Death Penalty

At CPAC, Pro–Criminal Justice Reform and Anti–Death Penalty Activists Make Their Case

Conservatives are no longer monolithic on these issues.

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The GOP is no longer monolithically the tough-on-crime party many think of it as being. As the debate rages on over whether or not we're living through a "libertarian moment," it's worth noting that conversations around criminal justice reform are featuring prominently this weekend at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in National Harbor, Maryland.

Groups like Right on Crime and Conservatives Concerned About the Death Penalty (CCATDP), once viewed mostly as novelties within the movement, are now fixtures of CPAC. What's more, they're making the case for rethinking the party line on criminal justice issues in decidedly conservative terms.

"The first year we got a lot of weird looks," CCATDP's advocacy coordinator, Marc Hyden, says. "But since we keep coming back, we're accepted as just another part of the umbrella of conservatism. Nobody questions whether I'm a conservative or not—I'm talking about pro-life policies, fiscal responsibility, and limited government, and the death penalty just doesn't work with that."

Right on Crime Deputy Director Derek Cohen also has a playbook for reaching his fellow conservatives—and different messages work for different groups, he says. When talking to fiscal conservatives, he likes to point out that the same government that runs the post office runs the prison system. "Not exactly a model of efficiency," he says. In Texas, where Right on Crime is based, a move toward giving low-level offenders probation or parole instead of prison time has allowed the state to forgo spending $2 billion on new prison infrastructure.

Social conservatives, on the other hand, "tend to appreciate the human value" and the "redemptive quality" of in-facility programs that help people—including people who have made serious mistakes—better themselves. "Even for serious crimes, even for violent crimes, when we send someone away for a long time, their life is fundamentally altered," Cohen says. "That could be altered for the better, but that's only if we're putting in the rehabilitational elements that reduce recidivism."

He conjures the example of a father and husband who gets caught with a little bit of heroin. His prison sentence under the old scheme would likely be just long enough to cause him to lose his job and experience problems at home. For social conservatives genuinely nervous about the decline of the family, that's clearly a sub-optimal outcome. If instead people like that get intensive probation, "they're at work. They're at their kids' ballgames."

There's some evidence policy is moving in tandem with the increased support among conservatives. Houston's district attorney recently introduced guidelines whereby most first-time low-level drug offenders are diverted into community programs instead of locked up, for example.

We're seeing progress on capital punishment as well. Just yesterday Florida's legislature passed an overhaul to make it less likely that offenders will end up on death row. On the same day a judge ruled that Alabama's execution system, like Florida's before it, is unconstitutional. Last year Nebraska abolished its death penalty, and on Wednesday of this week the Utah state senate voted to do the same. "Now it's heading over to the [Utah state] House," Hyden says, "and the speaker of the House is against the death penalty! So we may get another red state to repeal the death penalty, which proves that Nebraska wasn't an anomaly."

The piecemeal nature of these victories can also be used to appeal to conservatives, he says. "I look at it through a Tenth Amendment framework—change should be done at the state level. If it's not expressly mentioned in the Constitution, it should be done by the states."

***

Reason TV caught up with CCATDP's Hyden at CPAC last year. See what he had to say below.

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  1. He conjures the example of a father and husband who gets caught with a little bit of heroine. His prison sentence under the old scheme would likely be just long enough to cause him to lose his job and experience problems at home.

    Conservatives are going to remain out of touch with the vast majority as long as they think of adultery as a criminal matter.

    1. Thank you. That drives me nuts.

    2. If only they had said “a little heroine”, so I could work a Wasp reference in.

    3. Even a little heroine kills.

  2. As a lawyer, and former court clerk, I disagree with banning the death penalty.

    Banning the death penalty is unjust and cheapens innocent human life by reducing the punishment to levels used for non-homicide crimes.The death penalty is the only just sentence for certain premeditated murders, under basic principles of proportionality. And it does deter murders, as becomes clear once you control for the demographic and historical characteristics of the states that use it (as studies cited by death penalty opponents fail to do, showing statistical ignorance).

    Banning the death penalty will not save the money that advocates claim, because once it is abolished, the law firms that currently represent death row inmates pro bono will just move on to attacking sentences of life without parole. The lawyers who oppose the death penalty usually also oppose life without parole, even though that leaves victims’ families faced with the possibility of more violence when the offender is later released.

