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October 19, 2006

Lethal southern hospitality

After a quiet fall during which only two defendants have been executed since Labor Day, yesterday execution chambers got back in action with two executions in two different Southern states within about 30 minutes of each other.  As this AP article details, Florida executed Arthur Rutherford and Mississippi executed Bobby Glen Wilcher a little after 6pm last night.

In looking over state-by-state statistics for executions, one sees that 2006 is yet another year in which more than 80% of executions have taken place in Southern states.  And, notably, right now the three non-southern states that are most "death penalty active" — California, Missouri and Ohio — have their capital systems tied up with lethal injection litigation.  As I have suggested before, it appears that the lethal injection scrummages have made the reality of the death penalty in the United States even more of a regional story.

October 19, 2006 at 06:49 AM | Permalink

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