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The DEATH PENALTY: aka "Capital Punishment"

Updated on August 25, 2016
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Paula has freelanced for nearly 40 years. She has a passion for her forte of Behavioral Science & continuing education in this field.

The Legal Issue and the Moral Issue

"Perhaps the bleakest fact of all is that the death Penalty is imposed not only in a freakish and discriminatory manner, but also in some cases upon defendants who are actually innocent." William Brennan, Jr., late U.S. Supreme Court Justice

Without question, the issue of Capital Punishment remains a seriously controversial one. It is safe to accept that it will remain so, as long as there are such staunch opposing views amongst Americans throughout our great nation. Yet, in spite of this fact, for the past decade or more, both supporters and opponents of the death penalty are calling for a moratorium on executions. Both groups have been urging states to halt executions and examine the way that capital punishment is applied.

Not only is Capital Punishment a continually controversial issue, but far more importantly, the death penalty is fatally flawed. It is a disgrace to a nation that was founded on principles of justice, human rights and civil liberties. Further, it is even more appalling when death sentences are handed out to those who are INNOCENT. The American Criminal Justice System is failing miserably to fulfill it's highest duty, to protect innocent individuals from wrongful convictions and death sentences.

The Case for a Moratorium on Executions

As more and more attention has been focused on the unfairness and immorality of Capital Punishment in the United States, private citizens as well as public officials, continue to raise questions about this critical human rights issue.

A former death penalty supporter, Illinois Governor George Ryan, citing the release of 13 innocent prisoners from Illinois's death row, made the following statement: "I cannot support a system, which, in its administration, has proven so frought with error and has come so close to the ultimate nightmare, the state's execution of an innocent life."

Egregious Injustices..........

"It's difficult to describe what it is like to serve time on death row knowing you are innocent. All you know is that what seems like an awful nightmare is now reality, a reality beyond comprehension." --Ray Krone, released from prison April, 2002. (pictured (R) with 22 month old daughter)

Can there be anything more horrific than the execution of a human being for a crime he or she did not commit? For the hundreds of wrongfully convicted, death row inmates, who have been ultimately exonerated , we must recognize the unconscionable abuse of the human rights of these individuals.

What are the leading factors that cause innocent people to be convicted and sentenced to death? While there are numerous, the most common factor is mistaken eyewitness testimony. Current scientific research clearly shows that eyewitness testimony is far less reliable than once believed. This is especially significant when the testimony involves a witness and a defendant of different races. Other leading factors contributing to wrongful convictions include defective or fraudulent science, fabricated testimony or testimony from jailhouse informants, grossly incompetent lawyers, false confessions and surely not the least of all, police and prosecutorial misconduct. (to read an individual study of the most blatant and egregious case of the latter, search Marty Tankleff, New York State.

The real shame of Capital Punishment

The hundreds of death row inmates who have been exonerated over the years, despite the pain and suffereing of having large chunks of their lives wasted behind bars, have been, in a bizarre sense, the fortunate ones.

rubin cantu
rubin cantu

Over the past five years, some of the nation's leading newspapers have published groundbreaking exposes detailing the cases of at least four men who were executed despite the existence of evidence which clearly revealed their innocence.

Rubin Cantu, a 26-yr-old-Latino man from San Antonio, Texas, was executed in 1993 for a robbery-murder committed in 1985 when he was yet a boy of 17. Twelve years after his death, the Houston Chronicle published an investigative series which revealed that another defendant, who pled guilty to participating in the crime, signed an affidavit swearing that Ruben Cantu was not with him that night and had no part in the murder.

Carlos De Luna, a young Latino man from Corpus Christi, Texas, executed in 1989 for stabbing a convenience store clerk to death in 1983. Carlos was convicted on the basis of a quick-on-the-scene witness identification.

De Luna vehemently declared his innocence and claimed the real killer was Carlos Hernandez. In 2005, an investigative series by the Chicago Tribune revealed that Hernandez had a long history of attacks similar to the convenience store killing and reported to numerous friends and relatives that he committed the murder for which De Luna was executed.

Larry Griffin, St.Louis, Missouri 1995
Larry Griffin, St.Louis, Missouri 1995

Larry Griffin, a 40-year-old black man from St.Louis, was executed in Missouri in 1995 for the drive-by shooting of a drug dealer in 1980. The only evidence against him was a witness who claimed to have seen Griffin at the crime scene. The witness was a white career criminal with several felony charges pending. In 2005, the St. Louis Post Dispatch reported that the first police officer on the scene and the victim's sister both agreed that this supposed witness- who would have stood out in an all-black neighborhood-wasn't even there when the shooting occurred.

Cameron Todd Willingham, Corsicana, Texas
Cameron Todd Willingham, Corsicana, Texas

Cameron Todd Willingham, a 36-year-old white father of three from Corsicana, Texas, was executed in 2004 for murder by arson. Months after his execution, The Chicago Tribune reported that new scientific knowledge proved that testimony by arson "experts," at Willingham's trial was worthless, and that there was NO evidence that the fire was even caused by arson.

The Movement to End the Death Penalty

There are practical ways we can make a difference.

* Write to your legislators about the danger of innocent people being executed by State-sanctioned murder. Direct them to the need for a moratorium on the death penalty.

* Write letters to the editors of newspapers, and call radio and TV talk shows stating your opposition to the death penalty. Cite specific names of individuals, State & date of exonerations from Death row.

* Participate in anti-death penalty demonstrations and vigils

* Offer support to death row prisoners, their families and the families of murder victims.

* Become active with your state or local anti-death penalty organization.

Sean Penn's Superb Portrayal of, "Dead Man Walking"

Attorney Barry Scheck of The Innocence Project.

What is your opinion of the Death Penalty?

See results

Comments

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  • fpherj48 profile image
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    Paula 3 weeks ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

    Hello Nadine, Good to see you and know your thoughts on this very controversial topic. IMHO, we are wise to distrust and question any Judicial process. Where there are humans, there can be gross error. Thank you, Paula

  • Nadine May profile image

    Nadine May 3 weeks ago from Cape Town, Western Cape, South Africa

    Thought provoking post. We don't have the death penalty in South Africa, but we do have a kangaroo court! ( people in locations take the law into their own hands, very scary.) Personally, I'm totally against the death penalty due to the mistakes that are made my Police Judges and lawyers.

  • fpherj48 profile image
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    Paula 5 weeks ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

    SC.....Thank you for the visit to my site. I appreciate your interest. Paula

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    SClemmons 5 weeks ago from the Carolina Coast

    I enjoyed your article, well done.

