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Texas. Where the internet and "kill 'em all" meet.
September 18, 2006 2:02 AM   Subscribe

Read the last statements of executed Texas death row inmates. Texas now publishes the last statements online in a extremely well organised database. Search through offender name, offender information (scanned OCR with pics and crime description). If that's a bit too heavy, why not just browse through some last meals on death row?
posted by Funmonkey1 (135 comments total) 5 users marked this as a favorite

 
Oops... Admin - Please delete - link was previously referenced twice! My fault!
posted by Funmonkey1 at 2:05 AM on September 18, 2006


i cant seem to find the previous posts - except about the last meals. Could you post the links pls?
posted by FidelDonson at 3:01 AM on September 18, 2006


It's shocking and sad that Texas executes the mentally ill.. Check out Kelsey Patterson letter here
posted by dydecker at 3:15 AM on September 18, 2006


The Texas last meal database is gone from their server but has been preserved here by the Memory Hole. This one really took me for a loop, especially the guy who asked for "peace" and the several who showed solidarity by requesting the same meal everyone else was getting.
posted by Saucy Intruder at 3:19 AM on September 18, 2006


FidelDonson - I am checking again now, Metafilter popped up the notice it had found two dupes one from 2001 and other from 2002. The mouse was already on auto-pilot and had missle lock on the "Post" button.

The Texas last statement may not be a dupe. Hmmmm.
posted by Funmonkey1 at 3:23 AM on September 18, 2006


dydecker - I just kind of felt numb stumbling on the link. One thing I noticed which was interesting - a lot of offenders still protest their innocence. Given the dubious track record of ensuring those put to death are indeed guilty, it makes me wonder if some of these people are telling the truth.

All in all, it reinforces my view that the state or government does not have the right to commit murder.
posted by Funmonkey1 at 3:29 AM on September 18, 2006


Yeah, don't most other states medicate the medically ill until they're better, and then they execute them?
posted by crunchland at 3:36 AM on September 18, 2006


Race: Black, Black, Hispanic, White, Black, Black...
posted by stammer at 3:52 AM on September 18, 2006


Race: Black, Black, Hispanic, White, Black, Black..

Certainly no surprise there.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 3:57 AM on September 18, 2006


"Kick the tires and light the fire."

-Hinojosa, Richard
posted by StickyCarpet at 4:15 AM on September 18, 2006


I think numb is the word, Funmonkey1. I've just ploughed through a load of the statements in an absolute daze. This one in particular made me feel pretty hollow inside.

All right Warden, let's give them what they want.
posted by greycap at 4:20 AM on September 18, 2006


A society should not be judged on how it treats its outstanding citizens buy by how it treats its criminals...
posted by i_am_a_Jedi at 4:45 AM on September 18, 2006


Texas: Sending murderers to Heaven to see Jesus since 1977.

Seriously, aren't there any athiests on Death Row? Shouldn't they fry the odd Buddhist or something just to keep things multicultural?
posted by Optamystic at 4:53 AM on September 18, 2006


A society should not be judged on how it treats its outstanding citizens buy by how it treats its criminals.

Or its outstanding citizen criminals...
posted by flapjax at midnite at 4:56 AM on September 18, 2006


Only the sky and the green grass goes on forever and today is a good day to die.

On July 22, 1997, Martinez murdered a 24 year old white female. The victim's body was found on a hike and bike trail in a park in Austin. The victim had been sexually assaulted, strangled, and her throat had been cut with a pocket knife.

A good day, indeed.
posted by disillusioned at 5:17 AM on September 18, 2006


Hmm, I wonder if they followed up on the confessions this guy made before he was executed?
posted by By The Grace of God at 5:22 AM on September 18, 2006


Convenience store clerking seems to be a hazardous profession.
posted by leapingsheep at 5:30 AM on September 18, 2006


I got me a score of 11, beat that!
posted by Busithoth at 5:37 AM on September 18, 2006


"Race of victim(s)"??????
posted by pompomtom at 5:38 AM on September 18, 2006


Pompomtom, it's for statistical analysis meant to uncover racial bias in the criminal "justice" system. Currently, a black murderer of a white victim is the most likely to be executed, and the white murderer of a black victim the least.
posted by leapingsheep at 5:41 AM on September 18, 2006


Yes sir. I would like to say to my family, I am alright. (Spanish) Where are you Leo; are you there Leo? (Spanish) Don't lie man. Be happy. Are you happy? Are you all happy? (Spanish)

Multi-cultural Texas. Last statements may only be made in English. They might as well have written (Gibberish).
posted by Joeforking at 5:43 AM on September 18, 2006


Jesus, my native country still executes people. I really had almost forgotten.

Fucking savages.
posted by Optamystic at 6:01 AM on September 18, 2006


Death penalty threads always make me highly ambivalent. I have severe doubts about the punishment itself and the way it's meted out. But, like many, I find it much easier to put myself in the place of their victims, and when you read some of the things these guys have done, it's really dificult to feel much sympathy for them. So, it's very difficult to read a thread on this subject without getting irked at just about every comment.

just an observation.
posted by jonmc at 6:13 AM on September 18, 2006


my native country still executes people

They still have the death penalty in Japan too, but here's an interesting twist: Japanese deathrow inmates don't know when they're going to get it. (Hanging, by the way...) It could come at any time: today, tomorrow, 20 years down the road. But you won't know until they come and get you and lead you to the gallows. That uncertainty, that's gotta be, well... damn...
posted by flapjax at midnite at 6:15 AM on September 18, 2006


Metafilter: Getting irked at just about every comment
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 6:25 AM on September 18, 2006


also, Florida has a similar site. But Florida produces some strange criminals. As somebody once said, every once in a while, somebody gives the country a good shake and all the loose bits wind up in Florida.
posted by jonmc at 6:28 AM on September 18, 2006


Japanese deathrow inmates don't know when they're going to get it. ... It could come at any time: today, tomorrow, 20 years down the road.

So, in other words, it's a lot like death for everyone else, then?
posted by Faint of Butt at 6:33 AM on September 18, 2006


and when you read some of the things these guys have done

But it's really "the things that most of these guys have done, but that some of them didn't do but were convicted of anyway because they were coerced into a false confession or the cops gave false evidence or exculpatory evidence was withheld from the defense or jury."

