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Sometimes the jury is wrong.....
Old 12-15-2007, 09:01 PM   #41
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Sometimes the jury is wrong.....

Cases - AIDWYC.org
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Old 12-15-2007, 11:00 PM   #42
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Great link.

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Old 12-16-2007, 08:36 AM   #43
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Shawn,
Thanks for taking the time to get the info.
The media and most people do not know how to analyze statistical information.

I think the race issue raised by A.I. and others is due to correlating the application of Death penalty to race. I think this is and other wrong correlations are done in an attempt to hit a person's "hot button" so that they support A.I.'s goals.
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Old 12-16-2007, 05:37 PM   #44
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how wrong decisions are reinforced through the human tendency of justification.

or, pride goith before the guillotine blade falls.

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When you talk about a life sentence you are not talking rehab, you are talking punishment so others may think twice, and you are talking warehousing.

is it warehousing or protecting society? does society benefit from a life sentence which does not involve rehab? is the world better by warehousing one more person hellbent on killing or by trying to help someone understand their actions and develop feelings & awareness? what does either action say about society? which makes the prison guardís life more tolerable? which is better for his wife when he discusses his job, for the cashier she chats up when doing her shopping? why stop there?

a friend in calif recently sent me an email on john lennon. what he didnít know is how close he is to the lennons because our mutual friendís older sister befriended john & yoko many years ago. iím not aware of the connection but i would not be surprised to find we are just as close to someone on deathrow. i would rather be connected to that personís rehab than that personís death, whether physical or simply the death inside.

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Why is that those who are against abortion have no problem with the death penalty or with advocating wars?

anti-abortion and the death penalty (as well as anti-assisted suicide) have in common both the institutional exercise of ultimate authority over an individualís body and the presumption that life is good and death is bad.

death is so bad that we wonít let you die even when it is your time but will take extreme measures to keep you alive regardless of the quality of your life. death is so bad that we use it to punish you. life is so good that we will force you to allow anotherís life to come through your body. life is so good that if you are bad we are going to take it away from you.

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Pretty damn scary -- and you can bet our system is far better than most.

fortunately it is early still in the evolution of humankind. i try to keep that in mind whenever i consider my own lack of gay rights. at least thatís only punishable by death in just a few countries still.
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Old 12-16-2007, 06:08 PM   #45
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Shawn, I haven't looked at death penalty statistics regarding sex of the offender, though I did know that proportionately fewer women murderers are put to death than male murders. Unfortunately, the word "murder" and murder statistics are not enough to go on to determine if there is a disparity problem. From what I understand, certain mitigating or aggravating factors usually are considered in sentencing. For example, a woman who intentionally kills her husband who had beat her in the past may have mitigating factors in sentencing, even though the murder is technically first degree murder. On the other hand, men who rape and then kill may have aggravating factors applied. (It would be unusual for a woman to rape, as it is unusual for a woman to kill more than once). Also, certain killings are murder but are not eligible for the death penalty. Do you know how those factors play out? I don't think we can draw any conclusions from the raw numbers.
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Old 12-16-2007, 07:49 PM   #46
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does society benefit from a life sentence which does not involve rehab?
Many tough questions posed here, but I think this one is easy - 'yes'.

Ideally, we would rehab all criminals, and send them on their way to be productive citizens. More ideally, we would detect problems and do it *before* they committed a crime. Hopefully, someday we can do just that. It might be as simple as a chemical imbalance - look at medicine today compared with 100 years ago.

Unfortunately, I don't think our rehab skills are good enough to be able to set very many life-sentenced murderers free. Could you face the families of a mass murderer and say with confidence that the person was reformed and should be set free? So no, it is far from ideal, but yes, I think society is served by being protected from murderers.

Martha - interesting take on the study. It goes to show that even with what appears to be a well researched study, there may be more than meets the eye.

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Old 12-16-2007, 10:10 PM   #47
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Compare the people who commit murder with the people who receive the death penalty.