  • fpherj48 profile image
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    Paula 8 weeks ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

    Hello Alun...Good to see you. Believe it or not, your position of being able to see both sides, as well as your explanations behind this stance, in recent years, has been statistically proven to be the most popular.

    If you took the time to read some of the comments, then you can see that I have a similar outlook to yours. However, I feel I should share a fact with you that my husband and I learned via our work, out of our state capital of Albany, in terms of the financial burden on the tax payers. Prisoners sentenced to the DP & housed on death row, often in excess of 20 years, costs taxpayers nearly 3 times the amount of money, as a sentence of Life w/o the possibility of parole, due to our complex & lengthy appeals process, all prisoners are entitled to, under all circumstances. (This information & all statistics regarding cost, is readily available via numerous sites.)

    Thanks so much for your thoughtful response. Paula

  • Greensleeves Hubs profile image

    Greensleeves Hubs 8 weeks ago from Essex, UK

    I can see both sides of the capital punishment debate, so I don't think all right or all wrong is on one side. Nonetheless I do come down firmly on one side. (You'll have to read through to discover which side!)

    I think that there are indeed several sound arguments in favour of the death penalty. Firstly, the deterrence argument. Punishment deters, so despite what Barry Scheck says, the ultimate penalty must deter at least some criminals such as robbers from committing the ultimate crime. Even if it saves the life of just one innocent victim, then some would argue that is sufficient reason for retaining capital punishment. Secondly, there is the cost - the enormous drain on the public purse of keeping a person alive in jail possibly for 40+ years. Why should the public have to pay for that? Thirdly, there is a natural sense of injustice if a killer continues to live after their innocent victim has died - a human need for retribution. Finally, whilst there is of course the risk of an irreversible miscarriage of justice on Death Row, many might argue that that is easily solved, by making the death penalty applicable only in cases where there cannot be any possibility of a mistake - such as where the killer is caught in the act.

    All these could be valid reasons for retaining the death penalty. However, despite all these arguments, I still come out as anti-capital punishment. For me, one point trumps them all, and that is that it just seems morally wrong in a civilised 21st century democracy, for the State to willfully kill a defenceless person. The trend throughout the world is to move away from that kind of behaviour, once commonplace in all societies. It's something that should belong in the past. It devalues us as human beings. Alun

  • fpherj48 profile image
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    Paula 3 months ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

    Louise...One day, I would hope, no country will have a death penalty except perhaps exclusively reserved for the most heinous, fully proven beyond all doubt-pre-meditated-cold blooded-serial-murder, torture, crimes against any human being.

    There truly are far too many innocents who have been executed, yes and in fact, ONE is too many.

    Until a justice system is total Perfection, we must push for life behind bars, maximum security, no chance for parole, in place of Capital Punishment. And the reality is, no system can EVER be Perfect!.....Thank you for your interest. Paula

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    Louise Powles 3 months ago from Norfolk, England

    Coming from the UK, we don't have the death penalty here, although we used to. The last one was in the 60's I believe. I'm not sure what to make of it. I guess I can understand it for murderers & suchlike. But I know there's been mistakes made where people have been executed by mistake - as has happened here in England in the past.

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    kezzy1996 6 months ago

    great article, very interesting

  • fpherj48 profile image
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    Paula 6 months ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

    Controversial it surely is. Thanks so much for stopping by, Audrey. I appreciate your support.

  • AudreyHowitt profile image

    Audrey Howitt 6 months ago from California

    Really a well thought out article on a hugely controversial topic

  • fpherj48 profile image
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    Paula 7 months ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

    For certain, Larry. No rational human being has sympathy for murderers. Not in any case. It's always an egregious act of pure evil.

  • DougClifton profile image

    Larry Douglas Clifton 7 months ago from Tampa Bay area

    My sympathies lie with the victims, not the murderers.

  • fpherj48 profile image
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    Paula 7 months ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

    Barry's mouth is free & clear on my site, Honey. We all have different ads on our sites, you know. He's free to speak on my site! LOL

    Thanks for stopping by and adding your opinion. You are 100% correct about prosecutorial misconduct and the many games that law enforcement play. This will not change until we the people speak loudly and often enough the the RIGHT people are listening & take some action. Peace, Paula

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    Honey Halley 7 months ago from Illinois

    Great article and important to enlighten people as to why the death penalty needs to be abolished. My greatest concern is the interference by police and prosecutors who ignore the truth to close their deal so to speak. I think this happens much more often than people realize. On another note, I'm very distracted by the ad placed right on the video of Barry Scheck speaking...in some parts it covers his mouth as he speaks...just thought you should know.

  • fpherj48 profile image
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    Paula 7 months ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

    Believe me, I too have those same mixed feelings. A realist can't help but look at this issue in both a broad sense as well as those cases that are explicitly "different." This mind-set (or would this be upset?) is a good part of the problem. I have resigned myself to the fact that this debate and controversy will go on forever. America likes to drag all things out forever.....helps the Politicians to LOOK like they're always busy & working hard.....yeah sure) In any event, I like to suggest to everyone that they simply avoid crime of any degree. If they simply can't do that, I warn them not to ever move to TEXAS!.....Thanks again..:)

  • DougClifton profile image

    Larry Douglas Clifton 7 months ago from Tampa Bay area

    You're welcome! I have mixed feelings on the issue but your passion is strong and words persuasive.

  • fpherj48 profile image
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    Paula 7 months ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

    Larry, My goodness, Thank you for such a compliment. I appreciate that you noted I am a bit passionate on this issue. I wasn't always. I worked alongside my late husband when he worked as the Western New York Coordinator for "New Yorkers Against the Death Penalty."

    It was an experience that changed me in more ways than one. I met some of the most interesting, powerful people, as well as having the opportunity to meet and speak with exonerees & their families. We spent a lot of time in Albany at the Assemblies, which is a fascinating process to witness.

    Anyway, this was several years ago, but made a lasting impression upon me. Thanks for your visit. Paula

  • DougClifton profile image

    Larry Douglas Clifton 7 months ago from Tampa Bay area

    You have the power to jolt the most cemented opinions, which is what really good writers do.

  • fpherj48 profile image
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    Paula 18 months ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

    Jackie.....Agreed, hands down on all points. What our Judicial System needs (and sorely lacks) is some serious in-depth analysis, Constitutional wisdom, alterations made with absolute EXCEPTIONS in Federal Death Penalty cases.....common sense & zero tolerance for the legal system misconduct & "games."

