Author Topic: Guilty Until Proven Innocent  (Read 5271 times)

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Online El Barto

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Re: Guilty Until Proven Innocent
« Reply #35 on: September 12, 2016, 02:32:40 PM »
Fair enough. In American justice when I hear personal accountability I assume vengeance. Sadly, that is the nature of things. However, even applied to rehabilitation and deterrence, I still think there need to be degrees of accountability. As with so many things, I think it's the conflict between simple and complex that set people apart. Accountability isn't binary, at least in my opinion, and a whole lot of people get pissed off when it isn't demonstrated as such.

Next time I see you and there is beer involved, maybe we can talk about this aspect more, because I have really come to the conclusion - I've been thinking this for a while but it's really been rammed home in the last year - that NOTHING is binary, except light switches and computers.  When you have a very complex - too complex to fully understand - system, sometimes it helps to bite off small chunks and think of them in binary terms, and you can worry about the nuances and the greys later.  Like with a car that won't start.   Get it running, and from that point you can trouble shoot why it's not purring like a kitten.   I think we've reached the point where we know enough - about human nature, about natural law, about our society - that we are starting to do harm by "forcing" a binary approach to things.   
And then some asshole had to come along and invent the dimmer switch.

I think we're pretty much in agreement here. The problem is that when you can't treat something as black/white you open the door for the situations that piss people off. And I'm not excluded from that group, by the way. As reasonable people you and I can agree that somebody that's off his rocker shouldn't be treated the same way as the coldblooded, calculating killer. Yet people still want their pound of flesh. When you can't fairly hold somebody accountable, it's frustrating.

And this is only a microcosm of the "nothing is binary" problem. We see that in the political arena all the time. I seem to recall a recent discussion in the other thread about kindergarten logic. There's a certain satisfaction to being able to see something as black and white, which is often times also quite logical. It's just rarely the solution to the problem.

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To the first point, I think I'm talking about a form of "joint and several liability".  Holding Henry accountable doesn't absolve anyone else of THEIR accountability.  And certainly in the punishment phase there can and should be a discussion - as there supposed to be now - of the relative merits of the possible outcomes for each of the possible players.   I just think the pendulum is on the far side of "rest" at this point in terms of giving people a lot of leeway for their context.
Well, outside of the philosophical discussion about the existence of freewill, I can't really argue with you there. All I can really say is that it seems in the current system you're either not guilty or you're guilty and deserving of punishment. Guilty and in need of rehabilitation or compassion doesn't seem to come up much. Presenting mitigating circumstances after that only lessens the severity of the punishment. This doesn't sit all that well with me.
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Offline Prog Snob

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Re: Guilty Until Proven Innocent
« Reply #36 on: September 12, 2016, 05:00:31 PM »
I'm going to agree with The Bart. Punishment is such a minor part of justice, and only a means to an end, it shouldn't be the end goal itself. But, sadly it is. People get off on seeing others get punished. To be fair, it's the one morally acceptable way we can express pleasure at another human being harmed.

I was going to respond later, but after reading this I almost fell off my chair. I don't know anyone who "gets off" on seeing others punished. Is it suddenly now a crime to see others get what's coming to them? You seem to be more concerned about the criminal than the victim. It's not about "getting off". It's about having faith in a system that works. The problem is the deterrent (punishment) isn't effective enough. A slap on the wrist needs to be a bat to the skull, metaphorically speaking...sometimes.  ;)

Setting aside the people who celebrate executions, I think the problem is the degree to which people lament when denied their pound of flesh.

The Reagan mask is a nice touch. Kidding aside, I still don't see something wrong with reveling in seeing justice done. Imagine the families of victims of serial killers, sitting in court for an exhausting trial. Eventually, the sentence is given out, and the killer either gets life in prison or, with any luck it's a death penalty state, and he is sentenced to death. Does it make them horrible people for celebrating justice? It doesn't mean, as Adami said, that people get off on it like it's some twisted fetish. Now imagine your that same family and the killer gets some paltry sentence, like twenty years. They would have every right to be pissed off and upset about their "pound of flesh".

I know most people here disagree, but death should be met with death. That's just how it should be. Yes, there are some circumstances that might deserve a bit more consideration, but anything less than that is an insult to those who lost someone. I really hate when people seem to put more concern into the criminal's rights than the victims. Any discussion like this does just that. You try to martyr the guy by accusing people of wrongdoing because they "celebrate" him/her being punished for a crime they committed.

Online El Barto

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Re: Guilty Until Proven Innocent
« Reply #37 on: September 12, 2016, 09:27:06 PM »
The Reagan mask is actually quite ironic. Ten or fifteen years ago two things became popular. One was for republican primary debates to be held at the Reagan Library, and the other was for the prospective candidates to illicit cheers by touting the number of executions they've presided over. Stating that you've signed 124 death warrants is good street cred. After one such debate Patti Davis wrote an open letter describing Ronnie's attitude towards such things, which is actually somewhat similar to my own. As governor of California signing off on death warrants was his responsibility. He didn't shy away from it, but when it came time to do so he called in his pastor to pray with him and he recognized the seriousness of what he was having to do. The point she stressed very clearly was that to her father it was not something to celebrate. It was a necessary but very regrettable thing.

I find it disheartening that so many Republicans choose to be so unlike the people they seem to hold in the highest esteem.
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Offline Adami

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Re: Guilty Until Proven Innocent
« Reply #38 on: September 12, 2016, 09:50:28 PM »
I don't see punishment as something to be celebrated. I think that speaks to our less than good nature, but clearly I am in a very very small minority with that opinion.

I apologize for my phrase "get off" I didn't mean to imply that you're jerking off to a video of someone being executed, though no judgments if you're into that too. You said it better, it's feeling really good, really proud and really pleased and fulfilled at the suffering/death of others as a means of punishment or public appeasement. I cannot condone such a mindset under any circumstances.

Since pedophiles are the go-to example of criminals around here, I will ask this.

Say you have a pedophile who got caught diddling a 4 year old. (I dunno, make it as depraved as you see fit)

Cops come in and arrest the dude. He is sentenced to be put away until it can be 100% proven that he would never harm anyone again, and if that can't be proven, he's gone for the rest of his life.

