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James Holmes (courtesy

Regular readers will know I’ve changed my views on capital punishment. When TTAG writer Jon Wayne Taylor – who watched an execution in Texas –  said “I’m not comfortable with our government executing Americans” I decided that capital punishment was a bad idea. The potential downside (opening the door to government homicide and genocide) is greater than the upside (punishment fitting the crime, closure for survivors). As a former supporter, I understand the frustration and outrage unleashed by the Aurora cinema killer’s life sentence. After all . . .

This is a man who killed 12 innocent people and injured (some permanently and grievously) 70 more. The toll included a pregnant mother who lost both her unborn child and her two-year-old daughter. I can’t think of a gruesome death that Holmes doesn’t deserve.

But again, society must protect itself both from wanton slaughter at the hands of cold-blooded killers and government tyranny. The latter protection is why we have a Constitutionally protected right to keep and bear arms – no matter how heinously some abuse that right. I’m not saying we should simply put up with Holmes or any of the other killers amongst us. I’m saying we must not forget one danger to eliminate or punish the other.

More than that, I believe Holmes was insane. As did the government, which forced the killer to take psychiatric drugs in prison, ostensibly to protect fellow inmates, but practically to make him appear sane during videotaped testimony and in court. The school Holmes attended also knew he was seriously mentally ill. They referred his case to a special commission set up to identify and deal with dangerously mentally ill students, that put him on probation. Led by a psychiatrist who had intimate knowledge of his the dangers of his condition (who reported him as a lethal threat to the campus police).

I don’t expect anyone to sympathize with Holmes, who was hospitalized after attempting suicide several times while in jail in November 2012. I don’t. There’s no doubt that Holmes was sane enough to meticulously plan mass murder and carry it out. And in no way am I a psychiatric or legal expert. Nor can I refute the argument that even if Holmes was insane, so what? He is responsible for his actions. But then so are we.

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  1. I understand where you’re coming from, especially taking family history into account. At the same time, the Constitution accepts capital punishment. For those who aren’t familiar, the Fifth Amendment includes these words- ‘nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law.’ With due process, taking the life of a person to answer for their crimes was understood to be one of the proper functions of government.

    Of course, this was at a time when the government was much closer to the people than it is today. Both smaller in scope and more likely to be made up of you and your neighbors. It could be said that due process of a citizen government and due process of a bureaucracy are two different things.

    • That last sentence sums it up perfectly. Due process in a bureaucracy is making sure the signatures on the right line, nothing more.

      • Anyone moronic enough to presently or formerly defer to George Will, a regime Presstitute, as the arbiter of principled fortitude should have their heads examined.

        Prager is another chickshit commie monkey faux intellectual for the lowest genetic common statist denominators, who deludes BigGovt is too evil (which it is) to interveintervene in our lives, apparently except when it comes to the most important moral question of all: life itself.

        Sure, Holmes should’ve been taken out, by one of his intended victims: would’ve surely saved the taxpayers plenty in cost of trial, and post forever incarceration fees.

        But tough shit: they had their chance, but decided it should be a gun free zone.

        As such, just as it’d be illegal and considered murder for a cop or anyone, even after a string of legit self defense lead volley, should they move to put two in the head into the formerly armed assailent, now disabled, is squirming and bleeding out, it’ll be legally considered murder, just because the burden of ex oost facto murder is dispersed among 12 jurors, does not change the act of murder, just because it’s been, like communism, popularly voted on to be sanctioned by govt terrorists.

        Plus, even on a practical level, were there ZERO mistakes made where GovtTerrorists tried/convicted and murdered a completely innocent person, it’d be one thing, but considering their rate of murderous mistakes? They don’t exactly have the credibility.

        Just as how one would never trust a convicted rapist/pedophile/killer, why should anyone trust govtterrorists, when they’ve done all that and more??

        And come the collectivist “a few apples” rationale: well, if they want to be treated as a collectivist collective, then they shouldn’t be surprised when people actually do trear them like one.


        Your life and personal security and that if your fellow American bretheren are too important to be left up to incompetent, repeat murderer/rapist/pedophile/torturer like govt terrorists.

        And, if you’re the neoKUNT Zionist 5th Columnist Infestation Invasion of Murica of Prager’s ilk? Just call your self a Soviet commie Trotskyite. ‘Cause that’s exactly what neoKUNT Prager actually is: Leo Straussian mutt.


    • The Constitution is not the end-all be-all of rights and related issues. It has been amended many times over the centuries specifically to include things that we have found from experience to have been missing. Ultimately, as a legal document, it’s certainly not something you should use to calibrate your moral compass.

      • “The Constitution is not the end-all be-all of rights and related issues.”
        -Yes it is. This is the Constitutional Republic, even if America resembles Communist states, which consist of made up fiat law to protect the government.

        “It has been amended many times over the centuries specifically to include things that we have found from experience to have been missing.”
        -Political dictates by professional politicians and ignorant statist constituents, are what have allowed our nation to become perverted into a lawless land, which is proven by some people being more equal in the law than others.

        “Ultimately, as a legal document, it’s certainly not something you should use to calibrate your moral compass.”
        -Who would ever want to associate with someone crazy enough to base their morals on following the law of the land, and who believe in equal justice and liberty for all citizens.

        • >> -Yes it is. This is the Constitutional Republic

          So? Law follows from morality and ethics, not the other way around.

          >> Political dictates by professional politicians and ignorant statist constituents, are what have allowed our nation to become perverted into a lawless land, which is proven by some people being more equal in the law than others.

          I’m not sure if this is just a bona fide non sequitur, or you’re seriously complaining about constitutional amendments. Would you prefer to go back to the 3/5 Compromise, maybe?

          >> Who would ever want to associate with someone crazy enough to base their morals on following the law of the land,

          Certainly not me. If you use the law to guide your morals, you are exactly like those people who worked in German concentration camps as supporting personnel, and then later said that they are innocent because the law said so.

