Sunday, November 15, 2009

Death Penalty Redneck Style

If you are expecting a joke, this isn't. Kansas was recently host to a former Texas Prosecutor who is speaking out against capital punishment. Kansas, like Texas, has the death penalty. Unlike Texas we have yet to actually use it. The wheels of justice turn slow, that's for sure. Sometimes it seems they are stuck in a rut. Cases can drag on for years, and it is sometimes said the condemned has a greater chance of passing from old age then of being executed.

That is not justice. Justice delayed is justice denied. Some claim that there is no deterrent in the death penalty, yet studies commissioned by the opponents of capital punishment clearly show that swift executions bring deterrent, and that the longer the delay between conviction and execution, the less deterrent effect. Its like having chemo for cancer, the sooner the treatment is begun, the better the chance of success.

We have to balance that against the possibility of a wrongful execution. Evidence presented in several cases has resulted in findings that people on death row were in fact innocent. I'm not referring to procedural errors resulting in a guilty mans conviction being thrown out, I mean real innocent people who had their lives sworn away because some body lied or made a mistake.

Mistakes happen, that's life. Its what we do when we realize a mistake that makes the difference. I do not ever want to see an innocent man executed. It has happened, it will happen. When it is because of error as in the convicted bore a strong resemblance to the real perp, its understandable. That does not make it right.

Some folks advocate for a death penalty review board. Form a panel of three judges and give them a staff of investigators and review all the evidence in the case. Then with in one year render judgment. I agree with that idea. I'll take it a little further though. At trial a defendant has the right to remain silent. On appeals that right should be negated. The convicted of all people knows the truth. We have lie detection equipment that is state of the art. lets put it to good use. The condemned can be closely interviewed on multiple occasions to determine whether they are telling the truth. Use lie detection on the witnesses as well.

If a witness is found to lie, deal with them in the same manner as the perp. Since this is a capital murder case, any lie would be an attempt at murder, nothing less. Prosecutors in this country presently have immunity for their actions in court. Strip that away. the purpose of a prosecutor is to obtain the truth, not notch their belt. A prosecutor who would suborn perjury is lower then a snake. They, as much as the worst felon need to be executed.
So, now we have determined that our perp is indeed guilty as hell, what to do? How to execute him? I'm not in favor of lethal injection unless it is done with a 30 caliber rifle, but I also see a place for it. Allow the condemend a choice. They may waive appeal and select lethal injection immediately. By immediately I mean it would be done in the chamber next to the court room and with in twenty four hours of conviction.
All other executions should be done in a manner that closely resembles the method the perp used in his crime with a fall back method being hanging. Death by strangulation takes only about five minutes, so it is not going to be anything like what most victims had to endure.
Conduct the executions at the prison and either in full view of the convicts, or video feed it into their cells. Give them a reminder that lives of crime will be short ones.
As for other sentencing, I am in favor of shorter sentences. Make the prisons harsh, worse then the wost slum in the nation. Limit sentences to a max of twenty years per offense, or twenty five life time. Anything more then that is a total waste of tax dollars, and the perp just needs to die. Execute threepeat offenders as well. If they want to be part of society, they will reform after the second, and hopefully after the first.
Limit probation to a one time deal, and it remains on your record for life because it can only be offered one time. Determine prison population with a simple formula, 200 cubic feet of space per prisoner with an implied maximum ceiling of eight feet. by that I mean that if a cell has a seven foot ceiling, it is measured as seven feet, but if the cell ceiling is nine feet, it is measured as eight. So a cell measuring 12X12.5X8 could house six convicts. Overcrowding? Bullshit. Our submariners live in far more cramped conditions, and they deserve better then the convicts. two bunks, and they can sleep in shifts. afix arm bands to the perp, red, blue or yellow to determine who sleeps when.
The constitution says cruel and unusual. remind judges about what the word A-N-D means. Make punishments uniform swift and sure.

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