The death penalty will not be considered for Scott Roeder whom many eye-witnesses attest murdered George Tiller, M.D. in cold blood in his Church on 05-31-09. My question is: why not?
While Nola Foulston likes to talk tough, it is my opinion she is a pretty conservative in the sense that she does not like to take political risks. I think I agree with what I speculate are her moral calculations with this case.
Roeder has been diagnosed with Schizophrenia in the past. His court appointed attorneys would likely raise a McNaughton defense* if the sought penalty was death. I think Nola’s calculus is “let’s get him for something less than the death penalty; he will likely die in prison, anyway”. Mission accomplished.
I am pro-choice and anti-death penalty. My ex-wife used to enjoy pointing out the basic inconsistencies of my position on these subjects. Inconsistency does not bother me that much. I think our support of the death penalty in this country groups us with some of the most backward and fascist governments in the world. I would hope for more for America.
Given all of the above, I have to wonder if the death penalty for Scott Roeder would not send an important message to the next generation of abortion doctor killers? I think Roeder says pretty outrageous things for press and the attention, but I have no doubt there are many poised to follow in his footsteps.
In the end, I do agree with Ms. Foulston; a state sponsored killing of Roeder, makes the state no better than him. Though I am doubting the preceding was her rationalization.
*McNaughton = not guilty by reason of insanity defense. These are rarely won – which is contrary to what the public believes as revealed by numerous surveys.
73 responses to “Why No Death Penalty for Scott Roeder?”
Sentence him to life with only MREs. Or beeter yet, those wonderfully tasty C rations we got in Nam.
Wasn’t the death penalty carried out on that Florida man for killing the abortion doctor (I can’t think of his name right now)?
Besides, giving Roeder the death penalty would only make him a martyr in some peoples’ minds.
But from the look of things, there are very few on the anti-abortion side who is willing to stay friends with Roeder – even though he claims to know several quite well.
You are right, I read in an article yesterday that Ruedoer admire the killer put to death in Fla. But I do not recall the killer’s name.
The Reverend Paul Hill.
Put him next to Dennis Rader and maybe they will take each other out and save society the trouble.
It would be difficult for me to understand how a sane person could commit premeditated murder. I might be able to understand spur-of-the-moment, emotion-driven murder by a person normally sane when in control, but never the premeditated!
I also am against the death penalty. I’m not going to justify my opinion on this, it just is my opinion and I’m entitled to it. I too am for all women making their own private decisions about their health and every part of their body. A woman, her doctor and her god.
Nola never saw a camera she didn’t like, and she can ham it up!
Not making this up BTW, Nola’s undergraduate degree was in drama and she wanted to be an actress. Does everyone know the story as to why she ended up at FHSU?
Mickey Spillane, the crime fiction writer, was a friend of Nola’s Dad. Spillane had visited FHSU, the president learned of him coming, and they pulled out all of their old red carpets. Spillane was impressed with the place and told Nola’s dad – the rest was history.
The Tiller assassination does not meet the State of Kansas’ criteria for the Death Penalty, which is why Nola is not seeking capital punishment.
Kansas, unlike Texas and Florida, has very strict guidelines for Capital Murder. I don’t know all the particular, but one is that the murder has to be in addition to other crimes, i.e., rape, robbery, etc.
In the State of Kansas, Roeder’s (alleged) actions are no different than a random shooting resulting in death.
The sentence for Roeder, provided he doesn’t successfully claim insanity (the other defenses proposed won’t be allowed) will be 25 – life, with eligibility for parole.
The proposed defenses for Roeder are “jury nullification” (the jury ignores the law and finds the defendant NG) and justifiable homicide.
Jury nullification won’t happen. It rarely does (Simi valley is the last high profile I recall) and the judge won’t all “justifiable” since Tiller’s work was legal.
In my opinion, Roeder will never see the light of day after conviction. No parole board is going to release him in 2035. In California, both Sirhan Sirhan and Charles Manson are eligible for parole every two years – neither has ever received even one vote for parole.
