Ornery.org
  Front Page   |   About Ornery.org   |   World Watch   |   Guest Essays   |   Contact Us

The Ornery American Forum Post New Topic  Post A Reply
my profile login | register | search | faq | forum home

  next oldest topic   next newest topic
» The Ornery American Forum » General Comments » Last Words

 - UBBFriend: Email this page to someone!    
Author Topic: Last Words
Mormegil
Member
Member # 2439

 - posted      Profile for Mormegil         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
The last words of executed criminals in the US.

I support the death penalty, though not as practiced in the US. Reading this mixture of contrition, defiance, and rationalization was very moving nonetheless. I think any death penalty supporter should read each one of these. Put a human face to what you argue for.

I end up still thinking that it is just for murderers to lose their lives as punishment for their crimes. But I sorrow both for the lives snuffed out by the criminals, and for the criminals themselves; they had a chance at life, and they could have been good people, or at least not killers... I sorrow for what they might have been.

Posts: 800 | Registered: May 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
philnotfil
Member
Member # 1881

 - posted      Profile for philnotfil     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Thanks for sharing that. Some of them were incredibly moving, some of them were incredibly dumb. Some of them were amusing:
quote:
"I was once asked by somebody, I don't remember who, if there was any way sex offenders could be stopped. I said no. I was wrong."

—Westley Allan Dodd, executed in Washington on Jan. 5, 1993


Posts: 3719 | Registered: Jul 2004  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
drewmie
Member
Member # 1179

 - posted      Profile for drewmie   Email drewmie   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
A few years ago, I drafted a Capital Punishment Resolution for Mormons for Equality and Social Justice (MESJ), a left-leaning group for LDS people (not affiliated with the LDS church). I'm pretty proud of it. Check it out if you're interested. It's written in the form:
- Social/political arguments
- Scriptural/doctrinal beliefs
- Consequent resolution

[ July 08, 2009, 11:15 AM: Message edited by: drewmie ]

Posts: 3702 | Registered: Aug 2003  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Paladine
Member
Member # 1932

 - posted      Profile for Paladine   Email Paladine   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
What do you propose to do about inmates who repeatedly kill other inmates or kill/assault staff in prison, Drewmie? We've lost control of our prisons in this country; what should be among the safest places are instead the most dangerous. I'm generally opposed to the death penalty, but think that murder in prison or even the serious assault of a prison guard should be punishable by death. There must be some limit to the amount of violence society allows you to visit upon its members before your life is forfeit, and committing violence in prison seems like a nice bright line.

Also, Congress doesn't have the power to make something Unconstitutional by just declaring it to be so. The Constitution specifically considers and allows capital punishment, and arguments that the death penalty is inherently Unconstitutional (or that it can be made so by a mere act of Congress) are false on their face.

Posts: 3235 | Registered: Jul 2004  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
cherrypoptart
Member
Member # 3942

 - posted      Profile for cherrypoptart     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
http://www.corsinet.com/braincandy/dying2.html

Capital punishment: them without the capital get the punishment.
Executed in electric chair, Florida.
~~ John Spenkelink, d. May 25, 1979

How about this for a headline for tomorrow's paper? French fries.
Executed in electric chair in Oklahoma.
~~ James French, d. 1966


Well, gentlemen, you are about to see a baked Appel.
Executed in electric chair in New York.
~~ George Appel, d. 1928


---------------------------------------

This made me a little curious about victims though and how they often seem to be forgotten.

Looking at the faces of those murderers, being the sympathetic person I am I can't help but imagine the terror and misfortune of the victims as those faces were the last ones they saw in this life.

How about, for some balance perhaps, the last words of victims?


http://www.tampabay.com/news/publicsafety/crime/article967139.ece


"Have you lost your … mind!"


http://www.chicagobreakingnews.com/2009/04/hassan-justice-murder-dupage.html


"What are you doing?"

The dying words of a St. Charles woman being beaten to death with a hammer were heard publicly for the first time today through a 90-second recorded telephone message.

