December 4, 2009

"Am I glad that a hapless 77-year-old man won’t be put to death by the State of Florida? Yes, I am."

"Am I concerned about a Supreme Court that dispenses empathy so selectively? Also yes."

Linda Greenhouse wants more evenly spread empathy.

27 comments:

Scott said...

Justice in the courts is a crap shoot. Better to live the kind of life where you won't find yourself in a courtroom.

David said...

Empathy is selective. And capricious. That's the nature of empathy. It's also why empathy is a poor basis for judicial decisions.

Salamandyr said...

The Supreme Court is not about empathy.

Pogo said...

So a violent upbringing and PTSD give you a free one, murder-wise?

Cool.

Maguro said...

Loaded question. The court spared him because his defense lawyer was incompetent. I don't buy the argument that combat-related PTSD made him do it, but a good defense lawyer would have given it a try.

Scott said...

That's a relief for you, huh Pogo. Nice Glock by the way.

traditionalguy said...

She is writing a piece triangulating upon the Unequal justice is evil meme. The Supreme Court here affirmed that it is the jury (from whom all death penalty thumbs up or down- mercy or no mercy descisions come in aggravated murder), has to hear the usual pleas for mercy and a pardon in order for that system to work fairly. The Court said justice that is equal also must include an equal chance to recieve jury given grace and mercy. They thereby established equal treatment. It is the jury given grace and mercy system that she is bitching about. She is an idiot trying to lead other idiots to the wrong conclusion. Practice Tip:In all criminal cases a war record of heroism in combat will powerfully draw out any mercy a jury can find in their hearts.

Pogo said...

Nice Glock by the way.

Naah, just happy to see y'all.

Paul Brinkley said...

Yeah, the victims of violent crime have really been fatcatting it up with the empathy subsidies, haven't they.

In other news, I hear half the country loves pretty much just their half. They should totally spread that around.

What's the name for such warped up quasi-haters?

wv: hyters - ah.

Roger J. said...

Pogo chanelling Mae West--I love it.

Kev said...

(the other kev)

Apparently Greenhouse's empathy doesn't even extend to naming Porter's victims (Evelyn Williams and Walter Burrows). But that's typical of a lot of death penalty opponents. Wouldn't want to remind anyone that other lives have already been destroyed.

William said...

In the rich banquet of life, I have little time to nibble on Greenhouse gases. But tell me, does her column include a spirited defense of Huckaabee granting clemency to the cop killer.

Cedarford said...

tradguy - Practice Tip:In all criminal cases a war record of heroism in combat will powerfully draw out any mercy a jury can find in their hearts.

It cuts both ways.

For some in the legal justice system (forget the jury - they are pawns - the prosecutors office and judge have more weight, typically) they expect more of a combat vet or a cop or a local pillar of the community "heroised" by job title or doing some past applauded deed.
So they will come down harder.

And the legal system and even the lawyer's pawns in court have shown less and less sympathy over time as they hear about or see the explosion of "Victimhood" defenses, claimed "Victimhood" entitlements in courts, schools, and in the workplace.

Sorry, but most people are getting sick of the constant stream of excuses others seek to employ to evade personal responsibility.

Witness the eye-rolling about Nidal Hasan's "PTSD" from the same Lefties that seek to end the death penalty or imposing tough sentences on dangerous thugs because "Momma was a 'ho who beats me and even she don't know who Daddy wo' be"

Joe said...

Since when is this guy hapless? He's a cold blooded murderer who is exploiting every loophole in a system unwilling to execute bastards like him.

Newsflash to idiot reporters: people who commit murder aren't going to have much compunction about lying.

Leland said...

Ms. Williams was murdered because she refused to re-enter a relationship with Mr. Porter. A relationship she ended a year previous, and a relationship that lasted a few months. She received no mercy.

Mr. Burrows died because he happened to be in a relationship with Ms. Williams at the time of her death. He received no mercy.

