The Death Penalty & Appeals

Death row should be renamed “appeal row.”

The U.S. justice system is a mess. People can keep appealing decision. People can appeal and appeal and appeal. This is not a legal system at all. If a judge makes a decision, why in America can the decision be appealed time after time and again. People on death row are still appealing decisions. This makes zero sense to me. This is costly for taxpayers, as most people use a public defender.

Isn’t a decision by a judge a decision?

I thought a decision was a decision and is a decision!

What does the U.S. legal system think a decision means? Do they have a different meaning than what is in Webster’s Dictionary?

Background: Judge decided in my favor in a domestic relations dispute. However, an appeal has been filed. So, the issue goes on and on.

How is this a legal system, if a decision can be appealed for so many years? In America a decision can be appealed so many times, it makes the country broke, due to appealing of a judge and juries decision.

Why is the American legal system allowing so many appeals, when the decision has already been made?

Judges and juries have to make the decision. The decision needs to be upheld, unless there is brand new evidence to review. In my case, there is none. The appeal was filed with no new evidence. So, this wastes my time and money, when the judge already decided in my favor!

The American legal system is a “we shall take your taxes” system. The more appeals, the more public defenders, and more taxes paid to the government. The attorney also makes a ton of money from appeals.

My opinion, any decision by a judge or jury should be upheld, with no appeal, unless there is brand new evidence to the case.

Decision = Decision

True?

Appeal documents

The legal process in the U.S. is a joke. People can appeal a decision so many times, it wastes time and taxpayer dollars. My experience with the U.S. legal system, that is a joke.

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33 Comments

  1. Well, that is interesting.
    From what I’ve studied, the US’ Constitution in itself, the organic card of the whole country, is very very flexible, and changing. So, if the country’s very base is so adaptable, it wouldn’t surprise me if the legal system is like that too. I’m not saying it’s something bad, though, it’s one of the US’ characteristics.
    Nice post, as ever!

    Reply
    • @Mila – people who commit murder and are on death row file appeal after appeal, with taxpayer dollars. It’s crazy.

      Reply
      • But that’s one of the many ‘liberties’ the USA always talks about, isn’t it?
        If I was on death rowthere, I sure as hell would want to have as many tools to keep myself alive as I can find. But, for starters, I really don’t agree with death penalty -though that’s another subject.

        What I wanted to say with my previous comment, is that the US is, from it’s baseand founder stone, a country based on the adaptability of it’s norms and laws. Everything can change there. That’s why you have the RIGHT to appeal, to bet on the change of thought of the judge, or the jury.

        Here, you can appeal, but every appeal will take you to a higher level of the justice system. The last step is appealing to the Supreme Court -if they say no, then it’s no, cause they’re the final desition makers.

        Reply
        • @Mila – Well, here there are people that have committed some of the most violent and horrid crimes. They get to sit on appeal row…I mean death row for 10 or more years with 3 free meals a day, and a free roof over there heads. I am speaking of violent, serial killers and other evil deeds, that are so evil, the person should die ASAP. I am speaking of horrid crimes that are not imaginable and were on the FBI most wanted list.

          Maybe hanging should be brought back for people who commit crimes against children. Instead, they get 3 hot meals and a cot for 20 years, on appeal row.

          In my opinion all sex offenders should be castrated ASAP. Instead, they get out and commit more crime.

          Makes zero sense. Why do they let sex offenders out of prison so quickly?

          Makes zero sense to me.

          Reply
          • I think there’s never a good enough excuse to kill people. Nor do I think ‘evil’ people exist. Evil and good are two concepts invented by us humans to feel better about our actions. In the middle ages, being a jew was ‘evil’, and ‘deserved death’.
            I’m not saying what these people did isn’t HORRIBLE, nor do I think they should be left out free. But death penalty? That’s not what a ‘civilized socited’ would do, in my humble opinion.
            In Argentina, the people responsible for the genocides in the last dictatorships are getting life-long sentences. They’ll rot in jail, and I don’t think they deserve anything less.

