Arrests Made in McGowan Murder

MugshotsWINA is reporting this morning that a pair of arrests have been made in last week’s murder of 26-year-old Jayne McGowan. Two men — 22-year-old William Douglas Gentry, Jr. and 18-year-old Michael Stuart Pritchett, both of Caroline Street — have been charged with capital murder and are being held at the jail. Caroline St. is quite near to where the victim’s car was found, and also near to the victim’s home. A pair of handguns were found, which they believe were used in the crime, and police say that more evidence is being sought.

102 Responses to “Arrests Made in McGowan Murder”


  • Sniped from The Hook….
    quote Inside Track >> “Relax, Colorado. While I would be the last person in town to argue your assessment of the police department, this was a stupid crime committed by stupid people — based upon where the car was found. They will have somebody in custody in just a few days.”

    Inside Track hit the nail right on the head!

  • I am generally opposed to capital punishment, except in rare cases.

    If these two really are guilty, then perhaps this is one such case.

    Although I will admit to helping with a really great Lights Out for Linwood! party in 1984, to celebrate the execution of the odious Linwood Briley. The party was candlelit, to make sure that there was enough power to run the Chair.

  • With a standard fare bleeding heart liberal C-ville jury, they will get off pretty light. Like that Alston kid did a few years back…. I can guarantee you will never see a death penalty in Charlottesville, no matter how heinous the crime.

    The only thing against these guys is they most likely don’t have a rich daddy to hire them a decent lawyer.

  • What were these two geniuses thinking. Kill a young girl and steal her laptop. What the f* for. I’d give them the death penalty just for being stupid.

  • I think a decent lawyer was a big part of Alston’s ultimate situation. Also that was never going to be more than 2nd degree murder. I am betting they have a good chance of buying it.

  • Michael Pudhorodsky

    I am really surprised at how freely indiviuals will throw out the phrase “fry ’em”. We have to also remeber that with the death penalty there are a whole another set of victims including the mothers and brothers and sisters of thsoe who committed the crime. The death penalty as a whole should be ruled unconstiutional and no longer used, and I strongly urge the Commonwealths Attorney not to seek a death sentence against these indiviuals.

    Michael Pudhorodsky
    President

  • Oh boo friggin hoo Michael. I for one don’t feel like paying for their prison cells for the rest of their miserable lives.
    Jayne didn’t have a say. They killed her for what? A laptop?
    I’m with Falstaff. Fry em. And not 45 years from now.

  • Oh-great work by the city cops for getting these losers rounded up before they killed some other innocent.
    Gotta give credit where credit is due.

  • Mike, what are you president of? Prisoner rights advocacy group?

    I think it’s a complicated issue, but you coming out and talking about the perps’ families as victims, before the body has even been buried, is at least as inappropriate and insensitive as those who say “fry em.” How do we know that these people’s families didn’t do such a half ass job of raising these 2 future wide receivers that they were contributors to this crime?

  • Nice one Jan. Insult the guy instead of making reasoned arguments.

    I for one do want to pay for their prison cells for the rest of their lives. Not just because they’re scum, but because… wait for it… it’s cheaper. That’s why New Jersey delclared a moratorium two years ago and is about to make capital punishment altogether illegal. Had that state’s maximum penalty been life without parole, the taxpayers would have saved $253 million since the death penalty was reinstated. And if you’ve ever driven on New Jersey’s roads, you know they can definitely use an extra $10 million a year. State after state is finding that life without parole is, well, cheaper. I find the taxpayers kinda like that.

    Besides its cost, the death penalty has no deterrent effect on crime (clearly), and there have been numerous cases of death row inmates being exonerated later by DNA and other evidence. And it is believed by many to be illegal (8th amendment, due process, etc.).

  • “We have to also remeber that with the death penalty there are a whole another set of victims including the mothers and brothers and sisters of thsoe who committed the crime.”

    They were victimized the moment the criminal did the crime, and while that is sad I don’t see how it’s a reason to give murderers a break.

  • DKACHUR:”Besides its cost, the death penalty has no deterrent effect on crime (clearly),,,,,,,,,,,”

    Probably not true. One cannot determine the deterrent effect upon those who would kill except for the fear of the death penalty.

    Of course there are “educated estimates” of deterrent with or without the death penalty. but then that kind of wisdom exists on Wall Street also with probably the same degree of accuracy.

    Can`t be measured, of course, but I believe, unquestionably, a deterrent does exist. Many laws exist for their deterrent effect.

  • You know who likes the death penalty? Prisoners. When the chair used to be in Richmond, it was easier to go to the protests than now. On one side of the street, some neighborhood folks drinking beer, pro-execution but too loudly so, and watching the prison wall. On the other side, under the wall, a circle of peaceniks, Quakers, etc., singing Amazing Grace in protest. The noise? It was all coming from inside the barred prison windows. Tension streaming out, then as the moment approached, whooping, hollering, etc. Admittedly, the particular case was racial, etc. etc.

    But you get my point, it’s a culture of brutalization. I’m in favor of human dignity. And the maximum sentence therewith.

  • Cod, what’s with the “future wide receivers” comment? I’m curious to hear what you meant by that.

  • Michael Pudhorodsky

    I understand that when someone committs a crime that they have a punishment to pay, but how loosely and freely we disgard our citizens and say “fry ’em” concerns me. The group that I work with does more socially progressive issues including death penalty issues.

