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Texas And The Death Penalty


El Diablo
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Doesn't have to be Texas discussion only but we executed our first of the year and so that instance was the genesis for the discussion. Guy murdered his wife in 2005. 14 years later we put him to death. Seems to me like if we're going to do this that 14 years is stretching things out a bit too long. I understand though the need to be thorough. Thoughts?

https://www.kwtx.com/content/news/Texas-prepares-for-first-execution-of-2020-567012501.html

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2 minutes ago, Message Board User said:

14 years is actually relatively quick - right now there are multiple offenders who have been on death row since the 70s.

https://www.tdcj.texas.gov/death_row/dr_offenders_on_dr.html

Good to know. ;) Shouldn't take even 14 years if the prosecutors are doing their job right. "I"'s dotted, "t"'s crossed, clear evidence etc... everything needed to convict and carry out the sentence.

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2 minutes ago, El Diablo said:

Good to know. ;) Shouldn't take even 14 years if the prosecutors are doing their job right. "I"'s dotted, "t"'s crossed, clear evidence etc... everything needed to convict and carry out the sentence.

Perhaps but as noted above there are often “issues” with these high profile cases.

 And even when we know an individual is guilty of a heinous offense there are sometimes other “issues” as well.  The case of Andre Thomas is a perfect example.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Andre_Thomas

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2 hours ago, Brisketexan said:

1) some folks surely need killin'.

2) but...once said killin' would no longer be in direct self-defense, I have problems with the state -- and thus by proxy, me -- doing it.

3) I ABSOLUTELY have problems with the state killin' people after the fact, because it's indisputable that we sometimes get it WRONG.  

4) because we probably shouldn't be in the revenge killin' business, and definitely because once you kill someone, you can't take it back if you turned out to be wrong, we should just use life without parole.  Toss 'em in the cage, and never let them out.

Signed,

Someone who supported the death penalty for much of his life, but over time put the first three facts together and reached the conclusion at 4).

Couldn't we say the same with jailing people? 

The state jailing people which means they lose rights. Which only the state can do. Where innocent people could spend thier whole life in prison, and when found innocent some money isn't gonna give that person any real closure as they missed out on life, especially if they're older.

I don't actually have nothing against it, more of a thought experiment. 

 

 

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2 hours ago, Brisketexan said:

1) some folks surely need killin'.

2) but...once said killin' would no longer be in direct self-defense, I have problems with the state -- and thus by proxy, me -- doing it.

3) I ABSOLUTELY have problems with the state killin' people after the fact, because it's indisputable that we sometimes get it WRONG.  

4) because we probably shouldn't be in the revenge killin' business, and definitely because once you kill someone, you can't take it back if you turned out to be wrong, we should just use life without parole.  Toss 'em in the cage, and never let them out.

Signed,

Someone who supported the death penalty for much of his life, but over time put the first three facts together and reached the conclusion at 4).

I've come around too.  Use to be fer it, now I'm agin' it.

Honestly, we should be at a point in society that we are just better than this.  Also, seeing so many people wrongly convicted and put to death, especially black males, is just horrifying. 

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3 hours ago, tx 3 putt said:

zero issues with the death penalty, it's the whole process that's beyond broken. 

This. 

I have no real moral problem with the state killing people, but just the fact that innocent people have been executed makes it hard to support. 

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10 minutes ago, workswithseed said:

Couldn't we say the same with jailing people? 

The state jailing people which means they lose rights. Which only the state can do. Where innocent people could spend thier whole life in prison, and when found innocent some money isn't gonna give that person any real closure as they missed out on life, especially if they're older.

I don't actually have nothing against it, more of a thought experiment. 

 

 

That's certainly why we have the higher burden of proof (beyond reasonable doubt) for criminal cases than in civil cases (preponderance of evidence).  Because what the state is doing here is serious shit, and the burden should be high.

Ultimately, it all balances the risks versus the policy goal.  I'm suggesting -- and I think it's really strong -- that the risk of doing something that is 100% revocable, and cannot even be compensated for (once I kill ya, you're dead) -- is an unacceptable level of risk compared to the risk of wrongfully imprisoning someone, who can at least be freed when we figure it out (I'm pretty sure Michael Morton is glad he just sat in prison for those years, instead of getting the needle).

