Re: Death Penalty

1

I'm not necessarily against killing people who need to be killed. It's sad of course, but anyone who claims that its morally abhorrent under any circumstances is at best an ignoramus and a hypocrite. It does seem a bit absurd to get all hot and bothered about these folx who kill a person here and there and then fete and adulate the greatest mass murderers the world has ever produced -- the Euro-American ruling class. What chance did this kid ever have to be better than he was? Probably fucked at birth like most people in the maw of the criminal justice system. Sure he's unpleasant, but in a world of Bhopals, Fallujahs and Love Canals, it really seems like kicking a junkyard dog and being mad when he bites you, to castigate this loser.


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 02-25-13 2:10 PM
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You having a rough day or something, Natilo?


Posted by: text | Link to this comment | 02-25-13 2:21 PM
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But starting a fire that kills people...is that really executable?

Why not? He's not a baby or small child, he either had to know he was endangering a great many lives or he's too fucking stupid and impulsive to live in any society. (Given the ability of the state to make mistakes I'd prefer life without parole as the max sentence.)


Posted by: Biohazard | Link to this comment | 02-25-13 2:36 PM
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[T]he greatest mass murderers the world has ever produced -- the Euro-American ruling class.

We're #1! Woooooooooo!

OT: Sorry. It has been a trying few days, somebody-is-getting-impatient-with-the-progress-of-things-wise.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 02-25-13 2:38 PM
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somebody-is-getting-impatient-with-the-progress-of-things-wise.

They want more people killed?

[Incidentally OP.1 precisely matches my feelings about the death penalty.]


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 02-25-13 2:41 PM
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More seriously, killing people is wrong, and, pace Dorothy Parker, the audience for the death penalty (and I do mean "audience": from George W. Bush-as-governor down to the meagrest circa-2003 warblogger (Christ, what a word)) tells you all you need to know about it.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 02-25-13 2:45 PM
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I think the legal sense of the severity of arson as a crime comes from a time before fire engines and building codes, where a fire was quite likely to kill a lot of people. Now, it feels a little fluky assigning moral responsibility for what happened -- like the guy might have meant to set a fire, but how was he supposed to know anyone was going to get hurt?


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 02-25-13 2:51 PM
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This one is extra fluky - aren't all five deaths people that suffered heart attacks from the shock?


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 02-25-13 2:55 PM
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7: He never touched a hot stove, match, or lit cigarette?


Posted by: Biohazard | Link to this comment | 02-25-13 2:55 PM
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I think the legal sense of the severity of arson as a crime comes from a time before fire engines and building codes, where a fire was quite likely to kill a lot of people.

So it's mostly historical precedence that calls arson executable? I can't ever remember hearing about an arson-based execution in the past twenty years.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 02-25-13 2:57 PM
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Here comes some law. I agree with Justice Brennan that there's something very hinky about imposing the death penalty for felony murder as opposed to "truly" intentional murder. But I'm a DP abolitionist, on basically religious grounds.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 02-25-13 2:58 PM
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He's not really being executed for arson, but what's called "felony murder" -- the idea is that you intentionally are engaging in some serious felony with a risk to life, and so if somebody ends up getting killed as a result of your felony, you get punished for murder, not just the underlying felony.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 02-25-13 2:59 PM
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I assume you mean arson that wasn't believed to be murderous in intent? Execution for murder-by-arson certainly does happen. Possibly more than it should.


Posted by: Nathan Williams | Link to this comment | 02-25-13 3:00 PM
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9: I don't mean that I agree with the statement "How could he have known", but the odds of mass death from a fire are way, way lower now than they were, say, in the early part of the twentieth century, and I think the legal treatment of arson responds to the higher historic odds more than to the current situation.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 02-25-13 3:00 PM
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Maybe in the context of drought-ridden tinderbox California, the death penalty for arson makes sense as a deterrent.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 02-25-13 3:04 PM
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13: Right, that's what I meant. I definitely remember the Willingham case.

