Capital  Punishment

Capital punishment is discussed so extensively and from so many angles, it deserves its own page.  But this is by no means a complete examination of the subject.



Democrats demand death penalty for cops who commit assault, murder.  Several House Democrats have introduced legislation that would subject state and local police to the death penalty if they are found guilty or assault or murder.  The Police Accountability Act, from Rep. Hank Johnson, D-Ga., is one of the Democrats' answers to the police brutality that they say still plagues black Americans around the country.  His bill would subject police to the death penalty when cops commit certain crimes that already trigger the death penalty in other circumstances.  Johnson, who has introduced this bill in prior Congresses, said it's needed because police cannot be put above the law.

Authoritarianism, Crime, and Freedom.  In January, I took up Donald Trump's extraordinary promise to bring the crime and violence we know today to a quick end.  I argued that this seemingly impossible vow can be fulfilled, but only by dramatically increasing the speed and certainty with which murderers are put to death.

DoJ Releases First Estimate of Number of Foreigners Held in Federal Prisons:  Over 45,000.  This is the first time we've troubled ourselves to attempt a first-pass count — we count everything in this country.  We have whole sections of government devoting to counting every thing in America — air conditioners, cars, gay and transgender students at risk, etc.  The only things we don't count are the things the Ruling Class doesn't want the public to know the numbers on.

Housing Illegal Aliens in America's Jails Costs $1.2 Billion.  Nearly a quarter of the inmates in federal prisons were born outside the U.S., and more than half of those have final deportation orders, the Department of Justice said Tuesday [5/2/2017].

DOJ: One in Four Federal Inmates Is Foreign-Born.  The Justice Department published statistics on the prison population to comply with directives in President Donald Trump's January executive order overhauling the immigration system.  The foreign-born prison population as of March 25 totals 45,493, or 24 percent of all federal inmates.  Of that group, 3,939 now are American citizens.  That leaves 41,554 inmates who remain citizens of foreign countries.  Some 22,541 of them, or 54.4 percent, have final orders to be deported once they've completed their sentences.  Another 33.4 percent, 13,886, are under investigation by Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents for possible deportation.

Federal judge backs firing squads, guillotine for executions.  A controversial federal judge thinks firing squads and guillotines should come back in style as the debate over executions in Arkansas rages on.  Ninth Circuit Appeals Judge Alex Kozinski, in an interview with CBS News' "60 Minutes" set to air Sunday, said conducting lethal injections is a sham that masks that fact that people are getting killed.

Death-Penalty Opponents Are Being Dishonest in Their Arguments.  Consider the April 17 broadcast of Fox News Channel's Special Report with Bret Baier.  Casey Stegall reported on the legal battle in Arkansas, where officials want to execute eight death-row inmates in eleven days before their supply of midazolam expires.  This is one of the drugs used to carry out lethal injections.  Stegall did his legwork.  He talked to Susan Khani, the daughter of the woman murdered, execution-style, by Don Davis in 1990.  She told Stegall the last quarter century has been agony for her, adding:  "He is just a very cruel person.  He needs to be put to death."  Stegall then talked to the usual death-penalty opponents.

Death Penalty Opponents are Being Dishonest in Their Arguments.  Casey Stegall reported on the legal battle in Arkansas, where officials want to execute eight death row inmates in 11 days before their supply of midazolam expires.  This is one of the drugs used to carry out lethal injections.  Stegall did his legwork.  He talked to Susan Khani, the daughter of the woman murdered, execution-style, by Don Davis in 1990. She told Stegall the last quarter century has been agony for her, adding, "He is just a very cruel person.  He needs to be put to death."

Gorsuch Casts First Major Tie-Breaking Vote Allowing Arkansas Executions To Proceed.  In what will undoubtedly be a memorable first major tie-breaking vote as a Supreme Court Judge, Neil Gorsuch cast the deciding vote last night to allow Arkansas to begin executing a group of 8 death-row inmates.  The decision came after attorneys for the State of Arkansas sought an expedited process to allow for the executions to proceed before their lethal-injection drugs expire at the end of April.

Judge halted execution plan, then participated in death-penalty protest.  An Arkansas judge who barred the state from hurriedly executing eight inmates attended a death-penalty rally just hours later — even posing as a condemned man as part of the protest.

Arkansas Supreme Court bars judge who joined protests from hearing death penalty cases.  A state judge who railed against the death penalty at protest rallies while he blocked executions in his courtroom ran afoul of the Arkansas Supreme Court on Monday [4/17/2017] as the legal fight over a planned spate of executions continued into the night.  The state high court barred Pulaski County Circuit Court Judge Wendell Griffen from hearing cases involving executions, capital punishment and the state's lethal injection protocol, then referred him to the Arkansas Judicial Discipline and Disability Commission.  Judge Griffen lost the battle, but he may have won the war:  The Arkansas high court also granted stays of execution to the two convicted murderers scheduled to be put to death by lethal injection Monday, Bruce Ward and Don Davis.

AR Supreme Court Bars Judge Wendell Griffen from Death Penalty Cases.  The Arkansas Supreme Court is taking action against Pulaski County Circuit Court Judge Wendell Griffen.  The high court ruled early Monday afternoon that Judge Griffen be barred from hearing any death penalty, execution or drug protocol cases.  The decision follows Griffen's protest Friday outside the Governor's Mansion against the scheduled executions.

Arkansas' multiple execution plan unravels after rulings.  Arkansas' plan to execute eight men by the end of the month appeared to be unraveling on Friday, with a judge blocking a lethal injection drug use and the state's highest court granting a stay to one of the first inmates who had been scheduled for execution.  Judge Wendell Griffen of the Pulaski County Circuit issued a temporary ruling that prohibits Arkansas from using its supply of vecuronium bromide after a company said it had sold the drug to the state for medical purposes, not capital punishment.

The Supreme Court Plays Fast and Loose with the Eighth Amendment.  To honor the human dignity of those who refuse to honor the human dignity of others is an absurdity than destroys the very concept of human dignity.  Civil society is grounded in the mutual recognition of the human dignity of fellow citizens.  To use the language of the Declaration:  all men are created equal and are endowed by their Creator with inalienable rights, life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.  Those who fail to honor the obligation to recognize the humanity of others — their rights and liberties — have voluntarily withdrawn from the social compact that constitutes civil society.  Once they have demonstrated they no longer have obligations to society, society no longer has obligations to them, except that American society has pledged always to extend due process rights and protection from cruel and unusual punishment.

George Soros-backed prosecutor yanked after refusing to seek death penalty for cop killer.  A Florida prosecutor elected with $1 million from liberal billionaire George Soros has been removed from all first-degree murder cases after refusing to seek the death penalty for any suspect, including an accused cop killer.  State Attorney Aramis Ayala, who won an upset victory in November after receiving $1.38 million from the Soros-backed Florida Safety & Justice PAC, had 21 first-degree murder cases in Orange and Osceola counties reassigned Monday to other prosecutors by Florida Gov. Rick Scott, a Republican.  His executive order came after she announced she would not seek the death penalty against Markeith Loyd, who has been charged in the murders of his pregnant ex-girlfriend Sade Dixon in December and Orlando police Lt. Debra Clayton in January, or any other defendants.

Rick Scott takes 21 murder cases from Orlando prosecutor who won't seek death penalty.  Gov. Rick Scott took 21 first-degree murder cases away from Orlando-area State Attorney Aramis Ayala after she said she would not seek the death penalty in any cases.  "Each of these cases I am reassigning represents a horrific loss of life," Scott said in a statement Monday.  "The families who tragically lost someone deserve a state attorney who will take the time to review every individual fact and circumstance before making such an impactful decision."

State Attorney Aramis Ayala won't seek death penalty while in office.  While discussing the Markeith Loyd case Thursday [3/16/2017], State Attorney Aramis Ayala said she will not seek the death penalty during her administration.  Ayala said she made the decision after conducting a review.  The most visible case immediately affected by Ayala's decision is Loyd's, who is charged with killing Orlando police Lt. Debra Clayton and his pregnant ex-girlfriend.  Ayala's statement was made during a news conference she called to discuss her decision not to seek the death penalty in the Loyd case.

Arkansas plans to execute 8 men over 10 days.  Eight men are scheduled to be executed by lethal injection in Arkansas in the space of just 10 days, according to Gov. Asa Hutchinson's office.  The state — which has not put anyone to death for 11 years — plans to execute the men in pairs between April 17 and April 27.  So many executions in such a short amount of time is "unprecedented" in the United States, said a spokesman for a group that monitors US executions.

Bring back the firing squads.  Liberals pushed us away from hangings and firing squads to the electric chair, which they then said was cruel, to gas chambers, which they then said was cruel, to lethal injections, which they then said was cruel and whose chemicals are no longer sold.  Mississippi wants to bring back firing squads.  Good.

Mississippi may become fourth state to revamp execution method.  Mississippi lawmakers want to bring back the firing squad, electric chair and gas chamber as execution methods, a step three other states have taken recently, but for a different reason.  Oklahoma reintroduced the gas chamber, Utah the firing squad and Tennessee the electric chair in response to a nationwide scarcity of lethal injection drugs for death row inmates.  Mississippi legislator Andy Gipson said he introduced House Bill 638 in response to lawsuits filed by "liberal, left-wing radicals" challenging the use of lethal injection drugs as cruel and unusual punishment.

Sheriff Clarke:  All Cop Killers Should Get the Death Penalty.  Milwaukee County Sheriff David Clarke says that every murder of a law enforcement officer should be classified as a capital crime punishable by death. [...] Sheriff Clarke argued that every cop killer should receive the death penalty, even in states that don't have capital punishment.

Backward-looking "Progressives".  Murderers may in some cases have had unhappy childhoods, but there is absolutely nothing that anybody can do to change their childhoods after they are adults.  The most that can be done is to keep murderers from committing more murders, and to deter others from committing murder.  People on the left who want to give murderers "another chance" are gambling with the lives of innocent people.  That is one of many other examples of the cruel consequences of seemingly compassionate decisions and policies.  Ironically, people on the left who are preoccupied with the presumably unhappy childhoods of murderers, which they can do nothing about, seldom show similar concern about the present and future unhappy childhoods of the orphans of people who have been murdered.  Such inconsistencies are not peculiar to our time, though they seem to be more pervasive today.  But the left has been trying, for more than 200 years, to mitigate or eliminate punishments in general, and capital punishment in particular.

The 7 Ugliest Propositions on the California Ballot.  [For example,] Prop. 62 — The death penalty for the death penalty.  This is as straightforward as it sounds.  If you think California shouldn't have a death penalty for those who commit the most heinous acts of premeditated violence, often with deadly outcomes, then vote yes.  If you believe, as I do, that these worst-of-the-worst criminals should have to pay the ultimate price for their acts, then vote no.

Governor to seek reinstatement of death penalty in New Mexico.  Gov. Susana Martinez said Wednesday she intends to seek reinstatement of New Mexico's death penalty.  Martinez's announcement comes in the aftermath of Friday's shooting death of Hatch police Officer Jose Chavez.  Chavez, 33, was killed during a traffic stop.  The state of New Mexico has charged Jesse Denver Hanes, 38, of Columbus, Ohio, with killing Chavez.  If convicted of murder in the state case, Hanes faces life in prison.  Hanes also faces charges at the federal level, but those charges wouldn't warrant the death penalty, Elizabeth Martinez with the U.S. Attorney's Office told KVIA.  Hanes is also wanted in Ohio in connection to the July shooting death of 62-year-old Theodore Timmons.  Ohio does have the death penalty.

Delaware's Death Penalty Law Struck Down by State Supreme Court.  Delaware's highest court declared the state's death penalty law unconstitutional Tuesday, ruling that it violates the Constitution's guarantee of a fair trial.

Pharmaceutical Giant Just Declared War on the Death Penalty.  U.S. firm Pfizer officially withdrew from the lethal injection trade on Friday, announcing it will no longer supply medicines for use in death row executions.  The global giant announced its commitment to block all sales for that purpose in a move reflecting growing opposition to the death penalty in the U.S. [...] Fewer states sentence people to death now, and those that still do are doing so less often.  In total, 19 states have abolished the primitive act, and it's no secret the European-led boycott of medical drugs — used by U.S. corrections departments to execute prisoners — has had a startling impact.

Pfizer says it's blocking use of drugs for lethal injections.  Pharmaceutical company Pfizer said Friday [5/13/2016] it was blocking use of its drugs in lethal injections, which means all federally-approved drugmakers whose medications could be used for executions have now put them off limits.

A Death Sentence in Louisiana Rarely Means You'll be Executed.  Four out of five death sentences in Louisiana since 1976 have been reversed.  And for every three executions the state carried out, one death row prisoner was exonerated.  These statistics are among the most notable in an analysis of the death penalty in Louisiana, published this week by Tim Lyman, an independent researcher, and Frank Baumgartner, a political scientist at the University of North Carolina who has crunched similar numbers in Florida, Ohio, and Missouri.

Pope Francis calls for global abolition of the death penalty saying 'Thou shalt not kill' applies to the guilty as well as the innocent'.  Pope Francis has called on Catholic leaders to seek a ban on the death penalty exclaiming that 'Thou shall not kill applies to the guilty as well as the innocent'.  Speaking to thousands at St. Peter's Square, in the Vatican, the Pontiff asked politicians around the world to make 'a courageous and exemplary gesture' during the Church's current Holy Year.

Pope Francis calls on Christians to abolish death penalty.  Pope Francis on Sunday urged Catholic leaders to show "exemplary" courage by not allowing executions this year, while expressing hope that eventually the death penalty will be abolished worldwide.

Lawmakers strike political compromise to fix Florida's death penalty law.  In an effort to keep Florida's death penalty from a barrage of legal attacks after a Supreme Court decision halted executions, state lawmakers have reached a compromise that would allow the Sunshine State to continue executions.  The Supreme Court ruled in January that the state's method of sentencing people to death was unconstitutional because it weighed power too heavily toward judges over juries.  The nation's highest court found the state's sentencing procedure was flawed because juries play only an advisory role, while the judge makes the key decisions and can find differently from the jury.

Some Reading for Conservatives Who Oppose the Death Penalty.  Does the death penalty bring about justice?  To many citizens, the answer is yes, absolutely.  When someone takes the life of another or several others in a wanton, cruel, and malicious way, nothing less than the forfeiture of the killer's life brings justice.  Life for a life (or many lives) taken.  Does the death penalty bring about safety?  Yes, for sure.  Executed killers will never claim new victims.  They are completely incapacitated, something life without parole cannot guarantee.  And executions, beyond a doubt, deter others from committing murder.  How many depends on a variety of circumstances, but to claim there is no (zero) deterrence brought about via execution of the guilty is completely absurd.

Oklahoma delays executions until at least 2016.  No executions will be scheduled in Oklahoma until at least next year as the attorney general's office investigates why the state used the wrong drug during a lethal injection in January and nearly did so again last month, the office said Friday [10/16/2015].

Supreme Court Justice Argues World Opinion Matters on the Death Penalty.  Should the Supreme Court care that other countries have abolished the death penalty?

Connecticut's highest court BANS death penalty in the state — sparing the lives of 11 men.  Connecticut's highest court has overturned the state's death penalty — meaning the two men convicted in the brutal murders of the Petit family will no longer be executed for their crimes.  In a 4-3 ruling on Thursday [8/13/2015], Connecticut Supreme Court declared that the death penalty was unconstitutional, sparing the lives of the 11 men currently on death row in the town of Somers.

The case for the death penalty.  [Scroll down]  Those who would eliminate the death penalty also might reflect on notorious mass murderer Richard Speck, who viciously raped and murdered eight student nurses in Chicago in 1966.  His death sentence was overturned, and he ended up with a life sentence.  Years later he admitted to a journalist that he enjoyed getting high in prison, and later a videotape would turn up that showed Speck using drugs, having sex with another inmate and displaying $100 bills.  He said, "If they only knew how much fun I was having, they'd turn me loose."  He also described strangling the nurses and joked, "It just wasn't their night."  He would die of a heart attack after 25 years in prison, a stint he seemed to have enjoyed.

The Butchers of Planned Parenthood.  Mitchelle Blair, not knowing what to do with the bodies of two of her children, whom she had murdered, stuffed them in her freezer.  She'd tortured them for months first — strangling them, suffocating them with plastic bags until they passed out, starving them, burning them with boiling water.  She said she killed her son by accident; she'd intended to torture him further.  Her daughter she killed on purpose.  "If I had the chance to do it again, I would," the mother said.  Pleading guilty, she asked the court to impose the death penalty on her.  Prosecutors regretfully informed her that Michigan has no death penalty.

Supreme Court upholds use of drug implicated in botched executions.  The Supreme Court upheld the use of a controversial drug in lethal injection executions Monday [6/29/2015], as two dissenting justices said for the first time that they think it's "highly likely" that the death penalty itself is unconstitutional.  The justices voted 5-4 in a case from Oklahoma that the sedative midazolam can be used in executions without violating the Eighth Amendment prohibition on cruel and unusual punishment.

The Battle for Death Penalty Transparency.  Americans may shudder at the barbarity depicted in videos showing public executions by the governments of Iran, Saudi Arabia, and China, but the fact remains that alone among all Western countries, the United States is a death penalty country.  Though the death penalty is legal in the majority of American states, only a handful of them actually carry out executions, numbering in the few dozens annually.  Part of the reason the American public maintains a steadfast support of its government killing convicted murderers is due to the cloak of secrecy covering executions and the fact that the most common form of execution, lethal injection, is sold to the public as a medical procedure, akin to putting a sick animal to sleep.

