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Let's start a new death penalty debate...Mental Illness, what to do?

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  • Let's start a new death penalty debate...Mental Illness, what to do?

    Just thought I'd throw this one out there...

    Texas to execute mentally ill man in controversial case

    Aug 21 05:43 AM US/Eastern

    Texas To Execute Mentally Ill Man Who Was Accomplice In Murder

    Texas is scheduled Thursday to execute a mentally ill man for conspiracy to murder in a case that death penalty opponents say illustrates why the practice is deeply flawed.

    Jeffery Lee Wood, 35, "has never taken a human life by his own hands," and "was outside the building in a car at the time of the murder," his attorneys said in a statement.

    Wood's partner in crime, Daniel Reneau, was executed in 2002 for killing a store manager during a robbery.

    "At Reneau's trial, the prosecution had argued that Reneau was the person chiefly responsible for the crime and that Wood's role was secondary," the Death Penalty Information Center said.

    "Wood was involved in the robbery in this case because of his longstanding mental illness that allowed him to be easily manipulated by the principal actor, Daniel Reneau," his lawyers argued.

    Texas is the top executioner in the United States, having conducted 413 executions over the last 30 years, out of a national total of 1,119 for that period.

    It is also one of the few US states that permit capital punishment in a case involving conspiracy to murder, not murder itself.

    Seven people were executed for conspiracy after 1976, when the death penalty was re-authorized in the United States, but Wood will be the first to die since 1996.

    "Executing someone who didn't kill violates the most basic principles of justice," David Fathi, US program director at Human Rights Watch, said in a statement.

    In right-leaning Texas, support for the death penalty and the state's tough "law-and-order" approach remains high, with advocates arguing the punishment is just, deters crime and provides comfort to victims' families.

    Ambiguity surrounding mental illness also makes Wood's case controversial.

    Wood's lawyers asked the governor of Texas to delay Wood's execution by one month, after he had been in solitary confinement on Death Row for ten years, 23 hours a day, to evaluate his mental health.

    In 1986, the Supreme Court effectively banned executing anyone too mentally ill to understand what was to happen to them and why. But it did not establish criteria for evaluating mental competency.

    "If a person is only mentally ill and not incompetent, the decisions are less clear and are up to individual judgments by the governor or the jury," Richard Dieter, director of the Death Penalty Information center, told AFP.

    In March 2008, Richard Taylor, condemned to death for murdering a prison guard 27 years earlier when he was gravely afflicted with schizophrenia, saw his death penalty commuted to life in prison in the southern state of Tennessee.

    But Kelsey Patterson was executed in Texas in May 2004 despite having been diagnosed with paranoia and schizophrenia prior to his criminal act.

    The Pennsylvania Supreme Court recently authorized the state penal system to administer, by force if necessary, psychotropic medicine to two convicts on Death Row, to render them mentally competent and subject to execution.

    "It is awkward and quite strange to see states force inmates to take medication so they can be killed, but this is the hateful nature of our capital punishment system," Rick Halperin of the Texas Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty told AFP.

    "It has very little to do with logic, and certainly nothing to do with compassion."

    The case of Raymond Riles, on death row since April 2, 1976 -- more than 32 years -- is emblematic of the ambiguity surrounding mentally ill inmates.

    His execution was delayed three times, and after 1986 the Texas Department of Criminal Justice never set a new date for it. But he is still on Death Row.
    He who feels punctured must once have been a bubble. --Lao Tzu

  • #2
    That's probably only 20% of the story.

    I'm sure this "mentally-ill" guy knew what he was doing.

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by Sarkis View Post
      That's probably only 20% of the story.

      I'm sure this "mentally-ill" guy knew what he was doing.
      Hell, if the media actually had a 20% accuracy rate, I might even start watching the news or reading the newspaper again!
      He who feels punctured must once have been a bubble. --Lao Tzu

      Comment


      • #4
        I could care less if he knew what he was doing or if he was easily manipulated in his role. When he fries in the chair there will be no chance that he will ever be in such a position again. They should have fried Charles Manson and everyone involved with his cult as well. The victims of these criminals do not get to benefit from best selling books. The only thing I hate about the death penalty is the american taxpayer having to pay to keep them alive in prison long enough for appeals. have a nice day, end of debate.
        "Some people spend an entire lifetime wondering if they made a difference in the world. The MARINES don't have that problem." ....Ronald Reagan

        Comment


        • #5
          Mentally Ill???? execute them...there just using up my oxygen lol

          Comment


          • #6
            I'm one of the few on this site totally against the death penalty, regardless of the mental health of the person.
            What is Perseverance?
            -Perseverance is commitment, hard work, patience, endurance.
            -Perseverance is being able to bear difficulties calmly and without complaint.
            -PERSEVERANCE IS TRYING AGAIN AND AGAIN.