      • “The Constitution is not the end-all be-all of rights and related issues.”

        But it sure beats all currently present alternatives.

        While complete, uncritical devotion to “The Constitution, The Whole Constitution and nothing but The Constitution” may be less that 100% optimal; it is a fixed point to rally around that, if achieved, would be at least as much of a triumph today, as it was when originally written.

    • This massacre in Aurora, unfortunately, has become a monthly, and sometimes weekly, event in the News.
      Do you feel safe even going to a movie theater?
      Justice is difficult when the defendant is mentally ill, as James Holmes certainly is. His bizarre appearance and his psychiatric record clearly demonstrate this. His behavior was illogical and served no purpose, different from someone who uses a weapon to rob a bank, or gain some other reinforcement for their violence. I have seen no evidence that this was a hate crime either. It appears this young man had grown delusional, his studies had fallen apart and his brain was not functioning.
      I empathize with the jurors trying to weigh all of the factors. It was surprising that they first said the mitigating factors did not outweigh the aggravating factors, but then refused to issue the death penalty. Whether we agree with him or not, the one juror who dissented displayed courage to be the hold out for what he saw would be an injustice to execute a seriously mentally ill man. Sadly, whatever the verdict, nothing can help the pain of the families that lost loved one.
      Some have said that if people could have guns in the theater, this massacre could have been stopped quickly.
      However, a similar event occurred in Louisiana which essentially has no gun restrictions for adults.. open carry , concealed, etc. I guess most people don’t want to have to be armed to see a movie.
      My heart goes out to the families of the victims as well as the Holmes family, and both the defense and prosecution teams for enduring this horrific event and trial. I pray that James Holmes receives psychiatric care and rehabilitation within the prison where he will spend his life. I would not be surprised if the attempts suicide.

      • Just because a state has less stringent gun control laws doesn’t automatically mean it will have higher crime rates. On the other hand, there are no guarantees that all the citizens of the same state will exercise their right to bear arms either. But the point is to have the option available, instead of having a monolithic, top down law that effects everyone except the criminally minded.

        Also, mind you, both theaters were declared no gun zones. I tend not to give my money to businesses that go out of their way to make me feel unwelcome when I conceal carry.

  2. The state should never have the power of life or death over the individual.

    Period. End of sentence.

    • There is no such thing as the “State.” We just have people doing things. We have people who call themselves “politicians” and we have other people (the people who make up society in general) who childishly believe that politicians are pseudo-parental figures in their lives.

      Saying the “State” executes people obfuscates the truth, people kill people.

      • In my mind, the State occurs when the bureaucracy gains so much mass and power that its inertia is difficult or impossible to stop by any action of the electorate. This usually happens with the consent of the people, but not always. Granted, the State is still made up of people, but it makes a difference when they no longer believe they are a part of The People.

        • What you wrote is certainly correct. But in the case of a death sentence, the decision is rendered by a jury, not the state. The jury (and I’ve been on two) is not the bureaucracy. And the jury has the power to say “no,” which it did in this case despite the will of the state demanding otherwise.

        • Ralph, but it is the state that has largely educated those in the jury, has informed them of the rules they must abide by as jury. The jury is not the state, but the state had its fingers in it.

        • @Marcus, if that state indoctrination was so powerful, why did Holmes get life instead of the needle?

          I’ve been on two juries. The jurors in both cases were as far from indoctrinated as a person could be.

    • If this were true, there would never be a lawful way to declare war.

      I am confounded by this post and thread. The paranoia regarding the state has lead to an abolishment of capital punishment? This is a twisted and perverted way of thinking that undermines justice. If you are so paranoid about state abuse, let’s just open the doors of the prisons and let everyone go.

      • The difference between life imprisonment and death is that you can let someone out of prison if new evidence exonerates them (and pay some restitution). This doesn’t make it perfectly OK, but it’s the best that can be done.

        But the death penalty is irreversible. If new evidence shows that someone was innocent, it’s too late: they’re dead. There have been countless cases where evidence was re-examined and/or witnesses changed their stories, but the person had already been executed.

  3. States have been executing convicts for hundreds of years and it hasn’t changed to mass executions or any type of genocide. There are innocents that are circumstantial and innocents that are framed. That won’t change.

    We do either need to move to life rather than death if we are not going to put a 2 year appeal limit on it because there is no longer a time connection between the criime and the consequences.

    I am not a bleeding heart but wasting millions on trials, publicity, and destruction of victims and families is a crime in itself.

    Personally, one of those military lasers should be converted to fit the prisoner’s exit door from the court room with instant justice and no remains to deal with.

    • It only costs millions because leftists have gamed the “justice” system and other leftists go along with the game to make it expensive. Worth every penny of my tax dollars.

      • So would it be fair if an innocent person gets executed for the prosecutor, jury, and judge to face capital punishment for their crime.

        If not, then I don’t see how anyone can support capital punishment.

        Capital punishment = the emotional issue for conservatives.

        • It’s called collateral damage. The chances of an innocent person being executed constitute an acceptable risk when weighed against the benefit of removing criminal scum from the gene pool.

        • “Innocents” die in even the most benign public policy….. raising the speed limit, how far trees are cut back from the roadside, reducing car safety to increase national fuel savings, etc. Why would the justice system be immune from errors?

          But let’s get to the core….if the evidence was overwhelming and backed up with DNA, a confession, and a willingness by the criminal….would you be OK with the death penalty then? Let me guess…No. So it’s not the chance for mistakes but you’re just against it.

  4. I’m not cool with the government executing Americans either. However JWT’s logic goes awry when it comes to capital punishment. The people are handing down the sentence not the government.

    The government is just the tool to carry out the will of the people in that case.

    • “I’m not cool with the government executing Americans either. However JWT’s logic goes awry when it comes to capital punishment.”