Nebraska senators override governor's veto, repeal death penalty.  Nebraska has repealed the death penalty following a dramatic vote Wednesday [5/27/2015] by state lawmakers to override the governor's veto.  The high-stakes vote to override the veto of Legislative Bill 268 was 30-19.  It requires at least 30 of 49 senators to overturn a gubernatorial veto.

Republican stance on death penalty appears to be shifting.  Nebraska's Republican-dominated Legislature is making a concerted push to do away with the state's death penalty, the latest sign of cracks in conservatives' once-bedrock support for capital punishment.  When lawmakers voted 30-13 vote [sic] to repeal the state's death penalty last week, Republicans delivered 17 of the votes in favor of the measure, outnumbering the 13 votes Republicans cast against it, according to The Wall Street Journal.  GOP Gov. Pete Ricketts has vowed to veto the bill.

Utah gov signs bill allowing firing squad.  Utah became the only state to allow firing squads for executions Monday when Gov. Gary Herbert signed a law approving the controversial method's use when no lethal-injection drugs are available.

Why Brain Injury Matters In Death Row Cases.  Cecil Clayton was executed Tuesday [3/17/2015] by the state of Missouri.  At 74 years old, Clayton was the state's oldest death row inmate.  He landed on death row after he murdered a police officer, Christopher Castetter, who was dispatched to a house where Clayton had broken in, back in 1996. [...] Three different medical doctors declared Clayton incompetent after he was sentenced to death.  This is problematic, as the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in 2002 (Atkins v Virginia) that it was unconstitutional to execute an intellectually disabled individual by the Eighth Amendment, prohibition of cruel and unusual punishment.

Texas now down to last dose of lethal injection after executing Mexican Mafia enforcer.  A Mexican Mafia hit man convicted of beating and strangling a San Antonio woman because she didn't pay the gang's 10 per cent tax on her illegal drug sales was executed Wednesday evening [3/11/2015].

Firing squad bill passes the Senate, heads to governor for signature.  The [Utah] Senate passed a bill that would bring back the firing squad in Utah as a method of execution.  In an 18-10 vote, the Senate approved House Bill 11, sponsored by Rep. Paul Ray, R-Clearfield, which would bring the firing squad back as a backup method of execution, should the primary method of lethal injection be unavailable.

Attorney General Eric Holder calls for states to stop death penalty until Supreme Court decides.  Attorney General Eric Holder called on states to temporarily pause death penalty executions on Tuesday [2/17/2015], until the Supreme Court decides a case about the controversial drug cocktails used for lethal injects in some states.

Pennsylvania Stops Using the Death Penalty.  Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf said Friday [2/13/2015] that the state has effectively put a moratorium on the death penalty.  While Wolf awaits a report from a task force on the state's use of capital punishment, he will grant temporary reprieves for all death row inmates whose executions are scheduled.

Oklahoma considers nitrogen gas chamber to execute death row inmates.  Following the state's botched lethal injection last spring, in which the inmate groaned and writhed on the gurney before a problem was discovered, the state is exploring using a nitrogen gas chamber which would make the execution painless.  Breathing the gas would cause hypoxia, similar to what happens to pilots at high altitudes.

Ohio to delay 7 executions while searching for new drugs.  Ohio will delay the executions of seven death row inmates while searching for an adequate supply of drugs that complies with its new execution protocol, the state's Department of Rehabilitation and Correction said Friday [1/30/2015].  That means the state will not carry out any executions in 2015, the agency said in a press release.

U.S. Supreme Court to review Oklahoma execution procedure.  The Supreme Court on Friday [1/23/2015] agreed to review Oklahoma's controversial method of execution by lethal injection, taking up a case brought by three death row inmates who accuse the state of violating the U.S. Constitution's ban on cruel and unusual punishment.

California AG Kamala Harris to appeal ruling against death penalty.  A federal judge's "flawed" decision declaring California's enforcement of the death penalty unconstitutional will be appealed, state Atty. Gen. Kamala D. Harris announced Thursday [8/21/2014].  Harris will ask the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals to overturn last month's ruling by U.S. District Judge Cormac J. Carney, who said decades-long delays and uncertainty about whether inmates will be executed violated the Constitution's ban on cruel or unusual punishment.  Harris personally opposes the death penalty but promised voters she would enforce it.

How does the U.S. compare to other countries?
Saudi Arabia has beheaded 19 people in one month.  Human Rights Watch reports that Saudi Arabia has beheaded 19 people since the beginning of August.  Some confessions may have been gained under torture and one poor defendant was found guilty of sorcery.  Yep, sorcery.  That might sound archaic, but we are talking about a regime so very concerned about offending God that it has even banned certain names for being "blasphemous".

Executions should be by firing squad, federal appeals court judge says.  Days before an Arizona murderer gasped and snorted for more than 90 minutes and died nearly two hours after his execution began, a conservative federal appeals judge called for replacing lethal injection with firing squads, saying the public must acknowledge that executions are "brutal, savage events."  "Using drugs meant for individuals with medical needs to carry out executions is a misguided effort to mask the brutality of executions by making them look serene and beautiful — like something any one of us might experience in our final moments," U.S. 9th Circuit Court Chief Judge Alex Kozinski wrote in a dissent in the Arizona death penalty case of Joseph Rudolph Wood III.

California Death Penalty Unconstitutional, Federal Judge Says.  A federal judge ruled Wednesday [7/16/2014] that California's death penalty system is so arbitrary and plagued with delay that it is unconstitutional, a decision that is expected to inspire similar arguments in death penalty appeals around the country.  The state has placed hundreds of people on death row, but has not executed a prisoner since 2006. [...] About 40 percent of California's 748 death row inmates have been there more than 19 years.

Federal judge rules California's death penalty unconstitutional.  A federal judge declared California's death penalty unconstitutional Wednesday, saying delays of 25 years or more in deciding appeals and carrying out occasional executions have created an arbitrary and irrational system that serves no legitimate purpose.  The ruling by U.S. District Judge Cormac Carney of Santa Ana was limited to a single case and had no immediate impact on executions statewide, which have been halted by federal courts since 2006 because of multiple problems in lethal injection procedures.

The Editor says...
I'm no expert, but this might be the first time that the 8th Amendment has been used in this manner.  The judge appears to say that the anxiety caused by the long and variable delay between conviction and execution is cruel and unusual.  This problem is very easy to fix:  Execute all condemned criminals within 30 days.  In China, they don't even wait that long!

Judges [sic] Orders Temporary Halt to Ohio Executions.  Ohio executions have been put on hold for 2 1/2 months after a federal judge said [5/27/2014] he wanted to hear arguments over the state's new lethal injection procedures.

Tennessee brings back electric chair.  Tennessee has decided how it will respond to a nationwide scarcity of lethal injection drugs for death-row inmates:  with the electric chair.

Lawmaker wants to bring back 'humane' firing squad executions.  In the wake of a botched lethal injection in Oklahoma last month, a Utah lawmaker says he believes a firing squad is a more humane form of execution.

Execute Cleanly or Not at All.  The guillotine, which was invented specifically to eliminate foul-ups from the executioner's lack of skill and/or sobriety, is about the only existing execution method that will get it right every time.  Nobody knows, however, whether the severed head can sense the trauma before consciousness is lost.  This suggests a need for a method that is known to be so painless and trauma-free that it is among the most deadly workplace hazards:  asphyxiation in an oxygen-deficient atmosphere.  It is deadly precisely because it is painless and trauma-free; the victim doesn't know what is happening to him before it is too late.

Appeals court overturns ruling on execution drugs.  A federal appeals court on Wednesday threw out a ruling requiring the Texas prison system to disclose more information about where it gets lethal-injection drugs, reversing a judge who had halted an upcoming execution.

US Supreme Court won't stop Texas execution over state refusal to name lethal drug supplier.  The U.S. Supreme Court won't stop the execution of a Texas serial killer whose attorneys want the state to release information about where it gets its lethal injection drug.

Attorney General Says Tennessee Can Lawfully Electrocute Inmates.  The State Attorney General says Tennessee can lawfully use the electric chair on death row inmates if drugs used for lethal injection are not available.

'Ground zero' for the death penalty.  Missouri executed its fourth inmate in as many months early Wednesday [2/26/2014], even as the issue of capital punishment has sparked a new and reshaped political debate in the state and across the country.  The Midwestern state has become a key battleground:  As lethal-injection drug supplies have been disrupted, states have been scrambling to adapt, and Missouri lawmakers from both sides of the aisle aren't happy with what they say is excessive secrecy about the process and questions about whether the sentences are being competently carried out.

Federal judge temporarily blocks Okla. pharmacy from selling drug to Missouri for execution.  A federal judge agreed late Wednesday to temporarily block an Oklahoma pharmacy from providing an execution drug to the Missouri Department of Corrections for use in an upcoming lethal injection.

The Editor says...
Why do pharmacies have lethal drugs on hand?

Oklahoma Pharmacy Won't Give Drug for Missouri Execution.  An Oklahoma pharmacy has agreed not to provide Missouri with a made-to-order drug for an inmate's execution scheduled for later this month, according to court documents filed Monday [2/17/2014].

The Editor says...
Oh, I see.  The drug is "made to order."  (Now I'm a little more concerned about my doctor's handwriting.)  Is there not one pharmacist in Missouri who can make it?

States Consider Reviving Old-Fashioned Executions.  With lethal-injection drugs in short supply and new questions looming about their effectiveness, lawmakers in some death penalty states are considering bringing back relics of a more gruesome past:  firing squads, electrocutions and gas chambers.

Louisiana will change protocol, adopt Ohio lethal injection drugs one week before scheduled execution.  With just more than one week to go before convicted killer Christopher Sepulvado is scheduled to die by lethal injection, Louisiana will alter its execution protocol and swap out a one-drug recipe for the same two-drug cocktail used in Ohio executions.

Wyo. lawmaker proposes firing squads for executions.  A Wyoming lawmaker is pushing to allow use of firing squads to execute condemned state inmates if constitutional problems or other issues ever prevented the state from using lethal injection.

Dem Bill Would End Death Penalty for Espionage, Treason, Assasinations.  The Federal Death Penalty Abolition Act.  (HR 3741) would "end the death penalty for assassination or kidnapping that results in the death of the president or vice president, and also ends it for the murder of a member of Congress."  The list goes on:  "using a weapon of mass destruction, or murder done via torture, child abuse, war crimes, aircraft hijackings, sexual abuse, bank robberies or the willful wrecking of a train."  And there is even more [...]

California will no longer pursue three-drug lethal injections.  California has dropped its legal efforts to win approval of a three-drug method of lethal injection and will instead propose single-drug executions, a prisons spokesman said Wednesday [7/10/2013]. [...] Any new method of execution will be subject to public comment and review by a federal court.  The process could take years.

The ECHR says it's 'inhuman' for murderers to get whole-life sentences.  Judges in Strasbourg have opened a new front by ruling that Britain is in breach of Article 3 of the European convention on human rights by imprisoning some the worst imaginable killers for whole-life terms.  The Grand Chamber of the European Court has ruled in three test cases that their sentences must be reviewed after 25 years.

The Editor says...
A murderer is still a murderer after 25 years.  The purpose of a life sentence — and capital punishment, to some extent — is to take murderers and the most egregiously violent criminals off the steets.  Permanently.

Barbarism in Philadelphia.  Prosecutors are seeking the death penalty for abortionist Kermit Gosnell, who is on trial in Philadelphia for doping one patient to death and killing seven fetuses born alive.  He doubtless seems a worthy candidate for death row.  Dr. Gosnell, after all, is a monster. [...] Dr. Gosnell was merciless killer, willing to perform abortions at any stage of pregnancy.  He routinely induced labor in women more than six months pregnant and then cut the spines of their breathing newborns.  This was Gosnell's "standard procedure," according to the grand jury report.  "These killings became so routine," in fact, "that no one could put an exact number on them."

The death penalty does not serve as a deterrent if it's not on the books.
After bombings, a push to restore the death penalty.  Democratic leaders today put a quick stop to a move to reinstate the death penalty in Massachusetts, rejecting a House budget amendment containing a death penalty measure first proposed by former Gov. Mitt Romney in 2005.  The House voted 119-38 to send the amendment to further study in a committee, a move that eliminated the amendment from immediate consideration as part of the budget bill under debate in the House this week.  Massachusetts abolished the death penalty in 1984.

The Boston Bomber Should Face The Possibility Of The Death Penalty.  Dzhokhar Tsarnaev and his brother murdered three people at the Boston Marathon, and grossly mutilated dozens more.  The brother was killed in a shootout with police.  The question is what justice Dzhokhar should face.  The answer, as the Justice Department apparently understands, is a jury empowered to consider the death penalty.

Why Don Opposes Capital Rape.  It's pretty easy to see that I am not applying a double standard in opposing abortion and supporting the death penalty.  An unborn child is not the same thing as a convicted murderer.  In fact, no unborn child has ever committed murder. [...] And nothing deters like capital punishment.  No executed man has ever become a recidivist.

Death and Life in Maryland.  Respect for human life should mean a murderer ought to forfeit his or her own life as payment for the life taken.  Life in prison is unequal punishment.  It is not fair to the victim, to the victim's family or even to the killer who has not received his or her "just deserts."  In the case of abortion, obviously there can be no sentence of death or life in prison for the "murderer."  But that doesn't mean that Maryland cannot exercise an equivalent respect for life through laws that restrict abortion.  Shouldn't the lives of the unborn also be spared a death sentence?

Maryland lawmakers vote to repeal death penalty.  Maryland lawmakers approved a measure abolishing the death penalty on Friday [3/15/2013] and sent the bill to Gov. Martin O'Malley, who has long supported banning capital punishment.

The Cruel and Unusual Eighth Amendment.  To date the Court has not ruled that the death penalty per se violates the Eighth Amendment; however, it has created certain procedures and exceptions governing the request of the death penalty, for instance requiring a criminal defendant to have in fact killed or attempted to kill a victim.  The Court also held in Atkins v. Virginia (2002) that the mentally retarded, as a class, are exempt from the death penalty.

Defend the Second Amendment by Restoring the Eighth.  States find it cheaper to feed, clothe, house, and guard a murderer to the end of his days, and nurse him through the diseases of old age, than to jump through the endless legal hoops of proving to the most soft-headed appellate court in the land not only that he committed the crime, but that he deserves to die for it.  Those hoops were invented by the United States Supreme Court, in blatant disregard of the original meaning of the Eighth Amendment.  That amendment's ban on "cruel and unusual punishments" applied only to the federal government in the first place, and it referred only to torturous executions such as crucifixion, burning, boiling, drawing and quartering, etc.  It did not prohibit strangulation by hanging, which was the common practice of every jurisdiction involved in the amendment's adoption and ratification.

The death penalty... Lord Tebbit and our readers call for its return.  Angry calls for the reinstatement of hanging for killers of police officers were growing last night [9/19/2012] following the double atrocity in Manchester.  Led by Tory grandee Lord Tebbit, politicians and victims of crime said there was now enough evidence for the UK to re-examine the issue.

A return to capital punishment? It is time we thought once more about the deterrent effect.  The murder of two unarmed women police officers is bound to re-ignite the debate over whether our police officers should be armed as a matter of routine and whether there should be a return to capital punishment for limited categories of murder, such as that of a police officer, or more generally.  The first option of arming police officers would be allowed by our masters in Brussels and Strasbourg even though it might lead to cases of summary execution of the innocent; the second would not.

The death penalty is not what it used to be.  Seventeenth-century England, whence comes so much of our law and culture, hanged evildoers with the enthusiasm of modern Texas.  There's the story of the shipwrecked sailor of the time who was washed up on a distant shore after a storm at sea.  He opened his eyes the next morning, and the first thing he saw, on a hill far away, was a gallows.  "Thank God!" he cried.  "I'm in a Christian country."

Gun crimes don't happen because of 'weak' laws.  By combining data from the Census Bureau and the FBI, we see that in states with the death penalty for murder, the murder rate in 2010 was 25 percent higher than in non-death-penalty states.

Tyrants and Human Nature.  Though the law of demand is not rocket science, liberals and progressives sometimes pretend it doesn't exist.  Suppose one wants to reduce the number of rapes, robberies and homicides.  Should we raise or lower the cost of committing such acts?  Though the death penalty exacts a high cost for a homicide conviction, most liberals and progressives are against it.  Some liberals and progressives don't hold criminals responsible, because they believe that poverty and discrimination are the cause of crime and that it's society that must be cured.  Others think that soft sentences and rehabilitation programs reduce criminal behavior.  Both visions lower the cost to criminals of committing a crime.

Convicted Killers Often Live a Life of Leisure, Professor Says.  Most people imagine prison life for convicted murderers as being harsh, brutal, and isolated, a real-life "Shawshank Redemption."  So when convicted killer Danny Robbie Hembree Jr., 50, wrote a letter in January to the Gaston Gazette in North Carolina, gloating about his comfortable life on death row, it got plenty of attention.

Crucifixion as policy.  Benjamin Franklin wrote to M. Benjamin Vaughn Esq. to explain a point of law.  Franklin quoted Judge Bernet, who adjudicated a capital punishment case for horse theft.  The problem was whether it was right to hang a horse thief for the crime committed.  Bernet said: ... "man, thou art not being hanged only for stealing a horse; but that horses may not be stolen."

Mumia's The Word.  For decades, liberals tried persuading Americans to abolish the death penalty, using their usual argument:  hysterical sobbing. ... Fifty-nine percent of Americans now believe that an innocent man has been executed in the last five years.  There is more credible evidence that space aliens have walked among us than that an innocent person has been executed in this country in the past 60 years, much less the past five years.  But unless members of the public are going to personally review trial transcripts in every death penalty case, they have no way of knowing the truth.  The media certainly won't tell them.

