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RebootedCorpse
03-09-2010, 03:46 PM
DENVER, March 8 (UPI) -- A study of a Texas county found a defendant is much more likely to be sentenced to death if he or she kills a so-called high-status victim, researchers said.

Scott Phillips, associate professor of sociology and criminology at the University of Denver, said recent discussions of the death penalty tend to focus on innocence and cost, but arbitrariness has long been a concern.

The study, published in Law and Society Review, found the probability of being sentenced to death is much greater if a defendant kills a white or Hispanic victim who is married with a clean criminal record and a college degree, as opposed to a black or Asian victim who is single with a prior criminal record and no college degree.

The study is based on 504 death penalty cases in Harris County, Texas, between 1992 and 1999.

"The concept of arbitrariness suggests that the relevant legal facts of a capital case cannot fully explain the outcome: irrelevant social facts also shape the ultimate state sanction" Phillips said in a statement. "In the capital of capital punishment, death is more apt to be sought and imposed on behalf of high status victims. Some victims matter more than others."
© 2010 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Ray G.
03-09-2010, 03:49 PM
I agree, if we're going to have a death penalty for murder, people should be sentenced to death regardless of the status of their victim, unless there's some kind of mitigating circumstance in the case.

Matt Jay
03-09-2010, 03:49 PM
Makes some sense. It's worse when some nice person is killed than when a douchebag is killed. I don't think that's an arbitrary thing to consider.

RebootedCorpse
03-09-2010, 03:50 PM
Makes some sense. It's worse when some nice person is killed than when a douchebag is killed. I don't think that's an arbitrary thing to consider.

Fucking really?:mistrust:

Jason California
03-09-2010, 03:54 PM
We should just get rid of the death penalty.

Ray G.
03-09-2010, 03:58 PM
We should just get rid of the death penalty.

In terms of state cases, I agree. There isn't a level of oversight I'm comfortable with, and while I'm usually all for states' rights, I don't like the idea in this case.

Jason California
03-09-2010, 03:59 PM
In terms of state cases, I agree. There isn't a level of oversight I'm comfortable with, and while I'm usually all for states' rights, I don't like the idea in this case.


We should just get rid of the death penalty. Even for WTC bombers.

Matt Jay
03-09-2010, 04:00 PM
Fucking really?:mistrust:

Looks like the juries agree with me. But do you really think killing a law abiding mother of 3 is just as bad as killing a gangbanger?

Ray G.
03-09-2010, 04:01 PM
We should just get rid of the death penalty. Even for WTC bombers.

We'll have to agree to disagree.

Mattman
03-09-2010, 04:03 PM
Makes some sense. It's worse when some nice person is killed than when a douchebag is killed. I don't think that's an arbitrary thing to consider.
Really? Color of skin and a college degree determine whether someone is a "douchebag" or not? :mistrust:

Jason California
03-09-2010, 04:03 PM
We'll have to agree to disagree.


No problem buddy.

Ryan Elliott
03-09-2010, 04:04 PM
This thread is going to be fuuuuuuun.

Ray G.
03-09-2010, 04:04 PM
Really? Color of skin and a college degree determine whether someone is a "douchebag" or not? :mistrust:

I think he was referring more to the "who is a prior criminal" part.

RebootedCorpse
03-09-2010, 04:06 PM
Looks like the juries agree with me. But do you really think killing a law abiding mother of 3 is just as bad as killing a gangbanger?

Who the fuck can make that determination?
That's why the death penalty is absurd. Weighing one life against another is not something that people can do with any degree of certainty.

Matt Jay
03-09-2010, 04:15 PM
I think he was referring more to the "who is a prior criminal" part.

yep.

Matt Jay
03-09-2010, 04:16 PM
Who the fuck can make that determination?
That's why the death penalty is absurd. Weighing one life against another is not something that people can do with any degree of certainty.

If you're against the death penalty in general then obviously you won't like how it gets implemented.

