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09-22-2011, 12:20 AM   #1
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Anyone talking about Troy Davis execution last night?

Troy Davis execution goes ahead despite serious doubts about his guilt | World news | guardian.co.uk

09-22-2011, 01:46 AM   #2
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The very reason why there is no death penalty in Australia, thank God! Although there are times one thinks perhaps such a punishment would fit certain crimes.
09-22-2011, 02:48 AM   #3
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I agree. Even if only one out of a hundred executions is of an innocent person, it's not worth it. And I personally believe a culture of 'an eye for an eye' is one we should try to grow out of, quite apart from the issues of injustices.
09-22-2011, 06:26 AM   #4
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Yet another state sanctioned murder.
I find it appalling that what is supposed to be a progressive country still practices this sort of barbarism, but to apply it to people who may well be innocent is especially barbaric.
A death penalty is never worth it, and this is ample proof of why.
A country that kills innocent people in the name of justice is not a just country.
For justice to be done now, the people who conspired to murder Mr. Davis should also be put to death, since that is the law of their land.
Unfortunately, America is only interested in revenge and retribution, not in what is right.
They should, as a nation, be very, very ashamed of what they have done here.

09-22-2011, 08:12 AM   #5
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as a resident of Savannah, I know that most of savannah was very much against this, and there was both a protest and a vigil outside of city hall last night. this is a sad day for Georgia. an innocent man was put to death last night, that I am sure of. but even if he wasn't, there is never an excuse for murder, even for a murderer. the men who decided that he shall be put to death, will all have to one day answer for their crime.
09-22-2011, 08:46 AM   #6
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The "justice" system never wants to admit it made a mistake. It takes years and a bloody fortune to get a retrial, even in the face of clear scientific evidence like DNA. Even then, an acquittal is not a sure thing. What chance does a guy like Davis have? He's been convicted with no hard evidence, there's nothing tangible his defence has to work on. Eye witness testimony is easily discredited, but that won't secure a retrial.

Most civilized countries do not execute prisoners, and this is sad mess is one of the reasons why.
09-22-2011, 08:49 AM   #7
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The Rude Pundit

QuoteQuote:
By the way, if you oppose the death penalty, that means you opposed the execution of Lawrence Russell Brewer, who dragged James Byrd to death in a 1998 hate crime. Yeah, it's hard to actually have beliefs that aren't convenient to the moment. The Rude Pundit is completely opposed to capital punishment. That makes him more Christian than any slavering yahoo calling on an eye for an eye. And he's an atheist.
09-22-2011, 09:15 AM   #8
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I find it appalling, and I'd go further with the criticisms if it did any good. Not all of Americans approve of it, though most do. A recent Columbia University study found for example:

QuoteQuote:
Support for the death penalty runs highest among Republicans (77 percent in favor), but it’s also supported by majorities of independents (62 percent) and Democrats (55 percent) alike.
Men tend to favor the death penalty more than women do; whites are much more apt to favor it than are blacks; and those with higher incomes are more likely to support it than are those who make less.
As callous as it seems to countries who don't kill, I'm not sure it is much worse than how we, and other non-executing countries, treat prisoners who are kept alive. A Google search of something like "prison conditions in developed countries" will show prisoner treatment is too often inhumane in developed countries around the world . . . so that isn't just a US problem, it is a worldwide issue.

Yet America, according to this somewhat dated paper, puts both more total (including China!) and a higher percentage of people in prison than any country in the world:






Why? In the case of America, I think it has to do with a focus on symptomatic and localized treatment plus frustration. Some ask, "why are those Blacks and hispanics forming gangs, killing, stealing, doing poorly in school? They have the same chance as us hard-working whites, they can pull themselves out of the mire of ghetto life by their bootstraps like [usually some exceptional example is cited here]."

Hard work, make a living, obey the law in the land of the free . . . that's all one must do and life will be a success. This "American Dream"--that of offering so much opportunity to anyone, of any class, who wishes for success--breeds a certain intolerance for those who don't participate properly.

To me it is like a school that produces poor students, and then as a fix punishes students. When that doesn't work, frustration increases and that in turn leads to the desire to punish even more severely.

In America, we can't understand why the priority of making money (over just about all else), and having the ideal (i.e., and not the reality) of freedom and equal opportunity for all, isn't working for a great many people in our society. Those who transgress are punished, and when that not only doesn't work, but makes the punished meaner and more angry, we kill them.

