Sunday, February 12, 2006

Complex Issue with enormous moral consequences

That was Blagojevich's comment in response to a question to himself and Eisendrath on whether they would support a statewide referendum on the future of the death penalty in today's Herald,

Neither candidate supported a statewide vote on the future of the death penalty.

“It’s too complex an issue with enormous moral consequences to be left to a simple ‘yes’ or ‘no’ question on the ballot,” Blagojevich said.
Only Oberweis among the GOP bunch agreed with them saying
“The legislature and the governor have the ability to express the will of the people on this issue”
I feel competent to tackle the big moral issues. I trust my neigbors too. I'd vote against death penatly but I read about sexual sadist and murderer Paul Runge and I might change my mind.

Put it do a vote though. It's complex. Voters know it. But bottom line is it is a simple yes or no question. The hard ones often are.

Cross posted at Bill Baar's West Side

8 comments:

Anonymous,  12:01 PM  

Specifically, what things should be decided by referendum and what things should be decided by legislative action?

Anonymous,  12:07 PM  

Yeah, we can't decide everything by referendum. It's just impractical. Why can't we just have a stricter standard of doubt for death sentences than for conviction. Instead of reasonable doubt like conviction it, guilt should have to be proven beyond any doubt to sentence someone to death.

Anonymous,  12:21 PM  

To have a different standard for sentencing than for guilt or innocence would be troubling for me. IOW, we're pretty sure he's guilty (so let's convict him of SOMETHING), but we're not really so sure that we should invoke capital punishment.

That makes winners and losers of the guilty, depending on the details surrounding their crime that the court was able to bring to light, and not on the actual criminal act itself. There's enough of that going around already. If we're not confident enough that the death penalty can be as fairly applied as the conviction itself, I suggest it not be in the toolbox.

Anonymous,  1:12 PM  

12:21. if that's the case, then there is no way that we can have the death penalty, because a moral society cannot put people to death if there is ny doubt whatsoever of their guilt. And that might be the thing to do, but I kind of think that for obvious cases of evil when the murders were clearly committed (Gacy immediately comes to mind), the death penalty should be an option, and it should be applied when their is no doubt of any kind of guilt.

Bill Baar 1:22 PM  

anon 12:01 I'd like to see a referendum on if the death penalty should be abolished. I don't know if it should bind the State, but I'd like to see voters voiced heard on this one.

The statistician in me would like to see the distribution of the vote too... that would be a real interesting map.

Anonymous,  1:53 PM  

The only problem with the death penalty is the amount of time that it takes to carry out the sentence. When a convict goes to jail, the sentence is carried out immediately. With the death penalty, 10-15 years later, the sentence is finally carried out.

So-Called Austin Mayor 3:49 PM  

The only problem with the death penalty is the amount of time that it takes to carry out the sentence. When a convict goes to jail, the sentence is carried out immediately. With the death penalty, 10-15 years later, the sentence is finally carried out.

Unless science proves that the person convicted of the crime didn't do it. But I guess if you don't worry about actual innocence and guilt, you could really speed the process up.

Cal Skinner 4:55 PM  

There was a refer dum question on the death penalty on the 1970 State Constitution ballot (as there was one on appointing judges).

Keeping the death penalty won.

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