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Lyr Add: The Next to Die in Texas

Áine 22 Jun 00 - 08:55 PM
kendall 22 Jun 00 - 09:04 PM
Áine 22 Jun 00 - 09:56 PM
catspaw49 22 Jun 00 - 10:06 PM
Amergin 22 Jun 00 - 10:14 PM
McGrath of Harlow 22 Jun 00 - 10:20 PM
GUEST,Barry Finn 22 Jun 00 - 10:24 PM
katlaughing 22 Jun 00 - 10:24 PM
catspaw49 22 Jun 00 - 10:45 PM
Brendy 22 Jun 00 - 11:10 PM
Áine 22 Jun 00 - 11:25 PM
Mbo 22 Jun 00 - 11:32 PM
GUEST,Barry Finn 22 Jun 00 - 11:38 PM
Mbo 22 Jun 00 - 11:41 PM
Brendy 22 Jun 00 - 11:44 PM
catspaw49 23 Jun 00 - 12:07 AM
katlaughing 23 Jun 00 - 12:21 AM
Amergin 23 Jun 00 - 12:34 AM
Mbo 23 Jun 00 - 12:40 AM
Kelida 23 Jun 00 - 12:40 AM
Kelida 23 Jun 00 - 12:43 AM
Amergin 23 Jun 00 - 12:48 AM
katlaughing 23 Jun 00 - 12:54 AM
Sorcha 23 Jun 00 - 12:54 AM
Mbo 23 Jun 00 - 12:58 AM
Brendy 23 Jun 00 - 01:08 AM
Dave (the ancient mariner) 23 Jun 00 - 01:30 AM
Kelida 23 Jun 00 - 01:44 AM
Sorcha 23 Jun 00 - 01:50 AM
Amergin 23 Jun 00 - 01:50 AM
zonahobo 23 Jun 00 - 03:17 AM
Brendy 23 Jun 00 - 03:21 AM
Fiddlin' Big Al 23 Jun 00 - 03:45 AM
Amergin 23 Jun 00 - 03:46 AM
Brendy 23 Jun 00 - 04:14 AM
Brendy 23 Jun 00 - 04:18 AM
McGrath of Harlow 23 Jun 00 - 05:13 AM
IanC 23 Jun 00 - 06:08 AM
kendall 23 Jun 00 - 07:29 AM
keltcgrasshoppper 23 Jun 00 - 07:34 AM
Mbo 23 Jun 00 - 07:42 AM
Brendy 23 Jun 00 - 08:24 AM
Mbo 23 Jun 00 - 08:30 AM
Brendy 23 Jun 00 - 08:33 AM
JedMarum 23 Jun 00 - 09:31 AM
Mbo 23 Jun 00 - 09:35 AM
Jim the Bart 23 Jun 00 - 09:49 AM
GUEST,trucker dave 23 Jun 00 - 09:58 AM
Brendy 23 Jun 00 - 10:32 AM
Brendy 23 Jun 00 - 10:57 AM
GUEST,Governor George W. Bush 23 Jun 00 - 11:03 AM
katlaughing 23 Jun 00 - 11:08 AM
Ringer 23 Jun 00 - 12:44 PM
Jed at Work 23 Jun 00 - 12:48 PM
Jed at Work 23 Jun 00 - 12:53 PM
Brendy 23 Jun 00 - 12:56 PM
Amergin 23 Jun 00 - 01:04 PM
katlaughing 23 Jun 00 - 01:09 PM
Brendy 23 Jun 00 - 01:12 PM
Marion 23 Jun 00 - 01:14 PM
Amergin 23 Jun 00 - 01:15 PM
Brendy 23 Jun 00 - 01:16 PM
catspaw49 23 Jun 00 - 01:17 PM
Mbo 23 Jun 00 - 01:37 PM
Áine 23 Jun 00 - 01:51 PM
Jed at Work 23 Jun 00 - 02:13 PM
katlaughing 23 Jun 00 - 02:22 PM
SINSULL 23 Jun 00 - 04:02 PM
Mbo 23 Jun 00 - 04:29 PM
DougR 23 Jun 00 - 04:35 PM
InOBU 23 Jun 00 - 05:54 PM
Jim the Bart 23 Jun 00 - 07:13 PM
catspaw49 23 Jun 00 - 07:32 PM
GUEST,BBsBlues@btinternet.com 23 Jun 00 - 07:53 PM
Mooh 23 Jun 00 - 09:07 PM
Brendy 23 Jun 00 - 09:10 PM
GUEST,W. S. Gilbert 23 Jun 00 - 09:51 PM
DougR 23 Jun 00 - 10:42 PM
catspaw49 23 Jun 00 - 10:53 PM
DougR 23 Jun 00 - 11:54 PM
katlaughing 24 Jun 00 - 12:27 AM
zonahobo 24 Jun 00 - 12:29 AM
BK 24 Jun 00 - 12:38 AM
DougR 24 Jun 00 - 12:45 AM
catspaw49 24 Jun 00 - 12:56 AM
DougR 24 Jun 00 - 01:18 AM
Mooh 24 Jun 00 - 08:17 AM
InOBU 24 Jun 00 - 09:00 AM
The Shambles 24 Jun 00 - 09:23 AM
Greg F. 24 Jun 00 - 09:35 AM
The Shambles 24 Jun 00 - 10:34 AM
catspaw49 24 Jun 00 - 10:45 AM
Ebbie 24 Jun 00 - 11:17 AM
Brendy 24 Jun 00 - 11:41 AM
DougR 24 Jun 00 - 11:42 AM
GUEST,Roger the skiffler 26 Jun 00 - 11:03 AM
kendall 26 Jun 00 - 01:38 PM
InOBU 26 Jun 00 - 01:48 PM
The Shambles 26 Jun 00 - 03:05 PM
InOBU 26 Jun 00 - 03:38 PM
Mbo 26 Jun 00 - 03:43 PM
GUEST,Potter 26 Jun 00 - 04:08 PM
kendall 26 Jun 00 - 04:27 PM
katlaughing 26 Jun 00 - 05:04 PM
Jim the Bart 26 Jun 00 - 06:33 PM
GUEST,Mbo_at_ECU 26 Jun 00 - 06:44 PM
Mooh 26 Jun 00 - 07:17 PM
McGrath of Harlow 26 Jun 00 - 07:48 PM
DougR 26 Jun 00 - 08:11 PM
BK 26 Jun 00 - 11:04 PM
GUEST 26 Jun 00 - 11:33 PM
DougR 27 Jun 00 - 12:26 AM
JamesJim 27 Jun 00 - 01:18 AM
Terry K 27 Jun 00 - 02:37 AM
kendall 27 Jun 00 - 06:18 AM
McGrath of Harlow 27 Jun 00 - 07:36 AM
InOBU 27 Jun 00 - 08:34 AM
kendall 27 Jun 00 - 08:58 AM
Mbo 27 Jun 00 - 09:21 AM
kendall 27 Jun 00 - 10:34 AM
DougR 27 Jun 00 - 01:54 PM
kendall 27 Jun 00 - 02:33 PM
InOBU 27 Jun 00 - 05:05 PM
Jed at Work 27 Jun 00 - 05:45 PM
kendall 27 Jun 00 - 07:44 PM
JedMarum 28 Jun 00 - 12:01 AM
McGrath of Harlow 28 Jun 00 - 05:46 AM
GUEST,Roger the skiffler 28 Jun 00 - 06:41 AM
DougR 29 Jun 00 - 12:28 AM
Terry K 29 Jun 00 - 12:51 AM
Sorcha 29 Jun 00 - 01:08 AM
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Subject: Lyr Add: THE NEXT TO DIE IN TEXAS
From: Áine
Date: 22 Jun 00 - 08:55 PM

Just something that I had to get off my mind . . .

The next to die in Texas
Is a boy that had gone wrong
From doing drugs to dealing them
His list of sins was long

But is it right to kill a man
Without evidence of crime?
One pair of eyes looked through the dark
It was enough to kill in time

And the others who were there
Why weren't their voices heard?
I ask you, where is justice
When their evidence is buried?

The governor, he washed his hands
And spoke as Pontius Pilate
"I have no business with this deed,
"Just cross him off and file it.

"Don't bother me, I'm in a race,
"To lead this land to greatness,"
No thought of mercy for woman or man
Doomed to eternal darkness.

The next to die in Texas
Will be added to the list
Of humans who, it seems to me
Have been ground down into grist

And on us all, their destined fate
Could fall with circumstance
Can't we forgive, can we forget
And take a second glance?


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Subject: RE: The Next To Die In Texas...
From: kendall
Date: 22 Jun 00 - 09:04 PM

The disheartening thing is that a recent poll shows that the majority of Americans now favor the death penalty. The politicians know where most of the votes are. Also, has anyone noticed how big business is on a crusade to influence the election by driving gas prices out of sight? Hey, they needed an issue, so, they created one. You listening Doug?


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Subject: RE: The Next To Die In Texas...
From: Áine
Date: 22 Jun 00 - 09:56 PM

It is finished.


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Subject: RE: The Next To Die In Texas...
From: catspaw49
Date: 22 Jun 00 - 10:06 PM

I am with you and your lyric tonight Aine. I stated elsewhere that if we must continue with this barbaric method of "justice" then we need to change the system and make the standard "Guilt Beyond ALL Doubt." In capital, death penalty cases, beyond a reasonable doubt is not enough.

Spaw


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Subject: RE: The Next To Die In Texas...
From: Amergin
Date: 22 Jun 00 - 10:14 PM

Lovely and sad song, Aine. Had a bunch of things to say...but am now suddenly speechless....

Amergin


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Subject: RE: The Next To Die In Texas...
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 22 Jun 00 - 10:20 PM

Thanks Áine. Killing in cold blood is a terrible thing. When it's tied in with politics it gets even sicker.

I'm not suprised most people say they back the death penalty in the States. That's probably still true in England. But I don't think it's ever been a vote winner in the same sort of way. At any rate there were a majority of politicians who were abolitionists, and they still got elected by peope who weren't.

But I read that the majority for the death openalty is smaller in the States than it used to be.

And I know there are honourable people who believe it should exist. But some of the cases it seems to be applied to seem really strange, and it seems pretty clear that a fair number of innocent people have been killed by the system.

I can remember as a boy at school the day when Derek Bentley was hung - there was a odd sort of excitement about it, because he wasn't all that much older than we were. He was pardoned later of course, many many years after he was killed.


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Subject: RE: The Next To Die In Texas...
From: GUEST,Barry Finn
Date: 22 Jun 00 - 10:24 PM

I have to inject here about a man in Lowell, Mass (1/2 hr. north of Boston) who was on death row for 5 yrs. Our Own Mudcatter John Nolan a reporter for a New Hampshire newspaper (he's here from time to time) was to cover the story & being an ex copper from Glasgow smelt something amiss & being the dog that he is, he wouldn't let go of it till he made such a stink about what he was digging up about the whole mess that the case was heard again. The man was found to have been railroaded & the case was overturned & the fella turned loose & John trully stopped the man from going to the gallows. I may be off the mark with this a bit & maybe John will stop in here & give the full facts (though he may be a bit to modest), but I remember seeing the man's release & the stir about it, the only thing that's a bit fuzzy is John's relating his report to me. The trully awfull thing is that this is becoming more common & if getting rid of the death penalty saves one innocent then it's well worth it. Kind of like ants, if there's one in the house there's hundereds of others that you don't know about. Barry


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Subject: RE: The Next To Die In Texas...
From: katlaughing
Date: 22 Jun 00 - 10:24 PM

Maybe it will backfire on the bastards, esp. on Bush who had the audacity to say, "May God bless Mr. Graham."

