Wednesday, October 22, 2008

The US Is a Third World Country

Written on October 21, 2008

I am so depressed today. I just heard that Troy Davis is scheduled to be executed by the State of Georgia on October 27, 2008. You may remember him. The last time I posted about him, he had received a stay from the US Supreme Court on September 23, only 2 hours before he was scheduled to die. On October 14, they refused to hear his case. I was so upset about that that I could not bring myself to post it. But I did send an email Calling on the Georgia Board of Pardons and Paroles to reconsider it’s decision and copied the Governor, and I Wrote a letter to the editor of my local newspaper as instructed by Amnesty International USA.

Then today, while volunteering at the library, I heard on National Public Radio, that the Supreme Court was not impressed with the recanted witness testimony in Troy Davis’ case and that was why they refused to hear it. Further, they considered whether or not the death penalty was used in crimes more often when the criminal was black and the victim was white. They decided it was not. So, they washed their hands of the entire death penalty issue. The case went back to the State of Georgia, who today rescheduled Troy Davis' execution for October 27th.

Now, it will be up to the conservative Republican Governor Sonny Perdue and the general opinion is he will not grant Clemency.

This means that an innocent man will be killed, a guilty man (Mr. Coles) will go free, the slain Officer (Mr. McPhail) will never receive justice, and that in my mind, the US is a Third World Country. They might as well use a noose for this execution to symbolize the injustice of it all. I’m sorry but justice has not been served when so final a conclusion is made in a case where all the testimony has yet to be heard, guilt has been pronounced solely on eye witness testimony (which the Innocence Project notes is wrong 75% of the time) and not all of the suspects have been brought forth prior to someone being punished in so final and irretrievable a way. Please send an email to the Governor of Georgia, Sonny Purdue, pleading for Clemency for Troy Davis.

Further, the death penalty is just plain wrong for a modern country that operates in the 21st Century; it is the State murdering people and I don’t think anything gives them or anyone else the right to do that. Here are the countries that allow the death penalty:

  • Afghanistan
  • Antigua and Barbuda
  • Bahamas
  • Bahrain
  • Bangladesh
  • Barbados
  • Belarus
  • Belize
  • Botswana
  • Burundi
  • Cameroon
  • Chad
  • China (People's Republic)
  • Comoros
  • Congo (Democratic Republic)
  • Cuba
  • Dominica
  • Egypt
  • Equatorial Guinea
  • Eritrea
  • Ethiopia
  • Gabon
  • Ghana
  • Guatemala
  • Guinea
  • Guyana
  • India
  • Indonesia
  • Iran
  • Iraq
  • Jamaica
  • Japan
  • Jordan
  • Korea, North
  • Korea, South
  • Kuwait
  • Laos
  • Lebanon
  • Lesotho
  • Libya
  • Malawi
  • Malaysia
  • Mongolia
  • Nigeria
  • Oman
  • Pakistan
  • Palestinian Authority
  • Qatar
  • St. Kitts and Nevis
  • St. Lucia
  • St. Vincent and the Grenadines
  • Saudi Arabia
  • Sierra Leone
  • Singapore
  • Somalia
  • Sudan
  • Swaziland
  • Syria
  • Taiwan
  • Tajikistan
  • Tanzania
  • Thailand
  • Trinidad and Tobago
  • Uganda
  • United Arab Emirates
  • United States
  • Vietnam
  • Yemen
  • Zambia
  • Zimbabwe


Now, I ask you, which of the countries in the list doesn't fit with the others?

However, as a pragmatic compromise, let us at least make the way the death penalty is administered more stringent. Perhaps we should require DNA and/or fingerprint evidence to convict folks for the death penalty, since DNA has been used to exonerate 223 criminals so far from death sentences as part of the Innocence Project. It would still be a burr up my saddle, but at least I would know, that guilty men were being put to death and not potentially innocent men, like Troy Davis.

Again, please send an email to the Governor of the State of Georgia Sonny Perdue asking him to grant clemency to Troy Davis or use the Amnesty International USA online action center and see the other actions that you can take.



