Ten Reasons to End Capital Punishment
“Father don’t ever forgive them for they know just what they do. And so I beseech you to found a religion in my name based on the personal pride taken in executing more people, more often and more quickly for ever less reason.” The last exclamation of Christ.
1) There is no greater form of state intrusion into individual liberty than execution.
2) Mistakenly executing someone cannot be rectified.
3) Who we choose to execute is more often decided by emotion, race and economics than by law.
4) Execution has repeatedly been shown not to be a deterrent to capital crimes.
5) Solving problems through killing is the wrong message to send our children.
6) It’s the wrong thing to do.
7) When the government kills people it makes us all party to murder.
8) We end up creating another family of victims.
9) Compassion and mercy are better indicators of civilization than are violence and vengeance.
10) If we took that eye for an eye crap seriously, we would all be blind and toothless in no time.
Timothy McVeigh, Bravery in Terre Haute
States who execute the most people have the highest murder rates, putting a kibosh on the conservative belief capital punishment is a deterrent.
The first federal execution in more than thirty years went very well. The circus environment at the site was a lot of fun, America cheered, the media cheered, Oklahoma cheered. It was a purely American happening. It went even better for Timothy McVeigh: Stoic, quiet, defiant, a pleasant and memorable last statement and above all his bravery in the face of death. Because of our lust for killing, whether it be war, guns or capital punishment, we have assigned bravery, heroism and martyrdom to the greatest mass murderer in American History. We are just so much smarter than everyone else.
Pump it Out and Pump it Back In
You know we are a blood thirsty country when not only must every Presidential candidate and elected judge support capital punishment to get elected, but even liberal Linda Ellerbe got her socks in a knot thirsting for the execution of Susan Smith.
Due for a later in the day execution in Oklahoma, death row inmate Robert Brecheen suffered a self induced drug overdose of sedatives he somehow smuggled into his cell. He was rushed to a nearby hospital, had his stomach pumped, brought around to consciousness and executed by the injection of lethal drugs a few hours later. This brings new meaning to the words Just Say No To Drugs.
Jesus Loves South Carolina
Since reinstating the death penalty 20 years ago, 66 people on death row have been found innocent and released.
On the back of Jesus Christ, South Carolina began the Civil War because they wanted to own NWORDS. It is the home of Bob Jones University, the training ground for conservative fundamentalists who use Jesus Christ to rationalize their wholesale intolerance, bigotry and racism. And now, because of their love of Jesus Christ, they have bills pending to execute drunk drivers.
Here lies the central problem with capital punishment. Once a nation says its all fine and well, the bloodlust pushes for more executions for less cause. Arriving as it has now been proposed in South Carolina, the execution of people for unintended homicides. This is more about killing those who anger us than it is about justice.
We sit around with our thumbs up our butts wondering why, as the world’s most Christian nation, we live in the most violent industrialized country. We as a culture subscribe, pander, and teach our children that killing is the best answer to a problem. You know, one of the first statutes on the list for nations to gain membership into the European Union is no capital punishment. A statement declaring civilization bests barbarianism.
The Re-Execution Act of 2003
80% of executions in the past 20 years have been South of the Mason Dixon.
This process would be simple enough; Federal legislation allowing the respective states to prosecute and sentence anyone who has committed crimes within their borders, dead or alive. This would open a whole new world of fairness in our American justice system. Sure the ones already dead may not cry, beg, jerk, spasm and crap all over themselves for our collective delight on their second or third execution, but they could be animated with wires or electric shocks to give the victim’s families the satisfying show they have been praying for. And besides, executing the dead is even more painless than the lethal injection of the living, so what could be wrong with this idea?
There are hundreds, perhaps thousands of men and women on death row who have killed people in more than one state, so to be all we can be, it is imperative to have the bill grand-fathered so we can use the process to re-execute them all. Another upside would be that compared to the living, executing the dead would only cost a pittance. This would help reduce the tax rates of wealthy Republicans, which has now pretty much become the entire point of American democracy. There would be no expenses for food, cells or guards, no need for shackles or handcuffs, or public defenders for that matter (God, don’t you just hate public defenders). All that is needed is a couple bags of ice and a stretcher.
