Now 500 Entries Strong, Texas' Collection of Executed Inmates' Final Rants, Reflections and Apologies

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Death has the habit of sneaking up on its victims, catching them unaware and robbing them of a chance to collect their thoughts and give some final, purposeful statement of celebration or regret. If they are afforded that chance, the words tend to be delivered to a friend or family member in a bedside whisper, dissolving as soon as they are spoken.

Texas' death row inmates are different in that respect. Not only are they given the time and the platform from which to deliver their final words, their statements are recorded by the Texas Department of Criminal Justice and deposited permanently into its online database.

This weekend, on the occasion of Texas 500th execution, The New York Times pondered the database and what it says about capital punishment, the criminal justice system in Texas and the inmates themselves.

"It's kind of mesmerizing to read through these," Robert Perkinson, a professor at the University of Hawaii at Manoa and author of a book on Texas prisons, told the Times. "Most people about to be executed haven't had a lot of success in school or life. They're not always so skilled at articulating themselves. There are plenty of clichés, sometimes peculiar ones, like the Cowboys reference. But I think many of these individuals are also striving to say something poignant, worthy of the existential occasion."

Reading through the statements, one after another, is a surprisingly moving, occasionally haunting experience. What comes through the most strongly is the sense that these people, however despicable their crimes, are still deeply human.

Their emotions run the gamut. Some are spit vitriol to the last:

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Steven Woods, September 13, 2011: You're not about to witness an execution, you are about to witness a murder. I am strapped down for something Marcus Rhodes did. I never killed anybody, ever. I love you, Mom. I love you, Tali. This is wrong. This whole thing is wrong. I can't believe you are going to let Marcus Rhodes walk around free. Justice has let me down. Somebody completely screwed this up. I love you too, Mom. Well Warden, if you are going to murder someone, go ahead and do it. Pull the trigger. It's coming. I can feel it coming. Goodbye

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Denard Manns, November 13, 2008: Yes. From Allah we came and to Allah we shall return. I would like to give thanks for the unjust way my trial attorneys John Donahue and Frank Hollbrook purposely denied me a fair trial. I would like to thank Walter E. Reeves for bringing up claims that did not exist. Most importantly, I would like to thank John Hurley, who was suppose to be off my case but was granted to be back on. For those who kept agreeing with me, keep it real. Ya'll will always stay real in my heart. Barbara, I love you, Al and Paul, I love you. Jess and Chong, I love you now and forever. I am ready for the transition.

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Johnny Johnson, February 12, 2009: The Polunsky dungeon should be compared with the Death Row Community as existing not living. Why do I say this, the Death Row is full of isolated hearts and suppressed minds. We are filled with love looking for affection and a way to understand. I am a Death Row resident of the Polunsky dungeon. Why does my heart ache. We want pleasure love and satisfaction. It. The walls of darkness crushed in on me. Life without meaning is life without purpose. But the solace within the Polunsky dungeon, the unforgivesness within society, the church Pastors and Christians. It is terrifying. Does anyone care or who I am. Can you feel me people. The Polunsky dungeon is what I call the pit of hopelessness. The terrfying thing is the US is the only place, country that is the only civilized country that is free that says it will stop murder and enable justice. I ask each of you to lift up your voices to demand an end to the Death Penalty. If we live, we live to the Lord. If we die we die to the Lord. Christ rose again, in Jesus name. Bye Aunt Helen, Luise, Joanna and to all the rest of yall. You may proceed Warden. (began singing)

Others proclaim their innocence:

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Keith Thurmond, March 7, 2012: All I want to say is I'm innocent, I didn't kill my wife. Jack Leary shot my wife then her dope dealer Guy Fernandez. Don't hold it against me, Bill. I swear to God I didn't kill her. Go ahead and finish it off. You can taste it.

