Thursday, May 01, 2014


The Oklahoma execution debacle was horrible -- maybe even worse than Jonah Goldberg's mouthfarts on the subject. But it's close. First Goldberg basically said he was okay with torturing Clayton Lockett to death because Lockett's horrific crime merited such treatment. I don't know why he decided to come back and make it worse -- laziness, I suppose; he already had done the research -- but yeesh:
Many of these convicts no doubt deserve worse in the cosmic sense, but it’s not the place of the state to deliver worse. I am strongly for the death penalty but I have no desire to go down the path to medieval forms of execution where we are expected to take pleasure in someone’s final extravagantly choreographed agonies. Moreover, as a political matter, embracing that kind of thing will ultimately undermine the death penalty itself.
If we torture more of these guys to death, we may lose the voters! Oh, and get a load of this:
Of course there’s considerable hypocrisy at work when death penalty opponents do everything they can to block more humane and efficient means of execution — i.e. the old drug cocktail — and then complain that the remaining or new techniques are unconstitutional. You can make the case that the Lockett fiasco was a forced error by opponents of the death penalty.
See what you stupid libtards did? You made us go to the black market for our killin' drugs. What did you want us to do, wait?
But, I should say, I respect many opponents of the death penalty (even if I recoil at some of their tactics).
Goldberg has transformed the pee-dance into a rhetorical form.
Which brings us to the ridiculous claim that the botched execution was cruel and unusual punishment because it was “torture.” I see that Andy beat me to the punch in noting that, as a legal matter, you can’t torture someone by accident.
Holy shit, just when you think nothing could be worse, Goldberg enlists National Review's foremost torture enthusiast, Andrew McCarthy, and his legalistic determination as to how guilty people should feel about this disaster (unsurprisingly, not at all).

But let me put it another way: Lockett wasn’t sentenced to a botched execution. He was sentenced to be executed. Think of it this way: Last night a Pensacola jail blew up because of a gas leak. At least two people died. We don’t know yet whether they were inmates. But, let’s assume they were. Moreover let’s assume they were being held for petty crimes. Their deaths would not amount to “cruel and unusual punishment” even though most reasonable people would agree that stealing a candy bar or urinating in public shouldn’t be crimes punishable by death. That’s because the explosion was an accident.
And this is just like the accident that happened while Oklahoma was trying to kill a guy.

Goldberg ends by yelling at Will McAvoy, which is just perfect.

UPDATE. Regarding Goldberg's objection to death penalty opponents' "tactics," mds comments, "Like what? Picketing courthouses while holding up photos of grisly executions? Loudly berating anyone who goes in, even for a traffic violation, as being complicit in murder? Yeah, I could see how a principled conservative might find such behavior offensive."


  1. You can make the case that the Lockett fiasco was a forced error by opponents of the death penalty.

    This is Pantload's plea for help, because he can't.

  2. But, I should say, I respect many opponents of the death penalty (even if I recoil at some of their tactics).

    Like what? Picketing courthouses while holding up photos of grisly executions? Loudly berating anyone who goes in, even for a traffic violation, as being complicit in murderer? Yeah, I could see how a principled conservative might find such behavior offensive.

  3. RogerAiles1:31 PM

    "....most reasonable people would agree that stealing a candy bar or urinating in public shouldn’t be crimes punishable by death."

    Talk about your special pleading.

  4. coozledad1:44 PM

    I have no desire to go down the path to medieval forms of execution where we are expected to take pleasure in someone’s final extravagantly choreographed agonies.

    Is Jonah asking "Why can't you man up and have your heart explode quietly, instead of being a drama queen?" or is he suggesting that the death penalty has nothing to do with taking pleasure in someone's agony?

    Jonah and his ilk might not pound the bamboo under your fingernails, but they'll go cut the cane, and they'll watch.

  5. coozledad1:46 PM

    But he STILL finds Andrew McCarthy reasonable.

  6. synykyl1:47 PM

    Einstein was right about human stupidity being infinite, and it's Goldbergs all the way down.

  7. XeckyGilchrist2:05 PM

    Well, he can only do so with classic abuser-logic in the "I only hit you because you make me" mold.

    So, you're right. He can't.

  8. Helmut Monotreme2:05 PM

    Forced error my ass. There was no time pressure at all. If they didn't kill him when they chose to, what's the worst that could happen? He wasn't going to become immortal if he wasn't killed right away. They could have chosen to wait until the proper chemicals were available, or to use any number of the ways people have found to extinguish a life, but they chose deliberately, to move forward with using an untested cocktail in order to try and kill him as soon as they could. This wasn't a forced error, it was bloodlust blowing up in their face.

  9. GeniusLemur2:07 PM

    "medieval forms of execution where we are expected to take pleasure in someone’s final extravagantly choreographed agonies."
    Uh, the idea there was that it would be unpleasant enough to scare people straight. By the official thinking, you weren't supposed to enjoy it.
    Not that that kept families of the time from treating public executions as a fun day out with the kids.

  10. Jay B.2:08 PM

    Which brings us to the ridiculous claim that the botched execution was cruel and unusual punishment because it was “torture.” I see that Andy beat me to the punch in noting that, as a legal matter, you can’t torture someone by accident.

    I'm not a legal giant like Andrew McCarthy, but I've seen enough Matlock to know that trying to kill someone using an untested, unknown drug cocktail rather lays the groundwork for a claim that torture was a quite possible byproduct of a conscious attempt to kill someone.

    "Your honor, I only meant to kill him -- how was I to know that he was going to suffer while I strangled him?"

  11. What he's saying is that he doesn't favor deliberately torturing people to death, but if it happens by big deal.

    This from the same guy who feels that smoking bans in bars is an intolerable intrusion by the state.

  12. I just took a quick peek into the comments down there. Normally I wouldn't be so reticent, as Goldberg's fans are more buffoonish than anything. One of the first comments was a guy calling for summary execution. That was as far as I made it.

    The sad part is that it didn't surprise me at all - I knew it would end up like that. These guys may profess to be libertarians, but give them an opportunity to break out the truncheons, and they'll do it every time.

  13. Gromet2:28 PM

    I have no desire to go down the path to medieval forms of execution where we are expected to take pleasure in someone’s final extravagantly choreographed agonies.

    I call bullshit. I doubt Goldberg has never found the death penalty to be emotionally satisfying. Maybe not dancing-a-jig joy -- but definitely a solid, clear burst of emotion that is, partly, joy. "Oh, they're gonna give the chair to that unrepentant serial killer who specialized in 8-year-olds? GOOD. And I hope it hurts."

