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(CNN)   A woman has spent 22 years on death row because a perfectly honest cop swore to a jury that the man who killed her child also implicated her in the killing. Except he wasn't perfectly honest, and the prosecutor knew it, and told nobody   (cnn.com) divider line 640
    More: Asinine, Armando Saldate, United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, Arizona, death row, Circuit Court of Appeals  
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24023 clicks; posted to Main » on 15 Mar 2013 at 11:22 AM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2013-03-16 09:04:42 AM

gibbon1: hasty ambush: Conversely your typical fark progressive, anti-cop, anti-death penalty type demands government take more control of everything.

You mean like telling oil companies that they can't put tetrahedral-lead in gasoline anymore?  Why yes I think I do.  Seriously there would be less need for government regulation if conservatives weren't such selfish douches about things.


So your argument is  EPA good  Justice department/law enforcement bad?

Those low flush toilets, low flow show heads,  bans on large soft drinks and trans fats, bans on cup cakes in schools,  bans on pastry shaped as gun, drones over America are responses to conservative selfishness?
 
2013-03-16 10:08:16 AM

Popular Opinion: Bucky Katt: This is why the death penalty is a bad idea.  The crypto-fascists who get off on the state killing people should go stuff it.

i'm not inclined to believe "crypto-fascists" are tipping the scales in a politically left leaning state like california.


We have more than our share of righties in California.  They may not come out for the national GOP candidates, but that's mostly because they differ on the particulars (and also, they get drowned out by Los Angeles and San Francisco).
 
2013-03-16 10:18:29 AM

bhcompy: HeartBurnKid: bhcompy: No one should expect that public servants will be perfect, and, if we hold them to such a high standard of perfection(as stated many times in this thread by a variety of people), we need to also understand that they cannot comply with such a high standard all the time, which is why we have processes in place to correct mistakes and punish those that willfully committed those injustices.

The problem is, those processes do not work.  Police close ranks around those that do wrong, and even when they do get in trouble, it's a slap on the wrist.  fark, man, look at TFA.  This guy perjured himself multiple times, and not only is he still a cop, he's still testifying and judges are sentencing based on his testimony.  During the Dorner hunt, the LAPD shot up some women whose only crime was driving a truck that looked vaguely similar to Dorner's, and nobody got in any trouble for it.  This shiat happens every day, and the cops get away with it.

I'm sure there are some good cops.  But to be honest, many if not most police departments are worse than the criminals they're supposed to be catching.


On one side, you can't have perfection but you need law enforcement, and on the other you have a system of checks and balances that is too weak.  One of those is feasible to reform and the other is impossible to correct.


Nobody's asking for perfection, you toolshed.  All anybody is asking for is less corruption.

It's amazing how you can come into threads about obvious police misconduct and say, "Well, nobody's perfect", and then act like anybody who has a problem with how cops behave as a whole due to the complete lack of oversight or accountability is asking for perfection.
 
2013-03-16 11:05:34 AM
hasty ambush:
I think there should be higher standard than beyond a reasonable doubt applied to death penalty
 cases=hard evidence like confession, DNA video tape etc.

Even eyewitness testimony should not be enough as it is as often the least reliable.


Unfortunately, not even confession is reliable. Here's a non-comprehensive list of innocent people who were convicted on false confessions.  http://www.innocenceproject.org/know/Search-Profiles.php?check=check& t itle=&yearConviction=&yearExoneration=&jurisdiction=&cause=False+Confe ssions+%2F+Admissions&perpetrator=&compensation=&conviction=&x=13&y=3
 
2013-03-16 12:01:43 PM

iron de havilland: And, for reference, countries that practice capital punishment:


Huh, look at that - The world's 1st, 2nd and 3rd largest economies all have the death penalty. Maybe they're doing something right.
 
2013-03-16 12:39:09 PM

JungleBoogie: So, you have to balance the risk of the wrongfully executed innocent with the benefits of the death penalty, and with some perspective:


There will always be a risk of wrongful convictions. This is where the focus should lie including in non-capital cases.

1) Executing a murderer makes sure he doesn't murder again. They do murder again and again. Incarceration clearly allows murderers to re-offend.

I agree

2) It almost certainly does deter, as a graph of murder rates versus execution numbers shows. Imagine if this graph was reversed. It would be on billboards and on anti-death penalty activist T-shirts everywhere.

Could you plot non-capital offenses on that chart too? I suspect it would resemble the murder rate. I'm not ready to jump to the conclusion that potential murderers were thinking of the death penalty and deciding maybe they shouldn't commit murder because of it.

