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Good morning.

How's the coffee? Bagel? Cream cheese?

Just when I thought I could not abhor the practice of capital punishment in my country any more....that's what I get for thinking.

In the Commonwealth of Virginia last night:

Teresa Lewis, 41, died by injection at 9:13 p.m. Thursday, authorities said. She became the first woman executed in Virginia in nearly a century. Supporters and relatives of the victims watched her execution at Greensville Correctional Center in Jarratt.

Teresa Lewis was said to have an IQ of 72.

SEVENTY-TWO.

One day, I hope, we will collectively awaken and realize that we dehumanize ourselves with each and every judicially-sanctioned homicide.

Republican presidential candidate Gary Bauer criticized Gov. George W. Bush Tuesday for making fun of an executed Texas woman in an interview Bush gave to Talk magazine.
"I think it is nothing short of unbelievable that the governor of a major state running for president thought it was acceptable to mock a woman he decided to put to death," Bauer said of Bush.

Bush is portrayed in Talk as ridiculing pickax killer Karla Faye Tucker of Houston for an interview she did with CNN broadcaster Larry King shortly before she was executed last year. Just before her execution date, Tucker appealed for clemency on the grounds that she had become a born-again Christian.

" `Please,' Bush whimpers, his lips pursed in mock desperation, `don't kill me,' "

There, in a nutshell, do we have the mentality of those who support the death penalty.

Do not dare to call it justice. It is nothing of the sort. It is bloodsport, pure and simple. It is revenge, nothing more nor less, and by engaging in this conduct, we cede the moral high ground, that very thing that entitles us to sit in judgment upon such people. Yes, we've heard it all before. But that makes it no less true, and it cannot be said often enough.

And for some reason, like those who rubberneck accidents looking for markers of blood and carnage, we are treated to those morbid little details, each and every time. They haunt.

Lewis appeared fearful, her jaw clenched, as she was escorted into the death chamber. She glanced tensely around at 14 assembled corrections officials before being bound to a gurney with heavy leather straps...Then, as the drugs flowed into her body, her feet bobbed but she otherwise remained motionless. A guard lightly tapped her on the shoulder reassuringly as she slipped into death.
When the door between Bell's cell and the death chamber opened, the inmate thrust his hips backward and wouldn't step toward to the gurney where the lethal injection was administered. Six stocky corrections officers pulled him through the doorway and lifted him onto the gurney...Bell's lawyer, who also witnessed the execution, said a sedative the inmate was given made it difficult for him to walk.
On Saturday, Lewis was moved to the Greensville Correctional Center, site of Virginia's death house. She requested her final meal: fried chicken, sweet peas with butter, German chocolate cake and Dr Pepper, corrections officials said.

The last stop.

LOOK at it. Do not dare to turn away, for this is an instrument of what passes for justice in a supposedly civilized nation.

Utah Department of Corrections director Thomas Patterson told reporters Gardner was pronounced dead two minutes after being shot.

"This is an unusual task but one we have done professionally," Patterson said. "It has been done with absolute dignity and reverence for human life...

Emphasis mine.

I know something about killing. I don't like killing. And I don't think a state honors life by turning around and sanctioning killing. Now, that's just a personal belief that I have.

JOHN KERRY, Wolf Blitzer Reports, CNN, Sep. 17, 1996

(NEWSER) – Georgia officials have delayed the execution of an inmate who tried to take his own life hours before the state was scheduled to take it. Convicted murdered Brandon Rhode slit his wrists and throat before he was due to die by lethal injection yesterday, AP reports. Georgia's Supreme Court granted a temporary stay and the execution has been rescheduled for Friday.

Had enough?

robert otis pierce, convicted of murder, California. Executed April 6, 1956

On his execution day, Pierce slashed his throat with a broken shard of mirror. After wrapping his neck with a prison shirt, he fought guards all the way to the chamber. It took the combined strength of four guards to strap him into the chair, where he continued to struggle and curse.

Witnesses looked on in horror as he bled, wept, and cursed in the gas chamber.

This is what passes for justice in our nation.

Government ... can’t be trusted to control its own bureaucrats or collect taxes equitably or fill a pothole, much less decide which of its citizens to kill.

HELEN PREJEAN, Dead Man Walking

I can't go on.........

Her supporters never said that Lewis was innocent or that she shouldn't be punished. But they said she did not deserve to die because she was borderline mentally retarded, with the intellectual ability of about a 13-year-old, and was manipulated by a smarter conspirator. It was wrong for her to be sentenced to death, they said, when the two men who fired the shots received life terms.

Behold! Justice in America!

I have nothing further.

Originally posted to Nest of kestrel9000 on Fri Sep 24, 2010 at 03:44 AM PDT.

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  •  Camus: (233+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Angie in WA State, Garrett, itsbenj, hester, Subterranean, RonV, Powered Grace, BigOkie, janinsanfran, odum, surfbird007, jazzizbest, Mnemosyne, Sandy on Signal, RFK Lives, lzachary, mataliandy, opinionated, missLotus, mint julep, KibbutzAmiad, shanikka, Larry Bailey, wishingwell, oceanview, fumie, Cedwyn, sidnora, wader, Texknight, Eric Blair, psnyder, emmasnacker, mwk, TexDem, kj in missouri, JimWilson, GN1927, On The Bus, rockhound, AbsurdEyes, RebeccaG, Sophie Amrain, econlibVA, zerelda, Kitsap River, ScienceMom, fran1, vacantlook, Josiah Bartlett, xxdr zombiexx, pat208, Marc in KS, TexH, Jim Hill, Tinfoil Hat, SherwoodB, Roadbed Guy, Lying eyes, Dickie, PBen, kamarvt, basquebob, terrypinder, ChemBob, Brooke In Seattle, chidmf, GTPinNJ, rb608, AnotherMassachusettsLiberal, sodalis, Indiana Bob, Snud, begone, reddbierd, esquimaux, Jennifer Clare, trashablanca, gwilson, Debbie in ME, Patriot Daily News Clearinghouse, sherlyle, cybersaur, BlueInARedState, Yellow Canary, buhdydharma, deha, raincrow, sailmaker, triv33, MJ via Chicago, Caoimhin Laochdha, Dauphin, Preston S, MarciaJ720, myrealname, ER Doc, MBNYC, CA Nana, profh, Clive all hat no horse Rodeo, zedaker, shaharazade, gerald 1969, Nulwee, Thinking Fella, tegrat, Evil Betty, bigchin, One Pissed Off Liberal, lightfoot, pfiore8, dotsright, dmh44, camlbacker, Cottagerose, suburi, vets74, FishOutofWater, TtexwiTyler, rgjdmls, gustynpip, DWG, malharden, kingyouth, puzzled, Kentucky Kid, jayden, stratocasterman, millwood, yella dawg, fallina7, Puffin, oxon, Lady Kestrel, MKinTN, GANJA, rogerdaddy, adrianrf, sk4p, davidseth, RickMassimo, OleHippieChick, Unique Material, VA gentlewoman, lineatus, beltane, Happy Days, senilebiker, geomoo, mofembot, dont think, magicsister, squarewheel, mos1133, cybrestrike, Independant Man, Neon Vincent, aufklaerer, ARS, Tomsank, snackdoodle, divineorder, ewmorr, Carol in San Antonio, maryabein, h bridges, velvet blasphemy, kat68, JesseCW, regster, asym, dalfireplug, sherijr, Leftcandid, Super Grover, BigVegan, commonmass, confitesprit, littlezen, marabout40, stegro, Vacationland, LaughingPlanet, publicv, amk for obama, trixied13, NY brit expat, sullivanst, Lady Libertine, Mariken, Kristina40, melfunction, elengul, verdeo, Onomastic, Jane Lew, heart of a quince, DParker, Lost Left Coaster, ems97007, soothsayer99, asterkitty, Situational Lefty, marleycat, KVoimakas, Vtdblue, SilentBrook, chira2, mali muso, toby esterhase, stlsophos, DRo, Tom Seaview, Azazello, YaNevaNo, AnnetteK, Nena20409, jacey, Patric Juillet, Domino14, sjterrid, JTinDC, FireBird1, buzzybodhi, Aji, banach tarski paradox, drnononono, glassofmilk, dnpvd0111, SooperDem, Ana Thema, cryptodira

    For centuries the death penalty, often accompanied by barbarous refinements, has been trying to hold crime in check; yet crime persists.

    If you want to fight and die for my right to sit here and bitch, sleep with whomever you want.

    by kestrel9000 on Fri Sep 24, 2010 at 03:44:50 AM PDT

    •  Am I the only one who thinks (35+ / 0-)

      the lethal injection table looks a bit like a cross (insert thief at Christ's side reference here)?

      Iuris praecepta sunt haec: Honeste vivere, alterum non laedere, suum cuique tribuere. - Ulpian, Digestae 1, 3

      by Dauphin on Fri Sep 24, 2010 at 03:52:16 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  At last a Kestrel diary that I can recommend (10+ / 0-)

      and tip.

      And I must admit to being surprised after the disucssions we have had.

      ;-)

      "What has happened down here is the wind have changed. Clouds roll in from the north and it started to rain"

      by senilebiker on Fri Sep 24, 2010 at 05:11:21 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  T&R'd. Good job, Kestrel. (nt) (4+ / 0-)

      The destruction of marriage is scorched earth politics.
      They can pry the wedding rings from our cold dead fingers.

      by banach tarski paradox on Fri Sep 24, 2010 at 05:26:37 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  David Seth wrote two diaries about Teresa Lewis (16+ / 0-)

      ...one the day before the execution and one after.  They're also worth a read.

      Great rant, Kes.

      They only call it Class War when we fight back.

      by lineatus on Fri Sep 24, 2010 at 05:32:39 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Personally I cannot wait to see mofo die (4+ / 0-)

      who murdered my daughter in cold blood. I refuse to make an apology to you or anyone else for that- until you sit in my position you cannot speak on the justice of the death penalty. Every time some worthless piece of shit uses one of the guns you advocate so furiously for against another human with malice and forethought, they become judge, jury, and executioner- boo hoo that the tables turn and these same pieces of shit become judged. For your info, there are "people" on this earth so evil that they do not deserve a place in it, period. Please spare me the horseshit about life in prison, unless you have been there, as I have, you know nothing about just how easy "lifers" have it. There are many people in prison for really stupid, petty, dumbass trivial shit, I was in for a pot charge- so I should be subjected to a bunch of evil ass cold blooded ruthless murderers who give less of a shit about the value of life now that they are in prison? For your info, lifers run around the prisons with the same movement and rights afforded to those in for petty offenses, they are not segregated.
       If and when you lose your kid to a serial killer I'll be glad to have a debate about the death penalty being right or wrong- until you have, well, you don't have ALL of the facts behind it. Victims have rights too, and I fully intend to live to see mine to fruition and personally see the piece of shit who murdered my child die. I refuse to feel bad about it nor feel a need to apologize for it. Ain't gonna happen, ever...

      If the Republicans will stop telling lies about the Democrats, we will stop telling the truth about them. Adlai E. Stevenson

      by teabaggerssuckbalz on Fri Sep 24, 2010 at 05:48:52 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I am sorry for your loss nt (17+ / 0-)

        If you want to fight and die for my right to sit here and bitch, sleep with whomever you want.

        by kestrel9000 on Fri Sep 24, 2010 at 06:03:51 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Sorry about your loss. n/t (7+ / 0-)

        The last time we broke a president, we ended up with Reagan.

        by Bush Bites on Fri Sep 24, 2010 at 06:06:16 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  A woman was given the death penalty yesterday (0+ / 0-)

        here for a crime for which one of her co conspirators confessed to my wife and I, which is what led to their arrests ultimately. I heard in gory detail firsthand and again during her trial, the heinousness in which the victim of that particular crime was beaten, tied up, tortured, Drano, bleach, nail polish remover being poured on her and down her throat, for hours. The woman who received the death penalty had been charged in the past with murder and got away with it. She bragged of how many she'd killed over the years. The woman she tortured and killed had been accused of stealing from her- an act committed by her co conspirator who did nothing to intervene on the victims behalf even knowing this poor woman was being tortured to death for what he had done.
         She got the death penalty. Good. It is the only true justice that the victim could possibly have received. It is justice, period. She brutally tortured an innocent person until she died, what punishment would YOU suggest.
         It boggles my mind that all of you gun advocates are on here preaching against the death penalty. Are you not the same folks I have read again and again advocating shooting to kill perpetrators of crimes against you as "self defense"? What makes you who think such a way any different from the justice system for defending society from evil so despicable that even their fellow prisoners are not safe from them if given life as you'd prefer? You'd kill a person for breaking into your home though- I call that talking out of both sides of your face.

        If the Republicans will stop telling lies about the Democrats, we will stop telling the truth about them. Adlai E. Stevenson

        by teabaggerssuckbalz on Fri Sep 24, 2010 at 06:08:02 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  The death penalty (20+ / 0-)

          defends nothing. It does not deter, nor does it resurrect the dead.

          It boggles my mind that all of you gun advocates are on here preaching against the death penalty.

          See here.

          If you want to fight and die for my right to sit here and bitch, sleep with whomever you want.

          by kestrel9000 on Fri Sep 24, 2010 at 06:11:34 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  But it does prevent the murderer from (5+ / 0-)

            murdering again.

            •  SO does a life sentence (18+ / 0-)

              that MEANS life.

              If you want to fight and die for my right to sit here and bitch, sleep with whomever you want.

              by kestrel9000 on Fri Sep 24, 2010 at 06:27:25 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  no, not necessarily (5+ / 0-)

                they might kill others in prison including guards and even be let out on parole

              •  The hell it does! There are people in prison (0+ / 0-)

                who haven't done jack shit to deserve having serial killers and thrill killers being foisted on them with these life sentences you are advocating for. When I was in an old timer who had had his death sentence commuted to life in '76 when the death penalty was deemed unconstitutional went on to kill two other prisoners in two separate incidents since and was still walking around as a lifer with petty criminals looking for his next victim. Life sentences mean nothing. It means they are afforded the same rights as any other non death penalty prisoner has.

                If the Republicans will stop telling lies about the Democrats, we will stop telling the truth about them. Adlai E. Stevenson

                by teabaggerssuckbalz on Fri Sep 24, 2010 at 06:45:25 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  For every one of the rare instances you cite, (15+ / 0-)

                  there are countless others who have been unjustly put to death because of corrupt and incompetent -- and/or racist -- "justice" systems around the country.

                  Even if you could be absolutely certain that the people killed by the state were guilty of the crimes of which they were accused, it would still be playing God. But the fact that innocent people have been murdered by the states over the years is reason enough to use life without parole as a reasonable substitute.

