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      You will not see much sympathy for the execution slotted in Texas for Anthony Bartee on Wednesday, May 2, 2012. Mr. Bartee has a bad previous history of serving 12 years on aggravated rape. Nor is he too brite a murderer. He purportedly tried to hire people to Kill a "white guy" named David. The slain, stabbed in the back, throat cut and shot in the head victim was David Cook.

       Then, the criminal master-mind Anthony Bartee decided to take David Cook's motorcycle and prance around town boasting the ride was his own.

        But, be that as it may, I have to apologize to Anthony Bartee and my fellow Abolish the Death Penalty readers. For a few minutes, after learning about this issue late today, I was tempted to not report this story. For that, I am ashamed.

Arguments against the Death Penalty

       After arguing so long and hard for Troy Davis, where the Pope, former President Jimmy Carter, as well as former FBI Director Louis Freeh and 600,000 others signed a petition to commute Troy Davis's sentence. Why should one bother even mentioning a plea for mercy for one so obviously guilty as Anthony Bartee?

                Because decent people do Not commit or sanction murder!

       As reported by the Houston Chronicle (here), there are family members of David Cook's who plan to attend the execution and have long waited for it.

       Forget about the Troy Davis's or the Cameron Todd Willinghams and other such people that most definitely were murdered by the State for the sake of blood lust. The answer to the logic question of why should those guilty of their crime - should Not be put to death is more than two fold.

1.     Murder of a Murderer is Not Justice, nor does it heal or save society.

2.     Innocents, mistakes, prosecutorial misconducts - are vast reasons to Abolish

       But, finally, the best reason is that of the victims still alive. Once a trial has began and then ended with a guilty verdict, the pain does not end. The victims have to suffer the issues being raised and re raised, over and over again.

       I have deep empathy for the Cook family. Especially for the fact that David Cook's mother was suffering much, when the appeals process, over and over again, stalled the execution. David's mother, Phyllis Jean Cook, has just recently passed away. The suffering she has gone through is horrendous.

       We need to educate our world to be better. To teach value systems and get to the point in our quest for a better humanity, where such guys lacking in intelligence and any sense of morals like Anthony Bartee - realize they are wrong - and we care enough to help them realize and change.

        However, we cannot do that - until we set a good example and change too!

                  Abolish the Death Penalty is the quest for a Good Value System


According to the Houston Chronicle

Bartee declined to speak from death row with reporters as his execution date neared. At least four other Texas inmates have executions scheduled in the coming months, including another in two weeks.
 I confess my bad form and apologize for not immediately doing the right thing here.

                Please do what you can to Abolish the Death Penalty in America?

Originally posted to Abolish the Death Penalty on Tue May 01, 2012 at 09:38 PM PDT.

Also republished by Barriers and Bridges.


Do you believe America should Abolish the Death Penalty?

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| 173 votes | Vote | Results

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Comment Preferences

  •  Texas would still be executing (9+ / 0-)

    mentally handicapped children if the US Supreme Court would let them.  Hell, once they've abolished abortion, they would set up an assembly line straight from the maternity ward to the death chamber.  They would sooner be abolished as a state than stop murdering people.

    Our Germans are better zan zeyr Germans.

    by Troubadour on Tue May 01, 2012 at 09:49:44 PM PDT

  •  the guy is clearly cognitively impaired. (8+ / 0-)

    He kills a man and then runs around town on the victim's motorcycle, thereby linking himself to the crime.  

    Anyone with an IQ above room temperature knows, if you commit a dastardly crime, the first thing you want is to get the hell away from anything to do with it.  And the second thing you want is to find a good alibi, something better than "I was at my best friend's house watching the ball game."

    Executing people like that serves no purpose, and it doesn't even deter other people like that, because they're frankly too impaired to even grasp the concept.  

    How to deter people who have no clue about the consequences of their actions, I don't know, particularly if they're low-IQ sociopaths who are basically incurable and untreatable.  

    What I would do with all diagnosable sociopaths, from the stoopid ones in the streets to the smart ones in the suites, is civil commitment to a psychiatric hospital for life on their first offense, as a danger to self and others, until there's a viable medical treatment.  

    "Minus two votes for the Democrat" equals "plus one vote for the Republican." Arithmetic doesn't care about your feelings.

    by G2geek on Tue May 01, 2012 at 10:07:39 PM PDT

  •  Most people (there are exceptions)... (8+ / 0-)

    ...don't believe in executing the innocent. But it's hard to persuade the majority that we shouldn't be executing the guilty, either, the ones about there is no question they committed the crime for which they were convicted. We should, nonetheless, continue to try to persuade them.

    Don't tell me what you believe, show me what you do and I will tell you what you believe.

    by Meteor Blades on Tue May 01, 2012 at 10:15:42 PM PDT

  •  BTW - is anyone experiencing glitches with the (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    joe wobblie

    tweet and like buttons like I am?

