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Insanity defense for James Eagan Holmes?

Sidewalker
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7/30/2012 6:38:44 AM
Posted: 4 years ago
I'm not sure I see the point of an insanity defense for James Eagan Holmes, he is dangerous and needs to be removed from society either way, and especially if he is insanely dangerous. Insane or not, he is guilty of a horrific crime and should pay for his crime.

I'm not sure I understand the reasoning behind a determination that he should be subject to the death penalty if he is just murderous, but not if he is insanely murderous. I'm thinking that if a person doesn't know right from wrong then they are not fully human, why would that buy them more compassion rather than less? Seems to me that if he is so batshit crazy that he doesn't know right from wrong, that would make him an even greater danger and it would be even more of a reason to remove him from the human race.

What do you think?
"It is one of the commonest of mistakes to consider that the limit of our power of perception is also the limit of all there is to perceive." " C. W. Leadbeater
The_Fool_on_the_hill
Posts: 6,071
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7/30/2012 8:36:15 AM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 7/30/2012 6:38:44 AM, Sidewalker wrote:
I'm not sure I see the point of an insanity defense for James Eagan Holmes, he is dangerous and needs to be removed from society either way, and especially if he is insanely dangerous. Insane or not, he is guilty of a horrific crime and should pay for his crime.

The Fool: I don't think people can Pay for there crimes, in a non-monetary sense. Being in pain, just creates more pain in the worlds. For Hate is the evil emotion. That is the motivation to harm. Which gains pleasure in the suffering of others. Devils pleasure. If he dies then he does't pay anything. In fact I would argue and I claim it the most rational. That he should work for society, and actualy pay it back. For real, which sound strange because I am saying that he should be a slave for society and in this way he can pay it back. A criminal can be based of irrational or raitonal principles. Alot of our laws the result of poor metaphysics. Thus the best and moral thing to do is. Let him redeme him self through a form of slavery. This way he has a chance to think about what he has done, and give back to the community which he took from. That is instead of putting so much wasted money into non profitable Jails they should them work in some form. To actually have a change to give back. Do labour or something, which can society can benifit. The worse the crime the longer you work as a slave (with some human rights ofcourse) I don't mean with whips and sh!t. But this is the best way I can think as a moral and rational, consequence. That is without doing another evil for and evil.

I'm not sure I understand the reasoning behind a determination that he should be subject to the death penalty if he is just murderous, but not if he is insanely murderous. I'm thinking that if a person doesn't know right from wrong then they are not fully human, why would that buy them more compassion rather than less?

The Fool: a be careful with that because no body could tell right from wrong if they think God is right and Good. Because they have to know what those concept mean way before they could not that God has these properties. . And we could equaly say they dont' know right from wrong conceptualy but only the difference between the "words" "RIght and wrong" For right and wrong must be reconized for more then just the labels. But what they actualy are in themselves.

Seems to me that if he is so batshit crazy that he doesn't know right from wrong, that would make him an even greater danger and it would be even more of a reason to remove him from the human race.

What do you think?
"The bud disappears when the blossom breaks through, and we might say that the former is refuted by the latter; in the same way when the fruit comes, the blossom may be explained to be a false form of the plant's existence, for the fruit appears as its true nature in place of the blossom. These stages are not merely differentiated; they supplant one another as being incompatible with one another." G. W. F. HEGEL
YYW
Posts: 36,303
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7/30/2012 1:26:52 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 7/30/2012 6:38:44 AM, Sidewalker wrote:
I'm not sure I see the point of an insanity defense for James Eagan Holmes, he is dangerous and needs to be removed from society either way, and especially if he is insanely dangerous. Insane or not, he is guilty of a horrific crime and should pay for his crime.

I'm not sure I understand the reasoning behind a determination that he should be subject to the death penalty if he is just murderous, but not if he is insanely murderous. I'm thinking that if a person doesn't know right from wrong then they are not fully human, why would that buy them more compassion rather than less? Seems to me that if he is so batshit crazy that he doesn't know right from wrong, that would make him an even greater danger and it would be even more of a reason to remove him from the human race.

What do you think?

Personally I am theoretically in favor of the death penalty for practical reasons, but only theoretically. The concept of death as punishment though, I have to take issue with (although as a utilitarian means to an end, perhaps). Wether Eagan is determined to be insane or not will be interesting though, but in any event I don't imagine he will ever live another free day of his life.
Tsar of DDO
OMGJustinBieber
Posts: 3,484
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7/30/2012 1:46:54 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 7/30/2012 6:38:44 AM, Sidewalker wrote:
I'm not sure I see the point of an insanity defense for James Eagan Holmes, he is dangerous and needs to be removed from society either way, and especially if he is insanely dangerous. Insane or not, he is guilty of a horrific crime and should pay for his crime.

I'm not sure I understand the reasoning behind a determination that he should be subject to the death penalty if he is just murderous, but not if he is insanely murderous. I'm thinking that if a person doesn't know right from wrong then they are not fully human, why would that buy them more compassion rather than less? Seems to me that if he is so batshit crazy that he doesn't know right from wrong, that would make him an even greater danger and it would be even more of a reason to remove him from the human race.

What do you think?

Holmes certainly won't live another free day in his life. It's actually more expensive to execute them, and if he's found mentally insane (though I'm pretty certain that he won't be found mentally insane) then he'll just spend the rest of his years entombed in a mental ward. The whole notion of punishment revolves around moral responsibility and the *truly* insane lack that capacity. Again, I seriously doubt Holmes will succeed with the insanity defense.
YYW
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7/30/2012 1:53:45 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 7/30/2012 1:46:54 PM, OMGJustinBieber wrote:
At 7/30/2012 6:38:44 AM, Sidewalker wrote:
I'm not sure I see the point of an insanity defense for James Eagan Holmes, he is dangerous and needs to be removed from society either way, and especially if he is insanely dangerous. Insane or not, he is guilty of a horrific crime and should pay for his crime.

