Mary Fallin Can’t Even Murder A Man Without Fucking It Up

McALESTER, Okla.An Oklahoma inmate whose execution was halted Tuesday because the delivery of a new drug combination was botched died of a heart attack, the state Department of Corrections said.  Director Robert Patton said inmate Clayton Lockett died Tuesday after all three drugs were administered.  Patton halted Lockett’s execution about 20 minutes after the first drug was administered. He said there was a vein failure.  Lockett was writhing on the gurney and shaking uncontrollably.  They tortured him to death.  The planned execution later Tuesday of a second inmate was postponed.

Some background–due to the recent shortage of drugs used for executions, Oklahoma, like many states has turned to so called “compounding pharmacies” for their lethal cocktail.  In some cases, those pharmacies have been exposed to bad press, causing them to stop producing the drugs.  In Oklahoma, the state Legislature, perhaps the only body with more assholes, percentage-wise than the US House of Representatives, passed a law denying the release of the names of any organization that produces the three drug cocktail for the state, in blatant disregard for the state Constitution and the Oklahoma Open Records Act.

Both Clayton Lockett and Charles Warner were scheduled to be executed tonight after their recent appeals to the State Supreme Court were vacated by that body.  In Oklahoma, we have essentially two high courts, the OK Court of Criminal Appeals, packed with conservatives, and the OK State Supreme Court (which is titularly superior), packed with moderates and what passes for liberals in this state.  Clayton and Lockett sued the state Department of Corrections to learn the name of the compounding pharmacy that had produced the execution drug mixture.  The Court of Criminal Appeals turned down the appeal on the grounds that they didn’t have jurisdiction, it being, in the Court’s opinion, a civil matter.  Lockett and Warner then appealed to the OK State Supreme Court, which issued a stay of execution and instructed the Court of Criminal Appeals to hear and act on the motion.  That’s when things got crazy.

Governor Mary Fallin (R, Of Course) declared:

that the executive branch would not honor the judicial stay preventing the executions. The Supreme Court’s “attempted stay of execution is outside the constitutional authority of that body,” she declared, so “I cannot give effect to the order by that honorable court.”

Gov. Fallin then said she would recognize only the power of the Oklahoma Court of Criminal Appeals to guide her in proceeding with the execution of one of the prisoners, Clayton Lockett, on April 29. In other words, the head of the executive branch of state government had just proclaimed that she would not recognize a duly issued order by the state Supreme Court because she did not agree with it and because the other high court in the state, which did not favor a stay of execution to fully evaluate the injection secrecy issues, stood ready to implement her will.

Then a week ago, whackjob state Representative Mike Christian introduced articles of impeachment in the state House against the five members of the OK State Supreme Court who voted for the stay.

And that’s when the Oklahoma Supreme Court simply, tragically, caved in to the political pressure.

On Wednesday, just two days after it had issued its stay, the five justices responsible for that stay declared that the injection secrecy law was, in fact, constitutional. Never mind, these justices suddenly said after weeks of litigation in which they had expressed doubts about the constitutionality of the secrecy law — the executions may now proceed.

And proceed they one of them did.  Until they fucked it up.  I don’t know if the three-drug cocktail was not mixed right, if it was administered incorrectly, or if it was just  incompetence in the rush to kill the guy before a court that wasn’t afraid of Mary Fallin and Mike Christian could weigh in, but it’s pretty obvious that the state failed in its constitutional duty to avoid cruel and unusual punishment.

According to Wikipedia:

In most states, the intravenous injection is a series of drugs given in a set sequence, designed to first induce unconsciousness followed by death through paralysis of respiratory muscles and/or bycardiac arrest through depolarization of cardiac muscle cells. The execution of the condemned in most states involves three separate injections (in sequential order):

  1. Sodium thiopental or pentobarbital:[14] ultra-short action barbiturate, an anesthetic agent used at a high dose that renders the prisoner unconscious in less than 30 seconds. Depression of respiratory activity is one of the characteristic actions of this drug.[15] Consequently, the lethal-injection doses, as described in the Sodium Thiopental section below, will — even in the absence of the following two drugs — cause death due to lack of breathing, as happens with overdoses of opioids.
  2. Pancuronium bromide: non-depolarizing muscle relaxant, causes complete, fast and sustained paralysis of the skeletal striated muscles, including the diaphragm and the rest of the respiratory muscles; this would eventually cause death by asphyxiation.
  3. Potassium chloride: stops the heart, and thus causes death by cardiac arrest.

The drugs are not mixed externally as that can cause them to precipitate. Also, a sequential injection is key to achieve the desired effects in the appropriate order: administration of the pentobarbital essentially renders the inmate unconscious; the infusion of the pancuronium bromide induces complete paralysis, including that of the lungs and diaphragm rendering the inmate unable to breathe. If the condemned were not already completely unconscious, the injection of a highly concentrated solution of potassium chloride could cause severe pain at the site of the IV line as well as along the punctured vein, but it interrupts the electrical activity of the heart muscle and causes it to stop beating, bringing about the death of the inmate

Charles Warner, who has steadfastly maintained his innocence since his arrest, gets two more weeks to contemplate what’s in store for him, while Murderous Mary and her merry band of psychopaths  try to figure out how to kill a man without rousing the ire of the Federal Court system.  Of course, with the current make up of the US Supreme Court, his own fate is all but certain, and if the State Supreme Court with their feet of clay can just decide that due process and constitutional rights are now optional, I don’t hold much hope for Mr. Warner to receive justice from the five similarly inclined members of the SCOTUS.

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150 replies
  1. 1
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    In a sane state, what Fallin did would be grounds for impeachment.

    Death penalty-wise, I don’t agree with it for moral, legal, and practical reasons. Too many to type here.

  2. 2
    dollared says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: I think you could have made a case for murder, if the OK Supremes hadn’t caved. You really, really should be sure of your legal authority before you order an execution.

    What a fucking place. They take more care with a sewer bond issue than with a state execution.

  3. 3
    mai naem says:

    I don’t understand why this is so difficult. We had a guy in Phoenix who was convicted in some fraud situation and had hidden some cyanide in his clothing and was seen swallowing something right after the jury convicted him.and he died shortly after. He apparently had made a homemade cyanide pill. Also too, the medication that Michael Jackson was using.
    I don’t mind to sound crass, I just would think it wouldn’t be that hard to be competent for something like this which is planned way ahead of time.

  4. 4
    dollared says:

    Soonergrunt, I know there’s a book called “What’s the Matter with Kansas” and all that shit, but I still don’t get it. Why is it sooooooo fucking important to these people to commit judicial murder? Has any one of them ever read one of the four Gospels?

    I honestly cannot understand this state of mind. How do you stand it?

