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exclusionary April 16, 2008

Posted by Michelle, with dignity in Uncategorized.
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I’ve been thinking about this recently, and why things are this way, and how things have come to be this way.

For some reason, in our society today, you are either one thing or another. Apparently, Christian liberals are unheard of. Can you not be both? Can you be an atheist conservative? If someone were to say such things, you might choke on your latte.

So, when people write profiles on myspace, on blogs, on facebook, they must choose to define themselves in limited words and space.

So, on any given day, you might find a profile that would say “I’m a christian conservative mother who is pro life”. And that’s ok. Those are decisions that you have chosen for yourself. Great. But, by saying that you’re pro-life, you’re decidedly anti-choice. To me, that also comes across postulating that if you’re not pro-life, you must be pro-death (and to some extremists, pro-murder).

So, if someone claims “pro-choice”, the mentality is that you’re pro-death as well. Well, why can’t we have terms that are inclusionary, and not exclusionary? If I say that I’m pro-choice, the conversation undoubtedly turns to how really I’m pro-murder, or pro-death of innocents. Is anyone REALLY pro those things (I would argue anyone ok with the death penalty is pro those things, but I digress)? My pro-choice stance does not limit me to saying “death to unborn babies”. It simply says that you have no business telling me how to run my life, moral reasoning or not. Pro-choice shouldn’t limit the label-ee to anti-life.

The term pro-life is so exclusionary and demeaning to those who believe what we all do with ourselves, our bodies, our lives is simply our business, and not that of random bible-thumper or one who falls on the right wing of the U.S. politic bird.

I am a person who believes that a child should have a chance to be a child if and only if that child actually has a chance to have a childhood. If there is any way that an unborn fetus is better off unborn than born, then the choice should be left up to those experiencing the pain.
So, I resent that the accepted labels are limiting. There’s not a label for someone who doesn’t believe abortion is completely ok, but that it’s no one business but your own in that decision anyway.

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1. dudleysharp - April 19, 2008

“I would argue anyone ok with the death penalty is pro those things, but I digress”

And you make a mistake, as well.

The Death Penalty: More Protection for Innocents
Dudley Sharp, Justice Matters, contact info below

Often, the death penalty dialogue gravitates to the subject of innocents at risk of execution. Seldom is a more common problem reviewed. That is, how innocents are more at risk without the death penalty.
 
Living murderers, in prison, after release or escape or after our failures to incarcerate them, are much more likely to harm and murder, again, than are executed murderers.
 
This is a truism.
 
No knowledgeable and honest party questions that the death penalty has the most extensive due process protections in US criminal law.

Therefore, actual innocents are more likely to be sentenced to life imprisonment and more likely to die in prison serving under that sentence, that it is that an actual innocent will be executed.
 
That is. logically, conclusive.
 
16 recent studies, inclusive of their defenses,  find for death penalty deterrence.
 
A surprise? No.

Life is preferred over death. Death is feared more than life.
 
Some believe that all studies with contrary findings negate those 16 studies. They don’t. Studies which don’t find for deterrence don’t say no one is deterred, but that they couldn’t measure those deterred.
 
What prospect of a negative outcome doesn’t deter some? There isn’t one . . . although committed anti death penalty folk may say the death penalty is the only one.
 
However, the premier anti death penalty scholar accepts it as a given that the death penalty is a deterrent, but does not believe it to be a greater deterrent than a life sentence. Yet, the evidence is  compelling and un refuted  that death is feared more than life.

“This evidence greatly unsettles moral objections to the death penalty, because it suggests that a refusal to impose that penalty condemns numerous innocent people to death.” (1)
 
” . . . a serious commitment to the sanctity of human life may well compel, rather than forbid, (capital) punishment.” (1)

“Recent evidence suggests that capital punishment may have a significant deterrent effect, preventing as many as eighteen or more murders for each execution.” (1)
 
Some death penalty opponents argue against death penalty deterrence, stating that it’s a harsher penalty to be locked up without any possibility of getting out.
 
Reality paints a very different picture.
 
What percentage of capital murderers seek a plea bargain to a death sentence? Zero or close to it. They prefer long term imprisonment.
 
What percentage of convicted capital murderers argue for execution in the penalty phase of their capital trial? Zero or close to it. They prefer long term imprisonment.
 
What percentage of death row inmates waive their appeals and speed up the execution process? Nearly zero. They prefer long term imprisonment.
 
This is not, even remotely, in dispute.
 
Life is preferred over death. Death is feared more than life.
 
