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March 27, 2014

"Global Executions Rise With Help From Iran and Iraq"

The title of this post is the headline of this new piece via Time reporting on new worldwide execution data assembled by Amnesty International. Here are the basics:

A steep rise in the number of people executed in Iran and Iraq caused the total number of executions worldwide to rise 15 percent last year, Amnesty International said Thursday. Almost 80 percent of all known executions were recorded in only three countries: Iraq, Iran and Saudi Arabia. In 2013, the number of executions in Iraq went up to 169, while Iran saw them rise to 369. At least 778 people were put to death in 2013, the rights group said, compared to 682 in 2012.

China is still thought to execute the most people, though exact numbers are kept secret. Kuwait, Nigeria, Indonesia and Vietnam last year all resumed their use of capital punishment. But there has been a general decline in the total number of countries using capital punishment in the last 20 years. Many countries who executed people in 2012 did not do so in 2013, including Gambia, Pakistan and the United Arab Emirates.

March 27, 2014 at 10:43 AM | Permalink

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Comments

"Almost 80 percent of all known executions were recorded in only three countries: Iraq, Iran and Saudi Arabia."

This is disappointing. The U.S. just has to execute more people. We must always strive to be number 1 in whatever we do.

Posted by: anon | Mar 27, 2014 11:56:13 AM

"This is disappointing. The U.S. just has to execute more people. We must always strive to be number 1 in whatever we do."

I guess this is now what passes for "argument."

Posted by: Bill Otis | Mar 27, 2014 12:09:20 PM

| OKLAHOMA CITY - March 26, 2014 – cbsnews.com -- A judge ruled Oklahoma state's execution law unconstitutional
Wednesday because its privacy provision is so strict that it that prevents inmates from finding out the source of drugs used in executions,
even through the courts
. |

Wow, that’s strict.
What’s next Oklahoma, are you going to prevent aggravated-murderer-inmates from accessing social networks, family victims’ information, or voting booths?

Atheism is a mania, liberalism is derangement.--Henri Fabre {1st clause}

Posted by: Adamakis | Mar 27, 2014 12:11:35 PM

Anon,
We could get going if not for dunderheads who enable massive delays.

Can one imagine similar appeals by Nuremberg convicts even being entertained?
How about a 20th century appeal for the identity of the ropemaker?

Posted by: Adamakis | Mar 27, 2014 12:31:22 PM

Adamakis and Bill Otis,

"Almost 80 percent of all known executions were recorded in only three countries: Iraq, Iran and Saudi Arabia."

I agree with anon that this is disappointing. We are in good company with Iraq, Iran, Saudi Arabia, North Korea, and China, but why are we lagging way behind in the pace of executions? Where is your patriotism? I think Adamakis and S.C. may be right. The First thing we do is kill all the "dunderhead" defense lawyers.

Posted by: anon12 | Mar 27, 2014 1:08:58 PM

Why am I against the death penalty? Because I remember that every person on death row who was later exonerated and freed was found guilty beyond a reasonable doubt by a unanimous jury.

Posted by: Mary | Mar 27, 2014 1:31:50 PM

Mary --

"Why am I against the death penalty? Because I remember that every person on death row who was later exonerated and freed was found guilty beyond a reasonable doubt by a unanimous jury."

Best to stop pretending. You don't and can't point to a single innocent person who got executed in the last 50 years.

The reason you're against the death penalty is that you want to weaken the United States by pretending that it lacks the legitimacy and moral confidence to give remorseless mass killers like Timothy McVeigh what they have earned.

Posted by: Bill Otis | Mar 27, 2014 1:59:57 PM

anon12 --

"The First thing we do is kill all the 'dunderhead' defense lawyers."

Really, really bad idea. First, I'd lose a lot of my friends. Second, the comments section would lose a lot of its amusement value.

Posted by: Bill Otis | Mar 27, 2014 2:02:30 PM

Bill, you write: "Best to stop pretending. You don't and can't point to a single innocent person who got executed in the last 50 years."

Pray tell me how to go about proving that a person who was executed was innocent? Is the guilty party going to volunteer his testimony?

Posted by: Mary | Mar 27, 2014 2:27:44 PM

Mary:
That is precisely (one reason) why you ought consider being the death penalty: the United States is so scrupulous in maintaing its unprecedented Constitutional rights for defendants.

10 or perhaps 100 or possibly 1,000 guilty persons have gone free without one
innocent being executed!

[ [ P. S.--- Mary, was Jeff Fergson innocent, the bloke "convicted of kidnapping, raping and killing a 17-year-old girl
in suburban St. Louis was executed early Wednesday in Missouri" www.foxnews.com/us/2014/03/26/mo-executes-man-for-
18-kidnapping-rape-killing-teen-state-5th-execution-in-5/ ] ]

Posted by: Adamakis | Mar 27, 2014 2:29:26 PM

Mary --

"Pray tell me how to go about proving that a person who was executed was innocent? Is the guilty party going to volunteer his testimony?"

