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Death penalty use declining nationwide

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Washington (CNN) -- Use of capital punishment by states continues its steady decline, with fewer death sentences handed down in 2009 than any year since the death penalty was reinstated by the Supreme Court in 1976. Year-end figures released Friday by the Death Penalty Information Center (DPIC) show 11 states are now considering abolishing executions, with many legislators citing high costs associated with incarcerating and handling often decades-long appeals by death row inmates.

 

http://www.cnn.com/2009/CRIME/12/18/death.penalty.use/index.html


"You don't just walk into a bar and mix it up by calling a girl fat" - buildingcincinnati speaking about new forumers

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I didn't want to start a new thread, but I expect this story is going to get a lot of national coverage if true....

 

Ohio killer executed with controversial drugs

 

(CNN) -- Ohio inmate Dennis McGuire appeared to gasp several times and took as long as 15 minutes to die Thursday during his execution by lethal injection, reporters who witnessed it said.

 

He was convicted in 1994 of the rape and murder of Joy Stewart, whose relatives were at Southern Ohio Correctional Facility in Lucasville to witness his death, according to tweets from television reporter Sheila Gray.

 

McGuire's "children and daughter-in-law were crying and visibly upset," Gray tweeted.

 

The execution, at 10:53 a.m. ET, has generated controversy because, like many states, Ohio has been forced to find new drug protocols after European-based manufacturers banned U.S. prisons from using their drugs in executions -- among them, Danish-based Lundbeck, which manufactures pentobarbital.

 

The state used a combination of the drugs midazolam, a sedative, and the painkiller hydromorphone, the state corrections department told CNN.

 

In an opinion piece written for CNN earlier this week, a law professor noted that McGuire's attorneys argued he would "suffocate to death in agony and terror."

 

FULL STORY AND VIDEO - http://www.cnn.com/2014/01/16/justice/ohio-dennis-mcguire-execution/index.html?hpt=hp_t1

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I didn't want to start a new thread, but I expect this story is going to get a lot of national coverage if true....

 

Ohio killer executed with controversial drugs

This is going to make it impossible to use this combination of drugs again and could potentially make it harder to experiment with other combinations. At a minimum it's going to be fuel for more "cruel and unusual punishment" suits by convicts which will drive up the legal costs for the state (and others) to continue executions.

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It puts the state in a pickle.  The European companies will no longer supply the drugs previously used.  Probably because of some moral stand they are taking with the rest of the industrialized world.  Maybe one of our allies in the death penalty could offer some suggestions....

 

The following 21 countries are believed by Amnesty International to have carried out executions in 2012: Afghanistan (14), Bangladesh (1), Belarus (3+), China (2000+), Gambia (9), India (1), Iran (314+), Iraq (129+), Japan (7), North Korea (6+), Pakistan (1), Palestine (6), Republic of China (6), Saudi Arabia (79+), Somalia (6+), South Sudan (5+), Sudan (19+), UAE (1), USA (43), Yemen (28+).

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This is one of the issues where I'm at my most "liberal" (by modern conventional use of that term).  For Pete's sake, we'd already held this guy for 19 years if he was convicted in 1994; we could easily have just held him the rest of his life.  And I've seen far too many (which in my book means "more than one," but I've seen a lot more than one) instance in which a Death Row inmate is proven innocent--not just new evidence suggesting reasonable doubt (which is not enough to overturn a conviction once it's been rendered), but actual, honest-to-God innocence even after they were found guilty beyond reasonable doubt at the time of their trial.  (Remember that "beyond reasonable doubt," while the highest evidentiary standard recognized at law, still doesn't mean, "beyond all possibility of error.")

 

Judges make mistakes.  Juries make mistakes.  Heck, while it's not all that common, people get framed.  And prosecutors sometimes might be a little bit overenthusiastic in their prosecutions and sometimes might--just a little--maybe--on occasion--neglect to mention exculpatory evidence that they're supposed to turn over to the defense once it's discovered.

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^Last I heard, there were nearly 20 exonerations (i.e. proven innocent) of people sentenced to death row through use of DNA testing which was not available at the time of their trial. 

 

One of the biggest obstacles to discussing the death penalty in this country is that it has morphed into an ideological battle between liberals and conservatives.  It shouldn't be that way.

 

My views are personally conflicted.  I personally would have no problem with the family of the victim performing an eye for an eye retribution, no matter how cruel and unusual.  Such a killing would be somewhat akin to manslaughter.  But we can't do that as a society.  And since we can't do that as a society, I can't get on board with the State planning someone's death right down to the manner and minute (i.e. pre-mediated).

 

I imagine it might be another decade or two before we 'modernize' on this issue.  As progressive (or whatever word you want to use considering that 'progressive' inspires partisan feelings) we feel we are as a country, we are usually well behind Western Europe on moving away from draconian systems.

