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billythrilly7th
02-16-2011, 02:50 AM
I was reading about assassinated President MCKINLEY(edit) and how his assassin was convicted and hung within about a year.

When and how did our legal system get so bogged down in appeals that make things drag on for years and decades?

Is it in the constitution that people can get 18 appeals?

How did this happen?

Who's fault is it?

One trial. One appeal. That's it.

Thank you.

Torgo
02-16-2011, 03:00 AM
Hanged, Billy! Hanged!!!!

Sorry, it's one of my extensive stable of hobbyhorses. Carry on.

blacbird
02-16-2011, 03:08 AM
I was reading about assassinated President William Henry Harrison and how his assassin was convicted and hung within about a year.

No you weren't. William Henry Harrison died of pneumonia as a complication of a cold contracted when he gave his inaugural address a month earlier on a cold nasty day in Washington, D.C. You're thinking of either Garfield or McKinley.

You need to lay off that André while you read stuff, Trilz.

Zoombie
02-16-2011, 04:34 AM
I'd rather 10 guilty people tie up the court than 1 innocent one go to the chair.

shadowwalker
02-16-2011, 04:43 AM
I'd rather 10 guilty people tie up the court than 1 innocent one go to the chair.

This.

But then I hate the death penalty anyway...

Xelebes
02-16-2011, 04:52 AM
I was reading about assassinated President William Henry Harrison and how his assassin was convicted and hung within about a year.

When and how did our legal system get so bogged down in appeals that make things drag on for years and decades?

Is it in the constitution that people can get 18 appeals?

How did this happen?

Who's fault is it?

One trial. One appeal. That's it.

Thank you.

Can someone explain to me what circuits mean?

I mean, In Canada there is at most four courts you can go through, allowing for three appeals: Provincial Court, Court of Queen's Bench, Provincial Court of Appeals and the Supreme Court of Canada. There is also the Federal Court path: Federal Court, Federal Court of Appeals, Supreme Court of Canada. Is there literally 12 rounds of courts before you can get to the SCOTUS?

STKlingaman
02-16-2011, 04:58 AM
Lets make a Deal
. . . isn't that it?

Michael Wolfe
02-16-2011, 05:04 AM
Is there literally 12 rounds of courts before you can get to the SCOTUS?

Nope. I think Billy was being facetious about the true number of appeals. Either that, or he's wrong. One of those two. :)

Torrance
02-16-2011, 05:21 AM
Hilarious stuff... especially the part about the assassination of President Harrison... doh!

Of course, this kinda goes back to the whole deal with the Patriot Act and how folks are cool with it as long as they think they're immune to it. Put somebody in the place of the death row inmate and see if they suddenly change their mind on the appeals process.

billythrilly7th
02-16-2011, 05:27 AM
No you weren't. William Henry Harrison died of pneumonia as a complication of a cold contracted when he gave his inaugural address a month earlier on a cold nasty day in Washington, D.C. You're thinking of either Garfield or McKinley.

You need to lay off that André while you read stuff, Trilz.

LOL. You're right.

Meant McKinley. Sorry. Was watching Pawn Stars last night. Great show. They talked about Harrison and then that led to me reading about him and McKinley.

No Andre. Stuff aint good for you.

CDSinex
02-16-2011, 05:29 AM
Can someone explain to me what circuits mean?



The country is divided by region in to Circuit Courts (http://www.uscourts.gov/court_locator.aspx) of Appeal which cover several states. I think the name comes from the fact that judges travel and hold court in different areas at different times of the year.

In Canada do the litigants have to travel to the Provincial Capital for appeals courts?

billythrilly7th
02-16-2011, 05:29 AM
So..when and how did it all go wrong?

Whose fault? That damn FDR?

Michael Wolfe
02-16-2011, 05:42 AM
So..when and how did it all go wrong?

Whose fault? That damn FDR?


It was the courts who decided a lot of this stuff, naturally. The policies have changed over time, not suddenly, but there are some landmark cases worth knowing about, like Furman vs. Georgia (early seventies, I believe.)

