On This Date In History: Here’s an example of why I am against the death penalty. Before you get too riled up, it’s mainly because it assumes a perfect system and the release of James Richardson from 21 years on Florida’s death row on this date in 1989 illustrates my point. In 1967, his seven children were poisoned to death after his neighbor came over and heated up a meal for the seven Richardson children while Richardson and his wife were out picking fruit in the fields. The kids all began foaming at the mouth and subsequently died. The prosecutor told the jury how Richardson had met with a life insurance salesman just the day before about insuring his whole family. They had found the poisoned food in the home and the poison behind in the family’s shed. That’s it…guilty!! Well, the prosecutor didn’t tell the jury that the insurance salesman came by unsolicited and that Richardson never bought any insurance because he couldn’t afford it. The jury also was never told that…the neighbor was on parole for…poisoning her first husband to death!!! She was suspected of killing her second husband as well.
Fortunately the truth came out and the Richardson got out of jail after 21 years but the man was supposed to go to the electric chair. There was a mistake. The prosecutor was a bum, the guy had a crummy defense attorney and the jury was wrong. It happens in an imperfect system but the death penalty is irrevocable. If this guy had been killed, what do you tell the family “whoops?” Where does his wife go for justice? If the guy was executed, why would a case like that not be negligent homicide for the jury and judge and murder for the prosecutor? See…that is my point. It’s an imperfect system yet there is an ultimate penalty. Before you get really really bent out of shape, consider the real problem with this story…the parole of a murderer. Had that neighbor woman been left in jail to serve her sentence instead of being paroled, it wouldn’t have happened.
Capital punishment is perfect but the system is not. One mistake is not worth it. If judges, juries and prosecutors were told they would be held responsible for a mistake in a capital case, do you really think there would be many death sentences? Life in prison is a greater punishment in my opinion and it at least leaves open a potential remedy in the case of a mistake or like this case, injustice by a wayward prosecutor. Here’s something else that I find ironic regarding the capital punishment…ever notice the number of people who proclaim themselves as pro-life, yet support the death penalty? If you say that all life is precious, then how can one be for the death penalty?
Samantha Smith became an international celebrity on this date in 1982 as a 10 year old when the Soviet Union published a written response to her letter to Soviet Premier Yuri Andropov in which she asked if the USSR was going to start a nuclear war. This is a cute, feel good, reflective story until you reach the end. Samantha Smith died in a plane crash at the age of 13. Try this link for more:
Davy Crockett became famous on this date in 1831 when a play called The Lion of the West opened in New York. He was played by an actor who was famous at the time named Hackett. Later on books and stuff came out and the mythology of Crockett was born, especially after he was killed at the Alamo. But, one thing is for certain, PETA would not have been a fan. Myths that are based on real people usually have a measure of truth. In Crockett’s case, the references to him “skinning a bahr” (bear) perhaps came from the fact that he once killed 105 bears in Tennessee in one season. If this is indeed a fact, then its no wonder we don’t see too many bears in Tennessee these days.
President Truman put in a bowling alley at the White House on this date in 1947. If you recall, during the election, then Senator Obama went bowling. Perhaps he knew of the White House bowling alley and thought that practicing on the lanes was part of the audition. If so, he needs a little help. I think he bowled something like a 37. Turns out, Truman didn’t like bowling too much either but he had it installed so that staffers could recreate and start a league. In 1955, the lanes were moved to the Executive Office Building but in 1969, President Nixon had a single lane put back in. Before he took office, President Obama said he was going to give up on bowling and replace the lane with a basketball court. Not sure if he’s gotten around to it yet.
Edward R. Murrow might be celebrating his 101st birthday today if he hadn’t smoked so much.
Weather Bottom Line: If you look at the channel shown above with the slight risk and moderate risk in the middle in the plains, then you get a fair idea of where the action should be for the next several days. We’ve got a ridge over the Southeast and the weakness and the jetstream will be oriented from the Southwest through the plains toward the Great Lakes. Impulses of energy will be ejected from time to time through the region and severe weather will probably break out in that area at varying times. On Tuesday, we get a front coming through as the ridge breaks down a bit. Until then, we will see lots of sunshine with highs in the low to mid 80′s. Snow White and I went to the Reds and the Braves last night. It was a wonderful night. The weather for a baseball game in Cincinnati will be outstanding through Monday, when the Astros show up…they better hope for rain because the Astros suck right now.