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Teresa Lewis on Death Row Makes Her Last Decision: Her Final Meal

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Teresa Lewis on Death Row Makes Her Last Decision: Her Final Meal

Its sad that such things as this has to be done, yet those who are murder's ask for it by having no mercy on those whom they murder. And to think, after her husband had been shot, she waited 45 minutes hoping he would be dead. They force the government to punish them, sometimes even with the death penalty.
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Murder and other crimes certainly should be punished, but I have to say that I strongly believe that the death penalty is not the way. The United States is one of the few industrialized countries that still has the death penalty and it's a shame. We have had many people on death row that have later been exonerated. How terrible to wrongly punish someone in such a permanent way! Studies have shown that the death penalty isn't a deterrent either. I for one know that my conscience would never allow me to sit on a jury and condemn a person to death.

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I don't find that the government taking a life as the fitting end and punishment to an appropriately and accurately conducted trial is an issue.

I do, however, have an issue with how we many times conduct the trail and truth finding process. I do believe it is flawed and does not conform to the Biblical standard of having multiple eye witnesses in order to carry out the ultimate sentence.

Also, I don't care if the death penalty doesn't deter anyone else from committing murder as long as it deters the one found guilty of murder from ever repeating their heinous act.

P.S. Tell Dr. William Pettit about how there shouldn't be justice on the level of the death penalty for the two vermin who beat him, tied him up while they then tied, raped and tortured his wife and tied and burned to death his two daughters and wife. Please, I would love to have you stand face-to-face with him as you explain your stand concerning the death penalty in this case.

Edited by trc123
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I don't find that the government taking a life as the fitting end and punishment to an appropriately and accurately conducted trial is an issue.

I do, however, have an issue with how we many times conduct the trail and truth finding process. I do believe it is flawed and does not conform to the Biblical standard of having multiple eye witnesses in order to carry out the ultimate sentence.

Also, I don't care if the death penalty doesn't deter anyone else from committing murder as long as it deters the one found guilty of murder from ever repeating their heinous act.

P.S. Tell Dr. William Pettit about how there shouldn't be justice on the level of the death penalty for the two vermin who beat him, tied him up while they then tied, raped and tortured his wife and tied and burned to death his two daughters and wife. Please, I would love to have you stand face-to-face with him as you explain your stand concerning the death penalty in this case.

:goodpost:

To "punish" murderers by giving them life in prison (even if it is without any chance of parole) is putting the burden on the taxpayers and making them support the one who has committed a heinous crime. That is quite backward. As trc pointed out, trials are not conducted in the way they should be. Too often circumstantial evidence becomes "fact" and it is what convicts. That ought not be. Witnesses (more than one, and witnesses who have something against the person ought to be suspect as to motive for their "witness"). Now we have forensics which can uphold witnesses (in actual fact, forensic proof can also be a witness).

The death penalty is a deterrent to crime: God is the one who instituted the death penalty...methinks His ways work best.
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:goodpost:

To "punish" murderers by giving them life in prison (even if it is without any chance of parole) is putting the burden on the taxpayers and making them support the one who has committed a heinous crime. That is quite backward. As trc pointed out, trials are not conducted in the way they should be. Too often circumstantial evidence becomes "fact" and it is what convicts. That ought not be. Witnesses (more than one, and witnesses who have something against the person ought to be suspect as to motive for their "witness"). Now we have forensics which can uphold witnesses (in actual fact, forensic proof can also be a witness).

The death penalty is a deterrent to crime: God is the one who instituted the death penalty...methinks His ways work best.


:amen: to both!
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:goodpost:

To "punish" murderers by giving them life in prison (even if it is without any chance of parole) is putting the burden on the taxpayers and making them support the one who has committed a heinous crime. That is quite backward. As trc pointed out, trials are not conducted in the way they should be. Too often circumstantial evidence becomes "fact" and it is what convicts. That ought not be. Witnesses (more than one, and witnesses who have something against the person ought to be suspect as to motive for their "witness"). Now we have forensics which can uphold witnesses (in actual fact, forensic proof can also be a witness).

The death penalty is a deterrent to crime: God is the one who instituted the death penalty...methinks His ways work best.


All good points to think about.

These are all leading into the theories of the justice system. You are both intelligent people so I'm sure I'm "preaching to the choir" as they would say, but it all goes into if we think the penal system should be for rehabilitation, retribution, or deterrence. Now, I think all three under different circumstances, and hopefully the second less than the other 2.

To address some of the points that both of you brought up; trc, I think your point is that the shoe is on the other foot when something terrible happens to ourselves or our loved ones. I agree, it's easy to sit in our ivory towers and say that the death penalty is wrong when we can hold it at arms length. I hope that I would feel the same way if a situation were to hit close to home and I pray I never have to find out.

Also, I would say that someone who has had to watch something so heinous happen to his family has already had the system fail him. The person who did that needs to be punished, but nothing will bring the victim's loved ones back. That's why we need social reform to keep kids off the street and reach them before they start committing crimes.