    I can see the arguements for the death penalty I just dont agree with it, and I personally felt that I should urge the Commonwealths Attorney David Chapman not to seek the death penalty.

    We send a letter of condoscence to Ms. McGowans fellow staff members and we feel for the families loss.

  • One cannot determine the deterrent effect upon those who would kill except for the fear of the death penalty.

    […]

    Can’t be measured, of course, but I believe, unquestionably, a deterrent does exist.

    It can be measured, it is measured, and routinely the measuring reveals that it does not exist. For instance, the New York Times recently conducted a study of states with capital punishment and states without capital punishment and found that murder is significantly more common in states that have a death penalty. In another study, researchers looked at murder rates in Oklahoma during and after the state’s 25-year moratorium on executions and found that, after executions were allowed again, murders increased significantly. Another study looked at 293 counties that share a major border, but where one has a death penalty and the other doesn’t. (This was largely across state boundaries, presumably.) They found, again, higher rates of violent crime in those counties where there’s capital punishment.

    Realistically speaking, even if these two committed the crime and did so in the worst possible manner, they’re not going to get the death penalty. They’re white. You’ve gotta be black to be executed in the U.S.

  • It would be kind of hard for me to explain the wide receiver reference without breaking terms of service or at least common decency. I’ll just leave it at, in prison there are quarterbacks and there are receivers. These guys look receivers to me.

  • I wonder if these two individuals are really guilty.

  • We have the death penalty in the Commonwealth. Few are as deserving as these two of the ultimate sanction. For justice, for deterrence, and, yes, for revenge, I repeat: Fry ’em.

  • Violence begets violence.

  • Tell that to East European Jews or the descendants of slaves rescued by the Union victory in the Civil War.

  • Michael Pudhorodsky

    Its a valid point also that we should make sure that these are the two indiviuals that committed this crime, so before even we say “fry ’em” we should have the system works itself out. Thank you to Waldo for putting up the truth in statitics that the death penalty does not deter crime at all.

    Again like Ghandi said “An eye for and eye makes the whole world blind” Also remeber this fact that we are the only county in the western world that allows the death penalty to take place, and in the “war on terror” none of our allies allow the death penalty and two of our axis of evils do allow the death penalty that being Iraq and Iran.

  • Did Scott Peterson (sen?) get the death penalty? I got so tired of that story on TV that I really didn’t pay attention towards the end and missed it.

  • If we are going to get this far off topic, somebody needs to research the race of executed defendants for say, the last 25 years. I suspect Waldo is damn close to the truth in his remarks — even though an occasional white will get the death penalty. To drive the point home even further, if Anderew Alston had been an indigent black who murdered the white Walter Sisk back in November of 2003, he probably would have been charged with a higher degree of murder and gotten 25 to 40 years in jail instead of the three years Alston received. Indigent black Americans don’t stand a fighting chance in the courtrooms!

  • yes, Peterson is on death row in Calif.

  • While the Death penalty has its problems (2/3 of all those on Virginia’s death row are black) it is too early to seriously discuss it. Many factors such as why the shooting occurred and if it was premeditated. There are also manner of how she was treated before she was shot that will determine the level of charge. Also this is all before the “let’s make a deal” part of the process and before the two people are played against each other.

    I struggle with the death penalty but deterrence has never been a part of that. It’s about vengeance and the promise that person will never again occupy society. Prison overcrowding makes me wonder when a federal judge will start ordering early release. I often wondered if DNA it ultimately makes it easier to put criminals to death.

    Michael Pudhorodsky while you motives are pure, I promise you if she were my daughter your letter of condolence would offend me. I don’t want to harm a soul but if I was her father I would, initially, want to the kill the two of them myself. I know that’s not to whom you said you sent letters to.

  • It’s amusing to me when folks cite Europe’s decision not to have the death penalty as a reason for us to follow suit. Although who knows I guess: Perhaps the European way of doing things explains their marked superiority to the U.S. in standard of living, wealth creation, military prowess, technological innovation, etc, etc, etc.

  • What a sad ending to a horrible 4 days. I knew the victim who was probably one of the most caring souls I ever met. I am going up to the funeral in Syracuse tomorrow and will tell her parents how sorry our community is that we produced such a crappy couple of offspring that would kill someone for a computer or a car. I know the rap sheet of one of the fathers of the accused. Douglas Gentry, Sr,a painter on Orange street with a record as long as it gets, like father like son, he should fry too.

  • Falstaff, have you noticed the surnames of those in this country who are active in our “technological innovation?” We may lure them here with money and opportunity, but we don’t necessarily grow them. One of the major problems with America is that it has gotten intellectually lazy while bathing in its blankets of “superiority.” We have always and will always have a lot to learn from people around the globe and that’s not a lot of liberal pap. Innovation comes about by throwing all of the ideas in the pot and seeing how it tastes.

  • If you equate “standard of living” with “easy access to lots and lots of cheap plastic crap,” then I guess the U.S. does win, hands-down.

  • It is thrilling to see a discussion of capital punishment on cvillenews.com! I’m one of those who would prefer to have capital punishment, but have realized for a long, long time that it isn’t cost effective in our current climate.

    Some crimes are so hideous that there is simply no point in continuing the existence of those who committed them. However, we are, as a society, really bad at figuring out who those people are. The mandatory, ongoing appeals process we currently ‘enjoy’ makes capital punishment a huge waste of money.

