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Bill introduced to abolish death penalty in Kansas

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Topeka — A bill was introduced Thursday that would abolish the death penalty in Kansas.

State Rep. Steven Becker, R-Buhler, said the bill would replace capital punishment with a sentence of life without parole.

The measure would also establish a fund for anticipated savings from eliminating the death penalty, and use those savings to assist families of homicide victims.

The last time the Kansas Legislature debated repeal of the death penalty was in 2010 when the Senate voted 20-20 to abolish capital punishment. That was one vote less than the 21-vote majority needed to advance the measure.

Kansas reinstated the death penalty in 1994, but no executions have been carried out since then.

Supporters of abolishing the death penalty say it requires extra funding to litigate death penalty cases, which robs dollars from other budget needs.

Becker's bill was introduced before the House Federal and State Affairs Committee.

Comments

sleepy33 1 year, 6 months ago

Wow, and proposed by a Republican no less! Good on him. Might as well do it, it's stupid to have the death penalty and not enforce it, waste of time.

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Matthew Herbert 1 year, 6 months ago

why is it surprising that it was a Republican who proposed it? A TRUE fiscal conservative understands that the death penalty cost/benefit analysis proves not worth it. California did a study on the total cost v. # of executed prisoners and found the total to be $308 million spent per ACTUAL execution. ANY fiscal conservative should send such a policy packing.

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Bob Forer 1 year, 6 months ago

Why is it surprising that it was a Republican who proposed it? Because most Republicans haven't a clue what true conservatism stands for.

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dudleysharp 1 year, 6 months ago

Worse than that.

Only Kansas judges are stopping executions, in an unconsitutional effort to thwart a constitutional law, favored by a Kansas majority. Such judges have chosen their personal opinion over law, otherwise known as a dictatorial imposition, which would, otherwise, be condemned by the media, if they did not support that judical obstruction.

Very similar to New Jersey, Pennsylvania and others.

Virginia has executed 70% of those sentenced to death since 1976 - 108 murderers - and has done so within 7.1 years, on average.

The ONLY reason for Kansas not executing is judicial obstruction.

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sleepy33 1 year, 6 months ago

What eye for an eye? We haven't executed anyone in 18 years. LWOP is what we have now anyway, stupid to keep calling it the death penalty when it isn't.

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Cant_have_it_both_ways 1 year, 6 months ago

If there is no question about guilt, then march them out the back door and shoot them. Worked for Timothy McVey.

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Graczyk 1 year, 6 months ago

Texas and Illinois didn't think there was any question about guilt, but then DNA exonerated some folks that had already been killed. You can release people who have been improperly imprisoned, but you cannot reanimate people who have been unjustly killed.

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dudleysharp 1 year, 6 months ago

Nope, there are no DNA proven exoneration of those executed, ever,

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Liberty275 1 year, 6 months ago

Yeah it worked like a charm. He still bombed a federal building and killed lots of people. Real effective it was killing him.

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Leslie Swearingen 1 year, 6 months ago

Why must people be seen in terms of money? One group giving numbers and the rest of us memorizing the numbers and regurgitating them is hardly going to help solve anything.There are billions of humans on earth, each one with their own world view that was formed from family, friends, the personal and global environment of law and order, right and wrong.

At this time the mental health field is not at the point where it can successfully treat and stabilize those with who are grossly abnormal to the point where they are a deadly threat to others.

Traditional Navajo see these people as out of harmony with their society and they have their own methods of dealing with this. But, it works because the person believes it is going to work; because the person wants to return to the middle path and community.

We do not have a society, we have splinters and each splinter believes it is the tree.

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Liberty275 1 year, 6 months ago

The death penalty should illegal at the federal level. It is cruel and unusual and therefore unconstitutional.

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Anthony Mall 1 year, 6 months ago

Tell that to a rape victim, children molested for years!!! Until then you have no idea what cruel and unusual is!!!!

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Liberty275 1 year, 6 months ago

Rape victims and molested children have not had their constitutional rights adequately protected by the state. That doesn't mean the state may violate the rights of somebody else. Two wrongs don't make a right.

As for me not knowing cruel and unusual, I know a barbaric punishment when I see it and the death penalty is close to being the most barbaric punishment possible. That makes it cruel and unusual.