Furthermore, history tells us that “lifers” have many ways to get out: Pardon, commutation, escape, clerical error, change in the law, etc.

In choosing to end the death penalty, or in choosing not implement it, some have chosen to spare murderers at the cost of sacrificing more innocent lives.
 
——–
 
Furthermore, possibly we have sentenced 20-25 actually innocent people to death since 1973, or 0.3% of those so sentenced. Those have all been released upon post conviction review. The anti death penalty claims, that the numbers are significantly higher, are a fraud, easily discoverable by fact checking.

6 inmates have been released from death row because of DNA evidence.  An additional 9 were released from prison, because of DNA exclusion, who had previously been sentenced to death.

The innocents deception of death penalty opponents has been getting exposure for many years. Even the behemoth of anti death penalty newspapers — The New York Times — has recognized that deception.

“To be sure, 30 or 40 categorically innocent people have been released from death row . . . “. ‘ (2) This when death penalty opponents were claiming the release of 119 “innocents” from death row. Death penalty opponents never required actual innocence in order for cases to be added to their “exonerated” or “innocents” list. They simply invented their own definitions for exonerated and innocent and deceptively shoe horned large numbers of inmates into those definitions – something easily discovered with fact checking.

There is no proof of an innocent executed in the US, at least since 1900.

If we accept that the best predictor of future performance is past performance, we can reasonable conclude that the DNA cases will be excluded prior to trial, and that for the next 8000 death sentences, that we will experience a 99.8% accuracy rate in actual guilt convictions. This improved accuracy rate does not include the many additional safeguards that have been added to the system, over and above DNA testing.

Of all the government programs in the world, that put innocents at risk, is there one with a safer record and with greater protections than the US death penalty?
 
Unlikely.
 
———————–
Full report –  All Innocence Issues: The Death Penalty, upon request.

Full report – The Death Penalty as a Deterrent, upon request
 
(1) From the Executive Summary of
Is Capital Punishment Morally Required? The Relevance of Life-Life Tradeoffs, March 2005
Prof. Cass R. Sunstein,   Cass_Sunstein(AT)law.uchicago.edu
 Prof. Adrian Vermeule ,   avermeule(AT)law.harvard.edu
Full report           http://aei-brookings.org/admin/authorpdfs/page.php?id=1131
 
(2) “The Death of Innocents’: A Reasonable Doubt”,
New York Times Book Review, p 29, 1/23/05, Adam Liptak,
national legal correspondent for The NY Times
—————————–

Dudley Sharp, Justice Matters
e-mail  sharpjfa@aol.com,  713-622-5491,
Houston, Texas
 
Mr. Sharp has appeared on ABC, CBS, CNN, FOX, NBC, NPR, PBS, BBC and many other TV and radio networks, on such programs as Nightline, The News Hour with Jim Lehrer, The O’Reilly Factor, etc., has been quoted in newspapers throughout the world and is a published author.
 
A former opponent of capital punishment, he has written and granted interviews about, testified on and debated the subject of the death penalty, extensively and internationally.
 
Pro death penalty sites 

homicidesurvivors(dot)com/categories/Dudley%20Sharp%20-%20Justice%20Matters.aspx

www(dot)dpinfo.com
www(dot)cjlf.org/deathpenalty/DPinformation.htm
www(dot)clarkprosecutor.org/html/links/dplinks.htm
joshmarquis(dot)blogspot.com/
www(dot)lexingtonprosecutor.com/death_penalty_debate.htm
www(dot)prodeathpenalty.com
http://yesdeathpenalty(DOT)googlepages.com/home2 (Sweden)

Permission for distribution of this document, in whole or part,  is approved with proper attribution.

2. Dream Stela - April 19, 2008

Thanks for all that great information. But you completely missed the spirit of my post.

I’m going to respond to your extremely exhausting comment, but my guess is that you’re just a troll wanting to cause drama.

So, my point is that the death penalty is MURDER. Abortion is murder. The death penalty is murder. Killing people is murder!

I understand that there is a very slim chance that an innocent person is put to death by the rule of our state governments, but murder is murder.

The definition of “truism” is the statement of something so obvious is probably needn’t be said. Thanks for pointing out that dead people can’t harm others. I think I missed that part.

Incapacitation only solves the issue of criminal continuance. Capital punishment is not a deterrent because most who commit those high-level felony cases believe that they are too clever to be caught, and in this case, the premeditation overrides the deterrent factor of the death penalty.

The death penalty is a violation of basic human rights and dignity. It is barbaric, outdated, cruel and unusual.

But, my point was that murder is murder is murder.

Call a freaking spade a spade.


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