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Sunday, March 31, 2013

OTP: April 2013: Daily Caller: Baseball and the GOP: To rebrand the party, think like a sports fan

This week’s GOP autopsy report, commissioned by RNC Chairman Reince Priebus, is a great start in the much-needed task of rebranding the Republican Party. As the chairman acknowledged, “the way we communicate our principles isn’t resonating widely enough” and “we have to be more inclusive.” The report contains 219 recommendations to “connect people to our principles.” To achieve that goal, the party will need a strategic vision of how voters think about politics, which is something that the report lacks. For that, the GOP can learn a lot from another American passion: baseball.

This year, about 75 million Americans will go to the baseball stadium to watch a ballgame, about the same number as those who will vote in next year’s election. We rarely think about why someone becomes a baseball fan, or why they root for a certain team. Nor do we usually think about why someone chooses to vote for a certain political party. But it’s actually a very useful exercise.

When it comes to baseball, fan loyalty has almost nothing to do with the brain, and almost everything to do with the heart. In all of history, there’s never been a baseball fan who rooted for his team because it had the lowest ticket prices, or because it had the most taxpayer-friendly stadium deal, or because its players did the most community service. For the vast majority of Americans, rooting for a baseball team — not to mention, voting for a political party — isn’t really a rational choice; it’s more of a statement of personal identity — a statement telling the world, “This is who I am.” And for most people, defining “who I am” starts with family and community, before branching out into areas like race, age, gender, and class.

Family is pretty straightforward. If your mom and dad are Yankee fans, you’re almost certainly a Yankee fan. The same is true in politics. If your mom and dad are Republicans, you’re almost certainly a Republican.

Community is also pretty straightforward. If you grew up in, say, Philadelphia, chances are pretty great you’re a Phillies fan. Likewise, someone who grew up in Republican territory like, say, suburban Dallas or rural Indiana is much more likely to become a Republican than a nearly identical person from Seattle or Santa Fe.

Cities with more than one baseball team, like New York or Chicago, show revealing breakdowns by race and gender. The racial split in Chicago between Cubs fans on the North Side and White Sox fans on the South Side is well-documented. In New York, there’s an intriguing gender gap between Mets and Yankee fans, with women gravitating a lot more to the Yanks. While there’s a few theories out there trying to explain that, one obvious answer leaps out: Yankees heartthrob Derek Jeter.

In sports, as in politics, people’s convictions can’t be conveniently reduced to who their parents are or what they look like. But those things are an important foundation, upon which more rational sentiments come into being. Once you’re attached to your team on an emotional level — seeing them as a personal reflection of who you are and what you care about most — a rational exterior comes into being through phrases like “the Red Sox are the best team because they have the most heart” or “the Republicans are the best party because they know how to create jobs.”

Tripon Posted: March 31, 2013 at 10:52 AM | 6544 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: politics

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   4701. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: April 22, 2013 at 08:23 AM (#4421935)
edit: man, High Noon just came off my Top 100 list. The music is an unpleasant ninety minute exercise in how many ####### variations you can think of for "Do Not Forsake Me O My Darlin", which isn't a particularly enjoyable melody the first time through.

It's even worse than that. Correct me if I'm wrong, but I think that High Noon was the first time that an actual song introduced a movie, as opposed to just the melody. This set a horrible precedent that's plagued movies ever since, from countless sappy westerns to The Graduate and on and on into the present, not to mention into baseball games. I have no problem with capital punishment for the person who thought of that.

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

I think yeah, the problem with death penalty ends up being that you'll always get someone wrong, but morally speaking, is it really ok to say you'll never use that no matter what? it's a question I have no answer for, that at the moment I generally lean towards having a death penalty but be damn sure every convicted person gets his case reviewed beyond all doubt.

That's pretty much where I come down. The problem comes in cases where the evidence is dubious, the witnessess aren't 100% sure, the defendant is societally marginal and lack good representation, and / or the prosecutor withholds key information. Cases like Dzhokhar Tsarnaev's are relatively easy, but what about the many others where the facts aren't quite so clear? What sort of standards can we put in place to guarantee (emphasis added) that no innocent person will get the chair?

The bottom line for me is that capital punishment should be applied only in cases where there's not a shred of doubt that the defendant is guilty, and where his lawyer has had full access to all the evidence at the prosecution's disposal.
   4702. Rickey! On a blog from 1998. With the candlestick. Posted: April 22, 2013 at 08:32 AM (#4421942)
Not even a little? Hundreds of people, victims and their loved ones, are suffering because of him. A little suffering would look very good on him.


This makes you petty. It doesn't change the pointlessness of killing the boy.
   4703. Ray (RDP) Posted: April 22, 2013 at 08:32 AM (#4421943)
What sort of standards can we put in place to guarantee (emphasis added) that no innocent person will get the chair?


Rely on evidence such as video rather than eyewitness testimony.

The terrible cases where someone is wrongly convicted and spends years in jail for a crime he didn't commit tend to be rape cases based on shakey eyewitness testimony, where a woman is raped in the park or what not and they go out and pluck some poor guy who happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time. DNA evidence later clears the guy.
   4704. Rickey! On a blog from 1998. With the candlestick. Posted: April 22, 2013 at 08:33 AM (#4421944)
The terrible cases where someone is wrongly convicted and spends years in jail for a crime he didn't commit tend to be rape cases based on shakey eyewitness testimony, where a woman is raped in the park or what not and they go out and pluck some poor guy who happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time. DNA evidence later clears the guy.


Not at all, I suspect.
   4705. Rickey! On a blog from 1998. With the candlestick. Posted: April 22, 2013 at 08:35 AM (#4421946)
More on the point of "justice" by killing a 19 year old, if we assume he is guilty of the crimes he is accused (and we do, for the record) the only way to bring "justice for his victims" would be to blow his legs off, pepper him with shrapnel, and find some child he loves near the age of eight and murder them. I'm pretty sure that only Srul would sign up for the former, and no one would sign up for the latter. So instead, everyone goes with the murder him back theory, as if that's going to bring a damned person back to life.
   4706. Bitter Mouse Posted: April 22, 2013 at 08:36 AM (#4421948)
If everyone felt that, it would be the end of the internet as we know it. Besides, the liberal manifesto does not concede that there are any other valid viewpoints.


