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An interesting debate.
I would also add to that list child murderers so long as, in both cases, guilt is proven beyond doubt
The argument that you would not want a relative to be executed who you knew to be innocent holds little water I think. Innocence and guilt must be proven in court. For someone who knows the defendant to say "S/he didn't do it! I know they could never do such a thing!" is clearly inadmissible from a legal standpoint.
I agree. But how would you define 'proven beyond doubt'? All unanimous verdicts are 'beyond doubt' and those unanimous verdicts can be wrong as we know. But the 'relative being executed' was a response to someone who seemed to have the view that executing the occasional innocent person was acceptable if it gave us a safer society and that, to me, is not a view that should be used to defend the death penalty.
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Quote: ....how would you define 'proven beyond doubt'?
I think with the two instances given (children and police officers), it's often the case that guilt is proven incontrovertibly. Take the situation of those two unfortunate WPCs in Manchester. Another unfortunate example of how a defendant, already out on bail for suspected murder, cannot be anything else other than guilty by his own admission. Examples abound, too many to mention, where those in the dock have been found guilty beyond any forensic doubt. 'Life means life' sentences might be the way with the guilty party then being given the option of assisted suicide should they so wish it.
Further to mikehit's response above, I would like to point to something that came out a few years ago.
As he said all quilty verdicts are "beyond doubt" until........ so when should a death penalty be carried out.
Quite a few "expert witnesses" have been found to be unreliable or downright fraudulent. What penalties should they suffer?
Quote: Quite a few "expert witnesses" have been found to be unreliable or downright fraudulent. What penalties should they suffer?
Right enough, and hairs can be split to the nth degree. Thing is, if it's the will of the people then so be it. But to get that mandate you'd need a referendum which, as with other political no-go areas (EU membership?), will likely never happen.
It's easy to blow hot and cold on these subjects but when a despicable murder is committed, I think public feeling and indignation intensifies and tends towards capital punishment. So then some will say - "You're making this decision under emotional stress" which would likely be the argument coming from the perpetrator, hence the loophole of an insanity plea.
Expected societal norms sometimes have to be enforced with a heavy hand. It may be that the prospect of capital punishment today would be a deterrent whilst also preventing a murderer from murdering again.
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