Monday, March 27, 2017

Dead Man Walking Opera

Part of the "Dead Man Walking" Opera Community Interaction, Kansas City/Lyric Opera

Re: False & Omitted Information Dominates "Eye For An Eye":
An Eye for An Eye: Re-evaluating the Death Penalty: A Kansas City Week in Review Special, March 3, 2017, KCPT, 
video here:

To: American Public Square
Tricia Bushnell, Director, Midwest Innocence Project
Nick Haines, Executive Producer, Public Affairs, KCPT reporter
Reporters KCPT Flatlands
Stephen Steigman KCUR news & other producers & reporters KCUR
Rev. Adam Hamilton, Senior Pastor, Church of the Resurrection
Ambassador Allan Katz
Terry Nelson, Consultant, Republican Strategist and Founding Partner of FPI Strategies
Eric Zahnd, Prosecuting Attorney for Platte County, Missouri 

CC: Parents of Murdered Children, Kansas City Chapter
Sean O' Brien  law professor, U of Missouri (KC) & other law professors
Rev. Thomas B. Curran, S.J., President of Rockhurst University
William Everett, at the Kauffman Foundation
SuEllen Fried, founder of Reaching Out From Within
All Kansas City Library Book Clubs,
All members of the FYI Book Club
All Management & Staff, Kansas City Public Library
Kaite Mediatore Stover, the Kansas City Public Library’s director of reader’s services
Board & Staff, The Lyric Opera of Kansas City and 
Linda Ade Brand, education director 

From: Dudley Sharp, death penalty expert 

I have detailed some of the most obvious errors and omissions from the "Eye for an Eye" (EFE) symposium, with the hope that one of the many entities taking part will make a public presentation of this, as I have requested, so that some balance may be restored. 

I hope this will lead to a greater understanding of the death penalty debate. 

If you have any questions or comments, I am at your service. 

Fact checking is crucial. 

1) The Innocent Murder Victims 

The EFE presentation left out the innocent murder victims, in death penalty cases, from Missouri and Kansas, and the vile crimes committed against them. Such is the primary reason for the death penalty, but was absent.

I hope that you will visit both the Missouri and Kansas death row, government pages and review the cases and consider what happened to those innocents and the people who loved them. 

Please visit this site, as well, and read their stories (1). 

Tragically, the innocent victims are, very often, forgotten.

 Justice is the reason we seek the death penalty, as with all sanctions. 

2) Balance 

Of all the people who spoke, throughout EFE, live or on tape, only one out of about fifteen can be confirmed as pro death penalty.

3) Tricia Bushnell, Director, Midwest Innocence Project       

      a) Bushnell states:"there has been 150 people exonerated on death row". 

Sharp reply: The "innocent" and "exonerated" from death row has been a well known fraud, since about 2000 (2). 

Anti death penalty folks redefined both "exonerated" and "innocent", as if they had redefined "lie" as "truth", and shoe horned a bunch of cases into those fraudulent definitions, as detailed  (2). 

Depending upon review, possibly 26-46 cases have proof of actual innocence (2), reflecting a 70-83% error rate in those anti death penalty claims. A good example of this is to look at those states which have passed laws to prove actual innocence. For example, the anti death penalty folks claim 12 death row inmates have been "exonerated" in Texas. 

Only one has been found actually innocent under Texas law (2). 

Bushnell claimed to have been working on an "innocence" case, now, up for re trial,  for 11 years.  Obviously, if the case is up for retrial it is not an "innocence" case. That's how, commonly, anti death penalty folks misuse the terms "innocent" and "exonerated". 

A great example of intentional fraud in this area is the documentary "A Murder in the Park" (2014). Watch it.      

      b) Bushnell states:   "68% of death penalty cases are overturned". 

Sharp reply:  Untrue.  Of the 5555 sentenced to death, from 1973-1995, the period of the study, 1648 cases, or less than 30%, had their conviction or sentence overturned (3). Looking at only true error cases, it is closer to 25%, as detailed (3) 

The errors in and criticisms of the study, used by Bushnell, are overwhelming  (3). 

     c) Bushnell states: "27% of false confessions are proven by DNA"  and in murder cases "67% falsely confessed because they were afraid of the death penalty" 

Sharp reply:  The Innocence Project has confessed to making false claims of false confessions (4), which indicates that the 27% is closer to 10%, as detailed (4). 

Sharp reply: I could find no confirmation for Bushnell's 67% claim.  I sent an email to Bushnell on 3/9/16 (5), so she could produce the study. So far, no reply. 

      d) Deterrence - Bushnell asserts that the proof of no deterrence is stronger than the proof of deterrence. 