Does it really matter if he's living those years in a dark cell without water being raped and beaten daily by big men or strap-ons lined with razor blades while others rip out his eye and piss in it or if he's living those days in a normal room somewhere, comfortably (though not luxuriously) where he can never cause harm to another again?

Personally, to me, Justice is the removal harm. If the dude is no longer a threat, then I see no reason to harm/kill anyone. Killing should only be done if it is the means of harm removal with the least amount of harm caused.

Like I said, I know I am in an almost non-existent minority on this one, but I firmly believe the above is what an ideal just society would look like.
« Last Edit: September 12, 2016, 09:55:45 PM by Adami »
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Offline Adami

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Re: Guilty Until Proven Innocent
« Reply #39 on: September 12, 2016, 10:07:14 PM »
It was a necessary but very regrettable thing.

I'll be the first to argue whether or not it's actually necessary, but when it is, I very much agree with this statement.
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Online Jaffa

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Re: Guilty Until Proven Innocent
« Reply #40 on: September 12, 2016, 11:09:02 PM »
I really hate when people seem to put more concern into the criminal's rights than the victims.

Well, it's not just about weighing the people, it's about weighing the rights.  In this case, we're talking about weighing the right of a criminal to continue being alive versus the right of the victim to witness the death of someone who hurt them.  In my opinion, one of these things should be a right, and the other shouldn't.  It's that simple.

I believe that when we sanction something like execution, all we're really doing is admitting that we don't know how to deal with extreme crimes except by resorting to extreme punishment.  And I don't really like the idea of living in a society that accepts that.  I certainly don't accept it. 
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Offline Prog Snob

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Re: Guilty Until Proven Innocent
« Reply #41 on: September 13, 2016, 06:08:43 AM »
I don't see punishment as something to be celebrated. I think that speaks to our less than good nature, but clearly I am in a very very small minority with that opinion.

I apologize for my phrase "get off" I didn't mean to imply that you're jerking off to a video of someone being executed, though no judgments if you're into that too. You said it better, it's feeling really good, really proud and really pleased and fulfilled at the suffering/death of others as a means of punishment or public appeasement. I cannot condone such a mindset under any circumstances.

Since pedophiles are the go-to example of criminals around here, I will ask this.

Say you have a pedophile who got caught diddling a 4 year old. (I dunno, make it as depraved as you see fit)

Cops come in and arrest the dude. He is sentenced to be put away until it can be 100% proven that he would never harm anyone again, and if that can't be proven, he's gone for the rest of his life.

Does it really matter if he's living those years in a dark cell without water being raped and beaten daily by big men or strap-ons lined with razor blades while others rip out his eye and piss in it or if he's living those days in a normal room somewhere, comfortably (though not luxuriously) where he can never cause harm to another again?

Personally, to me, Justice is the removal harm. If the dude is no longer a threat, then I see no reason to harm/kill anyone. Killing should only be done if it is the means of harm removal with the least amount of harm caused.

Like I said, I know I am in an almost non-existent minority on this one, but I firmly believe the above is what an ideal just society would look like.

I get your logic and part of me totally agrees. I find death no real punishment since you're dead and that's rather final. However, aren't you just getting off on keeping the person alive and celebrating his torture?  ;)

I really hate when people seem to put more concern into the criminal's rights than the victims.

Well, it's not just about weighing the people, it's about weighing the rights.  In this case, we're talking about weighing the right of a criminal to continue being alive versus the right of the victim to witness the death of someone who hurt them.  In my opinion, one of these things should be a right, and the other shouldn't.  It's that simple.

I believe that when we sanction something like execution, all we're really doing is admitting that we don't know how to deal with extreme crimes except by resorting to extreme punishment.  And I don't really like the idea of living in a society that accepts that.  I certainly don't accept it. 

How should extreme crimes be handled then?

The Reagan mask is actually quite ironic. Ten or fifteen years ago two things became popular. One was for republican primary debates to be held at the Reagan Library, and the other was for the prospective candidates to illicit cheers by touting the number of executions they've presided over. Stating that you've signed 124 death warrants is good street cred. After one such debate Patti Davis wrote an open letter describing Ronnie's attitude towards such things, which is actually somewhat similar to my own. As governor of California signing off on death warrants was his responsibility. He didn't shy away from it, but when it came time to do so he called in his pastor to pray with him and he recognized the seriousness of what he was having to do. The point she stressed very clearly was that to her father it was not something to celebrate. It was a necessary but very regrettable thing.

I find it disheartening that so many Republicans choose to be so unlike the people they seem to hold in the highest esteem.

That is an interesting story, one I wasn't aware of. I think your last sentence points to the ignorance that a lot of people have about those they hold in high esteem. A lot of Reaganites probably don't even know that he was more of a Democrat in his earlier years, and since I doubt he did a complete 180, he probably still had some left leaning ideas.
« Last Edit: September 13, 2016, 06:49:28 AM by Prog Snob »

Offline Super Dude

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Re: Guilty Until Proven Innocent
« Reply #42 on: September 13, 2016, 06:09:40 AM »
Indeed, I think it is in these cases of more heinous and extreme crimes that the Constitutional rights of the accused are that much more important. To flay even human monsters alive is to be just as savage as the accused (assuming that the accused actually is guilty of the crime - maybe you just publicly executed the wrong guy).
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Re: Guilty Until Proven Innocent
« Reply #43 on: September 13, 2016, 09:20:24 AM »
I don't see punishment as something to be celebrated. I think that speaks to our less than good nature, but clearly I am in a very very small minority with that opinion.

I apologize for my phrase "get off" I didn't mean to imply that you're jerking off to a video of someone being executed, though no judgments if you're into that too. You said it better, it's feeling really good, really proud and really pleased and fulfilled at the suffering/death of others as a means of punishment or public appeasement. I cannot condone such a mindset under any circumstances.

Since pedophiles are the go-to example of criminals around here, I will ask this.

Say you have a pedophile who got caught diddling a 4 year old. (I dunno, make it as depraved as you see fit)

Cops come in and arrest the dude. He is sentenced to be put away until it can be 100% proven that he would never harm anyone again, and if that can't be proven, he's gone for the rest of his life.

Does it really matter if he's living those years in a dark cell without water being raped and beaten daily by big men or strap-ons lined with razor blades while others rip out his eye and piss in it or if he's living those days in a normal room somewhere, comfortably (though not luxuriously) where he can never cause harm to another again?