Look at the Uniform Crime Reports from the FBI. They usually provide crime numbers by year. As an example, for 2006, the number of murder offenders was 17,399. Of those, 5339 (31%) were white and 6843 (39%) were black. The race of a large number (4922, or 28%) was unknown. The rest were other. Likewise, 11,508 were men and 1151 were women (unknown sex was 4740). The statistics vary but are not all that different for other years.

From 1977 to mid-2006, there have been 1029 people executed for murder. Of those, 590 (57%) were white and 350 (34%) were black. The rest were other. Likewise, 1018 were men and 11 were women. As of mid-2006, 3370 people were on death row. Of those, 45% were white and 42% were black. Likewise, 3314 were men and 56 were women. For example, look at The Death Penalty in the United States.

In summary, for the year 2006 anyway, at least 31% of murderers were white and at least 39% were black. However, of those executed between 1977 and mid-2006, 57% were white and 34% were black. Of those on death row as of mid-2006, 45% were white and 42% were black. Blacks make up a slight majority of murderers but whites make up a slight majority of those receiving the death penalty.

If anything, whites get the short end of the stick, although the racial difference is small. The 10 to 1 gender difference remains.

Despite the data, the response from Amnesty International and other death penalty opponents is to cry out against the nonexistent racial disparity and to completely ignore the quite significant gender disparity.
So, may I conclude on the basis of the statistics you cite that in each of the years from 1977 to 2006, no state in the United States exhibited any racial disparity in handing out the death sentence for murder or executing people for murder? Both Illinois and Maryland previously adopted death penalty moratoria a few years ago, on the grounds that there were some racial disparities in the death penalty in prior years. Were these States statistically misguided in adopting moratoria?
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Old 12-16-2007, 11:09 PM   #48
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Unfortunately, I don't think our rehab skills are good enough to be able to set very many life-sentenced murderers free. Could you face the families of a mass murderer and say with confidence that the person was reformed and should be set free? So no, it is far from ideal, but yes, I think society is served by being protected from murderers.
i only meant to bring to view how ramifications of simply warehousing murderers sans rehab effect those besides the convicted. even if you isolate the convicted, you still have someone bring them food. and even if the person is fed through a hole in the wall and never seen, the prison guard who brings the food to this tortured soul will be effected by how the prisoner is treated. that also effects his family and, to some degree, everyone who comes into contact with them. yes, it will effect even you.

i never suggested setting mass murderers free. i suggested only rehab. i would further suggest that how society might feel about keeping rehabilitated murderers incarcerated or not is beyond the scope of this discussion because society has not even yet decided on whether or not to let them live or to keep them from death.
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Old 12-17-2007, 08:16 AM   #49
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i never suggested setting mass murderers free. i suggested only rehab. i would further suggest that how society might feel about keeping rehabilitated murderers incarcerated or not is beyond the scope of this discussion because society has not even yet decided on whether or not to let them live or to keep them from death.
OK yes, I made the assumption of rehab leading to release.

You are right, this is probably beyond the scope of the discussion. I think you make a valid point, attempted rehab of a 'lifer' is a higher road than merely warehousing them. But it is a bit esoteric (IMO), and yes, most people aren't ready to address it.

Here's another thing people are probably not ready to address: Prevention is better than reaction. Read 'Freakonomics' for one cause-effect study.

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Old 12-17-2007, 11:26 AM   #50
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New Jersey a∑bol∑ish∑es the death penalty.

