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Should Kansas abolish the death penalty?

Asked at The Merc, 901 Iowa St. on January 20, 2010

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Photo of Karen Roberts

“Yes they should; I think a humane society should not have a death penalty.”

Photo of Joseph Johnson

“Yes because there’s been enough things overturned here in the last four or five years due to DNA evidence that they’ve had the wrong people.”

Photo of Marvin Huey

“Yes, it costs so much to put somebody to death and often they find out that the person was innocent.”

Photo of Jessica Ratzlaff

“Yes, government needs to respect human life.”

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just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 5 years ago

"Really? “Often”?"

How about too often?

Or maybe you can tell us what the acceptable percentage of executions of innocent people is.

leedavid 5 years ago

I think we already abolished the death penalty, just not officially.

Often we put the wrong person to really.

Government needs to repect human life...well we carry out the death penality with respect. That would be so much more than respect they gave their victims.

Please do not take surveys at The Merc. How lazy. All four from the same place. Must have taken 10 minutes to do. The Merc is so liberal why be surprised to get a liberal response. Surely they knew what the response would be before the question was asked at that location. What would happen if you asked the same question at a bar at midnight? Or at a mixed martial arts fighting event? Both dumb ideas.

Just catch people on the street in a public area.

Boeing 5 years ago

I don't know if it's Lawrence's (er, Merc's) liberalism or LJWorld's desire to promote it, but can they not find (or choose to show) at least one person with an opposing view here? It's starting to sound like MSNBC/CNN/FOX!

According to Gallup, the most recent poll (October 2009) shows shows 65% support, 31% oppose the death penalty. A lot different than the 0% support, 100% oppose that is shown here...

Rex Russell 5 years ago

Agreed on a lot of these points. How about asking these usualy inane questions someplace else for a more acurrate sampling. Maybe around the corner from the paper on Mass. More diverse crowd there. With that said, considering the exuberant costs, the chances that someone got railroaded and wrongfully convicted, and the unlikelyhood of even being carried out in Kansas, let's just do away with it. Make it life without the possibility of parole. At least that can be reversed if a false conviction was the case. The death penalty has never been a deterant. It is mostly a form of retrobution for the victims family and a political toy for politicians to look hard on crime. I'm no softy on murderers but, one wrongfull conviction and execution is too many. Let them spend a lifetime in a hellhole.

MarchSadness 5 years ago

95% of Merc shoppers are going to agree that we should abolish the death penalty. Spacehog is exactly right. Stop asking the Lawrence hippies at the Merc these types of questions. If you want unbiased answers to this decent question, then go around town to different hot spots to ask it. LJW is just trying to quietly push their own agenda.

nekansan 5 years ago

Why do crazy people get on these threads and claim the LJW should have some journalistic balance. Such poppycock!

In all seriousness though, the do need to pick a location with more political diversity than the Merc. LeeDavid pretty much nailed it. Make an effort and quit asking questions in the same 2 locations, Mass Street and the Merc are not a diverse sample point of the areas population.

kernal 5 years ago

Really? The government needs to respect human life? Well, gee whiz, what is Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security? Guess I better look for those stats showing the death penalty costs more than a life sentence. Many of the convicted murders in prison never had respect for human life, nor the capacity. Hope to God we never have an event that enables some of those convicted felons to escape from maximum security prisons as they have in Haiti. Ask the people who work in the prisons! Oh, and I am a Merc member.

preebo 5 years ago

Boeing, It may shock you to find out, but the LJ World "On the Street" segment is not a "scientific" survey.

Boeing 5 years ago

preebo - I never said it was, did I? I simply implied that there had to be ONE person, even at the Merc, who is pro-death penalty.

I appreciate your condescending attitude, though

madameX 5 years ago

How exactly would you "streamline the appeals process?" Also, do you really think that available DNA evidence is not being used in capital cases? I doubt there's a problem with DNA being ignored, I suspect it's more likely that problems arise where there is no DNA evidence.

Also, what's up with the folks who assume that being against the death penalty means being for letting convicted criminals roam free? Do you people really think they're one and the same or are you just being sarcastic to make a point?

RonBurgandy 5 years ago

Yes, it does cost a lot of money with appeals and whatnot.

Also, the execution of one innocent person is too much. There shouldn't be any debate about that. It's not worth it, let them rot in jail.

tangential_reasoners_anonymous 5 years ago

Death penalty proponents.

Nothing complements myopia like arrogance.

DRsmith 5 years ago

Shocking...all the Lawrence liberals want to ban it. Who would have guessed.