    I’m interested in the stats that Waldo has pointed to. I wonder if capital punishment functions as a slow form of death-by-cop…

  • I’m sorry, I just realized that I didn’t provide a source for any of the facts that I presented about the death penalty. They’re from Amnesty International’s page on the topic. Those interested in the opposite perspective can find it here.

    Another site thick with information on the topic (against the death penalty) is the Death Penalty Information Center. I didn’t know, until I checked out their site, that even the American Bar Association wants a moratorium, a result of bad DNA evidence collection, the lack of reliability on the part of eyewitnesses, false confessions, and the clear racial disparities.

    On the topic of racial disparity, recall Gov. George Ryan (R-IL)’s moratorium on the death penalty back in 2000. He came to office strongly in favor of capital punishment, but when he learned how often that innocent people have been put to death or very nearly put to death, he realized that this system was too deeply flawed to support. Too many innocent people are being killed.

    The government can’t seem to get much of anything right. Why would I give the same government the ability to kill me?

  • Former Illinois Gov. George Ryan commuted the death sentences of Illinois d-row inmates in 2003 to distract from his burgeoning corruption and racketeering troubles just days before he left office. Eventually convicted, he just started serving 6.5 years last week. There are many valid arguments against capital punishment. The example of George Ryan is not one of them.

    “Too many innocent people are being killed [by the death penalty].” Really? You wouldn’t happen to have any names handy, would you? I don’t think there’s a single example of a demonstrably innocent person being put to death in America. Not one.

    And if racial disparity’s your beef, the case against the two Caroline Ave. charmers would seem an excellent opportunity to even the score.

  • The standard of proof required to put someone to death — hell, even just to put someone in jail — is not “demonstrable innocence.” You don’t have to show that you are demonstrably innocent to avoid a conviction. Instead, the prosecution has to show that you are guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. People have been put to death following trials during which if certain evidence (DNA, other stuff) had been allowed or if certain procedures had been followed, the jury would likely not have sentenced the person to death — they would have said “we are not convinced beyond a reasonable doubt that this person committed this crime.” (I’ll look up some examples later today, including comments from jury members who said “if I had known about that, I would not have voted for the death penalty.”

  • Former Illinois Gov. George Ryan commuted the death sentences of Illinois d-row inmates in 2003 to distract from his burgeoning corruption and racketeering troubles just days before he left office.

    People said the same thing about Clinton: the only reason he went after Saddam Hussein in January of ’99 was to distract from his impeachment. Remember the phrase “wag the dog” being tossed about by Republicans? It’s just as possible that both things are true: George Ryan was totally corrupt (hence the prison sentence) and also realized that the death penalty is a fatally flawed process.

    “Too many innocent people are being killed [by the death penalty].” Really? You wouldn’t happen to have any names handy, would you? I don’t think there’s a single example of a demonstrably innocent person being put to death in America. Not one.

    Sure: Todd Willingham.

  • C’mon, Waldo. That claim was made by the Innocence Project, hardly unbiased source. Here’s the prosecutor:

    “Judge Jackson maintained Tuesday that burn patterns, since repudiated by fire experts, were useful to the investigation. The former prosecutor cited “a burn pattern that starts in the front of the house and makes a left turn into the room where the children were.”

    Judge Jackson said several other factors pointed to Mr. Willingham’s guilt: The suspect didn’t have any burns on his feet – the judge said he would have if the suspect had run through a burning house – and there was little carbon monoxide in his lungs.

    “Armchair experts are, 15 years later, trying to overcome what everybody thought was a common sense approach at the time,” he said.

    And from the very article you linked to is this: “Since the death penalty was reinstated in the U.S. in 1976, 1,020 men and women have been executed, with more than one-third–362–put to death in Texas. Although more than 100 people have been released from Death Row in the U.S. during that time, no government authority has concluded that an innocent person was executed.”

    If you wanna say innocent people have been put on death row and later had their sentences commuted or been released, fine. But you can’t credibly claim that “too many innocent people are being killed.” There’s not a single generally accepted case you can point to outside the realm of anti-death penalty lawyers to whom every death row inmate is innocent.

  • Bravo to Longo & Company. They can find their ass with both hands.

  • “no government authority has concluded that an innocent person was executed”

    Falstaff, for you the Innocence Project is hardly an unbiased source but you’re content with the government’s statement that they’ve never made a mistake? they’re at least as biased as the Innocence Project.

  • quote “…the lack of reliability on the part of eyewitnesses…”

    Absolutely! If 5 people witness a crime, you will get 5 different descriptions of the suspect. Ranging anywhere from a 30-year-old 165 pound Hispanic male with black hair to a 220 pound 60-year-old black male with gray hair. Eyewitness testimony should be banned from all courtrooms.

  • Longo & Comapny? :)

  • Friend of the Family

    I am a friend of the McGowan family here in Manlius, NY. I cannot believe that after reading 41 comments none of them stated that they hoped, assuming these are the men that actually killed Jayne, these arrests would bring some relief to the family, that there might be some justice for Jayne, that her father might stare down his daughter’s killers in court. Jayne was a woman of grace and endless potential and the family is just beside themselves.

  • Friend of the Family,

    If it’s possible to make those of us who’ve posted here aware of our thoughtlessness, you’ve achieved it with some considerable dignity. I think I can speak for everyone here when I tell you we are all tremendously sorry for the loss of this young woman. We are sickened and, frankly, embarrassed that this could happen to a young woman like Jayne in our small town in which many of us have spent our entire lives. Please believe me that the whole community joins the McGowan family in its grief and hopes to see justice done to Jayne’s murderers.

