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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Not very magical, still... » » Parents of Child Killed in Boston Marathon Bombing Don’t Want Tsarnaev to Face the Death Penalty (5 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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ed rhodes
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[quote]On Apr 21, 2015, LobowolfXXX wrote:
[quote]On Apr 21, 2015, ed rhodes wrote:
Quote:
On Apr 20, 2015, LobowolfXXX wrote:
Good question. A related question is "What's an acceptable number of innocent defendants in prison for the rest of their lives?"


An innocent defendant in prison can work on getting released. An innocent defendant who has been executed cannot work on coming back to life.


Quote:
An innocent defendant on death row can work on getting released, too. Conversely, an innocent defendant who has died in prison cannot work on getting released before spending the rest of his life in prison.


Except, as it's been pointed out, those appeals and requests take time and money. (It's actually been mentioned that it's cheaper for the state to hold someone for life than to go through all the processes necessary to execute them.) And there are those who think it would be better if we could "streamline" the process (i.e., remove some of those pesky legal hurdles so they can be killed quicker and cheaper.)


Quote:
And, of course, you didn't answer the question - What's the acceptable number of innocent defendants in prison for the rest of their lives?


I don't think there's an acceptable number of innocent anyones being punished for something they didn't do. But we are humans and there will be mistakes.

Quote:

Quote:
In this particular case, I'm sadistic enough to like the idea of this guy spending the next 70 years in jail.

Doesn't sound like a fun 70 years.


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He said it will be more fun than where you lot are going soon.
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This is where I feel that the system sort of fails. He is guilty. We know he is guilty. Everyone knows he is guilty. He has been convicted. So let us carry it one step further. The jury decides to execute this man, if I may call this dirt bag a man. Then why not do it ASAP?

We all know he will never win an appeal. We all know he is guilty. Flip the switch or drop the tablets or hang him but do it ASAP and tell him after the jury has found to execute him it will take place within 5 days. Maybe even show him some vids of other executions. Yea sick right? No sicker than what he did and the beheadings of Christians by his ilk. That is punishment. Not this other BS. No more glamour shots on that wonderful rag Rolling Stone.

Also it seems that the biggest concern of the parents of the little boy killed, slaughtered, murdered, whatever you wish to call it. Is the having to go through appeals for countless years instead of getting their due justice and this dirt bag his justice. Which I fully understand and agree with. So having said that. Why not execute him ASAP? Hardly any cost them. Just put his remains in a bag. Put it out for the garbage where it belongs. Let them pick it up on garbage day and take it to the landfill. Or is there someone here who thinks he may be innocent? Dole out punishment to fit the crime. There is no chance that this piece of crap is innocent and will be added to the numbers of those executed that were innocent.

Well there you have it. Another crazy post from acesover proving beyond a shadow of a doubt that he is not very benevolent toward those people who want to destroy the United States of America and what we gave so many lives to protect. Just waiting for Bob's comments and a few others. Good night, sleep tight knowing that there are some people who want justice for the just. Smile
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Don't hold your breath waiting for my comments, aces. The death penalty question is far too serious to be approached superficially and simplistically.
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Quote:
On Apr 22, 2015, mastermindreader wrote:
Don't hold your breath waiting for my comments, aces. The death penalty question is far too serious to be approached superficially and simplistically.


Bob,

I agree about the death penalty being serious. I realize all about precedent etc. That is just me ranting. Thing is I agree with the Magnus post earlier:

Death penalty, life in prison, very long in prison. They are all inadequate responses to heinous crimes.

There is no happy ending; there is no fitting conclusion. I doubt that there ever can be.


So this is the closest thing I feel is justice in this instance. Honestly I don't mean to turn this into a debate as I know my feelings have many flaws. Just my feelings in this instance as to what I feel justice is.
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One of the "problems" in your post is the fact that appeals are part of the due process of law guaranteed by the Constitution.
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An apology guys - I based the figure of 100 wrongfully executed on an extrapolation from the statistics, but I based it on the number on death row, not the number of actual executions. An oversight. The actual figure should be around forty.

But the entire civilized world, with one or two exceptions, have decided that even one is too much, which is why the death penalty is used in less that a handful of countries in the developed world. And in some of those countries it is on the books but not used.
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Quote:
On Apr 22, 2015, mastermindreader wrote:
One of the "problems" in your post is the fact that appeals are part of the due process of law guaranteed by the Constitution.


I know.

