Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #51  
Old 03-14-2019, 04:27 PM
Enola Gay is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: California
Posts: 2,407
Quote:
Originally Posted by Miller View Post
I know a lot of people have valid issues with Newsom as a politician, but between this and his stance on gay marriage when he was mayor, he's got my vote for pretty much any political office he cares to run for.
Well this makes me realize I have some kind of bias here, because if, in 2008, the governor of CA had usurped the will of the people by overturning Prop 8, I'd be singing his praises. But that's because Prop 8 discriminated against innocent people & robbed them of their rights.

Furthermore, I think that in any other election, Prop 8 would have failed miserably. The only reason it passed in 2008, IMO is that Obama was on the ballot, which brought a lot of African Americans to the polls. African Americans (as a generalization) tend to be religious & religious people (another generalization) tend to be opposed to gay marriage. So overturning the will of the people when they are clearly wrong--no problem.

But I just don't have that same drive to fight for the rights of say, a man who kidnapped children, raped, tortured, and sodomized them for hours or days, then murdered them by slitting their throats (that's one of our charming 737 on death row). And given that executions have been on hold here since 2006, I think Newsom's motives of saving innocent lives are very questionable.
  #52  
Old 03-14-2019, 04:33 PM
Peter Morris's Avatar
Peter Morris is online now
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2003
Location: The far canal
Posts: 12,310
Quote:
Originally Posted by Smapti View Post
Care to name someone who was actually innocent of a crime they were executed for?
That's not the question you asked.

Last edited by Peter Morris; 03-14-2019 at 04:34 PM.
  #53  
Old 03-14-2019, 04:43 PM
Voyager's Avatar
Voyager is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2002
Location: Deep Space
Posts: 45,125
Quote:
Originally Posted by Smapti View Post
In the past 75 years or so, I'd say no person has been wrongly executed in this country.
Retribution is how justice works in every civilized society - the guilty party is made to suffer for what they've done, either through fines, incarceration, or death.

All of those are people whose convictions were reversed before execution (meaning the system works had posthumous convictions reversed on procedural grounds not relating to the fact that they were guilty of the crime.

Care to name someone who was actually innocent of a crime they were executed for?
I rather expect there is less effort to exonerate someone after they are dead. But you seem to be saying that given the relatively high rate of false convictions, every single falsely convicted person is exonerated before execution, right? Seems unlikely to me.
Given how long it has been since anyone has been executed here, I doubt that fear of execution prevents anyone from doing anything - even if it ever did. The murder rate has decreased since that time. (I don't think there that is due even in part to the end of executions.)
I'd rather my tax money go to something more useful than death row.
  #54  
Old 03-14-2019, 04:47 PM
DrDeth is online now
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2001
Location: San Jose
Posts: 39,430
Quote:
Originally Posted by Smapti View Post
In the past 75 years or so, I'd say no person has been wrongly executed in this country.
..
Care to name someone who was actually innocent of a crime they were executed for?

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cameron_Todd_Willingham

He is about the only one, however.

Not only was he very likely not guilty, there was very likely no crime at all.

The evidence against him was a notoriously unreliable jailhouse informant, that he had a Iron maiden poster , a tattoo of a skull and serpent (which meant he was obviously a sociopath ).

The fire investigator Vasquez is a total fraud. ""The whole case was based on the purest form of junk science. There was no item of evidence that indicated arson".


There are a couple others such as
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wrongf...#United_States

But the strongest ones are quite old. 1939, 1944, etc. Yes, Tafero likely didnt pull the trigger, his accomplice did, but still, he was technically guilty of murder anyway.

The USA has been pretty good about this, with long drawn out appeals processes.

That doesnt mean the DP is moral, however.

Last edited by DrDeth; 03-14-2019 at 04:49 PM.
  #55  
Old 03-14-2019, 04:49 PM
Smapti is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: Olympia, WA
Posts: 15,761
We've discussed Willingham at length in previous threads and it's clear to me that he is unquestionably guilty. He clearly intended to murder at least one of his daughters for the insurance money and admitted as much through his own words and deeds
  #56  
Old 03-14-2019, 05:20 PM
Typo Negative's Avatar
Typo Negative is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Mar 2000
Location: 7th Level of Hell, Ca
Posts: 17,312
Quote:
Originally Posted by Smapti View Post
In the past 75 years or so, I'd say no person has been wrongly executed in this country.
The odds of that are not good. Once there is a conviction, the State stops investigating and are more than a little reluctant to listen to ANYONE telling them they may have erred. One need look no farther than the case of the West Memphis Three for proof of that.

And here I will bring up the incredible case of Rolando Cruz. Cruz was convicted, sentenced to die, case overturned, retried, sentenced to die, case overturned, retried...... even though one of the cops admitted he lied, the DNA did NOT match, the prosecution withheld exculpatory physical evidence and AND....they had a confession and an DNA match to someone in prison on a similar rape\murder . Cruz was finally pardoned in by the Governor in 2002, with DA still saying Cruz was guilty.

