Death Penalty Abolitionists Alternate Universe

graphicMy reasons for supporting the death penalty are visceral. I have actively promoted this issue, which stirs my passions as it spikes my emotions, for more than 20-years now. Whatever the outcome of the two death penalty propositions on California’s Election Day ballot (62 will abolish the death penalty in favor of life without parole while 66 will mend, not end the death penalty), I will continue to believe in the moral, spiritual, financial, and public safety benefits of this most extreme form of punishment.

little-boy-mourningDuring the 65-days between October 1 and December 4, 1993, I received a crash course in the nature of good and evil. That thousands of strangers would rally around a kidnapped child that most had never met was as pure an act of benevolence as I have ever witnessed. That a knife wielding sexually sadistic psychopath would steal my daughter from a slumber party, then rape and murder her so that he could avoid A.I.D.S. was a deed so dastardly, so evil, that it changed my life forever.

aaaSo, I was not surprised to learn at trial, that Polly’s killer once told Psychiatrist Llewelen Jones that he, “Masturbates twice daily and thinks of female victims of his past crimes.” That there are people who advocate for his life as he continues to violate my child twice daily in his death row cell is vile and repugnant. Her memory and soul deserve the peace that she will only receive after her killer has drawn his last breath of air.

aaaaDeath penalty abolitionists will tell you that we need to look at the big picture, the totality of the issue, not anecdotes or stories taken out of context. However, Polly’s killer is simply a variation on a theme, as is my daughter’s story. All of California’s death row inmates have either murdered children (229), sexually assaulted and tortured their victims prior to murdering them (294), killed peace officers (43), or committed multiple murders. They are unrepentant killing machines: people like Ramon Salcido who slit the throats as he murdered his own children; Scott Peterson who killed his wife Lacy and the full term baby that she was carrying; or Joseph Naso who killed at least six women as he travelled the country for more than two decades. They weren’t driven to commit these crimes by drugs or alcohol. No, they were driven by a bankrupt moral compass to commit crime with impunity without consideration for the consequences of their actions.

aaThe last inmate executed in California was a murder machine named Clarence Ray Allen. He was sentenced to life without parole for a murder he committed in 1974. As a means of getting even he orchestrated the assassination of 3-people he believed had ratted him out. In 2006, Allen was finally executed for those murders. He is no longer a threat to public safety.

aDeath penalty abolitionists advocate that the death penalty is indefensible, beneath the dignity of a civilized society and fails to serve as deterrence to murder and other violent crimes. They overlook the fact that young soldiers are regularly sent to war to kill or be killed, or that U.S. military drone strikes kill innocent people, or that we all applauded and stood a little taller when we learned about the death of Osama Bin Laden.

aI believe that embracing evil, defending the indefensible, and advocating on behalf of sadism and psychopathy are misplaced priorities at best, and in league with the devil at its worst. When I hear abolitionists say that death row inmates “Are us, they’re our children. We are a community,” or that they “Are capable of becoming productive citizens if given the chance,” I think that they must live in an alternate universe.

The Death Penalty & DNA Exonerations

graphicSince the days of Perry Mason, television has fed the public a constant diet of citizens accused and convicted of capital murders that they did not commit. Currently, the plethora of CSI series would have us believe that forensic evidence miraculously and regularly exonerates innocents as they rot in prison cells.
 

Cameron Todd Willingham

Cameron Todd Willingham

The wrongful accusation, conviction, imprisonment and execution of innocents was a staple of The Good Wife on CBS, which recently featured Innocence Project co-founder Barry Scheck and the case of Cameron Todd Willingham. The elegance of that particular case is that it is impossible to prove if Willingham truly was innocent as the Good Wife and Scheck claim, or was the remorseless arsonist who was executed in 2003 for torching his three young daughters in 1991. The point is that on these television programs forensics are always definitive, defense lawyers are never wrong, and innocent people are convicted, imprisoned and executed.
 
 
w-colemanOf course, print media is complicit as well. Convicted killer Roger Coleman made the cover of Time Magazine on May 18, 1992 with the caption “This Man Might Be Innocent: This Man Is Due To Die”. Fourteen years after being executed DNA evidence proved that Coleman was guilty of murdering his sister-in-law.
 
