TEN VALID REASONS TO ABOLISH DEATH PENALTY

(The following Op-Ed appears in the June 23, 2017 edition of Florida Today.)

 

     “It’s time to put death penalty to rest in U.S.”

By Marshall Frank, Community columnist  

     One innocent executed is one too many — and that’s just one reason to abolish capital punishment. 

Now that the Florida Supreme Court has ruled that juries must vote unanimously for the death penalty in order to validate a sentence, we can anticipate many new appeals and/or commutations of sentences for over 200 death row inmates to whom this will apply. Such appeals, or new trials, would be an extreme cost to the taxpayer.

Thus, we re-examine the death penalty once more. As a 30-year career cop and former Miami-Dade homicide detective, I’ve seen the worst of criminal behavior. I’m no bleeding heart.

I propose 10 valid reasons why capital punishment should be abolished, not only in Florida, but throughout the entire nation.

Too many risks of executing the innocent: In Brevard County, we’ve been witness to at least three life terms in which human beings have wrongfully served 27 years, 22 years and four years as innocent men. Had they been given a death sentence, two would probably be dead by now at the hands of an imperfect justice system.

A recent Newsweek study has determined that 4 percent of death row inmates are most probably innocent. Since 1973, 144 convicts nationwide have been exonerated as innocent. One innocent executed is one too many.

Costs: Numerous studies have been conducted which clearly show that maintaining the death penalty consumes at least double, or triple, the cost of imposing life sentences.

No deterrent: Many more studies have determined that the death penalty does not deter violent crime.

Violates the Eighth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution: Death row inmates in Florida are confined to solitary confinement in a concrete and steel cell, 24 hours a day, with no A/C and no social interaction. Of the 13 executed in the U.S. thus far in 2017, eight rotted on death row for more than 20 years and then were executed. Gary Alvord, age 66, died of natural causes on death row, where he spent almost 40 years. It’s serving a life sentence plus a death sentence.

Economic inequities: Some court-appointed attorneys have been known to be over the hill, less than enthusiastic and/or do not have the resources (investigations) to present a first-class defense. In contrast, consider a defendant like O.J. Simpson, or others steeped in wealth, who can hire the Dream Team. It’s simply unfair.

Barbarism: The U.S. is seventh-highest in executions in the world, among such company as Iran, China, Saudi Arabia, Iraq and Pakistan. All countries in the Americas have banned executions, except Guyana, Barbados and Trinidad. Worldwide, 141 countries have abandoned capital punishment. Among nations that extol human rights, we have the worst record in executing people.

Eighteen states have banned the death penalty: Of 32 states still on the books, only five have been active in carrying out executions, including Florida. California has the largest death row population with 750 condemned inmates, but haven’t carried out an execution since 2006.

 

Execution by injection is not punishment: The real punishment is suffering death row for 10 to 40 years. Eternal sleep is hardly punishment. That’s how we carry out “humane” acts for sick pets.

It can be argued that perpetuating capital punishment basically endorses state sponsored murder: Regardless of jury verdicts which are occasionally wrong, we cannot and should not be killing other human beings. Why? Because killing is fundamentally wrong.

People change: Often, especially after decades in isolation, we are not executing the same person who committed the crime. Consider the words of Napoleon Beazley, a 17-year-old Texas boy who joined up with two hoods to rob and shoot a man for his car in 1994. At his execution in May of 2002, Beazley was given an opportunity to speak his final thoughts:

     “The act I committed to put me here was not just heinous, it was senseless,” he said. “But the person that committed that act is no longer here – I am.”

It’s time.

17 Responses to TEN VALID REASONS TO ABOLISH DEATH PENALTY

  1. Pete June 23, 2017 at 9:50 am #

    Marshall: Whereas we agree on most issues we separate on this one. You are not bleeding but you are leaking. Lots of good reason to improve the process. Eliminating it is not an improvement. There are lots of issues where anyone can cherry pick those variables that support their position. You have some here. We should think of the families of those victims who are left behind based on the murder. Every case has its own circumstance and should be judged on the merits of lack thereof.