From that page we get this tidbit:
Quote:
According to the Chicago Tribune, that the case made it to trial was a legal benchmark. Since 1966 there had been 381 homicide convictions in the United States reversed on the grounds that prosecutors knowingly used false evidence or withheld evidence suggesting innocence.
And for for your consideration:
https://deathpenaltyinfo.org/executed-possibly-innocent

Seriously, give it a read. Pay particular attention this paragraph in the case of David Spence:

Quote:
The police lieutenant who supervised the investigation of Spence, Marvin Horton, later concluded: "I do not think David Spence committed this crime." Ramon Salinas, the homicide detective who actually conducted the investigation, said: "My opinion is that David Spence was innocent. Nothing from the investigation ever led us to any evidence that he was involved." No physical evidence connected Spence to the crime. The case against Spence was pursued by a zealous narcotics cop who relied on testimony of prison inmates who were granted favors in return for testimony.
__________________
"God hates Facts"

- seen on a bumper sticker in Sacramento Ca
  #57  
Old 03-14-2019, 05:26 PM
iamthewalrus(:3= is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jul 2000
Location: Santa Barbara, CA
Posts: 11,545
Quote:
Originally Posted by DrDeth View Post
He set back gay rights in CA for years because of that, in fact. His sound bite where he said"As California goes, so goes the rest of the nation. It's inevitable. This door's wide open now, It's going to happen -- whether you like it or not." was used, successfully to fight against gay marriage.
Obviously getting into a tangent, but I think this analysis is quite wrong.

It's not like California was ready to vote for gay marriage at the time of Prop 8. I guess maybe there wouldn't have been a Prop 8 if no one had started recognizing same sex marriages, but it's hard to see that as being a major pro-gay rights development because... they wouldn't have been able to get married.

And the way same sex marriage was eventually secured was through the courts. I can't imagine the courts would have ruled earlier if Newsom had acted differently.

The fact that he gave a juicy sound bite to the Prop 8 campaign seems mostly immaterial. Prop 8 would likely have passed anyway (your own cite shows polling that supports this), and the courts would have done what they did.
  #58  
Old 03-14-2019, 06:15 PM
Miller's Avatar
Miller is offline
Sith Mod
Moderator
 
Join Date: Dec 2000
Location: Bear Flag Republic
Posts: 43,597
Quote:
Originally Posted by Enola Gay View Post
Furthermore, I think that in any other election, Prop 8 would have failed miserably. The only reason it passed in 2008, IMO is that Obama was on the ballot, which brought a lot of African Americans to the polls. African Americans (as a generalization) tend to be religious & religious people (another generalization) tend to be opposed to gay marriage. So overturning the will of the people when they are clearly wrong--no problem.
This idea got bandied about a lot right after the election, and was almost immediately debunked.
  #59  
Old 03-14-2019, 06:26 PM
Kobal2's Avatar
Kobal2 is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Paris, France
Posts: 17,450
Quote:
Originally Posted by Smapti View Post
Retribution is how justice works in every civilized society - the guilty party is made to suffer for what they've done, either through fines, incarceration, or death.

No, that's how half-civilized societies do it. Compare with the Scandiwegian model, where they realize that criminals are made not born, and while they do segregate convicted criminals from society they treat 'em like human beings, listen to them, provide them with wordly comforts and support both while they're incarcerated and after they're released... and in return enjoy the lowest recidivism rate on the planet.
But hey, don't let this utilitarian and humanitarian argument distract you and yours from that whole holy wrath and retribution train.



Just meditate on this : "deserve" is for the birds.
__________________
--- ---
I'm not sure how to respond to this, but that's never stopped me before.
  #60  
Old 03-14-2019, 07:44 PM
Smapti is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: Olympia, WA
Posts: 15,761
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kobal2 View Post
No, that's how half-civilized societies do it. Compare with the Scandiwegian model, where they realize that criminals are made not born, and while they do segregate convicted criminals from society they treat 'em like human beings, listen to them, provide them with wordly comforts and support both while they're incarcerated and after they're released... and in return enjoy the lowest recidivism rate on the planet.
Then I take it you're also opposed to life imprisonment? What's the maximum sentence in your mind that's appropriate for someone who kidnaps, sexually assaults, and murders a young child and shows no remorse, if we're operating under the assumption that the purpose of justice is to reform rather than to punish?
  #61  
Old 03-14-2019, 07:47 PM
Smapti is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: Olympia, WA
Posts: 15,761
Quote:
Originally Posted by Typo Negative View Post
And here I will bring up the incredible case of Rolando Cruz. Cruz was convicted, sentenced to die, case overturned, retried, sentenced to die, case overturned, retried...... even though one of the cops admitted he lied, the DNA did NOT match, the prosecution withheld exculpatory physical evidence and AND....they had a confession and an DNA match to someone in prison on a similar rape\murder . Cruz was finally pardoned in by the Governor in 2002, with DA still saying Cruz was guilty.
So your argument that innocent people are executed is a case where an innocent person wasn't executed?
  #62  
Old 03-14-2019, 08:00 PM
Peter Morris's Avatar
Peter Morris is online now
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2003
Location: The far canal
Posts: 12,310
Quote:
Originally Posted by Smapti View Post
In the past 75 years or so, I'd say no person has been wrongly executed in this country.
There's more than one way to "wrongly execute" someone.

