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Thread: The Death Penalty in action - issues updates and the ongoing debate

  1. #551
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    https://www.4029tv.com/article/us-ca...ades/33308823#

    TERRE HAUTE, Ind. —
    The U.S. has carried out the first federal execution in nearly two decades, putting to death a man who was convicted of killing an Arkansas family in the 1990s in a plot to build a whites-only nation in the Pacific Northwest.

    Forty-seven-year-old Daniel Lewis Lee, of Yukon, Oklahoma, died Tuesday after receiving a lethal injection at the federal prison in Terre Haute, Indiana.

    Lee is the first death row inmate to be executed since 2003.

    Lee's last words were: “You’re killing an innocent man.”

    Lee's execution came over the objection of the victims’ family and following a series of legal challenges related to the raging coronavirus pandemic.

    An Execution has taken place.

  2. #552
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    https://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news...preme-n1233749

    Here is more details.

    The U.S. carried out the first federal execution in 17 years at a prison in Indiana after a 5-4 Supreme Court ruling cleared the way.

    Daniel Lewis Lee, who was convicted of killing an Arkansas family in a plot to establish a whites-only nation, was executed by lethal injection early Tuesday at the Federal Correctional Institution in Terre Haute.

    “I didn’t do it,” Lee said before he was executed. “I’ve made a lot of mistakes in my life, but I’m not a murderer. ... You’re killing an innocent man.” He was pronounced dead at 8:07 a.m.

    In 1996, Lee and four other associates, who were members of a white supremacist organization, went on a crime spree that included the murders of gun dealer William Mueller, his wife, Nancy, and her 8-year-old daughter Sarah Powell.

    At their 1999 trial, prosecutors said Lee and Chevie Kehoe, who recruited him, stole guns and $50,000 in cash from the Muellers as part of their plan to fund and set up a whites-only nation.

    Lee was scheduled to receive a lethal dose of the powerful sedative pentobarbital at 4 p.m. Monday, but a federal judge's order prevented the execution.

    Hours later, the Supreme Court issued an unsigned majority opinion saying that "the plaintiffs have not established that they are likely to succeed on the merits of their Eighth Amendment claim" and "that claim faces an exceedingly high bar."

    The Eighth Amendment bars cruel and unusual punishment. The majority opinion says that four executions, all planned to take place at the penitentiary in Terre Haute, may proceed as planned.

    His execution, the first by the federal Bureau of Prisons since 2003, was initially halted Friday over concerns about the coronavirus pandemic, which were raised by civil rights groups and relatives of Lee’s victims who had sued to try to stop it.

    Those relatives had long argued that Lee deserved a sentence of life in prison. They countered any contention that the execution was being done on their behalf. They noted that Kehoe received a life sentence

    “For us it is a matter of being there and saying, 'This is not being done in our name; we do not want this,’” relative Monica Veillette said.

    Lee's attorney, Ruth Friedman, said in a statement that he was executed "a mere 31 minutes after a court of appeals lifted the last impediment to his execution at the federal government's urging, while multiple motions remained pending, and without notice to counsel."

    “It is shameful that the government saw fit to carry out this execution during a pandemic. It is shameful that the government saw fit to carry out this execution when counsel for Danny Lee could not be present with him, and when the judges in his case and even the family of his victims urged against it," said Friedman, director of the Federal Capital Habeas Project. "And it is beyond shameful that the government, in the end, carried out this execution in haste, in the middle of the night, while the country was sleeping. We hope that upon awakening, the country will be as outraged as we are."

    In a statement, Attorney General William Barr countered: "Today, Lee finally faced the justice he deserved. The American people have made the considered choice to permit capital punishment for the most egregious federal crimes, and justice was done today in implementing the sentence for Lee’s horrific offenses.”

    Prior to his execution, Lee had been allowed social visitors and meetings with his spiritual adviser and had been able to receive mail, prison officials said, according to NBC affiliate WTWO in Terre Haute.

    He was in the execution chamber with two men whom the Bureau of Prisons would only identify as “senior BOP officials,” a U.S. Marshal and Lee's spiritual adviser, whom a Bureau of Prisons spokesperson described as an “Appalachian pagan minister.”

    Lee breathed heavily before the lethal drug was injected and moved his legs and feet. He mumbled to himself briefly as his chest continued to rise and fall.

    Two more executions are scheduled this week: Wesley Ira Purkey on Wednesday and Dustin Lee Honken on Friday. Keith Dwayne Nelson is scheduled to be executed in August

  3. #553
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    https://news.yahoo.com/judge-halts-2...142002057.html

    TERRE HAUTE, Ind. ? The United States on Thursday carried out its second federal execution this week, killing by lethal injection a Kansas man whose lawyers contended he had dementia and was unfit to be executed.

    Wesley Ira Purkey was put to death at the Federal Correctional Complex in Terre Haute, Indiana. Purkey was convicted of kidnapping and killing a 16-year-old girl before dismembering, burning and dumping her body in a septic pond. He also was convicted in a state court in Kansas after using a claw hammer to kill an 80-year-old woman who had polio.

    Purkey expressed remorse right before he was executed.

    ?I deeply regret the pain and suffering I caused to Jennifer?s family,? he said. ?I am deeply sorry. I deeply regret the pain I caused to my daughter, who I love so very much. This sanitized murder really does not serve no purpose whatsoever.?

    His time of death was 8:19 a.m. EDT.

    The Supreme Court cleared the way for the execution to take place just hours before, ruling in a 5-4 decision. The four liberal justices dissented, like they did for the first case earlier this week.

    Justice Sonia Sotomayor wrote that ?proceeding with Purkey?s execution now, despite the grave questions and factual findings regarding his mental competency, casts a shroud of constitutional doubt over the most irrevocable of injuries.? She was joined by fellow liberal justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Stephen Breyer and Elena Kagan.

    It was the federal government?s second execution after a 17-year hiatus. Another man, Daniel Lewis Lee, was put to death Tuesday after his 11th hour legal bids failed.

    Both executions were delayed into the day after they were scheduled as legal wrangling continued late into the night and into the next morning.

    The Justice Department has been questioned for holding the executions in the middle of the worsening coronavirus pandemic, prompting lawsuits over fears those who would travel to the prison could become infected. The decision to resume executions after nearly two decades was criticized as a dangerously political move in an election year forcing an issue that is not high on the list of American priorities considering the 11% unemployment rate and the pandemic.

    Purkey?s lawyers had argued his condition had deteriorated so severely that he didn?t understand why he was being executed. They said he was repeatedly sexually assaulted as a child and had been diagnosed with schizophrenia, bipolar disorder and other mental health conditions.

    The issue of Purkey?s mental health arose in the run-up to his 2003 trial and when, after the verdict, jurors had to decide whether he should be put to death in the killing of 16-year-old Jennifer Long in Kansas City, Missouri. Prosecutors said he raped and stabbed her, dismembered her with a chainsaw, burned her and dumped her ashes 200 miles (320 kilometers) away in a septic pond in Kansas. Purkey was separately convicted and sentenced to life in the beating death of 80-year-old Mary Ruth Bales, of Kansas City, Kansas.

    Purkey had a long history of childhood trauma, was sexually abused by family members and a Catholic priest and was beaten by other family members, said Liz Vartkessian, a mitigation specialist who worked with Purkey?s legal team and visited him dozens of times in the last five years.

    ?His case is replete with instances where he has expressed a deep remorse,? she said in an interview earlier this month.

    But recently, Purkey?s mental health had seriously deteriorated to the point he didn?t have the stamina for long visits with his legal team and often forgot key facts and dates, she said.

    Correction officers had to help him write down a schedule to remember his visits with his lawyers, she said.

    He also had a long history of paranoia and delusions and believed the Justice Department was moving forward with his execution because of many complaints and lawsuits he brought in prison, even though most had failed, Vartkessian said.

    On Wednesday, U.S. District Judge Tanya Chutkan in Washington, D.C., imposed two injunctions prohibiting the federal Bureau of Prisons from moving forward with Purkey?s execution. The Justice Department filed immediate appeals in both cases. A separate temporary stay had already been place from the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.

    Chutkan didn't rule on whether Purkey was mentally competent but said the court needed to evaluate the claim, saying he would suffer ?irreparable harm? if he was put to death before the issue could be evaluated by the court.

    The legal questions of whether Purkey was mentally fit to stand trial or to be sentenced to die are different from the question of whether he is mentally fit enough now to be put to death.

    In a landmark 1986 decision, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the Constitution prohibits putting someone to death who lacks a reasonable understanding of why he is being executed. It involved the case of Alvin Ford, who was convicted of murder but whose mental health deteriorated behind bars to the point where, according to his lawyer, he believed he was pope.

