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Help Me Out Here - Death Penalty Debate
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Apr 11, 2005, 08:45 AM
 
Okay, so a lot of you will remember that I was a diehard death penalty supporter until a few months ago. I decided to err on the side of the living and withdraw my support for the death penalty. If we made one mistake and executed a person who was not guilty then we are no better than a lot of murderers. That was my first reasoning.

Secondly, my inner spirituality and religion dictated that a more peaceful and non-violent attitude should prevail.

But now I'm reading how that sex offender who murdered that little girl here in Florida buried her alive and let her die.

Link.

I cannot think of a more horrible way to die and I have to say, I'm struggling with this. I just want to yell, "Kill the bastard - don't wait, just kill him."

Why should or should not this bastard be put to death?

I am sick to my stomach about it.

Who would do such a think to such a sweetheart of a girl?



     
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Apr 11, 2005, 08:57 AM
 
I don't know. Killing him would be too quick and easy. Put him in general population for life with no parole. Supposedly the other inmates teach child molesters/murderers valuable life lessons.

IMO, the death penalty should only be used when someone gives a confession to some independent agency(so you know it wasn't forced) and maybe asks for it.
     
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Apr 11, 2005, 09:10 AM
 
Death is the easy way out.

Put him in a labor camp. (see 13th Amendment)
     
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Apr 11, 2005, 09:41 AM
 
You think? Death by breaking up rocks under the hot Florida sun all day long?
     
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Apr 11, 2005, 09:44 AM
 
Put him in General pop, or exectute him, makes no difference. Either way, he'll die by another's hand. The only difference is, one way he'll be raped repeatedly beforehand, and the other way, he won't.
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Apr 11, 2005, 09:51 AM
 
MacNStein: How the heck are you?



I'm not in for torturing people, per se. I cringe when I read things about someone being hurt - even this sicko - for any reason.

But what he did is just plain horrible.

Can you imagine being buried ALIVE? The feeling and sound of dirt on your body and not being able to breathe? Especially if you are a sweet and innocent little girl?

It is absolutely horrific.
     
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Apr 11, 2005, 10:12 AM
 
Those are morbid thoughts Cody Dawg.

Not healthy to dwell on them. A lot of evil things happen every day. How can we 'normal' people be expected to understand the reasons and reasonings of the sick minded or the last thoughts of their victims.

It is a futile exercise.

As for death penalty, I have always thought it was the easy way out. I think people who commit cold blooded murder should be made responsible for their actions. Taking away their freedom forever seems to me like a fair deal. Taking their life is not up to us, but to God. He is the life giver and taker.

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Apr 11, 2005, 10:14 AM
 
Interesting to see how your views change, depending on the weather Cody.

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Apr 11, 2005, 10:16 AM
 


I hardly call a little girl being buried alive "the weather."

That is pretty insensitive.

     
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Apr 11, 2005, 10:28 AM
 
Originally posted by Cody Dawg:
MacNStein: How the heck are you?



I'm not in for torturing people, per se. I cringe when I read things about someone being hurt - even this sicko - for any reason.

But what he did is just plain horrible.

Can you imagine being buried ALIVE? The feeling and sound of dirt on your body and not being able to breathe? Especially if you are a sweet and innocent little girl?

It is absolutely horrific.
I'm good. A bit of a cold this morning, but I'll live.

This last Sat I spent about 2 hours talking to a death row inmate, it was someone I went to HS with. He killed and raped 4 women over a 2 year period. He hasn't gotten raped in prison, but he did kill 2 people who tried (he's a really big SOB). Right now he's actually looking forward to dying. Says he's finding it difficult to live with the memories of the things he's done.
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Apr 11, 2005, 10:35 AM
 


Wow, MacNStein.

You always have amazing stories to tell. Did he do these things (originally) under the influence of drugs or something?
     
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Apr 11, 2005, 10:36 AM
 
Originally posted by Cody Dawg:


I hardly call a little girl being buried alive "the weather."

That is pretty insensitive.

