Saturday, July 14, 2007

A Rush To Punishment?

Now, I am the biggest supporter of Capital Punishment you will probably ever meet. In fact, I wish it could be expanded to include the crimes of Rape, Sexual Molestation of a Child, Conspiracy to Commit Terrorism and Aiding a Terrorist. So, when you see me writing about an execution that should be stopped ... you can take it to the bank that something fishy may be going on.

Troy Anthony Davis is scheduled to be executed in Georgia on July 17th, for the shooting death of a Savannah police officer. Davis, 38 is a former coach in the Savannah Police Athletic League and had signed up to join the Marines, when in 1989, off-duty Savannah police officer, Mark Allen MacPhail was shot dead in a parking lot while responding to an assault. Davis was at the crime scene with a friend that accused him of the shooting. No physical evidence was found to link Davis with this crime.

Since his conviction and sentencing in 1991, seven of the nine witnesses that testified against him have re-canted their testimony. Two of the jurors that found him guilty have sworn out affidavits that stated, based on the recanted testimony, he should not be executed. They are afraid they may have sentenced an innocent man to die. Remember ... there was never any physical evidence linking this man to the crime.

Still, prosecutors in Georgia are trying to push the execution through. Maybe with the Mike Nifong thing, I don't place as much faith in prosecutors, but this execution must be stopped. An execution is not a thing you can correct later if you've made a mistake. While I believe that Capital Punishment is a good thing ... the standard of law should be higher than with any other sentence. Instead of "beyond a reasonable doubt", if the State is going to execute someone, the standard should be "beyond a shadow of a doubt". That means I want physical evidence (DNA, fingerprints, photos, video etc), eyewitnesses are too unreliable.

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26 comments:

Terri@SteelMagnolia said...

I am full agreement with you ...
AGAIN

Here I am ... you're little "yes" girl ... but I swear ... I agree with everything on this post.

The Lowest Rated Blog said...

Totally concur. You only die once and by the time our justice system says "ooops" it is way too late! The death penalty system needs to be overhauled.
tlrb

Paul Champagne said...

terri ... well I did always want a girl to say yes to anything. :)

but seriously, if you always agree with me ... it just shows how bright you are.

tlrb ... I want us to kill all the low-lifes, but in our haste, I don't want to start killing the innocent too.

Terry said...

Agreed!

I am a supporter of the death penalty but I have always thought that the only thing worse than a guilty person going free, is an innocent person going to prison, or in this case, being executed for a crime he didn't commit. If this guy is innocent, I am so sorry our Justice System failed him, and that also means that the real cop killer may still be out in society.

Paul Champagne said...

terry ... but luckily it is not too late ... they haven't executed him yet.

lime said...

it is astonishing that in this country we might put a man to death without a single piece of physical evidence. is this china or saudia arabia???

Paul said...

An execution here would,I think, be a gross miscarriage of justice. This should be sorted out !

Jim said...

http://imnutsincapsbushfires.blogspot.com/2005/07/nuclear-button.html

David said...

Well, hopefully they will issue a stay. I am for the death penalty. I recently read The Chamber by Grishm and instead of being upset that my students were getting executed in my dreams, in my dreams I was upset that they were doing it during class, didn't they know what a distraction that would cause?! Tee Hee.

But seriously, some minors do things that do deserve the death penalty. If they can be forgiven anyway by the Supreme Court...then why can't the time to truly look at this case first be taken?

snowelf said...

Ever since I saw the movie The Life of David Gale, I am constantly double thinking the death penalty. I know a lot of those people are NOT innocent, but I always wonder just how many are.

--snow

niki yokota said...

oh god has mercy on him!!
ive seen the website of last meal of those criminals before execution.
it was very interesting thoo..
if there is not enough evidence, they should not go for punishment.

MONA said...

Death penalty is fine with hard evidence Not otherwise.

& then, It could have been 14" Tv too. It happens all along here,at every twenty miles, So I might have missed it! :D

Paul Champagne said...

lime ... was there any physical evidence in the Scott Peterson case? Yet everyone was thrilled when he was sentenced to death.

paul ... he may have done it, but you are right ... unless we are sure, the execution would be a misscariage of justice.

jim ... thank you for that website, I'll try to go there later ... but you have no opinions?

david ... there is a saying, "better a hundred guilty men go free than one innocent man be convicted." That is bullshit ... but in the case of execution, why the rush? This guy isn't going anywhere.

snow ... I sure do not envy the governor of any State that has the death penalty ... the final decision falls on him.

niki ... at the very least this guy should get a new sentencing trial ... though a brand new trial is probably the better option.

mona ... try to google the party and color TV, it will probably come up.

Superstar said...

Here is the thing 1% of all convicted felons are innocent. That is what keeps the courts tied up w/ the appeals to be sure that the 1% that isn't really guilty of THAT crime gets punished.

NOW, that being said, death row cost the states and feds more than violant criminals because of how they are celled.

SO, IF a state is going to do capital punishment, I say follow Texas and put in an "express lane" clean out this high costing expensive jails and use them for people who really need to be thier like the pycho killers and mass murderers...
Otherwise stop using my tax $$ to feed them choice premium meat and potatoes.

