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DIALOGUE: Should the Sniper Die?

November 10, 2009

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  • N. Sanityplea November 15, 2009 10:19 am

    No one gets outa here alive–justice is in another dimension–but if society needs to keep order by dispensing discipline and cordoning off evil–dispensing that evil into another dimension seems quite appropriate
    the sniper qualified as such evil-he was given enough time to mull his crime–and allowed to sink into the hell he created–before meeting his maker–that’s as much mercy as an overcrowded society can afford in trying to keep the damage and the insanity to a minimum

  • Jeff November 13, 2009 4:07 am

    I agree that the shoes may have made you think twice, but the prosecution opened the case with a lie. Mark Furhman was challenged as a racist and perjured himself over and over before that tape showed him saying the n-word over 80 times. This was the guy who found the bloody glove. You had the mishandling of the blood evidence, and then blood found six weeks later on a fence that seemed newer than other blood found on the say of the murder.
    Sure. OJ probably did it, and maybe the government tried to embellish the case. That said, if the prosecution lied, which it did, you must acquit. Baby with bath water for me. Call it what you will: Mistrial. The government forfeited its case. If they mishandles and likely applied the blood evidence, what else had they defrauded the court with?
    And the second case was a plain lynching. OJ got no breaks. There was no way to prevail. They just made sure they got him.
    I’m not an OJ defender. I’m a person who believes America has more people in jail than any country in the world.Routinely innocent people are coerced into pleading to a lesser charge because they are convinced by their DEFENSE attorneys they can’t win. Screw that! Let the government make a fair case. A GOOD case.

  • Mark November 12, 2009 12:39 pm

    Hey Jeff,
    Thanks for your thoughtful comment. We agree on most things and in this case, I agree with 90% of what you have to say. I especially like your point about evil. I agree the death penalty is unfairly applied in America and in my view, it should be much rarer than it is now and with more protections. But I’m not against it entirely. In the case of the sniper, barring some additional evidence I don’t know now, I’d say he’s one of the few cases that I feel deserves it.
    The one disagreement I have with you is on OJ. I have no doubt that Mark Fuhrman is a racist, a slimeball, and a likely criminal. But in my view, there was more than enough evidence to convict OJ even if you assume Fuhrman did his worst, Everything from the taxi driver to the Bruno Magli footprints to OJ’s blood left at the scene pointed to OJ’s guilt, not to mention motive and opportunity. Furhman couldn’t have planted all that.
    That being said, I would not have supported the death penalty for OJ. A conviction and life sentence would have sufficed for me.

  • Jeff November 12, 2009 11:30 am

    Wow, what an amazingly long and repetitively rambling opening statement/question on the show. You’re patient, Mark.
    I’m pro death penalty in this case, but it should only be when the guy coherently confesses on video or was caught in the act.
    But I can see some scenarios, possibly cinematic scenarios where a person does give a confession because if he doesn’t something might happen to someone else. Perhaps the government threatens a family member or a crime boss does. Perhaps the person knows their spouse or child really did it and confesses.
    As for mental illness, unless the convicted is licking spit off a window, so what? Anyone who kills/rapes/steals is mentally ill. They cross lines that regular people don’t.
    Mental retardation, true temporary insanity, and altered perceptions of reality are different stories.
    But any guy who practices and plots, and has the forethought to crawl into his trunk and shoot out of a hole in the side of his car, is evil.
    I believe there are many sociopaths. I work with some. There are sociopaths that don’t cross the line. They don’t care about anyone or anything. Get them upset at work and they do crazy things. Still, I believe that even among sociopaths, there are many that just don’t cross the line because they don’t want to. If they wanted to, they would, but they just don’t see it as beneficial.
    Those that thoughtfully cross the line are just evil, sociopath or not. As I said in the opening, anyone who commits crimes, large or small, could be technically labelled a sociopath. We have different names for it like kleptomania etc, but when it rises to murder, and, again, the person isn’t licking spit off the window, He’s evil. Evil is a mental illness. The cure is death.
    But generally, I’m not for the death penalty. Forget reasonable doubt. If there is any doubt, any argument, I’m not for it. It used to be that was the definition or reasonable doubt but we’re klingons now.
    One last point: Have you ever noticed that people complained that it took “only” 4 hours to acquit OJ Simpson? They said that the jury didn’t respect the mountain of evidence in that short time. But no one ever complains when it takes 15 minutes to convict someone.
    And since you mentioned OJ on the show, I would argue that OJ didn’t buy his innocence. Mark Furhman gave it to him by confession on tape that he had planted evidence in the past. I would have acquitted after hearing those tapes.