Pick a stance through thought and reasoning. If you are changing your position to accommodate "special circumstances" then you have not thought about it enough.
( Last edited by _?_; Apr 11, 2005 at 11:01 AM. )
     
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Apr 11, 2005, 10:48 AM
 
I agree, death is too easy. Give him something to think about and some time to think about it. Do you think after you've raped and killed a little girl you're afraid of dying..fcuk that they wanna die.

Plus, there's no "if" about it...we've definitely executed innocent people. It would be impossible to have a 100% fullproof system.

It also just seems awefully primitive/ primal for an advanced culture.
     
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Apr 11, 2005, 11:06 AM
 
Originally posted by _?_:
Pick a stance through thought and reasoning. If you are changing your position to accommodate "special circumstances" then you have not thought about it enough.
Well said, thank you.

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Apr 11, 2005, 11:32 AM
 
No, that's right. I have not. Hence, the thread.
     
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Apr 11, 2005, 11:37 AM
 
Originally posted by Moderator:
I agree, death is too easy. Give him something to think about and some time to think about it. Do you think after you've raped and killed a little girl you're afraid of dying..fcuk that they wanna die.

Plus, there's no "if" about it...we've definitely executed innocent people. It would be impossible to have a 100% fullproof system.

It also just seems awefully primitive/ primal for an advanced culture.
What country are you talking about?
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Apr 11, 2005, 11:48 AM
 
Originally posted by Cody Dawg:


Wow, MacNStein.

You always have amazing stories to tell. Did he do these things (originally) under the influence of drugs or something?
No. He was always a quiet kid in school, athlete, B student. He was just deeply disturbed and no one knew about it until it was too late. Strangely, I received a call from him a year ago, and he claimed I was one of the few friends he had in school... truth is, I barely remembered him. So, ever since then I've been talking to him on the phone every couple weeks and visiting him every other month. Truth is, I feel sorrow for him, but I do believe that he deserves to die for his crimes. It's just a very sad situation, for him and the families of his victims.

When he's executed, I'll attend. I feel a person needs to have someone there for them in their last minutes, and I'm the only one who seems to care about the guy anymore.
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Apr 11, 2005, 11:59 AM
 
Wow - again.



There was a guy in my high school who stabbed someone to death and I remember him being on trial for murder. He was an A student, but I remember that he seemed to brood a lot. He ended up being acquitted, though. He claimed it was in self defense. I've never known someone who killed someone like that.

Though, my husband had an employee work for him, then he quit to go back up to Pennsylvania, then he came back to work for him without notice - just called him up and asked if he could have a job. My husband gave him a job and then it turns out that he was wanted for murder up in Pennsylvania. They arrested him here in Florida and extradited him to Pennsylvania. Seems that he was accused of killing someone for drugs and/or money. You'd never have guessed it in a million years. Clean cut guy about 23 years old.
     
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Apr 11, 2005, 01:06 PM
 
The worst part (to me) is this paragraph in your linked story:

Also, Couey's timeline of the events after he kidnapped the girl leaves open the possibility that she was alive and in the house at the time of the first and possibly the second interview," said the documents released this week.
Which would tend to mean the girl was still alive and still being "used" while the search was being conducted for her, a mere 150 Yards away from her own home.

There is no punishment here on Earth bad enough for this type of person.

A good thing there's a Hell.
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Apr 11, 2005, 01:20 PM
 
I went to school with a guy who later killed his parents in their bed. Quiet kid but somewhere he lost it. Became obsessed with the car from the Stephen King novel, Christine.

Back in the early 90s, I was covering a murder trial of this guy who chopped up his girlfriend and her mother.

Interesting trial. The District Attorney knew he had a winner (the guy was trying to plead insanity). The DA told me: An insane person will stay the crime scene and doodle in the blood. A sane person will do what that guy did: Run home, wash up, burn his clothes and even try to scrape and burn his fingerprints so it couldn't be matched with his fingerprints (pre-CSI days).

Toward the end of the trial, the judge gave me a heads-up and said to save room on the front-page that night as things were drawing to a close quickly. I used the phone in his chambers to call the office (pre-cell phone days) and as I was walking out to re-enter the courtroom, the killer and I ran right into each other.

Looking into his eyes was creepy. They looked of death. Even though I was physically larger and likely stronger, it still gave me chills and was a touch scary. Those eyes just didn't look human.

