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(USA Today)   Judge enters not guilty by reason of insanity for Holmes. No shiat, Sherlock   (usatoday.com) divider line 178
    More: Obvious, doctoral programs, insanity defense, competent to stand trial, insanity, centennials, University of Colorado  
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7891 clicks; posted to Main » on 12 Mar 2013 at 4:00 PM (2 years ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2013-03-12 08:35:24 PM  

Grobbley: akula: Sorry, but he doesn't walk free, sane or nuts. If he can be treated, he can always quit keeping with the treatment and go nuts again. He murdered innocent people for no reason whatsoever. Even if he can be completely and fully cured with no future treatment required he should be jailed just for that.

So if someone goes into a diabetic coma while driving and plows through a crosswalk full of children, you would be okay with locking them up for life even though we can treat the problem that caused the accident in the first place, since the person could choose not to continue treatment at some point and do it again?  Okay, then.

/You're thinking with your emotions, not your logic


Murder requires "malice aforethought" malice being further defined as either actual intent to kill, intent to cause such serious bodily harm that death was a reasonably foreseeable result, or "depraved heart" malice, i.e. such wanton and reckless disregard for human life that it is evidence that the person really doesn't care that death could be a result of their actions.

Going into a diabetic coma is usually not evidence of such malice, UNLESS the person in question has a clearly demonstrated habit of repeatedly not taking their insulin, eating lots of sugary foods and then going for a long drive. Even in this litigious age, we distinguish between accidents and malicious behavior. Which is why the insanity plea seems to rouse such fury in people: "Let them off?!? But they did that on purpose!! They shouldn't be able to do that and walk away scot-free!!!"

Right, they shouldn't. Assuming they really were so insane that they honestly didn't realize what they were doing was wrong when they did it. As I already said above, it's a very high bar, a very narrow standard to meet. It's not just "going nuts." It's not just "Oh, I don't know what came over me," Dan White's Twinkie defense notwithstanding. (And nobody's gotten away with that since) Anybody really insane enough to warrant "winning" an insanity defense is not going to "get away with murder," he's going to spend the rest of his life in a hospital, because he's so detached from reality.

I will bet dollars to donuts right now that even IF Homles tries the NGRI defense, he will not win. He cannot win, because he so clearly intended to kill his victims. He obviously meets the elements necessary for homicide in Colorado; and that right there will destroy an insanity plea. He is toast.
 
2013-03-12 08:48:43 PM  

Gyrfalcon: Grobbley: akula: Sorry, but he doesn't walk free, sane or nuts. If he can be treated, he can always quit keeping with the treatment and go nuts again. He murdered innocent people for no reason whatsoever. Even if he can be completely and fully cured with no future treatment required he should be jailed just for that.

So if someone goes into a diabetic coma while driving and plows through a crosswalk full of children, you would be okay with locking them up for life even though we can treat the problem that caused the accident in the first place, since the person could choose not to continue treatment at some point and do it again?  Okay, then.

/You're thinking with your emotions, not your logic

Murder requires "malice aforethought" malice being further defined as either actual intent to kill, intent to cause such serious bodily harm that death was a reasonably foreseeable result, or "depraved heart" malice, i.e. such wanton and reckless disregard for human life that it is evidence that the person really doesn't care that death could be a result of their actions.

Going into a diabetic coma is usually not evidence of such malice, UNLESS the person in question has a clearly demonstrated habit of repeatedly not taking their insulin, eating lots of sugary foods and then going for a long drive. Even in this litigious age, we distinguish between accidents and malicious behavior. Which is why the insanity plea seems to rouse such fury in people: "Let them off?!? But they did that on purpose!! They shouldn't be able to do that and walk away scot-free!!!"

Right, they shouldn't. Assuming they really were so insane that they honestly didn't realize what they were doing was wrong when they did it. As I already said above, it's a very high bar, a very narrow standard to meet. It's not just "going nuts." It's not just "Oh, I don't know what came over me," Dan White's Twinkie defense notwithstanding. (And nobody's gotten away with that since) Anybody really insane enough to war ...


I think somehow you missed the connection between my example and the post to which it was directed.  The premise was that in the hypothetical where an insane person would commit such an act, they would either have no control over their actions or be unaware of their actions (implying no malice).  The person I was responding to claimed that in such a situation, even if the person could be cured, they should still be punished.  My example was intended to highlight an analogous situation where the emotional response of the person I was responding to would seem less valid.
 
