Re: Cryo-suspension for death row

From: Max More (
Date: Mon Oct 09 2000 - 11:12:19 MDT

At 07:53 AM 10/9/00, Alex wrote:

>Of course, I'm beginning to suspect this is a moot point, since nobody
>has yet been able to find a reference to this. I mean, what Max heard on
>the radio could easily have been the plot of some science fiction book
>getting retold or something.

Actually, Zeb did post part of the AP story. I was wrong about it being a
state governor -- the proposal was made by Mayor Keith Holliday of
Greensboro, N.C.

I find the death penalty a difficult issue. Like you, Alex, I don't trust
the state with this kind of power. Mistakes *will* be made. On the other
hand, some people should be killed for their crimes, or else kept in
life-long solitary confinement where they cannot harm again. I'm talking
about multiple murderers/rapists who exhibit sociopathic qualities. (Think
of the character Billy--played by the brilliant Sam Rockwell, in The Green
Mile...) HOWEVER, looking ahead, so long as we have a death penalty (or for
the days that I reluctantly support it), having perps put into suspension
for 50 years would allow those who insist on their innocence to make a
case. Of course, things never work out exactly as intended. Once possible
side-effect would be (if people started taking cryonics seriously) that
more appeals might be turned down, "since you will have a second chance

Even if the suspended perp is very definitely guilty (caught live on
multiple video or independent and unimpeachable eyewitnesses) or no one
ever can cast doubt on their guilt, I *still* would rather suspend them
than destroy them. I'm more comfortable with being able to offer them the
choice in the future when revival is possible and inexpensive: Now that
we've brought you back, you have a choice: Either we execute you (since we
can't let you run around freely with a destructive personality) or we can
alter your brain just enough to ensure that you don't want to initiate
aggression. Yes, more problems arise in that scenario, but at least the
person is given a chance. Since I don't believe in Evil People (but do
think that certain actions and behaviors can be called evil), I would
rather offer someone redemption ever if they have done horrible things.


Max More, or
President, Extropy Institute.
Senior Content Architect, ManyWorlds Consulting:

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