The US had 46 in 2010, 52 in 2009, and 37 in 2008, assuming around a 20 year average from murder to execution, that leaves about 60,000 murders for '88, '89, and '90 that still had some doubt in them somewhere. I realize that's a pretty broad brush with statistics, and I realize it's still possible to make a mistakes. Crime has come down since the '80's and '90's, too. But, does anyone really think that putting 46 people to death in the US for crimes they were committed of after having full trial and multiple appeals compared to 2.5million deaths annually in the US is really a huge concern? The normal population of the US has about 800 deaths per 100,000 a year. In prison, the death rate is about 250 deaths per 100,000 a year. If you're just considering adults, 250/year is about 20% lower than regular people. Meaning, you're 20% less likely to die in prison than you are out of prison. Now, apply that to the people we're discussing - typically violent men with past felonies. They probably only lasted the 20 or so years until they were executed because they were in prison. The death penalty is a major factor in plea-bargaining. It should not come off the table.
The US is an odd ship. The captain yells out when he sees obtacles , but 535 individual propellers do the steering.
The death penalty is appropriate for heinous crimes proven beyond doubt.
It's not appropriate for ordinary murder proven by shady police practices and lazy judicial review.
(avatar by Thomas Nast)
If you're referring to the Troy Davis execution, are you saying that multiple courts, including the Supreme Court, were lazy in their reviews?
I do not like the death penalty at all..and I absolutely agree that it should be adminstered rarely and for the unsalvageable like Ted Bundys
I can't even go that far, but I accept that our society disagrees with me.
Most studies on the subject suggest there is little to no deterrent aspect to the death penalty. In fact, some studies on the subject have gone so far to suggest the very existence of a death penalty actually promotes murder, for many of the reasons you outlined in paragraph 1. The very existence of a violent punishment is reflective a society that sanctions violence; and deems it appropriate to solve problems with violence.
BTW... clothes are hung and people are hanged.
Last edited by upsideguy; 09-25-11 at 10:56 AM.
Once a man (woman) is convicted, the basic presumption rightfully shifts to a presumption of guilty. To be exonerated after the fact, one must prove their innocence or at least prove the damning evidence was unlawfully obtained or used. That is probably a good standard for most cases, but in the case of an execution, where the person gets no second chance at this, they should likely have a lower standard that, at least, sets aside the execution. The standard to move forward with an execution should be higher than "just beyond reasonable doubt" with all types of collaborating evidence... and should anyone move something from this exceptionally lofty standard, the death penalty should be set aside.
As to the laziness of the courts, they tended to follow this standard for a long-time, setting aside a death penalty whenever there was any doubt whatsoever. The courts then started feeling the political pressure of averting too many executions, so they "got lazy" and did it the easy way.