1. excy says

    Isn’t it ironic….the tragic illusion that we can teach that killing is wrong by killing.
    Capital punishment is not a deterrent to crime. State-sanctioned murder is barbaric.

  2. Walter says

    Wes and Michael best not pretend they are Jewish or Christian.

    Thou Shall Not Kill …

    The Supreme Court should outlaw firing squads … it is the behavior of an under developed society.

    This shames the Nation.

  3. Glenn says

    Don’t let the form of execution distract you; strapping someone to a gurney and pumping poison into their veins is no less barbaric than firing bullets into their heart.

  4. LemmyC says

    I’m always surprised/shocked when I see anyone, unless they’re right-wing nut cases, who is for the death penalty. I keep having to remind myself that the US is so forward-thinking on so many issues (try comparing what’s happening with gay rights in America with what’s happening in Italy, which is where I live), but still stuck in the middle ages when it comes to capital punishment.

  5. Rovex says

    I dont personally agree with the death penalty, but the guy chose his own method of execution here. I wonder if he saw an irony in it and may be thought it a way to, ultimately, win.

  6. clay says

    Actually, I take the stance that all death at the hands of fellow humans is wrong… war, death penalty, abortion…it’s all senseless. I don’t know how you can be against one and favor another, it’s all hypocritical.

  7. Glenn says

    Clay, I am pro-choice and anti-capital punishment. In my view, a fetus is not a human being with all the rights that implies. I understand you probably feel differently, and I do not intend to try to convince you. But mine is not a “hypocritical” position — I believe there is a highly relevant distinction between the situations.

  8. Michael W. says

    @Walter: Um, I didn’t say I was Christian or Jewish. And by the way, if you use the bible as your reference to debate this, then you have to admit everything else in the bible is correct, like all that bullshit in Leviticus. ‘Can’t pick and choose…

    Oh, and if it wasn’t for all the killin’ in the crusades, Christianity might have died out a lonnng time ago.

  9. PDX Guy says

    I think of abortion and the death penalty the same way, should be legal and rare.

    Since it seems to be important to some, I consider myself agnostic.

  10. Sean R says

    The death penalty, whatever the method, is barbaric. If you want to really be a leader of the free world, then it needs to be abolished.

    Some comments here, of the ilk of ‘not having a problem with the death penalty’are just scary. If you want equal rights for LGBT people how can you reconcile it with state murder? Seemingly it is ok to hold suspected terrorists in prison in perpetuity to keep people from harm, so why not have this solution for murderers?

  11. clay says


    A child well developed into second or third trimester is more than a collection of gestating cells. Watch a late term abortion sometime….sick and twisted!

  12. says

    I ashamed to be an American today. We are the only industrialized country to practice this barbaric act. The State should not be allowed to take human life. And to utilize a firing squad should shows how primitive and barbaric our society can be.

  13. D. R. H. says

    I’ve mostly been against the death penalty all along. But what does a society gain by keeping the Jeffrey Dahmers and alive? And somehow it doesn’t seem fair that someone who plans and carries out the murder of another citizen should be allowed to live. You cash in your chips when you decide that you need to go through with the execution of another person.
    I know that there are many opposing arguments: what if they were falsely accused, state sanctioned murder makes everyone murderers, etc. but these are some of the questions I have.

  14. Wes says

    Walter, I’m not religious.

    Hey I respect if you guys have a different opinion, but don’t act all ‘scared’ that some of us feel a proven murderer should be taken care of in a quick and final manner. I’m ‘scared’ that the flower people think all he needs is a therapist or something.

    Go ahead and cry for the life of a murderer. There are countless things in this world more deserving of my empathy.

    The world is brutal. There is no god to heap love on the world and make everything better. If you kill, be prepared to be killed. And don’t come at me with these bullsh*t equivalency arguments, like killing a nazi guard is the same as killing some innocent person.

    Don’t even try linking this to gay rights, thats so out of left field its not even funny. How many times do we read a gay bashing post on Towleroad and suddenly everyones in favor of retaliatory violence?

