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Inside Criminal Justice

Retooling the Death Penalty Debate

August 20, 2012 04:29:00 am
Comments (8)

By Graham Kates

The lethal injection room at San Quentin State Prison in California. Photo by CACorrections, via Flickr

Victoria Coward remembers hearing the gunshots ring out from Edgewood Park, not far from her New Haven home in June 2007. Later that night her worst fears were realized when detectives knocked on her front door.

Her 18-year-old son, Tyler, was dead from gunshot wounds to the head and chest.

Two years later, when police arrested and charged Jose Fuentes-Pillich, a 23-year-old who she thought was Tyler's friend, Coward had already joined a campaign against the death penalty.

When she contacted Fuentes-Pillich after his conviction in 2010, she explained why she didn’t wish him dead.

“I told him it would be wrong for me to say, ‘You should die.’ That’s not in me. That’s in God’s hands … the first thing I need to do is forgive you for taking my son’s life,” Coward recalled in an interview with The Crime Report.

Connecticut became the 17th state to abolish the death penalty in April. As opponents step up their national campaign, they are discovering some surprising allies among people like Coward— challenging the long-held stereotype that the families of murder victims automatically support capital punishment.

Coward and other relatives of murder victims were important players in Connecticut’s abolition movement, which was spearheaded by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and partner non-profit the Connecticut Network to Abolish the Death Penalty (CNADP).

Submitting Testimony

She volunteered to submit testimony to the Connecticut General Assembly when a notorious triple murder just weeks after her son was killed appeared to galvanize a new wave of public support for capital punishment.

In the July 2007 case that made national headlines, Stephen Hayes and Joshua Komisarjevsky, both on parole at the time, murdered Jennifer Hawke-Petit and her daughters Michaela, 11, and Hayley, 17, in their Cheshire, CT home. Michaela and Hawke-Petit were sexually assaulted before all three were burned alive.

Hawke-Petit’s husband, William Petit, was bludgeoned and bound in the basement.

In early 2011, when it looked as though Connecticut’s death penalty was headed for repeal, Petit met with two State Senators who were on the fence.

State Sen. Edith Prague, a Democrat, was one of them. She said later she was persuaded to withdraw her support for repeal because she felt Komisarjevsky deserved to die. “They should bypass the trial and take that second animal and hang him by his penis from a tree out in the middle of Main Street,” she told the website CT News Junkie.

After the second senator, Andrew Maynard, followed suit, there was no longer enough votes to repeal Connecticut’s death penalty and the bill never made it to the Senate floor.

It was the second defeat for Connecticut death penalty opponents in two years.  In 2009, a bill to abolish the death penalty made it to then-Gov. M. Jody Rell’s desk, only to be vetoed.

On Jan. 27, 2012, Komisarjevsky was sentenced to death by lethal injection. His appeal is currently pending.  

Changing the Conversation

With the Cheshire cases finished, and a Democratic governor in Hartford, the ACLU and CNADP doubled down on their efforts to bring victims’ survivors who opposed the death penalty to the forefront of the statewide conversation, according to Isa Mujahid, an ACLU Connecticut field organizer.

“There was a lot of anger among victims’ family members who don’t support the death penalty,” Mujahid told The Crime Report. “They were angry that Dr. Petit’s voice was getting all the attention.”

Despite heavy snow, nearly 200 people showed up at the state Capitol on February 29 to lobby against the death penalty and for other ACLU causes. A letter signed by 179 members of victims’ families was presented to the Connecticut General Assembly.

The letter argued that the death penalty appeals process forced victims’ families to relive the trauma of facing their loved ones’ murderers over and over again. Instead, the relatives said, the alternative of life without parole might allow them to move on.

“I think in the legislature, they were a bit caught off guard by it, because they were used to hearing from Dr. Petit and other supporters of the death penalty,” Mujahid said. “They were caught off guard by how many victims’ family members were against the death penalty.”

This time, the lobbying was successful.

