My heart goes out to the victims of the recent tragic shooting in Texas, as well as to their families and friends. I’m sure the entire country is in a state of shock and outrage due to these horrible events, not just in Texas but nationwide. It seems though these police shootings are getting seriously out of hand, but when something this paramount takes place in Texas, one of the most bloodthirsty states in the country, what does that say when it comes to the death penalty?
Many might see or hear of these events, and others like it, and say that it screams loud and clear the necessity of capital punishment, but are they misinterpreting that message they believe is so clear? Is that really the message being sent or is that a personal cry for revenge? When you have a tragedy such as this in a state known for its zero-tolerance, tough-on-crime policy, a state known for its zeal in capital punishment, the only message being sent is: THE DEATH PENALTY IS NOT A DETERRENT!!
The answer to murder is NOT more murder! This message should be more clearer than ever now, but it’s not because people are blinded by their desire for revenge. Revenge is a biased and blatant disregard for human life. Revenge doesn’t say that murder is wrong, it says that who you murdered was wrong; that ones’ life means more than the next person’s life. This is a cry for help, a cry for progression, a cry for this country to advance its mindset and concept of justice, and until it does, this country will only get worse. To remain stagnant while the rest of the world moves forward is to move back. This country is crying …
The 6th amendment requires that a person is entitled to a fair trial by a jury of his/her own peers, not by a jury of their own peers which consist of 12 people and 2 alternate and a judge. By bringing the judge in the picture to override any decision or recommendation made by the jury is not a fair trial by a jury of my own peers. In Ring v. Arizona and many other cases, the judge is saying that the jury is competent in the guilt and innocence phase and incompetent in the sentencing phase if, it renders a recommendation other than death. Also, the evidence that trumps the life sentence in Ring must be presented before a jury, and by not doing so becomes a violation of the 6th amendment. It also shows that it’s the jury job to judge. In the jury voir dire, the D.A. questions the jury and specifically ask them it the law calls for a death sentence I this case, can you after hearing all the evidence vote for death? The people said, yes. Now, once they hear all the evidence and vote for life without parole, the judge overrides it, a real slap in the face to the jury, implicitly saying, you are inadequate. In Hurst, the state wants it both ways. And have the audacity to say that by the judge finding an aggravator is an “additional protection” to the defendant. What type of additional protection is a jury override? How can the jury recommendation be advisory one minute and actual fact finder the next?
last update: 08/10/2016