Because you just can’t execute or torture enough people:
If all 12 members of a jury in a capital case in federal court cannot agree on whether to impose the death penalty, a convicted defendant is automatically sentenced to life in prison.
But that may be about to change. A little-noticed provision in the House bill that reauthorized the antiterrorism law known as the USA Patriot Act would allow federal prosecutors further attempts at a death sentence if a capital jury deadlocks on the punishment. So long as at least one juror voted for death, prosecutors could empanel a new sentencing jury and argue again that execution was warranted.
The Senate bill does not contain the provision, and representatives of both chambers will soon meet to discuss the differences between the two measures and potential compromises.
After all, why should we trust the jury? What do they know? Better to give the prosecutor as many options to execute someone as possible.
While many of you probably support the death penalty in some limited capacity, the ability to take a life in peacetime or as a result of due process is not something I am willing to entrust to the government. In the past I was less vocal about it, and at times even supported the death penalty (I would have no problem with the death penalty if I got to decide when it was applied). After all, were it reserved for the truly inhuman acts of barbarism committed by a few twisted individuals, I would be supportive. But it isn’t, it has been abused, we have made mistakes, and the ‘solution,’ at least from the House of Representatives, is to try to change the statutes so that it is easier to execute.
What the hell is wrong with these people?
Stormy is no doubt fingering herself with delight over this new law.
Does the House bill allow them to torture the convicted prisoner until they find a jury to execute him?
And I really don’t know what the hell is wrong with these people. Every time I ask them, they mutter something about “damn libruls” and 9-11. It’s hard to figure it out, but I’m glad I’m not the only one seeing it.
Wow, thanks again for reminding me why I come here daily. I disagree with much (most?) of the stuff you post, but I still continue, just to get news and a conservative voice that isn’t lock-step with the movement.
I’m with Ross. Thanks for the nuanced viewpoint, which (surprisingly) mirrors mine. Until about 5 years ago I held qualified support for the death penalty. Seeing the number of innocent people freed from death row and the extreme amount of racial & economic bias in the initial imposition of death sentences made me re-evaluate that support.
There’s simply no reason to make it “easier” for the government to impose a penalty of death on people when it hasn’t proven capable of imposing that penalty correctly or fairly.
Besides, it doesn’t actually serve as a deterrence. One of the reasons France stopped performing public hangings in the 1800s (which were supposed to serve as a deterrence to crime) is the high incidence of pickpocketing and assault on the audience during the hanging.
To answer your last question, I don’t know what’s wrong with these people. I’m not sure how they can continually avoid Dr. Phil moment – asking themselves the basic “How’s this working for us?” question. Are our torture policies gaining us information that allows us to eliminate more terrorist threats than it creates? Does increasing the likelihood of a death sentence increase or decrease the chances an innocent person will be put to death, or does it actually decrease crime? I’ve mentioned on a bunch of other threads, fundamentally I’m a pragmatist about politics. If something isn’t serving its intended purpose, costs more than it returns and is subject to abuse, why are we still doing it?
FauxNews – c’mon…I rarely agree with Stormy, but that was pretty distasteful and uncalled-for.
I’m against the death penalty too, but here’s an idea for a compromise that I could get behind: a death sentence shall not be issued except for people convicted of three (or more) first-degree murders. One could be a case of mistaken identity or an overzealously prosecuted manslaughter, and two could be a coincidence (two of the above happening to the same person), but if a person leaves three bodies in his wake, we’re well past the “smoke => fire” stage.
And I’m even halfway serious about it as a reform measure. America’s stuck with the death penalty for the forseeable future, but that should noticeably reduce the number of death sentences, limit the potential for abuses by giving a simple, measurable rule, and still let the “law ‘n order” nuts have their fun with people like Ted Bundy. Thoughts?
As far as the death penalty goes, part of me thinks that those who are utterly, guilty, with proof, of a heinous enough crime, should not be allowed to live. But…I really don’t think it acts as a deterrent to anybody. Think about the kind of people we’re dealing with. Someone who is a serial killer, or a mass murderer, or a child rapist…they fully expect to get away with their actions. They are utterly confident that they will not get caught. So the nature of punishment is no deterrent to them, because they think they will never be punished. Punishment as a deterrent will work for your average criminal…but it’s wasted on sociopaths. And don’t jump on me…I still think they should be punished to the full extent of the law. I’m just saying that trying to deter people like that is like trying to teach a dog to play chess…their minds just don’t work the same way as yours or mine.
While FauxNews’s method was tasteless, given Stormy’s performance yesterday about torture, he has a definate point. There are those in our society that seem to take a perverse pleasure in the pain and suffering of others. 9/11 and its subsequent usage as a tool of fear has created new demons and devils for those with, shall we say, “less independent thinking ability”. It has become recognizable that Stormy sees nothing wrong with the torture, rape and killing of captured “terrorists” and her definition of “terrorist” is a rather loose one. The disturbing part is that she’s not alone in the world, especially in the US. There are those that do take perverse joy in the death of Iraqi’s, Muslims and anyone they deem an “enemy”. I believe there is a name for it, I’m just unable to think of the term right now.
Would Stormy cheer the pain and suffering of a liberal? Does Stormy agree with Fred Phelps that Matthew Shepherd deserved to be drug to his death behind that truck? Even if she doesn’t, there are more than enough that do.
