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-   -   Better late than never? Rick Perry posthumously pardons dead prisoner (http://bloggingheads.tv/forum/showthread.php?t=7229)

Don Zeko 12-13-2011 04:04 AM

Better late than never? Rick Perry posthumously pardons dead prisoner
 
Apparently if you're imprisoned for a crime you didn't commit in Texas, you can get a pardon from Rick Perry. It's just that it'll require the guilty man to confess and lobby on your behalf, and the pardon will come ten years after your death. Would any of the fine folks who thought that Cameron Todd Willingham deserved to die for having his kids burn in an accidental fire like to explain why this man was really a guilty scumbag?

Quote:

Timothy Cole, imprisoned while a 26-year-old student at Texas Tech University, had been failed by the justice system at every turn. But what makes his story particularly gut-wrenching is that he perished in prison even as the real rapist, Jerry Johnson, tried repeatedly to confess to the crime. By the time Johnson's story was heard, Cole had been dead nearly a decade.

Sulla the Dictator 12-13-2011 04:28 AM

Re: Better late than never? Rick Perry posthumously pardons dead prisoner
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Don Zeko (Post 234498)
Apparently if you're imprisoned for a crime you didn't commit in Texas, you can get a pardon from Rick Perry. It's just that it'll require the guilty man to confess and lobby on your behalf, and the pardon will come ten years after your death. Would any of the fine folks who thought that Cameron Todd Willingham deserved to die for having his kids burn in an accidental fire like to explain why this man was really a guilty scumbag?

This guy died before Rick Perry was even governor. And even the lawyer representing the guy says that the real rapist didn't send him anything until 2005. It sounds like the person you should be upset with is the murderer/rapist (Who waited until his statute of limitations were up and even then, no one agrees he sent them anything in 1995) and the police who did a bad line up, not the Texan court system.

Ocean 12-13-2011 09:11 AM

Re: Better late than never? Rick Perry posthumously pardons dead prisoner
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Sulla the Dictator (Post 234500)
This guy died before Rick Perry was even governor. And even the lawyer representing the guy says that the real rapist didn't send him anything until 2005. It sounds like the person you should be upset with is the murderer/rapist (Who waited until his statute of limitations were up and even then, no one agrees he sent them anything in 1995) and the police who did a bad line up, not the Texan court system.

Perhaps the main point is that our justice system, in practice, as it is, is so imperfect, that we should be careful applying the harshest forms of punishment and in making quick judgements about alleged perpetrators of crimes. Time and time again, we find mistakes made by one party or the other. That's the real message, I think.

apple 12-13-2011 12:40 PM

Re: Better late than never? Rick Perry posthumously pardons dead prisoner
 
And here I was, thinking that you'd have Sulla on ignore.

Also, the fact that there are imperfections, does not mean that there are not cases in which there is close to absolute certainty about what happened and who did it. If this is your argument against the death penalty, why would you oppose the death penalty in those cases?

AemJeff 12-13-2011 12:45 PM

Re: Better late than never? Rick Perry posthumously pardons dead prisoner
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by apple (Post 234507)
And here I was, thinking that you'd have Sulla on ignore.

Also, the fact that there are imperfections, does not mean that there are not cases in which there is close to absolute certainty about what happened and who did it. If this is your argument against the death penalty, why would you oppose the death penalty in those cases?

There is never absolute certainty. There is no bright line between "close to absolute certainty" and "ambiguous." Better a million guilty rot forever in their cells than a single innocent be put to death by official apparatus.

Don Zeko 12-13-2011 12:46 PM

Re: Better late than never? Rick Perry posthumously pardons dead prisoner
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by apple (Post 234507)
And here I was, thinking that you'd have Sulla on ignore.

Also, the fact that there are imperfections, does not mean that there are not cases in which there is close to absolute certainty about what happened and who did it. If this is your argument against the death penalty, why would you oppose the death penalty in those cases?

Because the way that the death penalty actually functions suggests that the institutions that implement it are incapable of distinguishing between those slam-dunk cases and cases of actual innocence.

stephanie 12-13-2011 02:20 PM

Re: Better late than never? Rick Perry posthumously pardons dead prisoner
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Don Zeko (Post 234510)
Because the way that the death penalty actually functions suggests that the institutions that implement it are incapable of distinguishing between those slam-dunk cases and cases of actual innocence.