Happy, yes prisons are expensive. I don't have the statistics in front of me, but I've seen them, and death row is extremely expensive. It costs an awful lot to house a criminal in that kind of maximum security facility even for a short time and then to actually perform the execution. It's a medical procedure (and I think we all know how expensive those are!). Actually, we could relieve a lot of the burden on taxpayers and the prison systems if we didn't lock up so many non-violent offenders (ie people caught with marijuana). But that's a discussion for a different day...
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All good points to think about.

These are all leading into the theories of the justice system. You are both intelligent people so I'm sure I'm "preaching to the choir" as they would say, but it all goes into if we think the penal system should be for rehabilitation, retribution, or deterrence. Now, I think all three under different circumstances, and hopefully the second less than the other 2.

To address some of the points that both of you brought up; trc, I think your point is that the shoe is on the other foot when something terrible happens to ourselves or our loved ones. I agree, it's easy to sit in our ivory towers and say that the death penalty is wrong when we can hold it at arms length. I hope that I would feel the same way if a situation were to hit close to home and I pray I never have to find out.

Also, I would say that someone who has had to watch something so heinous happen to his family has already had the system fail him. The person who did that needs to be punished, but nothing will bring the victim's loved ones back. That's why we need social reform to keep kids off the street and reach them before they start committing crimes.

Happy, yes prisons are expensive. I don't have the statistics in front of me, but I've seen them, and death row is extremely expensive. It costs an awful lot to house a criminal in that kind of maximum security facility even for a short time and then to actually perform the execution. It's a medical procedure (and I think we all know how expensive those are!). Actually, we could relieve a lot of the burden on taxpayers and the prison systems if we didn't lock up so many non-violent offenders (ie people caught with marijuana). But that's a discussion for a different day...


Actually, if you profess to be a Christian the only question is what does Scripture say. Man-made judicial theories mean nothing in the light of God's Word. The Word of God is very clear on the matter of murder and the death penalty.
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As for me, its not about cost, its handing out the proper punishment to fit the crime.

Even though this was a woman who wanted her husband dead, and plotted to do so, them waited 45 minutes to call, yes, death penalty is appropriate.

That said, by the crime she committed, she force them to give her the death penalty, and she can blame no one but self. I wish there was no such a thing as the death penalty, yet as long as humans will murder one another, there is only one way to slow this down, hand down harsh penalties, and for murder, the death penalty fits quite well

Way to many bleeding hearts, and all they do is encourage less punishment and encourage more crime. My heart bleeds only for the victim and or victims, not for the murder.

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Va. puts woman to death; rare U.S. female execution

JARRATT, Va. (AP) — Teresa Lewis spent the last days before her execution as she had spent one side of her life — singing hymns and praying. That devotion to Christianity, by her own admission, was countered by outrageous bouts of sex and betrayal.

That dark side led her life to a deadly turn in 2002 when she plied two men with sex and cash to kill her husband and stepson to collect on a $250,000 insurance policy. For that, the 41-year-old on Thursday was the first woman put to death in the U.S. since 2005 — and just the 11th since the death penalty was reinstated in 1976 — in a case that generated international appeals and rebukes.

Lewis died by injection at 9:13 p.m., apologizing first to the sole surviving daughter of the husband she had killed. She was the first woman in Virginia since 1912 put to death. Her supporters and relatives of the victims watched her execution at Greensville Correctional Center in Jarratt.

"She was very peaceful," before she entered the death chamber, said her attorney, James Rocap III.

"We thought that we were supposed to be helping her, while she was actually helping us," he said about the days leading to her death during which she laughed, sang and prayed — for everybody.

Lewis promised the killers a cut of a life insurance policy to shoot her husband, Julian Clifton Lewis Jr., and his son, Charles, as they slept in OctOBer 2002. Both triggermen were sentenced to life in prison and one committed suicide in 2006.

Lewis appeared fearful, her jaw clenched, as she was escorted into the death chamber. She glanced tensely around at 14 assembled corrections officials before being bound to a gurney with heavy leather straps.

Moments before her execution, Lewis asked if her husband's daughter — her stepdaughter — was near. She was. Kathy Clifton was in an adjacent witness room blocked from the inmate's view by a two-way mirror.

"I want Kathy to know that I love her and I'm very sorry," Lewis said.

Then, as the drugs flowed into her body, her feet bOBbed but she otherwise remained motionless. A guard lightly tapped her on the shoulder reassuringly as she slipped into death.

More than 7,300 appeals to stop the execution had been made to the governor in a state second only to Texas in the number of people it executes.2

Texas held the most recent U.S. execution of a woman in 2005. Out of more than 1,200 people put to death since the U.S. Supreme Court reinstated capital punishment in 1976, only 11 have been women.

Lewis, who defense attorneys said was borderline mentally disabled, had inspired other inmates by singing Christian hymns in prison. Her fate also had drawn appeals from the European Union, an indignant rebuke from Iran and the disgust of thousands of people.

