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Friday, June 30, 2006

One of the Secrets to Living Longer.

Over at Straight Dope the question is raised about whether they've ever hung a millionaire in the U.S?

The answer is illuminating:
So the tally is one or two crime bosses and a few long-ago toffs lacking funds. You say the rich don't commit murders as often? True, but even a partial list of well-off, well-connected defendants who could have hanged but didn't is impressive:

* Congressman Dan Sickles, found temporarily insane in the 1859 killing of his wife's lover.

* Harry K. Thaw, son of a railroad baron, found insane in the 1906 slaying of architect Stanford White.

* Wealthy college students Nathan Leopold and Richard Loeb; pleaded guilty to the 1924 thrill killing of a boy in Chicago and imprisoned but spared the noose.

* Texas oilman T. Cullen Davis, acquitted of the 1976 murder of his estranged wife's daughter.

* Real estate heir Thomas Capano, convicted of the 1996 murder of his girlfriend in Delaware; death sentence reduced to life without parole.

* Robert Durst, another real estate heir, acquitted of the 2001 murder of an elderly drifter in Texas.

And many more. Prosecutors often don't even pursue the death penalty against the rich--think O.J. Simpson, Robert Blake, Phil Spector, and John du Pont (of the chemical du Ponts). You needn't hire a Johnnie Cochran or a Clarence Darrow to get the treatment. An analysis of Georgia cases showed that prosecutors were almost twice as likely to ask for the death penalty when the defendant couldn't afford a lawyer. Nationwide an estimated 90-plus percent of those arrested for capital crimes are too poor to retain experienced private counsel. In Kentucky, a quarter of death row inmates were defended by lawyers who were later disbarred (or resigned to avoid disbarment); other states are similar. A few states have offices dedicated to providing a proper defense for capital defendants, but a Texas jurist summed up the attitude elsewhere: "The Constitution does not say that the lawyer has to be awake." So is it cynical to oppose the death penalty on such grounds? Nah. Just realistic.

So I googled, "Millionaire Life In Prison".

Oh well, it must be a malfunction...

(via Other Crap)