            Reply
            • @Mila – well here if a person commits a horrible crime, that even other inmates find to be horrible, the inmates that are sentenced to life will kill that person.

              Example: if a person commits a crime against a child, most of the time, the other inmates (serving life) will kill that person.
              Reason is because the inmates know that person will appeal and keep appealing, getting 3 hots and a cot. The jailers often know this, and will “accidentally” not see the incident.

              Common occurrence in US. Even inmates will kill a person if the crime was horrible. Inmates also have a code they live by in the prisons. The lifers have a code. The jailers look the other way if it’s a crime against a cop or child. Cop killers are often killed in prison too, by other inmates. The cameras “accidentally malfunction.”

              This is an occurrence in prisons where there are many people serving life sentences because lifers have nothing to lose. A cop killers worst fear is going to prison. The boys in blue and jailers have an unspoken agreement with lifers. Jailers look the other way when people are killed in prison, if the crime was horrible, against a cop or a child.

              That’s America. The person will pay for the crime legally or illegally. Most of the time other criminals hurt or kill the offender. Even criminals (some) have A code of ethics they live by in prison.

              My source: Friend who is a prison guard, this is also on many documentaries and books about prison life.

              Reply
              • But that’s only because they’ve been taught that’s the way to deal with this people. If you were born in a country were death penalties didn’t exist, then you probably would think of it as something wrong.
                I sure do.
                And I cannot believe noone moves a finger for those crimes. Because yes, if you kill a person, even if it was a horrible person who did horrible deeds, IT’S STILL KILLING, and it’s a crime. Because he was STILL a PERSON. The ‘an eye for an eye’ policy prooved to be wrong and useless thousands of years ago, when it was first applied. Why are we still trying to be Amurabi?

                Reply
                • @Mila – Prison inmates here in America get favors in exchange for assisting jailers or police.

                  Example: Person kills cop. Person goes to prison. Cops friends who are judges and jailers spread the word. The word is already known when cop killer goes to prison on the first day…..Jailers then tell lifelong inmates what they want done to said cop killer…jailers offer favors in exchange for the killing…

                  The lifer kills the cop killer…all jailers look the other way. Cops, judges, and jailers of each county are all connected. The other inmates block cameras and crowd around so no one can see or get through to help said cop killer or person who hurts a child.

                  Incident is buried. No news, nothing…Commonplace in high security prisons.

                  Has been documented by prison inmates. Common knowledge here.
                  Example true story:
                  Folsom prison inmate killed:
                  :http://sacramento.cbslocal.com/2012/02/25/child-molester-killed-at-folsom-state-prison/

                  Reply
                • To add: Lifers meaning prisoners sentenced to life have been known to kill or severely hurt:
                  Police killers
                  Anyone who hurts children in any way
                  Terrorists

                  Not all, but some lifers. They are serving life, so what do they have to lose?

                  Lifers have a code of ethics, even though criminals.

                  Example True Story: http://sacramento.cbslocal.com/2012/02/25/child-molester-killed-at-folsom-state-prison/

                  Reply
                  • I don’t doubt they have a code of ethics. I can see it’s so twisted, that it allows them to kill a person because of what they did.
                    My point is, people are still people, no matter what they do. They are worse or better people, but there’s nothing you can do to keep you from being human.
                    So killing someone else, even if it’s legitimate revenge, or a punishment, is still a murder. And I don’t think societies should accept that.
                    That’s all.

                    Reply
                    • Well, I do see both sides. Killing is killing no matter what. I just try to put myself in the victim’s shoes, and then would feel differently. You are right. Killing is killing – no matter what.

  2. I totally agree with you! These people pn death row are a prime example as you stated, they manage to live for decades, only by constant appeals to decisions made by any judge or jury. It’s complete BS and needs to stop. Sorry this is happening to you. :(

    Reply
    • @John – some people have been on death row for 10 years. They should rename it “appeal row.” The only state that doesn’t waste money on death row inmates is Texas. Texas puts people to death and will not waste taxpayer money.