Because when I think of a group that doesn't like diversity, that has a narrow base with limited life experiences I think liberal. Which is why so many scientists and others with higher education are conservative and liberals are nearly all white. Oh wait...


Regarding the much more serious matter of the death penalty, I am also against it for much the same reason I am against torture. When someone is tortured it injures them, but it also injures those doing the torturing. I think our society killing people injures us on a fundemental level. One of the reasons we as a society should treat people well is there is a reward for treating people well. Similarly there is personal harm done when you treat people badly. When you are not forced to do it (like self defense) then there is no reason to inflict that harm on ourselves.

I also think we* are better than that. Just because some pinheads think killing others is a legitimate way to solve problems doesn't mean I should lower myself to their level.

* Well I am anyway. :)
   4707. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: April 22, 2013 at 08:46 AM (#4421952)
What sort of standards can we put in place to guarantee (emphasis added) that no innocent person will get the chair?

Rely on evidence such as video rather than eyewitness testimony.

The terrible cases where someone is wrongly convicted and spends years in jail for a crime he didn't commit tend to be rape cases based on shaky eyewitness testimony, where a woman is raped in the park or what not and they go out and pluck some poor guy who happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time. DNA evidence later clears the guy.


"Tend to be rape cases," perhaps, but not always. But I do think that your suggestion for relying on video rather that eyewitnesses would be a step in the right direction, especially in cases where the initial public reaction to the crime and an arrest is that "we all know" who did it, and where the DA is under enormous political pressure to obtain the maximum penalty. Needless to say, in cases where there's even the tiniest amount of possibility of innocence, I'd much rather issue a life sentence than the death penalty, for the obvious reason that the death penalty is irreversible.

   4708. BDC Posted: April 22, 2013 at 08:49 AM (#4421956)
I'm a death-penalty absolutist; totally against it in all cases. And on theoretical grounds: I've been strongly impressed by Albert Camus's idea that the existence of a death penalty sets a price on human life: if you're willing to pay it, you can take someone else's life and then settle the score. (That's a simplification of one of his ideas, but a fair one, I think.) There are far worse punishments than death, after all (those prison conditions in Wisconsin, described above, of permanent fully-lit lockdown, qualify); and there are many unrepentant murderers who have great disdain for their own executions.

Most practical arguments pro and con seem to me types of what Harry Blackmun called "tinkering with the machinery of death."
   4709. Rickey! On a blog from 1998. With the candlestick. Posted: April 22, 2013 at 08:50 AM (#4421957)
But I do think that your suggestion for relying on video rather that eyewitnesses would be a step in the right direction, especially in cases where the initial public reaction to the crime and an arrest is that "we all know" who did it, and where the DA is under enormous political pressure to obtain the maximum penalty.


The problem with the system is the politicized role of the DA, and the "convictions = promotions" rubric that rules the day across the board. When we spend as much money on public defenders as we do on DA's+cops+all of the attendant prosecutorial state apparatus, we can then talk about whether or not we're ready to think about the death penalty being "fairly applied."

At which point, nothing would be gained from killing anyone.
   4710. Ray (RDP) Posted: April 22, 2013 at 09:03 AM (#4421963)
More on the point of "justice" by killing a 19 year old, if we assume he is guilty of the crimes he is accused (and we do, for the record) the only way to bring "justice for his victims" would be to blow his legs off, pepper him with shrapnel,


Works for me.
   4711. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: April 22, 2013 at 09:08 AM (#4421971)
But I do think that your suggestion for relying on video rather that eyewitnesses would be a step in the right direction, especially in cases where the initial public reaction to the crime and an arrest is that "we all know" who did it, and where the DA is under enormous political pressure to obtain the maximum penalty.

The problem with the system is the politicized role of the DA, and the "convictions = promotions" rubric that rules the day across the board. When we spend as much money on public defenders as we do on DA's+cops+all of the attendant prosecutorial state apparatus, we can then talk about whether or not we're ready to think about the death penalty being "fairly applied."


I can't disagree with that, which is why I've been less than enthusiastic about seeking the death penalty in all but a tiny handful of cases.
   4712. Morty Causa Posted: April 22, 2013 at 09:20 AM (#4421981)
I'm neither for nor against the death penalty. I am, though, definitely for a society getting to decide whether there is one or not. It should not be imposed, one way or the other, as a fiat some in absolute way by a divine power (Bible, Constitution, Supreme Court). And there should be consistency among all the jurisdictions.
   4713. Bitter Mouse Posted: April 22, 2013 at 09:35 AM (#4421988)
I'm neither for nor against the death penalty. I am, though, definitely for a society getting to decide whether there is one or not. It should not be imposed, one way or the other, as a fiat some in absolute way by a divine power (Bible, Constitution, Supreme Court). And there should be consistency among all the jurisdictions.


So it should be consistent everwhere, but not imposed? How does that work? Either it shold be consistent and thus is imposed, or each locality decides. Unless you are suggesting a national law is not an imposition or something.
   4714. Morty Causa Posted: April 22, 2013 at 09:41 AM (#4421991)
The law, whatever it is, should, first, be the same everywhere as to having the death penalty or not having the death penalty.
   4715. Fancy Pants Handles lap changes with class Posted: April 22, 2013 at 09:45 AM (#4421994)
So it should be consistent everwhere, but not imposed? How does that work? Either it shold be consistent and thus is imposed, or each locality decides. Unless you are suggesting a national law is not an imposition or something.

The law, whatever it is, should be the same everywhere as to the having the death penalty or not having the death penalty.

Man, I want some of what Morty is smoking.
   4716. Greg K Posted: April 22, 2013 at 09:47 AM (#4421997)
The law, whatever it is, should, first, be the same everywhere as to having the death penalty or not having the death penalty.

I think his question has more to do with the use of the word "imposed". What's the process for making the decision.
   4717. Bitter Mouse Posted: April 22, 2013 at 09:51 AM (#4422001)
I think his question has more to do with the use of the word "imposed". What's the process for making the decision.