            BOP - BPA - ICE

            Comment


            • #7
              Nighshift and HotSoup, I could not agree more.



              theie, yeah, you're right, I may have given them too much credit where it was not deserved.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by TheKansan View Post
                I'm one of the few on this site totally against the death penalty, regardless of the mental health of the person.
                Is it because they deserve a second chance? Something they didn't allow another (possibly innocent) person?

                At least with the death penalty they give them a nice, good dinner and a chance to say bye to their family.

                Comment


                • #9
                  There really are only two choices when it comes to executions; Regular or extra crispy!
                  It could be that the purpose of your life is only to serve as a warning to others.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Sarkis View Post
                    Is it because they deserve a second chance? Something they didn't allow another (possibly innocent) person?

                    At least with the death penalty they give them a nice, good dinner and a chance to say bye to their family.
                    Second chance....lol

                    Those people are scum and deserve to be locked in a hole forever, but the second we kill them, we become as bad as they are.

                    I believe that if my life, or anothers life is in immediate danger, that is the only time where killing someone is justified. It might be my religious background, or the whatever, that is just how I feel. I have no sympathy for them, and they deserve to pay for their crimes, but I damn sure am not going to kill someone who poses no threat to me. I may lock him in a tiny room for the next 60 years until he dies of old age, having never been free.
                    What is Perseverance?
                    -Perseverance is commitment, hard work, patience, endurance.
                    -Perseverance is being able to bear difficulties calmly and without complaint.
                    -PERSEVERANCE IS TRYING AGAIN AND AGAIN.


                    BOP - BPA - ICE

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Well, as Ron White put it...if it makes me happy and they don't know what's going on...

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        heres aother threadof the same...witha poll.

                        MI persons really are not as they are portrayed in Hollywood. Most MI people are not dangerous and are not a threat to others. (sometimes themselves..)
                        Based on THIS case I don't buy that he is MI or MR. I believe he is using any means needs to avoid the needle. yes I support the death penalty, as it has to meet criteria and the only way to get it is by a jury. There is not a case where the person pleads and gets it. Thats not the way the law is written.
                        look here
                        heres part of it.....
                        Amendment 5 - Trial and Punishment, Compensation for Takings. Ratified 12/15/1791.

                        No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the Militia, when in actual service in time of War or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offense to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.

                        Amendment 6 - Right to Speedy Trial, Confrontation of Witnesses. Ratified 12/15/1791.

                        In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the State and district wherein the crime shall have been committed, which district shall have been previously ascertained by law, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the Assistance of Counsel for his defence
                        ‘Some cause happiness wherever they go; others, whenever they go.’
                        Oscar Wilde

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by TheKansan View Post
                          Second chance....lol

                          Those people are scum and deserve to be locked in a hole forever, but the second we kill them, we become as bad as they are.

                          I believe that if my life, or anothers life is in immediate danger, that is the only time where killing someone is justified. It might be my religious background, or the whatever, that is just how I feel. I have no sympathy for them, and they deserve to pay for their crimes, but I damn sure am not going to kill someone who poses no threat to me. I may lock him in a tiny room for the next 60 years until he dies of old age, having never been free.
                          I understand your logic, but I completely disagree with "we become as bad as they are." There's a obviously a HUGE difference between "us" (good people) and "them" (The violent criminals we speak of).

                          Some may argue it is worse to lock someone up and give them life in prison instead of ending their life. But if prison meant staying in a 8X8X8 cell 24 hours a day 7 days a week with absolutely NOTHING but a hole where they THREW his food to him, I might agree. But I'm talking about the cell, and NOTHING in there, he or she is just in a box, no pictures, no bed, no NOTHING.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Sarkis View Post
                            I understand your logic, but I completely disagree with "we become as bad as they are." There's a obviously a HUGE difference between "us" (good people) and "them" (The violent criminals we speak of).

                            Some may argue it is worse to lock someone up and give them life in prison instead of ending their life. But if prison meant staying in a 8X8X8 cell 24 hours a day 7 days a week with absolutely NOTHING but a hole where they THREW his food to him, I might agree. But I'm talking about the cell, and NOTHING in there, he or she is just in a box, no pictures, no bed, no NOTHING.
                            I agree, and I have believed for a long time that people in prison are treated too well. It isn't camp, it's not a high school dorm. It is supposed to be terrible.
                            What is Perseverance?
                            -Perseverance is commitment, hard work, patience, endurance.
                            -Perseverance is being able to bear difficulties calmly and without complaint.
                            -PERSEVERANCE IS TRYING AGAIN AND AGAIN.


                            BOP - BPA - ICE

                            Comment

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