NJ's Liberal Death Penalty

21 views
Skip to first unread message

Al Ridemfi

unread,
Jun 1, 1997, 3:00:00 AM6/1/97
to

The following is excerpted from the N.Y. Post, 5/31/97:

...........................................................

Quit stalling, N.J.: This guy's gotta fry!

By STEVE DUNLEAVY


AT LAST the state of New Jersey has a chance to put its guts
where its big mouth is.

For nearly 15 years, the death penalty has been on the books in
New Jersey to snuff monsters.

And for 15 years not one of those monsters, who would take
our lives, has been executed.

This creature, Jesse K. Timmendequas, 36, has been convicted in
Trenton of raping and killing a beautiful little child of God.
Megan Kanka was 7 when Timmendequas did things to her that should
not be repeated.

Liberals will crawl from under their rocks screaming that all we
should do is lock him up and throw away the key.

No death penalty, they will scream. These, of course, are the
same liberals who believe abortion is fine.

You know, don't kill a monster like Timmendequas, but by all
means kill an innocent baby in partial-birth abortion.

Well, that's another subject.

But let's give equal time to those liberals -- liberals like
civil-rights lawyer Ron Kuby, partner of the late Bill Kunstler.

Kuby is a friend of mine, but also a rigid political and
philosophical foe.

"No, I don't believe the death penalty should be imposed on
Timmendequas," he said.

And why should the people of New Jersey pay $32,000 a year to
pay for Timmendequas' upkeep in a prison for the next 30 years?


"Jail without parole, never to be released so he cannot harm
another person," Kuby says.

Funny, it was Kuby who saved Lemuel Smith from getting the
death penalty here in New York.

He was in jail for two murders and safely locked away upstate
without parole.

So society was assured this beast would never kill again, right?

Wrong. While in jail he raped and murdered a lovely female
correction officer named Donna Payant.

And Kuby, a brilliant but wrongheaded lawyer, got him off the
death penalty. So much for the argument to lock them up and
throw away the key.

Even in prison -- Smith's evil survived.

Now, New Jersey, show us what stuff you are made of and
dispatch this germ, Timmendequas, from the face of the earth.


Copyright ©1997, N.Y.P. Holdings Inc.

................................................................

I agree. In fact, I think this thug should be *hanged*. After his
*conviction* last week, he is now awaiting sentence. Under NJ law,
if he receives the death sentence, he will die by lethal injection.

This is a big IF, since the article points out that death sentences have
*never* been carried out in NJ since it was reinstated 15 years ago,
due largely to NJ's extremely liberal activist judiciary.

IMHO, this would be too *humane* for this gargoyle. We use lethal
injections on our pets and other animals to put them out of
their misery.

Instead, if he gets the death sentence, he should be clapped in
irons and carted off to the gallows. Alternatively, I'd accept
it if he was strapped in to Ol' Sparky. But not the injection;
that's just too damn easy for Mr. Timmendequas.

I guess the libbies will now come rushing in to explain why
NJ taxpayers *should* pony up $32,000 (or more) annually, to
keep this guy in some air-conditioned "prison", replete with
Cable TV, workout rooms, etc. If you're going to say, well
what if he's innocent, don't bother. He's confessed, and even
led cops to where he hid the body. I'm sorry if anyone thinks
this post is too strong, but that's the way it goes. Too bad.

BTW, this guy did NOT use a gun to commit his atrocious crime,
which decorum prohibits me from fully describing.

And yes, for those you who are not aware, this was the crime
that provoked the creation of "Megan's Law" in NJ, and other
states, and recently, at the federal level (Clinton signed it
a few weeks ago.)

Zepp

unread,
Jun 3, 1997, 3:00:00 AM6/3/97
to

You know what's really funny? This turd whines incessantly about the
state having too much control. As if having the "right" to take the
life of any declared a criminal isn't the ultimate in control.

One thing you'll be amused to hear. TEXAS (just TEXAS) ranks 4th in
the world in exectutions, behind Iran, Iraq, and Saudi Arabia. Hey,
good company, folks!

>
>
>"Jail without parole, never to be released so he cannot harm
>another person," Kuby says.
>
>Funny, it was Kuby who saved Lemuel Smith from getting the
>death penalty here in New York.
>
>He was in jail for two murders and safely locked away upstate
>without parole.
>
>So society was assured this beast would never kill again, right?
>
>Wrong. While in jail he raped and murdered a lovely female
>correction officer named Donna Payant.
>
>And Kuby, a brilliant but wrongheaded lawyer, got him off the
>death penalty. So much for the argument to lock them up and
>throw away the key.

Care to talk about the 3% of death penalty cases where evidence comes
up showing they convicted the wrong fellow? If there are 1,000 people
on death row, than statistically, 30 of them are provably not guilty
of the crimes for which they have been convicted. What's your
break-off point where you decide that too many innocent people are
being butchered by the state just so you can engage in a little
vicarious savagery?


>
>Even in prison -- Smith's evil survived.
>
>Now, New Jersey, show us what stuff you are made of and
>dispatch this germ, Timmendequas, from the face of the earth.
>
>

Another loving Christian son of the lamb, right? Thought so.

> Copyright ©1997, N.Y.P. Holdings Inc.
>
>................................................................
>
>I agree. In fact, I think this thug should be *hanged*. After his
>*conviction* last week, he is now awaiting sentence. Under NJ law,
>if he receives the death sentence, he will die by lethal injection.
>
>This is a big IF, since the article points out that death sentences have
>*never* been carried out in NJ since it was reinstated 15 years ago,
>due largely to NJ's extremely liberal activist judiciary.

Yeah, why can't we have "judges" like in Iran? They don't go against
"popular will", do they?


>
>IMHO, this would be too *humane* for this gargoyle. We use lethal
>injections on our pets and other animals to put them out of
>their misery.
>
>Instead, if he gets the death sentence, he should be clapped in
>irons and carted off to the gallows. Alternatively, I'd accept
>it if he was strapped in to Ol' Sparky. But not the injection;
>that's just too damn easy for Mr. Timmendequas.
>
>I guess the libbies will now come rushing in to explain why
>NJ taxpayers *should* pony up $32,000 (or more) annually, to
>keep this guy in some air-conditioned "prison", replete with
>Cable TV, workout rooms, etc. If you're going to say, well
>what if he's innocent, don't bother. He's confessed, and even
>led cops to where he hid the body. I'm sorry if anyone thinks
>this post is too strong, but that's the way it goes. Too bad.

If prison is such a great place, why aren't you there?


>
>BTW, this guy did NOT use a gun to commit his atrocious crime,
>which decorum prohibits me from fully describing.
>
>And yes, for those you who are not aware, this was the crime
>that provoked the creation of "Megan's Law" in NJ, and other
>states, and recently, at the federal level (Clinton signed it
>a few weeks ago.)

Yup, and several people who served their crime as sex offenders have
been beaten up, despite the fact that there isn't a scintilla of
evidence that they did anything wrong since being released. They just
had their names given--sometimes reluctantly--to the local no-necks by
cops.
=====================================================================
The eagle soars. He is master of the clouds, the atavar of all that
beat wings. He sees events, minute as a mouse, distant as the horizon.
He is bold, he is fierce, he is magnificent.

But weasels DON'T get sucked into jet engines.

--Based on a sig by mik...@korrnet.org, who probably had no idea what
I would do with it.

Be good, servile little citizen employees, and pay your taxes so the
rich don't have to.

Novus Ordo Seclorum Volpus de Marina
=====================================================================
When replying by e-mail, remove the third "P" placed there to foil
spambots.

Loren Petrich

unread,
Jun 3, 1997, 3:00:00 AM6/3/97
to

In article <33937fdb....@news.snowcrest.net>,
Zepp <ze...@snowcrest.net> wrote:

[a right-winger whining about someone not getting executed...]


>You know what's really funny? This turd whines incessantly about the
>state having too much control. As if having the "right" to take the
>life of any declared a criminal isn't the ultimate in control.

And those governments that exercise serious control over their
citizens use -- guess what? -- the military and the police, which the
right wing wants more and more of.

>One thing you'll be amused to hear. TEXAS (just TEXAS) ranks 4th in
>the world in exectutions, behind Iran, Iraq, and Saudi Arabia. Hey,
>good company, folks!

I wonder how the rest of the world regards the US; even Margaret
Thatcher did not seem to be pushing hard for the death penalty.

[whining about "activist judges"...]


>Yeah, why can't we have "judges" like in Iran? They don't go against
>"popular will", do they?

[whining about how cushy it is in jail...]

I'd like to toss into jail *anyone* who whines about that.
--
Loren Petrich Happiness is a fast Macintosh
pet...@netcom.com And a fast train
My home page: http://www.webcom.com/petrich/home.html
Mirrored at: ftp://ftp.netcom.com/pub/pe/petrich/home.html

Bill Anderson

unread,
Jun 3, 1997, 3:00:00 AM6/3/97
to

Note followups

In article <33937fdb....@news.snowcrest.net>, ze...@snowcrest.net


(Zepp) wrote:

> You know what's really funny? This turd whines incessantly about the
> state having too much control. As if having the "right" to take the
> life of any declared a criminal isn't the ultimate in control.

In spite of the "turd" reference, Mr. Zepp has an excellent point here.
If you believe the state should have the right to kill its citizens, it
would behoove you not to spend much time moaning about excessive state
power.

Bill

To send email, delete "dont_bother" from my address.

"In the bowels of Christ, I beseech you; bethink yourself
that you may be wrong." --Oliver Cromwell

Loren Petrich

unread,
Jun 4, 1997, 3:00:00 AM6/4/97
to

In article <philidor-ya0240800...@news.mindspring.com>,
Bill Anderson <phil...@atl.mindspring.com> wrote:

>> You know what's really funny? This turd whines incessantly about the
>> state having too much control. As if having the "right" to take the
>> life of any declared a criminal isn't the ultimate in control.

>In spite of the "turd" reference, Mr. Zepp has an excellent point here.


>If you believe the state should have the right to kill its citizens, it
>would behoove you not to spend much time moaning about excessive state
>power.

And that goes for other toughness-on-crime measures as well. If
one believes that the government ought to have whatever powers it
supposedly needs to catch those it considers Evil People, then one ought
not to whine about how powerful it is.

Also, if a Meesian is a card-carrying member of the ACLU who got
mugged, then a card-carrying member of the ACLU is a Meesian who got
arrested.

Remember Edwin Meese III: "if you are charged with something,
that means you are guilty" and that the ACLU is a "criminals' lobby".
Never mind the scandals he got caught up in; by his own statement, he is
guilty of everything he was charged of there.

Satan Claus

unread,
Jun 4, 1997, 3:00:00 AM6/4/97
to

Murder is murder, even if it is sancionted by the state.

If we kill this man - and believe me, I know how hirrible his crimes
were; I live a mere 70 miles from where it all took place - are we
really any better than him? I am not equating pedophilia and murder,
I am simply saying that there is never an excuse to kill another human
being. Anyone who claims to be against abortion because it destroys
one of "God's creatures" should also be against the death penalty. NO
matter what Jesse Tomendequas did, he is still a creature of God.

Matt Singerman
http://www.pitt.edu/~messt66/
(Take off the x's to e-mail to me)

High General, IRCWP
"SPOOOOOOOOON!" - The Tick

ВВ Stop the execution of Mumia Abu-Jamal ВВ
ВВВ If you agree copy these 3 sentences in your own sig ВВВ
ВВВВ more info: http://www.xs4all.nl/~tank/spg-l/sigaction.htm ВВВВ

Mitchell Holman

unread,
Jun 4, 1997, 3:00:00 AM6/4/97
to

In article <3394e...@news.sisna.com>, Rus...@Sisna.Com (Solid State) wrote:


} Capital punishment IS a form of self-defense...self-defense of society...


Let's see: you drag some schmuck out of his cell at midnight,
have the priest mumble some prayers to him, strap him to a
metal chair, run 10,000 volts thru him until he is dead, and
then justify your actions as "self-defense"?


Mitchell Holman

"Capital punishment is our way of demonstrating the
sanctity of life"
Republican Senator Orrin Hatch

Solid State

unread,
Jun 4, 1997, 3:00:00 AM6/4/97
to

>Murder is murder, even if it is sancionted by the state.
>If we kill this man - and believe me, I know how hirrible his crimes
>were; I live a mere 70 miles from where it all took place - are we
>really any better than him? I am not equating pedophilia and murder,
>I am simply saying that there is never an excuse to kill another human
>being. Anyone who claims to be against abortion because it destroys
>one of "God's creatures" should also be against the death penalty. NO
>matter what Jesse Tomendequas did, he is still a creature of God.

