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June 3, 2011

"Dizzying Price for Seeking the Death Penalty"

The title of this post is the headline of this very interesting piece in today's New York Times.  Here are excerpts:

In the middle of February, 300 men and women of voting age answered a special summons for jury duty at the federal courthouse in Cadman Plaza in Brooklyn. They were ushered into a grand ceremonial courtroom to see if they might be candidates to serve as jurors in the case of the United States of America v. Vincent Basciano. His nom de mob is Vinny Gorgeous.

Over the next few days, an additional 800 people would be brought to the courtroom for the same purpose. Each was paid the ordinary juror fee of $40 for a day’s service. Multiplied by 1,100 people, the federal government paid $44,000 just to find people who might — possibly, maybe — end up as jurors in the Basciano case.

It was as much a bonfire of cash as a trial, consuming, by reasonable estimates, more than $10 million in public money for a single murder case. More than a year ago, the federal judge presiding over the case said it would be expensive and futile — that is, a waste of time and money — for the government to seek capital punishment for Mr. Basciano. Whatever happened in the trial, he would never leave prison alive.

As the judge, Nicholas G. Garaufis, pointed out in his letter, Mr. Basciano already was serving life without parole for other crimes “under extremely restrictive conditions in one of the nation’s most secure penal institutions.” The judge’s letter was received, to no apparent effect. The decision to go for the death penalty had been made by the Justice Department when George W. Bush was president, and ratified by the Obama administration.

The murder trial concerned the shooting, on the orders of Mr. Basciano, of another gangster who had run up many infractions of some code of good mobster behavior. In due course, after other mobsters testified against him, Mr. Basciano was found guilty. This week, the jury voted unanimously that he should serve life without parole.

It took them just two and a half hours to decide that he should not be executed. The jurors filled out an eight-page verdict sheet, and it is worth the attention of people in Washington who make decisions whether to seek the death penalty. The jurors’ decision was rooted in a sense of fairness: all 12 jurors, in deciding against capital punishment, noted that at least three other people had been directly involved in the same murder ordered by Mr. Basciano, and none of them faced execution. The victim was a violent criminal, a circumstance that contributed to his death. And Mr. Basciano would be in a federal “super-max” prison, confined to a cell for 23 hours a day. “The jurors were able to see this in two and a half hours,” said Richard Jasper, one of Mr. Basciano’s lawyers. “Some of the informants had murdered a whole football team of people. Why was Basciano death-penalty-worthy and these other characters weren’t? Because he didn’t cooperate?”...

The final bills for the defense have not been submitted, but as of April, they had reached $4.3 million. The trial transcript ran to more than 9,000 pages, and it was provided to lawyers every day.

The jury of 18 people, six of them alternates, sat through a trial that ran more than five weeks. They were taken out of their daily lives; in at least some cases, the businesses continued to pay their salaries.

How much did the case cost the government? It is safe to say that the four prosecutors on the case put in just as much time as the defense. They may not have been paid $187 an hour, but then again, their services are part of the overhead borne by the taxpayer. “We don’t prosecute cases based on what it costs,” said Robert Nardoza, a spokesman for the United States attorney’s office in Brooklyn. “We just don’t put a price tag on it.”

And we wonder why the US has a record debt!?!

June 3, 2011 at 10:34 AM | Permalink

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Comments

Doug --

"And we wonder why the US has a record debt!?!"

I realize you mean this to be hyperbole, but I register a dissent anyway. The price of the federal government's seeking the death penalty cannot possibly one one-thousandth of one percent of our record 14 trillion dollar debt.

We know where the problem is: entitlements. Yet the Senate, controlled you you-know-who, has not so much as produced a budget, much less a budget that makes any effort to contain entitlement spending.

(Actually, I need to amend that. The Senate did pass Obamacare, which is supposed to trim Medicare by 500 billion -- a cut the entire world knows is never going to happen).

But to return to this case for a moment, the government has a far better than usual chance to recoup the costs of the capital prosecution here, by asking the court to tack onto the fine an extra $4.3 million, or whatever the final tab turns out to be. I hear the mob business is quite lucrative.

Finally, I would note that just the DEFENSE tab for Timothy McVeigh exceeded 13 million. How many serious people would say that, oh, well, that's a lot of dough, maybe we should have just settled for a jail sentence?