                  And the issue of mixing convicted murderers with pot smokers such as yourself is an entirely separate one. No, it's not right to do so, but that can be addressed fairly easily if our cruel, punitive views of criminal justice are changed, or the policies that reflect that altered. Violence begets violence, cruelty cruelty.

                  [Conservatives are] engaged in one of man's oldest exercises in moral philosophy; ...the search for a superior moral justification for selfishness. JK Galbrai

                  by Vtdblue on Fri Sep 24, 2010 at 06:59:15 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                •  You're (10+ / 0-)

                  the only angry person in this thread.
                  Rather illustrates my point, I think.
                  Do not dare to call it justice.
                  It is revenge, pure and simple, and your loss of personal control and your righteous anger illustrate this nicely.

                  If you want to fight and die for my right to sit here and bitch, sleep with whomever you want.

                  by kestrel9000 on Fri Sep 24, 2010 at 06:59:42 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  jesus. let it go. and don't lecture him. (14+ / 0-)

                    i would think he would be more than angry.
                    i think he's living  in hell right now.
                    my god.  his daughter was murdered in cold blood.
                    you said you were sorry for his loss.
                    and you think this diary and your feelings on the death penalty warrant you telling the father of a murdered daughter this?

                    It is revenge, pure and simple, and your loss of personal control and your righteous anger illustrate this nicely

                    you are better than this kestrel. that is a fact.
                    please.

                    there are a whole group of posters here who need to show as much sympathy to this father as they are for Teresa Lewis.

                    "Oh no...you changed your hair color? It's just so dark. You like it? And with your skin tone?" My Beloved Mom, December 25 2007, once again on notice.

                    by Christin on Fri Sep 24, 2010 at 07:18:08 AM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  Yeah (10+ / 0-)

                      I wished I hadn't said that as soon as I posted it.

                      If you want to fight and die for my right to sit here and bitch, sleep with whomever you want.

                      by kestrel9000 on Fri Sep 24, 2010 at 07:53:01 AM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  yeah...and i wish i hadn't wrote as much (5+ / 0-)

                        as i did a few minutes after i posted it.
                        i wrote you're better than this...and then still went on too long.
                        i know what a good person you are.

                        "Oh no...you changed your hair color? It's just so dark. You like it? And with your skin tone?" My Beloved Mom, December 25 2007, once again on notice.

                        by Christin on Fri Sep 24, 2010 at 08:02:34 AM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  :) thanks for tthat (3+ / 0-)
                          Recommended by:
                          Christin, gerrilea, rockhound

                          sometimes I doubt that myself....for other reasons

                          If you want to fight and die for my right to sit here and bitch, sleep with whomever you want.

                          by kestrel9000 on Fri Sep 24, 2010 at 08:03:22 AM PDT

                          [ Parent ]

                          •  not me. (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            regster

                            we've both been on this blog a long time.
                            i've read your diaries. your posts.
                            you are pretty upfront and honest.
                            i saw your update and am not sure what it's about.
                            but you always do that. apologize.
                            always. it's such an easy beautiful thing to do, and yet not many people do it.
                            which is why - you are a good man.
                             ♥ so , you and charlie brown. :-)

                            "Oh no...you changed your hair color? It's just so dark. You like it? And with your skin tone?" My Beloved Mom, December 25 2007, once again on notice.

                            by Christin on Fri Sep 24, 2010 at 08:18:05 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                      •  Don't beat yourself up here (7+ / 0-)

                        TBSB stated his situation & outlook, you offered him your condolences, he responded to your (& others') words with a polemic that you accuarately summed up as mistaking vengeance with justice.

                        It is one thing to extend kindness to the suffering; if the suffering refuse, then rebuke of falsehoods is not unwarranted, even though it may feel heartless.

                        TBSB is welcome to sympathy for his loss; he is not welcome to ignore his own heartlessness, for someday he will have to live for more than vengeance. Every day that someone indulges his anger is another day that leaves him unprepared for what comes after he gets "justice"/vengeance. I have to wonder, would his daughter want him to descend into this degree of rage? How long does he let her killer rule his life? Coddling his righteous anger may seem intuitively right, but it does nothing to enable him to ask himself these vital questions.

                        "We must accept finite disappointment, but we must never lose infinite hope." - Dr. Martin Luther King Jr

                        by SilentBrook on Fri Sep 24, 2010 at 08:10:40 AM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  It is not vengeance, that is entirely stupid to (0+ / 0-)

                          even state. We are a nation of laws, one of those laws clearly states that the DP is entirely justified and constitutional in some cases. It has been deemed as such in my daughters case. That makes it THE LAW. Far cry from vengeance. I can agree or disagree with any current law but my opinion of them makes them no less the law. I hate pot laws and disagree with their mere existence and choose to smoke weed anyway- if I get caught doing it my views on the law for which I am being arrested for have no bearing whatsoever as to their legitimacy, they are still the law. Am I to think the prosecutor and judge are merely seeking vengeance against me if I were to get caught, or are they following the letter of the law?

                          If the Republicans will stop telling lies about the Democrats, we will stop telling the truth about them. Adlai E. Stevenson

                          by teabaggerssuckbalz on Fri Sep 24, 2010 at 09:10:47 AM PDT

                          [ Parent ]

                          •  Calling it THE LAW doesn't mean (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            Merry Light

                            it isn't vengeance; they aren't mutually exclusive.

                            I notice you avoided my questions, so I'll ask again:
                            Would your daughter want you to descend into this degree of rage?
                            How long do you let her killer rule your life?

                            "We must accept finite disappointment, but we must never lose infinite hope." - Dr. Martin Luther King Jr

                            by SilentBrook on Fri Sep 24, 2010 at 01:50:47 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                      •  I have no beef, Kestrel, I really don't. You can (0+ / 0-)

                        argue against whatever you choose, I do so myself on a few issues. Oddly enough, the DP is one of them and one I am sure we have more to agree about than argue. My point that seems to have been left in the fray is that I don't think the DP should be abolished in its entirety, that there are "people" that are so inherently evil and so violent and dangerous that there are not many options. A supermax prison? Ever been in one? It'd change your mind if you ever were, they are also barbaric as all hell. And even in them there is a certain few, my daughters killer included, that no one will ever be safe from as long as they still breath, not the guards or the inmates under their watch.
                         What do you propose we do with this type?
                         I have a right to be angry, you saw this on t.v., I have been living the other end of that story, it's real easy to differentiate yourself from the horrors of reality when all you are bearing witness to is the last chapter of the book, I had to live through the rest of the parts you missed seeing it from the distance in which you have. It wasn't pretty. The story line sucked. The ending still hasn't come for me. Goddamn right I am angry...  

                        If the Republicans will stop telling lies about the Democrats, we will stop telling the truth about them. Adlai E. Stevenson

                        by teabaggerssuckbalz on Fri Sep 24, 2010 at 09:03:01 AM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                  •  Angry? Dude, you have no idea. So I shouldn't (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    Pozzo

                    be, right? No sir, happens all of the time, why get mad over some worthless piece of shit killing your kid, politically incorrect, is that it? Well, being that I have never considered myself to be politically correct I'll just say that I really don't give a fuck whether you see my disagreeing with your stance on DP to be an angry response, I truly don't. The fact is, it is the law, and for all your arguing against it does not retract it or detract from it in any way whatsoever, it is the law. I do not feel I am wrong in any way for wanting that law implemented against a known, confessed serial thrill killer.
                     My daughters killer has an attorney trying to make baseless premptive questions regarding his "diminished capacity" as I write this. Do I buy that horseshit? Obviously not. Is it true in some cases? Of course it is and for those cases they can argue that point out in court. Do I believe Lewis was one of those cases? Not for me OR you to decide, and those who it is up to made their decision on that point long ago.
                     As much as it may surprise you, I do not feel the DP has been meted out in anything even resembling a fair manner, there is no ryhm nor reason to why one case they seek it while another case much more heinous they do. There is no explaining away why it is that those affording their own attorneys rarely if ever get the DP while the poor ALWAYS do. There is no explaining why black men make up a disproportionate number of those facing the DP. Yes, there is a lot that needs be done and I have never once claimed differently.
                     What I don't agree with is it's abolishment. You read the cases that pull at ones heartstrings and those who were set free as a result of new evidence, what you don't hear about is the ones whose entire life history is one of violence against society, a lifetime of violent crimes culminating in the last being the most heinous before their capture and incarceration. You don't hear about all of those who have killed simply for thrills, for shits and giggles and done it time and time again. You don't hear about the assaults om their keepers and fellow inmates, the havoc that they have wrought upon the prison system in which they are housed. What do you do with this type, Kestrel? Unless you have actually been to prison you cannot speak on what imposing a life sentence for this type means for other inmates who have to deal with these sick fucks amongst them. A little prison justice seems to be the answer from a lot of folks but the reality is, if you were in for say counterfeiting would it be justice that you were ut into a position to have to take action against such a threat and put yourself in a situation to do a life sentence simply because the prison system has no other way of dealing with violent lifers than to put them in with everyone else?
                     I have been there, and hell no, these are not "rare" cases, lifers know they are never getting out, period. They take on an entirely different air and persona that a gen pop inmate does. They for the most part see themselves as entirely invincible and impervious to further legal implications and act accordingly. What can you do in the legal system to put a hurting on a lifer? Spank 'em? Another life sentence?
                     It isn't just the handling of the DP that is fucked, it is the entire system of how prisons are run.

                    If the Republicans will stop telling lies about the Democrats, we will stop telling the truth about them. Adlai E. Stevenson

                    by teabaggerssuckbalz on Fri Sep 24, 2010 at 08:49:43 AM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                •  They should have put him in Ad Seg. (0+ / 0-)

                  Administrative Segregation.

                  There are entire prison units in Texas that have the worst of the worst in them, and the inmates aren't allowed to interact with others.

                  My brother is a Corrections Officer in one of those units.

                  Sounds like the fault of the prison system for allowing him to mix in with the regular population.

                  "The difference between the right word and the almost-right word is like the difference between lightning and the lightning bug." -- Mark Twain

                  by Brooke In Seattle on Fri Sep 24, 2010 at 09:35:13 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

              •  And in certain States, Life does mean Life (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Pozzo, drnononono

                Life without Parole plus many states have that as a sentence...fully stated.

                I live in a state which Life means without Parole.

            •  and what if the person hasn't committed the crime (5+ / 0-)

              of which they have been convicted? what do we say then, sorry? new forms of evidence are being discovered which can demonstrate that people are not guilty of the crimes for which they have been convicted.

              Many people are capable of rehabilitation, but the death penalty rules that out. Certainly there are sociopaths that should never be released from prison and should be kept separate from the general population, but most murders are not committed by these types of people.

              The woman executed in VA had the IQ of a 13 year old, most countries do not hold children responsible for these actions as they do not understand the moral implications of what they have done or are doing. Should children be treated as adults in these types of crimes as that is what is implied in this argument.

              There are many reasons why the vast majority of the rest of the world have outlawed the death penalty; what amazes me is that a country that considers itself to be a civilised nation still maintains this form of punishment. There is no evidence that it deters others from committing the crimes where it can be applied, this is not justice, it is vengeance and justice and vengeance are not the same.  

              No society can surely be flourishing and happy, of which the far greater part of the members are poor and miserable (Adam Smith, 1776, I, p. 96).

              by NY brit expat on Fri Sep 24, 2010 at 08:36:02 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

          •  So kill someone defending your home but (0+ / 0-)

            if the piece of shit gets the jump on you and kills you and your family and is caught, save their asses?

            If the Republicans will stop telling lies about the Democrats, we will stop telling the truth about them. Adlai E. Stevenson

            by teabaggerssuckbalz on Fri Sep 24, 2010 at 06:21:32 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  By the way, I am not looking to resurrect my kid (0+ / 0-)

            I am looking for her killer to be snuffed out as the law deems she is entitled to according to the sentence that I hope will be imposed, that justice as the law presently states will be meted out, is.

            If the Republicans will stop telling lies about the Democrats, we will stop telling the truth about them. Adlai E. Stevenson

            by teabaggerssuckbalz on Fri Sep 24, 2010 at 06:49:07 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Did you get a chance to make a victim impact (5+ / 0-)

              statement in court ?

              As sometimes that can be quite therapeutic as well as you can confront the killer or killers.   I had a patient in your situation and it is incredibly tragic and heartbreaking. My heart goes out to you.

              Are there victim support groups in your area as that also can help?  

              As my heart breaks for you and your family.  

              •  he is a good 4-5 years away from being tried (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                econlibVA

                as all DP cases take forever to end up in court. I definitely plan to make a statement upon his sentencing but at this point is is still a seeming lifetime off yet.
                 I was involved in a couple of victim support groups but got away from it as it only seemed to make matters worse, I know that may sound odd but sometimes you really do not wish to partake in the misery others have been through because it is too overwhelmingly depressing.
                 I will say this much, in the 100 or so folks I did meet in victim support, not a single one was against the death penalty, not one.
                 I tried to get that across earlier, that unless you have really been there that you are not looking at all of the factors involved in whether or not the DP is right or wrong. Not until you have lived it.

                If the Republicans will stop telling lies about the Democrats, we will stop telling the truth about them. Adlai E. Stevenson

                by teabaggerssuckbalz on Fri Sep 24, 2010 at 08:14:19 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

          •  Nothing resurrects the dead (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            ER Doc, teabaggerssuckbalz

            at least not on this earth. The DP is not intended to resurrect the dead any more than life in prison, boot camp, or simply letting murderers run free does. This is a false argument.

        •  It's a difficult subject (15+ / 0-)

          to be sure. I don't believe in capital punishment because our justice system is completely imperfect and innocent people have already been executed. I find the thought of an innocent person being killed for a crime they didn't commit to be horrifying in the extreme.

          But I have no answer for what to do with dangerous criminals, because I also believe our jail system is ineffective. People who deserve to stay in jail get out on good behavior, and yet we jail people who commit ridiculously petty crimes (such as pot possession) for a long time.

          But I think that just shows how fucked up the justice system is, how imperfect it is.

          (PS I'm not one of the gun advocates, but you sure are taking some pretty deep pot shots at K9K and others on this, aren't you?)

          I am deeply sorry for your loss, TBSB.

