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Death Penalty Revisited and Sports Monday: Houston Matters for Monday, October 6, 2014

Death Penalty Revisited and Sports Monday: Houston Matters for Monday, October 6, 2014

Nine people have been executed in the state of Texas in 2014. Two more are scheduled for execution later this month. While eleven executions would be, by far, the most in any state in 2014, it’s also the fewest in Texas since 1996. Why? Are attitudes changing towards the death penalty in Texas? Are we intentionally pursuing fewer capital cases? 

On this edition of Houston Matters, we revisit these and other questions associated with the death penalty in Texas with two guests.

First, we talk with Sister Helen Prejean. If her name rings a bell, it could be because of her best-selling book Dead Man Walking, or the film adaptation of the same name. Susan Sarandon won an Oscar for her portrayal of Sister Prejean, who became a strong advocate for the elimination of the death penalty after witnessing the process of executions first-hand, and ministering to death row inmates. We welcome your questions and comments for Helen Prejean as she visits Houston to discuss “The Death Penalty and Prison Reform in Texas” on the UH campus.

Then, we hear a different perspective as we welcome your questions and comments for for Dudley Sharp, a victims’ rights advocate who tracks legislation related to capital punishment and has spoken out over the years in favor of it.

Also this hour, we discuss the week in sports, including Sunday’s Texans/Cowboys match-up, with CultureMap Houston sports columnist M.K. Bower.

Segments:

  • Advocates for and Against the Death Penalty Make Their Case

    Nine people have been executed in the state of Texas in 2014. Two more are scheduled for execution later this month. While eleven executions would be, by far, the most in any state in 2014, it’s also the fewest in Texas since 1996. Why? Are attitudes changing towards the death penalty in Texas? Are we intentionally pursuing fewer capital cases?  We

    Read/Listen More...

  • Sports Monday: Texans Struggle In Overtime Loss at Dallas

    The Houston Texans rallied for 10 points in the fourth quarter Sunday to force overtime in Dallas but lost 20-17 to the Cowboys to fall to 3-2 on the season. The Texans have a quick turn around hosting the Indianapolis Colts on Thursday night. CultureMap Houston columnist MK Bower joins us to discuss what went wrong and what went right

    Read/Listen More...

About the Author

Craig Cohen

Craig CohenCraig Cohen is the executive producer and host of Houston Matters, which airs weekdays at noon and 7 p.m. on Houston Public Media, News 88.7 FM. Craig is a 20+ year veteran of broadcast journalism. He's spent the bulk of his career in public media, in roles ranging from programmer and manager, to talk show host, reporter, news director, and producer. He's interviewed politicians, industry leaders, authors, newsmakers, and the occasional Muppet. Craig seeks to make the world a slightly better place every day, by informing, enlightening, and entertaining.View all posts by Craig Cohen →

  1. thankgodforpbsandnprthankgodforpbsandnpr10-06-2014

    Regarding the concern about the possibility of executing someone innocent of the crime of which they were accused, Mr. Dudley says, “The reality is when you’re looking at public policy… you got to look at both sides. How many people…how many innocents are at risk with the death penalty and how many innocents are at risk when we let murderers live.”

    Apparently it’s just a matter of number for Mr. Dudley. He’s okay with the possibility of executing innocent people as long as the number of innocents executed is less than the number of potential victims there might be if murderers are allowed to live. Amazing.

    • dudleysharpdudleysharp10-10-2014

      Reality matters.

      Possibly, we have proof, as recently as the 1930’s of an innocent executed.

      But 14,000 – 28,000 innocents that we allowed to be murdered by known murderers that had murdered, before – recidivist murderers – just since 1973, reviewed, below.

      I suspect your position is no death penalty, which knowingly sacrifices more innocents, as detailed:

      The Death Penalty: Do Innocents Matter? A Review of All Innocence Issues
      http(COLON)//prodpinnc.blogspot(DOT)com/2013/10/the-death-penalty-do-innocents-matter.html

      • thankgodforpbsandnprthankgodforpbsandnpr10-12-2014

        “Reality matters.”

        Yes, it does, and the reality is that the problem you’re really talking about prison/prisoner security. You’re essentially saying the death penalty is justified because executing prisoners protects people from failures in prison/prisoner security. Bad argument.

        • dudleysharpdudleysharp10-12-2014

          Justice is the foundation of all sanctions, as it is for the death penalty.

          A secondary, but valuable, outcome of the death penalty is the savings of additional lives.

          It’s a good arguement

    • Scooter LivingstonScooter Livingston10-13-2014

      Dudley doesn’t care if an innocent gets executed.

      Oh..he says that Cameron Todd Willingham can never be exonerated even if evidence shows it.

      Please, Dudley tell us why.

      Oh,,and you can expect to see Dudley’s cut-and-paste BS all o0ver the web. man never changes his act.

  2. TreyTrey10-07-2014

    The thing that got me about Dudley was that he was perfectly OK with the risk that guards, doctors and others would face with death row in mates over the years it took to get to their execution date. Could he quantify that? I’m pretty sure there are actuarial studies on this.
    And Cohen, when you get him back, ask him if he’d be OK being sentenced under such a scheme. Or his relatives. Or relatives of friends.
    And one more thing – brace him for his studies. Get titles, authors and publications and post them on this useful website. 14,000 to 24,000 people over 20+ years, really?

    • dudleysharpdudleysharp10-10-2014

      Trey:

      I never stated that I was OK with that risk. I stated that living murderers serving life were still a threat – very well known. Executed murderers are not.

      The 14,000 – 28,000 additional innocents murdered by known murderers that we allowed to murder, again, is here:

      The Death Penalty: Do Innocents Matter? A Review of All Innocence Issues

      http(COLON)//prodpinnc.blogspot(DOT)com/2013/10/the-death-penalty-do-innocents-matter.html

      Possibly you should have challenged SR. Prejean’s claims about the exonerated from death row.

      The Blatant Fraud – The 146 “exonerated” from death row

      The Death Penalty Information Center (DPIC) simply decided to redefine both “exonerated” and “innocent”, in the same fashion as if they redefined “lie” as “truth”.

      a) The 130 (now 146) death row “innocents” scam

      http(COLON)//homicidesurvivors.candothathosting(DOT)com/2009/03/04/the-death-row-130-innocents-scam-nm/

      b) The “Innocent”, the “Exonerated” and Death Row

      http(COLON)//prodpinnc.blogspot(DOT)com/2013/03/the-innocent-exonerated-and-death-row_19.html

      An Open Fraud in the Death Penalty Debate: How Death Penalty Opponents Lie

      This is a look at how well destroyed the “EXONERATED” and/or “INNOCENTS” list is and how it has been so deceptively used by the anti death penalty movement.