Personally, to me, Justice is the removal harm. If the dude is no longer a threat, then I see no reason to harm/kill anyone. Killing should only be done if it is the means of harm removal with the least amount of harm caused.

Like I said, I know I am in an almost non-existent minority on this one, but I firmly believe the above is what an ideal just society would look like.

I've come around, in a circuitous way, to thinking like this as well.    Of course, some assumptions are important:   
- I don't think all crimes are equal in the sense that I don't think the child molester is curable in the same way that a 15 year old who lifts the latest Beiber album from FYE might be.   
- I've not been in that position directly, but I don't see the "joy" or "relief" of "justice".  I honestly could not identify with Ron Goldman's dad at all.  I think he and his daughter endured a horrible tragedy but they let it define them in a way that if I was Ron, I wouldn't be happy with.  In no event does it bring back the lost victim, and knowing what I know (or think I know) about how the human brain works, I'm not getting any vindication.  Ted Bundy did not feel bad for even one second for the crimes he committed.
- I've come to believe that it is wrong to knowingly and with purpose, take a single human life.   Yeah, this position is fraught with peril (war, self defense, immediate survival) but we're not talking about those things right now.  I think it runs against the laws of nature to have an event at day 0 cause society at some point say 1750 days later to knowingly, calmly, and with forethought take the life of the actor of the day 0 event.   
- My personal jury is out on the scenario Adami put forth; given the above, is it then okay to let that molestor rot in a cell knowing what we now know about personal incarceration and enforced solitude?   I don't know.  I honestly don't know how I feel about that yet. 

Online Jaffa

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Re: Guilty Until Proven Innocent
« Reply #44 on: September 13, 2016, 07:26:42 PM »
I really hate when people seem to put more concern into the criminal's rights than the victims.

Well, it's not just about weighing the people, it's about weighing the rights.  In this case, we're talking about weighing the right of a criminal to continue being alive versus the right of the victim to witness the death of someone who hurt them.  In my opinion, one of these things should be a right, and the other shouldn't.  It's that simple.

I believe that when we sanction something like execution, all we're really doing is admitting that we don't know how to deal with extreme crimes except by resorting to extreme punishment.  And I don't really like the idea of living in a society that accepts that.  I certainly don't accept it. 

How should extreme crimes be handled then?

Pretty much what Adami said.  Removing the harm is the important step.  Since you already responded to this when he said it...

Personally, to me, Justice is the removal harm. If the dude is no longer a threat, then I see no reason to harm/kill anyone. Killing should only be done if it is the means of harm removal with the least amount of harm caused.

Like I said, I know I am in an almost non-existent minority on this one, but I firmly believe the above is what an ideal just society would look like.

I get your logic and part of me totally agrees. I find death no real punishment since you're dead and that's rather final. However, aren't you just getting off on keeping the person alive and celebrating his torture?  ;)

I would say there are a number of good reasons for keeping extreme criminals alive, none of which have anything to do with any pro-torture mentality. 

One reason is that we might be able to learn something from them.  The idea that these people are irredeemable monsters does not really help anyone; all it does is give us an excuse to write them off.  If we really have an interest in preventing these crimes, the first step has to be reaching a better understanding of why they happen in the first place, and we cannot achieve that goal by simply dismissing the criminals as evil and throwing their lives away. 

Another reason would be for the simple betterment of us as a society.  I don't know about you, but I would very much like to live in a world where people were capable of treating even despicable criminals with respect and compassion.  Even if they might not deserve it, I think it's worth giving it to them anyway - for our own sake, because we can better ourselves by treating others better. 

More significantly, I just don't think that killing the criminal actually accomplishes anything.  Seeing a child murderer get executed might provide some small comfort for the parents of his victim, but I'm not sure we really want to cater to the parts of human nature that crave that kind of punishment.  I think we would be far better off trying to move past that instinct.  Scratching an itch rarely does anything real to address the cause of the itch, and sometimes it has a way of making a problem much worse.  It's a cliche, but one that exists for a good reason: if you really want to move on with your life after a tragedy, forgiveness tends to be a better tool than vengeance. 
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Offline Adami

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Re: Guilty Until Proven Innocent
« Reply #45 on: September 13, 2016, 07:51:09 PM »
Jaffa Kree!

Always wanted to say that.


Anyway, Jaffa's my man.
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Re: Guilty Until Proven Innocent
« Reply #46 on: September 14, 2016, 05:44:43 AM »
I would say there are a number of good reasons for keeping extreme criminals alive, none of which have anything to do with any pro-torture mentality. 

One reason is that we might be able to learn something from them.  The idea that these people are irredeemable monsters does not really help anyone; all it does is give us an excuse to write them off.  If we really have an interest in preventing these crimes, the first step has to be reaching a better understanding of why they happen in the first place, and we cannot achieve that goal by simply dismissing the criminals as evil and throwing their lives away. 

Another reason would be for the simple betterment of us as a society.  I don't know about you, but I would very much like to live in a world where people were capable of treating even despicable criminals with respect and compassion.  Even if they might not deserve it, I think it's worth giving it to them anyway - for our own sake, because we can better ourselves by treating others better. 

More significantly, I just don't think that killing the criminal actually accomplishes anything.  Seeing a child murderer get executed might provide some small comfort for the parents of his victim, but I'm not sure we really want to cater to the parts of human nature that crave that kind of punishment.  I think we would be far better off trying to move past that instinct.  Scratching an itch rarely does anything real to address the cause of the itch, and sometimes it has a way of making a problem much worse.  It's a cliche, but one that exists for a good reason: if you really want to move on with your life after a tragedy, forgiveness tends to be a better tool than vengeance.

Not everybody feels that way, though.

I don't think everybody deserves the same treatment. There are billions of people in the world. To treat each one of them the same, is belying what makes one of them unique. People aren't these mass produced robots that are programmed to think and act the same. There are gradations of personalities that should be dealt with accordingly. Since there are different types of criminals, there should be different degrees of repercussions. You wouldn't give a murderer the same sentence that you would a purse snatcher. So, why should extreme criminals get the same treatment as good, law-abiding citizens?

