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Originally posted by EbonyRose:
Originally posted by Oshun Auset:
I'm against capitol punishment because it cannot be executed fairly because of racism, and economic biases inherent in the system.

OA ...

And if the racism and biases were not an issue, would you still be against it?

Just asking. Smile

Interesting question ER,

I don't know. Part of me is for it because I have a list of people I think should be strung up, and I'm no pascifist...

Another part of me is leary of any 'state' institution having the authority to kill people...and even where there isn't outright racism and economic biases there are religious, ethnic, gender, ect.

I guess I'd have to be in a world where there are no biases to decide...which will never exist. SO I guess it's alright that I am "undecided"...right?
When it comes to dealing with people of African descent... There Is NO Such Thing As OBJECTIVITY! There NEVER has been, and I suspect there never will be.

People of African descent are mistreated everyday by the police and the courts - some are given the DP before being arrested. I can't count the number of times I have been pulled over for some bullshit (DWB) - I was pulled over for going 31 mph in a 30 mph zone - I was pulled over at night for having tinted windows being too dark... and my tint is factory tint... the same tint that is sold on 1000's of new vehicles everyday!

I digress, the point is that bias will always be present when deciding the fate of people of African descent - therefore the DP cannot be used as a viable form of punishment.
Originally posted by EbonyRose:

My rationale argument is that I believe in an eye for an eye. I think it is fair. I think it is just. No more, no less.

Isn't an "eye for an eye" from the Old Testament? Those of you who believe in this and who are Christian, what about Jesus' words to "turn the other cheek"? Why wouldn't that apply here?
38) ˜You have heard that it was said, "An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth." 39) But I say to you, Do not resist an evildoer. But if anyone strikes you on the right cheek, turn the other also; 40) and if anyone wants to sue you and take your coat, give your cloak as well; 41)and if anyone forces you to go one mile, go also the second mile. 42)Give to everyone who begs from you, and do not refuse anyone who wants to borrow from you.

Matthew 5:38-42
The dealth penalty can never justifiably exist. It's a traditionalist view that I feel is pretty Neanderthal. The purpose of the corrections system is Deterrence, rehabilitation, and Retribution. Obviously a dead person can't be rehabilitated. Retribution is immature and I don't see how a grown judge could sentence based on that. Deterrence... maybe. I think rotting in jail is a much more effective deterrent. Not only the criminal not get the death penalty, but it should be almost impossible for him to kill himself in prison. I wouldn't want him feeling bad for what he did and trying to weasle out of his punishment. Out with the dealth penalty. Let's make prison less of a cake walk.
I believe in the death penalty, but I don't believe in the politics of it. Get rid of the mandatory appeals that cost taxpayers money. Let the perp have ONE appeal and if the sentence is not overturned, I agree with 'Catch ... fry him or her in 30 days. Death penalty is a punishment and some people deserve that ultimate punishment. Will some innocent people be executed? Innocent people are executed every day. The murder rate in this country is staggering, so that argument is not strong enough.

Some crimes do not deserve the death penalty, but the prison system needs to be revamped to rehabilitate the ones who got "caught up in the moment" and fry them if they get "caught up in the moment" again. It is sickening to hear of people who go to jail multiple times just to get out and violate the rights of another innocent victim.

I am not feeling paying my hard earned tax dollars for babysitting criminals, providing three hots and a cot, cable TV, and free medical care for people who contribute absolutely nothing to society.

There are starving families sleeping under bridges in this country every single night. Let the money saved on appeals and babysitting criminals go to improving the quality of life for our improverished families.
The boob from Atl, Nichols, would be a prime candidate for the ocatchings amendment to the constitution. He would be no problems to anyone else after 11 April.
I'm sure there are some that feel b/c he didn't get a GI Joe with a kung fu grip when he was 10, or a pair of Jordans, he was/is misunderstood or a product of the system.

Gosh ... first of all I have gone out of my way to lead the kind of lifestyle that doesn't put me in the wrong place at the wrong time. I work, attend church, go to the grocery store, take my behind home, pour a glass of wine and listen to music that soothes my soul.

With DNA and other high tech modalities, my fingerprints or other bodily identifiers would not be found in questionable activities. My biggest crime is DWB, and that is not punishable by death.

