Great moments with the death penalty

Executing a 76 year old man. Yeah, that’ll teach those would-be criminals a lesson.

Best detail:

Having suffered a heart attack in September, Allen had asked prison authorities to let him die if he went into cardiac arrest before his execution, a request prison officials said they would not honor.
“We would resuscitate him,” said prison spokesman Vernell Crittendon, then execute him.

Yes, he did an awful crime, but for fuck’s sake, what’s the point?

The point may be that this miserable prick lived at least 20 years too long anyways, so why spare him now? This guy was apparently a career criminal with no problems about ordering up murders, so I find it hard to summon any sympathy. If anything, Allen got a break. He got to live pretty much a full life and survive a full quarter-century after his crimes.

I’m against the death penalty, but the world’s a better place today with Allen dead.

Because they know full well that lethal injection is INCREDIBLY painful. Especially if you have to give him two shots for it to work.

That means that they are incapable of moral thought, but who cares about sociopaths preying on sociopaths right?

The point is to carry out the legal verdict of the courts. It took a long time due to a vastly inefficient and bureaucratic system, but nonetheless Allen got all of his appeals heard and denied at all levels, and got his petition for clemency heard and denied.

I mean after all, if you can just delay and delay and delay the implementation of a legal verdict, and then whine about how unfair it is to implement it after such a lengthy delay, then what’s the point of having a verdict and judgement in the first place?

I mean especially in these times of seemingly infinite expansion of executive power and routine flaunting of our legal system of checks and balances, I would think you of all people Jason would have a little respect for the rule of law.

The rule of law is important, arguably one of the most important keystones of our success as a free society. Its not just a bullshit trope we can trot out when we think its useful for a partisan advantage. Allen had his day (many days in fact) in court and lost, and the system took decades to play out fully. And IMO, justice was done, if delayed. End of story.

As to the death penalty, changing the law about the death penalty is a fight for a different day.

The only thing I really thought was ironic was the “we’ll bring him back then kill him again!” part. I think the death penalty is a law of a bygone medievil era, and I don’t think it should be used at all, but that doesn’t seem to be what this topic is about. Pick your battles, bro.

What are you talking about? My entire point is the law is pointless, as exhibited by this case.

  • There’s obviously no deterrent value to other criminals in executing a 73 year old.
  • You don’t stop a 73 year old from killing again by executing him; he’s already too old to murder anyone (or plan another murder from prison).
  • The fact that it took 20 odd years to get around to executing him is a flat-out unavoidable consequence of having the death penalty, unless you want to just chuck what little fairness and justice there is in the process out the window and eliminate appeals entirely.

Yes, he’s a bastard, and I’m sure everyone got a woody from him getting killed. That’s not the answer to “what’s the point of the death penalty.” Note it sucks for even something you offhand think it’d good at - preventing incorrigible criminals from hanging around to do bad things from prison. Guess you’d need solitary for that, because the death penalty clearly didn’t accomplish shit here.

I’m anti-death penalty, as I’ve stated many times here, but I think you have a hard time drawing a line in which you say if you’re on this side we don’t carry out the sentence, on this side we do. Where do you draw that line such that it is clearly abided by? If you manage to make it past what age? 70? 69.5? Where is the health line?

I hate making any argument for the implementation of the death penalty, but I don’t see how you can exempt some people from it due to age, health, how many books they’ve written, etc.

I didn’t say they shouldn’t have carried out the sentence and I’m not arguing for some classes of exemptions. My only point is that the absurdity of this case is evidence for how useless the death penalty is.

The question wouldn’t arise if people were executed expeditiously. Or, rather, if they received a speedy trial, and the the world received speedy appeals. I’m all for appeals, but the current system results in too much time and money wasted on legal wrangling.

Now, how does it work: district court trial, appeal to district court, then appeal to state, then state’s higher court depending on state, then federal circuit court, and finally SCOTUS?

You might as well wish for a pony; it’s flat-out not possible to speed up the trials or appeals process without creating awful injustices. They’ve been trying it since the 1980s and we’ve got even more false convictions and executions.

This seems to me an argument that the entire system is irretrievably stupid and messed up, not that there is an inherent necessity for more than two decades of legal masturbation before a final legal judgement can be rendered in any one given case.

I’ll agree with you, Jason, that this is one poster child for those of us who oppose the death penalty.

Ok. Do you want lots of innocent people to be executed, then?

The idea that he’s not a threat ignores his actual crime. Did you miss the part of the Wikipedia article where he didn’t kill anyone himself? Both the initial murder that landed him in prison, and the murders that put him on death row were committed by people acting on his orders. Hell, the triple murder he arranged while in prison. What, a 77-year old can’t boss people around?

I’m anti-death penalty myself, but this guy is hardly the best poster child, at least Tookie claimed innocence.

What, you mean there is a reason for the death penalty that isn’t “populist revenge murder”?

I’m not against the death penalty, personally, just so my biases are clear. But citing one case where the thing looks absurd to you does not show a flaw in the principle itself. We could come up with such exceptions to just about any law. Why not say 70 year olds shouldn’t be given life sentences either, because really they will only live another 20 years tops (most likely), so you might as well only give them a 20 year sentence. I’m just not sure how one case can show a whole law to be flawed. They will execute him because that is his sentence.

That said, I think resuscitation is ridiculous, mainly because it will cost more taxpayer money for an end that is already achieved by his death.

Yeah I was puzzled by Jason’s statement there as well. Apparently no one will listen to the orders of an elderly man.

Well on practicality terms, the murder rate drops through the floor with age. The chance a 70-year old will murder someone (even a 70 year old with a previous history of such things) is way low.

Right, but why does it drop? Presumably, at least part of the reason is that someone who has lived that long without murdering anyone has shown that it just isn’t in his makeup to do so. THIS guy, however, is a convicted murderer. Statistically, that raises his chances of doing it again significantly.

They’re saying they will resucitate him just so they can kill him later? That’s just plain cruel and a travesty of justice.