[Deathpenalty] death penalty news-----GA., KAN., ILL.
rhalperi at mail.smu.edu
Mon Oct 15 22:06:46 CDT 2007
The death penalty: What do you think?
Journalism students at West Forsyth High School are debating the death
penalty, including whether the punishment should exist in our court
system. NorthSide Opinions, working with English teacher John Bush, the
school's journalism adviser, today features a package of students' essays.
Certain crimes must be punished by death
Scott Peterson. Zodiac Killer. Timothy McVeigh. Mark Barton. Can you
honestly tell me that ANY of these people deserve to live? We need the
In the family room of the Bartons' home outside of Atlanta the police
found a note and in it he described how and why he killed his family. He
said that "I killed the children to exchange them for five minutes of pain
for a lifetime of pain. I forced myself to do it to keep them from
suffering so much later."
He goes on to speak about his wife saying, "I killed Leigh Ann because she
was one of the main reasons for my demise as I planned to kill the
others." He then went on to say "I don't plan to live very much longer,
just long enough to kill as many of the people that greedily sought my
destruction." He finishes up by saying, "You should kill me if you can."
How sick is this guy? Are you still going to try and tell me that he and
others like him don't deserve the death penalty?
Murder must be punished by death
The laws of our land and the laws of God demand that murderers be punished
and therefore the death penalty is just.
While I agree that sentencing a person to death should not be taken
lightly, I argue that it is not only appropriate in certain circumstances,
but required so that justice is served.
In a span of 10 years, Georgia has had 132 murders. Only 29 people sit on
death row. The Atlanta-Journal Constitution found recently that cases of
maiming, torture and even child murder often didn't result in the death
Whether the victim was brutally and embarrassingly tormented or whether
she/he was killed with a single shot, the killer should face capital
Closure for victims' families
After seeing on the news what serial killers are capable of, I believe
that the death penalty should be allowed. When a victim is tortured and
then killed, the person responsible should be put to death.
People like that don't deserve to live in prison, where they are sheltered
and fed each day. When a murderer is not allowed to live, the victims of
crime are given some kind of closure. They are assured that the person who
killed their loved one won't cause such pain to anyone else.
Death penalty punishes families of all involved
Fate manipulates who is sick and who is well, who is rich and who is poor,
who lives and who dies. Not the government. Deathpenalty.org features a
story of Cameron Willingham, a Texan who was convicted in 1992 and
executed in 2004. He is now believed to have been innocent. Willingham was
charged with arson and with murdering his three children in a house fire.
Although he pleaded innocence, he was put to death in 2004.
The government has cut this potentially innocent man's life short.
In addition, his mother has not only lost her 3 grandchildren, but her son
as well. Let's not obliterate families, even those who have members on
death row. Capital punishment is supposedly designed to provide justice to
a victim's family. But there are typically two families in each case.
Unfortunately, the criminal's family gets the cold shoulder and a victim's
family gets their shoes shined.
So is this justice? Or just barbaric?
Executions feed desire for revenge
There are certain aspects of capital punishment that we as a society need
to understand. For example, the death penalty is not a deterrent.
10 out of 12 states that do not use the death penalty have homicide rates
below the national average, according to Amnesty International USA.
We must remember that we are dealing with other people's lives, and we do
not have the authority to play the role of God.
Fairness and consistency must come first in our government. With capital
punishment, fairness and consistency come second to emotion and a desire
In a Georgia case where the death penalty was carried out, a first charge
of electricity failed to kill a man. He struggled to breathe for eight
minutes before a second charge killed him.
After the first 2-minute power surge, there was a six-minute pause to
allow his body to cool so that physicians could examine him.
That's disturbing. We all want revenge, but at what cost? Two wrongs don't
make a right.
(source: Atlanta Journal-Constitution)
Jury selection under way in death penalty case
Jury selection continues this week in the trial of a man accused of
killing a popular sheriff.
26-year-old Scott Cheever could face the death penalty if convicted of
capital murder in the January 2005 death of Greenwood County Sheriff Matt
On the morning of his death, Samuels had gone with 2 deputies to a rural
home where there was a working methamphetamine lab. They were there to
serve warrants on Cheever for absconding from parole and for suspected
theft of handguns from his stepfather. Samuels entered the house first and
was mortally wounded. More shots were fired as the deputies tried to help
Samuels. Along with the capital murder charge, Cheever also faces 4 counts
of attempted capital murder and 1 count each of manufacturing
methamphetamine and criminal possession of a firearm.
(source: Associated Press)
Death penalty removed in Neenah man's killing
Illinois prosecutors have filed notice in Cook County Court that they will
no longer seek the death penalty against Michael Johnson, the alleged
shooter of Neenahs Adam Schultz.
Brian Holmes, an Illinois assistant state's attorney, said the notice was
filed during a continued motions hearing Wednesday for Johnson, 32, of
Johnson is trying to have his videotaped confession, where he admitted
shooting Schultz, 21, in the head from behind at close range in a Chicago
alley in December 2001, thrown out of court.
The victim's mother, who played a role in keeping pressure on Chicago
police that helped lead to the August 2002 arrest of Johnson and Marc
Norfleet, is not overly concerned with the court delays.
Debbie Schultz of Neenah is more concerned that justice is eventually
served. "It's coming up on the 6-year mark," she said. "Again, it's
frustrating, but neither of them are going anywhere, and I can live with
Schultz said he regularly talks with Holmes, who successfully prosecuted
Norfleet for hiring Johnson to kill her son.
"I put a lot of confidence in him," she said. Removing the death penalty
"actually is fine with me and my family. He's still behind bars and I dont
think he's going to get less than Marc," who was sentenced last November
to 59 years in prison.
"It's frustrating but I don't want to rush anything," Schultz said. "I
want it to go just right."
A jury deliberated less than 2 hours before convicting Norfleet, 39, of
homicide for hiring an acquaintance to kill Schultz, who was found early
Dec. 15, 2001, slumped against a garage in an alley with his hands in his
Holmes said Johnson grew up in Chicago but moved to Milwaukee, where he
lived across the street from the Norfleet family and the 2 became
If Johnson is convicted of 1st-degree homicide, the minimum sentence,
because a gun was involved, will be 45 years in prison with a maximum of
life, Holmes said. "In all reality, he's going to die in prison, if
convicted, no matter what the sentence," he said. "Just like Norfleet is
going to die in prison."
The motions hearing on the videotape suppression issue began in June. It
has been continued several times and will resume Oct. 25. Holmes said he
expects the case to go to trial in early 2008.
Holmes called the 45-minute videotaped confession Johnson made to Chicago
detectives and a prosecutor from a Milwaukee jail cell on Sept. 3, 2002, a
key piece of evidence. In it, Johnson described in detail how Norfleet,
who thought Schultz had been a police informant against Norfleet in an
earlier drug case, had hired him to kill Schultz and how it took place.
The prosecutor believes that Johnson is more culpable than Norfleet in
"He could have said (to Norfleet), 'I don't want to do it,'" Holmes said.
"He could have gone to the police. He could have put an end to the whole
(source: Appleton (Wis.) Post-Crescent)
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