California Lawmakers Advance Bill To End Death Penalty.  A bill that seeks to abolish California's death penalty has advanced after its first legislative hearing.

Justice Department Pursues 'Strange' Probe of Execution Drug.  The Obama administration has launched a quiet campaign over the past two months to seize from local officials a key drug used in lethal injections — part of a spreading investigation that has contributed to a de facto death penalty freeze in several states.

The Death Penalty Does Not Deter Liberals.  Put simply, the abolitionist wants to get rid of the death penalty regardless of guilt and regardless of process.  And the impact of these endless appeals is predictable:  It undermines the deterrent capacity of the death penalty.  If the liberal reader cannot understand why a fifteen year delay between crime and punishment undermines deterrence then just try this little two-step experiment:  1) The next time your fifteen-year old breaks a rule tell him he will be grounded when he turns thirty.  2) See if you can count to ten before he decides to recidivate.

Opponents of capital punishment have blood on their hands.  Opponents of capital punishment give us names of innocents who would have been killed by the state had their convictions stood and they been actually executed, and a few executed convicts whom they believe might have been innocent.  But proponents can name men and women who really were — not might have been — murdered by convicted murderers while in prison.  The murdered include prison guards, fellow inmates, and innocent men and women outside of prison.

Execution Drug Halt Raises Ire of Doctors.  Doctors and pharmacists are criticizing a U.S. drug company's decision to permanently halt production of an anesthetic used in carrying out the death penalty, saying the drug was still needed for some surgical procedures.

They shoot horses, don't they?
For executions, Texas switches to drug used on animals.  Texas, the state that executes more inmates than any other, said on Wednesday it will follow Oklahoma and switch one of its lethal injection drugs to a sedative often used to euthanize animals.  "It has been used by Oklahoma in their execution process, so there is a precedent there," said Michelle Lyons, a spokeswoman for the Texas Department of Criminal Justice.  "Its use was upheld by the courts, so we're confident it would be upheld by courts for use in Texas."

US executions on hold due to lethal injection drug shortage.  The lethal injection method is used by 35 states and several of those do not have enough sodium thiopental, an anaesthetic which is used to render condemned prisoners unconscious shortly before their death.  Steve Beshear, the Kentucky governor, has had to postpone signing two death warrants, for killers Ralph Baze and Robert Foley, whose appeals are exhausted.

The Editor says...
Nonsense!  Every hospital in America has a large stock of sufficiently lethal painkillers.  But do executions have to be completely painless?  Did anyone on death row commit a completely painless crime?

California Buys Execution Drug From U.K..  California has purchased a large supply of a drug used in executions from a British pharmaceutical company, according to a spokeswoman with the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation.  The state ordered the drug before the U.K. last month said it planned to limits exports of the drug, thiopental sodium, because of the U.K.'s "moral opposition to the death penalty."

Texas thinks it can find enough drugs for April executions.  Texas' prison director says he's optimistic the state can find the drug sodium thiopental or an alternative to carry out executions after Texas' supply expires at the end of March.

The Editor says...
Why can't they use expired drugs?  Are they unsafe?  The condemned inmate might suffer some adverse side effects?  If a condemned prisoner caused someone else to suffer a horrible death, do we really owe that criminal a painless departure?

The Deaths That Save Lives.  Critics of capital punishment argue that it does not act as a deterrent.  The facts speak for themselves:  Over the past twenty-five years, the murder rate in the U.S. has been cut almost in half.

Common Sense on Capital Punishment:  The reliable two-thirds of Americans who have always supported the death penalty probably wouldn't be surprised to find out that study after study has shown that the death penalty deters murders. … Most studies have concluded that some number of murders between three and 18 are prevented for every application of capital punishment.

Another Argument for Capital Punishment.  The most common objection opponents offer against capital punishment is that innocents may be executed.  My answer has always been that this is so rare (I do not know of a proved case of mistaken execution in America in the last 50 years) that society must be prepared to pay that terrible price.  Why?  Among other reasons, because more innocents will be killed by murderers who are not executed (in prison, or once released or if they escape) than will be killed by the state in erroneous executions.

Why Would Anyone Support the Death Penalty? (Part I).  Once we comprehend this distinction between murder and all other crimes (which can be restituted for), it should be clear that retribution not only justifies execution, it requires it.  Execution is the only correct penalty-in-kind for murder, and retribution is the only value so far analyzed which justifies taking this most precious of payments from someone.

Red Herring Politics.  [Scroll down]  One appointment by Governor Jerry Brown ought to tell us a lot about his ideology.  His most famous — or infamous — appointment was making Rose Bird chief justice of the California supreme court.  She over-ruled 64 consecutive death penalty verdicts and upheld none.  Apparently no judge or jury could ever give a murderer a trial perfect enough to suit Rose Bird.  To hear Rose Bird and her supporters tell it, she was just "upholding the law."  But, fortunately, the California voters saw right through that pretense, and realized that she was doing just the opposite — imposing her own personal opposition to the death penalty in the guise of interpreting the law.

U.S. executions hit 1,000.  A man who went on a 1992 Christmas killing spree that left six people dead, including an 18-year-old mother gunned down at a pay phone, was put to death Tuesday.  It marked the state's second execution in just over a week and the 1,000th in the U.S. since capital punishment resumed in 1976.

Gruesome details  of the crimes committed by various condemned criminals.

Sotomayor Vs. The Death Penalty.  A recently unearthed memo not disclosed on the questionnaire filed with the Senate Judiciary Committee shows that the empathy that the Supreme Court nominee feels is more for the predators among us than their victims.  It also shows that some of the reasons this self-proclaimed "wise Latina" has for opposing capital punishment are bogus and flawed.

Democide:  When liberals in the late 1950s decided to tackle crime, how did they go about it?  Through the strange means of decriminalizing criminals.  Lowering prison sentences, emphasizing rehabilitation over punishment, community action over policing.  A series of Supreme Court decisions followed — Mapp, Escebedo, Miranda — disrupting the criminal justice system and effectively evening the odds between criminals and the public.  And the result?  Beginning in 1964 — the year of the Escebedo decision — the murder rate shot up as if strapped to a rocket.

Cheapening the death penalty:  On Feb. 15, 1933, a naturalized citizen named Giuseppe Zangara, in attempting to assassinate President-elect Franklin Delano Roosevelt who was giving a speech in the back of a car in Miami, shot five people, including Chicago Mayor Anton Cermak.  Zangara promptly — within days — pleaded guity to four counts of attempted murder and was sentenced to 80 years in prison.  When Mayor Cermak died 19 days after the shootings, on March 6, 1933, two days after Roosevelt's inauguration (the date has since changed to Jan. 20), Zangara was promptly indicted for first-degree murder.  Because he had intended to commit murder, it was irrelevant that his intended target was not the man he ultimately killed.  Zangara pleaded guilty to the additional murder charge, and on March 20, 1933 — 33 days after the shooting and after spending only 10 days on Death Row, Zangara was executed.

Capital-punishment propaganda.  When the Maryland General Assembly meets next month, Gov. Martin O'Malley is expected to push to repeal the state's capital-punishment law.  Since the current death-penalty statute was enacted in 1978, five men have been executed, the most recent being Wesley Baker on Dec. 5, 2005, for murdering a woman in front of her grandchildren during a 1991 robbery in Baltimore County.  In each of his first two years as governor, Mr. O'Malley tried unsuccessfully to end capital punishment in Maryland, and he's determined not to lose a third time.

Doctors' board bans work on death row.  An American doctors organisation has quietly decided to revoke the certification of any member who participates in executing a prisoner by lethal injection.

Oldest death-row inmate in U.S. dies in Florence prison.  The oldest death-row inmate in the United States, who spent most of his life behind bars, has died of natural causes at age 94.

Judge:  No allergy risk proven for Ohio execution.  An inmate scheduled to die next week for raping and strangling a 16-year-old girl has failed to present enough evidence of an allergy to anesthesia that could affect the execution, a federal judge ruled Friday [4/16/2010].

The Editor says...
If he would prefer an alternative, let him hang.  Really, since when are condemned prisoners entitled to painless executions?  You may be interested to know that Mr. Durr had a trial by jury and was convicted of aggravated murder; kidnapping; aggravated robbery and rape.*

Support for Capital Punishment is Higher than Surveys Indicate.  Polling agencies seldom take into account specific murder cases.  When they do, support for executions is shown to be significantly higher than in generic polls.

Jury can't consider execution cost in Connecticut death penalty case: judge.  A judge has ruled that a Connecticut man convicted of a deadly home invasion cannot bring up the cost of executions when jurors consider whether to impose the death penalty.

The Editor says...
What about the cost of several decades of maximum-security incarceration?

State has enough sodium thiopental to execute four.  In a padlocked refrigerator behind San Quentin State Prison's death chamber, 12 grams of scarce sodium thiopental is available to carry out up to four executions.  How the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation acquired the drug is both a mystery and an apparent impediment to its use.  Legal analysts and human rights advocates contend that the state must have gotten the drug from a foreign producer...

US rejects UN call to abolish death penalty.  The United States dismissed international calls Tuesday [11/9/2010]to abolish the death penalty as friends and foes alike delivered their recommendations on how Washington can improve its human rights record.

Texas Must Disclose Source of Execution Drug.  Texas must disclose the source of a controversial drug used in capital punishments, according to the state attorney general, in a move that could prompt other states to be more transparent about their drug supplies.

Federal Judge Rules Florida Death Penalty Law Unconstitutional.  A South Florida federal judge has ruled that based on the current sentencing statute, Florida's death penalty is unconstitutional.  The decision came in ruling in a 20-year-old murder case from Indian River County on Florida's Treasure Coast.

Perry Delivers on Texas Death Penalty.  As Texas governor, GOP presidential hopeful Rick Perry has presided over 234 executions.  It's a record number, which, The Washington Post reported last week, bestows on Perry "a law-and-order credential that none of his competitors can match — even if they wanted to."  Watch how pundits will try to turn that statistic into a political negative — and paint Perry as the governor with blood on his spurs — even though American voters overwhelmingly support the death penalty.

Government policy now grants murderers immunity from punishment for new crimes.
Crime Without Punishment.  Death penalty opponents endlessly moralize that "no civilized society can execute human beings."  But how can a society that considers itself civilized tolerate being governed by power-abusing officials who confer on the most violent and depraved, precisely because they are the most violent and depraved, the right to commit additional murders and other barbaric crimes without fear of any punishment at all?

What, Exactly, Does NC's 'Racial Justice Act' Mean? We'll Know Soon.  A judge in Fayetteville, N.C., on Wednesday [2/15/2012] heard closing arguments in the first case heard under the new law, which allows an inmate off death row if race is found to have been a "significant factor" in the sentence. ... The decision, which should come in the next few weeks, will likely set a precedent for what happens with the state's other death-row inmates.  Nearly all of North Carolina's 157 death-row inmates, including roughly 60 white inmates, have challenged their death sentences on racial-bias grounds.

If You're Ever Murdered, Here's an Idea.  Opponents of capital punishment for murderers argue that the state has no right to take a murderer's life.  Apparently, one fact that abolitionists forget or overlook is that the state is acting on behalf of the murdered person and the murdered person's family, not only on behalf of society.  In order to make this as clear as possible, here is my proposal:  Americans should be able to declare what they want the state to do on their behalf if they are murdered. ... Just as I have a pink "donor" circle on my driver's license signifying that in case I die, I wish to provide my organs to help keep some person alive, I wish to make it known that if I am murdered, I do not want my murderer kept alive a day longer than legally necessary.

Hang 'em high, Canadians say.  Dust off that hood, John Radclive.  It's been 50 years since the last criminal hangings took place in Canada, and Radclive was the nation's first professional executioner, delivering about 150 final sentences. ... In fact, only 37% of people now think death for violent offenders is a bad idea.

Federal judge bars import of execution drug.  In a win for death penalty opponents, a federal judge in Washington today [3/27/2012] barred the use of sodium thiopental — one of three drugs used in executions in Texas until a year ago — on grounds that its importation violates federal drug laws.

Californians to vote on abolishing death penalty.  California voters will soon get a chance to decide whether to replace the death penalty with life in prison without the possibility of parole.

Mugshots of Florida Death Row Inmates.  What a fine looking bunch.  Each photo is accompanied by an extremely brief biography, and it appears to me that most of these people have been on death row for more than 20 years.

California man faces death penalty.  [Scroll down]  Capital punishment has been a hotly contested issue in California.  In November, California voters will vote on a ballot measure that would replace capital punishment with life imprisonment without the possibility of parole.  If the ballot measure passes, it would commute the sentences of more than 700 inmates on death row to life in prison without possibility of parole — to become the state's most severe form of criminal punishment.

W.Va. delegate fighting to reinstate death penalty.  With neighboring Maryland about to be-come the sixth state in as many years to abolish the death penalty, one West Virginia delegate is on a quixotic quest to resume executions in his state for the first time in a half-century.  This year marks the 27th in a row that Republican Delegate John Overington has introduced a bill to reinstate capital punishment.

Texas prison system running out of execution drug.  The Texas Department of Criminal Justice said Thursday [8/1/2013] that its remaining supply of pentobarbital expires in September and that no alternatives have been found.

Texas refuses to give back lethal drugs, proceeds with execution.  A Texas man convicted of killing his parents was executed as planned Wednesday night despite a growing controversy over the drug used to carry out the punishment.  Last week, state prison officials refused a request from the compounding pharmacy that created and sold Texas the pentobarbital — a single-dose drug used in executions — to return the drug.

Missouri to Return Execution Drug After European Objections.  The state of Missouri said on Wednesday it will return an anesthetic it planned to use for executions after the German manufacturer voiced concerns that using it for lethal injections could lead to the European Union to ban export of the drug to the United States.

Reuters Editor at Large Likens U.S. Death Penalty to ISIS Beheaders.  While promoting a book of news photography on CBS This Morning on Saturday [9/6/2014], Sir Harold Evans, editor at large of the Reuters news agency, called the electric chair a "monstrosity" and said seeing a picture of one was "almost as appalling, in its sense, as these barbarians who have taken the heads off journalists in the desert."  Of course, the imposition of the death penalty in the U.S. is reserved for the worst murderers, after lengthy trials and appeals, while the ISIS executioners beheaded innocent journalists as a way to terrorize the civilized world.

Arizona to change drugs used in executions.  Arizona officials will no longer administer the two-drug combination used in the nearly two-hour execution of Joseph Rudolph Wood this year.


Specific cases:

Self-inflicted capital punishment:
Convicted War Criminal Drinks Poison in Courtroom.  Convicted war criminal Slobodan Praljak started shouting [11/29/2017] as the presiding judge delivered the tribunal's final decision, which would have kept Praljak behind bars for 20 years.  The 72-year-old yelled, "Slobodan Praljak is not a war criminal!  I reject this verdict!"  Ignoring an instruction to sit down, Praljak then drank an unidentified liquid from a small bottle, drawing confused stares from his attorneys and others in the chamber.

Sickly Ohio death row inmate will get 'special, wedge-shaped pillow' to help him breathe during execution.  A sick Ohio inmate will receive a wedge-shaped pillow to help him breathe as he's put to death this week, officials said.  Alva Campbell, 69, a death row prisoner who has argued he was too ill for lethal injection is slated to die by injection Wednesday.  Campbell has severe chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder as the result of a decades-long two-pack-a-day smoking habit.  Campbell's attorneys say he uses a walker, relies on a colostomy bag, requires four breathing treatments a day and may have lung cancer.  They have asked the U.S. Supreme Court to stop Wednesday's [11/15/2017] execution, because of his poor health, a motion opposed by the state.

The Editor says...
This is the latest in a long series of legal ploys, e.g., my client is too fat to fit into the electric chair, my client is too stupid to be executed, my client is too sick to die, etc.

Defiant Torrey McNabb saved final words for AL before execution.  The Alabama Department of Corrections executed Torrey McNabb Thursday night for his conviction in the 1997 murder of Montgomery police officer Anderson Gordon.  McNabb was declared dead at 9:38 p.m. by lethal injection at Holman Prison in Atmore.

Oklahoma Terrorist Gets Death Penalty.  Speaking to the jury that had already convicted Alton Alexander Nolen of first-degree murder in the death of Colleen Hufford, Cleveland County, Oklahoma, district attorney Greg Mashburn said of Nolen, "He wants the death penalty.  Give him what he wants."  Mashburn added that Nolen wanted the death penalty because he believes "something good" is waiting for him on the "other side," so Mashburn pleaded for the jurors to "give it to him, and let him find out."  The jury deliberated three hours before returning a death penalty verdict for Nolen, who had beheaded co-worker Hufford with a knife in 2015.  In Oklahoma, juries have three options in a first-degree murder conviction:  life in prison, life in prison without the possibility of parole, and death.

Florida executes Plant City man convicted of killings decades ago.  Florida executed an inmate Thursday [10/5/2017] who was convicted of killing two people after a night of drinking decades ago.

Florida Supreme Court backs Gov. Scott in Orlando death-penalty dispute.  Gov. Rick Scott was within his executive authority in reassigning more than two dozen potential death penalty cases away from an Orlando state attorney who declared she wouldn't pursue the punishment for any case prosecuted in her district, the Florida Supreme Court ruled Thursday [8/31/2017].  In a 5-2 ruling, justices said Aramis Ayala's "blanket" opposition to seeking the death penalty negates her argument of having exercised prosecutorial discretion.

