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I've seen quite a bit of vulgar and sadistic language employed in support of the death penalty, but this gem, courtesy of Florida State Representative Matt Gaetz (R-Lunatic), is just beyond the pale:
"We have more sophisticated juries today, a higher demand for forensic evidence," said Gaetz, "so I don't believe that keeping people around who have confessed to the crime, who weren't claiming their innocence, really serves the state that well."
Gaetz has also talked in humorous terms about executing people; he recently stood on the floor of the House of Representatives and asserted that, though "only God can judge" those luckless souls currently on death row, he and his fellow lawmakers "sure can set up the meeting."

Hilarious.

Evidently, Representative Gaetz surveyed the political landscape in his state and concluded that Florida's highest policy priority should be to start executing people with increased efficiency. After all, Gaetz reasons, Florida shouldn't be "keeping people around" who don't need to be kept around. Far better to just skip all this pesky "legal" stuff and kill them off as quickly as possible.

The legislation sponsored by Gaetz and fellow Republican Joe Negron is called the "Timely Justice Act" and is very likely to be signed by Rick Scott, descendant of Skeletor and current occupant of the governor's mansion in Tallahassee. Opponents of the legislation include the state chapter of the ACLU and former death row inmates who have been exonerated.

Gaetz confidently claims that the bill will "enhance the deterrent effect of the death penalty." He has not, to my knowledge, provided a single shred of evidence to support this claim. In fact, not only is this prediction baseless, but the prediction itself rests on another baseless claim, namely, that the death penalty serves as a deterrent at all. Supporters of the death penalty in Maryland also trotted out the deterrent argument recently. That the threat of execution deters potential killers from killing is very often presented as a simple truism. This is an affirmative assertion about a matter of public policy, though, that must be supported with empirical evidence. The fact that it might be intuitive or prima facie plausible to some people is not enough. It also does not simply become true by repeating it.

As it happens, there are several very good reasons to think it's not true, like the fact that murder rates in states without the death penalty have been lower than those in states with the death penalty every year since 1990, or the fact that 88% of the nation's leading criminologists do not believe the death penalty acts as a deterrent, or the fact that 500 police chiefs ranked the death penalty dead last when asked to name one area as "most important for reducing violent crime." As I wrote in reference to death penalty supporters in Maryland, if Matt Gaetz, or anyone else, is in possession of information - denied to the nation's leading criminologists - showing that the death penalty does, in fact, act as a deterrent, then they are obligated to show it to us. If they continue to make this empirical claim about deterrence, and continue to refuse to provide evidence to support it, then it's only reasonable to operate under the default assumption that criminologists are more informed about this than politicians, who should be ignored until further notice.

Ultra-right-wing politicians should stop pretending they have legitimate policy arguments and just stick to the crazy and sociopathic justifications that Gaetz has so eloquently articulated, like wanting to speed up meetings with God, or not wanting to "keep people around" any longer than is absolutely necessary.

Florida has already sentenced 24 people to death who have later been exonerated, which leads the nation. This is literally the worst state for this kind of policy to be implemented. The editorial board at the Miami Herald - which supports the death penalty - recently called on Governor Scott to veto the Timely Justice Act, arguing that the legislature proceeded "without all the facts," and pointing out that eight death row inmates in Florida who ended up being exonerated might very well have been executed had this law been in effect. The editorial closes by warning that this legislation will "likely result in more innocent people being put to death."

The average time spent on death row in Florida is less than the national average. This legislation purports to solve a problem that doesn't exist. Over 400 people are on death row in Florida, and if this heinous law goes into effect, as many as 13 will probably be executed this year alone. Governor Scott is up for reelection next year and he has shown some signs of wanting to broaden his appeal beyond the ultra-right-wing. If you live in Florida, please call Scott (850-488-7146) and tell him to veto this pernicious legislation. Innocent lives may be at stake.

(Originally posted at www.justindoolittle.net)

Originally posted to Justin Doolittle on Fri May 17, 2013 at 06:49 AM PDT.

Also republished by Community Spotlight.