Correct. Especially since having it in the constitution is listed as being "imposed", I have no idea what would not be imposed and still be consistent across the whole of the US. Getting rid of the death penalty in Texas (for example) will be imposed, and similarly the reverse will be true in other blue states.
   4718. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: April 22, 2013 at 09:53 AM (#4422003)
The recent run up in automatic gun purchases has been impressive, I expect these boys to do some truly horrific things in the coming years.

It is all but impossible to purchase an automatic weapon in the US. Only firearms manufactured and licensed before 1986 are transferable, and only a tiny, tiny number of people have licenses for a fully automatic firearm.

You don't understand right-wing "gun nuts" at all. Terrorism is anathema to their mindset. They have guns to protect themselves from the government, if it becomes oppressive, not to attack innocent civilians.

They may participate in a coup, or a civil war, if it ever comes to that, but they won't launch random terror attacks.
   4719. Rickey! On a blog from 1998. With the candlestick. Posted: April 22, 2013 at 09:55 AM (#4422006)
You don't understand right-wing "gun nuts" at all. Terrorism is anathema to their mindset. They have guns to protect themselves from the government, if it becomes oppressive, not to attack innocent civilians.


Are we to the point where Oklahoma City is just history now? Because if we are, you kids seriously have to stop talking about The Weather Underground entirely.
   4720. Rickey! On a blog from 1998. With the candlestick. Posted: April 22, 2013 at 09:57 AM (#4422008)
I think his question has more to do with the use of the word "imposed". What's the process for making the decision.


The term "society" is doing the heavy lifting for Morty. He's implying strongly that American society is generally monolithic and that society doesn't change with state borders. Thus, our approach to the death penalty should be universal as a nation, not contingent upon state legislatures.
   4721. Slivers of Maranville descends into chaos (SdeB) Posted: April 22, 2013 at 09:57 AM (#4422010)
When we spend as much money on public defenders as we do on DA's+cops+all of the attendant prosecutorial state apparatus,


Does that make any sense? It takes a lot more money and resources to prosecute a case than to defend one. It took, what, 1000 people to apprehend Tsarnaev? Does his defense counsel really need that many?
   4722. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: April 22, 2013 at 09:58 AM (#4422011)
Are we to the point where Oklahoma City is just history now?

McVeigh is not at all typical of the vast majority of right-wing gun owners. It's not lunatic fringe, anti-gov't types who are purchasing millions and millions of firearms.

And we haven't really heard from right-wing terrorists in a couple of decades. Unlike the 14 Islamist terror plots against NY that the NYPD has thwarted since 2011.
   4723. Slivers of Maranville descends into chaos (SdeB) Posted: April 22, 2013 at 09:59 AM (#4422012)

Are we to the point where Oklahoma City is just history now?


Don't forget the 2004 Scottsdale mail bomb attack, the 2010 Austin suicide attack, the Hutaree case in Michigan, the Oathkeepers conspiracy, the Spokane MLK parade bombing plot, the Alaska Peacekeepers Militia...
   4724. Morty Causa Posted: April 22, 2013 at 10:01 AM (#4422013)
The process for enacting a law? The same as now: the legislature. Congress would issue the general decree, one way or the other. I said imposed as a fiat that makes it seem it is absolute and irrevocable. No divine decrees, whether by snapper's or whoever's god or by our Olympian Supreme Court. That means through legislative bodies subject to whims and vagaries of the democratic will. With the proviso that the law and its application, if there is a death penalty, must be the same everywhere. If there is to be no death penalty, then no jurisdiction can impose one. If there is one, then all jurisdictions have one.
   4725. Johnny Sycophant-Laden Fora Posted: April 22, 2013 at 10:02 AM (#4422014)
Not at all, I suspect.


Would you be happier if it was re-phrased as:

The terrible cases where someone is wrongly convicted and spends years in jail for a crime he didn't commit tend to be cases based on shakey eyewitness testimony, where the police go out and pluck some poor guy who happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time, haul him in front pf a lineup and bingo!

[the vast majority of] Humans are absolutely terrible at recognizing people they have only seen once before in their lives, moreover, contrary to popular belief such ability gets even worse if that initial encounter is emotionally traumatic.

People are very good at recognizing people they know (obviously), and can pick such people out based upon a fleeting glimpse, voice, gait, etc.

But if you see someone you have never seen before waving a gun at a cashier for 20 seconds, your ability to recognize that same person out of a police lineup 3 weeks later is really poor, if that person is a different race/ethnicity than the one you grew up with, who you pick out of that lineup will be basically random.

People think they can do it, they think other people can do it, so when the witness tells the court/jury, "sure I only saw him for 20s seconds, but it was the longest 20 seconds of my life, I'll never forget that face"- they are wrong (not lying, most people will honestly believe it- so much so that victims/witnesses will many times later refuse to accept contradictory DNA/fingerprint evidence).

   4726. Rickey! On a blog from 1998. With the candlestick. Posted: April 22, 2013 at 10:02 AM (#4422015)
Does that make any sense? It takes a lot more money and resources to prosecute a case than to defend one. It took, what, 1000 people to apprehend Tsarnaev? Does his defense counsel really need that many?


Depends on if you think defense until proven guilty is more important than pursuit, arrest and prosecution. Again, our legal system is extremely tilted in favor of the latter.
   4727. Johnny Sycophant-Laden Fora Posted: April 22, 2013 at 10:02 AM (#4422017)
And we haven't really heard from right-wing terrorists in a couple of decades.


someone needs to vary their sources of information methinks
   4728. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: April 22, 2013 at 10:03 AM (#4422018)
Don't forget the 2010 Austin suicide attack.

That guy had a personal grudge against the IRS for catching him evading taxes. There was no right-wing political element to it.

Hell, he even criticizes capitalism in his suicide note.
   4729. Johnny Sycophant-Laden Fora Posted: April 22, 2013 at 10:05 AM (#4422019)
More on the point of "justice" by killing a 19 year old


I'd be fine with them sticking him in solitary for a few decades

Of course since physically he seems to be the pretty boy type, perhaps being in general would be a bit rougher for him.

   4730. Rickey! On a blog from 1998. With the candlestick. Posted: April 22, 2013 at 10:06 AM (#4422020)
Don't forget the 2010 Austin suicide attack.


I'm hesitant to assign that guy to either side of the political ledger. He had some right wing tendencies, but he also seemed to be mostly just crazy. I'm open to new information on the subject.