  5. 5
    srv says:

    IDK why we ever gave up public hangings.

    The least we could video broadcast these events. Wingnuts would get their thrill, but the other 73% would be so nauseated that they just might, you know, do something about it.

    Best we don’t hear that screaming on the other side of those cinderblocks.

  6. 6
    burnspbesq says:

    I have both principled and practical objections to the death penalty, but I don’t think it’s unconstitutional. If the citizens of any particular state, acting through their elected representatives, want to have the death penalty, they can have the death penalty.

    All that said, this is fucking ridiculous. Is basic competence too much to ask?

  7. 7
    Suzanne says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: Impeachment? She deserves to be flogged in the public square.

  8. 8
    srv says:

    @burnspbesq:

    All that said, this is fucking ridiculous. Is basic competence too much to ask?

    The whole premise of the movement is that government doesn’t work. Why should executions be any different?

  9. 9
    beth says:

    If a vet did that to my dog, I’d sue him for everything he owned. Is it too much to ask that we treat humans better than we treat our dying pets?

  10. 10
    Suzanne says:

    @srv: I really do t know why people who don’t trust the government with a few tax dollars all of a sudden think it’s a great idea for said government TO KILL PEOPLE.

  11. 11
    jl says:

    Using unregulated and untested mystery death juice might not be as simple as it seems. Hoocoodanode?

    Another entry in the annals of ‘jest git er done, dammit’.

    A sad and disgraceful story.

  12. 12
    Tokyokie says:

    You blow out a vein by trying to push too much fluid too fast. I don’t know whether Lockett had small veins and a small-gauge catheter had to be used on him, but it sounds like whoever was administering the drugs did so WAAAAY too fast. At best, sometime during the procedure, the drug cocktail infiltrated the IV site, greatly delaying the absorption of the drugs and prolonging the time it would take Lockett to die. At worst, the vein blew while the pentobarbitol was being administered (which would be my guess), and because it’s a vesicant, the leak would have caused extravasation at the IV site, turning the surrounding tissue necrotic. That would have really delayed the effects of the drugs, besides making Lockett feel (to the extent he was feeling anything) like his arm was burning off. As he died of a myocardial infarction, it’s probably the KCl that killed him, because it doesn’t take a lot of that administered in IV form to produce that result, especially if they were still pushing too hard on the IV.

    You got it right in saying Oklahoma tortured the man to death. And if that doesn’t fit the constitutional definition of “cruel and unusual punishment,” then the term has no meaning. Good thing Mary Fallin walks with Jesus, because what she did would be considered evil under most traditional belief systems of which I’m aware. And I know she walks with Jesus because she reminds everybody every chance she gets.

  13. 13
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @burnspbesq:

    I don’t think it’s unconstitutional

    I do. Not just as applied. Unless one is an Originalist, one accepts that the interpretation of a thing like the Cruel and Unusual Punishment Clause evolve over time. Look at the countries that have the death penalty; look at those that don’t. Count the numbers and look at types of countries that still have it. It gets me to cruel and unusual. I have trouble seeing how it doesn’t get others to that point as well.

  14. 14
  15. 15
    Ash Can says:

    Eighth Amendment? What Eighth Amendment? There are only two amendments; one lets me impose my religious and personal beliefs upon everyone else, and the other lets me shoot people I don’t like.

  16. 16
    Howard Beale IV says:

    Fallin should be arrested and charged with crimes against humanity.

    And naturally, these assholes are too cheap/stupid to design a proper cocktail.

    If I had to design a lethal cocktail, I’d replace the barbiturate with 8 mg of etorphine. Problem is that etorphine hasn’t been approved for use in humans, but it will take down a black rhino.

  17. 17
    Soonergrunt says:

    @dollared: These are some of the most religious people you’ll ever want to meet. Many go to Church two or three times a week.
    It’s what’s being taught to them in Church that’s fucked up.

  18. 18
    Soonergrunt says:

    @Dave: Revenge is not morally or lawfully the purpose of the state. Justice is the rightful purpose of the state, and we have that requirement for punishments to not be cruel and unusual.

  19. 19
    scav says:

    Profoundly Incompetent. Profoundly Indifferent. They earned every inch of this debacle and msny no doubt will be proud of it.

  20. 20
    Lihtox says:

    How about the feds charge her with murder? (Yeah I know, wishful thinking.)

  21. 21
    Ash Can says:

    @Dave: There’s a difference between justice and vengeance. One of the reasons for having laws in the first place is to protect our society from those who don’t know what that difference is.

  22. 22
    Suzanne says:

    @Dave: If the government is now in charge of GIVING PEOPLE WHAT THEY DESERVE, I’ll expect the President to pull up tomorrow in his limousine to hand me my lottery winnings.

    Corrections is about, you know, CORRECTING. If someone can’t be corrected, they can be kept separate from society. Capital punishment is a revenge fantasy for the half-Adam Lanzas of the country.

  23. 23
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Dave: Are you advocating cruelty for cruelty? Someone tortured, let’s torture him. One hell of a way to run a society. I think I’ll try for something better. If you don’t mind.

  24. 24
    GregB says:

    Death obsessed monsters.

    Jesus Christ, they love using the levers of government power to kill and torture people but they think universal healthcare is tyranny.

    Fucking insanity.

  25. 25
    scav says:

    Dave’s ‘Mercan ideal: Not a hair-breath’s better than the worst there is. Yee-Haw! We’re Number One!

  26. 26
    Dave says:

    @Soonergrunt: I agree with you completely. But since I don’t work for the state, I’m perfectly fine with this outcome. A monster suffered while being pushed out the door, and the pushees fucked up badly enough to do serious damage to their “cause”. Seems like a win/win to me.

  27. 27
    Betty Cracker says:

    It’s a sickening story, and Fallin & Co. sound like psychopaths. I hope the family of the inmate who was tortured to death today sues the ever-lovin’ shit out of the state and wins millions.

    I am 100% against the death penalty. It’s not worthy of a civilized society and degrades the humanity of everyone involved, including me as a taxpayer who involuntarily contributes to it.

    I can readily believe that most people who are on death row are depraved monsters, but the penalty is applied disproportionately to the poor and brown. It’s not a deterrent, and it’s absurdly expensive.

    The only thing it seems to accomplish is to give righteousness boners to ghouls like Erick Erickson. It’s shameful. Enough already.

  28. 28
    🌷 Martin says:

    @Howard Beale IV:

    And naturally, these assholes are too cheap/stupid to design a proper cocktail.

    Would you design a proper cocktail for them? Doing it isn’t hard. Getting someone to do it is hard.

    I can’t imagine DoJ won’t get involved in this.

    And a reminder that firing squad is still a legal form of execution in Oklahoma. If Fallin had any conservative stones, she’d have an NRA fundraiser auctioning off the right to shoot a negro.