Let’s take someone who has killed people in several states while robbin a bank. First, off they go to Indiana for a lethal injection in the Federal execution chamber. Then onto Washington to be hung, a return trip through Utah to be shot, a quick stop in Nebraska where they could be strapped down and zapped in the electric chair, down to Alabama to have them injected once more, and finally back up the East Coast where both Virginia and Maryland could fill them up with poison a couple more times. Perhaps do it by rail with Rick Perry taking bows from the back of the train as it slows to cheering crowds. And you know, I can’t think of much of anything that could stop such a lay these days.
Rule of Law
“Mere factual innocence is no reason not to carry out a death sentence properly reached.” Antonin “Benito” Scalia expressing the most disgusting thing ever uttered by a Supreme Court Justice
Do we live under a nation of law or of men? I remember long ago that being a question which conservatives have now turned into a statement; we are a nation of law not of men. In the military it is going by the book, in our present judicial system it rears its head as mandatory sentencing, three strikes you’re out, and most recently, denying due process by taking property from the accused rather than the convicted. What they are striving for is the elimination of the gray in lieu of putting everything in their compartmentalized boxes of black and white. The concepts of mitigation, extenuation and jurisprudence are now defined as liberal judges being easy on crime. We are not easy on crime in this country. In fact we are the harshest there is in the industrialized world.
This all ties into the central mantra of conservatives, that we must all be responsible and accountable for our actions. What a straw man that is, who is not for responsibility and accountability? That is not what it is about; it is about harsher punishment, less due process, and denying judges the ability to take into account the “men” part of that question.
During the impeachment conservatives based their entire sexual witch hunt on what they call The Rule of Law. That if Bill Clinton was not found guilty of dodging the truth in regards to a sexual liaison with a consenting adult, that it would destroy our judicial system. The absurdity of that is reflected in what I hope will be the reality of our impeachment lesson. That if the government noses into private lives where they have absolutely no business being, we should all spit in their eye, as did the only hero in that whole sordid story, Susan McDougal.
The Execution Store
China executes about 6000 prisoners a year, many not even for capital crimes. They use bullets in the back of the neck, about 30 prisoners at a time. They then rush the bodies to hospitals to remove and sell their internal organs – mostly kidneys. I am sure we find this about as repulsive as it gets. I also am sure after this coming to light, Republicans will be pounding on the Damn Commie Chinks for years to come because of it.
But you know, in their heart of hearts, Republicans want the same thing. Newt Gingrich has said he wants to execute up to 35 drug pushers at once (mass executions). They want to eliminate most appeals regarding capital punishment, they want to eliminate indigent legal services, they want to increase executions substantially, make them far more immediate to show it is a deterrent, and they want to ever increase the crimes that would be punished by execution. Republicans and those damn Commie Chinks have much in common.
But what about the harvest? It is not clear whether those executed in China give permission to have their organs removed by either under some threat or benefit to the families. We harvest prisoner organs if they give permission. How wide is that line between coerced permission and permission? Republicans do not give one hoot in Hell about prisoners’ rights, why would they care about their right to give permission to have their organs removed.
Karla Faye Tucker, She’s Gotta Go
“She has been sent to the place that we’re all going to go sometime, someplace my wife already is. She will deal with Karla Faye Tucker. I promise you, it won’t be pretty.” Mr. Thornton, who’s wife was murdered by Tucker, waxing eloquent upon his wife residing in Hell?. Or does this mean that ugly violent revenge is common in Heaven? Ah religion, it’s just way too complicated for me.
Karla Faye Tucker, the Texas pick ax murderer has been executed. Many thirsty capital punishment advocates were crawling out from under their rocks to stop this one because she says she had become a born again Christian.
I have finally found a case where I support the death penalty! Strap this broad in, shoot her up and it may make a dent in our national collective desire to kill our way to justice. After she’s done twitching on the gurney, such fine forgiving Christians as Pat Robertson and Ollie North (who are crying for clemency here) may come to their senses to realize the only way to stop executing the rehabilitated or the innocent is to follow the lead of the civilized world and end the violence perpetuating the process altogether.
Oops, what was I thinking? I got caught up in a bit of logical optimism there. I forgot for a moment that Pat Robertson and company have their entire ideology based on illogic, intolerance, ignorance, and of course the most hypocritical aspect of any religion, Executions For Christ (who was executed because he preached ending the circle of vengeance). What a pile of whale sh*t that is.
