Public Hangings? Bring 'Em Back!
A Commentary by J. D. Longstreet
I studiously watched Saddam Hussein's hanging ... four times! (The
tape made it to the Internet almost immediately due to a cell phone
which had been smuggled into the room where the hanging took place. At
least, that was the pubic explanation for how it happened.)
last legal public hanging in America took place in 1936 in Owensboro,
Kentucky. The “event” attracted 20,000 people and turned into such a
sickening spectacle that many credit it with ending the practice in the
U.S." -- SOURCE: http://thinkprogress.org/health/2012/01/27/413611/north-carolina-gop-lawmaker-calls-for-bringing-back-public-hangings-starting-with-abortion-providers/
must tell you that I admire the state of Texas for continuing to
exercise the death penalty just as prescribed by that state's law. The
recidivism rate, at least for the convicted/executed prisoner is
absolutely -- ZERO!
Here in North
Carolina we have had over the past two decades, at least, a high influx
of liberals from out of state who go weak in the knees when they come
face to face with the fact that Tar Heels really DO support the death
penalty. As a result there has been a steady attack on our judicial
system in a leftist effort to end capital punishment in North Carolina.
We've had moratoriums on executions. We've had the
Racial Justice Act, which was mercifully repealed by the Republican
Legislature as one of their first acts after taking over the NC State
Still, cases begun under the old RJA are still winding their way through the high court system in the state.
Eventually the cases will all be heard and verdicts rendered and we can move on, one way or the other.
But there are some Tar Heels who'd like to see justice administered quickly, efficiently -- and in public.
In other words -- bring back public hangings.
Look. I have no problem with a permanent gallows erected on the court house grounds of every court house across the state.
Ghoulish, right? Nah! Just practical.
Back in 2012 NC House Republican (You just KNEW it would be a Republican, didn't you?) Rep. Larry Pittman, expressed his views in an email sent to every member of the NC General Assembly.
In his e-mail Rep. Pittman said: “We
need to make the death penalty a real deterrent again by actually
carrying it out. Every appeal that can be made should have to be made at
one time, not in a serial manner,” Pittman wrote in the email. “If
murderers (and I would include abortionists, rapists, and kidnapers, as
well) are actually executed, it will at least have the deterrent effect
upon them. For my money, we should go back to public hangings, which
would be more of a deterrent to others, as well.” -- SOURCE: http://thinkprogress.org/health/2012/01/27/413611/north-carolina-gop-lawmaker-calls-for-bringing-back-public-hangings-starting-with-abortion-providers/
... last year Republicans in South Carolina, Nebraska, and Iowa pushed
legislation that would essentially legalize the murder of abortion
providers. Such radical sentiments have been echoed by prominent
conservatives like Sen. Tom Coburn (R-OK), who said during his 2004
campaign, “I favor the death penalty for abortionists.” --- SOURCE: http://thinkprogress.org/health/2012/01/27/413611/north-carolina-gop-lawmaker-calls-for-bringing-back-public-hangings-starting-with-abortion-providers/
to Zachary R. Shemtob, assistant professor of criminal justice at
Connecticut State University, and David Lat, a former federal
prosecutor, "There is a dramatic difference between reading or hearing
of such an event and observing it through image and sound. (This is
obvious to those who saw the footage of Saddam Hussein’s hanging in 2006
or the death of Neda Agha-Soltan during the protests in Iran in 2009.)
We are not calling for opening executions completely to the public —
conducting them before a live crowd — but rather for broadcasting them
live or recording them for future release, on the Web or TV." -- SOURCE: http://www.liveleak.com/view?i=4e4_1312269466#1GyuTP3SmrUjBAry.99
There is some discussion that pubic executions would turn the public against the death penalty. I happen NOT
to think so. In fact, once the pubic is reminded of the heinous crime
that brought the convict to the death chamber, I believe watching the
perpetrator receive his/her just deserts would bring some closure and
some finality to the chain of events initiated by the original crime.
It might also result in more respect for the law and restore, at least
to some degree, people's faith in the system.
have been a total of 1320 executions from January 1977 to the end of
2012. Lethal injection is now almost universal in the USA, being either
the sole method or an option in all of the states that retain the death
penalty. Electrocution, hanging, shooting and the gas chamber are still
legal alternatives in some states although very rarely used. There was
one electrocution in 2010 and one shooting and another electrocution in
2013, in all cases the inmate elected this method. The majority of
executions take place in the southern states, 930 out of 1136 to the end
of 2008, with Texas having carried out 422." -- SOURCE: http://www.capitalpunishmentuk.org/thoughtsUS.html
OK. Do we southerners have a different take on the value of human life than other Americans? I don't THINK so. See, we equate a human life for/with a human life. No life is more valuable than another and no life is less valuable than another. Stated frankly, and flatly, -- southerners
feel that of you take a human life, for any reason other than self
defense or the defense of others, you forfeit your own life.
It's very simple and very straight forward. So far as we are concerned
you are a dead man walking from the very moment of the murder. So, to us, an execution is no big deal. It just seals the deal with southern society.
crime rates spiraling upwards in our cities and even out in the rural
parts of America, it sometimes seems we are producing, and raising,
young ANIMALS rather than young PEOPLE. Since nothing much seems to
make an impression on theses young psychopaths maybe seeing a few of
their friends and associates tried, convicted, and hanged -- right in front of them, might have SOME effect.
It's worth a try.
J. D. Longstreet
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