The June 12, 2000 cover of Newsweek Magazine featured death row inmate Ricky McGinn. Again, the suggestion was that an innocent man was about to be executed. McGinn stated that DNA testing would prove that he didn’t rape and murder his 12-year-old step-daughter. Under intense media pressure Texas Governor George Bush ordered a 30-day reprieve. When DNA testing proved that McGinn was guilty beyond any doubt he was finally executed.
 
Wouldn’t you be surprised to learn then, that at the end of 2013 there were 2,220,300 prisoners incarcerated under state and federal jurisdiction, yet the total number of DNA exonerations for any kind of felony is less than 350? To date, despite years of parading remorseless killers as innocent victims the abolitionists and other death row apologists cannot definitively demonstrate that an innocent man has been executed.
 
The ultimate irony is that death penalty abolitionists crave the execution of an innocent man so that their indignation can run amok, while those who favor the death penalty pray that an innocent is never executed so that the fragile system of ultimate justice can be preserved.
 

Vote NO On Prop 57: List of Fake Non-Violent Crimes Part 2

Prop 57In California, the following crimes are not technically considered “violent,” so therefore, qualify as “non-serious, non-violent offense” eligible for early release in Governor Brown’s Proposition 57, the so-called Public Safety & Rehabilitation Act of 2016. Crimes with an asterisk (*) appear more than once in the categories below.
 
Terrorism-Related Crimes

  • Exploding or Attempting to Explode a Destructive Device in a Specified Place (e.g., health facility, place of worship, bookstore, library, courthouse, judge’s home, or school (Pen. Code § 11413)
  • Possessing, Manufacturing, Transferring, or Acquiring a Weapon of Mass Destruction (Pen. Code § 11418(a))
  • Possession of a Restricted, Biological Agent (Pen. Code § 11419)
  • Possession of a Destructive Device or Explosion in or Near a Specified Place, Private Habitation, or in a Public Building or Public Place (Pen. Code § 18715)
  • Possession of a Substance or Material With Intent to Make Destructive Device or Explosive (Pen. Code § 18720)
  • Carrying or Placing a Destructive Device or Explosive in a Vessel, Aircraft, Vehicle, or Baggage (Pen. Code § 18725)
  • Selling, Offering for Sale, or Transporting a Destructive Device (Pen. Code § 18730)
  • Carrying a Concealed Explosive Substance on the Person (Pen. Code § 19100)
  • Assembling or Placing a Booby Trap Device (Pen. Code § 20110(a))
  • Possession of a Device with Intent to Use it as a Booby Trap (Pen. Code § 20110(b))
  • Mingling Poison or Harmful Substance With Any Food, Drink, or Medicine; Or, Placing a Poison or Harmful Substance in a Spring, Well, or Water Supply (Pen. Code § 347(a))
  • Possession of Destructive Device (Pen. Code § 18710)
  • Exploding a Destructive Device or Explosive With Intent to Injure (Pen. Code § 18740)

Domestic Violence-Related Crimes

  • Violation of a Restraining Order Where Defendant Has a Prior Conviction Within Seven Years for Violating a Restraining Order That Involves a Credible Threat of Violence (Pen. Code § 273.6(d)*
  • Violation of a Restraining Order Within One Year of a Restraining Order Conviction That Resulted in Physical Injury to the Victim (Pen. Code § 273.6(e))*
  • Domestic Violence Resulting in a Traumatic Condition (Pen. Code § 273.5)*
  • Stalking When the Defendant Has a Prior Felony Conviction for Domestic Violence, Violation of a Restraining Order, Criminal Threats, or Stalking (Pen. Code § 646.9(c))*

