The Raving Theist

Dedicated to Jesus Christ, Now and Forever

Last Words

August 17, 2006 | 77 Comments

[UPDATE: Dead at 6:19.

Feelin’ better?]

Richard Hinojosa will die by lethal injection in Texas in a few hours, if he is not dead by the time you read this. He was convicted of the 1994 rape and murder of 19 year old Terry Wright. He maintains his innocence and these people believe him. I guess he probably did it, but I was once convinced of the Ramsey’s guilt as well. In any event, I don’t think he, or anyone, should be executed.

Watch this Court TV interview if you want to get a better sense of him as a person. You can send a useless e-mail if you want to try to stop the killing.

Texas has a fancy death row site which includes details on executed offenders and scheduled executions. Below I’ve collected the names, faces, last words and crime details for the 17 men executed in the state this year to date. As you review them, ask yourself a few questions: Do you think their words are sincere? Were any capable of rehabilitation? Is there good in any one of them? Would you have spared any one of them?

WILLIAM E. WYATT, JR. (executed 8/3/06)

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Last Words

Yes I do. I would like to say to my two brother-in-laws and the rest of my family that I would like to thank you for supporting me through all of this. I went home to be with my Father and I went home as a trooper. I would like to say to Damien’s family I did not murder your son. I did not do it. I just want you to know that — I did not murder Damien and would ask for all of your forgiveness and I will see all of you soon. I love you guys. I love you guys. That’s it.

Offense

Wyatt sexually assaulted and smothered to death a black male child under the age of six. At the time of the offense, Wyatt worked as an officer at the Bowie County Corrections Center in Texarkana.

ROBERT ANDERSON (7/20/06)

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Last Words

Yes, I would like to make a short brief one please. To Audrey’s grandmother, I am sorry for the pain I have caused you for the last 15 years and your family. I have regretted this for a long time. I am sorry. I only ask that you remember the Lord because He remembers us and He forgives us if we ask Him. I am sorry. And to my family, and my loved ones – I am sorry for the pain for all those years and for putting you through all the things we had to go through. I ask the Lord to bless you all. Tammy, Irene, Betty, Dan Judy – I love you all. And Jack, thank you. Warden…

Offense

Convicted in kidnaping and murder of 5 year-old Audra Reeves of Amarillo. In a written confession, Anderson told plice that he kidnapped Reeves from in front of his home at 3310 W. 2nd Street as she returned from plahing with other children at San Jacinto Park. He took her inside where he attempted to rape her. Unsuccessful in his sexual assault, Anderson beat, stabbed, and drowned the young girl. He placed her body in an styrofoam ice chest and carried it in a grocery cart to a garbage dumpster behind a residence at 410 S Tennessee St. The ice chest containing the girl’s nude body was found in the dumpster by a homeowner throwing out his trash. Anderson said he kidnapped and killed the girl after arguing with his wife about infidelity.

MAURICEO BROWN (7/19/06)

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Last Words

Yes, I do. To the victim’s family, I am sorry you lost a brother, loved one, and friend. To my family, I love you all. Keep your heads ups and know I will be in a better place. And you all look after Aleda and make sure she is a part of this family. I appreciate you all and love you. I apologize that you lost a loved one this way. God bless you all. O.K. Warden.

Offense

Convicted in the August 15, 1996 attempted robbery and murder of 25 year-old Michael T. Lahood, Jr. in San Antonio, Texas. Lahood was standing near his vehicle on a San Antonio street (107 Palo Duro) when he was approached by Brown and three accomplices Brown pulled a pistol and demanded Lahood’s money and car keys. When Lahood refused to comply, Brown shot him once in the face. Brown was a known member of the Crips street gang at the time of the killing.

DERRICK O’BRIEN (7/11/06)

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Last Words

I do. I am sorry. I have always been sorry. It is the worst mistake that I ever made in my whole life. Not because I am here, but because of what I did and I hurt a lot of people – you, and my family. I am sorry; I have always been sorry. I am sorry. You look after each other. I love you all. Be there for one another. Alright. But I am sorry; very sorry. I love you too. Alright.

Offense

Convicted in the kidnapping, sexual assault and strangling of Elizabeth Pena, 16, and Jennifer Ertman, 15. The two teens had taken a shortcut home through T.C. Jester Park when they were attacked by O’Brien and five other members of the Black & White gang. Raped repeatedly by the gang members, each was then beaten and strangled and their bodies left in the woods. O’Brien confessed to strangling Ertman with a belt after she was sexually assaulted.

ANGEL RESENDIZ (6/27/06)

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Last Words

Yes sir. I want to ask if it is in your heart to forgive me. You don’t have to. I know I allowed the devil to rule my life. I just ask you to forgive me and ask the Lord to forgive me for allowing the devil to deceive me. I thank God for having patience with me. I don’t deserve to cause you pain. You did not deserve this. I deserve what I am getting.

Offense

On 12/17/1998 during the night in Houston, Resendiz killed an adult Hispanic female by beating her to death with a statuette from the victim’s home. Resendiz had broken into the victim’s house by going through an open door. Resendiz took the victim’s cash and fled the scene in the victim’s jeep. Resendiz is believed to have committed a series of murders throughout Texas and other states.

LAMONT REESE (6/20/06)

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Last Words

Yeah. Momma, I just want you to know I love you. I want all of you to know I love you all. I am at peace; we know what it is. We know the truth. Stay out of crime; there is no point in it. I am at peace. We know the truth and I know it. I have some peace. I am glad it didn’t take that long – no 10 or 20 years. I am at peace. And I want everyone to know I did not walk to this because this is straight up murder. I just want everybody to know I didn’t walk to this. The reason is because it’s murder. I am not going to play a part in my own murder. No one should have to do that. I love you all. I do not know all of your names. And I don’t know how you feel about me. And whether you believe it or not, I did not kill them. I just want you all to have peace; you know what I’m saying. There is no point in that. It is neither here nor there. You have to move past it. It is time to move on. You know what I’m saying. I want each one of my loved ones to move on. I am glad it didn’t last long. I am glad it didn’t last long. I am at peace. I am at peace to the fullest. The people that did this – they know. I am not here to point fingers. God will let them know. If this is what it takes, just do what you got to do to get past it. What it takes. I am ready, Warden. Love you all. Let my son know I love him.

Offense

On 3/1/1999 in Fort Worth, Reese shot and killed a 17 year old black male, a 25 year old black male, and and 26 year old black male with a handgun. Also injured were a 13 year old black male and a 24 year old black male.

TIMOTHY TITWORTH (6/6/06)

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Last Words

Yes, your honor. I know you people are here to find closure for the things that you have done or that I have done. There are no words to describe the pain and suffering that you have gone through all these years, that is something that I cannot take back from you all. I hope that Megan, if she is here present today, know that today I hope you get peace and joy. I am sorry that it has taken 14 years to get closure. If it would have brought closure or brought her back, I would have done this years ago, I promise, I promise.

My family all knows the sincerity in my heart when I say these words to you. I didn’t mean to inflict the pain and suffering on your family. I pray that she is safe in Heaven. I pray that you find closure and strength. My family prays for you and everybody, if these words can ever touch your heart, I am sorry, I am truly sorry. Ya’ll take care. I love ya’ll. Pastor tell Megan I am sorry.

Offense

Convicted in the robbery and murder of 26-year-old Christine Marie Sossaman, his live-in girlfriend. Sossaman was attacked with an axe inside the trailer the two shared at 6601 W. Arden in Amarillo. Titsworth told police he left the trailer to buy crack cocaine after the two argued the night of the killing. Titsworth said he was high on cocaine when he returned to the trailer, took an axe from a closet, and struck Sossaman as she slept. Titsworth stole the victim’s credit cards and car. He returned to the trailer on different occasions following the killing to steal additional property and sell it for crack cocaine.