2013-03-12 09:00:51 PM  

Gyrfalcon: I will bet dollars to donuts right now that even IF Homles tries the NGRI defense, he will not win. He cannot win, because he so clearly intended to kill his victims.


I'll grant, I don't know the law specific to Colorado. But under the McNaughten rule, whether or not he intended to kill his victims isn't the issue. It's whether or not he understood the nature and quality of his acts, or whether or not he knew his acts to be wrong.

There's evidence in Holmes's favor on both issues. If the jury believes he was delusional, they may conclude he didn't understand the nature of his acts. And one of the main factors juries look at in determining whether or not someone knew his or her acts were wrong are efforts to cover up the crime. Holmes made no effort to conceal his crime, suggesting he didn't understand it was wrong.

All things being equal, Holmes most likely won't prevail on his insanity defense anyway. They succeed in less than 1% of cases they're used. But it's too much to dismiss it outright.
 
2013-03-12 09:05:59 PM  

Baz744: But under the McNaughten rule


The M'Naghten Rule.  Unbelievable that it is unchanged after so long.
 
2013-03-12 09:10:25 PM  

toraque: mooseyfate: Why is it that someone can't be both legitimately sick AND guilty?

What, like the voices in his head were telling him that cars are ravenous aliens, but on an unrelated note he killed all those people just because he's also an asshole?


Yeah, pretty much.
 
2013-03-12 09:30:57 PM  

halB: akula: onyxruby: Sadly the guy probably /is/ bat-shiat insane. Unfortunately that means he probably won't get to face the death penalty if they did have it. Either way this guy is toast, I doubt he'll ever get out of prison.

Either way he shouldn't.

If he knew damn well what he was doing (in other words, he was sane), then he should get the strongest penalty that can be handed out (if you're in favor of the death penalty, then that, if not, then life w/o parole).

If he's nuts, then he should be locked up in perpetuity in the deepest, darkest basement room of an asylum for the criminally insane. Toss him so far back in there he has to be fed with a slingshot. If this act was a result of mental illness, he's so dangerous to society he should never see daylight again.

Either way, to hell with the guy. He should never take one free step again. Ever.


An asylum you say?  Any asylum?  Or do you have one in particular?  Perhaps one that was designed to hold people who commit incredibly vile criminal acts.  One to house... supervillains if you will.


Supermax sounds good.  fark Sideshow Bob.
 
2013-03-12 09:42:28 PM  

Baz744: MacWizard: That sentence would seem to describe the vast majority of everyone in prison.

Joe is a decorated war veteran.

He was proud to serve. He was awarded a medal after he unhesitatingly went beyond the call of duty, putting himself in grave danger to successfully assist some comrades pinned down by enemy fire. But three years into his enlistment, he started experiencing psychotic breaks with reality, paranoid delusions, depression, and symptoms of PTSD.

He's faithfully complied with treatment for his conditions ever since he was discharged from the military after a psychotic episode which finally got two members of his unit seriously wounded. But the meds don't stop the symptoms completely. Psychotic episodes still happen from time to time. Especially in conjunction with the various illicit substances he uses to cope with the pain of his post-military life.

One day he uses a drug with hallucinogenic properties, which triggers a psychotic episode. He imagines he's back on the battlefield, and that the people around him are enemies. He feels completely surrounded in enemy territory. Like Holmes, he executes a scheme of mass murder involving body armor, semi-automatic weapons, booby traps, and more. He kills two dozen people, including a little girl and three police officers, before being subdued.

Do you think Joe's actions, heinous as they were, are morally the same as a white supremacist who participates in a lynching? If not, the reason is because when Jim acted, he didn't understand the nature and quality of his actions. But we've no like reason to believe the white supremacist didn't understand his. And though he may disagree with society's view on the wrongness of lynching black teenage boys who date white girls, there's no serious dispute he understood what he did was a crime. He did it. He tried to cover up his involvement. He fully understood if he got caught he'd be prosecuted.

In my view, the white supremacist is much worse morally than Joe. It's ...


Good description.
 
2013-03-12 10:00:16 PM  

weltallica: [avgenes.files.wordpress.com image 400x400]

Bullshiat.

