Should Death Row Inmates Be Allowed to Donate Organs?

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Why waste organs?

Yes. Christian Longo, who was convicted of (and admits to) killing his wife and three children in Oregon, offers a persuasive case for allowing death row inmates to donate their organs in an op/ed in the Sunday New York Times

I spend 22 hours a day locked in a 6 foot by 8 foot box on Oregon's death row. There is no way to atone for my crimes, but I believe that a profound benefit to society can come from my circumstances. I have asked to end my remaining appeals, and then donate my organs after my execution to those who need them. But my request has been rejected by the prison authorities.

According to the United Network for Organ Sharing, there are more than 110,000 Americans on organ waiting lists. Around 19 of them die each day. There are more than 3,000 prisoners on death row in the United States, and just one inmate could save up to eight lives by donating a healthy heart, lungs, kidneys, liver and other transplantable tissues.

There is no law barring inmates condemned to death in the United States from donating their organs, but I haven't found any prisons that allow it. The main explanation is that Oregon and most other states use a sequence of three drugs for lethal injections that damages the organs. But Ohio and Washington use a larger dose of just one drug, a fast-acting barbiturate that doesn't destroy organs. If states would switch to a one-drug regimen, inmates' organs could be saved.

I can't remember right off the top of my head, but there is a pretty good sci fi novel (or two) in which minor offenses are turned into capital crimes in order to supply the organ market. Certainly must guard against that.

In any case, read the whole NYT op/ed here

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  1. Moot, totally.

    There is no reason for a society like the United States of America to have a death row – at least not one of any substantial size. To the extent they might exist, Hannibal-Lecter like berserkers who continue to inflict grievious bodily injury even while held in the most secure humane conditions practicable might be candidates. Otherwise, the death penalty is nothing more than a purely retributive increment above a life sentence, and individuals should not be coerced into facilitating a governmental scheme of pure retribution.

    1. Re: Danny,

      and individuals should not be coerced into facilitating a governmental scheme of pure retribution.

      Like, for instance, Affirmative Action.

    2. Wow, I agree with the troll. Amazing. I would also add that the government should never have the power to kill its citizens.

      1. Really? If a citizen is holding a woman hostage with a gun to her head, the government doesn’t have the authority to kill him?

        1. Not after a trial, authority boy.

          1. Ah. So a guilty verdict actually protects one from punishment.

            Any guesses on how many more suspects for heinous crimes will be killed rather than arrested, in the absence of a death penalty?

            1. A hostage taker isn’t killed to punish him Tulpa, he is killed to defend the rights of his hostages. Don’t be an idiot.

              1. Pretty sure the officers on the scene will be able to claim the kill was protecting rights regardless of their true motivations.

                1. That’s bullshit Tulpa, cops wouldn’t have any more urge to kill if we ended the death penalty than they do now with it. If a cop thinks someone deserves to die, they can kill them. Whether or not the death penalty is there doesn’t change that.

          2. The founding fathers disagree with you. They were icing people left and right back then. Really, we were killing these pieces of shit pretty regularly up until pantywaists like you came along.

            Retribution is good. There is no reason (ha) for maintaining the life of a Ted Bundy, Otis Toole, etc. None.

            1. “There is no reason (ha) for maintaining the life of a Ted Bundy, Otis Toole, etc. None.”

              …and people who have be falsely accused and convicted?

        2. One could say that in such a case, anyone in a able to kill him in order to save the victim could lawfully do so.

          It could be argued that people acting as agents of the Government should never have any more or any less power than they have in their own right as individuals.

          But then how would we live with no ROADS?!?

          1. No roads? Private roads.
            Even lighthouses used to be privately owned.

            1. Sorry, ML – that was meant sarcastically. I’m an anarcho-capitalist. Private roads fine by me!

        3. Responding with violence to constrain the violence of an attacker serves to protect the rights of those he would victimize. Initiating violence against him after he has been brought under constraint serves no one’s rights.

    3. individuals should not be coerced into facilitating a governmental scheme of pure retribution.

      I’m curious, how does one justify decades-long imprisonment for white collar crimes like bribery, fraud, and corruption without resorting to retribution?

      Bernie Madoff and George Ryan, to name a couple of examples, are not threats to commit those crimes again, since no one will ever trust them to be in a position to do so.

      As usual, a full-barrel attack on the death penalty proves too much — well, at least for non-anarchists.

      1. The irreversability of the death penalty is a much better argument against it. Most punishments are purely retributive.

        1. Spending 20 years in prison is reversible?

          1. Even without reparations. There’s something to be said for freeing the falsely convicted man. The capital punishment parallel to this would be to exhume the body of a wrongfully executed man.

            1. And provide it with job-placement services.

              1. You could always put him in an aloha shirt and sunglasses and invite some chicks over to his mansion.

              2. and provide it with delicious brains

            2. You seem fuzzy on what “reversible” means. A wrongfully convicted man who went into prison at 25 and was released at 45 has essentially had his life destroyed.

              1. No, you’re stuck on the word “reversable” while I’m saying that dead men can’t benefit from any efforts to repair some of the damage by offering other values.

                “A wrongfully convicted man who went into prison at 25 and was released at 45 has essentially had his life destroyed.”

                Are you saying this man is no better off than if he had been executed? I can’t imagine what the word “essentially” means to you

              2. Agreed, incarceration isn’t reversible. But release from punishment is possible, along with monetary damages. Whereas, if killed, there is no way to fix that at all.

                And, as a 50-something, I disagree with your assertion that being free at 45 = ‘had his life destroyed’. There is life after 45.

                1. There is life after 45.

                  For someone who’s been living a productive life during the past 20 years, yes. Not for someone who’s been locked in rapeland.