    Last week, three mental health organizations urged U.S. Attorney William Barr to stop Purkey?s execution and commute his sentence to life in prison without possibility of parole. The letter ? signed by the National Alliance on Mental Illness, Mental Health America and the Treatment Advocacy Center ? said that executing mentally ailing individuals like Purkey ?constitutes cruel and unusual punishment and does not comport with ?evolving standards of decency.??

    The mother of the teen he killed, Glenda Lamont, told the Kansas City Star last year she planned to attend the execution.

    ?I don?t want to say that I?m happy,? Lamont said. ?At the same time, he is a crazy mad man that doesn?t deserve, in my opinion, to be breathing anymore.?

    The Supreme Court also lifted a hold placed on other executions set for Friday and next month.

    Dustin Honken, a drug kingpin from Iowa convicted of killing five people in a scheme to silence former dealers, was scheduled for execution Friday.

  4. #554
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    https://www.kare11.com/article/news/...6-963e51abde81


    IOWA CITY, Iowa — A ruthless Iowa meth kingpin who killed five people, including two young girls, in 1993 to thwart his prosecution for drug trafficking is set to become the third federal inmate to be executed this week.

    Dustin Honken, 52, would become the first Iowa defendant to be put to death since 1963 if he is executed as scheduled on Friday. Iowa abolished the death penalty in 1965, but federal prosecutors sought to execute Honken for killing government informants and children.
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    Honken is set to die by lethal injection at the prison in Terre Haute, Indiana, where he's been on death row since 2005 and two other men have been put to death since Tuesday after a 17-year hiatus in federal executions. His appeals to delay the execution have so far been denied.

    “He does deserve what he’s getting. I can tell you that. He deserved it a long time ago,” said Susan Torres, 54, who plans to attend the execution with other victims' relatives.

    Torres, who lives in Des Moines, Iowa, was Lori Duncan's sister-in-law before her brother and Duncan split up and she was an aunt to Duncan's daughters, 10-year-old Kandi and 6-year-old Amber. Duncan, her new boyfriend, Greg Nicholson, and her daughters were kidnapped and killed by Honken and his girlfriend in 1993, which was seven years before their bodies were found.

    Mark Bennett, the federal judge who oversaw Honken’s trial, said he generally opposes the death penalty, but that if anyone deserved to be executed, it was Honken. He said Honken’s crimes were reprehensible and that Honken had a fair legal process, including talented lawyers who “did an outstanding job with virtually nothing to work with."

    “I am not going to lose any sleep if he is executed,” said Bennett, who has since retired from the bench. “Normally I would, but the evidence was so overwhelming.”

    Honken grew up in the northern Iowa town of Britt as the bright but devious son of an alcoholic father who was convicted of robbing banks.


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    Honken was dealing marijuana and cocaine by the early 1990s, and he began cooking meth after studying chemistry at a community college. He and a friend moved to Arizona to produce the drug in the hopes of getting rich, and they distributed their product through two dealers based in Mason City, Iowa.

    Nicholson, who was one of the dealers, began cooperating with investigators in 1993 after coming under suspicion. Honken was arrested and indicted for conspiring to manufacture meth after Nicholson secretly recorded Honken and testified before a grand jury.

    Honken informed the court that he would plead guilty. But days before his July 1993 plea hearing, he and his girlfriend, Angela Johnson, went searching for Nicholson. They found him at the home where he had moved in Duncan and her daughters.

    Duncan didn't know that Nicholson was an informant and she wasn't involved in drugs, said Torres, whose daughters were playmates with Duncan's girls.

    “She was a very sweet innocent person that happened to be put in a bad situation,” she told The Associated Press on Wednesday by phone.

    According to prosecutors, Johnson posed as a cosmetics saleswoman to get into the house. Honken forced Nicholson, 34, to record a statement declaring Honken innocent of the drug charges.

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    Nicholson and the Duncans were taken to a remote area, fatally shot and buried. Honken withdrew his guilty plea and gave his lawyer the videotape of Nicholson.

    As the investigation into Honken continued, Honken's other dealer, 32-year-old Terry DeGeus, disappeared months after Nicholson and the Duncans did. Johnson lured DeGeus, whom she dated before Honken, to a property where Honken beat him with a bat and shot him.

    Investigators found the bodies of Nicholson and the Duncans in 2000 in a wooded area outside Mason City after Johnson was duped into giving a hand-drawn map showing where they were buried to a jailhouse informant. The adults had been bound and gagged and shot multiple times. The girls had each been shot once in the back of the head. DeGeus’ body was found a few miles away, his skull fractured.

    Bennett said the girls were still in their swimsuits when they were kidnapped on the hot summer day. “It’s just horrific how they were massacred,” the judge said.

    Honken was convicted of the killings in 2004 in a trial that featured extraordinary security measures, including an anonymous jury. Honken was bolted to the floor of the courtroom and wore a stun belt under his clothing to prevent escape attempts.

    The jury recommended that Honken be put to death for the girls' slayings, and Bennett agreed.

    The girls' father, John Duncan, who had pushed for years to have Honken executed, died in 2018 of stomach cancer.

    “He was very sad when he knew he was passing because he wasn’t going to see this happen,” Torres said. “We assured him we would be there."

    Johnson was convicted in a separate trial and sentenced to death. Bennett later reduced her punishment to life behind bars, which she's currently serving at a federal prison in Minnesota.

    Honken did not respond to an interview request sent last year after the government announced its plans to execute him.

    Honken has two children — one with Johnson and one with another woman — and was a father figure to a third. He wrote in a 2006 journal that he felt a “great crushing weight of despair” for failing them.

    “When those people finally get around to killing me they’ll realize only the shell of me remains, the heart of me died long ago," he wrote.

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    https://www.chicagotribune.com/natio...omu-story.html

    TERRE HAUTE, IND. — The U.S. government on Friday put to death an Iowa chemistry student-turned-meth kingpin convicted of killing five people, capping a week in which the Trump administration restored federal executions after a 17-year hiatus.

    Dustin Honken, 52, who prosecutors said killed key witnesses to stop them from testifying in his drugs case, received a lethal injection at the Federal Correctional Complex in Terre Haute, Indiana. Two others were also put to death during the week after a hiatus of nearly 20 years, including Wesley Purkey. His lawyers contended he had dementia and didn’t know why he was being executed.



    The first in the spate federal executions happened Tuesday, when Daniel Lewis Lee was put to death for killing a family in the 1990s as part of a plot to build a whites-only nation. Lee’s execution, like Purkey’s, went ahead only after the U.S. Supreme Court gave it a green light in a 5-4 decision hours before.

    Honken, who had been on death row since 2005, was pronounced dead at 4:36 p.m. The inmate — known for his verbosity at hearings and for a rambling statement declaring his innocence at sentencing — spoke only briefly, neither addressing victims’ family members nor saying he was sorry. His last words were, “Holy Mary, mother of God, pray for me.”



    A Catholic priest, Honken's spiritual adviser, stood near him inside the death chamber. Honken spoke on his back, strapped to a gurney under a pale-green sheet. He didn't look toward witnesses behind a glass barrier, keeping his eyes firmly fixed on the ceiling.

    Honken’s lawyer, Shawn Nolan, said his client was “redeemed” and had repented for his crimes.



    “There was no reason for the government to kill him, in haste or at all,” Nolan said. “The man they killed today ... could have spent the rest of his days helping others and further redeeming himself.”

    In a statement, Justice Department spokesperson Kerri Kupec said “just punishment has been carried out.”

    “Nearly three decades after Honken coldly ended the lives of five people ... all in an effort to protect himself and his criminal enterprise, he has finally faced justice,” Kupec said.

    After officials began administering the lethal injection, Honken began blinking his eyes, his fingers twitching and his lips quivering. After several minutes his breathing became more labored. He turned increasingly ashen as blood drained from his face and hands. His fingers gradually stopped twitching, and his breathing became shallower until it stopped.

    Honken was pronounced dead after 30 minutes — longer than the other two executions. An official with a stethoscope walked into the small death chamber, put his fingers on Honken’s neck to check for a pulse, listened for a heartbeat, then exited.

    Seconds later, officials announced the time of death.

    Honken, whose crimes struck at the foundation of the U.S. justice system, always seemed the least likely to win a reprieve from the courts. After the two previous executions were repeatedly delayed amid back-and-forth legal maneuvering, Honken’s began almost on the minute it had been scheduled for weeks.

    While out on bond in his drugs case in July 1993, Honken and his girlfriend Angela Johnson kidnapped Lori Duncan and her two daughters from their Mason City, Iowa, home, then killed and buried them in a wooded area nearby. Ten-year-old Kandi and 6-year-old Amber were still in their swimsuits on the hot summer day when they were shot execution-style in the back of the head.

