August 9, 2018

WaPo's empathy provoking headline — "Tennessee plans to execute killer with controversial drug that Justice Sotomayor said could inflict ‘torturous pain’"...

... fails to inspire empathy. Comment after comment carry on the theme I've encountered in all sorts of comments threads on articles about the cruelty of the death penalty:
How much pain did Paula Dyer experience when Billy killed her? How much pain did her family feel? Her friends and community? If Mr. Irick does not have a comfortable demise, I for one will not shed a tear.

Bring back the chair and set to medium rare.

He raped a first-grader 33 years ago. Let him suffer.

Who the hell cares how much he suffers if at all? He certainly didn't give a damn about the suffering he was causing his victim!

In fact all murderers should be executed in the same manner of the murder they committed and then some, PERIOD!

Murderers SHOW NO MERCY TO THEIR VICTIMS AND THEREFORE NO MERCY SHALL BE GIVEN TO THE MURDERERS EITHER!

If you don't want them to use the drugs, there's still "Ol Sparky" on standby.

Torturous pain? Only one way to find out, heh heh.

Oh boo hoo. Since the writer conveniently left our what this inmate is being executed for, I decided to find out. Billy Ray Irick is being executed for the rape and murder of a 7 year old girl in 1985. He's had 33 years of life since raping and murdering a 7 year old child. I shed no tears when he finally kicks it and if he feels a little pain - so be it....
Not one commenter mentions Sotomayor, whose humanity WaPo seems to have hoped its readers would want to echo.

126 comments:

Earnest Prole said...

I don't understand why heroin is not used for executions. In large doses it is guaranteed to kill without suffering.

Unknown said...

Anyone know why they just don't use whatever vets use to put untreatable pets "to sleep"? Surely there would already have been an outcry if that were felt to be "inhumane".

anti-de Sitter space said...

"Not one commenter mentions Sotomayor, whose humanity WaPo seems to have hoped its readers would want to echo."


I agree, this is the most likely way to evaluate this whole thing.


But, it'd be cooler if this was one of those psych studies where there's some misdirection that is designed to test a question other than that which is explicitly presented.

Studying humanity is tricky.

Ron Snyder said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
mccullough said...

I’m just picturing Obama touting Sotomayor’s nomination with that cheesy empathy pitch in 2009. No one gives a shit what the wise Latina has to say on this case. This crime evokes primordial vengeance even among the WaPo commentariat. Assuming, of course, they aren’t wise Russian bots.

etbass said...

Sounds like a lot of deplorable commentors. Probably mostly Trump supporters, at that.

Ron Snyder said...

Good enough for Founding Fathers- hanging or a firing squad. Let's go back to basics.

Michael K said...

The gas chamber was still the most humane form of execution.

Many killers are drug addicts and the problem of finding a vein is real.

Jack Wayne said...

Per Sotomayor - “If the law permits this execution to go forward in spite of the horrific final minutes that Irick may well experience,” she wrote, “then we have stopped being a civilized nation and accepted barbarism.”

So this judge doesn’t know if the death is painful but it MAY be. This judge also thinks we are a civilized country but 55,000,000 abortions argues against that. And one painful death for a completely guilty murderer will reduce us instantly to barbarism. I’m so glad to have this sort of legal giant on TSCOTUS. Just like with AllState, we’re in good hands.

Bill Peschel said...

Liberals want inmates to suffer. They've been trying and mostly failing to stop the death penalty and when they can't, pass laws that restrict the method to the most barbaric possible.

The New York Times Sunday Magazine a few months back published a long piece about an old woman committing suicide. She poured the liquid into a glass of wine, polished it off, and within 20 minutes was gone.

If the national media were not water carriers for the Democratic Party, they would point this out and ask why lawmakers should not allow this method if the current law is so barbaric.

Sebastian said...

"Not one commenter mentions Sotomayor, whose humanity WaPo seems to have hoped its readers would want to echo."

The comments are somewhat encouraging.

A "controversial" drug, eh? Gives it away right there: "controversial" = stuff progs don't like.

Had I commented, I would have mentioned Sotomayor, since her woeful misunderstanding of "humanity" and law would've told me that the execution was wholly justified and that whatever pain was inflicted on this character barely sufficient to do justice. Thanks for the heads up, WaPo.

buwaya said...

There is a good argument that the vengeance part of such capital punishments is the duty of the victims family.

Such a killer commits two crimes in fact, in a traditional communal way of things - besides depriving a family of a child, he imposes on them (the head of the family especially) an obligation to kill.

n.n said...

A scalpel in the first trimester is humanitarian. They should outsource to PP or another approved provider.

JPS said...

Shoot them.

Don’t make it medical. Don’t make them suffer unduly but don’t pretend it’s humane. If it’s just, as I believe it is in rare cases, then look it in the eye. You are doing lethal violence to someone because you’ve judged he deserves it.

Bay Area Guy said...

I second the motion to resume firing squads or hanging.

rcocean said...

I'm puzzled as why killing someone is so damn difficult.

Why not just inject the Prisoner with alcohol and sleeping pills and then shoot him?

Or just bring back the shooting squad. Or adopt the Guillotine.

Its crazy. The idea seems to be if we can't kill someone while inflicting more pain then a flue shot, its out of bounds.

rcocean said...

