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A Botched Execution And The Death Penalty Now

The botched execution in Oklahoma. The President calls it ‘deeply troubling.’ The UN says a possible violation of international law.

With guest host Jessica Yellin.

Bundled up against the cold, death penalty opponents hold a sign outside the Governor's mansion in Oklahoma City, Thursday, Jan. 9, 2014, protesting the McAlester, Okla., execution of Michael Lee Wilson. A recently botched execution of another Oklahoma prisoner has prompted further debate around the use of unknown chemicals to kill convicted criminals. (AP)

Bundled up against the cold, death penalty opponents hold a sign outside the Governor’s mansion in Oklahoma City, Thursday, Jan. 9, 2014, protesting the McAlester, Okla., execution of Michael Lee Wilson. A recently botched execution of another Oklahoma prisoner has prompted further debate around the use of unknown chemicals to kill convicted criminals. (AP)

The horrifically botched execution in Oklahoma.  President Obama orders a federal review. The UN says international law may have been violated.  With lethal-injection drugs in short supply, a chaotic national patchwork of rules, racial disparities in sentencing and a series of flawed executions, capital punishment is in the spotlight. New questions about the drugs being used and the constitutional protection against cruel and unusual punishment. Passions are high on both sides of the debate. We’ll hear it. This hour On Point: the nation’s views on capital punishment.

Guests

Devlin Barrett, Justice Department reporter for The Wall Street Journal. (@DevlinBarrett)

Peter Neufeld, co-director of the Innocence Project.

John Malcolm, director of the Legal Studies Center at the Heritage Foundation. (@malcolm_john)

Ziva Branstetter, Tulsa World enterprise editor. (@ZivaBranstetter)

From The Reading List

The Wall Street Journal: Justice Department Expands Review of Death-Penalty Procedures — “A department spokesman said the agency would begin a review of state-run death-penalty programs, similar to one it has been conducting on federal capital punishment. Federal executions are rare, and there has been a moratorium in place since 2011 while the Justice Department reviews its policies.”

Tulsa World: DOC director confident Michael Thompson can lead independent probe of botched execution – “Lockett was pronounced dead 43 minutes after the execution began on Tuesday. Witnesses including a Tulsa World reporter watched as he writhed in pain for three minutes, mumbling, kicking, clenching his jaw and raising up off the gurney. Warden Anita Trammell ordered blinds lowered in the execution chamber. It was discovered that the lethal drugs flowing through an IV had either leaked out, absorbed into Lockett’s tissue or both. Patton said the problem occurred because Lockett’s vein burst.”

Associated Press: Lawmakers Say They Won’t Abandon Death Penalty — “The inmate’s agony alone is highly unlikely to change minds about capital punishment in the nation’s most active death-penalty states, where lawmakers say there is little political will to move against lethal injections – and a single execution gone wrong won’t change that.”

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  • Yar

    Has anyone ever done a statistical analysis to see if executions are more likely to happen around elections? In other words is there a political component to the death penalty?

    • Mario Lanza

      Or, as well, in liberal states, the rate of pardons? E.g., those famous releases in Massachusetts, and the great many Arkansas releases including the man who went on to commit the same child rape and murder again?

  • Fiscally_Responsible

    Given what these two guys did in terms of brutalizing and murdering Stephanie Nieman when she pleaded for her life, there is no such thing as cruel and unusual punishment for them. From an online article that I found was the following: “The men could be heard “laughing about how tough Stephanie was” before Lockett shot Neiman a second time. “He ordered Mathis to bury her, despite the fact that Mathis informed him Stephanie was still alive.” They weren’t worried about whether or not they were inflicting cruel and unusual punishment on Stephanie Nieman. Rather, they were enjoying it.

    Regarding the botched execution, my response is “If I first you don’t succeed, try try again.” Stephanie Nieman pleaded for her life to no avail. Given that the murder was committed 15 years ago, he should have been executed 14 years ago. Yes, let’s improve the death penalty process. But let’s not throw the baby out with the bath water. Reinstating firing squads would be a 100% effective method of carrying out the death penalty for scum like the guys who joyously murdered Stephanie Nieman. Liberals, typically ok with the cruel and unusual punishment and even murder of an unborn developing child, are simply using this unfortunate incident to push their “coddle the criminal” left wing agenda.

    • Shag_Wevera

      How many innocents should face the firing squad? We are too flawed to delegate this justice correctly. We will INEVITABLY kill innocent men and women. How many innocent dead are okay with you? I’d say an innocent man with a family who is wrongly convicted and spends 20 years on death row before being shot, electrocuted or poisoned has suffered as much as Stephanie Nieman. Wouldn’t you?

      • Fiscally_Responsible

        The two guys that murdered this woman aren’t innocent. So let’s shoot them. Or perhaps we should empty the jails as there might be an innocent person in prison.

        • Shag_Wevera

          There is a clear difference between emptying jails and admitting we make mistakes. You are making an argument from absurdity.

          • Fiscally_Responsible

            Would you feel the same way if it was your daughter or wife that was shot twice and then buried alive by two monsters?

          • Ray in VT

            Would you feel the same if you were wrongfully convicted and facing execution? Would you be calling for swift and severe “justice” then?

          • Fiscally_Responsible

            I assume that if it was your daughter or wife that was shot twice and buried alive, you would be ok with that.

          • Ray in VT

            With swiftly executing you even if you were innocent? Nah.

          • Mario Lanza

            Do you mean swiftly executing, or executing after a short time post-conviction? The two are radically different, just use similar words. Is this discussion about humane death penalty, or about no death penalty?

          • Ray in VT

            I meant swiftly carrying out the death sentence after conviction, but thank you for asking for clarification, as one could read it either way.

            And as to your last question, it depends upon the poster. Some see this case as a good reason to question its use.

          • JS

            Would you feel the same way if it was your daughter or wife that was wrongly convicted and facing execution?

          • hennorama

            Fiscally_Responsible — appealing to emotion by using the example of the reactions of those closest to a murder victim is an invalid argument.

            As a society, we recognize that victims and their families are justifiably more emotional than others, and that they have an impetus toward revenge.

            However, as a society, revenge is not the reason we punish criminals. Removing the element of reactive emotion from the process, and substituting the judgment of third parties in the stead of those most directly affected by crime, allows for rational thought, and cooler heads, to prevail.

          • Mario Lanza

            As are you by introducing “innocence.” Please. Does it have to happen to your sister before you get it?

      • Mario Lanza

        Of course NOT. Although now, poetically, they may have become relatively arguable. But the DELAY for many years was not just. And by the way, I noticed how you tried to slip in there discussion of these two animals among discussions of the innocent. If it was your sister, you wouldn’t be even speaking. THAT’s why we need the death penalty, people like you who fail the empathy that keeps most of us from not committing this kind of crime.

    • geraldfnord

      Response required by law:

      I think we can do better than ‘behaving less badly than sadistic human monsters’.

      I think instead that nothing better establishes the freedom to live than to forebear killing those we revile and fear who come into our power, much as freedom of speech were established by defending even vile speech (that is not libel, slander, public disclosure of protected, private, information, incitement, sedition, or ‘fighting words’).

    • nj_v2

      Utter bullcrap. Not killing people is “coddling.” Right.

      Capital punishment is barbaric, It lowers society to the level of the worst criminals. That’s the standard that right-wing regressives want the country to aspire to.

      Time to join the 140 countries that have abolished the death penalty.

      • Mario Lanza

        As opposed to left wing permissive pedants like you who do not mind criminals committing wholesale murder. Well, if you can throw stones, so can others. Think you convinced anyone? Did you strengthen your argument? No, I didn’t think so. As long as you commit the verbal equivalent of war, you are condemned to live in it always, and solve nothing. Hypocrite.

  • 1Brett1

    The idea that putting inmates to death who may be innocent just so we can have some false sense of justice is a form of mob rule. The system is just flawed enough so that the death penalty should be done away with altogether (not to mention the practical/fiscal component of incarceration being a lot cheeper than the death penalty).

    Those who say it doesn’t matter how cruel and unusual the punishment is for the criminal are also engaging in mob rule…Does it matter if a few murderers are actually innocent? The proponent of the death penalty says no. Does it matter if the state degenerates into treating criminals in a similar fashion as those murdered by the criminals? The proponent of the death penalty says no. I would rather set the occasional guilty man free than put an innocent man to death. Those who are proponents of the death penalty (interestingly, many are conservative Christians) would rather put an innocent man to death than occasionally set a guilty man free.

    http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/apr/28/death-penalty-study-4-percent-defendants-innocent

    http://bigstory.ap.org/article/study-1-25-death-cases-likely-innocent

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/04/28/innocent-death-penalty-study_n_5228854.html

    Also, abortion is not just like pre-meditated murder and, no, women who have abortions should not be put to death, and, no, doctors who perform abortions should not be executed, so save that argument for the day when On Point does a show on abortion.

    • HonestDebate1

      I don’t get the analogy with mob rule.

      • Shag_Wevera

        All over the map, dude. More helpful to directly answer the question.

        • HonestDebate1

          False premise. I just find it odd to tell people what they think then criticize them for thinking it.

          • Ray in VT

            Except when you do it to others of course.

          • HonestDebate1

            Never.

          • Ray in VT

            Bull.

          • HonestDebate1

            I just find it odd to tell people what they think then criticize them for thinking it.

          • Ray in VT

            Except when you do it to others of course.

          • HonestDebate1

            It’s not about me, I don’t roll that way. If you don’t have something to add then leave me alone.

          • Ray in VT

            Correct, it is about your lies and dishonesty, and I would be happy to stop confronting you over your lies and dishonest tactics if you would only stop lying and resorting to the sorts of tremendously dishonest tactics that you do.

          • HonestDebate1

            No it’s not, its about a botched execution, a comment tangentially related and my search for a coherent meaning within. My criticism is about a real and actual comment that I can point to not some imagined slight after I lost an argument.

            Those who say it doesn’t matter how cruel and unusual the punishment is for the criminal are also engaging in mob rule.

            The proponent of the death penalty says no.

            These are straw men invented to criticize those who support the death penalty by telling them what they think. And the questions at the end put the notion on steroids. It’s shallow that’s all.

          • Ray in VT

            I was merely criticizing your statement that “I just find it odd to tell people what they think then criticize them for thinking it.” When have I lost an argument to you? Oh right, you seem to think that you can tell the dictionaries what they say, and those who cite definitions that you reject lose the argument, right? Another woefully dishonest view.

          • 1Brett1

            People like Fiscally Responsible who bemoan that we have an appeal process for convicted murderers, or they are of the opinion that those convicted of murder should be swiftly executed (especially considering a certain percentage –around 4%, or even higher, considering those sentences commuted to life rarely get further attention to fact-find if the person is actually innocent– of those convicted are in fact innocent), or that the state should kill a convicted murderer using means that are cruel and unusual, is not too much different than a crew of angry vigilantes hosting a lynching party. Those wild west vigilantes sometimes killed innocent men, sometimes botched the hanging and the man danced on the end of a rope for long enough to be quite cruel, even not dying but being maimed severely in some cases, and so on…Even someone as narrow-minded as you can at least see some similarity in such crudeness in justice.

            The only incoherence and shallowness is in your obtuse expressions of not being able to see that there isn’t much of a stretch between vigilanteism/mob rule and the state executing innocent people from time to time and botching executions from time to time.

          • Don_B1

            You can ensure that you are “left alone” by not posting here.

      • JS

        Telling someone they are engaging in mob rule is NOT telling them what they think, so stop using that argument. It may not be the case that they are engaging in mob rule, but it is not telling them what they are thinking, just commenting on what the poster thinks is going on, so stop crying victim.

        And who mentioned a mob breathing fire, spitting blood, and demanding executions? Just you and your straw man argument.

        • HonestDebate1

          I disagree.

          • JS

            So, tell me how someone saying you are engaging in mob rule is “telling you what you think’?

      • 1Brett1

        People like Fiscally Responsible who bemoan that we have an appeal process for convicted murderers, or they are of the opinion that those convicted of murder should be swiftly executed (especially considering a certain percentage –around 4%, or even higher, considering those sentences commuted to life rarely get further attention to fact-find if the person is actually innocent– of those convicted are in fact innocent), or that the state should kill a convicted murderer using means that are cruel and unusual, is not too much different than a crew of angry vigilantes hosting a lynching party. Those wild west vigilantes sometimes killed innocent men, sometimes botched the hanging and the man danced on the end of a rope for long enough to be quite cruel, even not dying but being maimed severely in some cases, and so on…Even someone as narrow-minded as you can at least see some similarity in such crudeness in justice.

        The only incoherence is your purposefully obtuse thought processes and lack of imagination, but keep playing those tired, unimaginative blues riffs all neocons play ad nauseam.

        If it matters that innocent people are being put to death, and Christian conservatives often immediately begin talking about abortion being murder in the midst of a discussion about the death penalty, then why not consider that many Christian conservatives such as Fiscally Conservative are trying to put doctors and women who have abortions in a similar category as murderers through juxtaposing two very different acts? Or that those opposed to the death penalty (or that those not supportive of cruel and unusual punishment in the execution of murderers), or that those who are supportive of a woman’s right to choose, are somehow complicit in murder?

        • HonestDebate1

          I will let FR speak for his (or her) self but I certainly didn’t get that from the comments.

          I’m definetly guilty if unimaginative means avoiding making ludicrous analogies with lynching. I don’t imagine up lynchings in the 21st Century that don’t exist. I don’t imagine blood thirsty mobs unconcerned with due process. I am too narrow minded to understand the death penalty is carried out with the utmost care to assure guilt. I have never heard any sane person advocate the death penalty for abortions.

          I guess I’ll just stick to reality.

          • Ray in VT

            How about life in prison for abortion? Is that sane?

          • HonestDebate1

            No and no. I’m pro-choice.

          • Ray in VT

            I was pretty sure that such things would get no support from you.

          • HonestDebate1

            Who does support it?

          • Ray in VT

            Republicans in South Dakota:

            http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/02/13/south-dakota-abortion-bil_0_n_4781652.html

            There’s also a GOP state Rep down your way, Larry Pittman, who tossed abortion providers in with murderers when musing about the death penalty and deterrence.

          • HonestDebate1

            A quick read tells me abortion would still be legal under that SD law that has zero chance of passing.

          • Ray in VT

            Legal as long as there is no “dismemberment” of the fetus, and that could potentially outlaw many to most abortions given its vagueness. It did make it out of a House panel on an 11-1 vote, and considering the politics on this issue in the Dakotas, I wouldn’t be surprised if it garnered enough votes to pass. If it did, however, I think that it would likely be immediately challenged in court, and it would likely get rejected there, as the North Dakota law recently did.

          • 1Brett1

            My posts used Fiscally Responsible’s comments as an example of the mentality I am talking about; you’ve just inserted yourself into the comments I’ve made, i.e., I don’t really care what you do and don’t think; you explain your views as if I am soliciting them, which I am not. However, you do have a head in the sand approach to this topic if you consider the problems with respect to the death penalty to be of little concern, in my opinion. Nothing you’ve said indicates you feel otherwise.

            FR intimated the very things I am talking about by bringing up abortion in most of his/her comments on this thread today. Besides, what are people who bring up abortions in the midst of a discussion about the death penalty doing so for if not trying to associate the death penalty, murder and abortion? FR has used the word “murder” in most of his/her comments today, a forum about the dearth penalty. Only someone who supports his/her views on abortion, dismantling the appeals process, and lack of concern for botched executions, would say that those opinions are not apparent in his/her views. You say you don’t read his/her comments that way as if I am interested in your reading comprehension.

            And, as far as your “utmost care to assure guilt” remark, that doesn’t square with the 4% or greater murder convictions being overturned years after convictions.

            Mob rule mentalities, as in many of the hangings that occurred in the wild west, is a good comparison to those who find no issue with botched executions; and, of those who would like to do away with the appeals process, this certainly at least shows some lack of concern for due process. All of this being irrespective of your approval of such an opinion.

            If you can’t at least read many of the comments on today’s forum made by conservatives and see some of what I’m saying to have some basis in reality, then you are either not paying attention, are showing willful ignorance, or have some problem with your receptive language. You aren’t sticking to reality so much as sticking your opinions, and indirectly insinuating your opinions into my comments which don’t pertain to you, as well as refusing to concede the mentality of many conservative commentators here today.

            Hey, at least you didn’t work Benghazi, the IRS and Obama’s supposed racism into your comments about the death penalty…maybe you’ll gear it up in the evening time?

          • HonestDebate1

            Don’t flatter yourself. If you say something I disagree with I’ll comment.

            A botched execution on someone who is a convicted killer is a little bit different than the wild west a century and a half ago.

            You constructed your own little world with your own little demographic who thinks like you say they think. Then you give’m hell. I just think it’s shallow and I’ll call it out anytime, that’s all.

          • Ray in VT

            Will you call yourself on this one (telling others what they think and then criticizing them for thinking it) when you do it? For instance “It’s mostly black on black so people like you don’t care much about it.” http://onpoint.wbur.org/2014/04/15/boston-marathon-terrorism Is that valid?

          • HonestDebate1

            If you will click the timeline it will go to the comment. Copy and paste that and I’ll look at it in context if you want.

            But I think you misunderstand my position. I object to entire arguments based on nothing but pre-conceived notions about what others think. I don’t do that. I will always make a case that does not rely on what I think someone thinks.

            I did not see any reference to a single innocent person being executed, or anyone advocating the wild west days, or anyone who favors the death penalty that is unconcerned about innocents being killed, or any link between that and Christians, or anything at all other than what Brett attributed to them.

            Does that mean I can’t hit back from time to time, no. I may even dare to tell someone what they think from too, sue me. My argument will not depend on it, it will most likely be just an insult that is deserved. If you have an objection just do as I do and ask nicely, say please.

          • Ray in VT

            So, it isn’t that you don’t do it, it’s just that in some cases you say that it is okay for you to do it? I find that to be some interesting logic. You are also making claims about the arguments of others, but rejecting similar claims about your arguments. Again, interesting.

            I also find it interesting that you can’t be bothered to defend what you have said without someone providing you a handy link so you don’t have to scroll through comments. If you don’t want to defend your comments because you don’t want to bother to have to look up what you said, then fine.

    • Shag_Wevera

      Great point, I echoed it above before I saw yours.

