back to article American man too fat for execution

An American death row inmate claims he's too fat for execution. With a lawsuit filed in federal court on Friday, the Associated Press reports, attorneys for the 5-feet-7-inch, 267-pound Richard Cooey say the executioner's needle would have trouble finding his veins. And even if it did find his veins, they insist, his heft …


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  1. Graham Dawson Silver badge

    Seen pictures

    He's not actually that fat. He's about half a Prescott, possibly even a one third.

  2. Steve Evans

    Who runs the prison kitchens?


  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Only in the USA.

    Eat too much and you get a reprieve.

    Maybe if they withhold some food, but sorry, that is cruel. Of course, if we (the taxpayers) feed him too much isn't that cruel as well.

    Suggestion: He picks his method of demise. His choice is binding as not being "cruel".

    Yes, only in the USA!

  4. Chris

    An idea

    They could force hime to diet and excercise and drop a few pounds before executing him. Or would that be considered cruel and unusual punishment?

    Heart because making him excercise would lower his risk of heart disease and possibly help him live longer...oh wait nevermind.

  5. Ian Rogers
    Dead Vulture

    He got fatter?!

    It's not exactly a hard time he's having in chokey if he's managing to get fatter...

  6. Anonymous Coward

    There's more than one way to skin a cat.

    Or kill a fat bloke, for that matter.

    Admittedly, the whole lethal injection thing is most pleasing, given the whole excruciatingly painful death thing.

    But what's wrong with a good old fashioned firing squad, or a hanging. Hell, I'm sure if you defenestrated him he'd die on impact after a few goes, just gotta get him to land head first.

    If you're feeling kind to rapists, I'm sure Nitrogen asphyxiation or even Carbon Monoxide poisoning would do the trick reasonably painlessly

    Obviously, I'm not getting into the whole capital punishment right or wrong thing here, mainly because I don't care.

  7. yeah, right.


    It would seem to be that in this case, being fat is actually a healthy thing to be.

  8. Anonymous Coward

    I guess

    hanging would be out of the question. Then again, toward the same end they could just start a morphine drip and, as Spinal Tap would put it, turn it to 11.

  9. Anonymous Coward


    'merkin prisons are all-you-can-eat?

    "Well, sarge, this here done guy's last meal request is 75,000 cheeseburgers, 978,00 large fries, 23,563 strawberry thick shakes, 672,042 apple pies, 12,399,774 choclate sundaes. Sarge, you fink dis guy's tryin' ter fool uses?"


    "Cain't wees jerst shewt hims?"

  10. Dex


    ...If he's too fat then just sizzle him...bacon buttie icon anyone?

    Flame icon....maybe a barbeque might be better?

  11. Charles Manning

    @Ian Rogers

    IIRC there's a class action in progress at the moment where prisoners are suing the state for making them fat.

  12. Scott
    IT Angle


    You're never too fat for a bullet to kill you.

    It's cheaper for John Q. Public too!

  13. Wade Burchette
    Dead Vulture

    I got some ideas

    Make the guy walk 5 feet. Since breathing knocks the wind out of him, that should do the trick. Or you could play a William Shatner album. You can start by doing Shatner's version of Slim Shady from Futurama. And if you really need to be cruel, make him watch a documentary on lint.

  14. Lance

    Only $0.50

    Use a bullet. Quick, painless (if placed correctly) and probably cheaper.

    How about a short career finding landmines?

  15. Bryn Smith

    There's always the gas...

    Wouldn't an anaesthetic that is administered in a different way solve things? How about nitrous oxide? Surely that would put the fatso to sleep so they could skip straight through to the final lethal drug...

  16. Richard Neill

    Death row for 22 years

    Isn't 22 years almost a double life-sentence in this country?

    Executing criminals (by any means) is barbaric.

  17. Jon Tocker

    Obviously in the wrong prison

    He would never have got that fat in ol' Joe Arpaio's canvas penitentiary, working out on the chain-gangs in the hot sun all day - I hear that the pink underwear doesn't come in XXXL...

    Dunno about hanging - I'd feel worried for the priest and executioner standing on a hastily-erected scaffold with ol' lard-ass [sic].

    Firing squad using elephant guns, perhaps?

    Personally I'm waiting for his lawyer to announce he's sueing the Justice System for causing him to become unhealthily fat (it's only the stress of being incarcerated and facing execution that caused him to turn into the Michelin Man etc etc etc)

  18. Anonymous Coward

    Alternative forms of Capital Punishment

    It can't be cruel and unusual if the bloke commits suicide, so here's some methods to coax the bastard into offing himself:

    1. Pipe in Yoko Ono's Greatest Hits. Rinse and repeat.

    2. Play nothing but the Rosie O'Donnell show.

    3. Make the "Queer Eye for the Straight Guy" blokes as his new cell mates.

    4. Play alternating loops of Bush and Blair speeches.

    Of course, you could just send him to Texas and he'd be dead next week.

  19. Charles Manning
    Dead Vulture

    Re: Only 50c

    Elephant gun cartridges (eg. .600 Nitro Express) cost approx $36 a pop: 5 for $180

  20. JC
    Gates Horns

    Easier Solution

    Give the fellow a gun, a room with meals delivered, and a record player just out of reach behind bulletproof glass playing the same Barry Manilow tune over and over.

  21. Anonymous Coward

    here's to the end of capital punishment!

    Well that's it for capital punishment in the US then, isn't it? After all, who's left in that country that isn't fat? Okay, so the veggie cultists can still see their feet, but being morally superior to the rest of humanity should rule out criminal behaviour.

  22. Mike Street

    @ Only in the USA.

    And only in the USA, and a few other enlightened democracies like China (except Hong Kong & Macau), Zimbabwe, Afghanistan, Iran, North Korea & Saudi Arabia does the Government use capital punishment at all.

    Those uncivilised Europeans abolished it years ago. Russia still has it on the books, apparently, but hasn't executed anyone since 1999.

    Only in the USA indeed.

  23. James O'Shea
    Dead Vulture

    Just hang him

    Rope is cheap and reusable, gravity is free. Hang the bastard.

  24. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    excruciating death => murderer's occupational hazard

    The victims he was convicted to have raped and murdered almost certainly died an excruciating death, any bet, no matter how badly botched his execution will turn out, it won't be anywhere near as excruciating as being raped and murdered was for his victims. Also, he only pays one painful death for two painful deaths caused, that's a 50% discount bargain already.

    In any event, who cares?! It makes for some amusing news headlines, but other than that, it really doesn't matter what happens to him, just or unjust, humane or not, there are far more important things to worry about.

    I am neither in favour nor against capital punishment, the only concern I have about it is whether or not the trials are fair, which isn't always the case. However, if we can safely assume that this guy was properly represented and that he did rape and murder those victims, then why should we care that his execution may be unpleasant? His lawyers didn't complain about an unfair trial and he didn't seem to have claimed that he was falsely convicted.

    I care more for the unfortunate guys who have to carry out death sentences, those are the ones who deserve our compassion. Perhaps, they should abandon the executions and offer death row inmates a cyanide cocktail with each meal. It would be up to the inmate to take it, voluntarily. Do this for years and years - the current process takes years anyway - and eventually many will take the cyanide. Actually, I wouldn't be surprised if under such a system they'd get more convicted inmates to leave this world than under the current system. Nobody could complain about this being cruel or inhumane, and it would be easier on the prison staff, too. At the very least, it should be worth a try.

  25. Anonymous Coward

    Here's an idea....

    All the law enforcement bodies have mob connections, concrete shoes and chuck him overboard on the next ferry leaving the nearest coast! Probably work out a lot cheaper than organised executions, plus you haven't got clear up afterward....I've gone too far haven't I...I'll get me....

  26. Mark Aggleton

    @Mike Street

    Looking at this article I think that you are a tad light on the list of countries that still have it.

  27. fajensen

    Only in the USA???

    "Those uncivilised Europeans" Err, no, Mike, because those corrupt beyond belief European parliaments just went and re-introduced the death penalty via the Lisbon treaty "in the case of war, riots, upheaval".

  28. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Reg sinks to a new low

    Wonderful, a bunch of witty comments from nerd shitsacks on how to kill someone.

    Well played, Reg.

  29. Mark

    More bizarre

    Not as weird as the guy a couple of years ago. He tried to beat the executioner by topping himself a couple of days before his date with destiny, but failed. The authorities insisted on waiting till he got better before executing him.

    How twisted can you get.

  30. Andy Worth

    Suing people for making you fat.....

    The trouble is, using common sense that lawsuit would fall down on one main point. Even in prison, nobody picks up the food and forces you to eat it.

    But then, when did any legal system use common sense?

  31. Edwin

    @Mike Street

    My sentiments exactly!

    Interestingly, the US did stop using it for a bit (1973 - 1977). Perhaps they'll come round (again)

  32. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    He's heard of Mitchell Rupe

    Cooley isn't the first American to try this. Mitchell Rupe, sentenced to death for shooting two bank tellers in a 1981 robbery, stuffed himself like a pig and refused all exercise. After a couple of years he attained a weight over 425 pounds, too heavy for the prison scale and (crucially) off the chart for the US Army manual used to calculate the proper drop for hanging, which was the execution method in Washington State at that time. He consequently escaped the rope, and died in prison in February 2006.

  33. Trygve Henriksen

    @Bryn Smith

    Sorry, but Nitrous Oxide or 'laughing gas' as it's also known won't put anyone to sleep.

    Not unless you crank it up way over the safe limits, anyhow.

    (Even the dosage necesary to make people giggle is 'over the safe limit' according to my dentist.)

    Can't have him dying of heart problems instead of the injection, can we?

    Shoot the bastard in the knees, then drop him off somewhere sunny.

    Death valley is supposed to be nice this time of year...

  34. Chris Thomas

    @Seen pictures

    OK, Lets compromise, we'll let this guy spend his life in jail and we'll execute prescott instead? Deal??


  35. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @Mike Street

    I'm not trying to justify the death penalty in any way, but it should be pointed out that you forgot Japan, which, although it executes fewer people then the USA, executes a greater proportion of its murderers (they have a much lower crime rate).

    I'd like to see more awareness of the death penalty in Japan and more external pressure to abolish it. Japan is probably more sensitive to foreign opinion that the USA is, though of course they are most sensitive to the opinion of the world's imperial superpower ...

  36. Anonymous Coward

    also only in the USA

    On the CNN story it says that "he was at greater risk of experiencing pain and suffering because he was overweight and diabetic". WTF?!

    Who cares if the guy is going to suffer pain from this? He was found guilty of raping and murdering 2 women and sentenced to death. Life imprisonment would be harder than the lethal injection.

    Let the bastard suffer.

    Alternatively, as mentioned by Chris, they should make the fat fucker do a little exercise and reschedule his execution when they can get to his nicely clogged veins

  37. N

    Firing squad then...

    At least they wont miss

  38. Dunstan Vavasour

    Lethal Injection

    Truth is, they don't know if the first drug works on anybody. Because it paralyses the (execution) victims, they don't know whether it actually stops the pain or just stops them reacting and (for obvious reasons) they have no anecdotal data to work with.

