I'd rather have the appeals process take a long time and be SURE of the accused guilt than do it quickly and possibly execute an innocent. (See Cameron Todd Willingham.) In this guy's case, it sure SEEMS clear-cut, but it's always better to be safe than sorry. (Unlike the current situation in Georgia where there appears to be quite a bit of doubt.)
One quote I just read (in relation to the situation in Georgia,) that I think is particularly telling:
"How do right wingers who believe that government is incompetent, have complete faith that the same government never executes the innocent?"
I may be a "liberal", but I do support the death penalty (I also support physician-assisted suicide for terminal patients and abortion - so I'm just "pro-death" all the way around.) It just needs to be used *VERY* carefully. If there is *ANY* doubt, that doubt needs to be quelled before an execution can take place. If I were a DA in one of these cases, I would WANT the doubt settled. If you're wrong, it's better to find out and let the innocent free rather than execute an innocent and find out later - that's a political death sentence right there; if you're right, the execution will happen, it will just take a little longer.
(And no, I don't agree with the nonsense debate of the current sedative being unfit for human use. If you were rightly convicted and sentenced to die, who cares if the drug in use isn't "completely harmless", we're killing you.)
So Ed, just so I understand you. we should leave no stone unturned to make sure we execute the right person. I tend to agree, but it shouldn't take more than a year or two. On the other hand cold blooded murder of the unborn, no problem, wouldn't want anyone to have to make a life style change now would we.
I, for one, do not believe that a fetus is "sentient life" until sometime during the third trimester. I am accepting of laws that prohibit third-trimester abortions (other than danger of life of mother) as an over-simplified method of legislating it; I would prefer a requirement of performing some kind of test to determine sentience (I'm not a doctor, so I don't know what that test would be.)
I know that there is nothing I can do to convince certain people of my view on abortion, you need to accept that there are plenty of people who you will never be able to convince of yours. But the way I see it, I would rather err on the side of more freedoms rather than fewer.
"Shouldn't take more than a year or two"? It often takes more than that just for the FIRST trial! Yes, I'd rather have someone sit in prison for a decade or more to ascertain with the maximum possible certainty their guilt than to execute someone prematurely. I also feel that the death penalty should apply only to the most egregious crimes. A single "murder of passion" should not be death penalty. Life in prison, sure; but the idea of punishing crimes is to deter others with the potential punishment, and to rehabilitate those convicted. A 'crime of passion' isn't going to be prevented with the threat of punishment. And rehabilitation should be a serious effort of prison, not just "locking up those that are dangerous". If that's the only thing that can be done for someone, then by all means; but if there is any possibility of rehabilitation, it should be attempted.
Unabomber? Dahmer? Loughner? Sure. All definitive "I'm going to kill people no matter what" cases. All firmly established guilt. Zap 'em, poke 'em, hang 'em, shoot 'em, whatever.
Comming from a christian background life begins a conseption. I can agree to disagree. On crime it shouldn't take more than a year to get to trial in the first place. This is just lawyers playing thier mind games to clear thier clients. It's a game to them. Guilt or innocents doesn't matter. Shadow of doubt, now that's what's important. Human emotion being what it is, this subject will always be a hot bed topic.
I fully agree that it shouldn't take years and years to go through this. But the courts take forever to schedule things, and lawyers drag it out even longer. I would be willing to do away with the right to avoid self-incrimination if we had a proven foolproof machine that could determine guilt or innocence. Remove all the overhead, remove any possibility of punishing the wrong person, punish the right one.
However, it would have to be foolproof. Truly proven 100% accurate. Which, I sincerely doubt will ever be possible. So we're stuck with the system we have, which, unfortunately for all its flaws, is about the best we can come up with.