The shooter from Pittsburgh and the attempted MLK Day Parade bombing in Washington State are better examples of recent right wing* terrorism.

*of course, all Islamic militancy and terrorism is properly understood to be right wing terrorism, driven as it is by an absolute rejection of modernity and a desire to return to medieval, patriarchal, religiously dominated society. The only reason we don't assign it properly is because we foolishly separate "Islamic" ultra-conservative/reactionary wackos with bombs from other ultra-conservative/reactionary wackos with bombs.
   4731. Rickey! On a blog from 1998. With the candlestick. Posted: April 22, 2013 at 10:08 AM (#4422023)
I'd be fine with them sticking him in solitary for a few decades


So you approve of torture. Good to know.

Of course since physically he seems to be the pretty boy type, perhaps being in general would be a bit rougher for him.


And rape. I'll have to scan the Stuebenville thread to see if you were equally as dismissive of rape there...
   4732. Bitter Mouse Posted: April 22, 2013 at 10:09 AM (#4422024)
McVeigh is not at all typical of the vast majority of right-wing gun owners. It's not lunatic fringe, anti-gov't types who are purchasing millions and millions of firearms.

And we haven't really heard from right-wing terrorists in a couple of decades. Unlike the 14 Islamist terror plots against NY that the NYPD has thwarted since 2011.


This is confirmation bias at its best (worst). Lunatics are not the typical majority of anyone.
   4733. Morty Causa Posted: April 22, 2013 at 10:09 AM (#4422025)
The term "society" is doing the heavy lifting for Morty. He's implying strongly that American society is generally monolithic and that society doesn't change with state borders. Thus, our approach to the death penalty should be universal as a nation, not contingent upon state legislatures.


At some point, you're looking at it "monolithically" anyway, no matter how you look at it, across state borders or within state borders. Whether societies and sub-societies change within borders or not, they shouldn't for this. And, actually, as I have stated many times in many ways, the fiction of divided sovereignty is a concept that is an outworn creed that has outlived its usefulness and is much more a positive detriment than a good.
   4734. Johnny Sycophant-Laden Fora Posted: April 22, 2013 at 10:10 AM (#4422026)


Partial listing of rightwing terrorist incidents/plots since 1995

Remember James von Brunn? One of the things I remember about him is how after his rampage various wingnut sites referred to him as a leftists and his acts as being "leftist terror"

   4735. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: April 22, 2013 at 10:11 AM (#4422027)
Don't forget the 2004 Scottsdale mail bomb attack, the 2010 Austin suicide attack, the Hutaree case in Michigan, the Oathkeepers conspiracy, the Spokane MLK parade bombing plot, the Alaska Peacekeepers Militia...

Man, you are dredging the bottom of the barrel.

Austin was a guy being audited by the IRS; no political connections. The Hutaree folks seem to have all been acquitted. Scottsdale and Spokane are the Klan and a garden variety racist; no conservative political component. The Oathkeepers don't seem to have actually engaged in any violence.
   4736. Johnny Sycophant-Laden Fora Posted: April 22, 2013 at 10:12 AM (#4422028)
I'll have to scan the Stuebenville thread to see if you were equally as dismissive of rape there...


Go #### yourself.
There is no way I could be as dismissive of rape as you misogynist piece of ####.

   4737. Pingu Posted: April 22, 2013 at 10:14 AM (#4422030)
McVeigh is not at all typical of the vast majority of right-wing gun owners. It's not lunatic fringe, anti-gov't types who are purchasing millions and millions of firearms.

And we haven't really heard from right-wing terrorists in a couple of decades. Unlike the 14 Islamist terror plots against NY that the NYPD has thwarted since 2011.


This is confirmation bias at its best (worst). Lunatics are not the typical majority of anyone.


BM, you beat me to it, but, this is some scary reasoning. I wouldnt try, but hell you could make a case that the Tsarnaev brothers werent at all typical of the vast majority of islamic extremists.

If McVeigh wasnt a right wing nut, then right wing nuts dont exist.
   4738. Rickey! On a blog from 1998. With the candlestick. Posted: April 22, 2013 at 10:16 AM (#4422031)
Austin was a guy being audited by the IRS; no political connections. The Hutaree folks seem to have all been acquitted. Scottsdale and Spokane are the Klan and a garden variety racist; no conservative political component. The Oathkeepers don't seem to have actually engaged in any violence.


Yeah, Snap, if you go through and selectively edit out all of the right wing plots and attempted violence because you don't agree with them personally, you get a shorter list of right wing plots and attempted violence. Funny, that.
   4739. Rickey! On a blog from 1998. With the candlestick. Posted: April 22, 2013 at 10:18 AM (#4422034)
There is no way I could be as dismissive of rape as you misogynist piece of ####.


Oh, I am not accusing you of being dismissive of rape. I'm accusing you of gleefully hoping another human being might be raped. Barring edit, right up there @4729. So in point of fact, much worse than being "dismissive." You're hoping it happens to someone, because he's a "pretty boy type."

Your liberal love of the world and humanity apparently does know bounds.
   4740. Bitter Mouse Posted: April 22, 2013 at 10:19 AM (#4422036)
At some point, you're looking at it "monolithically" anyway, no matter how you look at it, across state borders or within state borders. Whether societies and sub-societies change within borders or not, they shouldn't for this. And, actually, as I have stated many times in many ways, the fiction of divided sovereignty is a concept that is an outworn creed that has outlived its usefulness and is much more a positive detriment than a good.


Serious question with no snark. Is this an answer to my question? I honestly have no idea.

For those not scoring at home, my question regarded how one could have consistency regarding the death penalty across the US without it being imposed across it. Since the Constitution was assumed to be imposition in the original post I have no idea how we get from our current state to one which is consistent without some sort of imposition from "above" through a national law, and in what way is a constitutional amendment outlawing the death penalty (or enshrining it) more of an imposition than a national law.
   4741. Ron J2 Posted: April 22, 2013 at 10:27 AM (#4422038)
#4628 Saw an interesting documentary on SuperMax -- think it was on NatGeo.

They quite literally drive a good chunk of the people sent there nuts.