    1. The lawyers who oppose the death penalty usually also oppose life without parole, even though that leaves victims’ families faced with the possibility of more violence when the offender is later released.

      That argument could be used against granting parole for *any* crime.

      1. Are you suggesting we should lock people up forever for stealing a pair of shoes (just because the shoe thief might later commit a crime)? I would totally disagree with that.

        Conversely, a premeditated, aggravated murderer who has told his victim’s family he plans to finish the job by killing them when he is released (to give a recent example in the Washington Post) should indeed never, ever be paroled (even if he later claims to have been reformed), even if he escapes the death penalty (as the vast majority of premeditated murderers do).

        The goal of deterrence justifies no parole to begin with; and the benefit of incapacitation (and preventing further crime) further buttresses the case for no parole as to such a murderer. The number one goal of the criminal justice system is to protect the innocent and society, not educate or rehabilitate the offender. The world does not revolve around an offender.

        1. I don’t disagree that there are some actions by which one forever forfeits the privilege of coexisting with civilized humanity. But to be comfortable with the administration of the death penalty, you must also be comfortable with the knowledge that the system will screw up and kill innocent people from time to time. And the supposed benefits of the death penalty, which most of the time boil down to sating someone’s blood lust, cannot, in my mind, ever outweigh that risk.

          1. People who are convicted despite being innocent are almost invariably convicted for non-capital crimes, like drug conspiracy, fraud, regulatory crimes, and sex crimes, which do not lead to the death penalty. By contrast, most death penalty appeals have nothing to do with innocence, but rather sentencing issues unrelated to guilt or innocence, involving a murderer who is guilty as sin.

            I could write a book about the injustices of the criminal justice system. Plea bargains pressure innocent people to plead guilty, and amount to the sale of justice; trials are designed in ways that are needlessly theatrical and complicated, resulting in extreme cost to the families of innocent accused people, such as middle-class people losing their family home to hire a defense lawyer to represent them for six figures; sex offender registration provisions make it impossible for released people to find a place to live; and occupational licensing rules make it impossible for a private employer to hire a felon due to a crime unrelated to the job. And there is an epidemic of Brady violations.

            The death penalty is not one of those injustices. Complaining about the death penalty (which is generally reserved for the worst, most obviously guilty murderers) while ignoring those real injustices is like complaining about the deck chairs on the titanic as an iceberg approaches.

            1. But its also the easiest of the problems in the justice system to fix.

            2. You’re just being ridiculous now.

              I shouldn’t worry about innocent people being executed because the criminal justice system is shitty in tons of other ways? How fucking reassuring!

              In what way am I (or the authors of the article, or the activists who are the subject of the article) “ignoring” all of these other issues? Do you think that wanting to reform one of these things precludes any desire to reform others? Is there any reason one cannot be concerned about all of these things simultaneously?

              1. If we’re going to look at those unjustly executed—and I am going to take Hans’s side and say that, if it happens at all, it’s vanishingly rare—then we also need to look at those people killed by criminals who would have otherwise been executed, but were given a prison sentence instead, who were released and later killed other people. That’s rare too, but happens more often than the Cameron Willinghams that are usually mentioned during this discussion. To be true, it happened quite a bit more post-Furman.

                You want to make the “standard of proof to be beyond a reasonable doubt–plus?” I’m with you. You want to bitch that capital punishment is a lottery, depending on such picayune factors as committing the crime in a jurisdiction that’s wealthy enough to ignore the cost of a capital case, and practiced enough to be confident in pushing for the sentence, again I agree with you. Factors like that shouldn’t matter, and yet they do.

                Along with Hans’s note, my experience with people practicing in the criminal justice system, and listening to them, is that most murderers are guilty as hell, there’s no doubt they did it, only whether certain aggravating factors were present, and whether and how much we should apply any mitigating factors. For those convicted of capital crimes, it’s even more so.

                Say capital punishment is immoral, or that it gives the state too much power. But don’t think that any other than a tiny number of those guys on Death Row are innocent.

                1. So what’s the specific number of innocent people that have to be executed to elevate the issue to something worth caring about, in your reckoning?

