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If Ledell Lee’s lawyers had succeeded last night in getting a court to stay his execution just half an hour longer, Arkansas’s warrant would have expired, and the state would have had to set a new date. Instead, his last appeal ran out at 11:30 p.m., the lethal injection procedure began at 11:44, and Lee was dead by 11:56.

Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson had scheduled a marathon eight executions to take place this week before one of the drugs in their death cocktail expired, effectively putting Arkansas out of the death penalty business. This triggered dozens of lawsuits, attempts by pharmaceutical manufacturers to repossess their drugs from the state, strong protest that the drugs used violate the 8th Amendment prohibition on cruel and unusual punishment, protest from prison officials, and a massive publicity shitshow.

At least three of the condemned men have been granted stays of execution. But Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge painted Lee’s death last night as a moral victory for justice and the legal system.

Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer had a different take.

Arkansas set out to execute eight people over the course of 11 days. Why these eight? Why now? The apparent reason has nothing to do with the heinousness of their crimes or with the presence (or absence) of mitigating behavior. It has nothing to do with their mental state. It has nothing to do with the need for speedy punishment. Four have been on death row for over 20 years. All have been housed in solitary confinement for at least 10 years. Apparently the reason the State decided to proceed with these eight executions is that the ‘use by’ date of the State’s execution drug is about to expire. […] In my view, that factor, when considered as a determining factor separating those who live from those who die, is close to random. I have previously noted the arbitrariness with which executions are carried out in this country. See Glossip v. Gross, 576 U. S. ___ (2015) (BREYER, J., dissenting). And I have pointed out how the arbitrary nature of the death penalty system, as presently administered, runs contrary to the very purpose of a “rule of law.

So, how random was it? Rutledge describes an orderly criminal justice system, with diligent police and prosecutors, judges and juries who assess guilt and penalties without bias, and prisons which merely carry out sentences as written. Justice Breyer decries a chaotic system, where life and death are decided as much by chance as by a prisoner’s crimes. When it comes to Ledell Lee, which version of the story is more accurate?

Here is a partial list of “ifs” that might have affected the outcome of this case.

  • If the original trial judge who convicted Lee hadn’t been having an affair with the prosecuting attorney, whom he later married;
  •  If the trial counsel had presented alibi witnesses or asked for a mistrial when a member of the jury spent 20 minutes in the judge’s chambers during jury deliberations;
  • If Lee’s second attorney, Craig Lambert, appointed for the appeal phase, hadn’t been so intoxicated that the prosecutor asked to have him drug tested, causing the judge to state on the record, “[I] didn’t know you’d just gotten out of rehab. If I had known that, I would not have put you on this case.”;
  • If either the warden or Mr. Lee’s attorneys had explained to him that he was being removed from the prison for a psychiatric evaluation, he might have consented to the examination. Instead the claims of mental retardation and fetal alcohol syndrome were presented too late for consideration.;
  • If Lee’s third set of attorneys had taken his phone calls, presented possible exculpatory DNA evidence or mitigating evidence of his low IQ and intellectual impairment, or mounted more than a token half-day argument at his second appeal;
  • If Lee had been permitted to dismiss his fourth set of attorneys as requested before one was disbarred for having serious mental illness;
  • If Governor Hutchinson hadn’t forced Lee’s sole remaining attorney to hurriedly file clemency petitions in the narrow window between setting the date of execution and carrying it out;
  • If Arkansas had ready access to lethal injection drugs, and hadn’t forced a truncated execution schedule;
  • If Debra Reese, Lee’s alleged victim, had been black; or if Lee had been white;
  • If any court along the way had ordered the state to do a DNA test using modern technology to rule out any exculpatory evidence for a man who has consistently maintained his innocence for 24 years;
  • If executions were scheduled based on something other than the random expiration date of a particular shipment of drugs;
  • If McKesson pharmaceuticals had succeeded in getting its drugs returned from Arkansas, which had deceptively ordered them as supplies for the prison hospital;
  • If a “good Samaritan” in the prison parking lot hadn’t “donated” the potassium chloride that stopped Lee’s heart;
  • If Justice Gorsuch hadn’t been sworn in as the fifth vote at the Supreme Court against Lee’s appeal.