  2. ROBERT ELLIOTT June 23, 2017 at 1:08 pm #

    I’VE ALWAYS AGREED WITH YOU ON JUST ABOUT EVERYTHING, BUT NOT THIS ONE. FIRST, CAPITAL PUNISHMENT WAS NEVER IMPLEMENTED TO BE A GENERAL DETERRENT, BUT IF IT IS THAT’S GOOD. IT WAS CREATED TO PUNISH THE SORRY BASTARD FOR HIS DEEDS AND NOTHING MORE. THE ONLY WAY IT WILL EVER BE A DETERRENT IS FOR PUBLIC EXECUTIONS LIKE HANGING THE BASTARD IN THE PUBLIC SQUARE FOR EVERYONE TO WATCH INCLUDING THEIR CHILDREN. SEEING SOMEONE KICKING AND SWINGING BACK AND FORTH WITH A ROPE AROUND HIS NECK WOULD CERTAINLY IMPRESS YOUNG PEOPLE TO WALK THE STRAIGHT AND NARROW PATH OF LIFE.
    TO SENTENCE SOME MURDERER TO LIFE IN PRISON DOES NOTHING BUT COST TAX PAYERS A FORTUNE AND THE CRIMINAL BECOMES INSTITUTIONALIZED AND WHAT WAS INTENDED TO BE PUNISHMENT TURNS OUT TO BE A LIFE OF LEISURE. HE CAN PLAY BASKETBALL, WATCH MOVIES, HAS A LAW LIBRARY AT HIS DISPOSAL, EVEN GET MARRIED, EAT THREE MEALS A DAY, DOESN’T HAVE TO WORK AND PAY BILLS, LAY ON HIS ASS READING BOOKS WHILE WATCHING TELEVISION AND SOCIALIZING WITH OTHER INMATES.
    DOES A PERSON EVER GET CONVICTED OF A CRIME THAT THEY ARE INNOCENT OF? PROBABLY TRUE BUT VERY RARE AND WAS IT THE FIRST TIME THEY COMMITTED A CRIME? OF ALL THE THIEVES AND CROOKS THAT I EVER CAUGHT I NEVER CAUGHT A FIRST TIME OFFENDER. GETTING CAUGHT THE FIRST TIME IS VERY UNLIKELY AND THE PUNISHMENT THAT THEY RECEIVE IS SIMPLY PAY BACK FOR ALL THE ONES THAT THEY GOT AWAY WITH.
    IT HAS GOTTEN TO THE POINT NOW THAT THE COURTS EXPECT THE WARDEN AND THE EXECUTIONER TO STAND AROUND THE CONDEMNED AND SOFTLY SING HIM A SWEET LULLABY AS THEY INJECT HIM.
    SOME YEARS BACK FLORIDA HAD A PRISONER NAMED SPINKLELINK THAT YOU COULDN’T DRAG OUT OF JAIL BECAUSE HE WAS ABLE TO STAY STONED FROM ALL THE DRUGS THAT WERE AVAILABLE TO HIM AND HE FOUND A REAL HOME.
    BEFORE I FEEL SORRY FOR A PERSON BEING UNJUSTLY EXECUTED FOR A CRIME, LET ME SEE HIS RAP SHEET.

  3. Frank C. June 23, 2017 at 1:41 pm #

    You are absolutely Right!!!

  4. George Sigrist June 23, 2017 at 1:42 pm #

    Read your column today in FLORIDA TODAY, and, as always, found it interesting and even educational. I used to be in support of the death penalty, for years, because of the violent society in this country. However, after reading your input, and after reading about the faulty and even illegal judicial system we have, in Brevard, with the 1980s prosecutor’s office, and in other locations in America, certainly, we have incarcerated numerous innocent people, again, locally and nationally, based on ambitious, succeed at any cost, political enhancements, “snitch” payoffs, etc. We have, in fact, in my opinion, criminalized the judicial system. When our system of justice “goes bad,” then what type of law abiding country, county, or state are we left with? We are then borderline anarchy.