He wasn't insane, he was just a middle-class, educated, sexually frustrated, juvenile white male who wanted to make a name for himself.  But finding a purpose and working in this world was toooo haarrrrrrd.

But sadly, I honestly believe the "insanity" diagnosis will be ASPERGERS.


Speculation is not becoming.  Did you know that educated, middle-class, sexually frustrated person could also NOT murder someone?  Imagine that!  this must be a novel idea to you.  Otherwise, there would be hundreds of other mass murders if your simplistic and purely stupid idea were realistic.
 
2013-03-12 10:02:37 PM  

OhioKnight: In Columbus, Ohio we had a "sniper" a few years ago who shot and killed a woman driving on the Outer belt.  This guy was wandering around the city randomly shooting cars and other objects because he saw them as ravening alien monsters that were coming to kill him.  The woman was killed because while he was shooting at cars, he accidentally hit her.

His attorneys entered an insanity plea and failed.  No insanity plea has succeeded in the state of Ohio in over 50 years.  A guy who shot at the sides of buildings and cars because he thought they were monsters was judged legally sane.  He was found guilty of murder.

I think that matches the common-sense definition of "insanity" -- not the defendant, I mean the criminal justice system.


CSS: I went to high school with that guy.

If there was ever a case for the insanity plea, that was it. His trial was a mistrial due to a hung jury. He plead guilty to lesser charges and is currently in prison.http://usatoday30.usatoday.com/news/nation/2005-08-08-highway- shooting s_x.htm
 
2013-03-12 10:56:11 PM  

Caffandtranqs: weltallica: [avgenes.files.wordpress.com image 400x400]

Bullshiat.

He wasn't insane, he was just a middle-class, educated, sexually frustrated, juvenile white male who wanted to make a name for himself.  But finding a purpose and working in this world was toooo haarrrrrrd.

But sadly, I honestly believe the "insanity" diagnosis will be ASPERGERS.

Speculation is not becoming.  Did you know that educated, middle-class, sexually frustrated person could also NOT murder someone?  Imagine that!  this must be a novel idea to you.  Otherwise, there would be hundreds of other mass murders if your simplistic and purely stupid idea were realistic.



Fark must be the online hangout for serial killers.
 
2013-03-12 11:18:44 PM  

ValisIV: vudukungfu: How about we just take him out back and bury him.
Don't shoot him first.
Let the fire ants eat.

Do not tell me you are taking my tax dollars to house and rehabilitate this piece of work.

tell me you are having his parents fixed.

There is no way  you can call it justice to make the victims pay for this person's upkeep.

Isn't it quite a bit more expensive to put someone to death rather than keep them in prison for life?  I thought I read that it costs about 2 mil per death, but only 4-500,000 for a life sentence on average.


Rope is cheap. And reusable.
 
2013-03-12 11:29:52 PM  
As someone that works at a maximum security mental institute I can say that... well other than getting a kick out of all of this... that he will probably never get out. He will be regulated on meds and then most likely spend the rest of his life in and out of some sort of institution or other.  Plus he's high profile enough that he makes for good political fodder for anyone wanting to make their career by denying him re-entry into society.
 
2013-03-12 11:49:26 PM  

Explodo: ValisIV: vudukungfu: How about we just take him out back and bury him.
Don't shoot him first.
Let the fire ants eat.

Do not tell me you are taking my tax dollars to house and rehabilitate this piece of work.

tell me you are having his parents fixed.

There is no way  you can call it justice to make the victims pay for this person's upkeep.

Isn't it quite a bit more expensive to put someone to death rather than keep them in prison for life?  I thought I read that it costs about 2 mil per death, but only 4-500,000 for a life sentence on average.

That's because of the whole appeals part.  I'm happy with the protection of appeals in cases where guilt is NOT in question.  In this case, there is no question of not-guilty.  He did it.  He was seen doing it and caught doing it and admitted doing it.  There should be no appeals for him.  He should be found guilty and be killed immediately.


I could get behind that, I really could. I'm almost certain he's insane - some brand of schizophrenia, he's at a fine age for a mental break and was seeing someone about it. However, whether or not he's insane, he can never be released into society again, so what's the point of wasting money incarcerating him?
 
