Sunday, May 05, 2002

New York's Death Penalty is Under Attack

As the first execution since 1963 comes up for review, of course, the anti-death penalty people have mounted an effective argument
No. 1

Harris' lawyers challenged the fairness of the law, based on data that shows defendants upstate are more likely to face a capital trial than those downstate. Upstate counties have about 19 percent of all homicides but account for 61 percent of all death penalty prosecutions, the defense lawyers say.

But Harris was convicted in Brooklyn
No. 2

Another challenge involves the law's rules for jury selection. For death penalty cases, the law allows for screening out people who are philosophically opposed to capital punishment. Harris' lawyers argue that makes the jury pool biased toward death.

Was it used?, So what!
No. 3

One of the most simple and narrow issues the court could focus on is an incident in the jury room during Harris' case. During the penalty phase, a bailiff urged jurors to continue deliberations and avoid a deadlock, a move Harris' lawyers say pushed jurors toward a death sentence.

Or in other words, someone told them to hurry up, and that's why he got death. Nothing to do with the fact that he murdered three people in cold blood during a robbery, including stabbing a pregnant woman to death as she screamed for mercy. Face it, the real issue is that Harris is black, as if ultra high black crime rate should get you a free pass.