Death Penalty

No, Donald Trump: Not Even Mass Shootings and Hate Crimes Justify the Death Penalty

Politicians never hesitate to exploit a tragedy.

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When President Donald Trump addressed last weekend's devastating mass shootings, he said he was "directing the Department of Justice to propose legislation, ensuring that those who commit hate crimes and mass murders have the death penalty, and that this capital punishment be delivered quickly, decisively, and without years of needless delay." This comes on the heels of U.S. Attorney General Bill Barr's recent announcement that the Department of Justice would resume capital punishment for the first time in nearly 20 years.

The nation's feelings are still raw from the tragic violence. But it would be a mistake to allow any politician to use these deaths to justify an expansion of the death penalty.

As Reason's J.D. Tuccille noted last week, a 2014 study estimated that 4.1 percent of death-row inmates were innocent of their accused crimes—and that was the conservative estimate. By placing even more people under consideration for capital punishment, there runs a risk of even more innocent people being killed.

Trump's call for an expedited execution process has problems too. Not only should the wrongfully convicted have a right to appeal, but the slower-paced process already has a slew of institutional problems that could only be exacerbated with less review.

Reason has covered several questionable capital punishment cases in the past year alone, which have involved possible religious and racial discrimination, executions for criminals who did not actually pull the trigger, and a death-row inmate who was tried six times for the same crime in a case filled with prosecutorial infractions. In 2017, the Oklahoma Death Penalty Review Commission recommended that the state extend a moratorium on executions after finding that it could not ensure protections against executing the innocent.

Of all the reasons to oppose capital punishment, from its high cost to its failure to deter crimes, the most important is the finality of death. An expedited death penalty reduces the chances that an innocent prisoner will be exonerated in time. For some exonerated prisoners, such as Lamar Johnson, it was more than 20 years before the reprieve came. And that was only after years of advocacy by private volunteers.

Trump ended his appeal by saying, "If we are able to pass great legislation after all of these years, we will ensure that those who were attacked will not die in vain." If he truly wants to honor the memory of this weekend's dead, he will not expand a broken institution that would create even innocent victims.

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  1. ” By placing even more people under consideration for capital punishment, there runs a risk of even more innocent people being killed.”

    Potentially. Thee issue with this claim is that mass shooters are fairly easy to identify, what with all the people they shoot up and the witnesses who saw them.

    You’re trying to graft a legitimate concern onto a situation that it really doesn’t apply to.

    1. There’s a 1 in 275 trillion chance that body snatchers from Neptune took physical control of the killer’s body and did the crime without his awareness! And this is exactly the same as some redneck town in bumblefuck Texas lynching nigras 125 years ago.

    2. The issue in mass shootings cases will often be “is this guy legally insane?” and you can’t execute the insane – that is (under the most commensensical definition) those who don’t know what they did, or were too brain-addled to know it was wrong.

      That, I think, is where the risk of unjust convictions creeps in.

      1. This can be seen as the system’s compromise between determinism and free will – anyway, it’s a rule of long standing, and the temptation to ignore this rule will be particularly great in mass-killing cases.

      2. The issue in mass shootings cases will often be “is this guy legally insane?” and you can’t execute the insane

        One might disagree about the morality of it, but you certainly can execute them.

        1. I think I alluded to the risk that they might be executed in spite of the law.

      3. Frankly, I don’t know why we have that restriction.
        When a cobra bites you, do you think it knows that it’s going to kill you? So when it does – just let it go? Put it in a box and feed it until it dies of natural causes?

      4. The Men that have been exonerated since DNA Becamw the Norm. They each spent 25 years on average before being exonerated.

    3. This case is not a good argument for extending the death penalty. Some situations are as clean cut. The legal system only has “Guilty” or not. “Guilty as sin” is not an option.

    4. Anti death penalty folks go full kitchen sink at every opportunity. Which really just discredits them when they actually do,have some legitimate arguments to make.

      Ultimately they are wrong though. No society can ever be truly civilized without a properly thought out death penalty.

    5. That’s why it should Be scrapped.

    6. I came to say the same thing. Bringing up all these cases of questionable convictions really don’t apply to this situation where someone shoots up a public place with dozens of witnesses, in broad daylight and is literally caught in the act.
      If we can’t convict based on that, we can’t convict any crime. There’s always a 0.00001% chance we can’t believe our own eyes due to some kind of quantum mechanics but that’s utter nonsense in determining the facts of these cases.
      I’d like to hear more counterarguments to capital punishment than possibility of wrongful conviction because it really doesn’t apply here.

    7. There is an incentive for prosecutors to “win” cases, not to serve the needs of justice, and so there will always be cases where the innocent are found guilty because evidence was withheld or any of the aforementioned issues. It is therefore reasonable to hold prosecutors, judges, & attorneys to higher standards that have actual consequences when they are found out. It isn’t sufficient to merely be disbarred. Send an innocent person to prison or the chair and you receive the same.

    8. The proposal includes policies that would effect virtually all federal death row inmates, not just mass shooters.

    9. According to John Locke in his Second Treatise On Government, the right to enforce the death penalty is the linchpin of governments right to impose all lesser punishments. Remove the death penalty and you start a long March towards the removal of judicial punishment.