The sad fact is, Roeder will probably be more popular in prison than he ever was in everyday, ordinary life.
What will be interesting is to see if anything further comes out of Roeder’s obvious connection to Operation Rescue. Whatever happened to that woman whose name Roeder had in his truck? Has anybody heard from her?
Cheryl Sullinger (convicted clinic bomber) is a deputy director of OR.
Roeder will be put in isolation in prison – inmates tend to dislike high profile inmates and they sometimes find life in GP very untenable.
I am positive the feds are looking at her phone records!
Will it be the kind of ‘popularity’ anyone would want? Maybe he’ll be some guy’s intimate friend?
And if he is subjected to another’s wishes, will be ever be rational or smart enough to realize he disrespected women’s rights, disrespected the fact that each woman knows best for herself about herself.
karma she is a bitch!
One factor against insanity working as a defense, the defendant has to be not capable of understanding
the difference between right and wrong and that what they did was wrong.
After the fact he pointed his gun at two different people to have them stop trying to follow him.
Had he just ignore them and walk to the car and left he could have claimed insanity but he showed that he knew he had done wrong. And that he had to prevent anyone from stopping him or maybe getting his tag number. That show awareness of the situation.
Wouldn’t the fact that witnesses remembered seeing Roeder attending church services for a few weeks before 5/31/09? It was noted that Tiller did not attend church on the Sunday before he was killed. The witnesses also noted that Roeder used the same door to leave as he did on 5/31/09.
So, wouldn’t this be considered premeditated by the mere fact that Roeder drove from Topeka to attend the same church as Tiller and was seemingly stalking the victim and planning his attack?
I don’t know if premeditation is even possible if one is insane – or is it?
I am against the Death Penalty is all cases, however distasteful it may be.
Since 1973, 135 people, once sentenced to death, have been exonerated. Two more likely innocent men have been executed.
As stomach-turning as it may be, I would rather see the Carr Brothers serve life without parole than to have the possibility of an innocent person executed.
I’ve never understood why folks get upset about people being “inconsistent” in their opinions. Can’t/shouldn’t we all do our own calculations on each individual issue to form our opinions?
I think he should be put to death, but to avoid him becoming a martyr for the ’cause’, I’d go with life without parole as long as it’s hard labor. : )
Hi Deb (wichiwomn) — it’s good to see you around the blog! Stop in more often.
Thanks Linda…it’s been too long.
I’m getting a kick out of Bad Biker’s posts…I did not know he was a hockey fan, although we would disagree on our fave teams. : )
Finally got by to check out the new blog…still trying to figure out who all is who from the ‘blog that shall not be named’. Good to ‘see’ you all.
Kansas law allows for seven circumstances in which prosecutors may seek the death penalty. Each requires that the killing be carried out intentionally and with premeditation.
The seven circumstances are:
Killing in the commission of a kidnapping
Killing as part of a contract or an agreement
Killing by a prison inmate
Killing a victim of rape or sodomy
Killing a law enforcement officer
Killing more than one person
Killing a child younger than age 14 as part of a kidnapping during the commission of a sexual offense
From the Wichita Eagle’s column on the Tiller murder.
“Killing as part of a contract or an agreement”
So if the feds prove a conspiracy theory…
I think it highly unlikely that OR was a conspirator in this. That doesn’t mean I don’t think someone suspected Roeder might do something violent.
Like the woman who took knives and a Samuri sword to her baby, someone knew there was a problem, but no one spoke up. In the baby-killing case, if he husband had only told the police he suspected his wife had mental problems, instead of just calling in to report she was angry and driving with a baby not buckled up, it might have not happened.
The problem is, there are way too many kooks out there to keep an eye on every one of them. That and the fact that we don’t want to believe people are that insane. And, yes, I believe one has to be insane to kill, says anti-death penalty, pro-choice me.
