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Wednesday, January 02, 2013

Abolish the death penalty

It's not often that I agree with a New York Times editorial, but I, too, oppose the death penalty.  I don't oppose it because there are not criminals who merit death, but rather because I do not trust the state to be able to carry it out responsibly and in a strictly limited manner, a doubt that the historical and scientific evidence tends to strongly bolster:
Thanks to the Innocence Project and the overturning of 18 wrongful convictions of death-row inmates with DNA evidence and the exonerations of 16 others charged with capital crimes, the American public is increasingly aware that the system makes terrible mistakes. Since 1973, a total of 142 people have been freed from death row after being exonerated with DNA or other kinds of evidence.
All of these factors have led the states to retreat from the death penalty in recent years — in both law and in practice. In 2012, Connecticut became the fifth state in five years to abolish the penalty. Nine states executed inmates, the fewest in two decades. Three-fourths of the 43 executions in 2012 were carried out in only four states. The number of new death sentences remained low at 77 — about one-third the number in 2000 — with just four states accounting for almost two-thirds of those sentences. While 33 states retain the death penalty on their books, 13 of them have not executed anyone for at least five years.
It is always important to keep in mind that murder and other capital crimes are far less significant problems than mass murder by government.  The very last thing any libertarian should support is a government that wants to confiscate firearms being empowered with life and death over its citizens.  Moreover, a death penalty ban should also include a ban on the Obama administration's claim of a power of secret president-ordered assassinations.

If the federal government cannot execute a citizen with a trial, it bloody well can't assassinate him without one either.

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86 Comments:

Blogger Survival Gardener, AKA David the Good January 02, 2013 12:01 PM  

Darn right. I came to the same conclusion on the death penalty a few years ago.

I actually prefer the ancient Hebrew method of crowd execution after the testimony of multiple witnesses... not the current all-powerful state version.

-Vidad

Anonymous Josh January 02, 2013 12:07 PM  

Justifiable homicide is a better system than having the state murder its own citizens.

Anonymous Daniel January 02, 2013 12:09 PM  

I'm sure that's the end-goal in mind, Vidad. They'll get on that just as soon as they ban guns in order to cure insanity.

Anonymous Testing123 January 02, 2013 12:10 PM  

I actually prefer the ancient Hebrew method of crowd execution after the testimony of multiple witnesses... not the current all-powerful state version.

-Vidad

This only works with a people who have a proper fear of Jehovah...

OW!!!...alright who threw that!

Blogger ErisGuy January 02, 2013 12:11 PM  

Since error by government is horrifying and common, I hope you also oppose kidnapping by government (imprisonment) as well.

Anonymous WinstonWebb January 02, 2013 12:12 PM  

The Government that CAN execute its People, will.

Anonymous Red January 02, 2013 12:15 PM  

The problem with your logic is the fact that modern communist regimes such as the USA use criminals as unofficial state enforcers. Get rid of the death penalty and you will embolden this un-official arm of the state to kill even more citizens.

Anonymous WinstonWebb January 02, 2013 12:16 PM  

ErisGuy January 02, 2013 12:11 PM

Since error by government is horrifying and common, I hope you also oppose kidnapping by government (imprisonment) as well.


Imprisonment should be extremely rare. Doing away with laws on victimless crimes would make it so.

Blogger swiftfoxmark2 January 02, 2013 12:27 PM  

Oh for the days when there was an avenger of blood...

Anonymous Rally January 02, 2013 12:28 PM  

I don't buy that. Murderers either don't think about it, don't think they'll get caught, or else want to die (as many plan on and do take their own lives).

I don't buy that there are evil people who refrain from murder, but would indulge their desires if the penalty changed to life in prison.

That said, the death penalty could reduce crime in a few cases, such as the guy who set fire to his house so he could kill the first responders. He was a convicted murderer who had served his time and been released. Doubt he would have pulled off that had he been executed for the first murder.

Anonymous Rip January 02, 2013 12:29 PM  

@ WinstonWebb - I agree, and would actually take it a step farther and include certain crimes that aren't victimless. In some cases restitution to the actual victim would be better than imprisonment.

Anonymous WinstonWebb January 02, 2013 12:32 PM  

@ Rip

Solid point. I agree as well, especially in terms of Property crime.