                  1. For someone who’s been living a productive life during the past 20 years, yes. Not for someone who’s been locked in rapeland.

                    So… who exactly made you judge of whether others’ lives are worth living?

    4. >>Otherwise, the death penalty is nothing more than a purely retributive increment above a life sentence, and individuals should not be coerced into facilitating a governmental scheme of pure retribution.

      So the government scheme of retribution by life sentence bears only an incremental retributive difference from a government scheme of retribution by death sentence yet one is OK with you and the other is not. Hmm.

      And who are these individuals who are being coerced into facilitating a governmental scheme (with the death penalty)? They’re certainly not the 80% (or what ever huge percentage it is) of the individuals in this country who favor the death penalty.

      1. So the government scheme of retribution by life sentence bears only an incremental retributive difference from a government scheme of retribution by death sentence yet one is OK with you and the other is not.

        No, a life sentence gives the inmate many many more years for his innocence to be proven than a death penalty. And even if it takes many years to prove that innocence, at least the guy can walk out. There is no equivalent solution with the death penalty.

        And who are these individuals who are being coerced into facilitating a governmental scheme (with the death penalty)? They’re certainly not the 80% (or what ever huge percentage it is) of the individuals in this country who favor the death penalty.

        Coercion favored by the majority is still coercion.

        1. Wait, you don’t favor any coercion of convicted felons?

          1. It’s not your fault Tulpa. Reading is hard.

          2. HERP DERP Tulpa. The coercion we are talking about is the coercion of taxpayers who do not want the death penalty, not coercion of felons.

        2. >>’So the government scheme of retribution by life sentence bears only an incremental retributive difference from a government scheme of retribution by death sentence yet one is OK with you and the other is not.”
          >No, a life sentence gives the inmate many many more years for his innocence to be proven than a death penalty. And even if it takes many years to prove that innocence, at least the guy can walk out. There is no equivalent solution with the death penalty.

          Could be so. You didn’t remotely address or answer the question to which you replied, however.

          1. What question? All I see is an attempt to describe the position which you disagree with. I pointed out that the important difference between the death penalty and life sentence is not a retributive difference.

            1. The questioning of his distinction without a difference is implicit in my statement. Put a question mark after it if it makes it easier. What you see as the important difference between death penalty and life sentence may be a valid point of view but it does not really affect the fact that the original writer felt that there was only an incremental difference in retributive effect – that which I was calling him on.

    5. Prisons are all about retribution. That’s why it’s called JUSTICE.

      That’s not to say that most people in prisons belong there, but punishment is a vital part of any society.

    6. You look like the same Danny who was all about democracy and letting people vote on whether I should be allowed to take out a loan since the government had an interest, so to speak, in my loan because it might provide the court system to collect against me.

      So, according to you, there is a reason for a society like the United States of America to have a death row: democracy.

  2. All I could think of was Larry Niven’s short story

    1. The Jigsaw Man but Google shows he made a whole career out of it.

    2. There are short stories and novels. And Niven wasn’t the only one to have this idea.

      1. I only read the one Niven story. I’m trying to recall another writer. SugarFree should weigh in.

        1. There are a number of Gil the ARM stories, for instance.

        2. The Niven story is the only one I can think of that is exactly on point. Unless you want to count what the Chinese are doing.

  3. Wasn’t there a movie about someone getting a death row convict’s organs and becoming evil as a result?

    1. Directed by John Carpenter, starring Mark Hamill (received the guy’s eyes). Don’t remember the title though.

      Then of course there’s The Simpsons episode where Homer gets Snake’s rug in a hair transplant.

      1. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Body_Bags_(film)

        Well done GB.

        I have to assume Epi is working or something as to why he didn’t answer this…

        1. It’s a TV movie. That I have never seen. Fuck me, I hate being wrong.

          1. I still think you are right.

            1. In my defense, it was co-directed with Tobe Hooper. And I was so stoned in 1993 that I can’t possibly remember anything I may or may not have seen.

          2. If you are filled with hate, Epi, you clearly haven’t gotten the message of Dunston Checks In. I suggest you watch it again.

            Come over to my place, I’ll make some banana chips.

        2. The “Hair” episode with Stacy Keach is pretty grody as well. Hair plugs in and of itself is gross, but when you see the individual folicules squirming around in the sink… Fuckin’ sick.

      2. Mark Hammill has never been in a Carpenter film, and Carpenter has never done a film about this subject.

        1. Not under those names, no.

        2. And it’s Hamill. Like Dorothy.

          1. Like your mom?

            1. Your powers are weak, old man.

              1. If you strike me down, ProL, I will become more powerful than you could possibly imagine.

                1. [Hits delete key fifty times.]

                2. Did anybody else notice the Episode IV was on Spike TV last night?

                  I’ve seen that movie easily 50 times since I first saw it in the theater on its original release in, what was it, 1976? 77?

                  And yet, I sat down in front of the TV last night (something I rarely do) and watched the whole damn thing – bloody irritating advertisements and all – all the way through.

                  Worst part? They showed the “enhanced” re-released version, in which Greedo fires first and a CG Jabba the Hut is digitally inserted to have a chat with Han.

                  1. 1977.

                  2. I’ve never understood why anyone would watch a movie edited for TV with commercials, but now that you said it was the bastardized version I know our society is lost. Can we just have Revelations now and end this madness? There is no god.

                    1. As a penance, BSR, you can donate to help help save Luke’s house in Tunisia.

                    2. Doesn’t Lucas have any spare change? Or couldn’t he auction off some beard hairs to pay for this?

      3. I was thinking of the exact same thing (the Simpsons parody, that is).

        Lisa: Of course! The transplant. Somehow Snake’s hair must be controlling . . .

        Marge: Oh please, Lisa, everyone’s already figured that out.