    • Don_B1

      1Brett1

      Shag_Wevera

      Ray in VT

      JS

      hennorama

      I support your argument against the death penalty, but would disagree that doing away with the death penalty might allow a few guilty murderers to “go free.” That clearly happens anyway, as has been shown when some of the “convicted killers” were shown to be innocent by DNA evidence and the only evidence supporting their conviction was “eyewitness testimony,” one of the weakest forms of evidence there is, for many reasons that have been well documented elsewhere.

      But if the death penalty is going to remain in the law, then I agree with Connor Friedersdorf of The Atlantic:

      http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2014/05/the-case-for-bringing-back-the-guillotine/361569/

      and then the horror of the executions will end it all.

      • 1Brett1

        I would agree that doing away with the death penalty would not increase the number of guilty murderers going free, as it were — although, I’ll admit that my flimsy wording obscured my point in that regard — but keeping the death penalty in place means that some of those who are innocent will continue to be executed from time to time, which is one of the main reasons I can’t support the death penalty.

        Thanks for the link to the Atlantic article…I don’t know that proponents of the death penalty would be inclined to change their minds should the practice be enacted using the most barbaric means, if some of the comments by conservatives on this forum are any indication. As with most issues these days, ostensibly, it might only serve to make the issue more divisive (with those on opposing sides becoming more entrenched in their views); however, it might change some people’s minds. I hear from death penalty proponents all the time who believe firing squads, hangings and, of course, the guillotine, should be the methods of choice.

        To be fair, though, it is truly difficult to know precisely what many of the conservative posters on this forum actually do think about the death penalty. Their comments contain so much snark, salacious remarks seemingly just to rile opponents of the death penalty, and evasiveness/deflection, that beyond not having a problem with either botched executions, lack of availability of drugs (the attending physician in the last botched execution stated that there was not enough of the drugs on hand to properly implement the execution) or claiming liberals have too much sympathy for murderers, I can’t glean much in the way of solutions they might consider (suggestions of firing squads notwithstanding).

  • HonestDebate1

    We’ve had to put down horses from time to time over the years. I’ve seen some messy results using drugs. It can be dangerous when the horse does the last death scramble to stay up. A gun works far better. Why don’t we use the firing squad which is still legal in a few States?

    • Shag_Wevera

      …or feed them to hungry lions…

      • HonestDebate1

        Not a good idea.

        • Shag_Wevera

          How about a compactor or an incinerator? It would be efficient to use their protein for animal feed.

          • HonestDebate1

            It has been reported that some hospitals are incinerating fetuses to supplement heating the building.

            I suggested a bullet, what’s the matter with that?

          • http://neilblanchard.blogspot.com/ Neil Blanchard

            Would you like that to be your job?

          • HonestDebate1

            No. At least with a firing squad no one knows for certain who had the live bullet.

          • http://neilblanchard.blogspot.com/ Neil Blanchard

            They do not use just one live bullet – it is one blank out of the whole squad. One bullet alone risks not killing the person.

          • Don_B1

            I think he would like the job, but he probably would not want anyone to know he was doing it.

            Even if he actually heard that, rather than making it up himself, just spreading it around might give him some vicarious warm feeling?

  • Charles

    This episode in Oklahoma is very unsettling to me.
    I won’t attempt to defend these men from what they did, they were tried and fairly convicted.
    However, with all the issues that states have been having obtaining lethal injection drugs, the risky and unprecedented procedures that have been in effect lately seem like state-sponsored bloodlust.
    Frankly, it seems like only a few degrees away from Dr. Mengele.

    • Shag_Wevera

      Tried and fairly convicted does not always equal guilty.

      • Charles

        Certainly not.
        That’s why government ought not be in the business of killing people. We can’t get our government to spend money correctly…why should they be expected to pull off something vastly more meaningful?

  • John Cedar

    A waste of empathy.
    A problem with a bazillion easy solutions.
    Maybe hire a Hawaiian dentist to do the trick.
    Since the heterophobes still cite Matthew Shepard, maybe they can still remeber Willie Horton.

  • Shag_Wevera

    If you grant that there are innocent people on death row, and that not all will be exonerated before being executed, how many dead innocents are tolerable before you decide the death penalty is no longer acceptable? I used to support it, but now I realize that we are incapable of reasonably delivering such justice/punishment.

    • geraldfnord

      How many? A lot, evidently, if it seems worth it to us and fair…we accepted 420K deaths of Americans in W.W. II in defence of the nation and of freedom because it seemed worth it, and because the pain seemed fairly enough distributed in society.

      Capital punishment seems to be worth it to many, whether it be because they need vengeance for the world to seem just, or believe it will deter, or think it will be cheap if only we stop caring much about getting it right, simple sadism, or for the sheer vicarious pleasure of the prospect of killing with Authority’s licence to kill , even praise you therefor. (Life in hierarchy engenders discontent, so it’s only fair that it toss your Id a bone, be it Landru’s ‘Festival’, kicking the monkey below you after the monkey above you slights you, or hearing that a Bad Man ‘got his’ even if you don’t get to do the same with impunity to your boss or your annoying neighbour—unless, of course, they turn into a zombie first.)

      My guess is that it’s worth it to the majority given the idea that the innocent very, very, rarely get killed this way; as to their assessment were they to think that rather more died so, I don’t know.

  • geraldfnord

    But if we don’t kill very bad people, how will we be assured that all evil is in other people and can be purged by killing them, even if we let many of them live, for example that jerk who cut me off in traffic?

    And what respect will there be for Authority if it can’t kill you? As the 14th Earl of Guerney, a man who understood his world and his place in it:

    In the old days, the executioner kept the common herd in order.
    When he stood on his gallows, you knew God was in His heaven, all right with the world.

    • Bill O’Brien

      i probably wasn’t the one who cut you off in traffic, but i think we kill plenty of people without capital punishment. ..and….the 14th earl was wrong about god being in heven and all being right with the world, wasn’t he?

      • geraldfnord

        I was writing ironically—Jack the Earl took capital punishment’s bolstering of arbitrary authority by virtue of birth and in God’s name to be a point in its favour, I call it a strike aganst it.

        The ‘…cut me off in traffic…’ was an attack on the notion that those at whom we are very angry deserve to die by reducing it to an absurd case.

  • Coastghost

    The medicalization of capital punishment by introducing “humane lethal injection” is but one of the latest modernist follies: after flirtations with the modern humane methods of gas chambers and electric chairs, all our nifty keen gadgetry for executions is no more humane than traditional hanging or traditional decapitation (the guillotine rarely misbehaved the way these laborious lethal injection mechanisms commonly do).
    By way of comparison, those sturdy Romans (when not availing themselves of local customs like crucifixion) condemned those deemed guilty of the crime of parricide to being sewn up in an ox’s hide with an ape, a cock, a dog, and a snake prior to being thrown into the sea.

    • geraldfnord

      Crucifixion was not a local custom in Judea, public exposure of the dead being deemed contrary to the Law—the stoned were generally covered by the stones (push subject off cliff, drop stones on them [sic], boulders even better) and their bodies recovered and interred as soon as possible. Killing, when a person were too dangerous or a court too stupid or unwilling to find a way out of it, was considered respect fof God’s law, but exposure of a corpse an affront to its creator.

  • Shag_Wevera

    I’m going to say it again, very simply. Are you okay with innocents being executed due to human fallibility? If you support the death penalty, you need to answer this simple question.

    • HonestDebate1

      No.

    • Coastghost

      By this logic, of course, abortion will have been abolished long before capital punishment.

      • Ray in VT

        Such a position rests upon a set of beliefs or assumptions which are not shared widely either currently or, in some cases, historically.

        • Coastghost

          Hardly a dangerous stretch of the imagination to impute total innocence to a gestating embryo or fetus.
          Modern biological science of course defers in imputing innocence to anyone, but I can’t think of a single argument that satisfactorily imputes GUILT to a gestating embryo or fetus.

          • Ray in VT

            It is a stretch, though, to conflate a gestating embryo or fetus with a fully developed, living, breathing person who has been born.

            Some might also go with original sin. According to that we’re all guilty of something.

          • Coastghost

            Not so, Ray: our laws recognize convictions in cases resulting in fetal death when pregnant women are murdered.

          • Ray in VT

            And that is a different circumstance. What I do to myself by choice is treated different legally than what someone does to me against my will.

          • Bill O’Brien

            I missed the part where you got from “its the law” to “its not a stretch”…..can i do that with roe v wade?

          • geraldfnord

            If you believe the zygote to be an human _being_, odds are you also believe in ‘original’ sin, which until recently was held meet by many to send that zygote’s soul to eternal pain were it to die, as most of them do.

            Less snarkily:
            This begs the question of whether you’re killing an human _being_, that is, the status of the zygote, blastosphere, gastrocyst, embryo, and fetus. In the absence of a viable soul-o-meter, and even of any even near-universal agreement among people who think God’s told us what’s what (see: Septaguint/Vulgate vs Masoretic on ‘… when two men strive…’ ), you can’t treat the death as murder, unless you treat the death of any living thing so.

          • Coastghost

            I know we live in modern times and all, but human life begins plainly at conception, unless you care to quibble with biology.
            No self-respecting biologist can claim with Ray that human life begins ONLY at birth.

          • Ray in VT

            What shall we do with those fertilized eggs that do not implant? Shall we consider them to be suicides? Suspicious deaths?

            You seem generally so opposed to modern times, so perhaps we should merely rely on the sources that treat the beginnings of life with the quickening?

          • Coastghost

            Or we could strive for consistency and abolish BOTH abortion AND capital punishment. Take Death out of the hands of the State entirely (in terms of domestic criminal and civil law: I don’t recommend abolishing our military unilaterally.)

          • Ray in VT

            No thanks. I’d rather not have the State making those sorts of choices for my wife and I. We like liberty.

          • JS

            So, the state can cause the death of innocents through war to protect our way of life, but a woman cannot cause the death of a fetus to protect her way of life?

          • Coastghost

            No, because women are physically incapable of generating their own pregnancies. If women COULD spontaneously generate their own pregnancies, you’d have an argument.

          • JS

            But if both parties involved in the generation of the pregnancy agree, and they want to protect their way of life, then whats the difference between that and war?

          • JS

            Glad to see you are in favor of abolishing the death penalty.

          • JS

            life, but i it a human being? My sperm is alive (most of them anyway), but are they “human life”?

          • Coastghost

            What do you not understand about the word “conception”? Requires spermatic fertilization of an egg, last I heard.
            Standalone sperm are incapable of coming to term in gestation, according to all the biological science I’ve ever been exposed to.

          • JS

            both are life, but neither is a human being.

          • Coastghost

            Biological science DOES NOT and CANNOT concede that human life begins ONLY at birth.

          • JS

            I think we are mixing up terms. Human life, and human being. Neither are precise scientific terms within the realm of the biological sciences so I don’t see why you keep resorting to such definitions as absolute.

          • geraldfnord

            Living cells of human origin are not necessarily human beings, otherwise Henrietta Lack would really be alive. How many of them, how they differ, and how they’re arranged, make the difference.

            The only people _sure_ about there’s a human being there seem to believe in a concrete but unobservable ‘soul’ that resides in a human body at some point in its development, but don’t agree with each other about when that happens (conception, quickening, birth, a couple of weeks after) and its implications. Even Biblical texts disagree on the status of a man who has accidentally induced a miscarriage in the course of a fight with a third party; the most trustworthy (i.m.a.o.) text claims that he must pay a fine where if he had killed a person he’d be guilty of manslaughter and obliged to flee to one of the Cities of Refuge if he’d avoid the decedent’s relatives’ vengeance….

            In the absence of any definite answer to the question of what constitutes a human being, we are left with Roe’s appropriate muddle of competing that assigns rights to the pregnant woman and the State that alter over gestation.

      • MOFYC

        And wars as well (where 90+% of the fatalities are civilians)

    • MOFYC

      A recent report concluded that 4% of death row inmates in America are not guilty. I would not be okay with it if the number were 0%. The state’s job is to protect its citizens, not to murder them.

    • Fiscally_Responsible

      I would ask the same thing of you concerning the murder of unborn innocent children. How liberals can rationalize that as legitimate health care while being so upset about the death penalty never ceases to amaze me.

      • JS

        Is it murder if it’s not a human being?

        • Fiscally_Responsible

          At what point does it magically turn into a human being? Surely not until it is born. The day before it is born? The day before that? The day before that? And so on and so on until conception.

          • JS

            When it is born, or delivered from the mothers womb I would assume.

          • Ray in VT

            Viability works for me, except under extraordinary circumstances.

          • Fiscally_Responsible

            That seems rather arbitrary. I guess after the woman I referred to was buried alive, she was no longer viable and their act was no longer murder.

          • Ray in VT

            That is the sort of absurd argument that I would expect you to make or propose.

          • jefe68

            This guys really showing his true colors today. Off the wall is being to polite in the description of his comments.

      • Ray in VT

        Abortion isn’t murdering a child. How an abortion can be equated with murdering an infant puzzles me as well.

        • Fiscally_Responsible

          When does it become a child? When it is born? The day before? The day before that? the day before that? Any point other than conception is purely arbitrary and convenient as their is nothing magical about trimesters or any other conveniently defined point in time. Other than if it is said enough times, it relieves the guilt of the murderers as they start to believe their own lies.

          • Ray in VT

            Hey, if that is what you want to believe, then go ahead. My wife once had a miscarriage, so should she have been investigated for her role in a suspicious death?

          • TFRX

            Now Ray, don’t start going all Margaret Atwood “Kansas” on us.

            (Is Kansas the only red state where they’re trying to get a law so women neede to prove their miscarriages weren’t abortions?)

          • JS

            How is considering the birth arbitrary?

          • 1Brett1

            What should be done to women who seek an abortion? What should be done to doctors who perform abortions?

        • nj_v2

          ^ Defletion

      • nj_v2

        ^ Deflection

      • AlanThinks

        Just curious – did you support the Iraq war?

    • OnPointComments

      All of the usual liberals are wringing their hands over the botched execution of a heinous, guilty killer in Oklahoma. These liberals were noticeably silent when the stories were about the house of horrors of serial murderer Kermit Gosnell.

      • MrNutso

        Hardly. What Gosnell did was horrific and illegal. He’s now in jail.

      • Ray in VT

        Oh yes, the liberals were silent about Gosnell, and by that perhaps we can say that liberals were not jumping up and down screaming about how Gosnell’s actions were more broadly typical or practiced by abortion providers.

      • TFRX

        Got to say “liberals wringing their hands” and try to parlay your fake ideas about Gosnell into the thread.

        Your work is done here.

      • jefe68

        How do you know? Have any proof of your vile accusation? Be gone troll.

  • MOFYC

    Only in America would we be debating the most “humane” way for the state to murder someone.

    • geraldfnord

      Nonsense: the Nazis did too, though it was far from a priority, and not a matter of public debate. Stalin didn’t care one bit, nor did Mussolini nor most other kings throughout history, and noöne bothered to ask the subjects….

    • Coastghost

      Introduction of the guillotine in Revolutionary France was deemed a notable sign of progress and egalitarian enlightenment: plus, it had the virtue of scientific efficiency to commend it.

    • Fiscally_Responsible

      When you speak about murdering someone, I assume that you are talking about abortion? Or do you have another innocuous term for that?

      • nj_v2

        ^ Deflection

        • Fiscally_Responsible

          Not at all. Just the liberals’ way of excusing murder that they have no problem with.

          • JS

            Can it be called “murder” if it’s not a human being?

          • AlanThinks

            Jerk – my wife and I had to abort a Trisomoy 19 fetus at 25 weeks because it was a danger to her life. We wanted that child. If it was up to you she might not be alive now.

          • jefe68

            You are dealing with an extremist, try not to let his trolling get to you. He’s looking for a fight and a reaction. It seems that most of the right wingers that post here are looking for a confrontation.

            As your post clearly demonstrates peoples lives are not black and white and they are complicated.

          • Ray in VT

            My sister had a similar experience with her 4th pregnancy.

      • AliceOtter33

        Fiscally_Reponsible: Don’t let the word “Murder” confuse the debate.

        If you are in favor of the death penalty – I’d like to hear why. No sarcasm here.

    • AliceOtter33

      I’m in agreement with you on the issue.

      But the fact that 32 states still have the death penalty means it warrants democratic debate, right?

  • Bill O’Brien

    i oppose capital punishment but i get don’t why, if they’ve decided to put someone to death, they don’t just shoot him in the head, blindfolded i guess. the 3 drug cocktails they’ve been using seem designed mainly to make the death appear less painful than it is. …and if shooting the convicted murderer to death is too gruesome maybe we shouldn’t be doing it.

    • geraldfnord

      I’d say ‘Make people watch.’ if I weren’t afraid that many would get off on it, or at least on the comforting blend of ‘the world is now just’ and ‘See? I’m not at the real bottom of the hierarchy!’.

  • creaker

    Sadly I think people are more intent on seeing executions carried out than they are with justice being carried out. How else can one dismiss the occasional innocent person being put to death?

  • AliceOtter33

    I can empathize with the very human desire for vengeance, especially in the face of the most hideous crimes. I imagine how comforting it would be for the victim’s families to know the perpetrators are on a fast track to the firing squad.

    And how humane for the sentenced criminal to know it would all be over in an instant. And how many tax dollars and court drudgery would be spared by this elegant solution?

    But that’s what vengeance is – swift, zero-sum, authoritarian (by dictator or by mob) execution of revenge.

    Vengeance is not justice.

    Contrary to the simple, “eye-for-an-eye” Old Testament vindication it portends, the modern day American death sentence is a complicated, costly, inhumane, and ineffective attempt at delivering justice.

    Why? Because we are civilized, democratic society ruled by law. We do not gather in the square to throw stones, or to witness executions ordered from on high. We chose the hard road of due process of law – even for the most criminal among us, to ensure justice for all.

    I would argue the death sentence itself is a judicial oxymoron.

    Whether or not the execution is carried out, the due process required by the death sentence necessarily extracts a *much* higher cost than a regular life-in-prison without parole sentence. The multiple court appeals, solitary confinement requirements, and general care of a death row prisoner are all on the taxpayer’s dime. (http://www.deathpenaltyinfo.org/costs-death-penalty).

