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MavKikiNYC
03-01-2005, 04:22 PM
One of the all-time worst, most illogical decisions. Untoppable.

Supreme Court Bars Death Penalty for Juvenile Killers
By DAVID STOUT

Published: March 1, 2005

WASHINGTON, March 1 - The Supreme Court ruled today, in one of the most closely watched capital punishment cases in years, that imposing the death penalty on convicted murderers who were younger than 18 at the time of their crimes is unconstitutional.

The 5-to-4 decision, arising from a Missouri case, holds that executing young killers violates "the evolving standards of decency that mark the progress of a maturing society," and that American society has come to regard juveniles as less culpable than adult criminals.

The ruling, which acknowledged "the overwhelming weight of international opinion against the juvenile death penalty," erases the death sentences imposed on about 70 defendants who were juveniles at the time they killed. Although 19 states nominally permit the execution of juvenile murderers, only Texas, Virginia and Oklahoma have executed any in the past decade.

The case decided today had attracted attention around the world. Briefs on behalf of the young Missouri killer, Christopher Simmons, had been filed by the European Union, the 45-member Council of Europe and other organizations. A brief filed by former United Nations diplomats asserted that the United States' failure to repudiate the execution of juveniles was an irritant in international relations.

Until today, the United States and Somalia were the only nations that permitted putting teenage criminals to death. The court's ruling today held that, while the "overwhelming weight of international opinion" was not controlling, it nevertheless provided "respected and significant confirmation" for the majority's finding.

The majority decision today, declaring that people who kill at age 16 or 17 cannot be executed, was written by Justice Anthony M. Kennedy. It declared that prohibiting the execution of juvenile killers is a natural and logical conclusion to the court's 6-to-3 ruling in 2002 that executing mentally retarded offenders is categorically unconstitutional.

A 1988 Supreme Court decision barred execution of defendants who killed when they were younger than 16. But the court upheld capital punishment for 16- and 17-year-olds in a 1989 decision, when the lineup of justices was different. That decision was swept aside today.

"The age of 18 is the point where society draws the line for many reasons between childhood and adulthood," Justice Kennedy wrote, in an opinion joined by Justices John Paul Stevens, David H. Souter, Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Stephen G. Breyer. "It is, we conclude, the age at which the line for death eligibility ought to rest."

The four dissenters - Chief Justice William H. Rehnquist and Justices Antonin Scalia, Clarence Thomas and Sandra Day O'Connor - bitterly disagreed.

"The court's decision today establishes a categorical rule forbidding the execution of any offender for any crime committed before his 18th birthday, no matter how deliberate, wanton, or cruel the offense," Justice O'Connor wrote. "Neither the objective evidence of contemporary societal values, nor the court's moral-proportionately analysis, nor the two in tandem suffice to justify this ruling."

While adolescents as a class are "undoubtedly less mature, and therefore less culpable" than adults, Justice O'Connor wrote, many state legislatures around the country had concluded that at least some juveniles were deserving of the ultimate penalty because of the depravity of their crimes.

Justice Scalia, in a dissent joined by Chief Justice Rehnquist and Justice Thomas, said the majority opinion had made "a mockery" of constitutional precedent and was based "on the flimsiest of grounds."

"The court thus proclaims itself sole arbiter of our nation's moral standards - and in the course of discharging that awesome responsibility purports to take guidance from the views of foreign courts and legislatures," Justice Scalia wrote.

Today's ruling in Roper v. Simmons, No. 03-633, arose from a Missouri murder that even the majority on the court acknowledged as particularly heinous. In 1993, Christopher Simmons was a 17-year-old high school junior when he and two younger teenagers burglarized a house. Even if they were caught, Christopher Simmons told his friends, they could "get away with it" because they were minors, Justice Kennedy noted.

By coincidence, a woman inside the house recognized Mr. Simmons from a previous car crash involving both of them. As the defendant admitted later, her recognition convinced him to kill the woman, whom he abducted, bound and threw into a nearby creek to drown. He was arrested after bragging of the crime, convicted and sentenced to death after a jury recommended that punishment.

In August 2003, the Missouri Supreme Court overturned the death sentence, deciding by 4 to 3 that subjecting a juvenile killer to execution was unconstitutionally "cruel and unusual punishment" and resentencing Christopher Simmons to life in prison without parole.

The state of Missouri appealed (Donald P. Roper is the superintendent of the prison where Mr. Simmons is lodged), asserting that the state high court lacked the authority to reject the United States Supreme Court's 1989 finding that capital punishment for 16- and 17-year-olds was constitutional.

When the case was heard in October, lawyers for the defendant argued that new medical and psychological understanding of teenagers' immaturity validated the Missouri court's ruling. The United States Supreme Court upheld the state court today in overturning its own 1989 opinion.

"When a juvenile commits a heinous crime, the state can exact forfeiture of some of the most basic liberties," the majority held today, "but the state cannot extinguish his life and his potential to attain a mature understanding of his own humanity."

Justice Kennedy played a pivotal role in the ruling today in reversing his own stance from the 1989 ruling. In that case, Justice Kennedy voted with Chief Justice Rehnquist and Justices Scalia, O'Connor and Byron R. White in permitting the execution of those who committed murder at 16.

In his opinion today, Justice Kennedy wrote, "In concluding that neither retribution nor deterrence provides adequate justification for imposing the death penalty on juvenile offenders, we cannot deny or overlook the brutal crimes too many juvenile offenders have committed."

Even so, he wrote, juveniles by nature of their immaturity and unformed personalities cannot be included among those offenders who commit "a narrow category of the most serious crimes" for which the death penalty is appropriate.

Richard Dieter, director of the Death Penalty Information Center, said today's ruling will "bring the U.S. more in line with the human rights community."

"Juveniles are not the worst of the worst offenders," Mr. Dieter said. "They may have done terrible crimes, but as individuals they're not as developed or culpable. They need to be punished, but not with our worst punishment." The center is a nonprofit organization that studies, and opposes, capital punishment.

The European Union issued a statement applauding today's ruling. So did former President Jimmy Carter, who said, "With this ruling, the United States acknowledges the national trend against juvenile capital punishment and joins the community of nations, which uniformly renounces this practice."

MavKikiNYC
03-01-2005, 04:22 PM
And screw Jimmy Carter dry until he enjoys it.

dude1394
03-01-2005, 08:18 PM
Here is a poor, poor "child" that will now be saved from his just punishement.


TEXAS: Efrain Perez and Raul Villarreal were both 17 in 1993 when they joined three other teenagers in the gang rape and killings of Jennifer Ertman, 14, and Elizabeth Pena, 16. The girls were taking a shortcut home from a party and came upon Perez, Villarreal and their friends, who were drinking and fighting along a Houston rail line. The girls were repeatedly raped before being strangled and stomped to death.

The girls' rotting bodies were found four days later. Ertman's teeth were kicked in and she was strangled with a belt and Pena's jaw was broken before she was strangled by her shoelaces. The outspoken grief of Ertman's father, Randy, led to a law allowing families of murder victims to watch the execution of their loved one's killer.

Got that... The supreme court has just determined what I should do about an animal like this. I should feed, clothe, allow endless appeals, provide job training, go to parole hearings all the while these young peoples family will have to know that this animal is being housed with their own taxpayer dollars for the rest of his evil stinking life.

THIS is what we would have had more of with Kerry and the leftist democrats. End the FILIBUSTERS NOW!!!

dude1394
03-01-2005, 08:26 PM
And of course these poor "children" should also be given leniency.


Christopher Simmons, who was only seven months shy of his 18th birthday when he murdered Shirley Crook, described to his friends beforehand [i]n chilling, callous terms ... the murder he planned to commit. He then broke into the home of an innocent woman, bound her with duct tape and electrical wire, and threw her off a bridge alive and conscious.

If he had just waited for 8 months then he would have been an adult and responsible for his actions.


In Alabama, two 17-year-olds, one 16-year-old, and one 19-year-old picked up a female hitchhiker, threw bottles at her, and kicked and stomped her for approximately 30 minutes until she died. They then sexually assaulted her lifeless body and, when they were finished, threw her body off a cliff. They later returned to the crime scene to mutilate her corpse.

And of course the 19 years old is the responsible one.

What a farce

u2sarajevo
03-01-2005, 08:43 PM
I am obviously in a minority here. But I am pro-life. Capital punishment is wrong in any instance.

It is truly a double-standard. You kill.... that's bad. We kill, it's the law.

dude1394
03-01-2005, 08:53 PM
I cannot use the term "pro-life" as it refers to the saving of a 9month old baby from being murdered in conjuction with a 17year 3 month "child" committing multiple homicides and atrocities and getting what I consider justice owed.

However the point is not even pro/anti death penalty. It's the court deciding by fiat the acceptable will of the states. If they were aboloshing the death penlaty they would be on more solid ground however they are deciding that the juries of the respective states are not competent enough to take into account the maturity of the murderer when sentencing. So I have to wonder what next they will feel juries are not competent enough to decide. They are creating law here, no two ways about it. It's entirely unconstitutional and has no basis in our constitution.

Again if people want to abolish the death penalty then do it legislatively, our constitution EXPLICITLY expresses the legality of the death penalty. How does a court just decide that a section of our constitution is irrelevant.

Drbio
03-01-2005, 09:54 PM
What a bullshit decision. Here is proof.....


SUPREME COURT RULING AFFECTS MALVO CASE.

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- Lee Boyd Malvo will not stand trial for a sniper shooting in Manassas, Virginia, according to a prosecutor who said Tuesday's U.S. Supreme Court decision overturning juvenile executions would make a trial pointless.

Malvo, who was 17 during a shooting spree that terrorized the Washington, D.C. area in fall 2002, is now serving life sentences for two of the 10 sniper shootings.

Prince William County, Virginia, Commonwealth's Attorney Paul Ebert said it "doesn't make sense" to try Malvo for the death of Dean Harold Meyers now that the Supreme Court has ruled that people cannot be executed for crimes they committed as juveniles.

Malvo's accomplice, 44-year-old John Allen Muhammad, was sentenced to death last March for Meyers' murder.

Ebert said he had wanted to try Malvo on capital charges, but "in light of this decision, we will not do so. He's already gotten two life sentences."

In 2003, Malvo was sentenced to life without parole in the shooting of FBI analyst Linda Franklin. He later entered an Alford Plea -- an acknowledgment there was enough evidence to convict him -- in the killing of Kenneth Bridges. He received a life sentence for that murder as well.

Ebert said Tuesday he disagrees with the Supreme Court decision.

"I personally believe that you can't draw a bright line between a 17-year-old and an 18-year-old," he said.

In the sniper case, Ebert said, Malvo was extremely dangerous and intelligent, and the crimes were meticulously planned -- not the negligent act of a minor.

Ebert said he would not seek a plea agreement with Malvo because he wants to preserve the right to prosecute Malvo if a future court reinstates the death penalty for juveniles.

Malvo still faces possible trials in several other states. But his attorney said before Tuesday's ruling he believes those states likewise would lose interest in prosecuting him if the Supreme Court chose to declare juvenile executions unconstitutional.

The Supreme Court, in its 5-4 decision, tossed out the death sentence of a Missouri man who was 17 when he murdered a St. Louis area woman in 1993, saying the punishment was unconstitutionally cruel under the Eighth Amendment.

"When a juvenile commits a heinous crime, the state can exact forfeiture of some of the most basic liberties, but the state cannot extinguish his life and his potential to attain a mature understanding of his own humanity," Justice Anthony Kennedy wrote.

The ruling means the death sentences of some 70 death row inmates who were younger than 18 at the time of their crimes will be invalid. States in the future will not be allowed to seek the death penalty for minors.

madape
03-01-2005, 10:26 PM
How is this not a state legislative issue?

kg_veteran
03-01-2005, 11:40 PM
Originally posted by: madape
How is this not a state legislative issue?

Because the Constitution becomes involved when capital punishment is alleged to be "cruel and unusual".

Absolutely disgusting.

Rhylan
03-02-2005, 12:31 AM
Originally posted by: u2sarajevo
I am obviously in a minority here. But I am pro-life. Capital punishment is wrong in any instance.

It is truly a double-standard. You kill.... that's bad. We kill, it's the law.

Me too, U2. My heart doesn't bleed for anybody who ever sat on death row, but still, I disagree with it in principle.

I don't have a problem with it being a states' issue as it is now, and I agree with the folks in the thread who don't like the ruling. I don't like the ruling either. Constitutionally speaking, the whole thing should be a states' issue

capitalcity
03-02-2005, 12:59 AM
Texas should secede.

MavKikiNYC
03-02-2005, 01:02 AM
Clearly I don't like this decision.

But at the same time, I don't understand why so many controversial issues have all of a sudden become "states' rights issues" either. The concept is becoming so over-labored as to be cliché.

Seems like people are all too ready to ignore the fundamental role of the Supreme Court--interpreting the Constitution.

This was an appropriate issue for the Supreme Court to decide, but they came to a freakishly wrong decision with an excruciatingly twisted anti-logic.

Drbio
03-02-2005, 10:11 AM
Originally posted by: capitalcity
Texas should secede.

Where do I send my check? i/expressions/face-icon-small-tongue.gif

Chiwas
03-02-2005, 11:29 AM
One of the all-time worst, most illogical decisions. Untoppable.
Supreme Court Bars Death Penalty for Juvenile KillersSure it is, it should have been for all killers. The problem wouldn't be to punish killers and vanish them, but only one innocent spoils all the system. There have been several cases where the sentences have been revoked just at the "green mile", setting the accused free. How many have not been guilty or had insufficient -or manipulated- evidence against? A single case makes the whole system, the society, be a killer too, without a cause.

MavKikiNYC
03-02-2005, 11:58 AM
but only one innocent spoils all the system.
A single case makes the whole system, the society, be a killer too, without a cause.

We have polar perspectives on this.
Does one unjust conviction make the whole society false imprisoners?
Does one unpunished killer make a society anarchic?


Sure it is, it should have been for all killers.

Wow. If you can make that statement after reading even the scant facts offered about the juvenile killers in the pertinent cases here, you are a much bigger-hearted man than I. It makes me wonder how closely you've ever been associated with a cold-blooded, pathologocial killer. (Present company excepted, of course.)


The problem wouldn't be to punish killers and vanish them, There have been several cases where the sentences have been revoked just at the "green mile", setting the accused free.
How many have not been guilty or had insufficient -or manipulated- evidence against?

I don't have any paricular problem with enacting aggressive measures to prevent unjust capital prosecutions from occurring. By the same token, I don't have any problem with enacting aggressive measures to prevent defense attorneys from "defending" murderers with spurrious claims.

It is sickeningly preposterous that they would set up a completely arbitrary and detached-from-reality King's X of an age limit, suggesting that a 17-year old isn't capable of understanding the consequences of his/her actions, while an 18-year old would. This is the worst form of capital-L-Liberal-head-up-their asses illogic.

What next? Should police not use lethal force against a 17-year old who's shooting at them?

"Show your ID, and drop the gun!"

There are plenty of psychopath minors who are both capable of the coldest, cruelest types of murder, as well as capable of "understanding" intellectually that what they're doing is wrong.

The punishment should fit the crime.

Usually Lurkin
03-02-2005, 12:22 PM
What bothers me most is not the reduction in executions (we shouldn't have any) or really the arbitrary age limit (though that is just stupid), or the imposition of national on states' will (if it saves lives, then I figure that's ok), or the idea that it's now ok to try a minor as an adult but not to sentence a minor like an adult (though again, that's just stupid). What bothers me the most is how much "world opinion" factors into the decision (despite their protestations to the contrary). Are we no longer capable of making decisions for ourselves? Have we let the moral decisions of God out of our law just to replace it with the moral decisions of the EU? This irks me to no end. "World opinion" says there's no genocide in the Sudan and that Iraq was better with Sadaam in power. If our supreme court is not really supreme, and but is willing to replace "right and wrong" with "looking good to the neighbors" then they need to step down.

dude1394
03-02-2005, 12:51 PM
Originally posted by: MavKikiNYC
[quote]
but only one innocent spoils all the system.
A single case makes the whole system, the society, be a killer too, without a cause.

