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Old 11-08-2010, 09:35 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Jurors Vote for Death in Conn.

From the NYT-

Quote:
NEW HAVEN — A jury in Connecticut voted on Monday to impose the death penalty on a longtime criminal for his role in a home invasion in Cheshire, Conn., that left a mother and her two daughters dead. The panel had deliberated just more than three full days.
Full story here.

Anyone following this case? I have been and it always amazes me the awful things some people will do to others.

How do you feel about the death penalty in this case? Or in general?

Personally I'm not in favor of the death penalty. I think life in prison would be a much worse fate for must people, this case is no different.

Thoughts?
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Old 11-08-2010, 09:45 AM   #2 (permalink)
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We're all laboring under a death penalty. I'm old testament enough to believe in an eye for an eye. If he could be killed three times...but, no. Time to think about his crimes is more cruel & more fitting.
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Old 11-08-2010, 09:56 AM   #3 (permalink)
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I favor the death penalty in cases where there is no doubt the person is guilty, as in this case.

This story has been in the news regularly here.

This guy should be executed, soon. It's too bad the only option is a relatively painless lethal injection.
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Old 11-08-2010, 10:16 AM   #4 (permalink)
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I'm against the death penalty.

I'm generally against all forms of violence, and state-sanctioned violence is no exception.

I don't believe there is such thing as a humane way to take a life or that there is such thing as "lawful murder."

At least the guy won't be hanged, drawn, and quartered in public.
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Old 11-08-2010, 10:24 AM   #5 (permalink)
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I'm fine with the morality of a death penalty, not so fine with the ability of our justice system to apply it fairly and with 100% guilt accuracy.

I oppose it in general; but this seems to be the exception.
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Old 11-08-2010, 10:43 AM   #6 (permalink)
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In reading the article that I saw on my yahoo home page it seems the man was asking for the death penalty ... "he had repeatedly tried to kill himself after the crime because he felt guilty and remorseful and feared isolation in prison the rest of his life."

So in this instance where there were children involved my maternal forces kick in and say hang him, do away with him! But in reading that he wants to die because he is fearful of prison I say no death penalty. Let him suffer, let him live out his days having to face every day what he did. Let the men in prison who hate child molesters take care of him.

After reading this article, and clicking on a link for a local news story regarding a child prostitution ring where dozens of children were rescued today. [I don't have enough posts to post the link]Dozens of children rescued in child prostitution sweeps | KING5.com | Seattle Area Local News[/url]

I'm left feeling very angry, and very emotional about how unfair and fucked up this world can be. And I'm wondering how do others process this? Do you turn off the news, stop reading the internet, engross yourself in some make believe? For myself I notice that I involve myself in things that would never allow me to see, bury my head in the sand in a sense. I play games on the computer, or I do some sort of craft that keeps me away from news and events. So, while I probably am not as up to date on current events am I keeping myself sane by avoiding them?

Probably two separate topics there, but that's where it lead me. Pardon my rant.
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Old 11-08-2010, 10:54 AM   #7 (permalink)
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But in reading that he wants to die because he is fearful of prison I say no death penalty. Let him suffer, let him live out his days having to face every day what he did.
And what if he's just saying he wants to die because he doesn't? Basing your decision on what the prisoner says he wants just gives him power to manipulate the outcome.

I don't have a problem with executing someone when it's fairly applied. Cases like this one are the perfect justification for the death penalty.
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Old 11-08-2010, 11:00 AM   #8 (permalink)
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I really don't care what the guy wants. But I'm with BG in that violence is wrong in my book, state sponsored doesn't make it right.

I also agree with Stan in that the system doesn't apply the penalty fairly or equally. Though in this case I'm not sure that's an issue.
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Old 11-08-2010, 11:02 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by inBOIL View Post
And what if he's just saying he wants to die because he doesn't? Basing your decision on what the prisoner says he wants just gives him power to manipulate the outcome.

I don't have a problem with executing someone when it's fairly applied. Cases like this one are the perfect justification for the death penalty.
Good point, and I would probably not get picked as a juror in a case like this because my emotional connection would shine through. I have a hard time separating and being rational when it comes to something that involves harming children.
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Old 11-08-2010, 11:33 AM   #10 (permalink)
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I can't help but follow it; I'm in Connecticut and I get the daily newspaper.

This guy is a lifelong fuckup. Nonetheless, I don't believe in the death penalty. I really don't think it serves as a deterrent; I don't believe that people who murder others are thinking about the long-term consequences of their actions.

