Best Argument Against the Death Penalty

I agree with TJIC:

If we can't trust the government to enforce the speed limit or issue liquor licenses fairly, how can we trust it to kill citizens fairly ?

It strikes me as odd that law-and-order conservatives can distrust every single department of the government except the guys who carry guns.  The post office and the police are run by the same organization.

More extensive thoughts on the death penalty here and here.

  • Mark

    THere are major differences between the criminal justice process and issuing a liquor license.

    As a "law and order", death penalty supporting conservative I would not support the death penalty if it was a completely government run process where a bunch of paper pushers end up making a "decision" like they do in a liquor license issue. The reason I support the death penalty, as well as most aspects of the criminal justice process, is that in the initial phase a JURY of citizens are involved. Juries may not be a perfect instrument, but they are a far superior mechanism in criminal justice than the political process.

    Although juries have made errors, including errors in capital cases, I think any analysis of history will show that the error rate of juries is incredibly low. About the only argument against capital punishment that I find to be legitimate is based on jury error. I do not believe that the People should not be allowed to utilize the ultimate punishment because of a non-zero error rate. Most people in the United States seem to agree with me as support of the death penalty is substantial.

  • NormD

    So not matter what anyone does, launch a genocide, run a death camp, release smallpox into the world, the worse you can imagine doing is locking them up.

    And since you are opposed to the death penalty, it logically follows that you must also feel that anyone that has been put to death has been mistreated, like say, Adolf Eichmann, who should have just been jailed and given a compassionate release when he got old.

  • NJconservative

    My dislike of the death penalty is for far less grand reasons. I oppose it because we do a terrible job carrying it out. It takes years, sometimes decades to execute prisoners, at a sometimes outrageous cost.

  • http://evilredscandi.blogspot.com Evil Red Scandi

    I agree with the death penalty in principle, but not in practice. If error was simply a matter of random chance it'd be better than it is now (but still unacceptable), but the facts say it's not. Unfortunately, the death penalty has been and almost certainly still is being used to further prosecutor's careers. Juries are hardly immune to the effects of prosecutorial abuse and the immense amount of junk science that finds its way into the courtroom (example). Some are just flat-out stupid. If you were on trial for your life against a prosecutor who plays fast and loose with evidence, would you want people of the IQ level of the OJ Simpson jury deciding your fate?

  • LoneSnark

    But I do trust the government to do certain things. I fully trust the government to keep invading armies out, killing lots of foreigners in the process. Certainly I should trust it to kill the occasional citizen from time to time.

  • Ed Fargler

    True law and order conservatives want "everybody" to carry a gun. Now as far as the post office and the police being run by same organization, that is a gigantic stretch.

    It is up to the states to decide whether they will support a death penalty or not. It's not like the feds are enforcing mandatory death penalties.

  • Prof Frink

    "I do not believe that the People should not be allowed to utilize the ultimate punishment because of a non-zero error rate"

    What's an acceptable error rate for you? How do you even perform this calculation?

    "So not matter what anyone does, launch a genocide, run a death camp, release smallpox into the world, the worse you can imagine doing is locking them up."

    What's the usefulness in this argument? Certainly, some people deserve worse than death. The worst punishment you can imagine is executing them? Would you be in favor of torturing them before we kill them?

    The problem with the death penalty is it's not useful to society because it doesn't act as a deterrent for heiness crimes. Whether these people are dead or merely locked away until death, they can no longer negatively impact society. Thus, the only good argument in favor is to achieve justice. A noble goal, but the injustice of an innocent wrongly executed dwarfs the justice achieved by killing any number of the guilty.

  • morganovich

    prof frink-

    2 thoughts: might the death penalty act as a poor deterrent because so few are ever actually executed in the US? i'd be interested to see a state by state comparison or one comparing the US to a country like china that has many executions.

    also: there is another argument for the death penalty which is cost. imprison a 20 year old for life in a max security and you are looking at 65 years at $50-60k a year. that works out to something like $3.5 million before you include the interminable and ludicrous appeals process that comes with death row. would you rather, as a society, pay to keep this guy locked up and fed/cared for etc or hire a teacher?

    i would argue that our justice system is highly uncreative in terms of punishments and that "jail fits all" once you get past probation/community service/fine is fairly weak. it's expensive, taints prisoners for life (wanna hire a felon?), creates and aggressive and hostile environment that reinforces bad behavior and mores, and leads to very high rates of recidivism.

    frankly, is a life sentence in prison less cruel than death. one could certainly argue that it is not. life sentences have a non zero error rate as well. ok, they theoretically CAN be undone, but ARE they? i suspect their rate of being overturned is as low as that of death row once you are through your first appeal or so.

