A case for capital punishment or not?
Genuine discussion, not interested in trolls with a political agenda.
This entry was posted on Thursday, June 25th, 2009 at 9:24 am and is filed under Law and disorder in the Shire.. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed.
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I’m biased, but definitely yes.
Depends on how humane you are about it though. See, personally, I don’t like the idea that punishment is only to protect society. I like revenge. And I want mine.
I understand the idea of revenge Chris but in relation I’m against it. The decision to end a human life is a serious one and to carry out the act is unpleasent and quite harmful to the participants.
To indluge in taking joy in it is to imedately start to become what you seek to destroy. You’ll note many of those on kiwiblog who are against capital punishment are busy devising imagnaitative revenge based punishments. This is not constructive.
It seems like a clear cut case with this one, but there’ve been other examples too over the past 20 years, usually rape/murder situations.
But listen, if we had the death penalty, would we have applied it to Bain on the first instance? Would we put people to death based on shabby police investigations, or just examples like this where a witness happened to see it in action? And do we need a system that considers a witness to a capital crime to be as biased as the defendant? What grey areas are there and how do we stay firmly on the side of justice?
Where’s the line?
I’m against capital punishment in principle… but there are some cases that definitely challenge that stance.
In some ways, killing seems too good for him.
You has raised one of the key objections Boz.
The argument is often made and never question that it is better that 100 guilty men go free than one innocent man is convicted. However I would argue that this is fact simply supurious reasoning. In fact it is clearly the greater good that 99 guilty people are taken off the street along with one innocent man than to have the excess criminal population free to continue to do harm.
Let me put it to you this way. Most people accept the necessity of war. As a last resort certainly, but it remains a resort. In the interests of our externaly security we are more than happy to only allow thousands of innocent people to die, we in fact conscript them and MAKE them go to places where a lot of them will die. We do this in full knowledge of the consequences.
However in contrast to this we will in the full knowledge that innocent people WILL die if we release killers we shrink from killing them for our internal security. It is simply ignored because we don’t know before hand who either the killer or victim will be so we can afect to be shocked when it happens.
We will risk and allow to die hundreds and thousands of innocent people for our external security but will shrink from risking one innocent person for our internal security. Which by the way is certainly more of a threat to our population than almost every war we have been invloved in.
Is this not a moral contridiction?
I accept it sucks if you personally happen to be the wrongly convicted person, not objectively is it not better for the greater community to accept this risk?
Llew demonstrates the desire for revenge as well. The execution of such a person as this should be carried out in the same manner as putting down a sick animal. It needs to be done but its not something to be enjoyed.
Suprising to some we hillfolk are one of a few sates that does not have the death penalty as an option. It raises the question every so often of what do you do with the individuals that kill without remorse and have no reservations about doing it again. This state has elected to use a life without mercy ( ie never paroled) as a solution. While this has a practical result it does not reduce the urge to act in revence for the wrong; the Lex Talonis-whether we like it or not we are hardwired for revenge and need to recognize this. Murray is right, as a society if we choose the death penalty it has to be used carefully and dispassionatly, otherwise we are no better than a sophisticated mob such as was seen at Tyburn or the French Terror. The social contract has us giving up revenge as a means of social control but it does beg the question of what to do if the system of laws and justice does not make an adequate response to the malefactor?
I am a capital punishment supporter – qualified by a need to be beyond beyond a reasonable doubt to impose it (you can’t commute this sort of sentence once imposed).
Reading about the murder of the two young people yesterday I believe that society needs some very strong deterrents. Filling our jails is no deterrent. Capital punishment I believe is required. These monsters should at the very least have to spend the rest of their lives doing hard labour.
Unfortunately we are reaping the total mismanagement of the social engineers / do-gooders who think they know better. Our society is in turmoil, with too great a proportion of the population not prepared to do the hard work at being responsible citizens. Welfare is no longer charity, more and more people feel that the government owes them something. This is so wrong.
Our political masters do not have the desire to make the changes where the populous is “bound” to take personal responsibility for themselves.
Considering the death penalty to be a deterrent means being naive about human nature and willfully blind to the historical record. People like Weatherston who are overwhelmed with the kind of rage that makes them kill are NOT thinking about the consequences. In other words, they are not behaving rationally. Reward and punishment doesn’t even figure. And the historical record shows that the death penalty has no impact on the incidence of murder whatsoever. The death penalty is sugar-coated poison that soothes the outrage of “good, honest folk,” while at the same perpetrating the slaughter.
Like Ilew, I am generally against capital punishment, but if this guy is found guilty, I’d be prepared to make an exception. How can a defence of provocation succeed when you take the murder weapon to the crime scene with you?
She probably drove him bloody batty, and he her. Sounds like they were a pair of control freaks, each engaged in a to and fro battle for control, and pay-back, control and payback. They appear to have spent a lot of time giving each other the push/pull. Both were smart, yet pretty dumb too. What if the shoe was on the other foot and she had visited him in the same circumstances? Would you people be writing the same stuff? Fascinating.
