Author Topic: 6 new constitutional amendments...  (Read 8594 times)

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Offline PowerSlave

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Offline Lucien

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Re: 6 new constitutional amendments...
« Reply #1 on: March 06, 2014, 07:00:56 PM »
Interesting. Attempts to make the death penalty illegal as well as make gun control legal for those not in the military. Gerrymandering certainly is a subject that needs to be handled, and the addition of "other public officials" to the supremacy clause is a pretty shrewd action. Definitely some controversy and good stuff here, and stuff I both agree and disagree with.
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Offline Scheavo

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Re: 6 new constitutional amendments...
« Reply #2 on: March 06, 2014, 07:41:06 PM »
They seem fairly straight forward and reasonable to me. I'd probably go farther if I had to get a list of amendments going, but gerrymandering and money in politics is huuge.


Offline Prog Snob

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Re: 6 new constitutional amendments...
« Reply #3 on: March 06, 2014, 07:45:25 PM »
Yeah, I don't agree with most of those but I'll just leave it at that.

Offline orcus116

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Re: 6 new constitutional amendments...
« Reply #4 on: March 06, 2014, 07:49:58 PM »
The second amendment really does need to be modified. The militia thing makes me grin every time as it's easily one of the most outdated things in the Constitution.

Online El Barto

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Re: 6 new constitutional amendments...
« Reply #5 on: March 06, 2014, 07:52:51 PM »
1. Probably not necessary. The layered court system pretty much insures that the law of the land is what stands. Executives are already bound to uphold the Constitution, and they still blow it off. Lawsuits are inevitable and unconstitutional laws are shot down. Slow, but usually effective process.

2. Well, duh. The only reason computers aren't drawing districts fairly now is because scumbag representatives wouldn't hear of it.

3. Common sense, but again not allowable under current conditions. It amazes me that exceptions to free speech exist to preserve public order, but not to preserve democracy.

4. No problem with that in theory. I'd like to see how it could be handled, though. Frankly, our representatives are incapable of policing themselves and the people are too distracted to hold them accountable. A fair means by which being crooked could actually be prosecutable would be a welcome change.

5. While opposed to capital punishment, I don't think I'd support a constitutional amendment prohibiting it. I don't consider it cruel and unusual, and it seems a matter best left to the states. Besides, it's pretty definitely on the decline anyway.

6. For reasons I've stated over and over here, I think law abiding citizens should be allowed to own guns. Justice Steven's rewording takes the same all or nothing approach as what we're currently saddled with. Gun control shouldn't be a binary issue where there's either no control whatsoever or enforced to the exclusion of any guns as some states would happily do. This is one where a tactful approach is required, rather than the sledgehammer.


Yeah, I don't agree with most of those but I'll just leave it at that.
Some basic math suggests to me that for most to apply you have to approve of either Gerrymandering and/or proclaiming judges and politicians to be above the law. Correct me if I'm wrong.
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Offline Chino

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Re: 6 new constitutional amendments...
« Reply #6 on: March 07, 2014, 07:20:14 AM »
#3 is the most important to me.

Offline theseoafs

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Re: 6 new constitutional amendments...
« Reply #7 on: March 07, 2014, 08:09:59 AM »
Yeah, I don't agree with most of those but I'll just leave it at that.
Some basic math suggests to me that for most to apply you have to approve of either Gerrymandering and/or proclaiming judges and politicians to be above the law. Correct me if I'm wrong.

Well, either that or the government being completely unable to put restrictions on campaign expenditures.  Prog Snob has to agree with at least one of the three.  I'm excited to learn which one it is.

Online El Barto

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Re: 6 new constitutional amendments...
« Reply #8 on: March 07, 2014, 08:13:11 AM »
I'm just curious if there are good rationales for opposing some of them. I can see how 4 might be something objectionable, which is why I said I'd need to see how it could be implemented. In this miserable partisan climate I'd certainly be a bit squeamish about criminalizing bad political representation, but if it could be done fairly I'd certainly entertain the idea.
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Offline kirksnosehair

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Re: 6 new constitutional amendments...
« Reply #9 on: March 07, 2014, 08:30:14 AM »
I would definitely sign off on every one of these amendments.   :tup 

Offline Prog Snob

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Re: 6 new constitutional amendments...
« Reply #10 on: March 07, 2014, 08:35:06 AM »
I would probably agree with #4 and that's it.  Maybe #2 if I could see how it would really effect the overall picture.  Though I doubt the liberal judge would have been complaining about it back in 2001 when Obama used it in his Chicago district.