Beyond that, I'm not aware of any effort to distinguish in the law between the level of certainty required for DP cases and for others. The DP plus factors are generally about the nature of the crime itself, including who is killed and the circumstances and reasons for the murder. I'd be interested in an effort to amend the statutes to make them reflect the certainty principle, although I can't see it working, in that any murder has to be proven beyond a reasonable doubt already.

apple 12-13-2011 08:02 PM

Re: Better late than never? Rick Perry posthumously pardons dead prisoner
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by AemJeff (Post 234509)
There is never absolute certainty. There is no bright line between "close to absolute certainty" and "ambiguous." Better a million guilty rot forever in their cells than a single innocent be put to death by official apparatus.

By that standard, there's no bright line between guilty and innocent (not guilty) either. I agree that the death penalty should not be applied if there's even the slightest doubt that an individual is in fact guilty, but it's not an argument against the death penalty in itself. After all, there are many cases in which we do know with absolute certainty that an individual committed particular crimes. The Norwegian and Saddam Hussein come to mind.

apple 12-13-2011 08:04 PM

Re: Better late than never? Rick Perry posthumously pardons dead prisoner
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Don Zeko (Post 234510)
Because the way that the death penalty actually functions suggests that the institutions that implement it are incapable of distinguishing between those slam-dunk cases and cases of actual innocence.

That is hardly limited to the death penalty alone, as there are many cases in which people are wrongfully imprisoned for many decades. Wrongful imprisonment is actually not reversible - you can't give back a man 27 years of his life. So should we eliminate all punishment for criminals? The solution is to work on eliminating wrongful convictions, not on elimination of particular penalties.

apple 12-13-2011 08:06 PM

Re: Better late than never? Rick Perry posthumously pardons dead prisoner
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by stephanie (Post 234521)
Beyond that, I'm not aware of any effort to distinguish in the law between the level of certainty required for DP cases and for others. The DP plus factors are generally about the nature of the crime itself, including who is killed and the circumstances and reasons for the murder. I'd be interested in an effort to amend the statutes to make them reflect the certainty principle, although I can't see it working, in that any murder has to be proven beyond a reasonable doubt already.

Strange. Liberals never tire of telling people that putting a man to death costs more than keeping him imprisoned for the rest of his life. Now why would that be? Is it really so expensive to put someone down? No, but because the legal standard for the death penalty is so much higher, people are able to appeal their death sentences for decades, usually on spurious grounds.

AemJeff 12-13-2011 09:23 PM

Re: Better late than never? Rick Perry posthumously pardons dead prisoner
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by apple (Post 234550)
By that standard, there's no bright line between guilty and innocent (not guilty) either. I agree that the death penalty should not be applied if there's even the slightest doubt that an individual is in fact guilty, but it's not an argument against the death penalty in itself. After all, there are many cases in which we do know with absolute certainty that an individual committed particular crimes. The Norwegian and Saddam Hussein come to mind.

It's clearly not the same standard. Death is not commutable.

apple 12-13-2011 10:40 PM

Re: Better late than never? Rick Perry posthumously pardons dead prisoner
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by AemJeff (Post 234559)
It's clearly not the same standard. Death is not commutable.

I didn't argue that they were the same thing. I only said that the fact that mistakes can potentially be made is not an argument against different form of punishment, but for improving the system. You can't give a man 15 years of his life back by commuting his sentence, or pardoning him, you can only give him back his honor. It makes little sense to focus on abolishing the death penalty, while ignoring the plight of people who are unjustly imprisoned.

Sulla the Dictator 12-14-2011 05:06 PM

Re: Better late than never? Rick Perry posthumously pardons dead prisoner
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by AemJeff (Post 234559)
It's clearly not the same standard. Death is not commutable.

Ban the death penalty, bring back vendetta?

AemJeff 12-14-2011 05:11 PM

Re: Better late than never? Rick Perry posthumously pardons dead prisoner
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Sulla the Dictator (Post 234640)
Ban the death penalty, bring back vendetta?

Ban the death penalty.

Sulla the Dictator 12-14-2011 05:14 PM

Re: Better late than never? Rick Perry posthumously pardons dead prisoner
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by AemJeff (Post 234641)
Ban the death penalty.

One goes with the other. I for one would find it beyond the legitimate power of the state to deny me justice.

AemJeff 12-14-2011 05:17 PM

Re: Better late than never? Rick Perry posthumously pardons dead prisoner
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Sulla the Dictator (Post 234642)
One goes with the other. I for one would find it beyond the legitimate power of the state to deny me justice.

Non sequitur.

Sulla the Dictator 12-14-2011 05:28 PM

Re: Better late than never? Rick Perry posthumously pardons dead prisoner
 
A priori.

AemJeff 12-14-2011 05:43 PM

Re: Better late than never? Rick Perry posthumously pardons dead prisoner
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Sulla the Dictator (Post 234645)
A priori.

Argumentum ad nauseam.


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