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back to article Sluggish economy means hard times for US executioners

Economic turmoil has wreaked havoc on the US execution industry, latest figures show, with the total number of prisoners put to death well down on last year. The Death Penalty Information Centre's annual report showed 49 executions were carried out across the US last year, a 12 per cent drop compared to 2009. Even more dramatic …

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Headmaster

It'll be the death of me yet

Surely the past tense of 'to wreak' is wrought?

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Headmaster

WTF

Wrought - The Facts.

(I found them on the web so they must be true).

Wrought is the (archaic ?) past tense of work. eg as in wrought iron. So "wrought havoc" means "worked havoc" and would be ok in the article (IMHO).

But wreaked is the past tense of wreak and thus is also ok. (But "wreak havoc" seems to be dangerously close to tautology).

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Trouble with the

death penalty is simply the amount of money wasted in keeping the "accused" alive for the 10 years they will spend on death row.

Either abolish it altogether or stop messing around. When the evidence is clear and incontravertible, simply execute them with a single bullet to the head straight after the trial.

No messing, no fuss, no unnessacery monetary expenditure. Also might send a more clear message that you will be joining your victim in the afterlife a lot sooner than you had imagined..

Trial, verdict, prison or bullet...

Simples...

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@cornz

How about I manufacture some 'incontravertable' evidence against you, as some unscrupulous 'Officers of teh law' have done here in the UK. What about the bullet in the head then?

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WTF?

Right, because...

... nobody has *EVER* subsequently been acquitted on appeal or post-humously found to have been the innocent victim of a miscarriage of justice.

Tell me, how much justice can *you* afford?

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You're Wrong

Derek Bentley.

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Anonymous Coward

I have a better idea.

Anyone who concludes their argument with the word 'Simples' will - without recourse to judge or jury - have a Meerkat thrust right up their bottom.

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Go

Who'd have thunk it.

Rather, they would prefer money to go to emergency services, job creation, crime prevention, schools, even roads and transportation

A perhaps brief, but very welcome moment of clarity.

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Silver badge

It just needs more media coverage

> the cost and logistics of snuffing convicts also a factor

Just sell the franchise to the TV companies. With standards of taste falling all over the place, surely there's a huge market for The Friday Night Execution. I'm sure it would attract the same sort of people who are happy to fill their lives with all the other sorts of public humiliation reality shows that are saturating the airwaves these days.

If that isn't enough, they could even add a You've Been Framed element to the shows, and entrap some villains - maybe even with first-person-shooter footage of the crime, sorry: SLAYING, that led to them arriving on death row in the first place. After all, we know that no-one ever went bust by underestimating the viewing audience. [deliberate misquote, btw]

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Anonymous Coward

It has been done already

Many years ago, I worked in a country, now famous for certain (numbered) scams, where executions on Bar Beach were televised each week. The viewing figures would beat the pants off todays X-factor figures, so great potential for advertising revenue there.

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Alert

No tit required

I support the death penalty for murderers and violent rapists.

Strange how the USA isn't as tied down by human rights like we are.

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FAIL

"Strange how the USA isn't as tied down by human rights like we are."

You say that as if it's a good thing.

Also remember that when you're over at the Daily Fail you need to spell it "Yoomun Rites" or they won't understand you.

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There was a guy

When I was younger and more niaive, I used to think like that. However travesties of justice can and do occur.

This should be lesson for the hang 'em high brigade....

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Murder_of_Lesley_Molseed

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RE: Norfolk 'n' Goode

I do read the Daily Mail actually Norfolk, and am constantly disgusted by the BNP-like,sexist,racist and homophobic comments on their site.

All i meant was if it's proven beyond doubt that someone did commit such a disgraceful crime as murder with intent to kill or violent rapes, then they should not be given the human rights they abused on their victim.

The victim should get justice, not the criminal.

If you think stabbing someone 28 times and getting a 2 year sentence (as in a recent case) is too much then wheres the justice?

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@ Tigra 07

"If you think stabbing someone 28 times and getting a 2 year sentence (as in a recent case) is too much then wheres the justice?"

Just because I don't agree with state sanctioned murder doesn't mean I think criminals should be treated leniently. With thinking like that you really should go and read the Daily Fail, you'll fit right in.

TBH I have no time arguing with people who agree with the deliberate and premeditated killing on another human being in the name of justice. Their arguments for it are so irrationally motivated by hate and desire for blood that civilised ideas mean nothing to it's proponents.

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Grenade

RE: Norfolk 'n' Goode

"Their arguments for it are so irrationally motivated by hate and desire for blood"

Nope, they're motivated by justice when someone gets away almost scott-free and the victim is left traumatised or dead.

I never said every criminal should get the chair, just the ones like Hitler or Jack the Ripper, or serial rapists.

Look up the dictionary definition of justice.

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Anonymous Coward

Killing is bad

If you do it, we'll kill you.

Doesn't that sound even a little bit fucked up to you?

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@Tigra 07

And you try looking up the dictionary definition of vengeance.

