Lars Larson: The good guys win in a death penalty verdict

Every once in a while the good guys win one. They did in Deschutes County Court when a jury heard the penalty phase of Randy Guzek’s murder trial. This was the fourth trial on the same murders that happened nearly a quarter of a century ago. It involved Randy Guzek.

Now he’s been sentenced to death, and that’s a good thing. I know that some of your friends are going to tell you that is terrible—a man on death row. Let me tell you why it is good news.

All the best research, including research looked at by President Obama’s buddy Cass Sunstein, says that every time we execute a convicted killer, and do it lawfully, it deters at least eight murders. That is eight innocent citizens who will not die and be murdered because Randy Guzick is going to be put to death.

Oregon needs to get busy about it. This is a good thing, not a bad thing.

“For more Lars click here”

  • valley p

    I love raining on Lars parades. Cass Sunstein says nothing of the sort. Read him for yourself Lars.

    And ask yourself this. Why are murder rates in non death penalty states consistently lower, over 20 years of data, than murder rates in states with the death penalty? By your reasoning they should be 8 times lower no? And why are murder rates way lower in Canada and Europe than in the US?

    But hey…this is Catalyst. Don’t let actual facts get in the way.

    • Davis

      It would help if you would, once again, learn to read for comprehension before spouting off. Lars does not attribute anything to Sunstein. The reference to him is by way of a supportive clause to the main sentence that reads (without the clause): “All the best research says that every time we execute a convicted killer, and do it lawfully, it deters at least eight murders.”

      There are three components to this argument that completely belie your contrary and irrelevant claims by innuendo. First, Lars does not even say that Sunstein agrees with the conclusions that Lars draws from the research; he says only that he has looked at it. Second, the research stresses that it is the execution of the murderer, not the presence of the penalty in law, that acts to prevent at least eight additional murders. Third, the supportive clause, “and do it lawfully”, emphasizes the process being as important as the actual execution.

    • Anonymous

      Maybe the death penalty is law in states as a reaction to higher murder rates. You know, lawless state with a lot of murders causes people to lash out for harsher justice? Also, how is the death penalty used in those states? For instance, Oregon has a death penalty – and it comes up about once every few years. It is nothing like Texas. Or even California. Just because there is a higher murder rate in a state with the death penalty does not mean that the death penalty makes the rate higher. What else do states with the higher murder rates and the death penalty have in common? Demographics? Populations? Poverty? Drugs? Gangs? Climate? Racial tensions? There are so many other factors that can affect the murder rate – just making a blanket statement about how it is higher where there is a death penalty is asinine.

  • Anonymous

    Typical v-liberal,

    You’ve done nothing but ask another question while inferring the answer you prefer is fact.

    You link to Sunstein as if he supports your inference.

    Far from it.

    “Here, too, many alternative explanations remain, making it hazardous to conclude that the death penalty does not deter murder.

    ,if a strong deterrent effect could be demonstrated, a plausible argument could be made on behalf of executions. But what if the evidence is inconclusive?

    We are not sure how to answer that question. But as executions resume, the debates over the death penalty should not be distorted by a misunderstanding of what the evidence actually shows. But the absence of evidence of deterrence should not be confused with evidence of absence.”

    You should not be jumping to convenient conclusions while pretending to be raining on Lars’ parade by charging him with doing the same thing.

    But that’s your MO.

    On a broader topic,

    Why do Liberals always make suggestive inferences instead of just spitting out their claim?

    • valley p

      Lars made the claim that :

      “Cass Sunstein, says that every time we execute a convicted killer, and do it lawfully, it deters at least eight murders. ”

      Sunstein made no such claim. Nor did I make any claim about the death penalty. I merely show facts that counter Lars’ confident conclusion that putting people to death deters others. As Sunstein points out, the evidence is not conclusive one way or the other.

    • dartagnan

      “But the absence of evidence of deterrence should not be confused with evidence of absence.”

      Hmmm, where did I hear that argument before? Oh yeah — the Bush administration talking about Saddam Hussein’s weapons of mass destruction, which turned out to be mythical.

      Absence of evidence is not necessarily evidence of absence, but it certainly is not evidence of presence and it is more likely to indicate something is not the case than that it is.

      The absence of credible evidence for the existence of Bigfoot does not absolutely, positively prove that Bigfoot does not exist, but it makes me strongly disinclined to believe he exists.

      Of course many of the people I’m talking to here still believe Saddam really DID have all those WMDs, so I’m probably wasting my time with this argument.

  • Harry

    “As Sunstein points out, the evidence is not conclusive one way or the other. ”

    There is one bit of positive, totally conclusive, data that is 100% factual: A convicted murderer who is put to death will never murder again. Never murder again. Ever.

    Now, there is another bit of data that is also almost always expected: dean, and his various psuedonyms (valley p, prof, retarded prof, current student, etc) will spout off about how many false convictions put many innocents to death, etc etc etc No doubt true that some criminals are falsely convicted, but then nobody is arguing that the death penalty is 100% perfect either.

    Not even dean is perfect, just perfectly predictable to spout off more nonsense, even on fathers day. Happy Fathers Day to all Fathers.

    • valley p

      On behalf of all the imaginary deans that seem to be freaking you out, I accept the happy fathers day.

  • Bronch O’Humphrey

    But Lars, I thought you wanted us to spend tax dollars wisely? By executing this man, as opposed to keeping him locked up for life without parole, we are spending far more public money in a time of economic crisis to go through the appeals, stays and injunctions that precede any execution.

    Lars Larson: Just another fake conservative selling you some fiscally irresponsible snake oil.

  • dartagnan

    Lars, where exactly is this “best research” that proves every time we execute a murderer it prevents eight (not seven, not nine, but precisely eight) murders? Why don’t you provide a link to it? Knowing your ideological agenda, I’m not prepared to take your word for it that it’s the “best research” or that it says what you claim it says.