Florida executes convicted killer using new drug.  Florida on Thursday [8/24/2017] put a man to death with an anesthetic never used before in a U.S. lethal injection, carrying out its first execution in more than 18 months on an inmate convicted of two racially motivated murders.  Authorities said 53-year-old Mark Asay, the first white man executed in Florida for the killing of a black man, was pronounced dead at 6:22 p.m.  Thursday at the state prison in Starke.  Asay received a three-drug injection that began with the anesthetic etomidate.  Though approved by the Florida Supreme Court, etomidate has been criticized by some as being unproven in an execution.  Etomidate replaced midazolam, which became harder to acquire after many drug companies began refusing to provide it for executions.

Alabama executes man for 1982 murder.  [75-year-old Tommy] Arthur was convicted of killing riverboat engineer Troy Wicker, who was fatally shot as he slept in his bed in the north Alabama city of Muscle Shoals.

Arkansas executes first inmate since 2005.  Ledell Lee's execution was the first in the state since 2005.  He was pronounced dead at 11:56 p.m.  Thursday [4/20/2017], four minutes before his death warrant was due to expire. [...] Lee, 51, was put on death row for the 1993 death of his neighbor Debra Reese, whom Lee struck 36 times with a tire tool her husband had given her for protection.  Lee was arrested less than an hour after the killing after spending some of the $300 he had stolen from Reese.

Arkansas executions:  Who's on death row?  [For example,] Kenneth Dewayne Williams, [who] was initially scheduled to be executed on Thursday, April 27. [...] He was convicted of murdering Cecil Boren in 1999.  Three weeks after his conviction, Williams escaped by hiding in a container of hog slop being ferried from a prison kitchen to a prison hog farm outside the main gates.  While in prison, Williams said he had killed another person in 1998.  He gave a one-hour, 15-minute speech in front of the parole board where he accepted full responsibility for his actions.

Supreme Court blocks death sentence over racial bias.  The Supreme Court blocked the execution of a Texas murderer Wednesday [2/22/2017] because of racially discriminatory testimony presented by his own defense team.  The 6-2 ruling was the second in the court's new term to overturn a death sentence, and it could be a harbinger of things to come.  The justices heard another death penalty case from Texas in November that hinges on a prisoner's intellectual disability.

Homeless sex offender who killed 4 O.C. women is sentenced to death.  Steven Dean Gordon, the serial killer who says he deserves to die for his crimes, found no disagreement last year from the jury nor, on Friday [2/3/2017], from the judge.  Orange County Superior Court Judge Patrick H. Donahue sentenced Gordon to death for the abduction and murder of four women who had been working as prostitutes in Santa Ana and Anaheim in 2013 and 2014.  In December, a jury convicted the 47-year-old Gordon of the murders and voted that he should die.

Dylann Roof Sentenced to Death for Charleston Church Massacre.  An admitted white supremacist was condemned to death Tuesday for massacring nine black worshipers who'd invited him to study the Bible with them at a Charleston, S.C., church, ending a two-phase federal trial that exposed the killer's hate-fueled motives and plumbed the chasms of grief left by the victims' deaths.  The jury, the same that convicted Dylann Roof in the murders last month, announced its verdict after deliberating less than three hours.

Hell gets ready to welcome Charles Manson.  Charles Manson is closing in on death's door, a source familiar with the matter told The [New York] Post on Monday [1/9/2017].  "I don't think he'll be around too much longer, but he is able to talk in his current condition," the California Corrections Department source said, referring to the infamous cult leader's health crisis.  Last week, Manson, 82, was taken out of Corcoran State Prison in California's Central Valley and rushed to a hospital in Bakersfield about 60 miles away for emergency surgery to stop his intestines from bleeding, sources told The Post.

Fry Dylann Roof.  The guy made the decision to load the gun, walk into a church, and shot ten people, murdering nine.  All were killed by multiple gunshots fired at close range.  During the shooting, he taunted the victims, "Y'all want something to pray about?  I'll give you something to pray about."  He [surely] seemed to understand the consequences of his actions then!  One of his victims was an 87-year-old church choir member.  A five-year-old girl survived the shooting by pretending to be dead.  If doing something like that doesn't earn a seat on the electric chair, what does?  I don't care if Roof did it because he hates blacks, he hates churches, he hates God, or if he thinks his dog told him to do it.  The consequence is the same.  I keep hearing we have to look inside Roof's head and try to understand.  Why?  It doesn't change what he did.

Federal judge orders state to provide Mumia Abu-Jamal with hepatitis C treatment.  A federal judge on Tuesday [1/3/2017] ruled that Mumia Abu-Jamal should be provided new medications by the state to treat his hepatitis C infection.  U.S. District Judge Robert D. Mariani ordered that Abu-Jamal, who is serving life in prison for the 1981 killing of Philadelphia Police Officer Daniel Faulkner, must be seen by a doctor within 14 days to determine if there is a medical reason he should not get the expensive drugs.  If Abu-Jamal is medically cleared, the state must provide him with recently developed direct-acting antiviral medication, also known as DDA.

The Editor says...
Please note that the man whose health is such a great concern is a cop killer and was sentenced to death in 1982.  In my opinion, he should have been executed no later than 1983.

Alabama inmate executed after two court-ordered delays.  Smith was convicted of capital murder in the Nov. 8, 1994, shooting death of Huntsville store clerk Casey Wilson.

"Grim Sleeper" Lonnie Franklin Jr.  Sentenced to Death.  The former L.A. garbage collector who earned the name "the Grim Sleeper" after a string of murders between 1985 and 2007 was sentenced to death in Los Angeles Superior Court today [8/10/2016].  Judge Kathleen Kennedy today told 63-year-old Lonnie Franklin Jr., "You shall suffer the death penalty," during a sentencing hearing.  The last time a prisoner was executed by the state was in 2006.

The 'Grim Sleeper' is sentenced to death for string of murders.  "This is not a sentence of vengeance," Superior Court Judge Kathleen Kennedy told Franklin as relatives of his victims looked on, some of them in tears.  "It's justice."  Franklin, 63, was convicted earlier this year of killing nine women and a teenage girl from 1985 to 2007.  During the penalty phase of his trial, prosecutors connected him to several additional slayings.  Detectives believe he may have killed at least 25 women.  The judge read the names of the 10 victims Franklin was found guilty of killing.  In each case, Kennedy told him, "You shall suffer the death penalty."

'Grim Sleeper' Lonnie Franklin Jr.  Sentenced to Death for Murders of Los Angeles Women.  Lonnie Franklin Jr., known by the nickname the "Grim Sleeper," was sentenced to death today in connection with the killings of women in the Los Angeles area from 1985 to 2007.  His trial began in February of this year, more than three decades after the death of the first victim.  The victims, all between the ages of 15 and 35, were strangled or shot and left in alleyways near Franklin's home in South L.A., The Associated Press said.

The Editor says...
This man started killing women 30 years ago, and it may be another 30 years before he is executed — if he doesn't die of old age first.  The death penalty isn't much of a deterrent if the public perceives that the state isn't serious about it.

El Chapo is safe, but...
Lynch: Justice Dept. to seek death penalty against Dylann Roof.  Attorney General Loretta Lynch announced Tuesday [5/24/2016] that the Justice Department would seek the death penalty against Charleston church shooting suspect Dylann Roof.  "The nature of the alleged crime and the resulting harm compelled this decision," Lynch said in written statement.  Last July, Lynch announced federal hate crime charges against the then-21-year-old suspect, alleging that Roof sought to ignite racial tensions across the country by targeting Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church because of its local and historical significance.

Supreme Court throws out death sentence from all-white jury.  The Supreme Court upended the conviction and death sentence of a black Georgia man Monday [5/23/2016] because prosecutors violated the Constitution by excluding African-Americans from the all-white jury that determined his fate.

Drug lord El Chapo will finally be extradited to the U.S. under guarantee he won't face the death penalty.  Mexico's Foreign Relations Department has approved the extradition of convicted drug lord Joaquin 'El Chapo' Guzman to the United States.  The department said in a statement Friday [5/20/2016] that the US has provided 'adequate guarantees' that Guzman would not face the death penalty.  Mexico has abolished capital punishment and does not extradite its citizens if they face possible execution.  The process can still be appealed, meaning it could be weeks or months before the Sinaloa cartel leader may be sent to the US, where he is wanted in multiple jurisdictions on charges related to drug trafficking and organized crime.

Man who killed Plant City worker wants execution sped up.  Wayne Doty, who shot to death a worker at a manufacturing plant in Plant City in 1996, wants to die in Florida's electric chair.  Immediately.  The twice-convicted killer — Doty murdered a fellow inmate at Florida State Prison, also in 1996 — doesn't want to be represented by attorneys and refuses to appeal his death sentence.

Texas executes man who said he drank victim's blood.  A South Texas man was executed Wednesday forthe 1998 slaying of a 12-year-old boy whose blood the convicted killer said he drank after beating the seventh-grader with a pipe and slitting his throat.  Pablo Lucio Vasquez told police he was drunk and high when voices convinced him to kill David Cardenas in Donna, a Texas border town about 225 miles south of San Antonio.  He also told detectives in a videotaped statement that he drank some of the boy's blood.

Prosecutor Who Sent Innocent Man to Death Row Is Disbarred.  A former prosecutor who used false testimony and withheld evidence to send a now-exonerated man to death row in Texas has lost an appeal to overturn his disbarment.

Texas executes suspected poacher who shot, killed game warden.  A Texas man was executed Wednesday evening [1/27/2016] for fatally shooting a game warden nine years ago during a shootout after a 90-minute chase that began when he was suspected of poaching.

After delay, serial killer Oscar Ray Bolin executed by lethal injection.  Oscar Ray Bolin, convicted of murdering three Tampa-area women in 1986, was executed by lethal injection Thursday night [1/7/2016] at Florida State Prison.  Bolin, 53, was pronounced dead at 10:16 p.m., 11 minutes after the execution began.  Scheduled for 6 p.m., Bolin's execution was delayed by the U.S. Supreme Court as it considered a last-minute appeal.

Execution day arrives for Oscar Ray Bolin.  A former carnival worker who was convicted of killing three Bay-area women and then married a member of his defense team was executed Thursday night [1/7/2016] after 30 years of trials, guilty verdicts and appeals.

US Death Row Inmate Denied Beer as Last Request.  A death-row prisoner in Georgia, to be executed Thursday, requested six beers instead of food as his last wish, a request that prison authorities refused Wednesday [11/18/2015].  "His request was declined as alcohol is a contraband item," Georgia Department of Corrections in Jackson said in a statement.

The Editor says...
The lethal drugs they're about to administer are probably contraband items, too.  So what?  If the condemned man wants a case of whiskey and a carton of cigarettes instead of his last meal, why not give it to him?  If he'd rather be hanged than put in the electric chair, why not let him have that choice?

US high court grapples with racism in jury selection.  Timothy Foster has spent nearly 30 years on Georgia's death row.  On Monday [11/1/2015], his lawyer will speak before the Supreme Court to fight for his life, pointing to endemic racism in US jury selection and the death penalty.

Orlando man who murdered 4 family members to be executed tonight.  Jerry Correll is set to be executed [10/29/2015] for fatally stabbing his 5-year-old daughter, his ex-wife, her mother and her sister 30 years ago at a home along Tampico Drive in Orlando.  Correll is the first death row inmate in Florida to be executed since January.

Texas executes inmate for killing man in $8 robbery.  No late appeals were filed for Juan Martin Garcia, who was lethally injected [10/6/2015] for the September 1998 killing and robbery of Hugo Solano in Houston.

The Editor says...
The Associated Press once again shows its bias, starting with the headline in this story.  The execution was about the murder of an innocent man.  It was not about the eight dollars that changed hands.

Virginia executes serial killer who claimed to be disabled.  The El Salvador native was sentenced to death in Virginia in 2010 for the murder of a young couple more than two decades earlier.

Virginia set to execute convicted rapist and serial killer who claims he's intellectually disabled from a malnourished childhood in El Salvador.  Virginia is poised to execute a convicted serial killer [10/1/2015] who claims he's intellectually disabled using lethal injection drugs from Texas because the state's supply of another controversial drug will expire the day before the execution is supposed to take place.

One juror firmly opposed death penalty for theater shooter James Holmes.  Nine of the 12 jurors in the Colorado theater shooting trial wanted to execute James Holmes, but one was steadfastly against the death penalty and two others wavering, a juror told reporters after the verdict was announced.  Because the 12 jurors failed to unanimously agree that Holmes should be executed, he will be sentenced to life in prison without parole for the 2012 attack on a midnight screening of a Batman movie in Aurora that also left 70 injured.  "Mental illness played into the decision more than anything else," said the woman, who would not give her name.

Dylann Roof indicted on federal hate crime charges in Charleston church shooting.  While neither federal nor state prosecutors have decided whether to pursue the ultimate punishment, Wednesday's [7/22/2015] indictment hinted at federal prosecutors' intentions to seek the death penalty.  Citing U.S. laws on the death penalty, it stated that Roof intentionally targeted vulnerable people and meant to kill "more than one person in a single criminal episode."

US should hang Edward Snowden, says former spy panel senator.  The U.S. should publicly hang leaker Edward Snowden if and when he falls into the government's hands, according to the former top Republican on the Senate Intelligence Committee.  "We need to hang him on the courthouse square as soon was we get our hands on him," retired Sen. Saxby Chambliss (R-Ga.) — who served as vice chairman of the powerful intelligence panel before stepping down from Congress last year — said during an appearance at the University of Georgia this month.  "I hope none of you have any sympathy for him," he told students at the Terry College of Business.

Connecticut home invasion killer loses bid to drop appeals, proceed to execution.  A Connecticut judge has rejected a request by one of two men convicted in the killings of a mother and her two daughters in a home invasion to drop his remaining appeals and proceed to execution.

Boston Marathon bomber apologizes, formally sentenced to death.  The outcome of Wednesday morning's [6/24/2015] federal sentencing hearing was a foregone conclusion after the jury decided to impose the death penalty last month.  The 21-year-old former college student is the first person to be handed a death sentence in a federal terrorism case since the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.

The Editor says...
It may be the first federal terrorism prosecution since 9/11/2001, but there have been numerous cases of Islamic terrorism since then.

Texas inmate, 67, executed for slayings 31 years ago.  A 67-year-old man convicted of killing four men more than three decades ago was executed Wednesday, making him the oldest of the 526 Texas prisoners put to death since the state resumed carrying out capital punishment in 1982.

Dzhokar Tsarnaev: No Better Argument for Capital Punishment.  On the one side are those who believe that just because someone brutally rapes and murders an innocent woman or murders and maims more than 260 people does not mean we in turn should respond as if we are ourselves equally uncivilized. [...] On the other side are those whose logic compels them to believe that only a hopelessly naïve or frighteningly misguided society would want to see such vicious killers free to live, to study, and to be provided food, shelter and health care at taxpayer expense for the rest of their lives.  Even the staunchest opponent of capital punishment, once victimized or having lost a loved one at the hands of truly evil miscreants, typically fall into this group.

A campaign to drum up sympathy for cold-blooded killers:
Justices to Hear Challenge That Argues Lethal-Injection Drug Causes Agony.  The use of a lethal-injection drug involved in prolonged, apparently agonizing executions last year will come under scrutiny in the Supreme Court on Wednesday [4/29/2015] as the justices hear a case brought by three condemned prisoners from Oklahoma.  The prisoners, convicted murderers, are challenging the use of the sedative midazolam as the first step in executions.  Lawyers for the prisoners, with the support of many medical experts, say that even if properly administered, the drug cannot reliably cause deep unconsciousness before the injection of other extremely painful agents that cause death.

Texas Carries Out First Execution Since Obtaining New Supply Of Lethal Injection Drugs.  Texas executed Kent Sprouse Thursday [4/9/2015] in its first execution since obtaining a new batch of lethal injection drugs last month.  Sprouse, 42, was convicted and sentenced to death for killing a Dallas police officer and a customer at a gas station in 2002.

Tsarnaev Deserves the Death Penalty, and So Might Michael Slager.  How about now?  Are you in favor of the death penalty now?  I ask because the preferred argument from opponents of the death penalty is doubt:  We can never be sure; look at all of the people released from death row; we can't afford to risk ending a single innocent life.  None of those arguments apply to Dzhokhar Tsarnaev.

Yes, let's reserve the death penalty for somebody who has done something really bad.
Senator Elizabeth Warren speaks out against the death penalty for convicted Boston bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev.  Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren says she's relieved Dzhokhar Tsarnaev has been found guilty of carrying out the Boston bombing — the greatest tragedy in her state's recent history — but doesn't believe he should be executed.

Elizabeth Warren is Pro-Life!  Yesterday Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev was convicted on all counts for his murderous act of terrorism.  He could get the death penalty... but not if Mass. Senator and left-wing hero Elizabeth Warren has her way.  She wants the terrorist's life spared.

Fool of the Week: Boston bombers' mom.  The Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev was convicted this week on all 30 counts levied against him.  He will begin the sentencing phase of his trial very soon.  Should he be put to death?  Well if being convicted on 17 counts that carry a possible penalty of death is a qualification, I would say so. — After all, if you have the death penalty law there's not a more appropriate case to apply it to.  However, Tsarnaev's mother blames the United States for the troubles her terrorist son is in.

Texas man on death row since 1984 loses Supreme Court appeal.  The Supreme Court turned away an appeal Monday [3/23/2015] from a convicted killer who has spent more than 30 years on death row in Texas.

Missouri Man Executed for Killing Neighbor in 1990.  Walter Timothy Storey was put to death early Wednesday [2/11/2015] for killing 36-year-old special education teacher Jill Frey in February 1990 in a St. Louis suburb.

