‘I deserve to be executed’.

A recent two part documentary in which Sir Trevor McDonald visits inmates on ‘death row’ in Indiana State Penitentiary shows the inhumane and illogical nature of capital punishment.

Where an inmate on 'death row' spends the last moments of their lives.
Where an inmate on ‘death row’ spends the last moments of their lives (Photo from http://www.whyy.org).

‘I deserve to be executed’ said Fredrick Baer, an inmate on death row in Indiana State Penitentiary, at the same time facing the superintendent who would be responsible for his death. He seemed unfazed by the fact that one day he would be told the exact date and time of his death. Perhaps this had something to do with the fact that he was seven years into his stint on death row and had somewhat come to terms with his fate. He was also seven years closer to death.

Fredrick Baer is not a man that deserves our sympathy. On 26 February 2004, under the ruse of being lost, Baer knocked on the door of twenty four year old mother Cory Clark who lived with her four year old daughter Jenna Clark. He intended to rape the mother. However, not able to go through with the rape, yet aware that he still faced prison he proceeded to slit the throats of the mother and her four year old daughter, killing them both. This is an absolutely horrific crime and one which many would argue is thoroughly deserving of the death penalty. An eye for an eye. Even Sir Trevor McDonald, self admittedly against the death penalty, admitted that when faced with crimes such as Baer’s he understood why many would deem the death penalty an appropriate punishment.

However, despite this, the whole concept of the death penalty seems illogical. From young, children are taught that two wrongs do not make a right. For the victim of an assault to retaliate against the assailant makes the victim no better than the original perpetrator, the idea goes. However, here is a State telling its citizens that it is wrong to kill others yet at the same time doing exactly that to those who do. Therefore use of the death penalty seems inherently contradictory. As asked by Benjamin Ritchie, another inmate on death row in Indiana State Penitentiary, ‘Why are you killing me? You said killing is wrong’.

Then comes the question ‘What if we are wrong?’ Is it ever justified to kill one innocent man if it means the death of twenty others who are guilty? In my view no. Take the example of Reggie Clemons who was arrested aged nineteen on suspicion of killing two young women. He was later sentenced to death for allegedly being an accomplice in the murder. He has maintained his innocence for the whole nineteen years he has sat on death row. Moreover, there are many question marks surrounding his conviction. There is no physical evidence indicating his guilt, he received inadequate legal representation and the jury was ‘stacked’, dismissing many African Americans. This is just one example of how flawed legal proceedings could lead to the death of potentially innocent people.

Although abolished in most countries, capital punishment is still used in China, India and the United States of America, and many more. It is inhumane and illogical and can provide no guarantees that innocent people will not be killed.

UK residents can watch the documentary at www.itv.com/itvplayer

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33 thoughts on “‘I deserve to be executed’.”

  1. I was so angry at watching this programme to know that they can “have” and own cats in this prison. What have the cats done to deserve to be locked up? Why should people who have committed murders get the luxury of having real pets to share their lives? What next – a luxury pad ? and breakfast in bed ? And why are they kept alive so long being fed etc – they deserve to die immediately – why keep them and feed them for so long? I didn’t believe the stuff that Frederick Baer said to Sir Trevor MacDonald – I think he’s a evil liar. I hope when he passes to the spirit world he will get what he deserves. I feel so sorry for the cats in that prison – it should not be allowed.

    1. Hi, first I would like to say thank you for taking the time to read my blog and being the first one to make a comment. I admit that I found it unfair that when the prison is on ‘lockdown’ the cats are also confined to the prison cells. Having said that, I personally feel that the death penalty is an inhuman and unjustified sentence, regardless of the crime committed. I also do not think that it can be said that any of the death row inmates shown on the documentary were living in ‘luxury’. The crime that Fredrick Baer committed was horrific and he deserves to be severely punished for this but the death sentence is not the answer. There will always be a risk that innocent people will be killed.

      Thanks again for taking the time to read my blog.