      1. From the novel by Maurice Renard. Renard was also the first person to write a story pointing put than an invisible man would be blind.

  4. Should Death Row Inmates Be Allowed to Donate Organs?

    What do you mean donate? They should be taken, like everything else the government does!

    1. Maybe an inmate could trade his organs for extra food or supplies, i.e. “I’d trade my intestines for a Big Mac” or “I’ll trade my lungs for a pack of Cigarettes”.
      A simple solution to the problem of organs being damaged by lethal injection drugs would be to take the organs out BEFORE the execution…. simple.

    2. Yeah, when they are executing him just do it by taking out the heart with a Mola Ram and then quickly follow with all the other organs until empty.

  5. Homer got Snake’s hair and went on a crime spree. Is that what Mr. Longo is advocating? Reprehensible.

    1. I like when the hairpiece jumps off Homer’s head and holds Bart hostage. I mark the death of funny Simpsons episodes around 2001, when Maude Flanders died.

      1. I thought it declined about when Conan left the show.

        1. I agree that the Conan era was pretty much the show’s peak, but was still very funny for several seasons after that. Personally, if I had to pick a “jump the shark” moment, it was the first time they did a non-Halloween episode where they told three unrelated stories (I want to say it was the tall tale episode, which actually wasn’t that bad, but still marked the beginning of the end).

          1. I don’t know if it’s the same episode as Homer loses his thumb, Bart and Milhouse discover an underground fireworks ring, and Lisa invents a grammar robot, but that one had its moments, particularly LINGO.

            1. No, the one I’m talking about is where they meet a hobo on a boxcar and he tells three tall tales which are then illustrated with the Simpsons as the characters. They later did the same thing with Bible stories and some other crap. Anyway, the Lingo (or was it Linguo?) episode was one of the last funny episodes I remember, though the season on the whole was pretty weak if I recall. “I thought he was a party robot!”

              1. Okay I remember the Boxcar Willy episode. Although it did give me one memorable line:

                “These Derringer bullets are weak.”
                Powerful weak.”

                But otherwise I now remember these non-Treehouse of Horror trilogy episodes and they were pretty shitty for the most part.

                1. Yeah, like I said, that particular episode wasn’t that bad, but it opened the door for major suckage. Once they started reusing jokes and then making meta-jokes about HOW they’re reusing jokes, well then it was time for me to change the channel.

  6. This dilemma can be easily solved by eliminating the death penalty.

    1. +1

      If you can’t trust the government to fix potholes don’t entrust them with deciding who deserves to live and die…

      1. I thought government was run by utilitarian sages… what happened?

        1. Alas, I have yet to be appointed/elected to that position…Til then we’re muddling through…

          1. “I want to be God”

      2. If you can’t trust the government to fix potholes don’t entrust them with deciding who deserves to live and die providing economic security to the elderly, or picking economic winners and losers, or …

        I like this game!

        1. Spoofed.

      3. So are you saying we should privatize the justice system?

      4. If you can’t trust the government to fix potholes don’t entrust them with deciding who deserves to live and die be locked in a cage in rapeland for decades during the prime of their lives

        Of course it’s moot anyway, since the government doesn’t decide either of these punishments…juries do.

        1. Maybe juries should have to carry out the punishments that they give out.

          1. That would kick ass. Especially if we reinstate the firing squad.

            1. Given today’s crowd, I like those odds!

  7. I don’t believe for a minute that it will remain “voluntary” after they open up the floodgates.

  8. Ron, most of the earlier Larry Niven Known Space stories (specifically the Gil “the Arm” Hamilton stories) deal with organ transplants… as well as making almost every crime carry with it a death sentence. They also have the UN with a police force hunting down “organleggers”, who would kidnap people and break them up into parts to sell to those who didn’t qualify for official transplants.

  9. Yeah, so, Larry Niven worked with this idea extensively. I think that the first exploration he had of the subject was “The Jigsaw Man,” which is the story of a man about to lose his final conviction, knowing that it will mean the death penalty for him.

    In the final paragraph, we learn that his death-penalty-worthy crime was multiple traffic violations.

    Niven later made the concept of organ banks as a means of executing criminals a major portion of the world that is the setting for a large number of his stories. As Nephilium mentions, the Gil the Arm stories take place in that world.

    Probably the novel in which it is most front-and-center is [i]A Gift From Earth[/i], which documents the beginning of the end of the organ bank system, as prostheses get advanced enough to replace human organs. The change provokes revolution in a social order that has been highly repressive.

    1. That’s the one I was thinking of.

      When the settlement ship arrived, the crew brought the colonists out of cold sleep one at a time and held a gun to them til they agreed to be ruled by ship’s crew.

  10. Is the death penalty that bad? Would you rather be locked in a cell 23 hours a day with one hour for exercise? The death penalty is a good thing.

    1. It provides justice for the victims and their families.

    2. It saves the taxpayers $20,000 to $50,000 a year.

    Will mistakes be made? Maybe a few, but if making mistakes is unacceptable then perhaps we should get rid of jails and let the criminals roam free.

    Seriously people, criminals are in jail for a reason.

    NEW YORKERS PROTEST MUSLIM HEARINGS.
    http://libertarians4freedom.bl…..on-us.html

    1. You are true scum. Really. Congratulations.

      1. Yes, and you must be a liberal flower power child, the kind that just loves cop killers and those fabulous bombers from The Weather Underground.

        FUN FACTS ABOUT QADAFFI.
        http://libertarians4freedom.bl…..about.html

    2. Without getting into the pricklier issue of whether killing shit=justice, I would like to say that your cavalier attitude about breaking a few eggs to make the omelet of justice is truly disgusting.

      Maybe you can head up the DoJ’s Sorry We Wrongfully Executed Your Family Member dept.