    As I mentioned elsewhere....Truly guilty parties are much more readily arrested, charged & convicted "beyond a reasonable doubt" due in large part to the phenomenal discoveries & use of state-of-the-art DNA investigation. It becomes mind-blowing that even the most ignorant of individuals believe for one second that there is a full-proof way to evade their guilt!

    I too feel there is egregious waste of time & money in all the appeals & years of waiting to execute when absolute 100% guilt has been found. Thanks, Jackie!

  • Jackie Lynnley profile image

    Jackie Lynnley 18 months ago from The Beautiful South

    I cannot see how so may of these people actually are on death row, such as Darlie Routier when there is certainly a reasonable doubt. As for the ones though that have DNA evidence or clear and absolute proof they should be taken in and zapped like right now! Why waste a dime on them? Send a signal to the world of crime and stop being out a fortune giving them more rights and attention than the victims who get treated worse than the criminals many times besides the offense already committed against them or their loved one.

  • fpherj48 profile image
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    Paula 18 months ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

    Gavin....(I admit, I do not know who or what "Zoidberg" is) However, regarding your comment to my DP Hub...Torture? Perhaps no physical torture, Gavin~~but if you're confined to Death Row, waiting to be executed, knowing you are 100 % innocent, that's what I might refer to as extremely torturous....Thanks for reading & commenting. Peace, Paula

  • Discordzrocks profile image

    Gavin Heinz 18 months ago from Austin TX

    Great hub, so many people are put to the death penalty. But they should be thankful for one thing. They weren't tortured to death. Signed, Zoidberg.

  • fpherj48 profile image
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    Paula 18 months ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

    Hello Paul Thank you for your thoughtful comment. When faced with the blood of innocents on their hands, those in favor will merely state that no system is perfect~~yet they opt for Capital Punishment without conscience. Unforgivable.

  • Paul Kuehn profile image

    Paul Richard Kuehn 18 months ago from Udorn City, Thailand

    Paula, Thank you very much for sharing an excellent hub. As a Christian, I am against the death penalty because it goes against the commandment of God that "thou shalt not kill." As you pointed out in this hub, innocent people receiving the death penalty is awful and shouldn't be allowed to happen. I am sharing this hub on Facebook and with Hubpages followers.

  • fpherj48 profile image
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    Paula 18 months ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

    Lana....Thank you. Fewer and fewer people are in favor of the death penalty in recent years. It has become public knowledge that the Justice system is far too flawed for humans to play God. I would imagine many convicted and sentenced to life w/o parole will claim they would rather die, but in the end, the finality of death is not for humans to decide.

    Thank you for your thoughtful comment.

  • kalinin1158 profile image

    Lana ZK 18 months ago from California

    Great article, Paula! I also strongly oppose death penalty and advocate for its complete abolishment. But it's not the only part of the issue. I think the whole judicial system is flawed. I've recently watched "Making a Murderer" on Netflix, and it was certainly eye-opening. Even without the capital punishment, people are wrongfully convicted of crimes they didn't commit and sentenced to life in prison, sometimes without parole. What's worse - death or life in prison? I don't know. But out of all kinds of punishments, capital punishment is unarguably the most barbaric one.

  • fpherj48 profile image
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    Paula 19 months ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

    Hi there Au fait! good to hear from you. Thanks so much for your interesting input on the DP. I respect your opinions & am always amazed at your wisdom & common sense.

    So true as well as unfortunate that parents will often resort to false & damaging tactics during divorce. How much worse can it get when innocent kids are hurt the most?

    "In fact there is no remedy in the law for hurt feelings." POWERFUL statement, my friend! Thanks. Paula.

  • Au fait profile image

    C E Clark 19 months ago from North Texas

    People not guilty of what they were charged, tried, and convicted of have indeed been put to death and there is little that can be more wrong than taking someone's life wrongfully. Our justice system isn't perfect and never will be so long as it's managed by humans. No human is perfect. Yes, many insist they are, I've heard them, but in fact they are in denial about who they really are.

    I oppose the death penalty and have ever since I actually gave it some thought. Some 30 or more years. Much better to my thinking that a thousand guilty people go free than one person be put to death who is not guilty.

    I know a lot of people believe sacrificing one or two guiltless people is acceptable to get the others off the street, but that's because the one or two are faceless and dehumanized in their minds. Believe me, if it was themselves or someone who really mattered to them that was being put to death they would have different thoughts.

    Most people have no idea how many women accuse their husbands of sexually assaulting their children in order to get their pound of flesh during the divorce, when in fact there was no abuse. They don't care what they must put even their little children through, to get even with the ex-husband to be.

    In fact there is no remedy in the law for hurt feelings. Falsely accusing someone of something only brings more ugliness into a world that is already saturated with it.

    Well written Paula. as your articles always are.

  • fpherj48 profile image
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    Paula 19 months ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

    Thanks Ralph.....Oh, I'm not into "debating" every topic on HP! But we sure have plenty of fellow writers who literally LIVE to do that. I'm a firm believer in everyone having a respected opinion, even when we don't agree.

    If you had had the time to read some of the comments back & forth, you would see that I actually AGREE with you. There definitely ARE cases that are cut & dry, utterly egregious in nature & proven beyond a shadow of a doubt....WITHOUT "DEALS" & GAME PLAYING, LEGAL MISCONDUCT ETC. Know what I mean?

    Actually Ralph, now anymore, it is becoming much easier to avoid finding the WRONG person guilty. Forensic Science is beyond amazing and being used more accurately.

    IMO, anyone found guilty of crimes against "CHILDREN" need to be walked from the court room to the chair...and I don't mean the lounge chair.

    Thanks for your input. You are correct in your assessment. Paula

  • RJ Schwartz profile image

    Ralph Schwartz 19 months ago from Idaho Falls, Idaho

    You make a very strong case for eliminating the Death Penalty, yet in our violent world today there are truly some monsters who deserve to forfeit their lives for their crimes. I don't want to create a debate on the topic as it usually becomes a no-win event, just wanted to let you know that I enjoyed reading it.

  • fpherj48 profile image
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    Paula 20 months ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

    Moon..I thank you for visiting. Just so you know, I welcome all comments & opinions w/o issue. Respect your decision to say no more. It's our differences that make the world go round.

    Have a wonderful day. Peace, Paula

  • moonlake profile image

    moonlake 20 months ago from America

    Great hub. That's all I will say and keep my opinion of the death penalty to myself!