If Jesus came back, hair down to his shoulders, barefoot in a dress advocating religious and political sedition as he did then, the Religious Right would have him strapped to our new horizontal cross faster than they did on that old vertical one.
The Houston Chronicle did a long four part series on the Texas death penalty. With Perry in the spotlight, Texas has been getting a lot of negative national and international PR concerning our busy execution chamber a few miles North of Houston. Overall the series was to defend Texas and capital punishment, but wading through all the information some interesting points came to light.
Harris County (Houston) is where most of those executed are sentenced, in fact, more in this county than in any other State (or 95% of other nations for that matter). It is mostly about blood thirsty DA’s and judges who understand it’s the single most important political litmus test for getting elected in Texas. So the onus for this blood lust should be placed on the voters of Texas rather than those carrying out their wishes.
The Chronicle used the same questions in three polls concerning capital punishment, one in Harris County, one in Texas and one nationally. The numbers were all within one or two percentage points of each other, making Houstonians or Texans no more blood thirsty than America as a whole, they just do a better job of it.
The figure I can’t shake out of my head concerns the question asking if juries should have the option of life without parole in capital cases (42 states have that option and Texas is not one of them). 29% of Americans (same number for Texans) believe juries should not have that option. That the government (they hate) should execute its citizens no matter what a jury (representing the people rather than the government) has to say about it.
That 29% is about the same number of Americans screaming about Homos, hollering about baby murderers, waving around Glocks and Assault rifles, blaming Negroes and Mexicans for all their problems and honestly believe Fox News Channel is “fair and balanced”. And what is the most prevailing common denominator for these f*ckwits? Jesus Christ my ass.
The Circle of Vengeance is Unbroken
I read Moby Dick again recently, cementing my view concerning man’s most devastating foible, revenge. Most misery in the world comes from personal and collective forms of vengeance. The worst ever experienced was WWII (70 million dead) which began with Germany seeking revenge for WWI, which in turn, began over revenge concerning an assassination and so on. We see it everyday not only in the Middle East and Africa, but in the execution chambers across America. We saw it with a President going to war because, “Saddam tried to kill my Daddy.”
One would think that if there were a God he would do something about this most debilitating form of human bloodlust. Perhaps he could come on down to Earth (or at least send a representative in his name) to teach us all how awful it is, and that there is a better way. But human nature being what it is, we would probably nail that touchy feel good liberal to a dead tree.
Have someone tie you up on a bed in a room. Remove radio, TV and any reading material. Have someone squirt Gerber’s rice pudding into you and pull down your pants to wipe your ass every few hours. Limit yourself to only two words, GAA and UUG. Contort your face to a never changing clueless grin and stare off into space. How long can you last before asking for release? 14 minutes? 14 hours? 14 days? Or would you rather have your insane parents ensure you suffer that unbearable torture for the next 30 years?
The before and after pictures is all that is needed to come to grips with this issue. Though it is understandable that those who don’t get it and want to force another 30 years of torture upon this poor woman, pretty much live their own lives in a persistent vegetative state.
The results of the autopsy was that her husband who fought to have her released from the torment was correct, as were the doctors and anyone with a brain larger than a plum – her brain had shrunk to the size of a baseball.
The United States of Jethro Bodine
Smart People got no reason
Smart People got no reason
Smart People got no reason
They got fancy hands
And thoughtful eyes
And they walk around
Tellin’ great big lies
Well, I don’t want no Smart People
Don’t want no Smart People
Don’t want no Smart People
There you have it, what’s wrong with America in a cute little song. Dem dare smart people who doan know sh*t about shinola. We know that resentment that has been the problem with Republicans for a generation, but boy did the Terry Schiavo circus in Florida hammer it home. What is the problem with that state anyway? I suppose it cannot be put solely upon Florida, it is a more national issue stemming from a Biblical World View.
Our American pool evangelical Talibanies is about 30% of our population – who from their persistent vegetative red states run the show. It’s not so much Red and Blue as it is Dumb and Smart. I can see it now, a long line of Ford 150’s with smart people tied to stools in the back bed wearing dunce hats while a crowd trots along behind waving their little black books chanting scripture and throwing boiled okra at them.
