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A couple of weeks ago, Pew's Religion and Public Life Project created the animated gif above that compiles every execution in the nation since 1977.

Read below the fold for more on America's love/hate relationship with the death penalty.

That was a year after the U.S. Supreme Court reaffirmed the death penalty in Gregg v. Georgia, four years after it had suspended executions in another Georgia case, Furman v. Georgia.

In January 1977, killed by firing squad in Utah, Gary Gilmore became the first person executed in the United States in 10 years.

Since then, 1,373 others have been executed, with 15 so far in 2014. Just three states—Texas, Virginia and Oklahoma—executed more than half the total, 732.

Since 1989, 106 people sentenced to death in the United States have been exonerated. Some of them had come within days of being executed.

Pew's latest survey found that a majority of Americans still support capital punishment, just as they have done in polls in all but one of the past 80 years. But, in a hopeful sign, the gap between those who favor executions and those who do not has shrunk markedly since 1996 when 78 percent were in favor and only 18 percent opposed. The latest Pew survey cut that margin from 60 points to 18 points, 55 percent favoring and 37 percent opposed. Only in 1966 did capital punishment's foes have the edge, by six points.

As the charts below show, there's a marked difference of opinion depending on race, partisan alignment, age and, to a lesser extent, gender.

Only 11 percent of the world's nations—22 of them—executed anyone in 2013. Ninety-eight nations have officially ended capital punishment for all crimes, and, according to Amnesty International, another 42 have ended it in practice.

Amnesty's report for 2013 states:

Executions were recorded in 22 countries during 2013, one more than in the previous year. As in 2012, it could not be confirmed if judicial executions took place in Egypt or Syria. The overall number of reported executions worldwide was 778, an increase of almost 15% compared with 2012. As in previous years, this figure does not include the thousands of people executed in China; with the death penalty treated as a state secret the lack of reliable data does not allow Amnesty International to publish credible minimum figures for China. [...]

Despite these worrying developments, the overall data demonstrate that the trend is still firmly towards abolition. Excluding China, almost 80% of all known executions worldwide were recorded in only three countries: Iran, Iraq and Saudi Arabia.

Progress towards abolition was recorded in all regions of the world. Although the USA remained the only country in the Americas to carry out executions in 2013, the number of executions in the country continued to decrease. Maryland became the 18th abolitionist US state in May. No executions were reported in Europe and Central Asia last year. Constitutional and legal review processes in several West African countries created real opportunities for the abolition of capital punishment. For the first time since Amnesty International began keeping records there were no prisoners on death row in Grenada, Guatemala and Saint Lucia.

Slowly edging ever closer to the day when this barbaric practice will be ended everywhere.

Originally posted to Meteor Blades on Tue Apr 08, 2014 at 11:21 AM PDT.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

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Comment Preferences

  •  yea though we see the region of death we should (5+ / 0-)

    fear no evil?

    Warning - some snark may be above‽ (-9.50; -7.03)‽ eState4Column5©2013 "I’m not the strapping young Muslim socialist that I used to be" - Barack Obama 04/27/2013 (@eState4Column5).

    by annieli on Tue Apr 08, 2014 at 11:28:27 AM PDT

    •  Let me tell you about my new neighbor (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Navy Vet Terp

      Right now, about a block (or so) away from me, there lives a man, who, in his younger years (20's), with a couple of his buddies, kidnapped, raped, tortured & murdered a 15 year old child.  Their attorneys fought vigorously to have the rape charges dropped, due to a question whether or not my neighbor killed her, before they all had a chance to ejaculate into her. Anyway, his charges were reduced to 'involuntary manslaughter' & rape, he did his time &  is now a monster that I & everyone else has to think about every time we want to enjoy our gardens or let our children off lock down (due to his presence).

      When we don't execute them, regardless of your faith in the prison system or magical thinking, there is ALWAYS a chance that they will find a way out & cause more problems (ever heard of Kenneth McDuff?).

      Some folks have never and will never give a damn about the boundaries & rights of others...We're just here for their use & abuse. Some folks just need to be eliminated from society, it's as simple as that. I'm sorry that my neighbor didn't get the execution he deserves. It's really sad to think that another little girl is going to have to be raped and/or die, before this guy gets what's coming to him.

      •  I guess he's on the sex offender registry? (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Delevie, Meteor Blades, Oh Mary Oh

        Why would life in prison not be acceptable to you?