Karen Hassan, 41, who arrived at a vacant firewood lot near West Chicago about 8:30 p.m. on Nov. 2, 2006, is heard asking, "What are you doing?" Another indistinguishable person's voice is heard in the background, along with sounds of an apparent struggle.


http://www.wave3.com/Global/story.asp?S=10131786


"But I have a daughter".


Louisville, KY (WAVE)- A Louisville man's last words were for his daughter. 21 year old Camden McCrosdkey was shot to death Friday outside of the ValuMarket in the 7500 block of Outer Loop. A witness told WAVE 3 she heard is last words were "but I have a daughter".


http://www.legalaffairs.org/printerfriendly.msp?id=276


"My wife poured gasoline on me and lit me on fire."


http://www.waff.com/Global/story.asp?S=10240529


"Help me, Bill."


------------------------------------------

It's extra sad in it's way. Not only do the murderers take their lives, but they take away their ability to say something profound as their last words, and then people get to sit around and give great consideration to the last words of people who have had years to come up with something worthy of reflection, and sometimes succeed. But it's just another measure of loss, comparitively, for the victims. Perhaps trivial, but another token of how they're forgotten.

Posts: 7675 | Registered: Mar 2007  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
PSRT
Member
Member # 6454

 - posted      Profile for PSRT   Email PSRT   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
The Constitution specifically considers and allows capital punishment,
It does allow capital punishment but that does not mean that the 8th amendment can't also rule out the death penalty with changing mores, since "cruel and unusual," logically necessitates a comparison to present day mores. This is a place where the Constitution may contradict itself.
Posts: 2152 | Registered: Apr 2009  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
PSRT
Member
Member # 6454

 - posted      Profile for PSRT   Email PSRT   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
What do you propose to do about inmates who repeatedly kill other inmates or kill/assault staff in prison, Drewmie? We've lost control of our prisons in this country;
I think you actually answered your question. Fix our confinement system.
Posts: 2152 | Registered: Apr 2009  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
TommySama
Member
Member # 2780

 - posted      Profile for TommySama   Email TommySama       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:

"Somebody needs to kill my trial attorney."

—George Harris, executed in Missouri on Sept. 13, 2000

...

"Viva Italia! Goodbye to all poor peoples everywhere! Pusha da button!"

—Giuseppe Zangara, executed in Florida on March 20, 1933

...

"Go Raiders!"

—Robert Charles Comer, executed in Arizona on May 22, 2007

...

"See you all on the other side. Warden, murder me ... I'm ready to roll. Time to get this party started."

—James Jackson, executed in Texas on Feb. 7, 2007

...

Photo
"Redskins are going to the Super Bowl."

—Bobby Ramdass, executed in Virginia on Oct. 10, 2000

...

Photo
"To all of the racist white folks in America that hate black folks and to all of the black folks in America that hate themselves: the infamous words of my famous legendary brother, Matt Turner, 'Y'all kiss my black ass.' Let's do it."

—Brian Roberson, executed in Texas on Aug. 9, 2000

...

Photo
"Please tell the media, I did not get my Spaghetti-O's, I got spaghetti. I want the press to know."

—Thomas Grasso, executed in Oklahoma on March 20, 1995


Posts: 6396 | Registered: Feb 2006  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Paladine
Member
Member # 1932

 - posted      Profile for Paladine   Email Paladine   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
It does allow capital punishment but that does not mean that the 8th amendment can't also rule out the death penalty with changing mores, since "cruel and unusual," logically necessitates a comparison to present day mores. This is a place where the Constitution may contradict itself.
It doesn't logically necessitate any such thing. Instead, it serves to protect against things which were understood to be cruel and unusual by the 18th century Americans who penned the document. Suppose that people today weren't to consider drawing and quartering to be cruel and unusual. It would still violate the 8th Amendment because, according to the understanding which prevailed at the time the document was ratified, that was cruel and unusual punishment.

