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Keep life without parole, let killers repent in prison
San Francisco Chronicle ^ | 8/2/9 | Debra J. Saunders

Posted on 08/02/2009 1:19:14 PM PDT by SmithL

Because courts can sentence murderers to life without parole, why not get rid of the death penalty? It's a frequent question posed by readers and advocates who oppose the death penalty. For years, my answer has been: If death-penalty opponents ever succeed in eliminating capital punishment, their next target for elimination will be life without parole - or, as lawyers call it, LWOP.

As if to prove my point, the Sentencing Project just released a report, "No Exit: The Expanding Use of Life Sentences in America," which advocated for - you guessed it - the elimination of LWOP. The report also lamented that governors and parole boards are not paroling more prisoners serving life (with parole) sentences.

The death penalty still stands, and already opponents are trying to shave the only alternative sentence that ostensibly protects the general public from the most dangerous predators.

(I say ostensibly in view of the fact of that California's last lethal-injection recipient, Clarence Ray Allen, chose to aid his legal appeal by ordering the murder of eight witnesses while he served a life sentence in prison for murder. An accomplice killed three innocent people before he was caught.)

The Sentencing Project is a national organization that works to promote alternatives to incarceration. Ashley Nellis, one of the authors, told me that the Sentencing Project opposes both the death penalty and LWOP. She is aware that getting rid of LWOP would remove a common argument in favor of ending capital punishment. But: "Both of those sentences are problematic because they offer no hope for release - and basically say that certain people are unredeemable. They have no incentive to try to turn their lives around."

Clearly there is a schism between how the Sentencing Project and your average juror looks at felony murder.

(Excerpt) Read more at sfgate.com ...


TOPICS: Crime/Corruption; Editorial; Government; Politics/Elections
KEYWORDS: deathpenalty; lifewithoutparole

1 posted on 08/02/2009 1:19:15 PM PDT by SmithL
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To: SmithL

i agree with ted nugent and i am making his comment my tagline from now on. “i don’t like repeat offenders, i like dead offenders” it is the solution to any prison problems also.


2 posted on 08/02/2009 1:23:45 PM PDT by madamemayhem (i don't like repeat offenders, i like dead offenders.)
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To: SmithL
But...but...

Cable TV, pheasant under glass, exercise rooms, ect. ect. cost a lot of money that just isn't there any more.

3 posted on 08/02/2009 1:24:11 PM PDT by EGPWS (Trust in God, question everyone else)
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To: SmithL

The Government is willing to let an elderly person die without medical care who is innocent of anything other than not dying young. They are then willing to invest millions in keeping a worthless murderer alive in prison for 50 years.


4 posted on 08/02/2009 1:24:21 PM PDT by Ben Mugged (Unions are the storm troopers of socialism.)
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To: SmithL
Anyone who murders should be put down like the rabid sick critters they are.

Death , accidental through neglect etc........ Life sentence

5 posted on 08/02/2009 1:26:45 PM PDT by Squantos (Be polite. Be professional. But have a plan to kill everyone you meet)
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To: Ben Mugged

“The Government is willing to let an elderly person die without medical care who is innocent of anything other than not dying young. They are then willing to invest millions in keeping a worthless murderer alive in prison for 50 years.”

The only conceivable source of such unutterably twisted thinking is Old Scratch himself.


6 posted on 08/02/2009 1:30:47 PM PDT by dsc (The "t" in the word "often" is silent.)
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To: Ben Mugged
The Government is willing to let an elderly person die without medical care who is innocent of anything other than not dying young. They are then willing to invest millions in keeping a worthless murderer alive in prison for 50 years.

In the lap of comfort to boot.

7 posted on 08/02/2009 1:30:58 PM PDT by EGPWS (Trust in God, question everyone else)
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To: Ben Mugged

The logic according to Liberalism.....fascinating, is it not? But likewise, their logic also goes as far as to proclaim the “pro-lifers” should be exactly that for life, especially when applied to those sentenced to death, etc.

Liberalism blows arse.


8 posted on 08/02/2009 1:31:29 PM PDT by cranked
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To: SmithL

For certain crimes, if not death, LWOP in a hard labor gulag would suffice.


9 posted on 08/02/2009 1:38:43 PM PDT by DTogo (High time to bring back the Sons of Liberty !!)
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To: cranked

I myself would rather be executed quickly than have to serve LWOP. I’m sure I’m not the only one, leading me to believe that in many cases LWOP might be a more fitting punishment than death, assuming fitting = most harsh.