He got life a few hours later.
( Last edited by Randman; Apr 12, 2005 at 07:43 AM. )

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Apr 11, 2005, 01:54 PM
 
Cody,

Death and evil acts like this are everywhere, and the person who suggested you not dwell on them gave smart advice.

I have only been a paramedic for 7 or 8 years, but I have seen a lot in that time. Try thinking about the things a career officer, medic, emerg nurse, coroner, etc has seen. It is difficult to do sometimes (to not dwell on it), but it is all around us, daily, and it is pretty easy to get sucked into if you aren't careful.

On the topic of the death penalty, I am a firm believer in it if there is no doubt. By that, I mean a confession that wasn't coersed (sp?), or dna evidence, etc.

Keeping this person alive for life is a supreme waste of millions of dollars of taxpayers money that I would much rather see be put into victims services, policing, health care, etc.
     
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Apr 11, 2005, 01:55 PM
 
Originally posted by MacNStein:
No. He was always a quiet kid in school, athlete, B student. He was just deeply disturbed and no one knew about it until it was too late. Strangely, I received a call from him a year ago, and he claimed I was one of the few friends he had in school... truth is, I barely remembered him. So, ever since then I've been talking to him on the phone every couple weeks and visiting him every other month. Truth is, I feel sorrow for him, but I do believe that he deserves to die for his crimes. It's just a very sad situation, for him and the families of his victims.

When he's executed, I'll attend. I feel a person needs to have someone there for them in their last minutes, and I'm the only one who seems to care about the guy anymore.
OT, but had to say it:

We disagree a lot on topics on this board, but I have a lot of respect for you for this.
     
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Apr 11, 2005, 01:56 PM
 
I'm against the death penalty, no matter how horrible the crime. It tears at me to think of the horrid things some do to innocent people, but I cannot help feel the way I do on the topic. I feel it is wrong to take a life. (period). Life is precious and should be used, or in the case of one who murders, forced to be used to help others.

I think of the good life that I have had so far, even with the downside, I cannot complain, and I feel it necessary that I try to give to others in one way or another. Bitchy-ness at times as well, aside. We all have those days.

Abortion is murder.
Executing someone for a crime is murder.
Euthenasia is murder, unless one is suffereing beyond help, and it has been their declared choice in the matter. I would differ to those who genuinely love this person, and others in that matter.

I wish life was this simple and clear, but it is not.

Too many scenarios arise from times that would allow the circumvention of the afformentioned list. Life is not black and white, it is an endless shade of gray, that is left up to us to determine how we will best follow them or break them. God help us with the consequences where we are wrong.

An innocent man is executed for a crime he did not commit.
A baby dies, because the mother is in jeopardy of dying herself and a choice is made.
An elderly person with surmounting chronic pain asks to die.

I wish I could help you with your inner conflict in the matter, but it is no different from anyone who has given this matter any amount of serious thought and reflection. We cannot pick and chose who dies and what criminals live, but we do, when we are a part of a trial and a jury. This is the imperfect life in which we have been thrust at birth, and it is the puzzle which we will have to endure and endeavor to answer until our death.
     
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Apr 11, 2005, 02:25 PM
 
Originally posted by budster101:
I'm against the death penalty, no matter how horrible the crime.
We cannot pick and chose who dies and what criminals live, but we do, when we are a part of a trial and a jury. This is the imperfect life in which we have been thrust at birth, and it is the puzzle which we will have to endure and endeavor to answer until our death.
Guess what. You, me, and others opposed to the death penalty are NOT allowed to be on a jury for a capital crime. Sometimes, I believe that this is the real reason that the death penalty still exists. Excluding a large part of the public from a jury may result in more convictions and thus prosecutors claim the death penalty is "good". sam
     
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Apr 11, 2005, 03:17 PM
 
I didn't know that information SVass.

Thanks.
( Last edited by Cody Dawg; Apr 11, 2005 at 04:06 PM. )
     
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Apr 11, 2005, 03:23 PM
 
Originally posted by Cody Dawg:
I didn't know that information SVass.
Probably because it isn't an accurate statement.

