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27 / M / Straight / Seeing someone
Staten Island, New York
His journal posts
Aug 17, 2010
I am a staunch opponent of the death penalty. It is one of the most important political beliefs of mine. And I get into arguments about it with people a lot. Arguments for the death penalty are often "common sense" arguments that are shown false by statistics, such as, "The death penalty serves as a deterrent to potential criminals," (in actuality, jurisdictions with the death penalty generally have higher murder rates), or, "Why pay to keep a murderer alive?" (the death penalty costs more than life in prison, as studies have repeatedly shown.)
One of the most common, however, fails not in fact but in philosophy: The argument that the death penalty brings restitution to the victims of the families. It is often phrased as, "What if your loved one were murdered? Wouldn't you be in favor of the death penalty then?"
Long answer to this argument: I possibly would. I'll even go so far as to say I probably would. But then, if I were the victim's family, I'd be the last person anybody should ask about a just punishment.
There is a legal process called "voir dire." It is when potential jurors are interviewed by both the defense lawyer and the prosecuting lawyer (in a criminal case, with the judge present) to ensure that no bias either way exists in the mind of any particular juror. This process can take several days. It is very extensive. This is done because people who are too close to the case are unable to render a fair judgment. Read that again: People who are too close to the case are unable to render a fair judgment. So if we wouldn't let a victim's family member serve on a jury, why would we let them determine the punishment? In other words, victims' families don't have a special right to judgment.
When a criminal is brought to trial, the trial is not labelled, "Victim v. Defendant." It is labelled, "The People v. Defendant." Why? Because it is not the victim's interests that are primarily at stake. Criminals are tried by the people, because it is the interests of the people that are at stake. And it is in the people's best interest not to kill convicts, for a number of reasons: cost; reverse deterrence; possibility of killing the innocent; and most importantly of all, ethics. Why commit more violence than is necessary? Would good does it serve to take a life when there is no need to?
Anyway, that's the long answer. The short answer is: Is the question any more relevant than, "What if it was your loved one on trial for murder? Wouldn't you be opposed to the death penalty then?"
Jun 29, 2010
A British dwarf who was performing at the 'Edinburgh Festival' found his penis glued to a vacuum cleaner while preparing for a live show.
Daniel Blackner, known as "Captain Dan the Demon Dwarf"
performed at the Circus of Horrors, known for its oddball and
offbeat performances. As part of the show, the dwarf pulls a Henry
vacuum cleaner using a special attachment, across the show attached
to his penis. However, the vacuum cleaner was broken before a
performance and performer Blackner placed extra-strong glue on the
attachment to fix it, neglecting to wait the entire 20 minutes
required for the glue to dry, which resulted in his penis becoming
glued to the vacuum cleaner.
After being rushed to the A&E department of Edinburgh Royal Infirmary, Blackner was freed after an hour and remarked that: "It was the most embarrassing moment of my life when I got wheeled into a packed A&E with a vacuum attached to me. I just wished the ground could swallow me up. Luckily, they saw me quickly so the embarrassment was short lived."
Hospital sources confirmed that they treated the performer, but a spokesman for the Royal Infirmary said he could not comment on individual cases.