Friday, May 11, 2007

 

Good News from the Northeast!

While we in Tennessee are reeling from the sad events of the last few days, it's important to remember that, across the country, the tide continues to turn against the death penalty. Last year, New Jersey successfully passed legislation to call a moratorium on executions and conduct a thorough study of the death penalty. The study commission eventually came back with a recommendation to abolish New Jersey's death penalty and replace it with life without parole. Yesterday, the Judiciary Committee of the New Jersey Senate voted overwhelmingly to do just that! This is a major step in the fight to end NJ's death penalty.

The NCADP Blog has the story here.

Now, certainly NJ is not Tennessee. They have only 10 people on death row and have not carried out an execution since the death penalty was reinstated in 1982. However, it is still inspiring to see more and more public officials come to realize that the death penalty is absolutely unneccessary. Kudos to New Jerseyans for Alternatives to the Death Penalty!
Comments :
Yeah, a good day, Timmendequas, killer of 7 year old Megan Kanka, escapes the penalty he richly deserves.

Maybe if the courts would enforce law and allow the people's will to be carried out . . . .
 
Maybe if the courts would "enforce the law" Curtis McCarty and over 120 other innocent men sentenced to death for crimes they didn't commit would be dead today (see the latest post). The problem with speeding up the appellate process, as so many death penatly proponents are so keen on doing, is that we increase the already dangerously high chances of executing an innocent person. McCarty was in prison for 21 years, Paul house has been on death row for 22. Juan Melendex spent nearly 18 years on Florida's death row before he was exonerated. Does anyone really want to see those innocent people dead?
 
If you think Paul House is innocent, I have a bridge to sell you.

And a lot of those 120 "exonerated" are simply murderers who got away with it.

Just remember, you guys think the lives of killers are more important than society's right to govern itself.
 
I'm not the only one who thinks Paul House is innocent - 6 judges on the U.S. Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals say he should be released immediately; the majority of the U.S. Supreme Court says that no reasonable juror would convict him if they had a chance to view all the evidence. The D.A. who prosecuted House has had to change his whole story of the crime just to deal with the fact that the evidence doesn't fit!

And to say that people who have been found not guilty and exonerated are still guilty just demonstrates a lack of respect for the bed rock principles of our criminal justice system.

And please do refrain from telling anyone what they think. TCASK recognizes society's right to govern itself but continues to point out that the death penalty fails to serve any useful public policy objective, while endangering innocent lives, targeting the poor, the mentally ill, and people of color while costing tax payers millions of dollars!

Thanks for reading!
 
TCASK most certainly does not recognize that right. You know you cannot abolish the death penalty through the democratic process, yet you advocate that the judiciary abolish it. That is fundamentally anti-democratic, given that capital punishment is plainly constitutional. Thus, you think that the lives of killers are more important than the people's right to impose this punishment.

Re: House. So what if the prosecution's theory was done in by the DNA. Maybe you could explain House's goofy explanations about why he was near the victim. As for the theory that the victim's husband did it, well, the ruse to get her out of the house seems to knock that theory out of the box.
 
Once again, I have to disagree with you. TCASK's mission is to change our state's public policy regarding the death penalty through truly democratic means, educating people about the truths of the capital punishment system, rather than the demagoguery (hardly trult democratic) that typically surrounds the death penalty. The more people learn about capital punishment, the less they support it, because it is a broken system.

As for House, are we actually going to say things like, "So what if the prosecution's theory was done in by the DNA"? I mean, so what if there's no theory of the crime, no witnesses, and absolutely no physical evidence linking House to the crime scene? So what if the so-called ruse you refer to is based on the memory of a young girl in the middle of the night, who had been asleep? So what if 2 witnesses heard Hubert Muncey confess, and another has said that Muncey asked her to make up an alibi for him the next day?

In the end, who cares if an innocent man has spent 22 years on Tennessee's death row?
 
Other than her blood . . . .
 
You mean the blood that in all likelihood came from the vials of blood taekn from her body after death by the police examiner? Those same vials that are missing over a vial and a half of blood that no one can account for? And the blood evidence that was taken into acocunt when the Supreme Court ruled that no reasonable juror would find House guilty?
 
Read Roberts' dissent. He pretty much demolishes the certainty that you feel that this guy is not a murderer.

Given House's admitted lies, the blood evidence and the little girl's story, how are you convinced that he is innocent. Sounds like wishful thinking to me.
 
I have read Robert's dissent and it sounds fine until you actually check out the evidence in the case. The girl's story doesn't point to House in any factual way, the majority of the court disagreed with Roberts, as does the preponderance of expert testimony, regarding the blood evidence. For example, the police officers who handled the so-called bloody jeans have filed perjured affidavits regarding their shipping, and, when examined, the blood evidence is absolutely inconsistent with the crime in question. There are all kinds of reasons to get scared and lie to police - it isn't a good idea, to be sure, but it also doesn't prove guilt, it proves you are scared and made a bad decision. And then, of course, we come back once again to the basic facts, House couldn't have committed the crime in the time to state contended, the DNA evidence conclusively disproves the theory of the crime, the fiber evidence that the state presented at the original trial actually points toward House's innocence, and another person has confessed to the crime.