Anonymous Rock Throwing Peasant January 02, 2013 12:36 PM  

I haven't supported the death penalty for years. For me, it's primarily a moral issue (pro-life).

However, I found many of the arguments against the death penalty less than convincing (doesn't deter, e.g.). I was a data cruncher for a large correctional system. I saw a far larger problem that likely resulted from the death penalty. For capital cases, the DA needs to divert a considerable amount of time and resources to convict and achieve the death penalty, moreso than a standard murder conviction. Since resources are finite, this neccessarily meant lesser crimes were plead to lower charges and people who should spend more time in prison for crimes received reduced penalties.

So, the question is, "Does the marginal increase in deterrence (over a punishment, such as Life WO Parole) justify the overall decrease in public safety (since the other criminals hit the streets sooner than they would normally)?"

I don't think it does. Of course, as I stated, my primary objection is a moral one.

Anonymous patrick kelly January 02, 2013 12:40 PM  

Exactly, I do not trust this government (Fed or State) state to utilize it justly and righteously. I always err on the side of less government power.

Getting rid of all the stupid drug laws, especially on the Fed level, would be a good followup.

Blogger Nate January 02, 2013 12:47 PM  

I don't see the logic behind the death penalty beyond eliminating the whole feud thing. I would generally prefer to see criminals deported rather than killed or imprisoned. Drop them off in africa somewhere and call it a day.

Blogger Nate January 02, 2013 12:52 PM  

that said... some things are simply killing offenses. No.. the government is not very good at getting those right... but some are better than others.

there are people who are simply to dangerous to be allowed to continue to breathe.

Blogger Crowhill January 02, 2013 12:54 PM  

VD -- if "the state can't carry it out responsibly" argues against the death penalty, why doesn't it also argue against fines, imprisonment, or any other penalty?

ISTM the proper response to "the state isn't administering it properly" is to put systems in place to make sure they do.

Also, some people say the death penalty is final, and if you find out you were wrong you can't bring the dead guy back. But that also applies to other penalties. You can't give somebody back the five years he spent in jail either.

Anonymous Loki of Asgard January 02, 2013 12:56 PM  

Because I am curious--and expect a bit of fun from this discussion--what would you propose in place of the death penalty?

Anonymous Josh January 02, 2013 12:59 PM  

there are people who are simply to dangerous to be allowed to continue to breathe.

"he needed killin"

Blogger tz January 02, 2013 1:03 PM  

Only Sovereigns (the government), Telecoms, and Banks have immunity. But that means they can steal, kill, and do anything to the rest of us.

I think it was Evangellium Vitae where John Paul II called the death penalty immoral. It can be technically licit, much as war can be a just war, under some very narrow conditions. They didn't exist in the west in the late 20th or early 21st century. I worry they may exist again.

Of course if there were no death penalty, these people today would be permanently in solitary confinement being tortured (human rights groups note solitary beyond a short time is torture) or in the general population being raped without any advocate working hard to free them.

But with all the private prisons, the government needs to pass more laws to have more taxpayer money sent to the cronies. At least that means the rabble are more valuable alive and incarcerated than dead. And the prison guards and their union will support the same.

Blogger swiftfoxmark2 January 02, 2013 1:10 PM  

Part of the problem with the death penalty, as I see it, is that we allow prosecutors way too much leniency in prosecuting their cases. In colonial times, prosecutors could call only two witnesses to support their case and had roughly a 60% loss rate in all felony cases. On the flip side, all felonies (of which there were only four) were subject to the death penalty.

These days we allow prosecutors to base their cases on circumstantial evidence alone, which should not be sufficient to merit the death penalty. Even in Biblical times, you still required the eyewitness testimony of two or three credible witnesses before you could put someone to death.

There is always the human factor in the justice system though and VD is correct to point out that it is probably better to abolish it these days rather than restrict the conditions to which it applies. So long as the same prosecutors who knowingly send innocent men and women to prison and to death are allowed to keep their jobs, it is better to advocate life in prison rather than the death penalty.

Anonymous Jerome Horowitz January 02, 2013 1:14 PM  

Vox,

Would you accept suspended animation for prisoners in for life, without parole?

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/4469793.stm

Anonymous Tad January 02, 2013 1:25 PM  

@Vox Day

It's not often that I agree with a New York Times editorial, but I, too, oppose the death penalty.

Among the most sensible things I've ever seen you write. I'm proud of you.

