Death Penalty in NJ

This is a discussion on Death Penalty in NJ within the Off Topic & Humor Discussion forums, part of the The Back Porch category; Who thinks that NJ's ruling to abolish the death penalty in the state will do anything to the crime rates? I'm not sure its a ...

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Thread: Death Penalty in NJ

  1. #1
    Member Array prawls's Avatar
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    Death Penalty in NJ

    Who thinks that NJ's ruling to abolish the death penalty in the state will do anything to the crime rates? I'm not sure its a real deterrent to criminals anymore since they have so many chances to appeal it.

    Part of the reason behind the ruling was how much money they would save on mandated appeals and the number of overturned cases these days due to new evidence.

    Not looking for a debate over whether its moral or not. Just curious what you think it'll do to the crime stats.
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    I think it will do absolutely zero to the crime stats.

    I am in favor of the death penalty for the most part, but not as a deterrent. I simply favor killing the worst of the worst among us, so that they are quickly and permanently removed from society. Criminals don't think they will get caught (or they act in such a "heat of the moment" state as to be beyond any rational threat of punishment), so deterence has only limited value... Once a murderer is dead, however, he's dead.
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    VIP Member Array David in FL's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by prawls View Post
    Who thinks that NJ's ruling to abolish the death penalty in the state will do anything to the crime rates? I'm not sure its a real deterrent to criminals anymore since they have so many chances to appeal it.

    Part of the reason behind the ruling was how much money they would save on mandated appeals and the number of overturned cases these days due to new evidence.

    Not looking for a debate over whether its moral or not. Just curious what you think it'll do to the crime stats.
    Prob not much if anything.....as long as there remains NO chance of ever being released for someone who would otherwise have been executed. No one who has been executed has EVER commited another crime of any kind afterwards.....

    Interesting that they're citing an expected cost benefit. I would think that the incremental cost of lifetime incarceration would more than offset the cost of death sentence appeals.

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    I was listening to the news a while ago and it is a moot point in NJ anyway. They haven't executed anybody since the 60's so they are just rubberstamping on actual procedure.
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    VIP Member Array rodc13's Avatar
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    There are real problems with considering the death penalty as a deterrent.
    1) Capital crimes are often crimes of passion, where the perpetrator doesn't consider the punishment at all.
    2) Criminals don't believe they'll be caught, so the punishment doesn't deter them.
    3) Capital punishment is seldom used, so the criminal sees it as unlikely to be administered. This includes the long delays in carrying out the sentence.

    Personally, I don't feel that capital punishment is a deterrent at all.

    However, I don't consider deterrence to be a rationale for its use. There are some crimes which are so heinous that they cry out for societal vengeance. Some criminals who have forfeited their right to exist within the society. It's only justice to carry out the ultimate sentence. And one thing is certain, the criminal on whom it's carried out will never repeat their crime.
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    It is well established that it costs more in dollars to execute someone than to send them to prison for life due to the appeals process, and other factors. I don't think there is much if any evidence that the death penalty reduces crime more than life imprisonment. Many other factors are in play when it comes to crime stats. I believe there have been 126 people released from prison and death row after being sentenced to death since 1973.

    There won't be any change in crime stats in NJ as a result of this descision.
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    Distinguished Member Array LenS's Avatar
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    Problem is that soft governors will eventually commute some "lifers" sentences or give them "furloughs" and thus some will indeed go free. Oftentimes to repeat the crime spree once more. Think of Willie Horton as an example.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Willie_Horton

    William R. Horton (born August 12, 1951 in Chesterfield, South Carolina) is a convicted felon who was the subject of a Massachusetts weekend furlough program that released him while serving a life sentence for murder, without the possibility of parole, during which furloughs he committed armed robbery and rape. A political advertisement during the 1988 U.S. Presidential race was critical of the Democratic nominee and Massachusetts Governor Michael Dukakis for his former support of the program.

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    Member Array BlackBear's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rodc13 View Post
    2) Criminals don't believe they'll be caught, so the punishment doesn't deter them.
    (Note - rodc13, I'm not singling you out - your post was the closest to quote)

    The problem with this thought process is that of course the punishment doesn't deter them - that's why they're criminals. They know the consequences if they're caught, but their risk analysis says that it's worth it.
    Any punishment - whether capital, corporal, or incarceratory (I don't think that's a word, but it sounds cool) - has an inherent deterrent effect. It's there for people like you and I, who might otherwise be inclined toward an action, but realize the risk of getting caught, and therefor ethe punishment, outweighs the action. So it's not valid to say that punishment doesn't deter criminals - obviously not, or they wouldn't be criminals. The punishment is there to deter those who would commit these actions.

    That being said, I don't think the death penalty has much of a deterrent effect unless it's used early and often.