Also, you don't have to think that the average schmuck on death row is a great guy, or innocent, or that their victims don't matter, or that you're really going to miss them to think that it's wrong to kill them. The two are completely orthogonal.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 6:36 AM on September 18, 2006


I tend to agree with jonmc on this, mixed feelings about the death penalty. I would also speculate that our thoughts/feelings about capitol punishment are swayed by our personal experiences, at least in some cases.

ROU_Xenophobe, I think referring the someone on death row as an "average schmuck" downplays their character issues a bit. He/she might be "average" in that environment, but I would hate to think that, outside those walls, that description still applies.

I'll listen to arguments against the death penalty from someone who lost a loved one in a violent crime. Those of us who lost someone they love due to the intentional action of another person probably feel a bit differently about the issue.
posted by HuronBob at 6:46 AM on September 18, 2006


Also, you don't have to think that the average schmuck on death row is a great guy, or innocent, or that their victims don't matter, or that you're really going to miss them to think that it's wrong to kill them.

I realize that, rationally speaking, and said as much in the first sentence of my comment, but human beings are not entirely, or even mostly, rational creatures, and that's just a fact of life.

(not making a political argument in either direction here, just making an attempt to explore some of the issues surrounding this difficult topic)
posted by jonmc at 6:47 AM on September 18, 2006


Texas
Incarceration rate: 1,035* (~2003)
Murder rate: 6.2 (2001)

USA
Incarceration rate: 689 (2001)
Murder rate: 5.5 (2001)

Austria
Incarceration rate: 87 (2001)
Murder rate: 1.8 (2001)

Incarceration rates, murder rates and the death penalty - three of many reasons that this native Texan will most likely never move from Austria back to the good old US of A.

*All statistics are per 100K population.
posted by syzygy at 6:52 AM on September 18, 2006


I've got mixed feelings about the members of metafilter never mind death row.

Fortunately for all of you I don't get to make any policy.
posted by srboisvert at 6:58 AM on September 18, 2006


Japanese deathrow inmates don't know when they're going to get it. ... It could come at any time: today, tomorrow, 20 years down the road.

Faint of Butt: So, in other words, it's a lot like death for everyone else, then?

Heh heh, good point, Faint of Butt, good point. But of course they know exactly how they're gonna get it, that's where the similarity ends.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 7:03 AM on September 18, 2006


I will be reading and thinking about this all day.

Amazing how many of them claim innocence at the very end. Reading this causes an inner collision of cynicism and heartbreak-- the assumption that they are lying clashing with the knowledge of how easily someone who is innocent can receive the death penalty in a society that has grown numb to handing it out. Regarding these last words, how can you know what to feel or believe?

Few people are given tho opportunity to know when their last words will be spoken and be able to plan them. I can't stop reading these.
posted by hermitosis at 7:14 AM on September 18, 2006


Thanks, hermitosis: your words described my thoughts quite succinctly.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 7:17 AM on September 18, 2006


Optamystic, when you get marched down that last corridor, you're supposed to be shaved, saved and well behaved, so nope, sorry, no "funny" religions allowed.
posted by pax digita at 7:25 AM on September 18, 2006


But of course they know exactly how they're gonna get it, that's where the similarity ends.

Well, unless of course the hangman is scheduled to show up after the heart attack, or the stroke, or the shiv, or the... I dunno... scorpion? (Do they have scorpions in Japan?) I'm no Christian, but there's a lot of truth in Matthew 24:36-- no man may know the hour, and all that.

As far as my opinion on the death penalty itself (not that anyone asked, but I'll weigh in anyway), I'm not opposed to it in principle, but I am convinced that it should never be carried out without incontrovertible physical evidence and/or confession.
posted by Faint of Butt at 7:42 AM on September 18, 2006


(Do they have scorpions in Japan?)

No, only in Germany, but I understand they're big there.
posted by jonmc at 7:46 AM on September 18, 2006 [1 favorite]


.
posted by Fezboy! at 7:47 AM on September 18, 2006


This site is not new so the FPP is inaccurate in saying "Texas now publishes..." I started reading that page six years ago. In some way I feel bad for obssessing over it since it's a form of voyeurism and morbid curiousity. On the other hand, it makes me hate the Texas Department of Correction and that consciousness raising must be worth something.

Napolean Beazly, RIP.
posted by mattbucher at 7:48 AM on September 18, 2006


Like many of you hear, I'm reading these and trying to sort out my own feelings.

A lot of comments seem to be directed to the inmates claims of innocence, and whether they are lying or teeling the truth. There is of course a third possibility, that they don't comprehend that they actually killed someone.

I'm not talking about legal insanity, I'm referring more to concrete thinking that seems to be present in the criminal mind of the ignorant. Did I kill him? No, I just beat him up. He died because he was weak, had a heart attack, but how was I supposed to know? etc. I shot him, he died, but I didn't kill him. They keep the two things seperated in their mind, probably as a defense from having to face up to what they did that cannot ever be undone.

I find it fascinating that so many last statements recite scripture or discuss God, the afterlife, etc. Perhaps Paul Tillich was right - there is only peace by contemplating and struggling with the question and meaning of death and what comes after (not in being convinced about what comes after).

These people, who face the torture of having to know when and where they are going to die and must feel the march of time to that date like a physical force, seem, in large numbers, to find some peace in asking bigger questions about their lives and what is next for them. It's a shame they waited so long to ask, because these questions take a lifetime to answer.

Perhaps if we focused on this question more in life, the question of what is death and what it means for life, we succumbed less to the distractions of our existence, the neuroses, the causes, the passions for things outside us that are beyond our control anyway.

These people succumbed to rage, greed, addiction, the ghosts of their pasts, and finally to the state. I guess the lesson here is to learn to change the things you can, and accept the things you can't, before it's too late.

Don't wait for your last breath to tell people you love them and mean it. There should be plenty of time for that, but in the end, for all of us, why will it seem there wasn't?
posted by Pastabagel at 7:50 AM on September 18, 2006


Fezboy: just what point are you making with that "." link? Am I supposed to believe the guy is innocent because as he's about to die, he makes a speech? Is the sky supposed to part and I see the error of my ways because a condemned man appeals to liberal guilt?

There are plenty of extremely valid arguments against capital punishment. You can do better than that.
posted by jonmc at 7:52 AM on September 18, 2006


This one, by Beazley (who, at 25,is was my age) moved me more than I'm willing to admit.