Here's an article that explains some of the things that we do now, that we didn't use to do in death penalty cases.

http://www.brodenmickelsen.com/blog/why-do-death-penalty-cases-take-so-long/

Zoombie
02-16-2011, 05:46 AM
So..when and how did it all go wrong?

Whose fault? That damn FDR?

Uh...

I don't think "it" went wrong. If anything, we're still working to fix it. Like, for example, we have far more black people in death row than white people...which is odd, considering how white people out number black people by a fair majority.

I'd rather they get more chances to get out, while we keep working on that particular egress in the system.

Don
02-16-2011, 05:54 AM
So..when and how did it all go wrong?

Whose fault? That damn FDR?
I'd go back a little earlier.

I blame Hamilton for his decision to implement internal taxes through an excise tax on whiskey, which stunk to most people like the Stamp Act had stunk two decades earlier, and Washington's decision to send in 13,000 militia to make an example of four small counties in western Pennsylvania with the intent that the frontier areas of Maryland, Virginia, North and South Carolina, Georgia, and the entire state of Kentucky would buckle under.

Excise taxes had a long history of raising ire even in England, and Hamilton knew full well the fuse he was lighting. Hamilton and Washington thereby proved the only difference between themselves and the King was a matter of geography.

Hamilton knew whiskey was a common currency in the backcountry, and he intended to drag the backcountry kicking and screaming under federal rule. Pennsylvania caved in, but the although the tax was never really successfully collected in the other areas, and it was eventually repealed, it set the tone for the rest of what was to come.

blacbird
02-16-2011, 06:33 AM
Str-e-e-e-e-e-e-e-e-e-e-e-e-e-e-e-e-e-tch.

billythrilly7th
02-16-2011, 06:47 AM
Uh...

I don't think "it" went wrong. If anything, we're still working to fix it. Like, for example, we have far more black people in death row than white people...which is odd, considering how white people out number black people by a fair majority.

I'd rather they get more chances to get out, while we keep working on that particular egress in the system.

Oh...IT went wrong.

In the old days if you shot someone in a bar and everyone saw you, you'd be hanged in a week.

Now, if there's video tape of you hacking someone up, you get 6 trials, 59 appeals and motions filed, 15 years of taxpayer funded living before MAYBE you get what you deserve.

The system is a mess. It's rigged for the criminals and against the victims and justice.

Xelebes
02-16-2011, 07:04 AM
The country is divided by region in to Circuit Courts (http://www.uscourts.gov/court_locator.aspx) of Appeal which cover several states. I think the name comes from the fact that judges travel and hold court in different areas at different times of the year.

In Canada do the litigants have to travel to the Provincial Capital for appeals courts?

The litigants have to go to the Provincial Capital to get heard at the Court of Appeals.

Haggis
02-16-2011, 07:20 AM
No Andre. Stuff aint good for you.
Our Billy is growing up. :e2cry:

Uh...

I don't think "it" went wrong. If anything, we're still working to fix it. Like, for example, we have far more black people in death row than white people...which is odd, considering how white people out number black people by a fair majority.

Really? I mean, I certainly agree that, as a percentage of our population there are more blacks on death row (which is one of the reasons I oppose the death penalty), but in pure numbers? I might be wrong, but I'm pretty sure that's inaccurate. Got any backup?

Smiling Ted
02-16-2011, 07:57 AM
Oh...IT went wrong.

In the old days if you shot someone in a bar and everyone saw you, you'd be hanged in a week.

Now, if there's video tape of you hacking someone up, you get 6 trials, 59 appeals and motions filed, 15 years of taxpayer funded living before MAYBE you get what you deserve.

The system is a mess. It's rigged for the criminals and against the victims and justice.

Yeah, the system is a mess.
Those 13 innocent guys in Illinois should have been executed, (http://www.justicedenied.org/illinois.htm) 'cause Billy said so.

Zoombie
02-16-2011, 08:09 AM
Really? I mean, I certainly agree that, as a percentage of our population there are more blacks on death row (which is one of the reasons I oppose the death penalty), but in pure numbers? I might be wrong, but I'm pretty sure that's inaccurate. Got any backup?

Well, it turns out that I was wrong - at least from a pure numbers standpoint.