Offline bosk1

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Re: 6 new constitutional amendments...
« Reply #11 on: March 07, 2014, 08:55:19 AM »
Honestly, I'm not completely sure what #1 is really meant to address.  Undecided.

I agree in the abstract with #2, although implementing it would be a nightmare.  And I am somewhat troubled by "The state shall have the burden of justifying any departures from this requirement by reference to neutral criteria such as natural, political, or historical boundaries or demographic changes."  This sounds great, but in practice, how exactly is the state supposed to meet that burden?  This seems like an open invitation to litigate any boundary disagreement without really solving anything.

Agreed with #3, pretty much.

I find myself surprised to say I am COMPLETELY against #4.  It sounds completely noble and worthwhile.  But as a practical matter, this is not the way to address the problem it is trying to address.  With the laws as they are, whenever there is a perceived abuse by a politician or the government, it is always the extreme fringes that file lawsuits, and these lawsuits tie up an inordinate amount of resources even though they are frivolous.  Where the law actually allows such lawsuits, I am POSITIVE we would see an escalation and a corresponding drain of financial resources fighting them.  Good idea, but bad way to address it.

#5 is just silly.

#6 is even sillier.

So I guess my scorecard is:  I agree with 2, disagree with 3 (although I think one of those is coming from a good place, but is just not well thought out), and don't understand 1.
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Online El Barto

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Re: 6 new constitutional amendments...
« Reply #12 on: March 07, 2014, 09:14:46 AM »
Well, this is somewhat uncomfortable, but Bosk and I are pretty much on the same page.  :lol

As for 2, I have no doubt that somebody could write a piece of code that would take into account population dispersal, natural geographic features and even street maps to spit out a perfectly distributed congressional districting map that doesn't consider race, gender or political party affiliation. Doubt it'd be very difficult at all, honestly.

Number one is meant to prevent people from passing laws that are blatantly unlawful; we're seeing this in Kansas and Arizona right now. The problem is that it usually takes the courts to determine whether or not they are. Like I said, I see the rationale behind it, but the current system, while slow, accomplishes what needs to be done.

I'm not completely against number 4, but like I said earlier I share your concerns about criminalizing government. That's why I'd like to see a suggestion for a reasonable way of implementing it.
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Offline theseoafs

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Re: 6 new constitutional amendments...
« Reply #13 on: March 07, 2014, 09:36:45 AM »
#5 is just silly.

Why is illegalizing the death penalty silly, now?

Offline Prog Snob

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Re: 6 new constitutional amendments...
« Reply #14 on: March 07, 2014, 09:41:50 AM »
#5 is just silly.

Why is illegalizing the death penalty silly, now?

Why should the federal government regulate how the states handle capital punishment?

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Re: 6 new constitutional amendments...
« Reply #15 on: March 07, 2014, 09:45:54 AM »
I certainly wouldn't call it silly, but despite my opposition to capital punishment I wouldn't support an amendment banning it. As I said before, I don't find it unconstitutional in its current form, and plenty of misguided people seem to want it. Just because I might personally think they tend to be naive and bloodthirsty doesn't mean that I don't support their right to have an institution in place that doesn't violate the law of the land.
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Offline XJDenton

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Re: 6 new constitutional amendments...
« Reply #16 on: March 07, 2014, 09:52:19 AM »
I certainly wouldn't call it silly, but despite my opposition to capital punishment I wouldn't support an amendment banning it. As I said before, I don't find it unconstitutional in its current form, and plenty of misguided people seem to want it. Just because I might personally think they tend to be naive and bloodthirsty doesn't mean that I don't support their right to have an institution in place that doesn't violate the law of the land.

Forgive me, but isn't the whole point of a constitutional amendment to change what is deemed constitutional?

Offline Prog Snob

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Re: 6 new constitutional amendments...
« Reply #17 on: March 07, 2014, 09:53:52 AM »
I don't think it makes me naive or bloodthirsty.  It's not like I'm sitting home beating off to Faces of Death.   ;)   I feel we have become too soft on crime in this country.

Some guy who lives here on Staten Island was driving drunk, caused a car accident, fled the scene, and as a result of his drunk driving killed a four year old.  He got 6 months in jail.  I'm not saying he deserved the death penalty but six fucking months?  There is something seriously wrong with the judicial system in this country. 

Offline theseoafs

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Re: 6 new constitutional amendments...
« Reply #18 on: March 07, 2014, 10:03:31 AM »
I don't think it makes me naive or bloodthirsty.  It's not like I'm sitting home beating off to Faces of Death.   ;)   I feel we have become too soft on crime in this country.

