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  #1  
Old 12-13-2011, 04:04 AM
Don Zeko Don Zeko is offline
 
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Default 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?

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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.
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  #2  
Old 12-13-2011, 04:28 AM
Sulla the Dictator Sulla the Dictator is offline
 
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Default Re: Better late than never? Rick Perry posthumously pardons dead prisoner

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Originally Posted by Don Zeko View Post
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.
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  #3  
Old 12-13-2011, 09:11 AM
Ocean Ocean is offline
 
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Default Re: Better late than never? Rick Perry posthumously pardons dead prisoner

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Originally Posted by Sulla the Dictator View Post
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.
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  #4  
Old 12-13-2011, 12:40 PM
apple
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Default 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?
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  #5  
Old 12-13-2011, 12:45 PM
AemJeff AemJeff is offline
 
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Default Re: Better late than never? Rick Perry posthumously pardons dead prisoner

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Originally Posted by apple View Post
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.
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  #6  
Old 12-13-2011, 08:02 PM
apple
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Default Re: Better late than never? Rick Perry posthumously pardons dead prisoner

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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.
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  #7  
Old 12-13-2011, 09:23 PM
AemJeff AemJeff is offline
 
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Default Re: Better late than never? Rick Perry posthumously pardons dead prisoner

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Originally Posted by apple View Post
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.
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  #8  
Old 12-13-2011, 10:40 PM
apple
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Default Re: Better late than never? Rick Perry posthumously pardons dead prisoner

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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.
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  #9  
Old 12-14-2011, 05:06 PM
Sulla the Dictator Sulla the Dictator is offline
 
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Default Re: Better late than never? Rick Perry posthumously pardons dead prisoner

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Originally Posted by AemJeff View Post
It's clearly not the same standard. Death is not commutable.
Ban the death penalty, bring back vendetta?
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  #10  
Old 12-14-2011, 05:11 PM
AemJeff AemJeff is offline
 
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Default Re: Better late than never? Rick Perry posthumously pardons dead prisoner

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Originally Posted by Sulla the Dictator View Post
Ban the death penalty, bring back vendetta?
Ban the death penalty.
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  #11  
Old 12-14-2011, 05:14 PM
Sulla the Dictator Sulla the Dictator is offline
 
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Default Re: Better late than never? Rick Perry posthumously pardons dead prisoner

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Originally Posted by AemJeff View Post
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.
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  #12  
Old 12-14-2011, 05:17 PM
AemJeff AemJeff is offline
 
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Default Re: Better late than never? Rick Perry posthumously pardons dead prisoner

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Originally Posted by Sulla the Dictator View Post
One goes with the other. I for one would find it beyond the legitimate power of the state to deny me justice.
Non sequitur.
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  #13  
Old 12-14-2011, 05:28 PM
Sulla the Dictator Sulla the Dictator is offline
 
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Default Re: Better late than never? Rick Perry posthumously pardons dead prisoner

A priori.
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  #14  
Old 12-14-2011, 05:43 PM
AemJeff AemJeff is offline
 
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Default Re: Better late than never? Rick Perry posthumously pardons dead prisoner

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Originally Posted by Sulla the Dictator View Post
A priori.
Argumentum ad nauseam.
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  #15  
Old 12-13-2011, 12:46 PM
Don Zeko Don Zeko is offline
 
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Default Re: Better late than never? Rick Perry posthumously pardons dead prisoner

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Originally Posted by apple View Post
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.
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  #16  
Old 12-13-2011, 02:20 PM
stephanie stephanie is offline
 
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Default Re: Better late than never? Rick Perry posthumously pardons dead prisoner

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Originally Posted by Don Zeko View Post
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.
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  #17  
Old 12-13-2011, 08:06 PM
apple
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Default Re: Better late than never? Rick Perry posthumously pardons dead prisoner

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Originally Posted by stephanie View Post
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.
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  #18  
Old 12-13-2011, 08:04 PM
apple
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Default Re: Better late than never? Rick Perry posthumously pardons dead prisoner

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Originally Posted by Don Zeko View Post
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.
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