The headlines read:"TWO PEOPLE HACKED TO DEATH WITH AXES!!""POISONED WIFE CUT UP: BODY PARTS FOUND IN NEARBY WOODED AREA!!""TEACHER BEAT TO DEATH WITH BASEBALL BAT!!" In the United States, Capital Punishment is a legal penalty at the federal level. It is also a legal penalty for some military offenses. Capital Punishment is still available in 27 states and in American Samoa. Capital Punishment has been abolished in 23 states and the federal capital, Washington D.C. Why do headlines like these shock us? We still continue to finish listening to the story on the news or read the rest of the article. "How could someone do that?" "My God, I can't believe one human being could do that to another!" The Death Penalty used to be completed by a firing squad, by hanging, by gas chamber, or by use of the electric chair. [Much closer to an eye for an eye] Then came the lethal injection. Might I remind you that we send our much loved cats and dogs to Heaven in the same manner. Along with my English classes and teaching credentials, I also completed a Criminal Justice minor. For seven months, after I retired, I was a correctional officer for the Ottawa County Sheriff's Office in Minneapolis, Kansas. My area of focus in my CJ minor was the serial killer. [I was still in Kansas when BTK was finally caught. Kansas had dropped the death penalty by the time he was caught. When his daughter was on Dr. Phil, I was incensed to learn that this serial killer was allowed to stroll out of his cell to get fresh coffee. Definitely NOT right! I took a class on the Famous Serial Killers. Ted Bundy got Old Sparky, the electric chair in Florida. Many other serial killers merely got life sentences. Much kinder than what they did to their victims! I read at least six books on Bundy and watched numerous documentaries. We also studied Gacy, Dahmer, the Iceman, the Boston Strangler, and Son of Sam. Believe me, this course was not for the faint of heart, but the mind of the serial killer has always fascinated me. Were they born that way? Was it their childhood? What happened? Every time a case occurs with a choice of a life sentence or the death penalty, a strange event takes place from the jury box to the jury room. Before the jury foreman starts speaking, there is a lady who gets a hankie from her purse and starts sobbing, "It's cruel and inhumane!" And it's quite apparent to the other members of the jury that the punishment will be life in prison. Obviously, some people tend to feel different if the victim was a family member or a dear friend! Life in prison is suitable for most cases; but in horrific crimes, the death penalty may be more appropriate. Ted Bundy was on death row for over ten years. Death-row prisoners in the U.S. typically spend more than a decade on death row prior to execution. Some prisoners have been on death row for over 20 years. DID THEIR VICTIMS GET THAT EXTRA TIME TO REMAIN WITH THEIR LOVED ONES? Of course not! Two examples of when the punishment was lethal injection was kinder to the murderer than their victims were Karla Faye Tucker and Aileen Wuornos. Karla Faye Tucker murdered two people with a pickaxe hitting them approximately 57 times each during a burglary. Wuornos killed seven men before/after them picking her up for sex. The men's bodies were riddled with bullets. Karla Faye Tucker claimed she found God in prison, and people as high up as the Pope asked for her to be spared. Thankfully, then Governor, George Bush believed due to the viciousness of the crime that the execution take place in early 1998. Wuoros claimed self defense but was executed in late 2002. Murder is becoming an all too frequent occurrence in our nation. Thus far, we have had more mass shootings and shootings than we have had days in the year. Perhaps all 50 states should have the Life in Prison w/o Parole and the Death Penalty as options depending on the severity of the murder/murders. Also considered should be the length of time on death row. [A trial...Sentencing...One appeal...and the sentence carried out within two years.] There is no deterrent in 10-20 years on death row!! Florida's governor Ron DeSantis signed a bill today that will no longer require juries agree unanimously to recommend death sentences. Of course, it is controversial, but crime in this country is out of control. The police are outnumbered [Remember those who wanted to defund the police?] and other crimes are rampant such as theft. [WalMart just closed 4 stores in Chicago.] Arguing on and on about guns will never end!! Maybe some lawmakers can look to those state governors who believe you have to start somewhere. Peggy Kelley
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We hear a lot that the problem is mental, it is not guns but yet when we tried to do something about it we were chastised for wanting to "defund" the police.
Trump kept saying the murder rate was the highest in 47 years but that isn't true. Our homicide rate is 5.3 per 100k, which, while not bad by any means, is still a good deal higher than most other developed nations (The UK has 1.2 per 100k and Finland has 2.1 for example.
The elephant in the room is that race plays a major factor in this. The statistics paint a terrible picture. Approximately 1/2 of all the murders in the US are committed by African-American men (about 7 percent of the population). The answer here is that the UK and Finland do not have a large, visually distinct sub-population descended from a state of slavery, then deliberately kept as an underclass for the next 100 years. Red states like Florida are still keeping them as an "underclass." Remember when they told people with a criminal past that they could vote and then when they voted they were arrested and told they can't vote.
I still say we live with a terrible gun culture. Yes there are mental problems but republicans are doing nothing about taking guns away from those who shouldn't have them. Red states are making guns available to anyone and everyone. If you are breathing you can have a gun. Christie Nome has a 2 year old granddaughter who already has 2 guns.
Fox has been spreading lots of "crime is up" stories and just one week after the election the number of those kind of stories had been cut in half. They had hoped to put more republicans in office because of "The terrible crime problem" but it didn't work.
One of the biggest problems we have today is racism. I wish I had an answer for that. The elderly man who shoot Ralf Yarl said he was afraid because the black man was so big. He was 5ft 8 and 140 lbs, not big at all. His grandson said he had Fox on his TV all day long. I wonder how many "Crime is out of control" stories he heard before the election?
I have no problem with the death penalty if the person being put to death is truly guilty. I don't think the death penalty will ever be a deterrent. The people who commit those crimes believe they won't get caught or they wouldn't do it.