I cannot agree with this. Every system, EVERY system has errors. This logic is one that is used by anti-death penalty folks. However the same folks say that we shouldn't put anyone to death because life in prison is more of a deterrent. So if being in prison for life is worse than a death-sentence then how can we continue such a horrible system that will have such mistakes. It's a circular argument.


Sure it is, it should have been for all killers.

I cannot agree about this either. For the aggrieved family for example, death is more merciful and I'm a LOT more interested in the justice to the family than I am some serial murderer that acts more animal than human. I really do not care about some of these killers, they by their actions have forfeited any compassion that might come their way. But they actually get it anyway. They get 12 jurors, multiple appeals, doctors, lawyers to make sure the sentence was true. Very few things in life do you get this much opportunity to make your case.


The problem wouldn't be to punish killers and vanish them, There have been several cases where the sentences have been revoked just at the "green mile", setting the accused free.
How many have not been guilty or had insufficient -or manipulated- evidence against?

That's pretty tough, who said life was always fair.


What next? Should police not use lethal force against a 17-year old who's shooting at them?
Well that's exactly what is being done in LA. A policeman cannot shoot at a car that is being used to try and kill them because the last person shot by a policeman was a "child".


I actually thought Beldar had one of the most interesting takes on this and the idea that somehow someone 17yrs11months28 days was different than someone 18 years. Some commentator said that someone who cannot buy a beer shouldn't be executed. His response illustrates how little is being said about the checks and balances that these cases go through.

-----------
beldar (http://www.beldar.org/beldarblog/2005/03/executing_crimi.html)

This is way too facile to take seriously. The prospective beer purchaser hasn't already been through a preliminary hearing in which a judge, listening to evidence particularized as to him, has made a ruling that the prospective purchaser should be treated by the law as an adult. There aren't twelve clerks, good and true, at the 7-11, backed up by a trial judge and layers of appellate courts and years of appeals, to review the twelve clerks' decision. Even if there were twelve clerks, they wouldn't have sworn an oath to listen carefully to evidence presented by degreed, professional advocates arguing for and against the proposed purchase of alcohol by that particular 17-year-old, and to follow the judge's instructions. Indeed, they wouldn't have heard the judge's solemn instructions that they must take that 17-year-old's entire life story, including his age, into account in making their ruling on the proposed six-pack purchase. They wouldn't spend hours or days or many days deliberating on it, and have to reach a unanimous decision. They wouldn't have to look into the eyes of the victim's family, or the eyes of the accused and his family afterwards.

Juries decide the fates of adults charged with capital crimes. I believe in that system. I believe that juries are able to make highly individualized and conscientious decisions about whether a particular defendant's age when he committed the capital crime is a sufficient factor, when added in with all the other aggravating and mitigating factors, to swing the balance against the death sentence, with the prosecution appropriately being given the burden of proving the aggravating factors beyond a reasonable doubt just as they did the underlying crime.

In short, I believe that there are indeed 17-year-olds who could be trusted to buy themselves a six-pack, but there's no system in place to distinguish between them and the ones who can't. There is a system ó human and therefore imperfect, but nonetheless extremely elaborate and time-tested ó for determining which capital defendants deserve death notwithstanding their age when they committed the capital crime. Society's decisions as to whether (a) every 18-year-old gets to buy a beer or (b) one 17-year-old (when he committed the capital crime) will get a lethal injection, have essentially nothing in common with one another.

I write this, by the way, as a father of a 17-year-old son. I have no doubt that if there were the same elaborate system individualized checks and balances for buying beer as there is (or rather, was before today) for the administration of capital punishment, his maturity level would be found equivalent to or better than any 18-year-old in either.

There are serious arguments to make on both sides of yesterday's decision. But with due respect, Mr. Stuttaford's isn't one of them.

dude1394
03-02-2005, 12:59 PM
Originally posted by: Usually Lurkin
What bothers me most is not the reduction in executions (we shouldn't have any) or really the arbitrary age limit (though that is just stupid), or the imposition of national on states' will (if it saves lives, then I figure that's ok), or the idea that it's now ok to try a minor as an adult but not to sentence a minor like an adult (though again, that's just stupid). What bothers me the most is how much "world opinion" factors into the decision (despite their protestations to the contrary). Are we no longer capable of making decisions for ourselves? Have we let the moral decisions of God out of our law just to replace it with the moral decisions of the EU? This irks me to no end. "World opinion" says there's no genocide in the Sudan and that Iraq was better with Sadaam in power. If our supreme court is not really supreme, and but is willing to replace "right and wrong" with "looking good to the neighbors" then they need to step down.


I guess the most aggregious thing I heard was the description of the "majority" of the country agreeing with this so the morality of the country has moved. As the dissenters stated... The numbers quoted to support this was less than 50% of the populace of this country!!! They are just making it up because it goes along with their morality.

As tony blakley noted (http://www.washtimes.com/op-ed/20050301-090941-2402r.htm)

-----
It happens that only 15 years ago the Supreme Court found that the kind of statute in question was constitutional. But, rather than overturning that case, the court yesterday found that in the last 15 years a national consensus against such punishment had emerged. The majority based that conclusion on the fact that "18 states -- or 47 percent of states that permit capital punishment -- now have legislation prohibiting the execution of offenders under 18," and four of those states have adopted such legislation since the Supreme Court's ruling of 15 years ago.

As Justice Antonin Scalia fumed in his dissent: "Words have no meaning if the views of less than 50 percent of death penalty States can constitute a national consensus. Our previous cases have required overwhelming opposition to a challenged practice, generally over a long period of time." In this case, a majority of relevant states approve the practice.

Mavdog
03-02-2005, 02:13 PM
There are many instances in our laws where an arbitrary age has been determined, not to mention the ancillary subject of mental ability. The court is not acting outside of precedence in that matter.

The insertion of "world opinion" by the justices who supported the decision is interesting yet it is a relevant point. The concept that the law is evolving along with society is a fact, just look at "seperate but equal" over the last half century. The fact is that intellectual thought knows no political boundary.

dude1394
03-02-2005, 03:22 PM
families (http://www.chron.com/cs/CDA/ssistory.mpl/front/3064035)

By ROSANNA RUIZ
Copyright 2005 Houston Chronicle

Janet Green was teaching her sixth-grade class in Conroe when her husband called with news about Tuesday's high court decision.

A hush came over the classroom as her expression darkened.

Green said she remained composed and only began to cry hours later when she spoke publicly about the court's decision that spares the life of her son's killer, Michael Lopez.

"I've been a teacher for 30 years and I've never had a kid that did not know right from wrong," Green said.

Lopez was convicted of capital murder in the Sept. 29, 1998, slaying of 25-year-old Michael Eakin, a Harris County deputy constable who had pulled him over for speeding. Lopez, who was one day shy of his 18th birthday, jumped out of his car and ran into a field, followed by Eakin. The pair struggled before Eakin was shot twice at close range.

Smiles
03-02-2005, 06:39 PM
For those who are against the death penalty, do you also have a problem with killing as an act of war?

capitalcity
03-02-2005, 10:46 PM
Originally posted by: Smiles
For those who are against the death penalty, do you also have a problem with killing as an act of war?
problem with killing combatants - no
problem with killing civilians - yes

Of course its not always that cut and dry...

capitalcity
03-03-2005, 12:58 AM
makes me wanna vomit...

eye for an eye (http://www.sanluisobispo.com/mld/sanluisobispo/11030353.htm)

Two boys arrested after SLO man's death
13-year-old to be charged with murder after attack on victim, 87, at his south street home

Laurie Phillips
The Tribune

When three San Luis Obispo police officers entered Gerald "Jerry" O'Malley's mobile home Monday night to find out why his Ford Explorer was abandoned, they discovered the 87-year-old dead in the living room.

His killer, they would suspect by the end of the night, was 13 years old. And the cause of the blunt head trauma, they now say, was a skateboard. By 1 a.m. Tuesday near San Luis Obispo's Railroad Square, two other officers arrested the 13-year-old and a 12-year-old friend, the younger boy on suspicion of auto theft.

The 13-year-old is the youngest person in at least 30 years to be arrested in connection with a murder in San Luis Obispo County. Neither is being named because they are minors.Detectives believe the boy forced his way into O'Malley's home in the Village Mobile Home Park on South Street.

Coroner Detective Rick Neufeld confirmed that blunt-force trauma to the head caused O'Malley's death, and said he may have been dead at least a day when his body was found. Neufeld declined to say whether O'Malley appeared to have been struck repeatedly.

Police served a search warrant at the 13-year-old's San Luis Obispo home Tuesday afternoon and recovered a skateboard. But, police Lt. Steve Tolley said, investigators want to see lab results before they say whether they think it's the murder weapon.

O'Malley's neighbors said the boys didn't live in the park but did know at least two teenage girls there. Police were unsure whether O'Malley knew the boys; neighbors and friends didn't think he did. Investigators were still searching for a motive Tuesday night.

A driver on Highway 101 near Arroyo Grande noticed a dark green 1995 Ford Explorer driving erratically Monday evening and thought perhaps the driver was drunk. Police believe the murder suspect and his 12-year-old companion were in the Explorer -- one of them driving it. Following it north from Arroyo Grande and off the freeway in San Luis Obispo, to just behind Village Mobile Home Park, the concerned driver and a passenger decided to go for help.

Police have not identified those witnesses. But they could not have known that when they flagged down officers near the corner of Bridge and Higuera streets, they were inadvertently reporting a homicide. By the time the police got to the Explorer, it was abandoned. Officer Eric Lincoln checked the registration, Tolley said, and learned that it belonged to O'Malley. That fact led authorities to the victim's nearby home, where Lincoln, Sgt. John Bledsoe and another officer discovered O'Malley's body around 9 p.m., Tolley said.

Investigators found signs of forced entry into O'Malley's home and believe at least one of the boys took "some property of value," said a law enforcement official with knowledge of the case, who spoke on condition of anonymity.

Investigators and neighbors confirmed that the 13-year-old suspect had talked to other children living at the park about the crime late Monday, and the youths gave descriptions of the boys to police.

Both boys were found and arrested about 1 a.m. Tuesday after a short foot chase by two plainclothes officers near Railroad Square and Santa Barbara Street, Police Department spokesman Rob Bryn said. After police interviewed them, the boys were taken to the county Juvenile Services Center, where they remain.

One 33-year resident of the Village Mobile Home Park said he watched three or four young boys climb into O'Malley's sport utility vehicle and drive away from the park between 4:30 and 5 p.m. Monday.

He guessed they were 12 or 13 years old, and he did not recognize them. "That's when I knew it was suspicious," Leonard Martin said. "He wouldn't let (anybody) have his car." Tolley said investigators are "looking into the possibility" that other children were involved in the crime.

Wait staff at International House of Pancakes on Madonna Road, where O'Malley ate breakfast nearly every day, said he told them recently that young boys had robbed him. He apparently did not know the youths, they said.

Kathy Beamun, a server at IHOP, said O'Malley often told the restaurant's employees about his visits to the doctor. "I knew he had an aneurysm in his stomach that could kill him any time," she said. "We knew at any time he could go, but we didn't suspect that way." Neufeld confirmed O'Malley had an aneurysm but said the condition did not cause his death. Neighbors were alerted to the crime Tuesday morning by barricades placed at the front of the 77-space park and crime-scene tape looped across the street near O'Malley's trailer. He moved to the park about three or four years ago and lived alone.

"This place is very quiet -- we don't have much trouble here," said Sharon Slaton, who watched police arrive from her porch. "This looks like the ghettoes, but guess what -- it's a nice place." John Hough, the managing partner of Village LLC, which owns the park, said O'Malley was a "nice, quiet guy" who was retired and moved there three years ago for the affordable rent.

Police said both boys were suspected -- but not arrested -- in the recent theft of a small John Deere tractor from a construction site near the mobile home park. Neighbors said the boys had taken it for an early morning joyride through the park.

Breaking & Entering, Robbery, Grand Theft Auto, Evading Arrest, MURDER

edited - formating text

Usually Lurkin
03-03-2005, 07:47 AM
Originally posted by: Smiles
For those who are against the death penalty, do you also have a problem with killing as an act of war?

That depends on the war. Killing in defense of self or others is different.

sike
03-03-2005, 05:47 PM
Originally posted by: capitalcity
Texas should secede.

nice

MavKikiNYC
03-03-2005, 09:59 PM
Village Gang-Rape Sentences Are Upset by Court in Pakistan
By SALMAN MASOOD

Published: March 4, 2005

ISLAMABAD, Pakistan, March 3 - Five men sentenced to death in 2002 for their role in a gang rape that was approved by a council in a remote Pakistani village had their convictions overturned Thursday. A sixth man convicted in the case, which set off worldwide outrage, had his death sentence commuted to life in prison, lawyers in the case said.

The circumstances of the rape, in June 2002 in Meerwala, in southern Punjab Province, brought demands for justice, and the government moved fast to bring the case to trial.

According to the prosecution, the Meerwala council ordered the gang rape of Mukhtar Mai, then 30, as punishment for the alleged illicit sexual relations of her brother Shakoor with a woman from the rival Mastoi tribe.

It was later revealed that he had been molested by Mastoi men who tried to conceal it by accusing him of illicit relations with a Mastoi woman. The Mastoi demanded revenge. That was delivered when the council approved the rape of Ms. Mukhtar.

Fourteen men were charged in the case and six of them - the leader of the village council, a council member and the four men suspected of carrying out the rape - were convicted and sentenced to death in September 2002. The convicted men appealed.

Two High Court judges, in their decision on Thursday, cited loopholes in the prosecution case and faulty police investigations, Pakistani news media reported.

Defense lawyers said the 2002 decision was "influenced by media hype and government pressure."

Ms. Mukhtar said she was disappointed at the latest decision, and blamed her lawyers.

The case gained international prominence because the assault was approved by the village council. The councils have no legal authority but are used in remote areas because of the poor reach of central authority. Public outcry led the government to place the case in an antiterrorism court and give Ms. Mukhtar police guards and $8,300 in compensation.

She has won praise for speaking out after the rape and for using the money to set up schools. Since the first trial, she said, she had faced death threats. She said Thursday's ruling intensified her fear. "We are afraid for our lives, but we will face whatever fate brings for us."

MavKikiNYC
08-01-2005, 09:37 PM
These punks don't deserve capital punishment? They don't understand what they were doing?

Gotta kill them early and kill them often.

Teen Neighbors Arrested In Missing Girl's Brutal Murder
By Eyewitness News' Jen Maxfield
(Morristown, New Jersey -WABC, August 1, 2005) ó A 16-year-old missing since Saturday was found murdered - and police say the killer lived right next door.

Prosecutors here say that the 16-year-old victim left her house early Saturday morning to watch TV with her 18-year-old next door neighbor. What happened next, in the words of the Morris County prosecutor, a pure act of murder.

The quiet neighborhood around Old Brookside Road in Randolph has been transformed into a crime scene. The victim - identified by neighbors as 16-year-old Jennifer Parks - lived with her parents. Jonathan Zarate - the 18-year-old accused murdered - lives right next door.

Neighbors talked to him Saturday after Jennifer disappeared.

Febe Seib, Neighbor: "He was not nervous at all. He was so relaxed and I can't believe that the results are something different."

Zarate appeared in Morris County court this afternoon. Prosecutors say that the high school dropout invited Parks over to his house at 2:00 a.m. Saturday to watch TV when they got into some kind of argument.

Michael Rubbinaccio, Morris County Prosecutor: "He beat her in the face and stomach with a metal pole used to secure the rear sliding glass door and then stabbed her multiple times with a knife."

Neighbors say the Zarates and the Parks had a dispute that dates back several years to a classroom at Randolph Middle School - that's where the murder suspect's younger brother was apparently taunting Parks in class. But neighbors say in recent years the anger had cooled off.

Edna, Neighbor: "She said 'you know I got new friends next door' and I said 'that's good, you know.'"

Jennifer Parks' parents have been moved out of their home as police investigate the death of their only child who spent her free time babysitting.

Russell Seib, Neighbor: "She was very quiet, to herself, very wholesome, open-hearted."

