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Sunday, March 31, 2013

OTP: April 2013: Daily Caller: Baseball and the GOP: To rebrand the party, think like a sports fan

This week’s GOP autopsy report, commissioned by RNC Chairman Reince Priebus, is a great start in the much-needed task of rebranding the Republican Party. As the chairman acknowledged, “the way we communicate our principles isn’t resonating widely enough” and “we have to be more inclusive.” The report contains 219 recommendations to “connect people to our principles.” To achieve that goal, the party will need a strategic vision of how voters think about politics, which is something that the report lacks. For that, the GOP can learn a lot from another American passion: baseball.

This year, about 75 million Americans will go to the baseball stadium to watch a ballgame, about the same number as those who will vote in next year’s election. We rarely think about why someone becomes a baseball fan, or why they root for a certain team. Nor do we usually think about why someone chooses to vote for a certain political party. But it’s actually a very useful exercise.

When it comes to baseball, fan loyalty has almost nothing to do with the brain, and almost everything to do with the heart. In all of history, there’s never been a baseball fan who rooted for his team because it had the lowest ticket prices, or because it had the most taxpayer-friendly stadium deal, or because its players did the most community service. For the vast majority of Americans, rooting for a baseball team — not to mention, voting for a political party — isn’t really a rational choice; it’s more of a statement of personal identity — a statement telling the world, “This is who I am.” And for most people, defining “who I am” starts with family and community, before branching out into areas like race, age, gender, and class.

Family is pretty straightforward. If your mom and dad are Yankee fans, you’re almost certainly a Yankee fan. The same is true in politics. If your mom and dad are Republicans, you’re almost certainly a Republican.

Community is also pretty straightforward. If you grew up in, say, Philadelphia, chances are pretty great you’re a Phillies fan. Likewise, someone who grew up in Republican territory like, say, suburban Dallas or rural Indiana is much more likely to become a Republican than a nearly identical person from Seattle or Santa Fe.

Cities with more than one baseball team, like New York or Chicago, show revealing breakdowns by race and gender. The racial split in Chicago between Cubs fans on the North Side and White Sox fans on the South Side is well-documented. In New York, there’s an intriguing gender gap between Mets and Yankee fans, with women gravitating a lot more to the Yanks. While there’s a few theories out there trying to explain that, one obvious answer leaps out: Yankees heartthrob Derek Jeter.

In sports, as in politics, people’s convictions can’t be conveniently reduced to who their parents are or what they look like. But those things are an important foundation, upon which more rational sentiments come into being. Once you’re attached to your team on an emotional level — seeing them as a personal reflection of who you are and what you care about most — a rational exterior comes into being through phrases like “the Red Sox are the best team because they have the most heart” or “the Republicans are the best party because they know how to create jobs.”

Tripon Posted: March 31, 2013 at 10:52 AM | 6544 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
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   5101. Bitter Mouse Posted: April 23, 2013 at 12:39 PM (#4423289)
Good Face - Thanks for answering my questions. The difference we are having is far upstream from the death penalty discussion.

Can you define/describe what you mean by religious? I don't think my opinions are particularly religious (though as I said many/most folks get to where I am through religion).
   5102. Mayor Blomberg Posted: April 23, 2013 at 12:44 PM (#4423293)
erstwhile political friends


I believe the word you're looking for is co-religionists
   5103. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: April 23, 2013 at 12:53 PM (#4423305)
On the surface this is a fine analogy, but not really once you look at it. We imprison people to keep the rest of society safe from them while they are hopefully being rehabilitated, not because they imprisoned others.

That's not true. The primary purpose of imprisonment is punishment.
   5104. Shredder Posted: April 23, 2013 at 12:55 PM (#4423311)
Do you think doing violence can harm (psychologically) the person doing the violence?
If the person doing the violence is already a sociopath, probably not. There's a good chance that already covers a lot of torturers.
   5105. Greg K Posted: April 23, 2013 at 12:57 PM (#4423316)
Can you define/describe what you mean by religious? I don't think my opinions are particularly religious (though as I said many/most folks get to where I am through religion).

I think by "religious belief" he means a belief you hold due to faith rather than evidence. Essentially he's just disputing the validity/existence of the evidence that has brought you to that conclusion.
   5106. Poulanc Posted: April 23, 2013 at 01:01 PM (#4423323)
That's not true. The primary purpose of imprisonment is punishment.


Is it? And if it is, should it be?
   5107. Bitter Mouse Posted: April 23, 2013 at 01:02 PM (#4423325)
That's not true. The primary purpose of imprisonment is punishment.


Even if true (and if it is, it shouldn't be), that does not change the fact that imprisonment is done, not because a perpetrator imprisoned someone, but because they broke a serious law, and it is the default punishment for many crimes. It is not ###-for-tat, except for when we get to state sanctioned killing, then we only do it because they did something terrible in killing someone.

If the person doing the violence is already a sociopath, probably not. There's a good chance that already covers a lot of torturers.


I am not sure this is true. And even if it does not harm sociopathsm, I have strong doubts as to there being anything 100% sociopaths engaged in such activities (and am not thrilled with enabling and giving them training and experience, building a better sociopath for the rest of society to enjoy).
   5108. Joe Kehoskie Posted: April 23, 2013 at 01:03 PM (#4423326)
24 Florida inmates have had their death penalty sentences overturned because they were wrongly convicted. (There's been one more since the linked Miami Herald editorial, which cites 23.) That's the only number I found. I also said it was (quoting exactly here from #4932), "the highest total in the U.S." and that "those inmates had spent an average of 8 years on death row." I also said "overturned." "Overturned" is kind of important.

What are the chances that the different, larger number you badly want to switch to also matches those accompanying criteria? Who would think that a state the size of Florida had only ever revisited 24 death cases, end stop, and that 24 was somehow the highest total anywhere in the U.S.? Gov. George Ryan commuted the sentences of over 150 death row prisoners in one day. It was kind of in the news when he did it. [EDIT: 167.] Again, commuting isn't overturning. Sentence reduction isn't overturning.
or Joe K spouting disbelief at actual verified numbers with no evidence will be the first.

It's really funny that you two are still spouting this nonsense. Neither of you understood the implication of your own arguments, as evidenced by the following exchange, and yet you're both doing a weird and strident victory dance.

You're claiming over 300 death-row inmates in Florida have had their death sentences overturned since 1979? That seems awfully high. — Joe K.

Nooooo... I cited the exact number, 24, earlier on this page (#4932). — Gonfalon Bubble

The above exchange speaks for itself. Gonfalon was asked if over 300 Florida death-row inmates had their death sentences overturned, and Gonfalon replied, "Nooooo." His attempts to redefine the word "overturn" are as silly as his attempt to redefine the word "suspect" last week. Death sentences that are overturned on appeal are, by definition, "overturned."
   5109. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: April 23, 2013 at 01:05 PM (#4423333)
It would ring a little more true if once in a while you directed it at your erstwhile political friends instead of 100% of the time at your opponents. The next time you call out snapper to keep his god out of your state sanctioned killings, or Joe K spouting disbelief at actual verified numbers with no evidence will be the first.


Whenever my erstwhile political friends say anything you or your erstwhile political friends disagree with, there is a torrent of posts talking about how wrong/stupid/evil/crazy they are. Even in the rare cases they have a point, I don't see much purpose in "Me too!" posts, so I rarely make them.

Translation: No enemies to the Right.
   5110. Bitter Mouse Posted: April 23, 2013 at 01:06 PM (#4423334)
I think by "religious belief" he means a belief you hold due to faith rather than evidence.


Everyone has an edifice of personal thought that rests on belief. No one could possibly function purely on evidence, unless you are going to play fast and loose with the rules. I don't think you can make it from their to religion without some sort of spritual/magical influence. Otherwise virtually everything except a few of the hard sciences are religion and the word ceases to have a viable meaning.
   5111. Joe Kehoskie Posted: April 23, 2013 at 01:07 PM (#4423337)
Is it? And if it is, should it be?
Even if true (and if it is, it shouldn't be), ...

