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The Death Penalty

May 31 2009 at 1:51 PM
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KeithDB  (Premier Login KeithDB)
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The most recent atrocity, with the cold blooded murder of the abortion doctor, provides me with an opportunity to express my views on the death penalty. I fully support it, to include for the perp in this case.

My only regrets for the death penalty is that we are too soft in its implementation. The murderers should die in a manner that as closely as practical approximates the experience of his victim.


"The world is a mess, and I just need to rule it." --Dr. Horrible.

 
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Death Penalty

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May 31 2009, 3:43 PM 

Kansas does have a death penalty, but we have not executed anyone in a long time. I do support the death penalty as well, but I don't like the way it is carried out. For instance, some guy on death row sits there for 15-20 years.I will keep the Dr and his family in my prayers.

 
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Bfgrrn
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Re: The Death Penalty

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June 1 2009, 7:58 AM 

Wow Keith, your thirst for "punishment" is a glaring sign of an authoritarian follower.

You want MORE people put to death; even though 133 people have been released from death row in 26 states since 1973, because of evidence of their INNOCENCE...

 
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KeithDB
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Re: The Death Penalty

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June 1 2009, 8:10 AM 

I did not say "more." I did say how. I would also support stronger safeguards to ensure that innocent people are not snared.

 
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Bfgrrn
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Re: The Death Penalty

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June 1 2009, 8:28 AM 

133 people released from death row because they were innocent tells me we've already executed innocent people...

The death penalty should be banned in this country...

You have NO facts that can support it, except your thirst for blood...

 
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KeithDB
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Re: The Death Penalty

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June 1 2009, 8:53 AM 

What you call "blood lust" I call "justice" and I make no apologies for supporting justice.  Let's start with a very simple question.  Do you agree that the person who committed the abortion doctor murder deserves death?  Just answer that question, not whether you want him to die for what ever well intentioned motives you may have.  Just whether he deserves to die. 

From my perspective I am just advocating that these people get what they deserve.  From my perspective anything less is an insult to far greater loss to the victim and his family.  Indeed, lesser punishment would make a mockery of what happened to the victim. 

I suppose I could personalize this by criticizing you for not giving what this person deserves, and so mocking the loss of his life, but I recognize that is not your intent and respect your view as well intentioned.  Please afford me that benefit of the doubt too.

 


 
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Bfgrrn
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Re: The Death Penalty

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June 1 2009, 11:28 AM 

What you call "blood lust" I call "justice" and I make no apologies for supporting justice. Let's start with a very simple question. Do you agree that the person who committed the abortion doctor murder deserves death?

No. Revenge will not bring back Dr. Tiller to his family. A case can be made that execution would be the easy way out for the killer. Life in prison without parole is the proper sentence if found guilty by a jury.

Capital punishment is bankrupting states in America, financially and morally...

Do some research and stop letting your emotional need for blood cloud your judgment.

 
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KeithDB
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Re: The Death Penalty

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June 1 2009, 1:19 PM 

Stating that revenge won't bring the victim back does not answer the question of whether the killer deserves death.  In fact, it suggests precisely why the killer does deserve death.  Obviously, nothing can bring the victim back, and the killer deserve the same finality.

 



"The world is a mess, and I just need to rule it." --Dr. Horrible.

 
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Bfgrrn
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Re: The Death Penalty

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June 1 2009, 2:08 PM 

I gave you my reply...life without parole, NOT execution.

Hey Keith, did it occur to you that executing a person creates another victim family?

California Could Save $1 Billion in 5 Years By Eliminating Death Penalty

Using conservative rough projections, the Commission estimates the annual costs of the present (death penalty) system to be $137 million per year.

The cost of a system which imposes a maximum penalty of lifetime incarceration instead of the death penalty would be $11.5 million per year.


New Study Reveals Maryland Pays $37 Million for One Execution


Florida would save $51 million each year by punishing all first-degree murderers with life in prison without parole


Police Chief Says Death Penalty Hurting Public Safety
Posted: December 22, 2008

Ray Samuels, a police officer for 33 years and Chief of Police in Newark, California, for 5 years, recently expressed concern that state budget cuts will prevent important crime-fighting measures from being passed, while an expensive death penalty continues to drain the state's finances. In an op-ed in the Contra Costa Times, Samuels wrote:
Local jurisdictions are likely to lose a significant amount of state funding this year because of the severe financial crisis. This funding helps cities and counties provide essential services in the areas of public safety, emergency services, and health and children's services. Without it, our communities will no doubt suffer dire consequences. At the same time, we continue to waste hundreds of millions on the state's dysfunctional death penalty. If we replaced the death penalty with a sentence of permanent imprisonment, the state would save more than $125 million each year. We haven't had an execution in California for three years. Are we any less safe as a result? I don't think so.


Chief Samuels also expressed concern that the state refused to pass measures to to help prevent wrongful convictions in death penalty cases because the reforms would be too costly. Because of the risks and costs associated with capital punishment, he recommended that the state turn to to alternative punishments like life without parole: "Let's cut our losses and move on," he wrote. The entire op-ed follows:

http://www.deathpenaltyinfo.org/home

 
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KeithDB
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Re: The Death Penalty

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June 2 2009, 4:06 AM 

That you embrace the next best alternative of life imprison does not alter that the guy deserves death. You still won't square up and actually directly deny that such people deserve to die.

Of course I have considered that execution creates another set of "victims" (that is unless the killer has killed his whole family, which all too often the case). Yes, even Hitler had a mother and a woman who loved him. That would not have prevented me from killing him had I the opportunity.

By that measure, life in prison makes victims out of the perp's family. Whether the perp is executed or held in prison for life the fault of any other victims created by his actions lies with him.

As for the cost, that too is largely irrelevant to me. It'll cost twice as much to keep them in prison for 40 years instead of 20 but you don't accept that as a basis to release him at 20. What matters here is the appropriate administration of justice that is mindful to the ultimate loss suffered by the victim.


"The world is a mess, and I just need to rule it." --Dr. Horrible.

 
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Bfgrrn
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Re: The Death Penalty

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June 2 2009, 4:33 AM 

I am against executing the person that murdered Dr Tillman...is THAT clear enough for you?