    As you stated, why give someone a death sentence when, as with Ted Bundy, they sit on death row for years and years prior to execution anyway…..I understand the process of appeals and all, but, when the execution date is 20 or 30 years or even more from sentencing date, our courts are pretty much handing out life sentences anyway. I do, however, believe that the most serious offenders, murderers and terrorists should be held in extreme isolation FOREVER! I am a military veteran, and I support standing up to bullies, i.e., Russia, and I support military action when needed, however, I am open to dialog and diplomatic efforts first, when possible.

    I also have a beef with the courts of today, with the judicial system which allows convicts to reenter society, i.e., Markeith Loyd, who should NEVER have walked the streets among us. Too many repeat offenders are being allowed to leave their incarcerations, only to murder, rape, and/or steal again, and end up back behind bars anyway. DUH! Come on judges! Wise up! Why have a police department set in motion to enforce the laws, and when repeat offenders are set free not long after sentencing, only to murder someone again, we all lose. Yes, our entire judicial system, on local, county, state, and federal levels needs serious adjustments.

    Great article. And, while I am originally a “Yankee” I thank you for your years of service in Miami-Dade. Society does not, in large part, appreciate the law officers in this country, nor the work these people do, nor understand the dangers they face during daily their tours. Society does not understand that the phrase “….to serve and protect”……refers to all of us, not just a few groups. Ok, I babbled enough. Thanks for sending me all your articles. You put out some interesting stuff.

  5. ASpencer, MD June 23, 2017 at 3:21 pm #

    IF WE KILL RABID DOGS, SHOULD NOT WE DO IT TO RABID PEOPLE?
    THERE ARE CRYSTAL CLEAR, WITNESSED MAJOR CRIMES THAT DESERVE CAPITAL PUNISHMENT. BESIDES, IT IS A 100% DETERRENT OF REPEATED CRIME, AT LEAST FOR THE EXECUTED CRIMINALS.

    • Mike Carr June 24, 2017 at 6:55 am #

      Right on my friend.

  6. Dudley Sharp June 23, 2017 at 5:59 pm #

    I hope this is helpful for your understanding. Knowledge, fact checking and considering different perspectives caused me to reconsider and change my position on the death penalty.

    I quote “Frank” and then respond as “Sharp”

    Unanimous Juries

    Frank: “Now that the Florida Supreme Court has ruled that juries must vote unanimously for the death penalty in order to validate a sentence, we can anticipate many new appeals and/or commutations of sentences for over 200 death row inmates to whom this will apply. Such appeals, or new trials, would be an extreme cost to the taxpayer.”

    Sharp: It is very strange that, somehow, in a democratic republic, a jury opinion less than unanimous is unconstitutional. The Court tell us that 1 jury vote, 8%, should overrule 11 jury votes, 92%. I suspect this is the most undemocratic government based decision that exists. The verdict is a fact issue, but the sentence is much more of an opinion issue. How a super majority of 9-3 or 10-2, in an opinion decision, could be unconstitutional deserves much more consideration than the zero that Frank provided.

    Most folks would consider such vast minority dominance to be representative of a dictatorship.

    My guesstimate is that far fewer that 100 cases with be subject to a re-sentencing trial based, primarily, on the passage of time, often a destroyer of retrials and based upon the consideration of, automatically, removing all terminally ill and all over 60 death row inmates from re sentencing consideration, based upon Florida’s judicial mismanagement, responsible for irresponsibly long death penalty appeals.

    Bleeding Heart

    Frank: I’m no bleeding heart.

    Sharp: I have never considered anti death penalty folks, of which I was one, to be bleeding hearts. I have found that pro death penalty folks are much more on the side of the innocent murder victims and the anti death penalty folks to be much more on the side of the murderers (1,2,3).

    You will notice that Frank only presents murderers as victims and leaves out all the real victims, those innocents murdered, the reason judges or juries give the death penalty.

    As the death penalty/executions protect innocent lives, in three ways, greater than does LWOP (4), I think there is both factual and philosophical support for that position.

    Why to Abolish/Keep the Death Penalty

    Frank: I propose 10 valid reasons why capital punishment should be abolished, not only in Florida, but throughout the entire nation.

    Sharp: I rebut or reconsider those reasons to show why the death penalty should be used, worldwide.

