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Thread: Support grows for suspending Ky. death penalty

  1. #1

    Default Support grows for suspending Ky. death penalty

    Ever heard this one? “Don’t confuse me with facts. My mind’s made up!”

    It might bring a chuckle, but this bumper sticker flippancy also sends the message that factual information is wasted on someone whose opinion cannot be swayed under any circumstances.

    Fortunately, that is not the case with a majority of Kentuckians, as a recent poll by the University of Kentucky Survey Research Center makes clear. In this case, the question at hand is whether Kentucky should call a halt to executions until the state fixes the many problems that plague its capital punishment system.

    Kentuckians, in fact, overwhelmingly support such a suspension in executions – and most believe that lengthy prison sentences, including life without parole, are preferable to the death penalty as punishment for people convicted of first-degree murder.


    Here is the question the interviewers asked in the poll, which was conducted between March 4 and April 30, 2016 and included interviews with 684 Kentuckians over the age of 18 (with a margin of error of plus or minus 3.8 percent).

    A two-year study by a panel of Kentucky law professors, judges and other legal scholars found major problems in the administration of the death penalty in Kentucky and recommended that the state should suspend executions until those problems were fixed. In light of these problems, would you support a decision by the governor to halt all executions until these problems can be addressed?

    Nearly three-fourths of the respondents, 72.4 percent, told interviewers they would support the governor taking such an action. That exceeded the level of support for the death penalty reflected in the poll (69.3 percent). Even among those who support the death penalty, 62.6 percent said there should be a halt in executions until the system’s problems are addressed.

    We have written before about the study referenced in the poll question and its many troubling findings that included:

    An error rate of more than 60 percent on death penalty cases – meaning most death sentences have been overturned on appeal by Kentucky or federal courts.
    The lack of a requirement that evidence in criminal cases be retained as long as a defendant remains incarcerated.
    The absence of uniform standards on eyewitness identifications and interrogations.
    Public defender caseloads far in excess of national averages and salaries that are far below those of attorneys with similar experience in surrounding states.
    No statewide standards governing the qualifications and training of attorneys appointed to handle capital cases.
    When the report was released in 2011, along with a recommendation that Kentucky suspend executions until the issues were adequately addressed, a poll found 62 percent of likely Kentucky voters supporting a temporary halt to executions. The increase in support of the suspension is noteworthy.

    The recent UK poll also found that support for the death penalty declined when respondents could choose among possible punishments for people convicted of first-degree murder. They were asked the following question:

    Which of the following punishments do you personally think is most appropriate for persons convicted of first-degree murder in Kentucky?

    Responses in support of the different punishments were:

    Death penalty – 42.2 percent
    Life in prison with no chance of parole – 35.4 percent
    Life in prison with no chance of parole for 25 years – 7.4 percent
    Life in prison with no chance of parole for 20 years – 2.1 percent
    A sentence of 20-50 years with a chance of parole after 85 percent of the sentence is served – 13 percent

    Asked about the high cost of administering the death penalty as a result of mandated appeals, as well as additional trials and associated housing costs, 68 percent of the respondents strongly or somewhat support replacing it with life imprisonment without parole.

    Their concerns about possibly executing an innocent defendant were reflected in their agreement (at 71.6 percent) with a statement that the capital punishment system risks doing just that. Even most of those who support the death penalty agreed (at 61.4 percent) that there are risks of executing the innocent.

    ...
    http://www.courier-journal.com/story...alty/87953726/
    Quote Originally Posted by Ron Paul View Post
    The intellectual battle for liberty can appear to be a lonely one at times. However, the numbers are not as important as the principles that we hold. Leonard Read always taught that "it's not a numbers game, but an ideological game." That's why it's important to continue to provide a principled philosophy as to what the role of government ought to be, despite the numbers that stare us in the face.



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  4. #3

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    Even most of those who support the death penalty agreed (at 61.4 percent) that there are risks of executing the innocent.
    I don't understand how anyone could support it if they knew innocent people were executed, which it seems they do.^^^ I just don't get it.
    Quote Originally Posted by Ron Paul View Post
    The intellectual battle for liberty can appear to be a lonely one at times. However, the numbers are not as important as the principles that we hold. Leonard Read always taught that "it's not a numbers game, but an ideological game." That's why it's important to continue to provide a principled philosophy as to what the role of government ought to be, despite the numbers that stare us in the face.

  5. #4

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    Quote Originally Posted by Suzanimal View Post
    I don't understand how anyone could support it if they knew innocent people were executed, which it seems they do.^^^ I just don't get it.
    Nobody is innocent. We are all sinners.
    Quote Originally Posted by TheCount View Post
    Drudge is a traitor to the Leader and the Revolution.



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  6. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by Danke View Post
    Nobody is innocent. We are all sinners.
    (mod edit)

    Quote Originally Posted by Ron Paul View Post
    The intellectual battle for liberty can appear to be a lonely one at times. However, the numbers are not as important as the principles that we hold. Leonard Read always taught that "it's not a numbers game, but an ideological game." That's why it's important to continue to provide a principled philosophy as to what the role of government ought to be, despite the numbers that stare us in the face.






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