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I always find it interesting that some of the same conservatives that think the government can't do anything right, think that it can get murder convictions correct. The same people fighting to limit the government's power want the government to have the power to kill. Just seems an odd position.

 

Personnally I can't help but think he deserved worse than he got, but I don't think our justice system should be built around revenge. I don't think it's our place to enact what he deserved. I figure, locked in prison till he died, this guy would never have hurt anyone else which is all I really want from the system. I guess it depends on what you view the purpose of the system to be. It can't right the wrong and bring the victim back to life, so is the justice system's purpose to enact revenge or to protect us from further harm?

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My views are personally conflicted.  I personally would have no problem with the family of the victim performing an eye for an eye retribution, no matter how cruel and unusual ...

 

Erm ... eye for an eye in the literal sense in this case would mean raping the rapist ...

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^I'm just going by what the good book says.  But, regardless, I'm pretty sure the murder had something to do with him getting the death penalty.

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One of the biggest obstacles to discussing the death penalty in this country is that it has morphed into an ideological battle between liberals and conservatives.  It shouldn't be that way.

Anybody who identifies as Christian (or any religious for that matter) by their faith should oppose the taking of Human life for any reason, period.

 

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^Just like burning them at the stake, or if expediency is desired, how about a firing squad.

 

Here's what I don't get.  Why is it so difficult?  Vets do this everyday to people's pets without issue.

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Oops...

Prosecutor in arson case that resulted in Texas man's execution now accused of misconduct, concealing evidence: http://t.co/7TpLE3iqGu


"Most of us have been conditioned to regard military combat as exciting and glamorous -- an opportunity for men to prove their competence and courage. Since armies are legal, we feel that war is acceptable; in general, nobody feels that that war is criminal or that accepting it is a criminal attitude. In fact, we have been brainwashed. War is neither glamorous nor attractive. It is monstrous. Its very nature is one of tragedy and suffering" --Dalai Lama

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^ And that's why the death penalty should be illegal. At least when an innocent person is imprisoned for a long time, and then later exonerated, then the government can reimburse them with a massive sum of money (still doesn't make up for the injustice at all, but at least it's something). But when an innocent person is executed, that's it. It's over. It's state-sponsored murder. When you support the system of capital punishment, you are also supporting a system that occasionally kills innocent people and I think that's unacceptable.

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Debate all you want whether the death penalty is "cruel", there is no question it is "unusual"..... at least as far as the civilized world is concerned

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I've always considered the "cruel" part to be much more important than the "unusual" part. But yeah for what it's worth, the vast majority of the "civilized world" has abolished the death penalty. Actually, only 18% of countries in the entire world retain the death penalty in law and practice. The US is the only Western country that continues to use the death penalty. I like my country, but I can't help but feel ashamed when I see how many Americans blindly support the death penalty, without even caring to hear about the consequences.

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TIME.com ‏Time[/member]  6m6 minutes ago

Woman who spent 22 years on death row says case dismissal is "bittersweet" http://ti.me/1N6r9sA  Photo: Matt York—AP


"Most of us have been conditioned to regard military combat as exciting and glamorous -- an opportunity for men to prove their competence and courage. Since armies are legal, we feel that war is acceptable; in general, nobody feels that that war is criminal or that accepting it is a criminal attitude. In fact, we have been brainwashed. War is neither glamorous nor attractive. It is monstrous. Its very nature is one of tragedy and suffering" --Dalai Lama

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Texas Judge resigns after being caught texting instructions to prosecutors to help win convictions

http://poorrichardsnews.com/post/65069957264/texas-judge-resigns-after-being-caught-texting


"Most of us have been conditioned to regard military combat as exciting and glamorous -- an opportunity for men to prove their competence and courage. Since armies are legal, we feel that war is acceptable; in general, nobody feels that that war is criminal or that accepting it is a criminal attitude. In fact, we have been brainwashed. War is neither glamorous nor attractive. It is monstrous. Its very nature is one of tragedy and suffering" --Dalai Lama

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@AP 1 min ago

BREAKING: Pharmacists association adopts policy discouraging members from providing death penalty drugs.


"Most of us have been conditioned to regard military combat as exciting and glamorous -- an opportunity for men to prove their competence and courage. Since armies are legal, we feel that war is acceptable; in general, nobody feels that that war is criminal or that accepting it is a criminal attitude. In fact, we have been brainwashed. War is neither glamorous nor attractive. It is monstrous. Its very nature is one of tragedy and suffering" --Dalai Lama

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"Most of us have been conditioned to regard military combat as exciting and glamorous -- an opportunity for men to prove their competence and courage. Since armies are legal, we feel that war is acceptable; in general, nobody feels that that war is criminal or that accepting it is a criminal attitude. In fact, we have been brainwashed. War is neither glamorous nor attractive. It is monstrous. Its very nature is one of tragedy and suffering" --Dalai Lama

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