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February 18, 2014

Execution news in many states thanks to drug shortages and lethal injection litigation

I have gotten more than a little fatigued trying to keep track of all the legal and political developments in states trying to get access to the drugs they need to carry out planned executions.  Nevertheless, a new round of headlines about this topic filled up my news feeds this morning, so I could not resist reporting some of the news through a these stories and links:

February 18, 2014 at 10:43 AM | Permalink


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Did any of these articles have a quote from one "Douglas Berman," like some past articles did?

Posted by: Joe | Feb 18, 2014 11:27:53 AM

I do not think so, Joe, but I sure talk a lot so one never knows... ;-)

Posted by: Doug B. | Feb 18, 2014 1:22:33 PM

Actually, the pace of executions this year is about 50% higher than the pace last year -- eight over the first seven weeks. If that continues, we'll have 60 executions. Last year we had 39.

Of course the broader point is that the whole find-the-right-drug schtick is a gimmick. First, there will never be a "right drug" for the Timothy McVeigh fans. Second, it makes no difference, because the SCOTUS has never ruled against any method of execution used in the United States. Third and most important, it says a great deal about the democratic legitimacy of the abolitionist movement that it would try to achieve its ends through a supply bottleneck when it fails with the voters and the courts.

Posted by: Bill Otis | Feb 18, 2014 2:32:53 PM

I can't tell you how pleased I am that the pace of executions this year is accelerating. My knitting needles need a workout.

Posted by: Madame DeFarge | Feb 18, 2014 3:05:07 PM

/ "it says a great deal about the democratic legitimacy of the abolitionist movement" - B. Otis/
Thank you.

This highlights the inverted value system of some, who choose to use obstruction, irrelevancy, or any means available, to accomplish their ‘good’ end.

Recall the noble Clarence Darrow.
Darrow succeeded in preventing the execution of those who had deliberately kidnapped and killed 14-year-old Booby Franks, arguing:

▼ “It is hardly fair to hang a 19-year-old boy for the philosophy that was taught him at the university," “killing men … taught in every school, aye in the Sunday schools.”
▼ “It will take fifty years to wipe it out of the human heart, if ever. I know this, that after the Civil War in 1865, crimes of this sort increased, marvelously…; and I know it has influenced these boys”

▼ “I protest against the crimes and mistakes of society being visited upon them. All of us have a share in it.”
▼ “The easy thing and the popular thing to do is to hang my clients. I know it. Men and women who do not think will applaud. The cruel and thoughtless will approve.”

▼ “You may hang these boys; you may hang them by the neck until they are dead. But in doing it … you are making it harder for every other boy who in ignorance and darkness
must grope his way through the mazes which only childhood knows. In doing it you will make it harder for unborn children.”
▼"... for the countless unfortunates who must tread the same road in blind childhood that these poor boys have trod”
{en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Leopold_and_Loeb }

Posted by: Adamakis | Feb 18, 2014 3:09:41 PM

Madame DeFarge --

"I can't tell you how pleased I am that the pace of executions this year is accelerating. My knitting needles need a workout."

I hope you'll work them out knitting something nice for the poor, oppressed Dzokhar Tsarnaev.

Maybe you can make him a nice blanket. Will you? Why not?

I mean, as you imply, it's simply barbaric to think that anyone would get a lethal injection for blowing to bits, with a nail bomb, an eight year-old boy. But fear not: His mother and seven year-old sister didn't attend his funeral. They were still in the hospital having the shrapnel dug out of their skin. He got put in the ground without their presence.

C'mon, DeFarge, don't go silent on me! I want to hear from you why you won't knit something nice for little Dzokhar.

Speak up. We await your wise words.

Posted by: Bill Otis | Feb 18, 2014 3:45:30 PM

Way to go Europe! Keep taking the moral high ground.

Posted by: C. Estridge | Feb 18, 2014 5:44:52 PM

Such is Europe's "moral high ground."


Posted by: Bill Otis | Feb 18, 2014 6:22:06 PM

Madame DeFarge --

I'm still waiting for you to tell us why the Boston Marathon bomber deserves some punishment less than death.

I mean, you were ever so eager to sneer that the death penalty is never justified, and is, to the contrary, nothing but an outcropping of barbarism, so I'm sure you can illustrate that point with a full discussion of a prominent case currently in the news.

Cat got your tongue?

Any other of those of you on Madame DeFarge's side want to help her out here?

Posted by: Bill Otis | Feb 19, 2014 1:31:53 PM

Bill, you silly, silly boy, where did I ever say that "Boston Marathon bomber deserves some punishment less than death.?" What I said was "I can't tell you how pleased I am that the pace of executions this year is accelerating." Of course that nasty foreign boy should be be guillotined. Come sit by me while we watch his head roll off and the blood gush out. Don't you love the part where the executioner holds up the head and the crowd roars. I'll save a seat for you. Do you knit? It's not that hard: knit 1; pearl 2. You'll catch on.

Posted by: Madame DeFarge | Feb 20, 2014 12:11:44 AM

Madame --

I see you want to avoid any vaguely serious, or even mildly analytical, discussion of the punishment warranted in the Boston Marathon bombing.

I don't blame you. Absolutist positions tend to hold up poorly when specific facts hove into view.

P.S. It's a telling sign that you intuit how weak your arguments are that the best, and only, thing you can do is spin a demonic caricature of your opponents.

Posted by: Bill Otis | Feb 20, 2014 4:20:48 AM

It would appear that Madame DeFarge is engaging in satire, a form that of course by its very nature eschews "serious" and "analytical" discussion. Despite that, it is perhaps only a modest proposal to say that the form still has its place, even in the lofty environs of the Internet comment thread.

On the other hand, at least one repeat commenter in these parts, apparently with a straight face, has endorsed the death penalty for protesters who cause $8,000 in damages to government property (should such scofflaws dare take their cause to trial). So maybe the Madame is the real deal. Or maybe the death-penalty-for-property-damage post was satire (though I guess not "demonic" enough to elicit the umbrage of Bill Otis). At this point, who can tell?

Posted by: Michael Drake | Feb 21, 2014 3:22:09 PM

And I must say, the allegation of making "demonic caricatures" of one's opponents is particularly rich coming from one who, in the very same thread, referred to death penalty opponents as "Timothy McVeigh fans."

Posted by: Michael Drake | Feb 21, 2014 3:26:52 PM

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