For crissakes, he was only 17, this happened 19 yers ago, among other factors....I nominate ole Dubya for ratbastard of the year....unbelievable, more and more we live in a nation of death...

Thanks, Aine, along with Shambles's song, today...pretty damn sad around here, but sure did need to be said.

Fawking bastards....


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Subject: RE: The Next To Die In Texas...
From: catspaw49
Date: 22 Jun 00 - 10:45 PM

Lest ANYONE get the mistaken idea that I in any way endorse the death penalty from my previous post, I don't. I can think of no more barbaric practice relating in any way to justice. There can be no justice when we allow these things to happen. Will we ever get the concensus to change? Cynical bastard that I am, I feel we are probably screwed. I've heard all the nonsense arguments about the reasons for state sanctioned killing and they are all utter and complete crap. But for those who DO believe, I'd love to hear their answer to "Guilt Beyond ALL Doubt" as I stated above.

For me, there is only sadness that this country cannot and will not see the truth. Let the shame be unrestrained.

Spaw


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Subject: RE: The Next To Die In Texas...
From: Brendy
Date: 22 Jun 00 - 11:10 PM

I remember one Law Lord in the Upper House in Westminster say one time, that if he had tried The Birmingham Six, and the death penalty had have been fashionable (I don't think the death penalty has actually been revoked in England; could be wrong here, though), he would have "strung 'em up".

How many innocent people, roughly, get executed in the States every year?
The law of averages would have the figure fairly high, I'd say.

B.


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Subject: RE: The Next To Die In Texas...
From: Áine
Date: 22 Jun 00 - 11:25 PM

Thank you all for reading my hastily scribbled words. I've got a tune now, also hastily written, knowing it's not the best I could do -- but, I had to do something . . . living in this state (and this country) and seeing the bodies pile up week by week just became too much even for me. It really pisses me off to feel so overwhelmed and powerless about this kind of thing.

-- Áine


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Subject: RE: The Next To Die In Texas...
From: Mbo
Date: 22 Jun 00 - 11:32 PM

Then I suppose the bastards who dragged the African-American man behind their pickup truck don't deserve to die either?


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Subject: RE: The Next To Die In Texas...
From: GUEST,Barry Finn
Date: 22 Jun 00 - 11:38 PM

Hi Mbo, they probably do deserve it but let them rot for life so that the rest of us don't live in the shadow of the gallows. Barry


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Subject: RE: The Next To Die In Texas...
From: Mbo
Date: 22 Jun 00 - 11:41 PM

Ok.


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Subject: RE: The Next To Die In Texas...
From: Brendy
Date: 22 Jun 00 - 11:44 PM

I hate to quote the Christian Bible, but didn't someone say once "Revenge is mine".
Or have you acquired delusions of grandeur, Mbo?

B.


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Subject: RE: The Next To Die In Texas...
From: catspaw49
Date: 23 Jun 00 - 12:07 AM

I have been in favor of the "8x8 & Crap in a Can" method for a long time. Okay, its inhumane, but a long way above the death penalty. I mean bare bones, basic, stuff and small accomodations. Frankly, the idea of spending the remainder of my life that way scares the hell out of me far more than the death penalty.

But I also don't believe that the death penalty is any real deterrent in most of the crimes where we ask for it. These aren't well thought out crimes in the main. Mostly we ask for the death penalty for vengeance as Brendy said. Ain't no way to call it civilized...period.

Spaw


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Subject: RE: The Next To Die In Texas...
From: katlaughing
Date: 23 Jun 00 - 12:21 AM

You are so right, Spaw. What criminal really stops to say, "Oh, wait, I'd better not kill that person 'cause then I might get the BIG NEEDLE and go bye-bye, too!"

Thsi country is so fucked up and schizo...on one hand we say most crimes are comitted at the height of some passion, then expect everyone to take time out during such passions to reason out the consequences. People don't care during the commission of a crime if their buddy got the needle or not...and too many people are innocent who are on death row.

For many years I corresponded with a Native American woman who was on death row in Maryland for a murder her ex-husband had committed; he lied and "turned state's evidence" and implicated her, even though she was not involved. He got off with a few years for robbery and she got the death penalty. Through a lot of letter-writing etc., we managed to get the then-governor to commute her sentence to life.

I lost touch with her almost seven years ago so I don't know what has happened to her, but it was NOT right that she was there and he was out. Hers was a bright and loving spirit with incredible patience and a will to keep herself from falling into deep despair, always helping those of lesser education who were her fellow inmates, tirelessly working to prove her innocence. The system was very prejudice against her not only for being a minority, but also because she was outspoken.

When will we see a change?


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Subject: RE: The Next To Die In Texas...
From: Amergin
Date: 23 Jun 00 - 12:34 AM

When the People start fighting back.


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Subject: RE: The Next To Die In Texas...
From: Mbo
Date: 23 Jun 00 - 12:40 AM

"How long before the Judgement Day? How long before we cut the fat ones down to size? Before the barricades arise?!!!" Come my friends...if they mean to start something, let it begin here...we now draw a line...this far and NO FURTHER! We will win ourselves a home!!


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Subject: RE: The Next To Die In Texas...
From: Kelida
Date: 23 Jun 00 - 12:40 AM

As an ardent pacifist, I will never cease to wonder why anyone ever wants to kill anyone else for any reason. Violence against anyone is wrong, and the old saying "fight fire with fire" has never made any sense to me. I have another saying: "fighting for peace is like f***ing for virginity." However, I'm a little ambivalent about the death penalty because I'm also a libertarian (more or less). I don't consider anyone who can murder in cold blood to be HUMAN in any sense of the word--except genetics. Also, I think life imprisonment is a lot crueler than death. At the same time, most people convicted of murder ARE guilty. There are also way too many violent criminals that have been released and later imprisoned for a similar or worse crime. These people obviously are NOT rehabilitated, and are dangerous animals, and should be treated as such. Dogs, who are supposedly "lower life forms," are killed just for BITING people without causing irreperable harm. I don't see the justice in that, either.

I feel that in some cases the death penalty is warranted, but if there is another way to keep people off the streets PERMANENTLY than I am all for it. The biggest problem with life sentences is that they aren't usually served completely. The saddest thing is that hackers and theives can spend more time in jail than murderers and rapists.

I feel that the American justice system needs to be seriously reconsidered.

Peace--Keli


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Subject: RE: The Next To Die In Texas...
From: Kelida
Date: 23 Jun 00 - 12:43 AM

kat--of course they don't think that. They think: "Hey, I'll probably just get life, but I'll also probably get out in less than 20 years.

Peace--Keli


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Subject: RE: The Next To Die In Texas...
From: Amergin
Date: 23 Jun 00 - 12:48 AM

No, Kelida, getting caught tends to be the furthest thing from their minds. The other side of the coin of course is if this man had had money behind him he would never have seen the inside of a cage to begin with, whether he was guilty or not.


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Subject: RE: The Next To Die In Texas...
From: katlaughing
Date: 23 Jun 00 - 12:54 AM

Keli...I don't thnk, in the moment, that they think at all...good points in your posts, though.

There is a great oline community which started out urging Congress to "Censure & Move On", in reference to Clinton. www.moveon.org has gone on to work on other issues, as a grassroots movement of people from all sides of the fences. I wonder if they would pull together something on this. I think I will email the woman who heads it and see what she says. Here's soe info on what it is all about:

"What is MoveOn all about?

MoveOn is working to bring ordinary people back into politics. With a system that today revolves around big money and big media, most citizens are left out. When it becomes clear that our "representatives" don't represent the public, the foundations of democracy are in peril. MoveOn and the Internet will be a catalyst for a new kind of grassroots involvement, supporting busy but concerned citizens in finding their political voice.

What does MoveOn do?

When there is a disconnect between broad public opinion and legislative action, MoveOn builds electronic advocacy groups. Examples of such issues are impeachment, gun safety, nuclear disarmament, and campaign finance. Once a group is assembled, MoveOn provides information and tools to help each individual have the greatest possible impact. During impeachment, MoveOn's grassroots advocates generated more than 250,000 phone calls and a million emails to Congress. We helped Congress come to understand the depth of public opposition to impeachment."


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Subject: RE: The Next To Die In Texas...
From: Sorcha
Date: 23 Jun 00 - 12:54 AM

Thank you Kelida. I do support the death penalty, but ONLY in extreme cases, and as spaw says, beyond all doubt. It is NOT a deterrent, but if it will keep one serial rapist/murderer from doing it again, that is the only reason for it's existence. Yes, it is barbaric, but so are some of the crimes that are "beyond all doubt". Not most, just some. And IF a Life Sentence meant that, I would support it, but it rarely does, now, because the jails are so overcrowded. The answer is not building more jails, or de-criminalizing things. I don't know what the answer is, either. Please don't jump on me, I am very, very ambivilent about this, and am not able to decide where the parameters are. I do know, I could not pull the switch.


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Subject: RE: The Next To Die In Texas...
From: Mbo
Date: 23 Jun 00 - 12:58 AM

I got one word.....Antartica.


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Subject: RE: The Next To Die In Texas...
From: Brendy
Date: 23 Jun 00 - 01:08 AM

At least it's better than "Burn you bastard"

B.


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Subject: RE: The Next To Die In Texas...
From: Dave (the ancient mariner)
Date: 23 Jun 00 - 01:30 AM

Kelida, the only reason you have the freedom to say what you say, is because decent people stand ready todefend your rights by fighting others who would take them away. The world is not a nice place mates, sometimes you must fight evil. Yours,Aye. Dave ( who agrees with Spaw on this one )


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Subject: RE: The Next To Die In Texas...
From: Kelida
Date: 23 Jun 00 - 01:44 AM

People shouldn't have to fight for anything, especially rights. EVERYONE should have the same rights. As far as I am concerned there is never any reason to fight for anything.

Peace--Keli


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Subject: RE: The Next To Die In Texas...
From: Sorcha
Date: 23 Jun 00 - 01:50 AM

Maybe Mbo is right, Antarctica...........


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Subject: RE: The Next To Die In Texas...
From: Amergin
Date: 23 Jun 00 - 01:50 AM

But not everyone has those rights and the rich has more rights than those of us who break our backs for our next supper. No we shouldn't have to fight for them, but we do, because they are not freely given. Many are the unmarked graves that dot this free country of ours (USA) of those that fought for things that we take for granted today, things like the forty hour work week, overtime, medical care, and other benefits. Those murders were oftentimes sanctioned by the State. Think the Masters would have let us have them for no reason but just because? No their idea of giving their workers off time was the vacation they got at the end, when they died. Some things are worth fighting for.

Amergin


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Subject: RE: The Next To Die In Texas...
From: zonahobo
Date: 23 Jun 00 - 03:17 AM

I'm with the beyond all doubt ultimate punishment for the ultimate crime group. I think as a society it's justified as self defense. I will not defend the right of a murderer to murder again. If someone was breaking down your front door intent on rape and murder of your whole household and you have "deadly force" at your disposal, do you defend your family? The system is flawed in many ways but I think many more criminals avoid punishment than truly innocent people get punished by the system. Most of the innocents (us) are much more likely to be victimized by criminals. Where do we want to spend what limited time we have? Should we be striving to protect and help the many more innocent, victimized by crime, members of our society or try to tear down what little protection we have.


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Subject: RE: The Next To Die In Texas...
From: Brendy
Date: 23 Jun 00 - 03:21 AM

"Two good men's a long time gone.
Left me here to sing this song.
Two good men's a long time gone
Sacco and Vanzetti are gone."