White1,517 (45%)
Black1,397 (42%)
Hispanic 359 (11%)
Asian 039 (01%)
Native Am 037 (01%)
Source (http://www.clarkprosecutor.org/html/death/dpusa.htm)

However, it's still pretty damn close, specially when we outnumber them by something close to 150 million (Source (http://factfinder.census.gov/servlet/DTTable?_bm=y&-geo_id=01000US&-ds_name=ACS_2009_5YR_G00_&-mt_name=ACS_2009_5YR_G2000_B02001))

backslashbaby
02-16-2011, 08:26 AM
I'd want the appeals; you'd want the appeals. It can be ridiculous in individual cases, but I'm very glad we get several chances to show our innocence.

I do feel awful for victims' families who have to wait so long until things are over in the court system.

billythrilly7th
02-16-2011, 08:53 AM
Yeah, the system is a mess.
Those 13 innocent guys in Illinois should have been executed, (http://www.justicedenied.org/illinois.htm) 'cause Billy said so.

Well duh.

Innocent people shouldn't be executed. Just guilty ones.

Especially the really guilty ones. Like the ones who we have DNA on after a rape/murder.

The human garbage who have kids stuffed in a freeZer or buried in their backyard.

Those that admitted it and we have videotape on like a Yoran van deer sloop in brazil.

Get rid of them. Quickly.

Enough said.

clintl
02-16-2011, 09:15 AM
Yeah, the system is a mess.
Those 13 innocent guys in Illinois should have been executed, (http://www.justicedenied.org/illinois.htm) 'cause Billy said so.

This. If I recall correctly, it amounted to nearly 10% of all the death row inmates in Illinois at the time. And they might not ever have been proven innocent without the work of some law school students doing a project.

If our legal system can't do any better than that, and I doubt that it can, it has no business even having a death penalty.

darkprincealain
02-16-2011, 09:41 AM
I'd want the appeals; you'd want the appeals. It can be ridiculous in individual cases, but I'm very glad we get several chances to show our innocence.

I do feel awful for victims' families who have to wait so long until things are over in the court system.

But I'm afraid those same families would feel awful if the wrong person was executed. Or at least, I'd hope that was the case.

And, if I may say, while hoping it doesn't sound callous, it can cost the taxpayers an awful lot to get the wrong guy (http://www.michigancriminalblog.com/2011/01/dna-evidence-exonerates-man-wrongfully-convicted-of-rape.shtml) in certain jurisdictions.

Zoombie
02-16-2011, 10:16 AM
If our legal system can't do any better than that, and I doubt that it can, it has no business even having a death penalty.

I would trust no man or woman to kill another in anything but immediate self defense.

Why should I trust any collection of men and women to do the same?

MarkEsq
02-16-2011, 07:47 PM
Here's a brief run down on the system, at least as applied in Texas.

Trial: a murder case can take a year to get to trial, partly because the courts are backed up with cases and sometimes because a defendant thinks he's going to be found guilty and would rather do some time (for which he gets 'credit') in the county jail than the penitentiary. It also takes time to get DNA and other forensic stuff worked up.

Appeal I: a defendant can seek relief first from the district court of appeals, and then from the statewide court, the state's version of the supreme court.

Appeal II: the defendant can then turn to the federal system, going to a district court, then the court of appeals, then the Supreme Court itself.

All of these courts are backed up with cases because a lot of nonsense appeals are filed, but all are treated seriously and addressed.

You can see why justice has gone from being 'swift' to being more 'sure.' And as a prosecutor my worst nightmare is convicting an innocent person, so I like 'sure.'

PinkAmy
02-16-2011, 07:55 PM
I'd rather 10 guilty people tie up the court than 1 innocent one go to the chair.

Same here. I'm against the death penalty for more reasons than that. The reason I am frustrated with the American Judicial System is that money and race play into the type of justice defendants get. I do not believe that people have the legal right to take someone's life in the name of justice. When self righteous people decide another person has lost the right to exist in this world, that is vengence, not justice.

Zola
02-16-2011, 08:15 PM
I agree money should not have the impact it does in our country on the justice system, but I don't think that is unique to the death penalty. A life sentence in a maximum security prison can be a horrendous fate.