I'm not sure I understand the reasoning behind a determination that he should be subject to the death penalty if he is just murderous, but not if he is insanely murderous. I'm thinking that if a person doesn't know right from wrong then they are not fully human, why would that buy them more compassion rather than less? Seems to me that if he is so batshit crazy that he doesn't know right from wrong, that would make him an even greater danger and it would be even more of a reason to remove him from the human race.

What do you think?

Holmes certainly won't live another free day in his life. It's actually more expensive to execute them, and if he's found mentally insane (though I'm pretty certain that he won't be found mentally insane) then he'll just spend the rest of his years entombed in a mental ward. The whole notion of punishment revolves around moral responsibility and the *truly* insane lack that capacity. Again, I seriously doubt Holmes will succeed with the insanity defense.

The reason that the process of execution does have the potential to be more expensive than the alternative of life in prison is because of the expense of appeals, court costs, attorney fees, etc. Execution itself costs no more then the chemicals to be injected. But if he is found insane, Biebz, you are correct that he will be "entombed in a mental ward." (A very poetic description, btw.) The insanity defense could be interesting though. My guess is that you are correct that the insanity defense won't fly, because the precedent yielded from such a decision (may have the effect which) would lay the foundation for mass murderers to escape the needle (or at least life in an actual prison).
Tsar of DDO
The_Fool_on_the_hill
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7/30/2012 5:11:11 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
The Fool: its not that much better. You will plateau and habituate both ways. Aka get use to it..... and they will feel normal. And if he is really insane he will be in one of those rooms with a slit. Thats even worse. ANd they will have him on so much sedatives. He will be zombified. So I mean. which is worse. really . zombied with a bunch of Fools or playing basketball with criminals.
"The bud disappears when the blossom breaks through, and we might say that the former is refuted by the latter; in the same way when the fruit comes, the blossom may be explained to be a false form of the plant's existence, for the fruit appears as its true nature in place of the blossom. These stages are not merely differentiated; they supplant one another as being incompatible with one another." G. W. F. HEGEL
Sidewalker
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7/31/2012 6:31:04 AM
Posted: 4 years ago
Let's be realistic and pragmatic, with such a heinous crime, what we really want from the justice system is retribution and closure, that's why we let victim's families watch when we finally do execute a death row criminal. I just think we tend to have misplaced compassion for perpetrators of horrific crimes like the one James Eagan Holmes committed, and I don't see the insanity defense as all that relevant.

The fact is we are pretty gutless when it comes to sentencing someone to death, their crime really needs to be horrific to end up on death row. Right now there are over three thousand people on death row and yes, the cost is astounding, and these folks have taken too much from society already, that's how they got on death row in the first place. I don't really want to let them take any more from society than they already have. I also don't think the justice system is perfect by any stretch of the imagination. I know some 130 people on death row have been found innocent and exonerated in the last 5, or maybe its ten years, something like that. I also know that statistically speaking, the death row numbers indicate a degree of racial bias and injustice in how we administer a death sentence. We really do need to be certain beyond a reasonable doubt when we sentence someone to death, and make sure the process is fair. But the cold hard fact is you can be sentenced to death for getting sick and not having health insurance in this country, we sent over 58,000 innocent people to their death in Vietnam and to this day I don't think anybody really knows why really. I certainly have less compassion for mass murderers than for the aforementioned people.

Now don't get me wrong, I'm not advocating lethal injection or the electric chair, they just aren't fast or efficient enough; I'm thinking more along the lines of electric bleachers.
"It is one of the commonest of mistakes to consider that the limit of our power of perception is also the limit of all there is to perceive." " C. W. Leadbeater
The_Fool_on_the_hill
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7/31/2012 7:07:53 AM
Posted: 4 years ago
The Fool: I am against evil.
"The bud disappears when the blossom breaks through, and we might say that the former is refuted by the latter; in the same way when the fruit comes, the blossom may be explained to be a false form of the plant's existence, for the fruit appears as its true nature in place of the blossom. These stages are not merely differentiated; they supplant one another as being incompatible with one another." G. W. F. HEGEL
Sidewalker
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7/31/2012 11:35:05 AM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 7/31/2012 7:07:53 AM, The_Fool_on_the_hill wrote:
The Fool: I am against evil.

No way, if I was against evil they'd take away my minion card.
"It is one of the commonest of mistakes to consider that the limit of our power of perception is also the limit of all there is to perceive." " C. W. Leadbeater
Stephen_Hawkins
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7/31/2012 12:53:08 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 7/31/2012 6:31:04 AM, Sidewalker wrote:
Let's be realistic and pragmatic, with such a heinous crime, what we really want from the justice system is retribution and closure.

No, I don't want that. That is the single worst thing for the justice system: to pander for the victim. The justice system works objectively, neutrally, and for society. Beating people who do badly is psychologically provably bad. It doesn't help society. It is what society specifically evolves to avoid.
Give a man a fish, he'll eat for a day. Teach him how to be Gay, he'll positively influence the GDP.

Social Contract Theory debate: http://www.debate.org...
HelterSkelter
Posts: 281
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7/31/2012 12:56:27 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 7/31/2012 6:31:04 AM, Sidewalker wrote:
Let's be realistic and pragmatic, with such a heinous crime, what we really want from the justice system is retribution and closure, that's why we let victim's families watch when we finally do execute a death row criminal. I just think we tend to have misplaced compassion for perpetrators of horrific crimes like the one James Eagan Holmes committed, and I don't see the insanity defense as all that relevant.

Religion teaches us to not judge and to have mercy. Putting people out of sight and out of mind doesn't give closure. Making them good members of society does.
The_Fool_on_the_hill
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7/31/2012 4:12:43 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 7/31/2012 12:53:08 PM, Stephen_Hawkins wrote:
At 7/31/2012 6:31:04 AM, Sidewalker wrote:
Let's be realistic and pragmatic, with such a heinous crime, what we really want from the justice system is retribution and closure.