Sharp reply: Not only is that not true, it cannot be true. 

Never has it been proven that a sanction, a negative prospect or a negative incentive has not been a deterrent, for some (6). Never. It can't be. 

Why do nearly 100% of murderers do all they can to avoid the death penalty and get life, instead?  No, those murderers were not deterred, at least not that time, but they reflect the same basic nature that potential murderers and the rest of us do, which is: 

Life is preferred over death. Death is feared more than life. What we prefer more deters less. What we fear more deters more. Basic. 

Death penalty/executions save innocent lives in three ways more than a life sentence does -  enhanced incapacitation, enhanced due process and enhanced deterrence (6). 

Since 1997, there have been 28 US studies finding for death penalty deterrence (6). None have been negated, although such efforts have been attempted. 

4) Eric Zahnd, Prosecuting Attorney for Platte County, Missouri       

      a)  Eric Zahnd:  When referencing the reduction in executions and  death sentences the DA stated that prosecutors were being more selective and that defense attorneys are doing all the can to make the death penalty so expensive and impossible to carry out. 

Sharp reply: Prosecutors have always been very selective -  about 1% of murders result in a death penalty and we execute 0.2% of murderers -- and defense attorneys have always acted in that fashion, only because judges allow it. 

The reduction in death sentences is, overwhelmingly, due to the reduction in murders and more so, with capital murders.  Texas is a good example: Texas had a 55% drop in murders (71% drop in rate),  37% drop in robberies (60% drop in rate), from 1991-2014. 

Robbery/murder is the most common death eligible crime, which may have dropped 70-80%, or more, during that period, which may account for the entire drop.

A series of US Supreme Court (SCOTUS) decisions and 5 states that have repealed the death penalty, have contributed to the drop, but only to a minor degree.        

      b)   Zahnd states: "(the death penalty) is not going to deter crimes of passion." 

Sharp reply:  Nearly all people, no matter how enraged,  have learned to restrain their passions and to stop, prior to the point of no return. This is very well known. If our death might be the end result of our passion, the overwhelming majority of us would have no problem reining in our passions.

Of the post 1997, 28 US studies finding for death penalty deterrence, one, specifically, looked at crimes of passion and found that some could be and were deterred.

5)  Rev. Adam Hamilton, Senior Pastor, Church of the Resurrection      
      a)   Rev. Hamilton   states "here is one of those people (one of my associate pastors),  who could have, very easily, been put to death". 

Sharp reply: "Very easily" is, absurdly, false.

There is no indication that Darryl Burton's case was a death penalty eligible crime and, if it was a death penalty crime, it would have been a very difficult, long road to execution, as every knowledgeable person knows, making it curious why the reverend made that, blatantly, false statement. 

NOTE: Darryl Burton has claimed a lot of corruption in his case. That has not been the finding (7).        

      b)   Rev. Hamilton: Paraphrase: death row inmates are, overwhelmingly, poor. 

Sharp reply: Overwhelmingly, those who commit capital murders are poor.       

      c) My reply to the Reverends biblical death penalty review. 

Sharp reply: Within the Reverend's biblical review, he only mentions crimes for which we have no death penalty in the US. It would have been much more relevant for the symposium had he spoken of murder, for which we  find that execution for murder is part of the Noahic Covenant (Genesis 9:5-6) , which is for all peoples and all times, and that murder is the only crime/sin for which one cannot get a reduced sentence from execution (Numbers 35:31) (8). 

The Reverend thinks there is a good case, biblically, for either side of the death penalty debate. 

There was no main stream Christian church that had turned against the death penalty, until the 1950s. The Catholic Church didn't make their efforts until 1997, but even then, the death penalty is still a moral sanction. 

One wonders did the bible, suddenly, change in the 1950s or in 1997? Of course not. 

Through today and for more than 2000 years, there has been Christian New Testament support for the death penalty, from Popes, Saints, Doctors and Fathers of the Church, church leadership, biblical scholars and theologians that, in breadth and depth, overwhelms any teachings to the contrary (8). 

What actually occurred was a social shift, not a biblical one. 

6)   Terry Nelson, Consultant, Republican Strategist and Founding Partner of FPI Strategies 

Terry Nelson's review of the polling data for the death penalty misses a great deal. 

Sharp reply: The media picks and chooses which death penalty polls they present to the public and will, across the board, refuse to publish polls that show higher death penalty support, when lower support is found in another poll, as detailed (9). 

