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HOUSTON—In a hearing that’s being called the first of its kind in Texas, the death penalty is taking center stage in Houston Monday.

The hearing is part of the murder trial of John Edward Green Jr., who’s accused of shooting two Houston sisters during a robbery in June 2008. One of them died.

State District Judge Kevin Fine surprised many Texans last spring when he ruled the death penalty unconstitutional in the case of Green Jr. Following a torrent of criticism from Republican Gov. Rick Perry and other Texans, Fine clarified his ruling, saying the procedures the state follows in getting a death sentence are unconstitutional.

Houston resident Carolyn Hardin said she knows what it’s like to lose a loved one. Her son Steven was killed in April 1998.

"I miss him. I do. Every day of my life, I miss him," said Hardin.

The man who killed Hardin was sentenced to 10 years of probation, a punishment that has made Hardin doubt the justice system since.

"The justice system let me down like the justice system lets a lot of victims down," said Hardin.

Hardin said the hearing, which is set to start Monday in downtown Houston, has her interested.

During the hearing, anti-death penalty heavy-hitters like Barry Scheck of the Innocence Project will try and convince a judge that Texas has executed at least two innocent men.

"The only way to get to the bottom of whether or not innocent people are in prison and real assailants are on the street that can be identified and apprehended is to expeditiously find the evidence," said Scheck in a previous interview on the topic.

During the two-week hearing, Green’s attorneys will attempt to show flaws in confessions, eyewitness identification and forensic evidence that have led to previous wrongful convictions.

Green’s attorneys say the hearing is not about whether or not Texas should have a death penalty. Their claim is that the way it is done in Texas is simply unconstitutional.

Hardin hasn’t visited the courthouse for quite some time, but said she is tempted to stop in and listen to the case.

Most Texans consider the death penalty a fitting punishment for the worst kind of crimes, and Harris County has sent more inmates to the lethal-injection gurney than any other in Texas. But, anti-death penalty activists have created serious doubt recently about whether two men were wrongly executed.

Harris County prosecutors, who unsuccessfully tried to get Fine removed from the case, declined to comment before Monday’s hearing. But in a petition filed last month, they asked the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals to stop the hearing, saying Fine doesn’t have the authority to declare the state’s death penalty law unconstitutional and higher courts, including the U.S. Supreme Court, have previously rejected Eighth Amendment challenges to capital punishment.

Prosecutors said Fine has shown "antagonism against the death penalty," and a jury should decide Green’s fate.

The appeals court is dominated by Republicans and led by a chief judge who was disciplined for closing the court promptly at 5 p.m. while a death row inmate tried unsuccessfully to file an appeal hours before he was executed. But it denied the prosecution’s motion, saying it couldn’t act until Fine ruled.

Anti-death penalty groups have lauded Fine, while those in favor of capital punishment call him misguided.

"It’s appropriate that a Harris County judge is stepping up and saying we need to take a time out and look at the system," said Scott Cobb, president of the Texas Moratorium Network, a group that advocates for a suspension of executions in the state.

Harris County has sentenced 286 people to death since Texas resumed executions in 1982, and 115 of those have been executed.

Dudley Sharp, a death penalty expert from Houston who has worked with crime victims’ groups, described Fine as irresponsible and predicted that if he rules the death penalty is unconstitutional, the decision would likely be overturned on appeal.

"This is settled case law already," he said. "It’s just going to be a worldwide kangaroo court for the anti-death penalty folks."

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I am one of those Texans who thinks the death penalty is appropriate in the worst kinds of crimes. But I do want to be sure it is being administered properly and when there is no doubt about the guilt of the convicted. I think it's OK to take a look at how it's administered every now and then and make sure we are not misusing the punishment. I would rather err on the side of leniency than to execute an innocent person.
 

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I am one of those Texans who thinks the death penalty is appropriate in the worst kinds of crimes. But I do want to be sure it is being administered properly and when there is no doubt about the guilt of the convicted. I think it's OK to take a look at how it's administered every now and then and make sure we are not misusing the punishment. I would rather err on the side of leniency than to execute an innocent person.
:agree: I am glad this hearing is taking place in Houston and not Austin. I think it will get a more honest look at the process and provide possible needed changes. I will be interested in hearing how this concludes. I bet that if it is determined to be unconstitutional, it will be appealed quickly but with more stringent guidelines.
 