We know that no system run by men is perfect, and therefore we should build in some mechanism to counter that fallibility.  Freeing a man found to be innocent is that counter.  But we can't resurrect the dead.

4 minutes ago, El Diablo said:

I think part of the issue there is that the burden of proof is to be beyond a reasonable doubt. I'm of the opinion that some juries don't know exactly what that means or are themselves incapable of being reasonable. Jury suitability testing?

Human beings are the X-factor in all of it.  Even if you truly understand the standard, you still have to apply it, and you can't help but carry some measure of your experiences, biases, and prejudices.  Even if you don't realize you have them.  Without going too far down the race road, it's why a jury can look at a damned near identical fact pattern of a young man gone bad, hanging with the wrong crowd, and ending up committing a crime, and if the kid is white, it's a sad story of a kid who lost his way....and if the kid is black, it's the story of a born thug.  Yes, I exaggerate for effect there, but the point is, there are inherent biases and ways of looking at the world that can't help but figure in to things.

And that fallibility and inherent error rate is perhaps the main reason that I think the state shouldn't be doing something that's irrevocable (killing people).

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Racial and class biases in every step of the criminal justice process (conscious or not), the complete irrevocability, the bullshit forensic "science" upon which convictions may be based, the sheer cost, the immorality of taking a life when there is no immediate danger to another's life, all cut in favor of abolishing the death penalty.

 

 

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8 minutes ago, elfenix said:

Racial and class biases in every step of the criminal justice process (conscious or not), the complete irrevocability, the bullshit forensic "science" upon which convictions may be based, the sheer cost, the immorality of taking a life when there is no immediate danger to another's life, all cut in favor of abolishing the death penalty.

 

 

This.  

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18 hours ago, Biff Tannen said:

I've come around too.  Use to be fer it, now I'm agin' it.

Honestly, we should be at a point in society that we are just better than this.  Also, seeing so many people wrongly convicted and put to death, especially black males, is just horrifying. 

This is me too.

I will say that I do understand the impulse and the emotional conflict of victims or family victims or crimes where they’ve been robbed of loved ones by extreme sociopathy or psychopathy who want justice by death and the perceived injustice by them still living, in prison. You need some real spiritual maturity, I would think, to be okay.

Edited by Rougarou
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15 minutes ago, Dr. Beeper said:

History will look back on us, with respect to the death penalty, as a nation of pansies. In this particular case, this guy should have been summarily executed within a week of his sentence, which should have been handed down within a month of the crime absent appeal. Which didn’t happen  

It’s not about revenge killing. It’s about fucking common sense that has several benefits. 

No.

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12 minutes ago, Dr. Beeper said:

History will look back on us, with respect to the death penalty, as a nation of pansies. In this particular case, this guy should have been summarily executed within a week of his sentence, which should have been handed down within a month of the crime absent appeal. Which didn’t happen  

It’s not about revenge killing. It’s about fucking common sense that has several benefits. 

If you're such a tough, non-pansy guy, you should quit whatever oil-related job you have now and become the State's official executioner. If, however, you end up murdering an innocent man in the process, you should be summarily executed (doubly so for also dipping on a plane).

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26 minutes ago, Dr. Beeper said:

History will look back on us, with respect to the death penalty, as a nation of pansies. In this particular case, this guy should have been summarily executed within a week of his sentence, which should have been handed down within a month of the crime absent appeal. Which didn’t happen  

It’s not about revenge killing. It’s about fucking common sense that has several benefits. 

This is wrong.  There are no benefits that the death penalty provides that go beyond what life in prison provides.  There are also extreme costs and risks.  Vengeance is the only reason to use the death penalty.  

And I can tell from the rhetoric in your post that while you claim it's not about revenge killing, for you it's about revenge killing.  

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4 minutes ago, Dr. Beeper said:

I don’t have an oil related job. I own some oil properties but have a career in an entirely different industry and would never be an executioner or dipped, period. 

Too much of a pansy to kill people yourself, eh?

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4 minutes ago, Dr. Beeper said:

Nope. I’ve got another career. 

Come on.

Any tough non-pansy such as yourself could find some time to make it a nice side gig. Hell, you'd only need to do it about once a month and think of the rewarding feeling of vengeance in your loins upon each completion.

