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DPChallenge Forums >> Rant >> Stanley "Tookie" Williams.. Thoughts?
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12/14/2005 05:23:02 PM · #151
Originally posted by theSaj:



Okay, I will understand it. If I killed you.


easy theSaj, we are just talking here... ;)

I really need to start thinking about the DOF challenge or the phobia one..

12/14/2005 05:26:10 PM · #152
From The Innocence Project:

Exonerations: 164 innocent people, including 14 who were at one time sentenced to death, have won
their freedom since the IPís establishment in 1992.

What would you tell the families of those 14 (whom we know about) known innocents had their executions been carried out, "Oops, nevermind?"

And how do you give back life experience to those who missed it while falsely imprisoned?

Maybe we should keep the death penalty, but include it for jurors/judges found to have wrongly convicted and executed someone ...
12/14/2005 05:34:38 PM · #153
Originally posted by milo655321:

Originally posted by hokie:

...I just don't have the brains cells or the endless resevoir of B.S. to compete like I used to


So you're admitting your arguments are "B.S."?

j/k, no need to reply :)


Heheh...maybe.

Man...this is a serious subject and I would be a foolish man indeed if I said, without a doubt, I had all the answers.

All I am willing to say is that this polarization that occurs with people on both sides of the Death Penalty debate has been going on for longer than I have been alive.

Is death the ultimate penalty. Yes. Absolutely.

Has there been mistakes made and innocent people executed? It would be hard for me to say that no mistakes have ever been made. And that is tragic beyond compare.

Would I be willing to give up on the death penalty? Probably. I got lots of ways to get people whacked if they hurt my family..I don't need the government to do it for me ;-) ( My wifes great grandfather used to run whisky out of Chicago in prohibition with the Dion O'Banion group...I got a photo with him and O'Banion...I kid her I married her for her connections and she doesn't think that is funny)

Seriously though, the Tookie Williams story is not the one I would be using to decry the death penalty. His story gets the headlines because of the outside forces that have used him..not because of the incredible injustice served to this guy. This guy has had more than his fair share of justice.

Take up the story of innocent people who have been executed and proven later..with DNA evidence..to have been innocent.

THEN...the opponents of the death penalty might get traction. But Tookie isn't the case that will get it done.
12/14/2005 05:37:57 PM · #154
Originally posted by GeneralE:

From The Innocence Project:

Exonerations: 164 innocent people, including 14 who were at one time sentenced to death, have won
their freedom since the IPís establishment in 1992.

What would you tell the families of those 14 (whom we know about) known innocents had their executions been carried out, "Oops, nevermind?"

And how do you give back life experience to those who missed it while falsely imprisoned?

Maybe we should keep the death penalty, but include it for jurors/judges found to have wrongly convicted and executed someone ...


So General..I hear you. But..what is your solution? Give us a comprehensive alternative.

No imprisonment? No death penalty..even with a confession and evidence as strong as having eyewitnesses in the middle of a Dodgers game?

I'm saying..I am all for changes...I just want people on record with specifics and rationales.
12/14/2005 06:18:15 PM · #155
Originally posted by Pano:

Originally posted by theSaj:



Okay, I will understand it. If I killed you.


easy theSaj, we are just talking here... ;)

I really need to start thinking about the DOF challenge or the phobia one..


Sorry Pano, wasn't trying to be threatening. Changed it to generic. I was just trying to say that I'd expect justice to be done on me.
12/14/2005 06:23:35 PM · #156
Originally posted by "GeneralE":

Exonerations: 164 innocent people, including 14 who were at one time sentenced to death, have won their freedom since the IPís establishment in 1992.


I know that some of those are very valid. But I am curious was it just that they got retrials and in the second trial the jury thought there was a reasonable doubt?

I do wonder of those 164, how many might have been "guilty men" who were released. I do understand that some have clearly been cleared via DNA evidence, etc. And I am glad for their release.

But I am not completely sure I buy all 164's innoncence.

Originally posted by "GeneralE":


And how do you give back life experience to those who missed it while falsely imprisoned?


You never can...but I do think it'd be fair to give them at least minimum wage for the years served.

Originally posted by "GeneralE":


Maybe we should keep the death penalty, but include it for jurors/judges found to have wrongly convicted and executed someone ...


If they deliberately planted evidence, as I have said, I think we should consider they serve equivalent sentence.
12/14/2005 06:28:58 PM · #157
Originally posted by hokie:

Originally posted by GeneralE:

From The Innocence Project:

Exonerations: 164 innocent people, including 14 who were at one time sentenced to death, have won
their freedom since the IPís establishment in 1992.

What would you tell the families of those 14 (whom we know about) known innocents had their executions been carried out, "Oops, nevermind?"

And how do you give back life experience to those who missed it while falsely imprisoned?

Maybe we should keep the death penalty, but include it for jurors/judges found to have wrongly convicted and executed someone ...


So General..I hear you. But..what is your solution? Give us a comprehensive alternative.

No imprisonment? No death penalty..even with a confession and evidence as strong as having eyewitnesses in the middle of a Dodgers game?

I'm saying..I am all for changes...I just want people on record with specifics and rationales.

Of course not ... under these circumstances (as much as I know, which is little) I'd have commuted his sentence to life without parole. If he's later conclusively exonerated, we can let him go with an apology and a (inadequate) settlement, but at least he wouldn't be dead.

It's been pretty conclusively proven (over many years of research and experimentation) that eyewitness testimony is about the least conclusive evidence you can have, despite its emotional allure.

I'm not trying to argue the whole issues of criminology/penology, just trying to present a rational objection to executions.
12/14/2005 06:33:21 PM · #158
Originally posted by theSaj:

But I am not completely sure I buy all 164's innoncence.

WTF: we're talking (for example) about men convicted of rape, where it's later proved conclusively and scientifically that someone else did the deed, often in contradiction to "eyewitness" testimony.

Here, read about a specific case

They've already been horribly punished for something they didn't do, and now you still want to try and intimate that they "must have done something." Goddam that makes me sick.

Message edited by author 2005-12-14 19:02:42.
12/14/2005 07:16:18 PM · #159
Originally posted by theSaj:

But I take issue with your habit of using this fact as an argument against any point you disagree with. This fact, applies both ways. It makes no determination of right or wrong, it just states the fact that majority may not always be right. Nor does it express that majority cannot be right.