This is one example among many in which "evolving protections" provide no protections at all. Certainly a punishment which is explicitly considered and permitted by the Constitution can't stand in violation of that same Constitution. Your interpretive framework requires us to twist the document around in self-contradicting knots and trust a pannel of unelected lawyers to sort it all out. Mine is logical and consistent.

quote:
I think you actually answered your question. Fix our confinement system.
How do you fix the problem of repeat violent offenders in prison? We've tried segregated housing and it isn't working.
Posts: 3235 | Registered: Jul 2004  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Rallan
Member
Member # 1936

 - posted      Profile for Rallan   Email Rallan   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Paladine:


quote:
I think you actually answered your question. Fix our confinement system.
How do you fix the problem of repeat violent offenders in prison? We've tried segregated housing and it isn't working.
Fix your mental health system and your prison system perhaps?
Posts: 2570 | Registered: Jul 2004  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
threads
Member
Member # 5091

 - posted      Profile for threads   Email threads   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Paladine:
quote:
It does allow capital punishment but that does not mean that the 8th amendment can't also rule out the death penalty with changing mores, since "cruel and unusual," logically necessitates a comparison to present day mores. This is a place where the Constitution may contradict itself.
It doesn't logically necessitate any such thing. Instead, it serves to protect against things which were understood to be cruel and unusual by the 18th century Americans who penned the document. Suppose that people today weren't to consider drawing and quartering to be cruel and unusual. It would still violate the 8th Amendment because, according to the understanding which prevailed at the time the document was ratified, that was cruel and unusual punishment.
How do you deal with cases where the original understanding of the text is not easily applicable to the modern world. For example, there are many types of arms that exist now that did not exist back when the 2nd amendment was authored and are not obvious extensions of arms that existed at the time (ex: tanks, aircrafts, automatic weapons). Even under your method we have to hypothesize as to how the original authors of the Bill of Rights would apply their concept of arms to our modern day weaponry. This is much more difficult than "arms are arms" because our concept of arms is much different than the original concept of arms and the original concept of arms is obsolete.

quote:
Originally posted by Paladine:
This is one example among many in which "evolving protections" provide no protections at all. Certainly a punishment which is explicitly considered and permitted by the Constitution can't stand in violation of that same Constitution. Your interpretive framework requires us to twist the document around in self-contradicting knots and trust a pannel of unelected lawyers to sort it all out. Mine is logical and consistent.

Unfortunately, your framework is also very inflexible so there's a large short term incentive to ignore it. Ideally our system would be designed so that optimal long term behavior (such as maintaining a consistent interpretation of the Constitution) would be encouraged. Perhaps there could be a dedicated time, maybe once every decade like the census, to consider amendments to the Constitution. The goal would be to make the Constitution a more active participant in our government. However, I don't think this is currently feasible since our federal and state governments are not set up to handle such a nationwide collaboration. Another possibility would be to strip down the Constitution and allow states to add their own amendments. This would be nice because it would both allow us to see how various amendments work out and prevent a catastrophic amendment from bringing down the country.
Posts: 778 | Registered: Aug 2007  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
drewmie
Member
Member # 1179

 - posted      Profile for drewmie   Email drewmie   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Paladine wrote: What do you propose to do about inmates who repeatedly kill other inmates or kill/assault staff in prison, Drewmie? We've lost control of our prisons in this country; what should be among the safest places are instead the most dangerous. I'm generally opposed to the death penalty, but think that murder in prison or even the serious assault of a prison guard should be punishable by death. There must be some limit to the amount of violence society allows you to visit upon its members before your life is forfeit, and committing violence in prison seems like a nice bright line.
You're making the false assumption that our problems in the prisons will be alleviated by such things. Frankly, I wish it were that simple. My opposition to capital punishment isn't ideological. It's practical. It just doesn't have the desired effects, and it costs far more than other alternatives. Capital punishment in America is so full of inequities, Constitutionally required due process delays, and inept errors and corruption that it just isn't as simple as you'd like it to be. Let's stop beating the drum for something that has proven not to work (and causes a helluva lot of expenses and problems) in state after state after state. Instead, let's fix the problems with ways that work.
quote:
Paladine wrote: Also, Congress doesn't have the power to make something Unconstitutional by just declaring it to be so. The Constitution specifically considers and allows capital punishment, and arguments that the death penalty is inherently Unconstitutional (or that it can be made so by a mere act of Congress) are false on their face.
Not really true. While Congress can't override judicial review with its own declarations of what is constitutional, it can pass laws that outlaw capital punishment and declare it "cruel and unusual." This would pass far easier than amending the Constitution, but would have the same practical effect. Just look at what Congress did in forcing the government to stick to the Army field manual regarding interrogation. They don't have to change the Constitution to make such changes in America.
Posts: 3702 | Registered: Aug 2003  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
drewmie
Member
Member # 1179