    Goldberg's case is basically "Yes, kill, and yes, find it emotionally satisfying -- just don't kill too big, and don't dance about it (when people are looking)." But he pretends otherwise. He wipes the cheeto dust on his mumu and makes a grim face, and tells us his "strong" support of the death penalty is entirely unpleasant necessity.

    Let's be honest: THE DEATH PENALTY IS DEFINITELY EMOTIONALLY SATISFYING. But that is not inherently a case for it or against it. It is just one of the facts on the table, and you have to decide whether you want more of that satisfaction or less of it. He wants more! Just not what he thinks would be too much! But he's not honest enough to say so and have a real discussion about it and that's his style of conservatism in a nutshell.

  14. VonZeppelin2:45 PM

    Cruel: 43 minutes of agony ending in a massive heart attack. Unusual: using an untested experimental drug combination. I am an Oklahoman who has felt nauseated for the past two days.
    Was Lockett a vicious, heartless killer? Yes. Did his victim suffer untold pain and terror? Yes. If we as a society want to inflict maximum pain on those who receive the death penalty, let's have that discussion openly, not as thought experiments by fatuous buffoons like Goldberg.
    Governments which derive their values from the European Enlightnment supposedly believe that capital punishment means the swift and humane taking of life from those who have been convicted of the most serious crimes, after due process.
    We in Oklahoma are saddled with a state government controlled by arrogant, morally hollow hypocrites who yammer endlessly about "Biblical values."
    I want us to be better than that.
    Roy, I love your site and your commenters for the intelligent and witty snark. I can't find a single thing funny about this, and that flatulent toad Goldberg desecrates a tragedy upon a tragedy with his blathering a .

  15. yeah, that struck me as well. Maybe death penalty opponents have resorted to bathos and sarcasm?

  16. Couldn't let him have the last laugh by dying of a heart attack in his cell withoutthe torture,could they?

  17. KatWillow2:54 PM

    Don't forget murdering practitioner, bombing their workplaces, harassing and terrorizing their children.

  18. KatWillow2:55 PM

    Sounds like he's saying this is all the fault of anti-death-sentence people for not selling the government the right drug cocktail.

  19. KatWillow2:57 PM

    I have no desire to go down the path to medieval forms of execution where we are expected to take pleasure in someone’s final extravagantly choreographed agonies

    I think most conservatives would love public executions, especially "hanging, drawing and quartering", a form of execution that actually horrified people in the middle ages.

  20. In fairness, tell many of them it's time to break out the truncheons, and they'll start unwrapping their bologna sandwiches.

  21. I'd also like to point out that as for the example of someone dying, needlessly, in prison--what a weird example. What is it supposed to be about? Yes--if prisons were a place where people were routinely injured and killed we might well decide that punishment by imprisonment constituted "cruel and unusual punishment" and stop imprisoning people. If a prison population is kept in unsafe conditions that may be considered "cruel and unusual"--in fact that is precisely what cruel and unusual means. It means that the framers felt that as times changed so would our ideas of what was appropriate treatment for prisoners and we should try to keep up with changing times.

    Goldberg is confused--but I repeat myself--he thinks that "cruel and unusual" only pertains to executions so he thinks he's found a "gotcha" when people die (sadly) in prison but its not an official act by a guy thinking really hard about execution while throwing a big switch marked: KILL HIM BY THROWING THIS SWITCH. But that's just nonsense. The entire of the punishment format can be "cruel and unusual" including aspects of the building, of the treatment, of the food, etc...etc..etc...

  22. Shakezula3:12 PM

    ...extravagantly choreographed agonies

    Couple questions - Does he get paid by the syllable? Also, does he realize that a choreographed event (extravagant or not), is one that is carefully planned? While it is perfectly feasible that a right wing rat sodomizer would suggest that the victim is faking his death throes, that seems way too intelligent for JG.

    Of course there’s considerable hypocrisy at work when death penalty opponents do everything they can to block more humane and efficient means of execution — i.e. the old drug cocktail

    The opponent here is the EU. The drugs we were using for LI are all made in Europe. Under EU law, the companies were not allowed to sell to the U.S. if they were or might be used for that purpose. Since those drugs are also used for things like anesthesia, the states had to stop using them. The EU threatened to step in when Missouri wanted to switch to propofol. That too is a common anesthetic. Although I guess you could say that it is the fault of American drug manufacturers for failing to step into the anesthetic business, but I don't expect Laz-y Boy to make that connection. Better for everyone to think this is the fault of smelly hippies that someone died in agony. (Not that we care, because the person who died in agony is a bad man.)

  23. coozledad3:13 PM

    What I've found with Republicans is they can always retreat farther into the darkest recesses of the hindbrain. Before too long, drawing and quartering would have to be supplemented by additional applications of Wallachian justice.

    Ordeals and torture would be returned to their rightful place in the judicial process, and they might be employed preemptively among "groups prone to criminal activity".

    They're going to do their worst, in any case.

  24. JennOfArk3:31 PM

    You can make the case that the Lockett fiasco was a forced error by opponents of the death penalty.

    Not without conflating "US pharmaceutical companies" with "opponents of the death penalty."

    It's like with Sterling - US pharma made a PR call and decided it didn't look good to be in the business of manufacturing drugs for the specific purpose of killing people. (Now if only we could get gun manufacturers to do the same...) Free market at work, baby! Then the EU countries, who actually are against the death penalty, decided they wouldn't supply the drugs.

    So, is he saying all those cheese-eating surrender monkeys in Old Europe are to blame for this guy dying a horrible death? Funny, I don't think they were the ones who stuck the needle in the guy's arm.

  25. And the governor overruled the OK Supreme Court on a temporary stay. She didn't even wait for some big crisis to act like an authoritarian tyrant - she just blithely streamrolled the separation of powers because she couldn't wait to kill a guy.

    Seriously, what the fuck.

  26. Blood lust is very much a part of the human condition, but most of us don't try to codify it into our legal system. I'll lay it out using language conservatives have employed: One of the civilizing effects of society is that it displaces the primitive desire for revenge in favor of the higher ideal of justice. It can't stop us from wanting vengeance, but it can channel our actions away from those darker avenues.

  27. I can only imagine what would happen if McCarthy found himself in court for accidentally killing a pedestrian with his car. "Don't be silly, you can't kill someone by accident."

    "You could make the case," Goldberg would chime in, "that this was a forced error by environmentalists."

  28. ohsopolite3:40 PM

    The PL's distaste for "medieval forms" is a tipoff that a certain someone has been watching "Game of Thrones".

  29. I suspect that, by his standards, that constitutes research.

  30. ohsopolite3:47 PM

    Luckily for Jonah this is just the kind of research that doesn't require an appeal to the derp hordes of his readership or summoning an intern.

