A Conversation for Amnesty International

Amnesty International : human rights or dispensing of justice?

Post 21

royalrcrompton

Thank you for providing the names of these two criminals. Much too harsh a sentence? I hardly think so. Let the punishment fit the crime(s). Kidnapping is still a capital offense in many countries and up until 50 years ago, it could have resulted in the death sentence in most civilized nations. That the additional crime of attempted murder was also committed certainly justifies life imprisonment with perhaps, parole eligibility ( L & S enjoyed that eligibility).

Political activists who get caught up in " a bad thing " must bear their own guilt ; it is nobody's else's fault. That they devised and carried out such grievous crimes against humanity should preclude any temptation to cite pseudo-mitigating circumstances. The bottom line is this : these two losers were in on the planning of these crimes; they did not accidentally find themselves within someone else's mess. It was their own quagmire.

Your assessment of Brazilian jails is " broadbrush. " You seem to be attempting to equate every jail in Brazil with the very worst of them. The prison in question was inspected by UN authorities and though it was found to be less comfortable than the Sheraton or Ritz-Carlton, it provided the standard necessities with adequate food and plenty of potable drinking water. Even Lamont's mother could not dispute the fact that her daughter was being given the basic, adequate essentials of life. You seem to intimate that Lamont and Spencer should have been given the normal comforts of home. That they were convicted felons presupposes that things wouldn't be so good for them when they landed in jail -- after all, they were sent to the big house to be punished.

The point in question is that if Amnesty Int'l. is indeed a seeker of justice, then it evidently waded into this case without full examination of the facts. If however, they did did know all these facts, then they are (as is my contention ) a group bent on subverting sound justice.

RC


Amnesty International : human rights or dispensing of justice?

Post 22

psychocandy - Moderation Team Leader

>up until 50 years ago, it could have resulted in the death sentence in most civilized nations

A civilized nation wouldn't *have* a death penalty. Period. While I have the misfortune to live in a country that is inhabited- and governed- by such uncivilized folks as support the death penalty, I am at least fortunate enough to live in a state that does not.

That you think a death sentence would *ever* be warranted under any circumstance is all I need to know that further discussion with you regarding this case, any other case, and ethical treatment of human beings in general, would be pointless.

But yes, the point in fact is that Amnesty International is a seeker of justice, and in this case, justice has been served.


Amnesty International : human rights or dispensing of justice?

Post 23

royalrcrompton

It was not my intent to advocate certain forms of punishment -- only that a proper and fit punishment is applied to t5he satisfaction of justice -- which you seem to have difficulty sorting out.

In this case, the term "civilized " takes on very subjective meanings, within the pespectives of right and wrong. But since you have chosen to play the " death penalty " card, let's examine the clear facts : a civilized society takes pains to see that guilty murderers are punished, not permit them go to repeat their crimes ( as does sometimes happen in time while incarceration or after being paroled). There are many murderers who were convicted of their crimes, given " life imprisonment " or some lesser sentence but who repeated their dastardly homicides. Please don't insult the intelligence of the readership by implying that you don't know of t happening.
If the death penalty is applied in circumstances where the criminal's guilt is irrefutable, we ensure that justice is satisfied (the ultimate penalty for the ultimate crime) and that the criminal can never repeat his offense. In so doing we save the lives of innocents, who remain alive on Earth to contribute to the welfare of society and who are able to nurture and extend love to family, friends and acquaintances. In this case capital punishment has prevented untold other crimes from happening and is one good reason for keeping it -- not so much as a deterrent but as an executioner of those who do not regard the value of human life.


Amnesty International : human rights or dispensing of justice?

Post 24

psychocandy - Moderation Team Leader

Please don't insult my intelligence by pretending that justice is satisfied by applying the death penalty.

And please don't insult my intelligence by pretending that a good number of prisoners on death row haven't been wrongly convicted and later found innocent. Which is why we must NEVER execute any prisoner, for any reason, ever. At least those of us who value life must not.

I see, though, that you are a bible thumper, and therefore not to be trusted in regards to ethics or morality. So to be honest, I'm wasting my breath here and should therefore unsubscribe.


Amnesty International : human rights or dispensing of justice?

Post 25

royalrcrompton

Is it not insulting to our intelligence for you and your ilk to advocate that murderers should be let loose-- just so they can kill again (sometimes repeatedly)? The statistics show that this occurs all too frequently. In the face of these stats, those advocating the international elimination of the death penalty clearly demonstrate a disdain for the value of human life. N.B. The purpose of the death penalty, as with the putting down of a biting dog, is firstly, to ensure that the offender doesn't do it again.

A thief/robber is bound to steal again once he has committed his first offense. Do you know of any convicted thieves who only did it once? It is no different with murder. One who has taken a life will have far less difficulty murdering a second time should the opportunity present itself. Recidivism is just as commonplace among murderers as it is among thieves.

