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Death Penalty kills the innocent

Death Penalty kills the innocent as well as guilty.

DNA tests tell us half of all deathrow inmates are innocent

In 1997, Illinois halted executions when DNA testing found 52% of their deathrow inmates were innocent.

The people who were exhonorated are: Rolando Cruz, Alejandro Hernandez, Verneal Jimerson, Dennis Williams, Joseph Burrows, Gary Gauger, Carl Lawson, Perry Cobb, Darby Tillis.

In Texas, the following people were found innocent AFTER execution. Texas still executes prisoners.

Frank Basil McFarland was executed for a rape/murder despite multiple inconsistencies in the state%E2%80%99s case, altered evidence, purchased and coerced testimony, and suppressed evidence of guilt. After execcution, he was found innocent by DNA testing.

Troy Farris was convicted of the murder of a police officer. DNA proved he was innocent. Gov. George W Bush deny clemency. Troy Farris was execcuted.

Jerry Lee Hogue was convicted of an arson/murder. Another individual later admited to the crime, but was denied further investigation by Gov. Bush. Mr Hogue was execcuted.

David Stoker was convicted of capital murder based on the testimony of three witnesses, who later recanted their testimony. Doubts aside, Gov. Bush executed Mr. Stoker.

Richard Wayne Jones, was convicted of a murder despite strong evidence that his sister%E2%80%99s boyfriend had committed it. DNA testing was denied by Gov. Bush, and approved his execution.

Willie Williams and Joseph Nichols both shot at their murder victim, but only one hit him. In order to execute both, Texas argued that each had killed the man; in one trial, the state argued that Mr. Williams had shot the victim and Mr. Nichols had missed, and in the next trial, the state argued that Mr. Nichols had shot the victim and Mr. Williams had missed. Both were convicted of capital murder. Mr. Williams was executed by Gov. Bush; Mr. Nichols is still on death row.

James Lee Beathard was convicted of capital murder based on the testimony of the admitted murderer, Gene Hathorn. Still, Gov. Bush executed Mr. Beathard, though he was innovent.

Gary Graham was convicted of capital murder on the basis of one eyewitness%E2%80%99s testimony. Despite DNA evidence that provees otherwise, Mr. Graham was executed by Gov. Bush.

David Wayne Spence was convicted of capital murder although no physical evidence linked him to the crime and almost every witness against him admitted that his or her testimony had been purchased or coerced. DNA evidence says that another man had committed the triple murder. Nevertheless, Gov. Bush executed Mr. Spence.


A study released on March 6, 2008 found that taxpayers have paid at least $37.2 million for each of execution both innocent and guilty. Can you believe tax payers are willing to pay that much money to kill an innocent person? pdf link

by Anonymousreply 3102/11/2011

Signs Grow of Innocent People Being Executed, Judge Says

Afederal judge in Boston said yesterday that there was mounting evidence innocent people were being executed. But he declined to rule the death penalty unconstitutional.

"In the past decade, substantial evidence has emerged to demonstrate that innocent individuals are sentenced to death, and undoubtedly executed, much more often than previously understood," the judge, Mark L. Wolf of Federal District Court in Boston, wrote in a decision allowing a capital case to proceed to trial.

He cited the exonerations of more than 100 people on death row based on DNA and other evidence.

"The day may come," the judge said, "when a court properly can and should declare the ultimate sanction to be unconstitutional in all cases. However, that day has not yet come."

Judge Wolf wrote that the crucial question for courts was "how large a fraction of the executed must be innocent to offend contemporary standards of decency."

His decision means that the case against Gary Lee Sampson, including the capital charges against him, will be tried next month. Mr. Sampson has acknowledged responsibility for three murders in Massachusetts and New Hampshire. Over a few days in 2001, he killed three men who had picked him up hitchhiking.

Mr. Sampson was willing to plead guilty to murder charges against him in Massachusetts and accept the maximum sentence available there, life in prison without parole. Instead, the federal government indicted him on capital charges based on the fact that the murders involved carjackings, a federal crime.

Judge Wolf, a former federal prosecutor and official in the Justice Department, was appointed to the bench by President Ronald Reagan. He appeared to be critical of recent changes in Justice Department practices in seeking the death penalty.

"Juries have recently been regularly disagreeing with the attorney general's contention that the death penalty is justified in the most egregious federal cases involving murder," he wrote.

