If we’re going to execute, why not just hang them?

So… Radley Balko (who makes it forthrightly clear throughout that he opposes the death penalty) favors the firing squad over lethal injection, on the grounds that it’s actually more humane to shoot somebody than to feed them a paralytic drug and then slowly let them die, in intense pain, for almost ten minutes. I actually agree with Radley on that; but one thing that he noted was…

If you support the death penalty, the most obvious benefit of the firing squad is that unlike lethal injection drugs, correctional institutions are never going to run out of bullets. And if they do, more bullets won’t be very difficult to find. Ammunition companies aren’t susceptible to pressure from anti-death penalty activists, at least not to the degree a pharmaceutical company might be. This would actually remove a barrier to more efficient executions. As someone who would like to see executions eliminated entirely, I don’t personally see this as a benefit. But death penalty supporters might.

Continue reading If we’re going to execute, why not just hang them?

Ariel Castro and his circuitous path to a death penalty.

Yeah I suspect that this is not going to be actually hard to do.

The murder case prosecutors hope to bring against accused Cleveland abductor Ariel Castro, who police say induced several miscarriages by beating and starving one young woman, will be complicated by a lack of physical evidence and medical records, legal experts say.

The case consequently could hinge on whether Castro’s three victims, whom he is accused of holding captive for nearly a decade, take the stand and testify that victim Michelle Knight was pregnant and miscarried, according to Thaddeus Hoffmeister, a law professor at the University of Dayton in Ohio.

Continue reading Ariel Castro and his circuitous path to a death penalty.

I can respect somebody being against the death penalty.

I can think of at least three arguable, intellectually coherent reasons for being against the death penalty; I do not share that position, but I can do a death penalty opponent the elementary courtesy of treating his or her opinion with respect. So I don’t get upset when somebody says No death penalty, even for scumbags – and means it.

I do get upset when a politician abandons principle for raw political expediency. Like, say, Boston mayor (and Democrat) Tom Menino.

…Mayor Tom Menino, in an uncharacteristic turn, called for the death penalty for Dzhokhar Tsarnaev.

“I have never supported the death penalty but I will say in this one I might think it’s time this individual serves his time with the death penalty,” Menino said.

Via AoSHQ.  That’s just obscene: if you don’t believe in the death penalty, then don’t believe in the death penalty.  But don’t switch your beliefs just because it’s suddenly politically expedient.  It’s cowardly (in a tough-guy way), hypocritical, cynical, and – depending on how you read Article I, Section 10’s prohibition of ex post facto laws – actually unconstitutional, to boot.

Dick Blumenthal lying about death penalty stance.

The death penalty has been an issue in the recent Connecticut gubernatorial election, and it seems to have spilled over into the Senatorial election, too – mostly because Dick Blumenthal can’t be bothered to remember if he started loving the death penalty in 1990, or in 2005. Then again, knowing Blumenthal… he probably decided that he could claim both and get away with it. It’s a habit with the man.

Below is a sort of timeline, sort of collected quotes that will demonstrate that… well, that Dick Blumenthal lies through his teeth. It’s pretty straightforward, but here’s the executive summary: Blumenthal claimed that he’s been for the death penalty since he first ran for Attorney General, the historical record contradicts that assertation handily, and it’s plausible to assume that Blumenthal’s conversion on the issue had to do with the political benefits from executing a notorious Connecticut serial killer. That last part’s speculative, which is why I write ‘plausible.’

Last note: some of these quotes and excerpts were made available to me. I’ve provided online sources where I could.

Part I: Blumenthal’s shifting narrative.

1990 is, obviously, twenty years ago. But let’s keep going with this: Continue reading Dick Blumenthal lying about death penalty stance.