February 26, 2008

Last Word: Trial and error

Posted: 01:36 PM ET

NEW YORK – Yesterday, I mentioned that Charles Manson didn’t get the death penalty. To which, a couple of you pointed out that Manson’s jury did recommend death.


Jami Floyd gets the Last Word again.

And you're right. But before Manson could be executed the Supreme Court threw out the death penalty in California and everywhere else, sending the state legislators back to the drawing board to fashion capital punishment laws consistent with the Constitution.

So like I said, Charles Manson did not ultimately get the death penalty. And this semantic distinction misses the point, anyway. The point is that capital punishment is constitutionally problematic. That's why, this term, the U.S. Supreme Court is yet again considering whether we can kill people, this time by lethal injection.

The three-drug cocktail is preferred in most states and the only option for Bobby Cutts if he's sentenced to death. We've tried hanging, firing squad, and of course, “Old Sparky,” the electric chair. Lethal injection is supposed to be more humane. But maybe, after all this trial and error, we should ask ourselves whether there's any way to kill a person that is consistent with our values as Americans. That's the real question.

And the Last Word.

Jami Floyd, In Session anchor

Filed under: Death penalty

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Bill M, Dallas TX   February 26th, 2008 4:39 pm ET

It's wonderful to listen you bleeding heart liberals talk about criminals' rights to a painless execution. Who says that some pain or any pain constitutes cruel and unsual punishment? I think France got it right with the gullioutine method. I'd vote to bring it back to eliminate all this debate about suffering. It's interesting that I've never once heard Jamie Floyd support the death penalty no matter how heinous the crime. John Couey raped and buried alive his child victim. Joseph Duncan slaughtered an entire family then brutally raped, tortured, and killed a boy in front of his sister – and video taped it for his sick enjoyment. Yeah Jamie..let'sgive them all coloring books and therapy with probation. God knows we wouldn't want them to suffer or be held accountable for their crimes. Maybe if Jessica Lunsford or Dylan Groene were your child, you'd feel differently. I hope you never have to find out.

sylvia walters   February 26th, 2008 5:15 pm ET

I have always been a staunch supporter of the death penalty. That was before I started my Law education and I realize maybe it's not so black and white as I thought it was. As time passes and more people are exonerated from DNA testing I am sure we will discover innocent people that have died as well and that's the problem for me. The death penalty is a long drawn-out process filled with appeals and stays, if the defendant has a decent attorney and the Governor is in a good mood. My issue with it today is that I don't believe that Bobby Cutts committed a malicious act, it appears he went to far with the fight, his truest poor choices with Jessica's body, not thinking of saving Chloe's life,and his neglect of Blake is the thing that angers us the most! The death penalty is to be used as retribution and not revenge. Life in prison, to me would be the best thing for everyone, including both Cutts and Davis family members.

Kathie   February 26th, 2008 7:52 pm ET

Killing is killing . Whether it's legal or not . How does lowering
ourselves to a cold blooded killers level solve anything. Does
it end anyone who was killed suffering they experienced?
Killling for revenge or justice is still killing. Has executing
people put an end to killers? NO, it hasn't. Taking another's
life is still a sin whether it's done by the government or a

Bill Hilley   February 27th, 2008 12:41 pm ET

In the case of Mark Jenison I think once again the jury was able to hear information that painted a distasteful view of Mark. They played the affair up toward him and did not memtion her affair and spending the weekend with her children in the house. Another jury swayed by female bias.

Robyn Prewitt   January 12th, 2009 11:21 am ET

Humane? It always gets me when people say we should be humane in the way we treat prisoners and ultimately in the way we carry out the death penalty. Is it not an eye for an eye? Was the person who murdered someone being humane at the time? Or the person who beats the elderly humane? Sometimes we have to step aside and think about what were saying. A majority of the people on the earth are humane and would never murder or commit a crime and that is how we choose to live our lives. But for those who choose the wrong path I just don't see the thoughts behind "being humane". Let someone violently take your loved one.....your thoughts may change.

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