    My deep opposition to capital punishment here is set alongside my dislike of this sort of lawsuit (which is bordering on the vexatious). But then, it truly is a matter of life or death.

  39. David Beck

    Send in the Guardian readers

    Let them bore him to death. If that fails send in a few vegans.

  40. Vic

    Two things

    Naughty AC ***'merkin prisons are all-you-can-eat?***

    See, a merkin would be pointless as he wouldn't be able to see it.....ohhhhhh, I see what you mean. <smirk>

    And the other thing is, does no one see the ironies in this whole thing. I mean really.

    1. Did he give anaesthetics to the people he supposedly murdered? So does anyone really care if he hurts a bit?

    2. Um, you can kill him because that's okay but it mustn't hurt because that's not okay? That sounds more like for the executioners' peace of mind actually but if you're prepared to kill the bloke, why would you care?

    3. They can only execute people who are lean but they feed the prisoners up and let them skive out of exercise? D.U.M.B.

    If you'd just accept that capital punishment is sick anyway, you'd get over these logical hurdles. Yes, I know the appeals process is allegedly 'exhaustive' but it's pretty exhaustive in a lot of other countries and people still get let off after years - in the UK you can think about the cot death mums and that stalker guy that was let out the other day...not much hope for them if they'd already been executed now.

    Alien concept...

  41. Tim Schomer


    "All of the experts agree if the first drug doesn't work, the execution is going to be excruciating,"

    Isn't that the whole point? Don't suppose he gave much thought to the pain of his victims or their loved ones at the time (or since). Let Him scream, and show it on TV (preferably in HD with Nicam stereo), might deter some of the other crims.

  42. Jonathan

    @Death Row for 22 years

    "Isn't 22 years almost a double life-sentence in this country?"

    I think thats the problem with the corrections system in this country - commit murder and you get an all expenses paid weekend trip to one of our 5 star prisons where you can play PlayStation all day at the tax payer.

    I dont believe in capital punishment, but I believe in keeping the public safe by keeping criminals behind bars. Guess I havent stopped to consider the poor criminals feelings, oh woe is them, crime is a tough job and somebody has got to do it, right?

  43. Beelzeebub

    Send 'im down 'ere

    I need a big one for the fires!

  44. Andrew Bolton

    Re: "Russia still has it on the books, apparently, but hasn't executed anyone since 1999"

    I haven't laughed so hard in a while.

    But it did give me one idea for another suggestion: stick some Polonium in his morning McShake. Sounds like he deserves no better.

  45. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @Only in the USA

    and on the London Underground... The difference is that on the tube they don't get a trial first...

  46. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    Will It Blend?

    A must try, surely?

  47. mark

    cruel and unusual?

    I'm sure that his victims and their families will be happy that he gets a comforable painless death. Who cares if he dies agonisingly or not I'm sure that his victims ordeal was far more traumatic. Why shouldn't he suffer the fear and pain he put them through?

  48. Pete Spicer

    Why shouldn't it be painful?

    Without getting into the debate over whether a country *should* use capital punishment, the fact remains that right now, that state *does* use it.

    He murdered, was tried by a jury of your peers and was found guilty, and thus sentenced to death.

    It isn't meant to be a nice thing; it's meant to be a deterrent. I've long thought that if the country is going to kill the criminals, it should be painful to help deter others from committing the crime, which is after all the point of it.

  49. Bob


    What is this 'fat' everyone's talking about? Didn't the politically correct brigade make that word - and by association, the condition - obesolete? (See what I did there? Har har.)

    Seriously, WTF? What the hell has happened to prisons? People used to be afraid of imprisonment, but now it seems more like a paid holiday.

    The world is turning to crap because of criminals contorting human rights. "What about the victims??!" (little Timmy voice)

    Burn the fat fuck, and all his lawyers along with him.

  50. Anonymous Coward

    Hang (!!) about

    Surely all the doctors have been telling us that getting fat is unhealthy and you'll die from clogging up your arteries ? Force feed the fat bar steward pure fat and make him smoke say 100 ciggies a day. If that doesn't kill him then all doctors should shut the fcuk up about my lifestyle (admittedly I don't go round raping people to help lose weight though).

  51. Anonymous Coward

    @ Mike Street

    Someone rapes and murders your mother (or wife and daughter); what do you think his punishment be?

    Did his victims receive any anaesthetic?

    The problem with most Criminal Justice systems is that they tend to prioritise justice for the criminal over justice for the victim/society - civilized indeed.

  52. Mike Smith

    No, no, he needs an integrated holistic dietary solution!

    The instant weight loss one-meal diet!

    Yes - whether you're a weight-obsessed female weighing eight stone or you're an American murderer named John Q Piehoover, the instant weight loss one-meal diet will do the trick. You only need to eat one meal for an amazing weight loss!


    500g chicken breast

    One pork steak, about 300g

    500g fresh fish.

    3 eggs

    100g soft brie

    50g extra mature Stilton

    Cooking oil

    Large bucket.

    Large collection of DVDs, enough for a week's viewing.

    Dice the chicken, pork and fish and drizzle with oil. Whisk the eggs and pour over the chicken. Marinate in an uncovered dish at about 25 degrees for two days, finishing off with four hours in the sun.

    Preheat oven to gas mark 2. Stir the chicken, pork and fish well, beating in the eggs. Place in an oiled casserole dish. Beat the brie and Stilton until firm and spread evenly over the top of the dish. Transfer to oven and cook for 45 minutes.

    Weigh yourself and make a note of the weight. Call this W1.

    At the end of the cooking time, serve the dish and eat immediately. Wash up, and wait. Keep the bucket close by.

    In four to eight hours' time, you will suddenly realise why you need the bucket. Grab it and run to the throne room. When the simultaneous diarrhoea and vomiting dies down, you can start watching the DVDs, because you won't be able to do anything else for a long time.

    About five days later, you'll be able to hold down something more than a few sips of water. Now, weigh yourself again. Call this W2.

    You will find that W2 - W1 = an amazing weight loss. And all with just one meal!

    Repeat as needed until you don't look like a double-bass with legs.

    (As this is El Reg, I shouldn't NEED the joke icon, but just in case there is someone out there stupid enough to try this...)

  53. Anonymous Coward

    Simple way to off him

    Put him in a British Hospital ward for 2 weeks.

    That usually has the same affect as a lethal injection.

    Mines the one with the rubber gloves and antiseptic wipes.

  54. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Save the bullet!

    Use one of those captive bolt guns they use for cows and then just bleed him dry.

    I know, it sounds harsh, but it doesn't hurt the cows.

  55. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton


    Is it Just me who's wondering why they cant just inject 3-4 times as much? What's the worst that can happen... he dies!? (Paris cos she's the closest to a confused symbol)

  56. Russ Tarbox

    Boo hoo

    So his death is excrutiating ... tough sh*t. He deserves it.

  57. Pondlife

    So what?

    Who cares if he suffers?

  58. Sarah Bee (Written by Reg staff)

    Re: Quoth

    Christ. So, what lots of you are saying is, this bloke caused untold suffering, and so deserves the same and more? Maybe he does, in the abstract, but I don't think it's ever our job to mete that out. I don't think it's our job to kill killers at all, but you can't possibly allow what is essentially torture. Kind of smacks of hypocrisy, no? It's not a very good way to send a message that society believes causing suffering to people is wrong.

    It bothers me how people seem to develop this immense bloodlust whenever murder is mentioned, over and above the kind of repulsion any normal human being would feel. Doesn't that, like, make you look at yourself and go "woah, blimey"? Not even a bit? I mean, Really.

    Besides, no one's suggested the Mr Creosote method yet. Shame on you.

  59. Ru

    Re: Suggestion: He picks his method of demise. His choice is binding as not being "cruel".

    In his position, I'd choose 'old age'.

    Or possibly, 'cake'

  60. Richard

    5-feet-7-inch, 267-pound

    My height, my age, and almost twice my weight. Just what does this guy eat?

  61. Anonymous Coward

    Just keep feedin' him

    keep on feeding him them old deep-fried lard burgers, he'll keel eventually.

    Execution by junk food would probably send the govt. sponsors in the food industry into as much of a spin as carbon-monoxide execution would send the automotive industry sponsors into one.

    Seriously, a properly administered dimorphine overdose is probably the least cruel way to execute someone but... the whole drugs is baaaaaad thing :-(

  62. Neil

    simple solution

    Don't feed it for a couple of weeks first.

  63. Sarah Bee (Written by Reg staff)

    and (and then I'll butt out)

    Lovely idea that the death penalty acts as a deterrent, but the worst crimes are often committed impulsively, and even the meticulously-planned ones don't really allow for that sort of thinking very often. "Hmm, I have a problem - urge to kill is rising, but if I go through with it, I might get executed. Tricky, tricky. What to do? Damn my rational mind."

    Nah. Either it doesn't register, or they'll assume they can get away with it.

    Also, I think if you're going to claim to be a civilised society, you've got to act like one, even if that means gritting your teeth and affording the minimum levels of dignity and care to scumfucks who don't deserve it. I think you sacrifice that kind of vengeful urge in order to continue to display your 'civilised' certificate. In many ways it'd be great to have the guy eaten by killer hogs a la Hannibal, but y'know, you just don't, do you?

  64. Anonymous Coward
    Dead Vulture

    Forget the injection...

    ...just give him 30 minutes on a treadmill or exercise bike.

    Should do the trick nicely.

  65. Anonymous Coward

    @Sarah Bee

    The Americans are quite liberal with accepting torture/pain/humiliation (think Quantanimo Bay).

    They are not squeamish about legal killing (look at Texas).

    Put them together and you get the pain they inflicted on others as they die. It will act as a deterent to future scum (except those deranged looney w@nkers who should be put down anyway not 'helped and rehabilitated').

    Remember, living is a priviledge not a right.

  66. spezzer

    @Sarah Bee

    hey - he crossed the line! when someone does that they relinquish thier human rights coz they aint fucking human!!!! so now he can die like an animal

  67. Mark
    Paris Hilton

    5' 7" and 270lbs?

    I'm 5' 6" and have been 230lbs. I still went mountain biking. I figure you could still find my veins at that weight.

    (Paris could have my vein any time...)

  68. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    I quite like the idea of the death penalty lottery. Those who want to see a return of, or keep the, death penalty all sign up for a lottery. When the inevitable mistakes happen, someone dies agonisingly or as a result of a travesty of justice, someone is picked from the pro-death lotery and they get to balance up the universe by being executed themselves.

    Do we have any takers for that? No? thought not.

    In case you haven't guessed I'm totally opposed to the death penalty, all it represents is retribution and state sponsored brutilasation of its citizens.

    Last week I heard someone who represents all the rank and file Police in the country arguing for the death penalty, the same week that the guy who (it turned out didn't) kill Jill Dando was freed on appeal.

  69. Mark

    Re: Re: Quoth

    From LotR:

    "Deserves it! I dare say he does. Many that live deserve death. And some that die deserve life. Can you give it to them? Then do not be too eager to deal out death and judgment. For even the very wise cannot see all ends."

