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March 25, 2014

Could 2014 be a "comeback" year for state executions?

Because last Saturday my fantasy baseball league had its annual auction, I have spent time recently thinking about which MLB players might have a big "comeback" year after struggling through 2013.  (As I Yankee fan, I am hoping Derek Jeter has a great comeback; as a fantasy GM, I am hoping Beckett might reward me for using a roster spot to pick him up.)  With comeback concerns in mind, I have lately been thinking about whether state executions might also end up staging something of a comeback after struggling through varied challenges with lethal injection protocols and drug shortages though 2013.

As detailed in this yearly execution chart from the Death Penalty Information Center, there were only 39 executions in 2013.  That was the second lowest yearly total in nearly two decades, and the other recent year with less than 40 executions (2008) was the direct result of SCOTUS halting all executions for a number of months while it considered the constitutionality of lethal execution protocols in Baze.  Opponents of the death penalty celebrated the low number of executions in 2013, and they surely were hoping execution difficulties would drive down execution numbers even further in 2014.

Details from DPIC here and here, however, report that there have already been 12 executions in 2014 and that there are another 12 "serious" execution dates scheduled for the next six weeks.  If most of these executions go forward, and especially if states like Texas and Florida continue to be able to find drugs to continue with executions, it seems very possible that there could end up being 50 or more executions in 2014.

March 25, 2014 at 09:22 AM | Permalink

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Those astute fellows at Crime and Consequences noticed this five weeks ago, and the trend has continued.

As was said there on February 17:

"Astute reader federalist...wonders whether the unhappy truth is that the death penalty is hanging by a thread.

"I understand his anxiety, but I think it misplaced for several reasons.


"First, the pace of executions is picking up. There have been eight executions in the first seven weeks of this year. If that pace just stays the same, we will have more executions in 2014 than at any time in the last decade. Even if it somewhat slackens, we are likely to have more executions than in the last several years."

The whole entry is here: http://www.crimeandconsequences.com/crimblog/2014/02/is-the-death-penalty-hanging-b.html#more

Posted by: Bill Otis | Mar 25, 2014 9:56:56 AM

Bill Otis quotes another blog as follows: ""First, the pace of executions is picking up. There have been eight executions in the first seven weeks of this year. If that pace just stays the same, we will have more executions in 2014 than at any time in the last decade. Even if it somewhat slackens, we are likely to have more executions than in the last several years."

I sure hope Bill, Professor Berman, and the quoted blogger are right. My knitting needles are getting rusty. How am I ever going to finish this sweater on time?

Posted by: Madame DeFarge | Mar 25, 2014 12:37:08 PM

I can hardly wait for those nice injections to pick up again--love to watch those guys struggle and squirm--still not sure why these things not televised--great theater.

Posted by: bloodthirsty | Mar 25, 2014 12:41:08 PM

Madame Defarge --

"How am I ever going to finish this sweater on time?"

Do more knitting and less ventilating.

Posted by: Bill Otis | Mar 25, 2014 1:36:58 PM

bloodthirsty --

Since you enjoy struggling and squirming, I thought you might enjoy this recap, by the state court of appeals, of what was done to the victim of one of the executed inmates for whom you so dearly care:

In July of 1997, 59-year-old Louis "Buddy" Musso, the victim in this case, first met either the appellant or her son, James "J.D." O'Malley, at a church carnival in New Jersey. Musso, though mentally retarded, lived independently, held a job at a local grocery store, and handled his own financial affairs. In June of 1998, Musso left New Jersey to live with the appellant in Jacinto City, Texas. Shortly after Musso moved in with the appellant, Al Becker, Musso's Social Security representative payee and friend of twenty years, began having difficulty contacting Musso. Becker had numerous telephone conversations with the appellant, but the appellant eventually refused to allow him to communicate directly with Musso. Concerned about Musso's welfare, Becker sought assistance from various Texas state agencies, but was not able to gain any further information about Musso's situation.

In July of 1998, the appellant unsuccessfully attempted to designate herself as Musso's representative payee of his Social Security benefits. On an application for a life insurance policy on Musso, the appellant was named beneficiary, and she had described herself as Musso's "wife to be." After Musso's death, police found certificates of insurance for policies in Musso's name, including one that provided $65,000 in the event of Musso's death from violent crime. They also discovered a document entitled Musso's "Last Will and Testament," which purported to leave Musso's entire estate to the appellant while "no one else [was] to get a cent."

