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  1. #1
    Atomic Punk
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    Default Death Penalty Overturned, North Carolina Man Is Released From Prison

    Death Penalty Overturned, North Carolina Man Is Released From Prison

    http://www.nytimes.com/2014/09/04/us...-dna.html?_r=1

    This is why I don't back the death penalty.
    Michael Caine on Jaws: The Revenge:

    "I have never seen it, but by all accounts it is terrible. However, I have seen the house that it built and it is terrific."

    Samuel Johnson 1775 : “Patriotism is the last refuge of a scoundrel”

    "McDonalds is The Antichrist" - Bill Hicks

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  2. #2
    Atomic Punk jimmy812's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rocknblues81 View Post
    Death Penalty Overturned, North Carolina Man Is Released From Prison

    http://www.nytimes.com/2014/09/04/us...-dna.html?_r=1

    This is why I don't back the death penalty.
    But he's still alive. So hooray for the appeals process.

    He was sentenced for raping and murdering a child. There's a chance he could've died in prison anyway. Death row probably saved his life....ironically.

    I support the death penalty. That is not the problem. It's the judicial system that needs fixing. The death penalty didn't wrongfully convict this man.
    2-time Fantasy Baseball Champion.

  3. #3
    Atomic Punk
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    Quote Originally Posted by jimmy812 View Post
    But he's still alive. So hooray for the appeals process.

    He was sentenced for raping and murdering a child. There's a chance he could've died in prison anyway. Death row probably saved his life....ironically.

    I support the death penalty. That is not the problem. It's the judicial system that needs fixing. The death penalty didn't wrongfully convict this man.
    There is always the chance that you kill someone that was innocent. All it takes is one to make someone a murderer.
    Michael Caine on Jaws: The Revenge:

    "I have never seen it, but by all accounts it is terrible. However, I have seen the house that it built and it is terrific."

    Samuel Johnson 1775 : “Patriotism is the last refuge of a scoundrel”

    "McDonalds is The Antichrist" - Bill Hicks

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jSH6ofHbeUw

  4. #4
    Atomic Punk lovemachine97(Version 2)'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jimmy812 View Post
    But he's still alive. So hooray for the appeals process.

    He was sentenced for raping and murdering a child. There's a chance he could've died in prison anyway. Death row probably saved his life....ironically.

    I support the death penalty. That is not the problem. It's the judicial system that needs fixing. The death penalty didn't wrongfully convict this man.
    Well, except that we have actually executed innocent people. And we would have executed this guy too. Usually the "fix" people want is limiting the appeals process, which would have killed this guy. He'd be added to the list.

  5. #5
    Forum Frontman It's Mike's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lovemachine97(Version 2) View Post
    Well, except that we have actually executed innocent people. And we would have executed this guy too. Usually the "fix" people want is limiting the appeals process, which would have killed this guy. He'd be added to the list.
    agreed.

    I find no reason to not just make life in prison mean life in prison. The cost of death penalty appeals typically is more than keeping someone alive in prison for the rest of his life.

  6. #6
    Atomic Punk jimmy812's Avatar
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    But he was wrongly convicted. Isn't that the crux of the problem?

    I understand what you guys are saying. It's a huge problem if only one innocent person dies via the death penalty. Unfortunately, there have been several.
    However, there have also been many innocent people sent to prison. Yes, I realize one is far worse than the other. Innocent people shouldn't be convicted in the first place.
    2-time Fantasy Baseball Champion.

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    Forum Frontman It's Mike's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jimmy812 View Post
    But he was wrongly convicted. Isn't that the crux of the problem?

    I understand what you guys are saying. It's a huge problem if only one innocent person dies via the death penalty. Unfortunately, there have been several.
    However, there have also been many innocent people sent to prison. Yes, I realize one is far worse than the other. Innocent people shouldn't be convicted in the first place.
    that's one problem.

    You'd have another problem if you killed him. A bigger problem I'd say.

  8. #8
    Atomic Punk jimmy812's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by It's Mike View Post
    that's one problem.

    You'd have another problem if you killed him. A bigger problem I'd say.
    Right. But if we fix the first part, then the more tragic part doesn't happen.
    2-time Fantasy Baseball Champion.

  9. #9
    Forum Frontman It's Mike's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jimmy812 View Post
    Right. But if we fix the first part, then the more tragic part doesn't happen.
    of course.

  10. #10
    Atomic Punk lovemachine97(Version 2)'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jimmy812 View Post
    Right. But if we fix the first part, then the more tragic part doesn't happen.
    I agree, but there is no perfect system. I think the US system is pretty good, though defense attorneys for some reason have decided that getting their client off at all costs is their job when their job is to actually see that their client receives a fair trial.

    There are all kinds of problems with our judicial system. The craziness Adam Carolla went through recently with patent trolls is insane. And now CBS, NBC, and ABC are going to be lining the pockets of lawyers no matter what the result as the same company has sued them under the same patent they they owned podcasting under.

    But the biggest problem we have is killing innocent people. You cannot reverse that. You can always reverse a wrongful conviction, provided the person does not die.

    We can do things to fix the original problem, but it will never be 100%. Death, however, is.

  11. #11
    Atomic Punk lovemachine97(Version 2)'s Avatar
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    I read further on this case, and it's awful.

    As mentioned in the NY Times article, Henry McCollum is mentally retarded with an IQ of 51. But their article is more about the life in front of him, not how he got there.

    It turns out that the 11-year old he was convicted of raping and killing was actually raped and killed by Roscoe Artis, a man who lived a block from the crime scene, was a convicted rapist, and at the time was wanted for a near-identical rape and murder.

