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Death penalty (some difficult harsh reading contained in this thread)

Discussion in 'Other Hot Topics' started by Becky Stevens mom, Jul 29, 2010.

  1. Becky Stevens mom

    Becky Stevens mom Approved members

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    I know this is a real hot topic and very controversial so decided to put it here if people want to discuss it or share their opinions and ideas about it. Its been in the news and on my mind lately as the trial begins in the following case in my state of Connecticut. This was one of the most heinous crimes that many will ever read or hear about. I felt that it was the end of innocence for a small rural town like Cheshire and it made me feel unsafe and nervous in my own home.

    http://www.wfsb.com/news/24407161/detail.html

    http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2007/07/25/national/main3095614.shtml

    "This is everyone's worst nightmare," Lt. Jay Markella, Cheshire police spokesman, told the Waterbury newspaper. "It's by far the worst thing any of us have ever seen."

    Joshua Komisarjevsky, 26, of Cheshire, and Steven Hayes, 44, of Winsted, were arraigned Tuesday on charges of assault, sexual assault, kidnapping, burglary, robbery, arson, larceny and risk of injury to children. More charges are pending, state police said Tuesday night. The two men could face the death penalty.

    Prosecutor Michael Dearington said he had not yet decided whether to pursue the death penalty.

    "I know the public consensus is they should be fried tomorrow," he said.


    The girls' father, Dr. William Petit Jr., a prominent endocrinologist, remained hospitalized with head injuries.


    Years ago a man by the name of Michael Ross was executed by lethal injection in my state. He had been sitting on death row since the early 1980s after killing more then 7 young woman in eastern CT. I knew the Mother of one of these young girls. She was never the same after her daughters death.

    Over the years as Ive gotten older and heard and read more about the death penalty my feelings have changed quite a bit. I used to feel that the death penalty was the proper punishment for someone who took someone elses life. period. But after listening to the arguments against and reading the statistics on who ends up actually being executed for their crimes Ive changed in my ideas and opinions. First of all it is very expensive to execute a person in this country. Its expensive to keep prisoners in our jails period but to put a person to death is incredibly expensive. Because of due process the criminal has the appeals process to get through which can take many, many years. Michael Ross was on death row for more then 25 years before he was executed. I dont know how much money the tax payers paid in order to house him in prison and to complete the death penalty but I wouldnt be surprised in the least if it was in the millions of dollars. I may feel differently if it were my child that this monster had killed but I feel that putting someone in solitary confinement for life, giving them no priveledges, putting them somewhere for the rest of their life where they have to think about what they did, possibly that would be a better punishment for them then execution. As a deterent the death penalty hasnt really stopped alot of these types of crimes. People that commit them are not in their right minds and dont stop to think of the consequences of their actions including possible death penalty.
     
    Last edited: Jul 30, 2010
  2. emm142

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    I might come at this from a different place than many of you (I've discussed the death penalty with Brynn before, and we concluded that views vary a LOT based on where you're brought up) but over here the death penalty is long gone. When I think about it, I think of it as something that USED to happen. In a way, it shocks me every time I think about the fact that people are still being executed in the developed world.

    Anyway, I don't agree with it. I don't think that any of us have the right to decide who lives or dies. It seems bizarre to me to punish someone for an action with exactly the same action. Personally, I don't think I could cope psychologically with being the executioner. I couldn't kill somebody just because my job told me too, which would mean I needed my own personal justifications for doing so (i.e. that I despised them for committing such a terrible crime), and if you need personal justifications to allow you to do something, you're kind of doing it BECAUSE of your justifications, and that would mean I was killing someone because I despised them for committing such a crime. If I can kill someone I despise for that reason, what's stopping me from killing someone I despised for a different reason? KWIM?

    I'm not saying that executioners would all turn into murderers themselves, just that there seems to be a logical flaw with killing someone because they killed someone.

    I fully think that these people should be locked up and forced to do work which will benefit society (from within the prison, of course), with no luxuries beyond the necessary. JMO. :)
     
  3. hold48398

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    I just wish we could ship these scumbags onto a deserted island with all the other scumbags convicted of such heineous crime where they can fend for themselves without getting ANY support from anyone. It's expensive to keep them alive and it's expensive to kill them. These people are pure EVIL.
     
  4. Amy C.

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    I believe that is what the British did with their prisoners in the 1700 and 1800s -- shipped them off to some of their colonies. Unfortunately, they were not deserted islands, but had viable societies.
     
  5. emm142

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    If this was possible, I'd agree. That's why I think they should be forced to do some kind of work which benefits society, to try to earn at least a part of their keep from the government... I think it's one of those things that there really isn't a perfect solution to.
     
