The community used to have a forum. It was known as the Fourth Estate.
Everyone in the death penalty debate, inclusive of the Dallas Morning News, knows how the anti death penalty folks have so distorted the meaning of exonerated, as to mask its real meaning.
Defense attorney Thomas Ullmann defended Steven Hayes in the capital murder trial of the three rape/torture/murders of Jennifer Hawke-Petit, who was raped and strangled to death, along with her two daughters, 17-year-old Haley and 11-year-old Michaela. Michaela was sexually assaulted.
Justice Stevens strong bias against the death penalty and his lack of voiced concern for murder victims is well known (1).
Very few of the 112 Supreme Court Justices concluded that the death penalty is unconstitutional, as Justice Stevens has.
RE: Reply to Rick Halperin’s “Why don’t people in Texas talk about the death penalty?” (1)
Prof. Halperin is director of Southern Methodist U. Embrey Human Rights Program and is a well know anti death penalty activist
From: Dudley Sharp, a pro death penalty guy
There is a difference between open discussion and fair debate and what Rick Halperin presents, which is one sided and false propaganda and indoctrination.
Clark/CCFAJ’s cost review is wildly inaccurate and I doubt that there is any more veracity to the death row costs than with their lifer cost evaluations. None of Clark/CCFAJ’s numbers can be relied upon.
Clark says: “In total, California’s death penalty system costs taxpayers $137 million per year. Contrast that with just $11 million per year if we replace the death penalty with permanent imprisonment.”
1) Saint Augustine confirms that ” . . . inflicting capital punishment . . . protects those who are undergoing capital punishment from the harm they may suffer . . . through increased sinning which might continue if their life went on.” (On the Lord’s Sermon, 1.20.63-64.)
2) Saint Thomas Aquinas finds that ” . . . the death inflicted by the judge profits the sinner, if he be converted, unto the expiation of his crime; and, if he be not converted, it profits so as to put an end to the sin, because the sinner is thus deprived of the power to sin anymore.” (Summa Theologica, II-II, 25, 6 ad 2.)
3) Quaker, biblical scholar Dr. Gervas A. Carey:
“. . . a secondary measure of the love of God may be said to appear. For capital punishment provides the murderer with incentive to repentance which the ordinary man does not have, that is a definite date on which he is to meet his God. It is as if God thus providentially granted him a special inducement to repentance out of consideration of the enormity of his crime . . . the law grants to the condemned an opportunity which he did not grant to his victim, the opportunity to prepare to meet his God. Even divine justice here may be said to be tempered with mercy.” (1) (p. 116).
Make no mistake. If the death penalty is “impossible in some jurisdictions,” it is almost impossible everywhere, including “bloodthirsty” Texas. Homicide does not entail anywhere near the same risk for murderers as for victims. This shocking fact is largely unknown: Between 1972 and 2008, there were 723,000 murders , more than the combined total of battle deaths in all our wars. [2-p43] As of the end of 2009, this resulted in 1,188 lawful executions (0.165%) . Texas had 446 executions for 66,337 murders (0.67%) .
This is not simply a matter of different state court judges.
It is difficult to say if Prof . Garland is just sloppy or if, like many in academia, he is happy to peddle bias in service of a goal, here, an end to execution.
(“Five myths about the death penalty”, By David Garland, July 18, 2010, www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/07/16/AR2010071602717.html)
Lets’ look at Garland’s myths:
1) Garland fails to mention that it is the judges that make the imposition of the death penalty all but impossible in some jurisdictions. Dictatorial judges in New Jersey never allowed an execution. There, the death penalty was repealed. Pennsylvania judges never allow executions other than those whereby the inmates waive appeals. If you appeal a death sentence in Pa, you have a life sentence, even if your death sentence is not overturned. Similar abusive judicial behavior is legendary in California.
Understanding deterrence Dudley Sharp There are many misconceptions regarding deterrence. No matter the level of violent crime, be it high or low, legal sanctions deter some from committing crimes( 1). All prospects of a negative outcome deter
THE VITAL IMPORTANCE OF A JUSTICE’S VALUES
Retiring Justice John Paul Stevens has long been the object of adulation. In 2005, President Ford said he was prepared for his presidency to be judged “exclusively” upon Stevens’ 30-year record. In the dominant media narrative, Stevens is just an old-fashioned and modest conventional Midwestern Republican, as was Ford. If he moved left at all, he is still “in the mainstream.” Jeffrey Toobin reverentially suggests he is “the last” moderate Republican on the Court and in the tradition of Harding and Coolidge.
forwarded by Dudley Sharp The Innocence List has been, conclusively, debunked for many years, without contradiction. Dudley Sharp CJLF Criminal Justice Legal Foundation 10-12 PRESS RELEASE FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE April 8, 2010 Michael Rushford, President (916) 446-0345 “EXONERATED” FORMER
As a general rule, the death penalty cost studies are worthless. Those that purport to compare life without parole costs to death penalty costs are, in most cases, comparing apples to kangaroos not apples to apples.
There is no reason that the death penalty, in general, should be more expensive than LWOP and, in many, if not most cases, the death penalty should be less expensive.
