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“…..enormously improved by death!”

By ATWadmin On December 31st, 2006

I see that various ‘officials’ of the truly-self-inflated European Union have condemned the execution of Saddam Hussein as ‘barbaric’ and ‘the death penalty is not compatible with democracy!’. Now if these guys were speaking on their own behalf, as they have a perfect right to do, I would accept their words as maybe flawed by my own standards, but if that’s what they think; fair enough! I would go so far as to state that my own views on the Death Penalty, and it’s impact upon both criminals and criminality, are diametrically opposed to those uttered by the EU guys, and again, that is completely my own view, and I do not ever state that I speak for anyone but myself.

The final phrase of my last paragraph says it all, and I would repeat that in emphasis! "and I do not ever state that I speak for anyone but myself." Which is exactly the opposite to the pronunciations of the Brussels-bound clowns who parrot the Party line of ‘Death Penalty—Bad’, while speaking as officials of that same European Union! They cannot speak for the 350 million inhabitants of that Union, because no-one elected them to speak for us! They are appointed, selected, culled; but never chosen by any other than a tiny number of equally-appointed officials. I did not ask Finland’s Foreign Minister Erkki Tuomioja to speak for me on any item concerning Europe, nor did I ask EU foreign policy chief Javier Solana to give an opinion which was presumed to be made on behalf of the citizens of the EU, because I didn’t vote for him!

I say to this bunch of supremely arrogant fools; you do not speak for me, you never have and you never will!

 

100 Responses to ““…..enormously improved by death!””

  1. This puts the case:

    http://medienkritik.typepad.com/blog/2006/12/the_death_penal.html

  2. By Mike Perry, editor of Dachau Liberated:
    "We shouldn’t forget that a unique set of historical events are a major factor in the great divide in European politics between the European elite and rank-and-file citizens. Europe’s elite has blood on its hands to a far greater extent than Europe’s rank and file citizens, who were virtually powerless under the Nazi terror. And no U.S. resident, elite or ordinary, was tempted to support mass killing on a European scale. That explains the greater williness to debate this issue in the US.

    As Ingo Muller’s Hitler’s Justice points out, genuine resistance to Nazism among the German judicary was virtually non-existent. He only credits one judge, a member of the Confessing Church, with real opposition. And the occupation led to a similar pattern across Europe. Whether the dates were 1933-1945 (Germany) or 1940–1944 (continental Europe), if you wanted to be successful at high levels in the government or the press, you cooperated with Nazi genocide and terror. Your hands were bloody to a far greater extent than the average citizen. It was probably the 1980s before such people began to leave positions of power and by then the pattern was set. Executing murderers is grounds for executing people like them. They can’t let that be morally acceptable, hence their rigid dogmatism."

  3. Oooh, beautifully put…

  4. Allan,

    I read the link. It seems we’re all marching out of the little boy from the Kommission.

  5. out of step, I mean

  6. Mike, I agree and sympathise with you completely, but they will carry on speaking for you with complete disdain for your views as if you didn’t exist.

  7. Wonderful also to hear the foreign secretaries of UK, France and Italy, obediently quacking along to their EU overlords’ tune "we do not support the D.P."
    -but the problem is that you DO support the death penalty, Ms Beckett. For instance, the government completely supports the death penalty, issued instantly and without trial or even a charge, for the crime of "telling those hoodies to leave your car alone", for example. Or the crime of "being a newly qualified lawyer, walking home alone late in London".

  8. Well said there, Tom!

  9. It’s encouraging to see that a majority in all the main European countries support hanging Sadaam (except Italy, as AJP Taylor memorably said).

    Normally I’m not in favour of hanging, but if anyone deserved it this mass-murderer did. I’m glad he’s dead, for the sake of the hundreds of thousands he murdered.

  10. So the majority of European countries support the hanging of Hussein, but not of the death penalty, per se, – what a bunch of feeble-minded hypocrites they are! – the perfect example of the ‘relative morality’ of today’s political thinking.

    Today’s Daily Mail has a piece by uber creep, Max Hastings, where he complains that the hanging was done without ‘dignity or compassion’.

    Good grief, they decided to take the man’s life, and to make themselves feel better about it, they feel it should be done ‘with dignity’, – what utter pusillanimous nonsense! – the man neither earned nor deserved any respect, and he deserved the worst of departures that could be arranged.

    To reply that it reflects badly on those that are responsible for the execution is pure sophistry, and the perfect example just how feeble-minded we have become. Just how, or why, do you kill anyone – ‘with dignity’? – for no other reason than to make the sanctioning authority feel good about itself…

    Once it was decided that he had to pay the penalty, then I am sure he couldn’t have cared less, – at least he wasn’t beheaded or stoned, a fate that many Iraquis felt he deserved. So what difference does a few insults make? – other than maybe politically, and to give the MSM some hing to pontificate about.

    The death penalty is the ultimate punishment for the most heinous crime – that of taking another’s life, and yes, in many respects it is barbarous, but then Man is a barbarous creature, and will always be so..

    Why dress it up, ‘with dignity’, into something that it is not?

  11. ernest,

    once again planet right benchmarks its morals against those of tyrants and mass murderers. max hastings is right. there is nothing wrong with allowing the condemned some dignity. what it clearly displays is the iraqis have not shed the brutality that defined saddams reign. his hanging was clearly the final act of vengance and justice played only a small part of the process.