Although I am FAR from a biblical scholar, how many times did GOD
let people KILL in HIS name? How many times have people been killed
in the name of Christianity? GOD himselve dictated in the OT that
the punishment for MANY crimes (including MURDER) was the punishment
of DEATH!!!!
You claim that there is "Never an excuse for killing another human
being"...do you feel this way in the cases of Self-defense? Or would
you let someone just kill you? Capital punishment IS a form of
self-defense...self-defense of society...
Regards,
Steve

Solid State

unread,
Jun 4, 1997, 3:00:00 AM6/4/97
to

>................................................................
>I agree. In fact, I think this thug should be *hanged*. After his
>*conviction* last week, he is now awaiting sentence. Under NJ law,
>IMHO, this would be too *humane* for this gargoyle. We use lethal
>injections on our pets and other animals to put them out of
>their misery.
>Instead, if he gets the death sentence, he should be clapped in
>irons and carted off to the gallows. Alternatively, I'd accept
>it if he was strapped in to Ol' Sparky. But not the injection;
>that's just too damn easy for Mr. Timmendequas.

Although I agree with you on a purely emotional level, you know
that *IF* the death penalty ever gets instated to the point where
it actually is put into effect the way it should be, that it would
have to be done as to not be considered "Cruel and Unusual". There
is a difference between execution and torture. This society is not
founded on the principles of torture, else we would never had the
Geneva convention. (although there is no question that these codes
have been violated many times, by many countries...even our own)


>
>I guess the libbies will now come rushing in to explain why
>NJ taxpayers *should* pony up $32,000 (or more) annually, to
>keep this guy in some air-conditioned "prison", replete with
>Cable TV, workout rooms, etc. If you're going to say, well
>what if he's innocent, don't bother. He's confessed, and even
>led cops to where he hid the body. I'm sorry if anyone thinks
>this post is too strong, but that's the way it goes. Too bad.

Some may consider it a bit too strong, but your post is probally
the way many people feel about such attrocious crimes...and under-
standable so.
Regards,
Steve


Brian Carey

unread,
Jun 4, 1997, 3:00:00 AM6/4/97
to

Mitchell Holman wrote:
> } Capital punishment IS a form of self-defense...self-defense of society...
>
> Let's see: you drag some schmuck out of his cell at midnight,
> have the priest mumble some prayers to him, strap him to a
> metal chair, run 10,000 volts thru him until he is dead, and
> then justify your actions as "self-defense"?
>

Well, "schmuck" doesn't quite hit the nail on the head in this matter.
What type of prisoner are you referring to? A serial murderer? A
McVeigh-type? A pedophile?

At any rate, the answer to whether or not it is self-defense would
probably consist in first elaborating on "schmuck."

--
Brian M. Carey car...@mci2000.com
"Spurgeon" on #politics on the Undernet!

"Of all the dispositions and habits, which lead to political
prosperity, Religion and Morality are indispensable supports. In
vain would that man claim the tribute of Patriotism, who should
labor to subvert these great pillars of human happiness, these
firmest props of the duties of Men and Citizens."

"And let us with caution indulge the supposition, that morality can
be maintained without religion. Whatever may be conceded to the
influence of refined education on minds of peculiar structure,
reason and experience both forbid us to expect, that national
morality can prevail in exclusion of religious principle."

--- Excerpts from George Washington's Farewell Address

Mary E Knadler

unread,
Jun 4, 1997, 3:00:00 AM6/4/97
to

In <3394e...@news.sisna.com> Rus...@Sisna.Com (Solid State) writes:
>
>>Murder is murder, even if it is sancionted by the state.
>>If we kill this man - and believe me, I know how hirrible his crimes
>>were; I live a mere 70 miles from where it all took place - are we
>>really any better than him? I am not equating pedophilia and murder,
>>I am simply saying that there is never an excuse to kill another
human
>>being. Anyone who claims to be against abortion because it destroys
>>one of "God's creatures" should also be against the death penalty.
NO
>>matter what Jesse Tomendequas did, he is still a creature of God.
>
> Although I am FAR from a biblical scholar, how many times did GOD
>let people KILL in HIS name? How many times have people been killed
>in the name of Christianity? GOD himselve dictated in the OT that
>the punishment for MANY crimes (including MURDER) was the punishment
>of DEATH!!!!
> You claim that there is "Never an excuse for killing another human
>being"...do you feel this way in the cases of Self-defense? Or would
>you let someone just kill you? Capital punishment IS a form of
>self-defense...self-defense of society...

> Regards,
> Steve
>>Matt Singerman
>>http://www.pitt.edu/~messt66/
>>(Take off the x's to e-mail to me)
>>
>>High General, IRCWP
>>"SPOOOOOOOOON!" - The Tick
>>
>> ВВ Stop the execution of Mumia Abu-Jamal ВВ
>> ВВВ If you agree copy these 3 sentences in your own sig ВВВ
>>ВВВВ more info: http://www.xs4all.nl/~tank/spg-l/sigaction.htm ВВВВ
>

The Christian beliefs lie more in the New Testament. I think it is
morally wrong for anyone to take a life, especially the Government in
the name of the people. The Christian faith is more along the lines
of forgiveness, turning the other cheek. Not the eye for any eye
concept that I guess is in the Jewish faith.

I think that we should not go down the road to capital punishment when
you consider most all of the advanced western Democrcies have abolished
it. It puts us in with the countries of Iran, Iraq & Saudi Arabia
where they have public punishment & not great respect for human life.
Barbaric I would say---not at all Christian. yasmin2

Satan Claus

unread,
Jun 4, 1997, 3:00:00 AM6/4/97
to

On Wed, 04 Jun 1997 05:32:04 GMT, hol...@cyberramp.net (Mitchell
Holman) wrote:

>In article <3394e...@news.sisna.com>, Rus...@Sisna.Com (Solid State) wrote:
>
>

>} Capital punishment IS a form of self-defense...self-defense of society...
>
>

> Let's see: you drag some schmuck out of his cell at midnight,
> have the priest mumble some prayers to him, strap him to a
> metal chair, run 10,000 volts thru him until he is dead, and
> then justify your actions as "self-defense"?

Ah, but you see, by killing him we guarantee that he'll never strike
again! Of course, locking him up for the rest of his life to be
anally-raped nightly has the same effect...

Adam Bernay

unread,
Jun 4, 1997, 3:00:00 AM6/4/97
to

On Wed, 4 Jun 1997, Satan Claus wrote:

> > Let's see: you drag some schmuck out of his cell at midnight,
> > have the priest mumble some prayers to him, strap him to a
> > metal chair, run 10,000 volts thru him until he is dead, and
> > then justify your actions as "self-defense"?
>
> Ah, but you see, by killing him we guarantee that he'll never strike
> again! Of course, locking him up for the rest of his life to be
> anally-raped nightly has the same effect...

I find this arguement to be hilarious. The anti-death penalty crusade is
mainly a liberal one. And yet it's the liberals that plead for
understanding for such people, and also opposes the building of new
prisons. The net effect of both is that murders get out early, on "good
behavior".

I think I shall have to get out my English textbook from last semester and
reprint the essay by Ed Koch called "How Capital Punishment Affirms
Life"...unusual for a liberal Democrat, he skewers the anti-death penalty
arguement with skill and aplomb.


Adam Bernay

Elect Dan Lungren California Governor in 1998


Johann von Tibbes

unread,
Jun 4, 1997, 3:00:00 AM6/4/97
to

Mary E Knadler wrote:
>
> In <3394e...@news.sisna.com> Rus...@Sisna.Com (Solid State) writes:
> >
> >>Murder is murder, even if it is sancionted by the state.
> >>If we kill this man - and believe me, I know how hirrible his crimes
> >>were; I live a mere 70 miles from where it all took place - are we
> >>really any better than him? I am not equating pedophilia and murder,
> >>I am simply saying that there is never an excuse to kill another
> human
> >>being. Anyone who claims to be against abortion because it destroys
> >>one of "God's creatures" should also be against the death penalty.
> NO
> >>matter what Jesse Tomendequas did, he is still a creature of God.
> >
> > Although I am FAR from a biblical scholar, how many times did GOD
> >let people KILL in HIS name? How many times have people been killed
> >in the name of Christianity? GOD himselve dictated in the OT that
> >the punishment for MANY crimes (including MURDER) was the punishment
> >of DEATH!!!!
> > You claim that there is "Never an excuse for killing another human
> >being"...do you feel this way in the cases of Self-defense? Or would
> >you let someone just kill you? Capital punishment IS a form of
> >self-defense...self-defense of society...
> > Regards,
> > Steve

> >>Matt Singerman
> >>http://www.pitt.edu/~messt66/
> >>(Take off the x's to e-mail to me)
> >>
> >>High General, IRCWP
> >>"SPOOOOOOOOON!" - The Tick
> >>
> >> ВВ Stop the execution of Mumia Abu-Jamal ВВ
> >> ВВВ If you agree copy these 3 sentences in your own sig ВВВ
> >>ВВВВ more info: http://www.xs4all.nl/~tank/spg-l/sigaction.htm ВВВВ
> >
>
> The Christian beliefs lie more in the New Testament. I think it is
> morally wrong for anyone to take a life, especially the Government in
> the name of the people. The Christian faith is more along the lines
> of forgiveness, turning the other cheek. Not the eye for any eye
> concept that I guess is in the Jewish faith.
>
> I think that we should not go down the road to capital punishment when
> you consider most all of the advanced western Democrcies have abolished
> it. It puts us in with the countries of Iran, Iraq & Saudi Arabia
> where they have public punishment & not great respect for human life.
> Barbaric I would say---not at all Christian. yasmin2

Mary, this ole redneck usually agrees with you but I see the death
penalty
as the lesser of evils in some cases. It's not as bad as giving them
another chance to kill as happens a lot in 'life without parole' cases.
jvt

Adam Bernay

unread,
Jun 4, 1997, 3:00:00 AM6/4/97
to

REPRINTED FROM "MODELS FOR WRITERS" FIFTH EDITION:

DEATH AND JUSTICE: HOW CAPITAL PUNISHMENT AFFIRMS LIFE
------------------------------------------------------
Edward I. Koch

NOTE: Originally published in the New Republic, April 1985


Last December a man named Robert Lee Willie, who had
been convicted of raping and murdering an 18-year-old
woman, was executed in the Louisiana state prison. In a
statement issued several minutes before his death, Mr.
Willie said: "Killing people is wrong...It makes no
difference whether it's done by citizens, countries, or
governments. Killing is wrong." Two weeks later in
South Carolina, an admitted killer named Joseph Carl
Shaw was put to death for murdering two teenagers. In an
appeal to the governor for clemency, Mr. Shaw wrote:
"Killing is wrong when I did it. Killing is wrong when
you do it. I hope you have th courage and moral strength
to stop the killing."

It is a curiosity of modern life that we find ourselves
being lectured on morality by cold-blooded killers. Mr.
Willie previously had been convicted of aggravated rape,
aggravated kidnapping, and the murders of a Louisiana
deputy and man from Missouri. Mr. Shaw committed another
murder a week before the for which he was executed, and
admitted mutilating the body of the 14-year-old girl he
killed. I can't help wondering what prompted these
murderers to speak out against killing as they entered
the deathhouse door. Did their newfound reverence for
life stem from the realization that they were about to
lose their own?

Life is indeed precious, and I believe the death penalty
helps to affirm this fact. Had the death penalty been a
real possibility in the minds of these murderers, they
well have stayed their hand. They might have shown moral
awareness before their victims died, and not after.
Consider the tragic death of Rosa Velez, who happened to
be home when a man named Luis Vera burglarized her apartment
in Brooklyn. "Yeah, I shot her," Vera admitted. "She knew
me, and I knew I wouldn't go to the chair."

During my twenty-two years in public service, I have heard
the pros and cons of capital punishment expressed with
special intensity. As a district leader, councilman,
congressman, and mayor, I have represented constituencies
generally thought of as liberal. Because I support the
death penalty for heinous crimes of murder, I have sometimes
been the subject of emotional and outraged attacks by voters
who find my position reprehensible or worse. I have
listened to their ideas. I have weighed their objections
carefully. I still support the death penalty. The reasons
I maintain my position can be best understood by examining
the arguments most frequently heard in opposition:

1. THE DEATH PENALTY IS "BARBARIC".: Sometimes opponents of
capital punishment horrify with tales of lingering death on
the gallows, of faulty electric chairs, or of agony in the
gas chamber. Partly in response to such protests, several
states such as North Carolina and Texas switched to execution
by lethal injection. The condemned person is put to death
painlessly, without ropes, voltage, bullets, or gas. Did
this answer the objections of death penalty opponents? Of
course not. On June 22, 1984, the New York Times published
as editorial that sarcastically attacked the new "hygienic"
method of death by injection, and stated that "execution
can never be made humane through science." So it's not the
method that really troubles opponents. It's the death
itself that they consider barbaric.