King of Mars
03-09-2010, 04:28 PM
Looks like the juries agree with me. But do you really think killing a law abiding mother of 3 is just as bad as killing a gangbanger?Corpse's hypothetical scenarios involve a white, oil company executive and a single, hardworking, black mother on her way to a second job. :)

mike black
03-09-2010, 04:33 PM
Looks like the juries agree with me. But do you really think killing a law abiding mother of 3 is just as bad as killing a gangbanger?

Is the gang banger a father of three?

Jason California
03-09-2010, 04:33 PM
A person should not get a lesser sentence because they murdered a gangbanger vs a mother of 3.

Jason California
03-09-2010, 04:33 PM
Is the gang banger a father of three?

beat me.

King of Mars
03-09-2010, 04:37 PM
A person should not get a lesser sentence because they murdered a gangbanger vs a mother of 3.We make very specific determinations about the severity of crimes all the time. I'm against the death penalty, I don't think any civilized society should use premeditated killing as a way to dispense justice...but, really, if we're gonna have it, there's no reason why we shouldn't be able to assess the severity of a person's crime when considering the death penalty, and part of that is considering who he/she killed.

Stark Raving
03-09-2010, 04:40 PM
We should just get rid of the death penalty.
But it's our State Pastime. :-?

Jason California
03-09-2010, 04:49 PM
We make very specific determinations about the severity of crimes all the time. I'm against the death penalty, I don't think any civilized society should use premeditated killing as a way to dispense justice...but, really, if we're gonna have it, there's no reason why we shouldn't be able to assess the severity of a person's crime when considering the death penalty, and part of that is considering who he/she killed.

I find the judging of one life as more valuable than another by the state to be pretty horrendous.

Masculine Todd
03-09-2010, 04:50 PM
Link?

Jason California
03-09-2010, 04:51 PM
Link?
http://www.upi.com/Top_News/US/2010/03/08/Some-victims-matter-more-than-others/UPI-42771268031201/

Masculine Todd
03-09-2010, 04:52 PM
http://www.upi.com/Top_News/US/2010/03/08/Some-victims-matter-more-than-others/UPI-42771268031201/

Thanks. I want to send this to a prof.

Jason California
03-09-2010, 04:54 PM
Thanks. I want to send this to a prof.


The side bar has an article on the first gay couple to be married in DC as well. You might be interested in that too.

Masculine Todd
03-09-2010, 04:56 PM
The side bar has an article on the first gay couple to be married in DC as well. You might be interested in that too.

I read about it in AP, but thanks for the heads-up, Jason!

King of Mars
03-09-2010, 05:00 PM
I find the judging of one life as more valuable than another by the state to be pretty horrendous.

I find the death penalty pretty horrendous...but what can ya do?

Khrutch
03-09-2010, 05:04 PM
Who cares? We place more value on some people in life, why not death?

R0cketFr0g
03-09-2010, 05:12 PM
Who cares? We place more value on some people in life, why not death?

"We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal"

What the fuck did Tommy Jefferson know anyway, right?

And then that damn fool republican Abe Lincoln giving a callback to him:

"Four score and seven years ago our forefathers brought forth on this continent a new nation, conceived in liberty and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal."

What the heck was THAT GUY thinking?

dasNdanger
03-09-2010, 05:12 PM
Of course, it could be argued that the higher profile crimes are often the more heinous crimes, as well, and therefore more likely to warrant a death sentence.


das

WillieLee
03-09-2010, 10:12 PM
I find the judging of one life as more valuable than another by the state to be pretty horrendous.

Do you believe that people should go to jail for breaking the law?

Natty P, Scientific Adventurer
03-10-2010, 03:40 AM
Who the fuck can make that determination?
That's why the death penalty is absurd. Weighing one life against another is not something that people can do with any degree of certainty.

Agreed, other than treason I don't support it.

Natty P, Scientific Adventurer
03-10-2010, 03:41 AM
Of course, it could be argued that the higher profile crimes are often the more heinous crimes, as well, and therefore more likely to warrant a death sentence.


das

How and when and where is this demonstrable?

R0cketFr0g
03-10-2010, 03:46 AM
Do you believe that people should go to jail for breaking the law?