You are misunderstanding the statement. You regularly argue that in a democracy the majority opinion should rule (though you move away from such suggestion in this post). I regularly tell you that there is this problem with pure democracy called a democratic deficit and that you are promoting mob rule. Representative democracy is one of the political structures that prevents majority opinion rule: it does not detract from my criticism of your suggestions that governments should follow majority opinion, but rather is the political structure that in practice gives effect to my criticism.
Originally posted by theSaj:


Perhaps, before birth...but there are cases of mothers abandoning fathers to raise the children on their own. It is much rarer, but it does occur. And adoption is always an option.


this is getting very tangential: my point was that for women's rights to be accepted, women require a degree of control over their bodies' reproductive systems. A woman is fundamentally involved in giving birth, so while men are not (in practice, right or wrong) bound to deal with children, women often are. If you insist that women must carry to term (the biological effects of which prevent women from working and involves health and financial risks) you create an additional imbalance. While you may not find the idea of women's equality very important, there are a number of people who do...

Originally posted by theSaj:

Can you provide a scientific definition of that point? So much posting on erring in caution with executing criminals on the possibility of innoncence. But when it comes to abortion, there is no concern to err on the side of caution. And there seems to be so much talk about how wrong it is to make a decision regarding another's body but to dismiss the act of the mother doing just that for the baby...and you wonder why we find it confusing.


Science does not provide answers to moral dilemmas, unfortunately. The value of a human foetus' rights as against its mother's cannot be valued objectively. You are trying to ridicule my point of view by applying your value system to me: I do not think of a foetus as "innocent" or as having any inherent right to life from the point of conception, whereas you do. As a small collection of cells, I do not think that a foetus exists as a person, and has few or no rights. Between conception and birth, its rights increase. When it is born, it has a full complement of human rights. At some point between conception and birth the foetus' rights must be measured against the mother's right to self-determination in the societal context of women's liberation, and when it exceeds them the right to abort should cease. [viability provides a useful measuring stick, though I will not argue about exactly when this is or what it means or how it changes - it will be a fruitless argument: the possible scenarios are infinite and the comparative rights would be subjective and infinitely variable]

Originally posted by theSaj:

shouldn't we err on the side of caution for innoncent's sake?
On which side is caution? By preventing access to abortion, you eliminate the mother's rights regardless, because you value them as having less importance than the foetus, whether it is 4 cells or more substantial. To your mind, the foetus is "innocent" with full rights from conception whereas the mother seeking an abortion is less innocent and her rights less important. I do not agree that the foetus is "innocent" or anything more than a foetus: a potential person, but a long way away from that and less important than the mother (who may also be "innocent"). To my mind, the mother and foetus have competing but changing rights between conception and term.

Originally posted by theSaj:

How you can be anti-death penalty but pro-choice is to me and many others very confusing. How you can argue to err on innoncence one moment but not the next. To err in caution for probable criminals on the off chance of innoncence, but not to do the same for innoncents is to me extremely irrational.
Keeping prisoners alive, rather than deciding guilt in an imperfect way and killing them does not impinge on any other person. There is no competing right, and a very different set of issues. There is no reason to kill prisoners, but every reason to keep them alive (though imprisoned).

Originally posted by theSaj:

But I did take "care" in deciding to take the stance I have. (I question whether you have taken the care to consider the innoncents involved?)
That was my point - we should be cautious before taking such a step and make sure that it is for the right reasons. I am glad that you are advocating serious debate and analysis, and no precipitous action.

Originally posted by theSaj:

Okay, LB, please show me where I have made a religious argument.
Again - I said "to the extent". Glad to see that you are uninfluenced by religion here.

Originally posted by theSaj:

In past threads I have discussed the idea of a scientific method of establishing such. And whether there is good ground. In fact, some of discussed the idea of brainwaves, or neurons firing, etc as possibilities. But it must be a measurable, definable determination. And I have expressed that if something substantial could be demonstrated that I might consider such. I've expressed my arguments against the term "viable" because it is poorly defined and continually changed thus a dynamic element can't be used as a standard.
Agreed. Though I think that it will always be hard to come up with a workable solution, but that should not stop us trying: "human life" can be defined so many ways in this context (from insemination, to cell cluster of X cells, to division from stem cells, to the creation of certain types of cells, the development of certain organs, viability, months elapsed etc). Any test would have to be sufficiently clear that a doctor could determine the issue quickly (trying to work out if a neuron is firing might be tremendously hard) and there may have to be a compromise for simplicity. The period would have to be long enough to retain the procedure as a practical remedy (ie at least the morning after pill, and for me, at least two or three months for physical symptoms to show).

Originally posted by theSaj:


The situation within prisons is different than out... so they're released 25 yrs later... and their evil unfolds once more. So no, having that risk is not acceptable to me or my family. ... it is ...rather quite a strong argument [for the death penalty]


If your understanding is that people on life sentences whose sentences are commuted for a lesser term tend to re-offend, that is a statistic that could easily be compiled. If true, I could understand your concern. Equally, if many are released because there is a doubt as to the validity of their convictions, I would hope that you would see my point of view that it was lucky they were not executed, and unfortunate that your family was at risk of attack from the real felon while the innocent was in prison. Just need someone to find the stats...

Originally posted by theSaj:


[Sleepwalking and duress are] a mitigating circumstance and one the courts take into account.


Yes - if it can be proven. My point is that the physical evidence would be misleading. The person under duress might even provide a confession - but any conviction would be unsafe.

Originally posted by theSaj:

Video was blurry...err on caution. Simple as that. As I said, it'd probably result in many less death row convictions. And for the ones that are made - much speedier deaths.


How clear or blurry does it need to be? These are all subjective factors. It is not a black and white world: if you watch a murder trial, you will see how many thousands of variables must be subjectively analysed.

Originally posted by theSaj:



If there is ALWAYS doubt, why should we punish criminals at all? Shouldn't we just say... "well, there was a 0.000000000238% chance you did not commit the crime. So you're free to go.


This is a non-sensical response. My argument is that there is always a degree of uncertainty - therefore do not carry out an irreversible punishment. Not "do not convict".

We have established a degree of uncertainty that works in society, and that is that we are willing to convict where there is less than a reasonable doubt. The law is pragmatic in that fashion. But the death penalty is not a very pragmatic punishment.

Originally posted by theSaj:

Originally posted by "legalbeagle":


If we took your standards to the extreme, there would be no death penalties.