  12. Peter

    "It’s encouraging to see that a majority in all the main European countries support hanging Sadaam (except Italy, as AJP Taylor memorably said)."

    Where did you get this from. I’m not doubting it or you but I am curious about the source of this. If it was an opinion poll what exactly was the question. If someone were to ask me did he diserve it I would say yes, but asking if I supported the hanging, I would have said no.

  13. Aileen, the poll was by Der Spiegel online as available through this link posted at the start of the thread.

    http://medienkritik.typepad.com/blog/2006/12/the_death_penal.html

    Also on that link is an explanation of why the European political cliques oppose the death penalty even though their peoples support it.

  14. Thanks for that Allan.

    I wonder what the figures would have been if it hadnlt specified him, ie for the DP in principle

  15. The question put by Aileen is pertinent. It is difficult for someone like me who is/was opposed to the death penalty to then say that Saddam deserved it anyway BUT in Saddam’s case, there was no doubt as to his guilt whereas, in many other cases, there is some doubt. That’s how I resolve the matter for Saddam but I always come back to the case of Stefan Kiszko when considering the death penalty in a wider context.

  16. DT,

    <<"his hanging was clearly the final act of vengeance and justice played only a small part of the process.">>

    Have to disagree there, justice was fully served, his guilt was way beyond any doubt. That it was served with in a vengeful way, in no way detracts from the punishment, if it helped those who had suffered, or who had lost loved ones to his evil, then who are you to pass judgment on them?

    Whether you are killed by a wild animal, a perfect stranger, or a hangman, makes little difference, you are still dead! Save your expressions of ‘dignity’ for the living.

    <<"what it clearly displays is the Iraqis have not shed the brutality that defined Saddam’s reign">>

    You are expecting rather a lot from them are you not, to change the cultural habits of millenia? In spite of their apparent civility, they have behaved in such a barbaric fashion since time immemorial, – it’s their culture!…Saddam merely used it for his own ends…

  17. >>>justice was fully served<<<

    not even remotely. it was a rush job. i respect their judgement, but they could have and should have taken it as far as possible.

    >>>Save your expressions of ‘dignity’ for the living.<<<

    as far as im aware, saddam was ‘living’ before they hung him. outward displays of vengance will only confirm to the sunnis concerns that they have no future in iraq.

    >>>You are expecting rather a lot from them are you not<<<

    personally i dont think so. they were once a great nation millenia ago, they have much to offer if given the oppurtunity. have a little faith in humanity.

  18. DT,

    What was it about his trial that you found fell short of your ‘standards of justice? – did you find the proof to be suspect? – was there any doubt about his culpability? if the only problem you have is with the speed at which the procedeedings were conducted, I would have thought that three years from capture to execution was ample time for any question of guilt to be resolved.

    It is said that; ‘to be fair, Justice should be timely, and be seen to be done’. In this instance I think that the balance between having a ‘show trial’ an an normal trial was adequately maintained.

    <<"they have much to offer if given the oppurtunity. have a little faith in humanity.">>

    I beg to differ, they have little to offer, and much to learn. Their cultural barbarism has always been a part of their life.

    As for ‘faith in humanity’ – you really are naive. ‘Faith’ works both ways – faith that ‘everything will turn-out alright, or that everything will be an unmitigated disaster.

  19. p.s. — history suggests that the latter is more likely…

  20. >>>What was it about his trial that you found fell short of your ‘standards of justice?<<<

    ill defer to the professionals. wrt justice.

    http://www.ictj.org

    but i also think it is something to do with this:

    http://www.juancole.com/2006/12/for-whom-bell-tolls-top-ten-ways-us.html

    >>>I beg to differ, they have little to offer, and much to learn.<<<

    so why bother going there in the first place?

  21. "What was it about his trial that you found fell short of your ‘standards of justice?"

    Maybe that it was unnecessary, or maybe even that it was against Iraqi law?

    http://glenngreenwald.blogspot.com/2007/01/iraqis-learn-art-of-legal-workarounds.html

  22. more from juan cole;

    ***The first judge in the trial of Saddam, Rizgar Amin, a Kurd with no brief for the dead tyrant, complained Monday that his execution was illegal in Iraqi law:

    ‘ The implementation of Saddam’s execution during Eid al-adha is illegal according to chapter 9 of the tribunal law. Article 27 states that nobody, even the president (Jalal Talabani), may change rulings by the tribunal and the implementation of the sentence should not happen until 30 days after publication that the appeals court has upheld the tribunal verdict. The hanging during the Eid al-Adha period (also) contradicts Iraqi and Islamic custom. "Article 290 of the criminal code of 1971 (which was largely used in the Saddam trial) states that no verdict should implemented during the official holidays or religious festivals," he said.’***

  23. DT,

    Are you saying that justice was not done – because of the timing of the execution?

  24. no. im saying that this is one in a long list of things that stink. the minimal amount of justice was served. effectively saddam was found guilty of 148 deaths, and innocent of a further potential of millions.

    why? (the most cynical answer is the right one)

    i think we are all in agreement that tyrants should face justice for their actions.

    where we seem to depart is that I, and im sure others would have preferred to see the full force of all possible charges thrown at him and many others. including crimes of aggression, genocide and the use of illegal weaponry against combattants and civilians.
    problem most sitting politicians in every corner of the world would be against this, as it sets modern precendent. It could set a standard, where (god forbid) politicians would become responsible for their actions. thats why international law is such a difficult beast to nail down. but as long as they have usefull fools (primarily on the right) to denounce it as an infringment on their freedoms. when infact much of its basis is to help prevent the excesses of governments and state bodies or actors.

    its tragically ironic to watch the right-wing condemn the likes of Saddam, then without blinking condemn the Human Rights Act or International Justice mechanisms. Sometimes in the same breath.