And yeah, a good chunk of the prison population started out mentally ill (definitions matter here so you get a wide range in the stats). Unsurprisingly they don't do well in prison.

   4742. Morty Causa Posted: April 22, 2013 at 10:32 AM (#4422039)
Serious question with no snark. Is this an answer to my question? I honestly have no idea.


It's an expansion of what I originally posted.

Serious question in return: did you read all of my subsequent posts?

My views assume that Congress will and can act. I don't see why it can't. But, then, I, too, like everyone else, can pretend to ideals that may necessarily be predicated on further substantive changes. Well, not a change so much as a recognition that a change has taken place.
   4743. Slivers of Maranville descends into chaos (SdeB) Posted: April 22, 2013 at 10:41 AM (#4422043)

Depends on if you think defense until proven guilty is more important than pursuit, arrest and prosecution.


It's not a question of importance, it's a question of cost. The prosecution has all the heavy lifting to do in our system, precisely because a defendant is innocent until proven guilty. Police work, forensic work, background information, expert witnesses, the prosecution has to amass a large amount of evidence. Then, because of discovery rules, turns all of that information over to defense counsel free of charge.

That's not to say that defendants don't frequently have inadequate counsel, just that there is no rational basis for thinking that a 1:1 cost ratio is necessary or desirable.
   4744. Bitter Mouse Posted: April 22, 2013 at 10:51 AM (#4422050)
Serious question in return: did you read all of my subsequent posts?


Yes. I am struggling with the difference between Congress acting and a Constitutional Amendment (which requires congress acting, obviously), and why one is an imposition and one not. I do see how a SC ruling using existing text to outlaw the death penalty as an imposition, but I am not sure the good people of Texas (to continue using them as an example) would see it less of an imposition if the death penalty is outlawed over the objection of their representatives (I am assuming their representatives would be against it) versus it being outlawed by an SC ruling. Both are legitimate and accepted processes of that sort of imposition and I don't think there is much difference in reaction by the people towards them.

To a larger point democracy (and every other form of government) results in imposition of unwanted laws. The ability to have localities tailor laws is an attempt to minimize this, and I am not sure why you are (seemingly) against that. I know why I think the death penalty rises to the level of imposition, but I am not sure where your dividing line is.
   4745. Ray (RDP) Posted: April 22, 2013 at 10:54 AM (#4422051)
The terrible cases where someone is wrongly convicted and spends years in jail for a crime he didn't commit tend to be rape cases based on shakey eyewitness testimony, where a woman is raped in the park or what not and they go out and pluck some poor guy who happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time. DNA evidence later clears the guy.

Not at all, I suspect.


I don't follow this response.
   4746. Misirlou's been working for the drug squad Posted: April 22, 2013 at 10:55 AM (#4422052)
That's not to say that defendants don't frequently have inadequate counsel, just that there is no rational basis for thinking that a 1:1 cost ratio is necessary or desirable.


You're right. But the problem occurs on the other end of the spectrum, where a very rich defendant can afford to spend a huge amount on his defense and get off where lesser mortals go to the chair. I'm thinking of course of OJ, who should have gotten life at a minimum, but instead went free to (nearly) kill again.

I'm not sure there's anyway to fix that. I certainly don't want to enact any legislation to either limit what one can spend in their own defense, or require the State to provide everybody with an OJ style defense. But the idea that if you are rich enough you can literally get away with murder while most people in a similar situation won't (and many go to death row), is one reason I'm against the death penalty. Eliminating the death penalty (somewhat) mitigates this inequity.
   4747. Ray (RDP) Posted: April 22, 2013 at 11:01 AM (#4422057)
Haven't had a chance to read up on the wife of Suspect #1. Was she living with him (and his brother)? Were they living as husband and wife, or separated, or was she not living at the home?
   4748. Pingu Posted: April 22, 2013 at 11:03 AM (#4422059)
I'm not sure there's anyway to fix that. I certainly don't want to enact any legislation to either limit what one can spend in their own defense, or require the State to provide everybody with an OJ style defense. But the idea that if you are rich enough you can literally get away with murder while most people in a similar situation won't (and many go to death row), is one reason I'm against the death penalty. Eliminating the death penalty (somewhat) mitigates this inequity.


Agree in general with your points. Wealth buys you a better defense. Thats a huge problem in the justice system. It ought not be a reason to oppose the death penalty though.

Thats like saying my roof leaks so I'm not going to stand under it, even on days where theres not a cloud in sight.
   4749. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: April 22, 2013 at 11:04 AM (#4422061)
Haven't had a chance to read up on the wife of Suspect #1. Was she living with him (and his brother)? Were they living as husband and wife, or separated, or was she not living at the home?


If we had the national will to subject this terrorist-sympathizer to some enhanced interrogation I bet we'd be surprised at the interesting information she'd be able to provide.
   4750. Ray (RDP) Posted: April 22, 2013 at 11:08 AM (#4422062)
(CNN) --

Dzhokar Tsarnaev, 19, was on the campus of University of Massachusetts-Dartmouth every day after the attack until late Thursday, a university official told CNN. Tsarnaev attended classes and dorm parties and went to the gym while the rest of Boston came to a tense standstill.

A student at the school told The Boston Globe that she saw Tsarnaev at a party Wednesday night that was attended by some of his friends from intramural soccer.

"He was just relaxed," she said, asking the paper not to print her name.

Another UMass Dartmouth student said he talked about the bombing with Tsarnaev for several minutes Tuesday while they were working out at the gym. Tsarnaev seemed normal, perhaps a little tired, Zach Bettencourt told CNN.

...

At the dorm where Tsarnaev lived, students joked Thursday as they viewed the FBI photos on television, a senior who lived in the suspect's dorm told The Boston Globe.

"We made a joke like, that could be Dzhokar," said Pamala Rolon. "But then we thought it just couldn't be him. Dzhokar? Never."


   4751. Misirlou's been working for the drug squad Posted: April 22, 2013 at 11:09 AM (#4422064)
Wealth buys you a better defense. Thats a huge problem in the justice system. It ought not be a reason to oppose the death penalty though.


I disagree. If we have a system that essentially says that if you commit murder, whether you live or die depends in large part on how much money you have, then that is an evil system that should not stand. How about this for a compromise? IF the state seeks the death penalty, THEN it must provide an OJ style defense at state expense.

