Re: Is the death penalty Extropian?

Paul Hughes (
Mon, 30 Nov 1998 21:41:24 -0800

John Clark wrote:

> Charlie Stross <>
> >If the UK had retained hanging, something like 50-100 innocent
> >people would have been executed over the past 30 years
> I don't see how you figure that, certainly your previous statement has
> nothing to do with it.

John, can you explain to me why 1/3 of all convicted rapist turned out to be innocent (and subsequently released), when DNA evidence became available to acquit them? I'd say that is an astounding figure - especially considering that the majority of victims in those cases are still alive to point the finger, while the murdered victims are unable to do so. A great deal of convicted murderers are sent to prison on circumstantial evidence with no eyewitnesses at all. How then can you argue against the suggestion that a similar percentage of convicted murderers are also innocent? Regardless of anything else, it's probably a safe suggestion that a sizable percentage of people on death row are possibly innocent.

> >However, the recidivism rate for murderers released on license
> >from a life sentence is vanishingly small -- less than 0.2%.
> Amazing, only one murderer in 500 murders again! All I can say is that
> the experience the USA has had with recidivism is radically different.

That's true, but potentially very unnecessary. Please read my post on 'Rehabilitating Violent Criminals'.

> >Under the previous regime these people would have been hanged.
> Then I have no doubt recidivism rate of murderers really would be
> vanishingly small.

So you are willing to kill a sizable percentage of innocent people to assure the guilty are killed too?

> >I don't think the state should have the power of life or
> >death over its citizens,
> You're talking to the wrong man here, I don't think the state should
> have any power of any kind, I'm for privately produced law and private
> protection agencies.

Completely agree with you here. :-)

Paul Hughes