Thursday, April 25, 2013

Murder at the Supreme Court

Subject: Tim O'Brien and Martin Clancy: standard anti death penalty nonsense

re: VIDEO  --  C-SPAN, Book TV, AFTER WORDS: Martin Clancy and Tim O'Brien, "Murder at the Supreme Court: Lethal Crimes and Landmark Cases", hosted by Kimberly Tignor, National Bar Association

From: Dudley Sharp, a pro death penalty expert

The nonsense is so thick, this could be any anti death penalty presentation.

1) Clancy calls murderers facing execution the victim, a classic anti death penalty reversal of morality.

2) Clancy calls the Francis case one of "double jeopardy" because Francis was subject to executions twice. It was an 8th amendment case, not one of "double jeopardy", a very different thing. It appears he has no clue what legal double jeopardy means.

3) Murder Rates

 O'Brien talks about death penalty states, which  have higher murder rates than do those without the death penalty.

He needs to look at Michigan, the exception that reveals the rule, which is that murder rates are not how you measure deterrence, as is, easily, seen, by looking at cities and countries that do or do not have the death penalty, worldwide (1), or by looking at different cities, towns and neighborhoods, within any given US state, wherin we can find widely varying crime and murder rates, whether or not in a state with the death penalty.

4) Deterrence 

Mr. O'Brien thinks the deterrent effect of the death penalty is undecided.

The findings that the death penalty deters some are overwhelming (2). That is not surprising, as all prospects of a negative outcome deter some. It is a truism.

The findings that the death penalty deters none do not exist (2). In fact, I have yet to find anyone that would make such a claim. It is impossible to defend or to prove.

Therefore, the question is not "Does death penalty deter?" It does. The only relevant question is "How much does it deters and does it deter more than life without parole?

The first question will never be answered to anyone's satisfaction. The anecdotal evidence is overwhelming that the death penalty is an enhanced deterrent over LWOP (2).


Clancy thinks that it is established that Carlos DeLuna was innocent executed? Not remotely.

Mr. Clancy did you fact check the Columbia U report?  I know of no one that has. It is required, in all case and, particularly, with the primary author. The prosecutor in the case has already found enough problems (3), that no person who respects fact checking would even speculate that the Columbia U review confirmed an innocent executed.

It appears that Clancy presumed he got a full account. Don't presume.

Innocent frauds of the anti death penalty movement have become so common (3), that extreme caution and thorough fact checking should always be the rule.

You would think journalists would have some clue as to how important that is. It appears that if a claim supports the anti death penalty cause, they just accepted it - common.

6) Innocents at risk

 O'Brien says there is no remedy for an innocent executed. True.

O'Brien forgot to mention that there is no remedy for innocents who die in prison, either, which likely occurs with higher probability than with an innocent executed (3).

About 5000 die/year within US custody. On average, we have executed about 36/yr. since1976.

In addition, innocents are better protected with the death penalty than with life without parole (3).

7)  O'Brien says only the poor are sentenced to die and that folks are "sentenced to die, not for the worst crime, but for the worst lawyers". One is a standard anti death penalty claim, the other a standard saying, respectively, neither of which is true (4).

8) O'Brien says that jurors are, now, less likely to give a death sentence. Again, likely some anti death penalty source told him this and he failed to fact check it.

The significant drop in death sentences is due to a dramatic drop in murders, which because of similarly dramatic drops in murders and rapes, means that capital murders have dropped even further, likely, in the 60-80% range.

The United States has had double digit executions, annually, from 1984 - 2011 (5). Murders are, now, at a 43 year low (6). Murder rates are, now, at a 48 year low (6). Not surprisingly, death sentences are at a 37 year low (5).

9) O'Brien finds the death penalty arbitrary and capricious.

Based upon the facts, I don't know how anyone could view the death penalty as anything but the least arbitrary and capricious sanction (7).

10) O'Brien says that the poor and those with little to no education are more likely to receive the death penalty.

The poor are most likely to commit murder and, therefore, are much more likely to receive it and those on death row have a median education of the 12th grade.

Did they not consider those realities?

11) O'Brien says that the race of the victim is a real problem in death penalty cases. Hardly. It just so happens that whites are, overwhelmingly, the victims in capital murders (8) . Does he know that white murderers are twice as likely to be executed as are black murderers (8)?

Probably never even considered it.

12) O'Brien says that if the victim is white and the perpetrator poor a death sentence is more likely than not.

Absurd to the point of the ridiculous or delusional.
Of 700,000 murders since 1973, 8300 have been sent to death row. The overwhelming "more likely than not" is a sentence less than death, 98.8% of the time.
13) Both Clancy and O'Brien complain about how long the appeals process is, but, somehow,  failed to mention Virginia, which executes within 7.1 years of sentencing and has executed 72% of those so sentenced, 108 murderers (9).

It appears that both Clancy and O'Brien just decided to accept a bunch of anti death penalty claims, with no fact checking and no critical thinking.

These guys were/are reporters?!

Just terrible.




"Death Penalty, Deterrence & Murder Rates: Let's be clear"

2)  OF COURSE THE DEATH PENALTY DETERS: A review of the debate

99.7% of murderers tell us "Give me life, not execution"

3) The DeLuna case is reviewed within two links, herein:

The Innocent Frauds: Standard Anti Death Penalty Strategy

4) Is there Class Disparity with Executions?

NOTE: Note, either subjectively or objectively, the crimes for which murderers are sent to death row are truly horrific and are the worst of crimes.  There are some examples of very poor lawyering in some death penalty cases but, overwhelmingly, we are looking at good defense counsel with horrendous clients, the opposite of O'Brien's nonsense.

5)  Capital Punishment, 2010 - Statistical Tables, Bureau of Justice Statistics, Tracy Snell, Dec 2011, see Figure 1, page 1 and Table 8, page 12,

6) United States Crime Data, from FBI UCR

The Disaster Center is a convenient and reliable source for crime data, which uses FBI UCR data

year          murders       rapes         robberies
1991         2652            9266          47900
2011         1126             7439          28395
dif             1526             18 27         19505
less            58%              20%             41%

year           murders       rapes        robberies
1991          24,700        106,590     687, 730
2011          14,612           83,425      354,396
dif              10,088          23,165       333,334
less              41%                22%             48%

Source: Disaster Center    data taken from FBI UCR



9)  Saving Costs with The Death Penalty