Thursday, October 24, 2019

Thiel College-The Death Penalty

Thiel College-Comment Project No. 4

Hugo Bedau  claims: 

"The execution of the innocent believed guilty is a miscarriage of justice that must be opposed whenever detected.
Most human activities like medicine, manufacturing, automobile, and air traffic, sports, not to mention wars and revolutions, cause the death of innocent bystanders.  Nevertheless, advantages outweigh the disadvantages, human activities including the penal system with all its punishments are morally justified."

Do you agree or disagree with this statement?  Provide a detailed explanation of your position.


Anonymous said...

Student 3:

I strongly disagree with this statement. Things like wars, automobile accidents, air traffic, etc. are all unavoidable things. When people die as a result in those circumstances, they are accidents. Capital punishment is the opposite of an accident. That is intentional killing. If the only people eligible for the death penalty commit first degree murder, that means they have killed. Why would we kill someone for killing another? If the goal is to reduce death, why would the state perpetuate it? There would be no accidental killings if there were no killings at all. On the basis of morals, a personal code of ethics, it is not justifiable.

Anonymous said...

Student No. 8
The sad Reality is no system is perfect, there will always be shortcomings. Even today with the advancements of technology medicine, manufacturing, automobile, and sports industries have all had a reduction in deaths, this was not always the case back when these systems were first created. there are far fewer deaths of innocents as times have moved forward. Even with war and revolution, there is still death (innocent civilians) however there has been a reduction now that Smart munitions, and Rules of engagement have been used and elaborated on. The same can be said for the death penalty, no system is safe from mistake, most death penalty cases are for some of the most despicable crimes imaginable and should continue to be. Although the fact is simple, there has been innocent people executed, but most of these people have been before modern technological advancements like DNA testing and other crime scene analysis methods. its simply a cycle that unfortunately is part of every system, like it or not you cant fix everything just by getting rid of something like the death penalty because a few innocents died, as a counter argument, how many people have died serving life in prison who were innocent too? should we get rid of that too? The sword cuts both ways indeed. Especially since investigations continue for these cases and there is ample time for new evidence to emerge, I argue its even easier to do it today than lets say 20 years ago!

Anonymous said...

Student No. 9

In my opinion, innocent people never deserve to die. Of course, accidents always occur and innocent people die everyday in tragic accidents. However, for a person to receive the death penalty, a long drawn out process is in place to ensure that the person receiving the death penalty is actually guilty of the crime. Like any other aspect of life included in the quote above, there can always be human error. It is not impossible for an innocent person to be executed as they are believed to be guilty by everyone else. As we have learned about the trial process, the appellate processes, and the final 24 hours of the execution where a person can receive a pardon from the execution. It is not impossible for an innocent person to put through this process and be executed, however it is not common for this to occur. I believe that we have employed a rigorous system to provide Americans with their rights, where they are not to be treated unfairly in the court systems. I agree with this quote only because if a mistake is made and an innocent person is executed, we will learn from that mistake. The proof and evidence eventually comes out that an innocent person was executed, so for that reason alone I would agree with the quote that the advantages outweigh the disadvantages. If an innocent man is executed, all eyes will be drawn to the death sentence as a punishment, and during this time we will see reform and the punishment will hopefully evolve to make necessary changes that ensure a mistake never occurs again.

Anonymous said...

Student No. 16

Throughout history, there have been many instances where people were innocent yet believed to be guilty and consequently executed—Henry VIII’s many wives and other victims can attest to this. Comparing these to innocent deaths caused by medicine, automobiles, etc., is not very justified, as many of these deaths can occur as a result of negligence. It is not truly an accident, as something wrong had to have occurred in order for the death to happen. While it may not be intentional in these instances—for example, someone who causes a wreck may not have meant for another person to be injured or killed—the death penalty is meant to do exactly what is sounds like. That is, it is meant to end in the death of whoever is sentenced with such a penalty. In theory it is meant only for those who have committed the deserving crime, but in reality many people have been wrongfully condemned and executed before the mistakes could be rectified. I do not agree with the quote, as it is almost throwing aside the lives of the innocents who were executed. The system needs mending before we can call it morally justified—it is only justified when we eliminate the actual criminal from society, rather than an innocent person who did no wrong.