The Fool: Retribution is the form of an eye for an eye. Nah. That is more evil. What we want is to prevent evil at all. We want people to be morally good. Becasue ITS GOOD> not because they fear not being Good. then they won't Genuinly be Good. But I would argue that THe GOOD is in all our best interest, and That is is RATIONAL. Being THE GOOD>

No, I don't want that. That is the single worst thing for the justice system: to pander for the victim. The justice system works objectively, neutrally, and for society. Beating people who do badly is psychologically provably bad. It doesn't help society. It is what society specifically evolves to avoid.

The Fool: I agree which that. There will never be justice until it the system have been subsumes under logical rules only.
"The bud disappears when the blossom breaks through, and we might say that the former is refuted by the latter; in the same way when the fruit comes, the blossom may be explained to be a false form of the plant's existence, for the fruit appears as its true nature in place of the blossom. These stages are not merely differentiated; they supplant one another as being incompatible with one another." G. W. F. HEGEL
Sidewalker
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7/31/2012 6:33:43 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 7/31/2012 12:56:27 PM, HelterSkelter wrote:
At 7/31/2012 6:31:04 AM, Sidewalker wrote:
Let's be realistic and pragmatic, with such a heinous crime, what we really want from the justice system is retribution and closure, that's why we let victim's families watch when we finally do execute a death row criminal. I just think we tend to have misplaced compassion for perpetrators of horrific crimes like the one James Eagan Holmes committed, and I don't see the insanity defense as all that relevant.

Religion teaches us to not judge and to have mercy. Putting people out of sight and out of mind doesn't give closure. Making them good members of society does.

How do you turn a mass murderer into a good member of society, please be explicit.

Once they have become a "good member of society", are you going to invite them to spend time with you and your family? Are you OK with them living next door?
"It is one of the commonest of mistakes to consider that the limit of our power of perception is also the limit of all there is to perceive." " C. W. Leadbeater
HelterSkelter
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7/31/2012 7:13:06 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 7/31/2012 6:33:43 PM, Sidewalker wrote:
At 7/31/2012 12:56:27 PM, HelterSkelter wrote:
At 7/31/2012 6:31:04 AM, Sidewalker wrote:
Let's be realistic and pragmatic, with such a heinous crime, what we really want from the justice system is retribution and closure, that's why we let victim's families watch when we finally do execute a death row criminal. I just think we tend to have misplaced compassion for perpetrators of horrific crimes like the one James Eagan Holmes committed, and I don't see the insanity defense as all that relevant.

Religion teaches us to not judge and to have mercy. Putting people out of sight and out of mind doesn't give closure. Making them good members of society does.

How do you turn a mass murderer into a good member of society, please be explicit.

I love the presumption that people who are criminals can never improve.

We can demonstrate that they are valuable members of society instead of alienating them and putting them in harsh conditions. Norway follows this model and has a VERY low recidivism rate.

http://thinkprogress.org...

Bastoy Prison is a great example: http://www.cnn.com...
Once they have become a "good member of society", are you going to invite them to spend time with you and your family? Are you OK with them living next door?

Sure, if they're nice people. Love the appeal to emotion, by the way.
Sidewalker
Posts: 3,713
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7/31/2012 7:53:24 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 7/31/2012 12:53:08 PM, Stephen_Hawkins wrote:
At 7/31/2012 6:31:04 AM, Sidewalker wrote:
Let's be realistic and pragmatic, with such a heinous crime, what we really want from the justice system is retribution and closure.

No, I don't want that. That is the single worst thing for the justice system: to pander for the victim.

Retributive justice isn't pandering to the victim; it's letting the punishment fit the crime by making the severity of the penalty proportionate to the severity of the crime and most philosophers of justice consider it necessary to establish the authority of the law. It is demanded by our sense of justice and it serves to restore the moral order that has been broken by the criminal. The alternative, Utilitarian Theory has its place, but it doesn't address the specific crime or the individual criminal, and in James Eagan Holmes' case, it would also call for his execution.

The justice system works objectively, neutrally, and for society.

Yeah, I know, at least in principle, and that is not in any way inconsistent with the retributive theory of justice/punishment.

Beating people who do badly is psychologically provably bad.

I'm not sure exactly what that is supposed to mean, or how it applies, can you provide a reference?

It doesn't help society. It is what society specifically evolves to avoid.

Retributive justice is the primary theory of justice for almost every society on the planet, and that has been the case since the Code of Hammurabi was written, probably longer. Can you name a society that has "evolved to avoid" the theory of retributive justice?
"It is one of the commonest of mistakes to consider that the limit of our power of perception is also the limit of all there is to perceive." " C. W. Leadbeater
The_Fool_on_the_hill
Posts: 6,071
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7/31/2012 8:40:02 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 7/31/2012 7:53:24 PM, Sidewalker wrote:
At 7/31/2012 12:53:08 PM, Stephen_Hawkins wrote:
At 7/31/2012 6:31:04 AM, Sidewalker wrote:
Let's be realistic and pragmatic, with such a heinous crime, what we really want from the justice system is retribution and closure.

No, I don't want that. That is the single worst thing for the justice system: to pander for the victim.

Retributive justice isn't pandering to the victim; it's letting the punishment fit the crime by making the severity of the penalty proportionate to the severity of the crime and most philosophers of justice consider it necessary to establish the authority of the law. It is demanded by our sense of justice and it serves to restore the moral order that has been broken by the criminal. The alternative, Utilitarian Theory has its place, but it doesn't address the specific crime or the individual criminal, and in James Eagan Holmes' case, it would also call for his execution.

The justice system works objectively, neutrally, and for society.

Yeah, I know, at least in principle, and that is not in any way inconsistent with the retributive theory of justice/punishment.

Beating people who do badly is psychologically provably bad.

