Hasselbeck: ‘Where’s the Justice’ in Allowing Criminal Appeals?

Elizabeth Hasselbeck, one-third of the holy trinity of stupidity that is the Fox and Friends morning show, can’t believe that Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev actually gets to appeal his conviction and sentence in a higher court. “Where’s the justice in that?” she cluelessly asks.

Last week, a jury voted to sentence convicted Boston bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev to death. Experts have predicted that appeals could take a decade or more after Tsarnaev is formally sentenced later this summer. Some of the families of victims had even asked prosecutors to end their quest for the death penalty to spare them years of traumatic court proceedings.

On Monday, Fox News host Elisabeth Hasselbeck argued that “relief was felt in Boston” when word came that Tsarnaev would be executed.

“We’ve got friends and family there ourselves and, I think, most Americans looked at this as justice is done,” she opined. “But now we hear about this appeals process, and we’re wondering, where’s the justice in that?”

Death penalty proponent Robert Blecker explained to Hasselbeck that appeals were guaranteed to condemned inmates, and he argued that they should be.

Here’s what is so absurd about the conservative mindset: Government is terrible and incompetent and can’t do anything right. Except the police, who never do anything wrong. And the courts, which never convict an innocent person ever. And the military. Except when they’re invading Texas to give federal control over a state that is already under federal control. There’s nothing remotely coherent about this, it’s just a bunch of contradictory catchphrases thrown together while they pretend that it adds up to a consistent ideology.

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  • arakasi

    When residents of Boston were polled before the verdict was revealed, about 70% were opposed to the death penalty (vs about 60% statewide). I doubt “feeling of relief” could be applied to the city as a whole

  • John Pieret

    But now we hear about this appeals process, and we’re wondering, where’s the justice in that?

    I suppose she could be complaining about the length of the appeals rather than the fact he gets to appeal. Naw, she’s too stupid to be so nuanced … after all she’s the one who didn’t know the Earth is a sphere.

  • http://en.uncyclopedia.co/wiki/User:Modusoperandi Modusoperandi

    Except when they’re invading Texas to give federal control over a state that is already under federal control.

    Texas isn’t under federal control. Texas isn’t even under Texas’ control. You don’t mess with Texas because it’s already a mess. It’s the Florida of states.

     

    There’s nothing remotely coherent about this, it’s just a bunch of contradictory catchphrases thrown together while they pretend that it adds up to a consistent ideology.

    Wrong. It is consistent: Us Good. Them Bad. It only get fuzzy around the edges when they can’t decide who’s Us and who’s Them.

  • busterggi

    Conservative Christians don’t care about justice or punishment, they want vengence.

    Romans 12:19 “Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord. ”

    But who trusts Jesus anyways?

  • tbp1

    Of course juries in tort or malpractice suits always get it wrong, and can’t be trusted, despite being drawn from the same pools that produce infallible death penalty juries.

  • eric

    Death penalty proponent Robert Blecker explained to Hasselbeck that appeals were guaranteed to condemned inmates, and he argued that they should be.

    When the standard tempo of the show is ‘host asks stupid question, Conservative guest corrects,’ you have to wonder if its actually just planned out that way. “Ok Elizabeth, this is theater. You get to play Simplicio to the guests’ Socrates for the next ten years. Want the job?”

  • D. C. Sessions

    Conservative Christians don’t care about justice or punishment, they want vengence.

    Well, they want death and suffering. Vengeance is one way to get that.

  • sugarfrosted

    She’s acting like Tsarnaev is the representative case for all people sentenced to death. I’m sure conservatives are going to be all over the Feds pushing for the death penalty in this case in spite of the state outlawing it, states rights and all that… I won’t hold my breath.

  • llewelly

    The worse the crime, the more important it is to oppose any effort to be highly confident about guilt.

    However, while I see that appeals are necessary in general, in this case I cannot see how they can do anything but prolong Tsarnev’s suffering.

  • whheydt

    I have long held that, in the extraordinarily unlikely situation that I were a juror in a death penalty case, I would not vote for death unless the prosecution could convince me that the accused is so monstrous and actions taken are so heinous that I am willing to pull the switch/use the needle/fire the gun to kill that person myself. I will not ask the state to kill on my behalf if I’m not willing to do the job myself.

