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Texas executes mentally impaired inmate.


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#1 Ovech Trick

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Posted 08 August 2012 - 07:15 AM

A Texas man convicted of killing a police informant has been executed after the US Supreme Court rejected arguments that he was too mentally impaired to qualify for the death penalty.
Marvin Wilson, 54, was pronounced dead late on Tuesday, 14 minutes after his lethal injection began at the state prison in Huntsville.

Beaumont.
Wilson's lawyers had argued that he should have been ineligible for capital punishment because of his low IQ.

They cited a US Supreme Court ruling that banned capital punishment for the mentally impaired.
In their appeal to the high court, the lawyera pointed to a psychological test conducted in 2004 that pegged Wilson's IQ at 61, below the generally accepted minimum competency standard of 70.
But lower courts agreed with state attorneys, who argued that Wilson's claim was based on a single test that may have been faulty, and that his mental impairment claim was not supported by other tests and assessments of him over the years.

Stay of execution
The Supreme Court denied his request for a stay of execution less than two hours before his lethal injection began.
Lee Kovarsky, lead defence lawyer, said he was "gravely disappointed and saddened'' by the ruling, calling it "outrageous that the state of Texas continues to utilise unscientific guidelines ... to determine which citizens with intellectual disability are exempt from execution".
Commenting on the case, Simon Whitaker, a clinical psychologist from the UK, told Al Jazeera earlier on Tuesday: "This is a miscarriage of justice, he [Wilson] would have the same reasoning powers of a five-year-old child, if a five-year-old child killed someone we would not execute them in part.
"Texas courts have judged Wilson as not mentally retarded - even though psychologists measured his IQ in the bottom one percentile, about equal to that of an average five-year-old child.
"With his diagnosis he cannot make rational decisions, there will be a clear problem for him to think things through," said Whitaker.
Shot in the head
Wilson was convicted of murdering 21-year-old Jerry Williams in November 1992, several days after police seized 24 grammes of cocaine from Wilson's apartment and arrested him.
Witnesses testified that Wilson and another man, Andrew Lewis, beat Williams outside of a convenience store in Beaumont, about 128km east of Houston.
Wilson, who was free on bond, accused Williams of snitching on him about the drugs, they said.
Witnesses said Wilson and Lewis then abducted Williams, and neighbourhood residents said they heard a gunshot a short time later.
The next day, Williams was found dead on the side of a road, wearing only socks, severely beaten and shot in the head and neck at close range.
'Skirting the ban'
The Supreme Court issued a ruling in 2002 outlawing the execution of the mentally impaired, but left it to states to determine what constitutes mental impairment.
Kovarsky argued that Texas is trying to skirt the ban by altering the generally accepted definitions of mental impairment to the point where gaining relief for an inmate is "virtually unobtainable".
State attorneys say the court left it to states to develop appropriate standards for enforcing the ban and that Texas chose to incorporate a number of factors besides an inmate's IQ, including the inmate's adaptive behaviour and functioning.
Edward Marshall, a Texas assistant attorney general, said records show Wilson habitually gave less than full effort and "was manipulative and deceitful when it suited his interest'', and that the state considered his ability to show personal independence and social responsibility in making its determinations.
Laura Moye, director of Amnesty International's US death penalty abolition campaign, told Al Jazeera that her group was "disturbed and disappointed" by the failure of the Supreme Court to intervene in Wilson's case.
"We're not saying he shouldn't have been held responsible for his part in a terrible crime, but that it's an egregious act in a country that prides itself on its human rights record to put to death a man such as this one," Moye said hours after Wilson was executed.
"There are important human rights standards that the United States ought to adhere to, particularly because it’s enshrined in our constitution that there are certain people who shouldn't face execution."
Texas is one of 33 states, along with the federal government, which still maintains the death penalty. A recent poll indicated more than 70 per cent of Texans approve of capital punishment for murder.

http://www.aljazeera...4346526615.html


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#2 SukhKular

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Posted 08 August 2012 - 07:19 AM