B.


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Subject: RE: The Next To Die In Texas...
From: Fiddlin' Big Al
Date: 23 Jun 00 - 03:45 AM

Read a book recently "The Rich Get Richer & The Poor Get Prison" don't remember author but is a text in university criminal justice studies. Do you believe that police never lie under oath, that eyewitnesses really always see what they think they see? Since most people you know would qualify for a public defender how can you be sure you or someone you know won't personally wind up faced with the needle. The self-righteous are certain they will never be in that position themselves so they keep supporting the killing regardless of doubts. Is this death penalty a genetic thing with the Bush Bros? or just pols in general? To get elected - play the law & order card. LEGALITY (practiced by the Bush Bros.)is not equivalent to MORALITY (understood and acted on by Gov. Ryan of Illinois, a courageous man - I'm proud to have once called IL my home.) Gotta go ... foaming at the mouth.


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Subject: RE: The Next To Die In Texas...
From: Amergin
Date: 23 Jun 00 - 03:46 AM

The difference between the Sacco and Vanzetti case and this one is that another man who was executed that same night confessed to the murders they were supposed to have done and that there are no accounts of them actually doing any crime whatsoever. Another clear cut case of murderous oppression by the State. The man who died tonight was no saint.

Amergin


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Subject: RE: The Next To Die In Texas...
From: Brendy
Date: 23 Jun 00 - 04:14 AM

That was not my point, Amergin.
The similarity between the two cases is death.

B.


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Subject: RE: The Next To Die In Texas...
From: Brendy
Date: 23 Jun 00 - 04:18 AM

It sort of all just goes to prove that the old Homo Sapien hasn't got the idea of human sacrifice out of it's system.

B.


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Subject: RE: The Next To Die In Texas...
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 23 Jun 00 - 05:13 AM

Brendy, you're wrong about the death penalty just being supended in England. It's out, and as it stands now, even a government which wanted to bring it back couldn't do so without seceding from the European Union - and that goes for any other country in the Union, or who wants to join.

That doesn't mean the state can't find ways of killig people when it wants. But at least we'll never get a 36 year old man strapped to a table and killed because of something he may have done when he was 17.

I don't think you'd get that even in the other world leaders in capital punishment, China and Saudi Arabia.


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Subject: RE: The Next To Die In Texas...
From: IanC
Date: 23 Jun 00 - 06:08 AM

Thanks Kevin

I was going to say that getting rid of the death penalty in the UK was one of the things politicians could be praised for. They did it despite the majority of people wanting to retain it (as far as I'm aware they still do).

Sometimes the politicians are ahead of the masses!


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Subject: RE: The Next To Die In Texas...
From: kendall
Date: 23 Jun 00 - 07:29 AM

For those of you who believe that the state should kill a person just because that person murdered someone, and, therefore, deserves it, consider this. Most of us are appalled at what we did to the Japanese in Heroshima and Nagasaki. All those innocent civilians killed.. how about all those innocent civilians whom the Japanese butchered in China and in the Phillipines? I served with a man from the Phillipines who was a victim of Japanese butchery. His throat was cut from ear to ear, yet, he somehow lived. He told stories of Japanese soldiers throwing babies up in the air and spearing them on bayonets as they fell. If you believe as the supporters of the death penalty do, that one wrong deserves another, didn't the residents of Heroshima and Nagasaki deserve it? Isn't it just "tit for tat". By the way, I'm against the death penalty. As Gandhi said, "An eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth, only makes the whole world blind and toothless."


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Subject: RE: The Next To Die In Texas...
From: keltcgrasshoppper
Date: 23 Jun 00 - 07:34 AM

Going back to Catspaw and Scorcha, I also feel that "beyond any doubt" is the only acceptable way for justice to be handed down regarding the Death Penality. I know this is a bit off track, but last weekend we watched "The Green Mile" and knowing that all of this was happening in Texas made the movie even more upsetting. With the justice system in place the way it is in Texas there is no way to stop an innocent man/woman from being killed. It is barbaric, but we are a barbaric country. Look what we do to our children, look how we treat our elderly, look how we treat our women. By the way Kat I just went to that site and registered. That is one way I can at least feel that I am a part of CHANGE. Thanks KHG


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Subject: RE: The Next To Die In Texas...
From: Mbo
Date: 23 Jun 00 - 07:42 AM

Kelida, if people in the past hadn't stood up a fought for freedom, the world would be in a sorry state, and undoubtedly a lot more races would have been wiped out, in addition to the onces that didn't make it already. There would be no America, and you wouldn't even be alive. Sure it's easy to say that fighting for freedom is wrong now, but must have been pretty hard to reason with a Roman legion, or The Golden Horde or the British Navy.

There's a great part in the musical "Pippin" by Stephen Schwartz. When Pippin becomes king, he swears that there will be no more war, and that he can solve everything by talking. So when the Huns are invading, and sending threats to him to either fight or die, he has his messenger go to the Huns, and let them know that he wants to talk, and through that, they can come to a common agreement. When the messenger return, in a disheveled state, he reports that the Huns will talk with him, but first they want his genitals handed to them in a bag. Needless to say the Huns overrun the city that night, and he is almost killed...


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Subject: RE: The Next To Die In Texas...
From: Brendy
Date: 23 Jun 00 - 08:24 AM

What has that got to do with the death penalty, Meebs?

B.


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Subject: RE: The Next To Die In Texas...
From: Mbo
Date: 23 Jun 00 - 08:30 AM

It's thread drift, Brendster, we were talking about fighting for peace.


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Subject: RE: The Next To Die In Texas...
From: Brendy
Date: 23 Jun 00 - 08:33 AM

Ahhhh, THREAD DRIFT!!!

Why did I get the impression that you were going to say that?

B.


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Subject: RE: The Next To Die In Texas...
From: JedMarum
Date: 23 Jun 00 - 09:31 AM

Now let's keep some persepective on the issue at hand. The young man in question has admitted to 13 victims of his gun weilding viloence - those admitted crimes included; attempeted murder, rape, battery and armed robbery. We are not talkng about a good kid gone bad because he was poor. I was poor. I never consider shooting, robbing or raping anyone to aleviate my poverty, likewise neither did many, many other poor people. Poverty does not justify lack or respect for human dignity!

The death penalty should be applied with careful constraint, perhaps with the litmus test Spaw suggests - beyond all doubt - but let's also keep in mind that this young man's case was tried in court, reviewed and retried in other courts - his story has been told and retold to many of our professional courts and judges - ALL have agreed with the original court's findings after reviewing in detail the case and its background. Why do we suppose we know better after reviewing all the TV news sound bites?

Governor Bush may be someone we want to skewer for this issue, but the fact is; he remained powerless to stop the execution. Texas governors have very little power, compared to Governor's of other states. Bush had to rely on the findings of the parole review board, and could not overturn their decision.

The death penalty is not, in my estimation, a valid deterent for crime, nor is it 'justice' in the sense of "you did a bad thing, now we're going to do a bad thing to you" - it is a ritual act. It says 'we (the state) have a final act that brings retribution to society at large for your crime' - someone in this thread said, human sacrifice - that's probably not too far from the truth. And someone else said "babaric," again, probably not far off the mark, as in base level human needs - The death penalty is a final act to bring retribution for extreme transgessions against human-kind. It is a ritual. I believe it still has a place in our world.

Finally - I am certain that death is not the worst thing that can happen to you. I am the only one in this world who can bring sanctity to my life. I am the only one who know the worth of my own existence, in the light of how the world has treated me, and with the certain knowledge of how I responded to it. Even wrongful death at the hands of a mistaken state who believes me a murderer when I am not cannot take that dignity away from me, when they take my life. I do not believe Mr Graham was wrongfully accused, many, many people have looked at his story in much more detail, and with much more care than I will ever be able to do ... but if he was, his final judgement rested in his own heart, and in the heart of his eternity. This final judgement was not a public issue - for this private issue, I say, as my governor said, "May God bless Mr Graham."


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Subject: RE: The Next To Die In Texas...
From: Mbo
Date: 23 Jun 00 - 09:35 AM

Well put, my friend.

--Mbo


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Subject: RE: The Next To Die In Texas...
From: Jim the Bart
Date: 23 Jun 00 - 09:49 AM

Aine -
I read your post last night and it reached me. I have been ambivalent about the death penalty. After all, we all die eventually. And I have always been swayed by the argument that in many ways the death penalty is less cruel than life in our penal system. But I have decided to oppose the death penalty because of the barbarism that is at its root. I oppose it not because, as some believe, an innocent man died. An innocent man died nineteen years ago and that shouldn't go unredressed in some way. I oppose it because it is barbaric to kill. And we as a species need to aspire to something better if we wish to have a better world. It has nothing to do with justice and everything to do with evolution, in a sense. I choose not to kill because I believe that that is one thing that I can do to make the world a better place. And it is hypocritical to ask someone to kill in my name, whether they have been sworn in or not.

I realize what a can o'worms this opens up for me. After all, there are all the other related philosphical dominos to consider - abortion, euthenasia, even vegetarianism. But those are not the topic here and I will need to deal with them in their time if I want to be a complete person, rather than a complete fraud. And I will. On the other side of the coin, I also understand that one man saying this doesn't make the world a good place. It will only work if everyone believes that violence towards others - whether physical, mental or emotional - is equally barbaric and has no place in the world that we wish to have someday. If no one murdered anyone, or raped them, or stole their self-respect, or reduced them to a statistical economic necessity (a certain amount of unemployment is, after all, good for the economy)maybe the question of whether a man like Gary Graham deserved to die. Or whether we had the right and the responsibility to kill him.

Understand one thing about my decision that the death penalty has no place in a civilized society - anyone is free to disagree with me and I can't find fault in that decision. We live in a barbarous age, only slightly less barbarous than those that preceded ours. "An eye for an eye" works, but only up to a point. My decision on this is a leap of faith. It is predicated on the belief that mankind can become better than it is. Viscerally, I believe that those guys who dragged that guy behind a truck until he was dead should have the same done to them - publicly, as a warning to anyone who would ever consider such an act. But that would just confirm our worst beliefs about ourselves - that life is cruel and short and it is only the circumstances of our own sad end that are left to be decided.

Thank you, Aine, for dragging me out of my lethargy to face this question one more time. I have a deep and abiding regret that Gary Graham had to die because Mr. Lambert was murdered nineteen years ago and we needed "closure". I fear the ramifications of what I have now seen to be just more killing. But, I can't ignore it anymore or debate it away. We should not kill. Period.


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Subject: RE: The Next To Die In Texas...
From: GUEST,trucker dave
Date: 23 Jun 00 - 09:58 AM

kill 'em all and let god sort them out.


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Subject: RE: The Next To Die In Texas...
From: Brendy
Date: 23 Jun 00 - 10:32 AM

Have a shufty in here

B.


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Subject: RE: The Next To Die In Texas...
From: Brendy
Date: 23 Jun 00 - 10:57 AM

I'm just waiting for it to make it's debùt on 'Showtime', with an drooling Don King introducing the night's attraction, interrupted only by adverts from Burger King and McDonalds, enticing all of us to sample their 'Jailhouse Specials' or whatever.
Who knows, Mike Tyson could eventually realise his true vocation as MC of such attractions.

That would be fun, now, wouldn't it?

B.
(What's good for business is good!)


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Subject: RE: The Next To Die In Texas...
From: GUEST,Governor George W. Bush
Date: 23 Jun 00 - 11:03 AM

Hey, if you're at all tempted to vote against me because of the death penalty issue, just remember that Vice-President Gore is also a strong proponent of the death penalty. As is President Clinton, I might add.