Anonymous said...

student 11

In the modern era, I feel as though it is a lot harder for innocent people to be found guilty and then through their entire stay on death row going through appeals without release compared to earlier periods in history. However, when it comes to ending people's lives, it should pretty much be foolproof. Progress is being made with technology, the appeals system is effective, and the death penalty is not deemed unconstitutional as long as due process is followed.

Anonymous said...

Student #2:

Everyday innocent people lose their lives; Whether its related to guns or automobiles. In today's time I believe it may be a little bit more challenging to convict and innocent individual of a crime they did not commit. DNA is a very big aid in solving crimes and DNA is a crucial piece of evidence that tells us whether or not an individual actually did the crime. If the Death Penalty is carried out on someone who was innocent, I believe there should be some sort of consequence. I'm not sure how it would be implemented exactly but ending an innocent persons life on purpose is a little weird to me. Of course, there are circumstances where all the evidence could point to an innocent individual but as people of service (cops, detectives, lawyers & judges) we need to be more aware and sure of the decisions we make.

Anonymous said...

Student #7

Innocent people die every single minute, from auto mobile accidents to air traffic. No matter what we do to prefect cars, planes, sports etc., there will still be an unfortunate death every single day. I believe this is the same within the death penalty. No one is perfect and that's how accidents are made. Even though today DNA is a huge part within solving murders which lead to being put on death row, there's is still that possible chance of someone getting wrongfully convicted. I do not wish or want to see innocent people getting executed, but the system has improved tremendously throughout the years and I have full trust that are law system are sentencing the right people.

Anonymous said...

student #5
Only way a person can get the Death penalty is if they commit a first degree murder and there is steps into the death penalty they have to make sure the person is fully guilty of the crime he committed before they have the option of giving the death penalty. Innocent bystanders dying is unfair but it happens in everyday life even outside of car accidents etc, people are killed in shootouts even in fights innocent people die. DNA testing should be the first step to making sure they are executing the right person because sentencing the wrong person to death wouldn't look so well on the judge or court system. There are somethings in life you can't prevent from happening when accidents do happen sometimes people are put in tough spots. I disagree because innocent people shouldn't be killed. The system has been doing better the past couple years but back then it wasn't.

Anonymous said...

Student #10

I agree with this statement. Unfortunately, accidents occur everyday. It is impossible to be 100% certain at all times. There is always the possibility of human error, however, I believe that this is almost impossible when it comes to the death penalty today. Trials take months, sometimes even years to fully take place. There is a variety of evidence available to the jury during the trial and after much time and deliberation, they determine that the defendant is guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. These decisions are anything but irrational. This system is in place to minimize the likelihood of an innocent person being killed. As the quote states, "...the advantages outweigh the disadvantages...". I believe this to be true. While mistakes can occur, it is highly unlikely that they will.

Anonymous said...

Student #19

I agree with this statement because there is extremely small numbers of death penalty cases where an innocent person carries out a death sentence. This is the case because it takes years for people to get to actually get to their death sentence. In these years they can continue to gather evidence, appeal their case, and work with their lawyer to overturn their sentence. Although, there are still incidents where innocent people are executed, we do not see a large number of them because of the safety protocol that goes on before sentencing someone to death.

student 14 said...

Student #14
I disagree and agree at the same time because things such as medicine, manufacturing, automobile, air traffic, and sports. All those things are deaths you can’t just get away from, but the death penalty is something you can’t if accused. Why I’m stuck in between both because it’s unfair and fair but I’m a hard a believer in evidence. If there is DNA at the crime scene and it’s your DNA theirs a good chance you did the murder. its honestly very confusing if you really think about imagine being insist on death role.

Anonymous said...

Student 18
There is a lot going on in this statement as the deaths caused by automobile, air traffic control, etc is classified as an act of God where executing someone thought guilty who is actually innocent isn't really an act of God its human error at the least. That being said I do understand where he is coming from the stats for amount of innocent people is existent but is minuscule at best. Further more, and we have talked about this in past classes, many executions can take up to 30 years to occur and in that time they have the option to appeal their case, sentence, or for new evidence to come out. With this extended amount of time and a modern and advance legal system along with forensic science that is constantly evolving becoming more accurate the chances of this unfortunate event happening is almost nonexistent. These are some of the ideas that Mr. Bedua should have thought about before making a statement.