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What does how dumb you are have to do with punishment? Shouldn't it be the same for everyone? Isn't that what justice is?
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I'm saying Aladeen a lot because http://forum.canucks...dpost__10922428

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#3 Slaytanic Wehrmacht

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Posted 08 August 2012 - 07:34 AM

Not surprising really in the least...when you're scheduled for execution, not much can save you anymore, except for a gubernatorial pardon...which is almost impossible to get...doesn't matter how mentally unbalanced you are, or how low your IQ is. However, this is the first time I've heard of that defense..."his IQ is too low, he shouldn't be executed"... :huh: and low IQ doesn't mean you're mentally impaired...it just means you're a numbskull...and being a numbskull is not a reason to stay an execution.
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#4 Dittohead

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Posted 08 August 2012 - 07:48 AM

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Bahhh you murder someone you should be executed imo. not like this guy was a retard just a moron cokehead who knew what he was doing
[b]Wilson was convicted of murdering 21-year-old Jerry Williams in November 1992, several days after police seized 24 grammes of cocaine from Wilson's apartment and arrested him.
Witnesses testified that Wilson and another man, Andrew Lewis, beat Williams outside of a convenience store in Beaumont, about 128km east of Houston.
Wilson, who was free on bond, accused Williams of snitching on him about the drugs, they said.
Witnesses said Wilson and Lewis then abducted Williams, and neighbourhood residents said they heard a gunshot a short time later.

The next day, Williams was found dead on the side of a road, wearing only socks, severely beaten and shot in the head and neck at close range.[/b]

what sickens me is people like that Batman movie killer and the gabby gifford shooter will get to live.
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#5 Satan's Evil Twin

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Posted 08 August 2012 - 08:02 AM

The answer to murder is state sanctioned murder. Brilliant.


One Year After The Breivik Massacre, Norway Continues To Fight Terrorism With Democracy, Openness And Love

from the everyone-else-in-the-world-take-notes dept

It's been a little over a year since Anders Breivik committed the greatest act of terrorism in Norway's history. The response to the horrific violence was completely unexpected. In a world where most countries would consider drafting major legislation and beefing up security,Norway's response seemed almost out-of-touch with the "real world."

Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg pledged to do everything to ensure the country's core values were not undermined. "The Norwegian response to violence is more democracy, more openness and greater political participation," he said.

It's a pretty much unprecedented statement. One needs to look no further than the US government's reaction to the 9/11 tragedy to see an example of the standard M.O. Starting with the PATRIOT Act, the US government quickly turned the country into an echo chamber that subscribes to a culture of fear. This has allowed various government entities to insinuate themselves into nearly every aspect of Americans' lives at the expense of civil liberties and privacy.

One year down the road in Norway is a completely different story. As was pledged by Stoltenberg, the Norwegians have pushed forward with more openness and democracy. (via)

There have been no changes to the law to increase the powers of the police and security services, terrorism legislation remains the same and there have been no special provisions made for the trial of suspected terrorists. On the streets of Oslo, CCTV cameras are still a comparatively rare sight and the police can only carry weapons after getting special permission. Even the gate leading to the parliament building in the heart of Oslo remains open and unguarded.

"It is still easy to get access to parliament and we hope it will stay that way, " said Lise Christoffersen, a Labour party MP.

No one's rights were eroded, including the man at the center of the tragedy, Anders Breivik. He was treated no differently than any other prisoner and was given five days in court to tell his side of the story and lay out his ideas and motivations. Many critics believe this sort of unchallenged testimony would allow Breivik to glorify his actions and push his agenda, which they feared would inspire copycat acts of violence. Instead of falling prey to this mindset, officials felt that Breivik would do more harm to his own ideology by speaking openly than by being forced to sit quietly as an appointed mouthpiece spoke for him.

Cato Shiotz, a senior criminal lawyer, says having an open trial has enabled the Norwegian people to make their own informed judgement about Breivik.

"I think Breivik has done more harm to the radical right than he has benefited them," said Mr Shiotz. "His ideas now have less support than ever before."

