Jstanz wrote:The case of Suzanne Collins in Douglas' book is a perfect example of why I agree with the death penalty. The only reason I can no longer advocate it is because of how often the prosecution gets it wrong. Sedley Ally is one guilty that I WOULD NOT have wanted to see go free.
wald1900 wrote:Jstanz wrote:The case of Suzanne Collins in Douglas' book is a perfect example of why I agree with the death penalty. The only reason I can no longer advocate it is because of how often the prosecution gets it wrong. Sedley Ally is one guilty that I WOULD NOT have wanted to see go free.
This has become essentially my argument as well. While I understand and respect that there are those who feel profound moral scruples about society’s right to take another human life, I do not share them. There are, in my view, some individuals whose acts are so egregiously evil that mankind as a whole is better off with them put down; not as a matter of vengeance but as a matter of simple civic responsibility. Notwithstanding this view, I oppose the death penalty for the simple reason that while I’m convinced that these malignant souls certainly exist, I am not convinced that societies do a particularly good job of identifying them. To take another life, justified in theory though it may well be, requires something more than “beyond a reasonable doubt”. It requires certainty.
The problem is as much practical as it is moral. Let’s assume for a second that there are circumstances under which we can say with “certainty” that an individual stepped so far over the line that they deserve death. If, however, we require “certainty” to put a person to death, we then need two separate verdicts – “Certain” and “Pretty dang sure”. We would need to try these cases to a standard of “certainty” and a jury would have to agree. Given everything I now know about the deficiencies of our criminal justice system and the means by which police and prosecutors (either knowingly or unknowingly) can manipulate a perception of guilt, I can’t see myself ever signing off on a “Certain” verdict. And what then do we say to those convicted of the same types of horrible crimes who we do not put to death? We wind up having to say “Look, we’re not certain you committed this horrible crime. If we were, we’d be strapping you onto a gurney. We are, however, pretty dang sure. That’s why you’re only getting life in prison.” This prospect of two potential verdicts is, to me, even more societally amoral than the death penalty.
Ray Krone was sentenced to death for a crime he did not commit. After serving more than 10 consecutive years in Arizona prisons, including 32 months on death row, he was successfully exonerated in 2002. His innocence was finally established after DNA tests proved another man had committed the murder of a female bartender..
Fox news wrote:.. attorneys have asked a judge to vacate the jury's decision in her murder trial that the 2008 killing of her boyfriend was "especially cruel," a finding that allowed the panel to consider the death penalty.
Defense attorneys argue in their motion that the definition of "especially cruel" is too vague for jurors with no legal experience to determine what makes one killing more cruel or heinous than another.
The filing also appears to challenge a landmark 2002 U.S. Supreme Court ruling that found a defendant has the right to have a jury, rather than a judge, decide on the existence of an aggravating factor that makes the defendant eligible for capital punishment.
The high court determined that allowing judges to make such findings violated a defendant's constitutional right to a trial by jury.
"Given the apparent difficulties that judges faced (prior to the ruling) in applying the statute in a uniform, consistent manner, juries are understandably even less equipped to do so," defense attorney Kirk Nurmi wrote in the motion filed late last week.
I say what does it tell of a society that would somewhat condone such behavior by giving them the same punishment as nonviolent offenders such as extreme drug dealers, thieves etc.
MichaelB wrote:80% of death penalty sentences are not overturned in Arizona or in any other state.
For the last five years, I have been representing an innocent man.
I first met Montez Spradley on Alabama's death row in 2008. From that very first day, he vigorously maintained his innocence of the crime that landed him there: the 2004 murder of a 58-year old grandmother in Birmingham.
Last Friday, Montez accepted a plea deal that guarantees his freedom. It has been a long journey from a trial described as a "miscarriage of justice" to death row to a retrial to last week's plea, but finally, in a matter of years, Montez will be able to leave the horror of the last several years behind him.
How does an innocent man end up on death row? The answer lies with a death penalty system broken beyond repair.
We already knew that both had serious credibility problems, but then we discovered that Montez's ex-girlfriend had been paid more than $10,000 in reward money after she testified against Montez – a fact the prosecution never revealed to Montez's defense team. Then, earlier this year, his ex-girlfriend recanted and admitted that Montez had never confessed to her.
ljrobins wrote:I think the death penalty is a barbaric practice, and should be correctly defined as premeditated murder -- not capital punishment. I've grown more and more interested in Norway's approach, and I'm fascinated with their low recidivism rate. I know there are likely some flaws in that system, but rehabilitation rather than "punishment" seems a more progressive answer. Tim, one question, about what you wrote:I say what does it tell of a society that would somewhat condone such behavior by giving them the same punishment as nonviolent offenders such as extreme drug dealers, thieves etc.