You didn't hear Mr. Gore or Mr. Clinton speaking up on behalf of Graham.

W.


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Subject: RE: The Next To Die In Texas...
From: katlaughing
Date: 23 Jun 00 - 11:08 AM

KGH, glad you checked out that site. Thanks. I've done several op/ed pieces on their work and really do believe, "we, the people" can use the Internet to make a difference in politics.

Jed, some of us do NOT get any of our news from television soundbites...as a columnist, I research as many different ways as possible before forming an opinion, including what I consider the more unbiased reporting of NPR, BBC, and other world news organisations.

Kevin, I am just finishing up a book called "Price of Honor" by journalist Jan Goodwin, who spent four years living in Muslim countries, researching and interviewing women and men from all walks of life about the oppression of the fundamentalist Islam movements in all of the Middle East countries. Although it was published a few years ago, I know from other research I've done, that it is still fairly accurate. I have not read of any punishment there that would be as humane as being strapped to a gurney and having a needle inserted, in Saudi Arabia or elsewhere. The atrocities carried out for so-called justice, by the extremists who've taken over, are almost unspeakable.

kat


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Subject: RE: The Next To Die In Texas...
From: Ringer
Date: 23 Jun 00 - 12:44 PM

I hesitate before making any contribution to this debate, because the tenor of forgoing posts leads me to suspect that my views will not be popular, and I think that my views are also easily misunderstood. I believe that the death penalty is sometimes appropriate.

Firstly, is any punishment meted out by the powers that be just unless "beyond all doubt"? Is it OK for someone to be gaoled for 20 years if there is doubt that he is guilty? And was not this recently executed man found guilty by a legally constituted court, with a jury of his peers who knew the likely outcome of their "Guilty" verdict?

Secondly, I don't believe that executing someone who has been found guilty of murder by a legally constituted court is a case of two wrongs making a right. The initial murder was a wrong, but the execution of a murderer is (trembling, I say it) a good thing. Being human is being responsible for our wrong actions just as much as for our achievements, and being responsible involves being punished when we're found out. The punishment should fit the crime, however; I can think of no crime other than murder deserving of the death penalty.

Thirdly, I do not think that justice is served by keeping a man on Death Row for nineteen years. That, not his execution, is a cruel and unusual treatment.


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Subject: RE: The Next To Die In Texas...
From: Jed at Work
Date: 23 Jun 00 - 12:48 PM

kat - I am certain that you, and many others research issues deeper then Tom Brockaw's surface level facts. I don't mean to lump everybody into the 'sound bite' category.

My point about most of us not being in a position to 'know better' is that we have developed a careful, goal oriented process in our country that we call a system of justice. That system is our society's best attempt to secure the truth in such matters as the crimes for which Mr Graham was accused, and to prescribe punishment (or in some cases remedial action). The formal processes of our judicial system, the attorneys, judges and jurys, all of whom I can only assume acted in good faith - have determined that the facts of the case warranted Mr Graham's conviction. The case has been tried, retried and revisited many, many times, and always with the same conclusion. I can think of nothing that I've heard that would make me think those people, using those formal processes aren't in a better position then me to decide Mr Graham's fate.

Additionally, the state of Texas has determined that the death penalty may be applied in cases such as Mr Graham's and in fact, the courts did apply that punishment in this case. Again, even though I may or may not have come to the same conclusion, this is the law of the land, and still a majority position among Texans (and indeed Americans).

In short, 1) the best processes we have developed over many years, has been applied by concienscious people, and their conclusion was that Mr Graham was guilty of the crimes for which he was tried. I am in no position to say otherwise. 2) the state whose laws govern(ed) Mr Graham and me, has stated that its majority of citizens value the use of the death penalty - and applied that penalty in Mr Graham's case. You and I may be tasked with making life and death decsions in our life time (abortion, pulling the plug on a loved one, self defense, etc) and God willing, we are quite capable of making those decisions - but this life and death decision is one that the state makes. Our opinions in the matter come down to the way we vote.


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Subject: RE: The Next To Die In Texas...
From: Jed at Work
Date: 23 Jun 00 - 12:53 PM

agreed Bald Eagle - succinctly put!


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Subject: RE: The Next To Die In Texas...
From: Brendy
Date: 23 Jun 00 - 12:56 PM

Well, TG England got rid of it, otherwise half of us would be dead now

B


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Subject: RE: The Next To Die In Texas...
From: Amergin
Date: 23 Jun 00 - 01:04 PM

Brendy, if your point about the similarity between the two cases was death, then we all have something in common. Personally, I think the rape charge should have been enough to swing him. I think all rapists and child molesters should die, instead of just getting a couple of years in prison with visits to the shrink. They do it once chances are they'll do it again. But then again, I'm a barbarian.

Amergin


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Subject: RE: The Next To Die In Texas...
From: katlaughing
Date: 23 Jun 00 - 01:09 PM

Jed, very well put, but don't you think there is ever room for mistakes on the part of the state etc? There have been many cases, lately, whcih have proven that people who've been on death row are innocent and have been released.

I am not defending any crimes Mr. Graham may have committed, just wanting to point out that there seemed to be some good reasons for him to get another chance and possibly receive life imprisonment rather than death. Being only 17 when he was charged with this crime, makes it awfully close to chances of him being charged as a child, not an adult, for starters.

I DO agree that Life needs to mean Life. I also believe our prisons need to become self-sufficient, with inmates growing and processing their own food, making their own clothes, i.e. paying their way, to the best of their ability.

If one innocent person is saved through lack of a death penalty, then I believe having none is justified.

Thank you,

kat


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Subject: RE: The Next To Die In Texas...
From: Brendy
Date: 23 Jun 00 - 01:12 PM

"Many are the unmarked graves that dot this free country of ours (USA) of those that fought for things that we take for granted today, things like the forty hour work week, overtime, medical care, and other benefits."

That was why Sacco and Vanzetti died, and why I quoted the song.

I don't believe that we have the right to convert justice into a needle and shoot it into somebody's arm. That's all!!

B.


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Subject: RE: The Next To Die In Texas...
From: Marion
Date: 23 Jun 00 - 01:14 PM

I'd like to quote a little bit from Tolkien. A little background for those who haven't read it yet: in the first book, Bilbo (a good guy) had the opportunity and motive to kill Gollum (a bad guy), but refrained. Later in the story, Gollum is back and presenting a serious threat to Frodo and Gandalf (other good guys).

Their conversation:

Frodo: What a pity Bilbo did not stab that vile creature when he had a chance!

Gandalf: Pity? It was pity that stayed his hand. Pity, and mercy: not to strike without need.

Frodo: I do not feel any pity for Gollum. He deserves death.

Gandalf: Deserves death? I daresay he does. Many that live deserve death. And many that die deserve life. Can you give that to them? Then be not so eager to deal out death in the name of justice.

In a sense it's similar to what Jesus said, "Let he who is without sin throw the first stone." Maybe the question is not who deserves death, but who deserves the right to inflict it. If I'm not the One who can give life, who am I to give death?

Marion


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Subject: RE: The Next To Die In Texas...
From: Amergin
Date: 23 Jun 00 - 01:15 PM

Oh ok, sorry I must have misunderstood you somewhere down the line.

Amergin


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Subject: RE: The Next To Die In Texas...
From: Brendy
Date: 23 Jun 00 - 01:16 PM

Don't worry, man, many people do. *BG*

B.


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Subject: RE: The Next To Die In Texas...
From: catspaw49
Date: 23 Jun 00 - 01:17 PM

Brendy, that's about as succinct a way of putting it that I can imagine. Well stroked.

Spaw


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Subject: RE: The Next To Die In Texas...
From: Mbo
Date: 23 Jun 00 - 01:37 PM

Marion, thanks...I love Tolkien like a fiend! "For even the very wise cannot see all ends...."

--Mbo


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Subject: RE: The Next To Die In Texas...
From: Áine
Date: 23 Jun 00 - 01:51 PM

As one who usually doesn't stick a toe into the political discussions on this forum, I have to say that I'm surprised at the number of comments on this thread; but, also pleased that everyone has remained reasonable and calm about such an emotional subject.

As with any difficult and painful subject facing a society, no one side is totally right and no one side is totally wrong. Compassion and compromise don't have to be enemies. Keep talking my friends. Well done.

-- Áine


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Subject: RE: The Next To Die In Texas...
From: Jed at Work
Date: 23 Jun 00 - 02:13 PM

kat - yes, I am concerned that errors can be made in the case of detah penalty application; likewise even in jail sentences. I hope that the processes we put in place (our justice system), after years of careful fine tuning, and application - and the best intentions of those working the those processes will prevent miscarriages of justice. I am not foolish enough to believe that errors never happen, but pray those occurrances are extremely rare, and that we, as a society remain vigilant to keep them in check.

Áine - nice poem, heart felt lyrics. Even if I disagree with some of its content, I too feel sympathy for the down trodden, and anger at those who would wash their hands to avoid difficult decisions.


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Subject: RE: The Next To Die In Texas...
From: katlaughing
Date: 23 Jun 00 - 02:22 PM

Marion, thanks for the Tolkein quote, just beautiful. My son had a kitten he named after Gandolf.

Jed, thanks, I think we are at least near the same page in some respects, maybe different chapters or paragraphs.:-)

someone said and was requoted as saying, "granted today, things like the forty hour work week, overtime, medical care, and other benefits." I'd like to say that many, many Americans do not take those things for granted because they do not have them at all. Roger works many mroe than 40 hours per week, receives no overtime, only gets one week vacation after however many years (going on 4.5), and while he has health benefits, I am denied any, from whatever insurance company, for pre-existing condition, as is my neice who is diabetic and we all make too much to qualify for any government assistance.

The struggle for worker's rights continues but is almost non-existent in right-to-work states like Wyoming. Workers can still be let go with no notice, no explanation, most are paid minimum wage...we need someone like Big Mick!

Thanks,

kat


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Subject: RE: The Next To Die In Texas...
From: SINSULL
Date: 23 Jun 00 - 04:02 PM

The penguins in Antarctica deserve better.

And
Until our legal system can NOT be bought (I am thinking specifically of the Kennedy relative able to avoid prosecution for murder solely on the basis of his contacts and the OJ fiasco), the death penalty is unacceptable.


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Subject: RE: The Next To Die In Texas...
From: Mbo
Date: 23 Jun 00 - 04:29 PM

Heh heh...for ultimate redemption, check this out..heh heh heh...

--Mbo


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Subject: RE: The Next To Die In Texas...
From: DougR
Date: 23 Jun 00 - 04:35 PM

Yes, Kendall, I hear you. It would be unthinkable, of course, to suggest that government red tape and a multitude of federal regulations imposed on those same corporations by our government might be contribibuting to the high cost of gasoline. Right? The Federal Government can do no wrong, of course.

As to capital punishment, I come down on the side of the majority in this country, and share Bald Eagle and Jed's views. I would not back away for a minute from watching them put the needle in the man's arm who murdered my mother-in-law. They never found him of course.