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Anthony Mall 1 year, 6 months ago

You clearly have a no idea the pain and the life long damage that victims go.through on a daily basis... Meanwhile the man in jail has cable, three meals, sees family, and laughs at the system... You should meet victims before you think an IV is cruel... Your views are clearly that of someone never exposed that to that level of pain!!!

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Liberty275 1 year, 6 months ago

How much "pain" do you think it would take for me to abandon the constitution?

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Cait McKnelly 1 year, 6 months ago

You would think, given that many people think I'm a "progressive liberal" poster child, that I would agree with you, L275. I don't. I believe that there are people that, by the very virtue of the heinous acts they have committed, have given up the right to be called "human beings" and that the most humane thing that CAN be done with them is to put them down and out of their misery like the insane animals they are.
I say this with personal knowledge of a woman who was repeatedly raped and tortured for over 48 hours before she was strangled and murdered. Her killer was a serial rapist who had escalated to killing and he spent over 10 years on Death Row before he got the needle. During that time he reportedly became a "Christian" and expressed remorse for his acts. I'm happy for him. Maybe it helped when he met his God. As for me, the night he was executed, I and two friends popped a cork on a bottle of champagne and shared it.

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sleepy33 1 year, 6 months ago

People in Kansas cannot be given the death penalty for rape or child molestation. Only for premeditated murder or murder committed during the commission of a list of inherently dangerous felonies.

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Matthew Herbert 1 year, 6 months ago

The Supreme Court rulings would disagree with you and that is all that legally matters. They have ruled that it is up to the state to decide. I believe 16 states, beginning with Michigan have banned it.

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Matthew Herbert 1 year, 6 months ago

The 10th Amendment remains unchanged last I checked

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Liberty275 1 year, 6 months ago

The Constitution allows the federal government to prohibit executions because "cruel and unusual" must be defined at the federal level. That we have not abandoned "eye for eye" punishment shows that our country is still, for all of it's wonderful ideals, not far removed from Iran or Saudi Arabia.

Do you want to live in the last country that stops killing it's citizens?

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skinny 1 year, 6 months ago

Nope, an eye for an eye. It is a deterent!

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Graczyk 1 year, 6 months ago

Yeah, because look at all those people we don't have in prison. I don't think it works as a deterrent. Neither does prison, for that matter.

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Matthew Herbert 1 year, 6 months ago

The University of Buffalo did a bunch of research on this very subject and concluded that it serves only as a deterrent if done in a very timely fashion. Given our system's virtual unlimited appeals process, timely fashion is not realistic. To be effective, we are left with really only two logical choices. 1) Get rid of the death penalty 2) Speed the process up (limit appeals) by which prisoners are executed.

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dudleysharp 1 year, 6 months ago

Yes, it is.

OF COURSE THE DEATH PENALTY DETERS: A review of the debate Dudley Sharp

It is odd that anyone would think the death penalty was not a deterrent.

1) All prospects of a negative outcome deter some. That is a truism. Execution is a negative outcome for criminals.

2) No study finds that the death penalty deters none. They cannot. No credible academic says the death penalty deters none. Rationally and factually, they cannot.

3) There are numerous cases where it has been found that potential murderers have been deterred from committing murder, because of their fear of the death penalty (1). This is known as individual deterrence. The death penalty deters some. Not only is such confirmed, it cannot be rebutted, as neither rationally nor factually can anyone state the death penalty deters none.

4) General deterrence exists, because individual deterrence could not exist without it.

5) Anti death penalty folks say that the burden of proof is on those who say that the death penalty deters. Untrue. As it is a rational truism that all potential negative outcomes deter some - there is no exception It, then, follows that it is the burden of death penalty opponents to prove that the death penalty, the most severe of criminal sanctions, is the only prospect of a negative outcome that deters none. They cannot.

6) All criminal sanctions deter. If you doubt that, what do you think would happen if we ended all criminal sanctions? No rational person has any doubt. Lawlessness becomes the law. Somalia comes to mind.

Some would have us, irrationally, believe that the most severe sanction, execution, is the only sanction which doesn't deter.

7) All criminal sanctions, regardless of crime/murder rates, deter some (2). Just because crime/murder rates are low in one jurisdiction and high in another, that doesn't mean that no one is deterred in the jurisdiction with higher rates, as death penalty opponents would claim.

