Should criminals be able to request the death penalty?

Posted by: PetersSmith

Here's the law currently (in the United States), you can ask for the death penalty, but the judge will not honor it and the criminal will be put on suicide watch. Also, is it bad I find Jodi Arias kind of cute?

13 Total Votes

No, the law is the law. And why should murderers get a choice of what they want? Criminals should not be able to decide their own fate.

Capital punishment, death penalty or execution is punishment by death. The sentence that someone be punished in this manner is a death sentence. Crimes that can result in a death penalty are known as capital crimes or capital offences. The term capi... tal originates from the Latin capitalis, literally "regarding the head" (referring to execution by beheading). Capital punishment has, in the past, been practiced by most societies, as a punishment for criminals, and political or religious dissidents. Historically, the carrying out of the death sentence was often accompanied by torture, and executions were most often public. 36 countries actively practice capital punishment, 103 countries have completely abolished it de jure for all crimes, 6 have abolished it for ordinary crimes only (while maintaining it for special circumstances such as war crimes), and 50 have abolished it de facto (have not used it for at least ten years and/or are under moratorium). Nearly all countries in the world prohibit the execution of individuals who were under the age of 18 at the time of their crimes; since 2009, only Iran, Saudi Arabia, and Sudan have carried out such executions. Executions of this kind are prohibited under international law. Capital punishment is a matter of active controversy in various countries and states, and positions can vary within a single political ideology or cultural region. In the European Union member states, Article 2 of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union prohibits the use of capital punishment. The Council of Europe, which has 47 member states, also prohibits the use of the death penalty by its members. The United Nations General Assembly has adopted, in 2007, 2008, 2010, 2012 and 2014 non-binding resolutions calling for a global moratorium on executions, with a view to eventual abolition. Although many nations have abolished capital punishment, over 60% of the world's population live in countries where executions take place, such as China, India, the United States and Indonesia, the four most-populous countries in the world, which continue to apply the death penalty (although in India and in many US states it is rarely employed). Each of these four nations has consistently voted against the General Assembly resolutions   more
7 votes

Yes, for death penalty-worthy crimes if the sentence is life imprisonment.