  • “no government authority has concluded that an innocent person was executed.” Like Cecil, I am not impressed with the position of our government. Considering the increasing lawsuits for “wrongful imprisonment,” I can not imagine opening the floodgates for “wrongful death.”
    Dear Friend, I certainly hope that the McGowan family is not seeking solace during their bereavement from a blog of anonyomous people discussing the death penalty. I can not imagine their having an interest in reading it. It would probably be kind of you not to mention its existence to the family. It would help those in Charlotttesville to know the website of the funeral home that will be conducting the services so that locals can sign its online guestbook and express their condolences. Thanks ahead of time.

  • Dear friend of the Family this blog is a place where people who mostly don’t know the victim have come to vent. We are upset and are trying to deal with this in a way that lets us talk about our outrage and anger. This horrible crime has shocked and saddened us all. It is apparent that she was a woman of substance and grace but to pretend to know what her family needs is beyond me. I can only view this through my limited experience.

    This crime reminds me of the scientist who was walking on main street years ago and was killed by someone driving by, who threw a rock and killed the scientist The killers were never found and the world lost something valuable for no reason at all. This is the same thing with one difference, justice may possible be served.

    People grieve in their own way, many here are doing just that. To offer words to a family I don’t know seem hollow and violation of their time of grief.

  • Cecil & Cville Eye,

    I concede the point that it’s underwhelming that no gov’t authority has admitted that an innocent person’s been executed. However, it’s at least as credible as the assertions of those whose whole professional raison d’etre is the abolition of capital punishment that innocents have been executed.

    I submit that if any person or organization, regardless of pre-existing ideology, could conclusively demonstrate that someone was wrongfully executed then capital punishment in the US would disappear very, very quickly.

  • Falstaff,

    Before you crucify me for this comment, I’ll admit it has no statistics to back it the main point, because those statistics cannot exist. But, what we do know is that dozens of people have been exonerated from death row. Many of these people have been shown to have NOT committed the crime (that is, exonerated because of innocence and not prosecutorial misconduct). The first exoneration based on DNA evidence, which was a relatively new tool at the time, was in 1993. Since then, 15 people have been exonerated based on DNA evidence. Between 1993 and 2006, 870 people were executed. Between 1976 and and 1993, 188 people were executed. So, if the same percentage of innocent people were executed because the technology that would have exonerated them did not yet exist then we have executed three innocent people. And that ignores all of the people whose innocence was shown for other reasons.

    People are exonarated, generally, because they have people or groups take up their case, look at the merits, and then work through proper channels to get them exonerated. Surely, there are innocent people that slip through the cracks, like, perhaps, Mr. Willingham. So, of course we don’t know who the innocent people were because no one took the time to examine their cases and distinguish them from the scores of guilty inmates proclaiming their innocence. I think the point here is that while we can’t necessarily prove it, we know that we have executed innocent people. At the very least, we must admit that we have killed innocent people is extremely likely. And this is, I think, the fact that many people are afraid to confront.

  • “I think the point here is that while we can’t necessarily prove it, we know that we have executed innocent people. At the very least, we must admit that we have killed innocent people is extremely likely. And this is, I think, the fact that many people are afraid to confront.” I think this statement is getting closer to the crux. Do we feel comfortable using the death penalty when the system is obviously not infalliable? Who here would like to be the one to inform a family that a member was wrongfully executed?
    On the other side, how can we guarantee the safety of those prisoners who can be murdered with impunity by those inmates with proven disregard for human life? What do we do with those that we would like to execute to keep them from killing others?

  • Falstaff, you forget that in Virginia it was never permissible to reconsider somebody’s execution post-innocence until just a few months ago. It’s been done once and, in that instance, the guy was found to have actually been guilty.

    I have no idea if this is true in other states but, as you can imagine, this makes it quite impossible to prove the point. I’m reminded of Virginia’s refusal to acknowledge the existence of American Indian tribes. That doesn’t mean that they don’t exist, merely that the government says that they don’t.

  • quote “I’m reminded of Virginia’s refusal to acknowledge the existence of American Indian tribes. That doesn’t mean that they don’t exist, merely that the government says that they don’t.”

    That’s an interesting fact I never knew. But I would have to ask… don’t Indain tribes meet with the Governor of Virginia every year at Thanksgiving and pay their taxes in the form of turkeys? I would think this is acknowledging their existence?

  • IMHO, the death penalty is not a deterrent because the wheels of justice must turn slowly. In cases, with overwhelming evidence, if the death penalty were carried out swiftly it would be a deterrent.
    How can a person, able to kill for no reason, be rehabilitated? These thugs, if guilty, had no reason to kill Jayne McGowan. She was not a threat to them.
    One thing is true. If these two were put to death, they would not kill again.

  • I am glad to see a discussion on the death penalty, but once again as I mentioned earlier it is a moot point in the C-ville legal system. It will never happen. A C-ville jury would probably just give Bin Laden supervised probation. If these two are convicted, the jury will hear about how they were abused as children and what not, and how they didn’t mean to kill her cause they were high on drugs and the gun went off accidentally, you know the same textbook defense that all these animals use…… Once again, we will all be disgusted by the defense turning the accused into victims of society. The jury will consist of the usual sheltered trust fund liberals, and few retired postal workers. Maybe even a failed novelist/artist or two. They will feel sorry about sending away two youngsters away for life. I will guarantee you will not see who ever is convicted of this crime, pulling more than ten years if it is a jury trial.