And if we took your's to the extreme there would be no penalties. Your point?
How? By eliminating the death penalty, we would still have imprisonment.

My point is that your standards would eliminate the death penalty at huge cost: my way is cheaper and easier.

Message edited by author 2005-12-14 19:30:06.
12/15/2005 06:18:54 AM · #160
Apologies: my post was a very long post.

As a post-script I would add an admission that I am very interested in abolishing the death penalty in part following my involvement with the defence of a man on death row (Trinidad & Tobago on final appeal to the Privy Council in the House of Lords).

The case against him was fundamentally flawed (to summarise massively: he was convicted on some very dubious witness reports and a confession that was beaten out of him, in a case where there was no physical evidence against him). He suffered for years in a prison cell where he was reduced to eating the insects and rats for sustenance. I had the misfortune to read his letters to us. His conviction was overturned on our appeal. This was a man for whom there was very significant doubt as to his guilt who would (but for the successful final appeal) have been executed.

While the Trinidad & Tobago prison and justice system are obviously in need of some reform, it would be foolish to assume that our systems are perfect.
12/15/2005 09:50:32 AM · #161
Originally posted by GeneralE:

From The Innocence Project:


Wasn't Barry Scheck one of OJ Simpson's lawyers who successfully thwarted the prosecutions case againt OJ for the Murder of his wife Nicole, arguing aginst the reliability of DNA evidence.

Either Barry Scheck was lying then or he is lying now. Either way he is a scoundrel. My belief is that a murderer is walking free due to Barry Schecks assistence and his new found "religion" is to use the very element that he argued against, to finally free wrongly convicted persons. Too bad he doesn't use his immense talent to assist a prosecutorial application of his DNA expertise, for OJ.

Ever looked at the resultant life of the attorney''s that defended OJ and their misery following his accuital. And some people believe that there is no God.


12/15/2005 10:26:05 AM · #162
Originally posted by Flash:

Wasn't Barry Scheck one of OJ Simpson's lawyers who successfully thwarted the prosecutions case againt OJ for the Murder of his wife Nicole, arguing aginst the reliability of DNA evidence.

Either Barry Scheck was lying then or he is lying now.


I understand that Barry Scheck is an expert in DNA evidence, not someone with an agenda to discredit the reliability of DNA evidence.

There is a fundamental problem with the reliability of DNA evidence. It is not 100% accurate, and more importantly there is a real risk of cross contamination in laboratories (or in handling evidence) that creates a false positive. Positive proof based solely around DNA is unsafe.

However to DNA evidence can provide very reliable proof of innocence: if the DNA linked to the crime scene is different to that of the convict, there is an obvious discrepancy. This is most often used in cases where there is an element of doubt and where DNA evidence is available, but where the case predates the availability of testing.

Message edited by author 2005-12-15 10:26:42.
12/15/2005 10:45:35 AM · #163
Originally posted by legalbeagle:

I understand that Barry Scheck is an expert in DNA evidence, not someone with an agenda to discredit the reliability of DNA evidence.


Originally posted by Flash:

Too bad he doesn't use his immense talent to assist a prosecutorial application of his DNA expertise, for OJ.


Originally posted by legalbeagle:

There is a fundamental problem with the reliability of DNA evidence. It is not 100% accurate, and more importantly there is a real risk of cross contamination in laboratories (or in handling evidence) that creates a false positive. Positive proof based solely around DNA is unsafe.


I have heard this and this was much of the argument at OJ's trial. It simply strikes me, that here we have a noted DNA expert who used this information to discredit the DNA evidence against OJ. When he should have been assisting the prosecution in insuring that they had the correct elements for their case. However, as a hired "gun", he defended a very likely guilty murderer.

Originally posted by legalbeagle:

However to DNA evidence can provide very reliable proof of innocence: if the DNA linked to the crime scene is different to that of the convict, there is an obvious discrepancy. This is most often used in cases where there is an element of doubt and where DNA evidence is available, but where the case predates the availability of testing


There are many fortunate souls today that are free due to this science.


12/15/2005 11:26:21 AM · #164
"But I am not completely sure I buy all 164's innoncence." [regards to GeneralE's post]

I am not talking about a specific case. I believe that many have been rightly freed. Perhaps all, especially the ones where modern science (DNA testing) etc. Helped exonerate.

I am a touch more leery of mere re-trials. I know of a recent rape case in PA which the individual was exonerated, of what was likely a racist prejudice. (He was black, the perpetrator was black. He must be the perpetrator because he was black.) And I am very very supportive of such releases.

I am merely, not able to devote the time to review each case. On the other hand, there are cases where the individual has been released as innoncent in the criminal trial and found guilty in a civil trial. Weird as it may be.

I am just leery. If new evidence was brought forth that showed innoncence. I am all for it. However, many people get off on crimes due to technicalities. People who get off of a crime on the basis they weren't read the miranda for example.

My point is not that I am not happy if 164 innoncent men were freed. I am just hoping that all 164 were truly innoncent. And of that, I am not sure. I have very little trust in our judicial system.

Originally posted by "legalbeagle":


You regularly argue that in a democracy the majority opinion should rule (though you move away from such suggestion in this post).


No, i think it's good to have checks and balances. But when thru all the checks and balances, and elections, etc. representatives who oppose your views are elected. Than I don't think it's fair to say they can't act.

For instance, if conservative representatives are elected. Saying they can not put a conservative judge to the court is outrageous to me. When the liberal representatives are more dominant they will put a liberal judge to court.

Originally posted by "legalbeagle":


I regularly tell you that there is this problem with pure democracy called a democratic deficit and that you are promoting mob rule.


But my point is that we are not in a pure democracy, and I am speaking of the United States government (which is a Republic) and all my talk is regards to that system. In which case, I find the argument against pure democracy moot and unrelated.

And yes, republics provide some checks and balances. But seeing as we are talking about republics and not pure democracies. I don't see the point. And when a particular view is more dominant in the republic, even thru checks and balances. Than what...and I feel like you raise this argument against such dominance. And I am the first to say that majority opinion is not always right. And democracy, even as a republic with checks and balances basicaly equates to 51 people telling the other 49 how to live. (or at times, such as Constitutional ammendments 67 people telling 33 what to do). But I see no point in said discussion unless you can propose a better system than a Constitutional Republic with Checks & Balances. (Which is what we are discussing in regards to U.S. government and I believe most European governments.)

So the point is lost on me?

To keep re-iterating the majority isn't always right. Damn straight. A majority may be pro-choice but the dead wrong!

