Author Topic: Harris County, Texas.  (Read 9012 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline sandman

  • The Eternal
  • The Beast
  • *****
  • Posts: 1100
  • Gender: Male
  • We Have Such Sights To Show You.
Harris County, Texas.
« on: January 06, 2012, 11:36:16 am »
Saw this mentioned on the Roger Ebert blog. It's from The Guardian.

Quote
"Twelve of the last 13 people condemned to death in Harris County, Texas were black. After Texas itself, Harris County is the national leader in its number of executions.

"Over one third of Texas's 305 death row inmates - and half of the state's 121 black death row prisoners - are from Harris County.

"One of those African Americans, Duane Buck, was sentenced based on the testimony of an expert psychologist who maintained that blacks are prone to violence. In 2008, Harris County District Attorney Chuck Rosenthal resigned after sending an email message titled 'fatal overdose,' featuring a photo of a black man lying on the ground surrounded by watermelons and a bucket of chicken."


This just boggles my mind. If Harris County was an independent nation, these numbers would put it in the top 10 nations of the world in executions. And almost all of them are black. Harris County is only about 18% African American. (Source)

I'm not really sure what to comment about this. It's pretty clear that we have a hell of a long way to go with civil rights if this is any indicator. It's shameful. Texas is shameful on this issue. The old record holder for executions under a sitting governor was Smilin' George W. Bush, who racked up 152 of them. (Fun Fact: the only condemned prisoner Bush commuted was Henry Lee Lucas...a known and admitted serial killer.) Today that record is held by Rick Perry, who so far has scored 235.... and politically speaking, he's still in the third quarter of the game down there in Texas. Most of the executed being black or Hispanic. And this man wants to be President? The fact that he has no chance in Hell of that ever happening may be the strongest physical evidence that a benevolent god exists that I have ever seen.
« Last Edit: January 06, 2012, 11:42:08 am by sandman »
"In case you're interested, there's still some positions available for that bonus opportunity I mentioned earlier. Again: all you gotta do is let
us disassemble you. We're not banging rocks together here. We know how to put a man back together. So that's a complete reassembly. New vitals. Spit-shine on the old ones. Plus we're scooping out tumors. Frankly, you oughtta be paying us." -Cave Johnson

Offline N. De Plume

  • Mysterious Writing Implement
  • The Beast
  • *****
  • Posts: 1936
  • Gender: Male
  • Nom, nom, nom…
Re: Harris County, Texas.
« Reply #1 on: January 06, 2012, 11:52:25 am »
Quote
"One of those African Americans, Duane Buck, was sentenced based on the testimony of an expert psychologist who maintained that blacks are prone to violence.
So sentencing in Harris county is based on generalizations rather than the actual merits of the case? Nice. ::)

The fact that he has no chance in Hell of that ever happening may be the strongest physical evidence that a benevolent god exists that I have ever seen.
Benevolent, maybe. But clearly not Omnipotent, then.
-A Pen Name

Offline sandman

  • The Eternal
  • The Beast
  • *****
  • Posts: 1100
  • Gender: Male
  • We Have Such Sights To Show You.
Re: Harris County, Texas.
« Reply #2 on: January 06, 2012, 11:54:30 am »
Found this in the comments over at the Roger Ebert site.....the callousness at the end of this fundie's "argument" is appalling. Apparently killing innocent people is just an unfortunate, yet acceptable side effect of "justice." It's also a pretty good example of why basing your politics and government on religious doctrine is never a good idea.

Quote
"This was an interesting article. I believe that the state has the right to execute people for severe crimes, usually murder--on biblical grounds. The taking of life in an execution goes right to the heart of our morals and spirituality and beliefs. What is life? Who gave it? Who has the right to end it? For what reasons does the state have the right to take a life?

For many people, the answers are found in the Bible. Life is a gift of God. God, and the earthly authorities He has appointed, have the right to kill people for extremely serious crimes.

People rage against the death penalty because the state could expand it's powers beyond what is right, or that innocent people could be killed. I agree wholeheartedly with these concerns, however, justice does need to be done, and people need to fear and respect the law and authority.

My opinion is that people are against the death penalty as a way of saying that no matter how evil a person's actions, there is nothing worthy of killing them. Underneath it all, it seems to be another way of saying that nothing is really all that seriously wrong with what people do.

God couldn't disagree more. He sees sin as being so serious that an execution was required to redeem sinful humanity. A death was required: Christ on the cross. Justice and grace in one picture.

In my opinion, being imprisoned for life is the greater punishment, especially since most methods of execution are not tortuous.

How we "feel" is not the main issue here. Justice being done and respect for the law is the issue.

One thing is true: if you execute a murderer, he will never murder again.

