I think it's hilarious that "national consensus" is the rationale behind yesterday's Supreme Court decision against executing retarded people! Since when do we apply the law based upon poopularity contests? eek

I agree with the decision wholeheartedly, but think that 'cruel and unusual punishment' among other things might be a better foundation for the decision.

What do you think about the decision? Certainly "the liberals" are responsible for this one! smile

Onward and Upward!

© MBM

Original Post
MBM:"I think it's hilarious that "national consensus" is the rationale behind yesterday's Supreme Court decision against executing retarded people! Since when do we apply the law based upon poopularity contests?
I agree with the decision wholeheartedly, but think that 'cruel and unusual punishment' among other things might be a better foundation for the decision.
What do you think about the decision? Certainly "the liberals" are responsible for this one!"


First I think it was the correct decision.... The sentence should be life in a mental institution without the possibility of parole... Since the 1800's the permanent state of a persons mind along with their "IQ" has been taken into account during the crime/punishment phase in most countries that have a death penalty...

Second and more important, IMHO, is the expected decision to be rendered next week concerning whether judges, not juries, can impose a death sentence... This ruling could affect 800 people on death row at this moment, and others in the future... It will decide whether the "live or die" fate of a party found guilty can lie in the hands a single individual (a judge) or a majority of 12 (the jury)....

Whether an individual lives or dies should not be made by only one person.... If an accused individual is found guilty by 12, he should also be sentenced to death by the same 12... Although I do believe that if a jury does hand down a death penalty sentence, a judge should have the power to deny such a sentence... An experienced judge may determine that justice is equally served by life imprisonment instead of death...

my $0.02 worth...

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The Liberal/Progressive mantra: "We are the champions of diversity and opinions... We tolerate all beliefs, all religions, and all customs.......... Unless they disagree with ours!"

[This message was edited by Whoopie on June 21, 2002 at 07:46 PM.]
This will be one of those rare times when I disagree with my good friend whoop.

With this horrible decision, the first in what will be incremental steps in abolishing capital punishment, any murderer will simply claim "insanity," and they get off.

This case was based on a Virginia inmate convicted of a 1996 murder. He is said to have an IQ of 59. Does anyone really believe he did not know what he did?? Whoop and Mr.MBM, whould you like to explain your opinions to the victims family??

I believe in a "eye-for-an-eye" justice system. You are competent enough to take a life, you are competent enough to lose your own.

Mr. MBM, you are correct in questioning the reasoning behind the decision. The high court's job is not to interpret the law based on popular opinion. I see a dangerous precedent in the making for future decisions in other cases. Think about it. Suppose popular opinion reverts back to pre-civil wartime that blacks are inferior and do not deserve citizenship. Does this give the high court the right to deny blacks citizenship and send us back to Africa?

"That's crazy, Bankins! That won't happen!" Maybe not, but Lincoln was prepared to ship all the former Negro slaves back to Africa!

In 1989 this court declared executions of the mentally retarded constitutional. Now they say it's unconstitutional. I don't feel comfortable with this kind of wishy-washy reasoning when it's the Constitution that stands between myself and a tyrannical government, and this is the way the court interprets that document....,

....By popular demand!!

Maybe next, "by popular demand", they will declare the Electoral College unconstitutional.

big grin big grin big grin
Cripes, I must be psychic!! In my last post, I said....

"..With this horrible decision, the first in what will be incremental steps in abolishing capital punishment..."

Well looky here what I just found on the web....

From cnsnews.com..

Illinois Governor May Abolish Death Penalty

(CNSNews.com) - On the same day the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that executing mentally retarded killers is "cruel and unusual punishment," the governor of Illinois said he may try to abolish the death penalty in Illinois before his term ends in January. Gov. George Ryan ordered a moratorium on executions in Illinois two years ago, after 13 inmates were released from death row because of flawed trials. On Thursday, while testifying before a state House panel, Ryan said, "The death penalty will eventually be abolished, I believe, in America. But until that time we ought to make the system as perfect as we can. Will it ever be perfect? No. But we ought to make it a lot better than it is now..." Wire reports quoted some Illinois state lawmakers as saying that any attempt to kill the death penalty would itself be killed by the state General Assembly.

big grin big grin big grin
Uh what should a killer's I.Q be in order to qualify for the death penalty?
Popular opinion????? What does popular opinion have to do with interpreting the law.
What is the relationship between taking a life and I. Q.????
Ladies and gentlemen pack your bags and head for the lifeboats the insane are running the nuthouse.

jes my I.Q. 57 mad mad

Anubis98
The plains of hesitation are bleached by the bones of those who hesitated and in hesitating died.
Sorry my fellow Conservative brethren... But when it comes to execution of the mentality retarded even I must say NO!!!....

As for the Liberal's who are sitting back, reading, smiling and agreeing with the SC ruling... Don't feel to glum ... After all, these Liberals are the same people that want to stop the execution of a competent adult that has been found guilty of crimes against humanity..... ie. murder...

And yet...

In the next breath these same Liberals will allow and defend the slaughter of thousands of innocent, truly innocent, unborn children!!!... aka ... Abortion....

YES!!!... These same anti-death penalty advocates actually feel that it is the right of an individual, a woman, to kill an innocent baby... They will light candles in protest at a known murders execution date and time... But they will be noticably absent when needed to defend the execution of the unborn!!!... These,... the same people that scream how barbaric the death penalty is are nowhere to be found when an innocent baby is aborted...

Killing someone, via the State, with electricity or drugs is wrong and BAD!!!.... The killing of an innocent unborn child in a clinic is OK!!!...

And don't even venture to come back to me with the SC says that abortion is legal and OK.... They were the same ones that said slavery was OK at a point in history!!!...