In the days leading up to his death, Musso suffered tremendous abuse at the hands of the appellant and her five co-defendants. The appellant would take Musso to the apartment of co-defendants Bernice Ahrens, Craig and Hope Ahrens (Bernice's son and daughter), and Terence Singleton (Hope's fiancé), where Musso was forced to remain seated or in a kneeling position on a plastic mat in the hallway for hours. Whenever Musso attempted to get off the mat, O'Malley would beat or kick him. O'Malley, Singleton, Bernice, and Craig beat Musso, and O'Malley, while wearing combat boots, kicked him repeatedly. The appellant beat Musso with a baseball bat on the buttocks, back, and groin area, and both she and Hope struck him with a belt and buckle. After hearing that Musso had been "misbehaving" while she was away from the apartment, the appellant, who weighed over 300 pounds, repeatedly jumped on top of Musso while he was on his hands and knees, causing him to fall flat on the ground. At one point, Musso requested that someone there call an ambulance. Even though Hope, as she later admitted, recognized the extent of Musso's injuries, he received no medical attention. Someone (the evidence suggests either O'Malley or Singleton and Craig) bathed Musso in a solution of bleach and Pine-Sol cleaning fluid, using a wire brush on his body. Apparently, his killers were giving Musso this kind of "bath" when he died.

On the morning of August 28, 1999, Musso's body was found dumped near a roadway in Galena Park. Because Musso's clothes lacked any blood stains, and his only shoe was on the wrong foot, investigators believed that his body had been dressed after he died. The medical examiner reported an extraordinary number of injuries to Musso's body and was unable to count the "hundreds" of bruises that covered Musso from head to toe. The palms of Musso's hands and the soles of his feet were bruised, while his back and buttocks showed numerous lash marks indicative of his having been whipped. Musso's severely blackened eyes resulted from a "hinge fracture" to his skull, which probably was caused by a blow to the back of the head. He had sustained broken bones in his nose, ribs, and throat. Marks on his back appeared to be cigarette burns, but may have been caused by a hot poker, and the medical examiner noted areas of skin abrasion possibly attributable to contact with a cleaning solution or scrub brush. The cause of death was believed to have been a skull fracture from an unknown object, which left a large, X-shaped laceration in Musso's scalp. ###

Any comment from your wise lips about that? Or would you prefer that what these people do to earn the death penalty go without mention?

Don't go silent on us now, hotshot.

Posted by: Bill Otis | Mar 25, 2014 1:46:30 PM

Because it's an election year and killing people is a great way to look tough on crime. If one only has a few shots, wait until the time is right to make those shots counts.

Posted by: Daniel | Mar 25, 2014 1:52:51 PM

Daniel --

Could you provide us with the evidence that the timing of executions -- generally the carrying out of sentences imposed years ago -- is influenced by people running for office?

Here are some statistics to help out:

Number of executions in 2008 = 37 (lowest in many years)

Number of executions in 2010 = 46

Number of executions in 2012 = 43

Here are the data for the off years:

Number of executions in 2009 = 52 (highest in many years)

Number of executions in 2011 = 43

Number of executions in 2013 = 39

In other words over the last several years, the were 134 executions in off years, and eight fewer, or 126, in election years.

Would you like to explain how you draw your (unstated by obvious) conclusion that executions are politically timed to get votes?

Posted by: Bill Otis | Mar 25, 2014 5:13:59 PM

The headline is "Could 2014 be a "comeback" year for state executions?"

Lets all hope so. Saudi Arabia and China are way ahead of us, but we can still catch them if we try harder.

Posted by: Mary from Vermont | Mar 25, 2014 6:38:24 PM

Mary, don't forget Iran, North Korea, and Yemen.
Setting China aside, Amnesty International says at least 680 executions were carried out last year - up by four on the previous year. Half of those took place in Iran (314). Iraq executed 129, Saudi Arabia 79. The US had just a miserable only 43.

We just have to execute many more people if we are to have even a prayer to overtake even Saudi Arabia. If we really step on it and keep suppressing evidence favorable to the defense, we might approach Iraq's numbers , but I think we need many more years of prosecutorial misconduct to do that.