2013-03-13 01:23:25 AM  

The Muthaship: Baz744: But under the McNaughten rule

The M'Naghten Rule.  Unbelievable that it is unchanged after so long.


Nobody's yet found a better rule that is easy enough to apply that also makes sense to a jury. "Irresistible impulse" is too loose a term and too unfair to the defendant, since it makes it seem like the guy is an uncontrollable killing monster (imo); and Durham becomes too complicated and difficult to prove in court. How can anyone prove beyond reasonable doubt that a defendant has a "mental defect" that makes him unable to conform his behavior to societal norms and is therefore not responsible for his actions?

Myself, I'd like the NGRI defense to be scrapped completely, and replaced with a bifurcated "guilty, but insane" plea. It could follow a standard trial format; but if the defendant wants to plead insanity, he'd have to accept a guilty presumption. Then the trial would proceed with the prosecution having to establish guilt beyond reasonable doubt, and the defense having to establish proof of mental illness. If the defendant is found guilty, yet demonstrably insane throughout; he gets sent to a mental hospital for life; if he's found guilty but sane, he gets whatever the sentence would be (life or execution).

Of course, if he's found not guilty, then whatever; but if he's found guilty, then the insanity becomes merely a mitigating factor in his sentence--not in determining guilt.
 
2013-03-13 01:34:40 AM  

Grobbley: So if someone goes into a diabetic coma while driving and plows through a crosswalk full of children, you would be okay with locking them up for life even though we can treat the problem that caused the accident in the first place, since the person could choose not to continue treatment at some point and do it again?


That person would be punished for being guilty of manslaughter, so long as it can be proven that he chose to go off his diabetes meds rather than that he just had a defective batch or something.  The key issue is if the person makes a conscious decision that they know is likely to result in someone's death.  Murder is contingent on whether they make the decision with the intent of causing a death.
 
2013-03-13 03:13:54 AM  

Ned Stark: onyxruby: Sadly the guy probably /is/ bat-shiat insane. Unfortunately that means he probably won't get to face the death penalty if they did have it. Either way this guy is toast, I doubt he'll ever get out of prison.

Why is it sad that someone legitimately sick and therefore not guilty of any crime won't be executed?


Because Blood for the Blood God!

praxcelis: The common sense pragmatic definition of "insane".  I'm talking about anyone who has elected to not be a member of civilization and has chosen an unsane way to express that.


This is one of those cases where "common sense" is getting in the way of you understanding the concept of "insane".

Litig8r: To dangerous to live among us, but not really through any personal failing.  And if we could actually cure them...how radically we'd have to revamp our entire justice system, no?


There's a lot of science fiction devoted to this idea.  The themes usually revolve around the question of whether altering the patient's personality enough that they are no longer insane alters their identity enough to render the "magical" 100% effective rehabilitation technique indistinguishable from execution.

My view is, even if you can't preserve any of the insane person's personality, you can still recover society's investment in them if you can turn them into a safe and productive person.

But then, my sense of justice isn't driven by a desire for revenge... I'm funny that way.  Which is not to say that if someone killed a person I love, I wouldn't want revenge... I probably would.  I would just understand that that feeling is my problem to deal with, and that I shouldn't depend on the state killing someone on my behalf in order to resolve it.

cefm: Usually a mental incompetence plea does NOT result in the person having a "happily ever after" life.  In many cases they are unable to ever prove competence again (regardless of treatment) and are stuck in a loony-bin forever.


And given the current imprecision of psychiatric medicine and psychotherapy, this is probably the way it should be.

way south: Instead of pretending its ok to have a mess, maybe we should spend some effort to fix it.


The easiest way to fix it would just be to get rid of the death penalty altogether.  If you have even the barest reluctance to execute innocent people, it's far more trouble than it's worth.  And if you'd value the desire for revenge over the preservation of innocent life, then I submit that you're as crazy as any of these mass murdering nutballs.
 
2013-03-13 03:48:34 AM  

vudukungfu: TeddyRooseveltsMustache: He'll go to jail anyway. It's more than he deserves.

Again. It does not serve Justice to tax the victims to pay for his comfort.


ERMAGHERD TERXES!

Saving the family of the victim 25 cents/year in taxes is not a civilized justification for killing someone in cold blood, even if you think he deserves it.  There are measured arguments to be made in favor of the death penalty, but this is NOT one of them.  Taking this position makes you sound like a petty, sniveling asshole. Wtf is wrong with you?
 