Norway wants to combat terrorism in a new way. Rather than reacting to a terrorist act with draconian laws and increased security and surveillance, the country has opted to take the high ground and simply be "better" than their enemies. Many countries make statements to this effect, but most make the mistake of confusing a hardline "we don't negotiate with terrorists" stance with "taking the high road." Norway makes no such error.

"The only way to really combat terror is to show that we are better than them," says Jan Egeland, a former official in the Norwegian foreign ministry and now deputy head of Human Rights Watch.

"Their (the terrorists') whole point is to create shock and fear and get us to leave our liberal values…and lure us over to their shadowy part of the playing field… we should not let them win."

Unsurprisingly, Norway is not impressed with the US government's response to terrorism.

Mr Egeland is highly critical of how other countries, particularly the United States, have dealt with the terrorist threats they face, arguing that methods such as extraordinary rendition, the creation of the special prison for terrorist suspects in Guantanamo and the sanctioning of what is generally viewed as torture, have all been counter-productive.

"The whole (US) struggle against terror lost the moral high ground, You could see how public opinion was lost in Turkey, in Jordan, in moderate countries all over the Middle East," he said.

As the article points out, Breivik acted alone, not as part of a larger network. While a large network does change the dynamic of the threat, it hardly seems to justify the assumption that an isolated incident is an "act of war." Even worse, this assumption has led the US into a state of perpetual war against unseen, unnamed enemies with only the barest of threads holding the factions together. While Egeland insists that Norway wouldn't fall into the same pattern the US did post-9/11, he admits that he can't be certain the country would have "stood the test" as well as it has the Breivik massacre, if it was instead faced with a murky enemy located outside the country.

But all in all, the Norwegian response is more likely to unite its citizens against abhorrent acts of terrorism than it is to drive a wedge between the government and the governed. Openness is something the US sorely lacks, and despite 11 years and a change of presidents, there seems to be very little improvement on the horizon. No government can guarantee the safety of its citizens against unforeseen attacks, but certainly a culture of openness, democracy and love is preferable to a culture of fear and reprisal, carried out in the name of protection.
http://www.techdirt....ness-love.shtml

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#6 PlayingBurke

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Posted 08 August 2012 - 08:08 AM

Bahhh you murder someone you should be executed imo. not like this guy was a retard just a moron cokehead who knew what he was doing
[b]Wilson was convicted of murdering 21-year-old Jerry Williams in November 1992, several days after police seized 24 grammes of cocaine from Wilson's apartment and arrested him.
Witnesses testified that Wilson and another man, Andrew Lewis, beat Williams outside of a convenience store in Beaumont, about 128km east of Houston.
Wilson, who was free on bond, accused Williams of snitching on him about the drugs, they said.
Witnesses said Wilson and Lewis then abducted Williams, and neighbourhood residents said they heard a gunshot a short time later.

The next day, Williams was found dead on the side of a road, wearing only socks, severely beaten and shot in the head and neck at close range.[/b]

what sickens me is people like that Batman movie killer and the gabby gifford shooter will get to live.


Isn't there a death penalty in the state of Colorado?
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#7 The Hornet

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Posted 08 August 2012 - 08:20 AM

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What makes you more angry:

That this 'mentally impaired' man was put to death for killing a Police informant

or

The 'mentally impaired' man who beheaded and ate an innocent man on a Greyhound bus is basically free, other than the fact he has to be followed around by a nurse and a Peace Officer

Edited by The Hornet, 08 August 2012 - 08:22 AM.

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#8 The Hornet

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Posted 08 August 2012 - 08:21 AM

.

Edited by The Hornet, 08 August 2012 - 08:21 AM.

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#9 The Brahma Bull

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Posted 08 August 2012 - 08:21 AM

What does how dumb you are have to do with punishment? Shouldn't it be the same for everyone? Isn't that what justice is?


