Sunday, March 29, 2009

congratulations to Gov Bill Richardson & New Mexico State House for Death Penalty Repeal

Richardson abolishes N.M. death penalty
New Mexico becomes the 15th state to ban capital punishment
By Trip Jennings 3/18/09 6:10 PM "The New Mexico Independent"
Death Penalty Information Center

SANTA FE — Tonight, Gov. Bill Richardson signed his name to a law that abolishes the death penalty in New Mexico, saying, “This has been the most difficult decision of my political career.”

With his signature, Richardson made the Land of Enchantment the 15th U.S. state to ban capital punishment and pushed it into the worldwide community of states and nations that have abolished the death penalty, including many countries in the European Union.

“I do not have confidence in the criminal justice system as it currently operates to be the final arbiter when it comes to who lives and who dies for their crime,” Richardson said. “If the State is going to undertake this awesome responsibility, the system to impose this ultimate penalty must be perfect and can never be wrong.”

The news excited supporters who had been pushing for the repeal.

“This is a great day for New Mexico” said Juan Melendez, who spent 18 years on Florida’s death row before being exonerated of a murder he didn’t commit. Melendez, who lobbied lawmakers this year, lives in New Mexico now. In his case, the real killer confessed, making him the 99th person exonerated across the nation, he said.

Richardson’s decision, Melendez said, can help teach “the children that killing is wrong.”

He also said that New Mexico’s example will serve as inspiration for other Western states that are looking at repealing the death penalty, including Colorado.

“Gov. Richardson’s courageous and enlightened decision should send a powerful message to other states, governors and Americans about the need to take a hard look at our error-prone, discriminatory and bankrupting system of capital punishment,” John Holdridge, director of the ACLU Capital Punishment Project, said in a release.

“It is a system incapable of ensuring that innocent lives are not unjustly taken. It is a system plagued by racial, economic and geographic discrimination. And it is a system that police chiefs, criminologists and statistical experts around the country agree does not deter crime. Gov. Richardson deserves enormous credit for acting in the best interests of the people of his state and the people of this country,” the release continued.

The law also creates a sentence of life without parole to replace the death penalty for the most heinous crimes.

The governor’s decision came after New Mexicans by the thousands called, e-mailed and visited with him over the weekend after the Senate passed HB285 by a vote of 24-18 on Friday.

Of more than 11,760 calls, e-mails and walk-ins on legislation, 8,718 were for repeal compared to 3,046 against, the governor’s office said Wednesday afternoon.

Among those urging Richardson to sign the bill was Lt. Gov. Diane Denish.

“I support replacing the death penalty with a sentence of life in prison with no chance of parole,” Denish said in a news release Wednesday. “If you’ve committed murder, you will be behind bars the rest of your life, no exceptions. I will continue working with our police officers and prosecutors and with victims’ families to make sure justice is served.”

The lead up to Richardson’s decision attracted attention across the country as well as beyond its borders.

Viki Elkey of the New Mexico Coalition to Repeal the Death Penalty said Wednesday she had conducted more than 50 media interviews in recent days. And most of the reporters she spoke to hailed from European countries.

The respected British magazine, The Economist, exemplified the interest European countries have in the death penalty. The magazine had a story about the U.S. considering the abolishment of the death penalty, including New Mexico.

New Mexico’s repeal is part of a larger national trend, partly because of the number of death row inmates who have been exonerated in recent years, according to supporters.

About 130 people in 26 states have been exonerated since the early 1970s, according to the Death Penalty Information Center. That number includes four people from New Mexico.

Another factor driving other states to consider abolishing the death penalty is the cost of prosecuting capital murder. Appeals over a several-year period often drive up the costs, say death penalty opponents. The dollars-and-cents argument comes at a time when the economy is in a shambles and many states are struggling to balance their budgets, including New Mexico.

New Mexico has executed one prisoner since 1976 — Terry Clark in 2001.

Opponents have argued unsuccessfully that abolishing the death penalty would remove a deterrent to heinous crimes. They also said a repeal would amount to a rollback of thousands of years of practice and would put police and correctional officers in harm’s way. Richardson acknowledged them in his announcement, saying, “Yes, the death penalty is a tool for law enforcement. But it’s not the only tool. For some would-be criminals, the death penalty may be a deterrent. But it’s not, and never will be, for many, many others.”

Opponents also have recalled crimes striking in their horror, including Terry Clark’s rape and murder of Dena Lynn Gore, a little girl he killed.

New Mexico has executed one prisoner since 1976 — Terry Clark in 2001.

Other U.S. states considering whether to abolish the death penalty include Utah and Colorado, according to the Death Penalty Information Center

26 comments:

al said...

At last - a governor to bring some sanity to that archaic criminal system.

Ax said...

about time!

dudleysharp said...

SETTING THE RECORD STRAIGHT: A Rebuttal to Governor Richardson
Repeal of the Death Penalty in New Mexico
Dudley Sharp, contact info below

1) Gov. Bill Richardson states: "Faced with the reality that our system for imposing the death penalty can never be perfect, my conscience compels me to replace the death penalty with a solution that keeps society safe." (1)

REBUTTAL: There is no proof of an innocent executed in the US since 1900. There is overwhelming proof that many thousands of innocents have been murdered because of the lack of perfection in parole, probation, early release, prison/jail management etc.

Why did the Governor choose to end that criminal justice practice - the death penalty - which may be the least likely to result in innocent deaths?

Lack of perfection had nothing to do with his decision.

In addition, the death penalty protects innocents at a higher level than does a life sentence. (FOOTNOTE: "Death penalty repeal arguments are false" paragraph 2 & 3).

No one disputes that the death penalty has greater due process than lesser sentences - meaning that actual innocents, serving life, are more likely to die in prison than are actual innocents likely to be executed.

2) Governor Richardson stated: "The bill I am signing today .. . replaces the death penalty with true life without the possibility of parole – a sentence that ensures violent criminals are locked away from society forever .. . ." . (1)

REBUTTAL: Governor Richardson knows that there is no such thing as true life without "possibility" of parole.

The only absolute with sentencing is that the executive branch, a Governor or President, can commute any sentence and release criminals, early - as Governor Richardson did, in Nov. 2004, when he commuted Janet Vigil's "life" case. (2)

How quickly he "forgot".

Gov. Richardson's buddy, former New Mexico Gov. Toney Anaya, commuted William Wayne Gilbert's death sentence in 1986.

Gilbert led a 7 inmate prison escape, a few months later, where Gilbert shot a guard. (3)

Gilbert had previously murdered " . . . his wife, Carol; a newlywed couple, Kenn and Noel Johnson, and a young model, Barbara McMullen. He bragged of other murders, as well. 'It was very easy to kill," he said. "It's almost like it's the night before Christmas when you're 5 years old.' "

Hardly a great candidate for commutation. But, this commutation wasn't about the criminal or about the citizens of New Mexico. It was all about Gov. Anaya. His commutations of all death row, had nothing to do with allegations of protecting innocents - it did just the opposite, of course - he just didn't like the death penalty and he takes no responsibility for the outcome.