That is why I added this comment in my second post. "So this is the closest thing I feel is justice in this instance".

Of course it would not be justice for Tsarnaev according to our Constitution which as you know I support. A real paradox for me here. That as why I agree with the comment that goes something like, "our justice system in the U.S. is horrible but the best there is anywhere at this time. Sorry for butchering the quote. Smile You know what I mean.

I guess one of the issues that frustrates me the most is that exactly what this person is opposed to is what protects him, our morals and our laws.
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Quote:
On Apr 22, 2015, TonyB2009 wrote:
An apology guys - I based the figure of 100 wrongfully executed on an extrapolation from the statistics, but I based it on the number on death row, not the number of actual executions. An oversight. The actual figure should be around forty.

But the entire civilized world, with one or two exceptions, have decided that even one is too much, which is why the death penalty is used in less that a handful of countries in the developed world. And in some of those countries it is on the books but not used.


So where did the 40 come from?

I take it that 40 (or more) is an acceptable number of innocent defendants to spend the rest of their lives in prison.
"Torture doesn't work" lol
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Quote:
On Apr 22, 2015, acesover wrote:
Quote:
On Apr 22, 2015, mastermindreader wrote:
One of the "problems" in your post is the fact that appeals are part of the due process of law guaranteed by the Constitution.


I know.

That is why I added this comment in my second post. "So this is the closest thing I feel is justice in this instance".

Of course it would not be justice for Tsarnaev according to our Constitution which as you know I support. A real paradox for me here. That as why I agree with the comment that goes something like, "our justice system in the U.S. is horrible but the best there is anywhere at this time. Sorry for butchering the quote. Smile You know what I mean.

I guess one of the issues that frustrates me the most is that exactly what this person is opposed to is what protects him, our morals and our laws.



There's a difference between the substantive and the procedural in law. Generally, the substantive (wih respect to criminal cases, the actual sentence) is what results in, or fails to result in, "Justice." The procedural (the process - the right to an attorney, appeals, jury trials, etc.) are the procedures through which the best chance at Justice (weighted according to our value system, e.g. better to acquit the guilty than convict the innocent)) is achieved.

So when a defendant is known to be guilty, if the death penalty is "just," then carrying it out the next day would do a fine job of providing Justice - the guilty don't need appeals for Justice to transpire. The appeals are there because the process should be consistent, and they provide safeguards against a certain type of miscarriage of justice.

Of course, when it comes to "guilt," in the legal sense, we're talking about not only "Did he do it?" But "What was his state of mind?"
"Torture doesn't work" lol
Guess they forgot to tell Bill Buckley.

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Quote:
On Apr 22, 2015, LobowolfXXX wrote:
Quote:
On Apr 22, 2015, TonyB2009 wrote:
An apology guys - I based the figure of 100 wrongfully executed on an extrapolation from the statistics, but I based it on the number on death row, not the number of actual executions. An oversight. The actual figure should be around forty.

But the entire civilized world, with one or two exceptions, have decided that even one is too much, which is why the death penalty is used in less that a handful of countries in the developed world. And in some of those countries it is on the books but not used.


So where did the 40 come from?

I take it that 40 (or more) is an acceptable number of innocent defendants to spend the rest of their lives in prison.

There is no acceptable number of innocent defendants forced to spend lengthy time in prison. But at least they are alive to plea their case.

In most of the world a life sentence rarely involves dying behind bars. Most countries release life prisoners on licence after a long number of years, though the life sentence still hangs over them as a guarantee of their good conduct.

A mistake in a life sentence can be rectified. A mistake after an execution cannot.

Also, as a side point, of all the few countries using the death penalty, why does the USA pick the most cruel and prolonged methods? Lethal injection and electrocution are among the most barbaric methods of execution devised. Other countries afford prisoners the more dignified and swift methods of shooting, hanging or beheading. You lock them up for more than ten years - a full life sentence in many countries - then at the end of that lengthy period, when many would consider they had served their time, you execute them in the most cruel manner possible.

Acesover, you said that the American system might be flawed but is the best of a bad lot (paraphrasing here). I would contend that the British system is the best available. Like the American system it guarantees a fair trial and a presumption of innocence. But it does not include three strikes for minor offences, it allows the possibility of parole for life sentences, and it decisively reverses miscarriages of justice.