  25. heres what at least one iraqi thinks of it all. her state of the union for 2006 is especially depressing.

    http://riverbendblog.blogspot.com/

  26. Aileen

    I googled it and found this. Having just spent some time in France noone seemed remotely ‘outraged’ by his death at all. Of course the elites will always parrot what is seen to be righteous. 82 percent of Americans are in favour of Saddam’s death penalty, compared to 69 percent of Britons, 58 percent of French, 53 percent of Germans and 51 percent of Spaniards. 46 percent of Italians

    I fully supported the death penalty as a punishment for his crimes but the coverage of his death by elements of our media was too much and bordered on utterly vile. I really dont want to switch on the TV and get to see a countdown to that short of sh1te paraded across the screen any more than I do those beheading videos. This will only strengthen and infuriate certain elements and go knows who will pay. Im sick to death of our media. I couldnt care less what the EU says about the death penalty but when we seem to delight in the gory details of an execution as we just have then frankly it makes us look like idiots. Yes he deserved to die. So did Tookie and any other repulsive murderer but i think we can move on from 16th century baiting and gawping. Oh well.

  27. "I, and im sure others would have preferred to see the full force of all possible charges thrown at him and many others. including crimes of aggression, genocide and the use of illegal weaponry against combattants and civilians"

    me too

    Alison did you intend to post a link for what you googled?

  28. Aileen,

    Alison’s figures appear to come from this poll

    http://www.harrisinteractive.com/news/allnewsbydate.asp?NewsID=1133

  29. Allan I’m not sure what the withdrawal as oppsed to imediate withdrawal means and then what neither means. Does anyone want us to stay for ever?

  30. sorry I mean Alan

  31. Aileen,

    I hadn’t looked at that part of the report, but it says:

    "Large majorities across the six countries favour the withdrawal of the troops present in Iraq, either immediately or in the next few months."

    So, the three choices mus have been A) withdraw today, B) withdraw within 3 months, or C) withdraw in greater than 3 months.

  32. Thanks Alan

    It is still a difficult question to asnwer. If someone asked me I would say that it depended on the situation. It would be great if we could withdraw within 3 months.

    Maybe the question is "within three months regardless of the situation" butthen that deosn’t amke much sence as if you thought like that you may as well want immediate withdrawal.

  33. <<"It could set a standard, where (god forbid) politicians would become responsible for their actions. thats why international law is such a difficult beast to nail down.">>

    It’s difficult to nail down for the reason that any participation would be on entirely voluntary basis, and as usual, the biggest and strongest would get to decide which laws would be obeyed, and the smallest and least significant would blithely ignore.

    It seems that you would all prefer one of those big Show trials, so popular under Stalin, and other communist tyrants. Then you could get your vicarious pleasures from reading all the gory details for years on end, and in the meanwhile build sympathy for the ‘Devil of the Day’, or do you think he – or she – may repent in the interim?

    Would you really prefer a modern day version of the Roman Circus?

    Why prolong the agony, surely being guilty of just one death would be enough to prove the point? The quicker justice is dispensed the quicker the relatives of those murdered can get some sort of closure, and everyone can move on with their lives.

    I fully agree with the sentiment that video of the whole execution, and especially the actual moment of death, is unnecessary and morbidly repulsive, but people will, unfortunately, do that sort of thing, – and more to the point, it is shown on TV and the Web, because people want to watch it.

    <<" but when we seem to delight in the gory details of an execution as we just have">>

    Well, you speak for yourself! Strange though that you, and others, are appalled at hearing detail of the execution, but want to hear and see, over a lengthy period via a show trial, of all the genocide, murders and torturings that bought the tyrant to court in the first place. Does the fact that it happened a few years ago make it easier to see and hear about?

    I can well remember, as I am sure other readers of a certain age can, – seeing newsreels of the Nuremberg trials after WWII, and the pictures of the attempted genocides in eastern Europe, the concentration camps and of the many atrocities those on trial had committed – those pictures were utterly horrifying, and emotionally devastating, and most definitely had a lasting emotional effect on all who saw them. And those trials could hardly be called ‘show trials’.

    Can you imagine the field day that our ‘oh so ethical’ MSM would have if a similar trial had happened today?

    I think that we are all agreed that he had to go, it is just the manner of his going that we are arguing about.

  34. <<"Large majorities across the six countries favour the withdrawal of the troops present in Iraq, either immediately or in the next few months.">>

    MRD applies; – ‘well they would say that, wouldn’t they’

    Elections looming in France, Germany and the US would have nothing to do with it, – would it?

  35. I am all too well aware how easy it is to make spelling mistakes. A programme that may be of help is offered for free at:

    http://www.iespell.com

    It integrates well with IE and is powerful enough without being overly cumbersome, and works within a comment box.

    Just a suggestion…

  36. "Well, you speak for yourself! Strange though that you, and others, are appalled at hearing detail of the execution, but want to hear and see, over a lengthy period via a show trial, of all the genocide, murders and torturings that bought the tyrant to court in the first place. Does the fact that it happened a few years ago make it easier to see and hear about?"

    Some of us want the scale of his abrabarity to be made totally clear and for him to be seen to be held to acccount for them all and that they ALL matter.

