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Thread: Utah lawmaker proposes bringing back firing squads for executions.

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    Utah lawmaker proposes bringing back firing squads for executions.

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    Last edited by scott58dh; 06-15-2014 at 03:48 AM.

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    Anyone here really trust the gov't to be able to do anything right?

    Bet your life on it?

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    Regular Member Gil223's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by davidmcbeth View Post
    Anyone here really trust the gov't to be able to do anything right?

    Bet your life on it?
    a. Outside of our military... no.
    b. I did... for 20 years.

    The difference seems to be that our military forces at the "grunt-level" are well-trained (even if only by repetitive instruction, conducted until they get it right) to do their jobs by technical specialists. They must meet certain established performance standards in order to move from one phase of training to the next, more advanced phase - their lives and those of their comrades-in-arms depend on it! Many - if not most - military personnel are trained in more than one job classification. (BT-DT)

    On the other hand, the civilians working for the government at the "grunt level" are generally trained by other bored, unmotivated, overpaid, civilian AFSCME union members (with NO real "training" skills) to the initial level of knowing their schedule (what time breaks are, the best hiding places to kill time, how to make one day's work last for three days, etc). Most of the civilian "job training" is hands-on, with little-to-no direct supervision during "training", and their end product only has to be "close enough for government work". Sub-standard performance is indemnified by their union membership. (BT-DT, too)

    That's my 2 worth. Pax...
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    I fail to see a problem here. Dead is dead, and bullets cost FAR less than the juice needed for Ol' Sparky, or the chemicals needed for the green needle. Once the government has decided that someone needs to be killed, not much will change their minds. Might as well be efficient about it.

    Plus, firing squads open up all kinds of room for awesome last words. "Take a step forward lads - it'll be easier that way." by Robert Erskine Childers for example, or "Ik schiet beter!" (I could shoot better!) by Hannie Schaft, whilst being executed by some Nazis with particularly poor aim, who's first rounds either missed entirely, or only wounded her (accounts vary).
    Last edited by Gallowmere; 05-19-2014 at 10:53 PM.
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    Yes, but the FDA will step in and claim high velocity lead poisioning isn't "approved."
    Lower the crime rate by lowering the criminal survival rate!
    When people say 'God Bless America' I'm sure He says, "I gave you Texas!"

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    Quote Originally Posted by mark-in-texas View Post
    Yes, but the FDA will step in and claim high velocity lead poisioning isn't "approved."
    There's a simple solution to that. Just use bullets with a TCJ, and a steel core. Might have to shoot a few times though, because those boogers tend to just go straight through, with relatively little trauma caused. Hmmm...maybe put some kevlar on the person to be executed, just to slow them down a bit as they pass through. Call it "more humane".
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    I opposed eliminating the firing squad in the first place and would favor bringing it back. It was eliminated only because legislators thought it brought "too much attention" to Utah's executions.

    Well, as a proponent of capital punishment, I'm also a proponent of having a certain amount of "attention" on executions.

    First of all, I'd like criminals to be well aware of the fact that not only is capital punishment a theoretical possibility in Utah, but that it really does happen (at least from time to time).

    More importantly, I'd like judges, juries, legislators, and the electorate at large to be fully cognizant of what capital punishment is. It is the deliberate, state-sanctioned, ending of a human life. Even when richly deserved, even required, capital punishment is a most serious matter. It ought to make decent men--even among its most ardent supporters--pause, and be uncomfortable.

    While decent men and any others who abide the constitutional prohibition against cruel and unusual punishment do not wish to see condemned persons tortured or suffering for the sake of suffering, neither should we wish to see executions become so sterile that they don't rouse in us some discomfort. I'm reminded of the old Star Trek (the original series) episode entitled "A Taste of Armageddon" in which two worlds are waging war via computer games with no damage to infrastructure, and with death so clean and painless there is no reason to work for peace. Just as the horrors of real war should give us pause in rushing to war, so too, I believe, capital punishment should not be so clean as to not give us cause for pause before employing it.

    On top of that, bullets to the heart are effective and humane. They are not entirely without some pain and discomfort, but do not rise anywhere close to the level of cruel or unusual punishment banned in a day when torturous executions including drawing and quartering, strangulation hanging, the rack, the iron maiden, and other such implements were common. Indeed, following WWII and the Nuremberg trials, the condemned Nazis requested/demanded that their sentences be carried out by firing squad rather than hanging. They were denied on the basis that firing squad was reserved for executions of honorable soldiers, while common criminals were to be hanged. But firing squad is less prone to torturous errors than is hanging. It is immune to problems of bad veins that will impede execution by IV. Firing squads do not require any medical expertise. They don't require any specialized equipment, nor any on-going supply of special drugs.