For downloading music, certainly.

Big McLargeHuge
03-10-2010, 04:17 AM
For downloading music, certainly.

:rofl:

CougarTrace
03-10-2010, 04:22 AM
what a flawed study from crimes that happened years and years ago.

It's not hard to fathom that the majority of crimes are against people who have items that people want.

RebootedCorpse
03-10-2010, 05:07 AM
what a flawed study from crimes that happened years and years ago.

It's not hard to fathom that the majority of crimes are against people who have items that people want.

What?

I mean, welcome back, Trace.

Fake Pat
03-10-2010, 05:16 AM
what a flawed study from crimes that happened years and years ago.

It's not hard to fathom that the majority of crimes are against people who have items that people want.

Back up a single thing in this post. I dare you.

modungo
03-10-2010, 05:25 AM
I find the judging of one life as more valuable than another by the state to be pretty horrendous.

Sure. But we do it all the time. Hate crime laws are the exact same thing as this. If you support hate crime laws, which I do, you support this. You may not like it but you support it.

Fake Pat
03-10-2010, 05:37 AM
Sure. But we do it all the time. Hate crime laws are the exact same thing as this. If you support hate crime laws, which I do, you support this. You may not like it but you support it.

Not true.

Hate crime laws aren't based around the value of the victim, but around the potential impact of the crime on non-victims.

RebootedCorpse
03-10-2010, 05:40 AM
Sure. But we do it all the time. Hate crime laws are the exact same thing as this. If you support hate crime laws, which I do, you support this. You may not like it but you support it.

That's not an apt comparison.
If there are any mitigating circumstances, such as the killer and victim were rival gang members involved in a dispute, then that should be factored into the charge -- such as a reduction to second-degree murder or manslaughter.
In Michigan, first-degree murder or felony murder nets a mandatory life sentence -- regardless of whether a judge or jury thinks the victim was a douchebag or not.
That makes sense.

AndrewG
03-10-2010, 05:42 AM
Did they do studies on what the verdicts were for single whites with a criminal record or african americans who were married with no record?

If this was a jury case, of course people are going to weigh factors like whether someone had a criminal record or were trying to better themselves by going to college or left a family behind. It's human nature to take these factors into account.

CougarTrace
03-10-2010, 05:43 AM
Did they do studies on what the verdicts were for single whites with a criminal record or african americans who were married with no record?

If this was a jury case, of course people are going to weigh factors like whether someone had a criminal record or were trying to better themselves by going to college or left a family behind. It's human nature to take these factors into account.

my points exactly

this study doesn't talk anything about the nature of the crimes or other factors with the crimes.

RebootedCorpse
03-10-2010, 05:44 AM
Did they do studies on what the verdicts were for single whites with a criminal record or african americans who were married with no record?

If this was a jury case, of course people are going to weigh factors like whether someone had a criminal record or were trying to better themselves by going to college or left a family behind. It's human nature to take these factors into account.

They should not even be allowed to consider those factors. Texas "justice" is fucked up on so many levels.

AndrewG
03-10-2010, 05:47 AM
They should not even be allowed to consider those factors. Texas "justice" is fucked up on so many levels.

If I was on a jury I'd consider those factors. Hell we consider those factors every day when making decisions. In the tough job market do you hire the more educated person with the family to support with a clean driving record, credit report and criminal background over the other person who has a bunch of speeding tickets, horrible credit and some misdemeanors? We do it all the time.

CougarTrace
03-10-2010, 05:48 AM
like Texas is the only place this happens. I can assure you it doesn't.

If the study was even remotely accurate to begin with

Fake Pat
03-10-2010, 05:49 AM
like Texas is the only place this happens. I can assure you it doesn't.

If the study was even remotely accurate to begin with

Again, back up a single thing you've said.

If you can.

RebootedCorpse
03-10-2010, 05:50 AM
If I was on a jury I'd consider those factors. Hell we consider those factors every day when making decisions. In the tough job market do you hire the more educated person with the family to support with a clean driving record, credit report and criminal background over the other person who has a bunch of speeding tickets, horrible credit and some misdemeanors? We do it all the time.