    Innocents at Risk

    Frank: Too many risks of executing the innocent: In Brevard County, we’ve been witness to at least three life terms in which human beings have wrongfully served 27 years, 22 years and four years as innocent men. Had they been given a death sentence, two would probably be dead by now at the hands of an imperfect justice system.

    Sharp: Innocents are more at risk when we allow murderers to live, as detailed (4), inclusive of the fact that the most recent innocent executed may be from the 1930’s, but, since 1973, we have some 16,000 additional innocents murdered by those known murderers that we have allowed to murder, again – recidivist murderers (4), just as some 400,000 innocents have been murdered by those known criminals that we have allowed to harm, again – recidivist criminals (4).

    As a rule, with anti death penalty folks, they are looking to ban only that criminal justice program, the death penalty, that has the lowest numbers of innocents harmed and, in so doing, they, also, put more innocents at risk (4).

    Frank: A recent Newsweek study has determined that 4 percent of death row inmates are most probably innocent. Since 1973, 144 convicts nationwide have been exonerated as innocent. One innocent executed is one too many.

    Sharp: The 4% number is, utterly, absurd (5), as fact checking confirms, just as is the 144 (now 159) exonerated as innocent (6) . It took me 5 minutes to fact check and confirm that the “exonerated” and “innocent” claims were a fraud, as anti death penalty folks just decided to redefine both “exonerate” and “innocent” and then stuff a bunch of cases into those fraudulent definitions (7), as has been known since about 1999.

    Costs

    Frank: Numerous studies have been conducted which clearly show that maintaining the death penalty consumes at least double, or triple, the cost of imposing life sentences.

    Sharp: I suspect Frank fact checked none of the studies. I fact checked many of them (8). Hopefully, some of you will do the same. Start with California, Maryland and Texas.

    What Frank didn’t consider is that with responsible management (9) as in Virginia (8), that all state death penalty protocols would be less expensive than their LWOP protocols (8,9).

    Deterrence

    Frank: Many more studies have determined that the death penalty does not deter violent crime.

    Sharp: There have been 28 studies finding for death penalty deterrence, since 1998 (10, 4).

    Never has a study found that none are deterred by executions, nor by any other sanction, It is not possible to do so. Has any prospect of any negative outcome ever been proven to deter none? Of course not (10,4). All sanctions deter some.

    The Death Penalty Violates the Eight Amendment

    Frank: Violates the Eighth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution: Death row inmates in Florida are confined to solitary confinement in a concrete and steel cell, 24 hours a day, with no A/C and no social interaction. Of the 13 executed in the U.S. thus far in 2017, eight rotted on death row for more than 20 years and then were executed. Gary Alvord, age 66, died of natural causes on death row, where he spent almost 40 years. It’s serving a life sentence plus a death sentence.

    Sharp: As Frank well knows and provided supportive details, there is no SCOTUS ruling that long stays on death row are unconstitutional, as supported by Franks list of long term death row folks, recently, executed.

    As already detailed, it is, only, mismanagement by judges(9) that allows appeals to go on for so long, when 7-9 years of appeals, on average, should be the rule.

    Economic inequities

    Frank: Some court-appointed attorneys have been known to be over the hill, less than enthusiastic and/or do not have the resources (investigations) to present a first-class defense. In contrast, consider a defendant like O.J. Simpson, or others steeped in wealth, who can hire the Dream Team. It’s simply unfair.

    Sharp: Being the innocent murder victim is unfair. Not providing the dream team for all poor criminals is smart and responsible. Poor criminals are responsible for their own predicament. I am, hardly, sympathetic that all poor criminals have taxpayers, including their victims or survivors, paying for their defense.

    Capital cases always get the most resources and are provided super due process, as per SCOTUS. There is a very low percentage of ineffective assistance of counsel in death penalty cases.

    It appears, solely, dependent upon one’s definition of “wealthy” and “poor”, as to whether wealthy murderers are any more or less likely to be executed, based upon the very small number and percentage of capital murders that are committed by the wealthy, as compared to the poor (11).

    99.8% of poor murderers do not get the death penalty.