In 16 of the last 17 federal capital prosecutions, Judge Wolf wrote, juries rejected the death penalty. A lawyer for Mr. Sampson, David A. Ruhnke, who specializes in capital cases, said Judge Wolf's numbers were outdated. The count, Mr. Ruhnke said, stands at 19 acquittals or life verdicts in the last 20 federal capital cases. The most recent acquittals were this month in Puerto Rico, which does not have the death penalty. Thirty-eight states do.

The Supreme Court has held that courts may take account of evolving standards of decency in deciding whether punishments violate the Eighth Amendment prohibition on cruel and unusual punishment. Those standards may be determined by looking at trends in, among other fields, legislation and jury verdicts.

"If juries continue to reject the death penalty in the most egregious federal cases," Judge Wolf wrote, "the courts will have significant objective evidence that the ultimate sanction is not compatible with contemporary standards of decency."

That statement suggests that the Justice Department, in seeking the death penalty more often and in more places, may actually be engaging in a counterproductive exercise from the perspective of supporters of capital punishment.

Judge Wolf acknowledged that there had been no legislative trend corresponding to the one reflected in the recent verdicts. "However," he wrote, "the increasing and disturbing new evidence concerning the execution of the innocent may generate legislation and jury verdicts which manifest a public consensus that the death penalty offends contemporary standards of decency and should no longer be deemed by the courts to be constitutionally acceptable."

He also noted that the department's policies about whether to take into account local opposition to the death penalty had changed. Until 2001, the policies said the absence of a local death penalty did not by itself justify a federal capital prosecution.

"It appears," Judge Wolf wrote, "that the fact that a state's laws do not authorize capital punishment may now alone be deemed sufficient to justify a federal death penalty prosecution."

A spokeswoman for the Justice Department, Monica Goodling, said it had an obligation to ensure the fair and consistent application of the federal death penalty.

One federal jury has sentenced a defendant to death in a jurisdiction that did not have its own death penalty since the federal death penalty was reinstated in 1988. The case was last year in Michigan.

The only other federal judge in Massachusetts to hear a federal death penalty prosecution in recent years later described what he had learned in The Boston Globe in 2001.

"The experience," Judge Michael A. Ponsor wrote, "left me with one unavoidable conclusion: that a legal regime relying on the death penalty will inevitably execute innocent people — not too often, one hopes, but undoubtedly sometimes."

by Anonymousreply 102/10/2011

Never give the government the power to kill people.

by Anonymousreply 202/10/2011

Only private citizens with guns have to power to kill people.

by Anonymousreply 302/10/2011

Death penalty is barbaric. I don't need a DNA study to tell me that.

by Anonymousreply 402/10/2011

R2, I hate to break it to you but Democrats are never going to do anything about guns. There's nothing that can be done really, it's like drugs or abortion. Making them illegal just causes more problems. Guns are the democrat's button issue to get people to vote. But they aren't going to do shit about them, because if they did your hot button issue would "disappear."

The death penalty isn't a deterrent. It just puts us on the same moral footing as the Muslim theocracies that we pretend to be so much better than.

by Anonymousreply 502/10/2011

very disturbing

by Anonymousreply 602/10/2011

I've never understood the anger and righteousness demonstrated by the Christian right in connection with the right to life of the unborn, but (stereotypically) their insistence on the death penalty for the living.

by Anonymousreply 702/10/2011

DNA testing technology has eliminated this. The Death penalty serves as a strong deterrent to crime and saves the state money. It cost $75k a year to incarcerate and increasing. Even so, these people are rarely innocent of any crime, just that particular crime.

There are other legal ways for the police to kill people if they still wish to. Often people are against capital punishment until somebody close to them is murdered, then they change......

by Anonymousreply 802/10/2011

[italic]The Death penalty serves as a strong deterrent[/italic]

You just exposed yourself as an idiot. Every single study shows that it doesn't. You might as well say that sex education promotes promiscuity.

On top of that, you're justifying murder.


by Anonymousreply 902/10/2011

It has NEVER been proven that an innocent person has been executed.


by Anonymousreply 1002/11/2011

[quote]Never give the government the power to kill people.%0D %0D Agreed.%0D %0D I am completely opposed to the death penalty, as are most libertarians.

by Anonymousreply 1102/11/2011

It's interesting that murder rates are consistently lower (sometimes significantly so) in non-death penalty states.