It was one of these slow-motion horrors when it happened, actually: Is Rick Perry really dragging his feet on this? Is this innocent guy really going to die tomorrow? What the fucking fuck? ....yep, now it's a day later and he's dead.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 02-25-13 3:04 PM
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But this isn't really about arson particularly, just felony murder. He also could have been convicted of felony murder if someone had died when he was raping, robbing, carjacking, mayheming, kidnapping, or trainwrecking.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 02-25-13 3:05 PM
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Further to 17: easiest penal statute number to remember in the whole world!


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 02-25-13 3:06 PM
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6 is entirely correct.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 02-25-13 3:07 PM
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I'm against the DP for practical reasons (the ones you mention, plus racism issues, and junk science issues). This particular case doesn't really bother me that much. Most felony murderers should not be charged with the DP, but I'm willing to believe that the facts of this case are sufficiently heinous that it makes as much sense as any other DP conviction.


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in" (9) | Link to this comment | 02-25-13 3:07 PM
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OT: Sorry. It has been a trying few days, somebody-is-getting-impatient-with-the-progress-of-things-wise.

Man up and propose, Flip.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 02-25-13 3:08 PM
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I agree with Justice Brennan's dissent Tison.

Except under very controlled circumstances, arson is reckless indifference, though, and if we're having the death penalty at all, and having it for felony murder -- as we are -- then this guy's death doesn't seem that far out of line.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 02-25-13 3:09 PM
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I'm also pretty open to the "Look at the company we have on this issue" argument. It doesn't seem to me that the death penalty is inherently barbarous, but enough people have the opposite point of view that I'm not very sure of myself. The rule of thumb of agreeing with Europe against Saudi Arabia, Texas, and China is a pretty damn good one.


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in" (9) | Link to this comment | 02-25-13 3:10 PM
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the ones you mention, plus racism issues, and junk science issues)

I was rolling these up in "I don't trust the state to administer such a punishment fairly".


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 02-25-13 3:11 PM
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Maybe in the context of drought-ridden tinderbox California, the death penalty for arson makes sense as a deterrent.

I for one can't think of any other way to stem global warming.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 02-25-13 3:12 PM
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"Mayheming"?


Posted by: Nathan Williams | Link to this comment | 02-25-13 3:18 PM
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Is that like wilding?


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 02-25-13 3:20 PM
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Excerpt from Brennan's dissent:

What makes this a difficult case is the challenge of giving substantive content to the concept of criminal culpability. Our Constitution demands that the sentencing decision itself, and not merely the procedures that produce it, respond to the reasonable goals of punishment. But the decision to execute these petitioners, like the state courts' decisions in Moore, and like other decisions to kill, appears responsive less to reason than to other, more visceral, demands. The urge to employ the felony-murder doctrine against accomplices is undoubtedly strong when the killings stir public passion and the actual murderer is beyond human grasp. And an intuition that sons and daughters must sometimes be punished for the sins of the father may be deeply rooted in our consciousness.* Yet punishment that conforms more closely to such retributive instincts than to the Eighth Amendment is tragically anachronistic in a society governed by our Constitution. ... This case thus illustrates the enduring truth of Justice Harlan's observation that the tasks of identifying "those characteristics of criminal homicides and their perpetrators which call for the death penalty, and [of] express[ing] these characteristics in language which can be fairly understood and applied by the sentencing authority appear to be . . . beyond present human ability." The persistence of doctrines (such as felony murder) that allow excessive discretion in apportioning criminal culpability and of decisions (such as today's) that do not even attempt "precisely [to] delineate the particular types of conduct and states of mind warranting imposition of the death penalty," demonstrates that this Court has still not articulated rules that will ensure that capital sentencing decisions conform to the substantive principles of the Eighth Amendment. Arbitrariness continues so to infect both the procedure and substance of capital sentencing that any decision to impose the death penalty remains cruel and unusual. For this reason, as well as for the reasons expressed in Gregg v. Georgia, I adhere to my view that the death penalty is in all circumstances cruel and unusual punishment prohibited by the Eighth and Fourteenth Amendments, and dissent.

*The prophets warned Israel that theirs was "a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate [Him]." Exodus, 20:5 (King James version). See, e. g., Horace, Odes III, 6:1 (C. Bennett trans. 1939) ("Thy fathers' sins, O'Roman, thou, though guiltless, shall expiate"); W. Shakespeare, The Merchant of Venice, Act III, scene 5, line 1 ("Yes, truly, for look you, the sins of the father are to be laid upon the children"); H. Ibsen, Ghosts (1881).

Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 02-25-13 3:21 PM
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And apparently you can also extend felony murder to accomplices of the felony? At my jury duty the judge composed a hard case to test people's willingness to follow instructions: suppose person A and person B do a robbery together; in its course, person B accidentally assaults the occupant, who later dies; person A, if convicted, can apparently be given the death penalty.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 02-25-13 3:22 PM
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At my jury duty the judge composed a hard case to test people's willingness to follow instructions: suppose person A and person B do a robbery together; in its course, person B accidentally assaults the occupant, who later dies; person A, if convicted, can apparently be given the death penalty.

That is insane.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 02-25-13 3:32 PM
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I think that's part of what strikes me as so strange about this case: that the men died of heart attacks. Someone had a heart attack in the course of someone else's crime?!


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 02-25-13 3:32 PM
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29, 30 -- This is the entire purpose of the felony murder rule. Of course, back when any felony would draw the death penalty, the stakes were a little different.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 02-25-13 3:36 PM
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30 written before seeing 29.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 02-25-13 3:37 PM
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I'm not sure that 29 is a correct statement of the law (of the death penalty). Generally you have to demonstrate a greater degree of reckless indifference for life than merely being an accomplice (eg, the bank robbery getaway driver who has no intention of participating in a homicide can be convicted of felony murder but not get the DP). But I'd have to do some more reading to get where the exact line is drawn these days.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 02-25-13 3:38 PM
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That is insane.

And that's why I quit law school!


Posted by: Opinionated Bruce Wayne | Link to this comment | 02-25-13 3:40 PM
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Here's a snippet from Justice O'Connor's majority opinion in Tisor, describing the state of the law when it decided Enmund (a felony murder case from Florida):

The Court noted that although 32 American jurisdictions permitted the imposition of the death penalty for felony murders under a variety of circumstances, Florida was 1 of only 8 jurisdictions that authorized the death penalty "solely for participation in a robbery in which another robber takes life." Enmund was, therefore, sentenced under a distinct minority regime, a regime that permitted the imposition of the death penalty for felony murder simpliciter. At the other end of the spectrum, eight States required a finding of intent to kill before death could be imposed in a felony-murder case and one State required actual participation in the killing. The remaining States authorizing capital punishment for felony murders fell into two somewhat overlapping middle categories: three authorized the death penalty when the defendant acted with recklessness or extreme indifference to human life, and nine others, including Arizona, required a finding of some aggravating factor beyond the fact that the killing had occurred during the course of a felony before a capital sentence might be imposed. Arizona fell into a subcategory of six States which made "minimal participation in a capital felony committed by another person a [statutory] mitigating circumstances." Two more jurisdictions required a finding that the defendant's participation in the felony was not "relatively minor" before authorizing a capital sentence.

Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 02-25-13 3:41 PM
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The phone rang while I was writing 31. I didn't mean to imply that it's crazy for the men to have heart attacks, but that those are considered cold-blooded murders.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 02-25-13 3:41 PM
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'Reckless indifference' strikes me as 'cold-blooded.'


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 02-25-13 3:45 PM
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33: ?

32: Then … the felony murder rule is insane. Seriously, it's there so that someone who doesn't kill someone can get the death penalty, because someone else, whose accomplice he was, did kill someone? Why?


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 02-25-13 3:45 PM
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38: that is also insane!


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 02-25-13 3:45 PM
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39 -- So people won't join up with other people to commit felonies? So people won't commit felonies? So people who are committing felonies will have some incentive to restrain their accomplices? Maybe these aren't good reasons, but I don't think'insane' is right.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 02-25-13 3:56 PM
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29: Let him have it!


Posted by: Alex | Link to this comment | 02-25-13 3:58 PM
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easiest penal statute number to remember in the whole world!

187-199?


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 02-25-13 4:05 PM
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So people won't join up with other people to commit felonies? So people won't commit felonies? So people who are committing felonies will have some incentive to restrain their accomplices? Maybe these aren't good reasons, but I don't think'insane' is right.