      Also, please stop calling yourself a libertarian.

      1. Moral outrage and decoder ring confiscation in place of an actual argument. Gotta love it.

        1. Uh oh, Tulpa is on his period. Watch out, everyone!

          1. That Episiarch! He hates everyone!

        2. No, the argument is simple (and moral). Killing any innocent people is completely unacceptable when alternatives are available (such as life imprisonment). We know for sure that innocent people have been executed. That should be more than sufficient reason not to have the death penalty. It is not in any way necessary.

          But, if you have no moral outrage about that, then fine, kill ’em all and let God sort them out.

          1. Life imprisonment isn’t always an equally good alternative. Certain heinous crimes demand that the blood of the perpetrator be spilt. This is human nature.

            If the justice system is unwilling to do this, victim’s families and other vigilantes will.

            1. Certain heinous crimes demand that the blood of the perpetrator be spilt. This is human nature.

              Your is/ought is showing.

              1. “Your is/ought is showing”

                Makes you wonder. If the spilt blood of murderers is a requirement of man’s life, how would we get along without murderers? Have you thanked your local bled-out murderer for giving you life recently?

            2. So Tulpa says that our argument is “moral outrage,” yet his purely consists of blood lust…

          2. So who pays for the life imprisonment, health-care, hobbies, and everything else an inmate gets in prison? You think it’s fair for a scumbag to get all that at the cost of Uncle Sam?

            Death for murder is not only fair, it’s cheap compared to the alternative.

            1. You want to save money? Compared to imprisoning pot smokers, three hots and a cot for murderers is a bargain.

            2. Long trials are expensive too, lets just let the judge decide innocence or guilt after 15 minute arguments by the prosecution and the defense.

        3. Murdering innocent people is the justification for putting people on death row. Logically, those who advocate it with the knowledge that innocent are occasionally killed should play a lottery where they have to join people on death row.

          This means you, killer, and Dondero Smith.

          1. If innocents are occasionally put on death row, aren’t we already playing that lottery?

      2. Funny, I think it’s you who needs to stop calling yourself a libertarian. Since when do criminals have rights? Are you free to steal and kill? Are you free from consequences? Is that your new libertarianism?

        1. Since when do criminals have rights?

          Steal $20? Death penalty!

          Trespassing? Death Penalty!

          Punch someone in the arm? Death penalty!

          After all, once someone is declared a criminal they lose all their rights. Kill ’em or make ’em slaves.

          Does anyone here doubt that you’re a complete idiot?

          1. Does anyone here doubt that you’re a complete idiot?

            No, and Mr. Smith (any relation to a certain STEVE?) displays a certain elegant dissonance. Mr. Smith appears to be a proponent of CA’s absolutely stellar and effective “3 Strikes” law; yet, the very law he would arguably espouse has grown the size of government and made it more expensive with all those pensions and benefits bestowed (coerced?) by the prison guard union. I’m convinced that Mr. Smith has no idea what he is, except he hates most people and wants to be patted on the head and given a box of zwieback.

          2. Does anyone here doubt that you’re a complete liberal?

            1. So not only can you not defend your own idiotic beliefs, you have to make up mine? Fuck off retard.

        2. Since when do criminals have rights?

          Haha, you’re kidding, right?

          Criminals have had rights at least since the Constitution was framed. Probably going all the way back to the Magna Carta.

          Nobody is free from consequences, but a society has the power to choose what the consequences of a criminal act will be. And whether they choose to poison a prostrate prisoner (along with a few innocents along the way, collateral damage dontchaknow) or just keep him locked up to prevent him from hurting anyone, says a lot about that society’s attitude toward the sanctity of life.

          1. There’s no greater affirmation of the sanctity of life than taking it away from one who took it from others.

          2. Yes, and back in those days the death penalty was more common and we didn’t have to worry about the gallows being “cruel and unusual punishment.”

            Seriously, what’s not cruel an unusual punishment? Giving them a BJ while they’re getting lethal injection?

            The myth of peak oil.
            http://libertarians4freedom.bl…..k-oil.html

            1. I would like to see Grego change his tune once he’s falsely accused and convicted of a crime. I seriously doubt he’d be sticking his neck into the guillotine for principle’s sake.

        3. You can steal and kill all you want. As long as you wear a blue costume and have a shiny badge.

      3. Also, please stop calling yourself a libertarian

        Another gatekeeper? Awesome!

    3. Seriously people, criminals are in jail for a reason.

      Convict at all costs mentality? Laws against non-violent, non-rights-violating behavior? Lack of evidence?

      1. Red hearrings anyone? No one is considered for the death penalty for a victimless crime.

        1. If I recall correctly, the federal death penalty does potentially apply to certain drug trafficking offenses.

          1. Well that shouldn’t be the case.

            The choices aren’t between the current execution (npi) of the death penalty and no death penalty at all. We can find a happy medium for the death system.

            1. How quickly would your opinion change if you are falsely accused and convicted of a capital crime?

              1. How quickly would his opinion change if he were truly accused and convicted of a capital crime?

                I’m not sure that letting only people subject to the penalty be the ones to vote on it would be all that great an idea.

              2. Now come the ad homs disguised as hypotheticals. But I’ll play along. I’d probably argue anything I could think of to keep from being executed, yes.

                Now, heller, how would your opinion change about, say, life imprisonment without parole if you were falsely convicted of a crime that carried that as a possible punishment? Would you not argue that the crime deserves a shorter sentence?

                If you would try to get the shorter sentence, does that mean you oppose life imprisonment in general?

                1. Now, heller, how would your opinion change about, say, life imprisonment without parole if you were falsely convicted of a crime that carried that as a possible punishment? Would you not argue that the crime deserves a shorter sentence?