  37. Aileen,

    I was not implying that they didn’t all matter. The scale of his barbarity was sufficiently known and documented without having to have a show trial.

    <<"seen to be held to acccount for them all">>

    Now that sounds very vengeful…does getting the last ounce of revenge make you feel better about the death penalty.

    Are you really the sort of person who delights in pulling the wings off butterflies?

  38. "I was not implying that they didn’t all matter. The scale of his barbarity was sufficiently known and documented without having to have a show trial. "

    Why does it have to be a show trial? The scale of ihis barabarity should be done through a trial. Otherwise why not just let trial my media take over our Criminal Justice system?

    "<<"seen to be held to acccount for them all">>

    Now that sounds very vengeful."

    No Ernest it’s called justice

    ".does getting the last ounce of revenge make you feel better about the death penalty."

    I have no interest in revenge. and I oppose the death penalty so that doesn’t make much sence.

    "Are you really the sort of person who delights in pulling the wings off butterflies? " I will treat that question with the comtempt that it deserves.

  39. On the matter of possible future withdrawal of troops from Iraq:

    90% of the French are in favour of such a withdrawal (40% favour an immediate withdrawal)
    84% of the Spanish (47% favour an immediate withdrawal)
    83% of the British (29% favour an immediate withdrawal)
    82% of the Germans (43% favour an immediate withdrawal)

    So does this mean that the French, Spanish and Germans are heavily in favour of withdrawing their troops? I wasn’t aware that they had any in Iraq (apart from the Spanish, who promptly withdrew theirs when they were bombed). For these countries, the question is simply invalid – they made no contribution to deposing Saddam, nor are they willing to lend assistance to establishing the order needed to facilitate the withdrawal on which they have the effrontery to express an opinion.

  40. A little piece of reality I had sight of recently:

    Some historical perspective: "Most of the great butchers of the 20th century died of old age, in their own beds, some of them honored by millions. Not a single one met justice in the sense accepted in free states across the world. The handful who died otherwise are aberrations, victims of strange events that act as models for nothing. There is one single exception – the hanging of Saddam Hussein on December 30, 2006 after a careful, lengthy trial carried out under extremely difficult circumstances according to internationally recognized judicial norms. The state of Iraq has succeeded where the rest of the civilized world has failed. It is a singular achievement, and it will stand."

    http://www.americanthinker.com/blog/2006/12/the_record_speaks_for_itself.html

    So much for International Justice…

  41. Aileen,

    Spoken like a true – and vengeful socialist. I don’t think you have much idea of just what the term Justice implies.

    <<" I have no interest in revenge.">>

    Well you certainly sound very much so in your writing.

    <<"and I oppose the death penalty so that doesn’t make much sence.">>

    Oh yes you do!

    <<"If someone were to ask me did he diserve it I would say yes, but asking if I supported the hanging, I would have said no.">>

    your quote 1/1/07 – 1.09pm…

    You clearly support the death penalty, you just don’t like the way it is done…like so many of our European ‘allies’, you are a closet hypocrite.

    You agree he should die, (is that closet vengeance?), you just don’t want to know about it, – oh wait a bit! – yes you do want to know about it, as long as it is ‘dignified’and tastefully done…

  42. ernest. even if you dont have the stomach to deal with such things as a fair trial in cases of genocide, there are many who are willing to do it, and do their best in the attempt. you think people are out in rawanda and elsewhere for the weather?

    while people like you are switching over from the history channel, plenty of "bleeding heart" liberals or "leftists" are out trying to make a difference in various conflict zones worldwide. and yes it does affect them, significantly. but still they do it.

    try figuring out why sometime.

    ———————————————

    aileen the ‘vengeful socialist’ : i always knew it. welcome aboard fellow traveller 😛

  43. A little more reality to savour the mix…

    http://medienkritik.typepad.com/blog/2006/12/the_death_penal.html

    Percentage of respondents in favor of executing Saddam Hussein:

    USA: 82%
    Great Britain: 69%
    France: 58%
    Germany: 53%
    Spain: 51%
    Italy: 46%

  44. DT,

    <<"plenty of "bleeding heart" liberals or "leftists" are out trying to make a difference in various conflict zones worldwide.">>

    And making a bad situation even worse. It really is they that don’t have ‘the stomach’ to take the difficult decisions when necessary. They are great at meddling, but useless at much else.

    Would that be under the mighty UN banner? you really do have a perverted sense of humour…

  45. Oh give me strenght

    "Spoken like a true – and vengeful socialist. I don’t think you have much idea of just what the term Justice implies. "

    I am neither vengeful nor a socialist. I think I very a very good idea of what justice implies and doesn’t.

    "<<" I have no interest in revenge.">>

    Well you certainly sound very much so in your writing."

    If you can’t tell the difference between vengence and justice and consider calls for a full and meaningful trial as vengeful then so be it.

    "<<"and I oppose the death penalty so that doesn’t make much sence.">>

    Oh yes you do!"

    Eh? as I said I oppose the death penalty. Are you trying to say "no you don’t"????

    "<<"If someone were to ask me did he diserve it I would say yes, but asking if I supported the hanging, I would have said no.">>

    your quote 1/1/07 – 1.09pm…

    You clearly support the death penalty, you just don’t like the way it is done…

    How the hell do you draw the conclusion from that I only disliked the way it was done?. I do not supprt the DP.

