Friday, August 31, 2007

 

Only a Matter of Time

A pig just took flight in Texas and winked at Kenneth Foster and all the hard working abolitionists in Texas.

Governor Commutes Sentence in Texas; be sure to read that article from the New York Times and listen to the back story by the article's author Ralph Blumenthal. In the back story, Ralph talks about the significance of this event and the momentum that the anti-death penalty movement is experiencing right now. I can feel the momentum, can you?

Capital Punishment in America: Revenge begins to seem less sweet; also be sure to read this great article from The Economist as one of the most important publications in the world focuses on this flawed public policy. I especially liked the perspective of Howard Morton at the very end of the article:

In Boulder, Colorado, Howard Morton tells a different story. His son Guy disappeared while hitch-hiking in the Arizona desert in 1975, when he was 18. For more than a decade Mr Morton continued to search for his son. Then, in 1987, a retired deputy sheriff read about Guy in a newspaper, and recalled finding a skeleton in the desert in the year he had disappeared. The medical examiner had mislabeled it as belonging to a Hispanic woman, but dental records proved it was Guy. He had been found with a broken knife blade in his chest. The murderer was never caught.

Mr Morton discovered that over 30% of murders in America are unsolved, like his son's. He found out, too, that the states spend millions of dollars putting a handful of murderers to death while detection is under-financed and thousands of murderers walk free. He became an ardent abolitionist. Anyone close to a murder victim “wants the son of a bitch who did it to die,” he says. “But you've got to catch the son of a bitch. That's more important.”
Comments :
Uh, Ike, don't get ahead of yourself. Texas has 5 scheduled executions in September and will almost certainly surpass last year's total of 24.
 
Yes, Texas, greeaaaat example!!!!
 
Nice non-sequitur (you do know what that means, don't you?).

Your post says that the death penalty's end is coming. I am pointing out that Texas will kill more people than last year.

Funny how you never can seem to answer an argument directly.
 
You were the one to make the leap to the death penalty end coming. The post title is "only a matter of time," that can infer a number of things. I don't see an argument in your initial comment, I see a fact. I will always try to address your arguments and I do believe that you are saying that capital punishment is on the rise overall by referring to Texas.

Executions since 1999, which had the highest number of executions in the modern era with 98.

2000 - 85
2001 - 66
2002 - 71
2003 - 65
2004 - 59
2005 - 60
2006 - 53

It does appear to be dipping, but only slightly. I don't think that a definitive argument can be made either way.

Oh, and no I didn't know what non-sequitur meant, but thanks for pointing it out to me! I'll be sure to get that one right on my next crossword!
 
It's like that 2007 will have more than 2006, but less than 2005. The lethal injection stuff has been a real drag.

2008 is likely to be a much bigger year.
 
I know it really has been a real drag, just ask Angel Nieves Diaz.
 
Fortunately, I cannot ask him, as justice was served for that heinous criminal.
 
Justice? Justice to one man or woman can be different for another. I do not believe that justice encompasses dealing out pain and suffering to what we consider enemies of the state.

I'd be interested to know why you think that the United States still has the death penalty especially amidst a worldwide effort to abolish. In 1977 16 countries were abolitionist, it is now up to 130. The United States remains virtually alone in sustaining the death penalty amongst what we call "western civilized nations."

I think that as a beacon of justice and civility, the United States must show the world that we too do not agree with executing individuals. Folks are quick to point out that we have executed "only" over 1000 people in the modern era, so why be in such an uproar. I think that for the very same reason, we should abolish; those individuals were chosen in a lottery fashion of arbitrary law to receive the ultimate punishment. Wouldn't we be a more civil nation if we were to remove that practice?

Clearly, some folks committed awful awful crimes that essentially remove the possibility of an arbitrary sentence. But, so many of our death row inmates or those executed were seemingly chosen in a lottery. The same crimes committed by two different people and yet different punishments being dealt out. We need to be consistent and rid of our caprice.

So anon, why does the United States have the death penalty? I really would appreciate this education so I can better understand why we have this policy.
 
We have the death penalty because it is constitutional and people, through their elected representatives, have voted for it.

The caprice you speak of comes in large part because of the nonsense imposed by the courts.

As for consistency, you simply cannot have that in a huge justice system like ours with many many independent actors.
 
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