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Why We Have the Death Penalty

Death penalty opponents like to talk about everything but the main subject  -- whether there are some crimes so gruesome and evil that a sentence of imprisonment, no matter how long, cannot strike a normal person as justice.

Today's news brings one such story from the Associated Press:

Both parents of a toddler who died in an unattended SUV in suburban Atlanta told investigators they did online research on how hot it needs to be for a child to die in an unattended vehicle, police said.

Justin Ross Harris, 33, faces murder charges in the death of his son, 22-month-old Cooper on June 18. While he had previously allegedly admitted to researching the subject, investigators now say Leanna Harris also went on line to learn about kids dying in hot cars. She has not been charged, but the revelation came on a search warrant released Sunday, which said she claimed she researched the subject because she was afraid it could happen.

You bet "she was afraid it could happen."  It could happen because she and her hubby planned it.  They even looked up the right temperature to set the oven.

Abolitionists can go on forever about racial discrimination, police cheating, not really knowing who did it, and the Usual Suspects, but it's just so much blather. There's a reason they obsess about their slanted "reports" while trying to push specific cases behind the curtain.


To a liberal that is not murder, just an eighth trimester abortion.

This case is a poster child for the death penalty - someone who kills his/her own child in a horrible, brutal, and pre-planned way really cannot be properly punished absent the death penalty. Good luck finding a jury that'll see otherwise.

In my opinion, the husband is a goner. The wife might be a trickier case as if the only evidence against her is an internet search, is that enough for conspiracy / accomplice liability?


Brutal. Save that phrase.


The cruelty of it is mind-boggling. To slowly bake a helpless human being to death is something a normal person cannot imagine.

If the parents felt like they "needed" to kill their kid, why not just belt him in the head really hard with a baseball bat so at least he won't suffer?

I'll bet you $10,000 the defense lawyer concocts some mental defense. What else is there? But when you research it, a mental defense is really, really hard.

You're right, the jury is going to send this guy to the death chamber. I expect the prosecution to make an LWOP deal with the wife for her testimony.

Bill, I can't take your bet, all my gambling money is tied up on Team USA today. That being said, OF COURSE the defense will concoct a mental defense which will be for lack of a better term is called "Forgotten Baby Syndrome" - I learned a great deal about it from this article -


Fairly interesting article - it seems prosecutor's handle these types of cases in very divergent ways. Sometimes they opt not to prosecute other times they seek murder charges.

So it is obvious that the defense will call an expert similar to the expert quoted in the article who will testify about different parts of the brain and why people leave their kids to bake in cars at an alarmingly high rate.

It appears at least sometimes juries buy into that excuse (per the article). That's the defense strategy. I'll definitely take a wager on that.

Lastly, I do not claim to understand the science of the brain but I know I am absentminded - I misplace my keys and cell phone (famously a problem Bill never has to deal with) at an alarmingly high rate and have lost my car at the mall parking lot more times than I care to remember, BUT I have never left my 9 month old daughter in the car. So call me skeptical - parents need to be more responsible. If not, they should pay the price and stiffly too, so people think twice about leaving the kids in the car.

Oh look, a wingnut taking advantage of a tragedy to squeeze his politics into a non-political situation.

Here's a clue for you, free of charge: "liberal" is NOT defined as "anything I don't like."

Here's a clue for you, free of charge: "conservative" is not defined as "wingnut," which has just become a standard insult from people addicted to MSNBC.

If you have an argument to make, fine, that is welcome. Just insulting commenters isn't.

When a "father" researches how hot the oven has to be to bake his toddler son to death, that is not a "tragedy." It's a crime of appalling proportions. Civilized life, if it wants to remain civilized, cannot tolerate it.

One of the topics discussed on this blog is the death penalty. The reason support for the DP has remained at or above 60% in this country for forty straight years is directly traceable to hideous crimes like this. Discussing such a crime is therefore not "taking advantage of a tragedy to squeeze his politics into a non-political situation." It's adducing evidence highly relevant to the important question whether the electorate should retain capital punishment.

Since when is giving a relevant and indeed compelling example illegitimate argument or "exploiting a tragedy?"

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