You guys are disputing that snapper's statement that the "primary purpose of imprisonment is punishment" is true? Do you believe shoplifters are rehabilitated after serving two days in jail? Was Lindsay Lohan expected to be rehabilitated after spending six hours in jail?
   5112. Greg K Posted: April 23, 2013 at 01:10 PM (#4423339)
The above exchange speaks for itself. Gonfalon was asked if over 300 Florida death-row inmates had their death sentences overturned, and Gonfalon replied, "Nooooo." His attempts to redefine the word "overturn" are as silly as his attempt to redefine the word "suspect" last week. Death sentences that are overturned on appeal are, by definition, "overturned."

The 24 he's referring to are the number that are over-turned, which is just one way a person can leave death row. Another way obviously, is to be executed. He's also listed several other ways someone can leave death row (though apparently he could not find definite numbers for) such as commuted sentences, non-execution deaths while on death row.

He's basing his numbers on the fact he can find
1) Number of people put on death row
2) Number of people executed

The 24 over-turned is just one way to make up the difference between those two numbers.
   5113. Bitter Mouse Posted: April 23, 2013 at 01:11 PM (#4423345)
Neither of you understood the implication of your own arguments


So in positive terms explain what those implications are. What I mean is you spend all your time doubting, LOLing, and generally assaulting others arguments, but rarely putting forth anything you actually believe. And suggesting "I beleive x is wrong" is not a positive belief. Rise up out of the minutia, tell us what you think about capital punishment and its costs vis-a-vis the alternatives. If you can't do that then describe what you think is the conclusion of what they are saying, extra points if you can do it with your own arguments and not just deriding theirs.
   5114. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: April 23, 2013 at 01:12 PM (#4423348)
Is it? And if it is, should it be?

Yes. A serious wrong has been committed against someone; justice demands the perpetrator receive a commensurate punishment.

Even if true (and if it is, it shouldn't be), that does not change the fact that imprisonment is done, not because a perpetrator imprisoned someone, but because they broke a serious law, and it is the default punishment for many crimes. It is not ###-for-tat, except for when we get to state sanctioned killing, then we only do it because they did something terrible in killing someone.

Correct. But sometimes it is a \"###-for-tat", e.g. fines for fraud or monetary torts. The fact that it isn't always a \"###-for-tat" doesn't mean \"###-for-tat" is always wrong.
   5115. Joe Kehoskie Posted: April 23, 2013 at 01:12 PM (#4423349)
The 24 he's referring to are the number that are over-turned, which is just one way a person can leave death row. Another way obviously, is to be executed. He's also listed several other ways someone can leave death row (though apparently he could not find definite numbers for) such as commuted sentences, non-execution deaths while on death row.

He's basing his numbers on the fact he can find
1) Number of people put on death row
2) Number of people executed

The 24 over-turned is just one way to make up the difference between those two numbers.

There haven't been 24 overturned; there have been hundreds of Florida death sentences overturned on appeal. That's the central issue here, and one that Gonfalon is now trying to gloss over with his attempted redefinition of the word "overturned."

***
So in positive terms explain what those implications are.

Uh, this was explained in the very next sentences, if you had bothered to read them.

What I mean is you spend all your time doubting, LOLing, and generally assaulting others arguments, but rarely putting forth anything you actually believe. ...

This, coming from a guy who couldn't describe his political principles if his life depended on it. Funny.
   5116. Greg K Posted: April 23, 2013 at 01:15 PM (#4423351)
Everyone has an edifice of personal thought that rests on belief. No one could possibly function purely on evidence, unless you are going to play fast and loose with the rules. I don't think you can make it from their to religion without some sort of spritual/magical influence. Otherwise virtually everything except a few of the hard sciences are religion and the word ceases to have a viable meaning.

I would agree. At a certain point we're all engaging in speculation. It's just a matter of doing the work to be as confident as we possibly can.

Just because I haven't quoted a popular music group in a couple years...to paraphrase the Tragically Hip:
There's no simple explanation, for anything important any of us do
The human tragedy consists in the necessity of living with the consequences
Under pressure
   5117. Greg K Posted: April 23, 2013 at 01:18 PM (#4423355)
There haven't been 24 overturned; there have been hundreds of Florida death sentences overturned on appeal. That's the central issue here.

I'm confused. If there were hundreds over-turned on appeal then what's the hubbub about? Wasn't your argument that there were a whole bunch of potential executionees mysteriously unaccounted for in his calculations?
   5118. Bitter Mouse Posted: April 23, 2013 at 01:21 PM (#4423361)
You guys are disputing that snapper's statement that the "primary purpose of imprisonment is punishment" is true? Do you believe shoplifters are rehabilitated after serving two days in jail? Was Lindsay Lohan expected to be rehabilitated after spending six hours in jail?


There are many reasons for imprisonment and other penalties. Deterrence, punishment, safety of others, and rehabilitation are the big ones I can think of off the top of my head. of them I find punishment to be the least compelling. If putting the shoplifter in jail for two days deters them from future acts or others from similar acts then fine, but to me it is irrelevant outside of the deterrence that they are "punished".

Deterrence is an obvious good to society, is safety of everyone else. Rehabilitation is, I think, also pretty obviously a societal good thing, because we get another functioning member of society. Punishment does not have any similar benefit. I don't find punishment in and of itself to be a good thing.

Parents often punish their children for various infractions. Once I learned/realized that certain classes of punishments were totally ineffective at deterring my eldest from some of his behaviors I stopped using them. Deterrence was my goal, not punishment.

So to answer your question let me state again that I don't think punishment is, or at least should be, the primary goal of the Justice system. That doesn't mean punishment can't be used towards one of the other goals (like for example deterrence), but in and of itself it is pointless.
   5119. Bitter Mouse Posted: April 23, 2013 at 01:22 PM (#4423363)
I'm confused.


I hate to disagree with you, but it is not you that is confused.
   5120. Poulanc Posted: April 23, 2013 at 01:23 PM (#4423364)
Yes. A serious wrong has been committed against someone; justice demands the perpetrator receive a commensurate punishment.


I don't think justice demands anything. You demand it.

But I think I would agree that the primary purpose of imprisonment is punishment. I just don't know if it should be.


EDIT: I agree with Bitter Mouse. The main purpose of imprisonment shouldn't be punishment, but deterrence.
   5121. Joe Kehoskie Posted: April 23, 2013 at 01:23 PM (#4423365)
I'm confused. If there were hundreds over-turned on appeal then what's the hubbub about? Wasn't your argument that there were a whole bunch of potential executionees mysteriously unaccounted for in his calculations?

Yes, which Gonfalon disputed:

You're claiming over 300 death-row inmates in Florida have had their death sentences overturned since 1979? That seems awfully high. — Joe K.

Nooooo... I cited the exact number, 24, earlier on this page (#4932). — Gonfalon Bubble
   5122. Der-K and the statistical werewolves. Posted: April 23, 2013 at 01:23 PM (#4423366)
Back in the day DMN was successful in making me (at minimum) check my assumptions. I don't know how often he changed my position though.

Same here.
   5123. Bitter Mouse Posted: April 23, 2013 at 01:24 PM (#4423368)
This, coming from a guy who couldn't describe his political principles if his life depended on it. Funny.


Umm, what? Are you referring to anything specifically or just throwing things out there?

Way to prove my point by spending yet another post engaging in empty attacks without a positive statement of what you belive with any sort of support anywhere though.
   5124. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: April 23, 2013 at 01:27 PM (#4423372)
So to answer your question let me state again that I don't think punishment is, or at least should be, the primary goal of the Justice system. That doesn't mean punishment can't be used towards one of the other goals (like for example deterrence), but in and of itself it is pointless.

You're missing the point. Punishment is necessary to bring justice to the victim and his family.

Say someone rapes and murders your wife or child, and escapes the law for 30 years, living an exemplary life. Hell, let's say he becomes Albert Freaking Schweitzer.

If he's then caught, do you think he should just be released saying "Oh, he's not a threat to anyone"?

The criminal had done evil, and basic justice demands punishment.
   5125. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: April 23, 2013 at 01:29 PM (#4423373)
I don't think justice demands anything. You demand it.

