South Carolina will now force death row inmates to choose method of execution

lizkat

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Brought to you by South Carolina legislators of the Republican Party, which insists all life is sacred when it comes to birth, but remains all in on the death penalty in the USA. Anyway that state's legislature has now passed a bill saying that if the approved lethal injection drugs are not available for an execution, the inmate must choose between firing squad and electric chair. This law was put up hoping to end an involuntary moratorium on executions in the state for the past 10 years.

 

JayMysteri0

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A reminder of the short term shit show thinking that goes into this kind of posturing.

George Stinney Jr, who was 14 when he died in 1944, is the youngest person executed in the US during the 20th century.

More than 70 years later, in December 2014, George’s murder conviction was overturned by a South Carolina judge.

He was accused of the gruesome double murder of two white girls in the small town of Alcolu, South Carolina in March, 1944.

When you're imagining this penalty will only be applied to certain other people, any concerns that you may fuck up aren't important.
 

SuperMatt

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Why isn’t this a choice?

qvTz6D8.gif
 

P_X

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Brought to you by South Carolina legislators of the Republican Party, which insists all life is sacred when it comes to birth, but remains all in on the death penalty in the USA. Anyway that state's legislature has now passed a bill saying that if the approved lethal injection drugs are not available for an execution, the inmate must choose between firing squad and electric chair. This law was put up hoping to end an involuntary moratorium on executions in the state for the past 10 years.

Let's make the judge, the jury and the executioners all listen to the heartbeat of the person to be persecuted first.
 

Pumbaa

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What about pleading the fifth* commandment? You shall not kill!

* Depending on translation and flavor of christianity
 

P_X

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What about pleading the fifth* commandment? You shall not kill!

* Depending on translation and flavor of christianity
Depending on who's interpreting the scriptures:

I'll quote @Gutwrench:
It’s not an idyllic world. Do you feel a Christian Pastor is prohibited from protecting him/her self? Do you feel he/she must stand idle and allow other be slaughtered? What about a Rabbi or Imam? The fact this is a church and the victim is a pastor is irrelevant when it comes to self protection. Yet that’s what’s being said here.
I'm certain some would happily apply the same logic to executions just replacing the subject with "Society".
 

lizkat

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Let's make the judge, the jury and the executioners all listen to the heartbeat of the person to be persecuted first.

These guys would not be fazed by that. They'd probably like to have it like the Taliban was doing initially in Afghanistan, having executions in arenas.

What about pleading the fifth* commandment? You shall not kill!

* Depending on translation and flavor of christianity

* and other major religions as well. The problem there is always the ability to cherry-pick justification from scripture.

Religions all started out as a way of maintaining law'n'order... with carrots, sticks and everything in between ending up documented.

So we find equivalents for "an eye for an eye" ... as well as... " 'Vengeance is mine,' saith the Lord" in most sacred scriptures.



Me, I'm still fond of that line of Editors in their dance anthem "Papillion" from their album In This LIght and On This Evening:

"If there really was a god here, he'd have raised a hand by now."​
Leaves it open-ended about whom a deity would raise a hand to, and for what purpose. But it's clear to me that a bunch of legislators are men, not gods, yet they fancy the idea of exercising the power to deal the death penalty to fellow human beings. I always figured if the voters managed to make white collar crime a capital offense, there'd be a rush to the podium to outlaw the whole idea of a "capital crime" and associated ultimate punishment.
 

Chew Toy McCoy

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Sounds like many have already chosen death by Covid-19. And for the limited government lovers they don't even need to commit or be convicted of a crime to receive it.
 

P_X

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Sounds like many have already chosen death by Covid-19. And for the limited government lovers they don't even need to commit or be convicted of a crime to receive it.
Covering the healthcare of those who pay less in money or less in adherence to public health measures is exactly what they criticize in socialism.
 