      Mr. Farago has based his opinions that the government shouldn’t kill people, on the opinion from a person that the government paid to kill people. Soldiers are payed by the government to kill people and nobody has a problem with that tax payer expense.

  5. I still love my idea of the Inmate Polar Bear Genital kicking contest at Dead Horse Alaska.
    Gladiatorial Inmate Combat with Roman weapons could be exciting as well if everyone dressed in period clothing and the buildings had a Roman Architecture about them.
    Either way…let the games begin!

      • Oh, the Romans did not think it cruel or unusual. Come to think of it, the Polar Bears would not think it cruel or unusual either. The Gladiatorial Games would just be letting the inmates exercise their rights and freedoms as rioters would in Baltimore. Just go out in the arena and do what you have always done best.

      • I find nothing cruel or unusual about sub-human scum being used to remove other sub-human scum from the planet. The fact that the method also has entertainment value is an additional bonus.

  6. He deserves to be executed.

    Not in any gruesome manner,mind. But the philosophical reason is simple. Society depends on most people following a rather basic series of rules. The Ten Commandments is a good reference but by no means is it the only one.
    People who don’t agree with the basic mores of don’t steal, don’t murder, don’t rape are threats to the security of the people who are part of the social construct.

    Someone who is OK with killing innocent people and does so to the extent Holmes did has exited the social contract, and as such deserves to be put down with a 12 gauge slug to the dome as anyone would a rabid animal.

  7. Having worked in a prison it boggles my mind when people say stuff about inmates having it good. No, no they don’t. It sucks. Full stop.

    All the crap you’ve seen in hollywood about prisons? In my expeerience the only truth is what happens to child molesters.

    Making the joker live in a box with all the depraved, twisted members of the criminal fraternity 24/7 is better than killing him. Way better. And the inmates may kill him, not humanely and certainly not after years of appeals and using the taxpayers dime to appeal a death sentence.

    • Yup. It’s not like he’s going to be at a minimum security prison. The remainder of his life is going to be an absolute hell and is probably a fate worse than death.

    • Yes! Just in case the atheists are right and there’s no afterlife, Holmes will have 50 to 60 years of prison hell.
      Personally, I’d rather be executed than spend the rest of my life in prison.

      • Bullsheet, he’ll be kicking back with three hots and a stack of the latest NYTimes best sellers.

        Who knows, the public may even pay for his transgender surgery if some year he decides he’s a she.

  8. Sorry RF-joker had enough mental acumen to plan,armor up, arm up and execute a mass murder spree. I don’t care how much $ is involved in appeal…I also think herr hitler was insane but richly deserving death. AND it was revealed to be one holdout against executing the poster boy for the death penalty. That being said-I’m way more upset over PP selling baby parts…or bodies.

    • The state should prosecute the jury member for perjury during pre-trial jury selection where they said they would be willing to render a death penalty sentence if the crime warranted it. The jury member gamed the system because they knew there are no repercussions. I want the state to prosecute the jury member even if they know they won’t succeed. Just bankrupt the person as a warning for future jury members to answer truthfully.

  9. In my mind there is no good reason for putting mental defectives to death. I can see few real reasons for going to the trouble and expense of execution: 1. deterrence of like minded people doing the same thing. 2. deterrence of people who get out of prison and go back and do it again. 3. Punishment for truly horrendous crimes.

    I do think illegal aliens who are convicted of murder should automatically get the death penalty. This serves as deterrence toward other countries who try do dump their worst citizens on us.

    • ‘In my mind there is no good reason for putting mental defectives to death.’

      I can think of one, it’s the humane thing to do. (See my Old Yeller defense of the death penalty below.)

      Also, I don’t think other countries (except Cuba) ‘dump’ their undesirables on us. If you’ve ever seen a western you’d know that whenever a cowboy became wanted they hightailed it down to Mexico. That logic works both ways. If you’re wanted by the Federalies it would make sense to skip the country.

    • A sense of justice for the surviving family members is a HUGE reason of why you should use the death penalty. That single reason by itself is good enough for me. And no, i don’t care if some family members don’t want a death penalty.

  10. I kinda sorta agree, but…

    I think that in cases like this there needs to be an alternative – no person who kills this man should be charged with a crime so long as no innocent bystanders are injured.

    Takes it out of the hands of the government.

  11. As imperfect as our adversarial legal system is (DAs are successful based on their convictions regardless of the truth, not on how frequently they arrive at the truth in a case), I cannot agree with capital punishment. One citizen erroneously executed by the government is one person too many.

    Put him in general population in a high security prison where he can be someone’s girlfriend for the rest of his life. Then have faith that God’s eternal judgment will be good enough.

    • Is living the rest of your life as your cell mate’s bitch really that much better than lethal injection?

        • Sorry, but wishing another person to be anally raped repeatedly for the rest of his life is more vindictive than wishing death upon another. What kind of life is an innocent man supposed to put together after 30 years of incarceration and being the victim of rape 10,000 times over when the DNA evidence surfaces?

    • >> where he can be someone’s girlfriend for the rest of his life.

      The idea that prison rape is acceptable as a punishment is disgusting. Rape is evil, period. Even if its target is also evil, there’s nothing good or just about it, just like there’s nothing good or just about torture.

    • “One citizen erroneously executed by the government is one person too many.”

      That’s the kind of ‘logic’ the hoplophobes use to justify getting rid of the 2nd Amendment, “if one person is erroneously killed by a gun thats one person too many”.

      • That logic would be entirely correct if there were no benefits to derive from guns. But that’s not the case.

        OTOH, there are no benefits to derive from executions, other than satiating someone’s desire for vengeance (and even simply as entertainment for the mob). And that is not a good enough reason to pay with lives for.

