Slow-death capital punishment affirmed

Georgia effectively ended capital punishment Wednesday — the capital punishment by lethal injection, anyway — in approving an easier route to life without parole.  The House vote was 164-0. The bill had already passed the Senate so it goes now to Gov. Sonny Perdue for his signature.

This means, of course, that Georgia will pass from one generation to the next an aging population of murderers too evil to live free as wards of the state until the end of their natural lives.  The public wants them dead, but lacks the stomach, and therefore the will, to return death penalty verdicts.   Too, some prospective jurors flat-out opposed to capital punishment lie their way onto juries where they deadlock the panel, no matter the evidence  The case that effectively ended the minutes-long form of capital punishment in Georgia was that of Brian Nichols, the mass murderer who killed an Atlanta judge and three others.

Under existing law, a District Attorney had to seek the death penalty before a murderer could be given the sentence of life without parole. That’s expensive and it requires competent, well-prepared prosecutors and honest jurors.  The bill passed Wednesday allows DAs to ask for life without parole without having first to seek the death penalty.  DAs and capital punishment opponents both supported it.

The chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, State Rep. Rich Golick (R-Smyrna), said the change will allow victims’ families to have "closure."  Right now they’re jerked around mercilessly.

The good news is that Georgia still has the death penalty for those who are truly evil.  The bad news is that getting there will require half a century or more, during which time the security, room and board and medical and nursing care are on your tab — and that of the victims’ families.

102 comments Add your comment

Chris Broe

March 26th, 2009
8:18 am

Grading Wooten:

Iago Called. He wants his act back.

Gregg

March 26th, 2009
8:38 am

It is amazing how you can be an anti-abortionist in one article and support the death penalty in another. I guess that is a skill that has been gained by your many years of serving up B/S.

Ragnar Danneskjöld

March 26th, 2009
8:47 am

Testing, to see if I can post. Gregg, amazing, isn’t it, how the culture of death will accept murder of the innocent, yet preserve the lives of the truly evil among us.

Me

March 26th, 2009
8:49 am

“It is amazing how you can be an anti-abortionist in one article and support the death penalty in another.”

It’s simple, Gregg. The baby is innocent and therefore DOES NOT deserve death; and the convicted murderer on death row is not innocent and DOES deserve death.

Gregg

March 26th, 2009
8:55 am

Doen’t that beg the question what sin is greater? if you believe in the bible, it says all a person has to do in the eyes of the lord is ask for forgiveness or is that not in the bible you read?

Ragnar Danneskjöld

March 26th, 2009
9:05 am

Gregg,”forgiveness” does not prohibit execution of the criminal. But only the purest arrogance assumes that man is capable of forgiveness of a violation of the laws of nature. Only Nature’s God can so forgive.

Ragnar Danneskjöld

March 26th, 2009
9:06 am

I also note that Christians have no difficulty distinguishing “murder” from “lawful killing.” Only the secularists among us are so incapable.

Gregg

March 26th, 2009
9:06 am

As for you Ragnar Danneskjöld I actually do not advocate either. You see to me both are wrong however I refuse to accept one and say the other is wrong. Murder is murder regardless of who does it.

Ragnar Danneskjöld

March 26th, 2009
9:09 am

Actually Gregg, your position is evil. You not only are incapable of intelligent distinction of death dealing, you would also control such that those of us capable of the distinction are precluded from exercise of our good judgment.

Gregg

March 26th, 2009
9:16 am

Abortion is not illegal or did I miss something. Tell me Ragnar how many times have you tried to adopt a addicted baby or open your home to a troubled child? If you don’t condone abortion what are you doing to stop it? Do you ask the question why (when the mother tries to drop the child off at the fire station) did she have if she couldn’t take care of it!
If your goal is to preserve “LIFE” it should not matter whose life nor should you have to choose which is wrong or right. When the Pope or your pastor speaks out about the death penalty do you not hear it as loud as when he speaks out about abortion?

