Thursday, March 19, 2009

New Mexico Repeals the Death Penalty

CNN reports on the State of New Mexico which became only the second state in recent history to repeal the death penalty with an act of legislation. This brings to 14 the number of States that don't have capital punishment.
New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson signed a bill Wednesday repealing the death penalty in his state, his office confirmed.

"Regardless of my personal opinion about the death penalty, I do not have confidence in the criminal justice system as it currently operates to be the final arbiter when it comes to who lives and who dies for their crime," Richardson said in a statement Wednesday.

He noted that more than 130 death row inmates have been exonerated in the past 10 years, including four in New Mexico.

"Faced with the reality that our system for imposing the death penalty can never be perfect, my conscience compels me to replace the death penalty with a solution that keeps society safe," he said.

It's very interesting that the governor said "regardless of my personal opinion." Do you think that makes his decision even better in some way?
"Throughout my adult life, I have been a firm believer in the death penalty as a just punishment -- in very rare instances, and only for the most heinous crimes. I still believe that," Richardson, a Democrat, said.

Governor Richardson's decision is a perfect example of what the Executive Director of the NCADP (The National Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty), Diann Rust-Tierney was talking about. I complained to her that the best argument against the death penalty is the moral one, the fact that it's wrong. She had this to say.
There will always be people who believe the death penalty is not morally abhorrent -- but these people can come to see and agree with us that the death penalty should be repealed-- either because it is more trouble than it is worth or because the other harms that it causes outweigh any measure of good they believe the death penalty provides.

I say she's one smart lady and Governor Richardson's decision proves it. What do you think?

Please leave a comment.


  1. Do you think that maybe the fact that Bill might be spending some time in a prison soon for his acceptance of bribes might have something to do with it?

    Not like Billy's gonna get the chair...but somebody he shares a shower with might think a little higher of him for thinking of the scumbags of the world.

  2. Mike--
    Theoretically, if there were to be a constitutional amendment that included both the following clauses, would you be in favor or against?

    "The right of a person not convicted of a violent felony to own, use, purchase and transport the directly aimed weapons of an infantry soldier shall not be restricted"

    "The death penalty shall not be used as a punishment except in the case of a person who has already been sentenced to 75 years in prison or more and this sentence has not been suspended, and is subsequently convicted of a crime occurring after his sentencing with a penalty of over 75 years."

    The intent of the gun clause is to allow most guns, including light machine guns that are commonly operated by a single person. It is trying to avoid protecting grenades and heavy machine guns operated by crews. The death penalty clause is to eliminate the majority of death penalty cases, while still leaving some way to prosecute the most extreme of subsequent offenses.

    Most, but not all of what I want, and I think it would give most but not all of what you want.

    What do you think--Yes or no?

  3. Here's somthing for you to blog about, Liar!

  4. In cases of violent offenders, when there is no question of guilt, yes I am for the death penalty. However before such a sentence should be handed down, there needs to be 100% proof that the person is guilty.

    If anything, along with those stipulations, I feel that other crimes should be open to the death penalty. Pedophiles, starting out this short list. Repeat offenders in violent crimes using a firearm. If you are convicted of several instances of rape.

    Why should people pay more, for a convicted murderer, rapist, or pedophile, to sit in prison for thirty years? It's not like we can stick them on an island somewhere, and allow them to roam free. Every person in there, we get the tab for. Three hots and a cot.

  5. Sevesten, Sorry, but it's "no" to both. For the first, I think we need more restrictions than that because of the gun flow from good guys to bad. That includes the supposedly non-existent gun show loophole. It's probably better to call it unregulated private transactions of guns.

    For the second, I'm against capital punishment on moral grounds, period. I can never go for the expediency or convenience argument.

  6. Hahhaahahahhaha

    The Liar talks about "Morals"

    That's RICH!

    I'm so glad you're not raising children into this world! They'd certainly become a crop of white-collar criminals with your revolting tutelage!