SignGurl said...

I totally concur!

Great topic.

Elle*Bee said...

Very thought-provoking post. I was always very pro-capital punishment (hell, I was pro-cap for misdemeanors!), until I converted to Catholicism a few years ago. I still have a very hard time reconciling my "the @$$holes deserve to die" with my "every life is sacred" sides. Even today.

I recently watched and MSNBC special about a man who spent 18 yrs on death row for the rape and murder of an elderly woman - circumstantial evidence was overwhelming but was just that - *circumstantial*.

He was released for 3 yrs pending a new trial - witnesses recanted, etc. He was tried again and pleaded Guilty via Alford plea (I think that's what it's called) - essentially, he acknowledged that there was enough evidence to convict him, but he was not admitting guilt.

The kicker for me was that there was evidence that showed perhaps this man was NOT the one who committed the crime but his defense atty (legal aid) did not present the evidence. Years later, his new attys tried to appeal but b/c the info was available during the first trial, it was deemed inadmissable for the second trial. WTH?

I agree w/ lowest rated blog. I no sooner want to see a violent criminal go free, but there are too many "oops" to ignore.

Wally Banners said...

the title of your blog rocks!! like the fox news show beltway boys

-eve- said...

I agree. Eyewitnesses can't be trusted at all. Btw, In my country, the Islamic rape law thinks otherwise; you need at least 4 eyewitnesses (and I think they have to be male) to convict someone of raping a woman. ;-)

'Beyond a shadow of a doubt is a good one; although there are cons to it too, like many murderers getting off scot free.

Paul Champagne said...

superstar ... there is nothing wrong with the fast-track to capital punishment ... as long as the physical evidence proves he is guilty.

I actually love Sherrif Joe Arpaio's idea of jail. Sherrif Arpaio is the in charge of Maricopa County in Phoenix. He has the prisoners wearing pink jumpsuits and when there is overcrowding, living in tents. Much of the vegetables that they eat are raised by the inmates themselves and he feeds them for something like 87 cents a day. Nobody wants to go to jail in Sherrif Joes county.

signgurl ... thanks for stopping by and thanks for concurring with me ... it just shows how incredibly intelligent you are.

elle*bee ... I was brought up a Catholic and see nothing in capital punishment that bothers me. Yeah, I know that the New Testement kind of changed things as far as not suffering a witch to live and stoning et al, but I am too vindictive to want a killer to live.

wally ... thanks, and yes the title to my blog is a total rip-off of the beltway boys. I wanted a blog that like the show allowed people to express opinions without being ridiculed or demeaned and loved the way that Mort and Fred could disagree ... state their arguments ... and be civil through it all.

eve ... I take it that there are not many rape convictions in your country (and probably not many allegations of rape either). I haven't heard of many rapists that commit their crimes in front of an audience. Would a video tape of the attack even count? One of the positive things that is being done in Iraq is that the Iraqi society is being fast-fowarded about 100 years in Womens' rights.

Terri@SteelMagnolia said...

I love Joe Arpaio! I think he should run for President. He is a no bullcrap guy!
I wish we would run our jails the same way. We need some tents and pink jumpsuits, trust me!

Paul Champagne said...

terri ... Joe believes that jails are for punishment ... what a unique idea in todays world.

jillie said...

I couldn't agree with you more. I know that taking a life for a life doesn't make it right but I feel it's closure for the family. BUT...BUT you HAVE to make sure you are 100% on this. Like you said, it's not a mistake you can correct. Take for instance Jeffrey Dahmer? That little Laotian boy he killed was a patient of the clinic I worked in. Yes, I drove past JD's apt. every day. But that was before he was caught. Needless to say, I only stayed at that clinic for 6 weeks because of the neighborhood was too rough to a white girl to be driving through alone at night. Ok...now someone like JD...he should have been executed the day after his trial. Yes, we are all allowed trial by jury but his was guilty without ANY doubt.

I could go on and on, as you can see but I think you get my point.

;o)

Paul Champagne said...

jillie ... I can't believe the chills you must have felt, driving by Dahlmers apt. I would have taken a different route.

Jenny! said...

No, I am the hugest supporter of capital punishment! Fry him anyway!

The Ogre said...

Nifong really did put a big dent in the little trust and faith the public had in our judicial system. Now that THAT has been broken, and you have these yahoos acting in such a disregarding manner, just makes ya wonder.

-eve- said...

You're right, it's pretty hard to win the case in an Islamic court. And even in the civil courts, the government steps in. The biggest case in the papers now, which has been going on for awhile, is a murder charge; some political analyst hired some policeman to kill his Mongolian mistress (they blew her up with a grenade, in the end) because she blackmailed him for money. The whole thing is a farce; her relatives went to look for her imigration records, and found them deleted. And then the murderers confessed, but the judge dismissed it, saying it was extracted by force. And did I mention that they changed the prosecution AND the judge? They're setting them out to lose... after all, I can see the way they see it; she's a Mongolian. Not one of their people. The Malay government are very pro their own people, no matter what they've done. Especially a high ranking one like the guy involved. Don't expect justice from the courts, I'd say. But if you've a friend in high places, you can use the justice system to protect yourself...