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Comment Preferences

  •  I have no objection to the death penalty (17+ / 0-)

    providing the prosecutor, appeal court judges and the state Governor all agree that they are liable to the same penalty if their actions or decisions lead to the execution of somebody later proved to be innocent.

    We will work, we will play, we will laugh, we will live. We will not waste one moment, nor sacrifice one bit of our freedom, because of fear.

    by Lib Dem FoP on Fri May 17, 2013 at 06:55:28 AM PDT

    •  I have a different take on the death penalty. (11+ / 0-)

      You know how there's often controversy about whether relatives of the deceased should be allowed to witness the execution or not, as well as whether their wishes should be taken into account when deciding whether the penalty should be life imprisonment or the death penalty?

      Well, it seems to me that if you're going to have the death penalty, not only should the next of kin be allowed to witness it, they should be legally required to pull the switch/do the injection themselves.

      My rationale is this: It's one thing to say someone should be put to death; it's something else entirely to actually kill someone. If your hatred and bitterness really is that strong that you feel the person who murdered your loved one deserves to die--AND you're ABSOLUTELY CERTAIN that they're the one who did it--then you should own your decision.

      I realize there's a whole lot of logistical, legal and ethical problems posed by this and it would never happen--but it's a valid philosophic approach, I think.

      •  Having said that, I will say that... (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        lazybum, stringer bell

        ...assuming that there's ABSOLUTELY NO CHANCE WHATSOEVER that the death row inmate is innocent (or other mitigating circumstances are going into play), then I actually agree that they should be executed immediately.

        HOWEVER, there's almost ALWAYS a chance that they got it wrong, whether they wait a day, a year or a decade...in which case the guy shouldn't be executed at all. Thus presenting the problem with the death penalty in the first place.

        •  So (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Brainwrap, VictorLaszlo, lazybum

          do you support the DP or oppose it?

          •  If it wasn't for the uncertainty about whether (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Rich in PA, lazybum

            ...you got the wrong person, I'd support it.

            That is to say, different people have different reasons for opposing it:

            --Could be the wrong person
            --Could be the right person but mitigating circumstances (ie, maybe they really did kill the victim, but it was actually self-defense)
            --"Death is the easy way out" (ie, prefer to make 'em suffer for life)
            --Religious objection to taking another human life, regardless of circumstances

            The last two don't apply for me. If I know for certain that someone murdered my wife or raped my child or whatever, then I want them dead, period, and have no ethical/moral compunction about it.

            However, it's the "for certain" part that makes the DP part of the legal system worrisome, because unless you personally witnessed it, you can never be 100% certain.

            •  Why? (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              sagesource, DSPS owl, VictorLaszlo

              Why do you want to kill someone for killing? What does it accomplish other than satisfying some primitive desire for vengeance?

              •  If they murder someone I love, I want them dead. (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                misslegalbeagle

                Period.

                For one thing, it would certainly stop them from murdering anyone else.

                For another, yes, it would be a primitive desire for vengeance, which I'm perfectly comfortable with.

                •  But (3+ / 0-)

                  do you really think that public policy should be guided by the emotional outrage of the victims' loved ones? That's not a reasoned approach to making policy.

                  And life in prison will also ensure that they don't murder anyone else.

                  •  That's not what I said. (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    kyril

                    I said:

                    However, it's the "for certain" part that makes the DP part of the legal system worrisome, because unless you personally witnessed it, you can never be 100% certain.
                    In other words, I'd personally have no problem whatsoever with the actual murderer dying, but I can't support it as policy unless there's some way of being absolutely certain of guilt beyond any doubt...which is almost never the case.

                    And no, life in prison doesn't ensure that they won't kill someone else at all--prisoners kill other prisoners, occasionally they kill guards, once in awhile they escape and go on to kill other people. Not saying it happens often, but it certainly does happen.

                    •  I'm lost too. (7+ / 0-)

                      The standard for a guilty verdict is beyond a reasonable doubt, not beyond any doubt.  In addition, I strongly suspect that many juries have believed that there was no doubt when they convicted innocent men or women in the past.

                      Since you don't get to change the standard for conviction, and since such a standard wouldn't necessarily protect some innocent people from wrongful conviction, as a voter, do you support candidates who seek to maintain the death penalty or do you prefer candidates who seek to end it?

