Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Anti Victim: Anti Death Penalty Movement

Anti Victim:  Anti Death Penalty Movement 
Dudley Sharp 

Can you be anti death penalty and pro victim? 

Of course, many are and this is not about you. Consider that the death penalty is sought for justice (1), as are all sanctions,  and that more innocent lives are, additionally, more protected with the death penalty and, therefore, more innocent lives are lost without the death penalty (2). 

Anti Victim: The Anti Death Penalty Movement  

This is about the anti death penalty movement and those who chose an anti victim strategy. 

Neither the truth nor innocent murder victims nor their loved ones will stand in the way of those anti death penalty activists, who must save murderers lives, at any cost. 

1) Murder Victims' Families Against The Death Penalty (MVFADP) : More Hurt For Victims Families 

"MVFADP are, actively, seeking to deny the moral and legal option to pursue the death penalty to those who have lost loved ones to murder and who support the death penalty. Thus, the MVFADP are, intentionally hurtful and divisive, when they need not be." (3).

"Instead of being divisive and hurtful, why can't MVFADP, a vast minority (4),  just say, "we oppose the death penalty, but respect your right to support the death penalty in your case."? MVFADP won't support other victims in that fashion because their sole goal is to save all murderers, not to help any victims who feel differently (a vast majority (4)  but, in fact, working against them." (3). 

2) Making Murderers the Victims: The (imagined) Horror of  Ohio's Dennis McGuire Execution 

There are so many of these cases, but here is a recent one, which made many headlines. 

"The Horror is that anti death penalty folks and their allies in the media will have 10,000 more articles about the imagined suffering of this executed rapist/torturer/murderer than they did about the real suffering of his victims, Joy Stewart, her husband Kenny, unborn child Carl and their families and friends.

There is no indication that McGuire was in pain, at any time, or that he was conscious after the first 1-3 minutes of the 25 minute execution process, as pharmacological realities would dictate (5). 

Yet, virtually all anti death penalty groups presentedd this case as evidence of the suffering of the murderer. 

There is every indication that Joy Stewart was conscious throughout the eternal horror of her savage rape and murder. McGuire forced Joy from her car, choked her, attempted to rape her vaginally, raped her anally, slashed her throat so deeply it severed both her carotid artery and jugular vein, all the while Joy realizing the horror of her own death, as well as that of her unborn child. 

The baby’s name would have been Carl, his mother’s grave marker shows. 

Joy's husband, Kenny, committed suicide within a year after their murders." (5) 

3) Making Guilty Murderers Innocent: Incredible Harm to Murder Victim's Families --  Standard Anti Death Penalty Strategy  

The innocence frauds of the anti death penalty movement are epic in scope and over time (6) and are well known to both sides of the debate. When death penalty opponents falsely proclaim guilty murderers to be innocent, do they give any thought as to how that impacts the murder victim's families? Yes.  It is impossible for them not to know how hurtful those frauds are. 

While death penalty opponents main concern is that  murderers must live, no matter the cost, the harm to victim survivors could, easily, be part of their strategy. Anti death penalty folks , often, use harm to victim survivors, as a reason to call for an end to the death penalty, even if those anti death penalty folks are the cause of that harm. 

Just like their stating that the long delays in appeal are harmful to those victim survivors, when it is death penalty opponents, themselves, who do all they can to create that delay. 

An anti death penalty strategy and mantra could well be " Our efforts are so harmful to murder victim's families, you must stop the death penalty". 

4) Sister Helen Prejean: Murderers are more harmed than are murder victims or their loved ones 

a) "After years of activism with murderers and their victim survivors,  Sr. Prejean finds that there is no greater suffering than being a guilty murderer on death row. Did she consider the mental suffering of a parent who lost their innocent daughter to a rape/murder or, possibly, the mental (and physical) suffering of that girl, as she was being raped and murdered?  Of course the sister considered it and she made her choice - the murderer." (7) 

"Over the next 36 hours, (Holly) Washa was tortured and raped in a Seattle motel"  "(the now executed rapist/murder) Brown was arrested four days later in California, after a brutal rape and knife attack on a 33-year-old woman in a hotel there. That victim lived to call 911."  ("Relief found in killer's execution", John Ferak, (Omaha) WORLD-HERALD, September 15, 2010, 6:14 am)

b) The parents of rape/torture/murder victim Loretta Bourque, a "Dead Man Walking" Case, state:

 " . . .makes you realize the Dead Man Walking truly belongs on the shelf in the library in the Fiction category." "Being devout Catholics, 'the norm' would be to look to the church for support and healing.

