Perhaps the bleakest fact of all is that the death penalty is imposed not only in a freakish and discriminatory manner, but also in some cases upon
defendants who are actually innocent.
Originally posted by elevatedone
reply to post by roughycannon
If you're guilty and dead then you're not costing the tax payers millions of dollars to keep you clothed and fed.
-Justice William J. Brennan, Jr., 1994
Putting aside, for the moment, the sanctity of life issue, let's just address this idea that "taxpayers" have some sort of special authority to
destroy other human beings if it means saving a few bucks. "Taxpayers" - the "Taxpayers Bill of Rights" notwithstanding - do not have special rights
above and beyond any other person. All people have rights, regardless of their tax liabilities or other dubious debt used to establish some
credentials of authority. A "Taxpayer" is someone who has incurred a tax liability and has a debt with the government agency of which they incurred
this liability. That is all that needs to be known about "taxpayers", and their compliance with tax collectors does not mean they've earned some sort
of magical powers of wisdom, or divine right to destroy others.
Now, to the issue of the sanctity of life. It makes no sense at all to establish acts of legislation, codifying this legislation of murder and the
various degrees by which it is charged and prosecuted only to turn around and impose a sentence that commits the very crime that has been codified as
illegal. The death penalty is necessarily a premeditated murder, and the mens rea (mindset of the murder(s)) is quite clearly and undeniably that of
murder. Call it execution, call it justice, call it whatever you want. A rose by any other name would smell as sweet, and the death penalty by any
other name is still murder.
It is most imprudent to grant governments the legal authority to execute the People they serve, and there is far too much evidence that the death
penalty systems execute innocent People.
Consider this report by Richard C. Dieter from The Death Penalty Information Center
The danger that innocent people will be executed because of errors in the criminal justice system is getting worse. A total of 69 people have been
released from death row since 1973 after evidence of their innocence emerged. Twenty-one condemned inmates have been released since 1993, including
seven from the state of Illinois alone. Many of these cases were discovered not because of the normal appeals process, but rather as a result of new
scientific techniques, investigations by journalists, and the dedicated work of expert attorneys, not available to the typical death row inmate.
The current emphasis on faster executions, less resources for the defense, and an expansion in the number of death cases mean that the execution
of innocent people is inevitable. The increasing number of innocent defendants being found on death row is a clear sign that our process for
sentencing people to death is fraught with fundamental errors--errors which cannot be remedied once an execution occurs.
The problem of innocent people facing execution because of errors in the criminal justice process has in no way diminished since 1993. For
example, in the summer of 1996, the state of Illinois dropped all charges against four men who had been convicted of a 1978 murder. Two of the men had
been sentenced to death. The investigation which led to the discovery that the wrong men had been convicted was conducted by three journalism students
who had been assigned the case in class. These releases came on the heels of the release from death row of two other men in Illinois, Rolando Cruz and
Alejandro Hernandez. Three former prosecutors have been indicted for obstruction of justice in that case. Although the public may have learned
something about these dramatic reversals, they probably have heard little about the continuous string of mistakes in capital cases which throws doubt
on the reliability of the entire death penalty process.
That report was written in 1997, but the sites more updated page
puts the total
exonerated after spending time on death row at 138 People.
Now consider this:
I would quote this page, but I have a limited amount of characters, for some reason, to use. Let those characters offer up one more link:
And this caveat; If a government cannot be trusted to protect its own borders, or to protect the individual rights of the People it has been tasked to
protect, what makes you think they can get the death penalty right?
edit on 21-9-2011 by Jean Paul Zodeaux because: (no reason given)