JESUS AGUILAR (5/25/06)

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Last Words

Yes sir. I would like to say to my family, I am alright. (Spanish) Where are you Leo; are you there Leo? (Spanish) Don’t lie man. Be happy. Are you happy? Are you all happy? (Spanish)

Offense

Convicted in the June 1995 chooting deaths of Leonardo Chavez and his wife Annette Esparza Chavez at a trailer home in the Palm Vista Estates of Harlingen. Both victims were shot execution style with a .22 caliber weapon. Police said Leonardo was pistol whipped prior to being shot in the back of the head. Annette was shot through the neck. During the shooting, the couple’s 22-month old son slept on a bed while their 9-year-old son hid beneath a kitchen table. Neither was harmed. Police said the shooting was drug-related, with reports of Annette making frequent trips to Mississippi and returning with large amounts of cash.

JERMAINE HERRON (5/17/06)

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Last Words

Yes sir. To Mr. Jerry Nutt, I just hope this brings some kind of peace to your family. I wish I could bring them back, but I can’t. I hope my death brings peace; don’t hang on to the hate. Momma, stay strong. Lord forgive me for my sins because here I come. Let’s go, Warden.

Offense

On 06/25/97, Herron murdered a 15 year old white male and his mother in their home. A sawed off shotgun and a 9 millimeter pistol were used in the murders. The home had been burglarized and set on fire. An extreme amount of property was taken from the residence including: a 1997 pickup truck, guns, ammunition, sports equipment and sports clothes.

JACKIE WILSON (5/5/06)

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Last Words

May I speak to my family? Honey, I love you. Be strong and take care of yourselves. Thanks for being there. Take care of yourself. Ms. Irene, thank you for everything you have done. Chaplain Hart, thank you for helping me. Gary, thank you. Maria, Maria, I love you baby. Thank you for being there for me and all these people here will find the one who did this damn crime. I am going home to be with God. Thank you. Thank you, Warden.

Offense

Convicted in the November 1988 abduction and murder of 5-year-old Lottie Margaret Rhodes of Arlingon. As the child slept, Wilson broke into her bedroom through a window and abducted her. He later sexually assaulted the child and then suffocated her. He threw her body in the behicle he was driving. Wilson’s fingerprints were later lifted from the outside and inside of the child’s bedroom window. Wilson was identified as a friend of the Rhodes family live-in babysitter.

KEVIN KINCY (3/29/06)

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Last Words

Yes. I would like to thank all my friends and supporters, Anne West, who I love and respect. Gabrielle Uhl from Germany, and so many countless other friends. And of course my family, my mother and father, brothers and sisters, nieces and nephews, my wife Barbara and my children – Nadia, Amenia, Kira, and Noemi. I love my children. I love my family. That’s it.

Offense

Convicted in the robbery and murder of Jerome Samuel Marville in Houston. Kincy and his cousin and co-defendant Charlette Marie Kincy went to Harville’s home at 530 Grovve with the intent to rob him. Harvillle, an Exxon employee, let the two inside because he knew Charlotte. Once inside, Kevin Kincy pulled a .25 caliber revolver and shot Harville in the head. He and Charlotte then loaded up Harville’s car with several items from the home, including stereo equipment, Furniture, and a 9mm pistol, and fled. Kincy later bragged to friends about the killing and showed off the stolen pistol. He was finally arrested after leading police on a high speed chase from Orange Tx to Sulpher, La.

ROBERT SALAZAR, JR. (3/22/06)

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Last Words

Yes. Yes, I do. Do I just talk to the front? O.K. To everybody on both sides of that wall–I want you to know I love you. I am sorry that the child had to lose her life, but I should not have to be here. Tell my family I love them all and I will see them in Heaven. Come home when you can. I am done. Love you all.

Offense

On 04/23/97, in Lubbock, Texas, Salazar fatally injured a 2-year old Hispanic female. The subject was babysitting the victim. Salazar inflicted wounds consisting of a fractured skull, bruised heart, fractured ribs, and ruptured intestines. After injuring the victim, Salazar placed her in her crib and left the residence. The victim’s mother arrived from work, finding the victim in her crib, and Salazar was absent. The victim was pronounced dead at a local hospital.

TOMMIE HUGHES (3/15/06)

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Last Words

I love my family. You all stay strong. Watch over each other. Stay strong. I love you. I love you. It’s my hour. It’s my hour. I love you. Stay strong.

Offense

While Hughes was attempting to robbery a black female’s vehicle he shot her with a firearm, causing her death.

CLYDE SMITH JR. (2/15/06)

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Last Words

Yes. I want to thank you all for being here and for your love and support. And thanks for the efforts, Peter and Lorrell. I love you all. Celina, I love you. I’m done.

Offense

Convicted in the murder of Yellow Cab driver David Jacobs in Houston. Jacobs picked up Smith at the Hyatt Recency and was told to drive to a deserted area, where he was shot three times in the head. Smith is also charged in the March 1992 killing of United Cab driver Victor Hilton in Houston.

ROBERT NEVILLE, JR. (2/8/06)

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Last Words

Yes. Ms. Carolyn Barker, and Tina, I would like to apologize to you all. To Amy’s sister, and everybody else here. I love you all. I hope you can find it in yourselves to forgive me and I hope all this here will kinda settle your pain and I hope the Lord will give you comfort and peace. And I just want you to know I am very sorry for what I have done. And if I see Amy on the other side, I will tell her how much you love and miss her and we will have a lot to talk about. Mom, Dad, and Charlotte – I am sorry for putting you through all this pain and stuff. I did talk to Brandon and I think I got a little stuff stopped. I love you all and I will see you on the other side. O.K.

Offense

On 02/15/98, in Arlington Neville and co-defendant, Michael Wayne Hall (999346), kidnapped a 19-year old white female and took her to a remote area where they shot her 7 times with a .22 caliber pistol. Neville and Hall knew the victim from work. The subjects fled the scene and attempted to flee the country, but were stopped at the border.

JAIME ELIZALDE JR. (2/8/06)

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Last Words

Yes sir. Darling Kerstin, these last few years have been blessed having you in my life. And to all my friends that have been out there, thank you for your friendship and support and all you have done for me. The guys back there waiting, keep the faith and stay strong and put your faith in the Lord. Many times in life we take the wrong road and there are consequences for everything. Mistakes are made, but with God all things are possible. So put your faith and trust in Him. We talk about a reprieve or stay from the Supreme Court, but the real Supreme Court you must face up there and not down here. Keep your heads up and stay strong. I love you all. That is it. Stay strong. Thank you.

Offense

Convicted in the Noember 1994 shooting deaths of Juan Saenz Guajardo and Marcos Sanchez Vasquez in Houston. Elizalde and his father, Jaime Elizalde, Sr., reportedly got into a confrontation with the two victims inside a Houston lounge, with the elder Elizalde convincing them to foillow him outside. As the two men walked out the door, the junior Elizalde reportedly pulled a gun from his waistband and shot them to death.

MARION DUDLEY (1/25/06)

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Last Words

None.

Offense

Convicted in the murders of three people shot during a durg buy at a Houston residence. Killed were Jose Tovar, Jessica Quinones and Frank Farias. Dudley and two accomplices had gone to the home of Jose and Rachel Tovar to buy three kilograms of cocaine when they decided to rob them of their drugs and money. Three other people were also shot by the conspirators, two of which survived head wounds to identify dudley as one of the attackers.

Comments

77 Responses to “Last Words”

  1. Choobus
    August 17th, 2006 @ 1:27 pm

    I can’t tell from some of those pics but it looks to me like you have 8 black guys in your list, which is ~ 53%.. That’s not very different from the national average.

    Too bad that less than 20% of the population is black.

  2. Eva, Mod.
    August 17th, 2006 @ 1:48 pm

    it is sad. i would do away with the death penalty too.

    however, i bet this guys were all believers, before the crimes.

