Guilty, yes but death?

Scott Peterson has been sentenced to death by the 6 woman, 6 man jury just hours ago.

While I am convinced that Scott Peterson did kill Laci and her unborn child as he lied frequently on multiple occasions and didn’t respond like an innocent man, we as a society must remember that we never did find any conclusive proof. Furthermore, on average 1 in 10 people who have been put to death in this country have later been proven to be innocent.

How is it that we as a society which calls itself “civilized” can support an “eye-for-an-eye” punishment? How can we find it acceptable to kill someone on a belief without any conclusive proof such as DNA? How can we accept a system flaw rate of 10%? How can we accept that it is okay to kill 100 innocent people out of every thousand where only 900 are actually guilty?

I believe that our capital punishment system is as barbaric as the days public lynching and stonings. What has changed since then outside of the fact we no longer do it in public?

Even worse to me is the fact that Scott Peterson didn’t even get a jury of his peers. In our court system today, if you do not believe in capital punishment — you are not allowed to serve in a capital punishment case. Can you believe this? It’s true and called Death Qualification (USA Today article). A true jury of your peers would have a system that truly reflects societies beliefs. We do not have that.

The U.S. is the only first-world country to continue to implement the death sentence. Why is this? Is it because we are protected from the horrors that occur in the actual killing process? Putting someone to death is very brutal physcial process. I won’t even begin to discuss the details because they are that horrific.

Furthermore, don’t we as a society have compassion for Scott’s family? My heart is so sad for his mom and dad. They are the ones who are getting the death sentence. How does killing Scott Peterson help Laci’s family?

While I understand that what Scott did was horrific and wrong, how can we justify sentencing him to the same “crime” he committed? I just don’t understand it.

I studied the death penalty in college when I was studying pre-law and political science. I had a great, fabulous teacher who made us each research the topic and present an oral report to the class. During the semester while we researched our papers and prepared for our oral report, our professor showed us video footage of actual people being executed in a varity of ways (no, I didn’t watch — I couldn’t stomach it). She showed us videos which made real cases personal to us. We got to know the murders, the families, the victims and we became involved in the situation. We saw real documentaries. We saw what families on both sides went through. Our professor showed us cases where innocent people were killed. She showed us video of the men who execute criminals. She showed us video tape of those who still do it — and those who had to quit.

When the class started out, more than a majority of people were for the death penalty. I stood on the lonely side of the classroom with perhaps two or three people out of 30 students strongly opposed to it.

On the final day of the class, after we each gave our reports, not one student continued to maintain a position of support for capital punishment. I have never seen such a huge sway in opinions before. Thirty plus students now were all against the death penalty. It was a true testament to the horror and brutality of what we do as a society. We all saw the horrors of that in the videos and no one could handle the brutality of it. We all saw how wrong it was. It was undenialbe. If only every citizen who served on a capital punishment case would have to watch what we did, would have to be educated to the details of the process, the realities of what we are really doing — to all involved.

Today, I am sad for the Laci’s family. I am sad for Scott’s family. I am sad for Laci and her unborn child. I am sad, too, for Scott Peterson. While he may be seriously ill, sick or even demented, I don’t believe in killing a man who killed. It just isn’t justice. It’s revenge that will only continue to hurt more people…

This truth I could not bear…

Last night, I watched Tom Brokaw and Aron Ralston recount a horrible ordeal that happened to Aron back in 2003. You may have heard of this story as it made world news.

Essentially what happened is Aron made a fatal mistake. He went out hiking in the backcountry of Utah without telling a single living soul where he was going or when he’d be back. With that, when he got into life-threatening trouble, he knew the odds of getting rescued were slim to none.

While canyoneering, a boulder dislodged as he was trying to climb over it and as it fell, it pinned his hand against the narrow canyon. Aron was unable to free his hand no matter how hard he tried. He chiseled away at the boulder to no avail, and tried to dislodge it again but it simply didn’t work.

After days and days of struggling to get free and running out of food and water, he realized he was going to die alone in this canyon. His hope to get rescued was barely a thought. He was very up front with himself and faced the facts that he probably wouldn’t survive. He bravely faced his inevitable death.

I was amazed at Aron’s candidness and honesty with himself. He was brutally honest with himself during the entire ordeal. The Discovery Channel aired actual taped footage of Aron as he thought he was going to die because he couldn’t come up with a way to free himself. While he had thought about amputating his own arm, his knife wasn’t sharp enough to break the bones.

Watching actual footage of Aron, I forced myself to look inside. Could I be that honest with myself?

