It demonstrates the high degree of civilization the US has achieved as a society. So much superior to the barbarous Swedes. /s
You don’t have to have sympathy for the man to think that capital punishment is bad for everyone involved, not just the person being executed.
@Akimbo_NOT it’s my understanding that capital punishment is pretty much always more expensive than life imprisonment. If you’re worried about resource allocation, then the death penalty is bad on that front too.
Finally, from Gandalf
Many that live deserve death. And some that die deserve life. Can you give it to them? Then do not be too eager to deal out death in judgement.
I thought he had won a long running bet, which seems like a positive note to end things on.
You’re quite right, but to be perfectly fair, I wouldn’t expect these folks to have had the kind of childhood we might associate with well-adjusted, productive adulthood.
The story touches on a point I think we might productively highlight:
Coble, distraught over his pending divorce, kidnapped his wife, Karen Vicha. He was arrested and later freed on bond. Nine days after the kidnapping, Coble [did the murders he was executed for].
“The authorities,” broadly speaking, didn’t take it too seriously when a man perpetrated crimes against his wife. If they had taken those crimes more seriously, this story might be entirely different.
The death penalty kills innocent people. You’ll rarely know who.
It will kill a monster when directed in the general direction of monsters, sure, but it will also, unavoidably, kill innocent people.
This is an economic myth propounded by death penalty advocates. In Texas, the legal costs from indictment to execution could keep the offender locked up for about 70 years. In the case of this inmate, that would be until 2060 when he’d be 112 years old.
The article about this case is quite a read. An expert witness’ testimony in 1990 put this guy on death row rather than general population. They brought him back to testify in 2007, when…
“Dr. Coons admitted that his methodology could not be traced to a particular textbook or professional journal, nor could he cite even one authority or article that supported it,” his legal team wrote. “Coons had never gone back to check prison records of those he had testified against to see if his predictions were accurate, and consequently had no idea of his own accuracy rate.”
I love that movie.
This thread, not so much.
OH yeah, I remember that movie. It was really good.
This whole thing has “can of worms” written all over it, but I can’t keep from opening it.
I was attempting to provide a cold, business like rational to executing a 70 year old man. I’m not saying it’s the right reason, at all. Just one I could see (and apparently is) being made.
You mention the legal costs from indictment to execution. Unfortunately I don’t have time right now to follow the link you provided, but I will.
My gut instinct from that statement is that a large portion of those legal costs revolve around appeals, retrials, etc. The same costs that will happen even if the death penalty wasn’t on the table, as a convicted felon attempts to overturn his conviction, or at least get released early. So saying those costs could instead go toward his stay in prison rings to me as a false equivalence… since he would still be engaging the courts in an attempt to get out. But I may be wrong about that. As I said, I’ll look at your link when I have more time.
As do murderers.
Here are my thoughts on the matter; the system is barely functioning. It’s a lumbering mess. From the cops who investigate a crime (some of whom may be cutting corners, or following a personal agenda/bias), to the lawyers (some of whom will will gladly get someone they know is guilty out on a technicality and be thrilled with the “win”), to the judges and juries (some of whom may also be influenced by an agenda/bias).
That said, until they are executing more innocent people than guilty people, it’s still “better” than letting the guilty people return to society, depending on their crime. Especially since nothing about the fucked up prison system in this country seems to actually be geared toward rehabilitation.
Maybe my view is a bit twisted due to having had a relative murdered. I don’t know.
From what I read, this guy’s lawyers weren’t arguing his innocence.
And I’ll admit my opinion on this topic will change if I end up sitting on death row for a murder I didn’t commit. Or even one I did. Although so far I’ve managed to not kill anyone for the last 51 years despite wanting to on a couple of occasions.
It was Texas at the end of the ’80s. My guess is, even if he hadn’t gotten bail and had done a few years in prison for his first attack on her, he wouldn’t have come out a better man. But who knows? It’s impossible to say for sure. Crimes of passion are messy things.
For me it’s the tail end of a series of tragic events. It’s bad, but so was what led everyone involved to that point, starting with the three lives that he cut short, and the people he traumatized.
