[Deathpenalty] death penalty news----N.Y., USA
rhalperi at mail.smu.edu
Tue Oct 24 15:28:05 UTC 2006
Death penalty would help limit crime
In response to Suzanne Schnittman's Oct. 14 letter about more gun control,
does she realize that New York state is one of the most restrictive states
in the country when it comes to gun control? Hand gun laws are very
restrictive, and to get a permit it can take up to nine months to receive
How many gun laws were broken on the tragic day that State Trooper Andrew
Sperr was killed? Convicted murderer Anthony Horton allegedly said he
didn't care if he shot a police officer because there is no death penalty
in New York. The hundreds of gun laws on the books did nothing to stop him
from committing a murder.
New York needs the death penalty and needs to relax the gun laws in the
Michael J. DiPetta----Erin
(source: Letter to the Editor, Elmira Star-Gazette)
Death-appeal waivers mulled
The end came for Bobby Glen Wilcher after 3 federal courts in different
jurisdictions said they would take the death-row inmate at his word.
In a June federal court hearing, Wilcher said he wanted to drop all
appeals and be executed. A month later, as time was running out, Wilcher
had changed his mind and the U.S. Supreme Court gave him a brief reprieve.
By October, the Supreme Court said it would hear nothing more. After
appeals failed, 43-year-old Wilcher died by lethal injection this past
For some legal scholars, Wilcher's case presented the opportunity to
clarify when a death-row inmate can change his mind. They say the courts
have hinted that the issue is one to be considered.
Why not Wilcher?
"Death-row cases take so long that I think courts are reluctant to stop
the ones where the green light has been sort of been on and the inmate
says, at some point, he wants to go ahead with the execution" said Richard
Dieter, executive director of the anti-capital punishment Death Penalty
Information Center in Washington.
Matt Steffey, a law professor at the Mississippi College School of Law in
Jackson, said the U.S. Supreme Court is going to have to look at the
question of waiver in death penalty cases.
"I tend to think that they will be inclined to uphold the principle that a
defendant can waive his rights, including his rights to further review of
his case," he said. "To hold otherwise would suggest that a person can at
some point drop all further review of his case ... and then on the eve of
execution decide to reinstate them.
"That could have a potentially disruptive effect on the whole process. The
U.S. Supreme Court has, in general, over the last 10 or 15 years been
inclined to whittle down the avenues a defendant has to put off
execution," Steffey said.
Dieter said there are cases around the country related to what questions
courts should review when defendants voluntarily waive their rights to
"Given the amount of time people are on death row nowadays, this issue is
not going to go away. People do give up, lose hope, have mental breakdowns
... so we can expect more of these troublesome cases and I think we will
see some rulings for greater clarity about what to do," he said.
(source: Associated Press)
Death penalty 'deters' offender
The letter entitled "Death penalty not really justice" (Oct. 18) was wrong
on many levels, not the least of which in where the writer said: "It does
not - I repeat, does not - deter violent crime."
Nothing could be further from the truth. The person put to death via the
death penalty experiences the ultimate deterrent; he or she is dead! It's
a 100 % guarantee that person will never commit another violent crime.
Bible doesn't rule out death penalty
I want to answer the letter by Rev. Jeremy Tobin ("Death penalty not
really 'justice,' " Oct. 18).
I have read the King James version of the Bible, and it does not say
anywhere that a murderer like Bobby Wilcher cannot be put to death for the
crime he did.
My Bible also states "an eye for an eye" and that if you murder another
human, then you must be put to death. I feel that if Rev. Tobin had any
children of his own, he would not be writing that letter.
The commandment of the Lord was that we should not "murder," and when the
state puts a murderer to death, then it is not sin.
(source for both: Letter to the Editor, (Miss.) Clarion-Ledger)
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