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Thread: Against the death penalty

  1. #1

    Against the death penalty

    "North Carolina’s longest-serving death row inmate and his half-brother serving a life sentence have been exonerated and released from prison after spending more than 30 years behind bars for a rape and murder they did not commit.

    Robeson County superior court acted with lightning speed to free the two men, Leon Brown and Henry McCollum, who were 15 and 19 at the time of their arrest in 1983. It was testimony to the overwhelming strength of the evidence that was presented to the court that judge Douglas Sasser cleared them of the murder of 11-year-old Sabrina Buie on the first day of a hearing to consider new DNA evidence in the case.

    The evidence absolved McCollum and Brown, now 46 and 50, of any link to biological material collected at the crime scene. It also found a positive match with a known sex offender from the same small town who was living just feet away from the field in which Buie’s body was found.

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    McCollum was held on death row throughout his three decades in prison as an innocent man. His lawyer, Ken Rose of the Center for Death Penalty Litigation in Durham, who has fought the case for the past 20 years, pointed out that both his client and Brown are diagnosed as having intellectual disabilities..."

  2. #2

    Re: Against the death penalty

    I used to be very much for the death penalty. My position changed once I saw first hand how corrupt many LEO's are. I still believe in the death penalty, but think there should be a very high standard of proof that goes beyond reasonable doubt.

  3. #3
    Administrator FSU_Jeep's Avatar
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    Re: Against the death penalty

    I am for it, and even more now that we have DNA.

    What I am against is people sitting on death row for 30 years. If you are found guilty in the present time with DNA, with Video and all the other forensic evidence we now have a way of using you should get to spend no more than 2-3 years on death row.

    In lots of cases the victims families are now dead themselves before the guilty is ever put to death. And we as Americans have spent millions to keep someone alive just so we could kill them.

  4. #4

    Re: Against the death penalty

    Quote Originally Posted by finance85
    I used to be very much for the death penalty. My position changed once I saw first hand how corrupt many LEO's are. I still believe in the death penalty, but think there should be a very high standard of proof that goes beyond reasonable doubt.
    I am not morally opposed if there is no doubt, but can we ever be sure of that. There are other contributing factors to my opposition:

    1. It cost more in $ and in pyschic energy.
    2. It creates a 2nd group of assumed innocent victims - the family of those put to death.

    The only compelling argument for it is the satisfaction of the victim's family, but that is not a universal reaction and knowing that life in prison meant just that - no more endless clemency hearings, etc, - might make it easier for them to rest.

  5. #5

    Re: Against the death penalty

    Quote Originally Posted by FSU_Jeep
    I am for it, and even more now that we have DNA.

    What I am against is people sitting on death row for 30 years. If you are found guilty in the present time with DNA, with Video and all the other forensic evidence we now have a way of using you should get to spend no more than 2-3 years on death row.

    In lots of cases the victims families are now dead themselves before the guilty is ever put to death. And we as Americans have spent millions to keep someone alive just so we could kill them.
    These guys would be dead if legal challenges had been cut off. I don't think it's possible that they will be.

    What good does it do? It's been proven to not work as a deterrent.

  6. #6

    Re: Against the death penalty

    Quote Originally Posted by wordjazz
    "North Carolina’s longest-serving death row inmate and his half-brother serving a life sentence have been exonerated and released from prison after spending more than 30 years behind bars for a rape and murder they did not commit.

    Robeson County superior court acted with lightning speed to free the two men, Leon Brown and Henry McCollum, who were 15 and 19 at the time of their arrest in 1983. It was testimony to the overwhelming strength of the evidence that was presented to the court that judge Douglas Sasser cleared them of the murder of 11-year-old Sabrina Buie on the first day of a hearing to consider new DNA evidence in the case.

    The evidence absolved McCollum and Brown, now 46 and 50, of any link to biological material collected at the crime scene. It also found a positive match with a known sex offender from the same small town who was living just feet away from the field in which Buie’s body was found.

    Advertisement

    McCollum was held on death row throughout his three decades in prison as an innocent man. His lawyer, Ken Rose of the Center for Death Penalty Litigation in Durham, who has fought the case for the past 20 years, pointed out that both his client and Brown are diagnosed as having intellectual disabilities..."

    In 1983 there were no big time abilities to link or disprove evidence via DNA. Now they can do so pretty easily. There is a group called The Innocence Project that works these very cases. It doesn't mean we should stop executing folks who commit heinous crimes.

  7. #7

    Re: Against the death penalty

    Quote Originally Posted by Pacedog
    Quote Originally Posted by wordjazz
    "North Carolina’s longest-serving death row inmate and his half-brother serving a life sentence have been exonerated and released from prison after spending more than 30 years behind bars for a rape and murder they did not commit.

    Robeson County superior court acted with lightning speed to free the two men, Leon Brown and Henry McCollum, who were 15 and 19 at the time of their arrest in 1983. It was testimony to the overwhelming strength of the evidence that was presented to the court that judge Douglas Sasser cleared them of the murder of 11-year-old Sabrina Buie on the first day of a hearing to consider new DNA evidence in the case.

