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die.

Westerfield sentenced to death

There was a time when I was steadfast against the death penalty. Then I had children, and I thought - god damn, if anyone ever harms one of my kids I will tear their body from limb to limb. And if anyone should ever have the moral depravity to murder one of my children, I will not let that person go to trial, for I will slice off his head and shit down his neck before it ever gets that far.

That said, David Westerfield should be hung by his balls and left to die.

I watched the sentencing on television. More than once, the defense attorney made me want to kick the tv screen.

He blathered on and on about how the judge should "spare the community" the trauma of going through endless appeals and stays of execution and then the execution itself; that the judge, by ruling in favor of the death penalty, would be punishing the community and the family of the victim by making them wait out Westerfield's death.

Give me a break. Does this man think that life without parole would make the pain any easier to bear? Knowing that this monster, this child killer, is sitting in prison, getting meals and exercise and reading books for the rest of his life? Sure, he'll probably become someone's bitch and take it up the ass a couple of times, and I'm sure, given that "code of ethics" that seems to exist in prisons, Westerfield would take a couple of down home beatings for his crime. But to stand in front of the judge and have the nerve to say that not giving the death penalty would spare the community pain and anguish is the biggest crock of bullshit I've heard in ages. Like that attorney really gives a crap about the long-term grieving process of the victim's family and friends.

Die, Westerfield. Die a horrid, gruesome, death. I hope you get the chair and it misfires, causing your death to be drawn out and more painful than anything you ever imagined.

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Comments

I, too, have always said that if someone hurt my children I'd spare the community the lengthy trial and wait for the death sentence to be carried out by taking care of the mofo myself. There is a special place in Hell for someone like Westerfield, hope he enjoys it sooner rather than later....

I second your motion Michele. Especially the horrid, gruesome death part.

John

technically, that's the defense's job. to try and keep him alive. but in a case like this, i think they should run one of those canned laugh tracks whenever he pauses.

sometimes even lethal injection goes terribly wrong and the person suffers tremendously. not so often as with the chair, but we can hope. personally, i'd rather save the big pain for alejandro avila.

Absolutely Goddamn right

He blathered on and on about how the judge should "spare the community" the trauma of going through endless appeals and stays of execution and then the execution itself;

Hey! I agree!

Let's cut the bullshit and drag him outside and shoot the sumbitch, in the gut. Then laugh and have a few while he bleeds to death!

Oh no, hot button issue.....WARNING, DANGER...

While I agree that your feelings on this are quite valid, and that vengance is almost justified in these types of cases, the death penalty process is fatally flawed, and must be done away with until more safeguards are put into place. Too many death-row convicts have been exonerated by new evidence (ie: DNA) to make me comfortable with the process.

After living in Texas for many years, and watching the state execute convicts on an assembly line, I am completely confident in stating that Texas has executed more than one innocent person.

If you believe in the death penalty as it stands in this country today, then you have to be ok with the state executing innocent people "by mistake".

This isn't justice, it's vengenace. And not even vengenace forged from anger, hurt and victimization. It's vengance for political gain. Death penalty abolishonists are portrayed as "soft on crime" by their political rivals, and fail to get elected.

I prefer to let them rot in a maximum security prison ala the Secured Housing Unit at Wabash Valley Correctional Institution.

If you really feel strongly about the death penalty, then take a look at the other countries that practice it with the same level of expedience that the US does. Not a very pretty picture is is?

If Adolph Eichmann or Osama bin Ladin were put on trial today in California, both would be convicted, but neither would ever be put to death. Cal has 600+ people on death row, and not one has committed a crime heinous enough to get them actually executed.
It's like Rose Bird never left the Cal supreme court.

Westerfield WILL die. I don't care if the injection goes completely wrong and he suffers. A LOT. In fact, I hope it does.

Anyone who harms children, Catholic priests included, doesn't deserve compassion. NONE!

People who take advantage of the least among us don't deserve to be given special treatment.

My feeling has always been that if you take away the rights of someone else, through intended actions, you should lose all of your rights. You kill someone........guess what? You're no longer eligible for civil rights. Simple.

Of course, that's not how things work in the real world. No. We'll be stuck with Westerfield's endless appeals process. Bastard.

Oh no, FISKING.....WARNING, DANGER...

