12 thoughts on “Execution #1000”

  1. Tomorrow at dawn Singapore will execute by hanging an Australian. His nam is Van Nguyen, he was caught in Singapore in 2002 with 400g of heroin (he was working as a mule to earn money to get his twin brother out of debt).

    Sure he did the wrong thing, but death by hanging for drug smuggling? That’s barbaric.

    I’m not sure if this registers in the US, but it’s a leading news item over here in SE Asia — there’s quite some tension between Australia and Singapore. Worse still is that most people in Singapore don’t even know about it, since the Singapore government tightly controls the media.

    btw, China executes about 1300 people a year.

  2. Joen says:

    Sure he did the wrong thing, but death by hanging for drug smuggling? That?s barbaric.

    I agree completely.

    btw, China executes about 1300 people a year.

    It’s terrible, I know. I even hear they have “death busses”, that drive around the country and execute people right inside the bus.

    If I truly had it my way, no country executed their citizens.

  3. Joen says:

    It’s a sad day for reason.

  4. Interesting. So do you believe that no crime justifies the death penalty?

  5. Joen says:

    Interesting. So do you believe that no crime justifies the death penalty?

    That is exactly right. I am fiercely against capital punishment on all accounts.

    This is based not on the individual crime, rather on the principles of law. I feel there’s a difference between actual justice, and the feeling of justice.

    What I usually get asked when I say I’m against it, is “what if your girlfriend got abducted, raped, tortured and killed etc. – wouldn’t you want the person responsible killed?”. I answer yes, I’d like to see that person gutted and gassed. This would feel like justice for me.

    The problem with this picture is two-fold. Firstly, as a society we do not shell out revenge, and punishment should not be based on emotional response. The victims should not be allowed to dictate the punishment, a court of law should. Otherwise, why would we need a code of law in the first place?

    The second problem is that I do not consider capital punishment something a government can have at all. We have a law that says it’s illegal to kill a person, that pretty much foils it. Or to put it otherwise: two wrongs don’t make a right.

    So to sum it up, no, no crime actually justifies the death penalty, because it’s wrong to kill people. We’re better than this.

    This is enough for me to be completely against capital punishment. There’s of course also a myriad of different reasons such as the possibility of mistakes, the concept of “cruel and unusual punishment”, and so on. I’ve been meaning to make an actual discussion of it here sometime.

  6. “I feel there’s a difference between actual justice, and the feeling of justice.”

    Is there? The purpose of law is to prevent anarchy in the community it protects. You can’t ignore the fact that a community can have strong feelings about a crime and the perpetrator of that crime. The law can only be respected when it responds to the demands of its community, when the community feels that justice is served. If the community loses its respect of the law then law and order breaks down and anarchy is the result.

    “Firstly, as a society we do not shell out revenge”

    One man’s “revenge” is another man’s “justice”.

    “punishment should not be based on emotional response”

    I disagree. Again, it comes down to maintaining the respect for law.

    “The victims should not be allowed to dictate the punishment, a court of law should.”

    I agree. But the court of law has to be seen to punish according to the crime. Here in England the courts take a very lenient view of burglary (assuming a case even makes it to court). The courts have been advised, by whoever it is who’s responsible for these things, that a burglar can be prosecuted three times, for three separate crimes, before he can be considered for a custodial sentence (where violence isn’t a factor) (http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/2658597.stm). At the same time, these same courts are happy to imprison a householder who takes it upon himself to use physical force against a burglar should he be caught in the act (http://www.telegraph.co.uk/htmlContent.jhtml?html=/archive/2000/04/20/nmar20.html).

    These factors combined mean that burglary is virtually unpunished in this country. Yet those who choose to defend their property are frequently imprisoned.

    Therefore, burglary increases each year and the law-abiding community lives in fear of what, sadly, is a crime they will inevitably experience (http://www.timesonline.co.uk/newspaper/0,,176-993582,00.html).

    So when law and order breaks down like this what happens? Crime increases, fear increases, reported crime decreases, trust decreases, respect for the law decreases… thus begins the long slide down to anarchy.

    “No crime actually justifies the death penalty, because it’s wrong to kill people. We’re better than this.”

