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What mitigates a murder?
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Thread: What mitigates a murder?

  1. #1
    Senior Member CnCP Addict one_two_bomb's Avatar
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    What mitigates a murder?

    I'd like to hear from everyone who regularly posts on this site. Not to argue, I am honestly curious to know. Plus we've got a few weeks of time to kill before an execution so let's keep this place interesting.

    First off let's make sure we all understand the definition of "mitigate". According to google, the definition is "make less severe, serious, or painful."

    So now imagine the person you love the most. This may be a child, spouse, parent, etc. Imagine someone cold-bloodedly, intentionally murders them. What would make this situation less severe, serious and painful to you?

    Would the killer being mentally ill/mentally retarded make the situation less severe/serious/painful? What about if they had a bad childhood?

    If the killer was young? What about old/sick/physically disabled?

    What if the killer was remorseful and apologized to you and your family?

    What if your loved one had wronged the killer in the past? What if they had stolen their xbox, or maybe done something more serious to hurt/upset the killer? Would you feel that would ease the situation?

    What if the killer was also another of your loved ones?

    Maybe something I couldn't think of? What would make the murder of your loved one less severe/serious/painful for you?

  2. #2
    Moderator Ryan's Avatar
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    I have always considered that Capital Murder and Death Penalty Trial cases are reviewed by prosecutors and DA's with the intent to seek the death penalty or not. In recent times, potential death penalty cases have been under scrutiny where the defendant is facing a potential death sentence. At trial, a jury can recommend life without parole instead of the death penalty. Controversially, the State of Alabama can overrule a jury's recommendation and the judge can impose the sentence of his/her choice. The prosecutors who seek the death penalty for serial killers, child killers, cop killers and correctional officers do a fantastic job if the sentence is appropriate per the jury's instructions and imposition from the judge at trial. Federal law can consist of terrorists, bank robbers and the murder of correctional officers and offenders in Federal prison in non-death penalty states can result in a potential death sentence.

  3. #3
    Senior Member CnCP Addict one_two_bomb's Avatar
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    This question has nothing to do with specific cases or state/federal laws. I am simply asking the board members what they feel are mitigating circumstances.

  4. #4
    Administrator Helen's Avatar
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    mental illness as long as its quite obvious and there is no evidence that the defendant is malingering
    "I realize this may sound harsh, but as a father and former lawman, I really don't care if it's by lethal injection, by the electric chair, firing squad, hanging, the guillotine or being fed to the lions."
    - Oklahoma Rep. Mike Christian

    “There are some people who just do not deserve to live,”
    - Rev. Richard Hawke

    “Men have called me mad; but the question is not yet settled, whether madness is or is not the loftiest intelligence"
    - Edgar Allan Poe

  5. #5
    Senior Member CnCP Addict one_two_bomb's Avatar
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    Thank you for your answer, Helen. Could you be more specific? Mental illness could mean something like depression or anxiety. Do you mean only severe mental illness such as schizophrenia?

    What if they are severely mentally ill, but still completely competent? What if they were offered treatment and medication but refused?

  6. #6
    Administrator Helen's Avatar
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    It depends one-bomb. If someone has a history of schizophrenia and its documented going back many years that would qualify as a factor if their behavior had become erratic prior to the murder.

    You have to look at that person's state of mind at the time of the killing; were they off medication, or were they delusional at the time?

    Just being mildly depressed I don't believe qualifies but suffering from PTSD associated with having served in active combat could be a factor.

    Here's an example of someone who clearly is not in his right mind. Its a horrible crime but I bet he's found incompetent for trial and I doubt it will be a dp case.

    http://kutv.com/news/local/ogden-fat...cuments-reveal
    "I realize this may sound harsh, but as a father and former lawman, I really don't care if it's by lethal injection, by the electric chair, firing squad, hanging, the guillotine or being fed to the lions."
    - Oklahoma Rep. Mike Christian

    “There are some people who just do not deserve to live,”
    - Rev. Richard Hawke

    “Men have called me mad; but the question is not yet settled, whether madness is or is not the loftiest intelligence"
    - Edgar Allan Poe

  7. #7
    Administrator Aaron's Avatar
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    Honestly if someone murdered my loved one I would want them dead. Nothing would mitigate it in my eyes. And that's why it'd be a conflict of interest to include me in a jury in said situation.

    As a judge/juror, I'd be highly inclined to vote for death and only death, but I would listen to the facts.

    None of the mitigation you mentioned would really matter to me. Even if mentally ill, young, remorseful, etc. I'd want them gone. None of those mitigating factors are guaranteed to spare an inmate. Plenty of people in all of the above criteria have been executed.

    Helen, since you mentioned PTSD how do you feel about Andrew Brannan? He was a Vietnam veteran with PTSD, and he was executed with support from the victim's family.