DougR


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Subject: RE: The Next To Die In Texas...
From: InOBU
Date: 23 Jun 00 - 05:54 PM

Where to begin, other than to remind so many Christians who are for the death penalty that the state nailed him to a cross. What more can be said, we humans can not have perfect justice until we are omnipotent and that, I don't see happening, so let's agree not to do that which cannot be undone, for fear that we do not treat the least of us as we are expected to treat Him. It has been said, look for Him among the least of you and I look for him, on the streets of our cities and on death row. For those of you who need your pound of flesh, here is a suggestion to the rest of us who do not BOYCOTT THE BASTARDS! Withold the purchace of services, do not vist and revile those states and nations that kill. Let them wallow in their hatred alone. Boycotts helped to end aparthide here and in Africa starting with the great Philladelpia boycot at the turn of the centry. Sacco and Vensetti were not the only innocents murdered. Remember young Willie Francis? A teenager who servived Florida's electric chair, who said afterwards, God saved me because I am innocent. The Supreme Court said, it is not unconstitutional to exicute him again, and they did. The last thing he heard was some big grinning camp guard waving a brick in his face telling him that if he did not die, he would bash his skul with the brick. He was proven innocent after his succesful exicution. To the poster who called for the death penilty for rape, how can you forget the Scottsboro boys how spent most of their lives in jail for a rape that never happened. As to the poster who said that was crule and unusual as death is more humain, well, you would have to ask the survivors of our death rows, and there are many of them, aquitted and proven innocent after decades of living on borrowed time. Ask them if they would have rather had a quick trip to the electic chair. Enough said... BOYCOTT!!!
Love and kisses...
Larry


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Subject: RE: The Next To Die In Texas...
From: Jim the Bart
Date: 23 Jun 00 - 07:13 PM

I wish to amend my previous post. The word "barbaric" was poorly chosen. An execution like last night's is not a barbaric act. It is an exercise in the administration of death that is peculiar to people who carry the veneer of civilization. It is cold-blooded, calculated, considered, and administered with deliberate skill. It is perverse in it's civility. A barbarian, killing in response to outrage, in a world where death is imminent, seems less twisted than "justice" administered 19 years after the fact, to a man who was barely more than a child when the crime was committed. Nothing good has come from this act. Just one more dead man.


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Subject: RE: The Next To Die In Texas...
From: catspaw49
Date: 23 Jun 00 - 07:32 PM

We are not so far out of the trees.

Cultures and civilizations have come and gone, each has progressed a bit along the way. But we are not so far out of the trees.

Expecting and extracting a pound of flesh is a time worn standard and not one which will easily disappear. The crimes may change for each of us, but we are all still susceptible to those feelings that call for us to strike back, to retaliate, to take something for our anger and our grief. We are not so far out of the trees.

We still find it difficult to admit we are wrong on many issues because the methods that worked in the past are time honored and play to our instincts. We have grown and prospered, we have continued to evolve. Yet, rights are still only granted if we fight for them daily. Otherwise the rights still go only to the strongest. We are not so far out of the trees.

I want to live to see a time that children are granted the same basic rights to which they are granted as adults. Rights to life, to freedom, to pursuing the joys of life and carrying the responsibility for giving others the same, should be attainable. Freedom from bigotry and hatred will continue to be a goal for our children, possibly theirs. Freedom is still a vision, for it is now only illusory at best. But we can shake the illusion of freedom and go on to enjoy instead its truth and its reality. That time will come if we continue to challenge our beliefs instead of accepting them as law. But the fight will be ours to make and it must continue.

We are not so far out of the trees.

Spaw


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Subject: RE: The Next To Die In Texas...
From: GUEST,BBsBlues@btinternet.com
Date: 23 Jun 00 - 07:53 PM

I'm not a devout Christian or anything, but I have a gut feeling that life is sacrosanct. Mr Bush, if you're a Christian and a believer in the Bible, then how can you go against one of the 10 commandments...Thou Shalt Not Kill? Mr Bush, you have taken lives, against the teachings of your Bible.


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Subject: RE: The Next To Die In Texas...
From: Mooh
Date: 23 Jun 00 - 09:07 PM

My $0.02 (Cdn funds):

I came to this thread a little late, and much of my thought on the matter has already been expressed. But since everyone seems to be weighing in with their feelings, here goes nothing.

State sanctioned execution violates my very personal feelings about how to treat one another. Those feelings are based largely on "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you", and the early (in life) realization that we so very often misjudge that the risk of being wrong, even within the capital punishment ethic, is so great that innocent lives are lost.

Further, I believe that if serious and radical attempts to train, rehabilitate, reform, educate, cure, council, and incarcerate were undertaken, a greater good would be served by the eventual release of validated and enlightened individuals. Warehousing people in prisons serves no purpose and only embitters the prisoner. However I also believe that "life" should mean the remaining lifetime of the offender assuming an appeal hasn't succeeded, and that most sentances are too short. Incarceration should include, as someone else pointed out, production of essentials and consumables required in prisons, by prisoners, not as slaves but as if they were commune workers.

Expensive? Yes. But since when has it been cheap to buy our way out of our mistakes as a society? My fear is that capital punishment doesn't really make a problem go away, and it reduces its practitioners to killers also, except that they're shielded by the law. (Btw, if it's legal, it doesn't mean it's right or just, but that's another thread.)

Last, I think it's important that the realized causes of crime be addressed by society in the hopes of reducing it. There's our famous gun control threads of course. Grinding poverty, failing education, illicit drugs, greed, moral decay, organized crime, and on and on and on...include the seven deadlies here...Generations will pass before success can be measured, but the quick fix of capital punishment doesn't get us there any sooner.

Peace, Mooh.


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Subject: RE: The Next To Die In Texas...
From: Brendy
Date: 23 Jun 00 - 09:10 PM

Nice one 'Spaw & Mooh

B.


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Subject: Lyr Add: I'VE GOT A LITTLE LIST (Gilbert&Sullivan)
From: GUEST,W. S. Gilbert
Date: 23 Jun 00 - 09:51 PM

Why stop with murderers & rapists??
Song-Ko-Ko with Chorus of Men:

As some day it may happen that a victim must be found,
I've got a little list-I've got a little list
Of society offenders who might well be underground,
And who never would be missed-who never would be missed!
There's the pestilential nuisances who write for autographs--
All people who have flabby hands and irritating laughs--
All children who are up in dates, and floor you with 'em flat--
All persons who in shaking hands, shake hands with you like that--
And all third persons who on spoiling téte-a-tétes insist--
They'd none of 'em be missed-they'd none of 'em be missed!

He's got 'em on the list-he's got 'em on the list;
And they'll none of 'em be missed-they'll none of 'em be missed.
There's the banjo serenader, and the others of his race,
And the piano-organist-I've got him on the list!
And the people who eat peppermint and puff it in your face,
They never would be missed-they never would be missed!
Then the idiot who praises, with enthusiastic tone,
All centuries but this, and every country but his own;
And the lady from the provinces, who dresses like a guy,
And who "doesn't think she waltzes, but would rather like to try";
And that singular anomaly, the lady novelist--
I don't think she'd be missed-I'm sure she'd not be missed!

He's got her on the list-he's got her on the list;
And I don't think she'll be missed-I'm sure she'll not
be missed!

And that Nisi Prius nuisance, who just now is rather rife,
The Judicial humorist-I've got him on the list!
All funny fellows, comic men, and clowns of private life-
They'd none of 'em be missed-they'd none of 'em be missed.
And apologetic statesmen of a compromising kind,
Such as-What d'ye call him--Thing'em-bob, and likewise-Never-mind,
And 'St-'st--'st-and What's-his-name, and also You-know-who-
The task of filling up the blanks I'd rather leave to you.
But it really doesn't matter whom you put upon the list,
For they'd none of 'em be missed-they'd none of 'em be missed!
 


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Subject: RE: The Next To Die In Texas...
From: DougR
Date: 23 Jun 00 - 10:42 PM

Anybody here have anything to say (good or bad) about the people who have suffered as a result of the actions of those folks the majority of you are willing to let live? I assume, since you feel the way you do, you are also willing to pay the taxes In the U.S. we have a trial system which may not be perfect, but I think it's better than the average system. Are mistakes made? Yes. Should every effort be made to insure that the person convicted receives a fair trial with good counsel? Yes. The punishment, however, should fit the crime.

I have no idea where those of you who equate the crucifiction of Christ with a cold blooded murder's execution are coming from.

DougR


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Subject: RE: The Next To Die In Texas...
From: catspaw49
Date: 23 Jun 00 - 10:53 PM

Well Doug, I didn't use that analogy, but.......

Jesus was in violation of the law.
People then paid taxes and had a judicial system.
He was found guilty of the crime as charged.
He was metered out punishment considered to be commensurate with that crime.

We may not agree with their system of justice, the ideas of the time, or the punishment, but perhaps 2000 years from now, someone will question our acts, in this time, with this system, in the same way.

Spaw


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Subject: RE: The Next To Die In Texas...
From: DougR
Date: 23 Jun 00 - 11:54 PM

Spaw: Equating the crucifixtion of Christ with modern day execution of people found guilty of capital crimes is still questionable in my opinion. Christ never took another person's life. The crimes he was charged with have nothing to do with modern day capital punishment. Would Christ have been sentenced to death under present day laws? No, I don't think so! But, respectfully, I submit that you are comparing apples with oranges.

If there are passages in the Bible that suggest a prohibition of capital punishment, I am not aware of them. If you or others disagree, I'd like to read your arguments. On the other hand, I hasten to add that I do not accept the writings in the Bible in a literal sense. If I did, I would be blind.

DougR


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Subject: RE: The Next To Die In Texas...
From: katlaughing
Date: 24 Jun 00 - 12:27 AM

Spawmyluv, that is some of the finest writing I've ever read. Thanks darlin'. Mooh, very, very good points, thanks to you, too.

DougeR, I am sorry I didn't get a chance to post this earlier. It must have been and probably still is very painful to live with your mother-in-law having been murdered. Thank you for sharing that with us. I am sorry for the tragedy. I also have to say, for all that I wish to abolish the death penalty to protect anyone who may possibly be innocent, if faced with what you have experienced and if they had found the person and knew beyond all doubt that person was the murderer, I think I would have a very hard time not wanting them put to death. I like to think that my beliefs which go mostly along the lines of Buddha, would help me through something so painful, but, as Spaw said, we are not that far from the tree, and the high emotions and feeling of impotence I know I would feel, would probably take over and I would want stark revenge.

kat


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Subject: RE: The Next To Die In Texas...
From: zonahobo
Date: 24 Jun 00 - 12:29 AM

Doug.. this was earlier posting .. guess us Arizonans have similar concerns:I'm with the beyond all doubt ultimate punishment for the ultimate crime group. I think as a society it's justified as self defense. I will not defend the right of a murderer to murder again. If someone was breaking down your front door intent on rape and murder of your whole household and you have "deadly force" at your disposal, do you defend your family? The system is flawed in many ways but I think many more criminals avoid punishment than truly innocent people get punished by the system. Most of the innocents (us) are much more likely to be victimized by criminals. Where do we want to spend what limited time we have? Should we be striving to protect and help the many more innocent, victimized by crime, members of our society or try to tear down what little protection we have.


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Subject: RE: The Next To Die In Texas...
From: BK
Date: 24 Jun 00 - 12:38 AM

As I've said before; I work w/these guys every day. For our lifetimes, in our democracy - badly flawed as it is - we will NEVER put the vast majority of these guys in an "8X8" indefinitely, nor have them work as in a commune. It AIN'T GONNA HAPPEN. They understand & pervert the system better than most lawyers & a very significant percentage will not work under any circumstance, & you can't make 'em work! They refuse, period. They are parasites, big time, & buddy, you'd better believe they've got RIGHTS!!!

Whoever said the murderers, child molesters & rapists very frequently serve less time than, for example, the non-violent professional bank robbers, who mostly don't even carry guns, was absolutely right on! And when you CAN keep them locked up for life it can be VERY cruel.

