Re: Although i profoundly dislike the death penalty... (@ L05ER)
"if the burden of proof is high enough, there is absolutely nothing wrong with the ultimate punishment."
There are several issues with that assertion:
1) The amount of proof necessary to condemn someone is a very subjective concept. Proof can be lost, misplaced or misinterpreted, witnesses can be wrong or dishonest, ... As an example, please consider that study from the beginning of the noughties, where DNA analysis was performed on evidence from old cases that took place when DNA tests didn't exist or weren't been used due to costs, and the closest thing to them was a blood type analysis. A 20% of prisoners in the death row in that period were found to be innocent. How many innocents are there right now?
2) Furthermore, the judges, prosecutors, policemen and juries can receive lots of pressure from news media, the public opinion, the voters (as in the USA some of those positions are elected)...
3) Other studies from longer ago arrived to the conclusion that the main factor for a defendant to be declared guilty-or to escape a death sentence- was the salary of his lawyers. Which correlates to the defendant's income. So if both a rich guy and a poor guy are accused of a crime they didn't commit, the rich guy has a better lawyer that knows his trade and is able to find and use any loose ends in the case, and will interrogate the witnesses for hours trying to find anything dodgy in their stories. In comparison, an elcheapo lawyer* will accompany you the day of the execution, sit amongst the public and display a very sad face. Sometimes.
In my opinion, the death penalty will be ethically sound to use the day that either:
- We are able to resurrect any wrongly executed person.
- Closed cases are continuously reviewed, re-investigated and updated when new evidence is found or errors in the procedure are found.
- The justice system that dictates the death penalty is totally honest and not affected by all those issues I listed in the 2nd and 3rd paragraphs.
Fortunately, we only need to fulfill two of these three requisites. ;-)
*Note Elcheapo lawyer= the only one most of us can pay. This applies to anyone below the High Bourgeoisie level. and for many HB types it could be financially crippling, but even so, it beats being publicly executed, IMO.