10 posted on 08/02/2009 1:41:15 PM PDT by squidly
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To: SmithL
I dont want to redeem a murderer, I want them removed from the planet in the cheapest quickest way possible, then send a bill to their family for the cost.
11 posted on 08/02/2009 1:47:35 PM PDT by TexasFreeper2009 (Obama lied, the economy died)
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To: TexasFreeper2009

AOL commie news is out with some story about a guy who served lengthy prison time because of being convicted incorrectly. With DNA, that doesn’t happen, but it’s their latest crusade and it will release untold thugs to prey upon the innocent.

Liberals love criminals as they are their pets. They want to disarm us and put us at the disposal of the worst elements of society. The sentences handed out in the seventies were criminal, and resulted in hideous monsters and serial killers roaming all over the place.

There were many, many reasons for Reagan’s election. One of them was crime, the liberals’ achilles heal. Remember that Clinton had to run as a proponent of the death penalty. The press and historians don’t talk about that. But the libs never give up. They just hide their serpentine views for a better time.


12 posted on 08/02/2009 2:04:20 PM PDT by Luke21
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To: SmithL
Just make sure there is a "no furloughs" instruction in that law. That is the real lesson of Willie Horton. Dukakis was a strong opponent of the death penalty and his veto pen made sure Mass. wouldn't have it. Instead we got one of his "lead pipe guarantees" they'd serve life in prison. One small problem, though. His corrections department was giving weekend passes to lifers to make them more manageable. Gee, liberals appeasing terrorists, where else have we heard that one?

So, California, look for the lead pipe ... and then hit them over the head with it.

naturally, I mean that figuratively

13 posted on 08/02/2009 2:25:09 PM PDT by NonValueAdded (if the government makes trading a used car this hard how are they going to handle a doctor visit?)
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To: SmithL

Too much emphasis on criminal rights over victim’s rights...

The biggest death penalty opponents are capital felons...which should tell everyone everthing. Their liberal enablers are killing people and costing Americans billions in damages and higher taxes

All capital felons must be executed


14 posted on 08/02/2009 2:31:16 PM PDT by UCFRoadWarrior (Know the difference between "conservative" and "republican")
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To: SmithL

Getting rid of capital punishment does three things: Allows a skell to keep on truckin’ [at taxpayer expense] with the hope a change of law or administration will eventually get him/her out, allows Liberals to wallow in their self-congratulatory sense of [misguided] moral superiority, and demeans the victim’s life by making it less worthy of concern, and justice, than the skell’s.


15 posted on 08/02/2009 2:39:38 PM PDT by PzLdr ("The Emperor is not as forgiving as I am" - Darth Vader)
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To: SmithL

An eye for an eye. lets clean up and save taxpayers money on prisons.


16 posted on 08/02/2009 2:54:56 PM PDT by bikerman (Buck Farack)
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To: SmithL

I love to be preached to by an unqualified nitwit with a predisposition of self importance.

More innocents will be killed by murderers who are not executed (in prison, or once released or if they escape) than will be killed by the state in erroneous executions.

Europe is nothing more than a nursing home. It is neither vital or vigorous at anything.


17 posted on 08/02/2009 3:04:37 PM PDT by Ouderkirk (Democrats: the party of Slavery, Segregation, Sodomy and Sedition)
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To: SmithL

Eliminate lofe witou parole and replace it with the death penalty to be carried out within a week of conviction!


18 posted on 08/02/2009 3:08:53 PM PDT by dalereed
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To: TexasFreeper2009

“I want them removed from the planet in the cheapest quickest way possible, then send a bill to their family for the cost.”

China has it right, make the family buy the bullet!


19 posted on 08/02/2009 3:11:23 PM PDT by dalereed
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To: SmithL

My feeling is that if you have the death penalty why do you need life without parole? In these economic times which is more cost effective? If this sounds cruel just think of the health care these prisoners are going to get over our senior citizens in the current health care plan.


20 posted on 08/02/2009 3:25:42 PM PDT by HarleyD
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To: HarleyD

Life without parole was a response to liberal judges handing out life sentences that allowed prisoners to be eligible for parole in seven years. We commonly joked about seven year murder sentences in the mid seventies.

The libs have so neutered the death penalty that we had to at least keep the murderers locked up somehow, because even though we have the dp in theory, it is rarely used.


21 posted on 08/02/2009 3:31:50 PM PDT by Luke21
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To: madamemayhem

Kudos on your tagline decision. Ted has a rational point.

Hypothetical question; “Why were there so few repeat offenders (especially offenses with a sexual component) 150-200 years ago?”


22 posted on 08/02/2009 8:09:11 PM PDT by jarheadgirl ("Show me a Hero, and I'll show you a bum." Greg Boyington)
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To: Luke21
story about a guy who served lengthy prison time because of being convicted incorrectly. With DNA, that doesn’t happen

I'm afraid you've been watching too much television..

23 posted on 08/02/2009 9:09:32 PM PDT by hinckley buzzard
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