  • fpherj48 profile image
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    Paula 21 months ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

    pinto...I appreciate your comment. Stop by any time.

  • pinto2011 profile image

    Subhas 21 months ago from New Delhi, India

    Nice, enriching and enlightening post. Learnt quite a few things from this thoroughly researched material.

  • fpherj48 profile image
    Author

    Paula 23 months ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

    Life w/o the possibility of parole served in a hard core maximum security prison, with very very few comforts and/or privileges can be FAR worse than just being to put to sleep like the rabid animals some of these dirt bags are.

    As you may have gleaned from my hub, I share your frame of mind on this as well.

    I'm 100% positive I only had 4 sons, Blake, but the more of your work I read, I'm thinking I may have bumped my head some years back and had YOU as my fifth son. You sound JUST like them! Hey, sorry for abandoning you! LOL....Peace, Paula (Thanks for stopping by)

  • Blake Butler profile image

    Blake Butler 23 months ago from New York

    Great article, and you raised a lot of important points.

    I'm opposed to the death penalty most of the time. However, I do make acceptions some of the time.

    Firstly, there has to be concrete evidence that proves, without a doubt, that the person is guilty.

    Secondly, it has to be heinous. A serial killer who tortured and butcherd several innocent people? Not human, in my mind. Does not deserve rights. Does not deserve life.

    Also, it seems most people are opposed to the death penalty for moral or ethical reasons. I don't see the death penalty as less humane than locking someone in a cage for 80 years. Personally, I'd pick lethal injection over being locked in a crate the rest of my life.

    Blake

  • fpherj48 profile image
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    Paula 2 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

    ROFLMAO!!!! You slay me blue dragon...How can any woman help but fall in love with you? You missed your calling......The World Stage is yours. I'm giggling like a blushing teen!

    What shall I do with you?.................DON'T answer that!

  • somethgblue profile image

    somethgblue 2 years ago from Shelbyville, Tennessee

    ". . . people have a tendency to vacillate on this controversial issue."

    I love it when you use those big important sounding multi-syllable words . . . ooh baby!

    You have an open invitation to comment (vacillate) on my hubs anytime! I will be your vacillator!

    I'm just your love vacillator and I don't work for nobody but you, ooh, ooh, ooooh-ooo!

  • fpherj48 profile image
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    Paula 2 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

    Peggy....and you, (bless your heart) are from Texas!! Our Country's leading killing state. I'm sure it's difficult to come to some decisions and this is why so many people have a tendency to vacillate on this controversial issue.

    My fervent wish is that the Legal community would be honest and remain within the bounds of the law....so that the possibility of locking up innocent individuals on death row, was down to nearly zero.....then I know I and millions of others could feel differently or at least revisit the State decisions.

    As I have said, there are situations and cases where I firmly believe a hardened, 100% guilty criminal should meet His Maker......but first, the SYSTEM needs to stop screwing up!...Thanks so much for the visit.

  • Peggy W profile image

    Peggy Woods 2 years ago from Houston, Texas

    That video by Barry Scheck at the end is very convincing and gives one some room for thought on this subject. Reading some of the comments was also informative. The thought of anyone who is innocent being put to death is horrific. A life sentence without parole especially if it is less expensive than keeping people on death row (3 times less expensive according to one of your comments) seems like the best way to move forward. Sharing this!

  • somethgblue profile image

    somethgblue 2 years ago from Shelbyville, Tennessee

    When I was much younger I actually felt the Death Penalty was a good idea but now having gained some wisdom, find the whole idea disgusting.

    How can you punish someone for killing someone by killing them?

    Hello, anybody home?

    Nobody has the right to extinguish any life and that includes insects, animals, fish, birds.

    I used to love to fish but now can't even do it because it is torturing the fish for fun. If I find a spider in my house I capture it and release it outdoors.

    People kill animals simply because they can and never think twice about it but if learn to cherish all life as sacred and practice it on a regular basis it can change your perspective.

    Until our legal system returns to the premise that you are innocent until proven guilty, we should halt all Death Penalties and try rehabilitation, half way houses for non-violent offenders and drug convicts

  • fpherj48 profile image
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    Paula 2 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

    Said like an aware, intelligent and concerned American!! There's only one option for us. WE NEED TO TAKE OUR COUNTRY BACK!

    Thanks for the visit and comment aviannovice!

  • aviannovice profile image

    Deb Hirt 2 years ago from Stillwater, OK

    Many terrible things happen in this country. Our government also wants us to have no knowledge of where our meat comes from, and the fact that GMO crops will not be labeled is another outrage. What else are they going to do besides pour poisons from fracking into our water supply. I shudder to think what else is next. Life has been at the bottom of the barrel for many, many years.

  • fpherj48 profile image
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    Paula 2 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

    Tony.......the DP is something that our civilized Nation should be ashamed of. With all of the injustices, facts that have been exposed in terms of expense and lack of deterrent, it is obvious America can and should create a system of punishment that speaks to our stagnant penal system.

    Thank you Tony for recognizing that putting people to death, speaks loudly of our complete void of positive alternatives to this problem.

  • tony55 profile image

    femi 2 years ago from Nigeria

    Capital punishment is inhuman and makes the state equally guilty of murder irrespective of the laws that govern such countries. Death sentence laws are made by man and have not proven to be a deterrent to hideous crimes.

  • fpherj48 profile image
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    Paula 2 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

    OH Darn! Hi Shyron...I meant to watch that program! I suppose it will air again or maybe I can find it online. I'll bet it was very interesting.

    There are so many murders...especially of children, quite sadly. I'm not able to place the one you mentioned in particular, but will look that up also.

    Thanks for visiting Shyron. This topic will forever be a controversial, hot button issue!......Peace, Paula

  • Shyron E Shenko profile image

    Shyron E Shenko 2 years ago from Texas

    Paula, I just watched a documentary about botched death penalties, and a couple of the men who carry out the executions’ and how that affected their lives, thinking that maybe some of the men were not guilty. I know I could not be an executioner, even if I knew the person was guilty, but would come close for the men who killed the 9 year old girl in Aurora, Illinois.

    This is a most interesting hub. Thumb-up, UABI and shared.