29 comments:

thonnibg said...

Oh no!They`ll do it.
All the testimony MUST be heard!How could they not do that?
How can they execute him so easily?
That`s scary!
I still hope he will receive another stay.

Sue said...

Yes I do too. I sent a letter I wrote myself to both the Governor and the State Board of Paroles begging them to reconsider and update their methods of applying the death penalty to DNA and fingerprints at least. I even went so far as quoting the ten commandments. You know its bad when an atheist like myself resorts to religion. :(

Dennis said...

I worked with the Innocence Project in law school. Even in cases were DNA exonerates a prisoner, the courts still drag their feet. And in the few instances where everyone agrees that someone is innocent and wants him released, the procedural hurdles are daunting.

Sue said...

Dennis - I am proud of you that you worked with the Innocence Project and thank you for your support for Troy Davis. It is continually frustrating and vexing that bringing justice to innocent people who are wrongly convicted is so difficult and time consuming. I don't know how folks put up with it.

dudleysharp said...

Please, fact check.

8 death row inmates have been freed from death row because of DNA exclusion. An additonal 15 or so have been released because of other actual innocence issues.

the 223 were all of those release via DNA in prison and on death row.

The Death Penalty Provides More Protection for Innocents
Dudley Sharp, Justice Matters, contact info below
 
Often, the death penalty dialogue gravitates to the subject of innocents at risk of execution. Seldom is a more common problem reviewed. That is, how innocents are more at risk without the death penalty.
 
To state the blatantly clear, living murderers, in prison, after release or escape, are much more likely to harm and murder, again, than are executed murderers.
 
Although an obvious truism, it is surprising how often  folks overlook the enhanced incapacitation benefits of the death penalty over incarceration.
 
No knowledgeable and honest party questions that the death penalty has the most extensive due process protections in US criminal law.
 
Therefore, actual innocents are more likely to be sentenced to life imprisonment and more likely to die in prison serving under that sentence, that it is that an actual innocent will be executed.
 
That is. logically, conclusive.
 
16 recent studies, inclusive of their defenses, find for death penalty deterrence.
 
A surprise? No.
 
Life is preferred over death. Death is feared more than life.
 
Some believe that all studies with contrary findings negate those 16 studies. They don't. Studies which don't find for deterrence don't say no one is deterred, but that they couldn't measure those deterred.
 
What prospect of a negative outcome doesn't deter some? There isn't one . . . although committed anti death penalty folk may say the death penalty is the only one.
 
However, the premier anti death penalty scholar accepts it as a given that the death penalty is a deterrent, but does not believe it to be a greater deterrent than a life sentence. Yet, the evidence is compelling and un refuted that death is feared more than life.
 
Some death penalty opponents argue against death penalty deterrence, stating that it's a harsher penalty to be locked up without any possibility of getting out.
 
Reality paints a very different picture.
 
What percentage of capital murderers seek a plea bargain to a death sentence? Zero or close to it. They prefer long term imprisonment.
 
What percentage of convicted capital murderers argue for execution in the penalty phase of their capital trial? Zero or close to it. They prefer long term imprisonment.
 
What percentage of death row inmates waive their appeals and speed up the execution process? Nearly zero. They prefer long term imprisonment.
 
This is not, even remotely, in dispute.
 
Life is preferred over death. Death is feared more than life.
 
Furthermore, history tells us that lifers have many ways to get out: Pardon, commutation, escape, clerical error, change in the law, etc.
 
In choosing to end the death penalty, or in choosing not implement it, some have chosen to spare murderers at the cost of sacrificing more innocent lives.
 
Furthermore, possibly we have sentenced 25 actually innocent people to death since 1973, or 0.3% of those so sentenced. Those have all been released upon post conviction review. The anti death penalty claims, that the numbers are significantly higher, are a fraud, easily discoverable by fact checking.
 
The innocents deception of death penalty opponents has been getting exposure for many years. Even the behemoth of anti death penalty newspapers, The New York Times,  has recognized that deception.
 
