Tuesday, March 20, 2007

It Makes You Wonder

The Legislature of The Great State Of Maryland, in its infinite wisdom could NOT bring itself to end the Death Penalty. The legislators have been made aware of the statistical conclusions that the Death Penalty discriminates against the poor, who rely on public defenders to defend them in court against criminal charges. Without the money to spend to counter the investigative arms of the police, etc., the average public defender doesn't stand a chance against the public prosecutor. Plea bargains are common.

An evaluation of the population of Death Row bears out that the poor and the black population constitute a disproportionate percentage of those waiting to be executed. This is not what one would expect.

Since an error in process is uncorrectable once the death penalty has been exacted, you would think that it would be obvious that the death penalty should be abolished. The fact that the United States is the last civilized country that has the death penalty makes you wonder.

I'm saying this kind of crap is wrong.

13 comments:

spoon said...

Hmmm! I'm never sure what I really think about the death penalty. Our crime is so bad here, not just crime, violent crime and I think having the death penalty would be a huge deterrent but if you're pro killing, then you're pro killing...i dunno...

Glamourpuss said...

Institutionalised murder is barbaric and it clearly doesn't work - the US murder statistics aren't exactly falling now are they?

Puss

cmhl said...

hey, what happened to my comment?

:-(

Pickled Olives said...

I don't like the idea that violent murderers are sent to life in prison or paroled. I don't like that the system is flawed. I am not against the death penalty, but I am for a moratorium on it until the system is no longer flawed on all accounts.

Lee said...

The fact that OJ is running around free, writing books about how he would kill them, and playing golf proves your point exactly. The rich, who can afford showboat lawyers go free, while the rest just get run over by the wheels of our justice system.

cinders said...

I think if you end up in prison, it's not because you're an upstanding citizen. We don't have the death penalty in Wisconsin, which is really here nor there, but we just had a case where this guy was released from prison after 18 years, after wrongfully being convicted of rape, which dna evidence now proved him innocent of. And what does he do a month after being released? He goes and kills a 25 year old photographer who came out to his salvage yard to take pictures for an auto magazine, cuts her up and burns her in his burn barrel. This he has just been convicted of. I wonder if he'll get those 18 years as time served against his impending life sentence for murder/posession of a weapon? Obviously we shouldn't have been cheering his "due justice" when he was realeased because it turns out he was a turd to begin with.

Story

My point is that nobody in prison is completely innocent. Should they have to die for it? Do you realize how overcrowded our prisons are here? How much we apparently spend on them?

It is an age-old debate.

Allan said...

Lee,

The amount of money spent to keep a person in prison for life, is less than the government spends trying to execute a prisoner on death row.

The appeals process in death penalty cases can drag on for 20+ years, which is supposed to help make sure we don't execute an innocent person.

Unfortunately, I'm not sure it works very well.

We would be better off, and save money if we abolished capital punishment.

The CEO said...

CMHL, I don't know what happened to you comment, but please, make it again.

Spoon, the death penalty has never been shown to deter violent crime.

Puss, right.

Olives, why sink to the level of the murderer? Allan has correctly pointed out that it is cheaper to keep a prisoner for life with no hope of parole than to go through all of the habeas corpus etc., appeals to actually execute a prisoner. Even in Texas. As for perfecting something in the legal system, the best I think we can hope for is to improve the statistical probability that the sytem functions correctly. Once you admit that there is only a probability that the decision is correct, then the punishment inflicted needs to be correctable, which the death penalty isn't.

Lee, you hit the point perfectly, as usual.

Cinders, everyone is guilty of something. The guy you mention is probably the exception. Consider that Allan Dershowitz of Harvard with others has started the Innocence Project and has freed quite a large number of people who have been incarcerated by using DNA evidence. Not everyone who gets a second chance at life uses it to kill someone.

Allan, thank you. As usual, you are exceptionally well informed.

MJ said...

I am for it … but that Is just my 3 ½ cents ……

Odat said...

I just popped in to say hi...lol...
I have no comment on the post.
Just wanted to let you know I read it tho.
Peace

spoon said...

CEO, neither has jail proven to be a huge deterrent to violent crime or our prison's wouldn't be bursting at the seams...don't you think? but we still chuck people in prison....

spoon said...

Therefore, we should do away with prisons too? As crime appears to be on the rise all over the world...

cmhl said...

I have a drawer in my desk with interesting quotes about certain topics. This is by columnist Jeff Jacoby discussing where constitutional law stands on this issue. I am not saying if I agree or disagree with this quote, but I think it is extremely well-written, and deviates from the normal bland argments.

"It is up to the law to speak to them--- to speak for all grief-stricken survivors confronted with the butchery of someone near and dear. Capital punishment says to them: We, the community, take your loss with the utmost seriousness. We know that you are filled with rage and pain. We know that you may cry for vengeance, may yearn to strangle the murderer with your bare hands. You are right to feel that way. But it is not for you to wreak retribution. As a decent and just society, we will do it. Fairly. After due process. In a court of law.

I would imagine that the Founding Fathers could not have conceived of a world or nation without capital punishment."

more quotes from this file:

Ed Koch
"It is by exacting the highest penalty for the taking of human life that we affirm the highest value of human life."

Donald Atwell Zoll
"Capital punishment ought not to be abolished solely because it is...repulsive, if infinitely less repulsive than the acts which invoke it...If we are to preserve a humane society we will have to retain sufficient strength of character and will to do the unpleasant in order that tranquillity and civility may rule comprehensively. It seems very likely that capital punishment is a...necessary, if limited, factor in that maintenance of social tranquillity and ought to be retained on this ground. To do otherwise is to indulge in the luxury of permitting a sense of false delicacy to reign over the necessity of social survival."