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Backtothemac
Sep 2, 2003, 07:29 PM
Well, as many of you know, I have a personal interest in this matter.

http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,96245,00.html

As best as I can tell, my brothers sentence was overturned by the 9th Court of Appeals today.

So, he would be remanded to life in prison, instead of death. Now, the state of Arizona is going to appeal this, but I think that this rulling will hold up in the US supreme court.

Frohickey
Sep 2, 2003, 07:47 PM
Sounds pretty good to me.

The more power is given back to the people (juries) and taken from the government (judges), the better.

If you don't mind me asking, why is your brother on death row? Don't answer if you don't want to.

Backtothemac
Sep 2, 2003, 07:49 PM
Originally posted by Frohickey
Sounds pretty good to me.

The more power is given back to the people (juries) and taken from the government (judges), the better.

If you don't mind me asking, why is your brother on death row? Don't answer if you don't want to.

Na, I don't mind.

Here is a link.

http://www.adc.state.az.us/DeathRow/DRowTZ.htm#TOWERY

zimv20
Sep 2, 2003, 07:59 PM
it's a good move. i'm glad it happened.

Backtothemac
Sep 2, 2003, 08:04 PM
Originally posted by zimv20
it's a good move. i'm glad it happened.

Thanks man. I am happy for him.

tazo
Sep 2, 2003, 08:05 PM
So your brother was convicted of murder? I am sort of confused.

Also are you happy with the ruling? May seem like a dumb question...

Sayhey
Sep 2, 2003, 08:07 PM
Hope all goes well. Good luck, B2TM

shecky
Sep 2, 2003, 08:11 PM
i'm sorry but i sorely lack the same enthusiasm as the rest of you on this ruling. i agree that the jury not the judge should wield the power, and in that respect I do agree with the ruling. but why dont you all read some of the crimes that these "people" commited, and explain to me why i should be happy they they are allowed to live.

and no offense to you personally B2TM, i can only imagine the range of emotions this must have been for you.

Backtothemac
Sep 2, 2003, 08:14 PM
Originally posted by shecky
i'm sorry but i sorely lack the same enthusiasm as the rest of you on this ruling. i agree that the jury not the judge should wield the power, and in that respect I do agree with the ruling. but why dont you all read some of the crimes that these "people" commited, and explain to me why i should be happy they they are allowed to live.

Well, you should be happy because of rule of law. To take someones life, that is serious. A judge is an elected official, and therefore bias to their party. Thus, not consitutional.

The Constitution won today, not the inmates. Now, if they are retried, and sentenced to death by a jury, then so be it. They get what they deserve.


I am happy that the Constituion won today. I think my brother deserves death for what he did, if he did it. He says he did not, and there is no DNA. So, in his case, no death. Now, if there was DNA, or enough proof, then yes, he should get it for what he did.

shecky
Sep 2, 2003, 08:15 PM
fair enough answer, and I do agree with you.

Ugg
Sep 2, 2003, 10:20 PM
Originally posted by shecky
i'm sorry but i sorely lack the same enthusiasm as the rest of you on this ruling. i agree that the jury not the judge should wield the power, and in that respect I do agree with the ruling. but why dont you all read some of the crimes that these "people" commited, and explain to me why i should be happy they they are allowed to live.


The only way for "justice" to operate equally and fairly is if the rules are applied across the board with no exceptions. Their crimes were horrendous, few judges, I hope, would consider killing them if their cases weren't extreme. They also will be behind bars for the rest of their lives with no hope of parole. Your happiness is obviously contingent on seeing these people killed, to me that is sad but obviously our views on the "legal" murdering of our fellow citizens vary widely.

I think this ruling, the pardoning of those on death row in Illinois along with the so called "expert" DNA lab in Texas are signs that the get tough campaign has gone too far and that the pendulum is swinging back. It's about time.

shecky
Sep 2, 2003, 10:35 PM
actually, my happiness would be contingent on these psychopaths never having done the crimes to start with, so unless you can somehow channel me then you have no idea what you are talking about when it comes to what you know I think.