Chew Toy McCoy

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Covering the healthcare of those who pay less in money or less in adherence to public health measures is exactly what they criticize in socialism.
I also mentioned in another post that if the current Republican Party was a corporation it would be a perfect example of worker driven socialism.
 

thekev

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None of these methods are guaranteed to always work as expected, which is the stated problem with lethal injection (ignoring the stupidity of capital punishment in general).

Personally, if someone asked me to choose a method of execution, I would opt in favor of crushed by a runaway semi, driven by the Incredible Hulk, that or suicide booth.
 

lizkat

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There's just something so wrong about a state that's now focused on suppressing the vote (God forbid SC should experience the 2020 fate of its neighbor Georgia in future elections) also managing to make time to tighten up loopholes in their criminal justice system, design and implementation of which has long and often been questionably constitutional.

South Carolina is one of 43 states that have introduced a raft of bills meant to restrict both early and absentee voting. But more the point of this thread, South Carolina is also one of only two states in the USA (the other is Virginia) where state lawmakers elect the judges.


Circuit court judges handle all major trials and are among the most powerful legal officials in South Carolina.

They hold sway over weighty criminal and civil matters that directly affect businesses, individuals and institutions. Many also have significant political ties that stretch from the courtroom to the Statehouse in Columbia.

Several got their start in the legislature, bolstering the chances they pass muster with the lawmakers who elect them. Others are married to current or former lawmakers.

From the state’s 16 judicial circuits, 49 full-time circuit court judges rule on multimillion dollar lawsuits and crimes that can send a person to death row. Anyone who has spent time in a South Carolina state prison was placed there by a circuit court judge.

Circuit judges are paid a yearly public salary of around $140,000. When they leave the bench, with a mandatory retirement at 72, they get hefty retirement packages described as the envy of other state employees.

Once chosen, these judges rarely step down. Their terms are virtually unlimited.

Every six years, they are rescreened and evaluated for reelection by a special panel that recommends names to the General Assembly for votes. Four representatives from the public sit on the screening panel, along with six lawmakers.
 
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P_X

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None of these methods are guaranteed to always work as expected, which is the stated problem with lethal injection (ignoring the stupidity of capital punishment in general).

Personally, if someone asked me to choose a method of execution, I would opt in favor of crushed by a runaway semi, driven by the Incredible Hulk, that or suicide booth.
The electric chair is probably the worst of all. I'm not an expert on the topic but it would take many minutes with concurrent agonizing pain to kill somebody with it. It's the most steam punk way to kill someone. Sophisticated from a 19th century perspective, yet manages to be incredibly barbarian. If you have doubts, there's a reason we don't electrocute lab animals to death when they get euthanized.

Firing squad? Clear shot in the head that makes the brain explode is immediate. Clear shot in the heart would take 10-15 seconds with some agonal tonic seizures, anything beyond this would take minutes and in pain.

These take us beyond the issue of state issued murder and walk us into state issued torture territories.
 

thekev

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The electric chair is probably the worst of all. I'm not an expert on the topic but it would take many minutes with concurrent agonizing pain to kill somebody with it. It's the most steam punk way to kill someone. Sophisticated from a 19th century perspective, yet manages to be incredibly barbarian. If you have doubts, there's a reason we don't electrocute lab animals to death when they get euthanized.

Firing squad? Clear shot in the head that makes the brain explode is immediate. Clear shot in the heart would take 10-15 seconds with some agonal tonic seizures, anything beyond this would take minutes and in pain.

These take us beyond the issue of state issued murder and walk us into state issued torture territories.

I didn't know the electric chair took that long. It occurred to me that a firing squad would be really easy to mess up. Also, that governor is a fucking idiot. People really misunderstand what the modern concept of prisons should be about. The only useful thing they can accomplish is keep people who are considered dangerous out of the general population. Shit about punishment is a bunch of nonsense to placate stupid people (don't get me started on the ethics of exploiting stupidity).
 

