Clayton Lockett Suffered. His Victim Suffered More.

Clayton Lockett (L) and Charles Warner (R) earned their places on Death Row.

 

I almost feel sorry for death penalty opponents.

When some miscreant breaks into an old woman’s home, beats, rapes and guts her like a trout, my argument is made for me.

“Joe Schmoe beat, raped and fileted a 77-year-old Bingo-playing grandmother like she was 90 pounds of sushi. He should be put to death for this horrendous atrocity.”

The other side has a tougher nut to crack.

“While yes, it is undeniably true Joe Schmoe did indeed beat, rape and filet a 77-year-old, Bingo-playing grandmother like she was 90 pounds of sushi, (and everyone is very much cross with Joe about that and nobody feels more awful about this than we do), we should still spare his life because he might be redeemable and killing him makes us no better than him killing her and the State murdering Joe is no different from Joe murdering that old woman.”

Good luck with that. I’d rather argue the other side.

Convicted murderer Clayton Lockett was put to death by the state of Oklahoma. They screwed it up.

It certainly appears like Mr. Lockett suffered a rather painful and horrible end.

So did Stephanie Neiman.

Mr. Lockett was not a nice man. In fact, it might be fair to say he’s a bit of an evil demon. The other gentleman scheduled for the hot-shot, Charles Warner is actually even more so.

Before I wring my hands in concern or squirt a single tear for Clayton Lockett and Charles Warner over their possibly suffering a grisly, painful and lingering death, I’m going to ask two questions and only two: What did they do to get themselves strapped to a gurney and do they deserve to die for it?

  • Stephanie Neiman, 19: terrorized, beaten, raped, shot and buried alive in a grave with her mouth still covered with duct tape.
  • Adriana Walker, 11 months old: shaken, skull fractured in two places, jaw and ribs broken, lungs and spleen bruised and lungs lacerated, brain swollen, hemorrhaging found in her eyes and around the brain, anally raped.

Lockett got off easier than his victim.  If there were a way to kill him twice, he’d deserve it. When there are no more criminals like Lockett and Warner raping and torturing and murdering terrified teenagers and helpless infants there will be no more need to execute them.

Governor Mary Fallin rushed through Lockett’s execution and President Obama is troubled by that.

That day is not today and they both lived, lusted and laughed far, far longer than their victims.

Good-bye to both of them and good riddance.

Such a harsh judgment may muddy up my reputation as a good liberal, but I’ll take the hit.

There are prisoners more deserving of compassion and mercy than scum like this.

I want to see as much concern expressed for the victims of the crime and their suffering as there is for the perpetrators. Too often their plight is the center of the conversation and little to none given to the people whose lives they destroyed and the families they irrevocably shattered forever.

Present me with the option of feeling bad over how sorry an end Lockett’s last minutes of life were and they still won’t approach the horrors he put Stephanie Neiman through.

stephanie neimanI’m pro-death penalty with reservations. No one should ever be put to death if there is the faintest shadow of a doubt of their guilt or capacity for rehabilitation. The ultimate penalty should only be imposed for the most heinous and vicious crimes. Popping a clerk at a gas station during a robbery may not rise to that standard. Kidnapping, raping, and sadistically torturing a clerk at a gas station during a robbery before murdering them probably would.

The death penalty is disproportionately applied based upon race and class, haphazard in its application, unproven as a deterrent and unreliable as a method to offer any sort of closure to the families or protection of society.   I understand every argument made in opposition to capital punishment and I don’t pretend I have an equally logical argument for it.

I do have two reasons why I believe someone like Lockett and Warner should be put to death.

It does write a definitive end to the potential threat of a killer to offend again and their criminal acts end with their last heartbeat.

If you anally rape an 11-month-year-old baby to death, you should die.   It’s really that graphic and that simple.

You don’t rape babies to death and you live. You do rape babies to death and you die. See how easy that works? It’s a choice whether you stick your filthy little pecker into places you know it should not go. If you wish to live, do not put your penis in those places.

Because if you do, you’re a baby-raper and there’s nothing lower than that. May God have mercy on your rancid soul because I will have none. Zero tolerance. Ultimate penalty. Bottom line: You do really bad things and you die a really bad death.

The pain Lockett endured in his last moments is no worse than Stephanie Neiman endured buried alive under the dirt.   Don’t ask me to feel more sympathy for his life than he showed for hers.   If there is a way to kill a killer that is less painful and more “humane” than lethal injection, let’s try that.   I don’t advocate torturing the condemned, but I’m not concerned if they endure some discomfort.   Clayton Lockett caused enough of it for others.