                  No, the crime does not deserve a shorter sentence. If I had actually committed the crime I would deserve the sentence. The point is that I have my entire life to argue for my innocence. You have about 14 years. Once again, you’ve failed to grasp the point.

                2. Also, how is this argument an ad hom?

    4. You had me until the support for Rep King’s scapegoat showboating herring.

    5. Maybe you’ll get framed for a capital crime. Maybe you’ll change your tune.

    6. Studies have shown that the current implementation (with all those appeals, safeguards, and etc., few of which seem to work) negates the cost savings. And the spate of exonerations in recent years illustrates the essential difference between the two flavors of error – it is indeed true that 20 years lost is just as permanently lost, but erroneous DP is obviously different. Of course, if the jails weren’t bursting with people who shouldn’t be there, the cost consideration would fade compared to the benefit of a bright-line approach preventing government from maintaining death chambers at all; Even if the right people wind up in them 99% of the time here and now, that’s rarely been the case “elsewhere” and “then.” I see little risk in the near future, but unacceptable consequences if the risk manifests. So precaution carries the day.

      1. (with all those appeals, safeguards, and etc., few of which seem to work)

        Bullshit. Every exoneration of a death row inmate is evidence of the post-conviction safeguards working.

        A huge part of the cost actually is spent on the execution itself, jumping through all the hoops that ideological opponents of the death penalty have convinced the courts are necessary to ensure a “humane” execution. Reverting to a firing squad as the main method of execution would save thousands of dollars per execution, and prevent the current sorts of blackmail being foisted on us by the AMA and the EU, which penalizes drug manufacturers involved with US executions.

        1. Tulpa|3.7.11 @ 5:45PM|#
          Every exoneration of a death row inmate is evidence of the post-conviction safeguards working.

          It didn’t work so well for these guys. I personally feel that the murder (especially when performed by the government) of any innocent person is unacceptable. You clearly do not share that opinion. So, is it a matter of threshold? Is there a magic number of innocent people who must be murdered before you find immoral, or are you just okay with murder in general?

    7. Just to confirm, here, Mr. Smith … you’re saying that the government should have the power to execute someone who has not actually committed a crime, because it believes that person has done so, even though at the time of the execution, no other actual person is at immediate risk of life or limb?

      You’re saying that the government has the power to be wrong *when it kills someone*?

      You know, I try to be a bit more highbrow than the next guy. I try not to get involved in the name calling and the profane flame wars. I try not to get involved in the ‘No True Libertarian’ or the ‘my libertarian cock is bigger than your libertarian cock’ thing.

      But fuck you.

      No, really. Fuck you.

    8. I can think of at least 138 reasons to be opposed to the death penalty.

    9. “Seriously people, criminals are in jail for a reason.”

      Yeah, all those ‘bleeding heart’ governors and judges releasing prisoners exhonerated due to conflicting DNA evidence must really get you worked up.

      So are orchids worth going to prison and dying for now?

      What a stupid fuck.

  11. I want the pancreas of a murderer!

    1. So that you can become less evil?

      1. I will never become less evil.

        I’m just trying to collect a full set of murderer’s organs.

        1. I can think of a shortcut . . . .

      2. It’s got horror movie written all over it. Even if you discount any weird, metaphysical connection with the murderer, the idea of the murderer’s pancreas being part of you, subtly influencing you, would eat at you, likely driving you insane.

        1. Everyone knows that the pancreas is the source of all murderous impulses. And the brain is a radiator to cool the blood.

          1. Okay. So harvesting the organs of death-row inmates is okay, but no pancreas. Or brains.

            1. Actually, I’m hoping someone else’s murderous impulses will cancel out my own.

              1. It’s possible. Make sure you research the murderous impulses of your prospective donor. I’m sure you can find a TV program promoting the murderer on the web somewhere.

  12. The 19 deaths-per-day (the true number varies but is always in the teens) is solely the fault of a murderous federal law which prohibits sale of organs. The inmate’s plea is reasonable only if taken in narrow context. Organs belong to their owners, period, even convicts. The government has no proper role in the organ business. It properly has regulatory authority over prisons and inmates, and they seem to be doing this about as well (not) as they do most everything else. That’s my sole reason for being against the death penalty – some folks just needs killin’, no doubt, but it’s hard for me to imagine a more incompetent agency to put in charge. And it’s one of oh-so-few functions that can’t be privatized.

  13. Screw prison. All it does is teach people how to live in prison. I fail to see how that is beneficial. Not only that but what is more cruel and unusual than stealing years off a person’s life.

    I say we go back to something that works: pain and public humiliation, Starship Troopers style.

    1. So mandatory coed showers?

      1. It was a book before it became a movie.
        One of my favorites, actually (the book, not the movie).

        1. So I keep hearing. But if the book doesn’t have coed showers, or psychically controlled weasels, or Denise Richards helming a starship, or a fight scene set to Mazzy Star, then the movie is automatically better.

          1. On second thought, forget the space weasels and fight scene!

          2. Not for those of us who think with our minds instead of our glands.

            1. “I love Jif!”

              1. Jif is brain food, you truncating trollop.

            2. exactly

            3. You leave my gallbladder out of this!

              1. The gallbladder is an organ.

                1. In that case, I would gladly donate it to Tulpa if I ever went inside.

                  1. He does seem to have an excess of bile.

    2. I agree, sarcasmic, prison should change dramatically. There should be cameras everywhere and no one should share a cell in order to prevent inmate and guard violence.

      1. Change prison? I would eliminate it completely.
        Bring back the stockade and public whippings.
        Make punishment public, swift, painful and humiliating.

        Public support for dumb laws would drop dramatically. Jury nullification would become common.

