I find these stories funny

The AJC wants to know if Georgia can afford the death penalty.

An accused killer from Pike County has sat in jail for nearly four years without a trial — not because of any problems with the evidence but because the state is seeking the death penalty and cannot pay for the man’s defense.

There’s been an orchestrated effort over the years to drive up the costs of death penalty cases so much that it becomes unreasonable to do them. It is an intentional strategy where the strategy’s proponents hide behind the constitution. That’s fair and smart, but it is also disingenuous to deny that is the strategy.

Some people need killin’ by the state, but a minority opposed is doing its best to bankrupt the system to prevent it from happening. It really is a smart strategy and death penalty proponents have yet to come up with an effective way to combat the strategy.

49 comments

  1. ByteMe says:

    and death penalty proponents have yet to come up with an effective way to combat the strategy

    Of course they have. It’s called “The NRA”.

      • ByteMe says:

        Are you implying that their strategy of “a gun in every house” is not their way of promoting the idea that you’re supposed to shoot people who threaten you?

        • Sleepy Tom says:

          Guns being present prevents more lives from being lost.

          Not every encounter with a law-abiding citizen who owns and wields a gun in self-defense results in the death of someone.

  2. benevolus says:

    Death penalty proponents strategy is ineffective because it consists solely of “Some people need killin’ by the state”.

    Faith based justice, if you will.

  3. Progressive Dem says:

    The cost issue, whether it is the cost of keeping someone in prisom for the remainder of their live, or the legal costs of the appeals – is irrelevant. We’re talking about taking a life.

      • Progressive Dem says:

        That is a claim that cannot be backed by statistics. States without the death penalty (which include New York, Illinois and Massachusetts) have lower murder rates than states that have the death penalty.

        • umustbekidding says:

          Areas with high gun ownership have less crime so maybe everyone should get a gun for safety and not worry about the death penalty. 😉 Guns are very good deterrents.

          • ByteMe says:

            Perhaps you just mean “high legal gun ownership”, because I know areas of town with high gun ownership and it’s definitely not somewhere you want to walk alone on a dark night.

          • Progressive Dem says:

            Actually, there is a direct correlation between gun deaths and gun ownership. The states with highest gun ownership have the highest rates of gun deaths. While the states with the lowest gun ownership rates, have the lowest gun death rates.

            A CDC analysis shows that the 5 US states (Louisiana, Alaska, Montana, Tennessee, Alabama) with the highest gun-related deaths also have the highest percentages of household gun-ownership compared with the 5 states (Hawaii, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, New Jersey, New York) with the lowest gun death rates. For example, in Alaska where 60.6% of households own guns, the gun-related death rate was 17.49 per 100,000 persons. In contrast, with 9.7% of households owning guns, Hawaii had a gun-related death rate of 2.20 per 100,000.

            Most deaths from guns are not in the commission of a felony. Most deaths from guns come from suicides. The next second most deadly use of guns is among people who know one another – friends and relatives who are arguing. Less than 8% of gun deaths are felony related. Households that have guns are creating more opportunities for fatal suicide attemps and fatal disputes among family members. Households without guns are reducing the risk of having a gun used against a family member.

        • GOPGeorgia says:

          The death penalty is a very effective deterrent if you consider that anyone put to death by the state never hurt anyone else after they died.

          • rugby says:

            Also consider that the state has put people to death who also never killed anyone (which is, I assume, your definition of “hurt anyone”). Nice power the state has.

          • GOPGeorgia says:

            progressive,

            Have you not heard of inmate on inmate volience? Or do you not care if the person being killed in an inmate?

  4. I don’t think this “secret strategy” is all that “secret”. Of course we want to make it as expensive as possible for the State to kill someone, so the State will be less inclined to pursue that option. We also contribute our own money to efforts such as the Innocence Project, which has used DNA evidence to exonerate hundreds of wrongly-convicted felons… around 10% of which were on death row.

    I wonder if Erick finds those stories funny.

    On the other side of the coin, death penalty proponents play their own strategies also. Last month, the Texas Forensic Science Commission had a hearing scheduled to examine the junk science used to convict and execute Cameron Todd Willingham five years ago. Two days before the hearing, Gov. Rick Perry sacked the Commission’s chairman and two other members. The first action Perry’s replacement did upon taking the post was to cancel the hearing. See if you can figure out the difference between “games” being played by death penalty opponents and proponents here.

    I wonder if Erick finds that story funny.

    There is no rational argument supporting the death penalty. It is more expensive than life without parole. It has been consistently shown not to serve as a greater crime deterrent than life without parole. The rest of Western civilization is moving away from it, leaving us on the same moral ground as the Muslim world and totalitarian China. Last but by no means least, there have been enough exonerations over the past decade to show that the State has doubtlessly killed innocent people.

    Nothing about this is all that funny. The death penalty is nothing more a play on voters’ base emotions… a vestige of the savage past out of which our race is steadily (albeit slowly) crawling.

    • Progressive Dem says:

      GOP Ga.

      I’m glad to see you are concerned about the conditions of our penal system. No doubt you would be in favor of improving those conditions in order to reduce crimes, corruption in prison. Perhaps you would even want to try rehabilitation as a policy for some criminals to reduce recidivism. Maximum security prisons have effective means of isolating dangerous criminals. Prison is a dangerous place, and those conditions are certainly a deterrenet to most of society.