    That would be money well spent if not for the overwhelming evidence that *the death penalty does not work to deter these violent crimes*.(http://www.deathpenaltyinfo.org/facts-about-deterrence-and-death-penalty)

    There is also the emotional cost to the victim’s families as they are required to follow the defendant’s appeal process in and out of courts for years with no certain success in securing the execution in the end. (http://www.deathpenaltyinfo.org/node/5761)

    Surely, there is some common ground to be had on this issue.

    If for no other reason, the death penalty should be abolished because it is ineffective in delivering justice for any of the stakeholders.

    http://www.deathpenaltyinfo.org/

    http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/apr/28/oklahoma-former-prison-warden-death-penalty-does-not-help-families))

    • OnPointComments

      The death penalty is 100% effective in deterring further violent crimes of the criminal who is executed.

      • MrNutso

        So is life without parole.

        • AliceOtter33

          And life without parole is a MUCH better deal for the taxpayers!

        • OnPointComments

          No, life without parole isn’t 100% effective. Prisoners kill other prisoners. If a convicted killer writes a book that appeals to bleeding heart liberals, he may become a cause célèbre among those liberals and have them arguing that he should be freed. Life without parole isn’t a sure thing.

        • TFRX

          And when it comes to making someone suffer, it’s amazing how some death penalty advocates can’t imagine how a lifetime, never, ever getting out, spent in confinement, isn’t punishment.

      • JS

        It is also 100% effective in making sure a wrongly convicted person can never be set free,

  • HonestDebate1

    If we did away with the death penalty what would happen to Obama’s hit list? Would he still be able to execute Americans with drones?

    • JS

      The Death Penalty applies to the convicted criminals, while drone attacks are under ules of war, or national secy=urity, rules of engagement etc, so I think…..oh, i’m sorry, you were trolling, please forgive me for interrupting. Carry on.

    • TFRX

      Keep JAQing it. HD.

      • HonestDebate1

        Perspective is helpful, sue me.

  • ognywogny

    The imposition of the death penalty is the thing above all else which marks us before the civilized world and will mark us before the bar of history, as barbarians, savages and ghouls; with no more moral righteousness than those we exterminate with sadistic and ritualistic glee.

    • Fiscally_Responsible

      I assume that you feel the same way about the murderous barbaric act of abortion, particularly partial birth abortion?

      • ognywogny

        One is a person’s INDIVIDUAL choice about HER own body and the other the awsome power of the STATE murdering it’s own. Apples and oranges, troll!

        • Fiscally_Responsible

          No, there is another body involved as well.

          • ognywogny

            There is not you woman controlling Talibaptist. THAT is what you are about!

      • TFRX

        “Wow. So many poorly chosen words in that sentence.”

        (h/t Michael Bluth)

  • BHA_in_Vermont

    I don’t understand why this is such a big technical problem. I worked at a vet and held any number of animals while they were “put to sleep” when there was nothing but slow painful death ahead for them. I’ve held my own animals in the same circumstances. NONE of these animals suffered, they just “went to sleep”. How are humans any different that the same chemicals can not be used?

    • Bill98

      I have this very same question. Are they trying to ensure that the condemned is more or less conscious when they die? I hate to be that cynical, but I just don’t see why this is so difficult.

  • X-Ray

    It really was not “botched”, was it? The desired outcome was death; it was an execution. That was the outcome.

    • Fiscally_Responsible

      Perhaps as he was writhing on the table, the face of the innocent woman pleading for her life before he shot her a second time and buried her alive came back into his memory.

      • Steve__T

        You watch to many movies.

  • JRT

    Every time I hear of the complications of execution by lethal injection it just makes me crazy. I’d be willing to bet in every state that has the death penalty there are police departments with evidence lockers. Within these lockers are quantities of HEROIN.

    Why can’t the state access this HEROIN, and use it for executions?

    This could be done in a humane manner with little or no cost. A Doctor would measure the condemned physical and psychological make up, and based on this information create an injection of HEROIN 3-times the dose needed to kill.

    The condemned would be strapped down and injected with the lethal dose of HEROIN. Within minutes the prisoner would “nod out”, his or her breathing would slow and within a time based on their physical body type until they stop breathing. There would be no pain, no thrashing around and little cost.

    After a proper time allotment a small team of doctors could ascertain if the prisoner is dead. If the prisoner is still considered to be “alive” more HEROIN could be administered until there is no question as to his or her demise.

    . . . makes sense to me.

  • BHA_in_Vermont

    To the question of “cruel and unusual punishment”:
    These people are on death row for a reason. They have caused cruelty to be where they are, they are not petty criminals. The people they killed suffered and their families continue to do so.

    IF we are going to have the death penalty (a separate discussion) :

    While I don’t condone intentionally causing them to suffer when they are put to death, I don’t think we should be so concerned if there is some discomfort when all reasonable precautions to avoid same are taken. It is only cruel and unusual if the method is known to AND EXPECTED TO cause them to suffer. If you don’t like the chemical method, go back to a well greased guillotine with a very sharp blade. Quick and painless but REALLY messy. Give them a sedative so they are asleep when it happens.

  • nj_v2

    It amazes me that the right-wingers, part of whose foundational political philosophy rests on “smaller” “less intrusive” government, and who distrust governmental authority in general, can’t yelp loud enough or long enough about giving the same government they so distrust the power to take a life.

    • Fiscally_Responsible

      And it amazes me that left wingers who are so opposed to the death penalty can rationalize the murder of millions of innocent unborn children, particularly those that are with 2-3 months of reaching full term but whose skulls are intentionally crushed during partial birth abortion, and then to top it off, they call it “health care”.

      • homebuilding

        Never forget that liberty and liberal are fundamentally identical.

        Now, go say the flag salute–either the before 1957 version (the one we won WWI and WWII with…) or the later one. While you’re at it, check out the Bellamy version–which was practiced widely)

        • Fiscally_Responsible

          You of course did not speak to the issue that I raised. There is no argument against it other than it is more convenient than being a responsible parent.

          • Ray in VT

            So, do you think that you should sit in place of the judgement of a woman and her doctor in the extraordinary cases where late term abortions are performed? Should you get to decide if a woman whose life is in danger due to issues with a pregnancy should just maybe have to face death? What gives you that right?

          • Steve__T

            He’s Fiscally Responsible!

      • IsaacWalton

        It’s no less ridiculous to kill a criminal and spare a child, in my opinion. It’s two sides of the same coin. Murder is murder.

        • Fiscally_Responsible

          So are you for the death penalty and ok with abortion? Or against the death penalty and against abortion?

          • IsaacWalton

            I’m for people making their choices and getting what they deserve. I am for both. Killing is in our DNA, I’m not surprised that abortion and executions happen.

          • nj_v2

            Yet it would seem you support the death penalty and oppose abortion in any form.

            Thus, you are no different than those you criticize with this argument.

            Gotta love right-wing “logic.”

    • OnPointComments

      I amazes me that left-wingers, part of whose foundational political philosophy rests on total and absolute faith in government, say that government can’t be entrusted with the power to carry out a lawful sentence.

      • JS

        Except liberal foundational political philosophy resting on total and absolute faith in government exist only in your mind.

        • Ray in VT

          But it is a great straw man.

      • nj_v2

        [[ left-wingers, part of whose foundational political philosophy rests on total and absolute faith in government, ]]

        Bullcrap

        • OnPointComments

          Reviewing recent On Point show topics, there were strident comments that the federal government should take steps to stop or ensure

          • executions
          • College Sexual Assault
          • Inequality
          • Racism
          • Home-Ownership
          • Affirmative Action
          • Gun control
          • Money in politics
          • College financial aid
          • Climate change
          • War on women

          And that’s just in the last month.

          • Ray in VT

            Of course. That proves that liberals have an absolute faith in government. Bravo.

          • jefe68

            Astonishing how his mind works. I mean it really is a wonder to see this chap unfold over this hour and dig a deeper hole of craziness as the hour progresses.

        • jefe68

          I think “mendacious troll” would be better.

      • StilllHere

        Exactly right. This guy’s Chief Obamapologist.

        • Ray in VT

          I thought that that was me.

        • nj_v2

          You’re even more clueless than i first thought.

  • wauch

    This is very disturbing. I now live in Ohio home to a recent disgustingly overly cruel execution. The most disturbing aspect of this conversation is that pro-death penalty folks are now saying these folks AREN’T SUFFERING ENOUGH! Wow what kind of country are we becoming? We are developing into a country that really involves hatred of those that don’t look like us or come from where we come from or love who we love or believe in the faiths we hold dear!
    No wonder this country was generally in support of Guantanamo Bay and Abu Ghraib torture tactics.

    • OnPointComments

      Have you heard that President Obama will come out against the drug cocktail used in the Oklahoma execution, citing it as an example of “cruel and unusual” punishment? Instead, he will propose that death row inmates be released into a large field and hunted down with drones.

    • IsaacWalton

      I agree except that this country has always been this way. Hangings? Firing squads?

  • homebuilding

    Always remember that OK leads the nation in the rate of state sanctioned killing–TX leads in the total killed.

    I’d like to appeal to all so-called journalists who mindlessly repeat the mantra of “botched execution.” After all, the ‘goal’ of his death was reached, though with some apparent distress.

    We stand alone in the community of civilized nations in our insistence on the death penalty, in our rate of incarceration, and in the total rate of incarceration.

    There are many costs associated with our brutality–and not just to our various state and federal budgets. It has brutalized our very souls.

    PS having been exposed to a high altitude oxygen starvation simulation/demonstration, I’d have to say that my experience–taken to the point of mindless delusion, was not unpleasant.

  • OnPointComments

    It’s a long-term disgrace that Richard Valenti is still alive – and that the families of his victims (including the two girls, ages 13 and 14, he murdered in 1973 at Folly Beach) must annually endure the parole-hearing ordeal of making sure he stays locked up. At least his 18th parole bid was denied against last week.

    Meanwhile, why in the modern world of pharmaceutical wonders can’t we find – and maintain – a humane way to end the life of a first-degree murderer?

    http://www.postandcourier.com/article/20140506/PC16/140509654/1177/lethal-injections-grisly-reflections

    • JS

      I agree with your second point.

      As to the first, there should never have been any parole hearing for such an individual, IMHO. Life without the possibility of parole is my choice.

    • Steve__T

      Because to kill anyone in anyway is not humane.

      We think of suffering as a rule of measure. If I electrocute, hang or shoot you, you suffer until death. If I give you an overdose and you just go to sleep, no suffering seems to occur. (not what just happened) So we think the later to be the better. When in reality, they are dead either way. Society want to feel they have the moral high ground. But do they really? Yes our hearts tell us so.
      No your heart has nothing to do with it. Two wrongs will never make a right, society has changed the rules using a mentality that it is a good thing to take a life for a life or lives. In some cases I have to agree.

  • http://www.google.com Big Brother

    If it is good enough for Timothy McVeigh, it is good enough for Richard Valenti.

  • JS
    • hennorama

      JS — you might want to put a content warning on that.

      The White Cliffs of Dover can upset some people, yanno. ;-)

  • Ray in VT

    For those of you who support the death penalty for murderers, or for whatever other crimes the law calls for, how do you feel about the case of Bryon Smith of Minnesota, who was recently convicted of first degree murder? Should he face the death penalty if it were an option?

    • M S

      Yes, yes, yes.

    • MrNutso

      And why is the death penalty not applied to everyone convicted of killing someone else.

      • James Patrick Dwyer Jr.

        I am a Vietnam vet, I would be in trouble if it was up to people like you.

    • hennorama

      Ray in VT — doesn’t Sean Hannity want this man canonized or something?

      Despite the fact that Mr. Smith, after wounding the woman, then put his weapon under her chin, and fired?

      • Ray in VT

        The details of the case are what caused me to make the inquiry.

        • hennorama

          Ray in VT — just advancing the narrative, as many are not familiar with the rather heinous details.

    • M S

      How about James Byrd’s murderers?

      • Ray in VT

        I am pretty generally opposed to the death penalty.

        • M S

          Not sure how you can be “pretty generally opposed to”…this is one of those absolute sorta things.

          • Ray in VT

            I don’t think so.

          • M S

            What are your exceptions?

    • Jill122

      I don’t know the case. I don’t believe in the death penalty. Oh wait, I see you are asking the others. Sorry. I’ll just add to the believers, please don’t ask me how I’d feel if it were my mother, brother, father, sister, etc. I am adamant in my position. I don’t believe in killing human beings and I don’t consider a bunch of cells in a woman’ womb to be a human being. Those cells represent potential and each of us squanders potential every single day.

      We all need to make our own lives a lot better before we can judge others. Let’s just try to keep to judging the actions and not the person and then to make sure that the person in the docket is actually guilty of the crimes.

  • ognywogny

    Heritage foundation guy is the same as Nazi gas chamber operators.

    • Fiscally_Responsible

      and the same as Planned Parenthood abortion clinic operators.

      • Ray in VT

        That’s just out there, man. Playing the Nazi card really hurts discussions..

      • TFRX

        Can’t stand to just shut up and have the high ground, can you?

      • ognywogny

        You fascists aren’t concerned for “children” you just want to control women you Talibaptists!

    • Ray in VT

      That’s just out there, man. Playing the Nazi card really hurts discussions.

      • Jill122

        I agree, but when the shoe fits, isn’t he still Cinderella whether we delicately place the shoe on his foot or not? So, it’s shorthand. We need something better. What is it? Do we all agree that “Uncle Joe” fits? LOL! I’m laughing because I remember when he was UJ, and then when he turned into the evil Stalin again, Hitler is our perpetual enemy. Maybe we need a new one.

        • Ray in VT

          I definitely think that there are times when the shoe fits, but I think that Hitler and the Nazis get ridiculously overused, and I think that that speaks to the levels to which they sunk that has made them such a vivid touch point for trying to say that something is the worst ever. Stalin never gets the full rap for what he did to his, and some other, people, but I still don’t think that his terrible crimes quite rise to the level of the things done by the Third Reich. I think that it might have been Jon Stewart who said something to the effect that we’re really doing a disservice to just how horrible the Nazis were by comparing them to just about anything that we dislike. Obama Hitler has always made me laugh though, as I would be willing to bet that the Fuhrer would have really hated it.

          • jefe68

            On a historical note Stalin murdered more people than Hitler’s nazi regime and they are still finding the bodies. That said, I think comparing despots and atrocities is not a good thing. As they are all crimes against humanity.

          • Ray in VT

            Nailing down the number of people Stalin killed has been tricky, and the numbers that I have seen vary widely. For me what makes what the Nazis did so horrific isn’t just the raw numbers, but also the limited time frame in which they did it, the methods that they employed, as well as the rather elaborate ideology and pseudo-scientific measurements that they used to gauge people.

      • ognywogny

        Screw discussion, this is war!

        • Ray in VT

          I dislike engaging in that sort of rhetoric.

  • MrNutso

    Well David, how about Cameron Todd Willingham who was executed for an arson murder. The arson claim has been seriously called into question. Based on today’s arson science, it’s quite likely that arson charges never would have been brought.

  • http://neilblanchard.blogspot.com/ Neil Blanchard

    Lots of innocent people are executed. That is a travesty. As the speaker is saying, it might be 4%.

    One innocent person executed is too many.

    • Fiscally_Responsible

      I assume you feel the same way about an innocent unborn child? Or are you able to somehow rationalize that one as “health care”?

      • http://neilblanchard.blogspot.com/ Neil Blanchard

        That is not the same thing. For many reasons, so let’s keep on topic.

        • Fiscally_Responsible

          It is exactly the same thing. Liberals make false arguments that it is not simply as a way to rationalize their “civilized” form of murder while self-righteously opposing the death penalty as barbaric.

          • http://neilblanchard.blogspot.com/ Neil Blanchard

            It is not the same thing – it is a false equivalency.

            Executing an innocent person is a failure of our legal system. Not only is it “the state” illegally killing a person, that they have failed to protect against improper prosecution, they are also letting the actual criminal off without punishment.

            Legal abortions are not killing “a person” and it is … legal and Constitutional.

  • Yar

    Vengeance is mine says the Lord. It is not up to us to torture or kill. The death penalty is a lawyer money making system. Nor do I believe justice is done to innocent people who serve long terms in prison when they are released. We can’t give people their life back.

  • MrNutso

    I heard that David.

  • TFRX

    “We don’t have half a million, a million dollars to spend (on one death penalty case)” per Peter Neufeld.

    As there is always money to be found for war, there is always money to be found for death penalties. There is a bloodlust which must be satisfied with some people.

    • MrNutso

      It’s all a question of what is worthwhile to spend money on.

  • Human2013

    The death penalty seems at odds with American civility. The right cannot continue to rely on book from antiquity to guide the modern era. This harms the American psyche in our troubled quest for a just and humane world.

    • Coastghost

      –whereas abortion enhances American civility and consoles our troubled American psyches as we deploy medical science for purposes of expediency and convenience, as a “cure” for human irresponsibility. How therapeutic!

      • Jill122

        False equivalence. It must be a republican specialty these days. I remember when you guys were better than this. Your input is so intellectually dishonest that I hope you are ashamed.

        • Coastghost

          False charge of “guilt by association”: I’m no Republican, so don’t blame Republicans for my rhetorical practice, and vice versa.

          • 1Brett1

            I agree; you are much too intelligent to be a Republican…I hope I got the “paleo-conservative” correct, as you have said you prefer that term.

            However, you are not living up to your potential, here, cg.

          • Coastghost

            Brett: thank you and yes, “paleo-conservative” suits, but just as dependably “anti-modern” would do.
            (If I’m not shining today with typical brilliance, permit me to give at least partial credit to my chemotherapy.)

          • 1Brett1

            Sorry to hear about the chemotherapy, cg. I wish you an effective and speedy recovery. I hope your chemotherapy treatments are few, as well.

            I like “anti-modern”; it carries less stigma than “anachronistic.”

          • Coastghost

            Brett: grazie, so far so good, et cetera, four weeks down, eight weeks to go.
            I can commend Mark Lilla’s G. B. Vico: The Making of an Anti-Modern (Harvard U. Pr., 1993), which is where I picked that up. (I’m a part-time Vichian when not a part-time Machiavellian.)

          • 1Brett1

            Three months of chemotherapy is substantial…all the best to you, cg.

        • 1Brett1

          He prefers the label “paleo-conservative”!

