False & Omitted Information Dominates “Eye For An Eye”
I have detailed some of the most obvious errors and omissions from the “Eye for an Eye” (EFE) symposium, with the hope that one of the many entities taking part will make a public presentation of this, as I have requested, so that some balance may be restored.
I hope this will lead to a greater understanding of the death penalty debate.
If you have any questions or comments, I am at your service.
Fact checking is crucial.
1) The Innocent Murder Victims
The EFE presentation left out the innocent murder victims, in death penalty cases, from Missouri and Kansas, and the vile crimes committed against them. Such is the primary reason for the death penalty, but was absent.
I hope that you will visit both the Missouri and Kansas death row, government pages and review the cases and consider what happened to those innocents and the people who loved them.
Please visit this site, as well, and read their stories (1).
Tragically, the innocent victims are, very often, forgotten.
Justice is the reason we seek the death penalty, as with all sanctions.
Of all the people who spoke, throughout EFE, live or on tape, only one out of about fifteen can be confirmed as pro death penalty.
a) Bushnell states:”there has been 150 people exonerated on death row”.
Sharp reply: The “innocent” and “exonerated” from death row has been a well known fraud, since about 2000 (2).
Anti death penalty folks redefined both “exonerated” and “innocent”, as if they had redefined “lie” as “truth”, and shoe horned a bunch of cases into those fraudulent definitions, as detailed (2).
Depending upon review, possibly 26-46 cases have proof of actual innocence (2), reflecting a 70-83% error rate in those anti death penalty claims. A good example of this is to look at those states which have passed laws to prove actual innocence. For example, the anti death penalty folks claim 12 death row inmates have been “exonerated” in Texas.
Only one has been found actually innocent under Texas law (2).
Bushnell claimed to have been working on an “innocence” case, now, up for re trial, for 11 years. Obviously, if the case is up for retrial it is not an “innocence” case. That’s how, commonly, anti death penalty folks misuse the terms “innocent” and “exonerated”.
A great example of intentional fraud in this area is the documentary “A Murder in the Park” (2014). Watch it.
b) Bushnell states: “68% of death penalty cases are overturned”.
Sharp reply: Untrue. Of the 5555 sentenced to death, from 1973-1995, the period of the study, 1648 cases, or less than 30%, had their conviction or sentence overturned (3). Looking at only true error cases, it is closer to 25%, as detailed (3)
The errors in and criticisms of the study, used by Bushnell, are overwhelming (3).
c) Bushnell states: “27% of false confessions are proven by DNA” and in murder cases “67% falsely confessed because they were afraid of the death penalty”
Sharp reply: The Innocence Project has confessed to making false claims of false confessions (4), which indicates that the 27% is closer to 10%, as detailed (4).
Sharp reply: I could find no confirmation for Bushnell’s 67% claim. I sent an email to Bushnell on 3/9/16 (5), so she could produce the study. So far, no reply.
d) Deterrence – Bushnell asserts that the proof of no deterrence is stronger than the proof of deterrence.
Sharp reply: Not only is that not true, it cannot be true.
Never has it been proven that a sanction, a negative prospect or a negative incentive has not been a deterrent, for some (6). Never. It can’t be.
Why do nearly 100% of murderers do all they can to avoid the death penalty and get life, instead? No, those murderers were not deterred, at least not that time, but they reflect the same basic nature that potential murderers and the rest of us do, which is:
Life is preferred over death. Death is feared more than life. What we prefer more deters less. What we fear more deters more. Basic.
Death penalty/executions save innocent lives in three ways more than a life sentence does – enhanced incapacitation, enhanced due process and enhanced deterrence (6).
Since 1997, there have been 28 US studies finding for death penalty deterrence (6). None have been negated, although such efforts have been attempted.
4) Eric Zahnd, Prosecuting Attorney for Platte County, Missouri
a) Eric Zahnd: When referencing the reduction in executions and death sentences the DA stated that prosecutors were being more selective and that defense attorneys are doing all the can to make the death penalty so expensive and impossible to carry out.
Sharp reply: Prosecutors have always been very selective – about 1% of murders result in a death penalty and we execute 0.2% of murderers — and defense attorneys have always acted in that fashion, only because judges allow it.
The reduction in death sentences is, overwhelmingly, due to the reduction in murders and more so, with capital murders. Texas is a good example: Texas had a 55% drop in murders (71% drop in rate), 37% drop in robberies (60% drop in rate), from 1991-2014.
Robbery/murder is the most common death eligible crime, which may have dropped 70-80%, or more, during that period, which may account for the entire drop.
A series of US Supreme Court (SCOTUS) decisions and 5 states that have repealed the death penalty, have contributed to the drop, but only to a minor degree.
b) Zahnd states: “(the death penalty) is not going to deter crimes of passion.”
Sharp reply: Nearly all people, no matter how enraged, have learned to restrain their passions and to stop, prior to the point of no return. This is very well known. If our death might be the end result of our passion, the overwhelming majority of us would have no problem reining in our passions.
Of the post 1997, 28 US studies finding for death penalty deterrence, one, specifically, looked at crimes of passion and found that some could be and were deterred.