Prosecutors believe Zarate acted alone when he killed Parks but they believe he had help trying to cover it up. A Secaucus police officer stopped Zarate, his 14-year-old brother and a 16-year-old friend as they tried to throw a trunk over a Route 3 overpass into the Passaic River early Sunday morning.

When police opened the trunk they found the dismembered remains of Jennifer Parks.

The 18-year-old murder suspect is being held on $1 million cash bail. His younger brother and the other juvenile suspect allegedly involved in dumping the body are also in custody though one of their defense lawyers says his client - who is 140 year-old - may not have understood what he was doing.

dude1394
08-01-2005, 11:20 PM
Must stamp out the gene pool.

Mavdog
08-02-2005, 12:15 PM
The death penalty is a court sentence that once completed has no turning back, The following article should make anybody who advocates the death penalty cringe, Is executing an innocent person acceptable? In my view it is not. Just how many innocent people do we have on death row.......
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
DNA Test Frees Man Nearly 2 Decades Later By RAMESH SANTANAM, Associated Press Writer
Tue Aug 2, 9:14 AM ET

During his nearly two decades in prison on a rape conviction, Thomas A. Doswell was denied parole four times because he refused to accept responsibility for the crime. But DNA evidence has finally proved what he's been saying all along: He didn't do it.

"I'm thankful to be home," he told The Associated Press from his mother's house Monday, after walking out of the county jail a free man. "I'm thankful justice has been served. The court system is not perfect, but it works."

Doswell, 46, was convicted in the 1986 rape of a 48-year-old woman at a hospital in Pittsburgh. He was sentenced to 13 to 26 years in prison. At the time, he was the father of two young children.

A judge Monday dismissed the charges as friends and family broke into applause.

Prosecutors originally opposed DNA testing for Doswell, but a judge ordered it. When the tests came back last month showing that semen taken from the victim was not from Doswell, prosecutors filed motions to vacate his sentence and release him.

"These tests confirmed what Mr. Doswell has been saying from the moment he was charged, that he was innocent and that this was a misidentification brought about by police officers who may have engaged in misconduct," said Colin Starger of the Innocence Project at the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law at Yeshiva University in New York. The project helped push for Doswell's release.

The victim and another witness had picked out Doswell's photo from a group of eight shown to them by police.

At the time, Pittsburgh police identified mug shots of people charged with rape with the letter "R." Doswell insisted witnesses identified him as the rapist only because "R" appeared under his mug shot.

According to the Innocence Project, his photo was the only one with an "R."

His photo was marked because an ex-girlfriend had accused him of rape, but he was acquitted of that charge. Police officials say they no longer mark photos of rape suspects with an "R."

Authorities plan to compare the DNA sample taken from the victim with national databanks, but so far do not have any suspects.

Although Doswell spent nearly two decades in prison, neither he nor his family said they were angry.

"I couldn't walk around with anger and bitterness," said Doswell, speaking on a cell phone for what he said was the first time. "It would have done me more harm than good."

Doswell spent his years in prison getting an associate's degree, learning to speak Spanish and mastering seven musical instruments, including the guitar, saxophone, flute, drums and trumpet.

"I am so happy to be actually seeing him at home instead of in jail," said Crystal Glover, Doswell's girlfriend. "Now we can get on with our lives."

MavKikiNYC
08-02-2005, 12:58 PM
1) The murderers in the previously cited case were caught with the dismembered body.

2) IMO, 20 years in prison for a crime you didn't commit is worse punishment than the death penalty.

FishForLunch
08-02-2005, 06:34 PM
Then we should but those creeps in Jail with grown ups so they become their bitches, if there is no death penalty for minors.

MavKikiNYC
03-01-2006, 08:45 PM
Troubled teen my a$$.......

March 1, 2006
Florida Youth Enters Plea to Avert Life Sentence

By TERRY AGUAYO
FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla., March 1 — A troubled teenager who was sentenced to life in prison in 2001 for stomping a younger playmate to death pleaded guilty to armed robbery in a plea deal that spares him a life sentence for violating the terms of his probation.

Lionel Tate, now 19, appeared before Judge Joel T. Lazarus of the Broward County Circuit Court for a violation of probation hearing stemming from an arrest in May on charges that he robbed a pizza deliveryman while on probation for the murder.

Mr. Tate responded, "Yes, sir" when the judge asked him if he pleaded guilty to the armed robbery charge. He also admitted to having violated his probation terms by breaking the law and carrying a gun during the robbery.

The judge scheduled sentencing for April 3 and ordered Mr. Tate held without bail. Mr. Tate could receive 10 to 30 years in prison which would run concurrently with the sentence the judge may impose for violating probation.

Mr. Tate was convicted of first-degree murder in 2001 for killing his 6-year-old playmate, Tiffany Eunick, when he was 12. His trial lawyers contended that Mr. Tate was only imitating wrestling moves and that the death was an accident, but the jury did not believe that argument. The case gained widespread attention and became a focal point for those against treating juveniles convicted of crimes as adults.

Mr. Tate was initially sentenced to life in prison without parole, but an appeals court reversed his conviction in 2003, saying he should have been mentally evaluated before trial. He walked free and avoided retrial by pleading guilty to second-degree murder, in exchange for one year's house arrest and probation for an additional 10 years.

In September 2004, while under house arrest, Mr. Tate was arrested again after police said they found him out at 2 a.m. carrying an 8-inch knife. For that, Judge Lazarus added five years to his probation term and warned Mr. Tate that he would not tolerate any future violations.

Then, in May, he was arrested yet again after a pizza deliveryman said he took four pizzas to an apartment in Pembroke Pines, Fla., and noticed Mr. Tate hiding with a handgun behind the open door. The deliveryman said Mr. Tate chased him when he dropped the pizza boxes and fled.

Prosecutors have said they have plenty of evidence tying Mr. Tate to the robbery, including his fingerprints on three of the four pizza boxes.

An assistant state attorney, Chuck Morton, said the plea deal was in Mr. Tate's best interest in order to "avoid spending the rest of his life in jail".

Mr. Tate's lawyer, Ellis Rubin, called the evidence against his client "overwhelming" and said he was satisfied with the plea deal.

"I feel very good," Mr. Rubin said after the hearing. "This was the only professional and ethical thing to do."

Mr. Tate's mother, Kathleen Grossett-Tate, said she felt relieved with the plea. "It's very emotional," she said. "I'm very hopeful."

dude1394
03-01-2006, 08:57 PM
Isn't that special...the poor "youngster" kills a 6-year old and get's "life in prison without parole" but lo and behold he somehow gets out? Hmmm.....

Then he threatens to kill a pizza delivery man with a gun...

Let's put it this way...the death penalty would have been a HELL of a deterrent in this case.

Jeremiah
03-03-2006, 07:45 PM
...

MavKikiNYC
03-03-2006, 08:51 PM
The law has long protected minors from themselves.

It would seem that the law fails to protect minors (not to mention the rest of society) from murderers who happen to be minors.

That makes no sense to me.

Jeremiah
03-03-2006, 09:00 PM
...

mcsluggo
03-06-2006, 10:25 AM
Holy crap people.

Abstract away from the good or the bad of the death penalty in general. Are you all honestly arguing that someone should have been executed for a crime they committed when they were 12 years old?

TWELVE FREAKIN YEARS OLD?


Please, A simple :

"Yes I advocate the imposition of the death penalty for crimes commited by 12 year olds."
or
"no, I do not advocate the imposition of the death penalty for crimes commited by 12 year olds."

MavKikiNYC
03-06-2006, 10:31 AM
Holy crap people.
"Yes I advocate the imposition of the death penalty for crimes commited by 12 year olds."
."

Yes. Absolutely. I'd go younger than that if circumstances warranted.

dude1394
03-06-2006, 10:38 AM
Yes...I believe that a judge and a jury have the wisdom to make the decision about whether a 12 year old warrants the death penalty.

NOT some idiotic hard and fast rule that can give the death penalty to an 18 year old but not a 17year, 11month, 31st day year old.

The very idea that that a judge and jury aren't able to make this distinction belies the concept that they are sitting in judgement anyway.

Mavdog
03-06-2006, 11:18 AM
a jury having the "wisdom" to decide if a 12 year old is mature enough to be given the deah penalty? I don't think so. juries tend to not have sufficient depth of knowledge, and also the ability to check their own bias at the door, to make that decision imo.

we have many "hard and fast rule[s]" that guide our courts, having an age criteria doesn't seem to be that alien.

dude1394
03-06-2006, 11:38 AM
I think juries are imminently qualified to make these decisions, they do it every day. Our whole justice system is based on being judged by your peers.

Do you ever favor a death penalty?

Mavdog
03-06-2006, 12:09 PM
just this past week a situation occured that supports my position on juries. The woman who dismembered her infant, killing them, was on trial. the defense went with an insanity defense, which was not too hard to anticipate btw, and a juror went into the trial with a predetermined judgement.

not what was meant to happen, and there's several safeguards ment to prevent sucha thing...but it happended. result- hung jury. justice denied.

is there a valid use of the death penalty? yes.

sixeightmkw
03-06-2006, 12:11 PM
And the genius of the law is that becuase of that one Juror, she can be retiried. she is not off the hook by any means.

Mavdog
03-06-2006, 12:23 PM
yes, she CAN be retried, or the DA may just make a deal. regardless, the trial was a waste of time for all parties, and a waste of money due to the juror not being intellectually capable of fulfilling their duty.

it shows that a jury, while being adequate for many trials, can take the wrong road.

the question is if a jury is a correct venue to determine if a juvenile should be given the death penalty, not if a hung jury can be overcome by a new court proceding.

dude1394
03-06-2006, 12:39 PM
yes, she CAN be retried, or the DA may just make a deal. regardless, the trial was a waste of time for all parties, and a waste of money due to the juror not being intellectually capable of fulfilling their duty.

it shows that a jury, while being adequate for many trials, can take the wrong road.

the question is if a jury is a correct venue to determine if a juvenile should be given the death penalty, not if a hung jury can be overcome by a new court proceding.

It wasn't a waste of time for the person being charged with the crime. And sure they can take the wrong road, what's your point? You think the legislature can't either? Or judges? Just because errors CAN be made doesn't make your point unless you want judges to bring verdicts and not juries.

I'll take the common sense of a jury of my peers over a guvment employee anyday.

Jeremiah
03-06-2006, 12:42 PM
...

sixeightmkw
03-06-2006, 01:01 PM
No, I do not advocate the death penalty for persons for crimes committed when they were 12.

And second, as the death penalty is currently used, I am not in favor of it. It's too expensive, it's use is skewed based on race and economic status, and it serves no purpose other than the show of power of the State.
Ok, first off no one is talking about executing 12 year olds. Allposts of news stories have been of males who are 17, turning 18 in a month or so, and area allowed to get a way with murder.
Secondly, if you think that it is based on race and economic status then you are feeble in mind. Why does EVERYTHING have to come back to race. It always has to be about race. Why is that? It is not just the black man being executed. Damn, I went to Sam Houston State University, HUNTSVILLE TX. I read the news there, and the same amount of white guys were executed as black. It'snot always about race or economic status. I agree that alot of the people are in prison for murder and stuff like that are Black men who live in low income areas, but is that the fault of the state now?

Jeremiah
03-06-2006, 01:09 PM
...

sixeightmkw
03-06-2006, 01:13 PM
All I'm saying is everything has to come back to race. Why can't it be, the white man, the black man, the mexican man, the chinese man, the MAN, killed someone. he needs to be punished for that murder. But it has to come back to, oh the black man killed a white girl, or the white man killled a black man, or what ever. This is the reason why this nation will never move past racism. Because people, both black and white, can't get past the issue and have to keep blaming eachother. I don't care what the situation is, if someone kills another person, he needs to be punished. no matter what.

Jeremiah
03-06-2006, 01:18 PM
....

dude1394
03-06-2006, 01:30 PM
Ok, first off no one is talking about executing 12 year olds. Allposts of news stories have been of males who are 17, turning 18 in a month or so, and area allowed to get a way with murder.
Secondly, if you think that it is based on race and economic status then you are feeble in mind. Why does EVERYTHING have to come back to race. It always has to be about race. Why is that? It is not just the black man being executed. Damn, I went to Sam Houston State University, HUNTSVILLE TX. I read the news there, and the same amount of white guys were executed as black. It'snot always about race or economic status. I agree that alot of the people are in prison for murder and stuff like that are Black men who live in low income areas, but is that the fault of the state now?


Race is brought up to further the argument with a liberal helping of white guilt. Sorry that dog doesn't hunt anymore. Get over it.

Mavdog
03-06-2006, 01:52 PM
all one needs to do is look at the statistics.

more minority defendants are put on trial for a capital offense with the death penalty asked for by the prosecution than non-minority defendants. a greater number of convictions with a death sentence are given to minorities than non-minorities as a percent of the overall population, or as a percent of the crimes committed

there is a clear racial bias and economic inequity in the application of the death penalty imo.

sixeightmkw
03-06-2006, 02:11 PM
ok, what the hell does "imo" mean? I am just out of the loop

u2sarajevo
03-06-2006, 02:22 PM
ok, what the hell does "imo" mean? I am just out of the loopin my opinion

sixeightmkw
03-06-2006, 02:23 PM
thank you, I thought everyone was referring to a certain type of music but thats emo

mcsluggo
03-07-2006, 01:23 PM
Ok, first off no one is talking about executing 12 year olds. Allposts of news stories have been of males who are 17, turning 18 in a month or so, and area allowed to get a way with murder.
...


Yes, they were. They were specifically saying that the death penalty should have been applied in this case:

Mr. Tate was convicted of first-degree murder in 2001 for killing his 6-year-old playmate, Tiffany Eunick, when he was 12. His trial lawyers contended that Mr. Tate was only imitating wrestling moves and that the death was an accident, but the jury did not believe that argument. The case gained widespread attention and became a focal point for those against treating juveniles convicted of crimes as adults.

(cut from an article in an above post)

Then people went further and said that the death penalty should be applied younger than 12 "under the right circumstances".

I am sorry, but that is utterly revolting. You are in elementary school when you turn 12 (6th grade), ELEMENTARY SCHOOL. I have a twelve year old nephew. He is about 4.5 feet tall, 75ish pounds, and he plays with toy-cars and pokemon-cards. ELEMENTARY SCHOOL.

statements, and actions attempting to execute what nobody can argue is anything but little kids is EXACTLY WHY A FIRM LINE WAS (and needed to be) DRAWN AT 18. Without a firm, specific, unwavering line then absolutely anything ends up being fair game.

mcsluggo
03-07-2006, 01:31 PM
killing of minors had really put the US in the company of some real winners:

http://web.amnesty.org/pages/deathpenalty-children-stats-eng


But a 12 year-old, hell that would even beat Yemen and Iran. Woot woot.

sixeightmkw
03-07-2006, 02:07 PM
apparently you have never had the experience to see children in the slums of Dallas. My fiance is a 4th grade teacher, taught 5th last year, at W S Blair in Pleasant Grove. If you are not familiar with Dallas, I don't know, it is the worst part of Dallas. The kids in this school, from my personal experience, are drug dealers, many have probation officers already, beat kids up continuously, and they know exactly what they are doing. Kids in 6th grade in the burbs are totally different from 6th graders in the slums. They don't play with pokemon cards or dodgeball, they deal with drugs and guns every day. You might remeber last year a 6th grade kid was found hung off of 175 in Dallas. It was on the news a while back. That kid was in my fiances class. He was dealing drugs for the local dealer and ripped him off. He paid the consequences. There is a huge difference between burb kids and those that live in these types of areas.

MavKikiNYC
04-10-2006, 08:37 PM
DEATH-CHASE KIDS WERE ON HUNT: COPS By JAMIE SCHRAM, IKIMULISA LIVINGSTON and LEONARD GREENE
April 10, 2006 -- 4 BUSTED IN NYU STUDENT'S DEATH

A marauding band of teen thugs - including two baby-faced 13-year-olds - were prowling their Harlem neighborhood for an "easy mark" to rob when they cornered an NYU student who was fatally struck by car as he fled, police said yesterday. While the horrific case had been thought to be a hate crime - with the black punks allegedly screaming, "Get whitey!" as victim John Broderick "J.B." Hehman ran into traffic - cops insisted the gang was a vicious "organized robbery team" hunting for a target.

