As Gawker has done for a couple years now, they sent letters to all the U.S. death row inmates who have execution dates in the upcoming year. Texas inmate Ray Jasper, who is set to be executed later this month, responded with an incredible letter
on his thoughts about the US justice system, race, Christianity, and society as a whole.
posted by gman
on Mar 5, 2014 -
On Wednesday, William Van Poyck was executed
by the state of Florida for murdering a prison guard during a botched 1987 attempt to free an imprisoned friend. Poyck spent 25 years in solitary confinement on death row, during which time he wrote to his sister about his life in prison. Since 2005 she has published those letters to a blog called Death Row Diary
. 'Poyck used to write about everything from the novels and history books he was reading and shows he watched on PBS to the state of the world and his own philosophy of life – punctuated by news of the deaths of those around him, from illness, suicide, and execution.' Excerpts
. His final letter.
posted by zarq
on Jun 13, 2013 -
The first thing we learned about war re-enactment is that it's fucking terrifying having guns fired at you, even ones loaded with blanks. The second thing we learned is a common re-enactor's dilemma called "The G.I. Effect", which is basically that people playing Americans don't like to die. So sometimes they just don't.It's Like Vietnam All Over Again, pt 1
. Part 2
posted by Pirate-Bartender-Zombie-Monkey
on Jan 4, 2013 -
A year ago this August, 72 migrant workers -- 58 men and 14 women -- 'were on their way to the US border when they were murdered by a drug gang
at a ranch in northern Mexico, in circumstances that remain unexplained. Since then, a group of Mexican journalists and writers have created' a "Day of the Dead-style Virtual Altar" Spanish-language website, 72migrantes.com
, to commemorate each of the victims, some of whom have never been identified. The New York Review of Books has English translations of five of their profiles. [more inside]
posted by zarq
on Sep 7, 2011 -
"I decided I had to do something to save this person’s life. That killing someone in Dallas is not an answer for what happened on Sept. 11." Rais Bhuiyan
petitions the state of Texas to stay
the execution of a white supremacist who shot him and murdered two others in a hate-motivated crime
posted by Blazecock Pileon
on Jul 18, 2011 -
Utah Attorney General Announces Execution on Twitter.
Today marked an evolution of sorts for Twitter. It’s no longer just for following your favorite celebrity rants or for informing your followers you’re having a ham sandwich or just took a shower.
And self-promotion on Twitter seems so yesterday. Consider Friday’s tweets from Utah Attorney General Mark Shurtleff. Around midnight, he tweeted that he’d given “the go ahead” to execute condemned inmate Ronnie Gardner.
posted by Fizz
on Jun 19, 2010 -
The Torture Colony
. In a remote part of Chile, an evil German evangelist built a utopia whose members helped the Pinochet regime perform its foulest deeds... [i]nvestigations by Amnesty International and the governments of Chile, Germany, and France, as well as the testimony of former colonos who, over the years, managed to escape the colony, have revealed evidence of terrible crimes: child molestation, forced labor, weapons trafficking, money laundering, kidnapping, torture, and murder.
It may sound like the farfetched plot of Saw VII (or something out of Kafka
) but it's horrifyingly true. [Previously]
posted by dersins
on Apr 17, 2009 -
The Supreme Court today issued a one line statement refusing to hear Troy Davis' appeal
. Troy Davis
was convicted of the 1989 murder of a police officer in Savannah, GA, and sentenced to death solely on eyewitness testimony. No murder weapon or any physical evidence linked him to the crime. Since the conviction, seven of the nine witnesses have recanted or changed their stories, and one of the two who haven't changed their stories is the other suspect in the case. Things were looking good for Davis when the Supreme Court issued a stay two hours before his execution
last month. Justice may really be dead in this country.
posted by x_3mta3
on Oct 14, 2008 -
offers "each day the story of an historical execution that took place on this date, and the story behind it."
posted by Knappster
on Aug 12, 2008 -
Thirty years ago today, Gary Gilmore
was executed at the Utah State Prison, the first prisoner to be put to death since the moratorium on executions was established four years prior, and the first execution in Utah in sixteen years. His refusal to appeal his death sentence confounded his lawyers and attracted the attention of the ACLU
, among others, who fought to keep Gilmore alive, against his wishes. His frustrations with the uncertainty of his sentence led him to attempt suicide in prison twice.
His life and death have been recounted in several books
, inspired a few songs
, and even an SNL
skit. His final words, “Let’s do it,” led to a major marketing campaign
posted by Nathanial Hörnblowér
on Jan 17, 2007 -
Life and Death:
an extraordinary post from Chris Clarke about his connection to serial killer Stephen Peter Morin. His family chimes in meaningfully in the comments. Morin's execution
is often pointed to as proof of the cruelty of lethal injection.
posted by Cassford
on Apr 4, 2005 -
Another Fan Of Torture Reveals Himself
Eugene Volokh, a former clerk to Justice O'Connor and a leading voice in conservative legal circles has some interesting opinions on punishment:
[T]hough for many instances I would prefer less painful forms of execution, I am especially pleased that the killing — and, yes, I am happy to call it a killing, a perfectly proper term for a perfectly proper act — was a slow throttling, and was preceded by a flogging. The one thing that troubles me (besides the fact that the murderer could only be killed once) is that the accomplice was sentenced to only 15 years in prison, but perhaps there's a good explanation.
posted by expriest
on Mar 17, 2005 -
takes you on a fascinating guided tour of decapitation through the ages that covers biblical head severers Judith and Salome, the hapless victims of the Tudor axe, as well as the dreaded guillotine. Site contains some mild artistic gore, but nothing too horrendous.
posted by MrBaliHai
on Sep 29, 2003 -
"Mr. Banks, a man with no prior criminal record, is most likely innocent of the charge that put him on death row. Fearing a tragic miscarriage of justice, three former federal judges (including William Sessions, a former director of the F.B.I.) have urged the U.S. Supreme Court to block Wednesday's execution."So far, no one seems to be listening." [via atrios]
posted by donkeyschlong
on Mar 11, 2003 -
Is forcing a prisoner on death row to take antipsychotic medication to make him sane enough to execute cruel and unusual punishment? (NYT link)
A federal appeals court ruled that officials in Arkansas can force a prisoner on death row to take antipsychotic medication to make him sane enough to execute. The problem is that the American Medical Association's ethical guidelines prohibits precisely that.
To make the case more surreal, a representative of the Arkansas attorney general's office who argued for the state later said: "The ethical decisions involving doctors are difficult ones, but they are not ones for the courts". Does this mean that COs -Correction Officers- are to figure out for themselves which medication to administer? Do they also call the shots when deciding if the "waiting" patient is sane enough???
posted by magullo
on Feb 11, 2003 -
Three Supreme Court Justices publicy oppose executing teenage criminals.
In a rare move, Justices Ginsburg, Breyer, and Stevens made a public statement in a delay request to state their opposition to executing someone who committed murder before the age of 18. With the Court already banning the execution of the mentally retarded this year, is this another sign of a soon-to-be next step in the abolishment of the death penalty? Or does the average American still believe that regardless of what time, when you do the crime you walk the line?
posted by XQUZYPHYR
on Aug 30, 2002 -
Is this Israel's Rodney King video?
Warning: graphic depiction of an execution. Mahmoud Salah was subdued, stripped and then executed by Israeli soldiers who must have not realized they were being taped. Also reported here.
makes the assertion that the regular police opposed the killing and Special Forces committed this act.
posted by n9
on Apr 23, 2002 -