The Watering Hole, Saturday, May 4, 2013: Can We Execute the Death Penalty By Not Using it?

Let’s not beat around the bush. Let’s just admit it right up front before we continue. I am adamantly, totally, unequivocally 100% against the use of capital punishment. If I were the victim of a horrible murder, no matter how gruesome, nor matter how sickening, no matter how inhuman my murder may be (and let’s not get any ideas out there, okay?), I do NOT want my government to execute my killer in my name. I’d want that bastard to spend the rest of his natural life in prison (especially if he were young at the time he killed me) rather than face execution. And if you’re the type who says, “I don’t want my tax dollars to be spent on keeping this kind of scum alive,” then you should be thanking me, because I will personally be saving you a fortune from the great beyond. You see, when someone is sentenced to death, they’re automatically eligible for appeals. Appeals which we tax payers pay for, often from both sides – we pay for the prosecution (the State) to request the defendant stayed sentenced to death, and we pay for the defendant’s counsel to fight against that. If you sentence the guy to life without parole, he doesn’t get a lifetime of appeals that keep him alive ten or fifteen years after he should have been dead. And how much longer is he likely to live in prison after that? This way, you’ve still paid for those first fifteen years in prison, but without having to pay for all those appeals that only delayed the inevitable. And you’re highly unlikely to spend as much money keeping him alive after that than you did for those futile appeals. So you still save money in the long run. And if the guy happens to be a monster like Jeffrey Dahmer, the other prisoners will make sure he gets the kind of punishment the bloodthirsty would like. Money spent on appeals for guys like that is definitely money wasted. Not that I want to see anybody get killed, even in prison. But there are some for whom I would never weep.

There are some who say that the death penalty is a deterrent, but I say it really isn’t. For one thing, take your average person like me, who has no wish to spend any length of time inside a prison cell for anything, let alone murder. The fact that I could go to jail for even a little while for killing someone is more than enough to stop me from actually going through with it one evening rush hour on the highway. I certainly don’t need the threat of having my own life cruelly taken away thrown into the mix. I think that’s true of most people. But there are those who find some kind of justification for killing someone, and it’s hard to believe they don’t know it’s illegal to do so. I mean, are you one of those who thinks it’s unnecessary to read someone their Miranda rights since “everyone knows” they have the right to remain silent from watching TV? Then you should also believe that “everyone knows” you could get the death penalty for killing someone (if you do it in a state that has the death penalty, or do it in connection to the federal government.) But does that stop them? No. Take the state of Texas. (I mean it. Please. Take it.) It’s no secret that they have the death penalty in Texas. It’s no secret either that they use it, a lot. Of all the executions in the United States, about a third of them are in the state of Texas alone. So you’d think that the threat of being executed for killing someone, coupled with the higher probability that they’ll actually do it to you, would stop people in Texas from killing each other. And yet it doesn’t. So apart from being an excessively unnecessary deterrent against most people, the threat of being put to death for killing another person is not a deterrent to the rest of them.

So why do it? Revenge? Really? You want your tax money used to satisfy his need for revenge? What kind of enlightened society is that? In what way is it civilized? Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT) famously said, “Capital punishment is society’s way of demonstrating the sanctity of human life.” In other words. “We feel that Life is so sacred that we will kill you to make the point that killing is wrong.” Seriously, that is twisted.

On Thursday, Maryland Gov Martin O’Malley signed into law legislation that would abolish the death penalty in his state. The next day, supporters of killing people to prove that killing people is wrong announced they would launch a petition drive for a ballot initiative on capital punishment to be decided by the people. I can only hope the people of Maryland have the sense not to overturn the new law. Capital punishment does nothing to protect Society. It only brings out the worst in Humanity.

This is our daily open thread. Feel free to discuss any topic you wish.

71 thoughts on “The Watering Hole, Saturday, May 4, 2013: Can We Execute the Death Penalty By Not Using it?

  1. I am against the 19 year old Boston Bomber getting the death penalty. I’m hoping he will plead guilty in exchange for getting life in prison. That takes away a lot of the publicity, which feeds the purpose of terrorism.
    The person who deserves a well publicized trial is the owner of the West Fertilizer facility.