When the death penalty is entirely purged from our shores, we will be a better nation.

Blogger Giraffe January 02, 2013 1:53 PM  

If the federal government cannot execute a citizen with a trial, it bloody well can't assassinate him without one either.

"Yes we can"

Blogger JohnG January 02, 2013 2:02 PM  

Hanging or firing squad is fine. If prison was about punishment instead of "rehabilitation" (70%+ recidivism rate), maybe. There are crimes that warrant death, and keeping somebody alive for decades with the best healthcare and dental available (didn't a life sentencer just get an organ transplant a short while ago?) seems immoral, and an abuse of the taxpayer.

I would agree that there should be more safeguards. The Public Defender system is broke. I translated some stuff for a Czech national for a public defender and that guy was one of scores of clients - obviously a lawyer isn't giving anybody quality effort if he's got 3 nanoseconds to spend on figuring out a defense.

Clear cases, like that Batman shooter...why waste months or years of trial time where somebody is going to argue that the nipple got pulled out of his mouth too early and daddy spanked him...just take him out back and hang him.

Anonymous Ten41 January 02, 2013 2:04 PM  

Jerome Horowitz

"Would you accept suspended animation for prisoners in for life, without parole?

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/4469793.stm"


Demolition Man! Woo hoo a world full of Taco Bell's! Oh, wait, I don't like Taco Bell.

Anonymous Jack Amok January 02, 2013 2:17 PM  

I would agree that there should be more safeguards. The Public Defender system is broke.

No, the Prosecutor system is broke. We need more accountability for prosecutors. When we discover a prosecutor has erred badly in multiple cases, they should go to prison. Or be hanged.

It's of a type with our other government problems - we give people immense power and let them claim immunity from misuse of it. A certain amount of immunity is necessary, but the apparatchiks always push the envelope way past what is reasonable or good.

Instapundit is fond of talking about bubbles. This is another one - the Official Immunity Bubble. If it keeps inflating, it will pop, and if it pops...

Blogger Tim January 02, 2013 2:19 PM  

I, too, favored the death penalty until I realized I did not trust the government to carry it out correctly.

Anonymous Aeoli Pera January 02, 2013 2:39 PM  

So...firing squads don't kill people, people with firing squads kill people.

Anonymous Noah B. January 02, 2013 2:44 PM  

I don't trust the government to properly administer the death penalty either, but the same logic applies to sending people to prison for life. Government doesn't do a good job of that either, and people who are merely sentenced to life in prison or lesser sentences typically don't have the same opportunities for appeals as those who are sentenced to death.

As Jack Amok just pointed out, the main problem seems to be with corrupt prosecutors who are not held accountable for their actions. If they have committed misconducted resulting in the death or wrongful imprisonment of an innocent person, they should be charged with murder, attempted murder, or kidnapping, as appropriate.

Also, anyone sitting on a jury of any kind needs to think about what they haven't been told. If there are key facts of a case that you believe haven't been properly addressed, and you're interested in protecting the integrity of the judicial system, you should vote to acquit.

Anonymous Aeoli Pera January 02, 2013 2:50 PM  

...there are people who are simply to dangerous to be allowed to continue to breathe.

Sadists, for example. And I don't mean the kind who use safewords. Dropping these guys off in Africa would be a huge mistake.

Anonymous Furien January 02, 2013 2:55 PM  

I agree the current system is broken, but in cases where there is absolutely zero question as to the guilt of a person who has committed a crime worthy of death, that death should NOT come years later, or in some secluded back room of the state penitentiary. I feel it would do our society quite a lot of good to actually see in-person, the execution of criminals found completely guilty of something that warranted it.

Anonymous Porky? January 02, 2013 2:55 PM  

If the federal government cannot execute a citizen with a trial, it bloody well can't assassinate him without one either.

All evidence to the contrary.

Anonymous Unending Improvement January 02, 2013 3:19 PM  

We also need judges more willing to throw out obviously bad pleas.

The problem with electing judges is they are then pressured to have a high conviction rate to make everyone feel like they are being kept safe.

The plus side with electing judges is we can hold them accountable, but then that is also the bad side as above.

Same thing applies to District Attorneys of course.

Anonymous Unending Improvement January 02, 2013 3:20 PM  

I meant verdicts, not pleas.