 - posted      Profile for drewmie   Email drewmie   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Paladine wrote: We've lost control of our prisons in this country; what should be among the safest places are instead the most dangerous.
This is true, and a real problem, so I'd like to address it further. In my opinion, the biggest problem with our prison system is its purpose. Americans have not yet clued up to the fact that retribution doesn't work. We need prison systems that have two explicit goals, in this order:
  • Protect the general public from harm.
  • Rehabilitate prisoners with a primary emphasis on reducing recidivism.
We'll get nowhere as long as we're pulled between the right-wing's wrongheaded need to give them what they deserve while prohibiting anything they don't deserve, and the left-wing's wrongheaded need to keep them happy joined with prison officials who hate dealing with prisoners who can't watch useless shows and lift weights.

We need a new paradigm that does the following:
  • Take away all the crap we give them that merely passifies them in the short-term, but doesn't HELP them in their rehabilitation. Useless non-educuational television, weight rooms, soft porn, and pulp fiction need to go. We don't do this because they "don't deserve it." We do it because it isn't helpful. Sorry prison officials, but get over yourselves and deal with it.
  • Keep them busy in therapy, healthy group activities, on appropriate medications, work training, educational programs for GEDs and even college degrees, and every other possible productive endeavor that has shown itself to keep them from re-offending. I don't care if they don't deserve it. If society will pay far less by doing it, then we do it. Prisoners should be exhausted at the end of every day, and should be trained to get personal satisfaction from healthy endeavors. In short, we should wear them down, brainwash them, and build them up again.
  • Some prisoners won't be willing to follow such a system no matter what. Others aren't mentally capable. Again, we do whatever will keep society safe FIRST, then do whatever we can within those boundaries to rehabilitate the prisoner to whatever extent is possible. Yes, some people will just need to be kept in isolation till they die. But our prison systems needlessly push more prisoners toward that end of the spectrum, then claim they can't be changed. It's a self-fulfilling prophesy, and it's a pathetic excuse. Get over your juvenile need for retribution, America. I'd rather actually have fewer rapes rather than obsessing about punishing rapists.
  • One last item: make sentences about what protects the public, NOT about what crimes are bad, worse, and worst. Stop worrying about "lesser" crimes getting worse punishments, and vice-versa. If a lesser criminal is more likely to offend, then the sentence may need to be harsher. And incarceration needs to be about keeping people from being hurt, not about punishment. There are a thousand ways to deal with offenders who won't hurt anyone other than prison, especially since prison hurts far more people than it helps (and by extension, makes society less safe). Again, it's about what works, not about what people deserve or don't deserve.


[ July 09, 2009, 01:26 AM: Message edited by: drewmie ]

Posts: 3702 | Registered: Aug 2003  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
RickyB
Member
Member # 1464

 - posted      Profile for RickyB   Email RickyB   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
"what should be among the safest places are instead the most dangerous."

Why should they? The object of prisons is not that THEY be safe, just that they keep those without safe from what's within.

Posts: 19145 | Registered: Jan 2004  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
OpsanusTau
Member
Member # 2350

 - posted      Profile for OpsanusTau   Email OpsanusTau   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Yes, some people will just need to be kept in isolation till they die.
This is just an aside, but I would just like to point out that keeping prisoners in isolation is possibly the most cruel and unusual part of contemporary prisons.