To be sure, 30 or 40 categorically innocent people have been released from death row . . . (1) This when death penalty opponents were claiming the release of 119 "innocents" from death row. Death penalty opponents never required actual innocence in order for cases to be added to their "exonerated" or "innocents" list. They simply invented their own definitions for exonerated and innocent and deceptively shoe horned large numbers of inmates into those definitions - something easily discovered with fact checking.
 
There is no proof of an innocent executed in the US, at least since 1900.
 
If we accept that the best predictor of future performance is past performance, we can, reasonably, conclude that the DNA cases will be excluded prior to trial, and that for the next 8000 death sentences, that we will experience a 99.8% accuracy rate in actual guilt convictions. This improved accuracy rate does not include the many additional safeguards that have been added to the system, over and above DNA testing.
 
Of all the government programs in the world, that put innocents at risk, is there one with a safer record and with greater protections than the US death penalty?
 
Unlikely.
 
Full report -All Innocence Issues: The Death Penalty, upon request.
 
Full report - The Death Penalty as a Deterrent, upon request
 
(1) The Death of Innocents: A Reasonable Doubt,
New York Times Book Review, p 29, 1/23/05, Adam Liptak,
national legal correspondent for The NY Times

copyright 2007-2008, Dudley Sharp
Permission for distribution of this document, in whole or in part,  is approved with proper attribution.
 
Dudley Sharp, Justice Matters
e-mail sharpjfa@aol.com 713-622-5491,
Houston, Texas
 
Mr. Sharp has appeared on ABC, BBC, CBS, CNN, C-SPAN, FOX, NBC, NPR, PBS, VOA and many other TV and radio networks, on such programs as Nightline, The News Hour with Jim Lehrer, The O'Reilly Factor, etc., has been quoted in newspapers throughout the world and is a published author.
 
A former opponent of capital punishment, he has written and granted interviews about, testified on and debated the subject of the death penalty, extensively and internationally.

Stan said...

I'm sad, frustrated and mad as hell when I heard the news of the courts decision too, although not shocked what with the judicial appointments that have been made by the Bush administration these last 8 years. For a nation that describes itself as religious and evoking god into practically everything it still can't bring itself to do away with this barbaric practice. Even candidates seeking political office not dare bring up abolishing the death penalty. But what do you expect from a country that won't even provide health insurance to its citizens as a basic right?

Sue said...

Thank you Mr. Sharp for your informed reply. I see that I misquoted the Innocence Project statistics as you noted. I wish I had looked at them more closely and I apologize that I did not.

So, the real facts are that of the 1,124 executions in the US, 8 people were innocent, and 15 executions were prevented. So, that means that there were a total of 23 innocent people who face execution. Summarizing then, for the approximately 3000 inmates currently on death row in the US, we can expect that at least 69 are potentially innocent. That is just too many innocents to kill for me. Is it too many for you as well Mr. Sharp?

Further, I do not buy the deterrence argument at all. Because I believe that the State does not have the authority to murder people. What is the difference between the crime the criminal has committed and that of the State? They are one and the same to me. I think life without the possibility of parole is the answer. And most modern countries agree with me there Mr. Sharp.

But back to the case at hand. Put yourself in the shoes of Mr. Davis. He claims he is innocent and is only on death row because of witness testimony that has since been recanted. It would be a nightmare to be him. Can you not picture yourself being him? Does that not change your argument at all? Do you not have any mercy for the human being before you?

It must be so easy to be removed and speaking form a legal and scholarly perspective; talking about statistics objectively, but this man is someone's son and a human being. Let us not forget that. Justice has lost its way in this case.

Dennis said...

Mr. Sharp, your reply, though lenghty, fails to acknowledge what seems to me to be obvious: the execution of an innocent man by the state, though rare, is absolutely abhorrent and cannot be tolerated by a democracy. There are safeguards in place to prevent this, but these safeguards are necessarily imperfect. Furthermore, after attempting to use these safeguards as reasons why we should trust the criminal justice system, you go on to use them as examples of how lifers may be able to get out of jail and why execution is preferable. Though you try to portray these events as commonplace, anyone with even a passing knowledge of the criminal justice sytem knows they are not.

