Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 15 of 21

Thread: The tide shifts against the death penalty

  1. #1
    Elite Member celeb_2006's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Posts
    13,468

    Default The tide shifts against the death penalty

    The Tide Shifts Against the Death Penalty - TIME

    If there were such a thing as a golden age of capital punishment in America, it peaked in 1999. There were 98 executions in the U.S. that year, the highest number since 1976, when the Supreme Court, which had overturned all death penalty laws in 1972, began approving them again. For most of the 1990s the number of death sentences handed down annually by courts had been humming along in the range of 280 to 300 and above. And it had been years since the Supreme Court had done much to specify whom states could execute and how they could do it.
    A decade later, capital punishment has a lot less life in it. Last year saw just 37 executions in the U.S., with only 111 death sentences handed down. Although 36 states and the Federal Government still have death penalty laws on the books, the practice of carrying out executions is limited almost entirely to the South, where all but two of last year's executions took place. (The exceptions were both in Ohio.) Even in Texas, still the state leader in annual executions, only 10 men and one woman were sentenced to death last year, the lowest number since the death penalty was reinstated in 1976. In recent years the Supreme Court has voted to forbid the execution of juveniles and the mentally retarded, and it banned using the death penalty for crimes that did not involve killings. In 2007 the court put executions across the country on hold for eight months while it examined whether lethal injection, the most common means of executing prisoners, violated the Eighth Amendment prohibition against cruel and unusual punishment; in the end it ruled 7-2 that it did not.
    Even more significantly, where states once hurried to adopt death penalty laws, the pendulum now appears to be swinging in the other direction. In 2007 New Jersey became the first state in 40 years to abolish its death penalty. In that same year repeal bills were narrowly defeated in Montana, Nebraska and New Mexico, all of which are revisiting the issue this year. Now the focus is on Maryland. After years of failed attempts by death penalty opponents to bring a repeal bill to a vote in the state legislature, Maryland Governor Martin O'Malley is personally sponsoring this year's version, promising that he will fight to have the legislature pass it during the current 90-day session. In his state of the state address last week O'Malley called capital punishment "outdated, expensive and utterly ineffective." (See the top 10 crime stories of 2008.)
    Death penalty opponents say the use of DNA evidence, which has led to a number of prisoners being released from death row, is a big part of the reason for the decline in executions generally. "That's had a ripple effect," says Richard Dieter of the Death Penalty Information Center, a Washington-based advocacy group. "The whole legal system has become more cautious about the death penalty. Prosecutors are not seeking it as much. Juries are returning more life sentences. And judges are granting more stays of execution. Last year there were over 40."
    Maryland restored its death penalty in 1978, but it was 16 years before the state carried out its first execution under the new law. Since then the state has put to death four more convicted killers, the last of them in 2005. Today there are five men on Maryland's death row, though the state suspended executions two years ago after its highest court ruled that regulations governing lethal injections had been adopted improperly. Until new protocols are in place, no executions can go forward, and the governor, a longtime death penalty opponent, has been in no hurry to issue them.
    Last year, after months of public hearings, a Maryland state commission on the death penalty voted 13-9 to recommend that it should be abolished. In its final report the commission, which was headed by former U.S. Attorney General Benjamin Civiletti, cited the usual objections to capital punishment cost, racial and jurisdictional disparities in sentencing, its ineffectiveness as a deterrent against crime and the possibility that innocent people might be put to death. One of the commission's members was Kirk Bloodsworth, who had been on death row in Maryland for two years in the mid-1980s before he was cleared by DNA evidence.
    Even so, repealing the Maryland death penalty is by no means a done deal. Bills to repeal it have been introduced repeatedly since the first of them arrived six years ago, only to die every time in the senate's judicial proceedings committee. And the makeup of that committee is no different now than it was two years ago, when the bill fell one vote short of the number needed to release it to the full senate. But supporters of the repeal think that this year, with the governor's support and the commission's verdict still fresh, the bill will make it to the floor for a vote they are confident they will win. "This year we have momentum to move it," says Jane Henderson, director of Maryland Citizen's Against State Executions.
    Senator Lisa A. Gladden, a Baltimore Democrat who chairs the committee, also thinks this is the year it will happen. "You have the commission report, which confirms what we already knew," she says. "The death penalty is not a deterrent, it doesn't reduce crime, it's expensive, and it's unfair. And the governor has the ability to persuade some of the swing voters in my committee and I only need one to get the bill onto the floor. " If the bill is passed by the senate, it will then continue to the legislature's other chamber, the house of delegates, where house speaker Michael E. Busch has said he believes there are enough votes for approval.
    If Governor O'Malley can't budge any of those swing voters, there are still parliamentary moves at his disposal that could allow him to bring the bill to the full chamber without a committee vote. One of them would be to persuade lawmakers on the committee who oppose the bill to release it anyway without a recommendation of any kind from their body. Some anti-repeal committee members are already said to be warming to that idea.
    And O'Malley can get firsthand advice on parliamentary maneuvers from a source very close to home. In 1978, the bill that eventually created Maryland's death penalty was held up for a time by the same senate committee before eventually being forced to a vote. Its chairman back then was a future state attorney general named J. Joseph Curran, a longtime opponent of capital punishment. These days he also happens to be the governor's father-in-law.