    Is there anyone else out there that has read all the numerous comments that I have made when the question of the DP has been brought up is under the same strange delusion that Ernest is?

    " like so many of our European ‘allies’, you are a closet hypocrite."

    you are an idiot!

    "You agree he should die, (is that closet vengeance?), " Eh no! I don’t. That is what being against the DP means. Duh!

    "you just don’t want to know about it, – oh wait a bit! – yes you do want to know about it, as long as it is ‘dignified’and tastefully done.."

    ??????????
    .

  46. daytripper

    "aileen the ‘vengeful socialist’ : i always knew it. welcome aboard fellow traveller 😛 "

    ye couldn’t make it up could you?

  47. Aileen,

    Whatever you say! – that you can contradict yourself, and within the same comment, is really quite amazing. That you then deny it is truly delusional…

    Either that, or your comprehension in writing is as bad as your spelling!

  48. Ernest you are funny!

    "<<"If someone were to ask me did he diserve it I would say yes, but asking if I supported the hanging, I would have said no.">>

    your quote 1/1/07 – 1.09pm…

    You clearly support the death penalty….",

    I say again. I think he deserved it. I oppose the DP and so I don’t think that he should have been executed then or later. If I didn’t oppose the DP, I probably would advocate execution in his case, as I think he deserves to die. There are quite a few murderers that I think deserve to die but I do not advocate the DP for them either.

    If you want to have a swipe at my spelling please go right ahead. My spelling is pretty average. That is a manifestation of dyspraxia, although what actually appears on the screen has probably got a lot to do with the mis-keying, due to motor skills, or lack thereof, another manifestation of dyspraxia. I am as lief to be defensive or ashamed of it, as the lack of vision in my left eye.

    Happy New Year ;o)

  49. Aileen,

    "My spelling is pretty average. "

    Anything better than average would be wasted on Ernest. 🙂

  50. Aileen,

    I have no wish to resort to argument for its own sake, but can you not see the contradiction in your statement?

    "I say again. I think he deserved it. I oppose the DP and so I don’t think that he should have been executed then or later. If I didn’t oppose the DP, I probably would advocate execution in his case, as —- I think he deserves to die —–. There are quite a few murderers that —– I think deserve to die —– but I do not advocate the DP for them either."

    You appear to agree that death is a suitable punishment, i.e. ‘he deserves to die’, yet seem at odds over the actual performance of that punishment. Such equivocation detracts from any argument you might make against the death penalty.

    How do you hope it will be done – by divine intervention? That would probably be acceptable to you, and to most of us, but it doesn’t happen very often does it?

    The death penalty is a very ugly, and final step, and it certainly lacks the ability to be rescinded, but it is essential that it be available, to be used, albeit, only occasionally, and in the most serious of circumstances, as in the case under discussion.

  51. FO’D,

    You are a fine one to talk, you seem to have difficult with any word of more than two syllables…:-)

  52. Ernest,

    "you seem to have difficult with any word of more than two syllables…"

    Do you mean words like "difficulty"? 🙂

  53. "I have no wish to resort to argument for its own sake, but can you not see the contradiction in your statement?"
    No because there is not contradition. If you always want everyone to get everything they deserve, it doesnlt mean that I have to.

    "You appear to agree that death is a suitable punishment, i.e. ‘he deserves to die’,"

    No. I do not agree that it is a sutable punishmant as I AM OPPOSED TO THE DEATH PENALTY

    "Such equivocation detracts from any argument you might make against the death penalty."

    I’m not being equivocal. I am totally and absolutley opposed to the death penalty, I donlt know how much more stronly I can state it.

    "How do you hope it will be done"

    I don’t and didn’t hope it would be done. Although I would have prefered natural death to what happened..

    "The death penalty is a very ugly, and final step, and it certainly lacks the ability to be rescinded, but it is essential that it be available, to be used, albeit, only occasionally, and in the most serious of circumstances, as in the case under discussion. "

    I disagree.

  54. FO’D,

    I could say that I did it especially fo you – but I wont. It shows that we all do typos, and that perhaps I just may be human after all!…:-)

  55. Well I have missed most of this thread but I ought to stick my tuppence in, with regard to the debate between Aileen and Ernest.

    It is perfectly valid to oppose the death penalty while agreeing that an evil person no longer deserves to live. It isn’t a contradiction but requires an explanation of the reasons why something is opposed.

    There are 2 reasons to oppose a death penalty. One is where you think it is disproportionate – I am sure we would all agree that a parking offence shouldn’t carry the death penlty – or if you oppose it as I do because you believe that life should never be taken as a part of the justice system , without necessarily believing it would be too harsh a penalty for the recipient. Nothing would be too harsh for Saddam but if we are to aspire to end real Human Rights abuses worldwide (as oppose to the silly ones we hear about all the time) we need to establish and enshrine the principal that the authorities should never ever take it upon themselves to have the power to authorise the ending of human life, even if the person in custody personally slaughtered a million people and would deserve it.

  56. argh! youve just argued against abortion – the other thread thats interesting! Happy New Year Colm 😉

  57. Happy New year to you Alison. At the risk of turning this thread into an abortion one , I will say that I disagree. Ending human life is the deliberate killing of a self sustaining human being. A foetus isn’t self sustaining, it can only exist as part of another human. That individual has the right to control her body and that which grows in it until it can live separately from her body. However I do concede that Abortion and when it can be carried out will always be a difficult argument but I believe the issue of the death penalty is clearer.