        • You think there’s no benefit to the death penalty? How many repeat murderers return to prison, how often do they escape from prison? How many victims’ families or witnesses live in worry so long as their tormentor exists to possibly become free again? The death penalty is about finality, to remove a risk from society that has been judged irredeemable in the eyes of man. To keep them from doing more wrong in the eyes of God (or whatever morality you subscribe to). To be honest, the deterrent effect is negligible, since man has always killed man going back to the beginning and before that. But no one executed can reoffend, so if it is likely they will/would, there is no sane reason fof keeping them around. Their is no longer a moral obligation for us to look to their life, liberty, and property; we found through due process of law that they severed their contract with society which guarantees those benefits (others remain protected, but not all).

          • >> You think there’s no benefit to the death penalty? How many repeat murderers return to prison, how often do they escape from prison?

            I don’t know; do you? Let’s look at the numbers. And let’s compare them against the numbers of wrongly executed.

            • I think this debate has moved a bit from the death penalty for a mentally ill person to the death penalty in general. As you know, the death penalty is not often carried out and most people on death row die of natural causes and old age. While on death row, they have state paid attorneys and countless appeals that cost the taxpayer money.I would think that live in prison without parole would keep those people out of society. I don’t want to pay for special prison privileges for death row residents. CA has had the death penalty on hold for the last 9 years.

              This Holmes character just looks crazy to me. Bizarre hairstyle and facial expressions. I understand he has schizophrenia. I think I would also have trouble recommending the death penalty for someone like him, and can understand the jurors’ hesitance. They also need to sleep at night.

    • Occasionally ACTUAL murders are released back into society. Some of them commit new murders. There are hundreds of examples of this, if not thousands. The blood of all those innocents is on the heads of those who refuse to carry out justice the first time. Accidentally executing an innocent would be a tragedy, however we CANNOT be hamstrung by fear and fail to do the right thing.

      We can’t predict when someone will become a murderer. However when we KNOW someone is a murderer, why are we surprised when they do it again? Life has value, and taking a life intentionally should require the same as penalty.

      • >> Occasionally ACTUAL murders are released back into society. Some of them commit new murders. There are hundreds of examples of this, if not thousands. The blood of all those innocents is on the heads of those who refuse to carry out justice the first time.

        No, it’s on those who released them. The “right thing” here is to keep them locked up where they belong, for as long as we have any reason to believe that they’re still dangerous (and this should be the default assumption that they would have to disprove beyond a reasonable doubt).

  12. The potential downside (opening the door to government homicide and genocide)

    Opening the door? That door’s been wide open since the founding of the Republic. The government commits homicide every single day, and is no stranger to genocide either. Ask any Indian.

    You’re trying to shut the barn door after all the horses have run off — and they’re not coming back.

  13. Life in solitary confinement without out any chance of parole is the worst possible outcome for Holmes.

    Death is the easy way out. He has the possibility of 60 years or more in solitary confinement.

    • Sure…. that’s why virtually every criminal fights the death penalty all the way to the very end.
      You’re assertion is totally wrong and proven stupid every day in court.

    • And what other option is there?

      Look at the EU. There is no death penalty and jails have turned into holiday resorts and crimes rates are through the roof. Yeah, works really well. Not.

      • Crime rates for crimes that are actually punishable by death in US (e.g. murder) are lower on average in EU than in US. And in US, they’re higher in states that practice death penalty.

        • Murder rates are not higher in death penalty states because of the death penalty. States have the death penalty because of high murder rates.

          What you posted is the functional equivalent of stating that aspirin causes headaches.

        • I didn’t claim a causative link, merely pointed out that the person I was replying to is wrong. I don’t think there’s any meaningful link between death penalty (or lack of it) and crime rates, either way.

    • We shoot to stop an attacker, and so must society. The deterrent benefits are none; man will kill, regardless, same as always, when he thinks he can get away with it. But once caught, execution prevents any more crimes from the person.

  14. Personally, and I know I will be criticized, I wish some cop would have executed him on the spot!
    Unless I got my facts wrong, they caught him in the act.
    There’s no way “he didn’t do it” It’s a shame we had to spend all that money on the trial, and the incarceration which will now fallow. All that money which should have gone to the victims family’s has now gone down the drain.
    People like that (Holmes) should not be allowed to exist on this earth anymore. It would be nice if we could just send him off to a planet somewhere (alive), and be done with him for good!
    Then no one could say we “killed him”

    • @Gunr: 5th, 6th & 7th Amendments. We cannot pick which ones we want to enforce. They are all equally important to our freedom.

    • Due process does not allow for exceptions – the moment you say that someone doesn’t deserve it, you’re demolishing the entire construct in one go.

      (which is also why all those “anti-terrorist” measures circumventing it are despicable)

  15. I’m not against executions on principle, but I believe our criminal justice system has proven itself too incompetent to keep innocents off death row.

    • Your right about that, It’s the only justification I can see, for the long wait, till you get the dirt nap!

    • A very interesting read on that very subject:

      Note he mentions quite specifically one case in particular of an innocent person being executed and several others incarcerated for very long time periods before being exonerated.

      (Thanks to GayGunOwner for posting this link in the comments in an earlier article!)

    • @Cam, you might be correct, but in this case Holmes admitted that he killed 12 people and wounded 70 others. He is as far from innocent as any human being can be.

      • @Ralph – A lot of innocent people have confessed to crimes they didn’t commit. Check out the Innocence Project and you’ll see what I mean. (91 out of 330 overturned convictions involved false confessions.)

        I’m not saying that Holmes is innocent – just that your premise is invalid.

        • My premise is that Holmes murdered twelve people and shot seventy others. Do you really think that premise is invalid? Because if you do, all I have to say is “don’t Bogart that joint, my friend.”

        • I understand that sometimes innocent people confess but he has enough eye witness to satisfy me.

    • Innocents die in virtually every mundane public policy decision….such as raising the speed limit.

      • There is a difference between a very indirect causality chain that slightly raises or lowers the chance of someone’s death, and a very direct killing.

        • No, in fact if you raise speed limits you KNOW WITH CERTITUDE that it will cause deaths.