          •  It is a difficult subject, I agree. I also agree (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            JamieG from Md

            there is a huge disparity to those for which it is applied and that many innocent people have been executed or found innocent before the states got the opportunity. I read a recent report from the Innocence Project that out of all on death row in Texas, none had their own paid attorney. Just shows to me that even murder is legal if you have enough money for your own personal "dream team", and hell yes, there is something wrong with that to be certain.
             There are people on this earth that simply cannot and must not be allowed to exist along side anything considered human- what do you do with them? I have been to prison, I knew many lifers, some were as ordinary as you or your neighbor- others, well, put it this way, most states do not value a prisoners life the way they do those in free society, in most states a prisoner cannot even be considered for the death penalty if it is another prisoner they kill. Few recieve more than a few "extra" years. Extra years on a life sentence equate to what exactly? They know that nothing can be done with them or to them, they truly have nothing to lose. And some act accordingly.
             Just putting them in prison for life does nothing to protect other prisoners. Sounds good on paper but the reality is that they are a continual danger unless locked away in segregation- which is unconstitutional. So do what? Nothing? If your kid were in prison for stealing your neighbors car would you feel good knowing that he is surrounded by the likes of torture murderers, serial killers, thrill killers?
             

            If the Republicans will stop telling lies about the Democrats, we will stop telling the truth about them. Adlai E. Stevenson

            by teabaggerssuckbalz on Fri Sep 24, 2010 at 06:39:19 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  People get out of prison for "good behavior" (6+ / 0-)

            because the object of the current system of justice is not to punish or deter more bad behavior, its to promote obedience and subservience.  Consequently, the most convincing liar, even to the extent of demonstrating obedient behavior while in prison, is the one that gets out.  What stays behind or gets killed off are the people who can't follow orders to save themselves.  Perhaps they have short-term memory problems.  Perhaps they fail to comprehend that there's a word of difference between "do" and "don't."  Perhaps they are totally lacking in self-direction and follow whoever's "nice" and resent whoever's "strict" with them.

            Slyness, deception, thievery and irrational aggression are all characteristic behaviors of creatures whose intellectual capacity is very minimal or lacking.  Those are not reasons to kill them.  
            Making homicide legal does not make it right.  Besides, tasking someone with killing another human being is demeaning and violative of that person's right to be free of guilt-inducing behavior.

            The Constitution is not a menu for an exclusive diner.

            by hannah on Fri Sep 24, 2010 at 06:47:28 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  I'll give you an example, in my local news (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            regster

            this morning: a man walks in his home to find it being burglarized. He was armed, pulled his weapon and ordered the perpetrator to the ground, where he kept them until the police arrived. Good on him, I applaud him as a matter of fact.
             About 8 months ago another man heard a noise outside , ran out with weapon in hand to see a teenager attempting to steal his weed eater from about 125 feet away, shoots and kills the kid. Ruled justified under the "castle law" here in Florida.
             This is what I am referring to, the ones who cannot wait for someone to  use those weapons on, the man in question chose to give death sentence to this kid stealing a weed eater from him, judge, jury, executioner.
             I do not begrudge anyone defending themselves, if indeed that is what they are doing. The problem is that I see many, many cases where defense was hardly an issue- such as shooting someone from 125 feet...  But hey, the law says it was hunky dory. So it must be I suppose.
             The law says we can execute murderers in this country. It is what it is, like it or not.

            If the Republicans will stop telling lies about the Democrats, we will stop telling the truth about them. Adlai E. Stevenson

            by teabaggerssuckbalz on Fri Sep 24, 2010 at 07:56:10 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Of course, this country has had (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              SilentBrook, drnononono

              many laws that have changed over time, for the better of the citizens of this country.

              If the kid wasn't stealing a weed eater, he'd still be alive. Does what the shooter do fit the crime? Nope.

              But I also don't see how a state-ordered killing of a mentally diasbled woman in Virginia solves anything either.

              "All men are created equal. No matter how hard you try, you can never erase those words." Harvey Milk

              by kingyouth on Fri Sep 24, 2010 at 08:01:47 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Well, Ill ask you- what to do with thrill (0+ / 0-)

                killers, serial killers? Why do you think foisting them upon guards and inmates for the rest of their natural life is any better than just setting them free on society? It is not as if their threat is somehow diminished simply because they are locked away. If it were your son in prison for stealing would you want some homicidal violent fuckhead put in his cell? If so, well, no problem but the reality is that lifers are put in with everyone else. We had a triple homicide case here that finally got the DP and sent off BUT before he was tried he had caught another case in the county jail for rape and attempted murder of another inmate and just before being sent off plotted to have a gun brought into the jail, it was found in a package marked "legal documents". Nope, The threat ends when they are incarcerated, sure it does...

                If the Republicans will stop telling lies about the Democrats, we will stop telling the truth about them. Adlai E. Stevenson

                by teabaggerssuckbalz on Fri Sep 24, 2010 at 09:21:40 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  I would hope that my (0+ / 0-)

                  future son (or daughter) would know not to steal.

                  But if he (or she) did steal, that there are repercussions to his (or her actions) that are not in his (or her) control.

                  I suppose you advocate the death penalty for those who rape. Because they are obviously going to continue raping in prison. So shouldn't we kill them as well to protect others?

                  "All men are created equal. No matter how hard you try, you can never erase those words." Harvey Milk

                  by kingyouth on Fri Sep 24, 2010 at 05:50:28 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

        •  Preemptive self defense is not something I (11+ / 0-)

          preach (unless you want to count countering an immediate threat as preemptive, which I don't.)

          Which is what the death penalty is with your logic. It doesn't protect the people who died but it's done to supposed protect those she might kill (or have killed) in the future?

          Lethal force used in self defense is one thing. State driven killing of anyone judged guilty in the CJ system is another entirely.

          I'd kill a person breaking into my home if they didn't give me any other choice by the way (and giving up is not a valid option.) Why would I kill this person? I shoot to STOP that person. Stopping, quite a bit of the time, means killing.

          (RKBA) Right to Keep and Bear Arms: interested in a DKos RKBA group? Email in profile. Share Our Wealth

          by KVoimakas on Fri Sep 24, 2010 at 06:17:16 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Oh, about the "victim" of the death penalty in (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          JamieG from Md

          the torture case I mentioned above- her lawyer is arguing "diminished mental capacity", and that she was beaten up over the years as the cause of her torturing the woman she killed this time. Well, what about the victims she'd killed previously, does that same asinine logic apply to all the crimes she ever committed as well? She was a big time dope dealer, how diminished do you want me to believe she was, to survive as a dope dealer for the many years she was engaged in the trade in the hood, she cannot be too diminished- it takes skill, cunning, and a hell of a lot of thought processing to deal cocaine for 20 years. Her lawyer is full of shit, just as Teresa Lewis lawyer was. they will claim anything. The piece of shit lawyer defending my daughters murderer has already began the process of making these same unfounded claims. I don't buy into any of that horseshit- that his father beating his ass 20 years ago caused him to become a serial killer/armed robber home invader? Excuse me while I puke...

          If the Republicans will stop telling lies about the Democrats, we will stop telling the truth about them. Adlai E. Stevenson

          by teabaggerssuckbalz on Fri Sep 24, 2010 at 06:19:51 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  I simply don't believe (12+ / 0-)

          in state-sanctioned murder.

          An eye for an eye just ends in everyone being blind.  Most evolved societies in the world view capital punishment as the height of barbarism.  I agree.  It has nothing to do with how deserving convicted criminals might be, and everything to do with how appalling I find it that the state commits murder in the name of "The People" -- including me.  

        •  You really... (12+ / 0-)

          ...don't comprehend the difference between self-defense and the death penalty?

          Even one who supports the death penalty should be able to see the difference there -- if you can't see it, then we are so fundamentally different in our views of reality that we simply have no basis for discussion.

          You might as well be insisting that trees are purple and grow diagonally.

          •  Oh, believe me, I know the difference (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            JamieG from Md

            between self defense and the death penalty. The point I was making was that in that split second a person has to make when threatened they also become the judge of whether that persons actions warrant deadly force and deliver that same deadly force in the name of self preservation sometimes but in most cases I have seen that the so called "castle laws" applied, there was ample opportunity to allow the perp to surrender or even leave but they decided to shoot to kill and ask their questions later. And were exonerated for it.
             The mofo who killed my daughter killed another person the same night, he had killed at least 7 others in the past 10-12 years and obviously will never stop killing until he is dead. Prison for life? Please! So you are okay with car thieves being pitted against serial killers just so long as they do it behind prison walls and not in your community? That would make it okay?
             This same mofo has since his incarceration, threatened guards and other prisoners and he is still a good 4-5 years out from going to trial. I am sure the car thieves and petty dope criminals just can't wait to have him as their cellmate...

            If the Republicans will stop telling lies about the Democrats, we will stop telling the truth about them. Adlai E. Stevenson

            by teabaggerssuckbalz on Fri Sep 24, 2010 at 07:00:41 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

        •  can we have a "dumb comment of the day" award? (10+ / 0-)

          It boggles my mind that all of you gun advocates are on here preaching against the death penalty. Are you not the same folks I have read again and again advocating shooting to kill perpetrators of crimes against you as "self defense"? What makes you who think such a way any different from the justice system for defending society from evil so despicable that even their fellow prisoners are not safe from them if given life as you'd prefer? You'd kill a person for breaking into your home though- I call that talking out of both sides of your face.

          Seriously?  Well. Okaaaaaaaaay.

          If you don't see the difference between shooting a someone who has broken into your home in defense of yourself and your family and the institution of the death penalty being used and abused after "due process".... I can't help you.  This is NOT rocket science.  If you can't grok this, you're gonna have a tough time with life's real complexing issues. I DO wish you all the best of luck in life. You're going to need it.

          Don't tell me what you believe. Tell me what you do and I will tell you what you believe. h/t MeteorBlades

          by mdmslle on Fri Sep 24, 2010 at 07:05:06 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Dumb comment? To someone advocating for (0+ / 0-)

            life versus death maybe. Until you walk in my shoes all I can say is good luck with your advocacy. It is the LAW, no matter how much your disdain for it. Until and or when that law changes I am afforded legal rights as a victim by a capital law offender and have no qualms with its implementation.
             See my other comments for expounding upon what that comment meant.
             I have no problem with any of you who are against the death penalty, I agree with much of the reasoning behind why you are against it with the one exception that I see it as necessary to rid society, including prisoners and their guards from these thrill/ serial killers if there is such a thing as true justice as the law in its present state exists.
             What you are not is the parent awaken to be informed that your innocent kid just received a full clip of 9mm rounds by someone who has been killing other innocent people for 10-12 years. I do not expect you to understand and until you are the one awaken with such news you never will.

            If the Republicans will stop telling lies about the Democrats, we will stop telling the truth about them. Adlai E. Stevenson

            by teabaggerssuckbalz on Fri Sep 24, 2010 at 07:20:50 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  I am giving him some leeway as his child was (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            RebeccaG

            brutally tortured and murdered. He is going through hell on earth.

        •  Judy and Dennis Shepard (4+ / 0-)

          made a different decision. And no one can argue that their child also was torture and brutally killed because of his sexual orientation.

          Here is his Victim famiy statement to the court. Dennis Shepard statement to the Court

          •  and Randy Ertman disagrees (0+ / 0-)

            Randy Ertman, however, doesn’t agree with that viewpoint.

            "We’re looking forward to Peter Cantu being executed so he can never murder or hurt anybody again," he said.

            The victims’ families are expected to be in Huntsville Tuesday night to witness Cantu’s execution.

            http://www.kens5.com/...

            And his child died in a way at least as horrific, probably more so, than the Sheppards. You can find victims relatives on both sides of the debate.

        •  The only issue I have with the death penalty (0+ / 0-)

          is that I don't trust the state to execute that grave responsibility with the duel dilligence that it deserves.

        •  excuse me? (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          gerrilea, Tom Seaview

          It boggles my mind that all of you gun advocates are on here preaching against the death penalty.

          TRY to not prejudge people based on details like color of skin, religious preference, gender, sexual orientation, whether or not they blog, and whether or not they carry a firearm.

          I am very much into my firearms and I completely support a swift and painful death penalty.  The fact that the system fails is cause to fix the system - not ditch the punishment.  And yes: seriously painful.  I'd go so far as to advocate carrying the execution in newsprint and on televised newscasts.

          •  OMG (0+ / 0-)

            I have no words ! Public executions !!

            We are supposed to be  modern and civilized country.  

            OMG! I Have never even heard some Pro death penalty people say this.  OMG

            •  I'd almost agree with you here (0+ / 0-)

              We are supposed to be  modern and civilized country.

              We are anything but "civilized":

              1.  Over a million innocent Iraqi civilians have been killed in my name in the last 9 yrs and thousands more innocents killed in Afghanistan
              1.  There are over 2.8 million homeless children in America right now, more than half are under the age of 6.  More than 3.5 million total people (this is only an estimate, a very low estimate).
              1.  We allow and condone torture, and use said to coerce confessions. And it's justified as "keeping us safe".
              1.  The US alone has overthrown 23 countries.  Many resulting in the deaths of millions. You could review, "A Timeline of CIA Atrocities", you might not like what you find out.
              1.  We allow 29,000 people to die each day of starvation.

              I could continue on but I think you get the picture here, right?

              While I'm torn on the subject of Capital Punishment, I agree and disagree.  But lean more towards disagree.  

              The issue isn't about civility but how it's executed (sorry for that).  Too many times have I read about corrupt judges, tainted juries and insane prosecutors (trying to make a name for themselves) that I truly don't trust this system one iota.  

              When one innocent man is convicted, each of us suffers the consequences.  The value of human life is reduced yet again.

              Our "justice system" is anything but just. Which leads us to: How do we define "justice", who's definition is "right?" Yours or mine?  Who's morality is "better"?  

              We may never have a "correct" answer to these questions.

              This is a court of law, young man, not a court of justice. ~Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr.  

              Punishment is now unfashionable... because it creates moral distinctions among men, which, to the democratic mind, are odious.  We prefer a meaningless collective guilt to a meaningful individual responsibility.  ~Thomas Szasz

        •  With all due respect, (4+ / 0-)

          was the victim you speak of killed ultimately with a gun?

          I only ask because you first discussed how abhorrent it is for RKBA supporters to be high and mighty about their rights, but also supposedly not care when the rights they have may not coexist properly with the rest of society.

          I guess my point is this: a gun is merely a tool. It's the act that is inhuman. We can have all the thoughts we want, but it is the act that is a crime. I remember Jessica Lundsford (sp?) dad on TV after his little girl was killed. He said: "give me 5 minutes and a baseball bat." But he never killed him.

          Can I, or anyone else, understand the pain, grief, and anger you are going through? No. And I am not trying to lessen those feelings.

          There are instances that make me question my belief of being against the death penalty. Jessica Lundsford's murderer comes to mind. Timothy McVeigh. There are even times where murder was not the crime where there is that part of me that wants the ultimate revenge. Rape and incest. Do I wish that the man who destroyed a part of my best friend's innocence, that it made it almost impossible for her to trust any man, be put to death?