Justice costs money. Whether its for California prisoners or for going hard after bloodsoaked killers, those are the facts of life.

Posted by: Bill Otis | Jun 3, 2011 1:15:15 PM

man what a sanctiminous IDIOT!

"“We don’t prosecute cases based on what it costs,” said Robert Nardoza, a spokesman for the United States attorney’s office in Brooklyn. “We just don’t put a price tag on it.”"

i think every dime should come from this idiot and his bosses.

talk about CRIMINAL STUPIDITY in govt!

Posted by: rodsmith | Jun 3, 2011 2:03:13 PM

The justice department's FY2010 total budget was about $30 billion.

Posted by: C | Jun 3, 2011 2:46:50 PM

LOL, I doubt that there is anyone who regularly reads this blog who expects anything less from Bill Otis than to defend the right of prosecutors to spend like a drunken sailor. That is, as long as it is OPM (specifically we taxpayers) and that they "get their man".

With his typical distractionary tactics, Bill attempts to diminish the outrageous expense of, sometimes, downright ridiculous prosecutions by saying compared to the national debt it is a drop in the bucket. Perhaps so but Bill seems to forget that, as Senator Everett Dirksen once said, "A billion here, a billion there, pretty soon, you're talking real money". It seems to me that when you have a 14 trillion dollar debt a cut is a cut and we should look to every opportunity. Do we need to cut entitlements? Absolutely and the sooner the better but any reduction of frivolous unnecessary expense is a step in the right direction.

As far as the suggestion to collect the cost from the "mob", good luck with that. Or have you identified who is holding the purse strings?

Speaking of expensive prosecutions, we now we have a full court press against John Edwards. Seems a US Attorney from the nowhere district of North Carolina has decided to advance his career by going after Edwards. Now don't get me wrong. I have no use for Edwards on any number of issues but here we have the typical US Attorney/Justice Department tactic of piling on as many charges as they can manufacture and hope something sticks. The indictment contained six felony counts, including the all encompassing and always in the top five on the hit parade, conspiracy. You could indict a mop for conspiracy. To top it off, the always popular "making false statements." Hey, they can lie their heads off with complete immunity. After all, as a government attorney recently said in a case before SCOTUS, "there is no freestanding constitutional right not to be framed." A prosecutor can lie but don't you try it. All pigs aren't created equal.

Any bets on how much this one will cost?

Posted by: Thomas | Jun 3, 2011 4:06:25 PM

I can only imagine the (justified) hue and cry if a Democratic-run DOJ took a pass on bringing a perfectly plausible indictment against the 2004 Democratic candidate for Vice President.

See also, http://www.crimeandconsequences.com/crimblog/2011/06/the-john-edwards-case.html

Posted by: Bill Otis | Jun 3, 2011 5:29:24 PM

Jumping on the bandwagon here ---

The post by Bill Otis is almost entirely inapposite.

The point is: Do we have extra tens of millions of dollars lying around that can be used for the noble and glorious purpose of seeking to impose the death penalty on the shot-caller in a mob hit who is already doing LWOP? Even if we were in good financial times, would such a money dump make any sense in the case of an individual who is never going to leave prison alive?

If the jury had voted for death, and the judge had imposed that sentence, how much more money would have been expended in Vinny Gorgeous' appeals and habeas challenges?

Regardless of one's views concerning the death penalty, it ought to be acknowledged that the costs of imposing the death penalty are staggering. LWOP is much, much, much cheaper.

Posted by: Janet Jade | Jun 3, 2011 5:42:13 PM

Janet Jade --

Let me ask you directly the question I posed in my "inapposite" post: Just the DEFENSE tab for Timothy McVeigh exceeded $13 million. How many serious people would say that, oh, well, that's a lot of dough, maybe we should have just settled for a jail sentence?

One other question if I might. I suspect you would oppose the death penalty if it cost ten cents. Is that correct?