I'm saying a judge should instruct a jury that those factors are not to be considered in sentencing. In fact, sentencing really should be done by the judge as it is in most civilized states.

Fake Pat
03-10-2010, 05:51 AM
If I was on a jury I'd consider those factors. Hell we consider those factors every day when making decisions. In the tough job market do you hire the more educated person with the family to support with a clean driving record, credit report and criminal background over the other person who has a bunch of speeding tickets, horrible credit and some misdemeanors? We do it all the time.

A. The justice system and the business world aren't comparable.

B. "We do it all the time" isn't an argument.

AndrewG
03-10-2010, 05:52 AM
I'm saying a judge should instruct a jury that those factors are not to be considered in sentencing. In fact, sentencing really should be done by the judge as it is in most civilized states.

I think it should be up to the person on trial to decide whether they want to have a judge or jury but you know that with juries at least even when judges instruct juries to set aside things or disregard testimony once they form their own opinions most people aren't going to just forget about what they heard.

RebootedCorpse
03-10-2010, 05:54 AM
I think it should be up to the person on trial to decide whether they want to have a judge or jury but you know that with juries at least even when judges instruct juries to set aside things or disregard testimony once they form their own opinions most people aren't going to just forget about what they heard.

I find that most juries take the job very seriously and are very careful to follow the judge's instructions.

modungo
03-10-2010, 05:54 AM
Not true.

Hate crime laws aren't based around the value of the victim, but around the potential impact of the crime on non-victims.

And so is this. A crime from one criminal on another is not dealt with as harshly as a crime against a mother with no record because they want to send out a message that this will not be tolerated. And that making an example of them sends a message. It's the same logic. It's not that the dead criminal matters less, It's that the living mothers matter more. I'm not in any way saying this is right. But what I am saying is having a belief, a principle mean accepting the darkest aspect of it. I believe hate crime laws are just therefore I accept things like this are going to happen.

AndrewG
03-10-2010, 05:58 AM
A. The justice system and the business world aren't comparable.

B. "We do it all the time" isn't an argument.

Not arguing it. Just saying people aren't robots who will automatically set aside things they know about a case whether instructed or not. They aren't just going to look at the facts of a case just the same as a business isn't just going to look at a resume or job qualifications.

Ben
03-10-2010, 05:58 AM
And so is this. A crime from one criminal on another is not dealt with as harshly as a crime against a mother with no record because they want to send out a message that this will not be tolerated. And that making an example of them sends a message. It's the same logic. It's not that the dead criminal matters less, It's that the living mothers matter more. I'm not in any way saying this is right. But what I am saying is having a belief, a principle mean accepting the darkest aspect of it. I believe hate crime laws are just therefore I accept things like this are going to happen.No, that's not at all what hate crime laws are doing. With a hate crime, the victim is not just the direct victim of the crime, it's ALL people that fit that description. So if someone beats a black man because he hates black people, ALL black people are victims of the crime.

It's not about "sending a message" to racists.

Ben
03-10-2010, 06:00 AM
Not arguing it. Just saying people aren't robots who will automatically set aside things they know about a case whether instructed or not. They aren't just going to look at the facts of a case just the same as a business isn't just going to look at a resume or job qualifications.There's a difference between saying "this is human nature" and saying "this is acceptable because it's human nature," which is what you're doing. I think the former is fine for discussion's sake, but the latter is not.

Fake Pat
03-10-2010, 06:02 AM
And so is this. A crime from one criminal on another is not dealt with as harshly as a crime against a mother with no record because they want to send out a message that this will not be tolerated. And that making an example of them sends a message. It's the same logic. It's not that the dead criminal matters less, It's that the living mothers matter more. I'm not in any way saying this is right. But what I am saying is having a belief, a principle mean accepting the darkest aspect of it. I believe hate crime laws are just therefore I accept things like this are going to happen.