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4 minutes ago, Dr. Beeper said:

My plan would save cost hundreds of thousands of dollars more per person who may or may not actually be a murderer. As research data shows, it’d would not be a bigger deterrent thant a long prison sentence where you’ll likely ultimately get out. It takes a cancer human out of society, takes yearpromptly, with no fanfare and no is a media circus. 

It’s not about revenge killing. 

Fixed it for accuracy.  

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14 minutes ago, Dr. Beeper said:

Yeah you did not read what I wrote in my initial post. From the day this guy murders his wife, he’d be dead within 45 days. So, what you “fixed for accuracy” was wrong, with the exception of “than” versus that, which I had already fixed. 

Reading comprehension.  You need it. 

I gave you the benefit of the doubt and didn't think you'd actually be stupid enough to believe that we would ever be at a point where an execution takes place 45 days after an alleged murder.  

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19 hours ago, TwiceHorn said:

From a purely practical standpoint, it's expensive as hell, it takes too long and just what does anyone get out of it that isn't satisfied by life imprisonment?

Is it worth all that just to get some notion of vengeance?

This is really what it comes down to in the end.

It's been offered by DP proponents that the DP acts as a deterrent to murder. It doesn't, and there's precisely zero evidence to corroborate the claim. I do remember a certain poster in the HF/SB days offering "studies" that "proved" the deterrent effect, but it turned out that the "studies" were done by a handful of business professors (all of whom knew each other) and proposed preposterous math equations, which themselves were debunked by a barrage of people who knew what they were talking about. There's no deterrent effect except inside of the minds of those desperately wanting to validate it.

It's been offered by DP proponents that it's less costly than life in prison. It isn't.

It's been offered by DP proponents that it gives the families of the victims a sense of closure and satisfaction. I'd refer such people to the very simple comment that I just quoted. As @TwiceHornmentioned, it really does come down to a very primitive impulse of bloodlust. It's the only argument that comes down a purely subjective set of criteria, thus impossible to factually refute. Of course the problem is that DP proponents, by and large, will never admit to possessing a bloodlust, hence they make up stories about "deterrence effect" and "cost benefit analysis" that plainly do not support them upon critical examination.

Bottom line, if bloodlust is all one has, one hasn't enough.

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1 hour ago, Longhornfan1024 said:

This is wrong.  There are no benefits that the death penalty provides that go beyond what life in prison provides.  There are also extreme costs and risks.  Vengeance is the only reason to use the death penalty.  

And I can tell from the rhetoric in your post that while you claim it's not about revenge killing, for you it's about revenge killing.  

Oh there's no doubt. I liked the invocation of "common sense" as if common sense in any way remotely supported his position.

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8 minutes ago, Dr. Beeper said:

Guy kills his wife. Everyone knows he did it. Found guilty. No appeal. Yeah, what I propose is common sense. 

You don't even know what common sense is. You're thumping your chest, not proposing common sense.

"Everyone knows he did it"

How? And how often do you really think murder cases are that black-and-white, open-and-shut easy?

Edited by hpslugga
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32 minutes ago, hpslugga said:

This is really what it comes down to in the end.

It's been offered by DP proponents that the DP acts as a deterrent to murder. It doesn't, and there's precisely zero evidence to corroborate the claim. I do remember a certain poster in the HF/SB days offering "studies" that "proved" the deterrent effect, but it turned out that the "studies" were done by a handful of business professors (all of whom knew each other) and proposed preposterous math equations, which themselves were debunked by a barrage of people who knew what they were talking about. There's no deterrent effect except inside of the minds of those desperately wanting to validate it.

It's been offered by DP proponents that it's less costly than life in prison. It isn't.

It's been offered by DP proponents that it gives the families of the victims a sense of closure and satisfaction. I'd refer such people to the very simple comment that I just quoted. As @TwiceHornmentioned, it really does come down to a very primitive impulse of bloodlust. It's the only argument that comes down a purely subjective set of criteria, thus impossible to factually refute. Of course the problem is that DP proponents, by and large, will never admit to possessing a bloodlust, hence they make up stories about "deterrence effect" and "cost benefit analysis" that plainly do not support them upon critical examination.

Bottom line, if bloodlust is all one has, one hasn't enough.

Having studied it or looked at it for a while, bloodlust basically underlies our whole criminal justice system.  At least the sentencing end of it.

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1 minute ago, Dr. Beeper said:

I’m not thumping my chest. I think more murder cases are NOT clear-cut than are. I’d limit what I propose to those that are clear-cut. 