Blogger Stuart Paul January 02, 2013 3:20 PM  

I fully support the death penalty in theory, but in our society and courts, I share your reluctance.

That said, this is more of an indictment against our justice system than the death penalty. Wrongful imprisonment is a miscarriage of justice as well, and I'm sure there have been plenty of instances of people dying in a cell that they are in because of wrongful verdicts. Abolishing the death penalty wouldn't do anything for them.

Blogger ajw308 January 02, 2013 3:41 PM  

After Ted Stevens lost his Senate seat to a liberal Democrat, his felony conviction was dropped due to it being discovered that fabricated evidence that was used to convict him and that evidence that would have exonorated him was suppressed.

Reality has no meaning at the Federal level. They just use whatever proceedings are available at the moment to further their agenda.

Blogger The Social Pathologist January 02, 2013 3:45 PM  

I think you've got this wrong.

Perfection is impossible in any human system. The fact that innocent people die under such as system is a regrettable consequence. People die during surgery every day. Should we stop surgery on that account?

The death penalty has lots of social benefits and I'm all in favour keeping it. The real malignancy here is not the death penalty but the adversarial jury system (which no one ever seems to want to change). When it boils down to it, our current system is just two guys trying to push a product onto a clueless jury. OJ would never have gotten off it the jury was at least semi technically literate. Science has its problems, but structuring the legal process according to scientific lines instead of adversarial may be a far better approach.

Anonymous RavenKing January 02, 2013 3:55 PM  

The problem is not capital punishment, the problem is the corruption and unethical conduct of those in charge of administering it (and the justice system at large). Biblically-speaking, like it or not, the death penalty is one of the legitimate functions of human government. Granted, the Bible commands that the same gov't operate at a higher degree of righteousness because of its greater authority, but that authority remains irrespective of that government's righteousness (God tends to simply tear down and replace unrighteous gov'ts, which is what the Declaration of Independence proscribes as well).

Jefferson's maxim that it is the responsibility and the duty of the governed to ensure that their governors are not violating the laws of Nature and Nature's God is no less valid when the governed shirk that duty. Nor is capital punishment a less valid authority of government generally when a specific government(s) becomes tyrannical.

Anonymous Anonymous January 02, 2013 4:19 PM  

I'll say here what I've said many times in the past.

I have a problem with the death penalty for similar reasons, but suggest that the problem lies in something not often discussed.

It has to do with the standard of proof.

In capital cases, "beyond reasonable doubt" is simply not enough. Unlike with other penalties, you can't bring somebody back from the dead if you make a mistake.

The actual standard should therefore be: "beyond ANY doubt".

Anonymous DonReynolds January 02, 2013 4:20 PM  

While I am not an opponent of the death penalty and there are times when it appears richly deserved, I recognize that mistakes occur, contrary to our expectations. For this reason, and others, I have long advocated in favor of exile as an alternative to the death penalty or long-term incarceration. Such alternative would quickly prove much less expensive than the present approach. I consider exile to be an attractive compromise that would effectively end the endless debate over the death penalty.

The ancient Greeks believed that Greece was the best place to live in the world and to be denied the ability to remain in Greece was about the worst punishment a person could suffer. Exile means the condemned person must leave the country, never to return, even after death. And to be compelled to go live among the "barbarians", with their strange tongues, weird ways, and none of the beauty that is Greece, was some serious punishment. This also means being cut off from family and friends, and to be buried in a foreign land with no one to remember or even attend to the grave. Not surprising, suicide was considered better than exile for many Greeks.

This country does not benefit from the death penalty and many seem to oppose it, either on moral grounds or because the practice seems to be less than perfectly judicious. If a person cannot live in our society, better to send them away to a place where they may be more compatible. If it turns out, their guilt was in error, it is much easier to recall a person from abroad than dig them up out of the ground. To which country should they be exiled? Why should we care? Just make it clear if they should ever re-enter the United States, they will be summarily executed. (That tiny proviso will make them eligible for assylum in most countries of the world.)

Anonymous Loki of Asgard January 02, 2013 4:30 PM  

The actual standard should therefore be: "beyond ANY doubt".

I did not kill that fellow in Stuttgart. It was a clone what did it, my identical twin brother's clone, created by pirates, or perhaps ninjas.

Yes, a clone created by ninja pirates, in fact, from Uranus. Not I. I can prove it. Here is the clone's certification of live birth.

