We all owe a debt of gratitude to Dr. William Petit who, in his extreme hour of grief, taught us a valuable lesson about the nature of evil, forgiveness, and the problem of suffering.
No, not what you would expect.
In speaking of the man convicted of killing his wife and two daughters, Petit did not deliver an amoral, slobbering speech about forgiving his wife and daughters’ murderer and how all suffering teaches us some valuable lesson, enriching us in the process.
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).
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 New Jersey Death Penalty Commission made significant errors within their findings. The evidence, contrary to the Commissions findings, was so easy to obtain that it appears either willful ignorance or deception guided their report.
A brief review.
FORMAT: Below, are the 7 points made within the New Jersey Death Penalty Study Commission Report, January, 2007. The RUBUTTAL presents the obvious points avoided by the Commission and discussed by this author, a death penalty expert.
I was invited to be a presenter, before the NJDPSC, but my time didn’t fit their schedule.
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.
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 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.
In the Willingham case, the Innocent Project Report (IPR), in their executive Summary, found the fire was not an incendiary fire. http://www.innocenceproject.org/docs/ArsonReviewReport.pdf
The IPR provided no evidence of that and no other source for the fire was established. Discounting their statement goes to their lack of proof/evidence for the claim, for which they have none.
Stacy Kuykendall’s statement about the 1991 fire”, Fort Worth Star-Telegram, 10.25/09
“Stacy Kuykendall, the ex-wife of Cameron Todd Willingham, offers her first detailed account of the 1991 fire that claimed the lives of her three daughters and led to Willingham’s execution in 2004.
RE: Analyzing a story: “Records: Willingham’s innocence in fire unclear, Dallas Morning News, October 25, 2009) From: Dudley Sharp, contact info below The DMN made some errors but they may have located some real reporters. I
Physicians & The State Execution of Murderers: No Ethical/Medical Dilemma
The Hippocratic Oath and “Do No Harm” have nothing to do with executions
Dudley Sharp, Justice Matters, contact info below
Some in the medical community have attempted to create an ethical prohibition against medical professionals involvement in state executions by invoking the famous “do no harm” credo and the Hippocratic Oath.
It is a dishonest effort. Neither reference is in the context of the state execution of murderers. I find the effort to ban medical professionals participation in executions an unethical effort to fabricate professional ethical standards, based upon personal anti death penalty feelings.
Dear Mr. Bassett: Thank you for your reply. It would have been simple and important for you to say that there is already a contradictory report to Beyler, from the Corsicana FD. It would have been simple
Could the beginning of a tidal wave of responsible journalism, in the Willingham case, actually begin with an op/ed writer, Rodger Jones, from the Dallas Morning News?