask myself what I thought the appropriate punishment was for the man found guilty of it. In the end I had to conlude that sending him to prison for life was inappropriate because it was too lenient. I concluded that the appropriate punishment for that man was that he should forfeit his life.

I appreciate that criminal law has other functions beyond punishment (including rehabilitation, which is necessarily more difficult if the criminal is put to death). I also appreciate that many will come to a different conclusion about the appropriate punishment for a particular crime.

As far as what it teaches our children, I reflect on these matters as a parent myself. My view now is that imposing the ultimate punishment on certain criminals has the potential to teach children several things:

1. That their safety is very important to us
2. That unlawful killing (i.e. murder) is utterly unacceptable and will be punished
3. That there is a difference between murder and lawful killing

I appreciate there are many practical issues about capital punishment that space does not allow me to address. I am particularly exercised about its potential to be used disproportionality against ceretain sections of the population (in the case of the United States, the poor and African-Americans).

Furthermore, I doubt that Sadaam Hussein's trial will be seen in the light of history as a fair trial. It should have taken place outside of Iraq with a panel of Iraqi and international judges. America's refusal to recognise the International Criminal Court at the Hague, as well as the fact that that court does not impose the death penalty, meant that Sadaam would never be tried there. In that sense, this is a highly political judgement, and although I am no fan of the man, I do accept that his trial was probably unfair. To that extent, I agree with your conclusion - that he should not be put to death - but not with the underlying assumptions that have brough you to that conclusion.

Thanks for the chance to discuss these matters without the usual finger pointing that can accompany blogs on this topic.

Hi,my name is Francesco and I come from Italy. As a human being I'm against the death penalty. As an Italian I really don't understand how civilized countries like the US, for instance, can have recourse to it.

I think we under utulize the Death Penalty. I think sexual predators should also die for the protection of our children. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jessica's_Law

Salvatore:

You make a great point about how dangerous the death penalty is!

Once you start drawing lines, the lines move. Soon we could see death penalties for sexual predators, armed robberies, adultery, etc.

Society is not capable of judging people's lives. Not even taking into account the mistakes that are made and the innocent people erroneously put to death, it is just not our place.

"An eye for an eye, and the world goes blind."

Ghandi said this, and his life wasn't peaches and cream.

Hussien was a wicked man, and if living in prison would still be a wicked man, and in prison still do wicked things and get other wicked men to do his wicked deeds.

I always believed that the Death Penality was for the protection of the entire world. Sometimes I see it, and sometimes I don't.

You speak of a line, but there is no line to draw since everyone uses a different sized pencil.

Given a choice between life in prison and a needle, I would choose the needle every time.

Why is it that everyone sees death as the worst thing that can happen? Its a perfectly natural part of life!

tp

i just think this sasddam thing stinks of polotics. hey george what about africa? some "bad" people there too?

Saddam is being hanged for killing one hundred and something people (at the time he was at war with Iran). I guess Bush should be hanged a million times. So far, more than a half million innocent people have been kliied in Iraq. The Iraq he promised freedom and prosperity. The thing is Bush wanted Saddam hanged from the very start. At first, he accused him of possessing mass destruction weapons which until now haven't been found!!! When that failed, Georgie decided to hang him for his crimes against humanity. The verdict was always there ladies and gentlemen. The trial was a parade. It's mainly because Saddam Hussein is the only Arab leader against Israel.

I'm not defending Saddam, but it's sad to see this pathetic play. If he is to be hanged, then let's hang all the other bad guys too. Bush on top.

I am against the death penalty as a word. I am for taking a persons life to prevent future crime. some pepole just have forfit the right to live along normal pepole. the ones that are against that have not bin the victim or relative of a victim of a "serial" criminal.

I have my concerns about Saddam being hanged, in that (1) would a show of mercy show a difference between civilised democracy and the barbarism that Saddam's Iraq was? (2) having him sit in jail for years as a pathetic old man might prove more powerful as a message than simply executing him (3) there will always be doubts about the fairness of his trial for his supporters to complain about, and not killing him removes this somewhat as an issue for them (4) keeping him in jail for now leaves open the possibility of trying him for a broader set of crimes against humanity once the situation in Iraq stabilises (assuming that ever happens), preferably in a court perceived to be fairer. The court he should be tried in is an international one such as the ICJ in The Hague.

I learned from my Socioloogy class that Death penalty(Execution) cost lot more than prison in life.
and Sure, there are plenty of open land in the U.S.

So, it does not make sense to say "cost too much and no room" be a sophisticated reason to for a death penalty.

I also learned that more than 95% people who were killed by a handgun, was either they killed themselves, or killed by friends or family. (Not by strangers)

Saddam Hussein is the only Muslim leader against Israel? Is that a joke?

Could you be more ill-informed? The whole argument about there not being enough room in prison to put people away for life is stupid. As someone involved in death penalty appeals work, I can assure you that it costs far more money to execute someone than it does to house someone in prison for life.

And if you want to be inhumane enough to argue that we should petition Congress to cut back the federal appeals for death-sentenced individuals, then you should take your hate to the mother of one of the many exonerated individuals. You can explain to her, and maybe to the individual's children, that you'd prefer that individual to be dead, to be wrongfully executed, than to be without the right to appeal one's death sentence.

Sexual predators should be executed? Do you realize that just about every single person on death row, no kidding, is a victim of sexual or other abuse? When our tax dollars weren't being spent to get our children out of foster homes where they were being raped, where were you? Our fellow human beings who ended up committed murder are troubled and flawed. How can you be so emotionally detached from someone's chronic trauma just because he or she becomes eighteen-years-old??

We deserve better as a society than this. We get what we pay for, and when social ills go untreated, expect more.

I believe that Jane lake is correct that once you decide where a line is drawn then someone else will move that line somewhere, sometime. Man does not create man. Yes, we participate in the process, but we are not self created, so therefore we should not have the right to destroy what we did not create. It feels good to lash out when we are threatened and it feels good to know that justice has prevailed and that the bad guys have gotten theirs, but isn't punishment worse when something is prolonged rather than quickened. Killing somebody may be more expedient but prolonging their misery is more of a deterent for others to not make the same mistakes. Killing only makes us the same as the killers. We do it in the name of justice, they probably say the same thing. Killing is wrong. Don't pick on poor Jane just because you don't agree with her. Remember, this is America, and being able to express your opinion is uniquely American. You too can express your differing opinion, but don't get nasty with others just because you don't like theirs. In other words, don't pick on Jane Lake. Or I'll send the bad guys to rub you out. (just kidding)

Death by hanging sounds so cruel -I don't condone it. Lethal injection seems like a more "humane" way to conduct an execution. But, like Blair, I won't devote much time to debating that issue when there are more pressing issues at hand. The "court" has ruled and Hussein may be punished for his crimes against humanity. By that same token, what are we doing about Olmert and Bush (and any other "leader" who is responsible for mass slaughter)? If this one must hang, then surely the others must follow, right? I'm still waiting for justice to prevail.

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