Whom will you believe, me or the evidence of all those lying eyes? Witness statements are notoriously unreliable, you know, and I have documentation.

Would I lie to you?

Anonymous Anonymous January 02, 2013 4:44 PM  

The standard remains...beyond any doubt.

You have doubt? No death penalty should thus be your verdict.

In other words, I see no reason to change my position. If the standard cannot be met, so be it.

Anonymous Daniel January 02, 2013 4:48 PM  

Annie, do you have any clue what the "reasonable" in "reasonable doubt" stands for? Can you say that it is "beyond any doubt" that President George Washington is dead?

Blogger Tiny Tim January 02, 2013 4:49 PM  

My wife is a criminal defense attorney. I was pro death penalty until I saw how capital punishment is handed out. I especially have a problem with "if they kill someone who doesn't count, they get 20 years. If they kill a cop or someone of importance, they receive a death sentence."

Although I know we are all equal in the eyes of the law, some people's lives are more valuable than others..............

Anonymous Anonymous January 02, 2013 4:59 PM  

Daniel...yes I do, which is why I am making the critical distinction. "Reasonable" doubt is just not enough when a man's life is at stake.

Once again, if you feel the standard of "beyond any doubt" can't be met, you don't change the standard, you change the penalty.

btw...and not to promote myself, but to explain, I'm posting Anon because for some reason I can't seem to post under my wordpress.com url....Aaron Investigates...Doesn't really matter until someone asks me why the secrecy.

Anonymous Loki of Asgard January 02, 2013 5:10 PM  

Can you say that it is "beyond any doubt" that President George Washington is dead?

It was George Washington killed that man in Stuttgart. He was disguised as me.

It's a conspiracy. Look at this face. Is this the face of a killer?

Anonymous Daniel January 02, 2013 5:18 PM  

So, in effect, Annie, you are opposed to the death penalty. Why not just say that? The way you put it is just a complicated and confusing word game.

Anonymous Daniel January 02, 2013 5:20 PM  

...and thank you, Loki for demonstrating unreasonable doubt. Please, for my sake, don't attempt to demonstrate "beyond an unreasonable doubt."

Anonymous bw January 02, 2013 5:27 PM  

Pass a Law, Make a Business

It works exactly as designed.

Blogger Survival Gardener, AKA David the Good January 02, 2013 5:29 PM  

As for prison terms, I'm against that too.

If it's proven by a jury of peers that a man is a child rapist, he gets handed over to the victim's family for execution. Easy peasy.

The current system of incarceration is nowhere near biblical. I don't see prisons in the Scripture, except for those used by foreign or occupying powers. It's restitution or execution, for the most part, with a nice slice of "eye for eye." Infinitely more just than what we have now, and there weren't thousands of men getting raped by predators inside the system.

-Vidad

Anonymous Loki of Asgard January 02, 2013 5:46 PM  

...and thank you, Loki for demonstrating unreasonable doubt.

Turnabout is fair play.

Blogger Survival Gardener, AKA David the Good January 02, 2013 6:07 PM  

OT: This is crazy. I just saw my first drone flying over here in N FL. Looked like a dead ringer for the RQ-170.

-Vidad

Anonymous Anonymous January 02, 2013 6:42 PM  

Daniel, Because I'm not against the death penalty?

And, yes, George Washington, aka. The Father of our Country is dead beyond any doubt.

Unfortunately "unreasonable doubt" and "without any doubt" are not the same thing. But carry on...

Anonymous Aeoli Pera January 02, 2013 7:08 PM  

If it's proven by a jury of peers that a man is a child rapist, he gets handed over to the victim's family for execution. Easy peasy.

Absolutely not. You're conflating justice and vengeance. One exists to allow civilization to flourish, and the other exists to make people feel better. Legalistically speaking, vengeance is the Landlord's job.

Anonymous Aeoli Pera January 02, 2013 7:11 PM  

OT: This is crazy. I just saw my first drone flying over here in N FL. Looked like a dead ringer for the RQ-170.

Hopefully that inspired you to get the fuck out of this shithole.

I have to stay here because I made my bed and I have to sleep in it, but for fuck's sake- if you have money get out of this country.