Might you (or others) consider that the "punishment" for non-violent offenders is sometimes too extreme, which can make such a comparison to violent offenders in that context flawed? Also, in terms of the US, I don't see DP as being consistently applied. And yes, I know each state is different, but even within a state, who gets DP or who doesn't seems inconsistently applied. And then there is that huge risk of murdering someone who was innocent all along. Not sure the risk of one innocent death is worth it. I also wonder why do we not encourage forgiveness as the road to healing rather than advocating for another person's death as a way to seeking comfort? I must admit I do find that odd. AND, in particular, most people who I see screaming for death seem angry not sitting in peace. That does make me think.
My comments are not a criticism, just raising the question about how we are "taught" to view people who commit (or are convicted) of crimes. Again, I think Norway's approach, or rather point of view, is revealing in contrast to how North American's view perpetrators as scum versus troubled people who require support, discipline, counselling and love (I know that seems trite but for many it's key) to become better human beings. I'm looking at this in the big picture rather than one by one -- as a Ted Bundy can't ever be reformed, but needn't of been killed either. Can we still not learn something from those people? Maybe not, but maybe so. Do we even try? Doesn't mean they should be set free, of course. Just thinking out loud, here, I guess. Will stop now!
ljrobins wrote:Might you (or others) consider that the "punishment" for non-violent offenders is sometimes too extreme, which can make such a comparison to violent offenders in that context flawed?
In the 35 years since the U.S. Supreme Court reinstated the use of the death penalty in the United States, Pennsylvania has executed three death row inmates. In that same time, the State has freed double that amount of inmates—six in total—after the prisoners were found to have been wrongfully convicted. Deiter believes Dennis could be number seven.
“They’ve had more people freed from death row as innocent than they’ve had executed; that’s a disturbing ratio. It’s still too early to tell but this might well be the seventh case, which would put Pennsylvania up there with some states with the most wrongful convictions in the country,” Deiter said.
Desert Fox wrote:Connecticut Supreme Court says the death penalty is unconstitutional and bans executions for inmates on death row
http://www.washingtonpost.com/news/post ... death-row/
Richard Glossip's attorneys admit they are feeling the pressure. With just nine days until his scheduled execution Glossip's attorneys are frantically working to save his life.
“I don’t even want to think about this execution going through, I can’t,” Glossip’s attorney Don Knight said.
Knight is one of three attorneys from across the country working pro bono to try and save Richard Glossip's life.
Gov. Mary Fallin said the execution will go forward in nine days unless she is presented with new information in the case.
Knight and defense investigators are currently in Oklahoma looking for that new evidence.
Knight is from Colorado and said he plans to be in Oklahoma up until the execution date interviewing witnesses connected 1997 murder of Barry Van Treese.
“What we have been finding in the course of our investigation is many key players have never been talked to by any defense lawyer at all or any defense investigator, which is stunning since there have been two trials in this case,” Knight said.
Glossip's attorneys are also looking for information from someone who did time with Justin Sneed. Sneed testified Glossip masterminded the murder. “If they would come forward and say let me tell you about something Justin Sneed has said, something that I overheard or that he said to me or something a friend told me he said about this situation that doesn’t go along with this idea that Richard Glossip is guilty,” Knight said.
Knight said Glossip's legal team has not met yet with Fallin to discuss the case, but hope to before the execution.
“She seems to be a substantive person so I think we need to respect that and come to her when we are absolutely ready to give her the information that we think gives her the ammunition she needs to give us the 60 say stay," Knight said.
With the world now watching what happens in this case, it's up largely to Oklahomans to put pressure on the governor to issue the 60 day stay, Knight said.
“When the rest of the world is looking at a state that is about ready to kill an innocent man, it really should make all Oklahomans pause and say ‘Do we want that? Why are we doing this to ourselves?’ Only Oklahomans can stop this,” Knight said.
roteoctober wrote:I hope Oklahomans will listen ...
In 1996, nearly four out of five Americans (78 percent) said they supported the death penalty, the Pew Research Center reported, but that number fell to 56 percent earlier this year. A Gallup poll released last month said that 61 percent of Americans supported the death penalty, down from 80 percent in 1994.
[Americans also largely agree that an innocent person can be put to death under the current system]
Another poll, though, found that when given the choice between life in prison without parole or a death sentence — rather than simply being asked if they supported or opposed the death penalty — a majority of Americans said they supported life imprisonment (52 percent) rather than death sentences (47 percent), the Public Religion Research Institute reported last month.
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