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Ohio executes inmate using untried, untested lethal injection method

On Thursday morning, Ohio executed Dennis McGuire for the 1989 rape and murder of Joy Stewart. However, due to an embargo on the common used lethal injection drug pentobarbital, the state used an untried combination of midazolam, a sedative, and hydromorphone, a morphine derivative, for the execution. The procedure took 24 minutes, during which McGuirse was reported to have been "choking and snorting" and was described as "horrific". [more inside]
posted by I am the Walrus on Jan 17, 2014 - 292 comments

The Largest Mass Execution in U.S. History

150 years ago, on December 26, 1862, 38 Dakota men were hung in Mankato, Minnesota. It was the largest mass execution in U.S. history. The men were hung after being convicted by a U.S. military commission for participating in the U.S.-Dakota War of 1862. Originally, 303 were sentenced to death, but President Lincoln commuted the sentences of most of those convicted. The war was waged in the Minnesota River Valley. The Minnesota Historical Society's page on the hangings is here. The Minneapolis Star Tribune's six-part series on the war is here. Minnesota Public Radio has an online photographic display on the war. This American Life's episode on the war is available through the program's website. Indian Country Today reports on efforts in Minnesota to remember the war, including a memorial dedicated in Mankato today. Following the war, most Dakota were expelled from Minnesota.
posted by Area Man on Dec 26, 2012 - 31 comments

Dark days for the death penalty

This year, Maryland has been on a path to become the first state to abolish capital punishment, and a bill to repeal the death penalty will be voted on in committee within days. Exonerated death row inmates have been campaigning fervently in support of the bill (including Kirk Bloodsworth, a Marylander who was the first death row inmate ever to be proven innocent by DNA)--and the exonerated are joined by a gamut of other voices that one might not normally expect in the debate. Murder victim family members are vocally supporting abolition. Law enforcement officials, including prosecutors, wardens and police chiefs, are vocally supporting abolition. The Baltimore city council – which presides over the lion’s share of Maryland’s violent crime -- is unanimously in support of abolition. Even Maryland's governor, Martin O’Malley, has taken a bold stance in support of abolishing executions, going so far as to publish an op-ed, "Why I Oppose the Death Penalty," in the Washington Post on the day of the abolition bill’s hearings in Annapolis. And, last but not least, the public is more than 60% in support of replacing the death penalty with life without parole.

So why are so many legislators still supporting death penalty?
Even if the bill doesn’t pass in this session, it seems like Governor O’Malley has nothing to worry about for having come out ahead of the legislature on this issue. It’s the legislatures—in Maryland and elsewhere—that are falling behind, as the entire country backs steadily away from capital punishment.
posted by snortlebort on Mar 15, 2007 - 91 comments

Political killing in the cold war [and thereafter]

Modern history is replete with assassinations that have a dramatic impact on national and international politics: the killing of Alexander II by anarchists in 1881 unleashed repression and anti-semitism in the Russian empire; the shooting of Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria in June 1914 in Sarajevo sparked the "great war" that drowned Europe in blood and inaugurated what Eric Hobsbawm calls "the short 20th century"; the assassination of the liberal Colombian politician Jorge Gaitan in 1948 (a day after he had met a Latin American youth delegation that included the 21-year-old Fidel Castro) helped spark a civil war – the violencia – that continues to this day and the shooting down on 6 April 1994 of the plane carrying Rwanda's and Burundi's presidents, Juvenal Habyarimana and Cyprien Ntaryamira precipitated the Rwandan genocide.