There is no law that I know in any jurisdiction that keeps you off a jury if you are against the death penalty. It's just that if you express a bias that might prevent you from properly doing your job as a juror, you will probably be struck during voire dire. I got struck last year probably because of my legal training. It's no big deal and it certainly isn't some conspiracy. It's just the lawyers doing their job for their clients.
     
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Apr 11, 2005, 03:32 PM
 
Originally posted by SimeyTheLimey:
Probably because it isn't an accurate statement.

There is no law that I know in any jurisdiction that keeps you off a jury if you are against the death penalty. It's just that if you express a bias that might prevent you from properly doing your job as a juror, you will probably be struck during voire dire. I got struck last year probably because of my legal training. It's no big deal and it certainly isn't some conspiracy. It's just the lawyers doing their job for their clients.
See "Runaway Jury" -

Scary but quite true I hear, in many instances. Of course they clumped all the tricks and behavior into one movie, but you have to admit this is used in some diluted fashion or another when selecting a jury for a big case.
     
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Apr 11, 2005, 03:49 PM
 
I guess if you are on a jury where the prosecution seeks the death penalty and you openly state that you are against the death penalty that would probably result in the prosecuter 86-ing you, it seems.
     
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Apr 11, 2005, 04:23 PM
 
Witherspoon v. Illinois, 391 U.S. 510, 521 (1968). The only venirepersons who could be constitutionally excluded from service in capital cases were those who "made unmistakably clear . . . that they would automatically vote against the imposition of capital punishment"

from a dissent by Marshal, Brennan, & Stevens, 476 U.S. 162
Lockhart v. McCree

http://supct.law.cornell.edu/supct/h...6_0162_ZD.html

PS (I was once rejected for a jury along with a cardiologist and a professor by the PROSECUTION. We were the only three college graduates in the prospective panel.) sam
     
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Apr 11, 2005, 04:25 PM
 
Originally posted by Cody Dawg:
I guess if you are on a jury where the prosecution seeks the death penalty and you openly state that you are against the death penalty that would probably result in the prosecuter 86-ing you, it seems.
..and it's the first question they ask prospective jurors.
     
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Apr 11, 2005, 04:32 PM
 
Originally posted by SVass:
Witherspoon v. Illinois, 391 U.S. 510, 521 (1968). The only venirepersons who could be constitutionally excluded from service in capital cases were those who "made unmistakably clear . . . that they would automatically vote against the imposition of capital punishment"

from a dissent by Marshal, Brennan, & Stevens, 476 U.S. 162
Lockhart v. McCree

http://supct.law.cornell.edu/supct/h...6_0162_ZD.html

PS (I was once rejected for a jury along with a cardiologist and a professor by the PROSECUTION. We were the only three college graduates in the prospective panel.) sam
Why are you citing a Marshall/Brennan/Stevens dissent?

Both prosecution and defense get both preemptory strikes and strikes for cause. Strikes for cause are subject to rules that don't apply in peremptory strikes. That is the issue that Marshall, Brennan, and Stevens lost over (repeatedly, as it happens).

To clarify, the case you quote Marshall, Brennan, and Stevens dissenting in pretty much overturned witherspoon.

Here is what the majority said about the dissent you quote:

FN 5. The dissent chides us for our failure to discuss in greater detail the Witherspoon case, and apparently seeks to remedy this defect by devoting page after page to its own exegesis of that decision. Much of this exegesis, however, is a latter-day version of a "fair cross section" theme barely adumbrated by that opinion. But even accepting the dissent's latter-day underpinnings for Witherspoon, that case represented a necessary balancing of the accused defendant's right to a jury panel drawn from a "fair cross section of the community"--which if carried to its logical conclusion would require that a juror be seated who frankly avowed that he could not and would not follow the judge's instructions on the law--against the traditional right of a party to challenge a juror for bias--which if carried to its logical extreme would permit exclusion from jury panels of groups of people whose general philosophical views might
have no bearing on their ability to follow a judge's instructions. We adhere to the essential balance struck by the Witherspoon decision rendered in 1968, if not to the version of it presented by today's dissent; we simply modify the test stated in Witherspoon 's footnote 21 to hold that the State may exclude from capital sentencing juries that "class" of veniremen whose views would prevent or substantially impair the performance of their duties in accordance with their instructions or their oaths.
Wainwright v. Witt, 469 U.S. 412, 424 n.5 (1985).
( Last edited by SimeyTheLimey; Apr 11, 2005 at 04:55 PM. )
     