For example, Nelson mentions 80% death penalty support in 1994, but leaves out 86% death penalty support in 2013. Why? Media refused to publish the 2013 poll (9), so Nelson never heard about it. 

Even in the well known Gallup death penalty polls, the media will show us only the lowest support numbers, even though, in every Gallup death penalty poll, there are several, separate different polling questions and answers included, usually showing 5-10% higher support, which the media does not reveal. (9). 

We also know with Gallup, that when they ask about specific, true and horrendous death penalty cases, as the Timothy McVeigh Oklahoma City bombing case, that death penalty support rises, dramatically, just as death penalty opposition drops (9). 

I suspect that Nelson is unaware of these details.

7)  Sean O' Brien  law professor, U of Missouri (KC)       

      a)  O'Brien states: "it's a crime in 38 states to use a paralytic to euthanaise animals". 

Sharp reply: That is untrue. It is only a crime to use a paralytic, without an anaesthetic, first, and I have found no vet which approves of using a paralytic, by itself, anywhere, in the veterinary literature (10). 

In other words, we put our beloved pets to death in the same thoughtful, kind and peaceful manner as we do some of our worst human murderers (10).      

      b) O'Brien wrongly stated that we have the paralytics to hide our mistakes.
Sharp reply: That is incorrect. Convulsions and body movements, as well as other movements and noises, are all part of the reactions to the drugs and/or the overdosing of drugs, used in executions. The paralytic is, most certainly, used to make it much easier on the witnesses, viewing murderers executions, just as it is when we put our beloved pets to death (10). 

That is why it is used. Not to hide mistakes.

       c) O'Brien says there have been cases where murderers could have felt like they were being burned alive, that some had convulsions some had multiple needle pricks and had to have cutdowns. 

Sharp reply: The "burned alive" allegation is based upon a complete failure of the first drug, the anesthetic, for which there is no case or reason for the first drug, of its own accord to, all of a sudden, not work, in complete contradiction to the drugs known overdosing characteristics. 

Convulsing, jerking, sighing, wheezing, etc., are all well known effects of the overdosing characteristics of the drugs used as with the normal respiratory distress caused by the drugs (10,11). 

Multiple needle pricks and/or cutdowns are normal, every day, occurrences, millions of times per day, in medical IV procedures and are required with some death row inmates when there are problems locating solid, secure veins. They are efforts to avoid "botched executions" not a sign of botched executions, as is well known. 

8) Unknown book club member: "people who are well off aren't on death row" 

Sharp reply: There are, but they are very rare, because capital murder by wealthy people are very rare. 

"99.8% of poor murderers have avoided execution. 

It may be, solely, dependent upon the definitions of "wealthy" and "poor", as to whether wealthy murderers are any more or less likely to be executed, based upon the very small number and percentage of capital murders that are committed by the wealthy, as compared to the poor (12)." 


This is a fairly typical "Dead Man Walking" Opera Community interaction - spreading the normal anti death penalty nonsense, while having a single pro death penalty voice for "balance", with that pro death penalty voice being an excellent prosecutor, but not a pro death penalty expert within the death penalty debate, none of which have I ever known to have been invited to these community symposiums, which is why this review is important, if community knowledge is important. 

Wherever Sister Helen Prejean is involved, it is what you should expect (13). 

Fact checking is crucial. 



1)  Victim's Voices - These are the murder victims 

2) The Innocent Frauds: Standard Anti Death Penalty Strategy

3)  James Liebman's "A Broken System": Review of A Broken Study, ] 

4)  Innocence Project Invents False Confessions
150% fraud rate in "confessions"? 

5)  From:
Sent: 3/9/2017 12:30:02 P.M. Central Daylight Time
Subj: for Tricia Bushnell


During the March 3rd "eye for an eye" presentation, you stated that 67% of confessions in death penalty eligible cases were false. 

Can you provide a link to the study, please? 

Sincerely, Dudley Sharp 

6) The Death Penalty: Saving More Innocent Lives

 7)  United States Court of Appeals For the Eighth Circuit, No. 12-2524, Darryl Burton, Plaintiff - Appellant   v. St. Louis Board of Police Commissioners et al, Defendants - Appellee, Appeal from United States District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri - St. Louis, Submitted: March 12, 2013, Filed: September 24, 2013, 

8)  New Testament Death Penalty Support Overwhelming

9) 86% Death Penalty Support: Highest Ever - April 2013
World Support Remains High
95% of Murder Victim's Family Members Support Death Penalty

10)  Veterinary Claims a Distortion of Reality: Human Lethal Injection
11)  No "Botched" Execution - Arizona (or Ohio)

 12) Is There Class Disparity with Executions?
13) Sister Helen Prejean: Does Truth Matter?