Roger said. "If the taking of life is wrong, then it is wrong in all cases." I disagree. Taking life is not wrong in the cases of a just war, some self defense situations, and execution for capital crimes.

It is true that some people will be wrongly executed, and that is indeed terrible.

However, should we stop driving cars because some people are killed on the highway?"
"In case you're interested, there's still some positions available for that bonus opportunity I mentioned earlier. Again: all you gotta do is let
us disassemble you. We're not banging rocks together here. We know how to put a man back together. So that's a complete reassembly. New vitals. Spit-shine on the old ones. Plus we're scooping out tumors. Frankly, you oughtta be paying us." -Cave Johnson

Offline Thejebusfire

  • Holy Smoke! A Proper Southern Lady!
  • The Beast
  • *****
  • Posts: 2966
  • Gender: Female
Re: Harris County, Texas.
« Reply #3 on: January 06, 2012, 12:00:30 pm »
Quote
How we "feel" is not the main issue here. Justice being done and respect for the law is the issue.

So, after you kill the guy, does it bring the victim back? No, it doesn't. Execution is vengance, not justice.

Offline Meshakhad

  • The Beast
  • *****
  • Posts: 2200
  • Gender: Male
  • The Night Is Dark And Full Of Terrors... Like Me
Re: Harris County, Texas.
« Reply #4 on: January 06, 2012, 12:03:25 pm »
I support the death penalty, but I believe overwhelming standards of evidence should apply. Namely, if there is any sane doubt that the defendant is guilty, then the death penalty should not be applied.
G-d's Kingdom Is A Hate-Free Zone

Quote from: Reploid Productions
Pardon the interruption, good sir/lady; there are aspects of your behavior that I find quite unbecoming, and I must insist most strenuously that I be permitted to assist in resolving these behaviors through the repeated high-velocity cranial introduction of particularly firm building materials.

Quote from: Meshakhad
GIVE ME KNOWLEDGE OR I WILL PUT A CAP IN YO ASS!

Offline sandman

  • The Eternal
  • The Beast
  • *****
  • Posts: 1100
  • Gender: Male
  • We Have Such Sights To Show You.
Re: Harris County, Texas.
« Reply #5 on: January 06, 2012, 12:08:59 pm »
Intellectually, I can see how the death penalty might be appropriately applied, but the standard of evidence would be astonishing high. Like, as in several police officers physically witnessed the defendant killing in cold blood, the whole thing was caught on video, there was overwhelming physical evidence proving the defendant did it, and the entire process was transparent and open to public scrutiny.

I am reminded of a story line in the "Astro City" comics where a lawyer got a defendant off on a murder charge when that standard of evidence was, for all intents and purposes, met. He argued that with so many shape changers, mind controllers, illusion generators, and mimics running around, eye witness accounts and physical evidence were no longer sufficient to prove guilt. Of course, then the Blue Knight just gunned the asshole down and solved the whole issue.
"In case you're interested, there's still some positions available for that bonus opportunity I mentioned earlier. Again: all you gotta do is let
us disassemble you. We're not banging rocks together here. We know how to put a man back together. So that's a complete reassembly. New vitals. Spit-shine on the old ones. Plus we're scooping out tumors. Frankly, you oughtta be paying us." -Cave Johnson

Offline gyeonghwa

  • Uppity and Proud of It
  • The Beast
  • *****
  • Posts: 2041
  • Gender: Male
  • That angry queer your tone trolls warned you about
    • Queer & Khmer
Re: Harris County, Texas.
« Reply #6 on: January 06, 2012, 12:21:25 pm »
Quote
One of those African Americans, Duane Buck, was sentenced based on the testimony of an expert psychologist who maintained that blacks are prone to violence.

Wooo, post-racists society!  ::)

This is why if we even attempt to reform the criminal justice system (I feel we need to focus on rehabilitation), there is still going major problems because of institutionalize racism. It's hard to tackle it because it's so ingrained and people will try to defend it.
That may be the single gayest thing I have ever read on this board. Or the old one. ;)

Offline Vene

  • AKA Vene-Eye the Science Guy
  • Pope
  • ****
  • Posts: 324
  • Patronizing Know-It-All Snotnose
Re: Harris County, Texas.
« Reply #7 on: January 06, 2012, 12:29:02 pm »
I support the death penalty, but I believe overwhelming standards of evidence should apply. Namely, if there is any sane doubt that the defendant is guilty, then the death penalty should not be applied.
Even with this it still has problems; like being more expensive than a life sentence, there still being the non-zero chance of being wrong, and the fact that it doesn't actually deter any crime.