Finding a vein is difficult?

Ever had your blood drawn for a medical test?

They always seem to find a vein, even if they have to hunt around a little.

And isn't there a big huge vein in your neck?

Oh, that's right. Something might go wrong and they might die. So, scratch that.

Drago said...

Billy Ray has that "spark of divinity" democrats respect.

The girl might have grown up to be a Trump voter so whats the big deal?

In Philly our left wing sanctuary-city lefty advocates had no problem letting an illegal back onto the streets whereupon he promptly raped another young girl.

Guess you cant make a lefty paradise omelette without breaking some eggs...(which means Venezuela is out of luck since there are no longer eggs or any food available there)

rcocean said...

Seriously, WHY do we have this insane discussions?

Use the Guillotine or give them alcohol/sleeping pills, put a gun to their heart and shoot them.

That's it. No pain. They're dead.

mccullough said...

This guy was sentenced to death in November 1986. He managed to stretch it out for a long time thanks to judges like Sotomayor who empathize with child rapists and killers. If only she had a child herself, she would understand. Obama’s two Supreme Court appointments are childless women. Cat ladies.

Marty said...

Anyone who commits such heinous crimes deserves a painful death. But I am opposed to capital punishment not for any philosophical reason but for one simple, irrefutable practical reason: the justice system is not perfect and I would accept any number of guilty parties avoiding the death penalty to avoid execution of an innocent person. And it's no argument to me to say society should allow any convict to choose execution (and pleading guilty to a capital crime is just one way of choosing execution over life).

rcocean said...

How many Children and innocent women and old men have died in Syria while we're having this discussion?

Yeah, that's right nobody gives a shit. No, lets shed a tear for the murder-rapist - he might die.

Saint Croix said...

I think the death penalty is wrong. I think it's wrong because killing is wrong, and it's not for us to do. It's wrong in the same way that war is wrong.

If you don't have to kill, then don't kill. A man who is locked in a cage is helpless. You don't have to kill him. So don't.

If you have to kill, in defense of the life of another, then kill. But do not celebrate it, and do not think you are an instrument of the Lord. We are apart from the Lord when we kill any of his children. Know this and be ashamed. Know that you have fallen short of Christ.

And know also that innocent people are sometimes sent to prison, and sometimes killed by the state. That is how Jesus was killed, after all. So do not cheer when you inflict pain, or death, on another human being.

David53 said...

Death by nitrogen-induced hypoxia seems like a good idea to me. Anyone who has had any altitude chamber training and experienced hypoxia knows you just pass out, it's not painful.

Birkel said...

Althouse; “...Sotomayor, whose humanity...”

You misspelled moral cowardice.

rcocean said...

I've never understood people who support war but are against the death penalty.

Of course some wars are truly in self-defense. But the USA has only fought one of those, and that was against Japan.

Tell me how you're in favor of bombing Berlin but get weepy and cry at night over killing a child rapist/murder.

rhhardin said...

As a moral matter, you don't particularly want pain. The death penalty is neither deterrent nor retribution.

It's a statement of the place society grants to the voice of the victim, a voice that is missing.

Michael K said...

cean said...
Finding a vein is difficult?

Ever had your blood drawn for a medical test?


Yes and I have drawn blood thousands of times when techs could not, or didn't want to do it.

Michael K said...


As a moral matter, you don't particularly want pain. The death penalty is neither deterrent nor retribution.

It's a statement of the place society grants to the voice of the victim, a voice that is missing.


It's also the ultimate deterrent.

Gahrie said...

I am willing to bet that there is no form of execution that Sotomayor is willing to admit is constitutional. Bring back the Guillotine.

PB said...

Use a firing squad. The bullet travels faster than sound and you're dead before you hear the shot.

Birkel said...

The death penalty is society’s way of removing the burden (buwaya mentions) families had. Society removes the retribution from the small group to the large group.

It is a replacement for small group retribution.

rcocean said...

"The death penalty is neither deterrent nor retribution."

Its impossible to prove by valid statistics, whether the Death penalty deters or doesn't.

Common sense tells you it does. If we have 15,000 murders a year, common sense tells you there must be at least 10 or 50 or 150 potential killers who didn't want to risk the death penalty.

If the death penalty doesn't deter, then why does Life imprisonment deter? Lets reduce the penalty for murder to 20 years. That should be sufficient.

Gahrie said...

As a moral matter, you don't particularly want pain.

True...which is why our Constitution prohibits "cruel and unusual" punishments. But hanging and firing squad were both legal forms of execution at the time, and for many years after. I believe in choice...let the convicted choose his form of execution from a list....

rcocean said...

Personally, I'd be willing to get rid of the death penalty all together if Sotomayer agrees to be Guillotined.

Its funny that Lynch law and the Guillotine are both named after real people.

rcocean said...

"Cruel and Unusual Punishment"

Meant things like drawing and quartering. Nobody believed hanging "cruel AND unusual" until the Supreme Court thought it up in 1976. That's almost 200 years after the Constitutional Convention.

MikeR said...

"I think the death penalty is wrong. I think it's wrong because killing is wrong, and it's not for us to do. It's wrong in the same way that war is wrong." Where are you getting this conviction from? It isn't from the Bible. As Dennis Prager points out, there is only one single law that is in all five Books of Moses: A murderer must be put to death.
Not killing a murderer is wrong.