Posted by: Bill Otis | Jun 3, 2011 6:49:37 PM

@Janet Jade
It's not nearly as cheap as you think. Costs comparing LWOP to the death penalty never take the full cost of LWOP into account. It's always the costs of housing, feeding and litigating the appeals of death row inmates vs the room and board of LWOP inmates. What about the other costs of inmates likely to spend 40 or more years in prison? At the very least, medical costs for these aging, unhealthy inmates is astronomically high. The last year of Susan Atkins life cost the state of California more than $1.5 million because of it was spent in a hospital.

Posted by: MikeinCT | Jun 3, 2011 7:32:09 PM

The costs of prosecuting and imprisoning the average capital defendant in California dwarf the average costs of prosecuting and imprisoning the average LWOP defendant in California.

Strangely, many prospective jurors think it’s cheaper to give someone a death sentence than an LWOP sentence. Apparently, they simply hear aberrational, anecdotal information like that imparted above by MikeinCT, and incorrectly believe it to be systematic.

Posted by: Calif. Capital Defense Atty. | Jun 3, 2011 8:34:57 PM

The death penalty should cost around $50,000 for 3 in the 123D count, preferably before 18, and the onset of the peak of the criminal's career. The rest of the cost is stealing by rent seeking by the lawyer profession. Upon conviction, the criminal should be taken to the basement of the court, and shot in the head. The criminal should have an opportunity to redeem his damage to the nation by signing an organ donor card after conviction. It does not matter if the third conviction is false, because we know this is a bad guy from 1 and 2 convictions for violent crime.

And, please, you lawyer traitors to our crime besieged nation. A mutual bar fight does not count as a violent crime, nor will frat boy roughhousing, nor domestic abuse or wife beating. Those were hardly crimes until the feminist lawyer took over our legal system. They are more like disturbing the peace than crimes. We are talking about crime that ruins our country, and the lives of minority populations, makes it impossible to function in large sections of urban areas, such as armed robbery, forcible rape, carjacking, murder of drug rivals. Economic crimes with damages coming close to the value of a single life should go into the count.

Under 123D, the utilitarian approach, the murderer could potentially go home. The shoplifter could be executed if he is really a drug kingpin known to have had many rivals killed, but no one is willing to testify out of fear. Say, we value life at $6 million, the computer virus maker has forfeited his life if it can be proven the damage done to others exceeded $6 million. Foreign ones can be tried in absentia after receiving adequate notice. And CIA hit squads or local contractors can kill the hacker. To deter. Such contracts could get legal immunity by treaty agreement between nations meeting our standards of proof in their trials.

Posted by: Supremacy Claus | Jun 3, 2011 9:02:40 PM

Would that liberals analyzed the costs of Obamacare with the same rigor applied to this prosecution.

Posted by: Anon | Jun 3, 2011 10:59:21 PM

Anon --

How true, but Obamacare was a payoff to Democratic constituencies, and this prosecution is not, so the former gets a pass on cost and the latter gets a microscope.

Posted by: Bill Otis | Jun 3, 2011 11:19:34 PM

@Calif. Capital Defense Atty
Perhaps you point to statistics that disprove my assertion? How much does it cost for the average lifer to get sick and die of natural causes? If they don't die expensive deaths in intensive care, how do they die?

Posted by: MikeinCT | Jun 4, 2011 1:05:50 AM

I see no economic analysis of the cost of handing over to a criminal an absolutely immune license to kill, maim, start fires, rape to the inmate with LWOP.

Posted by: Supremacy Claus | Jun 4, 2011 8:42:22 AM

Is the New York Times article a commentary on the death penalty in general or a commentary on this particular case? I think the latter. I see it as a commentary on the expenditure of more than $10 million in public money by the government with little to gain even if they won. I also see this article as an indictment, in general, of prosecutions brought by government lawyers in the interest of career building rather than any real interest in justice. The defendant in this case has already been effectively nullified. Would the public be better off if he were removed from the living? Probably so but is it worth $10 million to do so? Not if it is my money. Where is the gain to justify the expense?

In typical fashion, Bill seeks to distract by calling attention to the expense of the defense. He uses this same tactic when anyone brings up the matter of prosecutorial misconduct. Bill quickly attempts to distract by throwing out the standard "well, what about defense misconduct." For the record, that was a paraphrase, Bill not a direct quote. In all prosecutions, the prosecutor is spending the taxpayer's money. Can the same be said for the defense? Of course not but Bill would have you think so. I suspect that in the majority of cases, whether capitol offense or otherwise, the defendant bears the cost of his/her defense without taxpayer funding. Who will be paying the defense cost for John Edwards?