                      •  Well said. My response may be a cop-out, but... (2+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        JBraden, kyril

                        ...the truth is, I don't take their stance on the death penalty into account at all. A candidate being pro- or anti- the death penalty won't make me either more or less likely to vote for them.

                        Their arguments supporting their position one way or the other might--this jackasses' "Let 'em FRY!" attitude is an instant turnoff, and would be regardless of party, for instance.

                    •  All too abstract (3+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      Russ Jarmusch, DSPS owl, kyril

                      The death penalty does not work as a deterrent. That's been conclusively determined, and that's all you need to know to oppose it.

                      Your private feelings are irrelevant. Some people would undoubtedly like to kill those who destroy irreplaceable works of art. For that matter, some people would like to kill those who violate noise bylaws. Should we let them?

                      The "life for a life" justification is equally irrational. What do you do with someone who has taken two lives, then? Five? Ten? Who has killed someone and has a hostage? What do you do in that case? Offer to execute them in a more interesting way? And if we kill murderers, what should we do with rapists? arsonists? spouse beaters?

                      What do you do if someone ends a life in all but name? "Life for a life" would execute someone who killed a single person, but let a person live who put a hundred people into a vegetative state, a living death. Would you rather be dead at once or after thirty years of being unconscious and attached to a battery of machines?

                      What lies behind support for the death penalty is often little more than a desire to find some legitimate way of killing someone. Then, the foolish think, they will have "done something" about crime. Making two dead bodies grow where one grew before is undoubtedly "doing something," but it's something that has no utility in addressing the problem it is supposed to solve.

                      Oh, and don't come back with the "If you...." argument. I have. But I can still maintain a separation between "I'd love to kill that guy" and "it is good public policy to kill that guy."

                      "They smash your face in, and say you were always ugly." (Solzhenitsyn)

                      by sagesource on Fri May 17, 2013 at 10:03:56 AM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                  •  No it won't (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    Dogs are fuzzy
                    And life in prison will also ensure that they don't murder anyone else.
                    I'm anti-death penalty, but this is a poor argument because it's factually wrong.

                    "Let’s just move on, treat everybody with firmness, fairness, dignity, compassion and respect. Let’s be Marines." - Sgt. Maj Michael Barrett on DADT repeal

                    by kyril on Fri May 17, 2013 at 03:42:07 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                  •  Life in prison ensures what? I hate to break it to (0+ / 0-)

                    you, Justin but that is just your assumption and has no basis in reality or the reality of prison life,

                    life in prison will also ensure that they don't murder anyone else.
                       Oh, will it? Really?
                        I'm not going to sugar coat things here- first of all I am pro death penalty. I have personally known two people who were given the DP and after decades locked away for crimes they did not commit, found innocent- so this isn't some decision I've made all willy nilly based on some biblical or moral principle.
                       My thoughts and beliefs about the DP are based upon what I know and have seen personally.
                       Life in prison.  Ever been in prison? For even a single day?
                       Unless you have then your perception of how prison life really is is extremely flawed at best. You think "lifers" are magically segregated from the common run of the mill criminal that wrote bad checks, stole a car, broke into the store down the street from you?
                       I'm sure you probably wince at that word, 'segregation'
                    but here's a news flash- the ONLY prisoners that are segregated from the entire general population by crimes are, guess.... those on death row.
                       Life means just that- the rest of, yo ass is leaving this place in a hearse. At what point exactly do you think someone doing life is no longer a danger to others? Because they're locked up?
                       Those same evil, heinous, atrocious folks that committed the unspeakable crimes for which they are sentence to life are in prison with your neighbors kid that stole a car, your brother that cheated on his taxes, your friend that didn't pay his child support, the guy you used to buy your weed from.
                       The difference is this- all of those folks will get out, they have a predetermined date on which they'll be released unless they fuck up- gives them incentive to act right while they're in prison.
                       Lifers? What do they have to lose? Not one freaking thing, they're never coming out, period. They have no incentive to act right and being that they never will get out, have very little regard or respect for those that some day will. They continue to be a threat to the entire prison population as well as those that work there.
                       The difference is you've now narrowed down their available list of possible victims to fellow prisoners and guards who cannot possible simply avoid them nor escape their wrath should they decided to go off the deep end- again...
                       You may feel safer with these folks out of your society but you seem to forget that prison is it's own micro society. Locking away some evil sick fuck does not erase what they are, it only changes the location at which they can practice or demonstrate just how fucked up and evil they truly are.
                       The day the asshole who killed my kid in a heinous and brutally violent multiple homicide got sentenced I was reading news on my computer before heading to court. I left in such a rush that I left my computer on and hadn't  read the story that was up until later on that night when I got back home.
                       The perpetrator was given two death penalty sentences. He cannot and will not ever have the opportunity to kill another person, even in prison, because his sorry ass is and will forever be locked away on death row until the day he's executed.
                       And here's that story:
                    A Florida Department of Corrections officer was stabbed to death by an inmate Sunday night at a prison near Lake City.

