Opinion | The decision to seek the death penalty is the wrong one

Using the Atlanta spa shootings case to further entrench the death penalty in our nation and in our lives will only hurt us.

5/14/2021 12:17:00 AM

Opinion | chrisgeidner: The death penalty in America is both historically and presently a biased system, and using that punishment to prosecute bias-motivated crime only serves to root that biased system more deeply in our lives. - MSNBCDaily

Using the Atlanta spa shootings case to further entrench the death penalty in our nation and in our lives will only hurt us.

, “Since the death penalty resumed in 1977, 295 Black defendants were executed for killing a white victim, but only 21 white defendants were executed for the killing of a Black victim even though Black people are disproportionately the victims of crime.”

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When Willis was running to serve as Fulton County’s prosecutor in 2020, she made clear that she saw significant problems with the death penalty, telling the Georgia Justice Reform Partnership that sheopposed the death penalty, saying at one forum that “life without parole is an appropriate remedy” and that she “cannot foresee a case” in which the death penalty would be appropriate.

Less than a year later, having won election to the office, Willis has she found such a situation in the Long case.March 20, 202102:07The desire of many prosecutors to seek harsh sentences is a well-documented problem. The practice can be coercive, forcing people to plead guilty in circumstances where they would ordinarily go to trial to take the most significant charges off the table. The practice has thrown fuel on the fire of mass incarceration, filling our prisons with an increasingly aging population. headtopics.com

But here, in a case where charges of hate-motivated violence are also at issue, the practice is particularly ill-suited: The death penalty in America is both historically and presently a biased system, and using that most extreme punishment to prosecute bias-motivated crime only serves to root that biased system more deeply in our lives.

More than a decade ago, this question played out on a national stage. The 1998 killings of Matthew Shepard, a gay student in Laramie, Wyoming, who was left for dead in a remote part of town after a severe beating, and of James Byrd Jr., a Black man dragged to his death behind a pickup truck in Jasper, Texas, were motivating factors behind legislation enhancing federal hate crimes penalties.

Using this case to further entrench the death penalty in our nation and in our lives does not — and cannot — advance those goals.After the legislation passed the House in the first year of Barack Obama’s presidency, it faced opposition in the Senate and then an amendment from a senator strongly opposed to the legislation. The amendment sought to add the death penalty as a possible enhancement for certain hate crimes, and it was proposed by then-Sen. Jeff Sessions, R-Ala.

Even then, when the death penalty was more frequently used across the nation than it is today, the response from groups supporting the legislation was clear: No. The amendment was considereda “poison pill” amendmentfrom Sessions that would hurt its chances of passage. headtopics.com

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A leading advocacy organization that backed the bill, the Leadership Conference on Civil Rights (now the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights), organized a letter “strongly" opposing Sessions’ amendment. Among the signatories were the NAACP and leading LGBT groups backing the legislation, including the Human Rights Campaign and the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force Action Fund.

March 22, 202103:04“The [Hate Crimes Prevention Act] was first introduced in 1997, but no version of the bill has ever included the death penalty. Senate and House sponsors of the bill and the very broad coalition of supporters have always opposed adding the death penalty to this legislation,” the

groups wrote. “Supporters of the HCPA should oppose this amendment. The death penalty is irreversible and highly controversial — with significant doubts about its deterrent effect and clear evidence of disproportionate application against poor people. Moreover, there are serious, well-documented concerns about unequal and racially biased application of the death penalty.”

Although the amendment was included in the Senate version of the bill, the groups continued to press for the provision’s removal and it was later removed in House-Senate negotiations over the legislation. The legislation was signed into law by Obama in late 2009 with no death penalty provision. headtopics.com

Now, more than a decade later, Willis is facing a similar question in Atlanta that federal lawmakers and advocates had to face in 2010: Should the death penalty be the response to bias-motivated violence?The answer now should be the same as they concluded then: no.