Gregg

March 26th, 2009
9:18 am

What good judgement? Two evils do not create a common good. In the 10 commandments it states “THOU SHALT NOT KILL” it does not give any fine print as to what it means. It is very clear it what it says and what it means. So whose good judgement are you using man or GOD?

Copyleft

March 26th, 2009
9:31 am

Wooten seems unaware of contradicting himself within the same sentence:

“The public wants them dead, but lacks the stomach, and therefore the will, to return death penalty verdicts.”

i.e., the public actually DOESN’T want them dead. But then, logic is never a conservative’s strong suit.

It’s a good thing Georgia has finally inched a bit further toward joining modern civilization… over the strident objections of neanderthal and logic-free conservatives, of course–many of whom claim to be “Christian,” amusingly enough.

Chris Broe

March 26th, 2009
9:37 am

Point of order: Gop recognizes three degrees of murder: There’s murder one, there’s justifiable homicide, and of course, there’s good, clean killin’ (for the common good).

Good. Clean. Killin’.

4theCommonGood.

lovelyliz

March 26th, 2009
9:47 am

Charles Smith , Jay C. Smith, Kirk Bloodswort,h, Federico M. Macias, Walter McMillian, Gregory R. Wilhoit, James Robison, Muneer Deeb, Andrew Golden, Adolph Munson, Robert Charles Cruz, Rolando Cruz, Alejandro Hernandez, Sabrina Butler, Joseph Burrows, Verneal Jimerson, Dennis Williams, Roberto Miranda, Gary Gauger, Troy Lee Jones,Carl Lawson, David Wayne Grannis, Ricardo Aldape Guerra, Benjamin Harris, Robert Hayes, Christopher McCrimmon, Randall Padgett, James Bo Cochran, Robert Lee Miller, Jr, Curtis Kyles, Shareef Cousin, Anthony Porter, Steven Smith, Ronald Williamson, Ronald Jones, Clarence Dexter, Jr., Warren Douglas Manning

Glenn

March 26th, 2009
9:53 am

Thou shalt not murder, Gregg. The word is murder.

In Mosaic Law, the penalty for murder is death, and abortion is abominated. Life imprisonment of a murderer is not an option. Don’t take my word for it; ask any Orthodox rabbi.

Redneck Convert

March 26th, 2009
9:56 am

Well, I got no problem with the Death Penalty–long as they don’t carry it out on Sunday morning when I’m listening to the Rev. Postlewaite preach about loving your neybor and forgiving people that sin against us.

This new law got me to thinking we need to get back to lynch mobs. If the public talks about the need to kill criminals but won’t do it, it seems to me we need to have some good old boys running around taking care of things that the sheriffs won’t. One problem we got is jurys with the IQ of a carrot. Let the lawyer for some guy that kilt about five people start talking about how bad the murderer’s home life was and the jury gets tears in their eyes and lets them off with life without parole.

What good’s a Death Penalty if you ain’t going to kill anybody with it? It’s the only way we got to get back at the criminal–I mean, get justice. So put me on the side of Raghead and the other godly Conservatives. Kill, kill, kill so they won’t kill no more. If they want to cut loose we’ll show them what real killing is. It will set a exsample for all of them. Besides, we won’t see it being done and so we can wash our hands of it.

That’s my opinion and it’s very true. Have a good day everybody.

BS Aplenty

March 26th, 2009
10:02 am

In 1988, Democratic presidential candidates Bill Clinton and Mike Dukakis were in a debate, as I recall, being moderated by CNN’s Bernie Shaw. The former Massachusetts governor was asked if he would support the death penalty for a man convicted of raping and killing his wife, Kitty. Dukakis, in the truest liberal dithering, mumbled that he had always been against the death penalty.