In some cases it REALLY drives them frighteningly, & pitiably, crazy. It would be safer for society, &, I often think, even kinder to some of the criminals, to execute them. These guys OFTEN kill other inmates & sometimes guards as well.

The main problem I have w/capital punishment is the massive dishonesty, prejudice & plain, bungling, idiotic incompetance that frequently hamstrings the effective, scientifically valid investigation & prosecution of these crimes. This is often how the innocent get on death row. (Even when guilty, they often die at 39, having killed at 17, due the lengthy appeals process...)

As an aside; often these chaps may be innocent of the specific murder they are accused of, but are serious carreer criminals, none-the-less. Some have bluntly told me so! One casually told me he'd killed "about 2 dozen" folks they couldn't convict him for & that he was convicted on a "phoney" charge. He & many others do not necessarily kill in a fit of rage; that assertion just ain't always so.. Many kill because they feel like it. It's a way of life for them. Some get their kicks inflicting terror & pain. There are endless variants. These are the cancer cells of society.

I do think the death sentance should be reserved for the massively guilty & the evidence & case proceedings examined for compenency by truly expert independant specialists before going foreward. Will this ever happen? I doubt it.

Then, of course there's the OJ case - in my educated opinion a man could hardly be more guilty & clearly got away w/murder. At least our society has now allowed wealthy, famous & well connected black man to join the ranks of well heeled white men who did likewise. Real social progress, huh?

Cheers, BK, who looks in the eye every day, not only the regular guys who made regretable mistakes they are "paying for," but also consumate, cold, calculating evil, in every variant & permutation that you could imagine, & many you couldn't imagine.


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Subject: RE: The Next To Die In Texas...
From: DougR
Date: 24 Jun 00 - 12:45 AM

Well, zonahobo, welcome to the minority (on the Mudcat that is). Don't know why it is so difficult for some folks to align themselves with the victims rather than the killers, but then I assume that they assume no one, ever, is guilty even if judged to be so by their peers. I suppose civilized folks (and that don't include us) should be content with a little wrist slapping and chiding those convicted of capital crimes with "you really shouldn't be doing that."

kat, my love, my attitude really isn't shaped by the terrible thing that happened to my mother-in-law. She was just one of thousands (millions?) of victims whose killer has never been found. I shouldn't have personalized the argument. I do think, however, if those so opposed to capital punishment experienced the loss of a loved one from a murder, it might give a bit more credibility to their argument. Perhaps there are those out there who have and if so, we just simply aren't on the same wave length.

However, those who are so anti-capital punishment should never complain about paying taxes. Those taxes pay for the care and feeding of those people who live thier lives out in prison rather than being executed.

DougR


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Subject: RE: The Next To Die In Texas...
From: catspaw49
Date: 24 Jun 00 - 12:56 AM

Doug my friend, I can understand your feelings although to experience themis certainly something else. But to continue our dialogue, I cannot nor would not try to justify the crucifixion of Jesus, nor could I view his "crime" as really being a crime at all. But in those times they were real and the punishment given by a "justice" system that I cannot justify either, was appropriate also to that time.

But as I said earlier above, we have to some degree progressed. And as we continue this process, we are starting to see a worldwide change in ideas and attitudes regarding capital punishment. In these times it is still viewed as suitable, but the times they are a changin'. Good, fine, intelligent people still support the death penalty as good, fine, intelligent, folks believed in crucifixion in the times of Jesus, and as good, fine, intelligent, people believed, not so long ago, that ownership of other human beings was an okay thing too.

Times change. Cultures change. Religions change. Civilization evolves. Sometime down the road, perhaps others will look upon us as we view those from previous times today.

Zonahobo......If you point a gun at me and I have a gun, I am going to try to kill you before you kill me. Doesn't make it right though. I will rationalize your death and I will try to remain mentally well, but it will continue to bother me. If the situation was as compelling as the one you describe, I will feel better, but the angst will still be there. A percentage of vets were troubled like that after WWII, but far more after VietNam. Point being, self-preservation is a basic need, but the reason will determine how well we adjust.

Times are times.......death is death........We still are not far from the trees.

Spaw


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Subject: RE: The Next To Die In Texas...
From: DougR
Date: 24 Jun 00 - 01:18 AM

Spaw, my friend. I give you the last word.

DougR


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Subject: RE: The Next To Die In Texas...
From: Mooh
Date: 24 Jun 00 - 08:17 AM

DougR, Besides "Thou shalt not kill." and "Do unto others..." ...which I do not know how to read in a nonliteral way.

Good discussion btw. Thanks. Mooh.


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Subject: RE: The Next To Die In Texas...
From: InOBU
Date: 24 Jun 00 - 09:00 AM

My dear DougR
As to equating the state killing Christ and killings here in the US, the Rosenburgs were guilty of the same crime, subverting the state and the Rosenburgh where likely both innocent and did not kill anyone. As to identifing with killers or the victems, let me pass on something which might help you to understand in terms of your own loss how I feel. Two events in my life brought home my stand on capitol punishment. The first was the stabbing of my father, some eleven or nineteen times, I forget the exact number now, some thirty some years later. I was sixteen and away for the weekend. So as not to worry me, my father, who came within moments of bleeding to death, insisted I not be called. I was met at the door and taken to my dad, when I returned. He could not move, as he was imobilized by bandages. He was stabbed in the back and the neck. I was in shock and angrey, my dad, who was a writer and ex-coal miner, a powerful and unique political thinker, who could only whisper at that point said to me, "don't you be more hurt than I was. Don't let this change the way you look at the world. Don't let it change your politics." Later I found out the man who murdered my mother's whole family, indeed her people, Romania's Roma "Gypsy" population, was alive and well and living as a bishop in New York. As you could emagine, my first impluse was to exact vengence. I then realized to do that would be to say that those of us he killed were no better than he was, only that he had the power to act on his murderous impulses. As a tribute to the innocents he killed, I often said in law school, and stick to that belief, that I would even defend Valerian Triffa, the butcher who killed my family, so Triffa may know that in his shoes, those he murdered whould prove better people.
well thats it
all the best and greaving for your loss,
Larry


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Subject: Lyr Add: DEAD MAN WALKING BLUES
From: The Shambles
Date: 24 Jun 00 - 09:23 AM

Dead Man Walking Blues

My lips are dry, I can't talk
I've got to steel myself for one last walk
I can't run with these chains, you see
There's no hurry, they won't start without me
Dead man walking, the star of the show
Dead man walking, away from death row
Dead man waking, walking slow

You may say, all my life I've been no good
I would have done better, if only I could
But up to now no one noticed me
Now I see myself on the T.V.
Dead man walking, the star of the show
Dead man walking, away from death row
Dead man waking, walking slow

My performance may make the news
But I won't be around, to read the reviews
Ain't up to me who they invite
Who will watch my first and last night?
Dead man walking, the star of the show
Dead man walking, away from death row
Dead man waking, walking slow

The good book may say it but it don't mean it's the truth
An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth
I did wrong on that fateful night
But two wrongs, they won't make it right
Dead man walking, the star of the show
Dead man walking, away from death row
Dead man waking, walking slow

My deed was in the heat of that hour
But it don't excuse the abuse of my power
But the cleaner you try to make my death seem
Just seems to make it more obscene!
Dead man walking, the star of the show
Dead man walking, away from death row
Dead man waking, walking slow

Dead man walking, the star of the show
Dead man walking, away from death row
Dead man waking, walking slow

Roger Gall 1998


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Subject: Lyr Add: THE IRON LADY (Phil Ochs)
From: Greg F.
Date: 24 Jun 00 - 09:35 AM

Here's a thirty-five year old perspective:

The Iron Lady
( Phil Ochs)



Have you seen the iron lady's charms
Legs of steel, leather on her arms
Taking on a man to die
A life for a life, an eye for an eye
And death's the iron lady in the chair



Stop the murder, deter the crimes away
Only killing shows that killing doesn't pay
Yes that's the kind of law it takes
Even though we make mistakes
And sometimes send the wrong man to the chair



In the death row waiting for their turn
No time to change, not a chance to learn
Waiting for someone to call
Say it's over after all
They won't have to face the justice of the chair



Just before they serve him one last meal
Shave his head, they ask him how he feels
Then the warden comes to say goodbye
Reporters come to watch him die
Watch him as he's strapped into the chair



And the chaplain, he reads the final prayer
Be brave my son, the Lord is waiting there
Oh murder is so wrong you see
Both the Bible and the courts agree
That the state's allowed to murder in the chair



In the courtroom, watch the balance of the scales
If the price is right, there's time for more appeals
The strings are pulled, the switch is stayed
The finest lawyers fees are paid
And a rich man never died upon the chair



Have you seen the iron lady's charms
Legs of steel, leather on her arms
Taking on a man to die
A life for a life, an eye for an eye
That's the iron lady in the chair


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Subject: RE: The Next To Die In Texas...
From: The Shambles
Date: 24 Jun 00 - 10:34 AM

However you deal with the perpetrator of a crime, it must be recognised that it is damage limitation. All the options are not good. Nothing that is subsequently done to that person, even if you have correctly identified them, will compensate or repair the harm caused to the victims of that crime.

Once this is finally accepted and also that the threat of capital punishment is not a deterrent, more emphasis can be placed on preventing the crimes from being committed?


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Subject: RE: The Next To Die In Texas...
From: catspaw49
Date: 24 Jun 00 - 10:45 AM

Absolute and dead truth Shambles.

Spaw


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Subject: RE: The Next To Die In Texas...
From: Ebbie
Date: 24 Jun 00 - 11:17 AM

"The system is flawed in many ways but I think many more criminals avoid punishment than truly innocent people get punished by the system." Zonahobo, if I find myself railroaded and on the track to prison or execution- and I am innocent of any capital offense,I'm not going to be thinking, "Yes, they got the wrong person this time but on the whole they get the right person so I'm not going to complain." It matters to me!

I'm with those who simply don't see the right of anyone to commit the same act they object to. Especially in cold blood. As someone else has said, if someone breaks into my home, threatening the safety of me and mine, tough; they may end up dead; and at least I know I got the right person. But as Catspaw said, I will spend the rest of my life trying to come to terms with my act.

Ebbie


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Subject: RE: The Next To Die In Texas...
From: Brendy
Date: 24 Jun 00 - 11:41 AM

And there are, of course, people who have had more than 5 family members killed for no other reason than their religion, and who still do not support capital punishment.

To forgive is....

B.


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Subject: RE: The Next To Die In Texas...
From: DougR
Date: 24 Jun 00 - 11:42 AM

Mooh: I agree that it has been a good discussion. No minds were changed, however, on either side. "Thou shalt not kill" and "Do unto others", however, are rules that one would hope all individuals would practice. Unfortunately, not all people do. I am not certain myself that the writer of those Biblical verses was referring to the "State" when he wrote them either. I assume you do agree that the "State" has a legitimate roll in protecting the good guys from the bad ones. Es so?

Larry, I'm sorry if I gave the impression that I was still greiving over a murder that occurred over thirty years ago. The greiving is over. I do regret that someone prevented my wife's mother from enjoying the pleasure of seeing her grandchildren grow up. That would have happened, of course, had she died an early natural death, but that wasn't the case. A man (we know that much) conciously took her life. Not with a gun (so we can't blame guns in this case), nor a knife (can't blame them either), but with his hands. He strangled her to death. In my opinion, society has a right to be protected from such people, and the only way to insure that is the case is execute them. Get them off the street. I do not believe society has the obligation to feed, clothe and shelter them for the rest of their lives. Obviously this is a minority opinion in the forum. So be it. If polls show that the pendulum of public opinion is swinging away from favoring capital punishment then so be it. I then will be counted among the minority rather than the majority. One last comment regarding Larry's posting: I never at anytime felt that I, personally, would extract "an eye or an eye, tooth for a tooth" if given the opportunity. And, since I assume you are a lawyer, I can understand that you would represent, if called upon, the butcher who slaughterd so many of your people. That is the role of the lawyer in our society and I think you should. I think the perpertrators of the kind of capital crimes we are discussing should have the absolutely best counsel possible. I agree that is not always the case. That is why we have the Appeals process. In the case of those sentenced to death (in the U.S. at least) the majority of those convicted take advantage of every Appeal possible. It's not a perfect system to be sure. But who knows of a better one?