In addition, legislatures can write new laws which, retroactively, reduce sentences already given.

Gov. Richardson is aware that states around the US are, now, doing just that, as more consider reducing life sentences to save money by releasing lifers, early.

3) The Governor stated: "More than 130 death row inmates have been exonerated in the past 10 years in this country, including four New Mexicans – a fact I cannot ignore." (1)

REBUTTAL: The Governor has been informed, repeatedly, that the 130 exonerated is a complete fraud, as has been well documented by many and presented to the Governor, often (FOOTNOTE, paragraph 3). Not only is he not ignoring this deception, he is advancing it, even when it is so easy to disprove. Governor, how many innocents were harmed and murdered because of the lack of perfection in parole, probation, early release, prison/jail management etc.?
---------

4) What about law enforcements' concerns?

"The New Mexico Sheriffs' and Police Association opposed repeal, saying capital punishment deters violence against police officers, jailers and prison guards. District attorneys also opposed the legislation, arguing that the death penalty was a useful prosecutorial tool." (4)

They told the Governor that the death penalty saves lives and helped solve cases.

The Governor conceded that "the death penalty may be a deterrent"(1), thereby telling us that the death penalty is more likely to save innocent lives than it is to take them.

He also conceded that by repealing the death penalty he was taken away a tool for law enforcement. (1) He didn't speculate how many innocent lives he was sacrificing by ending that tool.

We may never know why he really ended the death penalty. We do know that it had nothing to do with saving innocent lives.

"Bernalillo County Sheriff Darren White said law enforcement officers have 'lost a layer of protection and it's a sad day in New Mexico.' " (4)

(1) Gov. Bill Richardson's statement on signing the repeal of New Mexico's death penalty (3/18/09)

(2) " In Loving Memory of Estevan Vigil", http://www.nmsoh.org/vigil_estevan_mem.htm

(3) "Let Loose by the Governor", The Justice Story, The New York Daily News, 3/11/07
http://www.nydailynews.com/news/ny_crime/2007/03/11/2007-03-11_let_loose_by_the_governor.html

(4) "New Mexico governor signs measure to abolish death penalty"
DEBORAH BAKER, Associated Press Writer, Originally published Wednesday, March 18, 2009 at 5:21 PM

-----------------------------------------

FOOTNOTE: "Death penalty repeal arguments are false"

In a message dated 3/17/2009 4:37:39 P.M. Central Daylight Time, Sharpjfa writes:

To: Governor Richardson, staff and cabinet and
Corrections Department and Police Agencies and media throughout New Mexico

From: Dudley Sharp, contact info, below

Dear Honorable Governor Richardson:

In addition to all of the pro-repeal arguments being weak or false (see below), the death penalty should remain as the just sanction for some of the worst crimes.

JUSTICE: The death penalty should remain in New Mexico because of justice. New Mexico is currently investigating serial murders which, to date, have reached 14 victims. Leave the death penalty option up to New Mexico jurors, for such cases as this, as well as the rape/murder of children and the murder of police officers and correction workers and other crimes.

1) COST SAVINGS

The LFC fiscal evaluation wrongly found the North Carolina death penalty more expensive than a 20 year "life" sentence. It wasn't. The was the only study cited (1)

Reasonable and responsible protocols, currently in use, will produce a death penalty which will cost less or no more than LWOP. (2)

Example: Virginia executes in 5-7 years; 65% of those sentenced to death have been executed; 15% of their death penalty cases are overturned. With the high costs of long term imprisonment, a true life sentence will be more expensive than such a death penalty protocol. (2)

Most cost studies suffer from major problems, such as a) not crediting the death penalty for allowing plea bargains to a true life sentence ( $300,000 to $1 million savings or more, for each plea); 2) not including geriatric care for life sentences (cost of $60,000-$90, 000/year/inmate); c) deceptively inflating costs of executions, based upon putting all the costs of every death penalty case into those executed (see Florida); d) many more such problems, or even worse. (2)


2) MORE PROTECTION FOR INNOCENTS

Of all the government programs in the world, that put innocents at risk, is there one with a safer record and with greater protections than the US death penalty? Unlikely.

Innocents are more protected because of enhanced due process, enhanced incapacitation and enhanced deterrence. (3)

Anti death penalty folks claim that 130 "innocents" have been released from death row, nationally. Fact checking easily uncovers this as a scam. Study reviews have found that 70-83% of those claims are not credible. Possibly 25 "actual" innocents have been identified and released from death row. (4)

There is no proof of an innocent executed in the US, at least since 1900.

There is overwhelming proof that living murderers harm and murder, again. Executed ones don't.

3) 16 recent studies find for DETERRENCE

16 recent studies, inclusive of their defenses, find for death penalty deterrence. No surprise. Life is preferred over death, death is feared more than life. (5)

There is a constant within all jurisdictions -- negative consequences will always deter some - a truism.

NOTE: Repeal proponents bring up that many death penalty states have higher murder rates than non death penalty states. That has nothing to do with the deterrent effect failing, as fully explained to them and you in a previous email. (6)

Whether a jurisdiction has high murder rates or low ones, rather rising or lowering rates, the presence of the death penalty will produce fewer net murders, the absence of the death penalty will produce more net murders.

An analogy. Consider smoking. Whether a jurisdiction has high smoking rates or low ones, or rising or lowering rates, the knowledge of medical problems from smoking will produce fewer net smokers, the absence of any medical problems from smoking would produce more net smokers.


4. STRONG PUBLIC SUPPORT

80% death penalty support, for specific capital murders, such as mass murder, serial murders, rape/murders, terrorism, etc. (6)

-- 82% in the US favor executing Saddam Hussein, In Great Britain: 69%, France: 58%, Germany: 53%, Spain: 51%, Italy: 46%. , Le Monde (France) , 12/06
-- 81% support Timothy McVeigh's execution - "the consensus of all major groups, including men, women, whites, nonwhites, "liberals" and "conservatives." 16% oppose (Gallup 5/2/01).
-- 85% of liberal Connecticut supported serial/rapist murderer Michael Ross' "voluntary" execution. (Quinnipiac 1/12/05)
-- 79% support death penalty for terrorists (4/26/2007 New York State poll)
-- 78% of Nebraskans support death penalty for “heinous crimes.” 16% opposed. 76% opposed legislation to abolish. MPB Public Affairs Poll, 2/14/08)

Most quoted polls wrongly poll for murder, not capital murders. The death penalty is only an option in capital cases. Possibly, 10% of all murder cases are death eligible. Those are the only cases relevant to death penalty polling.