        • StilllHere

          I’m against both, except in your case.

    • OnPointComments

      First-degree murder, rape, forcible sodomy, kidnapping, assault and battery, and burglary, the crimes of which Clayton Lockett was convicted, are at odds with civility.

  • AliceOtter33

    The death sentence itself is far more expensive for the rest of us than life-without-parole. (http://www.deathpenaltyinfo.org/costs-death-penalty#financialfacts)

    And it doesn’t deter the crimes it penalizes:
    http://www.deathpenaltyinfo.org/facts-about-deterrence-and-death-penalty

    And the judicial system cannot guarantee due process to the innocent.

    The only reason to keep it around at all is good, old-fashioned vengeance.

    And a pitiful vengeance it is. What peace or justice can come for the victim’s families after years spent in appeals courts?

    • OnPointComments

      I was doing some family ancestry research, and found a cousin of my sister-in-law who was convicted and imprisoned in the 1930s. He and 3 other prisoners attempted an escape, and killed a guard in the process. Two months later, after conviction in a trial, the 4 were executed.

      I bet this swift justice deterred other prisoners from thinking about committing a similar crime.

      • AliceOtter33

        That’s just it. It’s counterintuitive.

        The facts just don’t support the common wisdom. Really – it’s worth looking through the links I put up above…

        Similar to using corporeal punishment in disciplining children, the threat of swift physical punishment/death does not work to change the behavior in question.

        • Jill122

          You are exactly right in my opinion, Because the behavior, in general, is not something that one has “calculated.” I don’t know the statistics, but my guess is that most murder is committed in the heat of the moment. Not much calculus going on there.

          • OnPointComments

            Whether or not murder is committed in the “heat of the moment” is of little consolation to the victim or the victim’s family.

          • 1Brett1

            I totally agree; most who murder are not thinking about being rational or about the consequences of his/her actions at the moment of killing. The rest are counting on not being caught.

            The death penalty is not a deterrent to murdering someone. The murderer must be punished, sure, but by the same token the state should not be in the business of pre-meditated murder, either.

      • jefe68

        I bet you’re wrong. There have been countless inmate revolts, escapes and in sadly to say violent acts by criminals since the 1930′s. Look it up.

        • 1Brett1

          Come on, jefe, only inmates convicted of murder have killed prison guards or fellow inmates.

      • 1Brett1

        Two months? Sounds like those escapees were mollycoddled! Why did it take so long after trial for them to be executed, being fed, clothed and sheltered for a whole two months by the tax dollars of upstanding citizens?

    • Jill122

      Revenge. Many have been convinced that killing another person will cause the victim’s family to enjoy “closure”. It’s one of the biggest hoaxes of all time. (And all said so solemnly in order to spread the blame from the state to the family.)

  • http://www.tlilly.blogspot.com Tennis Lilly

    What about Cameron Todd Willingham? If there is a case of a wrongfully executed person its surely him. http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/death-by-fire/

    • Jill122

      I believe Troy Davis was innocent and he was executed. The politics were horrific and the evidence evaporated years before the State took his life.

  • Yar

    Is the death penalty a political organizing tool? Why is the Heritage foundation keeping score?

  • James Patrick Dwyer Jr.

    I support the death penalty, and I really don’t care if it causes pain. I didn’t worry about causing pain during Vietnam.

    • hennorama

      James Patrick Dwyer Jr. — thank you for your service.

      That said, society recognizes significantly different rules and standards for participants in warfare, who routinely face existential threats, compared to jurors and jurists, who mete out punishment to convicted criminals, and do not face similar threats while doing so.

      • James Patrick Dwyer Jr.

        I agree with you, however, part of society accused me of killing babies and some of us were spit on. Maybe society isn’t consistent on what they believe, can change when it suits them.

        • hennorama

          James Patrick Dwyer Jr. — thank you for your response.

          The treatment of some Vietnam veterans by some in our society was unfortunate, as it was an example of painting with a broad brush, as if all who served were as culpable as those few who did not observe the rules of war.

          In the same way, the fact that some members of our society subjected some veterans to ill treatment does not mean that society as a whole did so, or would consider all veterans as deserving of such ill treatment.

          Thanks again for your response, and your service.

  • AliceOtter33

    The guest talks about some irony of a civil society’s tortured “calculus” over whether and how to justly kill a criminal who did not give a thought before committing his crime.

    That “calculus” is the very definition of civil society.

    • Jill122

      The real problem here is whether or not the person is guilty. We just don’t have that confidence any longer. Every possible means must be used to make sure that the person being killed in OUR name is actually guilty.

      It costs a lot more money to kill someone than to keep them in the prison system for life without the possibility of parole. Think of all of the legal remedies permitted versus just keeping them in prison ($30K per annum).

      I don’t understand how WE have come to believe that the victim’s family will experience “closure” after the death of the person accused. How did we trick them into believing that they will feel better when another life is taken?

      The very definition of a civil society is to make sure that everyone WE kill is guilty. And even then, taking revenge is not “supposed” to be the reason for the death penalty.

      • AliceOtter33

        Couldn’t agree more with your focus on justice. Civil society is about justice for everyone – criminals included.

        That’s why the criminal’s inability to act justly (by taking another’s life, etc.) is irrelevant to society’s duty to act justly in sentencing him.

      • OnPointComments

        The reason for the death penalty is not vengeance, it is justice.

        • http://neilblanchard.blogspot.com/ Neil Blanchard

          Justice means that no innocent people are harmed. So, by definition, our system of capital punishment is unjust.

  • http://neilblanchard.blogspot.com/ Neil Blanchard

    The caller who worked as a corrections officer for 18 years – hear, hear, hear! Spot on, man, on every point.

  • http://www.google.com Big Brother

    I support the death penalty for people like Timothy McVeigh and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev.

  • TFRX

    We have a headliner guest who can’t imagine the suffering of being in prison and never getting out?

    Someone is too Heritage for his own good. It’s amazing that liberals are the ones called “ivory tower eggheads”.

    • MrNutso

      I can’t imagine being at the Heritage Foundation and never getting out.

  • http://neilblanchard.blogspot.com/ Neil Blanchard

    It is the “race” of the *victim*, Mr. Malcolm.

    • TFRX

      Like Steven Colbert, the Heritage Foundation doesn’t see race.

  • Yar

    What about the crimes of the financial industry that will cause many Baby Boomers do live in poverty and maybe also in hunger? We can’t Even get a trial for these criminals!

  • Yar

    Again, the bias is political!

  • http://www.google.com Big Brother

    I rather have a killer tortured ever day of his life instead of getting the sweet escape of death.
    However, our prisoners get sex change operations that we pay for.

  • sweet_lotus

    How can a culture expect its members to observe the sanctity of life when the state believes in taking lives? I think that is the central irony of the death penalty — that it punishes people for doing what the state itself believes it has the right to do.

    • Jill122

      WE are the state. Let’s not jump to victimization by our government (whether state or federal). They are there at our pleasure.

    • Bill O’Brien

      i don’t support capital punishment but i’ve never been impressed with this line of reasoning…the same would apply to incarceration, wouldn’t it?

  • OnPointComments

    I wonder if those who oppose the death penalty would support an absolute life sentence in a high-security prison, without any chance of parole, or any chance of pardon from anyone including governors and presidents.

    • Ray in VT

      Up until your last statement yes.

    • Jill122

      I would agree so long as there is no intervening evidence of innocence.

      We have to be able to admit when we are wrong. A person’s life is at stake.

      • OnPointComments

        It’s not intervening evidence of innocence that would concern me, but a judgment by someone that the person had somehow redeemed himself, and should therefore be released. After a while the crime may be forgotten.

        • Guest

          Even if they find Jesus?

        • Jill122

          I have no idea of your point of reference. Has some maniacal murderer been redeemed and the crime forgotten?

    • JS

      Almost. There needs to be some mechanism for dealing with wrongful convictions and prosecutorial misconduct. Oher than that, I’m with you.

      • OnPointComments

        There is a mechanism for dealing with wrongful convictions and prosecutorial misconduct: retrial.

        • 1Brett1

          It’s pretty difficult to retry someone who has already been executed. And, often, prosecutorial misconduct and wrongful convictions get suppressed for political or other reasons…If you are advocating for improvement in that aspect of the system, then I agree with you. If you are advocating for life without the possibility of parole for convicted, first-degree murderers, than I agree with that too.

          • HonestDebate1

            It’s pretty hard to execute someone who hasn’t been retried a gazillion times.

          • 1Brett1

            I don’t think “gazillion” is an actual number…you are nothing if not hyperbolic and a practitioner of the straw man, but I do see your point (albeit, there are plenty of cases where an innocent person has been executed). However, often those who feel strongly that the death penalty should be a component of our criminal justice system also feel that the appeal process should be changed so much so that swift executions with little or no appeal are the way to go. Also, OPC was offering a kind of rebuttal that suggests wrongful convictions and prosecutorial misconduct are already properly dealt with…is that also your contention, so, no worries regarding executions?

          • HonestDebate1

            I think the system is solid with many checks and balances faulty execution methods notwithstanding. It is even more so since the advent of DNA testing. I also am not aware of a single case (much less “plenty”) where it is known for certain an innocent person was executed. None of that would lead me to use a phrase like “no worries” however. Lots and lots of worries is more apt. I don’t think it is done willy nilly.

            I also have not heard of anyone advocating swift executions with little or no appeal. I can’t imagine anyone saying that any more than I can imagine inferring that meaning from the call for swifter justice.

            Cops mistakingly kill innocent people all the time. That doesn’t mean we shouldn’t let them be armed or that no one is worried about it. It doesn’t mean society tolerates a few mistakes either.

            And yes, gazillion is just a tad under a bazillion. Hyperbole would be imagining lynch mobs demanding executions with no appeal and no regard for innocent deaths.

          • 1Brett1

            You are putting words in my mouth, but, hey, that’s how you roll; punk debate tactics, what-have-you, etc.

          • HonestDebate1

            I’m happy to let the words speak for themselves.

  • art525

    The murder in this case was beyond comprehension, so incredibly cruel and violent, burying a live person. Just vile. On an emotional level I feel rage and I want vengeance. But it is not up to me and to people like me and I thank god that it is not in my hands. We live in a civilzed society or at least we aspire to be one and I want to have a society where calmer and more reasoning minds prevail. It makes us just as bad as the murderers if we indulge our desire for vengeance. If fact you just had an earlier example related where a Bangladashi immigrant convenience store operator was shot in the face but not killed by a white supremitist and who found the ability to forgive his attacker. We should try to be better than those who perpetrate these crimes.

    • twenty_niner

      I think you’ve earned at least five master-class libtard points in one post:

      “Just vile.”

      Now the we got that out of the way – two words to describe being f#$%@ing buried alive, let’s get the meat of the paragraph: holding hands, unicorns, butterflies, and double rainbows.

      “or at least we aspire to be one”

      If we could only all be as enlightened as you. I’m going to try two hours in the fetal position and work on my enlightenment. Now, let me pick a good thumb.

      “I want to have a society where calmer and more reasoning minds prevail”

      And let’s get rid of money too. What ever you want pops out of thin air. I want a colorful pony… so I can give it to someone else.

      “desire for vengeance.”

      What desire? Now all I want to do is give hugs. Maybe if someone had hugged the murderers gentle youth (who just happened to have a bad day) more, the event that we would all do well to immediately forget may never have happened.

      “We should try to be better than those who perpetrate these crimes”

      Congratulations, I just vomited.

      • art525

        Wow! What a well reasoned and articulate refutation of my comment. I feel totally crushed to have been taken over the coals by such a wise and articulate debater. I’m assuming that your username refers to your IQ.

        • twenty_niner

          “username refers to your IQ”

          Hey, why the insult? I thought you were supposed to be turning the other cheek?

          I would hope that we could live in a society where bloggers who are called libtards could rise above bloggers who throw around terms like “libtard”.

          • art525

            Reading comprehension isn’t your strong suit. Maybe if I talk slowly you will get it. If you look at my comment you will see that I said and I quote – “On an emotional level I feel rage and I want vengeance. But it is not up to me and to people like me and I thank god that it is not in my hands. We live in a civilzed society or at least we aspire to be one and I want to have a society where calmer and more reasoning minds prevail.” So yes I will respond when someone says something doltish. Sorry you didn’t get your gothcha. And this libtard thing was never funny or clever and no matter how many times you sheep repeat it it won’t be.

          • twenty_niner

            On an emotional level, it looks as if you’re feeling rage right now. Calm down, it’s just a blog. Try repeating this:

            Nam-Myoho-Renge-Kyo
            Nam-Myoho-Renge-Kyo
            Nam-Myoho-Renge-Kyo
            Nam-Myoho-Renge-Kyo

          • art525

            You keep trying to be cute and clever but it just doesn’t work. I am not in a rage. I would have to care about the nonsense that you are spouting here. And I don’t. It’s actually more amusing. “Debating” with you (and I use that term loosely) is like shooting ducks in a barrel.

          • twenty_niner

            “is like shooting ducks in a barrel”

            First insults, and now you want to shoot stuff. That’s how it starts.

            I take it you’re not one of those friendly flower-child type liberals, more the angry put-the-keys-back-in-the-keyboard-when-I’m-done-typing type.

            Personally, I prefer the flower-child type. Put some flowers in some barrels; smoke some pot; sit around for a while. Sounds like more fun to me.

          • HonestDebate1

            A hundred years ago in a ratty hotel in Nashville for a two week gig, my buddy and I chanted that very chant for a joint and I’ll be derned if our normally selfish singer (she had a room to herself and stayed in it) came out tapped on the car window and offered us a buzz. I am always careful with that chant, it’s very powerful.

            Thanks for the memory, no point really.

  • Yar

    In the eye for an eye model, should the jury, prosecution, witnesses in a trial where the verdict overturned serve equal time for the innocent person they wrongly convicted? Puts a whole new meaning to Jury duty!

  • nj_v2

    “Death is not only an unusually severe punishment, unusual in its pain, in its finality and in its enormity, but it serves no penal purpose more effectively than a less severe punishment; therefore the principle inherent in the clause that prohibits pointless infliction of excessive punishment when less severe punishment can adequately achieve the same purposes invalidates the punishment.”

    —WILLIAM J. BRENNAN, judicial opinion, Jul. 2, 1976

  • nj_v2

    “Some devout Christians are among the most fervent advocates of the death penalty, contradicting Jesus Christ and justifying their belief on an erroneous interpretation of Hebrew Scriptures. “An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth,” their most likely response, overlooks the fact that this was promulgated by Moses as a limitation- a prohibition against taking both eyes or all of an offender’s teeth in retribution.”

    —JIMMY CARTER, Our Endangered Values

    • OnPointComments

      Jimmy Carter tried to execute the killer rabbit near his fishing boat, and it was just out for a swim.

      • nj_v2

        ^ Deflection. You’re good at that.

      • StilllHere

        Unfortunately, he doesn’t have a sense of humor.

    • ThirdWayForward

      I agree with Carter’s analysis of an eye for an eye as a restraint on excessive punishment, but it also goes in the other direction as well, as recommending punishment comparable to the offense.

      War criminals who engage in mass murder should be executed — death is a penalty that is commensurate with these kinds of crimes.

  • nj_v2

    “Since I was a law student, I have been against the death penalty. It does not deter. It is severely discriminatory against minorities, especially since they’re given no competent legal counsel defense in many cases. It’s a system that has to be perfect. You cannot execute one innocent person. No system is perfect. And to top it off, for those of you who are interested in the economics it, it costs more to pursue a capital case toward execution than it does to have full life imprisonment without parole.”

    —RALPH NADER, Meet the Press interview, Jun. 25, 2000

    • OnPointComments

      Will you also accept Ralph Nader’s recent recommendation that President Obama be impeached?

      • nj_v2

        ^ Deflection

      • StilllHere

        Watch how he tries to deflect attention.

      • NoFightingInTheWarRoom

        Nader’s not a democrat and never has been. He’s run against multiple democrats in Presidential elections. It’s not a surprise that Nader doesn’t support any President from the two major parties or any President who uses military force (Nader wants Obama impeached because he uses military force. He doesn’t want Clinton in the WH because she supports military actions). On the other hand, he thinks Tom Steyer or Oprah should be President.

    • Coastghost

      Whatever respect I have for Ralph is mitigated by his invocation of jurisprudential “perfection”: an ample and clear sign of utopian political sentiment.
      Dispensation of justice has never been subject to perfection arguably, not even in cases where criminal guilt was unambiguous and the punishment was duly meted out. (Id est: institutional perfectibility is at least as remote as human perfectibility.)

      • NoFightingInTheWarRoom

        Dispensation of justice may have never been perfect…but when you are talking about life and death it should be.

  • nj_v2

    “It’s just really tragic after all the horrors of the last 1,000 years we can’t leave behind something as primitive as government sponsored execution.”

    —RUSS FEINGOLD

  • ThirdWayForward

    Lockett deserved to be executed, and many of us who think and feel this way, do so out of a profound sense of justice. It not just pure anger –revenge — that motivates us. The principle is one of reciprocity — that those who inflict pain and death upon others should suffer punishment that is commensurate with their crime.

    It is appalling how Lockett’s execution has been made into a fetish — there seems to be no evidence that Lockett was conscious (and even if he was semi-conscious, this state did not last for very long, and it certainly bears no comparison to the fear and pain he caused his victims). Thankfully he did finally die.

    There should be more rigorous standards for executing someone, and we think that it should only be applied in cases of multiple murder where the evidence is beyond doubt.

    However, it makes us nervous when we see the quality of some prosecutorial decisions, and also when the death penalty is invoked as a threat as it was in the Snowden case (there was talk about waiving the death penalty for him should he give himself up and be brought back to the US to be tried for treason). Using the death penalty for political purposes, whatever they may be, is extremely dangerous, as has been demonstrated throughout history again and again.

    • JS

      If you say that “Using the death penalty for political purposes, whatever they may be, is extremely dangerous, as has been demonstrated throughout history again and again.” how can you then be in favor of the death penalty?

      • ThirdWayForward

        I believe that in Lockett’s case, from the evidence that I am aware of, that his execution was morally justified — it was a fair punishment for his crimes and far more compassionate than the cruelty he inflicted on his victim.