3) If incarceration deters, why wouldn't the death penalty?

Just the thought of having an arrest record is enough to keep me from committing murder, but some people already have arrest records and they've already been to jail or prison so it's not as much of a deterrent. The death penalty - if you are sentenced to death - will probably never be carried out and if it is, it's likely to be years, possibly decades, after you're sentenced.

Once you reach a certain age, you're more likely to die of old age in prison before you are put to death.

4) It's the closest thing we have to justice. This concept gets lost. Many are willing to talk about the importance of justice in terms of social justice, and that is understandable and reasonable. But it also means that a criminal should incur a commensurate cost to offset any benefit he may have gotten by doing violence to a victim.


The "benefits" of murdering someone are going to vary greatly from case to case. Some people argue that serving life is actually a worse punishment than being given a quick painless death.

5) And the death penalty is not the only way an innocent could be accidentally killed. People die while driving, flying, swimming, construction, and obviously as a result of being incarcerated.


Thanks, Ric Romero. Sometimes life isn't fair.


6) And even though the charge is casually made over and over, repeatedly, like the mantra-like assertion that the death penalty does not deter, there is no credible evidence that any innocent has been executed in the modern era of the death penalty, since it was reintroduced in the 1970s. There's no cost to making the charge. A charge of innocence can be debunked but it can be repeated to good effect to those who aren't familiar with that particular case. Troy Davis was a classic example. This is why there is a rigorous appeals and review system. The reality is that to be executed today, one not only has to be wildly guilty, but quite unlucky as well.


I'm not sure if this is true. There are certainly people who are wrongfully convicted. I often look at cases where anti-death penalty activists claim that an innocent person was executed or exonerated. In those cases it sometimes looks like they perhaps shouldn't have been convicted but their innocence isn't proven. Other times, it just seems to me that they'll argue that anyone is innocent so long as they received death as a sentence.
 
2013-03-16 01:36:50 PM

HeartBurnKid: It's amazing how you can come into threads about obvious police misconduct and say, "Well, nobody's perfect", and then act like anybody who has a problem with how cops behave as a whole due to the complete lack of oversight or accountability is asking for perfection.


Maybe you haven't read the comments in this thread, and probably you've barely even read mine.  My initial comment was a response to "police aren't your friends, they're your enemy", and my response was that "they aren't your friend or your enemy, they're just people like everyone else".  From there it escalated to people claiming that police must be perfect white knights, blah blah blah, bullshiat like some women's smut novel's depiction of a man that saves the bored housewife
 
2013-03-16 03:14:06 PM

Happy Hours: 6) And even though the charge is casually made over and over, repeatedly, like the mantra-like assertion that the death penalty does not deter, there is no credible evidence that any innocent has been executed in the modern era of the death penalty, since it was reintroduced in the 1970s. There's no cost to making the charge. A charge of innocence can be debunked but it can be repeated to good effect to those who aren't familiar with that particular case. Troy Davis was a classic example. This is why there is a rigorous appeals and review system. The reality is that to be executed today, one not only has to be wildly guilty, but quite unlucky as well.

I'm not sure if this is true. There are certainly people who are wrongfully convicted. I often look at cases where anti-death penalty activists claim that an innocent person was executed or exonerated. In those cases it sometimes looks like they perhaps shouldn't have been convicted but their innocence isn't proven. Other times, it just seems to me that they'll argue that anyone is innocent so long as they received death as a sentence.


Cameron Todd Willingham did not commit that arson that killed his wife and daughters.  Some of the top forensic fire investigators in the world determined that the fire was started by accident. His original conviction was based on faulty fire investigation techniques. Willingham was executed in 2004.

Girvies Davis is a more odd case.  He was arrested for armed robbery, but there is no evidence that linked him to the murders for which he was executed.  Records show that one night about a week after his arrest, he was removed from his cell at 10pm and returned at 4:30am.  Davis claims that two officers took him for a midnight ride and told him to either run for his life or sign a confession.  He signed.  That confession is what the jury used to convict him for the murders, even though he recanted the confession early in the trial.  Here's the twist, though - Davis was illiterate and was unable to know what he was signing. He did not realize that the confession he signed was for the murders. That fact was kept from the jury.  He was executed in 1995.