Elder/Dependent Adult Abuse

  • False Imprisonment of an Elder or Dependent Adult by Violence, Menace, Fraud, or Deceit (Pen. Code § 368(f))*
  • Inflicting Physical Pain or Mental Suffering on an Elder or Dependent Adult; Or, a Caretaker Endangering the Health of an Elder or Dependent Adult (Pen. Code § 368(b)(1))*
  • Non-Caretaker Committing Theft, Embezzlement, Forgery, Fraud, or Identity Theft Against an Elder or Dependent Adult Where the Loss is Over $950 (Pen. Code § 368(d))
  • Caretaker Committing Theft, Embezzlement, Forgery, Fraud, or Identity Theft Against an Elder or Dependent Adult Where the Loss is Over $950 (Pen. Code § 368(e)

Gang-Related Crimes

  • Active Participation in a Criminal Street Gang (Pen. Code § 186.22(a))
  • Supplying, Selling, or Giving a Firearm to a Person to Commit a Gang Crime, and the Person Commits the Gang Crime and is Convicted of It (Pen. Code § 186.28)*
  • Soliciting or Recruiting Another Person to Participate in a Criminal Street Gang (Pen. Code § 219.2)
  • Carrying a Loaded Firearm on the Person or in a Vehicle Where the the Defendant Has a Prior Felony Conviction, or the Firearm is Stolen and the Defendant Knows it, or the Defendant Is an Active Participant in a Criminal Street Gang, or the Defendant Is in a Class of Person Prohibited From Possessing or Acquiring a Firearm (Pen. Code § 25850)
  • Any Felony with a Gang Enhancement Attachment (with exception of extortion and threats to victims/witnesses) (Pen. Code § 186.22(b))

Crimes Against Victims/Witnesses

  • Stalking When There Is a Temporary Restraining Order or Injunction in Place (Pen. Code § 646.9(b))
  • Stalking When the Defendant Has a Prior Felony Conviction for Domestic Violence, Violation of a Restraining Order, Criminal Threats, or Stalking (Pen. Code § 646.9(c))*
  • Convicted Sex Offender in County Jail or State Prison Revealing the Name and Address of a Sexual Assault Victim to Another Prisoner with Intent That the Victim Be Harassed (Pen. Code § 136.7)*
  • Credible Threat of Force or Violence Against a Witness or Victim of the Crime the Defendant was Convicted of (Pen. Code § 139(a))
  • Using Force or Violence Upon a Witness or Victim Because of Assistance Provided to a Law Enforcement Officer or Prosecutor (Pen. Code § 140)*
  • Violation of a Restraining Order Where Defendant Has a Prior Conviction Within Seven Years for Violating a Restraining Order That Involves a Credible Threat of Violence (Pen. Code § 273.6(d))*
  • Violation of a Restraining Order Within One Year of a Restraining Order Conviction That Resulted in Physical Injury to the Victim (Pen. Code § 273.6(e))*
  • Making a Credible Threat to Cause Serious Bodily Injury and Within 30 Days Entering the Victim’s Residence or Workplace With Intent to Carry Out the Threat (Pen. Code § 601)

 

Vote NO On Prop 57: List of Fake Non-Violent Crimes Part 1

Vote 2016The term “non-violent felony offense” is not defined in the initiative, or elsewhere in California law. However, Penal Code section 667.5(c) defines a limited number of felonies as “violent” for purposes of sentencing only. These are the worst of the worst kind of crimes, and is a list of only 23 offenses. The Governor has said any felony not included in this list of “violent felonies” would be a “non-violent felony” for purposes of his initiative. These are the criminals the Governor proposes to let out of prison years, or decades before the sentence given by the judge.
 
Voters may imagine that “non-violent felonies” are limited to low-level crimes like drug possession or auto burglary. But in California there are numerous dangerous felonies that are referred to by the Governor as “not violent,” but which are, in fact, violent in nature.
 
The following crimes are not technically considered “violent,” so therefore, qualify as “non-serious, non-violent offense” eligible for early release in the Governor’s initiative. Crimes with an asterisk (*) appear more than once in the categories below.
 