  • http://travismonitor.blogspot.com Travis Monitor

    Think of the Government the way you would an employee or contractor.
    They have areas of responsibility and competence and areas outside their
    responsibility and competence.
    It is within the area of responsibility and competence of the Government to
    protect our rights from harm of violence and theft.

    Yes, the police and post office are run in the same way. Is that so bad? Not really. Aside from usual govt inefficiencies, both organizations are in most cases at least *effective* and usually pretty competent in the job. In the post office case we could do better with privatization, but in the police case the whole *point* of govt is to have a monopoly on legal force, to keep the peace. (I like the right to bear arms but appreciate that its not a necessity in my daily life.)
    I would take the competence of fex ex over the USPO, but 'rent a cops' versus the real thing? I give the edge to the local govt-run police.
    I actually *am* concerned about the Govt enforcing the speed limit - they are more competent at catching me than I wish they were! :-)
    But they can do it.

    So that takes us to the death penalty. It's within the competence and responsibility of govt to protect us from those who would kill us. They catch a murderer, then what to do? Are you asserting the Govt cant convict and imprison them? Or that there is something especially difficult in the death process? Hardly that. The only thing that separates the death penalty from imprisonment is the finality of it. You can release a convicted criminal who was wrongly convicted but you cant undo the death penalty. ... BUT someone who sits wrongly in prison for 10 years wont get those 10 years back either.

    That argument is more about making sure the burden of guilt is properly met than anything else. The fact is that we have many safeguards in place, so many that there are many obviously guilty people who manipulated the system well enough to get away with murder. OJ comes to mind. So I think the fear / issue of innocents in jail is overblown. Many of those 'poster child' cases of people on death row end up being people guilty.

    We should hope for LIMITED but EFFECTIVE Govt. Just as the best employee does a specific job VERY WELL, we would want the Govt to know what its job is, do that and no more, and do it effectively, high quality, and with the best efficiency.

    What is the cost of preserving freedom:
    - the cost of freedom from foreign threats to our rights involves sending young men in harms way sometimes killing them.
    - the cost of freedom from criminal threats is to pay for and maintain police, courts and prisons and lock up criminals who are convicted. in some cases an innocent person might sometimes get punished.
    We have 14,000 murders a year or so in the US. The crime rate *tripled* after the relaxation in law and order in the 1960s. That means THOUSANDS of innocents were killed every year in addition because we relaxed laws, including getting rid of the death penalty.

    We have a more effective justice system than you might think, as we consider:
    - the 'cost' of the death penalty is one that might occasionally kill an innocent (but hopefully never does due to the many safeguards in the legal system)
    - that 'cost' is balanced by the many innocent lives *saved* by the deterrent effect the death penalty has in reducing murder rates (that effect is real, quantifiable and large)
    - the other 'cost' is the punishment of guilty people, an intended cost
    - the money we pay to support the whole thing; this is surprisingly small when compared with the health, education, welfare and military spending we do at govt level

    This seems to 'work' overall and if you say not good enough - what is the alternative? Lower levels of punishment without death penalty while accepting the risk that some are innocent? or higher standard of guilt (accept 'unreasonable doubts'?) even if it means more murderers free? What if that means also that more murders take place and more innocent people are killed?

    In the end, it's not Governments *ineffectiveness* that determines if it should do something, but the question of whether it fits into its job description. Protecting us from murderers is within the job description, and the death penalty is a legitimate and overall effective means to go about doing it. Rather than repeal, you should look at ways to reform the process overall to eliminate wrongful convictions.

  • morganovich

    actually, now that i think about it, a more telling comparison to assess deterrent value might be looking at a state that has either just imposed or removed the death penalty and see if it affects the crime rate, possibly in comparison to a nearby state that maintained the status quo so we could have a control to try to adjust for whatever the underlying social trend was.

  • http://travismonitor.blogspot.com Travis Monitor

    "i would argue that our justice system is highly uncreative in terms of punishments "

    The 8th amendment took all the fun out of punishment. Stocks, public humiliations, 30 lashes, forcing people to listen to Barry Manilow ... a lot of good stuff is off limits.

