Georgia Execution: The Death Penalty Resumes

William Earl Lynd was executed in Georgia last night.

Lynd's execution at 7:51 p.m. was the first since the court ruled April 16 that the three-drug protocol most commonly used in executions by states and the federal government did not constitute cruel and unusual punishment.

Last week, a former death row inmate was freed in North Carolina. The Death Penalty Information Center reports:

Around the country, the 129th person was recently freed from death row in North Carolina. Levon Jones was exonerated after his conviction was overturned because of inadequate representation. The state's star witness has also recanted her testimony implicating Jones. The District Attorney dismissed all charges against him on May 3. Jones is the sixth person to be freed from death row in the past 12 months, the eighth person from North Carolina, and the 3rd from North Carolina since December 2007. The last four inmates who have been freed from death row in the U.S. are black.

The New York Times reports questions of fairness remain.

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    This puts last night in perspective (5.00 / 2) (#2)
    by bjorn on Wed May 07, 2008 at 11:35:13 AM EST
    I fear this will not get much play in the TV media as they are obsessed with last's nights events.  I thought my day could not get worse until I saw this...we need to end the death penalty NOW!

    Once again ironic (5.00 / 2) (#8)
    by Stellaaa on Wed May 07, 2008 at 12:54:45 PM EST
    Amidst the language of hope and change, the despair that is borne from social injustice continues.  The death penalty is brutality in all its manifestations.  The context with last night was horrific.  

    So basically from some of the comments I (5.00 / 1) (#14)
    by Florida Resident on Wed May 07, 2008 at 03:18:00 PM EST
    gather that the Death Penalty (execution of convicts) is a matter of revenge and not of justice or deterrence.  Now what I would like to see those who feed us those horrible stories of the way victims being brutalized etc is giving us some data that shows us that countries that abolished the Death Penalty have had a surge of murders and horrible crimes.  Has there been a decline of murders since the Death Penalty was re-instituted in the US?  

    Of course revenge plays a part in it. (none / 0) (#25)
    by jimakaPPJ on Thu May 08, 2008 at 07:45:51 PM EST
    Why shouldn't the victim's friends and family be allowed to extract some from the killer??

    And what would be "justice" for the friends and families of the victim of some killer?? There can be  no "justice."

    And why are you even concerned about the punishment meted out to a convicted killer??

    My limited belief in LWOP is based only on not wanting to execute the wrong person, not on any concern for the killer.


    Actually they are executions (1.00 / 0) (#9)
    by jimakaPPJ on Wed May 07, 2008 at 01:40:27 PM EST
    And why not call them that rather than using an inaccurate description that your foes will use against what arguments you can muster?

    How about the term (5.00 / 1) (#19)
    by jondee on Thu May 08, 2008 at 01:28:26 PM EST
    lynching? As in, when a certain moral cretin Governor asigns legal representatives with the bare minimum of criminal defense experience to represent capital defendants?

    Of course, people tailor their rhetoric to serve their cause, e.g., one mans "freedom fighter" is another mans "terrorist" etc. You remeber how it works.


    I see that you still lack the common sense (1.00 / 0) (#23)
    by jimakaPPJ on Thu May 08, 2008 at 07:32:34 PM EST
    that would allow you to use the accepted terminology and be taken seriously in a discussion.

    Nothing changes, eh??


    Today's New York Times (none / 0) (#1)
    by The Maven on Wed May 07, 2008 at 11:27:34 AM EST
    has a major front-page article on what this all means, "Executions Resume, as Do Questions of Fairness".  The principal focus of the piece seems to be on the issue of whether adequate representation is being afforded to the accused in capital cases, particularly in North Carolina.  The Levon Jones case is featured prominently.

    Interesting. (none / 0) (#4)
    by madamab on Wed May 07, 2008 at 11:48:16 AM EST
    The question they're posing is one of fairness, rather than whether or not the government should be putting people to death.

    I guess the NY Times doesn't want to discuss that one too thoroughly.


    Actually the "state" (1.00 / 0) (#11)
    by jimakaPPJ on Wed May 07, 2008 at 01:47:36 PM EST
    started executing people as surrogates for their citizens, thus preventing personal blood feuds, etc.  Outside of that the state has no real interest beyond demonstrating to their citizens a desire to provide personal protection against law breakers.

    The fairness issue is easy to prove, and any reasonable person will see that LWOP is a much better sentence given that it lacks the finality of death.

    However, many who would agree with LWOP suspect that phase two would be for defense lawyers to demand release after X number of years because LWOP is inhumane. (See the many comments re Supermax.)


    heh (1.00 / 0) (#18)
    by jimakaPPJ on Thu May 08, 2008 at 12:45:57 PM EST
    Actually I was going back a bit farther than the weregild. And while the justification is an offense against society, the reason was to stop blood feuds.

