Tuesday, December 14, 2004

Peterson case

A friend pointed out that he had expected me to discuss or put up a
link regarding the Scott Peterson case. I, frankly, hadn't really
planned on doing much more than mentioning, as I did yesterday, that
it was bizarre to hear ADAs cheering the decision. Why? Because I
think this trial is no different, legally speaking, from the thousands
of other trials that run through the court system every day. The only
difference is that this case was hyped. I'm not sure what there is to
say about it. Everyone knows the jury recommended death - I don't
have to bring that to anyone's attention. I categorically oppose the
death penalty. I think it's inhumane that people are cheering for the
fact that they heard their fellow human beings determine that a human
being must be killed. Why? Does it bring back the already deceased?
No. Will it provide closure to the victim's family? No - and as a
matter of fact, there is substantial literature and research regarding
victim's families who say that after the defendant is executed,
they're surprised to discover that it doesn't help at all. How has
society improved as a result of this recommendation? And why does our
country believe that state-sanctioned killing is the answer? I think
the members of the jury should have to watch the execution, if not
'push the button' or 'pull the switch.' How rewarding is it to watch
someone die? Isn't that why Scott Peterson is on trial on the first
place? Because he had no right to kill his wife, and the jury found
that he did? Why does a randomly selected panel of 12 people make it
better than the decision of 1 random person? Death is death. Killing
a human being at the hands of another is just that, no matter how you
slice it. You've all been subjected to my struggles with death
recently - guns and violence in this homicide trial, my friend's
brother, the death penalty in general. I have more faith in people
than all this.

I don't know if he did it or not. I didn't sit through months of
circumstantial evidence. I didn't convict and then condemn a man to
death for his absence of emotion (ah yes, Tom, "The Stranger"?)... I
think that Peterson, it seemed, had a great defense team, should have
had a different jury for sentencing than he did for conviction if for
no other reason than the fact that the attorney sort of had to argue
inconsistent theories (he didn't do it; ok, well at least don't kill
him for it then....) and that's pretty much it. An eye for an eye
leaves the whole world blind.


Michelle said...

well said, although, i don't like the fact that the juries make sentencing decsions, much better the judge do so.

C Dog said...

"Killing a human being at the hands of another is just that, no matter how you slice it." What about abortion?

WomanoftheLaw said...

What about it?

BL said...

Not to mention the cost of a prisoner on death row vs. a prisoner with a life sentence. From what I understand, it costs more to put someone to death than it does to let them rot away in a prison. Just my opinion.

WomanoftheLaw said...

It does cost more to execute a prisoner. A lot of people use this as an argument to limit appeals of a death row inmate, which I think is absurd. And of course, there are the arguments about the fact that people are exonerated for their crimes after they've been sentenced (and sometimes executed), and the administration of the death penalty correlates strongly to socio-economic status, the race of the defendant, and the race of the victim.

Blonde Justice said...

Once again - Right on, sister.

Maybe they need someone like you in Georgia more than we do here. I'm not saying... but it's just something to think about.