I am not a supported of the death penalty. I have commented on several blogs so rather than reinvent the wheel, let me give you my rants:
On Dell Gines I ranted:
I am totally against the death penalty but I did not understand why so many backed Tookie - Living in Los Angeles, I read and see his legacy up close. Although his is not the founder of the Crips as been reported. He started a sect of the Crips in West Los Angeles but that was two after the initial founding of the Crip - which were originally called the Cribs - but you know how some brothers can mangle the English language. Anyway, I found that information out from a guy that has studied the gangs of LA for 25 years.
I do think that there are crimes that are so heinous that a person does forfeit their right to live - but that is a principle belief. In application, I do not believe the state has the right to take a life. I won’t shed a tear for Tookie because those were the consequences of his actions. But morally, I am against CP and I would like California to do what Illinois did and place a moratorium on CP and sentence everyone to life in prison without the possibility of parole.
If we are going to have the death penalty it should work like this.
1. The defendants are allowed unlimited resources for their defense in the form of expert witness and hiring a team of lawyers and investigators.
2. Only capitol cases should only be brought if their is DNA evidence.
3. The use of jail house informants is discontinued.
4. Every aspect of the trial is open to the public. Pictures of the victim, DNA test results and the trial is televised.
5. If convicted, the execution is televised.
6. Citizens should carry out the execution, determined by the same process that we use to pick a jury.
7. The convicted should die by either stoning on firing squad in a public arena and televised.
If we are going to do this, then everyone should have the opportunity to get blood on their hands. Lets not make it pretty and secret where we talk about the death of humans in the abstract. I’m sure there are some people that would love the opportunity to stone someone to death, but I will bet that most Americans would want no part of the process. But this is the price we should pay for supported state sponsored murder.
Bloviating Zeppelin has a discussion on his blog. He approaches the topic from a political persepective. At some point in the discussion, I presented my thoughts on televising the executions and Eddie posted this question to me:
Eddie said... James, I was wondering if you thought if abortion should be televised, since it is equally, if not more barbaric, than the death penalty? Of course, with over a million a year, we would need to have at least on channel on the tube dedicated to this brutality and violence.
This was my response:
That is a good question, and I do think that abortion is a barbaric act, but we are talking two different sets of circumstances.
The question with capitol punishment is what right do we give the state to take a life - and should they have that right?
With abortion, the question is what right to will give the individual to take the life of an unborn? But then we must define when life begins. Should a woman that finds herself pregnant be allowed to abort the child,
2 weeks, 4 weeks, 3 months, 6 months - where do we draw the line. In case of rape or incest - should the woman be forced to bring the baby to term? What if the woman's life is in danger - should we allow the mother to die in order to save the child?
Who has the right to tell a woman what she can do with her body? Does society have that right? We do on some instances - we don't allow the terminally ill patients the right to kill themselves, we don't condone suicide - we don't allow child abuse. So it is possible that we have the right to say when and under what circumstances a woman should be allowed to abort a baby.
Abortion is much more complicated than capitol punishment. CP is easy, the state should not have the right under any circumstances to take a life. Period.
Later in this same conversation on Bloviating Zeppelin blog, Texasfred made the following comments towards me. I assume they towards me since I was the only Liberal on the blog.
Folks that don't agree with Capital Punishment need to NOT call the cops next time they get victimized, hell, ya *might* cause the cop to have to shoot a bad guy...
If you are against the death penalty, and you happen to have your house broken into in the middle of the night, whatever you do, don't try and stop the poor misunderstood criminal from raping your wife or killing you and your family, he MAY have *issues*...
Bleeding heart liberals make me sick to my stomach, I hate every one of the bastards... Any man or woman that is too gutless to stand and defend what is theirs is beneath respect... And I mean that from the bottom of my calloused heart...
My reply to this was (edited version):
Texas Fred, you are so off point I'm not sure if it is worth commenting. There is a big difference in opposing CP because for philosophical reasons on justice and defending yourself. I bust a cap in a fool in a second to protect my family or myself. Who's arguing against that? How is not believing in CP an avocation for criminal behavior? Your points aren't even within context of the debate...
Your problem is that you confuse an opposition to a judicial process for advocating violence. Please explain how my opposition to CP translates to the fact that I should not call the police when a crime is perpetrated against me? How do you intellectually make that connection?
Are you saying that to disagree with a particular sentence to a crime equates to not supporting justice and supporting lawlessness? Please... your points have no merit.
As you can see, the debate rages on and I'll continue to fall on the side of not supporting the Death Penalty. For those of you that do, I leave you to your opinion. Tookie Williams is gone and we'll all move on with our lives. We'll soon forget about him and concetrate on more important issues like Christmas, kids, jobs and the NFL playoffs. That's a fact of life.