    Their primary target that day was Lori Duncan’s then-boyfriend, Greg Nicholson, who also lived at the home and was also killed. He and Lori Duncan were bound and gagged and shot multiple times. Honken had recently learned Nicholson, a former drug-dealing associate, was cooperating with investigators and would likely testify against Honken at trial.

    Lori Duncan didn’t know Nicholson was an informant and she wasn’t involved in drugs.

    As the investigation into Honken continued, he killed another drug dealer working with him, Terry DeGeus, beating him with a bat and shooting him.

    Honken had earlier informed the judge in his drug case that he would plead guilty at the end of July. But days after the still-undiscovered killings of Nicholson and the Duncans, he told the court he would stick to his not guilty plea.

    A statement from the Duncan family said the execution provided a degree of justice and closure to the family.

    The two young Duncan girls “never had a chance to grow up and share in the joys and sorrows of their life,” it said. “Their mother never got to see them having their first dance, first date or first walk down the aisle at their wedding.”

    “We will continue to live with their loss,” it said. “However, this is a step toward healing of broken hearts and shattered lives.”

    Investigators found the Nicholson and Duncan bodies only seven years after the killings, in 2000, after Johnson scrawled out a map showing a jailhouse informant where they were buried. DeGeus’ body was found a few miles from the wooded area.

    Honken was considered so dangerous that the judge took the rare step of impaneling an anonymous jury. Other security measures included fitting Honken with a stun belt under his clothes to prevent him from trying to escape.

    Johnson, Honken’s girlfriend, was convicted in a separate trial and sentenced to death. A judge later reduced her sentence to life behind bars.

    In recent days, prison authorities permitted Honken to make his last calls to family and friends, according to Sister Betty Donoghue, a Catholic nun whom he called Wednesday.

    On death row, Honken befriended Lee and knew his execution was called off one hour, then was back on another hour, Donoghue said.

    “He was very upset with the way Danny died,” said Donoghue, who visited Honken regularly over the past decade.

    Yet Donoghue, of the Sisters of Providence just outside Terre Haute, said she was startled by how calm Honken sounded over the phone.

    “He was at peace. I was totally amazed,” she said. “He believed he would go to heaven. He is ready to meet his maker.”

    At his sentencing in 2005, Honken denied killing anybody, but Donoghue said she never heard him say he was innocent.

    Honken’s mother, brother and college-age daughter visited him in prison in recent days, she said.

  6. #556
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    https://omaha.com/news/national/lawy...xtual-fallback

    CHICAGO (AP) — An inmate suffered “extreme pain" as he received a dose of pentobarbital during just the second federal execution following a 17-year lag, according to court filings by lawyers representing one of the inmates scheduled to be executed next.

    The claim Wesley Purkey may have felt a sensation akin to drowning while immobilized but conscious is disputed by Department of Justice attorneys. They insist the first three lethal injections since 2003 were carried out without a hitch last month at the federal prison in Terre Haute, Indiana.

    This month's filings were part of motions to halt the execution of Keith Nelson, convicted in the 1999 rape and strangulation of 10-year-old Pamela Butler. Prosecutors said he pulled her into his truck as she skated on rollerblades back to her Kansas home after buying herself cookies.

    Nelson’s execution is set for Aug. 28. The execution of Lezmond Mitchell, the only Native American on federal death row, is scheduled for Aug. 26. His lawyers have made similar arguments.

    Purkey was convicted federally of kidnapping and killing a 16-year-old girl before dismembering and dumping her body in a septic pond. The first federal execution last month was of Daniel Lewis Lee, convicted of killing an Arkansas family in a 1990s plot to build a whites-only nation.

    Here’s a look at issues surrounding the use of pentobarbital:

    ——

    Q: WHAT’S THE LAWYER’S CLAIM?

    A: An autopsy performed by a Michigan-based pathologist a week after the 68-year-old Purkey was put to death found evidence of “severe bilateral acute pulmonary edema” and “frothy pulmonary edema in trachea and mainstem bronchi,” filings by the attorneys allege.



    Those findings mean fluid quickly filled Purkey’s lungs and entered his airway up to his trachea, causing “a near-drowning" sensation, said Dr. Gail Van Norman, a medical expert retained by Nelson’s lawyers to interpret the autopsy.

    “These are among the most excruciating feelings known to man,” she said in a filing.

    Flash pulmonary edema, where fluid enters the lungs and airways, can only occur when someone is alive, she said.

    “It is a virtual medical certainty, that most, if not all, prisoners will experience excruciating suffering, including sensations of drowning and suffocation” from pentobarbital, she added.

    The autopsy wasn't official. It was performed by a Western Michigan University pathologists, Dr. Joyce L. deJong, at the behest of Purkey relatives.

    Autopsies weren't performed of the others executed last month, Nelson's lawyers said.

    Q: HOW DID GOVERNMENT ATTORNEYS RESPOND IN FILINGS?

    A: They’ve said the execution of Purkey and the other inmates last month “were implemented without any pentobarbital-related complications.” They’ve said previous court rulings have concluded pentobarbital injections are humane.

    And even if some pain is involved, that doesn’t render an execution method inhumane, the government attorneys argued, citing a 2008 Supreme Court ruling.

    “Simply because an execution method may result in pain, either by accident or as an inescapable consequence of death, does not establish the sort of ‘objectively intolerable risk of harm’ that qualifies as cruel and unusual,” the high court said.



    Q: WAS IT CLEAR DURING THE EXECUTION THAT PURKEY SUFFERED?

    A: No. There weren’t obvious outward signs he was in pain.

    An Associated Press reporter who served as a media witness described Purkey taking several deep breaths and blinking repeatedly as the pentobarbital was injected. The other inmates also twitched for several minutes before their breathing slowed, then stopped.

    But death-penalty foes say the paralyzing effects of pentobarbital may make it impossible for the condemned to grimace or thrash around, even if even they are feeling excruciating pain.

    Q: WHY IS PENTOBARBITAL USED?

    A: Pentobarbital is a barbiturate that depresses the central nervous system and that, given in a high dosages, causes the heart to stop. It doesn’t have widespread medical uses, though is often used by veterinarians to anesthetize or euthanize animals.

    For three federal executions in the early 2000s, a cocktail of drugs was used: sodium thiopental, which has a similar affect as pentobarbital; pancuronium bromide, which paralyzes the body and potassium chloride, a drug that induces cardiac arrest.

    But pharmaceuticals later refused to allow those drugs to be used in executions, forcing the federal and many state governments to seek an alternative. Attorney General William Barr last year approved reworked execution protocols that called for using pentobarbital alone.

    Q: WHAT ABOUT ALTERNATIVES?



    A: Nelson's lawyers ideally want all executions suspended for good. But legal precedent requires, when arguing one form of execution is cruel, that they offer what they believe are more humane alternatives.

    Among the alternatives they suggested: a firing squad.

    “Historically, the firing squad has resulted in significantly fewer ‘botched’ executions,” they say in one filing. “Execution by firing squad is both swift and virtually painless.”

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    https://www.bbc.com/news/world-middle-east-54129949

    Navid Afkari, 27, was sentenced to death over the murder of a security guard during a wave of anti-government protests in 2018.
    He said he had been tortured into making a confession.
    Human rights organisation Amnesty International described Afkari's execution as a "travesty of justice".
    In a leaked recording released by the group, Afkari says: "If I am executed, I want you to know that an innocent person, even though he tried and fought with all his strength to be heard, was executed."
    Afkari was executed by hanging in the southern city of Shiraz, according to state media.
    His lawyer said his client had been prevented from seeing his family before his death, as required under Iranian law.
    "Were you in such a hurry to carry out the sentence that you deprived Navid of a last visit?" Hassan Younesi said on Twitter.
    There had been many calls to stop the execution, including from a union representing 85,000 athletes worldwide.
    The World Players Association said he had been "unjustly targeted" for taking part in the protests, and called for Iran's expulsion from world sport if it went ahead with the execution.
    US President Donald Trump also appealed for mercy, saying the wrestler's "sole act was an anti-government demonstration on the streets".
    The International Olympic Committee (IOC) called his execution "very sad news" and said their thoughts were with his family and friends.
    "It is deeply upsetting that the pleas of athletes from around the world and all the behind-the-scenes work of the IOC... did not achieve our goal," their statement said.
    Why were there protests in Iran in 2018?
    Iran protesters 'flogged and electrocuted'
    Afkari's brothers Vahid and Habib were sentenced to 54 and 27 years in prison in the same case, according to human rights activists in Iran.
    In an audio recording leaked from the prison where he was being held, Afkari had said he had been tortured. His mother said her sons were forced to testify against each other.
    His lawyer had said on Twitter that, contrary to Iranian news reports, there was no video of the moment of the security guard's killing. He added that footage used as evidence in the case was taken an hour before the crime took place.
    The Iranian authorities have denied accusations of torture.
    Afkari was a national champion in wrestling, a sport that has a long history and is hugely popular in Iran.
    In 2018, protesters in cities across Iran took to the streets over economic hardship and political repression.

