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a preliminary exposition of the burden of proof in capital punishment debates

word. i suspected that you did not swear, which is why i figured that some of the rhetorical styles i used would inspire emotion. as for respect, i assure you that i extend to you --- and your exercise of beliefs --- the entirety of my respect. i do not agree that i do not intend to try to PERSUADE you to believe differently --- of course i will not try to force, coerce, or intimidate you to believe differently --- since the majority of people still seem to hold the belief that you do and i find the consequences of this belief to be destructive and immoral. you do well to point out that many murders are commited by the comfortable elements of our society. but i ask you michael --- have you ever been to prison? are you fully aware of how frightening and abusive this situation is to anyone --- especially the confortable --- who is forced to endure it? wouldn't death be the easy way out for these people? i'm glad you have begun to address the real arguments coming out of the abolitionist camp and i appeal to you to address the main issues i bring out on this issue elsewhere: 1) what is the evidence which says that capital punishment is the BEST option in our attempts to eliminate violent crime? 2) why should someone who respects all life and fears the slippery slope of state authority lend his legitimacy to the state for the purpose of taking life? 3) how can we live with a system of legal sanction which imposes an irreversible punishment on members of our society? since the emergence of dna evidence we have found over twenty people who have been executed on behalf of the state and have apparently commited no crime. my question to you, michael: should we execute the juries? the judges? the governors signing the warrants? ourselves for lending authority? somebody should be held accountable when innocent lives are needlessly and prematurely extinguished. right michael? please be patient and i will have had time to do the research necessary to deal with the case studies that you cite above in the present thread. that strategy is a huge improvement on your original and it will actually take me some time to answer directly. i don't think that the issues at stake there are of much interest here, except, perhaps, in a superficial sense with respect to issue (1). so we need not wait for the emergence of that response before dealing with the arguments here. although i need to point out that: if we accept killing as wrong --- which we both clearly do --- the burden of proof falls on the shoulders of those in your camp since the position runs against that belief. unless capital punishment can be justified on its own merits, despite the power of our beliefs against killing, it is presumed that our beliefs against killing will be given a general applicability and that capital punishment will therefore not be considered appropriate. this is a difficult position to defend.