          You have no such certainty with implementing a death penalty policy, and every day the chance of a mistake is decreasing due to technology and video.

  16. Holmes should burn. Pure and simple. If you dont have the stomach for that, get back in the kitchen with the women.

    • Taking a break from ranting about gays to shilling for government-sanctioned killing, I see.

      How very Christian of you. 🙂

      • Guys, Colorado law was followed and one or more jurors decided to go for LIFE. Doesn’t really matter if we agree or not. Perhaps we should put our energy towards anything we can do to prevent this type of thing. Like they need metal detectors at movie theaters and locked doors to back entrances, etc. While I pray it will not happen again, we must be aware. We have to screen for mental illness to buy a gun.

  17. If there are more than two witnesses (which there are), then no matter the mental state of the perpetrator, the death penalty certainly applies. In the OT, once convicted, stoning to death by the townsfolk was the punishment. All the adult men were involved in the meting out of justice and no lone individual or small group had to be responsible/feel guilty that they were the one(s) that caused the murderer’s death. If we returned to smaller groups for local government then this would probably be more of a deterrent to potential murderers.

    • Witnesses? Really? We’ve seen how reliable witnesses are during the Officer Wilson debacle. There are literally thousands of examples of well meaning witnesses getting it completely.

  18. The government that can’t seem to deliver my mail in a timely fashion should never be allowed to kill it’s citizens.

    • I understand your concerns with the ineffectiveness of government however, we no longer have a justice system. we have a legal system and there is a world of difference between the two. This individual has proven beyond a shadow of a doubt he is evil and will never be a contributing member of society. He has been tried and convicted so why do people feel compelled to continue to pay to keep this evil, non contributing killer alive (under any conditions, good or bad)? Not to mention totally disregarding closure for the victim’s loved ones. Our society has abandoned justice and holding killers responsible for their actions!

      • The people, selected by the government, decide based on the information that they’re allowed to see by the government (which can and does deliberately exclude some evidence), testimony of government-appointed experts etc.

        Slavery was also good enough for the Founding Fathers. As was the notion that only white land-owning males were entitled to vote.

        • Land owners were the only people who paid taxes at the time, which is why they were tasked with selecting their representatives. We could do well to go back to that model today.

    • Where have you been? Since you last watched the news, mail has been privatized and the jury still decides who gets the death penalty, not the government.

      • It’s a prevarication to say the jury is solely responsible for the decision when the prosecutor excludes those in the jury pool who do not support the death penalty.

  19. Here’s an idea!
    When they catch someone in the act of mass murder, and there’s absolutely no doubt that he’s guilty, Forget the trial, put him in the can, then set up a fund raiser. Every body who bitches about the death penalty could donate their hard earned dollars to the fund.

    Then you could find out how much it takes to house him, feed him, and of course we can’t forget his health needs, especially after a few nights with 14″ Bubba.
    Let’s say that came to one thousand a month. If Ten thousand was donated, then we could keep him alive for ten months. When the funds run out, and nobody else wants to “give”, we turn him over to the survivors, and victims family.

  20. “I’m not comfortable with our government executing Americans” – As long as the decision requires a unanimous decision of 12 civilians, I see no problem with the ‘government’ carrying out a death sentence. If the government wants to go around executing innocent political dissenters they have the means to make those people just disappear. Leaving the decision up to a jury of civilians proves a lack of malicious intent.

    “I believe Holmes was insane.” – Of course he’s insane. So was Old Yeller. It wasn’t Old Yeller’s fault he had rabies, but he had to be put down. Keeping Old Yeller in a cage for him to die slowly would have been inhumane. I don’t think we should treat humans worse than animals.

    “I don’t expect anyone to sympathize with Holmes” – I do. I sympathize with Holmes in the same way I had sympathy for Old Yeller. That’s why I think the jury did him a disservice. Just because you may shed a tear and the loss of a human gone terribly wrong doesn’t mean that it’s not the humane thing to do. And yes, I cried when I saw Old Yeller. Well, I was 8 years old at the time, so maybe I was just up after my bed time, but I did cry.

  21. Okay, let’s not kill the bastard. Let’s see to it that he lives out his miserable life in prison the same way at least two of his victims are living theirs—in a wheelchair.

  22. I’m not going to try and articulate why but I do sympathize with Holmes. I see the look on his face
    when he is hearing the details of this horrible cowardly act and something tells me he’s as puzzled
    as the rest of us as to why someone would kill randomly like that. It’s the look on his face…I can’t
    help but feel sorry for him. I’m usually the first to say torture the sonofabi**h and then kill him.

    • Maybe you should have looked at the victims families faces instead…. you know the ones who have to face every day knowing that bastard is eating 3 hots a day while watching TV or reading his favorite books while their family member is rotting in a grave.

      • “doesky2 says:
        August 8, 2015 at 16:47
        Maybe you should have looked at the victims families faces instead…. you know the ones who have to face every day knowing that bastard is eating 3 hots a day while watching TV or reading his favorite books while their family member is rotting in a grave.”

        I certainly did see their faces and again this is inexcusable and horrific. That is why I can’t explain feeling somewhat sorry for Holmes. He was on such heavy meds in trial because they wanted him to appear more normal/sane. I think when he planned and executed this mass murder he was on autopilot so to speak. I think he tried to tell his shrink when he still had some control over his she would stop him.

  23. The main reason to put James Holmes to death is to prevent liberal politicians or their appointees from releasing him into society in the future. He will be a danger to a free and open society as long as he lives. Dangerous people like Holmes are granted sentence commutations and set free regularly. A situation like that happened here in Illinois recently. Joseph Bigsby shot a Chicago police officer to death in 1973. The officer was chasing him for an armed robbery. Bigsby was sentenced to 200 years in prison. Yet, the Illinois Prisoner Review board set him free in June saying he had served enough time. Liberals persuaded other board members to commute the sentence, essentially nullifying the court’s decision of a lengthy sentence. If Holmes is not put to death, he could be set free decades from now.