    All else grew from that point.


    Actually all the way back (1.00 / 0) (#22)
    by jimakaPPJ on Thu May 08, 2008 at 07:28:54 PM EST
    to when mankind stopped being hunter gathers and started farming..

    And your point is??? (1.00 / 0) (#28)
    by jimakaPPJ on Fri May 09, 2008 at 07:43:54 AM EST
    References to a cult down under has nothing to do with hunter gatherer tribes becoming farmers 10,000 years ago.

    Must be an early silly season in CA.


    Do you really think (1.00 / 0) (#32)
    by jimakaPPJ on Fri May 09, 2008 at 01:57:44 PM EST
    that referencing an isolated group of people regarding the formation of justice systems by the states 10000 years or so an intelligent argument???



    You seem to think that I value (none / 0) (#36)
    by jimakaPPJ on Fri May 09, 2008 at 07:03:03 PM EST
    your opinion.

    Why, after all these years do you do this? Isn't insanity often defined as doing the same thing while expecting different results?

    As to why I don't, I remind you of this:

    by jimakaPPJ on Wed Sep 12, 2007 at 05:21:44 PM EST
    ......you show your true colors when you write:

    "People will think either I'm crazy or used to be in Naval Aviation, and I don't know which one is worse."

    Nice attack on a group of people that have sacrificed to protect the country.

    Now tell us how you support the troops.

    In the past I have noted time and again (none / 0) (#38)
    by jimakaPPJ on Sat May 10, 2008 at 11:59:09 AM EST
    how you have nothing to say, just showing up late and making some trivial point. I call it ankle biting.

    My point was, is and will be that one of the key reasons that nation states enacted laws against murder, and other crimes, was to prevent blood feuds.

    Your inane comments prove nothing about that and I really wonder why you bother.

    I thought that reminding you of your position regarding our military might be enough to shame you into silence.  I see that it is not.

    Yadda yadda DA, by your words you are known.


    yawnnnnnn (1.00 / 0) (#41)
    by jimakaPPJ on Sat May 10, 2008 at 10:57:16 PM EST
    BTW (1.00 / 0) (#42)
    by jimakaPPJ on Sat May 10, 2008 at 10:59:04 PM EST
    Your insult towards the military stands there by itself. No explanation can cover up what you wrote.

    heh (none / 0) (#45)
    by jimakaPPJ on Sun May 11, 2008 at 01:13:02 PM EST
    Your insult to the military can not be covered up.

    It defines you.


    Hehe (none / 0) (#47)
    by jimakaPPJ on Sun May 11, 2008 at 05:49:53 PM EST
    Your insult of our military stands there for all to see.

    It defines you.


    hehehe (1.00 / 0) (#49)
    by jimakaPPJ on Mon May 12, 2008 at 09:45:22 AM EST
    Silence you?

    Why would I want to silence you?

    Your insult of our military defines you. I need do nothing but remind.


    hoho (1.00 / 0) (#51)
    by jimakaPPJ on Tue May 13, 2008 at 09:52:28 AM EST
    Your insulting comment to our military defines you.

    But please keep digging.


    Well, the Paper (none / 0) (#5)
    by The Maven on Wed May 07, 2008 at 11:57:05 AM EST
    addresses that issue in an editorial today, which pulls in the fairness point as well:
    Roughly 15 death row prisoners are scheduled to be put to death between now and October, according to the Death Penalty Information Center. This flood of executions is the result of the Supreme Court's ruling that upheld the constitutionality of a troubling form of lethal injection. The next few months, as states put their machinery of death into overdrive, are an ideal time for the nation to rethink its commitment to capital punishment.
        --  --  --
    These scheduled executions come at a time when many Americans are, rightly, turning away from capital punishment. We believe that the taking of a life by the state is in all cases wrong, but it is particularly so with the deeply flawed system that exists today. Many defendants lack adequate legal representation at their trials, race distorts who is sentenced to death for what crimes and juries are "death qualified" -- jurors with moral objections to the death penalty are removed. As the recent rash of DNA exonerations has shown, judges and juries too often sentence innocent people to death.
    So I think it's fair to say that the NYT's position on the death penalty is actually pretty clean and clear.

    Good. (none / 0) (#6)
    by madamab on Wed May 07, 2008 at 12:00:15 PM EST
    That makes me feel better. :-)

    Murkins Support Death Penalty, EVEN IF Innocents (none / 0) (#7)
    by tokin librul on Wed May 07, 2008 at 12:10:14 PM EST
    are condemned.