    Barbarism

    Frank: The U.S. is seventh-highest in executions in the world, among such company as Iran, China, Saudi Arabia, Iraq and Pakistan. All countries in the Americas have banned executions, except Guyana, Barbados and Trinidad. Worldwide, 141 countries have abandoned capital punishment. Among nations that extol human rights, we have the worst record in executing people.

    Sharp: Justice is not barbarism. Although all of the governments of Western Europe do not have the death penalty, the majority of their populations supported the execution of Saddam Hussein (12). Why? Justice.

    Justice is the reason the death penalty is supported, just as it is the foundation for all sanctions. Frank never brought it up justice, the reason all judges and juries provide sanction.

    Execution is not Punishment

    Frank: Execution by injection is not punishment: The real punishment is suffering death row for 10 to 40 years. Eternal sleep is hardly punishment. That’s how we carry out “humane” acts for sick pets.

    Sharp: About 99.8% of all those subject to the death penalty do all they cab, in pre trial, trial appeals and executive commutation Proceedings to get life and be spared death (4,10).

    Murderers consider the death penalty to be a much more feared punishment and life to be a much preferred sanction.

    Frank seems clueless.

    What is feared more deters more. What is preferred more deters less (4,10).

    Frank: It can be argued that perpetuating capital punishment basically endorses state sponsored murder: Regardless of jury verdicts which are occasionally wrong, we cannot and should not be killing other human beings. Why? Because killing is fundamentally wrong.

    Sharp: Franks illogic only works if you equate all killings, which, legally and morally, very few do.

    Killing in self defense, in defense of others, in a just war and with executions, all against unjust aggressors are not, fundamentally wrong, but have very well known legal and moral support, as completely unknown to Frank, a former police officer.

    I don’t believe that Frank believes his own nonsense.

    Does Frank equate fines and robbery, incarceration and kidnapping, community service and slavery, the legal and the illegal. It appears that he must, if he is consistent.

    People change

    Frank: Often, we are not executing the same person who committed the crime. Consider the word of Napoleon Beazley, a 17-year-old Texas boy who joined up with two hoods to rob and shoot a man for his car in 1994. At his execution in May of 2002, Beazley was given an opportunity to speak his final thoughts:

    “The act I committed to put me here was not just heinous, it was senseless,” he said. “But the person that committed that act is no longer here – I am.”

    Dudley: Beazley’s real final thoughts are quite troubling. Read them, as well as the victim impact statement, here (12).

    All folks have three options. Stay the same, get better or get worse. With murderers 2 out of 3 are bad and even better may still be bad, as we all know.

    All judges and juries know that.

    Violent criminals have a 70% recidivism rate within 5 years.

    Marshall Frank is a retired Miami-Dade police detective and frequent contributor to FLORIDA TODAY.

    1) Anti Victim: Anti Death Penalty Movement
    http://prodpinnc.blogspot.com/2014/04/anti-victim-anti-death-penalty-movement.html

    2) Anti Victim: Anti Death Penalty Movement
    http://prodpinnc.blogspot.com/2014/04/anti-victim-anti-death-penalty-movement.html

    3) Victim’s Voices – These are the murder victims
    http://www.murdervictims.com/Voices/voices.html

    4) ) The Death Penalty: Saving More Innocent Lives
    http://prodpinnc.blogspot.com/2013/10/the-death-penalty-do-innocents-matter.html

    5) The 4.1% “Innocent” on Death Row: More Nonsense
    http://prodpinnc.blogspot.com/2015/04/the-41-innocent-on-death-row.html

    6) The Innocent Frauds: Standard Anti Death Penalty Strategy
    READ SECTIONS 3&4 FIRST
    http://prodpinnc.blogspot.com/2013/04/the-innocent-frauds-standard-anti-death.html

    7) The “Innocent”, the “Exonerated” and Death Row:
    An Open Fraud in the Death Penalty Debate: How Death Penalty Opponents Lie
    http://prodpinnc.blogspot.com/2013/03/the-innocent-exonerated-and-death-row_19.html

    8) Saving Costs with The Death Penalty
    http://prodpinnc.blogspot.com/2013/02/death-penalty-cost-saving-money.html