HOW do YOU justify JUST ONE innocent person being executed? IF you can get by that, you will prove beyond a shadow of a doubt you are just out for blood, and ANYONE'S blood will do!

IF 133 people were RELEASED from death row since 1973, because evidence proved they were innocent; it stands to reason that SOME innocent people have been executed, or murdered which is really the proper term.

Should someone die for that Keith...a Governor maybe????????????????

Your thirst for blood is clouding your thinking...

The costs of capital punishment vs. life in prison is WAY WAY WAY more...your denial and your ridiculous 40 vs 20 yrs. is very unintelligent on your part...



Recent Cost Studies

* A 2003 legislative audit in Kansas found that the estimated cost of a death penalty case was 70% more than the cost of a comparable non-death penalty case. Death penalty case costs were counted through to execution (median cost $1.26 million). Non-death penalty case costs were counted through to the end of incarceration (median cost $740,000).
(December 2003 Survey by the Kansas Legislative Post Audit)

* In Tennessee, death penalty trials cost an average of 48% more than the average cost of trials in which prosecutors seek life imprisonment.
(2004 Report from Tennessee Comptroller of the Treasury Office of Research)

* In Maryland death penalty cases cost 3 times more than non-death penalty cases, or $3 million for a single case.
(Urban Institute, The Cost of the Death Penalty in Maryland, March 2008)

* In California the current sytem costs $137 million per year; it would cost $11.5 million for a system without the death penalty.
(California Commission for the Fair Administration of Justice, July 2008)

The greatest costs associated with the death penalty occur prior to and during trial, not in post-conviction proceedings. Even if all post-conviction proceedings (appeals) were abolished, the death penalty would still be more expensive than alternative sentences.

* Trials in which the prosecutor is seeking a death sentence have two separate and distinct phases: conviction (guilt/innocence) and sentencing. Special motions and extra time for jury selection typically precede such trials.

* More investigative costs are generally incurred in capital cases, particularly by the prosecution.

* When death penalty trials result in a verdict less than death or are reversed, taxpayers first incur all the extra costs of capital pretrial and trial proceedings and must then also pay either for the cost of incarcerating the prisoner for life or the costs of a retrial (which often leads to a life sentence).

The death penalty diverts resources from genuine crime control measures. Spending money on the death penalty system means:

* Reducing the resources available for crime prevention, mental health treatment, education and rehabilitation, meaningful victims' services, and drug treatment programs.

* Diverting it from existing components of the criminal justice system, such as prosecutions of drug crimes, domestic violence, and child abuse.

http://www.amnestyusa.org/death-penalty/death-penalty-facts/death-penalty-cost/page.do?id=1101084

 
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KeithDB
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Re: The Death Penalty

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June 2 2009, 7:28 AM 

I understand that you oppose executing Dr. Tillman's murderer.  But you appear to oppose it on grounds other than whether he deserves to die. 

I do not "justify" any innocent person being executed anymore than you would justify a guilty person who has not been executed escaping and killing again.  In both cases I suspect that we would strongly support taking those steps necessary and practical to avoid them happening.

 



"The world is a mess, and I just need to rule it." --Dr. Horrible.

 
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Bfgrrn
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Re: The Death Penalty

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June 2 2009, 8:36 AM 

You said:

"In both cases I suspect that we would strongly support taking those steps necessary and practical to avoid them happening."

"strongly support steps"...that's lip service, passing the buck and ignoring the REAL problems Keith. You've skipped straight to what punishment you believe fits the crime, and assume we live in some fairy tale world of good guys win out over bad guys and we always get our man. You invest no thought in the system or process that got someone to the electric chair or lethal injection.

Thomas Jefferson said: "It is more dangerous that even a guilty person should be punished without the forms of law than that he should escape."

Keith...If you are going to continue supporting the death penalty, then you MUST morally justify a case where ONE single innocent human being is put to death in error...

You'll have to find SOME grounds to justify it...OTHERWISE it is premeditated MURDER. And if we follow your logic, someone then must die as payment. Do you understand???

What you seem totally blind to Keith is the FACT that our justice system, from arrest to sentence is fraught with human foible, error and prejudice (not just skin color. i.e. economic)

Judges and District Attorneys are ELECTED officials...they often run on their "tough on crime" record...which MEANS public perception often trumps the truth.

There are numerous cases where a conscientious detective uncovers evidence after someone has been convicted of a crime proving they have the wrong person, only to find themselves being harassed and threatened and told to let it go... DA's and Judges NEVER want to admit they convicted the wrong person...they put themselves, their reputation and their career ahead of justice and truth.

**********

"Twenty years have passed since this Court declared that the death penalty must be imposed fairly, and with reasonable consistency, or not at all, and, despite the effort of the states and courts to devise legal formulas and procedural rules to meet this daunting challenge, the death penalty remains fraught with arbitrariness, discrimination, caprice, and mistake." U.S. Supreme Court Justice Harry A. Blackmun, February 22, 1994


Factors contributing to the arbitrariness of the death penalty:

* Ninety-five percent of death row inmates cannot afford their own attorney. Court-appointed attorneys often lack the experience necessary for capital trials and are overworked and underpaid. In the most extreme cases, some have slept through parts of trials or have arrived under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol.

* Prosecutors seek the death penalty far more frequently when the victim of a homicide is white than when the victim is African-American or of another ethnic/racial origin.

* Co-defendants charged with committing the same crime often receive different punishments, where one defendant may receive a death sentence while another receives prison time.

* Approximately two percent of those convicted of crimes that make them eligible for the death penalty actually receive a death sentence.

* Each prosecutor decides whether or not to seek the death penalty. Local politics, the location of the crime, plea bargaining, and pure chance affect the process and make it a lottery of who lives and who dies.

* GEOGRAPHIC ARBITRARINESS: Since the U.S. Supreme Court reinstated the death penalty in 1976, 80% of all executions have taken place in the South. The Northeast accounts for less than 2% of executions.

http://www.amnestyusa.org/death-penalty/death-penalty-facts/death-penalty-and-arbitrariness/page.do?id=1101083

 
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KeithDB
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Re: The Death Penalty

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June 3 2009, 9:46 AM 

ORK, nobody here is defending this killer.  The dispute here is what punishment is sufficient for him.  Yes, there are some lunatics and trolls on other Boards who defend this assassin, but they are all nutjobs and any sane person understands that. 

