Mister Eclectic (howeird) wrote,
Mister Eclectic

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Till Death Do Us Part

Much flap lately about the death penalty. And there's a quite useless feel-good meme going around of a pie chart showing that the only result of gay mariage is gays will get married. So last night in a dream I put two and two together and came up with the idea that "till death do us part" is kind of a death penalty which will now be applicable to gays.

But seriously:
I am not opposed to the death penalty, but I think it should be rarely applied in only the most heinous crimes.
I am opposed to prosecuting someone based only on circumstantial evidence.

One of the few precepts of Jewish law with which I completely agree is the rule for convicting a person of a crime:
Circumstantial evidence is inadmissible; to convict the defendant two qualified witnesses who have no material interest in the case are required. Prosecution witnesses are disqualified if they are motivated by a desire to testify in order to escape punishment. The witnesses must be warned about the graveness of perjury in general and in connection with capital punishment in particular.[1]

Troy Davis. The folks who have been moaning the loudest about the injustice of the execution are fond of pointing out that seven out of nine witnesses against Davis have recanted their testimony. That leaves two who did not. And that's all it takes, if those two meet the above requirements. Looking more closely at the records of Davis' final appeal, not all seven of the witnesses had actually recanted, and whether Davis was the person who pulled the trigger or not is irrelevant, since all witnesses confirmed he was at the scene and took part in the violence which resulted in a person's death. So his conviction and sentencing may have been "kosher". There does not seem to be reasonable doubt that he participated in the fatal event.

Another part of the hue and cry about this case is the defendant is black, the victim white. IMHO, more of a trigger for the push for the death penalty is the fact that the victim was a police officer. A police officer who was off-duty and attempted to stop the senseless beating of a homeless person, and was murdered for his humanitarian actions. I call that a heinous crime.

OTOH, the cheers at the GOP events when Perry brags about how many people Texas has put to death - that's disgusting. Texas should be ashamed of the fact that they place so little value on the lives of their own citizens.

For those who are against the death penalty, I sympathize and see your points. I just believe there are a few people who should not be allowed to share our planet, and putting them in prison does not make us safe from them.

Tags: philosophy, politics

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