Ralph L said...

That's a lot of appeals to stretch a sentence out 33 years. Layers of lawyers.

JaimeRoberto said...

I'd be ok replacing the death penalty with life in prison if it truly meant life in prison, but we all know that the progs would start campaigning against that too.

tcrosse said...

There's a guy on Death Row in Nevada who was scheduled to be killed in November. He claims he wants to die, but the manufacturer of the drug to be used in the Lethal Injection has sued because they do not want their product to be associated with such a practice. My dear wife, a very sensible woman, thinks the worst punishment would be to keep this guy alive in a shithole prison for the rest of his life, possibly in solitary. Incidentally, he was found guilty of a particularly awful crime, even worse than helping to defeat Hillary.

Two-eyed Jack said...

Okay, I went and read Sotomayor's dissent.

I do not see why the SCOTUS should act in this case as the Tennessee Court had dealt with all of the legal issues, but not in the way that Sotomayor wanted.

The state SC did not think that the method was torturous. Sotomayor believes that she should have a hand in making that decision.

Irick argues that there was a single-drug alternative, pentobarbital, but the state said they had no supplier. While it is possible that this case is about improving the supply of lethal chemicals or widening the range of execution methods, I doubt it.

The problem is the view that the SCOTUS has such refined tastes and alert imaginations that all judgements should be left to them. Otherwise we have a failure of Justice. Or a failure of taste. Or perhaps a failure of humanity. Thus, the composition of the SCOTUS is more important than any other matter in modern American life, since they really should be doing Yelp reviews of everything.

Trumpit said...

My mother was murdered in the hospital with a morphine overdose by telephone orders to the nurses who knew my mother was simply on observation. I was at my mother's bedside when this happened; she was sleeping like a baby. The two doctors involved have yet to face justice after six years. They poisoned my mother to death to hide the side effects of the tranquilizer, Ativan. The side effects had past, so she was killed for NO reasons. Although they qualify for the death penalty in California (murder with special circumstances #19 - poisoning), they've escaped justice. I would prefer they spend a minimum of 20 years in a penitentiary; death is too good for them.

etbass said...

St Croix might check Romans 13;3,4 to find that governments are authorized to take life to uphold the law according to the Word of God. This is the basis upon which our nation historically has upheld the death penalty. Tell me what has changed besides liberal thinking that ignores or distorts The Word of God?

FullMoon said...

Many killers are drug addicts and the problem of finding a vein is real.

Those veins recover after ten-twenty-thirty years behind bars?

Hagar said...

The state should not be seeking vengeance on its own behalf nor on yours.
The death penalty is a serious thing and ought to be taken seriously.
The pain inflicted at the moment of death is a minor thing if the crime committed was so heinous that the death sentence was considered appropriate in the first place.
The traditional hanging for civilians convicted of capital crimes and the firing squad for military malefactors at least let the condemned retain their human dignity, which we ought to respect for our own sake.

These attempts at killing prisoners "painlessly" are obscene and mainly directed at our reluctance to take responsibility for inflicting the death penalty even though mandated by the very laws we voted for.

Saint Croix said...

St Croix might check Romans 13;3,4 to find that governments are authorized to take life

Roe v. Wade says the same thing.

Authorized by whom?

Saint Croix said...

Vengeance belongs to God and no other.

gilbar said...

someone said: Its impossible to prove by valid statistics, whether the Death penalty deters or doesn't.

It is a PROVEN Statistical FACT; that the level of Recidivism among criminals upon whom the death penalty was enforced, IS ZERO.
Not ONE executed Criminal has EVER committed another murder. It IS the ultimate deterrent

HT said...

Yes, you're correct, the trend of the comments is as you characterized, with some like the ones below appearing only after every 3 or 4th fry em comment:

"Barbaric"

"Well, you don't speak for this Tennessean. Letting the state inflict deliberate pain and suffering on anyone leaves us all poorer."

"I have just finished reading all the comments here. All I can say is that I no longer have that burning question in my mind of how a trump could be elected as President in America. The answer is quite obvious."

buwaya said...

I always thought an exploding hat would be ideal, as a reliable instantaneous method.
A small shaped charge in a sturdy container.
The shock would render the victim unconscious instantly, and the speed of propagation of the shock wave would be faster than the human nervous system works.

Jeremy Abrams said...

It's kind of an Amity Shlaes "Forgotten Man" issue. We need to think about how the execution can serve to disincentivize future murders. Having it shown to felons convicted of violent crimes, who will at some point be released, does make sense. As for making it painful, state-sanctioned killing is already pretty rough; I don't think we have a public consensus for state-sanctioned torture.

Todd Galle said...

I believe I mentioned this before on a much earlier similar post, but execution perfection has been a long quest. We looked years ago at a museum at which I worked to exhibit 'Old Sparky', the state's electric chair. The exhibit committee couldn't even agree to a wall color given the divisions in society, dark means bad, white good, gray middle of the road, etc. The chair was to be an improvement over hanging. Hanging was often carried out by our counties, rather than the state. The sheriffs often overestimated the poundage necessary for the counterweight, with frightening results. Put them in the chair and their heads won't be ripped off. Then the fight by Edison on the execution benefits of AC rather than DC (although I may have that backsides, it's been years). Then the gas chamber. I don't know the answer, only that it's been hunted for a long time. Maybe bringing it out into the public domain as it used to be would force a decision. Removing the ultimate punishment from public scrutiny may have been an error.

