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a preliminary exposition of the burden of proof in capital punishment debates
you're the bomb, x. i would've made roughly the same commentary. i also reassert my former position that the burden of proof lies on the shoulders of advocates of the death penalty (implicitly asserting that this burden has not been met). similarly, michael's arguments in the present case require that "punishment" be shown to be the approach which most effectively addresses the issue of crime with as little damage to the consistency of normatively-validated societal presuppositions --- we can take the negative rights (i.e. rights which do not require the participation of others for their preservation except insofar as others are permitted to act in defiance of those rights) position popular among the anti-statist right (who have been given the friendly title "libertarian" in juxtaposition to the more left-leaning "anarchists") as the foundation of these presuppositions (so as not to be too strictly partisan in our rhetoric). notice that from this perspective, the very notion of punishment --- in the legitimacy of the state debate --- needs to be justified on the basis of its overall relative effectiveness despite its contradiction of our belief in: the right of an individual to move freely across the terrain; the right of an individual to participate with equal access in commerce: the right of an individual to have access to the electoral process of the governing state; the right of an individual to be secure in his person from assault in any form; there are, indeed, a good many more strictly negative (i.e. non-"welfare") rights which are overtly violated through the use of punishment for whatever purpose. the appropriate analysis in this context is not the punishment vs. the crime but rather the nature of punishment vs. the intrusiveness of effective alternatives. the "moral" weight of our societal acceptance of the normative rightness of rights preservation demands that we make every effort (societally) to research such alternatives and place them within such an evaluational schema for the purpose of improving our ability to deal with deviance from societal norms. a steadfast commitment to the traditional way of doing things requires a reevaluation, and the requirements of this reevaluation --- as they concern the proponents of the extreme control mechanisms of contemporary statism --- are NO LESS THAN those mentioned above.