Day 120 Question 120:
Do you believe in the death penalty?
I expect to get a lot of commentary on this subject. I chose this topic because I watched a documentary last night called Into the Abyss. The documentary was about two boys that murdered three people when they were 18 years old. In 2010 they were 28 years old and one was scheduled to be executed on July 10, 2010. These two boys murdered 3 people and their motive for these actions was to steal cars. Three innocent people lost their lives just so these 2 boys could joy ride in stolen sports cars. I found it funny (funny is probably not the best word) that in the documentary both boys were being interviewed from jail and both claim innocence and point the fingers at each other. The scene of all crimes shows that they were both blatantly guilty of several crimes. Both boys had been in and out of jail several times prior to this. One of the boys fathers had been in prison for 10+ years at this point and he was given a 40 year sentence for murder. The whole scene was very saddening. These boys stood no chance in society because violence and crime were what they knew while growing up.
Do I believe in the death penalty though??? I have to say I do not. I do not believe that killing someone as punishment to show them that killing someone is wrong is the right method of doing things. Trust me I understand that my feelings could completely change if it was someone that I loved very much or if I had a child that was harmed, molested or murdered. From this moment right here, right now though, I just don’t see it as a fit punishment. The government is committing just as much of a crime as the perpetrator. I don’t understand what is being solved or what justice is really served. I know a lot of people would argue with me about the cost of keeping an inmate in prison that would most likely not have any sort of chance for rehabilitation. I, personally, cannot condone that argument. No matter what, a human life is being taken and I do not believe ANYONE should be allowed to kill another human being…even if the other human being is a complete monster. Two wrongs do not make a right. I do, however, believe that this country needs to get off their ass and stop making these jails a fun factory for prisoners. When I was in high school, out class visited the local prison, and during the tour we witnessed inmates playing basketball, playing foosball, hanging out cutting up with each other. If someone commits a crime then they need to be punished…close them away in a cell with nothing offered to them. Extremely violent offenders should be in a room with 4 dingy walls and a mattress on the floor (I suppose a toilet and sink should be provided too). I believe that rehabilitation should always be strived for and counseling/therapy should be very intensive but outside of this time, a prisoner should have absolutely no perks…in my opinion they really should not even be allowed books. I would rather see an inmate die from insanity from sitting alone in a room of just four walls then being executed at the hands of the government. Execution, in my opinion, is just too easy of an escape route….I would say that it is too easy of a way for the government to save money but let’s face it, how long does an inmate sit on death row…..a very long time….and in that time the cost is going to keep going up and up and up.
Our government and judicial system in this country is extremely screwed up. I watched the movie The Ides of March the other day and it brought a new perspective to me in regards to government. I am unsure if there is any politician that can be truly trusted….or law enforcement official or judicial official for that matter. I have learned that money talks and it is sad but so many of these people can be easily paid off no matter what the circumstance is. I watched another documentary a week ago about a woman who was in jail for 27 years for being involved with her husband’s murder. Her husband forced her into prostitution and he beat her severely for several years. He stalked her when she tried to leave and threatened her life regularly. She had a “friend” take care of the matter. She didn’t want him killed but she wanted him roughed up. She was served with a life sentence. In the state of California, with the details of this crime, this woman should have never severed more than 6 years. Instead the government officials kept her there and hid court documentation that could have freed her. People were paid off and others just didn’t want to deal with the extra paperwork so they just kept denying her parole. It was outrageous the amount of illegal actions were taking place. Can you imagine the cost of keeping this woman in prison for 21 years longer than she was supposed to actually be there. It absolutely disgusted me.
I will always live a happy life and try my hardest to focus on the positive. I will do what I need to do to achieve peace and achieve many more good days than bad but I cannot lie and say that I have lost faith in many people and aspects of this country. I hate that I believe that honesty and truly caring about your country and your people is a thing of the past. I hate that we live in a “Me Me Me” society and we have become extremely lazy. I do not believe in the death penalty because it solves nothing. When you execute someone, you allow them to win (at least that is what I think).
