What's your opinion on capital punishment?

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What's your opinion on capital punishment?

Post by unhortodox on Tue Feb 21, 2012 8:36 am

What's your opinion on capital punishment?

I know that the occidental states are bourgeoises so the western justice is clearly bourgeoise.

But I want to ask you: in a socialist/syndicalist republic there will be the possibility to reintroduce capital punishment for capitalists but also for rapists, mafia-men, serial killers etc...?

I mean: capital punishment throught popular courts.

Thanx for the answers.
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Re: What's your opinion on capital punishment?

Post by TheocWulf on Tue Feb 21, 2012 12:31 pm

unhortodox wrote:What's your opinion on capital punishment?

I know that the occidental states are bourgeoises so the western justice is clearly bourgeoise.

But I want to ask you: in a socialist/syndicalist republic there will be the possibility to reintroduce capital punishment for capitalists but also for rapists, mafia-men, serial killers etc...?

I mean: capital punishment throught popular courts.

Thanx for the answers.

Im ok with it,As long as the people themselves get to decide what crimes would merit said sentance and not a ruleing elite of judges and politicians.

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Re: What's your opinion on capital punishment?

Post by Celtiberian on Tue Feb 21, 2012 3:42 pm

I'm in favor of capital punishment. Serial killers, child molesters, and serial rapists have forfeited their right to life, as far as I'm concerned. However, an extremely high burden of proof should be met before issuing a death sentence; the maximum sentence issued for cases based exclusively upon circumstantial evidence should be life imprisonment.

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Re: What's your opinion on capital punishment?

Post by Red Aegis on Tue Feb 21, 2012 6:45 pm

I don't agree with capital punishment, due to it being vengeance and not justice.

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Re: What's your opinion on capital punishment?

Post by Celtiberian on Tue Feb 21, 2012 7:06 pm

Red Aegis wrote:I don't agree with capital punishment, due to it being vengeance and not justice.

How is imprisonment anymore just than capital punishment? If you end or psychologically destroy a human life, why should mercy be shown to you?

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Re: What's your opinion on capital punishment?

Post by Red Aegis on Tue Feb 21, 2012 7:27 pm

Regardless of their actions, they are still people and thus cannot be justifiably murdered no matter what they have done, unless they present an imminent threat. Imprisonment eliminates such threats and prevents a reoccurrence of said behavior.

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Re: What's your opinion on capital punishment?

Post by Celtiberian on Tue Feb 21, 2012 7:41 pm

Red Aegis wrote:Regardless of their actions, they are still people and thus cannot be justifiably murdered no matter what they have done

On what do you base this viewpoint? It appears to be little more than your subjective opinion, in which case my own is just as valid as yours.

Imprisonment eliminates such threats and prevents a reoccurrence of said behavior.

They pose a threat to the inmate population and prison guards. Moreover, the form of criminal justice you propose would permit such convicts to live out the duration of their lives, whereas the individuals they murdered were obviously afforded no such luxury. In the case of rape victims and molested children, they are condemned to a life of psychological trauma. In what sense can this be considered fair?


Last edited by Celtiberian on Tue Feb 21, 2012 7:54 pm; edited 1 time in total

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Re: What's your opinion on capital punishment?

Post by Red Aegis on Tue Feb 21, 2012 7:54 pm

Are you saying that pain should be met with equal pain? Do you support something so Hamurabi-esque? When you say that your viewpoint is just as valid what makes your view any better than Hamurabi's? I don't actually think that you believe that theives should have their hands cut off, of course, but calling our views equal due to them being opinions allows for extremes to be taken for any action due to the excuse of having different opinions.

I think that the point of prisons should be to protect society from further harm and rehabilitate individuals if possible. Capital punishment does not fit into the second criteria. Do you think that the justice system should have other reasons for action?

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Re: What's your opinion on capital punishment?