Many, many times someone has been convicted of capital murder and sentenced to death. After appeal, the charge is reduced to a lesser crime, maybe 2nd degree murder, or even manslaughter. Had the execution been carried out, it would be a great injustice, and an irreversible error.

I think it virtually certain that there have been a number of wrongful executions of this type.
  #63  
Old 03-14-2019, 08:51 PM
Guinastasia's Avatar
Guinastasia is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2000
Location: Pittsburgh, PA
Posts: 52,399
How about George Stinney? Even in the extremely unlikely event that he had been guilty, he was fourteen-years-old. They had to stack books on the chair because he was too small to reach all of the electrodes, and he wasn't even allowed to see his parents before the trial.

How is THAT justified? His conviction has since been vacated by civilized individuals, but it can't erase what happened.
  #64  
Old 03-14-2019, 09:06 PM
Smapti is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: Olympia, WA
Posts: 15,761
Quote:
Originally Posted by Guinastasia View Post
How about George Stinney? Even in the extremely unlikely event that he had been guilty, he was fourteen-years-old. They had to stack books on the chair because he was too small to reach all of the electrodes, and he wasn't even allowed to see his parents before the trial.

How is THAT justified? His conviction has since been vacated by civilized individuals, but it can't erase what happened.
No, it doesn't, and you'll note that I qualified that an innocent person hasn't been executed in the last 75 years because of that specific case.

I think we can all agree that the justice system of California in 2019 is more thorough than that of the Jim Crow South, and it would be silly to argue that a lynching that happened in the 40's means that unrepentant child killers should get a free pass today.

Last edited by Smapti; 03-14-2019 at 09:07 PM.
  #65  
Old 03-14-2019, 09:26 PM
Enola Gay is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: California
Posts: 2,407
Quote:
Originally Posted by Miller View Post
This idea got bandied about a lot right after the election, and was almost immediately debunked.
Well thanks for bursting my bubble. I like to think my fellow Californians are a more enlightened group & the passage of prop 8 was a weird fluke, but now I'll have to rework my theory.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Peter Morris View Post
There's more than one way to "wrongly execute" someone.

Many, many times someone has been convicted of capital murder and sentenced to death. After appeal, the charge is reduced to a lesser crime, maybe 2nd degree murder, or even manslaughter. Had the execution been carried out, it would be a great injustice, and an irreversible error.

I think it virtually certain that there have been a number of wrongful executions of this type.
Are you saying that there are cases where someone has been sentenced to death & the execution was carried out WITHOUT an appeal? The lengthy appeals process is why inmates die of old age on death row. I've never heard of a capital case that wasn't appealed.
  #66  
Old 03-14-2019, 09:29 PM
DrDeth is online now
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2001
Location: San Jose
Posts: 39,430
Quote:
Originally Posted by Smapti View Post
We've discussed Willingham at length in previous threads and it's clear to me that he is unquestionably guilty. He clearly intended to murder at least one of his daughters for the insurance money and admitted as much through his own words and deeds
No, he didnt. He never signed a confession. The jailhouse informant was known to be unreliable.

In any case, other experts said there was no sign of arson.
  #67  
Old 03-14-2019, 09:30 PM
Bryan Ekers's Avatar
Bryan Ekers is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Nov 2000
Location: Montreal, QC
Posts: 58,496
Quote:
Originally Posted by Smapti View Post
No, it doesn't, and you'll note that I qualified that an innocent person hasn't been executed in the last 75 years because of that specific case.

I think we can all agree that the justice system of California in 2019 is more thorough than that of the Jim Crow South, and it would be silly to argue that a lynching that happened in the 40's means that unrepentant child killers should get a free pass today.
The need for an arbitrary cut-off doesn't suggest a problem? And who's calling for free passes? Name names.
  #68  
Old 03-15-2019, 01:42 AM
Smapti is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: Olympia, WA
Posts: 15,761
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bryan Ekers View Post
The need for an arbitrary cut-off doesn't suggest a problem?
It's not an arbitrary point. It's a completely different historical era, in a society that was wildly different from our own. George Stinney would never have been executed today for a number of reasons - we don't allow the death penalty for guilty pleas, we don't execute juveniles, we recognize inadequate counsel as grounds for a retrial, we don't allow all-white juries and witness intimidation, etc.

Are you now arguing that if there has ever been a wrongful execution in human history, we have to treat the death penalty as unacceptable ever ever again? "Sorry, new historical research says that Rothgar Hadrigsen did in fact pay the full weregild for his part in the slaying of Aethelraed Half-Beard. We can't let that mistake happen again."