That’s a lot of “ifs.” If any one of these had swung in the other direction, Mr. Lee would not have been executed last night. In which case, Justice Breyer is right. The difference between life in prison and a death sentence is basically arbitrary. What kind of justice is that?

[ WonketteMcGehee v. Hutchinson, Breyer dissent / Lee v. Kelley, ACLU Brief / Live Twitter Account of Legal Proceedings around Lee’s Execution by Buzzfeed’s Chris Geidner]

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  • JohnBull

    Please tell me these guys actually committed a crime first.

    • redarmyzombie

      Well, aren’t you an optimist…

    • goonemeritus

      Whether he did or not I’m equally unconfutable with the government use of the death penalty.

    • Contemplative Ron

      I’m quite satisfied they were all blah guilty.

      • aureolaborealis

        There are a couple Whiskey Tangos in the mix. So … yay?

        • Contemplative Ron

          Must be Democrats.

  • goonemeritus

    If only Arkansas’s government would show this level of urgency fighting for services for the neediest of its citizens.

    • dslindc

      Pffft, those poors need to pull themselves up by their bootstraps and stop being poor!

      • The KGB Ate Our Votes

        Being poor is a character flaw. Killing people is a rush. I guess.

      • jesterpunk

        Why dont the poors just borrow a million dollars from their parents? Its what R Money and Trump did.

      • Hobbes’ Evil Twin

        I’ve never understood why they don’t just get a loan from their father or sell some of their stock holdings. It’s like they WANT to be poor.

    • BadKitty904

      What are you, some kinda radical?!?1?

      • redarmyzombie

        An outside agitator, more like!

        • BadKitty904

          How much is Soros paying you?! CONFESS!!1! And is he still hiring?

          • goonemeritus

            A professional never discusses his compensation.

          • Zippy W Pinhead

            His busy preparing superweed for Alex Jones

          • redarmyzombie

            For the premium Sorosplan, you get 3 iphones for every protest, plus 50% at the Abortionplex foodcourt (the foetus tartar is to *die* for!)

          • BadKitty904

            No cake we like? No gubmint cheese?

          • redarmyzombie

            Oh, the cakes are complementary. The Gubmint cheese, you need to add on with the Alinsky Plan and assassinate Alex Jones at least 3 times weekly…

      • goonemeritus

        Nope, just old and disappointed in our lack of humanity.

        • BadKitty904

          I’m young and disappointed in our lack of humanity, so at least you’ve got company.

          • goonemeritus

            It does help a little.

    • Résistance Land Shark Ω

      Hippie.

  • BearDeLaOursistance

    State murder ALWAYS comes with a backlash. It may not be immediate, but it always shows up in one way or another. Reap what you sow…

  • canes_pugnaces

    I just love the American iteration of Christianity. Kill ’em. Starve ’em. Fuck ’em.

    • onedollarjuana

      All while trying to amass as much wealth in this life as possible and preaching poverty all the while, because Heaven will be so beautiful.

  • Resistance Fighter Callyson
  • Anna Elizabeth

    State Sanctioned Murder. This is what “Pro-Life” Rs really mean.

    Don’t any of you ever forget what measure a human life *truly* weighs with these Rs.

    • jesterpunk

      They only care about people before they are born, once they are born they need to pull themselves up by their bootstraps and those kids should have chosen to be white and rich.

      • And they only care about foetuses as much as they can use them as weapons against women.

    • JustPixelz (((Ω)))

      They like to say “innocent human life” as an escape clause for the death penalty. But, really, people who think (or say) government power should be limited then say it should have the power to kill us.

      • Anna Elizabeth

        Oh, I know. They want every choice of death in the hands and instruments of the state. Violence=Authority.

  • jesterpunk

    If a “good Samaritan” in the prison parking lot hadn’t “donated” the potassium chloride that stopped Lee’s heart;

    Wait, what? They actually had some random person outside with something that may or may not have been the drug they needed that they got right before the execution? That sounds really fishy right there.

    • BearDeLaOursistance

      “I said I’d pick up potassium chloride. I never said which way I’d point it.” — Joe Hill

    • cmd resistor

      I had not heard this one and can’t find anything. I did see a request from Leslie the AG for witnesses, which are statutorily required.