  31. A concise indicator that the United States of America is serious trouble: Al Feldstein dies, and Jonah Golberg has a forum.
    Bog weeps.

  32. gratuitous3:59 PM

    Indeed. After reading the excerpts of Goldberg's thought on this, I'm left to wonder if there is a suitable punishment for the people who carried out Lockett's execution in such a cruel manner? Should they be punished? Lockett's execution has been designated appropriate to the heinousness of his crime; is a similar standard applied to the people carrying out that execution?

    One objection to the death penalty is that we're lowering ourselves to the standards of the most heartless murderer. But in failing to hold our executioners responsible, we're actually holding ourselves less accountable than the heartless murderer.

  33. Derelict4:12 PM

    This. There is law for thee, but none that may bind me.

    Remember this the next time one of these rightwing fools starts complaining about the lawlessness of the Obama administration.

  34. Derelict4:22 PM

    How far beyond fucked up and fatuous is it that Goldbrick invokes the explosion at the Pensacola lockup? Last I heard, the explosion was an accident. Lockett's execution was a planned event.

    Yet one more stinking example of Goldbergian reasoning.

  35. Re: ordeals and torture, I normally would say "No way in hell," but these people have been angling for a return to the 15th century ever since Bush was elected and let that genie out of the bottle.

  36. asmallmoose4:45 PM

    See but the EU are socialists and Obama is a socialist-fascist and opponents of the death penalty love Obama and... carry the two, ipso fatso opponents of the death penalty forced Oklahoma to ignore a supreme court ruling and botch an execution.

  37. Brian Schlosser4:46 PM

    Yeah, she is looking more and more like GOP presidential ticket material every day.

  38. asmallmoose4:48 PM

    Yeah, I kinda love it. He's pretty much just saying "Look over here!" but it's so ham-fisted I just imagine him falling flat on his face as he says it.

  39. Brian Schlosser4:55 PM

    Moreover, as a political matter, embracing that kind of thing will ultimately undermine the death penalty itself.

    This is the entire reason we have the grotesque parody of a medical procedure that is Lethal Injection. People were starting to get antsy at the stories of people catching on fire in the Chair or gasping and moaning in the Gas Chamber, but they still wanted their blood-debt, so they decided to put convicts down like maimed cattle. Except, of course, cattle are usually treated much more humanely.

    Now they can't use the old deadly cocktail, so they are relying on places like "The Olde Apothecary" (not a joke) to concoct their deadly draughts. And then act shocked when it doesn't work well.

    I'm against the death penalty 100% of the time, but if we're going to have it, stop the hypocrisy and just admit its about vengeance. Bring back the gibbet and the guillotine. Goldberg, McCarthy, and the rest of the tricoteuses can knit themselves and their readers into a proper frenzy of Old Testament judgement, and at least the whole ugly affair will be honest.

  40. Derelict4:59 PM

    Under the old Soviet regime, prisoners sentenced to death would never know the hour of their execution. One day, the usual walk to the exercise yard would be interrupted by a shot to the back of the head.

    I, too, oppose the death penalty. But if we are going to kill people in the name of the state, let's figure out a way that doesn't turn the process into agony for both the condemned and the rest of us.

  41. dmsilev5:03 PM

    Are you sure about that? I mean, someone has to push the buttons on the remote, and is that not what interns are for?

  42. Howlin Wolfe5:04 PM

    I seem to remember recent (the last 20 years is recent to this geezer) some lawsuits alleging exactily that. But Goldberg isn't up to the task of understanding the nuances of analogies like that. Too much work, not enuff cheetos.

  43. glennisw5:15 PM

    (even if I recoil at some of their tactics).
    Like filing for appeals?

  44. Ellis_Weiner5:19 PM

    Well said. I'd only add: It's emotionally satisfying in the most animalistic way. It's revenge, period. Two-thirds of all the movies made deliver that sensation, if only vicariously.

    The fact that we all may be subject to such feelings doesn't make it a justification for the death penalty. If my loved one were brutally murdered I would probably want her/his killer to suffer that, and more. But that's me at my worst (however understandable it is), and the opposite of a basis for deciding an entire society's rationale for how to treat killers.

    I'd like to ask Jonah why NOT go down the medieval path of execution? Why NOT publicize hanging? Call it "the demonstration effect," the one that Jonah's and the other wingnuts' hero, Cheney, put such stock in. That's why he wanted to bomb Syria.

    It's times like this that I think Goldberg and his sort are, not intellectually retarded, but existentially retarded. Their fundamental perception of what it means to be a human being, in the world and in society, is deficient. It's why they don't understand art, make lousy comedians, and generally act like sniggering adolescents. They defend the indefensible to protect their living in an imaginary world, and then feel victimized when reality asserts itself.

  45. Ubu Imperator5:25 PM

    You don't have to look very hard at pictures of lynchings from the twentieth century—that is, lynchings of black people in the U.S.—to realize that these were both public and popular events, to which spectators would show up with kids and picnic baskets in tow.

    I suspect the only difference between public executions now and then is that somebody would be selling tickets and commemorative t-shirts for them today.

  46. JennOfArk5:30 PM

    Yep, in the way it's applied, it's only revenge, and given the amount of time it takes from conviction to execution, it's a dish served cold.

    My thing has always been this: you can make an argument that in some very limited cases the death penalty might be needed, i.e. in a case like Ted Bundy's, where he was in prison, escaped, and went and killed more people. You could argue that some criminals are too crafty to guarantee you can keep the locked up, and are therefore too dangerous to be allowed to continue to live. But for the vast majority of those sentenced to death, there's really no chance that they would ever be free to kill again, so it comes down to just revenge.

    I think the biggest issue I've got with the death penalty in this country, other than the inequality in how it's dealt out, is how bloodless we've tried to make it, how removed from the responsibility of any one individual person. It's like we decided we needed to be more like the Nazis and just be businesslike in the way we go about killing people. That's the most morally repulsive thing about it as it stands these days, IMO.

  47. Buffalo Rude6:05 PM

    Remember that time an anti-death penalty advocate assassinated a CO through a window in his kitchen while he was doing the dishes?

  48. Buffalo Rude6:08 PM

    Also known as "the Ike Turner."

  49. Meanie-meanie, tickle a person6:10 PM

    You can make the case that the Lockett fiasco was a forced error by opponents of the death penalty.

    Kill a warm 6 of Old English 16s, you can make a good case for just about anything you could still pronounce...

  50. Meanie-meanie, tickle a person6:15 PM

    Dunno about the ilk, but you'll not find Jonah out in the hot fields with a machete and tote sack...

  51. Meanie-meanie, tickle a person6:19 PM

    And the Lej went after the Justices, and then the SC caved and reversed itself.Politics in genberal can be fucked up, but this oughtta win some kind of award...