We all know that within different states or countries, there are towns, cities and neighborhoods which have varying crime/murder rates. All sanctions deter in all of those jurisdictions, but they have different rates because of different circumstances (2). It is not that none are deterred, simply because there are higher crime/murder rate in one jurisdiction than another. The claim is irrational on its face (2).

Let's say one jurisdiciton has the lowest of all crime rates. Does than mean that in all other jurisdicitions that none are deterred, because all of them have higher rates than that one? Again, it's ridiculous on its face, but that is what anti death penalty folks are saying.

CONTD

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dudleysharp 1 year, 6 months ago

CONTD

8) Anti death penalty columnists Eric Zorn of the Chicago Tribune states, "No one argues that the death penalty deters none." "Will someone bent on murder turn from the crime when he contemplates the fact that he may be executed for it? Obviously that will happen." (3). More precisely, it "does" happen and always has. Yes, some do argue, without rational and factual support, that the death penalty deters none.

Zorn is correct, the issue is not "Does the death penalty deter?". It does. The only issue is to what degree. Therefore, anti death penalty efforts must contend with the reality that sparing murderers does sacrifice more innocent lives , by reduced deterrence, lesser incapacitation and lesser due process, and executing murderers does save more innocent lives, by enhanced incapacitation, enhanced deterrence and enhanced due process.

9) Even the dean of anti death penalty academics, Hugo Adam Bedau, agrees that the death penalty deters, but he doesn't believe it deters more than a life sentence (4). Both the anecdotal and rational evidence finds that the death penalty is a greater deterrent than a life sentence.

10) The evidence is expressly clear and overwhelming that death is feared more than life and life is preferred over death, not just for murderers facing death, but by a majority of all of us.

When 99.7% of murderers, who are subject to the death penalty, tell us they fear death more than life (5) and when about 99.9% of the rest of us (excluding the determined suicidal and/or terribly ill) tell us they prefer life over death, it is a certainty that potential murderers, overwhelmingly feel the same, and thus fear execution more than life.

What we fear the most deters the most. This is historically, factually and rationally true.

Life is preferred over death. Death is feared more than life. No surprise.

Would a more rational group, those who choose not to murder, also share in that overwhelming fear of death and be deterred by the prospects of execution? Of course - just as we all do.

contd

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dudleysharp 1 year, 6 months ago

contd 2

11) There is substantial factual evidence for anecdotal death penalty deterrence and as an enhanced deterrent (1).

12) If still in doubt, consider this:

If we execute and there is no deterrence, we have justly punished a murderer and have prevented that murderer from ever harming/murdering, again. If we execute and there is deterrence, we have those benefits, plus we have spared even more additional innocent lives via deterrence. If we don't execute and there is deterrence, we have spared murderers at the cost of more innocent deaths, via the loss of a greater deterrent, as well as by lesser incapacitation. If we don't execute and there is no deterrence, we risk more harm and death to innocents, because living murderers harm and murder, again. Executed murderers do not.

"If we execute murderers and there is in fact no deterrent effect, we have killed a bunch of murderers. If we fail to execute murderers, and doing so would in fact have deterred other murders, we have allowed the killing of a bunch of innocent victims. I would much rather risk the former. This, to me, is not a tough call."

John McAdams - Marquette University/Department of Political Science

13) "How much does the death penalty deter?". There will never be a consensus answer to that question. Even the 28 studies that have found for death penalty deterrence since 2000, have widely different findings, that from 1-28 murderers are deterred per execution (or 33 to 924 saved per year via deterrence, or 1,320 - 36,960 for the fourty years, 1973-2012. This is an average from when new statutes came into law, post Furman, 1972. Executions did not resume until 1977.) (6)

Although these studies have been subject to criticism, the criticism, itself, has been rebutted and/or the criticism is weaker than the studies finding for deterrence (7). In addition, none of that criticism negates 1-12, 14 and/or 15, hereto. It can't.

Even without those 28 studies, the argument for death penalty deterrence and its enhanced deterrent effect still overwhelm any claim that the death penalty deters none, for which no evidence exists.

14) If you are concerned about innocent lives that deserve to be saved, you will support the death penalty (8).

15) Reason, common sense, history and the facts support that the death penalty deters and deters more than lesser sanctions.

