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Okay, he's guilty... now what?

Jason Menard
Sheriff

Joined: Nov 09, 2000
Posts: 6450
We tried going down this road before, but I admit it was the wrong case to bring up because of the subject's affiliations with a particular international organization and the appologists/supporters for said actions.
So staying domestic, how about this guy? He's been found guilty, but not yet sentenced. What is the correct sentence for someone like this?
Apparently the defense at the sentencing hearing will be something along the lines of "this act was an aberration, that their client is an honorable family man."
Jamie Robertson
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Joined: Jul 09, 2001
Posts: 1879

Originally posted by Jason Menard:
...Apparently the defense at the sentencing hearing will be something along the lines of "this act was an aberration, that their client is an honorable family man."

Death penalty, no questions. And there is no way that you can say honorable in the same sentence with this guy without some sort of negation predicate in front of it. He's a sick man. Kill him.
Jamie
Anonymous
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Joined: Nov 22, 2008
Posts: 18944
How sure are we that he is guilty? Yes, he has been found guilty in a "court of law" but are we 100% sure? What if that was you and in reallity you are not the killer? Please consider all the evidence and all the circumstances before answering this question.
Jason Menard
Sheriff

Joined: Nov 09, 2000
Posts: 6450
Originally posted by <Anonymous>:
How sure are we that he is guilty? Yes, he has been found guilty in a "court of law" but are we 100% sure? What if that was you and in reallity you are not the killer? Please consider all the evidence and all the circumstances before answering this question.

That's what the jury did, beyond any reasonable doubt. If you are raising the spector of doubt, the burden is now on you (and his lawyers and supporters of course) to find some justifiable grounds which countermands the overwhelming wealth of evidence against him. Innocent until proven guilty is the mantra. He has now been proven guilty, and as such, is subject to any penalty the law allows.
Anthony Villanueva
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Joined: Mar 22, 2002
Posts: 1055
Life imprisonment seems more humane. Didn't Gandalf say something about being not too eager to deal out death, since we can't see how things will eventually turn out?
Rufus BugleWeed
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Joined: Feb 22, 2002
Posts: 1551
I praise the Lord we did not have a hung jury.
If he wanted leniency, he should have plead guilty.
That little mom looks like she would be fun to party with.
Jason Menard
Sheriff

Joined: Nov 09, 2000
Posts: 6450
Originally posted by Anthony Villanueva:
Didn't Gandalf say something about being not too eager to deal out death, since we can't see how things will eventually turn out?

Pssst... Anthony.... Gandalf's not real.
Anthony Villanueva
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Joined: Mar 22, 2002
Posts: 1055
Originally posted by Jason Menard:
Pssst... Anthony.... Gandalf's not real.

That doesn't mean the stuff he says about decency isn't real too.
Brian Glodde
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Joined: Jun 27, 2001
Posts: 171
Life in prison ( general population ) or death penalty. What if that was your daughter? There's something seriously wrong with anyone who exhibits this type of behavior.
Eye for an eye! We're way too lenient on violent criminals in this country.
Beyond a reasonable doubt? There shouldn't have even been a decision to make:

Dusek said matching orange fibers were found in Westerfield's home and on a necklace Danielle had been wearing. A forensic DNA specialist testified that her hair, blood and fingerprints were found in Westerfield's house and in his recreational vehicle parked outside.
"No explanation except for guilt. None," Dusek said in closing arguments.

[ August 22, 2002: Message edited by: Brian Glodde ]
Anthony Villanueva
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Joined: Mar 22, 2002
Posts: 1055
Originally posted by Brian Glodde:
What if that was your daughter? There's something seriously wrong with anyone who exhibits this type of behavior.

