Saturday, February 2, 2008

Criminal Profiling Topic of the Day: An Interesting Argument for the Death Penalty

The Federal Bureau of Justice Statistics estimates that by the year 2030, one-third of the prison population will be geriactric. The geezers behind bars are getting sympathy from some folks out there as they visualize the poor old fellahs hobbling around the jail with younger thugs pushing and shoving them around. Some of these men claim they are not receiving proper medical care and forced to do work that they are no longer able to physically handle. My heart doesn't bleed much for these psychopaths as I am sure their hearts weren't bleeding as their victims' hearts were (as they plunged knives through them).

However, ignoring any argument over whether these inhuman beings deserve any kind care in their twilight years, we must still deal with the fact that the cost of housing these felons is rising every year. It is expensive.

This fact has led some to say they should be released back to the community, that they are now harmless old men and society won't suffer if they are let back out.

Oh, no? A psychopath is always a psychopath and even wheelchair bound killers can violently attack someone or engage in verbal abuse and manipulation. I have worked in hospitals and walked out on patients who posed a threat to me if they weren't in handcuffs (lean over to check their breathing and get a pencil in the eye), thrown urinals at me, and let off stream after stream of vulgar or nasty thoughts.

So, if one lets these creeps out, someone is going to have to deal with them. Would you want one living in the nursing home with you? Would you want to take care of such a person? I bet nurses and family members would hardly be thrilled to have these old killers dumped on them. Furthermore, the cost financially to society on the outside is hardly going to be any cheaper than prison.

My opinion is that the only good psychopathic murderer is a dead one. The death penalty would cover this just fine except for the many folks who think killing killers is cruel and unusual punishment. But just think, if we DID have a well-enforced penalty, we wouldn't HAVE a geriatric population in our prisons. Not only would we reduce the prison population but we would reduce the numbers who are the worst of the worst and make prisons a much safer place for those living and working in them.

The death penalty saves lives: innocent ones on the outside because a dead offender is not going to recidivate, prison guards who risk their lives daily keeping control of these creatures, and other less violent prisoners who might actually return to society and become decent citizens.

Not only does the death penalty make life safer for all of us, if we execute killers quickly enough, the death penalty would save us a whole lot of money as well. I say this is one great argument in favor of the death penalty. Can I get an amen?

Criminal Profiler Pat Brown


transfattyacid said...

How many of these people have killed anyone?

Your opening statement doesn't say, and no doubt many of these people will be incarcerated for non captial offences... which makes your comments about the death sentence seem rather drastic... for say a 70 year old who has been convicted of tax evasion to go to the chair, does rather smack of age discrimination.

Criminal Profiler Pat Brown said...

Obviously I am talking about violent offenders who have committed a capital offense and would be excellent candidates for the death penalty. I am clearly not speaking of someone who is fifty at the time of committing fraud and just happens to be older. I am also obviously not saying that anyone over fifty should get the death penalty just to rid the prisons of criminals.

Having said that, I do think we have an extremely high rate of crime in this country and, if our prisons are overly stocked (even though we fail to catch so many and give out probation like candy), we need to figure out why we are creating criminals and why are prisons seem not to deter criminals from wanting to come back to them.

My whole point of the post was really a comment on our bizarre attitude in this society that we should feel sorry for violent offenders who are suffering a bit from old age in the joint. We should spend more of our time feeling sorry for abused children, rape victims, women without rights in certain parts of the world, children without parents in Africa due to AIDS, etc, etc. Instead, we worry about psychopaths in prison. Go figure.

Preraphazon said...

I totally agree with Ms. Brown. People who assume that old folks are harmless folks are simply naive, and if they get militant and cause these violent criminals to be released by pressuring politicians with public outcry, they will be responsible for victimizing a lot of people, not the least of which are that offender's very own family. Can you imagine if your dad went to prison for murdering your mom when you were 4 and then showed up on your doorstep when you were 40 wanting to live with you and your kids?

What's right with the death penalty is that it eventually stops prison and medical personnel from having to endanger their lives by catering to a rabidly dangerous violent offender and eventually provides some closure and security to the victims and their families, as well as aborts the toxic influence this offender has on his own family and sends an unmistakable message to his offspring that this is the consequence if they repeat the cycle.

What's wrong with the death penalty is that it isn't executed quickly enough, so victims and their families have to use their own money and vacation time to uproot and attend parole hearings, appeals, and other things in order to keep the offender from being released.

