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Consider the following excerpt:
Far from being rare, wrongful murder convictions are very common (https://deathpenaltyinfo.org/policy-issues/innocence/description-of-innocence-cases). Police are under pressure to solve a crime that has gotten a lot of attention. When they find a suspect, they want to believe he's guilty, and ignore or even destroy evidence suggesting otherwise. District attorneys want to be seen as effective and tough on crime, and in order to win convictions are willing to manipulate witnesses and withhold evidence. Court-appointed defense attorneys are overworked and often incompetent. There's a ready supply of criminals willing to give false testimony in return for a lighter sentence, suggestible witnesses who can be made to say whatever police want, and bogus "experts" eager to claim that science proves the defendant is guilty. And juries want to believe them, since otherwise some terrible crime remains unsolved.

This circus of incompetence and dishonesty is the real issue with the death penalty. We don't even reach the point where theoretical questions about the moral justification or effectiveness of capital punishment start to matter, because so many of the people sentenced to death are actually innocent. Whatever it means in theory, in practice capital punishment means killing innocent people.
( Quoted from http://paulgraham.com/real.html )

Any thoughts?


A state-faith person will find all government executions appropriate, it is only the subjects who could be at fault for failing to commit the crime the state found them guilty of.  For many other faiths, the punishments are problematic, in part for the reason of error or fraud in trials, at least from objective perspectives.


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>it is only the subjects who could be at fault for failing to commit the crime the state found them guilty of
:rara4: :aj6: :trixie3: :trixie9:

I think the more common excuse is something along the lines "Even if he didn't commit that murder, he is a degenerate who is certainly guilty of other crimes".  (And just to clear, I think that's a terrible excuse.  The whole point of a trial is to discover guilt or innocence.)


I don't trust the state in hardly any capacity, so I'm of course against the state having the authority to do something as permanent as execute its citizens.

I think the arguments for the 2nd Amendment work just as well against capital punishment.
If the government cannot be trusted to the point where you need to keep and bear arms, then likewise it cannot be trusted to justly conduct executions.


Should have added, "or some other rationalization." What you wrote would work, or perhaps it could be a few innocent deaths are worth it for the real criminals punished and deterred.  It's not too important what the rationalization actually is.  How someone feels about capital punishment depends first on how one feels about state authority.


Explicit faith in state power is rare in America, in large part I think, because America was founded as a reluctant government, a necessary evil to protect natural rights, rather than some kind of divine authority.  (But given the American state holds power all the same, there must still be a system of faith.)

You say your trust is less than most Americans.

I was thinking: what determines a persons faith in state power?  Probably a portion is self-interest.  But perhaps the rest is like asking what determines who likes chocolate.  Do you know why you distrust the state?


Seems like an odd thing to focus on. Personally, I'd prioritize getting people to the courthouse in the first place. Most state-sanctioned killings aren't death-penalty convictions, they're some scared cop with a twitchy trigger finger and an inability to find their taser. We had 10 death penalty executions carried out in 2020. There were 895 fatal police shootings. It's clear which form of state-endorsed murder we should be focused on here.


I can tell there are a range on opinions on this.  Some have said here police executions are impossible, defining execution as a killing that is discretionary and not designated murder by the state.  Yet like Rabbit, you too are not explicitly trustful of the America government's use of deadly force.


All the more reason people who prioritize principles in policy decisions over practical realities are worthless.

Some ideal scenarios are just pipe dreams and it's foolish to try and pursue them. Ideal justice is sometimes literally impossible and everyone needs to learn to accept that fact or risk becoming monsters in tbat pursuit of justice.

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