Thursday, July 14, 2011

The importance of Being Right.

There is this conservative, relatively young, webcaster that I've had the pleasure to argue with on a webcast --- Josh Kropkof, that posed an interesting question on his Facebook recently. It was after they found Casey's mom not guilty of the most heinous counts. He said “I'm kind of sick of hearing the media coverage about the Casey Anthony case at this point..but hearing it gave me two ironic questions. 1. Since when does the liberal media favor the death penalty? This was a death penalty case and they have been outraged by the verdict and apparently want this woman burned at the stake.” I found this interesting. Although I consider myself a rather independent voice and have no problem criticizing Democrats as well as Republicans, I know that some of my very conservative family and friends consider me liberal. I'm not a big fan of the death penalty but as you can see from this link I have advocated for it before, right here on this blog: sadly, there is a case in the news right now that is of the same heinous nature.
So I thought about what Josh said and I wondered is it liberal to be against the death penalty? There are several arguments against the death penalty but they don't seem to be particularly partisan to me. Of the two that seem the most relevant to me, if anything one is often associated with a group that votes conservatively, and the other should be associated with anybody who is intelligent and worries about justice. The first argument is made by those who consider themselves religious people. It's not our place to take another's life. Besides lowering ourselves to the level of the killers; “Vengeance is mine, sayeth the Lord”. Now a lot of people who consider themselves particularly religious in American vote conservatively. Sure, a lot of them don't, but a lot do, so if anything this could be considered a conservative viewpoint.
My view on the issue is more pragmatic. There have been 272 post-conviction DNA exoneration in the United States. The first DNA exoneration took place in 1989. Exoneration have been won in 34 states; since 2000, there have been 205 exoneration. 17 of the 272 people exonerated through DNA served time on death row. Besides DNA, there have been well over 100 additional other evidence or confession based DEATH ROW exoneration---35 of those just between Florida and Texas; two states so anxious to remove bad people from this Earth--- that they don't always make sure they're bad first!*
In cases where the evidence is incontrovertible an argument can be made on either side of the death penalty. There is something to be said about the cognitive and moral discomfort associated with murdering murderers. There is something to be said about the religious implications and I'm not the one to have that theological debate. On the other hand, we can argue that these most vile of criminals must remain imprisoned for life and therefore that will cost the state a lot of money and then we always have to worry that they will be freed somehow in the future, possibly by escape. Execution means we never have to worry about them or spend another dime on them again. In cases of incontrovertible proof I think there are many good arguments to be made and I think that each community must make its own decisions based on its own faith and feelings of morality. However, there has been enough exoneration utilizing DNA evidence as well as simple good detective work after the fact that we have shown that our legal system is not perfect--- and---after all--- you just can't take back an execution!
Josh, being in his 20’s, when the average age of those exonerated is 27, should take solace in the fact that not everyone pushes the death penalty, because, heaven forbid, should he or his friends ever be traveling late at night and get picked out by mistake and railroaded in a less-than-perfect legal system, he may be grateful for the time to pursue exoneration. I remember coming home late one night and as I walked through the streets of Brooklyn I was stopped by several police officers who made me stand in front of their car, bathed in the headlights, because I matched the description given by somebody who had just been attacked. They were now sitting in that police vehicle. I realized then and there that at the very least, if the victim thought I looked familiar, I could be spending the night in jail--- and only the night if I was lucky! Sure, I had been with a friend earlier and had an alibi, but I also had driven back to Brooklyn and taken up almost an hour to find a parking space. That might've been enough unverifiable time to have committed the crime! Clearly, one of the strongest things I had going in my favor, besides the fact that I was not actually involved in the incident, was that I was in Brooklyn and not Florida or Texas! (The victim did not recognize me as the perpetrator and I was free to go).
Anyway , I started this piece by talking about the conservative webcaster Josh Kropkof and I should mention that right now while I wanted to provide info for those readers who are interested in the conservative view, Josh's show is on hiatus, but here is a link to it so you can be updated: However, separate from his webcast I happen to personally know from actual experience that Josh is a fine and entertaining magician. If you are in the Northeast, or if it's worth it to you to provide travel expenses for a very special show for corporate purposes, or your nonprofit fundraising, or just to celebrate a personal occasion for you or your family, you might want to check out his website:
you can get in contact with him through his website and then you can always request that he update you should he bring his show back to the net. Let Josh know you heard about him from this blog. I know this blog had been quiet for a while and the viewers had fallen low because of it. I am pleased to say because of the work that has been published by Yahoo that has links on this blog and has this blog attributed on the author profile, views of Here’s-to-your-health-America are back up! We have more new views than we have in years. The Yahoo content links and profile link can be found on various posts as well as on the sidebar of this blog.

*Info gathered from The Innocence Project and the ACLU.


Bruce said...

Don't be surprised, but I like the Israeli model. The death penalty exists on the books, but has only been carried out once [for Adolf Eichmann]. For more info see:

LHwrites said...

There are a small set of perpetrators that are unequivocally guilty and do not belong on this Earth. Unfortunately, there is that terrible case in Brooklyn going on right now that seems to be an example of this.

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