    "My dislike of the death penalty is for far less grand reasons. I oppose it because we do a terrible job carrying it out. It takes years, sometimes decades to execute prisoners, at a sometimes outrageous cost."

    Um, life imprisonment is still more expensive. 30 years at $80,000 a year aint cheap!
    It's not clear why it takes so long to executive people, it should be done faster. It's doubtful that someone executed 23years after the crime (recent case in Texas) vs say 4 years after the crime is somehow improving the reliability of the punishment.
    Justice deferred is justice denied.

  • http://travismonitor.blogspot.com Travis Monitor

    Why I am pro-death Penalty ... I am just reminded of her name in this article:

    COLLEEN REED.(*)

    http://www.prodeathpenalty.com/Liebman/Cassell_Innocents.htm

    (*) an innocent victim of ending the death penalty.

  • morganovich

    travis-

    2 things - one, you have to look at per capita murders, not overall as the US population is up 60% or so since 1960.

    two, it seems to have a lot to do with demographics as well. violent crime in the US has been dropping since 1992-3. it has literally dropped by 50% in terms of absolute number of crimes and further still per capita.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Crime_in_the_United_States

    this is often attributed to alterations in abortion policy, but i don't have anything like the data to evaluate that claim in a meaningful way.

  • Will H

    Reasons for the death penalty:

    When you kill the killer they can not kill again. Killers that has locked up has been known to kill; other prisoners, guards, and/or other people after escaping or after parole. So the death penalty does deter the killer from killing again. If there is no death penalty there is no deterrence from killing again, i.e. you take a guard hostage and if you kill him what are they going to do, give you another life sentence?

    The death penalty also gives the prosecutors something to bargain with, i.e. for a guilty plea the killer can get life in prison vs the death penalty.

  • Not Sure

    NormD-

    Two logical errors in one sentence.

    "And since you are opposed to the death penalty, it logically follows that you must also feel that anyone that has been put to death has been mistreated,"

    No, it doesn't follow. There is no logical reason one can't be opposed both to the death penalty and to the idea that a particular individual who'd been executed was mistreated.

    "like say, Adolf Eichmann, who should have just been jailed and given a compassionate release when he got old."

    Nobody has made the argument that Eichmann deserved compassionate release when he got old.

    Travis Monitor-

    "It’s within the competence and responsibility of govt to protect us from those who would kill us. They catch a murderer, then what to do?"

    ??? In your example, the government *didn't* protect the murder victim whose perpetrator they later caught.

    If the government had the competence to protect us from those who would kill us, there would be no murders. Since there *are* murders, that is a demonstration that government doesn't (even though they may really want to) have the competence to protect us.

  • Prof Frink

    morganovich-

    "might the death penalty act as a poor deterrent because so few are ever actually executed in the US?"

    Depends on a deterrent for what. Execution would be an excellent deterrent for traffic violations and is an excellent deterrent for political unrest in places like Iran and China. But for heinous crimes, probably not so much.

    The cost savings argument would carry more weight if the appeals process wasn't so long and expensive.

  • morganovich

    agreed about the long and expensive appeals process, but is that an argument for life imprisonment or for streamlining the process?

    and again, we can speculate about deterrence in "heinous" crimes as you term them, but is there any good data? it can be dangerous to make assumptions on things like this. while crimes of passion might not be mitigated, premeditated murder for profit or among gangs etc might work.

    it certainly keeps such offenses down in many parts of asia, but cross cultural comparisons here are tricky. so are comparisons between capital punishment states and non capital punishment states as the DP may well be imposed because of high murder rates rather than the other way around.

    seems the way to go is to look at states that reinstated the DP and see what happened to per capita trends using the states that did not do so as a comparator.

    i've never seen a study like that, though it doesn't seem too hard to get the data (assuming one has the time)

  • K

    It strikes me as odd that law-and-order conservatives can distrust every single department of the government except the guys who carry guns."

    Clever but... What makes you think LAOCs trust the police? Some do, some don't.

    I oppose the death penalty as law. Endless judical reviews also make a mockery of the process. And an expensive one. To me an execution twenty years after conviction is a farce.

    Governments and people make mistakes and kill innocent people often - sometimes in war, sometimes in accidents, sometimes in the mistaken belief that they are indangered. The chance of executing an innocent man is finite but minute in comparison.