Admittedly, capital punishment is not a pleasant topic.
However, one does not have to like the death penalty in
order to support it any more than one must like radical
surgery, radiation, or chemotherapy in order to find
necessary these attempts at curing cancer. Ultimately we
may learn how to cure cancer with a simple pill.
Unfortunately, that day has not yet arrived. Today we
are faced with the choice of letting the cancer spread or
trying to cure it with the methods available, methods that
one day will almost certainly be consider barbaric. But
to give up and do nothing would be far more barbaric and
would certainly delay the discovery of an eventual cure.
The analogy between cancer and murder is imperfect because
murder is not the "disease" we are trying to cure. The
disease is injustice. We may not like the death penalty,
but it must be available to punish crimes of cold-blooded
murder, cases in which any other form of punishment would
be inadequate and, therefore, unjust. If we create a
society in which injustice is not tolerated, incidents of
murder - the most flagrant form of injustice - will
diminish.

2. NO OTHER MAJOR DEMOCRACY USES THE DEATH PENALTY.:
No other major democracy - in fact, few other countries
of any description - are plagued by a murder rate such
as that in the United States. Fewer and fewer Americans
can remember the days when unlocked doors were the norm
and murder was a rare and terrible offense. In America
the murder rate climbed 122 percent between 1963 and 1980.
During that same period, the murder rate in New York City
increased by almost 400 percent, and the statistics are
even worse in many other cities. A study at M.I.T.
showed that, based on 1970 homicide rates, a person who
lives in a large American city runs a greater risk of
being murdered than an American soldier in WWII ran of
being killed in combat. It is not surprising that the
laws of each country differ according to differing
conditions and traditions. If other countries has our
murder problem, the cry for capital punishment would be
just as loud as it is here. And I daresay that any other
major democracy where 75 percent of the people supported
the death penalty (as they do here) would soon enact it
into law.

3. AN INNOCENT PERSON MIGHT BE EXECUTED BY MISTAKE.:
Consider the work of Hugo Adam Bedau, one of the most
implacable foes of capital punishment in this country.
According to Mr. Bedau, it is "false sentimentality to
argue that the death penalty should be abolished because
of the abstract possibility that an innocent person might
be executed." He cites a study of the 7,000 executions
in this country from 1893 to 1971, and concludes that
the record fails to show that such cases occur. The
main point, however, is this. If government functioned
only when the possibility of error didn't exist,
government wouldn't function at all. Human life deserves
special protection, and one of the best ways to guarantee
that protection is to assure that convicted murderers do
not kill again. Only the death penalty can accomplish
this end. In a recent case in New Jersey, a man named
Richard Biegenwald was freed from prison after serving 18
years for murder; since his release he has been convicted
of committing four murders. A prisoner named Lemuel
Smith, who, while serving four life sentences for murder
(plus two life sentences for kidnapping and robbery) in
New York's Green Haven Prison, lured a woman corrections
officer into the chaplain's office and strangled her.
He then mutilated and dismembered her body. An additional
life sentence for Smith is meaningless. Because New York
has no death penalty statute, Smith has effectively been
given a license to kill.

But the problem of multiple murder is not confined to the
nation's penitentiaries. In 1981, 91 police officers were
killed in the line of duty in this country. Seven percent
of those arrested in the cases that have been solved had
a previous arrest for murder. In New York City in 1976 and
1977, 85 persons arrested for homicide had a previous arrest
for murder. Six of these individuals had two previous
arrests for murder, and one had four previous murder arrests.
During those two years the New York police were arresting
for murder persons with a previous arrest for murder on the
average of every 8.5 days. This is not surprising when we
learn that in 1975, for example, the median time served in
Massachusetts for homicide was less than two and a half
years. In 1976 a study sponsored by the Twentieth Century
Fund found that the average time served in the United States
for first-degree murder is ten years. The median time served
is considerably less.

4. CAPITAL PUNISHMENT CHEAPENS THE VALUE OF HUMAN LIFE.:
On the contrary, it can easily be demonstrated that the death
penalty strengthens the value of human life. If the penalty
for rape were lowered, clearly it would signal a lessened
regard for the victims' suffering, humiliation, and personal
integrity. It would cheapen their horrible experience, and
expose them to an increased danger of recurrence. When we
lower the penalty for murder, it signals a lessened regard
for the value of the victim's life. Some critics of capital
punishment, such as columnist Jimmy Breslin, have suggested
that a life sentence is actually a harsher penalty for murder
than death. This is sophistic nonsense. A few killers may
decide not to appeal a death sentence, but the overwhelming
majority make every effort to stay alive. It is by exacting
the highest penalty for the taking of human life that we
affirm the highest value of human life.

5. THE DEATH PENALTY IS APPLIED IN A DISCRIMINATORY MANNER.:
This factor no longer seems to be the problem it once was.
The appeals process for a condemned prisoner is lengthy and
painstaking. Every effort is made to see that the verdict
and sentence were fairly arrived at. However, assertions of
discrimination are not an argument for ending the death
penalty but for extending it. It is not justice to exclude
everyone from the penalty if a few are found to be so favored.
Justice requires that the law be applied equally to all.

6. THOU SHALT NOT KILL.: The Bible is our greatest source of
moral inspiration. Opponents of the death penalty frequently
cite the sixth of the Ten Commandments in an attempt to
prove that capital punishment is divinely proscribed. In
the original Hebrew, the Sixth Commandment reads, "Thou Shalt
Not Commit Murder," and the Torah specifies capital punishment
for a variety of offenses. The Biblical viewpoint has been
upheld by philosophers throughout history. The greatest
thinkers of the 19th Century - Kant, Locke, Hobbes, Rousseau,
Montesquieu, and Mill - agreed that natural law authorizes
the sovereign to take life in order to vindicate justice.
Only Jeremy Bentham was ambivalent. Washington, Jefferson,
and Franklin endorsed it. Abraham Lincoln authorized
executions for deserters in wartime. Alexis de Tocqueville,
who expressed profound respect for American institutions,
believed that the death penalty was indispensable to the
support of social order. The United States Constitution,
widely admired as one of the seminal achievements in the
history of humanity, condemns cruel and inhuman punishment,
but does not condemn capital punishment.

7. THE DEATH PENALTY IS STATE-SANCTIONED MURDER.: This is
this defense with which Messrs. Willie and Shaw hoped to
soften the resolve of those who sentenced them to death.
By saying in effect, "You're no better than I am," the
murderer seeks to bring his accusers down to his own level.
It is a popular argument among opponents of capital
punishment, but a transparently false one. Simply put,
the state has rights that the private individual does not.
In a democracy, those rights are given to the state by the
electorate. The execution of a lawfully condemned killer
is no more an act of murder than is legal imprisonment an
act of kidnapping. If an individual forces a neighbor to
pay him money under threat of punishment, it's called
extortion. If the state does it, it's called taxation.
Rights and responsibilities surrendered by the individual
are what give the state its power to govern. This contract
is the foundation of civilization itself.

Everyone wants his of her rights, and will defend them
jealously. Not everyone, however, wants responsibilities,
especially the painful responsibilities that come with
law enforcement. Twenty-one years ago a woman named Kitty
Genovese was assaulted and murdered on a street in New
York. Dozens of neighbors heard her cries for help but
did nothing to assist her. They didn't even call the police.
In such a climate the criminal understandably grows bolder.
In the presence of moral cowardice, he lectures us on our
supposed failings and tries to equate his crimes with our
quest for justice.

The death of anyone - even a convicted killer - diminishes
us all. But we are diminished even more by a justice
system that fails to function. It is an illusion to let
ourselves believe that doing away with capital punishment
removes the murderer's deed from our conscience. The
rights of society are paramount. When we protect guilty
lives, we give up innocent ones in exchange. When opponents
of capital punishment say to the state, "I will not let
you kill in my name," they are also saying to murderers,
"You can kill in your own name as long as I have an excuse
for not getting involved."

It is hard to imagine anything worse than being murdered
while neighbors do nothing. But something worse exists.
When those same neighbors shrink back from justly punishing
the murderer, the victim dies twice.


--------------------------------------------------

Comments, people?

midt...@slip.net

unread,
Jun 4, 1997, 3:00:00 AM6/4/97
to

Adam Bernay wrote:
[...]

> I find this arguement to be hilarious. The anti-death penalty crusade is
> mainly a liberal one. And yet it's the liberals that plead for
> understanding for such people, and also opposes the building of new
> prisons. The net effect of both is that murders get out early, on "good
> behavior".

We imprison more people both in total numbers and in per capita than
any other major nation on Earth. I guess the "liberals' haven't been
all that successful.

> Adam Bernay

--
Midt...@slip.net
"If you look hard enough, you can find a pizza
connection to every major news story."
-Pizza Today

Satan Claus

unread,
Jun 4, 1997, 3:00:00 AM6/4/97
to

On 4 Jun 97 03:59:24 GMT, Rus...@Sisna.Com (Solid State) wrote:

>>Murder is murder, even if it is sancionted by the state.
>>If we kill this man - and believe me, I know how hirrible his crimes
>>were; I live a mere 70 miles from where it all took place - are we
>>really any better than him? I am not equating pedophilia and murder,
>>I am simply saying that there is never an excuse to kill another human
>>being. Anyone who claims to be against abortion because it destroys
>>one of "God's creatures" should also be against the death penalty. NO
>>matter what Jesse Tomendequas did, he is still a creature of God.
>
> Although I am FAR from a biblical scholar, how many times did GOD
>let people KILL in HIS name? How many times have people been killed
>in the name of Christianity? GOD himselve dictated in the OT that
>the punishment for MANY crimes (including MURDER) was the punishment
>of DEATH!!!!
> You claim that there is "Never an excuse for killing another human
>being"...do you feel this way in the cases of Self-defense? Or would
>you let someone just kill you? Capital punishment IS a form of
>self-defense...self-defense of society...
> Regards,
> Steve

So who gives a crap about the bible? You're a pig. Here's an idea,
let's take the Brazilian approach: Mow down all the poo motherfuckers
with machine guns, including kids, and refill the now vacant areas
with tourist attractions. Would I let somebody kill me? No. I would
fight back, but I would not kill my attacker. And you example is
faily pointless, since most crime is not random. And as for self
sefesne for society, I ask you again: Why not prevent the crime
beforehand and kill em all?

Mitchell Holman

unread,
Jun 5, 1997, 3:00:00 AM6/5/97
to

In article <3396136c...@news.pipeline.com>, xmsing...@pipeline.com wrote:
}On Wed, 04 Jun 1997 19:39:17 -0700, Johann von Tibbes <jti...@cei.net>

}> It's not as bad as giving them
}>another chance to kill as happens a lot in 'life without parole' cases.
}>jvt
}

}Really? How do you figure that anyone given life without parole has a
}chance to kill an innocent civilian again?
}

Whatcha wanna bet that Johann here cannot name a single
person killed by a LWOP prisoner?

Satan Claus

unread,
Jun 5, 1997, 3:00:00 AM6/5/97
to

On Wed, 04 Jun 1997 19:39:17 -0700, Johann von Tibbes <jti...@cei.net>
wrote:

>Mary E Knadler wrote:
>>
>> In <3394e...@news.sisna.com> Rus...@Sisna.Com (Solid State) writes:
>> >

>> >>Murder is murder, even if it is sancionted by the state.
>> >>If we kill this man - and believe me, I know how hirrible his crimes
>> >>were; I live a mere 70 miles from where it all took place - are we
>> >>really any better than him? I am not equating pedophilia and murder,
>> >>I am simply saying that there is never an excuse to kill another
>> human
>> >>being. Anyone who claims to be against abortion because it destroys
>> >>one of "God's creatures" should also be against the death penalty.
>> NO
>> >>matter what Jesse Tomendequas did, he is still a creature of God.
>> >
>> > Although I am FAR from a biblical scholar, how many times did GOD
>> >let people KILL in HIS name? How many times have people been killed
>> >in the name of Christianity? GOD himselve dictated in the OT that
>> >the punishment for MANY crimes (including MURDER) was the punishment
>> >of DEATH!!!!
>> > You claim that there is "Never an excuse for killing another human
>> >being"...do you feel this way in the cases of Self-defense? Or would
>> >you let someone just kill you? Capital punishment IS a form of
>> >self-defense...self-defense of society...
>> > Regards,
>> > Steve

>> >>Matt Singerman
>> >>http://www.pitt.edu/~messt66/
>> >>(Take off the x's to e-mail to me)
>> >>
>> >>High General, IRCWP
>> >>"SPOOOOOOOOON!" - The Tick
>> >>
>> >> ВВ Stop the execution of Mumia Abu-Jamal ВВ
>> >> ВВВ If you agree copy these 3 sentences in your own sig ВВВ
>> >>ВВВВ more info: http://www.xs4all.nl/~tank/spg-l/sigaction.htm ВВВВ
>> >
>>

>> The Christian beliefs lie more in the New Testament. I think it is
>> morally wrong for anyone to take a life, especially the Government in
>> the name of the people. The Christian faith is more along the lines
>> of forgiveness, turning the other cheek. Not the eye for any eye
>> concept that I guess is in the Jewish faith.
>>
>> I think that we should not go down the road to capital punishment when
>> you consider most all of the advanced western Democrcies have abolished
>> it. It puts us in with the countries of Iran, Iraq & Saudi Arabia
>> where they have public punishment & not great respect for human life.
>> Barbaric I would say---not at all Christian. yasmin2
>
>Mary, this ole redneck usually agrees with you but I see the death
>penalty

>as the lesser of evils in some cases. It's not as bad as giving them

>another chance to kill as happens a lot in 'life without parole' cases.
>jvt

Really? How do you figure that anyone given life without parole has a
chance to kill an innocent civilian again?

