Monday, June 16, 2008

Scott's personal reflection after 10 Miles

Having completed the first ten hot miles of this 300-mile journey, I'm already feeling the physical pain in my ankles and the ache and burn of too much sun on my head and face. It only takes a second to remember that the 'pain' we experience on this journey is nothing compared to the pain of the families of murder victims and of those on death row!
Strangely, I also am thinking of a line from the original Jaws movie when the main characters realize the size of their task and one says, "We're gonna need a bigger boat!" As I feel the sunburn, I'm thinking, "I'm gonna need a bigger hat!", not to mention something for this ankle pain... SB


nikki said...

I am a christian, but I also believe in the death penalty on certain cases..I understand that all people make mistakes & some people are innocent in prison, but most of them are guilty.. I believe those should die the day there court case is finished.. Why spend time & money on people like that?? If they were already saved & believed in the lord how could they kill there own children or people they don't even know.. Reading about your organization today I wasn't really sure how to feel after I read your blog.. Your complaint about how hot it was on your walk made me think about the 13 year old that was tied to a tree by his parents.. He was left there for dead.. He had no water to drink or no way to get out of the heat..I truly feel like they should receive the death penalty for what they have done.. What kind of a person does it take to do something like that??

l said...

I can't believe that you are doing this for that scum on death row. Remember the victims, not their killers. Those people should be taken out of this world in the same way that they took out their victims. I can't believe that you have any sympathy for them. Whose side are you on?

dudleysharp said...

The Death Penalty: More Protection for Innocents
Dudley Sharp, Justice Matters, contact info below

Often, the death penalty dialogue gravitates to the subject of innocents at risk of execution. Seldom is a more common problem reviewed. That is, how innocents are more at risk without the death penalty.
Living murderers, in prison, after release or escape or after our failures to incarcerate them, are much more likely to harm and murder, again, than are executed murderers.
This is a truism.
No knowledgeable and honest party questions that the death penalty has the most extensive due process protections in US criminal law.

Therefore, actual innocents are more likely to be sentenced to life imprisonment and more likely to die in prison serving under that sentence, that it is that an actual innocent will be executed.
That is. logically, conclusive.
16 recent studies, inclusive of their defenses,  find for death penalty deterrence.
A surprise? No.

Life is preferred over death. Death is feared more than life.
Some believe that all studies with contrary findings negate those 16 studies. They don’t. Studies which don’t find for deterrence don’t say no one is deterred, but that they couldn’t measure those deterred.
What prospect of a negative outcome doesn’t deter some? There isn’t one . . . although committed anti death penalty folk may say the death penalty is the only one.
However, the premier anti death penalty scholar accepts it as a given that the death penalty is a deterrent, but does not believe it to be a greater deterrent than a life sentence. Yet, the evidence is  compelling and un refuted  that death is feared more than life.

“This evidence greatly unsettles moral objections to the death penalty, because it suggests that a refusal to impose that penalty condemns numerous innocent people to death.” (1)
” . . . a serious commitment to the sanctity of human life may well compel, rather than forbid, (capital) punishment.” (1)

“Recent evidence suggests that capital punishment may have a significant deterrent effect, preventing as many as eighteen or more murders for each execution.” (1)
Some death penalty opponents argue against death penalty deterrence, stating that it’s a harsher penalty to be locked up without any possibility of getting out.
Reality paints a very different picture.
What percentage of capital murderers seek a plea bargain to a death sentence? Zero or close to it. They prefer long term imprisonment.
What percentage of convicted capital murderers argue for execution in the penalty phase of their capital trial? Zero or close to it. They prefer long term imprisonment.
What percentage of death row inmates waive their appeals and speed up the execution process? Nearly zero. They prefer long term imprisonment.
This is not, even remotely, in dispute.
Life is preferred over death. Death is feared more than life.
Furthermore, history tells us that “lifers” have many ways to get out: Pardon, commutation, escape, clerical error, change in the law, etc.

In choosing to end the death penalty, or in choosing not implement it, some have chosen to spare murderers at the cost of sacrificing more innocent lives.
Furthermore, possibly we have sentenced 20-25 actually innocent people to death since 1973, or 0.3% of those so sentenced. Those have all been released upon post conviction review. The anti death penalty claims, that the numbers are significantly higher, are a fraud, easily discoverable by fact checking.

6 inmates have been released from death row because of DNA evidence.  An additional 9 were released from prison, because of DNA exclusion, who had previously been sentenced to death.

The innocents deception of death penalty opponents has been getting exposure for many years. Even the behemoth of anti death penalty newspapers — The New York Times — has recognized that deception.

“To be sure, 30 or 40 categorically innocent people have been released from death row . . . “. ‘ (2) This when death penalty opponents were claiming the release of 119 “innocents” from death row. Death penalty opponents never required actual innocence in order for cases to be added to their “exonerated” or “innocents” list. They simply invented their own definitions for exonerated and innocent and deceptively shoe horned large numbers of inmates into those definitions - something easily discovered with fact checking.

There is no proof of an innocent executed in the US, at least since 1900.

If we accept that the best predictor of future performance is past performance, we can reasonable conclude that the DNA cases will be excluded prior to trial, and that for the next 8000 death sentences, that we will experience a 99.8% accuracy rate in actual guilt convictions. This improved accuracy rate does not include the many additional safeguards that have been added to the system, over and above DNA testing.

Of all the government programs in the world, that put innocents at risk, is there one with a safer record and with greater protections than the US death penalty?
Full report -  All Innocence Issues: The Death Penalty, upon request.

Full report - The Death Penalty as a Deterrent, upon request
(1) From the Executive Summary of
Is Capital Punishment Morally Required? The Relevance of Life-Life Tradeoffs, March 2005
Prof. Cass R. Sunstein,   Cass_Sunstein(AT)
 Prof. Adrian Vermeule ,   avermeule(AT)
Full report 
(2) “The Death of Innocents’: A Reasonable Doubt”,
New York Times Book Review, p 29, 1/23/05, Adam Liptak,
national legal correspondent for The NY Times

Dudley Sharp, Justice Matters
e-mail,  713-622-5491,
Houston, Texas
Mr. Sharp has appeared on ABC, BBC, CBS, CNN, C-SPAN, FOX, NBC, NPR, PBS , VOA and many other TV and radio networks, on such programs as Nightline, The News Hour with Jim Lehrer, The O’Reilly Factor, etc., has been quoted in newspapers throughout the world and is a published author.
A former opponent of capital punishment, he has written and granted interviews about, testified on and debated the subject of the death penalty, extensively and internationally.
Pro death penalty sites 


www(dot) (Sweden)

Permission for distribution of this document, in whole or in part,  is approved with proper attribution.

jane Hunt said...

Where do we find the schedule...thanks, Jane

Making Strides toward Abolition and Reconciliation said...

In response to Nikki, I can't see support for the death penalty as defensible from a Christian perspective. I encourage you to look at what Jesus said, for example in Matthew 5-7, and write back. I know you can find support for the death penalty in certain parts of the Bible, but you can also find strong support for slavery and polygamy. However, if you look at the Bible from Jesus' perspective, who we believe to be God in the flesh, I don't see any support for it at all.

Further, we have the death penalty in North Carolina. I wonder why it did not deter those parents from tying their son to that tree...

However, that's an awful tragedy that is too fresh too real and too personal for me to comment on in the near future.

As for Dudley's comments, there are too many inaccuracies and distortions for me to address while on this Pilgrimage. Remind me to get back to them after July 1st.