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The Last Day In the Death of Troy Davis

After the execution of Troy Davis comes the tears

(ORDER LIST: 564 U.S.)

WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 21, 2011

ORDER IN PENDING CASE

11A317 DAVIS, ANTHONY TROY V. HUMPHREY, WARDEN

The application for stay of execution of sentence of death presented to Justice Thomas and by him referred to the Court is denied.

Clarence Thomas, huh?  Why am I not surprised to find his dirty little hands all over this?  He probably wishes he could have killed Davis himself.   But as much as I would like to blame Thomas for Davis’ death, he is shielded from direct responsibility by the secrecy of the Supreme Court.

Each member of the Supreme Court is assigned a portion of the country where all capital punishment cases go to for stay of execution.  Georgia is in Thomas’ ball court.  The entire Court decides whether the stay is granted or not but rarely do they comment either way.  Thomas probably voted with the rest of the Court’s conservative wing to deny the stay, but nobody knows but the justices themselves how they voted.

Not that it makes any difference now.

Davis was put to death for the killing of an off-duty police officer in 1989 and 22 years later, still proclaiming his innocence, he was given a lethal injection and killed by the state of Georgia after the Supreme Court gave them the green light.

If you lock up the wrong guy for burglary or robbery or extortion or arson, there’s always a chance they can be exonerated, vindicated, compensated and freed.

Screw it up with a capital punishment case and that’s it. No do-overs, no takebacks, no second chances to right a wrong. It’s game over. Fuck it up and someone is dead who should not be.

And how do you make up for that?

This is why as someone who has previously supported the death penalty, I am coming around to the conclusion I may no longer be able to do so.

There is nothing any president could have done to spare the life of Troy Davis. That said, while Rick Perry boasts how he sleeps perfectly well having sentenced over 230 people to die, Obama can’t take a pass on commenting on the state-sanctioned murder of Troy Davis.

White House spokesperson Jay Carney said the president believes in fairness in sentencing but, ” it was not appropriate for him “to weigh in on specific cases like this one, which is a state prosecution.”

I understand that explanation.  I don’t accept it.

How many votes did Davis have his in his favor among The Nine?

Even if the President doesn’t have the power to pardon a man in a state case, that doesn’t mean he can or should remain silent on one of the biggest and most painful issues of the year.

His silence would equal cowardice.

A leader doesn’t just speak when his people call upon him, but when his people are speaking and he remains quiet.  The president is failing this test of leadership.  It’s nothing new for the Supreme Court to keep their lips zipped.  When Obama dummies up its noticeable by the roaring silence.

The Republicans are scheduled for another debate tonight.  Think anybody will have the balls to ask Rick Perry what he thinks about Troy Davis?

As MLK said, “The hottest place in Hell is reserved for those who remain neutral in times of great moral conflict” and the president’s neutrality is not serving him well at this time.   It’s not that Davis was necessarily innocent or a good guy.   There were just ample reasons to delay his execution until some of the unresolved issues hanging over this case were answered.

Apparently, the Court felt after 22 years, all the questions had been answered in their mind.

Obama needs to end the silence and find his voice.  His refusal to say anything is maddening and frustrating.

Every one knows what’s right and what’s wrong. You can’t stay silent in a time of great moral conflict. When MLK was marching and getting dogs sicced on him and hosed down, HE MADE THE CHOICE TO STAND FOR SOMETHING!

I know Obama cares about Palestine and jobs and the government not shutting down. What does he care about one Black man being put to death for a crime he may not have committed?

I got mad respect for Obama, but when he avoids issues of race like Superman avoids Kryptonite he looks like the worst kind of coward.

Troy Davis is dead.   Everybody feel safer now?

"Troy Davis? Hmmm...don't think I know the brother."

The Strange Symmetry of Two Condemned Men

Does Troy Davis deserve to die?

I’m writing this today about Troy Davis because as things stand as this moment, by this time tomorrow he’s likely to be dead.

He probably shouldn’t be.  The State of Georgia plans to put Davis to death for a murder numerous witnesses now say he did not do.   That’s reasonable doubt.   That’s a reason for justice to be swift and merciful.

But justice and mercy seem to be absent in the state of Georgia.

ATLANTA (AP) — Georgia’s pardons board rejected clemency for Troy Davis on Tuesday, one day before his scheduled execution, despite high-profile support from figures including an ex-president and a former FBI director for the claim that he was wrongly convicted of killing a police officer in 1989.