  29. 29
    Suzanne says:

    @Dave: If you can see the torture and unnecessary death of a man as a “win-win”, perhaps it’s time for some self-reflection.

  30. 30
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Dave: No, you appear to be taking satisfaction in the pain of another person.

  31. 31
    Soonergrunt says:

    @Dave: I’d rather the people who work for me do their jobs in such a way as to not violate the constitutions of either my state or my country. Constitutions that they have sworn to uphold. The state acts in our name. It is our collective will that gives the state it’s authority, indeed the very purpose for its existence.
    And tonight, our employees violated every principle of their offices by torturing a man to death in our names and very likely intentionally violated several of the laws they are sworn to obey and uphold.
    That isn’t acceptable to me. It wasn’t when the clown Bush and his psychopath regent Cheney did it, and it shouldn’t be acceptable now.

  32. 32
    beth says:

    @Dave: So would you be willing to personally deliver this win/win? Would you shoot, rape, bury alive or stand by and administer drugs that produce a slow, painful and torturous death to another human being? Because if you’re okay with this outcome,you should be okay with doing the actual administering of vengeance yourself, right? After all, it’s a win/win!

  33. 33
    Howard Beale IV says:

    @🌷 Martin:

    Doing it isn’t hard. Getting someone to do it is hard.

    Kervorkian developed such a machine to take the human element/guesswork out of the process.

  34. 34
    GregB says:

    Seems executions are all the rage these days.

    Maybe Fallin can adopt this tried and true method that the anti-Assadists are rolling out in Syria.

  35. 35
    Tokyokie says:

    @scav: Are these drugs administered manually, or does somebody start an IV and hook it up to a machine that pushes the meds? Because if a nurse is doing an IV push and feels resistance, the protocol is to back off, not push harder. Maybe the line is occluded (doubtful, since the IV catheter was just put in place and nothing but the death drugs would have been sent down it), maybe a clamp hadn’t been released, whatever. But assuming Lockett had a vein structure like most 38-year-old guys have, to push those meds so fast that you blow a vein, you’d probably have to be whacking on the plunger with a ballpeen hammer.

    Nursing is all about helping patients regain their health. Do you really think a competent nurse would take a job killing people?

  36. 36
    Dave says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: Yes, I do take satisfaction in it. Because that person raped, shot and buried alive a teenage girl. I’m a strong proponent of “eye for an eye”. I’d prefer the state not be the one administering it, but a port in any storm, I say.

  37. 37
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Betty Cracker:

    I am 100% against the death penalty. It’s not worthy of a civilized society and degrades the humanity of everyone involved, including me as a taxpayer who involuntarily contributes to it.

    I can readily believe that most people who are on death row are depraved monsters, but the penalty is applied disproportionately to the poor and brown. It’s not a deterrent, and it’s absurdly expensive.

    QFT And I could go on for as long as my fingers can type about why this is true. I will leave it at two things. First, no verdict is ironclad. Someone might be innocent and, if that person is, society needs to try to make it up to the victim. The death penalty is irreversible. So you say, “Uh, like, sorry, dude.” to the tombstone? Second, courts shouldn’t be about revenge.

  38. 38
    Soonergrunt says:

    @Tokyokie: Oklahoma, like many states, does not use trained medical or nursing professionals to administer execution agents. Non-medical prison staff do it.

  39. 39
    🌷 Martin says:

    @Howard Beale IV: Yep, and it used the same cocktail that we used to execute people with that drug manufacturers won’t produce any longer. A new cocktail is needed, and I doubt anyone is willing to design one.

    Oklahoma will just dust off their electric chair, and if that doesn’t work, the firing squad. I doubt capital punishment is going to die on a hill in Oklahoma.

  40. 40
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Dave:

    I’d prefer the state not be the one administering it, but a port in any storm, I say.

    Who would you prefer administer the justice system?

  41. 41
    Suffern ACE says:

    If only she were governor of a state near New York. Her determination would be celebrated and she’d be presidential material. Sadly, she’s a woman from a far off state.

  42. 42
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Dave:

    I’m a strong proponent of “eye for an eye”.

    And once the whole world is blind, then everyone who was ever wronged will be satisfactorily avenged, right?

  43. 43
    🌷 Martin says:

    @Dave:

    I’m a strong proponent of “eye for an eye”.

    And when we execute an innocent person, should we execute the judge and jury that sentenced him? Somehow I suspect your ‘eye for an eye’ is applied very selectively and prejudicially.

  44. 44
    Dave says:

    @Soonergrunt: And this is exactly why I see it as a win/win. The state acted in a monstrous manner. I hope the lot of them go down in flames. I hope their incompetence hits the pause button on executions nationwide. I’d be even happier if it ended up stoking a national repeal of the death penalty.

    That being said, I’m glad they performed this fuck-up on a real beast.

  45. 45
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @🌷 Martin: From a technical point of view, if one is going to have a death penalty – which I strongly abhor – a firing squad or guillotine are probably the least inhumane options.

  46. 46
    Ash Can says:

    @Dave:

    Yes, I do take satisfaction in it.

    Then you are no more than a ghoul. And like I said, we have laws that protect our society from people like you. Unfortunately, they’re not robust enough to do it without fail, as Fallin and her merry band of band of miscreants showed us tonight in Oklahoma.

  47. 47
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:

    Second, courts shouldn’t be about revenge.

    Heck, if what people want is revenge, why is killing someone (relatively) quickly preferable to locking them up in an 8’x8′ cell for 50+ years until they finally die of natural causes? What’s worse, to be buried alive and die within 20 minutes (at worst) or to be buried alive for 50+ years?

  48. 48
    scav says:

    @Tokyokie: the incompetence charge is not leveled uniquely at whatever staff likely messed up the actual procedure. Don’t know their motivation. The entire workflow, for lack of a better term, on these pair of executions was politically influenced and distorted and hurried for political reasons at least in part due to European companies choosing not to make sales. So cheap political points are to made by showing those Europeans that they’re not the boss of us, so there, we’ll go to the grey market and use untested compounds and refuse to give details. I count that as governmental incompetence and indifference and it pisses me off more than operator error. They hurried this shit and made disasters more likely. See also Michigan.

  49. 49
    Tokyokie says:

    OK, I read the AP story, and it appears that Oklahoma, not being able to obtain pentobarbitol, used midazolam (Versed) instead. Midazolam is a benzodiazapine, usually used as an anti-anxiety medication, but it causes drowsiness and respiratory depression, and the dose Lockett was given is about 40 times as much as is considered safe. But, like pentobarbitol, midazolam is a vesicant. And extravasation of that sort of drug is kind of like getting an injection of Drano in your arm. And, according to Lockett’s lawyer, Lockett had large and prominent veins, the kind that are really hard to screw up.