If you ask any criminal in prison, they are all innocent. If I put myself in questionable position that incriminated myself in a crime and I was found guilty, then frying me would be appropriate if I could not convince the appellate court that I was not guilty.

Death does not scare me. It is a transition from one life to another, so leaving this planet is no big deal for me. My concern is for the innocent victims who are raped, robbed, murdered, and were guilty of only waiting for a bus or getting on a subway. If I was framed and found guilty for commeitting a heinous act, well then I would figure it is my time to check out and go to the next phase. Spirits are eternal and God is in control.

When people stop tormenting and killing innocent people who are just trying to make a decent living, my views may change. I believe that more people get away with murder due to technicalities and, of course, a few are innocent. But most of the victims of violent crime are innocent. Who cries for them? We live in a society where innocence has nothing to do with you longevity ... and that is a sad commentary.
Originally posted by Sandye:
...If I was framed and found guilty for commeitting a heinous act, well then I would figure it is my time to check out and go to the next phase. Spirits are eternal and God is in control...
You mean to tell me that you would not fight with every fiber of your being??? You would just say "oh well, I guess it's just my time... so be it" ???

I'm sorry, but I find that just a little hard to believe, especially if you know that you're innocent. I am definitely not trying to say how you shoud be, I just can't believe that you would not fight.
The Death Penalty doesn't help victims Sandye, it just enacts vengeance and hatred, something no justice system should be based upon.

I can't believe you are willing to kill the innocent in order to permit the Death Penalty. And to paint all innocents with the brush that they "Had to do something to deserve it." That is just ludicrous, how can you be so filled with vengeance? Is the alternative of Life in Prison not enough?
These days, all life born is possible death penalty material. Wars, crime, White people, Black people, all the people of colors in between. The whole world has gone completely mad. I think folks should just stop fornicating and let all humanity die a complete death and be done with it. No one knows how to enjoy the life their mothers labored so painfully to give them. Really, what's the use of all of this insanity?
I never think that victims deserve their fate ... I just think that the system is flawed and beyond fixing. No victim deserves to die for any reason, but living in the "murder capital of the world" has let me know that most of the innocents who die are not the ones behind bars spending taxpayer money for countless appeals and benefits unavailable for many of us on the outside.

I have become jaded in this area, and I admit it. Fifteen year old girl killed in a driveby in front of her house ... 7 year old girl raped and dropped in a well ... kidnapped woman locked in her car overnight - kids (16 and 17) returned the next day and torched her while she was still alive.

Some people have no redeeming qualities and if I had to put my life on the line to prove that point I would do so. Death is just transition from one life to the next, so it is not threatening to me in the least.

I don't want to give the impression that victims deserve to be mistreated, I am just sick of psychos receiving benefits that are not available for free for the rest of us ... housing, college degrees, medical care, and a roof over their head. For some people, crime is a vocation and I am sick of that.

The person who murdered my niece is going to school, has a paying job in prison, and will be up for parole by the time he's 40. My babies will never know how special their mother was, but he will have his degree, appreciable skills and a new shot at life. The personalities of those in my family have changed because the murder of a close family member is not an easy issue to resolve. Everyone wants him dead, and I would gladly pull the trigger. She was only 26 and he was the father of her three babies. He killed her in front of her five year old who will never be the same again.

Is the justice system fair? Of course not. But unfortunately, it is what it is, and some things - to me anyway - are worth laying my life down for if it can help just one other person. By any means necessary is my justification. Fighting against a system that is hell bent on your destruction is misplaced energy. You can't win .. can't break even and you can't get out of the game.

If we all wrote our Congressmen, Senators, and contacted our Department of Corrections, perhaps things would change - perhaps not. For evil to prevail ... good people need to do nothing. My family has taken on this fight and will continue to do so. If the person who made my three gorgeous babies orphans steps back out on the streets, I don't think I could take that. For me it is personal. Rational? Perhaps not. Emotions are rarely rational and thoughts are just that ... thoughts.

Had I been at the scene of the crime when he took out my baby girl, I would have gladly killed him myself and requested cognac for my last meal.

Death-penalty debate grips China

Friday, March 18, 2005 Updated at 2:04 AM EST

From Friday's Globe and Mail

Beijing "”
When police executed a man named Nie Shubin in 1995, nobody bothered to tell his parents.