Davis is scheduled to die Wednesday by injection for killing off-duty Savannah officer Mark MacPhail, who was shot dead while rushing to help a homeless man being attacked. It is the fourth time in four years that Davis’ execution has been scheduled by Georgia officials.

“Justice was finally served for my father,” said Mark MacPhail Jr., who was an infant when his father was gunned down. “The truth was finally heard.”

Kim Davis, the inmate’s sister, declined immediate comment on the decision.

Steve Hayes, spokesman for the Board of Pardons and Paroles, said the panel decided to reject Davis’ request for clemency after hearing hours of testimony Monday from his supporters and prosecutors. The board did not elaborate on the decision and didn’t detail the breakdown of the five-member board’s vote.

The decision appeared to leave Davis with little chance of avoiding the execution date. Defense attorney Jason Ewart has said that the pardons board was likely Davis’ last option, but he didn’t rule out filing another legal appeal.

Davis’ lawyers have long argued Davis was a victim of mistaken identity. But prosecutors say they have no doubt that they charged the right person with the crime.

The Rev. Al Sharpton, who plans a noon EDT vigil at the state prison in Jackson on Wednesday, said he’s asking his supporters to urge the pardons board to reconsider. And he is also asking Chatham County District Attorney Larry Chisolm to block the execution.

Over In Texas, where Rick Perry’s Death Machine keeps turning live prisoners into dead ones, they’re really busy this month.   There are four executions scheduled this month with one occurring the same day Troy Davis is to be put to death.  One execution was halted by the U.S. Supreme Court last week.

This one isn’t likely to be.

No remorse from a racist killer.

 Working only sporadically, the hands of the clock atop Texas’ 19th century Huntsville death house are an uncertain indicator of the hour. For the hundreds of killers whose lives end in the red brick building, though, the faulty timepiece’s message still is clear: Time is up.

With four executions scheduled in two weeks, September is the execution chamber’s busiest month since May 2010. And, in each instance, a cadre of death penalty opponents – bullhorn and placards in hand – gathers to decry what it considers the supreme barbaric act.

They will travel to Huntsville Wednesday for the execution of North Texas small-time hoodlum-turned-killer Lawrence Russell Brewer. Coming after the high-profile, initially successful campaign to stay last Thursday’s scheduled execution of Houston double-killer Duane Buck, Brewer’s death may seem anticlimactic.

“If we hadn’t had four cases in nine days, we would have focused more on this case,” said Gloria Rubac, of the Texas Death Penalty Abolition Movement. “Most of our members work full-time. We do what we can. But, my God, we have so many executions we don’t do anything but go up to Huntsville to protest.”

Brewer, 44, will die for his role in the 1998 murder of James Byrd Jr., an African-American who was dragged two miles down a lonely Jasper County road in a crime that shocked and sickened the nation.

Unlike Buck’s case, in which Texas Defender Service lawyers filed a barrage of appeals and held news conferences with a surviving victim who urged the killer’s life be spared, Brewer’s presents few legal options or grounds for empathy.

“He is not a sympathetic person,” Rubac conceded.

Kristin Hule, president of the Texas Coalition to End the Death Penalty, said that while her group’s members “unconditionally oppose all executions,” her Austin-based organization must “as a matter of resources and capacity focus on the case that’s right in front of us,” referring to two cases with execution dates before Brewer’s.

Law enforcement officials who recently visited Brewer on death row said he expressed no contrition for the Byrd murder.

Brewer was one of two Byrd murder suspects sentenced to die. The other, John William King, remains on death row. A third, Shawn Allen Berry, was sentenced to life in prison.

On June 7, 1998, the trio grabbed Byrd, who was walking along a local road, beat him, then attached log chains to his ankles and dragged him about two miles behind a pickup. Byrd was decapitated when he struck a culvert.

The killers dumped Byrd’s body at a Jasper County cemetery, then went to a barbecue. Brewer’s DNA was found on a cigarette and beer bottle at the crime scene. Byrd’s blood was found on his shoe.

Brewer and King, who met in prison, were avowed white supremacists.

A Black man is convicted of killing a White man, but there is reasonable doubt he did it. A White man is convicted of killing a Black man, but shows no remorse for doing it.

Davis is alleged to have gunned down a police officer.   He denies it.  Brewer was convicted of chaining a Black man to the back of a truck and dragging him down a road until he was decapitated.  He’s probably happy about the whole thing.

Which one of them deserves to live and which of them deserves to die?

We're civilized. We sterilize the needle before we kill them.