      Reply
      • that’s why they say “don’t mess with Texas”, right!

        Reply
        • @John – noone messes with Texas.

          My position on the death penalty is this: If one of my people were to be hurt or murdered by a criminal, I would want them to meet the same fate.

          An eye for an eye.

          A person can confess to a crime in America, and still file several appeals!

          Does that make sense? The appeal is mostly on taxpayers dime too via a public defender.

          Reply
          • No, it’s senseless. I am sick of seeing the crime in Detroit up here, yet these so and so’s get put in prison for life where they have food, shelter, a workout room, schooling, can have some manner of job inside the prison. It’s sickening. Yet, the families of the victim are left reeling in sorrow for life. That’s not punishment for the criminal, it’s punishment for those left behind, and a free life for the criminal. SICK!

            Reply
            • @ John – here, the prisons are so full, sex offenders serve as little as six months, while people who smoke maryjane for Cancer serve 2 years! I don’t smoke it, but still….

              I have a list of the sex offenders in my area. Kids cannot play outside.

              Why can’t they chemically castrate sex offenders, this used to be done in the old days (prof said) with a shot. Makes no sense!

              Sex offenders are the worst. Give them a shot that makes them have zero feelings in the genitals – there is such a shot. It was used decades ago, my philosophy prof said.

              How can a serious sex offender get out in six months, on house arrest? In my county, several rip off the tracking bracelet (ankle) and run. FBI trying to track.

              The sex offender penalties are low compared to other non-violent crimes.

              Are the lawmakers all high on cocaine?

              Reply
              • Wow, that’s horrible. There are several sex offenders in my immediate area too, even out in the sticks where I live. I have thought that the sex offenders should have mandatory removal, if you know what I mean. I used to smoke pot years ago, and have always believed it is less dangerous than booze but is illegal as it can’t be easily controlled as booze can. It’s a double standard. Locking people up for smokin’ is just stewpidd… And yes, the politicians are certainly smokin’ something!

                Reply
  3. As a person who is friends with a wrongly accused death row inmate, I am grateful for the appeals process in this respect. My friend was charged, tried, and convicted over twenty five years ago without any physical evidence demonstrated to corroborate the charge. He maintained his innocence throughout the lengthy appeals process and luckily was able to show that the DA’s office willfully concealed DNA evidence that eventually exonerated him. He was scheduled to be executed six months ago. I am thankful everyday that his life was spared. We are all human beings with flaws and imperfections which makes the appeals process (or something like it) necessary in this legal system. I acknowledge that the length of the process DOES cause untold stress to all parties involved including the victim and supporters, but if that process prevents even one life from being wrongly taken, then it is worth it to me. I feel that the true problem lies with the system itself, a system that encourages control over others and ultimate power while punishing unity and respect.

    I love that you courageously and passionately share your views with us. Great post!

    Reply
    • @wellcallmecrazy – Eye witness testimony should never be used to put any person on death row. People confuse events or faces in their mind. Guess, I am for the death penalty if it is any person that admits to hurting a child or any other sadistic crimes, that is proven by a) their admission of guilt b) enough DNA and other scientific evidence.

      See both arguments, guess if I were to put myself in a victims shoes, I would wish the person to receive the same punishment as they gave me during the crime(s). The US legal system is a failure…it doesn’t work properly, in my opinion.

      Sorry the legal system (which is a failure) did your friend that way, hope he sues the government.

      Reply
      • Eye for eye would be nice but it is inhumane. We’d be walking around looking at thieves with hands and fingers cut off and stuff like that. But in the case of a child crime or a rape or murder that can cause psychological problems on victims and their families for life, yes these criminals should be made to suffer equally and sometimes I think death lathe easy way out. Stick a SO, sex offender, in with the Aryans if he’s white and he’ll get that eye for an eye punishment. They call it snatch ghost.