I read an article about this somewhere a couple of months ago and will try to dig it up.

But the truth is that putting someone in isolation is a classic example of completely unhelpful - causes far more problems in the long run than are ever solved.

edited to add:
Here is the one

[ July 09, 2009, 06:06 AM: Message edited by: OpsanusTau ]

Posts: 3791 | Registered: Mar 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
scouser1
unregistered


 - posted            Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:

"Somebody needs to kill my trial attorney."

—George Harris, executed in Missouri on Sept. 13, 2000

Some people really take that **** seriously.

I know this has no relevence but this reminds me of the Argentine football player Andre Escobar.
He scored an own goal in the World Cup in 1994.
Commentator Alan Hansen said at the time that he "wants shooting for a mistake like that"
Turns out, someone thought that was a good idea, mainly the Columbian drug lords that had big bets going on that game.
That incident always reminds me that things said in haste can go really wrong. [Frown]

[ July 09, 2009, 07:02 AM: Message edited by: scouser1 ]

IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
PSRT
Member
Member # 6454

 - posted      Profile for PSRT   Email PSRT   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Your interpretive framework requires us to twist the document around in self-contradicting knots and trust a pannel of unelected lawyers to sort it all out. Mine is logical and consistent.

Yours is unknowable (more than one meaning was held at the time of the writing and many understandings were never written down), illogical (appeal to authority) and inconsistent (originalist understanding of different clauses has changed many times in response to the issues of the day).

quote:
It doesn't logically necessitate any such thing. Instead, it serves to protect against things which were understood to be cruel and unusual by the 18th century Americans who penned the document.
"Cruel" and "unusual" only have meaning in relation to "humane," and "usual." Since what is usual practice changes, unusual also changes. Locking those words into the understandings of them that were held in the 18th century (which understanding, by the way? There were more than one) is contradictory to the denotations of the words.
Posts: 2152 | Registered: Apr 2009  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
threads
Member
Member # 5091

 - posted      Profile for threads   Email threads   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by drewmie:
quote:
Paladine wrote: We've lost control of our prisons in this country; what should be among the safest places are instead the most dangerous.
This is true, and a real problem, so I'd like to address it further. In my opinion, the biggest problem with our prison system is its purpose. Americans have not yet clued up to the fact that retribution doesn't work. We need prison systems that have two explicit goals, in this order:
  • Protect the general public from harm.
  • Rehabilitate prisoners with a primary emphasis on reducing recidivism.
We'll get nowhere as long as we're pulled between the right-wing's wrongheaded need to give them what they deserve while prohibiting anything they don't deserve, and the left-wing's wrongheaded need to keep them happy joined with prison officials who hate dealing with prisoners who can't watch useless shows and lift weights.

We need a new paradigm that does the following:
  • Take away all the crap we give them that merely passifies them in the short-term, but doesn't HELP them in their rehabilitation. Useless non-educuational television, weight rooms, soft porn, and pulp fiction need to go. We don't do this because they "don't deserve it." We do it because it isn't helpful. Sorry prison officials, but get over yourselves and deal with it.
  • Keep them busy in therapy, healthy group activities, on appropriate medications, work training, educational programs for GEDs and even college degrees, and every other possible productive endeavor that has shown itself to keep them from re-offending. I don't care if they don't deserve it. If society will pay far less by doing it, then we do it. Prisoners should be exhausted at the end of every day, and should be trained to get personal satisfaction from healthy endeavors. In short, we should wear them down, brainwash them, and build them up again.
  • Some prisoners won't be willing to follow such a system no matter what. Others aren't mentally capable. Again, we do whatever will keep society safe FIRST, then do whatever we can within those boundaries to rehabilitate the prisoner to whatever extent is possible. Yes, some people will just need to be kept in isolation till they die. But our prison systems needlessly push more prisoners toward that end of the spectrum, then claim they can't be changed. It's a self-fulfilling prophesy, and it's a pathetic excuse. Get over your juvenile need for retribution, America. I'd rather actually have fewer rapes rather than obsessing about punishing rapists.
  • One last item: make sentences about what protects the public, NOT about what crimes are bad, worse, and worst. Stop worrying about "lesser" crimes getting worse punishments, and vice-versa. If a lesser criminal is more likely to offend, then the sentence may need to be harsher. And incarceration needs to be about keeping people from being hurt, not about punishment. There are a thousand ways to deal with offenders who won't hurt anyone other than prison, especially since prison hurts far more people than it helps (and by extension, makes society less safe). Again, it's about what works, not about what people deserve or don't deserve.