On April 25, Gov. Dannel Malloy signed into law a bill that repealed the death penalty for all future cases, while leaving past death sentences in place, including those handed down to Komisarjevsky and Hayes.

Supporters of repeal elsewhere hope that the voices of victims’ families can be similarly effective in other states. But it’s still likely to be an uphill battle.

California Initiative

Just two days before Connecticut’s decision, California Secretary of State Debra Bowden announced that Proposition 34—an initiative that would replace the death penalty with life imprisonment without the possibility of parole—had been approved to appear on that state’s Nov. 6, 2012 ballot.

Nevertheless, supporters of the death penalty say it will be harder to abolish executions in the Golden State, where about two-thirds of the population supports the practice, according to a September 2011 poll.

And the pro-death penalty lobby in California, like Connecticut, includes victims’ family members who wield a lot of influence.

Marc Klaas, for example, who  spearheaded the campaign for California’s “Three Strikes” law after his 12-year-old daughter, Polly, was kidnapped and murdered in 1993,  says death penalty proceedings need to be streamlined—not abolished.

Polly’s killer, Richard Allan Davis, who had spent much of his life in prison for kidnapping and violence towards women,  was convicted in 1996 and sentenced to death. Even though his sentence was upheld in a 2009 appeal, a frustrated Klaas says he still expects to wait a long time before Davis is executed.

“I have little doubt that he’ll probably outlive me if you want to know the truth of it,” Klaas told The Crime Report. “But that doesn’t mean he shouldn’t be executed for the crimes he committed against my daughter, in that heinous and hideous act,”

700 Awaiting Death

Davis is one of over 700 inmates currently awaiting death in California, which hasn’t executed anyone since 2006.

That year, U.S. District Judge Jeremy Fogel ordered a moratorium on executions in the state, after hearing complaints about how lethal injections were to be administered.

Klaas believes the moratorium is an example of a roadblock to execution engineered by death penalty opponents.

“Baby killers, cop killers, mass murderers; I mean really the worst people in society have been deemed worthy of the ultimate law of the land, the death penalty,” Klaas said. “But the abolitionists have created barrier after barrier.”  

When Klaas knocks death penalty opponents, he makes clear that he understands what motivates many victims’ survivors who take the opposite view.

“I know that the ones who deal with it best are those who find the will to fight back, whether it’s for the death penalty, against the death penalty or something else” he said.

On both sides of the debate, victims’ families understand enough about each other’s pain that they rarely disrespect each other, said Gail Canzano, a psychologist whose brother-in-law was murdered in West Hartford, CT in 1999.

“I can tell you that as the family member of a murder victim, I have nothing but respect for another person who’s been through this,” Canzano said. “The things that unite family of murder victims are greater than those that divide them.”

But less kind words are often used for the organizational forces behind death penalty campaigns. Both sides accuse opposing organizations of deceiving victims’ families.

Agonizing Waits

Michael Rushford, founder and president of the California-based non-profit Criminal Justice Legal Foundation , argues that opponents of execution have conspired to lengthen the death penalty process, and have created the circumstances behind the agonizing waits that victims’ families endure.

“It’s like if I took 20 years to chop holes in a dam and it flooded a valley—and then I said, ‘see, dams don’t work,’” Rushford said.

The result, according to Rushford, is injustice for victims and their loved ones.

“If somebody’s attacking you in California you need to drag yourself onto federal land or over the border into Nevada,” Rushford said.

Tanya Greene, a lawyer who works for the ACLU, said pro-death penalty organizations and prosecutors often don’t take seriously victims’ loved ones who are against execution.

“The presumption has traditionally been that if your family member is murdered you’re in support of death penalty,” Greene said. “There are people who have had their family members taken away, and they are still hurt. They feel bamboozled by folks who say that vengeance is what families want.”

Victoria Coward, whose son was shot and killed in New Haven, said she’s taking the lessons she learned campaigning at home to other states.

In October, she’s meeting with death penalty opponents in Nebraska, where 11 people are currently on death row.

 

Graham Kates is deputy editor of The Crime Report He welcomes comments from readers.