        However, I have strong doubts that our justice system can administer the death penalty in a rational or fair manner, both in the present and into the future.

        The legal system is a very crude reflection of the collective public morality of those who make and enforce the laws. Morality and legality are not the same thing. Being legal does not make it moral, and being illegal does not necessarily make it immoral.

        I am also not impressed by the generally mediocre quality of many attorneys general who have enforced laws at state and federal levels over the last few decades.

        Therefore, I think that the law and the practice needs reforming. It should only apply to multiple murders, including serial killing, and nothing else. For multiple murders, there is absolutely no possible excuse for clemency, and there should be no special exemptions for insanity or age.

        So as much as I feel that Lockett deserved death, unless he was involved in other murders, I don’t think that the death penalty should have legally applied here. But this does not at all change our feeling that the world is better off now without Lockett.

        • JS

          Great points, and I mostly agree. But because I also have strong doubts about the justice system, I am against the death penalty. Yes, some cases are rock solid, but that is a slippery slope, and the heinousness of a crime sometimes serves to obscure rational thought.

  • Jill122

    I am very far to the right politically but I have always been for the death penalty. The fact that there are crimes that are so despicable that the only appropriate punishment is death, blah blah blah.

    Keep reading kiddo. There’s more to learn.

    • Dameron

      Shame on you for being so flippant, Jill. Shame on you. I am not a kiddo and my personal tragic experience is not to be called blah blah blah. I should have known not to post anything honest here.

      • StilllHere

        I’m sorry for your loss and for the pain the Jill’s inflict.

        • Benghazi Cover Up

          Notice how NONE of her fellow regular libtard commentators on this website chastised Jill122 for her despicable comments about the tragic death of Dameron’s sister.

  • OnPointComments

    To what end?

  • twenty_niner

    “If someone is convicted of first-degree murder, why not put him/her in prison for life without the possibility of parole?”

    Why take out the possibility of parole? What if he’s a model prisoner, eats all of his green beans, and invents a cure for cancer while reading countless medical journals?

    • 1Brett1

      If someone is an adult and committed a pre-meditated murder as an adult, (with no mitigating circumstances), it would not be unreasonable to prevent that person from being paroled. That said, for second-degree murder, manslaughter, or other mitigating circumstances, etc., the possibility of parole should be considered at some point.

      As flippant as your comment is, I was reluctant to even reply, though.

      • twenty_niner

        So, I imagine you didn’t support the sentence of 21 years in prison for Anders Breivik, who murdered 77 people, mostly kids, and professed that he would “do it again if he had the chance”.

        Personally, my sentence would’ve been to use Breivik as fuel in the power plant the provides power to the Workers’ Youth League, where he committed the bulk of the murders. Just me.

        • 1Brett1

          What are you on about? The discussion is about the death penalty vs. life without parole in the US. The system that convicted Anders Breivik is in another country; and, just so your curiosity is satisfied, someone like Breivik should never be considered for parole.

          As far as your second paragraph, I won’t even give that any of my time, although it seems to be born out of a mind that spends time playing out very demented scenarios, and for what purpose? If that is how you think murderers should be dealt with by the state, then you are part of that mob mentality I was talking about earlier (not to mention you seem to want to feed the darker aspects of your mental state.

          • twenty_niner

            “If that is how you think murderers should be dealt with by the state, then you are part of that mob mentality”

            And that’s how a lot of people, even more liberal than you (it is possible), would view your draconian punishment of life sitting in a cage.

            It’s all a matter of degree. In fact, I would be more merciful than you. In the case of Breivik, in my regime, he would’ve already been executed, no waiting around for years for the appeals to run out. There’s no question of guilt. Hang him and put him out of his misery.

            “you seem to want to feed the darker aspects of your mental state”

            Some versed in English, call it hyperbole.

          • 1Brett1

            You’re the one imagining incinerating criminals to heat public buildings, not I.

          • twenty_niner

            “incinerating criminals to heat public buildings”

            To be fair, I was referring to a fascist mass murderer.

          • 1Brett1

            So, you are an equal opportunity incinerating executioner, then…and here I thought you only like the idea of incinerating criminals when they are COMMUNIST mass murderers

          • twenty_niner

            Communism and fascism are two sides of the same coin. The both employ the power of a central super state to make the lives of those thereunder miserable and keep power concentrated in the hands of a select, corrupt few.

            So yes, commie mass murderers are also good for generating KW-hrs.

    • NoFightingInTheWarRoom

      Some crimes don’t deserve parole. You can invent a cure for cancer, but if you raped a murdered a bunch of children, it doesn’t make up for that.

  • hennorama

    Many have expressed “what about the feelings of the victim’s family?”-type comments, as if their feelings and wishes should be either paramount or heavily factored into punishment. To anyone holding such views or similar ones, the following is submitted for your consideration.

    Sharia law regarding murder differs from “Western” laws:

    Murder
    Sharia law for murder allows the death penalty, but is kinder than western law in one respect – after judicial judgement has been made, appeals are then allowed to the family of the murdered victims, and they are begged to be merciful. In Islam, it is always regarded as the height of mercy to forgive a murderer, even though one may have the right to take his/her life in reprisal.

    Source:
    http://www.islamawareness.net/Shariah/sh_article003.html#murder

    An example of such mercy recently came to light, as reported on time.com, and elsewhere. FTA:

    Balal was standing on a chair, blindfolded and with a noose around his neck, when the mother of the man he stabbed to death seven years ago approached him, the Guardian reports. According to some interpretations of Shari‘a, the victim’s family participates in the punishment by pushing the chair from under the condemned man. But this time, the mother of the victim slapped Balal across the face and then helped the victim’s father remove the noose.

    See:
    http://time.com/66907/execution-stopped-iran-balal/

    • twenty_niner

      Yea, but just make sure you don’t have a mobile phone while you’re doing the murdering. Then you’re out of luck.

      “Special report: The punishment was death by stoning. The crime? Having a mobile phone”

      http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/politics/special-report-the-punishment-was-death-by-stoning-the-crime-having-a-mobile-phone-8846585.html

      • hennorama

        twenty_niner — thank you for your response.

        Now, would you care to address the topic of my comment?

        • twenty_niner

          The point is: let’s not use Sharia law as an example for our jurisprudence.

          • hennorama

            twenty_niner — TYFYR.

            Despite the citiation of a single aspect of Sharia law, you wish to invalidate said citation due to others aspects of Sharia law.

            Fine.

            If, as some espouse, the feelings of those closest to victims should carry significant weight in terms of punishing convicted criminals, what if those closest to a victim wish to forgive the offender, and/or to be merciful? Should their wishes be respected in such cases?

          • twenty_niner

            Actually, I wouldn’t disagree with that. If family members and friends were all unanimous in wanting to show mercy, it should be considered.

            But this works both ways. If they want the murderer’s head on a pike, that also factors in equally.

            I’m actually not as hard core on capital punishment as you might expect. I only agree with it if guilt is as plain as day – like the Century Movie Theater shooting in Colorado. There’s no question of guilt; it was the guy with the clown hair.

          • hennorama

            twenty_niner — thank you for your continued engagement.

            In the U.S. and elsewhere, Victim Impact Statements are fairly common, and judges, juries, and parole boards may consider them during sentencing and parole deliberations. However, these statements do not allow for increasing potential punishment beyond what the law allows. In similar fashion, victim impact statements expressing a desire for forgiveness and/or leniency do not allow for a reduction in punishment below any minimum prescribed by law.

            BTW, citing the example of Sharia law was intentionally provocative. It seems clear from the responses by some that getting past the “Sharia law monster” is impossible for them.

            Thanks again for your engagement.

          • OnPointComments

            Oh my. The example of Sharia law was intentionally provocative. I’d say it was catalytic, but being catalytic would violate the rules of the content police, so I know that can’t be.

          • hennorama

            OPC — TYFY droll R.

            Notably, my original post cites facts and news reports, not opinion pieces, and such citations are relevant to both the topic at hand, and some of the opinions about the topic at hand expressed by others.

            All of the above is in marked contrast to the extensive quotation of opinion pieces in the Week in The News forums.

            Thanks again for your response.

          • HonestDebate1

            It is your opinion Sharia law is relevant too this discussion. It’s not, don’t get bogged down in irrelevant facts. The sky is blue, the ocean is wet, those facts have no place in this topic either. But feel free, you gotta be you.

          • Ray in VT

            You seem to be suggesting that Hennorama is endorsing or promoting the use of Sharia law. My view is that she is merely pointing to a law code that allows the mercy of the family to be a factor, as many call for the family’s feelings to be taken into account when it comes to offing someone.

          • HonestDebate1

            It’s nice of you to speak for her maybe she will address me through you…or something. My comment here was in regard to her latest peeve which seems to be opinions have no place in a blog of opinions. She has raised it a few times of late. It has also been my observation that she tends to ramble on about facts when they are not relevant to the discussion and then scold others for not providing other irrelevant facts.

            So I replied.

          • 1Brett1

            What?! A comment by you that has nothing to do with the topic but is an attack based on distorted perceptions about how another poster comments?! Wow, you’ve never done this before, HD! I mean, as you say, you had to reply, so no fault there, you had no choice. (I don’t know what’s up with that hennorama, making you reply and all; how dare he.) I, for one, am glad you call people out. Who will if not you? At least you are honest!

            Have you become the very thing you detest/rail against? And here, you only wish to debate the day’s topics honestly and earnestly. Don’t let them turn you from the upstanding pillar of fairness we all know you to be. Please, I beseech you; you are the only one on here who can shoot straight and is high-minded. Think of those who look up to you; I mean, we all know you are a humble, altruistic sort, but those others might not see how you are justified in calling people out, wanting to emulate the one time you get personal.

            [Being that you, admittedly, don't know how to recognize sarcasm, I think I'll clue you in: my comment is replete with sarcasm, and this means that some of my sentiments actually mean the opposite of what I've written...and, you're welcome, but, now, I can't be explaining everything to you, so don't get too comfy, just this one time it is felt you needed calling out, to borrow one of your expressions...By the way, I still haven't been able to use "bring it" like you do; what are the gestures that go along with "bring it"? Like, when you say, "bring it!" in person, how do you gesturally punctuate that?]

          • HonestDebate1

            I do it all the time. What’s the problem? Bring it but don’t you get tired of writing about me?

            I don’t appreciate content police. I don’t think her comment had squat to do with the topic but it’s not my job to scold her for it. She can write what she wants. Ray can defend her if he wants and I will defend what I write as always.

          • hennorama

            1Brett1 — thanks for the mention, and the laughs.

            I’d give you a caution about pronoun usage, but doing so is getting a bit too repetitive.

            Thanks again for the laughs.

          • hennorama

            Ray in VT — thanks for the mention, and the On Point interpretation.

            As stated to [twenty-niner] above, it seems clear from the responses by some that getting past the “Sharia law monster” is impossible for them.

            I wonder what the response would have been had I substituted “the law in some jurisdictions” for “Sharia law.”

            That said, a caution: your use of “she” when referring to [hennorama] is likely based on multiple such usages by others, and may or may not be appropriate.

            Thanks again for the mention.

          • Ray in VT

            No probs.

          • twenty_niner

            “My view is that she is merely pointing to a law code”

            hennorama is a she?

            Now I figure it out!
            hennorama is Nurse Ratched!

          • Ray in VT

            Maybe a she. Maybe not.

          • HonestDebate1

            She used to get real pissy anytime anyone referred to her as a male but never objected over being assumed to be female. Now she is being coy. No one really cares and it doesn’t make her any more anonymous. I like to think of her as Beverly.

            I think there are a whole lot of females around here, a lot on the right. The only difference it makes to me is it’s easier to refer to them as he or she without writing the entire moniker every time. But I do have a tip, I use “he (or she)” when I don’t know. If you use he and she separated by a slash the moderator will get you.

          • hennorama

            HA!

          • Steve__T

            The old saying “he swallowed it hook line and sinker.”
            He’s pissed he fell in it.

          • NoFightingInTheWarRoom

            No it shouldn’t. If family members think a murderer shouldn’t be in jail because they forgive him…that guy should still be in jail because he poses a threat to EVERYONE not just family members.

          • hennorama

            twenty_niner — I note your having edited your response, from the nearly unequivocal “let’s not use Sharia law…” to the present “maybe we don’t use Sharia law…”

            My response below is to your unedited comment.

          • HonestDebate1

            Sharia law has no place anywhere in our system. The views of the victims families should not either.

          • Ray in VT

            Some Christian and Jewish groups have religious courts or tribunals that offer various services to their faithful, so should Muslims not be able to avail themselves of such processes as others have?

            Also, not recognizing Sharia law creates unintended negative consequences for some, as described here, when recognizing her religious marriage have given her more rights:

            http://www.huffingtonpost.com/engy-abdelkader/consequences-of-anti-sharia-ban_b_1107189.html

          • HonestDebate1

            Sharia is not the law of the land. There is no place for it or any other system that was not provided by and protected with sacrifice and blood of Americans. Religious courts (I don’t even know what they are) have nothing to do with criminal law.

            Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion…

          • Ray in VT

            “Sharia is not the law of the land.” Duh. Who is arguing that it is? Are there some who think that it should be? Sure. Are there Christians who want “biblical law”? Yup, yet somehow it seems as though it is Sharia that is the boogeyman.

            I’m not saying that religious courts and tribunals have anything to do with criminal law. They deal with civil issues, and the courts have stepped around issues of them very lightly.

            http://www.pewforum.org/2013/04/08/applying-gods-law-religious-courts-and-mediation-in-the-us/

          • HonestDebate1

            Justice Breyer has argued extensively for the tenets of other Countries Constitutions to be considered in our courts. He and Scalia have taken the show on the road and had a few debates on the matter.

            And yes, sharia law has been implemented in Michigan and elsewhere although I don’t think it will ultimately hold up.

            It doesn’t matter what Bible you choose, Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion. The ten Commandments only apply in our courts of law when they overlap with our laws. We don’t punish murderers because the Bible says “Thou shall not kill”.

          • Ray in VT

            Where in Michigan is that?

            Also, it has unfortunately been the case that many laws here in America have been religiously based, such blue laws banning certain activities on Sunday, and many people have cited religious belief for opposition to gay marriage. There are also those candidates who recently said that they would oppose the appointment of any judge who didn’t have a Biblical view of justice. Curiously those individuals are raise the hackles of many American conservatives.

          • HonestDebate1

            Probably Dearborn, I don’t remember. Look it up.

          • Ray in VT

            I did:

            http://www.snopes.com/politics/satire/sharia.asp

            The hoopla was over a fake story from a joke website, sort of like the story I found about Obama saying that he was going to forgive all student loans by EO.

          • HonestDebate1

            I don’t think that is the only place. I do remember people being arrested in Dearborn for handing out Bibles. There have been court cases trying to ban Sharia law from being used which means someone is trying to use it. I think we had a Muslim Congressman sworn in with a Koran. I heard about something in Florida. It’s certainly on the radar.

          • jimino

            Please stop before you make an unprecedented fool of yourself.

          • HonestDebate1

            Oh c’mon, let me do it. Please!

          • nj_v2

            Waaay too late for that.

          • JS

            Just because there is a court case trying to ban it, doesn’t mean someone is trying to use it. Sorts of like passing laws on massive voter fraud, when none exist.

          • HonestDebate1

            Sorry, I don’t have time to educate you on the impossibility of measuring voter fraud or the perceived necessity that passing laws need proof of such fraud to be prudent.

          • JS

            No need. My point was that passing a law against voter fraud does not show that there is voter fraud, just like passing a law against implementing Sharia Law does not show someone is trying to implement Sharia Law. Sorry if my analogy was lost on you

          • NoFightingInTheWarRoom

            Passing laws don’t need proof of fraud.

          • JS

            You make an erroneous leap of logic:

            There having been court cases trying to ban Sharia law from being used only means that there has been court cases trying to ban Sharia Law from bieng used, nothing more.

            And could you please tell me why a Muslim Congressman sworn in with a Koran is something to be concerned about.

          • HonestDebate1

            You’re leaving the plantation. I’m not following. Hennorama started this thread by singing the praises of an aspect of Sharia law. Sharia law is not the law of the land. I responded to make that clear and subsequently went on to shine light on the growing movement to implement Sharia. It’s a big problem in Europe.

            I don’t think it is possible under our Constitution to do so but I have been wrong before (Kelo, Obamacare). My comments are in regards to the first amendment and how it prohibits such laws. That is my point. you are trying to twist it into saying I think Sharia is taking over and running the show. I am not.

            And my logic is sound, no leap:

            http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/08/17/oklahoma-anti-sharia-law_n_3770021.html

            In summary: Sharia is not the law of the land and should not be considered as such. There is a movement to make it such. That movement is unconstitutional.

          • JS

            “you are trying to twist it into saying I think Sharia is taking over and running the show.” – sounds like you telling me what I think! Pot meet Kettle.

            Nice article from Huff Post, I glad you see them as a legitimate source. However the article mentions NOTHING about a growing movement to implement Sharia law, as I think you have implied by pointing to the article as proof of your logic.

            Again, a court case trying to ban Sharia law only means that there has been a court case trying to ban Sharia Law, nothing more. Thats the erroneous leap of logic to which I was referring.

            Here’s a silly example to show my point, try to follow along:

            If I pass a law banning Unicorns from defecating on my lawn, it does not prove nor show that Unicorns have been defecating on my lawn.

            And, again, if you don’t mind, could you please tell me why a Muslim Congressman sworn in with a Koran is something to be concerned about.

          • HonestDebate1

            I read Huffpo regularly and try to use them when I can because it’s just a hassle to cite Rush saying the same thing.

            Am I wrong? Are you not implying I am saying Sharia is becoming law? It sure seems like you are. Please clarify.

            Regarding the unicorns, there was a law that passed by 70% that allows home owners to shoot defecating unicorns. A judge stepped in and said they could not. It proves the appellate court (so far) does not honor the constitutional rights of the homeowners. As an aside, there is far more evidence of sharia advocates than there are unicorns but the issue is our Constitution. I am not seeing much press about the sharia aspects of the Boko Harem incident. The On Point Show last week didn’t mention it on this blog.

            My beef is with the willful blindness born of political correctness.

            I didn’t really say there was something wrong with being sworn in with a Koran but it’s not really right either. It is what it is, a sign of the times. That’s my point.