I agree. If it was my own daughter I'd slit his throat myself. I mean that. But afterwards, there would probably be days when I would really regret it...
Killing him wouldn't bring back my daughter. Being vengeful and hate-filled won't bring back my daughter, or make me a better person.
Med Shabe
Ranch Hand

Joined: May 08, 2001
Posts: 84
I have an idea for punishing cowards like Westerfiled and Avila who attack defenseless kids: In addition to death penalty (which is gonna cost us millions), their manhood should be cut off (they’re not even considered men) and shoved down their throat.
Jamie Robertson
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Joined: Jul 09, 2001
Posts: 1879

Either way, death penalty or life in prison, he won't won't be let back into society ( even though killing him would be more financially feasable than letting him rot in a cell for 40 years at the tax payers expense), so that is enough punishment for me. I'm for the death penalty more as a deterent to any would be child predators, than as retribution/punishment for the crime. I think a consequence of death may be a much better deterent for the next guy thinking of doing such a crime.
Jamie
Randall Twede
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Joined: Oct 21, 2000
Posts: 4340
    
    2

i followed quite a bit of this trial. the only evidence the defense really had was the bug evidence. in light of the overwhelming DNA and fiber evidence, and that haunting handprint, there is little doubt in my mind he did it. it does bother me that innocent people are imprisoned and even executed in this country though. i would find it much easier to sentence someone to death if there were dozens of witnesses.


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Anthony Goshaunee
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Joined: Jul 31, 2002
Posts: 71
I think everyone is saying his punishment should be the maximum allowable and moral. The issue is what is the "maximum moral" punishment for anyone. Now some believe in the death penalty, and they will say put him to death, and others who do not believe in the death penalty, are saying that he should spend the rest of his life in prison. I'm not sure I buy the whole, "What if it was your daughter?" I mean, it explains why family members of the girl may feel the way they do, but if it was my daughter, I may want that man tortured to death. That doesn't mean that torture is not wrong. Cruel and unusual punishment is wrong and against the law, and it should be against the law.
Either way, I think this kind of thing makes a good case for the death penalty, but I still believe that we should not be so eager to deal out death, just like Gandalf said.
Anonymous
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Joined: Nov 22, 2008
Posts: 18944
Brian G. said, "An Eye for an eye". If we only could truly give him that type of punishment. He deserves to suffer the same way Danielle did.
I'm torn. He should die, but the death penalty is too humane for him. Let him sit in prison and discover what happens to inmates who abuse children.
I'm just glad he will never be able to hurt kids anymore.
Thomas Paul
mister krabs
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Joined: May 05, 2000
Posts: 13974
Justice demands the death penalty.


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Michael Ernest
High Plains Drifter
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Joined: Oct 25, 2000
Posts: 7292

Hm. Make the punishment fit the evidence (i.e., number of witnesses), rather than the crime? The idea has some persuasive energy to it, at least after the fact.
But I think we can infer from the defense's tactics which way our doubts should fall. To introduce a viable alternative theory to the crime, the defense preyed on plausible fears the jury might harbor. Among other things, the defense tried to suggest that the parents' swinging lifestyle introduced violent sexual predators into their homes. When that didn't work, they "accused" the father of being asleep at the time of the abduction. That's pure desperation.
The thing I don't like about the death penalty is the way it raises the stakes of the judicial process. Everything's gone over with a fine-tooth comb, all trenches get dug early on, and people start writing amicus briefs way before the appeals process has even started.
I'll play the race card here and say if a white, middle-class, middle-aged man in Southern California is facing the death penalty, there's a good chance the jury got this one right. By himself, holed up in an RV for days with no contacts? Who does he think he is, the Unabomber?
Guy Allard
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Joined: Nov 24, 2000
Posts: 776
Life imprisonment. In GP, no isolation. He will be abused then killed.
Let the punishment fit the crime.
G.
Anonymous
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Joined: Nov 22, 2008
Posts: 18944
You go, Guy!!
Jason Menard
Sheriff

Joined: Nov 09, 2000
Posts: 6450
Of course his rotting carcas should be left on the side of the highway, as he left her body, in full public display as a warning to others, but I guess we live in enlightened times.
Anonymous
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Joined: Nov 22, 2008
Posts: 18944
Jason, I like the way you think.
Rufus BugleWeed
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Joined: Feb 22, 2002
Posts: 1551
Seems to me that the jury took a long time to reach a verdict. Somebody did not want to convict him. Will same person have reservations about the death penalty? He'll get life.
Just my two cents.
Jason Menard
Sheriff

Joined: Nov 09, 2000
Posts: 6450
Originally posted by Rufus Bugleweed:
Seems to me that the jury took a long time to reach a verdict. Somebody did not want to convict him. Will same person have reservations about the death penalty? He'll get life.
Just my two cents.

