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Comment Re:Most commenters in this thread ... (Score 1) 591

Wrong, now that we have DNA sequencing techniques which are applied normally, we can be sure of guilt

That's true only for those cases where DNA evidence is relevant or even exists, and in those cases where irrelevant DNA evidence is not abused by the DA to fool the jurors. Perhaps now it's not a 20%, just a 17 % or even a 15%. My point stands, though.

If the fed, state or local government wants you dead they will kill you and don't need a trial

Sad, but probably true.

Comment Most commenters in this thread ... (Score 2) 591

... seem to have forgotten about that study in the nineties that applied the then recently developed DNA sequencing techniques to old cases. Said study proved conclusively that about a 20% of the executed were innocent. It can be logically inferred that nowadays the % of false convictions is close to that, excluding (most) cases where DNA evidence is used.

And the problem with the appeals is that every official involved in the case has an interest, a set of perverse incentives, in upholding the death sentences. No policeman, attorney or judge wants the public to know that they helped to sentence an innocent to death. The result: the appeals process is an uphill battle against the establishment, and most people lack the resources (money) to carry out a successful appeal.

Other studies prove that witnesses are far less reliable than generally assumed, that often the cops and district attorneys put too much pressure on witnesses and suspects, or directly manipulate or hide evidence that could set the suspect free.

Is the American legal system perfect and free of errors and corruption? Can you resurrect a wrongly executed person? If you can't answer affirmatively to at least one of these questions, death penalty is just another crime.

To further clarify my point, most of the convicts in the death row probably deserve to be executed, but the rest of the population doesn't deserve to live in a country that has that kind of power over its citizens, because that power will be -and has been- abused.

Let the downvotes begin... . Anyway this needed to be said.

Comment Re:Well actually he's pretty solidly anti-gun too. (Score 1) 234

... and you end up with taxes on drugs to pay for some of the likely increase in health problems

If you remove the war on drugs, you also remove contamination -poisonings-, variations in drug's concentration -overdoses-, needle sharing - AIDS, hepatitis- and most of the reasons for violent drug related crimes. Your "likely increase in health problems" is quite unlikely, indeed.

Comment Oh, well (Score 5, Interesting) 296

You can build your own steam machine for peanuts, if you are technically inclined. If you aren't, you can request the help from a friend, and if you can't/don't want to do that, you can still buy a suitable PC an add SteamOS on top. If you're too lazy even for that and have money to expend, you can purchase one of these pretty Steam machines. At the very least you'll be free from the Windows tax and still you'll end up with a full fledged PC with a serious OS (Linux) that can run lots and lots of 'serious apps' + a growing number of games. I think Valve has hit the nail in the head with this one. Kudos to them.

Comment If I had to design a weapon to be 3Dprinted... (Score 1) 344

... it wouldn't be a 'classic' firearm.

You don't need receivers and metallic mechanical parts if you use electric ignition, just an electric trigger, a battery and some circuitry.

You don't need proper barrels if you can use thin standard tubing encased in a 3d printed plastic sleeve, both for reinforcing the barrel and for safety.

You don't need magazines if you can store several bullets in the barrel and make the barrels single use and swappable. Due to their flimsy construction, the barrels should be strictly one use only, having to swap barrels for a new burst.

A company called Metal Storm is already applying some of these concepts in the real world.

As for lack of precision due to the lack of rifling in the barrel... they'd still be great for urban guerrilla scenarios, and probably far more precise than UZI style weapons.

I don't think the ATF guys have thought this one thoroughly enough.

Comment Re:Provoking (Score 1) 1130

Reality states that at least it would make weapons more expensive for the criminals. Nowadays thousands of weapons are stolen from their rightful owners, or illegally sold by their rightful owners to criminals every year. As smuggling operations have to compete against these sources of weapons, they have to keep prices low. If you close the former sources, smuggled weapon prices will soar, just like with any other monopoly.

What is more, with the actual status quo, for many crims not having a weapon would be suicidal, as many of their prospective victims are probably armed and willing to shoot at them. It's like an arms race, with the added factor that most of these weapons are sold to both sides by the same companies.

I THINK MAN INVENTED THE CAR by instinct. -- Jack Handley, The New Mexican, 1988.

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