Death Penalty Poll

August 18th, 2013 at 11:55 am by David Farrar

Front Page report:

More than a third of New Zealander’s would support the reintroduction of the death penalty.

 In a Curia poll  for TV3’s “ The Nation”  of  624 respondents, 38 per cent were in favour of the death penalty, 55 per cent were against it, and 7 per cent were undecided.

35 per cent of Labour voters favoured the death penalty and National voters polled at 44 per cent. Least likely to be in favour were Green Party voters at 19 per cent, but the most in favour of capital punishment were New Zealand First voters at 84 per cent.

An interesting difference by party support.

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Execution for throwing a stone

March 18th, 2010 at 5:28 am by David Farrar

The Herald reports:

A student who was arrested for throwing a stone during pro-democracy demonstrations is to be executed, Iran said yesterday.

Mohammad-Amin Valian, a 20-year-old Islamic studies student, was arrested on the basis of a photograph taken at a mass demonstration against the rigged presidential election last year.

He was among six convicted of moharebeh, or waging war against God.

I guess waging war against God sounds a better charge than waging war against election fraud.

Whenever the United States executes a prisoner who has been found guilty of one or more brutal murders, there are massive protests ranging from the local, to global. Even the Pope sometimes weighs in.

I hope an equal amount of energy will be spent protesting the death of this 20 year old Iranian, for throwing a stone.

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An online rant is not a death threat

February 21st, 2010 at 9:53 am by David Farrar

The Herald reports:

Death threats for Libby killer

The teenager who was yesterday unmasked as Liberty Templeman’s murderer has received death threats on the internet.

Tall (1.9m) Hermanus Theodorus Kriel, known as Theo, posted a webpage in July 2008, four months before he killed 15-year-old Liberty.

Within hours of a judge lifting his name suppression yesterday, dozens of angry messages appeared about the boy.

One person wrote: “You are going to find out what HELL is like you sad little selfish disrespectful murdering lying prick.”

Another comment said: “I hope he rots in hell.”

A third person said: “Hope you get a cell with a big smelly gangster who makes you his ass bitch.”

The media like labelling things as death threats, but to my mind, these are not death threats. They are, shall we say, strong expressions of (understandable) anger.

In my mind, you need two elements for something to be a death threat:

  1. It should actually make a threat of death. There is a difference between saying I hope you die, and saying I will kill you.
  2. It should be communicated to the individual by phone, post or e-mail etc. A rant on a Trade Me forum is not a threat, for example.
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David Garrett on why he is against the death penalty

November 13th, 2009 at 1:00 pm by David Farrar

David Garrett has a blog I have discovered, and his latest entry is on why he is against the death penalty:

Having lived in a country where the death penalty remains on the books as a discretionary sentence for murder, I can say with some certainty that one of the results of having a capital sentence even as an option is what lawyers call “perverse verdicts” by juries unwilling to convict because they know or believe the person concerned will be executed, and they cannot cope with that on their collective conscience.

I suspect Garrett is right – more killers might be found not guilty, due to juror reluctance to return a verdict which can result in execution.

I have also come to believe that Life Without Parole (LWOP) which is available as sentence in many American States – and soon will be here – IS actually probably a worse punishment than the 20 or so seconds of terror prior to instant death by judicial hanging as was practiced here and in England.

The downsides of LWOP of course include the cost, and as Burton has demonstrated (he will never leave prison alive and he knows it), someone serving LWOP can kill again with impunity – there are guards as well as prisoners in jail – and there is nothing more the state can do.

I have different reasons for being against the death penalty. I just do not like the idea of giving the state the power to execute its own citizens – even the killers. Plus the chance of killing an innocent person.

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Poll on Morality

September 14th, 2009 at 7:53 pm by David Farrar

I’ve just blogged at curiablog, on a morality poll by UMR. Respondents were asked how morally acceptable (or unacceptable certain activities were. Below is the morally acceptable score for each activity and the net acceptable score (acceptable less unacceptable)

From most to least acceptable, they were:

  1. Divorce 81%, +68%
  2. Sex outside marriage 77%, +59%
  3. Having baby outside marriage 71%, +48%
  4. Stem cell research 63%, +38%
  5. Homosexual relations 61%, +29%
  6. Euthanasia 55%, +18%
  7. Abortion 55%, +21%
  8. Gambling 52%, +10%
  9. Animal medical testing 52%, +12%
  10. Wearing or buying fur 48%, +4%
  11. Death Penalty 43%, -7%
  12. Animal Cloning 27%, -40%
  13. Suicide 20%, -48%
  14. Married people having affairs 13%, -70%
  15. Polygamy 11%, -74%
  16. Human cloning 7%, -81%

Now this was asking about moral acceptability, not legality. So while only 55% think abortion is morally acceptable, that doesn’t mean only 55% think it should be legal.

Now what would my answers have been. None of the first ten I would regard as morally unacceptable. I do regard the death penalty as unacceptable – not keen on states being able to kill it citizens. Tend to regard suicide as morally unacceptable in most circumstances but not all (ie terminally ill). While generally I think it is not a good idea for married people to have affairs (and if married I would not), I’m wouldn’t label it as morally unacceptable as it is between those two people. I don’t think polygamy should be legal but nor do I regard it as morally unacceptable. And finally I don’t believe human cloning is automatically morally unacceptable.  I favour very very tight restrictions on it, but think there are potential benefits.

So bottom line is there is very little I believe is always morally unacceptable. Mainly just the death penalty really.

I’m sure very few here will agree with me!

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Death sentences in milk scandal

January 23rd, 2009 at 11:56 am by David Farrar

The Herald reports:

The Green party has called on the Government and Fonterra to condemn the death sentences handed down in China to two men involved in the tainted milk scandal.

The two men were sentenced to death yesterday while Tian Wenhua, the woman at the head of Fonterra joint venture Sanlu Group, was given a life sentence by a court in Shijiazhuang.

This is no surprise. In fact Phil Goff back in September said it was “almost certain” that those responsible would be executed. Mind you, I thought such a public statement from the then Trade Minister was somewhat unwise, as it could be read as agreement (unintentionally of course).

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Goff says culprits will “almost certainly” be executed

September 19th, 2008 at 6:06 am by David Farrar

There’s a fine line between predicting and being seen to advocate. I am not sure it is helpful for Phil Goff to have said:

Trade Minister Phil Goff expects severe punishment for those criminally responsible for China’s contaminated milk scandal – but he doesn’t think Fonterra’s representatives at San Lu should join the growing list of arrests made by Chinese authorities.

Fonterra has three directors who sit on the San Lu board and as arrests in the milk powder scandal multiplied yesterday, Mr Goff said it was “almost certain” the people who added the chemical melamine to milk would be executed.

I really don’t know why Goff thought it was necessary to say that, as the Chinese Government could see that as diplomatic code for condoning such executions.

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