Then you don't understand justice.
   5126. Joe Kehoskie Posted: April 23, 2013 at 01:29 PM (#4423374)
There are many reasons for imprisonment and other penalties. Deterrence, punishment, safety of others, and rehabilitation are the big ones I can think of off the top of my head. of them I find punishment to be the least compelling. If putting the shoplifter in jail for two days deters them from future acts or others from similar acts then fine, but to me it is irrelevant outside of the deterrence that they are "punished".

Deterrence is an obvious good to society, is safety of everyone else. Rehabilitation is, I think, also pretty obviously a societal good thing, because we get another functioning member of society. Punishment does not have any similar benefit. I don't find punishment in and of itself to be a good thing.

Parents often punish their children for various infractions. Once I learned/realized that certain classes of punishments were totally ineffective at deterring my eldest from some of his behaviors I stopped using them. Deterrence was my goal, not punishment.
EDIT: I agree with Bitter Mouse. The main purpose of imprisonment shouldn't be punishment, but deterrence.

What's the difference between deterrence and rehabilitation in your minds? You two are using the words essentially as synonyms, which is different than how they're commonly used vis-a-vis the criminal justice system.

"Rehabilitation" is when a criminal stops committing crimes. "Deterrence" is the theory that punishing Person A for committing a crime dissuades Persons B and C from doing likewise.
   5127. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: April 23, 2013 at 01:32 PM (#4423383)
Then you don't understand justice.


Oh, he understands justice just fine. What he doesn't understand, or at least doesn't cater to, is your notion of Justice as a mysterious Entity existing outside of the actions and desires of humans in the world, who Demands things be done from Her Fortress of Justiceyness In The Sky.
   5128. Mayor Blomberg Posted: April 23, 2013 at 01:33 PM (#4423384)
#525, No, Snapper, 's hat you don't understand the broader scope of philosophy beyond what you have identified as Truth.
   5129. The Good Face Posted: April 23, 2013 at 01:34 PM (#4423385)
Otherwise virtually everything except a few of the hard sciences are religion


Whew. It took a while, but you got there. Yes, everything outside the realm of the hard sciences is, in fact, dependent on faith. Now that we've accepted this premise, let's think through the ramifications.

We are, all of us, caught up in faith-based reasoning all the time. Our minds are guided, controlled by forces that we're typically blind to. Custom, tradition, culture, family, media, organized religion, etc. We act in accordance with our beliefs, and we believe as we've been conditioned to believe.

And so knowing the above to be true, what's the difference between "God says so," and "Psychology says so,"? Why is one treated with scorn by most of the lefties here and the other is accepted as received wisdom? They're both fundamentally the same thing; unproven assertions based upon observation of human behavior. Why privilege one faith-based narrative over another, aside from personal preference (which often isn't really ours anyway)?
   5130. Greg K Posted: April 23, 2013 at 01:40 PM (#4423389)
Yes, which Gonfalon disputed:


You're claiming over 300 death-row inmates in Florida have had their death sentences overturned since 1979? That seems awfully high. — Joe K.

Nooooo... I cited the exact number, 24, earlier on this page (#4932). — Gonfalon Bubble

I don't see the problem. He's saying, no, 24 were over-turned, X number were commuted, Y number died before they could be executed.
   5131. Bitter Mouse Posted: April 23, 2013 at 01:41 PM (#4423390)
You're missing the point. Punishment is necessary to bring justice to the victim and his family.


No, I have a different point than you do. I don't think punishment = justice. But let's talk about your example.

So rehabilitation is not an issue (they did that already in your example). Public safety is not an issue (it appears from your example). I am not interested in punishment, so imprisoning him will bring no "justice" to me. However, there is deterrence to think about. It is a terrible example to allow someone to commit a crime and totally get away with it.

A real world example of this is Sara Jane Olson, formerly Kathleen Ann Soliah. She was in the SLA and broke the law. She became a pillar in the community (here in MN actually, it was a big deal locally) and eventually was discovered to be a criminal. I had no problem with her spending jail time, because after all she had committed crimes and to be a credible deterrent you actually need to do that sort of thing. However it is my feeling (and I think this is what happened) that her sentence was pretty light relatively speaking. I think this is (should have been) correct because punishment is pointless, and rehabilitation and public safety were already taken care of, so only the needs of deterrence were there.

Punishing her, or my mythical family attacker, 30 years after the fact (or even 10 minutes after the fact) does not serve me at all.
   5132. Joe Kehoskie Posted: April 23, 2013 at 01:43 PM (#4423394)
I don't see the problem. He's saying, no, 24 were over-turned, X number were commuted, Y number died before they could be executed.

I explained this above. There haven't been 24 death sentences overturned; there have been hundreds overturned. Also, "commuted" and "overturned" aren't synonyms, and only six death sentences have been commuted anyway. (There have been non-execution deaths on death row, but nowhere near 300.)
   5133. Bitter Mouse Posted: April 23, 2013 at 01:44 PM (#4423397)
What's the difference between deterrence and rehabilitation in your minds? You two are using the words essentially as synonyms, which is different than how they're commonly used vis-a-vis the criminal justice system.


Well I was pretty much using it as you state

"Rehabilitation" is when a criminal stops committing crimes. "Deterrence" is the theory that punishing Person A for committing a crime dissuades Persons B and C from doing likewise.


Though without the quotes and without the word 'theory'. When someone is rehabilitated they are a functioning member of society and should be treated as such. When someone is deterred they don't do it because of the consequences. What makes you think I was using them as synonyms?
   5134. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: April 23, 2013 at 01:44 PM (#4423399)
Oh, he understands justice just fine. What he doesn't understand, or at least doesn't cater to, is your notion of Justice as a mysterious Entity existing outside of the actions and desires of humans in the world, who Demands things be done from Her Fortress of Justiceyness In The Sky.

No that you deserve a response to that twaddle, but for the others:

Justice, as a concept, is independent of any religious belief. It is inherent in humanity that people should receive the just deserts of their actions. Good actions should lead to good results, bad actions should lead to bad results.

In fact, my religion, is much more about mercy than justice; though both are necessary. The world figured out "an eye for an eye" very well on it's own, it was Christ's teaching to modify that. The sheer radical nature of his statement is that it modifies the ancient instinct in pursuit of a higher virtue.
   5135. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: April 23, 2013 at 01:46 PM (#4423401)
Punishing her, or my mythical family attacker, 30 years after the fact (or even 10 minutes after the fact) does not serve me at all.

Most victims and their families would disagree with you.
   5136. Barnes Posted: April 23, 2013 at 01:47 PM (#4423403)

What's the difference between deterrence and rehabilitation in your minds? You two are using the words essentially as synonyms, which is different than how they're commonly used vis-a-vis the criminal justice system.

"Rehabilitation" is when a criminal stops committing crimes. "Deterrence" is the theory that punishing Person A for committing a crime dissuades Persons B and C from doing likewise.


Joe, the literature I've encountered (in a law school context, so not the most rigorous of philosophical perspectives to be sure) distinguishes between general deterrence and specific deterrence. General deterrence is what you describe. Specific deterrence is what Bitter Mouse is representing in the description of his son; punishing Person A to dissuade Person A from committing future crimes.

Both are distinct from rehabilitation, which seeks to transform criminals so that they will choose not to engage in criminal behavior for reasons other than fear of punishment. That is, to make them less awful rather than simply making their actions less awful due to fear.

Obviously if one believes that the sole thing that stops people from committing crimes is the threat of state punishment, then rehabilitation melds with specific deterrence.
   5137. Joe Kehoskie Posted: April 23, 2013 at 01:48 PM (#4423405)
So rehabilitation is not an issue (they did that already in your example). Public safety is not an issue (it appears from your example). I am not interested in punishment, so imprisoning him will bring no "justice" to me. However, there is deterrence to think about. It is a terrible example to allow someone to commit a crime and totally get away with it.

A real world example of this is Sara Jane Olson, formerly Kathleen Ann Soliah. She was in the SLA and broke the law. She became a pillar in the community (here in MN actually, it was a big deal locally) and eventually was discovered to be a criminal. I had no problem with her spending jail time, because after all she had committed crimes and to be a credible deterrent you actually need to do that sort of thing. However it is my feeling (and I think this is what happened) that her sentence was pretty light relatively speaking. I think this is (should have been) correct because punishment is pointless, and rehabilitation and public safety were already taken care of, so only the needs of deterrence were there.