Post by Leon Mcnichol on Tue Feb 21, 2012 7:58 pm

I'm against capital punishment, mainly because i don't see it as an harsh enough penalty. A life of forced quasi-slave labour for society is a much harsher penalty in my book, and is more pragmatic as well. Instead of telling people "we can take your lives, but you can't take someone's life", we tell people "you committed a very serious crime, so now you will give the rest of your life to serve the community", without any reward for yourself, and with prevalent harsh conditions and labour induced suffering.

I personally think the death penalty is pure irrational vengeance, and that doesn't serve justice well, not to mention being a contradiction that there will be "legalized" murderers working for the state.

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Re: What's your opinion on capital punishment?

Post by Red Aegis on Tue Feb 21, 2012 8:00 pm

What you're suggesting is vengeance as well, however pragmatic. What more, it is vengeance via slavery.

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Re: What's your opinion on capital punishment?

Post by Leon Mcnichol on Tue Feb 21, 2012 8:15 pm

Red Aegis wrote:What you're suggesting is vengeance as well, however pragmatic. What more, it is vengeance via slavery.

I prefer the term "compensation". Killing someone is a crime against the community as a whole, because it ultimately makes the society less "safe". As such, an individual who committed such a crime will compensate the same community he endangered with is own work. Sitting idle in a prison is meaningless in the case of such serious crimes, because the criminal won't be doing anything useful, nor will society view it as a punishment for the crime he committed. Now, how long the penalty is, can depend of a more scientific approach than just "all life, and serves him well", but i don't think a penalty should only be about "reforming" the criminal. This basically mocks the victims, and society as a whole, who has to see clearly dangerous individuals being "scolded" by psychologists, while laying in sofas.

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Re: What's your opinion on capital punishment?

Post by Celtiberian on Tue Feb 21, 2012 8:20 pm

Red Aegis wrote:Are you saying that pain should be met with equal pain? Do you support something so Hamurabi-esque? When you say that your viewpoint is just as valid what makes your view any better than Hamurabi's? I don't actually think that you believe that theives should have their hands cut off, of course, but calling our views equal due to them being opinions allows for extremes to be taken for any action due to the excuse of having different opinions.

Neither of our views can be vindicated empirically or logically, so they are equally subjective and, therefore, of the same value. You can attempt to buttress your position using some moral doctrine, but I could just as easily defend mine doing likewise. Whether my stance on capital punishment can be found in the Code of Hammurabi or not is irrelevant to me and does nothing to support your view.

I think that the point of prisons should be to protect society from further harm and rehabilitate individuals if possible. Capital punishment does not fit into the second criteria. Do you think that the justice system should have other reasons for action?

I've yet to be presented with any credible evidence that serial killers, child molesters, or serial rapists are capable of being rehabilitated. In all likelihood, they suffer from an innate psychological illness that is immutable after a certain point has been reached—e.g., some individuals are probably born with a genetic predisposition to psychopathic behavior which, should they experience a particular environmental stimuli, is activated (and irreversibly so).

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Re: What's your opinion on capital punishment?

Post by Red Aegis on Tue Feb 21, 2012 8:57 pm

The point is to try and re-rehabilitate them, and if they are wired that way then they should be pitied for not being able to be a part of society. That said, those categories would be the ones to never leave the prison. I don't know what is so controversial about what I've said.

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Re: What's your opinion on capital punishment?

Post by Celtiberian on Tue Feb 21, 2012 9:32 pm

Red Aegis wrote:The point is to try and re-rehabilitate them

Even if they could be rehabilitated, that doesn't imply that society should invest time and resources into doing so. As I wrote earlier, they chose to destroy human life and, in my opinion, should pay for it with their own life.

and if they are wired that way then they should be pitied for not being able to be a part of society.