  • Falstaff, I think where we are differing is that you are insisting on definitive and demonstrable innocence as the standard for either regretting that someone was executed or for not executing them in the first place. Definitive/demonstrable innocence is NOT the courtroom standard in the United States — we don’t ask defense attorneys to prove innocence, we don’t required accused criminals to provide demonstrable and definitive proof of their innocence. Instead, in the U.S. system, we put the burden on the prosecution — it has to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the accused did it. That’s different from expecting the accused to prove his/her innocence. (Which, by the way, is what authoritarian regimes require…)

    For me, what that means is that when you look back at executions, I don’t need to see demonstrable proof that an executed person was innocent; it’s enough for me to see that if a trial had been conducted properly in the first place (i.e., with public counsel not falling asleep or failing to raise pertinent objections or failing to cross-examine witnesses) or if certain evidence had been presented at trial (like DNA), the jury quite possibly might have voted differently. That’s enough — the jury quite possibly have voted differently. If we’re executing people who didn’t have the fairest possible trial, to me that’s a travesty of justice. (And just for the record, YES, FOR CRYING OUT LOUD, I ABHOR MURDER AND RAPE AND CRIME AND FEEL SORRY FOR THE VICTIMS. It’s possible to hate crime and respect the justice system at the same time.)

    To require definitive/demonstrable proof of innocence before you will regret an execution seems to me to miss the whole point of our justice system — we WANT it to be difficult to deprive someone of life and liberty. We WANT it to be hard for the government to lock people up or execute them — we want them to have to work very hard to prove their case, we want them to have to dot every i and cross every t. We want them to have to everything right if they’re going to take the most serious step a government in a free society can take against a citizen. And so yes, that means that if it turns out they’re not dotting every i on their way to executing a citizen, then there is a problem with the administration of the death penalty in this country. And I think there’s abundant evidence that they’re not dotting every i.

  • The death penalty will certainly be a deterrent to these two. They apparently have a long criminal record. Charge them, try them and if guilty fry them asap.

  • I just want to know what the hell these 2 were thinking.

  • I’m not asking anyone to prove his innocence to avoid capital punishment. All I’m saying is if one of the arrows in your quiver of opposition to the death penalty is that innocent people have been executed then I’d like you to, ya know, prove it rather than just assume it must be so because that’s how you feel.

  • The arrow in my quiver is that people who would not have been convicted or sentenced to the death penalty had their trials been conducted properly or if all evidence had been available are being and have been executed. To me, that’s enough to say there’s a huge problem with the death penalty. Don’t do it if you can’t do it right.

  • perlogik, the killer of that scientist was found and convicted. Unfortunately, at the time the maximum sentence for second-degree murder that he was convicted of was only 20 years. Hardly appropriate for such a totally senseless murder.
    Since then the maximum has been increased to 40 years. Andrew Alston of course, thanks to family money for pricey lawyers was able to get off with 27 months for manslaughter.
    As the sayiong goes “them what haves get off.”

  • To Michael Pudhorodsky: What on earth are you the President of? You can’t spell and you can’t put a sentence together correctly?

    I’m one who says these two creeps, if they’re guilty, should get the death penalty. Actually, that punishment would be too good for them! It’s time people should begin to take responsibility for their actions and suffer the consequences.

    They savagely murdered a wonderful young woman who had so much potential. I wish they could have been at the memorial her friends had for her in D.C. last night, but then again, I’m sure, they’re not the type to feel guilty about anything. They’d probably just laugh and wave at the cameras, huh, just like they did in the court room? Jayne had more character in her little finger than these two creeps ever thought of having. The world will not miss them, but it will miss this young woman, who gave so much.

    If they get off, they will continue their useless lives and do further harm to other innocent people. If they spend the rest of their lives in prison, we, the good people, have to support them for the rest of their lives. I personally don’t want my money going towards the upkeep of these beasts.

  • “If they get off, they will continue their useless lives and do further harm to other innocent people.” This reinforces my disbelief in the jury system.

  • I personally don’t want my money going towards the upkeep of these beasts.

    It’s cheaper to warehouse a criminal for the rest of his life than to put him to death. That’s true each and every time.

  • If the system ran correctly, it shouldn’t be more expensive. Another screw up by our legal system and government. Any logical person would think it was cheaper to execute them rather than to warehouse them for their whole lives. Maybe the criminals getting out on probation, not serving their full terms, does make it cheaper……not safer.

  • Hollowboy, could you tell me more about that killer being caught. I never heard this about the rock killer, when did this happen?

    Waldo as to the cost of the Death penalty being higher; isn’t that because of the court cost and endless appeals?

  • as to the cost of the Death penalty being higher; isn’t that because of the court cost and endless appeals?

    Is the suggestion being made that that we should cut back on costs by limiting defense costs for indigent defendants? Or that appeals ought to be denied more frequently?

    If so, surely you realize that that would increase the likelihood of killing an innocent person? I can’t believe that any death penalty advocate would favor a scenario that would lead to wrongful executions.

  • You know darn well that even when they have incontrovertible evidence of guilt, the trials go on forever with appeals! Just look at the original O.J. trial…..it went on for a very lengthy period. And, everyone with a tiny lick of sense, knows he killed his wife. Who are we kidding?

