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View Diary: Why The Death Penalty Should Matter to Progressives (298 comments)

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  •  The idea that opposition to the death penalty (12+ / 0-)

    is a mere matter of being "kind and merciful to killers" pretty much ignores the litany of injustice and inequality that this diarist has been patiently laying out. Because, just for starters, not everyone sentenced to death is actually a killer in the first place.

    Just take the question of inept court-appointed lawyers. In how many instances here has the defendant received the death penalty not only because their lawyer failed to secure them a lesser sentence, but because their lawyer failed to secure an acquittal for a crime that person didn't commit?

    One of the many things that brings me up short on the death penalty is, what if the jury is wrong? What if their prejudices -- or simply the vastly unequal sophistication of the DA and defnese lawyer's court strategy -- sends that person to death row, despite solid evidence of wrongdoing? There's no do-over for a case where a person is wrongly put to death, after the surfacing of new DNA evidence or what have you.

    This is pretty much what led the Republican then-governor of Illinois, George Ryan, to suspend the application of the death penalty there in 2000. I'm not sure that Ryan was anyone's idea of a liberal bleeding heart. He simply had a perspective upon the death penalty that allowed him to see precisely how capricious the system was.

    Nothing requires a greater effort of thought than arguments to justify the rule of non-thought. -- Milan Kundera

    by Dale on Sun Jan 06, 2013 at 08:58:04 AM PST

    [ Parent ]

    •  Absolutely (10+ / 0-)

      Ryan was blown away by the fact that Illinois was batting under .500 on executions during a period of time - 11 executions and 12 exonerations from death row.

      The sad thing is that it took the hard work of a bunch of journalism students from Northwestern to get the ball rolling on that. The system HAD failed. Those 12 men would have been killed if not for some smart students turning a passing interest into a passionate investigation.

      "I believe that, as long as there is plenty, poverty is evil." ~Bobby Kennedy

      by Grizzard on Sun Jan 06, 2013 at 09:01:12 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  No Grizzard (0+ / 1-)
        Recommended by:
        Hidden by:
        Grizzard

        Illinois had sentenced 300 to death.

        If 12 of those were found to be actually innocent, that would be 4%, not 50%.

        Do you have some proof that 12 were found actually innocent?

        •  Hide Rating for a blatant lie (0+ / 0-)

          I will listen to a lot, but not blatant misdirection.

          http://en.wikipedia.org/...

          I said more exonerations than executions. The responder here is seeking to intentionally mislead my readership, and in the process undermine my credibility.

          "I believe that, as long as there is plenty, poverty is evil." ~Bobby Kennedy

          by Grizzard on Sun Jan 06, 2013 at 09:58:45 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Grizzard, such false outrage, ugh (0+ / 0-)

            50% of what?

            The error rate of sentencing actually innocent people to death , in Ilinois, was, possibly, as high as 4%, if we accept your 12 exonerated number.

            4%.

            Of those 100% were released.

            11 executed is also about 4% of those  sentenced to death.

            How is 11 executed 50% of those 12 exonerated?

            How is 12 exonerated 50% of the 11 executed?

            I guess if you wish to be silly and add 11 and 12 and then divide it by either 11 or 12 and get about 50%, that would work, but is kind of well, nonsense.

            Come on, this is supposed to be a serious debate.

            •  Blood Pudding recipe (0+ / 0-)

              Ingredients:

                  1 quart pig's blood
                  12 ounces bread crumbs
                  1/2 lb. suet
                  Salt and pepper, to taste
                  1 quart milk
                  1 cup cooked barley
                  1 cup dry rolled oats
                  1 ounce ground mint

              Preparation:
              Mix all ingredients together in a bowl; pour into a large kettle or Dutch oven and bring to a boil. Pour into a wide shallow bowl and season again if necessary. Chill thoroughly, until firm. When cold it may be cut into slices and fried.

              If it's
              Not your body,
              Then it's
              Not your choice
              And it's
              None of your damn business!

              by TheOtherMaven on Mon Jan 07, 2013 at 01:31:48 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

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