Re: Cryo-suspension for death row

From: Brian D Williams (
Date: Tue Oct 10 2000 - 15:07:54 MDT

From: (Christian Weisgerber)

>>Brian D Williams <> wrote:

>> As a death penalty advocate, I would be against any attempt to
>> cryonically suspend anyone to whom the death penalty has been
>> administered.

>Well, we seem to have another death penalty discussion at hand.
>This appears to generate lots of opinions, but little reasoning
>from first principles. When we administer criminal punishment,
>what are we trying to accomplish in the first place? Several
>things come to mind:

I would disagree, in fact the principals are quite simple:

1)One may not murder another human being.

2)If found to be in violation of principal (1), ones own life is

>- Revenge.
> I find it difficult to come to grips with this rationally.
> Clearly, we have a strong desire to do unto others as they do
> unto us, especially if they harmed us. This looks like an
> evolved survival trait, but I'm uncertain how to justify it in
> a rational manner. The death penalty fulfills the revenge urge
> very well.

>- Reform.
> That's what they told us in religion/ethics class back in
> school. Supposedly reforming the criminal to make them a better
> citizen is the primary purpose of punishment. In practice, it
> doesn't look like this to me. Capital punishment does nothing
> for this, of course.

Murder is the exception to this rule in my book.

>- Removal.
> This also applies to prison and deportation. The goal is to
> remove criminals from society in order to keep them from doing
> any further harm. Clearly, the death penalty is a supremely
> effective means to get rid of a problem person.


>- Restitution.
> Have the criminal repay the damage they did. Basically, this
> is only applicable to property damage, and in practice usually
> only to minor ones. Putting a price tag on a human life is
> difficult, but killing yet another person doesn't provide any
> economic gain in itself.

Restitution is not possible in the case of murder.

>- Deterrence.
> I'm under the impression that US experience tells that the
> death
> penalty does little to deter criminals, although I'm uncertain
> about the psychology involved. If you build a system based on
> deterrence, you have to carefully grade punishment. Once
> people are subject to the maximum penalty if caught, they have
> nothing to lose, and that's one of the least things you want.
> ("Hey, I already killed a cop. Five more won't change
> anything." Bad.)

Deterence will not be a factor at the current rate of punishment.
there are a number of murders each day, there are not a number of
executions each day. Even someone of low intelligence can see the
lieklyhood of receiving the death penalty is small.


  The death penalty is the only just punishment for the crime of
murder. (IMO)


Extropy Institute,
Adler Planetarium
Life Extension Foundation,
National Rifle Association,, 1.800.672.3888
Mars Society,
Ameritech Data Center Chicago, IL, Local 134 I.B.E.W

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