April 15, 2011

Why It's Called The Death Penalty

It's not called the death deterrent, it's called the death penalty as in: "do this and we kill you." And for the most part it works every time it is used. When the death penalty is applied in the proscribed manner, the offending party doesn't do "this" again ... ever. When states decide that it's really not such a bad thing to off their residents, they abolish the death penalty. So why we are we surprised when a Canadian citizen shops around for a state where he can off his ex-girlfriend and not pay the same penalty he handed her for ditching him?
A 20-year-old Canadian man methodically stalked and tracked a Westmont woman before killing her Wednesday night in Oak Brook — even stopping to reload his gun and continue shooting during the attack.

DuPage County Judge Michael Wolfe denied bail Thursday for Dmitry Smirnov of Surrey, British Columbia, who is charged with the first-degree murder of Jitka Vesel, 36.

In court Thursday, DuPage County State’s Attorney Robert Berlin said Smirnov met Vesel in 2008 through an Internet dating site. After they met, Smirnov moved to the United States.
Following the natural course of internet romance, the relationship went south and Smirnov went north, back to Canada. To tell the truth, what does a 34 year old woman want with an 18 year old boy? ... Oh, right. Nevermind.

After returning to his Vesel-less homeland, Smirnov starts to harass his ex-lover in 2009. She in turn filed a criminal complaint against him. Smirnov obviously doesn't take nyet for an answer.
About two weeks ago, Smirnov decided to leave Canada, returning to the United States, Berlin said. He first stopped in Seattle to buy a .40-caliber handgun and ammunition.

Smirnov arrived in Chicago last weekend, using the Internet to locate Vesel’s home, Berlin said. He then used a GPS tracking device, which he glued to Vesel’s car, to track her movements via the Internet, Berlin said.

He was waiting for Vesel when she went to her car in the parking lot of the Windsor Office Park in Oak Brook, Wednesday night.

[...]Berlin said Smirnov had done research on the Internet to determine if Illinois had the death penalty, deciding to go through with Vesel’s murder when he discovered it does not.
Apparently Smirnov took this advice from Smokey and the Miracles. I wonder if he took the time to shop for prison accomodations, particularly w/r/t shower facilities?

Needlesss to say I was a little surprised at Washington's laws that allow Canadians and other non-citizens to purchase/possess handguns.

Revised Code of Washington Title 9 Chapter 9.41.175 Alien possession of firearms — Possession without license — Conditions.

(1) A nonimmigrant alien, who is not a resident of Washington or a citizen of Canada, may carry or possess any firearm without having first obtained an alien firearm license if the nonimmigrant alien possesses:
((a) A valid passport and visa showing he or she is in the country legally; ((b) If required under federal law, an approved United States department of justice ATF-6 NIA application and permit for temporary importation of firearms and ammunition by nonimmigrant aliens; and ((c)(i) A valid hunting license issued by a state or territory of the United States; or (ii) An invitation to participate in a trade show or sport shooting event being conducted in this state, another state, or another country that is contiguous with this state.
(2) A citizen of Canada may carry or possess any firearm so long as he or she possesses:
(a) Valid documentation as required for entry into the United States;

These stipulations do not apply to concealed carry for which a permit is required. Still, it is easier for a Canadian to legally purchase a pistol in Washington than it is for a resident of NY to purchase a pistol in his own state.

Update: It is easier than you think to track someone via GPS. For $25 you can purchase this tracker.


McGonagall said...

"The Innocence Project, has now had some 100 death sentences overturned based upon post-conviction evidence. According to their study of the first 70 cases reversed:

* Over 30 of them involved prosecutorial misconduct.
* Over 30 of them involved police misconduct which led to wrongful convictions.
* Approximately 15 of them involved false witness testimony.
* 34% of the police misconduct cases involved suppression of exculpatory evidence. 11% involved evidence fabrication.
* 37% of the prosecutorial misconduct cases involved suppression of exculpatroy evidence. 25% involved knowing use of false testimony."

sig94 said...

McG - and that is why we have an appeals process. But I am still disappointed in your penchant for liberal agenda driven organizations such as your Innocence Project.

"CHICAGO — For months, Northwestern University and one of its most high-profile faculty members, David Protess, stood united against Cook County prosecutors who sought student documents related to the Medill Innocence Project's investigation of convicted murderer Anthony McKinney.

But under the weight of growing criticism and national media attention, the alliance between University and professor began to show signs of strain. That strain was laid bare in October when the two sides hired separate lawyers. The University reconsidered its opposition to the records request while Protess, the project's director, maintained that no documents should be turned over to prosecutors."

or this:
"In the days after Northwestern officials removed Medill Prof. David Protess as the professor of his popular Investigative Journalism course last month, members of the NU community demanded an explanation.