    So someone kills my brother and I should pay for their meals for the remainder of their life? For therapy? Fuck that.

    I agree that capital punishment should be legal and rare, reserved for the worst offenders with the highest certainty of guilt.

  15. Glenn says

    Christ, talk about straw men arguments, Wes buddy you don’t seem to be able to respond to anything else! Whatever gets you through the night, I guess.

    I don’t think that most of us who oppose the death penalty believe that “all they need is a therapist.” I imagine the number of people who actually think that is vanishingly small. It might surprise you, Wes, to find out that there are positions between being pro-death penalty and being anti-punishment of any kind. Of course, if you acknowledged that, you’d have to actually deal with serious arguments rather than the cartoon positions you so smugly knock down, and I’m sure we wouldn’t want that now, would we? Brain hurts…HULK SMASH!

  16. j21ay says

    “Isn’t it ironic….the tragic illusion that we can teach that killing is wrong by killing.
    Capital punishment is not a deterrent to crime. State-sanctioned murder is barbaric.”

    The point of the death penalty is not to deter murders. Obviously life-in prison wouldn’t have deterred this guy from his acts of violence.

    I’ve always thought of the death penalty as for the families of the victims. Sometimes humans commit truly heinous acts that deserve the most severe form of punishment.

  17. Wes says

    Awaiting the serious arguements to refute.

    So whats this punishment? Prison life? Whats the point?

    That costs me money. Money that could be spent scraping the oil off birds.

    Where’s your comfortable middle ground of punishment for the most sadistic among us? If its just solitary confinement for life or something, how is that morally superior to putting a psycho killer out of their misery? I have no idea what your position is because you are so deliberately vague in stating it.

  18. TANK says

    Don’t you have to request a firing squad? Anyway, capitol punishment is a deterrent. It does reduce the crime rate (proven), in states in which it’s implemented. Some criminals…some people…it would be so irrational it would border on insane to keep them alive.

  19. TANK says

    and no it’s not, clay…not at all. A child even in the third trimester is not a thinking thing–it is not cognizant as it doesn’t use propositions. Soooo, unless you’re getting down on your hands and knees and screaming about the injustices of factory farming (which do slaughter cognizant beings), your point is religious, i.e., without any merit.

  20. TANK says

    And don’t let these anti-death penalty people ever silence you with name calling. Their arguments aren’t very good…stay the course, and triumph. Being a supporter of the death penalty does not make one primitive or barbaric. People who do certain things need to die as a matter of justice, and a rational society wouldn’t keep them alive.

  21. clay says

    wow, you sound as intelligent as your name alludes… babies in the third trimester, not only think, they feel pain/comfort, and can survive outside of the womb…btw I’m vegan, so I don’t eat animals, so stfu :-)

  22. just sayin' says

    What’s interesting is the reason why he chose firing squad. He’s Mormon and they have this whole salvation by bloodletting dating back to when they crossed the country. It has only been used 3x all in Utah by Mormons…. Moral of the story… If you’re Mormon & kill someone request firing squad and get salvation.

  23. TANK says

    But they don’t think, so you’re not distinguishing a human infant using the criteria pain and comfort from a baby piglet, which can also experience those things…do you think it’s as wrong, then, to commit abortion as it is to kill pigs?

  24. z0rt says

    @WES(that costs me money)..are you for real?? money vs life..

    “The death penalty is much more expensive than life without parole because the Constitution requires a long and complex judicial process for capital cases. This process is needed in order to ensure that innnocent men and woman are not executed for crimes they did not commit, and even with these protections the risk of executing an innocent person can not be completely eliminated.

    If the death penalty was replaced with a sentence of Life Without the Possibility of Parole, which costs millions less and also ensures that the public is protected while eliminating the risk of an irreversible mistake […] More than 3500 men and woman have received this sentence in California since 1978 and NOT ONE has been released, except those few individuals who were able to prove their innocence.”

