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October 13, 2009

Comments

Kevin P., tell me, what would you call it when an innocent man is killed, despite expert testimony which makes clear that he was telling the truth, when a governor ignores an appeal based on said testimony? I remind you that Willingham refused a deal that would have kept him free of the death penalty, because, as he always said, he was innocent. Perry is now trying to rig the commission on this (a point which you have never addressed or defended). Tell me, what part of this do you not consider to be "judicial murder"? I will also point out that accusing Perry of committing murder by proxy, and wanting to kill an innocent person are not the same claim. Do I have to spell this out for you? As for your discussion of self-evident matters, perhaps you should consider your failure to offer any actual evidence for your claims? I see a lot of assertion from you about liberals - and very few facts. I remind you that concern over the abuse of a governor's powers (or similar abuse by any official) is hardly exclusively a liberal concern - it is a matter which concerns and should concern all good citizens.

Haha, now these two are apparently going to argue that defense attorneys have an obligation to tank cases if it appears that their clients are obviously guilty.

DNFTT, indeed.

Irrumator @3:45:

First off, extreme != extremist ("individuals or groups [who are] outside the perceived political center of a society; or otherwise claimed to violate common moral standards").

Secondly, assuming arguendo that your statement of their position is correct (vide infra), a more accurate term would be "absolutist". Of course, that would also be less inflammatory.

Third, citation, please for where the Innocence project has put its official energies into banning the death penalty. All I see is advocacy for reforming the justice system to combat wrongful convictions (for capital and non-capital crimes).

What you're doing here is actually the very definition of ad hominem -- stating that we should ignore an argument because of who is making it rather than what it's content is.

Phil, your post is not logically correct. Ad hominem is not a fallacy when the specific issue is the credibility of given person. You and others are asking people to accept something as true because this person said it. That's an appeal to authority. When you make such an appeal the knowledge, veracity, and bias of the alleged authority is directly relevant.

The Republican party constantly spins that it supports "a culture of life" because it is a "pro-life" party. No they aren't! They are a PRO-BIRTH BUT NOT A PRO-LIFE PARTY. They could not care less about the life of the person they force to be born; the fetus they pull out of the womb and, without hesitation, throw into the frying pan of this world without the slightest concern about its future; its life! The prove that fact every day with their support of the death penalty; their support of a medical delivery system that guarantees that 122 Americans die each day because they don't have health insurance; their protection of the corporate terrorists who poison the water, air, soil and food--for another $ of profit--and causes the death of more Americans in a week than abortion kills in a decade; their centuries long notion of "property and profit over people"; their belief in war as a first alternative rather than a last resort!!!

Kevin P. you "breezily ignore" the role of the governor/executive as the "last line of defense" when it comes to reprieves, clemency, etc. Checks and balances and the like. An appellate court may be restricted in its ability to re-evaluate evidence, whereas the governor/executive is not.

Harley Spoon,

We've already covered the abortion angle. Not everyone who supports the death penalty opposes abortion. I, for example, support abortion because it's been proven to lower crime.

MockTurtle, I have provided evidence for you above that the expert testimony was reviewed by the concerned Court of Appeals which rejected it. You ignored it. You persist in denigrating the role of the court and the other actors in the judicial process, so that you can persist in accusing Perry of judicial murder (your own words).

I also provided evidence way above about Perry's role in the pardons for the wrongful Tulia drug convictions, not exactly consistent with your narrative that Perry doesn't care about innocence. This weakens your narrative that he is stacking the Board of Pardons so that he can avoid blame (if any). But you ignore this evidence too.

You have made up your mind that Willingham was innocent and Perry murdered him. There is little left to discuss. You seem to be one of the tolerant, inclusive and progressive crowd that is always right. Be happy with it.

"and causes the death of more Americans in a week than abortion kills in a decade"

If I thought it was more than a rant, I might require an actual cite for this. Its a lot of abortions in a decade and a leap to measure how many those corporate polluters kill in a week.