        As it is prison is a business. Lawyer politicians write legislation to line the pockets of fellow lawyers and of the people who own and run prisons.

        It’s disgusting.

        1. Change prison? I would eliminate it completely.
          Bring back the stockade and public whippings.
          Make punishment public, swift, painful and humiliating.

          Maybe it’s time to bring back Coventry as a viable option. Such as depicted in No Escape.

          1. Coventry is my choice. It doesn’t even have to be high-tech. A moderately-sized island would do.

            1. Why not Australia? It’s mostly empty, anyway.

              1. Too many natural resources. They might be able to eventually build boats.

                Needs to be something like Machias Seal Island.

              2. Why not Australia? It’s mostly empty, anyway.

                I was thinking Canada, actually. I understand that Manitoba and the Northwest Territories are teeming with hyperlibidinous sasquatches. Just give the societal malcontents a months supply of Timbits and airdrop them into the sasquatch habitat.

                1. There’s always Antarctica. We’re not going to be taken seriously as a species until we have cities down there.

                  1. There’s always Antarctica.

                    I have it on good authority that it is teeming with large, homicidal carrots and polymorphic canines. Not to mention unhinged Norwegians.

                    1. unhinged Norwegians

                      No need to be redundant.

                    2. Sounds perfect to me. Head for the Outer Continent.

  14. “there is a pretty good sci fi novel (or two) in which minor offenses are turned into capital crimes in order to supply the organ market. Certainly must guard against that.”

    We don’t have to guard against good sci fi novels. The market takes care of that.

  15. What’s with all the (two) posts about organ donation today? Does someone at Reason need a replacement part?

    1. Gillespie is angling for Snake’s hair.

  16. Who wrote the story about the guy shipwrecked (I think it was) on a deserted island and who starts cutting off parts of his own body and eating them to survive?

    I recall reading that many years ago, but can’t dredge up where I read it or who wrote it. Maybe Stephen King?

    And then of course, there’s Monty Python: “May we have your liver?”

    1. I’m pretty sure that was Stephen King. IIRC, the only supplies that wash up with him are a huge shipment of cocaine.

    2. “Survivor Type” by Stephen King

      1. Found in “Night Shift” I believe.

          1. I’ve got it on my shelf and still got it wrong.

            Der

            1. It’s OK. I had already looked it up to get the title of the story.

      2. More proof, as if any more were needed, that King really should have stuck to short fiction.

        1. I don’t know about that. Everything up to the last 50 pages of It is pretty solid, assuming you ignore Cycle Of the Werewolf, that is…

          1. For a counter example, I give you the entire Dark Tower. If people hadn’t encouraged him by buying his novels and forced him to stick to short stuff, that never would have happened.

            1. The Dark Tower began as a series of interconnected short stories published in magazines as stand-alones.

            2. I would build a time machine and make sure that van killed him after the 4th book if I could.

              1. I barely finished the first book. Mythopoetic twaddle.

                1. I like his short stories quite a bit.

          2. I threw It across the room and haven’t read anything of his since. Terrible, terrible ending.

        2. The Green Mile? Great story, IMHO.

  17. I was expecting a lot of stupid, off-topic, pop-culture references, along with the usual anarchist bleeding-heart B.S. I was not disappointed.

    1. GRR RANDROID SMASH! RANDROID HATE POP CULTURE REFERENCES AND FUN BECAUSE FUN STOLE RANDROID REALDOLL GIRLFRIEND! ARRRGHHH!

    2. But did you expect the on-topic pop culture references?

      And we know you didn’t expect the Spanish Inquisition, because… well, you know.

    3. GRR RANDROID SMASH! RANDROID DEMAND ALL ENCOMPASSING PHILOSOPHICAL DOGMA!

  18. Oh, and dammit, you guys are really starting to chip away at my long-held support of keeping the death penalty available as a legally available option for cases in which the crime was particularly heinous and there is pretty much zero question as to guilt of the accused.

    I fully agree the death sentence is handed out too often for crimes that are not outrageous enough to warrant it or in cases where, although the prosecution technically met its legal burden of proof, enough of a scintilla of a doubt remains as to raise the question of whether such a final solution is justified.

    But then someone commits a truly horrific crime and there’s really no doubt at all that this guy did it and I’m leaning back towards “take the fucker out back and put a bullet in his skull.”

    A few years ago here in Richmond, VA, these two wastes of flesh invaded the home of a family and tied up, tortured and killed mom, dad, and two little girls in their own basement. As I recall, the youngest was only 4 or 5 years old. These two pieces of filth hit them in the head with a hammer and slit their throats. There is no doubt that these slime balls were the ones that did it. They randomly chose the house, simply because mom was home with the kids and opened the door when they knocked. These creeps were just wandering around, looking for someone to murder. I can’t imagine what kind of monster can slit the throat of a 5 year-old girl and smash her skull with a hammer, after having tied her up on the basement floor. They also murdered a few other people over the course of a week or two.

    It’s animals like that that continue to make me want to keep the death penalty around. Is it purely retribution? Yeah, I guess so.

    I suppose I might eventually soften my view and accept the substitute penalty of life in supermax with absolutely no hope of any parole or anything. But then it irks me to know shitheels like those two are still alive and sharing my planet. Maybe I need to develop a little more zen attitude about it.

    1. …but…how do you know they did it? And even if they did do it, two wrongs don’t make a right! And…and…if you sanction their execution, you are every bit the (alleged) monster that they are! Monster!

      1. GRR RANDROID SMASH SUBTLE SARCASM!

    2. It’s animals like that that continue to make me want to keep the death penalty around. Is it purely retribution? Yeah, I guess so.