  25. TANK says

    oh, and why is abortion wrong, again? because it can feel pain (like baby snakes and chicks can)? Just because something can feel pain doesn’t mean it will suffer when it dies. You must also be against euthanasia and suicide, too, and humans who commit suicide and are euthanized can experience pain and do suffer…and can survive outside of the womb.

  26. TANK says

    the arguments against the death penalty from a financial perspective are well taken. However, that’s not a defect with the punishment so much as the process by which it is carried out.

    Similarly, the arguments against it that deal with convicting and sentencing innocent people…that’s an indictment of the failures of our impefect legal system, not the death penalty.

  27. z0rt says

    …I have always viewed the death penalty as wrong for 1 reason….if there is a 1% chance that someone is innocent, then we have put innocent people to death…”Google” how many people are found innocent that were on death row.

  28. excy says

    To all those pro-death penalty. Would you pull the trigger, inject the poison, flick the switch, open the trap door?

    In the USA the cost of keeping someone on death row for years, appeals, trials etc. far exceeds the cost of life-imprisonment without parole.

    At the present time there are 15 states in the USA without the death penalty. There is hope.

  29. TANK says

    The issue there isn’t with the death penalty, but with the legal system that would sentence an innocent person to death. But if you think that because of that potential, the death penalty for everyone should be suspended, you’re basically saying that justice should not be carried out because on occasion, it results in injustice. No more rape convictions snd sentencing on that principle…no more trying and sentencing anyone for anything… You see how ridiculous it is?

    How about an inverse. Would you sacrifice the life of one person to save five or ten? How about twenty or one hundred? If you say no, then you (ironically) don’t care about human life as the most benefit to the most people, for concern about it certainly doesn’t play any role in your decision making process.

    So how can one care about justice if they’re willing to sacrifice it altogether at the expense of those who benefit from it(the vast majority), and for a minority disadvantaged by its imperfection?

  30. Wes says

    Z0RT has provided a legitimate argument which I appreciate.

    Except of course that first line of “money vs. life, are you for real?” which is a gross oversimplification.

    Not only does this person’s life not hold any value to society, it is actively harmful to it. The “money vs life” question really depends on the situation, not all life should be valued equally. Certainly not cold blooded killers.

    So yes, I’m for real. Its not unreasonable to oppose financially supporting a killer’s existence so don’t get all melodramatic about it. All this worry over life, what about the lives taken by the murderer? How many prison meals are they worth to you?

    Anyways, yes the judicial system costs lots of money. I’m sure we could trim some fat in there somewhere. But regardless, some people should die. That small percentage of truly sick fucks shouldn’t merely become imprisoned welfare queens.

    The death penalty probably shouldn’t occur as much as it does, but there are cases where we are as close to certainty as possible. And in those I say fry em and move on.

  31. Wes says

    “To all those pro-death penalty. Would you pull the trigger, inject the poison, flick the switch, open the trap door?”

    If I was personally involved in the case somehow, certainly.

    I’d probably want to if it was the person who killed my loved one.

    Even if I knew enough about the case to agree that it should be done, I probably would.

    But if I were just to walk into a room with a guy strapped to a chair and told to flip the switch? No. There’s no context for me there.

  32. Stewart says

    The United States has the highest documented incarceration rate in the world, so clearly the death penalty does not serve as a deterrent. It stands with Iraq, Iran, China and Saudi Arabia as the top countries killing their own citizens which undermines it’s moral authority in the world. For those of us in Europe who have never known an age when the State kills it’s own citizens it just beggars belief and puts the U.S in the bargain bucket of human depravity. It is vengeful and panders to the most base of human blood lust. To here support for it from fellow posters here who should be in touch with consequence of lack of human compassion given the extent of homophobia in the world is quite simply sickening.

  33. TANK says

    stewart’s clearly a wackadoodledoo. Especially at the end…if you’re gay, you hafta be against the death penalty and march to whatever looney fringe political platform is being advanced by the radicals…the bad kind who never have any credibility because they’re stupid, unethical and reactionary.