I'm with neb that these reasons are insane. We're not arguing that there should be a penalty or jail time. But the idea that death is on the table is totally insane.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 02-25-13 4:07 PM
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Surely you recall the music of your youth, Sir K.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 02-25-13 4:08 PM
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Apparently it's not the easiest penal statute code to remember.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 02-25-13 4:18 PM
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If SK can't remember any other penal code section numbers, though, I still win.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 02-25-13 4:20 PM
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SK, quick! Name your easiest number to remember!


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 02-25-13 4:22 PM
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Man up and propose, Flip.

He didn't say who was getting impatient.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 02-25-13 4:22 PM
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Sorry, Jenny's is the only number I remember.


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 02-25-13 4:40 PM
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It's sort of penal.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 02-25-13 4:46 PM
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Only one I remember is 18 usc 1001.

44 -- Well, the SC in Enmund did strike down the Florida law on that death for felony-murder. So, for death, you do have to do more than just being an accomplice, but you have to be an active participant in the underlying felony, and have engaged with reckless disregard. That's the constitutional minimum: states are free to make it more difficult (or impossible) to impose the death penalty.

(But shouldn't get rid of it, unless they want to descend to the violent hell that is Vermont or North Dakota.)


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 02-25-13 4:53 PM
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I want to know who's getting impatient, and I want to know why that number should be easy to remember, but more important, apart from what Flip said: the death penalty kills innocent people.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 02-25-13 5:04 PM
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Or even people who are guilty of something, but don't need to die.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 02-25-13 5:16 PM
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Well, yeah. None of us is innocent.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 02-25-13 5:36 PM
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Oh FFS.


Posted by: k-sky | Link to this comment | 02-25-13 5:42 PM
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So those are, like, songs or something? Never heard of them.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 02-25-13 5:47 PM
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Yeah but what does 199 mean?


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 02-25-13 5:53 PM
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So people won't join up with other people to commit felonies? So people won't commit felonies?

I might be mistaken on the law here, but I believe felonies are already crimes.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 02-25-13 6:28 PM
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I might be mistaken on the law here, but I believe felonies are already crimes.

I don't actually want to defend the felony murder rule, because I think it's stupid, but: generally, if you're intentionally behaving with gross recklessness, and someone dies as a result of your recklessness, that's murder, regardless of whether you intended to kill anyone. So, if I intentionally drive my car into a crowded plaza, but really honestly didn't mean to hurt anyone, I just thought it would be funny to scare people, but I accidentally hit a few pedestrians and killed them, that's murder, even though I genuinely thought they'd get out of the way, and not be hurt. If I walk into an elementary classroom and start shooting a gun, really truly trying not to hit anyone, but just intending to make a political statement about the need for better gun control in this country, but some damn kid darts unexpectedly into the line of fire and gets hit and killed, that's also murder, for the same reason. No one cares that I was really aiming at the wall.

The felony murder rule is, at heart, just an application of this general principle--where "commiting a serious felony" is standing in for "behaving with gross recklessness". If you're intentionally comitting a felony of the sort that substantial bodily harm is generally a significant risk (robbery, rape, arson, kidnapping, etc.), and, in the course of the felony, someone gets killed, well, that's just too bad for you. That's the sort of risk you run when you intentionally commit these sort of serious felonies.

As I said, I don't actually like this rule, but it's not insane. (NB: Some of the rules relating to criminal conspiracy, and the liability of co-conspirators, are completely insane, and I think you might be conflating these two things in your examples above.)


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 02-25-13 6:52 PM
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("Gross recklessness" may not actually be the correct statutory language, I don't remember. But it's basically the right concept.)


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 02-25-13 6:56 PM
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Well, if you're going to punish crime that shows reckless disregard for human life as murder when the crime results in a homicide, arguably the accomplice who is equally responsible for the felony, and thus the conditions in which the homicide occurred, and equally willing to recklessly disregard human life, is as culpable as the felony murderer who happened to "accidentally" be more connected with the homicide. Both had the same intent and both were causes in fact of the homicide.