Crimes Involving Acts of Violence:

  • Assault by Means of Force Likely to Produce Great Bodily Injury (Pen. Code § 245(a)(4))
  • Assault with a Deadly Weapon (Pen. Code § 245(a)(1))*
  • Taking a Hostage (Pen. Code § 210.5)
  • Any Felony in Which a Defendant Personally Uses a Dangerous or Deadly Weapon, or Personally Uses a Firearm, or Personally Inflicts Great Bodily Injury (Pen. Code § 667/1192.7)*
  • Hit & Run Resulting in Death or Permanent, Serious Injury (Pen. Code § 20001(b)(2))
  • Domestic Violence Resulting in a Traumatic Condition (Pen. Code § 273.5)*
  • False Imprisonment by Violence, Menace, Fraud, or Deceit (Pen. Code §§ 236-237)
  • Using Force or Violence Upon a Witness or Victim Because of Assistance Provided to a Law Enforcement Officer or Prosecutor (Pen. Code § 140)*
  • Soliciting Another Person to Commit Murder (Pen. Code § 653f(b))
  • Resisting a Peace Officer and Proximately Causing Death or Serious Bodily Injury to the Officer (Pen. Code § 148.10)*
  • Peace Officer Beating or Assaulting a Person Without Lawful Necessity (Pen. Code § 149)
  • Supplying, Selling, or Giving a Firearm to a Person to Commit a Gang Crime, and the Person Commits the Gang Crime and is Convicted of It (Pen. Code § 186.28)*
  • Assault with a Stun Gun or Less Lethal Weapon (Pen. Code § 244.5)
  • Corporal Punishment or Injury on a Child Resulting in a Traumatic Condition (Pen. Code § 273d)*
  • False Imprisonment of an Elder or Dependent Adult by Violence, Menace, Fraud, or Deceit (Pen. Code § 368(f))*
  • Hate Crime Causing Physical Injury, Property Damage Over $950, or Where the Defendant Has a Prior Conviction for a Hate Crime (Pen. Code § 422.7)*
  • Soliciting Another Person to Commit a Specified Crime Such as Carjacking, Robbery, Burglary, Kidnapping, Arson, Grand Theft, Perjury, Extortion, or Assault With a Deadly Weapon (Pen. Code § 653f(a))
  • Inflicting Physical Pain or Mental Suffering on an Elder or Dependent Adult; Or, a Caretaker Endangering the Health of an Elder or Dependent Adult (Pen. Code § 368(b)(1))*
  • Unlawfully Causing a Fire that Causes Great Bodily Injury (Pen. Code § 452(a))*
  • Driving Under the Influence of Alcohol and/or Drugs and Causing Bodily Injury (Veh. Code § 23153)*
  • Conspiracy to Commit Any Serious or Violent Felony (Pen. Code § 182)
  • Involuntary Manslaughter with Personal Use of a Weapon, or Personal Infliction of Great Bodily Injury (i.e., death) (Pen. Code § 192(c))*
  • Vehicular Manslaughter with Personal Infliction of Great Bodily Injury (i.e., death) (Pen. Code § 192(c))
  • Vehicular Manslaughter While Intoxicated with Personal Infliction of Great Bodily Injury (i.e., death) (Pen. Code § 191.5(b))*