      • jesterpunk

        That was the second to the last bullet point in this article.

        • cmd resistor

          I meant other than that bullet point, I had not seen it, and while I don’t claim to have read everything, I have been following the story and that one seems a little out there.

          • jesterpunk

            This is one of the stories that mention it being donated.

            http://www.arktimes.com/ArkansasBlog/archives/2017/04/14/more-on-the-drugs-arkansas-will-use-to-kill-seven

            A surprising disclosure was that the potassium chloride, the third drug
            in Arkansas’s three-drug protocol, which causes heart failure, was
            “donated” to the state of Arkansas. Arkansas did not have its needed
            supply of potassium chloride when the executions were announced. But
            last month the ADC found a supplier. Kelley said she drove to pick up
            the potassium chloride, put it in her car and then began a conversation
            about the method of payment with the supplier. She told the supplier
            that the payment would have to be processed through another department
            and, according to Kelley, “[the supplier] said, ‘Nevermind, I’ll just
            donate it.’ ” The supplier was worried about his or her identity being
            revealed to the public through the payment process.

          • cmd resistor

            Wow, amazing, and thanks. I had missed that, and the Arkansas Times is the only other paper besides Wonkette that I ever give $$ to (ever since their excellent series on Justin Harris the child re-homer a few years back.)

          • arglebargle

            Wow, what a patriot.

          • laineypc

            It’s ok, arktimes, you can now say “their” in place of “his or her”.

          • H0mer0

            that makes more sense than a random KCl supplier in a prison parking lot. Lots of my patients are on potassium chloride to replenish the potassium lost with diuretics.

          • jesterpunk

            Its still a random supplier in a parking lot but its just farther away from the prison. Still a really strange story.

  • msanthropesmr

    It is never the right of the state to take anyone’s life in any circumstances for any crime.

  • Lance Thrustwell

    If we had SO MANY psychotic murderers that we were literally running out of space to hold them all, and the only option was to release them so they could run around and kill more people, then yes, the death penalty might be a regrettable necessity.

    I am *not* entirely sure that’s the case, however. Am I off base here?

    • BadKitty904

      I don’t think so. Every time I hear “over-crowded prisons,” my first thought is “Then why are they so full?”

      • Hobbes’ Evil Twin

        The prisons are full because they’re run for profit.

        • BadKitty904

          Exactly II.

      • Lance Thrustwell

        Well, they ain’t burstin’ at the seams with murderous psychopaths, many people’s fears to the contrary.

        • BadKitty904

          Exactly.

      • jesterpunk

        Here, lets let Adam Conover explain that.

        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9H9r686J_RE

  • memzilla Ω
    • msanthropesmr

      It’s also because we are terrible at listening.

      • Lance Thrustwell

        I’m sorry, could you repeat that?

        • msanthropesmr

          I did my hovercraft is full of eels.

      • Anna Rompage

        What do you mean? Our president can even sit for a whole 10 minutes before tuning out and coming to his own conclusions…

  • amb310

    I wish they’d stop using the word “justice” when talking about state sanctioned murder. Call it what it is. A revenge killing. Or torture porn.

    Also, and I’m going to be totally a dick about this, families don’t need to see someone die to get closure. That’s not something they should get say over.

    • Chadwells

      Justice = revenge.

      • Zippy W Pinhead

        That’s the real issue with capital punishment- once you strip away the veneer of all the pro arguments, once you dig deep enough, it becomes apparent that the real motivation for it is nothing more than our deep seated lizard brain need for revenge.

  • Cousin Itt de La Résistance

    The difference between life in prison and a death sentence is basically arbitrary. What kind of justice is that?

    American.

    • BadKitty904

      Republican.

      • Zippy W Pinhead

        sadly, there are far too many Dems who are also pro capital punishment

  • The KGB Ate Our Votes

    Weird to see the state of Arkansas handling the state-sanctioned death of prisoners with the same thought and care you or I would put into making egg salad sandwiches because those eggs and that mayo are running out of shelf life.

    • BadKitty904

      Who do they think they are, Texas?

      • willi0000000

        completely OT but is this B_K_483 a relative of yours?

        • BadKitty904

          Ha! It was named after me!