Happens all the time. Defense lawyer-types pay off inmates already on death row, or on their death bed, to "confess." Sometimes they don't even need a payoff; they do it to curry favor in prison, or because they've been threatened.

Still, your general question might better be directed to your fellow liars, who claimed year after year to have "proved" the "innocence" of Roger Keith Coleman. Indeed, I believe such claims are being peddled to this day on the DPIC website (although I haven't looked recently).

Then there was the Troy Davis case, in which there were also claims that his "innocence" was "proven" by recanting witnesses. Only when a Clinton-appointed district judge looked into it at the direction of the Supreme Court, he found, in a 174-page opinion (you've read it, right?) that Davis was guilty as sin. The opinion was so overwhelming that Davis, on his second shake-and-jive petition to the High Court, couldn't get a single vote.

Now you were going to tell me how any conscious, sensate person could doubt the guilt of Timmy McVeigh? Dzokhar Tsarnaev? John Wayne Gacy? Ted Bundy?

Care to answer on any of those? Or are you just going to go into Amerika Stinks mode?

Posted by: Bill Otis | Mar 27, 2014 3:17:46 PM

lol this has got to be the best comment in months bill!

"Really, really bad idea. First, I'd lose a lot of my friends. Second, the comments section would lose a lot of its amusement value."

of course if taken to the logical end. We'd also loose a lot of DA's and Politicians and other govt officials.


Wait never mind. I'm now all for it!

Posted by: rodsmith | Mar 27, 2014 4:31:00 PM

"Happens all the time. Defense lawyer-types pay off inmates already on death row, or on their death bed, to "confess."

You are simply a hilarious man. It's amazing the horsecrap you try to pass off here but what's even more amazing and insane is that you believe it enough to publicly state it on a site like this that is much more likely to be scrutinized by your professional peers.

Posted by: Greg | Mar 27, 2014 5:02:09 PM

Bill - the death penalty debate isn't about one case. It isn't even about one innocent person who has been executed. It is about the accumulation of evidence that manifestly proves, in spite of all the so-called constitutional safeguards, that the death penaly machinery, from start to finish, is flawed. It makes no difference if we are talking about unqualified defense attorneys, corrupt prosecutors, biased juries, error-strewn forensics, or state laws of procedure later declared by the Supreme Court to have been unfair or plain wrong - all and more contribute to a broken system under which it is inconceivable that wrongful executions have not taken place. All the bluster in the world will not alter those facts and findings. In fact, many more would have perished were it not for the exceptional determination of individuals and organizations who have dug deep and long to prove that prosecutors and juries in specific cases got the guilty verdict wrong. Any system that relies for its credibility on chance interventions such as these has to be rotten to the core and unworthy of the trust you appear to have in it.

Posted by: peter | Mar 27, 2014 5:11:20 PM

Peter writes "In fact, many more would have perished were it not for the exceptional determination of individuals and organizations who have dug deep and long to prove that prosecutors and juries in specific cases got the guilty verdict wrong. Any system that relies for its credibility on chance interventions such as these has to be rotten to the core and unworthy of the trust you appear to have in it."

That's the nub of the problem. Bill Otis , take the DNA exonerations. Did the real guilty party come forward while the wrongly convicted languished for years awaiting death? No., of course not. In the case of Michael Morton (fortunately, not sentenced to death), did the real guilty party come forward in the 25 years he languished in prison because the prosecutor withheld critical exculpatory evidence? No, of course not. Your riposte implying that defense lawyers encourage prisoners to come forward to claim they are responsible for a murder to save a convicted person is unworthy of you

Posted by: Anon5 | Mar 27, 2014 9:03:15 PM

Anon5 --

"Your riposte implying that defense lawyers encourage prisoners to come forward to claim they are responsible for a murder to save a convicted person is unworthy of you."

Which is of course different from saying it's untrue.

Plus it seems the latest defense tactic is to assess my "worthiness," along with that of my wife and family.

Well that's cool. If you can't prove that we've executed an innocent person -- which you can't, despite your side's years of fabricated claims about Roger Keith Coleman and Troy Davis -- you can always attack your opponent and his family.

But if perchance you might direct yourself to an actual case, I'm wondering if you can tell me why we should not have executed Timothy McVeigh. Please note I am not asking here for the usual litany of talking points about how Amerika Stinks and Prosecutors Are Satan. Instead, let's get down to specfics:

1. Could any sensate person doubt McVeigh's guilt? On what basis?

2. Was his death penalty legal and constitutional?

3. Is there something about his case that you know that the unanimous jury didn't? What would that be?

4. What evidence do you have that the prosecutors withheld evidence?

5. What evidence do you have that the defense was incompetent?

6. What evidence do you have that race played a part in the case?

You are of course free to refuse to answer these questions, which is what I expect you will do. We can always go back to the deficiencies of my family.

If, perchance, you specifically answer the questions, thank you. And I have one more: When a previously convicted killer already serving LWOP kills again in prison (say, because his weaker cellmate refuses sexual favors), what sentence do you recommend?

Loss of canteen privileges? What?

Posted by: Bill Otis | Mar 28, 2014 11:03:39 AM

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