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October 9, 2013

Arizona and Texas complete executions 29 and 30 in the US in 2013

Throughout the United States, there has been on average less than one execution per week in 2013; this year might end up having the fewest executions in the US in one calendar year in nearly two decades.  (The Death Penalty Information Center has the yearly execution data well assembled here.)  But as reported in the articles linked below, two states today brought total number of executions up to 30:

October 9, 2013 at 10:55 PM | Permalink


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What are you talking about? There are still nine more executions scheduled for this year, not to mention the possibility that Oklahoma, Georgia and Arizona might set some new dates after Monday's certiorari denials. In any case, if nine more executions do take place, the year's total will be 39--two more than were executed in 2008 (at any rate, certainly not two decades ago).

No matter what happens, however, I'm sure that the intentionally misleadingly neutral-sounding Death Penalty Information Center will issue an end-of-year report stating that the year's total signals a growing popular disenchantment with the death penalty. It does make me wonder what their spin will be next year if there's an increase, especially if Florida continues its long-overdue clearing out of its backlog, and if Arkansas and/or North Carolina and/or California and/or Alabama and/or Missouri put an end to their Eighth Amendment lethal-injection litigation.

Posted by: alpino | Oct 10, 2013 3:19:41 AM

Based on the number of executions to date, the pace seems to be for a final total of 36-40. That number would be a little below average for the past 7 years, but not appreciably low. As Alpino notes, several states stuck in protocol/drug litigation have a backlog of people who have already completed the first round of federal habeas review and could be scheduled for execution at any time over the next several years if/when the drug supply issue is solved. The switch by several states to domestic compounding pharmacy could very well become a tide if other states perceive it as a way to avoid European corporate meddling with their execution policies.

Posted by: tmm | Oct 10, 2013 10:11:26 AM

Colleagues, for your consideration, I am informed that today is the eleventh World Day Against the Death Penalty. I'm also informed that the United Kingdom abolished the death penalty in 1969. I understand that since then, it has been the policy of successive UK governments to oppose the death penalty in all circumstances as a matter of principle. I further understand that all 28 members of the European Union agree with the U.K's position. What are we to make of the difference in policy?

Posted by: Michael R. Levine | Oct 10, 2013 1:05:08 PM

We are special.

Posted by: Joe | Oct 10, 2013 2:24:19 PM

Yes, if we go to the USSC website, these two individuals are dealt.


Welcome to the '13 Term.

Posted by: Joe | Oct 10, 2013 2:30:52 PM

Joe --

"We are special."

Now that you mention it, we are, yes. But I appreciate the snark directed at the country that, well, allows you to snark. Try writing, "The Ayatollah bites" in Iran and watch if something "special" happens. Are you ready for 300 lashes?

Still, moving right along, in regards to the DP, the United States is not a bit special. The DP predominates in the Orient, the Subcontinent, the Middle East, Africa, even the Caribbean. The four largest countries have it (China, India, the USA and Indonesia). The world's largest democracy has it. Countries that are as advanced as we are culturally, scientifically and economically have it (Japan and South Korea).

So your claim that, in having the DP, the United States is "special" is just flat-out false. Care to admit it?

OK, that last part is just a joke. As the history of this board attests, liberals can say anything they want, including oodles of false accusations about the prosecutors who convicted Roger Keith Coleman, and, when shown to be lying, just disappear.

Hey, look, that's cool. I've known for years that liberals get to lie. I mean, "If you like your insurance, you'll be able to keep it, dada, dada, dada.................."

Posted by: Bill Otis | Oct 10, 2013 6:27:45 PM

And sure enough a new execution date has just been scheduled in Oklahoma for Ronald Clinton Lott on December 10th. [url]http://www.therepublic.com/view/story/9d56ff979eae48e1973e31fe2255f211/OK--Oklahoma-Execution-Lott[/url]

Posted by: alpino | Oct 10, 2013 6:30:20 PM

"I've known for years that liberals get to lie."

Lying is part of being human. Conservatives "get" to lie in this country too.