Additional, your focus on the benefits of executing a murderer rather than allowing him to serve a life sentence is misplaced. Instead, you should be comparing the benefits of executing a murderer to the cost of executing an innocent man. As you state time and again, life is preferred over death. Death is feared more than life.

You further state that the defendants and the convicted seek life in prison over the death penalty.

Well, duh.

Death is rather final. Life in prison, though long and unpleasant, is at least life. (You neglected to mention that the cost and length of appeals in death penalty cases is greater than the cost of imprisoning a man for life. This is simply an oversight, I'm sure.)
As for the dealth penalty being a deterrent, you assume that criminals know the penalties for specific crimes. If they knew that a crime would result in the dealth penalty, then your argument might have merit. As it is, I doubt those that purposefully commit crimes punishable by the death penalty worry about the consequences of their actions.

dudleysharp said...

Sue:

Nearly 8000 folks have been sentenced to death since 1973, Of those around 23 have solid evidence of actual innocence and have been released. That is 0.3% of those so sentenced. That 8000 includes the roughly 3000 still on death row. Currently, there is no proof of an innocent executed, in the US, at least since 1900.

No one wants an innocent arrested, charged, tried, convicted or sentenced.

Whether you believe in executions or not is irrelevant to the deterrence issue. All prospects of a negative outcome deter some. There are no exceptions.

You equate murder and executions, because of the act of killing. But it is not the act which defines morality, but the consideration behind the act. All killing is not equal.

The rape and killing (murder) of a child is very different than the father who kills (for protection and self defense) of that child. I believe the killings (executions) of those Nazis who planned and carried out the killings (mass murders) of innocents during WWII is very different is very different than the killings (mass murders) of those innocents. Do you see them as the same, as you described?

I concur, it would be horrible to be an innocent convicted.

Reread your last paragraph and,now, think of Mark Allen MacPhail.

Regarding Troy Davis, please read all of the references, below, in their entirety.

(1) Summary, Davis v Ga, Georgia Supreme Court, March 17, 2008
http://www.gasupreme.us/op_summaries/mar_17.pdf

" . . . the majority finds that 'most of the witnesses to the crime who have allegedly recanted have merely stated that they now do not feel able to identify the shooter.' "One of the affidavits 'might actually be read so as to confirm trial testimony that Davis was the shooter.' "

The murder occurred in 1989.

(2) 9/22/08, "THE PAROLE BOARD'S CONSIDERATION OF THE TROY ANTHONY DAVIS CASE" http://www.pap.state.ga.us/opencms/opencms/

"After an exhaustive review of all available information regarding the Troy Davis case and after considering all possible reasons for granting clemency, the Board has determined that clemency is not warranted."

"The Board has now spent more than a year studying and considering this case. As a part of its proceedings, the Board gave Davis’ attorneys an opportunity to present every witness they desired to support their allegation that there is doubt as to Davis’ guilt. The Board heard each of these witnesses and questioned them closely. In addition, the Board has studied the voluminous trial transcript, the police investigation report and the initial statements of all witnesses. The Board has also had certain physical evidence retested and Davis interviewed."

(3) read the PDF statement released by Chatham County District Attorney Spencer Lawton on the case facts at: http://tinyurl.com/46c73l

A detailed review of the extraordinary consideration that Davis was given for all of his claims.

(4) Officer Mark Allen MacPhail
The family of murdered Officer MacPhail fully believes that Troy Davis murdered their loved one, that the evidence is supportive of that opinion.
http://www.markallenmacphail.com/

Dennis said...

Oh, honestly, the Nazis? I applaud your decision to invoke Godwin's Law so quickly, Mr. Sharp. Your ability to take a simple statement on the morality of killing a convicted criminal by a state and conflate it with the genocide of innocent millions is to be admired.

I think you confuse morality and legal culpability. The father who kills a child's attacker may be cleared of legal wrong doing, but our Judeo-Christian morality still teaches that the murder was wrong. Just because someone is justified in committing murder doesn't mean the murder was morally correct.

