April 26, 2013

'Wow! That is great. That is awesome!" — last words as execution drug kicks in.

Spoken by Richard Cobb, 29, after delivering what seemed to like his official last words: "Life is death, death is life. I hope that someday this absurdity that humanity has come to will come to an end. Life is too short. I hope anyone that has negative energy towards me will resolve that. Life is too short to harbor feelings of hatred and anger. That's it, warden."

72 comments:

Pogo said...

""'Wow! That is great. That is awesome!" — last words as execution drug kicks in."

The hangover lasts an eternity.

Mark O said...

Dude.

madAsHell said...

Kinda spoils the cruel and painful narrative....

creeley23 said...

There are some violent, sick folks out there.

Once upon a time, I was against capital punishment. I'm not altogether for it now, but I don't assume being anti-execution it entitles one to any moral high ground. It's a complex issue and both sides have their points.

Pogo said...

""'Wow! That is great. That is awesome!"

***(Medical executioner quickly checks IV bag contents.)***

Big Mike said...

I think we overuse capital punishment in this country, but I would never leave a man alive with nothing left to lose. A human being with nothing left to lose is the most dangerous thing on this planet.

edutcher said...

Im-ho-tep's, "Death is only the beginning", was better.

Mitchell the Bat said...

In all fairness to Mr. Cobb, it's proably been a while since he's had a fix.

The Godfather said...

We needed some good news today.

madAsHell said...

Hmmm....the side bar documenting unusual last statements made me think......I wonder what the ratio of white/black people is?

Does Texas execute more white people than black people?

mariner said...

I guess for some people everything IS about race.

Leland said...

I found the comment ratings interesting. Comments positive towards execution received positive ratings. I wasn't expecting such from a mostly UK crowd.

Colonel Angus said...

They shouldn't get a last meal, last words or last anything. They forfeited those coutesies when they took an innocent life.

AllenS said...

See ya.

Pogo said...

Oh, he was just pinin' for the fjords.

creeley23 said...

I found the comment ratings interesting. Comments positive towards execution received positive ratings. I wasn't expecting such from a mostly UK crowd.

My UK friend tells me that the British people are pretty much pro-capital punishment and pro-guns like Americans, but their elites are more effective in forcing the country to the liberal agenda.

Nomennovum said...

The commnents from the British readers simply reflect the fact that most Britons support the death penalty. It's too bad for them (and other European nations) that their government chose not to put the repeal of their death penalty laws up for referendum.

To be a member of the EU, a nation must abolish the death penalty. Must be an important economic principle.

Alex said...

Good riddance to bad rubbish.

Nomennovum said...

Wow! That is great. That is awesome.

And the very next words Richard Cobb heard were just as sarcastic: "Well, if you liked that, wait till you get a taste of eternity with me."

ndspinelli said...

Well..it is awesome compared to Ol' Sparky.

ricpic said...

So I guess the murders of two and rape of one he committed came out of positive energy.

JPS said...

"Life is too short. I hope anyone that has negative energy towards me will resolve that.

"Life is too short to harbor feelings of hatred and anger."

Said this man to, among others, the families of those whose lives were stolen away, ending in suffering and cruelty because he decided he'd enjoy inflicting that on them, because their lives and their feelings counted for nothing to him.

Burn in hell, Cobb. You got off easy.

furious_a said...

Does Texas execute more white people than black people?

According to this table (since 1982) yes.

229-185.

phx said...

At this point what difference does it make?

tiger said...

His 'haters gotta stop hating' from a killer?

I would have pushed the plunger.

SteveR said...

I don't think giving someone in this situation any attention is called for. Its already not much of a deterrant, if any at all.

traditionalguy said...

The stealing of another man's lifetime of pleasures and successes for no reason at all cries out for his life to be stolen from him too as a measure of justice.

The death penalty does restrain violence and murder. It cuts it by 90%. The years of fake study criteria seeking to prove the opposite of that truth is a shameful thing.

phx said...

The death penalty does restrain violence and murder. It cuts it by 90%.