    9) Judges Responsible For Grossly Uneven Executions
    http://prodpinnc.blogspot.com/2013/11/judges-responsible-for-grossly-uneven.html

    NEBRASKA JUDGES AS JACKASSES: THE DEATH PENALTY
    http://prodpinnc.blogspot.com/2016/11/judges-as-jackasses_4.html

    10) OF COURSE THE DEATH PENALTY DETERS: A review of the debate
    and
    MURDERERS MUCH PREFER LIFE OVER EXECUTION
    99.7% of murderers tell us “Give me life, not execution”
    http://prodpinnc.blogspot.com/2013/03/of-course-death-penalty-deters.html

    11) Is There Class Disparity with Executions?
    http://prodpinnc.blogspot.com/2013/03/is-there-class-disparity-with-executions.html

    12) Napoleon Beazley: Final Words
    http://prodpinnc.blogspot.com/2017/06/napoleon-beazley-last-words.html

  7. Jack Milavic June 23, 2017 at 8:07 pm #

    Completely support the death penalty. We need to really express more sympathy for the victims and family then the murderer. As I walked away for the family many years ago I still feel their pain. Pain to the murderer, I don’t think he/she considered that when killing the victim.

  8. FRED INGLEY June 23, 2017 at 9:02 pm #

    Except for the fact that there is no such thing as 100% absolute life sentence I would agree with you. History and the facts have proved that no matter how horrible and cruel the crime, no matter how many other lives were shattered by the perps action(s), somewhere down the line some paroling authority is going to consider putting that person back o Society again. If my memory serves me correctly when the US Supreme Court in the 1960s (think that was the decade) declared the death penalty as it then stood to be unconstitutional, all those on death row automatically had their sentences commuted to life. As a former Florida Parole & Probation Officer I personally saw a fair number of these “reformed” individuals paroled, only to commit another capital offense. In fact a friend and colleague Thomas Svelsen was one of the resulting victims of a foolish parole decision. The Commission, in all their great wisdom paroled a man on a life sentence after serving 8 years. Tom was his parole officer. The subject violated parole so badly that Tom had to have him revoked and returned to prison. A while later, again the Commission in all their great wisdom (in reality complete lack of any wisdom) paroled the man again with Tom again being his parole officer. On the evening of August 31, 1982 this rehabilitated individual ambushed Tom behind the Opa Locka Parole & Probation Office. After emptying his gun into Tom, he reloaded and did it again. Tom left a widow and 2 small children. Lets discuss another event; once a friend of mine who later became a parole commissioner was discussing a case with me; it involved a homicidal pediphile who was an ice cream man around elementary schools. When a young girl was at his push cart alone with no witnesses he would club her. throw her body into his ice cream push cart, take her to his home where he would achieve his sexual satisfaction. He was one of those whose death sentence had been so commuted. The future parole commissioner was discussing (arguing) with me as to WHEN SHOULD THAT PERSON BE CONSIDERED FOR PAROLE? With the events occurring which I’ve described, until it can be established how a life sentence absolutely (baring new evidence showing innocents) means a life sentence there’s no real reason to abolish the death penalty.
    A point I believe that both of us could agree on is there are none on death row whose only crime was to have committed the offense of “Singing Too Loud In Church”.
    As I said earlier, if a life sentence always meant a life sentence, and not be put out on the street again, I could agree with your argument.

  9. Ron Fischer June 23, 2017 at 10:28 pm #

    No death penalty? How does a full frontal lobotomy and life in a solitary room with electrified walls sound? That should keep a killer out of mainstream society, cost little to house, and be inexpensive to care for.

    Needless to say, as a Vietnam Veteran, I have little sympathy for murderers roaming our society and exposing my family, friends or community to repeat offenses.

