Death penalty opponents say practice a failure, waste of money

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The same day convicted Richmond County killer Mark McClain was executed at a Georgia prison, one of the nation’s leading non-profit death penalty research organizations released a harsh assessment of the practice.

A report by the non-profit Death Penalty Information Center released Tuesday said state executions are wasting millions of dollars that could be funneled to other anti-crime efforts, and that law enforcement officials increasingly view it as a low priority for reducing actual crimes.

In a private poll of 500 police chiefs from across the nation, law enforcement officials ranked the greater use of the death penalty last when asked about the areas that were the most important in reducing violent crime.

Among the top choices were reducing drug abuse, increasing the number of police officers and creating a better economy with more jobs. They also ranked the death penalty as the least efficient use of taxpayers’ money, instead citing programs such as neighborhood watch programs and those designed to train more officers as better uses.

About 1 percent of those polled said more use of the death penalty was a better way to reduce violence.

The report also said about 57 percent of police chiefs, agreed that it does little to prevent violent crimes because criminals do not often consider the consequences of their actions.

Mr. McClain was executed by lethal injection Tuesday night at the Georgia Diagnostic and Classification Prison in Jackson. A Richmond County jury sentenced him to death for the 1994 shooting of 28-year-old Kevin Brown during the armed robbery of a Domino’s Pizza on Washington Road.

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55 F-100
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55 F-100 10/21/09 - 08:36 am
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The wasted money here was

The wasted money here was paying room and board for this murderer for 15 years. The law needs to be changed so that the maximum time span from conviction to lethal injection should be no more than 5 years.

younameit
216
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younameit 10/21/09 - 09:16 am
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Isn't this like the

Isn't this like the Chick-Fil-A cows suggesting we "Eat mor Chikin." If this is news, then why not the statistical analysis done by an anti-death penalty group two years ago that proved scientifically that the death penalty reduces the murder rate? Or the one in 1999 that showed the 18-month moratorium on executions in Texas resulted in an increase of 180 murders? On our NEWS page, we want not only the the truth, but also the whole truth and nothing but the truth.

FallingLeaves
27
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FallingLeaves 10/21/09 - 09:44 am
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I'm with the police chiefs on

I'm with the police chiefs on this one. They are the ones seeing the direct and indirect results. Give them some credit for knowing what they are talking about.

zardoz35
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zardoz35 10/21/09 - 09:50 am
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While I feel that there are

While I feel that there are certain crimes that could easily warrant a death penalty, I have to wonder why the U.S. public seems to be so blood-thirsty in support of it. There is no proof, only opinions, that it deters crime one way or the other. There are so many factors involved in such proof, we'll probably never know in the absolute. One thing we do know, and that is it's horendously expensive to kill someone. That, in itself, is a good reason to junk it. Most of the money goes to lawyers anyway!!
The real issue isn't the death penalty, it's crime in general. We have more of it than anybody (industrialized world). We would do far better to eliminate reasons for crime (as much as possible) as opposed to "what we gonna do with the bad guys". Otherwise we're just caught in a vicious cycle that will never end.

Fish Out of Water
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Fish Out of Water 10/21/09 - 09:51 am
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And the money used to house

And the money used to house these criminals in our jails is somehow NOT wasteful spending? I'm not an advocate for or against the death penalty, but some of these murderers are treated better in jail than they would be in the streets, and they're doing so on the taxpayers' dime. That doesn't seem right to me.

Fish Out of Water
0
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Fish Out of Water 10/21/09 - 09:52 am
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Good point, zardoz. Focus on

Good point, zardoz. Focus on the cause, not the symptom.

Newsreader
11
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Newsreader 10/21/09 - 10:03 am
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I support prisions being self

I support prisions being self supporting. The prisioners should raise what they eat, build what they sit and sleep on, and make the clothes that they wear. They should also work in public projects to pay back the cost of their expenses while in prision. Nothing should be "free". Medical and Dental expenses should be borne by the inmate. Cost of the guards and the maintenance of the facility should all be funded with money from the work of the inmates, if they can not work, then make their family or estate pay to house them in our prisions. Taxpayers should not pay one cent to support the punishment the courts impose on prisioners, they have already taken from society. This would be a real deterant to crime. Prision is too easy. Law abiding victims deserve better. Criminal give up the rights when they committ crimes. This includes the so called white collar criminals as well. Pay to Stay, or work it off. Refusal would mean less priviledges, and food. Yes less for those who do not pay. I pay less to stay in a motel six than my boss does to stay at the Raddison, it is my choice. Make the guilty pay, not us innocent taxpayers.

Painter
24
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Painter 10/21/09 - 10:15 am
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Newsreader hit the nail on

Newsreader hit the nail on the head and I also believe that death sentence should be carried out immediately. Any who are innocent will be vindicated by God.

realitycheck09
312
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realitycheck09 10/21/09 - 10:42 am
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Painter...did you really just

Painter...did you really just advocate the execution of innocent people? So, let me get this straight...when an innocent victim dies...it is then okay for the state to MURDER an innocent person in return? REALLY? Are YOU willing to die and be a martyr for the death penalty?