Originally posted by "legalbeagle":


my point was that for women's rights to be accepted, women require a degree of control over their bodies' reproductive systems.


I agree to that fact for any body male or female. It is why I am adamantly against rape. But I believe those rights stop as soon as they affect someone else body and right to live. And to me, the mere benefit of increased financial benefit for the mother does not seem to justify the taking of a life. If that is the case, then the rich are quite justified in their stealing of organs as commonly done parts of S. America.

Originally posted by "legalbeagle":


While you may not find the idea of women's equality very important, there are a number of people who do...


Equality or reality. Sure, I (and most men) piss standing up. Few women do. Let's make an edict. All women can piss standing up. Why heck, they should all have a penis. And all men should be able to give birth too. Come on...let's face it, such is not an issue of equality. But of physical nature.

I'm frickin short. I have encountered much inequality over height throughout my life. Your point? Should it all be equal. Should a sink be low enough for a midget and high enough for a 7ft+ basketball star? It just can't be both at the same time. So you can average in some cases (like a sink). But giving birth, sorry, that's an ability only women have (at this time anyway).

But since when did personal rights give anyone the !@#$% liberty to take the life of another? when did inconvenience become enough of a reason to kill? if it is, hell...we should not only execute murders but any punk gang banger, drug dealer, theif, etc. Come on...they're all inconvenience's too. (Of course such is extreme. But so is your opinion that because a woman may have to be out of work for a few weeks she has the right to kill another being.)

Originally posted by "legalbeagle":


Science does not provide answers to moral dilemmas, unfortunately. The value of a human foetus' rights as against its mother's cannot be valued objectively.


Than neither can the value of a Jew's rights be valued objectively to the rights of a German. Or do you not realize that is the fundamental thought behind every mass genocide and massacre the world has seen. The muslim's rights cannot be valued objectively to the rights of the christian (or vice versa).

So, don't you think we should err on the side of caution, on the side of life.

In choice:
1) the women loses financial benefit but retains her life as does the child

2) the women maintains her current financial status at the cost of the child's life

Hmmm.... that seems a greatly divergent valuation. One individual's checkbook is more important than another's life. And I am supposed the one on the evil side of this issue...yeah...uh hum...sure.

Originally posted by "legalbeagle":


When it is born, it has a full complement of human rights.


Why does that make a difference. My friend Zoey was born at 6 months. Babies far more developed and viable have been aborted in the 9th month. Babies less viable (say with down syndrome) have been born and given full rights. Why shouldn't we be able to abort a 4 yr old w/down syndrome? why not a 24 yr old with down syndrome.

Originally posted by "legalbeagle":


At some point between conception and birth the foetus' rights must be measured against the mother's right to self-determination in the societal context of women's liberation


I guess it's too be expected much innoncent blood has been shed during past "liberations". Why should anyone decry. Hell, why should we decry the loss of innoncent blood in the "liberation" of Iraq. Oh well...no big loss there either right? Heck, 30,000 vs 30,000,000. Which liberation has caused more bloodshed?

Sorry, I do not see abortion as liberation. In fact, many early women's rights and feminists wanted abortion made illegal because they saw it as a threat to their rights. Many felt that abortion created a situation where a man could say "abort the baby or I leave" forcing a woman to kill her child for a man, and wanted it outlawed.

Originally posted by "legalbeagle":


I will not argue about exactly when this is or what it means or how it changes


Then I will forever argue with you as to how abortion is wrong and the unjust killing of innoncent children.

Originally posted by "legalbeagle":


By preventing access to abortion, you eliminate the mother's rights regardless

Please show me WTF it says a woman has the right to kill another human being. Please....why shouldn't a woman be able to kill a 2 yr old if say, she loses her daycare? I have a friend with a 5 yr old and a 1 yr old. Why can't she abort them?

Simply because they breathed air?

The 5yr old was born before a large number of babies were even aborted.

Originally posted by "legalbeagle":


To your mind, the foetus is "innocent" with full rights from conception


Actually, I'm not quite sure if I think it conception. One individual made the only frickin rational argument i've ever heard from pro-choice that they think it should be based on brainwaves and neurological tests. And that at least seemed to made some consistent and reasonable and rational sense to me.

Originally posted by "legalbeagle":


the mother seeking an abortion is less innocent and her rights less important.


No, I just have always understood that our personal rights stop at the point where they cause the death of another (isn't the idea that my personal rights should not impede yours and yes there are potential conflicts, but isn't the most important of rights - the right to life itself. And since when did someone's financial rights become more important than another's right to life?

Originally posted by "legalbeagle":


Keeping prisoners alive, rather than deciding guilt in an imperfect way and killing them does not impinge on any other person. There is no competing right, and a very different set of issues.


Always a chance of release or even escape, and the potential for them to do harm to another. Oh BTW, this DOES occur, has occurred, and therefore is in fact a potential risk and competing right.

Originally posted by "legalbeagle":


Though I think that it will always be hard to come up with a workable solution, but that should not stop us trying:

The problem, is I feel that no one is trying. And that they've just assumed the right and given up. It's akin to Europeans thinking the African man was sub-human. And never continuing beyond that thought.

Originally posted by "legalbeagle":


If your understanding is that people on life sentences whose sentences are commuted for a lesser term tend to re-offend, that is a statistic that could easily be compiled.

Perhaps 90% never re-offend. But the 10% who do is the issue. And I do not know the statistics with murder. But I do know the statistics with drugs dealing, theft, gang violence, etc. tend to be the case that most are repeat offenders.

Originally posted by "legalbeagle":


Equally, if many are released because there is a doubt as to the validity of their convictions, I would hope that you would see my point of view that it was lucky they were not executed


Yes, if there was serious doubt as to their convictions. But not merely for if they behaved well in a very controlled prison environment.

Originally posted by "legalbeagle":


The person under duress might even provide a confession - but any conviction would be unsafe.


I agree concerning this issue, and believe we need reform in this area. I really do not like "plea bargains" in the concept. If you plead guilty, we'll give you manslaughter. But if you plead innoncent we'll seek premeditated murder.

To me, the entire determination of guilt or innoncence should take place first. Then, any agreements or settling and sentencing. I believe this simple change would help greatly. Although the exact implementation would need to be carefully thought out.