I don't pity lifeforms incapable of empathy and which have callously destroyed the lives of innocent people. If there were some way to preemptively screen for psychopaths in the population and segregate them from society, I would be in favor of such a measure. Unfortunately, I don't see how that could be accomplished given our current state of technology without carrying the possibility of there being false positives reported, and without egregiously violating our privacy in some manner. There are certain consistent patterns of behavior serial killers exhibit early in life, such as murdering and/or torturing animals, and perhaps individuals who've been reported as exhibiting those traits should be observed more closely by law enforcement—but even this would be fairly risky (given the fallibility of trained psychologists) and a heavy trade off of our personal liberty in favor of security.

I don't know what is so controversial about what I've said.

There's nothing particularly controversial about your position, I just happen to disagree with it (as does a broad segment of the nation).

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Re: What's your opinion on capital punishment?

Post by Red Aegis on Tue Feb 21, 2012 10:02 pm

Fair enough. I agree to disagree.

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Re: What's your opinion on capital punishment?

Post by Rev Scare on Tue Feb 21, 2012 10:50 pm

I am fully in favor of capital punishment. It should be issued in cases only where direct evidence is found to link a suspect to a crime beyond a reasonable doubt. Guilty verdicts for capital crimes based solely upon circumstantial evidence should carry a maximum sentence of life imprisonment without the possibility of parole. Prison labor in proportion to the severity of the crime in addition to prison time (or execution) is a desirable possibility.

For those who consider the death penalty to be too light a sentence or immoral, I find the arguments presented unconvincing and unmoving. It is not immoral to punish those who violate the rights of society (i.e., the rights of other people apart from themselves). Capital punishment is no more "murder" (by definition, murder is the unlawful and premeditated killing of another person; which entity, if not society, should establish what is lawful?) than simple confinement to a prison cell is kidnapping. Any "pragmatic" considerations for substituting "quasi-slave labor" in place of the death sentence are such that I can only regard them as trivial: there is no compelling reason to believe that the forced labor of a small minority who would otherwise sit on death row would produce a discernible economic impact, let alone serve as a necessary inclusion.

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Re: What's your opinion on capital punishment?

Post by Leon Mcnichol on Tue Feb 21, 2012 11:04 pm

Rev Scare wrote:I am fully in favor of capital punishment. It should be issued in cases only where direct evidence is found to link a suspect to a crime beyond a reasonable doubt. Guilty verdicts for capital crimes based solely upon circumstantial evidence should carry a maximum sentence of life imprisonment without the possibility of parole. Prison labor in proportion to the severity of the crime in addition to prison time (or execution) is a desirable possibility.

For those who consider the death penalty to be too light a sentence or immoral, I find the arguments presented unconvincing and unmoving. It is not immoral to punish those who violate the rights of society (i.e., the rights of other people apart from themselves). Capital punishment is no more "murder" (by definition, murder is the unlawful and premeditated killing of a person; which entity, if not society, should establish what is lawful?) than simple confinement to a prison cell is kidnapping. Any "pragmatic" considerations for substituting "quasi-slave labor" in place of the death sentence are such that I can only regard them as trivial: there is no compelling reason to believe that the forced labor of a small minority who would otherwise sit on death row would produce a discernible economic impact, let alone serve as a necessary inclusion.

You, and Celtiberian, contradict yourselves when you say that capital punishment is perfectly "moral", and then want to kill people because they killed someone. Equating imprisoning with kidnapping is a straw man, because the whole point of imprisoning is to remove the danger to society posed by such individuals, not just "punish" them by removing their freedom. Such reasoning could be echoed in the old english penalty of deporting prisoners to Australian even.

As for the economic impact of forced labour, who says there had to be one in the first place? I happen to believe that if you did something wrong, a sentence should be put forth in order to make the individual compensate a group in some way for what he did, and to provide an "example" of what you can expect if you do the same. Killing the individual achieves none of this. Not only won't the individual compensate society in any way, nor will anybody who has nothing to lose really see a merciful death as anything frightening, as it's proved by the crime rate of the US vs the crime rate in countries where capital punishment is abolished.

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Re: What's your opinion on capital punishment?