The act I committed to put me here was not just heinous, it was senseless. But the person that committed that act is no longer here - I am.
--
Tonight we tell the world that there are no second chances in the eyes of justice...Tonight, we tell our children that in some instances, in some cases, killing is right.
--
No one wins tonight. No one gets closure. No one walks away victorious.

posted by slimepuppy at 7:54 AM on September 18, 2006


Optamystic, Jay Kelly Pinkerton prayed to Allah.
posted by slimepuppy at 7:58 AM on September 18, 2006


it's very difficult to read a thread on this subject without getting irked at just about every comment.

spoken as someone who is sooo much less likely to end up on Death Row than a black, or hispanic man who has commited the same crime, jon

approve of the death penalty itself or not, if you admit that it's meted out in a racist manner you should be against it, period, at least in its current form -- unless you just want it to be a nice clean manner to get rid of brown people. but you're too decent an human being for that.

it is a simple issue, really. if you think it's meted out unfairly -- and all the data proves it -- you should be in favor of a moratorium. even if you're pro-death penalty
posted by matteo at 7:59 AM on September 18, 2006


matteo - it doesn't have to simply be meted out in a racist manner. If there are racial disparities in society so great that they cause one race to resort to crime, then it is still racist.

And given that so much of the criminal mind derives from ignorace, and seeing the quality of education in predominantly black schools, I'm prepared to say that the justice system in the US is at the very least unfair to blacks.
posted by Pastabagel at 8:06 AM on September 18, 2006


approve of the death penalty itself or not, if you admit that it's meted out in a racist manner you should be against it, period, at least in its current form...if you think it's meted out unfairly -- and all the data proves it -- you should be in favor of a moratorium.

which I am. As I said, I wasn't making an argument, just exploring why this is a difficult topic. And you are correct that race plays a big part in this issue, but it's certainly not the only one. And 'brown people' aren't magical beings, just humans. They're as capable of committing heinous crimes as the rest of us.
posted by jonmc at 8:08 AM on September 18, 2006


and for what it's worth, I get equally irked at knee-jerk 'Kill 'em all,' comments, too. As a wise man once said 'The simple things you see are all complicated.."
posted by jonmc at 8:10 AM on September 18, 2006


I think referring the someone on death row as an "average schmuck" downplays their character issues a bit

An average schmuck on death row is a schmuck on death row who is average for death row.

just making an attempt to explore some of the issues surrounding this difficult topic

Sure. Me opposing the death penalty doesn't mean that I don't sometimes think "good riddance."

Amazing how many of them claim innocence at the very end.

Even if the process were extremely effective and fair, we'd expect a nontrivial number of people to be falsely convicted -- this is just good old fashioned Bayesian updating. Even if the justice system were 99.9% effective at sorting guilty from innocent, you could end up with 25% or more of the people on death row being innocent (of that particular crime). This can happen because 0.1% of innocent people that the justice system starts looking at might be almost as big a number as 99.9% of guilty people.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 8:12 AM on September 18, 2006


Me opposing the death penalty doesn't mean that I don't sometimes think "good riddance."

I forgot the "... I just recognize that that's something that I shouldn't act on in the voting booth."
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 8:13 AM on September 18, 2006


Sure. Me opposing the death penalty doesn't mean that I don't sometimes think "good riddance."

Yeah. I kinda got over the 'death-penalty-opponents-are-dewy-eyed-naifs-who-can't-see-what-scum-they're-defending' strawman after reading this book*. One of the members of the anti-Death Penalty organization is assigned to help defend Arthur Frederick Goode, a pedophile murderer. Even they admit their disgust at his presence. But they put that disgust aside on principle, which I have to respect.

*a great and illuminating read for those who want understanding of every side of this issue, BTW
posted by jonmc at 8:19 AM on September 18, 2006


Is anyone else incredibly fucking disturbed by how many of those people claim to be innocent? I mean sure, it's easy to say, but at that point, what do they really have to lose?

Hmm, maybe that's the point...
posted by bobjohnsonmilw at 8:25 AM on September 18, 2006


slimepuppy: Beazley was 25 when he was executed but 17 when he committed the crime (killing the father of a federal judge). The year after he was executed the Supreme Court ruled that states could not execute offenders who were under 18 at the time of the crime. Too little too late for Beazly. His victim was John Luttig, a pillar of the community in Tyler TX and not only was this black man's victim white, he was also the father of a federal judge and oft-mentioned supreme court candidate Michael Luttig. Beazly's attorneys appealed to the Supreme Court twice---even the sentencing judge (Cynthia Kent) wrote an Amicus brief on his behalf--but three justices had to recuse themselves because they knew the victim's son and so the court split along party lines, 3-3.

Beazley and I are the same age and I met him several times in high school. He was not a gangbanger or a troublemaker, but an honors student, straight A's, parents in the PTA and school board, etc.
posted by mattbucher at 8:26 AM on September 18, 2006


just what point are you making with that "." link?

Well, you're right that perhaps it's not the best argument against the death penalty - but I didn't read the . as making that point, more as a marker highlighting a particularly pathos-laden example from the site. Those that have said reading this caused a mixture of emotions are absolutely right - it's very hard to sort out what goes through your head and your heart when you see "last words" like these.
posted by greycap at 8:48 AM on September 18, 2006


bobjohnsonmilw, I'm imagining that the reason that some of them may cling to innocence is that their family members are in the audience. Lying for the sake of their family members, who have most likely suffered immensely already because of the crime and conviction, doesn't seem inconceivable to me. (Although who knows whether their own family members believe them.) Also, who wants to leave an image of themself as a liar AND a murderer during the last moment they have with their wife or mother? I can see people being unable to face the truth in these cases, either out of cowardice or an attempt at mercy.

Ditto what Pastabagel said about denial, also. Take into consideration mental illness, forced confessions, and outright innocence, and you just don't know what to think anymore. Every time one of these statements alleges innocence, all of these slosh together in my mind at once.

That's one reason why this record is so important: it makes one want to know more. Not only about the people, but about the process that led them to this point. Even the most polarized reader can't help but be left frustrated by the questions left unanswered case by case.
posted by hermitosis at 8:57 AM on September 18, 2006


.
posted by weapons-grade pandemonium at 9:18 AM on September 18, 2006


I actually read a great discussion how the focus on innocence on death row undermines many of the legal arguments against the death penalty. There are two measurements of "fairness" in the criminal justice system. One is whether the guilty are convicted, and the other is whether the sentence given and served is commensurate with the severity of the crime. The Supreme Court initially banned the death penalty because it could find no consistent and fair legal logic applied that distinguished the tiny minority given the death penality from the huge numbers given lesser sentences.
posted by KirkJobSluder at 9:19 AM on September 18, 2006


It is also worth noting that an admission of guilt would undermine many shots of last-minute appeal or reprieve.
posted by KirkJobSluder at 9:30 AM on September 18, 2006


Jesus, my native country still executes people. I really had almost forgotten.