  3. Jahrta
    August 17th, 2006 @ 2:46 pm

    I believe in the death penalty – not because I think it will be a viable deterrent to other people, but because I don’t think it’s fair for society to be yolked with the responsiblity of caring for, housing, feeding, clothing and in some cases, even entertaining those who have committed attrocities against that society. I read recently that it costs upwards of 60K a year to house one convict in a maximum security facility. That’s fucking ridiculous to me, and in some of these cases it’s clear that no amount of “rehabilitation” is going to turn them into productive members of society, who would never entertain the notion of repeating the crimes that landed them in prison in the first place. I do think that innocent people are sentenced to prison on occasion, and perhaps even sentenced to death. That isn’t a failing of the death penalty, but rather an indictment of the criminal justice system in general. Better lawyers, more objective judges, and better methods of collecting and analyzing evidence are needed here. I also think we should do away with the jury system, because 1.) people, in general, are fucking stupid. If I ever had to go before a judge for a serious crime, the last thing I would want would be to have 12 morons deciding my fate, and 2.)What the hell does a layperson know about sealing someone’s fate? I think only experts in their respective fields should be allowed to convey the weight of evidence based on such technologically sound and complicated methods available today to a judge who is patient and intelligent enough to understand and evaluate the importance of that information. Larry the cable guy can go fuck off, stay home and whack it to porn, which is what he’s good at anyway…keep these schmucks out of the court system.

  4. Professor Chaos
    August 17th, 2006 @ 2:57 pm

    Google “Ruben Cantu.”

  5. Choobus
    August 17th, 2006 @ 3:09 pm

    But Jahrta, what about the claim that it costs more to execute someone than it does to incarcerate them for life? Would you have them streamline the legal side to execution to reduce the cost? We all know what would happen then. …

  6. Angry Redneck
    August 17th, 2006 @ 3:12 pm

    I read this story a few years back where some cop was chasing some rapist. He caught the guy in the middle of raping two girls, who were bound, naked, and crying. The cop shot the guy and killed him. His logic was: “I felt it was wrong for society to have to keep this creep alive” or something like that. Good for him. If someone raped my girlfriend, and I caught the guy doing it, I would kill the fucker, no remorse or regrets.

    Rehab usually means accepting the word of god and other such religious clap-trap. Most violent crimes can be linked to testosterone. Chop off the balls, and you have a non-violent member of society. Problem solved. Next.

  7. bernarda
    August 17th, 2006 @ 3:30 pm

    If my counting is right, only 4 of the 18 cases you mention are white guys. The rest are black–a majority–and latino.

    There isn’t any double-standard, is there?

  8. Realityhack
    August 17th, 2006 @ 3:34 pm

    Jahrta,
    Going through all the appeals etc. required to bring any level of fairness (and even then its far from fair) to the death penalty means it ends up being more costly to execute than to house for life.
    Even if you don’t beleive that would your position change if you found out it was true?

    In refrence to your comments on the justice system.
    1. Actualy reguardless of how good you make the system there will ALWAYS be mistakes made that are not caught. Get over it, and include that fact in any reasoning you do on the subject.
    2. I suspect thay you are vastly underestimating the complexity of criminal justice. Its not nearly as simple to improve the system as you make it out to be. Combining this with point 1 I think you may need to re-evaluate your position.

  9. Professor Chaos
    August 17th, 2006 @ 3:37 pm

    Please don’t talk about “double-standards” without presenting more evidence than “4 of these 18 are white.”

    Tell me what the percentage of white convicted murderers who were given the death penalty over life imprisonment is.

    Then tell me what the percentage of minority convicted murderers who were given the death penalty over life imprisonment is.

    Not saying I disagree with you. I have no idea what those numbers would be. But facts first.

  10. Choobus
    August 17th, 2006 @ 4:00 pm

    Chaos, check out http://www.deathpenaltyinfo.org/article.php?scid=5&did=184

    The numbers are pretty conclusive. Anyone who argues that the death penalty is fairly applied is dreaming.

  11. darwinfish
    August 17th, 2006 @ 4:22 pm

    the failings of our justice systems aside, fuck criminals. I couldn’t care less if they felt sorry or it costs money to kill them or imprison them. I’m all for accidental fires that somehow manage to incinerate all the prisoners.

    but I am amused at what RA might be trying to get out of us. A fair few of these guys raped and murdered small children, something so abhorent that there’s little sympathy for such a person. “but how is that different than abortion?” one might ask. Among other things, the difference is parents who choose to have their children have an incredibly strong bond with them and invest heavily in their future. To destroy that child is to destroy a family, their future, their happiness, and often their will to live. To destroy an unwanted fetus is just a little differrent.

    (ps. I greatly apologise to everyone for bringing this back to the annoying topic of abortion)

  12. Drusilla
    August 17th, 2006 @ 5:51 pm

    Some sentenced to death are innocent. And certainly a disporportionate number of blacks and hispanics are sentenced to death just as too many of those who will be executed have experienced great poverty and abuse. But for me the death penalty has as much to do with the kind of person I want to be and the kind of society in which I want to live as with those who will be sentenced to death.

    I want to be a person who forgives and so I work to forgive even though who commit heinous crimes. (It’s something I have had to do in my own life and though it is very difficult, it’s possible and worth it.)

    I want to live in a society that values life and prefers forgivenss. We cannot give life and I believe we must be extremely careful about taking it away.

    And I want to live in a society that is honest about its past. Our common human history has been filled with many periods during which human life was not valued. We have no particular immunity from a return to such times – in parts of the world, such times never passed. Regardless of faith or lack thereof, there is great danger in destroying other human beings in the name of retribution, punishment, expediency, fear, religious zeal or for any of a myriad other reasons. The weilders of Madame Guillotine, Judge Roy Bean, the Nazis and so many others, religious and secular, are part of our common human heritage. It would seem to me wiser to stay as far away from death as possible.

  13. Professor Chaos
    August 17th, 2006 @ 5:54 pm

    Choobs, the numbers I’m talking about aren’t there. Again, I’m not stating a position one way or the other. But I want to know what percentage of blacks and whites were given life over death. If I see a stat that tells me an overwhelmingly higher percentage of convicted black murderers are sentenced to death than white convicted murderers, well end of story.

    But just because a high percentage of total death row inmates are black doesn’t tell me anything.

  14. Professor Chaos
    August 17th, 2006 @ 6:01 pm

    To expand, I do think you’re probably right. I just want to see evidence before I believe a claim. :)

  15. June
    August 17th, 2006 @ 6:11 pm

    “Were any capable of rehabilitation?”
    “Is there good in any one of them?”

    Come on, TRA, as a lawyer you know that these questions are considered and decided BEFFORE a death sentence is passed. You do not sentence someone to death who can be rehabilitated.

    To live in human society, we all obey the rules or take our punishment. We all pay our traffic fines, regardless of how wonderful we are, or how much we promise to drive more carefully in the future. And that is precisely the extreme severity of Capital Punishment: YES: death is final, there is no rehabilitation, goodness is irrelevant, finding Jesus or Poseidon will not save your ass.

    So don’t do the crime!

  16. Gathercole
    August 17th, 2006 @ 6:13 pm

    Millions of low-income, hard-working, law-abiding American citizens cannot afford health insurance and are bankrupted by unexpected accidents, or suffer without affordable medical care. But who is the Raving “Atheist” most concerned about?

    1. fetuses

    and

    2. Murderers.

    Let’s get our priorities straight, eh?

  17. Choobus
    August 17th, 2006 @ 6:30 pm

    PRof. This is just one study. It’s pretty easy to find many more like it:

    http://www.deathpenaltyinfo.org/article.php?scid=19&did=246

    They state

    “I. What are the findings of the Study?

    It concludes that racial factors—specifically the race of the homicide victim—played a real, substantial, and statistically significant role in determining who received death sentences in North Carolina during the 1993-1997 period. The odds of receiving a death sentence rose by 3.5 times or more among those defendants (of whatever race) who murdered white persons. ”

    So, it’s OK to kill non-whites, but if you smoke a Honky get ready for something lethal to come your way.

  18. Realityhack
    August 17th, 2006 @ 6:34 pm

    Professor Chaos,
    I beleive they are in another area of that site…
    ah got it

    http://www.deathpenaltyinfo.org/article.php?did=1328#Race
    Quote:
    “A sophisticated statistical study in Philadelphia by David Baldus found that for similar crimes committed by similar defendants, blacks received the death penalty at a 38% higher rate than all others.”

    That page also addresses the skew for women and for race of victim.

  19. realityhack
    August 17th, 2006 @ 6:36 pm

    http://www.deathpenaltyinfo.org/article.php?did=1328#Race

    Posted a second time because the other one got ‘held by RA’

  20. realityhack
    August 17th, 2006 @ 6:37 pm

    “So don’t do the crime!”