Matt Singerman

Satan Claus

unread,
Jun 5, 1997, 3:00:00 AM6/5/97
to

On Wed, 4 Jun 1997 17:46:43 -0700, Adam Bernay
<abe...@mammoth.psnw.com> wrote:

>
>On Wed, 4 Jun 1997, Satan Claus wrote:
>
>> > Let's see: you drag some schmuck out of his cell at midnight,
>> > have the priest mumble some prayers to him, strap him to a
>> > metal chair, run 10,000 volts thru him until he is dead, and
>> > then justify your actions as "self-defense"?
>>
>> Ah, but you see, by killing him we guarantee that he'll never strike
>> again! Of course, locking him up for the rest of his life to be
>> anally-raped nightly has the same effect...
>

>I find this arguement to be hilarious. The anti-death penalty crusade is
>mainly a liberal one. And yet it's the liberals that plead for
>understanding for such people, and also opposes the building of new
>prisons. The net effect of both is that murders get out early, on "good
>behavior".

And the anti-choice crusade is mainly a conservative one, what's your
point? And yet... your post makes no sense. What does
"understanding" (I never said that) criminals and building prisons
have to do with the death penalty? If you took all the prisoners
currently on death row and placed them in the general prison
population, it would hardly be a drop in the bucket.

And ho'ws this for an idea: Instead of building more prisons, how
about stopping crime before it happens by investing money in schools?
There are a LOT of jobs out there for anyone willing to work hard for
them, but people need a decent education to stand a chance. How can
an inner-city child possibly hope to compete with a suburban kid when
seeking acceptance to an ivy league school? Better schools, better
facilities, better teachers... These are not associated with the
ghetto. Fix the inner cities, and watch crime drop. Oh, and speak of
crime drops: National crime rates are at there lowest in over three
decades. New York City is having its lowest levels of crime since the
early 60s. Why do we need more prisons?

>I think I shall have to get out my English textbook from last semester and
>reprint the essay by Ed Koch called "How Capital Punishment Affirms
>Life"...unusual for a liberal Democrat, he skewers the anti-death penalty
>arguement with skill and aplomb.

And I think I'll get out my copy of "A People's History of the United
States." We'll see what Mr. Zinn has to say.

Brian Baird

unread,
Jun 5, 1997, 3:00:00 AM6/5/97
to

They put liberals to death in NJ??? Cool!
-b

--
"You'd never lie to me, would you, little wooden boy?"
-The Tick

Adam Bernay

unread,
Jun 5, 1997, 3:00:00 AM6/5/97
to midt...@slip.net

On Wed, 4 Jun 1997 midt...@slip.net wrote:

> Adam Bernay wrote:
> [...]


> > I find this arguement to be hilarious. The anti-death penalty crusade is
> > mainly a liberal one. And yet it's the liberals that plead for
> > understanding for such people, and also opposes the building of new
> > prisons. The net effect of both is that murders get out early, on "good
> > behavior".
>

> We imprison more people both in total numbers and in per capita than
> any other major nation on Earth. I guess the "liberals' haven't been
> all that successful.

No, they've been very successful. What you have not factored into your
equation is how many *MORE* criminals we have that aren't in jail. Again,
we have a much bigger crime problem than any other major nation on Earth,
much greater than the amount of prisoners we have in comparison to those
in other countries.

Criminals get put back on the street every day in this country, either
being let off on a technicality or parolled for "good behavior" way before
their sentences are up. When will this madness stop?

Conan The Librarian

unread,
Jun 5, 1997, 3:00:00 AM6/5/97
to

[Followups trimmed]

In article <Pine.BSI.3.95.97060...@mammoth.psnw.com>,
Adam Bernay <abe...@mammoth.psnw.com> writes:

You could start by not locking away folks for their particular choice
of recreational drug (e.g., end the Wo(S)D). That would reduce
overcrowding in our prisons a great deal.


Chuck Vance

Mitchell Holman

unread,
Jun 5, 1997, 3:00:00 AM6/5/97
to

In article <339599...@the.ranch>, Brian Carey <ba...@the.ranch> wrote:

}Mitchell Holman wrote:
}> } Capital punishment IS a form of self-defense...self-defense of society...
}>
}> Let's see: you drag some schmuck out of his cell at midnight,
}> have the priest mumble some prayers to him, strap him to a
}> metal chair, run 10,000 volts thru him until he is dead, and
}> then justify your actions as "self-defense"?
}>
}
}Well, "schmuck" doesn't quite hit the nail on the head in this matter.
}What type of prisoner are you referring to? A serial murderer? A
}McVeigh-type? A pedophile?
}
}At any rate, the answer to whether or not it is self-defense would
}probably consist in first elaborating on "schmuck."
}

Not really. Exactly who is being immediately threatened
by said prisoner - any prisoner - as he is being taken out
of his cell for the "Long Walk"?


Mitchell Holman


During the debate over the House Republicans' bill modifying Exclusionary Rule, HR 666,
Rep. Watt, D-N.C. introduced an amendment to the bill the Republicans promptly voted down.
The amendment turned out to be the Fourth Amendment to the Constitution, verbatim. 2/7/95

Mitchell Holman

unread,
Jun 5, 1997, 3:00:00 AM6/5/97
to

}No, they've been very successful. What you have not factored into your
}equation is how many *MORE* criminals we have that aren't in jail. Again,
}we have a much bigger crime problem than any other major nation on Earth,


...esp. when you add in "crimes" like smoking dope, reading dirty
books, or having private sex with someone of the "wrong" gender.


}Criminals get put back on the street every day in this country, either
}being let off on a technicality or parolled for "good behavior" way before
}their sentences are up. When will this madness stop?


What part of the Bill of Rights do you consider to be a
technicality?

(old legal proverb: "One man's technicality is another
man's fundemental right")

Adam Bernay

unread,
Jun 5, 1997, 3:00:00 AM6/5/97
to Andrew Hall

On 5 Jun 1997, Andrew Hall wrote:

> >>>>> Adam Bernay writes:
>
> Adam> Criminals get put back on the street every day in this country, either
> Adam> being let off on a technicality or parolled for "good behavior" way before
> Adam> their sentences are up. When will this madness stop?
>
> When we end the war on some drugs? One of the main
> reasons that real criminals are let go early is to
> make room for people being held on drug charges. Do
> you realize that the average time served is longer for
> drug offenses than murder?

> When will this madness end?

The answer is that we should build more prison space, not excuse drug
dealers.

> BTW, many states are now enacting and enforcing a
> real life without parole sentence for first degree
> murder. This is a good thing, and what should be done
> in lieu of the death penalty, which is too prone to
> killing an innocent person.

You obviously didn't read the article I posted here yesterday. According
to one of the greatest *OPPONENTS* of the death penalty, the number of
innocent people executed in this country is so minimal as to be virtually
non-existent.

To keep one prisoner alive in our jails for the rest of his life costs too
much in the way of public funds. Over 75% of the American Public favors
the death penalty at last count. Why should they be forced to pay for the
lifetime incarceration of someone they favor having been executed instead
of being held for life?

It's not the government's money, it's *OUR* money, and they shouldn't be
doing things with it that the vast majority disagrees with...

midt...@slip.net

unread,
Jun 5, 1997, 3:00:00 AM6/5/97
to

Adam Bernay wrote:
> On 5 Jun 1997, Andrew Hall wrote:
> > >>>>> Adam Bernay writes:
> >
> > Adam> Criminals get put back on the street every day in this country, either
> > Adam> being let off on a technicality or parolled for "good behavior" way before
> > Adam> their sentences are up. When will this madness stop?
> >
> > When we end the war on some drugs? One of the main
> > reasons that real criminals are let go early is to
> > make room for people being held on drug charges. Do
> > you realize that the average time served is longer for
> > drug offenses than murder?
>
> > When will this madness end?
>
> The answer is that we should build more prison space, not excuse drug
> dealers.
>
That was the same answer they gave during Prohibition. At least for
awhile...

> > BTW, many states are now enacting and enforcing a
> > real life without parole sentence for first degree
> > murder. This is a good thing, and what should be done
> > in lieu of the death penalty, which is too prone to
> > killing an innocent person.
>
> You obviously didn't read the article I posted here yesterday. According
> to one of the greatest *OPPONENTS* of the death penalty, the number of
> innocent people executed in this country is so minimal as to be virtually
> non-existent.
>

True, but not the point. How many innocent people do we need to kill
for it to be important?

> To keep one prisoner alive in our jails for the rest of his life costs too
> much in the way of public funds.

Not true. The fact is that for most people put to death it costs MORE
to go through the lengthy trials and appeals than it does just to
incarcerate them. This is well documented.

> Over 75% of the American Public favors
> the death penalty at last count. Why should they be forced to pay for the
> lifetime incarceration of someone they favor having been executed instead
> of being held for life?
>
> It's not the government's money, it's *OUR* money, and they shouldn't be
> doing things with it that the vast majority disagrees with...
>

If people want it, then you do have a point. But lets get the facts
straight about the cost of keeping them in prison.

midt...@slip.net

unread,
Jun 5, 1997, 3:00:00 AM6/5/97
to

Adam Bernay wrote:
> On Wed, 4 Jun 1997 midt...@slip.net wrote:
> > Adam Bernay wrote:
> > [...]
> > > I find this arguement to be hilarious. The anti-death penalty crusade is
> > > mainly a liberal one. And yet it's the liberals that plead for
> > > understanding for such people, and also opposes the building of new
> > > prisons. The net effect of both is that murders get out early, on "good
> > > behavior".
> >
> > We imprison more people both in total numbers and in per capita than
> > any other major nation on Earth. I guess the "liberals' haven't been
> > all that successful.
>
> No, they've been very successful. What you have not factored into your
> equation is how many *MORE* criminals we have that aren't in jail.

O.K. You tell me. How many criminals do we have that aren't in jail?
A rough number will do.

Another point that you brought up but didn't provide any backing is
who are these "liberals" that don't want to build any jails?

> Again,
> we have a much bigger crime problem than any other major nation on Earth,

> much greater than the amount of prisoners we have in comparison to those
> in other countries.
>

That should tell you something. That maybe we should spend more time
and resources on crime prevention because locking people up isn't
solving the crime problem.

> Criminals get put back on the street every day in this country, either

> being let off on a technicality or parolled for "good behavior" way before

> their sentences are up. When will this madness stop?
>

When we stop letting out violent criminals to make room for non-violent
drug offenders that get mandatory sentences. FYI, almost all of the
prison
inmate "explosion" over the last 15 years has been non-violent drug
offenders.
AKA victims of the right-wing's WoD. (not an opinion. A fact)

kenfran

unread,
Jun 6, 1997, 3:00:00 AM6/6/97
to

Johann von Tibbes wrote:
>
> Mary E Knadler wrote:
> >
> > In <3394e...@news.sisna.com> Rus...@Sisna.Com (Solid State) writes:
> > >
> > >>Murder is murder, even if it is sancionted by the state.
> > >>If we kill this man - and believe me, I know how hirrible his crimes
> > >>were; I live a mere 70 miles from where it all took place - are we
> > >>really any better than him? I am not equating pedophilia and murder,
> > >>I am simply saying that there is never an excuse to kill another
> > human
> > >>being. Anyone who claims to be against abortion because it destroys
> > >>one of "God's creatures" should also be against the death penalty.
> > NO
> > >>matter what Jesse Tomendequas did, he is still a creature of God.
> > >
> > > Although I am FAR from a biblical scholar, how many times did GOD
> > >let people KILL in HIS name? How many times have people been killed
> > >in the name of Christianity? GOD himselve dictated in the OT that
> > >the punishment for MANY crimes (including MURDER) was the punishment
> > >of DEATH!!!!
> > > You claim that there is "Never an excuse for killing another human
> > >being"...do you feel this way in the cases of Self-defense? Or would
> > >you let someone just kill you? Capital punishment IS a form of
> > >self-defense...self-defense of society...
> > > Regards,
> > > Steve

> > >>Matt Singerman
> > >>http://www.pitt.edu/~messt66/
> > >>(Take off the x's to e-mail to me)
> > >>
> > >>High General, IRCWP
> > >>"SPOOOOOOOOON!" - The Tick
> > >>
> > >> ВВ Stop the execution of Mumia Abu-Jamal ВВ
> > >> ВВВ If you agree copy these 3 sentences in your own sig ВВВ
> > >>ВВВВ more info: http://www.xs4all.nl/~tank/spg-l/sigaction.htm ВВВВ
> > >
> >
> > The Christian beliefs lie more in the New Testament. I think it is
> > morally wrong for anyone to take a life, especially the Government in
> > the name of the people. The Christian faith is more along the lines
> > of forgiveness, turning the other cheek. Not the eye for any eye
> > concept that I guess is in the Jewish faith.
> >
> > I think that we should not go down the road to capital punishment when
> > you consider most all of the advanced western Democrcies have abolished
> > it. It puts us in with the countries of Iran, Iraq & Saudi Arabia
> > where they have public punishment & not great respect for human life.
> > Barbaric I would say---not at all Christian. yasmin2
>
> Mary, this ole redneck usually agrees with you but I see the death
> penalty
> as the lesser of evils in some cases. It's not as bad as giving them
> another chance to kill as happens a lot in 'life without parole' cases.
> jvt
You are right, Tibbs. Don't give them a chance to repeat their crimes.
We should have executed criminals like Gordon Liddy and Oliver North. If
we had made sure that appeals were rushed through and almost
automatically denied, like the conservatives want, we probably could
have gotten 'ole Ollie in the chair without those liberal judges getting
him off.