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Posted by Dudley Sharp
Monday, August 26, 2013 12:02

As a rule, the murder vicitm’s families against the death penalty provide false arguments to support their position (1) and/or do not represent a crime which was death penalty eligible, as with Tyler Coward’s case.

The only reason the repeal bill succeeded in Ct is because there was a Democratic Governor and a Democratic majority legislature, as with all other recent repeals, which passe despite majority support for the death penalty in all of those states.

1) Murder Victims’ Families Against The Death Penalty: More Hurt For Victims Families, Dudley Sharp
http://prodpinnc.blogspot.com/2012/04/victims-families-for-death-penalty.html

Posted by Dudley Sharp
Sunday, September 02, 2012 01:42

Ms. Minisck:

It looks like about 95% of vicitms’ survivors, in capital murder cases, support the death penalty.

Please review:

US Death Penalty Support at 80%: World Support Remains High
Dudley Sharp, April 2012

Summary

For some time, with different polls and today, 80% of Americans support the death penalty, when the poll, properly, asks about specific “death penalty eligible” murders (1), as opposed to asking the general question, about all murders, for which about 90% are not death penalty eligible.
Death penalty opposition falls by 43%, with death penalty support rising 25%, when polls switch from the general question to specific “death penalty eligible” murders.
It is very likely that life without parole (LWOP) has support around 95%.

Support is overwhelming for what the US has, now, which is a death penalty option in some, very limited cases, whereby the other option in those cases is LWOP, the actual sentencing options that judges or juries consider in these cases.

Death penalty support remains high, throughout the world (1).

Those who have lost loved ones to death penalty eligible murders, if not all murders, support the death penalty above 95%, based upon the anecdotal evidence (2).

“US Death Penalty Support at 80%: World Support Remains High”
http://prodpinnc.blogspot.com/2012/04/us-death-penalty-support-at-80-world.html

Posted by Courtney Minick, YES on 34 Communications Officer
Thursday, August 30, 2012 01:17

Mr. Kates is correct to point out that victim family members are increasingly vocal in their opposition to the death penalty, and it would be wrong for either side of the issue to ignore them.

Hundreds of crime victims and crime victim family members across the state have written to the Yes on 34 campaign to formally endorse Yes on 34 and replace the death penalty with life in prison with no possibility of parole. Some have asked for a Yes on 34 vote to honor family members. Some are opposed to the death penalty because of their faith, and still others want to make convicted killers work and pay restitution in to the Victims’ Compensation Fund (only 1% of death row inmates work).

These individuals have come forward to share heartbreaking and devastating stories of personal loss, and they deserve our attention. They all think California’s death penalty is a false promise to victims that does not help them. They know most death row inmates get special treatment and die of old age rather than execution.

It’s not just those whose lives have been shattered by crime that support replacing the death penalty – the general public, nationwide and in California, are increasingly ready to take this step.

Mr. Kates neglects to mention that 2011 Field Poll he cites shows exactly that. When given a choice between life imprisonment without the possibility of parole and the death penalty, most respondents choose life without parole. Californians want tough punishment for murderers, and life in prison with no possibility of parole is very harsh.

This trend is also echoed in the law enforcement community, with death penalty prosecutions down and more and more leaders coming forward in opposition to the death penalty. Just this week, the San Jose Mercury News reported that death sentences are down in Alameda County (east of San Francisco) after historically high use of the penalty. Supporters of Prop 34 include George Gascon (current District Attorney for San Francisco, former Police Chief), Gil Garcetti (former District Attorney of LA), Judge Donald McCartin (the “Hanging Judge” of Orange County), and John Van de Kamp (former Attorney General of California).

Even former California Supreme Court Justice Carlos Moreno, who supports the death penalty in theory and voted to uphold over 200 death sentences during his term, supports replacing it with life in prison without parole. He told the San Francisco Chronicle that it’s simply broken beyond repair.

Posted by Dudley Sharp
Saturday, August 25, 2012 12:17

Of course the death penalty deters.