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Re: Guilty Until Proven Innocent
« Reply #47 on: September 14, 2016, 07:42:07 AM »
More significantly, I just don't think that killing the criminal actually accomplishes anything.  Seeing a child murderer get executed might provide some small comfort for the parents of his victim, but I'm not sure we really want to cater to the parts of human nature that crave that kind of punishment.  I think we would be far better off trying to move past that instinct.  Scratching an itch rarely does anything real to address the cause of the itch, and sometimes it has a way of making a problem much worse.  It's a cliche, but one that exists for a good reason: if you really want to move on with your life after a tragedy, forgiveness tends to be a better tool than vengeance.

we can debate the cause of the 'itch' all day long, and I'm sure that some of these people that commit these horrific acts have had some pretty crappy things happen to them in their lives....but that doesn't excuse their actions AT ALL. There's a very tiny percentage of these criminals who commit horrific acts that may have some low IQ that puts them at child like mentality....I can see in those RARE instances showing a level of compassion. But the bulk of these people are calculating, evil people who will do nothing but take advantage of the weak approach suggested here. Talk about 'evolving' as a society....a zero tolerance rule against child molestation/rape, Rape in general and first degree murder is a good place to start. You commit these type's of horrid crimes you forfeit your right to breathe the air the rest of us breathe.


I would say there are a number of good reasons for keeping extreme criminals alive, none of which have anything to do with any pro-torture mentality. 

One reason is that we might be able to learn something from them.  The idea that these people are irredeemable monsters does not really help anyone; all it does is give us an excuse to write them off.  If we really have an interest in preventing these crimes, the first step has to be reaching a better understanding of why they happen in the first place, and we cannot achieve that goal by simply dismissing the criminals as evil and throwing their lives away. 

I have to completely disagree. there is not ONE good reason to keep a man, who lets say has raped, tortured and then savagely killed a woman or child alive. None. There's absolutely no rehabilitating them....and 'quizzing' them as to why they did it is an utter waste of time. It'll be one excuse after another IF he isn't playing you. and if you want DNA or anything physiological.....get a sample after you take his dead body to the morgue. You dismiss them as evil because that's what they are....and to try and combat extreme criminals with any behavior less than double what they've displayed does nothing to deter others...only encourage them.
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Re: Guilty Until Proven Innocent
« Reply #48 on: September 14, 2016, 08:40:12 AM »
Not everybody feels that way, though.

I don't think everybody deserves the same treatment. There are billions of people in the world. To treat each one of them the same, is belying what makes one of them unique. People aren't these mass produced robots that are programmed to think and act the same. There are gradations of personalities that should be dealt with accordingly. Since there are different types of criminals, there should be different degrees of repercussions. You wouldn't give a murderer the same sentence that you would a purse snatcher. So, why should extreme criminals get the same treatment as good, law-abiding citizens?

Well, they shouldn't, and I never meant to imply that they should.  Extreme criminals should be imprisoned indefinitely.  That's definitely not the way I suggest we treat good, law-abiding citizens. 

That being said, I'm interested by the first half of your post, and I'm not sure I'm understanding it correctly.  Specifically, I don't know if I see what it has to do with my point about forgiveness versus vengeance.  You say not everyone feels the way I do on that point, and that's fair enough, but what does it have to do with deciding how we should deal with criminals?  Are you saying that the sentencing system should take into account the feelings of the victim?  I'm not trying to put words in your mouth, but that's out it came across to me, so I just want to clarify. 

More significantly, I just don't think that killing the criminal actually accomplishes anything.  Seeing a child murderer get executed might provide some small comfort for the parents of his victim, but I'm not sure we really want to cater to the parts of human nature that crave that kind of punishment.  I think we would be far better off trying to move past that instinct.  Scratching an itch rarely does anything real to address the cause of the itch, and sometimes it has a way of making a problem much worse.  It's a cliche, but one that exists for a good reason: if you really want to move on with your life after a tragedy, forgiveness tends to be a better tool than vengeance.

we can debate the cause of the 'itch' all day long, and I'm sure that some of these people that commit these horrific acts have had some pretty crappy things happen to them in their lives....but that doesn't excuse their actions AT ALL.

To be clear, I wasn't referring to the 'itch' of criminals to commit evil acts.  I was referring to our 'itch' to see vengeance.  My point is that when we want to see someone get hurt (or executed, or violated with a hot cattle prod, or whatever), that feeling is typically a result of a deeper pain within us, and seeing that vengeance done will rarely do anything to address our actual pain.  Sometimes, when you scratch the itch at the surface, the deeper wound just gets infected. 

I would say there are a number of good reasons for keeping extreme criminals alive, none of which have anything to do with any pro-torture mentality. 

One reason is that we might be able to learn something from them.  The idea that these people are irredeemable monsters does not really help anyone; all it does is give us an excuse to write them off.  If we really have an interest in preventing these crimes, the first step has to be reaching a better understanding of why they happen in the first place, and we cannot achieve that goal by simply dismissing the criminals as evil and throwing their lives away. 

I have to completely disagree. there is not ONE good reason to keep a man, who lets say has raped, tortured and then savagely killed a woman or child alive. None. There's absolutely no rehabilitating them....and 'quizzing' them as to why they did it is an utter waste of time. It'll be one excuse after another IF he isn't playing you. and if you want DNA or anything physiological.....get a sample after you take his dead body to the morgue. You dismiss them as evil because that's what they are....and to try and combat extreme criminals with any behavior less than double what they've displayed does nothing to deter others...only encourage them.

A couple things to address real quick. 

First, modern psychological profiling can go quite a bit deeper than just 'quizzing' them.  And building psychological profiles for killers is a large part of what helps law enforcement deal with killers moving forward.

Secondly, it's interesting to me that you are so willing to dismiss them as evil. Earlier in your post, you mentioned a tiny percentage of people who might have low IQ that puts them at a childlike mentality.  You say that in these rare cases, you can see showing them compassion.  So, you admit that there are rare exceptions to your 'they're just evil' rule.  Here's a thought experiment: what if we discover another exception in the future, once our understanding of the human psyche has moved forward?  What if we discover another mental condition that might be worthy of your compassion?  And what if, in the mean time, we have executed people with that mental condition without understanding what was going on in their head? 