    That said, I can think of three reasons why someone might wish to see capital punishment imposed. I am not going to argue that these are *good* reasons, or even that they are rational, only that they could–at least by some stretch–be considered legitimate arguments.

    The first one is the death penalty as a deterrent to others. Unfortunately, studies show that this doesn’t work in practice, however it may be appealing in theory. The second is revenge. By and large, this is not thought to be a particularly socially acceptable reason for anything. The third is the “mad dog”, the felon is considered so dangerous that there can be no risk, however slight, of him getting loose ever again.

    I also think that the method of execution should be matched to reason for it to take place. A deterrent reason should lead to an execution that is messy, painful, and public. He is to be made an example to others, after all. For revenge, the execution should be messy, painful, and private. Only those directly affected by the original crime should be permitted to observe or participate. In the “mad dog” case, the execution should be clean, painless, quick, and private. It is a mercy killing more than anything else and shouldn’t be any more of a spectacle than putting down a rabid animal would be.

    Tsarnaev…the decision strikes me more as revenge than anything else.

  • http://drx.typepad.com Dr X

    Elizabeth Hasselbeck doesn’t strike me as the sort of person who really knows about the possibility of reflecting critically upon her own immediate impressions and reactions.

  • Michael Heath

    whheydt writes:

    I can think of three reasons why someone might wish to see capital punishment imposed.

    I can think of a fourth reason to consider the death penalty that went unmentioned in your above post. That’s if the following conditions are met:

    1) I’m convinced the person convicted is either guilty or asks for the death penalty and,

    2) The destination has living conditions far worse than death, e.g., our federal supermax prison in Colorado.

    Again, I frame the above as factors that would have me considering it, not necessarily advocating it. My preferred stance is human incarceration that provides opportunities for the convicted to live a meaningful life. I.e., the morality of the population and its outcomes are reflective of how we treat those who are in prison. So currently I find the U.S. has a lot of room for moral progress.

  • Michael Heath

    llewelly writes:

    . . . while I see that appeals are necessary in general, in this case I cannot see how they can do anything but prolong Tsarnev’s suffering.

    I read somewhere the other day that the appeals process will keep Dzhokhar Tsarnaev out of our most inhumane prison, the supermax in Colorado.

  • whheydt

    Re: Michael Heath @ #12…

    Point #1 one should have an “and” in it. That is, that he is BOTH guilty (as determined by a jury) AND he requests death. Your full conditions make it more akin to euthanasia that an execution. Though I suppose that after a few years in the supermax prison, the “mad dog” condition might be generated.

  • http://drx.typepad.com Dr X

    NY Times:

    To the amazement of people elsewhere, Bostonians overwhelmingly opposed condemning the bomber, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, to death. The most recent poll, conducted last month for The Boston Globe, found that just 15 percent of city residents wanted him executed. Statewide, 19 percent did. By contrast, 60 percent of Americans wanted Mr. Tsarnaev to get the death penalty, according to a CBS News poll last month.

    Only 15% of Bostonians wanted the death penalty in this case, so Hassselbeck could hardly be more wrong. It’s telling that she assumed so many people have the same feelings she has. I think people who don’t reflect critically can be shocked when they encounter views different from their own. It’s a symptom of their belief that their own perceptions and thoughts are the same thing as facts or at least close enough representations of external reality that they don’t need to question their own thoughts. The word “twit” comes to mind when I think of this quality of never critically questioning one’s own immediate perceptions and reactions.

  • sigurd jorsalfar

    If Hasselback were capable of truly reflecting on the question “where’s the justice” she would have already asked herself “where’s the justice in putting Elizabeth Hasselback on TV?” then gone into seclusion.

  • dannorth

    Concerning the deterence effect of the death penalty there is a story told by the late conservative prime minister of Canada John Diefenbaker.

    He said that his grandfather watched the public hanging of a pickpocket during which three other spectators had their pocket picked.

    So much for deterence.

  • http://en.uncyclopedia.co/wiki/User:Modusoperandi Modusoperandi

    ,b>Dr X “Only 15% of Bostonians wanted the death penalty in this case, so Hassselbeck could hardly be more wrong.”