Or another conclusion that can be drawn from the same data is that the jury wanted to make absolutley sure that they covered all bases before finding him guilty (unanimously btw). Ideally all juries should take such care before reaching a conclusion of guilt or innocence, particularly when the death penalty is possible (although they shouldn't be considering the penalty at that phase, I'm sure it seeps into the minds of some).
Michael Ernest
High Plains Drifter
Sheriff

Joined: Oct 25, 2000
Posts: 7292

Originally posted by Jason Menard:
Of course his rotting carcas should be left on the side of the highway, as he left her body, in full public display as a warning to others, but I guess we live in enlightened times.

If we did that, it wouldn't be long before a couple of kids in Tennessee re-enacted it, just for lack of something better to do.
Paavam Payyan
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Joined: Jun 25, 2002
Posts: 86
I wonder why people don't see the fact that death penalty is too easy when compared to Life in prison! IMHO, Systems should be in place to make maximum output (physical work or service or what ever) and in return he/she should be given nothing but prison cell and food. What's the benefit in simply hanging someone, which is just waste of every single resource he/she has consumed for last x many years? That should be put to public benefit in a way or other!


<i>All that is gold does not glitter, not all those who wander are lost - <b>Gandalf</b></i>
Jason Menard
Sheriff

Joined: Nov 09, 2000
Posts: 6450
Originally posted by Paavam Payyan:
I wonder why people don't see the fact that death penalty is too easy when compared to Life in prison!

The death penalty isn't so much for the punishment of the guilty, per se, or at least that's only one reason for it. More important is that it serves as a consequence of certain actions. The idea is that if you are aware of the consequence of an action, it may deter you from undertaking it. So in this regards, the death penalty protects society through deterrence.
Whereas life in prison always offers hope, there is very little hope when sentenced to death. Again, this is important for the deterrence factor. But it is in this regards that it also serves to punish the guilty. As long as he is alive he has hope that he can again be out in society, death kind of puts a damper on that hope.
I don't disagree that prison should be as hard and demeaning as possible, as that would deter people from committing crimes in general, not just these obscenely hideous crimes.
which is just waste of every single resource he/she has consumed for last x many years? That should be put to public benefit in a way or other!

Soylent Green?
Thomas Paul
mister krabs
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Joined: May 05, 2000
Posts: 13974
I doubt very much that life imprisonment is harder than being executed. I challenge you to visit death row and find more than one or two people who prefer life imprisonment.
But the question has to do with justice. Not revenge or deterrence. Does a person who rapes and murders a little girl deserve to be executed? Is that the fit and right punishment to show how society feels about that crime?
Anthony Villanueva
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Joined: Mar 22, 2002
Posts: 1055
The issue has moral considerations as well.
For those who still believe that: (a) God is real and is not a work of fiction, and
(b) God gave men divine souls and free will uncurbed by His foreknowledge
If we have free will, we have the potential to redeem ourselves. The chances may be really low for some, but it's there. No one can say for absolutely certain that Mr. X will never change for the better. Death will take that opportunity away.
If we have divine souls, then life is a gift from God. Do we have the right to deprive any man of it?
Finally, for those who also still believe in the Scriptures, there is the story of the adulteress who was about to be stoned to death (the due punishment according to ancient Jewish law), but Jesus dissuaded the public. There is also the passage, "vengeance is mine, saith the Lord".
Thomas Paul
mister krabs
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Joined: May 05, 2000
Posts: 13974
There's a couple of interesting points in Anthony's post that are worth discussing.
First, the question of vengeance. As I have tried to make clear, executing for revenge is a bad idea. Executions must be done in the name of justice.
Second, when the adultress was brought to Jesus, it was a setup. The idea was to challenge Jesus with a choice between forgiveness and Mosaic law. Jesus did not say that she should not be stoned. He said, "Let he who is without sin cast the first stone." Jesus was challenging the question of justice.
As far as whether we have the right to deprive someone of life if they have a divine soul, again the issue is justice. We know that we can morally kill. Self defense is one reason that few will argue with. We certainly should not kill lightly.
On the question of redemption, each person is responsible for the state of their own soul. One could argue that the impending execution can crystalize thought of the after life in the person to be executed in a way that imprisonment can not. But ultimately it is the responsibility of the state to provide justice. It is each person's responsibility to worry about the state of their soul.
Anthony Villanueva
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Joined: Mar 22, 2002
Posts: 1055
My moral argument fails.
Thomas Paul
mister krabs
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Joined: May 05, 2000
Posts: 13974
Originally posted by Anthony Villanueva:
My moral argument fails.