The presence of any of the 7 criteria does not obligate a D.A. to pursue the death penalty and given that, I am betting Foulston would not have sought it – that action would have been very costly with a very small proportion of her base.
I agree about what Foulston will do — she will get a conviction, she has a solid case and doesn’t intend to complicate it. But then there is the federal investigation. Not unusual at all for federal charges to be brought against someone in jail on a state conviction.
Roeder’s bond was raised from $5 mln. to 20 mln. because the widespread “Christian pro-life” so popular among so many in Kansas, could easily raise that much money. And the state judiciary and law enforcement, busy running from pro-choice supporters, know it and are scared.
Most coffee table liberals in Kansas supported a woman’s choice for decades with only their pocket books and their votes, when they could figure out who was running for election that would say they were “pro-choice.”
Roeder will not ever receive the death penalty in a Kansas court because he represents the predominant (albeit right-wing terrorist) opinion of most voting Kansans.
I’ve known Roeder for over 15 years, as well as many of his religious and political cohorts in Kansas and Missouri supporting the “Christian pro-life” movement, their ‘justifiable homicide’ position is not new and receives much quiet support from their elected officials; on the county, state and federal level.
The backlash against the marginal democratic elections of President Obama and the few ” emocratic Party” members to congress in 2008 will be most severe in the conservative Republican strongholds, like Kansas.
They are armed to the teeth, buying so much ammunition that it competes with the needs of “the military-industrial [and congressional] complex” in Iraq, Afghanistan and the 700 military bases abroad our tax dollars support.
They, the social and political conservatives, have stolen with the full cooperation of large corporations; public opinion, natural resources and the flag waving patronizing symbol of patriotism.
To avert all this, a daunting a challenge for progressives in local history, as those in Kansas face, the young working families who choose to desert both political parties is the path forward.
Most hate their conservative elders, want their guns and choose another path; much like the tradition of the ancient “Free State” abolitionists that settled, fought, killed and died for in Kansas.
I noticed your addition of “congressional” in the MIC statement. I wasn’t aware until last week or the week before that the word was to be used (or was?) in Ike’s farewell address.
Ain’t it the truth?
Ike’s surviving relatives interviewed in the documentary “Fog of War” [?] at the Abilene library presented his original handwritten notes of the famous speech. The word “congressional” was there but scratched out.
If he were alive today, retired in Kansas, I am confident that he would advise all his peers to desert the Republican Party.
The neo-cons and theo-cons have driven a large stake into the GOP’s heart, subverted it into a blood soaked corporate war machine dripping with corruption and hypocrisy.
The abolitionist radical Republicans of the 1850s – 1890s who founded this great state of Kansas, “free state, free men, free land” have deserted humanity for all out profit driven property.
I advise all, wholeheartedly with an eye on the history of Kansas to leave, speak ill of and betray the Kansas Republican Party. If they cannot stomach the Kansas Democratic Party, so mote it be … go independent, more are every day, and should.
Recently I changed my voter affiliation to Republican. I held my nose to do it, but I intend to have a say in some upcoming primary contests, like the race between Moran and Tiahrt, thus the change.
Thanks for clarifying on the MIC statement, Michael. That’s more along the lines of what I was thinking.
As for what Ike would be today, I agree. His granddaughter (Susan) announced on Real Time that she had left the Republican party in the past year. She didn’t say she’d switched, just left. She is one disillusioned lady, and I saw “brava!” for her to speak out.
I’ve been to the Eisenhower Library (and especially Museum) several times when I was young. Maybe someday I’ll revisit and actually learn things! He’s the first U.S. President I remember, although Truman was prez when I was born, and I’ve seen him in person. Just missed seeing JFK by minutes when he was campaigning, but I do have home movie footage of it that my dad took.
“I am pro-choice and anti-death penalty. My ex-wife used to enjoy pointing out the basic inconsistencies of my position on these subjects. Inconsistency does not bother me that much.”
