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The Death Penalty

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On Saturday, May 20, 2017 at 11:58 AM, culdeus said:

Still costs a #### ton more to execute somebody. Save the money and let them rot.  

 

Only because its not done properly. This has always been a cop out defense. Some of these losers could be processed in a day including all appeals and disposed of before dinnertime.

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2 minutes ago, fantasycurse42 said:

For the life of me, I truly don't understand why anyone would give a #### if this ####### is killed and quickly. 

I am talking specifically of this one guy, that's it - not looking for a history lesson. Strictly the guy who admitted doing it and where the bodies were found buried 12 feet down.

 

They are mentally weak.

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1 hour ago, lod001 said:

We should send you the bill for theIr Incarceration. You would change your tune really fast.

Billing me would want make me want to kill someone?  I don't think so. Is the crux of your argument that the state should kill people to save money?

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6 hours ago, Nugget said:

Billing me would want make me want to kill someone?  I don't think so. Is the crux of your argument that the state should kill people to save money?

Not at all. All murderers should die. That is the crux of my argument. Saving $ is the bonus.

 

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3 hours ago, lod001 said:

Not at all. All murderers should die. That is the crux of my argument. Saving $ is the bonus.

 

Every murderer? Women who kill there abusive husband? The father who cracks and kills  the rapist of his daughter?

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15 hours ago, badmojo1006 said:

Every murderer? Women who kill there abusive husband? The father who cracks and kills  the rapist of his daughter?

Nice try.

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16 hours ago, badmojo1006 said:

Every murderer? Women who kill there abusive husband? The father who cracks and kills  the rapist of his daughter?

Let's pretend he isn't a troll and take his statment at face value.  Let's presume that our justice system gets refined so that women who kill their abusive husbands wouldn't be found guilty of murder, or a man that has an emotional reaction to his daughter getting raped (still not so sure about this) doesn't get found guilty, and everyone found guilty of murder isn't the victim of some kind of malpractice of the justice system and that they really did it.  How would you feel then?

I'm anti-capital justice mostly because of a) our justice system fails so that innocent people are found guilty and b) our economic system puts people in situations where they had no chance.  If we cleaned that up, I'd be pro capital punishment for sure.  It's really not about saving money though.

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41 minutes ago, joffer said:

I am conflicted on the death penalty when the victims want the perpetrator put to death. 

I am definitely not in favor of putting to death a man whose surviving victim - husband and father of the deceased victims - wants him alive. The interest of the state in putting someone to death vs life in prison is fairly small, and the wishes of the victims and victims’ families should be more important. 

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On 2/21/2018 at 1:45 AM, joffer said:

Governor grants clemency 30 minutes prior to execution

https://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/texas-death-row-inmate-could-be-spared-after-unusual-appeal-n850276

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On 7/14/2017 at 5:02 AM, lod001 said:

Only because its not done properly. This has always been a cop out defense. Some of these losers could be processed in a day including all appeals and disposed of before dinnertime.

Wtf

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26 minutes ago, lod001 said:

So some of ya don't like the death penalty.

Well this disgusting thing absolutely deserves it.

https://fox59.com/2018/08/03/court-docs-seymour-boy-suffered-for-hours-after-eating-meth-dad-never-called-911/

Nope.  I agree that this guy deserves bad things to come to him, but as a Christian, I hope that none of us actually get what we deserve.  That includes this person.

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2 hours ago, IvanKaramazov said:

Nope.  I agree that this guy deserves bad things to come to him, but as a Christian, I hope that none of us actually get what we deserve.  That includes this person.

This is weird to me. As a nihilist who believes in nothing, and I mean come on even the National Socialists had an ethos, I believe that the death penalty is too soft for a lot of #### that I've seen as a prosecutor. Being locked in a cage as a human is way worse than the relief of death from my stand point. That includes this person.

But if people from all sides are reaching the same conclusion for different reasons, that's probably a sign that their underlying conclusion is correct even if the reasoning is widely different.

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Tennessee executed a man tonight with drugs that may inflict torturous pain. 

I think Sonya Sotomayor said it best - 

“In refusing to grant Irick a stay, the Court today turns a blind eye to a proven likelihood that the State of Tennessee is on the verge of inflicting several minutes of torturous pain on an inmate in its custody,” Sotomayor wrote. “… If the law permits this execution to go forward in spite of the horrific final minutes that Irick may well experience, then we have stopped being a civilized nation and accepted barbarism.”