Saturday, March 04, 2017

WFAA - #VerifyThis - Death Penalty Series

For Publication on the WFAA site. 

As per the reporter's request for the #VerifyThis, Death Penalty Series: 

"An informed opinion, from an opinionated person. That's what we're going for." 

Well, here it is: 


Subject: How Important is the Pro Death Penalty Perspective? 

RE: Let's #VerifyThis: Do we need the death penalty?
David Schechter, WFAA 10:18 AM. CST February 24, 2017 

From: Dudley Sharp, a pro death penalty expert 

Please forward to Sharmin Anselm 

1) This is a story where we have one pro death penalty person, Sharmin Anselm, a random volunteer, not an expert, and five anti death penalty folks, of whom two are experts. 

Typical death penalty media balance. 

2) Sharmin's position is this: “If you're a pedophile and you've murdered a child, I don’t think you should have that right to live."
"For Sharmin it still comes down to this... the most horrific crimes deserve the ultimate punishment." 

"Sharmin's rock solid in favor of the death penalty." 

Why? Justice --  arguably the greatest of man's goals and accomplishments. 

3) So what does reporter David Schechter do? He  tests Sharmin's position against those 5 anti death penalty folks. 

The result? Sharmin's position is unscathed. 

4) Regarding soon to be executed robber/double murderer Terry Edwards, long time death penalty opponent, protester Hartwell asks: “What do we gain by killing Terry tonight? What is going to be accomplished?” “Nothing. Absolute nothing." 

Hartwell, completely, avoids justice, the reason the jury gave that sentence and the reason for the death penalty, as for all sanctions. 

That obvious answer eludes Hartwell, but not Sharmin. 

5) "Before (reporter) David headed in to witness the execution, he and Sharmin wanted to learn about the legal system that sends inmates to death row." 

So who does David choose to consult?

Rick Halperin, of course, an internationally recognized opponent of death penalty, who says "when it comes to the capital punishment -- if you're poor -- the legal system is broken." “It is the have-nots of our society. They are the easiest group of people not to like and to care even less about because most of them have done these terrible things." 

David reports: "The largest group are black, at 44%, . . .  65% report having less than a high school education." with Halperin adding: the "people least equipped to defend themselves." 

Is David implying that there is something amiss about the 44% or the 65%.  What is the racial breakdown of capital murderers in Texas? Are those educated at less than a 12th grade education incapable of knowing that capital murder is wrong? 

Halperin adds "I just don't think we should be in the business of killing people, especially when the system is so flawed." 

Just the same ole, same ole, anti death penalty mantra "the poor murderer". 

Notice, not one flaw was revealed by Halperin (just whining), nor by David. 

Left out of David's and Halperin's  "legal system" description is  . . .  the actual legal system . . . 

All defendants are provided two defense counsel and any experts deemed needed and approved by the judges, attended by incredible due process protections, with a unanimous 12-0 vote for death is required of the jury, if the murderer is sentenced to death, with the, now, death sentenced capital murderer having, on average, 11 years of appeals, with appointed appellate counsel, through both avenues of appeals, direct appeals and the writ, both through at least three courts, one state and two federal, all paid for by the taxpayers. Trips to SCOTUS are rare. 

Somehow, David "forgot" about the entire legal system. It was all left out, of course, because it is an anti death penalty biased story. Basic. 

Both Schechter and Halperin seem, completely, clueless that it was the murderers' fault that they were on death row. That thought never entered the story, except via Sharmin. 

6) "Sharmin talked with (anti death penalty) protesters, like Yancy Balderas", who "wasn't happy with her (death row) husband's court-appointed attorney." 

Of course, no mention that Yancy was unhappy or sorry for the innocent murder victims. Standard. 

7) "Protesters rang a bell 14 times, once for every year Edwards was on Death Row." 

Yet none for the innocent murder victims, whose names and lives were completely absent from the story. Typical anti death penalty sensitivity. 

8) With regard to Edward's execution, David reports, “The big sentiment I walked out of there with was the government has a lot of power. To take a life. That is a power I hadn’t thought a lot about the government having. They can take a life,” David told Sharmin. 

Governments have been taking lives, in many ways, ever since governments were created. David was unaware? 

And David's mention of the two innocent murder victims, the sole reason for Edward's execution?  - ZERO -  Very common anti death penalty stream of consciousness.