Somewhere in that answer most reasonable Americans saw a man who was not fit to be president.

lovelyliz

March 26th, 2009
10:03 am

Alfred Rivera, Steve Manning, Eric Clemmons, Joseph Nahume Green, Earl Washington, William Nieves, Frank Lee Smith, Michael Graham, Albert Burrell, Oscar Lee Morris, Peter Limone, Gary Drinkard, Joaquin Jose Martinez, Jeremy Sheets, Charles Fain, Juan Roberto Melendez, Ray Krone, Thomas Kimbell, Jr., Larry Osborne, Aaron Patterson, Madison Hobley, Leroy Orange, Stanley Howard, Rudolph Holton, Lemuel Prion, Wesley Quick, John Thompson, Timothy Howard, Gary Lamar James, Joseph Amrinem, Nicholas Yarris, Alan Gell, Gordon Steid, Laurence Adams, Dan L. Bright, Ryan Matthews, Ernest Ray Willis, Derrick Jamison, Harold Wilson, John Ballard, Curtis McCarty, Michael McCormick, Jonathon Hoffman, Kennedy Brewer, Glen Chapman, Levon Jones, Michael Blair

Davo

March 26th, 2009
10:13 am

I saw a program that examined a death penalty case. It was a before/after type program. They talked to the victims family and friends before they executed the killer, and then interviewed them again a few months after the state dispatched him. They were just as mad and angry as before…one guy was mad because ‘he got off easy’ where as before he wanted him dead.

This notion of ‘justice for the victims’ in support of the death penalty plays well but let’s be honest here, shouldn’t we focus more on justice and less on vengence? And the thought of the state killing an innocent man is really quite disturbing. The notion that it deters people from violence is ludicriss…as if murderers and psychopaths have impulse control to begin with.

Siding with angels of mercy will save us money and grief over the long run.

Glenn

March 26th, 2009
10:20 am

I respect your views, Davo, but I disagree. It seems that the prosecutors have abbrogated their duty, and are doing instead the bidding of defense attorneys. Instead of throwing in the towel, they should seek legislation that fast-tracks murderers to death. That’s what Texas, Florida and Wyoming have done. Let justice be swift and sure.

Chris Broe

March 26th, 2009
10:21 am

Wooten is the new Peter Lorre: Drooling over the prospects of being the reporter covering an execution, not to mention all the tingly feelings he gets saving taxpayers’ money.

There is a 100 percent chance of executing an innocent man during any capital punishment regime; Wooten is accepting murder as collateral damage in the war on crime.

Wooten writes only what serves to align him with some vague moving target of conservative ideals and litmus test profiling. Here’s a quarter, Wooten. Write a conservative cliche.

Wooten is tough on crime. Wooten is so tough, that when he was in middle school, he used to cheat at hangman, just to see the penciled-in guy dangle. Then, he’d turn to the very next page in his hangman notepad and he’d cheat at hangman again, so he could draw the hanged man with his legs and feet in a slightly different position than the game on the previous page. He amused himself all summer once by flipping through the pages quickly and watching the hanged man playing air soccer. There were reports of cats disappearing that summer.

Wooten won the “PoorLyncher Prize”, for excellence in justifying hangin’, for his autobiography entitled, “It’s been weeks since I’ve been to a good hangin’.”

He won the minds and hearts of our red state environmentalists when he insisted that only green beret snipers be allowed to be in the firing squad pool. “We’re wasting bullets shooting criminal scum. One bullet for one person. I’m only looking out for the tax payer.”

Wooten’s not so much a Founding Father of the Vast Right Wing Conspiracy as he is a bagman for Thomas Paine. ( I don’t know what that means. Now I want my mommy).

Maniac is accurate

March 26th, 2009
10:26 am

I think there should be degrees of incarceration beyond just general population jail time and solitary confinement. For murderers and rapists there should be solitary confinement-plus. Isolation in windowless cells, solid door, bare lightbulb, no reading material except pharmaceutical studies, Nutriloaf once a day and water. A half-hour outdoors alone in a special “yard,” high walls, alone, no exercise equipment three times a week. Forever. I don’t care who you are, that’s some punishment right there.

Glenn

March 26th, 2009
10:28 am

Personally I favor the guillotine. Say what you will about the device, but at least the thing worked.

KC

March 26th, 2009
10:39 am

For me the situation is quite simple, it will absolutely save the taxpayer’s money. I know, I know… A convict’s room and board for 40 years is a lot of money, but studies have shown that the amount spent on death penalty trials add up to a lot more than just locking these people up.