The system is what needs fixing, which will never happen as long as we keep focusing on symptoms. Of course, education desperately needs improvement. Instead we have a large ignorant population who are voting ignorant politicians into office, who decide to deprive the education system even more, and thereby ensure ignorance is perpetuated both politically and on a social level.

Still, it isn't all Americans. I am thinking America is headed for severe lessons, and possibly from that those who've been running the country into the ground will be forced to reconsider American priorities.

09-22-2011, 09:57 AM   #9
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Troy Davis and Lawrence Brewer: 2 executions, 2 reactions - latimes.com

Sad and very difficult emotionally... Got to admit I'm really not in favor of a death penalty for anyone. That's the easy way out........

It is a bit tricky w/ serial killers and genocidal leaders and war criminals though...... messy, messy, messy.......

A colony sounds fitting (no, not Australia ).. Let them "cull" themselves.......and of course they need to be "tagged"..........

just rambling......
09-22-2011, 10:26 AM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by jeffkrol Quote
Troy Davis and Lawrence Brewer: 2 executions, 2 reactions - latimes.comIt is a bit tricky w/ serial killers and genocidal leaders and war criminals though...... messy, messy, messy.......
Not really, solitary confinement is a much worse punishment than death. What would you rather have, a bullet in the head or be kept naked, alone and deprived of sleep?
09-22-2011, 10:29 AM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by jeffkrol Quote
A colony sounds fitting (no, not Australia ).
I agree with the penal colony idea. Sine GB already did that with Australia, why don't we try it on Antarctica?
09-22-2011, 10:31 AM   #12
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When was the last time this country looked at a complete overhaul of our penal system?
It hasn't happened in my lifetime.
The only thing that has changed is a drive towards privatization.
That's drive towards fascism.
09-22-2011, 10:43 AM   #13
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I find myself conflicted about the death penalty.

I won't shed any tears over Brewer who if it can be said of anyone, deserved to die. And yet perhaps life without parole might be a harsher sentence for him, he who probably considers himself a Nietzchean superman, although I doubt he could understand Nietzche let alone pronounce the name.

The Davis case was never so clear cut. When witnesses recant testimony, citing police pressure in some instances, the verdict seems suspect. Killing Davis satisfies only some atavistic desire for vengenace. The MacPhails can't regain their dead husband, father, son, and another family is in grieving. Where's anything positive about this?
09-22-2011, 11:33 AM   #14
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It seems to me that in the States it is not that unoften that some one is on death row for up to 20 some years until they get executed. That is more inhuman than being in a cell for 25 years knowing you most likely will be released after that time as well the conditions that prisioners in non death cell situations is much better in that there are more recreational and educational opportunities.

A study in Canada after we abolished the death penalty showed that the jury was more likely to convict if there was no dealth penalty than if it was a choice between the death penalty and not guilty. It is a totally different issue to be against the dealth penalty and not to feel sorry for some really bad character being executed. One is a principle and the other is for a particular individual. Sure I do not feel sorry when I read that Clifford Olson has cancer but he is in prision where he seems to belong. But I do feel less sorry for David Milgard who raped and murdered a young nurse and spent 23 years in jail with only 2 years to do and DNA then proved it was not him but Fisher than if Milgard had been executed. One can never undo a death and as most murderers are not mass or seriel murderers and I believe it is true that most people who are murdered are done in by some one they knew (friend or family member) executing a murderer instead of a long prison sentence it really is not preventing new victims from happening.

And if the death penalty is a deterent it sure does not seem to be working . Les according the data I have seen the US has one out of 20 people in the world (5%) but one out of 4 (25%) of the number of people in prison. And from what I have read it costs more to keep a prisioner on death row than in the general prision population so there really is not an economics arguement to be made.