New Jersey bans death penalty - CNN.com

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Old 12-17-2007, 12:49 PM   #51
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From the Borowitz Report (parody alert !):

"The state of New Jersey banned capital punishment, arguing that living in New Jersey was bad enough."
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Old 12-17-2007, 02:08 PM   #52
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... From what I understand, certain mitigating or aggravating factors usually are considered in sentencing. For example, a woman who intentionally kills her husband who had beat her in the past may have mitigating factors in sentencing, even though the murder is technically first degree murder ... I don't think we can draw any conclusions from the raw numbers.
It's very common for people to justify and downplay murder committed by women (as you do above). Your comment about women killing abusive husbands, while quite PC, is not supported by literally hundreds of studies that find equal rates of partner violence among men and women (violence of all types, not specifically homicide). Studies looking at motive typically find that men are slightly more likely to act in self defense against their female partners than are women to act in self defense against their male partners. You can find some studies at DVStats.com Search Engine - tracks research on domestic violence against males. Unfortunately, in practice, the self defense argument is only available to women. A woman can successfully use this argument without evidence or substantiation. In fact, abuse doesn't even need to occur. Mary Winkler received a 2 month sentence for shooting her husband in the back because she claimed, without evidence, that her husband wanted her to dress up in high heals and perform unnatural sex acts. This is not a sellable argument for a man. Women can make excuses. Men cannot. This is one reason for the 10 to 1 disparity.

The Bureau of Justice Statistics performed a study in 1998 where they looked at sentencing disparities between men and women who had killed their partners of opposite sex. The study specifically eliminated cases where self defense was used as a motive. The study found that men who killed their female partners received an average sentence of 17 years. Women who killed their male partners received an average sentence of 7 years. The DOJ reported that they had no explanation for this disparity.

The bottom line is the following. There is a 10 to 1 disparity in death sentences given to men vs women. There is no disparity in death sentences given to whites vs blacks (if anything, whites are more likely to receive the death sentence). Why are people so willing to believe a nonexistent racial disparity but are completely unwilling to believe the enormous gender disparity? It's a rhetorical question, I know the answer. If the racial disparity was 10 to 1 (against blacks), I doubt too many people would argue that "we can't draw conclusions from the data," and then hypothesize that the disparity exists because murders committed by blacks are somehow worse than those committed by whites.
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Old 12-17-2007, 02:19 PM   #53
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It's very common for people to justify and downplay murder committed by women (as you do above). Your comment about women killing abusive husbands, while quite PC, is not supported by literally hundreds of studies that find equal rates of partner violence among men and women (violence of all types, not specifically homicide). Studies looking at motive typically find that men are slightly more likely to act in self defense against their female partners than are women to act in self defense against their male partners. You can find some studies at DVStats.com Search Engine - tracks research on domestic violence against males. Unfortunately, in practice, the self defense argument is only available to women. A woman can successfully use this argument without evidence or substantiation. In fact, abuse doesn't even need to occur. Mary Winkler received a 2 month sentence for shooting her husband in the back because she claimed, without evidence, that her husband wanted her to dress up in high heals and perform unnatural sex acts. This is not a sellable argument for a man. Women can make excuses. Men cannot. This is one reason for the 10 to 1 disparity.

The Bureau of Justice Statistics performed a study in 1998 where they looked at sentencing disparities between men and women who had killed their partners of opposite sex. The study specifically eliminated cases where self defense was used as a motive. The study found that men who killed their female partners received an average sentence of 17 years. Women who killed their male partners received an average sentence of 7 years. The DOJ reported that they had no explanation for this disparity.

The bottom line is the following. There is a 10 to 1 disparity in death sentences given to men vs women. There is no disparity in death sentences given to whites vs blacks (if anything, whites are more likely to receive the death sentence). Why are people so willing to believe a nonexistent racial disparity but are completely unwilling to believe the enormous gender disparity? It's a rhetorical question, I know the answer. If the racial disparity was 10 to 1 (against blacks), I doubt too many people would argue that "we can't draw conclusions from the data," and then hypothesize that the disparity exists because murders committed by blacks are somehow worse than those committed by whites.
Hum. I wasn't trying to be PC and I was drawing no conclusions whatsoever, I just was questioning whether all variables were taken into account. Nothing you have said gives me enough information to draw conclusions.
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Old 12-17-2007, 02:34 PM   #54
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So, may I conclude on the basis of the statistics you cite that in each of the years from 1977 to 2006, no state in the United States exhibited any racial disparity in handing out the death sentence for murder or executing people for murder? Both Illinois and Maryland previously adopted death penalty moratoria a few years ago, on the grounds that there were some racial disparities in the death penalty in prior years. Were these States statistically misguided in adopting moratoria?
No, you cannot conclude that from my comments. I didn't provide any information about the particulars for any given state. I did provide evidence that as a country (since 1977), there is no racial disparity. If anything, whites are more likely to be given the death penalty. However, I'm puzzled why Illinois and Maryland are so concerned about a supposed racial difference but are completely unmoved by the quite pronounced gender difference. These arguments are much more compelling (at least if one assumes that men and women should be treated equally in the justice system).