Thomas Aquinas is my patron saint.
Anonymous
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Joined: Nov 22, 2008
Posts: 18944
Off with his head!
Dave Vick
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Joined: May 10, 2001
Posts: 3244
After being found guilty he should have been marched out behind the court house, shot in the head and left there for a few days for people to walk by and spit on.
Then his body should have been scooped up by the garbage men and buried in an unmarked grave somewhere.
All of his worldy possesion should have gone to pay for the taxpayers expense of his trial and then to the victims family if there was any thing left.


Dave
Chad McGowan
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Joined: May 10, 2001
Posts: 265
I think the death penalty is the only choice here, but I would like to see him suffer dearly before the injection.
People who commit these kinds of crimes should all be locked in a pit together and tortured up until the moment they die.
Does this creep really deserve his last rights and meal??
Rufus BugleWeed
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Joined: Feb 22, 2002
Posts: 1551
He's going down, down, down.
Jason Menard
Sheriff

Joined: Nov 09, 2000
Posts: 6450
Not yet, apparently some on this California jury do not feel that his crimes warrant the death penalty, and they are currently deadlocked.
Thomas Paul
mister krabs
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Joined: May 05, 2000
Posts: 13974
Originally posted by Jason Menard:
Not yet, apparently some on this California jury do not feel that his crimes warrant the death penalty, and they are currently deadlocked.

They made up their mind:
SAN DIEGO, California (AP) -- A jury decided Monday that David Westerfield should die for kidnapping and killing 7-year-old neighbor Danielle van Dam, the little girl who vanished from her bedroom in the first of a string of high-profile child abductions across the country this year.
Thomas Paul
mister krabs
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Joined: May 05, 2000
Posts: 13974
Back in the old days we used to torture people to death. The English were particularly good at this. One method used for traitors was to hang the criminal for a little while and then while still alive slice their stomach open, pull out their intestines and drop them on a fire while still attached to the criminal. Another popular one was to attach a rope to each limb of a criminal, tie the rope to a horse and then send the horses off to different parts of Britian. Even beheading was brutal since the British preferred to use the ax which isn't really good at this type of work. It could take up to 20 strokes to take a man's head off. The French used more humane ways to execute. The guillotine was used in France while the British were still using the short-drop gallows. The short-drop gallows meant that the criminals neck would not break and they would strangle to death. I'm not sure when things changed in Britian but until at least 1820, Britian did not choose humane execution methods for criminals.
Jason Menard
Sheriff

Joined: Nov 09, 2000
Posts: 6450
Good. I had looked at that same story on CNN maybe two hours ago and they had on there that the jury sent a note to the judge stating that they were deadlocked and asking for further instructions. I guess the further instructions must have been something along the lines of "let the bastard fry". Maybe there is some hope for the American jury system after all.
Thomas Paul
mister krabs
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Joined: May 05, 2000
Posts: 13974
Originally posted by Jason Menard:
Maybe there is some hope for the American jury system after all.
This was a very interesting jury. They really took a long time on each part of their decision. It seems like they took their role very seriously and tried to give the defendant every possible doubt. In the end they reached a good and fair decision.
 
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