Texas Executes Killer Robert Ladd After Low-IQ Arguments Rejected.  Texas on Thursday [1/29/2015] executed a man convicted of fatally beating a mentally disabled woman — after the U.S. Supreme Court rejected arguments that he has an IQ of 67 and should be exempt from the death penalty. [...] Ladd was sentenced to death for hammering, strangling and setting ablaze 38-year-old Vicki Ann Garner in 1996 — while he was on parole for a 1980 stabbing and arson that killed a woman and two children.  Ladd's lawyers from the American Civil Liberties Union said his IQ fell below the threshold generally accepted for impairment, which prosecutors disputed.

Supreme Court Halts Oklahoma Execution of Richard Glossip, Two Others.  The U.S. Supreme Court issued stays of execution Wednesday [1/28/2015] for three Oklahoma death-row inmates whose challenge to the state's lethal-injection formula will be heard in the spring. [...] For the first time since 2008, the high court has agreed to hear a challenge to the legality of lethal injection.  The Oklahoma case centers on the first of three drugs administered to a condemned inmate — the sedative midazolam, which opponents say isn't strong enough to protect a prisoner from the other two chemicals used.  Midazolam has featured in at least three executions that did not unfold as planned.

Florida executes ringleader of 1993 home invasion that ended with man's murder, wife's rape.  Florida on Thursday [1/15/2015] executed the ringleader of a 1993 home-invasion robbery that ended with the murder of a Pensacola banker and the repeated rape of the banker's wife.  Johnny Shane Kormondy, 42, was pronounced dead at 8:16 p.m. at Florida State Prison, about 11 minutes after the lethal injection was administered.

'My body is on fire': Convicted baby killer.  Oklahoma's first execution since it botched the lethal injection of a death row inmate 10 months ago saw convicted baby killer Charles Frederick Warner exclaim from the death chamber:  "My body is on fire."  In a disturbing sequence, the 47-year-old Warner made the claim after getting a dose of the sedative midazolam followed by involuntary twitching after the lethal injection was administered.  He stopped breathing seven minutes later.

The Editor says...
You see, the problem with executions is that they cannot be both instantaneous and painless.  (Surely the people murdered by those who are now residents of death row had experiences that were neither painless or quick.)  If the goal is to strike a balance between the two, the firing squad and the guillotine are probably better than intravenous infusion of chemicals prescribed by the state.  It would be far more effective to give death row inmates unlimited access to morphine, heroin, cocaine, or any other drugs they want, and let them handle the rest.

Texas to execute man who lawyers say is delusional.  No one disputes that Scott Panetti — heavily armed, head shaved and wearing camouflage — shot and killed his in-laws at their Texas Hill Country home, showering his estranged wife and 3-year-old daughter in blood.

Death row inmate's prison food complaint rejected.  A federal judge in Connecticut has rejected the arguments of a home invasion killer on death row who complained that the food he is being served in prison is not kosher.

The Editor says...
Read the description of this guy's crime and then tell me that his religion is an important part of his life.

Ninth execution in Missouri this year in what activists say was racially biased case.  The man who killed a suburban Kansas City, Mo., gas station attendant in front of the worker's 8-year-old stepdaughter in 1994 was put to death just past midnight on Wednesday at the state prison in Bonne Terre, the ninth execution in the Missouri this year.  With Leon Taylor's death by lethal injection, 2014 ties 1999 for having the most executions in a year in Missouri.

Holder Takes Death Penalty off Table for Gang Members Charged with Killing Cop.  On November 14, federal prosecutors made it clear that Attorney General Eric Holder has "taken the death penalty off the table" for four men charged in the gang-related murder of Waynesboro, Virginia, police officer, Captain Kevin Quick. [...] Prosecutor Timothy J. Heaphy says Holder is responsible for making the call on death penalty cases.

Capital punishment prevents things like this:
Murderer finishes 30-year term, kills mother after welcome home party, police say.  A 45-year-old man who on Friday [10/10/2014] finished serving 30 years in prison is charged with killing his mother two days after being released, authorities said.  Steven Pratt was arrested Sunday morning, less than 48 hours after he was freed from Bayside State Prison for killing his neighbor in 1984.

Attorney General Eric Holder orders no death penalty for three members of Brooklyn drug crew.  Outgoing U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder has ordered federal prosecutors not to seek the death penalty against three members of a Brooklyn drug crew charged with a killing in which the victim was tortured, the [New York] Daily News has learned  The decision was disclosed Thursday [9/25/2014] in a one-sentence letter to Brooklyn Federal Judge Frederic Block several hours after Holder announced he was resigning after nearly six years as the nation's top law enforcement official.

Supreme Court Refuses to Stay Execution in Missouri.  Michael Worthington, 43, raped and murdered a college student in 1995.

Arizona Used 15 Doses Of Lethal Drugs To Execute Inmate.  The Arizona Department of Corrections and the Arizona attorney general have said that Wood's execution was not botched and that he was sedated after three minutes — claims that were reiterated Friday [8/1/2014].  A medical examiner also told the department that the IVs were "perfectly placed" in Wood's arm.

When the hangman botches the job.  What makes the Arizona execution particularly horrific is that it was the third such cruel and unusual botch job this year.  Ohio put Dennis McGuire to death in January with a cocktail of new and untested drugs that, if not mixed properly, cause unimaginable pain.  McGuire screamed that he felt as if his body was on fire, and death did not follow his gasping and writhing on a gurney for 25 minutes.

The myth of botched executions.  On Wednesday [7/23/2014], the State of Arizona executed Joseph Wood.  The left wing media immediately jumped on the case, calling it a "botched execution."  To begin with, the execution wasn't botched.  He's dead, isn't he?  Wood was convicted of two counts of first degree murder.  The murders occurred in 1989.  Wood was convicted and sentenced to death in 1991.  He spent 23 years on death row while tax payer funded lawyers cranked out every strategy possible to stop or delay his execution.  The botching was not the execution.  The botching was that it took 23 years.

Kansas top court overturns death sentences in 'Wichita Massacre'.  The Kansas Supreme Court on Friday overturned death sentences for two brothers convicted in the 2000 execution-style murder of four people on a snowy soccer field in Wichita, ruling that the trial judge erred in refusing to conduct separate penalty phases for the two men.

Lakeland child killer Eddie Wayne Davis set to be executed.  A man convicted of the 1994 rape and killing of an 11-year-old Lakeland girl is set to be executed Thursday [7/10/2014] with the victim's grandmother watching from the witness chamber on behalf of the child and her deceased mother.

John Henry scheduled for execution at 6 p.m. Wednesday.  Henry was sentenced to death for murdering his wife in Zephyrhills in 1985.  Defense attorney Baya Harrison, who filed the appeal over the weekend, has argued that Henry, 63, is mentally disabled and should not be put to death under the constitutional ban on cruel and unusual punishment.  Henry has been on death row for 27 years.  He stabbed 28-year-old Patricia Roddy 20 times in 1976.  He served just over seven years before being paroled in January 1983.  In December 1985, he stabbed his wife, Suzanne Henry, to death with a 5-inch paring knife after an argument.

Florida execution is nation's third in 24 hours.  In the third execution nationwide in less than 24 hours, a three-time Florida murderer was put to death by lethal injection Wednesday night [6/18/2014].  The execution of John Ruthell Henry was the state's 13th since April 2013 and the 18th since Gov. Rick Scott took office in 2011.  The trio of executions Tuesday and Wednesday were the first since the botched lethal injection of an Oklahoma killer in April.  Henry, 63, was pronounced dead at 7:43 p.m. after being injected with three drugs at the Florida State Prison in Starke.

An attempt by the New York Times to make the perp look like a victim.
On Death Row With Low I.Q., and New Hope for a Reprieve.  For Ted Herring, who has spent 32 years on Florida's death row for murdering a store clerk, signs of intellectual disability arose early and piled up quickly:  He repeated first grade and got D's and F's through fourth grade.  He read like a fourth grader at 14 and did not know that summer followed spring. [...] At 19, in 1981, Mr. Herring murdered a Daytona Beach 7-Eleven clerk, robbed the store and walked away with $23.84.  But because Mr. Herring's I.Q. scores were 72 and 74, just over the "bright line" cutoff of 70 used by Florida to determine intellectual aptitude, the Florida Supreme Court returned him to death row.

The Editor says...
Stupidity is not a license to kill.

Botched Oklahoma execution: Did anyone remember Clayton Lockett's victim?  One person who will not weigh in on the merits of Clayton Lockett's execution is Stephanie Neiman.  Clayton Lockett tried to rob a house Miss Neiman was at.  She tried to fight him off.  He and his accomplices overwhelmed her.  They beat her, bound her with duct tape, taped her mouth shut, shot her, then buried her alive.  Many of those outraged at how Mr. Lockett's execution played out will, hopefully, pause to reflect on exactly why the state chose to execute him.

White House Condemns Partial-Birth Abortions After 150th Trimester.  It's all in the timing.  Now we know where they draw the line.

He deserved it: Friends of victim weigh in on botched execution.  Those who knew the victim of a convicted killer who died in a botched execution this week have spoken out to say he deserved the painful death — in which he took 47 minutes to die after periods of writhing in pain.  They expressed their lack of remorse as a disturbing video emerged of Clayton Lockett confessing, and calmly described shooting a teenage girl and watching his partners in crime bury her alive.  Lockett was sentenced to death for the killing of 19-year-old Stephanie Nieman 15 years ago in Oklahoma.

BBC Can Barely Contain Its Glee Over Problems with Oklahoma Execution.  Due to European Union's ban on the export of one of the drugs historically used in US lethal injections, a new lethal combination of drugs were administered that prolonged the time it took between the onset of prisoner's loss of consciousness and the time he was finally pronounced dead.  Prison officials confirmed the prisoner ultimately died of a heart attack that occurred nearly 40 minutes after the first sedative was administered.  They claim that at no time after having lost consciousness did the convicted murderer ever regain it.  With repeated and detailed descriptions of the procedure used to execute a man whose crime, watching his friends bury alive the 19 year old girl he raped and then shot, was mentioned, if at all, merely as a passing aside.

The Editor says...
Sometimes executions get messy.  The guillotine and perhaps the firing squad are probably the only methods of execution that work every time without complications.  Lethal injections depend on the inmate having good veins, and in the Oklahoma case, the man's veins either collapsed or ruptured, depending on which news report you read, and the situation got pretty gruesome afterward.  But as many have pointed out, the perpetrators of capital crimes don't go out of their way to make death smooth and seamless for their victims; in fact, it's usually just the opposite.

Missouri executes man for 1993 murder of couple.  Missouri executed an inmate early Wednesday [4/23/2014] who was convicted of killing a farming couple in 1993.

This is what capital punishment prevents:
Early-Release Felon Charged with Kidnapping, Rape, Torture.  A man on probation as a "non-violent offender" under California's prison realignment program has been charged with kidnapping, raping, and torturing a 16-year-old girl in South Los Angeles, and detectives suspect he may be connected to three other recent murders.

Texas receives new drugs, executes serial killer after temporary stay.  Tommy Lynn Sells, 49, was the first inmate to be injected with a dose of newly replenished pentobarbital that Texas prison officials obtained to replace an expired supply of the powerful sedative. The serial killer claims to have killed as many as 70 people.

Juan Carlos Chavez executed for 1995 rape, murder of Jimmy Ryce.  A man was executed Wednesday night in Florida for raping and killing a 9-year-old boy 18 years ago, a death that spurred the victim's parents to press nationwide for stronger sexual predator confinement laws and better handling of child abduction cases.

The truth about the long execution of Mr. McGuire.  In January 2014, Mr. McGuire was a 53-year old man on death row.  But in February 1989, he was a young man who murdered Joy Stewart.  And who is Mrs. Stewart?  She was a 22-year old newlywed pregnant woman who would have given birth to a child in just two months if Mr. McGuire hadn't raped her in a particularly horrific way, stabbed her, slit her throat and left her to rot in the woods.  Yes, the same Mr. McGuire whose 26 minutes of pain are cause for Ohio to re-evaluate its values, we're told.

Family of Executed Man Plans to Sue State.  The family of a death row inmate who was executed with a new drug concoction is planning to sue the state of Ohio for "cruel and unusual punishment," arguing that he was used as an "experiment."  The family of Dennis McGuire, 53, watched him die for 26 minutes, during which he was heard having gasping, snorting and making other sounds of distress. [...] McGuire was executed for the 1989 rape and murder of Joy Stewart, who was eight months pregnant at the time.

The Editor says...
One wonders what sorts of gasping and snorting and other sounds of distress came from the woman he killed.

Just What Constitutes 'Humane' Execution?  Dennis McGuire, convicted in 1989 of raping and murdering a young, pregnant woman, was executed in Ohio last night.  His death took 26 minutes from the time the experimental cocktail of lethal drugs was injected until he was pronounced dead.  The two drugs used — midazolam, a sedative; and hydromorphone, a morphine derivative — were employed because penobarbital, [sic] the drug formerly used by the state, was unavailable due to a manufacturer's refusal to sell the drug for the purposes of execution.

The Editor says...
It is inaccurate to say "his death took 26 minutes," if the clock started when his first I.V. sedative was injected.  If swift death is the goal, bring back the guillotine.

Askari Abdullah Muhammad, previously known as Thomas Knight, executed in Florida.  The 62-year-old inmate was initially condemned to die for the 1974 abduction and killings of Sydney and Lillian Gans of Miami.

Florida executes Askari Abdullah Muhammad (Thomas Knight) for killing guard, couple.  A Florida inmate was executed Tuesday 1/7/2014] for fatally stabbing a prison guard with a sharpened spoon while on death row for abducting and killing a Miami couple.  Askari Abdullah Muhammad, previously known as Thomas Knight, was pronounced dead at 6:45 p.m. Tuesday [1/7/2014] after a lethal injection at Florida State Prison, the governor's office said.  The execution took place in the same prison where Muhammad killed corrections officer Richard Burke in 1980.

The Editor says...
This man was executed 39 years after committing murder, and because he wasn't executed immediately, a death row guard lost his life, too.

Missouri executes serial killer Franklin.  Joseph Paul Franklin, a white supremacist who targeted blacks and Jews in a cross-country killing spree from 1977 to 1980, was put to death Wednesday [11/20/2013] in Missouri, the state's first execution in nearly three years.

The Editor says...
The deterrent effect of the death penalty is diminished considerably if it takes the state 40 years to follow through.

Man who killed up to 20 people during racist nationwide crime spree set for execution in Missouri.  Even among the hard-core criminals on Missouri's death row, [Joseph Paul] Franklin is perhaps the most notorious, a cunning killer who picked out victims at random, using marksman skills to murder and maim from a hidden spot in a vacant building, a grassy field and a highway overpass.

US murderer confesses just before execution.  After claiming his innocence for over two decades, William Happ finally confessed to murder as he was put to death by lethal injection in the US state of Florida.

The Editor says...
It could be that Mr. Happ wanted to acknowledge his guilt at long last, but maybe he was just trying to buy some time.

Woman on Death Row Could be Freed to Await Retrial.  An Arizona woman who has spent more than two decades on death row after being convicted of having her 4-year-old son killed for an insurance payout is expected to be released on Friday [9/6/2013] while she awaits a retrial of the case that made her one of the state's most reviled inmates.

Soldier Sentenced to Death for Fort Hood Shooting.  The same jurors who convicted Hasan last week deliberated the sentence for about two hours.

The Editor says...
It will be interesting to see how long it takes to carry out the death sentence, especially with the defendant offering no resistance.

Indiana woman sentenced to death at 16 to leave prison.  Paula Cooper was 16 when she was sentenced to death for killing an elderly Bible study teacher.  That made the Gary, Ind., teen the youngest person ever in the state to face the death penalty.  At the time in 1986, she also was the youngest Death Row inmate in the United States. [...] The Indiana Supreme Court commuted the death sentence in 1989 and sent her to prison for 60 years.

The Editor says...
The writer in USA Today reports the story with obvious sympathy for the perpetrator, as if everybody stabs a little old lady to death once in a while.

Fla. man executed for rape and murder of girl, 10.  A convicted child molester condemned for the 1990 rape and murder of a 10-year-old Florida girl was executed Wednesday [5/29/2013] at the Florida State Prison.

Cowardly Colorado Governor Hickenlooper Commutes Death Sentence Until End of Term.  When faced with a question of clemency or justice, Hickenlooper gave himself a pardon from responsibility.

Colorado governor delays convicted killer's execution.  Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper indefinitely delayed the execution of convicted killer Nathan Dunlap on Wednesday [5/22/2013] and said he was unlikely to allow it as long as he is governor.

Two killers: Which received justice?  They say that justice delayed is justice denied.  If that is the case, then surely the families of Harvey Mad Man and Thomas Running Rabbit can rightly complain that there is no justice in Montana.  The two men were murdered execution style in 1982 by Ronald Allen Smith, who during his trial confessed to the murder and said he had wanted to know what it felt like to kill someone.  He also rejected a plea bargain for life in prison and insisted on the death penalty.  He got his wish, and then, three weeks later, got cold feet, deciding apparently that he did not want to know "what it felt like" to die.  So now for 30 years, justice has been in abeyance.

Police: Former death row inmate kills mom.  A California man once sentenced to death for killing two people in the 1960s was under arrest Thursday [1/10/2013] after police said he led officers to the body of his 89-year-old mother.

Where are the fathers?  [Scroll down]  [Andrea] Yates, it would emerge in her trial, had a history of mental illness and suicide attempts, as well as bouts of postpartum depression.  Because of this, her 2002 conviction for capital murder was overturned in 2006, after a jury found her not guilty by reason of insanity.  Shockingly, she is now asking to be let out of the hospital for weekly visits to church.  Not only might she be granted this wish, but authorities are not ruling out the possibility that she will be rehabilitated enough to re-enter society altogether.  Her actions were — for lack of a more appropriate word — satanic.  As far as I'm concerned, she deserved the death penalty, or at least life imprisonment without the possibility of parole.