I'd still oppose the death penalty on other grounds, but I'd be a little more comfortable with it.
   4752. Ron J2 Posted: April 22, 2013 at 11:15 AM (#4422069)
#4745 I think you'll find that in a fairly large portion of wrongful convictions the defendant got an inept defense.
   4753. Slivers of Maranville descends into chaos (SdeB) Posted: April 22, 2013 at 11:22 AM (#4422072)
There are reports now that Tsarnaev is conscious and able to communicate, though not talk.
   4754. GregD Posted: April 22, 2013 at 11:27 AM (#4422077)
Haven't had a chance to read up on the wife of Suspect #1. Was she living with him (and his brother)? Were they living as husband and wife, or separated, or was she not living at the home?
It's confusing to me, too. The NY papers said today that he had watched their 3-year-old kid for hours on his final day. But it does not sound like they lived together.
   4755. Pingu Posted: April 22, 2013 at 11:28 AM (#4422079)
And what about the 3 arrested in New Bedford? I have a feeling theres a lot more to come out of this case.
   4756. Morty Causa Posted: April 22, 2013 at 11:29 AM (#4422081)
Yes. I am struggling with the difference between Congress acting and a Constitutional Amendment (which requires congress acting, obviously), and why one is an imposition and one not.


Well, if you have, you should note the distinction I make between imposition and imposition in the nature of an absolute decree that can't be changed except by another absolute decree. It may amount to a trivial distinction in your mind, but not in mind.

There should be no need for Congress to amend the constitution. See previous discussions about national government/state rights with regard to this (that's why I mention divided sovereignty). Hey, everyone else deals in ideals.

The point, though, is that the law should be imposed through democratic will, not autocratic decree by a "divine" supervening power elite. It should be bottom up, not top down, law. The further point is that all jurisdictions should have the same law as to this issue.

the good people of Texas (to continue using them as an example) would see it less of an imposition if the death penalty is outlawed over the objection of their representatives


Of course they may. So what? They get their representation--they get a say. They don't get to trump national will in this matter.

Yes, no matter who enact and imposes a law, there will be those who object. Ho hum.
   4757. tshipman Posted: April 22, 2013 at 11:35 AM (#4422091)
The terrible cases where someone is wrongly convicted and spends years in jail for a crime he didn't commit tend to be rape cases based on shakey eyewitness testimony, where a woman is raped in the park or what not and they go out and pluck some poor guy who happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time. DNA evidence later clears the guy. scary looking black guys.


Fixed that for you.
   4758. Morty Causa Posted: April 22, 2013 at 11:36 AM (#4422092)
To a larger point democracy (and every other form of government) results in imposition of unwanted laws. The ability to have localities tailor laws is an attempt to minimize this, and I am not sure why you are (seemingly) against that.


I am not against that generally. That is allowable. It's not an absolute right of the localities that trumps the national will, and it is subject to the dictate of the institutional manifestations of that will--a higher authority (whims and vagaries, if you like). It's about where power has its source and how it should be effectively organized to apply.
   4759. bunyon Posted: April 22, 2013 at 11:36 AM (#4422093)
There are reports now that Tsarnaev is conscious and able to communicate, though not talk.

We're in trouble if the terrorists are telepathic.
   4760. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: April 22, 2013 at 11:36 AM (#4422094)
If we have a system that essentially says that if you commit murder, whether you live or die depends in large part on how much money you have, then that is an evil system


Rich people contribute so much to society though, you'd hate to deprive the world of their brilliance and dynamic economic value out of some abstract distaste for a rash judgement on their part. Perhaps some consideration should be given as to whether the purported victim offered equivalent economic contribution to our great nation or if they were a more fungible contributor. Taking one of our economic heroes away from public use punishes society as a whole, and I'm not sure what society as a whole has done to warrant such impoverishment,
   4761. BDC Posted: April 22, 2013 at 11:40 AM (#4422098)
There should be no need for Congress to amend the constitution

It's more than a small technicality: Congress of course cannot amend the Constitution. They can propose amendments, but the states do the actual decision-making.

One of the huge issues in death-penalty constitutional law is the meaning of the 8th Amendment, which was ratified by the states existing at the time (and by each new state that joined) and has never been repealed; IOW it wasn't handed down from some mountaintop. To oversimplify the issue, one side (Rehnquist, Scalia et al.) would say that if something wasn't cruel and unusual in 1791, it's still constitutional. The other (Warren, Marshall et al.) would say that as our ideas about cruel and unusual change, some things become unconstitutional. Those are enormous differences, but they both, to be fair to both sides, proceed from the principle that the Constitution expresses the will of the people. Neither Scalia nor Marshall would say "I have a direct knowledge of divine fiat and y'all must follow my lead."
   4762. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: April 22, 2013 at 11:41 AM (#4422101)

Haven't had a chance to read up on the wife of Suspect #1. Was she living with him (and his brother)? Were they living as husband and wife, or separated, or was she not living at the home?

I'm not sure of the answer to this, but according to one article and photo I saw, she went to the house in Cambridge to get her cat, which indicates that she may have been living at the house but is not definitive.

I think the younger brother lived in a dorm at UMass Dartmouth, and was just in Cambridge on break? I don't think he was living with his older brother permanently; that would be an hour+ commute to school each way.
   4763. Dock Ellis on Acid Posted: April 22, 2013 at 11:51 AM (#4422112)
I can't remember where I read this and it doesn't make the living situation any clear, but the wife is/was working 50-80 hours a week as a nurse aide. If they were still living together, it doesn't sound like they were seeing much of each other lately.
   4764. Dock Ellis on Acid Posted: April 22, 2013 at 11:54 AM (#4422115)
(Lawyer Amato) DeLuca said his client did not suspect her husband of anything, and that there was no reason for her to have suspected him. He said she had been working 70 to 80 hours, seven days a week as a home health care aide. While she was at work, her husband cared for their toddler daughter, DeLuca said.

He said Dzhokhar Tsarnaev was off at college and she saw him "not at all" at the apartment they shared with her mother-in-law.