The murder victims are Subway manager Tommy Walker, 34, and an employee, Mickell Goodwin, a 26-year-old mother of two.

Walker was an ordained minister who had planned to leave the Subway job and open his own tattoo parlor soon, family members said. “He was a big teddy bear,” said Walker’s wife, Beth. “He was famous for making people laugh. His kids and grandkids were his life. He got himself ordained so he could preside at his own kids’ weddings.” 

No specific reference to them, at all, in the story.  Standard. 

9) "Sharmin and David then headed to Houston to meet with (anti death penalty activist) Anthony Graves. He spent almost 19 years on Death Row for a crime he didn't commit. 

"Fact checking? Graves was on death row for 12 years and when his death penalty was overturned, with an additional 6.5 years in prison, after that. 

Graves states: "You damaged me and now you say it’s okay?”

I have found no one who has stated that it was "OK" that Graves, or any other "actual innocent", was wrongfully convicted. No one. Ever.

 Innocents are more at risk without the death penalty (1).

10) Graves states: “So, if both (life without parole and the death penalty) are death sentences, why do we have to stoop so low to treat people like animals? Kill them like pigs and put poison in their vein when we can take the high road in society and let them die of natural causes?”. 

This is a typical anti death penalty response, with no evidence of reflection, at all.

 It is, quite simply, legally and morally, choosing that sanction which the judge or jury finds to be the most just under the circumstance. Well described by Sharmin but, unbelievably, never considered by Graves.

Most of us know that there is very distinct difference between being executed at age 38 and dying of natural causes after serving LWOP until age 78, the later preferred by about 100% of capital murderers. 

Graves never mentions the innocent murder victims.

 Innocents are more at risk without the death penalty (1).

11) "Experts say (that LWOP is) one reason why the number of death sentences in America has plummeted 84% in the last 20 years. From 311 sentences in 1995 to 49 in 2015." 

As a rule, that would be "anti death penalty" experts, just trying to fit their narrative. 

Likely, the greatest cause of the drop in death sentences is a 70-80% drop in capital murders. 

Texas, for example: 

The Texas Life Without Parole (LWOP) law went into effect September 1, 2005.

I am unaware of any capital cases, where the death penalty was an option, whereby the capital murder occurred after 8/31/2005 and which were resolved between 9/1/2005 -12/31/2005, based upon the new LWOP law.

There was a 69% drop in Texas death sentences, from 48 in 1999 to 15 in 2005, PRIOR to LWOP having any effect on death sentences.

The first year that the LWOP law could have had an effect on death sentences was in 2006 with 11.

In 2007, death sentences rose by 36%. 

With almost total consistency, death sentences averaged a little over 10 per year from 2006-2014, just adding a 10% drop, to 79%, from the 69% decline of 1999-2005, with that 10% being but an additional small drop which can, easily, just be seen as part of a 15 year (1999-2014)  downward trend, unaffected by LWOP.

Death sentences dropped in 2015 and 2016, to 2 and 4, respectively, 10 years after the LWOP law. There is no reason to suggest that LWOP was the reason for those numbers, after a 10 year wait. 

It is important to note that juries were not allowed to be told that the previous life sentences in Texas had parole eligibility. 

Texas had a 55% drop in murders (71% drop in rate),  37% drop in robberies (60% drop in rate), from 1991-2014.

Robbery/murder is the most common death eligible crime, which may have dropped 70-80%, or more, during that period, which may account for the entire drop.

We have also had a series of US Supreme Court (SCOTUS) decisions, which has contributed to that drop, in Texas and nationally, as well as 6 states that have repealed the death penalty option, during that period, with a national effect.

The LWOP effect, if any, appears to be tiny.

12) A great finish by Sharmin: 

“Is it possible you want the death penalty, more than we need the death penalty? Does it make you feel justice was done?” David asked. 

“Depending on the case, I sure do,” Sharmin answered. 

“But does everybody need it?” David asked. 

“I think it’s a good thing to have,” said Sharmin. 

“You want it, do we all need this?” David asked, further pressing the question. 

“I believe it’s needed in our society and our justice system,” she answered. “Used the correct way, done the right way, you need to be held to a higher punishment for the higher crimes,” she finished.


 1) The Death Penalty: Saving More Innocent Lives

Thursday, February 23, 2017

American Nurses' Assoc.: Dead Wrong on Death Penalty

American Nurses' Association: Dead Wrong on Death Penalty

Notes for first draft

It is hard to fathom how the ANA could have gotten so much, so wrong (1).