                  1. On a strictly utilitarian basis? At least the number who’ve been killed by killers who were let out of jail instead of executed.

                    But for the innocent people who’ve been executed by the U.S. justice system, how many have there been? Don’t give me guesses, or extrapolations from conviction rates. Show me someone in the last, oh, forty years, who was innocent of the crime s/he was alleged to have committed, who got the needle (or noose, jolt, whiff, bullet, what have you) anyway.

                    Willingham isn’t one of them, by the way. I wouldn’t have voted to convict the wife-beating piece of shit, knowing what I know—I have a personally high standard before I vote to kill someone. Further, the “expert” arson testimony shouldn’t have passed a Daubert or Frye hearing (if those were still things in criminal law), but all that doesn’t mean he’s innocent. It just means at the most that we don’t know if he did it or not.

                    1. GG – you’re basically asking to turn the basis of western criminal justice on its head.

                      The *ideal* here is Blackstone’s Formulation – better 10 guilty go free than one innocent be punished.

                      Because even back then people recognized that the CJS will make mistakes – monumental mistakes – and that giving the CJS (and the government) the power to basically *pro-actively* eliminate crime will have worse consequences than doing nothing.

                      If we’re going to worry about the crimes a convicted criminal *might* commit in the future, then all sentences, at best, become life sentences. May as well go ahead and start executing the ‘worst of the worst’ to make room. And then the ‘worst of the worst’ keeps getting defined down until either there’s a bloody revolution or running a stop sign is a capital offence.

                    2. But for the innocent people who’ve been executed by the U.S. justice system, how many have there been? Don’t give me guesses, or extrapolations from conviction rates. Show me someone in the last, oh, forty years, who was innocent of the crime s/he was alleged to have committed, who got the needle (or noose, jolt, whiff, bullet, what have you) anyway.

                      Of course you know that we generally don’t waste courts’ time with figuring out the innocence of dead people

                2. And how high does the percentage need to be before it worries you. One innocent man killed it’s one too many. Lock em up for life. The only reason to execute someone is revenge.
                  Once they are in custody, killing them it’s killing a helpless person, it is murder, and violates the NAP.

                3. “-and I am going to take Hans’s side and say that, if it happens at all, it’s vanishingly rare”

                  It is not vanishingly rare. I remembered the Governor in Illinois suspending the death penalty because it was discovered that perhaps as many as a dozen people who had already been executed were most likely innocent. I did a quick google search for ‘governor suspends death penalty innocent’ to refresh on the details and the search turns up other states that have had similar experiences and governors placed moratoriums on the death penalty.

                  Washington, Oregon, Illinois, Pennsylvania.

                  There is also at least one study claiming that 4% of executions are for innocent people.

                  “Since 1973, 144 people on death row have been exonerated. As a percentage of all death sentences, that’s just 1.6 percent. But if the innocence rate is 4.1 percent, more than twice the rate of exoneration, the study suggests what most people assumed but dreaded: An untold number of innocent people have been executed. Further, the majority of those wrongfully sentenced to death are likely to languish in prison and never be freed.”

                  http://www.newsweek.com/one-25…..ims-248889

            3. You’re making the argument here that, despite all the problems you admit you see in the CJS when dealing with less sever crimes, when a capital case comes up suddenly all that dysfunction gores away because *now* everyone’s bringing their ‘A’ game.

              That when the death penalty’s a possibility prosecutors suddenly stop withholding exculpatory evidence, pressuring plea bargains, etc? That there’s no longer a danger that your Public Defender will just phone it in?

              That for the worst of the worst all the stops are pulled out to ensure a fair trial, but the the rest – eh, fuck ’em?

              That’s not really a good defense.

        2. Hans – if you’ve been a lawyer and court clerk then you should *know* that the death penalty serves absolutely as no deterrence to murder.

          Nobody premeditates murder and walks away because *if they get caught* they’ll be killed. They walk away because *they might be caught*.

          Nobody who kills in the heat of passion is thinking rationally anyway – *they’re* certainly not thinking through the long term consequences of shooting a cheating spouse in the arms of his/her lover.

