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AlbertJayNock

The Death Penalty

I was very happy to see Steven Hayes receive the death penalty for his role in the Petit home invasion and murder in Connecticut. The crime was so heinous and the evidence was so conclusive that not giving him the death penalty would have been tantamount to repealing it. No one could justifiably executed if Steven Hayes was not.

Of course, some might say we shouldn't have the death penalty at all. Some say it's hypocritical to kill as a punishment for killing (which is silly...if you want to punish a criminal, you have to do something it would be morally wrong to do to an innocent person.) Others point to the possibility of executing an innocent man, which is a concern to be taken more seriously. That's why some appeals are necessary. Death penalty opponents use the cost of appeals to argue that the death penalty is more expensive than life in prison. Steven Hayes's lawyers tried to make the cost  argument during the penalty phase of his trial, but the judge (wisely) did not allow it.


And of course the proponents argue back that we should just limit appeals. One way to do that, and still retain safeguards against executing the innocent, would be to just severely restrict appeals of sentences (maybe even eliminating them) but be generous with appeals of the verdict. If there's no substantive questions about guilt, don't worry about the sentence. In the meantime, answer every reasonable question about applicable guilt. (I'm only talking about murder cases here...if some yahoos passed a death penalty for say, failing to recycle, I'd certainly like to see some judicial review of THAT law.)

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