Bfgrrn, I don't feel I have morally justify any error anymore than you have to morally justify a murderer sentenced for life who (having nothing at all to lose) kills a guard or escapes and kills again.  Neither are results that either of us seeks. 

Some of your criticisms are not inherent to the death penalty and I think are things that should be changed.  For example, I strongly favor ensuring more competent counsel in death penalty cases, probably through an identified cadre of defense attorney dedicated to such cases and who have proven their competence. 

I will say this, a Constitutional argument against the death penalty is, in my view, frivolous.  The Constitution quite clearly envisions the death penalty as permissible when it sets specific rules for capital cases in the 5th Amendment.  Further, the 5th and 14th statements that life, liberty and properly may not be denied without due process certainly suggests that all three of those things can be denied with due process.

 



"The world is a mess, and I just need to rule it." --Dr. Horrible.

 
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Anonymous
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Re: The Death Penalty

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June 3 2009, 10:30 AM 

Keith

You said:
ORK, nobody here is defending this killer.

No, just YOU defending the state when it kills an innocent person. When THAT happens, it's "oh well, mistakes happen" no one need to DIE as payment....right Keith???

You said:
I strongly favor ensuring more competent counsel in death penalty cases, probably through an identified cadre of defense attorney dedicated to such cases and who have proven their competence.

MORE lip service BS Keith...So NOW the exorbitant cost of capital punishment will severely INCREASE, bankrupting more states, draining vital resources from crime prevention and public protection...

ALL for your thirst for BLOOD

Explain life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness to the family of an innocent person murdered by the state.

It is clear that you didn't read or absorb any of my posts...crystal...

I consider you one of the brighter people from the right, but you just proved NO one from the right is capable of escaping dogma steeped in FEAR

 
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Re: The Death Penalty

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June 2 2009, 10:52 PM 

Hi name was Dr Tiller

 
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Anonymous
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Re: The Death Penalty

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June 3 2009, 5:15 AM 

Hi name was Dr Tiller


Thanks ORK...I had Tiller in my earlier posts...Tillman might have looked right because of Pat Tillman

 
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Re: The Death Penalty

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June 6 2009, 8:44 AM 

Wow Keith, your thirst for "punishment" is a glaring sign of an authoritarian follower.

You want MORE people put to death; even though 133 people have been released from death row in 26 states since 1973, because of evidence of their INNOCENCE...


................................................................
In my lifetime I have known 2 people who sat on death row. Both of them were innocent and are now free men.

My first frind when I moved to Arizona in 1972 was John Henry Knapp. He was accused of killing his two little girls in a house fire. Iona was 2, Linda was 3. His kids and my kids were the same age and played together.
John sat on death row for 17 years before new fire science surfaced and the evidence proved the kids were playing with matches. He had nothing to do with the their deaths and was freed from death row.

I worked with Ray Krone, He was convicted of killing a woman bartender and sat on death row for a few years before receiving a new trial taking him off death row, giving him ( I think) life in prison. Many years later DNA evidence proved he was not the killer. He was 100th prisoner to be freed. All together Ray was in prison for 10 years. About 3 or 4 of those years were on death row. All that time he was an innocent man sitting in a 6X9 foot cell.

Had the death sentence been carried out quickly as many people advocate, at least 133 innocent men would have been killed by the state.
What ate the odds to know two men to go to death row and both of them, years later, proved to be innocent?

I used to support the death sentence. Not anymore.

 
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Re: The Death Penalty

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June 2 2009, 10:51 PM 

I cannot believe that there are idiots out there defending the shooter/scumbag/terrorist.

 
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KeithDB
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Re: The Death Penalty

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June 3 2009, 11:42 AM 

Bfgrrn, let's try to avoid personal attack here.  I respect your view and am responding to it.  It's not a thirst for blood, it's a  thirst for justice.  I strongly feel that death is appropriate for such crimes, a point you still do not directly deny. 

I understand that many principled people of good conscience disagree with my perspective.  I would hope that you would understand that principled people of good conscience can disagree with yours.

"The world is a mess, and I just need to rule it." --Dr. Horrible.


 
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KeithDB
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Re: The Death Penalty

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June 3 2009, 11:55 AM 

Bfgrrn:  How about a case where we would both agree that the guy did it, and it was horrible?  Let's take this case of a guy just executed.  http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,524822,00.html?test=latestnews

This guy gunned down his wife and two kids in cold blood.  He admitted he did it.  He describes himself as a "non-caring monster."  After getting caught at this one he admitted to also killing his father and sister earlier and took police to their bodies.  http://crime.about.com/od/deathrow/ig/Texas-Death-Row-Inmates/Terry-Hankins.htm

There is really no doubt he commited these crimes.  So that leaves a question.  Do you oppose this man's execution anyway?  If so, then the concern for findings of innocence later is just a smokescreen, isn't it?

 



"The world is a mess, and I just need to rule it." --Dr. Horrible.

 
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Bfgrrn
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Re: The Death Penalty

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June 3 2009, 2:47 PM 

As citizens of the United States, it is our duty to be informed. WE are the government...

So, sorry Keith, but any citizen that is aware that our justice system is fraught with error, corruption, racism and prosecutorial misconduct, and STILL supports the death penalty is NOT person of good conscience...or a good citizen.

For every Terry Lee Hankins there are 5 Cameron Todd Willingham's...

Let me ask you this profound question: Which is worse; a person guilty of murder serving life without parole, or one innocent person being executed for something he or she didn't do?

You have the right to your opinion, but I contend, if you support the death penalty, then YOU must be willing to BE that innocent person put to death..

Thomas Jefferson also said: It behooves every man who values liberty of conscience for himself, to resist invasions of it in the case of others: or their case may, by change of circumstances, become his own.

Now I know why President Kennedy said at a White House dinner for Nobel Prize winners: "I think this is the most extraordinary collection of talent, of human knowledge, that has ever been gathered at the White House - with the possible exception of when Thomas Jefferson dined alone."

There is no abuse of government power more egregious than executing an innocent man."
Bob Barr - Former Congressman of Georgia and 2008 Libertarian candidate for president

Here's part of an article about Texas.
Pay particular attention to the comments of one of the jurors...