Quote:
And who's calling for free passes? Name names.
Anyone who says an unrepentant child killer shouldn't be executed is giving them a free pass. You know who you are.
  #69  
Old 03-15-2019, 01:52 AM
Monty's Avatar
Monty is online now
Straight Dope Science Advisory Board
 
Join Date: Feb 1999
Location: Beijing, China
Posts: 22,455
Quote:
Originally Posted by DragonAsh View Post
Even if I agreed with your statement (which I don't) how do you know you have one of those 'certain individuals'?

Do you want to take a guess at how many death row inmates have been exonerated (that we know about)?

If you still think the death penalty is appropriate even knowing that the state will be killing some innocent people with almost 100% certainty, it means you're not interested in justice. You simply want retribution. And that's now how the justice system is supposed to work in civilized society.

I'd say it's retribution if the person getting killed is the one who committed the act. Otherwise, it's simply catharsis (blood lust, if you will).
  #70  
Old 03-15-2019, 01:55 AM
Monty's Avatar
Monty is online now
Straight Dope Science Advisory Board
 
Join Date: Feb 1999
Location: Beijing, China
Posts: 22,455
Quote:
Originally Posted by Smapti View Post
Anyone who says an unrepentant child killer shouldn't be executed is giving them a free pass. You know who you are.

Well, I know exactly who I am and I'm certainly not "giving them a free pass". What you seem to be refusing to understand is that capital punishment is wrong. Also it does not happen to be on the judge's menu for sentencing, so your wishing it on the offender is simply your own blood lust and desire to have an extrajudicial punishment inflicted on someone.

By the way a "free pass" would be no punishment whatsoever. The man was tried, convicted, and sentenced.
  #71  
Old 03-15-2019, 02:40 AM
Smapti is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: Olympia, WA
Posts: 15,761
Quote:
Originally Posted by Monty View Post
What you seem to be refusing to understand is that capital punishment is wrong.
Capital punishment is not wrong. To the contrary, not having capital punishment is often wrong. Is it just or fair that under the much-ballyhooed Scandinavian justice system, that in 2033 Anders Breivik will be a free man after murdering 77 innocent people in an attempt to incite a race war, and will have nothing to stop him from picking up right where he left off?

Quote:
Also it does not happen to be on the judge's menu for sentencing, so your wishing it on the offender is simply your own blood lust and desire to have an extrajudicial punishment inflicted on someone.
I do not desire "extrajudicial punishment" for anyone. I desire that "the judge's menu" include all necessary options necessary to punish the guilty as appropriate.

Quote:
By the way a "free pass" would be no punishment whatsoever. The man was tried, convicted, and sentenced.
To a sentence extremely disproportionate to the nature of his crime. His victim gets to cease existing forever and ever, and he gets to live out the rest of his life without ever having to worry about having his needs provided for. And that is wrong.

Last edited by Smapti; 03-15-2019 at 02:41 AM.
  #72  
Old 03-15-2019, 02:52 AM
Smapti is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: Olympia, WA
Posts: 15,761
Quote:
Originally Posted by DrDeth View Post
No, he didnt. He never signed a confession. The jailhouse informant was known to be unreliable.
The informant's testimony is irrelevant to the fact that his behavior during and in the days following the crime shows proof of his guilt;

Quote:
Eyewitnesses described Willingham as having "singed hair on his chest, eyelids, and head and had a two-inch burn injury on his right shoulder, but the prosecution highlighted the absence of any evidence of smoke inhalation...

According to their sworn statements, both Brandice Barbee and Diane Barbee urged Willingham to return into the house to rescue his children. According to Brandice Barbee, "All I could see was smoke".According to Brandice, he refused, and moved his car away from the fire before returning to sit on a nearby lawn, "not once attempting to go inside to rescue his children". Once the fire had reached flashover and the fire department arrived (emphasis mine), Willingham became far more agitated, to the point of being restrained by emergency services.

In the following days, Willingham returned to the house with some family and friends. Neighbors described this group as having an odd levity, which was seen to turn somber on the arrival of authorities.On returning to the scene of the fire with fireman Ron Franks, in an effort to recover personal property (which was described as a very usual request at trial), Willingham was visibly dismayed at being unable to find a dart set. At a local bar, where a fundraiser was held for the Willingham family, he placed an order for a replacement set, stating that "money was not a problem now"...

In a 2009 article discussing the reasons why Willingham was found guilty, Jackson recalled witness statements establishing that Willingham was overheard whispering to his deceased older daughter at the funeral home, "You're not the one who was supposed to die."
The evidence stands for itself - Willingham intended to kill one or both of his younger daughters so he could collect on an insurance settlement and because the strains of fatherhood were wearing on him. He deliberately blocked exits to make escape difficult. The fire burned faster than he expected it to, but made no attempt to rescue anyone until the fire department showed up, at which time he put on an act of being distraught - an act he failed to keep up later on when the authorities weren't around.

Quote:
In any case, other experts said there was no sign of arson.
Aside from the flammable cologne that Willingham admitted to pouring in the hallway where the fire started;

Quote:
Ronald Franks, a Corsicana Fire Department paramedic, testified he returned to the home a few days after the fire. He found Willingham, who complained that his dart set was either burned or stolen from the wreckage.