  2. #2
    Elite Member kingcap72's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    10 miles from Pootie Tang
    Posts
    21,909

    Default

    I'm still a firm believer in the death penalty.

  3. #3
    Elite Member McJag's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Texas
    Posts
    42,527

    Default

    There have been numerous cases we have talked about right on here where even anti-death people have wanted to carry it out personally. This is a crock-not happening. We already tried that-remember?
    I didn't start out to collect diamonds, but somehow they just kept piling up.-Mae West

  4. #4
    Friend of Gossip Rocks! buttmunch's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    Uranus
    Posts
    31,885

    Default

    Hurrah! Most civilized countries have done away with it and it's time we did as well, this time for good. It's obviously not working and is immoral.
    'Those who sacrifice liberty for security deserve neither.' Ben Franklin

    "When fascism comes to America, it will be wrapped in the flag and carrying the cross."
    --Sinclair Lewis

  5. #5
    Elite Member McJag's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Texas
    Posts
    42,527

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by buttmunch View Post
    Hurrah! Most civilized countries have done away with it and it's time we did as well, this time for good. It's obviously not working and is immoral.
    Immoral?? What they did to helpless victims is immoral! And without benefit of judge & jury. They deserve the very worst.
    I didn't start out to collect diamonds, but somehow they just kept piling up.-Mae West

  6. #6
    Gold Member Glitter's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Down the rabbit hole.
    Posts
    1,456

    Default

    I come up and down on this one. I know that killing someone for killing someone really does not make much sense. I mean if you kill someone it is wrong but we can do it legally? Then I see people like John Cooey who killed little Jessica Lunsford and he gets the death penalty and I am glad we have it.
    Life is what happens to you
    While you're busy making other plans ~ John Lennon

  7. #7
    Elite Member Aella's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    Greece
    Posts
    8,899

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by McJag View Post
    There have been numerous cases we have talked about right on here where even anti-death people have wanted to carry it out personally. This is a crock-not happening. We already tried that-remember?
    Really? And said people agreed that their own personal feelings of revenge should be made into law? Because they're not really anti-DP in that case.

    As for that article, well it'd be good if it was abolished. Several decades overdue, but good.
    "Remember to always be yourself. Unless you suck." - Joss Whedon

    "The only thing more expensive than education is ignorance." -Benjamin Franklin

  8. #8
    Elite Member cmmdee's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Eva's Love Den
    Posts
    25,572

    Default

    I have mixed feelings on the death penalty.
    For people that rape and murder little children, there is no punishment good enough for them, yet I think sometimes about people that have been killed and then later found to be innocent under the death penalty.
    I don't know.

  9. #9
    Elite Member MohandasKGanja's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    Wherever my kids are
    Posts
    25,724

    Default

    My personal feeling is that it should only be for the worst, most egregious cases - child killers, serial murderers, mass murderers, and terrorists. And that the preponderance of evidence would indicate that a later DNA test wouldn't clear them.

    And Martin O'Malley was an absolutely shitty mayor. Even the liberal-leaning Washington Post out here wouldn't endorse him for Governor. Empty-suit hack.

  10. #10
    Elite Member kingcap72's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    10 miles from Pootie Tang
    Posts
    21,909

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by MohandasKGanja View Post
    My personal feeling is that it should only be for the worst, most egregious cases - child killers, serial murderers, mass murderers, and terrorists. And that the preponderance of evidence would indicate that a later DNA test wouldn't clear them.

    And Martin O'Malley was an absolutely shitty mayor. Even the liberal-leaning Washington Post out here wouldn't endorse him for Governor. Empty-suit hack.
    Exactly. Because one of the reasons why the death penalty hasn't become a successful deterrent is because we barely use it. Most people know that if you get the death penalty you can just keep appealing the case and drag it out for years.

