back to article South Dakota rejoins the execution club

South Dakota yesterday executed its first prisoner in 60 years, 25-year-old Elijah Page, who succumbed to a "lethal combination of three drugs at the state penitentiary in Sioux Falls", the local Argus Leader reports. Page was convicted, along with Darrell Hoadley and Briley Piper, of the murder of Chester Allan Poage in 2000 …


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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Never mind the morality of it all, feast on those names. Dottie Poage, Darrell Hoadley, Briley Piper, a man called Chester, all of these are wonderful. Authors in need of characterful names could feed well on South Dakota. George Sitts! It's as if Charles Dickens' spirit has crossed the Atlantic.

  2. Chizo Ejindu


    Personally i cannot, and never will, think that execution is anything other than state-sponsored murder and harks back to the bibilcal eye-for-an-eye type revenge mindset.

    There have been cases in the UK of people convicted of murder, sentenced to life imprisonment only for fresh evidence to come to light 20 years later that proves their innocence. Now if these people had been executed, following the eye-for-an-eye logic, wouldn't someone else therefore be guilty of murder of an innocent person and require execution?

    I'm not saying that's the case in this particular instance but there will always be that possibility that the wrong person gets executed for a particular crime.

  3. Ian Michael Gumby

    Ever hear of Samuel Clemens?

    Yes you can't make these names up.

    With respect to the procedure, it looks like they carried it out with perfect precision.

    And the penalty fit the crime.

  4. Chris Collins


    Surely the pesky and somewhat morally dubious aspects of the death penalty could be removed by merely flying the problem to Syria or wherever for dispatch? Thus squeamish hippies would be spared the horrors of state sanctioned murder and everyone's conscious could be clear. There would also be a small percentage chance of the victim being released merely severely crippled, thus adding an aspect of fair play.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    IT angle?

    What is the IT angle on this one?

    Barbarism? Nope, not IT

    State Sponsored Retribution/Murder? Not IT

    Thinking that The Bible says it's ok? Not the case and Not IT

    Lowering themselfes to the level of the Murderer? Not IT

    Missing the point that they are called Penitentiaries because you do Penitence in them? Not IT.



  6. JimC

    IT Angle

    penITentiary... [I'll get my coat]

  7. Dillon Pyron

    too henious

    Some crimes are too heinous for anything less than the death penalty. At least in this case the sentence was carried out in a "swift, sure and certain" manner. The death penalty, as a deterrent, needs that. The Supreme Court, in its last ruling, affirmed that the death penalty is a fit retribution for some crimes.

    And the IT angle is obvious. It's because, umm, well, you know.

  8. Jamie Jones Silver badge

    Re: IT angle?

    Fraser, the IT angle is that the story DOES NOT mention Paris Hilton.


  9. Louis Cowan

    Re: IT angle?

    Well, there had to be SOME system to keep such accurate times, surely?

  10. daniel

    re: <troll>Not IT</troll>

    My gawd, can't some people thing about *not* reading the article?

    Did Fraser think that this was an article on 45 nm processor technology?

    New article for El Reg's hacks: (in)humane culling of the troll population, or the Good, The Bad and The Cattle Prod...

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Yank Bashing

    Yep, lets not miss a chance to bash the yanks, and let off steam that the

    democrats did not win last time pathetic.

    You people must have cried when West Wing came to an end!

  12. Chris Bradshaw

    IT Angle is obvious

    The IT angle is obvious - the article mentions that the previous execution in South Dakota was by electrocution.

    And to Dillon Pyron (BTW, another nice name, are you from SD too?? :-) ), the death penalty does not act as a deterrent... US states which allow the death penalty have a higher average murder rate than those without, look at .

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Higher death rates

    Which makes you wonder what would happen if they knew that no matter what they did they would not be executed!

  14. Jason Harvey

    average murder rate

    nice link... shows Texas' average murder rate as 6.2 and DC's as 35.4

    show me again where the murder rate is higher in states with the death penalty?

    btw... New Hampshire has the death penalty and a murder rate near the absolute bottom of the list at 1.4. The only 2 that are lower are Vermont at 1.3 and North Dakota at 1.1 (both very cold places in the winter and not very densely populated).

    You could also make a correlation that the further south you go, the more murders you find... and then say that the south is full of killers, and you'd be wrong again.

    If you include DC in your stats, it blows your argument away since all the rest of the country is below 10, but include DC and then your averages are blown away the other direction.

    There are lies, damned lies, and then there's statistics. Remember, numbers can always be manipulated to suit your own purposes.

  15. yeah, right.

    Yank Bashing.

    Don't have to bash the yanks. They do all too well to themselves. All that needs doing is bringing attention to it.

    However, those who support the death penalty as it is applied in the USA would do well to admit that it's not about justice. It's not about deterrence. It's strictly about revenge, with a large dash of racism.