  50. 50
    Citizen_X says:

    @Dave: You sound seriously fucking confused.

  51. 51
    sharl says:

    Sooner, did you see the post by the Wonkette Editrix There Will Be Blood: Oklahoma Democrats Will Fight Where They Stand? It’s a sympathetic and kind of bittersweet report by Rebecca Schoenkopf on activities and people connected to her mother, the Pottawatomie County Democratic Party chairperson. It’s written in the Editrix’s usual somewhat whimsical but often (IMO) insightful style, which one either loves or hates I think (usually the former for me).

    The reason I’m even bringing up that largely light-hearted article in comments to this grim story is that there was a dark undertone in that story, which manifested itself in the number of folks who quietly whispered to RS and crew that they were Dems, or at least sympathetic to some non-wingnut ideas, but they were afraid of their neighbors finding out.

    I know you’re in the big city, so to speak, but is it your impression that there are these silent and dark social forces in OK that enable the likes of your sadistic, homicidal governor and many other state leaders? I found Schoenkopf’s account fascinating, and in turns hopeful, spooky, and depressing; its darker aspects were kind of reminiscent of that short-lived TV show American Gothic.

  52. 52
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Mnemosyne: If one is actually innocent, the cell allows the state to offer reparations. Nothing can actually make up for an undeserved stay in the hell of the US prison system, but, at least if the person is alive, we can try to do it.

  53. 53
    RareSanity says:

    @Dave:

    Yes, I do take satisfaction in it.

    What’s really depressing is that you probably don’t have the slightest clue why this is not something to be proud of.

  54. 54
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Citizen_X: You are actually very kind.

  55. 55
    trollhattan says:

    This Fallin person sounds nice. I smell new girlfriend for Don Sterling!

  56. 56
    Dave says:

    @Ash Can: GFY. Society doesn’t need to be protected from “people like me”. I don’t rob, rape or murder. I don’t want to be the one executing people, as Beth suggested above. But I have a hard time getting the needle on my outrage meter unstuck on this case. I’d imagine being raped, shot and buried alive was unpleasant, too.

  57. 57
    Howard Beale IV says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: I think being strapped to a tac nuke would work quite well-one big massive POOF.

  58. 58
    Tokyokie says:

    @Soonergrunt: Frankly, using non-medical professionals to do this sort of thing is, in and of itself, cruel and unusual punishment.

    I’m going out on a limb here, but the chump who established the IV, worried that he wouldn’t get the stick, probably used a 24-gauge catheter, the smallest, and therefore the easiest to stick. Except fluid can’t be administered as quickly with a small-bore catheter, and the chump doing the push (or the prison official operating the machine), just did it as hard as possible, increasing the pressure to the point of blowing out Lockett’s vein.

    And the worst part of it is that nobody apparently noticed what had happened for several minutes. Using non-medical staff to carry out medical procedures. Yeah, that sounds like a good idea. And anybody can fly a jetliner, too.

  59. 59
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Dave: This is one of the most appalling stories I have read in years. I don’t think the death penalty is proper in any circumstance (variety of reasons ranging from philosophical to practical). I certainly don’t think that it should be carried out until and unless all legal formalities have been observed, and i sure as hell do not approve of torturing a person to death for any fucking reason. YMMV. But you also may be an vicious asshole. Who knows this late at night.

  60. 60
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Howard Beale IV: That would be very expensive though.

  61. 61
    RareSanity says:

    @Dave:

    I don’t rob, rape or murder.

    No.

    You just cheer people like the Governor of Oklahoma on, as they wipe their ass with the rule of law, all so you can get another sadistic vengeance boner.

  62. 62
    Tokyokie says:

    @scav: I agree that a combination of incompetence and cowardice had to extend throughout the political apparatus to bring about this dreadful result. But as a nursing student, I find the level of inability to perform critical tasks and the lack of institutional concern about that inability to be shocking. Is it too much to ask that the people administering lethal drugs actually have training in administering drugs? Apparently.

    In a sane world, Fallin would resign tomorrow. Sadly, Oklaoma hasn’t been sane for a long time.

  63. 63
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Dave: Very few descriptions of utopias include ghouls. In fairness, very few include lawyers either. And,damnit, More was a lawyer himself.

  64. 64
    pseudonymous in nc says:

    It’s all fucking brutal. It’s brutal and pathetic and savagery wrapped in a shiny wrapper.

    “Lethal injection” is a travesty of medicine that actively harms people who could benefit from painkillers and anaesthetics but can’t get them because the importers and distributors won’t send them anywhere near state-sanctioned murderers who are on record procuring them from back alleys and dodgy pushers, and now declare their suppliers to be a fucking state secret.

  65. 65
    Soonergrunt says:

    @sharl: The funny thing is that I see more cars with Obama/Biden bumper stickers than with either McCain/Palin or Romney/Ryan stickers driving to and from work.
    Of course, I see a LOT more McCain/Palin stickers than Romney/Ryan stickers. Make of that what you will.
    I joked once that being a liberal Democrat in Oklahoma required a kind of political gaydar–that we had ways of finding each other without overt behavior. That’s what it takes here. Southern conservatism has an element of casual bullying and violence to it. While I can take care of myself in a fight if it were to come to that, there are a LOT of right wingers around here who think that I and others like me are trying to destroy this country anyway we can. And many of them may be carrying guns.

  66. 66
    Dave says:

    @Citizen_X: I’m not confused, I’m honest. I’m opposed to the death penalty because, as Betty Cracker said above, it’s disproportionally applied. I’m not opposed to killing people who need killing, I’m opposed to the flawed system we’re using to administer that punishment.

    But I don’t believe in God, or any afterlife. We’ve got one run-through on this planet, and it breaks my heart to think of some poor kid cut down in her prime by an animal. So if the best we can do to administer justice is to lock him away for 50 years, then so be it. If that’s the law, and we all agree on it, I’ll agree to it too. But right now, we’re using this other system that says we’re going to take a life in some situations. And this is a situation where I’m happy to “root for damage”. I’m glad the death penalty crowd will take a big hit for this, and I’m glad that if this fuck-up had to happen, it happened to someone who deserved it.

  67. 67
    Suzanne says:

    @RareSanity: The sadism that our culture promotes should be a sign to all of us that we have lost our way.

    Pro-life. Pro-liberty. My ass.

  68. 68
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:

    That is a major side benefit of my preferred “lock ’em up for life” punishment, yes. But I never really understand the pro-death penalty’s claim that death is so much worse than being locked up for the rest of your life. IIRC, at one point Ted Bundy claimed that he fled his trial in Colorado and went to Florida because he preferred execution to being imprisoned for life.