What i DO think, however, is that i do support the death penalty, and i think it is used far, far to infrequently. It is the ultimate punishment for the ultimate crime. What i really think we should do is terminate the life of some of these animals the same way they did it to thier victuims, but apparently that is "cruel and unusual." So instead, we should spend time and money providing them with a warm bed, 3 meals a day, "rehabilitation" materials, TV, ping-pong and such so they can instead lounge around a cell instead of paying the price for what they did. I say they gave up thier human rights the second they made someone else give up thier human rights by killing them.

Again, what i REALLY wish was that these crimes never happened, but having said that i do not buy for a second "they are in jail for life and thats good enough" crap. Because ya know what, its not good enough. Is prision time hard time? absoloutly. is it as hard as having battery acid injected into your veins and then being strangeled to death? no, it isnt.

now i would like to AGAIN reiterate that I tottally agree with B2TM insofar as the overturning of these judgements - he is absoloutly correct, it is a win for the constitution.

zimv20
Sep 2, 2003, 10:47 PM
Originally posted by shecky
actually, my happiness would be contingent on these psychopaths never having done the crimes to start with


1. 'psychopath' is a medical term that may or may not apply to the individuals that the decision affects. you may as well refer to them as 'cancer patients'

2. it is true that the courts have found these individuals guilty. however, it has been shown time and again that there are significant errors in the judicial system and it would be a statistical error to assume that 100% of them are, in fact, guilty.

Thanatoast
Sep 2, 2003, 11:13 PM
The death penalty should be done away with entirely.

I have two major reasons for this view.

First, and most obviously, two wrongs do not make a right. Punishing a criminal for their misdeeds is fine, but killing a criminal for their misdeeds is not. I would argue that the death penalty isn't even punishment, it's revenge. When you punish someone, one of the major reasons is to teach them something. Dead people learn little.

Second, except for extreme circumstances, you can never be absolutely certain you've got the right person. In a perfect world the bad guy would always be caught. Real life is not like the movies in this respect. Sometimes bad guys get away, and sometimes good guys get put behind bars. Or killed. I'd rather not kill an innocent person if I can avoid it.

toast

Backtothemac
Sep 3, 2003, 12:24 AM
Well, I have a question. How many of us here have someone in their family on death row? How about how many have been in prison?

Now, let me clarify a few things. The notion that the members of Death Row have an easy cushy little life is absurd. Let me tell you about their life.

They wake every day at 5 am. They eat, in their 8x8 cell. They dress, and at 5:45 am, they begin to work. They are on a chain gang, in the middle of the Arizona desert. They can have 1 gallon of water per day while at work. They eat at 12 noon, in the work field. They are paid 10Cents an hour for their work. They then go back to the "house" at 4Pm. There they eat again. Now the food. Is barely what we would call a meal. I know. I have eaten it when visiting my brother. It is worse than an MRE. They go back to their 8x8 cell. If it is a Monday, Wednesday, or Friday, and your last name starts with an A-L, then you get one of your 3 showers per week. Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday, M-Z gets theirs. No showers on Sunday at all. Total lockdown on Sundays, and church is over a loudspeaker. You have to buy your toothpaste, toilet paper, writing paper, etc. Pens, pencils, etc. You have NO TV, NO radio, and no music devices of any kind in your cell. Artwork is not allowed. So, there is no creativity allowed. You get 1, yes 1 phone call per month. It has to be a collect call to a registered number with the wardden. When you are not on the chain gang, you get 1 hour of "excersise" which is basically being walked around a courtyard. The rest of the day you are in a cell.

Would you prefer that for 50 years, or death?

Not to mention the fact that you have to worry about people trying to kill you and be the biggest baddest person there.

They do not deserve an easy life, and they do not get one.