Post by Rev Scare on Wed Feb 22, 2012 12:06 am

Leon Mcnichol wrote:You, and Celtiberian, contradict yourselves when you say that capital punishment is perfectly "moral", and then want to kill people because they killed someone.
I fail to see the contradiction in anything I've stated. Simply because capital punishment fails to meet your subjective standard of morality does not render it immoral from my own perspective.

Equating imprisoning with kidnapping is a straw man, because the whole point of imprisoning is to remove the danger to society posed by such individuals, not just "punish" them by removing their freedom. Such reasoning could be echoed in the old english penalty of deporting prisoners to Australian even.
How so? Of course there is a restrictive basis for imprisonment (and the death penalty), but I have not denied this, nor does it run counter to my argument. However, one cannot simply circumvent the punitive aspect of restricting freedom due to criminal actions.

As for the economic impact of forced labour, who says there had to be one in the first place? I happen to believe that if you did something wrong, a sentence should be put forth in order to make the individual compensate a group in some way for what he did, and to provide an "example" of what you can expect if you do the same. Killing the individual achieves none of this. Not only won't the individual compensate society in any way, nor will anybody who has nothing to lose really see a merciful death as anything frightening, as it's proved by the crime rate of the US vs the crime rate in countries where capital punishment is abolished.

I view death to be compensation enough, and is it not a most impressionable example of what an individual may expect should they commit a particularly heinous crime? I believe that most people view the forfeiture of one's life to be the highest price anybody could pay for a crime. The anti-social member is extricated and either restrained or eliminated. You have failed to establish why mere incarceration is a superior alternative to execution, apart from the fact that it offends your sense of justice, and what worthy "compensation" (apart from forced labor, which I claim produces negligible consequences) would suffice.

If somebody brutally raped and killed my sister, for example, I would want death for them (far more than that, but that is neither here nor there).


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Re: What's your opinion on capital punishment?

Post by Celtiberian on Wed Feb 22, 2012 12:14 am

Leon Mcnichol wrote:You, and Celtiberian, contradict yourselves when you say that capital punishment is perfectly "moral", and then want to kill people because they killed someone.

I never claimed that capital punishment is inherently "moral." There are no objectively moral or immoral answers to this question. The rationale for my position is rather straightforward: if someone takes the life a several innocent people (i.e., they're a convicted serial killer) or causes a lifetime of heinous trauma to innocent people (i.e., they're a serial rapist or child molester), they have forfeited their right to continue living. Whether attributable to innate psychological illness or free will alone, they should no longer have a right to continue to sustain their lives using the social product, and their victims should have a right to retribution in the form of their assailant's life. It's an ethic which a nation can either choose to adopt or reject, neither choice is fundamentally more correct than the other.

Killing the individual achieves none of this. Not only won't the individual compensate society in any way, nor will anybody who has nothing to lose really see a merciful death as anything frightening, as it's proved by the crime rate of the US vs the crime rate in countries where capital punishment is abolished.

Nothing is more frightening to the human psyche than the prospect of death. For instance, if I had to choose between an eternity of penal labor or death, I'd undoubtedly choose the former. As for the death penalty not being a sufficient disincentive for crime, it's unfair to compare the United States' murder rates to those in the European nations which have abolished capital punishment. For example, a lot of murders in the United States (one of the few crimes which carries the possibility of a death sentence) are committed by gangsters in very poor communities. These gangs are fighting with one another over territory in which to sell narcotics. I attribute such behavior to the drug dealers' very low socioeconomic status and the culture of poverty of which they were born into; the Western European nations are comparably better off than the United States in this respect, which, in my opinion, voids the comparison.

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Re: What's your opinion on capital punishment?

Post by Leon Mcnichol on Wed Feb 22, 2012 12:28 am

Rev Scare wrote:I fail to see the contradiction in anything I've stated. Simply because capital punishment fails to meet your subjective standard of morality does not render it immoral from my own perspective.

It's not about my subjective standard of morality. It's about the old "do as i say, not as i do" biased course of action.

