General Question

spresto's avatar

Why put somebody on death row then?

Asked by spresto (898points) May 14th, 2009

I just read about somebody who was on death row for 22 years. I would like to know why this guy was not…I don’t know…put to death. What the hell is wrong with this picture. They kept him on death row for 22 years and then they released him under house arrest. No need to explain the rights of a human being even if they are criminals. In my opinoin, if you do something to get put on death row you have no rights.

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33 Answers

MrItty's avatar

Not enough information to answer the question. My initial suspicion is that he was sentenced, but had appeals, and his lawyers kept finding new and different ways to appeal the case. Until the case is FULLY resolved, his sentence can’t be carried out.

spresto's avatar

Why send him to prison then? Why give him a free ride for 22 years? best to keep him out until the case is resolved. Innocent until proven guilty.

jbfletcherfan's avatar

This is an issue that I’ve thought of many times. There was a woman in Texas in just the next town to us who killed her two little boys back in ‘96. She was sentenced to death. She’s STILL on death row. All this nonsense of giving them appeals that drag out for years & years is stupid to me. She’s been denied over & over. Pull the plug, already!

spresto's avatar

@jbfletcherfan Thank you. Like I said, if the sentenced is made there should be no mercy. The sentence should be carried out swiftly.

Not that I agree with a lot that China does, but in criminal punishment they have it figured out. If you do something bad enough to get their attention you are either put in prison for life or, more often than not, you are executed immediately.

Again, I want to stress I do not like a lot that China does. I just want to stress that this appeal bull crap does nothing but, spend a ton of money that is not necessary to spend.

MrItty's avatar

@spresto Because he was found guilty. As far as the court that tried his case is concerned, he was indeed proven guilty. He is therefore not innocent, and is suffering the consequences. But as long as there’s a chance that the verdict my be overturned via appeals, you can’t kill him. That’s a rather un-reversable punishment, you see.

MrItty's avatar

@spresto Something tells me you’d feel somewhat different if you were convicted of a crime that you didn’t commit, and your lawyer was doing everything in his power to appeal your case.

spresto's avatar

Possibly. More than likely. But honestly, all the people on death row are not innocent, most of them are probably supposed to be there. They are not all innocent.

MrItty's avatar

Of course they’re not all innocent. But some of them are, or even just might be. Are you honestly suggesting we eliminate the appeals process, and KILL INNOCENT PEOPLE just to prevent wasting taxpayer money? Seriously?!

spresto's avatar

Today it would seem so. Ask me again tomorrow however, I might change my mind.

MrItty's avatar

That’s repugnant. Do me a favor and never run for office, will you?

spresto's avatar

LMAO!!!! I was about say this is why I am not president or God. lol.

spresto's avatar

I do reserve the right to change my mind at any time. That is the beauty of not being a politician.

MrItty's avatar

I don’t give a rat’s behind if you change your mind. That’s not what’s repugnant. What’s repugnant is that you could, even for an instant, think it “okay” to kill an innocent person to save money. I question your humanity for even entertaining the notion that that’s acceptable.

evelyns_pet_zebra's avatar

Well, in my home state several men who were serving on Death Row were found not guilty after a period of years. And this was after two who were put to death were exonerated of their crimes after the fact. The justice system isn’t perfect, and there is always exceptions to the rule, and sometimes, people don’t get a fair trial. So the death penalty was ‘put on hold’ in IL until it could be figured out that those on Death Row deserved to be there.

I don’t hold much weight with the immediate execution of criminals simply because sometimes the accused is the most likely suspect, and not the actual perpretrator.

Which begs the question: Why do we kill the people that kill other people to show that killing people is wrong?

spresto's avatar

@MrItty Way to turn a friendly conversation into a bashfest. I am done talking to you.

MrItty's avatar

There is nothing “friendly” about suggesting the murder of innocent people. I’m quite pleased to never have you speak to me, thanks.

jbfletcherfan's avatar

@MrItty Whoa, here. Spresto isn’t saying that we should execute innocent people. What he’s saying, I think, is what I said in MY post. Keeping these people who have been PROVEN guilty & sits on death row forever is ludicrous. Those people are the ones we’re using tax payer money to support for years on end. Like the woman I was talking about…She’d been on death row for going on 12 years!!! That DOES NOT make sense! She’s lost all of her appeals. What are they waiting for???

MrItty's avatar

@jbfletcherfan read all his responses.

MrItty: Of course they’re not all innocent. But some of them are, or even just might be. Are you honestly suggesting we eliminate the appeals process, and KILL INNOCENT PEOPLE just to prevent wasting taxpayer money? Seriously?!

Spresto: Today it would seem so. Ask me again tomorrow however, I might change my mind.

GoPhillies's avatar

@evelyns_pet_zebra its not that we use this method to show people its wrong. People know its wrong, but when you kill someone else you give up your rights to life. It is very close to “an eye for an eye.” What people don’t realize, is that since your a citizen of modern American you have to play by gods rules (if you believe in religion), but everyone must to play by the law of the land organized by the people.

jbfletcherfan's avatar

@MrItty I DID read his responses, old friend. But what MY point is, & I think his is, too, that after the appeals have run out, that’s it. There needs to come a time frame that ends it all. Criminals need to know that in the end, there comes a time to pay the piper. If they think they’re going to go out & kill someone & spend the rest of their lives on death row, what’s to deter them? Yes, there ARE a lot of people who are executed that were innocent. But I think that’s pretty rare.

Harp's avatar

It seems to me that this case is this case is the perfect argument against abridging the appeals process. There is an end of the road to the appeals, namely the Supreme Court, which is the stage at which this conviction was overturned. The fact that it got this far before the exculpatory DNA evidence was taken into consideration demonstrates that there is good reason to allow capital cases to run this course.

Many previous courts had supposedly “proven” him guilty. It’s a very imperfect process that deserves to be challenged at each step of the way.

ABoyNamedBoobs03's avatar

if you’re for the death penalty, get rid of death row… you want someone to die take them out back behind the chemical shed and get it over with.
I personally am not for the death penalty, it’s just one of the thousands of issues I have with the American Penal System….

wundayatta's avatar

Another thing, due to the appeals process for those on Death Row, it actually costs more to sentence someone to death than it does to sentence them to life in prison. Eliminate the death penalty, and you save a lot of money. On the other hand, there is less urgency to exonerate people who are falsely convicted and imprisoned when compared to those falsely convicted and sentenced to death. So more people might remain in prison who shouldn’t be there if we didn’t have the death penalty.

TROLL's avatar

I was on Deaf Row for two weeks!My barrister got me the drops i needed and bingo i’m now on Gen Pop.

TROLL's avatar

Oh the subject….beyond all reasonable doubt?Kill Kill KILL! no mitigation no sob stories or mental assesments just death.

jbfletcherfan's avatar

@TROLL You’d never make a defense attorney!

uh, you need to wipe that blood off of the corner of your mouth

shilolo's avatar

Hey, here’s some useful data. Exonerations in Illinois (these were outright exonerations) were so prevalent that the governor eliminated the death penalty. Imagine what the data is like in a more trigger happy state, like Texas.

MrItty's avatar

@jbfletcherfan I completely agree with your point. Somehow, you are under the impression however that you and @spresto are in agreement, when you clearly are not. You are asserting that criminals on death row who have run out of appeals should be executed. Spresto is asserting that criminals on death row should not be allowed to appeal, because it takes time and money. Those are two very different stances.

jbfletcherfan's avatar

@MrItty You are correct. I now see YOUR point. Guess I was seeing between the lines too much. I think the bottom line is that they’re given too much time. That’s why our prisons are choked.

GoPhillies's avatar

@daloon I would like to know the source in which you found the information stating that it costs more to sentence a person to death, then life in prison. I find the statement extremely hard to believe. Please enlighten me.

Harp's avatar

@GoPhillies Not Daloon, but here you go:

Total cost of Indiana’s death penalty is 38% greater than the total cost of life without parole sentences (Indiana Criminal Law Study Commission, “Commission Report on Capital Sentencing,” January 10, 2002)

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In its review of death penalty expenses, the State of Kansas concluded that capital cases are 70% more expensive than comparable non-death penalty cases. The study counted death penalty case costs through to execution and found that the median death penalty case costs $1.26 million. Non-death penalty cases were counted through to the end of incarceration and were found to have a median cost of $740,000. For death penalty cases, the pre-trial and trial level expenses were the most expensive part, 49% of the total cost. The costs of appeals were 29% of the total expense, and the incarceration and execution costs accounted for the remaining 22%. In comparison to non-death penalty cases, the following findings were revealed:

The investigation costs for death-sentence cases were about 3 times greater than for non-death cases.

The trial costs for death cases were about 16 times greater than for non-death cases ($508,000 for death case; $32,000 for non-death case).

The appeal costs for death cases were 21 times greater.

The costs of carrying out (i.e. incarceration and/or execution) a death sentence were about half the costs of carrying out a non-death sentence in a comparable case.

Trials involving a death sentence averaged 34 days, including jury selection; non-death trials averaged about 9 days.

(Performance Audit Report: Costs Incurred for Death Penalty Cases: A K-GOAL Audit of the Department of Corrections)

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A New Jersey Policy Perspectives report concluded that the state’s death penalty has cost taxpayers $253 million since 1983, a figure that is over and above the costs that would have been incurred had the state utilized a sentence of life without parole instead of death. The study examined the costs of death penalty cases to prosecutor offices, public defender offices, courts, and correctional facilities. The report’s authors said that the cost estimate is “very conservative” because other significant costs uniquely associated with the death penalty were not available.

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The death penalty costs North Carolina $2.16 million more per execution than the a non-death penalty murder case with a sentence of life imprisonment (. On a national basis, these figures translate to an extra cost of over $1 billion spent since 1976 on the death penalty. (“The Costs of Processing Murder Cases in North Carolina” Duke University, May 1993)

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According to state and federal records obtained by The Los Angeles Times, maintaining the California death penalty system costs taxpayers more than $114 million a year beyond the cost of simply keeping the convicts locked up for life. This figure does not count the millions more spent on court costs to prosecute capital cases.

(source)

wundayatta's avatar

@Harp Thanks, buddy!

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