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Author Topic: Explosions Rock the Boston Marathon  (Read 6053 times)

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Offline Moraline

Re: Explosions Rock the Boston Marathon
« Reply #225 on: April 25, 2013, 01:02:42 PM »
... Let his memory die. ...
Timothy McVeigh, Oklahoma City, April 19, 1995


Offline Ephiral

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Re: Explosions Rock the Boston Marathon
« Reply #226 on: April 25, 2013, 05:10:27 PM »
"Deserve" is a horribly dangerous and misleading word when it comes to justice.

Offline gaggedLouise

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Re: Explosions Rock the Boston Marathon
« Reply #227 on: April 25, 2013, 05:21:18 PM »
"Deserve" is a horribly dangerous and misleading word when it comes to justice.

I agree that justice should not be decided by the need for personal vengeance of the victims of an act. If we make the courtroom mainly an arena for personal vendettas, it begins to rot.

Offline Zakharra

Re: Explosions Rock the Boston Marathon
« Reply #228 on: April 25, 2013, 06:09:55 PM »
"Deserve" is a horribly dangerous and misleading word when it comes to justice.

 The punishment fits the crime. The death penalty shouldn't be used often, but it should not be forbidden as a punishment. If it's proven he did it with certainty, the death penalty is a fitting punishment. I do not see why society should be punished by keeping his ass alive for the next 60+ years in prison.

Offline Ephiral

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Re: Explosions Rock the Boston Marathon
« Reply #229 on: April 25, 2013, 06:11:17 PM »
My point was simply this: We can approach matters of justice from a perspective of revenge, or one of minimizing damage to society. Only one of these speaks of what a criminal "deserves", and the two are not compatible.

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Re: Explosions Rock the Boston Marathon
« Reply #230 on: April 25, 2013, 06:12:37 PM »
The punishment fits the crime. The death penalty shouldn't be used often, but it should not be forbidden as a punishment. If it's proven he did it with certainty, the death penalty is a fitting punishment. I do not see why society should be punished by keeping his ass alive for the next 60+ years in prison.

And when crimes are proven with certainty, and then , oops, disproven years later, how do you bring the innocent party back from the dead?

Offline Zakharra

Re: Explosions Rock the Boston Marathon
« Reply #231 on: April 25, 2013, 11:46:34 PM »
And when crimes are proven with certainty, and then , oops, disproven years later, how do you bring the innocent party back from the dead?

 Given how good  forensics is getting, that's getting to be increasingly hard to do.  That's why I said with certainty. In this case, he is, or was cooperating with the federal authorities before he clammed up and from what it looks like, it's pretty much a given he IS guilty of setting the bombs with the intent to kill and main civilians.

Offline Ephiral

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Re: Explosions Rock the Boston Marathon
« Reply #232 on: April 26, 2013, 02:44:08 AM »
Given how good  forensics is getting, that's getting to be increasingly hard to do.  That's why I said with certainty. In this case, he is, or was cooperating with the federal authorities before he clammed up and from what it looks like, it's pretty much a given he IS guilty of setting the bombs with the intent to kill and main civilians.

You appear to have fallen victim to the CSI effect. It is extremely unlikely that forensics works the way you think, if you think it routinely leads to 100% certainty. Speaking of which, given that the standard for conviction at all is "beyond a reasonable doubt" and wrongful convictions still happen, I'm curious as to how you'd define "certainty" in a legal sense. Note that this case is highly probable but hardly certain - false, fabricated, and alleged confessions happen. Often enough that I, for one, am hesitant about killing people on the back of a confession, moral issues aside. (Worth noting: During the incident, the police managed to come up with two obviously bad descriptions of the assailants - ethnicities that visibly do not match the suspects, and names that match neither the suspects nor, in one case, the given ethnicities.)
« Last Edit: April 26, 2013, 02:45:10 AM by Ephiral »

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Re: Explosions Rock the Boston Marathon
« Reply #233 on: April 26, 2013, 07:39:29 AM »
why do we, as society, have to pay for his sorry ass to rot in jail for the next 60 plus years until he died or old age?