    PLEASE ☺ - Help Stop Mitt the Pitts Romney from Stealing ☻ the POTUS

    by laserhaas on Tue May 01, 2012 at 10:41:13 PM PDT

  •  I'm afraid it is going to take proving innocent (5+ / 0-)

    ...people have been executed. Even then I'm not sure many in Texas want to stop.

    "There is nothing more dreadful than the habit of doubt. Doubt separates people. It is a poison that disintegrates friendships and breaks up pleasant relations. It is a thorn that irritates and hurts; it is a sword that kills.".. Buddha

    by sebastianguy99 on Tue May 01, 2012 at 11:46:15 PM PDT

    •  Cameron Todd Willingham (5+ / 0-)

      It's very likely that they did kill an innocent man. Read the New Yorker article on this... improper, inaccurate and just plain false forensic evidence that was more conjecture and prejudice than proof.  The heart of the matter is that flash-overs, when fires suddenly reach a critical point and explode up walls and across floors, often occur in housefires that started accidentally once the entire room reaches a certain temperature... the alleged evidence of accelerants that the DA used to turn this into an arson-homicide was totally debunked and was just bad science.  It's almost certain the fire was accidental.  There is no evidence that he set the fire.

      Of course the defendant was poorly educated, not terribly smart, suffered a long history of physical abuse as a child which led to poor performance in school, poor work history, addictions problems.  In short, he was the sort of low income, low status, disposable person that can be executed in Texas w/o anyone much giving a shit.  The sort of person Antonin Scalia considers acceptable collateral damage, even if innocent, in order for the judicial process to work on an economically sustainable basis, and fulfill the desire of the population to execute criminals.  

      But... there was no evidence of a crime, and a great deal of evidence that Willingham was heartbroken and filled with guilt that he didn't do more when his daughters died in that fire.  There's actually no evidence at all that he killed them.  

      “If the misery of the poor be caused not by the laws of nature, but by our institutions, great is our sin.” Charles Darwin

      by ivorybill on Wed May 02, 2012 at 01:20:45 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I lived in TX a few years after this trial and you (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        ivorybill, drnononono, sebastianguy99

        would not believe how much witch hunt blood lust type hate that people spouted - when the subject inadvertently came up.

        Every single time, people would say hateful stuff when I wanted to ask questions.

        "the 2 evidences are a man gets fame & pay to conclude the forensic evidence is conclusive of Willingham's guilt and a jail house snitch"

        I, who at the time, was an indoctrinated Christian - was screamed at, called a murderer's accomplice and, on 2 different times, people asked what I was planning to do with my kids.

        I will remember this guy always

        and am glad that the evil forensic Vasquez was thrown out of the forensic society.

        Governor Perry killed a Commissioned report on the very day it was to be released.

        Justice in a Right makes might world is seldom - if ever.

        PLEASE ☺ - Help Stop Mitt the Pitts Romney from Stealing ☻ the POTUS

        by laserhaas on Wed May 02, 2012 at 05:50:33 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  There's pretty good evidence (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          laserhaas, drnononono

          that Rick Perry manipulated the clemency board in order to make sure this guy got executed, rather than delay the execution and fully consider the independent expert's findings.  

          Perry had a choice between trying to prevent the death of an innocent man, and sending a guy to the death chamber to promote his re-election.  He chose to have the guy killed rather than have anyone publicly question the misuse of forensic evidence in Texas before an election.  Willingham was killed because there was a political benefit in killing a dumb-ass hick, whether or not he was guilty, in order to appeal to voters.  You remember how the Republicans cheered Perry at that first debate?  

          This gets at the heart of my own personal opposition to the death penalty.  There is the risk of killing an innocent man, but equally, the death penalty in our country is used for blatantly political purposes and manipulation - to fan revenge and blood-lust to win elections or avoid defeat.  What Perry did was as ugly and indefensible as anything a politician can do.  I can't really care much whether some of the truly guilty on death row live or die.  But the system itself is corrosive to society.  It damages us, and I do care very much if an innocent man is killed.  It's time simply to end it, no matter how much some criminals might deserve it.

          “If the misery of the poor be caused not by the laws of nature, but by our institutions, great is our sin.” Charles Darwin

          by ivorybill on Wed May 02, 2012 at 06:33:32 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  Push a specific alternative, I'd say. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    joe wobblie, laserhaas

    Look, even the forced-birth crazies recognize they have to push an alternative, which is why they're adoption obsessives or claim to be.  I think the fact that opponents of the death penalty aren't out there advocating (or even expressing any particular level with) life without parole is a significant obstacle to winning over popular support.  Without that, opposition to the death penalty risks being inscribed, in the majority mind, into an overall stereotype of liberals-for-impunity.  You can complain that it's unfair and everything else in the book, but you have to take perceptions as they are rather than as you'd like them to be if you want real change that lives depend upon.   I'm telling this to you, of course, as someone who's not moved to opposition to the death penalty precisely because I share that reservation: that it's part of an overall progressive project that doesn't think murder is the worst of crimes.