No, it's not. What we're discussing here involves perceived value of the victim, which is irrelevant when it it comes to hate crime legislation.

And this; "It's not that the dead criminal matters less, It's that the living mothers matter more.", is completely nonsensical.

Scotty
03-10-2010, 06:02 AM
Who the fuck can make that determination?
That's why the death penalty is absurd. Weighing one life against another is not something that people can do with any degree of certainty.

I beg to differ sir. We've been doing it since humans were around.

AndrewG
03-10-2010, 06:03 AM
There's a difference between saying "this is human nature" and saying "this is acceptable because it's human nature," which is what you're doing. I think the former is fine for discussion's sake, but the latter is not.

Personally I could give two craps whether the person killed is a family man who's never even gotten a parking ticket or a drug dealer killed by a rival drug dealer. I might not shed a tear over the death of the drug dealer but in both cases I would say the murderer deserves to be executed.

But I don't think there's anything wrong with placing more of a value on someone who's led an exemplary life and tried to better themselves over someone who'se dropped out of school or has a criminal record.

Fake Pat
03-10-2010, 06:04 AM
Not arguing it. Just saying people aren't robots who will automatically set aside things they know about a case whether instructed or not. They aren't just going to look at the facts of a case just the same as a business isn't just going to look at a resume or job qualifications.

And that's a BAD thing.

Allowing things like that to continue because sometimes similar things happen is ridiculous.

Fake Pat
03-10-2010, 06:05 AM
Personally I could give two craps whether the person killed is a family man who's never even gotten a parking ticket or a drug dealer killed by a rival drug dealer. I might not shed a tear over the death of the drug dealer but in both cases I would say the murderer deserves to be executed.

But I don't think there's anything wrong with placing more of a value on someone who's led an exemplary life and tried to better themselves over someone who'se dropped out of school or has a criminal record.

Not that I agree with the criminal record part either, but this bolded section is really, really horrible.

Come on, Andrew.

xyzzy
03-10-2010, 06:05 AM
Sure. But we do it all the time. Hate crime laws are the exact same thing as this. If you support hate crime laws, which I do, you support this. You may not like it but you support it.

Technically, hate crimes are not about the victim, but about the mental state of the perpetrator.

Further, hate crimes are practiced against protected classes (generally) and everybody has the same classes. For example, gender is a protected class. Everybody has one of those. It doesn't say that crimes against women are worse than ones against men.

AndrewG
03-10-2010, 06:05 AM
And that's a BAD thing.

Allowing things like that to continue because sometimes similar things happen is ridiculous.

Why do you think it's a bad thing. No one's going to sway anyone's opinions here but coming from the opposite side of the argument I do get curious as to why others hold their beliefs.

Why don't you feel it's important to weigh a person's background or social status when passing judgement?

AndrewG
03-10-2010, 06:06 AM
Not that I agree with the criminal record part either, but this bolded section is really, really horrible.

Come on, Andrew.

I'm not saying drop outs deserve to be executed. Or single people. I was using those three examples because in the first post the qualifications given were married college grads with no record vs single non college grads with a record.

Fake Pat
03-10-2010, 06:08 AM
Why do you think it's a bad thing. No one's going to sway anyone's opinions here but coming from the opposite side of the argument I do get curious as to why others hold their beliefs.

Why don't you feel it's important to weigh a person's background or social status when passing judgement?

Uh, because it's often meaningless and irrelevant?

Fake Pat
03-10-2010, 06:08 AM
I'm not saying drop outs deserve to be executed. Or single people. I was using those three examples because in the first post the qualifications given were married college grads with no record vs single non college grads with a record.

Then what's your point? What are you defending if not that?

AndrewG
03-10-2010, 06:10 AM
Uh, because it's often meaningless and irrelevant?

I don't think it's either. When you are deciding a person's fate. Whether you're going to put them in jail for 5 years or ten year or worse don't you think taking a look at the past decisions they've made and where they are now should be used to make a more informed decision?

AndrewG
03-10-2010, 06:11 AM
Then what's your point? What are you defending if not that?