+1! I'm glad you posted this. It's awful how discussions of prison terms seem to revolve around "how can we make them pay for their crime?"

[ July 09, 2009, 07:59 AM: Message edited by: threads ]

Posts: 778 | Registered: Aug 2007  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
kenmeer livermaile
Member
Member # 2243

 - posted      Profile for kenmeer livermaile   Email kenmeer livermaile       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
"Why should they? The object of prisons is not that THEY be safe, just that they keep those without safe from what's within."

Because, unless they're in there for life, they come back into society. Only now they're suffering some MAJOR PTSD that makes them prone to be dangerous free citizens.

Posts: 23297 | Registered: Jan 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Pyrtolin
Member
Member # 2638

 - posted      Profile for Pyrtolin   Email Pyrtolin   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by drewmie:
[QUOTE]
  • Take away all the crap we give them that merely passifies them in the short-term, but doesn't HELP them in their rehabilitation. Useless non-educuational television, weight rooms, soft porn, and pulp fiction need to go. We don't do this because they "don't deserve it." We do it because it isn't helpful. Sorry prison officials, but get over yourselves and deal with it.
  • Keep them busy in therapy, healthy group activities, on appropriate medications, work training, educational programs for GEDs and even college degrees, and every other possible productive endeavor that has shown itself to keep them from re-offending. I don't care if they don't deserve it. If society will pay far less by doing it, then we do it. Prisoners should be exhausted at the end of every day, and should be trained to get personal satisfaction from healthy endeavors. In short, we should wear them down, brainwash them, and build them up again.

My only quibble lies here in one inherent contradiction- weight rooms do solidly represent a good choice for a healthy activity when you have limited overall space.

Excercise is as good for the mind as it is for the body, both functionally and emotionally, and having exercise equipment is a good and easy way to provide it broad but controlled scale.

Implicitly, by what you say also comes the point that offenders that don't offer any actual threat to society shouldn't be in prison at all, or only for very limited times, which would be useful all around for clearing out the vast overload of drug and other non-impinging offenders.

Posts: 11997 | Registered: Oct 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Wayward Son
Member
Member # 210

 - posted      Profile for Wayward Son   Email Wayward Son   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Commentator Alan Hansen said at the time that he "wants shooting for a mistake like that"
Turns out, someone thought that was a good idea, mainly the Columbian drug lords that had big bets going on that game.
That incident always reminds me that things said in haste can go really wrong. [Frown]

Considering it was some drug lords who did it, they probably came up with the same idea without Alan having mentioned it. [Smile]
Posts: 8681 | Registered: Dec 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
drewmie
Member
Member # 1179

 - posted      Profile for drewmie   Email drewmie   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Pyrtolin wrote: My only quibble lies here in one inherent contradiction- weight rooms do solidly represent a good choice for a healthy activity when you have limited overall space.

Exercise is as good for the mind as it is for the body, both functionally and emotionally, and having exercise equipment is a good and easy way to provide it broad but controlled scale.

I agree that exercise is an essential part, but it shouldn't be free weights. Often the only exercise is essentially body building, which just feeds into a macho culture of intimidation and violence. I doubt there are many guys on the free weights for whom bigger muscles is helpful to them in healthy ways.

Exercise: absolutely. Free weights, boxing, etc: no way.
quote:
OpsanusTau wrote: But the truth is that putting someone in isolation is a classic example of completely unhelpful - causes far more problems in the long run than are ever solved.
Oh, I agree. While I don't preclude the possibility of its necessity in extreme cases, it is used far too often when other options should be used instead.