  58. fair enough

  59. There is surely an argument in favour of the State having available a penalty which could be considered as the ultimate deterrent. To be used but rarely, but when necessary.

    I know we all perceive our Dear Leaders to be a bunch of third raters, but that is incidental to the argument, and anyway the decision to use the penalty would ultimatley not be in their hands, but as the result of a well written, and logical law, overseen and adminstered by a tried and tested system of justice. That being so, it would remove any personal diffidence in using the death penalty.

    A large part of having any system of government is to provide protection for the citizenry, from internal as well as external threat. The military takes care of the external threats, and the judiciary should take care of the internal threats.

    It is hard to see how they can do that if they do not have the means to enforce a punishment that is at least an equal in seriousness of the the most heinous of crimes, anything less, favours the criminal.

    Yes, it is brutal, but mankind has yet to reach the stage where gentility has any chance of ruling the day.

  60. Ernest

    I believe the state has a duty to protect people from criminals. I think in the case of murderers however heinous this can be done by guaranteed life imprisonment. I do not believe authority should give itself the right to physically take life as a judicial punishment. That is an action that should be universally regarded as unacceptable for civilised societies to commit. I don’t agree that it is the correct punishment for a murderer to himself then be killed by the state. That argument would also lend itself to accepting that the state can punish rapists by arranging for them to be raped. Or any other savage crime to be recipricated as an official response.

    Yes we should strive to behave differently from the monsters and that means no death penalty. Enshrining that principle and enforcing it throughout the world is ultimately the best way to help end the worst of political abuses.

  61. Colm

    "It is perfectly valid to oppose the death penalty while agreeing that an evil person no longer deserves to live. It isn’t a contradiction but requires an explanation of the reasons why something is opposed."

    He might have got one if I had asked for it. The trouble was that it would not have been relevant to his mistake and therefore his attack. He was not asking me why I opposed the DP, he was telling me that I didn’t. That coupled with the fact that I actually couldn’t work out where he had got hold of his notion.

    To extend the issue in a different direction, I think my default motivation is for people to get the good things that they deserve but the not the bad ones, Although I am very concerned that bad things are not rewarded. [must be my vengeful socialism ;o)]

    Anyway Sweetie – Welcome back and Happy New Year. Missed ye Honey 🙂

  62. Ernest,

    "It is hard to see how they can do that [protect the citizenry] if they do not have the means to enforce a punishment that is at least an equal in seriousness of the the most heinous of crimes"

    But it isn’t…firstly it isn’t hard to see how protection can be provided (imprisonment). And the punishment ISN’T equal in seriousness.

    How for example is the quick and probably painless killing of Saddam at ~70 a fair trade for the many killed and tortured, teenagers and children and all?

    Or take for example Ian Huntley – would his death be some kind of a fair trade for the two girls? Hardly. It is difficult even to argue it a punishment, since he wants to die, right?

    Or Harold Shipman…and so on.

    I could respect somebody who was affected personally and just said they wanted vengeance. But I fail to see the justice in it, or any other purpose to it. No deterrent value has ever been shown (especially in the case of dictators!).

  63. Hard to generalise, as every case should be assessed seperately.

    I still think that life imprisonment does not satisfy the requirement of justice. Colm’s comparison with rape is fatuous and included more as a distraction than as a valid comparison.

    I was not recommending the death penalty as being any sort of ‘equal payment’ for murder, as you say kill one or many, the murderer has only one life to lose, I was not trying to suggest it as an ‘eye for an eye’ punishment, but just as about the worst thing that coud happen to a person.

    I certainly cannot think of anything worse than losing one’s life as a form of ultimate punishment.

  64. >>I certainly cannot think of anything worse than losing one’s life as a form of ultimate punishment.<<

    Really! Do you not think execution is an easy way out. Especially if painless. Fair enough, if you believe in Hell then possibly its a the ultimate punishment as the pain will come later. But if you dont believe in hell, or life after death, then you wont care that youve been executed as you wont exist anymore.

    Surely torture, and public humiliation are the ultimate punishment. Then followed by execution. at least in this case you actually suffer physically and mentally for your crimes before your execution.

    Not that im pushing the above option bye the way

  65. Colm your point about rape is of course relevant tests the logic of the "equality" or the "punishment fitting the crime". Indeed I would consider that a rapist inn general would deserve to be so brutalised but would definitely not advicate it being introduced into the CJS.

  66. Kloot

    you do have a dark side!

  67. Ernest,

    "Colm’s comparison with rape is fatuous and included more as a distraction than as a valid comparison. "

    I don’t think it is. Didn’t Saddam’s regime torture people to death? So wouldn’t it be just if he had been tortured to death? Isn’t that worse than what actually happened?

    "I certainly cannot think of anything worse than losing one’s life as a form of ultimate punishment."

    Depends how, doesn’t it? The movie "seven" features somebody kept barely alive for a year, that looked horrific and sounds much worse to me than Saddam’s fate. After all if hanging was the ultimate penalty then what was hanging, drawing and quartering all about? Why do people worry about whether the electric chair is humane?

    And it also depends on who is on the receiving end. There are probably many things that you or I would regard as a punishment that other people would pay for.

    Anyway what is the point of punishment if not to deter? No evidence that it does, which blows the ‘protection’ argument.