I personally think that there should have to be DNA evidence, or more than 2 credible witnessess to a crime to allow the death penalty, but it should exist.

Sorry, if it sounded like preaching, but prison is not what they make it out to be on TV.

zimv20
Sep 3, 2003, 12:30 AM
Originally posted by Backtothemac
Let me tell you about their life.


yeah, that's rough. i sure wouldn't want that.

the day i start worrying that the prison population has it too easy is the day i need to find something constructive to do.

Backtothemac
Sep 3, 2003, 12:48 AM
Originally posted by zimv20
yeah, that's rough. i sure wouldn't want that.

the day i start worrying that the prison population has it too easy is the day i need to find something constructive to do.

Well said, well spoken my brother ;)

mactastic
Sep 3, 2003, 07:25 AM
Originally posted by Thanatoast
The death penalty should be done away with entirely.

I have two major reasons for this view.

First, and most obviously, two wrongs do not make a right. Punishing a criminal for their misdeeds is fine, but killing a criminal for their misdeeds is not. I would argue that the death penalty isn't even punishment, it's revenge. When you punish someone, one of the major reasons is to teach them something. Dead people learn little.

Second, except for extreme circumstances, you can never be absolutely certain you've got the right person. In a perfect world the bad guy would always be caught. Real life is not like the movies in this respect. Sometimes bad guys get away, and sometimes good guys get put behind bars. Or killed. I'd rather not kill an innocent person if I can avoid it.

toast

And don't forget that it actually costs us more to execute someone than to keep them in jail for 50 years or so. I know death penalty advocates will say "Well kill 'em faster!" but the fact is that this is the most streamlined the constitution lets us be and it costs more.

God, I'd hate to be in one of Sherrif Joe Arpaio's jails out there in Az. That guy is a sadistic SOB.

bobindashadows
Sep 3, 2003, 11:09 AM
Originally posted by zimv20
yeah, that's rough. i sure wouldn't want that.

the day i start worrying that the prison population has it too easy is the day i need to find something constructive to do.
Well, maximum security prisons I'm sure have very serious, tough situations. However, I understand that some lower security prisons are actually being run by corporations and have the prisoners do telemarketing and stuff. Anyone know if that's true, or was my anti-american sociology professor talking out her ***?

Backtothemac
Sep 3, 2003, 11:59 AM
Originally posted by bobindashadows
Well, maximum security prisons I'm sure have very serious, tough situations. However, I understand that some lower security prisons are actually being run by corporations and have the prisoners do telemarketing and stuff. Anyone know if that's true, or was my anti-american sociology professor talking out her ***?

She was talking out of her ass ;)

mcrain
Sep 3, 2003, 12:22 PM
Originally posted by bobindashadows
I understand that some lower security prisons are actually being run by corporations and have the prisoners do telemarketing and stuff. Anyone know if that's true, or was my anti-american sociology professor talking out her ***?

She wasn't talking out of her ***. In fact, I was one of several attorneys on a team working on a proposal for a privately funded and run prison in Southern Illinois. There are several large players in that game, and they run a bunch of prisons all over the place. There are also a lot more consultants on that issue than you would think, so it is clearly something that happens or is considered fairly regularly.

(edit) look at the number of private beds at the top of this page... http://www.ucc.uconn.edu/~logan/

(edit 2) That page is over a year old, nearly a year and a half. I'd guess that the numbers have increased.

Ugg
Sep 3, 2003, 02:16 PM
Originally posted by bobindashadows
Well, maximum security prisons I'm sure have very serious, tough situations. However, I understand that some lower security prisons are actually being run by corporations and have the prisoners do telemarketing and stuff. Anyone know if that's true, or was my anti-american sociology professor talking out her ***?

I don't know about the telemarketing part but the privatization of prisons has been going on for quite some time. At least since the late 80s. They like to locate them in rural areas where there's cheap non-union labor. Their track record from what I've heard is mixed. Sorry, no links but I'll see what I can find.

pseudobrit
Sep 3, 2003, 05:08 PM
I am glad your brother won't be killed.
I am glad the others won't be killed.