                    I want you to go to the link and see the kids face, yes, kid, 24 years old. Father and soon to be married 24 year old kid who was what? Doing his freaking job. Died because of what?
                     
                    Franklin -- who was serving a life sentence on several charges including the 2004 murder of a Bethune-Cookman College student in Daytona Beach, battery on a law enforcement officer and escape -- will be transferred to a maximum security prison and the incident will be investigated by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement.
                     http://www.officer.com/...
                       I've actually been in prison, I'm not just talking out of some imaginary feel good place from the outside looking in, I was there. I know just how nasty lifers can be and you couple that with the fact they're in and never getting out gives them exactly what to lose?
                       Segregation is a horrible word on this site to use but go ahead, what's your answer? Segregate them? You do realize that there are laws regarding the segregation of prisoners, correct? Can only segregate not by severity of crimes but by security levels.
                       So, I ask you, next time you hear of a co workers kid going to prison for being an addict, your cousin for habitual traffic offenses, your neighbor for stealing cable- are you okay with them being locked away with someone doing life without parole? Someone who has nothing left to lose? How about yourself? Did their crime deserve such a thing?
                       I have a good friend that was released after doing 20+ years thanks to the Innocence Project that pushed his case. I've had many a conversation with him regarding the death penalty- may blow your mind here but he still believes very strongly in it.
                       Why? Because times have changed, technology and procedures changed regarding the collection of evidence and the analysis of evidence now versus all of the cases you have seen exonerated is a difference of night and day. 20 years ago there may have been lingering questions- now? None. When you see a person sentenced to death now you can bet that flat out, they did it, period.

                    Be the kind of person your dog thinks you are.

                    by teabaggerssuckbalz on Sat May 18, 2013 at 05:37:05 AM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                •  Really..? (5+ / 0-)

                  That makes me so sad. I have not once wished death upon those who took someone i loved. She wouldn't have wanted that. I certainly wouldnt have wanted it either. Infact, I made quite a lot of noise that killing the man was the wrong thing to do.

                  Even if his responsibility was kinda undeniable.

                  "Trust not the words of a poet, as he is born to seduce. Yet for poetry to seize the heart, it must ring with the chimes of truth."

                  by kamrom on Fri May 17, 2013 at 10:58:51 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

            •  There's another reason (12+ / 0-)

              Some people think the State has no right to take lives. It's illegal to kill somebody, unless you're the government, in which case suddenly it's ok? This is a large reason why most of the world has abolished the death penalty.

      •  Big step backwards (0+ / 0-)

        Having agents of the state enforcing "The King's Peace" was a large improvement over private revenge.

        Freedom isn't free. Patriots pay taxes.

        by Dogs are fuzzy on Sat May 18, 2013 at 01:57:01 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  It's a mix of crazy and not. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Brainwrap

    The not-crazy part is that we have very long delays in cases where there is no question about anything of even remote significance with regard to the crime or the convict.  There's an understandable but unsustainable notion that since death is the ultimate punishment, we should make sure it's administered as slowly (administratively speaking) as possible even in the absence of any legally relevant reason to do so.