    She’s not wrong. Everybody knows that Boston is filled with effete, East Coast elites. Real Americans® know that the Death Penalty is Good.

     

    dannorth “He said that his grandfather watched the public hanging of a pickpocket during which three other spectators had their pocket picked.”

    Mountie: “Hold it right there, eh.”

    Pickpocket: “You can’t hold me up, officer. You knows darn well I han’t got no-thin’ that ain’t mine.”

    Mountie: “Okay, eh. Show me your hands. Open your mittens.”

    Pickpocket: “Swayt tunderin’ Jesus! I swar on me mudder’s good choyna (Gad bless her liddle heart) I don’t know hows those got there, me son!”

  • jws1

    Modus, I love you.

  • http://en.uncyclopedia.co/wiki/User:Modusoperandi Modusoperandi

    jws, everybody does. I’m basically the Raymond of my psych wing. Granted, that’s a step down from the Napoleon I used to be, but on the other hand Bonaparte’s laugh track was all French and snooty and rude to tourists who wouldn’t mind a little ketchup with their meal and I’m sorry for my terrible accent and perhaps you didn’t hear me and I’m paying good money for it already and I’m pretty sure your ignoring me and and god damn it I asked nicely and stop telling me what I want on my frigging food and no wonder the fucking tip is already included and don’t touch me and why the hell are the police here and I said “Don’t touch me” and what the hell is up with those helmets and I said “Don’t touch me” and is that a truncheon and just bring out the fucking ketchup already!

  • theDukedog7 .

    I don’t think that Hasselbeck denies the right of appeal. It seems to me that she was pointing out that the appeals process is often inappropriately protracted and frustrates justice. That’s a fair point, and does not mean that appeals are unjust per se.

  • Anri

    theDukedog7 @ 21:

    Good point, we should only allow appeals in cases where we know the trial was in some way faulty.

    So, we should introduce some sort of system to allow a review of the trial, preferably by a higher authority to make sure the second results stick.

    I wonder what we would call such a system…?

  • theDukedog7 .

    @Arni:

    I support appeals. I think that Ed misunderstood Hasselbeck’s point. There are times when some aspects of judicial processes frustrate justice.

  • scienceavenger

    @2 I think it was Sherri Shepard who was too busy keeping it real [dumb] to care what shape the Earth was…not that Hasselbeck is much better. She’s hot, it’s the only reason she sits in that throne of stupid every morning.

  • caseloweraz

    Brian Kilmeade: “Timothy McVeigh gave up on his appeal so we got to kill him. We’re not going to get to kill this guy, are we?”

    As a commenter said over on RWW, it’s good to see Kilmeade openly reveal what he’s after. That would be revenge.

  • samgardner

    Well, they want death and suffering. Vengeance is one way to get that.

    Blecker was my law school criminal law prof — he believes one purpose of criminal punishment is indeed to satisfy society’s need for vengeance.

    His death penalty views notwithstanding, he was still an excellent criminal law prof and an interesting guy.

  • captain_spleen

    “I have long held that, in the extraordinarily unlikely situation that I were a juror in a death penalty case, I would not vote for death unless the prosecution could convince me that the accused is so monstrous and actions taken are so heinous that I am willing to pull the switch/use the needle/fire the gun to kill that person myself. I will not ask the state to kill on my behalf if I’m not willing to do the job myself.”

    In general, I think the death penalty should be banned, because there are so many problems with it. However, while it still exists, there are occasionally cases which I’m okay with. Generally, that means cases where the perps are caught red-handed, without relying on sketchy witness identifications, jailhouse snitches, etc.

    The two guys responsible for the horrible Cheshire home invasion case fit that bill. White, adult (Older perp was 44, younger perp was 27, so no “developing brain” arguments apply), caught fleeing the burning house in the victim’s car, which they used to ram a police car. The father of the victimized family survived despite a severe beating. The mother and her 11 year old daughter were raped before they were murdered. The 17 year old daughter was also killed; she was set to attend Dartmouth.

    That’s a case where I have no problem with the death penalty being applied, and would inject the drugs myself if asked. No qualms. On the other hand, if the death penalty hadn’t been on the table, I would be fine with that, too, because I recognize that cases this clear are the exception.