In chilling new details released yesterday, police said the wolf pack of punks at first had planned to rob a Hispanic man as he walked toward them around East 125th Street before 8 p.m. April 1 - but were scared off by a police cruiser. Moments later, the doomed NYU junior emerged from the subway on his way to play video games with a friend.

The gang, which also included two 15-year-olds, followed their new victim for about a block as they plotted how to bring him down, cops said.

At least two of the thugs went around in front of the 20-year-old student, while another two followed him from behind, cops said.

The punks made their move outside a Popeye's fast-food joint on East 125th Street, allegedly surrounding Hehman just after he bent down to give a dollar to a man in a wheelchair.

Deputy Inspector Michael Osgood said one teen grabbed Hehman while another rifled his pockets and punched him in the face. Hehman broke free and fled. As three of the thugs chased him, he ran into the street, where he was hit by a silver Mercedes. He died four days later at Harlem Hospital.

The Mercedes' driver, Frank Diaz, 49, of New Hyde Park, L.I., said he didn't see Hehman until he hit him.

"All I saw was a shadow come up on my hood. It completely caught me off guard. I hit the brakes right away," the father of three said, his voice trembling.

"I never saw the other kids. I never saw him running."

Diaz, whose windshield was smashed by the impact, said he has been unable to shake the memory of striking the young man.

"I've been trying to keep myself busy," he said. "This is such a tragic event.'

The teens, identified as Hassan Mayfield and Andre Johnson, both 15, and Denzel Fell and Bobby Guzman, both 13, were charged as adults with second-degree murder and attempted robbery.

They made no comment as cops escorted them from Harlem's 25th Precinct station house yesterday.

Johnson was held without bail at his arraignment in Manhattan Criminal Court last night.

A fifth suspect is still at large.

While the punks allegedly yelled, "Get whitey!" or "Get the white boy!" while chasing Hehman, cops said they are backing away from hate-crime charges because racial bias was not the motivating factor in the attack.

"The evidence is just overwhelming that it was economic and not a hate crime," said Osgood, who works in the NYPD's Hate Crime Task Force. "In essence, what you have is an organized robbery team going into a conspiracy."

Cops said a surveillance video from a nearby McDonald's led them to the suspects.
Days before the attack, a group of teens trashed the fast-food restaurant, overturning cash registers and intimidating customers. The violence was caught on tape, and police said at least some of those suspects were involved in Hehman's death.

Relatives described the four as good students who had never been in trouble with the law.

"A person who is guilty is not going to just turn himself in," said Natasha Jenkins, whose son, Mayfield, went to the station house to talk to cops. "Hassan went to the cops voluntarily on two occasions to tell his side of the story."

Guzman's uncle said his nephew was not involved in the chase. "I don't know what's going on," he uncle said. "He's not a murderer."

Adam Freedman, a lawyer for Johnson, said the four were interviewed outside the presence of their parents. "The police have not told me anything about his statements or any one else's statements or even if they made a statement," he said.

Jeremiah
04-11-2006, 12:45 AM
...

Jeremiah
04-11-2006, 12:59 AM
...

MavKikiNYC
04-11-2006, 07:14 AM
HARLEM THUGS YUPPIE HUNTING By LAURA ITALIANO
April 11, 2006 -- It's yuppie-hunting season on 125th Street in Harlem. Teen wolf packs have been systematically preying on people in the gentrifying neighborhood, police sources said yesterday, as four young punks were charged with murder for a mugging gone awry.

The teens, charged as adults, face up to nine years to life behind bars for allegedly acting with depraved indifference in causing the death of New York University student Broderick John Hehman, 20.

Theirs are the first high-profile arrests in a new crime pattern that's shaken the on-the-rise neighborhood.

Sources said local teens, typically ages 13 to 15, linger along 125th Street, scoping out potential mugging victims, then moving in to surround and attack.

The kids target well-dressed students, tourists or commuters, preferring those who are alone and talking on cellphones as they climb out of the Metro-North and subway stations at Lexington Avenue and Malcolm X Boulevard, sources said.

They're after cellphones, small electronics and wallets.
The sources said cops arrest groups of kids for these coordinated sidewalk muggings a couple times a month.

"The larger kids will grab or punch you, maybe throw you to the ground," said one cop from the area. "Then the little ones go through your pockets."

Until now, these attacks caused only scratches and bruises. But that changed April 1, when just this kind of pack allegedly pounced on Hehman, 20, who was visiting a friend in the neighborhood.

Hehman, the son of a Manhattan investment banker, ran into traffic to flee his pursuers. Struck by a Mercedes, he died six days later of head injuries .
"These kids are just like what we're always getting out there," said a cop who patrols the historic street.

Added the cop, "We keep telling people, when you walk out of the station, stay off the cellphone. Be alert. Don't act like you're in Midtown. 'Cause you're not in Midtown. You're in Harlem."

Robberies in the 25th Precinct, which includes 125th Street in East Harlem, are up 3.3 percent so far this year, according to NYPD crime statistics through April 2. There were 61 robberies in the precinct for the first three months of the year, compared to 59 for the same period in 2005.
All four teens charged in Hehman's murder have confessed to acting together to mug the popular student, according to criminal complaints released yesterday.

Accused ringleader Andre "Chris" Johnson, 15, spotted Hehman walking alone and talking on his cell as he left the Metro-North station, and pointed him out to the others, the complaints allege.

Johnson admitted punching the student in the side of his head, and Hassan Mayfield, 15, admitted "trying" to grab him, prosecutors said.

Denzell Fell and Humberto Guzman, both 13, insisted they played minor roles, saying, "Chris and Hassan never give us any of the stuff they take," according to Assistant District Attorney Joel Seideman.

None of the teens admitted chasing Hehman into traffic. All denied wanting to seriously injure him. They're being held without bail, and a fifth teen is still being sought.

Additional reporting by Perry Chiaramonte

MavKikiNYC
04-11-2006, 07:23 AM
So what's this article prove? Had these kids been adults, assuming everything in the article is true, they're not eligible for the death penalty, they're charged with second degree murder.

What the article "proves" is what happens when thug punks are allowed to act with impunity, with virtually no fear of apprehension, let alone serious punishment. Capital punishment is vastly underuitlized in cases like this.

Adult crimes. Adult punishment.

This happened, by the way, practically on the doorstep of Bill Clinton's offices on 125th street.

Where the f*ck were the police? How the f*ck do they let bands of kids wild along a busy area like 125th Street without increasing police presence?

And yet the problem remains, because even once they're apprehended, they face little in the way of punishment.

My worst inclincation makes me think that the police death squads in Rio de Janeiro are the best way to deal with this--apprehend them in the act, bullets to the back of the head, leave the bodies to rot in the street.

MavKikiNYC
04-11-2006, 07:26 AM
More than a few days, but better late than never...
Here's a very recent study about race and the death penalty.
http://www.deathpenaltyinfo.org/article.php?scid=19&did=246

Here's an article about one in NJ, with the criticism of it after. It says that blacks are 10x more likely to get the death penalty than whites.
http://www.uncp.edu/home/vanderhoof/dp-news/nj-race.html

Here's one from NC that says that if the victim was white, the defendant was 3.5x more likely to be sentenced to death.
http://www.deathpenaltyinfo.org/article.php?scid=19&did=246

Hope that helps.

And f*ck pointless studies about disparity in application of the death penalty.

I'm all for applying it equally--more not less.

Jeremiah
04-11-2006, 12:26 PM
...

Jeremiah
04-11-2006, 12:32 PM
...

MavKikiNYC
04-11-2006, 12:33 PM
I suppose that is what it proves if you believe everything you read...and then some. It's a biased report, you see that right? It's straight from the police reports. I see no information from the people that were actually there.

No, the victim is dead.

The police reports did allude to the firsthand accounts by the teen murderers themselves however.

And there was video surveillance tapes of the teen murderers along with some of their extended posse during a rampage through a fastfood restaurant earlier in the week.

Jeremiah
04-11-2006, 12:51 PM
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Jeremiah
04-11-2006, 01:28 PM
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MavKikiNYC
04-15-2006, 09:49 AM
As NYU student lay dying, they just 'laughed'
BY HELEN PETERSON
DAILY NEWS STAFF WRITER
Saturday, April 15th, 2006

Four Harlem teens charged with chasing a New York University student to his death stood laughing as the 20-year-old was struck by a car, thrown into the air and lay dying in the street, prosecutors said yesterday.

"They didn't call for an ambulance," Assistant District Attorney Joel Seidemann said in Manhattan Criminal Court. "They didn't call for help. Rather, they stood on the street corner and laughed as he lay in the road."

That disturbing new detail was revealed as a Manhattan grand jury decided the youths should be charged as juveniles in Family Court - where they could get as little as 18 months behind bars if convicted.

Prosecutors said a "quirk" in the law makes it impossible to charge the boys, two 15-year-olds and two 13-year-olds, with felony murder as adults.

They said the law doesn't allow 13-year-olds to be charged with felony murder. It also does not allow the charge against 15-year-olds if the underlying felony - in this case a robbery - is not completed.

The victim, Broderick John Hehman, fled before they could take any of his property.

The grand jury's finding was announced by Seidemann as the teens appeared at a hearing to learn if they would be prosecuted for murder as adults in state Supreme Court, where they could have faced up to 9 years to life in prison.

Now, the longest they can be jailed will be until their 21st birthdays, authorities said.
At the hearing, Seidemann detailed the April 1 robbery-gone-awry, saying the teens spotted Hehman on his cell phone on E.125th St. and followed him. He said that, after surrounding him, one youth punched Hehman in the head and another grabbed him in a bear hug, hoping to steal the phone.

Hehman broke free and the teens chased him into the street, where he was struck by a passing Mercedes-Benz.

"He was thrown into the air and his head smashed into the windshield," Seidemann said. "The windshield shattered and he fell into the road."

He added that the youths were seen laughing as the tragedy unfolded before them.
Hehman suffered a fractured skull and died at Harlem Hospital four days later.
The teenagers - Humberto Guzman, 13; Denzell Fell, 13; Hassan Mayfield, 15, and Andre Johnson, 15 - are scheduled to appear in Family Court Monday. A judge there will decide if they should be released pending the outcome of the case.

"Family Court is a more rehabilitative court. We deal with kids that are young. Our role is to help mold them into productive citizens more than to punish," said Laurence Busching, chief of the Family Court division of the city's Law Department, which prosecutes criminal cases there.

chumdawg
04-15-2006, 10:47 AM
Is there any chance they'll get convicted of murder anyway? Robbery and assault, sure. Murder, not so sure.

MavKikiNYC
04-15-2006, 10:50 AM
Is there any chance that there won't be at least two felony assaults commited by that quartet by the time they're all 25?

chumdawg
04-15-2006, 11:03 AM
Not in the least.

dude1394
04-15-2006, 05:15 PM
As NYU student lay dying, they just 'laughed'
BY HELEN PETERSON
DAILY NEWS STAFF WRITER
Saturday, April 15th, 2006

Four Harlem teens charged with chasing a New York University student to his death stood laughing as the 20-year-old was struck by a car, thrown into the air and lay dying in the street, prosecutors said yesterday.
That disturbing new detail was revealed as a Manhattan grand jury decided the youths should be charged as juveniles in Family Court - where they could get as little as 18 months behind bars if convicted.



Well isn't that just precious? Those little imps. Now stop killing people now or you'll be sent to your rooms? You won't get any supper and your nintendo will be taken away. You'll have to go to timeout.

Yup...just LOVE those liberal sentencing laws.

Drbio
04-16-2006, 12:20 AM
How pathetic.

Mavdog
04-16-2006, 04:13 PM
let's hear from anyone who believe that they were the same person at age 18 that they were at age 13.

during those 5 years there is a tremendous amount of maturation. these children- and yes they are children at age 13- need sociological/psychological assistance, which clearly they are not getting in their home. the majority of what they are learning is more than likely coming form the streetcorner.

orangedays
04-16-2006, 04:27 PM
let's hear from anyone who believe that they were the same person at age 18 that they were at age 13.

during those 5 years there is a tremendous amount of maturation. these children- and yes they are children at age 13- need sociological/psychological assistance, which clearly they are not getting in their home. the majority of what they are learning is more than likely coming form the streetcorner.

Generation after generation of social sludge is being squeezed out in the ghettos of America's urban areas - so the question becomes, who's fault is it? Where is the accountability? Is it the children's fault? Is it their parents'/legal guardians' fault? Do we blame 'the streets'?

Should the average American tax payer be made responsible for paying to provide these children the necessary "sociological/psychological assistance"? What is the return on this investment? Obviously, it has not been very good. I doubt the individuals living on the street corner, influencing the children in question, were choir boys when they were 13. It would appear that any attempts to assist them failed miserably.

What people need to do is stop making excuses for individuals who make poor choices in their lives. It shouldn't matter who is influencing you - if you choose to steal someone's cell phone - you are guilty of that choice. If you choose to watch and laugh as that individual dies in the street - you are responsible for that choice. What would you propose? A comprehensive re-education system where children are taught the merits of right and wrong? You don't think they know that what they did was wrong, yet still decided to do it, fundamentally guilty? Please.

MavKikiNYC
04-16-2006, 04:52 PM
let's hear from anyone who believe that they were the same person at age 18 that they were at age 13.

during those 5 years there is a tremendous amount of maturation. these children- and yes they are children at age 13- need sociological/psychological assistance, which clearly they are not getting in their home. the majority of what they are learning is more than likely coming form the streetcorner.
Re the first point, Dog--you could pose the same question about any man who's spent 20 years on death row, after having committed a murder at say age 25. Is he the same man at age 45 that he was at age 25? No. Is he still a murderer? Yes. Is he still deserving of execution at age 45? Yes.

I don't disagree that the typical teenager experiences changes in maturation from 13 to 18. The reality is, however, that some of this maturing can manifest itself in negative, anti-social ways just as easily as in postive, pro-social ways. For kids who have committed (or been directly invovled in) a murder at age 13 the prospects for postive maturation are not good. And I certainly agree that this is more likely to be the case if those 13 and 15-year olds remain on the street.

One other point you make--that the 13 year olds clearly aren't getting sociological/psychological assitance at home--there have been interviews with family members in media reports (both television and newsprint) where the family members SWEAR that these are good kids---that they did well in school, and NEVER got into trouble; the grandfather of one of the 13-year olds maintains that the family bought the 13-year old "stacks of jeans and closetsful of shirts" so that he wouldn't want for anything, and wouldn't be tempted to get involved with gangs on the street. So there is some question as to whether this was a case of poor parenting, or poor family network, or whether the 13-year olds got involved in a murder just for kicks DESPITE a reasonable amount of family/home-life structure. In either case, the result was fatal to Broderick Hehman. And for a crime like this, I don't believe in either punishment or rehabilitation. I believe in preventing the next crime that these kids will surely commit as soon as they're out on the street.

A few years back I was involved in a volunteer program that provided afterschool activities and academic tutoring to potentially at-risk middle-school-aged kids, and the population that was served was the very neighborhood where the murder occurred. The sick and sad irony is that many of the volunteers in the program fit the profile of Broderick Hehman, and many of the students involved fit the profile of the murderers.

Some of the kids took advantage of the huge opportunity the program afforded them and looked like they were going to make it out, get a good education and be productive.

And some of them didn't--couldn't, wouldn't, didn't stick with the program, slid back in with their homies, taunted (and worse) the kids who stayed involved with the program. Some of the girls were as bad as the boys. And frankly, if I were walking on 125th St today and saw some of those kids, I'd be looking over my shoulder and checking for traffic. Maturation is not necessarily a good thing.

Jeremiah
04-16-2006, 05:06 PM
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Jeremiah
04-16-2006, 05:12 PM
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MavKikiNYC
04-16-2006, 05:23 PM
Getting "stacks of jeans and closets full of shirts," without more, is not sociological or psychological assistance. Also, sociological or psychological assistance can be absent whether there is poor parenting or a poor family network or not.