It's a standard misconception that chronic violent offenders can be changed through drugs and therapy. At present, there is no "cure" for sociopathic behavior. There is no way to transplant a conscience.

In my opinion, when there is incontrovertible physical evidence that a repeat violent offender is guilty, the long appeal process should be set aside in favor of rapid execution and stop this person from victimizing anyone else.

transfattyacid said...

I kind of agree with you with regard to violent offences.

However I was wondering what your opinion is with regard to violent offences in which the violence was a one off with a specific cause: crimes of passions (which is a terrible description - but it is the best I can come up with)?

With regard to preventing crime, I can't help tinking that it is a failure of society that prison becomes an alternative and not a deterance - yeah sure everyone blames society - but one does need to cosider social policy, town planning etc and it's effects on criminality. The problem with this approach is that it requires long term planning, organisation and moral will, all of which are in short supply when politicians and those in postitions of power require instant solutions and short term fixes.

Levi said...

What do you label "crimes of passion" ? Do you consider those 2nd degree murder offenses?

I myself have never understood this BS of "second degree murder." IMO it is just a word game that prosecutors want to use, to charge a murderer with, because they don't have the guts to go with 1st degree murder.

Premeditation can be formed at the snap of a finger.

How can you PURPOSELY murder someone, have intent and it NOT be premeditated?

IMO it is either an accident, an accident in which the offender was being stupid, you meant to cause harm but not murder, OR you just murdered them in cold blood.

I've never understood these silly word games such as "crimes of passion."

Preraphazon said...

Agreed. A more accurate term would be "Crimes of control."

Ronni said...

People who kill, except in defense of self or loved ones, put themselves outside the realm of humanity, and deserve to be put out of their (and our) misery.

I got grabbed once, by my 81-year-old landlord, and I'm here to tell you that old men are not necessarily weak! Breaking out of his unwanted embrace was like trying to fight an ancient oak tree. If he had been a killer, I would have been dead.

I have heard that prison inmates, even on death row, get organ transplants because the lists take into consideration only the need and the probable survival of the recipient, not their value to society. Can you imagine your relative's donated organs going into a person on death row, while productive members of society die, waiting?

I think we are producing people without conscience because parents are no longer home to raise the kids and teach them ethics and morals. All the daycares teach is political correctness which, like beauty, is only skin deep. Girl Scouts teaches that everybody gets rewarded with badges, no matter whether they do the work or not. Sports teams teach that winning is everything, regardless of feelings.

Nobody is teaching ethics, and the situation is only going to get worse as the generation raised this way tries to raise its own children.

Preraphazon said...

I agree, especially your point that old people aren't harmless. Anyone who still has a trigger finger isn't harmless. Anyway, there's more to consider than just physical danger. They're toxic to everyone around them.

Anonymous said...

And you never had any qualms about wrong convictions in capital cases? There is quite a list of people who have been acquitted while on Death Row.
And what about all other developed countries: the whole of Europe, for instance. No death penalty at all and crime rates considerably lower than in the US. In fact, there are several scholarly articles about death penalty as the only remnant of American exceptionalism (apart from religiosity!) So how can other democratic countries deal with their prison population? Have you ever read Albert Koestler's and Albert Camus's essays on death penalty? Camus father went to assist at an execution of a proven brutal killer, came back home, vomitted, was deeply depressed and regretted ever having participated in butchery. That was the beginning of the 20th century and he was a poor and relatively educated man. Just happened to be a normal human being. The American thirst for death penalty has always made me shudder, but to combine it with economic calculations (and urge a rush to death for economic reasons, so that even the Innocence project wouldn't have any chance!) is not just callous, it is inhumane. That a self-described loving mother should use this kind of argument just sends shivers down my spill. (And isn't it interesting that five "belts" coincide to the extent that one can lay the corresponding maps on each other and not notice a difference: the Death Belt, the Bible Belt, the former slave-owning states, the red states, the Fat Belt - with the highest obesity rate; one could add that these belts - or actually just one belt - also has far higher divorce rates than the rest of the US, far higher teenage pregnancy rates, etc - so the bleeding liberals of the blue states with all their latte-drinking are, on balance, more moral - and certainly less hypocritical). But the idea of killing people off as fast as possible to save money and solve aging problems is CHILLING!