  8. #558
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    https://nypost.com/2020/11/20/drug-t...ing-her-alive/

    A marijuana trafficker convicted of kidnapping and raping a teen – and then burying her alive – was executed this week at an Indiana prison, becoming the eighth federal inmate to die this year.

    Orlando Cordia Hall, 49, was put to death via lethal injection late Thursday at the Federal Correctional Complex in Terre Haute, where he was pronounced dead at 11:47 p.m., the Department of Justice announced.

    Court documents show Hall, who ran a marijuana trafficking operation in Arkansas with several accomplices, drove to Arlington, Texas, in September 1994 after a botched drug deal worth $4,700.

    Prosecutors said Hall and his accomplices went to the man’s home because they thought he stole their money and instead kidnapped his 16-year-old sister, Lisa Rene, after she refused to let them inside.

    Hall then raped the teen — an honors student and aspiring doctor — in a car and later drove her to a hotel in Arkansas, where he and his accomplices bound and repeatedly raped her, prosecutors said.

    The following morning, Hall said the teen had known “too much” and took her to a park where he and another man dug a grave earlier that afternoon, but were unable to find the site.

    One day later, on Sept. 26, 1994, Hall and two other men took the teen to Byrd Natural Lake Area in Pine Bluff, Arkansas, where Hall placed a sheet over her head and whacked her with a shovel, prosecutors said.
    Enlarge Image
    Lisa ReneLisa Rene

    “Rene screamed and tried to run away, but the men tackled her and took turns beating her with the shovel,” the Justice Department said in a statement. “After soaking her with gasoline, they dragged her into the grave and buried her alive.”

    A federal jury convicted Hall in 1995 of kidnapping resulting in death and unanimously sentenced him to die by lethal injection.

    In his final statements, Hall encouraged others to become followers of Islam, the Tribune-Star reported.

    “Thank you for giving me this opportunity for forgiveness,” Hall said. “Thank everyone who’s here – my family and my loved ones. I love you.”

    Hall also had one final message for his children.

    “I’m OK,” he said. “Take care of yourself. Tell my kids I love them.”

    One of Hall’s co-conspirators, Bruce Webster, was also sentenced to death, but a court vacated the punishment last year due to his intellectual disability. Three others, including Hall’s brother, cooperated at his trial and received lesser sentences.

    Rene’s sister, meanwhile, said the execution capped a “very long and painful chapter” in the family’s lives, the Tribune-Star reported.

  9. #559
    Senior Member Queena's Avatar
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    I'm against the death penalty. The way that this country seeks vengeance is so disturbing to me. Look on the comments of almost any news article and the public is talking about basically lynching the accused before a trial. It's sick. I'm sure that I'm alone in my thoughts. Tbh the death penalty reminds me of the lynchings that were used against my people. This is the only so called civilized country that practices the death penalty.

    I'm quite sure that I will feel this way if something were to happen to someone in my family. I get no pleasure from death.

  10. #560
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    Quote Originally Posted by raisedbywolves View Post
    I think this is a good way to look at the issue.

    I have been on both sides of the issue in my life, and done a complete 180. I was pro death penalty back when I was in LE, but over the years started changing my mind. Now I am very against it for many reasons: possibility of innocence, cost for death row inmates is much higher than life in prison inmates, barbaricness of it.

    When I lived in TX and was transitioning my viewpoint, I was talking with a bunch of coworkers about it and brought up the fact that if you support the death penalty you should be willing to advocate for death if your brother or mother was accused of a Capital Murder. They all got really mad and said "you can't bring family into this". That's the point though, you have to think about it like that in my mind, or you're a HUGE hypocrite. If it's good enough for every one else, then it's good enough for you and your family. I think looking at it from the victim's family viewpoint it also important...would you be willing to ask for no death penalty if your loved one was killed and you had been against the DP in the past?

    I actually think we would be a lot better off as a nation if we would look at more things (abortion, immigration, etc) in this manner, but we as a nation want to pretend that it only happens to other people and doesn't affect us, so as a nation we develop very set in stone viewpoints on things we don't fully understand or think is beneath us.
    It's just so pointless. The Ted Bundy's of the world are obviously not deterred by the possibility of the dp. And if it's not about deterrence, what's the point? Vengeance? We keep someone on ice for 16 years and then we put them to sleep? That doesn't seem very satisfactory to me. We spend a ton of money and for what.

    If we want to reduce crime we need to find a way to deal with the causes. If we want vengeance, give the victims survivors the power to determine the punishment. (not practical, but...)
    Quote Originally Posted by bowieluva View Post
    lol at Nestle being some vicious smiter, she's the nicest person on this site besides probably puzzld. Or at least the last person to resort to smiting.
    Quote Originally Posted by nestlequikie View Post
    Why on earth would I smite you when I can ban you?

  11. #561
    Senior Member Queena's Avatar
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    I agree with all of your points Puzzld and RBW. I take no pleasure in most deaths. Sure there are some that I do not feel sorry for, but if given the chance, I wouldn't kill anyone. Legally or illegally. I think back to the guy in Texas who was killed, and they used faulty science (it was a fire). Think about the people because of teeth marks. Or those who are only there based on eyewitnesses. It's such a slippery slope and I don't think that you can ever be 100% sure. I remember one guy who said that he was innocent right up until the very last moment. Years later DNA test says that he was guilty. Let's just do away with the dp and let them rot in prison.

  12. #562
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    Quote Originally Posted by Queena View Post
    I agree with all of your points Puzzld and RBW. I take no pleasure in most deaths. Sure there are some that I do not feel sorry for, but if given the chance, I wouldn't kill anyone. Legally or illegally. I think back to the guy in Texas who was killed, and they used faulty science (it was a fire). Think about the people because of teeth marks. Or those who are only there based on eyewitnesses. It's such a slippery slope and I don't think that you can ever be 100% sure. I remember one guy who said that he was innocent right up until the very last moment. Years later DNA test says that he was guilty. Let's just do away with the dp and let them rot in prison.
    I agree too in Theory but I doubt it would be in practice. Every time I read an article or petition of a men convicted or on trial for killing rapists. Hint it starts with the victim deserved to die because they are rapists and child molesters they do not deserve a murder investigation and a waste of tax payer dollars to investigate vigilantes who kill predators. Yes this end with if the death penalty was applied then you are part of the conspiracy to "Blame the Hero". And some of the commentators especially on James Fairbanks and Jay Maynor petition would take the joy that the person killed a "Disgusting person" and the killer took the Trash out and the person needs to be free immediately the point is people are against the death penalty if the people think that a certain type of murderer will make their neighborhood safe IE Police and vigilantes. Umm have anybody outside of known Filipino neighborhoods heard of President Duterte of the Philippines? He kills criminals and he ended up insane and paranoid in office once he is away from the cameras and the tough guy image wears off.

    https://news.abs-cbn.com/halalan2016...ist-kidnappers

    MANILA - Killing criminals who commit heinous crimes is not a crime, especially if they are armed and resist arrest, at least for presidential aspirant Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte.

    In an interview on radio dzMM's "Ikaw Na Ba? Para Sa Pamilyang Pilipino" Wednesday, Duterte admitted that he has actively participated in the execution of several criminals in his city ever since he was elected mayor.

    "Ay susmaryosep, marami na," said Duterte, who was first elected mayor of Davao City in 1988.

    Duterte, who filed his certificate of candidacy (COC) for president under the Partido Demokratiko Pilipino-Lakas ng Bayan (PDP-Laban) replacing Martin Di?o, again recalled during the interview the instance when he shot to death three men who abducted a Chinese girl.

    He said he was just three months into his first term as mayor in 1988 when the suspects kidnapped a girl and brought her to a neighboring province where they repeatedly raped her, before they went back to Davao City supposedly to get the ransom money from the victim's family.

    Duterte, accompanied by three men, said that after he was assured that the victim had already been safely secured, he did not think twice about shooting the kidnappers, who, he said, were holding carbines.

    undefined
    "Hinintay ko na lang. Nung bumaba sila, wala na ako, basta pinagbabaril ko na lang. May hawak na carbine e," he said.

    "I was part of it," he admitted. "Actually, I was the most active kasi nakaubos ako ng dalawang magazine ng .45."

    He said they were then able to retrieve the ransom money, which, he said, was smeared with blood.

    In the interview, Duterte said he does not believe his act of killing the three rapist-kidnappers can be considered a crime.