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Apr 11, 2005, 04:43 PM
 
Originally posted by Cody Dawg:
Who would do such a think to such a sweetheart of a girl?
IMG]http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v495/Cody_Dawg/Jessica.jpg[/IMG]
This is what's wrong with us. I have these same instincts that Cody does -- oh, look! -- she's cute, and white, and it's terrible that she died a horrible death.

and in the meantime kids that aren't cute or white don't get the same reaction from me -- denying this is dishonest -- and consequently don't get attention from cable news. Or the nation in general. Or prosecutors, or anyone else.
     
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Apr 11, 2005, 04:54 PM
 
My solution to sex offenders wins:

BRAND THEM.

Permanently mark their foreheads, back of their neck, back, stomach, etc. with the words "child molester" or "sex offender." I'm also all for removing a visible digit or two from one or both of their hands (I'm thinking both pinky fingers, for instance). This should be done BEFORE they go to prison, just to make sure everyone in the Big House knows what they did. Let them serve their sentence, then release them into the population.

Of course, if they killed the child, then I'm all for doing everything above and then giving them the Big Sleep rather release.

Outside of molestation, if someone kills someone, I don't believe they have a right to ever have any rights -- so let them rot doing manual (gasp) labor, planting, growing and harvesting the food they'll eat. Give them tents on the ground to sleep in, make them work all day, break for breakfast, lunch and dinner, and sleep 5 or so hours a night. If there are no fields to tend, make some break rocks all day and others dig ditches -- then swap: let the breakers fill in the ditches and the breakers load the rocks for city use.

Rinse and repeat until they die.

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Apr 11, 2005, 05:05 PM
 
Simey, I'm not quite sure why you're pushing this.
uscourts.gov
c. Jury Selection. The lawyer in a death penalty case also has additional responsibilities in jury selection. Because the same jury will generally decide the penalty phase as a well as the guilt phase, the court must determine whether jurors should be disqualified because their views about the imposition of the death penalty, for or against, would make them unable to follow the law governing penalty phase deliberations. Typically the "death qualification" inquiry is conducted on an individual basis. The usual voir dire in a federal criminal case is conducted by the judge, with limited participation by counsel. In death penalty cases, however, the lawyers generally participate in drafting questionnaires for prospective jurors, and take part in questioning the venire. Jury selection takes much longer in federal death penalty cases than in non-capital federal criminal cases both because the total number of jurors questioned is larger to allow for those who may be excused due to the death qualification inquiry, pretrial publicity or other factors related to the nature of the case, and because of the more extensive questioning of each individual prospective juror.
United States vs. Williams
Because the district court has improvised a procedure at odds with the Federal Death Penalty Act, we VACATE the order of the district court that the case proceed to trial with a non-death-penalty-qualified jury, and re-order that the case proceed promptly to trial.
i.e. it is contrary to federal law to use a non-death-penalty-qualified jury for the GUILT portion of the trial, and then a death-penalty-qualified jury for the SENTENCING part if necessary.

And this plays out in current cases:
Birmingham News:
Selection of jury for Rudolph trial to start
...Rudolph could face the death penalty if convicted, so the questionnaire will likely ask whether a person, if selected as a juror, would be able to vote for a death sentence.

"The court has to explore their views on capital punishment," said John Carroll of Samford University's Cumberland School of Law. "The jury has to be death qualified."

San Diego Union-Tribune:
Because the Westerfield trial is a capital case, all the jurors – whether they're CEOs or janitors, retirees or recent college grads – will have one thing in common: A stated belief that the death penalty is appropriate under certain circumstances.

Under state law, a jury in a capital case must be "death-qualified." That is, anyone who is morally opposed to capital punishment must be excused from a death-penalty case during jury selection.
     