If it were a deterrent, the death penalty states would surely have a lower rate?

There are several possible reasons for this, but one reason is surely: 'I've committed a crime that has the death penalty, so I'm going to murder the witnesses'.

Violence begets violence.

Leaving aside any moral debate, or any debate as to the relative cost of life in prison vs the death penalty (life is cheaper than death) I'm curious as to how anyone, properly informed, thinks it's a deterrent.

by Anonymousreply 1202/11/2011

My state of Wisconsin hasn't had the death penalty for about a century and a half, and we have a low murder rate, but can also boast of some notoriously horrific murderers, e.g., Ed Gein, the inspiration for "Psycho," and Jeffrey Dahmer.

I really don't think the potential penalties for their crimes factor much into the calculations of most murderers, but who knows what evil lurks in the hearts of men, and what might inhibit them?

by Anonymousreply 1302/11/2011

This is why I'll never support the death penalty.

by Anonymousreply 1402/11/2011

[/quote]It has NEVER been proven that an innocent person has been executed.%0D %0D ahem...

by Anonymousreply 1502/11/2011

[quote]After execcution, he was found innocent by DNA testing.

OP, where did you find this article? The consistent misspelling of "execution" made it easy enough to find on Google, but it's been cut and pasted in several forums over the last year and a half.

by Anonymousreply 1602/11/2011

I would have thought the death of one innocent person was sufficient grounds for considering the death penalty barbaric.

Every time I see the arguements about justice and the rights of the victim to see the killer executed I want to scream.

I have been very close to an horrific mass murder and I can tell you that the only victims who get a listening too, who get mentioned in the press are the ones screaming for blood.

The victims who feel that they do NOT want any more blood spilled, the ones who feel that judicial murder does not bring those lost back, the ones who feel that there is nothing you can do to a person that equals the pain they have caused so what is the point in trying, never get heard.

The media don't want to know that many people who are closely affected by killings do not want to contin ue killing. They want blood and it seems beyond them to accept that justice for some victims means not seeking a vengence killing. Because it is to painful. They want the fully blood and guts spectacle of execution.

Fortunately in the case I was close to the killer pleaded guilty, there was absolutely no doubts, he was crazy and he was quietly incarcerated so at least he was no danger to anyone else. And we were spared the endless press on long trials appeals and reliving the experience over and over for years before a final pointless judicial murder. Its been possible to move on to some extent.

The unpalatable truth is that most murderers are not strangers, they are peole known to the victim, often a family member. I can only shudder in horror at the thought what it must do to already tramatised families and communities when they have to deal with state sanctioned murders on top of the one that has happened.

by Anonymousreply 1702/11/2011

They should be executing all the district attorneys, not people in prison. That would take care of a big percentage of the crime in America.

by Anonymousreply 1802/11/2011

According to all the scumbags sitting on Death Row, they're ALL innocent.%0D %0D Listen all you assholes weeping tears for rapists and murderers: there is murder and there is EXECUTION. Here is the difference:%0D %0D Execution involves extensive protocol; it's a complicated legal process which takes years that sometimes results in the original sentence being carried out. But sometimes mercy is shown and the sentence is commuted. That is the death penalty and execution. %0D %0D Murder just happens, just like that. There's no mercy, no compassion, no second chances. Just death, sometimes a prolonged death that involves physical and mental torture that goes on for hours or days. %0D %0D Death row inmates get lawyers, they get appeals, they get new trials, they get groupies, they get celebrity supporters, they get clergy who believe them when they say they've found God, they get adulation (yes, some death row creeps are adored by idiots like the OP) and praise and awards if they're slick enought to write shit that people delude themselves into thinking is great writing. %0D %0D What do the murder victims and their families get? Nothing. Nothing but loss, and maybe a little closure is the sentence is carried out.%0D %0D I suppose the douchebags on this thread would be terribly opposed to Steven J. Hayes and Joshua Komisarjevsky receiving the death penalty. They're the lovaable duo that robbed, tortured, raped and murdered the Petit family, with the exception of William Petit, who managed to escape despite his head being split open. The death penalty would be all these two deserved. But death penalty opponents no doubt would say that they deserve mercy and compassion. Fucking stupid assholes!

by Anonymousreply 1902/11/2011

this is not news, and is only one of many reasons to abolish the Death Penalty (it's expensive too, thousands spent on appeals)

by Anonymousreply 2002/11/2011

Should you be saying mass right about now, R19?

by Anonymousreply 2102/11/2011

R19 is consistent with every other death penalty advocate I've seen. You can almost hear their dick stiffening as they describe crimes in lurid details. Yes, we get it, you're an authoritarian and you haven't moved past the eye for and eye thing. I wouldn't be bragging about that.