Murder is the ultamite crime one can impose on another. Those who committ it must be punished but as it is successful neither as a deterint or as a cost saving measure and there has been proven that innocent people do get executed and that it is also very unlikely for weathy people to be as well, I cannot see any reason to maintain the dealt penaty , especially as the crime rate in the US as well as many other developed countries has been declining over the last 2 decades.
09-22-2011, 01:38 PM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by redrockcoulee Quote
Les according the data I have seen the US has one out of 20 people in the world (5%) but one out of 4 (25%) of the number of people in prison. And from what I have read it costs more to keep a prisioner on death row than in the general prision population so there really is not an economics arguement to be made.
I've been reading Wing-tsit Chan's superb "A Source Book in Chinese Philosophy" and find myself admiring Confucius' concept of jen, or belief in and service to humanity as the highest virtue (in social activity). He said, "wishing to establish his own character, he [the Superior Man] also establishes the character of others, and wishing to be prominent himself, he also helps others to be prominent."

But right now we have a virulent strain of selfishness ruining our country where the "virtue" of that movement is just the opposite . . . i.e., "wishing to establish his own character, he [the Inferior Man] suppresses the character of others, and wishing to be prominent himself, he denies others prominence."

As you point out, the expense of prison/law enforcement (and associated costs like our higher insurance rates) is high, and actually costs more than it would take to educate the same people. But the selfish strain is cutting off funds, and we cause further damage by sending them to prisons where murder, rape, and a generally depraved life is all around. None of it makes the least bit of sense, not financially, not practically, not in any way helpful whatsoever.

From this 2008 article:


QuoteQuote:
US Spends 6 Times More on Prisons than Education

For the first time in history, more than one in every 100 American adults is in jail or prison, according to a new report tracking the surge in inmate population and urging states to rein in corrections costs with alternative sentencing programs.

The report, released Thursday by the Pew Center on the States, said the 50 states spent more than $49 billion on corrections last year, up from less than $11 billion 20 years earlier. The rate of increase for prison costs was six times greater than for higher education spending, the report said.

Using updated state-by-state data, the report said 2,319,258 adults were held in U.S. prisons or jails at the start of 2008 — one out of every 99.1 adults, and more than any other country in the world.

The steadily growing inmate population “is saddling cash-strapped states with soaring costs they can ill afford and failing to have a clear impact either on recidivism or overall crime,” said the report.

Susan Urahn, managing director of the Pew Center on the States, said budget woes are prompting officials in many states to consider new, cost-saving corrections policies that might have been shunned in the recent past for fear of appearing soft in crime.

“We’re seeing more and more states being creative because of tight budgets,” she said in an interview. “They want to be tough on crime, they want to be a law-and-order state — but they also want to save money, and they want to be effective.”

The report cited Kansas and Texas as states which have acted decisively to slow the growth of their inmate population. Their actions include greater use of community supervision for low-risk offenders and employing sanctions other than re-imprisonment for ex-offenders who commit technical violations of parole and probation rules.

“The new approach, born of bipartisan leadership, is allowing the two states to ensure they have enough prison beds for violent offenders while helping less dangerous lawbreakers become productive, taxpaying citizens,” the report said.

According to the report, the inmate population increased last year in 36 states and the federal prison system.

The largest percentage increase — 12 percent — was in Kentucky, where Gov. Steve Beshear highlighted the cost of corrections in his budget speech last month. He noted that the state’s crime rate had increased only about 3 percent in the past 30 years, while the state’s inmate population has increased by 600 percent.

The Pew report was compiled by the Center on the State’s Public Safety Performance Project, which is working directly with 13 states on developing programs to divert offenders from prison without jeopardizing public safety.

“For all the money spent on corrections today, there hasn’t been a clear and convincing return for public safety,” said the project’s director, Adam Gelb. “More and more states are beginning to rethink their reliance on prisons for lower-level offenders and finding strategies that are tough on crime without being so tough on taxpayers.”

The report said prison growth and higher incarceration rates do not reflect a parallel increase in crime or in the nation’s overall population. Instead, it said, more people are behind bars mainly because of tough sentencing measures, such as “three-strikes” laws, that result in longer prison stays.

“For some groups, the incarceration numbers are especially startling,” the report said. “While one in 30 men between the ages of 20 and 34 is behind bars, for black males in that age group the figure is one in nine.”

The nationwide figures, as of Jan. 1, include 1,596,127 people in state and federal prisons and 723,131 in local jails — a total 2,319,258 out of almost 230 million American adults.

The report said the United States is the world’s incarceration leader, far ahead of more populous China with 1.5 million people behind bars. It said the U.S. also is the leader in inmates per capita (750 per 100,000 people), ahead of Russia (628 per 100,000) and other former Soviet bloc nations which make up the rest of the Top 10.
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