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RE: JUDICIAL ACTIONS -- Science versus the Death Penalty

Jan 21, 2006 06:53 AM
by W.Dallas TenBroeck

1/21/2006 5:56 AM

RE: JUDICIAL ACTIONS -- Science versus the Death Penalty

Hi Steve:

Thanks as always for your good thoughts.

In my opinion: The question of judicial equity and judgment is current so
much now, in these days of threatening terrorists, local criminals of all
kinds, and fearful men and women everywhere. 

Ask also if any "war" or "pre-emptive strikes" are justified. 

Is crime, vandalism, murder, torture, robbery, destruction, etc. 'right' if
wielded politically ? 

What is the difference between a person, a child, a weaker or impaired
individual, and a whole country? Are there fair two-tiered or two-level
attitudes in this? Why not have a "United World" instead of merely a small,
strong, violent and enforcive: "United States." Have we the right to
invade, destroy and kill because of a bad "government ?" How many people
like us in Iraq {to use an example) have lost their near and dear ones ?
Can they "love the U S A ?" 

What is the true value of any human life ? Is it relevant to politics and
society -- or the very intrusive and subtle idea that "those over there"
have less value that "we over here." 

It is the old ploy: "I am the bully with the BIG STICK. So you had better
do what I say, and immediately, - OR ELSE .." MY MIGHT IS THE ONLY RIGHT
...!!!!!!! ??????? 

All human judgments of other human's character or acts are dangerous. They
interfere with the action of impartial and just Karma - which is UNIVERSAL,
IMPARTIAL, IMPERSONAL, and relentlessly covers those aspects of Karma for
that individual (or nation, or religion) which are unknown and most times,
unknowable by us. 

We are meddling and trifling with NATURE'S LAW and THAT is UNIVERSAL No

I am sure, needlessly we entangle ourselves with many strands of others'
Karma and draw to our selves the hate and resentment of individuals - is
that desirable ? What will be our future in lives ahead ? 

I think if we probe our own motives, we will discover that ours are (to some
extent) mainly REVENGE; and our desire (?) for a prompt and visible
redress, involves us in trying to act as though we are Karma for the

Do you think incarceration in one of our prisons (or limitations imposed on
a country, professed religious beliefs, or tribe, etc.. is a social and
cultural improvement? It is called a punishment -- because freedom is
restricted - 

But what is actually done to benefit the individual? We have shelved him or
her for a time - so ? -- so what aspect usually emerges? The Kamic - the
dark side in most of those so treated. 

The system that has been evolved, sounds on surface, as a form of equity -
but (to me it sounds) its only getting a nasty problem "out of our hair" for
a while. - Our ability to truly discover culpability and assess a useful
and compassionate redress that is reformative and self-educative seem to
lack -- for me to see.

In many cases, when freedom is restored, do we not find that revenge, fear
and punishment continue? 

-- fear of further rape, molesting, theft, extortion, etc... Most feel that
the "debt to society" has not been truly or usefully discharged. Then some
take "justice" into their own hands, and -- do worse.

Most believe that the former culprit's character has NOT been reformed by
imprisonment alone. 

And what about those who have been wrongly (yet judicially) been proved NOT
GUILTY at a later date? Can their time so wrongfully denied (in this
incarnation) be restored my a monetary payment alone ? 

There is great inconsistency here?

What then is the "gentlest sentence that can be imposed?" WHO HAS THE

At best banishment or exile might work - the isolation and hardships of a
"no contact" kind. A deserted island ? 

Best wishes,



-----Original Message-----
From: steven L
Sent: Friday, January 20, 2006 7:30 AM
Subject: JUDICIAL ACTIONS -: Science versus the Death Penalty ?

I wonder if the fact that the law regarding death penalties, and all
other general court proceedings, being put in the hands of the people (as in
the jury formen's decision) isn't a certain kind of justice in itself. it
seems to me that it might mark the actual evolutionary character of our
culture, in the sense that we are permitted, by our criminal statutes, to
put each other to death. In truth, the jury has been put in the position to
actually bear the responsibility of being the Judge. The courts are
absolutely bound up in technicalities and personalities, so that the lawyers
and the actual Judge, are incapable of any kind of objectivety. In fact
thery seem very willing to abdicate. Therefore, in practice, the entire
weight of the decision is on the jury. 