    The evidence absolved McCollum and Brown, now 46 and 50, of any link to biological material collected at the crime scene. It also found a positive match with a known sex offender from the same small town who was living just feet away from the field in which Buie’s body was found.

    Advertisement

    McCollum was held on death row throughout his three decades in prison as an innocent man. His lawyer, Ken Rose of the Center for Death Penalty Litigation in Durham, who has fought the case for the past 20 years, pointed out that both his client and Brown are diagnosed as having intellectual disabilities..."

    In 1983 there were no big time abilities to link or disprove evidence via DNA. Now they can do so pretty easily. There is a group called The Innocence Project that works these very cases. It doesn't mean we should stop executing folks who commit heinous crimes.
    Why should we continue? The only benefit is that claimed by some of the victims family, and there are other cases - I know of one personally - where the family didn't want that because of the attendant high drama and attention it brought, as well as the higher bar for conviction. For political reasons it was made a death penalty case anyway.

  8. #8
    Administrator FSU_Jeep's Avatar
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    Re: Against the death penalty

    We are spending $90,000 per year to house a criminal on death row.

    All death row inmates present day when the guilty conviction is based on DNA or Video evidence should be executed within 24 months of sentencing, that would start being a deterrent.

    Any crimes committed that would carry a sentence longer then 10 years in prison should result in the death penalty. This would clean our prisons out, it would deter crime and would save us billions a year in taxes.

    We are spending 39 Billion dollar a year on prisons and that is just for prisons in 40 states the other states didn't share their data.

  9. #9

    Re: Against the death penalty

    I'm for it but with with serious changes.

    1. All questioning of the suspect must be filmed and only filmed interrogations or admissions are admissible at trial.

    2. The standard of proof changes from beyond reasonable doubt to beyond ANY doubt.

    3. The standard of counsel provided defendants by the state must be of unquestioned ability and experience. Too many defendants get the death penalty or life because of inexperienced and/or poor attorney work.

    4. Trials must take place out side the jurisdiction where the crime was committed.

    5. Prosecutors get ZERO pre-emptory challenges to strike jurors.

    6. Make DNA testing required in every instance an individual is charged with murder.

    7. Require all states to keep DNA information in a data base PERMANENTLY (Texas tossed theirs after a number of false convictions for murder turned up).

    Give me these changes and I believe the process would not only be much more fair for the accused - but that the State would pursue a death penalty case much less frequency based on what would now be proper, true and sturdy demonstrable hurdles to overcome in getting a conviction.

  10. #10

    Re: Against the death penalty

    Get rid of it all together. I'll never understand how people, who are so distrustful of the governments ability to manage their money, are so ready to have the same government manage life and death. The government f***ing sucks and is about as competent as a five year old with down syndrome. It doesn't matter what aspect of it that you're discussing.
    I am going to tear down your safe space
    Brick by brick I shall smash it with glee
    You cannot stop me from getting inside
    I am cold and I am hard and my name is 'Reality'

  11. #11

    Re: Against the death penalty

    Yes, it is odd how so many conservatives spew venom about the rank and total incompetence of the state and then place faith in the criminal justice system to fairly treat people.

    It is especially galling to minority communities to hear such rank hypocrisy over and over while so many of their community suffer from the disparate treatment.

    The best and fastest way the right can create political in roads into minority communities is to make it a huge priority to make significant changes to the drug war and the criminal justice system.

    But we all know that won't happen anytime soon. The "law and order" conservatives make up too much of the base for the GOP to touch that "3rd rail". it's like a Democrat talking about social security reform. Ain't gonna happen.

  12. #12

    Re: Against the death penalty

    Quote Originally Posted by Brooklyn Nole
    Yes, it is odd how so many conservatives spew venom about the rank and total incompetence of the state and then place faith in the criminal justice system to fairly treat people.

    It is especially galling to minority communities to hear such rank hypocrisy over and over while so many of their community suffer from the disparate treatment.

    The best and fastest way the right can create political in roads into minority communities is to make it a huge priority to make significant changes to the drug war and the criminal justice system.

    But we all know that won't happen anytime soon. The "law and order" conservatives make up too much of the base for the GOP to touch that "3rd rail". it's like a Democrat talking about social security reform. Ain't gonna happen.
    Jail, like war, is big business. It doesn't matter what happens to the common man as long as the rich keep getting theirs.
    I am going to tear down your safe space
    Brick by brick I shall smash it with glee
    You cannot stop me from getting inside
    I am cold and I am hard and my name is 'Reality'

  13. #13
    Administrator FSU_Jeep's Avatar
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    Re: Against the death penalty

    Quote Originally Posted by NoleSoup4U
    Get rid of it all together. I'll never understand how people, who are so distrustful of the governments ability to manage their money, are so ready to have the same government manage life and death. The government f***ing sucks and is about as competent as a five year old with down syndrome. It doesn't matter what aspect of it that you're discussing.
    What do you suggest we do with murders?

