Soon, Richard Glossip will either be dead—or he will be the man who gets the death penalty overturned in Oklahoma.
Conflating the death penalty with gross miscarriages of justice is really rather silly. Gossip clearly should not have been convicted and certainly should not have been given the death penalty. That said, some people do not deserve to live. Such as the fiends who raped and the murdered mothers in front of their children or beheaded or roasted babies alive. In cases where guilt is beyond any reasonable doubt, where the crime is particularly heinous and the criminal is beyond salvation, I can't think of a reason why death is not an appropriate penalty. Maybe liberals who exult in abortion and assisted suicide can enlighten me.
There are no easy answers here. Glossip has become a sympathetic figure. With a background in criminal law, I have many thoughts about the death penalty, one being that the death penalty abolitionists have succeeded in sapping it of all deterrent effect by their dragging out of each case with interminable appeals.
On rare occasions an innocent man on death row (almost never a woman) is executed. The police and prosecutors almost always get it right, but in those rare, outlier cases the system fails. Are those few reason enough to abolish the death penalty entirely? Some say yes. I say no.
I don’t support it in all cases of first degree (premeditated) murder, but some are simply too horrific and some people are simply too evil to be allowed to keep living; this is why a death-qualified jury hears evidence in a separate penalty phase after conviction.
I know of a case in which a man was convicted of violently raping a woman, was imprisoned for several years, and upon release went straight to the woman’s house to kill her in unbelievably savage fashion, along with her young daughter and a neighbor who had dropped by to visit. Both adult victims had testified against him in the rape trial. He deserved the death penalty for his horrific, revenge-fueled murders. See State v Charles Rodman Campbell, Washington, 1984.
This extreme penalty should remain on the books for people like that. IMO
There are two things in this article. First, that he is on death row is wrong. Oklahoma should pass a law to allow the governor to pardon him or some other way to prevent it. As for me, I am pro-death penalty. I want to see more of them with a system that expedites the process from the end of the trial to the execution. If a person is guilty, it should be obvious to everyone involved. There should be a zero-doubt rule. If there is less than zero doubt anywhere along the line, it doesn't happen. In this case, taking the word of a druggie without any other corroboration is a miscarriage of justice. There is more than zero doubt. But in many cases, that is not the case; the person is guilty and can get reviewed competently quickly. ( I would add human traffickers to this list of people eligible)
As for the execution itself, this is again an area where our progressive masters rule us. The line I hate the most in politics is Barak Obama's line, "That is not who we are." If there is zero doubt, I don't care how they do it. Hanging works, and so does a firing squad, and you can give the person anesthesia to administer a cocktail of drugs. My point is that we bend our knee to our progressive masters world view and don't do the things that a substantial majority wants. I am not advocating Crucifixion, but I don't worry a bit about how it happens, just that it does. The guy in Alabama suffered before he died. The important thing is he is dead as a consequence of his actions. That is justice, and I am all for it.
Create a zero-doubt rule and speedily execute the rest. It's that simple.
The article makes less of a case against the death penalty than a case for reforming police and prosecutors' powers of interrogation and making plea deals. Even if the facts were absolutely true, I will never understand how the guy who actually carried out the murder gets a lighter sentence than the guy who allegedly hired him. At most, you'd think they would be the same sentence.
I wonder why Glossip helped Sneed patch the window after he confessed. Strange part of this case.
May justice be served. In reporting there's often a lack of consistency in how men and women are introduced. The men in the article are first introduced by name as individuals, followed by their work. Heron Glossip (the dad) we learned served in WWII and worked factory jobs. Next, we learned his "mom" does housework. We don't learn her name until the next paragraph. Later we are introduced to Justin Sneed, a maintenance man, followed by the "girlfriend, a stripper," then her name at the end of the sentence. The females are first described in relation to a male, while the males are first described by name. My pet peeve!
I have served on a murder trial jury in Massachusetts, 2009. It was hard. I looked out from the jury box to see the victim’s two younger sisters in the audience. I sat in a jury room with the bloody baseball bat on the table before me. Bloody photos of the crime scene available for review. We voted to convict on Murder One - cruel and atrocious - which is life in prison in MA. Two alternate jurors waited in a separate room - we walked out together at the trial’s conclusion - both men were steadfastly convinced that the verdict was wrong - they supported Murder Two. I shrugged & nodded and was privately amazed at the randomness of final jury selection and dynamics. The experience was awful.
I hope to decline to be a juror in 2024 - next up juror summons is 2/20/2024. I have also served on a child abuse trial, 2016 - awful - hung jury, and a drunk driving trial, conviction 2020. I cannot do this again.
Over the last 4 years I have lost my confidence in the honesty and the trustworthiness of government institutions. I just have. This was a compelling FP narrative. TY.
I’d love to read a fp story on the monetizing of our prisons.
State-sanctioned murder is never ok.
It's not OK even when we know beyond any shadow-of-doubt that someone committed the crimes of which they have been convicted. It makes us little better than the person convicted.
This case, however, points to far more pragmatic reasons capital punishment is wrong. We often get it wrong. Whether that is because prosecutors or police have acted in bad faith, or simply because we are humans and fallible and make mistakes.
We should not allow ourselves to be complicit in the deaths of other human beings.
Well I have a lot to say here I was a Corrections Officer, and a while back, there was widespread outrage when, a serial rapist who serving life without parole, got his death sentence overturned.