Have you been following the nonsense going on in Virginia’s election campaign for Governor between Tim Kaine and Jerry Kilgore? It’s disgusting. I wrote about it today, but here are the key links to the ads. Tell me which side seems more reasonable…
Kilgore ad one
Kilgore ad two
Kilgore ad three
Kaine ads (Unfortunately both on one page… the two ads begin with the first frame titled “New Ad Sets Record Straight” and “Tim Responds to Attack Ads”, respectively)
Yes, because the prosecutors are overriding the jury’s verdict and issuing the death sentence themselves, right? Oh wait, that’s not at all what that bill is about. We are not talking acquittals here, we are talking about hung juries. In virtually every other crime, it is the prosecutor’s discretion whether they want to pursue a new trial after a hung jury. And in order to issue the death penalty, they STILL must have all 12 jurors agree.
I see zero evidence for what I read to be John’s government-running-amok characterization of this bill
John has the right take. Most people have no problem with the idea that if someone actually commits a brutal murder, they deserve to die for it (although I respect the moral stance of those who disagree). But you can’t just wish away the imperfections in our justice system. You can’t say “I think everyone should get competent representation, and a full and fair appeal process, and then execute them,” because they don’t get any such thing. And it’s sickening to look at the racial disparities between who gets the death penalty and who doesn’t.
And we see lots of laws like this one to make the death penalty more broadly applicable, and virtually no efforts to make the criminal justice system more fair. More bad laws are made in the name of being “tough on crime” than for any other reason.
Yes, whites are disproportionately executed relative the percentage of serious crimes that they commit
Man, I gotta see the citation on that “fact”…
Oh wait, this is Darrell. Must have taken a lot of lube to pull something that big out of your ass. But then again, you have a lot of practice.
Isn’t double-jeopardy unconstitutional?
You guys voted them in, you tell us.
and Emma Zahn, they’re not being re-tried for the crime. they’re being resentenced, for a crime of which they’ve already been convicted. no double jeopardy.
Bush obviously got a taste of something he liked as governor of Texas, and wants to spread the joy around.
I have a problem with it, but I’m nobody in particular.
The poor and working class are disproportionately executed.
It’s not just the race of the defendant that makes a difference, by the way.
We’re talking about re-shopping till they get the result they want. It’s intuitively wrong. It might have some vague sense of fairness if it meant they threw away the verdict and started from scratch, but that’s not what this proposes: the guilty verdict stands, but they attempt to re-sentence till they get the result they want.
I am 100% in agreement with John on this one. Some people absolutely deserve to die. However I lack faith in our government’s ability to accurately determine who those people are every time and the payoff doesn’t warrant the risk. I wouldn’t gamble $100 for a $1 return and I’m not gambling an innocent person’s life for the sake of killing someone rather than just leaving them in a hole forever.
Add on the fact that shelving them permanently is cheaper and it’s an easy position for me to accept.
Not sure the last line is indicative of inherent racism in the system. It would be a good thing to know what the race percentage is of crime victims in general. If the numbers are comparable, then it would seem more a case of the majority simply being white in this country.
I don’t have the numbers, so I can’t really say either way.
Isn’t double-jeopardy unconstitutional?
An apt question to ask “soon to be” Justice Miers. Right after “who is the most brilliant person you ever met”
I don’t understand what you mean, DG. It seems like the first line of the quote answered your question, but it’s not clear to me.
I think you are right. My bad, I read the first part wrong.
You lefties ever get tired of having your dogma shredded to pieces with the facts? Despite making up approx. 13% of our population, blacks commit 52% of the murders in this country, yet consistently every year, considerably more whites are executed than blacks. Note how the stats are skewed so that hispanics are lumped in with whites. How politically correct of them
So although blacks commit more murders than whites + hispanics, they are less likely than whites to be executed for their murders.
So Darrell, your argument is that whites are much stupider than blacks because they disproportionately commit murder in death-penalty states? That’s the only sense I can make out of your statistics, since that is the only way you can correlate national murder statistics with death-row inmate population, which obviously only apply to those states with the death penalty.
And yet, some people on this site call you a moron. Tsk tsk.
Well that’s the problem right there, you need to run out and get yourself some sense
Interestingly, states with higher proportions of black citizens are more likely to have the death penalty. So let me spell it out for you – black criminals commit more total murders in this country each year than whites. Furthermore, states with the death penalty tend to have a higher than average percentage of blacks as citizens, skewing it even more in favor of whitey, since the states with high percentages of whites are less likely to have the death penalty. Yet more whites than blacks are executed every year. Is this the ‘sickening’ racial disparity you lefties are complaining about?
Sooo Dummell, your argument then is because those states have a higher percentage of a racial population that this automatically correlates to the actual homicides committed? Ohhh kayyy, continue cherry-picking unrelated statistics to make your nonsensical noise. How about a correlation between number of executions per year with the number of pick-up trucks with muffler problems and bumper-sticker afflictions?
And before the spittle can fleck your lips, let me tell you that I am in FAVOR of the death penalty, but I feel that it needs to be applied in a better manner.
This is jury shopping, plain and simple. No way the SCOTUS would let this one stand. Oh wait. . . .the new and improved SCOTUS will not “legislate”, they’ll leave that up to the legislators. The mind boggles!
actually, Darrell, that second statistic is for people on death row, not who is actually executed.