        Do you have a link to any of the information concerning this case?

        I ain't often right, but I've never been wrong. Seldom turns out the way it does in this song.

        by mungley on Wed Apr 09, 2014 at 05:54:29 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Life in prison is a waste (0+ / 0-)

          Why should folks, who have proven they cannot exist peaceably, in society, be shoved into a box, where they can continue to cause problems for others? Why keep them around? Why should anyone be further subjected to their behaviors? Why should energy be used to house, feed, entertain, medicate & clothe them? Why should animals be made to suffer & die to feed them? Why should ANYONE ever have to suffer anything further, because of them?

        •  Also (0+ / 0-)

          I found out about my neighbor, due to several cards I've received in the mail. I researched him, when I noticed that his 'involuntary manslaughter' (that one slays me, pun intended) charges occurred on the same day he was charged for rape. Apparently, someone thinks he's dangerous enough, that his neighbors get a notice about him, every six months or so. Every time I see his face, I remember how vulnerable we all are. Do I have to carry a weapon, when I want to spend time in my yard or go for a walk? Be attended whenever I want a breath of fresh air? The women in my neighborhood are afraid to take out their trash alone & I do fear for my family. I won't furnish a link, because, like I said, he lives really close to me, & I'm not in the habit of revealing too much of my personal information (like my neighborhood) on the internet. There's lots of stories like his, though. He's not special.

      •  I think most folks believe... (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Camussie, Oh Mary Oh

        ...there truly are people who "deserve to die" for their crimes.

        I believe that to be true.  I believe there are those who "deserve" death for what they've done.  egad...I got a list!

        However, I also know I'm unlikely to be the only person who opposes the death penalty not because of a "killing is wrong" philosophy, but because our very human application of such a "final solution" is demonstrably (and grotesquely) imperfect.

        And there in lies the rub.  The justice system and our laws (theoretically) are supposed to be equally applied.

        They're not, as I'm sure you know.

        And fucking up on the death penalty...putting to death a person who did NOT deserve the ultimate completely unacceptable.

        So...that monster a block away certainly "deserves" to die for his crime.  But as you noted, the justice system is imperfect.  Clearly, all the way around, and up and down the spectrum of possibilities.

        Blackstone's Formulation...informs.

        "The most potent weapon in the hands of the oppressor is the mind of the oppressed." ~ Steven Biko

        by Marjmar on Wed Apr 09, 2014 at 05:58:44 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Well said. It is exactly how I feel (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          There are some people who absolutely "deserve to die" for their crimes.  The problem is that our, or really any justice system, is too imperfect for something so final to be carried out fairly.  If just one innocent person gets killed by the state there simply shouldn't be a death penalty.  

        •  There are multiple reasons to oppose it (4+ / 0-)

          There is the reason that you can't "un-execute" someone, as you say, and wrongfully executing someone is a huge injustice.

          There is also an argument I happen to subscribe to, that the State should have the power to deprive you of liberty but not life. In a free society loss of liberty is a sufficient punishment. And executions are basically murder by the State. If murder is evil then so are executions. By the way, most of the world outside the U.S. and a few repressive regimes has come around to this point of view.

          In addition, in the U.S., there are huge racial and class disparities in terms of who is actually executed. We have practically two justice systems, one for people with good lawyers and money, and one for people with. When mostly the poor and powerless get the ultimate penalty, that is not justice. We have also executed people of limited mental capacity, and juveniles (although not recently).

      •  Numbers & public safety (0+ / 0-)

        I remember the main, viable, argument against the death penalty was always whether or not, the subject was really guilty. I did some research and found that there were only 17 people, who might have been excused via dna. & even with this, I wonder how many of them helped their friend to leave his dna on a woman THEY killed. And although I know that there must be a few folks on death row for a first time offense, most of these monsters have been violating people & animals for their entire lives, and although it is sad when a truly innocent person ends up in this position, it is highly unlikely to happen. Keep your nose clean, don't make a habit of VIOLATING OTHERS, & your odds of ending up on death row, decrease significantly. People, generally, choose their own destinies, and out of 1374 people executed, only 17 had DNA evidence indicating the involvement of anyone else (but, did the DNA belong to their friend?). Still, this means that over a thousand scary, horrible monsters were eliminated from this planet, and for this, I am grateful.