      1. I think the days of convicting and executing the wrong person in this day and age is rare. I’m afraid Frederick Baer’s crime was horrific – anyone that can chase and slit the throat of a four year old, say no more. Time for him to pay the price for his crime.

    1. Well put Jeff. It always amazes me that dp supporters assume they will never bear a child who one day may commit murder. In advocating it’s use are these people seriously suggesting they would support the potential execution of their own child? Were that the case I suggest most of them would have a miraculous change of heart. When it gets right down to it taking a life judicially is just wrong. It saddens me to think the US (not all states though) still supports this medieval system of ‘justice’ ranking it up there with Iran, China, India and most of the third world.

  2. The death penelty does not stop people committing crimes and it certainly isn’t humane. Also prisons do not “reform” inmates because they don’t spend the money in order to attempt that. The only thing I saw in that documentary that might change a person is the cats. I hope that once the old school judges have all retired that the death penalty will cease to exist. Like you said, we are taught at a young age that two wrongs don’t make a right and its very true. Sure people are angry and want revenge when a brutal killer takes a loved one, its natural to feel that way but society should be set up in such a way that it can punish bad behaviour and correct it, not mimic it or carry out revenge because the DP is exactly that, revenge. Wouldn’t it give a loved one more peace knowing that a person has their freedom taken and wakes up everyday with regrets. The death penelty stops that and once they are dead they no longer exist and no longer have regrets or want to change their behaviour.
    I think the biggest problem in the U.S. is that religion is so wound around politics, schools and the justice system and people really believe that these people will be killed via the DP and go to some fire and molten place ruled by the devil and be tortured forever. Why else would they want them to be free from living behind bars filled with remorse. Its because they think there is somewhere ultra evil to torture them.
    The bottom line is, we should all be intelligent enough to know that two wrongs don’t make a right.
    P.S. I believe these cats are cats that would have otherwise faced their own death penelties so I think its wonderful that a prisoner who earns the privledge can not only save a cat but have the companionship of a cat. Cats are great teachers of things we take for granted. They all looked like happy healthy cats.

  3. Hi Elliot
    Thanks for liking my blog post on the European Court ruling on whole-life sentences. My unfashionable view is that .’punishment’ is an absurd, vain, authoritarian concept supported mainly by people who had unhappy childhoods, and we ought to have grown out of this nonsense by now. You have an appallingly punitive justice system in America, owing to the irrational fixation on a rather peculiar reading of Christianity, but there are plenty of C18th throwbacks over here who think all ‘prisoners’ have forfeited any right to be considered human, guilty or not, to the point where ‘a life for a life’ appears rational – which (in my view) is totally the opposite approach to where we should be heading. At least our innocent lifers can sometimes get off on appeal, our judges don’t defend legal incompetence literally to the death,
    My cat, Cat, sadly is a serial killer – see previous Posts! She’d get on great with Baer.

  4. The sooner Bauer is executed the better.
    He is a monster and deserves no leniency, no sympathy.
    A four year old for god’s sake…….

    I would gladly kill him myself.

  5. ‘ I think the days of
    convicting and executing
    the wrong person in this
    day and age is rare.’
    Patricia, I’d like to point you to the case of Cameron Todd Willingham, of Corsicana, Texas. Executed in February 2004. Please look at the excellent New Yorker article, then cross reference with other contemporaneous news articles – of which there are many still available online. Then, think about innocent people being executed. There are quite a few others which is why the Governor of Illinois relinquished DP before leaving office in March 2011. He then applied it retrospectively by commuting the entire Death Row’s sentences to life imprisonment.
    Here in Great Britain we abolished Capital Punishment (CP) after an innocent man was hanged for the murder of his wife and child. It later emerged the real culprit was their landlord of the time, one Reginald Christie. Murder rates did not sky rocket after CP ended.
    I can’t understand how any society would place such little store in its own society by being so negative, so condemnatory when tragedy strikes. Why wouldn’t your society want to make the best of a bad situation by choosing rehabilitation over retribution? Maybe that’s the real measure of what society understands when CP is in place. That people can just be given up on, thrown away.

