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

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  •  You cite nothing to support this (1+ / 0-)
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    I've told you that no death row inmates have killed other inmates in the last decade. We have more than 3,000 people on death row.

    Yet you incomprehensibly repeat things that aren't true. Earlier you cited general population murders as support for the idea that we wouldn't be able to keep people from killing other people in prison. I'll concede that point - yes, guy, if we place people who would otherwise be on death row in the general population of a typical prison, people will die.

    But you're arguing against air there. We have a model for a type of arrangement that would keep people from killing other people in prison. It's called our current death row.

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

    by Grizzard on Sun Jan 06, 2013 at 01:45:35 PM PST

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    •  Grizzard, reasoning matters (0+ / 0-)

      Living murderers are infiniteley more likely to harm and murder, again, than are executed murderers.

      Innocents are protected more with the death penalty than with life without parole, in, three ways.

      Of all endeavors that put innocents at risk, is there one with a better record of sparing innocent lives than the US death penalty? Unlikely.

      1) The Death Penalty: Saving More Innocent Lives

      2) Innocents More At Risk Without Death Penalty

      •  Yes, Mr. Sharp, reasoning *does* matter (1+ / 0-)
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        Living murderers are similarly infinitely more likely to cure cancer, star in a Broadway musical, and be successfully elected as a Republican congressman from Kansas. Because, obviously, the dead murderer is, well, dead, and has a 0% likelihood of doing any of those things. But what is the real likelihood that someone convicted of homicide and sentenced accordingly (LWOP, let's say) is likely to be let out or escape to kill again? Well, they're not going to be let out, certainly. So how many murderers have escaped from maximum security and killed again? Vanishingly close to zero, as it happens.

        So that's not a valid argument, that's a BS grasp towards an emotional reaction that makes it a little hard to take you seriously. For all of your exhortations not to be fooled by the evidence, your case seems to rest on a surprisingly flimsy facade of dubious studies (Louis "common sense trumps evidence" Pojman), non-sequiturs ("the recidivism rate is too high," when no one ever suggested the alternative to execution is letting murderers roam free), and self-references where you repeat your same fallacies ad nauseum. My favorite so far is the rhetorical sleight of hand in your "response" to Radelet/Lacock where you make the curious argument that because a survey study cannot prove that there is 0% added deterrence to execution over life imprisonment, then it's irresponsible not to execute people. It's odd how that same logic  seems so alien to you when talking about the 0.4% error rate in convictions (a number which can itself be called in question given the strong disinclination to overturn a death penalty conviction once the sentence has been carried out). I also really appreciate the random link to Denis Prager and, which really adds the hint of authoritative social science to your argument that you seldom get outside of Fox and Friends.

        Your case, in which the evidence is supposed to speak for itself, is a beast feeding on its own tail. While I give you credit for at least engaging with the opposing argument, you do so with limited intellectual rigor, and the reliable sources you do cite exhibit the same failings. To present your conclusions as the inevitable result of logical reasoning is gutsy, to be sure, but saying it doesn't make it so.

        •  sean, interesting, but the discussion is only (0+ / 0-)

          about whether murderers should live or die and the risk to innocents.

          That was the context.

          I don't know of any states that are not currently considering allowing lifers to be subject to early release, based upon cost reductions.

          And lifers have been released and have murdered again, so your claim that this certainly will not happen has been disproven, already.

          You should not invent things. You should research and fact check/

          You are simly unaware.

          My arguments are solid and you did not rebut them.


          My many responses to Radelet were unrebutted by you, because you could not.


          Soley with regard to deterrence, it is unrebutted that all prospects of a negative outcome deter some.

          Truly, the only remaining issue is does the death penalty deter more than life without parole.

          Hugo Adam Bedau, the recently deceased grandfather of modern anti death penalty academics, accepted it as a given that the death penalty deterred some, but that he didn't believe it deterred more than a life sentence.

          As reviewed, the evidence is much stronger that it is an enhanced deterrent over life, than it is not.

          I presented quite a bit of evidence for that, not of which you rebutted.