Punishing her, or my mythical family attacker, 30 years after the fact (or even 10 minutes after the fact) does not serve me at all.

This is silly and illogical. If it's wrong to punish a person for committing a crime, then it's even more wrong to punish a person for the sole purpose of possibly deterring some hypothetical future person from committing that crime.
   5138. Greg K Posted: April 23, 2013 at 01:50 PM (#4423408)
I explained this above. There haven't been 24 death sentences overturned; there have been hundreds overturned. Also, "commuted" and "overturned" aren't synonyms, and only six death sentences have been commuted anyway.


Ah, I follow.
So the argument over cost per execution was settled hundreds of comments ago and since then we've been arguing over whether Gonfalon had the breakdown of over-turnings, commuted sentences, and pre-execution deaths right in his "non-executed" category?
   5139. Lassus Posted: April 23, 2013 at 01:51 PM (#4423410)
The main purpose of imprisonment shouldn't be punishment, but deterrence.

I don't know what the percentages should ACTUALLY be between deterrence and punishment, but I diverge from my tribe in that I have no real problem with imprisonment bearing probably quite a bit more punishment than, say, Bitter Mouse and Poulanc would be in favor of.

Just a description of my own opinion/preference. It bears little relation to reality, given the prison industry and the money involved. Not to mention other factors of injustice.


Most victims and their families would disagree with you.

I'd disagree with "most", although probably neither of us really know where the actual percentage is.

But I've known some, and with death involved, no less; a lot of victims' families just want to forget, and vengeance is the opposite of forgetting.
   5140. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: April 23, 2013 at 01:54 PM (#4423420)
If it's wrong to punish a person for committing a crime, then it's even more wrong to punish a person for the sole purpose of possibly deterring some hypothetical future person from committing that crime.

This is a good point. Punishing someone solely to influence others' behavior turns the punished into a mere means to an end, and is therefore fundamentally unjust.

After all, punishing an innocent person, believed to be guilty, has the same deterrent effect. Imprisoning a known burglar for a burglary he didn't commit, prevents him from committing burglaries while incarcerated.

You punish to punish. It also prevents the specific criminal form re-offending, and if others see that bad acts lead to bad results, then deterrence naturally follows.
   5141. Bitter Mouse Posted: April 23, 2013 at 01:54 PM (#4423421)
Whew. It took a while, but you got there. Yes, everything outside the realm of the hard sciences is, in fact, dependent on faith. Now that we've accepted this premise, let's think through the ramifications.


I was there long ago.

We are, all of us, caught up in faith-based reasoning all the time. Our minds are guided, controlled by forces that we're typically blind to. Custom, tradition, culture, family, media, organized religion, etc. We act in accordance with our beliefs, and we believe as we've been conditioned to believe.


What I objected to was your flat statement my thinking was religious in nature. religious has an actual meaning and you were using it incorrectly. There is belief behind my ... well belief, but it is not religious.

And so knowing the above to be true, what's the difference between "God says so," and "Psychology says so,"? Why is one treated with scorn by most of the lefties here and the other is accepted as received wisdom? They're both fundamentally the same thing; unproven assertions based upon observation of human behavior. Why privilege one faith-based narrative over another, aside from personal preference (which often isn't really ours anyway)?


Well religion by nature is immune to proof. the foundation of it is faith. It can never be proven, and doing so is a fools errand. Most other things as to one degree or another susceptible to testing and logic. They are not the same thing at all. "God says so" is a statement about God and totally faith based as God is generally considered unavailable (old testament to the contrary), psychology is the stuff of people and they are very availble for study and theories on how their minds work can be posited and tested, as has been done for many years.
   5142. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: April 23, 2013 at 01:54 PM (#4423423)
Whew. It took a while, but you got there. Yes, everything outside the realm of the hard sciences is, in fact, dependent on faith. Now that we've accepted this premise, let's think through the ramifications.

We are, all of us, caught up in faith-based reasoning all the time. Our minds are guided, controlled by forces that we're typically blind to. Custom, tradition, culture, family, media, organized religion, etc. We act in accordance with our beliefs, and we believe as we've been conditioned to believe.


##### all you want, Choctaw, but this is true of "the hard sciences" too. Read more Hume, Lillith.
   5143. Joe Kehoskie Posted: April 23, 2013 at 01:56 PM (#4423426)
Joe, the literature I've encountered (in a law school context, so not the most rigorous of philosophical perspectives to be sure) distinguishes between general deterrence and specific deterrence. General deterrence is what you describe. Specific deterrence is what Bitter Mouse is representing; punishing Person A to dissuade Person A from committing future crimes.

Both are distinct from rehabilitation, which seeks to transform criminals so that they will choose not to engage in criminal behavior for reasons other than fear of punishment. That is, to make them less awful rather than simply making their actions less awful.

This might have been true of Bitter Mouse's first comment, but it's not true of his #5131. He clearly wasn't calling for Sara Jane Olson a.k.a. Kathleen Ann Soliah to be imprisoned for fear that she might slip back into her SLA ways.

In any event, the distinction (as described above) seems almost irrelevant within the context of our current criminal justice system (especially our one-size-fits-all local jails), unless we assume that jailing a drunk driver for 10 days deters him from driving drunk but not from engaging in any other form of criminality, or that jailing a shoplifter for 10 days only deters him from shoplifting.

(By the way, Barnes, welcome to the jungle.)
   5144. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: April 23, 2013 at 01:57 PM (#4423427)
It is inherent in humanity that people should receive the just deserts of their actions.


No it's not. What a silly thing to say. Where is this "inherent" thing about humanity located? Buried, perhaps, beneath the miles high piles of bodies left by men and women of history who went on to live perfectly happy, naturally long lives after killing millions?

You would _like_ for justice to be inherent in humanity, because that is the sort of social construct you _want_ to live in. Justice is neither inherent nor not so outside of your (and a collective) desire to make it so.
   5145. Mayor Blomberg Posted: April 23, 2013 at 01:58 PM (#4423429)
Justice, as a concept, is independent of any religious belief. It is inherent in humanity that people should receive the just deserts of their actions. Good actions should lead to good results, bad actions should lead to bad results.


1, it is certainly not inherent in the world or in many human actors.

2, while I may assent to the desire for justice (if not its inherency in something called humanity), that only means that we have to discuss what th just outcome is, and that's where your ventriloquizing Justice rather than being willing to engage in a dialogic search for the just outcome, short-circuits the process.
   5146. Greg K Posted: April 23, 2013 at 01:59 PM (#4423431)
To harken back to the elephant crushing aside, I just saw a QI episode that had a delightful bit on the medieval torture of goat-licking. Apparently covering your feet with honey and having a goat lick them for a while, although pleasing at first, eventually peels off layer upon layer of skin from the soles of your feet.
   5147. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: April 23, 2013 at 02:00 PM (#4423433)
No it's not. What a silly thing to say. Where is this "inherent" thing about humanity located? Buried, perhaps, beneath the miles high piles of bodies left by men and women of history who went on to live perfectly happy, naturally long lives after killing millions?

You would _like_ for justice to be inherent in humanity, because that is the sort of social construct you _want_ to live in. Justice is neither inherent nor not so outside of your (and a collective) desire to make it so.


It's an inherent desire in all civilized people. Of course it doesn't always happen, but society should be arranged to make it happen as much as possible.
   5148. Los Angeles El Hombre of Anaheim Posted: April 23, 2013 at 02:00 PM (#4423434)
Joe thinks
This is silly and illogical. If it's wrong to punish a person for committing a crime...
is a response to
I had no problem with her spending jail time, because after all she had committed crimes and to be a credible deterrent you actually need to do that sort of thing.
Dude, he just wrote that punishment is necessary — "you actually need to do that sort of thing."
   5149. Bitter Mouse Posted: April 23, 2013 at 02:01 PM (#4423439)
If it's wrong to punish a person for committing a crime, then it's even more wrong to punish a person for the sole purpose of possibly deterring some hypothetical future person from committing that crime.


