Because you needed another reason to hate Twitter
May 21, 2009 7:18 AM   Subscribe

Dennis Skillicorn was sentenced to die in 1996 for the murder of businessman/good Samaritan Richard Drummond and two other deaths in connection with a 1994 crime spree. Yesterday morning, local news outlet Missourinet, with a slight time delay, tweeted his execution. Elyria, Ohio's Chronicle Telegram is discussing plans to tweet an upcoming execution, but they are not sure if they should.
posted by cashman (42 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
 
I came here to die, not to tweet.
posted by Joe Beese at 7:22 AM on May 21, 2009


Live blogging a death? No thanks.
posted by now i'm piste at 7:24 AM on May 21, 2009


I feel kind of sick.
posted by Drexen at 7:24 AM on May 21, 2009 [1 favorite]


did they change his facebook status for him too?
posted by fuzzypantalones at 7:26 AM on May 21, 2009 [17 favorites]


Has anyone Tweeted their own death, Monty Python-style, yet?

"Here may be found the last Tweet of Joseph Smith of Milwaukee. He who is valiant and pure of spirit may find my final resting place in the Cemetary of Aaauuuggghhh... ”
posted by The Card Cheat at 7:32 AM on May 21, 2009


I don't have a problem with this, it's a news feed and an execution is. I mean tweet is a funny word and an execution is a solemn event but if twitter was called up2date and was otherwise exactly the same I don't think people would have a problem with updating that an execution had occurred, it's really just a sort of weired aesthetic argument that seems high minded until you actually examine it. Also I'm against the death penalty so I have a problem with what actually happened, just not with this particular way of knowing about it.
posted by I Foody at 7:32 AM on May 21, 2009 [4 favorites]


If anyone tweets my execution, I'm rising from the dead and killing any fuckhead with a twitter account.
posted by KevinSkomsvold at 7:33 AM on May 21, 2009 [1 favorite]


Stay classy America.
posted by chunking express at 7:35 AM on May 21, 2009 [13 favorites]


I propose a moratorium on Twitter-related posts so that an independent judicial panel may investigate their Constitutionality.
posted by killdevil at 7:37 AM on May 21, 2009


if twitter was called up2date

I agree with your comment 100% (how is twittering a news story inherently any ridiculouser than putting it on a webpage at cnn.com or printing it on pressed dead paper and selling it in a box on a street corner?), but this struck me as funny for a reason I will now belatedly and offensively riff on:

rpm -e Dennis Skillicorn
posted by DU at 7:38 AM on May 21, 2009 [3 favorites]


I remember this bit on The Day Today.
posted by munchingzombie at 7:44 AM on May 21, 2009


I used to feel the death penalty was not only appropriate but entertaining. Now, after experiencing the death of a fellow human being in tweet form, I realized that I could not support vengeance-based societal punishment.

Can someone please tweet the experience of being sodomized in the Texas state prison system after being sentenced for 10-14 years for possession of marijuana with intent to distribute? Because I currently feel like that's OK, but then I've never seen it happen on Twitter.
posted by stupidsexyFlanders at 7:45 AM on May 21, 2009 [1 favorite]


Can someone please tweet the experience of being sodomized in the Texas state prison system after being sentenced for 10-14 years for possession of marijuana with intent to distribute? Because I currently feel like that's OK, but then I've never seen it happen on Twitter.

Give it time. This is just a test case.
posted by metagnathous at 7:52 AM on May 21, 2009


Fucking yuck.
posted by Divine_Wino at 7:57 AM on May 21, 2009 [1 favorite]


This wasn't tweeted live, so why tweet at all?
posted by mkb at 8:00 AM on May 21, 2009


@deadman still walking?
posted by the aloha at 8:01 AM on May 21, 2009 [2 favorites]


I dont have a problem with tweeting the execution; it highlights how fucking absurd capital punishment is in a 'modern' society.
posted by norabarnacl3 at 8:01 AM on May 21, 2009


My main objection to this is that it's fucking boring. I mean, the majority of the content boils down to "Condemned strapped into chair. Condemned injected with drugs. Condemned pronounced dead." Now if something out of the ordinary had happened...

"Condemned strapped into chair. Hurricane rips roof off of lethal injection chamber. Condemned swept away by high winds, salutes witnesses, shouts 'So long, suckers!' Condemned falls into power lines and is electrocuted. Condemned pronounced dead at the scene."