Political killing in the cold war [& thereafter] provides an outline of the aftereffects of assassinations, covert killings, state and judicial executions.
posted by y2karl on Aug 24, 2005 - 37 comments

Allawi shot inmates in cold blood, say witnesses

Allawi shot inmates in cold blood, say witnesses. Iyad Allawi, the new Prime Minister of Iraq, pulled a pistol and executed as many as six suspected insurgents at a Baghdad police station, just days before Washington handed control of the country to his interim government, according to two people who allege they witnessed the killings.
posted by waterfrog on Jul 16, 2004 - 22 comments

50 year anniversary of the Rosenberg's execution

Robert Meeropol, the younger son of Ethel and Julius Rosenberg, writes about his parents. I'm suprised nobody else posted about this yesterday--June 19th was the 50th anniversary of their execution for espionage.
The executions at Sing Sing on June 19, 1953, ended a sensational Cold War case that still symbolizes the years when McCarthyism held sway and the government's word was accepted more readily than today. It was the first execution of civilians for espionage in U.S. history and it reverberated into the issues of dissent, anti-Semitism and capital punishment.
Pete Seeger and others comment here; the Guardian here. The Committee to Reopen the Rosenberg Trial (which features representations of the couple by Picasso, among others) notes that:
In August of 1993, members of the American Bar Association Section of Litigation re-enacted the 1951 trial of Julius and Ethel Rosenberg. A moot trial was conducted with expertise and meticulous concern for accuracy. The unanimous verdict of the twelve jurors was "Not Guilty." This "trial" and its dramatic outcome was widely reported by the media - for one day only.
posted by jokeefe on Jun 20, 2003 - 20 comments

What can The White Rose teach us today?

What can The White Rose teach us today? 59 years ago..."February 22, 1943, 9am... three students from the University of Munich are brought to trial for treason. The trial lasts until 1 pm and by 5 o’clock all are dead...Why are their voices silenced? And how many more innocent people will have to die before they are heard?" Their executioners maintained "It was not a time for tackling theoretical problems, but rather for grasping the sword , yet [they] sowed doubt among our youth. [They] nourished doubt instead of dispelling it..."

In memory of Hans Scholl, Sophie Scholl, Christoph Probst, Alexander Schmorell, Willie Graf, Kurt Huber, and untold others whose terrible crime has been to speak truth to power.
posted by fold_and_mutilate on Feb 22, 2002 - 21 comments

Court rules U.S. broke rights laws

Court rules U.S. broke rights laws The world court has ruled the U.S. ignored the international legal rights of two German-born brothers who were executed for murder. More excecution controversy.
posted by adnan on Jun 29, 2001 - 22 comments

China executes 28 in single day

China executes 28 in single day Just for some perspective on a day when there is so much hype over *one* American execution...
posted by Rastafari on Jun 11, 2001 - 8 comments

botched executions:

botched executions:
warning: gruesome descriptions of bungled executions ahead.

also: the execution tapes - audio recordings in real player format.

whether for or against the death penalty, take a look.
posted by bwg on May 13, 2001 - 20 comments

Katie Couric: Your Execution Morning Friend

Katie Couric: Your Execution Morning Friend Oh, nothing against Katie. Just seems a smidgen ridiculous to have TV morning shows with live-from-elsewhere coverage centered around the execution of McVeigh. Also, 1600 journalists will be around. I know this is typical media overkill for our times, but is it making a martyr out of the guy? Greta from CNN thinks lethal injection executions are snoozers anyway.(Registration required).
posted by raysmj on May 8, 2001 - 8 comments

Pssst -- buddy, wanta buy a kidney?

Pssst -- buddy, wanta buy a kidney? There is a regular trade from China of transplant organs taken from executed prisoners. People from the US have been travelling there and buying organs, then coming back to the US. Should we do anything about this, and if so what?
posted by Steven Den Beste on May 5, 2001 - 21 comments

McVeigh's execution will be on closed-circuit

McVeigh's execution will be on closed-circuit television for the families of bomb victims to watch. Now, as a person who sees dead people fairly often, even I can't imagine watching an execution. So my question is: is this public entertainment for the bloodthirsty, or some misguided idea of providing "closure"?
posted by methylsalicylate on Apr 12, 2001 - 77 comments

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