Sexual Assault Related Crimes

  • Rape of a Person Incapable of Giving Legal Consent (Pen. Code § 261(a)(1))
  • Rape By an Intoxicating, Anesthetic, or Controlled Substance (Pen. Code § 261(a)(3))
  • Rape of an Unconscious Person (Pen. Code § 261(a)(4))
  • Sexual Penetration of an Unconscious Person (Pen. Code § 289(d))
  • Sexual Penetration By an Intoxicating, Anesthetic, or Controlled Substance (Pen. Code § 289(e))
  • Sexual Battery By Unlawful Restraint (Pen. Code § 243.4(a))
  • Sexual Battery of a Disabled or Medically Incapacitated Person (Pen. Code § 243.4(b))
  • Sexual Battery on an Unconscious Person (Pen. Code § 243.4(c))
  • Sodomy on an Unconscious Person (Pen. Code § 286(f))
  • Sodomy on a Person Incapable of Giving Legal Consent (Pen Code § 286(g))
  • Sodomy By Intoxicating, Anesthetic, or Controlled Substance (Pen. Code § 286(i))
  • Oral Copulation on an Unconscious Person (Pen. Code § 288a(f))
  • Oral Copulation on a Person Incapable of Giving Legal Consent (Pen. Code § 288a(g))
  • Oral Copulation By an Intoxicating, Anesthetic, or Controlled Substance (Pen. Code § 288a(i))
  • Soliciting Another Person to Commit a Forcible Sex Crime (Pen. Code § 653f(c))

Crimes Against Children

  • Abandonment of a Child Under Age 14 (Pen. Code § 271)
  • Failing to Provide for a Child Under Age 14 (Pen. Code § 271a)
  • Corporal Punishment or Injury on a Child Resulting in a Traumatic Condition (Pen. Code § 273d)*
  • Child Abduction By a Person Not Having a Right to Custody (Pen. Code § 277)
  • Child Abduction to Deprive a Lawful Custodian of a Right to Custody (Pen. Code § 278)
  • Transporting or Providing a Child Under Age 16 For the Purpose of a Lewd Act (Pen. Code § 266j)*
  • Abduction of a Minor For the Purpose of Prostitution (Pen. Code § 267)*
  • Physical Child Abuse/Endangering the Health of a Child (Pen. Code § 273a(a))
  • Sodomy With a Minor Under Age 18; Or a Person Over Age 21 Participating in an Act of Sodomy With a Minor Under Age 16 (Pen. Code § 286(b))
  • Lewd or Lascivious Act on Child Age 14 or 15 Where the Perpetrator is at Least 10 Years Older (Pen. Code § 288(c)(1))
  • Contacting a Minor With Intent to Commit to a Specified Offense Such as Kidnapping, Sexual Assault, Physical Abuse, or Distribution of Obscene Matter (Pen. Code § 288.3)
  • Arranging a Meeting With a Minor For Lewd Purposes, Where the Defendant Has a Prior Conviction for an Offense Requiring Registration as a Sex Offender; Or, Arranging a Meeting With a Minor for Lewd Purposes and Actually Going to the Meeting Place at the Arranged Time (Pen. Code § 288.4)
  • Oral Copulation With a Minor Under Age 18; Or a Person Over Age 21 Participating in an Act of Oral Copulation With a Minor Under Age 16 (Pen. Code § 288a(b))
  • Employing or Using a Minor, or a Parent Permitting a Minor, to Pose or Model or Produce Matter Involving Sexual Conduct by the Minor Alone or With Other Persons or Animals, for Commercial Purposes (Pen. Code § 311.4(b))
  • Soliciting or Encouraging a Minor Violate Laws With Respect to Drugs Such as Heroin, Cocaine, or Cocaine Base (Health & Saf. § 11352)*
  • Employing or Using a Minor to Sell or Transport a Controlled Substance (Health & Saf. § 11353(b)*
  • Selling, Furnishing, Administering, Giving or Offering to Sell, Furnish, Administer, or Give Heroin or Cocaine to a Minor (Heath & Saf. § 11353)*

Human Trafficking

  • Human Trafficking Involving Forced Labor or Services (Pen. Code § 222)
  • Human Trafficking Involving Sex Acts, Obscene Matter, or Extortion (Pen. Code § 236.1(b))
  • Human Trafficking Involving a Minor and Commercial Sex Acts (Pen. Code § 236.1(c))
  • Pimping (Pen. Code § 266h)
  • Pandering (Pen. Code § 266i)
  • Transporting or Providing a Child Under Age 16 For the Purpose of a Lewd Act (Pen. Code § 266j)*
  • Abduction of a Minor For the Purpose of Prostitution (Pen. Code § 267)*