Re: [MEDIA] Chicago Suntime's death penalty poll

Stephen Adamson (
Wed, 16 Dec 1998 22:04:30 -0800

Worth reading along those lines is a book by James Halperin called "The Truth Machine" (, which is mostly advertisement).

In this book, written in AD 2045 by a News Computer, a programming genius creates a machine which detects falsehood with 100% accuracy (a very flawed idea, but give him poetic license there). Coupled with a public that is completely tired of a soaring crime rate and random murders, and a killer gets one trial, and immediate execution if found guilty. The crime rate drops to nothing, save acts of the mentally insane, and even those are weeded out and treated through a selected series of questions under the Machine.


Max Freedom wrote:

> Brian D Williams wrote:
> >
> > The Suntime's ran a poll in conjunction with yesterdays article
> > against the death penalty. To the question:
> >
> > "In the event of your murder, would you want the killer executed?"
> >
> > YES: 87% NO: 13%
> That assumes a "perfect world" where only the actual killer would ever
> be charged, convicted, and executed. In reality, mistakes happen and
> innocent people have been "murdered" by the justice system. Remember
> "two wrongs don't make a right"? Perhaps a better question would be: "In
> the event of your murder, and the subsequent conviction of the alleged
> killer, would you want the death penalty imposed?"
> Followed by: "Even if he claimed he didn't do it?" and: "How would you
> feel if he was executed and later found to be not guilty?"
> I support the death penalty only in cases where the murderer agrees to
> it or guilt is established beyond a shadow of doubt--which is *very*
> hard to do. The damage caused by applying the death penalty to an
> innocent person *far* outweighs any of its potential benefits.
> -Dave