I got this email from a NGO called Secret Prisons for Teens. Normally they send emails out when they find various torture places for young kids. This one was different.
I was about a guy who is going to die July 1. His name is Michael James Perry.
It made me think.
Death penalty is an odd punishment.
First the lesson learned it also the end of the life. When I have listened to former inmates down at our high school warning the high school students about drugs and crime, they can tell that prison is not a nice place. The youth can learn from their experience when they have served their sentence, if they choose to listen. It is not possible when the death penalty has been served.
Second the punishment is hard to the victims or relatives to the victims. Just to make sure that the number of people sentenced wrongly to deaths is minimized you need a number of appeal courts. The problem is that it allows the killer to speak his version or even degrade the victims in court. When can the family move on? If they are lucky after some 10 years. Worst case maybe 25-30 years later. It is easier with prison. Just throw the key away. If people are convicted wrongly then give them a sorry and a bag of money. Then no harm is done. You cannot undo death penalty.
Third it is too expensive a punishment. The appeal courts cost. You cannot house them in larger number. They each have to have their own cell and access to their lawyers.
Forth it is not deterrent. Most killings take place under influence of stress, drugs or mental illness. The number of people in jail who would be better off in a strait jacket is huge.
Enough about why I dont believe in death penalty. I believe that this Perry dude is done for. We are talking Texas. They are among the states which execute the most people. They have not very high standards when it comes to securing that only guilty people are put to death.
I searched a little on the case. I saw at a link that his mental state was judged to that he would be of no danger to the society if he did enough time. I guess that he could function as a pensioner. Still they did choose to sentence him to death.
Second according to the mail a certain Paul Shrode gave evidence. In another case they found out that he lied and he got fired. Still very much of the case against Micheal Perry regarding the time of deaths etc. built on his statements. What is the case worth then?
Then there is the fact that he was high when he was brought in. So high in fact that they had to restrain him. I happened to watch a documentary about some teenagers locked up at Schuberts Minde which is basically a juvenile detention where they try to modify the behaviors of the teens. They restrain the teens at Schuberts Minde, but not in a degree what leaves the restrained person in a condition looking like he had gone 25 rounds with Mike Tyson. It was the case with Michael Perry and during the restraint they were even able to obtain a confession.
I don’t know a lot about cops from America and their standards. What I can read from the mail, especially one of the cops even used his spare time to save troubled teens from crimes. He took them down to the local adult jail where he let inmates undress them and lubricate their behinds before they were let go again. It sounds like another variant of the “scared straight” program. Some did not find it OK and Monte Morast as the cop is named were sentenced to jail.
Then there is the person who had possession of the shotgun used for the crimes. She was given immunity in exchange for her testimony. It is as with the case against Camilla Broe, I wrote some blog entries about. A person can get a free pass, if they sell some out.
Is he really guilty? I don’t know. The medical evidence can be a lie. Another had the shotgun. The confession was obtained from a person under influence not able to differ wrong from right.
Even he is guilty then there is the history of his mental state. He was early diagnosed with ADD and something called ODD, which made me laugh when I looked it up because it basically describes the nature of a normal teenager. Then I got to look at the residential treatment facilities he had been at and one of them caught my eyes.
Even here in Europe we know Casa by the Sea, which operated up to 2004 before the police in Mexico shut them down. Their legacy is well known because they set a standard for treating behavioral problems by teenagers. Their level system is used a modified version at Schuberts Minde.
The problem with places like Casa by the Sea is that they inflict yet another problem to the existing problems. Most of the graduates experience post traumatic stress disorder in more or less degree.
So even if he is guilty we have a very sick person, which should be put in a rubber cell for a decade or two. Maybe he could be saved. If not then the rubber cell is should be the perfect place to warehouse him until death.
But as stated above we are talking Texas. They don’t care about the risk of medical evidence being falsified, the risk of a confession being obtained by beating.
Michael James Perry is a goner. They even demonized him by adding the nickname “Romeo” just as the French police did in the case against Christian Ranucci whose case was made into a movie called Le pull-over rouge.
Here are the references I got with mail. You can judge for yourself:
With life or death consequences, former Lubbock official scrutinized, by James Clark, KCBD, June 23, 2010
Ex-officer sentenced for official oppression, by Lucretia Cardenas, The courier of Montgomery County, April 27, 2009
Save Michael Perry InfoThe Little Fishes that Got Away, Associated Contents, February 19 , 2008
Datablad vedr. Casa by the Sea – Secret Prisons for Teens
Datablad vedr. High Impact – Secret Prisons for Teens
Media Advisory: Michael Perry scheduled for execution, Attorney General of Texas, June 24, 2010