Kick-starting the new year 3 months late and with a bang….

16 Mar

HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!  Wait… it’s March already?  And halfway through March even?  Oops!

I don’t know about you, but 2011 has been a rude and relentless nightmare- so much so that I put myself in hiding for a while (hence the lack of writing on here).   But I got too comfortable in my hiding- so here I am.  Apologies for the disappearing act.  I’ll try not to do it again (but I’m not making any promises).

And with that, if I’m back online- I’m gonna do it right and jump in with big kid gloves.  Let’s talk about the death penalty.

I’ve always been for the death penalty.  Even in my “Idealistic Twenties”, I never had a problem with murders, rapists, and pedophiles being a murder victim of the state.  I’ve always had a justice-oriented mindset, and if I had a religion it would be what Brad and I jokingly refer to as “Kristen’s Manic Rules of Society”.  These are the written and unwritten rules that people are supposed to follow to make life as a whole run more smoothly and allow all to co-exist in peace.  These rules stem from little infractions such as not taking up 2 parking spaces or walking really slowly in the center of the aisle with your shopping cart in a grocery store, to major offences such as murder, rape, etc.  The breaking of rules should have a penalty that is as severe as the inconvenience or harm it causes others.  For example, if you drive really slowly and horribly, wasting people’s time and endangering the lives of others- you will be slowed up and put in danger when I throw my full cup of coffee at your windshield, forcing you to have to pull off the road and waste your time wiping off your car.  See- the justice fit the crime.  And when you heartlessly murder someone, and have been found guilty of this beyond any possible doubt at all- then you have lost the right to exist anymore.  I throw rape and molestation in the same category as murder because even though the victim is still alive, so much has been destroyed emotionally and psychologically that I feel it carries just as much weight.  Now, every situation has extenuating circumstances and I’m not saying that this is a steadfast rule… but overall, if someone does horrendous inhumane things- they should no longer be allowed to exist as a human.  Right?

To site a few examples: The recent case of the 25+ men who gang raped an 11 year old girl.  I’d like for them to die.  The case of the Petit family- where 2 men saw a mother and her teenaged daughters at the store, followed them home, invaded the house, sexually and physically tortured the entire family for days, and were apprehended by police while running from the house after setting the mother and daughters on fire- leaving the father barely alive and having to live the rest of his life alone with these memories.  Those men need to die.  And when I say “they need to die”- I don’t mean they need to spend 35 years on death row with appeal after appeal being denied, and having this be a long drawn-out process at the taxpayer’s expense.  I mean that once the verdict is laid down, and the family’s of the victims get to make their statement to the guilty, the guilty are taken outside and shot in the head.  End of story.

I posted on my facebook page a link to the story of the gang-raped 11 year old girl, and stated that all these guys needed to be gunned down.  And, to my surprise- there were slews of comments from my very liberal and left-wing friends who agreed whole-heartedly.  So this got me thinking….. why are people against the death penalty?  I’m sincerely asking this- because I don’t understand.  And I WANT to understand.

I know there are dodgy cases where new DNA evidence is coming to light and showing people wrongly convicted… but those cases aren’t what I’m talking about.  I’m talking about the situations I sited above- where the guilty are red-handed guilty.  And the crimes are so horrific that the details are unthinkable.  Why are we paying to keep these people alive?  Provide them with lawyers and food and shelter and library books and therapy and letters from creepy fans etc etc etc.  Just recently Micheal Woodmansee was up for early parole.  If you aren’t familiar with him, he murdered and ate a 5 year old boy, shellacked the child’s skull and bones and kept them as trophy’s in his home.  His possible early release was for “good behavior”.  But do any of us really think this man is rehabilitated?  And if he got out, do you want him living next door to you?  Is he sane enough now to live near YOUR kid?  How healthy is this human tribe member really?  How much social good will he be bringing to the global table?   But the big question is, with over 6.5 billion people on this planet- do we really NEED this guy?  Why are people fighting so hard to keep these monsters alive?!  I sincerely want to understand this- because I see advocates for these monsters as traitors to the victims.  ESPECIALLY when keeping these murders and rapists alive and in our prison system cost millions every year.  And those millions come out of our pockets, and could be going to our kid’s schools (or countless other programs that help the people of our country who AREN’T convicted murders and rapists).

So, to the Anti-Death Penalty people out there reading this… I would like to understand your side of the coin.  I don’t want a heated and angry debate.  I just want to understand.  Because I watch horror after horror every day on the news-  then this week Illinois puts a ban on the death penalty…. and it makes my head spin.  Is it the fear of putting someone down who wasn’t really guilty?  Is it the cost of the appeals and the expense of their long stay on death row?   Is it just that “killing is wrong” no matter what?  I don’t get it.  I want to get it.  Please help me get it.  Please.

Thank you.  xoxo




9 Responses to “Kick-starting the new year 3 months late and with a bang….”

  1. Hayley March 16, 2011 at 9:19 pm #

    Well I guess I’ll go first. I’m a firm believer in karma, and if you behave/treat someone a certain way, you fully deserve whatever comes your way. Not that I’m wishing harm on others, I’m just saying what goes around will always come around.

