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American Justice: The Use of the Death Penalty: When Should the Victims or Families Have a Say? [64*15]

Updated on August 13, 2015

Should the Victims (or Their Families) Have a Say?

CNN JUST reported that Texas had executed long-time criminal Mark Anthony Stroman for the murder of Vasudev Patel, allegedly as one of a set of 9/11 revenge murders or attempted murders. What I found compelling about this article wasn't that Texas executed another person, you will find executions in Texas are a matter of routine; nor am I personally against the death penalty itself for I am not; I do think that the death penalty is applied in an haphazard, inconsistant, and biased way left entirely too much on the prosecutors oratorical skills to evoke passion in the jury. Instead, it was the strong plea by one of the other intended victims, a devout Muslim and for whom Stroman was not being put to death, by the way, who was shot in the head but, nevertheless, lived, to spare Stroman's life. That is what made me ponder and write this hub.

While I do not oppose use of the death penalty, I oppose strongly its imposition in any case where there is any possibility the jury got it wrong. As we all well know by now there are hundreds of innocent men, and a few women, alive today because of the Innocence Project that would otherwise have been mistakenly killed by the State because the jury thought they were correct; there is no way to know, of course, how man innocent men and women have actually lost their lives in the pursuit of American justice. I will leave that for you to ponder.

There are many issues that make great fodder of hubs regarding the imposition, the mechanics, the ethics, and the unintended consequences that surround the death penalty. This one has to do a little bit with the imposition and unintended consequences.

Death Penalty in China


The Victim

MARK STROMAN allegedly shot Rais Bhuiyan, a Bangladeshi, in the head as part of his revenge attacks; Rais survived but lost sight in one eye. It is Mr. Bhulyan, a devout Muslim, who sought so exuberantly for Stroman's life. He even established a website to campaign for his stand and filed a "friend of the court" brief in the 5th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals, supporting Stroman's requested stay of execution; it was denied.

Why did Mr. Bhuiyan do this? He says because (taken from the CNN article):

"I -- and here I act as a spokesperson for the other victims' families as well -- have been denied our proper voice in the proceedings," Bhuiyan said in the court documents. "We do not wish to see Mark Stroman executed for his crimes. For myself, it is clear that nothing would cause more devastation and pain to the life I struggled to rebuild after the attack than for Mark Stroman to be killed."

I read this a few times; now, hopefully, you have read it a few times.

How much weight should courts give to victims and victim's families wish to have when it comes to the imposition absolutely irreversible death penalty? What are the unintended consequences on those people when those wishes are not met? Is the State victimizing these near helpless individuals all over again in its Fundamentalist faith-based, blinders on, head-long rush for supposed justice in the name of the actual victim? I think these are all questions that deserve a lot of explorations.

Another Chance to Easily Express Your Opinions

Do you Favor the Use of the Death Penalty in America

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Do you believe the Death Penalty is Applied Even-handedly in America?

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Considering the Finality of the Death Penalty, Do You Believe There Should be just One National Criteria for What Qualifies or Should each State be able to Set Its Own Rules?

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