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dmitchell
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 05, 2012 1:25 pm    Post subject: Texas to execute another probably innocent man Reply with quote

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With an opinion yesterday from the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals, ACLU client Max Soffar moves a step closer to an unjust execution. And, little more than one year after the execution of Troy Davis, our system moves closer to another miscarriage of justice.

Soffar is an innocent man on Texas’s death row, who falsely confessed to crimes he didn’t commit. He’s been there most of the last 32 years after being convicted of killing three people in a 1980 Houston bowling alley robbery. His conviction was based entirely on false words from his own mouth.

Yesterday’s opinion came in Soffar’s latest appeal, filed by attorneys from the law firm Kirkland & Ellis. The court upheld Soffar’s death sentence, even as three judges declared in a joint concurring opinion that they lack faith in his conviction. They note that Soffar’s “confession does not inspire confidence in its accuracy [and] appears to be a tale told by one who heard about the robbery-murders rather than by one who committed them.”

Penned by Judge Cathy Cochran, this powerful concurrence begins by recalling what a previous appellate judge had said about this case. When Judge Harold DeMoss reviewed the case (and reversed the original 1981 conviction), he stated that he had lain awake nights "agonizing over the enigmas, contradictions, and ambiguities which are inherent in this record." Judge Cochran expressed that she feels “the same way about the similar record from the second trial conducted twenty-five years later.” She added, “There is something very wrong about this case.”

Sadly, despite the serious doubt over his confession, the court upheld the death sentence against Max Soffar because they didn’t think he proved there were any constitutional violations in his treatment and legal representation. more...

So at least four judges say his confession is probably bullshit, but because everyone dotted the i's and crossed the t's, a probably innocent man must die.
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McGruff
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 05, 2012 1:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It's not about guilt or innocence: it's about defending the right to carry out capital punishment. If the odd mistake is made, so be it.

The right does love a good human sacrifice every now and then.
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 05, 2012 1:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

no good.

no death penalty here. england and wales has twice the population of texas with half the murders (thus, texas has about 4x the murder rate). and england includes big bad London.
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 05, 2012 3:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I can't help it, but after 32 years on death row, I'd really much rather get it over with than appeal yet another time.

Wonder why he'd confessed in the first place if he ain't guilty?
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 05, 2012 5:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

mdeininger wrote:
Wonder why he'd confessed in the first place if he ain't guilty?

I'm not sure why a police station confession supersedes a courtroom not-guilty plea. By any logical standards the latter is first hand evidence which contradicts a prior statement made which is apparently false or misconstrued. And if the prosecution's case is built entirely on a confession then I don't see why the judge is entertaining the confession at all. Clearly the person wants to defend themselves on the basis of the evidence, or the apparent lack thereof.
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 05, 2012 5:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

EDIT: wrong case
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 05, 2012 5:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Next time I'll think twice about concocting stories.
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 05, 2012 8:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

mcgruff wrote:
It's not about guilt or innocence: it's about defending the right to carry out capital punishment. If the odd mistake is made, so be it.

The right does love a good human sacrifice every now and then.


LOL
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 05, 2012 8:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

mcgruff wrote:
It's not about guilt or innocence: it's about defending the right to carry out capital punishment. If the odd mistake is made, so be it.

The right does love a good human sacrifice every now and then.


It's not their fault, the example was set 2000 and some odd years ago, according to a famous myth...
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 05, 2012 10:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Barbarians.
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 06, 2012 12:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The article is telling one side of the story; what's the other side? Anybody bother to find out before flapping their lips in judgement? Don't lie; I know you didn't.
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 06, 2012 12:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

mdeininger wrote:
Wonder why he'd confessed in the first place if he ain't guilty?
You should do some research. It really isn't that unbelievable.
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 06, 2012 4:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

BoneKracker wrote:
The article is telling one side of the story; what's the other side? Anybody bother to find out before flapping their lips in judgement? Don't lie; I know you didn't.