Of course college professors and trial lawyers are at the top of the list; but scientists, artists, actors, writers, teachers, journalists and most recently judges are now running close behind. In fact it often crosses political boundaries, for its human nature not to like the know-it-all. Which is something I know from personal experience.
Hobby Lobby Blues
I am sure you are aware that the craft store Hobby Lobby is much like Chic-a-Filet in pushing their Christian fundamentalist intolerance upon the rest of us. I swore off the place but I needed to buy some white canvas to fix a convertible top.
It was late afternoon and the place was just about empty as usual. I slapped $5 for the square foot of canvas on the counter. The young lady noticed my head phones and asked what I was listening to.
“NPR.” I answered.
“You know, public radio?” I tried explaining.
I tried to explain that it was like PBS, like the News Hour.
“Oh, talk radio!” She smiled and nodded.
“No no no… This is news not Right-wing propaganda.”
“What are they talking about?” She asked.
“Guess?” I replied.
“You got it darlin!”
“What do you think about Terry?” She asked.
“Shoot her.” I replied.
“That’s horrible! They are going to round everyone in wheelchairs up and kill them like they did the Jews! She is fine, she talks with her eyes and her hands. She said she doesn’t want to die. That husband killed her you know! She told her cousin she was going to leave him so he caused her to have a heart attack! He is evil and he should be tried for murder!”
“Boy, where do you hear such things?”
“On the news!”
“What news, what station or channel?”
“950 isn’t news. Its Houston’s premier Right-wing 24/7 propaganda machine. All day its Rush, Hannity, O’Reilly, Savage interspersed with a few of our own home grown Right-wing lunatics, and then repeated all nigh. Heck, even the news on the hour comes from FOX. It is not news.”
“It is to!”
“Is not! And give me my $5 back. Un-ring this. Thank you and Goodbye once and for all Hobby Lobby.”
Kevorkian and Leary
“There are three side effects of acid. Enhanced long term memory, decreased short term memory, and I forget the third.” Timothy Leary
The argument is that terminal patients should not be allowed to decide for themselves when to go on their way. That if we give patients the right to decide their own fate; families, states, nursing homes and HMO’s will be forcibly putting the disabled, the mentally incompetent, and the elderly to death. Come on. I have always done my best to stay away from the slippery slope argument, believing it not only to be little more than conjecture, but also a poor process of debate. I have done fairly well, falling only occasionally, most grievously in regards to the school voucher issue which I believe is the most God awful idea this nation has ever had.
It is beyond far fetched to think that we will all sit by while doctors kill the disabled on the whim of greedy families and HMO agents. On the other hand, it is not that farfetched to believe that a voucher system could destroy public education, increase segregation, and become the most prevalent publicly funded religious indoctrination process in our history.
Another thing I find depressing concerning this issue is the universal demonetization of Dr. Kevorkian. In the reams of articles and columns I have read on the subject, all pundits and all media (left or right) attack the man as a mentally disturbed killer, except two. Rack Jite and Andy Rooney. Now there’s a case of strange bedfellows if there ever was one.
Kevorkian is exactly the kind of person who is needed to address this issue, to break the silence, to fight for the civil liberties of the terminally ill and relieve the pain and agony of thousands today and millions tomorrow. A man with gall, guts, and little to lose is just what is so needed to change how a culture thinks. Jack Kevorkian is to the dying what Ralph Nader is to the consumer; not very funny, not very charismatic, but right as rain and totally committed to walking the walk of the talk he talks.
Brain Stems, a modest proposal
A Planarian has a better grasp of the world at large than a fetus to viability.
One of humanities’ biggest questions has always been what makes people tick. I have concluded that the answer to that lies somewhere in our brain stems where our animal instincts still reside, like the Tingler. As such, perhaps it would be a good idea to collect as many brain stems as we can for research.
I doubt this would work very well under a voluntary model, so allow me to make a modest proposal.
Anyone who in their heart of hearts expresses their desire to see Andrea Yates – who killed her children because God told her to – executed, should have their brain stems forcibly removed, studied and then destroyed. For spiritually, morally, obviously and in fact such people drag our collective humanity so far down into the depths of Hell, they need be taken out of the human gene pool as soon as possible.