In a message dated 6/2/01 4:58:52 PM Central Daylight Time, writes:

<< Subj: 
Date: 6/2/01 4:58:52 PM Central Daylight Time
From: (Len DiSanza)

Dear Mr. WorldPeace,
I would suggest reconsidering the manner in which you present your position on Capital Punishment before you get any further into your campaign. 
First, you suggest that the death penalty is a deterrent to crime.>>
Yes, I believe that it is.

<< However, considering that statistics consistently show that areas without the death penalty have lower violent crime rates than those areas with the death penalty; and that no area which has repealed the death penalty has seen any significant increase in crime, I do not feel that this is a valid suggestion.>>
I would have to see the specific reports that you are referring to. As a lawyer I see expert witnesses in the court house swearing to mutually exclusive data all the time. I would need to see the reports and evaluate them based on who compiled them.

<<Secondly, I would like to comment on the following sentence, "John does not believe in expending large sums of the state's budget to keep condemned murderous sociopaths that can never be reintegrated into society caged up in solitary confinement for the rest of their natural lives." This statement exerts that you have no idea what you are talking about, considering that to put a criminal (or someone accused of being a criminal) to death in Texas costs multiple times more money than it would to keep them in jail for life.>.
Again I would have to see the reports. I understand that it takes about $40,000 per year to keep an inmate on death row. That's a lot of money.

<<In fact, if we were to eliminate capital punishment, we would free up millions of dollars in our budget to put into programs that actually prevent crime- such as hiring more police officers for problem areas or better educating Texas students.>>
I do not know where the savings would be if we end capital punishment. It seems that it would be cheaper to go ahead and execute those whose crimes a judge or jury determined should be put to death. There is no upkeep for the dead.

<< I find it most disturbing that you refer to these people as "sociopaths": I cannot tell whether you mean to demean them to the status of some type of inhuman monsters or if you are admitting that any person who commits these crimes actually are mentally ill->>
It is a generic term I use for all convicts. The broadest definition of mentally ill would encompass all criminal behavior. So everyone who committed a crime would be classified mentally ill. That would not make any sense.

<< and that if we were to put the effort into it we may be able to help these people recover.>>
generally the citizens of this state do not care about rehabilitation, they just want the criminals off the streets.

I believe that corporations should be encouraged to set up factories in the prisons which would allow the prisoners to work. And if they did not want to work, then they should be confined in their cells while the other prisoners were at work. I feel that a portion of the income these prisoners earn should then be given to their victims. This presumes that someone willl not raise the 14th Amendment which prohibits involuntary servitude. All in all there are no easy answers.

<< Further more, obviously if these people (yes people, not condemned murderous monsters) are mentally ill than committing the crime was not consiously their decision and therefor it is sick and inhumane to kill them for such. >>
Again if
all those who commit crimes are by their criminal acts considered mentally ill, then no one could be held responsible for their actions.

I am a criminal attorney and I know something that you may not know. Some people are evil and cannot be changed. If they are let out of jail they will commit crimes. Many criminals are offered probation as opposed to going to jail. There are some who reject it because they know they are going to go right back to their criminal ways. If they are on probation and commit a crime then they are brought before the judge who sentences them and they are subject to being given the maximum sentence. So these convicts take straight jail time because they know they are going to rape, rob and kill when they get out. It comes down to doing less time if they reject probation. Believe it or not there are professional criminals out there.

I also know criminals who would never say a curse word but would rape you in a minute. I know some who are model parents but get up every morning and break into houses. I know some who are extremely intelligent and politically informed but if given the chance will sexually assault children.

In the final analysis, there are some people who need to be put to death because they have no inhabitions about killing another human being. There is no point in keeping these people alive if the judge or jury determines that they should be put to death.

And lastly, the reality is that we are all condemned to death by our biology. So what we are really talking about here is taking a few decades off someone's life. Now if we all were physically immortal, then I would have rethink my position. So when someone commits a murder, they simultaneously make the choice to leave this reality just a little sooner that they would have probably left it.

John WorldPeace

June 2, 2001