Not quite what I would worry about to be honest

Eight executions in 11 days: Arkansas order may endanger staff’s mental health

This was part of the plot of a Lincoln Rhyme novel – executioner becomes so blase about it all that he goes off to become a contract killer.

20 comments on “Not quite what I would worry about to be honest

  1. I’m in general conflicted about the death penalty, but the way the US seems to make the actual act as difficult as possible for all concerned with the long, drawn out procedures.

    Pierrepoint commented on this in his book.

  2. @Tim,

    Yeah, that’s the comment I was referring to – the whole ceremony of having the guy stand in front of the trap for absolutely ages while they went through their interminable protocols.

    Possibly a holdover from the fact that they were still doing it publically until relatively late, so the ceremony was part of the “show” and the deterrent?

  3. Albert was also scathing about their inability to snap necks and to leave them to strangle.

  4. I know it is sheer whattaboutery, but did the Guardian ever run articles like this about the mental health of prison guards in Cuba and the other similar places the Guardian was fond of?

  5. @Rob, no, they didn’t, and their false concern for these prison officials will evaporate like early morning mist the next time they get a chance to paint them as moronic, minimum wage racists who are so dehumanising in their treatment of killers and rapists…

  6. JuliaM – “Why don’t they get some prison trustees to do it?”

    They could put together ten thousand firing squads if they asked for volunteers. This is not a problem.

    abacab – “I’m in general conflicted about the death penalty, but the way the US seems to make the actual act as difficult as possible for all concerned with the long, drawn out procedures.”

    I think that comes in two parts. One part is Christian – give the condemned time to repent even if at the last minute. One part of socialism – put up so many obstacles to actual executions no one will be killed. That is why it takes more than ten years.

    wat dabney – “A quick look at The Innocence Project should be enough to put supporters off the idea.”

    Doesn’t put me off.

  7. “I think that comes in two parts. One part is Christian – give the condemned time to repent even if at the last minute.”

    Perhaps – it might explain the whole ceremony at the trap (apparently the scene in the Clint Eastwood film “Hang ’em High” isn’t *that* far off the reality, but that could just be BS).

  8. “I think that comes in two parts. One part is Christian – give the condemned time to repent even if at the last minute

    This is a legal process with financial incentives to continue for as long as possible. Human nature an’ that

  9. It’s a ticklish business. Drop them not far enough and the neck is not broken, so death by strangulation. Drop the too far and the head comes right off.

  10. @BiF

    From a users point of view, is say that the “too far” option is moot. The “too short” seems to be the one to avoid.

  11. What’s wrong with the latter consequence? Beheading has been known as a form of execution.

    I’m with with Wat on this. Once you have had any form of interaction with the police you realise what total lazy idiots a lot of them are. That your life should be in their hands is terrifying.

  12. The execution of the innocent is a criticism of the legal process (from the Police onwards) and NOT of the death penalty. If you spend 30 years in prison for something you didn’t do you are as essentially fucked as if you are dead. For some of us, a few months would screw our lives fairly comprehensively.

    Seriously, is there any doubt about the Drummer Rigby murderers?

    There probably is about some others.

  13. @JuliaM I liked the sub heading in the article you pointed to
    Only 15 of 50 prisoners recruited as ‘peer advisors’ have begun training, as Ministry of Justice claims Ian Bickers has moved into more senior position. The rewards for failure are high it seems.

    They might have it in an arse about face way, but at least in the US the delay before execution gives time for innocence to be proved. I’d be more inclined to support the death penalty if there was a ten year moratorium on the sentence being carried out.

  14. Capital punishment is social hygiene. We could re-start with drummer Rigby’s murderers…

  15. Supposedly, conversation between John Reginald Christie and Pierrepoint went as follows:

    JRC – “my nose is itchy”

    AP “don’t worry, sir, it won’t be bothering you long”.

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