    Blessings and hugs

  • fpherj48 profile image
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    Paula 2 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

    Jackie.....Thank you for visiting and for your sensible comment! I am in 100% agreement of all you say!........The scales of Justice are most definitely "off-kilter!!" Peace, Paula

  • Jackie Lynnley profile image

    Jackie Lynnley 2 years ago from The Beautiful South

    This is horrible; really and I think it should be a sure thing before they execute someone but I am for it in those cases and for every child rapist it should be death but of course it is lucky to see them get ten years. Guess there will never be true justice in this world.

    Maybe the next.

    ^+

  • fpherj48 profile image
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    Paula 2 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

    Chris....Thank you so much for visiting and for your generous comment. The DP is one topic for certain that can keep discussions going forever. 12 different people will have 12 different ideas and/or opinions (to varying degrees) about it.

    In all fairness, I'm not a "bleeding heart" by any stretch. My intention is to awaken the general public to the realization that cases like the ones I present are rampant in our country and we simply cannot allow it to go on.

    If our Judicial System was not as twisted and corrupt and UNBALANCED as it is, this would not be such an egregious issue.

    It so happens that when we become really "involved" for some reason, the seriousness of it all hits us smack dab in the face and can leave us reeling. I'd safely guess that more than 80% of the average American has no clue whatsoever what REALLY goes on in and out of our courtrooms! It is SHAMEFUL......actually, CRIMINAL!

    Thank you again....Peace, Paula

  • Chriswillman90 profile image

    Krzysztof Willman 2 years ago from Parlin, New Jersey

    I used to be for the death penalty but now I'm strongly against it. I always believed that if someone committed the ultimate crime, murder, that they should get back what they deserve.

    As I got older and matured, I realized that killing someone who may have been innocent in the first place is not the way to handle the situation. We are throwing our legal system out the window and we're potentially killing innocent people.

    I'd rather have someone suffer in jail then get the easy way out through death. For example, the Boston Bomber should not be executed. I'd rather have him spend the rest of his life rotting in a prison cell because death would be too good for him.

    Not everyone will agree with that stance, but it's what I believe in so sue me if it's not the popular opinion. I loved the way you broke the death penalty in this piece and provided some great examples of people wronged in the process. I couldn't live with myself if I was responsible to delivering the death blow to an innocent victim on death row.

    I don't think there's any justice in that, and you better be 100% certain they've committed those heinous crimes or it'll be your rear end.

    Thank you for writing this hub because it was fantastic and I loved reading every paragraph. Voted up!!!

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    Paula 2 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

    Wrench &

    Siva

    I'm sorry for the delay is responding! I am just now seeing your comments for the first time. Just an oversight I guess.

    Biscuit...the DP will always be a hot-button & controversial issue in our Country. I will never understand why they cannot ( or will not) do a complete overhaul in this regard.

    It may take a good deal of time and blood seat and tears to make plausible changes, but it would surely be worthwhile.

    Siva....I understand what you are saying and you are correct. It is interesting to me how other Countries operate in terms of their Judicial System. It is so very different the World over.

    I appreciate your visit. Peace, Paula

    Thanks for your comments.

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    Paula 2 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

    Insane....All you say......wait, MOST of what you say makes sense and I feel very similar about this. For instance: Just using one of the most recent multiple murder cases of the young, mentally deranged & racist kid who point blank killed 9 people during a Bible study.

    He purposely left an individual alive, telling her it was so that she could "tell the story" of the murders.

    Absolutely....THE DEATH PENALTY. On the other hand, because he's loonier than a bed bug, there will be issues with that of course.

    I'd also add that "some particular kind of personalities," for instance, Jodi Arias, would be much better sentenced to suffer a LIFETIME of incarceration, only the barest of necessities, 23 hr. lock-up each day....etc. WHY? Because she is a young, self-absorbed, diva-like evil witch who prided herself on her sex-appeal and charm and LOVED to be the center of attention. Life w/o the possibility of parole for her would be far worse than being put to sleep.

    There are any number of ways to look at this issue. Unfortunately the Justice system uses their broad brush and cookie cutter laws & fail to see the advantages to choices.

    The lengthy wait for Death Row inmates as I'm sure you're aware, is due to APPEALS. Oh well. Stay outta jail. That's a good start.

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    Insane Mundane 2 years ago from Earth

    If the Death Penalty was primarily used for the ones that are obviously guilty of horrendous crimes like public shootings, bombings, mass murders, etc., I doubt if there would be as much debate.

    The other thing they need to fix is when they do decide to give somebody the death penalty, don't perform it 15 years later and whatnot. It is not fair to execute somebody years and years and/or decades later from their original date of conviction, as many of them most likely feel like a totally different person by then. The death penalty works best when the certitude of the convictions are shiny and the execution process is swift.

    Then again, we could just throw 'em into a giant cage with wild, vicious animals and equip the death row criminals with slingshots and buckets of tiny rocks. They could sell tickets for cheap entertainment or people could view it via the Internet with live streaming video; ha! Or, we could do as the Romans did at the Colosseum. Or... Never mind. Let's just go back to the standard death penalty for the extreme criminals that are without a doubt guilty!

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    Chandrashekhar Siva 2 years ago from Chennai

    Excellent Hub. I am an Indian and in India you can challenge the court orders in a higher court and also send a mercy petition to the president on some grounds( which have to be valid though for consideration). But the problem here is that it takes ages for the petition to be reviewed and the convict would have spent a long time waiting for the outcome. Sometimes decades. That is more painful than getting the death sentence. I don't know whether death penalty is right or wrong. But I know one thing for a fact that if found that the conviction was given wrongly then the judge who convicted should also be sent to jail for a period of time for wrong conviction. And also the lawyer who twisted the facts.

    P.S

    This is my view.

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    Ronnie wrenchBiscuit 2 years ago

    Great article! The people who believe in the death penalty simply don't have their head on straight. It will be a blessing when they all die of natural causes, or when they are hit by an automobile while crossing the street.

    A goal of a majority of death penalty advocates is retribution and punishment. They mistakenly believe that the death penalty is the worst punishment that can be inflicted by a civilized society. This is simply a myth. In fact, just the opposite is true. The most merciful thing you could do for someone who is truly guilty of murder, and who is facing life in prison, is to execute them! In fact, the famous story about the convicted murderer Gary Gilmore dealt directly with this issue. Gilmore was unique because he fought and petitioned the government, not to stay alive, but instead to be executed! Gilmore knew that death was preferable to spending the rest of his life in a cage.