Some guy who lives here on Staten Island was driving drunk, caused a car accident, fled the scene, and as a result of his drunk driving killed a four year old.  He got 6 months in jail.  I'm not saying he deserved the death penalty but six fucking months?  There is something seriously wrong with the judicial system in this country.

"Soft on crime"?  You're kidding yourself if you think everyone who murders someone else gets only six months in jail.  There's a remarkable amount of variance in judicial punishment, and a lot of it is based on circumstance and bias.  You can (and should) argue that the punishments the judicial system deals out should be more sensible and consistent, but that still doesn't constitute a decent argument for the death penalty.

Offline Prog Snob

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Re: 6 new constitutional amendments...
« Reply #19 on: March 07, 2014, 10:06:31 AM »
I don't think it makes me naive or bloodthirsty.  It's not like I'm sitting home beating off to Faces of Death.   ;)   I feel we have become too soft on crime in this country.

Some guy who lives here on Staten Island was driving drunk, caused a car accident, fled the scene, and as a result of his drunk driving killed a four year old.  He got 6 months in jail.  I'm not saying he deserved the death penalty but six fucking months?  There is something seriously wrong with the judicial system in this country.

"Soft on crime"?  You're kidding yourself if you think everyone who murders someone else gets only six months in jail.  There's a remarkable amount of variance in judicial punishment, and a lot of it is based on circumstance and bias.  You can (and should) argue that the punishments the judicial system deals out should be more sensible and consistent, but that still doesn't constitute a decent argument for the death penalty.

I said everyone who commits murder gets only 6 months?  I was making an example of how soft this country has been on crime. This is not an isolated incident either, my friend. 

And I'm still waiting for one good reason to NOT use the death penalty.  I don't want to hear the bleeding heart hippie nonsense that it's inhumane and immoral, either.

Offline theseoafs

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Re: 6 new constitutional amendments...
« Reply #20 on: March 07, 2014, 10:11:02 AM »
I said everyone who commits murder gets only 6 months?  I was making an example of how soft this country has been on crime. This is not an isolated incident either, my friend. 

It certainly isn't, and I could point to a dozen examples of people getting sentences that are inordinately large when compared to the crime they committed.  The judicial system is remarkably biased and inconsistent -- it is not too soft on crime or too tough on crime.  And, again, "this country has become soft on crime" isn't a justification for the death penalty.

Offline Prog Snob

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Re: 6 new constitutional amendments...
« Reply #21 on: March 07, 2014, 10:16:36 AM »
I said everyone who commits murder gets only 6 months?  I was making an example of how soft this country has been on crime. This is not an isolated incident either, my friend. 

It certainly isn't, and I could point to a dozen examples of people getting sentences that are inordinately large when compared to the crime they committed.  The judicial system is remarkably biased and inconsistent -- it is not too soft on crime or too tough on crime.  And, again, "this country has become soft on crime" isn't a justification for the death penalty.

I'd like to take you seriously but you make it so difficult. The fact that we are too soft on crime is definitely a justification for the death penalty if it fits the crime.  No one is saying that every crime should be treated as such. That's something your hearing in your own mind. I can't take you seriously if you think the too soft/too tough balance is even.  It's obvious your idea of a fitting punishment needs to be tweaked a bit.   ;)

Offline theseoafs

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Re: 6 new constitutional amendments...
« Reply #22 on: March 07, 2014, 10:21:31 AM »
I'd like to take you seriously but you make it so difficult. The fact that we are too soft on crime is definitely a justification for the death penalty if it fits the crime.  No one is saying that every crime should be treated as such. That's something your hearing in your own mind. I can't take you seriously if you think the too soft/too tough balance is even.  It's obvious your idea of a fitting punishment needs to be tweaked a bit.   ;)

I never suggested that you said all crimes should be punished by the death penalty.  I said that you're incorrect to view the judicial system as "soft on crime" because you can name examples of people getting sentences that are too small, because I can name examples of people getting sentences that are way too big.  And no, the fact that we went too easy on the guy that killed the 4-year old does not justify killing somebody for committing a crime later to balance out us being "too soft".

And I'm still waiting for one good reason to NOT use the death penalty.  I don't want to hear the bleeding heart hippie nonsense that it's inhumane and immoral, either.

Here are three.

1. There doesn't seem to be a good justification to do the death penalty over life sentencing besides revenge -- and the judicial system shouldn't be motivated by revenge.
2. Our legal system turns out not to be awfully good at determining with 100% accuracy which people committed crimes, and the number of people who were on death row or who were executed who were later exonerated is remarkable.
3. Executing a person costs the state inordinately more than just giving them a room and three meals for the rest of their lives.