I don’t see these views as inconsistent at all. The common denominator here is what powers we will give a bureaucracy; our government. Should the government have the right to force me to bring (or prevent me from bringing, for that matter) a child into the world? Should the government have the right to take someone’s life? It’s very consistent (and rational) to distrust government to make these decisions for us.
It doesn’t do any good to put Roeder to death, but I would sure like to see a wider investigation into the part that Operation Rescue and local members of the organization had to play in this.
I don’t believe Roeder is insane. I don’t mean to insult anyone’s religious beliefs, but I believe he was brainwashed by religious zeal and right-wing politics. He knew what he was doing and he justified it in his mind. That is not insanity.
Good thoughts, Paula.
I think I might have been the only one to think Roeder insane, and that’s because I find it difficult to wrap my mind around someone being able to kill another and still call that sanity. But your point of “justified” is well made. I’ll chew on that. I’m a pollyanna, and I really have to try hard to make myself face up to the underbelly of our society.
Hello Michael Caddell — that’s a bit of a crazy gravatar! I’ll see if I can find it someplace larger and more clear. 🙂
Thanks for your input. Many of the bloggers here are Kansans and we know what you’re saying! Appreciate you stopping by and sharing with us — come visit often, pull up a chair and let us get to know you.
OK, here is a quote from the website linked to Michael Caddell’s nic — “Fightin’ Cock Flyer
“Raise less corn and more hell!” – M. E. Lease. We print shotgun journalism, use “bad grammar” whenever possible and write with a short fuse from our farm in North Jefferson county, Kansas. Our slogan: “Hayseeds and bovines, unite! Stampede the clutterfreaks! Life is short!”
Probably feel right at home here, as we will feel right at home at your blog. 🙂
The Flyer is the point of a spear, meant to enlighten and attack, it has had over 4,000 posts been around for over five years and is personified in a satirical hard copy sheet that is printed and distributed across NE Kansas irregularly.
You are all a bunch of hypocrites..haha j/k At least that is what I cartooned 3 years ago.
It’s a good cartoon, as all your cartoons are. Thought provoking, but doesn’t change the fact that I am against the death penalty and for every woman making her own and personal decision about reproducing. Attempting to justify my opinions has never changed another person’s opinion. We’re all smart enough to research, think it through and come to the opinion that is ours — we don’t have to agree. We don’t have to close our minds either. Listening to others sometimes reinforces the decision you made for yourself, other times it adds new information and might cause one to reevaluate.
Hypocrite, and a cartoonist like what I see at your site, isn’t?
I’m soliciting submissions for illustrations to be printed on my N. Jefferson county printing press contact me via email, fellow hypocrite.
fnord…it is interesting. When I was younger I was strongly pro choice and strongly death penalty. Now I am lukewarm to both.
I am surprised that the inconsistency in the pro- positions has sparked so many repsonses. Let me clarify where this comes from…
My ex-wife had a friend who was brutally murdered when they were both in college. One of those life experiences that left a mark on her. She was and is pro-choice and pro-death penalty which she saw/sees as being logically consistent.
Hee hee heee…
Nola was one of my sorority sisters at Ft. Hays. She graduated the year before I pledged, but she was legendary in the house.
Dr. Tiller’s assassin will be right at home in prison, the home of the crazy assed “sovereign citizen” movement. That equally crazy assed “flesh and blood man” defense is all part of the same insane philosophy. Google ’em.
I had a buddy here who went to prison for two years for selling weed, and he came back completely crazed with that whole idea of “redemption”. They believe there is a way to “redeem” themselves from the U.S. government.
It’s nuts. And sadly now he is too….. all for selling a little weed.
Ok, a LOT of weed. Hehehheeh!
I’m sorry but I dont see the inconsistency between being pro-choice and anti-death penalty. To believe they are inconsistent, you have to believe that a fetus has the status of “personhood”.
Seems like in Amerika today, only corporations have real “personhood”.
Well, remember how the Bushies started using the phrase “innocent life’ to let them off the hook.