          • JS

            I am not implying that you are saying Sharia is becoming law, so yes, you are wrong.

            I AM saying that you have said that there is a movement to make Sharia the law of the land.

            My point , yet again, is that you said that these laws against the implementation of Sharia Law show that someone has been trying to implement Sharia law. They show no such thing.

            Should every show on radical Islam repeat a laundry list of why radical Islam is a bad thing? The show on Boko Harem, if I remember correctly, called them out as radical Islamists. I think that’s appropriate and correct.

            So, you didn’t say there was something wrong with being sworn in with a Koran, but it’s not right? So, I’ll ask you an easier question: Why is it not right? If i ever run and get elected I will ask that no Bible, and no mention of God, be used in my swearing in. As a Christian I fell it’s not appropriate. Would that also be not wrong but not right?

            BTW, as bad as Boko Harem are, I do like their song, “A Whiter Sade of Pale”.

          • HonestDebate1

            Scroll up to my reply to Hennorama for several examples. Look you don’t have to agree but there is a movement afoot and there are courts preventing any effort to ban such, If the evidence isn’t good enough for you, fine, But it’s there, I have a basis.

            Did you know the song was inspired by Percy Sledge’s “When A Man Loves A Woman”.

            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KJ7j_3L3Bhc

          • JS

            I’ll explain it again, and hopefully you will get it this time:

            I have not said that there IS or ISN’T a movement to implement Sharia Law, and am not arguing that, or your position on that, or the evidence for or against it.

            My only gripe is your logical mistake:

            You stated:

            “There have been court cases trying to ban Sharia law from being used which means someone is trying to use it.”

            That is logically wrong. A court case banning something DOES NOT show that that something is bring done! Do you understand that simple point or not?

            My simple example explained again:

            A law banning Unicorns as pets DOES NOT MEAN that people are keeping Unicorns as pets.

            Again, and simpler still:
            A law banning Unicorns as pets (or the implementation of Sharia Law) DOES NOT MEAN that people are keeping Unicorns as pets (or implementing Sharia Law).

            Do you understand my point or not?

          • HonestDebate1

            I’ve always gotten your point which is no point. It’s all about me. I understand your logic. It’s the same thing as saying voter ID laws are not necessary because there is little evidence of voter fraud. Therefore there is no reason to safeguard the obvious flaws in the system. I am for safeguards like the law passed in OK.

            I have never claimed there is proof of the movement. I have said there is evidence. Why you want to deny that and construct some kind of prove it argument is beyond me. I did not say a law banning sharia implementation was proof of squat. A federal judge stepping in to overrule the 70% vote banning such a law takes down potential roadblocks, that’s all. It clears the way for Sharia. If there was no effort to impose Sharia in the US then there would be no need for the judge to step in. Sorry if that impeccable logic is lost on you. It is significant, don’t dismiss it. And don’t try and take the ridiculous position that you are not saying there is no threat of sharia infiltrating our system.

            I also gave other examples. I’ll tell you again, if all you can do is spend your efforts trying to insult my intelligence or prove my shortcomings by putting words in my mouth, you will fail.

          • JS

            I never once denied evidence of movement. If you can show me that I did, I’ll quit the forum today. Once again you totally miss my point. I denied that a court case banning implementing Sharia Law is evidence of the implementation of Sharia Law.

            Your quote:
            “It’s the same thing as saying voter ID laws are not necessary because there is little evidence of voter fraud.”

            No, not the same thing. The same thing would be saying ‘voter ID laws are evidence of voter fraud.”

            I’m sorry if you don’t get the difference, and continue to miss my point.

            On another point:
            Your quote:
            “There have been court cases trying to ban Sharia law from being used which means someone is trying to use it.”

            Your Quote:
            “I did not say a law banning sharia implementation was proof of squat.”

            No, you didn’t call it proof, and if we are going to quibble over semantics, I don’t think I said you called it proof. I did say, “doesn’t prove nor show that Unicorns were defacating…”

            But you did say that court cases about something show that that something is happening, and thats faulty logic.

            But just to be kind, i’ll throw you some red meat: I have no problem if people vote to enact laws based on Sharia Law. As long as it pasts Constitutional muster, what’s the problem?

          • HonestDebate1

            “I have no problem if people vote to enact laws based on Sharia Law.”

            And neither does Hennorama or the judge who overruled the passed law. Neither do the public schools holding Muslim prayers towards Mecca. All while Christian prayer is being disallowed. Or public Universities building special sharia-required washing facilities. Or the Muslim super-market cashiers trying to force their employers to stop selling pork products. Or the judges in 15 trial courts and 12 appellate courts who ruled Sharia laws to be applicable. And on and on.

            Nothing to see here.

          • Ray in VT

            The Islamic Caliphate is on the march!!!

          • JS

            In my opinion, Muslim, Christian, or any religious prayer in public school doesn’t pass Constitutional muster.

            Nothing wrong with a private citizen requesting a store stop selling certain products. Not sure how they would “force” the issue, but if thats what the market wants, the store would be wise to comply.

            Again, if certain aspects of Sharia Law pass constitutional muster, what’s the problem? My first and main concern is that the laws are constitutional.

          • Ray in VT

            To add my $.02 JS, you will fail, as stated below, because facts don’t matter to him, as far as I can tell. Conspiracy theories will be advanced and believed in. Fake news stories will be repeated. False or misleading quotes will be given, and dictionary definitions will be cast aside if they do not conform to what he believes. I think that he lives in the post-fact world where believing something is what is important, and he seems to be under the impression that he can spread lies and be honest.

          • JS

            I understand and agree with all that Ray. What gets me in this instance is that nothing that I am arguing has to do with facts, or ideology, liberal v conservative ideals, politics, sociology, etc, etc.

            It’s just a logical conundrum.

            It so simple it’s truly bizarre he doesn’t get it:
            A court case banning X doesn’t show, indicate, mean, or is evidence that X is happening.

            That’s it, thats my entire point.

          • Ray in VT

            Well, one must consider the source, which is something that I was taught at least as late as when I was an undergraduate history major.

          • Steve__T

            No not logical, conundrum yes, bizarre yes.
            Your point is of no interest to him. We have (a few) tried for years to get him to look at what is true honesty to no avail. It’s like arguing with a kid, with his fingers in his ears, screaming nana nana I can’t hear you. So as far as anyone who tries, learns.

            It’s not about him and he wants you to get him out of your head
            He never said that
            You can’t prove it (even tho you can)
            He’s never said anything wrong and he can prove it.

            So good luck with it.

          • JS

            I find trying to unravel his dodges, spins, and misdirections an interesting mental exercise. It keeps me sharp when discussing similar topics with some relatives of mine who employ similar tactics.

          • Ray in VT

            Almost everything in life has its uses.

          • HonestDebate1

            Dude, you argue vociferously to say you aren’t saying anything. You know where I stand.

          • JS

            Yes, and where you stand on the issue had nothing to do with my pointing out your logical fallacy, yet you still fail to realize that.

            And it’s heart warming to know you still care enough to respond.

          • HonestDebate1

            What you don’t understand is I don’t care about your silly, irrelevant, non-sequitur point. It’s meaningless.

          • Ray in VT

            Yes, JS addressing the obvious logical failures of your argument is all of those things …. not. Well, in the grand scheme of things it certainly is. I guess that it also is in the context of this discussion, as your position depends upon the false, the illogical and the distorted most of the time.

          • JS

            58 lines of response over the course of 4 posts, including a link to an article: pretty clear evidence that you cared enough to respond. And now that you are called out, with nowhere else to squirm away to, you call out “I don’t care”

            So much for honesty.

          • HonestDebate1

            It’s not about me. I have no interest or compunction to argue why a law was passed. If you would say the law was baseless because there is no movement or there is a movement but you don’t care, that would be different. I have no interest in your challenge of the day or trying to nail jello to the wall. I have a problem with the casual insertion by Hennorama supporting an aspect of Sharia. I have a problem with courts using laws that are irrelevant to our system. I don’t feel the need to support a premise that is a given; that I am convinced of. You can agree or disagree but you won’t even do that. All you want to do is write about me. It’s not about me.

            I’ll give you this much, at least you didn’t misquote me like Henny did.

          • JS

            WOW, I am truly amazed that after all this you still DO NOT GET IT!

            What I am talking about, and what you have constantly responded to, is NOT about the law that was passed, about Hennorama, the courts, or about Sharia law.

            Its about your lack of logic in a particular statement, nothing more.

          • HonestDebate1

            I understand completely that you think citing a law banning sharia is not evidence of a movement to impose sharia laws, it does not mean anyone has even tried. I GET IT! I don’t care. I’ll tell you what, I’m an idiot denser than a black hole. There, happy. Just stop trying to clarify something that is irrelevant. My argument does not rest solely on that which BTW IS evidence to me. You can call it a disconnect all you want, again, I don’t care. You disagree, fine. Beautiful. I don’t get your obsession with trying to prove my thinking is flawed. That’s your opinion.

            Here’s the thing, if you don’t see a threat of our laws being corrupted by Sharia then I am not going to spend much effort trying to change your mind. If you don’t understand the shameful state of our courts and corrupt judges ruling from the bench and the highly coordinated efforts by Obama and company to stack the deck, ditto. I begin there and gave up trying to convince anyone years ago. All I care about it defeating the ideology. I am concerned about it and I do think it is happening. I could not care less about proving it to you or even making the case. I am shocked at comments like the one from Hennorama.

            You say you are concerned about the Constitution well read up on Obama’s criticisms of it regarding negative liberties. Read up on the first amendment that says Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion. Read up on Obama’s radical past and his lectures teaching Saul Alinsky’s Power Analysis. Consider his support for the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt. His snubbing of Israel during his first term. His views on colonialism. His 20 years steeped in the hate of Trinity and Black Liberation Theology.

            Obama is not concerned about the constitution, he is not concerned with stopping sharia from creeping into our government. He is willing to lie, cheat and distract to reach his ends. And you think I need to explain myself to you? I’ve got bigger fish to fry than dissecting my logic to your satisfaction.

          • JS

            I think it’s abundantly clear that you have no logic to dissect. Even after all that, you say, “I understand completely that you think citing a law banning sharia is not evidence of a movement to impose sharia laws”. It’s not what I think, it’s the logical truth. It is not evidence. That’s doesn’t mean its not happening, it only means that a court case isn’t evidence.

            If you couldn’t figure out even that simple of a statement, why should anyone take anything you say seriously?

          • HonestDebate1

            Early on after engaging me for only a few comments you said I was not worthy of debate and you would stop. It didn’t happen. I would be easy to ignore if you believed what you just wrote. You hold no monopoly on the logical truth, neither do I.

          • JS

            The logical truth is the logical truth, there’s no escaping it.

            [All ducks can swim. JIm can swim. Therefore, Jim is a duck.]
            See, that there is a logical fallacy, similar to the one you committed in your previous post. Its logically flawed, and thats truth, not opinion.

            [There was a court case banning Sharia law, therefore Sharia law is trying to be implemented.]
            See, that there is a logical fallacy. Its logically flawed, and thats truth, not opinion.

            As I recently mentioned in a previous post, you have a tendency when backed into a corner to admit to being an idiot.

            Why not try to learn from others comments instead of fighting tooth and nail so hard you can’t even see the point they are trying to make.

          • HonestDebate1

            There was a court case banning Sharia law, therefore Sharia law is trying to be implemented is my opinion but it is not based solely on that fact. There is a context. Trying to relegate my position to a sound byte leaves out the context.

            It seems to me you are trying to say that because, by your logic, the law does not prove a connection, that means there is no connection. That notion is just as flawed to me as mine seems to you especially since I am not out to prove squat to you. I just give my honest opinion and defend it. I am not the one saying you are wrong and illogical. I am the one saying believe what you want. I don’t need a lecture from you, with all due respect. I have seen your point in countless debates over decades. Don’t presume to be enlightening me.

            At the very least take a position. You have yet to say if you think there is a movement to implement Sharia law. I find it very hard to learn anything from someone who will not take a position but wants to argue endlessly without doing so.

            If you want to feel like you’ve backed me into a corner that’s fine. I feel the same way about you. I think you should take a lesson from it. But I am not interested in pounding that message. You tend to simply not respond when I prove my point. Just the other day I gave you a video of Obama enunciating a death panel, you just ignored it. That’s fine but don’t rag me for defending my positions if you won’t defend yours on the occasion that you even take one.

          • JS

            I’ve taken one very consistent position this entire thread: A Court Case IS NOT evidence that Sharia law is being implemented.

            The context does not matter. Sharia law may be being implemented. The Court case may have happened because of Sharia Law being implemented. There may be a connection, I NEVER said there couldn’t be a connection. It seems to me you are reading into my statements a basis for something to argue about. My point was never for or against Sharia Law, or making any statement about whether it was being implemented or not.

            BUT, the Court Case IS NOT evidence that Sharia law is being implemented, it does not mean that Sharia Law is being implemented, as you have stated.

            That’s it, that’s my point. No more, no less. It’s as simple as that. Go no further than that. Do not pass Go, do not collect $200. Stay right there and let that sink in.

            As far as what you can learn from this conversation, I would hope it would have gone something like this:

            Me: A court case is not evidence for Sharia law being implemented.

            You: Oh, I see what you are saying, the fact of a case banning it does not mean it was actually trying to be implemented, but just could have meant people were making sure it couldn’t be implemented. I get your point, and I’ll check into the case to see if the people bringing it had come across someone trying to implement Sharia Law, or if they were just pre-empting such action. Either way, I have other evidence for the implementation of Sharia Law, such as etc etc etc. BTW, Whats your opinion on the movement to implement Sharia Law?

            Me: Hard to say, as I am not sure what you mean exactly by Sharia Law, implementation, or a movement. Perhaps you would care to clarify such terms for me?

            and so on…

          • HonestDebate1

            Look at all these comments about me. Wow! I’m famous. If you guys could debate the facts you wouldn’t have to carry on like this.

          • Ray in VT

            It’s not about me.

            If you stuck to facts you would almost never post.

          • hennorama

            JS — please pardon the interruption, but I have a similar objection to Sir Pot’s comment.

            He described my original post (OP) as “…singing the praises of Sharia law,” which also, as you wrote, “sounds like [Sir Pot] telling [hennorama] what [hennorama] think[s]!”

            This is despite the following being the sum total of my own words (excluding the citation of sources):

            Many have expressed “what about the feelings of the victim’s family?”-type comments, as if their feelings and wishes should be either paramount or heavily factored into punishment. To anyone holding such views or similar ones, the following is submitted for your consideration.

            Sharia law regarding murder differs from “Western” laws:

            AND

            An example of such mercy, [which took place in Iran,] recently came to light, as reported on time.com, and elsewhere. FTA:

            I cannot detect any “praise,” sung or otherwise, in the above. Can you?

            Apologies again for the interruption of your interesting exchange.

          • JS

            No problem, always nice to get a second opinion. You have to remember this truth: If you say something HD disagrees with, you are assumed to fully support the opposing view to the Nth degree. You mentioned Sharia law, but not in a negative light, so therefore you were believed to be “singing it’s praises”.

            I feel you mentioned an aspect of Sharia law that would be of interest to the topic at hand: families response to the death penalty. No more, no less.

            And if you did “Sing the praises” of this one aspect, so be it. I actually think that that aspect of Sharia law is quite compassionate and enlightened, and I thank you for bringing it to my attention.

          • HonestDebate1

            “I actually think that that aspect of Sharia law is quite compassionate and enlightened, and I thank you for bringing it to my attention.”

            Exactly. Thanks to Henn.

          • hennorama

            JS — thank you for your response.

            Yes, I’m familiar with the Bizarro Worldview, that merely describing something is the equivalent of massive support of it, and pointing to chinks in an argument means one massively supports the argument’s opposite.

            The “Sharia law monster” invokes kneejerk reactions. Mere mention of Sharia law in connection with a political candidate invokes gut negative reactions, regardless of reality. One recent example of this phenomenon is in the California governor’s race, which will be the first held under the Top Two open-primary system, in which the top two vote-getters advance to November’s general election regardless of party.

            Gov. Brown has nothing to worry about in the race, as recent polling showed him having support that was more than twice that of the top three Republican candidates combined.

            Anyhoo … Tim Donnelly (who mercurynews.com described as “a Tea Party darling still on probation after airport security in 2012 caught him with a loaded handgun registered to an 83-year-old woman”) claimed that his nearest Republican rival, per latimes.com,

            Tim Donnelly is claiming that GOP rival Neel Kashkari supports fundamentalist Islamic law.

            “Given the recent stories and protests about the outrage of the discriminatory nature of sharia law, we’re horrified that Kashkari would support sharia anything,” says a Tuesday post on the assemblyman’s Facebook page.

            It’s untrue, of course, but when was the last time that mattered in politics?

            Sources:
            http://www.mercurynews.com/bay-area-news/ci_25687688/californias-very-weird-governors-race

            http://www.latimes.com/local/la-me-donnelly-20140506-story.html

          • JS

            Politics is a dirty business. I often wonder about entering it, trying out new ideas, but I would probably not be able to keep my mouth shut at the stupidity of both sides that i would be ostracized and get nothing done. Oh well.

            I am working on a GIS platform that will automatically redistrict the state based solely on population numbers, nothing else, no gerrymandering allowed. I think this system would go along way to eliminating “safe” districts, allowing more moderate candidates from both sides to emerge and win elections, even more third party candidates. And I think Massachusetts could safely implement it, as I wouldn’t foresee a ground swell of districts suddenly turning red, so it wouldn’t hurt the party n charge to implement this reform.

          • hennorama

            JS — thank you for your response.

            Good on ya!

            Unfortunately, I doubt that such a system would have any chance for adoption, as humans cannot help but to get involved in the process, to “adjust” the results.

            California has been leading the way, with both the California Citizens Redistricting Commission, and a Top 2 primary system. Now 14 people – nearly all non-politicians (currently 5 Dem, 5 Rep, 4 Decline To State) – draw the district boundaries. This is one way to avoid the entrenchment of incumbents and may lead to more moderates being elected, and fewer political extremists.

            The Top 2 primary system is where the top two vote-getters for each office in the primaries then go on to the general election, regardless of their party preference and affiliation. This may result in more moderate candidates, since they will need to appeal to voters of both major parties, as well as independents.