This man had raped numerous women and attempted to murder two of them, one by setting her on fire. Once he got to prison, he attacked a female Corrections Officer, Jayme Biendl, strangling her to death with her radio cord. He laughed at investigators, saying he already had life without parole and they couldn't do anything to him. They responded by getting him the death penalty. Progressive Gov. Jay Inslee refused to sign his death warrant. In 2018 in the name of DEI, even though he's a white man, the Washington State Supreme Court overturned his death sentence.
I mention this at all because it goes back to a massive misconception the public has about life without parole. People think "Oh good, life without parole, he won't be able to hurt anyone ever again." That is dead wrong. So many of these guys go to prison and continue their pattern of violent crime behind bars. Assaulting inmates who are there for non-violent crimes and assaulting prison staff. Anti-social personality disorder cannot be cured, and the violent sociopaths and psychopaths of the world need to be executed.
The only reason the death penalty is expensive is because of the endless appeals process put in place by people who want to abolish the death penalty but can't. So, they put as many barriers in place as they can. Why are executions botched? Because for some progressive reason, we don't execute people with a bullet to the head. Inmates have 8th amendment protections. Protection from cruel and unusual punishment. Lethal injection is unusual, and a gunshot isn't. I've counseled far too many rape survivors and domestic violence survivors to have any care in my heart for the monsters that commit these crimes.
What about innocent people being put to death? It's ironic when people mention that. What about Israel's war against Hamas, which I very much support, innocent civilians always die in a war, do they not? When you're fighting evil, there will be mistakes. Humans aren't perfect, but you do what you can to minimize them. Glossip isn't a totally innocent man. He did help cover up a murder. He most certainly got railroaded, but it didn't happen randomly. The good that the death penalty provides far outweighs the bad.
It is endlessly fascinating this phenomenon of young attractive women who seek out love with prisoners. I need to dig into that sometime.... Ted Bundy had dozens and dozens of fawning admirers in the form of young women. When I was in Corrections and Community Corrections aka Parole and Probation, I rarely saw a rapist that didn't have a girlfriend. In Community Corrections, when the rapists and pedophiles would start dating, we would require a disclosure to their partner about their crime. These women would come in, have a police report read to them describing all the gory details of how their boyfriend brutally raped a woman or a child. Then the woman would either say they didn't believe it or didn't care and go back to living with the man. It is so bizarre.
Joe Biden molested me at Costco 75 years ago.
My personal belief is that punishment is not really a good response to any anti-social behavior, in the long run. Yes, there needs to be fear of consequences, or we will generalize that chaos being generated in New York, San Francisco and LA. Sociopaths only respect consequences, and sociopaths are very disproportionately represented in the prison system.
At the same time, it has long been my view that the people who wind up in prison are almost always very traumatized people, who are like wounded animals: nasty, vicious, but also only trying to protect themselves. Prison is a bad solution to that.
In my own view, all Departments of "Correction" should in fact be oriented around psychological rehabilitation and healing. They should have staff counselors and group therapy and meditation and the like. Here is a movie about one interesting innovation in this regard: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WvU9Hz6fi40
In my own view, nobody benefits from being punished. It is certainly a regrettable necessity, but nothing is healed, nobody is fixed, no true resolution comes from our feeling hatred even towards people who deserve it.
There are certainly people in this world who enjoy hurting people, and those people need to be identified and contained. But we do not grow by hating them. We do not grow by looking on with satisfaction as they are murdered by our society.
I personally don't think Capital Punishment is a good idea, even if I have read many cases where my anger was such that it seemed killing that person was the only valid response.
State sponsored murder, in a system run by flawed human beings, was never a good idea. If killing is wrong, it is wrong. There is no way around that basic tenet of every religion (even if some religions have bastardized it). We know human beings are not perfect, pre judge and have innate biases that come to every decision. Because that is true, scientifically speaking, having a death penalty guarantees innocent people will be put to death. In a free society that values life, the price of supporting a person in prison for life is a price we should be willing to pay to insure the sanctity of life. There is no capital punishment system, run by humans, that can guarantee that innocents are not killed. So the question should be, really always has been: Are you willing to kill some innocent people to make sure the guilty are punished?
Do people and even jury-sized collections of them make mistakes? You bet (but enough about New York). The problem with the death penalty is that once it is carried out there is no going back. The horror of killing - or especially being killed - in innocence seems to me beyond contemplation.
But if they're going to do it, they had just as well do it right. Barbiturates are not available now, but fentanyl is, is used every day to reliably induce anesthesia, and the illegal version used to induce it permanently. I had fentanyl recently for a procedure, and it is marvelously quick and effective.
Two lifetimes ago, it seems, the Gary Gilmore case came up in discussion in a psychiatry class. The professor, a crusty and sometimes infuriating man, observed that if one person killed another, people said, "Oh, well." But if a group of people ganged up and killed a prisoner - well, that was somehow different.
It makes less than zero sense that Gossip was given the death penalty for not reporting a crime. This smacks of a certain police officer spending decades in prison for not killing George Floyd.
Leave it to the government to figure out a way to botch, complicate, and befuddle a very simple process. Every single IV anesthestic cocktail could kill someone if the anesthesiologist doesn’t take measures to reverse or mitigate their effects. We do this dozens of times a day and I could guarantee any MD or CRNA could carry out an execution without any of these ridiculous problems. Not saying anyone wants to, but if you asked the government to make chocolate chip cookies they would manage to take 28 years to do it, burn your family alive, and make it a national crisis. Midazolam highly controversial? Gimme a break. Raise your hand if you ever got surgery - then likelihood is you got midazolam. Note how no ones is gasping.