    • When Leftists achieve their total control then mass murders like the dude in Norway who killed 70+ people will be out in 20 years or so. Something like 3 months per victim.

      • Standard in Germany too. 25 years equals life there. High security lock up for very dangerous criminals after they served 25 has been canned by the EUSSR because it violates the human rights of… the criminals.

        An RAF terrorist, who had murdered 9 people, was in jail for 27. 3 years per murder. He’s free now. Thanks to the “humane penal system” that is plaguing many EU countries.

      • The way it works in Norway doesn’t mean that Breivik will be out in 20 years. What it means is that the longest period that they can sentence him to in one go is 20 years. But after that is done, he’s going back to the court again, and they’ll decide if he is safe to let go, or if he should be stuck there for another round. And they can repeat this pretty much indefinitely as needed.

        Effectively, this system does allow for life sentence, but requires that any such sentence be reviewed at least every 20 years. Which sounds quite reasonable to me.

  24. cases like this are the few instances i support the death penalty. no chance it wasn’t him. not like those horror stories you hear about guys who ended up on death row basically for being poor and/or black.

    This guy and he who shall not be named who shot up Tucson. just put em in the ground. no purpose keeping them alive.

    • >> cases like this are the few instances i support the death penalty. no chance it wasn’t him. not like those horror stories you hear about guys who ended up on death row basically for being poor and/or black.

      The problem with those other cases is that in them, prosecutors also successfully convince the jury that there was “no chance it wasn’t him”. And they can cherry-pick the evidence such that it appears to support their claims. If you’ve read on that kind of stuff, you know that whenever they cite people who were involved in making the decision originally, they all come across as being absolutely convinced that the person they were trying to kill off was guilty.

      While I agree that there’s no doubt about Holmes’ innocence in this case, I don’t want to make an exception and set a precedent that I know, based on evidence from the past, will eventually be used to justify a murder of an innocent person. Especially when, for all rational purposes (deterrent, public safety etc), life sentence is good enough.

  25. Holmes should have never made it out of the theater. He should have been put down by an armed citizen the second he leveled his rifle on innocent people.

  26. Even more than any philosophical consideration, with me, it is simply that once they are no longer a threat, any homicidal urge I acquire about such folks ends. Can’t say one ever killed a close family member though.

  27. If more people carried responsibly, this wouldn’t be an issue. But it only becomes an issue because no one was responsible in that theater that day… You don’t have to like it for it to be true. He’d be dead already, this wouldn’t be a debate, and fewer families would be lamenting that no matter what is done to him, it won’t bring them back.

    Self-solving problem. Reap what you sow, etc… Those who chose not to do something about it are the ones paying a price higher than he ever will. You can only kill him once, and that ends his suffering… Vengeance isn’t justice. No one served him better than those who let him do it.

    Blaming the victims? They wouldn’t be victims if they took responsibility for themselves and each other. Funny how collectivism doesn’t cover being your Brothers’ Keepers…

    Feeeeeelings… Frankly, I can relate to spree killers. I hate human society of any kind. But for the same reasons he’s better left alive to suffer, so are the trash of this world. To kill them is to end the consequences, and only a fool, or a crazy person, would put an end to that. For the suffering the human race causes me, I want the bastards to live a long, long time as the trash that they are.

    Go ahead and mourn your dead relatives. I’m glad you’re hurting. If you can’t learn from that, you can’t learn from anything. It’s fucked up, but it’s true and they brought it upon themselves…

  28. I’m truly disturbed by the stances that people are taking. The corrupt society that we live in is truly rubbing off on all who live within it.

    The Constitution of the United States accepts that a death penalty is a possible and fitting punishment in some cases.

    It is a foolish argument to say that “the state,” or “the government,” is taking the lives of Americans or that it opens the door to genocide. The penalty for those who are convicted in a jury trial is determined by the jury. If the jury didn’t believe that his actions warranted the death penalty, I would trust their judgment in most cases.

    However, in this case we have a man who (at a very critical time in U.S. history) armed himself excessively with the premeditated intention of killing as many Americans as he could. How many died? How many would have died if all had gone as he planned? Not only were many killed, injured, and terrorized, this man perpetuated a political agenda that is tearing at the fabric of the republic.

    This man should have been given the death penalty. Not because we are mad at him; not because we are making an example of him; but rather, because it was the fitting penalty for his actions. I, for one, have the balls to say it.

  29. F$&@ Holmes. I’d volunteer for his firing squad. I’ve seen Americans die right before my eyes, too. I’ve looked into their eyes and watched their pupils dilate as they went into the great beyond. He’s not an American, he’s a domestic terrorist POS. Due process was served, and juries are often the ones who decide innocence or guilt.

    Further, I care not one whit whether he was “insane” or not. He killed a whole bunch of innocent people and doesn’t deserve 3 hots and a cot for the rest of his life. At taxpayer expense. While other people in the world starve.

    I’d celebrate his death with a cigar and a scotch.

  30. So.. We’re not comfortable with the state having the power to kill someone, but we are comfortable with the state locking someone up in a tiny box for 40 years. Capital punishment is cruel and unusual and we should never do it, and anyways, locking someone in prison for the rest of their life sucks way worse, so it’s preferable. It costs millions to execute someone, so we should spend even more to imprison a maximum security inmate up for life.

    Why is everyone getting all tied up in knots over this? There’s no doubt in anyones mind that Holmes is batshit crazy, he killed a bunch of people, and he can never be trusted to be released back into society. There is no net benefit to society, to the victims, or to Holmes to allow him to live out the remainder of his days in prison. Refusing to execute him is about societies squeamishness over making an unpleasant decision, it has nothing to do with morality.