I'm not sure exactly what that is supposed to mean, or how it applies, can you provide a reference?

It doesn't help society. It is what society specifically evolves to avoid.

Retributive justice is the primary theory of justice for almost every society on the planet, and that has been the case since the Code of Hammurabi was written, probably longer. Can you name a society that has "evolved to avoid" the theory of retributive justice?

The Fool: So replace the old theory with a better one. That is how knowledge evolved.
"The bud disappears when the blossom breaks through, and we might say that the former is refuted by the latter; in the same way when the fruit comes, the blossom may be explained to be a false form of the plant's existence, for the fruit appears as its true nature in place of the blossom. These stages are not merely differentiated; they supplant one another as being incompatible with one another." G. W. F. HEGEL
Sidewalker
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7/31/2012 9:33:37 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 7/31/2012 7:13:06 PM, HelterSkelter wrote:
At 7/31/2012 6:33:43 PM, Sidewalker wrote:
At 7/31/2012 12:56:27 PM, HelterSkelter wrote:
At 7/31/2012 6:31:04 AM, Sidewalker wrote:
Let's be realistic and pragmatic, with such a heinous crime, what we really want from the justice system is retribution and closure, that's why we let victim's families watch when we finally do execute a death row criminal. I just think we tend to have misplaced compassion for perpetrators of horrific crimes like the one James Eagan Holmes committed, and I don't see the insanity defense as all that relevant.

Religion teaches us to not judge and to have mercy. Putting people out of sight and out of mind doesn't give closure. Making them good members of society does.

How do you turn a mass murderer into a good member of society, please be explicit.

I love the presumption that people who are criminals can never improve.

I didn't make that presumption, but I do believe that a mass murderer owes a debt that should be proportionate to the crime, and I really don't see "helping him improve" as a punishment that fits this particular crime.

We can demonstrate that they are valuable members of society instead of alienating them and putting them in harsh conditions.

Oh no, we wouldn't want a mass murderer to be inconvenienced just because he randomly killed 12 innocent people, it would be really bad if we let him feel like he didn't fit in, and harsh conditions might make him uncomfortable, wouldn't want that. He should probably get a life sentence of cookies and back rubs, you know, to demonstrate that he's a valuable member of society. A privileged life and degrees in neuroscience didn't do it, but cookies and back rubs will probably make him feel valuable enough to stop killing people.

Norway follows this model and has a VERY low recidivism rate.

http://thinkprogress.org...

Bastoy Prison is a great example: http://www.cnn.com...

That is a completely different situation, Norwegians eat lutefisk, and a lifetime of lutefisk is already punishment enough for almost any crime.

Once they have become a "good member of society", are you going to invite them to spend time with you and your family? Are you OK with them living next door?

Sure, if they're nice people.

Sure you would, I mean, who's to say mass murderers aren't nice people, right? A few years of cookies and back rubs would probably make James Eagan Holmes the perfect house quest.

Love the appeal to emotion, by the way.

What's wrong with an appeal to emotion, Holmes was not some underprivileged kid forced into a bad situation by unfair circumstances, he was from an educated upper middle class family and he spent months planning and preparing to randomly kill innocent people while working on his PhD in Neuroscience, moral outrage is the natural and fully human response to what he did.
"It is one of the commonest of mistakes to consider that the limit of our power of perception is also the limit of all there is to perceive." " C. W. Leadbeater
HelterSkelter
Posts: 281
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8/1/2012 6:49:14 AM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 7/31/2012 9:33:37 PM, Sidewalker wrote:
At 7/31/2012 7:13:06 PM, HelterSkelter wrote:
At 7/31/2012 6:33:43 PM, Sidewalker wrote:
At 7/31/2012 12:56:27 PM, HelterSkelter wrote:
At 7/31/2012 6:31:04 AM, Sidewalker wrote:
Let's be realistic and pragmatic, with such a heinous crime, what we really want from the justice system is retribution and closure, that's why we let victim's families watch when we finally do execute a death row criminal. I just think we tend to have misplaced compassion for perpetrators of horrific crimes like the one James Eagan Holmes committed, and I don't see the insanity defense as all that relevant.

Religion teaches us to not judge and to have mercy. Putting people out of sight and out of mind doesn't give closure. Making them good members of society does.

How do you turn a mass murderer into a good member of society, please be explicit.

I love the presumption that people who are criminals can never improve.

I didn't make that presumption, but I do believe that a mass murderer owes a debt that should be proportionate to the crime, and I really don't see "helping him improve" as a punishment that fits this particular crime.
Why not? What better way to repay the debt than to become a productive member of society and contribute to it's well-being?

We can demonstrate that they are valuable members of society instead of alienating them and putting them in harsh conditions.

Oh no, we wouldn't want a mass murderer to be inconvenienced just because he randomly killed 12 innocent people, it would be really bad if we let him feel like he didn't fit in, and harsh conditions might make him uncomfortable, wouldn't want that. He should probably get a life sentence of cookies and back rubs, you know, to demonstrate that he's a valuable member of society.
Appeals to emotions are not arguments.
A privileged life and degrees in neuroscience didn't do it, but cookies and back rubs will probably make him feel valuable enough to stop killing people.

1. Massive strawman. I never said that we should give him backrubs and cookies. I said that we should find out what was alienating him and fix it.

2. We don't know all of the details of his life yet. I suggest we wait to find out.
Norway follows this model and has a VERY low recidivism rate.

http://thinkprogress.org...

Bastoy Prison is a great example: http://www.cnn.com...

That is a completely different situation, Norwegians eat lutefisk, and a lifetime of lutefisk is already punishment enough for almost any crime.

Are you trolling?
Once they have become a "good member of society", are you going to invite them to spend time with you and your family? Are you OK with them living next door?

Sure, if they're nice people.

Sure you would, I mean, who's to say mass murderers aren't nice people, right? A few years of cookies and back rubs would probably make James Eagan Holmes the perfect house quest.