  52. Meanie-meanie, tickle a person6:26 PM

    I watched an episode at my sister's place last week. It may not have been waterboarding, but I was sure glad when it stopped...

  53. KatWillow6:56 PM

    After the '89 Loma Prieta earthquake I was disgusted seeing a couple of people selling t-shirts "I survived the Loma Prieta Earthquake!"

    In Oakland they were still trying to rescue people from the freeway collapse.

  54. I'm afraid this is probably true and not just in an alternate universe. Somewhere McCarthy and Goldberg have probably made this argument.

  55. Well, they did sell commemorative items in the form of postcards, pictures, and souvenirs like body parts.

  56. M. Krebs7:23 PM

    ... pleasure in someone’s final extravagantly choreographed agonies.

    Extravagantly choreographed? Now this is just weird. Does he think the executed plan out whole routines a la old shitty movies for dramatic effect? Hey, I'm gonna totally spaz out just before they pull the switch, just to freak everybody out! That'll serve 'em right.

  57. Tiny Hermaphrodite, Esq.7:27 PM

    A thought experiment: Would it moral to humanely execute proponents of the death penalty if a falsely convicted person would be resurrected through this act. What if there is only a certain probability of resurrection? Would it still be justified? I'm of course just asking a question. Expand the parameters of this experiment to your liking. Free speech and all that.

  58. Meanie-meanie, tickle a person7:34 PM

    I say for every verified falsely-convicted person, we just go out and randomly off one of "kill 'em all and let god sort 'em out" types.

    No, I don't really mean that. Darn it.

  59. Ubu Imperator7:37 PM

    True, but it takes a more advanced consumerist society to realize you could also charge a cover.

  60. M. Krebs7:43 PM

    Precisely. If society supposedly deems that somebody needs to be killed, then society needs to deal with it honestly. At very least, the jury, the prosecutor, and the judge who issued the sentence should have to watch the proceedings.

    I'll probably rile a few people up with this, but it's a lot like the all-volunteer military in that it serves to insulate society from the consequences of evil shit that gets done on its behalf.

  61. redoubtagain7:48 PM

    The ghost of Karla Faye Tucker would like a word.

  62. Sure Jonah. Unless it's your candy bar. That Lopez bitch is gonna die.

  63. Tiny Hermaphrodite, Esq.8:02 PM

    Another one. What if killing a number of lawnorder types (or attorneys, judges or jury members) makes the killing of innocents less likely?

  64. M. Krebs8:06 PM

    What I don't get is why lethal injection has to be done with some complex "cocktail." People die painlessly from heroin overdoses every day, and most likely the state of Oklahoma confiscates heroin on a fairly regular basis. Problem solved!

  65. MBouffant8:09 PM

    You ain't rilin' me up. I agree 100% about the "volunteer" military.

  66. Tiny Hermaphrodite, Esq.8:12 PM

    Here is a good article about Gov. Mary Fallin's disastrous record by Irin Carmon.

  67. MBouffant8:18 PM

    No one is innocent.

  68. davdoodles8:30 PM

    The idea contains some seeds of merit, however.
    Consider if, prior to executing someone, it was necessary for the State to identify four or five members of the community prepared to volunteer to "sponsor" the execution. The consequence of sponsorship being that, if the conviction was later overturned, the "sponsors" all get to sit out their last minutes in Ol' Sparky, wearing a wet copper helmet.
    Thus, the State and their ghoulish supporters would need to be pretty damned sure that the person was guilty. They'd literally be betting their arses on it.

  69. Tiny Hermaphrodite, Esq.8:40 PM

    You wouldn't need sponsors. There's judges, attorneys, the juries. Simply pick some of them.

  70. M. Krebs8:47 PM


  71. asmallmoose9:03 PM

    Doktor Bimler has been over this on LGM lately so I'll try to restate. People dying from opiate overdoses are in a good mental state but physically they are fighting to live and straining for breath, which is probably painful and apparently hard to watch. I mean, I'd rather we just stopped killing people altogether but this probably isn't a painless way to do it.

  72. asmallmoose9:06 PM

    The article doesn't say it but i thought she ended up denying every national guard member marriage and partnership benefits so that same sex couples wouldn't get them, tho i may be misremembering. But yea, she's turrible.

  73. Tehanu10:13 PM

    The last principled conservative either died or is hiding out in the woods some place. The people calling themselves conservatives today are mostly sadistic authoritarian racist greedheads and the only things they want to "conserve" are the rules that let them do whatever they want without any consequences. Or shorter me: "principled" conservatives? Isn't that an oxymoron?

  74. Spaghetti Lee10:27 PM

    "...and the ones who don't actually have an office just down the hall from me."

  75. Spaghetti Lee10:43 PM

    you can make an argument that in some very limited cases the death
    penalty might be needed, i.e. in a case like Ted Bundy's, where he was
    in prison, escaped, and went and killed more people.

    Anders Breivik was sentenced to 21 years in prison, with the possibility of more time added on if he is still deemed a danger to society after that time (early guess: yes), because that's the maximum punishment in Norway. So, three months for every person he killed. Yeah, sounds fair. And by his own admission he killed all those people to bring attention to his own white-supremacist ideology. It was a publicity stunt.

    I get all the anti-death-penalty arguments, and most of the time I agree with them. It's bad to write laws based on thoughts of revenge and visceral hatred, it's too much power to give the state, the number of wrongful convictions even for crimes like murder and rape is too high.

    But every so often, and it's maybe one people out of a billion, there's a person that I can't think of a single compelling reason for society to let live. To prove that we're better than him? Prove it to who? God? Aliens? What's the fucking point? Is Breivik (Bundy, etc.) going to somehow be humbled by our mercy? Are we willing to let people like him slaughter children and then just lock him up, just to feel good about ourselves for living up to some higher standard?

    It's tough. Like I said, most of the time this isn't a hard issue for me, but some fuckin' people. Maybe what we need is public participation. Everybody gets one coupon every year, and the person who gets their name written down and turned in the most is the one person the state is allowed to execute that year.

  76. Execution by means of lethal injection is especially creepy- it's a horrific bizarro-world parody of a medical procedure.

  77. DocAmazing11:30 PM

    Some are more guilty than others.
    /Malcolm McLaren

  78. Spaghetti Lee11:32 PM

    And see, when you put it that way, now I feel like a caveman.

  79. DocAmazing11:38 PM

    Give up the paleo diet and have beer, and you'll feel like a hunter-gatherer.