    It would appear that a number of the people who have been sentenced to death at one time or another have not in fact commited the crime.

  21. Paul
    August 17th, 2006 @ 6:45 pm

    Angry Redneck: Consider whether we should try to solve problems about crime based on gut feelings versus a more cool, unemotional approach. The problem I see with taking a gut-level approac, is that (1) it encourages other people reacting similarly in other situations, and (2) the law of unintended consequences (I agree that your intended consequences are accurately estimated).

  22. Ron
    August 17th, 2006 @ 7:51 pm

    The legal system runs on money. Money and power can sway many things. This is why it is critical to have absolute proof, in any criminal case, regardless of the sentence.

    The sad fact is the staggering amount of false convictions. This is more or less inescapable do to people’s lack of critical assessment skills. They have been taught it is OK to have a consensus rather then a preponderance of facts set in proper context.
    A legal system, structured the way it is in the US (I am not familiar with other countries), can not be any better then the society it represents. They are a reflection of each other.

  23. PhalsePhrophet
    August 17th, 2006 @ 9:36 pm

    I’m curious as to whether those falsely sentenced to death would be happier to remain in prison for the rest of their lives: or eventually be freed by a group that’s dedicated to saving those falsely sentenced to death?

  24. SteveG
    August 17th, 2006 @ 9:37 pm

    For the victims…
    Eternal rest grant unto them, O Lord. And let perpetual light shine upon them. May the souls of the faithful departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace.

    For the executed (justly or unjustly)…
    We commend into thy mercy all these souls, which are departed hence from us. Grant unto them, we beseech thee, thy mercy and everlasting peace.

    For the families of both
    Lord God, comfort and uphold all those affected by these tragedies. Deliver them from their suffering, grief, and pain and show them the path to hope and renewal.

    Shepherd them O Lord beyond their wants, beyond their fears, from death into life.

  25. Sam Osa
    August 17th, 2006 @ 9:58 pm

    Don’t mess with Texas!

  26. June
    August 17th, 2006 @ 10:41 pm

    #21 said “The sad fact is the staggering amount of false convictions.”

    Roughly 500,000 have been murdered and 1000 executed since 1976, after 15% were released from death row after careful review, which can take up to 20 years in some states. Those released are hardly all innocent; they go free unless we have evidence beyond a reasonable doubt.

    Actual wrongful execution has to be very rare (anybody have real stats?). And if you argue to abolish CP based on that, you also have to argue for disarming police, who shoot many innocents.

  27. Godthorn
    August 17th, 2006 @ 11:50 pm

    Drusilla, we have more in common than we might have thought. The difference is religion–an immense difference, of course.

    June, the Illinois case a few years back would seem to indicate that the execution of innocents is not rare at all. What is rare is the reopening of a case that has been sealed by an execution.

  28. PhalsePhrophet
    August 18th, 2006 @ 1:28 am

    I will regret any time we execute an innocent prisoner, however, I will not regret executing correctly convicted murderers. I have had the unpleasant experience of having a loved one murdered. Death happens everyday, sometimes appropriately and sometimes not. I will agree that CP is not an effective deterrent against murder, however it will assure the convicted doesn’t kill again. Compared to the innocent people killed every single day without being convicted by a jury of their peers for murder; without an exhaustive review and appeals process before their death and without any legal representation during the decision to kill them: Compared to those innocents, a little collateral damage via CP seems less objectionable.
    A wise woman once said: “We must kill in order to live. Every breath we take, every bite we eat, every flower we grow destroys something and creates something else. The hard part of living is to decide what to kill and when to kill it.”

  29. Andrea
    August 18th, 2006 @ 3:14 am

    June, police are just doing their job when they shoot innocent people. The decision to shoot at all is a reaction, not a deliberate killing. So when a suspect – not a convict – runs away, you think everyone against CP should also prefer a cop to stand there and scream “Wait! I won’t shoot you if you can produce DNA evidence right now that proves you didn’t do it!”

    Keeping the police armed is in everyone’s best interests; executing criminals serves no one but the victim’s family, assuming the criminal is guilty. CP is barbaric, expensive, unreliable, ineffective at serving the goals of the criminal justice system… basically just unnecessary.

  30. Los Pepes
    August 18th, 2006 @ 7:47 am

    I have mixed feelings about the death penality, but those mixed feelings are because of doubts as to whether or not it is fairly applied, and because of the possibility of the wrongfully accused being executed.

    As for the people being rightfully executed for these crimes, fuck them, I don’t care what we do with them as long as it makes their existence suck. Hindsight is 20/20, ya know? Everyone is sorry when they’re staring at the hangman’s noose.

  31. Chris
    August 18th, 2006 @ 10:02 am

    The only problem with the death penalty is that it’s not used often enough. Rape, murder, and child molestation should be automatic death penalty offenses. Too many people on this planet to allow these people to clog the collective cultural artery. The death penalty may not be a deterrent to others, it is a proven fact that no executed inmate has ever commited additional crimes. That’s superior crime prevention.

    Proud to be a Texan, and a non-theist.

  32. Drusilla
    August 18th, 2006 @ 10:40 am

    The difference is religion–an immense difference, of course.

    But Thorngod, you do have religion: You are your own god. So you aren’t really an atheist. (I know, it’s hard to accept but you can do it.) Perhaps you qualify as pagan. Perhaps not. But you might consider codifying your personal dogma of self worhip. Disciples are always a possibility.

  33. June
    August 18th, 2006 @ 10:42 am

    Right On, Chris and Los Pepes

    The fact is that, while on death row (perhaps 15 years), convicts freely commit additional mayhem, and kill many more than the very few that are wrongfully executed.

    Since I never get a rebuttal of this argument, it must be a powerful one. Andrea replies (28) by ridiculing me; when a law student cannot do better than that, it’s a sure sign I am right.

  34. Professor Chaos
    August 18th, 2006 @ 11:15 am

    I agree with the sentiments expressed by Chris and Los Pepes, but I oppose the death penalty, mostly for the reason that our justice system is not perfect and innocent men/women may be put to death, but also for the same reasons Chris and Los Pepes support it.

    What I mean by this is that death is too easy for these people. A cousin of mine was murdered, and we happen to know that the murderer, who got life imprisonment, has become a “bitch,” and wishes to die. (He attempted his own life once.)

    The thought of him being repeatedly anally raped is more comforting.

  35. Los Pepes
    August 18th, 2006 @ 12:20 pm

    I agree. Because I am an atheist, I really don’t believe that death is all that much of a penalty… rotting away in prison seems like a better way to suffer. But like I said before, their damage is done; what we do to these bastards after they commit their crimes just doesn’t matter.

  36. Erik
    August 18th, 2006 @ 12:32 pm

    It is a proven fact that no one who is killed has ever committed a crime after that. Maybe we should just kill everybody, eh?

    The fact is that murder is a violent crime with a rather low rate of recidivism, so killing a murderer so that they won’t commit murder again is rationalizing your blood lust.

    And wishing ill on someone else does little to advance civilized society. Suppose instead that the prisoner whose misery you enjoy thinking about stole $100 or got caught selling dope instead of committing murder? After all, such people far outnumber murderers and rapists in prison. But our prisons should be places in which people should want to commit suicide? Would it be easier if we just brought back gladiatorial games for you?

    There are plenty of highly civilized societies without the death penalty, and they are not coming apart at the seams.

    Proud to be a Texan, and a non-theist.

  37. Kreme
    August 18th, 2006 @ 12:55 pm

    Killing these people is a waste of monies, and so is supporting them indefinitely. Instead of killing them off, I think we should either give them the option of working on corporate slave farms, lobotomize them-then give them back to their families, or allow them the option (in case they don’t like the first two), to donate themselves to medical science- until an ulterior full proof effective reabilitation program has been developed (preferably through testing with previous voluntary candidates). The advances in medical science could be potentially beneficial enough on society, that it can be seen as a sort of citizen recompense for damages made. Killing for the sole sake of destroying the person is a waste of monies, and life.

