Kirk Bloodsworth served eight years, 10 months and 19 days in prison, including two years on death row, for the 1984 murder of a 9-year-old girl in Rosedale. DNA evidence exonerated him of the crime and Bloodsworth was released from prison in 1993.
I am thankful that you are alive and was not wrongfully executed or even wrongfully died in prison (I favor executing the guilty and I am against executing the innocent). I hoped that the justice system will learn their lesson when they study your case and learn not to do it to another person. In fact, they are putting massive safeguards to ensure only the guilty go to death row.
However, you are being made use by abolitionists who want to frighten the public in order to manipulate people into believing that we can be snatched away from our daily freedom and be wrongfully sentenced to die. When I watched you in a debate with Baltimore County State's Attorney Scott Shellenberger, I have to mention that being a former abolitionist myself, I have to admit that Scott Shellenberger is more convincing than you. Bear in mind, you were not executed but look at the thousands of innocent people being murdered in this country every year who will never have a chance to keep their lives anymore.
Here are some of your quotes that I have alternate answers to you.
1. "Honestly, after what happened to me, no one can say it can’t happen again..." Bloodsworth said. "We need to get rid of it."
Alternate answer: You were also behind bars, why don’t we get rid of prison too. “It can’t happen again…” Trials will now be fairer to ensure that we do not put an innocent man to death row. There are people being brutally murdered by repeat offenders who will happen again and again. Without the death penalty, more innocent people will be killed, just look at what happen to Illinois when they repealed it last year.
2. Bloodsworth counters that the justice system is far from perfect. He stated that 140 death row inmates have been wrongly convicted in the United States and 280 people have been cleared of crimes through DNA, including 17 on death row.
Bloodsworth also cited the work of the Maryland Commission on Capital Punishment which recommended in 2008 that the state should repeal the death penalty for fear of executing an innocent person along with concerns over racial and geographic disparities.
Bloodsworth added that that requiring someone to spend the rest of their life in prison is a far worse punishment than having that person executed.
"The crime that I was accused of, and ultimately went to death row for and was later exonerated, the real perpetrator after the fact was never given the death penalty," Bloodsworth said. "I think that it's a better punishment for people because they have to sit in this place for the rest of their lives knowing what they did."
Alternate answer: Only a fraction of those 140 death row are factually innocent. If the justice system is flawed, fix it, do not use it as an excuse to end it.
"I think that it's a better punishment for people because they have to sit in this place for the rest of their lives knowing what they did." - Some people argue that prisons should be in Spartan conditions and solitary confinements like in the olden days where they were given bread and water and never be released from prison (dying behind bars). I accept that decision but prisons are also as fallible as time passes, the law might change.
Many abolitionists will also argue that Spartan prisons and solitary confinements are ‘cruel and unusual’, they will have it outlaw for sure. They will ensure that prisons will become a Five Star Hotel – meaning that criminals will have books, TV, play stations, internet, gyms and swimming pools. In addition, criminals will get free clothing, free food and free medical treatment for the rest of their lives. Is that justice or a miscarriage of justice?
The most conclusive evidence that criminals fear the death penalty more than life without parole is provided by convicted capital murderers and their attorneys. 99.9% of all convicted capital murderers and their attorneys argue for life, not death, in the punishment phase of their trial. When the death penalty becomes real, murderers fear it the most.
3. Kirk Bloodsworth’s T-shirt wrote: "I was innocent and survived death row. Ask me about it."
Alternate answer: The murder victims’ family members should have worn T-shirts with words on it: “My family member was murdered. Ask me about it.”
These are more important things to care about. You are alive and released from prison but the murdered victims are dead and gone, by playing that anti-death penalty manipulation message, you are taking away justice for those victims’ families who want their loved ones’ killers to be executed. Rather than spare the lives of the guilty, ask the justice system to be more careful next time.
4. "I'm against the death penalty for obvious reasons," he said. "You could kill an innocent man or woman."
Alternate answer: I agree that an innocent person might be executed, so trials must have massive safeguards and scrutinized at every level. However, I am aware that those abolitionists do not oppose executions for fear of executing the innocent, they only oppose executing the guilty. PERIOD!
Kirk Bloodsworth, you are a free man but my advice to you is not to call for abolishing the death penalty but call for massive safeguards to protect the defendants. Do not allow yourself to be use by the abolitionists for their anti-death penalty (criminal rights) propaganda, many murdered victims’ families want to see their loved ones’ killers put to death, they want justice and not revenge. The more you give that testimony of yours, the more you grieve the victims’ families. Stop wasting our time.