    You know, I sometimes think if I could see, I'd be kicking a lot of ass. -Stevie Wonder at the Glastonbury Festival, 2010

    by Rich in PA on Fri May 17, 2013 at 07:31:58 AM PDT

    •  Slow and thorough are totally different (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Ginny in CO

      A criminal attorney once explained to me that death penalty appeals actually get low priority in scheduling. As long as there's a stay of execution in effect, then if the issue is death versus life in prison, there's no rush.

      Freedom isn't free. Patriots pay taxes.

      by Dogs are fuzzy on Sat May 18, 2013 at 02:01:15 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I don't agree with that, though (0+ / 0-)

        I agree that's the prevailing view, but I wish it weren't.  Death is a specific punishment and not to execute it, so to speak, means the punishment is in abeyance indefinitely.

        You know, I sometimes think if I could see, I'd be kicking a lot of ass. -Stevie Wonder at the Glastonbury Festival, 2010

        by Rich in PA on Sat May 18, 2013 at 02:28:23 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  The death penalty is always wrong. What an (11+ / 0-)

    asshole this guy is.

    I resent that. I demand snark, and overly so -- Markos Moulitsas.

    by commonmass on Fri May 17, 2013 at 07:44:23 AM PDT

  •  The vulgarity (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    puzzled

    comes from the same people who tout "slut" rape prevention, Akin's rape theory, and how pro-life they are only on abortion.

    The death penalty needs to go because the "pro-life" movement is desperate to undermine the pro-choice movement by whistle blowing abortion doctors into the death penalty.  Operation Rescue is trying to pull another Philadelphia here in Houston, especially when state officials are sympathetic to their cause.

    Metricating removes gas-guzzlers from the road. Good for the economy and the environment! U.S. Metric Association www.metric.org

    by movingforward on Fri May 17, 2013 at 09:12:29 AM PDT

  •  Justin wrote, (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Justin Doolittle
    It also does not simply become true by repeating it.
    Actually,...
    I have said it thrice: What I tell you three times is true.
    ---Republican Party motto...taken from The Hunting of the Snark by Lewis Carroll
  •  By the way, (9+ / 0-)

    I hotlisted this diary...

    If you live in Florida, please call Scott (850-488-7146) and tell him to veto this pernicious legislation. Innocent lives may be at stake.
    I would add...

    1. Consider recommending/hotlisting this diary too.

    2. If you live in Florida, please make the call. If you don't live in Florida, but have friends or family who do, then consider forwarding this diary to somebody who might be willing and able to help the cause.

  •   he has a point (3+ / 0-)

    More people sentenced to death will die of old age before execution. I am against the death penalty but 25 year stays on death row are cruel punishment.
    I think the death penalty will be abolished within the next 10 years. Outside of the south it is rarely ever carried out.

  •  Death by old age in prison is the only kind I want (7+ / 0-)

    They should actually enforce that kind, frankly. Like gun regulation, we've got the tools to do that now if we only had the ability to enforce them.

    Kidnapper/torturer/rapist Phillip Garrido should have still been in prison for his 1977 rape/torture crimes. What fucking part of "50 to life" was so fucking hard to understand? But he was let out 40 years early (and spent the next 20 years ruining another girl's life because of it). Maybe if the "justice" system treated rape as a REAL crime, and not just something amusing that men can't help doing to women, I wouldn't feel a deep-seated need to have 5 minutes alone with him (and that Cleveland shit) armed only with a rusty spoon.

    Life, no parole. Cheaper than DP, still a death sentence (eventually), and prevents recividism. Toss out all those 3-strikes pot-smokers and there's plenty of room for the violent criminals.

    My single favorite argument against the DP was by actor Anthony Hopkins (during a Q&A for "Silence of the Lambs"): "When you get right down to it, that's destroying evidence in a case, isn't it?"

    Thank God, the Bob Fosse Kid is here! - Colin Mochrie

    by gardnerhill on Fri May 17, 2013 at 10:14:16 AM PDT

  •  I oppose it mainly because people (6+ / 0-)

    get things wrong, you can't fix dead.

    Also if the person is guilty, the Death Penalty isn't a punishment, if the crime is heinous enough life imprisonment is a punishment, because you will be forgotten. How many people can name the OKC bomber in federal prison(present company excepted)

    A good example would be the second Boston bomber. In his "letter" he called his brother a matyr, and he hoped to join him soon. Executing him will make him that Martyr, imprisoning him for life renders him a footnote to history.