The Irish system is close to the British, but not as good. After a recent supreme court decision constitutional rights of defendants are no longer guaranteed, which is a huge step backwards.
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Quote:
On Apr 22, 2015, TonyB2009 wrote:
Quote:
On Apr 22, 2015, LobowolfXXX wrote:
Quote:
On Apr 22, 2015, TonyB2009 wrote:
An apology guys - I based the figure of 100 wrongfully executed on an extrapolation from the statistics, but I based it on the number on death row, not the number of actual executions. An oversight. The actual figure should be around forty.

But the entire civilized world, with one or two exceptions, have decided that even one is too much, which is why the death penalty is used in less that a handful of countries in the developed world. And in some of those countries it is on the books but not used.


So where did the 40 come from?

I take it that 40 (or more) is an acceptable number of innocent defendants to spend the rest of their lives in prison.

There is no acceptable number of innocent defendants forced to spend lengthy time in prison. But at least they are alive to plea their case.


Your argument with respect to the death certainly SEEMS to be, "If even one is too many innocent defendants to suffer penalty X, then penalty X should be done away with." On that basis, clearly life imprisonment sentences should be abolished.
Quote:



In most of the world a life sentence rarely involves dying behind bars. Most countries release life prisoners on licence after a long number of years, though the life sentence still hangs over them as a guarantee of their good conduct.

So now "RARELY" is good enough, even though one is too many? Fortunately, innocent defendants "rarely" (if ever) are executed in the United States.
Quote:

A mistake in a life sentence can be rectified. A mistake after an execution cannot.

You're cheating, just like Ed. A mistake "AFTER" a life sentence (i.e. after the defendant has died in prison) can't be rectified either.
Quote:

Also, as a side point, of all the few countries using the death penalty, why does the USA pick the most cruel and prolonged methods? Lethal injection and electrocution are among the most barbaric methods of execution devised. Other countries afford prisoners the more dignified and swift methods of shooting, hanging or beheading.
I agree with you that death sentences should be carried out in the most humane manner possible.
Quote:
You lock them up for more than ten years - a full life sentence in many countries
If you're talking about murder for those full life sentences, and people are getting out in ten years, then IMHO, you're posting time should be spent on the injustices inherent in THOSE countries' criminal justice proceedings.
Quote:
- then at the end of that lengthy period, when many would consider they had served their time, you execute them in the most cruel manner possible.

Acesover, you said that the American system might be flawed but is the best of a bad lot (paraphrasing here). I would contend that the British system is the best available. Like the American system it guarantees a fair trial and a presumption of innocence. But it does not include three strikes for minor offences,
In three strikes laws (at least, the one in California), the strikes are felonies and the predicate offenses are serious or violent felonies. If you're a historic violent criminal and you can't control yourself from committing yet another felony - knowing that you have two strikes - we want you off the streets. If you'd like to start a movement to give our career criminals political asylum in your country, you're welcome to them.
Quote:
it allows the possibility of parole for life sentences,
So, effectively, there are no life sentences.
Quote:
and it decisively reverses miscarriages of justice.

The Irish system is close to the British, but not as good. After a recent supreme court decision constitutional rights of defendants are no longer guaranteed, which is a huge step backwards.
"Torture doesn't work" lol
Guess they forgot to tell Bill Buckley.

"...as we reason and love, we are able to hope. And hope enables us to resist those things that would enslave us."
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Quote:
On Apr 22, 2015, TonyB2009 wrote:
Quote:
On Apr 22, 2015, LobowolfXXX wrote:
Quote:
On Apr 22, 2015, TonyB2009 wrote:
An apology guys - I based the figure of 100 wrongfully executed on an extrapolation from the statistics, but I based it on the number on death row, not the number of actual executions. An oversight. The actual figure should be around forty.

But the entire civilized world, with one or two exceptions, have decided that even one is too much, which is why the death penalty is used in less that a handful of countries in the developed world. And in some of those countries it is on the books but not used.


So where did the 40 come from?

I take it that 40 (or more) is an acceptable number of innocent defendants to spend the rest of their lives in prison.

There is no acceptable number of innocent defendants forced to spend lengthy time in prison. But at least they are alive to plea their case.

In most of the world a life sentence rarely involves dying behind bars. Most countries release life prisoners on licence after a long number of years, though the life sentence still hangs over them as a guarantee of their good conduct.

A mistake in a life sentence can be rectified. A mistake after an execution cannot.

Also, as a side point, of all the few countries using the death penalty, why does the USA pick the most cruel and prolonged methods? Lethal injection and electrocution are among the most barbaric methods of execution devised. Other countries afford prisoners the more dignified and swift methods of shooting, hanging or beheading. You lock them up for more than ten years - a full life sentence in many countries - then at the end of that lengthy period, when many would consider they had served their time, you execute them in the most cruel manner possible.