To my mind, this puts the judgement, given the state of general moral
atmosphere, squarely where it belongs. This is similar to Jefferson's
statement: The people get the president they deserve (paraphrase). This is
the karma of our day. Yes, we are all responsible for our decisions and
actions, but the general ignorance of an "Absolute" sense of ethics based in
an awareness of the actual mathematics of the Law of retribution and
equality, leaves the majority incapabale of trying their contemporaries any
differently than they do. I should say, "we do", because I've been on a
jury, and given the court atmosphere, the weight of judgement really does
fall squarely on ones shoulders. To me this is thrilling, but the crimes
committed these days are a reflection of all of us, and that is anything but

So, just some thoughts of mine.


----- Original Message ----- 

From: Roberto <> N. Lupercio 


Sent: Wednesday, January 18, 2006 9:56 PM

Subject Re: Science versus the Death Penalty

Hi Leo,

Here is an idea why not.


[Lucifer, Vol. VI, No. 34, June, 1890, p. 335]

Having read with much interest in Theosophical Siftings [Vol. III, 1890-91]
the article by Dr. Franz Hartmann on "Capital Punishment," I venture to ask
your opinion on the subject. I have long been sure that it is both useless
and wrong to put murderers to death-convinced by the same reasons which Dr.
Hartmann puts so cogently. Moreover, I have often maintained that since two
wrongs do not make a right, matters cannot be mended by killing the man who
has taken the life of another. Hence I feel that should I be called to serve
on a jury in such a trial, I must either declare my views at the outset,
which might result in the choice of a "hanging" juryman in my place, or
serve with the intention of not convicting the accused of wilful murder, no
matter how guilty he might be proved. If that course were only to result in
keeping the criminal in custody for the rest of his natural life, my
conscience would be clear; but, as it might easily set him again at liberty,
I feel in a dilemma. Will you kindly say in your next issue what your
opinion is, and help perhaps more than one. 


Answer We are equally with yourself opposed to capital punishment,
so that your difficulty becomes our own. In the first place the "head" only
of the juryman has to decide whether or not the accused has committed
murder, and this is all the so-called "law" requires of him. Practically,
however, since the juryman has, or ought to have, a "heart," the law
neglects an important factor in the problem, for if it punishes murder with
death, the juryman, in deciding for a verdict of guilty, of necessity
becomes an accessory in a fresh murder. 

But the "heart" of the people is beginning to protest against this "eye for
an eye" code and is refusing to render evil for evil. 

Capital punishment is nothing but a relic of Jewish barbarity. So that we
are of opinion that this feeling should be fostered by open protest on every
occasion, and by a refusal to participate in such half-human proceedings. 

The true physician cures the disease, and does not kill his patient. 

But we are afraid that the murder-doctors are in the majority for the
moment, so that we can only protest.-[EDS.] 



Interesting isn't it.

Best Regards

Roberto L.


-----Original Message----- 
From: Leon M 
Sent: Jan 17, 2006 11:57 AM 
Subject: : Science versus the Death Penalty 

Aside from the theosophical moral considerations -- here's how scientific
materialists consider why the death penalty in criminal cases is wrong. Can
this approach assist the universal acceptance of the theosophical principles
and their application toward furthering brotherhood and respect for the
sanctity of all life? If so, how so, and if not, why not? 

** Science versus the Death Penalty (Commentary in Scientific American's

Last December was a special month for U.S. executions. North Carolina gave a
lethal injection to Kenneth Boyd, making him the 1,000th person to be
executed since the 1976 Supreme Court decision to allow the reinstatement of
the death penalty. Soon thereafter, on December 13, California put to death
Crip gang founder Stanley "Tookie" Williams.

The U.S. remains the only developed Western nation to permit
executions despite serious flaws in the system. No need for any
pacifist proclivity or liberal leaning to see that--just look at the

[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]


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