2013-03-13 03:53:48 AM  

halB: akula: onyxruby: Sadly the guy probably /is/ bat-shiat insane. Unfortunately that means he probably won't get to face the death penalty if they did have it. Either way this guy is toast, I doubt he'll ever get out of prison.

Either way he shouldn't.

If he knew damn well what he was doing (in other words, he was sane), then he should get the strongest penalty that can be handed out (if you're in favor of the death penalty, then that, if not, then life w/o parole).

If he's nuts, then he should be locked up in perpetuity in the deepest, darkest basement room of an asylum for the criminally insane. Toss him so far back in there he has to be fed with a slingshot. If this act was a result of mental illness, he's so dangerous to society he should never see daylight again.

Either way, to hell with the guy. He should never take one free step again. Ever.


An asylum you say?  Any asylum?  Or do you have one in particular?  Perhaps one that was designed to hold people who commit incredibly vile criminal acts.  One to house... supervillains if you will.


Anywhere but  "The Great Asylum for the Insane" That wouldn't be cool.

Although they do have a memorial there, with a plaque that reads "... the 1906 earthquake was responsible for the deaths of 97 patients and stuff"

and stuff, lol.
 
2013-03-13 04:04:37 AM  

Profedius: Does it really matter if he was insane at the time and or is insane now? I think the only question that should concern the court is "Did he do it?" We should not care about his mental state even if he is insane he should still be put down for what he did if he is found to have committed the crime.


I agree with this, insanity should come into play with sentencing. The trial should establish guilt. A lot of it =/
 
2013-03-13 06:10:39 AM  

Baz744: MacWizard: That sentence would seem to describe the vast majority of everyone in prison.

Joe is a decorated war veteran.

He was proud to serve. He was awarded a medal after he unhesitatingly went beyond the call of duty, putting himself in grave danger to successfully assist some comrades pinned down by enemy fire. But three years into his enlistment, he started experiencing psychotic breaks with reality, paranoid delusions, depression, and symptoms of PTSD.

He's faithfully complied with treatment for his conditions ever since he was discharged from the military after a psychotic episode which finally got two members of his unit seriously wounded. But the meds don't stop the symptoms completely. Psychotic episodes still happen from time to time. Especially in conjunction with the various illicit substances he uses to cope with the pain of his post-military life.

One day he uses a drug with hallucinogenic properties, which triggers a psychotic episode. He imagines he's back on the battlefield, and that the people around him are enemies. He feels completely surrounded in enemy territory. Like Holmes, he executes a scheme of mass murder involving body armor, semi-automatic weapons, booby traps, and more. He kills two dozen people, including a little girl and three police officers, before being subdued.

Do you think Joe's actions, heinous as they were, are morally the same as a white supremacist who participates in a lynching? If not, the reason is because when Jim acted, he didn't understand the nature and quality of his actions. But we've no like reason to believe the white supremacist didn't understand his. And though he may disagree with society's view on the wrongness of lynching black teenage boys who date white girls, there's no serious dispute he understood what he did was a crime. He did it. He tried to cover up his involvement. He fully understood if he got caught he'd be prosecuted.

In my view, the white supremacist is much worse morally than Joe. It's ...


Note: I typed this response about 9 hours ago, but forgot to click "Add Comment" before I left for work because there was a SWAT team firing tear gas into a four-plex across the street (seriously).

The sentence to which I was referring was: "Not that they can't appreciate that their actions are wrong, but that they know that they are wrong and do them anyway because they lack the capacity to stop themselves."

The majority of people in prison knew what they were doing was wrong and did it anyway. By definition, they lacked the capacity to stop themselves. I was giving an exception for people who are in prison for doing something they really didn't know was illegal. The old "ignorance of the law is no excuse" story.

The example you raise has an issue because of "the various illicit substances he uses... One day he uses a drug with hallucinogenic properties, which triggers a psychotic episode."

Morally the same as the white supremacist? Absolutely not. Morally the same as a drunk driver? Yes, because there was a willful choice involved that induced the state of mind which created the tragedy.

The question here is whether James Holmes's actions are more like Joe's, or more like the white supremacist's.

