Hacker News new | past | comments | ask | show | jobs | submit login

Someone consciously chose to permanently end another’s life. There has to be decisions made.

In theory, if applied flawlessly, maybe nothing is wrong with the permanence of the death penalty.

In practice, mistakes are made, regularly, and these mistakes are distributed unevenly, such that the poor and minorities suffer the most.

The many wrongful deaths at the hands of the government is a good reason to be skeptical of arguments which assume the death penalty can be applied perfectly. It can’t.

There's no such thing as a black and white case.

For a simple counter example, you can look up the Outreau case : 12 people were accused of raping and videotaping children, with multiple testimonies. And 5 years later, the majority of them were found to be actually innocent.

If death penalty was a thing in France, they would have got it for sure, as it was a very emotionnal case at the time.

You can also check the movie 12 Angry Men, which is a work of fiction obviously, but still very relevant on why counting on 'black and white cases with extreme evidence' is simply wishful thinking, and will lead to innocent people being killed

The case of Timothy Evans, who was wrongfully convicted and hanged in the 1950s in the UK (classic case of him being in the wrong place at the wrong time) is even more appropriate. After his execution the actual killer (a serial killer) went on to kill several other women.

It was highly influential in the eventual abolition of the death penalty in the UK in the 1960s.

> In cases where it’s black and white with extreme evidence why even allow them to continue living on everyone’s dime.

Because the cost of putting them to death using a system that has sufficient checks to (mostly) prevent innocent people from being executed (i.e. the current system, if you believe it works) is greater than the cost of imprisoning people for life.

Well that just means the current system needs some changes. Just because that's the way it currently is doesn't mean that's the way it always has to be or always was. Some laws and policies may need to change, but treating this like an immutable fact is like being content with a super inefficient piece of code that's bottlenecking your application.

The actual murderers chose. The people accidentally mistaken for murderers didn’t choose anything at all.

Well, if the legal system was completely infallible in deciding who is guilty then that might be an argument. But I'm not aware of any legal system in any country that can make that particular claim.

And you want to hold that up as something immoral by...repeating it?

Registration is open for Startup School 2019. Classes start July 22nd.

Guidelines | FAQ | Support | API | Security | Lists | Bookmarklet | Legal | Apply to YC | Contact