 Again, this need for spiritual stability was stolen by Sister Prejean."  (7) 

c) " . . . despite repeated claims that (Prejean) cares about crime victims, (she) implies that the victim's husband was a more likely suspect but was overlooked because the authorities wanted to convict a black man."  " . . . a Federal District Court . . . stated that 'the evidence against Williams was overwhelming.' " "The same court also did "not find any evidence of racial bias specific to this case."  (7) 

It can, hardly, get much worse. 

5)  How grotesque can an anti death penalty person be? 

Defense attorney Thomas Ullmann defended Steven Hayes in the capital murder trial of the three rape/torture/murders of Jennifer Hawke-Petit, who was raped and strangled to death, along with her two daughters, 17-year-old Haley and 11-year-old Michaela. Michaela, who was sexually assaulted. Both girls were burned alive and died of smoke inhalation. Dr. Bill Petit was beaten with a baseball bat, suffers permanent injuries, but survived. He is the sole survivor from his immediate family.

When the day came for sentencing Hayes to death, what did Ullman say?

"Today when the court sentences Steven Hayes to death everyone becomes a killer. We all become Steven Hayes." (8)

Ullman said that with Bill Petit, the extended Hawke/Petit family, loved ones and friends in the courtroom. Ullman called all of them Steven Hayes, as well as all others who find the death penalty a just and appropriate punishment for horrendous crimes.

The moral decay of Ullman's statement is hard to fathom, as is the profound cruelty of when and where he voiced it (8). 

6) Sparing the lives of guilty murderers over saving more innocents from murder

The latest anti death penalty mantra is, "If just one innocent can be spared from execution, we must end the death penalty."

Well known anti death penalty scholars "(Charles) Black and (Hugo Adam ) Bedau said they would favor abolishing the death penalty even if they knew that doing so would increase the homicide rate by 1,000 percent.", which means their choice would be to spare the lives of 1300 guilty murderers (executed from 1973-2013) over saving an additional 6.3 million innocent lives, taken by murder (9).

Ernest van den Haag interviewed well known anti death penalty activists, asking them, if it was proven that 100 innocent lives were spared per execution, via deterrence, would you still oppose the death penalty. All said yes, meaning, based upon our 1300 executions (1973-2013), they chose sparing the lives of 1300 guilty murderers over saving the lives of 130,000 innocents from murder (9). 

Saving guilty murderers, no matter the cost in innocent lives. 

7) Murder Victim Survivors as Hateful Vengeance Seekers 

"The whole idea, by anti death penalty activists, is to create an image of murder victims' survivors, who support the death penalty, as emotional, hateful, unthinking vengeance seekers, as opposed to thoughtful, loving and grieving people who seek justice through a proportional, just sanction - a sanction that also saves more innocent lives  --  a call for justice and mercy."

 It seems never ending that anti death penalty folks say the death penalty has a foundation in revenge and hate (7 & 10), thereby calling those murder victims survivors, who support the death penalty, hateful vengeance seekers.  

8) The Death Penalty Isn't Closure 

"The concept of emotional "closure" via execution is, often, a fantasy perpetrated by anti death penalty folks, just so they can denounce it, with a talking point, as in: "Those supporting capital punishment claim that closure is a major reason to support the death penalty - but there is no closure."  (11) 

The closure is in the justice of the execution, the end of appeals and the relief that the murderer can no longer harm, again.

