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Thread: The Death Penalty and Schwarzenegger

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Posts
    1

    The Death Penalty and Schwarzenegger

    On January 19th of this year Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger allowed the
    first death sentence to be served in three years, and the first under
    Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger. That is almost copied straight from a
    news site (because honestly if I hadnít, thereís no way Iíd have been
    able to spell Arnieís name!)

    Anyway, I recently caught an ad for a movie on Court TV called The
    Exonerated. Itís based on true stories of several people who spent
    years on death row for crimes they didnít commit. The original version
    was a play which inspired my interest in the subject of the death
    penalty. I specifically remember one guy who spent something like 20
    years on death row before finally being cleared.

    Now before someone jumps all over me: Iím not saying that the guy who
    was just executed in California was innocent. But does anyone think
    itís acceptable that even one innocent person could be executed? I
    think itís about time this country joins the rest of the civilized
    world and adopts a more humane approach. For those of you still on the
    fence on this issue, Iíd check out this movie, because if itís anything
    like the play the personal stories will astound you. I think it airs on
    January 27 (but check courttv.com just in case Iím wrong). And if you
    have thoughts on this issue, Iíd like to hear them.

    Sylvio

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
    Posts
    4,821
    Thanks for your post. The United States needs to join the civilized world and pass a constitutional amendment banning killing by any State. It amounts to sanctioned revenge, in my opinion. Is the death penalty still an option in any other industrialized country?

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2002
    Location
    Houston
    Posts
    377
    No, it's not acceptable that even one innocent person could mistakenly be found guilty and then executed. But it happens. A few years ago, the governor of Illinois issued a moratorium on the State's use of the death penalty after some diligent journalism students at Northwestern University (my alma mater, by the way) researched several death penalty cases and found evidence exonerating several inmates on death row. The system was broken in Illinois, and it's broken in other states as well.

    Back to the topic of film, Errol Morris made a documentary called The Thin Blue Line, which detailed the case of a drifter found guilty of the shooting death of a Dallas police officer. The film brought attention to the case and helped the inmate gain a retrial. He was exonerated and is now a free man. It's a remarkable story.

    The United States is indeed the only "developed" country in the world still using the death penalty. Unfortunately, the death penalty is still strongly supported by Americans, with almost 80% saying they support its use. I'll try to catch the Court TV show, and hopefully it can help change a few more minds out there. Thanks for the info.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2002
    Location
    Raleigh, NC
    Posts
    1,590
    So many films have addressed this barbaric form of capital punishment over the years. Michigan was the first state in the union to ban the death penalty, then under a Republican govenor reversed their choice and reinstated it. It seems the public needs reminding again that juries and prosecutors are not perfect people and are often swayed by emotion, causing innocent men/women to perish in a system rank with corruption.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Posts
    50

    Yes.

    I couldn't agree more, tflon, and I don't think you're going to find much resistance in this forum.

    The Justice System is a mamoth beurocracy and beurocracy is far from perfect. Anyone who's had to deal with one (and that's everyone) can attest to that.

    The Tragically Hip, who have since become Canada's favourite rock band, wrote a song called Wheat Kings about David Milgard; a slow witted, meek teenager who was railroaded in to confessing to a murder by a zealous cop deep in the heart of Saskatchewan. Milgard spent a quarter century in jail before his name was cleared. The remarkable thing about Milgard was his attitude after the fact. He wasn't bitter or angry about it, he just wanted to look forward and get on with his life. Very noble.
    If Canada still had the death penalty... well... I don't even want to think about it.
    Hurricane Carter also comes to mind, and there's a rock song about that one, too. (An EPIC rock song.)

    The other side of this is a philosophical one. I personally don't believe in handing the power of life or death over to the church or state. Whether one deserves to die or not isn't a decision that they're entitled to make.

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