Anonymous said...

student NO. 4

I disagree and agree with this statement. I completely understand where these people are coming from when people who are killed at these events deserve to have justice by the person who killed them. You also have to understand that these people put themselves in those situations. No one told you, you had to get into an automobile or go to a sporting event. You made that decision. By making those decisions you are putting your life in danger.

Anonymous said...


In today's world, anything can happen. Nothing is ever going to "satisfy" others. People die everyday due to accidents, such as the automobiles, medicine, manufacturing, and air. It's almost as if we're "used to it." When you're charged with capital murder, it is very hard to get away with it. If you feel as if you're wrongfully convicted, you can appeal cases. It usually takes years to be put to death. Modern technology helps us convict the ones worth convicting. We rarely see the wrongfully convicted. We shouldn't give up a system we've "adapted" to in the past few hundred years if and any innocent people die. This statement is unjustified and wrong context.

Anonymous said...

Student No. 6

While one shouldn't compare the accidents that occur because of daily activities, I disagree with this statement. There is a small percentgae of innocent people who have eben sentenced to death. This small percentage should not diminish the fact that those convicted of first degree murder need to be punished for their actions. Nowadays, we have a lot of resources to ensure that one is not being persecuted in a biased manner. However, we are only human, and humans make mistakes. Just because mistakes are rarely made does not mean we should abandon our previously established order.

Anonymous said...

Student 12

I agree with the statement that “the execution of the innocent believed guilty is a miscarriage of justice that must be opposed whenever detected”. The only individuals who are executed in the U.S. are those who have committed 1st degree murder. Those who are innocent of a crime that they were convicted of should not have to face the executioner and should not be placed in prison, they were innocent and did not commit the crime. I believe that we should oppose this and stop it from happening to the best of our ability. However, I still believe that in 1st degree murder cases when you take someone’s life and the court finds aggravating circumstance, execution is a morally justified punishment. Yes, there have been cases where innocent individuals have been put to death, but with advancements in DNA analysis and other forensic science methods this is occurring less and less. Also, in some cases, being giving the death penalty may have helped the innocent person. Defense lawyers took a greater notice to their case, and appeals were maybe gone over in finer detail because of the fact that it was a death penalty case. If this same person had been sentenced to life and prison without parole, they may have not had these extra chances to prove their innocence and will eventually die in the prison system. I believe an innocent person should never have to interact with the criminal justice system, however some do get caught up in the mix and we need to do our best t stop this from happening.

Anonymous said...

Student 1
I believe that it is wrong to execute those who are innocent but seen as guilty and shouldn't be justified. Although wars and other events can lead to innocents being killed, the person being killed was never put at trial or had odds against them. In order to be proving someone guilty in cases that would result to the death penalty there, there should be an outstanding amount of evidence that couldn't be worked around. those who are said to be guilty but are innocent may have not been given a fair trial. Taking innocent lives for other's crimes should not be justified.

Anonymous said...

Student No. 13

I disagree with this statement. The criminal justice system is supposed to punish criminals, not innocent people. Putting someone in jail is bad enough if they did not commit the crime, but killing an innocent person cannot happen. The death penalty needs to have one hundred percent proof that the individual in question was the one who actually committed the crime. Taking an innocent person's life is inexcusable.

Law and Justice Policy said...


Anonymous said...

Student No. 17

This statement is certainly complicated, but I believe you have to look at these topics as objectively as possible. Morally, and looking at the comments above, it seems to me that most people find issue with the idea of the death of an innocent through execution being an unintended consequence and therefore a necessary evil. However, by examination of the facts laid out for us, we see a different picture. The analogy used is clever and correct. People dying in car accidents every year does not keep us from driving, similar to flying. People overdosing on medicine does not keep us from taking it. So why should someone who seems guilty through an entire trial process being executed, only to find out later that was wrong, on the rare occasion that does happen, be considered any differently. All are life and death situations, and arguably false conviction are the least deadly of them all. By the statement itself, it seems rather correct. We execute people for a reason, and it seems almost any beneficial action does occasionally result in some negative unintended consequences. This is not a perfect world and there are no perfect solutions.

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