P_X

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I didn't know the electric chair took that long. It occurred to me that a firing squad would be really easy to mess up. Also, that governor is a fucking idiot. People really misunderstand what the modern concept of prisons should be about. The only useful thing they can accomplish is keep people who are considered dangerous out of the general population. Shit about punishment is a bunch of nonsense to placate stupid people (don't get me started on the ethics of exploiting stupidity).


The electric chair has been criticized because of several instances in which the subjects were killed only after being subjected to multiple electric shocks. This led to a call for ending of the practice, as being a "cruel and unusual punishment".[58] Trying to address such concerns, Nebraska introduced a new electrocution protocol in 2004, which called for administration of a 15-second-long application of electric current at a potential of 2,450 volts; after a 15-minute wait, an official then checks for signs of life. In April 2007, new concerns raised regarding the 2004 protocol resulted in the ushering in of the current Nebraska protocol, calling for a 20-second-long application of electric current at a potential of 2,450 volts. Prior to the 2004 protocol change, an initial eight-second application of current at 2,450 volts was administered, followed by a one-second pause, then a 22-second application at 480 volts. After a 20-second break, the cycle was repeated three more times.
 

lizkat

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I didn't know the electric chair took that long. It occurred to me that a firing squad would be really easy to mess up. Also, that governor is a fucking idiot. People really misunderstand what the modern concept of prisons should be about. The only useful thing they can accomplish is keep people who are considered dangerous out of the general population. Shit about punishment is a bunch of nonsense to placate stupid people (don't get me started on the ethics of exploiting stupidity).

Yeah it can't be too reassuring to inmates on death row in SC that the state "is researching" how to use a firing squad to get the job done...

From the AP piece I had cited at start of thread:

Prosecutors said three inmates have exhausted all their normal appeals, but can’t be killed because under the previous law, inmates who don’t choose the state’s 109-year-old electric chair automatically are scheduled to die by lethal injection. They have all chosen the method that can’t be carried out.

How soon executions can begin is up in the air. The electric chair is ready to use. Prison officials have been doing preliminary research into how firing squads carry out executions in other states, but are not sure how long it will take to have one in place in South Carolina. The other three states that allow a firing squad are Mississippi, Oklahoma and Utah, according to the Death Penalty Information Center.

Duh, so the stipulations of the existing law are what made SC lawmakers decide to "fix" it and force inmates to choose an option that is still feasible even if lethal injection is what had generally replaced those other methods in the USA as "more humane". Seems to me this new law is headed straight to court.
 

thekev

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Duh, so the stipulations of the existing law are what made SC lawmakers decide to "fix" it and force inmates to choose an option that is still feasible even if lethal injection is what had generally replaced those other methods in the USA as "more humane". Seems to me this new law is headed straight to court.

It's really a waste of finite resources, in this case, court time. The governor there seems like a really vile person. People in those states would be better off if they got used to the idea that if someone is imprisoned, they cannot generally be considered a threat to the general public. A lot of the notions of societal debts and closure just obfuscate that. Actually I'm wondering now if there are any studies that suggest that the mental health of surviving family members improves after someone is executed for murder (ignoring error rates in convictions). My own personal bias would suggest no, at least when it comes to reliable ones.
 

SuperMatt

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Yeah it can't be too reassuring to inmates on death row in SC that the state "is researching" how to use a firing squad to get the job done...

From the AP piece I had cited at start of thread:



Duh, so the stipulations of the existing law are what made SC lawmakers decide to "fix" it and force inmates to choose an option that is still feasible even if lethal injection is what had generally replaced those other methods in the USA as "more humane". Seems to me this new law is headed straight to court.
What if they refuse to choose? If the law requires the inmate to make a choice in order for the execution to happen, it seems really easy to refuse the choice.
 

thekev

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What if they refuse to choose? If the law requires the inmate to make a choice in order for the execution to happen, it seems really easy to refuse the choice.

Just say it's against your religion to make such a choice. For optimal effectiveness, patch in a back story tying into Christianity, since when they talk about religious freedom, that's really what they mean.
 
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