Government efficiency

US to resume executions of federal death row inmates after 16 years

They’ve been standing on the trapdoor – or strapped to the gurney? – all this time?

Just can’t get the staff these days…..

31 thoughts on “Government efficiency”

  1. I’m not a fan of the death penalty but this kind of extended limbo strikes me as potentially less humane than just getting on with things (potentially after leaving a couple of years for appeals). Not knowing whether or when the chop will come, how much longer you’ll be allowed to live for, must be very trying psychologically. It’s not something I could imagine ever “making your peace” with.

  2. MyBurningEars is right. Such a delay is a cruel and unusual punishment in itself and if I were POTUS I would commute all sentences more than a year old (if past all appeals or not currently under appeal) to life imprisonment in acknowledgement of that.

    Why the qualification in parentheses? My lawyer friends in the US point out that extended periods on death row are usually caused by prisoners pointlessly (in terms of eventual outcome) appealing their sentences. In such cases, it’s their choice and I don’t feel the need to second guess it. They choose to live as long as they can and I neither blame nor pity them for that.

  3. It’s true, Tom. It takes two years to get a hearing in court. The appeals process takes a half dozen court hearings or more. So 15 years for the appeal process isn’t unusual.

  4. The convoluted, quasi-medicalised way the Yanks kill people doesn’t help. All sorts of faffing around with niche drugs when all you need is a blindfold, a wall, a fag, and some blokes with rifles.

  5. @Steve

    Oddly I’m not even sure the medicalisation of it makes it more humane. It makes it less messy, that’s for sure, and perhaps the less gruesome it looks the easier to retain public support. Yet I wouldn’t volunteer to die by having a cocktail of drugs pumped round me like they do – I’d rather be strapped to a ton of TNT and make an almighty, instantaneous mess than have a pristine looking corpse.

  6. Dennis the Peasant

    Such a delay is a cruel and unusual punishment in itself and if I were POTUS I would commute all sentences more than a year old (if past all appeals or not currently under appeal) to life imprisonment in acknowledgement of that.

    That’s the sort of proposal I’d expect out of AOC. You might want to re-think your position.

  7. While one or two of them might be rousted innocents the vast majority are evil scum whose victims would surely have liked as long a stay of execution as their killers have received.

  8. MBE – Yarp. I think it makes it less humane, and there’s something dishonest about dressing up a homicide as a medical procedure. Nothing good has ever come from that.

  9. Longrider – I know, elfin safety innit? You probably wouldn’t even be allowed to vape these days.

  10. The only reason it takes so long is that these guys keep filing appeals, so apparently being in death row limbo is better than the alternative. Revealed preference, innit.

  11. If that’s how long a single appeal process takes, it’s a disgrace on a par with Mann v Steyn or Jarndyce v Jarndyce.

  12. ‘Montana Gov. Steve Bullock (D) is the sole 2020 White House candidate to publically support preserving capital punishment in specific cases.’

    All others want it in all cases.

  13. Edward, the appeals process makes money for lawyers.

    Laws are made by lawyers. Lawyers look out for their fellow lawyers. Spending is controlled by legislatures, comprised almost completely by . . . lawyers.

    They could fully fund the court system so you could get a hearing quickly. But that wouldn’t be in their best interest.

    I could get an MRI today, but a court hearing would take two years.

  14. The Meissen Bison

    Gamecock: Edward, the appeals process makes money for lawyers.

    Could that be why Jarndyce v. Jarndyce reached resolution only when the Jarndyce estate ran out of funds to pay the lawyers?
    Bleak…

  15. The first batch are all child killers. Will the next panel of DNC presidential candidates be asked their opinions: they all favour abortion up to birth?

  16. Such a delay is a cruel and unusual punishment in itself and if…

    Why commute? Why not end the cruel delay?

    And as Dennis implies, your logic carries a moral hazard.

  17. Well, yeah, but. Lawyers run the system here, too. And appeals generally take about a year, give or take.

  18. Well, your lawyers can here learn that if they underfund the courts, they can make more money.

  19. Gamecock, I promise you the courts here are underfunded. I’m also certain criminal justice is on a trajectory which will dovetail with what I gather are the generally deplorable standards across the pond. And yet even I, so dispirited by that nonsense that I no longer practice criminal law, cannot imagine a criminal appeal here taking fifteen years. Not even two generations from now.

    Time will tell…

  20. Bloke in North Dorset

    Tom,

    Why the qualification in parentheses? My lawyer friends in the US point out that extended periods on death row are usually caused by prisoners pointlessly (in terms of eventual outcome) appealing their sentences.

    I’m well aware that there are large numbers of miscarriages with a notable one recently but much of that is the prisoners being urged on by lawyers looking for causes célèbres or death penalty opponents who just oppose every case and try to get it dragged out, in both cases many giving of them false hope?

    Steve,

    Gary Gilmore didn’t get a cigarette, at least according to the Wiki I’ve just read to brush up on the case. He donated his body for transplants which made me think that they should have used the Chinese method of a bullet to the back of the head so they’d have a few more organs.

  21. Ha ha ha! Doesn’t matter. I’ll be happy just getting there.

    Might make it. Dad made it to 90. Mom will be 100 in February.

    You know what that guarantees me?

    Nothing. But as the wags say, “Having good genes is better than having bad genes.”

  22. Talking of Lawyers

    Ofcom fines RT news service £200,000 for breaching impartiality rules

    Why are BBC & C4 News not being fined every day?

    The BBC wants to change [or create] the news, not report it

    Ofcom – impartial or a BBC/Gov’t/Establishment puppet?

    Example:

    BBC continues it’s Boris “Trump” attacks

    BBC is keen to publicise [anti-Boris pro-RoP]. It therefore was no surprise that Thursday’s Victoria Derbyshire show [which few watch and if on ITV would have been binned] prominently featured Sahar Al-Faifi: ‘I am deeply, deeply concerned about Boris Johnson being elected as leader of the Conservative Party, not only because of the Brexit delivery deal, but also obviously because of his racist, Islamophobic and homophobic remarks.’

    conservativewoman.co.uk/and-todays-bbc-guest-as-always-is-the-woman-in-the-medieval-mask

  23. Brexiteers see Al-Beeb’s blatant anti-Brexit bias, and some of my more remainiac friends call it the “Brexit Broadcasting Corporation”.

    So they must be doing something right.

  24. Yes, that’s the BBC mantra, BiG. “Everyone to the right of Labour thinks we pump out woke left-wing propaganda, but these three tankies from the CPGB think we’re too right-wing, so clearly we’re straight down the middle.”

  25. The remainiac I am thinking of self identifies as a Blairite. I think there is a high degree of Brexit derangement syndrome, but still he is some way to the right of the Corbyn party.

  26. @BiG

    Your remainer & left friends are deluded. BBC QT is in your face Left/Remain every week, as is R4 Today & Womens Hour every day.

    Many former BBC staff from DGs down admit – after they’ve retired – BBC is institutionally Socialist Left and they can’t see this as they all agree with each other. iirc
    Paxman was most recent

    I used to enjoy HIGNFY, Today and more, but since Labour lost in 2010 they became full on anti-Tory.

    One Today presenter, Marr?, infamously said live on air: Cameron’s new whatever former BBC ~”we had a closet Tory in our midst”

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