  38. Thorngod
    August 18th, 2006 @ 1:07 pm

    I’ve always suspected that a majority of people are latent sadists. How else explain the frequently expressed opinions that rapists and murderers should be tortured? Or the approval of applying capitol punishment in the cases of murgerers as young as twelve? It’s an understandable initial impulse for someone whose spouse or child or parent has been recently murdered or raped, but to cool-headedly express such an opinion indicates a shortage of empathy and mercy and understanding. If I can prevent the rapist or murderer from causing more damage, why should I want to inflict unnecessary torment on his flesh and his brain? What is the source of such a desire? Is it human, in any higher sense? Is such brutality complimentary to civilization? You cannot reverse a murder, and demanding suffering in payment for suffering simply compounds the evil.

  39. Kreme
    August 18th, 2006 @ 1:29 pm

    If I can prevent the rapist or murderer from causing more damage, why should I want to inflict unnecessary torment on his flesh and his brain?

    The idea is to have a social deterrent to the heinous monster crimes, unless a full-proof method of rehabilitation can be established. It’s all a work in progress. Some people work on preventing the crimes, others work on carrying out social justice after the crimes have been committed. This is why I propose using death-penalty candidates for medical rehabilitation studies. The idea is not to torture them, but to keep them from potentially committing more of the same crime done before. The way I propose it, offenders are allowed to choose of their own partial volition, one of three options to take. All three offer ways to deal with the prisoner, and not have the maintenance be a further financial burden to members of society already hurt by the offenders actions.

  40. Thorngod
    August 18th, 2006 @ 1:53 pm

    Kreme, I like your proposal–as long as it can be humanely administered.

  41. Los Pepes
    August 18th, 2006 @ 2:23 pm

    Recidivism is not the only thing to be concerned about. Even if we could rehabilitate murderers and turn them into productive members of society, they still need to pay a price for their violent crimes. So the question then becomes “What is that price?”

    In my opinion, there is no price a person could possibly pay that could be equal to raping and killing a child, so I say fuck them. Why should they, under any circumstances, walk after they’ve done something like this? I’m not talking about petty thieves and potheads here, I’m talking about people that kill other human beings in cold blood. Fuck them.

  42. Kreme
    August 18th, 2006 @ 2:33 pm

    In my opinion, there is no price a person could possibly pay that could be equal to raping and killing a child, so I say fuck them. Why should they, under any circumstances, walk after they’ve done something like this? I’m not talking about petty thieves and potheads here, I’m talking about people that kill other human beings in cold blood. Fuck them.

    To be human is to forgive, and if it were that these people could be biologically reformed to fully proven rehabilitated status, they’d no longer be a threat. They wouldn’t have the physical ability, or mental ability to even will forth such a state.

  43. Los Pepes
    August 18th, 2006 @ 2:56 pm

    To be human is to forgive? Let someone rape and murder your kid, or destroy your entire life by cutting up your husband or wife into little pieces. Then let them be “reformed” and move into the house next to yours.

    These people leave a path of destruction in their wakes that stretches FAR beyond the horrible act that they’ve commited. The families of victims suffer mental trauma (not to mention possible financial problems from the loss of a spouse’s income), and can lose their homes, their jobs, and their sanity because of the actions of some twisted fuck.

    Fuck them. Fuck them twice.

  44. Kreme
    August 18th, 2006 @ 3:11 pm

    To be human is to forgive? Let someone rape and murder your kid, or destroy your entire life by cutting up your husband or wife into little pieces. Then let them be “reformed” and move into the house next to yours.

    If I knew for sure this person was incapable of commiting the same kind of atrocity again, then I’d be willing to forgive no matter the circumstance, which is why I’m willing to offer the option of lobotomizing these people, provided they have family who are willing to take them back in. Any further need to kill for revenge, especially on what would essentially be a mental retard is needless pride.

  45. JP
    August 18th, 2006 @ 4:18 pm

    HAHAHAHAHAH! Payback is a bitch. I’m glad these “people” are dead. Next.

  46. June
    August 18th, 2006 @ 4:19 pm

    How can one execution be revenge for a mass murderer like MacVeigh or Dahmer or Bundy? Capital Punishment is simply that – punishment for a deed.

    Revenge would involve torture, degradation, cruel death, family execution, forfeiting land and possessions, disinheritance, losing your profession or trade, etc. Revenge would involve several punishments, and punishment extended over time, punishment that can be observed and savored by the revenger for years. Drawing and quartering. Ripping the beating heart out of a chest. Displaying pieces of the body all over town. Disallowing burial of the body.

  47. Jahrta
    August 18th, 2006 @ 4:25 pm

    It comes down to a matter of closure. Like Los Pepes has stated, there are some criminals who cannot be rehabilitated, and their paths of destruction cut deep swaths through the lives of productive members of society. If I lost a loved one to a mugger who shot them for $5 and a pair of shoes, I’d personally want them to suffer immensely for that transgression. In truth, there probably wouldn’t be a state-sponsored plan to satisfy my need for that individual’s pain and suffering. I would imagine a scene out of “hostel” might begin to approach what I’d have in mind. I’ve been told that prison is a truly horrifying experience. I’d somewhat comforted by that notion, as 99.99999 percent of the people currently incarcerated deserve no better. Some people are simply beyond hope and can never become part of a truly civilized society. It should not be deemed “uncivilized” for us to feel the need for vengeance. There is a fine, oft-blurred line segregating vengeance from justice, but I personally think that America’s current language concerning CP is mealy-mouthed. After all, if you do something often enough, you can’t really consider it to be “cruel and unusual,” now can you?

    And Kreme, don’t tell us of your compassion regarding someone who kidnaps, rapes, tortures, and dismembers your child, at least not until it’s a reality. Then I’ll take you seriously. Until then, I’m pretty much set on this topic.

  48. Kreme
    August 18th, 2006 @ 4:45 pm

    And Kreme, don’t tell us of your compassion regarding someone who kidnaps, rapes, tortures, and dismembers your child, at least not until it’s a reality. Then I’ll take you seriously. Until then, I’m pretty much set on this topic.

    And this has happened to you, so you know first hand to have someone kidnap, rape, torture, and dismember your child? Even if it hasn’t, you’re in your right to not take anything anyone else says seriously, but from where I stand I see no fruit coming from one more killing, especially if it’s not producing anything to make up the cost of running the entire death penalty procedure. These people can serve as something other than either dead, or debt. They can serve as medical research to produce cures for ailments people come across. They can be workers serving to produce government product for people who need it, or at the very least they don’t have to remain a further nuissance to anyone other than those willing to take them in after they’ve been incapacitated of their ability to do any harm.

  49. June
    August 18th, 2006 @ 5:23 pm

    Jahrta: Discussing CP typically raises everybody’s emotions. It is important we define our terms. Distinguish between revenge, an emotion that victims feel, and punishment, a price for crime that society administers.

    Revenge is what you would see if you gave the victim’s family some baseball bats and let them visit the convict. It would be a lot nastier than our current executions. Punishment is the price for a crime as defined in our statutes and administered under specific criminal justice rules. If you rape a child – you die. What part of that is hard to understand?

    And if TRA now believes in a soul, that soul is well protected and going to Heaven. So all you good Christians, look forward to eternal life with these mugs! I’m glad I will be rotting in the ground.

  50. Chris
    August 18th, 2006 @ 5:29 pm

    Show me one civilized society that doesn’t have capital punishment. Don’t try, it’s a trick question. Civilized is a subjective term. Any society that doesn’t punish people like this isn’t civilized in my opinion.

    The important thing is to make it cost effective. We need to speed them up. No more of this 15 years on death row crap. 18 months is plenty of time.

  51. JP
    August 18th, 2006 @ 6:03 pm

    Yep. Everyone that has had their guilt confirmed with DNA or confesses gets to move to the front of the line.

    1. One 9mm pistol- $350

    2. #100 count 180 grain JHP- $13.95

    A small percentage of the population commits the majority of the violent crime. That ammo should get us through January and February. Then another $13.95 every two months until we bring their numbers down.

    I just saved us millions in the first year, billions over the next decade.

