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June 04, 2002

An Expected Double Standard

On May 28th, amidst the protests of death penalty opponents, the state of Texas executed Napolean Beazley. Death Penalty opponents seem to vacillate all over the spectrum on why it is the supposedly oppose the death penalty, because they know that most people favor it, so they keep coming up with these peripheral issues to convince people it's wrong. In Beazley's case they kept calling him, a 25 year old man, a child. When Beazley committed his crime, he was just a few weeks shy of his 18th birthday. Not very convincing as "a child", is he.

Death penalty opponents tend to come from across the political spectrum, from died-in-the-wool Liberals, to Catholic priests. They tend to hang on to one defining principle, killing another human being is wrong. The fault in allowing that idea to dominate the way they have, is that it pretty much makes killing less of an evil, by diminishing it's consequences. But one of the more frequent things they usually toss out is that since there have been some people on death row found to be innocent, all executions should be stopped lest an innocent person be killed. While there are many problems with that logic, I wanted to address the two that seem to never, ever get addressed.

If the possibility of executing an innocent person is so terrible (and don't get me wrong, I agree that it is terrible) why aren't there more stringent law to punish those who allowed such a person to be convicted in the first place? All over the nation we keep hearing of people set free because of DNA evidence, but in every case I've studied, there were gigantic errors or intentional abuse made by overzealous prosecutors, crime lab chemists, law enforcement, judges and even defense attorneys hoping to have an "inadequate defense" card up their sleeve as one of their myriad last resorts. Not once have I heard of any of these actually being prosecuted, let alone punished. Wouldn't this be the first step in trying to curb the punishment of innocent people? Here in Oklahoma we had a man serve 15 years of a rape conviction because A. the chemist falsified the evidence, then refused to have it double checked even after the judge ordered it (the judge admonished her from the bench, but never had the evidence verified, and never punished the chemist for contempt of court, and subsequent judges ignored this on appeal) B. the victim identified the accused because the police assured her he was guilty. Now I don't know about you, but I consider 15 years in prison to be a lot more severe than a rape (especially considering most prison sentences carry the threat of multiple rapes, especially if the accused has been convicted of that). Now I have no problem with a real rapist being punished that way, in fact, as this case has exposed, most confessed rapists only serve a fraction of the sentence that the unconfessed do, (kinda making the Fifth Amendment meaningless) but an innocent man was victimized far worse than the rape victim, partly through the actions of the rape victim, who will never answer for her part in the crime committed against this man. Neither will the police officers, neither will the incompetent judges, and the chemist simply lost her job. The message here? Need a conviction? Grab the nearest bystander, pile up falsified evidence, and make yourself look a hero while he gets to be some 300 lb., hairy inmate's "woman". If he's eventually cleared, you just pretend like he's really guilty, and just pulling the wool over everyone's eyes, and go find another scapegoat.

And the comment from the Anti-Death penalty crowd about the lack of adequate punishment for abusive cops, witness and judges? [cricket noises]

Now the other problem with what the Death Penalty protestors claim is their reason they oppose it, is that, if indeed the possibility of killing an innocent person is justification for stopping the Death Penalty, why isn't it justification for outlawing abortion? There exists not one shred of scientific data that proves any unborn child, at any stage of development is not human, not one shred. But the vast majority of the Anti-Death Penalty crowd gleefully supports abortion for any reason, at any time during the pregnancy, even up to when the baby is half way out and is killed by stabbing a pair of scissors into their brain. Imagine if you will, someone goes to the police and ask them to execute you. There is no evidence that links you to any crime. All the police have is the request of one person that you be executed. You aren't allowed to defend yourself, primarily because there is no trial. You are taken directly to the executioner, and depending on the whim of the executioner either killed by being drowned in caustic liquid, sucked limb from limb by a powerful vacuum cleaner or stabbed at the base of the skull with a sharp implement, which is then moved around in your brain to make sure it's all in tiny pieces. Meanwhile some guy in front of several witnesses walks up to a 68 year old man, pumps two bullets into his head, walks through the pool of the victims blood, drives off with the victims car while the victim's widow is hiding beneath it. And people gather to protest the execution of this guy, while fighting for the right of your executioner to kill you without evidence or trial. Does this make sense to anyone? It doesn't to me.


Posted by Jack Lewis at June 4, 2002 07:56 AM