  80. whetstone11:42 PM

    People in Illinois remain grateful to corrupt dickhead George Ryan--one of two consecutive governors to go to prison--for drawing a moratorium on the death penalty here. The bright side, so to speak, is that once you get rid of it, if anyone still cares they're glad. As you'd probably expect: it's dehumanizing, it's extremely expensive, and it has no deterrent effect. The only reasons I can think of that American states continue to do it is a small minority who finds it just and/or satisfying and a larger group that's too chickenshit, mostly politicians, to change.
    But insofar as there's reason to be optimistic, once you do get rid of it, it seems to be the kind of thing that stays gone.

  81. MBouffant12:01 AM

    My take is that premeditated & planned murder, especially for financial gain, is worthy of the death penalty. (Not crimes of passion, not even robbery gone more wrong. Planned murder.)

    This has the added thrill that it would almost exclusively be applied to nasty rich people. Think of the members of powerful families, as so often seen on Law & Order. Then think "Off w/ their heads!"

  82. Meanie-meanie, tickle a person12:15 AM

    Or, we could institute an execution lottery, wherein nine heinous convicted murderers are selected, and one random innocent citizen. The ten names are printed on ping-pong balls, and put in a lottery machine (hey, we could hold the drawing on Powerball Night, in the same studio!). The lucky winner would get...unlucky.
    You think this might bring home to someone other than family members of wrongly convicted "murderers" that the DP is immoral for that one reason alone? Nah, neither do I...

  83. Meanie-meanie, tickle a person12:18 AM

    I suppose if we really *had* to execute someone, medical science seems to think a morphine drip and no feeding tube is a pleasant way to go. Since my mother went that way, I sure as fuck hope they're right.

  84. JennOfArk12:18 AM

    Bullets make more of a mess. It's easier to pretend you haven't just murdered someone if there's no blood.

  85. Meanie-meanie, tickle a person12:20 AM

    He went there because it was the only there he could see from inside his own asshole, and it's better to flatulate than never...

  86. Meanie-meanie, tickle a person12:30 AM

    Yes--if prisons were a place where people were routinely injured and
    killed we might well decide that punishment by imprisonment constituted
    "cruel and unusual punishment"

    Thing is, it's pretty well known that our prisons are places where exactly that happens, and we routinely send criminals that we really don't like--child molesters, say--off to prison with a reminder of what happens to "people like you" in there. With a big smile.
    Also too, we seem *not* to want to send convicted police officers to the Big House for exactly that reason. So, maybe we need to make up our minds...

  87. Meanie-meanie, tickle a person12:43 AM

    The problem with that is you assume that the really heinous murderers are more likely guilty than, say, a cuckolded husband (or wife) who just couldn't take it anymore. That somehow our CJ system doesn't fuck it up in those cases. I'd certainly like to think that, but, sadly, no.

  88. Meanie-meanie, tickle a person12:46 AM

    Which, for reasons I'm sure I don't understand, consists of far more low-income and minority types than upper middle class kids and 1% scions. Oh, wait, that's the "volunteer"* National Guard. How silly of me...

    * "Senator, I'd take it as kindness if you'd volunteer my boy Chauncey for Guard..."

  89. asmallmoose12:59 AM

    None of this needs to be this way tho. Prisons should be places where the convicted are separated from society for a period of time, probably much shorter then what we give now. Having the threat of violence hanging over their heads is ridiculous and a bit sadistic. I'm not sure how we'd work to curb it but it has to be possible.

  90. asmallmoose1:06 AM

    There are always going to be those kinds of people though. I think the problem is that once you start executing people then the standards will become more relaxed and you'll end up where we are now in the US. I'm also not sure what killing Breivik will accomplish at this point. He's no longer a threat to anyone.

  91. sigyn2:02 AM

    It's those candlelight vigils, I bet.

  92. Daniel Björkman3:08 AM

    I regret that I have only one Like to give for this comment.

  93. Daniel Björkman3:26 AM

    To be honest, I see no logical inconsistency in that. Libertarianism is all about you and what you want. Sooner or later, what you want is going to be for someone you hate or fear (or an entire dimly imagined category of people that you hate or fear) to suffer or die. Why wouldn't they grasp the most efficient tool that exists for accomplishing that? Libertarianism is, after all, also all about being a brilliant improviser who makes the most of what you've got available.

    All of which is, of course, the reason why libertarianism should not and in fact can not be the foundation for a society.

  94. Daniel Björkman3:46 AM

    It has been at least theorised that there are rough stages of emotional development that people go through:

    And while I'd agree with the cited critics that it's probably making it much too tidy and simple, we have all seen people who seem incapable of even wrapping their heads around anything above, say, level three.

  95. montag23:55 AM

    "Goldberg has transformed the pee-dance into a rhetorical form."

    Gaw-ud damn, that's one of the funniest things I've read all week.

  96. Daniel Björkman4:04 AM

    you can make an argument that in some very limited cases the death
    penalty might be needed, i.e. in a case like Ted Bundy's, where he was
    in prison, escaped, and went and killed more people. You could argue
    that some criminals are too crafty to guarantee you can keep the locked
    up, and are therefore too dangerous to be allowed to continue to live.

    I suppose I could understand the death penalty in a situation like that, but... how often has that actually happened? Often enough that it causes more harm than having a justice system that kills people? I just can't think of a set of criteria to decide who is "too dangerous to live" without immediately imagining how it could backfire - by having conservatives pounce on it and start stretching the definition of "too dangerous to live" out to encompass everyone they really wanted to kill, if nothing else.

    Mind you, if I were shown statistics proving that we really live in a world of Cardboard Prisons where desperadoes are constantly escaping to wreak havoc, then even I would have to agree that killing such desperadoes as soon as you have the chance might be the only workable solution. I am not unreasonable, just skeptical of any argument that credits unlikely accomplishments (like breaking out of prison) to personal skill rather than pure dumb luck.

  97. Daniel Björkman4:21 AM

    To prove that we're better than him? Prove it to who? God? Aliens? What's the fucking point?

    I have an answer to that. I would say it is to prove it to ourselves - or more to the point, to remind ourselves of it. Because especially after something as horrible as what Breivik did, we really need the reminder that no, we live in a civilised society, and we live in a civilised society because we have decided that we should live in a civilised society, not because up until now the psychos deigned to allow us to live in one. This is our world, not his. We decide the rules, not him. And nothing he does, including mass murder, can change that.

    Please understand me. I care nothing for Breivik. If he choked to death on his dinner tomorrow, I might even celebrate. But if we let him make us less civilised, then his blood-soaked act of smirking villainy succeeded in changing the world, and to me, that is unacceptable.

  98. Daniel Björkman4:25 AM

    ... nnnnnngggghhhh, now you're dangerously close to talking me around, considering that I listen to this as motivational music... :P

  99. montag25:26 AM

    Not to mention litotes.