Anonymous zen0 January 02, 2013 7:16 PM  

The good thing about the death penalty is that the recividism rate is zero. That's a lot better than any other program. Plus if it save one child, its worth it. (thank you, lefties)

If a few technically innocent people get snuffed, its merely collateral damage. Besides, they were probably guilty of something, its just the authorities didn't know about it at the time.

Anonymous zen0 January 02, 2013 7:43 PM  

OT: This is crazy. I just saw my first drone flying over here in N FL. Looked like a dead ringer for the RQ-170.

@ Survival Gardener.

What chu growin' there, Vee Dad?

Heh. Did you shake your bony, defiant fist skyward? That would amuse the mook viewing the monitor, anyway. Give him a mooky chuckle right before he pushed the hellfire missile button.

Blogger Survival Gardener, AKA David the Good January 02, 2013 8:11 PM  

@zen0: Heh. I'm growing a couple of invasive species... but who isn't?

I admit, I almost giggled when I saw it go over. I love Big Brother and all that.

@ Aeoli Pera: I can't tell you how much I'd like that. I'm debt-free but have a half-dozen children and probably not enough assets to get out - or provable income to get residency elsewhere. Being a writer isn't exactly lucrative. I'd just like someplace sleepy and tropical. As it is, we've done what we can here. If the opportunity presents itself, I'm gone. Like many of the ilk, I have an IQ in the top 1% and learning languages is easy... though English would be good for my wife and kids.

-Vidad

Anonymous AlteredFate January 02, 2013 8:19 PM  

There is a movie with Kevin Spasek(sp) that serves to demonstrate fairly well why, at least in the US court system, we should do away with the death penalty. Maybe someone here can remember the name.

But, like most causes of death that are controversial with the public, the actual amount of people executed by the court systems in the US is really an extremely small amount and recieves much more attention than the amount of executions merit, especially considering that many of us probably know multiple people who have had or pressured others into having abortions. Yet these murderers walk around without even the faintest inclings of guilt.

All are fallen and all are deserving of death. But hey, on a long enough timeline we're all dead anyways so cheer up.

Anonymous ridip January 02, 2013 8:20 PM  

Not unexpected, but this pisses me off. And you might guess the bitch is female.

Apparently we can abolish the death penalty when handed out by The Judicial, but not when ordained by The Executive. Judge dismisses case involving targeting killing of Americans overseas. It boils down to "I can't tell you how he can legally do something that is unconstitutional. Sorry ... kinda ... maybe (not)...

Meshes well with O's proclamation earlier this year that, "Well, it turns out our Founders designed a system that makes it more difficult to bring about the change that I would like sometimes."

All I can say to that is AMEN!!! and let's keep it that way.

Put it together with the incontinent Georgetown Constitutional Law Professor, Lewis Michael Seidman that proclaimed "Give up on the Constitution" in the NYT today and we have a pretty damn clear picture that the guns aren't the target. They intend to toss the whole damn thing because it's to much of an "Inconvenient Truth". After all they've only been talking about since the 80's when all the Banana Republics were tossing out and re-writing theirs.

Damn them all.

Anonymous Koanic January 02, 2013 9:28 PM  

I agree. It's not an easy realization to come to, as a conservative, but a necessary one.

Floggings, on the other hand...

Anonymous Daniel January 02, 2013 9:31 PM  

AnnieUnfortunately "unreasonable doubt" and "without any doubt" are not the same thing. But carry on...

I never suggested as such. "Without any doubt," however, and "beyond an unreasonable doubt" are overlapping sets. After all, I doubt very much that President George Washington is dead. Therefore, if that was the "any" doubt necessary to avoid the death penalty, it would be employed.

Therefore, there is likely no circumstance where at least a sliver of an unreasonable doubt would exist, therefore "any" doubt would exist in every case, in which instance, you opposed the death penalty for all practical purposes, and insist on playing word games to obfuscate (intentionally or not) your position.

It is silly. "Any" doubt means "any," including ones as unreasonable as doubting that Washington has passed on.

Do you happen to run a pet shop? Do you sell parrots?

Anonymous Fisk Ellington Rutledge III January 02, 2013 9:41 PM  

Anyone condemned to life without parole really needs to be given the choice to die instead. Life without parole in a government prison is extremely cruel and highly unusual.

Anonymous aero January 02, 2013 10:05 PM  

VD says I do not trust the state to be able to carry it out responsibly and in a strictly limited manner

Question, Will the state be any more responsible keeping the criminally insane or those deserving death in jail or rehabilitating them?