A simple question if you please. What is the primary trigger for a defense and the associated cost? If you answered "a prosecution" that is very good boys and girls. Without a prosecution, there is no need for any expenditure by the defense. A comparison between this case and the McVeigh case is, as the lady said, inapposite, or in simpler terms, a distraction by the master.

Is anyone saying that there should never be a death penalty prosecution? Yes, there are some but I am not one of them. A death penalty was absolutely the right call in the McVeigh case and there are many others where it is appropriate. Of course when those who do oppose the death penalty speak up Bill's standard reply is to paint them with the liberal brush and he counters support for reductions in unnecessary expense by saying that such reductions would be insignificant compared to reductions in entitlements. Again, I agree that entitlements must be brought under control but a comparison is apples and oranges. One has nothing to do with the other and any reduction in government expenditures is a good thing . Wasteful expenditures by career building prosecutors is a good place to start.

Posted by: Thomas | Jun 4, 2011 11:32:08 AM

Since when are conervatives opposed to a cost benefit analysis of a failed gov't experiment?

And completely off-topic, CBO scored Obamacare quite favorably esp. in regard to the then existing alternatives.

Posted by: Some guy | Jun 4, 2011 11:50:10 AM

"A simple question if you please. What is the primary trigger for a defense and the associated cost? If you answered "a prosecution" that is very good boys and girls."

Funny, I thought it was the defendant's commission of capital murder.

Posted by: David | Jun 4, 2011 11:56:16 AM

"Funny, I thought it was the defendant's commission of capital murder."

Then you would be wrong and murder is not funny. However, even the most egregious murder requires no expenditure for a defense if there is no prosecution. Not likely of course but......

Posted by: Thomas | Jun 4, 2011 1:04:22 PM

The death penalty is much more expensive than LWOP:

http://www.aclunc.org/issues/criminal_justice/death_penalty/frequently_asked_questions_about_the_costs_of_california's_death_penalty.shtml


http://www.nytimes.com/2009/09/28/opinion/28mon3.html

Posted by: Cali. Capital Defense Atty. | Jun 4, 2011 1:21:46 PM

@Calif Capital Defense Atty.
Do these studies take into account the medical costs of LWOP inmates or the cost of litigating the appeals of inmates serving LWOP?

Posted by: MikeinCT | Jun 4, 2011 7:20:32 PM

The entire death penalty appellate bar, including the judges, should bee arrested for stealing government funds. If they consumed over $6 million in tax funds, to protect murderers, they should be executed. The gall is unmitigated. They generate massive cost, then argue that the death penalty costs too much.

I would like to see a list made of these thieves. Then they should be shunned, boycotted by all service and product providers, because they are amoral, pro-murderer thieves.

Posted by: Supremacy Claus | Jun 4, 2011 11:19:04 PM

"...even the most egregious murder requires no expenditure for a defense if there is no prosecution. Not likely of course but......"

If there is no prosecution for the most egregious murder, then it's perfectly obvious -- or would be to most people -- that the prosecutor isn't spending ENOUGH money.

Any function of government costs money. Reasonable people can debate whether the prosecution strategy in a particular case is worth it. But complaints from those, like Janet Jade, who ALWAYS oppose the DP are just make-weight arguments.

What reasonable people cannot debate is that the entire sum of federal prosecution, public defender, and court services is dwarfed by entitlement spending, and that the latter, not the former, principally drives the national debt. The latter are also perfectly fair game for discussion when the entry here ends with the words, "And we wonder why the US has a record debt!?!"

Posted by: Bill Otis | Jun 5, 2011 10:04:46 AM

Thomas says: "I suspect that in the majority of cases, whether capitol offense or otherwise, the defendant bears the cost of his/her defense without taxpayer funding."

And in so saying, Thomas proves he knows nothing about the reality of criminal justice in the United States.

