Thursday, April 4, 2013

Another Squishy Liberal Post

Not really. I am  a liberal, hell, a socialist, more or less, but on no point do I consider myself squishy, or soft.

Today, this statement is being issued in context of the death penalty. In my brain, I'm against it. No squishy reasons, people do evil things for laughs, or for no particular reason at all - not every criminal is a victim of his/her circumstance. And in my heart, quite a mercurial organ, I can see something and scream for vengeance. My concerns are that we be DAMN sure of guilt before executing someone, and that we apply strict, fair standards.

Neither of my concerns are addressed in modern jurisprudence.

North Carolina
The N.C. Senate on Wednesday approved a bill that would end the Racial Justice Act and restart executions in North Carolina. The bill passed 33-14, with the vote along party lines...
The Racial Justice Act allows death-row inmates and defendants facing the death penalty to use statewide statistics to show that racial bias played a significant role in their case. If successful, a judge would commute an in-mate’s death sentence to life in prison without the possibility of parole, the only remedy under the law.
Prosecutors around the state and Republican legislators strongly opposed the law. Last year, state legislators scaled back the Racial Justice Act to prohibit the use of statewide statistics. Then-Gov. Bev Perdue vetoed the legislation, but the General Assembly overrode her veto. (Emphasis by paleo - Republicans and those dratted facts...)

Texas' active use of the death penalty has led death penalty opponents to claim that Texas has executed persons who were, in fact, innocent. 
Cameron Todd Willingham 
One notable case involves Cameron Todd Willingham, who was executed by lethal injection on February 17, 2004 for murdering his three daughters in 1991 by arson, but where a 2009 article in The New Yorker, and subsequent findings, have cast doubt on the evidence used in his conviction.
In 2009, a report conducted by Dr. Craig Beyler, hired by the Texas Forensic Science Commission to review the case, found that "a finding of arson could not be sustained". Beyler said that key testimony from a fire marshal at Willingham's trial was "hardly consistent with a scientific mind-set and is more characteristic of mystics or psychics”.[46]
Governor Rick Perry expressed skepticism of Beyler's findings. He stated that court records showed evidence of Willingham’s guilt in charges that he intentionally killed his daughters in the fire. Perry is quoted in the report as stating of Willingham, "I’m familiar with the latter-day supposed experts on the arson side of it," and Perry said that court records provide "clear and compelling, overwhelming evidence that he was in fact the murderer of his children."[47] The Corsicana Fire Department also released a 19-page rebuttal of Beyler's report, stating that the report overlooked several key points that would show Willingham to be guilty.[48]
On July 23, 2010, the Texas Forensic Science Commission released a report saying that the conviction was based on "flawed science" and that there is no indication that the arson authorities were negligent or committed willful misconduct. Willingham remains the only person in the United States executed since 1976 for murder by arson. [49]
The Willingham case belongs to both fmr. Pres. George W. Bush and Governor Rick Perry. For Pres. Footie-Pajamas McDryDrunk, it is merely another mark in a book that will have him marching triumphally to hell before being invited by Satan personally, e-Vite maybe?, to share a skinny-dip in a burning sulfurous lake. Governor Good-Hair? Possessor of a somewhat colorfully named ranch? Beelzebubba? Hell as well, but not quite as revered as teh Shrub.

Honestly, though, if we could successfully address my concerns re: the death penalty - note: humans? - I could accept the death penalty and actually see it expanded. The carpenters required to build gallows on Wall Street alone could significantly affect the nation's unemployment rate. Not to mention a couple advisors will be needed in the Obama administration to replace Jamie Dimon and Timothy Geithner. Head of Murder Incorporated Wayne Lilpeepeeierre. Locally, Ponzi master Tom Petters and Name-It-And-Claim-It, Babble-Yer-Way-To-Enlightenment preacher Mac Hammond.

And then there is this.

