[Deathpenalty] death penalty news----USA, CALIF., ARIZ., S. DAK., GA.
rhalperi at mail.smu.edu
Tue Apr 17 02:41:20 UTC 2007
Abolish the death penalty-the right way
The death penalty and capital punishment in the United States has
certainly accrued much praise as well as some harsh judgment recently.
The proponents of capital punishment argue that there is no better
deterrent for committing murder than the possibility of facing a death
sentence. The left uses rhetoric such as it is "racist" and "unjust" in
order to further their own agenda.
The fact is that due to its unlimited amount of appeals, the death penalty
becomes very expensive. Even more expensive than keeping the criminal in
prison for life. The people's right to appeal stems from the sixth
amendment to the Constitution, which are used mainly to ensure that the
people who are sentenced to death are not convicted unjustly, but only
beyond a reasonable doubt.
With every appeal, we see increasingly greater profits from the big law
My solution: abolish the death penalty, and replace it with national
concealed carry laws so people can protect themselves.
Laws are not impenetrable, and the police take time to respond to calls.
With any government-run system (the court system for example), there will
always be loopholes in the laws where criminals will walk free and the
innocent will be convicted.
Our basic individual freedoms of life, liberty and the pursuit of
happiness need to be upheld, and people should be able to stand up and
protect themselves from any infringement of them. Concealed carry laws
would achieve the goals of both sides: the cost for appeals would be
driven down to nearly nothing, because the crime deterrent would be
preventative rather than reactionary. The costs of law enforcement will go
down, because people will be able to defend themselves, and people will
always be sure that justice is done, because they will see to it
Forty-eight out of 50 states currently offer some kind of conceal carry.
This is up from 35 states 20 years ago. The people of America are
realizing that the only way to truly be safe from violent crime is to stop
it yourself. Not everyone is eligible for a conceal carry permit, of
course. Anyone who is restricted from buying guns, such as non-U.S.
citizens and convicted felons are immediately excluded. Also, in order to
receive a carry permit, you have to go through rigorous training in the
use and proper application of a firearm.
As a matter of fact, states where there is a "shall issue" rather than
"may issue" conceal carry laws statistically see drastically lower crime
rates. In pretty much every state that recently issued a concealed carry
permit, the rate of murder and violent crime went down. Conversely, after
the City of Chicago issued a handgun registration and gun ban in 1989, the
murder rate increased dramatically. The fact is criminals don't want to
assault someone who will shoot back, and gun control strips power from the
individual and puts it in the hands of gang members and organized crime.
Let's stop relying on bureaucratic organizations to protect us and let's
step up and do the job ourselves. An effective police force is required to
convict criminals, but there has to be a front line of personal defense so
we don't have to rely on capital punishment to do the job for us, because
if it fails, it's your life on the line.
(source: Chris Kelle, College Republicans; Chicago Flame, University of
Illinois at Chicago)
OAKLAND: PROSECUTOR ASKS FOR DEATH PENALTY IN MURDER, RAPE OF GIRL
A prosecutor told jurors today that an Oakland man deserves the death
penalty for raping and strangling an 11-year-old girl more than 7 years
In his opening statement in the penalty phase of the trial of Alex
DeMolle, who's now 32, Alameda County Deputy District Attorney John
Brouhard said the death of 11-year-old Jaquita Mack in the early evening
hours of July 24, 1999, wreaked "enormous devastation" on her family
members, friends, classmates and teachers.
Brouhard said DeMolle hasn't been convicted of any other crimes, but he
said DeMolle was involved in 2 prior incidents in which he used or
threatened violence, which are factors jurors can consider when they
decide if he deserves the death penalty.
The prosecutor said that when DeMolle was 15, he was one of a group of
teenagers who brutally kicked a 13-year-old boy while he was on the ground
after the 13-year-old was involved in a dispute with a girl.
Brouhard said when DeMolle was 23, he threatened to shoot a construction
worker after the man told DeMolle to move his car from a parking lot at a
Kaiser facility in Hayward where fresh asphalt had just been poured.
But Daniel Horowitz, 1 of 2 lawyers representing DeMolle, said that
although the rape and murder of Jaquita was a horrible incident, there are
no other aggravating factors that would justify a death penalty
Horowitz said DeMolle's friends and family members say that the crime was
"inexplicable to them" because it doesn't fit in with the person they know
him to be.
Horowitz said DeMolle "is good with children" and was the person his
daughter relied upon.
He said that at the end of the penalty phase, he will ask jurors to
recommend life in prison without parole for DeMolle instead of the death
At the end of the guilt phase of DeMolle's trial on March 20, jurors
convicted him of first-degree murder plus the special circumstances of
murder during rape and murder while committing lewd and lascivious acts
with a child.
Jaquita was mainly raised by her aunt in Newark but she was spending part
of the summer of 1999 with her parents in East Oakland.
Brouhard told jurors in the guilt phase of the trial that she went
bicycling late in the afternoon of July 24, 1999, and DeMolle, who lived
nearby, spotted her and lured her into his apartment in East Oakland by
promising she could play video games.
Brouhard said DeMolle, who has a wife and a young daughter, touched
Jaquita all over her body and "the purpose of touching this girl was to
get his sexual jollies with her."
The prosecutor said DeMolle killed Jaquita after raping her because he
didn't want to get caught, telling police, "I didn't want to be behind
bars the rest of my life."