One thing we can work is making executions public. I think even Bill Otis and SC favor that. Consider that public executions are known to have been carried out in Iran, North Korea, Saudi Arabia and Somalia. In Saudi Arabia, executions are usually beheadings with a sword. S.C. would go for that. In one case recorded by Amnesty, a Sudanese man's head was sewn back onto his body and hung from a pole in a public place. Now that's deterrence. If public executions are good enough for these folks, why not us?

Posted by: Dave from Vermont | Mar 25, 2014 6:49:48 PM

I agree with Dave from Ver Mont, that even in the Green Mountain State, executions (killings of humans) should be public. I advocate killing by firing squad composed of the Governor and five preachers who believe in the so called death penalty. Do it on the Courthouse Square where the human was convicted and sentenced, not in the state capital or off in some prison. The killing by tying the human down on a gurney and injecting him/her with poison is crude, unmanly, inhuman and hidden from public view. The killing should be on video and published in every county in the state and posted on U Tube.

Posted by: Liberty1stl | Mar 25, 2014 8:42:57 PM

In response to bloodthirsty, Bill Otis writes "Or would you prefer that what these people do to earn the death penalty go without mention?" I'll assume that everyone everyone who has been sentenced to death is guilty of the most heinous murder imaginable; even multiple murders etc. I still don't like being in the company of China, Saudi Arabia, Iran, North Korea, and Yemen. Presumably, countries that have abolished the death penalty have just as heinous murders as we do yet they manage to do fine with the penalty.

Posted by: don't know | Mar 25, 2014 8:50:20 PM

"the so called death penalty"
--- What does this mean?
If the penalty is not death, why do you cry, misappropriate Scripture and logic, ridicule Texas,
and attempt to employ satire so often?
--- Oh, you are playing at sarcasm.

I'll try.
Russia has a so-called dictator who is good at being bad.
America has a dictator who is bad at being good.
Russia has a Commander-in-Chief.
America has a so-called CINC.

Posted by: Adamakis | Mar 25, 2014 10:10:32 PM

don't know --

Would you say that the death penalty is an unjust response to the behavior described by the court in the comment I addressed to "bloodthirsty"?

Posted by: Bill Otis | Mar 26, 2014 2:03:37 AM

It's unfortunate that Mary from Vermont, Dave from Vermont, and don't know are anti-Islamic bigots. I personally have doubts about Sharia law, but simply to condemn Islamic countries because they have the death penalty is rank religious discrimination.

It would appear that this glorious trio also condemn Orientals and Indians, as China, Japan, South Korea and India all have the death penalty (so does Indonesia). I guess that in order to qualify as "civilized," one has to look like a Norwegian.

Gosh, you abolitionists are soooooo enlightened. Still carrying the white man's burden, I see.

Posted by: Bill Otis | Mar 26, 2014 2:11:42 AM

What if the death penalty had been imposed ......
"Screams of joy from the family of Mary Jones. On Monday, the judge declaring she was a free woman... after spending the last 32 years in prison. Mary was serving a life sentence without the possibility of parole for her involvement in a double murder in 1981. Her family insisted she was innocent, but she would have died in prison if it hadn't been for USC's "Post Conviction Justice Project". Mary is now home reunited with her family. Heidi Rummel is a law professor at USC. She and her students work closely with the California Institute for Women, taking on cases where they believe there's been injustice... that's how they came across Mary's case. It's a chance for law students to learn how to be lawyers, while those behind bars get representation they would otherwise not have access to. Unfortunately, there are many others who have fallen through the cracks of the justice system. Post Conviction Justice Project has helped free several other incarcerated individuals. It's a long process, it takes many years and lots of dedication... But in the end, to see people like Mary back home with family, a reunion more than three decades in the making… it's all worth it."

Posted by: peter | Mar 26, 2014 11:09:01 AM

Bill Otis, such a death penalty supporter. Suppose it had been imposed here:

Reginald Griffin, Missouri conviction: 1983, Charges Dismissed: 2013

Missouri dismissed all charges related to his death sentence on October 25. (Associated Press, "Ex-death row inmate exonerated in prison stabbing," Oct. 30, 2013. Missouri's Attorney General Chris Koster said it was "the appropriate and ethical decision at this time."). Griffin had been sentenced to death for the murder of a fellow inmate in 1983. His conviction was overturned in 2011 by the Missouri Supreme Court (Griffin v. Denney, No. SC91112, Aug. 2, 2011) because the state had withheld critical evidence. Griffin's conviction relied on the testimony of two jailhouse informants who received benefits in exchange for their testimony. Prosecutors withheld evidence that guards had confiscated a sharpened screwdriver from another inmate, Jeffrey Smith, immediately after the stabbing. Both of Griffin's co-defendants consistently said the third person involved in the crime was Smith, not Griffin. Cyndy Short, the current lead attorney for Griffin, said, "Reggie and his family are overjoyed. This has been a massive weight upon them all for three decades."