"I know of no victim survivor who believes that execution could bring that type of closure. How could it? No punishment can, nor is that the intention." (11)

"Ina Prechtl, who lost her daughter Felecia Prechtl. to a rape /murder said, after watching Karl Chamberlain executed: "One question I ask myself every day, why does it take so long for justice to be served?" It took 17 years for the execution." (11) 

"(Kidnap/rape/murder victim) Cheryl Payton's sister, Susan Payton, said, "On this (execution) day, we're uncertain that you could define today as closure. It is like a chapter in a book that you just read the next chapter and you hope that the next chapter might be better" ' (11) 

"There may not be closure today. I think there is peace," said Judge Brendon Sheehan said, after the execution of his father's murderer. (11)

9)  If Executions Provide Expiation, Murderers are More Victimized, by Allowing Them to Live 

For the religious, there can be no greater restorative justice than salvation, more likely with the expiation of execution (12). 

Romano Amerio: “The most irreligious aspect of this argument against capital punishment is that it denies its expiatory value which, from a religious point of view, is of the highest importance because it can include a final consent to give up the greatest of all worldly goods."

"This fits exactly with St. Thomas’s opinion that as well as canceling out any debt that the criminal owes to civil society, capital punishment can cancel all punishment due in the life to come. His thought is . . . Summa, ‘Even death inflicted as a punishment for crimes takes away the whole punishment due for those crimes in the next life, or a least part of that punishment, according to the quantities of guilt, resignation and contrition; but a natural death does not.’ " (12)

Saint (& Pope) Pius V, "The just use of (executions), far from involving the crime of murder, is an act of paramount obedience to this (Fifth) Commandment which prohibits murder." "The Roman Catechism of the Council of Trent" (1566).

"paramount obedience".


Interesting turn of events. Anti death penalty folks causing more eternal harm to murderers.


1)  3300 quotes of moral, rational and religious support for the death penalty 

2) The death penalty protects innocent lives, in three ways, better than does life without parole (LWOP). Enhanced due process, enhanced incapacitation and enhanced deterrence. The first two are unchallenged. Enhanced deterrence is, unreasonably, challenged.  The anecdotal evidence that the death penalty deters more than LWOP is overwhelming. In addition, life is preferred over death, death is feared more than life - a truism for, nearly, all. 


The Death Penalty: Do Innocents Matter?  A Review of All Innocence Issues 

3)  a) Murder Victims' Families Against The Death Penalty (MVFADP) : More Hurt For Victims Families 

       b) Rep. Renny Cushing: New Hampshire 

4) See FOOTNOTE (2) 95% Murder victims' survivors death penalty support
US Death Penalty Support at 80%: World Support Remains High 

5) The (imagined) Horror of Dennis McGuire's Execution

The Death Penalty: Do Innocents Matter?  A Review of All Innocence Issues 

10)   a)  The Death Penalty: Neither Hatred nor Revenge 

          b)  Killing Equals Killing: The Amoral Confusion of Death Penalty Opponents 

12)   a) The Death Penalty: Mercy, Expiation, Redemption & Salvation

Monday, April 21, 2014

Catholicism, the death penalty & abortion

Catholicism, the death penalty & abortion 

The Catholic Church has made it very clear that the death penalty and abortion are very different topics, morally and theologically. 

Catholics in good standing can support the death penalty and even an increase in executions, if their own prudential judgement calls for it. 

Saint (& Pope) Pius V, "The just use of (executions), far from involving the crime of murder, is an act of paramount obedience to this (Fifth) Commandment which prohibits murder." "The Roman Catechism of the Council of Trent" (1566).

"paramount obedience".

 Abortion is always considered an intrinsic evil.

Some teachings:

1) Pope Benedict XVI (then Cardinal Ratzinger):
"stated succinctly, emphatically and unambiguously as follows": "Not all moral issues have the same moral weight as abortion and euthanasia. For example, if a Catholic were to be at odds with the Holy Father on the application of capital punishment or on the decision to wage war, he would not for that reason be considered unworthy to present himself to receive Holy Communion. While the Church exhorts civil authorities to seek peace, not war, and to exercise discretion and mercy in imposing punishment on criminals, it may still be permissible to take up arms to repel an aggressor or to have recourse to capital punishment. There may be a legitimate diversity of opinion even among Catholics about waging war and applying the death penalty, but not however with regard to abortion and euthanasia." (1)

