Death penalty


Jul 15, 2001
The starry attic
We were discussing this on a board a while back but I never got to see the end as I went to America. So... do you think the death penalty is a good/bad idea. Do you think its effective?

I think we came to the conclusion life imprisonment is actually cheaper than the death penalty (Hoser?)
I don't think a lil zap of electricity or a needle full of nasty stuff costs more than housing and feeding and caring for an individual over the course of a lifetime - 25 years minimum, I suppose.

A lot of times, people seek the death penalty as a kind of "eye for an eye" revenge - but this doesn't serve the purpose of the death penalty. All too often criminals are ANXIOUS to die, which would negate the whole "PUNISHMENT" aspect of killing them. Since it is, after all, supposed to be governmental punishment for a heinous crime ("Don't use the word "heinous" in the courtroom, the jury won't understand it." - Primal Fear) - not some kind of personal vendetta.

I'm torn between punishing criminals (who have been proven beyond a reasonable doubt to be so) with a horrible, torturous death, and life imprisonment (no frills!). I can't decide whether it's okay to kill the person, and end their suffering, or to make them rot in jail. Is it better for a criminal's innocent family to watch them die, or to know that they're sitting alone for the rest of their years in a tiny cement room?

But I suppose, all in all, getting them OUT of society is the primary goal. I'm all for castrating sex offenders, so why not remove the murderousness of murderers? It's not that easy. Every criminal has his or her reasons for committing his or her crime. Through upbringing, abuse, and any number of external and internal influences, any person can become the most twisted monster.

Oh, and while I'm at it.. I want to bitch about Columbine. I love the way everyone pinned it on music (even though it was mostly Manson and Rammstein that they listened to, I'm sure that people would group our favourite bands among those..evil-inspiring devil worshippers, right?), and on DOOM. Like listening to music and playing video games made them get guns and shoot people. And like those morons had "military-grade training" from playing DOOM. 900 rounds fired. 13 killed, not including themselves. That sounds like blind firing from the hip. Lame. Everyone's looking for someone to blame, and everyone seems to ignore the obvious life-long issues these kids had dealt with. I'm not trying to offer solutions, since I don't know if I could provide any, but I think that it's time to lay off the societal influences and look to the family and upbringing for these poor, twisted children.

Bah, stupid rant. sorry people. I'm gonna go eat some raw fish now.
That wasn't actually my fact. Apparently due to all the extra trials and appeals etc. and legal stuff it costs more.

To quote gandi "an eye for an eye will make the whole world blind". It has been proven the death penalty doesn't actually reduce crime rates, and I think that if there is any doubt the person should never be executed. But I'm against the death penalty completely. I don't think it is the most effective solution by any means.

I wonder if it would be better if the criminal got to choose? At least then those who want to die don't have to commit suicide in a more painfull way.

I also don't agree with castrating sex offenders. I mean what if you were falsely accused? I believe people can change and I a permanent punishment such as that doesn't take that into account.

Oh I wanna bitch about that too. It had absolutely fuck all to do with goth culture. Contrary to what u say Duvall they actually hated Manson calling him a "stupid chart metal fag" on their website.

Can't the fact they killed sum1 be put down to their own mental state rather than the music they listen to? I'm sure also their upbringing has a far greater effect on their personalities than music could. The same with the nun in italy, the ozzy suicides and all these people sueing slayer.

Its been proved video games can make people more agressive but surely the fact that the children had easy access to guns (being taught by their fathers to use them) and were bullied by the rest of the year implies that it wasn't the video games that CAUSED the problem even if they extenuated (sp?) it.

Stupid rant X 2 hehe
They probably couldn't aim because of doom, in doom you can only aim left and right, not up and down. So doom caused them to kill less people. (mocking the fact that doom is blamed)

Anyways.. I don't have anything against the death penalty, I think it should be an option for the prisoner though, I personally would rather be killed than live in jail for life. I think our jail system is terrible, it works well as a punishment or deterent for say... theifs (who know the risks involved and have a grasp on reality). But i'd imagine a lot of murderers, rapists, and stuff like that could benefit more from something more geared to help them rather than punish them. I know a lot of murderers are perfectly sane, but I think our punishment system should punish AND help, not just punish.