Acesover, you said that the American system might be flawed but is the best of a bad lot (paraphrasing here). I would contend that the British system is the best available. Like the American system it guarantees a fair trial and a presumption of innocence. But it does not include three strikes for minor offences, it allows the possibility of parole for life sentences, and it decisively reverses miscarriages of justice.

The Irish system is close to the British, but not as good. After a recent supreme court decision constitutional rights of defendants are no longer guaranteed, which is a huge step backwards.

Tony,

I could never understand the possibility of parole for life sentences. How can you be imprisoned for life if you can get parole? "For life" means to me, until you die. Just like death. You cannot be more dead once you are dead.


As per your, "I would contend that the British system is the best available". That is your opinion. Nothing wrong with having opinions. Smile
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Quote:
On Apr 22, 2015, TonyB2009 wrote:
Quote:
On Apr 22, 2015, LobowolfXXX wrote:
Quote:
On Apr 22, 2015, TonyB2009 wrote:
An apology guys - I based the figure of 100 wrongfully executed on an extrapolation from the statistics, but I based it on the number on death row, not the number of actual executions. An oversight. The actual figure should be around forty.

But the entire civilized world, with one or two exceptions, have decided that even one is too much, which is why the death penalty is used in less that a handful of countries in the developed world. And in some of those countries it is on the books but not used.


So where did the 40 come from?

I take it that 40 (or more) is an acceptable number of innocent defendants to spend the rest of their lives in prison.

There is no acceptable number of innocent defendants forced to spend lengthy time in prison. But at least they are alive to plea their case.

In most of the world a life sentence rarely involves dying behind bars. Most countries release life prisoners on licence after a long number of years, though the life sentence still hangs over them as a guarantee of their good conduct.

A mistake in a life sentence can be rectified. A mistake after an execution cannot.

Also, as a side point, of all the few countries using the death penalty, why does the USA pick the most cruel and prolonged methods? Lethal injection and electrocution are among the most barbaric methods of execution devised. Other countries afford prisoners the more dignified and swift methods of shooting, hanging or beheading. You lock them up for more than ten years - a full life sentence in many countries - then at the end of that lengthy period, when many would consider they had served their time, you execute them in the most cruel manner possible.

Acesover, you said that the American system might be flawed but is the best of a bad lot (paraphrasing here). I would contend that the British system is the best available. Like the American system it guarantees a fair trial and a presumption of innocence. But it does not include three strikes for minor offences, it allows the possibility of parole for life sentences, and it decisively reverses miscarriages of justice.

The Irish system is close to the British, but not as good. After a recent supreme court decision constitutional rights of defendants are no longer guaranteed, which is a huge step backwards.

Tony,

I could never understand the possibility of parole for life sentences. How can you be imprisoned for life if you can get parole? "For life" means to me, until you die. Just like death. You cannot be more dead once you are dead.


As per your, "I would contend that the British system is the best available". That is your opinion. Nothing wrong with having opinions. Smile As long as you keep it in perspective and realize it is only your opinion and there may be others out there.
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Quote:
On Apr 22, 2015, LobowolfXXX wrote:
Your argument with respect to the death certainly SEEMS to be, "If even one is too many innocent defendants to suffer penalty X, then penalty X should be done away with." On that basis, clearly life imprisonment sentences should be abolished.

No that is not my argument.

There is a big difference between all other punishments and the death penalty. All other punishments can be ended. The death penalty is final, which makes it different. If someone gets a life sentence and later evidence proves their innocence, we can release them. We do not have that option with the death penalty.

Is it acceptable that society can temporarily imprison an innocent man? I think we have to accept that.
Is it acceptable that society can kill an innocent man? I think we do not have to accept that.

Consider the case of George Stinney, a fourteen year old executed in the forties. He has since been completely exonerated. He was the victim of sloppy and racist police work. Is it acceptable that we can put an innocent child to death? Most countries say no.

Acesover, on the question of length of a life sentence, most of the world differs from America. Most countries allow for the possibility of rehabilitation. As a journalist I spent a number of days in the high security wing of Limerick prison. There were five guys on the wing doing life for murder. Two stood out.