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Apr 11, 2005, 05:16 PM
 
For Simey the Limey et alii, First argument for nullification by juries has been allowed since the Zenger case circa 1735 or even the Lilburne treason trials in the previous century. Judges are NOT the arbiters of our criminal law; although, they like to think so. Voire dire can be limited by both law and practice. For example, during our colonial period, some jurisdictions did not allow Presbyterians on juries because of their opposition to the death penalty. Now, I would think that any questions pertaining to one's religion would be problematic. The improper use of peremptory challenges by prosecutors comes to light at periodic intervals including the exclusion of Jews in one California county recently. sam
     
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Apr 11, 2005, 05:40 PM
 
Mithras: Quit playing the race card. It's pretty old.





It's also offensive. It doesn't matter what color she was or is. The amount of melanin in someone's skin has absolutely nothing to do with how I feel.
     
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Apr 11, 2005, 06:32 PM
 
Let me add a side point. In the OJ Simpson case, an FBI lab supervisor (as well as a policeman) intentionally lied on the witness stand; In the Wen Ho Lee case, an FBI agent intentionally lied to the judge; In the Moussaoui case, a federal prosecutor intentionally lied to the press about evidence against him, and if these had been in court in a capital case the punishment should be DEATH according to existing law. None of these existing liars has ever even faced prosecution (except the dumb cop). sam
     
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Apr 11, 2005, 06:49 PM
 
That's disgusting.

To give Mithras a point or two, I'm well aware of the fact that people of color or ethnicity are routinely discriminated against.

I was at a Denny's restaurant having a simple bowl of soup when I heard a supposed manager (in Tequesta, Florida) yell at the hostess, "You can get your black ass out of here and go home." I was disgusted. I asked for the number to the general manager and I called her. I called their corporate offices. I heard yesterday that they fired her. I feel bad because I was so upset that I said something.

I know where she's working now, though, and I'm going to get in touch with her to tell her that if she wants to proceed to litigation against the restaurant I'm ready to testify for her for wrongful dismissal and racial discrimination.

     
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Apr 11, 2005, 08:01 PM
 
You have not addressed if she was fired because she was black or whether she was fired for something else.

Yes, the manager calling her black is not correct and should not have been used, but unless you know the whole story you can not really comment.

Maybe she was caught spitting in the soup, and that is why she was fired. Nothing to do with race at all.
     
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Apr 11, 2005, 09:32 PM
 
Cody: Why did you post the picture of the girl?
     
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Apr 11, 2005, 09:50 PM
 
Originally posted by Mithras:
Simey, I'm not quite sure why you're pushing this.
Because it was a misstatement. There is no categoric rule that people who are against the death penalty cannot serve on death penalty cases. They can. People can serve on a death penalty jury regardless of personal opinions -- providing that they are willing to follow the law. That all that "death qualification" is.

In practice, people with pronounced anti-death penalty views are likely to be stricken during voire dire. But that is a matter of trial practice and the traditional right of both sides to shape the jury during its empanelment. It is not a per se prohibition against people with anti-death penalty views as SVass wrongly stated.

SVass: I'm personally rather sympathetic to jury nullification. The jury has traditionally served as a check on the power of the executive. But that is a rather minority view. The more modern view holds that a jury is a factfinder only. It does not have the independent power to determine questions of law. The applicability of the death penalty is a question of law. The proper way to get the death penalty overturned is through your state legislature. If you are going to make statements about what the law is, you have to make a statement based on what the law is, not what you would like it to be.
     
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Apr 11, 2005, 11:08 PM
 
Simey, this is not a matter of the lawyers having the ability to strike down jurors they deem as unsympathetic. Nor is it simply that a juror who wouldn't support the death penalty as punishment cannot rule on punishment. A juror who expresses opposition to the death penalty -- indicating unwillingness or inability to apply the law -- cannot, under federal law, serve to determine the GUILT of a person. And as I mentioned, many states have laws explicitly requiring all capital crime jurors to be screened as such.

I think those facts quite reasonably support SVass' statement:
You, me, and others opposed to the death penalty are NOT allowed to be on a jury for a capital crime.
     
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Apr 12, 2005, 03:54 AM
 
Cody, I didn't read this whole thread but I have a question for you that you should take some time to think about!