        Reply
        • @Time Traveler – That is what I was trying to explain to readers…thank you. Here in America people who hurt children are usually killed or they will be hurt every single day in prison.
          The jailers turn their heads because, jailers hate inmates that have killed a cop or hurt a child, prisoners have their own code of ethics.

          So, a person who hurts a child in America will suffer the same fate as the child in prison – from other inmates.

          That is the code of inmates in American prisons.

          Time Traveler – you put in words what I was trying to explain. Thank you. :)

          The inmates at times provide more justice than the US legal system.

          Reply
  4. Everyone make some good points. I agree there are some people on death row who should not get the opportunity to appeal over and over again. However, there could be people who are innocent. Refusing to let them appeal is not only going to cause the loss of an innocent life but allows the real offender to go free.
    Living in England we don’t have capital punishment even though there are those who will argue for it. Some say with DNA testing and modern science there is less of a chance of convicting the wrong person but that doesn’t mean you can assume they get it right every time.
    Instead of capital punishment (there is never an excuse for killing) life imprisonment should mean life – not 20 years. I’m not sure how this works in America but in Britain life isn’t life. I’ve often wondered why it’s called life when it’s not.
    Very controversial post, well done for writing and posting it :D

    Reply
    • @mustudentstruggles – same in America, life doesn’t always mean life. Guess my thesis is an appeal should only be allowed with new evidence. People here can file appeals after pleading guilty. That makes zero sense.

      It also clogs up the entire legal system. Our legal system is so full of bogus appeals – with no new evidence.

      The massive amount of bogus appeals clogs up the system, and cost us taxpayers tons of money.

      How can a person file an appeal if they admitted to the crime?

      Zero sense to me…..

      Reply
  5. When concerning the death penalty their are automatic appeals, whether the inmate wants them or not. After the first round of appeals then the innate generally decides if he wants to follow through will more. Also the worst thing for the state is to put someone to death only to find out they were innocent. The first appeals serve a dual purpose. One to cover the states ass and to please the anti death penalty groups and lawyers.

    Nice post Liz

    Reply
    • @Time Traveler – thank you, your input on this subject is of great value. Thank you for clarifying more information on death row appeals. ;)

      Reply
  6. Here you go, Liz. It turned into an essay.
    Peace,
    Alexandria
    Our justice system is flawed. It was in its inception and remains so today. Our Founding Fathers knew this. However, though far from perfect, in its original form, it was one of the best out there. That said, I do believe it has beaten to death (pardon the pun) the notion of appeals. As citizens I believe the appeal process has worn us to a frazzle and is now in a state of abuse.
    With violent crime the criminal loses his life or his freedom. Perhaps by being granted his life through the appeals process he may seem to fare better. And yes, there are wrongful convictions, but very few. We don’t live in a perfect world. Which is worse—the injustice to the convicted or the victim’s family?
    There were very good reasons for the initial arrest and rights were read as soon as the arrest took place. Law enforcement doesn’t just go out and arrest without warrant. And warrants are not obtained without a serious violation of the law. A process has begun even before the arrest.
    Convictions are based on evidence and a conviction by jury is about as impartial as one can get. If the jury, a group of random citizens, who are screened to be unbiased, render a “guilty” verdict then the verdict should stand. The judge then sentences. If the criminal pleads guilty, then that should stand. The only appeal that should take place is if the victim’s family feels the sentence does not fit the crime. DNA and the new forensics have helped immensely and are being utilized. So for the future there will be fewer wrongful convictions.
    And capital punishment cannot be lumped into such muddled, generalized statements such as “Oh, I don’t believe it’s right to take another life.” This is where all the rabbit trails start. The right and wrong of killing in general is a totally separate philosophical discussion. What Liz is getting at here, and correct me if I’m wrong, is a discussion about “justice”. There has to be a deterrent and restitution for violent crime. Otherwise, society will gravitate to anarchy. In order for society to advance and have the freedom to become more civilized, violent crime must have a system of restitution.
    The more serious matter here is that the prisoner is one person who was arrested, tried, and convicted using a process that had justifiable reasons. The innocent victim is more than one person. It is a family, just living daily life, trying to to the best they can, and suddenly they have a violent disruption, perhaps having their family member or their child violated through murder or sexual assault. Having appropriate justice can never undo the crime, but does provide at least some measure of comfort.
    However, nothing can undo the living hell and terror that follows them all their days.