    If necessary, a small modification to the procedure to include a second volley to the head should the volley to the heart not result in death within some prescribed, short time, would impose an upper time limit on any pain felt by the condemned. It is more messy, and precludes any open-casket funeral. But that is the least of the risks one takes if s/he commits a capital crime.

    Charles

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    Regular Member F350's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gil223 View Post
    a. Outside of our military... no.
    b. I did... for 20 years.

    T

    On the other hand, the civilians working for the government at the "grunt level" are generally trained by other bored, unmotivated, overpaid, civilian AFSCME union members (with NO real "training" skills) to the initial level of knowing their schedule (what time breaks are, the best hiding places to kill time, how to make one day's work last for three days, etc). Most of the civilian "job training" is hands-on, with little-to-no direct supervision during "training", and their end product only has to be "close enough for government work". Sub-standard performance is indemnified by their union membership. (BT-DT, too)

    That's my 2 worth. Pax...
    I rather resent that characterization; as a telecommunications tech with 25+ years experience and more training seminars than I can count I was infinitely more competent than any 19/20 yr old army type with one class on one switch I worked with during 2 years in Iraq. AND I might add more dedicated to maintaining a communications network, most of the army KIDS just wanted to play video games and listen to rap.

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    Quote Originally Posted by F350 View Post
    I rather resent that characterization; as a telecommunications tech with 25+ years experience and more training seminars than I can count I was infinitely more competent than any 19/20 yr old army type with one class on one switch I worked with during 2 years in Iraq. AND I might add more dedicated to maintaining a communications network, most of the army KIDS just wanted to play video games and listen to rap.
    The problem with generalizations is that there's always somebody that tkes it personally. I do not know you, and I did not address my comments to you specifically. That is strictly my opinion, based on over 20 years of working around and with civilian government employees, and I will stand by what I said in a general sense. Pax...
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    Now, to the subject of Utah's tradition of execution by firing squad. The cost of the drugs used in lethal injections runs from just under $84 to $1,287 (StanDown Texas Project - an anti-death penalty group). That kinda runs the gamut from not bad, to OMG! Both electricity and bullets (30.06 - $1.50 per rnd) are MUCH less expensive, and rope is a "renewable (reusable) resource". I believe in capital punishment for any heinous offense, which in my world would include at the minimum murder, arson involving loss of life, rape, torture, kidnapping and intentional maiming. There are people among us who are truly evil, and are beyond any hope of redemption and reintroduction to society (the perpetrators of the Hi-Fi Shop murders of 1974, in Ogden UT were three such individuals. Two of them committed four of the six aforementioned crimes in a single episode, the third never entered the shop). Oddly, in my world there would not be "hate crimes". Attitude is not a crime, it is a state of mind. We have identified and codified every conceivable physical act of crime, and in those crimes there must be an act which results in some "loss" experienced by the victim. Thoughts are not physical actions - we cannot wish someone dead (well, we can WISH it, but we will be sorely disappointed when our wish is not granted). It would require a physical act to turn that wish into a reality. My 2 worth. Pax...
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    Yo know what's cheaper? The gas chamber. Don't use HCN (hydrogen cyanide), use carbon monoxide. Cheaper than bullets and cleaner. Hook up a four cycle motorcycle engine to the chamber and get it going. 5 minutes later, the guy is dead.

    Or use nitrogen. A few years back some guys at NASA in Texas (IIRC) died when they walked into a chamber using nitrogen and it hadn't been vented yet. They felt no pain or anxiety. They were dead before they hit the floor.

    Or reopen some of the abandoned coal mines and throw them in there. Close it up, and the hydrogen/methane/nitrogen/oxygen mix'll kill them. Though far more enjoyable. With that stuff you start hallucinating. A friend had a couple old coal mines on his ranch and we checked out the fossils inside one. I assure you, the H/CH3/N/O mix will get you seeing all sorts of weird ****. That stuff's better than Nitrous.

    Or dump them in Lake Powell just up from the dam. 800'+ deep and once they get sucked into the hydroelectric genny intake, they're fish food for the next 20 miles downstream. No charge, no autopsy, no burial. Best deal yet.
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    Lightbulb

    Quote Originally Posted by Logan 5 View Post
    Yo know what's cheaper? The gas chamber. Don't use HCN (hydrogen cyanide), use carbon monoxide. Cheaper than bullets and cleaner. Hook up a four cycle motorcycle engine to the chamber and get it going. 5 minutes later, the guy is dead.