Emotionally, I do sympathize with the victim’s families. I cannot even contemplate what it must be like to lose a loved one to a murderer, but I think if I were in that situation I would want the trial and sentencing over as soon as possible. Look how long the Brian Nichols case dragged on and on. Granted, he is way beyond evil and if anyone deserved the death penalty, he does. But, if the prosecutor thought that he couldn’t get the death penalty for Nichols he could have gone straight to LWOP saving us all years as well as millions of dollars.

Ga Values

March 26th, 2009
10:43 am

WABE’s spring fund raiser is on, I’ll be taking pledges next Thursday afternoon, please do your duty.

Churchill's MOM

March 26th, 2009
10:44 am

I see Raghead is back but his logic hasn’t improved.

Chris Broe

March 26th, 2009
10:50 am

Great, Maniac, take the fun out of both prison, and being a married couch potato, (your punishment describes both). .

JLK

March 26th, 2009
11:04 am

Thank you, LovelyLiz. I note that those who get massive wood from wars that kill innocent families and state-sponsored executions make no comment on the number of wrongly-convicted men later freed by DNA evidence, and would not begin to touch upon the numbers who were executed wrongly before such science became more readily available, (though still prohibitively expensive for many.) Thankfully, many Americans remain reasonable on this subject. Are the citizens of Georgia evolving? Could it be?

Actually, the “stomach” to which Mr. Wooten refers is more about pockets. The death penalty is more expensive to implement than life without parole, and the resulting benefit to the wrongly convicted of having more time to prove their innocence is purely incidental, and of no concern whatsoever to SHEI$$TER fake-azz lawyers whose “morals” exist entirely in their daily critical blatherings of others, and in no way inhabit their non-existent souls. Or so it would appear based upon the evidence before us.

Shawny

March 26th, 2009
11:16 am

ok, then. Bring back penal colonies. deserted isle, make them fend for themselves. grow their own food, etc. no taxpayer money involved, except the visual from space to insure they don’t escape back into our society.

Gregg

March 26th, 2009
11:21 am

Glen we do not live by Mosiac law, so there is no need to ask a Rabbi. And the word in my Bible is “KILL”. I think Redneck Convert haas it in a nut bag. he uses a wild brand of humor however for the most part he is correct he what he says. We only think for forgiving those that tresspass against on Sundays when we are dressed our best and sitting in pews of like minded people.

Gregg

March 26th, 2009
11:26 am

Glenn have you seen the shows where people who were sent to death row were freed after many years of professing their innocence? What if they were put to death only to find out that they too were innocent after the fact? Does that equate to all of those that played a role in their sentencing and overall “MURDER” be charged with that as a crime? Or is that for the common good also?

Glenn

March 26th, 2009
11:49 am

Perhaps you’ll recall, Gregg, that the late Mr. Justice Harry Blackmun finally rejected the death penalty, after his clerks showed him how inconsistently the punishment is meted out across the states, and how frequently innocent persons had been wrongly accused and executed. There’s a very thorny thicket of jursiprudence here. Is the proper remedy then to abandon capital punishment altogether, or is the remedy instead to reform the justice system so that death sentences are meted out beyond a shadow of doubt?

American justice is in fact derived from both Mosaic law and English Common Law. In the year that John Wesley preached in Georgia, he wrote and taught very thoughtfully on the question of Christian pacifism. He concluded that both war and capital punishment are necessary evils, a kind of divine hypocrisy. With Wesley, there never were any shortcuts, and simple answers, yet he was anything but an obscurantist or hair-splitter. These are tragic questions, aren’t they?

The little sister and only sibling of a dear friend was raped and murdered in New Mexico a few years back. The killer remains at large. I know of no one who knew beautiful, cheery Stephanie who does not want the killer found and executed. Indeed, the thought of that man spending his days as a ward of the state just makes no sense to me at all. A society that moves in that direction, mistaking clemency for grace, is in fact devolving into madness.