Ken B said...

Humanity, singular, refers to one of the liberal arts. The readers should echo her music??

And for readers to echo, wouldn’t they have to get together and form a cavern?

My catechresis refutes you! Or so goes a hoary argument.

FullMoon said...
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Saint Croix said...

As Dennis Prager points out, there is only one single law that is in all five Books of Moses: A murderer must be put to death.

That's why Christ was always going around killing murderers.

Oh, wait. He didn't do that at all!

Not killing a murderer is wrong.

It is dangerous to be so certain that you are, in fact, killing a murderer. What if he is innocent?

Then you are the murderer.

And what if God judges you by your rule?

david rieck said...

Break him on the Wheel and the have him drawn and quartered!

Vance said...

The real problem with "life in Prison" is twofold: Progressives will always, but always, agitate for a lower sentence. In Norway, Brevkin, the guy who killed like 180 people, is on life. He's going to get out in another few years, because "Life" really means 20 years or less.

And then there is always the chance of a prison escape..especially when helped by progressives who have zero problems letting child rapists and murderers back out onto the streets. Leftists like letting violent criminals free, after all.

Now, let's be clear: progressives are very, very fond of the death penalty and extreme jail time. You just have to find the right crime, is all. Murder or child rape? Slap on the wrist! Voting Republican or running against a leftist? Ask Stalin, the prototypical progressive: The gulag, starvation, nothing it too horrible for a true criminal, that being someone who disagrees with a leftist. Mao, Hitler, Pol Pot, Castro and Che all agree. Today's progressives have zero problems, for instance, with Hamas murdering innocent Jews.

Ken B said...

Buwaya
I hope you have a blog.

Ingachuck'stoothlessARM said...

how does her ilk feel about beheading Trump?

Howard said...

I think science says abortion is the best crime deterrence.

Stephen Cooper said...

Sotomayor is one of those women who were almost cute - i.e., from the point of view of an average male, super hot, at least under the right circumstances ... for a few years when they were young.

She was cute enough to capture a decent husband, maybe not a tall one or an alpha male, maybe not the guy who graduated with honors from a top 14 school, but maybe some guy who was a good guy, but not tall, or a good guy, but clearly not an alpha male, or a good guy, but nowhere near the top third at a top 14 law school .... but still .... for some reason, she decided not to capture one of those second tier males, even though it would probably have made her very happy. I am not the Proust to her Swann so I don't know why she made the choices she did, but I am sure that there were a few days back on the softball field when happiness seemed to beckon .....

I went to law school in the 90s after a successful military career and the thought never crossed my mind to think that Supreme Court justices were lucky people in life. Too many uptight years trying to show off. And for who? not for people who love you just the way you are...

Mark said...

You don't have much company SC. You are dealing with the culture of death. Half of them simply hyped up by perverted blood lust. Others self-righteous thugs.

Meade said...

Justice Sotomayor, in 1988, did you feel empathy for Kitty Dukakis when Governor Dukakis indicated his empathy would have to be for Kitty’s rapist murderer?

Mark said...

And when these fools citing the divine right of kings start condemning America's founding fathers for revolting against the governing authority of George III and themselves bow down to Elizabeth, then we might consider that they are not FOS.

Comanche Voter said...

Sotomayor claimed to be a "Wise Latina" a fact not much in evidence as things play out.

Dickin'Bimbos@Home said...

I'd like the death penalty to be safe, legal and rare.

The dude who should be killed is the Aurora Theater Shooter. That fucker caused some serious pain. and we know who did it. No question. One panzee juror saved his life.

n.n said...

There are two instances that justify an elective abortion: self-defense, and elective abortion. The former when there is an immediate threat to life, and the latter with the testimony of three witnesses (e.g. forensic, eyewitness). This is not an abortion rite, and we should be wary of the progressive path to taking life for light and casual causes, or without firm proof of responsibility.

Gahrie said...

I think science says abortion is the best crime deterrence.


Now go one step further...what is the correlation of abortion to crime?

Crimso said...

I remember years ago when Florida was having problems with its electric chair. People bursting into flames, that sort of thing (it still worked, though). I recall the controversy at the time, and one state official was quoted as saying something to the effect of "If you're going to commit murder in Florida, you might want to think twice. We may have a problem with our electric chair." His point being that they were going to execute you, even if you caught on fire in the process.

'Potassium chloride has been described by the U.S. Supreme Court as “chemically burning at the stake.”'

Bullshit. If they can't knock you out before the KCl flows, then somebody should brain you with a club. Besides, one can avoid being executed quite easily. The vast, vast, vast majority of Americans do. They should run PSAs warning people that they WILL be executed if they commit capital crimes. That way, no one can say they didn't know (like the dude on the doc series I'm currently watching on Netflix, who had to have his lawyer explain what "death penalty" meant).

I'm actually ambivalent about it, in terms of whether to do it at all. But if they're going to do it, then the method should be calculated to be as horrific and public as possible.

Etienne said...

Americans are a vicious mongrel tribe. At the drop of a coin they will invade your country and kill your dictator.