And let's stop jailing people for the POSESSION of drugs, give me a break, they aren't endangering anyone. The sale and smuggling of cocaine/heroein and stuff like that isn't very helpful, and there should be some kind of punishment for that, but who is benefitting from arresting people who sell/possess pot, give me a break. It's only illegial because it's been illegial for so long.
The pot thing annoys me 2 (this is just turning into a ranting post i feel :) ) But pot (overused) causes throat cancer and long term phycological damage, memory loss etc...... just as bad but in no way worse than tobaco or alcohol abuse. So y is it a crime to take it? I think they should either ban them all or allow them all with proper quality measures etc. then at least we'd cut down on the many deaths due to impure substances.

And I know many people say well that would make it seem ok and more people would take drugs, but I think it wouldn't be that many more and I know many people enjoy drugs more cos its illegal - its "naughty" so they want to do it. If they were allowed (as long as they weren't addictive drugs I don't think these should be legalised) the novelty would soon wear off I feel

Rant #3 :)
All of the arguements ie: eye for an eye, cost of a lifer vs. the death penalty are all valid, but I think there are deeper issues.

In crime cases which the death penalty is an option, lawyers and others bring up mental illness as an issue, but this usually gets blown off. It just becomes kill and be killed. I am currently dealing with a mental illness in the family, and it is a very tricky thing. People with mental issues really do lose control, and shit happens because of it. Some people become suicidal (my case), some become homicidal. It takes a lot of effort to care for someone with a mental illness.

The death penalty is the easy way out - it's easier to say there is no help for this person as opposed to lets try to help. The next question is: regardless of the reason, once the crime has been committed, does it really matter why it happened? Plus, I know it is quite difiicult to prove if the person was in total control or not.

I still think the death penalty is a viable solution. Timothy McVay killed 300+ people - a person like that will probably always be a ticking time bomb no matter what therapeudic measures are used. Therefore, death is the safest solution, and it isn't wasting a jail cell spot for those who need it as a holding tank.
I better burn all my Anne Rice books before they come after me! (wm3) That's pretty scary that an entire case can be brought before a courtroom and judged like that. Was anybody listening?

I haven't given the death penalty enough consideration. I can't count how many times I've watched the documentaries on TV about the wrongfully accused that were sentenced to death and then 5 years down the road, they're like "Oops! Guess we made a mistake."

Of the subject, when I saw one of those cheesy quick updates on TV the other night and read Pam Anderson and Kid Rock are getting married :lol: :rolleyes: my friend said to me, "Ya know what they should do about marriage? They should get rid of divorce all together. THEN people will think twice about doing it. You won't have people getting married 17 times in their lives just to get divorced the next week!" It was the best laugh I had all day. I love the things he comes out with. That was great. Get rid of divorce. Talk about a DEATH PENALTY! No more divorce! :lol:


"False love turned to pure hate."
I'm sorry, but that link u posted Jo????? I want proof. If the dna evidence proves "beyond a doubt" this guy didn't commit the crime, even an american jury wouldn't sentence him to death. I also notice the site with more info is conveniently under construction.
It is happening RIGHT NOW! godisanathiest, I totally understand you requiring additional information. It was not until I posted that link that I noticed the wm3 site was down? It has all the archived info on the case (I have contacted them) with luck the site will be up soon! In the meantime have you seen 'Paradise Lost' and 'Paradise Lost: Revelations'? These films are the court cases I refer to. FREE THE THREE!! (here is the text from the flyer I saved previously)