I'm sorry this ruling was too late for some.

RobVanDam
Sep 3, 2003, 05:13 PM
BTTM: For the record, Arizona has argueably the roughest prison system in the nation. For good reason though. Criminals did crimes, so they're punished. In other states though, (I think Rhode Island is one of them), guys that are in maximum security because they killed a bunch of people can have televisions in their cells if they make enough money in prison by selling antiques and such.

Backtothemac
Sep 3, 2003, 05:37 PM
Originally posted by RobVanDam
BTTM: For the record, Arizona has argueably the roughest prison system in the nation. For good reason though. Criminals did crimes, so they're punished. In other states though, (I think Rhode Island is one of them), guys that are in maximum security because they killed a bunch of people can have televisions in their cells if they make enough money in prison by selling antiques and such.

Well, if that is the case that is wrong. I think they should be treated as criminals. Locked away from society. However, I think that a human should get a shower a day you know.

Thanks for the comments psuedo

zimv20
Sep 3, 2003, 05:55 PM
Originally posted by RobVanDam
guys that are in maximum security [...] can have televisions in their cells if they make enough money in prison by selling antiques and such.

????

RobVanDam
Sep 3, 2003, 06:07 PM
I forget the exact prison (saw it on the History Channel), but there is one where criminals make antiques with tools they purchase after reparation to the families, etc.

They save up enough money from sales of their antiques, they can buy a TV from the commisary.

Across the country prisoners complain about their treatment, how they aren't given enough time outside, how they aren't given enough treatment, how they don't have enough channels on cable TV.

More states should look at the way Arizona treats its criminals. Because that's what they are, criminals. They shouldn't be given time outside, they don't have to be given treatment, they don't have to get TV at all (if they do at all, it should be 24/7 Lifetime). That's the point of prison, you go to prison, you see how bad it is, and you don't want to go there again. If you're in there for life, you're suffering for what you did.

Sadly, it isn't like that in most of the country. Now-a-days prison guards need to watch how physical they are with inmates because they could be sued.

Backtothemac
Sep 3, 2003, 06:11 PM
Originally posted by RobVanDam
I forget the exact prison (saw it on the History Channel), but there is one where criminals make antiques with tools they purchase after reparation to the families, etc.

They save up enough money from sales of their antiques, they can buy a TV from the commisary.

Across the country prisoners complain about their treatment, how they aren't given enough time outside, how they aren't given enough treatment, how they don't have enough channels on cable TV.

More states should look at the way Arizona treats its criminals. Because that's what they are, criminals. They shouldn't be given time outside, they don't have to be given treatment, they don't have to get TV at all (if they do at all, it should be 24/7 Lifetime). That's the point of prison, you go to prison, you see how bad it is, and you don't want to go there again. If you're in there for life, you're suffering for what you did.

Sadly, it isn't like that in most of the country. Now-a-days prison guards need to watch how physical they are with inmates because they could be sued.

Well, I believe that criminals need to be treated as criminals, and some as animals. However, remember, cruel and unusual punishment. You cannot not let people outside to see the light of day. They will go crazy.

mactastic
Sep 3, 2003, 06:15 PM
When I lived in Az. the sherrif got the brilliant idea of keeping low-risk offenders in tents out in the desert as a way of alleviating overcrowding and to "teach a lesson" to those kept out there. Now mind you it gets to be over 120 degrees out there.

I'm all for punishment, but he's are trying to rehabilitate these guys, not make them even worse. Arizona is one of the last places I'd want to go to jail in.

RobVanDam
Sep 3, 2003, 06:19 PM
They won't necessarily go crazy. Sure, their biological clock will go to hell, but it doesn't guarentee they'll go crazy.

I'm talking about prisons that let prisoners go outside to nice big weight rooms, and such and let them stay out there for a few hours a day. Let convicted gang members hang out in prison yards with other convicted gang members. I mean, talk about stupid.