    "Hindi crime yun because they were committing a crime in my presence and I was the person in authority under the law...Pagsabi ko 'Taas ang kamay', walang tumaas ng kamay. Binira ko na," he said.

    OTHER INCIDENTS

    He also recalled how he shot "at a distance" suspects in the kidnapping of the wife of a landed gentry in Davao.

    He said the suspects were stopped at a police checkpoint after the kidnap victim's spouse spotted them.

    "Ako, I took a shot. Maybe pam-practice rin, kung makatama," he said.

    Duterte was also asked if reports that he killed a drug dealer by dropping him from a helicopter are true.

    Duterte was initially silent for a few seconds before saying: "Wala naman nakatingin noon."

    READ: Duterte warns outlaws: 'I can eat your heart in front of you'

    READ: Enrile: Duterte challenging roughness, smoothness of PH society

    'SARCASM'

    Despite his admission, the tough-talking mayor said he is not in favor of extrajudicial killings "in the sense na yung nakatali yung kamay sa likod tapos nakaluhod."

    "Ayaw kasi maniwala ng tao, pati yung [Commission of] Human Rights, na itong mga kriminal, may armas ito. Most of them, if not all, pagdating niyan may armas talaga yan, lumalaban yan. And that is really the insanity caused by drugs," he stressed.

    "At ang sinasabi ko naman sa mga pulis, 'Palabanin mo. Please naman, lumaban ka, kriminal, para mapatay ka na namin,'" he said.

    The 70-year-old mayor also said it was "pure sarcasm" when he said he had already executed a total of 1,700 people.

    Speaking to reporters at the Commission on Elections (Comelec) Tuesday, Duterte said: "700 daw ang pinatay ko? Nagkulang ho sila sa kwenta... Mga 1,700."

    "That's pure sarcasm," he said in the dzMM interview. "Parang binabastos mo ako eh, 700, eh saan yung death certificates? Ipakita mo nga. Pati yung malaria diyan na bumagsak, sa akin."



    He, however, did not deny that there were cases of extra-judicial killings in Davao, especially during the martial law period, when there was a "war" between the government and the New People's Army (NPA).

    "We used to lose about, on the average, 3 to 5 soldiers a day sa Davao," he said.

    "Kaya yang death squad na yan, nadagdagan na nga ng 'D,' naging DDS. During my time, since it was repeatedly used against me, pulitika, 'Sige, I accept it, totoo yang DDS.' May spin. That is what I used, Davao Development System. O, nakita mo, maganda na tayo."

    READ: Duterte backtracks on death squad 'admission'

    Asked how many he has actually killed, he just said: "Yung iba, baka sa panaginip ko lang."

    The Human Rights Watch earlier denounced the more than 1,000 killings committed by the so-called Davao Death Squad (DDS) since the late 1990s.

    Amnesty International (AI) Philippines has likewise said it is "bothered" by the presidential candidacy of Duterte. "Yes, we are bothered. Naaalarma kami when he said that when he becomes president, he will impose the death penalty on a weekly basis," AI Philippines chairperson Ritz Lee Santos said.

    'BAKIT AKO MATATAKOT?'


    Duterte, who has time and again warned lawbreakers, especially drug traffickers, not to go to his city or else they will be killed, said he is not afraid of any criminal.

    "Bakit ako matatakot? Sila yung masama, ako yung nagsasabi sa kanila na gobyerno ito, tumahimik sila."

    According to Duterte, he will also not think twice about killing members of the police force when they commit any "wrongdoing."

    He cited two separate instances when cops involved in kidnapping incidents in Davao ended up dead.

    "Sinasabi ko sa mga pulis, 'Pag gumawa kayo ng masama, mauuna talaga kayo. You have to go first,'" he said.

    Duterte, meanwhile, admitted that there are still many incidents of crime in Davao. But, he said, "As long as yung namatay, yung dapat mamatay. In protecting the community... I do not care if we were the highest in the country, kung lahat naman ng napatay diyan eh kriminal, eh di maligaya ako."

    The mayor said he is in favor of restoring the death penalty, especially for drug-related and other heinous crimes.

    "There are about 1,000 pwedeng i-execute, dapat i-execute but because it was put off maybe because of the strongest influence of libertarians in the Church, the previous president decided not just to implement it," he said.


    https://www.change.org/p/kay-ivey-an...ghter-s-rapist


    https://www.change.org/p/jail-for-ge...endez-brothers

    https://www.change.org/p/leslie-abra...endez-brothers

    https://www.change.org/p/donald-j-tr...redirect=false

    https://www.change.org/p/louisiana-s...-brittany-monk

    https://www.change.org/p/parole-boar...robertmaudsley

    https://www.change.org/p/the-british...hile-locked-up

  13. #563
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    Quote Originally Posted by Queena View Post
    I agree with all of your points Puzzld and RBW. I take no pleasure in most deaths. Sure there are some that I do not feel sorry for, but if given the chance, I wouldn't kill anyone. Legally or illegally. I think back to the guy in Texas who was killed, and they used faulty science (it was a fire). Think about the people because of teeth marks. Or those who are only there based on eyewitnesses. It's such a slippery slope and I don't think that you can ever be 100% sure. I remember one guy who said that he was innocent right up until the very last moment. Years later DNA test says that he was guilty. Let's just do away with the dp and let them rot in prison.
    I agree too in Theory but I doubt it would be in practice. Every time I read an article or petition of a men convicted or on trial for killing rapists. Hint it starts with the victim deserved to die because they are rapists and child molesters they do not deserve a murder investigation and a waste of tax payer dollars to investigate vigilantes who kill predators. Yes this end with if the death penalty was applied then you are part of the conspiracy to "Blame the Hero". And some of the commentators especially on James Fairbanks and Jay Maynor petition would take the joy that the person killed a "Disgusting person" and the killer took the Trash out and the person needs to be free immediately the point is people are against the death penalty if the people think that a certain type of murderer will make their neighborhood safe IE Police and vigilantes. Umm have anybody outside of known Filipino neighborhoods heard of President Duterte of the Philippines? He kills criminals and he ended up insane and paranoid in office once he is away from the cameras and the tough guy image wears off.

    https://news.abs-cbn.com/halalan2016...ist-kidnappers

    MANILA - Killing criminals who commit heinous crimes is not a crime, especially if they are armed and resist arrest, at least for presidential aspirant Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte.

    In an interview on radio dzMM's "Ikaw Na Ba? Para Sa Pamilyang Pilipino" Wednesday, Duterte admitted that he has actively participated in the execution of several criminals in his city ever since he was elected mayor.

    "Ay susmaryosep, marami na," said Duterte, who was first elected mayor of Davao City in 1988.

    Duterte, who filed his certificate of candidacy (COC) for president under the Partido Demokratiko Pilipino-Lakas ng Bayan (PDP-Laban) replacing Martin Di?o, again recalled during the interview the instance when he shot to death three men who abducted a Chinese girl.

    He said he was just three months into his first term as mayor in 1988 when the suspects kidnapped a girl and brought her to a neighboring province where they repeatedly raped her, before they went back to Davao City supposedly to get the ransom money from the victim's family.

    Duterte, accompanied by three men, said that after he was assured that the victim had already been safely secured, he did not think twice about shooting the kidnappers, who, he said, were holding carbines.

    undefined
    "Hinintay ko na lang. Nung bumaba sila, wala na ako, basta pinagbabaril ko na lang. May hawak na carbine e," he said.

    "I was part of it," he admitted. "Actually, I was the most active kasi nakaubos ako ng dalawang magazine ng .45."

    He said they were then able to retrieve the ransom money, which, he said, was smeared with blood.

    In the interview, Duterte said he does not believe his act of killing the three rapist-kidnappers can be considered a crime.

    "Hindi crime yun because they were committing a crime in my presence and I was the person in authority under the law...Pagsabi ko 'Taas ang kamay', walang tumaas ng kamay. Binira ko na," he said.

    OTHER INCIDENTS

    He also recalled how he shot "at a distance" suspects in the kidnapping of the wife of a landed gentry in Davao.

    He said the suspects were stopped at a police checkpoint after the kidnap victim's spouse spotted them.

    "Ako, I took a shot. Maybe pam-practice rin, kung makatama," he said.

    Duterte was also asked if reports that he killed a drug dealer by dropping him from a helicopter are true.

    Duterte was initially silent for a few seconds before saying: "Wala naman nakatingin noon."

    READ: Duterte warns outlaws: 'I can eat your heart in front of you'

    READ: Enrile: Duterte challenging roughness, smoothness of PH society

    'SARCASM'

    Despite his admission, the tough-talking mayor said he is not in favor of extrajudicial killings "in the sense na yung nakatali yung kamay sa likod tapos nakaluhod."

