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At The Very Least: Put The Death Penalty On Hold And Take A Closer Look

Gavel_6 The South Bend Tribune urges Indiana leaders to impose a moratorium on the death penalty and sit down to discuss issues of representation, proportionality and competence in its application.

"The American Bar Association's death penalty assessment team is helping Hoosiers to understand just how far the state must go before it will be prepared to justly carry out capital sentences. The ABA's assessment was conducted over 20 months. Its final report was released Tuesday.

"The assessment team found that Indiana is in full compliance with only 10 of the ABA's 93 protocols for administering the death penalty.

"One of the team members came to the task with considerable personal experience. In 2004 and in 2005, then-Gov. Joe Kernan granted clemency in two cases in which convicted murderers were awaiting death by lethal injection. Darnell Williams and Michael Daniels are exhibits 1 and 2 in the argument for a moratorium on executions.

"Kernan wasn't personally opposed to the death penalty when he delved into Williams' and Daniels' clemency requests. He still isn't. But he has no doubt that Indiana is far from prepared to carry out executions in a fair and just manner.

"Both Williams and Daniels are borderline mentally retarded. In both crimes, there were accomplices who were spared the death penalty. There also were serious doubts as to whether either Williams or Daniels was the trigger man, as well as doubts as to the defendants' capacities to assist with their defenses.

"Daniels had been on death row for 25 years when the clemency order was issued. In that time, his conviction was reversed, upheld, overturned and reinstated.

"The reasons for that ambivalence? Daniels received an inadequate defense. Evidence casting doubt on his guilt existed but never was presented in court. He also is severely mentally ill, suffering from delusions and paranoia. He cannot make rational decisions or speak for himself and must be represented by a guardian. Yet the state of Indiana, carefully following existing laws and procedures, was prepared to kill him."

Comments

The death sentence is a relic of governance that should have ended with the dark ages and advances none of the goals of its supporters.

Absolutely Mark. Couldn't have said it better. We need to take our cue from the Europeans and take the death penalty off the table.

"Absolutely Mark. Couldn't have said it better. We need to take our cue from the Europeans and take the death penalty off the table."

Since we are not going to kill these animals, could we at least get European type prisons?

http://www.hrw.org/advocacy/prisons/europe.htm

They may not kill their trash, but at least they have no problem treating trash like trash. You liberals want to give these animals recreation time, TV time, wide open spaces, etc. etc..

Killers should never see the light of day..seriously. If your not going to kill them for their crime, at least put them in some small underground cell. If they are in general population, playing basketball and lifting weights..I don't call that "rotting away in prison" like you liberals like to say.

"Since we are not going to kill these animals, could we at least get European type prisons?"

Way to cite the former Soviet Union as a good example of how we ought to operate our prisons.

In the early 1800s, prison reformers came up with the idea of the "reformatory" whereby prisoners would be locked up in a cell with no human contact or outdoor activity to better ruminate on their sins. Prisoners promptly went crazy. Ooopsies! Not a good idea!


All that 'recreation' and TV is strictly a taxpayers friend. Prisoners that are occupied and sidetracked dont spend time assaulting guards or destroying surroundings. Cable TV quiets the prisoners so fewer guards have to be hired and paid. If you are going to warehouse prisoners, you have to do it cheaply so you want to keep them busy and entertained.

"Way to cite the former Soviet Union as a good example of how we ought to operate our prisons."

The USSR was not the only country listed. Even Spain prisoners "suffer" from over-crowding issues.

"All that 'recreation' and TV is strictly a taxpayers friend. Prisoners that are occupied and sidetracked dont spend time assaulting guards or destroying surroundings."

Metal bars and stone walls also keep prisoners from assaulting guards and destroying surroundings.

We need to go back to the punishment style. How about you just build cages facing each other. That way the prisoners could talk to each other. Building a small wall in the corner with toliet and shower. Guards can pass soap and food through a small opening in the cell door. This doesn't have to apply to all prisoners, but should at least apply to folks who violently harm others.

That's called SuperMax and is horrendously expensive to operate, mainly because of staffing.

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