    You know Joen – I agree with you (despite how this response might read). I, personally, would love to live in a world where there was no need for such barbarism. I’d also love to live in a world where there’s no crime. Maybe in Denmark you don’t live with the threat of violence and crime all around you but here in Leeds (the worst city in the UK for burglary: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/west_yorkshire/4324843.stm), with gangs of drunken or drugged yobs prowling the streets, I’m thankful even for the inadequate enforcement we “enjoy”.

    People shouldn’t have to live in fear Joen, the law is there to protect and reassure them, and to punish the defendant if prevention and the deterrent proves to be not good enough.

    I can fully sympathise with anyone who feels that there is a need for the ultimate punishment.

  7. Joen says:

    Thanks for a good response, Jonathan, it deserves a better reply than this (which I hope to provide tomorrow — glad you’re subscribed!).

    This just a short note to point out one thing: I do think we should punish people, and while I’m against the actual killing of a person, I’m not against, say 80 years in prison if the crime demands it.

  8. “I do think we should punish people”

    I appreciate that Joen. I never doubted that. 🙂

    “I’m not against, say 80 years in prison if the crime demands it”

    Fair enough.

  9. Joen says:

    Is there? The purpose of law is to prevent anarchy in the community it protects. You can?t ignore the fact that a community can have strong feelings about a crime and the perpetrator of that crime. The law can only be respected when it responds to the demands of its community, when the community feels that justice is served. If the community loses its respect of the law then law and order breaks down and anarchy is the result.

    As briefly mentioned, I believe in the alternative: a lifetime in prison, and if the crime is bad enough, without the possibility of parole. An immediate benefit of this would be that an innocent man could possibly be proven innocent at a later time. Some of the punishment could then be “repaired”, while there’s no “undo” with death.

    These factors combined mean that burglary is virtually unpunished in this country. Yet those who choose to defend their property are frequently imprisoned.

    I do acknowledge that there are crimes that aren’t punished severely enough. Rape, for instance, in Denmark, is punished far too leniently.

    People shouldn?t have to live in fear Joen, the law is there to protect and reassure them, and to punish the defendant if prevention and the deterrent proves to be not good enough.

    Correct. Law could/should be adjusted, but I don’t believe capital punishment would make any difference. I cannot believe it serves as a deterrent, and in my mind there are punishments as harsh as death, but without the barbarism and possibility of mistakes that death entails.

  10. martin says:

    Hi both, just wanted to give my point of view., i visit noscope once in a while,

    ( u rock Joen 😉 but this is the most interesting thread i have read., not because of the subject, but the writing going on.

    For starters, I dont have anything against dead punishment, I really believe eye for an eye., not that everyone deserve’s it, i mean everyone CAN make mistakes, most crimes are mistakes, but some is not, these are planned in the mind, there is a motive behind, and some are so brutal and evil that i really think they deserve to be punished to death.

    But i agree about community and the law, unfortunalty this dream is about to be just a dream., someday we can’t control the bad sides of humans, greed, inhumanity, the law doens’t just need to be adjusted, it needs to be rewritten for todays world.

    (m)

  11. Joen says:

    I see your point, Martin, and thanks for your comment.

    Great looking new website, by the way!

    But i agree about community and the law, unfortunalty this dream is about to be just a dream., someday we can?t control the bad sides of humans, greed, inhumanity, the law doens?t just need to be adjusted, it needs to be rewritten for todays world.

    Certainly it does seem at times that this world is going to hell. And I can see the point of upping the punishment for an increase in crimes / brutality of those crimes.

    I heard someone intelligent say an important thing once. He said: if the world is going to end, plant a tree.

    I’ve forgotten his point with this, but I still appreciate the essence of it: hold on to the last shred of humanity.

  12. martin says:

    Thank you, working my ass off 😉

    True, my heart hurts, when I think of all the sad things in this world, so I dont..

    I like the phrase, but, why not plant a tree anyways, humans always act too late. We should have learned that by history.

    But i like the man’s tought, he did think about it: What if we did know the world is going to end soon, what to do… think posetive, show respect and plant a tree.

    big fan of quotes 😉

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