If I thought it was more than a rant, I might require an actual cite for this. Its a lot of abortions in a decade and a leap to measure how many those corporate polluters kill in a week.

Marty, you're not considering all the lives abortion saves by lowering the crime rate. When you take the crime reduction into account, pollution is MUCH worse than abortion.

Just as an aside for the posters or long time commenters, Did everyone hate Texas before Bush was President? Because we spend a lot of time talking about Texas as the central bastion of all things conservative (and bad).

I am ok with it, Texans are as proportionately conservative as those from Mass are proportionately liberal. I was just wondering what the historical record was?

You and others are asking people to accept something as true because this person said it.

I most certainly am not. Provide a cite for this, too, or retract it.

Now that Perry is talking about secession in a cynical bid to win Texas' growing ranks of neo-Confederates in a primary, I don't really have a problem of saying he has murderous intent. He is encouraging mob rule where the "law" is controlled by liberals, and ordering unquestioned authority where it is controlled by conservatives. He is sending more and more signals to our state's rednecks that they must prepare the way for a revolution against the ni**er-loving, criminal-loving socialist conspiracy. I wonder how they will pitch in and help out? Shades of Faubus and Wallace, who knew damn well their words would get people killed.

And yes, the current American political system rewards politicians for executing as many people as they can. No other democracy that I know of does that, even the ones that have the death penalty.

And it should also be painfully obvious, once again, that the only person questioning Hurst's veracity, objectivity and authority is Irrumerator, simply because it disagrees with Hurst's politics and/or conclusions. It doesn't appear to view the prosecution's experts with the same skepticism, for what are probably obvious reasons.

Nonetheless, it is clearly a troll, as it keeps trying to distract people with its silly abortion/crime rate comments, therefore I'm going to ignore it from this point forward and would strongly recommend others do the same.

Kevin P., tell me, do you serve chicken to go with the weak sauce? I ask because you are factually confused about this case, and persist in trying to cover this with rhetoric.

1) The expert testimony was inadequately reviewed by the Court of Appeals. It is clear that the prosecution "expert" is no such thing, while the defence expert is highly qualified in his field. Perry has a responsibility to examine and weigh the evidence properly - and there is no sign that he did so. If you have hard evidence that he did - produce it, or withdraw your claims.

2) The Tulia case is not the Willingham case. If Perry acted well once, that doesn't mean he acted well in all cases. Also, please stop constructing strawmen and attributing them to others. Radley Balko doesn't - remember him?

3) Willingham was innocent. This is clearly established by the expert testimony of numerous scientists. On this point, there is indeed little to discuss. But again, you offer no reason to disregard their unanimous testimony.

4) You have never offered any adequate explanation of Perry's attempts to rig the commission which is investigating forensic errors. By evading this point, you implicitly concede Perry's guilt.

5) Do you understand that simply yelling "Evil libruls", which is the substance of your arguments thus far, is not, in fact, evidence of anything except an impoverished capacity for analyzing or handling reality? Have you noticed that I have never said "conservatives are evil". I simply find Perry's abuse of power repellent. If you feel happy with a governor who abuses his powers and brings about the death of an innocent man, I don't assume you are conservative, simply rather lacking in awareness of how to be a good citizen in a democratic society.

Marty @4:14:

My unsupported impression is that it's more Texan exceptionalism than Texan conservativism per se that draws disapprobation. And that has a long history.

the only person questioning Hurst's veracity, objectivity and authority is Irrumerator, simply because it disagrees with Hurst's politics and/or conclusions.

So then you admit that his veracity, objectivity and authority are what's at issue. If I point out that he's biased because he works for the innocence project--an outfit founded by the OJ Simpson defense team--you can't dismiss that by calling it ad hominem. Ad hominem means "to the man." If you're actually talking about a man--in this case Hurst--it's not a fallacy.