...that would be a Twitter feed I'd wanna read.
posted by you just lost the game at 8:03 AM on May 21, 2009 [1 favorite]


mkb: "This wasn't tweeted live, so why tweet at all?"

No other reporters were allowed to report on it live from the inside, so why report on it at all?
posted by Science! at 8:04 AM on May 21, 2009


If capital punishment is just then there should be no issue about showing it live on TV, with HD cameras from several angles. What? That's barbaric? Exactly.
posted by Burhanistan at 8:09 AM on May 21, 2009 [2 favorites]


State executions should be twittered, live-blogged, youtubed, MeFied, CSPANed, Hulued, netflixed, podcast, newspapered, torrented, shrink-wrapped and endcapped, and maximum exposured.

Let's not hide who we are.
posted by notyou at 8:11 AM on May 21, 2009 [11 favorites]


No other reporters were allowed to report on it live from the inside, so why report on it at all?

My gripe is that the only point to twitter for journalism is its real-time nature. Artificially using it to post a timeline after the fact is silly.
posted by smackfu at 8:13 AM on May 21, 2009




Just wait until Twitter adds Dolby surround sound and HD video. Then our executions are gonna fuckin rock, dude.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 8:16 AM on May 21, 2009


My gripe is that the only point to twitter for journalism is its real-time nature. Artificially using it to post a timeline after the fact is silly.

Another point to twitter for journalism is the audience.
posted by notyou at 8:20 AM on May 21, 2009


Just wait until Twitter adds Dolby surround sound and HD video.

I'm seeing a multi-paned feed with crawling data just like cable news. There would be a vital stats panel, views of the witnesses, scrolling quotes from the convict's life/trial/press/etc. Give it a few years and we can include neural cameras that plug into the convict and we can watch his eyes see as he gets switched off. We just need to find the right sponsors.
posted by Burhanistan at 8:21 AM on May 21, 2009


hey everyone, i'm liveblogging from the prison. i imagine that the prisoner will soon be deadblogging.
posted by the aloha may 21, 2009 11:02am

ewwww. someone farted in the viewing area. i thought that we had gotten rid of gas chambers in this state?
posted by the aloha may 21, 2009 11:03am

the prisoner is being brought into the room. holy jesus, look at the bulge in his pants! it is like he is excited to finally die. for a prisoner that large being hung would be more apropos.
posted by the aloha may 21, 2009 11:05am

wtf? my press credentials have been revoked because the newspaper i work for has gone bankrupt. i didn't even know that my job was in the aim of the firing squad. how could this have ever happened?
posted by the aloha may 21, 2009 11:09am

i will continue to report on this story as a citizen journalist. from outside of the prison, the atmosphere out here is so electric that i had to sit in a chair.
posted by the aloha may 21, 2009 11:14am

the warden has declared that the prisoner has been declared dead after being administered a lethal injection. it sounds like it went better than the time i got bad h from a dealer i had never used before. well, this execution sure was fun. sadly, i am out of a job at the newspaper, but don't worry. i will survive.
posted by the aloha may 21, 2009 11:29am
posted by the aloha at 8:29 AM on May 21, 2009 [1 favorite]


I support the death penalty in a way not dissimilar to my feelings about religion: in some hypothetical and highly abstract sense, I give it a "maybe." In terms of real-world conditions, I just shrug and say: Not here in this country, not now, not with the way we do things. With the variety of the "oh so it turns out you did not rape that white girl after all, well, here's your shoes back and a gold watch for the twenty years you've put in" incidents we see, can we really doubt that we are not executing some who are not guilty of the crime along the way?

The majority of the populace does not hear about these death row inmates until they are executed, or perhaps a bit before. That is all we find out about them. Twitter somehow makes it worse in a way I have a hard time pinning down: your life, your crimes, your death, reduced to 140 characters. Just a little more demeaning than before.
posted by adipocere at 8:31 AM on May 21, 2009


Did they have keyboard cat play him off?
posted by orme at 8:35 AM on May 21, 2009 [1 favorite]


yes Twitter is what I am angry about here.

Killing "criminals" (mostly minority, often innocent) to show that killing is wrong, totally cool.
posted by drjimmy11 at 9:19 AM on May 21, 2009


rpm -e Dennis Skillicorn

"rpm -e"? Seriously? When "kill -9" was right there?
posted by DecemberBoy at 9:23 AM on May 21, 2009


"No other reporters were allowed to report on it live from the inside, so why report on it at all?"