          I cannot walk in your shoes, so the best thing I have to offer is empathy. At the same time, it is my belief that we be better than those destroyers of life. My prevailing thought with respect to the death penalty is this: I don't advocate the murder of another life because my justification is more important.

          By the way, that best friend of mine... I didn't know her at the time. I met her later. She's my wife. And she and I disagree completely on this topic. Yet we respect why each other believes what we believe. The best I can do is offer her empathy for why she believes in what she believes. And she does the same for me.

          "All men are created equal. No matter how hard you try, you can never erase those words." Harvey Milk

          by kingyouth on Fri Sep 24, 2010 at 07:50:51 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  sorry for your loss... (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          verdeo

          teabaggers....I'm sorry for your loss.  There is nothing that anyone can ever say or do that will ever make you whole again.  There isn't, and I'm not going to pretend otherwise.  But, you won't feel any better after the person who killed your daughter is killed by the state.  And that's the great tragedy of the death penalty.

          I've talked to a lot of murder victims' family members over the years.  And, I've talked to several people who've witnessed executions.  Executions are incredibly...empty.  And after the execution there is another family grieving the death of their loved one, angry at the state for killing someone they loved.

          I'm an activist against the death penalty.  I just want the killing to stop, and I want the family and friends who have been affected by homicides to get the help they need to put their lives back together.  The death penalty process takes so long, and is so divisive, that it really prevents those affected by homicide from putting their lives back together.  

          I don't know you, teabaggers..., but if I did, I'd tell you again that I was sorry for your loss, and try to listen to your anger, as well as try and support you as you try to recover from your terrible loss.  You're right that we don't understand what you're going through, but we love you, and we care about you and your family's well-being.

      •  To be a cold hearted a-hole for a minute: (5+ / 0-)

        what right does a dead person have?

        Advocating for responsible gun ownership is not the same or even remotely related to advocating for violent crime.

        I'd also advocate for gun ownership so potential victims can stop their attackers. That would solve the issue rather nicely in quite a few cases.

        (RKBA) Right to Keep and Bear Arms: interested in a DKos RKBA group? Email in profile. Share Our Wealth

        by KVoimakas on Fri Sep 24, 2010 at 06:19:45 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  I'm sorry for your loss... (9+ / 0-)

        ...like everyone else here is, but the number one problem with the death penalty is that it has been proven that it is badly "administered" and that innocent people have actually been executed, and also that it is applied unequally.

        I would like to think that even your tragic personal experience wouldn't make you believe that it is better if one true innocent is executed rather than ten bad people are not?

        OVER HERE: AN AMERICAN EXPAT IN THE SOUTH OF FRANCE, is now available on Amazon US

        by Lupin on Fri Sep 24, 2010 at 06:24:55 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I would never want to see an innocent person (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          JamieG from Md

          executed but my daughters killer is fasr from innocent, he even bragged about killing her and others. Do I want to see him dead? Damn right I do and I sleep well at night thinking that way. I want him dead for all of those victims out there he left in his wake and to ensure he does not have the rest of his life to kill other prisoners or guards.

          If the Republicans will stop telling lies about the Democrats, we will stop telling the truth about them. Adlai E. Stevenson

          by teabaggerssuckbalz on Fri Sep 24, 2010 at 07:06:04 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Yes but you can't have it both ways... (0+ / 0-)

            ...You either have the death penalty of you don't... You either tax people of you don't... You either have a speed limit of you don't...

            So you either approve of innocent people being executed AS WELL AS guilty ones or you don't.

            You have to make a choice.

            OVER HERE: AN AMERICAN EXPAT IN THE SOUTH OF FRANCE, is now available on Amazon US

            by Lupin on Sat Sep 25, 2010 at 12:28:48 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

      •  Aint gonna resurrect the dead, either. (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        wishingwell, kingyouth, SilentBrook

        Revenge is not an edifying emotion.

        Everybody dies.  That those who promote terminating a life prematurely outside the womb are equally determined to prevent premature termination inside, suggests that the motivation is less reference for life, than for the power to determine when it begins and ends.

        The Constitution is not a menu for an exclusive diner.

        by hannah on Fri Sep 24, 2010 at 06:33:11 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  You personally don't have to feel bad (0+ / 0-)

        You have every right to feel the way you do, and if I were in your shoes, I'd want the bastard dead too.  I'd watch it happen and be glad it was done.

        Thing is, victims are not supposed to be the arbiter of the law.  The law is a cold thing to protect societies, and no, victims have no extra rights over the accused.  I do not want my society built on the reactions of its most aggrieved members, because I've seen how it leads to "get tough" stances that execute innocent people.  Regularly, in fact.  You lay claim to having the facts, well that's also a fact.  And that's why justice is supposed to remain blind.

        You're entitled to your own opinions. You're not entitled to your own facts.

        by sproingie on Fri Sep 24, 2010 at 08:56:23 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  If anyone supports and says they are a Christian (0+ / 0-)

      I will scream and start throwing mudballs.

      This is sickening and disgusting and it needed to be said.

      Why yes, I am Catholic.

      by ems97007 on Fri Sep 24, 2010 at 08:30:52 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Great diary (0+ / 0-)

      props for the Camus quote.

      "When I was an alien, cultures weren't opinions" ~ Kurt Cobain, Territorial Pissings

      by Subterranean on Fri Sep 24, 2010 at 08:33:06 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Bob McDonnell is a Notre Dame alum (0+ / 0-)

      Previously, McDonnell has stated that as a Catholic he's struggled with the concept of the death penalty and believes it is applicable in "limited circumstances."

      So, here he is executing a woman with an IQ of 70, when the legislature prohibits executing someone with and IQ of 69 or under.

      This is clearly (another) politician who is looking to gain political power, rather than heed their professed beliefs and act accordingly.

      Shame on him.

      Disclosure: ND 1981 Grad here.

    •  The death penalty is supported by people (0+ / 0-)

      who cannot comprehend the inevitability of their own deaths and deny to themselves that it shall eventually occur.

      •  Quite the opposite (0+ / 0-)

        Most people realize that their own life will end someday. It is arguably what makes support for the DP so strong, the fact mortality is prematurely foreced upon someone and the brief time we are allowed to spend on this earth is unfairly cut short. I don't see a scintilla of evidence to back up your claim.

    •  any place civilized has (0+ / 0-)

      done away with this practice.

      why we continue to want to resemble autocratic nations on a number of issues is beyond me.

      beacon of freedom my hairy ass.

      russia ablaze. pakistan afloat.greenland aslush. gibbs doesn't matter.

      by terrypinder on Fri Sep 24, 2010 at 10:36:47 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Bob McDonell is an asshole with no heart. (29+ / 0-)

    No clemency? Really? For a woman with a child's mental ability?

    Wow.

    (RKBA) Right to Keep and Bear Arms: interested in a DKos RKBA group? Email in profile. Share Our Wealth

    by KVoimakas on Fri Sep 24, 2010 at 03:51:09 AM PDT

    •  Given how Republicans treat (19+ / 0-)

      children, are you surprised? Given that the US can sentence children for crimes (in Continental countries, a child on average younger than 14 years cannot be the subject of criminal law at all), anyone mentally equivalent to a child can expect no pity. After all, a child wouldn't be given any, either.

      Iuris praecepta sunt haec: Honeste vivere, alterum non laedere, suum cuique tribuere. - Ulpian, Digestae 1, 3

      by Dauphin on Fri Sep 24, 2010 at 03:54:50 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Conservatives just love to kill (10+ / 0-)

      It's simple. It's never about justice. It's about me living and you dying by my command.

      There's no thought or consideration involved, no shred of ethics or morality.

      People who think government is incapable of anything, and shouldn't be allowed to do anything, don't hesitate a micro-second to gleefully encourage government to murder human beings.

      People who cling to a "literal" reading of the bible, utterly ignore, "Vengeance is mine, sayeth the Lord," and eagerly substitute their vengeance for God's.

      People who say judicial murder, "Allows closure for the family of the victims," will never lift a finger to help those victims in any other way: Were they left homeless? Who cares? Do they need healthcare? Who cares? All the state sponsored killers care about is watching some person die. The family can then go expire out of sight and mind. Who cares about them?

      And as in this case, the two who appear to REALLY have been the perpetrators got life sentences while a quite literally unwitting dupe is murdered for the pleasure of bloodsport.

      Conservatives don't care about logic, ethics or any sort of morality. They choose death and then dream up facile excuses for why it is justified.

      They just love to kill.

    •  Not even a child's mental ability (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      cybersaur, KVoimakas, SilentBrook

      Average intelligence -- adult and child -- is about 100. This poor woman was fairly severely mentally challenged. This just makes me sick.

      All goes onward and outward. . . .and nothing collapses, And to die is different from what any one supposed, and luckier

      by kat68 on Fri Sep 24, 2010 at 05:35:53 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I don't know (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        rockhound, SilentBrook

        that I'd describe her as a "poor woman". She did some pretty bad stuff. She deserved to be punished, and society as a whole would have been better off with her being confined.

        What she didn't deserve was to be deprived of her life while her more intelligent co-conspirators were not.

        The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.

        by sidnora on Fri Sep 24, 2010 at 06:55:18 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  My child (7+ / 0-)

      would certainly know this is wrong:

      Teresa Lewis and Julian Clifton Lewis Jr met in 2000 at a textile factory where they worked and later married.

      In 2002, Julian's son Charles bought a $250,000 life insurance policy when he was called for active duty by the U.S. Army Reserve. He named his father as beneficiary.
      Lewis offered herself and her 16-year-old daughter for sex to Shallenberger and Fuller. She stood by while they shot Lewis, 51, and his son, who was 25, in 2002.
      She could not have collected the life insurance policy unless both had died.

      Lewis rummaged through her husband's pockets for money while he lay dying and waited nearly an hour before calling paramedics.

      This was a women who worked, was married to a person of normal intelligence, was a mother and a grandmother, had a clue about how to benefit from a life insurance policy that required two deaths and was able to and did intentionally start a chain of events that ended in two murders. She was clearly not mentally disabled to the point where she should not be liable for her actions.  She fully deserved the maximum penalty under the law.

      We can and should argue whether the death penalty is an appropriate penalty in a civilized nation.  But her gender shouldn't have anything to do with it. Nor should her alleged "low" IQ when she clearly spent her entire life as a normally functioning adult.

      Give me government-run healthcare over Wall Street-run healthcare anyday...

      by trillian on Fri Sep 24, 2010 at 05:41:50 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Ok (4+ / 0-)

        I disagree, but you are certainly entitled to your opinion.

        But can you tell me why it is just that she got the most severe penalty, when the other two who actually pulled the trigger got life in prison?

        Why is her punishment more severe? Because she betrayed her husband? Because she offered her 16 year old daughter for sex?

        She didn't actually pull the trigger, so why did she deserve to die? I don't understand.

        •  Re (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Pozzo, kingyouth, JamieG from Md

          But can you tell me why it is just that she got the most severe penalty, when the other two who actually pulled the trigger got life in prison?

          This was argued at trial and on appeal, and in the trial they actually got a low-level look at the facts of the case. I don't feel I'm qualified to answer that question, but they did answer it in the proper venue (the trial).

          (-5.50,-6.67): Left Libertarian
          Leadership doesn't mean taking a straw poll and then just throwing up your hands. -Jyrinx

          by Sparhawk on Fri Sep 24, 2010 at 05:56:03 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  I don't know (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Pozzo, DruidQueen

          I haven't read the transcript.  But there is no question that hers was truly an indispensible act.  But for her acts, these murders would not have occurred.  She knowingly, intentionally and with the motive of collecting life insurance on the young son, set the chain of events in motion and then she enabled it at every step along the way.  Of course the murder would also not have happend but for the ones who pulled the trigger. So they equally caused the death.  All should have been convicted of first degree murder, and they were.

          What are the "aggravating" factors in that state for the death penalty? Is it more depraved to kill a stranger for money, or to kill someone you've promised to love honor and cherish and your step-son for money?  Which is more heinous?

          I don't know.

          Give me government-run healthcare over Wall Street-run healthcare anyday...

          by trillian on Fri Sep 24, 2010 at 06:16:06 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  It was meant as a person, not as a gender related (0+ / 0-)

        comment.

        I meant it like "for a person with"

        (RKBA) Right to Keep and Bear Arms: interested in a DKos RKBA group? Email in profile. Share Our Wealth

        by KVoimakas on Fri Sep 24, 2010 at 05:51:24 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  I agree (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        JamieG from Md

        I am implacably, 100% opposed to the death penalty.

        However, now that I guess we have it, her gender, low-ish IQ, professed remorse for the crime, and/or how helpful she is to other inmates, etc should not at all allow her to escape the death penalty for a crime that clearly merits it if any crime does.

        That being said, I am sickened by this entire display.

        (-5.50,-6.67): Left Libertarian
        Leadership doesn't mean taking a straw poll and then just throwing up your hands. -Jyrinx

        by Sparhawk on Fri Sep 24, 2010 at 05:53:54 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Does that mean (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          kingyouth

          that you feel her accomplices (one of whom has well-above-normal intelligence), who actually committed the murder, should be sentenced to death? Because they weren't.

          The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.

          by sidnora on Fri Sep 24, 2010 at 07:06:03 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  I don't... (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            sidnora, Pozzo

            ...have an opinion on that. I don't really understand the legal issues at play here and do not care to speculate. In the absence of any other data, I have to assume that the court did its job when it investigated this event, and I don't really believe that people's intelligence level (whatever it is) is extremely relevant here.

            (-5.50,-6.67): Left Libertarian
            Leadership doesn't mean taking a straw poll and then just throwing up your hands. -Jyrinx

            by Sparhawk on Fri Sep 24, 2010 at 08:39:06 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Fine, we can leave that aside (0+ / 0-)

              though I'm willing to bet that if she had an IQ of, say, 50, you might be willing to rethink that position. But do you think that she, who did not pull the trigger, merited a harsher (far harsher) punishment than the person who did?

              The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.

              by sidnora on Fri Sep 24, 2010 at 04:53:26 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Like I said (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                sidnora, Pozzo

                I am agnostic on that point. I simply do not know enough about the facts of the case to have an opinion on that. A court evaluated these claims a number of times and found them wanting. I think a fair case can be made that conspiring to kill someone is as bad as actually killing them, and depending on the circumstances might actually be considered worse.

                Consider the reverse circumstance. A manipulative housewife convinces a borderline retarded man to kill her husband. In that case a person would likely argue that the housewife is more culpable despite not being the trigger person.

                These kind of issues are properly sorted out at trial, and again it isn't clear to me that I understand this well enough to have an opinion. From what I read, the woman's behavior didn't really scream "borderline retarded".

