Bush OKs execution of Army death row prisoner

Frank, thinking on it more, I have to admit - I may have jumped on you harder than I meant, or you deserved.

There is one anti-death penalty argument that pisses me off. It’s the assertion that prisoners shouldn’t be executed for any crime, because the fact of living in a prison is such a torment, they should be forced to experience ever last lingering millisecond of that before they are allowed to pass on.

I was reacting to your original post to me in this thread as part and parcel of that same sick, twisted, and disgusting reasoning. And that fueled much of my vehemence. I’m sorry for that.

Well ain’t that a bitch, because that’s the only reason I would accept for commuting someone’s death sentence. Sorry to piss you off.

Oh. Well, that’s not my argument. Capital punishment is wrong for a variety of reasons, but that’s not one I would use.

Bush’s finest hour as far as I’m concerned. Admittedly that’s not much of a baseline to improve upon but still, I sure can’t fault him on this one.

Please explain how my opinion on the death penalty is “wrong”. It is right for me. You have to live with your opinion. My conscience is clear.

Frank, I share you opposition to the death penalty, but this:

is not correct. Prison officials are obligated in every jurisdiction (so far as I know) to prevent suicides. They have isolation cells and other tools and procedures specifically designed to prevent suicide. This isn’t to say that these things are perfect - but no one will simply allow a prisoner to end his own life.

OK upon reading other posts to this thread I am prompted to think a bit deeper…
a) The CJ system goes awry. Disgustingly often, and IMHO not so much due to inappropriate protections to the accused OR overzealous systematic prosecution of the most convenient ‘perp’, but rather simply because we don’t have any guaranteed key to infallibility to be sure of whom we’ve got.

b) But we do the best we can.

c) Dead people don’t recidivate, prison is horrid, and I don’t see as how a verdict for cap is ameliorated by dragging the process on; however

d) It could be made a shitload more humane, and should be. Every last vestige of vengeance should be scoured from the procedure. Start with a medium dose of IV heroin. Increase dosage at 10 min intervals until respiration stops. Certify death.

I agree with those that think this guy should get the hammer. I realize that sometimes, in the era of the death penalty, that errors may occur in convictions. But with the advent of DNA and the current system of lengthy, LENGTHY appeals processes, the actual execution of an innocent person is highly unlikely.

I am uneasy about the death penalty, and can see the side of those that would rather say “rot in prison and contemplate and feel guilty about what you’ve done!”, but in all honesty, once someone has committed and been convicted of a very heinous crime, it’s extremely unlikely that they can be rehabilitated and/or feel remorse for their actions.

I’m in the camp of once there’s an extreme prejudice towards the removal of doubt about such crimes, then shoot the fucker. Bullets are a lot cheaper than three hots and a cot, especially in this time of prison overcrowding.

The appeals process in this country for death sentences, as long as it is, should tell you something about the reticence that the judiciary has about arbitrairly killing people. As in they don’t (and can’t).

At least you have one.

Isn’t that what we say we’re doing when the pound euthanizes unwanted or dangerous animals? That we’re killing them out of mercy, rather than making them live inside cages for the rest of their lives?

I don’t know, off the top of my head, of any politicians or pundits who have used the exact argument that I outlined earlier. I can point to a number of politicians and pundits who have used the inverse to advocate maximum torture for such inmates. ISTR having heard this from even Mario Cuomo during the late nineties, before the swell of DNA based reversals offered what seems to be a better argument to his mind. Alas, I cannot find an online cite for that, right now.

On a theoretical level, I believe that those people who have been found guilty of crimes that merited the imposition of the death penalty are, by that judgment, also outside the social contract. They have rejected it, for whatever reasons, and so the only obligation that society has towards them is the same obligations that society has towards any other dangerous animal. And the obligation that a society has to always make sure it is living up to its own standards.

There are pragmatic considerations, as I have mentioned, that have eroded the support I once gave to the death penalty. Assure me that we’ll have a true life without parole for offenders, and I’ll accept that, cheerfully. But that must be inviolate from later judicial finagling. I don’t mean appeals, but situations where an inmate is released, with time served, because of things like the otherwise laudable goal of reducing prison crowding.

(Sorry this took so long to write - trying to find quotes from Cuomo from the late 90’s took some time. Dealing with my father’s care took much longer.)

So why the comparison? People are not pitbulls needing to be put down because they choked out a toddler because of some instinctual action. They are supposed to be fellow human beings that at a bare minimum respect the right of other to live.

When you violate that right in a murderous fashion, and it’s indisputably proven in a court of law, with multiple appeals rejected, you have then forfeited your right to live amongst us or be at the mercy of the state and get to live your life out in prison reading books and eating meals that your victim(s) have been deprived of.

I’m not sure I read you here (sorry about your Dad, btw, I am pretty close to that scenario myself), but are you simultaneously advocating the death penalty and then decrying it?

Please clarify, no offense intended.

My opposition to the death penalty has a lot more to do with my distrust of cops, lawyers, judges and specially juries of my “peers” than any sanctity of life bullshit so in cases like this im all for frying the bastard.

This doesn’t make any sense to me. Are you African American by chance?

Makes sence to me, althought I do not agree with him… He does not support the death penalty because he does not feel a fair trial is possible. It is not a moral obection, If he felt a faqir trial was pssible then he would have with the death penalty.

What does race have to do with it, plenty of white, asian, native American qnd other races distrost cops, lawers and the like.

There was an excellent documentary on the BBC the other day about just this subject : a more humane way of executing people.
They started off by listing all the things that can (and occasionally do) go wrong with the different forms of executions.
Things like inmates catching on fire while being electrocuted :eek: and inmates dying in complete agony by botched injections.

After a lengthy research he found out there is already a perfect method : oxygen deprivation.
The subject will pass out within a short time and then just simply fade away peacefully.
He then tried to sell this idea to some pro-death penalty organisation saying : Hey, here is a way to take away some ammo from the anti death penalty crowd, as it is now humane.
The spokesman actually said that they don’t want that, the more the prisoner suffers in his last moment, the better, was their stance.

I still don’t understand how the USA can still perform executions along with other countries like China, Iran, Saudi Arabia.
That is some mighty fine company you have there.
Who said : the measure of a countries civilisation is how they treat their prisoners?

I understand where you’re coming from. And what follows isn’t a rebuttal, but rather using your remark as a starting point for a rumination.

When we resumed the death penalty in 1977 after a hiatus of about a decade, I was okay with it because I assumed that its use would be restricted to cases like this one - the most brutal of murders, and murderers whose guilt was beyond question.

But both before and after the death penalty hiatus of the 1960s and 1970s, American courts have all too often applied the death penalty with only slightly greater safeguards than are imposed on handing out parking tickets. In 1977, I thought we as a nation had moved beyond that. I was wrong.

If there were some magical way of ensuring that the application of the DP were restricted to coldblooded killers like Gray, I’d still be okay with the DP. But there isn’t.

It isn’t to save Gray’s neck that I’m against the DP, but to save the lives of the others who’ve wound up on Death Row despite having not committed the crimes they were to be executed for. Life without parole will suffice.

Thanks, now I’ve got an image in my head of 12 holy men in loincloths standing in the jury box and ticked off because they can’t pee.

I’m so much more clearheaded in the morning after some coffee! Thanks.

I am not african american, but i am a minority.

This what I get for posting at 3 in the morning :smack: