Well, yes, obviously

The report also found that whether or not a person is sentenced to death has more to do with where the crime was committed than the crime itself. Seventy-four percent of the executions carried out in 2017 took place in just four states: Texas, Arkansas, Florida, and Alabama.

Not every state has the death penalty.

19 comments on “Well, yes, obviously

  1. Yup, another British observation (this one originating in the US!) about America’s horrible inconsistencies. It misses the point of federalism, that the 50 states prosecute crimes using separate and independent legal codes, their local legislatures empowered to balance harshness and leniency, the national government theoretically limited to enabling commerce and preventing war between them. We would not be better off with a single standard for the death penalty; if it happened to be wrong, it would be wrong everywhere; if you merely thought it was wrong (abortion?), you could not choose a more suitable locale.

    Gamecock: We would be better off if everyone crossed the street at the crosswalk. What to do about violations in Texas is a matter for Texas. In fact, you can find anecdotes of rulemakers taking the trivial too seriously in every state.

  2. Not every state has the death penalty

    True, but surprisingly most have the death penalty in some form or another, a total of 31 states + Federal Government + US Military.

    Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Washington and Wyoming.

  3. Someone did some primary research, years ago, interviewing judges about the death penalty. They found that a majority of judges in the state, who were personally opposed to the death penalty, admitted that they were more likely to pronounce it in an election year.

    I don’t have a reference, sadly. I cited it, once, but those notes are long gone.

  4. I haven’t been to the USA in many years. When talking about it to people I say

    “I can’t go back, I’m wanted in five states and they still have the death penalty in three of them.”

    You wouldn’t believe the number of people ( not just Americans ) who take that seriously.

  5. Can you still flee across state lines in the US and the police have to give up chase? Like in the old movies? Is it difficult to be ‘extradited’ from one state to another if the crime you committed in the first state is legal in another?

    I’m assuming it’s not a problem anymore and I have some romantic memories of old movies.

  6. Police can follow you across state lines in “hot persuit”, but when they apprehend you they have to wait for the state’s own police to turn up to conclude the arrest.

  7. Researchers found evidence of mental illness, intellectual disability, or possible innocence

    The last one is troubling, if true. The first two, though?

    “Your Honour, my client shouldn’t be executed for brutally raping and murdering those women, because he’s a bit depressed and never learned to read good.”

  8. “What to do about violations in Texas is a matter for Texas.”

    What to do about thinkprogress saying incredibly stupid things?

  9. “In fact, you can find anecdotes of rulemakers taking the trivial too seriously in every state.”
    So unlike our own rule makers in both national government and the EU.

  10. Researchers found evidence of mental illness, intellectual disability, or possible innocence in 90 percent of death penalty cases.

    There’s scope for a parlour game here…eg researchers found evidence of flirtation, innuendo, or possible rape in 90 percent of sexual harassment allegations.

  11. “The report also found that whether or not a person is sentenced to death has more to do with where the crime was committed than the crime itself.”

    The same could be said for alleged ‘paedophilia’, these days taken to mean sex or ‘inappropriate’ touching with someone below the age of consent, which varies according to geography.

  12. But of the states that do have the death penalty, those 4 are the ones that have installed ‘express lanes’.

  13. “I can’t go back, I’m wanted in five states and they still have the death penalty in three of them.”

    Another foreign misunderstanding! you would actually only be executed in one state.

    > 31 states…have the death penalty…New Hampshire

    We have 1 cop-killer on our Death Row (since his conviction in 2008) and no facilities for carrying out the penalty.

    Gamecock: ThinkProgress is equally stupid when read in any of the fifty.

  14. “I can’t go back, I’m wanted in five states and they still have the death penalty in three of them.”

    Another foreign misunderstanding! you would actually only be executed in one state.

    At a time 🙂

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