5) THE LEAST ARBITARY PUNISHMENT

The US death penalty is likely the least arbitrary and capricious criminal sanctions in the US. About 60,000 murders qualified for a death penalty eligible trial, since 1973. 8000 murderers were so sentenced or 13% of those eligible. Based upon pre trial, trial, appellate and clemency/commutation realities and that high percentage (13%) of receiving the maximum sentence (absent mandatory sentences) the death penalty must be the least arbitrary and capricious sanction.

-----------------------

Permission for distribution of this document, in whole or in part, is approved with proper attribution.

Respectfully submitted, Dudley Sharp, Justice Matters
e-mail sharpjfa@aol.com, 713-622-5491,
Houston, Texas

Mr. Sharp has appeared on ABC, BBC, CBC, CBS, CNN, C-SPAN, FOX, NBC, NPR, PBS , VOA and many other TV and radio networks, on such programs as Nightline, The News Hour with Jim Lehrer, The O'Reilly Factor, etc., has been quoted in newspapers throughout the world and is a published author.

A former opponent of capital punishment, he has written and granted interviews about, testified on and debated the subject of the death penalty, extensively and internationally

1) "LFC Fiscal Error: Death Penalty Repeal - For Senate Judiciary Committee Record"
email to Senate, 3/9/2009 6:11:28 P.M. Central Daylight Time
2) "Cost Savings: The Death Penalty: For Senate Judiciary Committee Record", email to Senate, 3/9/2009 4:45:21 P.M. Central Daylight Time
3) "Death Penalty: More Protection for Innocents" NM, email to Governor Richardson, legislature and media, 3/4/2009 2:49:23 P.M. Central Daylight Time
4) "The death row 130 "innocents" scam" NM, email to Governor Richardson, legislature and media, 3/4/2009 1:36:11 P.M. Central Standard Time
5) "The Death Penalty is a Deterrent - 16 Recent Studies", NM, email to Governor Richardson, legislature and media on 3/4/2009 1:31:35 P.M. Central Daylight Time
6) "Death Penalty and Deterrence: Let's be clear" NM, email to Governor Richardson, legislators and media on 3/4/2009 1:52:09 P.M. Central Standard Time

niki said...

It is difficult to respond to Dudley Sharps arguments because he presents no actual argument in support of retaining the death penalty. I'll try to deal with some of his statements briefly:
1. His qualification - he clearly has opinions on the subject and he appears to have reversed his views on the issue but it is not clear why. He doesn't indicate what training or experience he has had - other than his appearance on several news shows.

2. his rebuttal of Gov. Richardson's statements are, in fact, not rebuttals at all but unsupported assertions for example
"There is no proof of an innocent executed in the US since 1900." In fact there are numerous examples of people being found innocent who would have been executed had not outsiders pursued their cases - in some cases uncovering evidence that had been concealed from defence counsel by zealous prosecutors. Mr. Sharp offers proof but never presents it.

3. The deterrance argument: Mr. Sharp dismisses this argument himself in his discussion of the case of William Wayne Gilbert who killed all of his victims while the death penalty was still in effect. obviously the deterrence argument is worthless and Mr. Sharp presents the proof himself

4. Finally, the death penalty as a tool of law enforcement. I suppose by this statement Mr. Sharp is suggesting that prosecutors can threaten to charge people with capital crimes then plea-bargain for guilty pleas on lesser offences thereby avoiding public trials. In other words, Mr. Sharp is saying we should allow police & prosecutors to do the commuting by threatening murderers with capital charges in order to obtain convictions for negligent homicide which will see killers on the street with little time served under the supervision of parole officers - no wonder the parole system has problems.

dudleysharp said...

niki:

You don't understand deterrence.

Deterrence, to be effective and important, does not need to stop all murders, just some. That has always been the case with deterrence, for any topic.

I presented quite a few reasons to support the death penalty, in my prior post. Evidently you did not read them.

My qualifications are that I have studied the death penalty extensively and know what deterence means among other tipics within the death penalty.


niki: You didn't rebut my claim that "There is no proof of an innocent executed in the US since 1900."

You just changed the topic.

Governor Richardson acknowledge that the death penalty was a useful tool for law enforcement. In fact, he knew of a case where the sanction helped solve a case and bring in two murderers. He knowingly took away the tool.

niki said...

dudleysharp - thanks for your response. I do appreciate the information you gave in your post and I did read it carefully. I have also been involved in the capital punishment debate for many years and have done a fair amount of study on this issue. I have debated the issue as a prison officer who worked in a unit where death sentences were executed (although no one had been executed here since the 1950s), I have debated the issue as an elected official (taking a position against 80% 0f the electors as you point out) I have also worked in the court system. My last discussion on this subject was with Martin Lee pro-democracy member of the Hong Kong Legislative Council in 1993. Mr Lee attempted to have the British government repeal the death penalty in the colony because China had promised to maintain the legal system in Hong Kong after the colonial lease expired. Although Mr. Lee was successful in having his repeal resolution passed, the British govt vetoed it but they repealed the death penalty in the colony the following year ( I believe Mr Lee is still alive & active in Hong Kong politics!!)

What was interesting in the legislative debate that evening was that the issues and proofs presented were identical to those raised in capital punishment debates everywhere. The belief that crimes so horrific deserve punishment equally horrific. The fact that in a democracy - essentially government by amateurs - the legal system cannot be trusted with irreversible penalties. You say that no proof that an innocent death row inmate has been executed since 1900 but to prove that would require an examination under scrupulous conditions of scientific impartiality that would be impossible without the original witnesses, evidence, etc. such a statement has no value in evidence or rebuttal.

The ultimate argument in discussing capital punishment is the issue of deterrence. Basically it says we should kill this person in order stop the next killing. Maybe we should allow Nancy Grace to conduct simulated hangings on CNN to scare people straight.

But first maybe we should examine the scope of the problem. My sister teaches in a California neighborhood where most of her elementary school students have witnessed violent deaths. But the vast majority of Americans are more likely to be struck by lightning than to be killed by another person. Most murderers are known to their victims or are related to them. We all know the kind of tensions that can develop between people that can lead to violence and - in the worst of circumstances - alcohol, weapons, etc. to a violent death. Even in these cases a very tiny fraction involve a sufficient level of intent and planning to qualify as capital cases. To prove that a penalty is a deterrent you would have to show that in cases with similar circumstances of interpersonal tension, weapons availability, planning, etc that murders didn't take place because of the existence on the law-books of a capital penalty. Such a study would be impossible to conduct and - in the absence of controlled studies - conclusions from anecdotal accounts - even from Bill Richardson - are suspect

dudleysharp said...

niki: There is no proof of an innocent executed since 1900 in the US. Period. Anti death penalty folks, as well as others, have been looking for them diligently, for many decades.


If you wish to provide proof that an innocent has been executed, please do so. The fact that a study, conducted to your satisfaction, may not have been conducted, does not contradict my statement.