      • GOPGeorgia says:

        One of my best friends works at Hayes prison. It’s where the worst of the worst go. It’s so interesting that Nat-Geo did a 9 week series on the place. I hear lots of stories about what really goes on that does not make the papers.

        “Maximum security prisons have effective means of isolating dangerous criminals.” I find that a tad funny. My friend will have to undergo surgery to fix his nose from a disagreement with an isolated inmate.

        I think we should have truth in sentencing. If someone gets 2 years and only does 3 months, that’s not a deterrent. That’s a joke, and it’s not a funny one. I think the sentence should fit the crime. If they deserve 30 days, give them 30 days. If they deserve 3 years, give them 3 years. If they deserve the death penalty, prove it with DNA evidence, and if they can’t find fault with the arrest or the conviction inside of two years, carry out the sentence. It should only be given out for the most heinous crimes and it should be rare. But when it’s used, it should be used.

        Drug use cases should be treated more like an addiction with rehab, IMO. Drug dealer cases should have the book and the building thrown at them.

        • Progressive Dem says:

          I’m sorry the correctional officer was hurt. The State has a responsibility to protect correction officers as well as possible. Does it surprise you that a guard in the Georgia sytem could be hurt? Furloughs were the norm in almost every state department, so I don’t doubt they cut funds in corrections, too. This is a state that doesn’t spend wisely in transportation or education. There is little reason to believe it is going to manage prisons very well.

          • GOPGeorgia says:

            No, I’m not surprised that an officer can be hurt. Anyone can be hurt by a criminal. It happens all the time. There is a high turnover rate in that job. He is not getting a raise this year, but over the years he has had some fun overtime jobs: working the Olympics, hunting for Eric Rudolph in NC, and he is on the TAC squad, which goes in the prisons if they reach riot level conditions and for shakedowns.

            When he was working a shift that involved the inmates going to bed, the TV in the rec room is supposed to be cut off and stay off until morning. It kept coming back on to entertain the inmates. The inmates told him that it must be broken because it kept coming back on. The next day the TV was sent off for repairs to fix the problem. After a week, they sent the TV back without finding a problem to fix, but the TV stays off when it is supposed to be off now.
            (That’s a funny story.)

            FYI, I am fairly certain that he is pro-death penalty, but he doesn’t talk about it publicly because of his job.

            As far as the state not managing prisons very well, it’s main job is to keep the criminals locked up and there are few escapes. There is much room for improvement in some areas though. Some judges don’t think it’s a big deal for an inmate to have a cell phone. Cell phones lead to escape attempts and trafficking other banned items, money for payoffs, weapons, drugs, and more.

  5. aquaman says:

    Defense cost so much because we insist on claiming innocence for murderers in spite of numerous eye witnesses or if they freely admit their guilt, hell they can be caught on camera and some idiot will demand an exhaustive defense process. If we would deal with those cases expeditiously the overall expense would go down dramatically and we could spend more on the cases where the question of innocence is real. But sadly the death penalty opponents will never agree and killers will continue to live or worse go free and some innocents will suffer, perhaps die. Example: Nidal Malik Hasan is guilty. We have over 30 eye witness victims. Where is the need for a long and expensive trial? Example: Brian Nichols was guilty. It took over three years to decide that fact and to sentence him to 3 squares, TV, basketball and the weight room for the rest of his miserable life.

    • Sleepy Tom says:

      Byte is still in a quandary over that one. On the one hand, he loves to coddle criminals. On the other hand, when they kill so many officers of law enforcement, he teeters on the edge of common sense.

      • ByteMe says:

        Nice strawman. Find someone else to attack.

        As for aquaman, yeah, there’s that whole damn “innocent until proven guilty” thing. Stupid constitution. I’m sure the framers weren’t all that interested in it.

        Yes, there are definitely “slam dunk” cases. But there are also marginal cases where the state’s case is flimsy, but the local prosecutor wants to make a name for himself so he can move up in county politics and is willing to do it on the back of an indigent defendant who was caught in the wrong place at the wrong time, but might not be the one who deserves the death penalty.

        I wrote it earlier in another thread: we need to take the prosecution (and defense costs) of death penalty cases out of the hands of county prosecutors and put them into the hands of a state attorney’s office. That way we don’t worry so much about bankrupting a county trying one of these cases and the odds of monkey business are lower.

        • aquaman says:

          Byte,

          Your reference to the constitution is total BS. I never suggested foregoing the presumption of innocence. I actually made the case for protecting it by directing more funds to cases where guilt or innocence is in question by not wasting millions on defending some dirt bag who commits murder in front of a hundred witnesses.

  6. aquaman says:

    Byte,

    No I read every pearl.
    You begin by dismissing my comments by implying I want to ignore the constitution. Then basically agree with my point. Sorry that’s still BS.

  7. The Comma Guy says:

    ByteMe – the problem is that under the current system, the Counties don’t bankroll the system. Under the old system they did. That changed when Georgia passed the new Public Defender law. All the money for funding the defense of a Death Penalty case comes from the Public Defender’s Council in Atlanta.

    • ByteMe says:

      I stand corrected on that point, thanks.

      Because of this new fact, I’m even more convinced that the prosecuting of death penalty cases needs to be taken out of the hands of county prosecutors and put in the hands of state’s attorneys who do not stand for re-election.

Comments are closed.