Then, Franks testified, Willingham told him investigators would likely find cologne in the floor samples they were testing. He told Franks "he had poured cologne on the floor because the children had liked the smell of that cologne." He said he had poured it from the bathroom through the hallway to where the children were found, Franks said.
This is the "best" case anti-CP people have to offer - a blatantly guilty triple murderer who beat his wife and loved his children less than his dartboard. It's pretty evident at this point that any claims of concern for innocent people or morality are just excuses concocted by those who have a visceral emotional reaction to the idea of capital punishment and need a better excuse for why it should be done away with than "It grosses me out".
  #73  
Old 03-15-2019, 04:12 AM
Peter Morris's Avatar
Peter Morris is online now
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2003
Location: The far canal
Posts: 12,310
Quote:
Originally Posted by Enola Gay View Post
Are you saying that there are cases where someone has been sentenced to death & the execution was carried out WITHOUT an appeal?
I don't know how you got that from my post.

I'm saying that people have probably been executed for murder when they should have been convicted of a lesser crime such as manslaughter.
  #74  
Old 03-15-2019, 04:19 AM
clairobscur is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2001
Location: Paris
Posts: 17,490
You guys are arguing with Smapti that the state might be wrong, about an issue where even sensible people argue that it mostly never is?

For the record, I'm perfectly fine with the death penalty. Except for the part where I don't trust that our judicial systems will reliably sentence to death only guilty people.
__________________
S'en vai la memoria, e tornara pu.
  #75  
Old 03-15-2019, 05:41 AM
ElvisL1ves is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2000
Location: The land of the mouse
Posts: 49,042
That, and there's a pattern in the US of it being applied disproportionately to defendants of color.

Anyway, our killing someone, even if we say "they deserved it", makes us killers too.
  #76  
Old 03-15-2019, 05:59 AM
Smapti is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: Olympia, WA
Posts: 15,761
Quote:
Originally Posted by ElvisL1ves View Post
That, and there's a pattern in the US of it being applied disproportionately to defendants of color.
And I've said many times - if a person of color would get the death penalty for a given crime, then a white person in similar circumstances should get the death penalty too. I don't believe in giving white people special breaks.

Quote:
Anyway, our killing someone, even if we say "they deserved it", makes us killers too.
There's no shame in being a "killer" if the person being killed has already forfeited their right to live.

Last edited by Smapti; 03-15-2019 at 06:01 AM.
  #77  
Old 03-15-2019, 07:35 AM
ElvisL1ves is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2000
Location: The land of the mouse
Posts: 49,042
Quote:
Originally Posted by Smapti View Post
There's no shame in being a "killer" if the person being killed has already forfeited their right to live.
"Forfeited their right to live" is not an objective fact, but merely a restatement of our own decision based on our own values. Those include reserving to ourselves the "right" to premeditated murder of another human being. And that makes us no better than him, no matter how we rationalize it.
  #78  
Old 03-15-2019, 08:05 AM
bobot's Avatar
bobot is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Chicago-ish
Posts: 7,389
"Could you pull that switch yourself, Sir,
with a sure and steady hand?
And then could you still tell yourself, Sir,
that you're better than I am?"
-Steve Earle "Billy Austin"
  #79  
Old 03-15-2019, 09:53 AM
The Other Waldo Pepper is online now
Guest
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Posts: 16,192
Quote:
Originally Posted by ElvisL1ves View Post
"Forfeited their right to live" is not an objective fact, but merely a restatement of our own decision based on our own values. Those include reserving to ourselves the "right" to premeditated murder of another human being. And that makes us no better than him, no matter how we rationalize it.
I don’t see how that follows. By that logic, we’re “no better than” a kidnapper if we lock up a kidnapper — because, well, he locked someone in a little cell, and then we did that to him, see? And we’re “no better than” a crook we’re fining, if all he did was take some guy’s money and we responded by taking his.

I hope you wouldn’t reason that way in those cases; I hope you’d grant that we are better than the thief we fine, or the kidnapper we imprison. (If I’m wrong on that, then, please, set me right; but if I am already right, then why flatly state that we’d be “no better than” the murderer we execute?)
  #80  
Old 03-15-2019, 09:58 AM
ElvisL1ves is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2000
Location: The land of the mouse
Posts: 49,042
The reasons, or rationalizations if you prefer, for imprisoning someone are multiple - punishment, rehabilitation, penitence, preparation for a life as a Productive Citizen, and protection of the public from a dangerous person, and probably some others too. There is no valid reason or even rationalization I know of for execution other than vengeance. Even "finality and closure" don't apply for the wrongly convicted. It's even more expensive than life imprisonment, in fact.