2) Cardinal Avery Dulles, SJ

"Pope John Paul II spoke for the whole Catholic tradition when he proclaimed, in Evangelium Vitae, that the direct and voluntary killing of an innocent human being is always gravely immoral (EV 57). But he wisely included in that statement the word innocent. He has never said that every criminal has a right to live nor has he denied that the State has the right in some cases to execute the guilty. " "No passage in the New Testament disapproves of the death penalty." (2)

3) Fr. John De Celles, "What Ardent Practicing Catholics Do" (3)

"Abortion and euthanasia are thus crimes which no human law can claim to legitimize. There is … a grave and clear obligation to oppose them … [I]t is therefore never licit to … "take part in a propaganda campaign in favor of such a law, or vote for it." "In other words: it is always a grave or mortal sin for a politician to support abortion." 

 "Now, some will want to say that these bishops-and I- are crossing the line from Religion into to politics. But it was the Speaker of the House (Nancy Pelosi) who started this. The bishops, and I, are not crossing into politics; she, and other pro-abortion Catholic politicians, regularly cross over into teaching theology and doctrine, And it's our job to try clean up their mess." 

 "Some would say, well Father, what about those people who support the war in Iraq, or the death penalty, or oppose undocumented aliens? Aren’t those just as important, and aren’t Catholic politicians who support those “bad Catholics” too? 

 "Simple answer: no. Not one of those issues, or any other similar issues, except for the attack on traditional marriage is a matter of absolute intrinsic evil in itself. Not all wars are unjust — and good Catholics can disagree on facts and judgments. Same thing with the other issues: facts are debatable, as are solutions to problems."

(1) "More Concerned with 'Comfort' than Christ?", Cardinal Theodore E. McCarrick: Catholic Online, 7/11/2004 
NOTE: Ratzinger (Now retired Pope Benedict) was Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith and delivered this with guidance to the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops.

(2) "The Death Penalty: A Right to Life Issue?" at  

(3) "What Ardent Practicing Catholics Do: Correcting Pelosi", National Review Online, 9/1/2008 6:00AM


Cardinals, Bishops and Congressmen Slam Pelosi on Abortion

New York Cardinal - Pelosi Not Worthy of "Providing Leadership in a Civilized Democracy"

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Rep. Renny Cushing: New Hampshire

Rep. Renny Cushing: New Hampshire
Dudley Sharp

NOTE:  Rep. Cushing and his organization Murder Victim's for Human Rights (MVHR), are long time anti death penalty activists.

Officer Michael Briggs was murdered by Addison, currently the only murderer on New Hampshire's death row.


SUBMISSION OF TESTIMONY -  HB1170  -- Repealing the death penalty in New Hampshire

Subject: Taking Moral & Legal Choices Away: Rep. Cushing & Death Penalty Support

Against Repeal

April 14, 2014


From: Dudley Sharp, Houston Texas

Dear Honorable Senate Members:

I am opposed to death penalty repeal.

Moral opinion, exclusion and pro choice

What do you think of  forcing your own moral position unto others, to the extent of removing the moral and legal choices of others?

The death penalty is legal. Some are morally for it, some, morally, opposed.

Those morally opposed to the death penalty want to take everyone elses choices away, based upon that moral disagreement.

The vast majority of folks support the death penalty. Depending upon polls, 60-86% support the death penalty, today (1) . Any politician would be thrilled with such a wide victory.

Folks support the death penalty for the same reason they support all sanctions - justice.

The vast minority, the anti death penalty folks, are saying: "We want to take your choices away, even though you, now, have  both the moral and legal right to pursue the death penalty and the, overwhelming, majority (1&2) support the death penalty" (3).

If any politician came before New Hampshire's General Court, their state legislature, and said: "Morally, I disagree with you on both gay marriage and abortion and, even though both are legal and both are widely supported, I want to remove those choices from you and to make both illegal in New Hampshire. I want to remove a moral choice from you, that you, now, have."

This is not about any of the specific factual arguments with regard to any of those 3 topics. nor am I saying they are similar issues.

The important topic that I am addressing is the forcing of your own moral position unto others, to the extent of removing the moral and legal choices of others (3) - the stated aim of anti death penalty folks.

Rep. Cushing, et al, should just say: "We disagree with the death penalty, but we will defend the moral and legal right of other murder victim survivors to pursue the death penalty in their cases.."