Contrary to your poor reasoning, there is no proof of an innocent executed.

The ultimate argument is not deterrence. It is justice, You cannot apply a sanction JUST because it deters. It must be just and appropriate, first and most importantly. Deterrence and other life saving issues must be secondary.

Based upon you review of deterrence, it seems clear that you have not read any of the recent studies.

dudleysharp said...

The Death Penalty: More Protection for Innocents
Dudley Sharp, Justice Matters, contact info below

Often, the death penalty dialogue gravitates to the subject of innocents at risk of execution. Seldom is a more common problem reviewed. That is, how innocents are more at risk without the death penalty.

Enhanced Due Process

No knowledgeable and honest party questions that the death penalty has the most extensive due process protections in US criminal law.

Therefore, actual innocents are more likely to be sentenced to life imprisonment and more likely to die in prison serving under that sentence, that it is that an actual innocent will be executed.

That is. logically, conclusive.

Enhanced Incapacitation

To state the blatantly clear, living murderers, in prison, after release or escape, are much more likely to harm and murder, again, than are executed murderers.

Although an obvious truism, it is surprising how often folks overlook the enhanced incapacitation benefits of the death penalty over incarceration.

There are a few absolutes when it comes to Life Without Parole. The legislature can lessen sentences, retroactively, and the executive branch can lessen any individual sentence.

Enhanced Deterrence

16 recent studies, inclusive of their defenses, find for death penalty deterrence.

A surprise? No.

Life is preferred over death. Death is feared more than life.

Some believe that all studies with contrary findings negate those 16 studies. They don't. Studies which don't find for deterrence don't say no one is deterred, but that they couldn't measure those deterred.

What prospect of a negative outcome doesn't deter some? There isn't one . . . although committed anti death penalty folk may say the death penalty is the only one.

However, the premier anti death penalty scholar accepts it as a given that the death penalty is a deterrent, but does not believe it to be a greater deterrent than a life sentence. Yet, the evidence is compelling and un refuted that death is feared more than life.

Enhanced Fear

Some death penalty opponents argue against death penalty deterrence, stating that it's a harsher penalty to be locked up without any possibility of getting out.

Reality paints a very different picture.

What percentage of capital murderers seek a plea bargain to a death sentence? Zero or close to it. They prefer long term imprisonment.

What percentage of convicted capital murderers argue for execution in the penalty phase of their capital trial? Zero or close to it. They prefer long term imprisonment.

What percentage of death row inmates waive their appeals and speed up the execution process? Nearly zero. They prefer long term imprisonment.

This is not, even remotely, in dispute.

What of that more rational group, the potential murderers who choose not to murder, is it likely that they, like most of us, fear death more than life?

Life is preferred over death. Death is feared more than life.

Furthermore, history tells us that lifers have many ways to get out: Pardon, commutation, escape, clerical error, change in the law, etc.

In choosing to end the death penalty, or in choosing not implement it, some have chosen to spare murderers at the cost of sacrificing more innocent lives.

Furthermore, possibly we have sentenced 25 actually innocent people to death since 1973, or 0.3% of those so sentenced. Those have all been released upon post conviction review. The anti death penalty claims, that the numbers are significantly higher, are a fraud, easily discoverable by fact checking.

The innocents deception of death penalty opponents has been getting exposure for many years. Even the behemoth of anti death penalty newspapers, The New York Times, has recognized that deception.

To be sure, 30 or 40 categorically innocent people have been released from death row . . . (1) This when death penalty opponents were claiming the release of 119 "innocents" from death row. Death penalty opponents never required actual innocence in order for cases to be added to their "exonerated" or "innocents" list. They simply invented their own definitions for exonerated and innocent and deceptively shoe horned large numbers of inmates into those definitions - something easily discovered with fact checking.

There is no proof of an innocent executed in the US, at least since 1900.

If we accept that the best predictor of future performance is past performance, we can, reasonably, conclude that the DNA cases will be excluded prior to trial, and that for the next 8000 death sentences, that we will experience a 99.8% accuracy rate in actual guilt convictions. This improved accuracy rate does not include the many additional safeguards that have been added to the system, over and above DNA testing.

Of all the government programs in the world, that put innocents at risk, is there one with a safer record and with greater protections than the US death penalty?

Unlikely.

Full report -All Innocence Issues: The Death Penalty, upon request.

Full report - The Death Penalty as a Deterrent, upon request

(1) The Death of Innocents: A Reasonable Doubt,
New York Times Book Review, p 29, 1/23/05, Adam Liptak,
national legal correspondent for The NY Times

copyright 2007-2009, Dudley Sharp
Permission for distribution of this document, in whole or in part, is approved with proper attribution.

Dudley Sharp, Justice Matters
e-mail sharpjfa@aol.com 713-622-5491,
Houston, Texas

Mr. Sharp has appeared on ABC, BBC, CBS, CNN, C-SPAN, FOX, NBC, NPR, PBS, VOA and many other TV and radio networks, on such programs as Nightline, The News Hour with Jim Lehrer, The O'Reilly Factor, etc., has been quoted in newspapers throughout the world and is a published author.

A former opponent of capital punishment, he has written and granted interviews about, testified on and debated the subject of the death penalty, extensively and internationally.

Pro death penalty sites

http://homicidesurvivors.com/categories/Dudley%20Sharp%20-%20Justice%20Matters.aspx

www.dpinfo.comwww.cjlf.org/deathpenalty/DPinformation.htm
www.clarkprosecutor.org/html/links/dplinks.htm
www.coastda.com/archives.html See death penalty
www.lexingtonprosecutor.com/death_penalty_debate.htm
www.prodeathpenalty.com
http://yesdeathpenalty.googlepages.com/home2 (Sweden)

niki said...

dudley - thanks again for your response i'm not certain we're accomplishing much more than cementing ourselves in to our currently held views.

I think there are some difficulties with the discussion however and they involve some fallacious reasoning. let me point to some: First of all there is no valid proof for any statement that a particular cause can lead to a particular behavioural outcome in human beings. our individual circumstances are so different that no social science is capable of predicting human behaviour based on specific stimuli- excluding simple behaviours perhaps like pavlov's slobbering dog or skinner's trained chickens. there are so many complex inputs to human behaviour that make it unpredictable that it is simply impossible to develop an effective deterrent for anything. If deterrence was possible crime would have disappeared from our society a long time ago.

despite our professed expertise on the subject of the death penalty and our carefully crafted arguments for and against, it is very difficult for one who has personally invested so much into his position to change it - even in the face of overwhelming evidence to the contrary. If you havent done so already, I would invite you to read Thomas Kuhens Structure of Scientific Revolutions.