====

Posted by: your-reader | Jun 5, 2011 10:35:13 AM

"Thomas proves he knows nothing about the reality of criminal justice in the United States"

Suppose you tell me what the reality is then. Are you maintaining that the majority of defendants in this country are indigent and thus recipients of the services of public defenders at the taxpayer's expense as opposed to those who are required to pay for their own lawyer? Are you saying that there are more defense lawyers in the public defenders offices than in private practice? If that is your position, I would like to see some numbers to back it up.

Posted by: Thomas | Jun 5, 2011 11:20:12 AM

"If there is no prosecution for the most egregious murder, then it's perfectly obvious -- or would be to most people -- that the prosecutor isn't spending ENOUGH money."

Brilliant overstatement of the obvious. No one suggested differently and there is no objection to expenditures for legitimate prosecutions. But as for those brought by career building prosecutors only because the can and because they have unlimited tax dollars to do so, well.......that is another story.

Posted by: Thomas | Jun 5, 2011 11:53:19 AM

For brilliant overstatements of the obvious, it would be hard to outdo this: "...even the most egregious murder requires no expenditure for a defense if there is no prosecution." It was nonetheless put forward as if it were an insight.

I repeat something that should also be obvious: Every function of government costs money. Cost-based arguments from those, like Janet Jade, who would oppose the DP in every case, and if we could do it for ten cents, are throw-ins.

"...there is no objection to expenditures for legitimate prosecutions."

Then there should be no objection to the PROSECUTION here. Going for the DP in a mobster-offs-mobster case, by contrast, is difficult. But while I have been critical of Eric Holder's DOJ, I am unwilling breezily to presume bad faith "career building" on the part of people, in the US Attorney's Office and Main Justice, whom I don't know and have never met, and who are certain to have known more about the specific facts of this case than anyone commenting on this site.

Posted by: Bill Otis | Jun 5, 2011 12:58:43 PM

horse shit bill!

It would be diff if he was being picked up off the street and charged with murder! the prosecution would hold water then. But what they did was haul him from a prison where he's doing LIFE WITHOUT PAROLE!

sorry that makes it GOVT STUPIDITY IN ACTION!

my question is how much did that prosecution cost which is going to be upped with the new one.

Posted by: rodsmith | Jun 5, 2011 1:26:03 PM

rodsmith --

Where I come from, a person does not a 100% free pass for murder, whether or not he's already in jail or for how long.

Posted by: Bill Otis | Jun 5, 2011 1:43:55 PM

"For brilliant overstatements of the obvious, it would be hard to outdo this: "...even the most egregious murder requires no expenditure for a defense if there is no prosecution."

Of course it was an overstatement. How sharp of you to notice. Too bad you were not sharp enough to pick up on the fact that it was not "insight" but a purposefully overstated retort to a somewhat stupid statement implying that the actions of a defendant are the sole trigger for a defense.

"Then there should be no objection to the PROSECUTION here."

OK, one more time, read carefully, THERE IS NO OBJECTION TO THIS PROSECUTION. The objection is to pissing away $10 million of "we the people's" money trying to get a death penalty when the guy was already serving LWOP. What is the point, simply to kill him? Rod has it exactly right in saying that if it were a start from scratch prosecution then maybe it would make sense. He is also exactly right in saying that the way it was done "makes it GOVT STUPIDITY IN ACTION!"

"I am unwilling breezily to presume bad faith "career building"

I would never expect anything else, you are one of them, but some of us don't look at the world with blinders on.

Posted by: Thomas | Jun 5, 2011 1:51:50 PM

I am thrilled and excited to know that I'm "building my career" as a prosecutor now that I'm around 60 and 12 years removed from the US Attorney's Office.

On the other hand, there are some in the comments section for whom truth has always been optional, and, when caught lying, breezily chalk it up to just a little "overstatement" or to newly discovered irony that other readers -- inevitably not operating at their high level of intellect -- just didn't understand.

Posted by: Bill Otis | Jun 5, 2011 4:25:02 PM

And then there's this too. I have been quoted thusly: "I am unwilling breezily to presume bad faith 'career building'"

And it's true I said that. But the quotation is incomplete, and intentionally omits the ellipsis that would alert readers to this fact.

The rest of the sentence was: "...on the part of people, in the US Attorney's Office and Main Justice, whom I don't know and have never met, and who are certain to have known more about the specific facts of this case than anyone commenting on this site."