    I believe in life after death. But whether anyone believes or not, we must all agree that once someone is executed, they are freed from the shackles, the chains, and the cage that confined them. They are free! It is absurd to think that you are punishing a guilty man, when all you are doing is setting him free! And so, when we consider the guilty, capital punishment is not an option, especially if our goal is punishment. When we consider the innocent, and the wrongfully accused, I need not explain why capital punishment is not an option.

    And so, we can see that there are no circumstance that warrant the death penalty. It is a barbaric practice that provides no benefit to society whatsoever. Just as the old men, the generals, the dogs of war, should be the ones sent to die on the battlefields, so too, the death penalty advocates should be strapped to a gurney and put out of their ignorant misery, as they both belong to a lesser breed of man.

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    Paula 2 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

    Shyron...Good to see you and thank you for your sincere comment.......I also believe that the DP is acceptable in certain cases. For instance, this recent horrific mass murder at the AME Church........as well as the Boston Bomber.

    Hate crimes (most especially when multiples murders are involved) and there is no shred of doubt as to the killer (videos, DNA, multiple witnesses, confession, etc) are incidents ripe for the DP.

    In States where the DP does not exist, Federal cases are DP eligible anyway....so unless there is a massive move to remove it State by State, it appears Capital Punishment will be here for quite some time.

    It is most important IMHO, to clean up the negligence, misconduct, deal-making and blatant deceit by those thugs in our Justice system.

    Thanks again, Shyron.....Peace, Paula

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    Shyron E Shenko 2 years ago from Texas

    Dear Paula, I believe that in some cases the death penalty should be i.e. Charles Manson and he is still alive and well and better off that any homeless person, he has food shelter and clothing, no worries.

    On the other hand I would not want the responsibility of sending someone to their death or being the one to give them the shot.

    This really is food for thought.

    Voted up, UAI and shared

    Blessings and Hugs dear friend.

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    Paula 2 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

    Hi Frank.....Re-visits are allowed and appreciated. After 3 years I STILL remember your original comment....You are 1000% FOR the DP.

    Still holding that conviction?

    I just thought I'd let you know...since I wrote this...17 MORE individuals have been exonerated and freed from DEATH ROW. They were declared INNOCENT through DNA evidence and/or discovery of the ACTUAL Killer.

    That's SEVENTEEN human beings who may be D-E-A-D by the hand of the U.S. Penal System......for absolutely no reason whatsoever. You want your signature on that death certificate? WOW......Not I...thank you. I'll convert you yet, Frank.

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    Frank Atanacio 2 years ago from Shelton

    after three years this hub still intrigues me.. just checked on it again bless you

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    Paula 2 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

    ps......Thank you for your comment and your passion on this injustice....I'll be watching for those Angels!..:)

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    Patricia Scott 2 years ago from sunny Florida

    Hi Back again to comment on this because it remains an issue that our nation needs to address. Each time I hear of someone who has been released from death row after having been there for too long (one day, never mind 'years' is too long) I cringe but am so thankful they were released.

    And then to hear of those who lost their lives and they were innocent...it is beyond comprehension.

    This is such a well done article on the topic...keep your voice loud and strong. Angels are on the way to you this evening ps

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    Paula 2 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

    sg.....Hello and thanks for stopping by. You and I are on the same page, sg......"If only"....The problem with how our lawmakers do things is, it's always ALL or nothing. I cannot accept that there is not a feasible, legal and effective means to make the precise exceptions you have mentioned.

    I wonder if it's considered just too much time and effort & thought process and they simply do things the quick, easy way.

    That's not acceptable since we're dealing with human life here. The focus and attention is placed elsewhere too often....like "where the BIG money" is involved. Thanks again sg. Have a nice week end! Paula

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    Sheila Brown 2 years ago from Southern Oklahoma

    I believe that there are crazy, evil people in this world who should be put to death, Charles Manson, who you have written about, is one of those individuals. Serial killers, serial rapists and child molesters are among these. I do know that there are many people on death row that do not belong there and the judicial system needs a lot of work. I think the death penalty is given way too often and should be for those who there is NO doubt they are guilty of heinous crimes. Too many times, people are convicted without proper evidence.

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    Paula 2 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

    Hi Cam...good to see you again. I know how controversial this topic is here in our Country, but it's those topics I feel need exposure the most. too often people adhere to opinions for decades without realizing that the Country has made concessions based upon new and advanced evidence and have moved forward on the basis of scientific progress.

    Thanks for linkingmy article. I appreciate it. Have a good week-end, Paula

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    Chris Mills 2 years ago from Maple City, Michigan

    Paula, Second time commenting.....Excellent article. The innocent ones are the collateral damage of the justice systems of too many of our states. I've linked your article to my latest flash fiction. They make a good set. Thanks for making such an effective appeal to readers to reconsider their position on this immoral institution.

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    Paula 2 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

    Lady E...I thank you for taking the time and interest to read my hub and for your thoughtful comment.. I appreciate your input. Have a wonderful day!.. Peace, Paula

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    Elena 2 years ago from London, UK

    Thanks for an interesting and informative Hub. I think it should be reviewed regularly. Also, as much as it is a bad thing to smuggle drugs, I think a death penalty is very harsh. This is common in Thailand and Countries in that area.

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    Paula 2 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

    PS...glad you stopped by to read this. I so appreciate your interesting and thoughtful comment. Exactly....the DP has been proven time and time again that it is NOT a deterrent.

    I see so many hubs of yours that I want to get back to and read! Have a peaceful day!....Paula

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    Paula 2 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

    tsad....Thanks for stopping by to read my hub and adding your thoughts.

    We all seem to have at least one vital social issue that burns a fire in our gut. Needless to say THIS is one of my top 5. That fire was lit because of the case of Marty Tankleff (New York) numerous years ago.

    Should you ever find the time (HOURS) to familiarize yourself with this monumental case, I would highly suggest you do so. After which, if you are not 100% outraged, totally discouraged and disgusted with the undeniable corruption within our Justice system....I would seriously question your sanity or at the very least your ability to reason as simple as what 2 +2 equals.

    My late husband always said he had no idea how I lived through that case without having a stroke, heart attack and eventually imploding into bits. It is a time in my life that will stay with me forever. In fact, I was literally transformed from a believer in our Justice System to an extreme skeptic and alerted advocate. Marty's case did not even involve the death penalty. It didn't have to. This young 100% INNOCENT man was robbed of years of his youth and dealt with undeserved torment. I did not know him and to this day have not met him, but I fully intend to meet him one day. He is months away from his law degree, which he will not surprisingly be dedicating to fight for the WRONGFULLY CONVICTED. Regardless of what the public may want to believe or accept, The US of A has a shameful % of innocent people locked up behind bars. (They LIKE those "numbers".....it's all about the numbers and the convictions under their gross misconduct belts.