Willie Darden was 8 miles away - as confirmed by four people, including two police officers - from the murder he was executed for. The two witnesses at the scene of the crime gave descriptions that did not match Darden.  During the trial, the two witnesses changed their description to match Darden.  Darden's lawyers did not conduct an investigation nor call any witnesses to the stand except Durden himself.  He was executed in 1988.

David Spence was executed for three murders. The only evidence linking him to the crime was a forensic match to bite marks - something that is notoriously unreliable in the forensic world.  Since his first trial, five different forensic odontologists have examined the bite marks and concluded that the bite mark did not match his dental records.  Several of the snitches that testified against him have recanted their testimony, and even the officers involved in the original investigation did not believe it was him.  He was executed in 1997.

Timothy Baldwin was 70 miles away from the scene of the crime, according to motel records, at the time of the attack. Witness descriptions of the perpetrator did not match Baldwin's description.  And the victim claimed to not recognize her attacker, and she knew Baldwin very well.  He was executed in 1984.

Gary Graham was executed for a murder during an armed robbery.  There were three witnesses for the case.  Two of the witnesses had a very clear view of the murderer, and their descriptions did not match Graham.  The third witness was further away looking through a car window at night, and only saw the murderer for a second. It was also a cross-racial identification (making the ID less reliable).  Graham's defense lawyer never did an investigation, and never brought in the two witnesses who had a clear view.  His defense lawyer also told the jury that the third witness deserved a standing ovation for her bravery in testifying against his client.  Graham was executed in 2000.

Dobbie Williams was a mentally retarded man (IQ of 65) with no history of violence who "confessed" to the murder of a woman a half mile away from his home.  His confession was never written down, and the story he gave did not match the actual crime at all. He was unable to explain how he entered the house or how he left. No evidence pointed to him - for example, the murder was very messy and there was lots of blood everywhere, but when the police found Williams, he had no blood on him, his clothes, or anywhere in the house he was living in (where he was found).  He had two alibis (his sister and his girlfriend's cousin) who both claim that he was home at the time of the murder. His girlfriend's cousin even talked to him on the phone at the time of the murder. The prosecution claimed he killed the woman with a knife, but the knife used as evidence against him was found with no blood on it; police claim that morning dew washed the blood away.  Police found a blood spot in the victims house that they claim matched Williams, but no DNA testing was ever done.  The woman's husband was home at the time of the murder, but he was never a suspect. According to the husband, her dying words were, "a black man killed me." Williams was black. He was convicted by an all white jury in Louisiana. He was executed in 1999.

Leo Jones was executed for murdering a police officer.  The two officers who interrogated him forced him to play Russian Roulette until he confessed. Several witnesses to the crime claim that Jones did not commit the murder. The officers were later fired for police brutality (related to other cases).  Jones was executed in 1998.

Ellis Felker was executed for kidnapping and murdering a woman.  An autopsy ruled Felker out as a suspect, but a technician altered the evidence. After the execution, his defense lawyer received a box of evidence that was withheld by the prosecution - evidence that would have exonerated him. DNA analysis shows he was not involved. Felker was executed in 1996.
 
2013-03-16 03:15:49 PM
Oops. Sorry, Happy Hours. I did not mean to quote you.  I meant to quote JungleBoogie.
 
2013-03-16 03:58:14 PM

mgshamster: Cameron Todd Willingham did not commit that arson that killed his wife and daughters.  Some of the top forensic fire investigators in the world determined that the fire was started by accident. His original conviction was based on faulty fire investigation techniques. Willingham was executed in 2004.


From what I've read about this case, I don't believe there was enough evidence to convict him, but that's a far cry from "proving" that he was innocent. There's definitely room for reasonable doubt though.

I don't have such doubts about Gary Graham though. I'm not familiar with the other cases.

mgshamster: Oops. Sorry, Happy Hours. I did not mean to quote you.  I meant to quote JungleBoogie.


No problem. I'm in favor of the death penalty in principle, but in practice I recognize that the system is imperfect.

Other than abolishing it, I don't see what can be done to correct that. Guilt and sentencing are separate phases of a trial so requiring greater proof for the death penalty can't really fit into the system. It would be like saying "Now that we found the defendant guilty we're going to decide the appropriate sentence, BUT if we are going to consider death we need to go back to the previous phase of the trial to make sure we are really really sure he's guilty."