The right to weigh all the options. You highlighted just the college grad part. I have some more extreme positions on crime and punishment than others here but I'm not singling out the non college grads for death :)

Fake Pat
03-10-2010, 06:13 AM
I don't think it's either. When you are deciding a person's fate. Whether you're going to put them in jail for 5 years or ten year or worse don't you think taking a look at the past decisions they've made and where they are now should be used to make a more informed decision?

Not beyond criminal record.

Anything else would be absolutely insane and intellectually corrupt.

AndrewG
03-10-2010, 06:15 AM
Not beyond criminal record.

Anything else would be absolutely insane and intellectually corrupt.

I don't disagree with that.

modungo
03-10-2010, 06:17 AM
No, it's not. What we're discussing here involves perceived value of the victim, which is irrelevant when it it comes to hate crime legislation.

And this; "It's not that the dead criminal matters less, It's that the living mothers matter more.", is completely nonsensical.

Sure it's nonsense. It's absolutely nonsense. So are hate crime laws. Hate crime laws are just a particular type of nonsense I fully support because I think they are beneficial for the safety of some people. That is exactly how the people in these situations think. Are the right? I don't really think so. But it would be childish for me to not recognize that I am partially responsible and that I'm willing to accept it to get what I want. I can't really say it's wrong because I have totally said it's ok.

Fake Pat
03-10-2010, 06:18 AM
Sure it's nonsense. It's absolutely nonsense. So are hate crime laws. Hate crime laws are just a particular type of nonsense I fully support because I think they are beneficial for the safety of some people. That is exactly how the people in these situations think. Are the right? I don't really think so. But it would be childish for me to not recognize that I am partially responsible and that I'm willing to accept it to get what I want. I can't really say it's wrong because I have totally said it's ok.

It's been explained to you at least 3 times now how they're not comparable.

modungo
03-10-2010, 06:25 AM
No, that's not at all what hate crime laws are doing. With a hate crime, the victim is not just the direct victim of the crime, it's ALL people that fit that description. So if someone beats a black man because he hates black people, ALL black people are victims of the crime.

It's not about "sending a message" to racists.

I don't in an anyway see how what you just said is in anyway different than what I said. It's just a prettier way of sayin it. I will fully accept that I may not be smart enough. And hate crime laws are TOTALLY about sending a message. They are totally about if you do this to this person for this idiotic reason your ass is grass. Pretty it up all you want to that is what it's about and that's totally a good thing.

And with that I'm done! :D I thought I'd try a internet political discussion and turns out its not for me. Have fun y'all!

Fake Pat
03-10-2010, 06:28 AM
I don't in an anyway see how what you just said is in anyway different than what I said. It's just a prettier way of sayin it. I will fully accept that I may not be smart enough. And hate crime laws are TOTALLY about sending a message. They are totally about if you do this to this person for this idiotic reason your ass is grass. Pretty it up all you want to that is what it's about and that's totally a good thing.

And with that I'm done! :D I thought I'd try a internet political discussion and turns out its not for me. Have fun y'all!

In regards to what started this thread: perceived value of the victim is relevant.

In regards to hate crime legislation: perceived value of the victim is irrelevant.

modungo
03-10-2010, 06:35 AM
It's been explained to you at least 3 times now how they're not comparable.

And I've explained to you exactly 3 times how they are! :D

Believing in free speech means believing in Glenn Beck.

Believing in gun ownership means believing in a kid accidentally shooting his little brother in the face.

Any freedom or restriction that you support always has a dark side. A necessary evil. Someone is always goin to pervert it. If you don't take responsibility for the perversion, you don't really believe in the principal.

And this particular issue I think is interesting because the perversion existed first. This wrong thinking was taken and turned into something good. I like that.

And now for reals, no take backsy, I'm done. If you explain it to me a fourth time, you win.:wink:

Fake Pat
03-10-2010, 06:39 AM
And I've explained to you exactly 3 times how they are! :D

You haven't.

You just keep repeating the same flawed argument that Ben, xyzzy, and myself have already disproven.