I saw one prison on the History channel (I think in Colorado) where it was a 100% maximum security lock down no way out type of jail. The only time they were allowed out was to shower (every other day) and for "activity" (once a week for one hour) which consisted of playing with a basketball by themselves (under watch) lifting weights (under watch) run around in a big room (under...you get the point). Basically they had nothing to do. I can't remember if they were allowed books though. I think they were, but even then it was limited to a small number of books per month or total or something like that.

bobindashadows
Sep 3, 2003, 07:01 PM
Originally posted by mactastic
When I lived in Az. the sherrif got the brilliant idea of keeping low-risk offenders in tents out in the desert as a way of alleviating overcrowding and to "teach a lesson" to those kept out there. Now mind you it gets to be over 120 degrees out there.

I'm all for punishment, but he's are trying to rehabilitate these guys, not make them even worse. Arizona is one of the last places I'd want to go to jail in.
Actually, I want to punish them first. Rehabilitation should be second priority, in my humble opinion. Though I'm not entirely sure what "he's are trying to rehabilitate"... means.

There are people who will never rehabilitate. They refuse to see the boundaries our system gives them and flaunt them at every turn. They are in jail to be punished, and to keep them out of society.

zimv20
Sep 3, 2003, 07:04 PM
the amount of hostility in this thread towards the generic "criminal" is astounding.

robvandam in particular -- is there something that happened to you or your family? or are you just venting at easy targets?

and is anyone making a distinction between violent criminals and everyone else?

Pinto
Sep 3, 2003, 07:05 PM
Quote from LOTR - FOTR

Gandalf talking to Frodo about Bilbo and Gollum:

"Many that live deserve death. Some that die deserve life. Can you give it to them, Frodo? Do not be too eager to deal out death in judgment"


I'm in full agreement regarding judges not being able to sentence the death penalty.

They have to go by the letter of the law, while juries can sentence in the spirit of the law.

An important difference.

Also, I saw on a doco about the death penalty in the US, that in the last 100 years in Texas not one single white man has been executed for killing a black man. Is this true?

RobVanDam
Sep 3, 2003, 07:09 PM
Also, I saw on a doco about the death penalty in the US, that in the last 100 years in Texas not one single white man has been executed for killing a black man. Is this true?Don't know, would take too long to verify.

I don't believe that however, and I believe there are a few guys on death row now who dragged that black man behind their pick-up truck while he was still alive.

Also, why is skin color even a factor?

amin
Sep 3, 2003, 07:22 PM
Those are some really disturbing stories on the page linked to earlier in this thread. I was especially shocked by the stories that involved killing everyone in the house (kids, etc).

zimv20
Sep 3, 2003, 08:07 PM
Originally posted by RobVanDam
why is skin color even a factor?

http://www.aclu.org/DeathPenalty/DeathPenalty.cfm?ID=13028&c=17


Adding to the disparity of geography is race. Skin color all too often makes the difference between life and death.

Numerous studies have found that people who kill white victims are more likely to be sentenced to death than those who kill black victims. The race of the prosecutor and the racial composition of juries are also decisive factors. Only one percent of the district attorneys in death penalty states are African-American, only one percent Hispanic. The remaining 97.5 percent are white. Almost all are male. Prosecutors in certain areas systematically remove African-Americans from juries because they believe these jurors are less likely than their white counterparts to impose the death sentence.


that's from the executive summary. there's pages more if you care to read the details. e.g.