His father learned of his son's death a day later, when he tried to bring a package of food and clothes to prison.

In his home village, south of Beijing, his neighbours were shocked when the shy 20-year-old man was accused of raping and murdering a woman. They knew him as a polite and gentle youth who stuttered when he spoke. He was so meek that he was unable to kill a rooster when his mother wanted to make chicken soup.

Now, a decade later, police have admitted what everyone always suspected: Nie Shubin was innocent. He was executed for a crime he never committed.

The wrongful execution has provoked a major scandal in the Chinese media, fuelling a growing debate over the death penalty in a country that executes far more people than the rest of the world combined.

Human-rights groups have estimated that China executes 5,000 to 12,000 people every year "” as many as 90 per cent of all the court-ordered executions in the world. In many cases, convicts are paraded in public before being taken to execution grounds and killed by a bullet in the back of the head.

Waves of executions are often conducted during anti-corruption or anti-drug campaigns. Many people are executed for non-violent crimes such as vandalism or bribery.

Chinese authorities have staunchly defended the practice.

"Given our national conditions, we cannot abolish the death penalty," Prime Minister Wen Jiabao told reporters in Beijing this week.

Yet a growing number of Chinese scholars are expressing their doubts about the death penalty, and government officials are considering reforms to allow greater judicial review of death-penalty sentences.

The intensifying debate made Nie Shubin's case a cause célèbre across the country this week. Chinese newspapers and websites have been carrying poignant stories about the distraught family of the young man. Some reports said the police extracted a confession from him by beating him repeatedly.

"When we heard the truth about the case of Nie Shubin from the newspapers and the Internet, we all cried," Mayor Nie Zhancai told a local newspaper yesterday. "He was such a good boy. Even though he was quiet in public, he was very polite and intelligent."

His parents were devastated when their son was arrested in 1994. They were never officially informed of the charge or the verdict. They did not learn any details of the accusations against their son until they read an article in a local newspaper.

After the execution of his son, Nie Shubin's father quit his job and fell into a deep depression. His health deteriorated and he drank half a bottle of pesticide in an attempt to kill himself. He survived only because his wife found him and took him to hospital.

The injustice was finally exposed this year when a man was arrested in a neighbouring province and confessed to four murders, including the murder that had led to Mr. Nie's conviction and execution. When he described the scene of the murder, police went there and found that it exactly matched his description.

The police said he knew details that only the killer could have known.

The man who confessed, however, has not been charged with the murder because the file on the case has been officially closed. The police who arrested him are seeking to charge him with the murder, but the police who conducted the original investigation are refusing to reopen the case because it would trigger a bureaucratic uproar and a demand for compensation from the family of the executed man, according to local media reports.

Chinese media commentators say the scandal should accelerate Beijing's plans to allow the Supreme Court to review death-penalty cases.

"I predict that this case will arouse a strong reaction from the public," one commentator wrote on the People's Daily website. "We hope this case will make the Supreme Court take action soon."

Wang Lin, a professor at Hainan University, said the case shows that China needs to reform all levels of its judicial system to encourage greater scrutiny of potentially wrongful convictions.

Another commentator, Yuan Yuanyuan, said he opposes the death penalty because the Chinese judicial system is too opaque and unaccountable.

"Look at this case," he wrote on a Chinese website. "Only a single piece of evidence, a confession obtained by torture, can decide someone's death."

Despite the government's refusal to abolish the death penalty, Beijing appears to be increasingly sensitive to the issue. The Prime Minister, Mr. Wen, promised that the system will be reformed.

"What we are doing is instituting a system to ensure prudence and justice in passing death sentences," he said this week.

Yet despite such pledges, the executions are continuing at a heavy pace. At least 650 were reported in Chinese media in December and January alone, and the executions reached a peak in the two weeks leading up to the celebration of the lunar new year in February, according to Amnesty International. The cases reported in the media are believed to be only a small fraction of the total.

"While the government claims that the death penalty is applied cautiously, the ritual peak in executions we're witnessing at the moment completely undermines any pretence of 'caution,'." Catherine Baber, deputy Asia director at Amnesty International, said in a statement last month.

Foes of Death Penalty Making Gradual Gains in Africa


Published: October 20, 2004

The New York Times

Vanessa Vick for The New York Times
Edmary Mpagi served 18 years on death row in Uganda for the murder of a man who in fact was alive.