*****************************
Cameron Todd Willingham was executed on February 17, 2004, for setting fire to his own one-story home, a blaze that killed his three young daughters (1-year-old twins and their 2-year-old sister). Willingham was convicted and sent to death row on a hastily executed arson investigation and jurors suspicion over the fact that he managed to escape the fire himself. But he maintained his innocence for years, right until he was strapped to the gurney.

"I am an innocent man, convicted of a crime I did not commit, he said in his final statement. "I have been persecuted for 12 years for something I did not do."

Ten months later, on Dec. 9, 2004, the Chicago Tribune published an investigative article that cast serious doubt on Willingham's guilt.

"While Texas authorities dismissed his protests, a Tribune investigation of his case shows that Willingham was prosecuted and convicted based primarily on arson theories that have since been repudiated by scientific advances," wrote staff reporters Steve Mills and Maurice Possley. "According to four fire experts consulted by the Tribune, the original investigation was flawed, and it is even possible the fire was accidental."

Among the experts was Louisiana Fire Chief Kendall Ryland, who said it "made me sick to think this guy was executed based on this investigation. They executed this guy, and they've just got no idea -- at least not scientifically -- if he set the fire, or if the fire was even intentionally set."

"Did anybody know about this prior to his execution?" asked Dorinda Brokofsky, one of the jurors who sent him to die. "Now I will have to live with this for the rest of my life. Maybe this man was innocent."

http://www.alternet.org/rights/140398/200_executions_and_counting:_texas_gov._rick_perry%27s_cruel_death_tally/

 
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KeithDB
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Re: The Death Penalty

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June 3 2009, 6:30 PM 

I stipulate that an innocent man does not deserve to die. Now, do you agree that a guilty man does?


"A man never drinks anything that a plant lives in" --DBone (A Real Man).
http://vimeo.com/4938173

 
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Anonymous
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Re: The Death Penalty

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June 4 2009, 8:32 AM 

I stipulate that an innocent man does not deserve to die.
Now, do you agree that a guilty man does?

"Stipulate" means WHAT Keith... does it change your support of the death penalty?

Does "Stipulate" means you still support the death penalty even though innocent human beings have been killed and will continue to be killed?

I have strong beliefs in personal responsibility...that responsibility dictates that IF did support the death penalty, THEN I MUST be willing to BE the executioner...

I am NOT.......are YOU Keith???

 
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KeithDB
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Re: The Death Penalty

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June 4 2009, 9:47 AM 

There are many possible responses to your inquiry, to include that I reject your premise.  If I support the policy of having police does that mean I must personally be willing to be a cop?  If I support public education does that mean I must be willing to be a teacher?  If you support the notion that every Defendant must have an attorney does that require that you personally go to law school?

But the shorter answer to your question is simply "yes."



"A man never drinks anything that a plant lives in" --DBone (A Real Man).
http://vimeo.com/4938173

 
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Bfgrrn
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Re: The Death Penalty

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June 4 2009, 11:29 AM 

ALL your replies are non sequitur...

IF you support putting people to death, then you should be willing to throw the switch or insert the needle...you don't need any special training...

You say yes...easy to SAY...

So Keith, basically what you're saying is that a person guilty of murder serving life without parole instead of execution is a bigger miscarriage of justice than an innocent person being killed for something they didn't do...

It sure sounds devoid of ANY morals or upbringing Keith, but I have found it very consistent with the "self righteous" right wingers that have destroyed this country...

I'll add your name to the list...



Former Dallas Prosecutor Changes His Mind on Death Penalty
Posted: May 15, 2009


James Fry, a former Dallas County Assistant District Attorney, changed his mind about the death penalty after learning that he successfully prosecuted an innocent man for rape. The defendant, Charles Chatman, was cleared 27 years later by DNA. In an op-ed in the Dallas Morning News, Fry asks, For years, Texas has led the nation in the number of executions. Why don't we now strive to lead the nation in a new direction: reforming a justice system in urgent need of reform? Fry continued, For years I supported capital punishment, but I have come to believe that our criminal justice system is incapable of adequately distinguishing between the innocent and guilty. It is reprehensible and immoral to gamble with life and death. Stating that he is no bleeding heart and a Republican of 30 years, he still believes that removing violent people from society for as long as possible is appropriate. But, explains Fry, I also believe that the government should be held to the strictest burden before it deprives a citizen of his freedom. It is not too much to ask that we not convict and execute innocent people in our quest to enforce the law. Let's get this system fixed. The full op-ed may be read below.

James A. Fry: I put away an innocent man

When I prosecuted Charles Chatman for aggravated rape in 1981, I was certain I had the right man. His case was one of my first important felony cases as a Dallas County assistant district attorney. Chatman was convicted in a court of law by a jury of his peers. They, like me, were convinced of his guilt.

Nearly 27 years later, DNA proved me and the criminal justice system wrong. Chatman was freed from prison in January after DNA testing proved him innocent. He spent nearly three decades behind bars for a crime he did not commit a stark reminder that our justice system is not immune from error. No reasonable person can question this simple truth.

I am proud of having been a prosecutor; it is honorable work. In fact, I still have a portrait of former Dallas County District Attorney Henry Wade in my law office. He was a good man, and he gave me a chance to be a trial lawyer. However, my unknowing involvement in prosecuting an innocent man has been a troubling experience.

Chatman's story is tragically not unique. The staggering number of exonerations attest to just how easily the innocent can be convicted. Nationally, 225 people have been released from prison after DNA testing proved their innocence. Seventeen of them had been sentenced to death. Twenty DNA exonerations were from Dallas County alone, the most of any U.S. jurisdiction. The vast majority of those exonerated in Dallas County would still be in prison but for the fact Dallas preserved its DNA evidence.

As with so many of these cases, Chatman was convicted on the testimony of one eyewitness. Witness misidentification is one of the greatest causes of wrongful convictions nationwide, playing a role in more than 75 percent of cases with DNA exonerations.

The fault in Chatman's case, however, lies not with the victim, who honestly believed she had identified the right man. Instead, it lies in part with the flawed witness identification procedures used by law enforcement agencies. Research has shown that relatively small changes can greatly improve witness accuracy, changes we urgently need to implement.