    • Indeed, like most modern liberal pet peeves, their objection to execution is riddled with contradiction. All they are really certain of, is that it makes them feel bad, so they invent reasons to oppose it.

  31. There is one good thing the Soviets did. A scumbag like him would have already been dealt with. Small caliber pistol to the back of the head. Done.

    Cheap. Efficient. Clean.

    Now he will live for decades, paid for by the tax payers, and given how the US is trying its hardest to become more and more like the EU, he WILL be out in 20+ years.

    Also government homicide and genocide? Government tyranny? What? What’s next? NWO? Black helicopters?

  32. What is insane us medicating him to make him appear sane for the sole purpose of spending taxpayers coin for the judicial coffers. And now life without parole, the correctional wing gets its payout as well. All glazed by one holdout of the jury. And a gracious thank you whispered by Holmes to his lawyer.

    It’s not about justice, it’s making your Castle play, collecting coin, and living your conscience.

  33. Capital punishment destroys the opportunity to learn and grow as better mental health understanding is discovered. I always refer to Ted Bundy. Who knows what understanding we may have lost. Who knows how many lives could be improved as understanding increases.

    The one place I find CP acceptable is with those who attack the US, e.g. the enemy/terrorist etc. These people are in no way insane and study will reveal nothing.

    • I’m completely comfortable with the loss of Ted Bundy and James Holmes. Nidal Hassan, too.

      • Death is too good for Nidal Hassan. Let him sit in his wheelchair and poop his diapers until Allah comes for him to give him his virgins.

  34. If the justice system was free of corruption and every judge had the proverbial wisdom of Solomon then capital punishment might be appropriate. But the justice system is rife with corruption and judges are not perfect, therefore capital punishment must not be used. The percentage of convictions that should never have been made is far too high to allow anyone to be put to death in our system or any countries system for that matter. Wrongful incarceration can be commuted, wrongful lethal injection cannot.
    Also, we don’t terminate the mentally ill. The vast majority, if not all mass murderers are insane. These days the majority of them go off the deep end under the influence of medication indiscriminately prescribed by doctors. And nobody of consequence seems to notice this. Zoloft is the most common anti-anxiety drug prescribed, and yet it is listed as one of the drugs that influenced the actions of many of the murderers caught in the last 30 years. But it continues to be handed out like candy to hundreds of thousands of new patients every year! And Zoloft is probably one of the least radical drugs. There are many that are much more devastating. Is the pharmaceutical lobby so influential that we cannot get a handle on this problem? Does anyone really think that banning guns anywhere is going to stop this kind of madness?

  35. What does it matter if he’s insane? He will never be nothing but a drain on society because he will have to be kept locked up for life. I don’t want one penny of my already wasted tax dollars going to keep this waste of life alive, sorry I need to save my compassion for those that can actually be saved and deserve it.

  36. I’ll have to disagree. The jury, not the government decides on the death penalty. The jury can decide not to execute or even not to convict regardless of what the government wants. The only thing the government does is carry on the decision of the jury. If you are worry of the government actually doing the execution, fine, just give the survivors and family members of the victims a loaded rifle, put the SOB against a wall and let them execute the bastard.

  37. I don’t have a problem with capital punishment specific cases. I do have a problem when it is only circumstantial evidence (even DNA). This case is certainly more than circumstantial. I don’t know about his mental fitness since I wasn’t privy to what the jury saw and heard.

    I am more concerned with RFs logic. Taken to the next level you could say lethal force is never justified even if defending yourself.

    I believe kidnapping is a serious crime (holding someone against their will) yet fully support jail time for criminals. Once is punishment, the other a crime. The rule of law makes the distinction.

    Making sure we have decent people in government is an endless task but one the constitution facilitates. Removing murderers from society should be a priority. When the death penalty fits, it is the only certain way. It should never be an easy decision but it should be an option for punishment.

  38. One of the concepts presented in Niven and Pournelle’s “Lucifer’s Hammer” is that we have the morality that we can afford. At the moment we can afford to keep Holmes fed and housed, but we can’t turn him loose. If ever we can not afford to keep him caged then he must be killed. There’s no two ways about it.

  39. If the choice was between life in prison for killers or the death penalty, I’d be more than happy to do away with the death penalty. Parole is the problem.

  40. Inmates try to kill themselves all over the USA. Why? Because putting a man in a cage indefinitely w/ no hope of getting out is worse than death. Lifetime incarceration sentences are immoral but more than that they create the illusion of safety – inmates can kill guards, other inmates, participate in murders outside prison walls, and escape. If you have the gall to put a man in a cage until he dies, then own your decision and just end the man (or woman) expeditiously.

  41. Society cannot tolerate a person like Mr. Holmes. There is no room for a person with his mental attitude. There are so many other problem the peoples of the earth are facing, to take time and money to deal with this ass hole.
    I’m with “El Bearsidente’ above. He has the solution, although many folks will disagree.
    He said, the soviets had a way of taking care of situations like this. Small caliber, one shot to the head. No more problem!

  42. The best reason to keep these people alive is so we can spend the rest of their lives watching them get older and more pathetic. In the meantime psychologists can poke at them and try to learn something useful. It’s the least glorious punishment we can give them.


  43. If you’re anti-capital punishment, but not a pacifist, then you’re probably just a racist. It’s OK to carpet bomb brown terrorists for their purported crimes against Americans, on the government’s say so, but not to execute a white convicted mass murderer.

    It’s your thing and I won’t hassle you about your hypocrisy. Still, is it absolutely necessary to lie?

    • >> If you’re anti-capital punishment, but not a pacifist, then you’re probably just a racist. It’s OK to carpet bomb brown terrorists for their purported crimes against Americans, on the government’s say so, but not to execute a white convicted mass murderer.