May 5th, 1993 was a Wednesday, and when the Weaver Elementary school bell rang, three 8 year old boys headed home
to their nearby West Memphis, Arkansas neighborhood. Only a
few hours later they would be reported missing and an informal
search by their parents would be under way.
The next afternoon at 1:45 PM, a child’s body was pulled from a creek in an area known as Robin Hood Hills. Eventually the bodies of the other two missing children were found nearby, and all three of them were naked and they had been tied ankle to wrist with their own shoe laces. The children had been severely beaten, and one child, Christopher Byers, appears to have been the focus of the attack; he had been stabbed repeated-ly in the groin area and castrated. A triple homicide is extremely unusual, and particularly when the victims are children.
The facts surrounding these murders and the events which they triggered, the aftermath, the trials, the verdicts and the hearings have been the focus of an ongoing research project for the past several years.
We have reached many surprising conclusions.
Having had no previous experience with this type of murder,
the West Memphis Police Department allowed potential evidence
to be destroyed at the site where the bodies of Steve Branch, Christopher Byers and Michael Moore were located. Officers who were present made very little apparent effort to preserve or properly document the scene or make accurate notes.
Perhaps this was due to negligence or perhaps it was due to the fact that they were inadequately trained and inexperi-enced in handling such a crime and the events that naturally follow.
Many unidentified people can be seen milling around the bodies in the brief crime scene video, and the Chief Investigator, Gary Gitchell can be seen smoking a cigarette well within the perimeter of the area.
Strangely, a juvenile probation officer was present when the
horrible discovery was made and he indulged in speculation
with a police officer about who might be responsible for such
an unspeakable act. The probation officer had been following
the activities of a local teenager named Damien Echols for
years, and his first instinct what that the moody, dark haired
teen was responsible. In fact, he and the police officer agreed
that Damien was the only person they felt was “capable” of
such a thing.
Both men decided that the triple homicide had actually been a bizarre Satanic ritual sacrifice performed by a “cult” which they imagined Damien was the leader of. Of course there was no evidence of any “cult” activity in the woods, and the investigating officers found nothing incriminating the next day when they visited Damien Echols in his trailer in the nearby town of Marion.
Unfortunately for these men, there wasn’t any evidence to
connect Damien to the victims or to the murders.
A local woman who was in trouble for writing bad checks agreed to assist the police in their efforts to investigate Damien by trying to record something incriminating with a hidden tape recorder.
Her motive may have been to help catch a killer, but it might have also been the $30,000 reward. She invited Damien to her house, but recorded nothing unusual. This same woman later urged her young son to tell police that he’d seen what had happened in the
woods on May 5th. The boy’s stories became more and more exaggerated, and although after being asked, he agreed with police that Damien Echols had killed his friends, they eventually gave up on the boy providing them with anything that could used against Echols.
Finally, the boy’s mother had yet another idea.
She urged a mentally handicapped 17 year old named Jessie Misskelley to go to the police, perhaps with another eyewitness account of having seen Echols kill the children. Jessie was interrogated by police for twelve hours, yet only a small fragment of this lengthy day of questioning was recorded.
Nobody can ever know for sure what transpired before the recording started, but according to the taped fragment, Jessie had finally agreed to give the police the tall tale they were apparently after.
Despite an obvious unfamiliarity with many of the facts of the murders, Jessie was guided carefully through the questioning by
Inspector Gary Gitchell and Detective Bryn Ridge.
During the interrogation, Jessie managed to not only corroborate the unfounded suspicions tht the West Memphis police had of Damien Echols, but he managed to incriminate himself as well as Damien's friend Jason Baldwin.
During Jessie's trial, Pulitzer Prize winning expert on false confessions and police coercion testified that the brief recording was a "classic example" of police coercion. He pointed out how the officers heard Jessie state that the murders had taken place in the morning - but since they knew the victims had been in school all day, they "suggested" to Jessie that it "must" have been later when hes was in the woods. Jessie obligingly agreed. Oddly, the testimony of this expert witness for Jessie's defense was not heard in its entirely by the jury.
Without hesitation, Jessie Misskelley was arrested, and soon after, so were Jason Baldwin, and the exclusive focus of the West Memphis Police Department investigation, Damien Echols.
The aftermath of the Robin Hood Hills Murders were obviously a Satanic Panic, and the verdicts of the two trials (Damien and Jason were tried together) bear this out. Jason and Jessie were each sentenced to life in prison, plus forty years with no possibility of parole, and Damien was sentenced to die by lethal injection. Judge David Burnett later said that he was "not surprised" by the verdicts.
Books written by best-selling author Stephen King were used as "evidence" against Damien when no real evidence could be found. Black concert T-shirts were held up as evidence in an American courtroom in the 1990s as "proof" that Jason Baldwin was capable of murdering three 8 year olds.
The inconsistent testimony of a jail house snitch and a couple of girls who claim to have overheard Damien "confessing" were taken seriously even after the sources were shown to be less than solid. There was no physical evidence that pointed to Damien, Jason or Jessie except the superstitious suspicions that were being fueled by the local media who seemed reluctant to publish a story unless it contained the word "Satan" or at least "cult".
Adult human bite marks which were found on at least one of the victims were also overlooked during the original investigation and only came to light four years after their convictions. This is very likely due to the fact that these bodies were never examined by a board certified medical examiner. They were buried without ever being subjected to an autopsy by a qualified forensic pathologist. Almost five years after the murders the first board certified medical examiner, forensic pathologist and forensic odontologist to ever examine the victims did so by looking at the autopsy photographs. They testified in a recent appeal hearing that the bite marks were in fact of human origin, and after obtaining dental impressions from Jason, Jessie and Damien, concluded that the three who are currently serving prison sentences for this murder were not responsible for the bite marks seen in the vicitm photographs.
More evidence that might have been useful came in the form of human blood found on a serrated knife. This knife had been given to documentary film makers as a gift, but when the film maker noticed what appeared to be blood in the mechanism of the folding blade, he gave it to West Memphis police.
The blood was given a cursory test witch only determined the blood type, and once this test was done, the blood was ruined for further testing. It was shown that the blood matched the blood type of one of the victims as well as the knife's original owner, but this information was ruled inconclusive by the court.
The owner of the knife was John Mark Byers, the stepfather of victim Christopher Byers. Christopher is the victim who's blood type also matched the blood type found on the knife, and he was the victim who was castrated and stabbed and seemed to be focus of the attack.
The verdicts and police work have come under serious scrutiny in two documentary films, various articles and tv programs as well as this web site, but Jason Baldwin, Damien Echols and Jessie Misskelley remain behind bars. A Rule 37 hearing to prove ineffective counsel was held in Arkansas recently for Damien, and as expected, Judge David Burnett, the same judge who presided over the original trials, denied the appeal. Despite testimony from several noted experts on forensic odontology and pathology, Burnett decided on his own tht the wounds identified by the experts as adult human bite marks were not bite marks. Burnett remarked at one point during the hearings that he'd never even heard of odontology before.
The fact that this case is still alive in the minds of thousands of people who aren't happy with what they saw happen in those Arkansas courtrooms is a testament to the possibility tht justice may yet be seen. The release of Revelations: Paradise Lost Revisted, a film by Joe Berlinger and Bruce Sinofsky shows that the many unresolved mysteries of this complicated case won't just go away. The film sequel to their critically successful Paradise Lost, which launched many people on their own crusades to find the truth behind the superstition and urban legends surrounding this story.
The police not only betrayed the memory of Steve Branch, Christopher Byers and Michael Moore by not investigating their deaths more effectively, they betrayed Jason Baldwin, Damien Echols and Jessie Misskelley by using them as scapegoats to take the fall for their shoddy work -- Burk Sauls