    Reply
    • @simply sage – love essays. your point of the thesis of my post is correct. Guess, was trying to say it vaguely as a post on the topic of how sex crimes in America are not punished effectively at all. If I would have written that post, most people cannot stand to read such things. People could barely stand to read the “Vlad the Impaler” post.
      It is hard for people to think about the horrific things that happen. Dr. Phil has done numerous shows on getting tougher on child crimes in America, but it still remains unchanged, at least in my state. The list for sex crimes against children is a mile long, and the criminals are out of jail, only being “monitored.” Well, most of the time, they just run way south and do it again.
      People who commit sex crimes often cannot be “fixed.” Some have, most cannot.
      The amount of people in America who commit crimes against children is staggering. A person would think that the lawmakers could go ahead and give the offenders a shot that makes them have zero sex drive. Anti-depressants tend to make people have no sex drive.
      Your essay is correct, I do not disagree with any of your points.

      My thoughts are if we were to hang someone in town square that commited a violent crime against a child, don’t think it would be such a huge, massive problem.

      People usually don’t even go to death row for molestation. The legal system and appeals in America is out of control. Don’t think if a person admits to the crime they should be able to file an appeal.

      Many women (or men) who are raped in the United States do not come forward, because they know that justice usually does not prevail. They know that the criminal will serve maybe 5 years or less, and could get out and find them and kill them for testifying against them. This is just disgraceful to me.

      People around the world must think, “America has the best legal system.” Well, we used to, before the new little loop holes in the law were found and used to set violent criminals free.

      Back in the old days, the law was the law, and there weren’t 20 years of appeal filings. I don’t understand why the legal system has changed so much in such a short time. Think I may just hop on over to Dr. Phil’s website, cause he was having petitions on his site for harsher crimes against sex offenders.

      Great essay, and killing is killing I agree. However,

      Killing + Killing = Killing or life without a chance of appeal or parole with DNA evidence or admittance of guilt (that’s what I think)

      Violent crimes against children = immediate death or life with chemical castration

      Hard to write about and for readers to read these comments, but this is a huge problem in the United States. When there are hundreds of child molesters living in just my County alone, think that’s a pretty big problem.

      Unless, someone has a better solution?

      Reply
      • Liz,
        You need to narrow another essay covering the child sex crimes. So vital for our times. These children are ruined for life and robbed of childhood. It’s a springboard for other crimes, branching into the horrid child sex trafficking taking place.
        I will respond to the issue of killing at another time. Day job awaits me today so I must go.
        I will admit the Vlad essay was hard to read but it is necessary read in a world of sugar-coated material.
        I’m trying to blend several types of “digestible” articles but I will have some truths that need to be addressed in the upcoming weeks. My guest author is contributing some articles. His work will only get better.
        Keep up the good, honest work.
        Peace,
        Alexandria

        Reply
        • @SimplySage – Well it’s just hard for me to research and read the information for such a post. Honestly, wouldn’t be able to look up the statistics for the report, without throwing up. Do not think myself or readers could handle the sad truth of how out of control the problem is in America. We have bad problems with human trafficking in the northern part of this state. I often will almost vomit when doing reports of that nature. Thank you, will do a report similar, but not on that exact topic – mind cant handle the stats or stomach. History doesn’t bother me, but the awful things happening today are sickening.

          Reply

Thank you for your opinion and feedback. I will visit your blog and comment. Have a wonderful day!

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