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11 hours ago, whoknew said:

Tennessee executed a man tonight with drugs that may inflict torturous pain. 

I think Sonya Sotomayor said it best - 

“In refusing to grant Irick a stay, the Court today turns a blind eye to a proven likelihood that the State of Tennessee is on the verge of inflicting several minutes of torturous pain on an inmate in its custody,” Sotomayor wrote. “… If the law permits this execution to go forward in spite of the horrific final minutes that Irick may well experience, then we have stopped being a civilized nation and accepted barbarism.”

Billy Irick:

Quote

About midnight the victim’s step-father received a telephone call from Mr. Irick telling him to come home, suggesting there was something wrong with the little girl, saying, “I can’t wake her up.” When the victim’s step-father arrived at the house Mr. Irick was waiting at the door. The child was lying on the living room floor with blood between her legs. After ascertaining she still had a pulse, the victim’s step-father wrapped her in a blanket and took her to Children’s Hospital. Efforts to resuscitate her there failed and she was pronounced dead a short time later.

Physical examinations of her body at the hospital emergency room and during the autopsy were indicative of asphyxiation or suffocation. The cause of death was cardiopulmonary arrest from inadequate oxygen to the heart. There was an abrasion to her nose near one eye and lesions on her right chin consistent with teeth or fingernail marks. Blood was oozing from her vagina, which had suffered an extreme tear extending into the pelvic region. There were less severe lacerations around the opening of her rectumin which semen and pubic hair were found. These injuries were consistent with penetration of the vagina and ###### by a penis.

Barbarism wasn't introduced to Billy Irick's life by the state or by a three-drug cocktail. He made that choice for himself.

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16 minutes ago, Gawain said:

Billy Irick:

Barbarism wasn't introduced to Billy Irick's life by the state or by a three-drug cocktail. He made that choice for himself.

So as long as he “deserves it” the 8th Amendment allows the state to inflict a cruel and unusual punishment. That’s a novel legal theory. 

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28 minutes ago, Gawain said:

Billy Irick:

Barbarism wasn't introduced to Billy Irick's life by the state or by a three-drug cocktail. He made that choice for himself.

I agree he made that choice...however, should we, as a civil society be for vengeance?  

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45 minutes ago, Gawain said:

Billy Irick:

Barbarism wasn't introduced to Billy Irick's life by the state or by a three-drug cocktail. He made that choice for himself.

In addition to what @Ramsay Hunt Experience wrote, Sotomayor's quote wasn't about Billy Irick being barbaric or him having barbarism in his life. It was that we, as a nation, were being barbaric. "...we have stopped being a civilized nation and accepted barbarism.

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29 minutes ago, Ramsay Hunt Experience said:

So as long as he “deserves it” the 8th Amendment allows the state to inflict a cruel and unusual punishment. That’s a novel legal theory. 

The death penalty is not cruel and unusual and had not been questioned as cruel or unusual for almost 200 years. It's only been recently that challenges to the execution method have been viable. Ten years. All the initial challenges revolved around application, not execution (pardon the pun).

In addition to what @Ramsay Hunt Experience wrote, Sotomayor's quote wasn't about Billy Irick being barbaric or him having barbarism in his life. It was that we, as a nation, were being barbaric. "...we have stopped being a civilized nation and accepted barbarism.

I am stating that barbarism already exists. The is still a retributive element to the American penal system. As far as I know, the test put forth in Baze that a superior method must be available to the state at the time of execution still controls. Based on that, if there's no better method available to the state than one that may inflict "several minutes of torturous pain," nothing cruel or unusual exists about the process.

Edited by Gawain

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1 hour ago, Gawain said:

The death penalty is not cruel and unusual and had not been questioned as cruel or unusual for almost 200 years. It's only been recently that challenges to the execution method have been viable. Ten years. All the initial challenges revolved around application, not execution (pardon the pun).

I am stating that barbarism already exists. The is still a retributive element to the American penal system. As far as I know, the test put forth in Baze that a superior method must be available to the state at the time of execution still controls. Based on that, if there's no better method available to the state than one that may inflict "several minutes of torturous pain," nothing cruel or unusual exists about the process.

I don't fully understand your point. (I know you were responding to two different posts, but they have similar topics).

Just because something is not considered cruel or unusual for 200 years doesn't mean it isn't cruel or unusual. As a society we evolve. We (hopefully) become more civilized. And in addition, with scientific advances, we understand what these drugs will do to the human body when injected.

