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Calling all americans/interested people/bored people: NEWS

edited July 2005 in Vanilla 1.0 Help
So i'm sitting at work listening to radio 2, and they're having a debate about the atkins mentally retarded case ( ) I was just curious what you guys thought of this. Basically when the guy committed the crime he was judged to be mentally retarded and therefore people decided he should be let free. Using reasons such as 'He had the mental age of a child'. Obviously everyone is entitled to their own opinion, but it seems to me that even at the age of 10 (based on an IQ of 59 @ age 18) people know that taking a man at gunpoint, forcing him to take money out an atm, and then taking him elsewhere and shooting him is wrong. Coming from england where we dont have the death penalty, i cant quite appreciate the issues in comparison between this and life sentances - to me either seems equally appropriate; but some people were suggesting he should be let off entirely. Sorry to lower the tone of the forum with serious news stuff, but i'm just at work and curious what you guys think (particularly as everyone on the radio show was from england)


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    In my opinion, he killed someone so he should be given the maximum penalty. Here in England, that would be a life sentance, as he's in America; that penalty is death.
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    while we could discuss if life sentence or death penalty is harder, i would agree that even a 10 year old does understand things like this is good and this is bad and this is pretty damn bad
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    agreed. the ten year old should know better.

    The death penalty isn't the worst sentence all across america. In fact, certain states don't have the death penalty and certain states do. Therefore, one cannot say, he should get the death penalty. However, in Virginia where the crime was committed.

    But in all of these states, there are a standard of criteria that must be met to be eligible for the death penalty. Simply throwing the death penalty at them is the same as saying that they should throw the death penalty at them had they committed the crime in England.

    Having said that, I agree. I agree that a 10 year old would know the difference - at least if the parents have taken the time to teach him right from wrong. I agree that, our (american) system of laws protects the criminal more than the victim.

    What I don't agree with is the death penalty in this case. I am a proponent of the death penalty and more so in its liberal use. But I also believe in second chances (not third, but second at least). That means giving each and every criminal the chance to rehabilitate at least once. To realize their mistake.

    Before this goes into a huge long discussion, let me say, that I believe that our system gives the chance, but not the means. It also gives the chance, and protects the criminals in giving that chance, but not the victims of future crimes that he may commit. Our system is faulty. Grossly so. And reform in this country is so damn hard to do. Especially sweeping reform as I think it's needed.
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    edited July 2005
    I don't disagree with giving them another chance, but intentional murder? Realising he was wrong wouldn't remove the fact he shot someone in the head at point-blank range. He shouldn't be released to kill again, that means a life sentence.
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    I strongly disagree with the death penalty in any context, but just from a pragmatic point of view, I don't think it should matter whether or not the guy is mentally retarded.

    What's the point of the death penalty? If the point is to get the guy out of society so he can't offend again, then I don't see why it matters what his mental situation is. If he's likely to offend again, does it matter if he does so because he's mentally retarded or because he's just a cold-blooded criminal? The result is the same — there's a chance he's going to kill someone.

    Of course, if the death penalty is intended to be a deterrent, or some tribal way of avenging his victim's death, then the situation might be different. But to be honest, I'm not really sure what the death penalty is supposed to achieve.
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    quas - i think the point in this trial is that since he killed the person his IQ has risen (though only to about 75 or so) - though i still believe he should be atleast locked up because i still dont see it as a valid excuse. And i thought the main point of the death penalty was that if the criminal was going to be locked up for life it would cost the state 000's a year to keep him alive. Wheras it costs very little to just kill them.
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