The reason most of the sentence was omitted was to set up the accusation that I have blinders on, whereas it is in fact the person making the accusation who is blind -- again, intentionally so -- to the more detailed knowledge of the case facts the prosecutors have.

Posted by: Bill Otis | Jun 5, 2011 4:49:10 PM

OK, here is the complete sentence. I am sorry a little paraphrasing was so hard to swallow.

"I am unwilling breezily to presume bad faith "career building" on the part of people, in the US Attorney's Office and Main Justice, whom I don't know and have never met, and who are certain to have known more about the specific facts of this case than anyone commenting on this site".

Now you have the complete statement and it changes my opinion not a whit. Say it any way you like but you are still one of them. I would never expect to hear you say one word against anything a prosecutor does, i.e. blinders on.

"I am thrilled and excited to know that I'm "building my career" as a prosecutor now that I'm around 60 and 12 years removed from the US Attorney's Office."

Excuse me, I'm not sure what age has to do with it but, if it matters, I have quite a few on you. However, just where did I say one word about "Bill Otis" building a career? Can't find it? Look some more Bill I'll wait. Still can't find it? Didn't think so but there again I expect nothing less from you than distractions from the real issue.

You accuse me of "intentional omissions." Did you "intentionally omit" any comment on the statement I made in response to your "Then there should be no objection to the PROSECUTION here" statement? Intentional or not here it for the second time. Now read carefully this time:
THERE IS NO OBJECTION TO THIS PROSECUTION. The objection is to pissing away $10 million of "we the people's" money trying to get a death penalty when the guy was already serving LWOP." Yes, I shortened the original a little for clarity. Hope you don't mind the "intentional omission."

There is no suggestion that this dirt bag get a free pass. There is no suggestion that he not be prosecuted at all. There is one hell of an objection to spending $10 million to kill him when he is already dead for all practical purposes. What else can you call it but a prosecutor trying to add a little "flash" to his resume'? Another LWOP sentence would be just as effective since he is already locked up. Can you show where it will approach anything like $10 mil to have him serve LWOP? If so, then I may be more receptive to the "kill him now" school of thought. I have said many times that I do not object to the death penalty in certain circumstances but I am not so blood thirsty as to see any gain by applying it here.

Posted by: Thomas | Jun 5, 2011 5:44:54 PM

your-reader --

Your implication that, in the majority of serious criminal cases in the United States, the defendant is represented by taxpayer-funded counsel, is right on the mark. I had thought this was pretty well known, but apparently not.

The most recent figures I was able to find are a bit old (late 1990's), but it's not going to have changed that much. Here they are:

By Caroline Wolf Harlow, Ph.D.
BJS [Bureau of Justice Statistics] Statistician

-----------------------------------------------------------------
Highlights

At felony case termination, court-appointed counsel represented 82% of State defendants in the 75 largest counties in 1996, and 66% of
Federal defendants in 1998.

Percent of defendants
Felons Misdemeanants
75 largest counties
Public defender 68.3% --
Assigned counsel 13.7 --
Private attorney 17.6 --
Self (pro se)/other 0.4 --

U.S. district courts
Federal Defender Organization 30.1%
Panel attorney 36.3
Private attorney 33.4
Self representation 0.3 38.4 ###

I apologize for not being able to get this formatted so that it's easy to read, but you can get the same data from PBS:


"In 1998, roughly 66 percent (two-thirds) of all federal felony defendants were represented by public defenders or other publicly funded counsel. At the county level, in 1996, 82 percent of felony defendants in the 75 most populous counties used public defenders."

http://www.pbs.org/kqed/presumedguilty/3.2.0.html


Thus, it is not merely a majority of felony defendants who use publicly funded counsel, but a huge majority, as you correctly suggested.

Posted by: Bill Otis | Jun 6, 2011 10:02:44 AM

Thomas stated: "There is one hell of an objection to spending $10 million to kill him when he is already dead for all practical purposes."

That is one he!! of a naive assumption. Not only is he not "already dead for all practical purposes," he will be able to run his crime syndicate from inside the walls in a manner that is just slightly less efficient.

You later say in the same post that you support the DP in some circumtances. What would those be? Assuming that your premise (someone is "already dead for all practical purposes" when incarcerated in the manner this Tony Soprano will be) is accurate, why would you not support their similar incarceration instead of the DP? What makes the cases that you support the DP so different than Tony Soprano's?