There is an alternative Murray:
Vivienne Campbell you are an ignorant bain upon society. He killed her and now refuses to take responsibilty for stabbing her 216 times with her mother outside the door, by projecting blame onto his victim. Not only do they lose their daughter, they lose the sanctity of her memory, now she will be remembered as somehow to blame for having her nipple, her vulva, her eye hacked off by the man who murdered her. It is that which is a great evil, and no capital punishment can’t fix either one. he should be locked up forever and pulled out and analysed to remind society that evil doesn’t always wear actual horns, so be newly vigilant. Vivienne, I hope you never have a daughter.
Yes, bring it back. There are no real deterrents anymore, prison is a soft option in NZ, and this man shows no remorse, no sorrow, nothing but self pity, as though he did nothing but steal a bag of sweets. The death penalty would drive it home to him wouldn’t it, would he still be smiling and laughing then?
The thing is that if we had capital punishment it would be much harder to get any jury to return a guilty verdict knowing they are sending a person to their death based only on reasonable doubt about their guilt.
I say lock him up and throw away the key.
I’m against capital punishment (on principle, not out of sympathy for the recipient of said punishment).
I don’t think the introduction of capital punishment would act as a deterrent.
I agree that capital punishment is probably not a deterrent Moondog (although the stats are conflicting and Singapore is statiscially 20 times safer than New Zealand) but my argument is that capital punishment is in fact a punishment in proportion with the offence in same cases.
This one most certainly.
The by product of protecting the public in the future from a man who clearly is so self involved that hes now winking at the prosecution lawyer is nice but not the goal.
Clayton Weatherston has nothing to offer humanity and presents a serious danger of reoffending simply because he is completly sane and does not believe he has done anything wrong.
Liz 2 I don;t see a problem with that. Also finding someone guilty does not automatically mean a death penalty.
I think I understand the comparison you make between war and murder, murray, but I undrstand the concept of one guilty man going free in a different way than it is commonly oferred, that is, as a proof of liberal tolerance of crime. Voltaire said: “It is better to risk saving a guilty man than to condemn an innocent one.” The important concept hidden in this saying is that we (those dispensing justice) must be sure and to be sure we must always be improving our methods of measure, our understanding of minds and causes and overall understanding of crime and punishment.
Again, this may sound like it’s about to fall off into rational for the kind of legislation that creates liberal community centres for the criminally insane and “wet bus ticket” sentencing. But it actually asks us to take responsiblity; to not drift along settling for something less because we’re too tired, scared, outraged or lazy.
Many aspects of the Bain case revealed laziness assumption and desperation. And now “experts” are being brought in to lock the prosecution case against Weatherston right down, but in so doing they just make themselves to look desperate and contradictory. Why the desperation? Emotional responses in justice and plain revenge are very similar.
In order to apply justice fairly and to sentence fairly we have to accept that sometimes we can’t be sure. And when we know we can’t be sure we have two options 1) corrupt the system and appeal to cultural values and politics to cover our failing 2) look for a new truth, or perhaps an old one we’ve discarded, improve our methods, defer to reason. I cannot honestly say that our system currently has much respect for option 2.
Not wishing to nit pick too much, but still on topic, while I can understand the emotional response of “weatherston has nothing to offer humanity” I think otherwise. As a still living example of the “dreaded evil” he offers anyone skilled enough to interact with him a valuble insight into a human condition we don’t often see. I don’t suggest we make a hero of him, or pander to his every want just to keep him talking, but some study of his habits and reasoning may be worthwhile. As someone said elsewhere, you don’t often get to interview these people while either you or they are alive. What we do with the information and whether we preserve it in a useful form will reflect our collective maturity. I should add here also that the court room is not the place to do this. Our system asked to be taken advantage of in the manner it has been, with Weatherston rattling on all day in justifcation of his acts, so there is no one to blame there but our own silly liberal ideas.
In regard to your fist paragraph, I understand it, i just don’t agree with it.
We have a contradiction is action. Either we should risk no one in self defense from enternal threats (clearly insane) or we should risk a minimal number in self defense from internal threats. We do not, also clearly insane in my opinion.
As yet no one has adressed this contradiction.
In regards to your last paragraph. Certainly he can be learned from, in a Citizen X sort of way. I remain convinced he should dealt with in the same when this learning comeplete.
He remains a threat to innocent people if this is not done.
I believe in the death penalty as it’s a deterrent on other killing other people.
To be kept and studied like a “Hannibal Lecter”?. I fear this would only fuel his ego and be no favour to justice
We’ve already had to sit through five days of his poor little me whingings. If nothing else good taste demands a bullet in the back of the head.
He certainly deserves the noose, arriving carrying a weapon is premeditation. In the USA, 1st degree murder. However, I think he’ll get his just desserts…eventually.
He has no remorse and does not believe that he did anything wrong. He could easily do this again without any guilt. He should at least be locked away for life if not executed.
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