    Or use nitrogen. A few years back some guys at NASA in Texas (IIRC) died when they walked into a chamber using nitrogen and it hadn't been vented yet. They felt no pain or anxiety. They were dead before they hit the floor.

    Or reopen some of the abandoned coal mines and throw them in there. Close it up, and the hydrogen/methane/nitrogen/oxygen mix'll kill them. Though far more enjoyable. With that stuff you start hallucinating. A friend had a couple old coal mines on his ranch and we checked out the fossils inside one. I assure you, the H/CH3/N/O mix will get you seeing all sorts of weird ****. That stuff's better than Nitrous.

    Or dump them in Lake Powell just up from the dam. 800'+ deep and once they get sucked into the hydroelectric genny intake, they're fish food for the next 20 miles downstream. No charge, no autopsy, no burial. Best deal yet.
    I like THIS idea...
    Click image for larger version. 

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    Quote Originally Posted by Logan 5 View Post
    Yo know what's cheaper? The gas chamber. Don't use HCN (hydrogen cyanide), use carbon monoxide. Cheaper than bullets and cleaner. Hook up a four cycle motorcycle engine to the chamber and get it going. 5 minutes later, the guy is dead.

    Or use nitrogen. A few years back some guys at NASA in Texas (IIRC) died when they walked into a chamber using nitrogen and it hadn't been vented yet. They felt no pain or anxiety. They were dead before they hit the floor.

    Or reopen some of the abandoned coal mines and throw them in there. Close it up, and the hydrogen/methane/nitrogen/oxygen mix'll kill them. Though far more enjoyable. With that stuff you start hallucinating. A friend had a couple old coal mines on his ranch and we checked out the fossils inside one. I assure you, the H/CH3/N/O mix will get you seeing all sorts of weird ****. That stuff's better than Nitrous.

    Or dump them in Lake Powell just up from the dam. 800'+ deep and once they get sucked into the hydroelectric genny intake, they're fish food for the next 20 miles downstream. No charge, no autopsy, no burial. Best deal yet.
    I vote for Zyklon B

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    I used to be a proponent of the death penalty, until I realized how utterly fcuked and fallible our "justice" system is.

    Regardless of whether someone deserves execution; it's not a power I want resting in the hands of a corrupt, unaccountable entity like the government.

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    I'm much more in favor of hard labor or worse. There are plenty of government projects that could use it, especially dangerous jobs. Just because their life is forfeit, doesn't mean it should be wasted.

    The hard part is being utterly damn sure you've convicted an evil person.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Logan 5 View Post
    Yo know what's cheaper? The gas chamber. Don't use HCN (hydrogen cyanide), use carbon monoxide. Cheaper than bullets and cleaner. Hook up a four cycle motorcycle engine to the chamber and get it going. 5 minutes later, the guy is dead.

    Or use nitrogen. A few years back some guys at NASA in Texas (IIRC) died when they walked into a chamber using nitrogen and it hadn't been vented yet. They felt no pain or anxiety. They were dead before they hit the floor.

    Or reopen some of the abandoned coal mines and throw them in there. Close it up, and the hydrogen/methane/nitrogen/oxygen mix'll kill them. Though far more enjoyable. With that stuff you start hallucinating. A friend had a couple old coal mines on his ranch and we checked out the fossils inside one. I assure you, the H/CH3/N/O mix will get you seeing all sorts of weird ****. That stuff's better than Nitrous.

    Or dump them in Lake Powell just up from the dam. 800'+ deep and once they get sucked into the hydroelectric genny intake, they're fish food for the next 20 miles downstream. No charge, no autopsy, no burial. Best deal yet.
    Quote Originally Posted by Gil223 View Post
    I like THIS idea...
    Click image for larger version. 

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    Quote Originally Posted by F350 View Post
    I vote for Zyklon B
    Quote Originally Posted by MAC702 View Post
    I'm much more in favor of hard labor or worse. There are plenty of government projects that could use it, especially dangerous jobs. Just because their life is forfeit, doesn't mean it should be wasted.

    The hard part is being utterly damn sure you've convicted an evil person.
    Y'all tend to be some relatively nasty people, based on your suggestions -- which I hope were made tongue-in-cheek. For a group of people that adamantly support the Constitution and the Bill of Rights, I wonder how you missed the "cruel and unusual punishment" part. We are not a savage, vengeful society -- at least I hope we are not -- and when a life is to be taken judicially, it should be the most humane execution possible.

    As for Mac's comment, I am becoming more and more in favor of bringing back the chain gangs to perform work on projects, so long as we can make sure that the corruption shown in "Cool Hand Luke" does not exist.
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    Regular Member Logan 5's Avatar
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    Cruel & unusual punishment. Hmmm.