I ask you to remember that this is strictly MY opinion. I am sure people will tell me I am wrong or debate me which is completely fine. I understand that my feelings could change if I were to have a family member killed or if I had child and found out he/she was molested. My first animal instinct might be to kill them with my own hands…I could never know unless that situation were to arise. In this moment though, I do not believe that the death penalty is an appropriate form of punishment. Honestly, I do not think that our men should have killed Bin Laden (yes pause for gasp). I would must rather have him suffering in a highly violent prison amongst United States prisoners (that loathe him) than just point blank shoot him and kill him. The extremists that followed his lead believed in suicide missions (i.e., 9/11 plane hijackers). In my opinion, killing him meant nothing. I don’t know the circumstances and it may have been “self-defense” but if it wasn’t, I do not believe justice was served. Killing him was just too easy.
My father would probably shake his head in disgust that I think this way….but I do. I go with what my heart tells me….and punishing someone by killing them is never ever ever ever the right answer. We strive for peace but we kill people every day….that just doesn’t add up to me. This country needs to learn to prioritize but in my lifetime I doubt that will ever happen. I now await the criticisms….please don’t go too hard on me ;0)
Whoah this is sooooo weird. I just opened up my Yahoo email and this was the cover story (a little ironic maybe???):
Wrong man was executed in Texas, probe says
He was the spitting image of the killer, had the same first name and was near the scene of the crime at the fateful hour: Carlos DeLuna paid the ultimate price and was executed in place of someone else in Texas in 1989, a report out Tuesday found.
Even “all the relatives of both Carloses mistook them,” and DeLuna was sentenced to death and executed based only on eyewitness accounts despite a range of signs he was not a guilty man, said law professor James Liebman.
Liebman and five of his students at Columbia School of Law spent almost five years poring over details of a case that he says is “emblematic” of legal system failure.
DeLuna, 27, was put to death after “a very incomplete investigation. No question that the investigation is a failure,” Liebman said.
The report’s authors found “numerous missteps, missed clues and missed opportunities that let authorities prosecute Carlos DeLuna for the crime of murder, despite evidence not only that he did not commit the crime but that another individual, Carlos Hernandez, did,” the 780-page investigation found.
The report, entitled “Los Tocayos Carlos: Anatomy of a Wrongful Execution,” traces the facts surrounding the February 1983 murder of Wanda Lopez, a single mother who was stabbed in the gas station where she worked in a quiet corner of the Texas coastal city of Corpus Christi.
“Everything went wrong in this case,” Liebman said.
That night Lopez called police for help twice to protect her from an individual with a switchblade.
“They could have saved her, they said ‘we made this arrest immediately’ to overcome the embarrassment,” Liebman said.
Forty minutes after the crime Carlos DeLuna was arrested not far from the gas station.
He was identified by only one eyewitness who saw a Hispanic male running from the gas station. But DeLuna had just shaved and was wearing a white dress shirt — unlike the killer, who an eyewitness said had a mustache and was wearing a grey flannel shirt.
Even though witnesses accounts were contradictory — the killer was seen fleeing towards the north, while DeLuna was caught in the east — DeLuna was arrested.
“I didn’t do it, but I know who did,” DeLuna said at the time, saying that he saw Carlos Hernandez entering the service station.
DeLuna said he ran from police because he was on parole and had been drinking.
Hernandez, known for using a blade in his attacks, was later jailed for murdering a woman with the same knife. But in the trial, the lead prosecutor told the jury that Hernandez was nothing but a “phantom” of DeLuna’s imagination.
DeLuna’s budget attorney even said that it was probable that Carlos Hernandez never existed.
However in 1986 a local newspaper published a photograph of Hernandez in an article on the DeLuna case, Liebman said.
Following hasty trial DeLuna was executed by lethal injection in 1989.
Up to the day he died in prison of cirrhosis of the liver, Hernandez repeatedly admitted to murdering Wanda Lopez, Liebman said.
“Unfortunately, the flaws in the system that wrongfully convicted and executed DeLuna — faulty eyewitness testimony, shoddy legal representation and prosecutorial misconduct — continue to send innocent men to their death today,” read a statement that accompanies the report.