How so? Of course there is a restrictive basis for imprisonment (and the death penalty), but I have not denied this, nor does it run counter to my argument. However, one cannot simply circumvent the punitive aspect of restricting freedom due to criminal actions.

Well, unless we have a whole island to deport criminals, we have no alternative to that.

I view death to be compensation enough, and is it not a most impressionable example of what an individual may expect should they commit a particularly heinous crime? I believe that most people view the forfeiture of one's life to be the highest price anybody could pay for a crime. The anti-social member is extricated and either restrained or eliminated. You have failed to establish why mere incarceration is a superior alternative to execution, apart from the fact that it offends your sense of justice, and what worthy "compensation" (apart from forced labor, which I claim produces negligible consequences) would suffice.

If somebody brutally raped and killed my sister, for example, I would want death for them (far more than that, but that is neither here nor there).

Death is a compensation? What will society gain with the death of this individual? Surely the victim and anyone sympathetic may want him/her to die, but the authority cannot be some sort of vigilante who just acts without an once of rationality of pragmatism. And about my "sense of justice", forced labour for your community doesn't give the state a ruthless irrational power do dish out "justice" with no meaningful reason but to appease the victims or those who demand vengeance. It actually provides a path to some sort of punishment/justice that involves giving back something, as opposed to be an act of pure retribution.

Besides, i could make the same argument that it's your "sense of justice" that thinks one penalty is merely "worse" then the other.

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Re: What's your opinion on capital punishment?

Post by Leon Mcnichol on Wed Feb 22, 2012 12:36 am

Celtiberian wrote:I never claimed that capital punishment is inherently "moral." There are no objectively moral or immoral answers to this question. The rationale for my position is rather straightforward: if someone takes the life a several innocent people (i.e., they're a convicted serial killer) or causes a lifetime of heinous trauma to innocent people (i.e., they're a serial rapist or child molester), they have forfeited their right to continue living. Whether attributable to innate psychological illness or free will alone, they should no longer have a right to continue to sustain their lives using the social product, and their victims should have a right to retribution in the form of their assailant's life. It's an ethic which a nation can either choose to adopt or reject, neither choice is fundamentally more correct than the other.

Well, they have forfeited their right to continue living according to what? Your sense of retribution? One individual harms the community, so instead of paying back in some way, it's the state who decides that he should just die? Sure, all morality is subjective, but i don't see what the community in particular will gain with such an ending, apart from maybe appeasing to a sense of vengeance from the victims. And even that is dubious, maybe they would rather see the criminal tortured forever, then what? We should condone that?


Nothing is more frightening to the human psyche than the prospect of death. For instance, if I had to choose between an eternity of penal labor or death, I'd undoubtedly choose the former.

Prove it. I am not so sure. Some people, would rather die than being subjected to prolonged torture or affliction, so witch is worse after all? And does that really matter in the end? We should strive for a compensation for the crime, or for vengeance for the crime?


As for the death penalty not being a sufficient disincentive for crime, it's unfair to compare the United States' murder rates to those in the European nations which have abolished capital punishment. For example, a lot of murders in the United States (one of the few crimes which carries the possibility of a death sentence) are committed by gangsters in very poor communities. These gangs are fighting with one another over territory in which to sell narcotics. I attribute such behavior to the drug dealers very low socioeconomic status and the culture of poverty of which they were born into; the Western European nations are comparably better off than the United States in this respect, which, in my opinion, voids the comparison.

Well, i see a lot of drug related crimes in east europe for example, and still, the crime rate and specially the death toll isn't nearly as high. Now you can say that access to guns makes a difference, and i agree, but then again, that doesn't help the death penalty case either.

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Re: What's your opinion on capital punishment?

Post by Red Aegis on Wed Feb 22, 2012 12:52 am

Rev Scare wrote:If somebody brutally raped and killed my sister, for example, I would want death for them (far more than that, but that is neither here nor there).