Fucking savages.


Amen.
posted by salvia at 9:38 AM on September 18, 2006


jonmc: not so much an argument against as a marker of just how messy the whole state-sanctioned killing business can be when viewed from vantage points other than the privileged class. It's not that he denies his crime, but that he is pointing out his crime is magnified because of class/race differences between he and his victim. His whole speech reflects the disconnect between two principle culture groups in Texas and the conflict this generates. I find the statement interesting on a number of levels and ultimately marked it because this does not seem like a stupid person yet he is one that found himself in a stupid situation with an absurd conclusion. And, yes, it should be obvious that I find capital punishment abhorrent. I am trying to keep all of that out of my contributions to this thread however. I don't think the one thing that comes close to representing a memorial for this class of individuals is necessarily the appropriate place for a slap and pull fight on the morality, justification, and implementation of capital punishment.

Sorry to have not explicated all of this for your easy-to-consume, digestive convenience.
posted by Fezboy! at 9:52 AM on September 18, 2006


"Yes sir, Warden Okay I've been hanging around this popsicle stand way too long. Before I leave, I want to tell you all. When I die, bury me deep, lay two speakers at my feet, put some headphones on my head and rock and roll me when I'm dead. I'll see you in Heaven someday. That's all Warden."
posted by Kickstart70 at 9:52 AM on September 18, 2006


Faint of Butt: So, in other words, it's a lot like death for everyone else, then?

Heh heh, good point, Faint of Butt, good point. But of course they know exactly how they're gonna get it, that's where the similarity ends.


Well that, plus I'm guessing the odds of dying sooner rather than later are much higher for them than your average joe on the street.
posted by Stauf at 9:59 AM on September 18, 2006


Ok, this one is interesting:
"Yes. I would just like to say to my family that I am sorry for all the grief I have caused. I love you all. Tell Mama and the kids I love you; I love all of you. And I would like to clear some things up if I could. Tommy Perkins, the man that got a capital life sentence for murdering Kinslow -- he did not do it. I did it. He would not even have had anything to do with it if he had known I was going to shoot the man. He would not have gone with me if he had known. I was paid to shoot the man. And Martin, the younger boy, did not know what it was about. He thought it was just a robbery. I am sorry for that. It was nothing personal. I was trying to make a living. A boy on Eastham doing a life sentence for killing Jamie Kent - I did not do it, but I was with his daddy when it was done. I was there with him and down through the years there were several more that I had done or had a part of. And I am sorry and I am not sure how many - there must be a dozen or 14 I believe all total. One I would like to clear up is Cullen Davis - where he was charged with shooting his wife. And all of these it was never nothing personal. It was just something I did to make a living. I am sorry for all the grief I have caused. I love you all. That is all I have to say." (Vickers, Billy #999087)
I wonder if that caused any cases to be reopened.
posted by Kickstart70 at 10:04 AM on September 18, 2006


Sorry to have not explicated all of this for your easy-to-consume, digestive convenience.

If you have write a lenghthy explanation, for your brief, pithy comment, then maybe the comment wasn't all that pithy to begin with.
posted by jonmc at 10:04 AM on September 18, 2006


Something just occurred to me: does anyone know if there's a specifically set limit on the length of the last statement for someone being executed. I assume there must be, though it would be quite the spectacle for someone to stand there and say something like, "I would just like to recite some relevant passages from War and Peace. *Ahem*... Chapter one...".

Okay, a funny example, but seriously, it seems like there must have been moments in the past where the executioner/whoever just decides the person is rambling on for too long and just carries out the execution.
posted by Stauf at 10:08 AM on September 18, 2006


A lot of claims of innocence in these. That saddens me, because either they really were innocent and they killed the wrong person, or the inmate couldn't even acknowledge their guilt as the last thing they did.
posted by Kickstart70 at 10:09 AM on September 18, 2006


Oh, and, well fuck it. (1) I was going to let this pass, but thanks for the backhanded swipe with the liberal guilt card. Your everyman schtick is fucking annoying and you're at least as hypocritical as you want to paint everyone else, jonmc. (2) Who the fuck died and made you the fucking comment police anyway? I never claimed it was pithy, witty, or that I intended to "make a statement." I did claim that I put it out there as a marker to do with as you wish. So, I guess if you want to try to put me into some well-defined box because of it, that's you're prerogative, Bobby Brown. Still, try to keep in mind that not everyone is out to piss in your cheerios. Honestly, it's like you're lugging around a massive inferiority complex.
posted by Fezboy! at 10:21 AM on September 18, 2006 [1 favorite]


fuck... you're|your...they're still not interchangeable...
posted by Fezboy! at 10:23 AM on September 18, 2006


When it comes to death penalty, the USA is different from its economic/political peer group.

Or in other words, the USA is the only modern civilized society that still has the death penalty.

Which is to say, I think, that the USA is not particularly civilized as of yet...
posted by five fresh fish at 10:25 AM on September 18, 2006


Fezboy, easy.

It was a period, which is often used to make big, sweeping (yet brief) statements around here. The convicts statement could be read a lot ways: both as a deep commetary, or as extremely self-serving*. So, then linking to it could likewise be seen as interpretable in a lot of different ways. I don't like when people put words in my mouth, so I was trying (a bit harshly, I'll admit, blame caffeine withdrawal) to figure out what you were getting at to avoid putting words in yours.

*and yes, to these ears, his statement did seem to be playing on racial guilt. that's one interpretation among many.
posted by jonmc at 10:27 AM on September 18, 2006


Or in other words, the USA is the only modern civilized society that still has the death penalty.

What about Japan?
posted by jonmc at 10:29 AM on September 18, 2006


Amazing how many of the requested last meals include either Coca Cola or some cherry/vanilla combination thereof.
Maybe a new advertising strategy for Coke?
posted by Demogorgon at 10:39 AM on September 18, 2006


What about Japan?