    See...I shouldn't let myself get started on this topic, because I go a bit bonkers.....and I can easily discuss and debate this for days on end., except that I'm getting a bit old to push my blood pressure anymore.

    Having said all this.....I feel that in the interest of sheer honesty.....bring me an individual who ...for instance, raped, tortured & murdered a child.....in daylight with eyewitnesses, DNA evidence as proof and full confession.......I will pull the switch myself, with a smile on my face. Just so people understand me. I am truly about AUTHENTIC justice. BTW, for the Attorneys & Judicial system out there.....that's a.k.a. TRUTH....ever heard of it, you scum bags?

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    Patricia Scott 2 years ago from sunny Florida

    I came here and read this after your comment on the Karla Faye article. If one life is taken by 'mistake' then that is reason enough to end this barbaric act.

    It clearly is no deterrent to those who would commit these heinous acts. I know that I have not had a loved one taken in this way. so perhaps that colors my view.

    but I do believe in my heart of hearts that if someone who is put to death when they were not guilty that it would be a burden I would carry with me for ever.

    We must find better ways to keep our young men and women from winding up in situations that lead them to such horrendous acts.

    thank you for sharing this.

    Angels are on the way to you and to those who are wrongfully imprisoned today ps

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    TSAD 2 years ago from maybe (the guy or girl) next door

    I wonder, why can't the people who make the laws, like the death penalty and all the rules and regulations that go along with it, just use some common sense, like you do Paula in addressing this issue, but then I realize, they are all lawyers.

    The only use lawyers have for "common sense", by that I mean the obvious facts, is if they can use it to line their pockets, and lining their pockets never has to do with principles if it means those principles will make them less money from the government or its policies. To them the government is a senile elderly person who inherited trillions of dollars and is taunting them saying it's all yours if you can find a way to pick my pockets.

    Stop the death penalty because innocent people may be killed (common sense). The lawyers say, "No, we'll take care of that and charge you many times the cost of incarceration to see innocent people don't get killed (no guarantees though)."

    Stop the death penalty because it costs many times life incarceration. Lawyers say can't do that, these people deserve to die and it is a deterrent.

    Stop the death penalty because of FAIRNESS AND CONSISTENCY – In murder cases, there is substantial evidence to indicate that the courts have been arbitrary, contradictory, and unfair in the way in which some people have been sentenced to prison and others to death, which has led the American Bar Association, and 287 organizations, calling for a moratorium on the death penalty. The American Bar Association? Tell me why then is its lawyers, who create and institute the death penalty laws, not refusing to do so? Because the American Bar association is comprised of lawyers, who are experts at giving lip service while doing the opposite in practice.

    On and on it goes, you find there is a lawyer in every woodpile.

    One simple solution, pass a federal law that makes it illegal for any lawyer to make money in any way from anything involving a death penalty. End of death penalty. But then lawyer fees for government work will have to double or triple if the politicians want to continue to get their money for their elections. In modern times that has become the meaning of the phrase "Balance of Power" in what has become "the land of the freebies and the home of the knave"

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    Paula 2 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

    and thank you for reading, cam. I am glad you enjoyed this hub and are of like mind. America remains just this side of most of the barbaric Middle East Countries who hang, behead and stone people to death in public view...for WHATEVER crime they choose to trump up. We just do it more organized and technical.....it's all so "civil" here when he sanction murder.

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    Chris Mills 2 years ago from Maple City, Michigan

    Excellent hub. I switched on this one over a few years time and totally agree with Barry Scheck's thinking on this. Thanks for writing this insightful hub.

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    Paula 2 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

    I'm so glad you stopped by, CT...Thank you for the glowing comment. I appreciate our similar interests.

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    CrimeTraveller 2 years ago

    Paula, I find it extremely telling that an article originally written some time ago is still as relevant and as powerful. I am in the UK where we do not have the death penalty but I follow the argument and cases in US regularly. You raise such important points regarding the criminal justice system along with some devastating cases.

    Forensic evidence is not 100%, people including the police, lawyers and judges can not always be trusted, eyewitnesses can be wrong, confessions can be coerced and unfortunately many people will lie to suit themselves and for their own gain. It is a sad picture but it is reality.

    Punishment must be in place for those who break the law, but for me, putting an individual to death is not the answer and the risk to those who are innocent is far too great.

    Well written, well argued, well researched and a very important Hub with a strong message. Voted up and sharing!

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    Paula 2 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

    Peg... Thanks for visiting. I completely understand the National ambivalence with regard to the DP. When & IF a miracle occurs and our Judicial system can get their act together, as well as CLEAN IT UP of all misconduct & jail house deals, my stance could very well change. As it stands, I simply cannot think any other way and know that totally innocent people are being executed (the most egregious issue being that "they know" that they have railroaded these people.....and yet, sleep well.)

    Also, thought I would tell you, if it makes you feel any better.....housing Death row inmates costs the government 3X's more than the cost of a lifer. This is due to the grossly high costs in appeals. To confirm this fact, you need only google for the data....Peace, Paula

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    Peg Cole 2 years ago from Dallas, Texas

    This thought provoking and controversial subject is a tough one to consider. At times, when made aware of the brutality of some crimes it seems the punishment fits the bill, yet, I would not want to be the one to pull the switch. Supporting career criminals seems like an expensive proposition too. I'm not sure what side I'm on in this question. If it were about the loss of a family member, I might have a stronger stance.

    I have met someone who is now on death row. I do hope the jury was right in their conviction and sentencing for her sake.

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    Paula 2 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

    Maria......I wrote a comment to you that seems to have disappeared...POOF! Strange things happening around here. I thank you for your comment. Coming from someone who came face to face with a killer, I can't ask for a more sincere opinion.

    It requires very critical thinking, My girlfriend, but even more than this, the general population hasn't a clue of the Justice System BEHIND THE COURT ROOM. It is a mind-blowing experience/education.

    Thanks so much my love....Peace, Effer

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    Linda Bilyeu 2 years ago from Orlando, FL

    Heck, after 1-2 months of a life sentence I would prefer to be dead...but then again chances of me being on death row are slim to none. But then again...no, I'm sticking with slim to none.

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    Paula 2 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

    Hey GF...thanks for visiting! Eye for an eye has it's justification in time and place, no doubt. The proof shown by numerous studies and actual case histories are indisputable.