Damien Echols, born December 11, is currently on Death
Row in Tucker, AR. He is now working with a new legal
team in charge of spearheading his defense strategy.
Currently, new evidence in the form of bite marks on
victim, Steve Branch, were shown not to match Echols,
Baldwin or Misskelley. His first appeal was rejected by
the Arkansas Supreme Court and the hearing for Rule 37
in which he requested a new trial was denied. While
incarcerated, he has filed numerous lawsuits with the
DOC for unlawful treatment and violation of religious
practices, two of them were settled resulting in the
dismissal of prison officials found responsible. Damien
spends most of his time reading and writing to friends and
family. December 3rd he married his longtime girlfriend
in a Bhuddist ceremony.
Damien Echols SK 931
2025 State Farm Rd.
Tucker, AR 72168
Jessie Misskelley, Jr., born July 10th, is currently
serving a life sentence at the Arkansas Department of
Corrections facility at Grady, AR. Jessie’s initial appeal in
regard to his confession was heard in April and rejected
by the Arkansas Supreme Court. Currently, new evidence
in the form of bite marks on victim, Steve Branch, were
shown not to match Echols, Baldwin or Misskelley. The
court acknowledged the fact that the police handled the
procedure of getting the confession in a questionable
fashion. However, they let the sentence stand and denied
his appeal. Dan Stidham is still standing by his client and
is currently preparing his appeal.
Jessie Misskelley
c/o Dan Stidham
203 North Second Street PO Box 856
Paragould, AR 72451
Jason Baldwin, born on April 11, is currently serving a life
sentence at the Arkansas Department of Corrections facility at
Newport, AR. Currently, new evidence in the form of bite
marks on victim, Steve Branch, were shown not to match
Echols, Baldwin or Misskelley. His first appeal was rejected by
the Arkansas Supreme Court. He recently acquired new legal
counsel and is petitioning for appeal to the US Supreme Court.
He currently works as a prison school office clerk.
C. Jason Baldwin #103335
Grimes Unit
PO Box 6500
Wackenhut Way
Newport, AR 72112