  2. Yes they do. Beyond that, how exactly do you plan to control people who have no chance of ever getting released in prison without the threat of the death penalty?

    Currently we do it by having the Super Max prison in Florence, Colorado. If you are not familiar with that prison, which is essentially life in solitary confinement, you should familiarize yourself with it. Then ask yourself whether torturing someone with total solitude for their entire life is really less humane than the death penalty. These are the choices, not give life sentences at all no matter the crime, give life sentences but allow those who have them to victimize other prisoners with immunity, have life sentences and supermax, or have the death penalty.

    When you understand reality as it actually is rather than as you wish it were, you understand that the death penalty is often the most just of a set of bad options.

    1. This mind you from a publication that advocated mob violence in both Berkeley and Baltimore:

      I agree with Robby Soave that non-defensive violence is not a good solution, both for moral and tactical reasons. But I nonetheless find myself filled with empathy for the people—rioters? protesters?— who have been engaging in acts of violence against police property, corporate property, and police themselves this afternoon and evening in Baltimore.

      Honest condemnation of #Berkley violence must also condemn those who invited him.What’s point except baiting n inciting in Trump’s America?

      Lynch mobs good. Death penalty for convicted and unquestionably guilty mass murderers bad.

      1. Those victims were wearing short skirts and asking for it.

    2. And if the state ends up executing an innocent man? “Oh well”?

      1. I’m just sayin’ nobody actually SAW Tim McVeigh light that fuse!

        1. And people who attack and murder other prisoners or guards are often innocent.

          1. You know I really thought when I made my first post that it would preemptively address Jeff’s stupid fucking knee-jerk reaction, because it really doesn’t apply and is boring as fuck, but he COULD NOT HELP HIMSELF.

      2. And if the state ends up sending an innocent man to a life of torture in solitary, oh well. What is amazing about intellectual children like you is that you think the risk of locking an innocent person up for the rest of their life is just no big deal. If the risk of executing the wrong person is too great to do the death penalty, then it is also too great to give long prison sentences at all.

        1. If the risk of executing the wrong person is too great to do the death penalty, then it is also too great to give long prison sentences at all.

          Shhhhh, we’re not supposed to talk about that until after we get the death penalty repealed. But before we institute mandatory 25 year sentences for political dissidents. It’s a careful balance.

          1. That is the thing about all this. The same people who today are arguing against the death penalty and saying “just give them life without parole” will once the death penalty is gone be arguing to get rid of life without parole and let those people out.

            1. So you have to conjure up a scary slippery slope in order to justify the death penalty?

              1. You mean like you did with “what if they execute an innocent man!!?!?!?!” to get rid of the death penalty?

                1. Except innocent people really have been executed via the death penalty. It’s not a hypothetical slippery slope. It actually happened.

                  Aren’t you at all concerned about the possibility of the state executing innocent people?

                  1. I notice that you, as you always do, added “hypothetical” to change your argument, assuming people wouldn’t notice I have you dead to rights.

                    1. His failure to address his mendacity is all the evidence anyone needs. As if anyone needs more evidence.

                  2. And people claiming life without parole and solitary confinement are inhumane and calling them to be banned is also actually happening, and not slippery slope

                    Aren’t you at all concerned with this cruel and unusual punishment?

                    1. I actually am concerned about punishment which may be considered cruel. Are you?

                      If you want to have a discussion about what constitutes “cruel and unusual”, I’m willing to entertain such a discussion.

                      But this current argument – “we have to keep the most cruel of punishments because if we don’t, the criminals will just run loose” – is a stupid slippery slope fallacy.

                    2. “we have to keep the most cruel of punishments”

                      You mean like locking people in a cage forever with other violent criminals?

                      Face it. You have no idea what you think you just hate the death penalty, stupidly.

                    3. I can’t help but notice you’ve shifted your goalposts again. No one is saying criminals will run loose without the death penalty

                    4. I can’t help but notice you’ve shifted your goalposts again. No one is saying criminals will run loose without the death penalty

                      Really? So the slippery slope that seems to be presented here, is that if the death penalty is abolished, then the very next day or something, the reformers will move to abolish life sentences without parole, and then when that ‘reform’ is accomplished, etc., etc…..

                      What do you view as the end of the slippery slope?

                    5. “Really?”

                      Yes really. Save the lame text wall justifying your mendacity.

              2. Jeff, can you think of an example where a slippery slope didn’t end up becoming reality?

                “Gay marriage will never impact any straight people”
                “All we’re saying is that people shouldn’t feel uncomfortable if they have unusual sexual issues with their body. We’re not talking boys in girls’ locker rooms or anything…”
                “Show me where Title IX creates quotas for athletics…”

        2. “And if the state ends up sending an innocent man to a life of torture in solitary, oh well”

          At least the victim is still alive and can be compensated to a degree. Can’t compensate a dead victim.

          “What is amazing about intellectual children like you is that you think the risk of locking an innocent person up for the rest of their life is just no big deal.”

          Not what I said. Don’t stuff words in my mouth.

          “If the risk of executing the wrong person is too great to do the death penalty, then it is also too great to give long prison sentences at all.”