      Your sense of outrage is warranted, and I am not unsympathetic to it, BSR. I cannot, however, trust the state to administer such a permanent act of justice as the death penalty. But then, how does society deal with such savages? More laws? Those only seem to have an affect on those who choose to follow them. Retributive justice, aka “Mob Justice”? Sounds good, but then it will be a matter of time before the mob will take a life of it’s own, subjectively meting out “justice” as it collectively (or singular, if one of the members goes rogue) even with the best of intentions. Mr. Balko’s (and others) almost daily gonad bludgeons show that a professional government police force is not above bending the law for its own in many cases, and outright breaking it in some (where are you dunphy, O dunphy?) I don’t purport to have any easy answers, but I do think, in all seriousness, that sarcasmic, with his modified version of Coventry, is on to something.

      It’s impossible, in any justice system, to guard against mistakes in carrying out justice and punishment. The “they just need killin'” argument makes for great movies and mental copulation, but in reality, it’s just as subjective as “I know TEH PRON when I see it,” argument as well, and the death penalty should not be an option of either camps. Just my 0.02.

      1. Edit. “collectively…sees fit“. Apologies.

      2. Decades-long imprisonment isn’t reversible either. And of course, death row inmates have a much more extravagant set of post-conviction appeals open to them than those who are only imprisoned…so perversely, getting the death penalty may be better for a wrongly convicted person than getting life imprisonment. Look at the case of Cory Maye for instance.

        1. Look at the case of Cory Maye for instance.

          Cory Maye is still alive. I never said that any type of justice system is perfect. The state has not succeeded in executing him, and I hope they don’t. It is tragic, and hopefully his case may compel others to review their own beliefs about the death penalty.

          1. You don’t seem to have looked at his case. He’s not going to be executed, and in fact is getting a new trial…largely because of the lavish post-conviction appeals process afforded to death row inmates.

            1. Once again Tulpa fails at reading.

      3. Maybe the language for a death-row conviction should be changed from “beyond a reasonable doubt” to “beyond a shadow of doubt”.

        Also, give judges power to overrule a jury on a conviction.

      4. The “they just need killin'” argument makes for great movies and mental copulation, but in reality, it’s just as subjective as “I know TEH PRON when I see it,” argument as well, and the death penalty should not be an option of either camps. Just my 0.02.

        Back in the day, a fine young gentleman broke into my new girlfriend’s apartment because, according to his friends, she was hot enough for him to want to rape her. And, of course, he didn’t want to leave a witness, so he planned to cut her throat.

        What he didn’t know was that I would be there when he broke in. Very long, bloody story short, she got stabbed in the heart and I had my liver nearly cut in two. He fled the scene, losing his billfold in the aparment during the festivities. He told his friends he had just killed two people and he wanted to go out to celebrate. The investigating cops, the paramedics, and the trauma surgeons all agreed that he had good reason to believe he had killed two people. They had never seen so much blood when anyone had survived.

        It turned out that, probably like most things in his life, he fucked it up and neither of us died, though it was a week or so before that was a certainty. Because, through nothing other than his own incompetence and pure dumb luck (for her and whoever else he’d go on to kill, anyway) that I was over there that night, no one died, the most he could get was life in prison. Which he got.

        In reality, people who “just need killin'” exist outside of the movies and mental masturbation. You can dismiss it or minimize it or ignore it but my 0.02 is that there are human predators who have forfeited their lives by their actions.

        1. “there are human predators who have forfeited their lives by their actions.”

          100% agreed.

    3. At a visceral level, I feel about the same way. Some people really do deserve to die and it kind of bothers me when they don’t. But the way the death penalty is inevitably going to be used by governments is inconsistent and stupid.

      A good example: NH, where I live, has capital punishment, but it hasn’t been used since the 20s or 30s and it is applicable only in very limited circumstances (killing a cop or judge and murder for hire I think is about it).
      Last year there were two capital murder trials in the state. One was a poor, borderline retarded black guy who shot a cop while trying to flee. The other was a well to do man who hired someone to kill his wife or something. Guess which one got the death penalty.

      1. Again, this is true of any punishment. Plenty of white marijuana possessors get probation while their black co-offenders get prison.

        It’s not a problem with the death penalty itself.

        1. I really don’t see how you can continue to repeat that line. The death penalty is different because there is no solution once the government makes that bad decision and a few years pass. A life sentence is reversible for many many years.

          1. I really need to cut and paste the explanation of how spending 20 years of your life in prison is not reversible. My carpal tunnels are swelling like cantelopes.

            1. Wow, really having a tough time reading correctly on this thread huh buddy? A life sentence can be reversed for many many years. A death penalty only has about 14 years to be reversed.

          2. the government makes that bad decision

            Your argument is spurious because you don’t believe that “government” (i.e. the people, including the citizens of the state and especially the jury in a capital case) can ever make a “right” decision.

            1. Nice guess, too bad it’s bullshit. Of course they can make a right decision. My position is that they don’t always make the right decision. Now fuck off you retarded little troll.

            2. GRR RANDROID SMASH! RANDROID DEMAND ALL ENCOMPASSING PHILOSOPHY SO RANDROID NOT HAVE TO THINK FOR SELF! ARRRRGH!

      2. Maybe the jury found that the wife was a terrible cook, so the hit was justified.

    4. Can’t we just drop them in Iran or Saudi Arabia or Afghanistan with a picture of Mohammad taped to their chests? The death penalty seems a little too “clean” for these particular assholes.

    5. I’m with you. But by way of clarification: You know how some politicians take a position you’ll NEVER forgive? I had a hard time with Bob Barr in this regard vis-a-vis marijuana. Now, journey back in time to 1994. Newt Gingrich, who’s now running for prez, urged the death penalty for “drug dealers.” I kept the printed article from the Times because I couldn’t believe it. This was no marginalized or local voice back then. Thus my point. And now, he could be a lib in every imaginable position, and guys like me like to forgive-not-forget. But I would never, ever support that guy. Some sins are irredeemable.

