Deputy: Yeah, in Dallas they do it [hanging] in a barn outside town.
Judge Roy Bean: Like they was ashamed of it? Why, l’d rather give up hanging. No, sir. The law says that the guilty shall be punished. And l say it shall be done in broad daylight… in the open, not sneaking around. Like you was the ones that was guilty, not them.
The Life and Times of Judge Roy Bean 1972
Harry Callahan: Well I’m all broken up about that man’s rights
Dirty Harry 1971
There are some serious arguments one can make against the death penalty, Conservatives against the Death Penalty notes the expense of the appeals process , The Innocence Project argues that it captures the innocent as well as the guilty and the Catechism of the Catholic Church while noting that a state has “the right and duty to inflict penalties commensurate with the gravity of the crime” says the following about the death penalty:
2267 The traditional teaching of the Church does not exclude, presupposing full ascertainment of the identity and responsibility of the offender, recourse to the death penalty, when this is the only practicable way to defend the lives of human beings effectively against the aggressor. “If, instead, bloodless means are sufficient to defend against the aggressor and to protect the safety of persons, public authority should limit itself to such means, because they better correspond to the concrete conditions of the common good and are more in conformity to the dignity of the human person. “Today, in fact, given the means at the State’s disposal to effectively repress crime by rendering inoffensive the one who has committed it, without depriving him definitively of the possibility of redeeming himself, cases of absolute necessity for suppression of the offender ‘today … are very rare, if not practically non-existent.
These arguments however have failed to move the numbers significantly however the “botched” execution from last week that the media covered extensively gave those who oppose the death penalty a lot of hope that this would change and the media played that to the hilt However such hope doesn’t spring eternal:
A badly botched lethal injection in Oklahoma has not chipped away at the American public’s support of the death penalty, although two-thirds of voters would back alternatives to the needle, an exclusive NBC News poll shows. …
A comfortable majority of those questioned — 59% — said they favor the death penalty as the ultimate punishment for murder, while 35% said they are opposed.
Via Hotair which also had this interesting tidbit
Having a family member who has been in prison or on probation did not make a respondent more likely to oppose or support the death penalty.
Of course not, people know when their relatives are no good SOB’s
Why did this botched execution which drew national attention not make a dent? Because in the end a lot of the opposition to the death penalty is really a story of the ICK factor and if you don’t believe me listen to Emily Bazelon make her case:
In the wake of Oklahoma’s horrifying mis-execution of Clayton Lockett, could the death penalty itself die off? It seems impossible, I know. Polls show support falling, but still at about 55 percent. And yet, that’s the death penalty in the abstract. On the ground, in many states, a different reality is playing out — one that demonstrates growing discomfort with capital punishment.
There is one looming exception to this rule: the South. The death penalty has become largely a regional phenomenon that divides the South from the rest of the country. While the death penalty remains legal in 32 states, actual death sentences and executions are concentrated in a small and shrinking number of them.
Ms. Bazelon may find mr Lockett’s death “horrifying” and talk of the division of the south as if they are a bunch of barbarians but as Ann Coulter notes ICK is a relative term:
Maybe they — and MSNBC’s similarly high-minded Rachel Maddow — should comfort themselves by thinking of Lockett’s execution as a very, very, very late-term abortion. You know, the kind that liberal darling Wendy Davis filibustered for 11 hours to keep legal.
Since Rachel and the Times are such big fans of partial-birth abortion, would they mind if we took a gigantic pair of scissors, jammed them in the back of Clayton Lockett’s head and let his brain slide out? Let’s get Kermit Gosnell working again!
Or how about giving the citizens of Oklahoma the right to choose an acid bath for condemned murderers? We’ll submerge people like Lockett in a tub filled with burning fluid until he’s mostly disintegrated and can be flushed down the toilet. (If it’s low-flow, flush twice.)
Or maybe an industrial vacuum designed to tear Lockett’s body apart.
but it’s her next sentence that delivers the Bazinga:
Which reminds me: Would the Times ever give as detailed a description of an abortion as it does for the execution of a remorseless killer? The odds are pretty high that the baby isn’t even a rapist/murderer.
There are those who oppose the death penalty for noble reasons, but a lot of the opposition is based on the ICK factor and for some reason that ICK factor doesn’t seem to apply to them on abortion.
In the end though when it comes to keeping the death penalty the ICK factor of an execution, even a botched one is overridden by the ICK factor of this:
Oklahoma teenager Stephanie Neiman had just graduated from Perry High School that night in June 1999 when she and another girl went to visit their friend Bobby Boynt. Neiman, 19, was driving her blue Chevy pickup with a personalized license plate, “TAZZZ,” for the Tasmanian Devil cartoon character. Neiman and her 18-year-old friend’s trip to the Boynt residence was one of those “wrong place, wrong time” disasters. They arrived just as Boynt, the 23-year-old father of a 9-month-old infant, was being assaulted by three men:
Clayton Lockett, 23, his cousin, Alfonzo Lockett, 17 and Shawn Mathis, 26, were already there. While Boynt’s baby son slept in another room, they had tied up and were beating Boynt because he owed money to Clayton Lockett.
When Neiman’s friend went inside the home they hit her with a shotgun then forced her to call Neiman into the home.
They repeatedly raped Neiman’s 18-year-old friend, tied up the two women then used Neiman’s truck to take the adults and the baby to a rural part of Kay County. When Neiman refused to give Clayton Lockett the keys to her truck or provide him the alarm code, he ordered Stephanie to kneel while Mathis dug a grave.
Lockett shot her and the gun jammed. While Neiman lay there screaming, the attackers cleared the jam and Lockett shot her a second time. Even though she was still breathing, he ordered the other two attackers to drag her into the grave and bury her.
You want an ick factor Emily? That’s an ICK factor
For myself I’m indifferent other than the fact that a live person has a chance to be converted and repent while the dead do not, given that possibility I think there is no greater satisfaction in the universe that to pick a soul right out of Satan’s back pocket.