    "Ayaw kasi maniwala ng tao, pati yung [Commission of] Human Rights, na itong mga kriminal, may armas ito. Most of them, if not all, pagdating niyan may armas talaga yan, lumalaban yan. And that is really the insanity caused by drugs," he stressed.

    "At ang sinasabi ko naman sa mga pulis, 'Palabanin mo. Please naman, lumaban ka, kriminal, para mapatay ka na namin,'" he said.

    The 70-year-old mayor also said it was "pure sarcasm" when he said he had already executed a total of 1,700 people.

    Speaking to reporters at the Commission on Elections (Comelec) Tuesday, Duterte said: "700 daw ang pinatay ko? Nagkulang ho sila sa kwenta... Mga 1,700."

    "That's pure sarcasm," he said in the dzMM interview. "Parang binabastos mo ako eh, 700, eh saan yung death certificates? Ipakita mo nga. Pati yung malaria diyan na bumagsak, sa akin."



    He, however, did not deny that there were cases of extra-judicial killings in Davao, especially during the martial law period, when there was a "war" between the government and the New People's Army (NPA).

    "We used to lose about, on the average, 3 to 5 soldiers a day sa Davao," he said.

    "Kaya yang death squad na yan, nadagdagan na nga ng 'D,' naging DDS. During my time, since it was repeatedly used against me, pulitika, 'Sige, I accept it, totoo yang DDS.' May spin. That is what I used, Davao Development System. O, nakita mo, maganda na tayo."

    READ: Duterte backtracks on death squad 'admission'

    Asked how many he has actually killed, he just said: "Yung iba, baka sa panaginip ko lang."

    The Human Rights Watch earlier denounced the more than 1,000 killings committed by the so-called Davao Death Squad (DDS) since the late 1990s.

    Amnesty International (AI) Philippines has likewise said it is "bothered" by the presidential candidacy of Duterte. "Yes, we are bothered. Naaalarma kami when he said that when he becomes president, he will impose the death penalty on a weekly basis," AI Philippines chairperson Ritz Lee Santos said.

    'BAKIT AKO MATATAKOT?'


    Duterte, who has time and again warned lawbreakers, especially drug traffickers, not to go to his city or else they will be killed, said he is not afraid of any criminal.

    "Bakit ako matatakot? Sila yung masama, ako yung nagsasabi sa kanila na gobyerno ito, tumahimik sila."

    According to Duterte, he will also not think twice about killing members of the police force when they commit any "wrongdoing."

    He cited two separate instances when cops involved in kidnapping incidents in Davao ended up dead.

    "Sinasabi ko sa mga pulis, 'Pag gumawa kayo ng masama, mauuna talaga kayo. You have to go first,'" he said.

    Duterte, meanwhile, admitted that there are still many incidents of crime in Davao. But, he said, "As long as yung namatay, yung dapat mamatay. In protecting the community... I do not care if we were the highest in the country, kung lahat naman ng napatay diyan eh kriminal, eh di maligaya ako."

    The mayor said he is in favor of restoring the death penalty, especially for drug-related and other heinous crimes.

    "There are about 1,000 pwedeng i-execute, dapat i-execute but because it was put off maybe because of the strongest influence of libertarians in the Church, the previous president decided not just to implement it," he said.


    https://www.change.org/p/kay-ivey-an...ghter-s-rapist


    https://www.change.org/p/jail-for-ge...endez-brothers

    https://www.change.org/p/leslie-abra...endez-brothers

    https://www.change.org/p/donald-j-tr...redirect=false

    https://www.change.org/p/louisiana-s...-brittany-monk

    https://www.change.org/p/parole-boar...robertmaudsley

    https://www.change.org/p/the-british...hile-locked-up

  14. #564
    Senior Member Queena's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JohnLanders View Post
    I agree too in Theory but I doubt it would be in practice. Every time I read an article or petition of a men convicted or on trial for killing rapists. Hint it starts with the victim deserved to die because they are rapists and child molesters they do not deserve a murder investigation and a waste of tax payer dollars to investigate vigilantes who kill predators. Yes this end with if the death penalty was applied then you are part of the conspiracy to "Blame the Hero". And some of the commentators especially on James Fairbanks and Jay Maynor petition would take the joy that the person killed a "Disgusting person" and the killer took the Trash out and the person needs to be free immediately the point is people are against the death penalty if the people think that a certain type of murderer will make their neighborhood safe IE Police and vigilantes. Umm have anybody outside of known Filipino neighborhoods heard of President Duterte of the Philippines? He kills criminals and he ended up insane and paranoid in office once he is away from the cameras and the tough guy image wears off.

    https://news.abs-cbn.com/halalan2016...ist-kidnappers





    https://www.change.org/p/kay-ivey-an...ghter-s-rapist


    https://www.change.org/p/jail-for-ge...endez-brothers

    https://www.change.org/p/leslie-abra...endez-brothers

    https://www.change.org/p/donald-j-tr...redirect=false

    https://www.change.org/p/louisiana-s...-brittany-monk

    https://www.change.org/p/parole-boar...robertmaudsley

    https://www.change.org/p/the-british...hile-locked-up
    I wish I could fix the child abuse and molestation problem. I think that those things are passed down. Hurt people hurt people. Some are just sick and I always say that I would kill anyone who touched my son. That's because I've seen boys who were molested go on to become the molester. It's a sickness. A disease. I'm not sure if killing them vigilananty style is the answer. They rarely give the dp for molestation, they usually only reserve it for murder. It's as if the lasting pain that the victim feels doesn't matter.

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    https://slate.com/news-and-politics/...xecutions.html

    The Trump administration on Friday dramatically expanded the federal government’s ability to carry out the death penalty and use archaic methods of execution that would prove to be a national embarrassment if used in Trump’s waning days as president.

    At a time when every other constitutional democracy and many religious faiths have condemned capital punishment because of its cruel assault on human dignity, Trump and his cronies have again thumbed their noses at the world and at common decency.

    The new rule is worded with deceptive simplicity: “Federal executions are to be carried out by lethal injection or by any other manner prescribed by the law of the State in which the sentence was imposed.” Behind this bureaucratic prose hides a stark fact: In our supposedly civilized nation, the federal government now will be able to hang, electrocute, gas, or shoot individuals if it does not want to kill them by lethal injection.


    While lethal injection is by no means an execution panacea, Trump and his minions have embraced outdated ways of carrying out death sentences. They have revived them almost entirely for their symbolic value rather than their need to use them in the unlikely event something goes awry with the lethal injection protocol. But, practically speaking, nothing now stands in the way of the federal government’s plan to put people to death by a single dose of pentobarbital.

    The Trump administration is cruelly taking advantage of the fact that this country’s 22 remaining death penalty states, because they have had real difficulties obtaining lethal injection drugs, have kept older methods on the books as a last resort.

    Today, nine Southern and border states prescribe death by electrocution as an alternative method of execution. Six states authorize execution by gas, and the firing squad is the alternative in three more. Remarkably, three states—Delaware, New Hampshire, and Washington—still allow for death by hanging if lethal injection is unavailable or impractical.

    Until Friday’s change to federal law, Mississippi and Oklahoma were the most permissive, authorizing electrocution, gas, and the firing squad in addition to lethal injection. Now the federal government, which represents all Americans, has outdone even those death belt bastions in its promiscuous embrace of execution methods.

    Its decision reveals two remarkable things about America’s death penalty.

    First, while most nations that still use capital punishment historically have employed only a single method of execution, over the last century the United States has added one method to another until today, when we have the full range that the Trump administration has embraced.

    Second, neither our laws nor our Constitution has prompted these developments. In fact, while a few state courts have struck down one of their state’s methods of execution, the United States Supreme Court has never imposed a nationwide ban on any method of execution. Dating back to the late 19th century, it has approved the firing squad, the electric chair, and lethal injection, while other federal appellate courts have sanctioned hanging.

    In fact, throughout most of our history, hanging was the primary method of execution. The first instance occurred in 1622 in Virginia to punish a cattle thief, and from then until now several different hanging methods have been tried. None of them has proven foolproof, and many have been botched, with a slow death frequently caused by strangulation, accompanied by convulsions, defecation, and protruding eyes and tongue.
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    At the end of the 19th century, critics of hanging proposed replacing it with the electric chair, which they claimed was less painful than hanging. First introduced in New York, the electric chair became the iconic image of execution in the United States and epitomized the modern approach until the late 20th century.

    Death by electrocution is largely the same today as it was then. The condemned is strapped to a wooden chair, and a metal cap connected to electrodes is placed on his/her head. Thirty-second jolts of between 500 and 2,000 volts are then applied multiple times, with executioners checking for a heartbeat in between. The process repeats until the prisoner is dead.