Additionally, the expense. Even if he wants the death penalty, there will be countless required appeals, and we'll just have to hear about these losers and their unforgivable actions over and over again. The last person to be put to death in Connecticut literally had to beg to be put to death. It is well proven that life in jail costs less than the death penalty.
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Old 11-08-2010, 12:15 PM   #11 (permalink)
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My rational mind says no, I don't believe in the death penalty and so he should be imprisoned.

But my gut says that he is a broken vessel that needs to be removed from existence. I once heard a Buddist Nun say that in some cases the death penalty effectively stops the man from digging a deeper karmic hole for himself and is therefore desirable.

It's too overwhelming. I am thankful not to be directly involved in the case.
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Old 11-08-2010, 12:46 PM   #12 (permalink)
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the gentleman in question deserves to be drawn and quartered, in my humble opinion...
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Old 11-08-2010, 01:19 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by StanT View Post
I'm fine with the morality of a death penalty, not so fine with the ability of our justice system to apply it fairly and with 100% guilt accuracy.

I oppose it in general; but this seems to be the exception.
I'm not going to waste time retyping this, or even rewording it. Stan seems to have summed up my opinion rather well.
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Old 11-08-2010, 03:44 PM   #14 (permalink)
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I agree that this monster of a convict needs to die.

There seems to be no question that he did this to that unsuspecting family and there are no loop holes in the case.

Case closed.

Who's next?
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Old 11-08-2010, 07:46 PM   #15 (permalink)
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I believe that the relatives of the victims should be given the choice of how the perpetrator should die, and they should be given the choice of participating if they wish.
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Old 11-08-2010, 07:53 PM   #16 (permalink)
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Some have already mentioned the reasons I am against the death penalty: violence against others, especially state-sponsored, is wrong, and that one cannot rely on a conviction as proof of actual guilt--beyond a reasonable doubt, perhaps, but should we really be taking the lives of others when they may be innocent?
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Old 11-08-2010, 08:28 PM   #17 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Grancey View Post
I believe that the relatives of the victims should be given the choice of how the perpetrator should die, and they should be given the choice of participating if they wish.
Kind of like a Saudi America? Maybe there should have some kind of system set up for blood money as well, to really open up the options.
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Old 11-08-2010, 08:30 PM   #18 (permalink)
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Old 11-08-2010, 09:15 PM   #19 (permalink)
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Old 11-08-2010, 11:57 PM   #20 (permalink)
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In principle I don't have a problem with the death penalty at all, I don't feel its really a deterrent to crime but well for lack of a better way to word it, some people just go to far and have to answer with their own lives. (Lay off I'm tired and that's as good as my explanation is getting right now)

Having said that I don't have a great deal of faith in our justice system and I feel if a persons life is at stake you better be damn well sure you've got the right person and I don't think our system (or any other countries system) has the ability to be that accurate...but I guess with the advancements in forensic science and all that the probability of not killing an innocent person is getting a little better.

I haven't really followed the case so I don't know how I feel about it in this instance.
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Old 11-09-2010, 12:35 AM   #21 (permalink)
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I love violence.

I also like how the civilized crowd here is trying to shoehorn supposed civilization into an aspect of society that is the absolute worst combination of art and science: justice. The whole system and related professions are about percentages. How many crimes are committed that go completely undetected? Half? How many get let off so light they can moonwalk out of court? Most? How many are wrongfully accused? A small number. How many spend millions of tax dollars on appeals for no reason? Lots. How many spend millions because they were screwed? Few.

It's a tragedy if one innocent man is killed is the logic here, right? How about: it's a tragedy if we bog down our entire justice system so much that fuck-your-couch plea bargains are all that keep it from imploding.

And human life is so goddamn valuable. It's why we box it up for 25 years and tend it like an expensive Chia pet. That's the apex of civilization. We cry our eyes out over the few failures of the system and turn the hammer of justice into a brick of Nickelodeon Floam so the rest of society suffers. Awesome. We should start issuing judges Nerf bats instead of gavels.

I'm okay with the failures of the justice system as far as capital punishment. The level of professionalism of justice workers (cops, lawyers, judges), justice technology (investigation, forensics), and overall the expansion and awareness of civil rights are constantly improving. The percentage of fuck-ups will get smaller. Once the US figures out how to get potheads out of jail and stops beating on black males so hard, we'll be really on our way.

Nobody said it was going to be perfect.

/my third pointless rant on the death penalty
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Old 11-09-2010, 12:53 AM   #22 (permalink)
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I wouldn't want to be on the short end of the stick when big daddy justice hands down a death sentence and I knew I was innocent, would you? Personally I have no problem with the death penalty but I'm not sure the whole kill 'em and let god sort 'em out approach is necessarily the right approach here. For better or worse human life does carry a lot of value in our society and people aren't going to be happy about giving up theirs so the justice system will function that much better for everyone else.