Ohio man who sexually assaulted baby seeks mercy
COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Condemned killer Steven Smith's argument for mercy isn't an easy one. Smith acknowledges he intended to sexually assault his girlfriend's 6-month-old daughter but says he never intended to kill the baby.
Shorter: Because he only meant to rape the baby, not kill it, he should not be executed because Ohio law requires premeditated murder for a capital murder conviction. And, although IANAL, a clever enough lawyer could make the argument, ignoring the fact that raping a 6 month old baby is going to kill the child. This is actually somewhat of a tough thing for me.

'Tough thing', paleo? 

Yes, trying to maintain internal consistency, given my views on the death penalty, that as it exists I think it is deeply flawed. But -

- if there is ever a case where it is called for, even with my views and striving to be consistent and logical, this fucker needs to die. Now. His human card needs to be cut in half, along with his neck. He genuinely needs to be ended horribly. Screw consistency, I want bloody vengeance. Pedophilia, rape, hurting of anyone/thing weaker than you?

Let there be fire.


  1. I'm against the death penalty for a couple of reasons, completely separate from the issue of guilt or innocence:

    1) I don't want to be (further) party to killing people. We 'Merkins are already thoroughly steeped in blood from all of our foreign wars and "accidental" police killings, I'd rather not have yet more blood on my hands if it can be avoided. And it can be avoided in these cases.

    2) In most of the cases where vengeance is desired (like the horrible shit you mention) killing is too good for the fuckers. Lock them up and force them to live long healthy lives. We can't force them to actually think about what they did that whole time, but I'm OK with that. May they live to 115 in an 8x8 cell, dreaming of freedom every night. A fate worse than death as far as I'm concerned.

    1. And they are very good reasons.

      It's damn hard to think straight about the Ohio case, insanely infuriatating, and I do seriously want pain, and you're completely right on both points, and aargh.

    2. Which is one more reason to be against the death penalty. Justice needs to be dispassionate. What is done in vengeance can be hasty and ill-reasoned, and as you point out, the death penalty is a bit final.

      Even in the cases where people have been proven innocent and released before the fatal error, decades of their lives are lost.

      In the Culture series by Iain M. Banks, murderers are assigned to be followed permanently by robots to make sure they never repeat the act. In addition to the security, there is a stigma to being "slap-droned" as it is termed.

    3. decades of their lives are lost

      A Callahan's Saloon story from the first anthology is about a gentleman named Tom Hauptmann, a minister who spent years in a banana republic prison, and when released, felt he could no longer minister to people, not having a clue to culture changes in the time he was gone, which could be significant.

      A guy who spends 20 years in prison, death sentence or no, how in the hell do they adjust to life outside? Pre-cell phone, net, Simon Delivers, seeing bankers getting away with, getting rich, with major major felonies. We've all watched and adjusted to the rise of the fundagelicals - how is this theoretical ex-prisoner going to react to the North Carolina law rejecting freedom of religion.

    4. Hey ZRM did you see that Banks announced he has cancer and less than a year to live?


  2. I worry about death penalty cases because some states are notorious for just wanting a guilty party and a closed file. But this sort of thing? I'd argue that anyone with an IQ into double digits should know that raping a 6 month old is going to do damage, likely DEATH-dealing damage, and therefore the "intent" was oh-so-not-pure.

    Also, the current rhetoric is taking on more and more of an "It's ONLY rape" character that makes me grind my teeth...even in my sleep.

    1. the current rhetoric is taking on more and more of an "It's ONLY rape" character

      It's deliberate, IMO - there are still way too many people, women included, see: Coulter, Malkin, Ingraham, Schlessinger et al, seeing women as property. Minimizing crimes against women serves that agenda, treating women as nothing more than an appliance, and 'putting them back where they belong', taking away their agency.


      OT - went to your blog - like! May I add to my Achievers list?

    2. Don't let him, Syrbal. Some very sketchy people hang out here.

  3. LOL...thank you, Paleo, I'd be more than happy to hang out with the sketchy people. I've been told I am pretty sketchy myself. And yes, the Rapepublicans are indeed ingoddamfuriating.

    1. Imma get it done in a bit and yer welcome, in both senses!

  4. Replies
    1. I'm great at carrotchures, if'n you squint and have been drinking heavily and stuff.

    2. I will do a charcoal sketch of your kitteh, if you send me photos....