    I cannot find the link, but iirc, in Harper's or The Nation about 10 years ago, I read a report on a survey of Murkins which found that around 70% of "USers" support the death penalty, even if it means that the some innocents will inevitably be killed by the state.

    Which is just plain social sickness...

    Horrible. I lit a candle (none / 0) (#10)
    by feet on earth on Wed May 07, 2008 at 01:44:05 PM EST

    LA Times Editorial on recent case there (none / 0) (#12)
    by fuzzyone on Wed May 07, 2008 at 02:32:55 PM EST
    The LA Times ran an editorial today about the recent California Supreme Court Decision (pdf) in the case of Adam Miranda.

    Miranda was convicted and sentenced to death in 1982.  His direct appeal was denied in 1987 and three state habeas petitions were denied in 1987, 1989 and 1993.  When he got to federal court the federal judge ordered discovery and lo and behold in the DAs file all these years is a letter.  The letter is from an inmate who testified against Miranda in the penalty phase of his trial, where the jury is deciding on a death or life sentence.  The DA's only argument for death was that Miranda had committed another murder.  But in this letter the DA's witness says he committed the murder.

    Now lot's of people complain that the death penalty process is too slow.  Had it been a bit faster Miranda could have been executed based on this lie.

    One other thing.  While the NYT article focuses on bad defense lawyers, of which there is no shortage, those cases also almost all involved prosecutorial or police misconduct, as was present in Miranda.  This sort of thing is almost never punished.

    The death penalty is wrong for any number of reason, first and foremost because it diminishes us as a society by diminishing the value of human life.   But whatever you may think of the moral argument, the system is far too deeply flawed to allow it to take lives.

    So since he killed only one (none / 0) (#26)
    by jimakaPPJ on Thu May 08, 2008 at 07:48:37 PM EST
    he gets a walk.



    Bush kills (none / 0) (#31)
    by jondee on Fri May 09, 2008 at 10:39:03 AM EST
    thousands 'n he's yer he-ro.



    yawn (1.00 / 0) (#33)
    by jimakaPPJ on Fri May 09, 2008 at 01:58:12 PM EST
    William Earl Lynd, a white guy, (none / 0) (#13)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Wed May 07, 2008 at 02:40:46 PM EST
    shot his girlfriend in the face. She then crawled the porch, where he shot her again.

    He then put her bloodied body in the trunk of his car and drove around looking for a good spot to bury her.

    When he heard noises coming from the trunk he stopped and put a third bullet in her, finally killing her.

    After he buried her, he drove to Ohio where he shot and killed another woman while robbing her home on Christmas day.

    Then he drove to TX apparently with the intent to kill another woman from his past, but was talked out of it by his brother there.

    Not exactly the best poster child for stopping the DP.

    On the other hand (5.00 / 1) (#20)
    by jondee on Thu May 08, 2008 at 01:34:22 PM EST
    you herd a bunch of wailing women and children into a ditch in Vietnam and open up on them and get two years.

    Just murder and torture who the state says to murder and torture and everyone'll be alright.


    I see that you are still interested (none / 0) (#24)
    by jimakaPPJ on Thu May 08, 2008 at 07:35:28 PM EST
    in the my country always wrong bit...

    Tell me. Since the country is so bad, why do you stay?? Let me guess. Mexico won't have you.


    I see you are still interested (5.00 / 0) (#30)
    by jondee on Fri May 09, 2008 at 10:30:08 AM EST
    in making any criticism whatsoever into a case of high treason.

    Why do you stay?? There are still a few military dictatorships you could emigrate to. Let me guess; they've been going downhill since 1945.


    hehe (1.00 / 0) (#34)
    by jimakaPPJ on Fri May 09, 2008 at 02:00:38 PM EST
    Since you are the one in a constant tizzy about the country I would say you are the one needing to leave.

    I'll be glad to write a letter of recommendation. I am sure Mexico is just chock full of opportunities.



    A group of pinheads (5.00 / 0) (#40)
    by jondee on Sat May 10, 2008 at 04:28:25 PM EST
    who make up 30% of the nation isnt the equivalent of "America"; fortunatly for people like me and unfortunatly for you.

    heh (1.00 / 0) (#43)
    by jimakaPPJ on Sat May 10, 2008 at 11:02:37 PM EST
    You're the one in constant complaint. I have great respect and trust in the judgment of the American citizen.

    Write when you get there!


    Wonder how many will try to get it (none / 0) (#15)
    by splashy on Thu May 08, 2008 at 04:30:05 AM EST
    So they can commit suicide by cop or by the state?

    That's what Ted Bundy did from what I have read.