Even if it costs a Trillion dollars a year.

The Supreme Court approves this message...

Etienne said...

Saudi Arabia should help train our executioners. I like their crucifixions. They are a crowd pleaser. No executions in secret rooms for them.

Whack! spurt... dribble...

Lucien said...

I give Saint Croix credit for being a genuine pro-lifer from a death penalty and abortion standpoint. Don’t agree, but hat tip for holding to what you believe.

Many years ago (1990s), I took a class called “Alternatives to Violence” at the University of Maryland taught by Colman McCarthy, the WaPo journalist and pacifist - you can read about him on Wikipedia. My classmates were typical leftist granola; I was a bit of an outlier.

What I remember is that most of my leftist classmates were eating Colman’s pacifism/non-violence up with a spoon. Then one day one of the beta-male vegans attending the class began chalking pro-choice slogans up on the blackboard during a break. When class resumed, someone asked Colman what the peace movement thought about abortion.

Colman said, almost apologetically but not quite, “If you’re opposed to violence, you’re opposed to it in all its forms.”

The class went apeshit. The leftist granola were outraged. They’d been sure Colman was an ally, reliably on-side with The Cause. Finding out he was driven by principles, rather than the latest fads in progressive ideology, was a real blow. About a quarter of them dropped the class after that session.

Colman never convinced me on pacifism as an approach to life, but to his credit he lived his ideals all the way up, regardless of what his so-called ideological allies thought.

phantommut said...

Honestly, a low velocity high caliber bullet through the brain would probably be the most painless way to go. But it wouldn't be clean, and the empathy crowd really likes clean because clean doesn't make them feel gross. Call it self-empathy.

Etienne said...
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Etienne said...
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Etienne said...

The cleanest way is a 38 round to the center of the forehead.

In most cases, there is very little blood, and the bullet won't even exit. In some cases it will exit, but still be under the skin.

The method of death is actually expansion. The skull will have a million cracks as it expands with the bullets energy.

Very little blood comes out, as the hole is quickly filled with brain matter.

Death is instantaneous, as the brain is completely destroyed, and you don't have consciousness while the blood drains.

The patient drops like a rock. You don't need sawdust or a body bag. It's a self-sealing execution. Works great for suicide.

Theranter said...

Related--pretty good articles having to do with the Catholic Church's change on the death penalty:

https://www.crisismagazine.com/2018/imagining-no-religion

http://www.libertylawsite.org/2018/08/09/a-view-of-pope-francis-and-the-death-penalty/

n.n said...

There is a real risk that instead of aborting a Mao, we will instead Choose a Jesus, or select a wholly innocent fetus, offspring, baby. So, Mao survives to make a progressive leap, while Jesus is aborted in an abortion chamber, or a fraudulent dossier is used to justify a baby trial.

n.n said...

While Planned Parenthood may have ethical qualms and resist abortion of murderers, they are extremely well appointed to hold abortion rites with liberal consent. We could also execute a Gaddafi: sodomy and abortion without possibility of trial.

n.n said...

Torture in the first trimester. Until we better understand the perception of human life, we should probably force a moratorium on all forms of capital punishment. I wonder if Sotomayor has a principled empathy and would agree to a comprehensive resolution of elective abortions, especially when Chosen for light and casual causes under the Chinese "one-child" or the Progressive "selective-child".

Gospace said...

In Law Abiding Citizen Clyde Shelton intercepts the chemicals used in lethal injection and substitutes some that will both cause death and a great deal of pain.

I really don't have a problem with that. But, we should probably go with something without a lot of hazardous waste to clean up that's plentiful and painless. Gas chamber- quickly flooded with 100% nitrogen.

But keep hanging for treason and a few other select crimes.

becauseIdbefired said...

A bit off topic, but one of the arguments against the death penalty is the costly appeals process. But here in CA, it now costs over $70,000 to incarcerate a prisoner for a year, and probably more for the really dangerous.

Most murders are young. That means the cost of life in imprisonment, assuming 50 years of imprisonment, is now $3.5 Million dollars. Maybe those appeals aren't so expensive after all.

Liberals want it all, but they are ruining their own arguments in the process.

PhilD said...

'Not one commenter mentions Sotomayor, whose humanity WaPo seems to have hoped its readers would want to echo.'

That's probably because even WP commentators know that Sotomayor's humanity in this case is, like so much lefty twaddle, completely bogus.

lgv said...

I don't understand why they don't use hypoxia. You just go to sleep and never wakeup. All it takes is a sealed room and a pump.

Ralph L said...

Make sure it's a slow pump or a large enough room.

lgv said...

I Binged it (just kidding). OK is now going to use nitrogen to cause hypoxia. I read several articles on why it is a terrible idea. It isn't. All the anti-hypoxia articles are written by people are against the death penalty, period.

1) What if the nitrogen isn't pure? - who cares
2) What if the prisoner starts thrashing? - sedate them before the procedure
3) What about pain if they refuse to breath through the mask? - Really? You mean like my kids when they threaten to hold their breath?

We will find out soon enough.

Bob Loblaw said...

A bit off topic, but one of the arguments against the death penalty is the costly appeals process. But here in CA, it now costs over $70,000 to incarcerate a prisoner for a year, and probably more for the really dangerous.