Japan executes two or three people a year. While it's not an abolition of the death penalty, it's a near opposite of the massive numbers done by the U.S. and other countries with the death penalty.
posted by Kickstart70 at 10:46 AM on September 18, 2006


So it's (2) then? Cool. Go get 'em, copper.
posted by Fezboy! at 10:49 AM on September 18, 2006


Huh? Fezboy, I was trying to explain what I was getting at(and apologize for unneccessary harshness) and get the thread back on track. And if, as you say, the linked statement is 'there to do with as we wish,' not all interpretations are going to neccessarily be positive.
posted by jonmc at 10:59 AM on September 18, 2006


But, like many, I find it much easier to put myself in the place of their victims, and when you read some of the things these guys have done, it's really dificult to feel much sympathy for them.

Of course you do. That's a fairly natural instinct, and one of the reasons that we have a state -- to stand aside from personal emotions, take the retributive role out of the hands of individuals, and make decisions that are best for us collectively.

I'm guessing that you'd like the world a lot less if we all had carte blanche to act upon our impulses, no matter how justifiable they seem to us at the time.

I'll listen to arguments against the death penalty from someone who lost a loved one in a violent crime.


Why would anyone think that somebody who is emotionally traumatized and therefore most likely to have a point of view that is biased by their emotional trauma be the best judge of how we determine any particular policy issue?
posted by PeterMcDermott at 11:05 AM on September 18, 2006 [1 favorite]


Yes I have a last request...how about a bullet proof vest?
posted by Pacheco at 11:11 AM on September 18, 2006


Well put, PMD. It never ceases to amaze me that a nation so forthrightly, loudly and aggressively 'Christian' chooses to completely ignore the most basic and fundamental of his teachings.
posted by Flashman at 11:14 AM on September 18, 2006


I'm guessing that you'd like the world a lot less if we all had carte blanche to act upon our impulses, no matter how justifiable they seem to us at the time.

Of course. I'm just saying that the visceral response people have in terms of identifying with the victims and being disgusted with the crimes is what makes this a difficult to discuss issue, that's it's not simply blind bloodlust or savagery.
posted by jonmc at 11:18 AM on September 18, 2006


Hey, jonmc, the funny thing about going aggro on someone—intended or not—is that you don't necessarily get to pick when and where the object of your attention backs down to a level you feel comfortable with. You acted like a dick and pulled the sort of shit you consider your bread and butter in terms of call-outable offenses. You apologized (sort of) and now it is my turn to offer a half-assed apology. Sorry for not ignoring your common-guy-arbiter-of-everyday-wisdom gambit like I usually do. Blame it on the fact that I would rather be naked in bed with my lady on this first crisp, autumnal morning of the season than wasting time at work reading MeFi and dreading an afternoon filled with meetings.

We cool?

and sorry to everyone else for not taking it all to metatalk, I just want to do my part for Matt's pony
posted by Fezboy! at 11:19 AM on September 18, 2006


*a great and illuminating read for those who want understanding of every side of this issue,

Thanks for that vonDrehle tip, jonmc. Amazon uk points to used copies at a mere £1.32 plus p&p.

1-clicked.
posted by PeterMcDermott at 11:19 AM on September 18, 2006


we're cool fez. and FWIW, I usually like your contributions, and we need another MeTa thread like Paris Hilton needs another set of diamond-studded ben wa balls. (and fwiw, I don't consider myself everyman, that's been foisted on me).
posted by jonmc at 11:23 AM on September 18, 2006


Of course. I'm just saying that the visceral response people have in terms of identifying with the victims and being disgusted with the crimes is what makes this a difficult to discuss issue, that's it's not simply blind bloodlust or savagery.

And I think it's an interesting point. If we look at the various significant liberal/humanizing measures that have been passed into law here in the UK during the last fifty years, pretty well all of them have been brought into being by politicians -- statesmen, in the truest sense of the word -- who weren't afraid to go against that visceral public opinion and do the right thing, while waiting for the public to catch up with them.

Examples would include the abolition of the death penalty, and the legalization of abortion and homosexuality.

Today though, on some fairly major issues -- like drug policy, for example -- British politicians lag way behind the general public, who consistently show a desire for greater liberalization through decriminalization/legalization measures. In the UK, they seem most worried by what the media will have to say about their actions.

Still, at least we don't have a powerful religious right to contend with.

Unless you count the Muslims, that is.
posted by PeterMcDermott at 11:26 AM on September 18, 2006


Echhh! Not humanizing -- I meant to write humanitarian.
posted by PeterMcDermott at 11:28 AM on September 18, 2006


Yes I have a last request...how about a bullet proof vest?

That will only help you in maybe Utah, Idaho, and Oklahoma.
posted by mattbucher at 11:32 AM on September 18, 2006


Convicts aren't the only victims of capital punishment. This NPR story on wardens, chaplains and reporters and how they are affected was the only time I've sat in my driveway, radio on, crying.
posted by QIbHom at 11:41 AM on September 18, 2006


Optamystic: "Jesus, my native country still executes people. I really had almost forgotten. Fucking savages."

The greatest loss that our society has suffered because of the sudden disappearance of common human/animal interaction is the loss of the concept of mercy killing. No execution should be anything but a mercy killing, but there is a number of people-- and they may not even be aware of it-- who will have had happier, more productive lives if they die quickly and painlessly. That number includes, to give a good example, multiple rapists.

Society spends so much time vassilating between anger at criminals and pity for those condemned that it fails almost every time to do the right thing: quickly, carefully, end their pain. Few have considered that the only choice for a rapist (to continue with the example) is between an utterly debilitating shame, on a level which psychologically destroys any hope for happiness, and complete insanity.

I don't deny that most executions happen for the wrong reason. But there is a right reason: for the good of the criminal.
posted by koeselitz at 12:08 PM on September 18, 2006


Executed Offenders by Race: Black, Black, Hispanic, Black, White, Black, Black, Hispanic, Black...
posted by j-urb at 12:12 PM on September 18, 2006


Anyone seen "The Thin Blue Line?" Texas justice, my ass.
posted by j-urb at 12:16 PM on September 18, 2006


It [murdering people] was just something I did to make a living.

What an asshole.

It amazes me that when the rest of the civilized world is doing something 180º different, the majority American people do not see it and think to themselves "Oh, hey... maybe we're doing it wrong!"

Or maybe you do see it and think that, but then utterly fail to change things.
posted by five fresh fish at 12:26 PM on September 18, 2006


Since there seems to be interest, here's the breakdown by specified race: 49% white, 35% black, 15% hispanic, and >1% other.

bobjohnsonmilw writes Is anyone else incredibly fucking disturbed by how many of those people claim to be innocent?