PinkAmy, why is the death penalty vengeance but life imprisonment is justice? I don't get it. What would you say the legal rights are for dealing with a man who has killed and raped 15 women (aka a serial killer) or for that matter, a person who bombed an office and killed hundreds of people? These people exist - what does justice dictate they receive in response to their horrific actions?

Personally, I would support a higher standard of proof for death penalty cases. This wouldn't require more appeals than already exist; it would simply require the jury to apply a standard of, say, NO DOUBT, instead of "beyond a reasonable doubt." In some cases, there is indeed irrefutable proof of guilt (somethings are caught on camera, for example.)

shadowwalker
02-16-2011, 08:15 PM
Same here. I'm against the death penalty for more reasons than that. The reason I am frustrated with the American Judicial System is that money and race play into the type of justice defendants get. I do not believe that people have the legal right to take someone's life in the name of justice. When self righteous people decide another person has lost the right to exist in this world, that is vengence, not justice.

It's always seemed hypocritical to me - we say killing someone is wrong so we'll kill the killer. But of course, we do it so much more callously and "safely" by having someone else do it for us. And I know there are people out there who claim they'd drop the pill, no problem - which makes me wonder how that makes them any different from the guy they're killing...

But yeah, it's vengeance, nothing more. And unfortunately, as we should have learned from mob rule over the decades, vengeance doesn't always find the right guy - just the most likely. In the opinion of the mob. Who don't have all the facts. But want something done. And fast.

PinkAmy
02-16-2011, 08:18 PM
It's always seemed hypocritical to me - we say killing someone is wrong so we'll kill the killer. But of course, we do it so much more callously and "safely" by having someone else do it for us. And I know there are people out there who claim they'd drop the pill, no problem - which makes me wonder how that makes them any different from the guy they're killing...

But yeah, it's vengeance, nothing more. And unfortunately, as we should have learned from mob rule over the decades, vengeance doesn't always find the right guy - just the most likely. In the opinion of the mob. Who don't have all the facts. But want something done. And fast.

What I cannot understand how many of these same people are staunch anti-choice, anti embryonic stem cell research folks. They have no problem telling women what to do with their bodies and fight for cells which most likely will never become living breathing people, yet are screaming for the death of a living breathing human being. Cognitive dissonance.

MarkEsq
02-16-2011, 08:29 PM
What I cannot understand how many of these same people are staunch anti-choice, anti embryonic stem cell research folks. They have no problem telling women what to do with their bodies and fight for cells which most likely will never become living breathing people, yet are screaming for the death of a living breathing human being. Cognitive dissonance.

One might also point out that those who are against the death penalty but pro-choice also rings of cognitive dissonance.

I also would argue that "it's hypocritical to kill someone for killing someone" argument is a weak one. After all, if I kidnap you and keep you in my basement for twenty years, guess what would happen to me? I'd be forcefully taken and kept in a cell for (maybe) twenty years. Is that hypocritical, too? Maybe it is, but we should be consistent.

PinkAmy
02-16-2011, 08:40 PM
One might also point out that those who are against the death penalty but pro-choice also rings of cognitive dissonance.



Not for those of us who believe life begins at birth.

billythrilly7th
02-16-2011, 09:14 PM
Not for those of us who believe life begins at birth.

So...you have no problem with an abortion at 8 months in?

No health for mom issues. Just at 8 months, she says "I'm not really ready for kids."

MarkEsq
02-16-2011, 09:26 PM
Not for those of us who believe life begins at birth.

I don't want to turn this into an abortion debate (I myself am torn on the issue) but I think you'll find very, very few people who go along with "life begins at birth" as a pro-choice argument.

What I'm trying to point out here is just that there's a certain symmetry for me in the abortion / death penalty arguments. Death penalty abolitionists argue that life is sacred and we can make mistakes, kill innocent people. Likewise, with the advances we see in medicine, an arbitrary (or even an informed) decision as to when a foetus is "alive" seems a little risky.

SirOtter
02-17-2011, 02:26 AM
Not to distract everyone from the topic at hand, but Leon Czolgosz was not hanged for the assassination of President McKinley. He was electrocuted about a month and a half after McKinley died.

We now return you to your regularly scheduled discussion.