    Now these murderers/rapists/scum of society people you listed above, they deserve every shitty thing life can throw at them and more. No denying that. That being said, there is one and only one reason why I’m against the death penalty in a situation like that. A punishment that involves getting strapped to a chair, having a needle stuck in your arm, and then “poof” they’re dead is too much of an easy way out. Why should their victims suffer with such severe traumas for the rest of their lives, while the murderer gets out the easy way. I’d much rather see these people spend the rest of their eternity in isolation, no contact, no privileges, no chance of parole, nothing.

    /end soapbox

    • Kristen Ferrell March 16, 2011 at 9:57 pm #

      Ok… I totally get that. And that makes a lot of sense.

      But I guess I don’t see their time in prison as being difficult enough. They get 3 meals a day, a roof over their head (and the rapists/molesters usually won’t get put in with the other prisoners because gen pop doesn’t take kindly to sexual offenders- so they get it easier), therapy, access to books and other things to occupy their time, mail and communication with the outside world, etc… for free. The average cost of a prison inmate is around $45,000 per inmate (and that’s just any old prison inmate- not the special ones or the ones in solitary that require more attention). That’s more than the average American’s yearly income.
      I just feel it costs too much to have to share the same air as them and they’re using up too much money that could be going to programs that help society instead of just keeping a person breathing so they can hopefully suffer for their crimes. And hopefully they do sincerely suffer…
      But then what about the situation like with Micheal Woodmansee, who clearly should never be allowed back into society- but is up for parole under the guise of “good behavior”, but really it’s because our prisons are too full? THAT’S what scares me…is that they may someday get out. I’d rather insert a bullet in their brain and call it a day. Bullets are cheap.

  2. Kristin Lea Strasser March 16, 2011 at 10:36 pm #

    Bullets are cheap, but all of the legal red tape that they have to go through isn’t. I think I’ve heard that the cost of lethal injection is actually very expensive, perhaps no cheaper than keeping them in jail for life, because of all the legal costs and insistence that the procedure be “humane.” Many inmates still spend many years on death row, going through legal proceedings, eating up tax dollars. They have to make totally sure that the person is innocent. But, sometimes in cases like this it just seems clear cut. The chance that this person could be rehabilitated is extremely low.

    • Kristen Ferrell March 16, 2011 at 11:05 pm #

      I know that the cost for the actual lethal injection is only around $85… but you’re right- the red tape is ridiculously high. The average amount of time someone spends on death row prior to execution is around 10 years- which at an average of $45,000 per year per inmate, that’s almost half a million dollars per death row inmate just to get through the red tape. BUT if they’re in there for a life sentence, and say they live another 40 years in prison, we spend around 1.8 million dollars. Per inmate.
      Is it too dangerous to get rid of all the red tape? Because in situations like this, is seems to be doing more harm than good.

      • Misty March 19, 2011 at 9:34 am #

        .22 shells only cost about a nickel apiece. Honestly, I don’t know why we don’t bring back hard-labor chain-gangs. Make those motherfuckers WORK for the right not to get shot in the head. This, of course, is only an option after we decriminalize drugs, because paying $45k a year to keep some pot dealer or crack peddler in room and board is just STUPID. Dumb, dumb, dumb. Decriminalize victimless “crime” and then work the actual criminals to fucking death. That suits my shriveled black heart JUST FINE.

  3. Christine Hammon March 17, 2011 at 1:21 am #

    I totally agree wholeheartedly with your argument, assuming the punishment fits the crime, but I can think of a couple things to ponder.
    1) how do we set the parameters for the punishment? Eye for an eye? Strictly meaning, the exact same crime/event or an equivalent crime? Who would carry the punishment out?

    2) what about ‘proven’ mental illness? All 5 types of schizophrenia are treatable with a very high success rate. When diagnosed. How do we deal with people who are not yet diagnosed? Say a young person who experiences their first initial episode of schizophrenia, who misdeed someone because God told them to, but with treatment would not?

    3) how would you define guilt? Is someone who plans the crime, but does not participate as guilty? What about someone who is present, passively participates by not acting to stop, but does not actively participate in the crime itself?

    This might be redundant, I woke up, couldn’t go back to sleep, but:
    4) ‘who’ would carry the death sentence out? Would we subject a ‘sane/nonviolent’ to do the job or potential murderers, and channeling their evil to good?

    I agree with you basic argument. Completely. Assuming it’s ‘red handed’, as you stated. To go back to the incident of the gang raped 11yr old, and the other gang rapes of 11-16 yr old girls in the last year or two-they mostly got caught and the police knew who they were because of the video evidence the rapists took themselves. That doesn’t lie in Amy way-at all. The problem isn’t with that, it’s with the zealots and potentially evil people, like say-Jim jones, who would manipulate the system and pervert it until it became the Salem witch trials.