I am confident that I changed no minds of any who have posted to this Thread. Frankly, that was not my purpose. I had my say, and am pleased that my minority veiws were read and did not result in any raging, irresponsible, flaming (yet). Peace.

DougR


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Subject: RE: The Next To Die In Texas...
From: GUEST,Roger the skiffler
Date: 26 Jun 00 - 11:03 AM

There was what I am sure is a scurrilous rumour that Texas was going to introduce an electric sofa to enable them to get rid of the backlog by executing people in threes. No, it couldn't really be true...?
RtS


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Subject: RE: The Next To Die In Texas...
From: kendall
Date: 26 Jun 00 - 01:38 PM

Doug, I could be a real smart ass and say you ARE blind!! by the way, that was a very funny, and extremely subtle remark. I admire your wit. Now, the gas thing, if what you believe is true, that it is the fault of the government, how come it just happened in an election year? Who is looking into this price increase? a bunch of republicans? Kinda like sending Bugs Bunny to guard the carrots... The matter of expense to keep criminals behind bars, the fact is, it costs MORE to execute them what with decades on death row, and all those appeals. I say lock them up and literally, throw the key away. Someone mentioned having executions on TV? Have we all studied the decline and fall of the Roman empire? See any similarities?


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Subject: RE: The Next To Die In Texas...
From: InOBU
Date: 26 Jun 00 - 01:48 PM

My dear friend DougR:
Unfortunately appeals are balenced against a notion called judicial eficency, by which notion the Supreme Court ruled that it was not unconstitutional to exicute a man in a case where DNA evidence proved that, beyond any doupt, the condememed man was innocent-, in Texes about four or five years ago if my memory serves, So, if this institutionalised culture of revenge now has corrupted to the point that in this land of freedom, the state can, without offending the Constituion, committ murder, for the sake of judical efficency, after a spesific number of appeals have been exhausted, well, pardon me if I say, this is no longer the nation I was born into. With some 87 innocent men killed by the state, and 24 or so proven innocent while on death row, let us stop making the argument that it is about the rightness or wrong of state killings, it is about certanty, humans cannot be certain enough to impower an uncaring state to kill.
Larry PS Would you trust someone who payed 50,000 for a toilet seat to have life and death power over you or your child's life :-0 or :-)


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Subject: RE: The Next To Die In Texas...
From: The Shambles
Date: 26 Jun 00 - 03:05 PM

It would be a brave experiment to introduce the death penalty for 'minor' crimes like mugging, robbery, burglary, shoplifting and drink driving offences. If we did actually manage to quickly execute those convicted, the subsequent crime statistics would then demonstrate once and for all if capital punishment was a deterrent?

For these crimes, it may very well turn out to be a deterrent? Then we may find that we have many further problems?

One of the problems with executions on this scale would, be to find enough people willing to do the practical things like push the buttons, pull the levers and watch all these people die. It seems to be agreed that we are generally a more violent society but strangely there still appears to be a shortage of willing executioners? I wonder how many of those supporters of the death penalty would be willing to actually execute and continue to kill those convicted? ……Would you?

That is why we come up with all these 'infernal machines' to do the dirty work for us and to try and enable us and those unfortunate souls, involved in the process of being 'hit-men for the state', to sleep at night. A return to public executions with one person with sharp axe, would at least be a more honest approach?

There is no nice or clean way from the state to coldly take a person's life away. The attempts we presently make to achieve this are hypocritical and obscene.

I am generally in favour of compromise but on this issue, the results of that compromise are clearly unsatisfactory. On this issue, it is really a case of all or nothing.

Extract from the Daily Mail 17th March 2000.
A serial killer who sexually abused 100 boys, before strangling them and dissolving their cut-up bodies in acid has been sentenced to die in the same way. A judge in Pakistan yesterday told Javed Iqbal that he will be publicly strangled, cut into 100 pieces and dumped in a vat of acid.

Prosecutor Burhan Moaazam said the sentence on Iqbal was fitting as a warning to others. 'the accused was not a man, he was a beast', he said. 'What was announced by the learned judge was right for him'. However Pakistan's interior minister said such public executions were not permitted and would be challenged in the High Court. Moinudeen Halder said 'we are signatories to the Human Rights Commission. Such punishments are not allowed'.

The above was originally posted in this earlier thread Songs about capital punisment.


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Subject: RE: The Next To Die In Texas...
From: InOBU
Date: 26 Jun 00 - 03:38 PM

Interesting post, Shambles:
In fact, you hit the nail on the head. In England, in the eighteenth cent. one was hanged for everyting from bigamy to pety theift. It did little to stop crime, but it did, nearly bring England to revolution, and transportation was introduced as a safty valve. You remind me to recomend to all who are interested in the historical basis for saying there is no deterant in Capitol punishment, the book Fatal Shore, about the settlement of Australia. The point of the book is that crime is more affected by equal opportunity than by punnishment.
All the best
Larry


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Subject: RE: The Next To Die In Texas...
From: Mbo
Date: 26 Jun 00 - 03:43 PM

I'm telling you, ya gotta dig some holes in the Antartican permafrost and put them in it. Remember the Klingon dilithium mine penal colony on the ice asteroid Rura Penthe in Star Trek VI:The Undiscovered Country? Gives new meaning to the term "in the freezer"...


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Subject: RE: The Next To Die In Texas...
From: GUEST,Potter
Date: 26 Jun 00 - 04:08 PM

It is doubtful that we will find redemption from our baser natures unless there is something forcing us, both individually and collectively, to face the consequences of the evil we do. We don't put someone to death because they are worse than us, we do it because they are JUST LIKE US and we desire the greatest possibility for them and us to realize our evil and turn from it. It's a bitter pill to swallow in an age where rationalization has allowed us to live with ourselves in our evil, not realizing that all the while it is escalating.


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Subject: RE: The Next To Die In Texas...
From: kendall
Date: 26 Jun 00 - 04:27 PM

In the story, Les Miserable, Jean val Jean was sentenced to 10 years in a galley (not to be confused with a cooking job) for stealing a loaf of bread. He stole it because his family was hungry. Period. In those days, there were the very rich and the dirt poor. The poor had NO OTHER OPTION. There was no welfare then, you stole, or you went hungry.


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Subject: RE: The Next To Die In Texas...
From: katlaughing
Date: 26 Jun 00 - 05:04 PM

And that is still what is happening, Kendall, in the extreme poverty of the Muslim countries. Just finished the book, I think I mentioned above, about the state of women in those countries. Hands are cut off if a woman is caught wearing nail polish! Fingers are screwed together and eyes and ears are drilled with electric drills to extract false confessions of guilt. The right wing extremists wreak havoc among the poor and women, especially. I don't think going back to public executions or severe penalties for petty theft is what we should be doing. Somehow humankind needs to grab the next rung in the evolutionary ladder and climb it. There has to be a better way than going back.


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Subject: RE: The Next To Die In Texas...
From: Jim the Bart
Date: 26 Jun 00 - 06:33 PM

kat - That was the gist of my first post. A discussion of the fairness or justice of our system misses the point. It's that old Ghandi-esque argument: You can't end violence through more violence. The karma of your application of justice reverberates and cannot be explained away with a "he had it coming".

There has to be a point where you stand up and ask the question: ARE WE NOT MEN?


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Subject: RE: The Next To Die In Texas...
From: GUEST,Mbo_at_ECU
Date: 26 Jun 00 - 06:44 PM

Gandhi said "All through history the way of truth and love has always won. There have been tyrants and murderers, and for a time they can seem invincible, but in the end they always fall, always."

--Mbo


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Subject: RE: The Next To Die In Texas...
From: Mooh
Date: 26 Jun 00 - 07:17 PM

DougR,

Actually, I do think that "do unto others..." and "thou shalt not kill" were intended universally, for states, groups and individuals. States shouldn't be able to opt out of these, but that's my view, states being a group of individuals. That individuals don't adhere to these, means all the more that states should. In the end I can't change the world, but I can change myself and "my back yard". I can't enforce my views, but I can represent my views by word and action. Hopefully I can do this and die without regret, and with hope that I have been true to myself.

No minds have been changed? Perhaps. Opened? Yup.

Still mudcatting. Mooh.


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Subject: RE: The Next To Die In Texas...
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 26 Jun 00 - 07:48 PM

How exceptional does something have to be before it ckunts as "unusual"? Sooner or later the minority of countries which still have Capital Punishment will drop it. And eventually it'll be so unusual that the US Constitution ban on "cruel and unusual puinishment" will kick in.

And even now I'm pretty sure that killing somebody after keeping them in jail for 19 years for a crime they may have committed when they were 17 is definitely an extremely unusual thing to do in any part of the world, including China, Saudi Arabia and Afghanistan.

And I don't think you'd find that many people, even among supporters of capital punishment who wouldn't think it was cruel - even if they believed the cruelty was justified.


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Subject: RE: The Next To Die In Texas...
From: DougR
Date: 26 Jun 00 - 08:11 PM

So. Does anyone have any strong feelings about this subject?

DougR


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Subject: RE: The Next To Die In Texas...
From: BK
Date: 26 Jun 00 - 11:04 PM

Many things in the real world are ugly beyong any reasonable explanation or comprehension. To those who would "8X8" or "throw away the key," or make 'em do "hard labor" (THAT one's REALLY a laugh!!!!).

Get a job in any prison system; work it a while - don't run away. Do your best to remain ethical & considerate, hard working.. Make damn sure you don't sink to the ethical level of the more dysfunctional among the inmate population. Then tell us what you think can REALLY happen.

Suffice it to say that it (8X8, etc) AIN'T GONNA HAPPEN. It is truely not realistic.

Like treatment options for many biological diseases - diabetes mellitus comes to mind - there are NO good choices for dealing with many of the human race's sickest individuals. (& perhaps groups.. but ya gotta be careful.. Meanwhile, back at the ranch, the very groups some have mentioned are eyeing the nuclear arsenal of the former Soviet Union.. [We need a folk song abt the Mullah's w/their fingers on the buttons..] sleep soundly, gang.)

Cheers, BK


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Subject: RE: The Next To Die In Texas...
From: GUEST
Date: 26 Jun 00 - 11:33 PM

No you don't. You just need another enemy to take your people's minds off the REAL problems of life.


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Subject: RE: The Next To Die In Texas...
From: DougR
Date: 27 Jun 00 - 12:26 AM

Guest: Which are?

DougR


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Subject: RE: The Next To Die In Texas...
From: JamesJim
Date: 27 Jun 00 - 01:18 AM

I'm always late on these kinds of threads, mainly because I shy away from them (as long as I can). These thoughts keep coming to me and I can't avoid it anymore.

Here's the story (part true, part imagined) of two young men. One became a policeman, just like his father. He was from a good, but poor family. He wanted to save people from injustice. He had watched his father all of his young life and he was very proud. He listened intently to the stories his father would tell at night. He saw the agony on his father's face when he had witnessed death; when humanity had been inhumane. Yet, his father would go back the next day and the next and the next. He was so proud of his father. He wanted to become a policeman some day. And so he did.