Posted by: Joe | Oct 10, 2013 10:06:29 PM

Joe --

Since you avoided a direct answer, I'll ask again: Your claim that, in having the DP, the United States is "special" is just flat-out false. The United States is in league with most of the rest of the world, advanced and not-so-advanced countries alike. Care to admit it?

Posted by: Bill Otis | Oct 11, 2013 9:52:02 AM

Bill, greetings. You write that with respect to the death penalty, "The United States is in league with most of the rest of the world, advanced and not-so-advanced countries alike." I disagree. . My information is to the contrary. As far as I can determine, the death penalty has been abolished in all European countries, except for Belarus. Furthermore, according to Wikipedia (I know, I know....), "The absolute ban on the death penalty is enshrined in both the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union and the European Convention on Human Rights of the Council of Europe, and thus considered a central value. Of all modern European countries, San Marino and Portugal were the first to abolish and only Belarus still practices capital punishment. In 2012, Latvia became the last EU Member State to abolish capital punishment in war time.

As of 2013, in Europe, the death penalty for peace-time crimes has been abolished in all countries except Belarus, while the death penalty for war-time crimes has been abolished in all countries except Belarus and Kazakhstan.(Kazakhstan is a country situated part in Europe and part in Asia)."

I am also informed that "In Russia the death penalty has been indefinitely suspended (under moratorium) therefore the country is de facto abolitionist (abolitionist in practice)."

If this information is incorrect, please let me know. If it is correct, does it not undermine your position?

Best regards,

Posted by: Michael R. Levine | Oct 11, 2013 1:47:55 PM

Mr. Levine, you are committing the fallacy of equating Europe with the rest of the world. Europe is only one continent of approximately 50 nations (not all of whom are members of the European Union). There are over 200 nations in the world, many of which, by any reasonable interpretation, would qualify as advanced (economically) nations (e.g. China, South Korea, Japan, India, Indonesia, Israel, Argentina, and Brazil).

Posted by: tmm | Oct 11, 2013 4:09:54 PM

tmm, thanks for point out my focus on Europe. But here's what else I found that still seems to make my point:

According to Amnesty International, the following is a list of countries that have outlawed the death penalty and the year which it did so:

Albania (2000)
Andorra (1990)
Angola (1992)
Argentina (2008)
Armenia (2003)
Australia (1984)
Austria (1950)
Azerbaijan (1998)
Belgium (1996)
Bhutan (2004)
Bosnia-Herzegovina (1997)
Bulgaria (1998)
Burundi (2009 )
Cambodia (1989)
Canada (1976)
Cape Verde (1981)
Colombia (1910)
Cook Islands (2007)
Costa Rica (1877)
Côte d'Ivoire (2000)
Croatia (1990)
Cyprus (1983)
Czech Republic (1990)
Denmark (1933)
Djibouti (1995)
Dominican Republic (1966)
Ecuador (1906)
Estonia (1998)
Finland (1949)
France (1981)
Gabon (2010)
Georgia (1997)
Germany (1949)
Greece (1993)
Guinea-Bissau (1993)
Haiti (1987)
Honduras (1956)
Hungary (1990)
Iceland (1928)
Ireland (1990)
Italy (1947)
Kyrgyzstan (2007)
Kiribati (1979)
Latvia (2012)
Liechtenstein (1987)
Lithuania (1998)
Luxembourg (1979)
Macedonia (1991)
Malta (1971)

Marshall Islands (1986)
Mauritius (1995)
Mexico (2005)
Micronesia (1986)
Moldova (1995)
Monaco (1962)
Montenegro (2002)
Mozambique (1990)
Namibia (1990)
Nepal (1990)
Netherlands (1870)
New Zealand (1961)
Nicaragua (1979)
Niue (n.a.)
Norway (1905)
Palau (n.a.)
Panama (1903)
Paraguay (1992)
Philippines (2006)
Poland (1997)
Portugal (1867)
Romania (1989)
Rwanda (2007)
Samoa (2004)
San Marino (1848)
São Tomé and Príncipe (1990)
Senegal (2004)
Serbia (2002)
Seychelles (1993)
Slovakia (1990)
Slovenia (1989)
Solomon Islands (1966)
South Africa (1995)
Spain (1978)
Sweden (1921)
Switzerland (1942)
Timor-Leste (1999)
Togo (2009)
Turkey (2002)
Turkmenistan (1999)
Tuvalu (1978)
Ukraine (1999)
United Kingdom (1973)
Uruguay (1907)
Uzbekistan (2008)
Vanuatu (1980)
Vatican City (1969)
Venezuela (1863)

