Death Penalty

Quote of the Day


"You guys in AZ are life savers. Buy you a beer next time I get that way."

— California prisons official Scott Kernan, in an email to a counterpart in Arizona.

Here's the context.

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  1. I love it how Balko throws in an emetic once in a while… it makes the nutpunches that much more effective.

  2. I’m at least as upset at the regulatory bullshit and import regulations imposed by the DEA, FDA, etc as I am with the comment the guy made.

    *Disclaimer: I am a pro-death penalty guy when there is 100% certainty who the murderer is (Think Hassan or Loughner). That said, there are too many innocent men and women on death row, and the culture of crooked cops, prosecutors and “expert” witnesses must change.

    1. Think Lon Horiuchi or the cops who killed the 7 year old girl in Detroit.

    2. I wouldn’t say I’m “pro” when there is 100% certainty, but I’m significantly more sympathetic to the cause in those cases. However, I believe that the number of those cases is so close to 0% as to be indistinguishable from 0%. The prosecution (read: government) has no reason to worry about being wrong, so they don’t care if they are.

  3. Yo, fuck Scott Kernan.

  4. This is like that one time Goebbels was going on about how much of a spendthrift Hitler is.

  5. Coincidentally I just saw a 48 Hours on ID episode about the miscarriage of justice that was the Ray Krone case. In Maricopa County – big ol’ fat surprise.

  6. Who knew savers and takers were synonymous?

    1. Don’t take me, bro!

  7. This is simple – bring back Ol’ Sparky!

  8. Wait so Reason is against free trade now?

    1. it’s a bit early to drink, don’t you think?

      1. I tell you its not reasonable.

        1. it’s 5 o’clock somewhere

      2. It’s 5:00 am somewhere.

  9. Wow, OK man that makes a lot of sense when you think about it. Wow.

  10. There once was a writer named Radley
    Whose nut-punches hurt rather badly.
    We hope he doesn’t go
    and run to the HuffPo.
    Although Fridays would end much less madly.

      1. I liked Gobbler’s too:

        The Gobbler|1.4.10 @ 1:21PM|#
        There is a young jurno named Radley,
        Who writes about cops acting badly.
        Bringing all to the edge,
        Where a lightning-fast sledge,
        Slams into our parts that are nadly.

        1. That’s pretty solid.

          1. What I liked, was how last week limericks were created by committee. I don’t think I’ve seen that anywhere else.

    1. Why did his nut-punches hurt Rather?

  11. In stead of pentobarbital, I would switch to Pb.

  12. Your idea has merit, though it would only be effective at all in the execution of children. (Or perhaps you were referring to Pb pipes? Now yer talkin’.)

  13. What I liked, was how last week limericks were created by committee. I don’t think I’ve seen that anywhere else.

    If you want to see limericks written by a collective, you have to go to a libertarian website. Of course.

    1. No humans were coerced into making these limericks.

      1. Ah, so this is one of those Asimov Solarian definitions of human.

  14. “HUNTSVILLE ? As many as 60 people might be alive today in Texas because two dozen convicted killers were executed last year in the nation’s most active capital punishment state, according to a study of death penalty deterrence by researchers from Sam Houston State University and Duke University.”

    “A review of executions and homicides in Texas by criminologist Raymond Teske at Sam Houston in Huntsville and Duke sociologists Kenneth Land and Hui Zheng concludes that a monthly decline of 0.5 to 2.5 homicides in Texas follows each execution.”


    “Researchers ran mathematical models that considered homicide figures from the Texas Department of Public Safety to see whether month-to-month fluctuations in executions could be associated with subsequent fluctuations in homicide counts.”

    “Teske told The Associated Press that although the published study ended with 2005, the conclusions are valid for subsequent years.”

    “He said some experts disliked the results: “I have a hard time getting people to understand that this reports a scientific analysis of an issue and is not a political statement.”

    “Murders in Texas decrease after executions, study finds”,

    The Short-Term Effects Of Executions On Homicides: Deterrence, Displacement, Or Both?, Criminology

  15. “Capital Punishment: The debate’s over. The data are in. The answer is conclusive. No, we’re not talking about global warming. We’re talking about the death penalty. Say what you will, it saves far more lives than it takes.”

    “Even the mainstream media, loath for decades to treat the topic with any seriousness, are grudgingly coming around to the same conclusion. A good example is a piece this week by Associated Press correspondent Robert Tanner. In it, he notes a spate of recent studies that “count between three and 18 lives that would be saved by the execution of each convicted killer.”

    “This is, of course, correct. It’s also nothing new. We credit Tanner for his gutsy piece. But we’ve noted on these pages for years the stunning number of studies, all pointing to the same conclusion: The death penalty saves lives, perhaps hundreds if not thousands a year. The data are overwhelming.”

    “… the resumption of the death penalty in the early 1980s led to a steep decline in the murder rate. Murder rates peaked at about 10.2 per 100,000 people in 1980 and plunged 45% to about 5.6 in 2005.”

    “Unfortunately, death penalty opponents are quite clever. They know they can humanize a man ? and yes, it’s almost always a man ? on death row, talking about his underprivileged background, the abuse he suffered as a child, his low intelligence or his failure to get any breaks in life, as excuses to keep him alive. Or, they find fixable flaws in the system and turn them into arguments for scrapping the death penalty deterrent entirely.”

    Killing One To Save Many, IBD

    1. I guess that may be persuasive, if your thoughts about moral issues are based purely on a cost-benefit calculation of lives saved vs. lives lost.

      1. Let’s run that by Harry Truman.

        1. Hell, run it by B.H. Obama.


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