  6. yonesFredrick Baer does not deserve to be executed ever! How can some of you dare wanting a human being to be killed without even knowing the whole background. Are you cold sadistic murderers too or what? Fredrick Baer was on drugs while committing the crime. Some of you here only look at that little kid that was murdered…but know one of you does ask for the reasons why it happened. You just come here and want to kill a man….?! Do you all know that Crystal Meth is known as a raper drug? Do you know that it makes you aggressive and changes your personality? Do you know that Meth in combination with Marijuana can make you hear voices and makes you paranoid? Question: HOW MUCH PRESPONSIBLE FOR THIS CRIME IS BAER IN REALITY? After Baer was arrested once they took blood from his veins. But his blood was tested 13 months later and no one found Meth in his blood. So the prosecutor called Baer a liar. AFTER 13 MONTHS….NO ONE WILL FIND SUBSTANCES LIKE AMPHETAMINES ANYMORE IN ANYONES BLOOD BECAUSE THE TEST TUBE HAS ABSORBED IT ALREADY AFTER SUCH A LONG TIME. Also, they took blood from Baer more than 24 hours later… WHY NO URINE TEST? URINE TESTS ARE WAY MORE SECURE THAN BLOOD TESTS WHEN IT COMES TO DRUGS. Baers Trial was unfair. It was clear that he will get a death sentence even before the trial took place. In my eyes it was planned to kill Baer because people want REVENGE for what happened. Say, WHO ARE THE REAL COLD BLOODED AND SARDISTIC MURDERERS IN THIS WORLD? SAY, HOW SARDISTIC IS SOMEONE WHO GETS THE IDEA OF AN ELECTRIC CHAIR? DO YOU REALLY THINK KILLING CAN EVER BE LEGAL? DO YOU ALL KNOW HOW CRUEL EVEN THE LETHAL INJECTION IS? DO YOU ALL KNOW WHAT’S WRITTEN ON THE DEATH CERTIFICATES AFTER A PRISONER WAS EXECUTED AND FOUND DEATH? – CAUSE OF DEATH: “HOMICIDE”
    “CAPITAL PUNISHMENT IS NO PUNISHMENT – IT’S A CRIME”
    HELL – WAKE FINALLY UP WORLD!
    And instead putting Baer on death row, wasting money for attorneys, appeals etc, they all should rather invested this money for drug prevention and education, but not in killing people. What if Baer was your son who just had a drug problem that landed him on death row?
    Thank you for listening….

      1. yes, apperently you are one of those who do not listen…. otherwise you would know his name is Fredrick BAER and not Bauer. And because people do not listen at all, I mean really LISTEN, they just come along and say “he deserves to be executed”.
        Do you know the song “The Sound of Silence” by Simon and Garfunkle? They sing
        FOOLS said I, YOU DO NOT KNOW, SILENCE LIKE A CANCER GROWS …. PEOPLE TALKING WITHOUT SPEAKING, PEOPLE HEARING WITHOUT “LISTENING”

  7. sorry for all the wrong written words here…. It happens when I get upset about people who have no clue at all and start talking without even using their brains!

    1. …in Indiana is it allowed to have an animal for good behavior. The reason is: learning how to take responsibility for a living being. Say, has anyone a clue of how many prisoners on death row in Indiana have an animal? …just asking.
      Oh, and….do you know that prisoners on death rows are no more dangerous than anyone on the mainline? Who decides in which cases the death penalty is justified and in which cases not? There are often more dangerous killers in general prisons than on death rows…just saying.