        •  That's a sad comment. (0+ / 0-)

          You are very vengeful and angry. That is a bad combination most of the time. You're even accusing the 17 who were likely innocent of framing their friends for the murder. You have a very odd worldview. I feel sorry for you.

          If you don't watch news, you're un-informed. If you watch Fox news, you're mis-informed. (paraphrasing Mark Twain)

          by edg on Wed Apr 09, 2014 at 08:59:12 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  You misunderstood, edg. (0+ / 0-)

            I didn't say anything about 'framing' anyone. I, merely, pointed out the possibility that dna might excuse someone, who was very much involved in a crime, where a life is lost. Example: THEY held the gun on the victim, while their friend commits the crime (it happens often enough).

            Vengeful? No. Although several years back, my family member was stalked, hunted for sport & killed by a stranger, that man is now dead, and the family I love so much now, is unharmed, so I have no "revenge" to consider. Whenever anyone isn't in lockstep with folks like you, you start making inflammatory, uninformed, accusations & revealing your immaturity. I'm pro death penalty, for purely practical reasons. There are enough violent people in  the world, why take the worst of the worst & make pets out of them?

  •  One of the reasons I hold so little hope (5+ / 0-)

    for the future of this country.

    That people still support this senseless barbarity in the face of all the evidence that, it doesn't work, and that we have murdered at least dozens of innocent people for no purpose beyond assuaging our blood-thirst, clearly demonstrates that far too many of us lack the will or capacity to consider the consequences of our actions.

    If we can't even bring ourselves to accept that killing people is wrong, how on earth can we hope to make the really painful choices required to reverse half a century of stupid?

    "Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities." - Voltaire

    by Greyhound on Tue Apr 08, 2014 at 11:34:25 AM PDT

    •  Yet more and more people oppose the death penalty (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      Is the fact that some still do really reason to hold so little hope?

      •  Here in Maryland (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        I was amazed the Republicans couldn't get the signatures to petition the new law to referendum.  I know they became gun shy after losing three referendums in 2012 - marriage equality, dream act, and congressional redistricting, but 10 or 20 years ago, if the Maryland legislature had abolished the death penalty, all hell would have broken lose and the Republicans not only would have gotten it on the ballot, but cleaned up on all the "criminal coddling soft on crime" Democrats.

        "Corporations exist not for themselves, but for the people." Ida Tarbell 1908.

        by Navy Vet Terp on Wed Apr 09, 2014 at 05:46:53 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Subject will never offend again (0+ / 0-)

      The death penalty is the ONLY guarantee, that the murderer will not re offend. It that isn't 'working', I don't know what is.

  •  DNA exonerations can only be used in crimes with (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    koosah, Lily O Lady

    DNA evidence.  Bought-off jailbird-cellmate testimony is not evidence.  

  •  I've said it before, I'll say it again: (6+ / 0-)

    I do not believe there are not people who deserve to die.

    But I believe that no human institution should be trusted with the power to decide who deserves to die.

    Much less the power to enforce that decision.

    "Much of movement conservatism is a con and the base is the marks." -- Chris Hayes

    by raptavio on Tue Apr 08, 2014 at 11:42:21 AM PDT

  •  I oppose the death penalty except for those (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    who murder while in prison (guard or prisoner), or if the person continues to be a significant threat to society while the person is in prison (very unusual cases - terrorist leaders, top drug cartel executives, etc.).

    That being said, a person is far more likely to die in prison at the hands of another prisoner than from the executioner.

    Bringing down the level of violence in prison would result in a greater reduction in deaths and elimination of the death penalty and would also make successful transitions to life out of prison far more likely.

    The most important way to protect the environment is not to have more than one child.

    by nextstep on Tue Apr 08, 2014 at 12:03:02 PM PDT

  •  We should never do that which we can't undo.nt (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    raptavio, The Marti, cjtjc, BMScott, David Kaib

    "The object of persecution is persecution. The object of torture is torture. The object of power is power. Now do you begin to understand me?" ~Orwell, "1984"

    by Lily O Lady on Tue Apr 08, 2014 at 12:19:01 PM PDT

  •  Some years ago, during a conversation about the (4+ / 0-)

    efficacy of the death penalty, one of my mentors put forth the idea that The us.

    When The State kills someone, it is done in our name.