Yes, you are thumping your chest because you know full well that's not how the law works. More specifically, you know full well why that's not how the law works. This is all an exercise of Make Believe and Pretend.

Edited by hpslugga
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2 minutes ago, Dr. Beeper said:

I’m not thumping my chest. I think more murder cases are NOT clear-cut than are. I’d limit what I propose to those that are clear-cut. 

There’s no benefit to your proposal at all from a societal standpoint. What do we gain from putting people to death other than vengeance? Society gains nothing that can’t be achieved through life in prison.

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21 hours ago, Biff Tannen said:

I've come around too.  Use to be fer it, now I'm agin' it.

I feel the exact same way.

Capital punishment serves as no deterrent, so really, what's the point.

For any punishment to be a deterrent, it must be administered swiftly, and with certainty.....this stupid death penalty certainly IS NOT administered swiftly, and with certainty. 

Life in prison is good enough.....and at least still gives the wrongly convicted a chance....... 

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30 minutes ago, Dr. Beeper said:

I’m not that stupid. I’m simply saying what should happen in cases such as this. 

You're saying that's what should happen in cases that don't exist.  You're also failing to explain why that should happen.  "It's common sense" is a bullshit, non-substantive, explanation.  "It has a greater deterrent effect" is a bullshit, disproved explanation.  "It's cheaper than life in prison" is a bullshit, disproved explanation if we're discussing real life and is a bullshit, unproven explanation if we're discussing your fantasy world where murder convictions are found within 45 days of the alleged murder and a defendant facing the death penalty chooses not to appeal.   

Edited by Longhornfan1024
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28 minutes ago, former alkie said:

I feel the exact same way.

Capital punishment serves as no deterrent, so really, what's the point.

For any punishment to be a deterrent, it must be administered swiftly, and with certainty.....this stupid death penalty certainly IS NOT administered swiftly, and with certainty. 

Life in prison is good enough.....and at least still gives the wrongly convicted a chance....... 

Most punishments, even swift and certain ones, are not deterrents.

Deterrence assumes that criminals act rationally, with full consideration of the consequences, when that is not the case in the vast majority of crimes.

What is a deterrent is when something goes from being legal to illegal.  Even irrational actors consider that most of the time.

Certainty of apprehension is a deterrent.

Increasing punishment is one of the least deterrent factors.  A criminal decides to do something illegal, he's not considering whether it's a 1-10 or 2-20.  Possibly very hardened criminals consider that a bit, but it still isn't a deterrent.

Edited by TwiceHorn
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37 minutes ago, TwiceHorn said:

Certainty of apprehension is a deterrent.

And it's in this context that the DP will never be a deterrent, nor could it. Murder cases are a bitch to solve. That's not to say that it's easy to get away with murder, but it does suggest that a fair number of people can think that it is, and that's all that matters: if the perpetrator can convince himself/herself that they can get away with what they intend to do, they're going to do it. A death penalty cannot stop that.

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1 hour ago, hobbes2702 said:

There’s no benefit to your proposal at all from a societal standpoint. What do we gain from putting people to death other than vengeance? Society gains nothing that can’t be achieved through life in prison.

I don't know, man. This guy we/the state killed the other day gained 14 years of tormenting his victim's family.

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4 minutes ago, El Diablo said:

I don't know, man. This guy we/the state killed the other day gained 14 years of tormenting his victim's family.

And he gained 14 years of torment in jail. Just lock him up. Treat him humanely. Let him rot or find his god and have a chance at salvation.

If the guy turns out to eventually be found innocent, he has a chance at...something at least.

Those who deride "big government" but who also support the ultimate government solution creates a gigantic chasm in my understanding of a consistent comprehensive belief system. 

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7 minutes ago, hpslugga said:

Again, you're appealing to a lust for blood. That's not good enough.

Closure isn't about blood retribution. Give 'em a sentence that will stick and be done with it. Death, life, whatever.

18 minutes ago, Longhornfan1024 said:

You'll have to fill me in.  How?  By being alive?

Family members of the deceased follow the legal proceedings long after the original conviction and sentencing. They will follow them until their grave. Every time there's a parole or release hearing they'll be there. Every time there's an appeal they'll be wanting to know the outcome.

I'm not making a judgment on the death penalty here, more a comment on the processes we allow to be abused within our legal system.

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