I do agree though that with technology advancing the way it is the above scenarios will become less and less likely.
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Old 11-09-2010, 01:11 AM   #23 (permalink)
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Yeah, the justice system has to have a balance between the individual and society. It's easy to get stuck on the individual and forget society.
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Old 11-09-2010, 01:11 AM   #24 (permalink)
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In cases of absolute and utter certainty (as in literal incontrovertible proof) I have no issues with the death penalty. I do however think we need to stop making a circus of it. We're killing someone because we consider them so abhorrent that we dont believe they should be allowed to continue living even in prison. Don't whitewash it, don't pretend to be humane about it, and don't enjoy it either.

Just take them into a metal box, strap them down, blow the top of their head off with a 12-gauge, and then hose the place down when you're done. It's a hell of a lot cleaner and more humane than spending hours trying to basically give them a fatal heart-attack via lethal injection.
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Old 11-09-2010, 01:24 AM   #25 (permalink)
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Yeah, the justice system has to have a balance between the individual and society. It's easy to get stuck on the individual and forget society.
I agree with that P9, it does get very easy to get hung up on individual cases and lose track of the big picture. I feel like if we're going to have a death penalty that in those cases there just needs to be as flawless a system as humanly possibly and I'm not sure the system we have now really meets that requirement, or at least hasn't historically.

I would think it would also make for quicker trials and the sentence being handed down much sooner saving us a lot of time and money in the process.
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Old 11-09-2010, 05:51 AM   #26 (permalink)
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Good point, and I would probably not get picked as a juror in a case like this because my emotional connection would shine through. I have a hard time separating and being rational when it comes to something that involves harming children.
No, you'd probably get picked. Lawyers like folks that can be easily swayed. The prosecution sure wouldn't want to get rid of you if they're going to be able to show pictures of the victims and the defense would probably hope that they could appeal to your emotions to keep him alive by making him more human.

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I don't believe in the death penalty. I really don't think it serves as a deterrent; I don't believe that people who murder others are thinking about the long-term consequences of their actions.

Additionally, the expense. Even if he wants the death penalty, there will be countless required appeals, and we'll just have to hear about these losers and their unforgivable actions over and over again. The last person to be put to death in Connecticut literally had to beg to be put to death. It is well proven that life in jail costs less than the death penalty.
This is my opinion as well. I just don't see any good reason for it. "Revenge" isn't a good motivator for really anything.

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I agree with that P9, it does get very easy to get hung up on individual cases and lose track of the big picture. I feel like if we're going to have a death penalty that in those cases there just needs to be as flawless a system as humanly possibly and I'm not sure the system we have now really meets that requirement, or at least hasn't historically.

I would think it would also make for quicker trials and the sentence being handed down much sooner saving us a lot of time and money in the process.
I keep looking at all the problems that have been revealed in the last 10 years and wonder how it's possible to have a flawless system. There are obvious cases where folks were railroaded and, in some cases, put to death. If nothing else, we need a time out.
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Old 11-09-2010, 05:54 AM   #27 (permalink)
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10 years? Check out how long the average inmate is on death row, man.

Nobody (intelligent) is asking for a flawless system. Just a better percentage.
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Old 11-09-2010, 06:23 AM   #28 (permalink)
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The problems have been revealed in the last 10 years - how long the inmates have been there is irrelevant. A lot of those guys have gone free - and the state paid each of them millions in compensation.
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Old 11-09-2010, 06:31 AM   #29 (permalink)
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Yeah, I don't think anyone is holding out for a perfect justice system. But how about this? Capital punishment isn't a requirement; it's an option. There just happens to be enough people in some areas of the world where they think putting someone to death is a legitimate punishment. However, it's not a requirement for a functional justice system.

I think it's a bit odd having this conversation. Nowhere in Canada do we have capital punishment. Many of you are American, where---though not necessarily in your particular state---capital punishment is an option. It's actually out there, and so when you consider these things, you think about whether it's deserving. I think a lot of that has to do with it being an actual option. In some parts, state-sanctioned killing has a long history of being legitimized. The destruction of prisoners is a reality. To Canadians, it's a chapter of our past.

I mean, we don't even have corporal punishment in schools anymore. It's my understanding that in many areas of the States it's still permissible for an adult to inflict pain upon a child as a form of punishment in the public school system.

You will have to forgive me if you will. I cannot condone your acceptance, and even encouragement, of such violence. Call me idealistic. I can take it. I might even agree with you. You could say such things about me with regard to some of my other positions, especially regarding my positions on humanism, liberalism, and social democracy. Just realize that much of what you consider idealistic in your world are actual realities in mine.