In overturning Griffin's conviction, the Missouri Supreme Court said, "There is no physical evidence connecting Griffin to the weapon found in the gymnasium. There is no physical evidence demonstrating any contact between Griffin and Bausley. Instead, Griffin’s continued incarceration for Bausley’s murder is premised on the recanted testimony of inmate Curtis and the impeached testimony of deceased inmate Mozee. Overlaying the entire case is the revelation that the State failed to disclose evidence that tended to implicate Smith, impeach Curtis and Mozee, and bolster the trial testimony of inmate Rogers, who maintained that the inmate fleeing the crime scene was not Griffin." (at 9).

Posted by: Dave from Vermont | Mar 26, 2014 2:58:27 PM

Bill Otis,

And supposed the death penalty had been imposed here:

Louisiana death-row inmate Damon Thibodeaux exonerated with DNA evidence
By Douglas A. Blackmon, Published: September 28, 2012

NEW ORLEANS — A little after 4 a.m. on July 21, 1996, Damon Thibodeaux, a deckhand on a Mississippi River workboat, cracked at the end of a nine-hour interrogation and confessed to the brutal rape and murder of his 14-year-old step-cousin, Crystal Champagne.

“I didn’t know that I had done it,” Thibodeaux said at one point, according to a police transcript. “But I done it.”

Before that day was over, Thibodeaux had recanted his confession, telling his court-appointed lawyer that he told police what they wanted to hear in response to threats of death by lethal injection and his grief over the death of his cousin. Nonetheless, Thibodeaux was later convicted of both crimes and sentenced to die.

Now, after more than 15 years spending 23 hours a day in solitary confinement on death row at Louisiana’s Angola prison farm, Thibodeaux is free.

Judge Patrick McCabe — who presided over the original trial in 1997 — issued a sealed order on Thursday vacating the conviction. With Thibodeaux’s release Friday, he became the 300th wrongly convicted person and 18th death-row inmate exonerated in the United States substantially on the basis of DNA evidence, according to the New York-based Innocence Project, which provides legal counsel to prisoners it believes can be exonerated through DNA testing

Posted by: Mary quite contrary | Mar 26, 2014 3:01:47 PM

And to all you death penalty supporters suppose it had been imposed here:


"Michael Morton (born August 12, 1954) is an American who was wrongfully convicted in 1987 in a Williamson County, Texas court of the 1986 murder of his wife Christine Morton.[1] He spent nearly 25 years in prison before he was exonerated by DNA evidence which supported his claim of innocence and pointed to the crime being committed by another individual. Morton was released from prison on October 4, 2011; the prosecutor was convicted of contempt of court for withholding evidence after the judge had ordered its release to the defense."

Posted by: Nick from Cal. | Mar 26, 2014 3:06:49 PM

If it were so serious, this would be fun. Suppose death had been imposed here:

"Glenn Ford, Louisiana conviction: 1984, Charges Dismissed: 2014

Ford had spent 30 years on Louisiana's death row and was freed after prosecutors filed motions to vacate his conviction and sentence. Louisiana Judge Ramona Emanuel ordered Glenn Ford to be “unconditionally released from the custody of the Louisiana Department of Corrections" on March 11, 2014. Prosecutors said they had received "credible evidence" that Ford "was neither present at, nor a participant in, the robbery and murder" of which he was convicted in 1984. Ford, who has always maintained his innocence, was tried and sentenced to death by an all-white jury. One of the witnesses against him said at trial that police had helped her make up her story."