When all is said and done, in the absence of any laws of social science, our arguments revert to moral assumption logically argued - for example you say that the ultimate argument is not deterrence but justice - a difficult concept to define - but certainly a way to divert discussion away from the need for empirical proof.

on the other hand you suggest there are 16 studies that suggest the death penalty has a deterrent effect. the number of studies as we both know is irrelevant, it is the quality - one correct conclusion is superior to 15 false ones - but if 16 studies prove the death penalty a deterrent why do we still have capital murders. i realize you are willing to accept a lesser standard of deterrence but that doesn't validate the studies, either

The term "logically conclusive" although interesting is fallacious. conclusions are only persuasive if the premises and assumptions upon which they are based are correct, perfect logic based on false premises can result in some outrageously wrong conclusions

dudleysharp said...

At this point, you are intentitonally miunderstanding deterrence. No deterrent effect is 100%.

Deterrence only need to work on some, not all, to be very important.

I already switched positions.

It is important that you pay attention and respond to what is aid, or at least understand a topic before you speak to it.

You are entirely too dishonet.

I did not change the topic from deterrence to justice.

You write: "for example you say that the ultimate argument is not deterrence but justice"

That' becaue you wrongly tated that detrrence was the ultimate arguement, when it cannot be, for the reaons I stated and you avoided.our MO.

That people are affected by incentives is hardly unknown. Deterrence is a negative incentive. Many thing are well known about human behavior and what motivates or restrains it.

Based upon your comments, you are completely unaware of that.

You offerred not one convincing argument on anything.

The logically conclusive statement is just such an example. It follow your MO of saying "no" without specific reasoning on the iusse.

Rob said...

i present, for the perusal of all assembled, a list of all death row inmates exonerated, some posthumously:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_exonerated_death_row_inmates

to argue, even if it were true, that one cannot prove the execution of an innocent is to be deliberately obtuse. it is objectively true that innocents are frequently sentenced to die and that some are later released, particularly after the advent of DNA evidence.

the only difference between a wrongly executed man and an exonerated one is time. if the hang man gets to 'em first, well, you know the story.

niki said...

dudley. It is not fair to suggest that I am dishonest but in order to be honest I must point out weaknesses in your position as well as presenting arguments in support of my position and - in an honest discussion both sides must be open to change their position.

When I stated that ultimately the argument comes down to deterrence, I was referring to the debate that occurred in the Hong Kong Legislature on a resolution by Martin Lee and its similarity to the death penalty debate everywhere. Martin Lee's concern was that if the chinese govt had the power of capital punishment, they would not feel restrained about extending it to include people on their enemies list - mr. lee's father was a nationalist military officer. if you wish to check the record, the debates for the hong kong legislative council are available on the internet in .pdf files

with respect to the use of positive and negative incentives, you are right there is a lively debate about their role in decision-making . it used to be called game theory - where everyone makes decisions in their own interest and based on the decisions they believe others will make in their self-interest. it is the basis of reality tv programs aand the subject of a vigorous debate in the US today around executive compensation and bonuses. But game theory is based on assumptions of idividual self interest and tends to be less helpful when attempting to explain the sacrifices people are willing to make out of love, family loyalty, gang loyalties, patriotism, etc. I used to have a book - published by Josef Stalin containing confessions made by some of his loyal communist friends. they made the confessions knowing they were going to be shot for treason. In fact, game theory probably doesn't deserve the label "theory" because it is so unreliable in predicting behavioural outcomes and because it is so heavily based on unproven assumptions about human behaviour You seem to believe that the negative incentive of the existence of the death penalty partly explains why some potential capital murderers. I respect the fact that there are 16 studies supporting your view, but there is no scientifically accepted theory which supports your views about deterrence or negative incentives.

There is one area drawn from my experience where i know you statements cannot be proven. that is in the choice of life in prison over death. There are many cases where death row inmates have signed waivers in order to speed up execution of the death penalty the cases of Gary Gilmore and Timothy McVeigh are examples from quick recall but I would have to confirm the details Gilmore was sentenced to be shot in Utah and refused all offers of outside help to appeal. I believe Timothy McVeigh did the same. Part of my work assignment in prison was to supervise inmates who had threatened or attempted suicide to suggest that inmates will always chose life over death simply doesn't accord with the facts. While doing a count one night, I had a prisoner ( charged with armed robbery with violence)slash the arteries in his arm with a sharpened spoon so that his blood sprayed all over me. he was facing 15 years. I have visited eskimo (inuit) communities on Hudson Bay that had the highest suicide rates on the planet. Most of the victims were teenaged boys and young men who felt life for them was hopeless and that death would end the pain and humiliation. many prison inmates feel the same way.

In the 18th/19th century in this country, it was illegal to criticize the government in the interests of democratic reform. seditious libel and treason were in some cases capital crimes. the death penalty wasn't simply a death penalty. A person convicted of these crimes would be read a sentence something like this "you shall be taken from here to the place from which you came and there you shall be hanged by the neck but not until you are dead. your bowels will be cut out and burned before your eyes. Your hands and feet will be bound to the backs of 4 strong horses that will draw your body into 4 quarters which will be left to rot in the market square as an instruction to others" thankfully those who fought for democracy in this country ignored the negative incentive of these penalties so that today we can freely elect our governors and democratically instruct them to protect us from barbarous laws.

dudleysharp said...

Rob:

Note, there are no actual innocents executed on the US list.

In additon, the US list is almost, wholly, a fraud.

The 130 death row "innocents" scam
Dudley Sharp, contact info below

NOTE: fact checking issues, on innocence and the death penalty.

It is very important to take note that the 130 "exonerated" from death row is a blatant scam, easily uncovered by fact checking.

Richard Dieter, head of the Death Penalty Information Center (DPIC) and DPIC have produced the claims regarding the exonerated and innocents released from death row list.

The scam is that DPIC just decided to redefine what exonerated and innocence mean according to their own perverse definitions.

How Dieter and DPIC define what "exonerated" or "innocent" means.

". . . (DPIC) makes no distinction between legal and factual innocence. " 'They're innocent in the eyes of the law,' Dieter says. 'That's the only objective standard we have.' "

That is untrue, of course. We are all aware of the differences between legal guilt and actual guilt and legal innocence (not guilty) and actual innocence, just as the courts are.

The only issue in the death penalty innocence debate is how many actual innocents are sent to death row and what is the probability of executing an actual innocent. Legal innocence is not the issue, for the simple fact that we cannot execute a legally innocent person. So the concern is over the actual innocent, those who had no connection to the murder(s).

Furthermore, there is no finding of actual innocence, but it is "not guilty". Dieter knows that we are all speaking of actual innocence, those cases that have no connection to the murder(s). He takes advantage of that by redefining exonerated and innocence.

Dieter "clarifies" the three ways that former death row inmates get onto their "exonerated" by "innocence" list.

"A defendant whose conviction is overturned by a judge must be further exonerated in one of three ways: he must be acquitted at a new trial, or the prosecutor must drop the charges against him, or a governor must grant an absolute pardon."