FOOTNOTES

ALL MY ACTIVE LINK COMMENTS ARE NOT BEING POSTED, SO I HAD TO REMOVE THE FOOTNOTES.

ENTER THE TITLE AND MY NAME INTO A SEARCH ENGINE AND IT WILL TAKE YOU TO THEM.

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ebyrdstarr 1 year, 6 months ago

What a sad little life you lead, spending your days trolling the internet for places to post your pro-killing propaganda.

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Liberty275 1 year, 6 months ago

The death penalty may have some deterrent value. It is impossible to prove it doesn't as you note. But what price are we willing to pay as civilized men for that deterrent?

It isn't far from the 2nd amendment quandary. Sure, more laws banning more guns may prevent some gun violence, but the price far exceeds any benefit.

I pay my taxes. Some fraction of a penny I sent to the federal government paid to kill Timothy McVeigh. In my book, that makes me and all of you that pay taxes responsible for killing an American citizen. I don't want my tax dollars to fund the killing of Americans. Ever.

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flloyd 1 year, 6 months ago

Let's forget the electric chair and use an electric couch. That way we can fry several at once for the murders they committed. The couch will save the State $$$.

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MarcoPogo 1 year, 6 months ago

Forget that. How about an electric Ball Crawl? Can clear out a whole group at one time.

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bad_dog 1 year, 6 months ago

How about the "Electric Slide"? It about "kills" me every time I see people line dancing to that...

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dudleysharp 1 year, 6 months ago

MORAL FOUNDATIONS: DEATH PENALTY

1) Immanuel Kant: "If an offender has committed murder, he must die. In this case, no possible substitute can satisfy justice. For there is no parallel between death and even the most miserable life, so that there is no equality of crime and retribution unless the perpetrator is judicially put to death.". "A society that is not willing to demand a life of somebody who has taken somebody else's life is simply immoral."

2) Pope Pius XII; "When it is a question of the execution of a man condemned to death it is then reserved to the public power to deprive the condemned of the benefit of life, in expiation of his fault, when already, by his fault, he has dispossessed himself of the right to live." 9/14/52.

3) John Murray: "Nothing shows the moral bankruptcy of a people or of a generation more than disregard for the sanctity of human life." "... it is this same atrophy of moral fiber that appears in the plea for the abolition of the death penalty." "It is the sanctity of life that validates the death penalty for the crime of murder. It is the sense of this sanctity that constrains the demand for the infliction of this penalty. The deeper our regard for life the firmer will be our hold upon the penal sanction which the violation of that sanctity merit." (Page 122 of Principles of Conduct).

4) John Locke: "A criminal who, having renounced reason... hath, by the unjust violence and slaughter he hath committed upon one, declared war against all mankind, and therefore may be destroyed as a lion or tyger, one of those wild savage beasts with whom men can have no society nor security." And upon this is grounded the great law of Nature, "Whoso sheddeth man's blood, by man shall his blood be shed." Second Treatise of Civil Government.

5) Jean-Jacques Rousseau: "In killing the criminal, we destroy not so much a citizen as an enemy. The trial and judgments are proofs that he has broken the Social Contract, and so is no longer a member of the State." (The Social Contract).

6) Saint (& Pope) Pius V: "The just use of (executions), far from involving the crime of murder, is an act of paramount obedience to this (Fifth) Commandment which prohibits murder." "The Roman Catechism of the Council of Trent" (1566).

3200 additional pro death penalty quotes http(COLON)//prodpquotes.info/

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1 year, 6 months ago

I have only one quote in reply: "Some that die deserve life. Can you give it to them, Frodo? Do not be too eager to deal out death in judgment. Even the very wise cannot see all ends." --Gandalf

The question for Kansas is not "should we execute murderers?" The fact is that we don't. No, the real question is, "Should we continue to pretend to execute them?" Enough with the pretenses, I say. Kansas is not going to actually execute anyone, so why must we continue to pay lawyers to play the game?

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dudleysharp 1 year, 6 months ago

Gandalf killed thousands on his own, and contributed to the killing of hundreds of thousands, more, with no trial and no appeals.

He did so, based within justice, in an effort to defeat evil.

Gandolf, rightly, saw all ends within that effort. None have any doubt.

