Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Johnny Ray Conner

Why is the BBC carrying a photo of Johnny Ray Conner who is due to be executed on Wednesday for the "cruel and inhumane" murder of Kathyanna Gon Thi Nguyen rather than the victim's photo?

Hopefully the Texas Governor tells the European Union where to go, just like Michael O'Leary!


Anonymous said...

We in Europe have the right to denounce this act and you sir have the right to ignore us. By doing so, however, you demean your nation since the measure of every society is how it treats it's worst members, not it's best. If you are merely seeking revenge, what is so wrong with a life wasted in a US prison?

Anonymous said...

"the measure of every society is how it treats it's worst members"

Sure it is, so long as you have convinced yourself that life imprisonment is "humane." I can point you to many groups who believe otherwise.

There is only one reason to defer a death sentence, and that is if there is a shadow of a doubt over the guilt of the accused. If there is no quibble, then the only argument against the death penalty is a religious one, and isn't one of the frequent Euro accusations against the U.S. that it is "too religious"? (It's a frankly stupid accusation, usually propagated by Europhiles and/or anti-American types who know far less about this country than they believe.)

Otherwise, if there is no religious argument against the death penalty, and the accused is assuredly guilty, what is "so wrong" with assuring the accused will never again have a chance to do any harm to law-abiding citizens or even other prisoners who chose to commit lesser crimes?

Anonymous said...

If you feel that death is enough payment for any hideous crime then be my guest and proceed on killing all of them that you think they deserve it. I believe that a person who committed such serious crimes has lost his rights to be human and should be left to rot in prison and believe me he would call for death long before death claims him. When I say prison I mean one of medieval conditions of life.

Anonymous said...

no one "rots" in prison anymore, i dare say its a hell of alot easier in there than in the real world.

check out this site http://ccadp.org/johnnyconner.htm its Johnny's side of the story, even if you think he did it, its good to know how impartial his lawyer was.

Anonymous said...

Just think in another 10,000 executions or so we might catch up with the number from the british Isles.

At least almost all of ours in the US have been guilty murder, unlike the ones there who were executed for being born on the wrong side of the sheets, having borne a female child, or having property that the kings or queens wanted.

Oh, well. Pass the guilt trip on to others.

Anonymous said...

You in Europe can criticize the United States to your collective hearts' content.

I would, however, greatly appreciate hearing a European account for the treatment of European Jews -- in each and every country in Europe -- up to and including the Second World War.

Can you do that? Until you can, leave the U.S. and its death penalty alone. We alone have the right to determine what to do with those among us who commit crimes that shock the conscience. Kind of the same crimes as the Europeans perpetrated against the Jews for over a thousand years, except not nearly as horrific.

I look forward to your response.

Sick of Europeans
New York, New York

Anonymous said...

Hi, I'm French, I'm converted to Christian Orthodoxy, leaving in Eastern Europe.
I'm praying God to forgive you people who think that somebody, and especially a State, has the right to kill a man. Your justice makes mistakes, and even if it didn't, nothing justify to kill a man. Texas is a murderer State each time a prisonner is executed. And anybody who stands by the death penalty is morally an accomplice murderer.
May Texas stop its shameful evil slaughter.
I'm praying for you to realize how evil is the claim that a man has the right to decide somebody's death. I'm praying for Johnny Ray Conner too. I'm praying for Kathyanna Gon Thi Nguyen.
May God forgive all of us.

Anonymous said...

Isn't it American nature to seek revenge?

You lose 2 buildings (and alot of lives), so you go and destroy 2 countries (and alot of lives, including your own countrymen, and ours)

Somebody kills someone else, so he must be killed himself.

So i dont blame you (Americans) for having the attitudes you have, its hardwired to your genetics.

such a pity...

Snafu said...

Maybe if Amercian history stretched back more than a couple of hundred years, you would also have a history rich in regicide, fratricide, executions and wars. America can only wallow in civil war, slavery, civil rights and the inhumane treatment of native Americans...

However, this is all a great a distraction from the point of the post as no country can expect to have a 'guilt-free' history. All countries have events that they would prefer to shy away from, America probably has less than most others. The world certainly owes it a great debt of gratitude for many more things!

The whole point of the post was to say that Texas should ignore any pleas from liberals within the European Union!

Anonymous said...


Alfie said...

"Maybe if American history stretched back more than a couple of hundred years, you would also have a history rich in regicide, fratricide, executions and wars. America can only wallow in civil war, slavery, civil rights and the inhumane treatment of native Americans"...

Yeah Snafu, inhumane alright - between 15-20 million native Americans slaughtered from the beginning of the 19th century onwards theough disease, elimination of food stocks, displacement and massacre.. that's genocide in my book.

Anonymous said...

First off, in this country the only arguements for or against the death penalty that will ever stick must be political ones. America's foundation lays on the idea that church and state are not to be mingled in with.

I don't know how putting a man in "our" prisons is truly a just punishment. I don't know what Euro prisons look like but I know our's are far from a dungeon. With that said, I do not look at the death penalty as a murdering act. Murder by definition is: the unlawful killing of one human by another, especially with premeditated malice. Our death penalty is one, legal. Secondly there is no premiditated malice, they are given a fair trial and that is the ultimate punishment we offer in this country.

We are the ONLY group in the animal world that allows the unfit to continue to live amongst it's flock. Even the simplist of creatures ex-communicate the unfit and turn them out from their group to starve or die off.

