Death penalty popular among whites

That wiki page you link to makes the same claim:

Violent crime nearly quadrupled between 1960 and its peak in 1991

That chart starts at 1973. This suggests most of the increase was before that.

1960, 179,323,175 pop, 288,460 violent crimes (per capita - 0.0016)
1991 252,153,092 pop, 1,911,767 violent crimes (per capita - 0.0076)

Well, it would have to be, or folks would pack it the fuck in (or, at least, I live in hope they would).

Yeah - but hes funny.

I wouldn’t touch Mother Jones magazine for years, after I read one issue in which there were three or four articles that said, directly, that the world would be a better place if most of humanity were to die off; the harshest of these was an interview with George Carlin. (My impression of that magazine has become much more favorable since then – I’m guessing that was some sort of editorial low point.)

As far as I can tell, Carlin is most popular with progressives who are so demoralized and cynical, they’ve become reactionaries, without fully realizing it.

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I’ll laugh at him, cos he funny, but I am pretty sure Hicks was, in fact, the second coming, and we fucked it up. Again.

Edit: Ok, figured out what the issue is.

The crime rates I referenced – actual reports to police – are much smaller, oddly enough, than the crime rates you reference, which are people’s self-reporting of crime to government surveyers.

So in 1973, the FBI estimated that police received reports of violent crimes that were 417.40 per 100,000. What the graph you posted represents is that in the NCVS survey of 90,000 random households that people told researchers that crime rates were actually 10 times higher than that. In 1973, the NCVS reported the violent crime rate was 4,770 per 100,000.

So what we learned in 1973, if that graph is to be believed, is not that people mistakenly thought the rate of violent crime was much higher than it was, but rather that most of the violent crimes in the country were going unreported and, if anything, official counts prior to 1973 were drastically underestimating the level of violence in America.

But the basic claim still holds…as both the UCR and NCVS counts of violent crime have declined in the U.S., so has support for the death penalty.

Original post:

No, sorry, not false at all The issue seems to be how we measure crime and, oddly enough, may be opposite of your claim that:

“support for the death penalty is frequently based on popular perceptions of reality rather than actual facts.”

There are two ways we tend to measure crime rates: 1) ask police how many people they actually arrested last year for a given crime; and 2) survey households randomly and ask them whether or not they were the victim of a crime.

In the case of violent crime from 1960-1991, the number of violent crimes the FBI reported that were actually reported to police through the UCR increased four-fold, from 160.9 per 100,000 in 1960 to 758.2 per 100,000 in 1991.


The chart above that you posted appears to be based on the NCVS survey…it begins in 1973, which is also when the NCVS began. The NCVS randomly calls 90,000 households and asks respondents questions about crime victimization.

There are many differences in methodology including the fact that the NCVS doesn’t include crimes of violence against children under the age of 12 in its crime estimates while the UCR does.

There’s a fascinating look at the differences here:

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With good reason.
Get over yourself, dude.

George Carlin became popular during his trippy, hippy-dippy days when he still smoked pot. Then he went straight, & became a take no prisoner cynic, in the original sense of the word.

Cynicism is an attitude or state of mind characterized by a general distrust of others’ apparent motives believing that they are selfish in nature1 and/or displaying that themselves.[citation needed] A cynic may have a general lack of faith or hope in the human
race or in individuals with desires, hopes, opinions, or personal
tastes that a cynic perceives as unrealistic or inappropriate, and
therefore deserving of ridicule or admonishment. It is a form of jaded
negativity,[citation needed] and other times, realistic criticism or skepticism. The term originally derives from the ancient Greek philosophers, the Cynics, who rejected all conventions, whether of religion, manners, housing, dress, or decency, instead advocating the pursuit of virtue in accordance with a simple and idealistic way of life.

Since your chart shows over half the rise in favor for the death penalty after 1973, though, that wouldn’t affect the main point either way; the two graphs still don’t closely track one another.

'68 was the high-water mark of the protest movement. Those protestors then got rich over the next 25 years.


Mod note: stay on topic

That’s the only sympathy I have left for the death penalty. I’d say prison should give you the chance to get back to being a productive member of society. If your crimes are that bad and there’s really no chance of your release or rehabilitation, maybe the death penalty would cause less suffering than the other options. I’m still against it, but if the US could never see any possibility of releasing Tsarnaev, I don’t like the idea of punishing him for the next 60 years.

I don’t have a problem with people dying. Some people are fully worthy of death. Not all human lives are equal. I wouldn’t piss on King Jong Un if he was on fire. That said, I am adamantly opposed to the death penalty for three reasons. First, we are incapable of doing it without mistakes and do not apply it equally. The pro death penalty folks are personally responsible for the state sanctioned murder of a horrifying number of utterly innocent people.

Second, even when someone is absolutely guilty, we still might be murdering an innocent person. Tsarnaev might very well be innocent in that he had minimal volition over his actions. Imagine tomorrow we discover that certain people have a chemical switch flipped in their brain wrong that fucks up their empathy, and it is trivial to flip it back. You flip Tsarnaev’s switch and all of a sudden he is horrified to realize what he has done. Whatever you are hoping to get out of executing someone is lost if their crimes could have been prevented with a drug or surgery.

Nah. It just isn’t worth it. We get nothing out of it other than maybe some mild satisfaction that your violate ape half gets when it sees someone get what’s coming. We certainly lose a lot though. We murder innocent people to be sure. Beyond that, it affects us internationally. The use can’t get renditions on some folks because many other nations have laws against handing over people to be killed. It just makes us barbaric and lets places like China whitewash their own nasty habit of executing people.


And the third reason?

I know we have overwhelming evidence (video, etc) that he did this, but should this EVER be true? In any case, even this one?

Our entire justice system, in theory, is contrary to that sentiment right there - innocent before proven guilty. We all know it doesn’t work that way, however. People of color are overwhelmingly seen as guilty before they ever set foot in a courtroom. The Tsarnaev case is no exception. Either we push for a system that is actual equitably, or we continue with the BS system we have. The system will only improve if we push it to improve. That includes cases that stir us emotionally and make us feel deeply unsafe, like this one.

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According to the worst of the evangelicals God only loves you until you hit puberty, then you can rot for all they care.

That was my thought… The old saw about no old liberals.

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