I will give you your due on the matter of wrongful conviction. We should not find anyone guilty through circumstantial evidence. But where the guilt is undeniable due to a mass of incontrovertable evidence, then we can be assured that no innocent person will die. And if you read my 2nd last post, you will see that I was careful to note the need for absolute proof of guilt rather than condoning revolutionary-style executions where the condemned are despatched on trumped-up charges.

My morality is indeed, Bible-driven. I reject wholesale the 20th C. humanistic ideologies that have only further added to the disintegration of society over the past 50 years.

Heh, if this discussion is proving too distasteful to you, then, indeed, unsubscribe. smiley - cool

RC


Amnesty International : human rights or dispensing of justice?

Post 26

packmarack

Unsubscribing is a tad childish, but to be fair, i dont see yourself budging much, i get the impression you mind is permanently made up.
I dont support the death penatly either. Life in prison is a harsh punishment and somewhat more humane.
Amnesty makes its money but supporting causes that "the people" consider to be an injustice. It selects the cases it campaigns towards based on popular opinion.
My point being it has no sinister objectives or evil plans, it is a business like any other, seeking to make money and in the process supports human rights

smiley - coolsmiley - cake


Amnesty International : human rights or dispensing of justice?

Post 27

Elentari

"A thief/robber is bound to steal again once he has committed his first offense. Do you know of any convicted thieves who only did it once? It is no different with murder. One who has taken a life will have far less difficulty murdering a second time should the opportunity present itself. Recidivism is just as commonplace among murderers as it is among thieves."

I would like you to prove this contention.


Amnesty International : human rights or dispensing of justice?

Post 28

packmarack

I dont think its as black as white as you say. Its hard for me to prove or disprove what you say. all i can do is reason really.
All i can say is that if what you were true, then the justice system would not be set up the way it is. If jail time really had NO effect on detering re-offence then it wouldn't exist.
How would you suggest they deal with criminals ?
how would you deter them from re-offending?

smiley - coolsmiley - cake


Amnesty International : human rights or dispensing of justice?

Post 29

royalrcrompton

You raise a good challenge -- one not provable by statistics but perhaps, by common sense.

Regrettably the actual rates of criminal recidivism are not easily understood. An offender may lay low of his criminal activity and then resume it after months, years or even decades without ever having been caught, tried and sentenced. Then there are those who are caught, tried and sentenced and who do the same crimes after release. Proving recividism is difficult in any criminal situation simply because the offenders need to be captured in order to determine if it's a first time crime or a repeat offender. Of the ones captured, the overwhelming majority are repeat offenders.

Recividism with respect to homicide is even more difficult to assess. Whereas the thief, robber, kidnapper, rapist, smuggler of contraband, etc. all plan their crimes, most murderers don't. Very few who have been charged with a homicide offense actually planned to kill their victims. It is usually a case of a violent assault gone too far. That they have exercised violent assault suggests that they will repeat that form of violent assault ( ever hear of a man who only hit his wife once -- never to do it again?)-- and sooner or later it could again result in an unlawful death. It is not uncommon for one convicted of aggravated assault or manslaughter to be arraigned for 2nd degree murder -- their rage and lack of self-control going too far once more.

Police have picked up murderers and through interrogation, have discovered that there are more bodies lying around, done in by the same man. e.g. Yorkshire Ripper, Green River murderer etc. This is the horror of homicidal recidivism. But where the criminal is executed, there is no recidivism (at least from that point forward!) and that is the key argument for the retention of capital punishment.

RC



Amnesty International : human rights or dispensing of justice?

Post 30

royalrcrompton

Well, you are likely going to mock me for my biblical views, but I'll take a chance that you will exercise some degree of politeness rather than dismissing me as another religious nutcase.

If you read the Old Testament, you will find that the Torah ( Hebrew law) makes no provision for incarceration. It did not exist. There were only three forms of judicial punishment :
1. Restitution - where the offender paid back the amount owed to the one(s) offended (usually at double the original value of the goods stolen)
2. Banishment - where the offender was excommunicated or cut off from the Jewish nation (sent out of the land )
3. Capital punishment - where the offender paid with his life for murder and idolatrous crimes against God.

Prison incarceration seems to be the invention of the Egyptians. Jacob's son, Joseph was thrown in prison by his Egyptian boss, Potiphar for allegedly attempting to rape his wife.
There is indeed, considerable mention in the New Testament of prisons -- but they were administered by the Roman authorities.

I am not one who even agrees with prison sentencing, but since we no longer possess the moral courage to properly deal with the criminal element according to godly directives, then it seems appropriate that serious offenders must be at least kept away from society-at-large. The prison systems would not be needed today if we applied the Hebrew formula. I can think of many locales on Earth where we could banish most of the serious criminals and force the petty robbers,embezzlers etc. to pay back their debts.

