Column 15

I wanted to continue talking about what happens in the courts and come of the other related matters in a death penalty trial, but instead, I need to touch on a couple of other things, this time. Normally, I would ignore what has been happening, but when it starts to affect people who are supportive of me, believe in fairness and the right to free speech, I feel I should make a few comments about that. If you have read some of the other columns I’ve written, you will remember that I have mentioned these so called, "Victims’ Rights Groups", a number of times. These are those groups that front for various police and prosecutor organizations.

First of all, these groups only use the issue of victims’ rights as a vehicle to advance their own agenda. They are more interested in chipping away at the constitution, then they are in protecting it. In fact, the American constitution was written to protect America, and Americans, from these kinds of people, the very people who claim that they need to change it in order to make America safe for all Americans. These people use fear, propaganda and lies to advance their agenda, while they are telling you they are doing it for your own good. They claim that all you have to do is give up some of your constitutional rights and it will make you safer. But who is going to protect you from these people who think the only laws and protections there should be, are what they deem there should be? I’m not sure of the exact quotation, but one of the original people who signed our constitution said something like, "Anyone that would give up freedom for security, deserves neither."

I’m sure that many of you have heard of the numerous cases of people, here in America, that have been found to be innocent, after spending years and years in prison. Some have been on Death Row, others serving life (or lengthy) sentences. I think that most reasonable people would agree, these people are as much the victim as anyone these victims’ rights groups claim to represent. Oddly, these groups never gave a bit of support for those poor people who have lost a good portion of their lives for something they didn’t do. I remember hearing about this one poor man who was convicted for a rape that he didn’t commit and spent, I think, over ten years in prison. (This was a California case from the San Diego courts.) Well, after spending all that time in prison, he was finally proven to be innocent and released. I saw an interview with this man, some time after he had gotten out, and he was asked how he was doing. He stated that he had to move to another part of the country and even then, he couldn’t get a job because of this time he spent in prison and he said that it was the victims’ rights groups that were the reason for that. You would think these victims’ rights groups would do all they could for this man, and try to correct a horrible injustice. But you don’t see these groups there to help the people who have wrongly spent all those years in prison, or on death row. To the contrary, if these groups have their way, those men that were on death row would have been executed long before it was learned that they had been innocent.

Another factor that I wonder about is if these groups really cared about victims, then why do they want to create more victims? You never hear them talk about the families and loved ones of the people who are executed. After all, aren’t those people innocent victims as well? Or is it okay to create more victims, as long as it doesn’t affect the so called victims’ rights groups? Or is it that they don’t consider the families and loved ones of those executed as human beings? Or what about the future victims there will inevitably be, when people who have spent years and years in prison with no rehabilitation or help, are then tossed back onto the street when their time is up? Almost always in much worse shape than when they went to prison. If these groups really cared about victims, they would be doing everything in their power to insure that when somebody gets out of prison, they are a much better person than when they were put there.

At the start of this, I mentioned friends and people that are supportive of me. Some victim's rights groups have been harrassing and threatening them because they helped me to put these columns on the WWW. Normally, I don’t pay attention to the antics of these kinds of people, but when they begin a campaign of harassment and make threats to the people who help me to post these columns, and don’t believe in the freedom of speech, it must be because they feel threatened by what I write. After all, the truth will win out over lies, propaganda and misinformation every time. I have gone out of my way to be as truthful as I can in what I write, but I don’t think they can make the same claim.

One thing before I go. I have received a few comments about how I have started to wander from what I had said I would write about, that I am now writing about the courts, instead of death row. If you read the first column that I wrote, I stated that I planned to write about the justice system, not just about death row. On the other hand, I have gotten a lot of positive feedback from people who say they have learned a lot about the way a death penalty case is tried and want to hear more about that. So I will continue in the next column. I also plan to reply to more of the letters I have received, so if you have any comments, questions, or suggestions, feel free to send them to me at the snail mail address at the bottom of this page . .

I want to thank all of you who have been full of encouragement and support. I have received some inquiries about how a person can get more information, or get involved in the Death Penalty issue. There are numerous organizations that you can write to and support. (See the links.) In California, there is an organization called Death Penalty Focus. It is a group that does very good work in fighting against the death penalty. If you want to check out their site, the URL is (http://www.deathpenalty.org/). The director is Lance Lindsey, or you could address the inquiries to Morgen Jahnke. This is a group that does a lot of legitimate work to abolish the death penalty and deserves any support that you can give to them. I hope that you will all get involved and contribute to the effort to do away with the death penalty.

Take Care,