So if we know that the inmate will likely undergo torturous pain, that's barbaric. And if this barbaric torture doesn't qualify as cruel and unusual under the current standard, then maybe the standard is wrong.

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1 hour ago, Gawain said:

The death penalty is not cruel and unusual and had not been questioned as cruel or unusual for almost 200 years. It's only been recently that challenges to the execution method have been viable. Ten years. All the initial challenges revolved around application, not execution (pardon the pun).

 

The case isn’t about whether the death penalty is cruel and unusual punishment. It’s about whether subjecting a man to extreme pain for a few minutes while he dies is cruel and unusual punishment.   Presumably, the 8th Amendment would ban drawing and quartering him, right?

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43 minutes ago, whoknew said:

I don't fully understand your point. (I know you were responding to two different posts, but they have similar topics).

Just because something is not considered cruel or unusual for 200 years doesn't mean it isn't cruel or unusual. As a society we evolve. We (hopefully) become more civilized. And in addition, with scientific advances, we understand what these drugs will do to the human body when injected.

So if we know that the inmate will likely undergo torturous pain, that's barbaric. And if this barbaric torture doesn't qualify as cruel and unusual under the current standard, then maybe the standard is wrong.

Correct me if I'm wrong, but I believe you think that the process of becoming more civilized leads to abolishment of capital punishment. That's not a view I, or many others share. 
It is settled (at the moment) that there is no legal right to a painless death. The state needs to move forward with a method of capital punishment that is not more painful than other readily available means. The state did so in this case.

I'd also like to point out that that we can move beyond the process-based argument and see the results-based argument.
 

Quote

Then the execution proceeded. A minute later, his eyes closed. Snoring and heavy breathing were heard. At 7:34 p.m., there was coughing, huffing and deep breaths. An attendant began yelling "Billy" and checked the inmate and grabbed his shoulder, but there didn't seem to be any reaction. Minutes later, Irick let out a cough or choking sound, as his face turned dark purple. Then he appeared to stop making noise and was soon after pronounced dead.

It appears that midazolam worked as intended in this case. 

 

48 minutes ago, Ramsay Hunt Experience said:

The case isn’t about whether the death penalty is cruel and unusual punishment. It’s about whether subjecting a man to extreme pain for a few minutes while he dies is cruel and unusual punishment.   Presumably, the 8th Amendment would ban drawing and quartering him, right?

It's not a case about "subjecting a man to extreme pain for a few minutes while he dies is cruel and unusual punishment" either. The stay was requested on the basis that two other lethal injection substitutes existed for the State of Tennessee that would demonstrably cause less pain for Irick. Kagan found that the trial court ruled correctly on the no-available-alternative issue. Sotomayor dissented in Arthur, she dissented in Guardado, she dissented in Cozzie, she dissented in Glossip. I'm not sure there's been a denied stay case she's affirmed on. I can appreciate the convictions of someone who is against capital punishment in all forms, but I firmly believe that she acts from her beliefs and not on precedent in capital punishment cases.

As to drawing and quartering, such a process should not be allowed if less painful alternatives exist. I struggle to come up with a scenario where an alternative couldn't be found.

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1 hour ago, Gawain said:

Correct me if I'm wrong, but I believe you think that the process of becoming more civilized leads to abolishment of capital punishment. That's not a view I, or many others share. 
It is settled (at the moment) that there is no legal right to a painless death. The state needs to move forward with a method of capital punishment that is not more painful than other readily available means. The state did so in this case.

I'd also like to point out that that we can move beyond the process-based argument and see the results-based argument.
 

It appears that midazolam worked as intended in this case. 

 

It's not a case about "subjecting a man to extreme pain for a few minutes while he dies is cruel and unusual punishment" either. The stay was requested on the basis that two other lethal injection substitutes existed for the State of Tennessee that would demonstrably cause less pain for Irick. Kagan found that the trial court ruled correctly on the no-available-alternative issue. Sotomayor dissented in Arthur, she dissented in Guardado, she dissented in Cozzie, she dissented in Glossip. I'm not sure there's been a denied stay case she's affirmed on. I can appreciate the convictions of someone who is against capital punishment in all forms, but I firmly believe that she acts from her beliefs and not on precedent in capital punishment cases.

As to drawing and quartering, such a process should not be allowed if less painful alternatives exist. I struggle to come up with a scenario where an alternative couldn't be found.

I think you are underestimating how common my view is. So there are two points:

1) Whether, under the current standard, its ok to cause torturous pain to a condemned if its the least painful method of execution?  I agree this is the current standard.