None establishes actual innocence.

DPIC has " . . . included supposedly innocent defendants who were still culpable as accomplices to the actual triggerman."

DPIC: "There may be guilty persons among the innocents, but that includes all of us."

Good grief. DPIC wishes to apply collective guilt of capital murder to all of us.

Dieter states: "I don't think anybody can know about a person's absolute innocence." (Green). Dieter said he could not pinpoint how many are "actually innocent" -- only the defendants themselves truly know that, he said." (Erickson)

Or Dieter won't assert actual innocence in 1, 102 or 350 cases. He doesn't want to clarify a real number with proof of actual innocence, that would blow his entire deception.

Or, Dieter declare all innocent: "If you are not proven guilty in a court of law, you're innocent." (Green)

Dieter would call Hitler and Stalin innocent. Those are his "standards".

And that is the credibility of the DPIC.

For fact checking.

1. "Case Histories: A Review of 24 Individuals Released from Death Row", Florida Commission on Capital Cases, 6/20/02, Revised 9/10/02 at http://www.floridacapitalcases.state.fl.us/Publications/innocentsproject.pdf

83% error rate in "innocent" claims.

2. "Is 'the innocence list' an appropriate name?", 1/19/03
FRANK GREEN, TIMES-DISPATCH STAFF WRITER
http://www.stopcapitalpunishment.org/coverage/106.html

Dieter admits they don't discern between legal innocence and actual innocence. One of Dieter's funnier quotes;"The prosecutor, perhaps, or Dudley Sharp, perhaps, thinks they're still guilty because there was evidence of their guilt, but that's a subjective judgment." Yep, "EVIDENCE OF GUILT", can't you see why Dieter would think they were innocent? And that's how the DPIC works.

3. The Death of Innocents: A Reasonable Doubt,
New York Times Book Review, p 29, 1/23/05, Adam Liptak,
national legal correspondent for The NY Times

"To be sure, 30 or 40 categorically innocent people have been released from death row . . . ".

That is out of the DPIC claimed 119 "exonerated", at that time, for a 75% error rate.

NOTE: It's hard to understand how an absolute can have a differential of 33%. I suggest the "to be sure" is, now, closer to 25.

4. CRITIQUE OF DPIC LIST ("INNOCENCE:FREED FROM DEATH ROW"), Ward Campbell, http://www.prodeathpenalty.com/DPIC.htm


5. "The Death Penalty Debate in Illinois", JJKinsella,6/2000, http://www.dcba.org/brief/junissue/2000/art010600.htm


6.THE DEATH PENALTY - ALL INNOCENCE ISSUES, Dudley Sharp
http://homicidesurvivors.com/2006/03/20/all-innocence-issues--the-death-penalty.aspx

Origins of "innocence" fraud, and review of many innocence issues

7. "Bad List", Ramesh Ponnuru, National Review, 9/16/02
www.nationalreview.com/advance/advance091602.asp#title5

How bad is DPIC?

8. "Not so Innocent", By Ramesh Ponnuru,National Review, 10/1/02
www.nationalreview.com/ponnuru/ponnuru100102.asp

DPIC from bad to worse.

Dudley Sharp, Justice Matters
e-mail sharpjfa@aol.com, 713-622-5491,
Houston, Texas

Mr. Sharp has appeared on ABC, BBC, CBS, CNN, C-SPAN, FOX, NBC, NPR, PBS , VOA and many other TV and radio networks, on such programs as Nightline, The News Hour with Jim Lehrer, The O'Reilly Factor, etc., has been quoted in newspapers throughout the world and is a published author.

A former opponent of capital punishment, he has written and granted interviews about, testified on and debated the subject of the death penalty, extensively and internationally.

dudleysharp said...

Niki:

My statement stands, based, solely, on your perfomeance in these replies. You don't stick to topic, you wrongly state what others say, your logic is poor and you make things up.

Either you have some sort of serious concentration problems or you are dishonest.

dudleysharp said...

A perfect example of nikis lack of concentratior or his/her deception or confusion is this quote:

niki: "There is one area drawn from my experience where i know you (Dudley's) statements cannot be proven. that is in the choice of life in prison over death. There are many cases where death row inmates have signed waivers in order to speed up execution of the death penalty the cases of Gary Gilmore and Timothy McVeigh are examples from quick recall but I would have to confirm the details Gilmore was sentenced to be shot in Utah and refused all offers of outside help to appeal. I believe Timothy McVeigh did the same."

And what I had written, prior, which niki was responsing to:

Dudley: "What percentage of death row inmates waive their appeals and speed up the execution process? Nearly zero. They prefer long term imprisonment."

I believe about 120 of the 8000 sentenced to death have so waived appeals.

98.5% of those sentneced to death have not so waived appeals.

Case proven.

niki brings up 2 cases, as if I said all cases, which I did not. What I said was a percentage of nearly zero.

Ax said...

Dudley believes in murdering a murderer. That's the crux of the issue. He really doesn't care if one "innocent" (as though that human life is just a statistic) gets murdered along with the rest. Any individual or state that murders a murderer becomes another murderer.
You have one of the highest rates of homicide in the world after a long history of "deterrence" . Try looking at the records of countries without the death penalty to see what civilized people do.

dudleysharp said...

I very much care about innocents. That is one urthermore, you morally confuse murder and execution.

How folks do that, I have no idea.

Killing equals Killing: The Amoral Confusion of death penalty opponents
Dudley Sharp, Justice Matters, contact info below

There is a very common anti death penalty slogan:

"Why do we kill people to show that killing people is wrong?"

We don't. Even with no sanction, most folks know that committing murder is wrong.

We execute guilty murderers who have murdered innocent people.

The difference between crime and punishment, guilty murderers and their innocent victims is very clear to most.

The moral confusion exists when people blindly accept the amoral or immoral position that all killing is equal.

The anti death penalty folks are just looking at an act -- "killing" -- and saying all killings are the same. Only an amoral person would equate acts, without considering the purpose behind them.

For those, like some anti death penalty folks, who believe all killing is morally equivalent, they would equate the slaughter of 6 million innocent Jews and 6-7 million additional innocents with the execution of those guilty murderers committing that slaughter. They would also equate the rape and murder of children with the execution of the rapist/murderer.

This is what the anti death penalty folks do, morally equate killing (murder) with the punishment for that murder, another killing (execution).

For such anti death penalty folks to be consistent, they must also equate holding people against their will (illegal kidnapping) with the sanction for it, the holding people against their will (legal incarceration) or the taking money away from people (illegal robbery) with a sanction for that, taking money away from people (legal restitution).

Most folks understand the moral differences.

Some anti death penalty folks are either incapable of knowing the moral differences between crime and punishment, guilty criminals and their innocent victims, or they are knowingly using a dishonest slogan by equating killing (murder) with killing (execution).