Reason, common sense, history and the facts support that the death penalty deters and deters more than lesser sanctions.
 
1) Anti death penalty folks say that the burden of proof is on those who say that the death penalty deters. Untrue. It is a rational truism that all potential negative outcomes deter some – there is no exception. It is the burden of death penalty opponents to prove that the death penalty, the most severe of criminal sanctions, is the only prospect of a negative outcome that deters none. They cannot. NO DETERRENCE STUDY FINDS THAT THE DEATH PENALTY DETERS NONE. THEY CANNOT.
 
2) There have been 28 recent studies finding for death penalty deterrence. A few of those have been criticized. The criticism has, itself been rebutted and/or the criticism doesn’t negate no. 1 or nos. 3-10.
 
3) Anti death penalty columnists Eric Zorn of the Chicago Tribune states, “No one argues that the death penalty deters none.” “Will someone bent on murder turn from the crime when he contemplates the fact that he may be executed for it? Obviously that will happen.”(1). More precisely, it “does” happen and always has. Yes, some do argue, beyond reason, that the death penalty deters none. But Zorn is correct, the issue is not “Does the death penalty deter?”. It does. The only issue is to what degree. Therefore, anti death penalty efforts must contend with the reality that sparing murderers does sacrifice more innocent lives , by reduced deterrence, lesser incapacitation and lesser due process, and executing murderers does save more innocent lives, by enhanced incapacitation, enhanced deterrence and enhanced due process.
 
4) The evidence is expressly clear and overwhelming that death is feared more than life and life is preferred over death, not just for murderers facing death, but by a majority of all of us.
 
When 99.8% of murderers, who are subject to the death penalty, tell us they fear death more than life (2) and when about 99.9% of the rest of us (excluding the terribly ill) tell us they prefer life over death, it is a certainty that potential murderers, overwhelmingly feel the same, and thus fear execution more than life.
 
What we fear the most deters the most.
 
Life is preferred over death. Death is feared more than life. No surprise. Would a more rational group, those who choose not to murder, also share in that overwhelming fear of death and be deterred by the prospects of execution? Of course – just as we all do.
 
5) There are a number of known cases of individual deterrence, those potential murderers who have stated that they were prevented from committing murder because of their fear of the death penalty. Individual deterrence exists.
 
6) General deterrence exists because individual deterrence cannot exist without it.
 
7) Even the dean of anti death penalty academics, Hugo Adam Bedau, agrees that the death penalty deters .. . but he doesn’t believe it deters more than a life sentence (3). Number 4, specifically, and Nos. 5, 6 and 10 provide anecdotal and rational evidence that the death penalty is a greater deterrent than a life sentence. Bedau has not and cannot rebut that. In addition, the 28 studies finding for deterrence, find that the death penalty is an enhanced deterrent over a life sentence.
 
8) All criminal sanctions deter. If you doubt that, what do you think would happen if we ended all criminal sanctions? No rational person has any doubt. Some would have us, irrationally, believe that the most severe sanction, execution, is the only sanction which doesn’t deter.
 
9) If we execute and there is no deterrence, we have justly punished a murderer and have prevented that murderer from ever harming/murdering, again. If we execute and there is deterrence, we have those benefits, plus we have spared even more additional innocent lives via deterrence. If we don’t execute and there is deterrence, we have spared murderers at the cost of more innocent deaths, via the loss of a greater deterrent, as well as by lesser incapacitation.
 
10) Overwhelmingly, people prefer life over death and fear death more than life.
 
===
 
“If we execute murderers and there is in fact no deterrent effect, we have killed a bunch of murderers. If we fail to execute murderers, and doing so would in fact have deterred other murders, we have allowed the killing of a bunch of innocent victims. I would much rather risk the former. This, to me, is not a tough call.”
 