  • TundraGrifter

    “In my view, that factor, when considered as a determining factor separating those who live from those who die, is close to random.”

    That presents the matter pretty clearly – one is tempted to say “In Black and white.”

  • Zippy W Pinhead

    C’mon down to Crazy Eddie the executioner! We’re overstocked so we’re blowing them out! Everyone must go!

    • schmannity

      Electric sofas for the mass execution! Sofa King dead! Sofa King big!

    • msanthropesmr

      Ants in my eyes Johnson is actually cheaper and has better service.

      • Zippy W Pinhead

        If I can’t kill ’em dead I’ll eat a bug!

  • georgiaburning

    1)The writers of “Fargo” have two season’s worth of material here
    2) I don’t recall enabling an execution being part of the parable of the Good Samaritan, but then I never went to Vacation Bible School

  • schmannity

    “I pray this lawful execution brings closure to the Reese family.”

    That’s a pretty shitty “thoughts and prayers.”

  • anwisok
  • boyblue122

    Heres the main “if” in Arkansas

    If Debra Reese, Lee’s alleged victim, had been black; or if Lee had been white

  • Me not sure

    If we already have private for profit prisons, can pay per view executions be that far off?
    ” These things need to pay for themselves.”
    Any Republican Governor

    • Cousin Itt de La Résistance

      A sensible policy for a better America.

    • Contemplative Ron

      I’ve been expecting something like that since ‘Network.’ Hell, it might even already be legal.

    • georgiaburning

      Linda McMahon is head of the Small Business Administration, WWE could certainly work this into the script for a Wrestlemania or a Royal Rumble

  • Cranky Man

    Why didn’t Asa pray for white bebbbby Jeeeezasss to go back in time and prevent the murders?

  • schmannity

    With no execution drugs, Arkansas is going to have to go back to its old execution method: Huckabee sons.

    • The Rain in Spain’s Therapist

      Runner-up: Diabetes.

  • The Rain in Spain’s Therapist
  • Shanzgood

    OT: Holy Dawg, y’all. Sometimes the internet is worth it.

    Sorry if this has been posted here already, I haven’t been around today to check.

    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/3d11c521d733df68e6e7dfe3a2e24bc2e2e5a9f53db23855b3a2a0bab90c7d63.jpg

    • Cousin Itt de La Résistance

      There goes my five hour erection.

      • Contemplative Ron

        But at least you don’t need to see your doctor now!

        • Shanzgood

          This is their new cure anyway.

    • Anna Elizabeth

      OT Shan – How Ya’ rollin’ Mami? Stuffs ok with house guest and alls?

      • Shanzgood

        Yeah, thanks. Took her home last night and she seemed ok. I try not to interfere much, just let them have their fun time so the other one can feel “normal” for at least a little while. That’s what I did with the other kids in the neighborhood mine used to bring home.

        Worried that things might escalate at home for her because they might start dating, according to my daughter’s text earlier today. Her fam is rabidly homophobic to the point where they might kick her out despite the fact that they made her quit her paid job to stay home and babysit for their continually increasing brood. There’s another one on the way and she already can’t keep up with her homework due to being the de facto 2nd mom.

        • Anna Elizabeth

          Oh, that’s so hard. I feel for her. If there is anything I can do, let me know please.

          It Gets Better, and it will for her, too.

          • Shanzgood

            Thanks! This girl has a whole host of stuff to deal with and being gay/bi seems to be the least of it. I asked my daughter if she was prepared to expend that kind of energy and she said she was, so long as she had breaks where she could recharge. I told her not to refer to it as “breaks” with her friend/girlfriend because that’s a term people use when they really mean “I want to see other people.” She said “oops!” (she’s so cute!)

          • Anna Elizabeth

            She is cute. :) You’ve raised a winner, Shan.

            This girl’s story reminds me of some of mine. I’m glad she’s got people that care about her at her young age.

    • Mumen Rider Justice CRASH!

      Her boobs don’t match.

      *edit* talkin’ ’bout the painting

      • Contemplative Ron

        Donnie went cheap on the plastic surgeon who did the job.

      • Shanzgood

        Boobs often don’t match in the wild but there’s really no excuse when they’re artificial.