    But, like hanging, electrocution has proved to be far from reliable. Even when the process is done correctly, it is brutal, with the prisoner convulsing, swelling, and defecating.

    Another alternative to the noose, the firing squad, became common in Utah in the middle of the 19th century, as well as in the U.S. military. Typically, the condemned is hooded and strapped to a chair; a white cloth is pinned over the heart. Five (or sometimes eight) shooters line up, with between one and three of them firing blanks. All shooters shoot simultaneously, aiming at the heart.

    Lethal gas, also an allegedly humane execution method, was first adopted by Nevada in 1922. The condemned is seated in an airtight room, and hydrogen cyanide gas is pumped into the room. He is supposed to lose consciousness and die painlessly; however, witnesses have often reported evidence of extreme pain, with eyes popping and skin turning purple. The gas chamber notably fell out of favor after World War II, when gassing became associated with the Holocaust, but it persisted in some cases and was last used in 1999.

    Almost 50 years ago, Oklahoma led the way in putting lethal injection, today’s preferred execution method, on the books.

    Although it carries with it the appearance of medical efficiency, this method has turned out to be the most problematic of all of America’s execution technologies. Since its introduction, more than 7 percent of all lethal injections have been botched.
    Popular in News & Politics

    The story of execution methods in the United States is one of conflict between modern notions of humaneness and the desire to keep the machinery of death running. The state has attempted to reconcile this conflict through the constant reinvention and technological modernization of the execution apparatus, even as it has retained previously discredited execution methods of the kind the Trump administration now is ready to use.

    Today it is unclear if any of the 54 people on the federal death row will actually be hanged, electrocuted, gassed, or shot, but Friday’s new regulation is sure to terrify them and remind them of their current government’s cruelty. For the rest of us, it is another reminder of the lengths to which Trump will go to take America down the low road, to flout our ideals, and to embarrass us in front of the world. And for what?

    The death penalty makes none of us any safer, and it perpetuates forms of racial discrimination that elsewhere mark our criminal justice system. One can only hope that the government’s desire to kill as many people as it can, and by any means necessary, will cause the Biden administration to end the federal death penalty, and to provide leadership and energy to see its abolition entirely in the United States.

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    https://www.vox.com/21736993/trump-f...ution-december

    Donald Trump death penalty is playing the Martial Law card









    When five Black and Latino teenagers were wrongfully convicted of the rape of a jogger in New York City’s Central Park in 1989, prominent businessman Donald Trump bought newspaper advertisements calling on New York state to “bring back the death penalty” in the wake of the attack. Little did the country know, Trump’s views on capital punishment then would inform his presidency decades later: In July, the Trump administration reinstated the death penalty at the federal level after a 17-year hiatus.

    The return of federal executions demonstrates an unprecedented and grim picture of Trump’s legacy in contrast to previous administrations. The Washington Post’s editorial board described it as a “sickening spree of executions.” To put it in perspective, only three people had been executed by the federal government in the past 50 years. Meanwhile, in less than five months, eight people have already been put to death by Trump’s Justice Department, with five more executions scheduled to happen before Trump leaves office.

    “The Trump administration’s policy regarding a death penalty is just historically abhorrent,” said Robert Dunham, executive director of Death Penalty Information Center, a bipartisan organization that does not take a position for or against the death penalty, but rather is critical of the way capital punishment is administered.

    If the remaining executions in December are carried out — making a total of 10 for 2020 — it will mark more civilian executions in a single calendar year than any other presidency in the 20th and 21st centuries. “No one has conducted this number of federal civilian executions in this short period of time in American history,” Dunham added.

    Of the five upcoming federal executions during the lame-duck period, four of them are Black men, while the fifth will be the first woman to be executed by the federal government in nearly 70 years. These federal executions come in concert with the rallying cry for racial justice and an overhaul of America’s policing and criminal justice systems that has left a disproportionate number of Black people arrested, jailed, convicted, and dead. More than 44 percent of the remaining 54 people on federal death row are Black, according to the Death Penalty Information Center, even though Black people make up only 13 percent of the US population. “The fact that we’re having a record-high number of federal executions, at the same time that we’re near a record low in state executions, in the middle of a pandemic, shows how much the Trump administration is either out of touch or that it cannot resist gratuitous acts of cruelty,” Dunham said, adding that only seven state executions will occur this year — the lowest since states began carrying out executions in colonial times. “Nobody needs to carry out an execution during a pandemic.”

    Just last week, the Justice Department also published a rule that would allow other methods for capital punishment, such as firing squads, lethal gas, and electrocutions; Attorney General Bill Barr is currently racing to finalize that rule.

    Trump’s push for additional methods and a number of federal executions will be part of his presidential legacy and highlights a stark divide between the administration’s actions and dwindling support for the death penalty among Americans.
    Four Black men are scheduled for federal execution weeks before Trump leaves office

    On November 19, Orlando Hall, a Black man sentenced to death for kidnapping, rape, and murder in 1994, became the eighth and latest inmate to be executed by the federal government since it reinstated federal executions this summer. He is also the first in more than a century to be put to death during a lame-duck period. Shortly before Hall was executed by lethal injection, the US Supreme Court had denied his request to stop the execution — with new Justice Amy Coney Barrett joining the majority ruling.

    While Hall is the second Black man to be executed out of the eight so far since July, the remaining men scheduled to be put to death are all Black. “In an apparent effort to forestall criticism that the federal executions were racist, the administration selected white prisoners first,” Dunham said; the executions were reinstated as racial justice protests broke out across the country this summer. “What’s striking about that, though, is that it still tells us a lot about whose lives matter because only one of the people executed so far was convicted for killing an African American.”

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    Apparently the Trumps are running executions before he leaves office. But its going to end up in a dictatorial way though.

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    https://fox40.com/news/national-and-...-put-to-death/

    TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (NewsNation Now) — A Louisiana truck driver who severely abused his 2-year-old daughter for weeks in 2002, then killed her by slamming her head repeatedly against a truck’s windows and dashboard, was put to death Friday night in the second federal execution carried out this week.

    Alfred Bourgeois, 56, was pronounced dead at 8:21 p.m. Eastern time at a federal prison in Terre Haute, Indiana. His lawyers had argued he had an IQ that put him in the intellectually disabled category, saying that should have made him ineligible for the death penalty.

    In his last words, Bourgeois, strapped to a gurney, offered no apology and instead struck a deeply defiant tone, insisting that he neither killed nor sexually abused his baby girl.

    “I ask God to forgive all those who plotted and schemed against me, and planted false evidence,” he said. He added: “I did not commit this crime.”

    Later, the girl’s relatives released a joint statement calling Bourgeois “a monster.”

    “None of us thought she would return from (visiting Bourgeois) in a casket,” it said. “It should not have taken 18 years to receive justice for our angel.”

    Bourgeois was the 10th federal death-row inmate put to death since federal executions resumed under President Donald Trump in July after a 17-year hiatus. He was the second federal prisoner executed this week, with three more executions planned in January.

    Bourgeois met with his spiritual adviser Friday as he sought to come to terms with the possibility of dying, and he was also praying, one of his lawyers, Shawn Nolan told The Associated Press just hours before the scheduled execution.

    “He certainly doesn’t want to die — and it’s harder for him to grasp being killed by the federal government. But he does get it that this is bad.”

    The attorney added: “He’s praying for redemption.”

    Bourgeois took up drawing in prison, including doing renditions of members of his legal team. Nolan said he hasn’t been a troublemaker on death row and has a good disciplinary record.

    The last time the number of civilians executed federally was in the double digits in a year was under President Grover Cleveland, with 14 in 1896.

    The series of executions after Election Day, the first in late November, is the first time in over 130 years where federal executions have occurred during a lame-duck period.

    Bourgeois’ lawyers contend that the apparent hurry by the Republican president to get executions in before the Jan. 20 inauguration of death-penalty foe Joe Biden, a Democrat, has deprived their client his rights to exhaust his legal options.

    The Justice Department gave Bourgeois 21 days notice he was to be executed under protocols that slashed the required notice period from 90 days, Nolan said.

    “It is remarkable. To rush these executions during the pandemic and everything else, makes absolutely no sense,” he said.

    Several appeals courts have concluded that neither evidence nor criminal law on intellectual disability support the claims by Bourgeois’ legal team.

    On Thursday, Brandon Bernard was put to death for his part in a 1999 killing of a religious couple from Iowa after he and other teenage members of a street gang abducted and robbed Todd and Stacie Bagley in Texas. Bernard, who was 18 at the time of the killings, was a rare execution of a person who was in his teens when his crime was committed.

