If I were a liberal, I would have spent the last week in shock that a Democratic audience in Flint, Mich., cheered Vice President Joe Biden's description of a policeman being killed. (And if I were a liberal desperately striving to keep my job on MSNBC, I'd say the Democrats looked "hot and horny" for dead cops -- as Chris Matthews said of a Republican audience that cheered for the death penalty.)
Biden's audience whooped and applauded last week in Flint when he said that without Obama's jobs bill, police will be "outgunned and outmanned." (Wild applause!)
I suppose liberals would claim they were applauding because they believe Obama's jobs bill will prevent these murders. Which reminds me: Republicans believe the death penalty prevents murders!
Which belief bears more relationship to reality?
In a case I have previously mentioned, Kenneth McDuff was released from death row soon after the Supreme Court overturned the death penalty in 1972 and went on to murder more than a dozen people.
William Jordan and Anthony Prevatte were sentenced to death in 1974 for abducting a teacher, murdering him and stealing his car. They came under suspicion when they were caught throwing the murder weapon from the stolen vehicle in a high-speed car chase with the cops and because they were in possession of the dead man's wallet, briefcase and watch.
The Georgia Supreme Court overturned their capital sentences in an opinion by Robert H. Hall, who was appointed by Gov. Jimmy Carter.
Hall said that the death sentences had to be set aside on the idiotic grounds that the jurors had overheard the prosecutor say that the judge and state supreme court would have the opportunity to review a death sentence, which might have caused them to take their sentencing role less seriously.
(If the facts had been the reverse, the court would have overturned the death sentences on the grounds that the jurors did not take their sentencing decision seriously, under the misapprehension that no judge or court would second-guess them.)
Prevatte was later released from "life in prison" and proceeded to murder his girlfriend. Jordan escaped and has never been found.
As president, Carter appointed Hall to a federal district court.
Darryl Kemp was sentenced to death in California in 1960 for the rape and murder of Marjorie Hipperson and also convicted for raping two other women. But he sat on death row long enough -- 12 years -- for the death penalty to be declared unconstitutional. He was paroled five years later and, within four months, had raped and murdered Armida Wiltsey, a 40-year-old wife and mother.
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