[ July 09, 2009, 05:28 PM: Message edited by: drewmie ]

Posts: 3702 | Registered: Aug 2003  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
scouser1
unregistered


 - posted            Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Wayward Son:
quote:
Commentator Alan Hansen said at the time that he "wants shooting for a mistake like that"
Turns out, someone thought that was a good idea, mainly the Columbian drug lords that had big bets going on that game.
That incident always reminds me that things said in haste can go really wrong. [Frown]

Considering it was some drug lords who did it, they probably came up with the same idea without Alan having mentioned it. [Smile]
Unfortunately, that didnt stop the BBC from having to apologise for him saying it after getting thousands of complaints, a majority of them actually believing that Hansen caused it by saying those words. Thats why, even if the drug lords had the idea anyway or not, you should always be careful of the things you say when your in a very impressionable job or environment. Some people do take **** literally.
IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Paladine
Member
Member # 1932

 - posted      Profile for Paladine   Email Paladine   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
How do you deal with cases where the original understanding of the text is not easily applicable to the modern world. For example, there are many types of arms that exist now that did not exist back when the 2nd amendment was authored and are not obvious extensions of arms that existed at the time (ex: tanks, aircrafts, automatic weapons). Even under your method we have to hypothesize as to how the original authors of the Bill of Rights would apply their concept of arms to our modern day weaponry. This is much more difficult than "arms are arms" because our concept of arms is much different than the original concept of arms and the original concept of arms is obsolete.

Well, you hinted at the answer yourself. Things like tanks and aircraft carriers aren't logical extentions of what the Framers called "arms", and so their private ownership isn't protected by the 2nd Amendment. Handguns and rifles are much easier, however.

quote:
Unfortunately, your framework is also very inflexible so there's a large short term incentive to ignore it.
I disagree. My framework is actually much more flexible than the "living Constitution" in a lot of ways. Consider an issue like school prayer or abortion. According to my reading, these are issues which people can decide through the democratic process. It's flexible in that the people through their elected representatives can make policy changes. The "living Constitution" crowd provides a much *less* democratic and *less* "flexible" framework for these things to work themselves out; 5 unelected lawyers make a decision and the rest of the country falls in line.

I don't intend that as an invitation to debate those issues on this thread as I don't intend to derail it, my point is only that superior flexibility is *not* an advantage of an "evolving" constitution.

quote:
You're making the false assumption that our problems in the prisons will be alleviated by such things. Frankly, I wish it were that simple. My opposition to capital punishment isn't ideological. It's practical. It just doesn't have the desired effects, and it costs far more than other alternatives. Capital punishment in America is so full of inequities, Constitutionally required due process delays, and inept errors and corruption that it just isn't as simple as you'd like it to be. Let's stop beating the drum for something that has proven not to work (and causes a helluva lot of expenses and problems) in state after state after state. Instead, let's fix the problems with ways that work.
Well, I'm talking about a much narrower focus for the death penalty than what we currently use, Drewmie. If there be cases where I'd advocate for the death penalty for someone who commits a crime on the "outside", it's very rare. I'm talking about a zero tolerance policy for the serious assault or murder of other inmates or especially prison staff.

The bottom line for me is that there are only so many times society can allow those around you to risk life and limb for no better reason than to allow a determined killer to continue to draw breath. I believe that this will constitute a deterrent for many of those who currently have nothing to lose (someone in for life without the possibility of parole), and will make our prisons a safer place both for guards and for inmates. It could be that I'm wrong, but I don't see evidence that I am.

quote:
Not really true. While Congress can't override judicial review with its own declarations of what is constitutional, it can pass laws that outlaw capital punishment and declare it "cruel and unusual." This would pass far easier than amending the Constitution, but would have the same practical effect. Just look at what Congress did in forcing the government to stick to the Army field manual regarding interrogation. They don't have to change the Constitution to make such changes in America.
Well, sure, they can declare it whatever they like. Just don't mistake that for having even an ounce of Constitutional weight. Otherwise they could simply declare what we're doing here to not be "speech", and in so doing take away our 1st Amendment protections. They certainly can abolish the death penalty in the federal system, but to my knowledge they have no legal authority to determine what course individual states take within their own justice systems.