Originally posted by "legalbeagle":


Equally, if many are released because there is a doubt as to the validity of their convictions, I would hope that you would see my point of view that it was lucky they were not executed, and unfortunate that your family was at risk of attack from the real felon while the innocent was in prison.


Lucky, if they were indeed innoncent. Unlucky, if they were indeed guilty and my family was placed in jeopardy. No, it's not an easy thing to decide a man's guilt or innoncence. And as I said, I err on the side of reasonable caution personally.

Originally posted by "legalbeagle":


This is a non-sensical response. My argument is that there is always a degree of uncertainty - therefore do not carry out an irreversible punishment. Not "do not convict".... How? By eliminating the death penalty, we would still have imprisonment.


Imprisoning for one's entire life, is a serious serious thing. In fact, for many it is traumatizing. Many a prisoner has taken their own life. Just a sign that to quite a few "death" is the better option than imprisonment.

So to sentence a potentially innoncent man to such a heinious situation seems wrong - quite nearly as wrong as killing him. Especially if he's put away for decades and dies in prison. And well, if there is always a doubt or uncertainty...than perhaps we shouldn't ever imprison anyone. They might all be innoncent.

Originally posted by "legalbeagle":


(to summarise massively: he was convicted on some very dubious witness reports and a confession that was beaten out of him, in a case where there was no physical evidence against him)


And I believe that such is wrong. And if such were indeed the facts, I would be willing to write a letter to support that his case be re-reviewed/re-opened, etc. As I am strongly opposed to such methods.

Originally posted by "legalbeagle":

He suffered for years in a prison cell where he was reduced to eating the insects and rats for sustenance. I had the misfortune to read his letters to us.


Is this in Britain? (Trinidad, is that a British province? hence under British rule). Such conditions are to me cruel and unusual and unacceptable.

(Oh, just read that he had a successful appeal...that is good. You see, I do believe in and support justice.)

Originally posted by "legalbeagle":


While the Trinidad & Tobago prison and justice system are obviously in need of some reform, it would be foolish to assume that our systems are perfect.


My essential point is that our system in the U.S. is far far far from perfect and needs substantial reform (albeit less than Trinidad and Tobago). And I've stated that were reforms implemented AND practiced, I would support the abolishment of the death penalty.

Originally posted by "Flash":


Wasn't Barry Scheck one of OJ Simpson's lawyers who successfully thwarted the prosecutions case againt OJ for the Murder of his wife Nicole, arguing aginst the reliability of DNA evidence.


One of the things I heard regarding the O.J. Simpson case was that a officer was questioned whether he had ever planted evidence in a case before, than whether he had planted evidence in this case. And I believe took the fifth and refused to answer. Thus really throwing the prosectur a doozy.

So sadly, bad/corrupt police practices probably helped lead to letting a guilty man go free.
12/15/2005 11:30:57 AM · #165
Originally posted by Flash:

However, as a hired "gun", he defended a very likely guilty murderer.
We are all entitled to a defence. But I agree that public defenders and prosecutors are hard worked and underpaid: an unattractive proposition that means a lack of good quality lawyers in the public sector.

Originally posted by Flash:

There are many fortunate souls today that are free due to this science.
Hopefully you mean fortunate "innocent" souls - the evidence demonstrated quite conclusively their innocence.
12/15/2005 12:31:38 PM · #166
I'm going to shorten the number of issues (a bit) to make this more manageable.

Originally posted by theSaj:

I am merely, not able to devote the time to review each case. On the other hand, there are cases where the individual has been released as innoncent in the criminal trial and found guilty in a civil trial. Weird as it may be.


If only you were available to judge every trialÖ Civil verdicts can vary from criminal because we have different standards of proof: beyond reasonable doubt in order to lock someone up (or in the US, to kill them), but only on the balance of probabilities to make them give up some cash.

Originally posted by theSaj:


So the point is lost on me?
- any point has been lost in the morass.

Originally posted by theSaj:

But I believe those rights stop as soon as they affect someone else body and right to live.
then the point of argument is when a foetus is "someone", when it has a body, and when it has a right to live. You later suggest that might happen as late as neurons being formed. I have already said that it would be a long fruitless debate to decide the point when there is a life with rights to be protected. But this indicates that you can at least see my point: there is a point at which the foetus is insufficiently formed so that it has few or no rights, or at least not the same rights as a born child. If so, the only difference between us is amount of respect we pay to the rights of the mother v the rights of the child at any time.

My starting point is that the mother's rights to self determination are initially greater than those of the foetus. Certainly a born child has a right to life that exceeds its mother's right to self determination. How the foetal rights change during development to go from one to the other is also a subjective matter. There will be a myriad of factors that will vary the moral assessment in any particular case.

If you accept that, then you can see that there must be a point at which the mother's rights and the foetal rights switch priority - before that point, abortion should be morally legitimate. Afterwards, not. Where the point arises is a whole other debate (but the firing of neurons is one option - contrary to your assertion, there is a lot of analysis in medical research papers and a lot of lobbying of government on where the line should be drawn; I know of at least one White Paper consultation in the UK a few years ago on fixed timescales in the light of changing timing of viability, provoking much media discussion).

It is not irrational to believe that the mother's rights never exceed those of the foetus (the anti-abortionist stance), but it does require either a very strong belief in the sanctity of life from conception (traditionally prompted by religious concerns) and/or a very weak belief in competing women's rights. There are also practical, societal issues (another layer of complexity that might be best avoided here).

Personally, I believe the liberation of women as being another of the great revolutions of the 20th Century (one I believe that you have previously argued that more societies ought to adopt). If we regarded women as "baby machines" with no better purpose, then abortion should be illegal. We do not for very good reasons. The pill is far more important in the liberation than anything else. But access to abortion in appropriate circumstances is an important element.

By dismissing women's lib as nothing more than seeking "financial gain", you demonstrate a certain misapprehension of the issue.

Hopefully you do not still think that this argument is still nothing more than BS.

Originally posted by theSaj:

[T]he value of a Jew's rights [cannot] be valued objectively to the rights of a German. Or do you not realize that is the fundamental thought behind every mass genocide and massacre the world has seen. The muslim's rights cannot be valued objectively to the rights of the christian (or vice versa).


I think that all of those are subjective assessments: I do not think that anyone before committing genocide would be taking a valid scientific exercise. It would always be a subjective assessment, as relative rights cannot be assessed objectively.

Originally posted by theSaj:

Always a chance of release or even escape, and the potential for them to do harm to another. Oh BTW, this DOES occur, has occurred, and therefore is in fact a potential risk and competing right.