  • boyblue122

    OT – Florida GOP senator resigns. Special election coming up

    https://twitter.com/PoliticsWolf/status/855464388752551937

    • Contemplative Ron

      ‘GOP voter suppression team Alpha to Florida District 40, stat!’

    • Vincent Ricola

      C’mon Dems, let’s do this and stop eating each other alive now.

    • The Wanderer

      Yay!

  • Mavenmaven

    What kind of justice is that?
    Trump Justice, roughly approximate to Trump Care.

    • Contemplative Ron

      Precisely the same outcome.

  • Joseph Stans

    It is Arkansas. I suppose the guy is lucky that the judge didn’t have his 4-H group in to act as a firing squad on the day of sentencing

  • Lance Thrustwell

    a li’l OT (okay, maybe more than a l’l), but one of the most interesting historical books I’ve read about capital punishment is The Faithful Executioner by Joel F. Harrington. Taken from the diary of a sixteenth-century torturer and executioner. It was just a job. He’d break someone’s limbs, behead them, and go home to his wife and kids.

  • The Wanderer

    OT, but oh dear Cthulhu it’s weird.

    This comes to us from the German news site n-tv.de and the good offices of Google Translate gives us the goods:

    Sperm smugglers. In the neverending news stream, I stumbled upon this word. And that’s the point:
    • Police arrest a 25-year-old sperm smuggler in the border area of Thailand and Laos.
    • The Thai has a nitrogen freezer with six tubes containing sperm.
    • The investigators suspect that the “goods” should go to surrogate mothers in Laos, who pay children of foreigners against payment.
    • The export and import of human sperm, ova or embryos is prohibited under Thai law.

    • Cousin Itt de La Résistance

      Thai law leaves little wiggle room for insemination.

      • weejee

        Oh snap!

      • The Wanderer

        I award you one internet.

      • thixotropic jerk

        Some want to see women, some want to semen.

  • Vincent Ricola

    I’m more worried about the threat to society Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge poses than anyone who has spent decades serving a life sentence in jail.

  • memzilla Ω
  • Villago Delenda Est

    Still no death penalty for installing scum like Hucksterbee and Hutchinson in the Governor’s Mansion in Little Rock, though.

  • SayItWithWookies

    Wow – Arkansas seems like a hive of drunk, disturbed and corrupt attorneys. Law school there must be right next to the juvenile detention center and someone dug a tunnel connecting the two.

  • Jenny

    That is a lot of ifs.

    Send those expired drugs to Texas. We’ll still use ’em!

  • Mumen Rider Justice CRASH!

    Solitary for 10 years? Holy shit.

    • Oblios_Cap

      That’s cruel and unusual punishment, fer sure.

      • Contemplative Ron

        Very cruel. Unfortunately, not at all unusual.

        • Roadstergal

          Scalia actually argued that if a punishment is cruel but not unusual, it’s Constitutional.

          Gorsuch, Scalia clone that he is, likely agrees.

  • proudgrampa

    Jesus Fucking Christ…

  • Oblios_Cap

    Nothing teaches that killing is wrong like the State killing you for doing it. So I guess we have to execute Arkansas next.

  • UncleTravelingMatt

    Any time cops or government lawyers describe something as “lawful”, it’s a pretty good bet that there’s bullshit afoot.

  • Undocumented Skwerl!

    Fuckin death penalty.

  • Up In Smoke O’hontas

    I absolutely refuse to take potassium chloride from strangers in parking lots. I guess my mama taught me better that way.

    • Oblios_Cap

      I won’t even accept sodium chloride.

  • You don’t need drugs. Stop trying to humanize and civilize something that is inherently barbaric.

    If you insist on killing people, bring back the guillotine or take the prisoner out to the yard and put two bullets into his head. If you insist on being ‘kind’ about your killing, dose them up with anti-anxiety drugs beforehand.

    At the very least, it would tear the veil away from state sponsored killings and force us to admit that we’re just as barbaric as our ancestors.

    • Anna Elizabeth

      Agree. Hell, these Rs are so fond of Putin, do it Russian style – take the condemned to an office to tell them they’ve been granted clemency, and have a man with a pistol waiting to double-tap them in the back of the head when they walk out shaking with relief.