  19. Dead people can’t be pardoned by stupid governors like Huckabee.

    1. The recidivism rate of executed convicts is awfully low, too.

  20. I don’t think anything like this done by someone who’s facing the death penalty can be done “voluntarily”.

    This has been an issue since Gary Gilmore–the first person to be executed legally murdered by the state since the Supreme Court upheld death penalty statutes in 1976…

    He donated his eyes before he was executed, prompting one of the greatest punk rock songs ever–“Gary Gilmore’s Eyes” by the Adverts.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9AH5sE7d47U

    BTW, Generation Y…?

    Your music sucks. You suck.

    1. On the contrary, I would think nearly anything a death row inmate does is voluntary. It’s hard to threaten someone who knows he’s going to die painlessly no matter what.

    2. Calling it murder is not exactly rational language, is it? Something about stealing a base…

      1. It’s not accidental, and it’s not self defense, so… murder.

        1. It’s not something heller approves of, so… murder.

          1. Right, right, I simply disapprove of the death penalty. I’m not calling it murder for the reason I just gave. I just arbitrarily don’t like it and therefore call it murder. At least you’re intelligent enough to copy the trolls. You’re so close to being one. So close.

        2. Dude, I need to go back and grab all those contrived analogies you pro-choicers use to show that abortion isn’t really murder. You know, like unplugging violinists, etc. It’ll be fun throwing them back in your faces.

          1. Go ahead, you won’t find any arguments from me that are applicable to human beings. But that’s fine, just ignore my point above. There is no legitimate reason to purposely kill a human being besides self defense.

            1. “There is no legitimate reason to purposely kill a human being besides self defense.”

              So, if you come home to a loved one being butchered, and the guy flees on foot out the door, what are you going to do when you catch him?

              Hypothetical, I know, but given the propensity of the justice system to provide a disproportionate amount of justice, I seriously doubt you’re going to be worrying about his ‘natural rights’ for a few moments.

              There’s no ‘rational’ reason to kill another human being, but reason has a way of flying out the window when faced with dire circumstances.

      2. “Calling it murder is not exactly rational language, is it? Something about stealing a base…

        I called it “legal murder”…

        Regardless, you gotta call it something, and choosing a neutral word for the state intentionally and legally murdering someone is just as biased as anything else.

        If I referred to someone getting raped as “surprise sex”, does that make it better or worse?

        I think it makes it worse. Calling it something more neutral than what it is minimizes the seriousness of the crime. So, I’ll err on the side of caution here…

        If the state doesn’t want me talking about how they “legally murder” people, then they should stop legally murdering people.

        1. Murder is a strict subset of killing; there are plenty of instances of killing that no libertarian would claim constitute murder.

          So, clearly you’re stealing a base by calling it what you do.

          1. Murder being defined as the purposeful killing of a human being, I can only think of one instance in which libertarianism would allow it.

            1. And there isn’t anything about “lethally injecting” somebody strapped to a table that says “self-defense”.

  21. I read a study on this issue and most people in prison for life or death penalty are not suitable donors.

  22. One, I’d point out that some people are clearly guilty of murder with no chance of having made a mistake as to their guilt. Examples include Ted Bundy (not the forensic cases, but the details he provided to William Hagmaier) and John Gacy. I’m not saying that Nidal Malik Hasan is guilty of murder, but he clearly shot and killed 13 people. Whether they deserve to be killed for their actions could be a matter of personal opinion, but there is no argument to warehouse them in case they really aren’t guilty.

    Two, I’d suggest that we keep a death penalty around, and it’s for that second kind of serial killer, the kind that murders dozens, hundreds, thousands or millions from a position of power. Obviously Hitler is the usual example, but there is a long list including Pol Pot, Mao, Che, Trotsky, Stalin, Fidel Castro, Omar al-Bashir, Hosni Mubarak, et al. I think there is a great deal of value in killing people such as that, doing it publicly, and doing it after some sort of public, non-show, trial.

    Three, if someone wishes to die by having their organs removed, and that person is generally sane, I don’t see any reason their wish shouldn’t be granted, whether they’re on death row or not. There needs to be some sort of legal controls to prevent coercion (and I also think that anyone convicted of such coercion is an excellent candidate for organ donation) but it seems a more pleasant and helpful form of suicide than throwing yourself off a freeway overpass or the Golden Gate Bridge.

  23. I’m not saying that Nidal Malik Hasan is guilty of murder, but he clearly shot and killed 13 people.

    So why aren’t you saying he is a murderer?

  24. i dont’ specialise in transplants, but I see no reason why the drugs given would damage organs. The problem is more that the patient is dead – the heart is stopped. Organs are preserved in potassium in any case. It’s the sequence that needs to be altered.

  25. > a pretty good sci fi novel (or two) in which minor offenses are turned into capital crimes in order
    >to supply the organ market.
    Larry Niven’s “Known Space” series during the “Organlegger” era.

  26. Christian Longo never admitted killing his two youngest children, who he likely drowned alive.
    He is a vicous sociopathic narcisstic mass murderer who pled guilt to killing his wife claiming SHE had murdered their younger children. He olnly wants attention and publicity and now you are are allgiving it to him.
    Oreegon very rarely hands out death sentences. The county where he was sentenced had NEVER handed down a death sentence.

  27. One Sci-Fi novel you might want to take a look at with similar issues addressed in it is Buyout by Alexander C Irvine. In it a company is formed to offer buyouts to those on Death Row, under the auspices of saving the public money, and they providing to the victims or anyone some re compensation.

    The Amazon link is here: http://www.amazon.com/Buyout-A…..103&sr=8-3

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