Last edited by ElvisL1ves; 03-15-2019 at 09:59 AM.
  #81  
Old 03-15-2019, 10:05 AM
Czarcasm's Avatar
Czarcasm is offline
Charter Member
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Apr 1999
Location: Portland, OR
Posts: 59,735
"Forfeited their right to live"-Unless you've got a signed and witnessed declaration saying "I forfeit my right to live", this seems like an excuse from Oliver Hardy("Now look what you've made me do!"). Even if such a declaration is written, signed and witnessed, the State must still take full responsibilities for its own actions, in my opinion.
  #82  
Old 03-15-2019, 10:16 AM
Czarcasm's Avatar
Czarcasm is offline
Charter Member
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Apr 1999
Location: Portland, OR
Posts: 59,735
If one can "forfeit one's right to life", does this allow for suicide and/or assisted suicide?
  #83  
Old 03-15-2019, 11:16 AM
Miller's Avatar
Miller is offline
Sith Mod
Moderator
 
Join Date: Dec 2000
Location: Bear Flag Republic
Posts: 43,597
Quote:
Originally Posted by Enola Gay View Post
Well thanks for bursting my bubble. I like to think my fellow Californians are a more enlightened group & the passage of prop 8 was a weird fluke, but now I'll have to rework my theory.
I mean, the black people you thought were responsible for passing prop 8 were also your "fellow Californians," so I'm not sure how this new information changes anything for you.
  #84  
Old 03-15-2019, 11:33 AM
Shodan is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2000
Location: Milky Way Galaxy
Posts: 38,574
Quote:
Originally Posted by bobot View Post
"Could you pull that switch yourself, Sir,
with a sure and steady hand?
And then could you still tell yourself, Sir,
that you're better than I am?"
-Steve Earle "Billy Austin"
Yes to both.

Regards,
Shodan
  #85  
Old 03-15-2019, 11:49 AM
puddleglum's Avatar
puddleglum is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Oct 2000
Location: a van down by the river
Posts: 6,311
Quote:
Originally Posted by ElvisL1ves View Post
That, and there's a pattern in the US of it being applied disproportionately to defendants of color.

Anyway, our killing someone, even if we say "they deserved it", makes us killers too.
This is not true. In 2017 in murder cases where the race of the offender was known, 43.1% were white. According to deathpenalty.info 55.6% of the people who were executed in the US since the death penalty was reinstated in 1976 were white. The raw percentages understate the trend because the differences in the number of murderers by race used to be much much higher.
  #86  
Old 03-15-2019, 12:03 PM
Enola Gay is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: California
Posts: 2,407
Quote:
Originally Posted by Peter Morris View Post
I don't know how you got that from my post.

I'm saying that people have probably been executed for murder when they should have been convicted of a lesser crime such as manslaughter.
Ok I see what you're saying now, sorry for the misunderstanding. But I think the lengthy appeals process is imperative if the death penalty is on the table, because it's during that process that wrongful convictions are overturned (e.g. an aggravated murder conviction that should have been manslaughter). And that's the reason I oppose the death penalty--the appeals process, which HAS to be in place, and HAS to be extremely lengthy, makes capital punishment so absurdly expensive that we should do away with it.
  #87  
Old 03-15-2019, 12:03 PM
iiandyiiii's Avatar
iiandyiiii is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Arlington, VA
Posts: 32,599
The biggest discrepancy, as I understand it, is that capital punishment in the US is much more likely to be imposed when the victim of the murderer was white as opposed to when the victim was black. As much as a 4 to 1 difference, in some studies. Multiple studies in multiple states have come to this same conclusion, according to Wikipedia.
  #88  
Old 03-15-2019, 12:04 PM
Peter Morris's Avatar
Peter Morris is online now
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2003
Location: The far canal
Posts: 12,310
Quote:
Originally Posted by puddleglum View Post
According to deathpenalty.info 55.6% of the people who were executed in the US since the death penalty was reinstated in 1976 were white.
That means that about 44.4% of executed prisoners were non-white, compared to about 28% of the population being non-white.
  #89  
Old 03-15-2019, 12:06 PM
k9bfriender is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jul 2013
Posts: 10,634
Quote:
Originally Posted by The Other Waldo Pepper View Post
I don’t see how that follows. By that logic, we’re “no better than” a kidnapper if we lock up a kidnapper — because, well, he locked someone in a little cell, and then we did that to him, see? And we’re “no better than” a crook we’re fining, if all he did was take some guy’s money and we responded by taking his.
If we lock up a kidnapper *because he is a kidnapper*, then that makes us no better. If we take from a thief *because he is a thief*, then that makes us no better.

If we fine and lock up criminals to segregate them from society and to deter crime through the threat of punishment, then we are engaging in criminal justice.

If we do to the criminal what the criminal did to his victims, *because it is what he did to his victims*, then we are engaging in vengeance, not justice.
Quote:
I hope you wouldn’t reason that way in those cases; I hope you’d grant that we are better than the thief we fine, or the kidnapper we imprison. (If I’m wrong on that, then, please, set me right; but if I am already right, then why flatly state that we’d be “no better than” the murderer we execute?)
We have no need of executing a murderer to protect society from him. We can hold him for the rest of his life, if that is what is necessary, and that will actually be cheaper than trying to kill him.

There was a time when that was not true. That trying to keep someone segregated from society for life was impractical if not impossible. In those times and places, the death penalty may be necessary to protect society.