The problem with that is that it is an admission that there may have been reasonable doubt about his guilt and if there was then he should have been found not guilty in the first place
 
2013-03-16 04:41:10 PM

doyner: It never ceases to amaze me how the typical teabagger will be pro-death penalty while at the same time cry about how government can't do anything right.  Why would you be for letting the government kill our fellow citizens if you can't have an infallible system?  Isn't that lack of infallibility why you're against welfare, Social Security, MEDICARE, MEDICAID, etc.?


I'm a conservative (fiscal) and believe in limited government, and really don't believe in the death penalty.  I don't trust the system, why would I trust that part.  The Tea Party folks I know aren't really death penalty supporters, but I guess it varies.  I meet a lot of Democrats wanting "vengeance".
 
2013-03-16 06:29:32 PM

ialdabaoth: Only if you want to assume as a consequence of this reasoning that poor people deserve to suffer for the mere fact of being poor.


According to Mother Teresa, yes.  It's good for them.

/fark that dead biatch. I hope she's burning in hell.
 
2013-03-16 06:31:12 PM

Happy Hours: their innocence isn't proven


You don't have to prove innocence.  You have to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.
 
2013-03-16 07:57:11 PM

OgreMagi: Happy Hours: their innocence isn't proven

You don't have to prove innocence.  You have to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.


Maybe we pretend that that's how it works, but that ain't how it works.
 
2013-03-16 08:41:01 PM

OgreMagi: Happy Hours: their innocence isn't proven

You don't have to prove innocence.  You have to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.


OgreMagi: Happy Hours: their innocence isn't proven

You don't have to prove innocence.  You have to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.


Yes, for the court to convict someone, that is true.

What I'm talking about are all the anti-death penalty activists who claim that a bunch of people on death row have been PROVEN INNOCENT. Sometimes convictions are overturned by a court. That is effectively a finding of not guilty. Sometimes the Innocence Project will come up with evidence after an execution that is NEVER seen by a court and they use that to claim that it PROVES an INNOCENT person was executed. That's actually just bullshiat propaganda.

For example, I admit. I assassinated JFK. If you want me to I'll swear to it on a stack of Bibles. That in no way PROVES Oswald was INNOCENT.
 
2013-03-16 10:20:14 PM

JungleBoogie: iron de havilland: And, for reference, countries that practice capital punishment:

Huh, look at that - The world's 1st, 2nd and 3rd largest economies all have the death penalty. Maybe they're doing something right.


I'd rather not live in a place where the government can take my life.

If you like government having that sort of power over you, fair play.

/And the IMF and CIA both list the European Union as the world's biggest economy, so your claim's inaccurate too.
 
2013-03-16 10:56:20 PM

iron de havilland: JungleBoogie: iron de havilland: And, for reference, countries that practice capital punishment:

Huh, look at that - The world's 1st, 2nd and 3rd largest economies all have the death penalty. Maybe they're doing something right.

I'd rather not live in a place where the government can take my life.

If you like government having that sort of power over you, fair play.

/And the IMF and CIA both list the European Union as the world's biggest economy, so your claim's inaccurate too.


Is the EU considered a country now?

That said, China treats capital punishment much differently from the US. Check this out: Link

I'm not even sure there were any appeals. They just executed 4 people for murders that were committed less than 1 1/2 years ago. For a crime like that, it might take the US that long just to start a trial.
 
2013-03-16 11:56:34 PM
... I smell a lawsuit.
 
2013-03-17 02:58:44 AM

Sniper061: demaL-demaL-yeH: Sniper061: As such, we are actually pretty good at killing only those people who truly committed the crime in question with the deaths of people later proven to be innocent are exceedingly rare.

I guess in the Teabagger States of Amurrika, there must be some acceptable number of innocent people who are executed.
Here is a nice list of people who were convicted of murder, sentenced to death, and later exonerated.

/My acceptable number for innocent persons wrongfully convicted and executed by the state is zero.
//The only Zero-Tolerance policy I can live with.

Right, and of that list only threepeople were exonerated posthumously (for those who don't know, that means they were exonerated *after* they were put to death.  The rest of the people made it out alive).  To me that means the system works.  It is not a perfect system but since we are human, it never can be.   Three people, out of however many that have been tried, convicted, and put to death is a damn good percentage.  Notice that I am not one of those people who calls for a person to be taken out behind the court house and shot as soon as the verdict is read.  We have all those appeals processes in place for a reason and it is specifically to mitigate the chance of putting an innocent person to death.