(source: Bay CIty News Wire)
Darkness at Noon
MoreQuietly, very quietly, the state of California continues to tinker
with the machinery of death. Construction of a new execution chamber has
begun at San Quentin State Prison, the San Francisco Chronicle reported
Friday. The governor, whose administration is responsible for the project,
faces criticism that the project was purposefully hidden from lawmakers
and the public. State law requires legislative approval of construction
projects costing over $400,000. Prison officials decided that it would
take $399,000, a number that has drawn criticism from many lawmakers, as
it seems to have been arrived at only to avoid bringing in the
Legislature. The new facility is about twice the size of the current one,
the Los Angeles Times reported Saturday.
The state's use of capital punishment is currently under judicial reviewin
December, a federal district court found that the haphazard process of
execution could be unconstitutional. The process of reform is still
underway, with the governor expected to revamp the system by May 15. The
judge will review those plans to see if they pass Constitutional muster.
So it goes.
Capital punishment is one of those perennial issues. You'll never see it
at the top of a list of voters concerns, but every year brings fresh
debate and new legal questions. Currently, 38 of the 50 states, the
federal government and the military allow for executions. Since the
Supreme Court reinstated it in 1976, over one thousand people have been
convicted and executed.
The United States stands a little out of step when compared to the rest of
the world. According to Amnesty International, 89 countries around the
world have abolished the death penalty for all crimes, whereas 69 retain
its use. The latter list includes nations such as Cuba, North Korea, Iran,
Saudi Arabia and Rwanda. Almost all of Europe has abolished the death
penalty, as have Australia, Canada and Mexico.
It's a contentious issue, that much I know for sure. I'm not sure there's
one right answer and one wrong answer. Or, if there is, I haven't found it
yet. Supporters argue that it works as a deterrent, and that it is an
appropriate penalty for particularly heinous crimes, the worst of the
worst. Opponents generally argue either that it is wrong to take a life
regardless of circumstance or that the death penalty is currently applied
in such an arbitrary or random manner as to call into question its moral
basis or deterrence value.
There are grounds for fertile debate on the subject. What has always
struck me as odd is how in a culture dedicated to openly airing out all
manner of violence and sexuality (Did anybody else see "Grindhouse"? That
movie rocked.), that discussions of the death penalty are so
uncomfortable, so difficult to engage in.
When Stanley Tookie Williams, the convicted murderer and leader of the
Crips street gang, was executed in 2005, some of the local stations
carried the event live, from just outside the prison gates. It was the
middle of the night. I had class early the next day, but I stayed up after
the rest of my apartment had gone to bed. The TV people all looked cold,
uncomfortable. Over the fence you could see a concrete bunker and a patch
of asphalt on the ground. The reporters stood outside and tried to guess
amongst themselves when the execution would happen.
Eventually, it did. There were witnesses in the room, other reporters,
mostly, and when they came out, they told everyone what they had seen.
There was this fascinating physical separation between the reporting and
the act itself.
There is a tension, maybe somewhat of a contradiction, between this
occlusion of the execution, which was carried out, after all, by my state
and in my name; when at the very same time, any one of dozens of reality
television shows would happily let me sit in on any number of private
personal dramas. Why is it that we love to watch a manufactured reality
but shy away from the unscripted? Its not that I want to see snuff films,
I just wonder why the process is so hidden.
Which, in an elliptical way, brings back my main point. Which is
transparency. Openness. Sunshine. Executions don't seem to happen in this
country during the daytime. At the very least, we ought to talk about them
while the sun is up. That's the only way to see what you do in the night
clearly. So it goes.
(source: The Daily Californian)
Execution looms as penalty support falls
Arizona is preparing to execute its 1st murderer in 7 years, even as a new
survey finds that support for the death penalty is weakening.
The state Supreme Court will consider a request Tuesday by the state
Attorney General's Office to issue a warrant for the execution of Robert
Comer. He was convicted of a 1987 murder near Apache Lake and finally
persuaded a federal court earlier this year to ignore further appeals
filed on his behalf to spare his life.
But Eleanor Eisenberg, president of the Arizona Death Penalty Forum, said
Comer should not be executed, no matter how grisly his crime.
Comer fatally shot another camper and stole his belongings. Later than
night, Comer and his girlfriend kidnapped a couple, and Comer raped the
A survey conducted last month by the Behavior Research Center for
Eisenberg's group shows that 56 % of Arizonans still believe in execution,
though that is down from 64 % in 2000.
But Eisenberg said support for executions drops to 41 percent when people
are given the additional option of life without any possibility of parole.
The survey of 800 people has a margin of error of 3.5 percentage points.
(source: Arizona Daily Star)
Death Penalty Hearing For Deaf S.D. Trial To Begin
In Sioux Falls, jurors could start deliberating as early as late tomorrow
whether Daphne Wright of Sioux Falls, S.D. will become the 1st woman on
death row in South Dakota.
Wright was convicted last week of kidnapping, murdering and dismembering
42-year-old Darlene VanderGiesen.
Prosecutors say Wright was jealous of the friendship that VanderGiesen had
with Wright's former lover.
At a hearing today, the judge denied her lawyers' request to not allow the
death penalty sentence because of race, disability or sexual orientation.
Wright is black, homosexual and deaf.
Prosecutors and defense lawyers say they will likely be able to present
their cases tomorrow.
If Wright is sentenced to death, she would likely be the first deaf woman
on death row in the nation.
(source: Associated Press)
Senate Judiciary smacks down the express-lane death penalty bill; NRA
decides not to fight lawyers, too.
The Senate Judiciary Committee just delivered a unanimous vote against the
House bill that would allow the application of the death penalty with a
less than unanimous vote from the jury.
(source: Atlanta Journal-Constitution)
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