Link
   4765. Fancy Pants Handles lap changes with class Posted: April 22, 2013 at 11:59 AM (#4422122)
The terrible cases where someone is wrongly convicted and spends years in jail for a crime he didn't commit tend to be rape cases based on shakey eyewitness testimony, where a woman is raped in the park or what not and they go out and pluck some poor guy who happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time. DNA evidence later clears the guy.

Not at all, I suspect.

I don't follow this response.

Well I am not the original poster, but 40 seconds of googling tells me there is no death penalty for rape in the US. Therefore, I don't quite see how it can possibly apply wrt people who are falsely executed.
   4766. Bitter Mouse Posted: April 22, 2013 at 11:59 AM (#4422124)
It is bad that the death penalty is often not thought of as cruel, it is worse it is not unusual.

Morty, I guess I understand what you are saying, but you and I differ on what is divine imposition versus democratic imposition, which is not a surprse given your stated dislike of the SC and what it has become.
   4767. BDC Posted: April 22, 2013 at 12:08 PM (#4422131)
there is no death penalty for rape in the US

True. There was in a few states until Kennedy v. Louisiana (2008). I am not sure whether that case applied to military law; one of the oddities of the case is that the military in 2006 imposed the death penalty for rape of a child, but the Justices didn't seem to know about that when deciding Kennedy. In any case, it's very recently that the death penalty for rape became completely unconstitutional, and one imagines that some communities would still prefer it were constitutional.
   4768. Ray (RDP) Posted: April 22, 2013 at 12:09 PM (#4422132)
But there is for rape and murder.
   4769. Pingu Posted: April 22, 2013 at 12:14 PM (#4422136)
But there is for rape and murder.


The death penalty also exists for those duly convicted of failure to yield and murder.
   4770. Shredder Posted: April 22, 2013 at 12:18 PM (#4422140)
I think it's kind of twisted that the same people who generally believe the government is corrupt/bloated/incompetent/etc. and fails at just about everything it gets its hands on is perfectly willing to invest life and death decisions in those very same hands. Meanwhile, people who generally believe that government is more often than a force for good (or at least has the ability to be) have a great deal of pause when it comes to handing it this amount of authority.

Personally, I'm opposed to the death penalty both practically and philosophically. There are all sorts of problems with its application, as have been noted in this thread, but I'm not the sort that believes it would be OK if, hypothetically, we could clear all those problems up. I just don't believe in government sanctioned revenge.
   4771. Ray (RDP) Posted: April 22, 2013 at 12:25 PM (#4422146)
I think it's kind of twisted that the same people who generally believe the government is corrupt/bloated/incompetent/etc. and fails at just about everything it gets its hands on is perfectly willing to invest life and death decisions in those very same hands.


Juries put people to death, not "government."
   4772. BDC Posted: April 22, 2013 at 12:31 PM (#4422154)
The death penalty also exists for those duly convicted of failure to yield and murder

Something has to deter hit men from driving recklessly on the job.
   4773. Bitter Mouse Posted: April 22, 2013 at 12:32 PM (#4422156)
Juries put people to death, not "government."


Explain to me the dividing line between 'group of people' and 'government'. Especially since it is the whole mechanism/system of trial and appeal that results in the death of someone. Jury (selected according to a process and supported by all the system of justice) not "government", but duly elected officials voting for and enacting laws are totally a government.

Most people believe that when you are on a jury you are part of the government, part of the justice system, not some wholly removed actor.
   4774. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: April 22, 2013 at 12:32 PM (#4422157)
Juries put people to death, not "government."

But if the government withholds information from the defense that the jury might have found useful in arriving at its verdict, that distinction becomes hard to maintain.

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

Rich people contribute so much to society though, you'd hate to deprive the world of their brilliance and dynamic economic value out of some abstract distaste for a rash judgement on their part. Perhaps some consideration should be given as to whether the purported victim offered equivalent economic contribution to our great nation or if they were a more fungible contributor. Taking one of our economic heroes away from public use punishes society as a whole, and I'm not sure what society as a whole has done to warrant such impoverishment,

As a compromise offer that should appeal to all fair minded Americans, what about just repealing baseball's luxury tax?
   4775. Misirlou's been working for the drug squad Posted: April 22, 2013 at 12:32 PM (#4422159)
Juries put people to death, not "government."


The government investigates capital crimes.

The government decides what to charge.

The government prosecutes a case.

A government employee presides over the trial and has great leeway in deciding how it proceeds.

Another group of government employees decide whether the first referee was fair and applied the law (decided by other government employees) was applied appropriately.

Yet another group of government employees oversees those people.

A government employee ultimately executes the guilty.





   4776. Fancy Pants Handles lap changes with class Posted: April 22, 2013 at 12:36 PM (#4422162)
Governments don't kill people. People kill people. /snark
   4777. Ray (RDP) Posted: April 22, 2013 at 12:40 PM (#4422171)
The government investigates capital crimes.

The government decides what to charge.

The government prosecutes a case.

A government employee presides over the trial and has great leeway in deciding how it proceeds.

Another group of government employees decide whether the first referee was fair and applied the law (decided by other government employees) was applied appropriately.

Yet another group of government employees oversees those people.

A government employee ultimately executes the guilty.


Amazing. An entire laundry list which never mentions that the decision whether to put someone to death rests with the jury.

Except when Obama is ordering his drone strikes.
   4778. BDC Posted: April 22, 2013 at 12:40 PM (#4422172)
Does the government impose property taxes, or do the citizens who approve a millage proposal do so? I'm serious about that. One could raise the same question about all kinds of other stuff. Clearly there's a difference between the seven residents of Bugscuffle voting 6-1 to put up a stop sign at the corner of Bayou Road and Bog Lane, and a group of career civil servants in Washington drafting an executive order to take our old lightbulbs away, or some such hypothetical extremes. But in most cases, as people have been saying, it's very hard to draw a line between "government" as some impersonal unresponsive entity, and the people who want it to do stuff and serve as actors within the system.
   4779. Bitter Mouse Posted: April 22, 2013 at 12:41 PM (#4422174)
I think it is time for the government to shut down all these rogue jury trials, they have no place in the government run justice system. Shorter version - keep your government hands off my jury trial.
   4780. Rickey! On a blog from 1998. With the candlestick. Posted: April 22, 2013 at 12:44 PM (#4422178)
Juries put people to death, not "government."