Death Penalty Outlawed for Ordinary Crimes (year)

Bolivia (1997)
Brazil (1979)
Chile (2001)
El Salvador (1983)
Fiji (1979)
Israel (1954)

Kazakhstan (2007)
Latvia (1999)
Peru (1979)

De Facto Ban on Death Penalty (year)

Algeria (1993)
Benin (1987)
Brunei (1957)
Burkina Faso (1988)
Cameroon (1997)
Central African Republic (1981)
Congo (Republic) (1982)
Eritrea (n.a.)
Gambia (1981)
Ghana (n.a.)
Grenada (1978)
Kenya (n.a.)
Korea, South (1997.)
Laos (n.a.)
Liberia (n.a.)
Madagascar (1958)
Malawi (n.a.)
Maldives (1952)
Mali (1980)

Mauritania (1987)
Morocco (1993)
Myanmar (1993)
Nauru (1968)
Niger (1976)
Papua New Guinea (1950)
Russia (1999)
Sierra Leone (1998)
Sri Lanka (1976)
Suriname (1982)
Swaziland (n.a.)
Tajikistan (n.a.)
Tanzania (n.a.)
Tonga (1982)
Tunisia (1990)
Zambia (n.a.)

The following are counties where the Death Penalty is Permitted

Antigua and Barbuda
China (People's Republic)
Congo (Democratic Republic)
Equatorial Guinea
North Korea
Palestinian Authority
St. Kitts and Nevis
St. Lucia
St. Vincent and the Grenadines
Saudi Arabia
South Sudan
Trinidad and Tobago
United Arab Emirates
United States

tmm, I don't know about you, but with a few exceptions, I'm not happy to be associated with counties on the latter list.

Posted by: Michael R. Levine | Oct 11, 2013 5:43:52 PM

Hi Michael,

I'm sorry to be late in answering. I lost track of the thread and just now came back to it.

Your listing of nations is correct so far as I know. But I do not think it undermines my claim that the US is not, as Joe claimed, "special" in having the DP. There are several reasons for this. Most of them I summarized earlier, when I said, "The DP predominates in the Orient, the Subcontinent, the Middle East, Africa, even the Caribbean. The four largest countries have it (China, India, the USA and Indonesia). The world's largest democracy has it. Countries that are as advanced as we are culturally, scientifically and economically have it (Japan and South Korea)."

I join tmm in noting that you seem to conflate the "world" with "Europe."

There are plenty of countries on the "have the DP" list that are unsavory, you bet. There are also plenty of unsavory countries on the "don't have" list.

But either way, the United States is not "associated with" either set of countries in any meaningful way. We have our own unique demography, culture, history and legal tradition.

The DP has a long pedigree in the US. It was not only supported but used by our three greatest Presidents, Washington, Lincoln and FDR. (if a point be made of it, I'm delighted to be "associated with" such men). It's also supported by the incumbent President. Out of 112 Supreme Court Justices, only four (Brennan, Marshall, Blackmun and Stevens) are on record opposing it per se. Not so with the other 108, including every sitting Justice.

Not bad company, there (although I typically disagree with 4 and 1/2 of them).


Posted by: Bill Otis | Oct 12, 2013 3:07:20 AM

When you time comes and you are a citizen of Texas and you get your interview at the Pearly Gates, the question will be: What part of the Sixth Commandment do you not understand? You are one of the People of The State of Texas and Y'all killed hundreds of people since you turned 18 and had a right to vote and participate in that Great State of Texas democracy. You never objected to killing in your name. NEXT!
And its off to Hell. Or Limbo if Saint Peter is in a good mood. Limbo is a suburb of Saint Louis called Oakland.

Posted by: Liberty1st | Oct 12, 2013 12:40:01 PM

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