    The chance of imprisoning an innocent person also exists. The solution is not to abolish incarceration. And if you don't abolish prisons then the cost of holding a handful of extra prisoners is very small. A marginal cost.

    But I can't find anything in the Constitution that prohibits the death penalty. An inconvenient fact: the Constitution mentions that it can be imposed. But the Constitution never says it is required for anything or anyone.

    So the right course is to change the laws rather than fabricate constitutional rights that aren't there.

  • Mercy Vetsel

    If I could convince you that 10,000 murders could be prevented in the U.S. each year with the swift consistent application of the death penalty, would you change your mind? My analysis of the murder rate in the U.S. since 1900 versus the execution rate (executions per murder) leads me to believe that death penalty reform has cost well over 500,000 lives in the U.S.

    Banning the death-penalty is an example of very short-sighted libertarianism. I'm a longer-term libertarian. If libertarians endorse everything that hampers the police or interferes with the administration of criminal justice then voter will be more willing to give up broader liberties.

    All of these court dictates from the 1960s: The death penalty, the exclusionary rule, the Miranda warnings have all contributed to a multiplication of the crime rate and with it a greater police state.

    Data from a number of sources shows that the death penalty is an extremely effective deterrent, but given that the fear of death is one of the most basic human qualities, I think the burden of proof should be on the people who make the absurd claim that potential murderers are not generally afraid to die.

    -Mercy

    morganovich: That study has been done several times with the original done at Emory. The finding is that between 7 to 20 lives are saved with each execution. Time-series analysis of the death-penalty and execution rate confirms this finding, especially when comparing the inflection points.

  • http://www.rashynullplanet.com/blog/ Matt

    Mark: "I do not believe that the People should not be allowed to utilize the ultimate punishment because of a non-zero error rate."

    You're pretty cavalier with other people's lives. That jury error rate ought to be biased toward not executing innocent people. The only way to do that is to get rid of the death penalty. Imagine yourself falsely accused of a capital crime. You'd pray yourself raw hoping for a jury that doesn't exhibit that non-zero trait.

    "better that ten guilty persons escape than that one innocent suffer"
    http://tinyurl.com/l723l6

  • Prof Frink

    "If I could convince you that 10,000 murders could be prevented in the U.S. each year with the swift consistent application of the death penalty, would you change your mind?"

    Of course, but you can't. For every study you put forward, I could counter with one that actually showed a positive correlation between the death penalty and homicide rates. There are just far too few executions to isolate any sort of signal from the noise.

  • Mark

    "You’re pretty cavalier with other people’s lives. That jury error rate ought to be biased toward not executing innocent people. The only way to do that is to get rid of the death penalty."

    Not really. I believe in due process and that people accused of capital crimes should get the benefit of the doubt as a matter of process. I do not believe in hanging them quickly and that extensive review needs to be undertaken of all of these crimes, including the review of both the verdict and sentence. With respect to appeal on sentence, I believe that the benefit of the doubt should be given to the accused.

    And maybe I could agree with your old, tired, and pathetic adage about "ten guilty people escaping" if the recidivism of these people was not so incredibly high. If these people were actually kept behind bars and prevented from committing other violent and indeed other capital crimes maybe I could make some accomodations. But the fact is that often these complete murderous thugs are let out of jail and commit crimes again and again and again.

    "Justice" is a social fabric. In our society we make these determinations through the political process. Each individual can have an opinion about the death penalty. I can make my own decisions (informed or otherwise) about the death penalty. I can weigh how important the "error rate" is in convicting innocent people as can you. Our differences in these judgements are then adjudicated in the political process in the form of policy and statutes. The fact is, more people agree with me and support the death penalty than agree with you in opposition. So, in many states we have the availability of the death penalty. Maybe someday the pendulum will swing as it can for most moral determinations. But then, maybe it wont.

  • Mark

    "Of course, but you can’t. For every study you put forward, I could counter with one that actually showed a positive correlation between the death penalty and homicide rates. "

    And would you actually believe that? I have built statistical models for a career and can tell you that anyone who would believe that there is a POSITIVE correlation between the death penalty and homicide rates is an idiot. The data may even show such a "correlation", but data sets can show high levels of correlation between totally unrelated variables too.