John McAdams – Marquette University/Department of Political Science
 
====
 
(1) “Death penalty and deterrence — the argument from anecdote”, Eric Zorn, Change of Subject page, Chicago Tribune,4/23/2011,
 http://blogs.chicagotribune.com/news_columnists_ezorn/2011/04/deter.html
 
(2) About 99.8% of those murderers who are subject to the death penalty do everything they can to receive a lesser sentence, in pre trial, plea bargains, trial, in appeals and in clemency/commutation proceedings. Only about 1/3 of all murderers who have a death penalty trial receive that sanction, meaning 2/3 receive a sentence less than life, as they had hoped and even more murderers plea bargained to a sentence less than death, pre trial. Only 1.7% of those sentenced to death “volunteer” for executions by waiving appeals – 98.3% do not.
 
(3) “An Abolitionist’s Survey of the Death Penalty in America Today”, Hugo Adam Bedau, Chapter 2, within Debating the death penalty: should America have capital punishment? : the experts on both sides make their case, editors Hugo Adam Bedau, Paul G. Cassell, Oxford University Press, 2004. SHARP REVIEW: AN EXCELLENT BOOK PRESENTING BOTH SIDES.
 

Posted by Dudley Sharp
Saturday, August 25, 2012 12:15

1) Capital Punishment is the opposite of slavery.

Slavery wrongly takes the innocent. Capital punishment, rightly, executes guilty murderers.

2) Death penalty is not a human rights: rights violation.

“The Death Penalty: Not a Human Rights Violation”
http://homicidesurvivors.com/2006/03/20/the-death-penalty-not-a-human-rights-violation.aspx


3) As is well known, throughout history, the wealthy and the poor have been executed.

4) Innocents are more protected with the death penalty.

THE DEATH PENALTY: SAVING MORE INNOCENT LIVES

Of all endeavors that put innocents at risk, is there one with a better record of sparing innocent lives than the US death penalty? Unlikely.

a) The Death Penalty: Saving More Innocent Lives
http://prodpinnc.blogspot.com/2012/03/death-penalty-saving-more-innocent.html

b) Innocents More At Risk Without Death Penalty
http://prodpinnc.blogspot.com/2012/03/innocents-more-at-risk-without-death.html


5) The death penalty is justice not revenge.

“The Death Penalty: Neither Hatred nor Revenge”
http://homicidesurvivors.com/2009/07/20/the-death-penalty-neither-hatred-nor-revenge.aspx

“Killing Equals Killing: The Amoral Confusion of Death Penalty Opponents”
http://homicidesurvivors.com/2009/02/01/murder-and-execution—very-distinct-moral-differences—new-mexico.aspx

“Moral/ethical Death Penalty Support: Christian and secular Scholars”
http://prodpinnc.blogspot.com/2009/07/death-penalty-support-modern-catholic.html

a) Saint (& Pope) Pius V: “The just use of (executions), far from involving the crime of murder, is an act of paramount obedience to this (Fifth) Commandment which prohibits murder.” “The Roman Catechism of the Council of Trent” (1566).

b) Pope Pius XII; “When it is a question of the execution of a man condemned to death it is then reserved to the public power to deprive the condemned of the benefit of life, in expiation of his fault, when already, by his fault, he has dispossessed himself of the right to live.” 9/14/52.

c) John Murray: “Nothing shows the moral bankruptcy of a people or of a generation more than disregard for the sanctity of human life.”

“… it is this same atrophy of moral fiber that appears in the plea for the abolition of the death penalty.”

“It is the sanctity of life that validates the death penalty for the crime of murder. It is the sense of this sanctity that constrains the demand for the infliction of this penalty. The deeper our regard for life the firmer will be our hold upon the penal sanction which the violation of that sanctity merit.” (Page 122 of Principles of Conduct).

d) Immanuel Kant: “If an offender has committed murder, he must die. In this case, no possible substitute can satisfy justice. For there is no parallel between death and even the most miserable life, so that there is no equality of crime and retribution unless the perpetrator is judicially put to death.”.