    Also, one two bomb, is there anything in your eyes that would mitigate a murder?
    "You can't get rich in politics unless you're a crook." - Harry Truman

  8. #8
    Administrator Helen's Avatar
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    I don't know that case Aaron. I do know that they never sought the DP for Eddie Ray Routh who killed the American sniper Chris Kyle and his buddy. And that was in Texas.
    "I realize this may sound harsh, but as a father and former lawman, I really don't care if it's by lethal injection, by the electric chair, firing squad, hanging, the guillotine or being fed to the lions."
    - Oklahoma Rep. Mike Christian

    “There are some people who just do not deserve to live,”
    - Rev. Richard Hawke

    “Men have called me mad; but the question is not yet settled, whether madness is or is not the loftiest intelligence"
    - Edgar Allan Poe

  9. #9
    Senior Member CnCP Legend JLR's Avatar
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    I don’t think anything can mitigate or diminish the effects of a murder but you can mitigate someone’s culpability or their nature as a person. For example. If three guys in Texas commmit a robbery and there’s a murder. One getaway driver. One guy who plans it and the shooter. All guilty of murder under texas law but shooter is clearly more responsible than the other two and that’s should be taken into account in the judicial process. If someone whose schizophrenic commits murder, it’s still a horrible thing but if someone without schizophrenia committed the same murder he would be more responsible. At its most extreme, if the defence raised the fact he rescued a cat up a tree or something stupid, the logic still applies cause if he committed the same hypothetical murder but walked past the tree without a care, he would be an even worse person.

    I’m personally against the Death Penalty in all circumstance but this in why in particular I think a mandatory death penalty is a bad idea because it treats cases the same when they are actually very different. It’s the illusion of fairness when none exist. It’s like refusing to recognise the difference between apples and bananas cause they are both fruit. ”if you murder, you die!” Sounds fair until you realise a Hypothetical 18 year old schizoprenic abused getaway driver would be treated the same as someone like Danny Bible or someone like that. There would be nothing fair about that.

    Best
    JLR
    Last edited by JLR; 07-23-2018 at 04:14 AM.

  10. #10
    Senior Member CnCP Addict one_two_bomb's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Helen View Post
    You have to look at that person's state of mind at the time of the killing; were they off medication, or were they delusional at the time?
    So basically you are saying they need to be insane?

    Honestly if someone murdered my loved one I would want them dead. Nothing would mitigate it in my eyes. And that's why it'd be a conflict of interest to include me in a jury in said situation.
    Thanks for your response, Aaron.

    Of course no one could be a fair juror if it was their close family member who was murdered. It's easy to weigh the facts under the law if we aren't personally connected to the case. I'm just trying to put in perspective that every murder victim is somebody's son, daughter, brother, sister, etc. A member of society who is irreplacable. Even if they are a homeless derelicted drug addict who has burned all bridges with their family, they are still a human life with a right to not be murdered.

    I just want everyone to understand the gravity of the situation when someone is murdered. I haven't asked anything about what punishment they should receive (yet). Just what factors would make the situation less severe/serious/painful.

    Also, one two bomb, is there anything in your eyes that would mitigate a murder?
    I will answer this when I get more responses from other members.

    I don’t think anything can mitigate or diminish the effects of a murder but you can mitigate someone’s culpability or their nature as a person. For example. If three guys in Texas commmit a robbery and there’s a murder. One getaway driver. One guy who plans it and the shooter. All guilty of murder under texas law but shooter is clearly more responsible than the other two and that’s should be taken into account in the judicial process.
    First off thank you JLR for your input. I was hoping to hear from an anti. I would argue that if someone willingly participates in an armed robbery, then they know someone ending up dead is a possible outcome, and if they still choose to go along with it they are just as guilty as the shooter. But for the sake of the "cold-blooded" and "intentional" requirements of this hypothetical situation, let's assume we are talking about only the shooter.

    If someone whose schizophrenic commits murder, it’s still a horrible thing but if someone without schizophrenia committed the same murder he would be more responsible.
    So as an anti, I am assuming you believe the maximum punishment allowable should be LWOP. If someone cold-bloodedly, intentionally murdered your loved one, but they were severely schizophrenic, would you want them to be paroled at some point, since you believe they are less culpable than someone who isn't schizophrenic?

    At its most extreme, if the defence raised the fact he rescued a cat up a tree or something stupid, the logic still applies cause if he committed the same hypothetical murder but walked past the tree without a care, he would be an even worse person.
    Likewise if someone cold-bloodedly, intentionally murdered your loved one, but you learned once they rescued a cat from a tree, is that grounds for a lesser sentence than LWOP? If you were in court for sentencing of someone who cold-bloodedly, intentionally murdered your loved one, and the defense argues to the judge that once upon a time this cold blooded killer saved a cat, and because of such deserves to be paroled after 30 years, as opposed to LWOP, how would you feel?

    I think a mandatory death penalty is a bad idea because it treats cases the same when they are actually very different.
    How do you feel about mandatory LWOP? For example Michigan's state law of mandatory LWOP for first degree murder?
    Last edited by one_two_bomb; 07-23-2018 at 07:13 AM.

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