    But there also have to be standards in place to make sure that the death penalty isn't being carried out disproportionately against certain groups.

  11. #11
    Super Moderator Tati's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    Your Pocket
    Posts
    17,998

    Default

    I'm against it in its present form because I think it's inefficient, imperfect, wasteful and ineffective. Not necessarily against death as a punishment if the system could somehow be perfected.
    If you reveal your secrets to the wind you should not blame the wind for revealing them to the trees.

    - Kahlil Gibran

  12. #12
    Elite Member Grimmlok's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    In WhoreLand fucking your MOM
    Posts
    55,372

    Default

    1) Some people are monsters

    2) Some people cannot be reformed, rehabilitated, or otherwise made into useful members of society

    3) some people have committed hideous crimes

    The problem with the death penalty (though less lately) is the chance that someone on death row might not be guilty of the crime they are charged with. If there was a way to perfect that, or at least get as close as possible to it, I doubt there would be much opposition to it.

    I don't look at a death penalty as a moral issue at all. To me, it comes down to crime, intent, rehabilitation factor, and purpose of keeping them alive. Let's Godwin the argument, and suggest Hitler was on death row. Should he be spared? If so, why? He can never be reintegrated and was responsible for the most asbominable of grotesqueries on the human race. His actions would merit his death about 4 million times over. What purpose is served by keeping him in a small cell, fed, warm and otherwise till he naturally expires?
    I am from the American CIA and I have a radio in my head. I am going to kill you.

  13. #13
    Friend of Gossip Rocks! buttmunch's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    Uranus
    Posts
    31,885

    Default

    Immoral?? What they did to helpless victims is immoral! And without benefit of judge & jury. They deserve the very worst.

    Killing is obviously immoral so killing them isn't right. The old eye for an eye doesn't do it for me. And since, as Grimm pointed out, there is always the chance someone will be wrongfully convicted there should not be a death penalty. Also, its application is not fair, with far more people of color being sentenced to death than whites, even when the crimes are similar. It's wrong and I just will never support it, even if it means some horrendous person staying alive for committing a truly atrocious crime. Killing is wrong, even when it's sanctified by the state. But that's just my opinion.
    'Those who sacrifice liberty for security deserve neither.' Ben Franklin

    "When fascism comes to America, it will be wrapped in the flag and carrying the cross."
    --Sinclair Lewis

  14. #14
    Elite Member McJag's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Texas
    Posts
    42,527

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Glitter View Post
    I come up and down on this one. I know that killing someone for killing someone really does not make much sense. I mean if you kill someone it is wrong but we can do it legally? Then I see people like John Cooey who killed little Jessica Lunsford and he gets the death penalty and I am glad we have it.
    Now this is a great example.
    Quote Originally Posted by Aella View Post
    Really? And said people agreed that their own personal feelings of revenge should be made into law? Because they're not really anti-DP in that case.
    That law already exists here,as you know. Doesn't matter what their feelings are.
    Quote Originally Posted by kingcap72 View Post
    Exactly. Because one of the reasons why the death penalty hasn't become a successful deterrent is because we barely use it. Most people know that if you get the death penalty you can just keep appealing the case and drag it out for years.
    Yep-there is the problem. Oughta be swift and sure.
    I didn't start out to collect diamonds, but somehow they just kept piling up.-Mae West

  15. #15
    Elite Member msdeb's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    in a van down by the river
    Posts
    39,431

    Default

    i will always be a firm believer in the death penalty.
    Basic rule of Gossip Rocks: Don't be a dick.Tati
    Lighten Up Francis WCG

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast

Thread Information

Users Browsing this Thread

There are currently 1 users browsing this thread. (0 members and 1 guests)

Similar Threads

  1. Casey Anthony will NOT get the death penalty
    By NicoleWasHere in forum Crime and Punishment
    Replies: 23
    Last Post: December 12th, 2008, 12:06 AM
  2. Court rejects death penalty for raping children
    By celeb_2006 in forum U.S. Politics and Issues
    Replies: 17
    Last Post: June 26th, 2008, 11:42 AM
  3. Replies: 21
    Last Post: February 14th, 2008, 10:05 AM
  4. Death Penalty May Become Obsolete Soon
    By UndercoverGator in forum News
    Replies: 13
    Last Post: August 8th, 2006, 12:15 PM
  5. NJ lawmakers passes freeze on death penalty
    By buttmunch in forum U.S. Politics and Issues
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: January 10th, 2006, 06:14 AM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •