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User Name Thread Name Subject Posted
ddw BS: Capital Punishment? (154* d) RE: BS: Capital Punishment? 20 Dec 03

DtG -- not avoiding the question; I simply don't know enough about the case to answer it. I've sat through literally thousands of trials and I wouldn't begin to call a verdict based on anything except my own reading of the evidence.

As a reporter I saw acquittals, dismissals at preliminary hearings and convictions I didn't think were justified. I watched judges sleep through portions of evidence and then make mistakes in charging the jury because they had missed something crucial. That was later sorted out on appeal. I have also seen juries "correct" a judge's misconceptions and I've seen judges ignore jury recommendations. The first day I ever spent covering courts one judge sentenced a repeat-offender rapist to seven years in penitentiary and then give exactly the same sentence to a gay bodybuilder who had spent most of his life in jail exactly the same amount of time for flipping a pool table and then threatening a store clerk with a knife when he was too drunk to walk, let along get to the victim.

The point is, I don't accept anybody's assessment of what happens in a particular court case -- not yours or Amnesty International's or anybody else's -- if I haven't hear ALL the evidence. That's not a personal slight, just a position based on a lot of experience....



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