Only Kansas judges are stopping executions, in an unconsitutional effort to thwart a constitutional law, favored by a Kansas majority. Such judges have chosen their personal opinion over law, otherwise known as a dictatorial imposition, which would, otherwise, be condemned by the media, if they did not support that judical obstruction.

Very similar to New Jersey, Pennsylvania and others.

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Liberty275 1 year, 6 months ago

Why is it cruel to cut off a man's fingers for stealing, but not cruel to kill him for killing. It is inconsistent and therefore broken, It needs to be fixed.

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Armen Kurdian 1 year, 6 months ago

Problem lies with how death penalty cases take so darn long. Would be easier if you were just moving a death row inmate along in an area where they're moving, oh I don't know, 500lb safes using unapproved technicques. You just never know when the rope may break.

"Oh...Ohhhhhh, dang it. Why does this keep happening." "Warden, clean up in cell block 4."

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FarneyMac 1 year, 6 months ago

You can't be pro-life on moral/religious grounds and pro-death penalty.

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dudleysharp 1 year, 6 months ago

PRO LIFE: THE DEATH PENALTY Dudley Sharp

The "pro life" term was, originally, identified with the anti abortion movement, which still seems the most appropriate context.

In the context of the facts, yes, of course you can be pro life and pro death penalty. There is no contradiction.

Based upon biblical and theological teachings, one can, reasonably and responsibly, find that an anti death penalty view is not pro life. See below.

All sanctions are given because we value what is being taken away.

Whether it be fines, freedom or lives, in every case we take things away, as legal sanction, it is because we value that which is taken away.

How can it be a sanction, if we do not value that which is taken away? It can't.

In addition, more innocent lives are saved when we use the death penalty, thereby a pro life benefit. See below.

There is the well known Genesis passage, reviewed below, wherein the death penalty is based upon life being sacred. Genesis is for all peoples and all times.

In addition, there is Numbers 35:31 which states that there can be no reduction in sentence for murder, that the murderer must be executed. All other crimes are subject to reduced sentences.

The good thief on the cross stated the two thieves were being justly executed for their crimes. Jesus did not reply "you should not be executed". His reply was that the good thief would attain eternal salvation. The concern seems not the manner of our earthly deaths, but our state of redemption and salvation at the time of our deaths - the concern for eternal life.

contd

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Liberty275 1 year, 6 months ago

The good book say's execution is OK. It doesn't say abortion is OK. Morals are what you are taught. Morally, most western religions will allow those stands to coexist.

Ethically, as a species, it is in our interest to cull the herd. We should remove defective DNA from the pool, be it a mental deficiency or a tendency towards violence.

Luckily, Americans are compelled to ignore morals and ethics and live by the law. The law is plain, murderers have rights, fetuses don't.

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oldbaldguy 1 year, 6 months ago

actually if we going to pull the plug on someone, I suggest pedophiles and big time economic criminals. those are two classes of criminals who have far ranging effect on many. having said that, the death penalty is too expensive and if you are not going to use it, what's the point.

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Steve Jacob 1 year, 6 months ago

I like to think we learned out lesson, and death penalty defendants are given good lawyers (remember Jason Rose in the Boardwalk fire). Don't really like the death penalty, but people like Reginald and Jonathan Carr and John Robinson sure deserve a needle.

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Cant_have_it_both_ways 1 year, 6 months ago

From reading above, I guess it is just fine to kill a baby as in abortion, but when you have an out of the womb person that has wronged society in a HUGE way, we have to have compassion. I think I am starting to get it.

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Cait McKnelly 1 year, 6 months ago

I would suggest that you read my reply to L275 above. It's been collapsed and hidden. it might surprise you.

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Cait McKnelly 1 year, 6 months ago

Here. I'll just repeat it here for you.
You would think, given that many people think I'm a "progressive liberal" poster child, that I would agree with you, L275. I don't. I believe that there are people that, by the very virtue of the heinous acts they have committed, have given up the right to be called "human beings" and that the most humane thing that CAN be done with them is to put them down and out of their misery like the insane animals they are. I say this with personal knowledge of a woman who was repeatedly raped and tortured for over 48 hours before she was strangled and murdered. Her killer was a serial rapist who had escalated to killing and he spent over 10 years on Death Row before he got the needle. During that time he reportedly became a "Christian" and expressed remorse for his acts. I'm happy for him. Maybe it helped when he met his God. As for me, the night he was executed, I and two friends popped a cork on a bottle of champagne and shared it.