Study after study has shown that people who kill whites are more likely to get a death sentence than people who kill blacks. In some places, blacks who kill whites are the most likely to end up on death row. This discrepancy is revealed even more when one considers that 86 percent of white victims were killed by whites and 94 percent of black victims were killed by blacks.47

The same University of Maryland study found the probability that a state’s attorney will seek the death penalty is 1.6 times higher when the victim is white than for a black homicide victim, even after considering case characteristics and jurisdiction issues. Blacks who kill whites are 2.5 times more likely to be sentenced to death than whites who kill whites, and 3.5 times more likely than blacks who kill
blacks.” 48

RobVanDam
Sep 3, 2003, 08:55 PM
But there's no way of logically explaining it except saying the entire system is corrupt and racist.

zimv20
Sep 3, 2003, 09:00 PM
Originally posted by RobVanDam
But there's no way of logically explaining it except saying the entire system is corrupt and racist.

exactly. which is why illinois ex-governer ryan, previously pro-capital punishment, delcared a moritorium on the state's death penalty.

RobVanDam
Sep 3, 2003, 09:02 PM
However, it might be able to be explained via class structures, amount of evidence in the cases, viciousness of the murders, etc. etc.

Ugg
Sep 3, 2003, 09:11 PM
Originally posted by RobVanDam
However, it might be able to be explained via class structures, amount of evidence in the cases, viciousness of the murders, etc. etc.


Very, very doubtful given the history of this country. A slight difference could perhaps be attributed to what you just wrote. This is not a slight difference.

I read somewhere that 1/3 of all black males will be in front of a judge at some point in their lives. I've read too many stories of upstanding citizens being pulled over because they were driving a nice car and had dark skin. Racism is alive and well in the US of A.

zimv20
Sep 3, 2003, 09:11 PM
Originally posted by RobVanDam
However, it might be able to be explained via class structures, amount of evidence in the cases, viciousness of the murders, etc. etc.

if you've seen evidence indicating that, i'd be happy to read it.

in the meantime, let occam be your guide -- it's racism.


Occam's Razor one should not increase, beyond what is necessary, the number of entities required to explain anything

mactastic
Sep 3, 2003, 11:20 PM
Originally posted by bobindashadows
Actually, I want to punish them first. Rehabilitation should be second priority, in my humble opinion. Though I'm not entirely sure what "he's are trying to rehabilitate"... means.

There are people who will never rehabilitate. They refuse to see the boundaries our system gives them and flaunt them at every turn. They are in jail to be punished, and to keep them out of society.

Note I did not say high-risk offenders. We are talking mostly druggies and non-violent types. The kind that will be out in under 5 years. These are the one we are most trying to keep from re-entering the system and costing us money to incarcerate as opposed to collecting taxes from.

Pinto
Sep 4, 2003, 05:59 AM
Originally posted by RobVanDam
However, it might be able to be explained via class structures, amount of evidence in the cases, viciousness of the murders, etc. etc.

Having no money and being represented by a court-appointed lawyer, doesn't help.

I'm told the quality and capital trial experience of some of those guys, leaves a bit to be desired.

Sayhey
Sep 4, 2003, 07:07 AM
Originally posted by zimv20
if you've seen evidence indicating that, i'd be happy to read it.

in the meantime, let occam be your guide -- it's racism.

Occam's Razor one should not increase, beyond what is necessary, the number of entities required to explain anything

Or, as in my favorite interpretation of this famous rule : "if you hear hoofbeats think horses, not zebras" - I would guess that is a good explanation of the rule, unless you're on the Serengeti Plains.

However, it might be able to be explained via class structures, amount of evidence in the cases, viciousness of the murders, etc. etc.

I'm not sure how one can assume that there are more black people on death row because the police just happened to have more evidence in all of those cases? The idea that the crimes committed by Black death row inmates are more vicious than the ones committed by white murderers is an assumption that makes me very uncomfortable. One would have to have a lot of evidence to even suggest such a possibility.

On the other hand your explaination of the role of class does raise some good questions. It makes sense that if an ethnic group is disproportionally poor that that group would be under represented by quality lawyers. It certainly is logical to assume that class plays a role as well as race. I'm also not sure how that bolsters the argument that the death penalty is fairly implemented. If you're more likely to be sentenced to death because of class as well as race it is just another good argument against the use of the death penalty.