    I was pleased that, in the post-11/9 hysteria (hey, the rest of the world had worse bombings and loss of life but THAT didn't get you all antsy for "saving the world", did it!) this was included in the film.

    Pity nobody was listening over there.

  70. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    No standards any more

    Back in the days of the Raj anyone dishonouring the regiment would be handed a decent bottle of Scotch and told 'theres a loaded revolver on the table in the billiards room old chap, you know what to do'. Where did it all go wrong?

  71. Anonymous Coward
    Black Helicopters


    Chloroform his cell, wait for him to fall asleep, induce a heart attack via electric shock across his chest and pay off the coroner.

    Gotta, run, my black helicopter's just arrived.

  72. Anonymous Coward

    Re: @Sarah Bee

    Quote: "Remember, living is a priviledge not a right."

    Your opinion is at-odds with Article 3 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

    As for the effectiveness of capital punishment as a 'deterrent', how does the murder rate in the US compare to the UK?

  73. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    It's still barbaric

    All this talk of him "deserving" to suffer is crap. It's barbaric to inflict unnecessary pain, even on someone who himself has done it. Personally I think it's barbaric to murder someone who murders, but there you go.

    The lethal injection method involves three chemicals. First there is a barbiturate that is supposed to anesthetize the victim and render him unconscious. Since physicians don't conduct executions for some reason, there is no certainty that the victim is actually anesthetized.

    Next you have succinylcholine (chemically related to curare), which paralyzes him and stops his breathing. It does not render a victim unconscious, so if the barbiturate didn't knock him out, he lies there helpless, suffocating. This chemical isn't intended to kill. The only reason it is used is to paralyze the victim so that he cannot show any pain or reflex action. It might upset someone if they saw the guy flopping around in agony.

    The final chemical is potassium chloride, which stops the heart. That is quickly fatal, but agonizing as it courses through the bloodstream destroying the vessel linings.

    Personally, I'd prefer a simply bullet to the head to this barbaric way of murdering someone. Quick and cheap. Messy, yes, but you can't have everything.

  74. Robin Phillips

    @ Mark Aggleton

    Who would trust Wiki!!!

    Amnesty International page on Death Penalty:

    The entry for those counties retaining the Death Penalty for 'Ordinary Crime';

  75. David Mantripp

    @spezzer - you don't get it, do you

    Go and read Sarah's comments again. And TRY to understand. Try very hard.

  76. Dave

    @Richard Neill

    >Executing criminals (by any means) is barbaric.

    Yes, not to mention the fact that it confuses justice with revenge.

    Just look at the choice of drugs...

    If the point really is to remove him from society, then why must they use excruciatingly painful death methods? Why not, as someone else suggested, O/D him on morphine?

  77. Neil


    "Your opinion is at-odds with Article 3 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights"

    Half the worlds problems are caused by the misunderstanding of 'rights'

    Rights are a privilege, they're afforded to you by the society in which you live yet people do not realise this and take them for granted.

    Unfortunately we have TOO many rights in that we won't take rights away when a person abuses that society. Why the fuck not? The world is full of little scumfucks who take all this for granted and have no idea of the hardships of those who live without rights - who live or have lived in the natural world.

    The natural world isn't a nice place regardless of any romanticisms you may have it's pretty much summed up with pain, hunger and disease and we are lucky - privileged - to live in a society that protects us from it.

    You're not born with rights. Go live in the jungle and see how many human rights you have there.

  78. Mark

    @Sarah Bee

    As far as this goes, this guy has been convicted of multiple murders and not some impulsive one-off, so if the evidence is up to scratch I have no problem in wishing him "bon voyage".

    However, in total contradiction to what I've just written, my reservation about the death penalty is the standard of evidence and legal practice used in such cases. The reversal rate in states where the death penalty is used often is in excess of 75% and it costs many millions in legal fees to actually execute someone.So whilst I approve of the death penalty on specific individuals I'm against it on general principle.

  79. Anonymous Coward

    Just remember this ...

    If capital punishment turns the State into an executioner, then the prison system turns the State into a gay dungeon-master.

  80. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @ Save the bullet

    "Use one of those captive bolt guns they use for cows and then just bleed him dry.

    I know, it sounds harsh, but it doesn't hurt the cows."

    Interesting, that. Don't the kosher folks reckon that cutting the throat and hanging upside-down make for a totally painless death? In which case, problem solved.

    Then they can hurry up and ban capital punishment.

  81. caffeine addict

    Christ almighty

    Christ almighty you guys are a sick bunch of blood lusty f*ckers.

    No thought that this f*cker might be innocent, or he might be a mentalist. No, he did something wrong so we'll kill him and sod being humane. An eye for an eye and all that... lets use a rusty needle too.

    He (apparently) did wrong. We don't know how he killed these women, or why. But we'll demand he die in excruciating agony because the US prison service fattened him up with a crap diet and no exercise.

    There's no justification (at all, ever) for capital punishment, but if you had to to there's only one method I could ever approve of - death by nitrogen mask. Quick and painless... the body never even realises it's at risk.

  82. The BigYin
    Thumb Up

    Easy solutuion

    Don't they have a responsibility to look after his health? Letting him get so fat is shirking that responsibility. Why don't they just put him on a diet?

    Then, once slim 'n trim, they can pump him full of poisons!

    (Not that I agree with capital punishment, just offering a solution to their current problem)

  83. Charlie
    Thumb Down


    Who made you the arbiter of humanity? Anyone who asserts that another person no longer deserves the protection of their basic human rights are no better than the murderers they so viciously seek to make suffer.

  84. Anon Koward

    Death Penalty, America and Sheila's

    Ok so here is my 2p:

    Wrt Death Penalty and whether it should exist or not. If it actually works as a deterrent then it is still a valid form of punishment. Only if you can proves conclusively that by killing someone it has helped save other lives than it can be considered as a useful form of punishment but are there better way's?

    America, ok whilst I enjoy yank bashing as much as the next guy their culture is not that dissimilar from the British, Canadian or even Australian culture so whilst folks may foster an illusion of us and them, apart from some minor variances such as accent and a number of different laws once you scratch that small epidermal layer we are all very much the same.

    Sheila's never want to hurt a fly, (I am generalising I know but its not too far from the average female opinion), so I am not overly surprised by the reticence displayed by SB at a number of the comments made by us lot :) The male of the species is by nature a very aggressive protective animal and we have no qualms to kill something/someone that has the potential to cause harm to the ones we care about, (pack style mentality).

    As to whether our society should have corporal punishment like executions as a form of punishment, I for one say yes they should if it acts as a deterrent. We should definitely strive for a society where it isn't a necessary form of punishment but I believe we have a long way to go and until our society as a whole has progressed to that point we should continue to use any deterrents to criminal acts such as murder etc as we deem fit.

  85. Mike Smith

    @Sarah Bee

    "Lovely idea that the death penalty acts as a deterrent, but the worst crimes are often committed impulsively"

    Very true, and that is exactly why those wanting the blanket return of the rope need to be ignored in favour of some very careful thought.

    "Murder is murder." No, it isn't. There's a world of difference between a killing done on impulse and one involving a lot of planning. A few examples - Ian Huntley, Mark Hobson, Ian Brady and the vermin who tortured and murdered Mary-Ann Lenaghan a few years ago. There's no doubt of their guilt and premeditation. Should these people have paid with their lives? IMO, yes. I'm in favour of the death penalty for crimes like that.

    However, what about someone who gets into a fight and ends up killing their opponent? They might have got so psyched up that they intended to kill in the heat of the moment, but they didn't plan it in advance. I don't think they should face the death penalty - a long stretch in chokey would be more appropriate.

    And that's without considering the very real possibility of a miscarriage of justice. We've seen an example this week - Barry George was acquitted of murdering Jill Dando after spending eight years in jail. If he'd been executed, he couldn't be unkilled. I gather that a large part of his acquittal was the disallowing of the firearm residue as evidence.

    And that brings up the whole issue of burden of proof. What constitutes "beyond reasonable doubt"? IANAL, but it seems to me that if we increase the burden of proof needed, it might reduce the number of wrongful convictions, but there would be a good chance that more killers would go free. Would society accept that? I doubt it somehow.

    I think the Yanks have that a bit more clear-cut, with their various degrees of murder, and the death penalty only applying to the most severe.

    Bones, because you can't undo a hanging.

  86. Edward Rose

    @ Sarah

    Do you see your own irony.

    We shouldn't allow the death penalty because people can be influanced by others, and thus see that the state sponsors murder (I completely agree).

    You then ask why a load of people are being encourage to mete out death to a murderer. I think your answer is in the first paragraph. It's our nature to be led like sheep.

    Prison should be tougher!

    As was said by a very famous pacifist.

    "Be the change you want to see in the wolrd." (the quote may not be spot on, and you can all play guess the chap).

  87. Sarah Bee (Written by Reg staff)


    >>Sheila's never want to hurt a fly, (I am generalising I know but its not too far from the average female opinion), so I am not overly surprised by the reticence displayed by SB at a number of the comments made by us lot :)

    Hey, now you come to mention it, every opinion I have *does* stem from the fact that I don't have a cock. The scales have fallen from my mascara'd eyes!

    You've got some good points there, y'know, don't ruin it.

  88. Anonymous Coward

    @ Sarah Bee - Thanks

    Thank you for restoring my faith in Reg and humanity (a small portion of it at least). It's nice to see clear rational arguments being played against emotionally induced unthinking responses.

    It more than compensates for the cheap SS joke earlier in the week.

  89. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Another solution

    Gun, head, instant, no pain, problem solved.

  90. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    A stick of dynamite is all it takes

    "Placed" in the right location (which could indeed be a bit painful, so there you go if you want that) - and make sure you have something to wash the walls afterwards.

    Think Mr Creosote, but with less suffering (0.1 sec or so, I guess).

    He committed a crime in a place where the sentence for this is death. So it'll be death. As for those who talk about rights: rights go with obligations. You can't have the one without the other.

    Now, light that fuse and get out of here. And hope he doesn't fart before you're out of the door :-).

  91. Paul

    RE: Neil

    No. Rights are just that. Rights. Not privilege. It should never be possible to loose them or give them up in any way shape or form. You are born with them and have them through your whole life. Unfortunaly so many people seem to be unable to understand this and seem to feal people should loose them for any number of reasons.

    Your argument about the Jungle is silly. Saying "go live outside of civilisation and see how it is not civilised" is just silly.

    You people are animals if you think "this Man took a life. He should suffer". This is mob rule at its worsed. You truly do make me sick.

    No man should have the right to take the life of another (disregarding the complex situation of eutinasia).

  92. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @Sarah Bee

    >the worst crimes are often committed impulsively

    Impulsive murderers sound especially unpredictable and dangerous.

    The point of this is that they have decided to kill him, therefore they should just get on and do it, all this mincing about with the pain levels is witless.

    If you're going to kill him, then kill him.

    Like a cow, because it's cheap and probably less painful than lethal injection.