I agree.

But the point that was being made was that these are not just street kids from single-parent, absent-parent, or zero-parent households. There are family members who are at least present, if not involved.

The flip-side to the latter point that you make is that there are certainly cases where kids get plenty of support and guidance from a stable home environment and like these kids, grow up capable of committing murder.

They're called sociopaths.

orangedays
04-16-2006, 05:42 PM
I'm less concerned with guilt than I am with punishment.

My post should imply that guilty parties should be punished accordingly - regardless of age.

Jeremiah
04-16-2006, 06:39 PM
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Jeremiah
04-16-2006, 06:44 PM
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orangedays
04-16-2006, 08:52 PM
To that I must disagree. I think age ought to be a factor the criminal law considers in guilt and punishment. Note that I do not discrimnate between youth from the rich suburbs,[case in point, Michael Skakel], and youth from the poor neighborhoods. Whether socioeconomic status ought to be a factor is another discussion.

Where would you say the age line should be drawn? Through cable television, pop music, movies, etc., children are being exposed to more at progressively younger ages. Sex education is taught to middle schoolers yet many still make the decision to engage in those activities. Is it appropriate to give a "Get Out Of Jail Free" card to an individual who may or may not be fully cognizant of his or her actions simply because they are below some arbitrary age?

Jeremiah
04-16-2006, 09:45 PM
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orangedays
04-16-2006, 10:24 PM
For the death penalty? 18.

Like I said, an arbitrary age. It is facetious to draw a line and say, "anyone younger than x age will not receive equitable punishment for equitable action." I know it is the law, but it is highly flawed to assume that individuals from age 0-17.9999 are not fully cognizant of the wrongs they commit - this flaw becomes more and more obvious as we approach '18'.

Jeremiah
04-16-2006, 11:26 PM
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orangedays
04-16-2006, 11:49 PM
My criticism of the system is coupled with a pragmatic understanding that there is no perfect solution to the issue. Certainly, arbitrary values must be used when creating the legal framework within which we must operate but that does not mean that said framework is not without glaring flaws. From my perspective, the fallacy of the biological argument is most evident when someone who is 17 years and 364 days gets 5 years in juvie while someone who is 18 years and one day gets the electric chair. Obviously an extreme example but I think it shows a serious shortcoming of the system.

Personally, I take a two-pronged approach. One side of me believes that there should be a zero-tolerance system in place - individuals should be made responsible for their choices and actions, without exception. In a perfect world, rational individuals would recognize that punishment would correlate directly to their crime - removal of the grey areas would sufficiently disincentive individuals from committing serious crimes because they know they would not get away with it - no matter their age. If people understood that capital punishment was an oft-enforced end-all, they would reconsider their actions.

The second side is more practical - such a system as I outlined above would create an ethical nightmare and would also be reliant on the assumption that all individuals are rational. And in the real world, unfortunately, few individuals are rational actors. People make poor choices - and it would be unfair to use sweeping punishments to address those poor choices without fully understanding the rationale behind them.

Anyways, I'm not 'not buying' the argument. I understand how the system works and I understand why it is designed to work the way that it does. I think you will agree with me, however, that the present system suffers from numerous (and not easily rectifiable) flaws. Unfortunately, at present, it provides us with the most 'equitable' solutions for dealing with crime. Hopefully, better arrangements are forthcoming.

Jeremiah
04-17-2006, 11:13 AM
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orangedays
04-17-2006, 12:18 PM
I'm not convinced you understand how the system works.

Okay, let's see if we can rectify that confusion.

And 18 is not THAT arbitrary. There's a history and tradition behind that age. Historically, the US protects its children. We do it in all areas of the law, not just the criminal law.

I'm sure you understand that arbitrariness is not a quantifiable measure. It's not THAT arbitrary but it is arbitrary. Any scientific/biological evidence you can present contrary to that would be inherently flawed. Why? Because human beings are not machines that suddenly become coherent at the age of 18. Maturity happens at different ages - orangedays as a 16 year-old probably had a better understanding of what he should and should not do than some junkie 35 year-old. The history and tradition is outdated.

However you might wish it to happen, crimes don't happen in a vacuum. It's not just about people not acting rationally. The criminal law attempts to account for that. It's a mix of hard and fast rules, and a balancing of factors. One of those factors in death penalty law, is age. Not every 18 year old convicted of murder gets the death penalty, nor does every 35 year old convicted of murder get the death penalty.

Read this sentence back to yourself: "The criminal law attempts to account for that." It doesn't read, "The criminal law accounts for that." The arbitrary nature of the Law is what makes the system a flawed one. I'm not convinced you are understanding me. It's true that there is no 1-to-1 ratio for conviction/punishment - my argument is that, (read this carefully now) in a perfect system, if the punishment were made to fit the crime - then rational individuals would be disincentived from committing said crime.

I'd like to back up to my previous post. The death penalty costs a ton of money to implement. I'd venture to guess that it costs to put a kid to death than an adult, because a kid is likely to have the extra argument of being a kid, which will likely get him an extra appeal here and there. When NJ put a moratorium on the death penalty earlier this year, the newspapers reported that if the rest of the people on deathrow in NJ exhausted their appeals and then sent to death, it would cost a lot of money. I believe it was in the 800 million area, but I can't remember for sure. If instead those same people had their death penalty sentences commuted to life in prison, then it would cost NJ about 2% of the previous figure. (Again, I can't quite remember, but I think it was about 15 million, but it could just as easily been 30 million.) That's a lot of money that could be used for other things, like a victim fund, where money can be distributed for wrongful death lawsuits. Or, some of it can be put into the police department so that they can put more officers on the street, and train their officers better.

Again, this is a case of you misunderstanding my point. The issue you are addressing here, I addressed as a hypothetical situation. If rational actors exist in a system where they recognize that Crime A = Punishment A all of the time, then they would not commit said crime (assuming the utility of commiting said crime was lower than...well, death). Your proposal operates under the assumption that these crimes are inevitable, and we should plan accordingly by spending money to try and minimize the impact of these crimes. Hypothetical v. real world.

And getting to the crux of the issue of the initial article, the state of NJ isn't even willing to meet the cost of putting children like the one mentioned in this article in prison for life. They will be back out on the streets in no time flat. My hypothetical argument that the death penalty would be most efficient isn't even relevant here - the reality of the situation is that the crime will perpetuate itself.

Killing kids is bad business. Certainly, there's no magical switch that flips on one's 18th birthday that allows one to function as an adult. But it's a line that we drew a long time ago, and I'm willing to accept it. Kids have more time to sit and think about their crimes and, as their still young and malleable, with the right influence, will learn to repent. Contrary to what some believe, I think that young kids can mature into adults that understand the gravity of their crimes and can become better individuals. Be that in prison, or as a free person. A repentant criminal is worth more to me than a dead one.

That's fine if you're willing to accept it. From the previous paragraph, you demonstrated that you care about monetary outlays when it comes to the enforcement of punishment. So I assume you would have no problem housing all of these kids who need to "sit and think about their crimes" and provide them with "the right influence". Your idealism is unfounded - while I'm sure that numerous examples of "repentant criminal(s)" exist - you will notice that crime remains an issue - everywhere. These criminals were kids once. Why weren't they reached and given the right influences? This issue is not a new one. So we are faced with the reality that what you are proposing (rehabilitating young offenders) does not work. Killing kids is bad business, I agree. But letting kids go with a slap on the wrist because they are kids is bankrupting.

Given the history and tradition the US has of protecting its children, it's a compromise I'm willing to live with.

There is protecting innocent children and then there is protecting knowing criminals who happen to be young. Crime is an ever-present problem and younger and younger children are commiting more heinous crimes. It will be interesting to see how much longer you are willing to live with this imperfect compromise.

As for your example above, no 17 year old that kills someone is going to juvie. Not in the US at least.

Semantics. My point was that such an arbitrary cut-off could mean the difference between life and death and the example used was to point out the ridiculous nature of the system. For the kid who is 17 years and 364 days goes, the death penalty is not even considered an option while the kid who is 18 years and 1 day may or may not be sent to death row, despite the fact that they committed comparable crimes (or even if the younger person committed a worse crime).

Jeremiah
04-17-2006, 08:05 PM
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orangedays
04-17-2006, 08:41 PM
You say the history and tradition is outdated? Given that history and tradition is the basis for our laws, I'd say you'll have to come up with an argument supporting why the history and tradition is outdated.

Simple. In this particular instance, the history and tradition is outdated because it is biased in favor of <18 year-old criminals. A 17 year-old who has the same mental cognizance as a 35 year-old does not receive equal punishment for equal crime.

I'm not sure why you are arguing about a perfect system when you admit that it's not perfect, and that it will take quite the effort to make it perfect. Our system is imperfect, make an argument that works in an imperfect system.

I was presenting my personal opinion about what should happen. If you don't understand the value of working within a hypothetical 'rational system', I would also presume that you've never taken Microeconomics 101. If that is the case, then I apologize. If it is not, then let me clarify for you: There is no way to make it perfect. That was not my point. The actors are inherently irrational - therefore the system will behave irrationally. I presented my opinion on what would happen in a perfect system, not what should be instituted in the real world. Your inability to understand that is why you are trying to debate the point.

I wrote "attempts to account" rather than "account" because that's what I believe. There are much smarter and more educated folks than myself out there that believe the criminal law accounts for the fact that crimes do not occur in a vacuum.

No, it is not just a matter of what you believe. It is a fact. The system is unable to account for every contingency - that is the reality of the situation. All of these smart and educated people are working constantly to fix the flaws within the system but they also understand that there will always be exceptions that cannot be accounted for. The balancing factors are imperfect - they are constantly being refined, but they are imperfect and will remain so into perpetuity.

Yes I must be misunderstanding, because as it stands now, your hypothetical, at least the part about people knowing what the punishment is all the time, is the way it is. At least, that's the way the law treats us. Joe Schmo may not know that second degree murder in the state of TX carries a possibility of X years in prison, but the information is freely available to him in any law library. Heck, today, it's freely available to him online. Yet, people still commit crimes, knowing the punishments. I suspect there are other factors in determining the rationality of the person, e.g., the likelihood of getting caught, the likelihood of pleading to a lesser offense if caught, the likelihood shifting blame to others if caught, the value of the dead person compared to the value of him running for the rest of his life. I submit that there is a much higher value to some in his victim's death than in him running or spending life in jail, or even his life, post the victim's life.

Go read what 'rational' means in any economics or political science textbook and get back to me.

They are not willing to put those kids into prison for life because, as the newspaper writes, they've only been charged with attempted robbery and battery. Crimes such as those do not warrant life imprisonment.

The fact that they've only been charged with attempted robbery and battery points to the flaws within the system. These children are DIRECTLY RESPONSIBLE for the death of another human being. Are they less guilty because they have only been charged with attempted robbery and battery? If it were your family member who had been killed under these circumstances, would YOU be content with the punishment that these children will receive?

I'm not sure what monetary outlays means. If you mean I am concerned about the cost of punishment, then yes, I am. That makes your assumption correct. I am not opposed to funding the punishment of convicts. Of course, I don't have much say in the matter.

Monetary = money. Outlay = paying out. Monetary outlays = paying out money. I was being sarcastic. You made clear in the previous paragraph that you were opposed to the idea of expending large amounts of money to engineer the execution of criminals. I presented you with the possibility of footing the (no doubt, very expensive) bill for taking young criminals and making them wards of the state. It will be no cheap venture to give thee children the 'right influences'.

I don't quite understand what you think my idealism is, and what is unfounded.

You criticized me earlier for using a hypothetical situation, so I'm glad that you bring this up. How do you suppose to create an environment for these children whereby they will receive the right influences and care? Where will the money for this come from? Where will the manpower for this come from? Such a system does not exist, and even if it did, it is obviously not working. I accuse you of being idealistic because such a rehabilitating system is not only unlikely - it is a logistical impossibility.

You assume that what is going on in prisons is rehabilitation. Or, in the alternative, your argument assumes that. I submit that incarceration has nearly nothing to do with rehabilitation, and nearly all to do with retribution and punishment, oh, and the incarceration of the mentally ill. Rehabilitation might have, at one point in our history been a part of prison sentences, but it isn't now. All you have to do is examine the ratio of health providers, educators and social workers to prison guards in our prisons, and you ought to come to a similar conclusion. I think rehabilitation works, but prison is not rehabilitation.

So what would you propose? The 'monetary outlays' (hope you understand what that means now) related to prisons is already extremely high. Prison overcrowding and the revolving door phenomena are perpetually political issues. Do you seriously believe that politicians will be willing to pay millions, if not billions of dollars to institute a nation-wide rehabilitation system? The answer is an emphatic no.

Why crime still exists I think has a lot to do with philosophy, sociology and economics. I could think about it for awhile, but I can't give you a great answer right now.

True. But in the end, crime is an ethical issue. People make choices. Sometimes people need to make very difficult choices - theft or death by hunger, for example. But in the end it remains a choice that they make. There, I just saved you a few hours.


Who are "knowing criminals who happen to be young?" Seriously, was that a typo? I don't get it.

This is the second time I've had to explain something. Knowing = Possessing or showing sound judgment and keen perception. I was contrasting the protection of innocent children v. the protection of criminals who happen to be young. Knowing was used as an adjective. Yes, the system does what you say in terms of 'protecting children' since 'killing kids is bad business'. But it also protects criminals who commit crimes with intent - who also happen to fall below the arbitary 18 year-old boundary.

I'm not sure this is a merely a difference in semantics, so I'll just respond to the rest. It's simply a line that the courts have decided to draw, which, has support in the history and tradition of the nation's laws.

It was semantics. You misunderstood my original point so I clarified it for you. You keep talking about the history and tradition of the nation's laws and I've already made my position clear on that, so I digress from repeating myself.

Here's the bigger problem with your argument, as I see it: you want something, but what are you willing to give? Can we take felony murder off the table? What about outlawing police searches when the person consents, since the consent is really coerced? What about the law that says that those under 18 can't consent to sex, regardless of their maturity? Or someone that consents to exchange money for sex, can that be dismissed? I'll bargain with you, but let's be fair.

Hm, it's not really a matter of bargaining. The stance I am taking is that the criminal/punishment system is flawed because it fails to equitably punish individuals. Your argument essentially revolves around the 'history and tradition' statement. So you're essentially saying, "Well, that's the way it is and I don't question it because people smarter than I instituted it. And they can't be wrong." I guess I just don't understand how you can operate like that.

Jeremiah
04-17-2006, 10:47 PM
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orangedays
04-17-2006, 11:18 PM
I have to answer this in pieces. For now, I'll just start with the first piece.

I honestly look forward to it, this is a very interesting debate. :)

We don't decide guilt or punishment based solely on mental cognizance. We take account of the fact that youth do not generally appreciate the consequences of their actions and are more susceptible to peer pressure. I don't agree that the 17 year old doesn't receive the same punishment as the 35 year old. If the 35 year old has the mental cognizance of a 17 year old, it's certainly not guaranteed, but with a decent attorney, he won't be executed.

That's true, but assuming that to be the case, then your argument should also apply if we reverse the situation correct? If a 17 year-old has the mental cognizance of a 35 year-old (and commits a heinous crime, say, multiple murders), then a decent D.A. would make sure that he was executed. However, as existing law dictates, that cannot happen. It is this inequality I am criticizing.

I agree that the age is arbitrary. However, there are many rules in the law that are equally arbitrary. I think that if you want to argue about the arbitrariness of this law, you've got to take issue with the arbitrariness inherent in the laws. For instance, why does first degree murder in some states carry 25 year sentences and not 24 year or 26 year sentences? Why will peeing in public get someone 6 months in jail as opposed to 185 days? What's the difference between a 4 inch knife and a 4.5 inch knife, besides the fact that the latter will get one jail time? How do you decide?

I see your point - and I have no problem stating that my criticism applies to all facets of law that contain the arbitrariness which you describe. By criticizing it, I am in no way asserting that the system needs to be washed out and rebuilt from scratch. The 'perfect world' scenarios I brought up in my previous posts were just that, 'perfect worlds'. I understand that in our present (and imperfect) system, we have no choice but to make compromises.