Again, this is just a thought experiment.  The point of it is, the only way to guarantee that we never execute anyone unfairly is to just not execute people in the first place.  Otherwise there is always going to be room for new information to shed light on old cases long after we have done things that we can't undo. 

Finally, I stand by my original point about compassion.  If we want to be truly good, I think we need to have compassion even for those we perceive as evil. 
Sincerely,
Jaffa

Offline gmillerdrake

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Re: Guilty Until Proven Innocent
« Reply #49 on: September 14, 2016, 08:53:11 AM »
A couple things to address real quick. 

First, modern psychological profiling can go quite a bit deeper than just 'quizzing' them.  And building psychological profiles for killers is a large part of what helps law enforcement deal with killers moving forward.

Secondly, it's interesting to me that you are so willing to dismiss them as evil. Earlier in your post, you mentioned a tiny percentage of people who might have low IQ that puts them at a childlike mentality.  You say that in these rare cases, you can see showing them compassion.  So, you admit that there are rare exceptions to your 'they're just evil' rule.  Here's a thought experiment: what if we discover another exception in the future, once our understanding of the human psyche has moved forward?  What if we discover another mental condition that might be worthy of your compassion?  And what if, in the mean time, we have executed people with that mental condition without understanding what was going on in their head? 

Again, this is just a thought experiment.  The point of it is, the only way to guarantee that we never execute anyone unfairly is to just not execute people in the first place.  Otherwise there is always going to be room for new information to shed light on old cases long after we have done things that we can't undo. 

Finally, I stand by my original point about compassion.  If we want to be truly good, I think we need to have compassion even for those we perceive as evil.

I've admitted and understand that my position on how to handle these types of people not only is in direct conflict with my Faith and how I'm taught to treat people....it's also fueled by a vengeful element of my mind. For all the counseling and therapy I've been through from my own encounters with being molested and the advancements I've made in dealing with that....I can't seem to relieve myself of the 'vengeful' desire to see people that do these horrific things decidedly punished.

I think your thought experiment is thought provoking....because if there's anything we do know about the human mind it's that there is still MUCH to learn about it. I understand what you're getting at....but like I said, I can't seem to conquer the desire within me to "make these people pay". I think about 'what if it were my kids' or my parents or my wife that suffered these things and I will admit that it boils my blood and I see red.
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Re: Guilty Until Proven Innocent
« Reply #50 on: September 14, 2016, 09:04:23 AM »
A couple things to address real quick. 

First, modern psychological profiling can go quite a bit deeper than just 'quizzing' them.  And building psychological profiles for killers is a large part of what helps law enforcement deal with killers moving forward.

Secondly, it's interesting to me that you are so willing to dismiss them as evil. Earlier in your post, you mentioned a tiny percentage of people who might have low IQ that puts them at a childlike mentality.  You say that in these rare cases, you can see showing them compassion.  So, you admit that there are rare exceptions to your 'they're just evil' rule.  Here's a thought experiment: what if we discover another exception in the future, once our understanding of the human psyche has moved forward?  What if we discover another mental condition that might be worthy of your compassion?  And what if, in the mean time, we have executed people with that mental condition without understanding what was going on in their head? 

Again, this is just a thought experiment.  The point of it is, the only way to guarantee that we never execute anyone unfairly is to just not execute people in the first place.  Otherwise there is always going to be room for new information to shed light on old cases long after we have done things that we can't undo. 

Finally, I stand by my original point about compassion.  If we want to be truly good, I think we need to have compassion even for those we perceive as evil.

I've admitted and understand that my position on how to handle these types of people not only is in direct conflict with my Faith and how I'm taught to treat people....it's also fueled by a vengeful element of my mind. For all the counseling and therapy I've been through from my own encounters with being molested and the advancements I've made in dealing with that....I can't seem to relieve myself of the 'vengeful' desire to see people that do these horrific things decidedly punished.

I think your thought experiment is thought provoking....because if there's anything we do know about the human mind it's that there is still MUCH to learn about it. I understand what you're getting at....but like I said, I can't seem to conquer the desire within me to "make these people pay". I think about 'what if it were my kids' or my parents or my wife that suffered these things and I will admit that it boils my blood and I see red.

I understand and sympathize.  You have every reason to feel the way you do.  I also admire you for being so open about it.

That being said, do you mind if I ask you something about your feelings?  It is related to what we're discussing, and I think it could provide some interesting insight into the subject and a point I'd like to make about it, but if you'd prefer, I can send you a PM to continue in private.  Or, if you'd rather not talk about it at all, that's fine, too.  I don't want to poke a sore spot for you. 
Sincerely,
Jaffa

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Re: Guilty Until Proven Innocent
« Reply #51 on: September 14, 2016, 09:08:34 AM »
To be clear, I wasn't referring to the 'itch' of criminals to commit evil acts.  I was referring to our 'itch' to see vengeance.  My point is that when we want to see someone get hurt (or executed, or violated with a hot cattle prod, or whatever), that feeling is typically a result of a deeper pain within us, and seeing that vengeance done will rarely do anything to address our actual pain.  Sometimes, when you scratch the itch at the surface, the deeper wound just gets infected. 

But how do you get to say that?   I'm not necessarily disagreeing with you, but rather how you got there.  How do you know that "vengeance" rarely addresses the pain?  Much of our society is predicated on the idea of "justice" and "vengeance".  Schwartzenegger, Willis, and Diesel have made entire careers and hundreds of millions (if not BILLIONS) of dollars on the idea of "vengeance".   Rob Halford has been SCREAMING for it for over 30 years.  I don't feel it, personally, but I have long assumed I am in the minority on that point.  I also don't quite get the dying need for "closure" that most people feel either, but it's a prevailing emotion.

Secondly, it's interesting to me that you are so willing to dismiss them as evil. Earlier in your post, you mentioned a tiny percentage of people who might have low IQ that puts them at a childlike mentality.  You say that in these rare cases, you can see showing them compassion.  So, you admit that there are rare exceptions to your 'they're just evil' rule.  Here's a thought experiment: what if we discover another exception in the future, once our understanding of the human psyche has moved forward?  What if we discover another mental condition that might be worthy of your compassion?  And what if, in the mean time, we have executed people with that mental condition without understanding what was going on in their head? 

Again, this is just a thought experiment.  The point of it is, the only way to guarantee that we never execute anyone unfairly is to just not execute people in the first place.  Otherwise there is always going to be room for new information to shed light on old cases long after we have done things that we can't undo. 