Have you read the dissent of 6th Circuit Court Judge Gil Merritt that prompted the Supreme Court to look at the case? It's a far more in depth analysis of the facts and it eviscerates the state's frighteningly weak evidence.

Of course, what I think we need to remember here is two things, 1) there is certainly serious doubt regarding Paul House's guilt, but the state is still persistently trying to kill him, and this should be of deep concern to any Tennessean who is concerned with justice, and 2) if House is so guilty, why does the state continue to fight against a full evidentiary hearing? If they were so assured of his guilt, why not hold the hearing, prove he's guilty, and be done with it? The fact remains that the state continues to fight against arguing this case on the merits, even after the U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that, if we examine the merits, House would not be found guilty.
 
The little girl's story demolishes the "husband did it" theory.

And my oh my how the story has changed. We go from House is innocent to there are substantial doubts.

By the way, it is by no means proven that someone else has confessed to this crime. How you make such statements with such certain is beyond me.
 
If you want to talk about certainty, relying exclusively on the memory of a young child hearing things through walls in the middle of the night when she had been asleep is pretty far fetched. To which we should add that no one ever recognized a voice as belonging to Paul House or anything of that nature. Hubert Muncey claimed he never saw his wife that night, while a number of people said she came to the dance where he already was (having told her he was out digging a grave), that they had a fight, and that he hit her. Now when the daughter heard someone come to the house, she probably heard Carolyn find out that Hubert was running around at the dance and go out to confront him (a confrontation that he denied but several other people witnessed). If that's the definite proof we're talking about, that is pretty weak, and suggesting that we should put a man to death based upon it is nothing sort of ludicrous.

We have to convict someone beyond a reasonable doubt in this country. How anyone can say that there is no doubt that House is guilty, even after the U. S. Supreme Court said the exact opposite, is what is truly beyond me.
 
I think House did it. We'll see what happens if he is retried. The blood evidence, if believed, is enough to convict him.

You cannot seem to figure out whether he is innocent or whether the state simply cannot prove its case. He's innocent when you want to impugn the justice system, not guilty beyond reasonable doubt when you get called out.
 
Let me be clear, there is no legal term "innocent." A person is found guilty or not guilty. If not found guilty beyond a reasonable doubt, they are declared not guilty and released. Since we were getting into something of a legal discussion, I used those terms, but I certainly didn't expect it to turn into a rhetorical game.

But speaking of rhetorical games, that reminds me of what the state is doing right now, continuing to claim that House is guilty and that there is enough evidence to convict him while fighting tooth and nail to prevent a full hearing of all the evidence?

The blood evidence, as previously discussed, is extraordinarily weak, because there is ample evidence that the blood did not get on House's pants until after the police collected them. The state's witness has changed his story on this a number of times.

And what no one seems to know now is why would Paul House murder Carolyn Muncey? The state can provide absolutely no motive since its claims of rape have been conclusively disproven.

And once again, I have to remind you that the U.S. Supreme Court disagrees with you and says that House would not be found guilty if he was retried and all the evidence was produced.
 
Innocent means "didn't do it", and there is no way you can say with any certainty that House didn't kill Mrs. Muncey. You chose the words, not I.

And if Tennessee retries the guy, I suspect that he will pull a Schlup and plead.
 
By that logic all kinds of people found "not guilty" are actually not "innocent" and that goes against the very foundation of our criminal justice system.

No one can say for certain that House did or did not kill Carolyn Muncey, because I wasn't there, and neither was anyone else. That's what I would need to say anything with absolute certainty. What I can say is that the U.S. Supreme Court says that a reasonable jury wouldn't find him guilty if they looked at all the evidence.

We'll see about a retrial, but first Tennessee would have to do the right thing, stop trying to suppress new evidence, and let the truth come out. What I predict is if House wins a new trial, the state will say, "Well, he's still guilty, but it was so long ago now that we aren't going to retry him." That tends to be the response when someone is exonerated.
 
I just love your dissembling. You shout from the rooftops about Paul House's innocence (which means, by the way, that he didn't do it, not some legalistic formulation). Then when you get called out on it, you say "We don't know."

That's why it's hard to take you true believers seriously.
 
The only "dissembling" that's been done here is by the state of Tennessee, claiming that there's plenty of evidence to prove that House is guilty and then doing everything they can to prevent an evidentiary hearing to see if that's actually true.

And if you read my comments, I don't think there was any dissembling. All the facts point to Paul House being innocent (meaning, he did not do it). If you are reading my comments as saying anything other than that (I apologize, I thought that I was conversing with a reasonable person) than I don't know what to tell you.

The evidence that you rely on so doggedly has been found to be untrustworthy, while DNA evidence points to someone else. Anyone who has carefully examined this case and still thinks that Paul House is guilty is capable of an incredible level of delusion.

Thanks for reading.
 
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