Feingold Reintroduces Bill To Abolish Federal Death Penalty

Started by Jacques, March 24, 2009, 06:53:22 AM

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Feingold Reintroduces Bill To Abolish Federal Death Penalty
Feingold's Longtime Effort Comes as New Mexico Repeals Death Penalty
WASHINGTON - March 19 - As momentum builds in states to abolish the death penalty, U.S. Senator Russ Feingold reintroduced legislation today to abolish the death penalty at the federal level. Feingold's Federal Death Penalty Abolition Act of 2009 would put an immediate halt to federal executions and forbid the use of the death penalty as a sentence for violations of federal law. The use of the death penalty has been questioned by a range of prominent voices across the country, recently repealed in New Mexico and New Jersey, and abolished by 123 countries around the world. Feingold's bill would stop executions on the federal level, which are part of a death penalty system that has proven to be ineffective, wrought with racial disparities, and alarmingly costly.

"I oppose the death penalty because it is inconsistent with basic American principles of justice, liberty and equality," Feingold said. "Governor Bill Richardson and the New Mexico legislature's action to abolish the death penalty in that state adds to the growing momentum behind ending the death penalty in this country. It is truly unfortunate that we are in a shrinking minority of countries that continue to allow state-sponsored executions."

Feingold is not alone in his opposition to the death penalty. A range of prominent voices have questioned the system in recent years, including former FBI Director William Sessions, former Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor, law enforcement officials and many others across the political spectrum. In 2007, only China, Iran, Saudi Arabia and Pakistan executed more people than the United States.

In 2007, Feingold chaired a Senate Judiciary Committee, Constitution Subcommittee hearing on oversight of the federal death penalty that highlighted the lack of transparency at the Department of Justice in the decision-making process about the death penalty and continuing problems of racial disparities in the federal system. Also in 2007, the American Bar Association called for a nationwide moratorium on capital punishment based on its detailed study of state death penalty systems, which found racial disparities, convictions based on bad evidence, grossly inadequate indigent defense systems, and a host of other problems with the implementation of capital punishment in this country.



"If you can't explain it to a six year old, you don't understand it yourself." Albert Einstein


Oh dear lord , lets hope and pray this does not go through. Huge Huge mistake  if this should happen
Justice is not about bringing back the dead. It is not about revenge either. Justice is about enforcing consequences for one's own actions to endorse personal responsibility. We cannot expect anyone to take responsibility for their own actions if these consequences are not enforced in full.


Below is a PERFECT example of why the Death Penalty whether at the Federal or State level should not be abolished........

In the late '80s, Earle seemed to flirt with outright opposition to capital punishment. His office brought no death-penalty cases in 1988 or '89 and only one the following year. He took to telling people he was worried that capital punishment had become "a coarsening factor in the culture." Then along came Kenneth McDuff. Decades earlier, in the summer of 1966, McDuff and a friend abducted three teenagers--two boys and a girl. After robbing them, McDuff shot each boy in the head several times. Then he and his accomplice repeatedly raped the girl before crushing her throat with a broom (he was called the Broomstick Killer). Not surprisingly, he was sent to death row. But in 1972, when the Supreme Court ruled the U.S. death-penalty system unconstitutional, McDuff's sentence--like those of some 600 other death-row inmates across the U.S.--was commuted to life.

In 1989, as pressure mounted on prisons to relieve overcrowding, McDuff was paroled along with many other longtime inmates. He settled in Waco, Texas, and it wasn't long before young women in the area went missing. Authorities believe McDuff killed as many as eight before police finally caught on to him in 1992. Earle's office prosecuted McDuff for the murder of Colleen Reed, a 28-year-old accountant he had kidnapped from an Austin car wash, raped and killed. In 1994 McDuff was again sentenced to die, and he was executed four years later.

Earle says anyone who opposes capital punishment must grapple with the lessons of McDuff's case. "He was a clear and present danger," says Earle. "I guess a true [death penalty] abolitionist would say, 'Put this guy in prison for life,' but he had already gotten that punishment, and he got out. Also, murderers can kill again in prison. It happens all the time. The death penalty is a necessity in these cases."

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