My argument, in this case, is that the time has come to change/lower the age for enforcement of the death penalty. Or, at the very least, for the passage of legislation that will grant increased flexibility whereby prosecutors can seek the death penalty based on the merits of the fact pattern - without limitation based on age.

chumdawg
04-18-2006, 12:08 AM
OD, Jeremiah is undressing you here. You've been exposed to a lot of theories, it would seem, but to very little real-world applications. (Of course, it's common at your age.) You want to talk about "ultility" and about Econ101. I think it's quite safe to say that Jeremiah, and the rest of us, have advanced well beyond utility and freshman economics. You want to cite a definition of "rational" from a psych or poli-sci textbook. Again, I think we're all past that.

Jeremiah laid out for you quite clearly the reasons why the guy may still have committed the crime--even if there were some quote-unquote perfect system where the punishment always matched the crime: his chances of getting caught, his chances of shifting the blame, his chances of working the "system" to his benefit.

You are talking on idealistic freshman-level terms, and Jeremiah is talking in real-world terms. Until you find a way to reach a common ground, I don't expect that this "debate" is going anywhere.

orangedays
04-18-2006, 12:49 AM
OD, Jeremiah is undressing you here. You've been exposed to a lot of theories, it would seem, but to very little real-world applications. (Of course, it's common at your age.) You want to talk about "ultility" and about Econ101. I think it's quite safe to say that Jeremiah, and the rest of us, have advanced well beyond utility and freshman economics. You want to cite a definition of "rational" from a psych or poli-sci textbook. Again, I think we're all past that.

It is an oversight on your part to so quickly dismiss the merits of what you refer to as "freshman economics". Just to put things in context, my debate with Jeremiah began when he misconstrued my opinion of what I would like to have happen, in a perfect system, to be what I thought should be applied in the real world. The discussion bore fruit from there.

But back to your point - concepts such as utility and economic theory in general, are the basis of the world in which we operate. I don't see how you can say they are 'idealistic'. Flip through the Beige Book or an analysis of the U.S. economy from any investment bank and you will find that these 'idealistic' principles remain highly relevant in the real world - dismissing them as 'freshman' is a mistake.

Jeremiah laid out for you quite clearly the reasons why the guy may still have committed the crime--even if there were some quote-unquote perfect system where the punishment always matched the crime: his chances of getting caught, his chances of shifting the blame, his chances of working the "system" to his benefit.

All of those things, "his chances of getting caught, his chances of shifting the blame, his chances of working the "system" to his benefit," go into the formation of a rational decision on the part of the 'guy'. Given the opportunity to interview such an individual, it would not be difficult to create a basic utility function which factored in his preferences for all of the things that you listed and determine what level of punishment it would take to discourage him from committing a given crime. This is how laws are formed - punishments are designed, as best as they can be, to discourage criminal activity (taking into consideration those factors that you listed, and many others). The problem stems from the fact that, as you increase the size of the sample from which you are drawing utility information, it becomes increasingly difficult to make fixed laws that remain relevant.

That being said, unfortunately, real people do not act rationally, exemplified conveniently by the case in question. It is human fallability that causes many to disregard future repercussions in favor of present benefit. Human beings in the real world are decidedly irrational - you see it in the stock market, you see it in crowd behavior, and most conveniently - you see it in the case in hand. Do you honestly believe that, if given the choice between x years in prison and a cell phone, these kids wouldn't have walked away?

You are talking on idealistic freshman-level terms, and Jeremiah is talking in real-world terms.

Again, I don't think this is true. I see exactly where Jeremiah is coming from. While I do utilize hypotheticals in some of my arguments, the most fundamental points of my argument are firmly grounded in reality. The inverse of the 35 v. 17 year-old 'equitable punishment' argument in my previous post, for example.

The fact of the matter is, the 18 year-old limit on the death penalty is outdated. People are committing increasingly heinous crimes at younger ages. Individuals are becoming increasingly cognizant of the world around them at younger ages. The existing framework is starting to fray at the edges because society is outgrowing it.

chumdawg
04-18-2006, 01:01 AM
Either I am just dense, or your retort is contradictory in at least two ways. First, I don't remember studying the "Beige Book" in my freshman Econ class, nor an analysis of the US economy from an investment bank. You said Econ 101. Now it's advanced economics? Which?

But that's trivial. More to the point, you said--or rather, I should probably put it: you put forth the theory--that the world in which we operate does indeed act according to fundamental principals of utility. But then you went on in the next retort to say that humans don't act rationally after all.

You will have to decide which it is before we can take this any further. At this point you sound like an apprentice attorney who has an answer for everything but no strategy of his own.

orangedays
04-18-2006, 01:15 AM
Either I am just dense, or your retort is contradictory in at least two ways. First, I don't remember studying the "Beige Book" in my freshman Econ class, nor an analysis of the US economy from an investment bank. You said Econ 101. Now it's advanced economics? Which?

My original statement to Jeremiah on Econ 101 was with regards to his understanding of the basic, "value of working within a hypothetical 'rational system'". You went on to reference Econ 101 by saying that you and Jeremiah (among others), "have advanced well beyond utility and freshman economics." I brought up the Beige Book et al. to remind you that what you dismissed as "freshman economics" remains highly relevant not only in advanced economics, but also in real world applications. I see no contradiction.

But that's trivial. More to the point, you said--or rather, I should probably put it: you put forth the theory--that the world in which we operate does indeed act according to fundamental principals of utility. But then you went on in the next retort to say that humans don't act rationally after all.

I stated that it would be easy to formulate laws based on fundamental principles of utility IF said laws were formulated and enforced on an individual basis. This is impossible in the real world for the reasons stated: "as you increase the size of the sample from which you are drawing utility information, it becomes increasingly difficult to make fixed laws that remain relevant."

You will have to decide which it is before we can take this any further.

To clarify for your benefit: I believe that human beings are irrational. Since you and Jeremiah are so vehemently opposed to the use of hypothetical situations, I am more than amenable to sticking to real world situations for the purposes of this discussion.

chumdawg
04-18-2006, 01:26 AM
I guess I don't understand the point of it all then. You seem to be saying: if it were a perfect world, here's how it should work; but it's not a perfect world, so I understand why it works the way it does.

If that's the case, what debate is there here? I'm afraid that's exactly what Jeremiah said in the first place: that in this imperfect world we have to do the best we can and draw the line somewhere--which rendered your 17-and-364-days argument moot, in that you (should) undertand that 17.99<18.

What am I missing?

MavKikiNYC
04-18-2006, 06:30 AM
Ok, I was just looking for clarification. I thought you were saying the one was equal to the other.

As to your second point here, I agree. However, just to be clear, I don't think we can confidently say that these kids, in this case, are (or are not) sociopaths.
Perhaps not definitive proof.....yet. But indicators.

Teens charged in death of NYU student appear in Family Court
NEW YORK (AP) -- One of four teenagers accused of chasing a New York University student into the path of a car that killed him told police he robbed people for fun, not for money, a prosecutor said at his Family Court arraignment Monday.

City law department prosecutor Laurie Smith reported the comment during the first appearance of the four youths - two 15-year-olds and two 13-year-olds - in Family Court, where they will be tried as juveniles in the death of Broderick Hehman, 20.

Without identifying the teen, Smith said told Judge Robert Stolz that the youth told an officer "he doesn't do robberies for money, but for entertainment."

The four defendants are Hassan Mayfield and Andre Johnson, both 15, and Humberto Guzman and Denzell Fell, both 13. After their arrests April 8, all made statements to police admitting they had intended to rob Hehman.

Hehman was grabbed and punched on 125th Street near Park Avenue on April 1 around 8:30 p.m. When he broke free and ran into the street to escape, he was struck by a car.

The boys face charges of second-degree felony murder, robbery, second-degree manslaughter and gang assault.

Lawyers for the defendants, all of whom had parents present, asked the judge to let the boys go home. They also read favorable letters and notes from neighbors for each of the defendants.

The judge granted Smith's request and ordered the boys held without bail. He scheduled their next Family Court appearance for April 27 before Judge Mary E. Bednar.

The case was transferred from Criminal Court to Family Court on Friday after the Manhattan district attorney's office said the law did not allow the boys to be tried as adults on some of the charges.

The effect of the transfer is that the teens, who faced nine years to life in prison if convicted as adults, now face a maximum initial sentence of five years in a secure facility if convicted in Family Court.

The boys could be held until they are 21 if the Office for Family and Children's Services applies for periodic extensions. For less serious crimes, a youth would be in custody for 18 months at a juvenile facility.

orangedays
04-18-2006, 09:19 AM
I guess I don't understand the point of it all then. You seem to be saying: if it were a perfect world, here's how it should work; but it's not a perfect world, so I understand why it works the way it does.

This is from my post #97 (which was directed at you):

"Just to put things in context, my debate with Jeremiah began when he misconstrued my opinion of what I would like to have happen, in a perfect system, to be what I thought should be applied in the real world. The discussion bore fruit from there."

The discussion then moved forward over whether or not the death penalty minimim-age of 18 should be lowered. This is the issue of debate now.

If that's the case, what debate is there here? I'm afraid that's exactly what Jeremiah said in the first place: that in this imperfect world we have to do the best we can and draw the line somewhere--which rendered your 17-and-364-days argument moot, in that you (should) undertand that 17.99<18.

My side of the debate is that the arbitrary 'minimum age = 18' line is outdated and should be lowered to give prosecutors greater latitude when it comes to seeking justice. This is from my post #95:

"My argument, in this case, is that the time has come to change/lower the age for enforcement of the death penalty. Or, at the very least, for the passage of legislation that will grant increased flexibility whereby prosecutors can seek the death penalty based on the merits of the fact pattern - without limitation based on age."

What am I missing?

Not sure where to start here, but if I were to choose one thing for you to address, it would be this:

(OD - post #93): "The history and tradition is outdated because it is biased in favor of <18 year-old criminals. A 17 year-old who has the same mental cognizance as a 35 year-old does not receive equal punishment for equal crime."

(J - post #94): "I don't agree that the 17 year old doesn't receive the same punishment as the 35 year old. If the 35 year old has the mental cognizance of a 17 year old, it's certainly not guaranteed, but with a decent attorney, he won't be executed."

(OD - post #95): "If a 17 year-old has the mental cognizance of a 35 year-old (and commits a heinous crime, say, multiple murders), then a decent D.A. would make sure that he was executed. However, as existing law dictates, that cannot happen. It is this inequality I am criticizing."

In summary:

I argue that the 'history and tradition' of the 18 year-old line is outdated because it unduly favors those who are <18. My example, was that a 17 year-old who has the mental cognizance of a 35 year-old will not receive the death penalty regardless of whether his crime or mental cognizance warrant it - this is inherently unfair. Jeremiah responded by saying, well, if a 35 year-old has the cognizance of a 17 year-old, then (with a good attorney), he won't be punished as a 35 year-old (executed) - therefore the system is fair. I responded by asking, what if the situation were reversed? If a 17 year-old were found to have the cognizance of a 35 year-old, then under Jeremiah's definition of 'fair' as outlined in post #94 - the 17 year-old should receive the punishment of the 35 year-old (execution). But the 17 year-old does not - no D.A. in the U.S. can win a death penalty sentencing on a 17 year-old, regardless of how guilty they are.

On the one hand, a person can avoid the death penalty if they are proven mentally incapable. On the other, a person enjoys absolute immunity to the death penalty even if they are proven mentally capable. I see this as an intrinsic flaw of the system. As younger and younger criminals commit increasingly violent crimes, the need to lower this age will become more apparent.

(OD - post #91): "There is protecting innocent children and then there is protecting knowing criminals who happen to be young."

Jeremiah
04-18-2006, 04:52 PM
...

Jeremiah
04-20-2006, 04:57 PM
...

MavKikiNYC
04-20-2006, 06:07 PM
Conveniently all from the prosecutor...I'll take them with a grain of salt.

Listen, for that matter, I have to take the occurrence of the crime itself on faith.

I didn't see it firsthand, don't know anybody who did. Just going by press accounts provided by The Man.

I have zero reason to doubt the veracity of the account, and in fact, given my experience with kids that age, and in particular that demographic, it sounds entirely plausible.

Jeremiah
04-20-2006, 09:33 PM
...

Jeremiah
04-22-2006, 01:47 AM
...

orangedays
04-22-2006, 02:14 PM
First, Orangedays, it appears that I've hit a nerve with you. If I've offended you, then I offer my apologies, as that has not been my intention.

No problem, as a hot-headed youth ;) I have a tendency to be a bit over-confrontational when in the heat of the moment. I certainly feel no antagonism toward you - this has been a very interesting discussion and I think we have both enjoyed and benefited from it. I offer my apologies as well if I was rude.

The way you use "knowing" to modify "criminals who happen to be young," appears and feels grammatically incorrect to me. I'm no expert on English grammar, but I'm extremely comfortable with it. I admit that sometimes I miss the meaning. However, I read that, and thought it was an incorrect usage, still do, and didn't understand what you intended to write. So I took out "knowing," and assumed you just meant "criminals who happen to be young." It makes the most sense to me that that is what you meant, even if your form is correct and my criticism of it is faulty. Is it correct to say that you will equate "knowing criminals who happen to be young," with "criminals who happen to be young?"

Yes, that would be accurate. Just for your reference though, if you type the phrase, "knowing criminal" into Google you will find hits from places like the EPA, FindLaw, etc. where 'knowing' is used as an adjective and not a present participle.

The problem with your argument here is that it's not so simple. Sure, you can say that there is a clear equality discrepancy, and I might even go along with that, but the law is built upon history and tradition, and in this case, there are several instances where kids under 18, i.e., minors, are protected. To tear apart this protection, you'll have tear apart the other protections, IF, IF, you are going to argue that the history and tradition are just outdated. You'll lose that argument though, and not because I say so, please, don't take my word for it, but because the courts say so.

I agree that it's not that simple. But just because the line is already drawn does that mean we have to be satisfied with it? That's a very reactionary point-of-view. I agree that there have to be certain, arbitrary laws drawn in order to keep the court systems from being inundated and to keep society from tearing itself apart. However, I am not willing to give a free pass to laws based on history and tradition.

Society is constantly changing. Laws must change accordingly in order to remain relevant. In this particular instance, I feel that a dangerous precedent is being set where younger individuals are committing more serious crimes - BUT, the law is not being adjusted accordingly to allow for the equitable punishment of these individuals.

I get it. You wanted or want to argue about perfect systems. I don't. At least not now.

I'm just recognizing that you're talking about perfect systems, am I'm not. I misunderstood from the beginning.

Fair enough.

This is where you are incorrect. The fact that they have only been charged with attempted robbery and battery means that the prosecutor knows he can't prove murder. He's just following the laws. Sure, you'll say that's really an example of the flaw, that the laws, as written, are flawed. Despite that, there is a serious problem with causation here if you charge them with murder. They didn't kill ANYONE. They are not DIRECTLY RESPONSIBLE for killing anyone. The guy in the car is the guy that ran over the victim. The kids didn't push the victim in front of the car, the victim ran away, wasn't looking where he was going, and was hit by a car. He didn't even die upon impact, he died 4 days later, from injuries sustained in the accident. [To be clear, I'm not suggesting that what occurred was not a horrible thing at all. It is a tragedy and is horrible, it's just not murder.] If the prosecutor can't prove that the kids caused the victim's death, he can't prove murder. That's in any criminal system.

That is exactly what I am arguing, "that the laws, as written, are flawed". Just because they are not DIRECTLY responsible for the death of the NYU student doesn't mean they are not guilty of his death. If they had not done the things they did, the NYU student would probably be alive today. Is it the victim's fault for running away from physical attack? Is the driver responsible for a person who blindly ran into the street? And I don't understand how it is at ALL relevant that he didn't die on impact, are you suggesting that his death can be blamed on malpractice? If you follow the chain of actions - you will note that everything...EVERYTHING...started from the kids. Just because they didn't pull the trigger doesn't mean they did not kill the man. And just because the prosecutor didn't seek a murder charge - doesn't mean that they are not responsible for murder. We are talking about the difference between law and ethics, and this is an example, I would argue, of a failure of the courts. Though the courts may not find them guilty, you know, and I know that they are damn guilty. A man is dead. If the children had not attempted to rob him, he would be alive. That's all we need to know.

