The Long Goodbye

Despite a series of executions that have stretched out over an hour or even more, many Americans continue to approve of capital punishment. Many Internet commenters love longer executions. Which means doing them intentionally can’t be far away.

6 thoughts on “The Long Goodbye

  1. Jurors should be required to participate in executions they decide for.

    Americans supposedly have the right to face their accusers and what is a jury but an accuser when they find someone guilty? Juries too squeamish to kill should not vote to kill.

    Death is too serious to be delivered by moral cowards.

    After all, before the advent of mechanized computerized warfare regular citizens were required to do the dirty deed. It’s not too much to ask patriotic citizens to bear the moral and psychological consequences of their decisions. It’s called personal responsibility.

    Wars often end when humans become repelled by their own repugnant behavior. Don’t let psychopaths lower you to their level of despicability by granting them the right to play god by your authority and in your name. Too many innocents are found guilty to act in good conscience and in complicity with the insane.

    • «Jurors should be required to participate in executions they decide for.» While superficially, seemingly attractive, proposals of this type strike me as a very bad idea. Under such a requirement, all one would have to do to be removed from jury duty in a capital case is to express squeamishness about participating actively in an execution, with the result being a marked selection for sadists on US juries (which might, perhaps, be considered as promoting being judged by a «jury of one’s peers», depending upon the psychological makeup of the defendant – but that’s another discourse)….


  2. I sent Luckovich’s cartoon of 07/20/14 (about a snack bar having been installed for the viewing room participants outside the execution chamber because “recent inmates haven’t died right away”) to a former neighbor of mine and received this response: “I would like to see murderers executed in the same manner as there [sic] victims !!!!! Suffering and all.” I was astounded!

    So I sent him a link about the Texas execution of an innocent man (Cameron Todd Willingham) with the question: “Thus, in your opinion, Willingham should have been burned alive?”
    [See ]

    His reply indicated to me that he didn’t even look at the link. (“If that is how he killed his victims…..sounds good.”

    My next email called his attention to the fact that Willingham was an innocent man. The end result of our exchange was this:
    ” ‘Well, if he was innocent, obviously he should not have been executed. Most death sentence murderers are convicted with unequivocal evidence.’

    “I don’t think that’s much consolation for Willingham or his family. There is really no way to determine how many innocents have been executed — and there’s no way to make restitution. That is my main concern and my objection to the death penalty.”

  3. Sometimes I wonder whether China or the US will be first to abolish capital punishment….

    (Note that capital punishment is – as far as I know – universal among Asian countries (save for some post-Soviet states), but the number of executions actually carried out varies widely….)


  4. Settings aside the ethics of execution, it is astonishing that we are so bad at it. My vet can put a cat down in under two minutes. A tranquilizer through a small needle to relax her… a minute later the big needle with a massive does of barbiturates in a major vein.

    Mind you, a human is bigger… but a couple of grams of morphine ought to do it.

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