Offline KevShmev

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Re: 6 new constitutional amendments...
« Reply #23 on: March 07, 2014, 10:22:47 AM »
I think it goes without saying that the judicial system is inconsistent, and while I am not nearly as Gung-ho on the death penalty as I used to be - I used to be very much in favor of it, but now I think it should be used only in very rare instances - getting rid of it altogether is not the answer.   Personally, I'd rather see a horrible criminal rot in jail for decades rather than putting them out of their misery.

Offline yeshaberto

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Re: 6 new constitutional amendments...
« Reply #24 on: March 07, 2014, 10:34:11 AM »

[/quote]

And I'm still waiting for one good reason to NOT use the death penalty.  I don't want to hear the bleeding heart hippie nonsense that it's inhumane and immoral, either.
[/quote]

I appreciate the fact the thesoafs responded to your question gracefully, but the question is capable of invoking strife.
Choose your words more carefully so as to invite discussion rather than division.

Offline Prog Snob

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Re: 6 new constitutional amendments...
« Reply #25 on: March 07, 2014, 10:41:48 AM »
I'd like to take you seriously but you make it so difficult. The fact that we are too soft on crime is definitely a justification for the death penalty if it fits the crime.  No one is saying that every crime should be treated as such. That's something your hearing in your own mind. I can't take you seriously if you think the too soft/too tough balance is even.  It's obvious your idea of a fitting punishment needs to be tweaked a bit.   ;)

I never suggested that you said all crimes should be punished by the death penalty.  I said that you're incorrect to view the judicial system as "soft on crime" because you can name examples of people getting sentences that are too small, because I can name examples of people getting sentences that are way too big.  And no, the fact that we went too easy on the guy that killed the 4-year old does not justify killing somebody for committing a crime later to balance out us being "too soft".

Like I said, that would depend on your definition on a fitting punishment which I feel is probably a bit on the soft side.


And I'm still waiting for one good reason to NOT use the death penalty.  I don't want to hear the bleeding heart hippie nonsense that it's inhumane and immoral, either.
Here are three.

1. There doesn't seem to be a good justification to do the death penalty over life sentencing besides revenge -- and the judicial system shouldn't be motivated by revenge.
2. Our legal system turns out not to be awfully good at determining with 100% accuracy which people committed crimes, and the number of people who were on death row or who were executed who were later exonerated is remarkable.
3. Executing a person costs the state inordinately more than just giving them a room and three meals for the rest of their lives.

Your first excuse is dramatic.  Revenge?  Don't be so sensitive.

It doesn't say which ones were exonerated posthumously. Otherwise, it looks like the numbers have gone down in recent years thanks to the advances of forensic science.

Then they should come up with something to cut down the costs of death penalty cases.  It's not the execution that costs so much, it's the trial itself.  You should have looked that up first.   ;)

Offline theseoafs

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Re: 6 new constitutional amendments...
« Reply #26 on: March 07, 2014, 10:44:49 AM »
Your first excuse is dramatic.  Revenge?  Don't be so sensitive.

lol alright dude

Offline Prog Snob

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Re: 6 new constitutional amendments...
« Reply #27 on: March 07, 2014, 10:46:59 AM »

Quote

And I'm still waiting for one good reason to NOT use the death penalty.  I don't want to hear the bleeding heart hippie nonsense that it's inhumane and immoral, either.

I appreciate the fact the thesoafs responded to your question gracefully, but the question is capable of invoking strife.
Choose your words more carefully so as to invite discussion rather than division.

Got it.

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Re: 6 new constitutional amendments...
« Reply #28 on: March 07, 2014, 11:03:11 AM »
I certainly wouldn't call it silly, but despite my opposition to capital punishment I wouldn't support an amendment banning it. As I said before, I don't find it unconstitutional in its current form, and plenty of misguided people seem to want it. Just because I might personally think they tend to be naive and bloodthirsty doesn't mean that I don't support their right to have an institution in place that doesn't violate the law of the land.

Forgive me, but isn't the whole point of a constitutional amendment to change what is deemed constitutional?
Indeed, and I had considered that when making my remark. It just seems to me that it has been consistently viewed as being within the law. Now, if people want to go through the rigamarole of changing it because times have changed, then I've got no problem with it. However, this is definitely an instance where it needs to be a majority decision and not based on what a handful of people want. Furthermore, capital punishment isn't addressed anywhere in the constitution or the subsequent amendments. I'm not sure why there would need to be a new amendment banning it when it's not a constitutional matter anyway. Why not just pass a federal law prohibiting it?