Eg two kidnappers work together and plan and execute a young child. The child is killed when one of the two drives a car off the road trying to evade the police. It's not clear that only the driver should be charged with murder and not the accomplice sitting in the passengers seat.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 02-25-13 6:57 PM
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62: Yes, that's a case where the rules make some sense. But they quickly spiral into insanity.


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 02-25-13 7:02 PM
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62 before seeing 61 and 60, also I meant "execute a kidnapping" not child otherwise makes no sense ok phone commenting bye.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 02-25-13 7:04 PM
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39

32: Then ... the felony murder rule is insane. Seriously, it's there so that someone who doesn't kill someone can get the death penalty, because someone else, whose accomplice he was, did kill someone? Why?

One reason is to avoid arguments about who actually pulled the trigger. For example two people kidnap someone, drive them to a remote area, shoot them and bury them in a shallow grave. It might be difficult to prove which of the two people fired the shot but I don't think it matters.


Posted by: James B. Shearer | Link to this comment | 02-25-13 7:13 PM
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Well 65 is really an example of accomplice liability, not felony murder, but that is responsive to Nosflow's question and a common rationale.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 02-25-13 7:20 PM
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I'm surprised the Lisl Auman case hasn't come up while discussing the felony-murder rule. Kind of gives a different perspective on that. The link there to Hunter S. Thompson's article on the case is broken: here is the Vanity Fair article he wrote with Mark Seal.


Posted by: Dave W. | Link to this comment | 02-25-13 7:28 PM
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comitting a felony of the sort that substantial bodily harm is generally a significant risk (robbery, rape, arson, kidnapping, etc.)

Wasn't there a fairly recent case where two guys tried a robbery, one of them was killed during it, and the other one tried for homicide? Maybe I dreamed it? Whatever. More Soma.


Posted by: Biohazard | Link to this comment | 02-25-13 7:36 PM
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My law school professor gave the example of a fatal crash due to the passenger giving the driver a bj (a felony in Va at the time.)


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 02-25-13 7:36 PM
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Real case, although not death penalty: Driver is legally drunk, and also has a suspended license, but he is driving within the speed limit. There is an argument about which exit they should take. Passenger 1 believes they are about to pass the correct exit, so he grabs the steering wheel and turns it sharply to the right. The car hits the guardrail and then a tree, causing the deaths of Passengers 2 and 3. Is Driver guilty of vehicular homicide?


Posted by: Unimaginative | Link to this comment | 02-25-13 7:48 PM
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He didn't say who was getting impatient.

It doesn't matter: if she's getting impatient waiting on him, he should propose; if he's getting impatient waiting on her, he should take the reins and propose himself.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 02-25-13 8:21 PM
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||
NMM to C. Everett Koop.
|>


Posted by: Nathan Williams | Link to this comment | 02-25-13 8:57 PM
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70 -- Depends on the statute?


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 02-25-13 9:01 PM
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Quick question:

Friend of mine from grad school is now on the faculty at State School. I encouraged a student to apply to that school's PhD program because I thought he'd be a good fit for the program.

My faculty friend emailed to say they really like our student, and does he have other offers or is he seriously considering their school?

We don't send many students to grad school, so I'm not totally sure how exactly to play this. (First off, I haven't talked to my student, so I don't actually know if he has other offers right now.)

I assume my faculty friend is thinking that they can only extend a great offer to people who are seriously considering their school. But maybe it's the opposite - if a student is in demand, they'll increase the offer to the student.

Everyone is operating in good faith; I'm just not sure who I'm supposed to be honest with and who I should protect.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 02-25-13 9:19 PM
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"C. Everett Koop" is a name just crying out to be clerihewed.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 02-25-13 9:22 PM
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Be honest to your friend. Their offer is probably fixed, but there is a real cost to making offers to students unlikely to accept.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 02-25-13 9:29 PM
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Be honest to your horse. If it knows you, no creature could be more loyal.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 02-25-13 9:31 PM
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Be honest to the moon. It sees all, and punishes liars harshly.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 02-25-13 9:32 PM
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76: there is? What's the cost?


Posted by: heebie-heebie | Link to this comment | 02-25-13 9:39 PM
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I thought the moon don't know a thing about love. Just sorta hangs there above.