Anonymous Toby Temple January 02, 2013 10:10 PM  

I don't agree with a complete abolition of the death penalty.

It has to be the ultimate punishment for individuals who committed heinous crimes like mass murders and rape with murder.

Yes, there are individuals who were wrongfully accused and end up sentenced for the crime he/she did not commit. However, if the person was not wrongfully accused and there are a lot of strong incriminating evidence proving the individual's guilt then why not give him/her the death sentence?

Anonymous aero January 02, 2013 10:11 PM  

Anyone condemned to life without parole really needs to be given the choice to die instead. Life without parole in a government prison is extremely cruel and highly unusual.

Its not cruel enough. If it was cruel we would not have repeat offenders.

Anonymous Hoss January 02, 2013 10:23 PM  

I worked in the Indiana Dept. of Correction for almost eight years. And what I saw not only reinforced the need for the death penalty, but makes me consider expanding it's reach. You need the experience to truly understand there are a significant amount of people in this world who would do anything to anybody at anytime if it furthered their purpose/momentary whim. Calling them vicious bastards would be underselling it...the only thing cruel and unusual would be to allow them back into society to victimize(ironically, they have zero respect for women, typically the only gender to give any kind of shit about them whatsoever). Throw out everyone convicted of a victimless crime (property crime is not a victimless crime as someone suggested earlier)and devote all the resources to securing the violent criminals who should do nothing all day but turn big rocks into little rocks. Prison should be a deterrent, keep all the "rehabilitation" crap for the feel-good crowd. In order for punishment to be a deterrent it should be swift, sure, and severe. Our system is woefully inadequate at ensuring any of the three.

Anonymous aero January 02, 2013 10:24 PM  

We have to many laws, rules and regulation the make decent people criminals.
We are about to see millions more become criminals just by trying to having the right to bear arms

Blogger Survival Gardener, AKA David the Good January 02, 2013 10:26 PM  

"Prison should be a deterrent, keep all the "rehabilitation" crap for the feel-good crowd. In order for punishment to be a deterrent it should be swift, sure, and severe. Our system is woefully inadequate at ensuring any of the three."

Replace prisons with slavery and I'd agree.

Anonymous aero January 02, 2013 10:33 PM  

Prison should be so bad of a place that anybody that committed a crime for the second time would commit suicide before they got there.

Anonymous Anonymous January 02, 2013 10:42 PM  

Danny, it would seen that we have each had our chance to present our points of view. We disagree, and anything else will just be a wasted comment.

Anonymous YIH January 02, 2013 10:48 PM  

The case that made me ambivalent on the death penalty was Ted Bundy. That he was guilty was beyond a doubt, he had a death toll of at least 30 known victims (the total is unknown and in dispute).
But what really made me think was after he was convicted then sentenced to death it took many years of appeals, stays of execution, more appeals, ect., ect.
When he was finally fried over 11 years after his arrest in FL it was estimated it cost about three times what it would have for him to serve life, no parole.
That's when I started thinking if it's going to be years of legal tail-chasing to put someone that guilty down what's the point?
Another example of the pointlessness of the death penalty is the case of Mumia Abu-Jamal. After 30 years of trying the state of PA threw in the towel over putting him down.

Blogger mmaier2112 January 02, 2013 11:12 PM  

AlteredFate: "There is a movie with Kevin Spasek(sp) that serves to demonstrate fairly well why, at least in the US court system, we should do away with the death penalty. Maybe someone here can remember the name. "

"The Life Of David Gale"? You either have a very bad memory or infathomable reasoning.

The stupid bastard suicided by cop the long way, framing HIMSELF for a murder he didn't commit.

Oh yeah, and the "murder" was really a suicide IN WHICH HE ASSISTED THE "VICTIM". There was no corruption or tainting of the process, except by Spacey's character and his accomplice.

That movie pissed me off because he knowingly FORCED others to have innocent blood on their hands and then dragging his defense attorney Kate Winslet into the mess after the fact by revealing the truth to only her after he was put down.

You don't dress up as a doe in the deep woods on the first day of deer season, Bambi-esquely dance around, get shot and then blame a hunter for an honest mistake.