  6. Christopher

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    Because I have an 11 year old daughter and reading that an 11 year old girl was raped bothered me. I thought it would be OK to voice my feelings/opinion but if it bothers you that much then I will respectfully delete my post.

    As for your expectation that only adults will be reading it simply because it is in Hot Topics, I don't agree. If I was a kid the first place I would go would be to the Hot Topic section. That being said, I don't think we need to censor ourselves just because we are worried about kids reading what we post. It is the parents job to monitor what their children are doing online. Sorry for any upset I caused you.
     
    Last edited: Jul 30, 2010
  7. StillMamamia

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    I have mixed feelings about the death penalty.
    On one hand, I don't think we have the right to kill anyone.
    On the other hand, some crimes are so horrendous, my gut instinct is to make the criminal pay for his/her crimes.
    Keeping them in jail costs money. Killing them costs money.
    But there are innocent who are on death row.

    I don't know. All I know is that I think sexual offenders should be castrated. But how do you deal with the rest? Insert chips and publish their names? Treat them like outcasts? Give them community service penance?

    I don't know.
     
  8. hawkeyegirl

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    I think Becky's warning was sufficient.

    As for the topic, I am anti-death penalty for many reasons, but the one that will never be overcome is that we, as humans, are falliable. Even if we take every precaution, we are going to wrongfully convict someone of murder and execute them for it. Frankly, it's certainly already happened. Texas, especially, likes to appoint semi-competent, overworked public defenders for their murder defendants and then to deny all of their appeals post-haste.

    Yes, we can be wrong about imposing a life sentence on someone too, but at least that mistake can be corrected.

    There is no doubt that the death penalty is imposed in a racist manner, no doubt that it is more expensive to execute someone than it is to house them for life, no doubt that it does not deter crime, and no doubt that we are the only civilized nation that deems it appropriate to kill our own citizens. I think it will eventually be found unconstitutional (again) by the USSC. But it's a long time in coming.
     
  9. Christopher

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    hmm..care to elaborate?

    I have mixed feelings. On one hand, if someone is guilty beyond any doubt, and they have taken someone else's life, then I can see where putting them to death could be considered. On the other hand, we (as a society) are saying "Killing is wrong and bad, and to punish you for killing someone we are going to kill you". A mixed message if there ever was one.
     
  10. hawkeyegirl

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    Sure. There have been numerous studies done showing that all things being equal (accounting for things like manner of death, age of victim, location, etc.) that if you are a black male, prosecutors are a LOT more likely to seek the death penalty and juries/judges (it varies by state which impose the DP) are a LOT more likely to impose the death penalty. White women get off the easiest - they're virtually never executed. Hispanic men are more likely to be executed than white men as well. Furthermore, if the victim is white, a defendant of any color is much more likely to be executed than if the victim is a person of color.

    The seminal study on this topic was authored by a law professor at my alma mater. I'll find the link and post it.

    Here's a link to the ACLU website. (Not completely unbiased, I realize. ;)) It mentions my professor's study (David Baldus) and many other interesting links.
     
    Last edited: Jul 30, 2010
  11. Becky Stevens mom

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    Ive been reading alot about this over the years and I believe its true, maybe in some parts of the country more then others. Ive also been reading about people on death row being exonerated due to DNA testing or new evidence. That scares the heck out of me! That someone could be executed and not be guilty of the crime is a heinous thing in itself. The last person executed in my state was Michael Ross, he had confessed to the crime, there was quite a bit of forensic evidence and he asked for the death penalty. He said that his urges were uncontrollable and he had to be medicated the whole time he was inprisoned.

    One of the men charged in the Cheshire home invasion case, Steven Hayes, has been taking thorazine and klonopin and tried to do away with himself by ingesting large amounts of both that he had hidden away. State taxpayers paid for him to be treated and kept alive at a local hospital. And of course we are paying for his medication when many people are not able to pay for their own or their childrens :(
     
  12. Meghan'smom

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    I was at one time a huge death penalty supporter. Now that said I took a college sociology class and had to write a paper on either pro or con death penalty. I went into it very prideful that I was pro death penalty nothing would change my mind. I was wrong! After all the research I did and case studies I will never support it again. The number of falsely accused put on death row is staggering. Also I agree with it a racial issue. The more money, prestige you have the better lawyer you get and the higher chance you will get a lesser sentence. The poor get a public defender and let's face it they don't have the time,resources or in some cases the empathy anymore. They get lost in the system. Unless there was a truly foolproof without a doubt way to say yes they did it it might be different but then again the argument comes if they don't have the right to kill then why do I.
    The whole prison system needs an overhaul starting with the politics within it.
     
  13. mom2kenny

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    I flip flop on this issue. mostly, I would say that I don't support the death penalty.However, I am not sure I would feel that way if it was a crime against one of my family members.
     

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