Where do you get that stat from?

Synova said...

I hesitate to click through and find out what this guy things other people shouldn't have negative feelings toward him over.

madAsHell said...

According to this table (since 1982) yes.

Thanks!

I'll guess that the incarceration rate is higher among blacks, and that blacks are more likely to commit a violent crime.

So....is this the other side of affirmative action??

Freder Frederson said...

The commnents from the British readers simply reflect the fact that most Britons support the death penalty.

It's a bare majority, and the death penalty was effectively banned in Britain almost fifty years ago.

jacksonjay said...


An Hispanic kid in our town (Texas) and his girlfriend were brutally murdered by an ex-con (White) on parole. He was quickly sentenced to death and after long delays (he claimed he was retarded) he was executed!

The East Texas white supremacists who dragged James Byrd (Black) to death in 1998 were sentenced to death! One has been executed and the other is gonna get it!

Moral of the story: no matter what color you are, don't fuck-up in Texas!

These idiots that killed the prosecutors in Kaufman WILL be sentenced to death.

Sorun said...

"It's a bare majority, and the death penalty was effectively banned in Britain almost fifty years ago."

But back in the day, the Brits really knew how to do the death penalty. No one ever said, "Wow, this is great" while being hanged, drawn and quartered.

jacksonjay said...


An Hispanic kid in our town (Texas) and his girlfriend were brutally murdered by an ex-con (White) on parole. He was quickly sentenced to death and after long delays (he claimed he was retarded) he was executed!

The East Texas white supremacists who dragged James Byrd (Black) to death in 1998 were sentenced to death! One has been executed and the other is gonna get it!

Moral of the story: no matter what color you are, don't fuck-up in Texas!

These idiots that killed the prosecutors in Kaufman WILL be sentenced to death.

Freder Frederson said...

The death penalty does restrain violence and murder. It cuts it by 90%. The years of fake study criteria seeking to prove the opposite of that truth is a shameful thing.

Where do you get such a bullshit statistic? The murder rate in states with the death penalty is <a href="http://www.deathpenaltyinfo.org/deterrence-states-without-death-penalty-have-had-consistently-lower-murder-rates>consistently higher</a> than in those without.

harrogate said...

"The death penalty does restrain violence and murder. It cuts it by 90%."

Hahahahahaha.

Methadras said...

May the demons have hell rend your soul unto eternity you pile of garbage.

traditionalguy said...

Phx...The studies you have been fed of a social group were not double blind. They were anecdotal when the killers in a Death Penalty society were asked why they killed and could not say except for the impulse excuse. They claim never to have thought about the death penalty.

But when we had a brief No Death penalty society in the 1970s during the SCOTUS interregnum of 8years, the young criminals did Think about it deeply and concluded that executing witnesses was required smart practice. Why not since they would get 20 years or less either way if caught, and getting caught went way down if dead witnesses could tell no tales.

Common sense makes me believe my eyes before believing statistics designed by sophists to prove a non-reality.

Freder Frederson said...

Where do you get such a bullshit statistic? The murder rate in states with the death penalty is consistently higher than in those without.

Fix the link

Synova said...

"It's a bare majority, and the death penalty was effectively banned in Britain almost fifty years ago."

And their rate of "hot" burglaries is how much greater than ours?

Geoff Matthews said...

Who says that capital punishment is cruel? Here's one satisfied customer.

tpceltus said...

Col Angus,

IMO, The last meal, etc., may be for the living, not the condemned....another way of easing the process of moving prison personnel from having to attend to the most basic needs of the condemned and then inevitably to having to interact with such to the final and, in times more or less passed, gruesome end. it may have also been useful to wardens re control to assure all that 'decent' things have been done if any doubted a verdict.

One question for me is whether these rituals of execution continue currently. I assume they would, for the traditional reasons, for prisoners in civilian-type prisons, but do the new circumstances of Gitmo/Supermax confinement alter these rituals?

Rusty said...

I know one thing, Freder. The recidivism rate for those executed is virtually zero.

tpceltus said...