Mr. Porter spent a year harassing Ms. Williams and her daughter, after she broke off the relationship. A week before her murder, Mr. Porter tried to arrange a private meeting with Ms. Williams with vague suggestions of offering her a "gift". After her refusal, Mr. Porter planned and assaulted her home, killing Ms. Williams and Mr. Burrows. Mr. Porter gets mercy because of events that happened 30 years previously, events that had absolutely nothing to do with Ms. Williams or Mr. Burrows.

mccullough said...

Did the prosecution say they wouldn't seek another sentencing hearing for the defendant?

The sentence is vacated but he still can be sentenced to death after the jury hears more about his childhood and combat experience. It is their empathy that matters, not the Supreme Court's, and certainly not Linda Greenhouse's.

I've known people with worse childhoods and equally valiant combat records who did not kill their ex-girlfriend and her boyfriend in cold blood.

Greenhouse needs to get out more.

John said...

"Am I glad that a hapless 77-year-old man won’t be put to death by the State of Florida?"

Hapless? The guy murdered two people. I wouldn't call him hapless. Maybe Greenhouse would like to date him. I wonder if his victims' families consider the guy "hapless".

I need to make it a point of reading the NYT more often so I can be reminded why I hate liberals so much.

Oligonicella said...

mccullough --

"I've known people with worse childhoods and equally valiant combat records who did not kill their ex-girlfriend and her boyfriend in cold blood."

Precisely. Every attempt to elicit 'empathy' for someone because of some past hardship denigrates everyone else who survived equal hardship and chose to not do some crime.

wv: flaties - actually belonged in the Phyllis Diller thread.

Scrutineer said...

Who killed "sympathy"? I'm tired of hearing about faddish "empathy." Also, "impact" should be banned.

traditionalguy said...

C-4...With all due respect, the Juries are not the pawns. They control everything. Juries are given total discretion on the death/no death verdict. The ex-police officer has negative sympathy as you say, but the combat veteran who served in Viet Nam and was awarded the Silver gets every benefit of the doubt. Failing to even plead that to the jury shows a judicial system where the accuseds are considered nuisances and trash for quick disposal. Even in Texas there would be some consideration sympathy given his war record.

traditionalguy said...

For all you Hang em High commenters descended from Judge Roy Bean, you don't know of what you speak. Every case is different and every man being judged is different. After a good defense attorney finishes with the full story of a defendant in front of a jury there is usually one or more of the 12 who will not condemn him. Sentencing a repentant good man who has made a horrible mistake in a moment of anger to death by execution is a very, very hard thing for humane humans to do. But again, if you had a jury of 12 Moslems, then they would saw his head off for you right then and there after 10 minutes of chanting to their murderous god. Law is law.

mariner said...

But this Court had a "wise Latina woman" (sic) and her special type of empathy, right?

John Lynch said...

I don't like the death penalty because it seems to be applied arbitrarily and seems to target particular demographic groups. It's not fair.

As long as criminals stay locked up, then society is still protected.

Prosqtor said...

Strictly on the merits I think this is a terrible decision by the Supreme Court. "It was 1986, and the Korean War had been over for 33 years." It is clear to a unanimous court that failing to put on evidence about experiences thirty-three years or more before the crime constituted incompetent representation? It is also clear to the Supreme Court that no rational attorney could conclude that discussion of such experiences might not help a defendant? How many of the Justices have actually defended criminals in court? This decision shocks me.

Revenant said...

There is something Orwellian about dragging out appeals for 20 years and then complaining that the defendant is now too old to face justice.

Leland said...

Educate yourself Tradguy. This:
Sentencing a repentant good man who has made a horrible mistake in a moment of anger to death by execution is a very, very hard thing for humane humans to do.
Wasn't what happened. His first threat to kill the lady occurred in July 1986, just after he damaged her car. His "moment of anger" lasted several months.

So please, use ad homenim attacks to help us realize your argument is lame.

kentuckyliz said...

"hapless"?

Seems to me a rather "hapful" thing to murder another human being.