I don't know about this case in particular, but in general, if you have an extremely low IQ score then you could probably be classified under some type of mental retardation. This isn't just talking about who is smarter or who is dumber in the average class. http://www.iq-tests....dation-430.html
http://en.wikipedia....tal_retardation
Class IQ
Profound mental retardation Below 20
Severe mental retardation 20–34
Moderate mental retardation 35–49
Mild mental retardation 50–69
Borderline intellectual functioning 70–84


Based on some info from others in this thread, it looks like this particular iq test didn't add up to other ones he's taken in the past? Maybe he tried to test low on purpose? (i have no idea. Don't know anything about this case)

Edited by The Brahma Bull, 08 August 2012 - 08:30 AM.

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#10 JLumme

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Posted 08 August 2012 - 09:10 AM

"Did You Know Every Time a Retarded Person is Executed an Angel Gets It's Wings?" -- David Cross
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#11 vancanfan

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Posted 08 August 2012 - 09:18 AM

Isn't there a death penalty in the state of Colorado?


Yes there is.
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#12 Wolfman Jack

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Posted 08 August 2012 - 09:36 AM

Kill someone in Texas and they'll kill you back
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#13 SukhKular

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Posted 08 August 2012 - 09:41 AM

Kill someone in Texas and they'll kill you back


Still better than housing, feeding and educating them for the rest of their lives.
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I'm saying Aladeen a lot because http://forum.canucks...dpost__10922428

I bet when Schneider turns 38, he will have broken all of Luongo's records.


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#14 Satan's Evil Twin

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Posted 08 August 2012 - 09:44 AM

Still better than housing, feeding and educating them for the rest of their lives.


More expensive, too.
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#15 taxi

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Posted 08 August 2012 - 09:45 AM

NM

Edited by taxi, 08 August 2012 - 10:29 AM.

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#16 Special Ed

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Posted 08 August 2012 - 09:51 AM

It's a shame that some people have these problems which allow them to commit murder. The point to me is if they can't function safely in our society without killing someone, they need to be put down. Most killers are probably not 'sane' I'm not sure why they are allowed to walk away because of it. And a dog only needs to attack someone before its euthanized. We are just animals too.
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If you like looking at statistics to determine who's better, you're just a casual fan.

2.41 season GAA isn't very impressive. Let's not get into playoffs and his SV%.

Cory Schneider is the next Patrick Roy.


#17 Satan's Evil Twin

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Posted 08 August 2012 - 09:55 AM

It's a shame that some people have these problems which allow them to commit murder. The point to me is if they can't function safely in our society without killing someone, they need to be put down. Most killers are probably not 'sane' I'm not sure why they are allowed to walk away because of it. And a dog only needs to attack someone before its euthanized. We are just animals too.


Because putting them down will bring the person they killed back. It'll make us feel good too, I bet.
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#18 SukhKular

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Posted 08 August 2012 - 10:00 AM

More expensive, too.

That's what I meant.
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I'm saying Aladeen a lot because http://forum.canucks...dpost__10922428

I bet when Schneider turns 38, he will have broken all of Luongo's records.


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#19 Red Light Racicot

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Posted 08 August 2012 - 10:07 AM

I dont see how killing a mentally impaired individual is any more cruel then killing a guy with average intelligence.
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#20 Special Ed

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Posted 08 August 2012 - 10:16 AM

Because putting them down will bring the person they killed back. It'll make us feel good too, I bet.


It will prevent them from ever killing someone else. And yes if someone murders my mother. I wouldn't want that person walking around enjoying the rest of their life. That goes for anyone else's mother/brother/sister/family but the family should definately hold the trump card. If a victims family should not want the death penalty I would be ok with that.

Edited by Special Ed, 08 August 2012 - 10:21 AM.

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If you like looking at statistics to determine who's better, you're just a casual fan.

2.41 season GAA isn't very impressive. Let's not get into playoffs and his SV%.

Cory Schneider is the next Patrick Roy.


#21 Satan's Evil Twin

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Posted 08 August 2012 - 10:24 AM

It will prevent them from ever killing someone else. And yes if someone murders my mother. I wouldn't want that person walking around enjoying the rest of their life. That goes for anyone else's mother/brother/sister/family but the family should definately hold the triumph card. If a victims family should not want the death penalty I would be ok with that.