Anonymous The other skeptic January 02, 2013 11:42 PM  

I finally figured out the reference to H Beam Piper: The Right to Arm Bears

Anonymous TLM January 03, 2013 12:00 AM  

I interrupt this thread to point out the absolute ass whooping that Louisville handed Florida tonight. Suck on that you SEC fanboys. Go Cards.

Anonymous Daniel January 03, 2013 12:49 AM  

Annie, I accept your concession.

Anonymous map January 03, 2013 1:45 AM  

How exactly does the Innocence Project use DNA to exonerate these poor victims? Did the original labs get the tests wrong? Was the evidence maintained for scrutiny years later? Are police labs readily handing over their physical evidence to be disappeared into the ether only to return certifiably accurate in "exonerating" someone.

Basically, the Innocence Project is a huge scam. No chain of custody is actually maintained and the prosecution is nowhere to be found checking Innocence's work.

These people are dangerous because their ideology is to destroy any system of punishment for criminals. Once they are done with the death penalty, they will go for life sentences, progressively working down to a 2 year statute of limitations on murder.

Anonymous scoobius dubious January 03, 2013 3:09 AM  

Tad: "When the death penalty is entirely purged from our shores, we will be a better nation."

By the time the death penalty is entirely purged from our shores, we will already have drowned in a swamp of immigrants and will no longer BE a nation.

Thanks of course to the deliberately genocidal ministrations of evil men like the NYT editorial board, and Tad.

No doubt this is what Tad actually means by a 'better' nation -- one devoid of Americans.

Anonymous Anonym Jones January 03, 2013 5:32 AM  

What's the recidivism rate of people who get the death penalty?

Blogger OGRE January 03, 2013 8:54 AM  

"Many that live deserve death. And some that die deserve life. Can you give it to them? Then do not be too eager to deal out death in judgement. For even the very wise cannot see all ends." - Gandalf

Anonymous Daniel January 03, 2013 9:54 AM  

Anonym Jones
What's the recidivism rate of people who get the death penalty?

About 100% if the horror movies are correct.

Anonymous Anonymous January 03, 2013 11:51 AM  

VD -- "I, too, oppose the death penalty. I don't oppose it because there are not criminals who merit death, but rather because I do not trust the state to be able to carry it out responsibly and in a strictly limited manner, a doubt that the historical and scientific evidence tends to strongly bolster"

Not arguing either side as I am not of sufficient IQ (never been tested nor do I care) to participate in intelligent debate in such esteemed surroundings, so I will stay in the shallow end of the pool. But I am curious what the answer is for the criminal who deserves death - Vox's words not mine. How then does such a vile, wretched piece of scum and villany get the punishment he deserves? How does a law abiding, decent society interested in safeguarding said society dispatch justice in these extreme cases where Vox feels death is warranted?

Forive me but I am the product of public schools trying (at 48 y.o. so it is a lifelong rehab program)to understand the logic here. Seems (in my bad logic) that a sane/justifiable judgement for death can indeed be reached by reasonable, intelligent folk as a result of the due legal process - hence the statement that some deserve death, a judgement is already made. Yet there is none to be trusted with carrying out the sentence arrived at in a legal and moral way. How can this be - moral enough to pass judgement but not moral enough to carry it out? How then can the law operate at all? I know I know there is a flaw in my distorted logic - so help me out here.

-alabamarob

Anonymous Anonymous January 03, 2013 11:53 AM  

Sorry, misquoted in my zeal. No vox did not say the criminal deserves death - he said the criminal merits death. My error.

-alabamarob

Anonymous Epoetker January 03, 2013 2:35 PM  

Prisons are far worse for society as a whole and for the criminal element in particular than public executions. When the penalty is death, attention must be paid to the trial and events surrounding it.

The true problem isn't the penalty, it's the fact that the legal systen has a zillion ways to delay it, caused by the gradual infiltration and corruption of the courts by career criminals and the families and lawyers who love them. (See also: Trayvon Martin, who received the very model of a speedy trial and execution by solid citizen and volunteer baliff George Zimmerman, who then had the law come after him by TMs vindictive criminal family.)

Anonymous Anonymous January 09, 2013 12:16 AM  

Danny: No concession, other than to the effects of a rather nasty strain of the flu.

I do however acknowledge the existence of a sub-set of citizens which, like yourself, might harbor doubt as to whether GW is actually dead.

Having said that, you may be right, it does make one wonder is such people should be given the power of life and death.

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