To make sure you see where I stand, here are direct answers to your questions.
-Yes and no. They're not less guilty because they're charged with a lesser crime, they're just not guilty of murder. Do they carry a lower level of culpability for the victim's death? Yes.

Again - I agree, they won't be guilty of murder based on the findings of the court. But does that really mean, in the greater scheme of things, that the NYU student's blood is not on their hands? A court's decision or a plea bargain changes the legal implications and legal culpability, it does not lower the level of true culpability.

-I think that I'd be more concerned with the fact that my family member was dead, and less concerned with the fact that someone was not going to pay with his life for that death.

Really? You wouldn't want to see the people who were responsible for the death of your family member brought to justice? You would be satisfied if a judge explained to you that, if they were over-18 then they would be sentenced to 30 years, or possibly death, but since they are below-18 they're not even going to a real prison? If that is so, then I can say with certainty, friend, that you stand in the overwhelming minority.

I didn't pick up you saying that you wanted to make them wards of the state, as opposed to sending them to prison for life. I suppose you could say that is practically the same thing, but technically, it isn't. But making them wards of the state, either in a civil group home or in a prison, is cheaper than executing them. A lot cheaper. It's not the beds and the food that costs money, it's the lawyers and the judges, and the reams and reams of paper that is produced by each hearing that costs gobs of money. I agree that a medical professional assigned to a group of prisoners will cost money, but not nearly as much as the appellate process.

So yes, I'd be willing to swap the now retibution-focused prison system for a rehabilitation-focused prison system. Everyday and twice on Sundays.

You mentioned earlier that you didn't want to talk about a perfect system, but that's what this sounds like. The government doesn't budget enough for the cheaper, retribution-based system - why would it want to pay for a rehabilitating-system? And in the context of kids (which is what this argument is about) isn't that more or less what we have? Visit the website for the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (part of the DoJ) - if you look at the programs they have in place, many, if not all of them, are based around the idea of 'rehabilitation'. I guess my point is, rehabilitation does not work. You cannot rehabilitate everyone. And even when you do rehabilitate someone, all you do afterwards is send them back to the street, where criminals re-rehabilitate them. Don't pull a Locke and tell me tabula rasa - the most effective way to prevent crime has been proven to be through the threat of imprisonment.

I propose that the prisons hire more mental health professionals to help with the mentally ill in prison. That the prisons hire more educators in the prisons that teach the prisoners life skills. Clearly, they didn't get enough of that on the outside, and many will get out one day, so I'm in favor of arming them with the knowledge of how to be a good citizen, how to get a job, how to be a responsible person in society. Just like everyone else, I don't want a parolee, or an ex-felon, getting out of prison and committing a crime. The recidivism rates show that that's exactly what is happening. I imagine that part of the reason for that is that they are not being taught how to change their behavior. Maybe that's ok with some folks, but I'm not comfortable with it.

I'm no expert, but I'm almost certain that all of these things are available to prisoners. Prisoners can (and in fact, are encouraged to) get college degrees, high-school equivalencies, etc. while in prison. Most people, however, simply choose not to take advantage of these options. Is it the system's fault for not shoving it down their throats? Or is it their fault for CHOOSING to live a life of crime despite having the option to act differently?

Well, I assume that like NJ's huge cost for the death penalty, other states have similar costs. The State can redirect that money into the prison system. For the states that do not have the death penalty, I can't, at this moment, think of a source.

You're right, the death penalty has cost the State of New Jersey $253 dollars since 1983 - far exceeding what it would have cost to sentence an individual to life without parole. To be honest, I would be very amenable to that as an alternative to the death penalty. But then we have a new question - should under-18 citizens be subject to that law? I assume you would say no, while I would say yes. Which leads us back to the crux of this argument.

The manpower? In this economy? If you [advertise] it, they will come.

I disagree. American workers have emphatically demonstrated that they are unwilling to do certain types of work unless they are paid wages that are inequitably high. There was even an article post in this forum about this. Just because there are jobs available does not mean you will bodies to do it - especially not when that job is not "desirable".

You're right, the system does not exist. I already said that...before this post. Our criminal justice system serves to punish, not rehabilitate. And I don't think it's a logistical impossibility. A political impossibility? That, I don't doubt.

Well, I believe that it would be a logistical impossibility - the resources required to make such a system work would be far and above what could be mustered. Part of that lies in the politics.

Oh, come on now. You seem to be an economist, or a budding one, clearly, your grasp on economic theory is greater than mine. Crime is also about economics. And not just poor people that commit crimes because of perceived economic necessity. Sons and daughters of the wealthy are often given a second chance, because of their economic status. Or, crimes against them, when they are criminals themselves, are more vigorously prosecuted, at the same time, their crimes are swept under the rug. By chance, do you remember what happened in Plano about 8 years ago, when a large group of kids died from heroin overdoses? I read about that in a small town paper in Bakersfield, CA. That was national news. Not one of the users that didn't die was prosecuted. Again, I don't have the time to go into all the reasons for the existence of crime, I don't even know them all, but they are a lot of smart people out there that argue about this everyday. I just don't have the background.

Crime is about economics - the section we are covering in our law class is actually about the economics of criminal behavior. However, the assumption based on studying crime from an economic stand-point is that the only reason why people like you or I don't commit crime, is because the cost of doing so outweighs the benefit. Is that true? No. That is why I think it is more appropriate to think of crime as an ethical issue. Every, single person - is confronted with choices every day. Some people choose to make good ones and some people choose to make bad ones - not all of these choices are based on economics.

No, it's not an issue of semantics. I said that a 17 year old that murders someone is not going to go to juvenile hall. You implied that one would. A 17 year old won't recieve the death penalty, but not receiving the death penalty and going to prison instead, is a lot different from not receiving the death penalty and going to juvenile hall. I submit that one is probably a miscarriage of justice.

Well, I will have to disagree and say that it was semantics because the point I was arguing had nothing to do with the 17-year old going to 'juvie', I just picked that particular punishment randmonly. Replace 'juvie' with any sort of punishment you want - my argument is that he would not receive the death penalty regardless of whether or not he deserved it. And yes, that is an outrageous miscarriage of justice, one that happens far too often.

I understand that you are only talking about a perfect system. I was mischaracterizing your argument as you were arguing FOR a perfect system. Are you saying that the death penalty should apply to minors only in a perfect system? Or, are you saying that despite the lack of a perfect system, the death penalty should be applicable to minors? If it's the latter, then in my world, it's all about bargaining.

I believe the death penalty should be applicable to people in the real world. It should not be used gratuitously, but it should be an option available to the enforcers of justice. Here's something from my reply to chum that I would like your thoughts on:

(OD - post #93): "The history and tradition is outdated because it is biased in favor of <18 year-old criminals. A 17 year-old who has the same mental cognizance as a 35 year-old does not receive equal punishment for equal crime."

(J - post #94): "I don't agree that the 17 year old doesn't receive the same punishment as the 35 year old. If the 35 year old has the mental cognizance of a 17 year old, it's certainly not guaranteed, but with a decent attorney, he won't be executed."

(OD - post #95): "If a 17 year-old has the mental cognizance of a 35 year-old (and commits a heinous crime, say, multiple murders), then a decent D.A. would make sure that he was executed. However, as existing law dictates, that cannot happen. It is this inequality I am criticizing."

In summary:

I argue that the 'history and tradition' of the 18 year-old line is outdated because it unduly favors those who are <18. My example, was that a 17 year-old who has the mental cognizance of a 35 year-old will not receive the death penalty regardless of whether his crime or mental cognizance warrant it - this is inherently unfair. Jeremiah responded by saying, well, if a 35 year-old has the cognizance of a 17 year-old, then (with a good attorney), he won't be punished as a 35 year-old (executed) - therefore the system is fair. I responded by asking, what if the situation were reversed? If a 17 year-old were found to have the cognizance of a 35 year-old, then under Jeremiah's definition of 'fair' as outlined in post #94 - the 17 year-old should receive the punishment of the 35 year-old (execution). But the 17 year-old does not - no D.A. in the U.S. can win a death penalty sentencing on a 17 year-old, regardless of how guilty they are.

On the one hand, a person can avoid the death penalty if they are proven mentally incapable. On the other, a person enjoys absolute immunity to the death penalty even if they are proven mentally capable. I see this as an intrinsic flaw of the system. As younger and younger criminals commit increasingly violent crimes, the need to lower this age will become more apparent.

MavKikiNYC
04-24-2006, 09:45 AM
Yeah, this is one you want inserted back into society after 5-6 years of juvie wrist slaps.

April 24, 2006
Boy Arrested in Mom's, Brother's Deaths

By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
Filed at 10:38 a.m. ET
DISTRICT HEIGHTS, Md. (AP) -- A 12-year-old boy described by a neighbor as having a volatile temper was arrested in the deaths of his mother and younger brother at their apartment outside Washington, D.C.

Police released few details about the slayings, discovered Sunday, and declined to say how the victims died. The boy, whose name was not released because of his age, was scheduled to appear in juvenile court Monday afternoon.

''It apparently was a domestic dispute that turned deadly,'' said Cpl. Debbi Carlson, a police spokeswoman.

Katrina Denise Powe, 31, and her 9-year-old son, Mystery Toma Hillian, were found dead around 11 a.m. Sunday, and police took Powe's oldest son into custody, said Cpl. Clinton Copeland, of the Prince George's County Police Department.

Neighbors said the older boy often watched his younger brother, but was known in the neighborhood for having a temper.

''If he got into an argument or something, like with other kids, he would kind of explode, and like go off,'' Azalia Taylor told WRC-TV.

The suspect will face juvenile charges, though it will be up to the state's attorney's office to determine them, Carlson said. He was being held at Boys Village, a juvenile facility.

Jeremiah
05-02-2006, 12:36 PM
...

orangedays
05-02-2006, 01:29 PM
I see the unfairness you refer to, but whereas you see that as a reason to lower the age of eligibility for the death penalty, I see it as reason to take the death penalty off the table altogether. As applied, the death penalty is unfair, you just happen to point out another level of unfairness. I'm happy that a lot of defendants that are eligible for the death penalty do not receive it because the prosecutor uses his discretion not to seek it. I pick at the unfairness not to encourage prosecutors to apply it fairly, but to encourage legislators to take it off the table. I don't like the idea of the government killing people. I don't like the idea of people killing other people either, but we have the government to regulate that. Who regulates the government when it administers the death penalty unfairly?

Here is some food for thought:

Our criminal justice system responds to crime through a hierarchy of deterrents - in very general terms, we can categorize these as punishment and policing. Unfortunately, though policing would obviously be the best option in mitigating crime, punishment is the low-cost and more logistically workable solution, and empirical evidence shows that it is the United States' preferred methodology.

"Punishment" is meted out in three primary forms: monetary (fines, etc.), incarceration (jailtime, etc.), and capital punishment. Obviously, capital punishment is the least desirable alternative for all involved parties.

Fines are effective because they are very cheap to use. But what happens when a criminal has a limited income? A fine of x+1 is not very useful when a criminal only has x dollars. Additionally, there are certain crimes (murder, rape) which simply cannot be adequately addressed by fines. So let's set that aside right now.

Prison. Certainly a deterrent against criminal behavior. Not only does it punish criminals, it incapacitates them so that they cannot commit other crimes (at least for a short time). Additionally, it allows for the possibility of rehabilitation. Finally, a prison sentence gives society some sense of retribution, which is taken into consideration when you consider the benefit derived via the social utility function (essentially, social welfare is improved when a dangerous criminal is taken off the streets).

But here is the crux of the problem. Fines and prison are, in some cases, insufficient deterrents to keep certain people from committing certain crimes. It becomes an issue of marginal deterrence. Would you want the punishment for, say, armed robbery and the murder of 3 individuals to be the same? Certainly not. Why? In the course of breaking a law, if a criminal is going to get caught and knows that they will go to jail, ceteris paribus, they might as well kill more people - a cop, or a bystander - in the process of attempting to escape. In order to prevent individuals from acting in this manner, we must enforce increasingly serious punishments - the final weapon in the perpetual battle against crime is capital punishment. We discussed this before - criminals make decisions based on a number of factors - the probability of being caught, and the punishment that comes along with being caught. If the weight of the punishment is not sufficient, crime will get worse. I can guarantee you that.

One final thing to consider: many people equate life in prison without parole, to capital punishment. No offense, but I think that such a sentiment is ridiculous. Look at the anecdotal evidence: take a criminal and give him a choice between life imprisonment and death. The odds are that he will choose life imprisonment. That says something very powerful about marginal deterrence.

Jeremiah
05-02-2006, 04:08 PM
...

orangedays
05-02-2006, 04:40 PM
In your fourth paragraph you talk about prison deterring the person that committed the crime. In your fifth paragraph you switch to the deterrence of those not yet prosecuted. The problem with that is that you're using the first as argument for the second, which is mixing apples and oranges.

No, you misunderstand me. In my second paragraph I am merely describing some of the deterrence provided by prisons. Obviously, the greatest deterrence is the threat of sending an individual to prison - I was merely presenting other factors that come into play. My entire post should be read as discussing the deterrence of those who have not yet been prosecuted: individuals who have not yet decided to commit a given crime and are considering whether or not to commit that crime based on (a) the benefit/utility they would gain from committing the crime relative to (b) their probability of being captured relative to (c) the punishment they would receive if captured.

If you want to deter people from committing crimes again, while they are in prison, I think prison does a good job of that. If you want to deter those not in prison from committing crimes because they see examples of what happens to those that commit those crimes, I think that prison is just as good as the death penalty.

It does a good job? Do I really need to dig up statistics about repeat offenders? The picture is not as pretty as you paint it. Prison is certainly not as effective as the death penalty - you are completely glossing over the evidence I am providing for you. The death penalty is considered a significantly more egregious form of punishment than prison - as such it serves as the superior deterrent of crime. It is paradoxical to say that, "prison is just as good as the death penalty" when faced with such a reality.

Jeremiah
05-02-2006, 05:02 PM
...

orangedays
05-02-2006, 05:09 PM
Well, yes, of course you're right. If the convict had been executed, we can be 99.99999 (to the nth degree) certain that he will not commit another crime. (99.9999 percent to the nth degree, as opposed to 100% in case life after death is reincarnation, not heaven and hell.)

Come on now, you're a smart guy - this isn't what I was talking about. I assume you're just being a smart aleck so I won't even address this.

As far as the threat of the death penalty for certain crimes deterring others from committing those crimes? I agree that it works, but only to an extent. I think that extent can be achieved from life without parole penalties as well, or nearly as well, at a fraction of the cost.

Well, allow me to beg the question. If life without parole was just as effective as a deterrent as the death penalty, why would the death penalty exist? You liked talking about the value of 'history and tradition' in your previous posts on the topic - perhaps there is indeed some legitimate 'history and tradition' in the applicability of the death penalty.

Go ahead and dig up statistics about repeat offenders. But, do not count re-arrests, or parole or probation violations as re-offenders, please. I'm sure you understand why, but just in case, I'll explain. Arrests do not equate to committed offenses, anyone can be arrested. Probation and parole violations don't count either, because violations can be new crimes, or simply forgetting to show up at a meeting with the parole/probation officer, and the statistics often lump them together.

I will do some digging after exams but are you suggesting to me that there isn't going to be a mountain of evidence showing that repeat offenders exist? And yes, I'm talking about people who commit a crime, go to jail, are released, then commit ANOTHER crime. Please. I don't think I'm going out on a limb when I say that the 'rehabilitation' system we have in place is grossly mismanaged and ineffective.

While you're at it, if you don't mind, dig up some statistics that tell us that the death penalty deters people from committing capital crimes more than the penalty of life without parole. Don't feel rushed. I'll wait.

Enjoy your wait. The statistics, they are a-coming.

I'll take your word for it, but what I read, I understood you to write about two different kinds of deterrence. But regardless, we're on the same page now.

