Tag Archives: Capital punishment

Well done governor. You did the right thing.

Until we end state-sanctioned execution in this country, we are diminished as a people. It’s a stain on our national character, a moral failure. Death at the hand of the state is the very hallmark of tyranny, and has no place in a modern open society.

So good for Governor Kitzhaber of Oregon, who just stopped executions in his state by executive order.

Gov. John Kitzhaber announced today he will not allow the execution of Gary Haugen — or any death row inmate— to take place while he is in office. The death penalty is morally wrong and unjustly administered, Kitzhaber said.

“In my mind it is a perversion of justice,” he said at an emotional news conference in Salem.

We’re still in great company I see

Got this at The Daily Dish:

In 2010, as far as I can tell, these five states executed the most people:

1. China (2000+)
2. Iran (252+)
3. North Korea (60+)
4. Yemen (53+)
5. USA (46)

The writer notes that capital punishment is banned outright in majority Catholic countries, so “perhaps it has more to do with a very particular brand of Protestant Christian theology. . . “

What are you doing tonight? Troy Davis will be dying. Right on schedule.

In front of the Georgia State House

The State of Georgia will finish off Troy Davis tonight. The Pope asked nicely and so did a former President and former FBI Director Louis Free,  a large number of former Federal prosecutors and Justice Department lawyers and, um, Europe. But.

In our country, you can’t be found guilty if there’s reasonable doubt, but you can be executed.

UPDATE: 7:21 Sara Totonchi of the Southern Center for Human Rights confirms the prison has temporarily delayed the execution while awaiting word from the U.S. Supreme Court on whether they can proceed with the execution tonight.

FINAL UPDATE: 10:57 State Attorney Generals office notifies MacPhail’s mother Anneliese “[Davis] is on the gurney, the needle is in.”

h/t Atlanta Journal Constitution

These are vile people. Vile.

Am I the only one choking on the word ‘Republican’ these days? Eisenhower was a Republican. Nixon and Reagan were Republicans. Gerry Ford was a Republican. George H.W. Bush was a Republican. Not one of them – not one (ummm, maybe Nixon) – would have stood for the truly degenerate behavior of the audiences at the two recent debates. In the first one, when Brian Williams asked Perry if he had any hesitations signing death orders for 234 people, the audience erupted with gleeful applause as soon as Williams said 234.  I posted the video here and said that it broke my heart.

Duane at The Erstwhile Conservative (a fine writer by the way) tells us today:

Patti Davis, the daughter of conservatism’s number one icon, said she remembered the first time her father, governor of California, had to order a state execution:

“He and a minister went into a room, got down on their knees and prayed.”

He also points to this from Reagan’s tombstone:

. . . there is purpose and worth to each and every life

(I think Reagan’s politics hurt this country. Deeply wounded us. But I’ve read his letters and know that he was also a man of personal grace and humility.)

Last night I recoiled in shame and horror when the debate audience topped the earlier cheering for executions. Here’s more from Duane on that subject:

Paul’s answer, which essentially was that such an unfortunate fellow [very ill with no insurance] should rely on volunteers and churches for his care, was drowned out by shouts of “Let him die!” from the Republican debate-watching crowd.

Let—Him—Die.

I’m reminded of former congressman Alan Grayson’s presentation on the House floor in 2009:

“If you get sick in America, the Republican health care plan is this: Die quickly.”

Yeah, I remember that too.

Now I haz a happy.

Too often I get depressed in the ugly torrent of cruelty that has become part of our national character. So it’s a bit reassuring to see this just now.

Illinois has abolished the death penalty and that is a positive step back toward the humanity we’ve been so dismissive of in recent years. They’re the 16th state to do so.

Gov Pat Quinn: “Since our experience has shown that there is no way to design a perfect death penalty system, free from the numerous flaws that can lead to wrongful convictions or discriminatory treatment, I have concluded that the proper course of action is to abolish it,”

One of the Democratic sponsors of the bill that ended executions said “I think we’re on the right side of history.”

I think he’s right.