One was a serial killer doing life for a series of brutal rape-murders. Another was a house burglar who got disturbed during a robbery and ran down the stairs. He ran into the homeowner, who fell and broke his neck. Both guys were guilty of murder. I know what I am going to say next will be controversial. Some of us say that all killers are the same. Others say that some are a lot worse than others and need to be dealt with differently.

Here is how we deal with it in Ireland and the UK. The serial killer died in prison a few years back. If he had lived to ninety he would have died in prison. The burglar did fifteen years and was released on licence. If he goes back to burglary the life sentence will be reactivated and he will do another fifteen years at least. If he lives a clean and useful life, he is given a second chance. Personally I like to leave open the possibility of redemption. The US system generally closes that door.
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The "big difference" that you refer to is an illusion. Someone given a life sentence may die in prison (an unacceptable result, according to you); someone given a death sentence may be released before that sentence is carried out. In fact, according to the study you referenced, he has better chances of getting out with a death sentence because of the higher scrutiny such cases are given.


Where did the 40 figure come from?
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In reality he is not simply a murderer but a traitor and ought to have been shot a dawn.
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Tony,

So from what I gather you are saying that a convicted murderer should go to prison as in your example for 15 years then be left out and if he does ok that is fine. however if he commits another murder he should go back to prison. For what another 15 years or is two enough?

I actually have to laugh when you say that the house burglar got "disturbed". Sorry to disturb him while he is working, lol. Smile Then he accidently killed someone while trying to get away. Well after all they did disturb him. Guess they had it coming. Doesn't that sound kind of silly to you? You failed to mention if he was armed at the time or not. However it should not matter. He killed someone while committing a felony.

Then of course you will get those who if the home owner shot and killed the burglar. The home owner would be accused of using excessive force and probably sentenced to life in prison because he violated the burglar's right to rob a home and be safe while doing so.

The possibility of redemption of a felon is probably less than 50% after prison. Repeat offenders ever hear of them? Not good odds in my opinion.
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Quote:
On Apr 22, 2015, acesover wrote:
Tony,

So from what I gather you are saying that a convicted murderer should go to prison as in your example for 15 years then be left out and if he does ok that is fine. however if he commits another murder he should go back to prison. For what another 15 years or is two enough?

I actually have to laugh when you say that the house burglar got "disturbed". Sorry to disturb him while he is working, lol. Smile Then he accidently killed someone while trying to get away. Well after all they did disturb him. Guess they had it coming. Doesn't that sound kind of silly to you? You failed to mention if he was armed at the time or not. However it should not matter. He killed someone while committing a felony.

Then of course you will get those who if the home owner shot and killed the burglar. The home owner would be accused of using excessive force and probably sentenced to life in prison because he violated the burglar's right to rob a home and be safe while doing so.

The possibility of redemption of a felon is probably less than 50% after prison. Repeat offenders ever hear of them? Not good odds in my opinion.

To clarify, no there should not be an automatic release after fifteen years. There should be a parole hearing. We keep the serial killers in for life, and the gang hitmen. As for the burglar who was disturbed, he was unarmed, and had NEVER committed a violent act before. He was a career criminal, but not a violent man.

In my view, a view shared by many, there is hope of redemption for people like him. The greater than 50% recidivism rate you quoted is true for a lot of jurisdictions, but by no means universal. In Ireland and the UK a big effort goes into rehabilitating prisoners, and those who learn a trade and further their education inside reoffend far less than that. Those who do not take advantage of the opportunities are far more likely to reoffend, and all of that is taken into account at parole hearings.

As for reoffending and reactivating the life sentence, it does not require him to kill again to do that. If he broke into a house, or drove drunk, or started a bar fight, that would reactivate the life sentence automatically. Even shoplifting would. So it is not as bonkers as it seems. The fact that the reactivation of life sentences is very rare shows that this policy does work in practical terms.

As for homeowners killing burglars, I am very uncomfortable with the use of deadly force. But of course that is a completely different matter than murder. I think most of us can accept that, even those of us opposed to deadly force.

But it does illustrate my point; you can kill a man and not be an irredeemably evil criminal. I like a legal system that recognises nuances.
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An article in the Washington Post this week is relevant to this discussion. 268 cases from the eighties and nineties have been assessed, and the forensic testimony provided by the FBI on hair analysis has been shown to be misleading in 95% of those cases. So people were convicted on the basis of untrue and discredited testimony.

Of those convicted 32 received the death penalty, and 14 are now dead and beyond the appeals process. If I were an American I would find this unacceptable, which is one of the reasons I oppose the death penalty.
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