Kinda makes you wonder
This is a discussion on Kinda makes you wonder within the Off Topic & Humor Discussion forums, part of the The Back Porch category; Who's side the court system is on... I'm getting kind of tired of seeing the court system taking the BG's side.
Texas loses appeal in ...
June 12th, 2006 11:05 PM
Kinda makes you wonder
Who's side the court system is on... I'm getting kind of tired of seeing the court system taking the BG's side.
Texas loses appeal in Penry death row case
By GINA HOLLAND
WASHINGTON -- The Supreme Court refused today to reinstate the death sentence of Johnny Paul Penry, a Texas inmate who has twice won reprieves from the justices.
Penry has been one of the most high-profile death row cases at the high court over the past two decades, stirring national debate over whether mentally retarded inmates should be executed.
After losing the appeal, Texas will likely again ask a jury to sentence Penry to die for the 1979 stabbing death of a 22-year-old woman. It will be Penry's fourth sentencing trial.
Pamela Moseley Carpenter identified him as her killer as she lay dying from her wounds. She was the sister of former Washington Redskins kicker Mark Moseley.
Penry confessed to breaking into her home and beating, raping and stabbing her with scissors. His lawyers contend he has the reasoning capacity of a 7-year-old.
The Supreme Court agreed to hear Penry's case in 1988 and the following year overturned his death sentence on a 5-4 vote. In that same decision, justices clashed over whether mentally retarded people can be executed, although it was more than a decade later before they took the issue up again and barred capital punishment for retarded killers.
Penry was resentenced to death and in 2001 the Supreme Court on a 6-3 vote voided that death sentence too. Both times the high court reasoned the jury was not allowed to properly weigh Penry's alleged retardation.
A new trial in 2002 also led to a death sentence, but the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals sent Penry's case back for another punishment hearing last year. The state court ruled 5-4 that improper jury instructions prevented the jurors from considering the full scope of his claims of retardation.
Texas appealed that decision to the high court.
The case is Texas v. Penry, 05-1167.
These are the same people who make our gun laws and I am outraged they would keep taking the BG's side. A killers a killer, period.
Last edited by one eyed fatman; June 12th, 2006 at 11:24 PM.
June 12th, 2006 11:37 PM
VIP Member (Retired Staff)
We must be careful with this sort of subject to stay cool with regard to views - it is both contentious and emotive. So - careful folks!
I am in the camp however that does NOT find supposed ''retardation'' in itself a reason to commute a sentence. It becomes an ''excuse'' for behavior but the bottom line is the guy killed - and if free could do it again.
Incarceration is obviously required but does his ''condition'' automatically make him immune from the death penalty? In my book no - it does not, even if that sounds harsh.
It is saying he did not know what he was doing but it was still a willful act. The woman victim is just as dead.
Chris - P95
NRA Certified Instructor & NRA Life Member.
"To own a gun and assume that you are armed
is like owning a piano and assuming that you are a musician!."
- a portal for 2A links, articles and some videos.
June 12th, 2006 11:48 PM
IIRC, In a similar recent case in Texas (cite not at hand), a psychotic murderer cannot be put to death (his legally imposed sentence) because the penal system does not provide his anti-psychosis drugs, thus he has been judged to be insane (now) and cannot be put to death. The penal system is now being required to put him on his meds, so he can be adjudicated sane, and thus executed. Wierd, huh?
I guess both cases show both the limitations of our system, as well as its strengths.....whether we personally agree with the outcome....
Is insanity a defense? Retardation? Glad I'm not on the Court, but I think Chris hit the nail on the head.......
June 13th, 2006 12:20 AM
Well, I'm not sure exactly where I stand on this particular subject. On one hand, in our legal system the rich and influential are immune to harsh punishment regardless of the crime. Which to me is an indictment of the death penalty (although more of an indicator of the injustice of our legal system). However, the idea that someone can be immune from prosecution based on a "mental defect" of anykind seems completely assanine to me. Afterall, virtually everyone that commits a violent crime is probably "mentally defective" in some way or another. And anyone that knows anything about the profession of psychology/psychiatry knows that anyone and everybody fits the profile of some "mental defect" or another. Simply because the field is based in supposition and not really a true science. So under our current legal system, if you're affluent or get a shrink to deem you unfit to be judged, you are suddenly immune from prosecution. I don't know how we fix the system, but it doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out it's broken.
June 13th, 2006 12:23 AM
I believe I also agree. If one is inclined to rob/rape/murder, it does not matter to me your mental capacity. The death penalty is not only a deterrent, but is also a form of societal protection.
The only thing that stops bad guys with guns is good guys with guns. SgtD
June 13th, 2006 12:26 AM
The thing that really bothers me about this kind of case is that judges assume that a person with the reasoning ability of a 7 year old does not know the difference between right and wrong. I have two children both of whom passed through the age of 7. They knew right from wrong and when they chose the wrong they knew what to expect if caught. A 7 year old knows not to stab someone with scissors.
Are the judges saying you can't execute someone because with a 7 year old's reasoning ability they can't understand that they are being punished for wrong doing or that they can't understand what capital punishment is? Both of those ideas are stupid. 7 year olds understand punishment and most 7 year olds have some concept of life and death.
It is the 47 and 57 etc. year old judges that have no concept of reality that are causing the problems.
Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity; and I'm not sure about the universe. Albert Einstein
June 13th, 2006 12:31 AM
We might want to wait and see what kind of sentences Ken Lay and Jeff Skilling of Enron get, Andrew Fastow got 10 years, his wife got one year.
Originally Posted by blueyedevil
Right on, Dr. Both of mine darn well understood BOTH of those clearly.
Originally Posted by dr_cmg
June 13th, 2006 12:31 AM
Those who show such savagery should be put down like the rabid dogs they are. They will never be reformed and only a danger to society.
"In matters of style, swim with the current; in matters of principle, stand like a rock." Thomas Jefferson
Nemo Me Impune Lacesset
June 13th, 2006 02:36 AM
Elitest view of the public.
The court repeatedly sending this case back is a perfect example of how the Elite Justices don't believe that the public is smart enough to get it right. The sad thing is that more and more of the public are coming to understand that with out holding people responsible for thier actions then society cannot function. Society has a right to be protected from individuals who are unwilling to abide the the basic tennants of that society. The old adage about your rights ending at the tip of my nose is correct. When you allow your wants to impact my rights then I first and then society has a right to punish you in an appropiate fashion. Taking the life of another is the ultimate infringement of their rights, and should only be done to protect yourself, your family, or society as a whole. Wrongly taking the life of another should mean that you forfiet your right to life. Society needs to have that option for a variety of reasons, punishment, deterance, and cost. Were we to execute those individuals who truly deserved it then the cost of the penal system would be reduced somewhat or at least there would be more room for other individuals to take their proper place behind bars. I don't want to sound cold but honestly in murder cases like this with retarded individuals or other individuals who are not mentally capable of being re-abilitated, they should be executed. If they don't have the mental capacity, then the only other option is to place them in a mental facility at the cost of the State until their life is over. Their is no Socially redeeming, responsible, or logical reason to do this. It merely drains the resources of the society for no reason. You do the crime, you should pay the price, period - end of story!
There are only 2 people I trust in this world and you ain't one of'em!
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