Witness identification is not the only contributor to wrongful convictions. Far from it. Politicians a category that includes elected officials, district attorneys and judges need to be less concerned about remaining in office and more concerned with determining the truth. More effort needs to be given to see that court-appointed attorneys have adequate compensation and investigation funds. Until these issues are addressed and reforms put in place, the number of innocent men and women sent to prison will continue to rise.

Chatman's case was not a capital crime, but the problems that led to his wrongful conviction raise the question: How can we continue carrying out executions in Texas when we know the system is so prone to error?

For years, Texas has led the nation in the number of executions. Why don't we now strive to lead the nation in a new direction: reforming a justice system in urgent need of reform?

For years I supported capital punishment, but I have come to believe that our criminal justice system is incapable of adequately distinguishing between the innocent and guilty. It is reprehensible and immoral to gamble with life and death.

I am no bleeding heart. I have been a Republican for over 30 years. I started my career as a supporter of removing violent people from society for as long as possible, and I still believe that to be appropriate.

But I also believe that the government should be held to the strictest burden before it deprives a citizen of his freedom. It is not too much to ask that we not convict and execute innocent people in our quest to enforce the law. Let's get this system fixed.

http://www.deathpenaltyinfo.org/new-voices-former-dallas-prosecutor-changes-his-mind-death-penalty

 
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KeithDB
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Re: The Death Penalty

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June 4 2009, 1:04 PM 

Interesting.  My answers seem perhaps seem to be non sequirturs from your perspective because the premise to your question relies on a non sequitur.  It does not follow that if one supports a particular policy that one must therefore be willing to do the event behind the policy.

Consider that many people are prochoice, but personally oppose abortion and would never have one.  Under your reasoning to support a prochoice position they must be willing to either have or (even more analogous), actually perform abortions. 

I personally would never burn the American flag in a protest showing disrespect, but I nonetheless support the right of others to do what I personally feel is a contemptible act.  Under your reasoning, if I support a right to burn the flag I must be willing to burn one myself. 

These are just a few illustrations reflecting that the premise behind your question is itself a non-sequitur.  There are many more. 

It's interesting that the DA you quoted supports reforms to ensure accuracy in finding guilt.  So do I.  I've made that clear.  I don't support finding innocent people guilty.   



"A man never drinks anything that a plant lives in" --DBone (A Real Man).
http://vimeo.com/4938173

 
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Bfgrrn
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Re: The Death Penalty

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June 4 2009, 1:55 PM 

Actually my statement is perfectly consistent with my earlier contention: "if you support the death penalty, then YOU must be willing to BE that innocent person put to death"

Just as" "if you support the death penalty, THEN you MUST be willing to BE the executioner"

Are YOU willing to BE that innocent person put to death Keith?...again yes is so easy to say...

If you educate yourself, you will see that the real flaws in our justice system that allows innocent people to be killed is based in human nature and foibles...

SO, it CAN'T really be fixed...

So you will HAVE to accept some innocent people killed by the state...

Again Keith, if an innocent person is put to death, does someone have to die as payment???

Otherwise, you are a hypocrite...

Funny, the right like to call liberals "dreamers", "naive" and "utopians"...what a JOKE...

Like most right wingers, you will tout that you're "principled people of good conscience", "stipulate" that an innocent man does not deserve to die and preach that you "support reforms to ensure accuracy in finding guilt." I guess it's a way of shirking responsibility and justifying in your mind your support for state sponsored murder and torture of innocent human beings...BUT, if we can limit it to a FEW, then it's OK...right Keith???

UNTIL YOU or a family member are a victim of our "justice" system... then you will have a SUDDEN epiphany...

Just remember...liberals are WAY ahead of you..always have and always will..

 
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KeithDB
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Re: The Death Penalty

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June 5 2009, 3:54 AM 

Quote: >>Actually my statement is perfectly consistent with my earlier contention: "if you support the death penalty, then YOU must be willing to BE that innocent person put to death"< <br>
I fully agree that your error is not any problem with consistency. But the consistent application of an erroneous premise does not lead to being right. Consider the following:

Major Premise: All birds fly.

Minor Premise: Penguins are birds.

Conclusion: Therefore, penguins fly.

Quite clearly the problem in the above thinking is not in the failure to consistently apply the premise. The above reasoning quite consistently sticks to the flawed premise, and is thus consistently wrong.

Your statement that "If you support the death penalty then YOU must be willing to be that innocent person put to death" is flawed and consistently applying leads only to being consistently wrong. The basic problem is that I do not support the death penalty for innocent persons.

We could turn this around for you. If you support the penalty of life in prison without parole then you must be be willing to be that innocent person put in prison for life with no chance of parole.



"A man never drinks anything that a plant lives in" --DBone (A Real Man).
http://vimeo.com/4938173

 
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Bfgrrn
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Re: The Death Penalty

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June 5 2009, 6:21 AM 

My premise is based on personal responsibility...put up or shut up type personal responsibility. It is reasonable and logical. YOU just can't answer my questions because then you'd have to admit you've lost every single aspect of this argument Keith...

Come to think of it; you really haven't made an argument Keith...just an emotional outburst.

When you choose to educate yourself on this issue and take a logical, intelligent and reasoned approach, you will SEE there is NO DOUBT capital punishment is a HUGE failure. It is a barbaric practice that does NOT fit with our values as a nation.

Capital punishment is bankrupting states, it costs taxpayers more than double the cost of putting death row inmates in prison for life.

It makes our streets LESS safe because HUGE chunks of revenue are diverted from crime prevention.

It is NOT a deterrent. States with the death penalty have the HIGHEST annual murder rates.

It is cruel and inhuman...Since being reinstated this country has executed over 100 mentally ill or mentally retarded human beings. Most had an IQ around 60. I recall reading about one man with the mind of a 5 year old. As he was being led to his execution he was telling other inmates how he was going to beat them in a game of basketball when he came back from the execution!

133 people that were on death row had evidence come out years later proving they were innocent...

So, it doesn't take a genius to figure out that innocent people have already been executed in this country...

So Keith...just answer ONE question...WHO must die as payment for the innocent human beings murdered by the state? Or doesn't that count ...?