Finally, I stand by my original point about compassion.  If we want to be truly good, I think we need to have compassion even for those we perceive as evil.

Not a hypothetical, and not a sarcastic question, but who says we want to be "truly good"?   Meaning, who's to say what is truly good?   The entire body of psychology and sociology is LITTERED with examples that show the same decision is in some cases optimal and in some cases to be avoided.     You control a train; you can either send the train to the left track, killing ten people, nine innocent adults and one serial killer, or you can send the train to the right track and kill two small children.  I have thought a lot about this, and while I am not for the death penalty (for some of the reasons you state) I am deeply torn with the extremes of that point of view.  I don't feel it is appropriate for a human to knowingly and with intent take another's life - death penalty, abortion (though I am pro-choice, strongly) - but what about self-defense?  Wat about the US invading Normandy to stop Hitler?   Hiroshima?  bin Laden?   

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Re: Guilty Until Proven Innocent
« Reply #52 on: September 14, 2016, 09:20:39 AM »
A couple things to address real quick. 

First, modern psychological profiling can go quite a bit deeper than just 'quizzing' them.  And building psychological profiles for killers is a large part of what helps law enforcement deal with killers moving forward.

Secondly, it's interesting to me that you are so willing to dismiss them as evil. Earlier in your post, you mentioned a tiny percentage of people who might have low IQ that puts them at a childlike mentality.  You say that in these rare cases, you can see showing them compassion.  So, you admit that there are rare exceptions to your 'they're just evil' rule.  Here's a thought experiment: what if we discover another exception in the future, once our understanding of the human psyche has moved forward?  What if we discover another mental condition that might be worthy of your compassion?  And what if, in the mean time, we have executed people with that mental condition without understanding what was going on in their head? 

Again, this is just a thought experiment.  The point of it is, the only way to guarantee that we never execute anyone unfairly is to just not execute people in the first place.  Otherwise there is always going to be room for new information to shed light on old cases long after we have done things that we can't undo. 

Finally, I stand by my original point about compassion.  If we want to be truly good, I think we need to have compassion even for those we perceive as evil.

I've admitted and understand that my position on how to handle these types of people not only is in direct conflict with my Faith and how I'm taught to treat people....it's also fueled by a vengeful element of my mind. For all the counseling and therapy I've been through from my own encounters with being molested and the advancements I've made in dealing with that....I can't seem to relieve myself of the 'vengeful' desire to see people that do these horrific things decidedly punished.

I think your thought experiment is thought provoking....because if there's anything we do know about the human mind it's that there is still MUCH to learn about it. I understand what you're getting at....but like I said, I can't seem to conquer the desire within me to "make these people pay". I think about 'what if it were my kids' or my parents or my wife that suffered these things and I will admit that it boils my blood and I see red.

I understand and sympathize.  You have every reason to feel the way you do.  I also admire you for being so open about it.

That being said, do you mind if I ask you something about your feelings?  It is related to what we're discussing, and I think it could provide some interesting insight into the subject and a point I'd like to make about it, but if you'd prefer, I can send you a PM to continue in private.  Or, if you'd rather not talk about it at all, that's fine, too.  I don't want to poke a sore spot for you.

I don't mind....go ahead and ask away.
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Re: Guilty Until Proven Innocent
« Reply #53 on: September 14, 2016, 09:51:34 AM »
(@Stadler: I will respond later.  I have to get to work soon, but I wanted to put this out real quick.)

A couple things to address real quick. 

First, modern psychological profiling can go quite a bit deeper than just 'quizzing' them.  And building psychological profiles for killers is a large part of what helps law enforcement deal with killers moving forward.

Secondly, it's interesting to me that you are so willing to dismiss them as evil. Earlier in your post, you mentioned a tiny percentage of people who might have low IQ that puts them at a childlike mentality.  You say that in these rare cases, you can see showing them compassion.  So, you admit that there are rare exceptions to your 'they're just evil' rule.  Here's a thought experiment: what if we discover another exception in the future, once our understanding of the human psyche has moved forward?  What if we discover another mental condition that might be worthy of your compassion?  And what if, in the mean time, we have executed people with that mental condition without understanding what was going on in their head? 

Again, this is just a thought experiment.  The point of it is, the only way to guarantee that we never execute anyone unfairly is to just not execute people in the first place.  Otherwise there is always going to be room for new information to shed light on old cases long after we have done things that we can't undo. 

Finally, I stand by my original point about compassion.  If we want to be truly good, I think we need to have compassion even for those we perceive as evil.

I've admitted and understand that my position on how to handle these types of people not only is in direct conflict with my Faith and how I'm taught to treat people....it's also fueled by a vengeful element of my mind. For all the counseling and therapy I've been through from my own encounters with being molested and the advancements I've made in dealing with that....I can't seem to relieve myself of the 'vengeful' desire to see people that do these horrific things decidedly punished.

I think your thought experiment is thought provoking....because if there's anything we do know about the human mind it's that there is still MUCH to learn about it. I understand what you're getting at....but like I said, I can't seem to conquer the desire within me to "make these people pay". I think about 'what if it were my kids' or my parents or my wife that suffered these things and I will admit that it boils my blood and I see red.

I understand and sympathize.  You have every reason to feel the way you do.  I also admire you for being so open about it.

That being said, do you mind if I ask you something about your feelings?  It is related to what we're discussing, and I think it could provide some interesting insight into the subject and a point I'd like to make about it, but if you'd prefer, I can send you a PM to continue in private.  Or, if you'd rather not talk about it at all, that's fine, too.  I don't want to poke a sore spot for you.

I don't mind....go ahead and ask away.

Thank you.

My question is this: Do you feel that seeing people get punished is ultimately helpful to you?  Does it heal your pain?  Does it bring you peace?
Sincerely,
Jaffa

Offline gmillerdrake

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Re: Guilty Until Proven Innocent
« Reply #54 on: September 14, 2016, 10:13:55 AM »
My question is this: Do you feel that seeing people get punished is ultimately helpful to you?  Does it heal your pain?  Does it bring you peace?