Yes - people sometimes escape prison. But the scale of the risks are magnitudes apart. escaped death row convicts reoffending is international news, because it is so rare, whereas the plight of a woman with an unwanted pregnancy and no access to abortion would be too common to be notable in even the local news.

Originally posted by theSaj:


Perhaps 90% never re-offend. But the 10% who do is the issue. And I do not know the statistics with murder. But I do know the statistics with drugs dealing, theft, gang violence, etc. tend to be the case that most are repeat offenders.
Glad you found the statistics - please let me know where.

Originally posted by theSaj:


To me, the entire determination of guilt or innoncence should take place first. Then, any agreements or settling and sentencing.

This is how it works in the UK already - I believe that it is pretty much the same in the US.

Originally posted by theSaj:

No, it's not an easy thing to decide a man's guilt or innoncence. And as I said, I err on the side of reasonable caution personally.

Me too, in accordance with a maxim that is reflected in both our legal systems: it is better for a hundred guilty men to go free than for one innocent to be convicted.

Originally posted by "legalbeagle":


Is this in Britain? (Trinidad, is that a British province? hence under British rule). Such conditions are to me cruel and unusual and unacceptable.

Trinidad & Tobago - British Commonwealth (ex-Empire) but self governing, given access to the Privy Council (akin to the highest UK courts) as a last court of appeal by way of concession.
Originally posted by theSaj:

My essential point is that our system in the U.S. is far far far from perfect and needs substantial reform (albeit less than Trinidad and Tobago). And I've stated that were reforms implemented AND practiced, I would support the abolishment of the death penalty.


So if the system were reformed so as to guarantee more reliable convictions, you would abolish the death penalty. While the system produces wrongful convictions, the US should carry on executing the convicted?

Message edited by author 2005-12-15 12:50:39.
12/15/2005 01:03:34 PM · #167
Originally posted by "legalbeagle":

Certainly a born child has a right to life that exceeds its mother's right to self determination.


Why? Why should there be a difference between 6 months since conception, birth, or 6 months after conception. I am looking for a rational reason that I can accept in order to understand your philosophy. And this is what I cannot seem to find.

I don't know if I accept it or not, I'd have to have a convincing argument be made for me to accept or reject. So far, all I seem to get is "I will not make and provide that argument". And yet, I am suppose to decide on an argument never made. No can do.

And this is where I see one of the major standstills. And if you can't give me some sort of reasonable argument. Than I think it wiser to err on the side of caution (conception). I simply have stated I am open to other arguments.

Originally posted by "legalbeagle":

you can see that there must be a point at which the mother's rights and the foetal rights switch priority


I've granted that mother's right to life, and made allowance for that (particularly since if the mother doesn't live seldom does the fetus, and to save 1 is better than losing both). But beyond that, I believe that "life issues" takes precedence over "comfort issues".

Originally posted by "legalbeagle":


contrary to your assertion, there is a lot of analysis in medical research papers and a lot of lobbying of government on where the line should be drawn; I know of at least one White Paper consultation in the UK a few years ago on fixed timescales in the light of changing timing of viability, provoking much media discussion).


That's good to hear. Over here in the states we're more emotional than rational on this issue. And there is a big fight against any such discussion because they want the right absolutely. Hence, in the United States you can be on the labor table. The doctor can dangerously rotate the baby and breach birth the baby up to the neck. Then using large pliers basically crush the baby's skull, aborting/killing/murdering the baby's life and it is legal by Federal law. However, were the baby's head to slip out 2 seconds later and you took a mallet and smash the baby's head - that would constitute murder.

Originally posted by "legalbeagle":


The pill is far more important in the liberation than anything else. But access to abortion in appropriate circumstances is an important element.


I strongly disagree with the latter. I see things quite differently. To me, what you are saying is unsubstantiated and opinion. It'd be like saying that "the killing of all whites" is a necessary part of the abolitionist movement. It's not...

Originally posted by "legalbeagle":


By dismissing women's lib as nothing more than seeking "financial gain", you demonstrate a certain misapprehension of the issue.


Never said that, but abortion is the killing of the baby in order to preserve the status quo of "comfort status" whatever that may be, high or low.

Originally posted by "legalbeagle":


I think that all of those are subjective assessments: I do not think that anyone before committing genocide would be taking a valid scientific exercise. It would always be a subjective assessment, as relative rights cannot be assessed objectively.


Really, they thought it was quite based on science and evolution. And frankly, to a degree, there philosophy of advancement is correct.

Recently a gene was discovered that when in males contributes to a higher intellect. So what does this mean? What is the consequences of this discovery. People want to talk equality equality equality. But if there is a genetic advancement that leads to greater intellect. Is there evolving a "smarter branch of the race"? Now, I believe there should be equality in rights, opportunity, respect, and status. And I do not believe that a 200 I.Q.'d genius is any more of a citizen than a 85 I.Q.'d man personally. Though I do believe each individual may excel at different things.

Originally posted by "legalbeagle":


This is how it works in the UK already - I believe that it is pretty much the same in the US.


In the U.S. there is a whole game of plea bargaining played before the trial. So no, not really. For example: I got a traffic ticket and I wanted to fight it. But before I could get to my trial I had several court dates set in which the District Attorney (prosecutor) endeavored to get me to ascribe to a guilty plea in exchange for a reduced fine. To me, such maneuverings are a gross injustice. And should be abolished. Hence, my statements to the fact the the U.S. justice system is in dire need of reform.

Originally posted by "legalbeagle":


Me too, in accordance with a maxim that is reflected in both our legal systems: it is better for a hundred guilty men to go free than for one innocent to be convicted.


If there only were no guilty men. :(

So we must choose to release the one innoncent but perhaps lend to a 100 more deaths of innoncents at the hands of released guilty parties. In truth, the problem with this situation is it's a no win scenario. Damned if we do, damned if we don't. It sucks...just the truth of the matter.

Originally posted by "legalbeagle":


So if the system were reformed so as to guarantee more reliable convictions, you would abolish the death penalty. While the system produces wrongful convictions, the US should carry on executing the convicted?


1) I want the system reformed to carry out reliable convictions.

Is independent of:

2) a) I want the system reformed not to release potentially dangerous individuals back into society. b) Would then accept the abolishment of the death penalty.

Implement item 2a, I'll agree to 2b. And implement item 1 independently.