  •  Yuck. People like this make those of us (0+ / 0-)

    who do support the death penalty (under certain circumstances) look bad.  

  •  Some of these folks have no conscience (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Russ Jarmusch

    yet enough of us can't pick up on that fact and vote them into office as public servants.  Makes my skin crawl.

    The GOP will destroy anything they can't own.

    by AnnieR on Fri May 17, 2013 at 11:44:55 AM PDT

  •  Republicans love the culture of life...right. NT (3+ / 0-)

    "We need a revolution away from the plutocracy that runs Government."

    by hangingchad on Fri May 17, 2013 at 11:48:48 AM PDT

  •  I have made all the arguments to pro DP folks... (3+ / 0-)

    but, I oppose it just because it's immoral and wrong.

    •  Question for Mass- how do you feel about the so (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      tytalus, Massconfusion

      called 'castle law'. or 'stand your ground'? Just curious because I've asked this question of a few people over the years and gotten some wildly differing answers.
         A person awakes to find an intruder in their home can legally justifiably shoot to kill the intruder- doesn't even have to give them a moment to surrender or escape. Just kill them where you find them. Legally. With no repercussions or ramifications.
         I find it bizarre myself that we have folks on this site that will defend the right to personally execute a person and bypass the police, the grand jury, the judge and jury of peers but are adamantly opposed to the death penalty.
         

      Be the kind of person your dog thinks you are.

      by teabaggerssuckbalz on Sat May 18, 2013 at 06:05:18 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I am opposed to both the death penalty and the (4+ / 0-)

        stand your ground law.

        I think the USA can do better on a number of fronts.

        Many countries have abolished the death penalty and also would never have a law like Stand Your Ground. I respect those countries.

        Follow PA Keystone Liberals on Twitter: @KeystoneLibs

        by wishingwell on Sat May 18, 2013 at 02:08:40 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  A bad law subject to all manner of abuse... (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        teabaggerssuckbalz

        even a cursory examination of these statutes would lead any thinking person to conclude they allow people to take the law into their own hands on the thinest of pretext.

        •  I agree with you 100%. ALEC had a hand in the (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Massconfusion

          implementation of them both- had to give the gun nuts what they were thirsting for, the opportunity to kill a human with impunity.
               The death penalty and those that are sentenced to it, what exactly can be done as an alternative to just ridding the world of some of these perpetrators of the worst crimes known to humans? As I explained in my previous comments, prison for life has serious security issues as well. You cannot keep a prisoner confined to a cell 24/7, there are laws against doing that other than as in supermax prisons, or short term disciplinary reasoning.
             A number of those that are on death row or that have been executed already caught the charge that put them on death row right there in prison.
             Clearly they represent a continuing threat to both the other inmates as well as staff and anyone who comes in contact with them- what do you do with someone like that?
             The guy I will get to witness being executed killed no less than 7 people and possibly as many as 12-15- all cold blooded calculated shit. He finally got caught. You really believe that he won't do it again?
              Maybe not here in free society, but rest assured, he will kill again before he is executed, I'll bet my home on that fact...  

          Be the kind of person your dog thinks you are.

          by teabaggerssuckbalz on Sun May 19, 2013 at 05:15:38 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  I still cannot countenance the death penalty... (0+ / 0-)

            I believe we only display further barbarism by its existance. It's institutionalized revenge is all, in my opinion. We will never be a truly civil society until it is abolished through out our land.

  •  Florida has been a police state (5+ / 0-)

    For as long as I remember, and that's at least 50 years or more.

    They really like to keep the "servants" down as much as possible, since there are far more of them than the wealthy that rule the state.