A rebuttal to all of ANA's death penalty "facts".

Each one of these is a rebuttal to what ANA presented.

(p 4, para 1, fn1)


White murderers are twice as likely to be executed as are black murderers

56% of those executed are white, 35% black

For the White–Black comparisons, the Black level is 12.7 times greater than the White level for homicide, 15.6 times greater for robbery, 6.7 times greater for rape, and 4.5 times greater for aggravated assault.

For the Hispanic- White comparison, the Hispanic level is 4.0 times greater than the White level for homicide, 3.8 times greater for robbery, 2.8 times greater for rape, and 2.3 times greater for aggravated assault.

For the Hispanic–Black comparison, the Black level is 3.1 times greater than the Hispanic level for homicide, 4.1 times greater for robbery, 2.4 times greater for rape, and 1.9 times greater for aggravated assault.

As robbery/murder is, by far, the most common death penalty eligible murder, the multiples will be even greater.

From 1977-2012, white death row murderers have been executed at a rate 41% higher than are black death row murderers, 19.3% vs 13.7%, respectively. ( Table 12, Executions and other dispositions of inmates sentenced to death, by race and Hispanic origin, 1977–2012, Capital Punishment 2012, Bureau of Justice Statistics, last edited 11/3/14)

"There is no race of the offender / victim effect at either the decision to advance a case to penalty hearing or the decision to sentence a defendant to death given a penalty hearing."

Is There Class Disparity with Executions?

"99.8% of poor murderers have avoided execution.

It may be, solely, dependent upon the definitions of "wealthy" and "poor", as to whether wealthy murderers are any more or less likely to be executed, based upon the very small number and percentage of capital murders that are committed by the wealthy, as compared to the poor.


 (p 5, para 2, fn1)

The Death Penalty: Saving More Innocent Lives

(p 5, para 3, fn1)

Saving Costs with The Death Penalty

(p 5, para 4, fn1)

It s impossible to prove that any sanction or any negative outcome does not deter some. Why? It would be contrary to reason and history, as we all well know.

--  Full rebuttal to Nagin (National Research Council)

Death Penalty Deterrence: Defended & Advanced

--  Full Rebuttal to Radelet (Criminologists)

Deterrence and the Death Penalty: A Reply to Radelet and Lacock

(p 5, para 5, fn1)

The Death Penalty: Fair and Just

(p 5, para 6, fn1)

There is a huge body of very well known legal work with regard to mental illness and the death penalty.

Apparently, the ANA has no clue. No surprise.

Cases to follow.


(p 5, para 7, fn1)

The ANA is unaware that because of state governments and states' rights, that the death penalty statutes, as all laws, may be different from state to state. This is no surprise and is well known to all, but not the ANA?

Nebraska reinstated the death penalty by popular vote, 61-39%, in 2016.

The other six states that have, recently, revoked the death penalty all did so contrary to those states popular death penalty support and could only accomplish repeal based upon a Democratic majority legislature, with a Democratic governor.


(p6, para 8, fn 1)

--  "The normal moral reason for upholding capital punishment is reverence for life itself. Indeed, this is the reason why scripture and Christian tradition have upheld it, a fact which suggests that, if anything, it may be the abolition of capital punishment which threatens to cheapen life, not its retention." J. Budziszewski, Professor of Government and Philosophy at the University of Texas at Austin, Jan. 25, 2002 conference, Pew Forum, titled "A Call for Reckoning: Religion and the Death Penalty"

--   John Murray: "Nothing shows the moral bankruptcy of a people or of a generation more than disregard for the sanctity of human life." "... it is this same atrophy of moral fiber that appears in the plea for the abolition of the death penalty." "It is the sanctity of life that validates the death penalty for the crime of murder. It is the sense of this sanctity that constrains the demand for the infliction of this penalty. The deeper our regard for life the firmer will be our hold upon the penal sanction which the violation of that sanctity merit." (Page 122 of Principles of Conduct).

--  The biblical support for the death penalty is, specifically, based within human dignity.

Genesis 9:5-6, from the 1764 Quaker Bible, the only Quaker bible.

5 And I will certainly require the Blood of your Lives, and that from the Paw of any Beast: from the Hand likewise of Man, even of any one’s Brother, will I require the Life of a Man.

6 He that sheds Man’s Blood, shall have his own shed by Man; because in the Likeness of God he made Mankind.

--  Vengeance cannot be the foundation for the death penalty. The death penalty, as all sanctions, are based within justice, with a just, proportional sanction, given within due process, whereby no one connected to the crime can decide either the verdict or sentence, which are both the sole provinces of the judge(s) and/or jury, neither of which has a a vengeance component, nor foundation - again, very well known by all, except ANA.