          1. Heat of passion killings have nothing to do with the death penalty. The death penalty is not imposed on people who commit manslaughter, nor is it even imposed on most premeditated murderers. It is usually reserved for the worst, most premeditated murderers, people who did not kill in the heat of passion, but rather did so with plenty of advance planning, and often with coldblooded brutality (like smashing the head of elderly women with a hammer while they were bound and gagged).

            When the ACLU hired a liberal Rand Institute researcher to study the death penalty, he found that it was reserved for the worst of the worst (people who often enjoyed inflicting pain on captive victims). Needless to say, they deep-sixed his conclusions.

            The death penalty serves a strong deterrent to murder, as researchers who looked at the issue with an open mind have concluded.

            Also, if you compare states that are demographically similar (like Virginia and Maryland), you will find that the state that has harsher penalties has a lower violent crime rate, including murder and rape. Fairfax County, Virginia has a much lower crime rate than demographically similar Montgomery County, Maryland, although the two counties once had a similar rate.

            1. “The death penalty serves a strong deterrent to murder, as researchers who looked at the issue with an open mind have concluded.”

              Hans, the goal of any death penalty is the murdering of persons.

            2. Cory Maye.

              Man got the death penalty because during a no-knock raid on his *neighbor* the police burst into his house and he shot a cop through a door.

              Please, please tell me how this was one of those ‘worst, most pre-meditated murders’ you were saying the death penalty is reserved for,

              https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cory_Maye

              1. Governmental negligence in that case, as it is in a multiplicity of others, was criminal in its severity, yet we, as free men, are to trust these same authoritarian degenerates to conduct themselves ethically in life-and-death situations?

            3. Bullshit. Maryland has a higher violent crime rate than Virginia because it is a gun control state. It has nothing to do with the death penalty. It is well settled that the death penalty has no deterrent effect. Criminals have high time preference. They don’t look too far into the future.

        3. The number one goal of the criminal justice system is to protect the innocent and society…

          Bullshit. The number one goal of the criminal justice system is to enforce the power of the State. The number two goal is to provide employment and power to a bunch of jackbooted assholes.

    2. ^ This.

    3. As a lawyer, and former court clerk, I disagree with banning the death penalty.

      Banning the death penalty is unjust and cheapens innocent human life by reducing the punishment to levels used for non-homicide crimes.

      As a lawyer, and former court clerk, you should be *intimately* familiar with the shitshow that is the American judicial system. As such you should be aware that however much they *try* to provide ‘justice’, juries are filled with apathy and confronted with openly dishonest prosecutors and judges that are more interested in a smoothly running court room than anything else.

      *I* don’t oppose the death penalty because ‘it cheapens human life’. I oppose the death penalty simply because I do not trust these people – *none* of them, from the defense to the prosecution to the judge to the jury itself – to have the power of ultimate sanction.

      I’ve got no problem with killing people who need to be be killed – I have a problem with accepting that this system ever gets it right at all.

      1. It’s not very persuasive to tell someone they “should be aware” of something that they discussed in the very comment you take issue with (and in their published writings). I noted that “there is an epidemic of Brady violations” in the courts, due to dishonest prosecutors, yet you lecture me about the existence of “dishonest prosecutors.”

        Moreover, the logical conclusion of your saying you have a “problem with accepting that this system ever gets it right at all” would be to let all violent criminals out of jail. That would be like burning the house to roast the pig.

        Capital cases are the cadillac of the criminal justice system. The prosecution is under a microscope in death penalty cases, and prosecutor misconduct is less frequent in such cases than run-of-the-mill cases (and much less often excused or ignored by the courts).

        The system often gets it right, especially in murder cases, because it is easier, not harder, to establish guilt in murder cases than many other kinds of cases (like complicated business crimes). The evidence against many killers is overwhelming, and confirmed by multiple lines of evidence.

        Moreover, perjury is much less common in murder cases than, say, drug conspiracy cases, where a person is convicted based on the unreliable and self-serving testimony of an alleged co-conspirator.

        1. While I’m wholly supportive of capital punishment in moral terms, your shallow generalizations as to the complexity of specific varieties of crime give me cause to doubt your intellectual honesty on this subject.

          “The system often gets it right, especially in murder cases, because it is easier, not harder, to establish guilt in murder cases than many other kinds of cases (like complicated business crimes). The evidence against many killers is overwhelming, and confirmed by multiple lines of evidence.”