The death penalty isn't applied fairly at all. Where's the electric chair for Bush, Powell, Cheney or Rumsfeld? How about those assholes at Union Carbide who knew Bhopal was an accident waiting to happen? Or the dipshits who knowingly import poisonous food? How about the Enron assholes who destroyed all those retirements and lives? Doctors who preformed surgery while high on drugs? Where's their lethal injection? Nowhere, they're actually PROTECTED by those government agencies that are supposed to protect us. But be a black guy with messy hair on your court day for shooting someone during a liquor store robbery and you're sure to die.

by Anonymousreply 2202/11/2011

Read the attached New Yorker article about Cameron Todd Willingham. It is a pretty stunning and heartbreaking case of prosecutorial blundering and corruption intended to hide the truth.%0D Quotes from Wiki.%0D %0D [quote]Cameron Todd Willingham was convicted of murder and executed for the deaths of his three young children via arson at the family home in Corsicana, Texas.%0D %0D [quote]Willingham's case gained renewed attention in 2009 when an investigative report in The New Yorker,drawing upon arson investigation experts and advances in fire science, demonstrated that, contrary to the claims of the prosecution, there was no evidence that the house fire was intentionally set, and that the State of Texas executed an innocent man.%0D %0D [quote]According to an August 2009 investigative report by an expert hired by the Texas Forensic Science Commission, the original claims of arson were not sustainable; the Corsicana Fire Department disputes the findings, stating that the expert's report overlooked several key points in the record. The case has been further complicated by allegations that Governor of Texas Rick Perry has impeded the investigation by replacing three of the nine Commission members in an attempt to change the Commission's findings; Perry denies the charges.%0D %0D

by Anonymousreply 2302/11/2011

[quote] It's interesting that murder rates are consistently lower (sometimes significantly so) in non-death penalty states.%0D %0D %0D Not in my country. The crime rate has increased since the death penalty was removed. The criminals see the only consequence they have is time at the hotel, I mean rehabilitation and incarceration edifices.

by Anonymousreply 2402/11/2011

Which country is that, R24?

by Anonymousreply 2502/11/2011

I believe the Death Penalty id unjust for all - with the exception of scumbags like R19

by Anonymousreply 2602/11/2011

are you fucking crazy looned out Americans just talking about this now? Good Lord, the rest of the world has known this for years and years. That's why the United States is the only western democracy left in the world that practices this barbaric form of punishment.

Americans! Get. With. It!!!!

Why are you such retards?

by Anonymousreply 2702/11/2011

I would like to see the death penalty applied to Bush and co. and all the Monstanto executives. Then we can abolish it entirely.

by Anonymousreply 2802/11/2011

I second what R4 said. It's a barbaric act. All the western contries in the world have abolished it.. except USA. Doesn't that tell you something? Or do you think it's ok to kill innocent people? The eye for an eye thing is complete BS as well.. lock them up for life, but we shouldn't kill them because they killed someone, then we're just as bad as them.

by Anonymousreply 2902/11/2011

If America gets rid of the death penalty, how are we going to deal with all the Wall Street Bankers and CEOs. These people never will do much prison because of their wealth. Conrad Black will be out soon and back at it again.

by Anonymousreply 3002/11/2011

I think people like R19 do not undestand that the death penalty is not so much about the people it kills but the people who want it imposed.

All the names applied to the murderer seemingly because they are murderers. THe coiurts convicted them so they are EVIL. But as OP says many are innocent so the name calling somehow becomes the means of justifying another murder.

I thought I explained not every victim wants the guilty party murdered in return, yet R19 somehow or other feels he can talk for me.

I don't know why it seems odd that someone who has been closely involved to a murder should be anti death penalty but I wish people like r19 would stop projecting his blood letting fantasies onto people like me to justify them

Justify seems to be a word often used in this discussion. I do not want blood on my hands and I particularly do not want the government claiming they are doing it in my name. But thta does not mnake good press so that view is never published.

by Anonymousreply 3102/11/2011
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