The execution stirred an unusual amount of attention because of her gender, claims she lacked the intelligence to mastermind the killings and the post-conviction emergence of defense evidence that one of the triggermen manipulated her. Her spiritual adviser, the Rev. Julie Perry, stood sOBbing as she later witnessed the execution, clutching a religious book.

Throughout her life, a faith in God had been a seeming constant for Lewis — whether it was the prayer with her husband hours before he was killed or her ministry behind bars.

But there was another side.

"I was doing drugs, stealing, lying and having several affairs during my marriages," Lewis wrote in a statement that was read at a prison religious service in August. "I went to church every Sunday, Friday and revivals but guess what? I didn't open my Bible at home, only when I was at church."

Her father said she ran off to get married, then later abandoned her children and ran off with her sister's husband. Then she had an affair with her sister's fiance while at the same time having an affair with another man.

Lewis married Julian in 2000 and two years later, his son Charles entered the U.S. Army Reserve. When he was called for active duty he OBtained a $250,000 life insurance policy, naming his father the beneficiary and providing temptation for Teresa Lewis.

Both men would have to die for Lewis to receive the payout.

She met at a Walmart with the two men who ultimately killed Julian Lewis and his son. Lewis began an affair with Matthew Shallenberger and later had sex with the other triggerman, Rodney Fuller. She also arranged sex with Fuller and her daughter, who was 16, in a parking lot.

On the night before Halloween in 2002, after she prayed with her husband, Lewis got out of bed, unlocked the door to their mOBile home and put the couple's pit bull in a bedroom so the animal wouldn't interfere. Shallenberger and Fuller came in and shot both men several times with the shotguns Lewis had bought for them.

http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2010/sep/24/va-inmate-1st-woman-5-years-executed-us/

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Murder and other crimes certainly should be punished, but I have to say that I strongly believe that the death penalty is not the way. The United States is one of the few industrialized countries that still has the death penalty and it's a shame. We have had many people on death row that have later been exonerated. How terrible to wrongly punish someone in such a permanent way! Studies have shown that the death penalty isn't a deterrent either. I for one know that my conscience would never allow me to sit on a jury and condemn a person to death.


We actually went over this in many of my Criminal Justice classes when I was in college. Detterence honestly can not be measured. We do not know how many people have not murdered because of the death penalty. I am sure if you looked at the study closely, it would have major flaws.

Also, our justice system's number one priority is protection of the citizens. Criminals go to jail to protect us from them. The death penalty insures complete protection to the citizens from the murderer. I have never seen a dead person murder. While penalties may deter, that is not the number one priority.
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I am surprised that some stupid judge didn't throw out the case because the accused could not face the accuser (the dead husband). I have actually heard of that happening on 48 hours. A man wrote a letter to his parents and said if you find me dead under suspicious circumstances it was either blank, blank, or blank that murdered me. After one of those people was found guilty, a judge over turned the case because the accused could not face the dead accuser.

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We actually went over this in many of my Criminal Justice classes when I was in college. Detterence honestly can not be measured. We do not know how many people have not murdered because of the death penalty. I am sure if you looked at the study closely, it would have major flaws.

Also, our justice system's number one priority is protection of the citizens. Criminals go to jail to protect us from them. The death penalty insures complete protection to the citizens from the murderer. I have never seen a dead person murder. While penalties may deter, that is not the number one priority.


Agreed. Also, those that argue the large cost as being a reason to not have capital punishment are somewhat inconsistent in that they would be the first to normally say, what is the cost of a human life. Thus, how do you determine the value of the life (or lives) of those the murderer choose to kill vs. the cost to bring the murderer to an accurate decision of guilt and then carrying out of sentence in order to provide justice?

P.S. It wouldn't cost millions of dollars if the average time from arrest to conviction to sentence being carried out wasn't 14 years. What ever happened to a citizens right to a speedy trial? Citizens being the accused as well as the public at large that is endangered by the accused being a menace to society.
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I support the death penalty in certain circumstances...I do think it was instituted by God, over a thousand years before Moses was born, so it's not a "Mosaic Law" thing. But then there are Christ's words in the gospels, "Ye have heard that it has been said, 'an eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth'...but I say to you..." He seems to qualify and expand upon the "OT" way of doing things. So, perhaps there's a bit of liberty when it comes to application here.

If the death penalty were applied consistently, with no exceptions, and no plea-bargaining, etc., you'd better believe it would be an effective deterrent to violent crime! But, the American justice system being what it is...it's hard to tell. (And, as amblivion said, there's really no study that can know the minds of people who "maybe would have" murdered someone if the penalty were not in place. People don't even know themselves that well...All the researchers have to go by is numbers, and that kind of research assumes too much about people in general, and doesn't take into account the variables already mentioned.)

I will say that a person would have to be proven guilty, beyond a shadow of doubt, before the death penalty should be applied. (And I know there are gray areas there, too.)

CPR, I'd be interested in upon what basis you think we can disregard Genesis 9:6, and say that "[you] strongly believe that the death penalty is not the way." Your arguments so far have been pragmatic, scientific, and emotional, but you haven't addressed the Scriptural precedent.

Edited by Annie
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