    Women create the entire labor force. ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Sympathy is the strongest instinct in human nature. - Charles Darwin

    by splashy on Fri May 17, 2013 at 12:24:23 PM PDT

    •  Yep and it's getting worse all (3+ / 0-)

      of the time. Florida is one of the most miserable states in the Union to be a worker in. I'm pretty certain we are the worst at having health insurance as well, which is pretty atrocious when you think of the huge population of elderly that live here that DO have Medicare. That means the actual working age people generally don't have any insurance whatsoever. All the employers are enraged over the ACA now. I have to go to a meeting next week where the owner is actually going to show up to tell us how the new rules say that a part time employee can no longer do a fill in for a full time employee so basically you can never take off again. I still can't figure out WTF they are talking about. My boss was raging about it the other day at me (while I was bartending and she was drinking no less) that because of "Obama Law" all these horrific things are going to happen. I'm guessing it's maybe to avoid the 50 employee thing because they are pretty close to that amount I think. I'm actually thinking of quitting because I can't stand the wing nut lunacy but every employer here is the same so it would just be out of the frying pan into the fire. Maybe we should just give up and move.

      ~War is Peace~Freedom is Slavery~Ignorance is Strength~ George Orwell "1984"

      by Kristina40 on Sat May 18, 2013 at 05:13:04 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  That's what I did (0+ / 0-)

        Went back for my mother's last days, and hope to never go back again.

        Florida was once a beautiful place, if very racist, but the developers came in and paved paradise to put in a parking lot and huge buildings.

        Well, at least where I grew up, in the Southeastern part.

        Women create the entire labor force. ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Sympathy is the strongest instinct in human nature. - Charles Darwin

        by splashy on Sun May 19, 2013 at 02:09:05 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  The death penalty is immoral and barbaric. It (7+ / 0-)

    has been thoroughly proven that it doe not deter crime. Aside from that, this legislation, if passed & signed by the criminal Rick Scott, will be taken to court immediately. Due process is still the cornerstone of our legal system & as others have pointed out, Florida has a terrible history of killing innocent people. History will look back at the death penalty like we now look back at the Inquisition.

  •  Man, I hate residing in Florida. Also hate death (5+ / 0-)

    penalty/executions.

    "extreme concentration of income is incompatible with real democracy.... the truth is that the whole nature of our society is at stake." Paul Krugman

    by Gorette on Fri May 17, 2013 at 03:19:08 PM PDT

  •  The pro-death party always in a hurry to kill! (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    wishingwell
  •  Punishment and psychology (3+ / 0-)

    The right-wingers won't want to hear this, because they're anti-all-science. But perhaps some pro-DP liberals are interested.

    Basically, in order for a punishment to be effective as a behaviour-modification tool, it has to meet two conditions:

    1) It has to be swift.

    That's a relative term; it includes a wider range of timeframes for humans than for rats. For most animals and small children, the important thing is that the punishment be swift enough that their brain can connect the two as part of a single chain of events - as cause and effect. This is standard classical conditioning.

    Adult humans have a longer-term understanding of cause and effect and an ability to learn vicariously through the experiences and stories of others, so we can be deterred by punishments that aren't immediate and that we haven't personally experienced. We're susceptible to an extended form of conditioning. But we run up against our own brain limitation: punishments don't work as deterrents if they're outside the future time range that we're able to imagine and plan for.

    So that's bad enough news for the death penalty: even a much shorter process, say 5 or 10 years, is still outside of the future time range that most normal humans are able to plan for (see: patterns of retirement savings, smoking, unprotected sex, many other behaviours). But what makes it even worse is that many if not most people who commit violent crimes have disorders of impulse control; their planning capability is even more limited than most normal adults', especially under stress.

    2) It has to be certain.

    Now, this doesn't necessarily mean that it has to have a literal 100% probability. It just has to be likely enough - or be perceived as likely enough - that the subject's brain treats it as certain. The level of probability required for this depends partly on intrinsic characteristics like risk-aversiveness, partly on external factors like the way the punishment/consequence is presented, and partly on personal experience (if you've personally gotten away with X or know someone who has, you're unlikely to perceive its consequences as certain).

    The problem is that our criminal justice system, especially for serious crimes, and most especially for the death penalty, is deliberately - and for good reason - designed to be uncertain. We've decided that it's better, morally, to let some guilty people go free than to punish innocent people.

    And that's not a bad thing, from a moral perspective. But from a practical perspective, it means that potential offenders do not 'feel' like any punishment is certain. They have the entirely-justified belief that they might get away with things, and that whether they do is at least partly under their own control.