quote:
Why should they? The object of prisons is not that THEY be safe, just that they keep those without safe from what's within.
We don't want the place to be zoos for a number of reasons. First off, it's much less safe for the people we hire to guard them. Second off, it's dangerous and unfair in a variety of ways for less violent and non-violent offenders to put them in with murderous animals. It makes more people turn to violence in prison and makes it harder for them to come back as productive members of society when their time's done.

quote:
Yours is unknowable (more than one meaning was held at the time of the writing and many understandings were never written down),
No standard I'm aware of is "knowable"; different people today consider different things to be "cruel and unusual". Any kind of interpretive framework is going to require judgment calls to be made by the smart and professionally educated people we put on the bench.

But on this issue it's hard to say that there's any ambiguity. When the Constitution clearly considers and permits a type of punishment under certain circumstances, to say that it also forbids that same punishment under all circumstances is absolutely inane. I couldn't have come up with a better illustration of the problems with your view of Constitutional interpretation, and I thank you for providing it.

quote:
illogical (appeal to authority)
Not according to any definition of that logical fallacy with which I'm familiar. What authority am I appealing to? What am I appealing for?

quote:
"Cruel" and "unusual" only have meaning in relation to "humane," and "usual." Since what is usual practice changes, unusual also changes. Locking those words into the understandings of them that were held in the 18th century (which understanding, by the way? There were more than one) is contradictory to the denotations of the words.
I don't believe there's anything contradictory at all about it. I'm interpreting it to mean "those things which we at the time of the writing consider to be cruel and unusual", while you're interpreting it to mean "those things which you at some future date shall consider to be cruel and unusual". The question of which of those is a more appropriate reading depends upon how you're reading the rest of the document.

You're reading the entire thing as something which changes over time and is capable of saying things it didn't say yesterday, and so to you your interpretation looks logical and obvious. I'm interpreting it as a set of words with a relatively fixed and unchanging meaning, and so my interpretation appears logical and obvious to me.

But again, you're the only one between us who has suggested that the Constitution doesn't mean what it explicitly says when referring to conditions under which the government can take someone's life. When the plain text of one part of the document conflicts with your interpretation of another part, it's a good indication that you've gone off the tracks so far.

It takes a special kind of arrogance to insist that, when the words of Constitution say one thing about its meaning and you say another, you must be correct. But sad and confusing though it is to me, I'm used to this from the Left. [Frown]

quote:
This is true, and a real problem, so I'd like to address it further. In my opinion, the biggest problem with our prison system is its purpose. Americans have not yet clued up to the fact that retribution doesn't work. We need prison systems that have two explicit goals, in this order:
Protect the general public from harm.
Rehabilitate prisoners with a primary emphasis on reducing recidivism.

Agreed! I posted a thread awhile ago about shifting the focus of our system away from a punitive model and towards restorative justice. I actually think we're pretty close on a lot of the broader issues here, just a little different on some of the smaller points.
Posts: 3235 | Registered: Jul 2004  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
kenmeer livermaile
Member
Member # 2243

 - posted      Profile for kenmeer livermaile   Email kenmeer livermaile       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Restorative justice. I like the sound of that. Has a balanced, carrot'n'stick feel to it.
Posts: 23297 | Registered: Jan 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
   

Quick Reply
Message:

HTML is not enabled.
UBB Code™ is enabled.
UBB Code™ Images not permitted.
Instant Graemlins
   


Post New Topic  Post A Reply Close Topic   Feature Topic   Move Topic   Delete Topic next oldest topic   next newest topic
 - Printer-friendly view of this topic
Hop To:


Contact Us | Ornery.org Front Page

Powered by Infopop Corporation
UBB.classic™ 6.7.1