  68. Ha ha.. dont worry.. I wasnt advocating it. I just dont see execution as being a punishment unless you are a person of faith. A punishment is only such if you feel its application. i.e., if you recognise the impact its having on you

  69. Kloot

    The bit where you are being led to your death is not a walk in the park, even if you are being executed in a park.

  70. True aileen. I cant imagine what a person in that situation might be going through

  71. "I just dont see execution as being a punishment unless you are a person of faith."

    Or, I might add, a person of imagination!

    The punishment of death is not in ‘feeling the pain’, but in the concept of death itself.

    The suggestion of torture or some lengthy procedure to proceed death, is itself barbaric. The idea of the speedy, efficient departure is surely to demonstrate at least some small degree of humanity in dispensing justice.

    After all, are we not agreed that justice and not vengeance, is the whole point of the excercise. Hence the debate over the use of the electric chair and lethal injection.

  72. Ernest,

    "The suggestion of torture or some lengthy procedure to proceed death, is itself barbaric."

    Why? Obviously it IS barbaric, but the inconsistency should be obvious. If you say death is the worst punishment then why is what must be a lesser punishment barbaric?

    After all if you allow the state to kill then why stop there, why not torture first? What’s the difference?

  73. Good posts, Frank O’Dwyer.

    The Death Penalty is basically advocated either by people who don’t believe in divine justice or by people who believe they have been specially chosen to execute this divine justice on others.

    The first position is basically a denial that justice is possible – in other words it boils down to the belief that human nature, and its striving for the higher ideals, is fundamentally absurd.

    The second position is not very logical since Saddam’s death is obviously not adequate as "justice" just as the Nuremberg deaths weren’t.

    Why was there such a fuss at Nuremberg about people who ‘escaped’ the death penalty by committing suicide?

  74. There is a difference between justice and punishment.

    Adrian,

    As usual, your first extended sentence is no more than pompous rhetoric. There is no such thing as divine justice, otherwise we would not have the situation were most of the 20th century’s worst tyrants, and many previous to that, have lived to a ripe old age before dying of natural causes.

    The concept of the State being the sole arbiter of just what is justice, has been developed over millenia, and is hardly the reserve of those ‘who feel especially chosen’, unlike religious apparatchiks, who are forever telling us that they have ‘a calling’, for what? to tell the rest of us their version of ‘justice’ – the divine sort, which seems to work more by luck than judgement.

    The strivng for higher ideals is a long and winding road, and until we reach that goal we have to have a system that works in today’s world.

    We know the ideal, but it is the journey to that end which makes the ideal possible.

    Saddam’s death was justice, – as you say, no punishment could adequately repay his crimes.

  75. Ernest

    The striving for higher ideals is the noble motive we should all be aiming for and which we should seek all those who have authority over us to aim for. We can differ about what that entails . To me it entails the adoption of a universal standard that the state should not give itself the power to end human life as an act of policy.

    My point about rape was not aimed at your reasons for supporting the death penalty but was aimed at the ‘eye for an eye’ viewpoint which many people do hold as the reason for supporting the death penalty. The state should have the right and indeed the duty to take away the privilege of freedom from those who abuse it , but that is the limit to which the state should be restricted in control over human lives. It should not ever use violence in a judicial capacity.

  76. Colm,

    After I went to lengths to state that ‘eye for an eye’ was not part of my argument…I thought your reference was thrown is as ‘a spoiler’ to the thread of the debate.

    However, you felt it to be necessary, so maybe I misjudged its purpose.

  77. Ernest

    No it wasn’t a ‘spoiler’ just part of my reasons for explaining my opposition to the death penalty. We rightly consider the deliberate killing of another human being (outside of the rules of war) to be a crime, just as we consider the forced act of sex against an unwilling human to be a crime. We wouldn’t respond to rape by considering rape to be a suitable punishment on the offender so I feel we shouldn’t respond to the actions of a killer (however many victims he claimed) by carrying out the same act on him.

  78. We should consider castration for rape though – which for many men i imagine would be worse than death!

    If we have no deterrants sufficient to stop men like saddam and tookey then arent we also failing in a moral duty? Those who continue to suffer when they have lost loved ones sometimes feel they suffer more than the perpetrator of the crime since he or she remains alive and enjoying their freedom – which exists even if it has techincally been removed by placing him a cell. His mind and faculties remain in tact. And in many cases thanks to human rights laws the criminal enjoys a reasonable standard of living in a cell. The thought of Saddam feeding birds and writing poetry would have distressed the families of his victims im sure.

    Where there is absolute evidence to prove guilt and that crime has resulted in someone else losiing their life, there is no doubt in my mind that the criminal should be put to death. A lack of deterrants by way of punishment is a modern failure.

  79. Jamie Bulger killers given immunity, cash, new houses and new lives for only £1.2 million.

    Justice. Liberal style.

  80. Alison

    I am not in favour of ‘liberal’ justice. It isn’t and shouldn’t be only a choice between the death penalty and a cozy incarceration for a few years . Murder should mean life imprisonment. The central principle of a civilised society should always be that violence should not be used by the state as punishment . That is the difference between decent civil society and barbarism.

  81. So killing is OK by the State in defence of the realm, but not as a tool for use in the course of justice, in the defence of the individual.

    Letting proven murderers live, demeans the actions of those who make the ultimate sacrifice in defence of others, – not just the military, but adults protecting their families, police dying in the line of duty, and so on.

    In pursuit of the your Honorable dream of total moral integrity, it seems that you would be prepared to favour the criminals over the victims.

    However you look at it, not having the death penalty as an option most definitely favours the criminal.