    So why exactly are pro-death penalty people in favor of giving murderers like Ted Bundy the quick end those murderers want?

  69. 69
    scav says:

    @Tokyokie: Oh, as I learn more who that system actually engaged to carry things out, the angrier I get.
    The institutional framework that can’t be bothered to hire competant people to perform tasks of this nature is profoundly morally tainted.

  70. 70
    Hungry Joe says:

    @Dave: It’s less about him than it is about us. We did this. We, as a society, perpetrated this monstrous act …

    … Though any taking of a human life is monstrous. ANY. Had Hitler been captured alive, I’d have liked — and I’m Jewish, if you’re a record keeper — to have seen him locked up forever. Because that’s the kind of society I’d like to live in: one that does not kill people. EVER. There’s a train of Jewish thought that says, when you kill someone, you obliterate an entire universe. I like to pair that with a line from Raymond Chandler: Murder is an act of infinite cruelty.

    Infinite cruelty. And taking pleasure, or satisfaction, or whatever, from the suffering and death of another, no matter what he has done, is … well, figure it out. I find your attitude callous, cold, repulsive.

  71. 71
    pseudonymous in nc says:

    @Dave:

    That being said, I’m glad they performed this fuck-up on a real beast.

    Are you volunteering to throttle the next guy yourself? I think there’s likely to be a job opening in Oklahoma for state-approved murderer over the next few days. Otherwise, fuck the fuck off.

    This is a situation where I’m happy to “root for damage”.

    No, you don’t get it. You own this just as much as the fuckwit governor of OK and the idiot GOP voters of OK and the half-trained fuckers who did this. It’s all yours. Enjoy your little bit of culpability.

    Everyone else: donations to Amnesty are not wasted.

  72. 72
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Dave: Yet you are happy that a human being died in agony? Sad.

  73. 73
    sharl says:

    @Soonergrunt: Thanks, and make sure to keep your “libdar” fully tuned and functional.

  74. 74
    RareSanity says:

    @Suzanne:

    Usually when I hear someone literally cheering for the killing of another person, I ask them, “What if evidence, or a new technology, gets discovered that shows them to be innocent? What are you going to say to that family, after you cheered the killing of their loved one?”

    There have been entirely too many cases of poorly handled witnesses and evidence, for anyone to be 100% sure about killing anyone else after a trial. There could have been some technicality, to keep some bit of exculpatory evidence out of a trial, that a jury might never hear or see.

    But they should then decide whether or not that person lives or dies?

    It’s just insane…

  75. 75
    Citizen_X says:

    @Dave:

    I’m not confused, I’m honest.

    Fine then: I hope you get what you claim to want, that the death penalty comes to a deserved end, and so you never again get your jollies over the torture and death of some (other) sadist. Satisfied?

  76. 76
    Suzanne says:

    @RareSanity: Pretty soon, we’ll be able to flee to Europe and be welcomed as refugees.

  77. 77
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @RareSanity: I think that I am good enough at my job that I could easily get juries to make that decision. I would not and haven’t ever done, but it doesn’t take much more than an average lawyer to get a death penalty at trial.

  78. 78
    trollhattan says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    Right. And it’s not as though you…we can execute Ted Bundy thirty times (or whatever the total was) and by the way, once they’re executed they’re no longer available to clear other cases. Small point I know, but there are families who will never learn what happened to their missing relative because the one person who could tell them was killed by the state.

    Once I became aware of the antics of George W and Gonzo in running the Texas death house I was frightened out of my wits as to what he might do with an entire country. Dodged a bullet there, didn’t we?

  79. 79
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @trollhattan:

    Dodged a bullet there, didn’t we?

    Did we?

  80. 80
    RareSanity says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:

    It’s not a blanket statement, and I don’t think it happens regularly…but there’s still a chance.

    Knowing that it’s more likely than not, that innocent people have been put to death in this country, just disgusts me.

  81. 81
    trollhattan says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:

    Don’t you dare rob me of my dream. Remember how President Gore’s Bin Laden desk broke up that hijacking plan? Whew, close one there.

  82. 82
    trollhattan says:

    @RareSanity:

    When Perry was running for president I yelled at my teebee during every debate “Somebody ask him how he liked executing an innocent man!” And of course, the audience would have applauded and his poll numbers would trend up.

  83. 83
    Jacks mom says:

    Lots of stuff going on in OK. Torture a black man, offend a Native American. Are they wanting to secede? Is there a petition?

  84. 84
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @RareSanity: My point was that my skill matters in this. On which side do I appear? Who gets the death penalty and who does not? It is is inherently unfair.

  85. 85
    Anne Laurie says:

    @Dave:

    Society doesn’t need to be protected from “people like me”.

    Well, try looking at it this way: I, personally, would like to be a better person than the guy who rapes & murders & tortures. That’s why I don’t want the state to murder & torture people — even very bad reprehensible people! — in my name.

    It’s not that I don’t have a strong eye-for-an-eye impulse myself, it’s that once I decide *I* get to decide someone else ought to be tortured to death (for justice), I’ve already lowered my personal standards. Why should I do that, just for the sake of the sort of very bad person who murders and tortures? Why should I trust the sort of person who would volunteer to do that for me?

  86. 86
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @trollhattan:

    And of course, the audience would have applauded and his poll numbers would trend up.

    Which audience? The GOP one? or the general election audience?

  87. 87
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Anne Laurie: No. Part of being in society is that we let society determine penalties. OTOH, we decided long ago that the shit that went down in OK was not acceptable,

  88. 88
    Arclite says:

    @Dave:

    I hope he didn’t suffer more than Stephanie Nieman. That would be an outrage!

    Because two wrongs make a right?

  89. 89
    Tokyokie says:

    @scav: That’s what gets me as well.

  90. 90
    Roger Moore says:

    @🌷 Martin:

    A new cocktail is needed, and I doubt anyone is willing to design one.

    And whatever cocktail they come up with there will be problems. The reason the original cocktail is in short supply is because more civilized countries are refusing to sell us the drugs in it so that they won’t be used in executions. The same problem will apply to whatever other cocktail we come up with. That’s a big reason for the secrecy measures Oklahoma is taking. They want to be able to keep using the new cocktail, and revealing its composition will make its components hard to get.

    If there are going to be executions, they should be with something really simple. I’ve suggested asphyxiation by breathing pure nitrogen. It’s well known to be painless- going into potentially oxygen-poor environments is extremely dangerous precisely because you can pass out and die before you realize there’s anything wrong- and it’s obviously dead simple. I agree with the people who say the reason we aren’t doing something like that is because a lot of advocates of capital punishment want it to be as ghastly as they can get away with as part of the desire for revenge.