While I agree that your feelings on this are quite valid, and that vengance is almost justified in these types of cases, the death penalty process is fatally flawed,

Why thank you for agreeing that vengance is "almost justified" in the case of a child-raping murderer. In the same generous spirit, I'd like to suggest that anyone who goes to your house and rapes your family with a fistful of barbed wire just might deserve the trauma of jail.

and must be done away with until more safeguards are put into place.

Since he proposes no actual safeguards, this is idio-speak for "Until hell freezes over".

Too many death-row convicts have been exonerated by new evidence (ie: DNA) to make me comfortable with the process.

Well, I'm sure the justice system will jump right up to make you more comfortable. Would a big, fluffy pillow help?

Many of the media articles I've read on the subject conflate total numbers of people exonerated with death-row exonerations. Death row exonerations are much fewer, because DNA is most appropriate for rape trials, and rape doesn't normally warrant death.

Others pack together DNA-related exonerations with non-DNA related exonerations. A lot of the latter have to do with forced re-trials, where packs of foundation-financed lawyers go up against evidence that has aged, witnesses that have moved or gone missing, and 'new evidence' which is usually someone willing to testify that was mysteriously absent during the first trial. In short, I'm a lot more suspicious of many exonerations than I am of the original trial.

Its all about packing as many apples and oranges together in one crate to bump up the number. It works only when the inspector reads the crate's label and doesn't check the contents.

In short, it works on the lazy and the easily convinced. That would be you.

You think that throwing together a few worst-case examples entitles you to dismantle the justice system? Well think again!

After living in Texas for many years, and watching the state execute convicts on an assembly line, I am completely confident in stating that Texas has executed more than one innocent person.

And I'm sure that Texas has at least 100 innocent people behind bars RIGHT NOW. Open the jails!

If you believe in the death penalty as it stands in this country today, then you have to be ok with the state executing innocent people "by mistake".

I am actually OK with this, as long as its a RARE mistake. Unlike some Utopian fantisists I could mention cough*GregtheMoron*cough, I realize that there WILL be mistakes and screwups, in a system where you try to discover the truth of a situation under hostile circumstances.

This isn't justice, it's vengenace. And not even vengenace forged from anger, hurt and victimization. It's vengance for political gain.

Bush likes the Death Penalty, so we MUST abolish it!

Death penalty abolishonists are portrayed as "soft on crime" by their political rivals, and fail to get elected.

You mean that punishing child-rapists is POPULAR? STOP THE PRESSES! New headline, page A1, Entire Nation filled with Blood-Mad Viglantes

I prefer to let them rot in a maximum security prison ala the Secured Housing Unit at Wabash Valley Correctional Institution.

I prefer to release them all in Berkley, and put up a ten-foot high wall around the city. Your point?

If you really feel strongly about the death penalty, then take a look at the other countries that practice it with the same level of expedience that the US does. Not a very pretty picture is is?

Why yes, we are EXACTLY THE SAME as pre-invasion afganistan!

Which brings me to the question, what the hell are you doing on the computer? Allah frowns on political discourse!

WHOMP! WHAM! CRACK!

Oh, stop crying your arm will grow back if you pray to Allah. And clean up your intestines, you are getting them all over the ground. Don't bother putting the brains back in, you weren't using them before the beating anyway.

Hotdamn Ryan...you took the words right outta my mouth.
But how do you really feel? Can you give us a more nuanced response?

Regarding the risk of executing innocent people...
In Canada from 1982 to 1992, 367 murders were committed by paroled criminals during the period between the start of their parole and the time when their prison sentence should have ended (source: "Con Game: The Truth About Canada's Prisons" by Michael Harris).
That's 367 totally innocent people killed by a flawed parole process. I don't think it's too much to assume the parole process in the USA is just as bad and involves a great deal more criminals/deaths.
Where are the liberals protesting this carnage?
Oh, yeah, on the parole boards letting these guys back out on the streets.

Toren, there is an obvious difference between an unpredictable action which occurs as an indirect result of a government decision (a paroled criminal who kills again) and a direct action by the government (executing a person who has not committed a crime).

I consider myself a right-leaning libertarian, and I've never understood the overwhelming right-wing support for the death penalty. Conservativism -- an outlook characterized in part by a general tendency towards limiting government power and being suspicious of the efficiency of government -- should, in my mind, not be so eager to give the State the power of life and death over its citizens. And it definitely should not be so willing to turn a blind eye towards the possible execution of innocents.