Instead, Rep. Cushing and other anti death penalty murder victim's survivors want to take that moral and legal right away,  being divisive and hurtful to pro death penalty murder victims, when there is no need to be.

Anecdotally, it appears that about 95% of murder victim survivors, in death penalty murders, support the death penalty (2).

Bud Welch, whose daughter, Julie Marie, was murdered in the Oklahoma City bombing tragedy,  and who testified in favor of death penalty repeal, stated that the victim's and survivors were re-victimized by Timothy McVeigh's execution.

They may have been the case, for very few, who I have not been able to identify.

From an internet search, I found no evidence of any re-victimizatio. In fact, just the opposite They found solace. (4). I am not surprised (5).

My guess is that Mr. Welch just made it up.

My condolences to Mr. Welch.

The Cushing Murders

Rep. Cushing has had two murders in his family: 

His father, Robert Cushing, Sr. was murdered by a hateful cop and and the cop's wife, both of whom are serving the maximum sentences available for that crime. Rep Cushing's brother in law, Stephen McRedmond, was murdered by his nephew, who, allegedly, harbored a grudge, based upon a family legal dispute. The nephew committed suicide. Horrific family and criminal tragedies.

By all accounts, the victims were wonderful, loving people.

My sympathies to the entire family.

In the death penalty debate, I give greater moral standing to those who have lost loved ones to murder.

I give even greater moral standing to those whose loved ones were murdered in death penalty eligible murders.

Neither of the Cushing murders were death penalty eligible. Officer Briggs' and many others were, are and will be death penalty eligible murders.

It is odd that Rep. Cushing has been telling the story for years, about why he didn't seek death in his father's case, when there was no option for a death penalty in his case. 

Has Rep. Cushing known, all this time, that his father's case was not death penalty eligible? Of course.

Based upon my knowledge and experience, the vast majority of the membership in MVHR are those whose murders are not death penalty eligible. Possibly, 10% of all murders, nationally, are death penalty eligible.

Rep Cushing, whose family received the maximum sentence for the murderers in Robert Cushing Sr's murder, is telling other folks, those whose loved ones were actually murdered in a capital crime, "I want to remove your moral and legal right to pursue the maximum punishment for the murder of your loved ones, even though we received that maximum sentence in the murder of our loved one."

Rep. Cushing is being, intentionally, hurtful to those victims and wishes to deny them the rights that he had, to pursue the maximum sentence in their murder cases.

How do you feel when men and non gay folks say "We want to take away your moral and legal right to seek abortion or to have same sex marriages", respectively?

That is what Rep. Cushing, et al, are doing, taking away the moral and legal rights of others, when their circumstances are not, directly, affected.

They are saying, we were able to purse the maximum sentence for the crimes against our loved ones, but was want to take away your right to do so in the murder of your lived ones.

It's just a horrible way for victims to treat victims, as Rep. Cushing and MVHR are so doing.

Not a Human Rights Violation

Death penalty opponents posit  that life is a fundamental human right. Therefore, taking it away is a human rights violation.

They have never shown that to be true, nor can they.

Human rights have two, main, topics: The right to life and the right to freedom.

Both are conditional.

Freedom and life may both be forfeit when the criminal violates the law.

Everyone agrees with incarcerating some criminals when they violate the rights of the law abiding.

We can lawfully and morally kill, in self defense, defense of others, in a just war and with the death penalty, when the crimes are most grave and we find that justice demands it.

Anti death penalty folks leave out all of that extra consideration, simply because it is inconvenient. They call the death penalty a human rights violation, not because it is, but because they just don't like the death penalty.

Respectfully submitted,
Dudley Sharp

1) 86% Death Penalty Support: Highest Ever - April 2013

Note the discussion that in the recent Gallup poll, finding 60% death penalty support, that another result, within that same poll, found 70% support.