          That doesn’t follow at all. The death penalty is FINAL and if a mistake is made, there are no do overs. With every other type of legal punishment, the accused is still alive and there are remedies available to seek justice.

          All miscarriages of justice are wrong, but it’s even worse when the miscarriage cannot be rectified.

          1. At least the victim is still alive and can be compensated to a degree. Can’t compensate a dead victim.

            And the people who will be killed in prison because there is no way to deter those with life sentences, they won’t be alive either. You continue to live in this retarded dream world where there are no negative consequences to your well meaning decisions.

            That doesn’t follow at all. The death penalty is FINAL and if a mistake is made, there are no do overs. With every other type of legal punishment, the accused is still alive and there are remedies available to seek justice.

            So is life in prison if the person’s innocence is not proven until they are dead. Again you assume every innocent person in prison will be found out before they die. That is just more fantasy on your part.

            Lets go back to the original point, what do you want? Super max, no supermax but no way to deter those serving life sentences in prison, or letting those with life sentences have free run in prison? Those are your choices dipshit, pick one and defend it.

            1. John, you are just throwing up sand in the air with a bunch of hypothetical possibilities. I’m not advocating for some perfect utopian system. All systems have flaws to one degree or another. You know what a really big flaw is? Executing an innocent man. All of the other flaws are ones that can be managed or dealt with to one degree or another. But you can’t bring back to life a dead innocent man. Yes it is possible that innocent men will sit in jail without ever being exonerated. But at least the innocent man in this case is *still alive* to try to make his case for exoneration.

              Some flaws are more serious than others, would you agree?

              1. “John, you are just throwing up sand in the air with a bunch of hypothetical possibilities”

                No. The people calling for an end to long sentences and life in prison actually exist.

                So, no, you’re lying, and your own argument works against you.

              2. You continue to duck the question of how you plan to control people serving life without resorting to supermax. What about all of the people who spend years being tortured in supermax? Don’t their lives count for something? Not everyone is going to get death. Some people will get life. And thanks to there being no death penalty, those people end up in places like Supermax because the prison system rightly thinks there is no way to control or deter them.

                You just live in a fucking fantasy world. You pretend that not having the death penalty doesn’t result in the death of other innocent people. It does. You refuse to see that because you completely dishonest and a complete waste of time.

                1. I don’t object to the idea in principle of a maximum security prison. You seem to think that the only alternative to the death penalty is murderers running free.

                  “You pretend that not having the death penalty doesn’t result in the death of other innocent people.”

                  It might, sure. It might not. But with a death penalty, it is a certainty that an innocent man will be executed.

                  You are playing a rhetorical game where you are trying to level all risks as being equally serious and so therefore the risk of the state executing an innocent man is no different than the risk of an incarcerated prisoner harming another prisoner. That is just false.

                  1. don’t object to the idea in principle of a maximum security prison. You seem to think that the only alternative to the death penalty is murderers running free.

                    So you think torturing someone with complete solitude is perfectly fine. Basically you are sadist who wants prisoners tortured for their crimes instead of executed.

                    It might, sure. It might not. But with a death penalty, it is a certainty that an innocent man will be executed.

                    It absolutely does and has. There have been several cases of people who got off of death row in the 1970s who then committed murders. There is no maybe to it. But you ultimately don’t give a shit. What matters if virtue signaling. Innocent lives, not so much.

                    1. There you go again, overstating some risks and understating others, in order to make the death penalty look less risky than it really is.

                      Life without parole is “torture” but the state executing people is just fine.

                      The risk that an incarcerated murderer is set free and murders again is stated by you to be a genuinely concerning risk, but the risk that an innocent man is executed via the death penalty is minimized.

                      This is just a lazy childish game.

                      Yes it is possible that an incarcerated murderer is set free. It is also possible that an innocent man is executed via the death penalty. Which do you think is the worse outcome?

                    2. “Life without parole is “torture””

                      It isn’t? Are you fucking kidding?

                    3. “It isn’t? Are you fucking kidding?”

                      Definition of torture:

                      “the infliction of intense pain (as from burning, crushing, or wounding) to punish, coerce, or afford sadistic pleasure”

                      https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/torture

                      Would you care to explain, according to this definition, how life without parole is “torture”?

                    4. And then, once you’re done with that, you can explain how execution by the state would not be torture.

                    5. Get a better dictionary fuckhole.

                      “torture
                      [ˈtôrCHər]
                      NOUN
                      the action or practice of inflicting severe pain or suffering on someone as a punishment or in order to force them to do or say something

                    6. Oh so now you’re going to argue about which definition is correct.

                      Your definition (what is your source, by the way?) would imply that any incarceration whatsoever is “torture”, because even just being thrown in the county jail overnight is a type of “suffering”.

                      Sure, if your definition of “torture” is so broad, then all incarceration is torture. The death penalty, life without parole, county jail, all torture. So what is the point?

                  2. “You seem to think”

                    AKA “chemjeffing”

                    You’re so deluded you don’t even see yourself doing it.

            2. “And the people who will be killed in prison because there is no way to deter those with life sentences, they won’t be alive either.”

              There a number of states that have already abolished the death penalty for state crimes. Are you claiming that their prison systems are significantly more violent than the states that still have the death penalty?