And the link between abortion and crime is not silly. And I'm not trying to distract anyone. Jesurgislac brought up abortion, then Harley Spoon brought it up again. They're the ones threadjacking, not me.

the only person questioning Hurst's veracity, objectivity and authority is Irrumerator, simply because it disagrees with Hurst's politics and/or conclusions.

So then you admit that his veracity, objectivity and authority are what's at issue. If I point out that he's biased because he works for the innocence project--an outfit founded by the OJ Simpson defense team--you can't dismiss that by calling it ad hominem. Ad hominem means "to the man." If you're actually talking about a man--in this case Hurst--it's not a fallacy.

And the link between abortion and crime is not silly. And I'm not trying to distract anyone. Jesurgislac brought up abortion, then Harley Spoon brought it up again. They're the ones threadjacking, not me.

Still awaiting that cite about the Innocence Project and the death penalty, Irrumator.

The people of texas love killing. Period. They love guns, shooting, executions, murder, answering criticism with the end of a gun.

The governor is one of the most corrupt, evil members of a Purely immoral political party full of greedy, dishonest scum, harming innocent people everyday to accomplish their agenda.

"3) Willingham was innocent. This is clearly established by the expert testimony of numerous scientists. On this point, there is indeed little to discuss. But again, you offer no reason to disregard their unanimous testimony."

This is an opinion, it was an opinion per the 5th circuit, it is still an opinion. You have a right to it, but it doesn't make it fact.

The discussion here is whether the Governor should have given thirty days to allow someone to successfully argue that it was fact. I don't believe they could have in thirty days, but it would have been ok with me if he had given them the time.

Irrumator, as the New Yorker article makes clear, the scientists who have investigated this case all agree with Hurst. I also have to point out that you are engaging in ad hominem - which refers to any argument based on personalizing an argument, rather than arguing on the merits. By dragging in OJ Simpson irrelevantly,you are, in fact, constructing an ad hominem.

"My unsupported impression is that it's more Texan exceptionalism than Texan conservativism per se that draws disapprobation. And that has a long history."

Oh, I will concede our exceptionalism as it is hard not to recognize we are exceptional, and all this time I thought it was a false claim that drove the disapprobation. Thanks, forest and the trees mistake on my part.

Marty @4:33:

You do know that exceptionalism (e.g.) doesn't simply mean that you are exceptional, don't you?

Many places are exceptional. Few proclaim loudly it as a reason to make the choices they make and do the things they do.

Did everyone hate Texas before Bush was President?

I don't recall so. I think that Bush's past as Govenor and his routine signing of death warrants (laughing as he signed one) brought the utter failure of the Texas judicial system into public view. There have been more than a few cases of EXTREMELY inept defense council (one attorney slept through a trial) which resulted in an execution.

----------------------------

re OJ: The LAPD tried to frame a (probably) guilty man. The police are forbidden from framing anyone -- they brought defeat upon themselves.

"The people of texas love killing. Period. They love guns, shooting, executions, murder, answering criticism with the end of a gun.

The governor is one of the most corrupt, evil members of a Purely immoral political party full of greedy, dishonest scum, harming innocent people everyday to accomplish their agenda."

Now this seems unnecessary to me, but then it is describing me, inaccurately. I am a Texan, I don't own a gun, I know guys who like to hunt that would never use a weeapon on a person. I find the most honest and forthright people I have ever known are from my home state (like, my family). This, see, doesn't meet my definition of comity.

But I did ask for it so I will just move on.

"You do know that exceptionalism (e.g.) doesn't simply mean that you are exceptional, don't you?"

I understood the meaning of the word and the potential insult. Some things are just true.

I also have to point out that you are engaging in ad hominem - which refers to any argument based on personalizing an argument, rather than arguing on the merits. By dragging in OJ Simpson irrelevantly,you are, in fact, constructing an ad hominem.

I've addressed this before, and if you're incapable of understanding it you probably shouldn't use the term ad hominem.

If A says X is true because of reason Y, and B responds that X must be false because A is untrustworthy, that is a fallacious argument. B should instead respond to reason Y. A's personal character is irrelevant.