RC


Amnesty International : popular opinion

Post 31

royalrcrompton

re : " It selects the cases it campaigns towards based on popular opinion."

If what you say is true, then I think it very sad indeed, that Amnesty Int'l's focus has more to do with money-making than with actual justice.

This surely explains why the organisation lobbied successfully to have the kidnappers, Lamont and Spencer released from prison. With that raison d'etre, Amnesty would probably demand the release of some entertainment pop idol who is arrested for a heinous crime if the mass of public opinion were sympathetic to the star. If, in such a scenario, the legal authorities were to bend to Amnesty's pressure, then justice would certainly not be satisfied.

RC


Amnesty International : popular opinion

Post 32

Elentari

What good does banishment do? Even if you were to send them somewhere fairly remote, they could still go somewhere else to cause trouble there.

More importantly, the death penalty is simply not a deterrent. It doesn't work.


Amnesty International : popular opinion

Post 33

royalrcrompton

I think the purpose of banishment under the Old Testament, Mosaic Law had more to do with keeping all the rotten eggs isolated in the same basket -- i.e. away from peace-lovng,law-abiding citizens who will then be able to avoid the criminal mind and intent to the betterment of society-at-large. There was no concern for what the subsequent behaviour of the banished would be since they had forfeited their right to safety and freedom by virtue of a history of serious crimes. They were free to do each other in or to learn to co-operate within their confinement to their mutual survival. N.B. There are plenty of islands where the banished would have no chance of escape -- even in the tropics where they can easily survive under warm sunny skies!

Capital punishment has nothing whatsoever to do with deterrancy. I have not cited such an argument. The purpose of capital punishment is solely to satisfy justice for the most heinous crimes and to prevent those convicted of capital crimes from repeating them. It is acknowledged that some supporters of capital punishment do attempt to prove that the death penalty is a deterrant -- but any deterrant value would certainly only apply to those who may be weighing the risks associated with planned and deliberate murders (1st degree) which are far less common than murder committed in the heat of passion. Convicted killers found guilty of 2nd degree murder did not(for the most part), sit down and weigh the pluses/minuses of their misdeeds beforehand simply because their acts of murder were not intended; again, a situation where their violence went just too far.

RC


Amnesty International : popular opinion

Post 34

royalrcrompton

I think the purpose of banishment under the Old Testament, Mosaic Law had more to do with keeping all the rotten eggs isolated in the same basket -- i.e. away from peace-lovng,law-abiding citizens who will then be able to avoid the criminal mind and intent to the betterment of society-at-large. There was no concern for what the subsequent behaviour of the banished would be since they had forfeited their right to safety and freedom by virtue of a history of serious crimes. They were free only to do each other in or to learn to co-operate within their confinement to their mutual survival. N.B. There are plenty of islands where the banished would have no chance of escape -- even in the tropics where they can easily survive under warm sunny skies!

Capital punishment has nothing whatsoever to do with deterrancy. I have not cited such an argument. The purpose of capital punishment is solely to satisfy justice for the most heinous crimes and to prevent those convicted of capital crimes from repeating them. It is acknowledged that some supporters of capital punishment do attempt to prove that the death penalty is a deterrant -- but any deterrant value would certainly only apply to those who may be weighing the risks associated with planned and deliberate murders (1st degree) which are far less common than murder committed in the heat of passion. Convicted killers found guilty of 2nd degree murder did not(for the most part), sit down and weigh the pluses/minuses of their misdeeds beforehand simply because their acts of murder were not intended; again, a situation where their violence went just too far.

RC


Amnesty International : popular opinion

Post 35

royalrcrompton

Sorry, I accidentally re-sent my last message.

RC


Amnesty International : human rights or dispensing of justice?

Post 36

EchoBeach

i'm sorry but your are speaking out of your bottom!
amnesty international does amazing work and saves lots of people.
it defends the right to a fair trial, and so, in doing this, does represent people that have been accussed of 'henious' things. but they are innocent untill proven guilty and are entilted to a fair trial! who are you to decide who is guilty and not?!


Amnesty International : human rights or dispensing of justice?

Post 37

royalrcrompton

Hi EchoBeach

I would ask that you take time to read my first entry posting. Then perhaps you will have a better perspective of what I was attempting to point out. The issue of Amnesty It'l doing good things is not in question. I have readily acknowledged that!

The issue is whether or not they are undermining justice with respect to certain criminal cases. Unfortunately one of the other posters decided to turn this discussion into a debate on capital punishment-- which was not my intent.

If you have not done so already, please take a look at post #26 by Packmarack, who stated that A.L. is not so much concerned about justice, but in the advancement of popular opinion for the purpose of making money. I am not convinced that this is the case, but it causes one to question just how sincere this organisation actually is.


RC


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