    Maybe there should be changes.

  • I’m with Harry (though maybe he’s not with me…) — if we’re going to grant the State the right to kill someone, I think we WANT all those appeals and the requirement that the accused in capital cases have decent representation.

    I think what people envision when they say they want a quicker, cheaper death penalty process is something like a lynching in the Old South or vigilante justice from the Old West — “yup, we all know he done it, let’s get this ‘trial’ over with so we can string him up!” I suppose a lot of folks are comfortable with that scenario (mostly because they can’t imagine they or anyone they love would ever be surrounded by the good ol’ boys under that tree). I’m not.

  • “Just look at the original O.J. trial…..it went on for a very lengthy period. And, everyone with a tiny lick of sense, knows he killed his wife.” Statements like this reinforces my distrust of the jury system.

  • I was watching a History Channel show today about a sheriff in Arizona who makes his prisoners sleep outside, work on chain gangs, etc.

    While I am not in favor of the death penalty anymore, I agree that there’s got to be something other than two hots and a cot for these criminals. I favor the boot camp approach. Hell, if the guys who are fighting for our country can make it in substandard conditions…why not whip criminals into shape the same way?

    Yours truly,
    The President Of Nothing

  • DKACHUR:”Besides its cost, the death penalty has no deterrent effect on crime (clearly),,,,,,,,,,,”
    WALDO: It can be mthat it does not exist.easured, it is measured, and routinely the measuring reveals For instance, the New York Times recently conducted a study of states with capital punishment and states without capital punishment and found that murder is significantly more common in states that have a death penalty. In another study, researchers looked at murder rates in Oklahoma during and after the state’s 25-year moratorium on executions and found that, after executions were allowed again, murders increased significantly. Another study looked at 293 counties that share a major border, but where one has a death penalty and the other doesn’t. (This was largely across state boundaries, presumably.) They found, again, higher rates of violent crime in those counties where there’s capital punishment.

    My Response: What is presented as a “measurement” are statistics which reveal that murders increase and decrease and that fluctuation is coincident with legislation which proscribes the death penalty or not as the case may be.

    I have no quarrel with the statistics and take them as accurate. My disagreement is with flat statements to the effect the death penalty legislation is responsiblefor these fluctuations.

    For a person with an intent to murder for motives as greed, revenge, hatred, etc, halts his planning for the intended crime while they check the legislation to determine if the death penalty exists or not, and then if the death penalty has been discontinued in that state, the person then thinks ,” I thought I could get the death penalty but if they can`t execute me in this state for murder, it`s not worth it – I`ll forget about it”. Illogical.

    What I will lend credence to, is if in the states and areas, where this correlation (death penalty and murders) is found, that social programs, education, economical improvement, coincidently existed, improving social conditions, (which certainly could affect legislators` decisions based upon a change in populace attitudes perhaps) and the statistics encompassed that aspect, and the scope of the quoted statistics included that data, then a more logical conclusion could be made. If interviews were conducted, and information from murders to the effect they would not have murdered if the death penaltuy wasn`t in the punishemnt, then that might add more credence to the studies.

    I maintain a legislative act discontinuing the death penalty, is alone, not a means to control murder rates. It is perhaps a result of enlightment and social improvements. I continue to believe the consequence of death is a deterrent in some cases.
    My disagreement with the flat statement “removal of the death penalty reduces the murder rate” stands. I rank that type of statement with other adamant declarations which usually start with “Everybody knows….” coupled with passion for the subject.

    None of the above indicates my stance on the death penalty. I have always believed when a person makes the decision, pro or con, they should place themselves oin the stead of the executioner and then search their heart-of hearts.

  • My disagreement with the flat statement “removal of the death penalty reduces the murder rate” stands. I rank that type of statement with other adamant declarations which usually start with “Everybody knows….” coupled with passion for the subject.

    I’m not sure who you’re disagreeing with here. Who made that statement without any sort of qualifiers or frame of reference?

  • this thread seems to have deteriorated

  • Harry Landers Is the suggestion being made that that we should cut back on costs by limiting defense costs for indigent defendants?
    To inquire is not the same as to advocate. You have inferred more than was offered. And you assumption is that all appeals are of merit and substance. Or that I might not wish to see a vigorous defense and appeal process.

    It is not a small point to ask those who talk of how life in prison cost less than the death penalty to explore those reasons. I really don’t care that it cost more to take the life of Tim McVeigh than life in prison would have cost. I cannot believe the world has been better served keeping Charles Mason alive and going to parole hearings.

    That being said I understand that there are problems with the death penalty. What I’m opened to is the discussion how it could be made fairer and more certain. Is that even possible with you? Can enough doubt be removed so that this ultimate punishment can be used?

  • Since there have been exonerations of death row inmates by DNA I have revised my thoughts on the matter. What a waste of a precious life! I think these sorry bastards need to think about what they have done for the rest of their lives…while breaking rocks from dawn to dusk…and subsisting on bread and water…with no TV and a cold cot. There are ways to make a fate worse than death. Let’s try that Virginia! I’ll say this though, even if we took the death penalty off the table I bet Pudhorodsky and his ilk would probably still be whining about their treatment.

    BTW, did anyone see that “exclusive” pile of crap Sharon Gregory spewed on the six news tonight? One of the suspects girlfriends already talking about how he could not have done it. Man, they have the guns and they have the car. They are done! I for one am done with WVIRs over the top crap also.