    The scales of Justice are too often unbalanced....often not even considered. Just this alone calls for a moratorium of the DP....if only one innocent life may be spared, due to the vast issues of our systems misconduct, mistakes, cover-ups, lies and manipulations.

    The Reality is that Life without the possibility of parole has been proven to be not only far more cost-effective than decades of appeals by death row inmates, but more of a deterrent. Trust that after 20 or 30 years of a life sentence, inmates PREFER to be dead!........Hugs, SFAM.

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    Linda Bilyeu 2 years ago from Orlando, FL

    Between the article and the discussions in the comments I think this hub would make a useful ebook. So many different opinions on a sensitive subject to all mankind. Well, except for those who couldn't care less. If those people even exist. I'm all for an eye for an eye. I'm not for waiting years for the execution to happen while death row inmates cost the taxpayers millions of dollars. Now I'm in the mood to watch the Green Mile. Oh how I love that movie!

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    Maria Jordan 2 years ago from Jeffersonville PA

    Dear Paula

    I am ever so late but can say, without a doubt, that this subject is evergreen- and the comment stream is meaningful and thought provoking as well.

    There were those in my life who seemed almost disappointed in me for not pushing for the DP in 1999.

    I also happen to believe that God is our ultimate Judge and opt for life in jail thinking about one's choices/ or proving their innocence.

    Excellent critical thinking. Voted UP and UI and sharing. Love Maria

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    peachy 2 years ago from Home Sweet Home

    that is why drugs is like a taboo to us asians, you can even read in news, singapore is very strict on drugs too

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    Paula 2 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

    That's interesting......also rather shocking. Taking a life is not as egregious to Asians as possessing, selling or using drugs? While I am certainly in favor of punishing those who commit drug crimes.....I simply don't agree with the DEATH PENALTY.

    I'd be very interested in knowing the drug crime rate in Asian countries as opposed to all the others.

    The DP has proven itself a non-deterrent for murder......so this is something worth looking into. Thank you peachpurple.

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    peachy 2 years ago from Home Sweet Home

    the death punishment is only applicable to drugs in Asian countries

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    Paula 2 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

    Hello Jackie....Nice to have you stop by and leave your input. I appreciate your interest. Isn't it great to live in a Country where we are free to have an opinion and speak our minds? I wish you and your a Happy, Healthy New Year! Peace, Paula

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    Jackie Lynnley 2 years ago from The Beautiful South

    I am for the death penalty and sort of know what Frank mean. It is terrible to kill innocent people and it should always be without a doubt guilt. Mostly I think of rapist and child murders though and most of those are running around free or lost from detection.

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    derekchristie 2 years ago

    How i wish it was so,over here we have "The Human Rights Charter"and with prisons over populated,bursting at the seams,the cost of £40k per annum for each prisoner with the result 30-70% remission for those that behave to alleviate the stress of overworked Warders. My dear friend 12 years ago was run over and killed by a drunken driver,first offence,his wife left him etc.and was sentenced to 4 years imprisonment,with 50% remission for good behaviour he was released after serving 2 years.

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    Paula 2 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

    derek.....It's a very well known matter of FACT that the DP is not a deterrent......never has been, never will be. This is due to the simple but INACCURATE belief by every moron who commits murder, will commit the perfect crime and NEVER be discovered.......so no need to concern themselves with the DP. Capital punishment proves utterly nothing.

    Lock up the crazies for life with no chance of parole. Put them in cages with nothing.....make them work hard labor from sun up to sun down, refuse them contact of any sort with the outside world.....and make them TRULY pay in spades for their egregious, barbaric acts. Period, the end., This is far worse than putting them to sleep.

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    Catherine Giordano 2 years ago from Orlando Florida

    Actually, the appeals system sometimes works and sometimes it doesn't. Often an appeal is turned down on a technicality (e.g. late filing). If even one innocent person is executed that is too high a price to pay for a system that provides no benefit whatsoever. Unless you consider revenge a benefit. I researched Pierrepoint for my hub about him and he said is served no purpose but revenge.

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    derekchristie 2 years ago

    Albert Pierrepoint,notorious hangman in the U.K. who executed 400+ ,after he retired said "C.P.had no value as a deterrent",haunting words considering his profession . C.P. was abolished here in 1965 and the issue of innocents being executed does not exist.We have an excellent appeals system which can quickly overturn sentences if or when fresh evidence is presented giving innocents an opportunity for release which is obviously not infallible.

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    Paula 2 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

    Catherine....This is such a deadly, well-kept secret. It's the sort of education people must research and study. Our country doesn't want the egregious flaws of our Justice System to be known.

    I have experienced knowing individuals who were staunch DP supporters......become shocked and appalled and turn completely around, after learning the truths of what really goes on.

    I continually advise people to expose themselves to the entire Marty Tankleff case (New York) from start to his eventual release. The DP was not a part of this case but it is the most blaring & outrageous example of the depths and extremes the System will stoop....to hang a crime on someone. The Tankleff case nearly drove me to the brink of irreversible rage. Thanks for your comment.

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    Catherine Giordano 2 years ago from Orlando Florida

    Thank you for this passionate and intellectualyl solid argument against the death penalty. Innocent people are executed all the time, and as you point out, the innocence of the person executed is often proven. As long as we have executions, innocent people will be executed. I will continue to speak out on this in my own hubs.

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    Paula 2 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

    color......The States change and go back and forth so often, it's not easy to keep track. The one State we can always count on to be the leading Death Penalty Capital of the Nation of course is TEXAS...a.k.a the killing state.

    Texas has more executions per capita than all other DP States combined.

    I'll say no more (of the obvious) because I have some nice friends from Texas and I don't want to disrespect their beloved State...

    Thank you for the visit. Peace. Paula

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    Susie Lehto 2 years ago from Minnesota

    I can only imagine what it was like to write this article. It must have taken an enormous amount of energy, research, passion. You got me curious to see how many states still have the death penalty, and it is too sad to even say.

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    Shiela Gerona 2 years ago from Philippines

    Death penalty is no longer imposed to prisoners in our country. Great hub.

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    Paula 2 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

    Iris.....Nice to meet you. Thank you for appreciating my work. I see you have similar opinions. GOOD!....Peace, Paula

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    Cristen Iris 2 years ago from Boise, Idaho

    Thank you for writing about something with meaning-ultimate meaning. I am sharing this. And voted up, of course!