Friday 3 February 2017

50 Years Without Justice

Today the 3rd February 2017 is the fiftieth anniversary of the last execution in Australia. Since that time we have lived in an environment were by murderers are kept alive and most of them are released. When Capital Punishment ended we were told that a life sentence would mean life imprisonment. But except in the very worst cases it in fact never means that. To give one example, the last person sentenced to death in Australia was Brenda Hodge who was sentenced to death in 1984, it was commuted to life imprisonment, so how much time did she serve? 10 years. From death to 10 years is a pretty big drop!

Now people often say we don't need Capital Punishment a) it is barbaric b) what if we execute an innocent man? c) revenge is not justice d) it is not a deterrent, 3) it's state murder lets have a look at each in turn.

It is barbaric:
Here is a classic Liberal tactic, brand something wrong (barbaric, discriminatory, etc.) and just keep calling it that no matter what the evidence. In the case of Capital Punishment this has been a major tactic for 300 years. It was in the 1700's that Capital Punishment first came under serious attack and that attack was that it was barbaric. In Britain the first move to restrict Capital Punishment was to call for a ban on public executions, why? Because it was barbaric. The real reason was that the public liked executions and the Middle Class did not approve of that.

In common with most Liberal causes, while opposition to Capital Punishment was held by some for most Liberals it was not an issue. And for a century the issue wasn't an issue. But it is truly remarkable how patient Liberalism is, because when it woke up again it used the exact same argument again. For a century it hadn't been barbaric and then after WWII it was barbaric again and again it shows how Liberalism works. Because the same was true of Capital Punishment after WWII as it had been a century before, the public liked executions, it was the Middle Class who didn't. So the Middle Class used their power in the Law, Parliament, the Media, Political Parties and the one thing that the Middle Class does best, the lobby groups. Lawyers cast doubt on the fairness of the law, on the need for it in a modern society and in private ie. professional lobbying to organisations such as Law Societies. The other professionals did much the same and of course never forget the appeal of Middle Class lobbyists submitting appeals to Middle Class Professional lobbyists.

All of this, regardless of the country lead to a push to abolish Capital Punishment and in each case they used controversial cases to push for it's abolition, always on the grounds that it is barbaric. But is Capital Punishment really barbaric?

Recently in the United States there has been a controversy regarding lethal injection. The drugs used come from Europe and abolitionists have tried and in some cases succeeded in stopping the drugs from being exported to the United States. Meaning that either the State in question is forced to cancel the execution or to use alternative drugs. When that leads to new problems the abolitionists then say that Capital Punishment must be banned as it is barbaric. Here is another classic Liberal tactic, to create the problem and then provide the "solution".

The truth is that modern Capital Punishment, no matter the method of execution is as painless as death can be. The further truth is that most people will suffer more painful deaths then those executed using modern methods.

What if we execute an innocent man?
Now this is a good argument as most people find it very hard to counter. Mistakes, even honest mistakes happen, the argument goes that if you wrongly convict a man and he is executed then a great injustice has been done, but if he goes to jail you can fix the mistake. But here's the thing, the problem Liberals have with Capital Punishment isn't that they might execute an innocent men, no the thing that keeps them up at night is what happens if they execute a guilty man!

Liberalism believes in the Autonomous Individual, that each person is self make and self defined. A big part of that is the idea that life should not have consequences. Capital Punishment is a big consequence and it's permanent and that is why Liberals hate it, that is why they oppose it. Liberalism loves the idea of mercy, not for the innocent, for the guilty because it shows how morally superior they are to the rest of us.

Revenge is not justice:
Basically their argument is that the only punishment that is acceptable is the one they approve of. If it's more severe then they approve of they call it revenge, if they approve of it it's justice. The Liberal position is based on nothing but arrogance.

It's not a deterrent:
This one is just a lie and they know it. If something is punished harshly then people will try to avoid it, that's just common sense. Ohhh common sense now I see why Liberals missed this rather obvious idea.