The University delivered one Wednesday, accusing the 29-year professor of lying and doctoring emails to avoid turning over documents to prosecutors who had accused Protess and his students of crossing ethical boundaries in investigating the murder conviction of Anthony McKinney.

"In sum, Protess knowingly misrepresented the facts and his actions to the University, its attorneys and the dean of Medill on many documented occasions," University spokesman Al Cubbage wrote in a statement distributed after a Medill faculty meeting in which University Provost Dan Linzer and Medill Dean John Lavine released the findings of a review of the high-profile professor.

The five-month review, which centered on examinations of the hard drives of Protess's work and private computers, "uncovered considerable evidence" of misleading and altered e-mail messages, according to Cubbage's statement."

sig94 said...

McG - There appears to be more than one Innocence Project. The one you site was co-founded by Berry Sheck - one of the lying POS lawyers that got OJ off the hook for playing slice and dice with his ex-wife and a waiter. I imagine those victims are also in your dossier while OJ searching the golf courses fo the world for their killers? Ooops, OJ is right where he doesn't belong - in jail instead of feeding worms like his two victims.

Technicalities and jury grand standing do not an exoneration make.

Andy said...

If ever a murder conviction warranted the ultimate penalty, this one would qualify. It appears to have been premeditated to the 'enth degree, and "Malice" was present.
There are those who might say with gobsmacked sensibilities, Deacon, how can you being clergy support the death penalty? The death penalty has been the Judeo-Christian response to the willful and malicious taking of another life.
The condemned should be afforded the opportunity for mercy in the next life through repentance or confession/absolution before they Render unto Caesar their life in exchange for their crime. This is a far greater act of mercy than the condemned likely rendered to their victim. But hey, we're civilized, 'eh?

Woodsterman (Odie) said...

If you need me I'll be in Washington.

McGonagall said...

Sig - I would support the death penalty when the guilt is obvious and there are no mitigating circumstances. Unfortunately, there are too many cases in the US where folks have been wrongfully convicted for me to trust that only the guilty ever get the chop.

However, I live in a country that doesn't have the death penalty and that's alright by me. Unfortunately, there are too many cases in Canada where cold blooded murderers get "life" which = 8 - 25 years.

McGonagall said...

Denmark, Britain Seek to Halt Use of Drugs on U.S. Death-Row Prison

sig94 said...

McG - the DNA story, which even yet is still unfolding, is that except for a rape/sodomy - it is not exculpatory. There is usually other evidence that indicates the guilt/innocence of the defendent. For the Innocence Project to come up with those numbers is very misleading because they do not indicate those retired and convicted.

Canada may be very different, and I suspect it is, but in the US the rules of evidence can vary greatly from state to state. I have worked with prosecutors from other states and they can't get over how skewed the NY laws regarding evidence are in favor of the defendent. NY's laws are far more restrictive than the US Constitution; for this reason we will have the US Attorney's Office "adopt" a case in order to have evidence introduced in federal court that would have beem thrown out by a liberal NY judge. We do this primarily for gang prosecutions and narcotics.

I believe that the death penalty should always be in play, we can use it as leverage in weaker cases.

McG - if you only knew what we go through trying to get these murderous SOB's off the streets. The victims, witnesses and suspects are all interchangable acts in Hell's three ring circus. In the ghetto is it considered proper form to not cooperate with the police. You could be shot in front of an after hours joint where 100 witnesses watch you bleed out (and it has happened) and not a one will give a statement. Half of them are on parole and the other half are there for the entertainment of watching you die. The inner city is such a complete disaster...

sig94 said...

Andy - I like Romans 13:3-4
3. For rulers are not a terror to good conduct, but to bad. Would you have no fear of him who is in authority? Then do what is good, and you will receive his approval,
4. for he is God's servant for your good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for he does not bear the sword in vain; he is the servant of God to execute his wrath on the wrongdoer.

The governor doth not store the Juice O'Death in vain.

sig94 said...

Odie - keep in touch and stay away from interns.

Doom said...

So many parts of this story are, in a word, insane. Men and women meeting total strangers through electronic medium. They know nothing about each other, they have no friends or family in common, they do not even know if the other is actually male or female. That is crazy.

Then there is the gun purchase situation. Actually, I cannot buy guns in a shall issue state, while I could in a state that did not have a shall issue requirement. I am working on that, but... Oh, and I have a .45 and .22 pistol, an AK-47, two .22 rifles, and a shotgun currently. Huh? Yeah. But I would like a hunting rifle for dear and elk. I would also like to buy a smaller .357 as a more sure backup hunting pistol (wheel guns just work). I probably would already have had at least the rifle but Iowa, the state I am from, did not allow dear hunting with anything but a shotgun. And yet a Canadian can come in and just buy a pistol? Then again, I am an enemy of the state, being a disabled vet and all.