    Romney '12: The Power of Crass Commands You!

    by Rich in PA on Wed May 02, 2012 at 03:56:27 AM PDT

    •  "particular comfort level with," that is (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      joe wobblie, laserhaas

      Damn, I'm trying to be more careful.

      Romney '12: The Power of Crass Commands You!

      by Rich in PA on Wed May 02, 2012 at 03:57:01 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  The alternative I push - is No Death Penalty (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:


      It does Not save money, it does not serve justice, it does Not heal the victims.

      It serves blood lust and is state sanctioned murder.

      PLEASE ☺ - Help Stop Mitt the Pitts Romney from Stealing ☻ the POTUS

      by laserhaas on Wed May 02, 2012 at 05:53:07 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  What advocates are you talking about? (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      drnononono, laserhaas

      Because all the organized campaigns include not only LWOP, but other reforms.* I'd suggest you look at the SAFECA campaign so you get a sense of what opponents are actually arguing for.  As it stands, you are swinging as strawmen.

      As for the rest, about half of Americans either oppose the death penalty or prefer LWOP. (And that is with neither party, taking that position - those numbers would shift even more if one did). Your position isn't a majority one. You should just argue on your own behalf. But as an abolitionist, I'm not sure why free advice from a pro-death penalty person is that valuable.  

      Personally, I am unmoved by the arguments of those who think it's better to kill an innocent person than risk not killing a guilty one.

      *Those reforms include working towards actually catching more murderers, because many (including many cases where people are wrongly sentenced to death) are never properly investigated or caught.  More severe penalties for a smaller percentage of murderers isn't a great idea, from where I sit. YMMV

      Politics is the art of the possible, but that means you have to think about changing what is possible, not that you have to accept it in perpetuity. @DavidKaib

      by David Kaib on Wed May 02, 2012 at 06:03:15 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Be that as it may I "AM" swinging (0+ / 0-)

        and will hopefully get better at it daily.

        Being more gentile on the issues - I would not refer to a person as a "straw man"

        but, rather

        your efforts could be perceived as a "straw man" type of mentality.

        PLEASE ☺ - Help Stop Mitt (the Pitts) Romney from Stealing [☻] the POTUS!

        by laserhaas on Wed May 02, 2012 at 09:24:55 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Like Harry Blackmun (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    joe wobblie, laserhaas, drnononono

    I used to favor the death penalty.

    I've seen enough. It doesn't work, and our system of justice is broken anyway.

  •  tipPed & rec'ed (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    The radical Republican party is the party of oppression, fear, loathing and above all more money and power for the people who robbed us.

    by a2nite on Wed May 02, 2012 at 06:05:30 AM PDT

  •  WOW - the Poll numbers are a GREAT cause for (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    drnononono, joe wobblie


    PLEASE ☺ - Help Stop Mitt the Pitts Romney from Stealing ☻ the POTUS

    by laserhaas on Wed May 02, 2012 at 12:48:18 PM PDT

  •  Thanks for the diary; the poll numbers (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    aren't that different from what you would see in a Gallup nationwide poll.  But, it is very disturbing to see it here at an ostensibly "liberal" website.  So much for the idea that "liberals" are morally more advanced than "conservatives."

    I would be interested to see what the poll numbers here would be if the question were phrased in this manner:  

    "I'm going to read four statements.  Listen carefully, then tell me which of them--number 1, 2, 3, or 4--is closest to your own view.

    1.  The penalty for murder should be the death penalty.

    2.  The penalty for murder should be life in prison with the possibility of parole.

    3.  The penalty for murder should be life in prison without the possibility of parole.

    4.  The penalty for murder should be life in prison without the possibility of parole, and a requirement to work to make restitution to the victim's family."

    One caution about the poll results here:  it may be that those who were motivated enough to respond in this diary tend to skew in favor of the death penalty, but that might not be a representative sample of the site as a whole.

    •  We have a lot of work to do (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      laserhaas, drnononono

      convincing liberals / Democrats that the death penalty is immoral and broken and that it matters. Given that there are plenty of blue states that still have it on the books, there is a lot of room for growth.   For some reason, whether it's in terms of who we talk about convincing or which states we talk about in terms of policy, we tend to focus on the most conservative.  This is counterproductive.  

      Punitive crime policy is the flip slide of lenient financial policies - freedom and bailouts for the rich and punishment and surveillance of the poor. We have to challenge the whole package, as they are two sides of the conservative challenge to liberal governance.

      Politics is the art of the possible, but that means you have to think about changing what is possible, not that you have to accept it in perpetuity. @DavidKaib

      by David Kaib on Wed May 02, 2012 at 09:04:13 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Nice to see ya drnononono. With the good news (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      I will do an update D and will look at incorporating your numbers (unless you would like to do the D)!

      PLEASE ☺ - Help Stop Mitt (the Pitts) Romney from Stealing [☻] the POTUS!

      by laserhaas on Wed May 02, 2012 at 09:26:31 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Go for it! The #s could produce a difference. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        The revised question is the one used by Celinda Lake & Associates in a nationwide poll last fall; it produced interesting--somewhat surprising--results...

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