AMPALA, Uganda - The worst thing about death row at the notorious Luzira Maximum Prison outside Kampala is not the grim physical conditions, although Edmary Mpagi, who knows the place well, says they are grim indeed.

Nor is it the bad food or the occasionally violent cellmates. It is the waiting that can drive a prisoner mad, Mr. Mpagi said, the years of anticipation, never knowing exactly when the hangman will arrive.

That waiting is all the worse if one happens to be innocent, as Mr. Mpagi was found to be after living for 18 years in the shadow of the gallows at Luzira.

The man Mr. Mpagi was convicted of killing in 1982 was actually alive and well for all the years Mr. Mpagi sat behind bars. There was fabricated evidence, coerced testimony and a generally slipshod trial - all things that legal experts say are not as uncommon as they ought to be here.

Mr. Mpagi emerged from prison in July 2000 showing surprisingly little bitterness. Much of his time now is spent on a campaign against government-sponsored killing.

He is part of a growing movement trying to wipe out the death penalty in Africa. The critics say they face formidable obstacles from politicians and everyday people fed up with lawbreaking and intent on severely punishing those who engage in it.

Religion is one of the hurdles. Islamic courts in Nigeria continue to sentence women found guilty of adultery to death by stoning, although higher courts have repeatedly blocked such killings.

The biblical eye for an eye is also a factor. In one bizarre case in Congo, a Kinshasa court sentenced a prosecutor to death because he had been conducting his own private trials of defendants, not only sentencing them to death but also executing them himself. Soon he will probably die too.

But foes of the death penalty say they are making steady progress, with fewer Africans than ever before being hanged, beaten, shot, shocked, stoned or poisoned by their governments.

Fifteen years ago only one African country, the island of Cape Verde off Africa's west coast, did not have capital punishment on its books, activists say. Today 10 countries have outlawed the death penalty, according to a recent tally compiled by Amnesty International, and another 10 have abolished it in practice.

The anti-execution movement has been especially powerful in West Africa, where the number of countries in the Economic Community of West African States that have either banned executions or halted them has risen to 10, from one.

Southern Africa has also been moving away from capital punishment. It is outlawed in five countries in the Southern African Development Community: Angola, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia and South Africa. While it is still on the books in Malawi and Zambia, the presidents of those countries have said they will not to sign execution orders.

In Kenya, President Mwai Kibaki has commuted the sentences of nearly 200 people on death row and vowed not to allow any government-sponsored killings on his watch.

Tallying how many executions occur each year in Africa is difficult, activists say, because many countries carry out the killings quietly to avoid unwanted attention. Not so in Uganda, where 417 people languish on death row, and where radio stations inform listeners of coming executions and daily papers have been known to recount the grisly details on their front pages.

The last executions in Uganda were in March 2003, when military firing squads killed three soldiers convicted of murder. The gallows at Luzira, the main prison where civilians await execution, have not been used since 1999, when 28 men were hanged.

Uganda would seem to be fertile ground for death penalty foes. It was here, after all, that Idi Amin vented his rage on his populace, unleashing soldiers on anyone deemed a critic. During his brutal rule in the 1970's Mr. Amin had no use for a death row. People were just summarily shot.

Those days are past. Relative calm has come to the country, although there is still a rebel insurgency in the north and human rights groups continue to criticize the government for sporadic acts of torture.

But it is crime that many consider the biggest hazard, and that is what motivates death penalty advocates. Those who dare to take the life of another, violate a woman or commit a crime while wielding a gun ought to pay with their lives, proponents say.

What about false prosecutions, opponents like Mr. Mpagi ask. What about cruel and unusual punishment? What about evidence that suggests that having a death penalty does not deter people from killing, raping or robbing?

Then there are the less conventional arguments offered by opponents of the death penalty.

Some critics point out that the death penalty is a phenomenon introduced into the Ugandan legal code by British colonialists. Before colonialism, they add, African tribes preferred mediation to retribution.

Joseph Etima, the commissioner of prisons, who is also a critic, argues that such killings are unfair to the prison guards who must end the prisoners' lives.