    • I saw a headline saying that the owner or owners of the building that collapsed in Bangladesh have had their property seized and are probably facing harsh penalties. When was the last time an American CEO faced such penalties?

      • I’m waiting to see if the prosecution widens to include the government officials that looked the other way and allowed the owner to ignore building codes and engineering limitations. There was no single actor in what caused that building to collapse.
        I still haven’t found a story that covered when the building was first put into use.

  2. Removing the death penalty takes away a huge portion of the legal food chain.
    It also enables people who have been incarcerated unjustly to be exonerated through advances in technology.
    There are numerous cases of people having their convictions overturned through DNA testing advancements.
    Zealous myopic prosecutors combined with dirty cops needing arrests to move up their own food chain lie on the stand to convince juries to convict innocent people. It’s been proven.
    Secondly, I just don’t want something like that on my conscience.

  3. “If you are concerned with child safety, you don’t give children guns. You don’t give 5-year-olds the keys to the car, there’s a whole of stuff you don’t let 5-year-old do if you are concerned about child safety.” — Lawrence O’Donnell

  4. Law enforcement said they wanted to take the Marathon bomber alive yet unleashed at least one withering volley of gunfire in his direction. Not on the same page or Rambo wannabes?

  5. LaFrenchy goes there:

    ‘NRA Executive Vice President Wayne LaPierre sparked controversy on Saturday when he asked, “How many Bostonians wish they had a gun two weeks ago?” ‘

    Probably very few, except Dzhokhar who was unarmed when police captured him.

    • Imagine how many dead civilians there would have been, had the NRA shitheads joined in.

      I don’t know why I continue to be surprised at the stupidity of far too many Americans.

      • I know this sounds beyond craven but I kinda hope there’s a shootout involving police, criminals and unwitting do-gooders who get nailed by friendly fire.

        I wanna hear LaFrenchy’s rationale then.

        • Collateral damage. Those brave freedom fighters sacrificed their lives for the greater good. Bless them, for they are martyrs to the cause of our lifetime. From my cold, dead fingers!!


      • Exactly.

        No one knew who the perpetrators were on the day of the bombings – who were the gun-nuts going to shoot?
        Eff the NRA – so damned afraid of their own shadows.

  6. We have laws that prevent tax dollars from being used to pay for abortion because some people believe it is wrong. Yet my tax dollars can be used to kill a person, something I know is wrong. And no, as Wayne stated, it’s not a deterrent, plenty of folks kill each other in Virginia and we give Texas a run for their money in the executing department.

  7. The fuckwit wingnuts are having another go at the Obama girls, this time using the ugly mouth of Maria Tantaros, while — again — completely contradicting themselves. 🙄

    Tantaros also lashed out at the Obama administration: “They consider 15-year-olds to be women. They want to tell grown women what to do. They know how grown women feel. They have no idea how women feel. They should stop talking about it, because they have no clue.

    She’d be horrified if she ever realizes she just endorsed everything the pro-choice movement stands for, but I doubt she’ll figure it out.

    • My younger daughter was on birth control pills when she was 13 . . . not because she was “active” but because they helped a lot in keeping her complexion in good repair. No more zits, iow.

      Frankly, I think that Plan B pill should be available to ANYONE, of ANY AGE who thinks she might be pregnant when she doesn’t want to be pregnant. Better that than to wait two months and then have to go through the abortion routine.

      I know, I’m a fucking sinner. Oh well, at least I’m not a stupid wingnut.

      • My fundy sister had my niece on birth control since she was about 15, to help manage her horrible PMS problems.

        She said an extra added bonus was that she didn’t have to worry about her daughter getting pregnant. She has an older son, but I guess she’s not worried about that little putz getting anyone knocked up. 🙄

        • What is it about the Christer side of the world that is unable to acknowledge realities . . . at any level, of any kind? I mean, really . . . how have “we” (civilized and with mental function) failed???

  8. It’s a pretty sight when a large pine showers clouds of yellow pollen through bright rays of sunlight. If you park your car beneath a pine when it’s shedding pollen, you’ll earn a yellow-tinged car. On the day your car gets pollinated, try to track down exactly where on the pine the pollen is being produced. You’ll find it issuing from clusters of small, bright yellow, wormlike items snuggled among the needles. Shake the limb they’re on and you’ll fog the whole area with pollen.