The other tack they take with this idea is that murder rates have not risen since Capital Punishment was abolished so that must mean that Capital Punishment was not a deterrent. Now let me ask you a question. In the past 50 years has medical technology gotten worse, stayed the same or gotten better?

I would suggest that most people would say it has gotten better, so if medical technology has gotten better then that should mean that murder is rarer because less people die from the same wounds. When you look at it in that light you realise that society is more violent now then it was 50 years ago.

It's State murder:
Here we see the Pacifists idea that all killing is wrong in full swing, but like Pacifism it's a really bad idea. It says that the murderer has killed isn't that enough violence? What will be achieved by committing more violence? And like Pacifism it is both simple to understand and wrong.

The thing that separates Capital Punishment from murder is threefold, firstly it is legitimate, secondly the punishment is known and thirdly it is justice. Capital Punishment is lawful because the lawful authorities have made it legal, if they abolish it it is no longer lawful. But once the lawful authorities have made it lawful then then it is lawful and there for legitimate. A murder is by definition unlawful, meaning that by definition Capital Punishment constituted by a lawful authority can never be unlawful.

Secondly the punishment is known, unlike murder it is not arbitrary, that means that a murderer, unlike his victim, knows what he is getting himself into.

Thirdly a victim of murder does not get a defendant to protect their legal rights, they have no jury of their peers to appeal to, they have no learned Judge to keep things above board. The victim is denied all of these things, the murderer in a court of law is not. To pretend that this is judicial murder is simply that, pretense.

Why is it that only the victim of a murder should suffer death but the murderer should not?

Why is his life more precious than the life he has taken?

The law should always be on the side of the innocent, protecting the innocent is justice, When murderers are not executed they escape punishment, it is sadly that simple and for 50 years Australia has been in a place where  the guilty are protected at the expense of the innocent.

When will we see justice again?

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  1. "When Capital Punishment ended we were told that a life sentence would mean life imprisonment. But except in the very worst cases it in fact never means that."

    Life in the United States is normally defined as twenty years. Most folks think of life as meaning as long as the person lives. But that is not so. Life without parole does not mean forever either. Merely means a long sentence without the normal parole process being applied.

    And of course whatever is the law as it is now, the legislature can re-write the law whenever it wants.

  2. I'm not really sure where I stand on this issue. I do agree with you though that it was a powerful deterrent. For many criminals it was the only deterrent that had any real effect.

  3. I used to be a great proponent of death penalty, but seeing how the Western governments apply law selectively, I wonder who'd be sentenced to death if we still had it in Europe? Anyway, a good article!

    1. I used to be a great proponent of death penalty, but seeing how the Western governments apply law selectively, I wonder who'd be sentenced to death if we still had it in Europe?

      That's an extremely good point. Could governments today be trusted with the death penalty? We'd probably see the death penalty only imposed for "hate crimes."

      More to the point, could we trust judges today with such power? Judges are generally even more treacherous than politicians.

    2. Liberalism uses laws to keep us in our place, not them, if they wanted to kill us they would find a pretext to do that and do it. But in the meantime I'd like some murders to actually get some justice and hang.

    3. I'd like to see some other criminals to hang, too, but don't hold my breath:)

  4. Australia, NZ, UK which have fairly similar justice systems also have about the same murder rate (approximately of a bit over 1 per 100,000 per year per World Bank), with the USA 5 times that - albeit certain groups may disproportionally skew the numbers. Its neighbor Canada has far less rate of crime. One therefore wonders what deterrent, if any, can ever be fairly attributable to the imposition of the death penalty.
    Justice systems in the US states that still impose the death penalty, are also finding it is a hideously expensive process with average executions costs per prisoner north of 3 million with appeals and reexamination of evidence and so forth. A prisoner incarcerated on death row costs an additional $90,000 a year compared to other inmates.
    Criminals, and the criminally insane don’t think or are influenced like common sense might otherwise apply to most folk.
    For instance a study undertaken in Texas, in which State there is an equally steady rate of murders, the authors found no evidence of a deterrent effect. That study confirmed the number of executions had no correlation to murder rates in general, and furthermore the number of executions had no bearing on felony rates overall.
    In short the justice system can always be improved, but re-introducing the death penalty in my view won’t get any better outcomes. It might not be correct to call an execution barbaric but it is to describe it as an act of vengeance.