Adam Bernay

unread,
Jun 6, 1997, 3:00:00 AM6/6/97
to Andrew Hall

On 6 Jun 1997, Andrew Hall wrote:

> Adam> The answer is that we should build more prison space, not excuse drug
> Adam> dealers.
>
> We certainly should not let out real criminals. However,
> your assumption that most of the people in jail for drugs
> offenses are dealers is another falsehood. They are full
> of users, sent to jail for harming nobody except, perhaps,
> themselves.

Again, I find your "druggies hurt no one but themselves" argument to
be thoroughly hollow and thoroughly *WRONG*. But most users that get
convicted are first-timers, and get probation. Most of the druggies
in jail are ones convicted of "posession with intent to distribute".

> >> BTW, many states are now enacting and enforcing a
> >> real life without parole sentence for first degree
> >> murder. This is a good thing, and what should be done
> >> in lieu of the death penalty, which is too prone to
> >> killing an innocent person.
>

> Adam> obviously didn't read the article I posted here yesterday.
> Adam> According to one of the greatest *OPPONENTS* of the death penalty,
> Adam> the number of innocent people executed in this country is so
> Adam> minimal as to be virtually non-existent.
>
> Minimal? Virtually? One is too many for me.
> And I have not read that study. So I have no
> idea how true it is. I do know that loads of
> people have been falsely convicted and sentenced
> to death, only to be exonerated later.

How many is "loads"? And I agree that one person falsely convicted is
too many. But that is merely an argument for reforming our
investigative and judicial processes, not discontinuing the death
penalty.

> damn easy to be falsely convicted. It only takes one liar, dishonest
> prosecutor, or dishonest scientist (like the one in West Virginia)

What one in WV?

> convict an innocent person.

You still have not demonstated that this happens enough to make a
claim to stop the death penalty.

Adam> To keep one prisoner alive in our jails for the rest of his life
Adam> costs too much in the way of public funds. Over 75% of the American
Adam> Public favors
>
> Nope., with the current appeal system, it costs far more to kill
> them. If we do away with the current appeal system, lots of
> innocent people will be killed by the state.

We can, however, reform the process to make it less costly.

> It is far better to have real life without parole. Only let
> them go if you find them to be innocent.

Great! Then they, like Lemuel Smith in the article I reposted have a
license to kill our corrections officers...

Adam> the death penalty at last count. Why should they be forced to pay
Adam> for the lifetime incarceration of someone they favor having been
Adam> executed instead of being held for life?
>
> This is moot, as it costs more to kill than to jail.

Okay, two comments on this:

1) I've heard that "costs more to kill than to jail" argument a lot,
but I've seen no figures to back it up. Would you please post
such, if you are so sure it's correct.

2) And, even if your "costs more" statement is true, my point is
*STILL NOT MOOT*. Our taxpayers pay these bills. By your
argument, they shouldn't have a say in how their money is used.
I disagree. I think they should be the *SUPREME* arbitors of
how their money is used.

Adam> It's not the government's money, it's *OUR* money, and they
Adam> shouldn't be doing things with it that the vast majority
Adam> disagrees with...
>
> Again, moot.

Why is it moot? Because *YOU* disagree with the majority? When did we
become a monarchy, Andrew, and when after that were you crowned King?

Mitchell Holman

unread,
Jun 6, 1997, 3:00:00 AM6/6/97
to

}
}1) I've heard that "costs more to kill than to jail" argument a lot,
} but I've seen no figures to back it up. Would you please post
} such, if you are so sure it's correct.
}

"In a 1988 study by the Miami Herald calculated that Florida
had spend 57 million dollars to maintain a death penalty that
had executed 18 men - a average 3.2 million per execution. The
average cost of keeping a man in prison until his natural death
was one-sixth that amount. A 1993 study by the Dallas Morning
News found that Texas - despite having the most streamlined
death penalty in the country - spent three times as much for each
execution as it would to jail a man for the rest of his natural life."

Among Lowest of the Dead, David von Drehle, p 328


Mitchell Holman

unread,
Jun 6, 1997, 3:00:00 AM6/6/97
to

}
}How many is "loads"? And I agree that one person falsely convicted is
}too many. But that is merely an argument for reforming our
}investigative and judicial processes, not discontinuing the death
}penalty.

How do you propose to "reform the investigative and judicial
process" without spending more money - one of your arguments -
to do so?


}> damn easy to be falsely convicted. It only takes one liar, dishonest
}> prosecutor, or dishonest scientist (like the one in West Virginia)
}
}What one in WV?
}
}> convict an innocent person.
}
}You still have not demonstated that this happens enough to make a
}claim to stop the death penalty.


How many is enough, in your opinion? Is 56 in the space of
20 years - that we know of, mind you - not enough?


Paul Havemann

unread,
Jun 6, 1997, 3:00:00 AM6/6/97
to

Adam Bernay (abe...@mammoth.psnw.com) sez:
:
: On 5 Jun 1997, Andrew Hall wrote:
:
: > >>>>> Adam Bernay writes:
: >
: > Adam> Criminals get put back on the street every day in this
: > Adam> country, either being let off on a technicality or
: > Adam> parolled for "good behavior" way before
: > Adam> their sentences are up. When will this madness stop?
: >
: > When we end the war on some drugs? One of the main

: > reasons that real criminals are let go early is to
: > make room for people being held on drug charges. Do
: > you realize that the average time served is longer for
: > drug offenses than murder?
:
: > When will this madness end?
:
: The answer is that we should build more prison space, not excuse drug
: dealers.

Point of order: the vast majority of those incarcerated as the result
of the War on Some Drugs are not drug *dealers,* but _users_ -- and
typically, casual pot users at that (a.k.a. 'yuppie scum' to some). If
you think that most of 'em are dealers, perhaps it's time to
reconsider your position -- especially in light of the way certain
law-enforcement agencies have been _way_ too enthusiastically
enforcing it when there's property to be seized.


: > BTW, many states are now enacting and enforcing a

: > real life without parole sentence for first degree
: > murder. This is a good thing, and what should be done
: > in lieu of the death penalty, which is too prone to
: > killing an innocent person.

:
: You obviously didn't read the article I posted here yesterday.
: According to one of the greatest *OPPONENTS* of the death penalty,
: the number of innocent people executed in this country is so minimal


: as to be virtually non-existent.

That's due more to legal maneuvering (much of it mandated by law) than
by any desire for justice. Indeed, right here in NJ -- which, lest we
forget, is what this thread is about -- we had a guy who WANTED to be
executed, but the law forced him to go through still more appeals.

: To keep one prisoner alive in our jails for the rest of his life
: costs too much in the way of public funds. Over 75% of the American
: Public favors the death penalty at last count. Why should they be
: forced to pay for the lifetime incarceration of someone they favor
: having been executed instead of being held for life?

You seem an unlikely candidate to make that particular argument,
Adam. I don't know you very well, but from what I've read, you seem
more to the right than to the left; wouldn't you pooh-pooh someone
who made that argument about some liberal cause?

: Adam Bernay


: Elect Dan Lungren California Governor in 1998

I'm sure that's a clue to your ideology, but I plead ignorance;
Mr. Lungren is 3,125 miles away as the laden sparrow flies.

=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=

Paul Havemann (pa...@hsh.com)

"The art of taxation consists of so plucking the goose
as to get the most feathers with the least hissing."
-- Jean-Baptiste Colbert, Controller General of
Finances for Louis XIV

"The average American will have to work 128 days to pay off
his or her total tax bill this year. [...] The typical
American family's tax burden increased for the third year
in a row... to 38.4% in 1996."
-- the Tax Foundation (www.taxfoundation.org)

Michael Zarlenga

unread,
Jun 6, 1997, 3:00:00 AM6/6/97
to

Adam Bernay (abe...@mammoth.psnw.com) wrote:
: I find this arguement to be hilarious. The anti-death penalty crusade is

: mainly a liberal one. And yet it's the liberals that plead for
: understanding for such people, and also opposes the building of new
: prisons. The net effect of both is that murders get out early, on "good
: behavior".

Only because we're locking up millions of non-violent drug users every
year. THAT'S the reason for prison overcrowding.

We don't need more prisons. We have plenty. We already incarcerate
a larger %age of our people than China and Russia, for crissakes.

And don't, for one minute, think I'm a "liberal."

--
-- Mike Zarlenga
finger zarl...@conan.ids.net for PGP public key

"What the hell kind o'country is this where you can only hate
a man if he's white?" Hank Hill


Adam Bernay

unread,
Jun 7, 1997, 3:00:00 AM6/7/97
to Mitchell Holman

On Fri, 6 Jun 1997, Mitchell Holman wrote:

> In article <Pine.BSI.3.95.97060...@mammoth.psnw.com>, Adam Bernay <abe...@mammoth.psnw.com> wrote:
>
> }
> }How many is "loads"? And I agree that one person falsely convicted is
> }too many. But that is merely an argument for reforming our
> }investigative and judicial processes, not discontinuing the death
> }penalty.
>
> How do you propose to "reform the investigative and judicial
> process" without spending more money - one of your arguments -
> to do so?

It will always take some money in the short term to get real,
long-term savings, in *ANY* field.

> }> damn easy to be falsely convicted. It only takes one liar, dishonest
> }> prosecutor, or dishonest scientist (like the one in West Virginia)
> }
> }What one in WV?
> }
> }> convict an innocent person.
> }
> }You still have not demonstated that this happens enough to make a
> }claim to stop the death penalty.
>
>
> How many is enough, in your opinion? Is 56 in the space of
> 20 years - that we know of, mind you - not enough?

Funny, we don't *KNOW* about 56 in 20 years. This is the first time
you've cited any hard numbers. And you haven't said *WHICH* 20 years.
There was a study done of the 7,000 executions that happened in this
country from 1893 to 1971. The number of executions that had innocents
being executed were close to zero. This study is so exhaustive that even
Hugo Adam Bedau, one of the biggest opponents of the death penalty in this
country, cited it as correct and said, "it is false sentimentality to


argue that the death penalty should be abolished because of the abstract

possibility that an innocent person might be executed." That was a major
*OPPONENT* of the death penalty, keep in mind.

Now, I realize that it's been 26 years since the last year that that study
cited. But I cannot accept that in those 26 years the rate would have
gone up that dramatically. Cite your study. Who were these 56 people?
How were they found to be innocent? Were these results cited as true by
any major law-enforcement agency or union? Substantiate, sir...

Adam Bernay

unread,
Jun 7, 1997, 3:00:00 AM6/7/97
to Paul Havemann

On Fri, 6 Jun 1997, Paul Havemann wrote:

> Point of order: the vast majority of those incarcerated as the result
> of the War on Some Drugs are not drug *dealers,* but _users_ -- and
> typically, casual pot users at that (a.k.a. 'yuppie scum' to some). If
> you think that most of 'em are dealers, perhaps it's time to
> reconsider your position -- especially in light of the way certain
> law-enforcement agencies have been _way_ too enthusiastically
> enforcing it when there's property to be seized.

As I have said, this statement seems unlikely. Most casual drug users
who are arrested are first offenders, and they get off with a slap on
the wrist usually, unless they are convicted of "possession with
intent to distribute" aka *DRUG DEALERS*.

> : > BTW, many states are now enacting and enforcing a real life
> : > without parole sentence for first degree
> : > murder. This is a good thing, and what should be done
> : > in lieu of the death penalty, which is too prone to
> : > killing an innocent person.
> :
> : You obviously didn't read the article I posted here yesterday.
> : According to one of the greatest *OPPONENTS* of the death penalty,
> : the number of innocent people executed in this country is so minimal
> : as to be virtually non-existent.
>
> That's due more to legal maneuvering (much of it mandated by law) than
> by any desire for justice. Indeed, right here in NJ -- which, lest we
> forget, is what this thread is about -- we had a guy who WANTED to be
> executed, but the law forced him to go through still more appeals.

Really? Interesting...