If we have a choice in whether or not to kill, and we choose to kill, then we have chosen to be killers.
  #90  
Old 03-15-2019, 01:41 PM
Typo Negative's Avatar
Typo Negative is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Mar 2000
Location: 7th Level of Hell, Ca
Posts: 17,312
Quote:
Originally Posted by Smapti View Post
So your argument that innocent people are executed is a case where an innocent person wasn't executed?
You know that is not true. Look at the link and read about the cases. Like the one where the investigating officers say the guy was innocent, that they found NOTHING that tied him the crime. Nothing. And he was executed anyway.

Now, about Cruz and the State of Illinois:

It means they were trying their damnedest to execute a man they knew to be innocent. These were the people we have put our trust in. You, much more than me, obviously. They KNEW he didn't do it and tried to have him executed anyway.

This and the West Memphis Three were just the cases where it was blatantly fucking obvious that they were innocent. And the State still tried to kill them.

Let's go back to this for a moment:
Quote:
Since 1966 there had been 381 homicide convictions in the United States reversed on the grounds that prosecutors knowingly used false evidence or withheld evidence suggesting innocence.
That should fucking terrify you. And there are 2 reasons.

1) It shows that the cops and prosecutors had\have no interest in justice or the rule of law. That sometimes they are no better, and sometimes far worse, that the people they prosecute.

2) These are only the ones we KNOW about. Don't kid yourself into thinking these are the only cases. That this is an exhaustive list. Remember, these cases were found and exposed with the government trying to deny or conceal them. Let's use the cockroach analogy . For every one we see, there are more that we do not.

I like Penn Jillete's quote about the death penalty, where he said if Google was in charge of the death penalty, he would for it. Google doesn't fuck up very much.

The same cannot be said for the criminal justice system.

US Death Row Study: 4% of defendants sentenced to die are innocent
Quote:
The team arrived at a deliberately conservative figure that lays bare the extent of possible miscarriages of justice, suggesting that the innocence of more than 200 prisoners still in the system may never be recognised.
Quote:
“If you look at the numbers in our study, at how many errors are made, then you cannot believe that we haven’t executed any innocent person – that would be wishful thinking.”
__________________
"God hates Facts"

- seen on a bumper sticker in Sacramento Ca
  #91  
Old 03-15-2019, 02:34 PM
Bryan Ekers's Avatar
Bryan Ekers is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Nov 2000
Location: Montreal, QC
Posts: 58,496
Quote:
Originally Posted by Smapti View Post
It's not an arbitrary point. It's a completely different historical era, in a society that was wildly different from our own. George Stinney would never have been executed today for a number of reasons - we don't allow the death penalty for guilty pleas, we don't execute juveniles, we recognize inadequate counsel as grounds for a retrial, we don't allow all-white juries and witness intimidation, etc.
So you contend the American justice system is now flawless, huh? At what precise point in history did that happen?

Quote:
Anyone who says an unrepentant child killer shouldn't be executed is giving them a free pass. You know who you are.
That's your working definition of "free pass" ?
__________________
Don't worry about the end of Inception. We have top men working on it right now. Top. Men.
  #92  
Old 03-15-2019, 04:44 PM
Enola Gay is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: California
Posts: 2,407
Quote:
Originally Posted by Smapti View Post

Anyone who says an unrepentant child killer shouldn't be executed is giving them a free pass. You know who you are.
From everything I've ever read, life in prison for a child killer is anything but a free pass and would be far worse than death (at least by my standards). They are the lowest of the low in the prison hierarchy.
  #93  
Old 03-15-2019, 05:10 PM
Disgruntled Penguin is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Posts: 1,165
Quote:
Originally Posted by DrDeth View Post
Not until next election.
Oh noes, does that mean that they can't do something in the next four years that they haven't done in the last 13 years? I hope the republic can survive such lawlessness.
  #94  
Old 03-15-2019, 05:18 PM
Voyager's Avatar
Voyager is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2002
Location: Deep Space
Posts: 45,125
Another factor I heard in an interview with Scott Turow, who was for the death penalty until he served on the Illinois Commission about it.
When pushing for a plea deal, prosecutors would ask for the death penalty as an incentive for the suspect to plead guilty. The guilty would jump at it, but the innocent would tend to refuse the deal. And if their lawyers screw up, or the prosecution lied, they might wind up on death row.

I don't understand why the right, who thinks government can do nothing right, thinks that the government legal system is 100% correct in capital cases.
  #95  
Old 03-15-2019, 05:23 PM
Disgruntled Penguin is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Posts: 1,165
Quote:
Originally Posted by Smapti View Post

Anyone who says an unrepentant child killer shouldn't be executed is giving them a free pass. You know who you are.
I was abused severely as a child physically, mentally emotionally as a child and somehow I came out of it with my humanity intact. Not sure why it's so hard for others? Did you lose a child to murder?

As for me, I'd have rather been murdered than endure what I did but that's besides the point. We have a culture that teaches that violence is the answer to all our problems and then condemn those that act out on it.