 
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KeithDB
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Re: The Death Penalty

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June 5 2009, 6:58 AM 

It is not logical that advocacy of policy requires that one be subject to every unintended consequence of that policy. As stated previously, your reasoning would hold that if one advocates abortion rights that one must be willing to have been the aborted fetus. Your entire premise is a non sequitur and abandons logic in favor of emotionalism and personalizing the issue right from the beginning.

 
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Bfgrrn
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June 5 2009, 11:57 AM 

WOW Keith, you say I'm "personalizing the issue"...WHAT do you think PERSONAL responsibility is?

Personal responsibility is NOT spouting words like "principled people of good conscience", "I strongly support steps" or "I stipulate that an innocent man does not deserve to die"...

Personal responsibility is having the courage and the character to take a stand AGAINST the heinous state sponsored cold blooded murder of innocent human beings..Hey Keith, sometimes it's tough to live up to REAL morality...

You fail miserably...

You found a way to squirm out of it and even justify your overzealous statism...

ALL logic, moral arguments, reason, accumulated data and American values in our founding documents support elimination of capital punishment...

There is ONLY ONE reason to continue capital punishment...EMOTIONALISM...fear and vengeful lust for punishment...

I am wrong, there IS another reason to continue it...stupidity; your whole premise is 2 wrongs make a right...

The ONLY emotional argument forwarded here was by YOU...with your volumes of weak excuses to justify the cold blooded MURDER of innocent Americans...YOU resort to euphemisms like "unintended consequences" which really means you're perfectly OK with cold blooded MURDER with NO ONE paying with THEIR life...just as long as it's sanctioned by authority figures, YOU don't have to carry it out, YOU are not victimized by it and YOU don't have to take ANY responsibility for it...

THAT way, you can continue to falsely believe you have morals and character...and American values.

I guess you don't understand what WE,THE PEOPLE really means Keith...


"Those who want the Government to regulate matters of the mind and spirit are like men who are so afraid of being murdered that they commit suicide to avoid assassination."
President Harry S. Truman

It is the job of thinking people not to be on the side of the executioners.
Albert Camus






 
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KeithDB
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Re: The Death Penalty

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June 5 2009, 12:17 PM 

Bfgrrn, let's talk about "personal responsibility" some.  I want the perp to bear the ultimate personal responsibility for taking the life of another.  You don't. 

From my perspective a summation of this discussion is that my belief is rooted in the notion that justice demands the loss of life of the victim be respected by society by holding the killer personally accountable for that life with his own life.  Notwithstanding some rather strong personal attacks on me, you don't actually deny this fundamental basis for my point of view. 

Rather, you advance the argument that innocent people do not deserve death.  That is a point I do not contest. 



"A man never drinks anything that a plant lives in" --DBone (A Real Man).
http://vimeo.com/4938173

 
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Anonymous
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Re: The Death Penalty

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June 5 2009, 12:45 PM 

Bfgrrn, let's talk about "personal responsibility" some. I want the perp to bear the ultimate personal responsibility for taking the life of another. You don't.

From my perspective a summation of this discussion is that my belief is rooted in the notion that justice demands the loss of life of the victim be respected by society by holding the killer personally accountable for that life with his own life. Notwithstanding some rather strong personal attacks on me, you don't actually deny this fundamental basis for my point of view.

Rather, you advance the argument that innocent people do not deserve death. That is a point I do not contest.

---

Yes Keith, LET'S talk personable responsibility...because YOU DO contest that innocent people do not deserve death. When the STATE murders an innocent person you DON'T "want the perp to bear the ultimate personal responsibility for taking the life of another."

Your overzealous statism, your fear based emotionalism and your slimy hypocrisy make you a typical right wing PEA brain...

 
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Re: The Death Penalty

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June 5 2009, 7:42 PM 

I do support the death penalty, esp in cases like: Zacharias Mousssaui, Hussein, Osama Bin Laden, Ted Bundy, David Parker Ray, Hitler, Mussolini, Mao, Stalin, The Manson Family, Sirhan sirhan, James Earl Ray, Karla Homolka and her boyfriend( I am sorry to say his name escapes me) , Ted Kazinsky(spelling??) and others of their ilk. They don't deserve to live.

 
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Bfgrrn
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Re: The Death Penalty

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June 6 2009, 4:30 AM 

ORK...Maybe you need to add Pontius Pilate and Attila the Hun to your list...





America is the only country that went from barbarism to decadence without civilization in between.
Oscar Wilde

 
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Anonymous
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Re: The Death Penalty

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June 6 2009, 9:13 AM 

I stipulate that an innocent man does not deserve to die. Now, do you agree that a guilty man does?

................................................................

The guilty do not deserve to die but they do deserve harsh punishment. Life in a supermax prison is a much worst punishment than death.

Let me ask you, how much punishment is Timothy McVey (sp) going through these days?

He was in prison for only 5 years. We allowed him the easy sentence of just a few years behind bars, then gave him the death the craved.

The death sentence for him was the easy way out. If he was still in the solitary confinment of a supermax prison by now he would be going crazy with his mind turning to mush.

Life in a supermax prison, with NO contact with other prisoners, 23 hours a day in a cell, NEVER seeing a tree, feeling the warmth of the sun, never again feeling it rain or never again hearing a bird sing in your entire lifetime is a MUCH worse sentence than death.
Besides, the death sentance does NOT deter crime as it was intended to do.

 
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KeithDB
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Re: The Death Penalty

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June 6 2009, 9:25 AM 

Life in prison is harsh. But smoking and joking with the boys while following your favorite teams, still watching the Super Bowl, and staying in touch with your family does not approach the death penalty. Indeed, you cannot simultaneously complain that the death penalty is too harsh while also asserting that life in prison is harsher.


"A man never drinks anything that a plant lives in" --DBone (A Real Man).
http://vimeo.com/4938173

 
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Bfgrrn
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Re: The Death Penalty

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June 6 2009, 10:52 AM 

Can you name ANYTHING MORE harsh than being arrested, standing trial, being convicted, sentenced to death and then sitting on death row waiting to be killed, AND ALL THAT time, being innocent of what you must DIE for?

Keith...you "claim" that your motivation is justice,but in your CRAVING for "justice", YOU would allow the absolute WORST INjustice on this planet to occur!