You skipped past the meat of my argument (shocked I am). The fact is she did the crime. Was guilty. There is a matter of consistency (and fairness) that suggests there needs to be some penalty for having done a crime. It is a bad message to send to allow someone to commit a crime and if they escape capture for long enough and do enough good then they get off scott free. Doing that would nibble away at one of the pillars of our justice system (deterrence). And how is it unfair to penalize someone for a crime they did commit? Not exactly the position I expected you to take - Joe K suggesting that a criminal get off scott free. Odd.

EDIT: Minor typos and a coke to my Hombre from LA, who as is typical said it better and in a more pithy fashion.
   5150. Mayor Blomberg Posted: April 23, 2013 at 02:01 PM (#4423440)
5142 - It's possible to say that science isn't based on belief, it's based on doubt because every theorem is subject to reverification, that the use of a theorem is wholly utilitarian, and that science will never discover Truth because it's outside the game of science.

I rarely hear that argued.
   5151. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: April 23, 2013 at 02:02 PM (#4423441)
It's an inherent desire in all civilized people.


Begging the question. You say "justice" is inherent, and then say if it's not they're not civilized. Abject circular reasoning at its finest.
   5152. Gonfalon Bubble Posted: April 23, 2013 at 02:03 PM (#4423443)
As the Black Knight vows to bite my legs off, I'll move on. Someone who has a verdict of death reduced to life imprisonment hasn't had his sentence overturned. Jack Carter explained the most common circumstance a hundred posts ago:
is it possible that prisoners who successfully appeal their death penalty sentence (while still guilty of the crime) are simply transferred into the prison system's general population, hence their "disappearance" from death row?

To date, only 24 Florida inmates on death row have been exonerated, had their convictions overturned, and been released. (Almost; one was posthumous.)

Well, we had our fun. But now it's over:

From 1973-2009, Florida sentenced 977 people to death.
68 inmates were executed. (6.9%)
53 died while awaiting execution. (5.4%)
389 were still on death row. (39.8%)
447 had their sentences and/or convictions changed, reversed, reduced or overturned by an appeals or higher court. (45.8%)
18 had their sentences commuted. (1.8%)
2 are listed as “other.”

Nationally during the same timeframe, 14.6% were executed, 5.1% died, 39.1% remained on death rows, 36.2% obtained a change in sentence, and 4.5% were commuted. 34 cases were categorized as “other.”

The US Bureau of Justice "stridently insists" on these "claims." Whether they represent a “theory” or “false information” is left to the reader.
   5153. Los Angeles El Hombre of Anaheim Posted: April 23, 2013 at 02:04 PM (#4423446)
It's an inherent desire in all civilized people. Of course it doesn't always happen, but society should be arranged to make it happen as much as possible.
Some sort of justice is inherent, but it's dependent on culture and religion and tradition, and the measure of justice changes over time as those cultures, religions, and traditions evolve. Very few first world societies, for example, still use capital punishment as a measure of justice.
   5154. Greg K Posted: April 23, 2013 at 02:05 PM (#4423447)
Thanks for clearing that up Gonfalon.

It was really driving me nuts trying to figure out what the hell the argument was about.
   5155. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: April 23, 2013 at 02:07 PM (#4423448)
5142 - It's possible to say that science isn't based on belief, it's based on doubt because every theorem is subject to reverification, that the use of a theorem is wholly utilitarian, and that science will never discover Truth because it's outside the game of science.


It's possible to say that, but very few people do say that, and TGF definitely did NOT say that in the comment I was responding to. He said the hard sciences exist in a realm of pure fact while everything else is just human longing and projection. His _belief_ that science reveals true fact is itself a projection of longing and desire.
   5156. Joe Kehoskie Posted: April 23, 2013 at 02:11 PM (#4423450)
Someone who has a verdict of death reduced to life imprisonment hasn't had his sentence overturned.

Nice try, Gonfalon. By definition, a death sentence that was overturned on appeal was overturned. (I never said "sentence overturned"; I said "death sentence overturned." You're getting more dishonest by the minute.)

Jack Carter explained the most common circumstance a hundred posts ago:
is it possible that prisoners who successfully appeal their death penalty sentence (while still guilty of the crime) are simply transferred into the prison system's general population, hence their "disappearance" from death row?

Yes, this is called "having their death sentence overturned."
   5157. Bitter Mouse Posted: April 23, 2013 at 02:14 PM (#4423452)
He said the hard sciences exist in a realm of pure fact while everything else is just human longing and projection. His _belief_ that science reveals true fact is itself a projection of longing and desire.


Well hard science and math are as close as you can get. At some point it devolves (evolves?) into philosophy, complete with brain in a jars thought expiraments. On a less philisophical level I think there are some things that are reasobably objective. There are gradiations of "objective fact" from pure math all the way to pure untestible faith. I for on tend to impute more credence to those higher up on the spectrum.
   5158. Mayor Blomberg Posted: April 23, 2013 at 02:14 PM (#4423453)
Agreed, Sam. I don't think GF was saying that either, though I'd be happy to hear him say and mean it.
   5159. Ron J2 Posted: April 23, 2013 at 02:14 PM (#4423454)
I guess I'm closer to Ray and GF than Mouse et al. I don't believe that all human life is sacred and don't see the point in warehousing somebody until they die. My personal standard is absolute certainty of guilt plus being happy when the person dies. Clifford Olson would be a fine example.

At the same time, I'm content that it's hard (and expensive) to actually execute somebody. And don't find the arguments about the expense to be particularly compelling.
   5160. Der-K and the statistical werewolves. Posted: April 23, 2013 at 02:15 PM (#4423457)
Baucus won't seek re-election. (Montana, Dem, Senate)
   5161. The Good Face Posted: April 23, 2013 at 02:17 PM (#4423459)
What I objected to was your flat statement my thinking was religious in nature. religious has an actual meaning and you were using it incorrectly. There is belief behind my ... well belief, but it is not religious.


Faith-based reasoning is religious reasoning. You've been conditioned to believe that "religion" is something bad, and so you clutch for euphemisms, but there's no point in sugar coating what's happening. You are every bit as religious as Snapper, perhaps more so, since he at least recognizes where his faith rubs up against ontological reality.

Well religion by nature is immune to proof. the foundation of it is faith. It can never be proven, and doing so is a fools errand.


What you think of as "religion" is something that has not been proven. It is not something that cannot be proven.

Most other things as to one degree or another susceptible to testing and logic.


Which is why I'm always willing to give meaningful evidence a hearing. Unfortunately, nobody in this thread has provided any to support their position that the death penalty causes us to "lose something". Not only can nobody demonstrate that a loss would occur, but nobody can even explain WHAT it is that would be lost.
   5162. Joe Kehoskie Posted: April 23, 2013 at 02:19 PM (#4423460)
5148. Los Angeles El Hombre of Anaheim Posted: April 23, 2013 at 02:00 PM (#4423434)
Joe thinks
This is silly and illogical. If it's wrong to punish a person for committing a crime...
is a response to
I had no problem with her spending jail time, because after all she had committed crimes and to be a credible deterrent you actually need to do that sort of thing.
Dude, he just wrote that punishment is necessary — "you actually need to do that sort of thing."
You skipped past the meat of my argument (shocked I am). The fact is she did the crime. Was guilty. There is a matter of consistency (and fairness) that suggests there needs to be some penalty for having done a crime. It is a bad message to send to allow someone to commit a crime and if they escape capture for long enough and do enough good then they get off scott free. Doing that would nibble away at one of the pillars of our justice system (deterrence). And how is it unfair to penalize someone for a crime they did commit? Not exactly the position I expected you to take - Joe K suggesting that a criminal get off scott free. Odd.

Perfect example of Bitter Mouse not being able to describe his position worth a damn. He just got done saying:

I am not interested in punishment, so imprisoning him will bring no "justice" to me. However, there is deterrence to think about. It is a terrible example to allow someone to commit a crime and totally get away with it.

... but now he appears to be saying that punishment is OK in and of itself.

If Bitter Mouse is basing his position on the idea that, "It is a terrible example to allow someone to commit a crime and totally get away with it," then he's arguing explicitly for punishment, not deterrence.