Either way, it's time to stop it. It is just too grotesque a tool.

copyright 2000-2009 Dudley Sharp: Permission for distribution of this document, in whole or in part, is approved with proper attribution.

Pro death penalty sites

homicidesurvivors.com/categories/Dudley%20Sharp%20-%20Justice%20Matters.aspx

www.dpinfo.com
www.cjlf.org/deathpenalty/DPinformation.htm
www.clarkprosecutor.org/html/links/dplinks.htm
www.coastda.com/archives.html see Death Penalty
www.lexingtonprosecutor.com/death_penalty_debate.htm
www.prodeathpenalty.com
http://yesdeathpenalty.googlepages.com/home2 (Sweden)
www.wesleylowe.com/cp.html

dudleysharp said...

Ax:

First, see the murder rates you aksed for, at the bottom.

Secondly, deterrence isn't measured in that fashion.

Please review:

Death Penalty, Deterrence & Murder Rates: Let's be clear
by Dudley Sharp, Justice Matters, 0309

There is a constant within all jurisdictions -- negative consequences will always deter some. Whether a jurisdiction with high murder rates or low ones, rather rising or lowering rates, the presence of the death penalty will produce fewer net murders, the absence of the death penalty will produce more net murders.

In their story, "States With No Death Penalty Share Lower Homicide Rates", The New York Times did their best to illustrate that the death penalty was not a deterrent, by showing that the average murder rate in death penalty states was higher than the average rate in non death penalty states and, it is. (1)

What the Times failed to observe is that their own study confirmed that you can't simply compare those averages to make that determination regarding deterrence.

As one observer stated: "The Times story does nothing more than repeat the dumbest of all dumb mistakes — taking the murder rate in a traditionally high-homicide state with capital punishment (like Texas) and comparing it to a traditionally low-homicide state with no death penalty (like North Dakota) and concluding that the death penalty doesn't work at all. Even this comparison doesn't work so well. The Times own graph shows Texas, where murder rates were 40 percent above Michigan's in 1991, has now fallen below Michigan . . .". (2)

Within the Times article, Michigan Governor John Engler states, "I think Michigan made a wise decision 150 years ago," referring to the state's abolition of the death penalty in 1846. "We're pretty proud of the fact that we don't have the death penalty."(3)

Even though easily observed on the Times' own graphics, they failed to mention the obvious. Michigan's murder rate is near or above that of 31 of the US's 38 death penalty states. And then, it should be recognized that Washington, DC (not found within the Times study) and Detroit, Michigan, two non death penalty jurisdictions, have been perennial leaders in murder and violent crime rates for the past 30 years. Delaware, a jurisdiction similar in size to them, leads the nation in executions per murder, but has significantly lower rates of murders and violent crime than do either DC or Detroit, during that same period.

Obviously, the Times study and any other simple comparison of jurisdictions with and without the death penalty, means little, with regard to deterrence.

Also revealed within the Times study, but not pointed out by them,: "One-third of the nation's executions take place in Texas—and the steepest decline in homicides has occurred in Texas, Oklahoma, Louisiana and Arkansas, which together account for nearly half the nation's executions." (4)

And, the Times also failed to mention that the major US jurisdiction with the most executions is Harris County (Houston, Texas), which has seen a 73% decrease in murder rates since resuming executions in 1982 -- possibly the largest reduction for a major metropolitan area since that time.

Also omitted from the Times review, although they had the data, is that during a virtual cessation of executions, from 1966-1980, that murders more than doubled in the US. Any other rise and fall in murders, after that time, has been only a fraction of that change, indicating a strong and direct correlation between the lack of executions and the dramatic increase in murders, if that is specifically what you are looking for.

If deterrence was measured by direct correlation's between execution, or the lack thereof, and murder rates, as implied by the Times article, and as wrongly assumed by those blindly accepting that model, then there would be no debate, only more confusion. Which may have been the Times' goal.

Let's take a look at the science.

Some non death penalty jurisdictions, such as South Africa and Mexico lead the world in murder and violent crime rates. But then some non death penalty jurisdictions, such as Sweden, have quite low rates. Then there are such death penalty jurisdictions as Japan and Singapore which have low rates of such crime. But then other death penalty jurisdictions, such as Rwanda and Louisiana, that have high rates.

To which an astute observer will respond: But socially, culturally, geographically, legally, historically and many other ways, all of those jurisdictions are very different. Exactly, a simple comparison of only execution rates and murder rates cannot tell the tale of deterrence. And within the US, between states, there exist many variables which will effect the rates of homicides.

See REVIEW, below

And, as so well illustrated by the Times graphics, a non death penalty state, such as Michigan has high murder rates and another non death penalty state, such as North Dakota, has low murder rates and then there are death penalty states, such as Louisiana, with high murder rates and death penalty states, such South Dakota, with low rates. Apparently, unbeknownst to the Times, but quite obvious to any neutral observer, there are other factors at play here, not just the presence or absence of the death penalty. Most thinking folks already knew that.

As Economics Professor Ehrlich stated in the Times piece and, as accepted by all knowledgeable parties, there are many factors involved in such evaluations. That is why there is a wide variation of crime rates both within and between some death penalty and non death penalty jurisdictions, and small variations within and between others. Any direct comparison of only execution rates and only murder rates, to determine deterrence, would reflect either ignorance or deception.

Ehrlich called the Times study "a throwback to the vintage 1960s statistical analyses done by criminologists who compared murder rates in neighboring states where capital punishment was either legal or illegal." "The statistics involved in such comparisons have long been recognized as devoid of scientific merit." He called the Times story a "one sided affair" devoid of merit. Most interesting is that Ehrlich was interviewed by the Time's writer, Fessenden, who asked Ehrlich to comment on the results before the story was published. Somehow Ehrlich's overwhelming criticisms were left out of the article.

Ehrlich also referred Fessenden to some professors who produced the recently released Emory study. Emory Economics department head, Prof. Deshbakhsh "says he was contacted by Fessenden, and he indicated to the Times reporter that the study suggested a very strong deterrent effect of capital punishment." Somehow,
Fessenden's left that out of the Times story, as well. (5).

An analogy. Consider smoking. Whether a jurisdiction has high smoking rates or low ones, rather rising or lowering rates, the knowledge of medical problems from smoking will produce fewer net smokers, the absence of any medical problems from smoking would produce more net smokers.

It is the same for all prospects of a negative outcome - they all deter some.

Maybe the Times will be a bit more thoughtful, next time.