You seem to advocate a "deterrence at all cost" approach to criminal justice. Even if I were to admit that the death penalty served as a deterrence, which I do not, I still would not believe the ends justified the means. The minimal theoretical benefit of deterrence against the very real act of execution is simply too high.

dudleysharp said...

Dennis, I have never avoided the possibility of an innocent being executed. In fact, that was the specific reason that I wrote that piece, as I think is easy to see, from the first line.

Again, as stated, in the essay, the protections are much greater with the death penalty than for lesser setences.

You misunderstood, I have very little trust in the criminal justice system, but it does protect criminals much more than innocent, free civilians and the death penalty has, by far, the greatest protections for any actual innocents tried or convicted, meaning lesser sentences, most notably life or very long sentences, are more likely to result in an actual innocent convicted who dies as an actual innocent in jail.

Regarding cost, see below.

You have a misunderstanding as to the deterrence studies, here are some, at bottom, read them in whole.

I think you misread potential and real murderers.

Many have discounted a deterrent effect because of the irrationality of potential and active criminals. However, both reason and the evidence support that the potential for negative consequences does affect criminal behavior.

Criminals who try to conceal their crime do so for only one reason -- fear of punishment. Likely, more than 99% of all criminals, including capital murderers, act in such a fashion. Fear of capture does not exist without an expectation of punishment.

This doesn't mean that they sit down before every crime, most crimes or even their first crime, and contemplate a cost to benefit analysis of a criminal action. Weighing negative consequences may be conscious or subconscious, thoughtful or instinctive. And we instinctively know the potential negative consequences of some actions. Even pathetically stupid or irrational criminals will demonstrate such obvious efforts to avoid detection. And there is only one reason for that -- fear of punishment.

When dealing with less marginalized personalities, those who choose not to murder, such is a more reasoned group. It would be illogical to assume that a more reasoned group would be less responsive to the potential for negative consequences. Therefore, it would be illogical to assume that some potential murderers were not additionally deterred by the more severe punishment of execution.

As legal writer and death penalty critic Stuart Taylor observes: "All criminal penalties are based on the incontestable theory that most (or at least many) criminals are somewhat rational actors who try so hard not to get caught because they would prefer not to be imprisoned. And most are even keener about staying alive than about avoiding incarceration."

Based upon the overwhelming evidence that criminals do respond to the potential of negative consequences, reason supports that executions deter and that they are an enhanced deterrent over lesser punishments.

----------------

For some of the recent 16 deterrence studies, go to:

http://www.cjlf.org/deathpenalty/DPDeterrence.htm

US Senate testimony

http://judiciary.senate.gov/testimony.cfm?id=1745&wit_id=4991

dudleysharp said...

Dennis:

Sue equates murder and executions. In context, the Nazi's and the holocaust is quite relevent. Your disapproval is of little consequence to the point. Nor, did you show my example as being morally improper, in context. The only thing which was relevant. It is morally relvant to her stance.

No, I don't confu=se morality and legal culpability. Context is important. Sue equated murder and executions, because she doesn't see the difference, because both are killings. I simply gave two examples where is was quite obvious that the morality of killings, depends upon the cause for the killing. That was my only point.

You presume, incorrectly. I have never advocated a deterrence at all cost perspecitve and theire is nothiong in my writings to indicate such.

I support the death penalty for the same reasom that most people support any criminal sanction, I believe th=at it is just, appropriate, deserved for the crime committed.

Deterrence is a welcome by product of criminal sanctions. By deterrence, we reduce crimes and spare more innocents harm or death.

However, as moral agents, I believe that sanctions must have a foundation in that which is just and deserved, or earned by the criminal.

We cannot give a sanction based upon deterrence, because that would omit the justice issues, which we cannot do.

I so happens that the death penalty saves more innocent lives, in at least three ways. However important that is, it remains secondary to a just and deserved sanction being the foundation for all criminal sanctions.

dudleysharp said...