                Now, please don't let this comment allow you to think anything other than me being implacably opposed to the death penalty. I am, and I am opposed to every execution. But I oppose those executions on general principle and also oppose "get out of jail free" cards for people who are clearly guilty as long as we have the DP and still don't have the sense to abolish it.

                (-5.50,-6.67): Left Libertarian
                Leadership doesn't mean taking a straw poll and then just throwing up your hands. -Jyrinx

                by Sparhawk on Fri Sep 24, 2010 at 11:59:30 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  I'm happy to concede (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Sparhawk

                  "as bad as", which was the point of my previous comment, but worse?

                  If we disregard the possible disparity in the relative intelligence of the two (hypothetical) perpetrators, it would take some pretty extraordinary circumstances for me to go easier the person who actually did the deed than the person who planned it. This isn't war or genocide we're discussing, where one person, or a small group of persons, are able to compel others, who are clearly less empowered, to do their will; this is an individual murder case.

                  The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.

                  by sidnora on Sat Sep 25, 2010 at 04:37:10 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

      •  Completely agree, Trillian (0+ / 0-)

        Yes, I'm het, but I'm NOT a Mad Hetter!

        by Diana in NoVa on Fri Sep 24, 2010 at 07:57:50 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  The guy's not just an asshole, but deeply stupid. (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      wishingwell, rockhound, KVoimakas

      It breaks my heart every time I hear his next plan for screwing up the Commonwealth :/

    •  Bob McDonell is an asshole with no heart. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      wishingwell, KVoimakas

      Bob McDonell is an asshole with no heart.

      I just wanted to repeat that for emphasis. In fact, let me repeat once more:
      Bob McDonell is an asshole with no heart.
      ...and no brain either...

      AG Holder is obstructing justice by actively refusing investigation of war crimes.

      by cybersaur on Fri Sep 24, 2010 at 07:23:47 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  European press has soundly condemned (19+ / 0-)

    that decision. I just saw a segment on EuroNews which pretty much summed up your feelings. Camus was right.

  •  The Commonwealth of Texas? (14+ / 0-)

    Congratulations, Virginia!  You're Texas' little sister now...  

    What's wrong with these people???

    "Now if people got problems and they got problems with people oh yeah I know what it is to be there." - DW

    by ScantronPresident on Fri Sep 24, 2010 at 03:54:26 AM PDT

  •  IM between the two "V" states (12+ / 0-)

    me:  yay for your governor!
    Mr. Big Man!
    What a macho stud. i wanna be just like him.
    Sent at 6:26 AM on Friday
    T:  don't start - i don't want to pay her board for the next 50 years...
    me:  What bravery! What valor! To sign a death warrant for a woman with a mental age of 12!
    I wanna be just like him!
    You do know the tewo guys who actually DID the killing were not sentenced to death?
    Oh, it's about mONEY, huh?
    You, personally, pay 100% of her board?
    it all comes out of your check?
    Disgusting/.
    T:  if i decide that it's more valiant to kill someone than to leave them and i get caught, kill me...it's not like you don't know that's what could happen
    Sent at 6:37 AM on Friday
    T:  and fry those other fuckers too

    Sigh. Seriously, I just couldn't live with people who think that way. I don't want them running my state government, and I sure as HELL don't want them teaching my children.

    If you want to fight and die for my right to sit here and bitch, sleep with whomever you want.

    by kestrel9000 on Fri Sep 24, 2010 at 03:57:45 AM PDT

  •  Innocence Project (17+ / 0-)

    And on top of all the other problems with this bloodsport (apt, that, k9k) there is the irrefutable fact that innocent people get executed murdered through miscarriages of justice.
    One instance of that should make any sane society eschew this barbarism overnight.
    But we are not that society.
    Deterrent? BS.
    It is about creating fear.
    And it's bloodsport.
    T & R.

    Sexual orientation is as irrelevent on the battlefield as military rank is in the bedroom.

    by kamarvt on Fri Sep 24, 2010 at 04:00:24 AM PDT

  •  Many of its greatest proponents (16+ / 0-)

    Consider abortion murder. But ya' know how Republicans like having it both ways.

    An eye for an eye and soon the whole world's blind.

    RIP Teresa.

    This ain't no party. This ain't no disco. This ain't no foolin' around!

    by Snud on Fri Sep 24, 2010 at 04:01:46 AM PDT

    •  An eye for an eye, (3+ / 0-)

      Had a discussion on this last night in a pub, and I had heard that the sense of the expression was to limit disproportianate penalties (vengeance).

      Checking with the ever useful wiki, it seems that the phrase originates in the Old testament ( deutoromy, revelations and Leviticus) you know the Jewish bit of the Bible which also bans any punishment involving maiming or physical injury - eye for an eye apparently is all about tort laws.

      In the New Testament, interstingly the expression is used in the sermon on the mount in a negative fashion by Jesus, saying in effect do not ask for an for an eye, but turn the other cheek.

         

      Lex talionis in Christianity

         Christian interpretation of the Biblical passage has been heavily influenced by the quotation from Leviticus (19:18 above) in Jesus of Nazareth's Sermon on the Mount. In the Expounding of the Law (part of the Sermon on the Mount), Jesus urges his followers to turn the other cheek when confronted by violence:

            You have heard that it was said, "An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth". But I say to you, do not resist an evildoer. If anyone strikes you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also. (Matthew 5:38–39, NRSV)

         This saying of Jesus is frequently interpreted as criticism of the Old Testament teaching, and often taken as implying that "an eye for an eye" encourages excessive vengeance rather than an attempting to limit it. It was one of the points of 'fulfilment or destruction' of the Hebrew law which the Church father St. Augustine already discussed in his Contra Faustum, Book XIX.[4]

      It seems that the Talibangelicals have hed their Brietbarts for centuries.

      "What has happened down here is the wind have changed. Clouds roll in from the north and it started to rain"

      by senilebiker on Fri Sep 24, 2010 at 05:42:51 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Sorry to quibble, but (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Silverbird, Snud, buddabelly, SilentBrook

        it's Revelation - no "s", and Revelation is in the NT.

        Jesus spoke frequently about grace and forgiveness. I believe his point was that focusing on revenge keeps us in an endless cycle from which there is not escape. If we chose to repay evil with good, there is the possiblility that the heart of an evil one may be won over to the good by way of our example.

        Forgiveness is the hardest teaching to follow for all of us. It's not in our nature. I'm an atheist who believes the Bible, though written by men, does have great value for us in some of it's teachings. But if there is anything in the Bible that I could consider divinely inspired, it is the teaching of forgiveness.

        Progressive principles won't be worth jack if we let the GOP "take their country back".

        by JTinDC on Fri Sep 24, 2010 at 06:55:45 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  That is why I respect my aunt's sister who is a (0+ / 0-)

      nun...she always jokes that she is a sister and a sister..LOL..

      But she opposes the death penalty, opposes abortion, but also opposes war. She marched against Vietnam, Iraq, and Afghanistan.

  •  The main problem with the "Death Penalty" (10+ / 0-)

    is the concept.

    Death as a punishment doesn't deter jack shit.

    There is zero doubt and lots of evidence to prove many innocent people have been wrongly put to death because some prosecutor did terrible things in order to "win" the case, so they can add another notch to thier resume while they are focused on becoming a judge someday, or whatever.

    The system screws people.

    That said, some people ARE very dangerous. They cannot be allowed to walk the streets. They just can't.

    I'm fine with lock 'em up and toss the key. $30-$50k/year to stay in a cell the rest of their life. Arguably more humane than gassing people like dogs.

    I do think it's "OK" to put certain people to death simply because it's the safest thing to do.

    I think the people in that category are very rare.

    Mainly because we cannot always know with total certainty - life in prison allows for mistakes to be corrected while protecting the community from potential or real predators.

    K9K's piece is about a woman who's IQ should have ruled this out immediately.

    Tipped and recced.

    Spray tons of carcinogens into the ocean to hide petroleum spewed from a hastily-drilled hole from a greedy corporation, but don't smoke pot.

    by xxdr zombiexx on Fri Sep 24, 2010 at 04:03:08 AM PDT

    •  Who fits in that category? (7+ / 0-)

      I'm curious.

      (RKBA) Right to Keep and Bear Arms: interested in a DKos RKBA group? Email in profile. Share Our Wealth

      by KVoimakas on Fri Sep 24, 2010 at 04:04:16 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  John Wayne Gacy? (6+ / 0-)

        I would have thought Dahmer would be in this category but even he was given life and this lady was put to death.

        We spared Charles Manson too.

        Ted Bundy.

        Child murderers caught in the act.

        Very very rare folks.

        Again, we can warehouse them for the rest of their lives and that's fine with me, Im just splitting a hair and polishing it.

        Spray tons of carcinogens into the ocean to hide petroleum spewed from a hastily-drilled hole from a greedy corporation, but don't smoke pot.

        by xxdr zombiexx on Fri Sep 24, 2010 at 04:10:10 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Dahmer got the death penalty....... (7+ / 0-)

          in the frontier justice of the prison system.
          Think maybe that was arranged? Guards put him alone with a big maniac already serving life without?
          Wonder how many cartons of smokes thta cost?

          If you want to fight and die for my right to sit here and bitch, sleep with whomever you want.

          by kestrel9000 on Fri Sep 24, 2010 at 04:12:53 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Yes -he was whacked (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Lady Libertine, DruidQueen, KVoimakas

            but officially he was spared where the lady in your story simply shouldn't have been put to death.

            Executing the developmentally delayed is inexcusable.

            Spray tons of carcinogens into the ocean to hide petroleum spewed from a hastily-drilled hole from a greedy corporation, but don't smoke pot.

            by xxdr zombiexx on Fri Sep 24, 2010 at 04:22:03 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Developmentally delayed? (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Sparhawk

              Have you read anything about this crime?  Have you read anything about her life?  Have you read any of this woman's quotes?

              I don't think she meets any reasonable definition of developmentally delayed.

              Give me government-run healthcare over Wall Street-run healthcare anyday...

              by trillian on Fri Sep 24, 2010 at 05:48:04 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  IQ of 72 is a pretty good start. (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Cedwyn

                Spray tons of carcinogens into the ocean to hide petroleum spewed from a hastily-drilled hole from a greedy corporation, but don't smoke pot.

                by xxdr zombiexx on Fri Sep 24, 2010 at 05:49:05 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  No (3+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Pozzo, milkbone, JamieG from Md

                  it is one higly unreliable number, and probably even more unreliable when the test is taken by someone who knows it may be her ticket off of death row.

                  This is a women who functioned normally for many years, she held a job, raised children, got a man of normal intelligence to marry her, knew how life insurance policies worked, and managed to arrange a double murder.

                  One of her final quotes

                  Lewis added: "I don't think there's enough words to even begin to tell her how sorry I am... I want people to know that you can be a good person and make the wrong choice, I want people to know that."

                  If the death penalty is wrong, it is wrong.  It is wrong for Ted Bundy and wrong for this woman.  But there is nothing more heinous about executing this woman than anyone else who has been executed.

                  Give me government-run healthcare over Wall Street-run healthcare anyday...

                  by trillian on Fri Sep 24, 2010 at 06:03:52 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

          •  What about the (0+ / 0-)

            pedophile priest in Boston who was mysteriously left alone with someone who had been victimized as a child. I don't think these things are accidents.

        •  As for Manson ... (7+ / 0-)

          He and several of the Family were sentenced to death initially, but then CA abolished the death penalty and those were commuted to life imprisonment.  (CA re-established the DP, but there's no going back on the commutations of course.)

          "A good president does what's possible and a great president changes what's possible." --sterno

          by sk4p on Fri Sep 24, 2010 at 04:48:41 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Why? (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          wishingwell, KVoimakas

          How could Dahmer be "too dangerous" to leave alive?

          The guy was really kind of wimp, no matter how heinous his crimes were (and they were, don't get me wrong).

          It's not like there was any reason to think he'd kill guards or escape and go on a killing spree or anything.

          The problem is that our Economy is a '72 Pinto with a blown head gasket, whether or not it's in a ditch.

          by JesseCW on Fri Sep 24, 2010 at 04:56:41 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  It was interesting about Bundy (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          wishingwell, Pozzo, esquimaux

          at one point he did try to avoid a certain state because it was a death penalty state but, ironically, events lured him to Florida anyway where he brutally killed, was caught and executed.

          I remember the day he was executed, I was about 30 miles away.  No regrets about that one at all.

          Give me government-run healthcare over Wall Street-run healthcare anyday...

          by trillian on Fri Sep 24, 2010 at 05:45:52 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Just a random thought (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            wishingwell, buddabelly

            One could argue that the instant Bundy died, his troubles ended for good.  (I suppose if one believed in the existence of hell, this wouldn't be the case, but I don't necessarily believe that hell exists).

            If he'd spent the rest of his life in a maximum-security prison, however, he'd have spent all of those years, well, not having any fun at all.

            I dunno.  Personally, I tend to think that, between the death penalty and a life sentence, life without parole may be the more severe punishment.  But that's just me.  I don't necessarily think that 'the sanctity of life' is an absolute.

      •  Since is DKOs I'll be really clear (5+ / 0-)

        Im all for totally eliminating the "death penalty".

        it's useless outside of protecting the community.

        Gacy spent 10 years on Death row. Why? That was a huge waste of time and money.

        Makes no sense.Especially since there wasn't any doubt about his guilt or his danger to the community.

        If he was going to wait that long, he might as well have just been sentenced to life in prison.

        But we can go ahead and suspend it - there will be no protest from me.

        Spray tons of carcinogens into the ocean to hide petroleum spewed from a hastily-drilled hole from a greedy corporation, but don't smoke pot.

        by xxdr zombiexx on Fri Sep 24, 2010 at 04:30:02 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  A nation that spends like the USA on (10+ / 0-)

      it's various militaries has NO business wringing it's hands over the cost of incarcerating prisoners.  The cost of incarcerating every US citizen on death row for the rest of their natural lives could be covered by  searching the seat cushions of the couches in all the Generals' offices.  In some ways the USA is the world's biggest death cult.

      People are fungible. You can have them here or there. - Former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, responding

      by peterborocanuck on Fri Sep 24, 2010 at 04:15:56 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I used to work with a very bright lady (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        wishingwell, davidseth

        who convinced me that the costs of death row were astronomical.

        That never really made sense to me but I deferred to her because she was smart as a whip and spoke very knowledgeably - she was from the UK, by the way.

        I'm fine with my taxes being spent to house dangerous people.

        Im not clamoring for people to be put to death.