However, if A says that X is true because expert C says X is true, then it is not a fallacy for B to respond that C is untrustworthy. C's trusworthiness is relevant to the argument because it is the reason being offered for proposition X.

In this case, you are not putting forward independent forensic arguments in favor of Hurst's conclusions. You are asking us to accept Hurst's conclusions because of Hurst's reputation. When you make that arguement--an appeal to authority--you put Hurst's credibility at issue.

Marty @4:44:

Some things are just true.

I could not agree more, though I think we differ slightly on which things, precisely. You're certainly being...illustrative.

Irrumator, got that citation yet?

Irrumator, got that citation yet?

I haven't looked hard, but I admit I haven't found anything that says that the Innocence Project as an organization opposes the death penalty in all circumstances. However, Barry Scheck and Peter Neufield do both oppose the death penalty. What's worse is that they helped OJ Simpson get away with murder. The Innocence Project is an outfit founded by the OJ defense team, which should tell you all you need to know.

Irrumator -

I am happy to repeat that there is evidence that states that refuse to provide adequate counsel for defendants in capital cases (and adequate in this case means a big budget to give the defense lawyer comparable resources to the prosecutor's office and the police, say a million dollars per case) will be knowingly killing a proportion of people who are falsely convicted even after the appeals process because there will not have been a proper search for evidence.

Texas has one of the worst track records in this regard, but refuses to investigate their own problems in a systematic way or fix their treatment of indigent defendants. That tells me that they have long known that they kill the innocent and have no intention to fix it.


"Some things are just true.

I could not agree more, though I think we differ slightly on which things, precisely. You're certainly being...illustrative."

ER,

I am sure it is illustrative to understand that most Texans are aware of our own exceptionalism. In fact, it is a point of pride. We are taught from birth that it is special to be born in Texas, and life there reinforces that feeling. Texas is amazingly diverse geographically and culturally. The love of this diversity is extolled in song, poetry and art. We don't believe we are perfect, but exceptional is a given for most Texans. It is not a bad thing, although sometimes those who don't understand it think so.

We are also aware enough to joke about the belief that we are exceptional, we make fun of ourselves quite easily. But underlying all that is intense pride in our history and present, despite our flaws.


What's worse is that they helped OJ Simpson get away with murder.

No, at worst they stopped the LAPD from framing a suspect. that is against the law, in case you hadn't noticed.

Per teh request for civility, I will regrain from estimating your IQ and/or reading comprehension.

In other words, you had no basis for calling the Innocence Project "an anti-death penalty extremist group." You made that up, complete with inflammatory phrasing. Right.

So they were founded by people whose actions you don't like. That discredits them entirely; "that's all you need to know" about them. Nothing about the things they do, nothing about the other people involved, nothing about their goals, their achievements, or their cause matters.

That is, as a matter of fact, an ad hominem argument against the Innocence Project.

Charming, twice over.

Marty @5:03:

We are also aware enough to joke about the belief that we are exceptional, we make fun of ourselves quite easily. But underlying all that is intense pride in our history and present, despite our flaws.

Fair enough; thanks for that clarification. I didn't see the tongue in your cheek in your previous comment.

Perry contributed to the execution of an innocent person. And the formal recognition that Texas executed an innocent man would trigger a massive political earthquake -- one that would clarify to an inattentive public the utter barbarity and immorality of Texas's criminal justice system.

So yes, I can understand Perry's motives. But it doesn't change the fact that he is acting in a profoundly immoral way. The whole thing reminds me of a banana republic dictator clumsily covering up his crimes.

Here is another naked accusation of murderous and malicious intent.

Very briefly, I'd just like to point out that the first two paragraphs do not, in fact, make the accusation that the third claims.

Just for the record.

Marty, yes, Texas takes a beating from liberals and has done so for as long as I've been paying attention to such things.

Everybody doesn't like somebody.

Pretty much everyone who participates here has, at some point or other, made blanket negative statements about some other group of people