In about a month, it will be the 48th anniversary of the last person executed in Canada, right here in the fair city of Toronto.
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Old 11-09-2010, 06:39 AM   #30 (permalink)
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Thank you, Baraka. Totally got at what I'd been looking for.

It's an option.
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Old 11-09-2010, 06:39 AM   #31 (permalink)
 
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at the general level, it's kinda hard to imagine an equitable justice system in a social context that has extreme class stratification the way the united states does (thanks republicans!) and a shabby-to-disgraceful public defender system, despite the good intentions of people who populate it. many of them.

seen in class terms (which is the only way to see the death penalty as a social matter) the "justice" system is just another extension of class warfare.

that on it's own makes it impossible for me to support the death penalty. and this isn't to even start on questions of administration. or utilitarian justifications and whether they're coherent.

that said, there are from time to time situations that make me think "if i thought otherwise about the death penalty, it would make sense here."

but i don't.
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Old 11-09-2010, 06:43 AM   #32 (permalink)
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Glad you're a man with convictions. Do think the world has bad people in it or does everybody need some type of hug?

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...extreme class stratification the way the united states does (thanks [white people]) and a shabby...
Let's call a spade a spade, now.
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Old 11-09-2010, 06:48 AM   #33 (permalink)
 
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Do think the world has bad people in it or does everybody need some type of hug?
so you have trouble avoiding cartoons when you play the argument game, plan 9?

how about this....try real hard to write like an adult and maybe i'll play with you.
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Old 11-09-2010, 08:23 AM   #34 (permalink)
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Holy shit Roachboy. Have you EVER worked in a public defender office, much less sat through multiple court proceedings?

How about you lay down some basis for your bald assertion of "shabby-to-disgraceful" public defender system--Especially in light of how MANY other legal systems don't even guarantee the right to counsel?
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Old 11-09-2010, 09:13 AM   #35 (permalink)
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Old 11-09-2010, 09:42 AM   #36 (permalink)
 
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actually, kir-stang, i have.
the system is overburdened, underfunded, understaffed and problematic.
there are lots of good people in it, there's no doubt, and it's by eating them alive that the system doesn't simply collapse.

but think about those fine places that are a little death penalty happy like texas and the number of convictions/sentencings that have resulted from incompetent legal representation on the part of public defenders.
which has to result from a collective attitude about public defender functions particular to places like texas.

that attitude of contempt (which is how it looks) makes the death penalty into something that's way too often a special form of punishment visited upon the poor.


for what it's worth--like i said--the folk who put themselves in the line of fire as public defenders as individuals are often good and the folk i've seen and know who have done it are often admirable smart people who do it for political reasons, one of which is opposition to the way in which the legal system reproduces the class system in disproportionately sentencing the poor. like i said, their efforts keep the system from collapsing.


hope that helps clarify.
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Old 11-09-2010, 09:51 AM   #37 (permalink)
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I wonder if George W. Bush touches on this topic in his new memoir. After all, he had many "decision points" when he was governor of Texas.
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Old 11-09-2010, 10:08 AM   #38 (permalink)
 
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i was thinking about reading bush's memoir next time i feel like reading crime fiction and am in a place where i can borrow the book.
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Old 11-09-2010, 10:17 AM   #39 (permalink)
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Sheriffs, district and states attorneys all run for reelection. They are incented to get an arrest and conviction. They don't always get things right.

Texas makes a good example, from the Justice Project.org:



9 people released from death row based on evidence of innocence? What level of error is acceptable when we are talking about the death penalty? To my mind it is none.

I have no problem with this guy and the Chuck Mansons of the world being executed. It seems very clear cut.

I have no faith that we can write a set of laws and procedures that works 100%. Imprisoning all evil folks for life seems better than executing a single innocent person.
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Old 11-09-2010, 10:24 AM   #40 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by roachboy View Post
actually, kir-stang, i have.
the system is overburdened, underfunded, understaffed and problematic.
there are lots of good people in it, there's no doubt, and it's by eating them alive that the system doesn't simply collapse.

but think about those fine places that are a little death penalty happy like texas and the number of convictions/sentencings that have resulted from incompetent legal representation on the part of public defenders.
While the system is overburdened. I strongly disagree with you on many of these points. I've seen public defenders do damn good work, from ferreting out poor eye witness identifications, to impeaching unreliable witnesses, to arguing in appellate courts, the PD system is far from incompetent, and does a damn good job (contrary to shabby-to-disgraceful).

Furthermore, IIRC, the death penalty takes on average approximately 14 years from arrest to execution, and costs about $2.3 million per execution, versus, approximately (IIRC again) $800,000 for life incarceration. You would think all these procedural protections and resources remove it from the ambit of 'class warfare.'
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