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Why the death penalty is so costly...

Discussion in 'Political Discussion' started by DarrylS, Nov 23, 2009.

  1. DarrylS

    DarrylS PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    This is not about terrorism trials...

    In 1973 when I started working for the State of RI, worked in a probation capacity... one of my first cases was a kid named Steve Smith,who was notorious in those days, for almost 6 years followed him around New England where he wound up in a lot of courts and a lot of different state settings, including Bridgewater(the psychiatric unit), the old New Bedford Jail, a place in Maine and a couple in Conn... fast forward to 2006 was contacted by a Public Defender from Florida.

    Steve had been charged with killling a correctional officer, Darla Lathrem, and they were going to subpoena me to come to Fla. to testify on his behalf(expenses paid). I told them subpoena me all they want, their subpoena could not cross state lines I would not go, I also told them of my bias due to my correctional background, and my testimony would never be helpful... the PD explained that is was his responsibility to provide a "vigorous defense" in a capital murder case,his requests were ignored..Subsequently Steve and 2 defendents were found guilty, 1 got life and Steven and another were sentenced to death.

    When he killed CO Lathrem he was serving 7 life sentences for Rape, Burglary and Murder.... he was 45 years old...

    Today a letter was received from something called State of Fla. "Capital Collateral Regional Counsel", a state agency... apparently all death penalty sentences go to them so they can continue their "vigorous" defense of Steve, so he can avoid being put to death.. he has already been defended "vigorously" and now the same is true for the appeals... without regard I shredded the request.

    There is a separate agency just to handle the appeals... this looks expensive... it is a good database of all the folks on death row in Florida, here is info on the agency.

    CCRC | Commission on Capital Cases

    Here is a synopsis of the Steve Smith case and the amount of legal work involved..

    The Commission on Capital Cases updates this information regularly
    Last edited: Nov 23, 2009
  2. Patsfanin Philly

    Patsfanin Philly Rookie

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    #95 Jersey


    I'm assuming it will probably take about ten years from conviction to execution in Florida. Here in Pennsylvania we have some people who have been on death row for 25 years and are more likely to die of old age.....
    I was discussing American History with my son who's in high school and the issue of the attempted assassination attempt on FDR came up. In that attempt, the mayor of Chicago was shot and eventually died. The shooter pled guilty and was executed a month later!!! There has to be an acceptable middle ground, protecting the rights of those convicted to insure that the innocent aren't executed but ensuring that justice is not delayed and that no more prison guards are killed by inmates with nothing to lose...
    Last edited: Nov 23, 2009
  3. DarrylS

    DarrylS PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Surprised at the layers of protection, that this defendent and all defendents sentenced to death receive... never realized that there were so many layers of state agencies to protect convicted killers such as this....

    People love retribution, but there are so many protections and agencies involved it almost seems cost prohibitive, might be easier to build "Florence" type facilities and sentence them there with life and no possibility of parole...
  4. Patters

    Patters Moderator Staff Member PatsFans.com Supporter

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    The unfortunate thing is that there have been a large number of cases of innocent people wrongly convicted, and as a result our system has built in a number of protections to reduce the likelihood of that. In a quick search, one article says that "For every seven executions, one Death Row inmate has been exonerated."

    The Wrongly Condemned: Innocent on Death Row - Associated Content - associatedcontent.com

    It's important we do all we can to prevent a miscarriage of justice that can't be undone, even if the accused are poor and uneducated. Life without parole often makes economic sense, and certainly makes moral sense to those who believe that the state should not be in the business of taking lives.
    Last edited: Nov 24, 2009
  5. PatsWSB47

    PatsWSB47 Rookie

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    #12 Jersey

    Well I guess if you're going to have a death penalty then you better be prepared to spend whatever it takes to make sure the right person is being executed. The problem is too many innocent people die anyway. It doesn't work much as a deterant and is immoral as far as I'm conerned.
  6. DarrylS

    DarrylS PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    I have never been convinced that that Death Penalty Deters Crime, it only makes obscure lowlifes "cause celebre's"... I favor very strick, low stimulating, imposed 23 hour lockdown prisons.. keep the CO's safe... everything is controlled, prisoners watch what we want them to watch, read what we allow them to read... recreate when we want them to.... preferably in the middle of the night, nothing quite like disturbing sleep cycles..

    What prompts this is the overall cost and state bureaucracy that it takes to implement a death sentence...

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