Col Angus,

IMO, The last meal, etc., may be for the living, not the condemned....another way of easing the process of moving prison personnel from having to attend to the most basic needs of the condemned and then inevitably to having to interact with such to the final and, in times more or less passed, gruesome end. it may have also been useful to wardens re control to assure all that 'decent' things have been done if any doubted a verdict.

One question for me is whether these rituals of execution continue currently. I assume they would, for the traditional reasons, for prisoners in civilian-type prisons, but do the new circumstances of Gitmo/Supermax confinement alter these rituals?

JPS said...

Here's the thing I don't like about the deterrence argument - whatever the statistic:

If executing Cobb were morally the wrong thing to do, it wouldn't become right because it caused some other rapist/murderer to restrain himself. He either deserved it or he didn't.

I believe it was right to execute him; I acknowledge and respect the position that it's never right. But I don't buy into the utilitarian argument of deterrence.

Freder Frederson said...

And their rate of "hot" burglaries is how much greater than ours?

Yeah, the death penalty is always on the table with burglaries.

What is your point?

The only valid comparison would be murder rates, since that is the practically the only crime punishable by death in the U.S.

Of course that wouldn't support your argument since the murder rate in the UK is a little more than a quarter of the US rate.

tpceltus said...

Prof Althouse,

When I was a young law pup at U of Ala '81-'84, there was a guy in the library who students thought was working on a study of execution methods from colonial to then-present times. I don't know if that was the case, but he did look pretty grim 24/7. I've looked around for a study like this since, but to date, still have not found anything. Any suggestions? Sorry to bug you, but it's been such a fascinating loose end, esp. since I like a good research challenge even on an emotionally and morally tough topic like this one.

tpceltus

Synova said...

"Yeah, the death penalty is always on the table with burglaries."

You're not this simple.

Of course it comes in when someone decides to go ahead and break into a home when they know that people are in it. There has to be a significantly increased willingness to commit violence or they'd target homes that were empty.

Palladian said...

Good thing that all the merciful Christians and Roman Catholics here are displaying their usual grace and humanity on the occasion of the State-sponsored murder of this murderer.

Palladian said...

I would have though that Statists like Freder and phx would love the death penalty, as it's the ultimate display of the "muscular" power of the all-powerful secular State.

If it's acceptable for the State to sanction and assist in the killing of unborn (or if you're K Gosnell, born) humans, why is it unacceptable for the State to do the same to convicted criminals, or indeed to anyone it chooses?

Harold said...

According to that chart, an idiot who murdered 3 people he thought were Muslim after 9/11 has been executed.

Yet, we still haven't succeeded in holding a trial for one of the masterminds of 9/11.

Just an observation.

annk said...

For once, the word "awesome" is used correctly.

Freeman Hunt said...

Of course it comes in when someone decides to go ahead and break into a home when they know that people are in it.

Around here that's a good way to get the death penalty, but not the one carried out by the state.

harrogate said...

Synova gets smoked, writes with braggadocio as if she just nailed something.

Emblematic.

Synova said...

How did that involve braggadocio?

I don't think that deterrence is the primary (or even a particularly strong) reason for capital punishment. Though I do think that what the UK is seeing is a trade-off for leniency toward violent criminals but probably even more a trade-off for making it law that a person doesn't have the right to defend their own home with violence.

The issue is complex. Obviously. And I'm not the one that made an absolute statement.

Claiming that there are no connections between behavior and policy is just dumb.

Synova said...

"Around here that's a good way to get the death penalty,..."

I think that's why so many stories on home-defense shootings start out with... "He knocked on the front door. When no one answered he walked around to the back door and kicked it in." And then eventually the robber finds the hidy-hole of the person who was at home after all and gets himself shot by the 12 year old hiding in the bathroom closet.

I understand the reasoning behind telling kids and others home alone during the day not to answer the door but I wonder if it's the wrong approach. Still, I don't know what would be a better idea.

Larry J said...

SteveR said...
I don't think giving someone in this situation any attention is called for. Its already not much of a deterrant, if any at all.