If it's unjust to imprison Sara Jane Olson a.k.a. Kathleen Ann Soliah for her own crimes, then it's even more unjust to imprison her for the sole purpose of possibly deterring some hypothetical person from committing a crime in the future.
   5163. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: April 23, 2013 at 02:20 PM (#4423461)
Well hard science and math are as close as you can get.


"As close as you can get" doesn't equal true. It equals "as close as you can (currently) get."
   5164. Lassus Posted: April 23, 2013 at 02:25 PM (#4423470)
Unfortunately, nobody in this thread has provided any to support their position that the death penalty causes us to "lose something". Not only can nobody demonstrate that a loss would occur, but nobody can even explain WHAT it is that would be lost.

I'd like to repeat my question from #5096, if you have interest in answering:

Has psychology and the many associated studies on a myriad of psychological topics ever proven anything in your opinion, or no? I ask as some people certainly here believe so, I'm just curious if that was your opinion as well.

   5165. Los Angeles El Hombre of Anaheim Posted: April 23, 2013 at 02:30 PM (#4423476)
If Bitter Mouse is basing his position on the idea that, "It is a terrible example to allow someone to commit a crime and totally get away with it," then he's arguing explicitly for punishment, not deterrence.
Literally no one has advocated a total absence of punishment. What BM is saying that the punishment does not benefit HIM PERSONALLY, not that punishment should be excluded. It's pretty ####### clear.

I've never met someone so desperately eager to misrepresent other people's arguments.
   5166. Joe Kehoskie Posted: April 23, 2013 at 02:31 PM (#4423478)
5165. Los Angeles El Hombre of Anaheim Posted: April 23, 2013 at 02:30 PM (#4423476)

I've never met someone so desperately eager to misrepresent other people's arguments.

No mirrors in your house, huh?

What BM is saying that the punishment does not benefit HIM PERSONALLY, not that punishment should be excluded. It's pretty ####### clear.

Who cares what "benefits [Bitter Mouse] PERSONALLY"? It doesn't benefit me if North Korea locks up some murderer, since I have no plans to visit North Korea. That hasn't remotely been the theme of this discussion.
   5167. Tripon Posted: April 23, 2013 at 02:35 PM (#4423485)
My two cents on the Death Penalty:

It currently costs a lot more money than it 'should' to execute somebody because the opposition has decided that the only way to combat executions is to scale up the costs to the point where it becomes almost unaffordable. Yet, there's little criticism on this despite it wastes unneeded resources on people who are already looked after better than other segments of society, such as the working poor, the homeless, young children, etc.

So there's generally two options, eliminate the DP, or try to streamline the process. Seems like states are picking the first option over the latter for the most part. Curiously, California is still trying to do the 2nd option despite them not having executed a person in for about a decade, and having the largest Death Row in the nation, and a large part of that is because Federal Courts have not allowed them to carry out an execution.

I say this as a person who is in favor of the DP in general. Both sides on the issue need to realize the current status quo doesn't work, and need to take steps to fix it. The anti-DPers need to realize that their actions help a relative few amount of people and may be hurting a larger segment of society due to their actions to protect people who on the whole did get a fair trial and was sentenced by a jury of their peers to have the harshest assessment that the state can provide, and that that the State if they still wish to carry out executions need to fix the fundamental issues they're currently facing.
   5168. Los Angeles El Hombre of Anaheim Posted: April 23, 2013 at 02:35 PM (#4423486)
Who cares what "benefits [Bitter Mouse] personally"?
He cares, and that's relevant since it's his argument.

He's arguing that he personally, and society at large, may benefit directly from rehabilitation, but that's not necessarily the case with punishment. Where's the confusion?

No mirrors in your house, huh?
Between BM's and GF's responses, you've been doing all the misrepresentin' for everyone.
   5169. The Good Face Posted: April 23, 2013 at 02:40 PM (#4423496)
TGF definitely did NOT say that in the comment I was responding to. He said the hard sciences exist in a realm of pure fact while everything else is just human longing and projection.


That's not exactly accurate. My exact words were;

everything outside the realm of the hard sciences is, in fact, dependent on faith


That said, your point about the belief that science reveals "true fact" is well taken. Are the fruits of science REALLY true fact? How can we truly know? This is why the predictive power of science is so important and valuable.
   5170. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: April 23, 2013 at 02:43 PM (#4423502)
That said, your point about the belief that science reveals "true fact" is well taken. Are the fruits of science REALLY true fact? How can we truly know? This is why the predictive power of science is so important and valuable.


A much watered-down and weaker claim than your previous attempt.
   5171. Joe Kehoskie Posted: April 23, 2013 at 02:44 PM (#4423505)
Yet, there's little criticism on this despite it wastes unneeded resources on people who are already looked after better than other segments of society, such as the working poor, the homeless, young children, etc.

This goes to the heart of my support for the death penalty. In a world of limited resources, it's morally repugnant to be spending ~$50,000 per year to convict and warehouse murderers, rapists, and other criminals who are highly unlikely to ever contribute anything positive to society. I favor the death penalty for utilitarian purposes, but I'd be just as happy with walling off 10 square miles of Texas or New Mexico and tossing convicts whose appeals are exhausted in there to fend for themselves. Anything that (1) separates such people permanently from society and (2) costs a fraction of the current price is fine with me.
   5172. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: April 23, 2013 at 02:44 PM (#4423506)
Begging the question. You say "justice" is inherent, and then say if it's not they're not civilized. Abject circular reasoning at its finest.

No, I'm saying if you don't have an inherent sense of justice you are intellectually and morally deficient, and there's no point arguing any issue of morality with you.
   5173. Bitter Mouse Posted: April 23, 2013 at 02:44 PM (#4423508)
If Bitter Mouse is basing his position on the idea that, "It is a terrible example to allow someone to commit a crime and totally get away with it," then he's arguing explicitly for punishment, not deterrence.


Ummm, no. I am arguing it is a bad example because it undermines deterrence to allow someone to get away with a crime. Or what the Hombre said (doesn't deserve a high five though dude, maybe a low five or even a medium four).

Seriously Joe you should stick to talking about what you believe and not what I believe. Speaking of which ...
What you think of as "religion" is something that has not been proven. It is not something that cannot be proven.


No., and as I am the resident expert on what I think allow me. Religion, in my opinion, is about faith and is by nature unprovable (I think there is also an element of the metaphysical that distinguishes it). This is different from things that are yet unproven. It may have been unprovable that the world was round, but the greeks theorized it based on evidence. We have since proved it. Religion is something that is unproveable by its nature. There are, of course, other things that are also unproveable, but they are also not necessarily religious in nature.

Having faith in something (that the world is round, or flat for that matter) is not religious simply because it is unproven.

As an aside, though part of the theme, I do not actually 'believe that "religion" is something bad, and so you clutch for euphemisms'. Religion is neither good nor bad, it is simply there, with some good and some bad. In my experience a religious person is not more or less likely to be good than a non-religious person any more than a baseball fan is more or less likely to be good (does not necessarily apply to Dodger fans - that's a joke kids).

It is a bit tiresome being told (incorrectly) what I believe, but whatever.
   5174. Joe Kehoskie Posted: April 23, 2013 at 02:48 PM (#4423515)
He cares, and that's relevant since it's his argument.

He's arguing that he personally, and society at large, may benefit directly from rehabilitation, but that's not necessarily the case with punishment. Where's the confusion?

I thought we've been debating the role of the criminal justice system in a civil society. I didn't realize this whole debate was centered on maximizing the benefits of the criminal justice system to Bitter Mouse personally. How silly of me.

Between BM's and GF's responses, you've been doing all the misrepresentin' for everyone.

Please. I reply to what people say. All you do is engage in pedantic nonsense while giving off a weird stalker vibe.
   5175. Bitter Mouse Posted: April 23, 2013 at 02:51 PM (#4423522)
"As close as you can get" doesn't equal true. It equals "as close as you can (currently) get."


Sure but at some point you put down the sophomore philosophy textbook and have to function in the real world. Most of the time Newtonian physics is plenty good enough despite being provably wrong.

Who cares what "benefits [Bitter Mouse] personally"?