  • Perlogik, I remember the rock-throwing incident that you refer to; it happened after a UVA football game, and the victim (a UVA alum) was in town for it. Here’s an old obit of the victim:

    http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=9D0CE5DC1639F935A35752C1A967958260

    I do remember them later arresting and convicting the culprit. It sticks in my mind because I remember an interview with the perp after being convicted where he smirked and said, “Well, I coulda got worse!” I also seem to recall reading some time in the past few years that he had already been released, but I could be wrong on that part.

  • “Man, they have the guns and they have the car.” Always avoid trial by jury (unless you’re guilty).

  • The google finally came up the following from a 1992 Cvillenews thread:A 22-YEAR OLD CITY MAN IS FOUND GUILTY OF SECOND DEGREE MURD

    A 22-YEAR OLD CHARLOTTESVILLE MAN HAS BEEN FOUND GUILTY OF SECOND DEGREE MURDER AND SENTENCED TO 20 YEARS IN THE STATE PENITENTIARY FOR HIS INVOLVEMENT IN THE DEATH OF RENOWNED RESEARCH SCIENTIST, GERALD AURBACH. AURBACH WAS KILLED WHEN A ROCK WAS THROWN FROM A PASSING CAR ON WEST MAIN STREET LAST NOVEMBER SECOND. STEVEN DEATON, THE CITY COMMONWEALTH’S ATTORNEY, ARGUED DADE THREW THE ROCK THAT STRUCK AURBACH IN THE TEMPLE, FRACTURED HIS SKULL AND EVENTUALLY CAUSED HIS DEATH DUE TO EXTENSIVE BRAIN INJURIES. ALTHOUGH DADE WAS IN THE CAR WITH THREE OF HIS FRIENDS THAT NIGHT, DEATON EXPLAINS WHY DADE WAS THE ONLY DEFENDANT TO STAND TRIAL (YESTERDAY)

    DEATON SAYS DADE, VICTOR ALLEN, CURTIS ALLEN AND A JUVENILLE MAY STAND TRIAL FOR VARIOUS MISDEMEANORS THAT OCCURRED EARLIER THAT NIGHT ON U-V-A PROPERTY. DADE WILL BE BACK IN CITY CIRCUIT COURT ON FRIDAY, MAY FIRST TO FACE A WITNESS THREATENING CHARGE.

    It was copied from WINA website and for some un”link”able reason doesn’t exist at WINA. But thanks to Waldo here it is.

  • Ah, I remember when WINA’s website was awesome. News archives going back into the late 80s, if I recall correctly. It was a hugely valuable resource, right up there with The Observer‘s web-based archives. Losing those resources is a shame.

  • But I would have to ask… don’t Indain tribes meet with the Governor of Virginia every year at Thanksgiving and pay their taxes in the form of turkeys? I would think this is acknowledging their existence?

    You’d think but, no — the governor just gets a free turkey out of it. :) Jim Webb has introduced a bill to the Senate that would recognize Virginia’s tribes, something that has long been opposed by the state and thus it’s congressional delegation.

  • It has already started on the local tv stations, they are trying to make us feel sorry for those two animals…I almost put a couple of rounds of .45 ACP through my TV this evening, but my wife had rented a movie she wanted to see, so I decided against it. I decided to boycott their advertisers instead (it won’t make a difference but it will make me feel better), NBC 29 made me puke this evening, as I am sure it did others. By the way kudos to the police, well done once again.

  • I don’t feel sorry for them, but I do oppose the death penalty. (About 75 messages up!) I feel sorry for some on the jail inmates that have to live with these two criminals.

  • I don’t think the local TV stations have an agenda to make us feel sorry for the accused; they just want to boost their ratings. An “exclusive” interview with the girlfriend is bound to get people tuning in (mostly, I imagine, to scream at the TV screen). I don’t think there’s a big media conspiracy to stir up pity for criminals — they just want to make money.

    Now, I don’t think the media SHOULD be airing interviews with the girlfriend or whoever since I don’t think it’s really newsworthy — it’s not information I NEED to know. I might LIKE to know it, if I’m a nosy, curious type, but do I NEED it? Not really. But then again, the media a long time ago started conflating want-to-know with need-to-know, so this is nothing new. Again, it’s what capitalism hath wrought.

  • According to this article, one of the scumbags has already confessed.

    http://www.syracuse.com/articles/news/index.ssf?/base/news-12/1195034722322940.xml&coll=1

    I support whichever punishment ensures the most suffering for the culprits.

  • Harry Landers: Is the suggestion being made that that we should cut back on costs by limiting defense costs for indigent defendants?

    Perlogik: To inquire is not the same as to advocate.

    I’m with you there, Perlogik. That’s why I phrased my inquiry as a question. I wasn’t trying to be coy – it was an honest question.

    In response to your question as to whether the death penalty could be made fairer or more certain, I’m afraid that’s not something that I’m open to. I’m a Quaker and that’s a key part of my faith. We believe that we must not claim for ourselves a role that should belong only to God: the ability to take human life.

  • Thank you Mr. Landers for reminding me of an important tenet of my childhoood teachings. I think it is the foundation for the Golden Rule. Being against the death penalty is the way I started out and that’s the way I’m going to leave this earth.

  • Fry ’em.

    One assumes the non-trigger man will shortly turn on the trigger-man and secure for himself life while his buddy gets the shot/gas/juice. Whatever. Fuck ’em.