Executioners become drunkards and lose their minds after years of manning the noose, Mr. Etima says. "The first execution they do throws them out of balance," he said. "They isolate themselves from others. They suffer hallucinations. Socially, people fear them, even their families. Everybody keeps away from these guys out of fear that they are going to hang them."

Opponents hoped to wipe out capital punishment this year as the country goes about rewriting its Constitution. But the blue-ribbon commission charged with reviewing the document recommended replacing the gallows with some other method that "ensures instant death."

Godfrey Ssebuwufu, an activist with Uganda Citizen's Rescue, puckers his lips and contorts his face when asked about that decision. An ardent death penalty foe, Mr. Ssebuwufu says he opposes capital punishment on human rights grounds and will not speculate whether lethal injection or electrocution is more humane than the noose.

Mr. Ssebuwufu is a detective, right down to his long trench coat. He pores over court documents and sniffs around the city seeking clues that might spring some of those on death row. In one case he has been researching, the man sentenced to death for electrocuting his wife did not have electricity in his house at the time of the crime.

It was a similar investigation that dug up enough evidence to free Mr. Mpagi from jail. Now on the outside, he offers stomach-churning tales about life on death row to anybody who will listen.

He tells about how he was sometimes forced to wash the gallows. He tells about hearing the crank turning, lifting the prisoner up, and the awful, indescribable sound as the prisoner then came plummeting back down.

"It was 18 years and three months that I spent in there," Mr. Mpagi said. "There wasn't one day I didn't think I was going to die. Others should not go through what I went through - the guilty ones or the other innocent ones like me."

First of all, I am sorry to hear about your tragedy. I know it must be hard. But secondly, let me say that I can feel your pain ... but from the other side.

I have a cousin who is in prison in California right now convicted of a murder of a taxi driver that he didn't commit. The whole sordid tale is like something off of TV ... but in a nutshell, it involved a dirty cop (one of those from the Rampart Division where one cop stole cocaine and got caught and started telling on his whole division about the shootings, killings and framing of innocent people in order to reduce his own sentence! Let me add no other police have been convicted or any wrongdoing, although over 100 people have been let out of jail based on the criminal actions of those policemen.)

Anyway, in my cousin's case, we had all the drama ... witnesses being paid off (2 Hispanics first faced with deportation, later receiving $5,000 a piece for their testimony), no evidence, no fingerprints linking him to the crime, other witnesses being threatened (a lady who called 911 at the time of the crime and told them she saw a Hispanic man walking away from the taxi were harrassed and threatened to the point where she had to move and hide out, but came to trial to testify!). We went through a PD who never asked a question as far as cross-examination of the paid off witnesses. An appeals lawyers who we paid $20,000 to who ended up being disbarred because he was a crook. And the list of horrors goes on.

Anyway, my cousin ended up getting 25-to-life. His first parole hearing is next month, but he won't even entertain the possibility he will get out because at those hearings, they want to hear you say you are sorry for what you did and have become a better person since you did it. He will not say that (no matter how much we beg) because he is innocent and will not lie and admit to doing something as heinous as a murder ... not even to save himself.

As much as I understand that and even admire him for it, I want him back with our family. Why this happened in the first place only God knows and can/will correct it. He is a college grad and was a certified paralegal 10 years ago when all this happened. But he was in the wrong place at the wrong time and had a run-in with the wrong cop. And (excuse the phrase, but) shit happened.

I am glad he's not on Death Row. And it is sordid that I have to be happy that he may "only" be facing life in prison ... but that at least he's still alive. So, I know all too well the failings of the judicial system. And the unfairness of it all.

I, too, would gladly shoot the real murderer who has caused such pain and disruption to our family. In a heartbeat. Or would happily watch the State do it. He deserves to die.
Ebony, I see your side clearly. I am so sorry for the people who are set up and falsely accused.

I would gladly give my life in exchange for my nieces's so that her children could know how wonderful she was and is. Her older children miss her so much and her baby does not remember her at all.

It is unfortunate that there is so much evidence proving that your cousin is innocent, but it is being ignored by the legal system. If the legal system was forced to uphold the laws that have been enacted by the people of the country, your cousin could be home. Injustice shatters my soul, and I would gladly trade my life to right the wrongs that have done to our people ... after I have blown a few away myself.

My heart, thoughts, positive feelings, and prayers are with you and your family today and always.

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