“A society that is not willing to demand a life of somebody who has taken somebody else’s life is simply immoral.”

e) Billy Graham: “God will not tolerate sin. He condemns it and demands payment for it. God could not remain a righteous God and compromise with sin. His holiness and His justice demand the death penalty.” ( “The Power of the Cross,” published in the Apr. 2007 issue of Decision magazine ).

f) Theodore Roosevelt: “It was really heartrending to have to see the kinfolk and friends of murderers who were condemned to death, and among the very rare occasions when anything governmental or official caused me to lose sleep were times when I had to listen to some poor mother making a plea for a criminal so wicked, so utterly brutal and depraved, that it would have been a crime on my part to remit his punishment.”.

g) Jean-Jacques Rousseau: “Again, every rogue who criminously attacks social rights becomes, by his wrong, a rebel and a traitor to his fatherland. By contravening its laws, he ceases to be one of its citizens: he even wages war against it. In such circumstances, the State and he cannot both be saved: one or the other must perish. In killing the criminal, we destroy not so much a citizen as an enemy. The trial and judgments are proofs that he has broken the Social Contract, and so is no longer a member of the State.” (The Social Contract).

h) John Locke: “A criminal who, having renounced reason… hath, by the unjust violence and slaughter he hath committed upon one, declared war against all mankind, and therefore may be destroyed as a lion or tyger, one of those wild savage beasts with whom men can have no society nor security.” And upon this is grounded the great law of Nature, “Whoso sheddeth man’s blood, by man shall his blood be shed.” Second Treatise of Civil Government.

Posted by Dudley Sharp
Tuesday, August 21, 2012 02:41

Murder Victims’ Families for Death Penalty Repeal: More Hurt For Victims
Dudley Sharp
 
Victim’s Families Against the Death Penalty (hereafter “MVFADP”) are family members of murder victims who actively oppose the death penalty and are seeking its repeal (1).
 
I oppose their efforts, which are, intentionally, divisive and hurtful for murder victim survivors who believe differently.
 
My contention is that all anti death penalty arguments are either false or that the pro death penalty arguments are stronger. So far, MVFADP confirms those findings.
 
Based upon polling, about 80% support the death penalty for truly death penalty eligible murders. Anecdotally (scientific polls are not possible), it appears 95% of those who have lost loved ones to capital murder support the death penalty as a just sanction (2).
 
For example, of the 2000 or so folks who lost loved ones in the Oklahoma City bombing case, I am aware of only one that opposes and actively fights the death penalty. How many of the 30,000 or so of those who lost loved ones on 9/11 spoke out against the death of Osama Bin Laden or against a death penalty for any surviving planners of it (2)?
 
The MVFADP, a vast minority, are attempting to stop justice for the vast majority. I suspect the majority of MVFADP members are not survivors of crimes which are death penalty eligible (1).
 
Instead of being divisive and hurtful, why can’t MVFADP just say, “we oppose the death penalty, but respect your right to support the death penalty in your case.”? MVFADP won’t support other victims in that fashion because their sole goal is to get rid of the death penalty, not helping any victims who feel differently but, in fact, working against them.
 
Instead, the MVFADP are, actively, seeking to deny that right to those who find the death penalty just. Thus, the MVFADP are, intentionally hurtful and divisive, when they need not be.
 
The MVFADP claims that the death penalty makes some murder victims more or less valuable than others, by the degree of punishment.
 
As with all states, there are many different legal levels of criminal homicide (non negligent, involuntary, etc. . . . all the way to felony or capital murders) with sanctions ranging from probation to the death penalty.
 
The MVFADP has had no discussions about consolidating all criminal homicides into one category with one sanction. That shows how disingenuous and silly this argument is.
 
It is the nature of the crime, not the victim, which determines the criminal charge.
 
The MVFADP complains about the length and cost of death penalty appeals and how that injures, even more.
 
Such delay and cost are the result of anti death penalty legislators and other activists, who have prevented reasonable reforms. Again, the MVFADP, now, joins those causing additional pain and cost.
 
The Virginia protocol allows for executions in 7.1 years, on average, with 75% of those so sentenced being executed. Such a protocol would cost less than LWOP.
 
The MVFADP complain that murderers become celebrities. Who makes them celebrities? Anti death penalty activists. Many murderers become celebrities without the death penalty being present. Stop doing it.
 