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Charles Nealy, March 20, 2007: Ya'll know I love you, you too Ward. You have been a good friend. You are a good investigator. Doug, I thank you for coming from Michigan. Chris and David, I love you. Thank them for their support Doug. Debra, James, I'm not crying so you don't cry. Don't be sad for me. I'm going to be with God, Allah, and Momma. I'm gonna ask dad why didn't give you away at your wedding. Randy Greer, my little brother, I'll be watching you, stay out of trouble. All my nieces and nephews, I love you all. Sammie, Vincent, and Yolanda, I will be watching over you all. The reason it took them so long is because they couldn't find a vein. You know how I hate needles -- I used to stay in the Doctor's Office. Tell the guys on Death Row that I'm not wearing a diaper. I can't think of anything else. You all stay strong. Now you can put this all aside. Don't bury me in the prison cemetery. Bury me right beside momma. Don't bury me to the left of dad, bury me on the right side of mom. Kim Schaeffer, you are a evil woman. You broke the law. The judges and courts helped you and you didn't have all the facts. When you look at the video, you know you can't see anyone. You overplayed your hand looking for something against me and to cover it up the State is killing me. I'm not mad or bitter though. I'm sad that you are stuck here and have to go through all of this. I am going somewhere better. My time is up. Let me get ready to make my transition. Doug, don't forget Marcy.

Or remorse:

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Jonathan Moore, January 17, 2007: Jennifer, where are you at? I'm sorry, I did not know the man but for a few seconds before I shot him. It was done out of fear, stupidity, and immaturity. It wasn't until I got locked up and saw the newspaper. I saw his face and his smile and I knew he was a good man. I am sorry for all your family and my disrespect -- he deserved better. Sorry Gus. I hope all the best for you and your daughters. I hope you have happiness from here on out. Quit the heroin and methadone. I love you dad, Devin, and Walt. We're done Warden.

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Beunka Adams, April 26, 2012: First, I want to let my mom know not to cry, there is no reason to cry, everybody dies. Everybody has their time, don't worry about me. I'm strong. To my family: my old man, my kids, daddy is sorry. I love each and every one of you. I'll be looking for you. To my wife, I love you. The last two years have been the best. All my kids, mom, nieces, and nephews, I am proud of all of ya'll. I love each and every one of ya'll. I really love ya'll.

To the victims, I'm very sorry for everything that happened. I am not the malicious person that you think I am. I was real stupid back then. I made a great many mistakes. What happened was wrong. I was a kid in a grown man's world. I messed up, and I can't take it back. I wasn't old enough to understand. Please don't carry around that hurt in your heart. You have got to find a way to get rid of the hate. Trust me, killing me is not going to give you closure. I hope you find closure. Don't let that hate eat you up, find a way to get past it.

Linda, I love you, I appreciate you. I hate the way things turned out. Ms. Sheri, thank you. To the victims again, I hate the way all of this happened to ya'll. I don't think any good will come of this. I am going to see ya'll again. I love ya'll, be strong for me. Keep your heads up. I came into the world strong. I'll leave the world strong. Warden, go ahead. I am sorry for the victim's family. Murder isn't right, killing of any kind isn't right. Got to find another way.

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Michael Rodriguez, August 14, 2008:Yes I do, I know this no way makes up for all the pain and suffering I gave you. I am so so sorry. My punishment is nothing compared to the pain and sorrow I have caused. I hope that someday you can find peace. I am not strong enough to ask for forgiveness because I don't if I am worth. I realize what I've done to you and the pain I've given. Please Lord forgive me. I have done some horrible things. I ask the Lord to please forgive me. I have gained nothing, but just brought sorrow and pain to these wonderful people. I am sorry. So so sorry. To the Sanchez family who showed me love. To the Hawkings' family, I am sorry. I know I have affected them for so long. Please forgive me. Irene, I want to thank you and thank your husband Jack. I'll be waiting for you. I am so sorry. To these families I ask forgiveness. Father God I ask you too for forgiveness. I ask you for forgiveness Lord. I am ready to go Lord. Thank you. I am ready to go. My Jesus my Savior there is none like you. All of my days I want to praise, let every breath. Shout to the Lord let us sing.

A few aren't terribly well thought out:

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James Clark, April 11, 2007: Uh, I don't know, Um, I don't know what to say. I don't know. (pauses) I didn't know anybody was there. Howdy.

And sometimes, the sodium thiopental creeps in before they're done.

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Ricky Lynn Lewis, April 10, 2013: Ms. Connie Hilton, I'm sorry for what happened to you. If I hadn't raped you, then you wouldn't have lived. If you look at the transcripts, I didn't kill Mr. Newman and I didn't rob your house. There are two people still alive. I was just there. When I saw you in the truck driving away, I could have killed you but I didn't. I'm not a killer. My momma was abused. I'm sorry for what you've gone through. It wasn't me that harmed and stole all of your stuff. If you look at the transcripts you will see. I ask the good Lord to forgive me.

I love ya'll; Sheena, my sister, momma, and daddy. Ya'll pray for me, keep up the fight. Get the transcripts, let the truth come out so that I do not die in vain. I thank the Lord for the man I am today. I have done all I can to better myself, to learn to read and write. Take me to my King. I love ya'll and thank you for the love you gave me. I respect all of ya'll. Ms. Hilton. Ok. Let me rest. It's burning.

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Rodrigo Hernandez, January 26, 2012: Yes, I want to tell everybody that I love everybody. Keep your heads up. We are all family, people of God Almighty. We're all good. I'm ready.

Are they already doing it? I'm gonna go to sleep. See you later. This stuff stings, man almighty.

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Jonathan Green, October 10, 2012: I'm an innocent man. I did not kill anyone. Ya'll are killing an innocent man. My left arm is killing me. It hurts bad.



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71 comments
ItsSoSad
ItsSoSad

I'm not against the death penalty. I just don't believe that we should be killing people.

Give them life without parole, put them in the general prison population and let them sort it out among themselves.

So does this make me a hypocrite because I think we shouldn't be killing babies either?

Give them life, a family, an education, and let them sort it out for themselves.

DirtyP1
DirtyP1

Really can't feel bad for most of these guys. Even the ones claiming they're innocent tarnish the ones that are really innocent and put to death. 

I've never thought the death penalty was a deterrent, unfortunately people will do bad things not thinking about the repercussions. 

I do think the death penalty is an easy way out for these people. Their victims were not given a last meal, a chance to say goodbye; they died scared and most in a brutal way(raped, shot execution style, strangled.)

There are crooked cops, prosecutors, etc., but we do have an appeals system. In China, once you're sentenced to death, that's the end of it. You're taken to a hillside and get a bullet to the head or chest. In some cases organs are harvested, on the spot, and if the family wants the body then they can claim it after they pay for the bullet. 

Is that a deterrent? In a country of over a billion people that are just trying to live day in and day out, not always. You can make it in the US, regardless of color, as long as you make mostly good decisions. Once you commit a felony, suddenly you're in a class of citizens that in some ways is worst than being an illegal alien and you can't make it back. So in closing, kids, don't do drugs and if you do the crime be ready to do the time.

Jim Davis
Jim Davis

They should do all executions 12 months after sentence. Shameful that we spend more money on prisoners in this state than we do students.

Tim Hystad
Tim Hystad

The death penalty is not a deterrent to murder, and it is an expensive way to get justice. After the cost of mandatory appeals and special prison housing and accommodations, a death row inmate costs the state (taxpayers) almost twice as much as a life-sentenced convicts. An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth only leaves us all blind and toothless.

Jeanna Rebecca
Jeanna Rebecca

I have no sympathy,they were executed for a reason.This article should state their crimes too.

Obummer
Obummer

Yo eyez be uh innocent too.

PersistentID2345
PersistentID2345

1251 executions in Texas since euros arrived.

861 in the Huntsville unit since 1924.

mavdog
mavdog topcommenter

The failure of the legal system to prevent innocent defendants from being sent to their death, which has clearly happened, should be sufficient reason to stop any further executions.

glenn.hunter
glenn.hunter

The big takeaway is that they're all "deeply human"? Okay. Maybe for a follow-up the Times can compile the last words of the innocent people these guys snuffed out.

MikeWestEast
MikeWestEast

It may take a few years, but soon we'll be clear of any even slightly questionable procedural cases and then we'll just be executing the scum of the scum.  The drop in new cases reflects that focus to preserve this punishment for the real degenerates of our society.  Then there will no longer be any poster boys or girls.  People won't care.  The executions will proceed to remove them from our midst.  The problem is TX is we still will have plenty that qualify starting with that person that dropped off that young girl this morning.

lzippitydoo
lzippitydoo

All of these clowns represent millions spent on trials, appeals and all of the chances their victims never got! The preference would have been for a Charles Bronson type to have gotten rid of these murderers much sooner. All of these statements are meaningless and should not be given the public viewing! Their only five minutes of fame should have been the death sentence carried out!