It's called "capital punishment", not "capital deterrence" for a reason.

Of course, when it takes 11 years (in this case) from the crime to the execution, it shouldn't surprise anyone that the deterrence aspect is weak. Then again, how do you prove that a murder didn't take place because of the fear of punishment? Some criminals aren't afraid because they don't believe they'll ever get caught.

phx said...

Common sense makes me believe my eyes before believing statistics designed by sophists to prove a non-reality.

Got it. You pulled it out of your ass.

creeley23 said...

I would have though that Statists like Freder and phx would love the death penalty, as it's the ultimate display of the "muscular" power of the all-powerful secular State.

Palladian: I think the need for liberals to feel morally superior is the trump card here.

phx said...

I would have though that Statists like Freder and phx would love the death penalty, as it's the ultimate display of the "muscular" power of the all-powerful secular State.

Jeez Palladian...just enjoy being on the right side for a change, will you?

Larry J said...

SteveR said...
I don't think giving someone in this situation any attention is called for. Its already not much of a deterrant, if any at all.


It's called "capital punishment", not "capital deterrence" for a reason.

Of course, when it takes 11 years (in this case) from the crime to the execution, it shouldn't surprise anyone that the deterrence aspect is weak. Then again, how do you prove that a murder didn't take place because of the fear of punishment? Some criminals aren't afraid because they don't believe they'll ever get caught.

Larry J said...

SteveR said...
I don't think giving someone in this situation any attention is called for. Its already not much of a deterrant, if any at all.


It's called "capital punishment", not "capital deterrence" for a reason.

Of course, when it takes 11 years (in this case) from the crime to the execution, it shouldn't surprise anyone that the deterrence aspect is weak. Then again, how do you prove that a murder didn't take place because of the fear of punishment? Some criminals aren't afraid because they don't believe they'll ever get caught.

creeley23 said...

As to the statistical question of whether the death penalty deters crime, I went through the debate a few years ago and concluded it was unclear. There are studies that go both ways and both sides have their rebuttals.

I imagine it will be cleared up eventually, but in the meantime I note that even if deterrence were conclusively demonstrated, most of those who oppose the death penalty would remain opposed as they consider it a moral stand.

Æthelflæd said...

“Whoever sheds the blood of man,
by man shall his blood be shed,
for God made man in his own image." Gen. 9:6

“If anyone kills a person, the murderer shall be put to death on the evidence of witnesses. But no person shall be put to death on the testimony of one witness." Numbers 35:30

So put them to death, but make damn sure your evidence is good.

Rusty said...

According to the FBI less than 5% of the burglaries in the United States are "hot" burglaries as opposed to over 80% in Great Britain.


Mr. Cobb will never murder any body ever again.

wyo sis said...

It's like the starfish story. It made a difference to that one.

Leland said...

My UK friend tells me that the British people are pretty much pro-capital punishment

My experience as well, just glad to see it expressed.

phx said...

Pro, anti. At this point what difference does it make?

Just try to be a little fucking humane out there, all right? All right?!

This is fun goddammit.

rcocean said...

People who commit first degree murder should be executed without all the fuss and publicity.

How many of America's best died in Afghanistan over the last 4 years? Yet, people get all teary eyed over killing some serial killer.

Weird.

rcocean said...

20,000 victims of Homocide last year. How many candle vigils for them?

Our acceptance of Abortion and disdain for Capital Punishment shows an effeminate, weak society that's rotted away inside.

cubanbob said...

If the deterrence is the goal, forget it. As said by another commenter criminals don't think they will be caught if they think at all. Prisons are supposed to deter criminals yet the prisons are full. Should we stop incarcerating criminals? Now if the death penalty is to be made into an effective deterrent thenTexas should hire Kermit Gosnell to be the state executioner and televise his executions. His methods would certainly deter anyone with two functioning neurons.

Rusty said...

phx said...
Pro, anti. At this point what difference does it make?

Just try to be a little fucking humane out there, all right? All right?!

We are.