    1. "Australia, NZ, UK which have fairly similar justice systems also have about "the same murder rate (approximately of a bit over 1 per 100,000 per year per World Bank), with the USA 5 times that - albeit certain groups may disproportionally skew the numbers"

      OH, you had better believe it that some groups skew the numbers. Big time. And we know exactly who they are. NOT only murder but the killings are more egregious and for lesser reasons, etc. Across the board some groups skew the numbers in so many ways in the U.S.

    2. Mr. Brynes

      Thank you for proving one of my points, Liberalism creates a problem and then provides the solution. Why do appeals take years to finalise, is it really so hard to determine guilt? Of course it's not, Liberals made it hard, Liberals drove up the cost of Justice and then complain about how much money they are making off of it.

      Liberals really are a perverse bunch.

      Secondly the idea that Capital Punishment is not a deterrent is also quite perverse. Dragging the process out for twenty years and randomly pardoning condemned prisoners is I admit not much of a deterrent at all. More Liberal perversion.

      I divide all criminals into three classes 1) the criminally stupid 2) the professional criminal and 3) the evil criminal.

      1) The criminally stupid make up the fast majority of criminals. They are stupid because they have not worked out that crime is a bad thing, including for them and as they make up the bulk of criminals they commit every type of crime. A system that executed them within a year of being sentenced would have a great deterrent effect on these criminals. It wouldn't stop crime but the most violent would be dead in a short period of time and so would the next lot, after that when they realised that the Law was serious violent crime would drop because it would be very dangerous to do otherwise.

      2) the professional criminal lives off of crime, some work in banks some rob banks, it's just a job. For him going to jail is a certainty and he knows it, thats why they treat it as a badge of honour. But you get out of jail, you never get out of death. Capital Punishment has a very serious and quick effect on professional criminals because it's too big a risk. They won't stop being criminals but they will modify their behavour because they want to live and to make money and their own death is never profitable.

      3) The evil criminal is the reason we all lock our doors at night. Capital Punishment will never stop them from commiting their evil acts. But it will stop them from committing any more evil acts. Never again can a dead serial killer kill, he can kill in jail and he may be released but if he's dead then we are all safer.

      Thirdly, how is life imprisonment justice, but Capital Punishment revenge?"

      Mark Moncrieff

  5. True, there are such groups, but not I suggest emanating to any marked degree from the refugee intake. Under successive US administrations, over 3 million have gained entry, subject to the rigours of screening first implemented way back in 1980.
    Fleeing religious, political or racial discrimination, not one has killed anyone in a terrorist attack nor is the incidence of crime any higher than the rest of the population. In fact recent research in the US indicates it is less and confirmed such loose associations don’t generally exist. Europe might be a little different with some property crime but for the more violent crimes no association can be established.

    1. Mr. Byrnes

      Can you provide the research for your claims?

      Mark Moncrieff

  6. How exactly do you punish a person already serving a life sentence and that inmate decides to kill prison staff or another inmate and does so? The villain is already serving life. So what do you do now?

  7. Detailed research can be gained from pages 64.89 of Immigration and Crime: Race Ethnicity and Violence- New York University Press.
    The Cato Institute and Pew research houses provide more recent research which underpin articles elsewhere such as on CNN
    It is of course another matter entirely in relation to illegal immigration, but even so the “number of unauthorized immigrants in the U.S. has stabilized in recent years after decades of rapid growth. But the origin countries of unauthorized immigrants have shifted, with the number from Mexico declining since 2009 and the number from elsewhere rising, according to the latest Pew Research Center estimates.
    In relation to terrorism, each event can be analyzed, to ascertain if any were instigated by refugees, to discover no refugees have been involved.