That's not what rehabilitation entails. Please keep strawmanning; it makes you look like a fantastic debater.
Love the appeal to emotion, by the way.

What's wrong with an appeal to emotion,
They don't justify arguments. They are logical fallacies.
Holmes was not some underprivileged kid forced into a bad situation by unfair circumstances, he was from an educated upper middle class family and he spent months planning and preparing to randomly kill innocent people while working on his PhD in Neuroscience,
We don't know what caused him to do this. Let's find out before we start demanding his death.
moral outrage is the natural and fully human response to what he did.
Moral outrage does not demand vengeance.
Sidewalker
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8/3/2012 8:23:53 AM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 8/1/2012 6:49:14 AM, HelterSkelter wrote:
At 7/31/2012 9:33:37 PM, Sidewalker wrote:
At 7/31/2012 7:13:06 PM, HelterSkelter wrote:
At 7/31/2012 6:33:43 PM, Sidewalker wrote:
At 7/31/2012 12:56:27 PM, HelterSkelter wrote:
At 7/31/2012 6:31:04 AM, Sidewalker wrote:

How do you turn a mass murderer into a good member of society, please be explicit.

I love the presumption that people who are criminals can never improve.

I didn't make that presumption, but I do believe that a mass murderer owes a debt that should be proportionate to the crime, and I really don't see "helping him improve" as a punishment that fits this particular crime.
Why not? What better way to repay the debt than to become a productive member of society and contribute to it's well-being?

Oh pulease, you are proposing a system of reward for violent criminals rather than punishment. A reward system isn't a deterrent; on the contrary, it's an incentive. Unfortunately, there are a lot of disenfranchised people living under very harsh conditions out there, the vast majority of them want to become productive members of society and they need our help. In effect you want to tell them that if your conditions are harsh, if you don't feel good about yourself, if you are having a bad day, just go on a killing spree and we will remove your harsh conditions and try to make you feel better about yourself, in the end we will make you a productive member of society. That is nonsense, James Eagan Holmes did not live under harsh conditions, he had more opportunity than most to be a productive member of society, he missed his chance, and on the process he took that chance away from twelve others, he alienated himself and we have no obligation to try to make him fit in now. I would counter that we need to put our resources toward helping the disenfranchised that don't go on a killing spree and try to help them. We cannot sanction mass murder; regarding a mass murder as a cry for help that we should respond to with compassion, support, and some kind of psychological reward will not contribute to society's well being.

We can demonstrate that they are valuable members of society instead of alienating them and putting them in harsh conditions.

No, what we need to do is demonstrate that the twelve people James Eagan Holmes killed were valuable members of society; we need to show Mr. Holmes and others like him that we are a society that believes in the sanctity of human life and we will not tolerate individuals with such blatant disregard for human life. If you want to "contribute to society's well being", you first have to define it as one that is moral and just. We can't define it as moral and just if we show blatant disregard for human life by practically sanctioning murder.

Oh no, we wouldn't want a mass murderer to be inconvenienced just because he randomly killed 12 innocent people, it would be really bad if we let him feel like he didn't fit in, and harsh conditions might make him uncomfortable, wouldn't want that. He should probably get a life sentence of cookies and back rubs, you know, to demonstrate that he's a valuable member of society.
Appeals to emotions are not arguments.

Your entire argument is nothing but an appeal to emotion and a wishful thinking fallacy; it's a begging the question fallacy in favor of inapplicable feel good thoughts. You seem to think all of our problem will go away if we just have happy thoughts, just find out what's wrong and "fix it", as if there's a pill to take or a button to push that just solves problems and makes everything better, which is an incredibly simplistic and naïve presumption. In effect, you appear to be saying "Twelve people are dead, oh well, I guess they shouldn't have gone to the movies that night, but let's not think about that, let's just have warm and fuzzy feelings for Mr. Holmes, we'll help him feel better about himself and make sure he feels like he fits in, if we can help him self-actualize, the problem is fixed and society will be better off". That is astoundingly detached and naïve nonsense, with no supporting evidence or logical argument other than some kind of irrelevant feel-good "happy thought" reasoning.

A privileged life and degrees in neuroscience didn't do it, but cookies and back rubs will probably make him feel valuable enough to stop killing people.

1. Massive strawman. I never said that we should give him backrubs and cookies. I said that we should find out what was alienating him and fix it.

He's alienated because he is a mass murderer whose actions were premeditated and with reckless disregard for human life, and in Colorado capital punishment is how we "fix it".

2. We don't know all of the details of his life yet. I suggest we wait to find out.
Norway follows this model and has a VERY low recidivism rate.

He has committed a capital offense and his trial has already started, there's nothing to wait for, the relevant details will come out in the trial, and the primary relevant detail that we do know is that he randomly killed twelve people for no apparent reason.

http://thinkprogress.org...

Bastoy Prison is a great example: http://www.cnn.com...

That is a completely different situation, Norwegians eat lutefisk, and a lifetime of lutefisk is already punishment enough for almost any crime.

Are you trolling?

No, I'm just finding it very difficult to take you seriously. I did say it was a completely different situation, and there are about a hundred reasons why it doesn't apply, either to this countries crime problem, or to the specifics of the James Eagan Holmes case. Norway is deeply struggling to see how their "progressive" justice system can justly apply to a mass murderer who killed 77 people, and even in Norway, Bastoy is the exception to the prison rule, and there's no way Anders Behring Breivik will end up in Bastoy.

Tossing out Norway's justice system and the Bastoy prison is incredibly irrelevant; it's a red herring that introduces a false attribution fallacy, an ecological inference fallacy, special pleading, cherry picking, wrong direction, slippery slope, and wishful thinking fallacies, among others. In effect, you are advocating Black Swan Blindness as an approach to the justice system.

That's not what rehabilitation entails. Please keep strawmanning; it makes you look like a fantastic debater.