The March 16 spa shootings must be prosecuted, accountability for the killings must be sought, and the effect of bias in the attacks must be addressed. But using this case to further entrench the death penalty in our nation and in our lives does not — and cannot — advance those goals.

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Chris Geidner Read more: MSNBC »

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chrisgeidner Daily Research proves the D-penalty does nothing to stop Murder from occurring. More Murders world wide today than ever. I like to imagine them sitting in a small single cell......rotting. And hope they live long....rotting. chrisgeidner Daily I believe in the death penalty. However, it has to be stopped. The entire justice system needs to be reformed. Prosecutors who withhold exculpatory evidence, etc and dishonest police officers must be held criminally liable

chrisgeidner Daily Some crimes deserve the possibility of the death penalty. chrisgeidner Daily Nah, this is a cut and dry case. Many eyewitnesses to the terror this man committed. Terrorists deserve the death penalty chrisgeidner Daily Getting rid of it would require a Constitutional amendment. chrisgeidner Daily GeorgeGascon LADAOffice racist system

chrisgeidner Daily Please get rid of the death penalty chrisgeidner Daily What? chrisgeidner Daily Um when you take a life your life is taken. Easy concept. Glad my state wiii has it chrisgeidner Daily MSNBC gives lip service to human rights issues (as edited by their CIA masters). However, MSNBC creates and orchestrates hit jobs on any politician who would change anything.

chrisgeidner Daily No it's not. We should pay to keep these people alive in a cage absolutely not. These people cannot be integrated back into society and this advocating we should pay for their keep for the rest of their lives hell no.

Prosecutor Calls Atlanta Spa Shootings a Hate CrimeOne district attorney is trying to add additional hate crime penalties.

chrisgeidner Daily This may very well be, but I'm completely fine with mass murderers being put to death if it's proven by the evidence as a matter of fact that they committed the crime. Hard to sympathize with a monster. chrisgeidner Daily For all those who are new to this working from home Bitcoin trading options Here's a little tip: Get a trusted Bitcoin expert and stick to her MALYAROVALARA_ Invest and play at similar times each day. Because : In times of chaos, your investment is your anchor to success⚖️

Accused Atlanta Spa Shooter Indicted On 4 Murder ChargesProsecutors say they will also be seeking hate crime charges and the death penalty.

Fulton County District Attorney Plans To Seek Death Penalty Against Alleged Atlanta Spa ShooterJust less than two months after the shootings at three Metro Atlanta massage parlors that led to the death of eight people, 22-year-old alleged gunman Robert Aaron Long has been indicted by grand juries in both Fulton and Cherokee counties. On March 16th, Long allegedly drove to several different spas in the Atlanta area, shooting and killing eight massage workers and patrons, six of whom were Asian women. Long’s horrific killing spree specifically targeted Asian massage parlors, and after his arrest, he reportedly told police that he saw the massage parlors and the women who worked there as “a temptation... that he wanted to eliminate”—a motivation rooted in the long history of anti-Asian violence as well as anti-sex worker violence that specifically marginalizes Asian massage and sex workers.

Prosecutor seeks hate crime charges, death penalty in Atlanta spa shootingsNow this.... Wokeness strikes again. Pretty clear the dude was brainwashed with religious propaganda and this genuinely wasn't a hate crime. I'm not defending him. I'm just defending logic and common sense Ugh. My heart bleeds for all the pain.

Fulton County District Attorney plans to seek death penalty against Atlanta spa shooting suspectRobert Aaron Long, the suspect in the shootings that left eight people dead at three Atlanta-area Asian spas, has been indicted on murder charges, with prosecutors seeking the death penalty for hate crimes targeting the sex and race of the victims. Fuck the death penalty. Murder for murder. This is not ok, no matter who the person Stop cheering on somebody dying. Fuck the death penalty The Georgia Spa Shootings were shocking, but I was more shocked by their being spas in Georgia. You guys think they name the treatments racist things? The KuKluxKleanse® or the Confederate Flag Body Wrap® comedy georgiatech

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