ChangingF8
ChangingF8

Each and every one of these people had the choice to follow the laws of the land, as the Bible states we are to do. Each and every one of them were convicted of breaking that law and sentenced to death. Can you, who think this is hypocritical, by those who support the Death penalty but claim to be pro-life tell me what crimes is the unborn child guilty of? Let me know when you come up with something. There is a difference, regardless of your inability to see one.

lzippitydoo
lzippitydoo

So - keep these worthless souls alive ?? What cost is that long term?? Deterrent is secondary - first order of business is to make sure these killers are not around to kill again!

lzippitydoo
lzippitydoo

And such great guys - ones you would take home to your family for dinner - NOT! They have been given the last words their victims did not get! Whatever they said last, the main thing is that these were their last words!

ScottsMerkin
ScottsMerkin topcommenter

@mavdog so the guy that bagged, gagged, tied and killed a little girl then left her in the middle of the street shouldnt be put to death?  Fry him

crimjunkie
crimjunkie

@lzippitydoo What a charming and civilized comment.  Thank you for posting.

But what are your views on abortion?  That is what we're talking about, isn't it?

bealotcoolerifyoudid
bealotcoolerifyoudid

@ChangingF8 But what if they did follow the law and were still convicted and put to death?  Wouldn't they then be in the same situation as the unborn child that is aborted?  The only difference being that one murder is permitted by the government while the other is actually murdered directly by the government?

Daniel
Daniel

@ChangingF8  How about "it's not a person yet." Obviously, this is hotly contested, but any idiot knows that's where the debate lies. And any fool with any science education whatsoever knows that the matter is plenty ambiguous. But yeah, it satisfies our sense of justice to kill scumbags we find objectionable, who have committed reprehensible crimes. Little doubt there. Heck, it'd be fun to strangle'em with our own hands and pour bleach upon their balls and peckers -- the sociopaths!

By the way, what makes you think I give a shit what the Qu'ran says? Or Bible or whatever.

dsmithy3211
dsmithy3211

@lzippitydoo As Tim stated, the cost of that long term is about half of the cost of the death penalty. Though I suppose this would be a wash if, say, the inmates' life expectancy doubles to 150 years or so. 

Life imprisonment also "make[s] sure these killers are not around to kill again!" Since, you know, LIFE imprisonment and all.

FEDUP
FEDUP

@ScottsMerkin @mavdog I prefer electrocution, I WANT TO WATCH THE SON OF A BITCH FRYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYY, so they can suffer like their victims. Hanging them also works, you watch the rope get tighter, gasping for air their saliva and toungue sticking out, turning blue, massive shaking, rope burns around their neck, bowels letting loose, peeing on themselves, and eventually but not always their neck snapping.  Yeah MAVDOG I LOVE THE KILLING OF SCUM THAT FILLS THIS WORLD!!!!!  Maybe tonight some asshole will violently kill one of your loved ones, maybe cutting off a daughters head after raoping her, or beating one of your parents with a tire iron until their brain matter flows out ones scull. Then when they go to trail found quilty and sentenced to death, you can stand in the room among your family and sing KUMBAYA, YOU FUCKIN MORON!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 

lzippitydoo
lzippitydoo

Abortion? How idiotic! This isnt a deterrent to future murderers - this is getting trash off the street - people who do not hold another life in any kind of value! No consience for those who kill and if these executions stop future killings by them - it is worth it. Civilized?? You have no remorse, take another life for no reason and show you are not worthy of being among others! An eye for an eye and dont drag it out forever. Did you read these last statements? What kind of last statements did their victims get?

ChangingF8
ChangingF8

@bealotcoolerifyoudid No, they are convicted of the crime. I would say the percentage of anyone being put to death in such a manner that is innocent would be very minute indeed. Yet, 100% of abortions are done to 100% of innocent children 100% of the time. There is no way to skew the numbers there. 

ChangingF8
ChangingF8

@DanielWell Daniel, I didn't ask you if you cared. So as long as it has not come out of the womb means it does not live? It does not have life? 100% of sane people say they would be against abortion if it was them that was to be aborted. As long as it wasn't me ya know, ok for the baby who doesn't even have a name. Most people do not know the cycle of life within the womb. They do not know that early on, blood, the essence of life itself is flowing within the unborn child. And you still haven't answered the question. What crime did the child commit?

RTGolden1
RTGolden1 topcommenter

@FEDUP @ScottsMerkin @mavdog You realize strangulation is not the cause of death in hanging right?  The knot and noose combined with the fall breaks the neck.

mavdog
mavdog topcommenter

@FEDUP

you're too much, you really make me laugh!

keep up the good work!

