“Almost anyone can be an author; the business is to collect money from this state of mind.” AA Milne
If it is Q1 (urgent), use a faster means, like calling on phone or texting on cell phone.
If the message is short, put it in the subject line and end with EOM (end of message).
Make subject line actionable (what you want done), not vague and only one subject.
Make it short and only one subject.
Put desired action first & be clear as to what to be done and by whom.
If addees other than the one to act, make it clear as to them NRN (no reply needed).
Do body before doing the “to” line so don’t forget to edit and to make attachments.
Avoid symbols and caps.
If your reply will be later, acknowledge message and say you will answer later.
Use auto reply if you will be gone long unless you will have access to e-mail.
Add new contacts ASAP so replies will not go to junk mail.
Do one with contact info and use on all messages.
Shortened and reorganized list of the one found as Exhibit “A” in book The Five Choices, a recent Franklin Covey Co. publication.
There is the long-time White House restriction on the use of the words radical or militant Islam. Retired four star US Army General Keene says that we have to identify the enemy in order to effectively fight it. The White House maintains that it has strategies for most of the terrorist groups, but treats them individually rather than together. General Keene says that we need a global policy to fight them since they have a common source. Another source of confusion is caused by the federal administration on the one hand working with the terrorist state of Iran in the fight against the terrorist group ISIS while on the other hand Iran’s leader says “Death to America”
The problem is aggravated by the myth that Islam is a peaceful religion. If you have any doubts, compare the sayings of Mohammed, the founder of Islam, and those of Jesus, the founder of Christianity. Mohammed was a military warrior, and he declared war against those who rejected him and Islam. Jesus did not use warfare to compel converts. According to the hadiths which interpret the Quran, if you live as a non-Muslim in a Muslim territory under Sharia law, you will be offered to convert to Islam. You would basically have only three choices: convert; or submit (“Islam” means submission) and pay a high tax and be treated as a resident with no rights; or if you reject those two choices, they will have an obligation to declare war against you, and you will die or you will leave their territory, leaving all your possessions behind. We have seen evidence of this occurring now in the Mideast, as well as by the leaders of such Muslim countries as Egypt and Jordan calling for reform in the Islamic religion.
It is also interesting to note that Islam is the only religion that does not have the equivalent of a Golden Rule – you know, that saying in the New Testament to the effect that you should do unto others as you would have them do unto you. Islam does, however, have an equivalent called a General Rule of Beneficence, but that is only applicable between Muslims; it does not extend to non-Muslims (also called Infidels).
So, who’s who?
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Is the Death Penalty Effective?
The death penalty, also known as capital punishment, is not presently effective in California. Originally, capital punishment was seen as being cheaper than housing the convicted murderer for the rest of his life. However, now it appears that it would be less expensive to make the punishment life imprisonment without parole instead of the death penalty.
The reasons for the present high cost of capital punishment are many. The cost of the trial phase of a capital case is now roughly three times that of the a murder case where the death penalty is not sought. This is due to the fact that there are two trials in a capital case, one for the determination of guilt and another for the award of the death penalty.
Added to that, the automatic appeal process in California for capital cases takes as long as twenty years, resulting not only in the increased cost of housing the inmates on death row as opposed to the general prison population but also in death row inmates dying of natural causes or suicide rather than execution.
It is estimated that the total cost of a capital case, including the two trials, the incarceration on death row, and the cost of the mandated appeal totals 2.5 to 3 million dollars per capital case, whereas the cost of a defendant charged with life imprisonment without parole would cost only 1 to 1.5 million because there is only one trial and the cost of incarceration in the general population is less than that for death row.
In 2011 a three year study of the costs of capital cases estimated that the total cost of trials, appeals, and death row for the 714 death row inmates was $184 million more per year than non-capital cases, and that California’s death row will increase to over 1,000 inmates by 2030 and that the then total cost will add 5 billion dollars to the 4 billion dollars already spent on capital punishment since it was reinstated in 1978.
In 1972 the California Supreme Court ruled in a capital case that the death penalty was unconstitutional on the basis that it violated Article 1, Section 6 of the California Constitution which forbids the imposition of cruel or unusual punishment. In 1978, the people of California voted to reinstate the death penalty, but it has been subject to challenges concerning the drugs used.
In 2010 a statewide Field poll found that 70 percent favored the death penalty, but when the alternate of life without parole was offered the percentages changed to 42 percent for life without parole as opposed to 41 percent for death. That is consistent with what juries decide in capital cases. Approximately 40 death penalty cases are tried each year in California, and in about half of those cases, the jury rejects death in favor of a life sentence.
Since capital punishment was reinstated in 1978, California has executed only 13 death row inmates and none since 2006, but 57 have died of natural causes and 20 committed suicide. In these years of high government cost, it would make economic sense to eliminate the death penalty in favor of life imprisonment without parole.
NO TO THE DEATH PENALTY
In the Summer 2009 issue of Central California Catholic Life, Fr. Rude discussed why the death penalty is contrary to Christian life. My only additional comment would be a twist on an old military expression, to wit “Damn the cost, full revenge ahead.” Many years ago, Mahatma Ghandi made the following very relevant observation: “An eye for an eye only ends up making the whole world blind.”
We are apparently so wrapped up in revenge, and the desire to strike back, we are willing, at least to date, to pay gobs of money to keep up a death row that is much more expensive than that for the general prison population. There can only be one reason for continuing he death penalty – revenge. “Revenge is mine” says the Lord, not ours. And at what monetary cost.
Due to the lack of legal counsel being available in the court system’s required appeals and habeas corpus proceedings in death cases, 119 inmates have been on death row for more than 20 years. This appeals process adds $54.4 million to the annual cost of death row cases. The leading cause of death on death row is not executions, but natural causes, followed by suicide. Thus, in most cases, a death sentence in California actually means a sentence of life without parole, except it is served on the more expensive death row, where the annual cost per death row inmate is $93,000 more than if he were housed in a general prison population. With the present approximate 119 death row inmates, that is a whopping $11,067,000 per year.
Death penalty cases are composed of two trial stages and the required appeal and habeas corpus hearings at both state and federal levels. The two trial stages are for guilt and for sentence. These stages add $500,000 to the cost of a homicide trial where the death penalty is sought. About 40 death cases are tried each year in California, adding $20 million to the taxpayer burden in the counties where the trials are held. In about half of these trials, the jury rejects death in favor of a life sentence. The bottom line is that a death sentence in California is, for most defendants, a life sentence at four times the usual cost. A conservative estimate of the current cost of California’s death penalty law is $137,700,000 per year, approximately four times the cost if the cases were only for a life sentence without the death penalty being charged. These statistics are not pulled out of the air, but are from a final report of the California Commission on the Fair Administration of Justice issued last year. You can find the report on the web at <ccfaj.org>.
So, if California would eliminate the death penalty in lieu of life imprisonment without parole, like in New Jersey and New Mexico, it would answer the objections, not only of cost, but also of the right to kill, justice delayed is justice denied, and the risk of executing an innocent person. Seven other states are considering this – Colorado, Kansas, Nebraska, New Hampshire, Maryland, Montana, and Washington. So why not California?
Copyright 2009 Jim Flanagan, Esq.
PO Box 1555
North Fork, CA 93643-1555
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