You stated: "There is no suggestion that this dirt bag get a free pass."

But isn't a "free pass" exactly what he is receiving? What additional punishment is a guy receiving with a LWOP sentence when he is already serving such a sentence? What are you going to do, run the second LWOP sentence consecutively?

You are doing the typical dance of the pablum spitter, spouting meaningless "tough talk" to pose as a "tough on crime" guy. The reality is likely opposite.

You state: "Another LWOP sentence would be just as effective since he is already locked up. Can you show where it will approach anything like $10 mil to have him serve LWOP?"

The entire premise of your posts is to not waste money on a DP prosecution, yet you are perfectly willing to waste money on a LWOP conviction that will not have him serve a single day more in prison. There is absolutely ZERO logical consistency in your position.

Posted by: TarlsQtr | Jun 6, 2011 10:18:41 AM

i agree tarlsqtr another LWOP trial and sentence is a waste of time. of couse so is the murder trial. once you give someone LWOP your done!

as for this!

"he will be able to run his crime syndicate from inside the walls in a manner that is just slightly less efficient."

if it's true someone needs to turn a few federal prison corrections officals and guards into PRISONERS!

the biggest point of any trial and coviction is to STOP any further criminal activity by the accused! LWOP has done that. Absent any NEW crimes IN THE PRISON sytem it's over!

now if he is accused and convicted of NEW CRIMES while in prison. DEATH is the only option as far as i'm concerned!

Posted by: rodsmith | Jun 6, 2011 2:42:47 PM

of course when i say NEW CRIMES i'm not talking about violating the prison rules. I"m talking about actions that done on the OUTSIDE would be a crime! Actions that effect the outside like your hypthecial "running his crime family" type of thing.

Posted by: rodsmith | Jun 6, 2011 2:44:13 PM

Speaking of pablum spitters:
"The entire premise of your posts is to not waste money on a DP prosecution, yet you are perfectly willing to waste money on a LWOP conviction that will not have him serve a single day more in prison. There is absolutely ZERO logical consistency in your position."

No logic? I beg to disagree. How logical is it that not one of you "kill him and damn the cost" folks has been able to identify in any way that spending $10 million to kill this guy is sensible and worth the money. Not one of you has shown where the gain is that justifies that kind of expenditure. I said he is effectively dead and he is if LWOP is administered, as it should be. I strongly agree with Rod that if he is "running" his business from prison there are some BOP folks that should be sharing a cell with him.

More pablum from TarlsQtr:
"The entire premise of your posts is to not waste money on a DP prosecution, yet you are perfectly willing to waste money on a LWOP conviction that will not have him serve a single day more in prison. There is absolutely ZERO logical consistency in your position."

No consistency? You just don't recognize it. The consistency is that getting another LWOP conviction would have, in all likely hood, been delivered with little if any notice and at minimal expense. Yes, in terms of "adding" punishment it is relatively meaningless but further insures that this guy will never see the light of day. You still have submitted no logical reason to spend the $10 mil to kill him.

More pablum from Tarls:
"You later say in the same post that you support the DP in some circumstances. What would those be?"

Excuse me Tarls but do you read all of the comments? Did you miss the one where I agreed with Rod that if this were a "start from scratch" prosecution it would be a different matter? Guess you did. So, I'll clarify it for you. If this were a brand new start from scratch case and the defendant had just been hauled in and was facing exactly the same charges, I would expect the prosecutor to go for the death penalty. An action to which I would have no objection. How's that, clear enough for you. BTW, are you a taxpayer who has to share the cost of this joke of a prosecution?

Posted by: Thomas | Jun 6, 2011 9:20:29 PM

"Thus, it is not merely a majority of felony defendants who use publicly funded counsel, but a huge majority, as you correctly suggested."

Thanks for that info Bill. The question was asked because I really did not know the answer. I have to admit that, in light of all of the defense lawyers that there seems to be, I am a little surprised.

Posted by: Thomas | Jun 6, 2011 9:22:40 PM

Not a problem sir.