So our system of punishment and rehabilitation should be built around vengeance and making the victim's family feel better? What about the killer's family, they didn't murder anyone and to them losing their murderer/mentally challenged son will be just as awful as it was on the victim's family. Now you have two families who've lost someone. Except now we've also spent more money to kill this person to satisfy someone's blood thirst than it'd cost to house them for the rest of their life.

And that's to say nothing at all of the justice system that's prone to corruption, miscarriage of the law, and other non-ethical behavior. Or of the police, which is also quite prone to forging evidence, false claims, and a long list of dirty laundry.

Finally, who do we murder after the victim turns out to be innocent of the crime but pushing daisies?
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#22 Tearloch7

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Posted 08 August 2012 - 10:33 AM

Kill someone in Texas and they'll kill you back


Unless the victim is brown .. and the perp is white .. then it is "justifiable homicide" I hear ..
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#23 Tearloch7

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Posted 08 August 2012 - 10:34 AM

It will prevent them from ever killing someone else. And yes if someone murders my mother. I wouldn't want that person walking around enjoying the rest of their life. That goes for anyone else's mother/brother/sister/family but the family should definately hold the trump card. If a victims family should not want the death penalty I would be ok with that.


What if they murder someone you hate and despise? .. is it OK then??
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#24 Zoolander

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Posted 08 August 2012 - 10:37 AM

What makes you more angry:

That this 'mentally impaired' man was put to death for killing a Police informant

or

The 'mentally impaired' man who beheaded and ate an innocent man on a Greyhound bus is basically free, other than the fact he has to be followed around by a nurse and a Peace Officer


Eye for an eye, Canada is too easygoing on stuff like this. If a person kills another person, I think letting them sit in jail with 3 meals a day, that we pay for is rediculous.
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#25 wtpasc

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Posted 08 August 2012 - 10:38 AM

What makes you more angry:

That this 'mentally impaired' man was put to death for killing a Police informant

or

The 'mentally impaired' man who beheaded and ate an innocent man on a Greyhound bus is basically free, other than the fact he has to be followed around by a nurse and a Peace Officer


This guy on the bus wasn't just mentally impaired he is severely mentally ill. He has a very extreme type of schizophrenia and did not understand what he was doing and was in complete hallucination mode. There is a huge gap between these two cases.

A more reasonable comparison would be Robert Pickton who's IQ scored very low and is considered to be well below average intelligence.
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#26 JLumme

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Posted 08 August 2012 - 10:39 AM

I dont see how killing a mentally impaired individual is any more cruel then killing a guy with average intelligence.


Do you see the difference between killing a child and killing a guy with average intellegnce?
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#27 JLumme

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Posted 08 August 2012 - 10:41 AM

Eye for an eye, Canada is too easygoing on stuff like this. If a person kills another person, I think letting them sit in jail with 3 meals a day, that we pay for is rediculous.


It's more expensive to execute someone than it is to imprison them for the rest of their lives.

Next flawed argument supporting capital punishment please...
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#28 Zoolander

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Posted 08 August 2012 - 10:43 AM

What if they murder someone you hate and despise? .. is it OK then??



Yes, if an assassin took out Hitler, or someone that was killing other people, I'd say it is justifiable. It depends on the person and how innocent they are.
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#29 inane

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Posted 08 August 2012 - 10:43 AM

Eye for an eye, Canada is too easygoing on stuff like this. If a person kills another person, I think letting them sit in jail with 3 meals a day, that we pay for is rediculous.


what was that that someone said about eye for an eye?

/rollseyes (yes i went there)
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#30 Zoolander

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Posted 08 August 2012 - 10:46 AM

Do you see the difference between killing a child and killing a guy with average intellegnce?


If they are in jail, I'd hardly compare them to a child, that's implying that they're innocent..

So yes, I don't think there should be a difference on how harsh the punishment is based on the person's intelligence.
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