RICHMOND, Va. – When Robert Gleason Jr. Walks into Virginia's death chamber Wednesday night and is strapped into the rarely used electric chair, it will mark the end of a twisted quest to speed his own death. Gleason says it's not because he want... s to die, but rather because he knows he will kill again if he's not executed. He was already serving life in prison when he killed his cellmate then vowed to continue killing unless he was put to death. When the system wasn't moving fast enough, he strangled another inmate and warned that the body count would rise if they didn't heed his warnings. Gleason waived his appeals, and he remains in a legal battle with his former attorneys as they file last-minute appeals to try to save his life against his wishes. "Why prolong it? The end result's gonna be the same," Gleason said in his thick Boston accent in one of numerous interviews from death row he's given to The Associated Press over three years. "The death part don't bother me. This has been a long time coming. It's called karma." Gleason is scheduled to die at 9 p.M. Wednesday at Greensville Correctional Center in Jarratt. Condemned Virginia inmates can choose between lethal injection and electrocution, and Gleason is the first inmate to choose electrocution since 2010. The unusual choice follows a series of other shocking moves. Deputies had to use a stun gun on him during a violent outburst in court in 2008 before he pleaded guilty to a shooting death that sent him to prison for life. Despite there being little evidence against him, Gleason admitted to shooting Mike Jamerson, whose son was cooperating in a federal investigation into a methamphetamine ring that Gleason was involved in. A year later he got so frustrated when prison officials wouldn't move his new, mentally disturbed cellmate, 63-year-old Harvey Watson Jr., that Gleason hogtied, beat and strangled the older man. Gleason remained in the cell with Watson's lifeless body for more than 15 hours before officers discovered the crime. "Someone needs to stop it. The only way to stop me is put me on death row," he told AP at the time, repeating his threats in court on numerous occasions. While awaiting sentencing at a highly secure prison in the mountains that is reserved for the state's worst inmates, Gleason strangled 26-year-old Aaron Cooper through the wire fencing that separated their individual cages on the recreation yard. Gleason claims he's killed others -- perhaps dozens more -- but he has refused to provide details. He claims he's different from the other men on Virginia's death row for one important reason: he only kills criminals. Watson was serving life for killing one man and injuring two others. Cooper was a carjacker with gang ties. "I ain't saying I'm a better person for killing criminals, but I've never killed innocent people," Gleason said. "I killed people that's in the same lifestyle as me, and they know, hey, these things can happen." Gleason says he only requested death in order to keep a promise to a loved one that he wouldn't kill again. He said doing so will allow him to teach his children, including two young sons, what can happen if they follow in his footsteps. "I wasn't there as a father and I'm hoping that I can do one last good thing," he said. "Hopefully, this is a good thing." Cooper's mother, Kim Strickland, put aside her religious beliefs in opposition to the death penalty when Gleason sent her Bible verses that preached an eye for an eye before his sentencing. She testified that he deserved to die for killing her son. She is suing the prison system over the death. "May God have mercy on his soul," Strickland told AP. "I've been praying and will continue to pray that his family can heal from this ordeal." Gleason, 42, was born in Lowell, Mass., a proud Yankee who still signs his letters "Bobby from Boston." After going to art school in North Carolina, Gleason became an award-winning tattoo artist in shops up and down the East Coast. He settled down for a while outside of Richmond, owned a tattoo shop and embraced religion. He later said he was feigning interest in religion to benefit his tattoo business. In court papers, attorneys detail his "profoundly disturbed and traumatic life" marked by abuse as a child and depression and other mental health problems as an adult. Gleason starting drinking alcohol as a teen and later abused cocaine, meth and steroids, among other drugs. His long criminal record dates back to armed robberies as a teen. He looked up to an older brother who died in a Massachusetts prison during a botched escape attempt. Attorneys who continue trying to intervene on his behalf claim Gleason is severely disturbed. They argue his competency has deteriorated over the year he's been in isolation on death row, and that he suffers from extreme paranoia, delusional thinking, severe anxiety and other mental afflictions that leave him with "a nearly overwhelming urge to end his own life." "...His mental illness is causing him to be suicidal, and he is enlisting the government's help to end his life," attorney Jon Sheldon wrote in court documents asking a federal appeals court to require a new competency evaluation. Two other evaluations deemed Gleason capable of making his own decisions. While those closest to Gleason acknowledge he's had a troubled life, they also describe a man who dressed up as a big, purple dinosaur for his young son's birthday and comforted him when he was scared of the costume, who organized a motorcycle run to raise money for a child with cancer and who is fiercely protective and supportive of those he loved. "It's a shame," one friend told attorneys of Gleason's death sentence, according to court papers, "because there's a lot of goodness in him."' But there's no mistaking Gleason's dark side. Prison and jail officials have intercepted letters and calls in which he either discussed killing or directly threatened judges, attorneys, jurors and mental health experts tied to his criminal cases. He told investigators that killing was "like tying a shoe" or "going to the fridge to get a beer." Those on both sides of the death penalty debate have seized on Gleason's case to prove their point. Death penalty supporters say that keeping Gleason alive puts others at risk. Opponents of capital punishment argue that the prospect of being executed gave him incentive to kill Watson and Cooper. Gleason agrees with death penalty opponents on at least one point: that it's likely individuals feel immense pain during a lethal injection. That's partly why he chose electrocution. The other reason: He just can't imagine going out lying down. "I can't do that," he said. "I'd rather be sitting up.   more
3 votes

Yes, for any crime.

South Carolina appellate attorney Joe Savitz did everything he could to try to prevent the execution of Michael Passaro — not necessarily because he believed in his innocence, but because Passaro wanted to die. Last September, Passaro was executed ... for the 1998 death of his daughter. Passaro was in a custody dispute with his second wife in November 1998 when he doused his van with gasoline, strapped 2-year-old daughter Maggie inside and then sat down in his car before lighting it on fire. However, before the fire could consume him, Passaro jumped out of the car but left Maggie to die. Passaro pleaded guilty to murder in 2000 and requested — and received — the death penalty. Passaro did not, and never wanted, to appeal his guilty plea, and rejected his attorneys' attempts to help him. Savitz argued that Passaro should not be executed because he would see it as a reward, not punishment. Passaro, Savitz said, had a long-standing death wish to join his first wife, who was killed in 1992 when a car struck her while she was trying to help an accident victim. "He does not see the death sentence as punishment. He sees it as an escape from punishment," Savitz said before Passaro's lethal injection. "He believes that he will be reunited with his first wife and the child that he killed, Maggie. He wants to die and has gotten the state to help him carry it out in what is essentially a state-assisted suicide. He is not doing this because he feels a sense of remorse." According to the Death Penalty Information Center, a group opposed to capital punishment, Passaro's execution was one of seven "volunteer" executions in 2002, where death-row prisoners relinquished their remaining appeals and opted to be put to death. More death-row inmates have been volunteering for their executions: Between 1993 and 2002, 75 volunteered for death, compared to the 22 consensual executions between 1977 and 1992. (Gary Gilmore, the first prisoner put to death after the Supreme Court reinstituted capital punishment in 1976, "volunteered" for his execution in 1977 because he did not want to live the rest of his life on death row.) Some critics argue that this shows that, contrary to popular belief, death is not the ultimate punishment for prisoners. "One could argue that life in prison is the worst kind of punishment and not the death penalty," said Richard Dieter, DPIC's executive director. "So many people wouldn't be volunteering for it if it was so bad." Death Row’s Psychological Torture Over the past 10 years, more death-row inmates have preferred execution to facing seemingly endless years of appeals. Some inmates had been on death row for more than 10 years and seemed to grow tired of appealing their cases, not knowing when or if they were going to die. Others, like Passaro and Oklahoma City bomber Timothy McVeigh in 2001, chose not to pursue their appeals either at all or to their fullest extent. Experts say prison conditions as well as increasing reluctance by governors and courts to grant clemency and appellate relief to inmates have helped fuel the rise in volunteer executions   more
2 votes
1 comment