  52. realityhack
    August 18th, 2006 @ 8:31 pm

    “The fact is that, while on death row (perhaps 15 years), convicts freely commit additional mayhem, and kill many more than the very few that are wrongfully executed.”

    Got a sorce for that?

  53. Los Pepes
    August 18th, 2006 @ 10:02 pm

    See, here is where this is getting confused. I’m not talking about revenge at all– what I’m saying is this:

    These people, by committing the acts that they have, have, as far as I’m concerned lost their privilege to participate in our society. I’m sorry, but if you are a violent criminal, fuck you, get out of my society, no rehabilitation, no help, nothing. You had your chance and you fucking blew it by raping and murdering a little girl. Get it? I didn’t blow, you did. And I don’t care why you blew it either, just that you did. We’re not talking about running a red light or selling drugs here, we’re talking about some jaded-ass shit that was done to people whose only mistake was getting out of bed that morning.

    As far as the death penalty is concerned, I don’t know if that’s the right solution, and I don’t really care. Fuck them, use them for medical experiments for all I care. They can whine all they want; their victims don’t have that luxury.

  54. Ron
    August 18th, 2006 @ 10:48 pm

    “These people leave a path of destruction in their wakes that stretches FAR beyond the horrible act that they’ve commited. The families of victims suffer mental trauma (not to mention possible financial problems from the loss of a spouse’s income), and can lose their homes, their jobs, and their sanity because of the actions of some twisted fuck.

    Fuck them. Fuck them twice.”

    As long as you have absolute proof.

    Maybe we should hold those who make a false conviction accountable for murder. That way, should they be lacking in absolute proof of guilt, they won’t decide on a gut feeling. That way court room theatrics could be reduced to a more sobering drive to get to the truth through facts, rather then just a win at any cost mentality that lawyers (not just lawyers) have.
    Not too long ago, on the news, I saw a story about some guy who was falsely imprisoned for rape. It was a long time though I can’t remember the number of years. DNA freed him. The woman was in trouble for pointing him out as the perp. But what if the attorney was held accountable too. What if the jury was held accountable. You can not find someone guilty beyond a shadow of doubt if he is innocent. Therefore the jury voted on insufficient evidence, or on facts taken out of context, and voted on emotion.

    Don’t get me wrong. I am not into defending scum. Scum comes from all segments of society (s). You do need proof before taking someone most valuable commodity … their time in life. As “atheist” we know it is finite. To take it falsely, from another, is a crime itself.

    “It is funny how no one ever looks for the real answer” (unknown)

  55. Godthorn
    August 19th, 2006 @ 12:12 am

    Good points, Ron. I have long held that the CP advocates who want raw “justice” administered should be willing to wield the axe. The jury that condemns a fellow human to death should each throw one of twelve switches on the chair. Those who cannot have voted against their conviction.

    If I knew a man who needed killing, and there was no doubt his death would save innocent people from misery, I’d have no compunction about killing him. If he was beyond the law, and I could aviod its punishment for my act, I wouldn’t hesitate to murder him–and I’d feel no guilt for it. It’s an altogether differernt matter to have a person in custody, to hold him in a cage while “justice” runs its course, and then to cold-bloodedly put him to death.

    Yes, I know the arguments in favor of it. I know there is always the possibility he may escape and do it again. Life is hazardous, isn’t it. And I’m well acquainted with the fine distinction many insist on drawing between vengeance and “punishment.” Just what is the theory behind the concept of “punishment,” my fellow right-thinking atheists? Is it a tool of education? Is the theory that if you hang him by the neck until he is dead, he may think twice before he does it again? And how do you punish him and avoid punishing his wife, his mother, his children? The only things you can rightfully take from another human being are his freedom and the products of his labor. What you cannot compensate his victims for with these cannot be compensated.

    Listen to me. There is no zero point for reciprocity. It is the universe that is our enemy, not our fellow beings. Very few of us come into a life of luxury, pain-free and owing no dues. Existence harrows us, and because we cannot fight nature, we punish each other. We all–virtually all–begin life with a deficit on the books. If you try to balance yours, you must subtract the deficit from someone else’s account. That is what Gautama and Jesus and Ghandi understood, and tried to teach, and what few of their admirers ever understood.

    Justice is wonderful concept. Be sure to let me know if you ever see it achieved. If we were keeping score, the figures would be going steadily negative. I have not the slightest hope that the human race will ever turn it in the other direction. It is just so much easier, and so much more satisfying, to strike out in anger and demand our pound of flesh. If we all get half the weight of it we demand, there will eventually be no flesh left. -Thorngod

  56. PhalseProphet
    August 19th, 2006 @ 2:24 am

    Vengeance is locking someone up for life. Letting them realize their errors and rot in prison for life is certainly a torturous, sadistic mind fuck. Alarmingly, these prisoners tend to drift further into insanity and get religion. This virtually eliminates any chance of rehabilitation. Many potential death row candidates actually execute themselves rather than spend the rest of their life in prison. Some use famous clichés like “ You’ll never take me alive. I’ll die before I go back to prison.” The humane way is to kill them quickly. Innocents may die, but hey, life is hazardous isn’t it?

  57. bernarda
    August 19th, 2006 @ 3:18 am

    Los Pepes, “Let someone rape and murder your kid, or destroy your entire life by cutting up your husband or wife into little pieces. Then let them be “reformed” and move into the house next to yours.”

    That is true of people who cause fatal car accidents. Are they to be treated in the same manner as recognized murderers? About 43,000 people are killed in car “accidents” every year and about 15,000 of them are alcohol related.

    Recent studies have shown that talking on a cell phone while driving is as dangerous as drinking and driving. So are both categories to be treated as murder if they cause a death? Car accidents are the leading cause of death for young people between 5 and 27.

    There was a interesting film about the subject by Sean Penn with Jack Nicholson, “The Crossing Guard”, which I recommend.

    As to recidivism by murderers, one study, Would Murderers Repeat Crimes?, gives these statistics:

    “It is true that not a single successfully executed felon has ever recidivated; however, Sarat and Vidmar’s study (Would Murderers Repeat Crimes?) examine data concerning the probability that first degree murderers will return to society to recidivate.

    They studies 1,293 paroled first degree murderers in nine states – of that 1,293, 71 violated parole, 9 committed repeat felonies, and ONE was convicted for another homicide.

    Why such a low recidivism rate? Many murderers who have committed particularly heinous crimes are never paroled; those who are paroled have served lengthy sentences – they are way beyond the normal age profile for murderers by the time they are released.”

    Another criticism of the death penalty is its bias. Data indicate that murder is most often intra-racial among victims and offenders. In 1997, data based on incidents involving one victim and one offender show that 94 percent of the black murder victims were slain by black offenders, and 85 percent of white murder victims were killed by white offenders.

    Yet, ” About 80% of the murder victims in cases resulting in an execution were white, even though nationally only 50% of murder victims generally are white.”

    http://www.deathpenaltyinfo.org/FactSheet.pdf

    In the same site you find out that by region, the Northeast has the fewest executions and the lowest murder rate. The South has the most executions and the highest murder rate.

    “Consistent with previous years, the 2004 FBI Uniform Crime Report showed that the South had the highest murder rate. The South accounts for over 80% of executions. The Northeast, which has less than 1% of all executions, again had the lowest murder rate.”

  58. Los Pepes
    August 19th, 2006 @ 9:08 am

    Ok folks,

    1) To Ron – in my original post (#30), I stated that I also have mixed feelings about the death penalty, and for the very same reason that you do. If someone is going to be sentenced, we need to be damn sure that this person is guilty, and also the the death sentence is fairly applied. I agree with you completely.

    2) To bernarda – car accidents are, by definition, are accidents, and yes, they can totally disrupt a family. A million things can do the same… no one is going to get the death sentence because of hurricane Katrina.

    Jeffrey Dahmer didn’t accidentally cut up little boys and eat them, and the BTK Killer’s name was not ABTK (Accidentally Bind, Torture, and Kill).

    And again, I couldn’t care less about recidivism. My position doesn’t apply to garden-variety murders (passion, love, greed, etc…), I don’t think most of those crimes are death penalty material (although some certainly are). What I’m talking about are people that hunt humans, people that kill for no other reason than the pleasure of killing. People that like to look you in the eye as you’re dying. That’s some sick shit, and those people need to be removed from society. And after they are removed, do whatever you want with them, doesn’t bother me in the slightest.