    As for how a civilised society acts, that is defined by societies that call themselves civilised, there's no absolute benchmark. Why shouldn't a civilised society rid itself of murderers?

    Besides, how civilised is prison? What would you pick? An eternity in prison or a moment of pain?

  93. Hugh_Pym

    Assuming he is guilty

    I personally wouldn't trust the US legal system as far as I could throw it but having said that I am willing to believe that this guy is guilty beyond reasonable doubt.

    HOWEVER mistakes are made, people have confessed to crimes they didn't commit, New evidence comes to light years later. I would be far more willing to say to a guy 'sorry you were in prison for 20 year and you were innocent' rather than 'sorry we killed your son and he was innocent' or based on what a lot of people here suggest 'sorry we tortured your son to death and he was innocent'.

    Would a posthumous pardon really cover it for you if your Son or Daughter was framed by a corrupt cop/politician? Would killing the cop/politician make it all right again?

  94. Campbell

    @ Sarah

    "but the worst crimes are often committed impulsively"

    Maybe so, but don't they establish if the crime was premeditated at the trial? Is that perhaps the difference between life and death.

  95. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @Go Live in a Jungle

    Why don't you go live in a Jungle :)

    Ridiculous argument, whilst we are about it we could just strip you of all your assets and keep you protected in this little hole we got you to dig.

    Rights are not privileges, they are rights, moron.

  96. Eddie
    Thumb Up

    Hiding behind the constitution

    Letting him die in pain, regardless of his crimes, is unconstitutional (cruel and unusual punishment), and would require the removal of the 8th(?) amendment.

    Work out how to overturn that, and you never know, the same may happen to the 2nd Amendment, now, wouldn't that be nice :)

  97. Anonymous Coward
    IT Angle


    Excruciating? Awwww, poor fat rapist/murderer. I say either tie the fucker to a treadmill for a few days, or just do it.

  98. Anonymous Coward


    "Suggestion: He picks his method of demise. His choice is binding as not being "cruel"."

    If I were him, I'd pick natural causes...

  99. Neil


    So, it's a good thing that offenders are punished and view their time inside as a 'holiday camp' is it? The very words of a young offender interviewed in England.

    Here's the thing: I'm a believer that the rights of someone who is law abiding and a contributer to the society which provides those rights should come before the rights of those who is not law abiding and is a detriment to society. Yes that involves treating people who fit the latter catagory harshly. I do not agree that makes me as bad as a murderer.

    I read in the news today about a woman thrown onto railway lines for asking youths to stop smoking at a station. I know who I think has a right to protection, how about you? The youths have too many rights if they can afford to act like this and not fear the consequences of their actions. You carry on championing their rights because otherwise it's unfair to the poor offenders, and I'll keep reading of situations just like this one in the newspaper every morning.

    I'd say that shows your statement about being no better than the murderers applies to YOU more than it does to me.

  100. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @Mike Smith : Impulse.

    >There's a world of difference between a killing done on impulse and

    >one involving a lot of planning. A few examples - Ian Huntley

    That was impulse wasn't it? He didn't plan it, the poor girls were unfortunately in the wrong place at the wrong time and he acted on impulse.

  101. jai


    i find it very surreal that it's possible to condemn a rapist to death, and then get worried about if he's going to be in pain at the point when we dies

    i'm sure his victims are equally concerned for his wellfare

    if you're going to have a death sentence, then do it properly - no point trying to kill people humainly!

  102. Feargal Reilly

    @fajensen AKA Silly-boy-repeating-propaganda-because-he-lacks-critical-faculties.

    The Lisbon treaty does *not* bringing the death penalty back. that's just some rather successful anti-Lisbon FUD.

    All 27 members states of the EU have ratified Protocol 6 to the European Convention on Human Rights which forbids the use of the death penalty, with some exceptions such as use in times of war, etc.

    However, only 22 member states have gone on to ratify Protocol 13, which forbids the death penalty in all cases.

    France, Italy, Latvia, Poland and Spain have not outlawed the death penalty in all cases. They are still subject to Protocol 6 and so have an exemption in times of war, etc.

    All other members states have completed outlawed the death penalty.

    The Lisbon Treaty maintains the status quo by allowing a member state to have exemptions in times of war, etc. It more or less restates protocol 6, because not all members have yet ratified protocol 13.

    Countries such as the UK, Germany, and Ireland, that have ratified Protocol 13 still have completely abolished the death penalty in all cases. Under the Lisbon Treaty, this remains the same. All the Lisbon treaty says is that a country is allowed to have an exemption in times of war, etc. It does not force this exemption on them, and in order for somewhere like the UK to introduce this, it would first have to de-ratify Protocol 13 of the ECHR.

    Instead of wasting your time repeating lies on the Internet, why not spend a few minutes to lobby your nearest French/Italian/Latvian/Polish/Spanish politician/friend/cat on the issue?

  103. Anonymous Coward
    Dead Vulture

    @"no standard any more"

    We went wrong when we moved our troops away from maintaining our empire to defending the French in a couple of wars in the first half of last century.

    We really should have just defended the Belgians as was our only legal responsibility- or at least negotiated free passage for the Germans- and then got on with our empire-strengthening. The French would have lost, the Germans wouldn't have been crippled (leading to them voting in the Nazis) and there'd not have been a Holocaust or even a second world war. The germans were at that time still building bigger and bigger armies so a Red Alert style scenario would have been unlikely.

    Anyway, that's off-topic a bit. Anyway, we should tech our kids the concept of Honour and to maintain it whenever possible. And killing yourself with a bottle of good scotch and a pistol (or sword in some cultures) because of such a monumentally dishonourable act sounds quite a bit nicer than any of the current methods of- or reasons for- execution. Very civilised method of going.

    That's not blood in the icon, that's liquour.

  104. Bill Gould
    Gates Halo

    Just OD him then

    Just give him 3 or 4 horse tranq's. If that doesn't put him out, shoot him. Idiots.

  105. Markie Dussard

    I'm with the guy who ...

    ... referred to all of you armchair executioners as 'shitsacks'.

    The pointless fulminations exhibited here demonstrate exactly why 'civilised' countries try to run systems of justice instead of submitting everyone to the mindless reprisals of self-righteous vigilantism.

  106. Anonymous Coward


    Lot of bloodthirst here...

    If I was going to be executed, I'd pass on a last meal request and instead ask to spend an hour in the company of the 'Moderatrix', in full uniform (including the Otto Z Stern-offending FMBs, natch)

    Mine's the one with the sleeves that do up at the back...

  107. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    Send him to Iraq

    Put his lard arse on a plane to Iraq and let him find IED's instead of our soldiers. If he survives the end of the engagement, then put his buttocks back in the same prison and tap his vein - he should be a more healthy wieght by then so they can find his vein and carry out his sentence.

  108. Tim
    Thumb Up

    Re-inventing the wheel..

    ... so many of these comments are reflecting past comments, can't the moderatrix filter out redundant comments?

    I'm pro-life, but not at my expense, exile him to America, he'll fit right in there.

  109. Anonymous Coward

    Just a little restraint?

    I think Ghandi's eye for an eye statement or 'Do Unto Others' by Jesus H. could do with being repeated here. All this anger and hatred spewed over a story I'd expect many people (certainly me) have no intimate knowledge over. Everyones entitled to their own opinion and undoubtedly this guy has proved he is not a normal member of society and should pay the penalty for breaking the law but why so vitriolic? Yeah it's the Reg and it's supposed to be light hearted and not taken too seriously but personally I find the bloodlust evident in a couple of posts here sickening. I just don't delight in the suffering of others as some people are implying they do.

    Heart because I hope that peace and love really is the answer, man.

  110. Chris Hunt

    Is it me...

    ...or has thias comment page somehow become connected to the Twat-o-Tron?

  111. n

    execution envy

    All this execution envy is actually frustration at the joke of a criminal justice system that exists in the uk.

    The great benefit of execution, like whole life in prison, is that the convicted person never commits a crime again ever for obvious reasons.

    Uk prisons are a revolving door for dangerous criminals.

    In the uk the regular media reports of "killer gets life behind bars" is actually false and people are beginning to see this.

    Actually there is a "whole life tariff" available to judges since 2000, I think there are only 22 people on this tariff in the uk, MOST WHO WERE PREVIOUSLY RELEASED FROM MURDER SENTANCES.

    In the uk NO-ONE, i repeat, NO-ONE stages prison breakouts. The conditions are so good there is no need, free dental and medicals, tv, mobiles, drugs , alcohol, counsellors, social workers, lawyers, playstations, no local taxes to pay, free food, rent, etc are all available.

    And the benefits of serving 50% of an already short sentence for good behaviour is just too good.

    There is even a system called "home leave" available for prisoners to visit their homes while serving their sentence. I am not making this up!

    In fact people actually break IN to uk prisons to bring in things to sell, etc!:

    Conditions are so good that criminals are coming to the uk because the conditions are so good ( a disproportionate amount of UK prisoners are non-uk nationals ).

    It is this frustration that leads people, even police officers to say: 'ang 'em all!

    I think if on these surveys they had 3 options instead of 2, 'ang 'em, whole life terms, 10 years then out on "supervision", "tag". Then most people would want whole life terms. By using 2 options people are distracted and polarised over what is actually needed by 2 false solutions, it all blows over and no-one ever talks about the secret third option of whole life terms.

    If anyone ever does corner politicians on this they will say it's too expensive? But, Prisons should be solitary confinement in a windowless steel box, open cage cell floors for waste to fall through to be collected as bio-fuel and a feeding tube hanging from the top. For recreation a treadwheel connected to a dynamo to provide energy for the national grid would be provided. They could be called a "green prisons".

  112. Chris G


    Give the families of the victims the right to decide on this guy's fate and then stick with that decision.

    It is obvious that he is playing a game to avoid the death sentence. If you can't handle the punishment don't do the crime!

    It is time to stop extending all but basic rights to criminals,if they know in advance that for any criminal act they are going to go to prison on hard labour with no rewards other than adequate food and shelter, many will think twice, if not before their first sentence then probably after it.

    As for the argument that many murders are not premeditated, does that make them any less painful for the victims and their families who have to go on after the crime? The punishment for any murder should be severe, the death penalty may not be appropriate in many cases but should be on the books, although not as in the UK where it is only applicable to high treason, far more important is crime against people. The bottom line is that criminals should suffer for their crimes.

    As before , if you can't do the time don't do the crime.

  113. Samantha Clinton

    Why I get the feeling that I wouldn't want to come across some of you lot if I was a paediatrician? There is evidence of rational thought on both sides of the argument, but it does seem to have been drowned out by the 'baying mob'!

    And for the record, so that I'm not accused of sitting on the fence, I'm largely against it due to the fact that wrongful convictions do happen, and not out of any bleeding heart sentimentality. As has been said, it's rather hard to 'unkill someone'.

  114. Samantha Clinton


    And definitely nothing to do with being a woman!

  115. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    Thanks Sarah Bee

    I worry a little for our profession when the comments page on a technology rag like The Register gets overloaded with an angry mob baying for it's pound of flesh.