    Oh, yes, so pretty. We’re having a beautiful sunny day but for some reason the wind has been kicking up. I just watched one gust blow a beautiful golden cloud of pollen from the trees outside. Which would be awesome and beautiful if I didn’t need to breathe. It’s perfect weather for sleeping with the windows open–and waking up with my head completely stuffed. Ah, Spring!

  9. What you’ll see…

    “This man’s eyes are closed in this picture. His eyelids are tattooed with images of eyes. Since he had it done, he’s never lost a staring contest. He could sleep through a sermon or lecture and no one would ever know, but waking up next to him might be startling. Can you imagine his open casket funeral? There’s got to be other parts of life that would be totally different for someone with this particular body art.”

    • They should have put it on the first floor, and built the factory above it. They could race on rainy days, unlike Talladega which has been waiting all afternoon for the track dryers to finish drying the asphalt. If the race is postponed, Danica will have to drive over 800 miles tomorrow, if she runs the Nationwide race after the Cup race.

      • Well, they’re getting the race in today, but Danica got wrecked by her teammate Kyle Larson as he was trying to tandem draft behind her. She only made 19 laps. Larson was the driver of the car that flew into the catch fence back at Daytona where the fans were injured. At least this didn’t matter for points, since her Cup ride is where points count for her.

          • Some laps later Larson’s left rear tire literally exploded and ripped the entire quarter panel off the car. The other team car driven by Justin Allgaier wrecked at least two cars trying to push people. It seemed like he was around all the wrecks but never got caught up in them.
            Nascar had to shorten the race because of darkness, and then they had a wreck just before the race would have ended, and they had to clean up a bunch of cars before they could run the last two laps, and still there was one more wreck as they came to the checkered flag. Restrictor plate racing as usual. 😀

  10. Women are among an array of objects to be used

    The Bizarre Christian “Quiverfull” Movement Pushing Women to Procreate for “God’s Army”

    . . . the primary purpose of woman is to conceive and bear sons, i.e., ” arrows” for God’s army.

    Consider Romans 1:27: “And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompence of their error which was meet.”
    [ . . . ]
    Speaking in regard to Todd Akin’s recent “legitimate rape” and Paul Ryan’s rape as a “method of conception” remarks, Amanda Marcotte explains the fundamentalist mentality that, “the fact that someone can make a baby means that making babies is what she is for. … Women are among an array of objects to be used. The refrigerator is for storing food. The bookshelf is for holding books. The woman is for making babies. You no more give her a choice in the matter than you would give your refrigerator veto power over what food it holds because it didn’t like your method of shopping.”

    Yeah. Like that. Y’Heah?

  11. “NRA Convention Speaker Rob Pincus Advises Keeping Gun Safes In Kids’ Bedrooms For Home Defense”

    What could possibly go wrong?

  12. Explosions shake Damascus, Syria blames Israel

    Explosions shook Damascus early on Sunday and Syrian state television said Israeli rockets had struck a military research center on the outskirts of the capital.

    The blasts occurred a day after an Israeli official said his country had carried out an air strike targeting a consignment of missiles in Syria. The research center hit on Sunday was also targeted by Israel in January.

    Israel doesn’t use ‘rockets’, but maybe Tomahawk cruise missiles?

  13. Texas Fertilizer Plant That Exploded Carried Only $1 Million In Liability Coverage

    The Texas fertilizer plant that exploded last month, killing 14 people, injuring more than 200 others and causing tens of millions of dollars in damage to the surrounding area had only $1 million in liability coverage, lawyers said Saturday.

    Tyler lawyer Randy C. Roberts said he and other attorneys who have filed lawsuits against West Fertilizer’s owners were told Thursday that the plant carried only $1 million in liability insurance. Brook Laskey, an attorney hired by the plant’s insurer to represent West Fertilizer Co., confirmed the amount Saturday in an email to The Associated Press, after the Dallas Morning News first reported it.

    The insurance policy might not even cover the damages caused by the explosion. It all depends on the language in the terms, and whether or not there is a caveat for ‘gross negligence’ or something to that effect.

    • Still a great band!

      …Do you believe a word, what the good book says
      Or is it just a holy fairytale and God is dead

      I don’t believe that God is dead
      God is dead

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