    Why should executions be done in the dark of night, under the cover of darkness?  If we are so damned sure that it is the "right" thing to do, why hide it?

    If more people paid attention to what is being done in our name, and had to face it, in all its brutality and ugliness and finality...perhaps we could join the rest of the civilised world and end the practice.

    "Live with no excuses and Love with no regrets."

    by The Marti on Tue Apr 08, 2014 at 12:48:10 PM PDT

    •  Perhaps. I’d like to think so. But (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      The Marti

      the executions at Tyburn in the 16th-18th centuries were very popular spectacles.

    •  I can hardly bring myself to write this, (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      The Marti, Navy Vet Terp

      but for as much as I am appalled at the Saudi tradition of holding executions, mostly decapitations, in public, it just might, in all its graphic awfulness, be a more honest and forthright way to do it.  These executions are held outside the principal mosques in a few select cities across the country after the noonday Friday prayers are finished.  Anyone, Saudi or not, may attend.  Although I've never attended one personally, I have seen the waiting crowds -- never more than a hundred or so, I'd guess -- gathered outside the main mosque in Riyadh.  As a Saudi friend once told me, "You may think the executions are barbaric, but we see them as instructive.  My father brought me to see one when I was about 15; I'll do the same when my son reaches that age.  I saw the man alive one second and dead the next.  And I will never do anything that would place me in that position."  Or words to that effect.  

      -7.13 / -6.97 "The people never give up their liberties but under some delusion." -- Edmund Burke

      by GulfExpat on Tue Apr 08, 2014 at 06:44:24 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  That's part of what my mentor was getting at.... (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        if we stopped hiding the executions under cover of darkness, out of sight, then we might have to rethink our position on capital punishment.

        It is barabaric.  But if we're going to act like barbarians, then by all the gods that ever were, we should have to do it in the full light of day.

        "Live with no excuses and Love with no regrets."

        by The Marti on Tue Apr 08, 2014 at 08:07:25 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  America used (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        codairem, NearlyNormal, Oh Mary Oh

        to have public executions, and all they did was kill whoeve was there to be killed.  Most of the people used those times as a time for a little bit of entertainment. albeit at the convict's expense.  For a hanging, there would be people giving and taking odds on anything from the likelihood of the subjects' head being jerked completely off his body to how thoroughly he would soil his pants. Old ladies watching and knitting while they waited was nothing unusual, either. Still, the only one who was stopped from committing another crime was the party who was executed.  It seems no criminal ever thinks they will be the one who gets caught and convicted, then sentenced to death, and finally, executed.  That requires them admitting they might not be infallible.

      •  And with lethal injections (0+ / 0-)

        It's like watching someone die comfortably and painlessly in a hospital bed.  Don't think a public lethal injection would cause people to rethink the death penalty.

        "Corporations exist not for themselves, but for the people." Ida Tarbell 1908.

        by Navy Vet Terp on Wed Apr 09, 2014 at 05:51:14 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I daresay you're right. (0+ / 0-)

          That's probably why the Saudis haven't gotten rid of the swords...  They tend to concentrate minds.  

          -7.13 / -6.97 "The people never give up their liberties but under some delusion." -- Edmund Burke

          by GulfExpat on Thu Apr 10, 2014 at 06:07:41 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  How "humane" should an execution be? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Be Skeptical

    Does the manner of execution affect it's support? At one time executions were designed to be painful. Now they are only allowed if they do not entail physical pain. Would it be unacceptable for an execution to be pleasurable?

    Here is an interesting five part documentary by the BBC.

    How to Kill a Human Being - BBC Horizon

    Former Conservative MP, Michael Portillo pushes his body to the brink of death in an investigation into the science of execution.

    As the American Supreme Court examines whether the lethal injection is causing prisoners to die in unnecessary pain Michael sets out to find a solution which is fundamentally humane. To do so he examines the key methods of execution available today: he discovers why convicts can catch on fire in the electric chair, learns how easy it is to botch a hanging and inhales a noxious gas to experience first hand the terror of the gas chamber.

    Armed with some startling evidence Michael considers a completely new approach. Will it be the answer? There is only one way of finding out - to experience it himself.

  •  Hey, that's a map of the (0+ / 0-)

    Red states!