Just throwing this in there:   I believe in the death penalty because life is the most precious thing that can be taken from a person.  You can take a serial killer or a particularly brutal murderer and lock them up for a lifetime.  They aren't really going to care.  You threaten their very existence?  That gets their attention, in addition to the attention of other people who may consider committing a similar crime at some point in the future.  I do not believe for one second that it will stop all of the criminally deranged, but I do believe that for those who happen to be on the edge it may give them pause.  Possibly enough pause to keep them from actually committing the act.


That's three dead innocent people by your count. That fails the Franklin justice test. (See my acceptable number of innocent people executed by the state above.)
Your beliefs with respect to capital punishment as a deterrent have about as much relevance to justice for the wrongfully convicted as your beliefs with respect to an afterlife.
 
2013-03-17 02:28:52 PM

ialdabaoth: Popular Opinion: ialdabaoth: Popular Opinion: Bucky Katt: Popular Opinion: Bucky Katt: This is why the death penalty is a bad idea.  The crypto-fascists who get off on the state killing people should go stuff it.

i'm not inclined to believe "crypto-fascists" are tipping the scales in a politically left leaning state like california.

then again, quite a few anti-death penalty types seem to derive great joy and perverted amusement at the thought of killers being corn-holed by "bubba" for the rest of their lives behind bars.

California hasn't always been left leaning, but I'm sure you already knew that.  You seem rather sensitive about the corn holing for some reason.  Nothing personal, of course.

haha, i don't think i'm particularly phobic or anything...but if somebody wants to get on a high horse in favor of keeping richard ramirez (aka the night stalker) alive, i would counter with the example i gave,

but if you're asking, i choose death over bongo. ;o)

Why should the powerless get a choice?

nobody is powerless turbo, we have to assert what we have rather than fear it might be inadequate..
go watch braveheart

... I cannot imagine what inanity prompted that viewpoint. I'm not going to pretend that I have sufficient power to save myself from misery when I don't, and I'm not going to pretend like I'm just "not trying hard enough" when I'm already burning the superstructure for fuel. Sometimes you just lose.


Me thinks the secret is to revel in that misery (not wallow) until that inevitable moment comes around.

But each to their own folly, because in the end nothing really matters (accept maybe your personally chosen follies ;)
 
2013-03-17 02:54:46 PM
Happy Hours:

Other than abolishing it, I don't see what can be done to correct that. Guilt and sentencing are separate phases of a trial so requiring greater proof for the death penalty can't really fit into the system. It would be like saying "Now that we found the defendant guilty we're going to decide the appropriate sentence, BUT if we are going to consider death we need to go back to the previous phase of the trial to make sure we are really really sure he's guilty."

The problem with that is that it is an admission that there may have been reasonable doubt about his guilt and if there was then he should have been found not guilty in the first place
.

Yeap it is called a retrial and personally I recon it should involve more than a jury, rather a full high bench and a unanimous verdict.

(never quite understood how I am meant to follow or understand the law if in ever so many cases the highest court of the land can have a 5/4, 4/3 or a 3/2 decision (depending on the court) and somehow that represents 'beyond reasonable doubt). Are not these 9/7/5 peeps meant to be masters of their field and yet somehow they can come up with different opinions?)
 
2013-03-17 10:00:22 PM
JungleBoogie 6) And even though the charge is casually made over and over, repeatedly, like the mantra-like assertion that the death penalty does not deter, there is no credible evidence that any innocent has been executed in the modern era of the death penalty, since it was reintroduced in the 1970s. There's no cost to making the charge. A charge of innocence can be debunked but it can be repeated to good effect to those who aren't familiar with that particular case. Troy Davis was a classic example. This is why there is a rigorous appeals and review system. The reality is that to be executed today, one not only has to be wildly guilty, but quite unlucky as well.

Happy Hours:I'm not sure if this is true. There are certainly people who are wrongfully convicted. I often look at cases where anti-death penalty activists claim that an innocent person was executed or exonerated. In those cases it sometimes looks like they perhaps shouldn't have been convicted but their innocence isn't proven. Other times, it just seems to me that they'll argue that anyone is innocent so long as they received death as a sentence.

mgshamster: Cameron Todd Willingham did not commit that arson that killed his wife and daughters. Some of the top forensic fire investigators in the world determined that the fire was started by accident. His original conviction was based on faulty fire investigation techniques. Willingham was executed in 2004.


Barry Scheck is the guy who got off OJ Simpson and the British Nanny, Louise Woodward. Both wildly guilty. He's behind the Innocence Project and the Willingham case. To believe Willingham is innocent, one must believe all of arson science is wrong. Willingham's wife originally thought he was innocent, but later thought he was guilty, as did the prosector, and all of the members of all of the review panels.