No, it's not. The white supremacist made a conscious choice. While I sympathize with Joe because of the back story, his mental state was self-induced. Perhaps with treatment (and a lack of hallucinogenic drugs), Joe might come around and be a normal, functioning member of society in the future.

Holmes's case presents a third possibility. If his paranoia (or schizophrenia or whatever his condition is attributed to) was not self-induced (or drug-induced from something a shrink prescribed), he may never cease to be a threat to society if released. This would include a scenario where his condition is abated by some sort of drug which he might stop taking.
 
2013-03-13 07:06:11 AM  

RockyMtnGirl: If there was ever a case for the insanity plea, that was it. His trial was a mistrial due to a hung jury. He plead guilty to lesser charges and is currently in prison.http://usatoday30.usatoday.com/news/nation/2005-08-08-highway- shooting s_x.htm


I know I didn't hear everything the jury did, but I don't see any insanity defense there.
 
2013-03-13 07:49:21 AM  

vudukungfu: Explodo: ValisIV: vudukungfu: How about we just take him out back and bury him.
Don't shoot him first.
Let the fire ants eat.

Do not tell me you are taking my tax dollars to house and rehabilitate this piece of work.

tell me you are having his parents fixed.

There is no way  you can call it justice to make the victims pay for this person's upkeep.

Isn't it quite a bit more expensive to put someone to death rather than keep them in prison for life?  I thought I read that it costs about 2 mil per death, but only 4-500,000 for a life sentence on average.

That's because of the whole appeals part.  I'm happy with the protection of appeals in cases where guilt is NOT in question.  In this case, there is no question of not-guilty.  He did it.  He was seen doing it and caught doing it and admitted doing it.  There should be no appeals for him.  He should be found guilty and be killed immediately.

Look.
Take him out back and shoot him in the head, Do it now.

He can appeal all he farking wants next farking week.

Execute him now.
He gets a fair and speedy trial and we get a fair and speedy execution.

this isn't one of those, "Oh, they convicted him because he's black and we found DNA and shiat 50 years later exhonorating him" deals.

This is a cold blooded mad dog killer.

You take him out and shoot his ass in the head, and sleep well at night.
And use cheap ammo, too.
22 shorts, and keep plugging away until he's dead.

Or 2 CCI stingers.

I don't care. Just don't start warehousing this asshole on my farking dime and tell me you are serving justice.
I lived through enough decades to know when I'm getting farked in the ass while being told I'm actually getting a Beeg, while not enjoying the courtesy of the reach-around.

Do the right thing.
Stop punishing the victims by making them pay for this shiathead's cable TV and hot meals.


This is why I subscribe to your newsletter.
 
2013-03-13 08:52:06 AM  

Z-clipped: if you'd value the desire for revenge over the preservation of innocent life, then I submit that you're as crazy as any of these mass murdering nutballs.


The history of the death penalty isn't merely about revenge.  Its about discouraging similar crimes.
You take your criminal to the town square, gather everyone around, and have a large man with a sharp weapon demonstrate what it means to cross the state.

Whether it actually works or not is up to some debate. But we've blunted the effect by making it a clean affair that happens behind closed doors, out of sight and mind of the public.
It is supposed to be shocking and uncomfortable, because its a message to us as much as it was the convicted.

I'm just not convinced that if we do away with the death penalty that we'll avoid the legal SNAFU that exists.
They'll just appeal the ruling anyway, or claim insanity and then claim to be cured ten years later.
We don't need to give people like Manson the hope that a future parole board will forget why he was locked up.

Nothing wrong with reviewing the Courts decision, but at some point it has to come to closure and the punishment must be carried out.
 
2013-03-13 09:46:02 AM  

way south: Z-clipped: if you'd value the desire for revenge over the preservation of innocent life, then I submit that you're as crazy as any of these mass murdering nutballs.

The history of the death penalty isn't merely about revenge.  Its about discouraging similar crimes.
You take your criminal to the town square, gather everyone around, and have a large man with a sharp weapon demonstrate what it means to cross the state.

Whether it actually works or not is up to some debate. But we've blunted the effect by making it a clean affair that happens behind closed doors, out of sight and mind of the public.
It is supposed to be shocking and uncomfortable, because its a message to us as much as it was the convicted.


