Friday, November 25, 2005

Why I oppose the death penalty 
Because it appears Texas executed an innocent kid.

I've always opposed the death penalty. Not because I care if Paul Bernardo or Ted Bundy or Adolf Eichmann dangle at the end of a rope - and there are others I'd love to see fry, whose guilt is not seriously in doubt - but because I don't make bets I can't afford to lose.

Maybe we should be ending prosecutor's and judges' careers where evidence like this comes up, even years after the fact. That should balance the tendency of the electorate to drool for blood, give every prosecutor or judge a healthy incentive to be very circumspect about when he seeks or imposes the death penalty, if ever.

Fry an innocent man, get disbarred.

It's the law.

Splash, out


I favor the death penalty, but I believe it should only be used in the most heinous of crimes. (A Ted Bundy would definitely qualify.)

There's two things about the opposition to the death penalty that bother me.

1) Is it somehow less eggregious to jail an innocent person for life rather than put them to death? In the end, isn't the same thing?

2) Why is it OK to have a system so flawed that an innocent person can be found guilty of a crime, so long as the death penalty is off the table?

I think we should fix the flaws in the system and definitely, definitely, if an innocent person is convicted of any crime and it can be proven in a court of law that the prosecutor or the police "pushed" the evidence in that direction, then they should go to jail. There should not be any ability to plea bargain down to a non-jail offense. They need to serve time.
I forgot to say, I find an odd dichotomy with a man whose job it is to kill the enemy being opposed to the death penalty. I'd love to see how you reconcile that philosophical discord.
And what about the two 'witnesses' who allegedly purjured themselves in the process of allowing this execution to go forward?

Are they culpable or are they 'victims', too?

BTW, Antimedia, I'm sure Jason will point out there's a huge difference between killing agents of a foreign power (national or transnational) that are trying to kill Americans or otherwise threaten our national security and killing a person safely in custody serving no active threat to society at large.

Personally, I support the death penalty, but the arguments above are valid. I just happen to think there are crimes so heinous and people so evil that we cannot justify suffering the possiblity they'll do injury to their jailors or (worse) escape and again pose a threat to society.

I also support certain reforms to make sure we got it right before execution is conducted. Once we're sure we're right, though, do it quickly.
Major D,
You assume these nationals or foreign nationals are trying to kill Americans. You are judge, jury and executioner. Same thing when a team double taps wounded as they sweep a building. Actually, I'm fine with both of the above examples. Facts are, ANY system devised by humans is going to be subject to error. So do we not fine, imprison, or execute anyone since our system can never be perfect? That's silly. And so is oppossing the death penalty on the basis that it cannot be flawlessly executed... I mean inacted. If we find willful violations of laws by those elected to enforce our laws, those people should be subject to serious penalty, up to and including the death penalty!

MSgt clews
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