    What if the laws were to pass in Georgia concerning a woman’s responsibilty to provide proof if she miscarries that it had not been caused by a human(sorry forget the details, still half asleep, check it out). If she can’t prove a coat hanger wasn’t involved she is guilty. Extreme conservatives believe this is murder, and any woman having the procedure, the appropriate thing would be the death penalty. I am not concerned with the normal functioning, average intelligence, with a normal psychology/no harmful deviancy using the death penalty. It’s the small percentage who scare me.

    In my opinion, it’s these types of issues that come up and reasons blatant use of the death penalty isn’t used. I don’t have faith in humankind and humans react very specifically to certain situations, remember the Stanford Prison experiment(zombardo), or Milgram’s shock box? I suspect that once a society gets acclimated to killing the ones caught red handed, there would be a systematic shift to others.

    Ok, again, not succinct, sigh. Probably not coherent either, but this is the type of debates that rage on inside my head every day. Thankfully my kid is likeminded and helps me
    debate(out loud,ha). And please forgive typos.

    • Misty March 19, 2011 at 9:41 am #

      Okay . . . um, how exactly would Jim Jones pervert the system? All evidence shows that he got his ass OUT of our system as soon as he was fiscally able, and that the whole Jonestown mass suicide wouldn’t have even HAPPENED had a few vote-mongering politicians not stuck their nose into business happening on foreign soil.

      As for schizophrenics—yeah, they’re treatable, especially the violent ones. With Thorazine and other drugs that turn them into drooling passive zombies who live out their useless lives in government-funded facilities. Not to be heartless, here, there are cases of schizophrenia where the right medication, TAKEN REGULARLY (which schizophrenics are even less likely to do than bi-polars) can make a world of difference, but if your brain chemistry is so far gone that the voices of God and Satan are both telling you to rape and murder that 5-year-old across the street, then in all honesty, you’re probably going to need coma-inducing levels of drugs to make you safe for the rest of society.

      And those are pretty much the only problems I have with your argument. For being sleepy and incoherent, the rest makes a lot of sense 🙂

  4. Nicky March 21, 2011 at 4:39 am #

    1. How do we define “Being caught red handed” and how do we apply that on criminal law? Note that all convicted prisoners are convicted because its beyond reasonable doubt that they committed this crime. You dont wanna send an innocent man to jail – “lets give him not the death sentence but 25 years cos Im not sure he actually did it”. Therefore, it doesnt really matter if you are caught red handed or have tons of evidence against you, a conviction is a conviction made because you are so sure this person did this crime.

    2. Isnt it a paradox ending someones life cos they ended someones life? How is it different? Should we let the state have monopoly of violence?

    3. I dont really understand the discussion about the cost of a bullet or an injection and how cheap that is versus having someone in prison for life. Bullets or injections are obviously not the main cost or just what it takes to have someone executed.

    “California taxpayers pay $90,000 more per death row prisoner each year than on prisoners in regular confinement. ”

    Read here:

    And here:

    4. Innocent people have been executed. Same goes here: What if that was your dad/husband/sister/mom/uncle/best friend/son?

    Emotionally, I wish all rapists, child abusers and killers the most painful death there is and I have no sympathy for them whatsoever. Being against the death penalty doesnt mean that I feel sorry for them, or like the idea that they get food, TV, books or whatever it is.

    I just cant see how the death penalty could work without failing wether its morally, economically or juridically. Therefore, I am, always have been and always will be against the death penalty.

    • Kristen Ferrell March 22, 2011 at 6:56 pm #

      Being caught “red handed” means exactly that: there is NO doubt whatsoever of their guilt… like the cases I stated above. Our local newspaper just ran an article talking about the Orange County death row inmates, and stated their crimes. These read like a demon’s list… and were horrifying enough to make my husband go from being against the death penalty to being 100% for it. And all of these people on death row had cut-and-dry 100% guilty verdicts. They confessed to the crimes. They admit to being guilty. That seems pretty “red handed” to me. But they’re still breathing.

      The “paradox” of taking a life for taking a life doesn’t hold any water to me, because I have no problem with thinning out our over-population and getting rid of the people that have broken the laws of our society so abhorrently. I don’t respect the lives of people who don’t respect the lives of the innocent. So the “morality” of it can be tossed out the window because I would happily gun down the death row inmates myself. If someone doesn’t behave like a human, they shouldn’t be treated like one.

      But the reason the price of a death row inmate is so high is because of the legal fees, the appeals, and the miles of red tape. If a person is guilty beyond any doubt (and that isn’t a difficult distinction to make)- and so many people would like to see them cleanly wiped off the planet… then what’s the problem? Yes… innocent people are on death row- and now with the advancement of science, fewer of those mistakes are being made. But if we cut out the red tape for the people who’s guilt is overwhelming- then there’s your price cut.
      It just seems like a ridiculous circle… People are against the death penalty because the price of the death penalty is too high but the price of the death penalty is so high because there is so much red tape involving the death penalty because people are against it so that makes people against the death penalty because the cost is too high…. ????

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