  8. Fredrick Baer does not deserve to be executed ever! How can some of you dare wanting a human being to be killed without even knowing the whole background. Are you cold sadistic murderers too or what? Fredrick Baer was on drugs while committing the crime. Some of you here only look at that little kid that was murdered…but now one of you does ask for the reasons why it happened. You just come here and want to kill a man….?! Do you all know that Crystal Meth is known as a raper drug? Do you know that it makes you aggressive and changes your personality? Do you know that Meth in combination with Marijuana can make you hear voices and makes you paranoid? Question: HOW MUCH RESPONSIBLE FOR THIS CRIME IS BAER IN REALITY? After Baer was arrested once they took blood from his veins. But his blood was tested 13 months later and no one found Meth in his blood. So the prosecutor called Baer a liar. AFTER 13 MONTHS….NO ONE WILL FIND SUBSTANCES LIKE AMPHETAMINES ANYMORE IN ANYONES BLOOD BECAUSE THE TEST TUBE HAS ABSORBED IT ALREADY AFTER SUCH A LONG TIME. Also, they took blood from Baer more than 24 hours later after the crime happened… WHY NO URINE TEST? URINE TESTS ARE WAY MORE SECURE THAN BLOOD TESTS WHEN IT COMES TO DRUGS. Baers Trial was unfair. It was clear that he will get a death sentence even before the trial took place. In my eyes it was planned to kill Baer because people want REVENGE for what happened. Say, WHO ARE THE REAL COLD BLOODED AND SARDISTIC MURDERERS IN THIS WORLD? SAY, HOW SARDISTIC IS SOMEONE WHO GETS THE IDEA OF AN ELECTRIC CHAIR? DO YOU REALLY THINK KILLING CAN EVER BE LEGAL? DO YOU ALL KNOW HOW CRUEL EVEN THE LETHAL INJECTION IS? DO YOU ALL KNOW WHAT’S WRITTEN ON THE DEATH CERTIFICATES AFTER A PRISONER WAS EXECUTED AND FOUND DEATH? – CAUSE OF DEATH: “HOMICIDE”
    “CAPITAL PUNISHMENT IS NO PUNISHMENT – IT’S A CRIME”
    HELL – WAKE FINALLY UP WORLD!
    And instead putting Baer on death row, wasting money for attorneys, appeals etc, they all should rather invest this money in drug prevention and education, but not in killing people. What if Baer was your son who just had a drug problem that landed him on death row?
    Thank you for listening….

    1. Yeah lets face it. It was the little girls fault. Her mums fault. Society’s fault. The fact he was a junkie’s ‘fault’……
      Nobody forced him to be a monster. He did that all by himself. In spades.

  9. see, that’s what I do mean with YOU DO NOT LISTEN AT ALL. Fact is Fredrick Baer killed both, yes. But you are just blind to the reasons WHY it happened. You know what… take for a few months the drug Crystal Meth , I would say, 2 months are enough, and then let’s see what a monster martin will become. The drug forced the things that happened once, no one else. Fredrick Baer is no killer, never was. He killed while he was on drugs and because the things happened how they happened on that day. If you would do some researches about this case, trying to find the truth out, being not judgmental but just neutral, then you would see what happened in reality. You just want to kill because you are one of those who think REVENGE is right. That’s being stupid and I feel pity for you martin.

      1. ….you say “keeping him prison”….you know, it’s not just keeping him in prison but on DEATH ROW!

  10. no, I don’t think that’s the right answer. A fair trial would be right and maybe a life sentence 15 years plus a drug therapy. That would be fair and that would be justice. … at least in my eyes and in the justice systems of of other countries in this world.

  11. As manipulative, calculating and self serving a low life that undoubtedly Fred Baer is, killing him would not bring back the innocent victims of his crime. In which case, his killing would be punitive retribution, which is plain wrong. Done by the state, it sends out a clear message of an eye for an eye. The exact message which the state preaches against, while asking citizens to allow law enforcement and the Judiciary to handle any personal beefs. That is why Capital Punishment doesn’t work. It perpetuates a cycle of violence.