Oh the murder of the doctor who carried out abortions.. well though shalt not kill…. anything and that includes a fetus. When I look at my family and know that they too started off as a fetus I don’t doubt that they were a living human beings. To abort them would be to kill them . We all have to start off somewhere.
Woman have the right to do what they want to their bodies but nobody else’s. My niece had two abortions and it was an easy decision to make. Now she can’t live with that decision. It’s very sad..
They have to live with themselves afterward and that might not be so easy.
Thank you, Ann, for your contribution.
Coming down on one side or the other, must be a difficult choice. A regret the pain of your relatives.
Your niece can get pregnant again. People, male or female, who manipulate others with their expressions of remorse and repeat the same accidental pregnancies, deserve little help from their peers, or their family.
Your niece, is an adult, and can now get pregnant again.
You know, now that I really think about this, as a struggling reformed male chauvinist in Kansas, I doing a recantation.
If your niece wants to use abortion as her singular form of birth control, she should do so and not bother her relatives, or Kansans reading this blog, about it.
And, of course, the men who she chooses to have sex with, well … they’re nothing, just inanimate objects of her “love.”
Now that’s “sad”.
Michael Caddell wrote
And, of course, the men who she chooses to have sex with, well … they’re nothing, just inanimate objects of her “love.”Now that’s “sad”
See how wrong you can be , he was her fiance and he was happy for her to have his children. He loved her and was shattered by her actions, you see, it was her choice and he didn’t get a say. Now that’s what’s sad.
Men should not “get a say” about a woman’s choice to be pregnant, or not be pregnant.
Men have used forced pregnancies to control women for thousands of years and most honest barbarians agree.
Again, your niece can get pregnant again.
“Pro-life Christians” in Kansas … pro-war (just give’em an excuse, any excuse), pro-gun ownership (‘I have the right to build a nuclear bomb in my backyard.”), pro-male domination (the men know best) … LMAO!
Take away the bubble economy here in Kansas and throw in a little hard grit poverty and we would see the Christian Taliban run the state government.
Come to think of it … we’re almost there!
Hook your niece up with another guy and tell her to get pregnant, quick!
Lay the guilt on her real thick, too.
I am also sorry that your niece made decisions that she now regrets. I made decisions that I regret now, too. Got married young, had children young with an alchoholic that was emotionally incapable of fatherhood and had to watch as that destroyed my daughter that just wanted to be a “daddy’s girl.” She then had children young and now they are suffering for her mistakes and mine. How many generations will live in misery due to my youthful errors in judgement? It’s hard to say.
Never second-guess a woman’s right to chose and never judge a doctor that is sympathetic to her plight. You say murder-I say responsibly prevented pregnancy.
How many times have you had to look at your children and tell them there was no dinner, they would have to live without electricity for a while, we don’t have a care anymore, etc. Some of that may go to quality of life, but most of it is simple everyday living and I, for one, would never, ever bring an unwanted child or one that I even for a second thought I would not be able to care for financially into this world ever again.
Many decisions are hard to live with, but I don’t believe that anyone should burden anyone else because of the decisions that they make for themselves. That includes bringing children into the world without the ability to meet all of their needs.
Well said, with a heart and eloquent, I’m done for a while bothering people on this blog.
It’s a good blog, heartfelt from Kansans, including our “Aunt”, but after hearing the most recent: http://www.democracynow.org/2009/7/30/exclusive_ousted_honduran_president_manuel_zelaya
I’ve decided to do triage and try to save the victims. Grow food, get energy “off the grid” and give our neighbors (including the Republicans) some love.
The tragedy of being “progressive” and “populist” in Kansas is long in the coming, better to be independent and autonomous.
Again, Paula, well said and with a heart toward the obvious, “have a heart to the women” something I do not see much of in Kansas.
The U.S. empire is collapsing whether we have mercy toward our mislead neighbors while it falls or not, is the question.