Obese killer spared by governor.  The obese killer on Ohio death row successfully petitioned for clemency due to his size, the Cleveland Plain Dealer reported Monday [12/17/2012].  Ronald Post, who was condemned to execution for the 1983 murder of a motel clerk, and his attorneys had argued that a confession was falsely exaggerated and that he could not be humanely put to death due to his size.

Adam Lanza Would Not Have Received the Death Penalty in Connecticut.  Though Adam Lanza may have committed one of the most heinous crimes in history, had he survived his rampage and been convicted in court, he would not have been sentenced to death.  In April of 2012, Gov. Dannel Malloy (D) and the Democrat-led Connecticut legislature repealed the death penalty on a party-line vote.

Ohio inmate Ronald Post says he's too fat for execution.  A condemned US inmate who weighs at least 218 kg wants his upcoming execution delayed, saying his weight could lead to a "torturous and lingering death."  Ronald Post, who shot and killed a hotel clerk in northern Ohio almost 30 years ago, said his weight, vein access, scar tissue and other medical problems raise the likelihood his executioners would encounter severe problems.  He's also so big that the execution gurney might not hold him, lawyers for Post said in court papers filed on Friday [9/14/2012].

The Editor says...
First of all, I suspect this man's victim experienced a "torturous and lingering death" and now it's payback time.  Second, the inmate's excessive weight is entirely his own fault.  I believe there have been several others who have tried to claim they were too fat to execute.  Donald Snyder, Richard Cooey, and Jeffrey Lundgren come to mind immediately — or at least they come to Google's mind.

Racial bias saves death row man.  A convicted killer has been ordered off death row in the US state of North Carolina after a judge ruled his trial had been tainted by racial bias.  Marcus Robinson's case was the first to be heard under North Carolina's controversial Racial Justice Act (RJA).

Florida killer executed for teen girl's 1983 killing.  A Florida inmate was put to death Thursday [4/12/2012], nearly three decades after the murder of 17-year-old Lynn Elliott, whose failed escape attempt ended a string of rapes and slayings that shook the quiet coastal town of Vero Beach.

Parole Board agrees to free three 'lifers'.  A deadly armed robber once facing the death penalty, a Dorchester appliance store owner's killer and a man who did nothing to stop a friend from pumping a Springfield resident full of bullets are the first three "lifers" to be set free since the state Parole Board was revamped by Gov. Deval Patrick following the Dec. 26, 2010, murder of Woburn Police Officer John "Jack" Maguire by a career felon paroled despite serving three life sentences.

Inmate set to die for 1980 slaying of St. Pete woman.  A twice-convicted murderer who has lived on Florida's death row for more than three decades is scheduled to die by lethal injection this week for killing a St. Petersburg mother — but like many executions, why he is being killed now and why it didn't happen years ago are both something of a mystery.

Former Death Row inmate Kenneth Richey back in Putnam County jail.  He got off Ohio's Death Row but Scotsman Kenneth Richey can't stay out of trouble and is back where he began — in Putnam County Jail.  Richey, 47, was to be arraigned today in Putnam County Common Pleas Court for allegedly threatening Judge Randall Basinger, who was an assistant prosecutor in 1987 when he was convicted of murder in charges he threatened a local judge.

Condemned Inmate Rips Oregon Governor for Execution Halt.  A condemned inmate who was scheduled to be executed next month is slamming Gov. John Kitzhaber for giving him a reprieve, saying the governor didn't have the guts to carry out the execution.

Oba Chandler executed for murdering Ohio mom, two daughters.  Oba Chandler was executed by lethal injection Tuesday [11/15/2011] for the murder of an Ohio mother and her two teenaged daughters 22 years ago in one of the most notorious crimes in Tampa Bay history.

A terrifying case for the death penalty.  The criminal justice system often is not perfect, but justice cries out for Oba Chandler to take his last breath Nov. 15 for the horrific murders of an Ohio woman and her two teenage daughters on Tampa Bay 22 years ago.

Ala. man executed for 6-month-old son's slaying.  He testified that he killed and suffocated his son because he hated his wife and didn't want to be near her.

The Humberto Leal Execution Intervention.  The state of Texas is scheduled to execute Humberto Leal Garcia tonight.  He was convicted in 1994 of rape and murder, and spent the ensuing 16 years on Death Row.  The Obama Administration, including both the State Department and the President himself, have intervened to demand a reprieve.  So has the Mexican government, the United Nations, and various diplomatic figures, including former President George W. Bush.  There are two phrases you will never read in any mainstream media account of the Leal affair.  One of them is "Adria Sauceda."  That's the name of Leal's victim.

Inmate executed with 1st Arizona use of new drug.  Fifty-six-year-old Donald Edward Beaty ... was on death row for well over two decades after being convicted of raping and murdering Christy Ann Fornoff.

European Union gives millions to anti-death penalty groups in America.  Why on earth are British taxpayers being forced to fund European Union lobbying for policy campaigns in the United States?  Furthermore, why is the EU directly interfering in domestic political debates in America, and so far without Congressional oversight?  As the research detailed [in this article] demonstrates, the EU's European Instrument for Democracy and Human Rights (EIDHR) is spending millions of Euros on US-based campaigns against the death penalty.  An extraordinary development.

Death row inmate, 94, dies.  The oldest death row inmate in the US has died of natural causes at the age of 94.  An Arizona Department of Corrections spokesperson says Viva Leroy Nash died late Friday [2/12/2010] at the state's prison complex in Florence.

Juror speaks out as Connecticut family's killer gets death penalty.  It's trash removal on a global scale, jurors said yesterday [11/8/2010] of their vote to put home-invasion monster Steven Hayes to death.  "The earth will be a better place if Hayes is removed from it," said juror Herbert Gram, of Madison, Conn., speaking of the murderer of a Connecticut nurse and her two daughters.

Stopping Judicial Imperialism.  While removing three state supreme-court justices at one time in Iowa is news today, the very same thing happened in California back in the 1970s.  Every single death penalty imposed by a trial court in California was overturned by the state supreme court, with Chief Justice Rose Bird voting 64 times in a row that there was something wrong with the way each trial had been conducted.  That was world-class chutzpah.

Revisiting the Death Penalty.  Three years ago, two career criminals, Steven Hayes and Joshua Komiserjevsky, broke into the Connecticut home of Dr. William Petit where, over a span of hours, they pummeled him with baseball bats, reducing him to a bloody pulp.  Once the man of the house was out of commission, they proceeded to subject his wife, Jennifer Hawke-Petit, and two daughters, Hayley, 17, and Michaela, 11, to unspeakable torture and, eventually, death.

Judge clears way for California's first execution since 2006.  A federal judge on Friday [9/24/2010] denied a stay of execution for a California man who raped and murdered a 15-year-old, but gave him a choice of whether to die by single injection or the state's recently revised three-drug method.

Attempt Left Him Too Brain Damaged To Be Put To Death.  The Georgia Supreme Court unanimously rejected the last minute argument that Brandon Joseph Rhode's recent suicide attempt left him too brain damaged to justify his execution, which is scheduled for tonight [9/27/2010].

US executes suicidal inmate.  A US man whose attempted suicide last week gained him a brief reprieve was executed on Monday [9/27/2010] by the state of Georgia for a triple murder in 1998, officials said.

Va. puts woman to death; rare U.S. female execution.  She was the first woman in Virginia since 1912 put to death.

Ohio man executed for fire deaths of 5 children.   An Ohio man said he was "heartily sorry" before he was executed Tuesday [7/13/2010] for the murders of five children in a 1992 Cincinnati apartment fire he set in an attempt to destroy evidence of a burglary.

Death row inmate says he's too mentally ill for execution.  A Tennessee prisoner, condemned to death, is trying to convince a Knoxville judge he is too mentally ill to be executed.

Execution of Texan on death row halted.  Just hours away from lethal injection, Jonathan Marcus Green received a stay from the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals Wednesday [6/30/2010] so that it can further consider the question of his competence to be executed.  The state's highest court for criminal matters stopped the execution following a telephone conference about four hours before Green was to enter the execution chamber.  It then issued orders suggesting it was uncertain over the review of his mental competency.

Death penalty overturned in 2003 Staten Island cop killings.  A vicious cop-killer sentenced to die for murdering two undercover NYPD detectives will get a second chance to plead for his life.  A federal appeals court today [6/30/2010] narrowly tossed out the capital punishment for Ronell Wilson in the execution-style slayings of Rodney Andrews and James Nemorin.

Powell executed for 1978 slaying of police officer.  Declining to make a final statement, David Lee Powell was executed Tuesday [6/15/2010] for killing an Austin police officer 32 years ago as seven members of his victim's family watched silently from a nearby window.

The Editor says...
The article above has a number of wonderful things to say about the killer, and almost nothing about the police officer he killed.

The Slow Death of the Death Penalty?  Ronnie Lee Gardner deserves to die:  So say the people of Utah, where he killed a bartender in cold blood, then murdered an attorney during an escape attempt.  Gaile Owens also faces death, in Tennessee on September 28, for hiring someone to kill her husband in 1985.  Just after midnight this Friday, barring a last-minute stay, Gardner will become the 28th person put to death in the United States this year.

At inmate's request, Utah prepares firing squad.  Barring a last-minute reprieve, Ronnie Lee Gardner will be strapped into a chair, a hood will be placed over his head and a small white target will be pinned over his heart.

Georgia man convicted of killing 2 people executed.  A Georgia man convicted of the 1986 shooting deaths of his ex-girlfriend and her 11-year-old niece was executed Wednesday [6/9/2010] by lethal injection after sitting on death row for more than two decades.

Grossman execution set for tonight in wildlife officer's slaying.  Peggy Park was 26, just three years out of college on Dec. 13, 1984, when she decided to question two teenage boys she saw in a van after dark on a back road in what is now Brooker Creek Preserve.  Inside was junior high dropout Martin Edward Grossman, 19, and his 17-year-old companion, Thayne Nathan Taylor.  They had a stolen gun.  Grossman was on probation.  He'd already been to prison for grand theft and breaking-and-entering and didn't want to go back.

Supreme Court To Face Mecca.  When six Germans and two Americans were suspected of plotting an attack on U.S. munitions plants during World War II, FDR immediately ordered them arrested and tried in a secret military tribunal held behind closed doors at the Department of Justice.  Within weeks, all were found guilty.  Six of the eight, including one U.S. citizen, were given the electric chair.  One German was sentenced to life in prison and the other American citizen — who had turned himself in and revealed the plot to the FBI — got 30 years.  The Supreme Court upheld the secret trial, but didn't get around to producing an opinion until after Old Sparky had rendered its own verdict.

A Conservative Manifesto:  [Scroll down]  The news is replete with stories of protesters crowding together outside the gate of a prison holding candlelight vigils on the eve of the execution of a convicted murderer.  There is no consideration with regard to how vile the committed crime may have been.  These half-watt intellects are filled with compassion for their perceived victim of the state.  Bear in mind this group has nothing to say about the thousands executed by Islamic states.

Silliest excuse yet:
Death row foes now fight the cost of executions.  Nearly 3½ years into a court-ordered suspension of executions, opponents have embraced a new argument:  that Californians can't afford to carry out the death penalty in a constitutional manner.  They contend that by commuting all 682 death row inmates' sentences to life without the possibility of parole, the state could save up to $1 billion over the next five years — a view expected to be offered, and challenged, during a public hearing today [6/30/2009] in Sacramento on proposed changes to the lethal injection procedures.

The Editor says...
Executions are not that costly.  What really costs the state a lot of money is the years of delays, appeals and legal wrangling over every imaginable technicality.  The state of California is feeding and housing 682 people who should already be dead.

Va. man first inmate in over a year to be executed by electrocution.  A former Army counterintelligence worker was executed by electric chair Tuesday for killing a Virginia couple, becoming the first U.S. inmate to die by electrocution in over a year.

Toledo killer executed:  Last words are Islamic creed.  [Vernon] Smith was convicted of fatally shooting Sohail Darwish, a 28-year-old immigrant from Saudi Arabia who owned a convenience store in Toledo that Smith and two accomplices robbed.  Even though Darwish complied with the men's orders to hand over money from the cash register and his wallet, Smith shot him in the chest.

Ohio executes hitchhiker who shot 3 drivers in '83.  Ohio executed a hitchhiker Thursday [5/13/2010] who admitted to killing one motorist who gave him a ride and shooting two others during a three-week string of shootings that terrorized the Cincinnati area in 1983.

Keep Life Without Parole, Life After Death.  [Scroll down slowly]  If you follow these issues, you know that the most unrepentant sociopaths will exploit any opening.  Think Kevin Cooper, who killed chiropractors Doug and Peggy Ryen, their 10-year-old daughter and an 11-year-old houseguest in 1983 after he escaped from the California Institution for Men at Chino, where he was serving time under a phony name for burglary.  DNA evidence has proved Cooper's guilt — yet from Death Row, he still finds lawyers who will ignore the evidence, change Cooper's story and assert that he is not guilty.

California killer's case back before Supreme Court.  Fernando Belmontes was sentenced to death in 1982 for murdering a 19-year-old woman.  The U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals has overturned his sentence three times.

Richard Allen Davis:  Safe on Death Row.  When a jury found Richard Allen Davis guilty of the murder of Petaluma's 12-year-old Polly Klaas in 1996, Davis puckered his lips and extended a middle finger to TV cameras.  Later, Davis was sentenced to death, and outraged California voters passed a three-strikes sentencing law.  From death row now, Davis still is puckering up and extending his finger at the public — and the public is paying for it.

Strong push to ban death penalty falls in Montana.  A state House committee vote likely has ended a strong push this year to ban capital punishment in Montana.  The ban had passed the GOP-controlled Montana Senate.  But the House Judiciary Committee's 10-8 vote against a ban Monday [3/30/2009] makes it difficult, but not impossible, to act on it further.

New Mexico lawmakers vote to repeal death penalty.  New Mexico state lawmakers voted on Friday to repeal the death penalty and replace it with a sentence of life imprisonment without parole.  The Democratic-controlled state Senate voted 24-18 for a bill to revoke the death penalty, a source at the chief clerk's office said.

New Mexico governor abolishes capital punishment.  Gov. Bill Richardson, who has supported capital punishment, signed legislation to repeal New Mexico's death penalty, calling it the "most difficult decision in my political life."  The new law replaces lethal injection with a sentence of life in prison without the possibility of parole.

Che Guevara; a Study in Stupidity, Sadism and Failure.  Here's a "guerrilla hero" who in real life never fought in a guerrilla war.  When he finally brushed up against one, he was routed.  Here's a cold-blooded murderer who executed thousands without trial, who claimed that judicial evidence was an "unnecessary bourgeois detail," who stressed that "revolutionaries must become cold-killing machines motivated by pure hate," who stayed up till dawn for months at a time signing death warrants for innocent and honorable men, whose office in La Cabana had a window where he could watch the executions — and today his T-shirts adorn people who oppose capital punishment!

Debunking Myths about Capital Punishment:  There have been studies validating the efficacy of capital punishment for more than thirty years, yet, if all you knew was what the mainstream media reported you would think science had proven otherwise.  The good news, though, is that despite the well-funded, anti-capital punishment misinformation campaign, helped by a liberal media, the public still favors capital punishment.

Majority of Americans favor death penalty:  poll.  The majority of Americans support the death penalty but nearly 40 percent think their moral beliefs would disqualify them from serving on a jury in a capital trial, a poll showed on Saturday.  Conducted for the Death Penalty Information Center, a group that opposes capital punishment, the poll showed 62 percent of those surveyed support executing convicted murderers.

The death penalty's deterrence.  Twelve studies authored by professors from a number of renowned universities suggest that the death penalty saves lives by deterring criminals from committing more homicides.  Perhaps the Supreme Court should review these cases while considering its de facto moratorium on executions, considering not only the state's role in punishing criminals but also its role in protecting innocents.

The Peril of Non-Executions.  Opponents of capital punishment have succeeded in keeping the emphasis on the possibility of executing an innocent person, instead of the lives that have already been taken by those spared the death penalty.

Condemned Utah killer Ronnie Lee Gardner could face firing squad.  A condemned killer appears headed for a date with death in Utah that could see him sit before a firing squad — a development that would likely re-ignite protests over an antiquated, Old West-style of justice.

Holder Rules Out Death Penalty for Illegal Aliens Charged With Murder.  Attorney General Eric Holder has directed prosecutors in a federal conspiracy and murder trial not to seek the death penalty for three El Salvadoran men who are in the United States illegally.  The three are accused of robbing and shooting Claros Luna on July 29, 2009 in Alexandria, Va., just a few miles from the Justice Department, as Luna transported a prostitute from Maryland to Virginia.

Virginia executes inmate by electrocution.  A Virginia man has been executed for killing a teen girl and then bragging about it to prosecutors once he thought he could not face the death penalty.

Cost is killing the death penalty.  After decades of moral arguments reaching biblical proportions, after long, twisted journeys to the nation's highest court and back, the death penalty may be abandoned by several states for a reason having nothing to do with right or wrong:  Money.

Washington prepares for first execution since 2001.  Cal Coburn Brown surprised investigators with his reply to this routine question at the end of a lengthy police interview:  Anything else you want to tell us?  Brown — arrested in Palm Springs, Calif. for an attack on a woman at a hotel — answered with explicit details about how he had tortured and murdered a 22-year-old woman in the Seattle suburbs just days earlier.  Her body was found in the trunk of her car.