My take is that you are against the death penalty. I'm simply trying to provide you with a set of arguments that you can use to better support your position.
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Old 12-17-2007, 04:50 PM   #55
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New Jersey a∑bol∑ish∑es the death penalty.

New Jersey bans death penalty - CNN.com

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"Prosecutors said Timmendequas lured Megan to his home by saying he wanted to show her a puppy. He then raped her, beat her and strangled her with a belt. A day later, he led police to her body."

A puppy; he used a puppy; my God or god! - If we can't get use the death penalty if a human child is killed; how about if a puppy is used to commit a crime.
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Old 12-17-2007, 05:43 PM   #56
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What a touchy feely thing for NJ to do. Will Jesse Timmendequas get to watch cable tv?
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Old 12-17-2007, 05:55 PM   #57
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poboy, this isn't about touchy feelie, it is about executing the wrong people.

Shawn, it is possible that the disproportionate number of men on death row is in part because “More than 80% of the defendants on death row today became death eligible because they killed in the course of a contemporaneous offense, usually an armed robbery or rape.”David Baldus et al., Arbitrariness and Discrimination in theAdministration of the Death Penalty: A Challenge to State Supreme Courts, 15 Stetson L. Rev. 133, 138 (1986). Women are less likely than men to commit armed robbery or rape.

Looking at the research there appears to be any number of potential inequities.
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Old 12-17-2007, 07:27 PM   #58
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No, you cannot conclude that from my comments. I didn't provide any information about the particulars for any given state. I did provide evidence that as a country (since 1977), there is no racial disparity. If anything, whites are more likely to be given the death penalty. However, I'm puzzled why Illinois and Maryland are so concerned about a supposed racial difference but are completely unmoved by the quite pronounced gender difference. These arguments are much more compelling (at least if one assumes that men and women should be treated equally in the justice system).

My take is that you are against the death penalty. I'm simply trying to provide you with a set of arguments that you can use to better support your position.
Murder and the death penalty are generally matters consigned to the individual States, so I'm not sure its appropriate to aggregate the collective statistics from each State and come up with a national figure. I don't know whether you're more correct than GAO or others who have seriously studied this issue, but you do give me cause to pause about the appearances of disparities, whether gender or racial.

You know it is obvious why we can tolerate gender disparities in handing on capital punishment: it's the same reason we tolerate gender disparities in military conscription (when we had a draft) and women in combat roles in the military. I think you raising this gender discrimination is a bit tongue-in-cheek since we have never had universal consensus that men and women should be treated equally in all aspects of our society.
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Old 12-17-2007, 08:56 PM   #59
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No, you cannot conclude that from my comments. I didn't provide any information about the particulars for any given state. I did provide evidence that as a country (since 1977), there is no racial disparity. If anything, whites are more likely to be given the death penalty. However, I'm puzzled why Illinois and Maryland are so concerned about a supposed racial difference but are completely unmoved by the quite pronounced gender difference. These arguments are much more compelling (at least if one assumes that men and women should be treated equally in the justice system).

My take is that you are against the death penalty. I'm simply trying to provide you with a set of arguments that you can use to better support your position.
Thank you for the information.

As an opponnet of the death penalty (me), your posts support my position and have been an eye opener for me.

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