  10. Charles Pierce June 24, 2017 at 2:58 pm #

    On this one we will have to agree to disagree. The death penalty should be reserved for the absolute worst of the worst in society. If you look at cost the Federal Death Penalty is about half of what the State Death Penalty cases. Why. Is it the state system is broken, more importantly is the state criminal justice system broken and in need of repair. The 5th Amendment to the constitution is the authorization of Capital Punishment and since the constitution is silent about how and why that means that the 10th Amendment is the governing base law. One of the cost problem is that the attorneys keep litigating the same issues in each case, the process should be spelled out and the courts turn away suits that have been settled in law. Death Penalty inmates are kept separate from the general population because they would most likely be killed by the other inmates. Think about this what do you do with a person who commits premeditated murder in prison while serving life, do you give him another life sentence. The only person who is society wishes to deter in the commission of a Capital crime is the person who committed the Capital crime. Do any sentences deter crime. I know some professions who believe having served time in prison as making ones bones. The last thing is that I do not trust the Courts and the Politicians to keep their word that life with out parole means life with out parole. If the individual is dead then that question is settled.

  11. clearstory June 24, 2017 at 6:42 pm #

    This is a hard call. capital punishment or any punishment for any endless numbers of crimes ,be it DIU’s ,Drugs, rape ,child abuse, murder ,etc has not detered or reduced the number of these crimes. Just pick up the paper. I hate to say it,but American’s have and continue to be a very violent people. This really makes it impossible for our police to keep us safe. Most American police have to deal with any number of crimes ,NO other police in a first and even thrid world counties have to deal with. We’ve traveled extensively in Europe and never feel less safe than here in America. American’s are subject to terrorism every day ,and not by Muslim terrorist , but by Christian American’s. We are a nation claiming to be “HOME OF THE BRAVE” ,but given how armed we are HOME OF THE PARANOIA is more like it. Capital punishment is just another in a long line of our hypocrisy. Our prisons are filled with Christians .

  12. Pete June 24, 2017 at 9:15 pm #

    Reading all the posts and the understanding I walk away with is these are not first timers overall. Its not about deterrence. It’s about justice. Lets remember the victims first and not buy into the manufactured false repetition so readily available and serving to those who manufactured it. Good job Dudley.

    Didn’t we just have eight years of untruths heaped upon us because they wanted us to believe so many alleged truths built on each other would actually lead us to the truth?

    Truth based on misinformation and manufactured at that is truth established by repetition not truth based on fact or factual information.

  13. Jan Siren June 25, 2017 at 8:20 am #

    Marshall and George have it most right. Until human vision becomes God-like – flawless and without limit – we must allow for human error, and that’s what the life sentence does. Evidence not presented at trial may later exonerate the one convicted. I am satisfied that the perpetrator is separated from the rest of society for as long as it takes.

    Jan

  14. I. Richard Jacobs June 27, 2017 at 8:59 am #

    I was originally shocked to read this coming from you but as someone who had had the privilege of working with you I have come to agree with each position you have taken.
    Centuries ago England would publicly hang pickpockets before large crowds as a matter of deterrence while pickpockets would work through the crowds of onlookers PICKING POCKETS
    a) while it can be incomprehensible how a human being can do the most horrible thing(s) to another, the most extreme punishment including torture rarely deters rather it is the certainty of getting caught not punishment that acts as a deterrent. No one in his right mind commits a capital crime knowing he will get caught
    b) the worst reason for capital punishment is the false claim that it costs more money to keep a human being alive then to execute him.
    c) I sympathize with the families of victims who want closure and the harshest punishment available but if out country lowers itself to the most barbaric of cultures then we cannot claim that we are better people then those who we consider to be barbarians.
    d) while it is true that only God is infallible human beings have been found to have made human errors in applying the death penalty and so far man has been unable to correct his mistake(s) after the imposition of capital punishment.

    My name is I Richard Jacobs
    I was formally an Assistant State Attorney in Dade County (Miami) Fla assigned to the division of Homicide and Capital crimes and in addition Chief Prosecutor of the Major Crimes division of the office of Richard E Gerstern State Attorney.

  15. Ron Fischer June 27, 2017 at 12:14 pm #

    I am curious; does Japan have capital punishment? That seems to be a fabulously well disciplined society. during times of major natural disasters in Japan, I have been amazed at how orderly the people have been. How do you explain that? Why isn’t America more cohesive?

    My two cents of curiosity.

    • Charles Pierce June 27, 2017 at 9:04 pm #

      The answer is yes, by hanging and only for Murder.