    Shall we go? Yes, let's go.

    by whenwego on Tue Apr 08, 2014 at 03:29:15 PM PDT

  •  red explosion (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    pachamama3, Navy Vet Terp

    Looked like 2/3 of the red states were going to explode.

  •  This is not a red state problem (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mungley, Oh Mary Oh

    It's worse in those states, no doubt. But it's not isolated there. We should focus on ending the death penalty in states where we have more leverage first. Once the red states, or southern states, are isolated, it's far more likely to end there. But until then it won't.

    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. Notes on a Theory

    by David Kaib on Wed Apr 09, 2014 at 08:22:07 AM PDT

  •  If you ask the question (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    NearlyNormal, mungley, Meteor Blades

    with Life Without Parole as an alternative, it polls even with the death penalty, which dips below majority support. This suggests that some of the "support" for the death penalty is about question wording error.

    And given that one party is entirely supportive and the other one is largely supportive, the level of opposition is pretty impressive.  When people hear anti-death penalty arguments, they are swayed (the exception is talking about the racial bias, which sadly makes whites more supportive).

    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. Notes on a Theory

    by David Kaib on Wed Apr 09, 2014 at 08:44:21 AM PDT

  •  I'm sure it's just a coincidence, but the (4+ / 0-)

    Confederacy is looking particularly bloody.

    "Stupidity is far more dangerous than evil, for evil takes a break from time to time, stupidity does not." -- Anatole France

    by terremoto on Wed Apr 09, 2014 at 05:33:53 PM PDT

  •  Devolution in Expanding Red n/t (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mungley, bleedingheartliberal218

    Evidence that contradicts the ruling belief system is held to extraordinary standards, while evidence that entrenches it is uncritically accepted. -Carl Sagan

    by RF on Wed Apr 09, 2014 at 05:42:49 PM PDT

  •  I worked on 3 death penalty cases (6+ / 0-)

    One guy is sitting on death row, two are doing life without parole.  One of the guys doing life sent us a letter 3 or 4 years ago, about 15 years after the case settled, he said that he had got a degree since he was in, had come to terms with what he had done, and spent much of his time with people going back into the world.  He said that he tried to increase their awareness of what life without parole means,  get them to focus on the changes they needed to make and how strong they were going to have to be to stay out in a system that is geared to bringing them back in.

    In the years I did adult criminal work I did meet some guys who cannot be allowed to ever walk free, but not many.  The lead attorney in the case told him after the LWOP sentence, "We've got you your life, can you make something of it where you are going".  In his letter he specifically mentioned that as one of the keys to his eventual awakening.

    You do a great job with these MB.  Our prison system is a disgrace....and an exercise in compounding the problem.

    75534 4-ever or until dk5

    by NearlyNormal on Wed Apr 09, 2014 at 05:44:35 PM PDT

  •  When I was young, I supported the death (4+ / 0-)

    penalty. I always thought about it in terms of Ted Bundy. Then someone asked me how I felt about just one innocent person being wrongly convicted and executed. Then I started to pay attention to the executions of the mentally ill. Then to how arbitrary application of the sentence is. Now, I am an ardent opponent.

    That graphic makes me feel physically ill.

    Tell Warner Brothers Pictures that Rooney Mara is #NotYourTigerLily.

    by ExpatGirl on Wed Apr 09, 2014 at 05:51:56 PM PDT

  •  The Graphic of the Texas death factory (5+ / 0-)

    is chilling.

    "If Wall Street paid a tax on every “game” they run, we would get enough revenue to run the government on." ~ Will Rogers

    by Lefty Coaster on Wed Apr 09, 2014 at 05:52:28 PM PDT

  •  wonder why PEW didn't (0+ / 0-)

    include Jews in that poll, unless we were included in the "unaffiliated" category.

    "My case is alter'd, I must work for my living." Moll Cut-Purse, The Roaring Girl - 1612, England's First Actress

    by theRoaringGirl on Wed Apr 09, 2014 at 06:37:01 PM PDT

  •  Worst of the Worst (0+ / 0-)

    There are a lot of things wrong with the way capital punishment is meted out in this country.

    But I believe it should still be an option for the absolute worst of the worst.

    Executing the truly mentally disabled, or those who were shafted in the court or by red tape? Yes, that can be construed as barbaric.

    Executing the most brazen of killers or rapists? The kinds of people who would admit in court that they killed, and would kill that person again if given the chance?