  91. 91
    srv says:

    If a dude is going to suffer through all of eternity for his sin, why does your faith require eeking out some satisfaction in his last minutes?

    Don’t have enough faith that God will finish the job properly?

  92. 92
    Don K says:

    Every time someone is executed in the U.S. (whether botched or not, but especially when botched), I’m proud to live in Michigan, the first state to abolish the death penalty, the first English-speaking government to abolish the death penalty, and a state that has never executed anyone since becoming a state (a distinction it shares with Alaska and Hawaii).

  93. 93
  94. 94
    Anne Laurie says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: I don’t disagree. Yes, society should determine penalties, and insofar as I can vote, I want my society to be one that doesn’t execute people, especially by torture.

    It’s not because I feel sorry for people who torture/kill other people — although Goddess knows “our” legal standards for establishing guilt are something well short of failproof — it’s that I don’t want to be, even at one legal remove, the sort of person who tortures/kills other people. Totally personal. There are many more logical arguments against the practice, but honestly, as a religious individual that’s where I draw my line.

  95. 95
    Suzanne says:

    The purpose of correctional facilities is to hold people away from general society until their behavior can be corrected. NOT TO GIVE PEOPLE WHAT THEY “DESERVE”. Not to make victims and thief families feel better. There is no reason, NONE, for capital punishment to exist in a civilized society.

  96. 96
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Anne Laurie: Just to be careful…. I want it to be clear that I oppose the death penalty in any and all circumstances. The death penalty is just a way of trying to live out a revenge fantasy that can never actually happen.

  97. 97
    JasonF says:

    @Dave: I like to think we should hold the state to a higher standard than we do our murderers. I don’t see how you simultaneously say this man was reprehensible enough that we need to kill him and say that his actions should shape the baseline of what is moral.

  98. 98
    Anne Laurie says:

    @Don K:

    I’m proud to live in Michigan, the first state to abolish the death penalty, the first English-speaking government to abolish the death penalty, and a state that has never executed anyone since becoming a state (a distinction it shares with Alaska and Hawaii).

    Amen, brother!

    I was an East Lansing resident, in my early twenties, when Donald Gene Miller killed (at least) four women. His first victim worked in the same building; I didn’t know her, but my supervisor did. The unwinding of that particular horror, not least the way the victims were slandered by their acquaintances and supposed ‘friends’ before Miller was caught, literally, red-handed, is when my personal ethics about judicial execution were set.

    Miller was allowed to plead to lesser offenses in return for leading authorities to the bodies of his victims, and explaining how he’d killed them. Since this was the 1970s, and his victims were women he’d dated (women who trusted him, because they met him at their very conservative church functions!), even people who knew them were all-too-willing to speculate that “they must’ve done something to deserve it”. When the first victim disappeared, my supervisor wanted to set up a fund to help find her body, and she was shocked how many people absolutely believed this very shy, repressed, Christian lady must’ve gone looking for rough sex, or worse. As it turned out, Miller was just a paranoid schizophrenic who didn’t seem to fully understand why he did the terrible things he did, but the “weak-sister liberal prosecutors” who let him plead down at least let three families properly mourn their murdered daughters.

    Keeping Miller under lock & key for the rest of his natural life seemed at least as horrible a punishment, for a simple maniac whose main non-lethal pleasures involved stuff like camping and driving big trucks, as putting him down like a diseased pet. And it had the sterling advantage that it didn’t reduce “us” to the same murderous level as Donald Gene Miller.

    Story at the time was that the two survivors of Miller’s insane rage — a teenage girl he’d stabbed and raped, and her younger brother who was seriously wounded when he tried to protect her; Miller was apprehended when she ran naked & bleeding into the street, screaming for help — preferred Miller’s permanent incarceration to the death penalty. Should “we” be less civilized than they were?

  99. 99
    JaneE says:

    @Dave: The state of Oklahoma acts in place of its citizens, to legally punish crimes. Our laws say that cruel punishments are not legal. Even if the man deserved to die cruelly for his crimes, the state does not have the legal authority to torture him to death. People feel contaminated by association, because their legal representative, the state, just did something that was really loathsome, and if it had been done by an individual (like the man executed, say) it would be worthy of the death penalty. It isn’t that he didn’t deserve to be tortured, but that we don’t deserve to be made to torture him.

  100. 100
    Ruckus says:

    Dave doesn’t want to be better than a killer. He wants to be just like him.
    I don’t. I believe we are supposed to be better. I believe we are supposed to evolve to less like cave men and live in a society that actually values life. I’m not sure I’m in the majority in this country. And that saddens me immensely.

  101. 101
    A Humble Lurker says:

    @Dave:

    That being said, I’m glad they performed this fuck-up on a real beast.

    And if he hadn’t been a beast?
    Let’s say I agree with your whole ‘eye for an eye’ bit. Do you have confidence that the ones aiming the gun will hit the right target? That the right eyes are plucked? And then if not, eyes will have to be plucked for THAT injustice. If there’s no way to no if such a thing is justified (and there isn’t) it’s best to just. Not. Do it.

  102. 102
    Joey Maloney says:

    @Howard Beale IV: I just went off on a bizarre revenge fantasy daydream where Fallin goes on a trade junket to the EU and one morning as she’s heading down to the buffet at her Amsterdam hotel she’s surrounded by large men in uniforms. “Mary Fallin? We have a warrant for your arrest. The charge is crimes against humanity and depraved indifference to human suffering, for which you will answer at the international court of justice.” And they cuff her and bundle her off into a police van that speeds away.

    Except in the van they tell her, “We have good news and bad news. The good news is we are not police and you have not been charged with a crime. The bad news is we’re just out for revenge.” And they take her to a warehouse where she gets strapped to a gurney and the last thing she feels is the needle sliding in. And of course it’s all recorded and the video file gets uploaded to Wikileaks within the hour.

    Yes, it’s a slow morning at work. Why do you ask?

  103. 103
    Phoenician in a time of Romans says:

    @dollared: Soonergrunt, I know there’s a book called “What’s the Matter with Kansas” and all that shit, but I still don’t get it. Why is it sooooooo fucking important to these people to commit judicial murder?

    They want to kill people. If only by proxy. They get off by labelling someone “the bad guy” and then imagining him dying in pain and terror.

  104. 104
    Phoenician in a time of Romans says:

    @Dave: I hope he didn’t suffer more than Stephanie Nieman. That would be an outrage!

    So you let the state standard of morality be set by rapists and murderers like Lockett?

  105. 105
    Phoenician in a time of Romans says:

    @Dave: I’m not opposed to killing people who need killing,

    Neither was Osama bin Laden. He had his definition; you have yours.