    Helter Skelter.

    Albert Fish.

    Edward Gein.

    Jeffrey Dahmer.

    John Wayne Gacy.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Logan 5 View Post
    Cruel & unusual punishment. Hmmm.

    Helter Skelter.

    Albert Fish.

    Edward Gein.

    Jeffrey Dahmer.

    John Wayne Gacy.
    Irrelevant. It does not matter how heinous their crimes were. Our society -- our Constitution -- requires that the judicial termination of a life be humane. While "eye for an eye" may still be a desired concept, the termination of a life for those who illegally terminate a life, or lives, satisfies that aphorism without relegating society to barbarous acts.
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    Regular Member Logan 5's Avatar
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    You're right. It's just sick humor.

    In real life I would prefer rehabilitating someone long before killing them. So many people in prison, wasting taxpayer dollars, that could be out working and contributing to the economy. Putting people in person for 10+ years is not rehabilitative, nor is it really punishment. It's stupid. $85,000/prisoner/year....?
    Last edited by Logan 5; 05-23-2014 at 07:13 AM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by JamesCanby View Post
    Y'all tend to be some relatively nasty people, based on your suggestions -- which I hope were made tongue-in-cheek. For a group of people that adamantly support the Constitution and the Bill of Rights, I wonder how you missed the "cruel and unusual punishment" part. We are not a savage, vengeful society -- at least I hope we are not -- and when a life is to be taken judicially, it should be the most humane execution possible.

    As for Mac's comment, I am becoming more and more in favor of bringing back the chain gangs to perform work on projects, so long as we can make sure that the corruption shown in "Cool Hand Luke" does not exist.
    The courts would quickly rule that "cruel & unusual"; how dare you take them out of their air conditioning and deprive them of their cable TV and actually make them do something.

    One thing I have noticed about liberal leaning individuals is their total inability to recognize humor; did you fail to see

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    Regular Member Logan 5's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by F350 View Post
    The courts would quickly rule that "cruel & unusual"; how dare you take them out of their air conditioning and deprive them of their cable TV and actually make them do something.

    One thing I have noticed about liberal leaning individuals is their total inability to recognize humor; did you fail to see
    When was the last time you were in jail or prison?
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    If everybody was going about properly armed the instances of a dude needing killed by the state would be greatly reduced. Most LACs would likely remove the administrative burden associated with needing the state to do our killing for us. "Liberalize" SD laws so that our fellow lacks could bust-a-cap in BGs when the BG is doing his evil deed(s).

    Oh, but wait...."we may not know the whole story"....."we may not have all of the facts".....well, that don't stop cops on the street, or the courts, from killing folks and we LACs should not be held to a higher standard than the state.

    For or against, don't matter to me. You don't want to be put on death row, go to a state that don't have a death row. Not that death row is a deterrent.

    The manner of killing is nothing but a distraction.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Logan 5 View Post
    In real life I would prefer rehabilitating someone long before killing them. So many people in prison, wasting taxpayer dollars, that could be out working and contributing to the economy. Putting people in person for 10+ years is not rehabilitative, nor is it really punishment. It's stupid. $85,000/prisoner/year....?
    Let us remember that prison serves several purposes.

    Punishment, and presumably some deterrent against re-offending and to others who might otherwise be inclined to commit a similar act is one aspect.

    Rehabilitation, helping or making a person fit to live in decent society is another aspect. In many cases, time itself will work wonders on this. For a host of reasons, most 40 years are far less prone to various kinds of crime than they were when they were 20. And by 60 very few folks have much interest or ability to commit most violent or property crimes. (Pedophilia is one stark exception.)

    The third and very important reason to put people into prison is to protect society until such time as they are no longer a danger. Maybe this is just a restatement of "rehabilitation." But in any case, it is distinct from punishment. In fact, in many cases I'm far less concerned about imposing punishment than I am in protecting society. Leniency for the battered wife who finally snaps and kills her husband in his sleep is, to my way of thinking, based less on any notion that "maybe he had it coming" than on "she probably doesn't pose much risk to others."

    In any event, in capital cases we are rarely talking about a choice between rehabilitation and execution. If we (as society, the jury, judge, etc) thought there was half a chance at rehabilitation we'd probably not be looking at capital punishment anyway. Generally the question is between life without possibility or parole or other release and execution. I intend to avoid ever being faced with such a choice, but I'm thinking once the possibility of exoneration and release is gone (or effectively gone), that a quick and humane execution is probably no worse than and maybe much preferred over living live 23 hours a day in high security solitary confinement.