Forget it, Jake. It's California. We have over 750 people on death row and not a single one will be executed.

Kevin said...

I like how the "anti-authoritarian" people are always appealing to authority.

Kevin said...

Shoot them.

Aren't most suicides carried out by gunshot? Wouldn't people trying to kill themselves use the most effective and least painful method available?

The vote has been taken, let democracy rule.

Saint Croix said...

As Dennis Prager points out, there is only one single law that is in all five Books of Moses: A murderer must be put to death.
Not killing a murderer is wrong.


I'm not familiar with Dennis Prager. But of course I've heard his name.

You might ask him about the murder that Moses committed.

Should we have put Moses to death?

Saint Croix said...

I give Saint Croix credit for being a genuine pro-lifer from a death penalty and abortion standpoint. Don’t agree, but hat tip for holding to what you believe.

Thanks for the hat tip.

When I was in high school and college, I was pro-choice and in favor of the death penalty. One time I joked that I was, "pro-death." It was just a joke. A couple of people laughed. Nobody confronted me or argued with me. But I never repeated that joke again.

By the time I was in law school, a professor asked me if I was a pacifist. "No," I said. "But I have a lot of respect for them."

It's a gradual process. And it's still a process. Just a couple of years ago I learned that the pro-life bumper sticker, Choose Life, actually came from Moses.

I learned this from a sermon by an Episcopal priest. He was talking about all the ways we can choose life. I don't remember if he mentioned loving your baby or marrying the woman you impregnated.

Now, the Episcopal church is officially a pro-choice church. I don't know how much he was flirting with danger in his sermon. Sort of like an Episcopal priest in North Carolina in 1860 who gives a sermon about Moses freeing the slaves.

Anyway, at the end of the sermon, as we're walking out the door shaking hands with the priests, I said to him, "You know, that's a pro-life bumper sticker. Choose Life. That came from Moses?"

And he winked at me.

Chris N said...

I believe in restorative methods of death. ‘We’ should all seek empathy with the criminal, the victim, the victim’s family, the poor guy who cleans up afterwards and even that Orca swimming with her dead calf because that’s pretty amazing, too.

Like the Wise Latina, are any above parties members of victim groups and thus subject to mystical knowledge/super-empathy?

****Can I please, please finally get a Wheel of Victims in the Sunday Wapo so I can keep track of when it’s my turn on the Wheel?

How should I think/What should I feel?

tim in vermont said...

The difference between feeling and thinking is that the thinking person looks at the research and discovers that the death penalty deters murder and wants to save future victims from torment, kind of like building a wall would prevent the separation of families at the border, and a feeling person doesn’t think about the consequences of not executing killers nor does she think about the consequences of not building a wall.

She then accuses the thinking person of being uncaring and lacking empathy when in fact she lacks the empathy that foresight affords.

southcentralpa said...

Easy-peasey lemon-squeezy: OD the condemned on heroin. They go out like a lightswitch had been flipped and feel no pain. Done and done.

(Further thought in a "Modest Proposal" vein: anything that is approved for so-called "physician-assisted suicide" is approved for execution. Discuss...)

BUMBLE BEE said...

Saint Croix... I have emailed Dennis Prager the question you raise. He has written a book on Exodus (The Rational Bible). I await a response. Being raised Catholic we weren't allowed to study the Bible. I gather from Mr Prager's running Biblical commentary, that the Bible is a cascading layering of human behavioral guidance which is not fairly served by cherry picking quotations. You pose a great question. BTW the Founding Fathers were fervent Bible students, many seminarians among them.
I firmly believe in the death penalty, like amputation of a gangrenous limb.

Bad Lieutenant said...

Etienne said...
The cleanest way is a 38 round to the center of the forehead.

That's not your actual experience shooting people in the head. Why don't you give us the benefit of your experience shooting people in the head? What was it like, exactly? What did you use, and how well did it work? I seem to recall that it wasn't a .38 you used.


Saint Croix,

Moses slew the Egyptian in defense of another Hebrew. That was a righteous slaying. He fled men's vengeance, not God's.


Hagar,

It's tough on the wrongfully convicted but ultimately we have to do some volume if it's going to be effective. With dispatch, as these years and years of delay make it a joke, especially for the low grade common criminal with poor future time orientation.

If we shot ten thousand people a year, within twenty-four hours of their conviction, one appeal max to be conducted within one week, the next year we wouldn't have ten thousand people to shoot, because people's calculus on murder would change.

The neatest way to deal with it would be to arrange to have then shot while resisting arrest.

The most entertaining and lucrative would be to put all the murderers in one room, and drop in a few weapons, not enough to escape with, but enough to kill just about everybody in the room. Video/PPV optional. The victims' families could watch for free.

Marcus said...

It's "empathy-provoking". #RememberTheHyphen!

Unknown said...

Blogger Vance said...

The real problem with "life in Prison" is twofold: Progressives will always, but always, agitate for a lower sentence. In Norway, Brevkin, the guy who killed like 180 people, is on life. He's going to get out in another few years, because "Life" really means 20 years or less.

And then there is always the chance of a prison escape..especially when helped by progressives who have zero problems letting child rapists and murderers back out onto the streets. Leftists like letting violent criminals free, after all.