Posted by: Amy | Mar 26, 2014 3:10:27 PM

How can we push for death in light of all the prosecutorial misconduct. Suppose it had been imposed here:

"Anthony Graves, Texas conviction: 1994, Charges dismissed: 2010
Anthony Graves was released from a Texas prison on October 27 after Washington-Burleson County District Attorney Bill Parham filed a motion to dismiss all charges that had resulted in Graves being sent to death row 16 years ago. Graves was convicted in 1994 of assisting Robert Carter in multiple murders in 1992. There was no physical evidence linking Graves to the crime, and his conviction relied primarily on Carter’s testimony that Graves was his accomplice. Two weeks before Carter was scheduled to be executed in 2000, he provided a statement saying he lied about Graves’s involvement in the crime. He repeated that statement minutes before his execution. In 2006, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit overturned Graves’s conviction and ordered a new trial after finding that prosecutors elicited false statements and withheld testimony that could have influenced the jurors. (Graves v. Dretke, No. 05-70011, U.S. 5th Cir. Mar. 6, 2006). After D.A. Parham began to reassemble the case and review the evidence, he hired former Harris County assistant district attorney Kelly Siegler as a special prosecutor. Siegler soon realized that making a case against Graves would be impossible: "After months of investigation and talking to every witness who's ever been involved in this case, and people who've never been talked to before, after looking under every rock we could find, we found not one piece of credible evidence that links Anthony Graves to the commission of this capital murder. This is not a case where the evidence went south with time or witnesses passed away or we just couldn't make the case anymore. He is an innocent man," Siegler said."

Posted by: statefederal | Mar 26, 2014 3:58:11 PM

And don't forget the tragic case of Michael Toney--another suppression of favorable evidence case:


"Michael Toney, Texas Conviction: 1999, Charges Dismissed: 2009
Toney was released from jail on September 2, 2009 after the state dropped all charges against him for a 1985 bombing that killed three people. The Texas Court of Criminal Appeals overturned Toney’s conviction on December 17, 2008 because the prosecution had suppressed evidence relating to the credibility of its only two witnesses. (Ex parte Toney, AP-76,056 (Tex. Crim. App. December 17, 2008)).

The Tarrant County District Attorney’s Office subsequently withdrew from the case based on the misconduct findings. In September 2009, the Attorney General's Office, which had been specially appointed to the case in the wake of Tarrant County’s withdrawal, dismissed the indictment against Toney. He had consistently maintained his innocence. The case had gone unsolved for 14 years until a jail inmate told authorities that Toney had confessed to the crime. The inmate later recanted his story, saying he had hoped to win early release. The state said it is continuing its investigation into the murders. Toney was killed in an automobile accident one month after his release. The state said it is continuing its investigation into the murders."

Posted by: anon | Mar 26, 2014 4:34:10 PM

As the many cases noted above show, there can be no question that snuffing out any chance to prove innocence is a powerful argument against the death penalty.

Posted by: Michael R. Levine | Mar 26, 2014 4:35:52 PM

What if the death penalty had been imposed ......
Suppose it had been imposed ...
And supposed ...
And to all you ...
If it were so serious ...

Then we would have had the first execution of an innocent man in the last 60 or so years. ..

How can we not push for death, Amy?

Posted by: Adamakis | Mar 26, 2014 4:40:45 PM

It's all true, guys. If people had been executed who weren't executed, we'd be having a different debate.

And if my father had been Nelson Rockefeller, I'd be relaxing on my yacht right now.

This is just the very, very shopworn substitute for your thoroughly absent proof that we have actually executed an innocent person over the last, say, 50 years. And don't hand me Roger Kieth Coleman. We've been over that, and your decade's worth of lies have been exploded.

It's also your way of dodging the fact that you're anti-Islamic and anti-Oriental bigots. Hey, look, congratulations! Nothin' like liberal tolerance!!

It's also, and more tellingly, a way of dodging any explanation for why we shouldn't execute stone-cold mass killers like Timmy McVeigh and Dzokhar Tsarnaev -- people no sensate person thinks or could think are innocent. Care to chime in on that?

Posted by: Bill Otis | Mar 26, 2014 4:42:25 PM

Why not deal with those "innocents" up for future execution, Schadenfreuden?
bound to be one

Posted by: Adamakis | Mar 26, 2014 4:44:30 PM

Adamakis,

Have you noticed that Mary, Dave, peter, bloodthirsty, statefederal, anon, Nick and Amy -- all eight of them -- have not been able to say one single word in response to my post repeating the court's description of the murder committed by a killer Texas recently executed?