    1. Syrian refugees not a SERIOUS threat. OH, I'm glad. NOT a serious threat. I am so glad not a SERIOUS threat.

    2. It seems not quite

      CBC News asks the question

      "When a refugee faces criminal charges, should the public be told?"

      It seems a lot of things are being hidden.

      Mark Moncrieff

  8. Mark Moncrieff
    There are many aspects to consider which you have overlooked. Consider the Constitution, Bill of Rights and the jurisprudences operating within the various states.

    Within the bounds of the Constitution, each State in the US applies its own criminal law, just as where Federal law applies the federal government constitutionally cannot require the services of the States in applying federal criminal laws. But all executions, bar one have been carried out under state legislatures.

    Capital trials last much longer and are far more expensive at every step of the way for a variety of reasons compared to murder trials where capital punishment does not apply.

    There is pre-trial motions, expert witness investigations, more extensive jury selection and 2 trials--one ascertaining guilt and the other for sentencing. Then there is the appeals process.
    Further costs are incurred when the death penalty is inevitably overturned under sentencing for a life sentence. A double whammy of life imprisonment on top of the hideously expensive prior trial.

    There has been marked change in voter sentiment albeit polls suggest a majority of white republicans still vote for it.

    Notwithstanding some Governors have abolished the death penalty citing evidence it’s not a deterrent and it is not just the province of liberals. Those Legislatures which have seen fit to abolish the death penalty have seen no evidence or reason to pass new laws allowing capital punishment,citing the reduction on the extraordinary expense and lack of any credible evidence it acts as a deterrent.
    The death penalty is regarded by an increasing number as inappropriate retribution as it represents the sort of justice based on an eye for an eye or tit for tat.

    Applying that principle as in this rather extreme example, but just to make my point, would be to suggest as punishment and retribution for a rapist/ thief one should arrange for the offender to be robbed and raped. What matters of course is the more serious crimes are treated proportionately more seriously and that punishment does act as a deterrent. But the extension of the death penalty to other forms of crime as you suggest seems to me to have not worked very well in the countries that already have adopted it. But thein its rationale posits an entirely different system of law to what is practiced generally in the west. Rationality at times it not always the winner in society and even more so in trying to apply it to the mind of a criminal.

    1. Mr. Byrnes

      First things first, I am an Australian and the internet is international, so I do just argue for Capital Punishment in the United States.

      Secondly I have already answered this!

      Liberals made Capital Punishment expensive and then complain about the cost. Before the 1970's non of this cost that much, because the courts were expected to come to the right decision. If the courts are unable to decide who is guilty and who is innocent then maybe it's time to abolish the courts.

      Your argument that Capital Punishment is not a deterrent is simply wrong. If the deterrent principle did not work, then Capital Punishment, jail sentences, fines or community service would all be abolished. The idea that losing your life is not a deterrent is quite quite bizarre. And as I have already pointed out executing random prisoners 20 years after the event is a bad deterrent, it is not how a deterrent should work at all.

      There is the further bizarre idea that the word "deterrent" should mean that people never commit crime, I have a feeling that that is what you are arguing.

      Ohhh yes I nearly forgot your rapist should be raped analogy. Let me explain it to you. If a criminal is convicted of rape but gets a sentence of 5 hours community service I think you would agree with me that it is not an adequate sentence. But why? Because it is not a deterrent. So the sentence must be severe enough and consistent enough to be a deterrent.

      Murder is unlike any other crime, the victim will never recover from the crime. It is a gross injustice that the murderer continues to live, to laugh, to have a life when their victim has non. The only punishment that provides true justice is for the murderer to be deprived of the only thing that is of equal value, their life.

      Mark Moncrieff