So that he doesn't do it again. We as a society get the benefit of safety in return for the money and the other costs. That's kind of the way it works.

Given how good  forensics is getting, that's getting to be increasingly hard to do.  That's why I said with certainty. In this case, he is, or was cooperating with the federal authorities before he clammed up and from what it looks like, it's pretty much a given he IS guilty of setting the bombs with the intent to kill and main civilians.

Okay, it doesn't matter how much forensic science has advanced when the average education of a jurist is famous for being at or below average. Colleagues of mine put the education level of the average jury in my county at 8th grade. This book supposedly puts the education level of the average juror at closer to 12 years. My guess, although it's not supported by research at this time, is that jury education level corresponds to average education level in the area of the trial - which isn't a problem if you're being prosecuted in, say, Cambridge... It is a problem if you're being prosecuted in an area that has prevalent socioeconomic problems. Like, oh, say, a poor minority neighborhood...

Have you ever tried explaining advanced biology and chemistry concepts to a high schooler? Have you ever tried to get someone who Doesn't Get It to understand what DNA actually is, what RNA is, what different types of chemical reactions do? Our justice system is often only as good as its jurors, and if the jury is inclined to be awed by the fact that someone on the stand can take a can of air and measure how many 'dead body fumes' are in it, it doesn't actually matter if the science behind it is bad. Conversely, if the jury is disinclined to believe that you can actually accomplish something even with science (see above, re: dead body fumes), it doesn't matter how good the science is behind it.

The US justice system needs significant revision before it can ever, ever be trusted to prove someone guilty beyond a doubt.

Offline DarklingAlice

Re: Explosions Rock the Boston Marathon
« Reply #234 on: April 26, 2013, 07:44:58 AM »
Given how good  forensics is getting, that's getting to be increasingly hard to do.  That's why I said with certainty. In this case, he is, or was cooperating with the federal authorities before he clammed up and from what it looks like, it's pretty much a given he IS guilty of setting the bombs with the intent to kill and main civilians.

Increasingly likely and certainty are two different things. What is the acceptable margin of error expressed in terms of innocent people executed? Because I really don't see any argument for letting that number rise to even 1.

Offline Valerian

Re: Explosions Rock the Boston Marathon
« Reply #235 on: April 26, 2013, 08:26:59 AM »
If it can be proven he did it beyond a reasonable doubt, then I am fine with killing him. If he did it, why do we, as society, have to pay for his sorry ass to rot in jail for the next 60 plus years until he died or old age?  What's the cost to keep someone locked up for six or more decades?  $30,000 a year? If it is $30k a year, that's $1.8 million spent in keeping this murder alive. I'd rather just kill him and get it over with. Let his memory die. He intentionally and with deliberate forethought planted those bombs to kill people, he deserves death.
Well.  According to this, the cost per year of keeping federal inmates incarcerated is a bit over $25,000.  He almost certainly won't live another sixty years, however.  Serving prison time is shown to reduce life expectancy considerably.  This study is for state prisons, in this case Michigan, but they show an average life expectancy of 58.1 years, or about another 39 years for someone who goes into prison at 19.  Those who started serving their life sentences as juveniles (and those people were probably not a great deal younger than 19) had an average total lifespan of just over 50 years.  That's 26 years less than the average for a non-incarcerated male in the U.S.

I've never been comfortable with reducing lives to monetary amounts -- as mentioned above, there's a great deal more involved than that -- but if you're going to crunch numbers for the overall cost, you should probably calculate it out at more like 30-35 years, not sixty.  In other words, this kid's lifespan -- and he is a kid -- has been cut in half.  Also, he will likely spend most, if not all, his remaining years in some form of solitary confinement.  He isn't exactly going to be kicking back and enjoying living a rich, full life on the public dime.