A Case Against the Death Penalty

If Death Penalty Advocates Had Their Way, This Innocent Man Would be Dead

If Death Penalty Advocates Had Their Way, This Innocent Man Would be Dead

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. 

Are All of These Men Guilty? Would You Bet Your Life on It?

Are All of These Men Guilty? Would You Bet Your Life on It?

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? 

Beautiful Story with Sad Ending

Beautiful Story with Sad Ending

 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:


Crockett Tells a Bear Tale

Crockett Tells a Bear Tale

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. 

Nice Shirt, Dick.

Nice Shirt, Dick.

No Bowling Shoes!

No Bowling Shoes!

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.




3 Responses

  1. The Death Penalty: More Protection for Innocents
    Dudley Sharp, Justice Matters, contact info below

    Often, the death penalty dialogue gravitates to the subject of innocents at risk of execution. Seldom is a more common problem reviewed. That is, how innocents are more at risk without the death penalty.

    Enhanced Due Process

    No knowledgeable and honest party questions that the death penalty has the most extensive due process protections in US criminal law.

    Therefore, actual innocents are more likely to be sentenced to life imprisonment and more likely to die in prison serving under that sentence, that it is that an actual innocent will be executed.

    That is. logically, conclusive.

    Enhanced Incapacitation

    To state the blatantly clear, living murderers, in prison, after release or escape, are much more likely to harm and murder, again, than are executed murderers.

    Although an obvious truism, it is surprising how often folks overlook the enhanced incapacitation benefits of the death penalty over incarceration.

    Enhanced Deterrence

    16 recent studies, inclusive of their defenses, find for death penalty deterrence.

    A surprise? No.

    Life is preferred over death. Death is feared more than life.

    Some believe that all studies with contrary findings negate those 16 studies. They don’t. Studies which don’t find for deterrence don’t say no one is deterred, but that they couldn’t measure those deterred.

    What prospect of a negative outcome doesn’t deter some? There isn’t one . . . although committed anti death penalty folk may say the death penalty is the only one.

    Even the premier anti death penalty scholar accepts it as a given that the death penalty is a deterrent, but does not believe it to be a greater deterrent than a life sentence. Yet, the evidence is compelling and un refuted that death is feared more than life.

    Enhanced Fear

    Some death penalty opponents argue against death penalty deterrence, stating that it’s a harsher penalty to be locked up without any possibility of getting out.

    Reality paints a very different picture.

    What percentage of capital murderers seek a plea bargain to a death sentence? Zero or close to it. They prefer long term imprisonment.

    What percentage of convicted capital murderers argue for execution in the penalty phase of their capital trial? Zero or close to it. They prefer long term imprisonment.

    What percentage of death row inmates waive their appeals and speed up the execution process? Nearly zero. They prefer long term imprisonment.

    This is not, even remotely, in dispute.

    What of that more rational group, the potential murderers who choose not to murder, is it likely that they, like most of us, fear death more than life?

    Life is preferred over death. Death is feared more than life.

    The False Promise

    Part of the anti death penalty deception is that a life sentence, with no possibility of release, is a superior alternative to the death penalty. It’s a lie. History tells us that lifers have many ways to get out: Pardon, commutation, escape, clerical error, change in the law, etc. There are few absolutes with sentencing. But, here are two: the legislature can lessen the sentences of current inmates, retroactively, and the executive branch can lessen any individual sentence, at any time. This has been, actively, pursued, for a number of years, in many states, because of the high cost of life sentences and/or geriatric care, found to be $60,000-$90,000 per year per inmate.

    Innocents released from death row: Some reality

    Furthermore, possibly we have sentenced 25 actually innocent people to death since 1973, or 0.3% of those so sentenced. Those have all been released upon post conviction review. The anti death penalty claims, that the numbers are significantly higher, are a fraud, easily discoverable by fact checking.

    The innocents deception of death penalty opponents has been getting exposure for many years. Even the behemoth of anti death penalty newspapers, The New York Times, has recognized that deception.

    “To be sure, 30 or 40 categorically innocent people have been released from death row . . . “(1) This when death penalty opponents were claiming the release of 119 “innocents” from death row. Death penalty opponents never required actual innocence in order for cases to be added to their “exonerated” or “innocents” list. They simply invented their own definitions for exonerated and innocent and deceptively shoe horned large numbers of inmates into those definitions – something easily discovered with fact checking.

    There is no proof of an innocent executed in the US, at least since 1900.

    If we accept that the best predictor of future performance is past performance, we can, reasonably, conclude that the DNA cases will be excluded prior to trial, and that for the next 8000 death sentences, that we will experience a 99.8% accuracy rate in actual guilt convictions. This improved accuracy rate does not include the many additional safeguards that have been added to the system, over and above DNA testing.

    Of all the government programs in the world, that put innocents at risk, is there one with a safer record and with greater protections than the US death penalty?


    In choosing to end the death penalty, or in choosing not implement it, some have chosen to spare murderers at the cost of sacrificing more innocent lives.


    Full report -All Innocence Issues: The Death Penalty, upon request.

    Full report – The Death Penalty as a Deterrent, upon request

    (1) The Death of Innocents: A Reasonable Doubt,
    New York Times Book Review, p 29, 1/23/05, Adam Liptak,
    national legal correspondent for The NY Times

    copyright 2007-2009, Dudley Sharp
    Permission for distribution of this document, in whole or in part, is approved with proper attribution.

    Dudley Sharp, Justice Matters
    e-mail sharpjfa@aol.com 713-622-5491,
    Houston, Texas

    Mr. Sharp has appeared on ABC, BBC, CBS, CNN, C-SPAN, FOX, NBC, NPR, PBS, VOA and many other TV and radio networks, on such programs as Nightline, The News Hour with Jim Lehrer, The O’Reilly Factor, etc., has been quoted in newspapers throughout the world and is a published author.

    A former opponent of capital punishment, he has written and granted interviews about, testified on and debated the subject of the death penalty, extensively and internationally.

    Pro death penalty sites

    Essays: http://homicidesurvivors.com/categories/Dudley%20Sharp%20-%20Justice%20Matters.aspx

    http://www.coastda.com/archives.html See death penalty
    http://yesdeathpenalty.googlepages.com/home2 (Sweden)

  2. Muito bom o site, gostaria de propor uma troca de links como parceiros, meu site é o http://www.futebolforum.co.cc , valeu.

  3. There is obviously a lot to learn. There are some good points here.

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