Well snapper does, since he seems to think that punishment is salve for the victim and their family, and in his example I was playing that role. It is not like I brought that part up, in my justice system the victim and their family don't figure into the penalty phase in terms of their feelings. I don't want a justice system based on victims feeling better (though I certainly support services to help victims, because clearly they deserve help and support).
   5176. Los Angeles El Hombre of Anaheim Posted: April 23, 2013 at 02:51 PM (#4423523)
I thought we've been debating the role of the criminal justice system in a civil society.
We are. Thus, the big long sections on how rehabilitation benefits society. You're like my 7-year-old, trying to write a book report, reading only for the answers you've already decided you're going to write.
   5177. Bitter Mouse Posted: April 23, 2013 at 02:54 PM (#4423525)
I didn't realize this whole debate was centered on maximizing the benefits of the criminal justice system to Bitter Mouse personally. How silly of me.


I wanted to quote this as an example for future generations of the classic Joe K post.
   5178. Joe Kehoskie Posted: April 23, 2013 at 02:58 PM (#4423529)
Ummm, no. I am arguing it is a bad example because it undermines deterrence to allow someone to get away with a crime. Or what the Hombre said (doesn't deserve a high five though dude, maybe a low five or even a medium four).

Again, prioritizing deterrence ahead of punishment is silly and illogical. Who is being deterred by imprisoning Sara Jane Olson a.k.a. Kathleen Ann Soliah some 30 years after she committed her crimes? No matter how you try to sweeten it up with your flowery talk, imprisoning Olson a.k.a. Soriah is much more of a punishment for Olson/Soriah than a deterrent for society at large.

Seriously Joe you should stick to talking about what you believe and not what I believe. Speaking of which ...

Seriously, Bitter Mouse, you should learn to write in clearer English so people have a clue of what you're trying to say. Your rationale for imprisoning Sara Jane Olson a.k.a. Kathleen Ann Soliah is all over the map. First punishment is bad, then punishment is OK if there's a deterrent effect, then punishment might be necessary because "The fact is she did the crime. Was guilty. There is a matter of consistency (and fairness) that suggests there needs to be some penalty for having done a crime." Let us know when you decide what your principles are on this topic.

***
We are. Thus, the big long sections on how rehabilitation benefits society. You're like my 7-year-old, trying to write a book report, reading only for the answers you've already decided you're going to write.

There have been "big long sections on how rehabilitation benefits society"? I guess I missed those. Anyway, in case you hadn't heard, the U.S. criminal justice system all but gave up on rehabilitation many decades ago. With known recidivism rates north of 70 percent, rehabilitation is mostly a myth.
   5179. Gonfalon Bubble Posted: April 23, 2013 at 02:58 PM (#4423530)
#5156: (I never said "sentence overturned"; I said "death sentence overturned."

While you're doing gangbuster work with my "Nooooo," you seem reluctant to cut and paste the second half of my original sentence citing the information: that Florida's 24 overturnings was "the highest total in the nation."

24 times 50 states is 1200, or less than two-fifths of the U.S. total of all death sentences and/or convictions that were changed, reversed, reduced or overturned in the same period. And 1200 is an unworkable hypothetical, starting with the fact that more than ten states don't even have death rows, and ending with the fact that all fifty states are not tied for first place with 24.

I'm sorry I didn't lead you by the hand to go point by point through the incredibly complex premise behind that massive data point of 24, Joe. After considering how sincere your Socratic desire to learn is, I'm not going to waste time doing that now. So I'll just cut and paste myself:

Who would think that a state the size of Florida had only ever revisited 24 death cases, end stop, and that 24 was somehow the highest total anywhere in the U.S.? Gov. George Ryan commuted the sentences of over 150 death row prisoners in one day. It was kind of in the news when he did it. [EDIT: 167.]

Texas has a renowned reputation for showing mercy to convicted criminals. Texas has pardoned more than twice as many death row prisoners as the number you're pretending I insisted was the sum total of Florida's death sentence adjustments, of any variety, ever. That's a really plausible spot from which to launch a counterattack. But keep fighting, never give up, and who knows? You might even end up getting your previous posts "overturned."
   5180. jacksone (AKA It's OK...) Posted: April 23, 2013 at 02:59 PM (#4423533)
I guess I'm closer to Ray and GF than Mouse et al. I don't believe that all human life is sacred and don't see the point in warehousing somebody until they die. My personal standard is absolute certainty of guilt plus being happy when the person dies. Clifford Olson would be a fine example.


I lean towards this thinking in a cynical 'just ####### shoot them and be done with it way' for those who are 100% guilty, like Tsarnaev. But I do think that is not the ideal response. I do think a bit of 'goodness' is lost when a society thinks it is acceptable to kill people, whether it is for justice or revenge or punishment or whatever you want to call it. I also see charity as a good thing, but I don't do it.

As an aside - Joe, you are pretty much the definition of an internet troll. You bring nothing to the table, the spew that comes out of your head is designed only to elicit negative responses from people. I don't understand why anyone wastes times attempting to discuss anything with you. And I am only posting this in the hopes that at least one person will just ignore you the next time you try and start ####.
   5181. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: April 23, 2013 at 03:01 PM (#4423540)
No, I'm saying if you don't have an inherent sense of justice you are intellectually and morally deficient, and there's no point arguing any issue of morality with you.


More precisely, you're saying that if I don't have an inherent sense of justice IDENTICAL TO YOURS, etc, et al.
   5182. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: April 23, 2013 at 03:03 PM (#4423544)
I lean towards this thinking in a cynical 'just ####### shoot them and be done with it way' for those who are 100% guilty, like Tsarnaev. But I do think that is not the ideal response. I do think a bit of 'goodness' is lost when a society thinks it is acceptable to kill people, whether it is for justice or revenge or punishment or whatever you want to call it. I also see charity as a good thing, but I don't do it.


You don't "just ####### shoot" someone who is powerless and in your control. No matter what they have done. If they are not a danger to you or yours, you can't justifiably kill them. The only morally defensible killing is killing in self defense. Tsarnaev poses no threat to anyone at this point. Therefore...
   5183. Tripon Posted: April 23, 2013 at 03:05 PM (#4423548)
Fans of HBO’s Game of Thrones were recently faced with a question: Is one dragon for 8,000 soldiers a fair trade?

But George R.R. Martin, author of the books Game of Thrones is based on, has a different question: Is Darrelle Revis for two draft picks a fair trade?

In Martin’s opinion, the answer to that question is no. In fact, Martin thinks the Jets’ decision to trade Revis for the Buccaneers’ first-round pick this year and either their third- or fourth-round pick next year will be as disastrous as Kraznys mo Nakloz’s decision to trade 8,000 Unsullied to Daenerys Targaryen.

Martin is a huge Jets fan, and on the same day when Game of Thrones viewers were watching the dragon-for-Unsullied trade, Martin was taking to his personal website to denounce the Jets for getting rid of their best player.

“It is hard to be a fan of the New York Jets,” Martin wrote. “They have hardly done anything right since Joe Willie Namath won SuperBowl III, and every time you think maybe they are finally turning the corner, they find some new way to screw things up. Today the Jets traded Darrelle Revis, the best cornerback in the NFL and far and away the best player on the team. It is never a good idea to trade the best player on your team. The Jets desperately need a shut-down corner, since they do not have a real pass-rush threat, and the only way they ever get any pressure on the opponent’s QB is by shutting down his receivers long enough for the rushers to get there. Revis was a huge part of the reason why Rex Ryan’s defense has been so good (ups and downs, sure, but still one of the better defenses in the league). So they get rid of him Right. Only the Jets.”

Martin had tough words for Jets General Manager John Idzik (“Fire his ass now”) and said he thinks the 2013 season will end with the Jets having the worst record in the league and with coach Rex Ryan getting fired.

In short, the Revis trade made Martin lose his head. Kind of like Ned Stark.
   5184. jacksone (AKA It's OK...) Posted: April 23, 2013 at 03:08 PM (#4423549)

You don't "just ####### shoot" someone who is powerless and in your control. No matter what they have done. If they are not a danger to you or yours, you can't justifiably kill them. The only morally defensible killing is killing in self defense. Tsarnaev poses no threat to anyone at this point. Therefore...