1) Virginia: How the death penalty will save money over life without parole (LWOP).
Virginia executes in 5-7 years. 65% of those sentenced to death have been executed. Only 15% of their death penalty cases are overturned. (Source Virginia AG)
With the high costs of long term imprisonment, such a system, as Virginia’s, a true life sentence will be more expensive than such a death penalty protocol. All states could duplicate this protocol, with the major exception that you can’t transfer Virginia jurisdiction judges to other states.
Judge Fine is not truly backing off or rescinding his finding that the Texas death penalty statute is unconstitutional. It is a tactical withdrawal to cover his ass.
I suspect it won’t matter what happens in the April 27th hearing. Judge Fine will repeat his original finding.
Judge Fine realized that he looked like a fool and/or an idiot because he was wrong on the facts and the law in his first two episodes. (1)
The judge, now, says “. . . he still wants more information on whether the state’s death penalty statute is unconstitutional because it allows for the possible execution of an innocent person.” Thus, the hearing.
The judge clarifies that his decision is ” . . . limited only to the due process claim that 37071 has resulted in the execution of innocent people and/or has the potential to result in the execution of innocent persons”. (1)
As such potential has existed since the beginning of executions, it is curious that the judge has made this ruling when (1) the probability of such an event occurring is now lower than at any other time in history, (2) the judge cannot point to a case whereby an innocent has been executed in the modern US death penalty era, post Gregg v Georgia, and (3) the judge can cite no precedent wherein perfection is required in the implementation of due process.
“Recidivism among murderers does occasionally happen … the only way to prevent all … recidivism is to execute every convicted murderer – a policy no one seriously advocates … Governments that respect … justice and … human dignity… do not use premeditated, violent homicide as an instrument of social policy”
— American Civil Liberties Union
“Governor Huckabee “seemed genuinely surprised that he was held responsible for the criminal acts committed by those whose sentences he had commuted …. The notion … seemed as foreign to him as the idea that he should refuse all leniency.”
— former Huckabee campaign official
AN ERSATZ ISSUE
Serious implications for the capital punishment struggle arise from the hypocrisy of those who demand absolute perfection for convicted murderers but expect, excuse and shrug off imperfections resulting in preventable brutalization of the law-abiding.
I expect versions of this to spread to all states, that don’t already have it. It has been a common position by pro death penalty folks, for years, that the anti death penalty folks will go after LWOP just as they do with the death penalty and that is exactly what has happened and has been happening for some time.
These cases are a sample of cases that some anti death penalty folks present as innocents executed. Generally speaking, anti death penalty folks only show the defense side of the case or they present material, so ridiculous, not even the defense would offer it.
These reviews are offered as a balance to those anti death penalty presentations.
There are, at least, two sides to every debate. Avail yourself of reviewing, at least two contrasting positions, so you can make a, somewhat, informed decision.
It is arguable, if not definitive, that had the media been thorough, in the beginning, none of the cases would have become a cause celebre, sometimes lasting for decades.
1) Roger Keith Coleman
The classic Cause Celebre, anti death penalty case is put together like this: Imagine facts that evidence won’t support, but make it appear real, anyway. Keep it going for years and years. (1)
Jim McCloskey spent 14 years championing Coleman’s innocence. Create a case of an innocent executed and the media will come. And, boy, did they.
Here is McCloskey’s assessment of the state’s case against Coleman: “The (state’s) case was built on innuendos and lies and ludicrous, insane theory that falls flat in the face of common sense.” (2)
This is a classic quote of anti death penalty infamy: Mr. McCloskey, look in the mirror. Coleman’s guilt was confirmed by DNA.
For some time, Coleman’s defense team concentrated on the “real murderer”, with whom they, later, had to make an out of court settlement
Several issues are raised with regard to lethal injection.
Generally, they are:
1) The murderer experiencing pain during execution;
2) The ethics of medical professionals participating in executions; and
3) Proper training of execution personnel.
1) PAIN AND LETHAL INJECTION
The evidence, including the immediate autopsy of executed serial murderer/rapist Michael Ross, supports that there is no pain within the lethal injection process.
There is a concern that some inmates may be conscious, but paralyzed, during execution, because one of the three drugs used may have worn off, prior to death.
The Inanity and Hypocrisy of Perfection
The premise is that irrefutably proving just one wrongful execution would justify, indeed require, abolition of capital punishment. For example, in finally deciding it was always unconstitutional, Justice Blackmun believed (n8) that courts “are unable to prevent human error from condemning the innocent.” The New Mexico and New Jersey Governors signed death penalty repeals partly on the stated ground that it is not “100-percent … perfect…never  wrong … foolproof.”
The Dallas Morning News (DMN) writes: ” What counts most is the truth, no matter what the ultimate verdict.”.
We can all hope.
The DMN, until recently, has been extremely biased in this case. This anti death penalty media bias, by many in the media, has been, overwhelming, throughout the US, over the past two months in the Willingham case, just as it has, over the last two decades, with most death penalty issues.
The truth has suffered, greatly.