          This is a patent falsehood, one whose inaccuracy is readily demonstrable upon even the most rudimentary study of violent crimes in any sort of significant number. Homicides of all types, rapes and lesser-graded sexual crimes, assaults, abductions, and even terrorism-related offenses are often realistically unsolvable, mostly because the sheer ambiguity of the evidence disallows the formation of satisfactory conclusions — and, as necessarily follows, the formation of a verdict.

          1. Your point about ambiguity (to the extent of reasonable doubt) is well-taken. The first sentence you italicized from my comment immediately above yours was not well-phrased on my part. (Originally, my comment was 200 characters over the 1500 character limit for comments at Reason, and when I pruned it down, I removed qualifying language from that sentence. In SOME murder cases, guilt is more obvious than in some complicated white collar crime cases, but obviously, that is not true in other cases.).

        2. I’m not trying to persuade you. You have your opinion and I have mine and I don’t think that either of us is going to sway the other.

          This is just us laying out our arguments for anyone else coming along to pick through.

          {blockquote]Moreover, the logical conclusion of your saying you have a “problem with accepting that this system ever gets it right at all” would be to let all violent criminals out of jail. That would be like burning the house to roast the pig.[/blockquote]

          This is a reduction to absurdity.

          Lesser crimes have lesser penalties – lesser penalties which I am more willing to allow more latitude for mistake/ineptitude/malice. Lesser penalties that can, at least to a point, be remedied if its found that a mistake was made.

          There’s no need to hold the whole CJS to the same standard for all prosecution that we do for the most serious.

          [quote]Capital cases are the cadillac of the criminal justice system. The prosecution is under a microscope in death penalty cases, and prosecutor misconduct is less frequent in such cases than run-of-the-mill cases (and much less often excused or ignored by the courts).[/quote]

          Uhm, I’m just going to say that its possible the prosecution may be under more pressure and observation during a capital case – to deliver a conviction. That’s how fuckers like Steven Hayne stayed in business for so long.

        3. “Capital cases are the cadillac of the criminal justice system. The prosecution is under a microscope in death penalty cases, and prosecutor misconduct is less frequent in such cases than run-of-the-mill cases (and much less often excused or ignored by the courts).”

          Please give us the location of this planet. Many of us would like to move there.

          1. Poochie died on the way to that planet.

    4. I’m fine with the death penalty, provided that the judge, jury and prosecuting attorney agree to be executed in the event that it is later established the convicted party had been innocent.

      1. This^

    5. Hans, buddy, the death penalty is fine in principle. There are plenty of people out there who deserve it, many of whom I would have no qualms about plugging myself.

      The practice however, is a very different critter than the principle. State agents are not motivated by a desire for justice or truth.

      As a person who has seen gross miscarriages of justice perpetrated many, many times, I oppose a course of action that cannot in any way be corrected once embarked upon.

  3. Related to criminal justice reform, Radley Balko had a good piece recently.

    google: how the insurance industry could reform american policing

    1. All crime could potentially be handled by insurance companies. This is what Bob Murphy and other ancaps propose.

    1. Hey, Hans Bader – here’s an example of a DA, who probably has had and/or will have the power of life and death over a man. blatantly throwing shit at the wall and hoping it sticks to help his case out.

      Nothing he says makes sense nor does any of it support his position that its necessary to force Apple to crack the phone – in fact if what he says *is* true, then its better to just drop the thing in an incinerator right now.

      1. You’re talking to law types, not technical types.

        Da: Paul., is it possible the phone could contain a computer virus?

        Paul.: That’s not the iss…

        Da: Paul., just answer the question, yes or no, is it possible that the phone has a computer virus on it.

        1. But not just a virus Paul – a DORMANT CYBERPATHOGEN!!!1111!!!

          What was the DA’s thought process here? Its possible therefore it must be taken seriously as a justification? Or (more likely) fuck it, good enough, the old fart won’t know the difference anyway.

  4. The Beltway’s moralizing minority have become casualties of the Republican wars and rampant spending they so long tolerated.

    Bozell’s objection would be more credible if CPAC had not included other groups at odds with conservative orthodoxy in years past?including the American Civil Liberties Union. Bryan Fischer of the American Family Association provided a clue as to a deeper reason for the split when he said, “We believe in truth in advertising. They should call themselves the Libertarian Political Action Committee.”