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Liberty275 1 year, 6 months ago

Cait, I think your "personal knowledge" is clouding you opinion. Would you feel the same if the rapist was your brother? What if he was your son?

Mr. Both Ways, an unborn human is not protected by the constitution. A murderer is. It isn't about right and wrong, it is about the law.

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Cait McKnelly 1 year, 6 months ago

I actually have a son, L275. He's 20 years old. And I can honestly say that if he committed this kind of thing I would feel the same way. Would it break my heart? You bet it would. It would destroy me as much as losing him to cancer. I would also face the inevitable fact that, in some manner, he had already died. I probably wouldn't have celebrated, but I would have accepted the inevitable.

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Peacemaker452 1 year, 6 months ago

The death penalty can only be fairly and justly applied immediately, at the scene of the attempted crime, by the intended victim, any other use exposes the process to too many errors.

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Patrick Rooney 1 year, 6 months ago

I'm for the death penalty; but really guys why even argue, been back since 94 and nobody has been put down.....Move on to another article!

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texburgh 1 year, 6 months ago

I'm not surprised it was a Republican who introduced the bill. The last time it was introduced, it was brought by Republican Senator Carolyn McGinn. And Becker has already shown (he's a freshman) that he is NOT of the Koch/ALEC/Brownback/KPI/AFP brand. He is a thoughtful fiscal conservative with a social conscience.

The truth about our legislature is that if a bill is introduced by a Republican, it gets a hearing. If introduced by a Democrat, it does not. Simple as that. Our legislature is owned by the Kochs and the Chamber of Commerce (which is a subsidiary of Koch Industries) and only Koch-approved legislation moves forward.

As for this bill, it will probably get a hearing and will be defeated if not in committee most assuredly on the floor. And if it were to get to the Senate by some miracle, it will not get 20 votes as it did before. It will be crushed.

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verity 1 year, 6 months ago

If anybody is really interesting in educating themselves about the death penalty, read "Among the lowest of the dead" by David von Drehle. He did extensive research and the book gives the perspective from all sides, including the person on death row, the victim's family, law enforcement and prison employees. He ended up changing his mind after he did the research---I won't do a spoiler.

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Nikonman 1 year, 6 months ago

We don't really have the death penalty, just 20 years, then the death penalty. As far as DNA exonerating inmates, I've never seen any detail of how it did prove them innocent. It's usually a very short item in the news. Was some stray DNA found that had nothing to do with crime thereby moving the question of guilt into the "Reasonable Doubt" category? I agree with one of the earlier postings in which the blame was placed on the judges and lawyers. If we outlaw the death penalty, the inmates will still appeal life sentences as long as public funds pay for it and there are attorneys willing to make a career out of defending them. I would be willing to bet that the Carr brothers will still be alive 10 years from now. Do some research on the Greenlease kidnapping/murder and the Starkweather/Fugate crime spree. In both cases those sentenced to death were executed within 6-7 months after they were caught.

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Armstrong 1 year, 6 months ago

Gotta side with the Russians on this. If found guilty walk through the door, .38 cal to the back of the head. Justice served

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werekoala 1 year, 6 months ago

I'm appalled by the bloodthirstiness I see here:
"Bullet to the back of the head!"
"Drop safes on people!"
"Popping champagne corks" "The Russians/Nazis/Chinese had the right idea!" (WTF?)

You people scare the sh*t out of me. It's one thing if a person is so violent, dangerous, irredeemable, that we need to put them down. A practical task, like putting down a rabid dog, something you do without emotion and then get on with your life.

Instead everything about the way we do it is f*cked up. 1) it's inconsistently applied. Thousands of people are murdered every year, hundreds of defendants are convicted of murder, but only a handful are sentenced to death. While we like to think that only the most heinous murders are punished with death, in reality the death sentence has more to do with class and race. If you're poor, you're far more likely to get the death penalty than a rich person will get for the same crime. And God only help you if you're poor AND black and the victim was white. Blacks are four times more likely to get the death penalty for murdering a white person than a black person, despite murdering about four times as many blacks as whites.