If murder is such a cruel thing, why do you want to murder a murderer?
***
     
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Apr 12, 2005, 06:01 AM
 
Originally posted by Mithras:
Simey, this is not a matter of the lawyers having the ability to strike down jurors they deem as unsympathetic. Nor is it simply that a juror who wouldn't support the death penalty as punishment cannot rule on punishment. A juror who expresses opposition to the death penalty -- indicating unwillingness or inability to apply the law -- cannot, under federal law, serve to determine the GUILT of a person. And as I mentioned, many states have laws explicitly requiring all capital crime jurors to be screened as such.

I think those facts quite reasonably support SVass' statement:
Mithras: What I have said is accurate. Death qualification means nothing more than a juror being willing to apply the law as it exists. The Federal Death Penalty Act does (as the 5th Circuit says) nothing more than align federal practice with the states (where most death penalty cases are heard). Juries do not have the right to nullify in any case. If you stand up before a judge in any type of case and say that you cannot apply the law, you will be struck for cause.

If a juror is against the death penalty, but can still apply the law as any juror in any case must indicate he or she can do, then that juror can as a matter of law be empaneled. There is no legal prohibition.

It may be as a practical matter that a juror who expresses opposition is likely to be struck by the prosecution, just as it may be as a practical matter that the same juror is likely to be sought out by the defense. That is a very different matter from asserting a legal prohibition that does not exist.
     
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Apr 12, 2005, 06:06 AM
 
If you're anti-death penalty, that would automatically give you a bias in any case.
Many jurors don't opt for the death penalty, but while it's legal option, proseucutors and judges should have the right to seek the death penalty without prior bias from the jury.

That's not penalizing a potential juror, that's following the rule of the law.

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Apr 12, 2005, 06:40 AM
 
Originally posted by Randman:
If you're anti-death penalty, that would automatically give you a bias in any case.
Many jurors don't opt for the death penalty, but while it's legal option, proseucutors and judges should have the right to seek the death penalty without prior bias from the jury.

That's not penalizing a potential juror, that's following the rule of the law.
But if you are pro-death penalty, it also gives you a bias.

I thought the jury was supposed to consist of average citizens -- hence some of them may be in favor of the death penalty and some of them against it.
I don't suffer from insanity, I enjoy every minute of it.
     
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Apr 12, 2005, 06:46 AM
 
Is anyone pro-death penalty? Or are those who aren't against it because it's the law. A small detail but we are talking about legal impressions here.

Besides, all you have to do it lie and say you're ambivalent about the death penalty if selected for jury duty, regardless of your true feelings on the subject.

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Apr 12, 2005, 07:04 AM
 
Originally posted by Randman:
Is anyone pro-death penalty? Or are those who aren't against it because it's the law. A small detail but we are talking about legal impressions here.

Besides, all you have to do it lie and say you're ambivalent about the death penalty if selected for jury duty, regardless of your true feelings on the subject.
To answer your first question, apparently quite a few Americans are in favor of the death penalty, otherwise it would be outlawed.

I don't understand your second question: those who aren't against it = those who are in favor of the death penalty, because it's the law = those people are in favor of the death penalty, because a law says it's ok?

Sorry, don't understand that part.

And yes, you could lie about your opinion, but what good would that do? Or are you suggesting some `evil' opponents of the death penalty infiltrate juries to change the outcome of the trial to `their' favor?
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Apr 12, 2005, 07:17 AM
 
You said pro-death penalty. It made it sound, to me, as if people advocated killing everyone.

As far as the jury duty, I was saying that you don't have to say you're against the death penalty, even if you are, if you truly wish to be selected for jury duty.

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Apr 12, 2005, 07:37 AM
 
Originally posted by Randman:
... Became obsessed with the car from the Stephen King novel, Carrie...
More likely Christine.
Chris. T.
"... in 6 months if WMD are found, I hope all clear-thinking people who opposed the war will say "You're right, we were wrong -- good job". Similarly, if after 6 months no WMD are found, people who supported the war should say the same thing -- and move to impeach Mr. Bush." - moki, 04/16/03
     
 
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