> : To keep one prisoner alive in our jails for the rest of his life
> : costs too much in the way of public funds. Over 75% of the American
> : Public favors the death penalty at last count. Why should they be
> : forced to pay for the lifetime incarceration of someone they favor
> : having been executed instead of being held for life?
>
> You seem an unlikely candidate to make that particular argument,
> Adam. I don't know you very well, but from what I've read, you seem
> more to the right than to the left; wouldn't you pooh-pooh someone
> who made that argument about some liberal cause?

I'm missing something here...how is that a liberal line? Liberals think
we taxpayers should pay for every little thing they come up with. I am
talking about taxpayer accountability in our system and hard-line law
enforcement. Those are very conservative.

Or did I miss what you were saying?

Michael Zarlenga

unread,
Jun 7, 1997, 3:00:00 AM6/7/97
to

Adam Bernay (abe...@mammoth.psnw.com) wrote:
: > Point of order: the vast majority of those incarcerated as the result
: > of the War on Some Drugs are not drug *dealers,* but _users_ -- and
: > typically, casual pot users at that (a.k.a. 'yuppie scum' to some). If
: > you think that most of 'em are dealers, perhaps it's time to
: > reconsider your position -- especially in light of the way certain
: > law-enforcement agencies have been _way_ too enthusiastically
: > enforcing it when there's property to be seized.

: As I have said, this statement seems unlikely. Most casual drug users
: who are arrested are first offenders, and they get off with a slap on
: the wrist usually, unless they are convicted of "possession with
: intent to distribute" aka *DRUG DEALERS*.

So what? What of the drug user who gets arrested a 2nd, 3rd or 4th
time?

Where do you think he or she goes?

Mitchell Holman

unread,
Jun 7, 1997, 3:00:00 AM6/7/97
to

In article <Pine.BSI.3.95.970607...@mammoth.psnw.com>, Adam Bernay <abe...@mammoth.psnw.com> wrote:
}
}On Fri, 6 Jun 1997, Mitchell Holman wrote:
}
}> In article <Pine.BSI.3.95.97060...@mammoth.psnw.com>, Adam
} Bernay <abe...@mammoth.psnw.com> wrote:
}>
}> }
}> }How many is "loads"? And I agree that one person falsely convicted is
}> }too many. But that is merely an argument for reforming our
}> }investigative and judicial processes, not discontinuing the death
}> }penalty.
}>
}> How do you propose to "reform the investigative and judicial
}> process" without spending more money - one of your arguments -
}> to do so?
}
}It will always take some money in the short term to get real,
}long-term savings, in *ANY* field.
}

So what reforms are you talking about?


}> }> damn easy to be falsely convicted. It only takes one liar, dishonest
}> }> prosecutor, or dishonest scientist (like the one in West Virginia)
}> }
}> }What one in WV?
}> }
}> }> convict an innocent person.
}> }
}> }You still have not demonstated that this happens enough to make a
}> }claim to stop the death penalty.
}>
}>
}> How many is enough, in your opinion? Is 56 in the space of
}> 20 years - that we know of, mind you - not enough?
}
}Funny, we don't *KNOW* about 56 in 20 years. This is the first time
}you've cited any hard numbers. And you haven't said *WHICH* 20 years.


1977 (when executions resumed) to now. You do the math.


}There was a study done of the 7,000 executions that happened in this
}country from 1893 to 1971. The number of executions that had innocents
}being executed were close to zero. This study is so exhaustive that even
}Hugo Adam Bedau, one of the biggest opponents of the death penalty in this
}country, cited it as correct and said, "it is false sentimentality to
}argue that the death penalty should be abolished because of the abstract
}possibility that an innocent person might be executed." That was a major
}*OPPONENT* of the death penalty, keep in mind.
}
}Now, I realize that it's been 26 years since the last year that that study
}cited. But I cannot accept that in those 26 years the rate would have
}gone up that dramatically. Cite your study. Who were these 56 people?
}How were they found to be innocent?

What more proof do you need of someone's innocence
than when the state that prosecuted them releases them
and dismisses all charges, as in the 56 cited? Randall Dale
Adams, Walter McMillan, Clarence Brantley, ect - all free
men, all *innocent* men, all death row returnees. And this
doesn't include the men where their states commuted their
sentences to life rather than retry them.

Your faith in the perfection of our justice system is rather
unjustified.


Mitchell Holman

"Diesel engines do not emit enough carbon monoxide to kill anybody."
Republican Pat Buchanan, denying that thousands of Jews were killed
by that very method at the Treblinka concentration camp.
(New Republic, 10/22/90)

Mitchell Holman

unread,
Jun 7, 1997, 3:00:00 AM6/7/97
to

} Most casual drug users
}who are arrested are first offenders, and they get off with a slap on
}the wrist usually, unless they are convicted of "possession with
}intent to distribute" aka *DRUG DEALERS*.
}

And your proof of this consists of what, again?

PS: as any professional in the field can tell you,
"possession with intent" is NOT drug dealing, it is
NOT drug sales, it is NOT drug trafficking. It is a
presumed offense, as in "we *think* you are a
dealer, but we cannot prove it." Get caught with
more than what some prosecutor thinks is limit
for personal use, and you get slapped with a
"intent to distribute" charge.


Mitchell Holman

"I hate to advocate drugs, alcohol, violence, or insanity to anyone,
but they've always worked for me."
-Hunter S. Thompson


Adam Bernay

unread,
Jun 7, 1997, 3:00:00 AM6/7/97
to Michael Zarlenga

On 7 Jun 1997, Michael Zarlenga wrote:

> : As I have said, this statement seems unlikely. Most casual drug users

> : who are arrested are first offenders, and they get off with a slap on
> : the wrist usually, unless they are convicted of "possession with
> : intent to distribute" aka *DRUG DEALERS*.
>

> So what? What of the drug user who gets arrested a 2nd, 3rd or 4th
> time?

Might I ask, why are they arrested a 2nd or further time? *THEY ARE
BREAKING THE LAW*. Once, I can (almost) understand. To many, a lot
of laws of that nature are rather nebullous until they're actually in
front of a judge. But, after that...

> Where do you think he or she goes?

Where they belong at that point. Into incarceration. They broke the law,
and at that point, they know danged well they were breaking the law when
they did it. That's flagrant violation of the law, and that sort of
attitude (the law doesn't matter) is what leads to murder, rape, and grand
theft...


Adam Bernay

Elect Dan Lungren California Governor in 1998

(Dan's a law-and-order man!)


Adam Bernay

unread,
Jun 7, 1997, 3:00:00 AM6/7/97
to Mitchell Holman

On Sat, 7 Jun 1997, Mitchell Holman wrote:

> } Most casual drug users
> }who are arrested are first offenders, and they get off with a slap on
> }the wrist usually, unless they are convicted of "possession with
> }intent to distribute" aka *DRUG DEALERS*.
> }
>

> And your proof of this consists of what, again?
>
> PS: as any professional in the field can tell you,
> "possession with intent" is NOT drug dealing, it is
> NOT drug sales, it is NOT drug trafficking. It is a
> presumed offense, as in "we *think* you are a
> dealer, but we cannot prove it." Get caught with
> more than what some prosecutor thinks is limit
> for personal use, and you get slapped with a
> "intent to distribute" charge.

Uh, no, not quite. That may happen sometimes, but it's usually a lot more
complicated than that.

Oh, and BTW, you asked me for proof. I might ask where your proof is.
You're the one who made a ridiculous statement, you back it up.

Adam Bernay

unread,
Jun 7, 1997, 3:00:00 AM6/7/97
to midt...@slip.net

On Thu, 5 Jun 1997 midt...@slip.net wrote:

> > You obviously didn't read the article I posted here yesterday.
> > According to one of the greatest *OPPONENTS* of the death penalty, the
> > number of innocent people executed in this country is so minimal as to
> > be virtually non-existent.
> >

> True, but not the point. How many innocent people do we need to kill
> for it to be important?

Your question makes no sense. We're not executing innocent people, or
if we are, it's a tiny, miniscule percentage of the time. So, you're
arguing that we let murderers and rapists live, to continue their
murdering and raping ways in prison, where their targets are our
correctional officers?

> > To keep one prisoner alive in our jails for the rest of his life costs
> > too much in the way of public funds.
>

> Not true. The fact is that for most people put to death it costs MORE
> to go through the lengthy trials and appeals than it does just to
> incarcerate them. This is well documented.

I still have not seen documentation on this. But even if it is true,
since 75% of the American Public favors the death penalty, even one
dollar would be too much in the way of public funds.

> > Over 75% of the American Public favors
> > the death penalty at last count. Why should they be forced to pay for the
> > lifetime incarceration of someone they favor having been executed instead
> > of being held for life?
> >

> > It's not the government's money, it's *OUR* money, and they shouldn't be
> > doing things with it that the vast majority disagrees with...
> >
> If people want it, then you do have a point. But lets get the facts
> straight about the cost of keeping them in prison.

Yes. When one dollar of the taxpayers' money is spent in a way they
disagree with, it's too much.

Mitchell Holman

unread,
Jun 8, 1997, 3:00:00 AM6/8/97
to


}
}> > To keep one prisoner alive in our jails for the rest of his life costs
}> > too much in the way of public funds.
}>
}> Not true. The fact is that for most people put to death it costs MORE
}> to go through the lengthy trials and appeals than it does just to
}> incarcerate them. This is well documented.
}
}I still have not seen documentation on this.


Now you have. Read below:

"In analyzing the cost of executions versus life imprisonment,
a 1982 study in New York found that the average capital trial,
including only the first stage of appeals, cost the taxpayers
approximately $1.8 million - more than twice what it cost to keep
a person in prison for life. A recent series in the Miami Herald
reported that the state of Florida has spent over $57 million to
execute 18 people from 1973 to 1988, a cost of nearly $3.2 million
per execution. The study reported the cost of life imprisonment to
be just over $500,000. The Kansas state senate rejected the death
penalty in 1988 after a cost estimate for the first year alone of $11.5
million. A Minnesota study found that the $27 million annually required
to execute 4 to 5 people could hire 350 additional prosecutors or some
other deterrent to crime. The state of Texas recently stated that its costs
per capital case averaged $2.3 million each. North Carolina found that an
execution costs $2 million more than a life term."
DEATH PENALTY EDUCATION CENTER
12651 Briar Forest, Suite 153, Houston TX 77077


}But even if it is true,
}since 75% of the American Public favors the death penalty, even one
}dollar would be too much in the way of public funds.

Source, please?


David Joslin

unread,
Jun 8, 1997, 3:00:00 AM6/8/97
to
>Your question makes no sense. We're not executing innocent people, or
>if we are, it's a tiny, miniscule percentage of the time.

You keep saying this. I'm not sure how many innocent
people this "tiny, miniscule" percentage translates into,
but in another article you wrote that "since 75% of the


American Public favors the death penalty, even one dollar

would be too much in the way of public funds." You were
speaking at that point about money spent keeping people
in prison for life, rather than executing them.

Could you clarify this? It *looks* like you are willing
to accept some "miniscule" percentage of innocent people
being executed. (One per year? One per decade? One per
century?) But even a *single dollar* wasted on something
that the American Public doesn't favor is unacceptable.

This sounds bad, IMO. A small number of innocent people
being put to death is acceptable, but spending a single
dollar of taxpayer money in ways the taxpayers wouldn't
approve of is not? This looks to me like a set of really
screwed up priorities.

On the other hand if you say that even a single innocent
person being put to death is too much (rather than there
being some acceptable small percentage), then either
(1) you need to find a way for the death penalty to be
applied only when there is *zero* chance of error, zero
chance of someone being framed by crooked law enforcement
officers, etc., or (2) the death penalty should be
abolished. But according to your reasoning, (2) would be
contrary to the wishes of the American Public, and would
result in dollars being spent on something the American
Public would not choose. So which will it be? Allow a
few innocent people to be put to death every now and then?
Or spend a few dollars of taxpayer money in ways that,
according to you, the American Public would not approve of?
(Would the approval of a majority of the American Public
make the execution of a few innocent people by the justice
system acceptable to you?)

BTW, as others have pointed out, it currently costs more
to put someone to death than to imprison them for life.
One "remedy" for this would be to continue shortening
the appeals and review process. Then it could easily
become less costly to put someone to death, than to
keep them in prison. However, it should be easy to see
that shortening the appeals and review process will also
*increase* the probability of putting an innocent person
to death. People make mistakes, and sometimes people lie,
or falsify evidence.

(I won't be able to read news for a while, so if you reply
I would appreciate an e-mailed copy. I'd like to hear
what you have to say.)

dj

Michael Zarlenga

unread,
Jun 8, 1997, 3:00:00 AM6/8/97
to

Adam Bernay (abe...@mammoth.psnw.com) wrote:
: > : As I have said, this statement seems unlikely. Most casual drug users
: > : who are arrested are first offenders, and they get off with a slap on
: > : the wrist usually, unless they are convicted of "possession with
: > : intent to distribute" aka *DRUG DEALERS*.
: >
: > So what? What of the drug user who gets arrested a 2nd, 3rd or 4th
: > time?