Cost Comparisons: Death Penalty Cases Vs Equivalent Life Sentence Cases
Dudley Sharp, Justice Matters, contact info below

In comparing the cost of death penalty cases to other sentences, the studies are woefully incomplete.
 
Generally, such studies have one or more of the following problems.
 
1) Most studies exclude the cost of geriatric care, recently found to be $60,000-$80,000/inmate/yr. A significant omission from life sentence costs.
 
2) All studies exclude the cost savings of the death penalty, which is the ONLY sentence which allows for a plea bargain to a maximum life sentence. Such plea bargains accrue as a cost benefit to the death penalty, such benefit being the cost of trials and appeals for every such plea bargain. The cost savings would be for trial and appeals, estimated at $500,000 to $1 million, which would accrue as a cost benefit/credit to the death penalty.
 
Depending upon jurisdiction, this MIGHT result in a minimal cost differential between the two sanctions or an actual net cost benefit to the death penalty, depending upon how many LWOP cases are plea bargained and how many death penalty cases result in a death sentence.
 
3) FCC economist Dr. Paul Zimmerman finds that executions result in a huge cost benefit to society. "Specifically, it is estimated that each state execution deters somewhere between 3 and 25 murders per year (14 being the average). Assuming that the value of human life is approximately $5 million {i.e. the average of the range estimates provided by Viscussi (1993)}, our estimates imply that society avoids losing approximately $70 million per year on average at the current rate of execution all else equal." The study used state level data from 1978 to 1997 for all 50 states (excluding Washington D.C.). (1)
 
That is a cost benefit of $70 million per execution.  15 additional recent studies, inclusive of their defenses,  support the deterrent effect. 
 
No cost study has included such calculations.
 
Although we find it inappropriate to put a dollar value on life, evidently this is not uncommon for economists, insurers, etc.
 
We know that living murderers are infinitely more likely to harm and murder, again, than are executed murderers. There is no doubt that executions do save innocent lives. What value do you put on the lives saved? Certainly not less than $5 million.
 
4) a) Some studies compare the cost of a death penalty case, including pre trial, trial, appeals and incarceration, to only the cost of incarceration for 40 years, excluding all trial costs and appeals, for a life sentence. The much cited Texas "study" does this.  Hardly an apples to apples cost comparison.
       b) The pure deception in some cost "studies" is overt. It has been claimed that it costs $3.2 million/execution in Florida. That "study" decided to add the cost of the entire death penalty system in Florida ($57 million), which included all of the death penalty cases and dividing that number by only the number of executions (18). One could just have easily stated that the cost of the estimated 200 death row inmates was $285,000 per case.
 
5) There is no reason for death penalty appeals to take longer than 7 years. All death penalty appeals, direct and writ, should travel through the process concurrently, thereby giving every appellate issue 7 years of consideration through both state and federal courts. There is no need for endless repetition and delay. This would result in a reduction in both adjudication and incarceration costs.
 
Judges may be the most serious roadblock in timely resolution. They can and do hold up cases, inexcusably, for long periods of time.  Texas, which leads the nation in executions, by far, takes over 10 years, on average, to execute murderers. However, the state and federal courts, for that jurisdiction,  handle many cases. Texas has the second lowest rate of the courts overturning death penalty cases. Could every other jurisdiction process appeals in 7-10 years. Of course, if the justices would allow it.
 
Justice
6) The main reason sentences are given is because jurors find that it is the most just punishment available. No state, concerned with justice, will base a decision on cost alone. If they did, all cases would be plea bargained and every crime would have a probation option.
 
1). "State Executions, Deterrence and the Incidence of Murder", Paul R. Zimmerman (zimmy@att.net), March 3. 2003, Social Science Research Network, http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/delivery.cfm/SSRN_ID354680_code021216500.pdf?abstractid=354680
 
copyright 2003-2008 Dudley Sharp
Permission for distribution of this document, in whole or in part,  is approved with proper attribution.
 