          2. “Not what I said. Don’t stuff words in my mouth.”

            Fuck you bitch, that’s LITERALLY ALL YOU DO.

            You’re a fucking verb bitch, and “chemjeffing” literally means that.

            1. Only in your own mind.

              1. Then I am mind controlling other posters because I didn’t count it and have only seen it used by other people.

                Sorry jeffo. You’re TRYING TO BE SERIOUS and have become a joke instead.

                1. Just fuck off. You’re a bothersome pest. Why do you even bother coming here?

                  1. No Jeff, you are a bothersome pest. You never make any honest arguments or make any effort to understand anyone else’s post. You are by far the worst most dishonest poster on here. Shreek is a troll. Hihn is insane. What is your excuse?

                    1. Careful John, he’ll call for you to be banned because he does that.

                    2. Someone has to call out your cheap rhetorical tricks, John. Like trying to overstate and understate risks of any prison system in order to make the death penalty look less risky than it actually is.

                    3. Lol Jeff thinks he’s a superhero ahaahhaahah

                  2. Because I want to you whiny cunt. You can’t stop me and you can’t win rhetorically. That’s YOUR problem. Stop bitching like a little girl.

      3. It’s like you ignored my first post because you HAD to splooge this garbage take everywhere.

        1. And he as he always does completely ignores the point. The point is not that the death penalty is perfect or good. it is not. The point is that it is the best of a bad set of options. You really cannot overstate what a mendacious piece of shit Jeff is.

          1. And even worse, he’d backpedal if you gave him irrefutable evidence then make up some other dumb fucking reason to justify his stupid ideas.

            1. Fuck off and go away, Tulpa.

      4. And if the state ends up executing an innocent man? “Oh well”?

        One of the few people who read The Metamorphosis and thinks, “The only reasonable and moral thing to do would’ve been to keep Gregor alive against his will 4-5 decades.”

      5. The US government is responsible for tens of thousands of deaths every year, something you don’t seem to give a second thought to.

        For executions, we have a decade or two of appeals in place, plus commutation and clemency. The probability of accidentally executing someone innocent is extremely small. If you want to reduce causes of accidental death, this is not the place to invest more money.

    3. Yes they do. Beyond that, how exactly do you plan to control people who have no chance of ever getting released in prison without the threat of the death penalty?

      They’ ll pass Cory Booker’s latest “reform” that creates the presumption that you should be let out of federal prison if you’re over 50 and have been locked up for 10 years.

      The UNABomber, Terry Nichols, Ramzi Yousef, Richard Reid, Eric Rudolph, and Robert Hanssen also favor Booker’s reforms.

      1. Jeff endorses this post.

        1. I do? Since when?

          1. Since this thread today fuckwit. Everything you say about the death penalty also applies to long sentences.

            How fucking stupid are you? Or are you just totally fucking oblivious to your own arguments?

            1. Everything you say about the death penalty also applies to long sentences.

              You are not paying attention as usual.

              Long prison sentences don’t result in the state executing the incarcerated person.

              A person serving a long sentence is STILL ALIVE and still able to try to find some justice if that person is wrongfully imprisoned.

              Above you said that there are “legitimate concerns” about the death penalty. Like what? Because as far as I can see, you are just defending it top to bottom.

              1. “Long prison sentences don’t result in the state executing the incarcerated person.”

                What is the ultimate consequence of life without parole?

                Fuck you, Jeff. You’re so God damned stupid you don’t even understand the basics of what you’re discussing.

                1. Once again. Life without parole doesn’t result in the state executing the incarcerated person. Fuck you and your dishonest trolling.

                  1. And ONCE AGAIN. because you dodged it,

                    What is the ultimate consequence of life without parole?

                    Fuck YOU and your dishonest dodging.

                    1. Life without parole doesn’t result in the state executing the incarcerated person.

                      This is a true statement that you will never bring yourself to acknowledge because it would cut down on your trolling play time.

                      Having any sort of discussion is impossible with you.

                    2. “Life without parole doesn’t result in the state executing the incarcerated person”

                      The state has custody until they’re dead. That is the end goal of the sentence. To kill them with old age.

                      What part isn’t an execution?

                    3. “Having any sort of discussion is impossible with you.”

                      Well, you make it so by being too stupid to admit I’m right on this.

                      You’re literally pretending life without parole isn’t just an execution by time.

                    4. Definition of execution:

                      “a putting to death especially as a legal penalty”

                      https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/execution

                      If a prisoner dies of old age in prison, did the state execute the prisoner? Yes or no?

                    5. By your definition, YES. The sentence isn’t fulfilled UNTIL THEY DIE.

                      I WIN.

                    6. By the way, EVERYONE can see how you are trying to back off your previous claim that it isn’t an execution.

                      I should probably praise you for that, because it’s obvious you looked at the definition and realized it applied to life with no parole, so nice job. You pulled your head out of your ass.

                    7. By your definition, YES. The sentence isn’t fulfilled UNTIL THEY DIE.

                      If the incarcerated prisoner was given the death penalty, with the mode of death chosen to be old age, then you would be correct. But that is not what the penalty of life without parole is.

