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Wednesday, September 10, 2008

If you are one of the millions of people in the world who want to try and rid your American state of the cruel and inhumane act of capital punishment, then this article will give you ideas and explanations which may work in your defence. There are no guarentees that these steps will make your state free of this punishment, but if you try your very best, you will most likely get the results you want.

Before you even start your campaign, you need to understand the basic root of the capital punishment. Do your homework, and make sure you know why you are about to take action against this. You need to practically everything, from which crimes can be punishable by death, to the method(s) of capital punishment used in your state.
Have you ever heard the saying "There is no I in team"? In order to make your point get across, you need the most important ingredient - people! Some ways to get people to join you is by an internet petition or a radio broadcast. If using the internet, e-mail the news around to people at work or school. Only humans can get word round about things like this, so make sure you e-mail as many people as is humanly possible!
Find out who it is you need to have your debate with. Arrange an appointment with the people in charge of your state, and do not give up! If they turn you down, keep bugging them! This is all about showing them how much of a strong believer you are and you will not get down and stay there without a fight! If you still cannot talk to anyone, write a letter. Make several copies that you can repeatedly send should no one get back to you.
Now you need to make a speech or conduct your letter. Make it clear what you and your followers want, and that you won't stop until your wishes have been met! Include things like "Two wrongs don't make a right","You can't teach killing is wrong by killing" and "Killing a criminal is the easiest way out for them. Make them live with what they've done. Remind them everyday for the rest of your lives". You could always get someone with an English qualification to write things up for you. Show them a petition to increase your chance of getting what everyone wants!
Once you have written your letter/speech, all you have to do is wait. It may be days, weeks or months. Tell yourself and your team you have tried your best and won't stop until you win!
If your requests are rejected, keep trying. It takes a winner to get up after they've been knocked down.

If all else fails, protest! Say you won't be moved until you and your followers get what was asked for!


  1. kbandell said...
    ...I seriously recommend that you liaise with mainstream abolitionist groups - for example, with the National Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty - in order, first, to be directed to the human and to the technical resources which you need and which you seek and second, to minimise many possibilities that you are reinventing many wheels....you might want to contact abe@ncadp.org in order to ascertain how your commitment and how your energy can productively be used....in peace....
    dudleysharp said...
    I agree, do your homework.

    The Death Penalty in the US: A Review
    Dudley Sharp, Justice Matters, contact info below
    NOTE: Detailed review of any of the below topics, or others, is available upon request
    In this brief format, the reality of the death penalty in the United States, is presented, with the hope that the media, public policy makers and others will make an effort to present a balanced view on this sanction.

    Innocence Issues
    Death Penalty opponents have proclaimed that 129 inmates have been "released from death row with evidence of their innocence", in the US, since the modern death penalty era began, post Furman v Georgia (1972).
    The number is a fraud.
    Those opponents have intentionally included both the factually innocent (the "I truly had nothing to do with the murder" cases) and the legally innocent (the "I got off because of legal errors" cases), thereby fraudulently raising the "innocent" numbers. This is easily confirmed by fact checking.
    Death penalty opponents claim that 24 such innocence cases are in Florida. The Florida Commission on Capital Cases found that 4 of those 24 MIGHT be innocent -- an 83% error rate in for the claims of death penalty opponents. Other studies show their error rate to be about 70%. The totality of reviews points to an 80% error/fraud rate in these claims, or about 26 cases - a 0.3% actual guilt error rate for the nearly 8000 sentenced to death since 1973. 

    The actual innocents were all freed.
    It is often claimed that 23 innocents have been executed in the US since 1900.  Nonsense.  Even the authors of that "23 innocents executed" study proclaimed "We agree with our critics, we never proved those (23) executed to be innocent; we never claimed that we had."  While no one would claim that an innocent has never been executed, there is no proof of an innocent executed in the US, at least since 1900.
    No one disputes that innocents are found guilty, within all countries.  However, when scrutinizing death penalty opponents claims, we find that when reviewing the accuracy of verdicts and the post conviction thoroughness of discovering those actually innocent incarcerated, that the US death penalty process may be one of the most accurate criminal justice sanctions in the world. 
    Under real world scenarios, not executing murderers will always put many more innocents at risk, than will ever be put at risk of execution.

    Deterrence Issues
    16 recent US studies, inclusive of their defenses,  find a deterrent effect of the death penalty.
    All the studies which have not found a deterrent effect of the death penalty have refused to say that it does not deter some.  The studies finding for deterrence state such.  Confusion arises when people think that a simple comparison of murder rates and executions, or the lack thereof, can tell the tale of deterrence.  It cannot. 
    Both high and low murder rates are found within death penalty and non death penalty jurisdictions, be it Singapore, South Africa, Sweden or Japan, or the US states of Michigan and Delaware.  Many factors are involved in such evaluations.  Reason and common sense tell us that it would be remarkable to find that the most severe criminal sanction -- execution -- deterred none.  No one is foolish enough to suggest that the potential for negative consequences does not deter the behavior of some.  Therefore, regardless of jurisdiction, having the death penalty will always be an added deterrent to murders, over and above any lesser punishments.