2)  See Footnote 2 within

US Death Penalty Support at 80%: World Support Remains High
95% of Murder Victim's Family Members Support Death Penalty

3) Murder Victims' Families Against The Death Penalty: 

 More Hurt For Victims Families

4) According to Gallup, based upon two polls, 80-81% in the US supported McVeigh's execution, support consistent for all groups.  (Footnotes 1&2)

"Survivors and family members took solace in McVeigh's death. Janice Smith, whose 46-year-old brother, Lanny Scroggins, died in the bombing, prayed with her children at the Oklahoma City National Memorial, then left after getting word that McVeigh was dead. ``It's over,'' she said. ``We don't have to continue with him anymore.'' Earlier, a silent vigil began without fanfare -- 168 minutes, one minute for each victim killed in the tragedy."

"McVeigh's execution was witnessed by 10 survivors and victims' relatives from the bombing . . .  Meanwhile, about 600 miles away, an estimated 300 people gathered . . . to watch the execution unfold on a large video screen."

McVeigh wrote that taking 168 lives, including those of 19 children, was a "legit tactic."  (The Lamp of Hope (Chicago Tribune), June 11 2001, 8:01 AM CDT, TERRE HAUTE, Ind. )

I have an inquiry with the OKC National Memorial to see if they can source how many of the victims and survivors felt revictimized by McVeigh's execution.

Thursday, April 03, 2014

How grotesque can an anti death penalty person be?

How grotesque can an anti death penalty person be?
Dudley Sharp

Defense attorney Thomas Ullmann defended Steven Hayes in the capital murder trial of the three rape/torture/murders of Jennifer Hawke-Petit, who was raped and strangled to death, along with her two daughters, 17-year-old Haley and 11-year-old Michaela. Michaela was sexually assaulted. 

Both girls were burned alive and died of smoke inhalation. 

Dr. Bill Petit was beaten with a baseball bat, suffers permanent injuries, but survived. He is the sole survivor from his immediate family.

When the day came for sentencing Hayes to death, what did Ullman say?

"Today when the court sentences Steven Hayes to death everyone becomes a killer. We all become Steven Hayes." (1)

Ullman said that with Bill Petit and the extended Hawke/Petit family, loved ones and friends in the courtroom. Ullman called all of them Steven Hayes, a multiple rapist/torturer/murderer.

The moral decay of Ullman's statement is hard to fathom, as is the profound cruelty of when and where he voiced it.

Even Steven Hayes voiced knowing the moral differences between guilty murderer and innocent victims, the punishment of the guilty and the violation of the innocent.


A Statement by William A. Petit, Jr.:  

"Justice is the first virtue of social institutions," according to philosopher John Rawls. It transcends national borders, races and cultures. The death penalty is the appropriate societal response to the brutal and willful act of capital felony murder. Every murder destroys a portion of society. Those murdered can never grow and contribute to humankind; the realization of their potential will never be achieved. I support the death penalty not as a deterrent or for revenge or closure, but because it is just and because it prevents murderers from ever harming again. By intentionally, unlawfully taking the life of another, a murderer breaks a sacrosanct law of society and forfeits his own right to live.  (In a home invasion, Dr. Petit was, severely injured, his wife  Jennifer and their 11 year old daughter Michaela were raped and murdered. Both daughters, Michaela and Hayley were burned, alive.)


(1) "Connecticut man gets the death penalty for home invasion killings",,0,6596268.story

Saturday, March 08, 2014

CNN "Death Row Stories": How Bad Can A Network Be?

CNN "Death Row Stories": How Bad Can A Network Be?
Dudley Sharp

CNN is presenting a series of death row stories, beginning March 9th.

Based upon a review of CNN's work, introducing the series, as well as some previous death penalty articles, there are four questions for CNN.

Did CNN decide not to fact check? If so, why?

If CNN did fact check, why didn't you catch all your errors?

Will the series continue with those same standards?

All of this has been sent to  many (16 at this time) CNN producers and reporters and, also, to Redford/Sundance & Jigsaw Productions, the two production companies for "Death Row Stories".

1) The intro video for the series tells us how bad the series could be (1): 

A dream team of anti death penalty folks who can't seem to get anything right.

Kirk Bloodsworth, released from prison, not death row, by DNA exclusion, brings up the 143 "exonerated" from death row. He well knows that there are no 143 exonerated (2), as does Richard Dieter, who created this fraud. I presume that Jeffrey Toobin has fact checked and knows it's a fraud. But he doesn't speak up.