Did you?
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 06, 2012 7:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

dmitchell wrote:
BoneKracker wrote:
The article is telling one side of the story; what's the other side? Anybody bother to find out before flapping their lips in judgement? Don't lie; I know you didn't.

Did you?

I doesn't matter whether I did, because I did not pass judgment, claiming that the man is probably guilty or innocent.

It does matter that you did not, because you are not making an informed, rational decision, but are merely echoing someone else's opinion, from some blog post.
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 06, 2012 8:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

aidanjt wrote:
And if the prosecution's case is built entirely on a confession then I don't see why the judge is entertaining the confession at all.

The prosecution's case is not based entirely on a confession. Nobody is sentenced to death based solely on a recanted confession. The article is an obvious and gross misrepresentation of the facts.

An appeals court judge thought he didn't have sound legal representation in his first trial, so he was granted a new trial.

He was provided, by anti-capital-punishment activists, with sound legal representation. He was tried again, by a different jury and judge, and was convicted and sentenced to death again.

That second conviction has since been reviewed on appeal and upheld.

The state has given this guy 31 years, since his original sentencing, two full jury trials, two appeals.

Four judges did not say his confession is probably bullshit. One judge said he didn't have sound legal representation and should get a new trial, which he got. The other judges said he should be executed for what he did (which was to rob a bowling alley, shooting the owner and three witnesses: an 18 year old boy, a 17 year old boy and his 17 year old girlfriend, who survived).
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 06, 2012 9:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

What do have countries on the axis of evil like China, Iran, North Korea, Saudi Arabia, Yemen, and the USA have in common? Those barbarians cannot join the EU. :D
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 06, 2012 11:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

pjp wrote:
mdeininger wrote:
Wonder why he'd confessed in the first place if he ain't guilty?
You should do some research. It really isn't that unbelievable.
I didn't say it was hard to believe, I was just wondering why. BoneKracker did a good job at pointing out what he may or may not have done though, so I can see why an attourney would tell him to confess regardless of whether he did it or not...

My original statement still stands though. After 30-odd years on death row, hitting the needle just seems like a better idea than fucking around in courts again.
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 06, 2012 12:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

They should televise the murder of the accused on pay per view. It would be a cash injection to the failing US economy for sure. Maybe they could get some sponsership from Little Lucifer firelighters, the chemical companies that supply the fatal poisons and slip in a couple of republican adverts just in case there is any redneck that disagrees with the death penalty.

Oh, and colouring books for the kids, "Murdered Inmate colour by numbers".
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 06, 2012 2:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

That's an entertaining if jejune appeal to ridicule, but it's not an effective argument for this man's case or against capital punishment.
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 06, 2012 2:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

wildhorse wrote:
What do have countries on the axis of evil like China, Iran, North Korea, Saudi Arabia, Yemen, and the USA have in common? Those barbarians cannot join the EU. :D

Yeah, because those living amongst the ruins of the Holy Roman Empire have got it right, and the anybody who is different must be wrong.

I have yet to hear anybody make a valid argument against capital punishment. The most common are "killing is wrong" and "it's better to let them all go free (or live) than to incarcerate (execute) one man wrongly, and both arguments are logically unsupportable.
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 06, 2012 3:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

sikpuppy wrote:
They should televise the murder of the accused on pay per view. It would be a cash injection to the failing US economy for sure. Maybe they could get some sponsership from Little Lucifer firelighters, the chemical companies that supply the fatal poisons and slip in a couple of republican adverts just in case there is any redneck that disagrees with the death penalty.

Oh, and colouring books for the kids, "Murdered Inmate colour by numbers".
oh c'mon. death by lethal injection is far too boring for pay tv. to make that work we'd have to build a coliseum and put those guys in as gladiators. hell actually that might even be a good idea: if you win, you go free. considering winning should be hard enough, you'd definitely think twice about trying that crap again.