Hmmm...I can honestly say that hearing/reading about a pedophile or someone who has molested a kid being punished has never given me any sense of peace personally, but rather gives me satisfaction that the victim of that person received a sense of justice. I think when abuse/rape comes into the picture there really is no punishment that you can inflict on the abuser that comes close to matching the mental and psychological damage their victims will feel the rest of their lives. Ending their time on earth seems trivial to what those victims have to deal with the rest of their days and also seems like the least thing we could do for them. In my case, I feel like I'm at a pretty good place concerning my healing yet I don't feel that I'll ever truly be at a place that'd I'd have been at had it not happened.

When I talk to the point of these criminals who inflict horrific crimes like rape, murder torture of kids/women etc. that are just brutal in nature....I think the sense of "peace" that accompanies knowing those people were put to death comes less from knowing they'll never do it again and more from knowing that if that were to ever happen to my kids/wife/parents/siblings that the criminal would face the ultimate punishment....and honestly, if I sat and thought about it right now and say one of my sons was abused/raped etc by someone.....my mind immediately forfeits everything I'm taught by my Faith and jumps right to wanting 5 minutes alone with the person who did that to my kid so I can rip them limb from limb. Is that right to think like that? When put in context of my Faith I know that is completely contradictory to how I'm urged to carry myself and treat others.....but in any instance where I see something happen to a kid or wife or parent that's horrific in nature I can't help but think of my own family and if that had happened to them and then jump to that line of thinking rather than the forgiveness and compassion that I 'know' I should be demonstrating.

I don't know if that really answered your question though?
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Re: Guilty Until Proven Innocent
« Reply #55 on: September 14, 2016, 11:25:41 AM »
Not everybody feels that way, though.

I don't think everybody deserves the same treatment. There are billions of people in the world. To treat each one of them the same, is belying what makes one of them unique. People aren't these mass produced robots that are programmed to think and act the same. There are gradations of personalities that should be dealt with accordingly. Since there are different types of criminals, there should be different degrees of repercussions. You wouldn't give a murderer the same sentence that you would a purse snatcher. So, why should extreme criminals get the same treatment as good, law-abiding citizens?

Well, they shouldn't, and I never meant to imply that they should.  Extreme criminals should be imprisoned indefinitely.  That's definitely not the way I suggest we treat good, law-abiding citizens. 

That being said, I'm interested by the first half of your post, and I'm not sure I'm understanding it correctly.  Specifically, I don't know if I see what it has to do with my point about forgiveness versus vengeance.  You say not everyone feels the way I do on that point, and that's fair enough, but what does it have to do with deciding how we should deal with criminals?  Are you saying that the sentencing system should take into account the feelings of the victim?  I'm not trying to put words in your mouth, but that's out it came across to me, so I just want to clarify. 


I could probably live with extreme criminals being imprisoned for life with no chance of parole. Pedophiles usually get their assholes torn apart as soon a they get into prison, and that is far more excruciating than a few moments of voltage.

Let me see if I can clarify my first sentence. What you said is this:

Quote
It's a cliche, but one that exists for a good reason: if you really want to move on with your life after a tragedy, forgiveness tends to be a better tool than vengeance.

What I said is that not everybody feels that way, meaning not everyone wants to forgive and move on, especially if the criminal gets a slap on the wrist. People want justice and forgiveness hinders that in many cases. People aren't objective about crime and they should be. We're suddenly worried about the criminal and whether underneath the way he gut his victim with a knife there's a boy who wants to be loved. Just no.

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Re: Guilty Until Proven Innocent
« Reply #56 on: September 14, 2016, 11:34:35 AM »
I think it reflects poorly on us when we consider the imposition of suffering justice.

People aren't objective about crime and they should be. We're suddenly worried about the criminal and whether underneath the way he gut his victim with a knife there's a boy who wants to be loved. Just no.
I read the first part and briefly though we were in agreement. Technically we are, in that people aren't objective about crime, but I was looking at the bloodthirsty rather than the bleeding hearts.
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Re: Guilty Until Proven Innocent
« Reply #57 on: September 14, 2016, 11:39:32 AM »
I think it reflects poorly on us when we consider the imposition of suffering justice.

People aren't objective about crime and they should be. We're suddenly worried about the criminal and whether underneath the way he gut his victim with a knife there's a boy who wants to be loved. Just no.
I read the first part and briefly though we were in agreement. Technically we are, in that people aren't objective about crime, but I was looking at the bloodthirsty rather than the bleeding hearts.

I think it's suffice to say there is irrationality on both sides.

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Re: Guilty Until Proven Innocent
« Reply #58 on: September 14, 2016, 12:21:45 PM »
Perfect Example:

https://www.yahoo.com/news/no-jail-time-iowa-teen-141027964.html


at minimum he should have to serve the full 10 yrs of that ridiculously small 'sentence' AND be castrated...balls and shaft. This type of 'justice' is exactly what makes me go insane with this stuff. I have zero interest as to 'why' he did it.....he knew it was wrong but did it anyway and certainly deserved far worse a punishment. This judge should be removed from the bench immediately....it's a joke.
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Re: Guilty Until Proven Innocent
« Reply #59 on: September 14, 2016, 12:33:15 PM »
And your post is a fine example of why there's push back. You refer to justice, but to the rest of us it's amazingly clear that what you want is revenge. For one thing, there's a huge difference between putting him in prison, which we as a society have deemed appropriate 'justice' and cutting his dick off. What you want has never been acceptable in this country. While it certainly seems to me that he didn't get what was coming to him, what was coming to him is a very different thing than what you want for him. Secondly, and the crux of the problem, you post this because you're, for some reason, genuinely pissed off about it. As has been stated several times here, justice doesn't work when it's derived from passion.
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Re: Guilty Until Proven Innocent
« Reply #60 on: September 14, 2016, 12:41:11 PM »
And your post is a fine example of why there's push back. You refer to justice, but to the rest of us it's amazingly clear that what you want is revenge. For one thing, there's a huge difference between putting him in prison, which we as a society have deemed appropriate 'justice' and cutting his dick off. What you want has never been acceptable in this country. While it certainly seems to me that he didn't get what was coming to him, what was coming to him is a very different thing than what you want for him. Secondly, and the crux of the problem, you post this because you're, for some reason, genuinely pissed off about it. As has been stated several times here, justice doesn't work when it's derived from passion.