Posted by: heebie-heebie | Link to this comment | 02-25-13 9:40 PM
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79: One less slot that could have gone to another student?


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 02-25-13 9:40 PM
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79: well, if they only make offers to people who don't accept, they don't get any grad students.

In my department, which is admittedly weird, individual faculty argue for the applicants they want to admit, and if those people don't accept, they don't get a student that year.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 02-25-13 9:41 PM
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In my department, which is admittedly weird

I wish my department would admit that it's weird.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 02-25-13 9:42 PM
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Their offer is probably fixed

My grad program had recruitment fellowship funds they could only use when they had reason to think they needed to entice someone away from elsewhere.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 02-25-13 9:42 PM
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Oh, true. This isn't a program that probably has a waitlist. But wouldn't the funding just shuffle down to the next available student?


Posted by: heebie-heebie | Link to this comment | 02-25-13 9:42 PM
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In my department, which is admittedly weird, individual faculty argue for the applicants they want to admit, and if those people don't accept, they don't get a student that year.

Isn't that a general weirdness of your institution? I don't think many other places operate that way at all.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 02-25-13 9:43 PM
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But wouldn't the funding just shuffle down to the next available student?

Or to no one, sure.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 02-25-13 9:44 PM
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Also my iPad knows the word Sifu and tried to help me out by supplying it when I was typing "shuffle".


Posted by: heebie-heebie | Link to this comment | 02-25-13 9:44 PM
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85: Not necessarily? We had to submit a list of admitted students and waitlisted students to the grad school, which I think then altered it for their own nefarious purposes unknown reasons, and also we had a fixed number of people we could nominate for some kind of fellowship from the university, and apparently if they turn us down no one else gets that fellowship. And now I've just realized the fellowship recipients were never actually discussed at the meeting where we were supposed to talk about it so I guess someone higher up the food chain just made the decisions unilaterally.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 02-25-13 9:46 PM
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So there's no good way to play this, because there's no way to know if it's a situation like rfts's school or like 81?


Posted by: heebie-heebie | Link to this comment | 02-25-13 9:46 PM
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Well, I mean, does the student have other offers? Is he seriously considering them? I can't really imagine a good enough reason to lie about these things but I'm not really clear on what you would be saying and how it depends on the answers to those questions.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 02-25-13 9:47 PM
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I mean, if he is not considering the school anymore, I'll definitely pass that along. But if he's gotten a few rejections, it's not obvious to me what's best to say.


Posted by: heebie-heebie | Link to this comment | 02-25-13 9:48 PM
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And now I realized I've been forgetting about the admitted students I'm supposed to call and seduce entice to come.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 02-25-13 9:48 PM
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I guess I'm wondering if I'd screw the student out of money if I told them he doesn't have other options.


Posted by: heebie-heebie | Link to this comment | 02-25-13 9:49 PM
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If he really doesn't have other options, can you just be vague about it?


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 02-25-13 9:52 PM
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Sure. I guess it's not a tough question. I just had a moment where I wondered if I was going to inadvertently screw over either party.


Posted by: heebie-heebie | Link to this comment | 02-25-13 9:54 PM
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Unrelatedly, I found out today that my phone doesn't receive group text messages. One brother has known this for over a year, but assumed I knew too. But it explains a couple different odd communications.


Posted by: heebie-heebie | Link to this comment | 02-25-13 10:13 PM
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There are group text messages?


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 02-25-13 10:14 PM
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C. Everett Koop
Said smoking is poop.
Other than that I have very little information
Except for his having once been Surgeon General of our awesome nation.

That was during the Reagan Administration.
Which was the fashion at the time.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 02-25-13 10:19 PM
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98: Yes. Verizon has group text ability.


Posted by: Biohazard | Link to this comment | 02-25-13 10:20 PM
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101

That's what she said!