    The utilization of regression models to "PROVE" socioeconomic outcomes is one of the most hilarious activities that the academic world engages in. If I presented models and analysis to my clients based on such ridiculousness I would have been out of a job a long time ago.

  • morganovich

    this is a bit of a tangent, but may wind up being relevant at some point:

    assuming we believe that the death penalty has deterrent value at least equal to that of a life sentence in prison, let us assume that technological advances in real time brain scanning create a fool proof lie detector. further, let's assume that a bounty of $50 million or whatever number seems appropriate is offered for anyone who can deceive the system in order to ensure that any new work arounds are rapidly revealed.

    would a death sentence be warranted if guilt could be assured?

    what about in a situation in which an obviously competent adult admits guilt?

  • Michael

    I don't know the politics of the death penalty information center but they have a review of the 135 people released from death row. Some of the reasons listed for release are: no crime occurred, prosecutor withheld evidence of likely killer, prosecutor knew actual killer but already had a conviction, actual killer worked with prosecutor to convict innocent person. I know some conservative groups like to claim no innocent person has been executed or that the system works because these 135 people were free. But get real, these people are only free because of 3rd party action and press coverage. The state would have been happy to execute these 135 people.

  • Mark

    "The state would have been happy to execute these 135 people."

    I think that is a cavalier way of looking at the people who support the death penalty. It does nto make me "happy" that people are being put to death. What would make me happy is a society that would not have to use the death penalty.

    But I live in the real world.

    With respect to the 135 "innocent" people released from death row, it does demonstrate what the appeal process is for. Further, if a prosecutor tried and convicted a person to death for a crime were "no crime occured" then that prosecutor needs to face serious felony charges himself.

    As I stated, I support full due process in all capital cases. I also believe that when considering overturning a death sentence to life in prison without parole that the case should be looked at in the best light for the defense and would support a high level of cases were the death sentence is overturned. My support of the death penalty is "limited", I guess, to truly heinous crimes commited against society. "Normal" murderers (mostly heat of passion crimes) simply do not fit the death penalty model. Ted Bundy, well, he is the poster child for the death penalty.

    Looking at the numbers, I assume the 135 people released from death row are since 1976. There have been 1000 people executed and 3000 more on death row since that time. This means that the "known error" rate is 135/4000 or about 3.3%. I googled to try to find some evidence about the error rate in conviction and found this abstract:

    http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=931454&CFID=36907215&CFTOKEN=43288827

    That the appeals process is overturning death sentences at about the EXACT rate found in this paper is not a coincidence but rather a demonstration of how thorough the appeals process is.

  • Michael

    That was a bit cavalier. But there are a few prosecutors out there willing to kill an innocent person for career advancement. And I just don't see them ever being held legally responsible for their actions but maybe the bar will wag it's finger and say "don't do it again." I agree that there should be a full appeal process, but how may of these 135 people could have had successful appeals without 3rd party advocacy groups linked to friends with deep pockets. I have reservations about a system where private people outside the system are needed to keep the system honest, especially when a life is involved.

    It came to me a few days ago that our justice system isn't designed to deal with the concept of innocence. Yea, there's the abstract idea of innocent until proven guilty, but the reality is that once a person is charged, the options are guilty or not guilty. And not guilty isn't the same as innocent.

  • Mark

    The fact that not guilty and innocent are not the same is pretty meaningless. The definition would be the same with or without the death penalty.

    AS far as mean prosecutors, I agree but believe that is a minor problem. I simply am not willing to give up the ultimate penalty as both a POSSIBLE deterrent and a means of justice on the likes of Ted Bundy because of this.

    Third party? I guess if you want to call the defense bar a "third party" that is fine. I believe that death row convicts get enough legal counsel as demonstrated by the amount of time it takes to run through appeals. There is a lot of passion on the anti-death penalty side so I believe that everyone will be able to exhaust their appeals before they are duly executed.

  • http://www.tinyurl.com/fan001 ZZMike

    "... how can we trust it to kill citizens fairly ?"

    And in fact, it doesn't. So, you've convinced me to change my position.

    However, there are more problems with the process, the way it's implemented now. The first problem is the 10+ year wait after sentencing.

    In most cases, the guilt is clear-cut. No question. After that, 24 hours to the cemetary.

    When it isn't, then we go the way we are now.

    The other solution is, since the government can't be trusted to get it right, the people get the job.