It's not a strawman, it was just sarcasm, and any time you want to formally debate me, just let me know, I'll take the position that society's well being is better served if mass murderers are "punished", you can take "rewarded" and we'll see if "Let's all just think happy thoughts" carries the day. On a complex and difficult subject like this, if you come into a debate with me wearing your bliss bunny goggles with nothing but feel good happy thoughts, I will logically run roughshod over you.

continued....
"It is one of the commonest of mistakes to consider that the limit of our power of perception is also the limit of all there is to perceive." " C. W. Leadbeater
Sidewalker
Posts: 3,713
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8/3/2012 8:26:10 AM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 8/1/2012 6:49:14 AM, HelterSkelter wrote:
At 7/31/2012 9:33:37 PM, Sidewalker wrote:
At 7/31/2012 7:13:06 PM, HelterSkelter wrote:
At 7/31/2012 6:33:43 PM, Sidewalker wrote:
At 7/31/2012 12:56:27 PM, HelterSkelter wrote:
At 7/31/2012 6:31:04 AM, Sidewalker wrote:

Holmes was not some underprivileged kid forced into a bad situation by unfair circumstances, he was from an educated upper middle class family and he spent months planning and preparing to randomly kill innocent people while working on his PhD in Neuroscience,
We don't know what caused him to do this. Let's find out before we start demanding his death.

He randomly killed twelve innocent people, it was premeditated and willful, and the penalty for that in Colorado is the death penalty; justice is what demands his death

moral outrage is the natural and fully human response to what he did.
Moral outrage does not demand vengeance.

No, it doesn't demand "vengeance"; it demands "justice" if we are to maintain the moral order and be a just society that believes in the sanctity of human life. The Retributive Theory of justice has nothing to do with vengeance; it's about making the punishment fit the crime, preserving moral order, and maintaining the authority of the law. "Vengeance" is your own straw man, and it's a misleading vividness fallacy, now who is making an appeal to emotion?
"It is one of the commonest of mistakes to consider that the limit of our power of perception is also the limit of all there is to perceive." " C. W. Leadbeater
HelterSkelter
Posts: 281
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8/3/2012 4:31:17 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 8/3/2012 8:23:53 AM, Sidewalker wrote:
At 8/1/2012 6:49:14 AM, HelterSkelter wrote:
At 7/31/2012 9:33:37 PM, Sidewalker wrote:
At 7/31/2012 7:13:06 PM, HelterSkelter wrote:
At 7/31/2012 6:33:43 PM, Sidewalker wrote:
At 7/31/2012 12:56:27 PM, HelterSkelter wrote:
At 7/31/2012 6:31:04 AM, Sidewalker wrote:

How do you turn a mass murderer into a good member of society, please be explicit.

I love the presumption that people who are criminals can never improve.

I didn't make that presumption, but I do believe that a mass murderer owes a debt that should be proportionate to the crime, and I really don't see "helping him improve" as a punishment that fits this particular crime.
Why not? What better way to repay the debt than to become a productive member of society and contribute to it's well-being?

Oh pulease, you are proposing a system of reward for violent criminals rather than punishment. A reward system isn't a deterrent; on the contrary, it's an incentive.
Oh, really? Why is it that there is a higher recidivism rate for people who undergo "punishment" rather than rehabilitiation if it is an incentive. That's really strange. People have an incentive to commit crime but they . . . don't.

LOL
Unfortunately, there are a lot of disenfranchised people living under very harsh conditions out there, the vast majority of them want to become productive members of society and they need our help. In effect you want to tell them that if your conditions are harsh, if you don't feel good about yourself, if you are having a bad day, just go on a killing spree and we will remove your harsh conditions and try to make you feel better about yourself, in the end we will make you a productive member of society.
We should be removing their conditions anyways.
That is nonsense, James Eagan Holmes did not live under harsh conditions, he had more opportunity than most to be a productive member of society, he missed his chance, and on the process he took that chance away from twelve others, he alienated himself and we have no obligation to try to make him fit in now. I would counter that we need to put our resources toward helping the disenfranchised that don't go on a killing spree and try to help them. We cannot sanction mass murder; regarding a mass murder as a cry for help that we should respond to with compassion, support, and some kind of psychological reward will not contribute to society's well being.

Which is why retribution has lower recidivism rates . . . oh, wait . . .

You don't teach people not to commit crime through retribution. You teach them to be afraid of being caught.

Prisoners become more violent in prison under the retribution theory. They have to become more corrupt in order to survive.

No, what we need to do is demonstrate that the twelve people James Eagan Holmes killed were valuable members of society; we need to show Mr. Holmes and others like him that we are a society that believes in the sanctity of human life and we will not tolerate individuals with such blatant disregard for human life. If you want to "contribute to society's well being", you first have to define it as one that is moral and just. We can't define it as moral and just if we show blatant disregard for human life by practically sanctioning murder.

We've been trying that theory for 5000 years. I don't think that it's prevented anybody from committing murder. Psychologists argue that things like that aren't a long-term deterrent.

Your entire argument is nothing but an appeal to emotion and a wishful thinking fallacy;
Actually, it's based on statistical fact established by meta-analysis, the most rigorous type of statistical test. All you have is analytics that don't apply to the real world. It's kind of like communism. It looks good on paper but it's crap in reality. Retributive theory has never worked.
it's a begging the question fallacy in favor of inapplicable feel good thoughts. You seem to think all of our problem will go away if we just have happy thoughts, just find out what's wrong and "fix it", as if there's a pill to take or a button to push that just solves problems and makes everything better, which is an incredibly simplistic and naïve presumption. In effect, you appear to be saying "Twelve people are dead, oh well, I guess they shouldn't have gone to the movies that night, but let's not think about that, let's just have warm and fuzzy feelings for Mr. Holmes, we'll help him feel better about himself and make sure he feels like he fits in, if we can help him self-actualize, the problem is fixed and society will be better off". That is astoundingly detached and naïve nonsense, with no supporting evidence or logical argument other than some kind of irrelevant feel-good "happy thought" reasoning.