Ray. The jury is *part of the government.* You have this silly notion that government exists outside of it's own processes.
   4781. Bitter Mouse Posted: April 22, 2013 at 12:45 PM (#4422179)
Amazing. An entire laundry list which never mentions that the decision whether to put someone to death rests with the jury.


The one time I was on a jury* we totally were pissed off about the dude who jaywalked so we decided to make him pay and deter others, so we had him executed. Lethal injection. Dude totally deserved it.

* This is snark. I have never actually served on a jury, been up for it twice. First time had graduate exams and got out of it. Second time it was for a cop killing and since one of my best friends is a cop (in the juristiction the other cop was killed in) they booted me off the jury with much haste.
   4782. Ray (RDP) Posted: April 22, 2013 at 12:46 PM (#4422182)
Ray. The jury is *part of the government.*


False.
   4783. Misirlou's been working for the drug squad Posted: April 22, 2013 at 12:49 PM (#4422187)
Juries put people to death, not "government."

An entire laundry list which never mentions that the decision whether to put someone to death rests with the jury.


Well, which is it? Do juries put people to death, or do they merely decide to put people to death? Juries absolutely do not do the former, and they have but a small part in the latter.
   4784. Bitter Mouse Posted: April 22, 2013 at 12:52 PM (#4422190)
False.


Well now I am convinced.
   4785. bunyon Posted: April 22, 2013 at 12:55 PM (#4422196)
Second time it was for a cop killing and since one of my best friends is a cop (in the juristiction the other cop was killed in) they booted me off the jury with much haste.

People go to elaborate means to avoid jury duty. Simply being able to name, with rank, several cops will usually do the trick.

   4786. Ray (RDP) Posted: April 22, 2013 at 12:56 PM (#4422198)
Well, which is it? Do juries put people to death, or do they merely decide to put people to death? Juries absolutely do not do the former, and they have but a small part in the latter.


A distinction without a difference, and thus irrelevant to serious discussion.

The last part of your statement is simply delusional.
   4787. Canker Soriano Posted: April 22, 2013 at 12:58 PM (#4422201)
Governments don't kill people. People kill people.

The only way to stop a bad guy with a jury... is a good guy with a jury.
   4788. Misirlou's been working for the drug squad Posted: April 22, 2013 at 12:58 PM (#4422203)
Setting aside whether juries are part of the government or not, the most you can say about them WRT putting someone to death is that:

Juries, once empowered by the government, are the sole decision makes as to whether someone will undergo a process which may eventually lead to his execution by the state, unless some other government entity intervenes. That is a long, long way from

Juries put people to death, not "government.


   4789. Shredder Posted: April 22, 2013 at 01:00 PM (#4422204)
Juries put people to death, not "government."
Hey, whatever you have to make yourself believe in order to sleep at night is your own business, but your position here (as usual) is pretty ridiculous. And not just because it completely ignores the roles of the myriad government officials involved in the process.

Similarly, the government doesn't arrest people, policemen do. And the government doesn't teach our children in public schools, teachers do. You know what policemen and teachers have in common? They are compensated for their services by the government, just like jurors!
   4790. Ray (RDP) Posted: April 22, 2013 at 01:09 PM (#4422212)
Similarly, the government doesn't arrest people, policemen do.


Not similar at all, actually. I'm not going to respond to people who aren't arguing in good faith.
   4791. Srul Itza Posted: April 22, 2013 at 01:12 PM (#4422215)
This makes you petty.


Says the man who regularly threatens violence for any and all reasons.
   4792. Darkness and the howling fantods Posted: April 22, 2013 at 01:12 PM (#4422216)
If we're getting semantic, juries don't sentence people to death, judges do. Juries get to recommend sentences in capital cases, but the final discretion rests with a government employee.
   4793. Srul Itza Posted: April 22, 2013 at 01:15 PM (#4422219)
If we do kill him, it will be because we want to, not because we need to.


So we should limit all actions to only what is absolutely necessary in every situation. I somehow doubt that would fit in with the many other initiatives you support.

In any event, he needs killing.
   4794. Bitter Mouse Posted: April 22, 2013 at 01:17 PM (#4422223)
Says the man who regularly threatens violence for any and all reasons.


So Rickey! and I don't agree on everything, but you do realize that the threats of violence are just a bit right? One that is perhaps in bad taste and often carried too far, but still not actual threats.
   4795. Srul Itza Posted: April 22, 2013 at 01:18 PM (#4422224)

It's a nice gotcha, and I guess I would ask you how you would answer the question. If you know he's rehabilitated, why shouldn't he walk free?


Because he committed a heinous crime, and the punishment -- whether death or life in a prison hell-hole, fits the crime.

You don't get to kill a cop and an 8 year old boy, two other innocents, maim and kill dozens, and then say, oh well, I changed my mind, I guess this wasn't such a good idea after all.
   4796. Bitter Mouse Posted: April 22, 2013 at 01:19 PM (#4422225)
I for one would love to get a definition of govenment from Ray. Because clearly his definition is different from mine.
   4797. Ray (RDP) Posted: April 22, 2013 at 01:20 PM (#4422229)
If we're getting semantic,


"We" weren't. Other people were playing that silly game.
   4798. Shredder Posted: April 22, 2013 at 01:22 PM (#4422232)
Not similar at all, actually. I'm not going to respond to people who aren't arguing in good faith.
Jurors, like policemen and teachers, are paid by the government. People who are paid by the government for government service are generally considered part of the government, even if it's not their primary profession. It's telling that you'd like to ignore this.
   4799. Srul Itza Posted: April 22, 2013 at 01:23 PM (#4422235)
* Well I am anyway. :)


You can drop the smiley. Your smug self-righteousness is all too readily apparent.
   4800. Srul Itza Posted: April 22, 2013 at 01:25 PM (#4422240)
You don't understand right-wing "gun nuts" at all. Terrorism is anathema to their mindset. They have guns to protect themselves from the government, if it becomes oppressive, not to attack innocent civilians.

They may participate in a coup, or a civil war, if it ever comes to that, but they won't launch random terror attacks.


OKC says "hi!"

So does Olympic Park, and the other examples cited.
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