            See:
            http://wedrawthelines.ca.gov/faq.html

            http://myvoteourfuture.org/voter-registration/resources/californias-top-two-primary/#top_2

            It would also help if we got a Right To Vote Amendment, which might reduce/eliminate the nonsense that happens with the myriad local election boards before every election.

            See:
            http://www.fairvote.org/reforms/right-to-vote-amendment/

            Of course, I realize now that you likely already know all of the above, and I’m virtually singing to the person next to me in the choir.

            Thanks again for your response.

          • HonestDebate1

            You misquoted me and put the misquote in quotes. Why must you lie so blatantly?

            “Hennorama started this thread by singing the praises of an aspect of Sharia law.”

            Correct the record and APOLOGIZE IMMEDIATELY!

          • NoFightingInTheWarRoom

            You didn’t show anything that proved people were trying to implement Sharia, you just showed links about people trying to ban Sharia.

          • Ray in VT

            “I think we had a Muslim Congressman sworn in with a Koran.” A Congressman did get an unofficial photo taken with Jefferson’s personal copy of the Koran. No religious texts of any sort are used during the actual swearing in, but that didn’t stop people from the right from freaking out about it.

          • hennorama

            Ray in VT — two things you won’t read in reply are:

            “I verified it before posting.”
            “I was wrong.”

            Enjoy your merry discourse.

          • HonestDebate1
          • Ray in VT

            So, for #1, the judge “limited his use of Islamic law to deciding whether arbitration by an
            Islamic scholar mediating a dispute between the mosque and ousted
            trustees followed the teachings of the Koran.” As I mentioned and an article that I linked to discussed the role of ecclesiastical courts in arbitration matters, which is what this judge was looking at:

            http://www.tampabay.com/news/courts/civil/appeals-court-wont-stop-hillsborough-judge-from-considering-islamic-law/1198321

            “Markus Wagner, a professor of international law at the University of
            Miami School of Law, said it is not improper for a judge to use foreign
            law in an arbitration if all the parties agree to do so.”

            http://www.tampabay.com/news/courts/civil/judge-orders-use-of-islamic-law-in-tampa-lawsuit-over-mosque-leadership/1158818

            His decision was upheld by an appeals court, although ““Once such matters are decided by an ecclesiastical tribunal, the civil
            courts are to accept the decision as binding on them,” Nielsen
            concluded.”, but he later said “that the court would not intervene in a church matter and ordered the case to be dismissed.”

            http://tampa.cbslocal.com/2011/12/14/florida-judge-backs-off-decision-to-use-sharia-law-in-mosque-lawsuit/

            Seems fairly in line with the piece that I cited regarding such ecclesiastics courts or tribunals and how they have traditionally performed and been handled by the courts.

            Now, as to the Dearborn issue, so we can say that there is no Sharia in Dearborn, right? As to that case, the police were responding to reports of harassment from the missionaries. Should they have arrested and charged them? Probably not, although concern about people attempting to inflame or incite people at the festival are well founded, given some recent history, such as when some brought a pig head on a pole and signs denigrating Islam to the festival. Now, you say that it isn’t American. What about those attempting to halt religious communities from building religious facilities on their own private property, such as in New York City, Murfreesboro, TN or Temecula, CA. How American is that?

    • OnPointComments

      Perhaps they also hold the same position of President Obama and believe that capital punishment is appropriate for heinous crimes, irrespective of whether the punishment coincides with the feelings of the victim’s family.

      “While the evidence tells me that the death penalty does little to deter crime, I believe there are some crimes—mass murder, the rape and murder of a child—so heinous, so beyond the pale, that the community is justified in expressing the full measure of its outrage by meting out the ultimate punishment.” –Barack Obama in “Audacity of Hope”

      • hennorama

        OPC — thank you for your response.

        Were I an attorney, and were this a courtroom, I would say “Objection, Your Honor. Counsel is arguing facts that are not in evidence. In the quotation cited by counsel, Barack Obama was discussing use of the death penalty despite its lack of significant deterrent effect, and not ‘irrespective of whether the punishment coincides with the feelings of the victim’s family.’ ”

        Thanks again for your response.

        • OnPointComments

          And I’d argue “Does opposing counsel have evidence supporting the impossibility of someone believing that a death sentence is justified because the crime is so heinous, so beyond the pale, that the community is justified in expressing the full measure of its outrage by meting out the ultimate punishment, when they also believe that the feelings of the victim’s family are worthy of consideration?”

          • hennorama

            OPC — TYFYR.

            Extending the scenario:

            “Objection renewed, Your Honor. Counsel is of course free to argue ‘that capital punishment is appropriate for heinous crimes, irrespective of whether the punishment coincides with the feelings of the victim’s family,’ but is not free to invoke the written opinion of the current President in support of said argument, as the quoted opinion is not directly supportive of counsel’s argument.

            [PS: In other words, it is not On Point.]

    • HonestDebate1

      What on earth does Sharia law have to do with anything? Are you actually trying to say it is merciful?

      • NoFightingInTheWarRoom

        I think the point is that these conservatives arguing about taking the victims emotions account are actually arguing for a form of Sharia law.

    • nj_v2

      And, despite the death-penalty supporters often seeming to pretend that they speak for all victims, there’s also the fact that there are many, many families of victims who oppose the death penalty.

      http://deathpenaltyblog.dallasnews.com/2010/02/victims-families-speak-out-aga.html/

      Victims families speak out against the death penalty

      Today, in Geneva, more than 1,700 people from around the world are attending the 4th World Congress Against the Death Penalty. Several members of Murder Victims’ Families for Human Rights are speaking. The following are drafts of their testimony, as provided to me by Susannah Sheffer.…

      (snipped)

      http://www.deathpenalty.org/article.php?id=56

      Death Penalty Can Prolong Suffering for Victims’ Families

      Numerous families and loved ones of murder victims support alternatives to the death penalty for many reasons, including:

      • The death penalty process is a traumatizing experience for families, often requiring them to relive the pain and suffering of the death of their loved one for many years. Life without parole provides certain punishment without the endless reopening of wounds.

      • Hundreds of millions of dollars are spent on the death penalty each year. If we replace the death penalty with life without parole, millions of dollars could be spent on violence-prevention efforts, solving unsolved cases, and increasing victim services.

      • The death penalty places the focus on the legal consequences, not the human consequences. Attention is directed on the crime and the accused, instead of where it belongs — on the family and loved ones of the victim and on the community. Life without parole punishes the criminal without putting him or her in the headlines.

      //www.mvfr.org/

      MVFR is a community led by family members of murder victims and the executed that advocates for the repeal of the death penalty.

      Understanding that victim families are on a spectrum of recovery, MVFR identifies, engages and mobilizes its members to build communities of support that educate the public on the harms of the death penalty, the true needs of the victim’s families and the transformative power of restorative justice to promote a more compassionate and just society.

      MVFR works with a variety of individuals and organizations that share our commitments to build a safer society and heal the damage caused by violence.

      • hennorama

        nj_v2 — thank you for your well-cited response.

  • https://www.facebook.com/kyle.rose Kyle Rose

    I don’t even trust the government’s ability to fix the roads. Why in the hell would I trust them with life and death decisions?

  • hennorama

    Dameron — thank you for sharing your painful story, and please accept my sincere condolences. An oft-quoted inscription on a headstone in Ireland comes to mind:

    “Death leaves a heartache no one can heal, love leaves a memory no one can steal.”

    That said, there are many who disagree with your opinion, “that there are crimes that are so despicable that the only appropriate punishment is death.”

  • Sy2502

    He “writhed in pain for three minutes” uh? How long did his victim writhe in pain? Oh but it wouldn’t be very PC to bring it up…

    • 1Brett1

      Are you suggesting murderers should be killed in precisely the same manner as the victims? If someone kills by repeatedly, violently raping another over the course of three days, then the murderer should be violently, repeatedly raped over three days? Or a murderer who tortures someone to death over a week should then be tortured to death over the course of a week? Is that the kind of society you want to live in? Really?

      • Sy2502

        Really? Where did I ever said that? Really? Can you please read a post before replying to it? Really?

        • 1Brett1

          Do you know what a question mark means? What is to be gleaned from your comment? (Another question)…actually, nothing is to be gleaned from your comment, ostensibly, you just wanted to prattle on about people being PC who think even criminals should have certain rights.

          • NoFightingInTheWarRoom

            Criminals shouldn’t have rights? Our Constitution and Founding Fathers say otherwise. If you hate our Constitution and founders so much, you might be happier in another country, maybe Iran.

          • 1Brett1

            What? Before you tell me to go live somewhere else, to leave this country, I think criminals should have certain rights, especially the right not to be subjected to cruel and unusual punishment. I also am against the death penalty. You misunderstood my replies to Sy2502. But I must say, you are quick to tell people they hate the Constitution because you think they have a differing view than yours (although, my position is the same as yours, if you would actually follow my thread and other comments). Shoot from the hip much?

            And, as far as the founders go, modern ways of execution have little to do with them; they would have condoned hanging, firing squad…who knows, maybe even guillotine.

            In future, follow the conversation before you take pot shots, there, big guy.

          • NoFightingInTheWarRoom

            Sorry, I misunderstood. I was wrong. In regards to the founders, those methods were the quickest, most pain-free methods available at the time (especially the guillotine). That’s what this debate is all about, whether or not execution should be pain free. Those who argue its ok if an execution is botched and the person suffers because he is a criminal, miss the point about the Eighth Amendment of the Constitution. Regardless of how heinous the crime was or how evil the person being executed is, our Constitution requires us to make the execution as humane as possible.

      • L Martinez

        Well, perhaps not. And yet, if that were to happen then under the circumstances, there are other things we ought to worry more about. It is a waste of emotions to cry for certain people.

    • NoFightingInTheWarRoom

      It doesn’t matter how long his victim writhed in pain, that doesn’t change the laws laid out in the US Constitution.

      • Sy2502

        Of course it doesn’t. But it certainly changes the flying fig I am going to give if a piece of human garbage whom we are executing in a much more humane way than he executed his victims goes through a little bit of discomfort in the process.

        • NoFightingInTheWarRoom

          When our Constitution is violated, you – and every other American citizen – should care.

          • Sy2502

            This guy violated the constitutional rights of the girl he kidnapped, raped, tortured, shot, and buried alive. So yes, I do care about violations of Constitutional rights.

          • NoFightingInTheWarRoom

            I agree that he did. But the way the Constitution works, none of that means that he loses his Constitutional rights.

          • Sy2502

            Of course it doesn’t. But when the murderer gets more attention about his supposedly infringed rights than his victims, I think something is wrong in people’s moral priorities.

  • jared

    I don’t see why a humane death has to be painless. One third of the general public dies a painful death of heart attack and disease.

    Inducing a heart attack with potassium chloride seems to me to be sufficiently humane, similar to the natural death these criminals would may well have, just sooner.

    • L Martinez

      Come to think of it, that is right. Some people are asking for a “perfect death” with no pain, or no discomfort , or no distress for criminals which the average person who EVER dies , will not have .

    • NoFightingInTheWarRoom

      Yeah and people get beheaded in car crashes, that doesn’t make beheading people Ok…

  • marygrav

    It does not matter how hanous the crime. The punishment reflects on the United States as a humane society. The botched execution on Oklahoma reflects on what Wendy Lower writes in Hitler’s Furies: German women In The Nazi Killing Fields (2013). What kind of people had the Germans become to allow the Holocaust? Hitler was only a product of his culture, not a superman, so why did the people follow him, and why do people ask, “How could this happen in Germany,” even to this day.

    The German people were no different from the American people. Like US, the majority forgot who they were. They saw themsleves as human, but not as humane. They related to a dream of a madman who thought he had the right to judge who was human and who was not; and who like the Jew was living lives not worth living.

    Of course the crime that Lockett committed was hanious, but have we become Nazis in our hearts and outlook?
    The acceptance of the method and way he died says more about US as Americans than it does about any crime Lockett committed.

    Of Course some will say: A Life For A Life. But what they don’t say is that in this admonition from the Bible is that every member of the society was to participate. Executions were not to be sanitized by assinging it to State professionals. The partents of the accused was to cast the first stone and the community to follow their lead.

    • twenty_niner

      So not bad, it’s 3:35 EST, and we’re already at DEFCON 1:

      Capital punishment for convicted murderers is being compared to the Holocaust.

      • Ray in VT

        Oh well, ACA enrollments got the Nazi treatment the other day.

    • OnPointComments

      There should be a rule that whoever runs afoul of Godwin’s law has to pay Godwin a nickel. If we do this, Marygrav will have to declare bankruptcy.

  • HonestDebate1

    Some are making the point the wishes of the victims families should be considered in sentencing but I don’t agree. I am more open to the convict’s who are begging to die now and are kept alive against their will while decades of appeals take place. I’d be okay with allowing a waiver if the prisoner pleads guilty and wants to end it.

    • Ray in VT

      How do you feel about what is called “death with dignity” for those who are terminally ill? What about those who are determined to be mentally ill who may not be in a right state of mind?

      • HonestDebate1

        I am of the Vonnegut school (I forget which book) where suicide is noble. I think it should at least be legal. I do oppose death panels though.

        I don’t think it is legal to execute the mentally ill which seems prudent to me.

        • Ray in VT

          Ah, the death panels that we were warned of? Perhaps in the wake of better than expected enrollments someone can raise that red herring again.

          I see nothing wrong with ending one’s life, and I think that there should be a legal avenue for those who are terminally ill and greatly suffering.

          • HonestDebate1

            “better than expected enrollments”

            That’s funny! Death panels are not.

          • JS

            Death panels are certainly NOT funny, and since they don’t exist, we can all breath easily. So why do you keep bringing up Death Panels?

          • HonestDebate1

            Because I do think they exist anytime government pays for health care. The latest example is the VA in Phoenix but examples are legion in Canada and Britain.

            If a 95 year old needs a million dollar surgery to live another 6 months and a 9 year old needs the same surgery to live a full life, the government will not as readily pay for the former. Someone (or panel) will have to decide who gets what. President Obama alluded to this in the 2008 campaign.

          • TFRX

            Really. Give it up, troll

          • HonestDebate1

            Should we give grandma a pacemaker or a pill?

          • JS

            I have no idea what medical condition your grandmother is suffering from.

          • HonestDebate1
          • L Martinez

            Which troll are you talking to?

          • anamaria23

            Oncologists at some major cancer treatment centers are refusing to order ultra expensive chemo treatments for terminal patients. One such is a drug that costs thousands of dollars and only prolongs life for 42 days. Is that a death panel?
            What is a death panel?
            The VA in Phoenix is being investigated and the head of the Phoenix VA health system is being asked to step down. What is going on in Phoenix is not accepted practice.

          • HonestDebate1

            Regarding the first scenario, I don’t know. If the patient has no choice in the matter then yes. Who ever denies that option is the defacto death panel.

            And I agree about the VA in Phoenix. It is not accepted practice but our healthcare is being fundamentally transformed. There will be more deaths as a result of bureaucracy.

          • anamaria23

            Actually, it is revealed that in MA, the death rate has decreased significantly since 2006 when the Romneycare plan i.e. ACA went onto effect as reported in the Boston Globe this week. Health insurance is mandatory in MA, The overall health of the populace is improving. Most people are happy with the plan.

          • HonestDebate1

            Sure, that’s fine. Massachusetts should have voted for Romney as President. Now Obamacare is wreaking havoc:

            http://hotair.com/archives/2014/05/05/massachusetts-exchange-is-overhauling-their-obamacare-exchange-too/

            But still, a State has the Constitutional right to implement whatever the voters choose within federal law.

            Did I answer your questions on the death panels?

          • anamaria23

            No. Not at all. Sounds like you have not spent much time caring for the very ill as MD’s actually do each day.

          • HonestDebate1

            I don’t think you know anything about my life or my loved ones or my experiences on this. I forgive you though, I don’t know why I like you.

            I am not sure what I have written that you disagree with.

            We actually just signed our wills today which was creepy as well as coincidental.

          • L Martinez

            Do MDs spend time caring for the ill?

          • anamaria23

            Ask one.

          • NoFightingInTheWarRoom

            The article you posted is about a crappy website. It has nothing to do with how Obamacare will function as a whole.

          • HonestDebate1

            The website is the easy part.

          • hennorama

            anamaria23 — the MA study is interesting indeed, and if it proves to be a harbinger of Obamacare outcomes in places where the percentage of those with health insurance/coverage approaches that of Massachusetts, then Mr. Romney et al deserve an enormous THANKS, WILLARD!

          • anamaria23

            The patient has a choice if the family wants to pay and can find an MD to order it. The oncologists feel it is unfair to lead a family into bankruptcy for such a poor outcome. It is called best practice arrived at through study and research.

          • HonestDebate1

            A patient should have the right to spend as much as they want for whatever care they want. If a doctor does not make all options available then they are negligent. If a patient wants to sell all their possessions or their kids’ inheritance, it is their choice and no one else’s.

          • anamaria23

            You may want to read the writings of Atul Gawande a Boston Harvard medical School cancer surgeon ( cited because they often see the worst case in Boston hospitals) who has written extensively about this very issue.
            Such doctors are faced daily with such dilemnas and carry the weight of end of life decisions.
            and family angst. Easy for a non medical person to pontificate, but the reality is far from simple and straightforward as you suggest.

          • HonestDebate1

            I would never say doctors don’t have a tough job. I would never say the decisions are simple and straightforward. I am just saying they are not the doctor’s decisions to make and they sure are not the government’s.

            What about people who can afford it? What if they can afford it and the doctor does not know that? It is the decision of the patient and if the patient is not fully informed then the doctor has failed them.

          • anamaria23

            This is over my head, I guess. Namaste.

          • HonestDebate1

            I don’t think it is but back atcha’ with the namaste thing. We now have yoga classes every Monday mornings in the meeting room of the riding arena. The instructor is a Hindu woman who is very passionate. Cool word.

          • JS

            That is not a “death panel”, and it is a product of the medical establishment and insurance, and has nothing to do with the government involvement.

          • HonestDebate1

            It has everything to do with government involvement. If the government pays the bill (or part of it via insurance) then they must be prudent with our money. We demand as much.