    I'd call that the only fitting punishment.

    And if your immediate reaction to my statement is "Well gee, that's a really rare occurrence..." you're right. In my mind, the death penalty should be a rare tool, used only in the most extreme of circumstances, where there is nothing redeeming or mitigating about the offender's crimes or life.

    If even that type of tailored approach makes me barbaric, so be it.

    •  There ins't a an option (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Oh Mary Oh

      where this penalty is only applied to those people.

      There's no point in having an opinion about an imaginary death penalty. Better to rate the one we have.

      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. Notes on a Theory

      by David Kaib on Wed Apr 09, 2014 at 07:16:48 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  A lot of good thinking went on in the 60's.. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Curt Matlock, Oh Mary Oh

    ..amongst the people that is.

    But now

    white: 63% favor death penalty | 32% oppose

    Hispanic: 40% favor | 50% oppose

    Black: 36% favor | 55$ oppose

    And then looking at the previous chart of stats directly above it; Religion is trumped by ethnicity, unless looking at the Bible belt in the U.S. map @ the top,  religion actually plays a part in an increase of the belief for retribution (?)

    Minorities seem to be completely aware that they are targets of an out of balance judicial system. And back up to the the US map - wow - we have killed a lot of people and continue to kill lot of people.

    It makes much more sense now, looking at this, why the word "amnesty" is such a treasured rhetorical device of the RWNJ's

    So this is somewhat or slightly encouraging:

    But, in a hopeful sign, the gap between those who favor executions and those who do not has shrunk markedly since 1996 when 78 percent were in favor and only 18 percent opposed. The latest Pew survey cut that margin from 60 points to 18 points, 55 percent favoring and 37 percent opposed. Only in 1966 did capital punishment's foes have the edge, by six points.
    ..except we're not back to the 60's quite yet

    Thx MB

  •  No one ever defends the actual death penalty (6+ / 0-)

    At best they defend an imaginary one.

    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. Notes on a Theory

    by David Kaib on Wed Apr 09, 2014 at 07:18:39 PM PDT

  •  i have always been (2+ / 0-)

    against the death penalty not because i have any sympathy for the sociopaths among us but its that our system is corrupt, racist , biased and flawed in so many ways.

    too many people have been found to be innocent after being convicted in our courts, by supporting the death penalty that injustice can never be overturned and my stance against the death penalty is as final as the death penalty itself.

  •  I've always felt that it says more about us... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    bleedingheartliberal218 a country how we treat our prisoners and the weakest among us.  Epic fail.

    But hell, we're americuns and we're proud to be in this exclusive club with other freedum loving countries like Saudi Arabia, Iran, Iraq and China.

  •  I am always proud of being born in Michigan. (4+ / 0-)

    Michigan was the first English-speaking government in the world to totally abolish the death penalty for ordinary crimes. The Michigan State Legislature voted to do so on May 18, 1846, and this has remained in law ever since.

    In 1963, disavowal of the death penalty was formally added to the state constitution. Section 46: "No law shall be enacted providing for the penalty of death."

    Sentiment turned against the death penalty even before Michigan became a state, especially after Detroiter Patrick Fitzpatrick was put to death across the river in Windsor for the death and rape of an innkeeper’s daughter. In 1835, another man made a deathbed confession to the crime.

    Sadly, though, any number of Republicans have tried and continue to try to amend the constitution and bring capital punishment to the great state of Michigan.

    I hope they never succeed.

    If you don't watch news, you're un-informed. If you watch Fox news, you're mis-informed. (paraphrasing Mark Twain)

    by edg on Wed Apr 09, 2014 at 09:31:57 PM PDT

  •  Since Pennsylvania Reinstated Capital Punishment (4+ / 0-)

    in 1978, 3 Pa. death row inmates have been executed and 8 have been released from the state's death row to freedom.  (It takes more than 18 years to overturn a death case in Pa.)

    When you are wrong 8 out of 11 times where death is the penalty, you shouldn't be allowed to have a court system.  (Innocence isn't strictly confined to death row -- it's throughout the corrupt Criminal Just Us system.)

    Government misconduct ("judicial" casefixing, prosecutorial and police perjury, "evidence" falsification, exculpatory evidence concealment or destruction, deliberate court-appointed defense counsel legal malpractice, etc.) is the main cause of wrongful convictions.