Maybe a few of those people are innocent, or maybe they're all lying. Does it matter? We already know that there is no perfect justice system. In order to execute the guilty, we will occasionally execute the innocent.
posted by zennie at 12:28 PM on September 18, 2006


Does it matter? We already know that there is no perfect justice system. In order to execute the guilty, we will occasionally execute the innocent.

Which is, for me, the only necessary reason to ban the death penalty.
posted by solid-one-love at 12:47 PM on September 18, 2006


Does it matter?

Yes? In matters of life and death I'd say it probably matters...
posted by Stauf at 1:03 PM on September 18, 2006


stauf: "(I gave Warden Hodges the phone at this time and he listened for 5-10 minutes. When he returned the phone to me, I could hear Kinnamon talking but evidently the phone was not close to the mike, because I could not understand him.)"

I guess they just lay the phone down and throw the switch.
posted by ?! at 1:22 PM on September 18, 2006


Executed Offenders by Race: Black, Black, Hispanic, Black, White, Black, Black, Hispanic, Black...

Executed Offenders by Class: Poor, Poor, Poor, Poor, Poor, Lower Middle, Poor, Poor,...
posted by tkchrist at 1:28 PM on September 18, 2006


I don't deny that most executions happen for the wrong reason. But there is a right reason: for the good of the criminal.

"Danny, as a criminal court judge I've sent younger men that you to the gas chamber. I didn't wat to... I felt I OWED it to them."
posted by tkchrist at 1:31 PM on September 18, 2006


Executed Offenders by Class: Poor, Poor, Poor, Poor, Poor, Lower Middle, Poor, Poor,...

Indeed.
posted by zennie at 1:39 PM on September 18, 2006


Fascinating read - thank you Funmonkey1.
posted by agregoli at 2:04 PM on September 18, 2006


My father was a police officer killed in the line of duty during a search warrant. The guy was caught and sentenced to death. He committed suicide in his cell shortly after he was moved to death row.

My view on the death penalty at the time involved nothing about closure, punishment, or justice. This guy was dangerous and I didn't want him somehow killing someone else, so killing him seemed the most logical choice.

Since then, I'm not as sure of the death penalty as I once was. I think it is fundamentally broken in its current form, and needs to be fixed. How you fix it is something I am not sure of either, but I do believe that there are some people that do not deserve to breathe one more breath.
posted by Ateo Fiel at 2:33 PM on September 18, 2006


Don't forget Singapore, modern, and has the death penalty for drug importation. (they do warn you about it on the customs form you get on the airplane before you land though)
posted by reverendX at 2:38 PM on September 18, 2006


zennie

Is it okay if you're one of the innocent executed (assuming you are innocent, of course)?
posted by Mental Wimp at 2:43 PM on September 18, 2006


This guy was dangerous and I didn't want him somehow killing someone else, so killing him seemed the most logical choice.

I'm very sorry to hear about your loss, Ateo Fiel. You seem much more measured in your thoughts about this issue than I think I would be in your shoes.

However, I have a question for you. Given that retributive killing by the state doesn't seem to be very effective as a deterrent, do you ever wander about the possibility that greater numbers of criminals may ultimately kill their victims in order to try to avoid facing the death penalty?
posted by PeterMcDermott at 3:04 PM on September 18, 2006


The argument for the death penalty that killing killers will keep them from killing again is weak. Life without parole can accomplish the same end (except for the chance that they will kill in prison, which applies to the whole prison population and is thus a red herring) and so that argument devolves to a cost argument. If we can kill quickly, without a lot of pesky higher court review, it's cheaper to kill than incarcerate for life. Oh, so there is a dollar cost on human life. Well, why don't we just compensate the victim's loved ones that amount and call it even. The chance that we would kill an innocent person is too great, and it can't be reduced to an infinitesimal chance given human frailty. We've all seen that demonstrated. So we're stuck with the civility of eschewing capital punishment if we are to be civilized. Of course, the news supplies much evidence of late that we may not want to be.
posted by Mental Wimp at 3:16 PM on September 18, 2006


five fresh fish writes "'It [murdering people] was just something I did to make a living.'

"What an asshole."
According to the Environmental Protection Agency,

W.R. Grace and its executives, as far back as the 1970’s, attempted to hide the fact that toxic asbestos was present in vermiculite products at the company’s Libby, Montana plant. The grand jury charged the defendants with conspiring to conceal information about the hazardous nature of the company’s asbestos contaminated vermiculite products, obstructing the government’s clean-up efforts, and wire fraud. To date, according to the indictment, approximately 1,200 residents of Libby have been identified as suffering from some kind of asbestos-related abnormality.
. . .

If convicted, the defendants face up to 15 years imprisonment on each endangerment charge, and up to five years imprisonment on each of the conspiracy and obstruction charges. W.R. Grace could face fines of up to twice the gain associated with its alleged misconduct or twice the losses suffered by victims. According to the indictment, W.R. Grace enjoyed at least $140 million in after-tax profits from its mining operations in Libby.
posted by orthogonality at 3:29 PM on September 18, 2006


In all honesty, there are a fair number of people who I'd have no problem seeing completely removed from society.

I do not believe we have any obligation to provide them the least little amenity. Their destructive behaviours in our society are such that we are forced to securely isolate them from ourselves. Life in prison, secure max, isolation room, always shackled...

Drop them off, naked and without supplies, on the remotest of lakes in our largest untouched wildernesses. They are utterly removed from our society and no longer of our concern. We shun them.

Or snuff them. Same difference, and perhaps a little more expedient.

Unfortunately, we have such a tremendously flawed system that innocent people are routinely mis-convicted. I think it's best we pay the costs of playing on the safe side, and merely limit our punishment to maximum security, life, no parole of any sort ever.

Except the defendents at WR Grace. Them, we should drop by parachute into the Florida Glades.
posted by five fresh fish at 3:37 PM on September 18, 2006


five fresh fish writes "Drop them off, naked and without supplies, on the remotest of lakes in our largest untouched wildernesses. They are utterly removed from our society and no longer of our concern. We shun them."

You ever read Heinlein's novella that explores this concept, "Coventry"?
posted by orthogonality at 3:42 PM on September 18, 2006


Er, I should note that in Heinlein's story, the convicted weren't unconditionally sent to Coventry; they could choose that or psychological readjustment, and they could leave Coventry at any time for re-adjustment (if they could escape Coventry's other inhabitants). Once re-adjusted, they were free to re-enter society without any civil disabilities.