          •  In all sincerity, thank you for the discussion (0+ / 0-)

            You don't, it appears, understand the distinction between an assertion and evidence, because your "evidence" for enhanced deterrence consistently falls back on a basic link that does not actually appear to exist: that, given the choice between DP and LWOP, prisoners prefer the latter does not directly speak to the deterrence value of either. That's a link that needs to be proved independently. You also invoke a series of false premises and baseless scare tactics (if we don't execute a murderer, that means we must inevitably release him/her to kill again), some of which you didn't even bother trying to link together properly initially.

            I begin to feel that I made a mistake in treating you as a serious participant in a legitimate debate to begin with. I do appreciate your willingness to at least deal in facts and figures, but your misrepresentation and misuse of them is instructive. I've written several lengthy responses to you, on a point-by-point basis, already, and you've clearly selectively ignored vast chunks of them. It's been an interesting discussion, but I see no reason to think anything further can be said or accomplished.

        •  small sample - repeat murderers (0+ / 0-)

          John McRae -- Michigan/Florida. Life for murder of 8-year-old boy. Pedophile. Paroled 1971. Convicted of another murder of a boy after parole, in Michigan 1998. Charges pending on 2 other counts in Florida.
          John Miller -- California. Killed an infant 1957, convicted of murder, 1958. Paroled 1975. Killed his parents 1975. Life term 1975.  
          Michael Lawrence -- Florida. Killed robbery victim. Life term, 1976. Paroled 1985. Killed robbery victim. Condemned 1990.  
          Donald Dillbeck -- Florida. Killed policeman in 1979. Escaped from prison in 1990, kidnapped and killed female motorist after escape. Condemned 1991.
          Edward Kennedy -- Florida. Killed motel clerk. Sentenced to Life. Escaped 1981. Killed policeman and male civilian after prison break. Executed 1992.
          Dawud Mu'Min -- Virginia. Killed cab driver in holdup. Sentenced 1973. Escaped 1988. Raped/killed woman 1988. Condemned 1989. Executed 1997.
          Viva Nash -- Utah/Arizona. Two terms of life for murder in Utah, 1978. Escaped in 1982. Murdered again. Condemned in Arizona, 1983.
          Randy Greenawalt -- Escaped from Prison in 1978, while serving a life sentence for a 1974 murder. He then murdered a family of 4 people, shotgunning them to death, including a toddler.  
          Norman Parker -- Florida/D.C. Life term in Florida for murder, 1966. Escaped 1978. Life on another count of murder in 1979.
          Winford Stokes -- Missouri. Ruled insane on two counts of murder 1969. Escaped from asylum, 1978. Murdered again. Executed for this murder, 1990.
          Charles Crawford -- Missouri. Life term in 1965 for murder. Paroled 1990. Convicted of murder again in 1994.  
          Jack Ferrell -- Florida. Committed Murdered 1981. 15 years to life, 1982. Paroled 1987. Murdered again 1992. Condemned 1993.
          Timothy Buss -- Murdered five-year-old girl. Sentenced to 25 years in 1981. Paroled 1993. Murdered 10-year-old boy. Condemned 1996.  
          Martsay Bolder -- Missouri. Serving a sentence of life for first-degree murder in 1973. Murdered prison cellmate 1979.  
          Henry Brisbon, Illinois. Murdered 2 in robbery. Sentenced to 1000- 3000 years. Killed inmate in prison 1982. Sentenced to DP. Commuted by Governor Ryan.  
          Randolph Dial -- Oklahoma. Life for murder 1986. Escaped from prison with deputy warden's wife as kidnap victim. 1989. Still at large. Warden's wife never found.  
          Arthur J. Bomar, Jr. -- released from prison in Nevada on parole in 1990. Bomar had served 11 years of a murder sentence for killing a man over an argument about a parking space. Six years later in Pennsylvania, Bomar brutally kidnapped, raped and murdered George Mason University star athlete Aimee Willard.  
          Dwain Little -- Oregon. Raped/Stabbed 16-year-old girl. Life term 1966. Paroled 1974. Returned as Parole Violator 1975. Again Released 1977. Then shot family of 4. Three consecutive life terms for rape and murder 1980.  

      •  Troll. Member of Justice for All, a death penalty (2+ / 0-)
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        Grizzard, Cedwyn

        ...promotion society.

        9-11 changed everything? Well, Katrina changed it back.

        by varro on Sun Jan 06, 2013 at 09:35:40 PM PST

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