Senate bill limits capital punishment.  Maryland lawmakers struck a heavy blow to Gov. Martin O'Malley's hopes of repealing the death penalty Tuesday [3/3/2009] by twice amending the bill he favored in such a way that capital punishment would continue but with a more limited scope.

Feeling Murderers' Pain:  The Supreme Court this week heard arguments that lethal injection is cruel and unusual punishment.  Euthanasia advocates consider it a blessing for the deathly ill.  Yet it's cruel for the just plain deadly. … Believers in a "living Constitution" forget that at the time the Bill of Rights — and the Eighth Amendment — was written, "cruel and unusual punishment" was probably considered by the Founding Fathers to be things like drawing and quartering, burning at the stake, and crucifixion.  Death by hanging or firing squad was considered quite civilized.

Death row inmate claims allergy to lethal injection.  An Ohio death row inmate is attempting to postpone his imminent appointment with the lethal injection gurney by claiming a possible allergy to the anaesthetic used by the state to dispatch its condemned prisoners.

The voice-over announcer says...
Tell your doctor if you experience euphoria, hallucinations, coma, or death, as these may be signs of serious side effects.  Ask your doctor if Pavulon is right for you!

Does lethal injection amount to human experimentation?  Currently 35 of the 36 states that allow capital punishment carry out the sentence using lethal injection.  Typically, each inmate receives a dose of the anaesthetic sodium thiopental, a shot of potassium chloride to induce cardiac arrest, and pancuronium bromide, a potent paralytic to cut off breathing.  Each dose is supposed to be administered in large enough quantities to be individually lethal, and inmates ideally should die from 2 to 8 minutes after the procedure starts.

Lethal injection issue divides Supreme Court.  The Supreme Court appeared divided today over whether the drugs commonly injected to execute prisoners risk causing excruciating pain in violation of the Constitution.  Several justices indicated a willingness to preserve the three-drug cocktail that is authorized by three dozen states that allow executions.

The Editor says...
Do murderers give any such consideration to the pain inflicted on their victims?  Of course not.  Why then are they entitled to such consideration?

Update:
States' death row injections get OK after high court ruling.  Many states wasted little time trying to get executions back on track following a U.S. Supreme Court ruling upholding the use of a three-drug lethal cocktail.  Almost immediately, Virginia lifted its death penalty moratorium. Mississippi and Oklahoma said they would seek execution dates for convicted murderers, and other states were ready to follow.

A matter of life and death.  I like what Chief Justice Roberts said in his majority opinion:  "Some risk of pain is inherent in any method of execution — no matter how humane — if only from the prospect of error in following the required procedure. ... It is clear, then, that the Constitution does not demand the avoidance of all risk of pain in carrying out executions."

Court lifts stays of execution for 3 death row inmates.  The Supreme Court cleared the way Monday for Alabama, Mississippi and Texas to set new execution dates for three inmates who were granted last-minute reprieves by the justices last year.

Georgia executes killer; first in U.S. since lethal injection upheld.  Georgia has executed William Earl Lynd, the first inmate put to death since the U.S. Supreme Court ended a seven-month moratorium with its ruling last month that lethal injection is constitutional.  Lynd was executed at 7:51 p.m. ET for kidnapping and killing Ginger Moore, his live-in girlfriend nearly 20 years ago.  She was 26 years old when Lynd shot her three times in the face and head on Dec. 23, 1988.

Marek executed for murdering woman.  A Florida man was executed Wednesday [8/19/2009] for murdering a 45-year-old mother of two who was raped, tortured, and strangled after a car she was in broke down on a highway 26 years ago.

Virginia Inmate Forcibly Carried to Death Chamber.  An inmate declared his innocence Thursday after he was forcibly carried into Virginia's death chamber, where he was executed for gunning down a police officer.  Edward Nathaniel Bell, who was convicted of killing the officer during a foot chase a decade ago, was pronounced dead at 9:11 p.m. Thursday at the Greensville Correctional Center.  When the door between Bell's cell and the death chamber opened, the inmate thrust his hips backward and wouldn't step toward to the gurney where the lethal injection was administered.  Six stocky corrections officers pulled him through the doorway and lifted him onto the gurney.

Tompkins Executed For Teen's Murder.  It took Wayne Tompkins about five minutes to fatally strangle his girlfriend's 15-year-old daughter.  Twenty five years later, it took nine minutes for the death row inmate to die by lethal injection at the Florida State Prison in Starke.  Family members of the victim, Lisa Lea DeCarr, struggled to reconcile how a man who killed so brutally could die with such seeming serenity.

Va. House votes to extend death penalty.  The House has passed bills to expand capital punishment to include those who assist in a murder but don't commit the actual killing and to those who kill an on-duty fire marshal or auxiliary police officer.  The chamber passed the bills on Tuesday [2/10/2009].

Judge orders lethal injection in yacht-murder case.  Convicted murderer Skylar Deleon was sentenced today [4/10/2009] to die by lethal injection for three slayings, including the murders at sea of a couple forced to sign over ownership of their yacht, then tied to an anchor and thrown overboard.

Man convicted in killing 4 people executed.  A former Houston security guard was executed Wednesday evening for gunning down four people, including his ex-girlfriend and her two small children, during a shooting frenzy more than a dozen years ago.

Convicted murderer-rapist executed in Houston killing.  Houston rapist-murderer Johnny Ray Johnson, condemned for beating and stomping a woman to death when she refused to participate in sex, died in Texas' death house Thursday with a hymn on his lips.  In a rambling final statement, Johnson denounced the Texas death penalty, calling Livingston's Allan Polunsky Unit, home of the state's death row, "a dungeon."

Cop killer gets 1st NH death sentence in 49 years.  A jury issued New Hampshire's first death sentence in a half century Thursday to a man who fatally shot a Manchester police officer to avoid arrest two years ago.  Lawyers for Michael Addison had sought a life sentence, arguing that he acted recklessly, not intentionally, and suffered from an abusive childhood and possible brain damage from his mother's heavy drinking while she was pregnant.

The Editor says...
Lawyers always come up with a tear-jerker story to try to establish the defendant as the real victim.  Was the jury supposed to let the defendant get away with murder because his mother drank a lot?

Man executed who raped mother; killed daughters.  A Florida man convicted of shooting two young sisters in the head after raping and shooting their mother was executed Tuesday after a nearly two-hour delay while authorities awaited final rulings from the U.S. Supreme Court.  Richard "Ric Ric" Henyard, 34, was pronounced dead at 8:16 p.m.  He had been condemned for the death of 7-year-old Jamilya Lewis and her 3-year-old sister, Jasmine.

World Court:  U.S. must delay Mexican death sentences.  The World Court ordered the United States on Wednesday to do all it could to halt the imminent executions of five Mexicans until the court makes a final judgment in a dispute over suspects' rights.

Texas Turns Aside Pressure on Execution of 5 Mexicans.  Despite pleas from the White House and the State Department, as well as an international court order to review their cases, Texas will execute five Mexicans on death row, a spokeswoman for the governor said Thursday [7/17/2008].  The first of the executions — that of José Ernesto Medellín, 33, convicted in the 1993 rape and murder of two teenage girls here — is scheduled for Aug. 5.

The Editor says...
Notice that the article in the New York Times includes a big picture of the murderer's grandmother.  I guess we're supposed to feel sorry for her, not the people her son murdered.

Medellin executed for rape, murder of Houston teens.  The state of Texas defied an international court and executed Jose Ernesto Medellin late Tuesday [8/5/2008] after the U.S. Supreme Court denied a stay of execution for the killer in the 1993 Houston gang rape-murders of two teenage girls.

Texas Defies World Court Executes Condemned Mexican.  Texas defied the World Court and executed a Mexican national by lethal injection on Tuesday [8/5/2008] over the objections of the international judicial body and neighboring Mexico.

Florida holds 1st execution since botched method.  Florida on Tuesday carried out its first execution since a botched lethal injection procedure prompted a moratorium and state investigation.  Gov. Charlie Crist's office said Mark Dean Schwab was put to death by lethal injection at 6:15 p.m.  Schwab was convicted of kidnapping, raping and killing 11-year-old boy.

Killer says he's too fat to safely execute.  A death row inmate scheduled for execution in October says he's so fat that Ohio executioners would have trouble finding his veins and that his weight could diminish the effectiveness of one of the lethal injection drugs.

The Editor says...
Bad news, chump.  There are plenty of veins, if you know where to look.  A good R.N. can find a vein on anybody.  And what is a "safe" execution, anyway?  After what this guy did to his victims, is he entitled to the "safety" of a painless execution?

Update:
Ohio executes man who argued he was too fat to die.  Ohio executed a 5-foot-7, 267-pound double murderer Tuesday who argued his obesity made death by lethal injection inhumane.  Richard Cooey, 41, had argued in numerous legal challenges that his weight problem would make it difficult for prison staff to find suitable veins to deliver the deadly chemicals, a problem that delayed previous executions in the state.

Illegal immigrant executed for murder of Arlington store manager.  An illegal immigrant from Honduras who claimed his treaty rights were violated when he was arrested for a robbery-murder in Arlington was executed Thursday evening. [8/7/2008] … The Supreme Court, ruling about 2½ hours before his scheduled execution time, rejected his appeal without dissent.

Destruction in black America is self-inflicted.  Nearly all black homicide is intraracial — more than nine out of 10 black murder victims in the United States are killed by black murderers.  So applying the death penalty in more cases where the victim is black would mean sending more black men to death row.

How ironic!
Oklahoma death penalty foe commits suicide.  Defense attorney Lisa McCalmont was well-known nationally as an outspoken critic of lethal injection and amassed a trove of information about problems with the three-drug cocktail that is at the very center of a case the U.S. Supreme Court will hear early next year.  Colleagues say McCalmont, 49, was looking forward to the Supreme Court case as a momentous event in her career.  But then, last week, she hanged herself at her home in Norman — a suicide that stunned and baffled some of those who knew her.

Death Penalty's Deadly Vacation.  The Supreme Court on Tuesday effectively halted U.S. executions via lethal injection until it can rule on a challenge to the constitutionality of a particular execution "cocktail."  This is just the latest example of the whittling away of the death penalty — the courts have already cut executions by over a third since 1999.  But this latest suspension of executions is likely to demonstrate yet again that the death penalty deters crime.

A judge drags his feet to avoid enforcing the death penalty.
Federal judge in Ohio stripped of five death penalty cases.  A chief federal judge took away five death penalty cases from a colleague criticized by some prosecutors for taking as many as eight years to issue appeals rulings. … U.S. District Judge Walter Rice … is based in Dayton and was appointed by President Carter in 1980.

Judicial temperament?  A poster of Che Guevara hangs on the wall of a judge who found Ohio's death penalty law constitutionally lacking.  But his idol Che was not very respectful of the niceties of justice, and loved to watch firing squads at work.

Court gives nod to lethal injection.  Florida's Supreme Court ruled yesterday [11/02/2007] that the state's lethal injection procedures are not cruel and unusual, which could clear the way for the first execution in the US since September.  Lethal injection procedures are under review by the US Supreme Court.  The nation's highest court has allowed only one execution since it agreed in September to hear a case from Kentucky that raises a similar challenge.

Man gets life in rape, death of 17-month-old.  A three-judge panel decided against the death penalty for a man convicted of smothering and killing a 17-month-old boy as he raped the child.  The judges deliberated for more than 3 hours and were split 2-1 in their decision to sentence John White, 28, to life in prison without the possibility of parole.

The Editor says...
I guess the judges are saving the death penalty for someone who has committed a really serious crime.

Inmate gets life, plus 301 years.  A state prison inmate who shot a correctional officer in the head while the officer pleaded for his life was sentenced to life without parole yesterday, to the displeasure of the victim's family and co-workers who had hoped for a death sentence.  "You are an evil man," Judge Joseph P. Manck told defendant Brandon T. Morris, 22.  But the judge said factors, including Morris' emotional immaturity and his history of "staggering" childhood abuse, outweighed the state's arguments for execution.

[Once again I ask, for whom are the judges reserving the death penalty?]

Child Rape Tests Limits Of Death Penalty.  Ever since the Supreme Court reinstated the death penalty more than 30 years ago, justices have been finding ways to limit it.  In the intervening years, they have employed their interpretations of society's "evolving standards of decency" to remove juvenile and mentally retarded killers from death row.

The Editor says...
Those "evolving standards of decency" are exactly what's wrong with this country.  No civilization can last very long without absolute standards of right and wrong.

Texas to argue for right to execute child rapists at Supreme Court.  The case before the court, Kennedy vs. Louisiana, concerns a Louisiana law and the case of a Jefferson Parrish, La., man convicted of raping his 8-year-old stepdaughter.  But striking down that law could call into question Texas' 2007 "Jessica's Law," which allows the execution of certain repeat child sex offenders.  The Supreme Court ruled 30 years ago that death was an excessive penalty for the aggravated rape of a 16 year-old girl.

Our States' Right to Kill the Rapist:  Our Founding Fathers would never have imagined the constitutionality of executing rapists to be a serious question.  Indeed my own state, North Carolina, considered rape — along with murder, burglary, and arson — to be punishable by death for the better part of the 20th Century.  None of this would be controversial until some time after the [Supreme] Court — led by Chief Justice Earl Warren — announced that it had somehow inherited a new standard for declaring statutes in violation of the Eighth Amendment's ban on Cruel and Unusual Punishment.

Update:
High court:  Don't execute child rapists.  The Supreme Court on Wednesday outlawed executions of people convicted of raping a child. … In a 5-4 vote, the court said the Louisiana law allowing the death penalty to be imposed for raping a child violates the Constitution's ban on cruel and unusual punishment.

Supreme Court Rejects Death Penalty for Child Rape.  The death penalty is unconstitutional as a punishment for the rape of a child, a sharply divided Supreme Court ruled Wednesday [6/25/2008].  The 5-to-4 decision overturned death penalty laws in Louisiana and five other states.  The only two men in the country who have been sentenced to death for the crime of child rape, both in Louisiana, will receive new sentences of life without parole.

Texas and the Death Penalty:  Forty states have the death penalty on the books, but only 34 have carried out executions since the Supreme Court permitted states to resume capital punishment in 1976.  None come close to Texas, which has carried out 405 executions over three decades.  Virginia, with 98 executions, is a distant second.  What accounts for this Lone Star peculiarity, that some find horrifying?

Nebraska Supreme Court rules electrocution unconstitutional.  The Nebraska Supreme Court ruled Friday [2/8/2008] that electrocution is cruel and unusual punishment, outlawing the electric chair in the only U.S. state that still used it as its sole means of execution.  In the landmark ruling, the court said the state Legislature may vote to have a death penalty, just not one that offends rights under the state constitution.

Bush Faces Off With Texas Over Execution.  The president wants to enforce a decision by the International Court of Justice that found the convictions of Medellin and 50 other Mexican-born prisoners violated their rights to legal help as outlined in the 1963 Vienna Convention.  That is the same court President Bush has since said he plans to ignore if it makes similar decisions affecting state criminal laws.

Does Foreign Law Govern US Courts?  First, the US has deliberately not approved the treaty that would give the International Court of Justice any jurisdiction over American courts and American law.  Second, any defendant can waive any rights that he has, by not raising them, and Medellin did not raise any objection based on the Mexican consulate not being notified until years after his original conviction.

Update:
Supreme Court backs Texas in dispute with Bush.  Texas can ignore President Bush and an international court in refusing to reopen the case of a Mexican on death row for rape and murder, the Supreme Court said Tuesday [3/25/2008].  The court said Bush exceeded his authority when he tried to intervene on behalf of Jose Ernesto Medellin, facing the death penalty for killing two teenagers nearly 15 years ago.

Canadian viewpoint:
Bring back the death penalty.  For the record, I support capital punishment.  Society has the right to permanently remove criminals for grievous offenses.  The public is clearly on side as polls over recent decades reveal large numbers of Canadians support capital punishment.  The death penalty is actually one of the most humane ways of dealing with the worst criminals.  Their quick death does not provide true justice for what many have done.

Studies say death penalty deters crime.  Anti-death penalty forces have gained momentum in the past few years, with a moratorium in Illinois, court disputes over lethal injection in more than a half-dozen states and progress toward outright abolishment in New Jersey. … What gets little notice, however, is a series of academic studies over the last half-dozen years that claim to settle a once hotly debated argument — whether the death penalty acts as a deterrent to murder.  The analyses say yes.

Texas Governor Goes Wobbly.  Texas Governor Rick Perry … commuted the sentence of a worthless hoodlum that had already lived for eleven years too long as a guest of the state after being involved in a wild rampage that took the life of a young man in 1996.  Kenneth Foster was part of a gun-toting quartet of violent street thugs who had spent the night robbing and pistol-whipping everyone they could find as they terrorized the streets of San Antonio more than a decade ago.

Supreme Court blocks Mississippi execution.  The Supreme Court halted an execution in Mississippi on Tuesday [10/30/2007], less than an hour before a convicted killer was scheduled to be put to death by lethal injection.  The last-minute reprieve for Earl Wesley Berry is the third granted by the justices since they agreed late last month to decide a challenge to Kentucky's lethal injection procedures.

Death penalty advocate studies Holton execution.  A documentary regarding the execution of convicted murderer Daryl Holton is being filmed in Shelbyville this week by a New York School of Law professor who is a death penalty advocate.  "The thing about the Holton case is that most Americans worry about the death penalty is that an innocent person might be executed," writer-director Ted Schillinger said between shots at the Shelbyville Times-Gazette newsroom on Monday.  "In the Holton case, the offender is absolutely guilty of a truly heinous crime."

