The diff between being anti-death penalty and anti-Mandatory death penalty

image by ed
ed’s thoughts, in consideration of the following thoughts by ‘Solo Bear’ and ‘SooJenn’ on the entitled matter, as posted on 'solo bear's' site, follows. It has been elaborated upon here for clarity.

Solo Bear: Some months back, I was reading about Yong Vui Kong's case and the issue appears to be about the MANDATORY death penalty. It has been argued that with the MANDATORY death penalty, if the court finds one guilty of possession of more than 15g of heroin, he is to be hanged. There's no such thing as a penalty lesser than that for the judge to hand out.

I thought about it and I felt that was a valid argument. I was willing to support that the MANDATORY death penalty be repealed.

Some weeks later, the argument somehow swung to campaigning against the Death Penalty itself. I went like...What the heck?

Hey, I didn't bargain for that. Is this a misleading campaign? A campaign that is intended to cheat and mislead people to support the repeal of the death penalty, by campaigning against the MANDATORY death penalty?

That's when I decided I would rather these activists take a hike. I am not going to support a repeal for the death penalty. As for the MANDATORY death penalty, it has left a bad taste in my mouth. Now I am not even going to put effort to support to have that repealed.


Soo Jenn: Hmm.. I thought they were only repealing for mandatory death penalty?

Well these actvists keep changing the goalposts.. once they convince people on the mandatory... and then conveniently talk about jus tthe death penalty.

Good to bring this up..



ed: There is nothing wrong with 'changing the goal posts'. It can, at times, be termed as 'progressive thought'.

That said, with regards to the death penalty, they are obviously split. It would be interesting to see if they push against the death penalty(like myself) or are 'anti-Mandatory death penalty'.

Both of you, however, will find upon further thought, that to support the latter will involve issues that will overlap with what advocates of the former tend to focus on.

Here's a hint. If we are to support the 'anti-Mandatory death penalty' side, we are going to find ourselves arguing for the pertinence of Mitigating Circumstances over the crime in calling for the commutation of the death penalty to, say, imprisonment of some extensive or nonsensically inordinate length.

'Circumstances', by the way, is what anti-death penalty advocates are generally focused on. If we can use ‘circumstances’ to argue against the mandatory application of the death penalty, it can also be used to argue against the death penalty itself, mandatory or not. In other words, one could say that the death penalty ought not to be applied in a particular case because of this or that circumstances serving as the impetus behind the crime.

Those whom are against the death penalty in its entirety can also point to sociological and psychological factors why the death penalty ought not to be applied at all. Anti-Mandatory death penalty campaigners point to personal circumstances of the individual committing the crime, while anti-death penalty campaigners point to collective contribution to the criminal pursuit of any individual. The latter calls for greater social responsibility and collective critical introspection. The relative ignorant and self-absorbed wouldn't generally be inclined toward the latter.

Anti-Mandatory death penalty campaigners point to personal circumstances of the individual committing the crime, while anti-death penalty campaigners point to collective contribution to the criminal pursuit of any individual.

The latter calls for greater social responsibility and collective critical introspection. The relative ignorant and self-absorbed wouldn't generally be inclined toward the latter.

Finally, 'Solo Bear', instead of suggesting that these activists 'take a hike', one could be part of the movement to refine their direction - unless, of course, they just don't bother to listen to one's constructive critique that is.

Your views, in this respect, reeks of juvenile self-absorption. So you were 'mislead' and feel cheated. That is nothing compared to what people have to face on death row. This issue, for the sake of the aforementioned, is certainly worthy of pursuit. It is not about you, it is not about the activists. It is about those facing the noose.

In a nutshell, it takes a greater amount of empathy and knowledge, or at least empathy, to move from being anti-Mandatory death penalty to the anti-death penalty side.

At the end of the day, it's 'a matter of choice on the part of the criminals' approach can only be supported when one ignores the real effects of class location and the kind of socio-cultural-economic system that leads people to 'choose' one path over another.


related article by a2ed: cut the noose - abolish the death penalty


ed





1 comment:

  1. Hey Ed,

    It's me again. Sorry for the late reply. I'll provide my 2 cents worth of my opinions, albeit not very insightful. I shall comment on some of the things that Solo Bear raised.

    Overall, I think Solo Bear was trying to rationalise on why death penalty shouldn't be abolished, without even considering the opposing viewpoint. An example would be that he simply dismissed the overlapping of anti mandatory death penalty and anti death penalty issue. Just by saying that "in not giving a death sentence, the criminal would become more notorious" is a fallacy at its best and is an extreme statement at its worst. If this were to be true, Solo Bear ought to provide concrete evidence from research. Solo Bear's comment is really an epitome of traditionalism. Furthermore, from the comments that he made, he did not seem to consider the fact that there are some innocent people who are wrongfully killed by the death penalty, which ought to be addressed so as to provide a balanced viewpoint.

    Also, the another potential problem with abolishing mandatory death penalty without abolishing death penalty is that personal circumstance that is worth the consideration of not giving the death sentence is quite subjective and the decision to not give the death sentence varies among different judges. So in order to reduce or even eliminate this, it's not a bad idea to change the goal posts.

    Anyway, I like your last statement "He has more than a billion for company".

    ReplyDelete

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