  59. June
    August 19th, 2006 @ 1:12 pm

    Thorngod – I am listening, and intrigued by your point of cosmic zero-sum justice. But then your 55 is marred by exaggeration and irrelevance. I agree that the universe is harsh and unforgiving. That’s exactly why we form societies and establish rules to insure our survival. But the rules apply to all of us, from Caesar to Convict. Society says that if you violate the rules, you will be punished. Your family’s poverty, your life’s deficit, your hunger for sex or drugs are irrelevant here: If you drive 50 mph in a school zone, you will pay a $120 fine. If you rape a child, you will die.

    Stop exaggerating. Nobody is talking about anger, striking, blood, flesh. I know it seems easier to “win” a debate by implying the opponent is a bloodthirsty angry murderer who demands an innocent convict’s raw flesh. But that’s how we start to quarrel about trivia and end up in bloody wars.

    TRA – your sarcastic update: “Feelin’ Better?” is really crappy logic, especially compared to what you used to write. It implies that CP proponents feel better when someone is executed, and they are some kind of swine. QED! You open yourself to the equally shitty reply that TRA must feel sorrow that we didn’t release Hinojosa, so he could kill a third (yes, folks, a THIRD) time while on probation.

  60. Andrea
    August 19th, 2006 @ 3:42 pm

    June, I did not ridicule you, I pointed out that your analogy has holes in it. Instead of telling other people what to think, why don’t you understand where they’re coming from. Since the only way you could reply to my comment was ridicule, I must be right.

  61. bernarda
    August 19th, 2006 @ 4:54 pm

    Los Pepes, you are an absolute moron, or Moron with a capital.

    Almost all car “accidents” are not accidents. Or dipshit, look at it another way. Murders are also “accidents”. If vengeful psychopathic wannabes like you and June went back to my much earlier post you would see my reasoning. But neither you nor June care to respond substantially to it.

    People like you and June are basically mentally identical to the condemned murderers. You just haven’t found yourself in the situation to carry out your pulsions.

    “garden-variety murders”, What the hell?

    “What I’m talking about are people that hunt humans”

    Then you must mean every capitalist corporate head.

    Hypocrites like you disgust me.

  62. Viole
    August 19th, 2006 @ 4:57 pm

    Damn. For the first time in months, I’m more embarrassed by the majority of commenter than I am by RA. You should be proud.

  63. June
    August 19th, 2006 @ 7:55 pm

    Bernarda, have you really lost the ability to distinguish Criminals from Commenters? If you take the side of the Criminals, I am happy to find myself opposite you.

    Murders are accidents … oh BROTHER

  64. June
    August 19th, 2006 @ 9:07 pm

    Thanks, Viole, I needed that.

    Actually, we can be proud for ending this blog decently, for keeping up TRA-dition. When they talk about us in the future, we can say that we didn’t just let the blog die. We fought to the end, maintaining a semblance of what once was, keeping up the impenetrable philosophizing, overbearing expostulating, personal insults, filthy talk, mutual criticism, religion baiting, and always kissing TRA’s ass so we could abuse him and use his blog space for free.

    Friend and foe alike, I wish you everything you hope for, and a quick and painless death at the end.

    Farewell All
    June

  65. Los Pepes
    August 19th, 2006 @ 10:15 pm

    bernarda-

    Nice ad hominem attack. While hypocrites like me may disgust you, shallow-minded douchbags like you amuse me.

    Have a swell day!

  66. Godthorn
    August 20th, 2006 @ 12:43 am

    June, what “Society says” is merely what the majority opinion of the electorate has decreed. The laws that result from these opinions are not necessarily morally just, and I say that in many cases they are not. Half the population is below average in intelligence, and too many of those in the more privileged half also think with their guts and vote on tradition.

    “Nobody is talking about anger, striking, blood, flesh”? What! Putting a man to death does not involve striking, or blood, or flesh? As to the fourth component, anger, I will have to concede that the prison warden, and the man who throws the switch, conduct the execution without anger, and that the politicians who enact the applicable laws do so from ambition rather than anger, and that the governor who could commute the sentence declines for similar reasons. But is that not anger I detect in your voice, and in the voices of many others here. And I have heard it so unmistakingly so many times more in an audible form. And if we’re not talking about anger and vengeance, just what sentiment is it that approves of strappping a helpless man to a chair and electrocuting him?

    But I’m not complaining about your anger per se. I probably get just as angry as you get when I hear of a child abducted and raped and killed–or an adult, for that matter. What tasks me is that the animal with the celebrated brain continues to behave like an animal without one. We do not have to execute people. We also do not have to deprive them of all social contact until they become insane, as we do in our new supermax prisons. That is equally inhuman. But when those facilities were designed, there was no consideration given to the humane treatment of the inmates, but only to efficiency, convenience and security. I agree with other voices here that I would prefer execution to spending half a lifetime in one of those cells. I agree that execution is more merciful. Which only means, of course, that we have found a way to expand our infliction of cruel and unusual punishment–and so far, the good people, and their legal system, have not mustered sufficient mercy and human decency to change that. -Thorngod

  67. bernarda
    August 21st, 2006 @ 5:40 am

    Listen up los Pepes, it is not ad hominem. It has nothing to do with valid arguments you might make, just you have yet to make them.

    You are a moron because you cannot understand an argument and you are even less able to respond in a rational manner.

    Twice I have given detailed reasons for my point of view, neither you nor executioner June has bothered to respond. I conclude that you are incapable. Both of you seem to be ruled by purely emotional responses to what executioner June refers to as “human garbage”.

    The fact is is that a murder is as much an accident as a car death is. It is a coincidence of time, place, and circumstance. One can no more condemn a murderer to death than a bad driver.

  68. Viole
    August 21st, 2006 @ 9:08 am

    Don’t worry, June. I’m always here to smack you down when you need it. You don’t even need to ask.

  69. Los Pepes
    August 21st, 2006 @ 9:29 am

    Look bernada, when police look for a suspect in a crime, they look for three things: means, opportunity, and motive. This is what separates “accidents” from “crimes.” Accidents, by their very nature, do not imply malice. How can you possibly view a car accident and a murder as equal events? I could drive to the grocery store right now and very well get into a car accident along the way, but could I walk out the door and “accidentally” commit a murder? I could do something to accidentally cause the death of a person, and this is why law has the concept of manslaughter.

    And by the way… you called me names. Those are ad hominem attacks. If you like don’t like my arguments, oh well. You can call me moron, and I’ll just call you fuckface, fuckface.

  70. Jahrta
    August 21st, 2006 @ 12:25 pm

    “The fact is is that a murder is as much an accident as a car death is. It is a coincidence of time, place, and circumstance. One can no more condemn a murderer to death than a bad driver.”

    It boggles my mind that anyone can be this fucking stupid. “Oops, sorry officer, I didn’t mean to stab her fourteen times in the head and neck. It was an accident”

    Cop: *in old-world irish brogue* “Don’t you go worryin’ about that, Billy – now be a good lad and go run along. Have a drink to settle those nerves, eh? I’ll just take care of the blood-soaked mess you left behind and explain everything rationally to the survivors.”

    Ok dipshit – in case the sarcasm was lost on you, here’s the difference between a murderer and a bad driver. When we call someone a murderer, there’s the implication that the murderer SET OUT to KILL SOMEONE. If you’re driving along and have a car accident, either through carelessness or mechanical trouble, we call that an unfortunate turn of events. People who purposefully run other people over are murderers, but the car has little to do with the equation – the car is a means to an end. A knife or a gun in the same person’s hands would most likely lead to the same end result. I would even say that a drunk driver who runs into someone isn’t a murderer, as much as an idiot who has exercised horrible judgement. That person should be held accountable, but s/he can be rehabilitated. Someone who gets off on killing people for the hell of it, however, cannot, and therefor we should not be yolked with the responsiblity of their well-being. I don’t care if they are put to work toiling endlessly in salt mines, or if they die from the death of a thousand cuts. They effectively hand over their “Human Race” cards when they do what they do. We should not feel pity or remorse when a serial killer is put down.

