Friday, June 19, 2015

Answering a Conservo Blogger On Whether I Am A Death Penalty "Hypocrite"

A particular conservative blogger on reading my first post on Dylann Roof's racist mini-genocide of blacks and calling for him to be "partially electrocuted until his eyes are popping...then sent to the gas chamber to finish him off" wrote:

If asked NOW how he feels about the death penalty would he answer "for", "against," or "only in cases where a white has murdered a black"? 

But let's clear the air on this, in case he missed my previous post on this issue. (Warning in advance - this argument is nuanced!) For reference he can check out my post:

And specifically where I wrote:

"At the time, in fact, I was a strong death penalty advocate given my belief that a small island nation didn't have the luxury of entertaining life in prison for murdering rats.  It simply didn't have the resources, or the manpower to dispense such sentences for stone killers (increasing in abundance since the island became a trans-shipmen point for drugs.) So the best solution was to "hang 'em high"."

Both the killers, btw, were black. Black Barbadian nationals. So I have had no qualms about executing black killers, nor do I now IF : a) they are truly guilty (many recent DNA tests have found accused black killers were actually innocent) and b) their trial doesn't inflict more harm than good on the victim families.

In the same post, this is why I was against just killing the Tsarnaev punk. Because there would be no rapid resolution and the horror of the families would be re-lived possibly for decades. As I noted:

"According to a CBS News report last night, the waiting time is 15 years on average between verdict and execution. And that is only for the states. For the federal government (under which laws Tsarnaev has received it) it could be much longer. One Boston College Prof interviewed said it could well be decades, if ever. All that time, Tsarnaev could be rotting in Supermax.

True, Timothy McVeigh was executed in 2003 under federal law for the Oklahoma City bombing in 1995, but that was only because he waived his right to further appeals. Make no mistake that Tsarnaev will not do the same. (And the first appeal is automatic.)  This is why the family of little Martin Richard pleaded for an end to it all by giving Tsarnaev life in prison.  The family's statement read:

"We hope our two remaining children will not have to grow up with the lingering, painful reminder of what the defendant took from them - which years of appeals would undoubtedly bring."

Thus even one of the Boston families advocated for a speedy end with life in prison as opposed to endless torturous rounds of appeals. Hence, I indicated this was the rational response to take - not to be interpreted as being against the death penalty per se, but rather against indefinitely long infliction of mental pain and grief on the affected families.

I also advocated for this resolution in the case of James Holmes, given his defense team has vowed they will "fight on for years, or decades" if need be. Each appeal coming with ever more witness appearances by the families as opposed to closure. So the question is: is it not better to end it than pick at a scab endlessly until it gets more painful and infected? I believe so!

Again, not to be construed as anti-death penalty but rather anti- torture for the victim families in a long, drawn out appeals process! And let me add again, the statistics don't favor an execution end for Tsarnaev as noted above. In the case of Holmes, most legal analysts are convinced he could survive for at least 20 years maybe more during appeals - all the time the families suffering - when locking him away would end it. And please note here that the race, or ethnicity of the victims is irrelevant to the long term mental cost inflicted on the families! Thus, my reasons for advocating for life in prison would be the same, IF the mental burden on the victims' families is the same. (It would evidently not be for Roof as he appears headed for a speedy trial and conviction with death penalty verdict 100% assured.)

Lastly, let me correct my blogger friend when he spiels that:

These 'new' (KKK) Klaverns are NOT racist, either. They are NOT anti-black (or latino, etc), but simply want to show their white heritage without the verbal slings and arrows - the same courtesy given to the NAACP, NBPP, and others.

Errrr..... no! The KKK Klaverns are as racist as ever they just disguised it under the veneer of "heritage". Alas, by resort to this codswallop they have my friend fooled they are only out for their own "racial pride". This bollocks, fortunately,  was actually exposed vividly in one 'Phil Donahue' episode (still have it on a VHS tape)  from the 1980s which featured Thomas Robb, former National Head of the KKK who was on the show. Robb also peddled this horse shit until Phil pressed him and his then wife-  as only Donahue could - finally getting the SOB to admit: "Okay, yeah, we don't want no blacks in our communities and this is our choice"

Segregation now, segregation then and segregation forever.

It's really sad these racist clowns and groups have so many snookered and even biting on the false equivalence crap, but there it is.

As for my blogger friend's persistence in claiming "all crimes are hate crimes" - despite the fact he gives a fairly clever bit of reasoning (a crime of one individual like Roof against a group can inspire hate from that group),  we shall have to agree to differ. After all, if I foolishly leave my home unlocked all night long and burglars walk in and help themselves to my electronic stuff - that is not hate, but a crime of opportunity. I may hate them for grabbing my stuff but the crime itself is not one of "hate". Ditto, if a foolish young college girl gets overly inebriated and sashays down a dark alley at midnight with only a bikini on. The rapist she encounters is governed more by opportunity than "hate". Now true, the incident may inspire hate among her peers, but the crime itself cannot be judged a "hate crime" unless other evidence appears - i.e. the rapist scrawls "I hate women" on her belly with a magic marker.

 I still go by what the federal definition of hate crime is (from the DOJ website), to wit:

Hate crime is the violence of intolerance and bigotry, intended to hurt and intimidate someone because of their race, ethnicity, national origin, religious, sexual orientation, or disability. The purveyors of hate use explosives, arson, weapons, vandalism, physical violence, and verbal threats of violence to instill fear in their victims, leaving them vulnerable to more attacks and feeling alienated, helpless, suspicious and fearful. Others may become frustrated and angry if they believe the local government and other groups in the community will not protect them. When perpetrators of hate are not prosecuted as criminals and their acts not publicly condemned, their crimes can weaken even those communities with the healthiest race relations.

No reasonable person I know of would disagree with that, but if my conservo friend does - well, we agree to disagree!

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