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gottaB Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Feb-19-04 06:57 AM
Original message
Guilt and Innocence
The death penalty is wrong because our criminal justice system is imperfect. Too many innocents have been falsely convicted of murder for us not to take notice (Righting Wrongs). As the article notes, John Kerry has first-hand experience with this issue. In his own words:


I'm proud to say that as a lawyer trying to build up a little private practice, we had an occasion to think beyond our own survival when my partner was appointed by the court to represent an indigent convict convicted of murder who had petitioned for a new trial. As the saying goes, everyone in prison says they're innocent - we'd been prosecutors and we knew the cynicism that surrounds incarceration. But we listened to this convict's story which had a special ring of truth and we began to dig - we pieced together the puzzle - and a year and a half later - after having worked to release an attorney from lawyer-client privilege after the death of a co-defendant, after even securing the testimony of a priest released from the vows of confession -we saw a man walk to freedom who had been incarcerated for fifteen years for a murder he didn't commit. He was no angel- but he did not deserve that kind of miscarriage of justice in the United States of America.

I will tell you the sense of accomplishment and reward for us was simply indescribable. I will never forget it. I come to this discussion having seen the power of the law to change people's lives for the better. To give them a voice when no one seems to listen. To bring justice to those who had given up on America. That's why I feel so strongly that we have a responsibility to combat the cynicism that has invaded our profession.

link



Sharpton and Kucinich have been steadfast opponents of the Death Penalty. Kucinich has introduced a moratorium bill in the House.

Kerry has not signed on to Feingold's companion bill, but he has signed on as a cosponsor of Feingold's National Death Penalty Abolition Act.

Edwards supports the Advancing Justice Through DNA Technology Act, which looks like it encompasses the provisions of the Innocents Protection Act. (Sorry, I don't know legislative history of that.) Kerry is also a cosponsor of that act.

George Bush fully supports the death penalty. Executions have been known to bring a smile to his face.



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union_maid Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Feb-19-04 07:24 AM
Response to Original message
1. Kill, kill, kill!!!
The American people like it. This one is going to be a tough hurdle for our candidate. I hope that he's well prepared for this one.
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gottaB Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Feb-19-04 07:50 AM
Response to Reply #1
2. The bloodlust exists
But it may be ebbing. Look at the Oscars. Theron may win best actress for Monster, and she has come out against the death penalty. The wingnuts will of course villify her, and Sean Penn, and Hollywood. Is that really a popular sentiment? I don't think so.

Lately I've seen the fundies talk about "the culture." That's their new codespeak. But my oh my, that's extremely paranoid. The culture war was a flop, so they've turned to a war on culture. That's clearly suicidal. At the end of the day, I think Americans will reject that kind of extreme hostility. Self-preservation has to kick in some time.

With the ongoing conflict in Iraq, I think the view of war as sport or spectacle is losing its hold.

Did you see Cold Mountain? I could be way off base in seeing Hollywood movies as a mirror of popular sentiments, but if I'm not, the mood this year is not kill, kill kill.



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HFishbine Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Feb-19-04 08:26 AM
Response to Original message
3. Edwards vote: Make 14 year-olds eligible for death penalty
Edwards voted for a bill (now law) that allows children as young as 14 to be tried as adults for federal crimes and therefore subject to the death penalty.

http://www.vote-smart.org/issue_keyvote_detail.php?vote...
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gottaB Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Feb-19-04 09:05 AM
Response to Reply #3
4. Kerry voted Yea as well
It was an omnibus juvenile crime bill, with provisions for prevention, punishment, and rehabilitation of juvenile offenders.

Wellstone led opposition. Here's one story.

Kucinich voted against a similar measure (HR 1501) in the House.
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HFishbine Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Feb-19-04 09:16 AM
Response to Reply #4
5. Thanks for pointing that out
Another reason to support DK.
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gottaB Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Feb-19-04 12:29 PM
Response to Reply #5
6. One of the best reasons
But I think there are differences between Kerry and Edwards, and Edwards and Bush, and we should see this issue clearly.
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gottaB Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Feb-19-04 06:37 PM
Response to Original message
7. One more kick
:kick:
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