    There are a few problems with that one, mainly that the way civilization works is, we give up our right to justice and vengeance to the State - otherwise, it's chaos absolute.

    Ed Fargler: "It is up to the states to decide whether they will support a death penalty or not."

    What a quaint notion. State's rights? That's anathema to the group now in power.

    Prof Fink: "The problem with the death penalty is it’s not useful to society because it doesn’t act as a deterrent for heiness crimes. Whether these people are dead or merely locked away until death, they can no longer negatively impact society."

    The only problem with that (besides "heiness") is that they are almost never "locked away until death". Compassionate Parole Boards often let them out after a mere 10 or 12 years. You may remember the noble effort Norman Mailer put into getting a convicted murderer released - after which the guy killed again.

    The one thing capital punishment does is that it assures that that guy will not do it again.

    It's not supposed to be a deterrent, it's supposed to be a punishment. A significant percent of murders are spur-of-the-moment crimes ("crimes of passion", as the French put it). Another fraction is the "oops, my gun went off" accidental homicide. The rest are probably the "I planned this so well they'll never catch me". (The best recent example of that is the guy who killed his girlfriend, then dismemebered her body (fingers and teeth) to prevent ID. They ID'd her from her breast implants.)

    I think that one reason it isn't a deterrent is the long time it takes from start to finish. Another is the idea of society that criminals are merely mistreated individuals who just need a little love and attention.

    Since there's always been capital punishment - and always quicker and more brutal than us - and it's never been a deterrent, we should drop that argument in favor of the one that says, well, at least HE won't do it again.

    Traffic cops make us less willing to break speed laws. I think capital punishment has the same effect about capital crimes.

    Finally, I would urge anybody opposing the death penalty, or on the borderline, to go to some of the state's death row websites, and read the details of what these people have done. A long time ago, Socrates observed that there are some people who are human in shape only.

  • Michael

    I guess I'm just not as comfortable as you with will killing a few innocents so society can do a non deterrent execution of the likes of Ted Bundy.

    The trouble with the Coke and Pepsi parties is that their both pro life until killing servers the greater good. Where they focus their life vs death message just differs.

  • http://www.rashynullplanet.com/blog/ Matt

    "I can weigh how important the “error rate” is in convicting innocent people as can you."

    Exactly how many collateral innocents are you willing to sacrifice for your "social fabric"? One innocent per 1000000 genuine criminals? One per 1000? Maybe one per three?

    I'm not willing to sacrifice *anyone*, because I refuse to play macabre games with other people's lives.

  • tehag

    "If we can’t trust the government to enforce the speed limit or issue liquor licenses fairly, how can we trust it to kill citizens fairly ?"

    Exactly why I hate parole boards, pardon commissions, et al. I'd never trust to the government which criminal should receive a furlough, parole, sentence reduction, or pardon.

    And I'm sure everyone who thinks this is a good argument against the death penalty agrees with me. There should be one and only one sentence for each crime. Each criminal should serve every single minute of that sentence.

    "Exactly how many collateral innocents are you willing to sacrifice for your “social fabric”? One innocent per 1000000 genuine criminals? One per 1000? Maybe one per three?"

    A question I often ask of people who believe in parole, pardons, furloughs, etc. How many innocents must die because the government let a criminal out early? Judges which order the release of criminals because prisons are overcrowded have the blood of innocents on their hands.

    I hope a special circle of Hell is reserved for people who feel mercy for criminals instead of their victims.

  • Michael

    I agree with "if you do the crime you do the time" view. But I think the prosecutors should be limited to charges that fit the criminal complaint. The idea that you have a car accident, someone dies, the prosecutor goes for murder, the defense comes back and offers negligence, the prosecutor takes involuntary manslaughter, and everybody gets to skip the trial is reckless. One poster said their for the death plenty so it can be used to leverage people to plead to other crimes. I don't like the idea where the person is charged with a crime the state knows they didn't commit, so the state can get a person to plead to a crime the state thinks they committed, without the state having to prove to a jury the merits of the case. The justice system shouldn't be run like a department store having a one day sale.

  • Mark

    "I’m not willing to sacrifice *anyone*, because I refuse to play macabre games with other people’s lives."
    "I guess I’m just not as comfortable as you with will killing a few innocents so society can do a non deterrent execution of the likes of Ted Bundy."