                      You’re assuming the conclusion here.

                      The state does not take the life of an incarcerated prisoner if the prisoner dies of old age.

                    8. “If the incarcerated prisoner was given the death penalty, with the mode of death chosen to be old age”

                      They were. That’s what “life no parole” means. And the only way to satisfy that sentence is death.

                      “The state does not take the life of an incarcerated prisoner if the prisoner dies of old age.”

                      They hold them, against their will, giving them subsistence level care, until they die.

                      If I bury a man in the sand until the tide comes in and claims him, I executed him.

                      Face it, the definition applies to life without parole, which is why you’ve descended into nonsensical attempts to argue your case.

                    9. “”There is no doubt in my mind you are one of the most dangerous men to ever walk on this planet,” Barron County Judge James Babler said right before passing his sentence. “You are the embodiment of evil and the public can only be safe if you are incarcerated until you die.”

                      Keep trying that “it isn’t execution” shit, maybe that judge will buy it.

                    10. “If the incarcerated prisoner was given the death penalty, with the mode of death chosen to be old age”

                      They were. That’s what “life no parole” means.

                      No, it isn’t. Life without parole is a separate and distinct sentence than the death penalty. There are different standards and different requirements for the two types of sentences. You are dishonestly trying to assume your conclusion, by ASSUMING that a life sentence without parole is just the death penalty by other means. That is incorrect as a matter of fact. That is why John is having a fit in this whole discussion, because he recognizes that they are NOT the same. This is your dishonest rhetorical sleight of hand that you are playing here.

                      If a person dies of old age, that person was not “executed” by anyone, whether that person was an incarcerated prisoner or not.

                      Admit you are wrong Tulpa.

              2. “Because as far as I can see, you are just defending it top to bottom.”

                I haven’t defended it once. Quote my defense. I’ll wait you lying fucking sack.

                1. If you are opposed to the death penalty as I am, then why are you giving me such a hard time about it?

                    1. You certainly seem to be giving me a hard time for opposing the death penalty.

                    2. I don’t see any quote there.

                      Do you have one? Or should we conclude that you were lying again?

                    3. It is my OPINION that you seem to be defending it, because you have been giving me nothing but grief for opposing it.

                      If you’re not defending it, great, then we agree on something for once.

                      What are your legitimate concerns about the death penalty?

    4. threat of the death penalty

      There is no evidence that the death penalty ever acts as a deterrent and strong evidence that it doesn’t.

      1. You miss the point. We are not talking about murders on the outside. We are talking about murders that happen in prison. How do you deter someone from committing murder in prison if they know they can never get the death penalty and are never getting out anyway? The only way you deter them is with the living hell that is known as Super max. So, the alternative to the death penalty is to torture people with solitary confinement for their entire life.

        Explain to me how you think that is more moral than the death penalty?

        1. How do you deter someone from committing murder in prison if they know they can never get the death penalty and are never getting out anyway?

          Can you? Is it possible to deter someone already in prison for some violent crime from murdering someone else in prison? These people haven’t seemed to respond to any deterrent up to that point. If you’re making the case that torturing them for the rest of their life in solitary confinement is worse than death, then shouldn’t that possibility deter them more than the threat of death?

          1. Can you? Is it possible to deter someone already in prison for some violent crime from murdering someone else in prison?

            Yes you can. You do it by threatening them with what amounts to a lifetime of torture. Read about SuperMax prisons sometimes. They are horrific but they do work. They had a murder of a guard at the Marion federal prison in the 80s. They instituted SuperMax and they haven’t had one since. So, yes deterrence works.

            The question is what is the better way to deter, execute people or make them spend their life in a living hell. I frankly think the former is better. What we do to prisoners in this country is much worse than the death penalty.

            1. The dapper don would agree.

            2. Yes you can. You do it by threatening them with what amounts to a lifetime of torture.

              Um. Okay, so you wouldn’t want to go easy on them by executing them, would you? But anyway, these people do not ever seem to be deterred by any potential consequences. That’s not how their brains work.

              So, yes deterrence works.

              Or they became much better at controlling the prisoners.

              The question is what is the better way to deter, execute people or make them spend their life in a living hell. I frankly think the former is better. What we do to prisoners in this country is much worse than the death penalty.

              So you’re making a humanitarian argument for the death penalty then, to save prisoners from enduring the awful prison system in this country?

              1. Okay, so you wouldn’t want to go easy on them by executing them, would you? But anyway, these people do not ever seem to be deterred by any potential consequences. That’s not how their brains work.

                Again, the experience at Marion says otherwise. Beyond that, you are telling me that we have people who are so dangerous that they cannot be controlled or deterred. And your solution to that is to just torture them with solitary confinement all of their lives. But, somehow it is the people who want the death penalty who are barbaric? WTF is wrong with you?

                So you’re making a humanitarian argument for the death penalty then, to save prisoners from enduring the awful prison system in this country?

                That is exactly what it is. If we had the death penalty, we could afford to treat prisoners who will behave humanly knowing that the threat of the death penalty will deter them. Instead we just lock them up in living hell and pretend we are being humane.