REVIEW

"The List: Murder Capitals of the World", 09/08, Foreign Policy Magazine
Capital punishment (cp) or not (ncp)
murder rates/100,000 population

4 out of the top 5 do not have the death penalty

1. Caracas (ncp), Venezuela 130-160
Bad policing.
2. New Orleans (cp), La, USA 69-95
Variable because of different counts in surging population. Drug related.
Nos 2 & 3 in US, Detroit (ncp), 46 and Baltimore (cp), 45.
3. Cape Town (ncp), South Africa 62
Most crimes with people who know each other.
4. Port Mores (ncp), Papua New Guinea 54
Chinese gangs, corrupt policing
5. Moscow (ncp), Russia 9.6
various

Of the Top 10 Countries With Lowest Murder Rates (1), 7 have the death penalty

O f the Top 10 Countries With Highest Murder Rates (2), 5 have the death penalty

Top 10 Countries With Lowest Murder Rates
Iceland 0.00 ncp
Senegal 0.33 ncp
Burkina Faso 0.38 cp
Cameroon 0.38 cp
Finland 0.71 ncp
Gambia 0.71 cp
Mali 0.71 cp
Saudi Arabia 0.71 cp
Mauritania 0.76 cp
Oman cp


Top 10 Countries With Highest Murder Rates
Honduras 154.02 ncp
South Africa 121.91 ncp
Swaziland 93.32 cp
Colombia 69.98 ncp
Lesotho 50.41 cp
Rwanda 45.08 ncp
Jamaica 37.21 cp
El. Salvador 36.88 cp
Venezuela 33.20 ncp
Bolivia 31.98 cp

(1) http://www.mapsofworld.com/world-top-ten/countries-with-lowest-murder-rates.html no date

(2) http://www.mapsofworld.com/world-top-ten/countries-with-highest-murder-rates.html no date


FOOTNOTES

1) "States With No Death Penalty Share Lower Homicide Rates", The New
York Times 9/22/00 located at
www (dot) nytimes.com/2000/09/22/national/22STUD.html and www (dot) nytimes.com/2000/09/22/national/22DEAT.html
2) “Don't Know Much About Calculus: The (New York) Times flunks high-school
math in death-penalty piece", William Tucker, National Review, 9/22/00, located
at www (dot) nationalreview.com/comment/comment092200c.shtml
3) ibid, see footnote 11
4) "The Death Penalty Saves Lives", AIM Report, August 2000, located atwww (dot) aim.org/publications/aim_report/2000/08a.html
5) "NEW YORK TIMES UNDER FIRE AGAIN", Accuracy in Media, 10/16/00, go to www (dot) aim.org/

copyright 2000-2008 Dudley Sharp: Permission for distribution of this document, in whole or in part, is approved with proper attribution.

Dudley Sharp, Justice Matters
e-mail sharpjfa@aol.com, 713-622-5491,
Houston, Texas

Mr. Sharp has appeared on ABC, BBC, CBS, CNN, C-SPAN, FOX, NBC, NPR, PBS , VOA and many other TV and radio networks, on such programs as Nightline, The News Hour with Jim Lehrer, The O'Reilly Factor, etc., has been quoted in newspapers throughout the world and is a published author.

A former opponent of capital punishment, he has written and granted interviews about, testified on and debated the subject of the death penalty, extensively and internationally.

Pro death penalty sites

homicidesurvivors.com/categories/Dudley%20Sharp%20-%20Justice%20Matters.aspx

www.dpinfo.com
www.cjlf.org/deathpenalty/DPinformation.htm
www.clarkprosecutor.org/html/links/dplinks.htm
www.coastda.com/archives.html
www.lexingtonprosecutor.com/death_penalty_debate.htm
www.prodeathpenalty.com
yesdeathpenalty.googlepages.com/home2 (Sweden)
www.wesleylowe.com/cp.html

Ax said...

Dudley: You ignored my point. You want to join the ranks of murderers, and want the state to do the same.

dudleysharp said...

Ax, you and niki are surely on the same wavelength.

I answered your question.

You don't fully read the posts of others or you do and don't understand or are dishonest about it.

Your post was about your moral confusion in equating murders and executions. You were unaware of your moral confusion so I pointed it out, in detail.

As your false accusation was based upon your ethical error, there was no reason to respond.

Just read the post.

Rob said...

i didn't think i'd nead to clarify my use of the colloquial "innocent," but there you go. yes, innocence in law is the presence of resonable doubt. the legal system exists precisely that innocent people aren't punished for crimes they did not commit and if confidence one's guilt is not absolute then they are found to be not guilty.

what you appear to be saying is that the legal system should redefine guilt to include anyone who has been suspected of any crime. the authors of your links inist that the effort to release prisoners who should not have been found guilty is an abomination because they could not also be proved innocent. of course, nobody can be proved innocent, it's impossible.

also, when you complain that some percentage of exonerated inmates is, in fact, not entirely innocent you are implicitly admitting that some other percentage are.

Genesis: "And the Lord said, If I find in Sodom fifty righteous within the city, then I will spare all the place for their sakes"

i wonder dudley, if pressed to prove your innocence in the face of presumed guilt, how would you do it?

dudleysharp said...

BTW, Ax, just like niki, you are.

You said I dodn't answer your question.

Guess what? Go back to your original post.

You didn't ask a question.

dudleysharp said...

Rob:

As I already stated, in detail, the debate is about actual innocents, those unreleated to the murder and the probability of executing an actually innocent person.

You may not know that.

It is, impossible, to execute a legally innocent person, because they would no longer be subject to execution.

These things are very clear within this debate.

They are also clear by law and reason.

Most folks understand that an actually guilty person can be found not guilty in a court of law. So to, can an actually innocent person be found guilty.

There are obvious differences. But, the only issue in this debate is actual innocnce.

Rob said...

dudley, you are going to have to explain this a little more carefully:

"It is, impossible, to execute a legally innocent person, because they would no longer be subject to execution."

do you dispute that it is possible to wrongly convict a suspect?

Ax said...

This is getting too funny for words!

Dudley said:
BTW, Ax, just like niki, you are.
You said I dodn't answer your question.
Guess what? Go back to your original post.You didn't ask a question.
April 7, 2009 9:05 AM
...............................
'Course not - I said you ignored my point, not that you didn't answer my question.
YOU reread it.
.................................
Ax said...

Dudley: You ignored my point. You want to join the ranks of murderers, and want the state to do the same.

April 7, 2009 8:31 AM
................................
Anyway, this is great fun but you certainly haven't convinced anyone that you have the higher moral ground. Quite the opposite. Cheers.

niki said...

a debate ceases to be a debate when it becomes a series of attacks from entrenched positions or resorts to conceptual stunts, logical fallacies, name-calling and breast-beating. This has unfortunately become the case here. Dudley, I have read all your material, responded to what is relevant, did not find most of it persuasive and know much of it - from experience as well as research - to be fundamentally wrong.

The reason I presented my last argument about the founders of american democracy risking being hanged, drawn and quartered for high treason was to show that deterrence did not work and in that case we should be thankful for it. Benjamin Franklin even joked about it - if we don't hang together, we will hang separately, I suspect you didn't respond to that argument because you can't your freedom of speech today is based on the failure of deterrence then just as it doesn't work now