    Self-policing by the legal profession is a LIE -- just look at the 2 corrupt "Kids for Cash" Luzerne County (Wilkes-Barre), Pa "judges" Mark A. Ciavarella, Jr. and Michael T. Conahan who were totally exonerated of all misconduct by the corrupt Pa. "judicial" Conduct Board run by Sam Stretton but who are doing 45.5 years in federal prison for the same misconduct (Ciavarella got 28 years in federal prison after a jury convicted him, and then Conahan pleaded guilty to racketeering conspiracy for a 17.5 year federal prison sentence for turning that courthouse into a RICO enterprise.  Both rejected 87 month plea deals to mail and wire fraud for not paying taxes on their $2.8 Million in bribes received for closing a county juvenile detention facility and keeping 2 private, for-profit juvenile prisons packed to capacity.  Basically, the entire gang of courthouse crooks went to federal prison for it.).  

    "judges" and prosecutors are politicians, and they advance their corrupt careers by political grandstanding in the news media.  They know voters aren't impressed by acquittals so they gladly wrongfully railroad the innocent in their kangaroo kourts to further their corrupt political careers, and their buddies on the appellate benches cover up their hatchet jobs on the innocent.  They have given themselves the privilege of immunity from lawsuit so they escape all accountability for their willful criminal misconduct.  CRIMINAL JUST US.

    •  My great grandfather was wrongfully executed in PA (2+ / 0-)

      "Thirty seconds too late: Hanged while a reprieve was on the way," read the headline. He was a union organizer convicted of assassinating a coal mine owner on the orders of the terrorist boogeymen of the day, the Molly Maguires. The state legislature issued an official apology in 1985.

      •  Sorry to Hear That, Kat Herder. Thanks for Sharing (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        kat herder

        It only took the lousy Pa. state legislature decades and decades and decades to apologize, and of course there was no compensation to his descendants for his murder by the corrupt local  government owned by coal mine owners.

        The Molly Maguires stood up to the corrupt coal mine owners and the corrupt authorities who protected and served them -- they stood up for justice and objected to their enslavement by the coal companies, and paid a dear price.  (They sacrificed their lives so the others could eventually establish the United Mine Workers.).

        A corrupt senior "judge" named J.P. McLaughlin (judge # 6 -- 18.5 years after the wrongful conviction) came up from Carbon County to railroad me in Lycoming County kangaroo kourt and to protect all shysters involved in a travesty of justice where I timely filed to get back my appeal rights which had been deliberately discarded by a court-appointed shyster named James Protasio (convicted of deliberate legal malpractice by a jury on 12-10-92 but vacated by "judge" Gates 6 months later) to stop anymore Wollet-Osokow hatchet jobs from being reversed on appeal and remanded for new trials (SEE 566 A2d 252-253; 631 A2d 213 WITH 635 A2d  186-191 at 189).  Lebanon County senior "judge" G. Thomas Gates ("judge #2 in the case -- 6 years after the railroading) stole and destroyed the court file/public record in 1992, bragged that he was corrupt, and said there was nothing I could do about it (since he was the statewide investigative grand jury "judge" who had served on the Pa Superior kourt for a couple of years finishing out the term of a retired "judge".).  
        McLaughlin bragged that he wrote a self-published book about the Molly Maguires (which was a joke like his Anti-Constitutional, half-assed hatchet job in my case) -- self-published says it all.

        Mother Jones and union activist Joe Hill fought the corrupt mine owners in Colorado and the authorities.   Great reading.

        The Mingo County War in West Virginia quite a while ago pitted coal mine owners and the authorities including the US military against coal miners who wanted justice.  A Hatfield who was the sheriff sympathetic to the miners was openly murdered in broad daylight by the Dodge-Phelps hired goons in a neighboring county after being lured there to answer trumped-up criminal charges filed against him, and no one was ever arrested for the murders of Sheriff Hatfield and his entourage.

        Massey Energy and that scumbag criminal CEO Don Blankenship who murdered 29 coal miners at Upper Big Branch Mine in West Virginia.  Blankenship moved to Las Vegas after getting his golden/platinum parachute and retiring because WVa Mountaineers are known to be good a sharpshooting and could have done justice Molly Maguire-style on him since the law wouldn't touch him.

        History just keeps repeating itself.