                1. Beyond that, you are telling me that we have people who are so dangerous that they cannot be controlled or deterred.

                  I’m not telling you that. You’re telling me they solved the problem because “They instituted SuperMax and they haven’t had one since. So, yes deterrence works.”

                  That is exactly what it is. If we had the death penalty, we could afford to treat prisoners who will behave humanly knowing that the threat of the death penalty will deter them.

                  1. We do have the death penalty.
                  2. The death penalty does not deter murderers.

                2. If current prisons are so awful, then the fix for that is to fix the prisons, not to expedite the death penalty so that the prisoners avoid the awful prisons.

                  Besides, if the prisons really are as awful as you say they are, then aren’t the prisoners who aren’t convicted of capital crimes due some better conditions anyway?

    5. “Then ask yourself whether torturing someone with total solitude for their entire life is really less humane than the death penalty”

      Indeed John. And at massive expensive to the public too. Though I do favor it for people like Hillary and Obama.

  3. Between July 16, 2019 and July 28, 2019, there were 36 mass shootings in the United States, with mass shootings being defined as three (3) or more people shot.

    According to Colin Flaherty, 34 of those 36 mass shootings were perpetrated by blacks whereas the other two were committed by one white and one Hispanic.

    In 2016, the New York Times reported that when there are three (3) or more victims of gunfire, blacks were the perpetrators 75% of the time.

    Hence, whites commit almost all mass shootings = FAKE NEWS.

    Hence, whites commit most mass shootings = FAKE NEWS.

  4. Is Rev. Al on the ground in Chicago today? How about his MSNBC colleague, David Gura? How about Morning Joe? How about Mika? How about Donny Deutsch? How about Prof. Eddie Glaude? How about the prince of plagiarism, Mike Barnicle? How about Andrea Mitchell?

    Why, one might ask, would the aforementioned muckrakers be in Chi-town? After all, there were only 15 shot there over the weekend.

    1. Barnicle is the most insufferable of the Morning Joe regulars, especially when talking guns.

  5. As far as “mass-murderers,” I find it the likelihood of even one of the perpetrators would even think twice about it before committing their crime. As far as “hate-crimes,” I will believe in them as soon as I hear about a “love crime.” Nobody ever shot up a Walmart or a nightclub out of “love.”

    I am not opposed to death penalty, per se, though I do feel, in some jurisdictions, it is overused. But what happened last weekend would not have been prevented by ANY law or conceivable punishment.

    MOFA

  6. I disagree with ZURI DAVIS on the death penalty. To often a person is convicted of murder and get out of prison in a few years and then offends again by killing again. This is a death that could have been prevented if the person had been executed. So if a person commits a death penalty crime then the penalty would become life without parole, no chance to get back out to commit another crime.
    So until the person who commits a crime of this nature can repair what is done and make it as if it never happened that person should never be able to reenter society.

    1. To often a person is convicted of murder and get out of prison in a few years

      Really?

      1. Yes.

        Ninety-six percent of violent offenders released in
        2016, including 70% of those sentenced for murder
        or non-negligent manslaughter, served less than
        20 years before initial release from state prison.

        http://www.bjs.gov/content/pub/pdf/tssp16.pdf

        1. Then that’s a problem with light sentences for murder. It’s not an argument in favor of the death penalty.

          1. Maybe your assumption that you can really throw someone in jail and throw away the key is flawed? It doesn’t work that way, it never has and there is no reason to think it ever will.

            1. If anything’s flawed it’s your reasoning here. You’re trying to justify the death penalty because it appears that sentences for murder are not long enough. Surely most of these sentences are being doled out in states that already have the death penalty since 32/50 have it.

              1. The point is that the argument against the death penalty is always, just throw them in prison for life. And that is nice but it isn’t going to happen. Only people who are unlucky enough to be involved in a notorious case ever really spend that much time in prison even for murder. So, no if we get rid of the death penalty we won’t be locking people up forever. Those people will get out and some of them will kill again.

                And don’t tell met he next goal of anti death penalty advocates isn’t to get rid of long sentences for violent crime. It is.

                http://www.sentencingproject.org/publications/the-next-step-ending-excessive-punishment-for-violent-crimes/

                And all of the emotional arguments people make about the death penalty and its cruelty apply just as well to long prison sentences. What starts with “don’t kill them just throw them in jail for life” eventually becomes “we need to be humane and let them out”.

                1. Which do you think is the worse outcome, John: The state executing innocent people? Or letting murderers out of jail too early?

                  1. The state letting murders out too early because that results in more innocent deaths than the other. But you don’t give a flying fuck about the people murdered thanks to your policy. You are not even honest enough to admit they exist.

                    1. Oh good heavens John. There is no need to question my motives.

                      I would prefer if no one were murdered. Murdering innocent people is a pretty heinous crime. It’s heinous when private individuals do it, and it’s heinous when the state does it too. I’d prefer there to be just less murder overall. So let’s get rid of the death penalty, and institute life without parole for the really dangerous murderers. Sound good to you?

                2. Only people who are unlucky enough to be involved in a notorious case ever really spend that much time in prison even for murder.

                  Ok, that can’t be true. There are tons of lifers in prison doing life and never getting out.

                  So, no if we get rid of the death penalty we won’t be locking people up forever.