The death penalty allows for a plea bargain to a life sentence, preventing a trial, saving some such family members a trial and giving the option of such plea bargains having a sentence without parole – a plea option which goes away when there is no death penalty. Such a plea also saves huge amounts of money over having a LWOP trial.
 
Thus, the MVFADP efforts, if successful, will increase both costs and pain.
 
The MVFADP states the death penalty is not a deterrent. Anyone who has considered deterrence is aware that all prospects of a negative outcome deter some. It is a truism. It is impossible, by truth and reason, to say “The death penalty deters none.” The only question is “How much does it deter?” There are 28 studies finding for deterrence since 2000 (3), all of which disagree as to the degree of deterrence.
 
The death penalty is a greater protector of innocent lives, in at least three ways (3).
 
Therefore, the MVFADP is asking to spare all murderers lives at the cost of sacrificing more innocents.
 
 The strongest argument for the death penalty? Justice, the foundation of support for all sanctions.
 
Let’s direct our attention where it belongs, against those anti death penalty obstructionists, and create a just, responsible death penalty system that honors justice and stops the additional and preventable re victimization, caused by death penalty opponents, now joined by MVFADP.
 
 
1) Some of these anti death penalty victim groups cannot tell the moral differences between crime and punishment, guilty murderer and innocent victims and, therefore, their memberships have included and may still include family members whose loved ones were executed, calling them murder victim survivors – they equate murder victims with murderers who have been executed. Appalling.
 
2) US Death Penalty Support at 80%; World Support Remains High
http://prodpinnc.blogspot.com/2012/04/us-death-penalty-support-at-80-world.html
 
3) a. The Death Penalty: Saving More Innocent Lives
http://prodpinnc.blogspot.com/2012/03/death-penalty-saving-more-innocent.html
 
        b. Innocents More At Risk Without Death Penalty
http://prodpinnc.blogspot.com/2012/03/innocents-more-at-risk-without-death.html

Posted by Howard Morton
Tuesday, August 21, 2012 11:36

I can show you equally heinous murders that remain unsolved for decades and forever. We could use the money wasted on the death penalty to form cold case squads to go after the killers who got away with murder. Let’s trade vengeance for justice! http://www.unresolvedhomicides.org/TradeVengeance.php

Posted by claudio giusti
Monday, August 20, 2012 11:33

In Memoriam of Prof. Hugo Adam Bedau
17 August 1915 Leo Frank lynching

Capital Punishment is like slavery: nobody has the right to impose it.
Death penalty is a clear violation of human rights: right to equality, right to life, freedom from torture.
It is a black hole in the Law: a land with unclear borders changing in different times and countries.
It is a “privilege” of the poor, because “capital punishment means that those without the capital get the punishment”.
It is an irreversible punishment that kills the insane and the innocent.
It is not self-defense, but revenge.
It is not a more effective deterrent than prison and makes worst the evil it pretends to cure, because death penalty brutalizes and makes society more violent.
Death penalty is a human sacrifice, a ritualistic slaughter carried out in cold blood by the State. It is a travesty of justice and “nothing more than the purposeless and needless imposition of pain and suffering”.
Sooner or later everybody will realize that capital punishment is an immoral, indecent, illegal, expensive, stupid, cruel, dangerous, racist, classist, arbitrary, capricious, inconsistent, not working violation of human rights.


Dott. Claudio Giusti
Via Don Minzoni 40, 47100 Forlì, Italia
Tel. 39/0543/401562 39/340/4872522
e-mail giusticlaudio@alice.it
http://www.astrangefruit.org/index.php/it/
http://www.astrangefruit.org/index.php/en/
http://www.osservatoriosullalegalita.org/special/penam.htm
Member of the Scientific Committee of Osservatorio sulla Legalità e i Diritti, Claudio Giusti had the privilege and the honour to participate in the first congress of the Italian Section of Amnesty International: later he was one of the founders of the World Coalition Against The Death Penalty.

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