Gregg

March 26th, 2009
11:55 am

Glenn do you think the murderer of Stephanie will be killed in the same way. They are put to sleep so they feel no pain. I am sorry for your friend’s lost however that is not justice but vengence in it’s simplest form. Since I can’t kill him, I will allow the state to do it. Let me ask you what if the wrong man is found, convicted and killed? How do you think Stephanie’s Family would feel? I think they would rather know for a fact he is not hurting anyone else the way he caused them pain than an innocent man dying at the state’s hand.

GayGrayGeek

March 26th, 2009
12:05 pm

Mom @ 10:44 – You must remember that “logic” and “reason” are to The Esquire as “thrift” and “humility” are to Paris Hilton.

Glenn

March 26th, 2009
12:30 pm

My reason for mentioning Jewish Orthodoxy is that in that faith the death penalty for murder is mandated by a God who demands it. It’s not optional; it’s mandatory. The rabbinate therefore does not consider it open for debate.

In Christian theology there is a concept of sacred violence, which boils down to a defense of the innocent. This notion forms the basis for the Church’s “just war doctrine”, and the same concept covers, or permits, capital punishment. Last week in Cameroon Pope Benedict said that essence of Christianity is the rejection of violence, and yet he himself has done nothing I know of to modify or abandon the Roman Catholic Church’s position on warfare and legal killing. It occurs to me that were he to do, among other things the military chaplaincies would be thrown into confusion.

I want Stephanie’s murderer executed unless he is insane. I don’t want anyone executed in his place.

randyrulz

March 26th, 2009
12:40 pm

POTUS is taking questions on the Web. Who is this guy trying to kid? After that fiasco two nights ago now he is taking questions from the alleged public. Yeah right. For all who believe those questions won’t be filtered, do something else: make me believe that solar activity doesn’t cause the earth to warm and cool.

What kind of teleprompter is there on the Web anyway?

Jackie

March 26th, 2009
12:43 pm

We have not found a system that is infallible, consequently the state has killed innocent men and women in our name.

How do we correct the error that was made in our names?

Glenn

March 26th, 2009
12:46 pm

The perfect is the enemy of the good.

@@

March 26th, 2009
12:49 pm

I think the problem is in the wording, Jim — they matter, dont’cha know?

No longer should we call it “capital punishment”. Let’s call it assisted suicide so the compassionate liberals will get on board. With the new DNA fingerprinting, we should be good to go.

When ‘ya think about it, not having the ability to resist violent impulses must be a debilitating existence so ending their suffering would be the compassionate thing to do.

On murder, The Bible deals with the personal conflict in numerous scriptures. Of course, each individual (pastor/parishioner) brings with him/her their own doctrine through social constructs but theirs does not overrule God’s. For those that want to argue Old Testament vs New Testament, you can’t ignore:

“My teaching is not my own. It comes from him who sent me.” (John 7:16)

Going back to the Old Testament: God expects ethical behavior (Jn 6:29; Ac 8:21, 24:16; 2 Co 9:7; 1 Th 4:9; Jas 1:27; 1 Jn 3:9) and will judge wrongdoers (Ro 2:16, 3:19)

Then you get into Give therefore to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s.

In other words….if your life is not minted in the image of God, you place yourself in the government’s “treasury” to do with as they see fit.

“Thou Shalt Not Kill” — if he struck him down with his hand in enmity, and as a result he died, the one who struck him shall surely be put to death, he is a murderer (Numbers 25:31)

The commandment “Thou shalt not kill” is really not as general as the King James version would indicate. The commandment actually refers to premeditated, unjustified killing – murder.

For those of you who want to say killing is killing whether it be baby or adult, look ^^^ up! With the exception of risk to the mother, all killing of innocent babies is unjustified unless you’re willing to consider inconvenience a justification.

I would argue that no person who has lost a loved one to criminal intent (murder, rape, child molestation) should sit on a jury where the death penalty is on the table, and YES, I think all three should be punishable by death. Their judgment may be provoked by revenge. That’s why impartial jurists are sought — their judgment is in the interest of social justice. A difficult job but somebody’s gotta do it which is why I believe, liberals would prefer not.