And I'm still waiting for one good reason to NOT use the death penalty.  I don't want to hear the bleeding heart hippie nonsense that it's inhumane and immoral, either.
It's not effective. In fact very little about our penal system is. It's being demonstrated more and more that our punitive approach to dealing with crime falls far short of a treatment based system. The problem is assuming that people who want such an approach are bleeding heart hippies who want to cradle rapists and murderers, which accomplishes nothing except stalling reform that would likely be helpful. And didn't you and I discuss this a few weeks ago? I thought you saw the merits of my point of view
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Offline Prog Snob

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Re: 6 new constitutional amendments...
« Reply #29 on: March 07, 2014, 11:07:40 AM »
I remember our discussion and I remember thinking about it afterwards.  While there might be some "benefits" to studying criminals of an extreme nature, I still think they ultimately need to be made an example of.

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Re: 6 new constitutional amendments...
« Reply #30 on: March 07, 2014, 11:35:22 AM »
It occurs to me that while writing off people seeking reform as bleeding heart hippies isn't helpful, writing off death penalty supporters as naive and bloodthirsty probably isn't either.  That wasn't my intention, but in the interest of fairness it bears mentioning anyway. That said, death penalty supporters don't actually have a cause or a goal other than what's already established. Opponents are actually looking for better options. That does matter here.

I remember our discussion and I remember thinking about it afterwards.  While there might be some "benefits" to studying criminals of an extreme nature, I still think they ultimately need to be made an example of.
To what end? Do you think making examples of people has worked better than other options? Christ, the DWI case you mentioned might just as well have seen him get 50 years. He was lucky, but then he also didn't let that possibility persuade him not to drive.
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Offline The King in Crimson

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Re: 6 new constitutional amendments...
« Reply #31 on: March 07, 2014, 11:37:19 AM »
Barto: There is precedent to banning something with an amendment, namely prohibition.

ProgSnob: Technically it's the appeals procesd that tends to send the costs of capital punishment skyrocketing, but then we should be reasonably (100%) sure that the person getting executed did the act, shouldn't we? That's my problem with capital punishment. I have no problem committing someone to death for matters of justice or public safety but considering our track record of committing innocent people, it's probably not the best approach.

In the end, what's worse? A serial murderer gets to live the rest of his life in a concrete box or an innocent man is executed? I know I'd feel pretty shitty if I was part of a jury that sentenced a man to die and it was later discovered that he was innocent.

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Re: 6 new constitutional amendments...
« Reply #32 on: March 07, 2014, 12:07:53 PM »
Barto: There is precedent to banning something with an amendment, namely prohibition.
Fair enough. Yet I still don't see the need to take that route. If you can get a supermajority of both house and the states to agree on something, you could just as easily pass a law. It seems to me that it's the permanance that you're seeking with an amendment, and I have a problem with going that route with something that's so easily debatable and prone to the mood of the people.
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Re: 6 new constitutional amendments...
« Reply #33 on: March 07, 2014, 12:23:11 PM »
Technically it's the appeals procesd that tends to send the costs of capital punishment skyrocketing, but then we should be reasonably (100%) sure that the person getting executed did the act, shouldn't we? That's my problem with capital punishment. I have no problem committing someone to death for matters of justice or public safety but considering our track record of committing innocent people, it's probably not the best approach.


This is why I think the death penalty should be reserved only for cases where there is no doubt in who pulled the trigger - instances caught on camera or like Jared Laughner minus the mental illness.

The other problem with the cost argument is that an innocent person sentenced to life in prison is still going to exhaust every avenue for an appeal or new trial, so they cost about the same money, possibly more if you factor in settlements.  Thankfully, forensic science is progressed past the dark ages of the late 80s and I think we are going to finding fewer people falsely imprisoned from the 90s onward.
     

Offline The King in Crimson

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Re: 6 new constitutional amendments...
« Reply #34 on: March 07, 2014, 12:32:45 PM »
Barto: There is precedent to banning something with an amendment, namely prohibition.
Fair enough. Yet I still don't see the need to take that route. If you can get a supermajority of both house and the states to agree on something, you could just as easily pass a law. It seems to me that it's the permanance that you're seeking with an amendment, and I have a problem with going that route with something that's so easily debatable and prone to the mood of the people.
Oh I'm not arguing in favor of it, just pointing out that there is a precedent. Not a very good precedent, but a precedent nonetheless.