|Michael, (re post 27)
Once again, I agree with much of what you say. Especially, as you wrote,
All governments constantly try to expand their powers.I fear government power, the misuse of government power and the expansion of government power. I also agree with your comments about general government incompetence and the incremental growth of power through the creation of a precedent, and the expansion of power pursuant to that precedent.
However, I still think that government ought to have the death penalty, but only if it is properly applied, as in my previous post. [I read your "ought vs. is" article---is my use of "ought" incorrect?]
The death penalty is just a specific case of a more general power to act in self-defense and the defence of others. For example, the government ought to have the power to go to war. What is war, if not the killing of people? Was our government wrong to bomb Berlin during WWII?
I won't repeat my prior post, but I do think I set reasonably sufficient standards for imposing the death penalty. Flimsy evidence should not support guilt or any punishment, especially not death. The level of certainty must be higher in capital cases because of the irrevocable nature of the death penalty.
There are cases that exist in reality in which there is overwhelming evidence, sometimes bolstered by a detailed confession. (A detailed confession helps ascertain the confession is valid and not a mere assent to an accusation.) What about the BTK killer? ...or OJ Simpson...or the Melendez brothers (" Mom was still alive and crawling across the floor, so we reloaded and went in and finished her off.")? The death penalty did not apply in any of those cases, but the level of evidence was sufficiently high, and the nature of the conduct was sufficiently immoral to warrant death.
BTW, I will be leaving town for a few days so I'll have some delay before I can read why you think I'm wrong.
ANTHONY (re post 35)
Putting aside the fact that the judge does the sentencing, my answer would be. . . why wouldn't we?You are correct that the judge does sentence, but in capital cases, the jury has a penalty phase after the guilt phase in which they make a separate verdict regarding whether to impose death. If the jury decides against death, then death can not be imposed by the judge. The death penalty is imposed only if the judge and jury both agree to it's imposition.
As to "...why wouldn't we?", I agree there are some deplorable verdicts. I agree it is within the realm of historical facts that a jury could make such a bad decision. I wrote in my post 3, if the article is true, then the trial was an atrocity. I still insist that this in on the edge of the Bell curve of jury verdicts.
Isn't anyone else at least somewhat skeptical that the state's only evidence was a witness that was robbed during the night time and then shot, and who testified he could not recognize Cantu the first two times he saw Cantu's photo, but finally picked him out only on the third time the photos were shown to him. That is the only evidence the CNN article let's us know was presented during the trial.