    Ummmm, nope. The death penalty is a deterrent, as crime rates in states that it has been implemented have decreased since implementation. It’s a proven fact.

  34. Rowan says

    @ Wes

    You’re being too black and white. Like someone mentioned above, SO many times the courts are WRONG and so how can this be sure proof?

    Also, you can’t write someone off because after they grew up a certain way it has made them do bad things..

    But I will be honest with you when Friedman Mr Freemarket died, I was very happy because he is truly evil-selfish-sociopathic in my eyes and he does nothing towards society.

    The very rich bring nothing towards society. They escape taxes, treat workers like sh*t so they end up being unhappy and doing harm.

    You’re lucky Wes life was so b&w for you.

    I live in an area where I have seen sweet young kids turn into nightmares because all their parents do is abuse them. They lose the will to live and start to hate. Life. People.

    ‘You must hurt like I have hurt’

    I don’t know but it’s sad.

  35. Wes says

    Human compassion?

    You have a gun, a flower and Hitler.

    What do you do? (be compassionate now)

    fun fact: Hitler was European, where ‘The State’ has never killed anyone

  36. Wes says

    Rowan, I never said it was simple. Nearly everyone has a reason for the things they do.

    There is a danger in seeing too many shades of grey, just as there is in seeing too few.

    Somewhere a line must be drawn. You draw it at rich sociopaths, I draw it at murderous sociopaths.

  37. Stewart says

    Wes I think you put your foot in your own statement – Germany have moved on from Hitler, the U.S still sanctions State execution.
    And Tank selective State by State stats don’t hide the fact that the US imprisons 1% of it’s population, highest in the world, so the death penalty is no deterrent. Thanks to resorting to personal insults – if defending folks against state sponsored murder makes me whacko I’ll take it gladly.

  38. dramaticartchild says

    Right, erm. . .I’m not against capital punishment per se. . .but what folks don’t seem to realize is that in many cases (way too many for the 21st century IMO) guilt cannot be proven BEYOND A SHADOW OF A DOUBT, something which is necessary if you are going to end someone’s life. There are far too many cases of death row inmates being acquited for me to be comfortable with this, and even, horrifyingly, cases in which sentence was carried out and guilt disproved later. ANd you know what? Those men VOLUNTEERING to shoot the dude is just screwed up. What is this? Afghanistan? The justice system is in dire need of repair, and until we come up with a fairer system, I’m not sure we should be killing American citiziens if there is not irrefutable proof they did the deed.

  39. TANK says

    Your logic is nonexistent, stewart. While the u.s. may imprison a large percentage of its population (there are a lot of violent people in the united states, and there always has been…it’s not a safe place), those studies directly prove that the death penalty does deter violent crime. Fact…think…LOL! And france has moved by the guillotine, huh? so…europe is dying…there are many reasons for this…

  40. Wes says

    “Wes I think you put your foot in your own statement – Germany have moved on from Hitler, the U.S still sanctions State execution.”

    Oh yea, only difference is that the US sanctions state executions of convicted muderers, not people who have simply committed the offense of being jewish or gay etc etc.

    Sorry to have veered off topic like this but I just couldn’t resist popping your perfect little Eurotopian bubble.

    Speaking of which, you know who I wouldn’t mind being put down? Josef Fritzl. But on the other hand, maybe he just needs a good compassionate shoulder to cry it out on.

    Anyways, you never said what you’d do in my scenario. I’d take the gun, shoot Hitler, then sell the blood spattered flower on eBay. God bless America! 😉

  41. TANK says

    I think that o.j. was proven guilty of murder beyond a shadow of doubt…whatever that means. Absolute certainty such that it’s logically impossible to conceive of a situation in which he’s innocent given the evidence? No…but we really can’t prove much to that strict degree (perhaps in mathematics and logic, but even that’s kind of shakey given the only thing we need is our imaginations to disprove the certainty). Absolute certainty of guilt in a courtroom cannot be proven for any crime…and never will be no matter who advanced forensics becomes. Sufficient guilt can be proven, and that’s all that is required for justice to work most of the time.

    and let’s be honest, when you sentence someone to life in prison, you are ending their life in a manner of speaking. You are also destroying people’s lives who are sentenced to lesser terms in prison…I think your standard is arbitrary and impractical, and moreso, disregards a concern for justice.