    I was particularly pleased to see the Moderatrix step in and provide some balance to the debate, even if it did draw a few pointless flames as a result.

    Now, I also wanted to make a few short points:

    1) The US allows death row inmates maximum latitude in filing appeals. Pretty much every execution ends up going to the supreme court to argue: cruel and unusual punishment; incompetent advocacy; bias of the trial judge; cruelty on death row; and a whole bunch of other things. Too fat to be executed shows imagination on the part of the lawyers, but will almost certainly be rejected. We regularly hear of weird lawsuits from the US, but don't routinely hear about how many don't get anywhere.

    2) I disagree with capital punishment. Not because you might get it wrong (although that is of course possible) - the simple fact is that if you imprison someone for 20 years then decide you've screwed up, you can't give them 20 years of their life back. Getting it wrong is an argument to make sure the trial process is as fair as possible, not an argument to change the punishments that follow. The simple reason I disagree is that, if we are to claim to be a civilised society, we should have limits on what we can and can't do. For example, we should not allow, or even condone, torture. We should not allow detention without trial. We should not allow judicial murder. That's not saying I'm a namby pamby liberal. I do believe that prisons should be tough. But they should be tough by making prisoners work hard, no by encouraging shankings in the showers, or killing off inmates every now and again. The best way to get away from the TV watching, Playstation playing generation of modern British prisons is to make sure everyone is working 14 hour days, 7 days a week. That obviates any need for Playstations etc.

    Anyway, thanks for restoring my faith in this community Sarah.

  116. Sarah Bee (Written by Reg staff)

    Re: Re-inventing the wheel..

    Silence. It's impossible to filter out all the redundant ones. I have got other stuff to do, you know. Punishy stuff.

  117. Paul

    RE: Neil again....

    "So, it's a good thing that offenders are punished and view their time inside as a 'holiday camp' is it? The very words of a young offender interviewed in England."

    I asume you are talking about the same young offenders who see an ASBO as a mark of honour. Of course they are going to say they are like holiday camps. Its a mark of how "hard I is in't". Its an attitued of "I didnt let the filth get me down. They put me in there and it was well good. Not gona put me off. Im to hard. They dont know life on the street." They are not exactly going to say "I cryed for my mummy every night" are they?

  118. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    I guess the thing that bothers people about this is that he's just using his obesity as a get out.

    If they executed no-one, then fair enough, but you can't only execute the skinny ones. It's just not fair.

    If you're going to kill people just get on and do it, it's the way they pretend it's not unpleasant is the irritating thing. Ditch the pompous sentimentality and bolt gun them, like a cow, or don't kill them at all.

  119. Neil


    Actually it's because they get to sit around playing Playstation 3's, watching TV or DVD's, maybe nipping down to the gym for a workout whilst getting three square meals a day and a warm bed.

    Yes they are the same young offenders who probably see an ASBO as a mark of honour. Why wouldn't they? They've nothing to fear from any punishment they may get.

    Here's the interview the same person you're arguing is only saying its a holiday camp because he wants to look tough is saying the worst thing about it is missing his family, and he's also an advocate of much longer sentences for knife crime as he himself can recognise they're not long enough or tough enough. Why can't you?

  120. Law

    New idea

    Create Portal test chambers - he'd lose weight and be helping science. Just remember though - the cake is a lie!

    Icon: Companion cube

  121. Bryce

    You know...

    I wasn't going to say anything at first, but some of the comments I have seen have prompted me to speak up.

    For those of you who are anti-capital punishment, please come up with an alternative deterrent that won't cost us tax-paying non-murderers millions of pounds/dollars a year?

  122. Sarah Bee (Written by Reg staff)

    Re: You know...

    Um, I think murder costs society in literal and figurative senses whatever it chooses to do to the murderers, Bryce.

    And you say 'deterrent' as if that's proven, or even proveable. Which it ain't, unless I've missed something.

  123. Paul


    Ok... Please can you copy and past the part of my comment where I said anything about my views on harsher/longer sentencing for any crime? I mearly questions the usefullness of your source. But then you didnt realise that a right is a right.

    Please don't put words in my mouth.

  124. weirdcult

    @Bah by scott

    Some people might disagree..

  125. Anonymous Coward

    How about...

    Capital punishment is wrong-headed and barbaric, but if you insist:

    Appoint him as Head Beancounter in the BOFH's office, with a brief to cut back IT spending until it squeaks. That ought to do the job. I give him about a week, max.

    He probably won't fit in the tape safe, but there's always the Halon fire suppression system in the server room.

  126. GrahamT

    Civilisation? don't talk to me about civilisation.

    I recently read a book about witchhunts in the 17th century, where a lawyer was tried for aiding Jesuits in planning to overthrow the government (all made up and relying on paid witnesses), because he had defended them at trial.

    He was sentenced to a traditional punishment for treason:

    First he was to be hanged until he almost lost consciousness; (hanged)

    Then he was to be cut down and his stomach opened, his guts pulled out and burnt in front of him; (drawn)

    Then his sexual organs and limbs, then his head were to be severed from his body; (quartered)

    Then his head was to be put on a pole as a warning to others. (though he was probably past caring by then)

    Odd that reading some of the above comments reminded me of this, and here I was thinking we lived in the 21st century, not the 17th.

    Oh, and despite the punishments, murder was far more common then than now in Britain, where we haven't had the death penalty since I was a lad.

  127. Dr. Heinrich Backhausen
    Thumb Down


    Sorry, this discussion is just digusting, immoral, unethic just ist the penlty of death. No society that wants to be seen as civilzed can do murder on prisoners as a legal form of punishment.

    The rest archaic, religious revenge!

    And discussions about what may be alternative methods to murder the prisoner are not a sign of intellectual sophistication but of cynic misanthropy.

  128. Philip Kroker
    Dead Vulture

    Civilized meathods

    The Romans were a civilized people, at least that's what the history books tell me. So why don't we do what they did with their bad crims? I say put on gladiator games for the public. That way the public is at least entereained by their death.

  129. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @Sarah Bee

    Re: deterrent: Wouldn't it be nice if there was somewhere like the UK where they had the death penalty, that we could compare with the UK to see if the Murder rate was kept down by the 'deterrent'. Actually scratch that - what about if there was a place, and it had some areas, let's call them states, where they did execute and some where they didn't, then we could see if the murder rates were higher in the places where they didn't execute and this would prove if there is a deterent effect.

    In case anyone hasn't guessed - the states in the US where they execute have a higher murder rate on average than the ones that don't.

  130. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @Go Live in a Jungle

    So 'rights are not privileges' eh?

    Tell that to the hungry predator that's about to eat you..

    Hint: human society is a artificial structure that doesn't necessarily map onto reality very well. Our concept of 'rights' is pretty recent and only exists in our minds (and as such is changable).

    So to say that it's an 'unalienable right' is to imply that it can't ever be taken away. Since it's manifestly obvious that it *can* be taken away then (equally obviously) it isn't an intrinsic part either of the universe or our biology.

    'Rights' are human social artifices that form a mutually-agreed set of interpersonal protocols. You might aspire to 'rights' (and indeed there is a good argument that human society requires certain 'rights' to function properly) but to imply that they are somehow fundamental to either our genetics (or the universe at large) is, at best, foolish and at worst a lie.

    I realise that this probably conflicts with a US (and increasing UK) view of things. Even taking the various ironies into account (like the fact that the same person who wrote the Declaration of Independance "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness" himself owned slaves whom he denied those very 'rights' or the fact the the English Equivalent (The Magna Carta) was purely designed to prop up the power of the feudal nobility) I'd still prefer to live in a society where those 'rights' are held to be pre-eminent rather than somewhere where the only 'right' that you have is the right to do as you are told..

  131. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Urm... If I were you, next time you feal like sppeking up, do a bit of background reading. Check out the cost of keeping someone in prison for life vs on death row. It is actualy alot cheaper to keep someone in prison. Thats without getting in to the argument about the fact that you are putting a cost on human life and seem to have an opinion of "I dont care what you do with them".

  132. Matt


    >No man should have the right to take the life of another (disregarding the

    >complex situation of eutinasia).

    Let's remember, George Orwell was not writing training manuals. Is there much difference between that line and "all animals are equal, some animals are more equal then others." You can't use weasel words when your belief of absolutely no man has a right to take the life of another conflicts with another belief of yours. Either stick with the absoluteness, or admit there is room for flexibility and enumerate the situations where the taking of life of another man is acceptable.

    Now on to the point I was originally going to post

    1) I don't, in general, support capital punishment in modern society. Chose your litany of reasons -- most crimes are not premeditated enough for it serve as a detterent, it's imposition in the U.S. is very flakey -- both in quality of counsel and who ends up with it being imposed, we can easily afford to keep them incarcerated. There are situations I'm willing to listen to it being of deterent value -- premeditated crimes, particulalry targeting agents of the state (such as prisoners killing guards), or situations such as espionage / sabotage.

    2) The bigger point...the U.S. legal system is a bit more complex then many realize. For better, and worse.

    The U.S. Federal government, including the Supreme Court, can't directly ban capital punishment. They could directly do so only through a consititutional amendment that would require the majority of state legisltatures to even there it's not entirely within their control.

    The adoption of an international treaty by the U.S. government is not binding on the state governments. Normally this is not a problem, as the vast majority of issues covered under international agreements are items the U.S. Constitution already invests the sole or joint authority for with the Federal government. But as the recent case of the Mexican national on death row in Texas showed, such international treaties are not binding on the criminal laws of the individual states. That's the rule, and in the past it hasn't been pushed to the limit often because normally states will voluntarily acquiese to the treaties signed by the federal government.

    The Congress can ban it for federal crimes, and they could provide incentives to the states to drop it (we'll pay 10% of your prison costs if you drop the death penalty). Many "national" laws such as blood alcohol content for driving being .08% are set that way -- Congress can't establish the BAC since driving is regulated by the states, but they will withhold highway funds from states that don't adopt it. That will continue unless, bless the day, we have a Supreme Court that stands up to the rampant abuses of the commerce clause by Congress.

    The Supreme Court can peck away at the edges. The Supreme Court can question the pain involved; they can question if it is being enforced in a fair manner. States could respond easily, chosing less painful procedures (if one buys the pain argument)...and even addressing fairness issues by mandating it across the board. The Supreme Court can question the competency of counsel, and states can address that issue as well.

    They may even, as the recently have done, declare it unconstitutional in certain circumstances where few if any other states still impose it (the "unusual" part of "cruel and unusual"). Punishments are only banned if they are both cruel and unusual and a lot of the whining about the cruelty of lethal injection today is I am certain part of a strategy by the death penalty opponents to first get it accepted that lethal injection is cruel; once that is established they will attack the death penalty roulette and the lack of any defenitive rational as to why some murderers receive it and others don't to establish the "unusual" part. That second part is going to be a much longer constitutional row to hoe.

    But the legal precedents are deep and the constitutional issues are clear that capital punishment itself is allowed and primarily left to the fifty individual states to decide whether to impose it.