Kat Christian 5 years ago

Oh H@!! NO!! I think someone who steals another person's life - especially a child's should not be allowed to see the dawn of day anymore than that child can. Eye-for-an-Eye!! I think what is humaine is to put those demons asleep by injection just like we do animals (because to my estimation anyone who sadistically kills is lower than an animal-even if they have a language). I have no compassion for ""PURE-EVIL"" I've seen the eyes of an evil person and there is no amount of compassion that can deter that evil thought in their mind at the time they decide to commit a crime against another person." The best thing lawmakers can do for these individuals is to put them down like the animals they are-put them out of their demonic misery. If we want to put our thoughts into our problems with criminals we need to start at the beginning of a child's life. Required Parenting classes at high school and early college level. Better educational facilities (stop overcrowding for one). Required monitoring of teen mothers to prove they provide safe and normal environment for their child. These are just ideas... A child's upbringing and environment is what determines the sort of adult they will ultimately become. Human life was wasted long ago when that person was a child and needed that compassion, but grew up in abuse. Once a person reaches adult age and commits a crime - especially murder which is bred out of anger - you can't expect a lifetime of abuse to be changed by simple pity. This society does not have enough to offer criminals on the outside to rehabilitate them and our prisons are becoming too overcrowded to house the really evil ones. I don't intend to sound harsh but I think compassion needs to be where it makes sense - and not where there is no means to an end (such as the death of a child). I will never change my mind about the death-penalty. When I was a youngster the death-penalty was upheld for murders-abductors & rapists. AMEN!!

jonas_opines 5 years ago

Haven't had a good "5 percenters howl a lot" question on the OTS for a bit.

M. Lindeman 5 years ago

Keep it and use it!!!!! The percentage of mistakes is what .05 %? Of those, how many of them had rap sheets with several convictions? Deathpenaltyliberal has it right, If DNA proves without a doubt. Then give the convicted one appeal and then execute them.

Romans832 5 years ago

I'd like to ask Ms. Ratzlaff if the government's need to respect human life begins before birth. (By the way, a comment was made questioning Roeder's respect for life... He will answer to a righteous God, and I do not call his actions righteous in any way.)

ebyrdstarr 5 years ago

Really, Rukus? Have you ever heard of an "anti-death penalty fanatic" murdering an executioner? Not many "fanatics" on any issue merit comparison to murderer. You're not selling me on your claim to being a "decent American".

salad 5 years ago

The conservative zeal for old testament style justice not withstanding, where's the conservative outrage at executing innocent people, prosecutor bias, and the COST of prosecuting a death penalty case????? Small communities are easily bankrupted should a deathpenalty case be tried in their jurisdiction. Average deathpenalty case costs local govt. just over a million dollars. I'd rather spend that on road repair and snow removal than killing a scum bag. We should consider bannishment to some place like Cleveland Island. Put all the evil men on that rock and they can fend for themselves.

designdiva 5 years ago

A frequent shopper at the Merc, I too would have answered “Abolish the DP” NOT because I’m soft hearted (although generally I am), or believe in rehabilitating and/or educating capital offense criminals, or because of the possibility of executing an innocent person. I believe the DP should be abolished because it does cost too much and does take too long. Instead, imprison those found guilty of a capital offense and implement work forces that involve back breaking, demeaning hard physical labor, take away all leisure time, medical care, and creature comforts. Provide water and bread for food only. Let us see what one’s life expectancy would be then? Archaic? Perhaps. Inhumane? Of course! Perfect solution? Yes! Financial costs to the taxpayers are minimal when a prisoner may only live a few years, at best. No medical care=no cost. Nothing but bread and water=Cheap, cheap, cheap! No new shoes every three months=huge savings! The family of the victim knows the offender will die sooner rather than later, and will be miserable the entire time he/she is imprisoned, in addition to providing free labor for which the prisoner does not get paid=faster resolution for victim’s family. I’m quite sure had LJW asked me this question OTS, all that would have been printed was “Abolish the DP” not the rest. There is almost always more to the story so don’t be so hasty in your judgment of others.

Randall Barnes 5 years ago


salad 5 years ago

Liberty_one: 1 Rukus: 0

Play on!

KS 5 years ago

Yes, and outlaw abortion too.

diplomacy205 5 years ago

spacehog, I'm sorry to inform you that you succeded. Your sentence is to relive the same two months over and over for eternity.

Death penalty should be given to pedophiles.

RonBurgandy 5 years ago

I guess rukus wouldn't give a damn if it was him that was wrongly convicted and thrown on death row.

Oh, but it's pretty easy when you aren't actually facing it.

jumpin_catfish 5 years ago

“Yes, government needs to respect human life.”— Jessica Ratzlaff, stay-at-home mom, Perry

Should the life of the unborn be respected by the government Jessica?

kansasmutt 5 years ago

NO, and use the dern thing we have in place now. Do the crime, do the worm food crawl. You kill, you die, easy as that...

Boston_Corbett 5 years ago

Heck no, Maude could not be on a sniper squad then.

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