Twin who swapped places with death row brother will watch him die


I thought this was interesting in light of the recent change to the catechism. This happened in the 80’s if I read the story right. But here a death row inmate was able to escape death row. He didn’t escape prison and was caught not to long after his deception. But to me it is yet more evidence that modern prisons can’t really offer the level of protection assumed by the change in the catechism. No system will ever be fool proof.


These are anomalies.

We can’t strive to assure that everyone is 100% safe 24/7, then we’d have to ban getting out of bed in the morning.


I agree. Which is why I find this sentence so strange, since it isn’t true.

Lastly, more effective systems of detention have been developed, which ensure the due protection of citizens but, at the same time, do not definitively deprive the guilty of the possibility of redemption.

No system can ensure the protection of citizens.


I think the key word there is “due.”

We ensure that something cannot happen by doing what is due.

If I put bars on my windows and locks on my doors, I have ensured that burglars will not enter my house. However, I have not ensured that they cannot enter 100%, because they could still bomb a corner of it and enter that way.


I agree. Due generally means what is required or necessary. So the question is what is ‘due protection’. That isn’t answered so far as I know. But still, can that be ensured? I don’t think so. Ensure is far too strong a word. If suggests a promise that is impossible to make.

In your example I wouldn’t say your have in any sense ensured burglars will not enter your house. I’d say you’ve made it more difficult.


Ensuring is making a reasonable attempt, not creating a 100% situation. This is reality, you know, in which we don’t always get what we want.


I think that is a unique way to view the word ensure. I agree that a guarantee can’t be offered here, which is the very reason ensure is not an appropriate word.


The switch-places incident happened in 1984 according to the article. Almost 35 years ago. I am sure that prison security technology and practice for death row inmates has evolved in 3 and a half decades, partly motivated by incidents like this and partly because technology of all kinds has evolved greatly in 3 and a half decades.

Also, how often are you going to have a death row inmate with an identical twin brother in the same prison? Not to mention that the switch was discovered almost immediately before anyone even began to escape from prison.

On a more general note, since Europe has no death penalty in almost all of its countries, but certainly has its share of dangerous murderers, how come people living there are not in daily fear of their lives from one of those killers busting loose? Since they can’t kill them and have done with it?

For that matter, given that this man has been sitting on death row since 1979, which is almost 40 years, how has society managed to keep itself safe from him this long if the prisons are so unable to contain these dangerous criminals? Not to mention all the other death row inmates that have been sitting in prison for 20, 30 or 40 years?


I don’t disagree that in the US most people are pretty safe from people in prison. That most people however does not include fellow prisoners or guards.

I wonder exactly what technology has been developed to prevent this? I’m not an expert on prison technology. I suspect most people aren’t. That makes me wonder how anyone can conclude the technology has made this a non issue? Richard Speck, a serial killer, got life in prison and was able to grow breasts, use drugs, have sex, and record himself. That was in the 90s I believe. I’m still seeing videos from inside prison of people in prison doing the same. So it seems to me there is no technology that has been invented to keep things from happening in prison that should not.


There used to be a clapping emoticon.

I’d use it for this post!



A man growing breasts, using drugs, having sex in prison and recording himself in prison is not menacing anyone on the outside.

One thing that has changed is that newer prisons are better designed in a way for guards to keep a better eye on all prisoners. Even older prisons have better surveillance technology. And of course, when someone, as here, manages to get off death row somehow, you can bet someone either lost their job or got discipline and a whole bunch of new policies and procedures were put in place to prevent a repeat.


And capital punishment does not “definitively deprive the guilty of the possibility of redemption.”


It is not uncommon for gang leaders to order killings from prison.


While I will abide with what Pope Francis has said about the death penalty…I’m still in two minds about some cases…like terrorism…torture and killing…serial killing…especially those who show no remorse whatsoever…what I don’t like is someone sitting on death row for…20-30-40 years and then executing them…I know some will say it’s giving the convicted every avenue to appeal…I don’t buy that…if they’re guilty and given a death sentence then carry it out…what’s the point of dragging it out for decades and then executing them…that just seem like revenge rather than justice…if there’s a chance through appeals that the death sentence might be overturned then why not just get rid of the death penalty and give them life in prison…and lord only knows how many people have been executed who were innocent…DNA testing on some prisoners has proven they are innocent…


No he wasn’t. But it shows that the prison was not really under control. If the prison isn’t under control then I would seriously question how much protection those outside of the prison have.


Are you confusing Catechism and Catholic morality with the secular world and secular law?


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