Wednesday, June 08, 2005

Avoiding a lethal Oops...

The bedwetting alarmists are calling for a moratorium on executions again in the Raleigh News and Disturber. That should come as no surprise to even casual readers of the paper because those on staff there (editors or columnists or some combination of both) have already decided somehow that only a moratorium (on executing the guilty) can be in our best interests.

Imbedded in the “pep talk” to persons who’d support the idea of a halt to executions is another reference to their “poster boy” Alan Gell. No surprise there either. Don’t hold your breath waiting for the N&O to acknowledge that Gell was never even scheduled for an execution and that a working system (minus the new laws relating to disclosure) is what eventually led to his eventual acquittal. Acquittals occur when there’s a weak case state’s against a suspect in a case. Does anyone remember O.J. Simpson, or Ron and Nicole? Nobody at the N&O (or promoting a moratorium) is writing about Allen Ray Jenkins, that’s for sure.

The wheels of justice are surely slow but there are no doubts about the guilt of those who’ve been recently executed and no one is currently scheduled for execution now. So why can’t these alarmists schedule a review while justice runs her course? The answer to that question is apparent, the moratorium (or halt) is the real goal and the study or any potential improvement or constructive suggestion that these persons might have for the system is an afterthought (for moratorium supporters or death penalty foes, in some circles it has been said that these are really the same persons).

Oops, in case no one noticed, the wrongful execution rate is zero. Meanwhile, the number of inmates who have already murdered who could have been executed or who committed additional crimes while behind bars is certainly greater than zero and increasing almost every day.

Should North Carolinians be encouraged to support a study commission that consists of a league of moratorium supporters? Will other persons who can demonstrate that their interests lie in what's best for all North Carolinians (not just death row inmates) be included? Now there are some questions that need to be asked and answered before Speaker Black considers taking a bill to the floor for a vote or creating any special study commissions!!

Tuesday, June 07, 2005

Death penalty foes try to buy justice

Don’t get me wrong, if we can encourage condemned inmates to behave during their time behind bars that’s a good thing. Promotion of constructive behaviors in our prisons can certainly help reduce medical expenses that result from the assaults that are inflicted on other inmates and corrections staff. Good behaviors behind bars don’t make up for past bad deeds though. The Lord knows; families of victims deserve more restitution when/if they can get some.

Should monetary compensation be considered before a condemned inmate is actually executed?

Anti-Death penalty groups seem to be asking that question. It’s quite possible that many death penalty foes have forgotten that in the list of ingredients (aggravating and motivating factors) that got many of these condemned inmates where they are (death row) there is often 1 part “camouflage” for every part “predator”. No murderer can ever make up for the life or lives that they’ve already extinguished (certainly not with money).

Who can say for sure what motivates some inmates to attempt to compensate their victims for the trouble they caused? It’s also worth asking, who can guarantee that many of these same murderers won’t attempt even more violent crimes (additional murders and escape)?

Today’s “poster boy” for “not executing the guilty” seems to be a Jeffrey Kandies whose current residence is Central Prison in North Carolina. Too bad articles about him fail to mention his 9 infraction records behind bars. Most of these infractions are for using profane language or disobeying an order but he was found guilty of possession of a weapon during his incarceration. Obviously, wise persons would never turn their back towards a proven murderer (even this one).

Kandies’ execution seems to be getting closer as his appeals work their way through the courts. His infractions are minor compared to other condemned inmates but one must never lose track of what crime he committed to “earn” his death sentence. Some prosecutors could argue at length that those on death row are no closer to dying than the average citizen. A moratorium on executions could make Kandies’ execution a little less real for him (and for those that remain on death row or others who might consider murdering an innocent victim).

Legislators in North Carolina are currently considering what some persons call a “temporary halt” to executions while they conduct a study of the judicial system. At the same time they fail to explain why they can’t study the system without a moratorium. Moratorium supporters (alarmists?) seem to think that an innocent person might be executed or that the system is unfair. Most families of victims view moratoria as a “legislative continuance with additional uncertainty” (not a judicial one) in an already endless series of reviews (a defense tactic).

What no one is asking is, “what constitutes fairness for those who would be forced to endure the learning curve of the moratorium advocates?” (i.e., families of victims or those that feel threatened by these murderers). No one seems to expect death penalty foes to accept responsibility for any death row inmates who might be executed during the two year “time out” if one stabs another inmate or a corrections staff person. What’s “fair” about that?

When condemned inmates or those that advocate for them actually help victims, it’s admirable but, no one should be tempted into thinking that restitution can make the families of murder victims whole. Justice should never be “For Sale” because some murderers attempt to compensate their victims.

Let’s just hope that our leaders aren’t so simple minded that they will decide right from wrong on this issue based only on the number of phone calls or emails that they get from the alarmists that think a moratorium is necessary.