Thursday, February 24, 2011


I am convinced that the death penalty is a deterrent to premeditated killings and felony murders. Thus, the high cost of capital cases is worth every penny as the prospect of getting executed keeps a lot of people from being added to the list of murder victims.

Several correctional officers and I have been giving death penalty abolitionist and human rights activist Dorina Lisson a bad time and with good cause when she makes ridiculous and outrageous charges against those officers. Now she has commented on my post, ‘Cost Cutting That Can Jeopardize Public Safety’ (2-22-11) with a blistering attack on the death penalty. Instead of adding her response to the comments section, I’m giving Dorina her own posting, even though I disagree with some of the points she makes.

Here is what our darling Dorina says:

By Dorina Lisson

Is the USA wasting millions of dollars ???

The biggest fallacy is that executions save taxpayers money. Fact is, death penalty cases are very, very expensive. There is a mountain of evidence that just one capital case, after all appeals have been exhausted, ends up costing taxpayers much more money than life in prison without parole.

The greatest cost of capital cases incur prior to, and during the trial, not in post-conviction and appeals proceedings.

The costs incurred for capital cases run into the millions of dollars - literally.

In view of the 'life-and-death issue' at stake, the State has an obligation to guarantee those prosecuted for capital cases receive the very best defence that taxpayers money can buy ... a top-notch team of the best-of-the-best lawyers with wide latitude in hiring a top-notch best-of-the-best experts and consultants, thereby making capital cases much more expensive.

All these costs place a huge financial burden on the already over-stretched legal justice system.

Those who passed mathematics know the costly fact, but they refuse to admit the truth - you see, it might change the public's mind about the death penalty.

Is the USA a democratic nation ???

In all democratic nations, every person is considered innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. For this reason, certain safeguards must be used for death penalty cases. These safeguards include the right to various appeals process, which all take time and more money.

The appeals process of death penalty cases could be streamlined of course, but at a very different cost - increasing the possibility of executing a wrongly convicted person.

The appeals process could be shortened or eliminated ... and, if history is any guide, wrongly convicted people would be executed along the way.

The appeals process eliminates legal and other errors within the criminal justice system, but what is one or two mistakes when death penalty supporters talk about the expeditious eradication of offenders?

Let's all remind ourselves ... since 1973, a total of 139 condemned prisoners in the USA (boasts to have the best-of-the-best criminal justice system in the world) have been released from death row after evidence emerged during their appeals process of their wrongful conviction. That shameful number is 139 mistakes ... not one or two ... but a staggering 139 mistakes !!!

The fact that some mistakes were discovered with time strongly suggests that there have been other occasions when mistakes were not discovered in time ... in the so-called best-of-the-best criminal justice system in the world.

Supporters of the death penalty often argue that the best justice is quick justice. That is exactly how executions take place under strict Islamic and Sharia Laws - executing offenders via various brutal methods usually in public, while the offender's blood is still warm not years later when the offenders blood has turned cold.

Abolitionist countries all have lower rates of crime than retentionist countries. What does that suggest?


bob walsh said...

Dorina, I have no problem with people who have an ethical opposition to the death penalty. There is something to be said for the idea that killing to show killing is wrong is wrong. I don't agree with the position, but I understand it.

I also have no problem with the proposition that the death penalty is too expensive. It depends, of course, on what your definition of "too expensive" is.

I know murderers. A fair number of murderers. Some are more or less normal people who killed their wife, their wife's divorce lawyer, their wife's boyfriend, etc. That are not, all things considered, a danger to society. They still have to pay their bill, but they could be safely let out at some time.

Others are sick, dangerous sons of bitches who should have been put down years ago. One comes to mind immediately, his favorite past time was raping young girls and ripping their nipples off with heated pliers. As far as I am concerned someone like that has no right to breathe air. I could come up with others I personally know.

What do you do with murderers who keep killing? What is your recommended sanction? Group hugs? There are dozens of people on death row right now who were previously convicted of homicide.

Society has a right to protect itself. The death penalty is both constitutional and (IMHO) completely moral if applied fairly and evenly.

I don't deny you your opinion. I just think you are wrong. I am, however, bothered by the fact that you think I am subhuman because I have mine.

Dorina Lisson said...

Thank you Bob for your interesting reply.

Please understand that I do not think you, or anyone else for that matter, is subhuman. You are entitled to express your personal opinion. I apologize for any misunderstanding.

Of course ... society has a right to feel safe and to be protected from dangerous offenders. Honestly, I do I have an answer on what we should do with dangerous offenders. I do know that most of these individuals are emotionally damaged in various ways by a variety of factors. When the brain is gone - it's gone!

I don't believe killing offenders due to the fact that they have a few "loose screws" (Aussie slang) in their head is the answer to society's problems. We, as a decent civilized society, are much better than that!

For the record, I have no problem with life in prison without parole for recidivist dangerous offenders, providing they are cared for and managed in a humane manner.

We agree to disagree on the death penalty, but we all need to admit that this ancient form of punishment is doing nothing to deter crime ... emotionally abnormal offenders are not thinking of the death penalty when they commit a crime.

BarkGrowlBite said...

Darling Dorina, I am pleased that you continue to comment on this 'dead dingo's donger,' as you have called it. And it is also pleasant that we can communicate and disagree without resortig to derogatory name calling.

Please indulge me while I add a comment.

While I respect your right to oppose capital punishment, there are a number of points you make that I do not agree with. Let me just say something on: '...... this ancient form of punishment is doing nothing to deter crime ... emotionally abnormal offenders are not thinking of the death penalty when they commit a crime.'

You are right about those emotional abnormal offenders. And the death penalty will also not deter killings conducted in the heat of passion.

But the death penalty does deter rational people from committing premeditated murder. And it does keep some criminals from killing the victim of a robbery, rape or burglary (referred to as felony murders). And that makes the death penalty definitely worthwhile, regardless of the costs you have mentioned and any moral issues.

As we continue to disagree, your dead dingo loves you!

bob walsh said...

Dorina, I disagree with your non-deterrent premise.

The Brits had a well functioning capital punishment system when they used it. Six months after imposition of sentence at the MAXIMUM you got the drop. You could appeal to anybody you wanted to, but if that appeal was not granted, six months was it. Not 20plus years.

In addition, there is substantial though admittedly anecdotal evidence that British career criminals often avoided carrying loaded weapons or getting themselves into death penalty situations just to avoid the possibility. There were errors, there were miscarriages of justice, but their system worked overall.

In addition, the internal prisoner capaital punishment system works. It is informal, but it is understood and efficient. I can absolutely guarantee you that it is an effective deterrent in many cases.

I will happily agree that the death penalty, as currently administered in the formerly great state of California, is a disgusting joke and isn't a deterrent to anything whatsoever, because the murderers believe that even if they are caught the sentnece will never be actually imposed. Mostly they are right.