Saturday, November 26, 2011

 

New Stuff on the Webs!



My short piece on the Oregon Governor's decision to issue a moratorium on the death penalty is up now at CNN.com, at the top of the opinion page. Also, you can hear the interview I did earlier this week with a Michigan radio station (on the topic of juvenile life without parole) now-- part one is here, and part two is here.

Both were great opportunities to speak out on some remarkable developments in sentencing law-- I really do believe that if we academics want to influence policy, we have to speak to people outside of the academy about the things we care about. If that means taking some insults in the comments sections... I'm ok with that.

Comments:
There are some people in society who could care less of the consequences of their actions. Their decision to commit murder of innocents is of no concern.
Society has the legal right to put those people to death who have no concern for human life. To burden taxpayers with the cost to let a murderer sit in prison for years being housed, fed, educated, health care is without justification.
The Governor of Oregon knew he had a legal obligation to carry out the laws of his state. His personal and profession objections should not have taken precedence over his duty to apply the death penalty in the case you reported on. Yes, certain circumstances should allow the President or Governor to commute or pardon a person but in other cases such as the one in question justifies the death penalty. You cite Thomas Jefferson's position to give the Executive the right to overrule what society demands. Yes, but Timothy McVey, Ben Liden should not enjoy the safety of an Executive's moral or Socratic Oath when the crimes are so horrific.
Jefferson would defend Life, Liberty, and Justice. Justice no less than the other two.
 
Obviously, I disagree with you, but I've already stated my reasons.

I'm not sure where you got my reliance on "Thomas Jefferson," who is not referred to once in this piece. I did quote Alexander Hamilton, a very different person, and drew that quote from the Federalist Papers, which is one foundation of conservative thinking in this country.

The governor of Oregon, like the President, has the obligation to follow the law of that state-- and the Constitution and laws of that state allow him to do exactly what he did.

You seem to be saying that clemency should be used only in non-capital cases. This was not the understanding of the framers of the nation. George Washington used the pardon power to pardon murdering insurrectionists in Western Pennsylvania-- men who were, like Haugen, were facing immediate execution.

It seems like there is a person you think is capable of sorting out "worthy" cases for clemency-- you. However, if you want that power, get elected governor, because that is where the law, the tradition, and the logic of our nation places it.
 
("Ben Liden?")

Anon-- I'll continue the conversation when you have are willing to put your name behind your views. As I have said before, I consider anonymous comments like yours cowardly, and I have no interest in extended debates with cowards.
 
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