Restorative justice actually helps victims more.
A privileged life and degrees in neuroscience didn't do it, but cookies and back rubs will probably make him feel valuable enough to stop killing people.

1. Massive strawman. I never said that we should give him backrubs and cookies. I said that we should find out what was alienating him and fix it.

He's alienated because he is a mass murderer whose actions were premeditated and with reckless disregard for human life, and in Colorado capital punishment is how we "fix it".
Doesn't deter anybody. It's just vengeance.

He has committed a capital offense and his trial has already started, there's nothing to wait for, the relevant details will come out in the trial, and the primary relevant detail that we do know is that he randomly killed twelve people for no apparent reason.



No, I'm just finding it very difficult to take you seriously. I did say it was a completely different situation, and there are about a hundred reasons why it doesn't apply, either to this countries crime problem, or to the specifics of the James Eagan Holmes case. Norway is deeply struggling to see how their "progressive" justice system can justly apply to a mass murderer who killed 77 people, and even in Norway, Bastoy is the exception to the prison rule, and there's no way Anders Behring Breivik will end up in Bastoy.

Murders and rapists are already in Bastoy. How about you stop being vague and explain why the situation is different instead of asserting it. You're just using the bare assertion fallacy now.
Tossing out Norway's justice system and the Bastoy prison is incredibly irrelevant; it's a red herring that introduces a false attribution fallacy, an ecological inference fallacy, special pleading, cherry picking, wrong direction, slippery slope, and wishful thinking fallacies, among others. In effect, you are advocating Black Swan Blindness as an approach to the justice system.

How are my statistical studies fallacies? I'm showing you that their system works better.

Response to cherry picking: Meta-studies (which examine ALL the data from thousands of studies and thus aren't cherry picking) prove that restorative justice/rehabilitation programs decrease recidivism by 25 percentage points.

It's not a strawman, it was just sarcasm, and any time you want to formally debate me, just let me know, I'll take the position that society's well being is better served if mass murderers are "punished", you can take "rewarded"
Another strawman. Rehabilitation is not a reward. You are strawmanning and poisoning the well.
and we'll see if "Let's all just think happy thoughts" carries the day. On a complex and difficult subject like this, if you come into a debate with me wearing your bliss bunny goggles with nothing but feel good happy thoughts, I will logically run roughshod over you.

LOL.

I'm definitely challenging you on this after I finish the other three debates I have.
HelterSkelter
Posts: 281
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8/3/2012 4:32:20 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
Also, restorative justice programs aren't a reward. They're still a form of punishment. They just prioritize rehabilitation over retribution.
mark.marrocco
Posts: 236
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8/3/2012 4:35:23 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 7/30/2012 6:38:44 AM, Sidewalker wrote:
I'm not sure I see the point of an insanity defense for James Eagan Holmes, he is dangerous and needs to be removed from society either way, and especially if he is insanely dangerous. Insane or not, he is guilty of a horrific crime and should pay for his crime.

I'm not sure I understand the reasoning behind a determination that he should be subject to the death penalty if he is just murderous, but not if he is insanely murderous. I'm thinking that if a person doesn't know right from wrong then they are not fully human, why would that buy them more compassion rather than less? Seems to me that if he is so batshit crazy that he doesn't know right from wrong, that would make him an even greater danger and it would be even more of a reason to remove him from the human race.

What do you think?

I think that this is a totally ignorant statement. You don't say someone is less human because they have cancer or AIDs. Certain types of mental disorders are equally real diseases in the physical sense. Most likely, Holme's is schizophrenic to some degree or the other, which is a real affliction of the brain/mind. So that's why he deserves treatment as opposed to being murdered in revenge. It doesn't make any practical difference, even if he's placed into a mental hospital, he'll still have no real chance to get out, thus eliminating the threat while still maintaing our own humanity.
"Belief is the death of intelligence. As soon as one believes a doctrine of any sort, or assumes certitude, one stops thinking about that aspect of existence."
DetectableNinja
Posts: 6,043
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8/4/2012 9:17:52 AM
Posted: 4 years ago
Everyone else's points are very true.

And I'm pretty sure temporary insanity wouldn't stick either.
Think'st thou heaven is such a glorious thing?
I tell thee, 'tis not half so fair as thou
Or any man that breathes on earth.

- Christopher Marlowe, Doctor Faustus
Wnope
Posts: 6,924
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8/4/2012 12:44:04 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
For all legal intents and purposes, the insanity defense has almost zero chance of working. All that matters if he recognizes what he did was "evil."

If he had come into the theater dressed as BATMAN then there might be a prayer, but how do you get a jury to believe that someone who dresses like the Joker who is depicted as a senseless killer, goes to a film featuring the Joker's antagonist, and commits acts of violence has no concept of what he did was "wrong?"
mark.marrocco
Posts: 236
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8/4/2012 1:02:19 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 8/4/2012 12:44:04 PM, Wnope wrote:
For all legal intents and purposes, the insanity defense has almost zero chance of working. All that matters if he recognizes what he did was "evil."

If he had come into the theater dressed as BATMAN then there might be a prayer, but how do you get a jury to believe that someone who dresses like the Joker who is depicted as a senseless killer, goes to a film featuring the Joker's antagonist, and commits acts of violence has no concept of what he did was "wrong?"

That's the problem, people can't empathize with mental disorders because they can't see them. I don't see any way that Holmes could not be schizophrenic, unless he is a really good actor, but his own behavior and that of his mother leads me to believe that can't be true. A truly innovative lawyer would get his brain scanned, and if there were abnormalities, which I think there would be, then at least they would have a chance at an insanity ruling.
"Belief is the death of intelligence. As soon as one believes a doctrine of any sort, or assumes certitude, one stops thinking about that aspect of existence."
Wnope
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8/4/2012 1:22:32 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 8/4/2012 1:02:19 PM, mark.marrocco wrote:
At 8/4/2012 12:44:04 PM, Wnope wrote:
For all legal intents and purposes, the insanity defense has almost zero chance of working. All that matters if he recognizes what he did was "evil."