  106. 106
    karen marie says:

    @Dave: If the point is that he should suffer, keeping him alive in prison would seem to be the way to go. And if you approve of botched executions, can I assume you would approve of dismemberment or burning? People like you disgust me.

  107. 107
    Dave says:

    @Phoenician in a time of Romans: Remind me again in which jail Osama Bin Laden is being held? Are you sad that he’s at the bottom of the ocean and not in a supermax somewhere?

  108. 108
    Johannes says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: the problem–and it’s not often that burnspbesq and I end up arguing on the same side–is that the death penalty is specifically referred to several times in the body of the Constitution, for example the 14th Amendment (“nor shall any state deprive a person of life…..without due process of law”), so the notion that the general provisions of the 8th Amendment override those specific mentions is not strong from an interpretative perspective, whether textualist or originalist. You have to scrap the text to get there. That led to fun and games like Lochnerism and Dred Scott.

    Now, unlike burns (I think–his comment isn’t clear on this point), I loathe the death penalty–I’ve done two dp cases and it’s a rigged system that Kafka would weep at, so I do think it is unconstitutional as applied in this country. I’m with Jed Rakoff on the subject as regards innocence and lack of safeguards too.

    It’s also barbaric, and horrible public policy.

  109. 109
    A Humble Lurker says:

    @Dave: I am.

  110. 110
    Donalbain says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: Being humane is not even close to being on the list of priorities.

  111. 111
    Sherparick says:

    @Dave: He was an awful man who committed an awful crime. But in seeking revenge, did not Governor, State Legislature, and the citizens who elect them and support them reduced themselves to the same level as this sociopathic, evil man? In your enjoyment of his suffering, whose values are you celebrating, his or Christ’s? What is the difference between you and him?

  112. 112
    Ksmiami says:

    @Tokyokie: then the next time Oklahoma has a bad tornado or flood or whatever just deal off these monsters

  113. 113
    fidelio says:

    @Tokyokie: Have we heard from Jesus about that? I know, I know, he might have missed her in the crowd, but even so I’d like some confirmation.

  114. 114
    libarbarian says:

    Fuck Oklahoma. They’re like Texas’s defective mini-me. Everything that sucks about Texas and none of the stuff that doesn’t*

    Plus it’s the shittiest goddamn musical ever made. “I’m just a girl who can’t say no to going down on strangers in my surry with the fringe on the top!”.

    *BBQ is the only thing about Texas that is “Good”. Everything else maxes out at “doesn’t suck’.

  115. 115
    Manyakitty says:

    @Suzanne: Or subjected to her own punishment.

  116. 116
    fidelio says:

    You know it’s a red-letter day when Mississippi manages to do better than Oklahoma at that whole common decency thing. In Mississippi the state supreme court managed to find the gumption to say Michelle Byrom deserved a new trial instead of an execution date. (Details here, courtesy of NMissCommenter.)

  117. 117
    Paul in KY says:

    @mai naem: Agree that there are many 100% ways to get the job done quickly. Seems the State places a premium on getting the condemned not to thrash around any & the drugs they use (at least 1 of them) is designed to do that.

    I would just do the pistol shot to back of head.

  118. 118
    Paul in KY says:

    @Soonergrunt: IMO, the only ‘just’ sentence for some truly heinous crime is the death penalty. It should be quick, though, & this one was comepletely unacceptable.

  119. 119
    Elizabelle says:

    Haven’t read the thread — will do so — but suspect the death penalty is more for the benefit of “law and order” politicians than the general public.

    Abolish it. Life in prison is plenty. Without chance of parole, where advisable.

    I wonder if the doctor (or others) in charge of the botched execution will ever have much to say about last night. Has to have affected him/her.

  120. 120
    Paul in KY says:

    @Mnemosyne: Ted Bundy was lying his ass off on that one. He did not want to be executed.

  121. 121
    Paul in KY says:

    @Roger Moore: That would be a good idea. Much simpler, etc. than this ‘cocktail’ they try to administer.

  122. 122
    Paul in KY says:

    @srv: I don’t think any of that ‘afterlife’ happens. If punishment is to be received, it must be doled out here on Earth.

  123. 123
    HailTheDeathPenalty says:

    Yeah yeah all legal stuff about you dont like the death penalty but remember that 19 year old girl that was shot and then buried alive and what about the parents, friends, grandparents, uncle, aunt, and cousins that lost somebody for a stupid reason. Yeah you didnt think about that did you i swear this damn country is so damn sissified that it is revolting.

  124. 124
    HailTheDeathPenalty says:

    Yeah yeah all legal stuff about you dont like the death penalty but remember that 19 year old girl that was shot and then buried alive and what about the parents, friends, grandparents, uncle, aunt, and cousins that lost somebody for a stupid reason. Yeah you didnt think about that did you i swear this damn country is so damn sissified that it is revolting.

  125. 125
    RaflW says:

    @Tokyokie:

    Oklahoma tortured the man to death. And if that doesn’t fit the constitutional definition of “cruel and unusual punishment,” then the term has no meaning.

    Probably got said upthread, but I’ll risk repetition to say that we can thank Bush/Cheney for having lost all sense of meaning for “cruel and unusual” and for numbing the public to the horrors of torture.

  126. 126
    Jack the Second says:

    Obviously, the solution is to privatize executions.

    And another thing, what the hell has happened to American manufacturing when we can’t even manufacture our own murder-drugs? Every time this comes up, it’s a bunch of stuff about how this country and that country won’t supply us with our murder drugs anymore. Why isn’t there a Murder Drugs, Inc, employing Americans, manufacturing our murder drugs domestically?

  127. 127
    Mike in NC says:

    @Jack the Second: Excellent suggestion. Or maybe we just need to stuff a bunch of our Death Row prisoners into containers and ship them to China, where they know how to efficiently execute people. Outsourcing!

  128. 128
    sparrow says:

    @Dave: What if tomorrow we unearth evidence that OOPS, that guy actually was innocent? It’s happened before, the latest numbers suggest it’s an uncomfortably high percentage (4%, but more importantly, not zero), so are you going to feel bad about torturing the guy then? Why? Suddenly you’re *not* a monster for torturing a guy that ‘deserves’ it? And how is that different from a murderer torturing his victim because he too believes they “deserved” it? Keep away form me you blood thirsty lunatic.

  129. 129
    Mnemosyne says:

    By the way, Lockett’s two friends who were with him that night for the botched robbery participated in raping Stephanie Neiman and her friend and helped him bury Neiman after Lockett shot her. (link) For the death penalty fans here, any particular reason why only Lockett deserved to die? If what horrifies you is that she was buried alive after being shot, shouldn’t all three of the men be executed? Why pick only one of the three for execution?