      The reason why we carpet-bomb the terrorists is not to punish them for their actions, but to prevent them from carrying them out further. Similarly, the reason why I want a soldier of my side to shoot (and possibly kill) the soldier of the other side, is to prevent that other soldier from occupying my home eventually. Like self-defense, the real goal there is to neutralize the threat, and lethal force is used simply because it’s most efficient by far, and any delays in applying them will potentially result in more harm.

      In contrast, once a terrorist or an enemy soldier is captured, there’s no imminent reason to kill them: so long as they remain in captivity, they cannot do harm. Same logic applies to criminals. It would be perfectly okay for a police officer, or any of the people in that movie theater, to shoot and kill Holmes while he was on a rampage, because they didn’t have the luxury of stopping and thinking up a non-lethal way to take him down, nor can they be expected to risk their life and limb for his sake. But once he is in a cell, keeping him in it is just as efficient at preventing him from doing further damage as killing him; and, on the other hand, in cases where guilt is disproved later, it allows us to at least partially reverse the sentence, unlike death penalty.

      Simply put, life sentence and death penalty are equivalent, except when it comes to innocents, in which case one allows partial correction of a judicial mistake, while the other one does not. Under the old legal maxim of “better that ten guilty persons escape than that one innocent suffer”, life sentence is therefore strictly preferable.

      The reason why we can’t make exceptions for “obviously guilty” cases like this one is that the moment you allow for them, they will inevitably be abused to pronounce someone “obviously guilty” who was not. It’s more reliable to just not execute.

  44. The Holmes Jury rejected the notion Holmes was “Not Guilty by reason of Insanity”, which requires them to find he was so mentally ill he “did not know right from wrong”, then they took the sentencing process through all three stages for the Death Penalty the State of Colorado has only to sentence him to Life in Prison without hope of Parole. I find this all too curious because their Guilty verdicts imply the Jury believed he knew what he was doing as he meticulously plotted his attack and carried it out. Their final sentences, however, imply that the Jury believed Holmes was sufficiently mentally ill that the Death Penalty was not justified.

    It would be interesting if any of those Jurors ever tells the rest of us what their line of reasoning was, and I can think of a host of questions and speculations, which I will not list here.

    I do not support the Death Penalty because it has not historically been proven to be an effective deterrent to crime and I join RF in being uncomfortable with the Polity being given permission to kill its own Citizens. We are experiencing a Nationwide conflagration over Police (Authorized Agents of the State) killing Citizens and their actions being found “justified” more often than not, so I cannot feel comfortable with encouraging or tacitly approving this behavior thereby possibly increasing its frequency.

    Further, a deeply cynical part of me believes none of our lives have any true value to the Government and all of us can be justified as “expendable” should our behavior come into sufficient conflict with the State’s sense of acceptable conduct. This gets demonstrated frequently and consistently every day on many levels.

  45. I’m against the death penalty, not only for the reasons Robert put forth, but also because I’m catholic. There’s no sin so great that God can’t forgive it. Moses, David, and Paul were all murderers (Paul was actually a mass murderer), after all.

    But, the more vindictive side of me also believes that the death penalty is to easy, too light a punishment for such sons of bitches. Let ’em rot for the rest of their miserable lives. Maybe they’ll eventually repent and God will forgive them. If so, good. If not, even better.

  46. In Roman times he would’ve been thrown into the Arena and died a gruesome death. Good ole days if you ask me.

    • Yeah man, sure was great when enemies of the state, slaves, or sometimes just the random unlucky person was thrown to the lions. Good times.

  47. If people stop ignoring their responsibility for their own personal safety the people can carry out the execution phase during the crime when it’s justifiable.

  48. I just don’t get it. You guys want to carry guns. I get it and I’m cool with that.

    And some of you are veterans, which means you have had to become comfortable with the idea of being taken around the world and placed in situation where you might have had to take lives in the name of the United States.

    But some of you, balk at the idea of permanently getting rid of someone who has done heinous crimes to American citizens, after a trial by jury.

    So those of you against capital punishment?

    Why the heck do you carry a gun?!

    It makes no sense!

    At some point 2A implies, taking a life. If you don’t get that and can’t live with that, stop carrying, because obviously you are unwilling and unable to pull the trigger, when the time comes.

    • @custodian
      “At some point 2A implies, taking a life. If you don’t get that and can’t live with that, stop carrying, because obviously you are unwilling and unable to pull the trigger, when the time comes”

      Well said post.
      Your quote is the difference between people that own guns, and supporters of the Second Amendment.

    • >> Why the heck do you carry a gun?! It makes no sense! At some point 2A implies, taking a life.

      2A (and specifically self-defense) implies taking a life in a situation where seconds matter, and a wrong decision will always cost someone’s life. Not so when executing someone who is already in custody. The obvious analogy is self-defense again: if you shoot a criminal while he’s trying to harm you, you’re in your right. But if they surrender to you, you cannot just shoot them, it won’t be self defense anymore because they’re no longer an immediate threat.

  49. It’s funny that people who believe in collateral damage wouldn’t say the same if it was one of their family members that had to be sacrificed at the alter of emotion.

  50. Two points:

    1. We do not have to be “comfortable with our government executing Americans.” In fact, we SHOULD not be comfortable with that. But that doesn’t mean it’s unnecessary or wrong.

    2. The attempt to equate capital punishment properly implemented under our system of justice with government tyranny is inexcusable.

  51. Libertarians and liberals are intellectually dishonest when it comes to the state killing people. President Clintons illegal war against Serbia killed thousands. War against Germany and Italy was ok? They did not attack pearl harbor. Japan did. Both Germany and Italy gassed civilians. The Japanese conducted biological warfare and gassed civilians. They conducted live desections on prisoners of war.

    I’m disappointed the Colorado theater shooter Will live to have sex in prison. Perhaps get married just like Charles Manson. The reporter interviews will be endless. This kind of pornography will be popular with some people.

    I want the Charleston church killer executed for his crime. I will come back to this web page and check for those who say a white who kills mostly whites should stay alive but a white who kills blacks should die.

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