I sat there and doubted I could be. I think I may have found my honesty limit. I am honest, super honest — very up front and open about reality in life with everyone I know — including myself– but if I were faced with this situation, I don’t think I could have looked the truth in the eye. I think I would have turned away in denial. I wouldn’t have been able to cope.

Aron finally had the realization in the final hours that he could either break his own arm bones and hack off his arm with a little dull knife — or he could wait for death. He decided to snap his own arm bones — and then hack away the muscles, skin and nerves until he was free and able to start the long journey back to his truck.

Can you imagine??

The guy amazed me. He was so candid about his mortality and his options to survive. I don’t believe most people have this spirit. Maybe it is the spirit that keeps him climbing like he does. That spirit is not typical. Aron was able to face everything for what it was… down to the rotting, decaying flesh that was once his hand. I was in awe.

Somehow while I am honest and able to deal with most everything in life — death is not one of them. I don’t think I will be able to face death with as much grace as Aron did. He is truly a unique character who has shown me my limits…

BIG DEAD BUG in my butter

Yeah, you read that right. My stomach is turning right now. Today is my hubby’s 42rd birthday (god, how did he get so old?!) and so I wanted to make him a lovely rum cake. When I pulled the sticks of butter out of the packaging, I noticed this big brownish-black thing at the end of the butter.

I knew immediately what it was.

What else could it be?

I looked away…sad for the bug, sick to my stomach. I plead with my husband to take care of it for me, please. I didn’t want to know — so I handed him the stick. As I glance over at him, I see him about to pitch the entire stick in the garbage.

“Wait,” I yelled. “Why throw away the entire stick? I mean let’s face it. We eat these things all the time — and getting another stick doesn’t guarantee ANYTHING. Just cut off the bad end.”

The hubby agreed and so he cut off a couple of inches — and gave me back the remainder of the stick. Then he pitched the chunk in the garbage.

“Don’t you want to know what it was?” I asked.

“No, I don’t,” he replied.

I don’t want to know either because I’ll get nauseated but I do want to know — I want to know what precisely it is.

The hubby had no desire to investigate it and I couldn’t do it either. Oh well, I’ll let that one go… I want to be able to eat that cake but right now after thinking about it, I don’t that I will be able too. It’s really gross.

After the ordeal, I decided to see what brand it was. In all the years of my life, I have never seen a bug in butter. It ended up it was our local state’s name brand! Uh… I’m not surprised so I decided to call to see if they’d at least replace my butter for Pete’s sake.

“Yes, I am calling because I just found the most disturbing thing in my butter. I found a BIG bug squished into the end of it!!”

“What you need to do is send in the specimen to our facilities, let me give you the address,” says the woman at the butter company calmly.

I’m thinking OH. MY. GOD. This is a normal occurrence. She wasn’t shocked, she didn’t seem taken back — she acted like this happened everyday.

I wanted to throw up. She didn’t react like a normal person who is surprised AT ALL. Gross. The facility must be crawling. Next time I am going to pay more and buy the national brand — screw this — even if I have to pay more. Ewwwww…..

So the woman gives me the address and she says to me that they will investigate this. Investigate this? What the crap?! Then after the investigation they will ship me a refund.

Can you believe it?

I asked if they pay my postage if I send in the sample and while the woman said yes, I don’t believe her at all. I’m not buying this butter ever again!!!

The company didn’t pay for any of my postage with cash, but I must say that someone in the company sent me 4 coupons for free butter.

Nice to Meet You

Upon first introduction, my wheels are spinning. I am checking you out, watching you — very closely — to get to know who you are. It isn’t always about what you say, but what you do as well. I’m not judging you in terms of good or bad — rather just trying to identify who you are.

I am unlike most other people you will meet because within a matter of minutes, I am able to tell you all about yourself. I will be able to describe your personality with about an 85% accuracy. I will be able to tell you things you never even talked about. You give me clues when you speak honestly and confidently — or when you lie — where your strengths and weaknesses lie. Without saying a word, you give me your moral code and fiber just by saying a handful of sentences in an individual or group setting. I also don’t have to talk to you to give you my summation. I can just be a bystander to the conversation.

When friends introduce me to other friends, they often freak out that I see so much when I start describing detailed facts about my new introductions.

It’s just who I am. You could blind fold me, and I’d still be doing it.

Ghost sells for $65,000

Have you heard of the Indiana woman who put her father’s ghost up for auction on eBay because supposedly her son was convinced Grandpa was haunting the house? She hoped by selling his ghost (and the cane of her father), that her son would be convinced he left the house — and he would no longer be afraid. This is a true story.

It intrigued me so I went to investigate it for myself. I found a video interview of the woman and her husband on I wanted to see what they had to say firsthand. I wanted to know if this woman was honest. The story could be plausible, in a clever effort to rid a child of fear. However, it could be a ploy for money.