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No it doesn't.

Roy Whiting.

Does that mean anything to you?

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RE: Ted Treen

"Roy Whiting.

Does that mean anything to you?"

Yep, i believe he was a dangerous paedophile who should either be undergoing forced chemical castration or locked up til the day he dies.

Science has already established paedophiles are uncurable and so if he ever wants to be released he should be castrated chemically.

It's not the same as murdering someone, because this guy will always be a threat, whereas a murderer can reform.

What do you think?

Agree or disagree?

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Linux

Criminal or Insane?

I would think that that man would be regarded as "insane", by a sane society, by the mere virtue of his actions. It's insane, on our part, to consider him a criminal. In the Bible, Jesus spent time in the cave of the "Wild Man" and healed him. I suspect there was also a message to us in that parable. as well.

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Anonymous Coward

Its the bizarre way the US does executions that makes it so expensive...

Firsly the whole process with unlimited appeals and decades on death row seems to be only designed to make lawyers rich... If you must judicially kill me for goodness sake do it, don't leave me on death row for decades. There does seem something peculiarly barbaric about that. In Britain it used to be a matter of no more than a few weeks between trial and execution, not ten damn years. The method seems bizarre too: all these odd cocktails. You'd think that a simple overdose of barbiturates or the like would be more effective.

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Pirate

Privatise, shirley?

With the current penchant for employing all these government accountants in cost-saving exercises (finding new ways of keeping their salaries while removing everyone else's), I'm surprised this activity is still paid for by the state.

It certainly doesn't cost millions to prosecute a capital offence outside prison. Taking this industry out into the private sphere will galvanise the sort of back-street can-do attitude which made America into the country it is today.

A useful by-product will be the release into the market of some highly trained needle-men for whom there are many willing, indeed hungry customers - it's a win all round!

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Headmaster

Surely you didn't mean to say Shirley.

Argh! What is it recently with loads of my fellow commentards using Shirley instead of surely.

"Surely" means definitely or positively. "Shirley" is a woman's name. You sound like idiots when you get it wrong.

Here's an illustrative example from the film "Airplane" to help you understand the difference.

Rumack: Can you fly this plane, and land it?

Ted Striker: Surely you can't be serious.

Rumack: I am serious... and don't call me Shirley.

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Pirate

Y.A.T

It's an 'omage, to him wot gone before, innit. Like wot yours is.

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WTF?

@ P Henry

I found this sense of humour in the street and though you might have lost yours.

But then again it can't be as you obviously never had one to begin with.

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It's politically incorrect, but ...

The real problem starts with the beginning, not the end.

What percentage of death row inmates come from a single parent home? And of those, how many are the children of uneducated welfare mothers who are allowed, and even financially encouraged to breed, despite not being able to care for their sprog? And of *those*, how many of said uneducated, single parents smack their kids around physically, as a means of attempting to maintain a semblance of order in the household, thus teaching the kids that violence is a pretty good means to an end?

Like begets like ... Time to take the blinders off, people. I'm not sure what the answer is, but it's painfully obvious what the root of the problem is ...

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Unhappy

One extra reson for capital punishment

Those poor abused children turned into criminals did not learn anything about not causing pain and suffering to fellow humans. Sorry but poverty and a history of abuse is not an excuse for taking pleasure in committing criminal acts.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: One extra reson for capital punishment

"Those poor abused children turned into criminals did not learn anything about not causing pain and suffering to fellow humans."

Right. And the time to learn about how to treat other human beings is when one is young.

"Sorry but poverty and a history of abuse is not an excuse for taking pleasure in committing criminal acts."

No it isn't. But what the commenter may have been pointing out is that you have to address exactly these issues in order to prevent people being introduced into society with severe deficiencies with respect to how they treat other people. Letting people grow up "damaged" and then advocating their execution when they fail to realise how to behave is a classic horse and stable door approach.

Of course, the commenter may have been advocating some quite draconian restrictions on parenthood, but the solution is really to improve education levels and to make everyone aware of what living in a civilised society (or even a society of any kind) is all about. Sadly, in places like Britain, although it's likely to be true throughout the western democracies, education is one of those "Boring, it's not saving me any money!" policy points that won't immediately gratify large sections of the electorate (the "it's only worth voting Labour or Tory" Britards, particularly) and thus the long road to tackling society's ills remains untrodden even though we could have begun years ago and be largely benefiting from that effort now.

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Society's Ills

Without getting on a whole Nature-vs-Nurture argument, a bit of Googling should point you down some decent "profiling" statistics that show the commonalities behind serial rapists/murderers (serial being the key, since "fewer" people would [should?] be opposed to repeat offenders being put to death, as opposed to those one-off types). Of course, draconian regulations that prevent abusive, single-parent households from having children is a bit much, but just as you can lead a horse to water, but can't make him drink, you can't force children to pay attention in schooling either, no matter how "good" it is, or how much funding it receives.

