Executioner’s Song

Every time I rethink my position on the death penalty — i.e. that maybe I should reconsider my support thereof — I somehow stumble across a story like this one:

A convicted killer who had already murdered one girlfriend was left free to kill a second following a catalogue of police and probation service blunders, a jury has ruled.
Paul O’Hara, 48, was on life licence after serving 15 years for killing a former partner when he met businesswoman Cherylee Shennan.
They began a relationship but within weeks manipulative O’Hara, who had been diagnosed with psychopathic traits in prison, began controlling and beating the 40-year-old mother of one.
Over the following months police missed several chances to stop the ‘high-risk violent predator’.
When unprepared and unarmed officers did finally go to Miss Shennan’s home, O’Hara attacked them before stabbing his girlfriend to death.

So basically, this murderous asswipe was out on parole when he killed Victim #2.

Everyone who favors the abolition of execution for murder is all “O noes, what about the innocent people wrongly convicted?” when in fact they should be all “O noes, what about the innocent people killed by assholes wrongly freed?”

It’s bullshit.  Anyone convicted of murder should be locked away forever while the appeals process grinds on, then executed.  There should be NO parole (or “life licence” — what a crock of shit) for convicted murderers, ever.

Unless, maybe, we go all Hammurabi and if a parole board releases a murderer who then goes on to murder someone else, then the members of the parole board responsible should also face life imprisonment (or execution — a.k.a. Full Hammurabi) for having allowed Murder #2.

And while I’m still in a charitable mood, why hasn’t convicted cop-killer Wesley Cook (alias  Mumia Abu-Jamar) been executed yet?


  1. The one and only argument against the death penalty: The justice system is designed and run by politicians, government bureaucrats and lawyers.

  2. As Fred Z says, that would be my concern too.

    Maybe it’s because I come from an area where corruption is the order of the day. For every clear-cut situation like the one above there are plenty of convictions based upon planted/falsified/tampered-with/mishandled evidence. Plenty of cases of over-zealous DAs getting convictions of innocent people from 12 people too dumb to get out of Jury Duty simply to boost their conviction rates, the innocent man in prison be damned.

    Because of this, I’ve no serious problem with the appeals process. If the police/DA’s Office can’t handle the evidence and provide clear proof of guilt, maybe they too should learn to code (which would only make me one of an ever smaller percentage of people who’s actually GOOD at coding, therefore increasing my value!).

    And as you say, parole for a convicted murderer is asinine. I’d even offer that, should the conviction be overturned on appeal because of questionable evidence, the costs of defense come out of the budgets of the police department and DAs office AND they’re not permitted to budget for same (meaning it’ll cost them elsewhere, rather than just getting more money from the taxpayers).

    Mark D

  3. I was for the death penalty for a number of years and then after reading about the expense of the appeal process and housing them before carrying out the sentence it appeared it was much cheaper to lock them up for life with no chance of ever getting out. The key to that is don’t ever let them out, let them rot away for the rest of their lives.

    That was my feeling until I was on a hunting trip with some guys from Houston and as we sat around BSing about this and that it turned out one of the men was a Federal Public Defender, a smart man who was assigned to difficult Federal cases to give the defendant a fair trial. I was sure he would be against the death penalty but he said that with a Federal death penalty, hardly ever used, at least the really bad monsters had something to lose, their lives, if they killed other inmates or staff. So now I am in favor of the death penalty and of course here in Texas people are actually put down, like rabid dogs, just put them lowlife’s down.

  4. I supported the death penalty for decades, until I realized how many people convicted of capitol offenses later were proven to be innocent. I’ve no objection to a killer or rapist dying, but I have a major issue with someone being killed or locked up for something they did not do. While you can’t give someone back the decades they may have spent behind bars, they can at least try to have a life after being exonerated.
    OTOH, life sentences should be just that. Life. Never to see the outside world again. Preferably at hard labor and in living conditions that Joe Arpaio would approve of. Maybe offer them slightly better living conditions if they volunteer to be subjects for medical experimentation.
    Finally, to dampen the enthusiasm of some LEO’s to “testalie” and some prosecutors to break the rules because they want to keep their conviction rates high- If an agent of the state is found to have intentionally withheld exonerating evidence or to have lied in order to gain a conviction, said agent is to be sentenced to the maximum penalty for which the accused was tried. Compensation to the unlawfully convicted shall consist of all the assets of the agent (half in community property states) who knowingly lied or withheld exonerating evidence.

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