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 02-25-13 10:25 PM
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Seriously I would type that comment in a thread I hadn't refreshed for 10 minutes?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 02-25-13 10:25 PM
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I think I was vaguely aware of that from the fact that there are places to enter multiple recipients when I send a text. I'm pretty sure I've never sent a group text. I guess maybe I've received some without realizing it.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 02-25-13 10:26 PM
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Anyhow lots of phones have group texts and all the carriers support it. Get a smartphone, clever heebs.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 02-25-13 10:27 PM
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I sent a group yet earlier tonight that included my dad but I was worried he wouldn't get it so I reïterated the included information in two emails and a phone call.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 02-25-13 10:28 PM
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I have a smart phone, sorta. I have a jbroken iPhone or something I don't really understand.


Posted by: heebie-heebie | Link to this comment | 02-25-13 10:28 PM
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We're talking about "group text" heh ... unh heh heh ...


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 02-25-13 10:29 PM
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Some texts with multiple recipients reach my [dumb]phone safely, and some arrive blank, labelled as picture messages. I gather the difference is whether they were sent from a smartphone or not, but haven't tested that.


Posted by: joyslinger | Link to this comment | 02-25-13 10:31 PM
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70: Like Carp said, might depend on the statute. I think the issue in that example would be that it would be that regardless of the state of the driver the specific criminal incident that caused the deaths is the passenger grabbing the wheel and that act is not one the driver was complicit in.


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 02-25-13 11:04 PM
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I don't think there's any reason to say whether or not the student applied anywhere else. Just whether he's considering anywhere else. I know people who only applied to one or two places. I don't think "not considering anywhere else" would necessarily be interpreted as "no other options because of rejection" but your field may be different.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 02-25-13 11:13 PM
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1. Anyhow lots of phones have group texts and all the carriers support it. But Google Voice does not, which is really annoying. (At least it doesn't support the multi-texts which are treated as multimedia messages, which seems to be most of them.) And it doesn't give you any kind of warning about the fact that you're not getting them. It's really rather annoying, since the whole point of Google Voice is supposed to be that it's an abstraction layer other people needn't be at all aware of.

2. One February morning--probably almost exactly a decade ago, come to think of it--the DGS at Princeton called me to say that they liked my application a lot, but wanted to know whether I was really interested. Now as it happened, I was feeling almost giddy with the fact that I'd already been accepted to eleventy-billion programs, and it was morning so I wasn't thinking very clearly anyway, so as I recall, I did my usual stupidly tactless honesty thing, saying something along the lines of, "well, I'm certainly quite interested, it's a great program, but I can't say I'd go there for sure, since there are some other great ones, too." End result: Princeton (and only Princeton) waitlists me. But then, with ten years' hindsight, it's pretty clear that they're the only program that actually made the right decision, so I'm not really sure what the moral of this story is. Oh, right, it's that I like talking about myself.


Posted by: x.trapnel | Link to this comment | 02-25-13 11:47 PM
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Maybe everything would have been different had you gone to Princeton. HAVE YOU THOUGHT OF THAT?


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 02-25-13 11:51 PM
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My life sure would have been different in that program, though, no question. Sigh.


Posted by: x.trapnel | Link to this comment | 02-25-13 11:53 PM
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pwned, but I was despondent where you were witty, so it's totally different.


Posted by: x.trapnel | Link to this comment | 02-25-13 11:56 PM
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Sigh.

Sorry, I was just kidding.

I ran into an unforeseen problem - through no fault of my own - after I'd accepted the offer from my top choice and there was some chance that I could go to my second choice (an equally good school, but for various reasons not my preferred choice) as a way of getting around the problem. Instead, I deferred for a year. That was probably the best decision I could have made, but the other school had a larger program and might have been better for me socially. On the other hand, I always seem to have trouble finding/sustaining a social life, so there's not much reason to think that would have been different.

Deferring probably made me more likely to drop out in that I gained a real appreciation for regular 40 hours/week no "homework" working life. Even though I hated that job. Great co-workers, though.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 02-26-13 12:11 AM
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115 was to 113, even though 113 was not to 112, I guess.


Posted by: fake acccent | Link to this comment | 02-26-13 12:12 AM
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I gained a real appreciation for regular 40 hours/week no "homework" working life.