  100. montag25:34 AM

    Indeed. The urgency apparent in this made little sense. It's not as if the prisoner were going anywhere.

    I think there must be some sort of unofficial competition between the governors of Texas and Oklahoma, i.e., which one can most appeal to the basest instincts of the mob, as if that is a defining attribute of governance.

  101. montag25:52 AM

    Let's not forget that these people--particularly McCarthy--don't think torture is a bad thing; therefore, the likelihood of torture being part of the process, in their view, is not a satisfactory objection.

    Even though laughing at them or disagreeing with their rhetorical legerdemain is an egregious assault on their rights to fee speech and is akin to the high-tech lynching to which all libruls subscribe.

  102. montag26:22 AM

    That's what we thought in 1976, but, it came back nevertheless. Never underestimate the power of prigs and moral scolds and religious passive-aggressives when aligned with opportunistic politicians.

    It's funny how those that can't ever envision themselves or theirs committing a capital crime are invariably eager for the state to do it for them.

  103. montag27:12 AM

    The problem with this, I'd guess, is that people pretty much lose interest after the switch is pulled. Convictions after execution don't get overturned later (look at all the hoo-hah and backtracking and refusals to reexamine evidence that went on over the Cameron Willingham case, for example). It's a particular facet of our justice system that it's not inclined to admit mistakes. That ought to be the strongest argument for ending the death penalty (along with the moral bankruptcy of the policy), but, it doesn't have much clout in the debate because we simply refuse to look back.

    Look at how many relatives of victims, judges, prosecutors and cops, even when there's overwhelming evidence of innocence, still want the convicted to suffer--that's a strong indicator of the power of the state's accusations. (It's precisely what a jury of one's peers is supposed to counterbalance and, unfortunately, doesn't.)

    The concept of "better to let a thousand guilty go free than convict an innocent man" probably goes back to Maimonides. Ben Franklin said, "a hundred." Blackstone said, "ten." Now, it doesn't seem to matter much as long as the accused is of sufficient "otherness."

    And getting people to acknowledge error after the fact is desperately hard. Think about what Fat Tony said on the matter--if procedure is followed, executing an innocent man is perfectly okay. That's emblematic of the problem.

  104. It's all about the self-image of America peopled with hard-nosed, independent, no-nonsense, "get 'er done" folks.

    Even when you remove the fetishists and perverts who derive vicarious thrill from the executed's final terror and helplessness (hmmmm…remarkably similar to the motivations of the sadistic murderer), I believe there is still a large number of Americans who are "uncomfortable" at the idea of an America with no capital punishment, if only because of Tradition.

    These tribalists live in the world of American mythology we've created to account for our gnat-lived history of only a couple centuries (compensation for our envy of the millennia of history most other people have), and a core of that mythology is that Americans are decisive and swift in their "justice."

    Even if we never actually execute anyone, these people feel more comfortable if Capital Punishment remains on the books. Compassion is NOT part of the American mythology for them--well, not real compassion, anyway, just the false compassion used to justify being a shit the rest of the time--and not killing (or threatening to kill) Bad Guys amounts to pussified compassion for them. It's not even about the Bad Guys; it's about looking and feeling tough.

  105. And it doesn't even work very well. I just read that 7% of lethal injections are botched. That, combined with the estimate that 300 innocents have been executed since the death penalty was reinstated makes me realize we really are living in blizzaro-world.

  106. Eh, why not think of it as "feeling like someone who actually grapples with issues of ethics, rather than simply parroting received wisdom"?

  107. realinterrobang9:38 AM

    I actually agree with both of you. It's a hard situation to be in, and certainly folks like Goldberg aren't even capable of appreciating the nuances. I'm glad they didn't make a martyr out of Breivik.

    I actually had a relative murdered, but the guy who did it was a stupid idiot desperate for money (he stole my relative's credit card, then bought stuff at a local drugstore, and used his own points card), and if I supported legal executions, which I don't, I'd basically feel like it was a waste of the state's time to even bother to try to execute him. It wouldn't bring my relative back, he's unlikely ever to do it again, and gad, what a shmuck...

  108. Halloween_Jack9:55 AM

    Ted Bundy's escapes as a justification for capital punishment fall squarely into the "hard cases make for bad law" category. Bundy escaped twice mostly due to sloppiness on the part of his jailers: in the first, he was allowed to work in a courthouse law library without direct observation, and simply jumped out a window; in the second, the fact that he escaped didn't compel the jailers to thoroughly toss his cell and find the hacksaw blade that was smuggled in. (Ironically, if Bundy had not tried the second escape attempt, he might have gotten out of prison in less than two years, and was so advised.) Even the fictitious Hannibal Lecter escapes from a Tennessee jail mostly due to his guards not following procedures (this is made more clear in the book than the movie).

  109. StringOnAStick9:56 AM

    Our resident Good Doctor can better speak to this than I, but I have heard that there are now issues with shortages of that short-acting anesthetic in some hospitals and clinics, which rather sucks when you are the patient in need of such a drug for whatever procedure you're about to endure.

  110. StringOnAStick10:07 AM

    I often wonder if this image was truly derived from the origins of the country, or is mostly a Hollywood product from Birth of a Nation right through propaganda films during WWII and every exceptionalist shootem up since. No matter really; the end result is the same.

  111. Shakezula10:11 AM

    Propofol? That shortage (among others) has been an ongoing problem for a while. Very long story short - It does not mean patients are being given a leather strip instead of an anesthetic of some sort.

  112. PulletSurprise11:17 AM

    Last time I checked, condemned persons aren't duty-bound by popular mandate and by oath to UPHOLD THE GODDAMNED CONSTITUTION. Mary Fallin is, and it's about as troubling to me that her interpretation of proper exercise of duty includes her public refusal to abide by the ruling of the state's highest court in this matter. This is especially troubling, because the question before that court was whether a citizen had the right to know specifics of the state lethal injection protocol. So the state's highest executive held that she had the right to determine which of its citizens got to be subjected to a regime that wouldn't be used on a dog in her jurisdiction. And "oops" doesn't begin to cover the horror of the outcome. That is monstrous conduct by an elected official and it's a prima facie case for impeachment, if not prison.

    Here's the thing I remind the Weimar Republicans screaming for worse treatment of the condemned: "If they'll do it FOR you, they'll do it TO you." If your belief system holds that the government could fuck up a one car parade, you have no business supporting the death penalty.

  113. PulletSurprise11:19 AM

    Last time I checked, the 8th Amendment didn't say that cruel and unusual punishments were acceptable as an unintentional consequence of unlicensed medical experimentation. "I meant to kill him, but I didn't mean to torture him" doesn't sound like the utterance of someone acting as moral agent.