I'll put it up again in case they care to try something more analytical than their fifth grade level cutting-and-pasting from partisan websites:

In July of 1997, 59-year-old Louis "Buddy" Musso, the victim in this case, first met either the appellant or her son, James "J.D." O'Malley, at a church carnival in New Jersey. Musso, though mentally retarded, lived independently, held a job at a local grocery store, and handled his own financial affairs. In June of 1998, Musso left New Jersey to live with the appellant in Jacinto City, Texas. Shortly after Musso moved in with the appellant, Al Becker, Musso's Social Security representative payee and friend of twenty years, began having difficulty contacting Musso. Becker had numerous telephone conversations with the appellant, but the appellant eventually refused to allow him to communicate directly with Musso. Concerned about Musso's welfare, Becker sought assistance from various Texas state agencies, but was not able to gain any further information about Musso's situation.

In July of 1998, the appellant unsuccessfully attempted to designate herself as Musso's representative payee of his Social Security benefits. On an application for a life insurance policy on Musso, the appellant was named beneficiary, and she had described herself as Musso's "wife to be." After Musso's death, police found certificates of insurance for policies in Musso's name, including one that provided $65,000 in the event of Musso's death from violent crime. They also discovered a document entitled Musso's "Last Will and Testament," which purported to leave Musso's entire estate to the appellant while "no one else [was] to get a cent."

In the days leading up to his death, Musso suffered tremendous abuse at the hands of the appellant and her five co-defendants. The appellant would take Musso to the apartment of co-defendants Bernice Ahrens, Craig and Hope Ahrens (Bernice's son and daughter), and Terence Singleton (Hope's fiancé), where Musso was forced to remain seated or in a kneeling position on a plastic mat in the hallway for hours. Whenever Musso attempted to get off the mat, O'Malley would beat or kick him. O'Malley, Singleton, Bernice, and Craig beat Musso, and O'Malley, while wearing combat boots, kicked him repeatedly. The appellant beat Musso with a baseball bat on the buttocks, back, and groin area, and both she and Hope struck him with a belt and buckle. After hearing that Musso had been "misbehaving" while she was away from the apartment, the appellant, who weighed over 300 pounds, repeatedly jumped on top of Musso while he was on his hands and knees, causing him to fall flat on the ground. At one point, Musso requested that someone there call an ambulance. Even though Hope, as she later admitted, recognized the extent of Musso's injuries, he received no medical attention. Someone (the evidence suggests either O'Malley or Singleton and Craig) bathed Musso in a solution of bleach and Pine-Sol cleaning fluid, using a wire brush on his body. Apparently, his killers were giving Musso this kind of "bath" when he died.

On the morning of August 28, 1999, Musso's body was found dumped near a roadway in Galena Park. Because Musso's clothes lacked any blood stains, and his only shoe was on the wrong foot, investigators believed that his body had been dressed after he died. The medical examiner reported an extraordinary number of injuries to Musso's body and was unable to count the "hundreds" of bruises that covered Musso from head to toe. The palms of Musso's hands and the soles of his feet were bruised, while his back and buttocks showed numerous lash marks indicative of his having been whipped. Musso's severely blackened eyes resulted from a "hinge fracture" to his skull, which probably was caused by a blow to the back of the head. He had sustained broken bones in his nose, ribs, and throat. Marks on his back appeared to be cigarette burns, but may have been caused by a hot poker, and the medical examiner noted areas of skin abrasion possibly attributable to contact with a cleaning solution or scrub brush. The cause of death was believed to have been a skull fracture from an unknown object, which left a large, X-shaped laceration in Musso's scalp. ###

Any comment from our abolitionist crew about why the death penalty is unjust for a crime like that? Any discussion of how the defendant was actually innocent after all?

Should I wait?

P.S. My remark about anti-Islamic and anti-Oriental bigotry is NOT directed to Michael R. Levine, whose comment appeared while I was typing it. Michael is the last person who would, or does, show bigotry in any fashion.

Posted by: Bill Otis | Mar 26, 2014 5:01:48 PM

My goodness.

Here we are a day later, and the belligerent and high-minded posters Mary, Dave, peter, bloodthirsty, statefederal, anon, Nick and Amy -- each of whom had a good deal to say while looking down their noses -- have not a word to say about either (1) any evidence that a sensate person would think exonerates the killer in the case I described; or (2) any reason to think the death penalty is an unjust punishment for the weeks and months of inhuman cruelty used to kill the victim.

These people are really, really good at copying and pasting from prefab websites, but seem to disappear when confronted with a single contrary case -- a case that calls for balanced thinking rather than borrowed sloganeering.

Imagine that.

Posted by: Bill Otis | Mar 27, 2014 12:37:03 PM

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