After watching the video, I do not trust this woman. More than likely, this is a person who is out for financial gain. Regardless, I am going to view this with a clean slate and see what I find…

Review of the Video – Ghostly Sale:
NBC’s Ann Curry interviews Mary and her husband, Mickey Anderson. Below I recount spots in the video that make me question the people and their motives.

  • Watch when Mickey Anderson is asked by Ann Curry whose idea it was to put the ghost up for auction. Listen to how Mickey responds. He stutters by saying “um, and “ah” a lot. He also says “she” when he means “he”. His answer doesn’t roll off his tongue. He clearly struggles in his reply. When a story is genuine, you don’t struggle. It flows naturally. I don’t believe he is being honest here.
  • Watch his wife’s response as he talks to Ann Curry about whose idea it was to list the auction. She is sitting there carefully listening to her husband’s every word. She makes stressed faces as he talks. Why? Is she fearful he might not say the right things? Did she coach him on exactly what to say — and she fears he may not say it exactly as he is supposed to? She nods her head in confirmation at other times concurring with what he is saying. Then when he finishes, she cracks a smile and looks relieved. Why? I think the answer is obvious: perhaps the answers were practiced?

    (Let Mary’s expressions guide you. They will guide you more appropriately than will her words… )

  • When Ann Curry asks Mary if she is scratching-her-head (figure of speech) because the auction (at that point) was sitting at FIVE THOUSAND (odd) dollars, listen to Mary’s response. Ann Curry is in shock. Why doesn’t Mary respond that she, too, is shocked (at the price)? Wouldn’t you be if a non-material item on eBay was selling for thousands?

    Wouldn’t any normal person be shocked?

    I speculate a person who is lying wouldn’t be shocked. They’d suppress their feelings because they wouldn’t want to let out a hint of excitement about their true motivation — which would more than likely be monetary gain. An honest person would exude shock, like everyone else.

  • Mary says,”I figured who is going to want this? I figured we could get a penny out of it.”

    She says she could get a penny? Isn’t that a weird response? Who would think about a penny? Again, Mary is downplaying this – downplaying her interest in monetary gains.

    I suspect people would have one or two motives in this situation: to help their son (in a weird albeit abnormal funky mystic-kind-of-way) — or to get their hands on money like the money made by the crazy woman who sold a grill cheese sandwich just a few weeks before!! Which motive is Mary thinking about?

  • Watch when Ann Curry says, “What are you going to do with the money?”

    Mary blows air through her teeth and lips. That’s a true, trustworthy expression of frustration. It truly indicates how she is really feeling. Her reply, “If it…It really depends on what it (the amount) goes up to now….We told him he is supposed to get all the money…but if it goes up from there… we are giving to charity, too.” Mary fears Curry is honing in on her desires to take money — and she is sick of it! She doesn’t want to talk about it anymore.

  • Mary goes on to say that she has had tons of e-mail telling her what she should do with the money. Look closely, you see an expression of anger (a microexpression, I suspect)! She is mad about that. She doesn’t want anyone to tell her what to do with her money but she tries to hide it. Where are her thoughts about her son & charity? Does she not have any? Her emotions are not consistent with what she is saying.
  • Ann Curry goes on to ask…”Have you thought about ‘what if’ this doesn’t work? What if you sell the ghost and Collin still thinks the ghost is in the house? What are you going to do then?”

    Look at how cocky Mary is when she replies so confidently, “I don’t think that is going to be a problem (pause) because… I’ve been reading e-mails to him…” The pause between the word because and I’ve is interesting. She is thinking as she speaks.

    A mother whose son is honestly afraid of ghosts knows that situations like this aren’t that easily rectified. Mary’s confidence doesn’t add up to normal behavior.

  • Watch Mary’s husband as she talks about how excited her son is about giving the ghost away. Why is her husband so somber? If his son was excited, wouldn’t he be genuinely enthused as well? Would he be joyous? He’s not. Why? Does he know things are less than honest, perhaps?

Another inconsistency from Mary in other news stories is that she says her son says Grandpa was “mean” yet she swears he was the nicest man you’d ever meet in her actual auction description. This shows Mary is inconsistent. Inconsistency points to less than honest behavior.

When people don’t tell the truth, they just don’t respond normally.

In the end, what is even more odd to me is why the son, Collin, isn’t part of the interview. Why didn’t they have him on with them? People might say that is because they want to protect the identity of their child — but clearly that is not the case because they offered a photo of Collin in the video above. Were they afraid to have Collin speak? Children are usually brutally honest. Is Mary afraid of this?

In the end, I personally don’t trust what this couple is saying.