Monday, August 28, 2006

Death Penalty Debate

After 153 years, the citizens of Wisconsin will be given the chance to express their opinion on the death penalty with their vote. Much coverage has been given to the "Marriage Amendment" issue that will be on the ballot on November 7, but little has been said about the other issue being brought before the voters. That issue, the question of whether or not Wisconsin should reinstate the death penalty. State voters to sound off on death penalty
"Should the death penalty be enacted in the state of Wisconsin for cases involving a person who is convicted of first-degree intentional homicides, if the conviction is supported by DNA evidence?"
Personally, I'd add a few other offenses to the wording, like serial child molesters for example, only after some extreme torture.
And U.S. Sen. Russ Feingold, D-Wis., issued a statement to The Reporter voicing his concern. "I am disappointed that this referendum will be included on the November ballot and as a Wisconsin voter, I oppose it. Although the outcome of the referendum is not binding, it certainly seems timed to be used as another election-year wedge issue," Feingold said.
Perhaps Feingold is opposed to the death penalty because after he's found guilty of treason, he's afraid it might be applied to him? Ok, cheap shot. I'm not a fan of Feingold, if you couldn't tell, but I don't wish him ill, I just wish he'd go away. Kohl couldn't be reached (big surprise).
"Ninety percent of inmates on death row cannot afford an attorney and are people of low social status," stated Sister Joann Sambs, general superior of the congregation.
That's why attorneys are "appointed" Sister, paid for by the taxpayers. There are some really good public defenders. Naturally, there are also some really bad ones as well, but then, that's the case even if you have to pay for your defense.
The state of Wisconsin abolished the death penalty in 1853. It has been over 155 years since an execution, making it the longest any state has gone without doing so.
I think it's a shame the author of this article, Sharon Roznik, failed math. Ms. Roznik should request a calculator from the Reporter's office supply closet. 2006, take away 1853... 153. sigh....
First Assistant State Public Defender in Fond du Lac Bill Retert agrees with a statement of opposition issued by the Wisconsin State Public Defender Board. "I personally think the death penalty is wrong. It's very expensive and it doesn't deter homicide, and no matter how thorough the investigation, every once in awhile a mistake is made," he said.
Oh, I don't know. Let's see, a lifetime of food, clothing, housing, dental and medical care, at the expense of the taxpayer as oppose to... NONE? Hmmmm... I'd say it would be a lot cheaper, IF appeals were limited, with a time limit. Not to mention you'd definitely reduce the prison population. "Doesn't deter homicide"? Well, I'd say it's a major deterrent. On the off chance the murderer is let out of prison, which does happen ya know, they are able to kill again. If they're dead, odds are, they won't do it again. Just how many mistakes have been made? Not all that many, and I'd rather have one mistake, and get rid of the many who deserve execution, and worse. I'm all for "public hanging" in some instances.
Feingold said public safety goals can be achieved by sentencing offenders to life without parole. "I have long opposed capital punishment and have proposed legislation at the federal level to put a moratorium on the federal death penalty. I'm very proud to be from a state that abolished the death penalty more than 150 years ago, and I hope the voters of Wisconsin defeat this referendum," he said.
Remember, this is the same guy that supports the barbaric practice of "partial birth abortion", as do his "followers".