Who is worse off? His kids who watched him executed by the state, or his wife’s kids that had to kiss their mother goodbye after finding out their grandparents and uncle were slain, and have been living with that for the last 30 years?
Of course, that’s also impossible to say. Nothing about it is “good.” Nothing. Not executing him wouldn’t have fixed anything any more than executing him did. the only thing that could fix this is a time machine.
On the one hand, I can see how keeping him incarcerated for the remainder of his life would be a fitting “punishment” for his crime, as long as he felt remorse for his actions. And as long as he wasn’t given an early release due to prison overcrowding. It would give him time to atone in some way, perhaps. Of course, he ended up staying in prison for 30 years. I have no idea if he did anything positive in that time, apart from be a “model prisoner.”
On the other hand, I can see cutting his life short being an example of two wrongs not making a right, as well as – if there is some kind of afterlife – a way for him to escape his incarceration and move on to that afterlife where – depending on what religion is right – he either will or won’t receive divine punishment for what he did.
On the third hand, he killed people while in Texas. Don’t touch colorful flora and fauna in Australia; don’t kill people in Texas.
Full quote according to Chron.com… “That will be five dollars,” he said. “I love you, I love you, and I love you.” , his nickname was 5$ Bill.
Off topic, it’s maddening how Chron.com or most news websites relentlessly push annoying video ads in ones face. Join our premium membership and avoid our video ads How about avoid your website entirely, works for me.
They were yelling obscenities, throwing fists and kicking at others in the death chamber witness area.
That line is going into my next song.
the government is not obligated to do something bad, even if what came before was also bad.
What? Are you proposing that we should seek to punish the children of criminals, as long as they don’t suffer more than the children of the victims? If not, how is this comparison relevant or sensible? Why are you weighing those two things against each other?
Whoa. This is an incredibly novel take on Blackstone’s ratio and let me just say, holy shit fuck no. Jesus. A 50% acceptable error rate for capital punishment would be, just, I don’t even have words for how bad it would be if that’s the target
I think it would make a nice short film, a little drama, a little levity, some violence and then death. Fade to black. Roll the credits over a $5 bill.
Album: Witness for the execution.
Song: Punching out.
I am sorry for your loss
There’s all kinds of things wrong with this logic.
- There are obviously a whole range of options in between “kill the murderer” and “let them return to society.”
- For those who are released murder is one of those terrible crimes that actually has a very low recidivism rate. Most murders are committed by people in a very unique situation/state of mind that is unlikely to be repeated. Even if this killer had been released (which wasn’t even one of the options being considered) it’s extremely unlikely a 70-year-old-man would commit a similarly violent crime of passion.
- We should be holding our justice system to far, far higher standards than we expect of murderous criminals. I mean how is that even a question.
- Countless studies have shown that capital punishment doesn’t deter crime. If anything, countries that execute people statistically have higher violent crime rates than countries that don’t.
- If we concede that murder is a moral abomination (like rape or torture) then we shouldn’t condone killers being executed in our name any more than we would condone torturers being tortured in our name or rapists being raped in our name.
Why wait 30 years then kill a 70 year old man? Just wait a few more.
That was a thoughtful response. A couple things:
Not having the death penalty, is not the same as making murder legal. People should be protected from dangerous people, but you don’t need to sacrifice other innocent people to achieve the same amount of protection.
Lots of innocent people have had lawyers who didn’t argue their innocence, either from plea tactics, incompetence, or institutional indifference. This guy might be a completely unrepentant confessed killer, but that’s not the only type of person they end up executing. It’s not like the movies. Most people executed are the poorest, with less capable than average lawyers.
Bingo. As long as we give a highly fallible justice system the power to execute people, some number of people who are executed are bound to be innocent.
And I personally believe we don’t have anything to gain by executing people who ARE guilty.
This an extremely strange sentence to me. One innocent person executed imho doesn’t balance out with even 100 guilty people executed.
And there are things between killing someone and letting them return to society.