  7. I can understand your not wanting to accept a clarified second that better reflects the intent of the founders. It seems odd that you wouldn't accept an improvement in the death penalty because it doesn't go far enough. I think my version would eliminate 80-90% of current death sentences, and it would only allow but not require them.

  8. Seves, define a "clarified second that better reflects the intent of the founders."

    Is it something like on the Family Guy, where the founding fathers thought everyone should have bear arms? Or the founding fathers felt that we should only have muzzle loaded firearms? Maybe the supreme court has clarified the founding fathers intent, already. It just happens you do not like what they said.

    The Constitution preserves "the advantage of being armed which Americans possess over the people of almost every other nation. . . (where) the governments are afraid to trust the people with arms." -- The Federalist, No. 46 - James Madison

    "[A]rms discourage and keep the invader and plunderer in awe, and preserve order in the world as well as property. . . Horrid mischief would ensue were the law-abiding deprived of the use of them." -- Thoughts On Defensive War, 1775 - Thomas Paine

    "Are we at last brought to such an humiliating and debasing degradation that we cannot be trusted with arms for our own defense? Where is the difference between having our arms under our own possesion and under our own direction, and having them under the management of Congress? If our defense be the real object of having those arms, in whose hands can they be trusted with more propriety, or equal safety to us, as in our own hands?" - Patrick Henry

    "... of the liberty of conscience in matters of religious faith, of speech and of the press; of the trail by jury of the vicinage in civil and criminal cases; of the benefit of the writ of habeas corpus; of the right to keep and bear arms.... If these rights are well defined, and secured against encroachment, it is impossible that government should ever degenerate into tyranny." - James Monroe

    "Firearms stand next in importance to the Constitution itself. They are the people's liberty teeth keystone... the rifle and the pistol are equally indispensable... more than 99% of them by their silence indicate that they are in safe and sane hands. The very atmosphere of firearms everywhere restrains evil interference. When firearms go, all goes, we need them every hour." (Address to 1st session of Congress) - George Washington

    "The strongest reason for the people to retain the right to keep and bear arms is, as a last resort, to protect themselves against tyranny in government." (Thomas Jefferson Papers p. 334, 1950)

    "To preserve liberty it is essential that the whole body of the people always possess arms and be taught alike, especially when young, how to use them..." 1788 (Federal Farmer) - Richard Lee

    "Before a standing army can rule, the people must be disarmed; as they are in almost every kingdom in Europe. The supreme power in America cannot enforce unjust laws by the sword; because the whole body of the people are armed...." (An Examination of the Leading Principles of the Federal Constitution, Webster1787) - Noah Webster

    "The people are not to be disarmed of their weapons. They are left in full possession of them." (Elliot, 3:645-6) - Zacharia Johnson

  9. malakh-abaddon:

    By clarified, I meant that what I stated is the bare minimum of what the founders intended. I think they intended to give us more rights than that, but I won't turn down that much restoration of our rights.

  10. Now that I have read some of your posts, I know I mistook your comment. I apologize for doing that. I just get tired of reading posts where people demand that this or that be clarified, because it does not agree with their standings. I jumped the gun, and I was wrong for doing that.

  11. FWIW, i could endorse Sevesteen's suggestion in comment #2.

    i too am against the death penalty on moral grounds, but politics is the art of the possible, and it's not possible for me to get my personal ethics writ into statute law in this country. i'm not going to get that, but Sevesteen's suggestion is something i could (however grudgingly) settle for.

    i've always been worried about the "militia weapons" interpretation of the second amendment, specifically because it would seem to lead to RPG's being protected and freely available. look at those forces in conflicts today that might realistically be termed "militia" fighters; most of them are fighting in the third world, and most of them prefer grenades, mines, and that wonder weapon the RPG-7. again, Sevesteen's compromise ("directly aimed") is acceptable to me.

    neither part of his suggestion is ideal to me, far from it. but in a democracy, no one person ever gets everything they want. you settle, or you try to become a dictator --- and i'd make a lousy dictator.