Tag Archives: Death Penalty

Judge must dismiss charges in Jodi Arias case

The prosecution tampered with Travis’ laptop to conceal pornography, and then argued that Jodi lied using this tampered evidence. The charges must be dismissed.

Report here

During Arias’ 2013 guilt-or-innocence trial, and during the present sentencing retrial, Mesa police officers testified under oath that the computer was free of pornography and computer viruses. Prosecutor Juan Martinez used that testimony to refute Arias’ assertions that Alexander was sexually attracted to young boys and he branded her a liar for saying the porn and viruses were there.

Mesa police have since admitted that the computer did have significant amounts of pornography and viruses despite the earlier testimony by the trial’s case agent and a police forensic expert.

Arias in court Monday

The death penalty and victims of crime

I am opposed to the death penalty for numerous reasons. However one reason that came into particular focus for me following the botched execution in Arizona yesterday was the effect of the death penalty on family members, in this case the family of the victim.

I watched the press conference following the execution, and was disturbed by the levels of anger, and the account by the family of how they had regularly been reminded of the terrible event for the last 25 years.

I thought of the phrase “let go of anger” and on searching immediately found a wikiHow page How to Let Go of Anger. It says:

Anger can eat you up inside and slowly wreck your life. While anger is a natural emotion and a healthy response at times, hanging onto anger can be dangerous. You need to learn to let it go for your own sake. Here’s some advice about how to do just that.

There are then a couple of steps, “Identify the root of your anger” and “let yourself grieve” but the third step seems most significant “Replace resentment with compassion”.

Perhaps compassion may be hard to feel for someone who has committed a terrible crime on your relative, but every crime has a cause, and at least understanding the cause is I think necessary to avoid the very real harmful effects of anger.

I believe the lengthy legal process associated with capital punishment, the invitation to sustain anger over a long period of time and the impossibility of mutual forgiveness  and compassion due to sustained conflict, causes further psychological damage to the family of the victim. They do not deserve this. The death penalty should be abolished.

See also:

Arguments against the death penalty

1. Power corrupts. No person or government should have the right to kill a person in cold blood

2. Death penalty jurors are more likely to wrongly convict, leading to high rates of wrongful conviction.

3. Innocent people may plead guilty to serious crimes, to avoid the risk of being wrongly convicted and executed.

4. Distortions can occur – example Charles Boney would not have been protected by his mother were it not for death penalty => David Camm would not have spent 13 years in prison.

5. Violence leads to more violence. Prisoners on death row are a danger to others.

6. Extinguishing hope is cruel.

7. Jurors (and others) may be mentally affected by having to make life’/death decisions. Also prosecution and defense attorneys, judges, executioners. Few people want to do the work.

8. Death penalty prosecutors seem particularly stupid and corrupt ( in Arizona and Texas, the record is very bad ).

9. There is always the chance of an innocent person being executed, many innocent persons have been executed in the United States.

10. If the state/government kills in cold blood, that promotes the idea that killing is acceptable in weak minded people. Again, violence leads to more violence.

11. Killing mentally ill people is wrong. Most people on death row are either mentally ill or were mentally ill at the time they committed the crime, taking a fairly broad view of mental illness.

12. Trying to kill a really clever psychopath is a doubtful idea, they may cause all sorts of damage when you attempt it. Better to be kind to them, but keep them safely locked up.

13. The death penalty is harmful to the family of the victim : see The death penalty and victims of crime.

14. The family of the convicted person also suffer – even though they have done nothing wrong.

15. It is very expensive, it is not evenly applied and is used for essentially political purposes, to satisfy the blood lust of ignorant sections of society. There is no evidence it has any deterrent effect.

See also