Another botched execution

I’ve been mugged. Not once or twice but about four times including once at gunpoint. I’ve had my bike stolen. My car was broken into three times. My husband’s best friend was murdered the summer after they graduated from high school. I am only about five feet tall and there’s little I can do to defend myself from assholes.

So I have no love of violent criminals. I love this country as it is one of the flew places on the planet that has never engaged in organized torture of my ancestors.

But this is fucking ridiculous. This isn’t justice. This is torture and it is disgusting and an insult to all of humanity. The death penalty is stupid. It doesn’t work. It’s expensive. The odds of being executed are very low so it’s selective enforcement. Enough already. We need a politician with the guts to stand up and say so. We Americans need a movement to abolish this stupid practice and join the civilized world.

Well put. Maybe someday one of the two major US political parties will get this done. Sadly, according to polls it would have to be done against popular opinion – more so than, say, civil rights legislation in 1964, which took a brilliant legislator, a nation in mourning, and a pre-anti-Obama partisan approach to pull off.

Yet, when it DOES finally happen, I bet the aftermath will be rather like lunch-counter integration in the South after 1964. Despite all that prior opposition, afterwards Southerners just shrugged their shoulders and said “eh, no big deal. We’re cool with this.”

How many threads have you started about executions where everything went as planned and the condemned’s death was quick and painless?


Do you consider Japan, China, Israel, and India to be “uncivilized”?

Most General Motors cars have not suffered from ignition failures leading to the crashing of the cars and the death of the occupants. I guess that means that the crashes and deaths that actually did occur, and GM’s decision not to fix a problem that it knew about, should not concern us.

Does the fact that those accidents occurred mean we should ban cars?

We need to end the death penalty because we shouldn’t be killing people after they are incarcerated. Period. We can find “humane” ways to kill people if we really have to. But our society will be a better one when we eliminate this unnecessary killing.

I hope it happens in my lifetime.

In what way is our society worsened by the death penalty?

No doubt it was gruesome for spectators. Whether it was torture is less clear. He was given midazolam (Versed) and hydromorphone (Dilaudid). I doubt very much that he was feeling or thinking much of anything, despite how long it took his body to die from hypoxia. Quick and painless don’t always coincide.

We are killing people when there is no need to.

There’s no “need” to do almost all of the things that we do every day. Are there any other aspects of modern society in which you advocate strict utilitarianism as the primary metric for deciding what’s to be done?

When you can demonstrate that executions have a social utility approaching that of the automobile, you’ll have a point.

Executions make our society neither better nor safer, they can compound the problems of an imperfect justice system by killing someone who is later found to be innocent, they’re more expensive to implement than incarceration, and they seem to serve mainly to provide visceral pleasure for assholes like you.

I can’t think of a single downside to eliminating them, to be honest.

Automobiles pollute the air, encourage urban sprawl, kill thousands of innocent people per year, and produce class stratification. Clearly, they are lacking in “social utility” and should be banned in favor of universal mass transport and/or forcing people to work in their own neighborhoods, which has much more social utility than that.

They remove from our society people undeserving of being part of it.

The man who was executed yesterday spent 25 years in the judicial system. If you can’t prove an innocent person innocent in 25 years, then you probably deserve to be executed along with him for your gross incompetence.

“It’s too expensive!” is not a mitigating factor to the pursuit of justice.

I’m not going to dignify that with a response.

Joseph R. Wood would still be alive today. That’s enough of a downside.

Exactly. They don’t work. They’re very expensive. You might execute someone innocent.

We also carry out executions almost randomly:

This is stupid. Stop wasting taxpayer money and get rid of it already.

Watch this documentary on PBS:

Then tell me what the hell was accomplished by executing a guy who was probably innocent. His three kids probably died from a fire, not from arson that he deliberately set.

Pennsylvania has people on death row – a highly expensive process – but hasn’t executed anyone in over ten years. Why not just abolish the penalty and put those people back in the normal jail population?

…so your beef is that we aren’t executing enough people?

Because they don’t deserve to live.

Would you kill them yourself? If everyone else declined to carry it out, would you step up and be the one to do it?


My beef is that execution is completely arbitrary. What’s the point of punishment if it’s only applied rarely? And in the meantime we are being forced to pay for the costs? What’s the point of housing someone in a high security death penalty ward and then not executing them? Why the fuck are officials wasting our money on this shit?

Do you think innocent people deserve to die? Because we both know that has happened.

Money spent on the pursuance of justice is never wasted. If your argument is that we’re giving life sentences to people who should be getting the death penalty, then I agree.

Happened, past tense, as in “occurred once, but no longer”. All these convictions predate the widespread adoption of DNA evidence in trials.