    That’s one of the things that bothers me about the way the death penalty is applied — even if there are multiple participants in a crime, usually only one of them gets sentenced to death. That makes it look a whole lot like what the courts are interested in is making an example of someone, not even-handed justice.

  130. 130
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Paul in KY:

    Bundy didn’t want to be executed, but he preferred it to living out his entire life in prison.

    There are sometimes cases where the prisoner actually does want to be executed, though. I remember hearing about one case (in Texas, of course) where a woman killed her two children and then tried to commit suicide. She failed to kill herself, but the state of Texas obligingly took care of it for her.

  131. 131
    sparrow says:

    @Paul in KY: In this rare instance I agree with the Catholic church in which I was brought up. The death penalty is only acceptable in a society or situation where safely locking someone away for life is not possible. Since such a scenario basically doesn’t exist in the modern world, unless you find yourself in a Lord of the Flies scenario, it should not happen. It is immoral and degrading, and it makes you no better than the “monster” you execute. When correction is not possible, the only alternative is humane captivity.

  132. 132
    Interrobang says:

    I’ll go on record as saying I wish Osama bin Laden were in a nice secure jail somewhere than dead and allegedly at the bottom of the ocean somewhere. I’m not completely uncoupled from reality, but the whole “we killed the bad guy and then just coincidentally got rid of the body so nobody can check” thing is always a fishy narrative, to my mind. Not that I’m saying I don’t believe he’s dead, just that the people responsible didn’t do a very good job of their narrative, I guess.

    I actually had a chance to test my anti-death-penalty stance in real life — a relative of mine was stabbed some godawful number of times by a neighbour of hers. He was tried and convicted, and although Canada doesn’t have legal executions, a number of my family members would have been in favour if we did. I don’t think so. Why should I be just as bad as the sick schmuck who killed my relative, stole her credit card, then went to a store and used his own points card on a purchase with her stolen credit card? (This is not a bright guy.) It wouldn’t solve anything, and would just make me as morally questionable as him (although not as dumb).

    I also favour keeping serial killers alive as long as possible, and getting them talking. Learning more about serial killers means catching more of them, and preventing offenders who are escalating toward serial-killerdom from getting all the way there.

  133. 133
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Johannes: I would argue that the proper “due process” for the death penalty cannot be designed. Therefore, while it may be notionally Constitutional, there is no Constitutionally valid way of applying it.

  134. 134
    kindness says:

    Soonergrunt, what is the deal with Fallon’s daughter? Is she that clueless or is she intentionally whacking the hornet’s nest with her American Indian stick?

  135. 135
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Interrobang:

    The only reason I kind of wish they had captured bin Laden alive would be to shut the conspiracy theorists up. But I also wouldn’t necessarily consider that an “execution” any more than I would consider a bank robber getting shot by police in the middle of the robbery to be an “execution.”

  136. 136
    Another Holocene Human says:

    @libarbarian: Oklahoma does indeed suck smelly bison balls but blaming Sooners for that horrible musical is a bridge too far for me.

    Is St. Louis responsible for “Ding ding ding goes the trolley”?

    Is San Francisco liable for the Rice-A-Roni jingle?

  137. 137
    Phoenician in a time of Romans says:

    @Dave: Are you sad that he’s at the bottom of the ocean and not in a supermax somewhere?

    A fitting end for a man self-righteous about killing people he thought needed killing…

  138. 138
    Betty Cracker says:

    @Interrobang: I’m sorry about your relative. And good for you for sticking with your principles.

    Now, if someone killed one of my loved ones, I have no trouble imagining that I’d want to murder that person with my bare hands, and I think it’s perfectly understandable that a murdered person’s family feels that way; I don’t think it’s a blot upon their character — it’s a very human way to feel, to want vengeance.

    Where I draw the line is giving that impulse force of law. That’s how they do it in Iran — family members get to pardon or approve executions. I don’t want to be part of that kind of a society, and to the extent that I am, I find it shameful.

  139. 139
    jonas says:

    Lemme guess — the governor and all these judges are staunchly “pro-life.” Thought so.

  140. 140
    Paul in KY says:

    @Mnemosyne: I still say he was lying. He would have preferred to live his sorry life in prison.

  141. 141
    Paul in KY says:

    @sparrow: We’ll just have to agree to disagree on it.

  142. 142
    colby says:

    @Dave: Thinking that the State should at least match murderers for cruelty is pretty weird.

  143. 143
    Soonergrunt says:

    @kindness: Both. SATSQ

  144. 144
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Paul in KY:

    The main reason I think he was probably (kinda) truthful is that one of the main characteristics of serial killers is that they always need to be in control. It’s what they get off on. So someone like Bundy would have hated being in lockdown 24/7 for his entire natural life, with every aspect of his life under someone else’s control.

    Take a look at his Wikipedia entry — he could barely stand being kept in county jail pre-trial and made several escape attempts before he was successful. Ironically, life in prison probably would have been much greater torture for Bundy than the death penalty was.

  145. 145
    Betty Cracker says:

    @Mnemosyne: True, but as the clock was ticking down, Bundy played for time, telling investigators he knew the whereabouts of additional victims and offering info for stays of execution. He was a cowardly little bastard to the end. Though I opposed his execution, I am almost sorry there’s no hell for him to rot in. He was a monster.

  146. 146
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Betty Cracker:

    True, but as the clock was ticking down, Bundy played for time, telling investigators he knew the whereabouts of additional victims and offering info for stays of execution.

    Of course he did, because doing that put him back in control and forced law enforcement to dance to his tune if they wanted the information, which was exactly what he wanted.

    My point is that, from his POV, executing him was probably much preferred to locking him up for 50+ years and not giving him the attention and control he craved.

  147. 147
    Epicurus says:

    @Soonergrunt:

    Revenge is not morally or lawfully the purpose of the state.

    This! There is really only one “justification” for the death penalty, and that is revenge. There is no deterrent effect, as you are expecting irrational/psychopathic people to behave rationally. Also, too, I don’t recall any executions bringing back the victim of the original crime. It’s a sick, disgusting thing to do, and I’m sure it will continue long after I have left the premises. So many “Christians” who would be willing to kill someone for the crime of committing murder. And they worry about “Sharia law”?? Please. Though I am not a believer, it thrills me no end to imagine Fallin facing her Maker; she’s going to have a lot to answer for.

  148. 148
    suncha says:

    @mai naem: I can think of all kinds of drugs to use that most addicts use and overdose on. Morphine, heroine….ect.

  149. 149
    suncha says:

    @mai naem: I can think of all kinds of drugs to use that most addicts use and overdose on. Morphine, heroine….ect.

  150. 150
    Anthony Rhody says:

    These pro-death penalty people either try to argue that innocent people are never ever executed or that it is okay if that happens once in a great while. Either way, they have blood on their hands. I pray for them.

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