I realize concerns about Scheck aren't related to the facts of the case. But Scheck is very good at his job, defending murderers. So he is able to present compelling cases which may seem true at first blush, but turn out to be not true under further examination. Re: the Willingham case, I'd be interested in hearing from a [neutral] panel of fire protection engineers or professionals who directly deal with arson. I never did see such a thing.

Girvies Davis is a more odd case...
Willie Darden was 8 miles away - as confirmed by four people, including two police officers - from the murder he was executed for...
David Spence was executed for three murders...
Timothy Baldwin was 70 miles away from the scene of the crime, ...
Gary Graham was executed for a murder during an armed robbery...


Here's some prosecution evidence for the Graham case. He was on a crime spree which stopped once he was arrested for the capital murder.

Dobbie Williams was a mentally retarded man (IQ of 65) with no history of violence...

Here's evidence against Williams. There was a DNA match and one officer testifying against him was black.

Leo Jones was executed for murdering a police officer.
Ellis Felker was executed for kidnapping and murdering a woman.


Here's the evidence from an appeals court about the evidenc in the Felker case: http://www.ca11.uscourts.gov/opinions/ops/19948224.MAN.pdf

I think it's important to present the prosecution's evidence AND the defense's evidence before trying to come to any conclusions regarding actual guilt or innocence.

It's a very common tactic to make a lot of claims to raise doubt. Remember the bouhaha with Troy Davis, against whom again there was overwhelming evidence, yet the claim was made he was innocent. It's a common tactic. I don't know the reality about the folks to whom I didn't respond, but if their cases could survive the myriad appeals which exist in the modern era of the death penalty, it is at best unlikely they are innocent.
 
2013-03-17 10:07:03 PM
iron de havilland: And, for reference, countries that practice capital punishment:

JungleBoogie: Huh, look at that - The world's 1st, 2nd and 3rd largest economies all have the death penalty. Maybe they're doing something right.

iron de havilland: I'd rather not live in a place where the government can take my life.

If you like government having that sort of power over you, fair play.

/And the IMF and CIA both list the European Union as the world's biggest economy, so your claim's inaccurate too.


The EU is not a country. It has no prison system or military. It's a consortium of countries that share a common currency. It consists of countries like Germany and France and Greece and Italy. They are the actual countries, and would be quite surprised to discover otherwise.

I thought it was obvious that when I said that "The world's 1st, 2nd and 3rd largest economies have the death penalty", that I would be referring to countries, not arbitrary economic zones or economic consortiums.

Having said that, to avoid any confusion, I will rephrase: "The countries with the world's 1st, 2nd and 3rd largest economies all have the death penalty."
 
2013-03-17 10:12:55 PM
Ok, psychology protip for all the anti-death-penalty folks:

People are deeply uncomfortable with the idea that the world is unjust.

Anything you do that demonstrates that the world is unjust, like showing them that people die unnecessarily, makes people feel bad. Making people feel bad makes them not like you. It makes them not want to believe anything you say. It makes them double down on their existing beliefs, no matter how harmful.

Most people NEED to believe that the world is already just, and that anything bad that happens to people happens because those people deserved it. People are capable of making exceptions for themselves and close friends, but making general-case exceptions will cause people so much emotional trauma that they will be unable to continue functioning. To protect themselves, they will label you as a rhetorical 'enemy' and discount everything you have to say, actually strengthening their previous beliefs so as to assuage the uncomfortable feelings you caused by suggesting that the world might be unfair.

You CANNOT win this debate.
 
2013-03-17 10:13:46 PM
And just to reiterate, I strongly recommend to both sides of the death penalty debate, the PBS Frontline show titled "Angel On Death Row", about Sister Helen Prejean and other spiritual advisors to capital murderers.

To the anti-death penalty advocates, it will be an inspiring look at the spiritual advisors to capital murderers. To pro-death penalty advocates, it is an informative look at the core of the anti-death penalty movement.
 
2013-03-17 10:23:28 PM

ialdabaoth: Ok, psychology protip for all the anti-death-penalty folks:

People are deeply uncomfortable with the idea that the world is unjust.

Anything you do that demonstrates that the world is unjust, like showing them that people die unnecessarily, makes people feel bad. Making people feel bad makes them not like you. It makes them not want to believe anything you say. It makes them double down on their existing beliefs, no matter how harmful.