    Several high-profile figures, including reality TV star Kim Kardashian West, appealed to Trump to commute Bernard’s sentence to life in prison, citing, among other things, Bernard’s youth at the time and the remorse he has expressed over years.

    US carries out execution of Brandon Bernard
    In Bourgeois’ case, the crimes stand out as particularly brutal because they involved his young daughter.

    According to court filings, he gained temporary custody of the child, referred to in court papers only as “JG,” after a 2002 paternity suit from a Texas woman. Bourgeois was living in Louisiana at the time with his wife and their two children.

    Over the next month, Bourgeois whipped the girl with an electrical cord, burned her feet with a cigarette lighter and hit her in the head with a plastic baseball bat so hard that her head swelled — then refused to seek medical treatment for her, court documents say. Prosecutors also said he sexually abused her.

    Her toilet training allegedly enraged Bourgeois and he would sometimes force her to sleep on a training toilet.

    It was on a trucking run to Corpus Christi, Texas, when he took the toddler with him that he ended up killing her. Again angered by her toilet training, he grabbed her inside the truck by her shoulders and slammed her head on the windows and dashboard four times, court filings say. She died the next day in a hospital of brain injuries.

    When the girl lost consciousness, Bourgeois’ wife pleaded for him to get help and he told her to tell first responders that she was hurt falling from the truck. She died the next day in a hospital of brain injuries.

    After his 2004 conviction in federal court in southern Texas, a judge rejected claims stemming from his alleged intellectual disability, noting he did not receive a diagnosis until after he had been sentenced to death.

    “Up to that point, Bourgeois had lived a life which, in broad outlines, did not manifest gross intellectual deficiencies,” the court said.

    Attorneys argued that such findings stem from misunderstandings about disabilities. They said Bourgeois had tests that demonstrated his IQ was around 70, well below average, and that his childhood history buttressed their claims of his disability.

    Bourgeois’ lawyers are not arguing that he should have been acquitted or should not have been handed a stiff penalty, just that he can’t be executed, Nolan said.

    The nature of the crime has made it more difficult to garner any sympathy for Bourgeois, including from some judges who can allow the brutality of what happened to trump execution law, Nolan said.

    “But that’s not the way these things are supposed to be done,” he added. “Based on past Supreme Court decisions and (federal law), he should not be executed.”

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    . WASHINGTON (AP) — The Supreme Court on Monday ordered a further review by a lower court of a lawsuit brought by a Texas death row inmate who objects to a policy that bars a chaplain from accompanying him into the death chamber.

    The justices ordered Ruben Gutierrez’s case sent back to a federal trial-level court for additional proceedings. The justices in June had blocked Gutierrez’s execution after Texas changed its policy and barred all spiritual advisers from the death chamber.

    Gutierrez’s attorneys argue his religious rights are being violated. The justices in June had asked a lower court to determine whether there would be “serious security problems” if Texas’ death row inmates were allowed to choose spiritual advisers to accompany them into the death chamber. The lower court said no.

    Supreme Court ends Trump emoluments lawsuits
    On Monday, in a brief order, the high court sent the case back to the trial court. The justices said that given the lower court’s findings that there would be no serious security problems if spiritual advisers were allowed, the lower court should now consider “the merits of petitioner’s underlying claims.”

    Texas had previously allowed state-employed clergy to accompany inmates into the room where they’d be executed. But the state changed its policy in 2019, barring all clergy from the death chamber. That change came after the Supreme Court halted the execution of another inmate, Patrick Murphy, who requested a Buddhist adviser be allowed in the chamber. Texas’ prison staff included only Christian and Muslim clerics, meaning Murphy’s adviser would have had to observe from a different room. By changing the policy, Texas argued all inmates were being treated the same.

    “A condemned prisoner’s access to the comfort and guidance of a spiritual advisor at the time of his death is not a matter of convenience, it is a fundamental right,” Gutierrez’s attorney Shawn Nolan said in a statement after the Supreme Court acted Monday.

    Gutierrez is on death row for fatally stabbing an 85-year-old woman. Prosecutors said Gutierrez was attempting to steal more than $600,000 that Escolastica Harrison had hidden in her home in Brownsville, located in Texas’ southern tip, when he killed her in 1998.

    https://fox40.com/news/national-and-...eath-row-case/

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    https://ktla.com/news/local-news/dea...house-on-fire/

    . The California Supreme Court on Monday reversed the death penalty for a woman who killed her four young daughters and tried to kill her son by setting their house on fire 23 years ago.

    The justices unanimously upheld the first-degree murder, attempted murder and arson convictions of 57-year-old Sandi Dawn Nieves in the deaths of daughters Nikolet Amber Nieves, Rashel Hollie Nieves, Kristl Dawn Folden, and Jaqlene Marie Folden.

    But they overturned her death sentence ?due to the trial court?s misconduct.?

    The judge was frustrated that the defense lawyer kept violating court procedures despite repeated warnings and sanctions, and also openly doubted the credibility of defense witnesses, the justices found.

    ?Ultimately, the trial judge?s conspicuous disdain for defense counsel and witnesses, and his repeated references to their improper or untrustworthy conduct, lent credence to the prosecution?s argument that defendant was manipulative and deceitful,? Chief Justice Tani Cantil-Sakauye wrote.

    ?These were the very characteristics the prosecution highlighted to justify the death penalty.?

    Los Angeles Superior Court Judge L. Jeffrey Wiatt killed himself in 2005 after he was questioned by detectives on an unrelated matter.

    Nieves was one of 23 women on California?s death row, and is housed at the Central California Women?s Facility in Chowchilla. There are 682 men on the nation?s largest death row, though California has not executed anyone since 2006 and Gov. Gavin Newsom has imposed a moratorium.

    Nieves called firefighters July 1, 1998, to report her house was on fire. The blaze was out by the time they arrived and they found her sitting in the living room with her 14-year-old son, covered in soot.

    Her daughters, ages 12, 11, 7, and 5 were lying on sleeping bags in the kitchen, all dead of smoke inhalation. Gasoline had been poured and ignited in the hallway and bedrooms, and the oven was open with burned items inside.

    Nieves was upset over the end of a relationship and had a stormy past with the fathers of her children, according to the court.

    Her son and two oldest daughters were from her first marriage, the two younger girls from her second, and a third man had just broken up with her for the second time after learning she was pregnant. She had threatened suicide and had an abortion a week before the fire.

    In a note to her second husband postmarked the day of the fire, she wrote ?Now you don?t have to support any of us!? She sent a letter to the third man saying that ?I can?t live without you in my life.?

    Nieves testified that she didn?t remember sending the letters and ?thought she dreamed about holding a lighter and seeing flames? until she realized she had scorched hair on the back of her hand.

    Defense experts testified that she had taken a combination of drugs that could cause her to act while she was ?basically unconscious,? said one, or in delirium, said another. Prosecution witnesses disputed those conclusions.

    ?Absent the trial judge?s persistent, disparaging remarks, a juror might have viewed these circumstances with greater sympathy and concluded the crime was a tragedy lacking the moral culpability to warrant death,? Cantil-Sakauye wrote.

    ?A juror might also have given greater weight to defendant?s remorse and evidence she had been a loving mother to conclude that life in prison, confronted each day with what she had done to her children, was a fitting punishment.?

    The justices rejected multiple other defense claims of trial error, including that the jury was not properly selected or screened to consider a death penalty case involving the four young children.

    The Los Angeles County District Attorney?s Office did not respond to a request for comment.

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    I was reading about a 4 year old girl who was killed by her mother's boyfriend while the mother was out of town. She was tortured for 10 days. She had 66 bites marks, different degrees. She was hit so hard with an extension cord she had copper imbeded in her skin. She had over 144 injuries and a brain bleed. The forensic odontologist said he prayed she was dead because of her injuries.

    That guy deserved the death penalty.

    "The love for all living creatures is the most noble attribute of man" -Charles Darwin

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    Quote Originally Posted by Angiebla View Post
    I was reading about a 4 year old girl who was killed by her mother's boyfriend while the mother was out of town. She was tortured for 10 days. She had 66 bites marks, different degrees. She was hit so hard with an extension cord she had copper imbeded in her skin. She had over 144 injuries and a brain bleed. The forensic odontologist said he prayed she was dead because of her injuries.

    That guy deserved the death penalty.
    Agree. I also feel that the guys who were responsible for the Petit family murders in CT deserve the death penalty.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bewitchingstorm View Post
    Agree. I also feel that the guys who were responsible for the Petit family murders in CT deserve the death penalty.
    Yes they definately did! I think one of them is off death row.

    "The love for all living creatures is the most noble attribute of man" -Charles Darwin

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    That is wild. The article stated that although a jury voted 11-1 for a life sentence, a judge overrode them and gave him a death sentence.

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