        •  I'm so sorry for what happened to you (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          I'd read about the horrible corruption taking place in that part of PA, but the extent, breadth, and utter shamelessness of it is simply stunning. In my family's case, even after the reprieve and eventual exoneration, the fear ran so deep that when my great grandmother remarried, she took her second husband's name and rewrote the family bible genealogy to make it appear that all of her children were fathered by her second husband. So the story that was handed down was that it was her first husband who was the Molly Maguire and that we weren't related to him. Not until my Dad started doing some research when the story hit the news around the time of the apology did we learn the truth, multiple generations later.

          I hope justice was eventually served in your case and those judges were made to pay.  

          •  You Should Be Proud of Your Heritage, Kat Herder. (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            kat herder

            It's so disgraceful what happened to your great grandparents.  Your great grandmother had great wisdom in protecting her children and successive generations.

            As for the miscarriage of justice in my life, the dirtbag prosecutor Brett Feese is doing 4 to 12 years in SCI-Waymart for his role in Computergate when he became the Pa House Republican Caucus legal counsel and masterminded the theft of $10-20 Million to pay a Louisiana computer outfit to gerrymander the state in 2010 and fabricated "evidence" to throw investigators off of hs track.  (Feese shamelessly proclaimed his innocence to the world through the news media when he exitted the Dauphin County courthouse after a jury convicted him on all counts, but he refused to do it under oath on the witness stand because his own e-mails convicted him and his co-conspirators accepted responsibility for their roles in the scandal and tesdtified against him.  He should do all 12 years since he is a remorseless, psychopathic, megalomaniacal, pathologically dishonest, narcissistic asshole.).
            I spent 18.5 years screaming obscenities at corrupt "judges" (SEE 632 A2d 928-930, 643 A2d 704; 668 A2d 1191) -- it took 1.5 years for the Pa Supreme court Administrative Offices to get a "judge" (JP McLaughlin agreed) to come here to railroad me after 5 "judges" screwed me with their deferred decisions over 17 years.  ("judge" Lipsett ("judge" #3) from Harrisburg conducted an ex parte telephone call in 1996 with the corrupt prosecutor to determine how to cover it all up after a hearing months prior devolved into an ugly scene -- Lipsett was that asshole who railroaded Jay Smith onto death row, and Smith walked off to freedom after 13 years so I demanded Lipsett's recusal.  Lipsett denied all responsibility for the railroading which caused me to explode with rage requiring the emergency summoning of every available cop in the county.  The crooked prosecutor at the time (Tom Marino, disgraced US Attorney and current Congressman) stormed into the courtroom and demanded my immediate imprisonment for 6 months for contempt for disturbing his 3 unsuccessful investigative grand juries looking into unsolved murders in the county.  Lipsett told him to get out or he would have him thrown in the county prison for 6 months for contempt.  Needless to say, all of the cops were shocked and started coming to my hearings for entertainment.

            This is only the tip of the iceberg -- I had 10 politically-motivated, trumped-up cases to deal with along with 2 falsified involuntary commitment/treatment petitions filed against me to silence and discredit me that were resolved in my favor.  I did 5.5 years in state prison, and was released by federal court order without the state-mandated psychotherapy that all maximum security inmates are required by law to have.  When I started winning appeals, the courthouse crooks arranged trouble for me with the Pa Dept of Corrections.  I have been out since 6-22-91, and my criminal record shrank with time, but I have been denied pardons twice despite having been recommended for one by the Pa. Board of Pardons investigator who knew I was factually innocent and who learned about the police conspiracy to set me up for life in prison as a violent habitual offender on assaults that the corrupt Muncy cops (Oberdorf, Sutton, and McGee) and a convicted wife-beating, deadbeat daddy magistrate named McRae (who employed Oberdorf's 2 daughters and McGee's wife) planned out and had carried out by burglars, car thieves, and armed robbers looking for Get Out of Jail Free cards (SEE p. 77-81, Lyco Co. #86-11095; ALSO SEE p. 32-36, Lyco. Co. #86-10228, esp. at p. 34).

            Your great grandparents suffered infinitely greater injustices at the hands of corrupt authorities than I did, and it makes me so damn angry that your great grandfather was murdered by Criminal Just Us authorities and that your grandmother never got justice in her lifetime.  I feel their pain and yours.

            Be Healthy, my friend!  GOD Bless You and Yours!

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