(p6, para 9, fn 1)

No "Botched" Execution - Arizona (or Ohio)

1) Capital Punishment and  Nurses’ Participation in Capital Punishment,


Sent to ANA 2/23/2017

From: Dudley Sharp, a death penalty expert

The American Nurses' Association: Dead Wrong on Death Penalty

It is hard to fathom how the ANA could have gotten so much, so wrong (1).

ANA's Death Penalty Facts

ANA, primarily, used an anti death penalty site for all of the alleged "facts" about the death penalty. ANA fact checked none of it, with the foreseeable result.

Here are just two of ANA's blunders, from a field of blunders.

1) ANA writes: "Since 1973, over 155 people have been exonerated and freed from death row." (p 5, par 2, fn 1)


Anti death penalty folks, simply, redefined both "exonerated" and "innocent", as if they had redefined lie as truth, and stuffed a bunch of cases into those new "definitions", as is, easily, discovered by basic fact checking (2), ignored by ANA. Various reviews find the "exonerated" claims to be 70-83% in error (2). This has been known for nearly 20 years.

2) ANA writes: "In California, the cost of confining one inmate on death row is $90,000 more per year than the cost of maximum security prison ." ". . . a study in North Carolina showed that the cost of a death penalty sentence was $216,000 and the total cost per execution was $2.16 million, more than the cost of life imprisonment (p 5, para 3, fn 1)."

Ludicrous. Neither is possible (3),  just like much of the ANA nonsense, as revealed by fact checking (4).

ANA Confusing Politics for Ethics and Morality

Some have undertaken an ill advised or dishonest effort to show that medical ethics require medical professionals to shun the death penalty.

It is an, utterly, false narrative.

The effort to ban medical professionals' participation in executions is an unethical effort to fabricate professional ethical standards, based upon personal anti-death penalty activism, from those whose professions are medically related.

As with, ANA: " . . . the principles of  social justice speak to the  importance of  the nursing profession’s taking a stance against the death penalty, due to the preponderance of evidence against the fairness and effectiveness of capital punishment as a deterrent." (p1, fn 1)

The foundation for the death penalty, as for all sanctions, is justice. Deterrence cannot be negated for the death penalty nor for any other sanction, nor for any other negative prospect (5). ANA chooses to risk sacrificing more innocent lives (5).

Fairness is a highly subjective consideration. For example, based upon 2008-2011, US data, " . . . the true number of premature deaths associated with preventable harm to patients was estimated at more than 400,000 per year. Serious harm seems to be 10- to 20-fold more common (4-8 million) than lethal harm." (6) 


There is no proof of an innocent executed in the US, at least since the 1930s.

Based upon ANA's constant errors (2-4), we know the ANA could not, possibly, have made an informed evaluation of fairness, as detailed.

ANA parrots that the death penalty is a human rights violation. Both freedom and life are fundamental human rights. Neither is inviolate, which is why we have both incarceration and executions, with due process. None of the groups stating that the death penalty is a human rights violation also state that incarceration is, as well. The only difference in the stances are that one is honest and the other not.

Nurses may ethically/morally participate in executions based upon their caring spirit, that they may assist in providing less painful executions and that they, also, may find the death penalty to be a just sanction that helps to save more innocent lives.

As per, Dr. Robert Truog, MD, Professor of Medical Ethics, Harvard Medical School:

"If I think of the kind of a hypothetical where you have an inmate who is about to be executed and knows that this execution may involve excruciating suffering, that inmate requests the involvement of a physician, because he knows that the physician can prevent that suffering from occurring, and if there is a physician who is willing to do that, and we know from surveys that many are, I honestly can't think of any principle of medical ethics that would say that that is an unethical thing for the physician to do." (7)

How could he reach that conclusion? Easily.

Just as per page 2, fn 1, ANA could have provided that "Nurses. . .  provide comfort care at the  end of life, if requested, including pain control, anxiety relief or procuring the services of a chaplain or spiritual advisor.", for nurses that find the death penalty to be just and ethical.

There has been a lot of ink used to review the long standing medical professions ethical prohibitions against the death penalty.

There is no such prohibition.

Some in the medical community have fabricated an ethical prohibition against medical professionals' involvement in state executions by invoking the famous "do no harm" credo and the Hippocratic Oath.

It is a dishonest effort.