  42. Wes says

    “Absolute certainty of guilt in a courtroom cannot be proven for any crime…and never will be.”

    This is correct and extends to anything actually.

    How do you know your mother is your mother? Do you remember being born from her? Do you take her word? The rest of the family? Tomorrow you could discover it was all a conspiracy to smuggle you out of North Korea.

    At some point we have to accept evidence as sufficient and proceed accordingly. Usually the evidence required to execute someone needs to be of many varying kinds that are all in agreement.

    Its why they call it “reasonable doubt”, because pretty much anything can be doubted with some kind of logical justification.

  43. Stewart says

    Wes facts are 41% of death row inmates are black while making up only 12% of the general population, so you can well make the argument that the US kills by race.
    And Tank if capital punishment is so very effective how come it is used in only 1 of every 325 murder convictions? And how come every nation in Europe where capital punishment is outlawed has lower murder rates? Your blood lust clearly is effecting your thinking..

  44. Wes says

    I’m not even going to dip my toe into the racial aspect of your argument. That seems like baiting to once again veer us off course. I’ll just say that I don’t disagree that America has race issues.

    But really I’m arguing about capital punishment here. In the end it doesn’t matter what the racial stats are, what really matters is that those executed were guilty of their crimes. And in that respect I have already said that innocents have been punished too often. But even that doesn’t mean no one should ever deserve the death penalty, and that furthermore we should show ‘compassion’ towards cold blooded killers.

    If the killers have any redeeming qualities, they should find their execution justified anyways.

  45. Ted B. says

    There’s much to said for a fair trail and a public hanging with 18-months. When a society becomes too-squeamish to enforce it’s own justice in the bright-light of day…there lies the path to it’s own eventual decline.

  46. Vince says

    I entirely agree with you, D.H.R. But we must take into consideration the numbers of convicted murderers years later proven innocent and released because of new DNA technology. When one wrong person is sent to their death we must stop and reevaluate our system. Personally I don’t care whether we call the death penalty a “deterrent” or a “punishment”. It’s the death PENALTY. If you plan and carry out a murder, this is the price you pay.

  47. Bill H says

    I love all these people that whine and moan and say they are ashamed to be an American and how they hate America. If you don’t like it, and it’s so much better elsewhere, why don’t you leave? What is it that keeps you here if it’s all so awful and brutal? Just sayin…

    The minute one kills an innocent human being one loses the right to live, in my opinion. The difference between the executioners and the executioned is that the executioned is not innocent. Therefore, the above rule is null.

  48. Robert says

    You may agree with Wes, but does God? If you believe in God, he clearly states though shalt not kill. There are no ifs ands or buts. I dont believe in God but I dont agree in the death penalty either. Why dont we just stone them like other 3rd world countries? Why are people for the death penalty but not euthanasia? You are allowed to kill againsts ones will but not allow to kill for ones will… I dont understand the logic

  49. says

    There are 702 condemned men representing a total of over 9 thousand years on death row at San Quentin at a cost to the taxpayers of 137 thousand dollars per man per year. You do the math. The cost difference between life without possibility of parole at SQ and death row is $90,000 per year per man. California can no longer afford the death penalty!

  50. TANK says

    Well I don’t believe in god, robert and basically, that argument amounts to “My fictional friend who said that x is bad makes me believe that x is bad; and therefore x is bad”…it’s invalid…you can’t go from belief that x is bad/good to it actually being so anymore than one’s belief that god/unicorns exist makes it so. ADAAAAAAAAH!

  51. TANK says

    But the death penalty discourages violent crime…you have to calculate the cost of that in making the “economic argument”. And even then, it’s a matter of court and prison reform.

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