KILL THIS BILL Death continues to be a growth industry in the United States. Some last minute additions to the House version of the new Patriot Act revision are raising eyebrows. [story]
If all 12 members of a jury in a capital case in federal court cannot agree on whether to impose the death penalty, a convicted defendant is automatically sentenced to life in prison.
But that may be about to change. A little-noticed provision in the House bill that reauthorized the antiterrorism law known as the USA Patriot Act would allow federal prosecutors further attempts at a death sentence if a capital jury deadlocks on the punishment. So long as at least one juror voted for death, prosecutors could empanel a new sentencing jury and argue again that execution was warranted.
IT GETS WORSE not just for defendants that might have gotten off ‘easy’ as they join the largest prison population in United States history. The government wants the right to kill more and more of us under legal cover. [story]
The bill also triples the number of terrorism-related crimes eligible for the death penalty, adding, among others, the material support law that has been the core of the government's legal strategy against terrorism.
TERROR HAS NEVER been more nebulous. Just what fits as terror these days keeps expanding. And the dying may grow too.
"These are radical changes in the way federal death penalty cases are litigated, and they were added virtually without any debate," said Jennifer Daskal, U.S. program advocate for Human Rights Watch.
BE VERY CAREFUL about who you donate your charity money to. It could come back to haunt you.
Under the proposals, 41 crimes would be added to the 20 terrorism-related offenses now eligible for the federal death penalty. Prosecutors would also find it easier to impose a death sentence in cases in which the defendant did not have the intent to kill.
In one example cited by Human Rights Watch, "an individual could be sentenced to death for providing financial support to an organization whose members caused the death of another, even if this individual did not know or in any way intend that the members engage in acts of violence."
THE HERETIK NOTES much of this could not happen without the support of Senor Senseless, the Duke of Diapers, James Sensenbrenner. MORE: [Makikthise] Do Overs
From T Chris at Talk Left: As Jesselyn McCurdy, the ACLU’s legislative counsel, argues, “If there is one person who has a doubt about whether someone should be put to death, that should be doubt enough.” And if the Justice Department can’t convince a jury to impose death after taking its best shot, it shouldn’t be permitted to keep shooting.”
THE HERETIK ASKS IF we do not allow citizens to be tried for the same crime twice, why is the government pushing so hard for death, this Javert like justice? In the guise of fighting terror, are we descending into a Reign of Terror?