        Spray tons of carcinogens into the ocean to hide petroleum spewed from a hastily-drilled hole from a greedy corporation, but don't smoke pot.

        by xxdr zombiexx on Fri Sep 24, 2010 at 04:21:04 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  It costs more to keep a prisoner in jail (8+ / 0-)

        than to send him to Harvard for a degree.

        The US has 5% of the world's population and 25% of its prisoners.

        Doesn't make sense to me.

        "What has happened down here is the wind have changed. Clouds roll in from the north and it started to rain"

        by senilebiker on Fri Sep 24, 2010 at 05:09:55 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  How can that be? (0+ / 0-)

          I hear that alot, but I don't understand how that can be true, unless maybe you don't plan to pay their room and board while they're at Harvard and, even then, it's probably pretty close.

          The last time we broke a president, we ended up with Reagan.

          by Bush Bites on Fri Sep 24, 2010 at 06:12:37 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Many reasons. (0+ / 0-)

            You don't have to watch over the students 24/7

            the staff to student ratio is probably much lower than the staff/inmate ratio.

            Profit margins - privatised penal industry.

            Probably many others too.

            "What has happened down here is the wind have changed. Clouds roll in from the north and it started to rain"

            by senilebiker on Fri Sep 24, 2010 at 11:52:37 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

        •  Let me modify my stance. (0+ / 0-)

          A nation who incarcerates as many people for as trivial reasons as the USA does, has NO business wringing it's hands over the warehousing costs of doing so.  A little soul searching about the social costs of the rupture this causes, in terms of damaged families, destroyed careers, and dented souls, not to mention the criminal apprenticeships generated, may indeed be appropriate.

          People are fungible. You can have them here or there. - Former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, responding

          by peterborocanuck on Fri Sep 24, 2010 at 09:56:35 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  Her IQ doesn't really bother me. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      wishingwell

      My problem with the Death Penalty is that it's an absolute punishment and guilt is often less than absolutely determined.

      It seems logically inconsistent.

      (If there was a way to determine absolute guilt, I'd have no problem with putting them all away. Fuck 'em.)

      The last time we broke a president, we ended up with Reagan.

      by Bush Bites on Fri Sep 24, 2010 at 06:09:18 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Just another... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    wishingwell, adrianrf

    state-sponsored killing in the United States of Iran.

  •  T & R. (10+ / 0-)

    That last point is the most salient: we can't trust our government or any government to get it right 100% of the time.

    And as long as that is the case, we shouldn't let it do things that it can't undo, such as killing its own citizens.

    Fuck me, it's a leprechaun.

    by MBNYC on Fri Sep 24, 2010 at 04:10:45 AM PDT

  •  Sad...in so many ways. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    sk4p, Greek Goddess, KVoimakas

    What is it about people like Bush?  Why do they seem to take pleasure in the suffering of others?  

  •  Until we can give life to those who (7+ / 0-)

    we think deserve life, we should not give death to those we think deserve death.

    The government is our agent.  It is manifestly stupid to give your agent the power to kill you.

    "The Universe is change; our life is what our thoughts make it." Marcus Aurelius

    by Mosquito Pilot on Fri Sep 24, 2010 at 04:15:24 AM PDT

  •  Look on the bright side. At least she was guilty. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    karenc13, SooperDem

    look for my DK Greenroots diary series Thursday evening. "It's the planet, stupid."

    by FishOutofWater on Fri Sep 24, 2010 at 04:16:02 AM PDT

  •  Thank you for voicing (8+ / 0-)

    what was in my heart when I heard the report of Lewis' execution. We cannot call ourselves an enlightened society as long as we are willing to take human life and call it "justice."

    BTW, I'm willing to bet that those who squawk the loudest that capital punishment equals justice are those on the front lines of anti-abortion protests.

    Being a Humanist means trying to behave decently without expectation of rewards or punishment after you are dead. ~K. Vonnegut

    by Greek Goddess on Fri Sep 24, 2010 at 04:35:53 AM PDT

    •  Oh, don't even get me started, (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      esquimaux, Greek Goddess

      in respects to this:

      BTW, I'm willing to bet that those who squawk the loudest that capital punishment equals justice are those on the front lines of anti-abortion protests.

      "All men are created equal. No matter how hard you try, you can never erase those words." Harvey Milk

      by kingyouth on Fri Sep 24, 2010 at 08:27:08 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  For a nation that conservatives call Christian (10+ / 0-)

    Isn't it ironic that Jesus taught mercy, forgiveness, and justice, but too many calling themselves Christian lust for revenge and delight in the suffering they inflict upon those they judge to be guilty. The mocking of Karla Faye Tucker by George W. Bush is a great example. Virginia's uber-Christians Bob McDonnell and Ken Cuccinelli are more perfect examples.

    Ghandi said it best. "An eye for an eye ends up making the whole world blind."

    And perhaps the greatest irony of all - Bush is guilty of far worse acts against humanity than the woman put to death by McDonnell. We cannot count the people who died because of Bush's decisions.

  •  This case aside, death is too good... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    buddabelly

    ...for most of them.  They can live in solitary confinement for the rest of their lives 23/7 - one hour for exercise.

    "Don't do vibrato. It'll come naturally when you're old and shakey." - Miles Davis (from his music teacher)

    by dov12348 on Fri Sep 24, 2010 at 04:42:56 AM PDT

  •  She did not deserve to die because she was (5+ / 0-)

    a woman, and our sister.

    The rest....doesn't matter.

    The superstitious rite of human sacrafice, performed in the belief that it will somehow product us from the things that go bump in the night, must end.

    The problem is that our Economy is a '72 Pinto with a blown head gasket, whether or not it's in a ditch.

    by JesseCW on Fri Sep 24, 2010 at 04:47:14 AM PDT

    •  Some sister (7+ / 0-)

      After the shooting, Lewis waited about half an hour to call 911. Her stepson, Charles "C.J." Lewis, died quickly. But her husband, Julian Lewis, whose body was riddled with birdshot, was alive and moaning "baby, baby, baby" when police arrived.

      At first, Lewis told officers the shooting was the work of an unknown intruder dressed in black. But she eventually confessed that she and her lover, Matthew Shallenberger, then 22, killed for money.

      I'm opposed to the death penalty for various reasons, but I see no need to beatify this cold-blooded killer.

      Every day's another chance to stick it to The Man. - dls.

      by The Raven on Fri Sep 24, 2010 at 07:19:42 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I have a hard time arguing with you there (4+ / 0-)

        I'm opposed to the death penalty too, in 100% of cases. But the crime she was convicted of was particularly brutal. She's not the best poster child for the anti-death penalty movement.

        These colours don't run from cold bloody war!

        by Lost Left Coaster on Fri Sep 24, 2010 at 07:27:32 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  It's the tough cases that really test people (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          The Raven

          If you think even someone like that doesn't deserve the death penalty, then you're as hardcore an opponent as they come. If you find rationalizations why it was "justified" in this or worse cases, you're at most soft-core.

          I say lock her up and throw away the key.

          If it's
          Not your body
          Then it's
          Not your choice
          AND it's
          None of your damn business!

          by TheOtherMaven on Fri Sep 24, 2010 at 10:00:07 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Indeed they do (0+ / 0-)

            The killer of Polly Klaas comes to mind as the sort for whom capital punishment is too good an end.

            Ultimately, it was that New Yorker explication of the execution of Cameron Willingham that pushed me into the abolitionist camp. It is untenable to have a death penalty when innocent people are railroaded like that.

            It's why Illinois did away with the penalty - a corrupt police department virtually guarantees the execution of the innocent.

            The really tough cases that test your convictions are those in which the killer is truly caught red-handed, in the classical sense of the term; where there is zero doubt of guilt; where, as with Polly Klaas's killer, the murderer laughs at and taunts the survivors in court.

            Every day's another chance to stick it to The Man. - dls.

            by The Raven on Fri Sep 24, 2010 at 10:55:10 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

      •  "beatify"? Is that what you call recognizing (0+ / 0-)

        shared humanity?

        The problem is that our Economy is a '72 Pinto with a blown head gasket, whether or not it's in a ditch.

        by JesseCW on Fri Sep 24, 2010 at 10:03:34 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Lemme get this straight (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Pozzo

          She "prays with her husband" before bedtime, making sure the door is unlocked so the shooters can get in later, then she gets into bed with him, knowing that in a couple hours both he and her stepson are going to be shot to death.

          In my book, that sort of tears up your "humanity card." It was a most inhuman, vicious act, compounded by sitting next to her husband's shot-riddled body for 30 minutes while he suffered in agony before finally dialing 911 with a lie about some intruder.

          It was an act of astonishing cruelty.

          Every day's another chance to stick it to The Man. - dls.

          by The Raven on Fri Sep 24, 2010 at 10:37:16 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  It's just awful and shows how much it distorts (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Sparhawk, Timbuk3

    reason:

    But they said she did not deserve to die because she was borderline mentally retarded, with the intellectual ability of about a 13-year-old,

    Logically, this means it's ok to execute smart people.  The case to be made isn't that she is retarded, but that she is human.

    The trouble with the world is that the stupid are cocksure and the intelligent are full of doubt. Bertrand Russell

    by accumbens on Fri Sep 24, 2010 at 05:07:27 AM PDT

    •  What they are saying (5+ / 0-)

      when they bring up her IQ is not that it's ok to execute smart people, but that it's wrong to execute someone with the intellect of a 13 year old, because even though she WAS guilty, the fact that she was mentally retarded means she didn't know what she was doing when she did it, and that she was coerced into doing it. I also find it mind-boggling that they executed the mentally retarded person in this case, but somehow the two men who were actually responsible just have life in prison. WTF?

      Anyway, that's a separate issue then the issue of whether we ought to have capital punishment at all, smart or retarded people notwithstanding. Even people who support capital punishment can be (and some are) horrified by this case, and that's a step in the right direction towards getting EVERYONE to be horrified about capital punishment.

      Plenty of Americans support capital punishment because they see the jail system in this country as ineffectual, that terrible criminals can get out pretty easily, and even if they don't that tax dollars are going towards keeping alive criminals and horrible people. Politicians know this and play on this for votes. Nor is this a strictly Republican political card to play, because capital punishment is popular in states like Texas, where regular citizens strongly believe that criminals should be punished. And horrible criminals deserve horrible punishment.

      The problem isn't that the American public doesn't value human life, it's that they feel better about their children's safety if dangerous criminals are put to death. It's that whole fear thing coming into play, and politicians know how to play THAT card particularly well, whether they are Republicans or Democrats.

      But like I said, if you get people to be horrified by a case like this, where someone with the mind of a child is put to death, people may stop and think about the whole system and may slowly begin to realize that the justice system is broken, and when you have a broken system of justice, you run a high risk of executing someone who doesn't deserve to be executed.

      It's a small step.

      Putting this woman to death was a criminal act in and of itself.

  •  I share your horror and outrage. (5+ / 0-)

    There is no morality in this, only a failure of decency.

    "I get up, I walk, I fall down. Meanwhile, I keep dancing." Daniel Hillel

    by Onomastic on Fri Sep 24, 2010 at 05:09:21 AM PDT

  •  Tipped and recommended. The death penalty is a (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Garrett, Cedwyn, marina, soothsayer99

    stain on our nation. It's a pity that more Dems no longer consider fighting this abomination to be a priority.

  •  Tipped and Rec'd (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Garrett, Cedwyn, buddabelly, soothsayer99

    Very well done diary, kestrel. I have nothing to add to this other than complete agreement.

    "Yet no one could doubt President Bush's support for our troops, or his love of country and commitment to our security." -Obama

    by heart of a quince on Fri Sep 24, 2010 at 05:16:45 AM PDT

  •  The truth is that this country keeps capital (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    marina

    punishment around because knowing that someone somewhere is going to receive the supreme punishment  seems to be something that is able to keep the mind of the masses off serious issues like Education and Health Care and more recently Jobs.

    It is only very slightly different than the life and death contests in the Roman Colosseum - just something to occupy the masses and divert their attention from the fact that their leaders were simply fattening their wallets instead of seeking solutions for important matters of state.

  •  The fact that the two men who did the killing (14+ / 0-)

    received a lesser penalty seems just plain wrong to me and impossible to explain or justify. At worst she was one remove from the act. Sometimes Virginia is very hard to take. One day it'll grab you like Vermont and the next day it might as well be Texas.

  •  Yet these are the same guys who deny abortion (5+ / 0-)

    and mock the 'health of the mother' argument.  They are so set to defend the life of a fetus but could give a shit when it comes to real people.

    "My voice just echos off these walls...." -- NIN

    by MotherTrucker on Fri Sep 24, 2010 at 05:27:50 AM PDT

  •  Seems to me... (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Bendra, marina, esquimaux, kingyouth
    It's revenge killing in this case, not justice.

    "Ridicule may lawfully be employed where reason has no hope of success." -7.75/-6.05

    by QuestionAuthority on Fri Sep 24, 2010 at 05:33:04 AM PDT

  •  I saw the original version of that gurney (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Cedwyn, terrypinder

    Write In: Alan Grayson

    by Detroit Mark on Fri Sep 24, 2010 at 05:36:55 AM PDT

  •  Heartbreaking. I had to witness an execution... (11+ / 0-)

    ...In Mississippi last May. I'd signed up to be included in the lottery for media representatives to be selected to watch a lethal injection. I'd figured if I was going to cover an execution, I should watch it if given the chance.

    Watching a man die changes you from the inside. The man the state killed did an evil, evil thing to a random woman he'd never met, and had openly confessed to the crime. Still, killing him didn't bring his victim back. And the sister of the victim whom I talked to didn't have peace of mind after watching her sister's murderer die. Justice wasn't served, nobody was happy with the outcome. It was just awful. Then we all went home.

    Thank you for pointing out the cruelty of states killing other human beings. While it's a symbolic way of a state expressing the ultimate form of outrage over a crime committed, it is nonetheless barbaric.

    "God made us number one 'cause he loves us the best. Well maybe he should go bless someone else for awhile, give us a rest." -Ben Folds

    by Free Chicken and Beer on Fri Sep 24, 2010 at 05:55:51 AM PDT

  •  Well, let me put it this way. (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Cedwyn, Silverbird, lotlizard, kingyouth

    The deprivation of rights under cover of law has been with us a long time.  Indeed, the original Constitution, resolved the contradiction between human rights and slavery, by redefining a human who had been turned into property (children are born the property of their parents) by purchase as a mere 3/5 of a person.
    Today, the deprivation of rights under cover of law persists in such legislation as DADT and the resurrection of the military draft as "stop loss."
    The first series of Amendments to the Constitution prohibited the deprivation of human right, unless there was good reason -- i.e. it was warranted and approved following legal procedure.  So, right there, human rights were rendered conditional, but still within the understanding that there was good reason to believe that bad or injurious behavior had occurred and the agents of government had an obligation to interfere.  That is, the principle that the deprivation of rights is only to be considered in connection with a crime pertained.