12/15/2005 01:28:23 PM · #168
Originally posted by theSaj:

Why? Why should there be a difference between 6 months since conception, birth, or 6 months after conception. I am looking for a rational reason that I can accept in order to understand your philosophy. And this is what I cannot seem to find.


You said yourself that you might accept conception to brain activity as being a period when abortion might be acceptable: I don't know when that happens, but it suggests that you accept that at the point of conception it is possible that the multiplying cells do not have a fully fledged right to life. If you accept that, then there must be a point at which the rights become more tangible, and eventually the right to life is eatablished and that overrides any rights that the mother has. The only question then is when that time occurs, not if.

The alternative is to say that at conception the foetus has fully fledged rights to life. Something that people believe and may be reasonable, but not something I believe.

Originally posted by theSaj:

Hence, in the United States you can be on the labor table. The doctor can dangerously rotate the baby and breach birth the baby up to the neck. Then using large pliers basically crush the baby's skull, aborting/killing/murdering the baby's life and it is legal by Federal law. However, were the baby's head to slip out 2 seconds later and you took a mallet and smash the baby's head - that would constitute murder.
Late term abortions are guaranteed to be highly controversial. Allowed in the UK in only the most exceptional of circumstances.
Originally posted by theSaj:

Really, they thought it was quite based on science and evolution. And frankly, to a degree, there philosophy of advancement is correct.


Eugenics is widely discredited as a science.
Originally posted by theSaj:

In the U.S. there is a whole game of plea bargaining played before the trial. So no, not really.
sorry - saw ref only to determination of guilt then sentencing: you are right, plea bargaining is a practical measure designed to reduce cost and time, not improve the application of justice.
Originally posted by theSaj:

So we must choose to release the one innoncent but perhaps lend to a 100 more deaths of innoncents at the hands of released guilty parties. In truth, the problem with this situation is it's a no win scenario. Damned if we do, damned if we don't. It sucks...just the truth of the matter.
Yup - but if you are the innocent man, then you would be pretty glad that we err in your favour. Better than convicting willy-nilly.

Originally posted by theSaj:

1) I want the system reformed to carry out reliable convictions.

Is independent of:

2) a) I want the system reformed not to release potentially dangerous individuals back into society. b) Would then accept the abolishment of the death penalty.
will sadly not happen. Too costly as it is and there is constant pressure on getting a result at a lower price, combined with governments determined to be seen to be tough on crime (at the expense of justice). Given the likelihood of more innocent people being convicted as we increasingly streamlined justice on a shoestring (plenty of examples in this thread already), do your concerns permit the contra-view that the death penalty becomes increasingly more dangerous to apply safely? Is that alone not one reason to get rid of it?
12/15/2005 02:04:45 PM · #169
Originally posted by legalbeagle:

Originally posted by Flash:

There are many fortunate souls today that are free due to this science.
Hopefully you mean fortunate "innocent" souls - the evidence demonstrated quite conclusively their innocence.


You have correctly interpreted my comment. It was a sincere acknowledgement of grateful innocents that were exhonerated. A just cause if there ever was one.

America's judicial system allows for many more guilty parties to go free than for innocents to be incarcerated....however, injustices do occurr. And it is good when they get identified/corrected.
12/15/2005 02:15:27 PM · #170
Originally posted by theSaj:

Originally posted by "Flash":


Wasn't Barry Scheck one of OJ Simpson's lawyers who successfully thwarted the prosecutions case againt OJ for the Murder of his wife Nicole, arguing aginst the reliability of DNA evidence.


One of the things I heard regarding the O.J. Simpson case was that a officer was questioned whether he had ever planted evidence in a case before, than whether he had planted evidence in this case. And I believe took the fifth and refused to answer. Thus really throwing the prosectur a doozy.

So sadly, bad/corrupt police practices probably helped lead to letting a guilty man go free.


There were many events that were problematic for the prosecution. Past language used by officers that was portrayed as racist. A dried leather glove (as in shrunken) that didn't fit a defendents hand while his fingers were spread far and wide. A media frenzy. And a jury that accepted the liberal's view of the world that those bad/mean/unethical police people made this all up because OJ was black. Yet the DNA was a match. The blood at OJ's house was a match. And what about that mysterious suitcase that the attorney got rid of that has never been found. The position of OJ's vehicle in the street, and with blood in it. The cut on OJ's hand. The travel plans and plane tickets. etc. etc. etc.
12/15/2005 03:50:41 PM · #171
Originally posted by "legalbeagle":

I don't know when that happens, but it suggests that you accept that at the point of conception it is possible that the multiplying cells do not have a fully fledged right to life.


I concede a door of possibility but await burden of proof. In that, I do not consider semen to have a right to life. But I await a burden of proof to be met before I'll accept an alternative.

Originally posted by "legalbeagle":


If you accept that, then there must be a point at which the rights become more tangible


Perhaps, but unless that point is known and defined, then I will err on the side of caution regarding this issue.

Originally posted by "legalbeagle":


and eventually the right to life is eatablished and that overrides any rights that the mother has.


I believe, the case to be, that in a very large percentage of abortions (if not perhaps all) that right has been met already and needs protection.

Originally posted by "legalbeagle":


Late term abortions are guaranteed to be highly controversial. Allowed in the UK in only the most exceptional of circumstances.


In the U.S., they're allowed although there has been great pressure to ban them. Especially as there are no known physical medical reasons for the procedure. In fact, it is considered a much more high risk procedure than giving birth because you must breach birth the baby.

But thousands are performed in the U.S. for "medical reasons". But not for the physical health of the mother. The reason given, mental health. To me...that's pretty grotesue.

Originally posted by "legalbeagle":

Eugenics is widely discredited as a science.


I always wondered how science can express that species are evolving and then at the same time express "nope, there are no differences". Anyone who sits and takes a second to really weigh those two statements realizes, one of them is wrong. In truth, I believe it's more of a "PC" issue than anything else. However, that is not to say that an ethnic group is more advanced. But that, if you are going accept the concept of evolution, you must realize that all members of the species are evolving and that each is doing so differently. And will acquire feats or facets necessary to their survival. Or, we've reached a pinnacle and have ceased evolving.

You cannot say "we are evolving" and "we are not evolving" and claim both to be true.

Originally posted by "legalbeagle":


plea bargaining is a practical measure designed to reduce cost and time, not improve the application of justice.