THE ETHICS OF LYING - The Hippocratic Oath

Note: To their credit, ANA does not use the Hippocratic Oath to support their position, but does, foundationally, use "do no harm" (1).

Some have proclaimed that "First do no harm" is a centuries old foundation of medical ethics, weighing against death penalty participation.


It is an anti-death penalty fraud that "do no harm" is in the context of the state execution of murderers (8).

Neither the Hippocratic Oath nor "do no harm" have anything to do with executions (8).

Both are, solely, concerned with the medical profession and patients.

" 'do no harm' (a phrase translated into Latin as "Primum nonnocere") is often mistakenly ascribed to the (Hippocratic) oath, although it appears nowhere in that venerable pledge.(8)"

"Hippocrates came closest to issuing this directive in his treatise Epidemics, in an axiom that reads, 'As to disease, make a habit of two things - to help, or at least, to do no harm.'  (8)"

"As to disease" -  Nothing else.

There is no relevance outside medicine and, most certainly, no prohibition against medical professionals participation in the state execution of murderers.

The classic Hippocratic Oath & Its Brother, the Hypocrisy Oath

"I will neither give a deadly drug to anybody who asked for it, nor will I make a suggestion to this effect. Similarly I will not give to a woman an abortive remedy. In purity and holiness I will guard my life and my art." (8)

This is a prohibition against euthanasia and abortion (8) and has nothing to do with the fabricated medical prohibition of participation in state sanctioned executions.

Do those anti-death penalty physicians and medical associations promise license revocation if any of their members participate in euthanasia or abortion?

Of course not.

In fact, we have Belgium approving the assisted suicides of children, of any age, with participation by physicians (9).

Many medical professionals fully accept and participate in both abortion and euthanasia.

Many could care less about the true ethical prohibitions that exist in a medical, historical context.

Instead, they just invent new ones, against the death penalty and for child suicide, while avoiding the true prohibitions, ushering in the newly renamed and truthful - Hypocrisy Oath.

Is the ANA unaware that the lethal injection executions of murderers are a criminal justice sanction and that it is not a medical procedure with patients?

If nurses wish to participate in end of life situations that have nothing to do with patients, medical associations should not place political roadblocks in their way.

The few legal reviews of this topic have found as reason and fact require:

"Other courts have addressed (physicians participating in executions) and found that it does not violate the physician's code of ethics to participate in an execution . . ." "The Court... does not find that Missouri physicians who are involved in administering the lethal injections are violating their ethical obligations . .  ." (Taylor v. Crawford, Jan. 31, 2006, Court Order issued by the US Western District Court of Missouri)

Let's look at some additional sensible reviews:

The editors of The Public Library of Science (PLoS) Medicine write:

"Execution by lethal injection, even if it uses tools of intensive care such as intravenous tubing and beeping heart monitors, has the same relationship to medicine that an executioner's axe has to surgery." ("Lethal Injection Is Not Humane", PLoS, 4/24/07).

So to, The American Society of Anesthesiologists:

"Although lethal injection mimics certain technical aspects of the practice of anesthesia, capital punishment in any form is not the practice of medicine. ("Statement on Physician Nonparticipation in Legally Authorized Executions," 10/18/06).

Both confirm the obvious: The state execution of murderers has no connection, ethically or otherwise, to the medical treatment of patients.

Rationally, there is no ethical nor moral connection, Some folks just want to fabricate a false narrative. So that's what they do - just another anti-death penalty fraud.

1) Capital Punishment and  Nurses’ Participation in Capital Punishment,

2) The Innocent Frauds: Standard Anti Death Penalty Strategy


An Open Fraud in the Death Penalty Debate: How Death Penalty Opponents Lie - The "Innocent" and the "Exonerated"

3)  Death Penalty Costs: California


"Duke (North Carolina) Death Penalty Cost Study (1993): Let's be honest"

4) Review of other ANA fact problems

5) The Death Penalty: Saving More Innocent Lives

6) A New, Evidence-based Estimate of Patient Harms Associated with Hospital Care
James, John T. PhD, Journal of Patient Safety, September 2013 - Volume 9 - Issue 3 - p 122–128,

7) New England Journal of Medicine interview titled "Perspective Roundtable: Physicians and Execution", Jan. 18, 2008

8) Physicians & The State Execution of Murderers: No Medical Ethics Dilemma


The Death Penalty & Medical Ethics Revisited

9)  "What Belgium's child euthanasia law means for America and the Constitution", Eugene Kontorovich, Washington Post, February 13, 2014