Category Archives: Capital Punishment

Brutally slashing public service jobs in the execution sector

The Governor of the US state of Oregon declares he will not execute any more prisoners:

The change of heart comes as a surprise for a governor who twice before — in his first term as governor — allowed executions to go forward. Despite his personal opposition to the death penalty, Kitzhaber said he was upholding the will of the people in allowing the 1996 execution of Douglas Franklin Wright and the 1997 execution of Harry Charles Moore.

“I have regretted those choices ever since,” he said in a prepared statement. “Both because of my own deep personal convictions about capital punishment and also because in practice, Oregon has an expensive and unworkable system that fails to meet basic standards of justice.”

The announcement is a win for death penalty activists who had asked Kitzhaber to declare a moratorium on executions until the state conducts a thorough review of its death penalty system.

Kitzhaber said his decision is not out of compassion for Haugen or other inmates. But the death penalty is not handed down fairly — some inmates on death row have committed similar crimes as those who are serving life sentences, he said. It is a criticism Haugen himself has often made and cites as a reason that he has volunteered to die, protesting the unfairness of the death penalty.

But without the killings by the occasionally reliable state, how will the victims of terrible murders be brought back to life and the wrongs committed by serious criminals be undone? How will the victims’ families get to feel the brief satisfaction of enjoying another person’s death? What about the jobs of the hardworking executioners?

A sad end to a beautiful bloodthirsty tradition.

Won’t somebody think of the executioners?

So much of the liberal world is up in arms over the proposed execution of another likely innocent person in the southern US – temporarily and at-the-last-second delayed by the Supreme Court moments ago, but only on hold: Davis may well be killed in the next few hours anyway – as if they want the country to stop executing innocent people.

That’s just how anti-job the left is. What about the executioners and their families? What else are they supposed to do? If you’ve spent a career building up the expertise to hold someone down while someone else injects them with a poison, and then the state stops killing prisoners, what other jobs are you qualified for? Where do you put “dragging corpses out to the incinerator” on your resume? I suppose the left just wants these people on the dole, sucking down a government payment for doing NOTHING, instead of a government payment for killing people.

Why won’t somebody think of the executioners?

Pakistan, 2011, seriously

Confessed murderer given a garland of roses by barristers, and a platform to incite the mob by police – the “law” apparently being represented in Islamabad by people so filled with religious extremism that they think homicide is something to celebrate.

If Pakistan doesn’t want to be regarded as a miserable, dangerous backwater filled with nutcases, the sane parts of the country had better stage a counter-protest damned quickly:

More than 20,000 people rallied in Pakistan’s southern city of Karachi on Sunday, police said, to protest against proposed amendments to blasphemy laws…

The blasphemy law allows the death penalty for defamation of the Prophet Mohammed and was used recently to sentence a Christian woman to death.

Banners at the event included some supporting Mr Taseer’s presumed killer, police commando Malik Mumtaz Hussain Qadri, who has been praised by religious conservatives for shooting his boss outside an Islamabad coffee shop.

“Mumtaz Qadri is not a murderer, he is a hero,” said one banner in the national Urdu language.

What goes on in a person’s head that they could think someone should be executed for blasphemy? And there were 20,000 such people at that rally? What year do these fanatics think it is?

UPDATE: Perhaps it’s fortunate that, if they’re going to sentence someone to death for blasphemy, they’ve picked a victim who’ll inspire sympathy in parts of the rest of the world that wouldn’t have cared otherwise: a young Christian woman. Does anyone seriously think the same pressure would be being brought to bear by the West if she was an atheist?

ELSEWHERE: In the other nutcase-shooting-politician story, Fox News works hard to protect Sarah Palin from any criticism arising from the fact she called for the attacked politician to be “put in the crosshairs” before she was shot.

On Boing Boing – Why the [shootings] Mean That We Must Support My Politics.

ELSEWHERE #2: In moderate religious people standing up against the extremists news – Muslims in Egypt act as a human shield to protect Christians from the bombs of the fanatics.

BACK ON PAKISTAN: They’ve been unable to find a lawyer to prosecute the murder of Taseer. With the police openly supporting the murderer, I’m not surprised few are lining up to be put in the quite literal firing line – but isn’t it the state’s job to prosecute murder? How is “not prosecuting it” even an option? Why don’t they have a state prosecutor whose job it is to enforce the law? What kind of legal tradition do they have in that country, anyway?

Death penalty developments

Australia this week strengthened its opposition to the death penalty, the Senate passing the Crimes Legislation Amendment (Torture Prohibition and Death Penalty Abolition) Bill 2009, preventing any State from trying to reintroduce capital punishment.

Which is much better news than that from Taiwan, where a principled minister who refused to execute the inconsistently convicted prisoners on death row was forced to resign by her party. Apparently there’s a way for Taiwan to go before it joins the civilised world and abolishes this barbaric and unjust relic of the past.

One step forward, one step backwards.