  71. bernarda
    August 22nd, 2006 @ 3:33 am

    It amuses me to see so many people on a supposedly atheist site use purely religious terms and arguments for their point of view. Just what is meant by “malice” and “motive” for example?

    What provoked the “malice” or “motive” in the perpetrator? Was he/she born with it? If so, it is genetic and not their “fault”. If not born with it, where did it come from? I don’t don’t suppose their social environment could have had anything to do with it, could it?

    The same goes for “setting out to kill someone”. Why did the perp “set out” to do it in the first place? The person should be held “accountable”. Another concept based on the false religious idea of “free will”.

    los pepes is too stupid to understand that I used the term “accident” metaphorically. As I pointed out earlier, the two situations can be described as “accidents” if he prefers, but can also be seen the result of a long line of causes leading to a particular event. But some people are just too dense to get through too.

    Let’s imagine a case. A driver is playing with his ipod looking for a song and misses a red light. He goes through it and kills a child who is crossing the street with the green light on his side. The result is that the child is as dead as if the driver had shot him. There is the same destructive effect on the family survivors in the two cases.

    Another case. Some religious nutcase families don’t believe in vaccination or blood transfusions. So a child dies of a preventable disease or blood loss. Should the parents be put to death for killing their own child? What if it was a foster child?

    You religious moralists don’t have clue. There is an interesting recent investigation into what is meant by moral sense.

    http://www.boston.com/news/globe/ideas/articles/2006/08/06/blood_on_the_tracks/?page=full

    “MORAL PHILOSOPHERS and academics interested in studying how humans choose between right and wrong often use thought experiments to tease out the principles that inform our decisions. One particular hypothetical scenario has become quite the rage in some top psychological journals. It involves a runaway trolley, five helpless people on the track, and a large-framed man looking on from a footbridge. He may or may not be about to tumble to his bloody demise: You get to make the call.”

  72. Jahrta
    August 22nd, 2006 @ 1:07 pm

    In the flawed example you brought up of a driver striking a child because he was distracted by his Ipod, you have failed yet again to properly understand the element of intent, which DOES matter to everyone with even half a brain. It also matters a great deal to the criminal justice system, and helps delineate between 1st, 2nd and 3rd degree murder. The driver did not intend to kill the child in the scenario you painted. The punishment would be a jail sentence, if evidence turned up during the investigation showed the presence of drugs or alcohol in his system at the time of the accident. At any rate, there’d be the fact that the driver was driving dangerously and didn’t heed traffic lights. Under normal circumstances that would be worth a steep fine, and possible 30 days in jail or so if he had any type of record. The sentence one may face from the accidental vehicular homicide of a child pedestrian varies from state to state and from instance to instance. I would think, based upon what I know of our criminal justice system, that he could expect anywhere from 5 to 20 years with possibility of parole. Of course, if you have the right lawyer, and enough money, you might just get a slap on the wrist, have your license revoked, or have to attend some sort of class and do community service. The reason I could not see the person in your scenario getting the death sentence is that he did not set out to destroy a life that day, and the resulting chain of events was an unfortunate accident. We’ve all done stupid shit while driving, some of us moreso than others.

    You’d have to be severely brain damaged to apply the same type of logic to someone who rapes little children and kills them. That wasn’t an accident, and there is every reason to expect a deranged person like that to commit similar crimes if not removed from society. It has been demonstrated time and again that some criminal behaviour, such as pedophilia, is incurable. At that point I would think it would be more inhumane to force someone like that to spend the rest of their life behind bars, knowing there’s absolutely no hope they can be rehabilitated, and that society has no more use for them.

  73. bernarda
    August 23rd, 2006 @ 10:32 am

    Well, I guess it is pretty hopeless with people like Jahrta who can’t even understand the argument. Another undefined term “intent”. Just what does that mean?

    Why always go back to the theological concept of “free will”?

    If Jahrta doubled his intellectual capacity, he would be a halfwit.

  74. Jill
    August 23rd, 2006 @ 10:10 pm

    “Roughly 500,000 have been murdered and 1000 executed since 1976, after 15% were released from death row after careful review, which can take up to 20 years in some states. Those released are hardly all innocent; they go free unless we have evidence beyond a reasonable doubt.”

    Actually, no, that’s not true at all. People do not get released from prison on reasonable doubt. The reasonable doubt requirement is for criminal trials only — once they’ve been convicted, a release can only occur if they’ve been proven undeniably innocent (i.e., new DNA evidence makes it clear that someone else committed the crime). Even if reasonable doubt is raised after a conviction, it’s not nearly sufficient for a release.

    “Show me one civilized society that doesn’t have capital punishment. Don’t try, it’s a trick question. Civilized is a subjective term. Any society that doesn’t punish people like this isn’t civilized in my opinion.”

    Great. Count us in with China, Iran and Saudi Arabia as the “civilized” nations that account for nearly all executions world-wide. Always glad to see us in such good company. (For the record, the top 9 countries include Yemen, Pakistan, Vietnam, Jordan, Mongolia and Singapore).

    “These people, by committing the acts that they have, have, as far as I’m concerned lost their privilege to participate in our society.”

    I don’t think anyone disagrees with that. But doesn’t life in prison without the possibility of parole solve that problem as well as the death penalty does, since it removes dangerous people from society?

    “But the rules apply to all of us, from Caesar to Convict. Society says that if you violate the rules, you will be punished. Your family’s poverty, your life’s deficit, your hunger for sex or drugs are irrelevant here: If you drive 50 mph in a school zone, you will pay a $120 fine. If you rape a child, you will die.”

    …except not at all. June, if you’re going to be making “factual” arguments about the legal system, it’s a good idea to do two minutes of research. The death penalty can’t be inflicted as a punishment for rape alone, even rape of a child.

    “You open yourself to the equally shitty reply that TRA must feel sorrow that we didn’t release Hinojosa, so he could kill a third (yes, folks, a THIRD) time while on probation.”

    Again, totally misconstruing the facts. The choice is not between administering the death penalty and letting dangerous criminals walk. It’s between administering the death penalty and putting these dangerous criminals in prison for life without possibility of parole. So the argument that they’ll be back out on the streets is a ridiculous one.

  75. rlrose328
    August 26th, 2006 @ 12:14 pm

    I say fix the system first… DNA evidence must be used before a defendant is given the death penalty. For those already on death row, make sure any and all DNA evidence is exhausted before carrying out the sentence.

    I realize this will require a lot more man power but so be it, if it shuts up the people who are against some innocent person being put to death. It’s a waste of good taxpayer money to test out the 1 or 2 out of a hundred who might be innocent, but it’s worth it to save those lives, right?

    Then when they ARE put to death, they should be put to death in the same manner with which they killed. Period. We can create a raping machine to do the dirty work for us in the case of rapists.

    I’m so very tired of inmates “finding god” conveniently when they’ve been caught. And I’m so very tired of people saying how awful it is that a man who raped and killed a child deserves to live for 20 or more years with 3 squares and a cot and a TV and space to work out every day, things he never had on the outside, all on my dime.

    I’m sorry… you kill, you are killed. Period. Does it make me less human to believe that? No… I believe it makes me MORE human.

  76. bernarda
    August 26th, 2006 @ 2:36 pm

    You can’t be more clear than rlrose, “I’m sorry… you kill, you are killed. Period. ”

    If that is the case, I agree, all the criminal drivers who killed 43,000 people one the roads last year should be killed.

    Fair is fair.

  77. Godthorn
    August 26th, 2006 @ 3:38 pm

    rirose 328, you have no idea (nor do I) how many people’s lives have been made miserable, and how many of these have died, so that you and I can enjoy the fruits of the American miracle. You and I live like a minor prince or princess (if not better) because by our nation’s power we are able to enjoy the fruits of all the earth at bargain prices. You and I are not personally involved in the nitty-gritty, but we pay to have it done. And we enjoy the largess because we can afford to maintain the most powerful defence and enforcement agencies in the world. Some of us are very lucky. Some of us are desparate. None of us is innocent. -Thorngod.

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