And, finally, that any state surrenders it's ability to give ultimate punishment for ultimate crime. It knows, due to the expenses of keeping elderly prisoners, that many of those will eventually be released, onto the public dole as well. Beyond denying justice they are also creating a double financial burden on the people who endured the lack of justice.

When is it time to give up? To realize one lives in a world too stupid to fight for and too dangerous to even think about messing with? Find a hole, protect that hole as well as possible, and pray that when God burns the world, the fire will either be mercifully quick or will spare those who attempt to abide His truths.

sig94 said...

McG - I read that article. It is unfortunate that those countries are trying to influence our criminal justice system because it will only force those states that do have the death penalty to return to other forms of execution. Utah still has the firing squad as an option. I don't think I'd like to see the electric chair back in use - maybe I was influenced by "The Green Mile."

I would support a return to hanging though. Long drop of course.

For your perusal: the US Army has a set of procedures for military executions.

By all means read section g!
Execution by Musketry.
b. Commands for the execution will, when practical, be given by a combination of manual and oral signals as prescribed.

(1)When the officer charged with the execution raises the right arm vertically overhead, palm forward, fingers extended and joined, the execution party will come to the "Ready" position as prescribed for firing a volley, and will unlock rifles.
(2)When the officer charged with the execution lowers his arm to a horizontal position in front of his body, the execution party will take the position of "Aim."
(3)When the officer charged with the execution drops his arm directly to his side and orally commands: FIRE, the execution party will fire simultaneously.
(4)The officer charged with the execution will then bring the execution party to "Order Arms."

c.When the use of manual signals is not practical, the following oral commands are prescribed :
(1)At the command READY, the execution party will take that position and unlock rifles.
(2)At the command AIM, the execution party will take that position with rifles aimed at target on the prisoner's body.
(3)At the command FIRE, the execution party will fire simul taneously.

d. The officer charged with the execution will join the medical officer who will examine the prisoner and, if necessary, direct that the "coup de grace" be administered. Should the medical officer SO decide, the sergeant of the execution party will administer the "coup de grace," with a hand weapon, holding the muzzle just above the ear and one foot from the skull.

e.Under exceptional circumstances, the officer charged with the execution, with the permission of the commanding officer, may detail an extra file of six men to administer the "coup de grace." This file will form the rear rank of the execution party, and if it is necessary to administer the "coup de grace," will move in front of the execution party and fire, at the command of the officer charged with the execution.

f.Upon pronouncement of the death of the prisoner by the medical officer, the execution party will proceed to the racks from which the rifles were originally obtained, and replace the rifles in the racks at random. The execution party will then be dismissed.

g.The escort, with the band playing a lively air, will return to their parade ground and be dismissed.

sig94 said...

McG - sorry, I meant "retried," given a new trial.

WoFat said...

In EVERY case where the Death Penalty has been applied, the rate of recidivism has been ZERO. If it works, don't knock it.

sig94 said...

Doom - Look at the number of Americans that voted for a President that they knew nothing about - everything about him is sealed from examination.

The newer generations have accepted the electronic media without question. They get their history from the telly and Oliver Stone movies, they get their morals from sitcoms and sex education from pornography. They do not interact personally but via the internet.

sig94 said...

WoFat. There is a new Pew research paper on recidivism that just came out.

Across the nation, 4 out of 10 parolees land back in prison within 3 years.

States that are working to reduce recidivism have experienced some success, especially Oregon, Kansas and Michigan. I serve on a county task force that also works to successfully reintegrate parolees and help them avoid reoffending. Approx. 85% of all NYS parolees have substance abuse issues. As many as 12% have serious mental health issues that require medication.

Teresa said...

The death penalty should be reserved for the most heinous of crimes. In addition whether the crime was premeditated or not should come into play when deciding the criminal's punishment. The death penalty is a needed deterrent. This particular case is an example of why the death penalty is needed.

Rhod said...

The death penalty is an act of revenge, as all criminal penalties are acts of revenge. They should be; if not, all sentences are unjust because they don't express society's outrage.

Anonymous said...

Possession is not the same as purchase. He could not have legally purchased the firearm in the USA without a Resident Alien card. You must be a citizen or legal resident. Visitors cannot purchase guns in the USA.

Anonymous said...

Sorry, let me slightly modify my post. You need some sort of proof of 90 day residency in the state, such as utility bills, etc. Either way it was fraud when he filled out the paperwork at the store.