This week on "Wingin' It Wednesday," panelists Warren Caudle, Carol Ross, and Mike Stagg joined "Mornings with Ken and Bernie" to discuss the death penalty in America as well as tech companies' response to the NSA.

Here's what the panel had to say:

1. Americans who have been wrongfully convicted of crimes are getting out of prison in record numbers.  In 2013, 87 people were exonerated for crimes they did not commit, according to the National Registry of Exonerations.  Does this make you change your view on capitol punishment?

Carol Ross started us off:

There is no question that here have been wrongs done in the past with the use of the death penalty, but I don’t think that’s a reason to throw it out completely. It should be used in very rare cases where there is no question of guilt in the most heinous crimes.
Even though the death penalty may be imposed in this country, it takes a long time and a lot of process, which is good because they’ve found so many wrongful convictions. With DNA testing, and the science that’s coming along now, it’s giving more certainty to these kinds of cases.

Warren Caudle added:

I have certainly moderated my views somewhat of the death penalty. One of the things that’s just appalling to me is the people that are in prison that are denied DNA testing. The judge just says it’s not worth doing. So many of them turn around later on and get exonerated.
Everyone knows law enforcement is just like everyone else, we have our biases. People who do wrong need to be punished, but on the other hand law enforcement needs to go by the laws too.


Mike Stagg Concluded:

The entire judicial system is based on discretion. Discretion of the individual officers, investigators, prosecutors, ect. How many times does somebody with connections get out of the court process? I oppose the death penalty because of the nature of the process. It’s human process. It’s rife with errors before you even get to the biases of the individual players. The processes are not trustworthy. I don’t think the state should be in the power of killing people based on so fragile a chain of events as an arrest and trial.


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2. Microsoft, Google, Facebook, and Yahoo have been giving the U.S. government data on tens of thousands of users' accounts.  The tech giants announced Monday that they've turned over information every six months under secret court orders and the National Security Agency's collection of mostly overseas internet communications.

Mike stated:

This is an unconstitutional invasion of privacy. A mass sweep of all communications. It hasn’t been shown to prevent any attacks. It just gives a deep insight into people’s activities. This goes back to the panic after 9/11.
When you get into the idea of state secrets, the only people you’re keeping these secrets from is the people who the government supposedly represents, because the other side knows. Ben Franklin had it right almost 300 years ago, if you trade a little freedom for a little security you get neither.

Warren stated:

The people who used to scream and holler about “get the government out of our lives”, when they get into power they do the same things. We had laws set up for years that said what the government could not do.
Go back to the 4th amendment. Search and seizure, search warrants. It just depends on who ever’s in power, they’re going to do whatever they can to promote themselves. This thing with the NSA is out of control and un-American.

Carol concluded:

May I remind everyone that this is the exact premise of the Tea Party, that government is too big, too stupid, and too much in our lives. This is going on under the Obama administrations and the Emperor himself could stop it if he chose to, but it’s too his benefit.
The tech companies like Microsoft and Google, they’re saying they don’t want to be cooperating with the government doing this kind of data mining. The government is just too big and intrusive, we need to scale it back.

Click the play button below for a full audio replay of the show:

Now it’s your turn to tell us what you think about today’s Wingin’ It Wednesday topics. Who got it right, who got it wrong, and who was way off? Let us know in the comments section.