Posted by: Bill Otis | Jun 6, 2011 11:06:23 PM

Thomas stated: "No logic? I beg to disagree. How logical is it that not one of you "kill him and damn the cost" folks has been able to identify in any way that spending $10 million to kill this guy is sensible and worth the money. Not one of you has shown where the gain is that justifies that kind of expenditure."

LOL, If I did a cost benefit analysis and showed concrete proof that it was financially sound, I believe you STILL would not support his execution, so what is the point? I do not even have to begin to get into the non-financial benefits. You are perpetrating a red herring.

It's funny, but your ilk are only concerned about cost with law enforcement and defense. All of the CBA stuff goes out the window when you talk about Amtrack, green energy, cowboy poets, Head Start, school lunches, and every other government program that is cost-inefficient.

You state: "I said he is effectively dead and he is if LWOP is administered, as it should be. I strongly agree with Rod that if he is "running" his business from prison there are some BOP folks that should be sharing a cell with him."

Yeah, "as it should be" is always the kicker. Guess what? The world does not always work "as it should be." Prison staff work 8 hours per day, 5 days a week to thwart criminal behavior. Inmates spend 24/7 thinking of ways to get around it. They do it all the time. And, no, staff does not have to be complicit in their schemes. Ever hear of kiting? Happens all the time and very difficult to stop.

You state: "The consistency is that getting another LWOP conviction would have, in all likely hood, been delivered with little if any notice and at minimal expense."

Let's say it costs $10. Does that pass your CBA proposed in your first paragraph? Nope.

You state: "Yes, in terms of "adding" punishment it is relatively meaningless but further insures that this guy will never see the light of day."

Let me see. You ORIGINALLY said that this guy was "already dead for practical purposes." NOW, you are stating that we need to "further ensure" that he will never see the light of day. Which is it? If he has a chance of getting out without the second LWOP conviction, he is not "already dead." If he has no chance of getting out without the second conviction, then there is not one iota of additional punishment and it violates your CBA. Cirque du Soleil couldn't keep up with your logical contortions.

You state: "Excuse me Tarls but do you read all of the comments? Did you miss the one where I agreed with Rod that if this were a "start from scratch" prosecution it would be a different matter? Guess you did. So, I'll clarify it for you. If this were a brand new start from scratch case and the defendant had just been hauled in and was facing exactly the same charges, I would expect the prosecutor to go for the death penalty. An action to which I would have no objection. How's that, clear enough for you. BTW, are you a taxpayer who has to share the cost of this joke of a prosecution?"

Your entire tirade is hinged on the faulty premise that this guy is 'already dead." He is not. There are countless examples of such people killing inside or from the inside. And, I believe that you know it.
BTW, at what cost would you support this individual's DP conviction?

Posted by: TarlsQtr | Jun 7, 2011 1:36:24 PM

TarlsQtr --

I would have bet money that you would be the one to find the cowboy poets. Ole' Harry really outdid himself with that one.

Posted by: Bill Otis | Jun 7, 2011 4:22:15 PM

"It's funny, but your ilk are only concerned about cost with law enforcement and defense. All of the CBA stuff goes out the window when you talk about Amtrack, green energy, cowboy poets, Head Start, school lunches, and every other government program that is cost-inefficient."

LOL yourself. I am not sure what my "ilk" is and I sure as hell don't recall mentioning any of these items but if it makes you feel good to make stuff up go right ahead.

"Ever hear of kiting? Happens all the time and very difficult to stop."

Difficult is a relative term and it is the job of BOP to stop illegal activity that occurs within the BOP. You want to kill him because BOP can't keep him from performing illegal activities while in their complete control and could have him locked down 23 hours a day? Ludicrous. Gotta do better than that.

"Cirque du Soleil couldn't keep up with your logical contortions."

Or, perhaps it is just that you have a serious comprehension problem.

"BTW, at what cost would you support this individual's DP conviction?

Asked and answered. How many different ways can I say it? One more time and try, really try, to comprehend this time. If it were a start for scratch case, if the person was not already serving LWOP, I would support whatever legitimate expense it took to fry his ass. But to spend $10 million to do it in the current circumstances is just plain dumb. DO YOU UNDERSTAND NOW?????


Posted by: Thomas | Jun 7, 2011 4:26:26 PM

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