      • janecita

        And after their death do the same thing the Chinese government does, send a bill to the family for the price of the bullet.

        • Anna Elizabeth

          *nods* At least Russia and China aren’t sanctimonious about it all.

          • Rebekahhmurphy

            Managing director of Google!, is explaining to users to start off “Work at home” method, that People have been doing for about one year now. These days alone, I generated close to $36,000 until now with no more than my home computer as well as some spare time, despite that i have a fulltime 9 to 5 job. Even everyone not used to this, can make $89/per h easily and the earnings can go even higher over time… This is how i started
            !so261c:
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          • Anna Elizabeth

            Fuck off, Trolls. I care not what any of you think of *any* subject.

      • Up In Smoke O’hontas

        It’s cheaper to push them out the window. As long as you open the window first.

    • cmd resistor

      I did read there was some discussion of a firing squad alternative in one of the court hearings.

    • Courser_Resistance

      THIS!

      I honestly was horrified when they went to lethal injection, for about 1,000 reasons, but basically, that’s what we do with sick animals.

      And yes, it’s barbaric, but people should have to witness that in person. And the person is just as dead, usually instantly. I’d say that would help outlaw the death penalty, but there are people who’d pay big bucks to watch death porn on Pay for View.

      Excuse me, I have to go puke now.

  • Oblios_Cap

    So, basically Arkansas just held a “lottery” to determine who got their sentence carried out?

    Why didn’t they just let all 8 hold a Hunger Games type of competition and commute the winner’s sentence to life in prison?

    • efoveks

      Ooh, ooh! They could have televised it and made a profit, too! Missed opportunity; Papa Yambo is gonna be sad.. so sad….

    • IOnlyLikeCats

      Please don’t give Arkansas ideas.

  • Contemplative Ron

    Luke 10:30-34

    30 Jesus said: “A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, when he was attacked by robbers. They stripped him of his clothes, beat him and went away, leaving him half dead.
    31 A priest happened to be going down the same road, and when he saw the man, he passed by on the other side.
    32 So too, a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side.
    33 But a Samaritan, as he traveled, came where the man was; and when he saw him, he took pity on him.
    34 He went to him and injected him with potassium chloride, stopping his heart.

    Here endeth the lesson.

    • phoenix00

      The Samaritan hurried over to him to inject the potassium chloride to beat the expiry date!

  • onedollarjuana

    But don’t you all realize that the most dog-eared, finger-smudged pages of the Bible are those dealing with retribution, smiting, revenge, and execution of God’s Will upon the “guilty”?

    • Oblios_Cap

      Well, it sure ain’t that wussy “Judge not lest ye be judged” stuff.

      • efoveks

        Where people fail to make the distinction is between crime, which is an earthly thing, and sin, which is a godly/ spiritual thing. One person cannot pass judgement on the state of another’s soul because only God is capable of seeing what is truly in a person’s heart.

        So while I disagree with your interpretation, I DO agree with your sentiment. We should not take a life, especially when “we” refers to all of us, when not everyone agrees with the practice. Also too, truth in fact is not an option, and since our justice system cannot rise to the level of that kind of certainty, the death penalty is not only impractical, but is unreasonable to practice with morality.

    • LiPao

      It’s god swill.

    • Hardly Ideal

      Man. I suspect my music player’s shuffle features isn’t just sentient, but has a shitty sense of humor:
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IxhxKdnjGA8

  • cmd resistor

    So in the eternal competition for stupid ways to do the death penalty, in Florida, a newly elected state attorney (Orlando)(blah) openly stated she would not be seeking the death penalty in a pending cop murder case, or any other case, because she had “determined that doing so is not in the best interest of the community or the best interest of justice,” So Gov. Voldemort took her off that case and all the other DP cases she had. She’s filed a case in federal court and the Florida Supreme Court challenging Voldemort’s authority to do that.

  • Bill Slider

    There is something horribly wrong with any judicial system that allows, as a basis for execution, the expiration date of the lethal injection used. In today’s world, DNA testing should be mandatory with ample time for test results to be of major consideration prior to establishing a date for the execution. Failure to do so should be grounds for disbarment. When we discuss reforming the criminal justice system, at the top of the list should be qualifications for entering Law School. When someone is a piece of s***when they enter Law School they will graduate as a piece of s***with a law degree.

