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Discussion in 'In the News' started by S&W 40, Oct 13, 2007.
From the Savannah Morning News Opinion page..
My newest hero!
I agree the guy should have been put down in 1975 and he's not the same person now he was then and he might be a wonderful person now. But enough is enough.
Usually, I'm against the death penalty because it's so very damn expensive; i.e. the Brian Nichols case. But, when someone kills another brutally, with no compassion whatsoever, like this guy did, I see no problem with killing his ass. So why does it have to take so long?
"Guilty Your Honor."
"Take him out and shoot his ass!"
And dat's da end ob dat tune.....!
Why is the death penalty so expensive when rounds are inexpensive (well relatively compared) If we all got together and donated 1 round.....
Because we have a broken system...
Over 120 men convicted and sentenced to death have been exonerated since 1973. So yes, I would say our system is broken. But let's just ignore that fact and instead of allowing for all the appeals and processes that will hopefully protect an innocent man who is a victim of the system just take everyone out back after the court ruling and shoot them in the alley. I mean, who cares if we occasionally screw up and kill an innocent man.
Appeals cost money. When it's your life on the line, you'd fight tooth and nail also. Most appeals fail, but it still takes time to work it's way through the court system.
I'm not saying lets not give em a chance to prove they're not guilty...
While many have been exonerated, there are several out there who have left no doubt as to their guilt. Their punishment needs to be swift and severe.
Generally, I oppose the death penalty.
Mistakes can be made and have been made, witness the number of condemned people who've been exonerated. Many people have been found guilty based on eye witness testimony, which is notoriously unreliable, and faulty evidence.
I believe it is applied all too frequently for political reasons by DAs who wish to prove they're "tough on crime". Especially by DAs who are running for reelection.
It is too freely applied. Too many crimes are eligible. It should only be used as punishment for particularly heinous crimes.
It's obscenely expensive to executive someone. The appeals process is many, many times more costly than life-long incarnation without the possibility of parole.
But, as wsweeks stated, in those cases where the penalty is clearly called for and there is absolutely no doubt as to guilt, it should be carried out almost immediately.
Unfortunately, I don't think the system is going to get fixed. It's too political! We may well see capital punishment abolished before needed changes are made.
And that is why the death penalty is so expensive. Since it is a final penalty that stands no chance of revocation after being carried out, the application of it only occurs after exhaustive appeals and millions spent in court costs.
Don't get me wrong. I have no moral compunction against carrying out the death penalty against those who deserve it. Some people simply deserve killing. But, in order to keep from accidently executing an innocent man, we must have exhaustive processes.
Even then the system still fails. There are many examples of this, but if you would like to read about just one, read up on Anthony Porter. He was literally 48 hours away from being executed when evidence uncovered by journalism students proved his innocence of the crimes. After his release, another man was eventually charged with those murders and pled guilty to them.
48 hours from being killed for a crime he didn't commit and it took resources from outside the judicial system ... a group of journalism students ... to prove this man's innocence.
The sytem is broken. Even with all the appeals we still send innocent men to death row. So obviously we can not reduce the judicial processes blocking the carrying out of the death penalty.
Therefore, we are left with the costs of state sanctioned execution. And those costs are enormous. While it varies from state to state, estimates conservatively place the total costs of carrying out a death sentence with the costs of incarcerating someone in a maximum security prison for 40 years. 40 years. And that is a conservative estimate.
And this doesn't even address the inherent inequalities in a death penalty case. How many of you could afford the hundreds of thousands, or even millions, necessary to hire the best attorneys or the best in forensic detectives? Would you be like me and be forced to rely on the best you could afford, which might not be good enough? Perhaps you couldn't afford any representation and would be forced to rely on the public defenders office for representation. Who here would like to be representated by an office that is overwhelmed, underfunded and, in Georgia, recently had the head of the office resign in protest over the amount of funding his department received?
Personally, I would hate to be in that situation. But if you are middle class or poor, that is where you most likely would be at. Having inadequate counsil with inadequate resources at their disposal representing you in the most important portion of your case, the trial court.
Sure, a sympathetic organization might pick up your case after your conviction. But that is like closing the barn door after the cows have already escaped. Your best hope at that point is a commutation of your sentence.
Oh, did I mention most death penalty convictions are eventually commuted? That's right. We spend all that money on getting that death penalty conviction, money that could incarcerate that person for decades in a maximum security prison. And most of those convictions are commuted to a lesser penalty, usually life in prison.
Sounds like good stewardship with our tax money, doesn't it?
So let's wrap this thing up. Death penalty convictions:
(1) Cost a tremendous amount of money
(2) Have been applied to men who were later exonerated
(3) Have a much greater proportional impact on those who are poor or middle class
(4) Are usually commuted anyway to a lesser sentence
But most Americans are for the death penalty. I just don't get it.
the death penalty has probably been debated ever since any kind of justice system was envisioned. and, it's true that there are legitimate arguments on both sides.
however, there is a solution that circumvents the death penalty issue altogether...an armed citizenry that's not afraid to defend themselves.