    I can't wait to hear this.

  14. #14

    Re: Against the death penalty

    We punish and incarcerate/kill people for various reasons: deterrence, justice, rehabilitation, public safety, etc.

    The death penalty could be a deterrent for some crimes. If we executed people for minor crimes or infractions like petty theft or littering, most people would probably quit doing those things. But I don't think it would make a difference for most violent crimes.

    As for rehabilitation, if someone is never getting out of prison, I don't think it's necessary or cost effective to spend resources attempting to rehabilitate them. I wouldn't torture them or harm them, and they'd get the basic necessities. I'd segregate violent and non violent offenders. I'd also segregate the lifers from other inmates who have a chance to turn their lives around. The gang problem is partly the product of our penal system (the war on drugs is also a big factor).

    In terms of public safety, I don't know what percentage of murderers have escaped from prison to murder again. I would bet that number is pretty small. I think public safety justifies incarceration but not execution.

    I can see the justice angle. Many family members or friends would like to see the criminal dead because they deserve it and so that the loved ones can move on. Maybe I would as well; I've never had a loved one killed.

    When I add all of this up, I believe any benefits of the death penalty are far outweighed by the costs. It's expensive, it's time consuming, it is not reversible in the event of error, and it puts us in league with governments that can use it against us in human rights debates. I'm especially concerned about the death penalty the more we move towards restricted 4th Amendment protections and secret courts for crimes that can now be brought under the umbrella of terrorist activity.

    It's noteworthy that the violent crime rate is significantly lower than it was decades ago. Many people seem to think otherwise, and I suppose that's a result of the media's obsession with assault, rape and murder stories and scaring people into thinking they're less safe today. If we spent a little less time trying to scare citizens and more time focusing on education, poverty, mental health, etc., I'm convinced our violent crime rate would drop even further.

  15. #15

    Re: Against the death penalty

    Quote Originally Posted by FSU_Jeep
    We are spending $90,000 per year to house a criminal on death row.

    All death row inmates present day when the guilty conviction is based on DNA or Video evidence should be executed within 24 months of sentencing, that would start being a deterrent.

    Any crimes committed that would carry a sentence longer then 10 years in prison should result in the death penalty. This would clean our prisons out, it would deter crime and would save us billions a year in taxes.

    We are spending 39 Billion dollar a year on prisons and that is just for prisons in 40 states the other states didn't share their data.
    It is much more expensive to enforce the death penalty. Your proposal is not reasonable and fortunately there is no hope it will ever be enacted.

  16. #16

    Re: Against the death penalty

    Quote Originally Posted by FSU_Jeep
    Quote Originally Posted by NoleSoup4U
    Get rid of it all together. I'll never understand how people, who are so distrustful of the governments ability to manage their money, are so ready to have the same government manage life and death. The government f***ing sucks and is about as competent as a five year old with down syndrome. It doesn't matter what aspect of it that you're discussing.
    What do you suggest we do with murders?

    I can't wait to hear this.
    Life sentence with no possibility of parole.

  17. #17

    Re: Against the death penalty

    Completly against it. The state should not be in the business of killing the citizens it represents. If convicted of murder, you should spend the rest of your life in prison. The way I see it, if the government has the right to kill its citizens, then it pretty much owns them.

  18. #18
    Administrator FSU_Jeep's Avatar
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    Re: Against the death penalty

    Quote Originally Posted by wordjazz
    Quote Originally Posted by FSU_Jeep
    Quote Originally Posted by NoleSoup4U
    Get rid of it all together. I'll never understand how people, who are so distrustful of the governments ability to manage their money, are so ready to have the same government manage life and death. The government f***ing sucks and is about as competent as a five year old with down syndrome. It doesn't matter what aspect of it that you're discussing.
    What do you suggest we do with murders?

    I can't wait to hear this.
    Life sentence with no possibility of parole.
    So another person committing a crime should take money away from me and you? If a 20 year old is sentenced to a life sentence and they live to be 80 years old it is costing the tax payers over 5 million dollars plus the legal fees.

    If a person is not able to live in society they have no need to live and we have no need for them.

  19. #19

    Re: Against the death penalty

    Get rid of it. Too many innocent people on death row, too many bad lawyers and way too many crooked/unethical cops and prosecutors.

  20. #20

    Re: Against the death penalty

    Quote Originally Posted by FSU_Jeep
    Quote Originally Posted by NoleSoup4U
    Get rid of it all together. I'll never understand how people, who are so distrustful of the governments ability to manage their money, are so ready to have the same government manage life and death. The government f***ing sucks and is about as competent as a five year old with down syndrome. It doesn't matter what aspect of it that you're discussing.
    What do you suggest we do with murders?

    I can't wait to hear this.
    Keep them in jail so they don't murder other people?
    I am going to tear down your safe space
    Brick by brick I shall smash it with glee
    You cannot stop me from getting inside
    I am cold and I am hard and my name is 'Reality'

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