Did you know that, percentage wise, more Black children are aborted than White!!!...

I know that I'm way off target of the original thread, but so be it...

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The Liberal/Progressive mantra: "We are the champions of diversity and opinions... We tolerate all beliefs, all religions, and all customs.......... Unless they disagree with ours!"

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[This message was edited by Whoopie on June 22, 2002 at 04:33 PM.]
A man decides to kill his wife. Two years prior to the actual murder, he begins to behave abnormal and erratically. He even agrees to see a shrink to validate his newfound "difficulties".

He then proceeds to murder his wife....

According to the Supreme Court, The man can claim insanity and thus excape execution.

The ultimate goal is to do away with capital punishment even if the killer is a chess grandmaster with an IQ of 180 caught on video committing the murder with one hand, while waving a signed confession in the other!!

big grin big grin big grin
I appreciate your concern but IQ is not something that one can "fake". It is also not something that erodes over time etc. You either are mentally impaired or not. There will be a lifetime of analysis and evaluation behind any diagnosis of mental impairment. You can't fake it for a trial.

Also, it is my understading that 18 or 19 states already bar the execution of mentaly impaired people. This is on top of the 12 or 13 that have outlawed capital punishment all together. This is not a movement that is coming from "left field". smile It speaks to the "national consensus" that the court referred to.

P.S. Am I agreeing with Whoopie on something???? confused confused confused

Onward and Upward!
This was a bad decision, in part because it applies a blanket rule for every situation. I believe that in determine whether the death penalty should apply (to anyone, not just the retarded), there should be an enhanced standard of proof applied in the determination. That standard should be stronger than the "reasonable doubt" standard necessary to find guilty. It should impose the D.P. only when there's no doubt of guilt and virtually no doubt of mental culpability. This standard would take into account the mental acuity of the perpetrator. That way, we have a case-by-case method of establishing how strongly the person's retardation mitigates his responsibility for the crime. A blanket ruling like this (with pretty bad rationale, as well) is a bad idea. My idea probably would allow retarded people to escape the D.P. anyway, but I'd feel better with a more legally sound rationale and with less of a blanket, automatic law like the one this case proposes.
MBM: "P.S. Am I agreeing with Whoopie on something????"

It's a slow painless process MBM... But you'll "come around"!!!... Just give it some time, you'll eventually see the light!!!... ;-)

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The Liberal/Progressive mantra: "We are the champions of diversity and opinions... We tolerate all beliefs, all religions, and all customs.......... Unless they disagree with ours!"
Vox: "This was a bad decision, in part because it applies a blanket rule for every situation.

Retardation is pretty blanket Vox... You are mentally retarded or your are not... I don't see a problem with a "blanket" ruling in this case...

Vox: "I believe that in determine whether the death penalty should apply (to anyone, not just the retarded), there should be an enhanced standard of proof applied in the determination. That standard should be stronger than the "reasonable doubt" standard necessary to find guilty. It should impose the D.P. only when there's no doubt of guilt and virtually no doubt of mental culpability.

But there already is in place an enhanced standard... And "reasonable doubt" is applied to make sure that the accused is actually the guilty party... "Reasonable doubt" sets the accused free, it does not allow the accused to found guilty!!!... Sort of a check & balance system... Kind of a "fail safe"... It's not perfect... But it's the most assured around...

And what exactly is your definition of "virtually no doubt"... That alone allows and leaves room for error...

Vox: "This standard would take into account the mental acuity of the perpetrator. That way, we have a case-by-case method of establishing how strongly the person's retardation mitigates his responsibility for the crime.

Case-by-case... The true idea of a fair trial is that each case in unique... Standards of determining guilt may be established, but a method of establishing mental health condition must fall upon those that are qualified to determine a persons mental health... And only at the individual accused case level... But even standards change... This is where reasonable doubt comes into play...

my $0.02 worth...

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The Liberal/Progressive mantra: "We are the champions of diversity and opinions... We tolerate all beliefs, all religions, and all customs.......... Unless they disagree with ours!"
quote:
Originally posted by Whoopie:

But there already is in place an enhanced standard... And "reasonable doubt" is applied to make sure that the accused is actually the guilty party... "Reasonable doubt" sets the accused free, it does not allow the accused to found guilty!!!... Sort of a check & balance system... Kind of a "fail safe"... It's not perfect... But it's the most assured around...




Oh, I know, Whoop. Sorry if my wording was unclear.

To answer one of your questions, it seems to me that it is possible for a person under a certain IQ to appreciate the gravity of what he or she is doing. What if we're dealing with an "idiot savant" (or whatever the proper term would be today; no disrespect intended) whose talent deals with knowing the scope and significance of death and killing?

I'm partially kidding, & maybe he still wouldn't be executed under a case-by-case analysis. But I would be more comfortable letting a jury decide rather than the Supremes dictating an inflexible rule like that. It could also have an effect on cases involving non-retarded convicts. A juror who knows the rule that "retarded murderers cannot be executed" might look at their non-retarded murderer and say, "Well, he's not retarded. So we can kill him. The end," without seriously looking at other mitigating circumstances that might exist.

This rule just doesn't seem right to me. And believe me, I HATE to have to agree with the Scalia/Thomas/Rehnquist side in any Supreme Court case, but especially a 6-3 decision.
quote:
Originally posted by Vox:
This was a bad decision, in part because it applies a blanket rule for every situation.


What do you think about the way the courts deal with children? Generally, they are given significant leeway throughout the court system. Is that right?

I think it's the same philosophy in dealing with retarded denfendants. If the accused is said to be impaired mentally (whether by virtue of illness or youth) they are afforded significant lenience in process and sentencing.

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