In short: "Rather, they would prefer money to go to...job creation, crime prevention, schools..." This would definately help the more needs-based crimes (theft due to monetary need, other than drug money..., etc) however "crime prevention" would also be detering repeat offenders. And sorry, "even roads and transportation" wouldn't do anything to cut down on the criminal element unless they're giving out bus passes for free....

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WTF?

And what about those who aren't from a deprived background?

There are enough people from well to do parents, Mum & Dad still happily married etc. who commit vicious crimes. What _excuse_ will you find for them, or, because of their wealth, do _they_ not need your concern and sympathies?

It is painfully the truth that some people will commit crimes despite their backgrounds, not _because_ of it.

I also wonder how many people from 'deprived' beginnings use this fact to try to excuse their actions. After all, according to lots of commentards here it's not _their_ fault that they're vicious serial killers is it now?

What on Earth has happened to personal responsibility?

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Terminator

I agree

If you know that for the next ten years your death will be delayed (and most of the appeals are NOT from prisioners, they're from do-good samaritan organisations), that's surely more barbaric than a quick clean end? hell why not let them sign up for human drug experimentation, save some less fortunate animals from suffering.

Hats off to the death row inmate who decided to try make some good from his death by becoming the body for that 3-d body view programme, the name escapes me at this time.

I've even heard of cases where prisoners are fighting in court against the samaritan organisations for the right to be put to death.

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Ironic.

That the reason many of those on death row are there due to their country spending little money and attention on them and then the said same country is prepared to waste millions on killing them.

Insane isnt the word.

The other irony is that many of those on Death Row will have lived far longer than they would have out in their own community.

I bet the state heathcare is good if they are keen for you to not cheat the lethal injection.

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Gold badge

Executions on USA soil only then?

I take it that these figures are only for the executions carried out on USA home soil then?

They don't include the thousands executed world-wide in their own countries because the USA found them guilty of being foreign? (Iraq, Afganistan, Pakistan and who knows where else)

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Anonymous Coward

I see what you did, now

At first I thought you were commenting on the barbaric practices of those countries (decapitation, slow death by torture by stoning, etc.), but then I realized that you were only expressing a bit of yank-hatred.

Silly me.

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Joke

That reminds me...

A few months back I was walking through a Saudi market and saw a guy having his hands stitched back on and said:

"I see you won your appeal".

<Baddum-tsssh>

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Anonymous Coward

Well...

For those wondering about the 'barbarism' of Death Row, that's kind of the point. They know that at some point, they are going to die, that every day might be their last. The idea is a deterrent, apparently - though it doesn't seem to be working so well. Maybe we need a new alternative deterrent, something else for the 'do-gooders' to complain about, something else that 'impugns' the apparent rights of the prisoners, because they're not bad people, they're just misunderstood. Or something.

That would actually help, come to think of it: get rid of some of the do-gooder aspect.

For the fellow commentard wondering about Shirley, it's the age-old play brought up by the recently departed Leslie Nielsen in Airplane.

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And everyone misses the point.

We are having to pay our Executioners unemployment insurance; times are hard for these folk.

How does Daddy say, "Son, someday this will all be yours." when he stares at an unmarked calendar and hears the wolf scratching at his door?

Mark my words, the kid will grow up to be a Dentist or such.

We have to think of the children.

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Coat

re: It's politically incorrect, but ... #

I don't know, but shirley it wouldn't be right to have a pre-emptive death penalty for uneducated welfare mothers and their children? That said, and I've been a life-long opponent of the death penalty - but I do think an exception should be made in the case of serial politicians.

Mine's the one with the rope and black cap in the pocket...

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Joke

If they need work we have plenty of criminals over here

If they need work we have plenty of criminals(politicians) over here

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title

Think we've summed up Capitalising nicely in this story;

Executions should be re-examined, not because of moral, theological, or humane reasons, but because it's not cost effective...

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Grenade

The title is required, and must contain letters and/or digits.

Whats wrong with just putting convicts to work? Unpaud of course, just get them to be builders, plumbers, electricians etc, so they can boost the economy (without the cost of their wages) by creating growth.

Then after how ever many years their sentence is, they walk away with a trade and can hopefully become a part of society again.

And for those who cannot/will not go back to being a part of society, should be shipped to an uninhabitted island somewhere, and let them loose on each other Unreal Tournament style?

Amirite?

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It would be a bummer...

to be minding one's own business and suddenly be arrested, tried, convicted and executed for someone else's crime. Thankfully, the odds of that are so remote that nobody imagines that as being as likely as being killed by an asteroid while cashing in a winning lottery ticket.

It would be every bit as much a very bad day to be minding one's own business and suddenly be murdered by some low-life scum with no regard for human life. Far, far more likely. It is also a more likely scenario that the aforementioned scum was previously convicted of a murder.

So why is it that we are so afraid of executing "the wrong man?" The wrong man is being executed every day. The question is, will we as a society elevate human life by imposing a just and preventative punishment or will we let the bigger, meaner animals rule the jungle?

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