  82. Hi Ernest, Hi Colm, Hi Alison and all the rest!

    Ernest,
    You’re assuming that divine justice is operational in this life. Same problem as Job’s friends had. Well if divine justice were to operate in this life we’d also have to answer the question why are tyrants born at all.

    Most human ideas of justice spring from the definition of the human person himself, which in turn is either philosophical or religious, even if it happens to be embedded in the constitution of a state. The trouble is that neither the state nor the community have the authority to define what a human person is, since the state and the community owe their own existence to the existence of human persons in the first place. So any definition of humans made by humans themselves is bound to be unsatisfactory and we are left with no option but a religious definition of humanity.

  83. Well Ernest you have said previoulsy that life imprisonment is crueller that the death penalty , now you are saying it favours the criminal. Very logical argument there.

    Adrian

    Is it you. Our old Adrian Are you back with us from the seminary or are you another Adrian. I won’t say anymore at tis point n case I have the wrong Adrian.

  84. Colm,

    Sorry, but I do not recollect saying that about life imprisonment’, admittedly, it is bad enough, and yes it does favour the criminal.

    Irrespective of which is the more cruel, it has to be more barbaric to extend it for a lifetime, and as we are all trying to gain the moral high ground, it would seem that a speedy dispatch would be the more preferable.

    Not forgetting that we are talking justice here, not vengeance or retribution, add those elements, and we open the door to all mannner of unpleasantries, which certainly would not help our collective path to a decent civilised society.

    Hi Adrian, – staying long? – pull up a chair, what can I get you to drink?….:-)

  85. ernest

    I think we will just have to disagree on the boundaries of what the state should do. I don’t believe that it is right ever for the state to have the power to choose to end human life as a calculated decision. Murderers do that, the rest of us shouldn’t.

  86. Colm,

    That’s fine, I’m not trying to persaude you otherwise, It doesn’t do any of us any harm to be reminded that there are different points of view.

    Besides, it makes a pleasant change for us to discuss without sarcasm or any other unpleasantry….

  87. Ernest

    My sentiments too. I don’t condemn those who support the death penalty nor do I think they are being barbaric – indeed I can fully understand it and respect many reasons given for it and I can accept that individuals may deserve it, but personally I think it is an action the state should not empower itself to do for reasons that are not really about justice but about where I feel the line should be drawn.

  88. OK Colm well i do see that but at the same time we use it and must use it to defend our nation so that doesnt always hold true. But to my mind the central principle of a civilised society is to also ensure justice is seen to be done and it simply isnt. I dont dismiss all liberal ideas as nonsenses but they dont seem to be bound by any sense of insurance that in meeting out a more civilised ‘right on’ approach for them to swing so far in favour of the criminal is destructive and in itself thoroughly uncivilised by not serving to reduce crime and protect the public from wrong doings. What is the point of a civilised justice system if it doesnt dish out justice and isnt seen to be doing so. Its the latter that counts.

  89. Alison

    I don’t disagree with you. I would be far far harsher than our current judicial system is in terms of imposing stringent punishments and prison sentences. Like you I don’t think ‘liberal’ – give them 15 chances before we give them a small jail sentence – policies are civilised. There is nothing civilised about a smirking violent mugger walking out of jail after a couple of months . My argument is nothing to do with believing in leniency or thinking that ‘prison doesn’t work’ as many in our criminal justice system seem to feel. I believe firmly in tough penalties and I don’t disagree with the death penalty because I think it is too cruel or harsh on the recipient, but because I just feel that it is wrong for the state to kill people.

  90. Alison , your comment about using it to defend our nation was that a reference to the death penalty or military action ?

  91. Well it is me, I hope, Colm, though you never know with the brainwashing that allegedly goes on in the seminary! Nice to meet you again…
    Ernest Young as usual you come up with the right suggestion. I have in fact pulled up a chair and I’m enjoying our debate over a glass of orange juice like Gussie Finknottle but I’ll have to make a move now…see ya later!

  92. "Hi Ernest, Hi Colm, Hi Alison and all the rest!"

    *sniffs*

  93. Stop sniffling, Aileen. He didn’t say hello to Frank O’Dwyer or Me either!

  94. Yeah Alan but I thought I was special. or did he tell you, you would make a good nun too ;o)

  95. Aileen

    Don’t tkae it personally , He probably only had 20 minutes in the Internet cafe before the priests realised he had escaped and managed to track him down and drag him back to the Seminary. He didn’t have time to type everyones name. I am sure that the image of you in a nuns oufit is on his mind more than that of anyone else here on ATW 🙂

  96. Colm

    Easy for you to say as one of the chosen few *sniffs again*

  97. Oh dear, Aileen , be gentle on Adrian, he only mentioned our names because they were the ones directly above his on this thread – I’m sure when he escapes again and has more time he will flood you with compliments and greetings!

  98. Ah! – but you have to admit the man knows quality when he reads it!…

  99. Howdy Aileen and Alan!

    Well Hi David as well because my internet connection expired just before I managed to post my reply to your last message.

    Actuellement I’m spending a couple of weeks on the ground floor, spiritually speaking. Came home for the Christmas hols and I’m overwhelmed by the tears shed and sniffs sniffed over my return!

    Here till the 15th or so but my schedule is a bit unpredictable at present.

  100. well adrian however fleeting a time you spend with us is like a sight of a rare comet in the sky – brief maybe but worth it. Welcome back