« Delaware editorial (strangely?) assails providing sentencing judges with punishment cost data | Main | "Risk as a Proxy for Race" »

September 21, 2010

Georgia execution delayed after failed suicide (DIY?) effort by condemned

I am struggling to figure out how best to portray this (sad? telling? ironic?) AP story out of Georgia, which is headlined "Georgia execution delayed after suicide attempt."  Here are the details:

The Georgia Supreme Court is delaying the execution of a condemned man who attempted suicide hours before he was to be put to death by injection.

The court's order postponed the execution of Brandon Joseph Rhode to give the 31-year-old a chance to file a new challenge after his attorneys said he tried to slit his wrists. Corrections officials rescheduled it for Friday.

Rhode's attorneys say executing him would violate the Constitution's ban on cruel and unusual punishment. Rhode was scheduled to die for the killings of a 37-year-old man and two of his children during a burglary.

I know I should not joke about such serious life-and-death matters, but I cannot help but wonder if Rhode was just trying to make a statement about DIY culture on his (no-longer-) last day of life.

September 21, 2010 at 04:44 PM | Permalink


TrackBack URL for this entry:

Listed below are links to weblogs that reference Georgia execution delayed after failed suicide (DIY?) effort by condemned:


Of course there is a profound difference between taking one's own life – an act of agency – and having that life taken by others.

Posted by: dm | Sep 21, 2010 5:20:15 PM

The execution should not have been delayed.

Posted by: federalist | Sep 21, 2010 9:17:13 PM

The pro-criminal lawyer will use any pretext to keep the murderer alive and to generate lawyer procedure, even an express desire to die.

Posted by: Supremacy Claus | Sep 22, 2010 12:54:31 AM

So that means that anytime an inmate facing a execution date tries this, he is incompetent and mentally ill? Sounds like another legal loophole being generated.

Posted by: DaveP | Sep 22, 2010 7:48:40 AM

When Lawrence Reynolds tried this it bought him just 7 days more to live. I doubt Rhodes will have even that long.

Posted by: MikeinCT | Sep 22, 2010 12:13:23 PM

Doug --

Your blog is a valuable resource and you are a credible commentator on sentencing issues. However, when you make quips like you just did in this post about the DIY movement (comparing suicide of a condemned man with arts and crafts) you loose a lot of your own credibility. Having worked with these people for years, and having witnessed six executions personally, I think it is a shame that a person in your position would be so cavalier. Blogging is no different than emailing, sometimes thinking before pushing send is a good idea.


Posted by: PatinOR | Sep 22, 2010 3:30:45 PM

PatinOr: You appear to depend on the condemned for income. You have no credibility. You are advocating for the people who generate your income. I find that self-dealing and morally disgusting. You are a death penalty whore. As a minimum, you should disclose the fraction of your income dependent on this population, so the reader may discount the validity of the opinion by the same fraction. I just find death penalty whores beyond the pale, weasels, and more reprehensible than even the murderers, perhaps. Nor am I defending Prof. Berman, who needs no help from me, and who knows how much and how deeply we disagree. If you are not a lawyer, I retract all the above, and extend a sincere apology. We have no dispute, and I respect your opinions, however much we differ.

Posted by: Supremacy Claus | Sep 22, 2010 4:00:14 PM

I agree with PatinOR.

Posted by: Robert | Sep 22, 2010 4:53:18 PM

There are death penalty whores, and there are death penalty whore running dogs.

Posted by: Supremacy Claus | Sep 22, 2010 6:06:36 PM

Advanced societies and modern civilization should, by nature, oppose the death penalty. I am not soft on crime. The death penalty is a tremendous problem for Christians, Jews, Buddhists and Hindus, and one that has already lost traction in the majority of supposed "1st World" countries. One should note that the Taliban has no problem with executions. I think that speaks volumes for the state of conscience required to tolerate such state sanctioned acts. THROW AWAY THE KEY! Nothing is worse than a life devoid of human contact and love. This should be the fate of those like this killer.

Posted by: Gerry | Sep 23, 2010 4:12:37 PM

The death penalty is simply murder - cold blooded murder, by another name and deserves to be considered such. No matter how we formalize its enactment, it remains murder. Thank you but I decline to be made a party to it.

Posted by: Throsso | Sep 26, 2010 2:42:56 PM

Post a comment

In the body of your email, please indicate if you are a professor, student, prosecutor, defense attorney, etc. so I can gain a sense of who is reading my blog. Thank you, DAB