                  The death penalty exists right now, so it doesn’t seem to have an effect on these light sentences for murder.

                  And don’t tell met he next goal of anti death penalty advocates isn’t to get rid of long sentences for violent crime. It is.

                  http://www.sentencingproject.org/publications/the-next-step-ending-excessive-punishment-for-violent-crimes/

                  I skimmed your link and it looks like murder is excluded from most of the call for lighter sentences except in the case of juveniles or in cases of a “felony murder rule”.

                  And all of the emotional arguments people make about the death penalty and its cruelty apply just as well to long prison sentences.

                  Well, I’m not making an emotional argument against the death penalty. My main objection is that the state should not be trusted with the power to execute people because it is such a fallible organization filled with corrupt shitbags.

                  1. Ok, that can’t be true. There are tons of lifers in prison doing life and never getting out.

                    Go to the link I gave. 70% serve less than 20 years. Sorry but “that can’t be true” doesn’t disprove my lying eyes.

                    I skimmed your link and it looks like murder is excluded from most of the call for lighter sentences except in the case of juveniles or in cases of a “felony murder rule”.

                    Lets let someone walk because they are 18 and hey if the guy who robs you happens to kill you, it is just one of those things. He didn’t mean to.

                    Well, I’m not making an emotional argument against the death penalty. My main objection is that the state should not be trusted with the power to execute people because it is such a fallible organization filled with corrupt shitbags.

                    But you think it should be given the power to lock people in cages and torture them for life. Do you not see how fucking stupid you sound here?

                3. And your link points to potential reforms for reducing “excessive” punishment, not necessarily long sentences. It is only your paranoid interpretation of that link which translates that into “they’re gonna abolish life without parole next”.

                  1. Bullshit. That link shows that people will not stop with the death penalty and will then move on to ending life without parole. So, “just give them life without parole” is a dishonest argument.

                    You are the most dishonest piece of this on the face of the earth.

                    1. That document flatly does not advocate for abolishing life without parole. That you can claim it does and at the same time call me dishonest, demonstrates a great deal of chutzpah.

                      Does the life without parole sentence exist now? Yes. Is it an alternative to the death penalty? Yes. So it is not dishonest in the least to advocate for life without parole as a legitimate alternative to the death penalty. What is dishonest is this slippery slope nonsense that you keep peddling, that the only alternative to the death penalty is murderers running free.

          2. It’s a great argument for the death penalty. Prison overcrowding being part of the problem. These murderers are also a daily mortal threat to other people in prison. Many of whom are incarcerated for non violent drug offenses.

            The lack of a death penalty puts them at risk too.

            1. Huh, so government creating shitty prisons is a justification for government to execute people in order to avoid the shittiness of the prisons that they themselves created?

              This argument just doesn’t seem to add up

      2. The median time served is 13.4 years for murder, and 20% of convicted murderers serve less than 5 years

        1. It is amazing what people believe. We send people with child porn to prison longer than we do murders in many cases.

          1. If true, then that’s a problem that’s solved by longer sentences for murder, not the death penalty. IMO, if you willingly murder someone you should never be allowed out of confinement no matter what.

            1. Sure just solve the problem by living in fantasy land where throwing someone in a cage for decades will never garner them any sympathy or support and the time passing from the crime won’t lessen the desire to keep them there.

              Sure.

              1. LOL, I guess I just need to live in the fantasy land where murderers garner so much sympathy and support that they’re let out of prison before they’re eligible for parole.

                1. LOL. That fantasy land is called reality. Which part of “70% serve less than 20 years” do you not understand? That is what happens. If it didn’t, the non death penalty sentences would not be so short.

                  1. That’s due to the sentencing, not because of “sympathy and support.”

                    1. And the sentencing is out of sympathy.

              2. So, the legal system is so broken that it cannot properly dispense sentences for murder, so instead, let’s entrust the same broken legal system with deciding whether an accused person is guilty enough to justify execution?

                1. That makes no sense. It is broken because it is too lenient with violent offenders not because it is convicted innocent people. God you are stupid.

                  1. And yet, it does routinely convict innocent people.

                2. Pedo Jeffy, you are Canadian. Keep your child rape loving nose out of America’s busines.

                  1. I am Canadian? That’s news to me. I don’t even like hockey all that much.

                    And fuck off with the “pedo” bullshit. It was never funny and now it’s just goddamn irritating and offensive.

        2. Well, that’s too short obviously. If some politician wanted to look really “tough on crime” then they could bring this up as an issue. They’d get the tough on crime votes and they wouldn’t have to fuck up anything thing else.

        3. 20% of convicted murderers serve less than 5 years

          I’d like to know what the actual conviction was for. 1st degree homicide and negligent homicide are both murders, but one is usually punished more severely than the other. Does this stat also include the various levels of manslaughter?

          1. The numbers don’t seem right, do they?

            1. No. If juvenile offenders are included, it may skew things downward a bit, but that stat seems fishy.

          2. https://www.bjs.gov/content/pub/pdf/tssp16.pdf

            The stats exclude negligent homicide, but include non-negligent manslaughter. Presumably the majority of people facing actual murder charges are being tried as adults, although the stats don’t make any distinction

            Death of the convicted accounted for 7.9% of murder “releases” after less than 1 year, and they don’t say how many it is for releases after less than 5 years

            Presumably exoneration accounts for some releases as well, I cant’t tell if the stats take that into account or not

            1. Thanks for breaking out those distinctions for us.

            2. The figures also exclude time served in jail (see the notes on page 2), which is generally considered part of the sentence and would shift the numbers higher.