Hey, I agree, it's morally wrong to do. However, I do also think it is absurd to waste the resources, primarily mental resources, that we do in keeping the criminal alive.
   5185. Joe Kehoskie Posted: April 23, 2013 at 03:10 PM (#4423554)
5180. jacksone (AKA It's OK...) Posted: April 23, 2013 at 02:59 PM (#4423533)

As an aside - Joe, you are pretty much the definition of an internet troll. You bring nothing to the table, the spew that comes out of your head is designed only to elicit negative responses from people. I don't understand why anyone wastes times attempting to discuss anything with you. And I am only posting this in the hopes that at least one person will just ignore you the next time you try and start ####.

After your utterly embarrassing performance in the recent immigration thread, I'm surprised you're back posting here. Welcome back, I guess. Hope you're better able to keep up with the discussion this time.
   5186. Bitter Mouse Posted: April 23, 2013 at 03:13 PM (#4423558)
Seriously, Bitter Mouse, you should learn to write in clearer English so people have a clue of what you're trying to say.


I will try to write in smaller words and simpler sentences for you in the future.

Deterrence good. Rehabilitation good. Public Safety good. Punishment not good.

Sarah Jane already rehabilitated. This is good. SJ no danger to public. This also good. SJ suffer penalty because of deterrence. Reason for this is justice system need to consistently put guilty in jail or deterrence not credible. Not credible because then people see guilty go free with no penalty. This bad for deterrence. But deterrence good, so not do that.

So SJ not in prison for rehabilitation. SJ not in prison for public safety. SJ in prison for deterrence. Punishment, apart from deterrence, not figure into it in my opinion.
   5187. jacksone (AKA It's OK...) Posted: April 23, 2013 at 03:14 PM (#4423560)
After your utterly embarrassing performance in the recent immigration thread, I'm surprised you're back posting here. Welcome back, I guess. Hope you're better able to keep up with the discussion this time.


Shh.
   5188. The Good Face Posted: April 23, 2013 at 03:15 PM (#4423562)
That said, your point about the belief that science reveals "true fact" is well taken. Are the fruits of science REALLY true fact? How can we truly know? This is why the predictive power of science is so important and valuable.


A much watered-down and weaker claim than your previous attempt.


Not really. Was just acknowledging your pedantic point about how even science may not be really real because we could all just, like, be brains in a jar maaaaan. So yeah, we can preface my claim with that, but I don't think it really changes anything.
   5189. Joe Kehoskie Posted: April 23, 2013 at 03:18 PM (#4423566)
While you're doing gangbuster work with my "Nooooo," you seem reluctant to cut and paste the second half of my original sentence citing the information: that Florida's 24 overturnings was "the highest total in the nation."

Utterly irrelevant, and yet another attempt at distraction.

Who would think that a state the size of Florida had only ever revisited 24 death cases, end stop, and that 24 was somehow the highest total anywhere in the U.S.?

Apparently, you, since I explicitly asked you if more than 24 death sentences had been overturned and you replied, "Nooooo."

Until yesterday, I didn't know there were over 400 people on Florida's death row or that 800-plus death sentences had been handed down in Florida since 1979, which is why I thought 300-plus death sentences being overturned "seemed awfully high." You, on the other hand, have been talking as if you're an expert on the subject, and yet you repeatedly claimed that only 24 Florida death sentences had been overturned when we now know the number is north of 300. (And now, rather than admit the obvious, you're engaging in an odd attempt to redefine the word "overturned." Very strange, and more than a little dishonest.)
   5190. Tripon Posted: April 23, 2013 at 03:18 PM (#4423567)
I just like to say that I have no idea what the heck any of you are arguing about.
   5191. Mayor Blomberg Posted: April 23, 2013 at 03:19 PM (#4423570)
Begging the question. You say "justice" is inherent, and then say if it's not they're not civilized. Abject circular reasoning at its finest.

No, I'm saying if you don't have an inherent sense of justice you are intellectually and morally deficient, and there's no point arguing any issue of morality with you.


damn, Snaps, that's Kehoskie-level.
   5192. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: April 23, 2013 at 03:19 PM (#4423572)
Hey, I agree, it's morally wrong to do. However, I do also think it is absurd to waste the resources, primarily mental resources, that we do in keeping the criminal alive.


Stop wasting billions on non-criminals (non-violent drug offenses, etc) and you don't have to worry about a little outpay to keep the worst of the worst off the streets without killing them.
   5193. Der-K and the statistical werewolves. Posted: April 23, 2013 at 03:25 PM (#4423582)
5190/tripon - then you win.

BM, I'm largely with you on this issue (heck, I think we agree on most things) but think you go too far wrt punishment. (This is setting aside that part of the reason for punishment is, of course, deterrence and to enhance public safety - we're taking that as given.)
Punishment, for its own sake, can be warranted for transgressing the state/society and in the interest of fairness/consistency. That doesn't mean being vindictive - I feel no joy in punishing others and find it discomforting, if understandable, when others do - and am thus not predisposed to arguments that boil down to 'they deserve to die!'^

^ I also don't think that these are invalid or necessarily immoral - just different than my morals.
   5194. Joe Kehoskie Posted: April 23, 2013 at 03:25 PM (#4423583)
Sarah Jane already rehabilitated. This is good. SJ no danger to public. This also good. SJ suffer penalty because of deterrence. Reason for this is justice system need to consistently put guilty in jail or deterrence not credible. Not credible because then people see guilty go free with no penalty. This bad for deterrence. But deterrence good, so not do that.

So SJ not in prison for rehabilitation. SJ not in prison for public safety. SJ in prison for deterrence. Punishment, apart from deterrence, not figure into it in my opinion.

Right: You're prioritizing deterrence ahead of punishment, which is unjust. Thanks for spelling it out in a way you can't try to weasel out of.

***
Stop wasting billions on non-criminals (non-violent drug offenses, etc) and you don't have to worry about a little outpay to keep the worst of the worst off the streets without killing them.

Even if we release all non-violent offenders, it's still morally repugnant to spend billions of dollars to feed, clothe, shelter, and entertain violent criminals who are a net negative for society.
   5195. spike Posted: April 23, 2013 at 03:28 PM (#4423586)
Who wouldn't enjoy 1000 posts of bickering and arguing over who killed who?

This is supposed to be a HAPPY occasion!
   5196. Lassus Posted: April 23, 2013 at 03:29 PM (#4423588)
Sarah Jane already rehabilitated.

Take it to the Doctor Who omnichatter.
   5197. Ron J2 Posted: April 23, 2013 at 03:30 PM (#4423589)
#5182 Precisely why is it more moral to warehouse somebody waiting for them to die? (With the reasonably high chance that you'll actually drive them insane in the time between them entering the prison system and their eventual death?)

Incidentally Snapper has missed the most important (to my mind) point about the retributive part of the criminal justice system. If there isn't general acceptance that the punishment is adequate it's pretty clear that you'll have a serious problem with vigilante "justice".
   5198. Joe Kehoskie Posted: April 23, 2013 at 03:34 PM (#4423595)
Incidentally Snapper has missed the most important (to my mind) point about the retributive part of the criminal justice system. If there isn't general acceptance that the punishment is adequate it's pretty clear that you'll have a serious problem with vigilante "justice".

Not according to Sam. He says people don't inherently want or seek justice.
   5199. zenbitz Posted: April 23, 2013 at 03:36 PM (#4423597)
I think you mean sympathize, but does this mean Good Face is now Robot #1 on this board? Have I lost the title?

(I supposedly lack emotion, but then I was accused of making a purely emotional argument above. You see how confusing it gets.)


Alarm bells are going off!

No one ACCUSED you of making a purely emotional argument:

@5015:
My appeal to emotion is a far stronger argument


That leaves two hypotheses:

1) RDP is an emotionless robot EXCEPT when it comes to this topic.
2) RDP is an emotionless robot that is CLEVERLY TRYING TO SNOW US by "showing" some emotion about a specific topic.

   5200. zenbitz Posted: April 23, 2013 at 03:39 PM (#4423601)
The world figured out "an eye for an eye" very well on it's own, it was Christ's teaching to modify that.


It also figured out that by stealing and raping females it could reproduce it's own lineage most effectively. But that particular aspect of early hominid or barbaric human behavior is less celebrated.
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