Most people NEED to believe that the world is already just, and that anything bad that happens to people happens because those people deserved it. People are capable of making exceptions for themselves and close friends, but making general-case exceptions will cause people so much emotional trauma that they will be unable to continue functioning. To protect themselves, they will label you as a rhetorical 'enemy' and discount everything you have to say, actually strengthening their previous beliefs so as to assuage the uncomfortable feelings you caused by suggesting that the world might be unfair.

You CANNOT win this debate.


Actually, one doesn't have to appeal to the pop psychology stuff. All I'm saying is, to provide a compelling case of innocence, is to provide both sides of the story.

I'm all about reality. If there was, in all probability, an innocent executed, I'll admit it. I just need to see ALL the evidence before I can come to a judgement, not just the defense's carefully crafted version.

Because Barry Scheck has gotten off high profile, obviously guilty murderers, it is incumbent on people like me to avoid discounting what he has to say. He's a brilliant guy obviously, and I'm sure he speaks some truth. It is a logical fallacy to discount what someone is saying because who they are. The most reprehensible human can state a fact, and it is no less a fact because the human is reprehensible.

However because Barry Scheck is so good at what he does, I do take into account he is capable of providing very compelling claims of innocence for those who are wildly guilty. Again, not saying he's wrong, only that I would need to both sides of the case.
 
2013-03-17 10:26:54 PM

JungleBoogie: I'm all about reality. If there was, in all probability, an innocent executed, I'll admit it. I just need to see ALL the evidence before I can come to a judgement, not just the defense's carefully crafted version.


People also have a tendency to believe things about themselves, and then craft a narrative that confirms those things. If "I just need to see ALL the evidence" is a narrative that allows you to comfortably maintain your beliefs, then that's the narrative you'll use. But just because you've convinced yourself that you're an impartial arbiter of The Truth, is no reason for any of us to believe you.
 
2013-03-17 10:29:12 PM

JungleBoogie: To pro-death penalty advocates, it is an informative look at the core of the anti-death penalty movement.


Not really. Mostly, it's just proof that anti-death-penalty people are more concerned about the treatment of soulless inhuman monsters than about their perfectly virtuous and innocent victims and their bereaved and tortured families, and that therefore the anti-death-penalty people are probably soulless inhuman monsters themselves - or at the very least, incredibly morally suspect.

It is a just world, after all - so only an unjust creature would want to change it.
 
2013-03-17 10:35:50 PM
JungleBoogie: I'm all about reality. If there was, in all probability, an innocent executed, I'll admit it. I just need to see ALL the evidence before I can come to a judgement, not just the defense's carefully crafted version.

ialdabaoth: People also have a tendency to believe things about themselves, and then craft a narrative that confirms those things. If "I just need to see ALL the evidence" is a narrative that allows you to comfortably maintain your beliefs, then that's the narrative you'll use. But just because you've convinced yourself that you're an impartial arbiter of The Truth, is no reason for any of us to believe you.


I take you believe death penalty opponents suffer from no such shortcomings?
 
2013-03-17 10:40:44 PM

JungleBoogie: I take you believe death penalty opponents suffer from no such shortcomings?


Not at all, but it's interesting that that's your response to my statement. Do you believe that if your opponents are just as wrong as you are, that absolves you of the duty to be right?
 
2013-03-17 10:50:23 PM

JungleBoogie: iron de havilland: And, for reference, countries that practice capital punishment:

JungleBoogie: Huh, look at that - The world's 1st, 2nd and 3rd largest economies all have the death penalty. Maybe they're doing something right.

iron de havilland: I'd rather not live in a place where the government can take my life.

If you like government having that sort of power over you, fair play.

/And the IMF and CIA both list the European Union as the world's biggest economy, so your claim's inaccurate too.

The EU is not a country. It has no prison system or military.


Since when is "[a] prison system" a defining characteristic of a country? And, of course, many EU member states belong to NATO too, and have had commanding roles in incursions against Libya, Mali, and (hopefully, pretty soon) Syria too.

It's a consortium of countries that share a common currency.

No it isn't. The EU has 27 member states. Only 17 use the euro.

It consists of countries like Germany and France and Greece and Italy. They are the actual countries, and would be quite surprised to discover otherwise.

They are actual countries that have various trade agreements and treaties, facilitated through the EU to make trans-continental trade easy. Like the Schengen treaty.

I thought it was obvious that when I said that "The world's 1st, 2nd and 3rd largest economies have the death penalty", that I would be referring to countries, not arbitrary economic zones or economic consortiums.