    NH's never even used theirs *sigh* what a waste.
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    VIP Member Array farronwolf's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BlackBear View Post
    (Note - rodc13, I'm not singling you out - your post was the closest to quote)

    The problem with this thought process is that of course the punishment doesn't deter them - that's why they're criminals. They know the consequences if they're caught, but their risk analysis says that it's worth it.
    Any punishment - whether capital, corporal, or incarceratory (I don't think that's a word, but it sounds cool) - has an inherent deterrent effect. It's there for people like you and I, who might otherwise be inclined toward an action, but realize the risk of getting caught, and therefor ethe punishment, outweighs the action. So it's not valid to say that punishment doesn't deter criminals - obviously not, or they wouldn't be criminals. The punishment is there to deter those who would commit these actions.

    That being said, I don't think the death penalty has much of a deterrent effect unless it's used early and often.

    NH's never even used theirs *sigh* what a waste.
    I don't think most criminals do risk analysis, if they did, they would be accountants or lawyers or something besides criminals.

    Your assumption that people are inherently bad is false in my opinion. Your assumption is that we all would be out there committing crimes if there wasn't a punishment. I think that is dead wrong, for most of society. If your talking about speeding or something like that, your probably right, but none of the crimes that bear the punishment of the death penalty or even serious encarceration, are things that most of the population consider.

    I think that in most situations the person that is going to committ the serious crime is going to do it regardless of what the concequenses are, but that doesn't mean that we are all capable of committing serious crimes.
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    Well, sometimes the surviving family members of an innocent person who has been brutally murdered want retribution. They do not want the murderer sitting in with the general prison population eating three squares a day and living forever in limbo - they want the murderer dead & if they cannot have him dead right away...then they at least want the scumbag on Death Row with the possibility of eventually being put to death hanging over his head morning, noon, & night.
    So I guess having the death penalty is worth it for that purpose but, I also do not believe that it's an effective crime deterrent.
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    VIP Member Array rodc13's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BlackBear View Post
    (Note - rodc13, I'm not singling you out - your post was the closest to quote)

    The problem with this thought process is that of course the punishment doesn't deter them - that's why they're criminals. They know the consequences if they're caught, but their risk analysis says that it's worth it.
    Any punishment - whether capital, corporal, or incarceratory (I don't think that's a word, but it sounds cool) - has an inherent deterrent effect. It's there for people like you and I, who might otherwise be inclined toward an action, but realize the risk of getting caught, and therefor ethe punishment, outweighs the action. So it's not valid to say that punishment doesn't deter criminals - obviously not, or they wouldn't be criminals. The punishment is there to deter those who would commit these actions.

    That being said, I don't think the death penalty has much of a deterrent effect unless it's used early and often.

    NH's never even used theirs *sigh* what a waste.
    I think you're right that punishment does have a deterrent effect in a lot of potential criminal enterprises. And while the typical criminal may not refer to it as "risk analysis", the thought process does occur. That's why there's a greater number of convenience store robberies than armored car robberies.

    For capital crimes, though, the risk analysis would only come into it if it were truly premeditated. Then, however, the deterrent tends to be more the chances of getting caught at all, rather than the chance of being executed, since those who are "rational", can rationalize how unlikely it is that capital punishment will be carried out, and that there will be a long delay under any circumstances.

    I realize, of course, that I'm making really gross generalizations, with all the flaws of doing so. As we know, all generalizations are false (even this one).

    I suppose the main point I'd make is that I don't believe there's any preponderance of evidence that supports the concept of the death penalty as deterrent. I don't use that as a criterion for favoring its use, however.

    There's 100% evidence that its application does prevent recidivism by the criminal who's executed. Yes, it might cost more than simply imprisoning someone for life. But I feel that justice demands it in extreme circumstances, and that it's neither cruel nor unusual.
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    As many problems that our death row system has had with people being cleared later by evidence, I think the removal is a good thing until they can overhaul the justice system and actually make it work correctly.
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    I have a different take on all of this:

    I am from Texas, we basically execute more people than the rest of the free world with the exception of countries governed by Islamic laws. I look at it this way; We don't deter crime using the threat of execution, we promise that you will be executed in an expedient manner if you are convicted of capital crimes, because threats are worthless.

    My personal opinion is that I view people who commit these crimes as defective merchandise, like a car under the lemon law.

    And what do you do with a car that is a lemon?

    You send it back to the factory..........
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    VIP Member Array rodc13's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by edr9x23super View Post
    I have a different take on all of this:

    I am from Texas, we basically execute more people than the rest of the free world with the exception of countries governed by Islamic laws. I look at it this way; We don't deter crime using the threat of execution, we promise that you will be executed in an expedient manner if you are convicted of capital crimes, because threats are worthless.

    My personal opinion is that I view people who commit these crimes as defective merchandise, like a car under the lemon law.

    And what do you do with a car that is a lemon?

    You send it back to the factory..........

    As Ron White said, "You kill somebody in Texas, we'll kill you back!"
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    Cool

    Quote Originally Posted by OPFOR View Post
    I think it will do absolutely zero to the crime stats.
    I disagree. If anything it will have a positive (additive) affect on violent crime stats.
    I think NJ ought to build one great big prison for violent offenders so all of the other states can send their violent offenders to NJ so they can take care of them there.

    Just an idea. Wouldn't it be nice?



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