    • BearDeLaOursistance

      I never cease to be amazed that a process which demands exacting detail on every petty-misdemeanor traffic cite you’ve had since you were 16 still lets through so many amoral slimeballs.

  • IOnlyLikeCats

    I don’t care how much you prefer retributive “justice” over rehabilitation, there is no excuse for someone being in solitary confinement for any length of time, let alone ten freaking years. I’d pray that they see the error of their ways, but I kinda hope there’s a hell and a special place for them in it.

  • That was a fucked up trial process – recommended

  • One important thing to recall is that the over riding excuse given for execution – that it brings closure – may actually be wrong

    Does death penalty bring closure? by Jason Marsh
    /snip
    A 2007 study by criminologist Scott Vollum, now at the University of Minnesota, examined media interviews with family or friends of murder victims, conducted around the time the murderer was being executed.
    Vollum found that the victims’ loved ones reported experiencing feelings of peace or relief in only 17% of the more than 150 cases in which they made public statements; they reported feeling a sense of closure in only 2.5% of those cases. By contrast, in 20% of cases, they explicitly said the execution did not bring them healing or closure.

    There is I believe other evidence supporting the idea that capital punishment may not be effective at bringing peace to the family and friends of victims

    • Jack Rogue Tenhet

      I was thinking this when I read the story above. Execution does not bring closure. Execution does not answer any unanswered questions. An execution does not tell you why your loved one was killed in the first place.

      Execution only leaves a bigger void. Another person dies. That’s not justice. Vengeance is not justice.

      • CogitoErgoBibo

        In some cases, it doesn’t even tell you that the right person was convicted or killed. Just that the State mounted a strong enough prosecution to make it happen.

        • Jack Rogue Tenhet

          Exactly!

          Look, I don’t know a lot, not really, but I do know this:

          Closure comes from within. Never look for it through others or you’ll never find it.

          • dshwa

            Everything comes from within. Seeking anything externally is an endless chase of nothing.

        • Up In Smoke O’hontas

          Or the prosecutor was mounting the right judge at the right time.

        • Ducksworthy

          And we all know: The State is Never Wrong. Don’t believe that, but still support the death penalty? There’s something wrong with you.

      • dshwa

        It would be better if the killer was just locked up and forgotten. The death penalty keeps the case in the news for far longer, delaying closure by keeping everything front and center.

        • Jack Rogue Tenhet

          Also, the automatic appeals. I think it ends up actually costing more money to enforce a death penalty than some say it would save.

    • Hardly Ideal

      Maybe off-topic, but I lost my aunt about a year ago when her husband shot her and then himself. All I really want is to have her back, and that ain’t happening. Even if he were still alive to be swallowed alive by a shirtless Alex Jones or whatever terrible punishment you can think of, the void would still be there. I’d still be left with nothing but fading photos and a bag of ash inside a ceramic angel.

    • dshwa

      The killer is dead.
      You wake up the next morning, and your loved one is still not there. You still see the reminders of them everywhere. You still hear a joke, or a story, and want to share it with them. You see their favorite color and still think of them.

      The killer is dead, but that changes nothing.

  • Courser_Resistance

    I’m truly astonished that people can maintain a raging bloodlust for that long. Maybe ‘astonished’ isn’t quite the right word, but… Personally, I don’t think I was ever to sustain even a minor bloodlust since I was probably 17.

    I’ve lived through several death-penalty cases in the Metro in the last couple of years and it’s fucking grueling for everyone because you really can’t escape it. One of many things that disturbs me is the de-humanizing of the perpetrators by some. One Aurora Theater Shooting victim’s father refers to the shooter as nothing but, ‘that thing. Dude, is sustaining that level of hate for a person even healthy? No, no it’s not. A couple of the Columbine massacre parents are the same way, one of them once arrested at a gun show for acting out. The majority of victims in these incidents have been white. The Arapaho County DA has had a hard-on to get the death penalty in several recent cases. Juries have denied him. He’s going to run for Governor, now that Hick’s out next year, I think.