If you want to say "countries", say "countries". If you say "economies", pedantic assholes such as myself will pick up your error.

Having said that, to avoid any confusion, I will rephrase: "The countries with the world's 1st, 2nd and 3rd largest economies all have the death penalty."

My amended response:
shiat.

It's a farked up world in which we live. Glad I don't live in any of those hellholes. That's a fine demonstration of just what a farked up species we are.
 
2013-03-17 10:51:55 PM
JungleBoogie: I take you believe death penalty opponents suffer from no such shortcomings?

ialdabaoth: Not at all, but it's interesting that that's your response to my statement.


I just wanted to make sure you understood the charges you are making against me and death penalty advocates apply equally to you and anti-death penalty advocates.

Do you believe that if your opponents are just as wrong as you are, that absolves you of the duty to be right?

I'm not sure what you're getting at here. What are you getting at? Just make your point and we'll discuss that point.
 
2013-03-17 10:59:18 PM

JungleBoogie: I'm not sure what you're getting at here. What are you getting at? Just make your point and we'll discuss that point.


My point is that I don't think you discuss points in good faith, I don't think you realize that you don't discuss points in good faith, and I don't think it would be fruitful to discuss the point that you don't discuss points in good faith, because I don't believe that you would discuss that point in good faith.

There are good, empirically-verified reasons why people don't discuss points in good faith, many of which you have been exhibiting, but at this point pointing them out directly will just lead to a discussion of individual points, which I do not believe would be in good faith. I would recommend that you study a bit of cognitive psychology for a few years, then spend a few more years re-thinking most of your basic assumptions about the world. I sincerely wish you good luck with this.
 
2013-03-17 11:14:24 PM
JungleBoogie: I'm not sure what you're getting at here. What are you getting at? Just make your point and we'll discuss that point.

ialdabaoth: My point is that I don't think you discuss points in good faith, I don't think you realize that you don't discuss points in good faith, and I don't think it would be fruitful to discuss the point that you don't discuss points in good faith, because I don't believe that you would discuss that point in good faith.

There are good, empirically-verified reasons why people don't discuss points in good faith, many of which you have been exhibiting, but at this point pointing them out directly will just lead to a discussion of individual points, which I do not believe would be in good faith. I would recommend that you study a bit of cognitive psychology for a few years, then spend a few more years re-thinking most of your basic assumptions about the world. I sincerely wish you good luck with this.


And I'm guessing you don't believe you and other death penalty opponents suffer from this problem?
 
2013-03-17 11:17:17 PM

JungleBoogie: And I'm guessing you don't believe you and other death penalty opponents suffer from this problem?


I never said or even implied that. Why do you keep turning this back around into something that you can play "both sides" on? Rhetorical tricks won't get you any closer to the truth you claim to want.
 
2013-03-17 11:27:45 PM
JungleBoogie: And I'm guessing you don't believe you and other death penalty opponents suffer from this problem?

ialdabaoth: I never said or even implied that.


Perhaps you may want to re-read your original comment.
 
2013-03-17 11:35:03 PM

JungleBoogie: Gary Graham was executed for a murder during an armed robbery...

Here's some prosecution evidence for the Graham case. He was on a crime spree which stopped once he was arrested for the capital murder.


IIRC, he was caught passed out in the bed of the elderly woman he had just raped while robbing her house. That wasn't the crime he got the death penalty for, but come on anti-death penalty activists. Can't you pick more likeable people than him for your cause?
 
2013-03-17 11:38:05 PM

JungleBoogie: Perhaps you may want to re-read your original comment.


I see nothing in that comment that implies that the anti-death-penalty camp is completely free of cognitive bias. Where are you reading that I said that? Can you walk me through your interpretive process, please?
 
2013-03-18 03:03:57 PM

ialdabaoth: Can you walk me through your interpretive process, please?


As a follow-up: this question wasn't merely a rhetorical device; I really would like to understand the process that leads you to extract "your side sucks but my side is perfect" from what I said, or even that "my side" is the anti-death-penalty side.
 
2013-03-18 08:22:31 PM

ialdabaoth: ialdabaoth: Can you walk me through your interpretive process, please?

As a follow-up: this question wasn't merely a rhetorical device; I really would like to understand the process that leads you to extract "your side sucks but my side is perfect" from what I said, or even that "my side" is the anti-death-penalty side.


You...talk...awesome.

Me impressed.  Watch often I will.
 
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