Except that this approach, "common sense" though it may be, has shown only marginal correlation with deterrence, and only in some places.  There's no overall statistical support that it impacts crime meaningfully and an overwhelming majority of criminologists agree that it doesn't.

My point isn't that all of the justifications for capital punishment involve revenge.  Only that, at the end of the day, revenge is about the only thing it actually accomplishes.  And given its enormous social costs (and I'm not referring to only monetary costs btw), I reiterate my position that it's simply not worth it.

There's no functional difference between removing someone from society by locking them up forever, and removing them from society by killing them.  Moreover, one of these actions is reversible, and the other is not.  You must consider that if a logical justification is based upon demonstrably flawed premises, there must be an underlying motivation for clinging to the argument in the face of contrary evidence.  We say we kill criminals for all kinds of reasons, but in reality, we do it because we  want to.  Not a good or noble reason, by any measure.

way south: I'm just not convinced that if we do away with the death penalty that we'll avoid the legal SNAFU that exists.


We can be assured of at least one thing:  That no innocent people will be executed by mistake. The only way to reduce the high monetary costs of using the death penalty is to institute policy that increases the (already non-zero) instance of killing people who are not guilty, an action which damages not only the fabric of our society but also our dignity as a nation.

way south: They'll just appeal the ruling anyway, or claim insanity and then claim to be cured ten years later.
We don't need to give people like Manson the hope that a future parole board will forget why he was locked up.


This is all just hand waving.  Manson has not been paroled, nor is it likely that he ever will be, nor is his having "hope" remotely relevant.  Very, very few murder suspects use the insanity defense successfully, and it is extremely uncommon for people who commit multiple murders to be "cured and released in 10 years".  We have no information about whether  Holmes will even attempt this defense, let alone succeed with it. The discussions about insanity pleas in this thread have all been hypothetical.

You're also ignoring one very important reason to keep people alive who do incredibly heinous things that we have trouble understanding:  The fact that we can learn a great deal from them about mental illness and criminal impulse, and use that information to prevent similar crimes in the future.  Do you have any idea how many academic papers have been written on people like Charles Manson, and how much our understanding of criminology and mental illness has increased since we put him away?  It's staggering.
 
2013-03-13 10:23:15 AM  
174 comments.
ctrl+f "arkham"
Really? Just the one? I'm genuinely surprised.
 
2013-03-13 11:47:55 AM  

louiedog: 174 comments.
ctrl+f "arkham"
Really? Just the one? I'm genuinely surprised.


Their still trying to get "clown" off of the ground as a thing.  Give it a bit more time.
 
2013-03-13 07:51:51 PM  

way south: aprentic: way south: ValisIV: Isn't it quite a bit more expensive to put someone to death rather than keep them in prison for life?

Its expensive because we've made it expensive.Without the appeals, legal finagling, and specialized equipment, doing the deed is pretty cheap.
[dl.dropbox.com image 500x500]
/Its not like you'll find a shortage of volunteer executioners.
/Truth be told, I'm ambivalent about the death penalty.
/Kill him or lock him up forever, just don't dick around with the process.

All that dicking around is supposed to insure that we don't accidentally execute innocent people. Since we manage to fark that up anyway I'd rather keep dicking around.

In practice this means more loopholes and oversights, where the guilty squeak out of punishment and the innocent get slammed by the system.
If you want a program to work better then you strive to reduce the amount of code. You reduce the possibility got things going awry in your design by building it properly from the start.

If you've got a death penalty that can't be used because of wasteful appeals, what assurance do I have that lawyers won't appeal life or that this guy won't come back to cause some other future headache?
Instead of pretending its ok to have a mess, maybe we should spend some effort to fix it.


OK but determining someone's guilt isn't exactly a trivial problem. Forensic evidence is not as easy to collect or as reliable as it is on CSI. Prosecutors and police seem to rely heavily on confessions and eyewitness testimony but they're both notoriously unreliable.
So unless you can find a way of accurately determining guilt your options for debugging the legal code are basically to put yourself somewhere on the spectrum of A) We convict 100% of criminals and punish a lot of innocent people by mistake, to B) We never convict innocent people but a lot of guilty people get away.
 
2013-03-15 01:59:49 PM  

Two16: Their still trying to get "clown" off of the ground as a thing. Give it a bit more time.


Their what is?
 
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