Glenn

March 26th, 2009
12:57 pm

@@,

Do you still want me to hit you?

I thought you’d never ask…

Rush Limbaugh

March 26th, 2009
1:10 pm

Redneck Covert

Amen Brother…… The logic of our neo-con, non-secular progressive, right wing, Sean Hannity(you are a great American)following friends is that their position on the sanctity of life gives them the moral authority to pick and choose who lives and dies. It is a totally contradictory position. I was against death before I was for it.

Never mind that the justice system doesn’t always get it right…oops killed an innocent one. But that’s ok, we thought he was guilty.

It is this rigid self-assuredness and sanctimonious attitude that makes them so impervious to reason. To consider another’s position to them is weakness. When challenged they lash out. They all basically seethe with contempt for anyone who has a different view. They consider their position morally superior. Thank God there are only a few of them.

Glenn

March 26th, 2009
1:12 pm

I bet Gov. Perdue will veto the bill.

randyrulz

March 26th, 2009
1:14 pm

So long as we’re allowed to own guns in this nation, the most useful (and cheap) type of execution will still be around legally: self defense and wasting a scumbag no questions asked. You read about these stories all the time. Here’s one of the latest around metro ATL:

Associated Press – February 28, 2009 11:44 AM ET

LILBURN, Ga. (AP) – Gwinnett County police say a homeowner shot and killed 1 of the intruders when two men kicked in his front door.

The incident happened shortly after 5 p.m. Friday when the men knocked at the door and when no one answered, kicked it in.

Police spokeswoman Illana Spellman said the resident fired, striking and killing one in the doorway. She said the second man ran away and police using search dogs were unable to find the man.

No charges have been filed in the incident.

Information from: The Atlanta Journal-Constitution,

Maniac is accurate

March 26th, 2009
1:16 pm

Why shouldn’t murderers and rapists suffer my fate, Chris?

John G.

March 26th, 2009
1:32 pm

Ragnar, congrats on the name I wonder how many here know, I’m guessing Gregg, may never know. He sees no irony in killing the innocent vs. punishing the guilty. Maybe their pretty thoughts and enlightened ideals will be able to replace work and reward this time, since the previous times it failed in the harsh light of human nature.

@@

March 26th, 2009
1:34 pm

Glenn:

I left you half an ichtys and it died for wanting.

Never would have worked out though — no futtock shrouds.

Just havin’ a little online fun with ‘ya, Blackjack, you ol’ picaroon you.

Glenn

March 26th, 2009
1:55 pm

You slay me, @@.

"Charles", The Original

March 26th, 2009
2:17 pm

We came too far, marched too long, prayed too hard, wept too bitterly, bled too profusely, and died too young in our attempt to abolish capital punishment in the State of Georgia. But to no avail. Regretfully, it took the aftermath of a shooting rampage on March 11, 2005 at the Fulton County Courthouse that left the powers that be, Senate, House, and the Governor with only one choice; abolish the death penalty. And in a futile attempt to avoid coming face to face with that reality, some assert softly that “slow-death capital punishment is affirmed.” They simply mean that life without parole will become the ultimate criminal penalty in the State of Georgia.

The Senate had already passed the bill that effectively ended capital punishment. The house voted 164-0. Now all that’s needed is the governor’s signature.

I pray ye make a list of crimes more depraved in the eyes of victims that’s been wrongly accused, charged, convicted, and sitting on death row…There is none.

williebkind

March 26th, 2009
2:22 pm

If you not for the death penalty then you must be for building more prisons? What kind of tax increase are you talking about? Speaking of prisons, for those who use any form of illegal drugs, could you please volunteer to patrol the border and save non users lives. Liberals are welcome!

Peter

March 26th, 2009
2:55 pm

My buddy said we should go ahead and kill folks but make it a pay per view TV program…….thus getting two things accomplished…….

1. Getting rid of the scum……… not paying to keep them alive, and for what ?

2. Collecting much needed revenue !

It would make great reality TV ! Plus it might make folks think twice about killing for a change.