Ms. Banfied, the CNN anchor,  chimes in with a  -  isn't the number 130?

My guess is that the 143 "exonerated" fraud (2) will be repeated again and again, as it has been throughout CNN's intros.

Mr. Toobin states that Mr. Bloodsworth's story,  almost, singlehandedly got rid of the death penalty in Maryland. Nonsense.

Mr. Bloodsworth was on death row for two years and was never at risk of execution. The facts are that after 20 years on death row, no Maryland murderers are at any risk of facing the sanction given. Mr. Bloodsworth's sentence was commuted to life, whereby nearly 7 years later he was excluded by DNA and released.

What has gotten rid of the death penalty in the 5 state legislatures that have, recently, so voted, are that they had a Democratic Governor, with a Democratic majority legislature, in each case, voting against the will of the people, a majority of whom supported the death penalty. Illinois and New Jersey voted repeal during lame duck sessions.  New York's death penalty law  was voided by a state court.

There are, currently, three states with an execution moratorium, established by one person in each of those states - the Democratic Governor.

Mr. Toobin, as CNN, are aware of all of those facts. Aren't they? Did you miss the pattern?

Mr. Toobin seems to think that this exoneration fraud has so infested the media that some jurors can't help but be affected by it and that such has contributed to the reduction in death sentences. 

There is little doubt that reinforced frauds can have an influence, but there is no evidence that the exoneration fraud has so affected jurors.

The facts are that there is a 99.6% accuracy rate in actuallyguilty findings in death penalty cases, with the 0.4% actually innocent going free (2). It may be the most accurate sanction in the US, with, no surprise, the greatest of due process protections (3). 

Wouldn't that give jurors more confidence in considering a death sentence?

Or is Mr. Toobin confident that this exoneration fraud will get more acceptance, as opposed to it being exposed and corrected? Mr. Toobin?

The lack of fact checking and balance by CNN is astounding.  Will it continue?

The fraud of these "exonerations" has been well known for over a decade, indicating that CNN may have willfully and blindly accepted story lines with an anti death penalty bias, a presumption supported by other statements in the intros and other reports, by CNN.  

2)  CNN:  Another Horrendous Intro (4) for "Death Row Stories".

Maybe CNN should fact check?  We have this jewel:

"Upwards of 10% of all death row prisoners are later exonerated for the crimes," writes author and historian Thomas Cahill (4).

That would be "upwards" of 840 "exonerated" inmates, since 1976.

The real number is somewhere between 24-44, or 0.4% (2)

Even the horrendous Death Penalty Information Center puts it at "just" 143, or 1.7% (2)

3) CNN states (5):

A) At sidebar

35 -- Percent of executed defendants who were white
56 -- Percent of executed defendants who were black
138 -- Death row exonerations since 1973

They reversed it. Terrible.

Reality. 35% of those executed were black, 56% white (6). Today, it's 34% black, 56% white.

CNN, most likely, doesn't know that white murders are twice as likely to be executed as are black murderers (6).

The 138 (now 143)  "exoneration" is a blatant fraud, well known for over a decade, if CNN cared to fact check. They didn't, we can hope.

The real number is somewhere between 24-44 (2).

B) In the body of the article (5), we have this:

"There's no denying most Americans are pro-death penalty. " " . . . according to Gallup, . . . Support reached as high as 80% in 1994 and declined to 61% in a poll this month -- the lowest since 1972."

CNN missed better polls that showed 80% & 83% support (6), in the same year as the 61% poll. Support went to 86% in 2013 (7).

C) CNN writes:

"When asked to choose between the death penalty and life in prison, 50% of respondents in a recent CNN/ORC International Poll said they favored a life sentence, compared to 48% who preferred the death penalty."

What CNN doesn't comprehend is that this is a preference poll, not an exclusion poll. Neither death penalty nor life without parole support, all of a sudden, went down to such low levels, or at all. The individual support remains the same (6), likely 80% or so for the death penalty and greater than 90% for a life sentence, or does CNN wish to argue that support for life sentences, suddenly dropped to 50%?