RTGolden1
RTGolden1 topcommenter

@ChangingF8 @bealotcoolerifyoudid "Would you chose to go back into the womb knowing that your mother would chose to abort you instead? Most sane people wouldn't but are ok as long as that same life hasn't been born yet."

Your quote from above.  Along with "100% of people who support abortion wouldn't if it were them to be aborted".

So answer the question that was asked to you, since you posed the exact same question to others: If it were you on Death Row for a crime you did not commit, would you still support the death penalty?  Your argument against answering it is laughable in the face of asking living people if they would support abortion if it were they themselves who were to be aborted.

dsmithy3211
dsmithy3211

@ChangingF8 

Oh come on, ChangingF8. Nothing else to say on the matter? Like the mighty Ohio River flowing through steel country, you are the essence of this comment thread.

bealotcoolerifyoudid
bealotcoolerifyoudid

@ChangingF8 @bealotcoolerifyoudid FYI, I believe life begins at inception and am against abortion.  I am also against the death penalty.  I believe in the sanctity of life and moreover I believe in the power of compassion. 

Nowhere have I defended abortion.  But I do recognize the ambiguities and points of debate that Daniel pointed out.

I have asked you to explain why you are for the death penalty and you meekly say it's the law of the land.  While I may disagree with some of the others that have posted zealously for the death penalty, I can appreciate their point of view and respect their candor. 

I have asked you to explain how you can be against abortion claiming it is about the sanctity of life and be for the death penalty.  You retort that the fetus has not committed a crime.  But that only answers half the equation. 

dsmithy3211
dsmithy3211

@ChangingF8 @dsmithy3211 @Daniel @bealotcoolerifyoudid 

Blood! The essence of life!

Air! The essence of Ze Machiiiiiines!

Blood transfusions: a transferal of human essence!

CPR: so easy, a machine could do it!

Shoot a gun into a crowded prison! It's fun, and the odds are, you might even hit a murderer!

Serve rat poison to children! On a long enough time scale, the mortality rate of those children is 0%! No harm, no foul!

Time: the ultimate murderer! Nay, the ESSENCE of death! Kill all clocks!


/bizarro Mad Men advertisement rant

ChangingF8
ChangingF8

@bealotcoolerifyoudid You act as if thousands, or shall we say MILLIONS of innocents are put to death every year by the death penalty. You want to compare one person to Millions. Your comparison doesn't even come close. More people die accidentally every year than ever will be executed by the Death penalty, much less innocent people put to death by the Death Penalty. Show me the millions and I will show you a system that doesn't work. You seem not to care at all about millions of deaths but want to focus on one. Mainly because you have no leg to stand on and I do not have the time in my day to sit here and endlessly ask you for such a justification that you can not manufacture out of any concept other than to claim life is not life, which is absurd.

dsmithy3211
dsmithy3211

@Daniel @ChangingF8 @bealotcoolerifyoudid 

Normally I would advise against feeding the trolls. But ChangingF8 is such a caricature that this is wonderfully entertaining. 

Bible! Hear me roar!

Who cares if kill wrongly convicted people? We kill babies! Blood is the essence of life! I just had a rare roast beef sandwich for life, so I'm part bovine! Yarrrr!

Amusing stuff. Carry on.

Daniel
Daniel

@ChangingF8 @bealotcoolerifyoudid Debates about abortion are quite likely the most fruitless debates ever. I do remain curious about your enthusiasm for the death penalty, however. Isn't there a commandment against that sort of thing?

bealotcoolerifyoudid
bealotcoolerifyoudid

@ChangingF8 @bealotcoolerifyoudid But you seem to agree with the law of the death penalty and be opposed to the law allowing abortions.   Am I wrong in my perception that these are your views? 

So why do you agree with the death penalty when innocent people are put to death?

ChangingF8
ChangingF8

@bealotcoolerifyoudid It is the law of the land. I do not make the laws as I am not a lawmaker. Perhaps your question would be better suited for one of those who do? I just know it is a law, just like allowing abortions is a law.

bealotcoolerifyoudid
bealotcoolerifyoudid

@ChangingF8 @bealotcoolerifyoudid There is no such thing as winning a discussion on the internet.  This is all merely entertainment. 

I am not an atheist.  But I see how I could be perceived as falling in line with the stereotypes of heathens and such. 

Anyhow, why the death penalty instead of life without parole?  What makes it better?