  114. PulletSurprise11:22 AM

    And basically bragged that there was going to be a two-fer night at the McAlester state pen.

  115. PulletSurprise11:25 AM

    I recommend the venue for this ceremony:

    Carnegieplein 2 2517 KJ
    The Hague NL

  116. Damn right. No draft, more wars. It's a simple as that. Don't think our boy Rumsfeld, in his stint as SecDef under Ford, didn't have that in mind when they came up with the "all-volunteer force." This was immediately after they saw how the draft was one of the things that fucked up their little war of choice in Vietnam.

  117. PulletSurprise11:37 AM

    Due process is for schmucks!

  118. Goldberg doesn't revel in the suffering, medieval style, he just doesn't give a shit, sociopath style.

  119. Here's another example.

  120. PulletSurprise1:00 PM

    It'd only be a "forced error" if they didn't already know that the drugs weren't effective.

    Jerry Massie, a spokesman for Oklahoma's corrections department, explained to the group of witnesses permitted to watch the procedure that the first drug to be used under the state's new lethal injection protocol would take some time to have its desired effect.

    “Don't be surprised," he said.

    So a spokesman for ODOC tells reporters to prepare to witness a protracted procedure, and now are claiming "surprise" at the outcome.

  121. It has a lineage going back to Cooper and his hero Natty Bumpo, with Kit Carson becoming the first real-life Western celebrity via the print media, and culminating in Buffalo Bill and his Wild West Show:

    In December 1872, Cody traveled to Chicago to make his stage debut with friend Texas Jack Omohundro in The Scouts of the Prairie, one of the original Wild West shows produced by Ned Buntline.[19] During the 1873–1874 season, Cody and Omohundro invited their friend James Butler "Wild Bill" Hickok to join them in a new play called Scouts of the Plains.[20]

    The troupe toured for ten years. Cody's part typically included an 1876 incident at the Warbonnet Creek, where he claimed to have scalped a Cheyenne warrior.[21]

    In 1883, in the area of North Platte, Nebraska, Cody founded "Buffalo Bill's Wild West", a circus-like attraction that toured annually.[6] (Despite popular misconception, the word "show" was not a part of the title.)[7] With his show, Cody traveled throughout the United States and Europe and made many contacts. He stayed, for instance, in Garden City, Kansas, in the presidential suite of the former Windsor Hotel. He was befriended by the mayor and state representative, a frontier scout, rancher, and hunter named Charles "Buffalo" Jones.[22]

  122. slavdude2:58 PM

    What a great movie that is. The hypocrisy and brutality of the Boer War, and Britain's last great conquest.

  123. slavdude2:59 PM

    How about resurrecting serial killers and executing them again and again, once for each of their victims? That's pretty repulsive too.

  124. Meanie-meanie, tickle a person3:26 PM

    Is it me, or does this smack of Human Medical Experimentation? Laws, would I love to see the DOJ come down on this like a ton of Nuremberg...

  125. Meanie-meanie, tickle a person3:29 PM

    They call 'em penitentiaries and houses of correction. Neither is accurate.

  126. DocAmazing5:00 PM

    Disqus ate my response!

    I'm an outpatient sort, mostly, and nobody's idea of an anaesthesiologist, but as I understand it, the shortage of Propofol means greater use of benzodiazepines (like Midazolam/Ativan), which are more crue, but get the job done.

    The bigger problem is what Shakezula alludes to--that we've had Soviet Union-level drug shortages on and off for years.

  127. PulletSurprise5:08 PM

    I guess it would if this was considered "medicine," but even the AMA frowns upon its members participating in this procedure:

    A physician, as a member of a profession dedicated to preserving life when there is hope of doing so, should not be a participant in a legally authorized execution. Physician participation in execution is defined generally as actions which would fall into one or more of the following categories: (1) an action which would directly cause the death of the condemned; (2) an action which would assist, supervise, or contribute to the ability of another individual to directly cause the death of the condemned; (3) an action which could automatically cause an execution to be carried out on a condemned prisoner.

    Physician participation in an execution includes, but is not limited to, the following actions: prescribing or administering tranquilizers and other psychotropic agents and medications that are part of the
    execution procedure; monitoring vital signs on site or remotely (including monitoring electrocardiograms); attending or observing an
    execution as a physician; and rendering of technical advice regarding execution. In the case where the method of execution is lethal injection, the following actions by the physician would also constitute
    physician participation in execution: selecting injection sites; starting intravenous lines as a port for a lethal injection device; prescribing, preparing, administering, or supervising injection drugs or
    their doses or types; inspecting, testing, or maintaining lethal injection devices; and consulting with or supervising lethal injection personnel.

  128. asmallmoose7:23 PM

    I support greater use of ativan, this is something I think all americans can get behind.

  129. smut clyde9:43 PM

    Yes, you can make that case; it just wouldn't be an honest one.

  130. smut clyde9:45 PM

    too, we seem *not* to want to send convicted police officers to the Big
    House for exactly that reason.

    Indeed, anyone from a sufficiently privileged background.

  131. smut clyde9:51 PM

    Yup. The respiratory depression is not instant, is my experience with euthanasia (I don't know what doctors and nurses call it in the US, but over here the phrase "snowing out" is sometimes used).

  132. sophronia9:55 PM

    He's simply aping the kind of tough-guy flowery talk you read in those Ye Olde Worlde fantasy novels where men are bloodthirsty knights and women are rape victims. Whoever called him as a passionate Game of Thrones watcher nailed it.
    He doesn't know what it means, he doesn't care what it means, but he thinks it sounds AWESOME, DUDE. Just like every other damn word he ever says.

  133. smut clyde10:00 PM

    McCarthy reckons that the Schiavo case -- the death of the body of an already-dead woman -- was torture, so I don't really trust his lawyering.

  134. M. Krebs10:59 PM

    If your belief system holds that the government could fuck up a one car parade, you have no business supporting the death penalty.

    Just wanted to see that repeated.

  135. StringOnAStick11:06 PM

    I have read of procedure delays, but no passing out of bullets to bite.

  136. M. Krebs11:08 PM

    Brilliant thread, people. Thank you all.

  137. StringOnAStick12:00 AM

    Buffalo Bill is buried about a mile from where I live, under a large slab of concrete to avoid grave "movers". He wanted to be buried in Cody, WY, but his estranged wife got her final revenge by burying him here (their proposed divorce was refused by the judge as something unbecoming of an important man like BB).

  138. freq flag1:53 AM

    Litotes will not go unmentioned.

  139. montag22:56 AM

    While Der Pantload is prompted to opine that he doesn't want a bodge to spoil his civic-minded fun in the future, and Andrew McCarthy engages in sophistry about the Pensacola explosion in order to tickle his innate sadism, this execution reminds me of another one, in the now distant past.