D) From the same article. This is priceless:

"Thousands of people -- including entertainers, dignitaries, Amnesty International and the pope -- denounced the execution of Troy Davis. Some said they believed Davis was innocent in the slaying of a Georgia police officer. Others said there was too much doubt to execute him. (The officer's family, like the relatives of many victims, had no qualms about seeing the person convicted of their loved one's murder put to death.)"

"Entertainers"! "Dignitaries"! "Amnesty Intl"!  I think CNN is star struck.

Notice that CNN failed to say what the courts thought?  That is because the facts were that Davis was undeniably guilty (8). CNN, interesting exclusion.

E) The rest of this article is classic anti death penalty material, easily rebutted (8). You would have thought the article was written by Sister Helen Prejean (10).

4) Ohio's agonizing execution of Dennis McGuire (11). Really?

Well, as CNN reports:

"Ohio inmate Dennis McGuire appeared to gasp and convulse for roughly 10 minutes before he died Thursday by lethal injection using a new combination of drugs, reporters who witnessed it said"

"McGuire's "children and daughter-in-law were crying and visibly upset,"

"Watch this video  Witness: Inmate gasped during execution"

"He gasped deeply. It was kind of a rattling, guttural sound. There was kind of a snorting through his nose. A couple of times, he definitely appeared to be choking,"

". . . it is entirely premature to consider this execution protocol to be anything other than a failed, agonizing experiment,"

"CNN's Sonny Hostin said that McGuire's execution will likely spark debate over whether how inmates react to the use of the drugs constitutes cruel and unusual punishment prohibited by the U.S. Constitution." 

And we could debate reporting.

How bad is CNN?  What some other reporters revealed (12): 

"State prison records released Monday say McGuire told guards that (McGuire's counsel, Robert) Lowe counseled him to make a show of his death that would, perhaps, lead to abolition of the death penalty. But three accounts from prison officials indicate McGuire refused to put on a display."

"Amy Borror, a spokeswoman for the public defender's office, said all accounts from execution eyewitnesses - which did not include Lowe - indicate McGuire was unconscious at the time he struggled to breathe."

"Medical experts would not comment on Mr. McGuire’s execution or speculate about what he experienced. They agreed that used for surgery, the two drugs would not cause pain."

“By virtue of what they do, they cause unconsciousness, and they inhibit pain,” said Dr. Howard Nearman, professor of anesthesiology at Case Western Reserve University."

As there was no surgery, both drugs were given at overdose levels and both drugs would enhance the effects of the other, of course there was no pain.

Do folks wheeze, snore, move or cough etc. while sleeping? Do those with opiate overdoses wheeze, snore, move, cough, have spasms, etc.? Of course, which is all that happened with McGuire, as some predicted.

The Associate Press witness:

"McGuire was still for almost five minutes, then emitted a loud snort, as if snoring, and continued to make that sound over the next several minutes. He also soundlessly opened and shut his mouth several times as his stomach rose and fell." "A coughing sound was Dennis McGuire’s last apparent movement, at 10:43 a.m. He was pronounced dead 10 minutes later."

No evidence of consciousness or pain.

And the series hasn't even started, yet. 

We can hope that there may be some good news with the fact that "Death Row Stories" is not produced by CNN.

Stay tuned.



1) CNN's "Death Row Stories" Promo, Added on February 11, 2014,

2) Sections 3 & 4 (read the rest, later)
The Innocent Frauds: Standard Anti Death Penalty Strategy 

3) One example

Texas Death Penalty Procedures

4) Talk with us: America's death penalty under scrutiny
 Join the conversation, iReport CNN, By Thom Patterson, CNN, March 4, 2014

5) "Death Rows Unlikely Opponents", CNN, 2011 


7) US Death Penalty Support at 80%: World Support Remains High
95% of Murder Victim's Family Members Support Death Penalty 

8)  Section 10) "Troy Davis & The Innocent Frauds of the anti death penalty lobby", Footnote 2, above

9)  New Testament Death Penalty Support Overwhelming 

10) Sister Helen Prejean: A Critical Review 

11) "Controversial execution in Ohio uses new drug combination", By Dana Ford and Ashley Fantz, CNN, Fri January 17, 2014

12) "The (imagined) Horror of Dennis McGuire's Execution"