[News] The Death Penalty's Slow But Seemingly Sure Decline

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#36
Killing is absolutely heinous and morally wrong and should never be done, and to prove it we're gonna kill you back.
 

GasBandit

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#38
At least it puts a stop to recidivism.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kenneth_McDuff

If the death penalty is ever stopped again, they better have a plan in place.
The one state that should have been reliably depended on to kill a killer. GJ Texas.[DOUBLEPOST=1372454013][/DOUBLEPOST]
Killing is absolutely heinous and morally wrong and should never be done, and to prove it we're gonna kill you back.
Never hit your brother! To prove it's wrong to hit your brother, we, your parents, much larger and more physically capable of inflicting pain, are going to hit you.

*note: this argument only applies if you oppose capital punishment but do not oppose corporal punishment. If you do happen to oppose corporal punishment then studies indicate you might have a head injury.
 
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#39
The one state that should have been reliably depended on to kill a killer. GJ Texas.[DOUBLEPOST=1372454013][/DOUBLEPOST]
Never hit your brother! To prove it's wrong to hit your brother, we, your parents, much larger and more physically capable of inflicting pain, are going to hit you.

*note: this argument only applies if you oppose capital punishment but do not oppose corporal punishment. If you do happen to oppose corporal punishment then studies indicate you might have a head injury.

I do, in fact, oppose corporal punishment. I don't think solving conflict through violence is a good message to spread.
 
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#40
one of these things is not like the other
You are correct. One was a list of reasons why one person might hate another. The other was a comment about justifiable homicide.
You just put the two of them next to one another in a quote, that's all.
the way our justice system works, certainty doesn't enter into sentencing - only how heinous and egregious the crime of which they have been convicted.
I would argue that our legal system only cares whether or not you are convicted, regardless of guilt/innocence or how heinous a crime might be.
I suppose you could make it elective. Ask a convicted prisoner once a year (or so) whether or not they want to continue their sentence or be put to death instead. Unfortunately this would mean people would commit crimes just so they could be put to death...tantamount to State sponsorship of assisted suicide, except that some might argue whether the State should be in any way at fault for the crime the defendant had to commit in order to get convicted.

--Patrick
 
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#41
I suppose you could make it elective. Ask a convicted prisoner once a year (or so) whether or not they want to continue their sentence or be put to death instead. Unfortunately this would mean people would commit crimes just so they could be put to death...tantamount to State sponsorship of assisted suicide, except that some might argue whether the State should be in any way at fault for the crime the defendant had to commit in order to get convicted.
Well, no. That's the other part of the equation. You're not going to get it that easy. Once you're here, you're going to live out your days forgotten and alone. Your time is up when God decides it is, not you, not the state.
 
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#42
U.S. reviewing 27 death penalty convictions for FBI forensic testimony errors


By Spencer S. Hsu, Published: July 17 E-mail the writer
An unprecedented federal review of old criminal cases has uncovered as many as 27 death penalty convictions in which FBI forensic experts may have mistakenly linked defendants to crimes with exaggerated scientific testimony, U.S. officials said.

The review led to an 11th-hour stay of execution in Mississippi in May.

It is not known how many of the cases involve errors, how many led to wrongful convictions or how many mistakes may now jeopardize valid convictions. Those questions will be explored as the review continues.

The discovery of the more than two dozen capital cases promises that the examination could become a factor in the debate over the death penalty. Some opponents have long held that the execution of a person confirmed to be innocent would crystallize doubts about capital punishment. But if DNA or other testing confirms all convictions, it would strengthen proponents’ arguments that the system works.

FBI officials discussed the review’s scope as they prepare to disclose its first results later this summer. The death row cases are among the first 120 convictions identified as potentially problematic among more than 21,700 FBI Laboratory files being examined. The review was announced last July by the FBI and the Justice Department, in consultation with the Innocence Project and the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (NACDL).
The unusual collaboration came after The Washington Post reported last year that authorities had known for years that flawed forensic work by FBI hair examiners may have led to convictions of potentially innocent people, but officials had not aggressively investigated problems or notified defendants.

At issue is a once-widespread practice by which some FBI experts exaggerated the significance of “matches” drawn from microscopic analysis of hair found at crime scenes.
Since at least the 1970s, written FBI Laboratory reports typically stated that a hair association could not be used as positive identification. However, on the witness stand, several agents for years went beyond the science and testified that their hair analysis was a near-certain match.

The new review listed examples of scientifically invalid testimony, including claiming to associate a hair with a single person “to the exclusion of all others,” or to state or suggest a probability for such a match from past casework.

Whatever the findings of the review, the initiative is pushing state and local labs to take similar measures.

For instance, the Texas Forensic Science Commission on Friday directed all labs under its jurisdiction to take the first step to scrutinize hair cases, in a state that has executed more defendants than any other since 1982.

Separately, FBI officials said their intention is to review and disclose problems in capital cases even after a defendant has been executed.

“We didn’t do this to be a model for anyone — other than when there’s a problem, you have to face it, and you have to figure how to fix it, move forward and make sure it doesn’t happen again,” FBI general counsel Andrew Weissmann said. “That tone and approach is set from the very top of this building,” he said, referring to FBI Director Robert S. Mueller III.

TL;DR version:

The FBI found 27 cases where their own experts' testimony "went beyond" the actual science and exaggerated the validity of their forensics, which led (in part) to convictions.

Maybe they would have been convicted without the testimony, maybe not, but I find it disheartening (to say the least) the number of times people were convicted based on bullshit evidence.
 
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#43
The biggest BS that I've ever heard about in forensics, is matching a bullet to a batch of bullets to make a conviction. Lead is lead, and if there is any difference in lead from different mines, those tons of lead become millions of bullets.
 
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#44
The biggest BS that I've ever heard about in forensics, is matching a bullet to a batch of bullets to make a conviction. Lead is lead, and if there is any difference in lead from different mines, those tons of lead become millions of bullets.

Err, it depends on when and where, but all bullets are supposed to have a serial number of their batch micro-encrypted on them starting 2015 or 2016 or something.
 
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