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View Diary: Open thread for night owls: Executing the innocent (267 comments)

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  •  My opposition to the death penalty (12+ / 0-)

    which is absolute, has occasionally bent my heart in half.  

    The murders gchaucer2 spoke of, above, in Connecticut: the convicted murderer and his accused accomplice (who will go on trial next year), broke into the house, beat the husband and tied him up in the basement, raped and tortured the children, strangled the wife and then dumped gasoline on the children and set the house on fire . . . my opposition to the death penalty remains, even here, because I do not believe the state should step into a killer's shoes.  

    (Practically, as well, it is cheaper to keep someone in prison for his/her natural life than to pay for the (thankfully required) appeals in a death case. . . . and keeping such people in prison always allows for the possibility, some time down the road, of discovering evidence that they, in fact, did not do it.)

    Ted Bundy.  A lovely women in my choir at my church in St. Petersburg, Florida was the mother of one of his victims at the Chi Omega house at FSU.  If I recall correctly, it was his bite marks on her daughter's breast that proved to be an essential element in his conviction.  If ever there was a case that tested my beliefs, it was his -- because he escaped on at least two occasions and killed when he did.  But the scene outside of the prison on the night of his execution was beyond sickening . . . and I sincerely doubt his electrocution brought any comfort to my fellow choir member's heart.

    My friend, Meg.  I went to a small high school.  Meg E. was our class president and went on to Rice University.  She was there murdered by a serial killer.  Her body was found in the trunk of a car.  She was brave and smart and had spent a year flat on her back in a cast for scoliosis -- taking classes by phone . . . only to end up in his trunk.  

    But for all of these . . . I think also of Todd Willingham -- read more here and the fact that, in addition to my belief that the death penalty is a moral wrong, there are also demonstrable cases (and far more, I fear, if we looked into it) where innocent (not just not guilty as a matter of law) people who were executed.

    And I know that there is a real possibility (if not probability) that many, many people who either were innocent or were not guilty nevertheless were found guilty and executed because they could not afford decent representation . . .

    I have no problem with locking up people like the convicted Connecticut murderer and Ted Bundy and the evil guy who murdered my friend Meg for the rest of their lives . . . but I do not believe in the death penalty.

    PROUD to be a Democrat.

    by noweasels on Fri Nov 12, 2010 at 10:57:58 PM PST

    •  noweasels, I'm not sure if (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      you have seen the article in WaPo but it looks like the police found the body of little Zahra.  Peace and blessings for that poor child.  Article

      " My faith in the Constitution is whole; it is complete; it is total." Barbara Jordan, 1974

      by gchaucer2 on Fri Nov 12, 2010 at 11:19:42 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

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