Plain Talk about the people, the process and the facts so you can make an informed decision

Death Penalty

Voters’ Voices – January 7, 2014

Voters Sound off on Issues

Dudley Sharp: The Real Reasons Death Penalties and Executions Fell

SUMMARY

Death penalties/executions plummeted from 1994-21013 because 1) capital murders plummeted, 2) court decisions or activism, further limited or delayed death penalty application or executions, 3) 6 states ended the death penalty and 4) DA’s may have been more reluctant to seek death because of judicial obstructionism.

Anti Death Penalty Nonsense

Richard Dieter (Death Penalty Information Center – DPIC)  states: “I think the (death penalty and execution) decline begins with the revelations about mistakes in capital cases — that innocent people could get the penalty and almost be executed has shocked the public to the point where death sentences are harder to obtain.”

This is typical anti death penalty drivel, with no evidence to support it.

REALITY

A Nov. 2010 Angus Reid poll showed that a large majority, 81%, believes that innocents have been executed and, with that same group, responding to the “general” death penalty question, found 83% death penalty support and 13% opposition (1a). (there’s a similar poll from Texas which I could not locate).

That shows no evidence that the US population has turned away from executions based upon the, largely, misleading innocence claims by anti death penalty folks (2), Dieter, specifically. What chutzpah!

Quite the opposite has occurred- a April, 2013 poll found the highest support, ever, for the death penalty – 86%, with the lowest rejection of it – 9% (1b).

Possibly 25-43 actual innocents have been sentenced to death and released since 1976. Not the fraudulent 143, spouted by DPIC and other anti death penalty activists  (2).

That is a 99.6% accuracy rate in convictions, with the 0.4% innocent being released – an admirable record, which would fuel confidence in the death penalty.

Prosecutors, as many others’, are very aware of the DPIC deceptions and the reality (3).

There is no proof of an innocent executed in the US. at least since the 1930s.

The preponderance of the evidence is that the death penalty is a greater protector of innocents, than is LWOP (2, 4), which would result in even more support for the death penalty.

Nationally, from 1993 to 2012,

1) Murders dropped by 40% (5). Capital murders, the only ones eligible for the death penalty, likely, dropped in the 60-70% range (5), as capital murders are, most often, those combined with rape, robbery, or other crimes, which have dropped substantially, as well, explaining most of the drop. (46% drop in robbery, 20% rape, 54% carjacking. police murders were at their lowest level in 53 years, in 2012 with 120, the highest was 240 in 2001, showing a 50% drop 2001-2012) (5).

Other reasons are:

2) 5 states, with Democratic Governors and Democratic majority legislators, abolished the death penalty  and

3) a number of Supreme Court cases have restricted or delayed, even more, the application of the death penalty and executions, as  well as have courts at lower levels (6). with both since 1994 and both in conflict with the majority will of the people (1b).

(Two of those states, Illinois and New Jersey, got the vote in during a lame duck session. A state appellate court vacated New York’s death penalty statute).

4) DA’s are aware that some judges are, simply, obstructionists to the law (6), and those DA’s may be reluctant to seek it, as in Pennsylvania, Connecticut, New Jersey, etc. In California, reform efforts are underway (6). (Ct & NJ repealed the death penalty).

Those four, likely, account for the overwhelming majority of the drop in death sentences.

5) The decline in executions is, solely, the product of the case managers – the judges (6).

Anti death penalty judicial activism, from, 1993 to 2011, resulted in the time between sentencing and execution expanding, dramatically, from 113 months to 198 months, respectively, or an additional delay of 7 years, 1 month (6b).

That, alone, could explain the reduction in executions.

In 1996, Congress pass the Anti Terrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act, part of which was to streamline appeals in death penalty cases. Evidently, the judges didn’t like it.

Judges are twice as likely to overturn death sentences as they are those convictions, a likely indicator of anti death penalty bias (6c).

Classic example:   California

California judges do all they can to drag out these cases, taking a reported 5 years to hear the first appeals, after sentencing!

That willful mismanagement has caused a terrible backlog, is a huge insult to murder victim survivors, as to justice, and has created huge burden on taxpayers, all because of this nest of boondoggles, aka judges.

For the last 6 years, these judges have prevented executions based upon California’s lethal injection protocol, which mimics the successful use of intravenous medical procedures in countless millions of cases, worldwide, over decades. The lethal overdose of the drugs used in California’s protocol have well known, never changing pharmacological properties.

Shocking that these judges haven’t stopped all medical intravenous procedures in California, based upon them being cruel and unusual.

The cruel and unusual, here, is the judges.

Are California judges incompetent? No. They are just holding the law and the will of the people in contempt – they are dictators in robes.

FOOTNOTES

1) a US Death Penalty Support at 80% (now 86%): World Support Remains High

95% of Murder Victim’s Family Members Support Death Penalty

b)  86% Death Penalty Support: Highest Ever – April 2013

2) The Innocent Frauds: Standard Anti Death Penalty Strategy and

THE DEATH PENALTY: SAVING MORE INNOCENT LIVES

3) The Myth Of Innocence, Josh Marquis, published in the Journal of Criminal Law & Criminology – March 31, 2005, Northwestern University School of Law, Chicago, Illinois

 

4) OF COURSE THE DEATH PENALTY DETERS: A review of the debate

5) I used national data instead of only states with the death penalty, which should be the subject data source, inclusive not just of crime rates, but also judicial decisions within each state, as well as SCOTUS, affecting all death penalty states, as with cases since 1993, Schlup, Ring, Atkins, Tennard, Roper, Hill, House, Medellin, Baze, Kennedy, Harbison and more).

6) a) The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals is infamous for its anti death penalty activism; Pennsylvania courts will only allow executions if an inmate waives appeals; New Jersey judges never allowed an execution; a federal judge in Connecticut threatened to disbar an attorney if he did not oppose his clients desires to waive appeals. Serial rapist/murderer Michael Ross, eventually, became the one person executed in Connecticut.

Judges Responsible for Grossly Uneven Executions

b) Between 1993 and 2011, the time from sentencing to execution increased by 85 months, or more than 7 years,   from 9.4 years to 16.5 years, a possible indicator of judicial activism against the death penalty. (Table 10, Average time between sentencing and execution, 1977–2011, page 14, Capital Punishment, 2011 – Statistical Tables, Tracy L. Snell, Bureau of Justice Statistics, Capital Punishment Series, July 16, 2013    NCJ 242185)

Congress passed the Anti Terrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act in 1996, partially, to speed up death penalty appeals. Things got much worse.

c) Death sentences are twice as likely to be overturned on appeal (1674, 20%) , as are those convictions (863, 10%) , again, a possible indicator of  judicial bias against the death penalty.(Table 16, Prisoners sentenced to death and the outcome of sentence, by year of sentencing, 1973-2011, Capital Punishment, 2011 – Statistical Tables, Tracy L. Snell, Bureau of Justice Statistics, Capital punishment Series, July 16, 2013    NCJ 242185)

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