Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Death


I'm possibly one of the very few liberals who believes in the death sentence. I know its disturbing and gut wrenching, but i believe that in extreme cases a death sentence is appropriate. I do NOT believe it should be handed out like candy, however.

Today I've been researching the death sentence in the united states and I've come across some thing that has made me turn cold. In GW Bush's five years as Governor of Texas, there were 131 executions. The highest number in the united states. During this time there was only 1 prisoner was granted a commuting of sentence (that from death to life in prison). And that came about at the same time he was running for president AND it was proven in the media that even though this man had confessed to the murder he wasn't even in the same state at the time of it.

In his list of conquests, Bush has executed a man who committed a crime when he was 16 (a juvenile and is prohibited under international law), a mentally handicapped man, and a woman who had so clearly changed her jailers requested a commuting of her sentence. All of these people are dead now. and if that isn't enough to cause you to pause, maybe this is.

In the weeks before the execution, Bush says, a number of protesters came to Austin to demand clemency for Karla Faye Tucker. "Did you meet with any of them?" I ask. Bush whips around and stares at me. "No, I didn't meet with any of them", he snaps, as though I've just asked the dumbest, most offensive question ever posed. "I didn't meet with Larry King either when he came down for it. I watched his interview with Tucker, though. He asked her real difficult questions like, 'What would you say to Governor Bush?'" "What was her answer?" I wonder. "'Please,'" Bush whimpers, his lips pursed in mock desperation, "'don't kill me.'" I must look shocked — ridiculing the pleas of a condemned prisoner who has since been executed seems odd and cruel — because he immediately stops smirking.
taken from Talk Magazine (September 1999, p. 106).

Perhaps what makes me the most angry is the article that conducted research into the legal system in Texas. It found that those being tried were not being adequately represented. Out of the 131 people sentenced to death, one third of all defence lawyers were later sacked for being bad lawyers. In 40 cases defence lawyers presented no evidence.

In case your saying that all this sounds sad, but these were criminals and deserved what they got, well, they may not have been criminals. Without adequate lawyers to help defend them, they were railroaded to meet a quota. Is this really the sort of legal system we want to support?

sources:
Anthony Lewis
Karla Faye Tucker- Wikipedia

Death in Texas

6 comments:

Kaisa said...

In theory the death sentace is a good thing. But I would never vote to get it hear because it is a bunch of wankers who get the job of dealing it out and I think it would get used to liberaly by them...

We don't have enough space in prision for him... what to do... what to do... I know... Kill him.

Just my humble observation

kris said...

you could be very right. From the example of places that do have the death penalty, it is a punishment that is over used.

SugarPuff said...

I remember when my brother told me about this interesting Bush fact. Its rather scary.


I'm reminded of an old quote you might recognise that goes something along the lines of...."Many now live that deserve death, and many have died that deserve life, can you give it to them?"

SugarPuff said...

I found the actual quote
"Many that live deserve death. Some that die deserve life. Can you give it to them, Frodo? Do not be too eager to deal out death in judgment. Even the very wise cannot see all ends."

Anonymous said...

Not to go off topic, but Texas is like another world in some ways. They are just crazy down there. I know in my state the death penalty is used sparingly, and prosecutors seem to have a conscience when deciding whether or not to seek it.

However, our governor is still a douchebag that doesn't like to use his power to grant pardons, either.

ansell said...

They have quotas of deaths??? highly suspicious!

On another topic,
get your copy of a document the government doesn't want people to see here!