  140. Pope Zebbidie XIII5:34 AM

    I thought he was drawing an analogy to the 16th century public executions with hanging, drawing and quartering and such like, which would probably fit the description of agonies extravagantly choreographed.

  141. smut clyde7:59 AM

    What if killing a number of lawnorder types (or attorneys, judges or jury members) makes the killing of innocents less likely?This is more M. Bouffant's territory, but there are certainly members of the constabulary whose deaths would stop them killing civilians.

  142. Shakezula8:20 AM

    Well men regularly get a reduced charge like manslaughter when they kill women so the enforcement system is already granting one of your wishes.

    I'm not sure how you can argue that if I go into a bank armed with a sawed off Remington and blow holes in a few people in the course of the robbery, that I didn't intend to kill for financial gain. That's a bit too much like McCarthy's "You can't torture someone by accident," argument.

    Finally, greed is an equal opportunity affliction. People can and do, with alarming frequency, commit premeditated murder for extremely little gain. And when they aren't rich they can't afford a team of attorneys, so guess who would be more likely to wind up strapped to the killing table?

    The elderly and disabled are particularly vulnerable because unlike Mr. Moneybucks in the exclusive nursing home, they're in the care of people who believe or know they'll get the house or that $1,000 Grandpa has in a bank account. Or maybe they decide they just can't afford to take care of Grandma any more.

  143. Shakezula8:28 AM

    Right, and delayed procedures are the non-essentials and those for which full sedation isn't needed but provided as an extra to keep the patient quiet. I mean comfy. Frinstance, the colonscopy. (No really, there are GIs who want the patient out cold for the colonscopy because it is quicker and easier for the doctor.)

    But hey, if you want to feel really cheerful, contemplate the shortage of chemotherapy drugs!

  144. Mooser11:16 AM

    "Gas chamber" Hey, I'm gonna tweet that to Rep. Steve Hickey. Maybe he can use it instead of "one way alley for a garbage truck" in his anti-anal crusade. A little variety never hurts.

  145. Mooser11:19 AM

    You were rooting for the Boers? That might be a good idea. The team I liked didn't have a chance.

  146. Mooser11:21 AM

    My Dear asmallmoose, keep browsing, and you may acheive a magnificent 1500 lbs. with palmate (if only seasonal) antlers spreading up to six or seven feet. But you've got to browse!

  147. asmallmoose11:24 AM

    Yanno, I was orginally going to go with asmallweasel but I thought that people might think it was a dick joke so I went with my third favorite animal, the stately moose.

  148. In effect this is what already happens, in some communities more than others of course. I believe quite a few Republicans are on record as asserting that it is better that that one innocent be killed than one guilty person be freed. If not ten to one.

  149. tigrismus1:50 PM

    They're just the same as...setting fire to the execution chamber

    but WITHOUT using the condemned to do it!

  150. willf4:10 PM

    The people calling themselves conservatives today are mostly sadistic authoritarian racist greedheads and the only things they want to "conserve" are the rules that let them do whatever they want without any consequences.

    IOW they are traditional conservatives.

  151. willf4:15 PM

    Maybe they are just pissed that the state is crowding out all the opportunities for private companies to torture people to death through experimental executions. [/s]

  152. smut clyde5:08 PM

    I don't know if that is true. Certainly there is an expectation of emotional satisfaction, but I've seen interviews with witnesses of executions (family members of a murder victim) complaining in disappointment about the lack of the fulfillment which the media had promised them. The airhead reporter was determined to push the "execution-is-satisfying" narrative and kept asking "But don't you have closure now?" (I hate that word; "Northern Exposure" bears a lot of responsibility for taking a term from literary theory and introducing it to the lexicon of pop. psych).

  153. mommadillo5:20 PM

  154. JennOfArk5:48 PM

    Now if we can just track down the miscreants responsible for "lifestyle," "baby bump," and "sideboob."

  155. JennOfArk5:51 PM

    Jonah Goldberg, a bag of Cheetos, a can of refried beans, and a computer = instant gas chamber.

  156. Derelict6:21 PM

    Thanks for putting this quote as a separate post. It deserves more upvotes than Disqus could possibly handle.

  157. asmallmoose6:36 PM

    Yanno, as a gay guy I have to weigh in here. Anal sex is great, everyone should try it! Hetero couples can do it too! Conservative Christians, hear me, cast off your shackles and join me in the sauna where we will pound the night away!!

  158. Here's an objection to the death penalty that any conservitard can get behind.

    It costs vastly more to execute someone than it does to keep them for life-without-parole. I think the figures ran somewhere around "double," but my recollection may be faulty; it was close to that, however.

    Like budget cuts? Convert everyone on death row in every state to life-without. You'll save millions.

  159. asmallmoose9:43 PM

    This would work if they were sincere about budget cutting

  160. Mooser12:03 PM

    Well, you will have to take that up with Rep. Hickey.

  161. asmallmoose2:04 PM

    If I'm ever toe tapped in a stall in South Dakota I'll bring it to his attention.

  162. RogerAiles5:57 PM

    This would work if you'd never heard of the Iraq War. :-)

  163. Meanie-meanie, tickle a person7:22 PM

    And I'm sure you'd be a perfect gentleman, too, but...I'll pass.

  164. David Lloyd-Jones9:09 PM

    Wilf, Tehanu,

    There are no principled conservatives because there are no conservative principles.

    Conservatism is the most relative, variable, and labile set of attitudes possible, because always and everywhere it is nothing but No, backwards, yesterday, and under all conditions "Yessir."


  165. "The Oklahoma execution debacle was horrible"

    Because anytime a murderer gets what they deserve, you are always on hand to sympathize with the murderer. I guess in that case you'd support your own murder? Otherwise you're a hypocrite.

    I don't think mouthfart covers the idiotic filth you are advocating for. I think your entire brain is filled with excrement.

    "If we torture more of these guys to death"

    You mean slimeballs who murder innocent citizens? Why are you so much in the tank with these guys, Roy? I guess you think murdering people is a fine pastime? Maybe you think that if you're an ugly, envious subhuman scumball like yourself that gives you a legitimate grievance on the basis of envy or something?

    "torture enthusiast"

    Well of course, if you are horrified by people who kill innocent people you are a torture enthusiast. Right Roy?

    Roy, maybe you are a moral retard, and you need to rethink always taking the side of sociopaths. Or maybe you yourself are a narcissistic sociopath (managing somehow to be narcissistic despite being a spiteful, idiotic warthog) and reasoning with you further is pointless.

    But your readers need to realize that all you do is trade in rhetoric, and seem to be incapable of mounting an actual argument for the positions you favor.

    Have a nice day.