I would echo this desire if I was in that position; however, what I would seek would be vengeance and not justice. If you use the argument that this is just my opinion then I say that yours is the worse one. You may not like mine but at least I know that cold justice does not blend well with a hot temper. Projecting your own desires onto another hiding behind "compensation" is, in reality, nothing more than throwing a completely understandable hissy fit. Society should be focused on helping all of it's members and not just the nice ones. It may be true that some people are irredeemable but that does not mean that we should give up. To make the decision to kill, condoned by the mass's emotions or not, is not the decision of men to make for each other. The only time that killing is acceptable is when it would either save life or one's own life. That is a truism of my moral foundation and I say so with pride.

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Re: What's your opinion on capital punishment?

Post by Celtiberian on Wed Feb 22, 2012 1:21 am

Leon Mcnichol wrote:Well, they have forfeited their right to continue living according to what? Your sense of retribution?

Mine, and most other people's sense of retribution, correct.

One individual harms the community, so instead of paying back in some way, it's the state who decides that he should just die?

It's a jury of the defendant's peers which decides whether the evidence and the crime warrant capital punishment.

Sure, all morality is subjective, but i don't see what the community in particular will gain with such an ending, apart from maybe appeasing to a sense of vengeance from the victims.

It's possible that the community benefits from the threat of capital punishment via the sentence discouraging would-be criminals from committing atrocities, out of fear of the reprisal they'd face for doing so. For example, if drinking alcohol suddenly became an illegal crime punishable by death, I can assure you that I (and millions of other people) would abstain from its further consumption.

And even that is dubious, maybe they would rather see the criminal tortured forever, then what? We should condone that?

If I were murdered, I probably would want my assailant to be tortured for a number of years before being executed. However, I realize that's not a reasonable request due to the amount of resources it would require and the general discomfort it would probably give to the community. Lethal injection is humane enough not to offend the sensibilities of most communities, and it's efficient.

Prove it. I am not so sure. Some people, would rather die than being subjected to prolonged torture or affliction, so witch is worse after all?

But you're not proposing torture, you're advocating for penal labor. I don't deny that most people would prefer death to torture, but that's probably the only alternative which is capable of provoking that response. And I can't prove my position without releasing a massive questionnaire and collecting data therefrom. However, I think it's rather obvious that, if presented with the option of working for the rest of their life or being put to death immediately, people would overwhelmingly choose the first option.

And does that really matter in the end? We should strive for a compensation for the crime, of for vengeance for the crime?

The only suitable compensation is vengeance, in my opinion.

Well, i see a lot of drug related crimes in east europe for example, and still, the crime rate and specially the death toll isn't nearly as high. Now you can saw that access to guns makes a difference, and i agree, but then again, that doesn't help the death penalty case either.

It is my understanding that capital punishment exists in much of Eastern Europe today. Furthermore, aggregate crime rates are irrelevant, as the death penalty is only applicable to certain crimes. We would have to compare specifically crimes which carry the possibility of capital punishment in the United States to those in Europe which carry a lesser sentence. It also wouldn't account for the culture of poverty which exists to a far greater extent in poor communities across the United States than in Europe. The point I was trying to convey by mentioning gang warfare in my previous post was the fact that, while they inflate our murder statistics, they really shouldn't be counted since gang activity in general is wholly attributable to cultural and socioeconomic factors. In other words, it's a phenomenon that can be abolished over time and which tends to only affect the gang members themselves. Personally, I don't consider drug dealing, gangster victims of a drive-by shooting to be "innocent people."

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Re: What's your opinion on capital punishment?

Post by Admin on Wed Feb 22, 2012 1:37 am


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Re: What's your opinion on capital punishment?

Post by Leon Mcnichol on Wed Feb 22, 2012 1:43 am

Celtiberian wrote:The only suitable compensation is vengeance, in my opinion.

Well, then i suppose any further debate on the question will not be objective enough, given such deep differences, so i will conclude my contribution to the topic.

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