    Macabre games? I do not want to play any games. The death penalty is an appropriate punishment for many crimes. It serves justice. Remember, it is not "Crime and Deterrence". It is Crime and Punishment. There are some crimes, committed against society that warrant this price.

    As for Ted Bundy, you believe that the appropriate punishment for his crimes is sitting in prison, supported by the same society the he was a predator upon? I can see absolutely no justification for society tolerating his mere presence, even in confinement. Further, he demonstrated that even serial murderers can excape

    The death penalty is an appropriate punishment. It has a drawback that it cannot be reversed, but the careful application of justice shows that it is extremely unlikely that any "innocents" have actually been executed. I am very comfortable with that knowledge.

  • http://rashynullplanet.com/blog/ Matt

    "I do not want to play any games"

    Answer the question at hand: how many people will you sacrifice?

  • Michael

    4 years ago I had a laptop stolen from my car. Since I carry special insurance riders on my computers, I had to file an incident report with the police. A few days later, a detective called me to inform me that my computer had not been stolen and that I had traded it for drugs. I was told that it was in my best interest to give him my drug dealer. I told the detective I have never been a drug user and was clueless as to who deals drugs in Cincinnati. This cop forged a fake criminal complaint and affidavits. He alleged that I filed 2 conflicting police reports, 2 conflicting reports with my insurance company and admitted to my insurance company that the computer wasn't stolen. All this was false. The police never took a report and the insurance company only had one report that they agreed with in full. The insurance company even took action against the City of Cincinnati to get their name removed from the fake criminal complaint. At this point the cop had committed 8 counts of purgery.

    What did the prosecutors office do. Than ran with it. The prosecutor and cop got the grand jury to come back with 2 felonies. My attorney waived all hearings and requested an immediate bench trial. The prosecutors office tried to fight discovery. It's a little hard to turn over non existent documents claimed to exist in an affidavit filed with the court. The judge order compliance with our discovery request. A month later at the trial, the prosecutor want to proceed only of the testimony of the cop. We made a motion for dismissal since the prosecution's case would be purgered testimony since it conflicted with the cops filing of the criminal complaint and affidavits with the court. The judge dismissed the case. The cop came over and threated me in front of my attorney that he would make up something else to stick me with.

    All this was done because I wouldn't randomly pick an innocent black man and commit purgery in court claiming he was a drug dealer. Nothing ever happened to the cop or the prosecutors. They are free to continue there misconduct. I had resources (cash) and bright private lawyers that could shut this corrupt bunch down. If this case had other people with lessor resources, an innocent person would be doing some time.

    There are plenty of Bernie Madoff's working as cops, lawyers and judges. There are plenty of people that commit crimes and need to be put away. Knowingly going after innocent people to make your career look better should lead to disbarment, termination and jail time, but these people will keep their jobs and be promoted.

  • Mark

    "Answer the question at hand: how many people will you sacrifice?"

    I already did. THe answer is implicit, not explicit. You can have your beliefs and I can have mine and we will let the political process determine which policies will be followed.

    "If this case had other people with lessor resources, an innocent person would be doing some time."

    I have no reason to doubt your story. However, I find it rather absurd. If all such rogue cops, lawyers, and judges are as dumb as these people we really do not have much to fear. Nor can I see how making such absurd claims that are so readily dismissed can lead to "career advancement".

    Although there may actually be cases of innocent bystanders being framed for crimes they did not commit, I think that most of it is in Hollywood's imagination.

  • Michael

    I don't know why the detective acted this way. I reported the theft with a street cop and only for insurance purposes. Cincinnati cops don't have to worry about being fired. The union has arbitration so any fired cop gets reinstated with back pay. A few years back, we had a group the would show up at a sub station, lock the doors and go in the back and play video games and download porn. They were simple sent to other station.

    I'm not an anti death plenty person. It's just over the years, having looked at the justice system, I find it's really a legal system and the players in it are above it. I'd have more faith in the system if the people running the system were accountable to it.

  • http://rashynullplanet.com/blog/ Matt

    "'Answer the question at hand: how many people will you sacrifice?'

    "I already did. THe answer is implicit, not explicit. You can have your beliefs and I can have mine and we will let the political process determine which policies will be followed."

    You didn't answer shit.

    There is a threshold of jury error at which even you would become squeamish. What's you're threshold? How many people will you sacrifice to your process?

  • http://rashynullplanet.com/blog/ Matt

    That "you're" should have been "your".

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