    I’ve watched black women for most of my life, going on TV, forgiving the killers of their sons, lovers, husbands and loved ones. I’m ‘woke’ enough to understand that black women have never had the luxury of seeking or expecting any kind of justice for their murdered loved ones. The same can be said for most minority communities. They’ve learned the hard way that living with hate and bloodlust for vengeance is no way to go through life. It’s not achievable.

    Finally, I’ve seen people die. Not at an execution, but alongside the road. It’s not a picture you want in your head. I don’t care how much you think it will give you ‘closure’, it won’t. It’ll just give you another ugly picture in your head whenever you think of you loved one. It will not give you peace.

    • Jack Rogue Tenhet

      Well writ! Spot. On.

    • Bitter Scribe

      One Aurora Theater Shooting victim’s father refers to the shooter as nothing but, ‘that thing.

      As far as I’m concerned, if someone shot one of your children for no reason at all, you get to refer to him as anything you want to, up to and including any obscenity you can think up.

      • stubbornirishlass

        I must agree. Which is why justice is supposed to be blind, and why victims and their loved ones are not in charge of administering same. If someone came after, say, my mother, I could not possibly be objective. So I shouldn’t be the one to decide what happens to that person.

        But you can be damn sure some choice Irish curses would be made, that day and forever after. And I would not waste one moment worrying about how toxic it was to me. I’d like to think I could be more evolved than that, but we are all on our path.

        • Bitter Scribe

          Oh, of course. I’m not in any way suggesting that the law should be purely an instrument of vengeance, and I’ve always been against the death penalty.

          It just irritates me when anyone insists that the victim’s loved ones have a duty to forgive the murderer. If you want to believe that for yourself, great, knock yourself out. But don’t think for one minute that you’re entitled to criticize anyone else for not adopting that standard.

          • stubbornirishlass

            Yes, that was actually exactly my point as well. I probably did not phrase it as well as I could have, which is what I get for writing non-comments at work. I didn’t detect a pro-vengeance statement from you at all, I was just expanding on the theme of the psychology of being victimized. If something like that did happen to me or to someone I loved, I’d want to carve them up into little votes. And that might be satisfying in the moment, but that is pure ID and not useful to anyone in the long run, least of all the social fabric. But I’d reserve the right to feel that way without judgment.

  • Major_Major_Major

    Whelp, I guess I am in righteous indignation mode. FUCK ALL THESE ASSHOLES

  • Internet Hitler

    If TRump hadn’t been “elected” and emboldened right-wing pudds across the country to giddyap whatever lawn order agenda has been itching their bungholes…

  • BearDeLaOursistance

    I support the death penalty for Leslie Rutledge. *

    * Assuming Leslie Rutledge were to be duly convicted of a crime for which Arkansas statute allows the imposition of capital punishment.

  • Manders

    There were two or three things in that list that, when reading, I had to put my hand over my mouth to keep from swearing aloud:

    THE JUDGE HAD AN AFFAIR WITH THE PROSECUTING ATTORNEY?

    THEY GOT THE SODIUM CHLORIDE FROM SOME RANDO IN THE PARKING LOT?

    WTactualF?? In a better world, most of the people involved in this horrific act would be out of a job, at the very least.

    • Sally Mushrush

      So a random citizen donated the prescription drug used. Isn’t that a federal crime? On both sides of the “drug deal”? Of course it is.

  • dshwa

    The death penalty has always been vengeance with makeup and dressed up as justice.

  • Ducksworthy

    Gawd decides when you come into this world but the State decides when you should leave it. Prolife indeed.

  • Jeffery Campbell

    Jesus. Fucking. Christ. How much more messed up are things going to get?!

    • UpstateNYObserver

      Arkansas is a world unto itself – just think the contrasting Governors; Clinton v. Huckabee.

      • Jeffery Campbell

        Yes, I lived there for the first 18 years of my life…

    • Joseph Stans

      Well, Trump is in, baring a fortuitous meteor strike, another four years so they can get real crazy. And they will.

  • Erala Contratista

    The more “if”s, the less likely the action is possible or even basically defendable or true. Creo que si.

  • cry beloved country.

  • Joseph Stans

    When I found out she may not have been a massage hooker,a lot of the shine went off the festivities.

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