 
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KeithDB
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Re: The Death Penalty

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June 6 2009, 11:20 AM 

I would not "allow" the worst injustice. I would, in fact, take additional precautions against it.


"A man never drinks anything that a plant lives in" --DBone (A Real Man).
http://vimeo.com/4938173

 
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Bfgrrn
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Re: The Death Penalty

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June 6 2009, 11:32 AM 

KeithDB

Posted Jun 6, 2009 11:20 AM

I would not "allow" the worst injustice. I would, in fact, take additional precautions against it.

******************

Keith, as I tried in vain to explain to you, the factors and circumstances that "allow" the worst injustice to occur are deeply rooted in human nature...

Human nature will NEVER change...SO, the worst injustice will never end, UNTIL we end capital punishment...

I pray our President has the opportunity to nominate enough Supreme Court justices to overturn capital punishment...

THEN all you unpatriotic right wingers who crave severe punishment and blood will have to settle for life in prison...


 
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KeithDB
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Re: The Death Penalty

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June 6 2009, 11:54 AM 

It is my hope that our President nominated a Supreme Court justice who will respect the words of the Constitution on all issues. In this case, it is clear the Constitution permits capital punishment.


"A man never drinks anything that a plant lives in" --DBone (A Real Man).
http://vimeo.com/4938173

 
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Bfgrrn
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June 6 2009, 1:31 PM 

Hey Keith, the Constitution Bush called "a goddamn piece of paper"? Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld and all you right wing pea brains totally trashed our Constitution, now you what to hide behind it...

I'll settle for a super majority of liberal patriots in Congress that can legislate abolition of capital punishment...

And the way the right wing pea brain GOP is headed, it won't be long...

 
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Bfgrrn
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Re: The Death Penalty

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June 9 2009, 3:49 AM 

HERE is an example of our failing system Keith. It's systematic and so deeply embedded that it will never be fixed...with the economic problems states face, it will only get WORSE...

It is the job of thinking people not to be on the side of the executioners.
Albert Camus

You need to THINK Keith and overcome your emotions...


Death Penalty Case Reveals the Blemishes in Alabamas Courts

By ADAM LIPTAK
Published: June 8, 2009

Excerpts:

Kenneth B. Trotter had been practicing law for less than a year when an Alabama judge appointed him to assist two more-seasoned lawyers in defending a man facing the death penalty.

After the man, Holly Wood, was convicted in 1994 of murdering his former girlfriend, Mr. Trotter led the effort to persuade the jury to spare his life. The young lawyer came up just short: the jury recommended death by a vote of 10 to 2, the minimum allowed under Alabama law.

Mr. Trotter failed to pursue or present evidence that his client was mentally retarded, though he had a competency report in hand that said as much. In September, a divided three-judge panel of the United States Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit, in Atlanta, ruled that he had made a strategic decision, not a grave error.

Last month, the United States Supreme Court agreed to hear Mr. Woods case. It will give the court a glimpse of Alabamas capital justice system, which is among the most troubled in the nation. The state lacks a public defenders office, elects judges for whom death sentences are a campaign promise, pays appointed lawyers a pittance, and sometimes leaves death row inmates to navigate the intricacies of post-conviction challenges with no lawyers at all.

The root problem is money, said Bryan Stevenson, the executive director of the Equal Justice Initiative of Alabama, a nonprofit law firm that represents poor people and prisoners. The lawyers appointed to represent Mr. Wood in 1994 were entitled to a maximum of $1,000 to prepare for the penalty phase of the trial.

It ought not be a shock to anyone that you get this kind of defense with that kind of funding, Mr. Stevenson said. The poor quality of indigent defense is still the ugliest scar on capital punishment in America.

Mr. Trotter did not pursue that point at the sentencing hearing, though evidence of mental retardation was a factor the jury could have considered as favoring leniency.

Woods counsel were well aware that his intelligence is impaired, Alabamas attorney general, Troy King, wrote in the states brief filed with the United States Supreme Court in April, and they made a reasonable strategic decision not to present that evidence.

After the Supreme Courts 2002 decision in Atkins v. Virginia, which barred the execution of the mentally retarded, a state judge ruled that Mr. Wood was not retarded. True, the court said, his I.Q. was around 64, less than the score of 70 that Alabama law views as significantly subaverage intellectual functioning.

But Alabama, like other states, does not rely solely on I.Q. in determinations about retardation in capital cases. It also looks at whether the defendant possessed fundamental practical skills.

The state judge noted that Mr. Wood had held jobs that used heavy machinery, managed his own money, planned and cooked meals, and subscribed to Hot Rod magazine.

Those findings were drafted by the prosecutors and adopted verbatim by the judge. That curious practice is widespread in Alabama trial courts.

The problem in Alabama is that there are effectively no state court judicial decisions, Mr. Stevenson said. Decisions are made by prosecutors who write orders sometimes over 100 pages that are simply adopted by trial court judges.

The practice is subject to criticism, a state appeals court in Mr. Woods case said mildly. But it upheld the determination that Mr. Wood was not retarded for the purposes of Atkins. Even when the court adopts proposed findings and conclusions verbatim, the appeals court said, the findings are those of the court and may be reversed only if clearly erroneous.

Still, the question of whether Mr. Wood was categorically barred from being executed is different from whether evidence of his mental limitations should have been presented to the jury considering his sentence.

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/06/09/us/09bar.html?_r=1&ref=todayspaper

 
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KEB
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Re: The Death Penalty

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June 6 2009, 1:38 PM 


Kieth wrote:

Life in prison is harsh. But smoking and joking with the boys while following your favorite teams, still watching the Super Bowl, and staying in touch with your family does not approach the death penalty. Indeed, you cannot simultaneously complain that the death penalty is too harsh while also asserting that life in prison is harsher.

.................................................................

You either didn't read or understand my point. I never said the death sentence was too harsh. I think the death sentence is the easy way out.

In a supermax prison you don't get TV, you don't watch the super bowl, you don't get books or newspapers, you don't get to fraternize with other prisoners, you don't get cigarettes, you don't get to go to the prison store, you don't get to eat chow with anyone but yourself.

Other than a few minutes a day when the guards let you out of the cell for one hour, into a tiny exercise yard, alone, you're by yourself 100% of the time, in some cases for 40, 50 or 60 years. You think that's less harsh then the death sentence? I don't.
You MAY get to write or receive a letter or two each year from your family now and then, but visits from anyone are 100% out of the question.

