Capital Punishment

Sep 07

An interesting series on the death penalty

The AJC is having a series on the death penalty in Georgia. Two interesting tidbits

Tidbit 1

White killers are more likely to face capital prosecution and land on death row, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution found. The reason: White killers are more likely to kill white people.

A statistical analysis shows Georgia prosecutors were more than twice as likely to seek the death penalty when the victim was white.

Tidbit 2

Though most crime involves a victim and a perpetrator of the same race, there is no tradition of outrage on behalf of black victims who are attacked by black assailants. Fulton County District Attorney Paul Howard, who is black, has noticed the difference.

“Everyday my office … handles horrible cases involving the sexual assault and/or death of black children, black women and black senior citizens. It is difficult for me to recall an occasion wherein my office has received a note, card, letter or phone call from any black advocacy group or political leader in support of these victims. We receive many communications in support of black defendants in some of those same cases,” he wrote in an e-mail.

“I am very disturbed about what’s happened to Genarlow Wilson and the ‘Jena Six,’ but I am equally disturbed by the plight of the endless number of black victims who don’t have the benefit of community support or outrage,” he said.

Public Choice theory strikes again I suppose.

May 07

Willful blindness in the media

I read the headline of this article Ohio lethal injection takes 2 hours, 10 tries and was thinking how tough that guy must be, after all, 10 tries! Then I read

Death penalty opponents called on the state to halt executions after prison staff struggled to find suitable veins on a condemned man’s arm to deliver the lethal chemicals.

The execution team stuck Christopher Newton at least 10 times with needles Thursday to insert the shunts where the chemicals are injected.

Officials said the delay was due to Newton’s size — he weighed 265 pounds. In May 2006, the execution of Joseph Lewis Clark was delayed about 90 minutes because the team could not find a suitable vein. He was a longtime intravenous drug user.

This is ridiculous. Not being able to find veins is quite common in any hospital, nursing home, or drug den. After a prolonged period of being jabbed with needles the veins (quite sensibly) appear to retreat and get much harder to find. A high percentage of body fat will makes it hard as well. It’s not like this guy withstood the lethal dose ten times or anything.

This is why everyone should read The Corner.

Nov 06

Of morbid interest

How hangings work, from Slate. I would require a drop of 5’ 1” by the 1892 rules, but a drop of 6’ 1” by the 1913 rules.

The “Drop Tables” are here.

Nov 06

Sic Semper Tyrannis

Saddam Hussein sentenced to death by hanging

For more on the latin, try this.

Jan 06

This is interesting

DNA Tests Confirm Executed Va. Man Guilty. And it would seem that Schwarzenegger is not going to pardon the elderly mass murderer in California either. An eventful week for capitol punishment. Kudos to the govenor for ordering the test.

May 05

Innovations in Capital Punishment from Japan

As I wait for Outlook to archive it’s way to being fixed (hopefully) I peruse the web and see this post by Gene Healy about capital punishment in Japan. Basically it’s by hanging (no great surprise) but they don’t have a set date. The prisoner is on death row, and then some random day they come and hang him.