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So let's say you were arrested on a couple of real charges, like murder/home invasion/felony murder or something of the sort. And let's say this happened in a death-penalty state. And I know this wouldn't be likely to happen but let's just say you were given these two options:
*Taking a plea deal with life/no-parole sentence
*Not taking a plea deal and trying to get the death penalty for your crimes
Note: I know that there's all kinds of appeal processes and other things that you can undertake to try to get your sentence reduced or whatever, but let's just say that in this hypothetical situation your only two options are as I described above. So no appeals, no pardons from the governer, no letters to the President or your congressman. Life in prison or the needle.
My take on this: I personally think that taking the death penalty would be a much better alternative. Here's how I see this. Once you become condemned or placed on death row, not only do you get more respect in the criminal underworld, you also get separately housed and you're likely to get your own cell. Most condemned inmates spend 5-10 years on death row after which they execute you. The execution itself is quite painless. They sedate you and then administer 3 different toxins, so you pretty much just fall asleep and never wake up.
On the other hand, taking a life-no-parole sentence would mean spending the rest of your days incarcerated, regretting what you did and lusting after a normal ass civilian life. There'd be more stability for you in that you'd get a place to sleep and 3 meals a day. For good behavior and staying on the administration's good side you could score some neat jobs in prison or maybe some rehabilitation and classes or what not. However, most lifers get placed in general population with all the other inmates and that's where all the difficulties and implications associated with prison emerge. On every yard there's gangs, politics, racial tensions and all kinds of pitfalls. Staying by yourself and not joining a gang would instantly get you preyed upon, while cliquing up with some faction could get you caught up in all kinds of bullshit. To make your bones you would definitely have to do some dirt, possibly even kill or stab someone. Blood in, blood out.
What most people think on this: Oh no! Death penalty means they kill you! (D'uh)
You're crazy! Life is so precious! How can you pick death over life?
Life in jail wouldn't be too bad! Some joints have TV's, cigarettes, conjugal visits. etc. etc.
What do you guys think? Is life in prison worth living? Is a shitty life worth living? Would you rather pick the death penalty over life in prison?
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How about trying to escape? You should add that as a third option.
See the film "Shawshank Redemption" with Morgan Freeman. There are a lot of good life lessons in that film about the "prison of life".
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3 posts • Page 1 of 1
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