Here are some ways you can help:
Write the Governor The Governor of Arkansas has the power to grant clemency and pardons. Please write and let him know you don’t agree with this verdict in a calm rea-sonable manner. Write to: Hon. Mike Huckabee, Office of the Governor, State Capital, Little Rock, AR 77201
Donations to the fund are urgently needed and will be used to help offset costs incurred by this informational website and petitioning for media support. Send them to the address on this flyer.
The Great Postcard Project Instead of a regular petition, we decided that a nice, big, scrapbook packed full of post-cards and letters from all over the world would be more impressive when it arrived at the Governor's office all at once. Send them to the address - Free the West Memphis Three Support Fund 1626N. Wilcox Dr. #PMB 423 Los Angeles, CA 90028
The Media Blitz Persuade the national media to run stories
about the breaking news about the case.
Paradise Lost and Paradise Lost 2: Revelations Let your friends know about this award winning film--the strongest evidence of injustice we have at our disposal.
Write the Appeals Court Judges of Arkansas See our web site for addresses.
E-mail us at:
If this is true that is so wrong! But I still don't feel convinced. To convince me I'll have to hear the prosecutors side of the story and I'd want more conclusive and in depth details of the evidence. Is there a site newhere that has that on?
Godisanathiest, IMO you should hire both films TOGETHER if possible. The initial court case was in '93 resulting in 'Paradise Lost' and Damien, Jason and Jessie thought that because they did not do anything wrong, nothing bad would happen.
In '96 'Revelations', you see the difference in Damien! This also includes a lot more information on forensics etc as they had NO money originally.
I received the below email today so thought I would pass it on to you.

Just wanted to notify everyone that we are currently changing servers and overhauling the site. As usual, it has not gone as smoothly as we had hoped. But, as soon as all of the kinks are ironed out we will be back online. Keep checking back! I am hoping to have all of the issues resolved in the next couple of days. Yes! We will be back!
Originally posted by Jo
Godisanathiest, IMO you should hire both films TOGETHER if possible. The initial court case was in '93 resulting in 'Paradise Lost' and Damien, Jason and Jessie thought that because they did not do anything wrong, nothing bad would happen.
In '96 'Revelations', you see the difference in Damien! This also includes a lot more information on forensics etc as they had NO money originally.
I received the below email today so thought I would pass it on to you.

Just wanted to notify everyone that we are currently changing servers and overhauling the site. As usual, it has not gone as smoothly as we had hoped. But, as soon as all of the kinks are ironed out we will be back online. Keep checking back! I am hoping to have all of the issues resolved in the next couple of days. Yes! We will be back!

Thanx I'll tell u if I get a chance to see the movies :) And I'll check the new website out
I am against the Death Penalty. thanks for the information on that case, very interesting, i will check out the website and movies. Jo, how did you get so into it i live right near Memphis in TN. and i had never even heard of this?
untill then
Regardless of whether it's right or wrong, death penalty is the poor man's solution (or poor governement, in this case).

Also, I hear the u.s is the only country in the world except for colombia that sentences juveniles to death (I suppose they kill them without fair trial everywhere else).
Leadfoot256 I work with music, so when the benefit album was released in Australia, we put together a promotion with a national youth radio station JJJ. We set up an interview they hosted with the Film Director on their 'Morning Show', prompting listeners to hit a webpage we made from our site. This included a petition and heaps of information about the trial, also prompting
you to click thru to In 24 hours the site got 5,000 hits and over 10 days 15,000+ hits. Over 350 people signed our petition and I now am working with another girl here to set up Free The West Memphis 3 in Australia! I just cannot go on and one day hear Damien was executed without doing something about it? Imagine to be in a tiny cell just for listening to music, wearing black and being different? FREE THE THREE!