I am a true liberal and very seldom do Texas and I see eye to eye - but I have no quarrels with the death penalty. These men and women who recieve such have done the unthinkable to our fellow citizens. There is no legal punishment that could come close to truly punishing them for what they've done, but lethal injection is as close as we can get.

I'm sorry if so many of you have issues with this, I would much rather my tax dollars be spent on knowing these kind of people are no longer amongst the rest of us versus knowing I am keeping them alive in a prison.

Anonymous said...

LOL..well one day when the Islamo Fascist thing is going wild over there we will be willing to denounce your treatment (LOL).

Course we will probably also have to sacrifice another couple hundred thousand lives to save your butts again.

Anonymous said...

I am a American and I believe in the death penalty.

But in this case I'm hugely disappointed by the American action.

Reading about this story it is clear that the crime Johnny Ray Conner committed is not one of the "most horrible crimes" as the governor of Texas defends. This was a hold up shooting. It was not a serial murder, or a premeditated act to harm a specific individual.

A huge part of the punishment process that makes our American system stand above that of other nations is our program for inmate reform.

The intent of sending someone to prison is to reform them so they will not do the act again.

The death penalty should be reserved for those individuals whom are multiple offenders, and whom the system has no hope of changing, Those individuals that present a clear threat to society in the future.

I feel greatly for the victim’s family. Murder is a horrible thing for anyone. But if we condemning someone for murder with out fist working to help them change than we are just as bad.

I respect the BBC for running this story. the purpose of the freedom of the press is to keep the gov. in check. I believe that texas has crossed the line in this case and we as the rest of the world need to call them out.

Anonymous said...

August 22, 2007

Johnny Ray Conner was executed today at 6:20 PM Huntsville, Texas time. I believe the evidence of his actual innocence is overwhelming and persuasive and that the Fifth Circuit Court and the US Supreme Court are blind to justice. Those courts are a disgrace to American society.

The evidence of his guilt is based upon three eyewitnesses who identified Conner from a police photographic spread. One of those witnesses was shot by the killer, the other two saw someone running from the scene. Considering that eyewitness testimony is the single most unreliable source of evidence and the fact that police officers and prosecutors from Harris County, Texas are notorious for influencing identifications, this is not persuasive evidence of guilt.

The evidence of a fingerprint match taken from the mouth of a soda bottle found at the scene is also highly questionable evidence. The fingerprints of the hand holding the bottle did not match Conner. The Harris County fingerprint laboratory is notoriously unreliable, and there is an unanswered question about exactly where the bottle came from.

The trial lasted ONE day. That was only seven years ago. The death warrant was issued for an execution date only seven months after the Circuit Court denial and before the judgement became final. This case is an illegal rush to judgement and a rush to execution. It is not reasonable to expect an appeal of this gravity to be mounted in seven months time.

The Fifth Circuit Court reversal of the federal District Court call for a new trial was unreasonable and illogical. They claimed that since none of the eyewitnesses was ever asked whether the man they saw running from the scene had a noticeable limp, therefore it could not be assumed that he did not exhibit a limp just because they did say that he ran very fast. That is the court stretching reasoning beyond the limits of credulity in order to reach a predetermined, desired conclusion.

The US Supreme Court denial of the appeal for a stay is likewise due to the conservative court’s disposition against considering the requirements of justice over the value of preserving the trial court’s decision, even when there is substantial reason for doubting the fairness of that judgement. In a seven to two vote, they denied relief.

The execution of Johnny Ray Conner is a crime against humanity on several levels. First, because he is manifestly innocent of the crime. Second, because the courts considering his trial and appeals were all unfair. And third, because execution by a state is a crime against humanity. There is absolutely no viable justification for the death penalty in any case. It is not necessary nor effective as a deterrent to crime and is only an expression of the local society’s need for the blood vengeance as the ultimate sanction. The desire for Vengeance is a mental illness which would not be supported by a civil society. The state of Texas is the ultimate example of an uncivil, corrupt, and misguided society gone awry.

To consider any human life as forfeit for the crime of murder is to adopt the same lack of self-control that the murderer is guilty of. No life is useless. No life is impossible of redemption and rehabilitation. Some may be beyond our capacity to reform, but that is our failing, not the fault of the murderer. State sponsored execution/murder preserves the idea of murder as an approved expression of vengeance. A truly civil society instead, finds vengeance abhorrent.

Anonymous said...

I just wrote a blog post about this very subject. In it I quoted Justice Potter Stewert who sat on the case that brought a tempory end to the practice of executing poeple in the United States.

He said back then in 1972, “I simply conclude that the Eighth and Fourteenth Amendments cannot tolerate the infliction of a sentence of death under legal systems that permit this unique penalty to be so wantonly and so freakishly imposed.”

Of course I am very sorry for the family of Conners victim. But I doubt the death of Conner will have any real bearing on their coming to terms with her loss.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous at 9:27PM said...

"I would, however, greatly appreciate hearing a European account for the treatment of European Jews -- in each and every country in Europe -- up to and including the Second World War."

Really would you? Well discrimination against jews took place in the US too.

"Kind of the same crimes as the Europeans perpetrated against the Jews for over a thousand years, except not nearly as horrific."

Well, well. You think that Europeans and Americans are so very different then? How much should we bet on the possibility that you are jewish?

I note that you lump all Europeans together, I guess the Brits in WW2 are just as guilty as the Germans? After all they are all Europeans. Just thinking about that sentence to myself pretty well proves to me you are jewish, or have totally internalized their propaganda.

So as a person of European descent, like the majority of people characterized as American I reject your attempt to divide us - and you can stick your guilt trip.

Anonymous said...

You fucking dick.