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I am one of those Texans who thinks the death penalty is appropriate in the worst kinds of crimes. But I do want to be sure it is being administered properly and when there is no doubt about the guilt of the convicted. I think it's OK to take a look at how it's administered every now and then and make sure we are not misusing the punishment. I would rather err on the side of leniency than to execute an innocent person.
:agree:Harris county! :thumbsup:As long as the person is guilty beyond a reasonable doubt, then kill them twice. I have no sympothy for criminals who do things like this. Let them meet thier maker.
 

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I am one of those Texans who thinks the death penalty is appropriate in the worst kinds of crimes. But I do want to be sure it is being administered properly and when there is no doubt about the guilt of the convicted. I think it's OK to take a look at how it's administered every now and then and make sure we are not misusing the punishment. I would rather err on the side of leniency than to execute an innocent person.
:thumbsup:

Yeah and some of these people's gene pools should not be allowed to continue

Remember: Many of these people had absolutely No Mercy for their Victims

SO I say: Lets have a Bar-B-Q:nuts:
 

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This will be interesting to follow.

I am against the death penalty. That does not mean I want support the worst of the worst's right to live out their sentence. It means that until we have a way to be 100% accurate guilty/innocent no one should be killed for fear of killing someone who is not evil to the core and is deserving of their life.
 

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So, you are not against the death penalty. Being against it would mean you are not for any person put to death... regardless how evil or the amount of evidence against them.

Why have this opinion for just the death penalty ? Why not for prison sentences, also ?
 

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So, you are not against the death penalty. Being against it would mean you are not for any person put to death... regardless how evil or the amount of evidence against them.

Why have this opinion for just the death penalty ? Why not for prison sentences, also ?
If a prison sentance is overturned the individual has only lost the years he/she was in prison. They can still live the rest of their life as a free person. If they are executed and then found to be innocent, well then its too late.
 

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Approx. 13000 people have been put to death by the state, since the inception of this great nation. One... has been proven beyond a reasonable doubt, to have been not guilty. One. Take a guess how they found him innocent of his crime... through DNA... he was found to have been raping and murdering a child in another state at the time.

40,000 await execution. It is no small feat to be sentenced to death. The circumstances have to heavily favored against you... and far beyond a reasonable doubt. Our system is the best at protecting freedom... even if we execute 50 people wrongly.
 

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A life sentence is cruel and unusual punishment... for the victims and taxpayers..

Kill em all, God will sort em.
 

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Yeah, And you know what really pisses me Off !

Is these guys Murder a little kid or torture a women to death and these Religious people come out of the Woodwork Screaming it's Immoral to take a life

Is your Pot Cracked errr what ?

Bon
 

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Yeah, And you know what really pisses me Off !

Is these guys Murder a little kid or torture a women to death and these Religious people come out of the Woodwork Screaming it's Immoral to take a life

Is your Pot Cracked errr what ?

Bon
Ummm, my experience has been that it's not the religious right that opposes capital punishment for the most part. It's the ACLU loving liberals who want to slap these criminals' wrists, give them some money, and send them on their way with well wishes and a stern warning. :crazy:
 

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Yeah, And you know what really pisses me Off !

Is these guys Murder a little kid or torture a women to death and these Religious people come out of the Woodwork Screaming it's Immoral to take a life

Is your Pot Cracked errr what ?

Bon
I am a Christian and some consider me very religious, but would I have no problem being on a jury that sentences someone to death for a crime that deserves it. I would also have no problem witnessing an execution of someone who beyond no doubt that is guilty of such a crime.

It is the ACLU that wants to free these criminals and disarm those of us who own weapons. I have never understood the logic behind that. :crazy:
 

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Civilized folks don't go out and kill each other.

If killing is bad why do we do it if there are other options?

cost? It's actually cheaper for a prisoner to live in prions for the rest of there life than to pay the legal fees needed to execute them.

Vengeance? The pain and suffering of their victims means nothing to a criminal because they are Insane! your feelings mean nothing to them, most people do not seek vengeance on the toaster that burned their finger because a toaster is a mindless machine vengeance would not do anyone good. The criminally insane can be dealt with less destructively with medicine and keeping them somewhere they can't hurt anyone.