The other young man wanted to join a gang. He wanted to be the leader of the gang. He too came from a good but poor family, but he made poor decisions with his life. His father, a common laborer who worked very hard to feed his family, tried to keep him from joining the gang. His mother pleaded with him not to join. They said he was a good boy, but he was associating with the wrong kind of people. Those bad boys would only corrupt him. At 12, just to prove his manhood, he stole a car. He wrecked it, was caught and served a few months in detention. At 13, he stole a gun. His first gun. At 14 he became brave enough to use his gun and he robbed a service station. He was caught and again was sentenced to a short stay in detention. He told his family he had changed. He said he was on the road to rehabilitation. They believed him. At 16 he got ahold of an assault rifle. He got it from a "friend." He traded a stolen video camera for it. At 17, he was dealing drugs and shaking down anyone in his pathway.

One dark night, the two young men met. The second young man, now the leader of a gang, had just shot another young member of a rival gang. The first young man, now 24 and in his first year as a police officer, made the scene just in time to see his young rival fleeing. He ordered him to stop and give up his weapon. Instead, the young gang leader stopped, turned and fired. The policeman fell. The gang member approached and shot him again, until he was dead.

One wore blue and one wore black. Both were poor. One decided to uphold the law and protect the public, the other, to become an outlaw. Both had guns. One issued, one no doubt stolen. One tried to stop a murder. One murdered. One wants mercy, the other was once merciful. One's parents want him to be saved. The other's parents want justice. The jury said guilty - put the young man to death. The young man said he did not get a fair trial. He continued to be more concerned about himself than anyone or anything else.

The judge contrasted the two lives. He said it wasn't the parent's fault. It wasn't societies fault. It wasn't the gun's fault. It wasn't the other gang member's fault. It was clearly the young man's fault. He should and now must take responsibility for his own actions. The judge formally sentenced him to death.

Could the young man be saved? Could he be rehabilitated? He says he can. He says he already is. I don't believe him, but it's so sad to see a young life end. "Dead man walking" is so appropriate. He could be 35 or 40 before he dies. There are thugs and then there are thugs. Can you be hardened at 17? Perhaps. I struggle with this whole issue, then I see guys like O.J. get away. If anyone deserves to die, it's him. I'll bet most people feel like me. If I were asked to vote straight up or down on the death penalty, I'd say yes. If I'm given extenuating circumstances, I suddenly am on the fence. Again, no answers. God help us. Peace to all. Jim


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Subject: RE: The Next To Die In Texas...
From: Terry K
Date: 27 Jun 00 - 02:37 AM

BK - I can't believe how ignored you have been - your 12.38 posting on the 24th says so much of the reality of crime.

I'm another to add to the minority here, I have more going for the victims of crime than for the perpetrators -mainly because the perpetrators get to CHOOSE whether to be involved in crime or not, whereas the victims have their rights of choice taken away from them by the criminals.

So I'd ask everyone to transcend the apple pie and the family Bible and get real.


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Subject: RE: The Next To Die In Texas...
From: kendall
Date: 27 Jun 00 - 06:18 AM

hey Doug, you mean like when Reagan invaded Granada to take our minds off Iran-Contre? or when George invaded Panama to take our minds off the resession?


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Subject: RE: The Next To Die In Texas...
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 27 Jun 00 - 07:36 AM

Or Clinton bombing a factory that made medicines in Sudan to take our mind of Monica? There are a lot of murderers around that never get brought to trial.

Things that seem impossible and unrealistic in one part of the world and one part of history are just normal in some other places and times. Not having policemen on the streets with guns would seem like a crazy dream in some places and times. Not having prisons that make people worse seems like a crazy dream in some places and times. There are places and times where murder is a routine activity, and places and times where it is a rare and terrible occurrence.

It's too easy to think that the way it is in our place and our time is how it's always got to be.

And having executions only happens in a relatively few countries, and most of them are not very nice places (the exception on the whole being the USA.) The rest of the world gets along pretty well without them. Honest.


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Subject: RE: The Next To Die In Texas...
From: InOBU
Date: 27 Jun 00 - 08:34 AM

Well, as I don't think many are going to take my advice and read the Fatal Shore, in responce to Jim's excellent post, and those who speak of choice, here is the point many social science scholars take from the book. Rehabilitation does not occure on an individual level often, it takes a society dedicated to fairness, which we are far from in America these days.
The Austrailian Colony was set up as a responce to the social instability caused by exicuting large numbers of excess population, put off the land because of the move from tenant farming, labour intesive, to industrialism, labour efficent - so large numbers of displaced former farmers where unable to find a place in society and pressed to steel, and were hanged for the price of a pig. It was believed that, after loosing the American colonies, England could turn a profit in Australia, they could not. It was hard to get into the interior and as a result, work camps became death camps, as the colonies could not sustain themselves, and shortly that was OK with Britain, better to kill the convicts slowly away from the eyes of family and friends. The death camps did little to lower the crime rate in England, and the convicts were so pressed that they resorted to canabalism often, in the camps. Then the interior of Australia was opened and the convicts were needed as farmers, with in the same generation the same convicts who were so dehumanised as to become canabals became judges police officers and politicians. The need for labourers created immagration from England and the crime rate droped. Now at the same time, why did England loose the American colonies, well, the rich planters, like Hamilton, were not alowed to industrialise, so they indulged in the drug deeling of their day, selling rum and whiskey, to create an ecconomy they could control, not unlike Nicky Barnes selling Heroin, and in order to mainstream that ecconomy, they rebelled, however, when the contenental army attempted to get an even shake in the new ecconomy, Shay's Rebellion, they were hanged by the aristocrates who rebelled to legalise their crimes. So it is not about complete poverty, it is about equal opportunity. Washington, Jefferson, Henry, slave owners and aristocrates spoke of the SLAVERY of English rule, as they could not compete equally with a rather inlightened government for its day. So if they could not be expected to behave, how can we hope for good behaveior from those in the US with such limits on opportunities that exist among the victems of innner city public schooling in the US. Lets stop concentrating on killing to keep people in line and democratize our ecconomy. that is it in a all too short nutshell
Larry


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Subject: RE: The Next To Die In Texas...
From: kendall
Date: 27 Jun 00 - 08:58 AM

Remember the two children under the cloak of the Ghost of Christmas, present? They were, I believe, Poverty and Ignorance. Those two birds are the main culprits. Poverty breeds crime breeds poverty etc. The cure? Equal opportunity...simple, right? not as long as human nature makes some of us greedy enough to want it all at the expense of all others. Their motto? "Pull up the ladder, I'm aboard."


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Subject: RE: The Next To Die In Texas...
From: Mbo
Date: 27 Jun 00 - 09:21 AM

"They are your children Scrooge, Ignorance and Want....they are hidden now, but still they live...."

--Mbo


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Subject: RE: The Next To Die In Texas...
From: kendall
Date: 27 Jun 00 - 10:34 AM

I stand corrected, thanks Mbo


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Subject: RE: The Next To Die In Texas...
From: DougR
Date: 27 Jun 00 - 01:54 PM

McGrath of Harlow's comment about Clinton and the medicine factory zipped on by without further comment, didn't it? Kendall, was anybody injured or killed in that fiasco? I suppose it was justified though. Folks did get their minds off Monicagate for a day or two.

DougR


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Subject: RE: The Next To Die In Texas...
From: kendall
Date: 27 Jun 00 - 02:33 PM

And when the Actor bombed Kadhaffys little child? Not a lot of heros in DC eh?


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Subject: RE: The Next To Die In Texas...
From: InOBU
Date: 27 Jun 00 - 05:05 PM

Kendall:
Great image. I always feel that moment and the movie or book "to Kill a Mockingbird" really have great meaning and should be seen often. As to himan nature, I have lived and worked with hunter gatherer communities and much of the greed with think of as human nature is just the poor upbringing of capitalist culture. People don't suck by nature.
Larry


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Subject: RE: The Next To Die In Texas...
From: Jed at Work
Date: 27 Jun 00 - 05:45 PM

The basic fallacy of Marx is his belief that humans are basically good and that some external evil leads them astray. In truth people are people; some will give you the shirt off their back, while others will kill you for your sneakers. And worse then that, we are inconsisten - the same individuals who are capable of noble selfless even heroic deeds are also capable of doing evil.

Capitalism does not create greed and other human failings. The short comings are there, it is a truely worthwhile calling to try to rise above those shortcomings - and I find it has been a lifetime task.


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Subject: RE: The Next To Die In Texas...
From: kendall
Date: 27 Jun 00 - 07:44 PM

..."Nature, Mr. Allnut, is what we are put on earth to rise above." Rose..African Queen.


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Subject: RE: The Next To Die In Texas...
From: JedMarum
Date: 28 Jun 00 - 12:01 AM

somethin' like that.


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Subject: RE: The Next To Die In Texas...
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 28 Jun 00 - 05:46 AM

"Capitalism does not create greed and other human failings." No, but it treats them as resources to be encouraged and exploited. If we stopped being greeedy and envious and trying to do each other down the system who be rocked to its foundations.

Of course it isn't just capitalism, which is really just a system of creative accountancy. The only three countries which execute more of it scitizens than the USA - Iran, China and Saudi Arabia - aren't exactly conventionally capitalist.

But a society which sets out to try to make people obsessed with thinking they need things they don't have, and that they are individually failures in life if they don't get a march ahead of their neighbours is bound to involve a heavy cost in human suffering. And the main victims are the poor and the powerless, both sides of the law.


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Subject: RE: The Next To Die In Texas...
From: GUEST,Roger the skiffler
Date: 28 Jun 00 - 06:41 AM

Just had a network crash so I hope you don't get this twice. The subject of this thread is desperately serious but does lend itself to what I suppose is literally gallows humour. One aspect is the pandering to the press ghouls by publishing details of "last meal" requests. I can't help but wonder why sometimes they contain diet cola, decaff, lowfat spread, low tar cigs etc.
RtS (who's seen too many miscarriages of justice over the last 50-odd years to be comfortable with an ultimate sanction that can't be reversed)


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Subject: RE: The Next To Die In Texas...
From: DougR
Date: 29 Jun 00 - 12:28 AM

I just heard on the evening news that Texas has a new "victim" in the wings. I can't remember his name but he was found guilty of murdering his girl friend, and her two sons. He was found guilty and sentenced to die. He swears he is innocent, of course,even though he was found with the blood of all three victims on his clothes. Texas is going to execute him if he is not rescued pretty quickly.

Get with it Kendall et all, I'm sure you can find a reason to turn him loose! He reportedly was drunk when he confessed to doing it, so a case might be made for extenuating circumstances, or something.

He may have had abusive parents, a poor school or Sunday school teacher, a history of drug or alcohol abuse, or questionable genes that forced him to do it of course.

Anyway, this gives the Liberals another shot at the Republican candidate which should make some folks mighty happy, and more fodder for Bush bashing.

DougR


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Subject: RE: The Next To Die In Texas...
From: Terry K
Date: 29 Jun 00 - 12:51 AM

I'll be first to volunteer to turn him loose - just as soon as he brings his girlfriend and her two sons back to life.

Terry


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Subject: RE: The Next To Die In Texas...
From: Sorcha
Date: 29 Jun 00 - 01:08 AM

I posted once to this, and have not read it since, including now, but if you want to continue discussing it, there needs to be a Part II, which I am not starting because I am not really in on the discussion. This is too long for a lot of peoples' servers. Thank you, commercial break over.


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