Dudley Sharp, Justice Matters
e-mail  sharpjfa@aol.com,  713-622-5491,
Houston, Texas
 
Mr. Sharp has appeared on ABC, BBC, CBS, CNN, C-SPAN, FOX, NBC, NPR, PBS , VOA and many other TV and radio networks, on such programs as Nightline, The News Hour with Jim Lehrer, The O'Reilly Factor, etc., has been quoted in newspapers throughout the world and is a published author.
 
A former opponent of capital punishment, he has written and granted interviews about, testified on and debated the subject of the death penalty, extensively and internationally.

Sue said...

Mr. Sharp, I highly doubt that of the 8000 people executed in the US not one of them was incorrectly convicted when we have 0.3% who were exonerated before execution; simple math does not bear that out.

Also, in the Davis case, the conviction still does not stand. No one was able to positively identify the killer. The one witness who did not recant was the suspect, Mr. Coles. Witness testimony is wrong 75% of the time. That to me is staggering that Mr. Davis would be sent to his death based on such limp grounds. For Christ sakes, the man may be innocent and they are going to kill him!!! Why do you keep defending this weak conviction.

Yes I do have feelings for the victim's family, but at this point I feel that they just want their pound of flesh and don't much care whose it is. They should want justice for Mr. MacPhail. The State should want justice for Mr. MacPhail. I don't see why they aren't pursuing that.

dudleysharp said...

Sue:

From a statistical standpoint, a 99.7% accuracy rate in guilty verdicts argues against an innocent executed.

I do not argue that it couldn't happen and I do not argue that it hasn't happened. I argue that the due process protections for death row inmates are, by a large margin, greater than for any other sanction and is therefore a greater protector of innocents.

Your position, that the McPhail family is so bloodthirsty that they would rather see an actual innocent executed, than see no execution, at all, is repulsive in the extreme.

The fact that every court and the Board of Pardons and Paroles agrees with the McPhail's should be of no small importance to your retracting of such a horrendous accusation.

I hope that you do.

dudleysharp said...

Sue, you misunderstood and misread

I stated that nearly 8000 had been sentenced do death since 1973, not that they had been executed.

About 16,000, total, have been executed in the US.

Sue said...

I just don't think that killing even one more person that is innocent is worth it. I propose that we require DNA and fingerprints to invoke the death penalty, unless we are going to dump it entirely.

To my mind, murder and execution are both killing. There is no difference. Both are barbaric acts and most modern countries are in agreement with me finding that putting someone to death is cruel and unusual punishment.

I find it repulsive to consider cost when determining the fate of an individual as far as life or death. I would hate to base an entire argument for the death penalty on this alone.

Finally, of course the MacPhail's are want their pound of flesh. So would I in their position. I am sure I would want to kill the perpetrator myself. They are overwhelmed with grief. To lose a loved one who is so young and in the prime of his life in a senseless murder, who could blame them? I don't. That is why there is a State to represent them. You see we don't want vigilante justice in our land, and so we have a justice system to provide justice. However, in this case, witness testimony has been relied on and the findings are just not conclusive enough for the death penalty. That is why I think Mr. Davis should receive clemency.

If not, Gov. Perdue will be the first (?) to kill a man on a say so. Is that true, Mr. Sharp? Would he be the first? I just don't know how he can live with that.

BTW -

dudleysharp said...

Sue:

Innocents are more at risk with a life sentences. Should we ban life sentences?

Are there any other government practices, whereby innocents are killed, that you would ban?

If not, why not?

And Dennis, here we have it, a person, Sue, who really does equate the killing (mass murder) of millions of innocents with the killing (execution) of those who committed the mass murders.

As sue says, "To my mind, murder and execution are both killing. There is no difference."

Astounding, no moral distinction.

Sue, the majority of countries still have the death penalty and many countries that have banned capital punishment have populations that support it. For example, the majority populations in Western Europe supported the execution of Saddam Hussein.

I find it repulsive to consider cost, as well, but the anti death penalty folks always bring it up, as Dennis did, so I put together a response.

Sue, the findings have been conclusive enough for the death penalty, that is why we are still discussing Troy Davis.

Had you read all of the material I linked you would nor be asking if Davis would be executed based upon a "say so". You would know that was very far from the truth.