Here is a point to consider, what is the purpose of the justice system? Is it to punish criminals for doing bad things? to contain bad people and keep them away from society or is it to try and correct bad people and make them not bad people?
 

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It's actually cheaper for a prisoner to live in prions for the rest of there life than to pay the legal fees needed to execute them.
Thats a good line right there. I hear that and the first thing that comes to mind is whos fault is that? Why in times where the economy sux are we allowing such a waste of resources?

In cases where its clear cut beyond a shadow of doubt guilty of serious crimes towards anyone Ill supply the bullets, the gun and we can really go to work on cost savings.

It doesn't matter if the toaster can feel pain or not. It is a proven hazard in its state and unrepairable. If it is unsafe and proven I dont keep it around just because its a toaster. I sure dont store it for 40yrs hoping its all good when I get it out. :crazy:

There are a lot of people out there that find it quite easy to not kill or rape innocent people. It seems to me you have to be quite a delinquent to get your self in a position that you would be looking at a death penalty in most cases anyway. Its not like most didn't have a chance to avoid being there in the first place.


The purpose of the justice system?
Is to help create a fair, just, and disciplined community.
 

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Civilized folks don't go out and kill each other.

If killing is bad why do we do it if there are other options?

cost? It's actually cheaper for a prisoner to live in prions for the rest of there life than to pay the legal fees needed to execute them.

Vengeance? The pain and suffering of their victims means nothing to a criminal because they are Insane! your feelings mean nothing to them, most people do not seek vengeance on the toaster that burned their finger because a toaster is a mindless machine vengeance would not do anyone good. The criminally insane can be dealt with less destructively with medicine and keeping them somewhere they can't hurt anyone.

Here is a point to consider, what is the purpose of the justice system? Is it to punish criminals for doing bad things? to contain bad people and keep them away from society or is it to try and correct bad people and make them not bad people?
Would you feel the same way if you saw someone brutally murder your family? You know he is guilty, would you want him to live for another 40 years on your tax dollars?
 

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NEW HAVEN -- He heard someone moaning, quietly, one floor up. He heard the intruder's voice answering, "Don't worry. It's going to be over in a couple of minutes." He heard what he described as an ominous "Pssssh. Pssssh. Pssssh" -- the sound, it turned out, of spraying gasoline.

Dr. William Petit, sole survivor of a Connecticut home invasion that left his wife and two girls slaughtered in his flame-engulfed home, took the stand this morning in the murder trial of the first of the crime's two alleged attackers.

He describing for the first time what he heard -- as he lay bound, sightless and helpless --of his family's nightmare of rape, arson and death.



Read more: http://www.nypost.com/p/news/local/...e_family_eWPz3N9foeiSbXiWwlizKJ#ixzz17RL9ZrvK

These are the ones who deserve to die a slow painful death. I would pay to watch the exicution while I eat popcorn and make bets as to when they would meet thier demise. Fook them.
 

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Approx. 13000 people have been put to death by the state, since the inception of this great nation. One... has been proven beyond a reasonable doubt, to have been not guilty. One. Take a guess how they found him innocent of his crime... through DNA... he was found to have been raping and murdering a child in another state at the time.

40,000 await execution. It is no small feat to be sentenced to death. The circumstances have to heavily favored against you... and far beyond a reasonable doubt. Our system is the best at protecting freedom... even if we execute 50 people wrongly.
You are very very wrong.

http://www.deathpenaltyinfo.org/innocence-and-death-penalty
 

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One... has been proven beyond a reasonable doubt, to have been not guilty. One.
How am I wrong ? I picked my wording very carefully. A change in a single piece of evidence is does not constitute "proof beyond a reasonable doubt" that he did not commit the crime. It only means -that piece of evidence was inadmissible. You do not get death for a single piece of evidence... it is an entire case against you... and for the vast majority, a long history of crime against humanity.
 

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Would you feel the same way if you saw someone brutally murder your family? You know he is guilty, would you want him to live for another 40 years on your tax dollars?
If someone killed my family of course I'd want them dead, I'm not going to lie to you and say that I'd be calm cool and collective and want to go with the logical and work on principle, I would not expect the victim of any crime to think such a way.

The rest of society that is not the victim is usually detached from the pain that comes with such losses, they are still thinking clearly and they have not been blinded with rage and hatred and can make more rational decisions.
 
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