2) There's far too many false convictions. 15 people who have been sentenced to death have later been exonerated by DNA evidence. That may not sound like a lot, but then you have to realize that DNA evidence is only rarely available -- god only knows how many more innocent people are on Death Row who weren't lucky enough to have recoverable DNA evidence from the crime scene. 2 people I know of off-hand have been killed despite exculpatory evidence. Can you imagine being on a jury and voting for the death penalty and then finding out afterwards that the person you voted to kill was innocent? If you have a soul, that should crush it.

3) We glorify/sanitize it way too much. From the "last meal" ceremony, to the other bullsh*t, it's just this weird sick ritual we go through. I'm convinced half the people in this thread won't be happy until we get back to the traditional values of holding public hangings you can take the whole family to see. And I'm not sure that would be a bad thing. If execution is only real to you as something you read about in the paper or the movie cuts away from, it's probably a lot easier to vote for it. I think that the jury that votes for the death penalty should be required to witness the execution. At the very least, it might make them realize this isn't an abstract practical exercise, but a real person you are really voting to really kill.

Despite all this, I'm not 100% against the death penalty in all cases. If there is a truly heinous crime, and you are absolutely certain there is no chance the person could be innocent, I'm okay with society executing the irredeemably evil. Until then, quit acting so damn excited about it - that really does scare me about you people.

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Armstrong 1 year, 6 months ago

I'm sure the victims families have a great deal of sympathy for those poor murderers too, probably about as much as the sympathy the murderers showed their victims.

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Liberty275 1 year, 6 months ago

LOL. Are you channeling Cait? She relies on these goofy appeals to emotion too.

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Cait McKnelly 1 year, 6 months ago

Wait a minute. "Goofy appeals to emotion"? Don't judge until you've walked in my shoes, hon. The night that George Mercer was executed was no "Woohoo!" celebration. It was a "Thank God." for the end of a long, hard and exhausting road. This man was so warped, twisted and dead inside that he repeatedly raped the woman he killed in the upstairs bedroom of his own home while his own nine year old daughter sat in the kitchen, covering her ears to try and block out the screams coming from the woman he was torturing. Try growing up with THAT.

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Liberty275 1 year, 6 months ago

I meant Bea. Sorry.

But why thank god a man was killed when that man could have been sequestered from society insuring that he can never commit another crime? Thank god, vengeance is served? We are a nation of law, not vengeance. Or at least we should be.

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Armstrong 1 year, 6 months ago

Are you for real ? Human garbage like Cait described above deserves nothing less then execution.

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Liberty275 1 year, 6 months ago

OK, they deserve it. They did horrible things and they deserve to be killed. I don't like killers any more than any of you, but I cannot support execution for any crime in the US. It serves no purpose other than revenge.

I can't fault you and Cait for having a different opinion. All I can do is disagree and hope you change your minds.

Yes, I am for real. My choice is immoral and unethical but it is the only choice I can make,

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yourworstnightmare 1 year, 6 months ago

This is a common sense measure. Abolishing the death penalty makes sense from an economic, moral, and justice and liberty perspective. From a liberal and conservative perspective

Do I think that some people deserve to die because of their crimes? Absolutely.

Do I think our criminal justice system is capable of making this determination with 100% accuracy? No way.

For me, the moral issue is not about the the state and thus society putting to death criminals. I have no problem with this. Rather, it is about putting to death an innocent person. This violates our liberty, justice, and morality, and the death penalty cannot be undone.

The rash of recent exonerations based on DNA evidence underscores the inherent unreliability of our criminal justice system. Exonerated prisoners can be released from prison. They cannot be brought back from the dead.

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Armstrong 1 year, 6 months ago

The problem is you are looking at the exceptions rather then the big picture. I'm not trying to be confrontational but I believe that is the major flaw with most liberal thinking, it's geared towards overlooking the elephant in the room.

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verity 1 year, 6 months ago

Wow, just wow! Would you feel that way if it were you or your loved one who was the "exception"?

How many innocents executed would it take for the "exception" to be valid?

Or are you just doing your normal find anything to bash liberals schtick?

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verity 1 year, 6 months ago

I'm with Werekoala---the blood thirst demonstrated in some of the comments is truly frightening.

And, no, death penalty defendants don't necessarily get good lawyers. They may get an overworked public defender who has never done a death penalty case.

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Kirk Larson 1 year, 6 months ago

The death penalty is no deterrent. We have had it for thousands of years and yet we still kill one another.

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