    Racial issues
    White murderers are twice as likely to be executed in the US as are black murderers and are executed, on average, 12 months more quickly than are black death row inmates.
    It is often stated that it is the race of the victim which decides who is prosecuted in death penalty cases.  Although blacks and whites make up about an equal number of murder victims, capital cases are 6 times more likely to involve white victim murders than black victim murders.  This, so the logic goes, is proof that the US only cares about white victims.
    Hardly.  Only capital murders, not all murders, are subject to a capital indictment.  Generally, a capital murder is limited to murders plus secondary aggravating factors, such as murders involving burglary, carjacking, rape, and additional murders, such as police murders, serial and multiple murders.  White victims are, overwhelmingly, the victims under those circumstances, in ratios nearly identical to the cases found on death row.
    Any other racial combinations of defendants and/or their victims in death penalty cases, is a reflection of the crimes committed and not any racial bias within the system, as confirmed by studies from the Rand Corporation (1991), Smith College (1994), U of Maryland (2002), New Jersey Supreme Court (2003) and by a view of criminal justice statistics, within a framework of the secondary aggravating factors necessary for capital indictments.

    Class issues
    No one disputes that wealthier defendants can hire better lawyers and, therefore, should have a legal advantage over their poorer counterparts.  The US has executed about 0.15% of all murderers since new death penalty statutes were enacted in 1973.  Is there evidence that wealthier capital murderers are less likely to be executed than their poorer ilk, based upon the proportion of capital murders committed by different those different economic groups? Not to my knowledge.

    Arbitrary and capricious
    About 10% of all murders within the US might qualify for a death penalty eligible trial.  That would be about 64,000 murders since 1973.  We have sentenced 8000 murderers to death since then, or 13% of those eligible.  I doubt that there is any other crime which receives a higher percentage of maximum sentences, when mandatory sentences are not available.  Based upon that, as well as pre trial, trial, appellate and clemency/commutation realities, the US death penalty is likely the least arbitrary and capricious criminal sanctions in the  US.

    Christianity and the death penalty
    The two most authoritative New Testament scholars, Saints Augustine and Aquinas, provide substantial biblical and theological support for the death penalty. Even the most well known anti death penalty personality in the US, Sister Helen Prejean, author of Dead Man Walking, states that "It is abundantly clear that the Bible depicts murder as a capital crime for which death is considered the appropriate punishment, and one is hard pressed to find a biblical 'proof text' in either the Hebrew Testament or the New Testament which unequivocally refutes this.  Even Jesus' admonition 'Let him without sin cast the first stone,' when He was asked the appropriate punishment for an adulteress (John 8:7) -- the Mosaic Law prescribed death -- should be read in its proper context.  This passage is an 'entrapment' story, which sought to show Jesus' wisdom in besting His adversaries.  It is not an ethical pronouncement about capital punishment."  A thorough review of Pope John Paul II's position, reflects a reasoning that should be recommending more executions.

    Cost Issues
    All studies finding the death penalty to be more expensive than life without parole exclude important factors, such as (1) geriatric care costs, recently found to be $69,0000/yr/inmate, (2) the death penalty cost benefit of providing for plea bargains to a maximum life sentence, a huge cost savings to the state, (3) the death penalty cost benefit of both enhanced deterrence and enhanced incapacitation, at $5 million per innocent life spared, and, furthermore, (4) many of the alleged cost comparison studies are highly deceptive.

    Polling data
    76% of Americans find that we should impose the death penalty more or that we impose it about right (Gallup, May 2006 - 51% that we should impose it more, 25% that we impose it about right)
    71%  find capital punishment morally acceptable - that was the highest percentage answer for all questions (Gallup, April 2006, moral values poll). In May, 2007, the percentage dropped to 66%, still the highest percentage answer, with 27% opposed. (Gallup, 5/29/07)
    81% of the American people supported the execution of Timothy McVeigh, with only 16% opposed. "(T)his view appears to be the consensus of all major groups in society, including men, women, whites, nonwhites, "liberals" and "conservatives."  (Gallup 5/2/01).
    81% of Connecticut citizens supported the execution of serial rapist/murderer Michael Ross (Jan 2005).
    While 81% gave specific case support for Timothy McVeigh's execution, Gallup also showed a 65% support AT THE SAME TIME when asked a general "do you support capital punishment for murderers?" question. (Gallup, 6/10/01).
    22% of those supporting McVeigh's execution are, generally, against the death penalty (Gallup 5/02/01). That means that about half of those who say they oppose the death penalty, with the general question,  actually support the death penalty under specific circumstances, just as it is imposed, judicially.
    Further supporting the higher rates for specific cases, is this, from the French daily Le Monde December 2006 (1): Percentage of respondents in favor of executing Saddam Hussein:USA: 82%; Great Britain: 69%; France: 58%; Germany: 53%; Spain: 51%; Italy: 46%
    Death penalty support is much deeper and much wider than we are often led to believe, with 50% of those who say they, generally, oppose the death penalty actually supporting it under specific circumstances, resulting in 80% death penalty support in the US, as recently as December 2006.
    Whatever your feelings are toward the death penalty, a fair accounting of how it is applied should be demanded.
    copyright 1998-2008 Dudley Sharp
    Permission for distribution of this document, in whole or in part,  is approved with proper attribution.
    Dudley Sharp, Justice Matters
    e-mail  sharpjfa@aol.com,  713-622-5491,
    Houston, Texas
    Mr. Sharp has appeared on ABC, BBC, CBS, CNN, C-SPAN, FOX, NBC, NPR, PBS , VOA and many other TV and radio networks, on such programs as Nightline, The News Hour with Jim Lehrer, The O'Reilly Factor, etc., has been quoted in newspapers throughout the world and is a published author.
    A former opponent of capital punishment, he has written and granted interviews about, testified on and debated the subject of the death penalty, extensively and internationally.
    Pro death penalty sites 


    www.cjlf.org/deathpenalty/DPinformation.htm www.clarkprosecutor.org/html/links/dplinks.htm
    www.lexingtonprosecutor.com/death_penalty_debate.htm www.prodeathpenalty.com
    http://yesdeathpenalty.googlepages.com/home2   (Sweden) www.wesleylowe.com/cp.html

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