I love this lifestyle so much. There were a lot of reasons I never seriously considered academia as a career choice, and this wasn't one of the major ones, but it certainly reinforces what a good choice avoiding it was.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 02-26-13 12:15 AM
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I finally start working regular hours again this week. There's some expectation of professional involvement and contribution, so it's not quite down to 40 hours/week, but I think it should be closer to that than to academia-style work.* I probably should admit it will be time-consuming enough to convince me to once-and-for-all stop trying to work on my dissertation, though the unfinished state of the dissertation has actually been helpful in various ways over the last few years.

*There's probably a bit of impostor syndrome, but I do find myself sometimes wondering how I got hired given my only basic knowledge of and lack of experience with some of the stuff I'm supposed to work on. So I figure I'll probably need to spend some out-of-the-office time on some things if I want to get them done. (There was no years-of-experience requirement.)


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 02-26-13 12:25 AM
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111.1: this. Super annoying.


Posted by: k-sky | Link to this comment | 02-26-13 12:43 AM
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Also annoying: getting up at 4:00 to catch a 6:00 flight, which I have to do tomorrow. Good night, everyone.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 02-26-13 12:49 AM
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Also annoying: taking an hour to change a flat bike tire, because I'm incompetent, and now being too tired to test it out. So I'm just going to have to hope it holds up tomorrow.


Posted by: x.trapnel | Link to this comment | 02-26-13 1:13 AM
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generally, if you're intentionally behaving with gross recklessness, and someone dies as a result of your recklessness, that's murder, regardless of whether you intended to kill anyone.

The key point is, at least in the UK (I think) that the death has to be a reasonably foreseeable result of your gross recklessness. So if I stab someone (intending only to wound) and nick an artery and they bleed out, that's murder. Otherwise almost any murderer could claim that he intended only to wound.
But if I am recklessly stealing a sack of live mussels and spill some, as a result of which an allergic bystander swells up and dies, that isn't murder, because there's no way that was a reasonably foreseeable result of my action.

1 is very disappointing. I actually respect Natilo quite a bit less now. He's starting to sound like bob mcmanus.

"I'm not necessarily against killing people who need to be killed. It's sad of course, but anyone who claims that its morally abhorrent under any circumstances is at best an ignoramus and a hypocrite."
Oh, get stuffed. "People who need to be killed". Get over yourself.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 02-26-13 3:39 AM
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The key point is, at least in the UK (I think) that the death has to be a reasonably foreseeable result of your gross recklessness. So if I stab someone (intending only to wound) and nick an artery and they bleed out, that's murder. Otherwise almost any murderer could claim that he intended only to wound.
But if I am recklessly stealing a sack of live mussels and spill some, as a result of which an allergic bystander swells up and dies, that isn't murder, because there's no way that was a reasonably foreseeable result of my action.

Yeah, I realized after I wrote 60 that it's not just "gross recklessness", it's "acting with recklessness that exhibits a gross disregard for human life", or something like that. What you said, basically. This was the correction I was grasping at in 61, but I couldn't remember the right standard.


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 02-26-13 6:38 AM
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73: Here's where it gets interesitng. the statue sys, basically, if the driver is legally drunk and someone dies as a result of the car, the driver committed homicide. Definitely applies if the car hits a deer, even if it's a sober driver might have hit the same deer. Presumably applies if a meterite strikes the passenger of a drunk driver also. But -- if a passenger grabs the steering wheel, who's the driver? If the guy in the passenger seat became the driver by grabbing the wheel, then the guy in the drivers seat sholdn't be liable. And the statue does not define "driver."

This case is still pending, so no one knows the answer yet.


Posted by: unimaginative | Link to this comment | 02-26-13 7:48 AM
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And the statue does not define "driver."

It might be defined somewhere else in the traffic code though. Here it's under "operator".

(39) "Operator" means a person who is in actual physical control of a vehicle.

So in that case it would be arguable that the other party became the operator by grabbing the wheel.


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 02-26-13 8:01 AM
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So in that case it would be arguable that the other party became the operator by grabbing the wheel.

But not the brake. The ability to stop the car remains with the driver.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 02-26-13 8:10 AM
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That's what walls, big rocks, trees, etc. are for.


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 02-26-13 8:15 AM
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On the topic of the OP, here are some images from an Amnesty International campaign to end the death penalty: last meals of executed innocent men.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 02-27-13 8:47 AM
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