    One time Republican presidential candidate turned Fox News personality Mike Huckabee voiced the same complaint last year, as he pouted about Rep. Ron Paul’s unexpected straw-poll win. “CPAC has become increasingly libertarian and less Republican over the last years, one of the reasons I didn’t go this year,” Huckabee said.

    1. Hatred for libertarians is on the rise?

      Damn. We are finally getting noticed !!!11!!

      1. Don’t get too excited, the article is from 2011.

          1. So I’ve noticed.

    2. From a comment at the link:

      social-issues socialists

  5. Tie a noose and make it tight;
    A feast for crow come tonight!

    1. Bah, spent all day looking at “news”– I feel as if there is nothing good in this shit universe. I can’t understand how people can get so worked up, care so much, troll so hard, and wish such utter destruction upon their neighbors. I must be in the wrong for not getting it, for not understanding.

      It’s fitting I stop here for the day, an article about people protecting murderers, as if one more body on the pyre mattered, as if anything in this fucking world matters. No justice for the dead; but basketball courts, books, three square meals, drugs, prison booze, late night masturbation in the bunk, visits from friends and family, funny jokes, sex, higher education, religious soothing and on and on and on for fucking murderers. I don’t understand– from Presidents to paupers everyone in this fucked world dies and it keeps spinning anyway. And yet I have to pay and suffer for murderers covered in the blood of innocents to live. I could handle every other shit thing in this world if evil men were brought to timely justice and subsequently discarded like the fucking unworthy refuse they are. Yet evil endures suckling at the teat of the merciful. Idk what right is, but I must be wrong for wanting evil men to hang, for their names and stories to be expunged from history rather than used as jerk off fodder by the next wannabe school shooter. I think I must be evil for wanting evil men to pay the ultimate price because nobody else seems to think death is justice.

      1. No one wants murderers to live. We rightly do not trust the state to determine who should live or die and we do not want to become murderers ourselves.

  6. MOTHERFUCK THESE FUCKING FUCKS! And this bitch mayor wants to double my property taxes because CUTS TO SOCIAL SERVICES?!!! Fuck this guy…

    1. Well you are residing in a Prog Paradise so um ya…

      *Scrawls Diane’s name on Florida Passport, lays out welcome mat*

      1. We need Weird Al to remake Amish Paradise into Proggie Paradise…

    2. Seattle? What did you expect. Why not move 50 or 100 miles east?

      1. I’m thinking of going all in and moving 50 or 100 miles south… of the US border.

        1. Isn’t that about where you are – from the Canuck viewpoint?

  7. So, what now?

    A senior Justice Department official is arguing that 3- and 4-year-olds can learn immigration law well enough to represent themselves in court, staking out an unconventional position in a growing debate over whether immigrant children facing deportation are entitled to taxpayer-funded attorneys.

    […]

    “I’ve taught immigration law literally to 3-year-olds and 4-year-olds,” Weil said. “It takes a lot of time. It takes a lot of patience. They get it. It’s not the most efficient, but it can be done.”

    He repeated his claim twice in the deposition, also saying, “I’ve told you I have trained 3-year-olds and 4-year-olds in immigration law,” according to a transcript. “You can do a fair hearing. It’s going to take you a lot of time.”

    1. Is he suggesting it takes 20 years or so? Maybe a college education and a law degree? It seems odd to me that you wouldn’t be entitled to an attorney at a deportation hearing, wouldn’t part of the process be determining whether or not you are here legally and therefore protected by the Constitution? If you have a right to an attorney as a US citizen or someone legally in this country, isn’t denying you an attorney on the grounds that you’re not here legally begging the question?

      1. You’d think that since illegal immigration is a *crime* that criminal justice protections would be afforded to you throughout the process.

        ie – 4th and 5th amendment rights, right to an attorney, beyond-a-reasonable-doubt evidence standard.

        Unfortunately, all too much of this shit fall under ‘administrative law’ – which is basically ‘fuck you, I’ll do what I want’ law.

      2. Yeah, I don’t get it. This whole thing seems crazy. Allowing a 3 year old to represent himself is fucking retarded and the potential for abuse is staggering.