    The IT angle might be that it's something some sysadmins wish they could inflict on their users on a more regular basis. Strictly out of revenge, of course.

  16. John A Blackley

    Dad said

    Murderer's father: "He wants everybody to know he feels bad for what happened."

    Me: "Well that's all right then."

    As to those who are against the death penalty: In another time I might be too. However, as a resident of Texas, once someone is convicted of murder I have no wish to contribute to their upkeep for the rest of their lives. Most residents of death row in Texas spend a minimum of ten years there (while appeals are exhausted).

    Now, I agree that innocent people have probably been put to death by the state. I feel sorry for them and for their families.

    However, there is only one alternative to the death penalty that is acceptable to me and that is, dear anti-death-penalty-person, that you look after the murderer while he/she serves his time, that you shelter him/her after the sentence is complete and that you - along with the criminal - be held accountable for repeat offenses.

  17. b166er

    So sad

    Why is it, that a large number of US society think they have the right to take other peoples lives? Society raises these murderers and then conveniently brushes that fact under the carpet when it comes to dealing with them.

    So Mr. 'in another time I might be too' Blackley, until such time as we all spend a little(lot) more on understanding how it is that individuals develop into murderers, we decide to incarcerate them for the protection of the society which reared them. Seems fair to me.

    I guess you just go to church and drop 0.02c in the confessional drop box every now and then to offset the 'feel sorry for them and for their families' trip.

    God bless America

  18. Neil Anderson

    No second offence

    Guess old Elijah got his Page in history.

    IT angle: He was a Windows ME user.

    Neil Anderson

  19. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Yank bashing

    I'm not usually one to take offense when the endemic hypocrisy of the USA is called to light, I'm really not. I don't support the death penalty, I didn't vote for Bush, and I realize there are enormous social and political problems in the US.

    However, it would do many of the British posters well to remember that Britain too had capital punishment up until the mid part of the 20th century, and that Britain's military expeditions have a history every bit as bloody as those of their American cousins. For them to bash America for activities their own country was deeply involved in for hundreds of years shows an ugly post-colonial bias, and basic ignorance of history.

    Plus, it's just rude. Let's make an effort to accept that all countries have problems, and that we're all just people, trying to make them better in whatever small ways we can.

  20. Iamfanboy

    ? I rather thought execution was about...

    you know... removing a person who'd shown that he couldn't live in normal society? Kind of like how you have to shoot a rabid dog? "Oh, no, put it in a kennel until it dies a natural death..."

    I'd have to agree with John Blackley. Essentially, the compact of civilization boils down to a single promise: you have to promise not to harm another member of that civilization, whether by stealing from them, beating them up, killing them, insulting them, etcetera. Once you've removed yourself from that compact by harming another, you have to be punished. Murder is the most serious of these offenses; removing another man's life is the worst thing you can do. If it's accidental, that's one thing, but if you make someone drink HYDROCHLORIC ACID after stabbing him and then laugh about it, then you cannot be considered human any more.

    Incarceration should be reserved for those who can be rehabilitated to rejoin civilization, not for someone who has decided that civilization doesn't apply to them at all and can never understand what it means. Mind you, I'm in no rush to kill anyone on Death Row and take away their appeals so they don't waste taxpayer money; if they truly are innocent then it gives them the chance to at least prove it.

    And if the system fails... then it fails. System failures happen all the time, and they may be sad, but that's no reason to outright reject the system without being SURE that what you're embracing instead actually works. Every time an aircraft carrier puts to sea, one man in a thousand on board will die, but is that any reason to disband the Navy? Children stick forks into electrical outlets, but is that any reason to go back to candles and open fires? Windows 3.0 crashed all the time, but was that any reason to go to OS/2 without making sure that it worked right? Might as well stop eating in case you get mad cow or e.coli. Might as well stop breathing in case you inhale an allergen or disease.

    Feh. How many of you "no capitol punishment" types ever spent five minutes with some of the people on Death Row? Or with hardened criminals who WOULD kill you for your sneakers, and haven't landed on Death Row... yet? It might be barbaric (I dunno about that, really) but until you're sure the new system is better, don't kick the old one to the curb. And lifetime incarceration is NOT better than execution: it costs a lot more, and is in my mind much more of a "cruel and unusual punishment" than simply ending their life in exchange for the one they took.

    How vicious and vindictive are YOU to want to spend YOUR money in exchange for keeping these humans who have decided to not be human alive but without any hope for as long as they live, with complete medical benefits to make sure that life is a long, long one?

  21. Sceptical Bastard

    Taking Microsoft-hatred a bit far

    "He was a Windows ME user"

    Not really reason enough to execute someone ;)

    More to the point WTF is this story doing on El Reg? And why is it on the security section's RSS feed?

  22. Neil Anderson

    Washington DC

    “DC's average murder rate 35.4”

    Guess those politicians really do drive people homicidal.

    Neil Anderson

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