Science!, the entire point of Twittering a news event instead of actually writing an article or blog entry would be if you had some real-time access. A Twitter stream is maddening to read when it is a string of connected ideas strung backwards (worst case here). Why not just write a blog entry? You don't magically get a huge audience just by being on Twitter; it's dependent on your followers, just like a blog or newspaper's audience.
posted by mkb at 9:27 AM on May 21, 2009


why tweet at all?

Only in the ongoing spirit of eye for an eye.

"Finally! I've been waiting all night. Hope I don't make too much of a mess."
posted by aXxMaN June 6, 2008 9:48pm

"Wow, that was easy. I can't believe how light the head was."
posted by aXxMaN June 6, 2008 10:21pm
posted by CynicalKnight at 9:41 AM on May 21, 2009


Could there be any stupider genre of news story?

1976 - "Tonight at 11: People are doing [commonplace thing]...ON CB RADIOS!"

1984 - "Tonight at 11: People are doing [commonplace thing]...WITH FAX MACHINES!"

1990 - "Tonight at 11: People are doing [commonplace thing]...WITH PAGERS!"

1993 - "Tonight at 11: People are doing [commonplace thing]...WITH CELL PHONES!"

1996 - "Tonight at 11: People are doing [commonplace thing]...WITH E-MAIL!"

1998 - "Tonight at 11: People are doing [commonplace thing]...ON A WEBPAGE!"

2001 - "Tonight at 11: People are selling [commonplace thing]...ON EBAY!"

2004 - "Tonight at 11: People are doing [commonplace thing]...IN SECOND LIFE!

2006 - "Tonight at 11: People are doing [commonplace thing]...BY TEXTING!"

2009 - "Tonight at 11: People are doing [commonplace thing]...WITH TWITTER!"

(the whole thing is too stupid to bother getting the timeline right)
posted by straight at 10:35 AM on May 21, 2009 [3 favorites]


On the flip side, is anyone liveblogging their crimes on Twitter?

1255: Stuck up convenience store. Was disappointed to find there weren't enough quarters to do my laundry.
posted by grapefruitmoon at 11:04 AM on May 21, 2009


I don't support the death penalty, I think by releasing violent offenders from lifelong incarceration via quick and painless death, we're doing them a favor. I do feel, however, that for the death penalty to be any kind of an effective deterrent all executions not only need to be televised, they should be mandatory viewing. Then again, I also think that the public stocks should be brought back for less grievous offenses. When we remove offenders from society, we also remove the education others get from seeing the consequences.

Tweeting the execution may be silly, but it's still exposure to the process for a lot of people who feel no connection whatsoever to capital punishment. My grandmother used to tell me tales of when she was growing up in Huntsville as a child, whenever someone got fried in the chair, the power drain would dim all the lights in town, and it used to scare the bejeezus out of her. She had a connection to the process that we don't have in this era, and it made a much stronger impression on her and her moral code.
posted by davelog at 11:32 AM on May 21, 2009


I live in Missouri and well remember the murder. I'm glad Skillicorn was executed and I hope his accomplices have been or will be.
posted by wrapper at 12:11 PM on May 21, 2009


"I dont have a problem with tweeting the execution; it highlights how fucking absurd capital punishment is in a 'modern' society."

Hear, hear. What's being done in the name of the people should be broadcast to the people. If there's no stomach for it, then stop it.
posted by Twang at 12:15 PM on May 21, 2009


I think by releasing violent offenders from lifelong incarceration via quick and painless death, we're doing them a favor.

Note to self: never ask davelog for a favor.

(seriously, I'd much rather spend my life in jail than die, and I think I'm hardly alone in that)
posted by wildcrdj at 1:38 PM on May 21, 2009


Dead man tweeting!
posted by mattdidthat at 1:46 PM on May 21, 2009


As long as Twitter isn't used for an oops too late the system bogged down gubernatorial pardon.
posted by BrotherCaine at 12:48 AM on May 22, 2009


straight nailed it. It's just another form of communication. Just because it's new is no reason to get your knickers in a twist or limit it's usage to specific kinds of information. And why are you still wearing knickers, America? America needs new pants!
posted by chairface at 8:30 PM on May 29, 2009


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