              Not that I understand the relevance of these figures. They include both states that have the death penalty and those that don’t. Different states have different formulas for calculating time off for good behavior. What’s the relevance of the length of the time served, even if compared to the original sentence?

  7. “Not Even Mass Shootings and Hate Crimes Justify the Death Penalty.

    Wrong answer, Mr. Davis.
    Mass murder DOES justify the death penalty as any sane person will tell you.
    Now go back and take your meds before you make a fool of yourself again.

    1. +10000

  8. This shouldn’t even be discussed on the federal level. I can think of only one mass shooting that was federal; Hassani (or whatever his name) the US army psychologist, who shot up an army base (federal land ergo federal jurisdiction). Otherwise the federal government should leave this to the local justice system. Really need to end the federal/state double jeopardy loophole more so then the federal death penalty.

    1. Really need to end the federal/state double jeopardy loophole more so then the federal death penalty.

      Absolutely. But Reason would rather die on the hill of saving mass murderers from execution. Why Libertarians never get any support is just a mystery isn’t it?

      1. Libertarians just make too much sense I guess. I have seen them argue against the dual sovereignty doctrine here multiple times to no avail. Mostly from Sullum though so perhaps Davis didn’t get the Reason talking points memo, but I don’t think they do that here. Of course that doesn’t explain why Trump doesn’t understand that this shouldn’t be in federal court and for christ sakes he’s the president not some hot take writer.

    2. The DC baseball field shooting would be as well (if you subscribe to a definition of “mass shooting” that would include it) on account of it being attempted murder of federal elected officials

      1. I don’t think federal officials should get special “laws” so unless that baseball field is federal land, no.

  9. Inmates on death row have murdered prison staff and other inmates. What do you say to their families, “sucks to be you”?

  10. The problem with the argument “We cannot use punishment X because we might apply it to an innocent” is that you really cannot limit it to “X”. It is equally applicable to most any punishment. Most of our other currently legal punishments involve time. A person’s time, once spent, cannot be restored, no more than their life can be. The argument proves too much as there can be no expectation of perfect judgement by any human institution.

    1. Sure, you’re right. So don’t impose punishments that are irreversible. Time can never be regained, but people can be compensated fairly for their time, it happens every day. You can’t bring back someone from the dead, so don’t do that.

      1. My point is, most serious punishments are not reversible in any real sense of the word. So saying never do irreversible punishments means never punish, and that is an untenable position as well.

        Please note, I am disagreeing with the logic of this particular line of argument.

        1. If one accepts the idea that money can be a suitable substitute for time served, then incarceration is a ‘reversible’ punishment; but execution is not. And that is my point.

  11. “But it would be a mistake to allow any politician to use these deaths to justify an expansion of the death penalty.”

    Why not? Leftists, progressives, and Democrat politicians are dancing on the fresh corpses and would like to use this to abrogate the Second Amendment and (ultimately) ban privately held firearms—under the guise of “common sense” whatever. Of course, if they were in control, they would want the military, police, and state to be a heavily armed enforcer of its diktats—hmmm… military police state, that has a ring to it.

  12. Good meeting of Libertarians For The Death Penalty.

    (where Libertarians = disaffected authoritarian clingers)

    What’s next, Libertarians For Tariffs? Libertarians For Statist Micromanagement Of Ladyparts Clinics (Because Jesus Says So)?

    Or (my hunch) Libertarians For Cruel, Bigoted, Authoritarian Immigration Practices?

  13. Insanity should not be an excuse for mass murder. Such people should be executed.

    Life without parole is a farce. They always get let out. This needs to change. Life should mean they leave prison in a pine box or they do not leave. Until then the death penalty is a must.

    Problems with the penalty => fix them, do not necessarily give up the penalty.

  14. Not Even Mass Shootings and Hate Crimes

    I feel like everyone has missed the main problem with this headline…..which is the idea that mass shootings and hate crimes are morally equivalent. *eye roll*

  15. Like true gun control (confiscation), ending the death penalty requires starting with a constitutional amendment.

  16. Even a broken clock is right twice a day.

    Trump is blissfully unaware of the myriad of lobbyists and years of campaign contributions behind the anti death penalty lobby, so he shot from the hip and actually scored a bullseye.

    Deterrence has nothing to do with the death penalty. It’s irrelevant.

    There is no fucking way a $.03 bullet and a pen of pigs costs more than keeping some murderer in jail for life after years of trials and appeals etc.

    If there is video evidence of the murder, so there are no mistakes, the death penalty should be automatic.

    It should be executed immediately after completing a thorough interview and interrogation for a database.

  17. The problem is that there are people who, due to their crimes, need to be removed from society, permanently. There is no other option that is permanent. However, all of the issues with wrongful conviction, government corruption, witness errors, etc. are magnified when the outcome could be a execution.

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