You're a dead person living in a 6X9 foot cell for the rest of your natural life. Alone. You mind is turning to mush.
No one to talk too, No one to listen to you, No TV, No radio, No books, nothing to do for 23 hours a day. Every day, day after day after day. And tomorrow is the same. So is next year and the year after, and the year after.
Life in a supermax is much worse than the death sentence.

 
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KeithDB
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Re: The Death Penalty

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June 6 2009, 1:58 PM 

It's a measure of the lack of strength of your position that you are attempting to bolster it with myths. There is no evidence that Bush ever said the Constitution was a worthless piece of paper. The same factcheck.org that repudiates the Obama birth certificate myths also repudiates that one. It didn't happen.

And I both read and understood your point. I simply disagreed. Disagreement does not necessarily reflect either a lack of hearing or understanding.

Here's a simple fact the rebuts your claim. Defendants and their attorneys routinely do whatever they can to convert potential death sentences to life in prison. They plea bargain, they appeal until every appeal is exhausted, they seek clemency from the governor. They do whatever they can to avoid the strongest punishment available.


"A man never drinks anything that a plant lives in" --DBone (A Real Man).
http://vimeo.com/4938173

 
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Bfgrrn
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Re: The Death Penalty

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June 7 2009, 7:17 AM 

Keith, KEB and I are not the same person...

We KNOW Obama is a legitimate US citizen...Fact check doubts Bush said it, but there is no doubt Bush DID treat the Constitution AS a worthless piece of paper...

You said you would not "allow" the worst injustice to occur...Now THAT is truly LIP service...you have NO ability to stop it, UNLESS you stop capital punishment...

I will weigh in on your point to KEB...

Many killers that take the life of others often take their OWN life...Maybe facing the rest of their life incarcerated, the fear of spending it with hardened criminals that might attack them or violate them sexually, the condemnation of family, friends and the public is viewed as MORE harsh than death...

 
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Mbyronl
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The Death Penalty

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June 6 2009, 2:42 PM 

Maybe the "perp" should be waterboarded. Than he call Dick Cheney about his feelings. JMO. Brinkzs.

 
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KeithDB
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Re: The Death Penalty

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October 13 2011, 5:40 AM 

Well, at least one Florida lawmaker is coming around to my way of thinking.
http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2011/10/13/florida-lawmaker-proposes-bringing-back-firing-squads/?test=latestnews


"The world is a mess and I just need to rule it." --Dr. Horrible.

 
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Re: The Death Penalty

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October 15 2011, 11:28 PM 

Interesting thread. Sorry, Keith, but you're in the wrong on this one. In reading the thread, your only rationale for the death penalty is your own desire for vengeance. "Get-evenism" is not justice.

As for your argument that some people deserve to die, I can state unequivocally that I don't believe that anyone deserves to die. Furthermore, I maintain that NO ONE can state that someone deserves to die.

Why? Because death is an unknown. As far as human knowledge is concerned, death is a cessation of all bodily functions, and that's it. That's all anyone can know about it. Personal views regarding the afterlife remain purely speculative. Science does not know and cannot know. So, as far as anyone knows, killing someone simply means that all personal bodily functions are ended permanently.

With this in mind, how is this a punishment? The slain offender's identity, if it exists at all, is completely out of your reach. You have no more authority and no more opportunity to make him pay for his offense.

Life imprisonment, by contrast, is something you can know about. You can know what's involved, and even learn about this particular offender's day to day existence. You can know that he's paying for his crimes. And finally, it will end in death anyway, as it does for all humanity. So, the death penalty does not inflict a punishment, merely accelerates the inevitable. By how much? You can't know that.

 
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KeithDB
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Re: The Death Penalty

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October 16 2011, 7:22 AM 

I fundamentally disagree. Some people very much do deserve to die. They earned it by depriving another of their life, their opportunity to experience more which is known. Sending them to that unknown is the fate they earned by sending another there.

It's not just "get even-ness", though that would be enough. It is about what is the appropriate punishment for the crime, and that most definitely is justice. Someone getting what they deserve is justice, it's the very essence of it.


"The world is a mess and I just need to rule it." --Dr. Horrible.

 
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Re: The Death Penalty

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October 16 2011, 7:23 PM 

Well, you know, like I always say, disagreeing with me doesn't make you a bad person. It only makes you wrong.

By all appearances, death is no punishment. Yes, we can have our unproven beliefs about the nature of the afterlife, but human observation makes atheists of us all. You deprive someone of life, but how is that a punishment? You might suggest that he's being punished up until the time he dies, knowing what's in store for him and what he's about to lose, but afterwards? By all appearances, the recipient of the death penalty doesn't know he's been deprived of life. In fact, he doesn't know anything, and consequently couldn't care less about what you've deprived him of.

By contrast, with life in prison, he can know that he's deprived of his freedom, and will be for the remainder of his days, however long that takes. He will also know that he will never regain his freedom. And he can know why he's been deprived of his personal freedom, and will be reminded of that fact as often as he cares to think about it. And besides, from what we know of prison life, it's not the most desirable of existences.

I'm also concerned about those who have been wrongfully imprisoned, sometimes for many years, before evidence emerges that acquits them. A dead man cannot appeal. You cannot give someone back their life if you've wrongfully convicted them and killed them for something they didn't do.

 
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Re: The Death Penalty

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October 17 2011, 4:44 AM 

By all appearances death is a punishment, even when done the namby-pampy way we do it now (which I would change). It's self evident that it is punishment because people will do anything to avoid. Armies of lawyers will line up and the convicted will do all they can do to try to convert a death sentence to the more desirable life in prison.

"The world is a mess and I just need to rule it." --Dr. Horrible.

 
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(Login PatrickLMT)
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Re: The Death Penalty

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October 17 2011, 6:33 AM 

Not all people. Some would rather die than be in prison. Some would rather die than suffer with a devastating illness or be forced to persist in a vegetative state.

I'm curious, though. Why do you object to lethal injection? What do you care how it's done as long as it's done? To quote the Lion in Winter, "I've never heard a corpse ask how it got so cold."

 
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