<<<<
Prisons are porous. One of the great examples was a Governor, stupid even by the standards of New Mexico, who commuted a bunch of death sentences for murderers who then escaped. He called upon them to give themselves up because remaining at large altered the debate about the death penalty.

A third point is prisons are dangerous. Locking them up for life means death for a certain number of other inmates and guards who were there to be punished but not to be killed. See Tom Silverstein.

PhilD said...

'Being raised Catholic we weren't allowed to study the Bible.'

The one doesn't follow from the other. It is either anecdotal, misrepresented or plain BS. I still have the NT & OT from my Catholic school days.
Just to set the record straight.

Freder Frederson said...

The difference between feeling and thinking is that the thinking person looks at the research and discovers that the death penalty deters murder.

Please cite this research that your hypothetical "thinking person" has looked at, because as far as I know "the research" shows no such thing.

Freder Frederson said...

There is a good argument that the vengeance part of such capital punishments is the duty of the victims family.

And pray tell, what is that argument? This only is valid in a lawless and barbarous society.

And it isn't even Christian. Read your damn bible: Deuteronomy 32:35 and Romans 12:17-19

Crazy Jane said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Crazy Jane said...

tcrosse mentioned the death row guy in Nevada who says he wants to die.

His quote: "I don't want to spend the rest of my life in prison."

In the 1990s, a career criminal kidnapped a 12-year-old California girl from her bedroom, then raped and killed her. He was caught, tried, convicted and sent to death row at San Quentin, which delighted him because there he would have his own cell, and he had established himself as the worst of the worst, the only distinction he ever could have hoped to achieve. California will never execute him, so nobody has to hear about him ever again.

This Irick guy was a mess from the get-go. He was hospitalized and prescribed anti-psychotic drugs from the age of eight.

The girl who was killed was done no favors by her family, who took Irick in and let him live in their house. Her last meal, described in the Tennessean, was cold canned peas and corn. Then her mother went to work, leaving Irick to watch the children.

There is no other way in the world that this man would have received as much attention as he has had for the last 33 years.

We'd be better off forgetting these awful men than giving them more attention. Let them sit in prisons for life because they have forfeited the right to live in our communities forever. Vengeance is mine, said the Lord, and (s)he was right.

Freder Frederson said...

One of the great examples was a Governor, stupid even by the standards of New Mexico, who commuted a bunch of death sentences for murderers who then escaped.

If you have to go back 31 years (the incident you are referring to occurred in 1987) and exaggerate (unless you consider two "a bunch"), then this fear is not very realistic.

Freder Frederson said...

If we shot ten thousand people a year, within twenty-four hours of their conviction, one appeal max to be conducted within one week, the next year we wouldn't have ten thousand people to shoot, because people's calculus on murder would change.

My God, you are a barbarian.

To imply that the majority of murders are rational acts that people contemplate the consequences of is just a ridiculous.

I would bet that killing ten thousand people in one year (thankfully we will never test your theory), would raise, not lower, the level of violence in society.

But it is nice that you acknowledge that a unjustified execution is "tough" on the wrongfully convicted. Your humanity and empathy apparently knows no bounds.

Gabriel said...

@Freder:

Read your damn bible:

Good advice you should have followed. Leviticus and Deuteronomy clearly outline the cases where private blood vengeance is and is not allowed:

Then the Lord said to Joshua: 2 “Tell the Israelites to designate the cities of refuge, as I instructed you through Moses, 3 so that anyone who kills a person accidentally and unintentionally may flee there and find protection from the avenger of blood. 4 When they flee to one of these cities, they are to stand in the entrance of the city gate and state their case before the elders of that city. Then the elders are to admit the fugitive into their city and provide a place to live among them. 5 If the avenger of blood comes in pursuit, the elders must not surrender the fugitive, because the fugitive killed their neighbor unintentionally and without malice aforethought. 6 They are to stay in that city until they have stood trial before the assembly and until the death of the high priest who is serving at that time. Then they may go back to their own home in the town from which they fled.”

7 So they set apart Kedesh in Galilee in the hill country of Naphtali, Shechem in the hill country of Ephraim, and Kiriath Arba (that is, Hebron) in the hill country of Judah. 8 East of the Jordan (on the other side from Jericho) they designated Bezer in the wilderness on the plateau in the tribe of Reuben, Ramoth in Gilead in the tribe of Gad, and Golan in Bashan in the tribe of Manasseh. 9 Any of the Israelites or any foreigner residing among them who killed someone accidentally could flee to these designated cities and not be killed by the avenger of blood prior to standing trial before the assembly.

Robert Cook said...

"If we shot ten thousand people a year, within twenty-four hours of their conviction, one appeal max to be conducted within one week, the next year we wouldn't have ten thousand people to shoot, because people's calculus on murder would change."

I wonder if we would ever learn how many innocent people we murdered. We wouldn't have to wonder if our Bill of Rights was truly dead; we would know it.

Gabriel said...

Nitrogen asphyxiation happens accidentally every year, because it is unnoticeable. The air you breath is 70% nitrogen and you cannot sense that 100% nitrogen is any different. People working in enclosed spaces with nitrogen sources die because of this. Nitrogen is also super cheap.

A cheap and painless method such as nitrogen asphyxiation is a proposal that activists who oppose the death penalty cannot possibly tolerate.

mockturtle said...