I should also note that Heinlein's fictional justice system was both tougher and looser than our own: one could be convicted for as little as throwing a punch, but only if the court could prove he had physically harmed someone else. If the accused could argue that, even if he'd broken a law, he hadn't harmed someone, he couldn't be convicted.
posted by orthogonality at 3:48 PM on September 18, 2006


fff

I think it is fiction to believe that a criminal justice system could ever be set up to ensure a small enough probability of erroneous execution to be acceptable to a civilized society. Are you okay with 1/100? 1/1000? 1/10,000? And whatever the proportion, how do you justify it? Is the life of one innocent worth only that many times the life of the guilty? Inevitably we will find that we executed an innocent. What to do? "Sorry" seems kind of weak. It is a deliberate killing and we are doing that killing to demonstrate that deliberate killing of innocents is wrong. Because of these considerations, the might and majesty of the government should never be used outside of war to deliberately and in cold blood take the life of a human being.
posted by Mental Wimp at 4:19 PM on September 18, 2006


Mental Wimp writes zennie

Is it okay if you're one of the innocent executed (assuming you are innocent, of course)?


Ouch. Execution is not the solution. I was going for a rhetorical effect. Apparently, I overshot.
posted by zennie at 4:31 PM on September 18, 2006


tkchrist: If you'd ever put down a coliced horse, or seen it done, you'd know what I mean. It's hell to do, but it's necessary to prevent everybody from suffering more. Evil is a sickness; when we can, we purge it through punishment. The only real purpose for jail time, or any state-sanctioned punishment, must be helping the criminal amend their lives; not "rehabilitation," but "reparation." When we can't purge, we show greater mercy by sparing the guilty their further suffering.
posted by koeselitz at 5:02 PM on September 18, 2006


koeselitz

I would agree with you when a person is suffering and wants to be put down. With horses, we have to guess or at least make reasonable inferences. With people we only need ask. That said, can we judge when someones guilt is so large they can't bear it, or do we only respond when someone explicitly asks?
posted by Mental Wimp at 6:05 PM on September 18, 2006


Speaking as someone who lost two loved ones to a sack-of-shit that murdered his own child to avoid a paternity suit I must say: "Unless you, personally, have lost someone you love to a violent crime, you're honest opinion on the benefits of the death penalty is dilute".

That being said, the death penalty did one thing for my family. After 13 years of depositions and testimony, trials and appeals we don't have to think about that slimeball somehow weasling out of it. Not to mention the fact that OK taxpayers had to spend over $400K to house him in lockdown for all that time (+ the cost of prosecution).

The death penalty may not deter crime, but it most definitely deters a repeat offense.
posted by HyperBlue at 7:37 PM on September 18, 2006


you're = your
posted by HyperBlue at 7:38 PM on September 18, 2006


Speaking as someone who lost two loved ones to a sack-of-shit that murdered his own child to avoid a paternity suit I must say: "Unless you, personally, have lost someone you love to a violent crime, you're honest opinion on the benefits of the death penalty is dilute".

On the other hand, I think that the families of victims are the least-qualified to speak on the subject because they tend to argue from emotion, whereas non-victims do not.

Justice should be cold and rational. It should not be emotional. That way lies mob rule, lynchings, vigilantism and other injustices.
posted by solid-one-love at 8:04 PM on September 18, 2006


I do believe that there are some people that do not deserve to breathe one more breath.

Judge not.
posted by stammer at 8:09 PM on September 18, 2006


PeterMcDermott - The death penalty is not a deterrant and never would be in its current form. Someone that kills someone else is not going to be deterred by the possibility of punsihment that may eventually happen twenty years later.

Hyperblue - That is pretty much my strongest argument for the death penalty. It prevents that one person from ever harming another person. The scary/difficult thing is coming up with a system that could do it without killing someone that is innocent.

Stammer - Oh I'll judge. The person that Hyperblue referred to as a "sack of shit" (which may be derogatory to sacks of shit), would be a good example. The BTK killer would be another.

Again, the death penalty is currently overused and poorly implemented, but I have no clue how to fix it or if it can be fixed.
posted by Ateo Fiel at 8:47 PM on September 18, 2006


Hyperblue: I hope this won't sound insensitive, but the whole (theoretical) point of the justice system is to keep decisions on matters such as execution out of the hands of people who have been through what you have. On preview, what solid-one-love said.

Then again, if people were only able to opine on abortion if they'd had one, what a different ball of wax that would be.
posted by hermitosis at 9:29 PM on September 18, 2006


Hyperblue writes Speaking as someone who lost two loved ones to a sack-of-shit that murdered his own child to avoid a paternity suit I must say: "Unless you, personally, have lost someone you love to a violent crime, you're honest opinion on the benefits of the death penalty is dilute".

That being said, the death penalty did one thing for my family. After 13 years of depositions and testimony, trials and appeals we don't have to think about that slimeball somehow weasling out of it. Not to mention the fact that OK taxpayers had to spend over $400K to house him in lockdown for all that time (+ the cost of prosecution).

The death penalty may not deter crime, but it most definitely deters a repeat offense.


I'm sorry for your loss, and I want people to answer for their crimes as much as anyone, but I would not want anyone to pursue the death penalty in my name. How many innocent lives is our pursuit of retribution worth? What would you say to 119?

Granted, many of those people are not exactly wholesome individuals, but the point is they were in line to be executed for crimes they didn't commit. These cases beg the question of how many have walked undetected.

Locking someone permanently away also deters a repeat offense.
posted by zennie at 9:36 PM on September 18, 2006


Stammer - Oh I'll judge. The person that Hyperblue referred to as a "sack of shit" (which may be derogatory to sacks of shit), would be a good example. The BTK killer would be another.

Some day a real rain will come.
posted by stammer at 9:55 PM on September 18, 2006


The fact that there is a "cold and rational system designed to accomplish Justice" is precisely the reason I didn't have to channel the rage, ignore common sense, and seek vengeance myself (yes it was that emotional).

Perhaps the best deterrent provided by the death penalty is that it saves us from becoming the vigilante, or joining the mob. Nothing is perfect, but I'm forever grateful that I could rely on the only/best tool we have-our fallable justice system-to save me from myself.

Love-all-serve-all is a great concept, but at some point we all end up having to draw a line and save those worth saving first.
posted by HyperBlue at 10:46 PM on September 18, 2006


"Locking someone permanently away also deters a repeat offense."

Locking someone permanently away also incurs a great expense.