    That humans would be deprived of their rights without just cause -- i.e. other than as punishment for bad behavior -- didn't occur to the framers.  They certainly never anticipated that deprivation of the means to sustain life would become the norm -- that following the principle of "no free lunch" -- people would be deprived of basic sustenance unless and until they complied with the law.

    The founders did not anticipate the dictum that:
    "Freedom is Obedience to the Law"

    And we have not appreciated that when deprivation of rights is the norm, (never mind that only the rights of suspected criminals merit respect by the courts), deprivation of rights as punishment is rendered virtually meaningless.  So, what's left but to make an example of a few by prematurely terminating lives that will eventually expire anyway?  You can't execute everyone who doesn't obey the rules.

    In short, legalized homicide is the last resort of a society that has truly messed up; where justice is being destroyed by the rule of law.

    "Outlaw," btw seems to be trying to address that issue.

    Without justice, the rule of law is merely the substitution of an abstraction for the whims of a flesh and blood tyrant.  

    There are people who are firmly convinced that, if the proper procedure is followed, the outcome will be good.  They are wrong. It's not a matter of the ends justifying the means; it's a matter of the beginnings being wrong.  The purpose of justice is not to subordinate; it's to equalize.  

    There are many humans by whom equality is despised.  Were that not the case, there would be no need for justice.

    The Constitution is not a menu for an exclusive diner.

    by hannah on Fri Sep 24, 2010 at 06:24:19 AM PDT

  •  Anyone is capable of murder (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Inventor

    under certain circumstances (although I take it that some differentiate between murder and killing). Even a saintly person could be driven to kill in defense of a helpless child, for instance.

    But most humans have an innate aversion to killing another human. This is why the military has to indoctrinate soldiers into dehumanizing the enemy, to get them to kill more efficiently; and why, with "refined" methods of training and new technology, the soldiers' kill rate was much greater in Vietnam than in WWII, and in WWII than in WWI.

    It would seem to be more productive for society to study the twisted individuals who commit the most heinous crimes, to learn about and deter the causes of their terminal dysfunctions.

  •  Ssssssh (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Silverbird, drieddung

    Don't expose the gutless sham that is the "liberal" politician in America so close to election day.

    This is why I laugh when people compare some element of our society to other "industrialized Western democracies".  

    So long as we murder our fellow citizens and call it justice, we don't even belong in that club.

    It's called the Dodd-Frank bill. What else do you need to know?

    by roguetrader2000 on Fri Sep 24, 2010 at 06:28:00 AM PDT

  •  Thank you kestrel (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Silverbird, SooperDem

    it is barbaric

    "....while there is a soul in prison, I am not free." Eugene V. Debs

    by soothsayer99 on Fri Sep 24, 2010 at 06:28:48 AM PDT

  •  California about the jump into the game (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Mehitabel9, buddabelly

    We're coming up for an execution in California on Tuesday, one Albert Brown. There may or may not be stays and further challenges. California funds a good deal of capitol defense law, even though we claim to like the death penalty.

    The local TV news has been proudly showing footage of the new death chamber at San Quentin that they had to build. Got to get the people properly enthusiastic about the coming spectacle.

    The death penalty is barbaric. Lock 'em; throw away the key. But don't sink to their level.

  •  Even if one believed in the (7+ / 0-)

    morality and efficacy of the death penalty (which I do not), how could the state proceed with the execution of a woman with an I.Q. of 72, who had been led on in the planning of the crime by a man with an above-average IQ who stood to benefit financially from the murder, and who is currently in prison under a life sentence?

    This isn't irony - it's outrage. Tipped and recced, and how I wish this diary were fiction.

    The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.

    by sidnora on Fri Sep 24, 2010 at 06:39:31 AM PDT

  •  The Death Penatly (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Silverbird, Mehitabel9, buddabelly

    Is as sociopathic as the crimes that can lead to it.

    Pionta Guinness, le do thoil!

    by surfbird007 on Fri Sep 24, 2010 at 06:44:45 AM PDT

    •  No it is not (0+ / 0-)

      This type of "argument" is really disgusting, since it equates the "victims" of the death penatly, people like Timothy McVeigh and Ted Bundy, to true innocents who happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time, like the victims of the home invasion in Cheshire, CT.

      •  I love it! (0+ / 0-)

        An "argument" that includes the word argument in quotations. A lovely contradiction.

        You are yet another in a long line of people who seek to place their personal moral qualifications on the application of the death penalty, which only undercuts the idea of the innocent versus the guilty you later raise. The state is in no position to absolutely determine guilt, even in cases of confession and DNA evidence. The legal system is far too flawed, and the very existence of the death penalty ensures innocent people will be given it. No clear line can exist other than to have no death penalty.

        Furthermore, raising people like McVeigh has no affect on me. He didn’t deserve the death penalty in my mind, as no person does. The state simply cannot dole out sanctioned murder and call it moral.

        Pionta Guinness, le do thoil!

        by surfbird007 on Wed Sep 29, 2010 at 06:21:16 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  State murder is wrong if murder is wrong (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Silverbird, buddabelly

    I understand wanting bad people dead, but murder is murder.

  •  It's a difficult situation (4+ / 0-)

    People who are executed are often guilty of heinous crimes, and it's hard not to sympathize with those who have lost loved ones to murderers.

    But in the end, the criminal justice system is charged with, among other things, protecting the general public, and I don't think the death penalty achieves that.  Furthermore, the finality of the death penalty means that there really is no acceptable margin of error.   Other countries achieve justice without it, and so should our own.

    Procrastination: Hard work often pays off after time, but laziness always pays off now.

    by Linnaeus on Fri Sep 24, 2010 at 06:49:07 AM PDT

  •  Her mental capacity. (8+ / 0-)
    It's been mentioned that the woman had an IQ of 72, meaning she was borderline mentally retarded. The shorthand of this information becomes that Virginia executed a mentally retarded woman.

    The few mentally challenged people I've known in my life are certainly not capable of orchestrating a hit on someone.

    So I'm guessing that this woman was not, or even close to being, mentally retarded.

    To be honest, the death penalty is an issue I continue to vacillate on. My knee-jerk reaction, upon hearing of a horrible crime being committed, is pro-death penalty. But then I reflect on the matter and think maybe life imprisonment is more justifiable. And then I flip back again.

    It's not an easy one.

    •   she figured a lot out. (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      buddabelly, JamieG from Md, MGross

      her stepson survived iraq, but not his stepmother's greed.
      that is what hurts to read right now.

      Lewis, by contrast, hired two men she met in a supermarket to murder her husband and 25-year-old stepson so she would be the beneficiary of the stepson’s $250,000 life insurance policy. (The reason she had to murder her husband, too, is because her stepson, an Iraq War veteran, named his father as the beneficiary.) Not only did Lewis have sexual relations with both hired killers, she arranged for one of them to have sex with her then 16-year-old daughter in a supermarket carpark.

      "Oh no...you changed your hair color? It's just so dark. You like it? And with your skin tone?" My Beloved Mom, December 25 2007, once again on notice.

      by Christin on Fri Sep 24, 2010 at 06:59:44 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I have zero sympathy for her (5+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Christin, Pozzo, buddabelly, melpomene1, MGross

        but really, sympathy for the victim shouldn't play in a reasoned opinion on the death penalty as a policy in general.

        Did anyone notice that an 80-something corrupt politician beat two fantastic Democratic candidates in the Harlem district primary?

        by SooperDem on Fri Sep 24, 2010 at 07:25:45 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  i know that. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Pozzo

          but i think what hurts the anti DP argument and debate and seems to shut down many meaningful debates.
          too much sympathy for the person who committed the crime.
          i'm seeing some of that here.
          it 's why support for the DP very high in this country even in 2010.
          people are just turned off my hearing "poor teresa lewis et al. "
          and it's a visceral reaction at that time to think what about the poor victim and the those they left behind?

          what worked with me many years ago is the simple "we can't become what they are. period. "  that was just me though.   and again, now i'm conflicted on all counts.
          and i so hate admitting that.
          my extremely annoying liberal smug guilt as my RW brother calls it.

          that being said, again, i never ever want to see anyone with any mental disability treated the same as someone without any disabilities. that is horrific.
          i did this virtual reality thing at work, as close as one can get to VR, on how it must feel to be bipolar. could not take it. ripped the thing off.
          the voices in both my ears telling my my doctor was going to kill me was too much and that was totally simulated and fake.
          i know what they are going through.  i think.

          "Oh no...you changed your hair color? It's just so dark. You like it? And with your skin tone?" My Beloved Mom, December 25 2007, once again on notice.

          by Christin on Fri Sep 24, 2010 at 08:12:29 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  I am sceptical (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      MGross

      of the low IQ claim. For starters, her statement and the actions, which aren't really denied, sound way to sophisticated for someone who is borderline mentally retarded. What is this claim based upon? Is it just an  "expert" hired by the defense or has it been objetively tested outside of court?

      •  The expert was from Duke University: (0+ / 0-)

        Lewis was tested by a board ceritifed forensic psychiatrist who found her IQ to be in the "borderline range " of intellectual functioning, but not at the level of mental retardation.

        Link

        "All men are created equal. No matter how hard you try, you can never erase those words." Harvey Milk

        by kingyouth on Fri Sep 24, 2010 at 08:34:43 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  so what? (0+ / 0-)

          Tested at who's requset? her defense lawyers. If that's the case, you have to take his or her opinion with a grain of salt at the least. And being from Duke University isn't, in of itself, a grant of either credibility or invulnerability. I remain sceptical. When was this test taken? Who paid for it? Was it done at the order of the court or was this person an expert hired at trial by the defense? Was this presented to the jury and rejected? I remain sceptical of this claim.

  •  torn up. (5+ / 0-)

    i was completely against the death penalty.
    and understand this two wrongs no right.
    and understand how barbaric it is.
    but the case below now in trial made me admit my ugly hypocrisy.
    i don't want them alive.
    so i have to admit that i suppose I am not totally against it.
    I see how i am fudging and mincing words because i feel strange writing that.

    i just hate these two monsters with every fiber of my being.
    they are just cold blooded monsters from hell.
    they have no disabilities.
    and even if they did, at this point? this was not just killing a family.
    it was torture and rape on top of the murders.
    i don't know who how the father lives to see a new day knowing what happened to his young daughters and wife in their last moments.
    i don't know how he is not insane.

    i am against the DP for people with ANY type of mental disease or disability.
    low iq's included. anyone bipolar et al.  must be excluded.
    if there is any shred of doubt - it must be excluded.

    but when that does not come into play?
    i am as cold blooded as they are i guess.
    i saw a piece on this on tv. i was crying by the time i got to the end.
    could not take what i am seeing.
    i think they lost five jurors already who could not take it.
    they are down to alternates.  no more backups.

    it's just strange for me to do this flip since i did see DMW, and GM, and another one. i forget who was in that. kevin spacey?
    i have spoken out against the DP all my life.
    i just can't anymore.  maybe when i calm down.
    my god, she was 11.

    CT jury endures more gruesome testimony

    The jury that is hearing the case against home invasion suspect…

    Graphic testimony at CT murder trial
    Police defend response to deadly home invasion

    Updated: Thursday, 16 Sep 2010, 7:34 AM EDT
    Published : Thursday, 16 Sep 2010, 7:34 AM EDT

    NEW HAVEN, Conn. (AP) - A Cheshire police captain on Wednesday defended the department's July 2007 decision not to enter a house where they had been told a family was being held hostage.

    The home invasion ended with the deaths of a mother and her two daughters, whose bodies were discovered by firefighters after the home was set ablaze.

    Capt. Robert Vignola took the stand in the trial of Steven Hayes, who is charged with murder, sexual assault and other crimes in the deaths of Jennifer Hawke-Petit and her daughters, 17-year-old Hayley and 11-year-old Michaela.

    A teller and manager at a local bank testified earlier that Hawke-Petit arrived that morning seeking to withdraw $15,000. She told the bank employees that her family was being held by men inside the home. The bank manager called police, who immediately responded to the home.

    Vignola acknowledged that more than a half-hour passed between the call and the time he saw Hayes and co-defendant Joshua Komisarjevsky run out of the house, get into the Petits' car and attempt to flee. They were captured after crashing into a police blockade.

    Police then noticed the house had been set on fire.

    snipped....

    Firefighters took the stand in the afternoon and described fighting the blaze and finding the three bodies.

    Dr. William Petit, who was beaten and tied up in the basement but escaped before the fire was set, sobbed as jurors viewed graphic crime-scene photos. At least one juror also cried while looking at the pictures, which were passed around in the jury box and not displayed on a screen in the courtroom.

    The firefighters testified they found Hawke-Petit's body in the family room, Hayley's body at the top of the stairs and Michaela's body on an upstairs bed, her hands tied to the bed post.

    The judge ended the session for the day by telling jurors that they had been through the toughest part of the trial and it would be OK to hug each other.

    Komisarjevsky faces a later trial

    "Oh no...you changed your hair color? It's just so dark. You like it? And with your skin tone?" My Beloved Mom, December 25 2007, once again on notice.

    by Christin on Fri Sep 24, 2010 at 06:53:52 AM PDT

  •  We have forgotten how tyranny looks. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Silverbird

    When democracy was fresh, people remembered well the mechanisms of tyranny, including life and death control of lives on a whim. A guiding principle for the founders of the U.S. was providing mechanisms to prevent tyranny from arising here.  We are losing touch with the importance to our liberty of an impartial system of justice and unyielding limits on the power of the state.  Very few of us properly appreciate the dangers of allowing the state to kill.  This is but one of the many reasons capital punishment has no place in a modern democratic state.

    Don't believe everything you think.

    by geomoo on Fri Sep 24, 2010 at 06:55:29 AM PDT

  •  Death Penalty (5+ / 0-)
    I have participated in death penalty cases as a prosecutor as well as witnessed the imposition of the death penalty.  I oppose the death penalty, not so much because of the taking of human life, as the government makes decisions every day which result in the death of people (eg Medicaid not covering liver transplants etc.) but because of the distortion which it causes in the law.  Judges are so reluctant to impose the death penalty-because of its permanence-that they make evidentiary and prcedural rulings which are bizarre and completely unpredictable.  In fact, in most criminal trials, it destroys an opponent's argument to point out the case upon which he relies is a death penalty case. This distortion is inherent in the operation of the death penalty, and thus, results in unequal results-the exact thing which Gregg v. Georgia was supposed to stop.  In short, we, as an 'advanced'  civilization, simply cannot efficiently operate a system in which the result is death (and thank god for that).  I agree with the man whose daughter was murdered that retribution is a goal of the criminal justice system, but that goal cannot be obtained without a radical overhaul of the criminal system, such that, it becomes an assembly line.  Also, I disagree with his obervation that lifers have it easy-of all hellholes on earth, there is nothing quite like a prison (I used to quote George 'Machingun' Kelly who wrote his kidnapping victim- "I sit on my bunk and stare at the concrete wall and think the same thought over and over until it is written with fire upon the wall-NOTHING IS WORTH THIS")  a stroll through the yard at Leavenworth will convince you of the truth of this observation.            
  •  My good friend Mattie was murdered in the (5+ / 0-)

    parking lot of his apartment complex in Houston 10 years ago. It was probably a robbery. They never found the killer. But if they did, it wouldn't help a thing--and certainly wouldn't bring Mattie back--if they put the killer to death up in Huntsville.