Agreed, and I feel it greatly imposes on justice and should be moved to the sentencing end of things. So a jury/judge decides guilt, and states any mitigating factors. Based on those factors the defense/prosecution should negotiate any deals or have the judge pronounce sentence. IMHO.

Originally posted by "legalbeagle":


will sadly not happen....do your concerns permit the contra-view that the death penalty becomes increasingly more dangerous to apply safely?


Yes...I am not a very big supporter of the death penalty or it's application in current form. Likewise, I also need some more guarantees from government.

Now, I've stated such....and you've just stated that such is not going to happen. Which is sad for me. Because if such is the case, and I do not feel that justice and more importantly the assurance of safety can be made by the government. Then should I find myself placed in such a situation I will choose to take matters into my own hands.

For example: If I walk in and find a neighbor molesting and raping my 7 yr old. Were he to be freed after a 6 yr term. It will be very difficult for me not to eliminating the threat to me and society said individual poses.

Hence, I am hoping we can see dramatic overhaul and reform so that innoncents are less at risk (both outside of prison and of being in prison).
12/15/2005 04:09:37 PM · #172
If I'm not mistaken, one of the 164 got off on DNA and his DNA later convicted him of a prior murder in another state.
12/15/2005 04:27:33 PM · #173
Originally posted by theSaj:

Originally posted by "legalbeagle":

I don't know when that happens, but it suggests that you accept that at the point of conception it is possible that the multiplying cells do not have a fully fledged right to life.


I concede a door of possibility but await burden of proof. In that, I do not consider semen to have a right to life. But I await a burden of proof to be met before I'll accept an alternative.



FWIW, you're not using "burden of proof" correctly; this is a legal concept, that one side or the other in a dispute has the burden of proof, legally speaking. As in, you do not have to prove your innocence in a criminal trial, the state has the burden of proving you guilty.

Robt.

Message edited by author 2005-12-15 16:27:52.
12/15/2005 04:53:02 PM · #174
Sorry - to clarify what I meant was, "but await the burden of proof to be met" (it was a re-dress of an earlier statement). It's in a sense a reference to earlier response by myself. (I swear, somewhere in me must be Jewish blood *chuckle* not a racial comment but as such method was a common/older style of "quoting" and is very commonly practiced within the judeo-christians scriptures - just to make myself clear)

Message edited by author 2005-12-15 19:30:42.
12/15/2005 06:22:18 PM · #175
Originally posted by theSaj:

I concede a door of possibility but await burden of proof. In that, I do not consider semen to have a right to life. But I await a burden of proof to be met before I'll accept an alternative.
I don't think that there will ever be proof: the matter is subjective (ie open to individual interpretation). We will have our different opinions, but at least you appear to accept that mine is not fundamentally BS.

Originally posted by theSaj:

Perhaps, but unless that point is known and defined, then I will err on the side of caution regarding this issue.
We will have to agree to err on different sides of caution: mine in respect of the mother, yours in respect of the foetus. I do not expect to change your opinion.

Originally posted by theSaj:

I believe, the case to be, that in a very large percentage of abortions (if not perhaps all) that [the foetal right to life] has been met already and needs protection.
I think that something akin to the morning after pill, taken while you are dealing with a few cells is one of the more common forms of abortion, when in many people's minds there would be a degree of confusion as to whether there is a valid competing right to life that is being abused in using such contraception/abortive processes.
Originally posted by theSaj:

...thousands [of late term abortions] are performed in the U.S. for "medical reasons". But not for the physical health of the mother. The reason given, mental health. To me...that's pretty grotesue.
this is not an area where I have any special knowledge beyond graduate courses on medical ethics, but if a doctor determines that the mother will suffer mental health issues if she must bear the child, that sounds as though it might be a reason to stretch the limits. Always a subjective decision, and always hard - not really something we can argue about without more specific circumstances (unless you are saying that late term abortions are rubber stamped by doctors under this reason: if so, you should say so).
Originally posted by theSaj:

I always wondered how science can express that species are evolving and then at the same time express "nope, there are no differences". Anyone who sits and takes a second to really weigh those two statements realizes, one of them is wrong. In truth, I believe it's more of a "PC" issue than anything else. However, that is not to say that an ethnic group is more advanced. But that, if you are going accept the concept of evolution, you must realize that all members of the species are evolving and that each is doing so differently. And will acquire feats or facets necessary to their survival. Or, we've reached a pinnacle and have ceased evolving.

You cannot say "we are evolving" and "we are not evolving" and claim both to be true.


I am not quite sure how to approach your suggestion here.

There is an obvious physiological difference between races. This may be caused by evolutionary means. The difficulty is that you then suggest that these differences manifest themselves in such a way as to make one race superior to another. Maybe there is some evidence of this in some cases: you may be able to point to olympic disciplines and a detailed statistical anlysis, discounting other societal factors, to asecertain a physical profile that tends to suit a particular discipline. What is more difficult is if you ascribe some mental distinction, or a distinction between race, or worse religion or nationality. Not sure exactly where you stand in this subject: the reason for political correctness is that massive injustices have been suffered in the past as a consequence of this type of reasoning, and we ought to take positive steps to try to reduce the impact of this style of thinking in modern society.

It is possible that humans have evolved to a state where they do not conform with the classic evolutionary requirements: we do not need to adapt to environmental changes, but can change our environment instead (and in any case, evolution is too slow to be recognisable in large, slow reproducing mammals).

Originally posted by theSaj:


I feel [plea bargaining] greatly imposes on justice and should be moved to the sentencing end of things.


the difficulty being that it simplifies trial issues because they do not need to be tried: once you have established guilt through trial, how can one's plea change the outcome? The better option for justice would be to eliminate plea bargaining. From a point of liberalism, banning plea bargaining is somewhat objectionable, as people should be free to plea bargain if they want to. Though in the interests of justice being better served, and subject to it not resulting in trials becoming so expensive so as to be oppressive, I would approve of banning it (to the extent possible).

Originally posted by theSaj:

For example: If I walk in and find a neighbor molesting and raping my 7 yr old. Were he to be freed after a 6 yr term. It will be very difficult for me not to eliminating the threat to me and society said individual poses.
more interestingly, if someone were to accuse you of being the criminal in such a situation when you were innocent but the circumstances conspired against you, would you accept that you should be killed so as to prevent you from raping again, or would you rather that you were locked up indefinitely with the hope that new physical testing mechanisms might one day exonerate you?

Message edited by author 2005-12-15 18:25:54.
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