          • NoFightingInTheWarRoom

            The death panels here exist, and are run by insurance companies. “If a 95 year old needs a million dollar surgery to live another 6 months and a 9 year old needs the same surgery to live a full life” do you think an insurance company is going to cover that? Absolutely not. They kick off people for getting cancer (Obamacare now prevents this), won’t even give insurance to people who might already be sick (Obamacare now prevents this), and deny people live saving treatments who have been paying for insurance for years. Canada’s system is much better than ours.

          • HonestDebate1

            Apples and oranges. I choose my insurance company. I chose what coverage I want. I determine my budget.

          • Ray in VT

            Fine. Then just keep your private insurance and never get government insurance. That seems pretty easy.

          • HonestDebate1

            I can no longer choose my coverage, my plan, my doctor and single-payer is the ultimate plan. I’m screwed.

          • Ray in VT

            Is there only one health insurance plan available in North Carolina? That seems unlikely. Funny, I kept my plan, my doctor and everything else, yet my annual premium increases have slowed substantially.

          • HonestDebate1

            Obama had delayed 44 deadlines until after the midterms. He has you just where he wants you.

          • Ray in VT

            Of course. ;) It’s all a part of his plan, because provisions of laws never got delayed before Obama. It’s more of the conspiracy.

          • Steve__T

            “Apples and oranges. I choose my insurance company. I chose what coverage I want. I determine my budget.”

            “I can no longer choose my coverage, my plan, my doctor and single-payer is the ultimate plan. I’m screwed.”

            Thanks for taking a stand, and making sure, we know where you stand. Your open and honest debate is appreciated as it is so enlightenin’.

          • Ray in VT

            That’s a lot of “I” for someone who insists that it is not about him.

          • HonestDebate1

            I don’t follow but you’re welcome.

          • jefe68

            Ahh the ignorance. You do realize that any insurance company can deny you coverage or have a deductible so high that you wont seek medical help.

            The ACA has done nothing to stem the absurdity of the deductible system we have. It’s a joke.

          • NoFightingInTheWarRoom

            But if the insurance company kicks you off or decides that they’re not going to pay for your treatment, then you’re just screwed.

          • HonestDebate1

            Then I sell the farm, it’s an option.

          • Ray in VT

            And when that money runs out? Without government actions to control the costs, health insurance for older people has been much more expensive, often prohibitively expensive, which is why Medicare was created.

          • TFRX

            More death panel shat?

            You really should stop when you’ve scraped through the bottom of your barrel.

          • HonestDebate1

            Do you buy the 8 million number?

          • Ray in VT

            Nah, it’s probably some big conspiracy, like the jobs numbers or the 2012 presidential polls.

          • jefe68

            I think the entire Obama administration is one huge conspiracy and the country is really being run by Vladimir Putin from a secret office in Kenya.

            The Commander Jack D. Ripper quote seems even more relevant…

          • HonestDebate1

            Exactly!

          • NoFightingInTheWarRoom

            The enrollments are better than expected…get out of your bubble.

          • HonestDebate1

            No, it’s a lie. Don’t swallow the talking points.

          • jefe68

            “I can no longer sit back and allow Communist infiltration, Communist indoctrination, Communist subversion, and the international Communist conspiracy to sap and impurify all of our precious bodily fluids.”
            – Commander Jack D. Ripper

            Somehow this seemed relevant in line of how off the rails some of the right wingers are on this forum.

        • JS

          It is legal to execute the mentally ill, at least in Texas.

          • HonestDebate1

            I’m pretty sure it has gone to the Supreme Court more than once and was deemed illegal. How they decide who is mentally ill is another matter. But I am not an expert on this,

          • JS

            You are correct about the ruling, but in practice the mentally ill are executed.

          • silverccl

            What it amounts to in other states, too.

          • L Martinez

            define “mentally ill”

          • JS

            That’s the problem, its hard to define. I think a person would have to be declared legally insane or some such, but not every mentally handicapped person has such a designation.

            I had a friend who thought his doctor told him he was “Psychic”. I later realized that the Dr. had actually declared him “Psychotic”, and quite delusional. He was clearly mentally ill, but If he had committed murder he would have been eligible for the Death Penalty.

          • Steve__T

            US House of Representatives.

      • brettearle

        I would wager–as I figure you know–that some prisoners, who are executed, would not only seem mentally ill to us but would also be deemed so by competent psychiatrists….regardless of the legal definition of sanity.

  • OnPointComments

    Is there anything immoral, inhumane, uncivil, vengeful (or another negative adjective of your choosing) about President Obama’s position on the death penalty?

    “While the evidence tells me that the death penalty does little to deter crime, I believe there are some crimes—mass murder, the rape and murder of a child—so heinous, so beyond the pale, that the community is justified in expressing the full measure of its outrage by meting out the ultimate punishment.” –Barack Obama in “Audacity of Hope”

    • JS

      Yes, seems vengeful, why do you ask?

    • NoFightingInTheWarRoom

      There is nothing inhumane about thinking some people deserve to die. However, whether or not we trust the government to make that decision is another question. I definitely think people who rape and murder deserve to die, however I don’t support the death penalty. This is because I don’t think the system is infallible enough to guarantee that innocents won’t be executed. As long as the possibility that innocents could be executed by the state, the death penalty should not exist.

      • OnPointComments

        The comment was an experiment to see if any of the death penalty abolitionists felt strongly enough about their conviction to go against President Obama.

        • Ray in VT

          I’m rather generally opposed to the death penalty, but I understand the desire for many for it, the President included.

  • jimino

    If we want to use the death penalty in crimes in which the perpetrator is identified with certainty, the number of people harmed is far greater than the most heinous murder I can think of, and in circumstances in which it would have a deterrent effect, we should execute calculating financial criminals like Bernie Madoff, Allen Stanford, Bernard Ebbers, Ken Lay, Jeffrey Skilling . . .

  • http://neilblanchard.blogspot.com/ Neil Blanchard

    What does the USA have in common with China, Iran, and Saudi Arabia?

    • HonestDebate1

      Radical leaders?

      • http://neilblanchard.blogspot.com/ Neil Blanchard

        We are at the top of the list of capital punishment. Such a civilized nation we are, too.

        • HonestDebate1

          So I’m right? Do I get a prize?

          • http://neilblanchard.blogspot.com/ Neil Blanchard

            Huh?

          • HonestDebate1

            I think I deserve a prize.

          • nj_v2

            A little medal; “Chief Forum Buffoon.” Maybe a mug, too.

          • HonestDebate1

            Now we’re talkin’!

          • jefe68

            OK, here you go.

    • hennorama

      Neil Blanchard — do you mean aside from them all having “a” and “i” in the English names of these nations?

    • Holly

      Japan, India, and Belarus have the death penalty too!

  • HonestDebate1

    Off topic:

    As his presidency crumbles, President Obama is making a push for climate change legislation. I don’t think On Point has done a show on AGW in at least a week or two. Maybe it’s time.

    • harverdphd

      Could be iffy…Monica’s gone pubic and global support is building for intervention in the African kidnappings.

      • silverccl

        Good to hear, I look forward to global intervention in the African kidnappings.

      • HonestDebate1

        My money is on a show by the week’s end. I hope I’m wrong. It just seems like every time the President sends out marching orders to distract from his horrible job performance, On Point is right there with a show.

        Maybe that’s valid, he is the President. His agenda is news. But at some point it becomes propaganda by a willing press that should be adversarial and is with Republicans.

        http://www.mediaite.com/online/number-of-reporters-identifying-as-gop-collapses-to-7/

        Again, I’m speculating and hope I’m wrong.

  • susanklund

    It would be helpful if the producers let Jessica Yellin know she’s yelling instead of speaking. Possibly important while reporting on CNN; off-putting when trying to foster a conversation on pub radio. Thanks.

  • John_Hamilton

    We might want to consider the message that is implied in the term “death penalty.” The worst punishment that can be offered is death. Everyone dies, so it is a penalty for everyone. If someone dies in a car accident, he or she is penalized for something or other, being in the wrong place at the wrong time. The same goes for cancer, heart attack, Parkinson’s, Multiple Sclerosis, or Lou Gehrig’s disease.

    The difference, of course, with execution is that death is imposed deliberately. Though the Fifth Commandment forbids killing, some get to do it without guilt, and are even paid to kill. The act is the same, but we say it is O.K. if you have a good enough reason. For the state, the good enough reason is conviction and sentencing to death.

    This matters. It is no coincidence that states that execute people also have higher rates of violent crime. If deliberate, premeditated killing of another person is not only legal in some instances, but done enthusiastically, the line between these killings and killing in general is weakened. It becomes easier to justify other kinds of killing.

    As a nation we have waged several wars in recent decades under highly suspicious circumstances, largely due to the egos of politicians. For the Iraq invasion, 90% of the country approved, in spite of clear fabrications to “justify” the invasion. The invasion of Afghanistan could easily have been avoided by a limited police action to capture Osama bin Laden, the supposed purpose of the invasion. With Panama, who knows what the real reason was? The same goes for Grenada. Vietnam? Anyone’s guess. Have army, will travel. Wire president, Washington, D.C.

    With no compunction about killing people, anything goes. It’s hard to stop once you have declared exceptions to the rule.

  • emma852

    My Uncle Nathaniel recently got a nearly
    new red Chrysler 200 Sedan only from working part time off a home pc… find
    out this here C­a­s­h­D­u­t­i­e­s­.­ℂ­o­m

  • NoFightingInTheWarRoom

    Funny how so many anti-big government conservatives who want they government out of their lives and don’t trust them with anything trust them with deciding who lives and who dies. They think the government shouldn’t help with health care “because it will wind up like the Postal Service”, but apparently its ok if decisions of life and death wind up like the Postal Service.

    • HonestDebate1

      I think the notion that anyone advocates no government or they cannot be trusted with anything is just a caricature of Conservatives that does not exist. I think you are describing anarchist.

      • JS

        He didn’t mention anything about advocating no government. Nice straw man, your quite adept at knocking them down.

        “Government out of their lives and don’t trust them with anything” are core conservative talking points and exist on these very forums.

        • HonestDebate1

          No, it’s a caricature. Nobody advocates government out of our lives or says that it can’t be trusted with anything, which BTW means no government. And you accuse me of constructing straw men?!

          And that’s before I ever get to the notion of calling a jury of our peers, government.

          • JS

            Nobody advocates government out of our lives? Are you serious?

            From the Heritage Network:
            Morning Bell: Getting a Meddling Government Out of Our Lives

            http://blog.heritage.org/2013/02/08/morning-bell-getting-a-meddling-government-out-of-our-lives/

            It’s a caricature generally, and yet quite true for many. Let me say that in other words for you: For all conservatives, yes, its a caricature. For many conservatives, including many on these forums, its gospel.

            I believe the prosecutors, judges, and courts are part of the government, and when you are serving on a jury, you are working on behalf of the government, hence the term “civic” duty.

          • Ray in VT

            The GOP: trying to shrink government so small that it can fit into a woman’s womb. That’s a paraphrase from I don’t remember who.

          • HonestDebate1

            I would just be satisfied if it were small enough to drown in a body of water the size of all the oceans in the universe combined but then I’d be accused of wanting to fill my own potholes.

            What’s with you liberals obsession with a woman’s womb?

          • Ray in VT

            Most of them just don’t want government sticking its nose into the womb. Proof that small government conservatives only want government out of our lives and doctors offices when it suits them.

          • HonestDebate1

            Is that a non-agreeing agreement or a disagreement that agrees… or not? Good Lord, make up your mind!

            There are many generalizations that are posited here and based on false premises. One is advocating smaller government means no government. It is leveled all the time. Another is advocating getting the meddling aspects of government out of our lives means getting government out of our lives. Most of what liberals describe as Conservative bear little resemblance to the truth.

          • JS

            I have no problem with you saying “Most of what liberals describe as Conservative bear little resemblance to the truth” if you would also agree that most of what conservatives describe as liberal bear little resemblance to the truth

          • HonestDebate1

            I would say that if I believed it. The best I can do is say many Conservatives don’t describe liberals accurately. I do not see a moral equivalence. It’s like saying MSNBC is just a counterweight to Fox.

            I am not going to give the left points or the right demerits (or vice versa) based on some arbitrary notion of fairness. If you have an example, I will be happy to give you my honest opinion. I am talking about a specific comment and a specific claim which I disagree with.

          • JS

            Actually, saying “Most of what liberals describe as Conservative bear little resemblance to the truth.” is pretty much a blanket statement and does not seem to be about a specific comment and a specific claim. If you really wanted to talk about a specific comment and claim, wouldn’t it have been better to say, “what a liberal just described as Conservative bears little resemblance to the truth.”, don’t you agree?

            BTW, you have a tendency to admit that you are stupid and an idiot, so why not take other peoples comments as a learning experience. You have called me out on certain things in the past, and I have acknowledged them, and work to not make the same mistakes in the future. You should try it.

          • HonestDebate1

            I tend to hold to the original premise. My blanket statement is admittedly that but it was in the context of the comment in question. If I elaborate then I am elaborating from a starting point. I have a reason. It is because I have a very hard time keeping my point in focus under the strenuous efforts to take it someplace else. It’s a peeve of mine. I try to make a specific point and it gets pin balled to places unknown. Sorry if I don’t always play by your rules. I mean that sincerely. You are certainly a victim of my methods that have been hardened long before you arrived. That may not be fair but it is what it is.

            I admit I’m an idiot for two reasons: 1) to take it off the table, and 2) because I could not care less what people think of me. I just get sick of the distraction. I do indeed learn much form other commenters including those I disagree with. There are many liberals here I have much respect (even affection) for. But once the well is poisoned and I endure horrific insults, dodges, distractions, others telling me what I think and history rewrites regarding my comments, I tend to lose respect and patience. I don’t see a purpose of getting personal but I also am not a doormat waiting for a beating. I have always said I am grateful to be proven wrong. I do not want to be wrong for the sake of ideology…. but you have to bring it. I have been engaged and thinking for decades, I don’t just dismiss my core beliefs without good reason.

          • JS

            No one is trying to take your point somewhere else. You say something, I respond to a certain point of what you said, but you seem to have an idea of where you want the conversation to go and move it that way regardless of what I have commented on. Is that what you mean by having you original point “pin-balled to places unknown”?, that people don’t follow your predetermined idea of where the conversation should be going?

            Maybe if you actually took the time to figure out what the other person is actually commenting on, don’t assume if they disagree with one point that they disagree with all your points, and don’t assume if they have a problem with one point, they support the exact opposite point 100%.

            And the previous is not “telling you what you think” in so much as it is my way of trying to decipher what you are talking about.

          • HonestDebate1

            I think the comment by NFITWR was based on a caricature of Conservatives. I think you agreed. What’s the problem?

            Why did you attempt to take it somewhere else by talking about me?

            BTW, you have a tendency to admit that you are stupid and an idiot, so why not take other peoples comments as a learning experience. You have called me out on certain things in the past, and I have acknowledged them, and work to not make the same mistakes in the future. You should try it.

          • Ray in VT

            It must be hard sticking to your one line when that line so often proves to have little to no factual basis. You say that you don’t want to be wrong for the sake of ideology, but what is it, other than ideology, that compels you to stick backing things that are just factually untrue? Belief? Pride? Ignorance? If you have been engaged in the sort of thinking that you often display here, then it is no wonder that you refuse to change positions in the face of even basic facts. Maybe you just really believe the false things that you say and all of the conspiracy nonsense that you repeat.

          • NoFightingInTheWarRoom

            If you think that no one advocates the government getting out of their lives, just look at some signs at tea party rallies.

      • NoFightingInTheWarRoom

        I didn’t say no government, I referenced a very common GOP talking point that the government should not be trusted with important decisions that affect individuals, and the comparison of Obamacare to the post office that was often made during the 2012 campaign.

        • HonestDebate1

          No, you said “don’t trust them with anything”.

  • Alex Hu

    Funny how John Malcolm conveniently ignores many facts when discussing Cameron Todd Willingham. He doesn’t mention how every single fire expert in the country (aside from the arson experts of the local fire department) that has examined this case has disproved the arson theory of the prosecution. He doesn’t mention how Willingham turned down an offer of a life sentence in return for pleading guilty and forfeiting a trial. The scientific evidence against Willingham is more or less established to be nonexistent, yet people like John Malcolm stubbornly cling on to bits and pieces in an effort to deny reality.

  • Holly

    We will only end the death penalty when killers stop killing! Vicious killers deserve the same mercy they show their victims!

    • nj_v2

      That’s such a morally bankrupt argument.

  • NoFightingInTheWarRoom

    But there are many cases where there is a question of guilt, and many situations where someone has been sentenced to death when they’ve actually been innocent. We know this. As I’ve said, I definitely think some people deserve to die. Hassan, Holmes, the jacka** that bombed my hometown of Boston…all deserve to die. However, I don’t think that its the government’s role to make that decision, as it can possibly lead (and likely has led) to innocent people being executed.

    • JONBOSTON

      You don’t get it. Government doesn’t get to make that decision. Juries do. Government decides which crimes are worthy of the death penalty but juries decide if a defendant should face the ultimate penalty.

      • NoFightingInTheWarRoom

        The prosecutor decides whether or not to seek the death penalty, that is the government making that decisions. A majority of the time, when the prosecution seeks the death penalty, the jury affirms it. Besides, when you are on a jury you are basically a temporary functionary of the government. Juries are part of the court system, which are a part of the government.

  • frankDDDD

    the problem with making a totally sterile procedure of the process of killing someone convicted of a capital offense is there are simply too many points of taint or error to enter the process
    heinous crimes arouse the public whom in turn put immediate pressure on law enforcement to close the case and this leads to all manner of short-cuts, misinformation, rush-to-judgement, sloppy and incomplete investigative work and so on
    once that ship sails and the wobbly and haphazard foundation that the decades long case will depend on unfortunately may come unravelled after enourmous resources of time and money will have been wasted so there again is yet another point of entry for disappointment
    what possible “closure” could the family and friends of a victim have when decades later it is proven the incarcerated / killed perpetrator was NOT the one ! ………….and isn’t the effect of the punishment of death supposed to first of all be for the benefit of the victims surviving loved ones ?
    of course there are those who are unable and incapable of participating in a civilized society, and should indeed be put away upon conviction, to rot in hell, and even wish they were dead, but it is beyond our system to insure the proper actual person receives the irreversible punishment of death

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