Too bad you won't retract your claim agaiunst the McPhails.

Sue said...

Okay. Let me address mass killings then. There is a special court to deal with these matters: the world court. Mass killings are not the same as ordinary murders. Please don't put words in my mouth sir. I would never do that to you. I am unfamiliar with the doings of that court and its laws, so I beg no argument there. But in the case of these mass murders, I think different rules may apply.

Dennis said...

Mr. Sharp, I never said that cost should be the sole factor used in determining whether a man should live or die. In fact, you were the one who found it necessary to expound in the matter in great detail so, please, spare me your faux indignation.

dudleysharp said...

Dennis, please do not say what I said when you don't know what I said.

I never stated that cost was your sole concern or even your major concern. I only stated my reply was to your statement.

I responded to your claim, which needed clarification. I do find it necessary to correct on wrong statements or to fully review misleading statements. That is a benefit in this format.

No faux anything here, Dennis. You brought it up, I responded. That's blogging 101.

Sue said...

As to the "findings" for Troy Davis, no I have not read your links. But, there is another suspect Mr. Coles, for whom all of these findings are also potentially true and perhaps more, but this evidence has NEVER been heard at trial. This is why I feel so uncomfortable with Mr. Davis being executed at this time. Do you share my concern or not?

Also, I would like an apology for putting words into my mouth.

dudleysharp said...

Sue, I didn't need to put words in your mouth. You did, repeatedly.

Sue says, "To my mind, murder and execution are both killing. There is no difference."

and Sue says "What is the difference between the crime the criminal has committed and that of the State? They are one and the same to me."

No difference. Remarkable.

For Sue thsese are the same.

A little girl, an innocent, is raped and brutally murdered.

The rapist murderer of the little girl, guilty, is executed for the crime.

For Sue, the same, no difference.

Your words Sue, not mine.

It doesn't matter what court hears the case.

For you, there is "no difference".

The words are from your mouth.

I didn't put them there or change them

Would you like to change your own words?

Do you equate (illegal) kidnapping and the (legal) incarceration of kidnappers?

Is there no difference?

After all, both are holding someone against their will.

Surely, you must detect some moral difference.

dudleysharp said...

OK, Sue, so you think there might be a difference with mass killings (murders).

Why are they different? And what to you is mass murder?

2 or more
8 or more
15. 50, 1000. 6 million?

What number makes murder differnt than executing a murderer?

It isn't the number.

It is the differnce in moral foundation.

Read the material I provided on the Try Davis case. Then we'll talk about it.

Dennis said...

When you brought up cost, Mr. Sharp, it was in response to Sue saying she found it abhorrent to decide the death penalty on cost alone. In citing my mention of cost, you implied I supported that position, when I do not. If you're going to insist we read all of your links, I think it's only fair for you to read our posts.

Also, you don't so much "correct on wrong statements" or "fully review misleading statements" so much as pontificate endlessly in the hopes of overwhelming your opponents.

Dennis said...

When you brought up cost, Mr. Sharp, it was in response to Sue saying she found it abhorrent to decide the death penalty on cost alone. In citing my mention of cost, you implied I supported that position, when I do not. If you're going to insist we read all of your links, I think it's only fair for you to read our posts.

Also, you don't so much "correct on wrong statements" or "fully review misleading statements" so much as pontificate endlessly in the hopes of overwhelming your opponents.

Sue said...

I just need a break from arguing with you Mr. Sharp. I cannot keep up with your retorts as you continue to raise new issues and introduce them without answering mine. You never did answer the one about Mr. Coles being possibly as guilty as Mr. Davis and that NEVER being heard by a court of law. Please answer that one before we proceed. I would rather not discuss any other arguments at this time as I feel we understand each other's positions.

dudleysharp said...

Sue,

I didn't answer your question on Coles, because you don't know what you are talknig about. That is why I said I would talk to you after you read the links.

pj said...

http://www.cnn.com/2008/CRIME/10/24/troy.davis.stay.execution/index.html

Another stay granted!