BoneKracker wrote:
I have yet to hear anybody make a valid argument against capital punishment. The most common are "killing is wrong" and "it's better to let them all go free (or live) than to incarcerate (execute) one man wrongly, and both arguments are logically unsupportable.
you know I used to be completely against capital punishment. but then i thought about for a bit and thought - why? there's really nothing wrong with it. at least not considering how long all those appeals and crap seem to take. i mean in principle i'm all for it: you kill someone, you get the same treatment. that's why you don't kill someone to boot. so the only thing that could work as an argument against it would be if a lot of innocent people got sent to death row. but that's just not really going to happen if you look at it realistically.
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 06, 2012 7:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

BoneKracker wrote:
I doesn't matter whether I did, because I did not pass judgment, claiming that the man is probably guilty or innocent.

It does matter that you did not, because you are not making an informed, rational decision, but are merely echoing someone else's opinion, from some blog post.

Of course you are passing judgment--you just referred to the ACLU as "some blog" as a way of preemptively attacking the messenger, laying the ground work for your inevitable siding with the prosecution.
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 06, 2012 8:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

BoneKracker wrote:
wildhorse wrote:
What do have countries on the axis of evil like China, Iran, North Korea, Saudi Arabia, Yemen, and the USA have in common? Those barbarians cannot join the EU. :D

Yeah, because those living amongst the ruins of the Holy Roman Empire have got it right, and the anybody who is different must be wrong.

I have yet to hear anybody make a valid argument against capital punishment. The most common are "killing is wrong" and "it's better to let them all go free (or live) than to incarcerate (execute) one man wrongly, and both arguments are logically unsupportable.


It's more expensive?
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 06, 2012 9:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

BoneKracker wrote:
wildhorse wrote:
What do have countries on the axis of evil like China, Iran, North Korea, Saudi Arabia, Yemen, and the USA have in common? Those barbarians cannot join the EU. :D

Yeah, because those living amongst the ruins of the Holy Roman Empire have got it right, and the anybody who is different must be wrong.
Democracy for the male white landowners, a senate, an emperor (your beloved Oblabla), state appointed archpriests to the senate, the families (house), taxation (ha!), slaves, etc. Have you ever been in Washington DC and seen the buildings there? Talk about the Holy Roman Empire! Holy shit, I say! :wink:

Quote:
I have yet to hear anybody make a valid argument against capital punishment. The most common are "killing is wrong" and "it's better to let them all go free (or live) than to incarcerate (execute) one man wrongly, and both arguments are logically unsupportable.
You claim you never heard a valid argument against capital punishment and then dismiss the most important one. Nice strategy, but: FAIL.
I don't mind that you prefer to live in a society like those other countries I named. Personally I expect that my country has made some progress and does not put itself onto the level with murderers just to serve the barbaric concept of an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth.
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 06, 2012 9:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

dmitchell wrote:
BoneKracker wrote:
I doesn't matter whether I did, because I did not pass judgment, claiming that the man is probably guilty or innocent.

It does matter that you did not, because you are not making an informed, rational decision, but are merely echoing someone else's opinion, from some blog post.

Of course you are passing judgment--you just referred to the ACLU as "some blog" as a way of preemptively attacking the messenger, laying the ground work for your inevitable siding with the prosecution.

Are you trying to say that the ACLU blog has any degree of credibility beyond that of the average blog? I would say this article is strong evidence to the contrary, and I pointed that evidence out. The article is blatantly one-sided, lying about the evidence and leaving out the most significant facts any rational person would consider.

This guy may have had poor legal representation in his first trial, but if you really think he's "probably innocent" based solely on that article, then you're not thinking. If you want to convince others, which I assume to be the intent of your thread, then you're going to have to come up with something much better (something not filled with factual distortions would be good), and show how it outweighs the evidence used by three courts to convict and sentence him.
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