Nice to see the rational comments--in the WaPo, at that! This whole lethal injection idiocy is just another dodge to appease foes of the death penalty. Beheading sufficed for millennia and was good enough for royalty. Hanging, likewise, was never considered 'cruel and unusual'. If our prisons are overcrowded it's partly because we aren't executing [heh] our fundamental laws.

Robert Cook said...

"I've never understood people who support war but are against the death penalty."

Are there such people?

Paul said...

Just use nitrogen gas and be done with it.

Or hang 'em. Shoot 'em. Electrocute 'em.

I don't care ... BUT

I want the death penalty used only with this criteria. 'BEYOND A SHADOW OF A DOUBT' instead of 'reasonable doubt'. If all they can find is beyond a reasonable doubt, the life in prison with no parole.

Rick Turley said...

As a Tennessee taxpayer I approve this waste of skin being removed from the public dole.

Freder Frederson said...

If we shot ten thousand people a year, within twenty-four hours of their conviction, one appeal max to be conducted within one week, the next year we wouldn't have ten thousand people to shoot, because people's calculus on murder would change.

Unfortunately, we have a real life test of your theory. Two years into his "drug war", Duterte has killed over 12,000 people and, apparently, that still isn't enough. And the Philippines has a population of approximately one-third ours.

Gabriel said...

@Freder:Duterte has killed over 12,000 people and, apparently, that still isn't enough.

Are those 12,000 still reoffending? That's surprising.

If not, you are implicitly assuming more people must be turning to crime for the sake of keeping the average up.

Freder Frederson said...

If not, you are implicitly assuming more people must be turning to crime for the sake of keeping the average up.

Actually, that is my theory. State sponsored violence and summary execution breeds more, not less, violence.

It would be amplified in this country, since we are awash in firearms.

Bad Lieutenant said...

My God, you are a barbarian.

I bet you think that's an insult. Most of the mischief happens under what we laughingly call "civilization."

Bad Lieutenant said...

We wouldn't have to wonder if our Bill of Rights was truly dead; we would know it.


The bright side would be that you then could stop whining about it. Your role models had super duper constitutions and they killed millions. I

Gabriel said...

@Freder:Actually, that is my theory. State sponsored violence and summary execution breeds more, not less, violence.


Would you say that a corollary of your theory is that if we reduce state-sponsored violence, we'd see less crime? Or does it a ratchet, it only works in one direction?

Leora said...

The press lives in a cocoon where they don't understand how their stories will be received. Stories about the hard lives of druggies kicked out of their tent city and forced to live in a motel at taxpayer expense, stories about illegals who drag their children across Mexico to sneak into the US do not tug at normal people's heart strings the way they suppose. They are shocked that everybody doesn't know you can't be racist if you're not white.

n.n said...

Elective abortion (i.e. Pro-Choice) is summary execution of the wholly innocent. Capital punishment is elective abortion, with due process, of individuals who commit elective abortion outside the sanctuary of the Twilight faith and selective, opportunistic religion. The issues are whether due process is sufficient, and the risk of an unrepentant recurring abortionist.

n.n said...

Why not contract with Planned Parenthood to carry out capital punishment, not merely abortion rites? PP's methods and means are approved by humanitarian and progressive organizations to reduce and recycle individual and social burdens.

Jim at said...

Leftists support sucking out a full-term baby with a vacuum cleaner. But punishment for a convicted killer? That's a bridge too far.

BUMBLE BEE said...

PhilD... setting the record straight. I entered Catholic school in 1955. Mass on schooldays and Sunday for 8 years. Father Jesuit educated, family observant Catholic. Closest to Bible study was an occasional Catechism class in elementary. Passage from scripture read by the pastor. Took ninth grade at a Catholic Prep school with Augustinian Friars. No Bible reading there either. None of my Catholic peers "read" the Bible either. Council of Catholic Bishops note in the "Changes of Catholic Attitudes Toward Bible Readings", Catholics were "discouraged from reading scripture". Pius XII, (I remember His funeral), did eventually loosen this up some. Second Vatican Council encouraged scripture awareness.
None of my peers even has their First Communion prayer books. So you you claim to have OT & NT from Catholic school days. So many distinctions you have overlooked. Your judgement is shit.

BUMBLE BEE said...

Turnabout is fair play Freder..."IF IT ONLY SAVES ONE CHILD"

Saint Croix said...

Moses slew the Egyptian in defense of another Hebrew.

That criminal defense would not fly in any court of law. The Egyptian was beating on a Jew. Moses murdered him. You can only kill in defense of another's life if someone is in the act of trying to murder another person. The Bible does not instruct us to go around breaking up fights by killing people. Talk to your priest if you are confused on this point.

Moses was guilty of murder. That is why you will find Bibles that say, "Moses commits murder."

PhilD said...

Bumble Bee, If I had the book then I was supposed to read it, wasn't I? Where does 'judgment' (and especially, Old 'Fart', 'judgment as shit') comes in?

And let me see, you went to school in 1955, 63 years ago. V2 was from 1962 to 1965, 56-53 years ago. So you have had more then 50 years the 'permission' as a Catholic to read the bible and that isn't enough for you.

Btw, the Douay–Rheims, among others, translation is +300 years old. Mass being in Latin I wonder who was it for.