: Might I ask, why are they arrested a 2nd or further time? *THEY ARE
: BREAKING THE LAW*. Once, I can (almost) understand. To many, a lot
: of laws of that nature are rather nebullous until they're actually in
: front of a judge. But, after that...

So what? They were breaking the law the FIRST TIME. A bad law is a
bad law, whether it's the 1st infraction or the 101st infraction.


: > Where do you think he or she goes?

: Where they belong at that point. Into incarceration. They broke the law,
: and at that point, they know danged well they were breaking the law when
: they did it. That's flagrant violation of the law, and that sort of
: attitude (the law doesn't matter) is what leads to murder, rape, and grand
: theft...

Where they belong? Leads to murder and rape?! Gimme a freaking
break! Does jaywalking lead to murder and rape, too? What about
speeding? Not coming to a complete stop at a stop sign?

Some person who sits at home and smokes a marijuana joint is harm-
ing no one but HIMSELF, if anyone. Whether it's his 1st joint or
his 101st, it makes no difference. That guy does NOT belong in
prison.

Adam Bernay

unread,
Jun 8, 1997, 3:00:00 AM6/8/97
to David Joslin


On 8 Jun 1997, David Joslin wrote:

> In article <Pine.BSI.3.95.97060...@mammoth.psnw.com>,
> Adam Bernay <abe...@mammoth.psnw.com> wrote:
> >Your question makes no sense. We're not executing innocent people, or
> >if we are, it's a tiny, miniscule percentage of the time.
>
> You keep saying this. I'm not sure how many innocent
> people this "tiny, miniscule" percentage translates into,
> but in another article you wrote that "since 75% of the
> American Public favors the death penalty, even one dollar
> would be too much in the way of public funds." You were
> speaking at that point about money spent keeping people
> in prison for life, rather than executing them.
>
> Could you clarify this? It *looks* like you are willing
> to accept some "miniscule" percentage of innocent people
> being executed. (One per year? One per decade? One per
> century?)

You keep missing the first half of the statement. I don't think we're
executing *ANY* innocent people, despite unsubstantiated claims by the
anti-death penalty crowd that it happens quite a bit.

I was trying to be reasonable, in case someone came up with any
evidence that we are executing any innocent people. So, before this
point can be argued any further, we need to hear from the people who
are claiming that there are innocent people being executed. What
innocent people have been executed in the past century? In the past
decade? In the past year? I want names, years of execution, and how
you know they were innocent. These are very important as a
groundwork for any discussions.

> This sounds bad, IMO. A small number of innocent people
> being put to death is acceptable, but spending a single
> dollar of taxpayer money in ways the taxpayers wouldn't
> approve of is not? This looks to me like a set of really
> screwed up priorities.

My point about a miniscule number of innocent people was in case the
other side actually came up with some (which I don't think is going to
happen), we could then talk about reforming the system. But there needs
to be proof that the current system is actually executing innocent
people *FIRST*. If it isn't, there's nothing to reform.

> On the other hand if you say that even a single innocent person being
> put to death is too much (rather than there being some acceptable small

> percentage), than either (1) you need to find a way for the death


> penalty to be applied only when there is *zero* chance of error, zero
> chance of someone being framed by crooked law enforcement officers,

> etc, or (2) the death penalty should be
> abolished.

Okay, first we need to discuss this *ZERO* chance of error. You can
never get zero chance of error on anything. There will always be a
small percentage of a chance. A chance doesn't mean it happens
(because I don't believe that my opponents will be able to come up with
any of these), it means there's a chance. But even if, say, a small
percentage of error does happen (say 5% or less), then we should still
stay the course of capital punishment. Why? Well, for a couple of
reasons. One, because, as Ed Koch said in the article I posted a few
days ago, if government only operated when there was a *ZERO* chance of
error, government wouldn't act at all. And two, because, again as Koch
pointed out, the effects of *NOT* having the death penalty would be
terrible.

> But according to your reasoning, (2) would be contrary to the wishes
> of the American Public, and would result in dollars being spent on
> something the American Public would not choose. So which will it be?
> Allow a few innocent people to be put to death every now and then?
> Or spend a few dollars of taxpayer money in ways that,
> according to you, the American Public would not approve of?
> (Would the approval of a majority of the American Public
> make the execution of a few innocent people by the justice
> system acceptable to you?)

Again, I don't believe it's an either/or situation, as we have seen no
proof by the other side.

> BTW, as others have pointed out, it currently costs more to put
> someone to death than to imprison them for life.
> One "remedy" for this would be to continue shortening
> the appeals and review process. Then it could easily
> become less costly to put someone to death, than to
> keep them in prison. However, it should be easy to see
> that shortening the appeals and review process will also
> *increase* the probability of putting an innocent person
> to death. People make mistakes, and sometimes people lie,
> or falsify evidence.

I don't see how shortening the appeals process automatically increases
the possibility of an innocent person being executed. Perhaps all death
penalty cases should have two stops on the appeals process: a state
"Supreme Court" that only deals with death penalty cases, and the U.S.
Supreme Court. And we stop the appeals process from being mandatory. If
the criminal decides it's not worth pursuing, they shouldn't be forced
to. I can see how an argument can be made that a mandatory appeals
process could be seen as a violation of the criminal's right to a fair
and speedy trial. So, they get the choice to voluntarily proceed or not,
which preserves both their Constitutional rights and their right to waive
their Constitutional rights.

> I won't be able to read news for a while, so if you reply I would
> appreciate an e-mailed copy. I'd like to hear what you have to say.)

Done...

Adam Bernay

unread,
Jun 8, 1997, 3:00:00 AM6/8/97
to midt...@slip.net

On Sun, 8 Jun 1997 midt...@slip.net wrote:

> There are several ways to reply to this:
>
> #1) What is stopping them from raping and murdering people now?
> The answer is nothing except for the punishment, which will
> remain if we have laws against jaywalking and smoking a joint
> or not.

The answer is that nothing is stopping them now. Go to South Central
L.A. and tell me that. We need to start some real law enforcement, we
need to stop putting the rights of the criminals ahead of the rights of
the victims.

> #2) Are we to punish people for their attitudes? Wouldn't it make
> more sense to only make laws for crimes in which there are
> victims?

Contrary to what you seem to be saying, drug crimes certainly do have
victims.

> #3) Isn't there at least some chance that the law is bad if huge
> numbers of people disregard the law every year?

Huge numbers of people rob and murder in this country every year too.
Does that make the laws against those bad, too?

> And if it is bad, should we respect the law?

Yes. You fight within the system to get it changed if you think it's
wrong, but you still obey it until it's changed. That's part of the
social contract we all participate in in order to live in this
society.

If we followed your suggestions, it would lead one place: anarchy.

> > > Some person who sits at home and smokes a marijuana joint is harming


> > > no one but HIMSELF, if anyone. Whether it's his 1st joint or
> > > his 101st, it makes no difference. That guy does NOT belong in
> > > prison.
> >

> > I have mixed emotions on this one. One, I think that if you knowingly
> > violate the law, you need to be punished.
>
> Let's examine this. What about runaway slaves during the 1850's?
> They knowingly broke the law. Should they have been punished for it?
> How about blacks that didn't sit in the back of the bus? Or used
> restrooms for white people only?

Oh, so you equate laws that keep people in human bondage or treat them
unequally because of the color of their skin with laws that prohibit
the use of dangerous substances? What logic explains that?

> And how do you feel about prohibition?

Prohibition was a bad idea. But we're talking about two very different
things here...

> > On the other hand, there is
> > very little harm going on...except that he is hurting himself, and others
> > who are there. Pot can also make you erratic. Traffic accidents have
> > happened because people drove after smoking *ONE* joint. Now, I know
> > you're going to say, "what about alcohol"? It generally takes a more
> > than one drink to impair peoples' judgement, reflexes, etc. It only takes
> > *ONE* joint to do that. And you don't get that with tobacco at all.
> >
> Yes. That's why there are seperate traffic laws.

And, since drugs are a lot more dangerous, not just when operating a motor
vehicles, we have laws prohibiting them.

David Joslin

unread,
Jun 8, 1997, 3:00:00 AM6/8/97
to

In article <Pine.BSI.3.95.970608...@mammoth.psnw.com>,

Adam Bernay <abe...@mammoth.psnw.com> wrote:
>On 8 Jun 1997, David Joslin wrote:
>> Adam Bernay <abe...@mammoth.psnw.com> wrote:
>> >Your question makes no sense. We're not executing innocent people, or
>> >if we are, it's a tiny, miniscule percentage of the time.
[...]

>> Could you clarify this? It *looks* like you are willing
>> to accept some "miniscule" percentage of innocent people
>> being executed. (One per year? One per decade? One per
>> century?)
>
>You keep missing the first half of the statement. I don't think we're
>executing *ANY* innocent people, despite unsubstantiated claims by the
>anti-death penalty crowd that it happens quite a bit.

What makes you so sure we aren't? Or are you just giving
the benefit of the doubt to the side that favors your
argument? In the web page that someone else referred
you to recently (http://www.dnai.com/~mwood/deathpen.html)
there are documented cases of people having been
convicted, and sentenced to death, only to have the
conviction overturned when evidence turned up that they
had been framed, etc. In each of the four cases given
as examples, people outside of the judicial system had to
fight to get anyone to pay attention.

No, these four people weren't wrongfully executed. They
spent time on death row, sometimes several years, but
were eventually freed. But are you going to tell me that
you believe that *every* innocent person who is convicted
and sent to death row is eventually found innocent? What
in the world would make you so confident? Given that
some innocent people have gotten so close to being put
to death, and that it took people outside the system to
get the cases re-examined (i.e., judicial reviews did not
suffice to bring the truth to light), I don't see how you
could reasonably argue that the benefit of the doubt
should be given to the claim that the judicial system
doesn't let innocent people be put to death. You have a
lot more faith in government than I do if you can look
at this evidence, and be confident that the government
executes *zero* innocent people.


>I was trying to be reasonable, in case someone came up with any
>evidence that we are executing any innocent people. So, before this
>point can be argued any further, we need to hear from the people who
>are claiming that there are innocent people being executed. What
>innocent people have been executed in the past century? In the past
>decade? In the past year? I want names, years of execution, and how
>you know they were innocent. These are very important as a
>groundwork for any discussions.

First of all, even if there are no cases that are so clear,
that doesn't prove it doesn't happen. And the "close calls"
*do* stand as evidence here. The system isn't perfect.
And since you aren't arguing that the system *is* perfect,
it seems completely unreasonable for you to argue that there
are *no* cases, and never will be any cases, of innocent
people being put to death. (Especially when the appeals
process is being streamlined.) It seems unreasonable for
you to insist that the benefit of the doubt should be given
to the proposition that innocent people are *never* put to
death, given this evidence.

Second, if you agree that even one innocent person put to
death is too many, then your talking about a "tiny,
miniscule percentage" makes no sense. You should be
arguing that there are *zero* innocent people executed,
and that we can trust the system to continue to keep up
this perfect performance inthe future. (This is *if*
you agree that even one would be too many.) If you
can't demonstrate that this is true, then you fail to
make your argument. You can't just give yourself the
benefit of the doubt!


>> On the other hand if you say that even a single innocent person being
>> put to death is too much (rather than there being some acceptable small
>> percentage), than either (1) you need to find a way for the death
>> penalty to be applied only when there is *zero* chance of error, zero
>> chance of someone being framed by crooked law enforcement officers,
>> etc, or (2) the death penalty should be
>> abolished.
>
>Okay, first we need to discuss this *ZERO* chance of error. You can
>never get zero chance of error on anything. There will always be a
>small percentage of a chance. A chance doesn't mean it happens
>(because I don't believe that my opponents will be able to come up with
>any of these), it means there's a chance. But even if, say, a small
>percentage of error does happen (say 5% or less), then we should still
>stay the course of capital punishment. Why? Well, for a couple of
>reasons. One, because, as Ed Koch said in the article I posted a few
>days ago, if government only operated when there was a *ZERO* chance of
>error, government wouldn't act at all. And two, because, again as Koch
>pointed out, the effects of *NOT* having the death penalty would be
>terrible.

I missed that article. So you are arguing that it is
acceptable to execute a small number of innocent people?
Above, it doesn't sound like you believe this. But in
this paragraph, you say that zero chance of error is
impossible, and if you accept that and still support
the death penalty, it seems inevitable that you must
accept that given enough time, innocent people *will*
be put to death. Which is it?

As to the first point, it is true that we can't do only
things that have zero chance of error. What that means
is that we will *convict* innocent people, sometimes, if
we convict anyone at all. Even when we try to err on
the other side, by presuming innocence, errors will
occur. Mistakes will be made, lies will be told, and
people will be framed. But as tragic as it is to
wrongly convict an innocent person, exercising the
death penalty just compounds the error. You can't give
someone back the years they spent in prison, but you
can free them, clear their name, and let them return to
their families. You can't bring someone back from the
dead. Period.