At a certain point, you must stop, I know because I was forced to do so toward well-meaning mislead Kansas Christians.
They stalked my family, daily insulted my young type one diabetic son in grade school, tried to burn down her clinic, brought former clinic bombers to picket at her clinic (a nun and priest did so regularly), and used “Christian pro-life” elected officials to legally persecute us.
Then they (and I do mean ‘they’) shot Dr. Tiller, a family friend, my son that afternoon came to me with tears in his eyes, convulsively asking “Why would they shoot a friend of our family?”
Go join the Kansas Republican Party ….
I will never counsel another human being in Kansas to do so for the rest of my life.
Thank you for sharing that with me Paula. It seems that you’ve had an enormous weight on your shoulders . And Michael we lay no guilt trips on our niece nor encourage her to ‘hook up: with anther guy and get pregnant quick” Advice like that from her aunt or anyone for that matter sounds outrageous. She’s fragile enough as it is.
I applaud my own daughter for making the choice to not have children. She’s thought it through and the responsibility of bringing an another human being into this world is something she and her husband would rather not undertake. She can have a wonderful life without that added responsibility.
As a general rule, I’m against the dealth penalty, but I think in some specific cases there are extinuating circumstances that facilitate the need for dealth to be meted out as justice. I don’t know everything about this case, but if this guy is a genuine schizophrenic I would hate for him to have to die because of it, but I hate that Dr. Tiller had to die because of it also. It’s a complicated matter, that’s for certain.
Scott Roeder is no different than thousands of “Christian pro-life” supporters throughout Kansas, they sit around their churches and living rooms to discuss killing abortion doctors and even the women who practice birth control. They also discuss how best to destroy liberals, homosexuals, communists, socialists, trade unionists, prostitutes (sex workers), drug addicts or any bum on the street. These people are trash to them and do not care if they are killed, starved or forced out of the country. Oh, did I mention the “illegals” who work for less than the minimum wage in this country? Well forget all that ..
Wait until Brownback becomes governor. We think we have it bad now…
I played an interview with Herbert West the only Democrat to file for governor yet.
It is an extended interview over 50 minutes, no commercials and I work him over pretty good.
You can listen for next week or so at the Flyer, or click here: http://www.blogtalkradio.com/fightincockflyer/2009/07/30/Wednesday-Mysteries
I am acquainted with Herbert West as he posts at the Wichita Eagle’s blog where many of us here originally met. We moved on from there partly because of posters like Herbert West and worse. I think a couple of years ago he ran for sheriff, governor, maybe mayor of someplace simultaneously. Working him over would be like catching fish in a barrel.
Escaping the death squads? I listened before to others with similar “strategy” until my wife was rounded up by then Ks. A.G. Phill Kline and mentally tortured, professionally ostracized and financially ruined … then Paul Morrison got in the act. Our family friend, Dr. George Tiller was shot and Kansas liberals considered it a given, inevitable. Yeah, while the “moderates” like Bob Dole and others are pouring support to Brownback’s bid for governor, not to mention Tiahrt and Moran’s machinations are you suggesting that we should join these fascists?
If he did this because he’s schizophrenic, that would be one thing. But I dont think that’s true.
Maybe you want to call religious bigotry a mental illness? I could go along with that.
He killed Dr. Tiller because of his religious bigotry, fueled and funded by the religious bigotry of others.
But I wouldnt give roeder the mercy of the death penalty. I hope he suffers mightily for many years, and then dies a slow, painful, and humiliating death.
Too bad his other religious bigotry buddies cant meet the same fate. It’s tempting to believe there really is a doG just for the pleasure of the thought of the religious bigots roasting in hell.
All evil in the world begins with someone’s religion.
Anti- Death penalty vs. pro-death penalty….
Let’s compromise and hang the SOB with a bungie cord.
That’s one way he could get out of paying his child support!
Check it out, linked at the Flyer: http://www.kansascity.com/657/story/1349711.html
“Let’s compromise and hang the SOB with a bungie cord.”