    McCollum, 19, was held in an interrogation room for five hours. He was told by police he could only leave if he signed a confession. Young, scared, and mentally handicapped, he signed the confession. This also occurred before a law compelling police to record confessions on video.

    The reason McCollum was isolated was because for three decades he watched people marched to the execution chamber. He would become so distraught at these times that he was a harm to himself. But beyond that, he was a guy who raped and killed a child, and we all know how well those guys are treated in prison.

    Of course, the confession signed by McCollum was written by police and merely signed by him. Entering into the appeals process, the case file was "lost" by police, so attorneys had nothing to try and disprove the confession, which even included the brand of cigarettes the perp was smoking.

    Perhaps the worst thing is that no physical evidence linked Henry McCollum to the crime, yet a fingerprint was found at the crime scene. Three days before his trial, law enforcement requested that the State Bureau of Investigation test the print to see if it was a match for Roscoe Artis.

    The test never happened. It took 30 years worth of appeals to free Henry McCollum.

    His attorney had this to say. "[W]ith Henry finally free, some people expect me to feel satisfied, or even happy. The truth is: I am angry.

    I am angry that we live in a world where two disabled boys can have their lives stolen from them, where cops can lie and intimidate with impunity, where innocent people can be condemned to die and where injustice is so difficult to bring to light.

    As I lie awake at night, mulling over the maddening details of this case, I wonder: How many more Henry McCollums are still imprisoned, waiting for help that will never come?"
    (http://www.washingtonpost.com/postev...still-furious/)

  12. #12
    Atomic Punk jimmy812's Avatar
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    Sorry, but the problem is not the death penalty.

    I understand your side and I know how you'll respond, but I just think the focus should be on cleaning up the corruption and devious behavior by the authorities and courts.

    In this case there was no physical evidence to link this man with the crime. So why was he on death row, let alone guilty of the crime?? It makes absolutely no sense. It's sad that stuff like this happens.

    There have also been plenty of innocent men sent to prison (not death row) for lengthy sentences. So are you against imprisonment too? My point is that even if there was no death penalty, things need to be fixed ASAP.
    2-time Fantasy Baseball Champion.

  13. #13
    Atomic Punk lovemachine97(Version 2)'s Avatar
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    We're talking about two different issues here. One is convicting innocent people, the other is killing them. Obviously, the closer we get to "zero" as far as the amount of innocent people in jail, the better. (Though then you get people who say, "Well, if they got arrested, they probably did something wrong, so fuck 'em," which is appalling.)

    Yes, if we never sentenced an innocent man to death, we'd never kill them. So how much better can we get at that? My point is that I think our system is about as good as it's going to get. There's no reason not to make improvements, but the only way to guarantee this doesn't happen, at least for now, is not to kill them.

    One of the problems is that over the last 45 years, we continue to incentivize the diversion of resources away from certain police work and towards the drug war. Over that time, the murder clearance rate has dropped 30%. Another large problem is that prosecutors are judged by their conviction rate, not by how many cases where the result was correct or just.

    But, as a society, when it gets right down to it, most people don't want to end the drug war. So instead of two cops serving a search warrant for a low level pot dealer, we send 8 cops in a tank to throw a grenade in and raid the house. Instead of working a cold murder case, we're surveilling a house that is suspected of growing hundreds of pot plants. We also really like prosecutors who "get the job done." We don't want a prosecutor who isn't charging people or who loses some cases. We want a prosecutor who is cutting deals, charging, and convicting people. We just aren't wired that way right now, and I don't know when or if that will change. So WE have to change.

    The other side of it is, it's these stories that get the attention. There is a person to be videoed, photographed, and put on TV or in the paper. Look at the NY Times coverage. It's all about this guy being reborn into a new life. And when a person is alive, there is a reason to keep digging on a case. After we've killed them, it's mostly charity groups, law schools, and students who continue to dig to see if we got it right. And there is a growing list that shows, no, we didn't get it right every time. But there is no one to release, no grown man on video crying as he leaves prison. There's nothing. And so we don't hear about it. You have to go search it out. Besides, do we really want to know that we've done this? Probably not. So this makes big news. The mistakes? Not so much.

    Obviously, if things could be guaranteed, it would be different. I just find that to be, in a word, impossible.
    Last edited by lovemachine97(Version 2); 09.06.14 at 10:38 AM.

  14. #14
    Eruption
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    Quote Originally Posted by jimmy812 View Post
    In this case there was no physical evidence to link this man with the crime. So why was he on death row, let alone guilty of the crime?? It makes absolutely no sense. It's sad that stuff like this happens.
    I think that if we use the death penalty, it should only be in cases in which we have overwhelming evidence, such as definitive DNA results; multiple, independent eyewitnesses; a taped confession; etc. If there is even a sliver of doubt, the suspect should be given life in prison rather than the death penalty.

  15. #15
    Atomic Punk jimmy812's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by VHisback View Post
    I think that if we use the death penalty, it should only be in cases in which we have overwhelming evidence, such as definitive DNA results; multiple, independent eyewitnesses; a taped confession; etc. If there is even a sliver of doubt, the suspect should be given life in prison rather than the death penalty.
    We've discussed this topic before and I've posted the exact sentiment that you just did, so I already know what response is coming.

    I always refer to the Cheshire home invasion that happened a town over from me. The perps were caught during their escape, their DNA was found at the scene, there was a confession. They are on death row, but I'd be shocked if they ever were executed. Why do they get to appeal for 20 years and waste tax payer money? Their guilt is over-whelming and definite.
    2-time Fantasy Baseball Champion.

 

 

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