ChangingF8
ChangingF8

@bealotcoolerifyoudid Then perhaps you shouldn't use the Bible to try to win this discussion since you are unarmed in such a manner? Eric Rudolph was not a real Christian. He was not acting in accordance with the Bible, thus your correlation between him and I is incorrect in its basis. Are you an atheist then? Could I just say "Well you are just like this other atheist that did this or that!" then? 

bealotcoolerifyoudid
bealotcoolerifyoudid

@ChangingF8 @bealotcoolerifyoudid I don't know enough of the Bible to forget it, I just don't know it.  Possibly because I am not Christian.

The Bull reference was in thinking that no one could ever imagine that a person whose beliefs seem to line up with Eric Rudolph (well except the death penalty, he plead out to avoid that) could be viewed by others as a possible actor in a brutal crime.  It can happen.  That's one of the reasons I am against the death penalty.

bealotcoolerifyoudid
bealotcoolerifyoudid

@Daniel @ChangingF8 @bealotcoolerifyoudid 

I think the Bible is irrelevant (as long as we maintain the 1st amendment and separation of church and state).  In a way ChangingF8 argues the same when he does his obey the law of the land schtick to justify the incompatibility of his pro death penalty anti abortion stance. 

ChangingF8
ChangingF8

@bealotcoolerifyoudid What is total bull? That you take the part of the Bible you want and forget the rest? Because if it was bull, you would never have made the statement you originally made. I have plenty of faults, but none that would lead me to be considered a murderer. That does not make me perfect, it just doesn't make me fit into your little box there. 

142 Exonerations from the Death Penalty in all States total since 1973. In those cases, only 18 involved DNA. Most were acquitted or had their sentences dismissed or pardoned. So lets add this up to real numbers for you. 18 over a 40 year period v.s.1.21 Million each year. Which side do you think is getting the raw deal here?

Daniel
Daniel

@ChangingF8 @bealotcoolerifyoudid  Again, what does the Bible have to do with anything? If your point is to prove that abortion runs contrary to Christian dogma, fine, you win. You're entitled to your beliefs: don't get an abortion. What does this have to do with the rest of us?  

bealotcoolerifyoudid
bealotcoolerifyoudid

@ChangingF8 @bealotcoolerifyoudid 

That's total bullshit.  I haven't met you and don't know what you look like.  But the religious fervor you exhibit in your comments leads me to believe that you view yourself as righteous amongst heathens and better than others.  You sidestep arguments by stating your view and ignoring years of studies and DNA exhonorees.  I imagine on a witness stand you would ramble incoherently but with enough vim and vigor to scare a jury and enough narcissism to be disliked by a jury. 

And you still haven't explained why the death penalty is better than life without parole (your quote said punish, prison is punishment).

ChangingF8
ChangingF8

@bealotcoolerifyoudid You can not take the part of the Bible that supports your stance and forget the rest. That is the fallacy with everyone who tries to use just that part. 

1 Peter 2:13-17

English Standard Version (ESV)

Submission to Authority

13 Be subject for the Lord's sake to every human institution,[a] whether it be to the emperor[b] as supreme, 14 or to governors as sent by him to punish those who do evil and to praise those who do good. 15 For this is the will of God, that by doing good you should put to silence the ignorance of foolish people. 16 Live as people who are free, not using your freedom as a cover-up for evil, but living as servants[c] of God. 17 Honor everyone. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honor the emperor.

As far as your first inference, I would say that it would be a very far cry for anyone, be it Detective or Jury, to believe that I could be capable of committing such a crime as to deserve the Death Penalty, nor would I be in the presence of anyone capable of such action.

bealotcoolerifyoudid
bealotcoolerifyoudid

@ChangingF8 @bealotcoolerifyoudid  If it was you that was convicted whilst being innocent, would that be minute?  (BTW, nice dodge of the possibilities of corruption and/or racism effecting the outcome of a trial).

What is the preference of the death penalty vs. life without parole?  Death penalty requires greater due process and actually costs more in the long run, so it can't be economic.  Perhaps it's just blood lust and vengeance, but I thought you were supposed to be about forgiveness.  And wasn't there a commandment about not killing?  I though it was a commandment not a suggestion.

RTGolden1
RTGolden1 topcommenter

@mavdog I wonder how confusing the facts surrounding the assembling of the Bible would be for him.  A pagan roman emperor seeing christian on christian violence tearing apart the heartland of his empire, throws the leaders of the various opposed factions of the church together in a room in Nicea and tells them to come out with one damn set of rules to follow.