Leave it to G. to offer a simple solution to a complex problem!
I was a fence-sitter for years regarding the death penalty, then after listening to a radio program on the outrageous cost of carrying it through, I changed my mind. Funny how money (mine as in taxes) can make a difference.
My daughters, otoh, were pro-death. And then their (our) friend was shot by his father-in-law in the Augusta Wal-Mart. They were devastated, and we all spent copious amounts of time on the Court TV boards, arguing nonsensical comments from viewers. Even with the loss of their friend, my girls have swung to the other side and are now against the death penalty. If need be, when parole time rolls around for the scum who murdered our friend, they’ll be there pleading to keep him incarcerated until Hell freezes over. (Not that we believe in Hell.) But kill him? No, they figure it’s much harder on him not to be able to be with his family.
I remember that case in Augusta, wicked. I’m so sorry to hear it was one of your friends. I also followed that trial on Court TV.
I have never been personally been confronted with a murder among my family or friends. That would have to be one of the hardest things to deal with psychologically.
Someone asked me once that if God really believed in the death penalty, then why did God let Cain live after he killed his brother Abel?
I do not support the death penalty, myself; but there are some of my family and friends that do. That is one point where we simply agree to disagree.
There were terrible things said on the Court TV boards about Aaron. My girls knew him very well, and he’d helped me a couple of times, once when my two oldest took off for three days. He tracked them down and let me know that all was well.
Was he a child molester? Well, as one of his best friends said, if he was, I need to start taking a closer look at all of my friends.
Aaron’s wife has remarried and is getting along well. It was all very strange. Bob White’s daughter was my oldest’s best friend in grade and some of middle school. We knew Belinda, her sister, fairly well, and White’s wife was a friend of mine. She and I often had long conversations on the phone about all kinds of things. The sweetest lady you could meet. My girls met Aaron through other friends and they all hung around together for several years. I can remember being surprised when I learned Aaron and Belinda were married, because they were friends of mine from two completely different areas of life. I never liked Bob White much, maybe because of some of the things his wife told me, but basically, he just gave me the creeps. I’m happy to let the SOB rot in jail until he kicks the bucket. In fact, I’m gleeful. Nothing will bring Aaron back.
Regardless of the heinous nature of crime, I cannot get past the fact that 135 people, once sentenced to death, have been exonerated since 1973.
When I mention this, I am often asked “which of the men on death row in Kansas do I think are actually innocent?”
None. But that misses the point completely.
At one time, a judge, jury and prosecutor believed all 135 were guilty beyond a reasonable doubt and they deserved to die. Hell, maybe even the defense attorneys believed they were guilty also.
Do I believe that anyone on Kansas’ death row is innocent? No, but I would rather see the Kleypus, Belt and Thurber in super-max than to have the possibility of an innocent person executed.
Super-max turns an inmate into a non-person. 23/7 lock down, one hour of solitary exercise in a cage or walled room each day. Meals in the cell, no contact with other inmates. Two showers a week. Censored mail privileges, reading materials and television. Newer super max prisons don’t even have bars on the cells – they have a thick panel of glass to prevent inmates from conversing with one another and to prevent inmates from attacking guards. One hour per month of visitation via telephone through a thick glass panel while being supervised and monitored. No chance of parole, ever.
Death or being reduced to non-person status?
I vote for the latter. It’s only fair. 🙂
Maybe the old saying – ‘there are worst things than death’ would apply in this situation?
And maybe the real punishment is letting these people continue to live as non-humans?
That’s the way I feel about it, Lilac. Death is a release from facing the hard truth that someone took another life. Intentionally took another life. Let ’em live long with it and ache with the knowledge, if possible.
No other human interaction except with those who guard them. I’m talking no touching, not even a poke. Most people, if not insane, would soon be. Physical contact is what makes us human.
This blog is close to setting a record. Tell your friends, have them sign in and post.