Offline MaybeNever

  • Got His Red Wings
  • Pope
  • ****
  • Posts: 332
  • Gender: Male
  • Possessed of a proclivity for prolixity
Re: Harris County, Texas.
« Reply #8 on: January 06, 2012, 12:36:00 pm »
But Vene, you forget the two important factors that it makes some people feel safe and it makes other people hard.
"Great Britain's two most senior military officers added to the uneasiness. [...] Lord Wolseley, Adjutant General, thought that it might be possible for an enemy to invade without waiters and pastrycooks."
-Robert K. Massie, Dreadnought

Offline Mechtaur

  • The Beast
  • *****
  • Posts: 800
  • Gender: Male
  • Ladies, contain your orgasms.
Re: Harris County, Texas.
« Reply #9 on: January 06, 2012, 12:48:23 pm »
One part that always makes me see red is the stupid ass quote "Well, if you execute a murderer, he can't kill again", because its easy to just trade out words and still work.

"Well, if you execute a thief, he can't steal again"

"Well, if you execute an abuser, he can't assault again"

Offline Askold

  • Definitely not hiding a dark secret.
  • Global Moderator
  • The Beast
  • *****
  • Posts: 8037
  • Gender: Male
Re: Harris County, Texas.
« Reply #10 on: January 06, 2012, 12:59:40 pm »
One part that always makes me see red is the stupid ass quote "Well, if you execute a murderer, he can't kill again", because its easy to just trade out words and still work.

"Well, if you execute a thief, he can't steal again"

"Well, if you execute an abuser, he can't assault again"

You get similar results by just keeping him in jail.

(Ok it is not that simple, there is crime happening in jail and there are criminals who have actually led their organisation from inside a jail.)

But seriously how can Texas keep on doing stuff like this. Are the american States really so independent that the rest of USA can't just go there and tell them to get their shit together and join the rest of the world in 2012.
No matter what happens, no matter what my last words may end up being, I want everyone to claim that they were:
"If you strike me down, I shall become more powerful than you could possibly imagine."
Aww, you guys rock. :)  I feel the love... and the pitchforks and torches.  Tingly!

Offline MaybeNever

  • Got His Red Wings
  • Pope
  • ****
  • Posts: 332
  • Gender: Male
  • Possessed of a proclivity for prolixity
Re: Harris County, Texas.
« Reply #11 on: January 06, 2012, 01:05:26 pm »
Are the american States really so independent that the rest of USA can't just go there and tell them to get their shit together and join the rest of the world in 2012.

Pretty much. Only the federal government could affect this, and it'd be a huge, huge fight. The power of the individual states isn't what it used to be, but there's still a lot of legal independence.
"Great Britain's two most senior military officers added to the uneasiness. [...] Lord Wolseley, Adjutant General, thought that it might be possible for an enemy to invade without waiters and pastrycooks."
-Robert K. Massie, Dreadnought

Offline kefkaownsall

  • The Beast
  • *****
  • Posts: 3253
  • Gender: Male
Re: Harris County, Texas.
« Reply #12 on: January 06, 2012, 02:09:29 pm »
Quote
One of those African Americans, Duane Buck, was sentenced based on the testimony of an expert psychologist who maintained that blacks are prone to violence.

Wooo, post-racists society!  ::)

This is why if we even attempt to reform the criminal justice system (I feel we need to focus on rehabilitation), there is still going major problems because of institutionalize racism. It's hard to tackle it because it's so ingrained and people will try to defend it.
how can he say that we have a black president
anyways I do think considering Troy Davis among others that the death penalty is too corrupt and such.  As for racism, humans inherently are prejudged against people of different races. 

Offline SCarpelan

  • The Beast
  • *****
  • Posts: 981
Re: Harris County, Texas.
« Reply #13 on: January 06, 2012, 02:38:36 pm »
how can he say that we have a black president
anyways I do think considering Troy Davis among others that the death penalty is too corrupt and such.  As for racism, humans inherently are prejudged against people of different races.
To be more precise humans tend to be suspicious of anyone who is not part of a group they identify with. "Race" is just a term that represents the artificial division of humans to different groups based on the color of their skin and is given way too much weight. The term should be abandoned altogether since it has the connotation of major biological differences that don't really exist and because of that it's easily misused to justify discrimination with bullshit like "blacks are inherently more violent".

Offline Witchyjoshy

  • SHITLORD THUNDERBASTARD!!
  • Kakarot
  • ******
  • Posts: 9044
  • Gender: Male
  • Thinks he's a bard
Re: Harris County, Texas.
« Reply #14 on: January 06, 2012, 04:30:55 pm »
Oh look, the lynchings are back.  How... fucking... swell...

I wish I could articulate how angry I am, but I'd have to buy a new keyboard when I was done.
Mockery of ideas you don't comprehend or understand is the surest mark of unintelligence.

Even the worst union is better than the best Walmart.

Caladur's Active Character Sheet