2) But, more importantly in my view, that standard is terrible. Even with all the other problems with the death penalty, if we are torturing inmates when executing them, that should be cruel and unusual - regardless of how it compares to other forms of execution.

And then, of course, there are the many, many problems with the death penalty. As Breyer wrote in the 2015 Oklahoma case - "I would ask for full briefing on a more basic question: whether the death penalty violates the Constitution....Today’s administration of the death penalty involves three fundamental constitutional defects: (1) serious unreliability, (2) arbitrariness in application, and (3) unconscionably long delays that undermine the death penalty’s penological purpose. Perhaps as a result, (4) most places within the United States have abandoned its use."

---

I don't know how to do the double quote thing, so I apologize but as to your point about midazolam worked as intended - unless I am reading it wrong, the midazolam paralyzes the inmate but that doesn't necessarily mean it takes away the pain. From Sotomayor's dissent - 

“In theory, the first drug in the three-drug protocol, midazolam, is supposed to render a person unable to feel pain during an execution. But the medical experts who testified here explained that midazolam would not work, and the trial court credited that testimony.” ... “In refusing to grant Irick a stay, the court today turns a blind eye to a proven likelihood that the state of Tennessee is on the verge of inflicting several minutes of torturous pain on an inmate in its custody, while shrouding his suffering behind a veneer of paralysis."

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To start, I'm a pinko lefty commie. So that'll inform you about my political philosophy.

So that said, here I go:

There are two justice systems: one for the poor and one for the rich. OJ Simpson didn't get away with murder because he was famous. He got away with murder because he could hire the best attorneys in the country. Until we have a justice system that does not favor the wealthy, we need to table the death penalty. But even if this inequity was eliminated, how can the state murder a murderer? Is killing wrong or not? We have to set aside our rage when we discuss this. Yes, if someone harmed my son or my wife, I'd want to kill them. But that's survival mode - that's instinctual revenge. 

No one with a brain wants violent criminals on the street. You rape and murder a woman? I'm cool with an automatic life sentence. But many prisoners are going to be released some day. So this brings into question the issue of punishment. Yes, prison should be punishment. But we're training petty criminals to be gladiators. This does direct, provable harm to society.

Our prison system is institutionalized slavery. We enslave the poor, minorities, the mentally ill, and the addicts for petty crimes so we can staff prison industries. Prison industries are some of the most profitable corporations in the world. This is cruel and unusual punishment for crimes that really do not harm society. 

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29 minutes ago, jdoggydogg said:

There are two justice systems: one for the poor and one for the rich. OJ Simpson didn't get away with murder because he was famous. He got away with murder because he could hire the best attorneys in the country.

I don't disagree with the fact that OJ got off due to his legal team (though @Woz might disagree with your assertion that public defenders are responsible for folks receiving a sentence of death), but there's a lot of thought and research into how the Rodney King verdicts played into the OJ trial and result.

29 minutes ago, jdoggydogg said:

Until we have a justice system that does not favor the wealthy, we need to table the death penalty.

You're just using the fallacy of relative privation here. You're not stating that folks who received a sentence of death shouldn't have received their sentence. You're stating that even if the justice system favoring the wealthy has no impact on a specific trial, we need to arbitrarily change the sentence given out.

29 minutes ago, jdoggydogg said:

But even if this inequity was eliminated, how can the state murder a murderer? Is killing wrong or not? We have to set aside our rage when we discuss this. Yes, if someone harmed my son or my wife, I'd want to kill them. But that's survival mode - that's instinctual revenge.

Murder is unlawful killing. It's why soldiers and folks who rely on self-defense aren't charged with murder. Killing is wrong sometimes and is not wrong other times. 

The USA justice system is based on retribution. Mandatory minimum sentences are retributive (also incapacitative and arguably a deterrent). I think the US prison system is too retributive based and we need more rehabilitation based sentencing. However, for certain crimes where the only options are LWOP or death, the rehabilitative factor is lost. The person will never become a member of society again. The application of the death penalty is neither survival mode nor instinctual revenge. The application of the death penalty is the retributive and incapacitative punishment meted out for certain crimes.

29 minutes ago, jdoggydogg said:

No one with a brain wants violent criminals on the street. You rape and murder a woman? I'm cool with an automatic life sentence. But many prisoners are going to be released some day. So this brings into question the issue of punishment. Yes, prison should be punishment. But we're training petty criminals to be gladiators. This does direct, provable harm to society.