Given the choice of life imprisonment (though innocent) without the possibility of parole versus the choice of the death penalty I would choose the death penalty. Simply because the final outcome would likely be the same (but without the trip to Oz).
posted by HyperBlue at 10:55 PM on September 18, 2006


If you think prison is worse than death, then that's an argument for prison reform, not for letting the government kill its own citizens
posted by stammer at 11:26 PM on September 18, 2006


Wait... if life in prison is a worse punishment, why execute anyone?

Maintaining death row is generally more expensive than keeping convicts in prison for life because of the lengthy appeals process. The appeals process is lengthy to help prevent the death of people who should not be executed.
posted by zennie at 11:38 PM on September 18, 2006


Locking someone permanently away also incurs a great expense.

Apologies for being so blunt, but: so what? It's potentially cheaper to execute a petty thief than to hand him a 30-day sentence. Whether the death penalty is more or less expensive than a prison term should not be a consideration.
posted by solid-one-love at 11:49 PM on September 18, 2006


"Unless you, personally, have lost someone you love to a violent crime, you're honest opinion on the benefits of the death penalty is dilute"

Reading that link in that sentence, I was curious about exactly what a Tanto Cold Steel might look like.

Is there any possible reason to own such a knife other than for the commission of savage mayhem?

And it still never ceases to amaze me that, rather than going in for a little preventative medicine, so many Americans prefer to try and shut the door after the horse has already bolted.
posted by PeterMcDermott at 4:20 AM on September 19, 2006


Note that there's a distinction between specific deterrance and general deterrance.

Specific deterrance refers to the killer himself; after he gets the chair he won't kill anybody else.

General deterrance refers to the deterrance of everybody else; will other would-be murders think twice about killing somebody if they knew the death penalty is in effect? Logically, few killers thing much about punishment when they kill someone, death penalty or no. The only effect it may have is on a few contract killings, as they're more "rationally" thought out.
posted by craven_morhead at 7:44 AM on September 19, 2006


Many good comments above, both pro and con. I used to support the Death Penalty, for all the viscerally satisfying reasons that many DP advocates here have already listed. What changed my mind was watching the circus-like atmosphere here in Chicago, in the early 1990's, during that final week before John Wayne Gacy was at long last put to death. Any Chicagoans here should recall the morbid fanfare that surrounded the event...The radio contests and countdowns to the big day (..ha ha ha! And now here's Pearl Jam!"), the banners and signs ("Fry The Fag!"), the throngs of drunken yahoos who threw tailgate parties at the prison on execution night and who danced and cheered on the news. It was revolting and sad--I was ashamed for my city. And it changed my mind from then on--Capitol punishment may rid society of people who do not deserve to live/deserve to live among others [*], but how can it be anything but harmful to masturbate society's most base and primal urges with official, state-sponsored vengeance? The state has no business killing prisoners, even prisoners who—as I’d agree with those drunken yahoos--"deserve it.”

[* There is, I think, a distinction to be drawn between the so-called "bleeding heart" anti-DP arguments (focusing on the underlying causes for crime, the many valid criticisms of our flawed justice system, and the worth/redemption of the individual criminal) and this more communitarian anti-DP argument that I find more persuasive, as well as less susceptible to "passion-based" pro-DP arguments from the victim's rights standpoint. The bottom line here, for me, is that I’ve got no tears for convicted killers-- It’s the rest of us that I worry about.]
posted by applemeat at 9:43 AM on September 19, 2006


Is there any possible reason to own such a knife other than for the commission of savage mayhem?

A tanto is tradtionally used by women in Japan to commit suicide.
posted by solid-one-love at 11:01 AM on September 19, 2006


The appeals process is lengthy to help prevent the death of people who should not be executed.

And yet there are still a startlingly high number of people executed and then later found to have been innocent.

Solve this problem and then I can support the death penalty.
posted by five fresh fish at 5:42 PM on September 19, 2006


And yet there are still a startlingly high number of people executed and then later found to have been innocent.

Actually, in the US, no person who has been executed has later been found to have been innocent. I think it is a given that some have been factually innocent, but there is, as yet, no legal finding of such.
posted by solid-one-love at 7:31 PM on September 19, 2006


You agree innocent people have been executed. Does the legal standing have any bearing on the "rightness" or "wrongness" of it?

Except as a demonstration of your acute knowledge, I entirely fail to see why you mention a legalistic interpretation of "innocent."
posted by five fresh fish at 8:03 PM on September 19, 2006


Because you said "later found to have been innocent". That has not happened; "found" has a specific meaning. It is an important point to make, and not merely a rhetorical or pedantic one, because the supporters of the death penalty won't shut up about it.

We can only assume that innocents have been executed in the US because of the incredibly strong circumstantial evidence -- 11th-hour stays, deathbed confessions (they don't reopen a closed case when all the suspects are dead), and so forth.

We don't actually have any legal evidence that innocents have been executed in the US.

And, in fact, the number of people executed who might well have been guilty is not "startlingly high". The number tops out at 16 people in 230 years. That's too many, but not "startlingly high".
posted by solid-one-love at 8:15 PM on September 19, 2006


I read every single one of the 330 statements on that page. (46 of the records had no link whatsoever.) Of those 330 statements, 38 of those being executed proclaimed their innocence even as they were about to die. That's 11.5% who said they were innocent. (Additionally, Jerry Lee Hogue and Richard J. Wilkerson may have been saying they were innocent, but they were kind of vague so I didn't count them.)

Two of the earlier statements troubled me. Rather than being verbatim transcripts, they were recorded by someone with an apparent prejudice against Islam. Patrick Rogers and Walter Williams were both said to be "mumbling about Allah." There were some others recorded in the same manner, but what those men said was "unintelligible" or "garbled," not "mumbling." Very interesting.
posted by etoile at 11:23 AM on September 22, 2006 [1 favorite]


Whatever, sol. I think you're being unnecessarily and unusually pedantic, and I think you're wrong about the numbers.

However, I live in a civilized country, so I'll never have to worry about it.
posted by five fresh fish at 6:12 PM on September 22, 2006


I'm an editor. There's never anything unusual about my pedantry.

The source I cited is from an anti-capital punishment activist group. If anything, I would expect their estimate to be high. If I am wrong about the numbers, it's not in the direction you (without evidence) suspect.

I live in the same province as you, FFF, and I don't think it's something we'll never have to worry about again. Which is why I think it's important to argue precisely and from strong evidence, and not haphazardly and from circumstantial evidence.
posted by solid-one-love at 10:05 PM on September 22, 2006


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