Yes, for any "major" crime (fraud, voluntary manslaughter, rape, drug trafficking, human trafficking, loitering).

Jodi Arias claims she would prefer death over spending the rest of her life in prison, and while the convicted murderer's sincerity has been questioned, her comment does raise questions about what, if any, say she has in her own fate. Arias first i... ndicated her preference after her arrest for the slaying of her ex-boyfriend, Travis Alexander. "If I am found guilty, I won't have a life ... If I killed Travis, I would beg for the death penalty," Arias told Esteban Flores, a Mesa, Ariz., police detective, in a videotaped interview July 15, 2008. Arias repeated her desire last week, after her murder conviction. "The worst outcome for me would be natural life. I would much rather die sooner than later," Arias told Fox affiliate KSAZ in a post-conviction interview. "Longevity runs in my family, and I don't want to spend the rest of my natural life in one place ... I said years ago that I'd rather get death than life, and that still is true today. I believe death is the ultimate freedom, so I'd rather just have my freedom as soon as I can get it." Arias was found guilty on May 8 of first-degree murder in the 2008 slaying of Alexander. For 19 weeks, a jury of eight men and four women listened to prosecutor Juan Martinez accuse Arias of premeditated murder in her ex-boyfriend's slaying. Arias' defense team claimed self-defense, saying she was a victim of domestic violence. The jury ultimately chose to accept the prosecutor's version of the events. In the aggravation phase of the trial Wednesday, the defense and prosecution presented opposing arguments about whether Arias killed Alexander in an "especially heinous, cruel or depraved manner." "The last thing he saw before he lapsed into unconsciousness ... Was that blade coming to his throat," prosecutor Juan Martinez said. "And the last thing he felt before he left this earth was pain ... She made sure she killed him by stabbing him over and over and over again." Arias' defense team had little to say during the proceeding. Its opening and closing statements were short. "This isn't a matter of cruelty ... The question is does it meet the definition of especially cruel," Arias defense attorney Kirk Nurmi said. "Is it beyond this normal cruelty that is inherent in first-degree murder?" The jurors declared Arias eligible for the death penalty after less than 3 hours of deliberation. The penalty phase begins Thursday. The jury can consider the option of a death sentence. If not, the jury will have the choice of sentencing Arias to life without parole or life with the possibility of parole after 25 years. The 32-year-old Arias is an admitted liar, raising the question of whether her request to die is sincere or an attempt to manipulate the system. According to Seattle attorney John Henry Browne, who was not involved with the case, Arias could make a personal plea for death to the jury during the penalty phase of the trial. There’s just one catch, the veteran attorney said. "She has the right to do [so only] if [she is] competent," Browne told HuffPost. Browne represented notorious serial killer Ted Bundy in the 1970s, and more recently, Colton Harris-Moore, known as the "Barefoot Bandit." Arias was found competent to stand trial, however her competence could now be called into question. During Arias' trial, a psychologist hired by the state testified that Arias suffered from borderline personality disorder. Experts for the defense said it was their opinion that Arias suffered from acute stress disorder and post-traumatic stress disorder. Her mental competence could very well surface during her upcoming hearings. Arias has made bizarre statements throughout her trial and has, on more than one occasion, expressed a desire to commit suicide. Following last week's verdict and Arias' comments to KSAZ, the Maricopa County Sheriff's Office placed Arias on suicide protocol at the Estrella Jail. She was later transferred from the jail to a psychiatric ward at a different facility. However, she has since been transferred back to the Estrella Jail, where she is being held alone in a cell for 23 hours a day. She is permitted to use the phone and showers for one hour each day. Seattle attorney and legal analyst Anne Bremner agrees with Browne and said Arias' competency could raise several hurdles for her in the event she plans to ask for death. "She must be competent and the problem here is that she appears to have mental issues," Bremner told HuffPost. Even if Arias is found competent to express a desire for death, she may not receive any support from her attorneys, Bremner said. "She would need to go pro se with standby counsel. These lawyers won't participate. To ask a lawyer to advocate for a death sentence is like asking a doctor to participate in an execution," she said. Browne agrees there are some ethical complexities, calling it an "interesting issue for defense lawyers." "Can you ethically assist your client in obtaining a death sentence? I am in a small minority that says 'yes,' if the client is competent," Browne said. "I think it could be a rational decision to die rather than pass away in a max security geriatric ward." As an example, Browne pointed to the case of Gary Gilmore, a man who murdered two men in Utah during the 1970s and then fought to be executed. Gilmore's wish was ultimately granted and he was executed by firing squad at Utah State Prison. "His famous last words were 'Let's do it,'" Browne said. "His final attorneys honored his wishes, but to great controversy." Regardless of Arias' purported desires, she will not be the one who will ultimately decide whether she will serve life in prison or if will she join the ranks of the 127 other people on death row in the state. There is, also the possibility, Bremner pointed out, that Arias' statements regarding her desire for death were self-serving -- an attempt by a cunning woman to manipulate the penalty phase. "She fought for her life on the stand for 18 days. I don't think she will be telling her lawyers she wants death. I think that was reverse psychology on her part," Bremner said   more
1 vote