    Finally, as we consider the cost of incarceration or any other punishment be sure to weigh it against the cost of not imposing punishment, not discouraging future crime, not protecting society from a convicted criminal. One death from a DUI car crash or any other violent crime can result in a couple of million dollars in lifetime lost income, or easily more than that in lifetime medical costs if the victim survives but is severely disabled. Not to mention intangible or difficult to compute costs like the increased risk of poverty or criminality among kids raised without both parents, loss of companionship, etc. A single small smash and grab at my home some years back cost me upwards of $500 plus the value of my time by the time I replaced a busted garage pedestrian door and several hand tools that were taken. My guess is that it supported someone's drug habit for all of about one day. Even if some "petty thief" only does something similar 2 or 3 times a week, you're looking at $65,000 in property damage and losses. Four times a week puts an annual total damages north of $100k. Plus the intangibles of the sense of violation. A few years later someone tried to kick in my front door, I presume to grab my flat panel TV, while we were out for an hour. My extra-long screws in the strike plate and hinges held. But the door and jam had to be replaced. Ever priced even a modest but half way secure front entry door? Failure to punish crime, to protect society from known, convicted criminals, costs a lot too. It just doesn't show up on government budgets quite so clearly.

    Charles

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    Quote Originally Posted by Logan 5 View Post
    You're right. It's just sick humor.

    In real life I would prefer rehabilitating someone long before killing them. So many people in prison, wasting taxpayer dollars, that could be out working and contributing to the economy. Putting people in person for 10+ years is not rehabilitative, nor is it really punishment. It's stupid. $85,000/prisoner/year....?
    The word working against "rehabilitation", and keeping our prisons full, is "recidivism". Some folks seem to go out of their way to prove the adage that, "Ya can't fix STUPID". Pax...
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    Quote Originally Posted by utbagpiper View Post
    Let us remember that prison serves several purposes.

    Punishment, and presumably some deterrent against re-offending and to others who might otherwise be inclined to commit a similar act is one aspect.

    Rehabilitation, helping or making a person fit to live in decent society is another aspect. In many cases, time itself will work wonders on this. For a host of reasons, most 40 years are far less prone to various kinds of crime than they were when they were 20. And by 60 very few folks have much interest or ability to commit most violent or property crimes. (Pedophilia is one stark exception.)

    The third and very important reason to put people into prison is to protect society until such time as they are no longer a danger. Maybe this is just a restatement of "rehabilitation." But in any case, it is distinct from punishment. In fact, in many cases I'm far less concerned about imposing punishment than I am in protecting society. Leniency for the battered wife who finally snaps and kills her husband in his sleep is, to my way of thinking, based less on any notion that "maybe he had it coming" than on "she probably doesn't pose much risk to others."

    In any event, in capital cases we are rarely talking about a choice between rehabilitation and execution. If we (as society, the jury, judge, etc) thought there was half a chance at rehabilitation we'd probably not be looking at capital punishment anyway. Generally the question is between life without possibility or parole or other release and execution. I intend to avoid ever being faced with such a choice, but I'm thinking once the possibility of exoneration and release is gone (or effectively gone), that a quick and humane execution is probably no worse than and maybe much preferred over living live 23 hours a day in high security solitary confinement.

    Finally, as we consider the cost of incarceration or any other punishment be sure to weigh it against the cost of not imposing punishment, not discouraging future crime, not protecting society from a convicted criminal. One death from a DUI car crash or any other violent crime can result in a couple of million dollars in lifetime lost income, or easily more than that in lifetime medical costs if the victim survives but is severely disabled. Not to mention intangible or difficult to compute costs like the increased risk of poverty or criminality among kids raised without both parents, loss of companionship, etc. A single small smash and grab at my home some years back cost me upwards of $500 plus the value of my time by the time I replaced a busted garage pedestrian door and several hand tools that were taken. My guess is that it supported someone's drug habit for all of about one day. Even if some "petty thief" only does something similar 2 or 3 times a week, you're looking at $65,000 in property damage and losses. Four times a week puts an annual total damages north of $100k. Plus the intangibles of the sense of violation. A few years later someone tried to kick in my front door, I presume to grab my flat panel TV, while we were out for an hour. My extra-long screws in the strike plate and hinges held. But the door and jam had to be replaced. Ever priced even a modest but half way secure front entry door? Failure to punish crime, to protect society from known, convicted criminals, costs a lot too. It just doesn't show up on government budgets quite so clearly.

    Charles
    Well said.+1

    Sent from my XT907 using Tapatalk
    "The wicked flee when no man persueth: but the righteous are as bold as a lion" Proverbs 28:1

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