I blame society more than the killers and of course, most of the free world rejects our barbarity and manages less crimes. Are you telling me they do it wrong but get better results or that we're just that horrible as a people. Can't have it both really. Generally I hear it;s because we're different just like they say about having guns. At some point, you just have to say if we suck that badly as a people it's our faults, not the killers because while killing folks isn't an American thing, fetishizing violence and acting on it is our raison d'etre.

So, you say don't give them a pass and that's fine but I don't see this culture getting one either. Either we all deserve to die or none of us do. We all feed the beast.
  #96  
Old 03-15-2019, 09:31 PM
DragonAsh is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 2,453
The main problem - as noted by several above - is that once an innocent person is convicted, it's really really hard to get that overturned.
And once someone's been executed, very little time / effort is spent by the judicial system to look into whether the execution was just.

Here's a list of death-row inmates that were ultimately exonerated:

Quote:
To be on the list, defendants must have been convicted, sentenced to death and subsequently either-

a. Been acquitted of all charges related to the crime that placed them on death row, or

b. Had all charges related to the crime that placed them on death row dismissed by the prosecution or the courts, or

c. Been granted a complete pardon based on evidence of innocence.
There are 164 people on that list, just going back 50 years. And remember - these are the lucky ones. There have been about 1,500 executions since 1976. 10% of that total were *found innocent*. Do you really think that the 164 people were exactly the only actual innocent ones to have ended up on death row and ultimately found innocent? Do you really think that there weren't many others in the 1,500 that were executed that simply ran out of time, or didn't have someone looking in to their case?
__________________
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
If you think hiring a pro to do the job is expensive, wait until you hire an amateur...

Last edited by DragonAsh; 03-15-2019 at 09:32 PM.
  #97  
Old 03-15-2019, 10:42 PM
PastTense is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jan 2013
Posts: 7,331
Here is a list of women on death row in the U.S.:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_o..._United_States

Could those of you who favor the death penalty go through this list and confirm that these women are deserving of that punishment?
  #98  
Old 03-16-2019, 03:43 PM
Guinastasia's Avatar
Guinastasia is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2000
Location: Pittsburgh, PA
Posts: 52,399
Quote:
Originally Posted by Smapti View Post
No, it doesn't, and you'll note that I qualified that an innocent person hasn't been executed in the last 75 years because of that specific case.

I think we can all agree that the justice system of California in 2019 is more thorough than that of the Jim Crow South, and it would be silly to argue that a lynching that happened in the 40's means that unrepentant child killers should get a free pass today.
That wasn't a lynching. It was a legal execution. And it was roughly around 75 years ago. (And when did you name that specific case, Smapti?) PRIOR to me doing so?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Smapti View Post
It's not an arbitrary point. It's a completely different historical era, in a society that was wildly different from our own. George Stinney would never have been executed today for a number of reasons - we don't allow the death penalty for guilty pleas, we don't execute juveniles, we recognize inadequate counsel as grounds for a retrial, we don't allow all-white juries and witness intimidation, etc.

Are you now arguing that if there has ever been a wrongful execution in human history, we have to treat the death penalty as unacceptable ever ever again? "Sorry, new historical research says that Rothgar Hadrigsen did in fact pay the full weregild for his part in the slaying of Aethelraed Half-Beard. We can't let that mistake happen again."



Anyone who says an unrepentant child killer shouldn't be executed is giving them a free pass. You know who you are.
Now you're moving the goal posts -- and just plain being silly.

Last edited by Guinastasia; 03-16-2019 at 03:47 PM.
  #99  
Old 03-16-2019, 08:47 PM
DragonAsh is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 2,453
Quote:
Are you now arguing that if there has ever been a wrongful execution in human history, we have to treat the death penalty as unacceptable ever ever again?
If the reasons for the wrongful execution happening still exist, yes, that's exactly what we're arguing.

If you want to argue that the factors no longer exist or are a concern, have at it.
__________________
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
If you think hiring a pro to do the job is expensive, wait until you hire an amateur...

Last edited by DragonAsh; 03-16-2019 at 08:48 PM.
  #100  
Old 03-16-2019, 08:52 PM
Chronos's Avatar
Chronos is offline
Charter Member
Moderator
 
Join Date: Jan 2000
Location: The Land of Cleves
Posts: 81,825
You know who gives a free pass to murderers? Death penalty advocates. If I wanted to get away with murder, I wouldn't do it in California-- I'd do it in Texas. That way, all I have to do is to lay low until someone is executed for the murder, and now I'm scott free.

Remember, every time an innocent person is executed for murder, not only does that mean that the state is a murderer, it also means that there's some other murderer out there who will now never face the consequences of the law. Justice is served by the truth.
Reply

Bookmarks

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 11:09 PM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

Send questions for Cecil Adams to: cecil@straightdope.com

Send comments about this website to: webmaster@straightdope.com

Terms of Use / Privacy Policy

Advertise on the Straight Dope!
(Your direct line to thousands of the smartest, hippest people on the planet, plus a few total dipsticks.)

Copyright © 2018 STM Reader, LLC.

 
Copyright © 2017