    Worse, they often have personal experience of getting away with things; for instance, the definition of a serial killer/rapist/etc. (the typical example held up by DP proponents) essentially requires that they have gotten away with prior crimes, at least in the short term. But virtually every criminal knows others who have gotten away with their crimes.

    --

    So basically, it is structurally-impossible for the death penalty to act as a deterrent. Even if it were aversive in all cases (not necessarily true) and more aversive than prison in all cases (definitely not true), it wouldn't work. Not that long prison sentences work particularly well either.

    Crime reduction strategies that do have a solid grounding in the science include:

    a) Reducing the incidence of disorders of impulse control. Lead abatement, child abuse prevention, child nutrition initiatives, improvements in the foster care and juvenile justice systems, and interventions for children with psychological problems and learning disabilities can all help. Drug treatment for adults is also a big piece of the puzzle.

    b) Improving the outlook for at-risk youth and young adults as well as prior offenders. Basically, the idea is to get potential offenders/reoffenders to believe they will be rewarded for life choices that are incompatible with criminal activity. Rewards work differently than punishments; they can be uncertain and a bit slower. The subject just has to seriously believe that they have a chance at something that they value.

    This involves changing people's beliefs and values (i.e. rehabilitation), but also changing reality so that it's in line with the beliefs we want people to have (i.e. social/economic justice and an end to perpetual scarlet-lettering of offenders).

    Unfortunately, both of those go against the grain of Americans' Puritan heritage.

    "Let’s just move on, treat everybody with firmness, fairness, dignity, compassion and respect. Let’s be Marines." - Sgt. Maj Michael Barrett on DADT repeal

    by kyril on Fri May 17, 2013 at 04:57:08 PM PDT

  •  It probably sounded better (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Johnny Nucleo

    in the original Arabic.

    If the pilot's good, see, I mean if he's reeeally sharp, he can barrel that baby in so low... oh you oughta see it sometime. It's a sight. A big plane like a '52... varrrooom! Its jet exhaust... frying chickens in the barnyard!

    by Major Kong on Fri May 17, 2013 at 05:40:17 PM PDT

  •  Pointless, destructive, legislation. This (4+ / 0-)

    year's attempts to destroy the FRS-Florida Retirement System, preempt local living wage laws and this bill are some of the reasons Florida Republicans are patting themselves on the back. Call made.

  •  This is my state (3+ / 0-)

    This is barbaric.  No other western democracy executes people.  What is the purpose of this?

    It is shameful and barbaric.  I don't believe the state has the right to kill people.  

    It is shameful to do this.

    PEACE

  •  Execution is punishment for murder under sharia (3+ / 0-)

    law.

    I thought you all were against Sharia law in the USA.

    "Anyone can support me when they think I'm right. What I want is someone that will support me when I am wrong." Sir John A. MacDonald

    by Johnny Nucleo on Sat May 18, 2013 at 03:38:53 AM PDT

  •  Surprised by the # of pro DP (0+ / 0-)

    I thought I would be alone in my support of the death penalty.  However, I only believe it should be carried out with DNA evidence.  If there is any doubt just keep them in prison.  But when we are sure, what is the point in keeping them around?  It should be done within 1 year of conviction.

    Tact is just not saying true stuff. I'll pass.

    by Liberal Elite on Sat May 18, 2013 at 10:07:17 AM PDT

    •  No deterrent (0+ / 0-)

      I would just add.  I don't buy any of the deterrent argument.  Most people who would be eligible for the death penalty live their lives under the threat of death everyday (drugs, crime, etc).  I just don't want them wasting money and resources.

      Tact is just not saying true stuff. I'll pass.

      by Liberal Elite on Sat May 18, 2013 at 10:10:55 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  But I do believe there are some statistics out (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Justin Doolittle

        there ( and I will try to find them but I will be very busy the rest of the day ) that in the end, the death penalty is more expensive to carry out than imprisonment for life.

        The cost of the appeals and more is very expensive for death penalty cases.  

        Follow PA Keystone Liberals on Twitter: @KeystoneLibs

        by wishingwell on Sat May 18, 2013 at 02:12:19 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

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