  133. Jared
    Thumb Up

    Let's go death penalty, Let's go!

    I'm embarrassed to admit it with all these holier than thou europeans around, but I give the death penalty two big thumbs up. I value consistency. And I know without a doubt that if some sicko tortured and killed my little 3 year old boy, I would want blood. The more excruciatingly painful, the better.

    So even though rationally, I can see a number of good arguments against the death penalty, it doesn't seem fair to only support it for crimes committed against *me*, but not anybody else.

    Does that make me barbaric? Probably. But like most barbarians, being labeled as such doesn't particularly bother me.

  134. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    neither deterrent nor revenge, simply pruning

    I read somewhere that studies have suggested that the death penalty doesn't constitute much of a deterrent. Now that may not be correct, but even if it was correct, it would seem to me that deterrent is much less important than preemption of future murders.

    It is absolutely certain that somebody who has murdered will eventually murder again, given the circumstances, its not a question of if, but when. I am not talking about causing accidental death, but murder. If they have murdered on impulse, they will again murder on impulse. If they have murdered intentionally and planned, they will again murder intentionally and planned.

    Killing a murderer is the only 100% guaranteed method of preventing them from murdering again. This alone should suffice to tolerate the death penalty, not deterrent, not revenge. The planet is overpopulated already, even prisons are overcrowded in many countries, getting rid of those who are nothing but a thread to others is simply a way of pruning society and make space for others. It has nothing to do with deterrent nor with revenge. It is plain practical.

    The only problem with the death penalty is that the trials are not always fair, so the wrong guys may get killed which is counterproductive to the practical aspect of killing a murderer. However, if there is no doubt somebody is a murderer, the best thing for them and for society is that they leave this world as soon as possible. In fact they should be coerced into suicide as an act of heroism.

    Considering that we encourage young men to join the armed forces and sacrifice their lives for their country (in other words for the benefit of society as a whole), then why can we not encourage murderers to also sacrifice their lives for the benefit of society. This way they can give something back to society, since a murderer removing himself from society is doing a service to society. With proper encouragement, I am sure many murderers will agree to commit suicide or assisted suicide. Don't be a pussy, die like a man, you killed, you are a danger to society, you should do the one good honest thing in your live and leave, thank you very much and rest in peace.

  135. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Death row/execution more expensive than Prison

    That's only in the US and because the system allows for endless appeals and goodness knows what else. A particularly nasty form of cruel treatment if you ask me... You can be sure that the cost/balance was a little different in Nazi Germany for instance.

    If a society decides that one of its members is not safe to keep alive then it should do it reasonably quickly and for sure painlessly. A big dose of diamorphine or whatever would seem appropriate - the same as we do for dangerous dogs. What is, after all, the difference in principle?

  136. Anonymous Coward

    Re: You know...

    By the way Bryce, I recommend before you advocate support for the death penalty on cost grounds you examine the costs. It is well known that in the US it costs more over the lifetime of a suspect to put someone to death than it does to leave them in jail for life without parole. The reasons for this are obvious:

    1) A death row inmate gets far more latitude with legal appeals than a life convict. They are allowed to appeal all manner of weird and wonderful things, right the way up to the supreme court, as a matter of course. And a lawyer (pro bono since death row inmates can rarely afford council) charges more for a month of work than the average inmate costs to house.

    2) Death row inmates are given a better quality of cell, and this is almost always solitary. Life convicts can be kept in shared cells, or even dormitories. The reasons for this surround fear of legal attacks to the standard of death row accommodation perpetuating the appeals process.

    3) Death row inmates usually take well over 10 years to get executed.

    Check your costs before you try and justify a barbaric act on cost grounds!

  137. StopthePropaganda

    wow, excellent contortionist logic "Sara Bee"

    how something can be "impulsive" and "meticulously planned" at the same time is an amazing effort of "Quantum Bullsh*ttery" (my term, give credit where do. Also see "Schroedinger's B*llocks"). But, when one is going to push their emotional agenda ahead of logic and common sense, why even pay attention to logic and common sense in the first place?

    Criminal acts by their very nature are uncivilized. What dumb@ss came up with the idea that a society is "civilized" by protecting, tolerating, maintaining and even encouraging uncivilized folk? A groupthink meme started in the misty past by an opium or LSD aided "philosopher" does not equal truth.

    used to be a single murder was enough to warrant execution for the good of the People. But then someone got it in their heads that somehow, executing someone who *initiated* the cycle of death was a bad idea. Now, multiple murders aren't always enough. Rapes, assaults...infect a few people with a slow-killing plague, blind, maim, or disable them for life for personal greed or random evil, destroy victims mentally just for kicks, and even better, serve time for multiple offenses, and that's okay. Support them for decades at a life better than many innocent people around the world.

    How many decades of increasing violence, increasing *level* of violence, that this total crock of a social experiment has tolerated and encouraged, will it take before you people open your eyes and admit it failed? as a previous poster pointed out, Japan has a lower execution number but a higher rate-people *know* that a murder rap is NOT a way to get "street cred" and a status booster on the street. Or are you gonna put on blinders and say that such an attitude amongst street thugs doesn't exist? How does such an attitude exist? Because it is created by emotionally blinded, dogma infused people who refuse to see the "road to Hell" their "good intentions" have been causing for generations now.

    Death penalty WORKS when applied honestly, and regularly (there's no issue of racism if you execute ALL your death penalty crooks quickly instead of waiting around). There is NO repeat offense. And in America's leaky legal system, where crooks get off the hook at the drop of a hat, only the most nasty crooks even make it to Death Row, and to fail an appeal is even harder-unless one is real guilty.

    And don't bring up the one or two "innocent" death row inmates. Because their "innocence" is all legal loopholery, of evidence lost decades ago and of memories of witnesses from years past. Legal trickery does not mean innocence. And for the thousands of braggart murders currently incarcerated and often released, and their tens of thousands of victims that occur because you people refused to do the right thing, one actual mistake is practically impossible, but worth the risk.

    And since liberals usually don't understand the concept of sacrifice for others, before you start the "if YOU were the innocent..." I answer again, yes. Because I already volunteered years ago. So have thousands of others, willing to place their lives on the line, sacrificing everything for the good of their families and society. We/they are called Soldiers. Each day comrades take a bullet or bomb and die unremarked by most of the world, without the benefit of some pain management cocktails or euthanasia-minded hanging drops. Ask any one of them if they'd die to save their team, or guarantee any one of them that his "conviction" and 'execution" means the removal of a thousand wife killers and murderous dope dealers from America's prisons, and you bet your well-protected, American-culture-produced @rse you'd get a positive answer.

    but, I waste my time I'm sure. Arguing common sense about the death penalty with a liberal is exactly like trying to convince a fundamentalist Muslim or Christian that Jesus/Mohammed were insane, fictional characters. With luck, though, a fence sitter might just take the time to think about it.

  138. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @ fajensen

    'Err, no, Mike, because those corrupt beyond belief European parliaments just went and re-introduced the death penalty via the Lisbon treaty "in the case of war, riots, upheaval".'

    Not true.

    Protocol 6 of the European Convention on Human Rights has always allowed for the imposition of the death penalty in times of war, or where there is an imminent prospect of war; but only in signatory states where there is existing legislation that permits the death penalty.

    In all other circumstances the death penalty is forbidden by the binding Nice Treaty of 2000. All but four member states (Italy, Poland, Latvia and Spain) have also ratified Protocol 13 of the ECHR which outlaws the death penalty IN ALL CIRCUMSTANCES.

  139. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    In China, the cost of the death penalty is negative

    First, the family of the executed inmate has to pay for the execution and legal fees. Second, they harvest the organs of executed inmates and sell them for $$$$$, like for example 50.000 USD for a liver, it's very lucrative. And why not?!

    Again, the only problem is that the trials are probably not fair and nobody cares whether the convicted is actually guilty, his organs will bring in enough revenue to make it worthwhile to execute him anyway, guilty or not. Yet, if a system can be set up where murderers get a fair trial and their guilt can be established beyond reasonable doubt, I can see no reason why their organs should not be sold for profit to pay for the cost they caused society.

  140. Bryce

    @AC and @Sarah Bee

    First, no, I don't care what you do with sickos who rape children or murder several people because they get a sick kick off it. Why do you defend the right for these people to sponge off your government and your money? Do you really think that after 20 years in prison they are going to change their minds about their behavior?

    Second, as someone already mentioned, the ONLY reason someone on death row costs more than a normal prison member is because of the endless appeals and costs of "humane" death. If when convicted you took them out back and carried out the sentence, then it wouldn't cost so much, would it?

    Third, if you are so for keeping these people alive because it is their "right" then how can you deny me my "right" to speak up? That's a bit of a flip flop argument there. :P

    Fourth, please don't try to make me out to be the "bad guy" because I put a cost on human life, I'm sure if you did your own background research you'd see that there are several government agencies that do just that :P And if you are going to bad mouth me, at least do it with proper spelling.

    Fifth, it is meant to be a deterrent. It doesn't work because of people with bleeding hearts who fight to keep these kinds of people alive and the lawyers who endlessly appeal. If the process were much simpler it would be a vastly more effective deterrent :)

    Sixth, I have yet to see someone suggest an alternative method of dealing with these type of people other than keeping them in jail. Last time I checked there were several murderers and other seedy types being released from jail early because there isn't enough space for them all. So great, you have your way and let these people stay in jail, the jails fill up, and then they get let go years in advance because there is no space for them. Sounds like a really great system, doesn't it? And yet, my taxes go still go towards this highly ineffectual system. Am I the only one this bothers?

  141. Neil


    "Ok... Please can you copy and past the part of my comment where I said anything about my views on harsher/longer sentencing for any crime? I mearly questions the usefullness of your source. But then you didnt realise that a right is a right.

    Please don't put words in my mouth."

    Ok Mr Paul. Considering you specifically posted to counter my argument that offenders punishment is not tough enough I assumed you disagreed and therefore didn't think punishments are too easy. Perhaps I am mistaken however and you were countering my post by agreeing with me, which seems like a strange thing to do, but oh well.

    Yes a right is a right, but it still remains a privilege. Call a cow a sheep all you want, it's still a cow.

    Let me say this again: Rights are a privilege afforded to us by our society. If more people had a bit more respect for that fact then they wouldn't be so quick to abuse that society.

    Consider all those who have fought and died to allow us to have the rights we enjoy today. I think it's utterly disrespectful to believe these rights are somehow intrinsically ours by nature. Be thankful you have them and stop taking them for granted.

    Now I must get down from the lofty heights of my soapbox and go home. Goodnight!

  142. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    death penalty in Japan is an incentive for the recent murders though

    Weird as it may seem, the death penalty in Japan has been an incentive for the recent killing sprees. Most of the weirdos who killed innocent folk indiscriminately have done so because they want to be executed and said they had not found the courage to commit suicide so they were looking for a little help from the state, the only way to get that assistance from the state is to commit an offense cruel enough to be not only sentenced to death but also then singled out for execution (only the most cruel cases will be signed off by the Justice minister).