Yes, for any major crime, but those convicted with life should not be allowed to choose.

A Belgian murderer and rapist serving a life sentence is to be allowed to have doctors end his life following a ground-breaking ruling under laws in Belgium permitting people to request euthanasia. Frank Van Den Bleeken had argued that he had no pr... ospect of release since he could not overcome his violent sexual impulses and so he wanted to exercise his right to medically assisted suicide in order to end years of mental anguish. "Over recent years, he has been seen by several doctors and psychologists and their conclusion is that he is suffering, and suffering unbearably," his lawyer, Jos Vander Velpen, told state broadcaster VRT. The judicial ruling was the first involving a prisoner since the euthanasia law was introduced 12 years ago. It was not clear when the medical procedure, to be conducted in a hospital, would take place, the lawyer added. Because he was a prisoner, his client's request had been dependent on the consent of the justice ministry. Belgium, like the rest of the European Union, does not have a death penalty. Van Den Bleeken, aged about 50 and in prison for nearly 30 years, had complained of a lack of therapy provided for his condition in Belgium and therefore he preferred to die. "If people commit a sexual crime, help them to deal with it," he said in a television documentary. "Just locking them up helps no one: not the person, not society and not the victims." Predominantly Roman Catholic Belgium is not the only country in Europe to provide a right to die but it has pioneered the application of the law beyond the terminally ill. Cases which attracted international attention included the euthanasia of two deaf men, twins, who were in the process of also losing their sight and of a transgender person left in torment by an unsuccessful sex change operation. In February, Belgium became the first country to allow euthanasia for terminally ill children at any age, a move which drew criticism from religious groups both at home and abroad, though application for minors is limited to those about to die   more
0 votes
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Midnight1131 says2015-05-16T16:09:55.2728719-05:00
If they want to die, then let them.
PetersSmith says2015-05-16T16:12:27.4035475-05:00
Midnight1131: By that logic, shouldn't those convicted of any crime be able to request execution?
Midnight1131 says2015-05-16T16:13:55.6850793-05:00
By my logic, anyone can die if they want, by committing suicide. It should be discouraged, but you can't force them to live when they don't want to.
PetersSmith says2015-05-16T16:16:34.4951153-05:00
Midnight1131: So...Shouldn't that mean you should vote for: yes, for any crime?
Midnight1131 says2015-05-16T16:19:18.3440159-05:00
No, if it's a minor crime, then by committing suicide, they will not have gone through the same process that someone requesting the death penalty would've. Committing suicide is very different then asking someone to kill you, I believe that most people would have a problem with killing someone who committed a minor crime.
PetersSmith says2015-05-16T16:31:12.6147731-05:00
Midnight1131: What about a major crime?
Midnight1131 says2015-05-16T16:34:24.8371630-05:00
If it's life imprisonment without parole, it basically is the same outcome as the death penalty. Because the criminal would die as an imprisoned convict, in both cases. Compared to a minor crime, they will eventually be reintegrated into society, after they've done their time.
PetersSmith says2015-05-17T21:36:40.1723303-05:00
I'm amazed no one pointed out the "loitering" in the "Yes, for any "major" crime" option.
Midnight1131 says2015-05-17T21:44:45.2449491-05:00
Haha, just noticed that.
Midnight1131 says2015-05-17T21:45:02.8107743-05:00
After it was pointed out though....
PetersSmith says2015-05-17T21:47:57.9074191-05:00
Midnight1131: *Sarcastically claps*
PetersSmith says2015-05-17T21:50:01.9751369-05:00
Does anyone actually read the articles I put in my polls or am I wasting my time with those?
Midnight1131 says2015-05-17T21:56:09.6511670-05:00
I kinda skim over them. But most of the time just the option title is sufficient.
Midnight1131 says2015-05-17T21:56:20.8220535-05:00
Some of these are pretty interesting though.

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