But if the very real possibility of getting his dick cut off were there.....I'd be willing to bet he'd at least have thought twice before acting on his desires. And, this person should not have the opportunity to father a kid...period.....nor 'enjoy' any sort of sexual gratification, and simply sterilizing him isn't harsh enough. He should have to look down at an empty crotch everyday as further reminder and punishment for this sinister act. IMO your reproductive and sexual gratification is all forfeited when you sexually abuse an infant/kid/woman.....but ESPECIALLY a defenseless child. I honestly don't see what the issue is other than the repeated soft justice approach to these types of crimes offers zero reason for anyone contemplating molesting and raping a child not to do it.
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Offline Chino

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Re: Guilty Until Proven Innocent
« Reply #61 on: September 14, 2016, 12:47:58 PM »
And your post is a fine example of why there's push back. You refer to justice, but to the rest of us it's amazingly clear that what you want is revenge. For one thing, there's a huge difference between putting him in prison, which we as a society have deemed appropriate 'justice' and cutting his dick off. What you want has never been acceptable in this country. While it certainly seems to me that he didn't get what was coming to him, what was coming to him is a very different thing than what you want for him. Secondly, and the crux of the problem, you post this because you're, for some reason, genuinely pissed off about it. As has been stated several times here, justice doesn't work when it's derived from passion.

But if the very real possibility of getting his dick cut off were there.....I'd be willing to bet he'd at least have thought twice before acting on his desires.

Would it though? We see this kind of behavior in a lot of our enemies, and still, after generations of being aware of it, people are still getting their hands chopped off for theft, beaten for not worshipping hard enough, and getting burned alive or beheaded for having relationships with the same sex.

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Re: Guilty Until Proven Innocent
« Reply #62 on: September 14, 2016, 12:52:37 PM »
Jesus, it's not hard to see why Genowyn posted what he did in the chat thread.
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Re: Guilty Until Proven Innocent
« Reply #63 on: September 14, 2016, 12:53:32 PM »
There was still a very real possibility of getting put in prison for the rest of his life. Cast down with the sodomites, so to speak. There's still the very real possibility of getting executed if you kill somebody, yet even in Texas we still have 1100-1200 murders per year. Deterrence is only effective when a criminal thinks rationally at the time they commit their crime.

edit: or in other words, like Chino said.
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Re: Guilty Until Proven Innocent
« Reply #64 on: September 14, 2016, 01:58:34 PM »
And your post is a fine example of why there's push back. You refer to justice, but to the rest of us it's amazingly clear that what you want is revenge. For one thing, there's a huge difference between putting him in prison, which we as a society have deemed appropriate 'justice' and cutting his dick off. What you want has never been acceptable in this country. While it certainly seems to me that he didn't get what was coming to him, what was coming to him is a very different thing than what you want for him. Secondly, and the crux of the problem, you post this because you're, for some reason, genuinely pissed off about it. As has been stated several times here, justice doesn't work when it's derived from passion.

But if the very real possibility of getting his dick cut off were there.....I'd be willing to bet he'd at least have thought twice before acting on his desires. And, this person should not have the opportunity to father a kid...period.....nor 'enjoy' any sort of sexual gratification, and simply sterilizing him isn't harsh enough. He should have to look down at an empty crotch everyday as further reminder and punishment for this sinister act. IMO your reproductive and sexual gratification is all forfeited when you sexually abuse an infant/kid/woman.....but ESPECIALLY a defenseless child. I honestly don't see what the issue is other than the repeated soft justice approach to these types of crimes offers zero reason for anyone contemplating molesting and raping a child not to do it.

I don't say this to be a dick, but to be reasonably entertaining, but if that's how you feel, lobby to pass the law.   Let society take a referendum on it.  See if that's how the MAJORITY of people think.  I didn't even click the link - on purpose - because it doesn't really matter.   As el Barto says, that you are outraged kind of makes you the least reliable person to weigh in on this, because everyone has their pet projects.  I know women who would cut off - balls and shaft (I'm going to steal that) - anyone who rapes.  Then you get the case where the kid banged the girl on Friday, they were at a party on Saturday, he's macking on someone else, and all of a sudden maybe Friday wasn't as consensual as we all thought.  Does that kid - a male whore but NOT a rapist - deserve to have his balls and shaft removed?   


Offline Genowyn

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Re: Guilty Until Proven Innocent
« Reply #65 on: September 14, 2016, 02:06:23 PM »
Sometimes just because the majority agrees with it doesn't make it right. Tyranny of the majority and all that. That's why we live in representative democracies rather than direct democracies, so that at some point someone can say "You know what that's fucked up so let's not ok?"

This is a case where I think the majority might even agree with GMD... doesn't make it right. I'm sure there's all sorts of odious shit the majority of people believe.

...my name is Araragi.

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Re: Guilty Until Proven Innocent
« Reply #66 on: September 14, 2016, 02:32:11 PM »
Sometimes just because the majority agrees with it doesn't make it right. Tyranny of the majority and all that. That's why we live in representative constitutional democracies rather than direct democracies, so that at some point someone can say "You know what that's fucked up so let's not ok?"

This is a case where I think the majority might even agree with GMD... doesn't make it right. I'm sure there's all sorts of odious shit the majority of people believe.
FTFY. Where GMD will run into a bigger problem, and thank the gods for that, is what he wants is flagrantly unconstitutional.
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Re: Guilty Until Proven Innocent
« Reply #67 on: September 14, 2016, 02:55:16 PM »
I mean, you still have elected representatives who do the actual voting on laws rather than direct democracy. Is that not the definition of representative democracy?

There are further breakdowns of representative democracy (like parliamentary republic or what have you) but broadly, representative democracy describes most democratic nations.

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Online El Barto

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Re: Guilty Until Proven Innocent
« Reply #68 on: September 14, 2016, 03:16:53 PM »
Yeah. That makes sense. I'm just putting the constitution out there as a check against mob rule mentality. In the past I suppose politicians could be counted on to check the irrational whims of the people. Now they seem to be not only be relying on them, but trying to outbatshit each other to gain the mob's favor.
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Re: Guilty Until Proven Innocent
« Reply #69 on: September 14, 2016, 03:19:31 PM »
Ah I see.

I figured there would be constitutional protections from the kinds of punishment being suggested but not sure as it's not my country :D

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