    It seems Japanese society would do well to start a public suicide service where weirdos can get assistance committing suicide in order to stop them from going on a killing spree. How f*cked up is that, eh?!

    This would also be beneficial in other ways since those who actually manage to commit suicide often disrupt the peaceful going about life of others, for example when they jump in front of an incoming underground train. Not only does this disrupt the underground system for hours when it happens, but it is extremely tough on the train drivers, some of them never recover from the incident.

    Also those who go on a killing rampage will destroy the lives of their relatives as they will no longer be able to live ordinary lives, they will be in shame for the rest of their lives, often falling mentally ill, many have sold their houses, changed their names and moved to a place where nobody knows them, living in fear the new neighbours will ever find out. A family member who committed suicide is much less trouble as this has a long history in Japan, it doesn't have a stigma.

    In any event, Japan isn't going to abolish the death penalty. The overwhelming majority of the Japanese is either agnostic or in favour of capital punishment. You will be hard pressed to find any Japanese who is firmly against it. This has its roots in Japanese history. Up until about 150 years ago, the death penalty was the only penalty in Japan. You screwed up, you died, no argument, if you argued, you died for arguing. This penal code had been practised for a millenium at least. The outcome is a society that is convinced that bad folks have to be pruned from society. Many times, if somebody was executed, their families would also be executed, especially when the crime was losing a war or opposing a warlord. It is safe to say that Japanese society today mostly consists of descendants of those who didn't screw up. Consequently, there is consensus that if you screw up you should die. This is one ingredient for the high suicide rate here. This mentality isn't going to change any time soon. If it ever changes it will take centuries.

  143. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    "And if you are going to bad mouth me, at least do it with proper spelling"

    Says it all realy. Sink to insults.

    BTW, Im dyslexic. I try my best.

  144. Paul

    RE: Neil

    Again, you put words in my mouth. Saying prisons are not holiday cams dose not mean I feel they are harsh enough. I have stated my point clearly enough.

    As for "Consider all those who have fought and died to allow us to have the rights we enjoy today. I think it's utterly disrespectful to believe these rights are somehow intrinsically ours by nature. Be thankful you have them and stop taking them for granted." HOW DARE YOU!

    I am realy angry about that. You asume that because I beleave that rights should be afforded to all it means that I don't value them? Quight the oposite. Infact I think that by you feeling that they should be taken away, you have no respect for those who died for them. Perhaps there would be less violent crime if people respected other peoples rights and lifes. Problems come not when people have to many rights, but when they do not respect others. People are not killing because they have a right to live, but because they dont respect others right to live. You have it all arse about face.

  145. Johan Bastiaansen

    Survival of the fattest ? ? ?


  146. David Pollard

    @ Sarah Bee

    AC asked, @ Mike Street, "Someone rapes and murders your mother (or wife and daughter); what do you think his punishment [should] be?

    If the perpetrator is capable, i.e. not irretrievably insane, psychopathic etc., it might not be a bad idea to have them spend some while first working out why they did whatever it was and then devising means, with the benefit of their insight, to encourage others not to do likewise. There is a possibility at least that some good might come from this, though it's difficult to see how to induce genuine co-operation. At a lower level of crime, anger management courses seem to work for some people, so it can't be impossible.

    Opportunities for rehabilitation within the present-day penal system remain marginal. Containment is the major task, the prisons being over-filled. So other than by taking a proportion out of circulation, it doesn't do much to stop future crimes, either by those that have been caught or those that haven't.

    As Reg readers amply demonstrate, the desire to inflict hurt and pain is by no means uncommon. Retribution in part glorifies and justifies this unfortunate human trait; as well as perpetuating in society at large the cycle of crime and punishment. Deterrence alone doesn't prevent crime. With rehabilitation there is at least a chance to reduce it.

    Long-term imprisonment may be the only practicable option for some miscreants. It is hard to see that the long-term solution for those close to victims can be anything other than forgiveness. This may not be easy but it's a good deal better than being caught up in the unremitting cycle of retributive justice.

    BTW, to forgive someone it's not necessary to condone their actions.

  147. James Monnett
    Paris Hilton

    uncivilized Europeans

    Such as the French who just got MAJORLY busted for assisting in genocidal activities to the tune of killing 800,000 people in a hundred days in Rwanda?

    Yah the US is so much worse for executing 50-60 MURDERERS a year than the French who kill 8000 innocent people a DAY.

    Fact, Murderers CHOSE to kill someone else, they took it upon themselves to end the life of someone who may or may not have ever even said a unkind word to them. They are NOT decent people, they do not belong in society, and if anyone really loves them that much then why not rent them rooms in your home, we will happily deport them (with the weapon of their choice) to your home country just for the laughs I'm sure.

    Paris, cause she makes as much sense as Amnesty International

  148. Mark

    Re: @Go Live in a Jungle

    Well I have the right to take your life away, yes? If not, then you DO have the right to life.

  149. Dex


    Just give him to the Moderatrix, I'm sure the dog would like more than a few pounds of meat

  150. James Monnett

    Sarah Bee

    Rehabilitation is only possible when the individual in question WANTS to be rehabilitated. In the main, and I have some personal experience as well as a number of friends in Law Enforcement and/or Detentions the majority of violent offenders dont want rehabilitation. Note, I said the majority, there are exceptions.

    For relatively minor offenses, rehabilitation is a good idea to try, for the insane, there is no solution other than attempts at treatment and incarceration. But for those who willfully, brutally attack an innocent person, ie rapists, child molesters/(severe)child abusers, and many murderers I have to say my honest opinion is that the only effective just end is to put them down.

    No matter the security level of a prison escape is always possible, if highly unlikely. Long term detention is expensive and serves at best dubious purpose since many cannot be reformed, especially given the over crowding in prisons. It is safer for the public, for other inmates, and more cost effective in the case of those where there is NO reasonable doubt, to execute them, as quickly as possible.

    That said I do believe that the condemned should get a choice of method, much as in a Utah man who chose firing squad. I dont believe this is a right per se, so much as an opportunity to grant one last choice to the condemned.

  151. b166er
    Paris Hilton


    About time you cracked the whip at some of these savages.

    It's always a shock to the system when debates like this expose how little distance we have covered since we stood up. Some of you must still shit on your heels without realising it. Are your knuckles sore too?

    I blame you for the murderers and rapists, for being no better than them, setting a poor example and conveniently sweeping it all under the fat man's carpet.

    Spoilt tossers.


    Can we have a 'lack of enlightenment' icon please Sarah?

    Paris - as she's the nearest approximation and cheers this dreary thread up a bit.

  152. Bounty


    If it's not our job to kill killers, why do we kidnap the kidnappers? ...small time drug dealers? hackers? Prison is cruel and certainly not usual.

    ///begin sarcasm

    you seem to think it's ok though? Honestly we should do nothing. Don't resist, you could hurt them. Let ** self moderated, non PG stuff ** or the bad guy could get a boo boo.

    ///end sarcasm

    Letting murders mix with drug addicts is dumb, but isolation is cruel, expensive and dangerous for the guards. For death row they should be absolutely certain, but swift (schedule of and duration of) be it by a killing machine or dynamite.

    For those of you who claim (you or) your country donesn't support capital punishment, look into a concept called a "standing army" (There is no "right to life" that's not enforced, your cops DO have access to guns right?)

    It's not just a (10% ?) deterrent, but also self preservation. If the USA executes 1 innocent man, we're all (US citizens) partially responsible. If the USA lets out 1 murderer who repeats we're all partially responsible. Earth is bloody, make the best of it.

    Also, the murder rate is not highly tied to the execution rate, but with the conflicts of the citizens. (cause vs effect) If everyone spoke the same language, ate the same food, liked the same music, same wealth, needed the same amount of space and had the same respect/traditions etc. murder would be down. In a heterogeneous place, conflict/stress is higher. (I like heterogeneous places though. Forcing someone to be like you is not necessarily good.)

    (p.s. I'm not bloodthirsty or full of revenge. If you have a convincing point I'll listen)

  153. Shane Rogers
    Jobs Horns

    "He's about half a Prescott, possibly even a one third."

    Is a Prescott a Reg Standard Measurement?

    If it's not, it damn well should be!

  154. Anonymous Coward

    you have a right to your opinion

    And thankfully, I have mine. The FBI's statistics some years back claimed that 80% of all crime was committed by 20% of the criminals (assumption here meaning convicted criminal). The reason the death penalty is not viewed as a deterrent is that it simply isn't used enough (like get rid of that 20% career criminals).

    I don't know that no death penalty is a problem, but quite frankly, I am sick and tired of keeping these wankers locked up where they get free medical care, college, recreation, ass-raping, etc., etc.., to the tune of more than it would cost to send my kids to a decent college in any given year.

    I have a suggestion for those who don't want them killed. You offer to pay for their upkeep and better still...take them off our hands so we don't ever have to worry about them getting out and doing more of the same. Maybe they could even live with you and your family if you think they're so blinking valuable as lifeforms.

    Me, that was my family that bastard raped and murdered...I doubt he would even have made it to trial...a nice bit of liquid nitrogen to the nads and a tap with the hammer would be first order of business. Oh, that hurt a bit did it...maybe you should have thought about what you were doing first. Most spur of the moment crimes of passion aren't at all like this one. Justice has got lost in the rule of law and it's time for a return to Justice (for all of us).

  155. Trevour Crow

    How to make everybody happy

    Since the death penalty makes people squirm, I suggest a few things:

    First, that those sentenced to lifetime imprisonment or death be sent to special holding areas until all appeals are exhausted. Those with less sentences would be sent elsewhere.

    Second, those sentenced to death may forfeit all appeals and request an immediate execution.

    Third, executees may choose between the firing squad, hanging or electrocution.

    Fourth, on the final appeal in death penalties cases, the court may switch the sentence to life imprisonment.

    Fifth, those sentenced life imprisonment without parole will, upon exhaustion of all appeals, will be sent to sealed areas(to prevent an innocent population of children from forming, prisoners will either be fixed or sexually segregated). Inmates will be fitted with tracking chips in case of later exoneration(in which case the inmate, if alive, will be extracted via gunship - no point taking chances). These sealed areas will be populated only by those sentenced to life and no chance of parole. Convicts sent to these camps will be educated in farming, ranching and nonviolent conflict resolution.

    Sixth, those who have been sentenced to death but have exhausted their appeals instead of surrendering them will be allowed to choose execution by nitrous asphyxiation, in addition to the standard methods.

  156. mas
    Black Helicopters

    Low carb execution

    Wait a minute. He wasn't fat when he raped and murdered those two poor people?

    His punishment: Lose weight (reduce carb intake) for a year and then execute him.

  157. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Re: Deterrent in general

    Many Asian countries have an automatic death penalty for drug dealing / posession and it is carried out swifly with little chance of appeal. In these countries there has never been a reduction in offenders even though the penalty is well known. The only effective deterrent is a higher conviction rate. Most criminals when caught will admit that if they thought they would have been caught they would probably not have comitted the crime.