Just ask yourself if you would be willing to be that innocent. Are you willing to give your life for the sake of the criminal justice system? And remember, every innocent on death row means that the real perpetrator is, likely as not, still at large.

You are my kind of people. I prefer sundering by 4 horses.

I certainly wouldn't be willing to give my life or any of my property to preserve the parole system, nor see women raped because of it either. We never see the "humanitarians" holding candlelight vigils to protest when a murderer, rapist, or mugger is released on parole or furlough. Instead, anybody who protests is smeared as "racist!" If some scumbag raped or murdered someone I loved, I wouldn't hesitate to pull the switch or the trigger on him. Don't think that because I'm for homosexuality that I'm not also for capital punishment when it is deserved. The Jews were absolutely right in executing Eichmann, were they not?. I'm also for the right of the people to keep and bear arms to protect themselves from murderers and rapists.

Phil, those 367 people are just as dead and much more likely to be innocent.
By making the decision those criminals were no longer a threat to society and being wrong in the worst possible way, the government "pulled the switch" on the victims just as much as if they'd sentenced an innocent person to death. Seems to me those parole board bureaucrats have taken upon themselves the power of life and death over citizens, and without even a minuscule fraction of the accountability and safeguards of the legal system.
As for the rest of your argument, either we accept a certain number of innocents in prison or on death row, or...what? Let everyone out? It's that sort of thinking that ends up with governments doing moronic things like banning high-speed chases by the police, thus issuing every criminal a "get out of jail free" card.
Yes, the system isn't perfect. Should it then be abandoned? With what should we replace it?
All that said, I would accept TRUE "life in prison" in lieu of a death penalty (I blogged a bit on that here). "Life in prison for murder" in Canada is currently about eight years. That seems a bit lightweight for my taste.
As for your last question, yes. I'd rather be executed as an innocent man than have a legal system that lets ten or fifty or a hundred murderers or rapists back into the community out of fear of being wrong. What good would such a system be?
Our criminal justice system is currently badly biased on the side of the accused and the criminals. I'd like to see some progress made for victims rights before we further loosen the straps on people who have passed through the highest levels of our system and still been judged guilty.

A quibble:

As for your last question, yes. I'd rather be executed as an innocent man than have a legal system that lets ten or fifty or a hundred murderers or rapists back into the community out of fear of being wrong. What good would such a system be?

To be fair, that is a false choice. The choice is not between executing them or letting them free, it is between executing them or imprisoning them for the rest of their lives.

I agree with the death penalty, but that also means we gotta be accurate when we debate.

Parole is a completely seperate argument, becuase death-row deserving convicts rarely get parole, even in non-DP states (this was not always the case).

As for the rest of your argument, either we accept a certain number of innocents in prison or on death row, or...what? Let everyone out?

No, we imprison people convicted of the most heinous crimes for life, for real. Nothing, but nothing, gets them out except for actual exoneration. ANd they're kept in supermax-security, 23-hour-lockdown facilities. Isolated from the rest of the prison population, isolated from the guards.

False dichotomies do nothing to advance the cause of death penalty proponents, you know.

By making the decision those criminals were no longer a threat to society and being wrong in the worst possible way, the government "pulled the switch" on the victims just as much as if they'd sentenced an innocent person to death.

I still think you're (possibly deliberately) ignoring the difference between a foreseeable and an unforeseeable action. Paroling a criminal involves the possibility of recidivism, no doubt -- the parole boards have to weigh the chances and decide what's in the best interests of the community. And you certainly won't find me arguing that parole boards don't screw up.

On the other hand, executing a prisoner -- be he innocent or guilty -- has one and only one outcome, and it can't be reversed.

Our criminal justice system is currently badly biased on the side of the accused and the criminals.

Well, there are obvious reasons for that -- it's because the Constitution mandates strong rights for those accused of crimes. It is, unfortunately, absolutely silent on the matter of victim's rights. The Courts have to allow for those defendant's rights to be exercised. If you want to talk about a Constitutional amendment mandating victim's rights, that's a possibility I can get behind. (As long as it doesn't make the victim the arbiter of punishment.)