As for the second point, I can't imagine what would be
so terrible about not having the death penalty. Lots
of countries don't have it. What's so terrible about,
say, Canada? (AFAIK, they haven't restored the death
penalty, but if they have there are plenty of other
countries that don't have it.)


>> I won't be able to read news for a while, so if you reply I would
>> appreciate an e-mailed copy. I'd like to hear what you have to say.)
>
>Done...

That was quick. After today, though, if you want to
reply, please e-mail me. It may take me a while to
reply.

dj

Adam Bernay

unread,
Jun 8, 1997, 3:00:00 AM6/8/97
to Michael Zarlenga

On 9 Jun 1997, Michael Zarlenga wrote:

> Adam Bernay (abe...@mammoth.psnw.com) wrote:
> : But that's not my point. It all leads to an attitude that the law
> : doesn't matter. When people think that law doesn't matter, what's to
> : stop them from murder and rape? The answer: NOTHING.
>
> What you fail to understand is that some people think SOME laws
> are bad.

I understand that. That's why we have elections.

> Do you honestly think that the person who shoplifts a
> candy bar every now and then is just a step away from becoming a
> mass murderer or a serial rapist?

No, and that's not what I said. I was saying the attitude is basically
the same, the difference is one of degree, not of kind. I am sorry if I
was unclear, and I will endeavor to be more clear in the future.

> : I think the solution needs to be that we stop the drug trafficers as
> : best as possible, and if, in that, we run into obvious drug use, we
> : arrest them. We also need to be vigilant about usage of drugs,
> : alcohol, and tobacco by our young people.
>
> And I think that we should let adults smoke, eat, snort, shoot
> whataver they want, as long as they don't harm anyone but them-
> selves in the process.

While this sounds like a wonderful argument, there's three problems with
it:

1) There's a massive difference of opinion as to what doesn't hurt other
people.

2) The FDA currently has several things that it is illegal to sell in this
country because it is deemed harmful. That's what the FDA is there
for. By your logic, we should discontinue the FDA, necause adults can
ingest anything into their bodies that "only hurts themselves".

and

3) When these people end up hurting "only themselves", a large percentage
of them end up on public assistance of one form or another (usually
Supplemental Security Income) when they can no longer work. Therefore,
taxpayers are subsidizing them hurting themselves.

WAIT A MINUTE!!! #3 is a big reason why most drugs *DON'T* just end up
hurting the persons taking them, because drug addiction qualifies as a
disability under SSI regs, so the general public is hurt by it, because
they have to pay more in taxes.

Adam Bernay

unread,
Jun 8, 1997, 3:00:00 AM6/8/97
to David Joslin

On 8 Jun 1997, David Joslin wrote:

> >You keep missing the first half of the statement. I don't think we're
> >executing *ANY* innocent people, despite unsubstantiated claims by the
> >anti-death penalty crowd that it happens quite a bit.
>
> What makes you so sure we aren't? Or are you just giving
> the benefit of the doubt to the side that favors your
> argument?

There was a study done of the 7000 executions that were done in this
country from 1893 to 1971, and it shows that such cases just do not
occur. This study is backed up by death penalty *OPPONENT* Hugo Adam
Bedau, who cited it and then stated, "it is false sentimentality to


argue that the death penalty should be abolished because of the abstract
possibility that an innocent person might be executed."

> No, these four people weren't wrongfully executed. They


> spent time on death row, sometimes several years, but
> were eventually freed. But are you going to tell me that
> you believe that *every* innocent person who is convicted
> and sent to death row is eventually found innocent? What
> in the world would make you so confident? Given that
> some innocent people have gotten so close to being put
> to death, and that it took people outside the system to
> get the cases re-examined (i.e., judicial reviews did not
> suffice to bring the truth to light), I don't see how you
> could reasonably argue that the benefit of the doubt
> should be given to the claim that the judicial system
> doesn't let innocent people be put to death. You have a
> lot more faith in government than I do if you can look
> at this evidence, and be confident that the government
> executes *zero* innocent people.

1) I do not have web access at the moment, maybe you could post this
information to the group.

2) I don't think they execute any innocent people, and if they do, it's a
miniscule percentage (say, 1 - 5%). If you want government to be
100% error-free or they don't act, we won't have any governmental action
whatsoever...

> >I was trying to be reasonable, in case someone came up with any
> >evidence that we are executing any innocent people. So, before this
> >point can be argued any further, we need to hear from the people who
> >are claiming that there are innocent people being executed. What
> >innocent people have been executed in the past century? In the past
> >decade? In the past year? I want names, years of execution, and how
> >you know they were innocent. These are very important as a
> >groundwork for any discussions.
>
> First of all, even if there are no cases that are so clear,
> that doesn't prove it doesn't happen. And the "close calls"
> *do* stand as evidence here. The system isn't perfect.
> And since you aren't arguing that the system *is* perfect,
> it seems completely unreasonable for you to argue that there
> are *no* cases, and never will be any cases, of innocent
> people being put to death. (Especially when the appeals
> process is being streamlined.) It seems unreasonable for
> you to insist that the benefit of the doubt should be given
> to the proposition that innocent people are *never* put to
> death, given this evidence.

They weren't executed, were they? And I never claimed it was
perfect...

> Second, if you agree that even one innocent person put to
> death is too many, then your talking about a "tiny,
> miniscule percentage" makes no sense. You should be
> arguing that there are *zero* innocent people executed,
> and that we can trust the system to continue to keep up
> this perfect performance inthe future. (This is *if*
> you agree that even one would be too many.) If you
> can't demonstrate that this is true, then you fail to
> make your argument. You can't just give yourself the
> benefit of the doubt!

My point was that if we execute innocent people, it is such a minicule
percentage that that is not an argument to do away with the death
penalty, but for improving the system.

Read above.

> As to the first point, it is true that we can't do only
> things that have zero chance of error. What that means
> is that we will *convict* innocent people, sometimes, if
> we convict anyone at all. Even when we try to err on
> the other side, by presuming innocence, errors will
> occur. Mistakes will be made, lies will be told, and
> people will be framed. But as tragic as it is to
> wrongly convict an innocent person, exercising the
> death penalty just compounds the error. You can't give
> someone back the years they spent in prison, but you
> can free them, clear their name, and let them return to
> their families. You can't bring someone back from the
> dead. Period.
>
> As for the second point, I can't imagine what would be
> so terrible about not having the death penalty. Lots
> of countries don't have it. What's so terrible about,
> say, Canada? (AFAIK, they haven't restored the death
> penalty, but if they have there are plenty of other
> countries that don't have it.)

You need to read the article I posted...I'll resend it to the group,
and e-mail it privately to you as well...

> >> I won't be able to read news for a while, so if you reply I would
> >> appreciate an e-mailed copy. I'd like to hear what you have to say.)
> >
> >Done...
>
> That was quick. After today, though, if you want to
> reply, please e-mail me. It may take me a while to
> reply.

No problem...


Adam Bernay


midt...@slip.net

unread,
Jun 8, 1997, 3:00:00 AM6/8/97
to

Adam Bernay wrote:

> On Sun, 8 Jun 1997 midt...@slip.net wrote:
>
>> >But that's not my point. It all leads to an attitude that the law
>> >: doesn't matter. When people think that law doesn't matter, what's to
>> >: stop them from murder and rape? The answer: NOTHING.

> > There are several ways to reply to this:


> >
> > #1) What is stopping them from raping and murdering people now?
> > The answer is nothing except for the punishment, which will
> > remain if we have laws against jaywalking and smoking a joint
> > or not.
>
> The answer is that nothing is stopping them now. Go to South Central
> L.A. and tell me that. We need to start some real law enforcement, we

You should have stopped at the first sentence. "There is nothing
stopping them now" is the correct answer. More law enforcement is
an After The Crime answer. You can almost never stop a crime
before it happens. You can only punish it.

> need to stop putting the rights of the criminals ahead of the rights of
> the victims.

It's funny you should mention that. When it comes to some guy
smoking a joint after work in his home (as the example was put)
the criminal and victim are the same people.


>
> > #2) Are we to punish people for their attitudes? Wouldn't it make
> > more sense to only make laws for crimes in which there are
> > victims?
>
> Contrary to what you seem to be saying, drug crimes certainly do have
> victims.

Yes they sometimes do. The reason being that some drugs are illegal.
You get bad drugs from unregulated mixtures. You get violence from
all the money there is in the drugs being illegal. Can you imagine
how little a _weed_ would be worth if it were legal?


>
> > #3) Isn't there at least some chance that the law is bad if huge
> > numbers of people disregard the law every year?
>
> Huge numbers of people rob and murder in this country every year too.
> Does that make the laws against those bad, too?

I expected that answer. That's why I inserted the words "some chance".
In many muslim countries, women working, or even talking to someone
they aren't related to, is a beating offense because they consider
it "bad".


>
> > And if it is bad, should we respect the law?
>
> Yes. You fight within the system to get it changed if you think it's
> wrong, but you still obey it until it's changed.

Then in 1775 you would have been a Tory. And in 1855, if you were
sitting on a jury, you would have sentenced the runaway slave to go
back to the South.

> That's part of the
> social contract we all participate in in order to live in this
> society.
>

I have a higher contract to myself, and to my family. I will not
respect tyranny and injustice. And given the chance, I will fight
against it.
I don't consider those feelings noble. I consider them to be
a part of being human.

> If we followed your suggestions, it would lead one place: anarchy.
>

You are over-analyzing what I am saying. I'm not advocating
disrespect for ALL laws. Only BAD laws.
How do you judge that? With your heart and your mind.

> > > > Some person who sits at home and smokes a marijuana joint is harming
> > > > no one but HIMSELF, if anyone. Whether it's his 1st joint or
> > > > his 101st, it makes no difference. That guy does NOT belong in
> > > > prison.
> > >
> > > I have mixed emotions on this one. One, I think that if you knowingly
> > > violate the law, you need to be punished.
> >
> > Let's examine this. What about runaway slaves during the 1850's?
> > They knowingly broke the law. Should they have been punished for it?
> > How about blacks that didn't sit in the back of the bus? Or used
> > restrooms for white people only?
>
> Oh, so you equate laws that keep people in human bondage or treat them
> unequally because of the color of their skin with laws that prohibit
> the use of dangerous substances? What logic explains that?

You were making broad statements about laws, not just about
anti-drug laws.


>
> > And how do you feel about prohibition?
>
> Prohibition was a bad idea. But we're talking about two very different
> things here...

How?


>
> > > On the other hand, there is
> > > very little harm going on...except that he is hurting himself, and others
> > > who are there. Pot can also make you erratic. Traffic accidents have
> > > happened because people drove after smoking *ONE* joint. Now, I know
> > > you're going to say, "what about alcohol"? It generally takes a more
> > > than one drink to impair peoples' judgement, reflexes, etc. It only takes
> > > *ONE* joint to do that. And you don't get that with tobacco at all.
> > >
> > Yes. That's why there are seperate traffic laws.
>
> And, since drugs are a lot more dangerous,

Which drugs? The number 1 killer in this nation is tobacco. The number
2 killer is alcohol.

> not just when operating a motor
> vehicles, we have laws prohibiting them.

Doctors can prescribe morphine and that's a lot more dangerous.

Michael Zarlenga

unread,
Jun 9, 1997, 3:00:00 AM6/9/97
to

Adam Bernay (abe...@mammoth.psnw.com) wrote:
: But that's not my point. It all leads to an attitude that the law
: doesn't matter. When people think that law doesn't matter, what's to
: stop them from murder and rape? The answer: NOTHING.

What you fail to understand is that some people think SOME laws
are bad. Do you honestly think that the person who shoplifts a


candy bar every now and then is just a step away from becoming a
mass murderer or a serial rapist?

: I think the solution needs to be that we stop the drug trafficers as best
: as possible, and if, in that, we run into obvious drug use, we arrest
: them. We also need to be vigilant about usage of drugs, alcohol, and
: tobacco by our young people.

And I think that we should let adults smoke, eat, snort, shoot
whataver they want, as long as they don't harm anyone but them-
selves in the process.

--

Michael Zarlenga

unread,
Jun 9, 1997, 3:00:00 AM6/9/97
to

Adam Bernay (abe...@mammoth.psnw.com) wrote:
: 3) When these people end up hurting "only themselves", a large percentage

: of them end up on public assistance of one form or another (usually
: Supplemental Security Income) when they can no longer work. Therefore,
: taxpayers are subsidizing them hurting themselves.

: WAIT A MINUTE!!! #3 is a big reason why most drugs *DON'T* just end up
: hurting the persons taking them, because drug addiction qualifies as a
: disability under SSI regs, so the general public is hurt by it, because
: they have to pay more in taxes.

Do you favor or oppose criminalizing tpobacco?

It kills 600,000 Americans every year and puts another 400,000 in the
hospital. As far as your #3 goes, tobacco is a much bigger drain than
all the illegal drugs combined.

Mitchell Holman

unread,
Jun 9, 1997, 3:00:00 AM6/9/97