If he had come into the theater dressed as BATMAN then there might be a prayer, but how do you get a jury to believe that someone who dresses like the Joker who is depicted as a senseless killer, goes to a film featuring the Joker's antagonist, and commits acts of violence has no concept of what he did was "wrong?"

That's the problem, people can't empathize with mental disorders because they can't see them. I don't see any way that Holmes could not be schizophrenic, unless he is a really good actor, but his own behavior and that of his mother leads me to believe that can't be true. A truly innovative lawyer would get his brain scanned, and if there were abnormalities, which I think there would be, then at least they would have a chance at an insanity ruling.

I don't know enough to say anything about Holmes' condition. Have brain scans ever worked in court before? I'm asking out of curiosity, I simply don't know the answer.

Everyone's brain varies to some extent from the "normal" brain the same way every human varies from the results of the Human Genome Project. Correlations on brain abnormalities and disorders are significant, but in individual cases can be fairly low.

Also, you have consider what it means to be "normal."

If you scare the average person with a ghost costume, he'll have on average pretty high amygdala reaction. If you scare a paranoid schizophrenic with a related delusion, he'll probably have a higher amygdala reaction (notice how I can't even talk about the above with using qualifiers like "probably" and "on average") than the average person. However, if this same experiment is done to either a psychopath or someone who only shows negative symptoms of schizophrenia (i.e. catatonia) the amygdala reaction will be LOWER than the average person.

It's not like you're looking for one bit of the brain that is "bigger than it should be." For instance, serotonin levels themselves aren't highly correlated with violence, but extreme rates of serotonin re-synthesis (after it is broken down) is. Notice this is independent of rates of serotonin reuptake (which influence depression).
mark.marrocco
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8/4/2012 1:58:34 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 8/4/2012 1:22:32 PM, Wnope wrote:
At 8/4/2012 1:02:19 PM, mark.marrocco wrote:
At 8/4/2012 12:44:04 PM, Wnope wrote:
For all legal intents and purposes, the insanity defense has almost zero chance of working. All that matters if he recognizes what he did was "evil."

If he had come into the theater dressed as BATMAN then there might be a prayer, but how do you get a jury to believe that someone who dresses like the Joker who is depicted as a senseless killer, goes to a film featuring the Joker's antagonist, and commits acts of violence has no concept of what he did was "wrong?"

That's the problem, people can't empathize with mental disorders because they can't see them. I don't see any way that Holmes could not be schizophrenic, unless he is a really good actor, but his own behavior and that of his mother leads me to believe that can't be true. A truly innovative lawyer would get his brain scanned, and if there were abnormalities, which I think there would be, then at least they would have a chance at an insanity ruling.

I don't know enough to say anything about Holmes' condition. Have brain scans ever worked in court before? I'm asking out of curiosity, I simply don't know the answer.


I don't either, really, but the mother was quoted as saying something that was strongly suggestive of him having preexisting problems, and his image is a lot different than the cocky college kid they showed right after the event. Now he has the "thousand yard stare" that is generally associated with mental illnesses.

Probably not yet, that's why I said an innovative lawyer, because the technology is fairly abundant now, so maybe all he would need to do is ask. I read an article about it possibly being the norm in the future, but it would have to start somewhere.

Everyone's brain varies to some extent from the "normal" brain the same way every human varies from the results of the Human Genome Project. Correlations on brain abnormalities and disorders are significant, but in individual cases can be fairly low.

Also, you have consider what it means to be "normal."

If you scare the average person with a ghost costume, he'll have on average pretty high amygdala reaction. If you scare a paranoid schizophrenic with a related delusion, he'll probably have a higher amygdala reaction (notice how I can't even talk about the above with using qualifiers like "probably" and "on average") than the average person. However, if this same experiment is done to either a psychopath or someone who only shows negative symptoms of schizophrenia (i.e. catatonia) the amygdala reaction will be LOWER than the average person.

It's not like you're looking for one bit of the brain that is "bigger than it should be." For instance, serotonin levels themselves aren't highly correlated with violence, but extreme rates of serotonin re-synthesis (after it is broken down) is. Notice this is independent of rates of serotonin reuptake (which influence depression).

All of this is true. I know you're not looking for an overgrown piece of brain, it's about his brain function, as measured by a SPECT, fMRI, etc. Sure, the correlations aren't perfect, but as long as the hypothetical lawyer could show that there were some physiological differences between Holmes' brain and a "normal" brain, then his case would be a lot stronger.

People don't believe what they can't see unless it benefits them, so if they want to have an "evil" scapegoat they'll have him, unless they are faced down with some contrary evidence that they can't deny. In this case I think it would take visual evidence because the emotions around it are so high.

Schizophrenia is also correlated with a more consistent overactivity in certain other brain regions, like the hippocampus: http://news.sciencemag.org..., and the "default network:" http://web.mit.edu...

I'm not saying he's definitely schizophrenic, but the only way to make a case for it is to really "look into it." Psychiatrists aren't going to stand much of a chance simply explaining away his behavior in this case.
"Belief is the death of intelligence. As soon as one believes a doctrine of any sort, or assumes certitude, one stops thinking about that aspect of existence."
twocupcakes
Posts: 2,750
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8/4/2012 5:32:23 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
The insanity defense rarely works. They have to prove that he did not no what he was doing was wrong. Obviously, anybody who randomly kills people is crazy. However, if he truly did not know it was bad to kill, it makes sense that he should spend the rest of his life in a hospital instead of prison. However, there is almost 0% chance of the insanity defense working in his case.