Capital Punishment/Age of Consent

Rick Knight (
Fri, 22 Aug 97 10:03:58 CST

Forrest Bishop cited CNN as reporting:

Six countries currently execute children (people
under the age of 18):

Nigeria (?)

Rick Knight responds:

This actually brings up an interesting subject I've been meaning to
broach in this forum. It ties in with the thread about age of
consent, the access to information for all ages, etc..

In this country, we're presently deciding capital punishment is okay.
I have an interesting position on this. Since I can honestly say that
I don't invest all but the most affrontive information about things
* starving or murdered people in the Third World
* jet crashes killing everyone
* or even when the Oklahoma City bombing killed those many people
(which should've tweaked me considerably since I had a front row seat
to the fatal result of a terrorist bombing in 85),

I can also honestly say that whether a person convicted of a capital
crime will be systematically exterminated by the state doesn't really
move me one way or another. Since I hold that consciousness has
metaphysical existence separate from physicality BUT I don't hold the
superstitious and disabling heaven/hell beliefs, it's almost like a
person is getting off the hook if you execute them. YET, I think
prisons have become places of cruel and unusual punishment.

Bottom line is how we're handling life-ending crimes in our culture.
We incarcerate or incinerate (alliterative leeway taken here). We
DON'T seem to rehabilitate except where it's the earnest desire of the
offending individual.

Here's the Extropian part:

With the advent of new technology (prior to the all-bets-are-off
Singularity thing okay?), is it more "appropriate" to:

* pay for their wastoid incarceration (via tax dollars)
* pay for their somehow grossly expensive execution/appeal processes
* give them the option to biologically be reprogrammed as a civil
servant <G>

Okay, a little joke, but biological reprogramming is the gist. What
behooves a cooperative society most efficiently, particularly one
currently driven by our economic structure?

And the last notion, executing children. There have been some
abhorrent crimes committed by children of late. I, for one, refuse to
justify their actions simply because they are young. Western
children, perhaps even the least educated, are likely exposed to more
information by their prepubescent years than most Eastern Europeans
prior to WWII were in their entire lives. But the question of
execution applies to the previous point I make in this post.

As I mentioned, there are interesting tangents regarding sexual age of
consent. In this information-rich age, when do we DECIDE that
children are accountable?

Does information bring about discernment and rationality?