TakeAstand
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TakeAstand 10/21/09 - 11:26 am
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I agree with Newsreader

I agree with Newsreader completely. Also some of these [filtered word] murders are guilty beyond a doubt, those should be executed immediately. EX. Brian Nichols, was on trial for rape, was a criminal before he ever got put in jail, escaped and killed a lot of people. We have spent millions on his defense. He has shown how much of a danger to society he is even while in jail and they are taking chances they shouldn't every day they drag out putting a needle in his arm. there is no question about what he did nor how dangerous he is. There is no excuse good enough to keep him alive and spending millions to care for him and defend him at others expense! Between what Newsreader said and the quick death penalty, it may be a deterrant, but they do not know becuase they won't try! Jail is a badge of honor among some of these [filtered word]'s, and a requirement to get into some gangs! They wouldn't be so tuff if they had to wear pink and pull hard labor 24/7, instead, they run the jails and call the shots and get what they want to keep the peace!

jack
10
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jack 10/21/09 - 11:29 am
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Good point, zardoz. Focus on

Good point, zardoz. Focus on the cause, not the symptom.
Posted by Fish Out of Water on Wed Oct 21, 2009 10:52 AM....A high percentage of murders are related to drugs. We have lost the war on drugs, so how do we stop those? There are just plain mean/evil people in this world that commit horrendous crimes and the death penalty IS what is needed to keep them from committing such crimes again. The problem/waste is allowing convicted criminals to tie up the courts for years and years as in this case. Restrict the number an types of appeals (state/federal), make the lawyers really earn their pay, and mete out the sentence in no more than 5 years. Justice delayed is not justice at all.

jack
10
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jack 10/21/09 - 11:32 am
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When I visited old Tomb Stone

When I visited old Tomb Stone AZ, I not only got to see the famous bird cage saloon, but the court house with the gallows (for four) next to it. Murderers, horse thieves and cattle rustker KNEW what awaited them when caught , tried and convicted. THAT was justice.

MrAlwaysRight
0
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MrAlwaysRight 10/21/09 - 11:56 am
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Newsreader: Excellent post.

Newsreader: Excellent post. I'm glad they named the News building after you. :-D

hmm
0
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hmm 10/21/09 - 11:57 am
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yeah...we should go back to

yeah...we should go back to the ways of the west. Great plan.

hmm
0
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hmm 10/21/09 - 11:58 am
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dumb, dumb dumb dumb

dumb, dumb dumb dumb

realitycheck09
312
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realitycheck09 10/21/09 - 12:13 pm
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Those of you who want swift

Those of you who want swift executions show a fundamental misunderstanding of the American system of justice. What separates us from the rest of the world are our pricinples: Innocent until provent guilty, right to a fair trial, the right to adequate and effective counsel. No one should be put to death (really ever, but that's another story) without us making certain that we have acted justly. They have swift "justice" in China and Saudi Arabia. If that's what you want, take a plane and head east.

realitycheck09
312
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realitycheck09 10/21/09 - 12:15 pm
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PS - to do just ONE appeal

PS - to do just ONE appeal takes anywhere from 2-3 years from conviction. To exhaust the appellate process honestly takes at least a decade or more.

stillamazed
1488
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stillamazed 10/21/09 - 12:24 pm
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The people they murder did

The people they murder did not get a chance to live so why should these people. I am a believer in the death penalty but only when there is actual evidence to prove a persons guilt ie. dna, video, not eye witnesses who have proven in many cases to be wrong and realitycheck I agree with you on your comments except the actual death penalty but we agree to disagree on that. I believe that the crime should fit the punishment and often in this country that doesn't happen. As far as the money spend, heck it cost alot to house prisoners anyway and they all get appeals and such that cost.

realitycheck09
312
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realitycheck09 10/21/09 - 12:27 pm
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5:00...I can very

5:00...I can very respectfully disagree with you because you clearly have thought out your opinion. And I can't say I completely disagree when it involves DNA or video. Eye witness evidence (especially cross-racial ID) is completely unreliable. It's the people who spew such venom (see above) that trouble me. Cheers.

butler123
1
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butler123 10/21/09 - 01:13 pm
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The death penalty doesn't

The death penalty doesn't deter these criminals. Most of them aren't scared to die or they think they are too smart to get caught. Prison needs to be awful. Prison needs to be a place where criminals don't wish to return. Newsreader is exactly right. And who knows maybe some of the not violents, might actually gain some self-worth, and actually be rehabilitated into productive members of society.

baronvonreich
0
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baronvonreich 10/21/09 - 01:31 pm
0
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The appeals process doesn't

The appeals process doesn't have to take that long. It would be much cheaper to create more courts and more judges and more prosecutor positions to swiftly prosecute these cases and their appeals. There is no reason violent felons and those convicted of mulitple felonies should not be put to death within 1 to 2 years. The money saved on room and board at prisons, construction of new prisons, employees at prisons, etc would pay for this many times over and YES if made mandatory and actually carried out it would drastically reduce crime.

realitycheck09
312
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realitycheck09 10/21/09 - 02:34 pm
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baronvonrich....and you have

baronvonrich....and you have data to back up your assertion that it would reduce crime? How about the fact that states that HAVE the death penalty have HIGHER murder rates than states that do not?

corgimom
36687
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corgimom 10/21/09 - 03:59 pm
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The state of NC is about to

The state of NC is about to release 50 extremely violent criminals who were sentenced years ago to life sentences. At the time they were sentenced, life was considered to be 80 years. They've served about 20. There's nothing anyone can do. And there are charmers in that group like a man who raped and killed a 9 year old. Life sentences DO NOT MEAN LIFE.

WhippingPost
1
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WhippingPost 10/22/09 - 05:07 pm
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The death penalty deters

The death penalty deters every person it's used on. The tremendous expense is because of those who feel they need to consume , or cause to be consumed, as many tax dollars as possible. Hey, it's a job and someone's got to do it.

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