        1. That’s . . . that’s the *whole point* of that guy’s testimony.

          He’s, like the DA I quoted above, throwing shit at the wall and hoping some of it sticks.

          Of course, neither of these guys realizes (or cares) that they’re covering *themselves* with shit in the process.

  8. The smell of man-love is in the air. Must be spring.

    1. As Dirr puts it, Bradfords tend to “develop rather tight crotches,” which makes them prone to splitting as they age. And while not every Callery cultivar splits easily?the Aristocrat and the Chanticleer fare better?they’re all borderline invasive, taking up shop in abandoned lots without human intervention.

      That’s the most rape-cultury thing I’ve read today.

      1. I once threatened to split a girl up the middle. She was pretty disappointed in the end.

        1. “I once threatened to split a girl up the middle. She was pretty disappointed in the end.”

          …disappointed in the end.

          I saw that.

        2. Don’t promise the Warty if you can’t deliver…

    2. Photo by Bosc D’Anjou. Cute.

      1. That is a disgusting sketch. In period costumes yet.

          1. Nice – and rather sad in that it reminds me of numerous individuals I’ve encountered.

          2. “Blinged them well up.”

            Yeah.

    1. At first I thought you meant this Morrissey

      http://www.ci.rockford.il.us/mayors-office.aspx

      Used to see him every month at Libertarian meetings.

        1. THE Rockford Band

          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xIoT1W39Iuc

          If you hang out at Mary’s Place you will see a band member occasionally.

            1. Back when cigarettes were still cool.

              1. Cigarettes are always cool.

  9. The only thing wrong with the death penalty is that it’s used in cases where sometimes there is a fair amount of doubt of guilt.

    It should be only applied in cases where it’s overwhelmingly obvious that they did it, like in the cases of serial killers.

  10. It’s nothing but a birth-forcer pushback to try to appear less hypocritical. What, besides coercing women to reproduce, bombing competing religious fanatics and asset-forfeiture-prohibitionist enactments, do conservatives value? Certainly not life!

  11. Although I believe we need criminal justice reform I also believe that the death penalty should be used more often and after a panel of judges rules there was a fair trail sentencing should be immediate. Forget about revenge for the crime it just a simple fact that some people should not be on this earth. People like Bernie Madof destroyed 1000s of lives and now he sits in a cell getting 3 meals a deal and free health care while the same people he stole from get to pay for it. Some man brutally rapes a women (not statutory) and get to kick back for 10 years while the women live in their own prisons for life. Prison for career criminals is nothing more than a child’s time out. They get what they want either way. Someone else is paying for the sins. If someone just doesn’t want to live in a society with certain rules of behavior then as for me I think they should be ushered in to another world.

    1. You don’t believe in redemption?

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    +_+_+_+_ http://www.moneypath60.com

  14. Some Reality:
    Conservatives Concerned About the Death Penalty

    Conservatives Concerned About the Death Penalty (CCATDP) was created, is owned and controlled by Equal Justice USA (EJUSA), a well known liberal anti death penalty group, which has been funded by George Soros and many other liberal funds.

    CCATDP and EJUSA are just repeating well known, weak anti death penalty claims and putting them into a conservative suit. Fact checking destroys their claims, as always, as demonstrated.

    1) Few Conservatives Embrace Anti Death Penalty Deceptions
    http://prodpinnc.blogspot.com/…..death.html

    “Some conservatives have morphed into anti death penalty advocates, displaying the common tendency of either blindly accepting false anti death penalty claims, with willful ignorance, or knowingly pushing deceptions, as does CCATDP, as detailed.”

    2) Conservatives Concerned About The Death Penalty: Just another dishonest anti death penalty group
    http://prodpinnc.blogspot.com/…..death.html

    “CCATDP is but another anti death penalty group, whose claims are, easily, rebutted and which was founded and funded by a long time, well known liberal anti death penalty group, Equal Justice USA, which is supported by George Soros.”

    1. Well I dunno about easily rebutted.

      I haven’t looked lately but last time I did about 4% of murder convictions are overturned.

      The way our system works is that it rewards Convictions and Closure. The only justice that can be found – if it is found at all – is in the process. The rules were followed. Getting the correct person convicted is only incidental.

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