    I get armed robbery and can even understand bashing the victim in the head with your gun as you flee the scene, but what these guys did? Unconscionable, fire-and-brimstone inspiring hate.

    Fry ’em.

  • I prefer to think of capital punishment as euthanasia for the terminally murderous.

  • “They savagely murdered a wonderful young woman who had so much potential”

    What does that have to do with anything? Was Ms. McGowan’s murder somehow more heinous because she had potential? Does that mean other people are more expendable?

    “You know darn well that even when they have incontrovertible evidence of guilt, the trials go on forever with appeals! Just look at the original O.J. trial…..it went on for a very lengthy period. And, everyone with a tiny lick of sense, knows he killed his wife. Who are we kidding?”

    Come on. There is a reason that there are so many appeals and such an emphasis on, ya know, due process. If you can look through the media circus surrounding the OJ trial, you can see that the DNA chain of evidence was broken. In short, OJ got off because someone in the LAPD fucked up. We have these rules to protect people. If you are on trial for a crime you didn’t commit, then you damn well want a very high standard of evidence. Once we lower the standards for some people we’re pretty sure are guilty, we lower them for everybody.

    Also, there was no appeal in the OJ trial. He was acquitted. There was a civil trial later, with a much lower burden of evidence, but that’s an entirely different legal ballpark.

    “BTW, did anyone see that “exclusive” pile of crap Sharon Gregory spewed on the six news tonight? One of the suspects girlfriends already talking about how he could not have done it. Man, they have the guns and they have the car. They are done!”

    Wow! They had the trial already! And you were on the jury! And you heard all the evidence pro and con and deliberated and handed down a verdict! That sure was a speedy trial! When a sports team dominates another sports team on paper, they still show up to play the game. Why? Because upsets happen. That’s what is happening here. Yeah, it doesn’t look good for them. But, do they have forensic evidence linking them to the car? Have they matched the actual guns to those used in the crime, or just the caliber?

    I honestly don’t know the answers to those questions, nor am I proclaiming whether these two are guilty or not. That’s why we have trials. Let’s not make blanket statements about guilt or innocence until we know what the hell we’re talking about. When Dave Chapman has his news conference a year from now, then we can start making those blanket statements and confirming or disconfirming our suspicions.

  • I support whichever punishment ensures the most suffering for the culprits.

    If they’re guilty — and it certainly seems quite likely that’s so — then I suspect that’s a reasonable sentiment. For a murder of this nature, life in solitary without chance of parole sounds like the way to go.

  • The best way for the suspect(s) to get the death penalty would be a change of venue which the defense will not petition for because they know that here in “crunchy-town” their defendants have the best shot of staying alive. Dave Chapman won’t ask for the death penalty and the juries here won’t recommend it!

    Now before you flame me, I am not trying them, I am speculating on “IF they are guilty”

  • I love to toss monkey wrenches in the works. Some of you need to think about this thing from a criminal’s point of view. If I have just been convicted of killing a person (capital murder), I would much rather be put to death than spend the rest of my natural life in a prison. Can you imagine being 22 years old and spending the next 60 years in a prison?

  • Can you imagine being 22 years old and spending the next 60 years in a prison?

    That’s a lotta license plates!

  • “Taxpayers have paid more than $250 million for each of the state’s executions. (L.A. Times, March 6, 2005)” Even if I had read this in the Bible I wouldn’t believe it.

  • I would say that after the false arrest of Christopher Matthew for rape…which the PD later exonerated by DNA…thank God…and then getting the right guy through the same process that due diligence was taken before locking these pukes up. That’s all I’m saying. Chapman is no idiot and I like his no comment style myself. No Mike Nifong here that’s for sure.

  • jeeperman, how do you remember all of these names? I finally got Nifong and your point.

  • The Christopher Matthew false arrest was another of “Charlottesville Police Department’s Greatest Hits”! That kid spent 3 or 4 days in jail with NO bond for simply being black in America, and for being in the wrong neighborhood at the wrong time. I suspect his DNA was tested as the “serial rapist” too before he was released.

  • Demopublican,
    Yes, I can imagine being 22 and having to spend the rest of my life in prison but I can’t imagine being dead. I have no idea what happens with death but my best guess is that, as Marlene Dietrich said, “When you’re dead, you’re dead. That’s it” I’d much rather be alive and in prison then dead and finished.

  • Maybe we should shift the discussion to what happens when you die. Reincarnation? heaven/hell/purgatory? Nothing? I’m sure there’s more than one opinion out there!

  • I’ll tell you when I die.

  • re: Indian tribes:

    actually, Virginia does recognize its tribes, but they are not federally recognized. This means they don’t have sovereignty. Members of our congressional delegation, both D and R, have been asking the feds to recognize VA’s tribes for a while now. This doesn’t necessarily mitigate the shameful treatment by virginia of its native peoples over the past 4 centuries, including the 20th. And, federal recognition would have helped the mattaponi in its struggle against the king william reservoir, and I”m sure VA business and their pocketed GA members probably did all they could to prevent recognition.

  • You’re right, Virginia does now recognize tribes, as of last year. At least, they’re open to applications from tribes to be recognized. It’s not clear to me whether they actually recognize any of them yet.

  • The link is illuminating. Look further at http://indians.vipnet.org/tribes.cfm (or click on the “Virginia Tribes”
    where it lists the tribes that have been recognized as far back as 1983.

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