How much was added to what the hand of God wrote? How much left out?  How much did the hand of God actually write?  How much was penciled in to increase the power, wealth and influence of the Church?

Faith is faith, and I have it in spades, but there is a line between faith and gullibility I will not cross.  God gave me a brain, I think he expects me to use it.

mavdog
mavdog topcommenter

@RTGolden1

you're just confusing him even more RT....he can't handle what's already been offered.

RTGolden1
RTGolden1 topcommenter

@ChangingF8@mavdogHere is where the Christian argument against abortion falls apart, in my own humble and coarse view.

Of all of creation, God gave to mankind free will.  We have the choice to follow God or not.  Salvation cannot be legislated, mandated, bought or achieved.  This is the pact, sealed by Christ's death on the cross, between mankind and God.

Fast forward about 1700 some odd years.  A group of colonies unite and declare their independence from their governing authority.  One of the many grievances they had was religious persecution and subjugation.  They lived under the heavy foot of the Church of England, which brooked no deviation from its laws and doctrine.

Fast forward another 200 some odd years.  Christians in the US want to stand in defiance of both US History and God's wishes.  They want the law to reflect their beliefs to the exclusion of others' beliefs.  They want the law to punish others who don't hold the same beliefs.  Not only that, but they want to legislate a path to salvation, thinking that this might win them a spot in Heaven.

Do I believe abortion is wrong? Yes I do.  Do I believe that I have the right to force others to cling to my beliefs? No I do not.

mavdog
mavdog topcommenter

@ChangingF8

"you don't seem to be getting it"

ah, the irony.

some people get it, and some people don't.

include yourself in the latter.

ChangingF8
ChangingF8

@mavdog Incorrect. Blood is the essence of life. So if you have blood in you, you are alive. I hate to have to draw with such a broad stroke here but you don't seem to be getting it. Blood is the essence of life, regardless of how you are getting it, you are alive.

mavdog
mavdog topcommenter

@ChangingF8

hey, YOU made the assertion that "blood is the essence of life", so if you want to abandon that point fine.

just admit you made a mistake and move on, but if you continue to assert that "blood is the essence of life", the logic says that if you don't produce your blood, you aren't a viable life.

all the other blabbering and off-point postering you do above doesn't change that obvious conclusion.

ChangingF8
ChangingF8

@mavdog No, I haven't. Your short-sighted comments here make it no less a life form because it gets its blood from the mother. All life forms require this. You required it before you were born, and yet here you are. Would you argue then that you are not a life form? At what part would it have been ok to just take your life from you? Could someone just come up and cut off your blood supply because you don't fit their idea of what makes a life and what doesn't? The pro-choice people want to just shrug off the fact that, given the natural course of things, the baby they just killed would have been born. So cutting off that path, at any point along the line, is murder. Plain and simple.

mavdog
mavdog topcommenter

@ChangingF8

you completely avoided answering the question, you merely made some assumptions about the fetus' possible future.

if "blood is the essence of life", and the fetus is dependent on the mother's blood for survival, how can it be a seperate being?

it can't. congratulations, you're proving the pro-choice argument.

ChangingF8
ChangingF8

@Daniel Would you chose to go back into the womb knowing that your mother would chose to abort you instead? Most sane people wouldn't but are ok as long as that same life hasn't been born yet. You place a lot of value on life once it has been "born" but little value on it until that point, even though it is still a life. Your own conundrum there should be enough to give you pause.

ChangingF8
ChangingF8

@mavdog Because it is a life-form growing inside the mother's womb. If allowed to follow the natural course of things, most likely will become a life force outside the mother's womb. Still a life, regardless of what stage it is in. 

Daniel
Daniel

@ChangingF8 @Daniel  

How could I be aborted? I'm here. Up to a certain point in my mother's pregnancy -- and identifying this point is where the debate lies for "100% of sane people" (and 4 out of 5 dentists, to boot) -- there would be no "me" to be aborted, insofar as "I" am a continuum of consciousness. It's an existential brainteaser, "Back to the Future"-style. What if my great-grandmother hadn't narrowly avoided being hit by that streetcar one Tuesday afternoon in 1911?  

mavdog
mavdog topcommenter

"blood is the essence of life"

interesting. so if it is the mother's blood that is maintaining the fetus, how can the fetus be viewed as a seperate being?

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