  12. Well, at the end of the day weather you are for or against the death penalty one thing is for sure. Sooner or later no matter how many arguments are made, moral or legal, after all appeals are exhausted a needle will glide like an air plane landing on a runway into a vein of this “poor victim of methamphetamine” and there isn’t anything anyone is going to be able to do about it. The U.S. Constitution says the death penalty is appropriate for specified HEINOUS murders. It’s a done deal.

  13. Oh and by the way, as far as his meth induced psychosis…when he left his construction job site to commit rape (he admitted this, he is also a serial rapest it’s in the court transcripts, you can google it) he knew to get up that morning, get dressed, go to work. Doesn’t sound psychotic to me. He made the conscious decision to leave his job in the middle of his work day to find someone to rape (he admits this in his televised interview). On the way searching for his victim he knew to stop at stop signs, stop at red lights. He knew to obey these driving laws so that shows he knew right from wrong. He also admits he was going to pretend to need to use the phone so he could get into his victims home. That shows he had a plan. Again, not psychotic. He also admits he killed this women and her four year old baby as to “not leaving any witnesses” and he knew to lie about the whole thing when he first got caught. That’s called “consciences of guilt”. Yeah, so nope, no meth induced psychosis here. Freddy is a DNA proven serial rapist who killed his last two victims because HE said they could identify him. Oh and uh his telephone conversations in the county jail were all recorded where he’s telling someone how he is going to use the “I’m just a poor scumbag meth addict having meth induced psychosis defense”. Verrrryyyyy manipulative. Gliding in like an air plane…gliding in…

  14. I’m sorry, one last rant. I come from a family of law enforcement, grandfather, father, uncle and brother. Born and raised in Indiana. I personally am not in agreement with the death penalty. It’s final and can’t be reversed. I say this even if we’re my own blood killed in the line of duty and my law enforcement family feels the same. Argue against the death penalty I agree, but dont minimize what Fred Baer did. He intended to rape. He is a serial rapist and a thief, a murderer and a child murderer. There is no rehabilitation for that. All his victims before Cory and Jenna Clark were raped at night with a ski mask. They couldn’t identify him. Cory and Jenna could. That’s why he murdered them. If there had been 10 other children and 80 year old grandma’s there in that house that day he would have killed them as well because they would have been able to identify him. He admits this. Weather he is executed or not makes no difference to me. Just don’t cannonize him a martered saint. Other ISP death row inmates would gladly do the state’s job if given the chance. Make no mistake he is only sorry he got caught. Fred Baer is a predator and a coward.

  15. Why do you have to keep this going? Fredrick has a mother, father, girlfriend, sisters, brothers, do they deserve to keep reading bs like this? As for the other ISP death row inmates, why aren’t you on here ranting about them? They have all committed crimes just as heinous, or don’t you think the widow of the cop that Ritchie killed deserves a mention, or the Eckart family (and Overstreet is never getting executed now!), or Stacy Payne’s family…that was a vicious vile attack by Ward! But no, you just want them all ‘to do the states job’ on Fredrick.

  16. Why? Because he is still breathing. Yeah, it’s got something to do with murdering an innocent child and being a serial rapist. I’m usually tetering on the fence on the side of mercy with the death penalty, even for Ritchie and my father and brother are cops. But not with this puke. We all do to this day feel for officer Toneys widow and every other family that has suffered the loss of a loved one. Every one of them in ISP that killed a child should all be in line right after Baer. Even murderers can’t stand the taste of their name in their mouth. No worries though, the state will do there job themself. Real soon. X day for him is riiiight around the corner. The April 30 2015 appeal should be denied shortly. Baer should of manned up and killed himself long ago. Better yet he’s a load his mother should have swallowed. He won’t mail in the paperwork to stop his appeals because he is a coward afraid to meet his long awaited fate, Satan in the form of a cactus right up his ass. We are all going be to sitting here in Indiana in our lawn chairs watching the clock tick on “X day” with a cooler full of corona and lime like we’re waiting for the first Notre Dame kickoff of the season. BET there won’t be any death penalty opponents standing outside in Michigan City for this one.

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