Our prison system is institutionalized slavery. We enslave the poor, minorities, the mentally ill, and the addicts for petty crimes so we can staff prison industries. Prison industries are some of the most profitable corporations in the world. This is cruel and unusual punishment for crimes that really do not harm society. 

I don't think this touches on the death penalty or on capital punishment, so I'll just agree that the focus of incarceration for minor offenders should be rehabilitative and restitutive. I will disagree that there are crimes that don't hurt society. Perhaps there are actions that have been criminalized incorrectly, but I then wouldn't refer to those actions as crimes. 

I'd also point out that the 13th Amendment explicitly allows prison labor.

Edited by Gawain
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2 minutes ago, Gawain said:

I don't disagree with the fact that OJ got off due to his legal team (though @Woz might disagree with your assertion that public defenders are responsible for folks receiving a sentence of death), but there's a lot of thought and research into how the Rodney King verdicts played into the OJ trial and result.

Well said all around.

To address your points:

I have a good friend. He's a criminal attorney that used to prosecute cases for the district attorney's office. He quit because of consistent abuses of power and prosecutions that were unjust and illegal. Now, he's not claiming this is the norm. But we're executing people based on unreliable witness testimony and fabricated evidence. This is simply not acceptable.

To the point of state-sanctioned killing and what is or isn't acceptable forms of ending a life, this is a moral conundrum I'm not crazy about. When our soldiers fought in WW2, there is no debate this was a just war where we saved potentially millions of lives. But so many wars after this are unacceptable and unjust. Ask an Iraqi how he likes Iraq post-Saddam. It's way worse. And while our government uses drones to bomb women and children, we ignored the massacres in Rwanda. So any theoretical defense of state-sanctioned killing is mitigated by an arbitrary, capricious process that is more political than concerned with justice.

Regarding the inequity in the death penalty: simply put, the poor are far more likely to be put to death than the rich. This is not contested by any facts or research.

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Gov. Newsom to order halt to California’s death penalty

 

Gov. Gavin Newsom is suspending the death penalty in California, calling it discriminatory and immoral, and is granting reprieves to the 737 condemned inmates on the nation’s largest Death Row.

“I do not believe that a civilized society can claim to be a leader in the world as long as its government continues to sanction the premeditated and discriminatory execution of its people,” Newsom said in a statement accompanying an executive order, to be issued Wednesday, declaring a moratorium on capital punishment in the state. “The death penalty is inconsistent with our bedrock values and strikes at the very heart of what it means to be a Californian.”

He plans to order an immediate shutdown of the death chamber at San Quentin State Prison, where the last execution was carried out in 2006. Newsom is also withdrawing California’s recently revised procedures for executions by lethal injection, ending — at least for now — the struggle by prison officials for more than a decade to devise procedures that would pass muster in federal court by minimizing the risk of a botched and painful execution.

 

 

This is just a temporary measure - the Governor does not have the authority to eliminate the death penalty - must be done by referendum.  But Newsom will grant reprieves to all inmates during his tenure - as opposed to clemency or commutation of sentences.  In other words - the next governor could put everything back in motion.

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14 minutes ago, TobiasFunke said:

I believe I speak for the vast majority of Americans when I say "wait, California has the death penalty?  WTF?"

 

:lol:

understandable - I think it might have the largest population of Death Row inmates - precisely because they never execute anyone. 

 

Quick google - and its not even close:

California - 740

Florida - 353

Texas - 232

 

Last execution in California was in 2006 - 76 yo Clarance Ray Allen

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Since 2007 - Texas has executed 181 inmates

The rest of the country has executed 255 inmates.

 

Florida and Georgia were tied for 2nd with 33 each.

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New Hampshire became the 21st state to repeal its death penalty Thursday, after a vote in the Senate to pass legislation over the objections of Gov. Chris Sununu. 

In a 16-8 vote after unusually brisk debate, senators passed an override measure with the necessary two-thirds of support to override Sununu’s veto, issued earlier this month. In a series of emotional pleas, some senators sided with governor, arguing that the prohibition served as a deterrent for the murder of law enforcement and provided justice that life imprisonment cannot.

But others argued repealing the punishment was a matter of humanity. 

“This question will be answered but not by political philosophy or alliances but by lifetimes of individual experiences that we all carry with us,” said Sen. Harold French, a Franklin Republican who voted to override Sununu's veto. “Today I will vote to override the veto of our governor. Because this vote is about our state and about what kind of state we are all going to be a part of.”

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