    The death penalty is wrong. Period. Thanks, Kes, for this diary.

    Perfect ticket for GOP '12: Palin/O'Donnell.

    by commonmass on Fri Sep 24, 2010 at 07:04:15 AM PDT

    •  Putting this person in prison won't (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      commonmass

      bring your friend back either. Nothing will. That in and of itself, is not an argument that the death penatly is wrong.

      •  The death penalty is wrong because (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        LynneK

        KILLING is wrong.

        Perfect ticket for GOP '12: Palin/O'Donnell.

        by commonmass on Fri Sep 24, 2010 at 07:38:15 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Not it is not (0+ / 0-)

          Killling is not wrong, per se. Self defense can take the form of killing yet is not wrong under our law. Your argument is a tautology. The death penatly is wrong because it is wrong.

          •  The death penalty is uncivilized, (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            LynneK

            serves no purpose, has been proven not to be a deterrent, it is simply useless. But what it does is allow the State to take a life. The State should not be in the business of killing. But that's just my opinion. If you like 'em fried, that's your business. But I cannot see how a country that considers itsself civilized can continue to put people to death.

            Perfect ticket for GOP '12: Palin/O'Donnell.

            by commonmass on Fri Sep 24, 2010 at 07:50:49 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  It has not been proven (0+ / 0-)

              Not to be a deterrant. In fact, it is undisputeabley a specific deterrant. There's a debate as to whether it is a general deterrant. It not been proven that it isn't or is a deterrant. I am inclined to believe it is not, for the most part. Like it or not, the state is and indeed has to be in the business of killing. Even states with no death penatly. The police kill many people each year. Show me a state that is forbiden to kill, and I will show you a state that cannot enforce it's own criminal laws and protect its people. Now, this power needs to be closely watched and limited, but it is legitimate and necessary for a civilized societ.y.

              •  The death penalty is unacceptable, even if one (4+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Pozzo, esquimaux, buddabelly, commonmass

                accepts that it is morally justifiable, because our so-called "justice" system has long proven too imperfect to reliably determine the guilty from the not-guilty. The execution of even one not-guilty person is an intolerable transgression of the Fourth Amendment, and must be anathema to a society that elevates the rights of the individual citizen.

                •  It's the only decent argument (0+ / 0-)

                  Against it. I respect that. But how far do we take this argument? Plenty of innocent people have no doubt died in prision or commited suicide at facing the propect of prison. What then? Do have have no justice system?

      •  What is the argument that the DP is right? (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        raincrow, LynneK

        Deterrent?  No credible evidence of that.

        Morally superior?  I don't think so.

        Cheaper?  Not--not by a long shot.

        Because the murderer will otherwise "get out?"  No--every single state that has abolished the death penalty has a mandatory sentence of life WITHOUT parole for first degree murder.

        The sole argument left is retribution--that the State should be in the vengeance business.  And I'd love to hear how that makes us better as a society.

        •  ASDF (0+ / 0-)

          Deterrent: It is undisputedly a specific deterrent. It is debatable as to whether it is a general deterrant. It  probably is not, although this is not really proveable or disprovable.

          Morally superior:Accordign to what set of morals? We don't base our laws on morally superior positions.

          Cheaper: probably not. I have seen studies that have argued that it is more expenseive and some that have said that it is less expensive. We should not base our laws on what is cheapest. It would be cheaper still to simply allow the police to make summary executions of criminal suspects. I don't think we want to go there.

          Because the murderer will otherwise "get out?"  
          This has some legitimacy. We've got parol, pardons, clemency, escapes, furloughs. Convicted murders have gotten out and committed more crimes including murder. There is also the fact that they can kill on the inside as well.

          Retribution: It's a totally legitimate theory of justice.

          •  Legitimate according to whom? Fundamentalists? (0+ / 0-)

            Really, on the basis of what authority do you contend that retribution is a legitimate theory of justice?

          •  Murderers have the lowest recidivism rate (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            drnononono

            of any class of offenders. Don't have the stat/link right with me but at the time I reviewed the data I found them convincing. Link please to data on "specific deterrent" claim; I've never seen such data, nor have I yet seen a study showing that the DP is cheaper than long-term incarceration.

            What state purpose does retribution serve that would legitimate it as a theory of justice? And you sidestepped drnonono's question: how does obtaining vengeance make us a better society? How would you quantify and codify acceptable levels of vengeance for lesser crimes?

            •  No data is needed (0+ / 0-)

              For the specific deterrant fact. If you are executed, you never kill anyone ever again. The recividism rate for executed murderers is ZERO.

            •  in response (0+ / 0-)

              And you sidestepped drnonono's question: how does obtaining vengeance make us a better society? How would you quantify and codify acceptable levels of vengeance for lesser crimes

              Retribution does make us a better society by making criminals pay a price for their misdeeds.

              How would you quantify and codify acceptable levels of vengeance for lesser crimes

              We do this in all our criminal laws. Hence, lesser sentences in general for attempts than for committed crimes, lesser sentences for misdemenaors than for felonies, lesser sentences for types of felonies we deem  to be less harmful to society.

  •  Good diary k9k. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    lotlizard, raincrow, drnononono

    We'll execute you at the drop of a hat in this country...unless your daddy gets you appointed President - then you can do whatever the fuck you want.  No worries.

  •  Thanks for this diary. (4+ / 0-)

    If it is wrong for an individual to kill, then it is equally wrong for the state to kill.

    2.5 trillion dollars have been "borrowed" since the [SS] system was "reformed" in the 80s and they simply don't want to pay it back. - dKos Blogger -

    by Silverbird on Fri Sep 24, 2010 at 07:20:31 AM PDT

  •  It is hard to have any sympathy (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Diana in NoVa, Pozzo, VClib, MGross

    It is hard for me to have any sympathy for someone who aids in the killing of her husband and step-son.
    Her IQ may have been 72 however she knew right from wrong and the consequences of her actions. She was thinking as other criminals think: "I can get away with it".

  •  One day they'll just strip your memories (0+ / 0-)

    and personalities away, and you'll start from scratch.

    Or not.

    Maybe 3,000 years from now, some people will still really, really get off on watching other people die horribly.

  •  Two words. Timothy McVeigh. Were he still alive (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Diana in NoVa, Pozzo, LynneK

    there would be interviews and every anniversary of Oklahoma City, there would be pictures of the prison that was housing him, there would be women corresponding with him trying to marry him, but now, he is gone, and all that remains is a memory of a sick twisted kid who thought it was OK to blow up a bunch of people in the name of some twisted notion of "liberty."  When those Tea Bagger types talk abstractly about "watering the tree of liberty with blood" and "Second Amendment remedies", Timothy McVeigh is the role model for such actions, but thankfully, he no longer exists for the Tea Baggers to rally around.  Execution is not always a bad thing.  

    And it feels like I'm livin'in the wasteland of the free ~ Iris DeMent, 1996

    by MrJersey on Fri Sep 24, 2010 at 07:28:55 AM PDT

    •  Bud Welch, father of victim, disagrees with you (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      lotlizard, raincrow

      Bud Welch lost his daughter to McVeigh's sick, twisted, heinous act of mass murder.  And yet, he ended up opposing the death penalty for McVeigh and Nichols.

      http://www.dailynebraskan.com/...

      "Some of the victims' families still communicate with Nichols (who was sentenced to life imprisonment)," Welch said. "They tell me this helped them a lot. But I can't do that with Tim McVeigh. This retributive justice blocks healing."

  •  I left the Democratic party over capital (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    raincrow

    punishment.

    Bill Clinton's 1992 electoral showboating (with Hillary at his side) over the execution of Ricky Ray Rector was way beyond unsupportable... it was as ghastly and ghoulish a display of inhumanity and political cynicism as I've ever seen in my lifetime.

    and unless the party reverts to that of empathy and humane understanding, I'll never be a Democrat again.

    "History is a tragedy, not a melodrama." - I.F.Stone

    by bigchin on Fri Sep 24, 2010 at 07:32:05 AM PDT

  •  Not all victims' families support death penalty (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Silverbird, raincrow

    I can only imagine the suffering and pain that would come from losing a loved one to an act of violence.  Some victims' families have attained some measure of peace through the decision to oppose the death penalty.  Some of their stories can be found here:

    http://www.murdervictimsfamilies.org/

  •  State-sanctioned murder (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    buddabelly

    (OT-take it easy on yourself, kestrel; no one is perfect)...

  •  As long as the U.S.A. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    raincrow

    allows state-sanctioned murder, we cannot count ourselves among civilized nations.

    Listen, are you breathing just a little and calling it a life?--Mary Oliver, "Have You Ever Tried to Enter the Long Black Branches?"

    by Mnemosyne on Fri Sep 24, 2010 at 08:03:49 AM PDT

  •  A more humane, more honest method (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    buddabelly

    Frankly, I think the "humane" methods of execution that we come up with are just to preserve the illusion of humanity as we carry out our executions.

    Part of me wonders if we shouldn't just blow their heads off.

    It's gruesome and horrible to look at -- for us.

    For the prisoner, it really can't be any worse than an induced heart attack.

  •  I think we should kill anyone we have to. (0+ / 0-)

    I'm in the minority, I know.  But that's my view.  Vengance has no place in a civilized society, much less government policy.  Spinning it as "justice" is dishonest.  

    On the other hand, I do believe in self defense and the protection of others.  Some people are so dangerous that we simply can't safely let them live.  

    In my mind, what someone "deserves" is for God to decide.  

    Did we have to kill this woman in Virginia?  I don't know. But I think that's the only question we should be asking. And if we are civilized, we try not to ask it in anger.

    If perception is the issue, truth is not the issue.

    by legalarray on Fri Sep 24, 2010 at 08:49:56 AM PDT

  •  This is a great diary kestrel (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    lotlizard

    We've had our battles in the past, but thank you very much for posting this.  I have been an opponent of the death penalty all of my adult life.

    I lived in Chicago when Anthony Porter was almost fried for a crime he did not commit

    Anthony Porter had exhausted his appeals, his family had made his funeral arrangements, and he was just 50 hours away from execution when he won a reprieve from the Illinois Supreme Court in late 1998.

    The reprieve was granted not out of concern that Porter might be innocent but solely because he had tested so low on an IQ test that the court was not sure he could comprehend what was about to happen to him, or why. The court's intent was merely to provide time to explore the question of the condemned man's intelligence, but it had an unanticipated consequence: It gave a Northwestern University Professor David Protess, private investigator Paul Ciolino, and a team of journalism students time to investigate the case and establish Porter's complete innocence.

    A very passionate diary.  Thanks.

    Hey Rahm, being the mayor of Chicago is a great gig. It is perfect for you! Really!

    by Indiana Bob on Fri Sep 24, 2010 at 08:56:13 AM PDT

  •  I agree. I used to be a supporter of the death (0+ / 0-)

    penalty (I grew up in the era and area of Ted Bundy), but now know that it is state sponsored barbarity, nothing more nor less.

    IMO, we can do with less barbarity.

  •  Sickening, sickening, sickening. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    rockhound

    But it needs to be faced.

    This is who we are. We kill people for justice.

    We play God taking lives.

    I don't care who he/she allegedly killed.

    An eye for an eye leaves the whole world blind.

    Thank you for making us look at this. I hope it makes a difference in the heart of even one person. This woman should not have been executed.

    Put them away forever if you must, but stop killing people and trying to excuse it by calling it justice.

    "The difference between the right word and the almost-right word is like the difference between lightning and the lightning bug." -- Mark Twain

    by Brooke In Seattle on Fri Sep 24, 2010 at 09:25:42 AM PDT

  •  Simplistic and trite (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Pozzo

    There, in a nutshell, do we have the mentality of those who support the death penalty.

    One need not support the callousness displayed by Mr. Bush to support the death penalty.

    These are the demands and sayings of Lee!

    by Red Sox on Fri Sep 24, 2010 at 10:00:31 AM PDT

    •  Bingo (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Red Sox

      you beat me to it. People like Barak Obama and John Kerry, our last two presidential nominees have expressed support for the death penalty, at least under some circumstances. That doesn't give them the same mentality as GWB.

  •  Will anyone here who justifies this execution (0+ / 0-)

    please explain why the actual triggermen should NOT be executed?

    THAT is the real nub of this case - the unequal and arbitrary application of "justice".

    I hear entirely too much "she deserved it", "she wasn't so retarded not to know what she was doing", yada yada yada.

    And the guys she hired didn't deserve it? They weren't retarded at all, most certainly knew what they were doing, and were willing and eager co-conspirators (especially with a 16-year-old girl to knock up).

    Justice should be equal and impartial: either kill them ALL, or lock them ALL up for the rest of their natural lives. None of this "kill her but not them" bullshit.

    If you still believe in the death penalty, ask yourselves why the two men in the case should be spared. Then ask yourselves if this was really "justice".

    If it's
    Not your body
    Then it's
    Not your choice
    AND it's
    None of your damn business!

    by TheOtherMaven on Fri Sep 24, 2010 at 10:29:22 AM PDT

    •  They were tried separately (0+ / 0-)

      THAT is the real nub of this case - the unequal and arbitrary application of "justice".

      One of them pled guilty. The right that any defendant can exercise to avoid the DP. This defendant could have done the same. There's no doubt she's guilty for her part.  There's nothing inherently wrong with deferent defendantds getting different sentences. Timothy Mcveigh's been dead for more than a decade now while Terry Nichols, his co-defendant remains alive and apparently will for some time to come. Your argument here makes very little sense.

      •  correction (0+ / 0-)

        She plead guilty as well. But that aside, there's nothing inherently wrong with co-defendants getting different sentences. See Mcveigh and Nichols, for example. It's now impossible for one of the male defendants to be executed, since he committed suicide. Personally, I'd have no problem with all of the getting the DP, but the court found otherwise.

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