Page 4 ;)

Jeremiah
05-02-2006, 08:45 PM
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orangedays
05-03-2006, 08:19 AM
Perhaps. However, I mostly took you at face value. You said that prison is "certainly not as effective as the death penalty." I think that this is arguable. So, let's just say I took advantage of what looked to be a debatable assertion wrapped up as not debatable.

Well, if we're going to mask purposeful misinterpretations with the excuse of reading something based on "face value" - wouldn't your statement: "If you want to deter people from committing crimes again, while they are in prison, I think prison does a good job of that," (Post #112) seem uproariously silly? *In best Jeremiah voice* Of course putting someone in prison is going to keep them from committing a crime! They're in prison! How can they commit crimes when they're in prison??? But I play nicer than that. I believe that your misinterpretation is based on a prior misinterpretation on your part (that I was talking about people already in prison), something I clarified when I stated that: "My entire post should be read as discussing the deterrence of those who have not yet been prosecuted."

Well, I think that the death penalty exists because it is a show of force by the government, it is the penalty for those that break the last straw. The people of the US are ok with it, for the most part, so the states use it. It's carried over from English history that some crimes deserved death. But that doesn't mean that there are not alternatives that work just as well.

Capital punishment laws were found in the Code of Hammurabi, circa 1795-1750 B.C. They have been used, throughout human history, as a deterrent against crime. The 'history and tradition' of capital punishment far, far exceeds the 'history and tradition' of 'under-18'. In 1972, the death penalty was actually ruled unconstitutional by the Supreme Court (5 to 4) in Furman v. Georgia because it violated the VIII Amendment. Of the 5 opposing justices, three said that the death penalty in and of itself was okay, but the application was cruel. In Gregg v. Georgia they rewrote statutes to make the death penalty legal again. Capital punishment is an oft-debated issue - yet the fact that the death penalty still remains...doesn't that say anything to you? If something was bad, ineffective, expensive - well gee, all these people you credit in previous posts as smarter than you - wouldn't they have done away with it?

I don't have statistics that say that life without parole is just as good of a deterrent as the death penalty. I think it is, and it makes sense that it is. But I know it's cheaper than the death penalty, and I think that it is a travesty that the government would rather put people to death rather than to funnel some of that money to the victims' families in their civil suits. This is especially so when the victims' families don't support the death penalty.

Whether or not it's cheaper means absolutely nothing. Nada. Zilch. We aren't talking about relative cost, we are talking about whether or not it deters crime. In a more narrow sense, we are talking about whether it saves lives and increases social welfare.

No. I know that there is a mountain of evidence that repeat offenders exist. However, when I've looked for it, most of it is in the form of re-arrests, or probation/parole violations. Plus, from my research, there is no break down of what the new offense is. Was the guy in jail for 10 for a robbery, and then picked up a month after release for smoking a joint? That's a new offense, but it's not a similar offense, and is most assuredly a much less serious offense. Oh, and just to be clear, can you only bring to the table new convictions?

Haha, okay so the new criteria is, "new convictions of crimes that are equal or greater in criminal significance than previous crimes."? What if they committed murder and then came out and robbed a store? Would that count? What if they killed 5 people then came out and only killed 1? Would that count? It sounds like someone is trying desperately to stuff the ballot box with toilet paper. One ply toilet paper. I get what you're trying to say, I just want you to come out and say it rather than try and be cryptic: You believe that incarceration is an effective form of rehabilitation and that there are not a statistically significant number of criminals who are convicted, jailed, released, who then commit crimes of an equal to or greater than criminal nature, are convicted again, and are jailed again. I say to you sir, that denial is a poor bedfellow.

You're NOT going out on a limb by saying that our prison rehabilitation system is grossly mismanaged and ineffective. At least I don't think you are. But while you seem to think that the answer is to put more people to death, I think the answer is to create a system that is better at rehabilitation. That's a political issue I'll never win, not in my lifetime.

I think that if there was sufficient evidence to warrant the institution of a better prison rehabilitation system, then it would occur. Evidence to me would include a number of factors - the less important of which would include direct cost and other logistical issues. The more important would be whether or not such a system would effectively deter people from committing crime. Do you honestly believe that a criminal justice system based on rehabilitation will be a sufficient incentive to prevent people from breaking the law? Will someone really think twice about killing someone else when they know that the worst thing that will happen to them is Club Fed?

Page 4???

Page 4 of this particular thread, but then again I have my page view settings on 20 posts a thread so technically, we still might not be on the same page.

Jeremiah
05-03-2006, 11:03 AM
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orangedays
05-03-2006, 11:32 AM
There really was no purposeful misinterpretation. I thought it was queer that you were writing something so obviously obvious. I thought you didn't pick it up. So I pointed it out. That is all.

Oh come on, my stance this entire time has been based on the deterrent system. The effectiveness of these things pre-crime. Whatever, let's drop it.

Yup, I know. It's been around a long, long time. I doubt kids were being executed for anything but witchcraft back then, if that, but that's really just a blind guess. It says to me that people think it works, that if someone were to run on the platform that they would strike down the death penalty they would appear soft on crime and not be elected. [Except in SF, the DA there did just that, and was elected. I doubt that would work at the state or national level.] I don't think they're smarter than me on this issue.

What is should say to you is that IT WORKS. Billions of people over thousands of years have lived in societies that institute the death penalty. You don't think that they are smarter than you on this issue? I've gotta meet you, you must be some smart dude.

Well, I think cost is important. We could eliminate vandalism if we acted like Singapore and caned people. But we don't do that. I suppose the 8th amendment is a bigger factor in that than cost, but of course, I'm not sure the 8th amendment would even stop that. I think that the death penalty deters others from committing capital crimes. I just don't think that it does much better than life without parole penalties, and even if it does do it better, I don't think it does it better without costing 800x more. I donít think the death penalty is worth its cost.

Let's break this argument into economic terms so we can address it more directly, tell me if I'm correct:

There are two tools at our disposal, the death penalty and life without parole. Obviously, there are costs, and there are benefits associated with both. Cost for life without parole = x. cost for death penalty = y (where x < y). Benefit for life without parole = a, benefit for death penalty = b (where a < b). Costs are easily quantified. What we need to quantify in this case is the value (in dollars) of the social benefit caused as a direct result of criminals deterred from committing crimes due to the death penalty.

No, the criteria is the same. New convictions. Itís always been new convictions. Thatís the only kind of re-offending that matters to me. Sure, Iím interested in whether those new convictions are for far less serious, non-violent crimes for violent offenders, but save that for later. New arrests, new probation/parole violation convictions donít count, but new convictions of new crimes do.

What is considered far less serious? A drop from armed robbery to theft? Rape to indecent exposure? Murder to assault? Gimme some more info on what you're interested in.

Let me be clear because it appears that there is a misunderstanding: I do not think that the prison system does a good job of rehabilitating the convicts on the whole. Sure, it works for some. But not for most. To do a good job of rehabilitating the convicts, the prison system must change. Thatís been my stance all along. Ever had your freedom taken away? Ever known someone that has had their freedom taken away? That, by itself, can work for some, at least at first, but eventually, it fails. Not for all, Iíve got a shining example of a woman incarcerated at 19 eleven years that came out, went to college and law school, passed the bar, and is practicing law. But sheís the exception, not the rule.

Let me first say kudos to that woman. What she has achieved is admirable and deserves the utmost respect from us all. However, it is a sad reality that she is the exception. I agree with you, things need to change. I don't mean to come off as attacking you with regards to the prison system. All I am doing is pointing to the empirical evidence and saying that it would be prohibitively expensive, and prohibitively difficult (due to other factors) to create an effective system - so let's not even put it on the table.

I canít imagine the American people putting up with any other industry to such an extent.

I agree, and to be honest, if prisons were somehow privatized I think a much better (and crueler job) would be done. But the government as a whole is limited by a number of factors (which we can save for another discussion) which inhibit its ability to be efficient.

Jeremiah
05-03-2006, 12:21 PM
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orangedays
05-03-2006, 12:38 PM
This is my ego speaking, to be clear, I don't think that they are smarter than me on this issue. I think that they think or know, that strking the death penalty will be a death sentence for their political career, [at least at the state or national level, and in some municipal governments. I did mention the SF DA's platform, right?] and policticians don't want to axe their political career. But that doesn't mean that it's a better system.

You're looking at it purely from the context of an electoral political system. What about systems where politicians are not elected? China, for instance (where I lived for a long time)? What rationale might they have for instituting a death penalty system other than that it deters criminals from committing crime? And what about from a historical context - the millions and millions of societies that used the death penalty?


3. I think the value difference is unknown, that's what I think we're trying to hash out. So I don't agree.
4. Yes, I agree. That's why I think you're wrong in asserting that a<b. I think here you've acknowledged that you don't know the value difference. That's how I read this.

Well okay, that was easy. We've figured out the basis of our disagreement in quantifiable terms. I believe that a < b and you believe that b < a. I wrote the assumptions for the model under the belief that we agreed that a < b and that we were only trying to figure out how much a < b and whether that justified the costs. Let's look at something you said previously:

We could eliminate vandalism if we acted like Singapore and caned people.

This seems to say that, if the punishment is harsh enough, that certain types of crime will be deterred, yes? So wouldn't that logic also apply in terms of the death penalty? Death penalty > life without parole in terms of severity of punishment - do you honestly believe that it doesn't serve as a greater deterrent than life without parole? That is what I am attempting to quantify in terms of contribution to social welfare, the marginal units of deterrence (measured using a,b) created by both punishments.

Again, that's really for another day

Then to humor you, we shall put it in our pocket and save it for another day.

The prison system releases people that will be back for all sorts of things, most of which will be parole and probation violations. That's a fact, I'm not going to look up the source now, but I believe there's a 2000, or late 90s study done by the Justice Center at the Urban Institute, or one done by the Vera Institute. If the system would just rehabilitate them, then we get satisfied because they're punished, and because they become productive citizens, and they get satisfied because they've learned HOW to be productive citizens. When you go to work this summer, if you screw up, maybe put the wrong number in a spreadsheet, or show up late, I bet your boss is not going to fire you on the spot, s/he'll take you aside and criticize you and try to teach you how not to make that same mistake again. That's what I want the prison system to do, because convicts are going to get out, and I don't want to be there when one gets out and chops off my head. It's better for us all if they were to do that. [not the convicts chopping off my head, at least, not from my perspective, but the prison system teaching them how to be productive]

It would be a beautiful world...beautiful...if our prison system worked that well not only in certain situations but in all situations. But it doesn't Jeremiah, that's my point. So shall we put that argument back into our pocket as well as little more than wishful thinking?

You know, there ARE private prisons. Texas has quite a few of them, and perhaps CA. They're worse. They are worse in respects that they've got the wrong guys running them. Actually, that's a broad generalization. A few years back, maybe 5 to 8, there was a 20/20 special I believe it was, that showed an incident at a private prison in TX. The guards were out of control, beating the hell out of inmates because one of them wasn't lining up fast enough, or something trivial like that. It's the people running the prisons that make them suck, and I concede that good people running private prisons will have more success than good people running public prisons. Oh, you did write (and crueler) in there, I missed that.

So the American people do stand for it! You're right, it takes the right people to do something as important as rehabilitating another human being. Unfortunately, the world is short on the 'right people'. The incentives simply aren't there. All we can do is shrug our shoulders at something like this and wish that it were better (or lobby our legislators but you know as well as I that that will accomplish little).

Jeremiah
05-03-2006, 01:01 PM
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orangedays
05-10-2006, 11:40 AM
Ok, this is my last response for about 2 weeks. I'll be back then. Celebrate now. :)

Free party hats and noise-makers at the door! Woo-hoo! ;)

Yes, I look at it from the POV of a USC living in the US. That's because that's what I care about the most. I can't fix, or won't begin to try to fix, another man's house before I can fix my own. I ain't touching China and the death penalty, first, I don't know enough about China, and two, they are not, you know what, best to keep my mouth shut.

Just for the record, that was probably a good call. I've noticed that many Americans are quick to judge China's human rights record based on Western news sources (excluding groups such as Amnesty International, et al.) I have personally worked with A.I. in China and have lived there for a number of years and I can assure you that things are not nearly as bad as many would have you believe.

That said - what you are addressing is not my point. My purpose in bringing up instances of the death penalty outside of the United States is to demonstrate to you that it has been used throughout history - that its application is not only seen in electoral political environments, and that its acceptance by society is not limited to our society. The death penalty is one of the oldest and widely-used laws in human history. True, if we are to narrow the scope to the modern-day - we need not look further than the borders of the United States - but you misconstrued my point: that 'history and tradition' explicitly demonstrate that the death penalty is a valuable tool.

Yes I mentioned Singapore before. If we start caning people for vandalism, I'm moving far, far away. doing that, or putting someone to death for dealing drugs, (A nation just did this to an Australian within the last few months) is far more disproportional than putting someone to death for murdering. Yes, if we were to institute extremely disproportional punishments for crimes REGULARLY [and we have done it in instances, and it's been condoned by the USSC. I think the case is Harmelin v. Michigan, around 1988 or so. Scalia gives a 20 page diatribe about why disproportional sentences are NOT cruel and unusual. If you're interested, I'll dig it up later. And there was a recent piece in the Dallas Morning News about a probation violator that got picked up on possession of weed and got life. His original crime was armed robbery. He got $2 from that. So we do it in instances, but it's not pervasive like in other countries] then those crimes would most likely drop to nearly zero. But the measures that we would have to institute are not measure I'm willing to live with. I'd rather shoot myself. I like being free.

What cost, freedom?

Seriously though - obviously I am not going to sit here and suggest that we should institute disproportionate punishments wholesale in an attempt to eliminate all crime - all I am saying (and I have been saying this from the beginning) is that we need to revisit which punishments correspond to which crimes. In this case, as younger individuals are trending towards increasingly violent crimes, I feel we need to adjust how the criminal justice system is equipped to maximize the efficiency of deterrence.

So, to sum up, the death penalty is not harsh enough for murdering someone to be a better deterrent than LWOP. It is for dealing drugs, and I'm pretty sure no American is going to Singapore and vandalizing anything again. I believe it is a greater deterrent than LWOP. I just think that it is marginally better. It's not worth the cost. [Plus, per CNN today, a fellow in OH couldn't even get executed correctly. The jerks there screwed up the procedure. That's a different argument too, I recognize that.]

We will have to disagree here. To be honest, I find this conclusion somewhat unsatisfying but in the absence of convincing empirical evidence I will stay my argument. I believe that the deterrence provided by the threat of the death penalty plays a significant role in decreasing the amount of abhorrent crime. I also believe that the amount of marginal deterrence gained by instituting the death penalty over life without parole is significant enough to justify the cost (assuming it is used with prudence).

mcsluggo
05-10-2006, 01:25 PM
http://www.princeton.edu/~vperry/blog/bigmary.jpg

yep, its a deterent.
as evisence: there hasn't been a single murder by an elephant in erwin, tennessee in the last 80 years.
Elephants never forget.

Jeremiah
05-19-2006, 05:21 PM
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orangedays
05-19-2006, 06:49 PM
Interesting read but I remain unconvinced.

Here's a general question for you since you have a legal background (?) and I don't - what's the applicability of 'intent' when it comes to prosecuting minors for crimes? Whether with regards to tort or criminal law? I tried to do some research but I'm participating in a golf tournament now so I'm a little tight on Google time.

Jeremiah
05-20-2006, 02:46 AM
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thunderFence
05-23-2006, 04:49 PM
so do minors charged as adults get the privileges of adults if acquitted??

If so I wanna be the genius who books the 15 year old chick who walks from a charge when tried as an adult for porn. That would bank.

I don't agree with the position , i am just trying to make a point.

orangedays
05-24-2006, 04:02 PM
so do minors charged as adults get the privileges of adults if acquitted??

If so I wanna be the genius who books the 15 year old chick who walks from a charge when tried as an adult for porn. That would bank.

I don't agree with the position , i am just trying to make a point.

I was just curious, could you give me some examples of privileges that adults enjoy over minors when acquitted?

And how exactly would it be bank?

Thanks.

Jeremiah
05-24-2006, 04:31 PM
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