  158. Bryce


    It's not an insult, it's a request.

    If you are that sensitive about it, please consider using Spellcheck.

  159. James Monnett

    How to make everybody happy....

    Atleast some states do allow the condemned to choose between a few methods of execution or waive their right to appeal, and appellate courts ALWAYS have the option, in the US atleast of ordering resentencing or overturning a verdict all together. The reason they usually don't is because the death penalty is handed down relatively rarely as is, only a small percentage of those cases where it can be applied actually see it applied, therefore those are usually the truly heinous cases that likely will get the same punishment assigned by the new jury as by the first one.

    If you look at the facts almost no one gets the death penalty anymore for a simple murder, in the vast majority of cases it has to be multiple (2 or more) premeditated murders, murder including rape, something along those lines. go blast joe clerk while robbing a 7-11 usually gets either a sentence in years (20-30 being fairly common) or life.

    For those abroad who still want to criticise it... let me restate... these are not people who made a mistake. These are people who WILLINGLY CHOSE to kill another person either for pleasure or their own gain, more often than not they have done it more than once or they wouldn't have the death penalty. No prison ever built is 100% escape proof. As prisoners they are a CONSTANT burden on the same society they threaten. There is little to no reason to believe that if they were ever released they wouldn't, given the chance, repeat their crimes.

    Yes there are RARE exceptions to those rules. There are RARE cases where someone TRULY changes for the better once in prison. These are the exception and not the rule, and since there is no foolproof way to measure someones heart then it is owed to society to ENSURE, beyond any doubt, that these violent individuals NEVER have the opportunity to repeat their offenses. The only way to be 100% sure of that is to put them down.

    You can whine like little PC (self moderated) all you want. but those are facts. In the US because of the rules we follow to keep prison conditions sanitary and humane it DOES cost more to house an inmate than to send a child to a decent college each year. For people who have no respect for the lives of others this is a wholly ridiculous price to pay.

  160. Tonto Popaduopolos

    Just as an aside to UK readers as ....

    ....our former colonial brothers/sisters (and others) may not know about this news item.

    Now I'm usually of the "hang 'em high" brigade but we no longer have that option in the UK.

    Now this is slightly off topic, but where would Barry 'Gulzar' George be now if he had been sentenced to death for the murder of Jill Dando? The evidence was apparently compelling first time round but not seven or so years later.

    Now speculate all you want over the evidence, for and against, but Mr George is living proof that death sentences don't work.

    (I have to say I am still chuckling about that last sentence)

    Mine's the one with the Albert Pierrepoint name tag inside.

  161. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    "You can whine like little PC (self moderated) all you want. but those are facts. In the US because of the rules we follow to keep prison conditions sanitary and humane it DOES cost more to house an inmate than to send a child to a decent college each year. For people who have no respect for the lives of others this is a wholly ridiculous price to pay."

    Sinking to insults realy helps your point, and you still miss the point that it costs more to keep someone on death row than in prison for there whole life (and thats not to do with the appeals costs, but the security they are keeped in)

  162. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @James Monnett

    >these are not people who made a mistake.

    No, somebody else often made the mistake.

    "Joaquín José Martinez served five years in prison in Florida for the murder of two people, but was released after the witnessses who put him behind bars admitted to lying."

    You can't claim this shows that the justice system works it only shows the justice system is flawed.

    Is it a deterrent knowing that someone else will likely be put to death for a crime another commits?

  163. Bounty

    Robert Paul Langley, Jr. and friends

    Why risk having these idiots killing guards and minor offenders? Not to mention influencing them, mentoring them etc.

    Justice will screw up and kill the good guy say.... once a year, but buy doing so, will save 10. Unless you come up with a foolproof way to keep inmates from damaging the guards and each other, or you have some kind of "minority report" style all seeing eye to know if releasing that repeat offender is ok, THIS time.

  164. James Monnett

    Anonymous Coward

    Insults only apply when the shoe fits IMO......

    That said if the number of years is equal yes, but in the case of someone in their 20's when they are convicted, no. Death row for 10 years is NOT more expensive than housing them for 50 years. You also fail utterly to address the safety issue of the fact that no prison is escape proof and the longer someone is in prison the higher the chances become of them successfully escaping.

    Those points aside.....

    In most cases in which the Death penalty is invoked it is justice, plain and simple as well as the most practical means of ensuring the offense is not repeated.

    I do agree after a fashion that death row costs too much.. it costs too much because the prisoners are allowed to appeal everything down to what kind of gum the arresting officer chewed that day. They should be limited to three appeals, based on pertinent facts of the case, and then executed within 1 year of the last one failing. Keeping them in prison longer than that is unfair to the families of their victims and serves no purpose whatsoever other than to cost tax payers more money. Further, even if they exhaust their appeals SHOULD (by some miracle since this is a REALLY rare occurence in Death Penalty cases) new evidence come to light that drastically changes the case, the Governor could always simply pardon them.

  165. James Monnett

    Chris W

    One innocent man of HOW MANY? what percentage are innocent? .2%, MAYBE .5%? Yes Mistakes happen, they are the exception which PROVES the rule.

    Phrase it this way.... when your doctor operates to remove a tumor, he is killing a living thing to let a bigger and more important living thing survive. will some healthy cells be killed in the process? Yes, EVERY time, but it is a acceptable if regreattable price to pay to saver the body as a whole.

    Murderers, rapists, child molesters..... ARE a CANCER in society. They are a malignant tumor which has to be removed for the survival of the greater body. Will some innocents be wrongfully convicted? As with any crime yes, no human institution is perfect. But the VAST majority of those convicted and sentenced, especially in Death Penalty cases, have never managed to provide any evidence significant to cause doubt of their guilt.

    Is the loss of even 1 innocent life tragic? Yes.

    Is that tragedy an acceptable cost to protect dozens or hundreds of others? Yes.

    And before you go asking if I'd pay the price, yeah, I would, and I have the blown knee and discharge to prove it .

  166. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @James Monnett

    Since the death penalty was reinistated in 1976, 824 people have been executed and about 3,700 condemned await execution on America's death rows. In the same time 102 sentenced to death have been found innocent, roughly 2.3%. If you add on the number of people found innocent after the sentence was carried out then the percentage of error increases.

    >Is the loss of even 1 innocent life tragic? Yes.

    If you really feel that way then how about 102?

    >Is that tragedy an acceptable cost to protect dozens or hundreds of others?

    But it doesn't. You still have one of the highest murder rates outside third world countries.

    The Salem witch trials in 1692 resulted in 20 innocent people being put to death, you really haven't learned nor progressed very much since then even though you gained independence and formed your beloved constitution.

  167. James Monnett

    Chris W

    But it doesn't. You still have one of the highest murder rates outside third world countries.-----

    We also have one of the largest national populations. over 250 MILLION people which is several times that of most European nations. Duh we'll have more murders. We also allow out citizens to own guns, which many countries have outlawed or curtailed a LOT more than the US has. It has its purpose, and its cost as well.

    As for putting murderers to death not saving lives? Well that Murderer DEFINATELY wont kill anyone else now will they? Why dont you look up how many people are on Death Row for SINGLE murders that DONT involve children, rape, or some other factor to make the crime more heinous? I will wager you the numbers NATIONALLY dont even make it to 100. So then since we established even by your own numbers, which I suspect are inflated, that 97% of death row is guilty, and can demonstrably prove that the majority, VAST Majority of those I suspect are guilty of MULTIPLE murders, how then can you say that they wouldn't kill again? All it takes is getting out of prison for a few hours depending on how picky they are about victims.

    As I, and others have said before......

    If you love the murdering sods so much we'll be bloody well happy to send them to live with you....

    otherwise accept that even the figure you give is a very reasonable margin of error (less than 3%) for ANY large scale undertaking be it legal, buisness, scientific, or anything else you name. Can it be better? Yah. Do I mourn the innocent? Yes. Would I gladly hold the needle myself for MOST of the killers? Yep. WOuld I gladly take the needle myself if it meant that 45 guilty bastards went with me? In a heartbeat.

  168. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    >Duh we'll have more murders.

    Obviously you don't understand mathematics, rates nor percentages.

    Nevertheless I can only admire the unquestionable blind faith you have in in your beliefs.

  169. James Monnett

    Chris W

    Obviously you don't understand mathematics, rates nor percentages.

    Nevertheless I can only admire the unquestionable blind faith you have in in your beliefs.

    Look a the murders in terms of percentage or population we are at the same level as or lower than a lot of European nations. We are only SLIGHTLY higher than other European nations. Keep in mind in the US one of our most cherished rights is the Second Amendment, which means that Joe Citizen can go to ye olde corner gunshoppe and buy pretty damn near anything he wants short of a machine gun. If he has a FFL he can even buy that. Most European countries dont allow citizens to own guns in anywhere near so unrestricted a manner.

    More guns = more ease of idiot010110 going out and doing something stupid with a gun. Worth the price though since it also acts as a critical balance against government abuse, as the founding fathers intended.

    Also keep in mind, sadly a Disproportionately LARGE percentage of murders in the US can be traced to 3 or 4 Metropolitan areas, eliminate those handful of abberations.... you get the idea.

    Personally since I had finish my degree with honors in a couple weeks I really don't give a rats @$$ what you think of my math skills. But how bout a history lesson for you, Europe, which you seem to think is so great, (and which I dont have a particulaar problem, I've always enjoyed Britain especially, wonderful weather, friendly pubs, and Scotland is especially wonderful) but back to the subject of Europe in general.....

    1) Would have gone to hell twice in the 20th century if not for US intervention

    2) Was home to such wonderfully civilized blokes as Adolf Hitler, Stalin, Gerbels, Himmler, Lenin, Vlad Tepes, et al. I could go on for hours here, but I wont...

    3) Gave the world such civilized notions as final solutions, racial cleansing, indentured service, the guillotine, gas chambers, concentration camps etc. And all when the European countries in question were much "older" as nations than the US. Come on, you have to give us a few centuries to catch up, we're only 230, most of the nations responsible for what I just mentioned were well over 500 when they gave us those wonderful things and ideas....

    4) and most amusingly..... Europe is so civilized that one European country just invaded another, because that European country was enforcing its sovereign rights over its own lawful territory...

    So..... whats that going to do to that precious veneer of civilization? Civilization is a process, a goal if you will, it is not something ANY nation ever has, or ever will, completely achieve.

  170. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @ Chris W

    >The Salem witch trials in 1692 resulted in 20 innocent people being put to death, you really haven't learned nor progressed very much since then even though you gained independence and formed your beloved constitution.

    How do you know that they weren't witches?

    "She turned me into a newt.........."

  171. elderlybloke
    Dead Vulture

    Nitrous Oxide- it WILL put to to sleep

    I used it on Ambulance Duty , actually Entonox (50%Oxyen-50%Nitrous Oxide) puts people to sleep quite well .

    Patient is supposed to hold the mask so that when he goes bye-bye he lets the mask go and doesn't go too far out.

    A bullet in the back of the neck is quick and very effective also.

    Never used that one on a Patient though.

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