Convicted Child Killer Holton Executed.  A man convicted of murdering four children with an assault rifle was executed Wednesday, becoming the first Tennessee inmate put to death by electrocution since 1960.  Daryl Holton, 45, had confessed to shooting his three young sons and their half-sister in 1997 in the town of Shelbyville, about 50 miles south of Nashville.

Capital punishment on decline in county.  On Tuesday night Harris County hit the century mark in executions, which places it ahead of any other state — not county, but state — in the nation. Virginia is close with 98, but the gap will only widen.  Of the 380 Texas inmates awaiting execution, Harris County can claim almost a third of them.

Executions down in U.S. but not in Texas.  The convicted killer of a 3-year-old boy is set to die this week, the first of five lethal injections scheduled this month as Texas bucks a national trend and bolsters its standing as the most active in carrying out capital punishment.

Lobbying intense on death penalty.  The Council of State, a panel of top elected leaders that will plunge into the death-penalty debate today [2/6/2007], has been inundated with e-mail messages, letters and phone calls from people who want it to ask the legislature to decide what role doctors should play in executions.

On Penalty Of Death:  Will the execution of Saddam Hussein have any impact on the fate of convicted cop killer Ronell Wilson?  Jurors who on December 20 convicted Wilson of the deaths of undercover detectives Rodney Andrews and James Nemorin will be weighing the death penalty as an option when the penalty phase of the trial begins January 10.

Lethal injection blues:  Opponents of the death penalty have been rummaging through their bag of tricks and come up with the theory that lethal injection amounts to "cruel" punishment.

Appeals court lifts stay on Missouri executions.  A federal appeals court lifted a more than year-old stay on executions in Missouri on Friday, refusing to block capital punishment while a death-row inmate asks the U.S. Supreme Court to declare the state's form of lethal injection to be an unconstitutionally cruel punishment.

Tennessee cop killer's execution back on — for now.  Lawyers for convicted cop killer Philip Workman and Tennessee prosecutors were locked in a federal court battle Monday [5/7/2007] over Workman's execution, scheduled for early Wednesday [5/9/2007]. … Workman, in an interview with CNN last month, said he feared what lethal injection might do.  "It almost makes me want to choose the electric chair," Workman said.

[You should have thought of that before pulling the trigger, Mr. Workman.]

Death penalty decision a bad first step.  The latest federal judge to rule against the constitutionality of a state's death penalty is U.S. District Judge Jeremy Fogel, who issued a ruling Friday [12/15/2006] that found California's lethal injection protocol to be "intolerable under the Constitution."  Chalk up the ruling as a victory for Michael Morales, who was sentenced to death for raping and murdering 17-year-old Terri Winchell of Lodi, Calif., in 1981.

Cruel and Unusual Punishment?  Before too much blood spills from "bleeding heart liberals," it might be helpful to look at Mr. Diaz's criminal resume.  According to court records, Diaz was convicted of second-degree murder in his native Puerto Rico.  He escaped from prison there and also from Connecticut's Hartford Correctional Center in 1981.  In Hartford, he held one guard at knifepoint while another was beaten.  Diaz was responsible for three other inmates escaping with him.

Assembly panel OKs doctor ban at executions.  An Assembly committee voted yesterday [4/17/2006] to bar physicians from participating in executions after a frank debate that invoked abortion in a warning that doctors should be careful when they ask lawmakers to draw their ethical boundaries.

Condemned can claim injection is too painful.  The Supreme Court opened the door today [6/12/2006] to new constitutional challenges to lethal injection, the method used by most states and the federal government to execute death row inmates.

Lawyers say executions are unconstitutional.  First a sedative courses through a condemned inmate's bloodstream, then a paralyzing agent and finally a heart-stopping drug.  To witnesses viewing the execution at San Quentin State Prison, it's like watching a man take a nap for about 10 minutes.

[In all the history of crime and punishment, the condemned criminal's absolute comfort has never been a great concern, and certainly was not guaranteed.  A prisoner on death row must eventually pay a price for his or her crime, and when the time comes, it is not painless.  Let us remember the pain inflicted on the victims, to whom no such courtesy was extended.]

The clay feet of liberal saints.  That Sacco and Vanzetti were guilty is no surprise to those who've looked into the case.  But that didn't stop the martyrdom campaign.  Their execution was used to galvanize everyone from establishment liberals to the very, very hard left.  Josef Stalin publicly lamented it.  Protests erupted in the capitals of Europe and across the U.S.  A young Felix Frankfurter staked his reputation on their innocence.

Virginia killer's sanity questioned as execution looms.  It's a little late for the insanity defense — His trial is over.

Amnesty condemns Saddam trial, death sentences.  Amnesty International has condemned the death sentences handed to Saddam Hussein and two of his senior allies, describing their trial as a "shabby affair, marred by serious flaws". The London-based human rights group — which opposes capital punishment — said the trial should have helped the process of establishing justice and the rule of law in Iraq but was in fact "deeply flawed and unfair".

[Are they trying to say that Saddam Hussein is without his flaws and is always perfectly fair?]

Fast-track executions, Thomas says.  Maricopa County Attorney Andrew Thomas unveiled sweeping proposals that he says will speed up death penalty cases, which take years to crawl through the legal system.

The wrong way to restore the death penalty.  The governor [of Massachusetts] is right to support capital punishment.  He is right as a matter of justice:  Juries ought to have the option of meting out the very worst punishment to the very worst offenders.  And he is right as a matter of democratic governance:  Massachusetts voters have long backed the death penalty — in 1982 they amended their Constitution to say so explicitly — but their wishes have been thwarted by the state Legislature and supreme court.

Death penalty moratorium supporters try again to block executions.  Death penalty moratorium supporters will try again this week to put a hold on executions in California, the state with the largest death row in the country.

Remorseless killer executed at Lucasville.  Remorseless to the end, Darrell Ferguson was executed today for the Christmastime murders of three elderly, disabled Dayton residents in 2001.  Ferguson, 28, died by injection at the 10:21 a.m. at the Southern Ohio Correctional Facility near Lucasville.

Spewing curses, killer is put to death.  Joseph Nichols, condemned for the murder of a 64-year-old Houston convenience store clerk, died in the state's death house Wednesday with a curse on his lips.  He was the eighth killer executed in Texas this year, the second this week.

Reagan's common sense on capital punishment, crime, and moral absolutes.  A victory for state rights, justice, and a safer America came last Monday [6/26/2006] when the Alito-led Supreme Court upheld a State of Kansas law that favors capital punishment when the evidence for or against imposing death is equal.

No race bias seen in death penalty demand.  A study by the Rand Corp. think tank failed to find racial bias among U.S. federal prosecutors seeking the death penalty in criminal cases.  The study by the Santa Monica, Calif.-based group examined the files of 652 defendants charged with capital offenses between Jan. 1, 1995 and July 31, 2000.  Rand said it was one of the most thorough examinations ever of federal death penalty prosecutions.

The Pope, Richard Speck and the death penalty:  If Richard Speck isn't a textbook example of why capital punishment is warranted, he'll do until a better one comes along.  Slowly and methodically, he snuffed out the lives of the young women.  He strangled five of his victims and stabbed the other three.  He raped one before killing her.

Virginia brings back electric chair for execution.  A convicted murderer was executed in the electric chair in Virginia [7/20/2006], becoming the first person in the United States to be put to death by electrocution in more than two years.

Time Magazine's Anti-Death Penalty Cover Boy Proven Guilty By DNA Test.  Way back in 1992 Roger Keith Coleman was Time magazine's cover boy against the death penalty.  Time ran the following over a photo of Coleman in chains:  "This Man Might Be Innocent, This Man Is Due To Die."  Fast forward to 2006 and DNA tests have proved Coleman was in fact rightfully convicted of raping and killing his 19-year-old sister-in-law.

DNA Tests Confirm Guilt of Executed Man.  New DNA tests confirmed the guilt of a man who went to his death in Virginia's electric chair in 1992 proclaiming his innocence, the governor said Thursday [1/12/2006].

The Editor says...
Almost everyone in prison claims to be innocent.  On the other hand, here is a case where a guy on death row could very well be innocent:

Maybe, or maybe not.  A man's life hangs in the balance. Whose judgment do you trust, twelve duly appointed jurors or one lone blogger?  Normally, I'd say "the jury," but in the case of Cory Maye things may not be what they seem.

Stay of Execution Denied for Police Officer's Killer.  A convicted killer who argued that the state's use of lethal injection was cruel and unusual punishment was put to death in Starke after the U.S. Supreme Court denied him a stay.  Clarence Hill, 48, was executed for the 1982 murder of a Pensacola police officer in a savings and loan robbery.

The Editor says...
24 years on death row is at least 23 years too long.  In this case, it was half a lifetime.

Outrage over honor for cop-killer inmate.  Cop-killer Leslie Ann Nelson, 48, a transsexual go-go dancer whose name was Glenn Nelson before a sex-change operation at age 34, was convicted of killing Camden County law enforcement officers John McLaughlin and John Norcross during a 1995 standoff in Haddon Heights.  She was removed from death row, but has an upcoming death-penalty trial in which she wants to represent herself.  Juries have twice decided she should die, and twice those sentences were overturned by the state Supreme Court.

Judge says the 'Railroad Killer' Can Die Next Week.  A judge ruled Wednesday [6/21/2006] that serial killer Angel Maturino Resendiz, who gained notoriety as the "Railroad Killer" linked to at least 15 murders across the country, is mentally competent to be executed next week for the 1998 rape-slaying of a Texas doctor.

[Why wait until next week?]

Frail, blind convicted killer executed in California.  Clarence Allen was put to death by lethal injection early Tuesday [1/17/2006] after failed efforts to convince Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger and the US Supreme Court that he was in such poor health that killing him would be cruel.

[Who were the people putting up such resistance to this execution? Aren't they the same people who are in favor of assisted suicide for sickly old people?]

Scott Peterson will probably die of old age.  California's chief justice, Ronald George, acknowledged that an appeals process that is "in many ways dysfunctional" will keep Peterson alive for decades to come.  "The leading cause of death on [California's] death row is old age."  But no chief justice should be glad that the judicial system he presides over cannot do its job.

Scott Peterson transferred to San Quentin.  Since 1978 executions are just the third-leading cause of death for California's Death Row inmates.  The first is natural causes and the second is suicide.  The earthquake state has executed 11 people in the past 27 years — despite having 644 inmates on Death Row.

 Editor's note:   According to news reports I've heard, Scott Peterson will be in a cell by himself, will eat meals by himself, and will exercise outside every other day.  He doesn't have to work, his meals, clothing and housing are provided at no cost (to him), and he isn't bothered by telemarketers.  What a great life!  This kind of "punishment" is exactly the reason that the death penalty isn't an effective deterrent.  If he had been dragged out of the courtroom and executed the day he was found guilty, (after a lengthy, fair and well-documented trial) the message to future murderers would be loud and clear.

Capital Punishment:  Justice & Deterrence:  Crime always demands a suitable punishment, and to fail to punish crime is to degrade and disrespect the rights of every other citizen.

Inmate survives first execution.  A double murderer was put to death in Ohio but not until after one of his veins had collapsed, causing the condemned man to sit up and tell his executioners, "It's not working", officials said.

The Editor says...
Lethal injection was mandated by many states because it is supposed to be completely painless.  An execution, in my opinion, should be mercifully quick, even if not pain-free.

Is "putting down" a murderer "cruel and unusual"?  Convicted cop killer Clarence Hill had his day in the U.S. Supreme Court this week as the Justices heard arguments that executing him by lethal injection would violate the 8th Amendment's prohibition against inflicting cruel and unusual punishments.

China's hi-tech 'death van':  After trials of the mobile execution service were launched quietly three years ago — then hushed up to prevent an international row about the abuse of human rights before the Olympics last summer — these vehicles are now being deployed across China.  The number of executions is expected to rise to a staggering 10,000 people this year (not an impossible figure given that at least 68 crimes — including tax evasion and fraud — are punishable by death in China).


"If cowardly and dishonorable men sometimes shoot unarmed men with army pistols or guns, the evil must be prevented by the penitentiary and gallows, and not by a general deprivation of a constitutional privilege."


This is an original compilation, Copyright © 2017 by Andrew K. Dart

The case of Mumia Abu-Jamal:

Abu-Jamal's conviction upheld, death sentence questioned.  College kids march with his face on placards, chanting a mantra that has been oft-repeated throughout the world:  "Free Mumia!" … But others insist that Mumia Abu-Jamal is not the martyr supporters have tried to make him.  Instead, they say, he's a manipulative, cold-blooded cop-killer who used his talents as a radio reporter and his resume as a black activist to hoodwink his ill-informed backers into proclaiming his innocence.

Mumia Abu-Jamal Loses Bid For New Trial.  Mumia Abu-Jamal has lost his bid for a new trial in the killing of a Philadelphia police officer in 1981.  The Supreme Court says in an order Monday it will not take up Abu-Jamal's claims that prosecutors improperly excluded blacks from the jury that convicted him of murdering Philadelphia police officer Daniel Faulkner.

Who Wants To Free Mumia Now?  Last week, the U.S. Supreme Court rejected an appeal seeking a new trial for death-row inmate and former Black Panther Mumia Abu-Jamal, who was convicted in the 1981 shooting of Philadelphia police officer Daniel Faulkner.  Earlier, a lower court rescinded Abu-Jamal's death penalty, which prosecutors have asked to be reinstated.  Meanwhile, as the Philadelphia Inquirer reported, last week's ruling "virtually guarantees that the internationally known death-row inmate will never be freed."

The Editor says...
I think I see what's going to happen next -- a presidential pardon.

Abu-Jamal supporters meet, to seek White House help.  Stung by the U.S. Supreme Court ruling last week denying a new trial for Mumia Abu-Jamal, supporters of the internationally known death-row inmate met yesterday at a church in West Philadelphia and said they planned to seek some type of presidential intervention on his behalf.



The Stanley Williams subsection:

Credibility, executed.  Death penalty opponents — with the help of a sympathetic media — hone their statistical legerdemain, suggesting that everyone who's gotten off death row in recent years was innocent, when in fact many just had flawed trials.  And, of course, there's all the America bashing from a crowd that can cheer Yasser Arafat's Peace Prize but also can call Schwarzenegger a murderer with a straight face.

He went to the penitentiary but showed no penitence.
The "Redemption" of Stanley 'Tookie' Williams.  Williams claims redemption, but refuses to accept responsibility for murdering four innocent people.  Williams shot one victim, Albert Owens, who worked at a 7-Eleven, twice in the back, after Owens pleaded for his life.  Williams, 11 days later, gunned down the owners of a small motel, a family of three.

Toot, toot, tookie, goodbye.  Although, intellectually, I can grasp the point of view of those morally opposed to capital punishment, emotionally I am unable to fathom how they can congregate outside prisons and hold candlelight vigils for mass murderers.  Wouldn't their time be better spent visiting the burial sites of the victims, and leaving flowers instead of candle wax behind?

The legacy of Tookie Williams.  Convicted murderer of four and founder of the notorious Crips gang, Tookie Williams, is gone, executed under the death penalty of the state of California.  Now those who protested his conviction, and worked for his clemency, want him to be remembered as a hero.

Martyrdom?  Martyrs die for a cause.  Williams died for executing four unarmed people during two 1979 robberies, shooting a woman in the face, and laughing uncontrollably at the gurgling sounds a male victim made as he died in agony.

Death Penalty Double Standard:  Tookie vs. Allen.  Countless articles were written bemoaning Tookie's loss and news anchors spoke glowingly of his supposed contributions to ending gang violence.  That Tookie himself was the founder of the notorious "Crips" gang, responsible for so much murder and mayhem over the years, didn't seem to enter into the equation.  Neither did the four people he murdered in cold blood.



This is what "swift and sure" means...
Prosecutor says Guilty Saddam would hang quickly.  The Iraqi High Tribunal's chief prosecutor says Saddam Hussein will hang immediately if he is found guilty on charges relating to deaths of 148 Shiites. … "If the court passes a death sentence on any of the defendants in the Dujail case, the law is clear, the sentence must be carried out within 30 days following the appeal," Mr Mussawi said.

Execution uncertain in grenade murders.  Relatives of the two servicemen killed in Sergeant Hasan Akbar's grenade and rifle attack said yesterday [4/29/1005] that he deserved the death sentence given to him by a military jury.  But specialists in military law say it is hardly a certainty the execution will ever happen.  The military has not executed one of its own since 1961, while states have put scores of civilian killers to their deaths.

Iraq hangs 27 on terrorism charges.  Iraqi authorities hanged 27 convicted "terrorists" today, an interior ministry spokesman announced.  "Twenty-seven terrorists were hanged today in Baghdad.  Most of them were Iraqis," said interior ministry spokesman Abdul Karim Khalaf.  He said they were convicted for attacks on Iraqi civilians and sentenced to death, in an execution order signed by an Iraqi vice president.

The crime, not his race, put Baker on death row.  Another Maryland death row inmate is scheduled to take the lethal injection needle.  And, again, anti-death penalty activists have yanked out their ever-handy race card.

The "Let Scott Peterson Live" Campaign at CBS.  As if we needed any more evidence of liberal media bias on the part of CBS, the senior political editor for CBS News, Dotty Lynch, has written a column arguing that convicted killer Scott Peterson should be allowed to live the rest of his life at taxpayer expense in a California prison because he may not really be guilty of murdering his wife and unborn son.

Judge not.  Here they go again.  On March 1, the Supreme Court — by its now familiar 5–4 margin — issued a ruling that bans states from executing anyone who was younger than 18 at the time of his crime.  You may believe that this ruling gives teens a license to kill, or you may consider it to be a sensible protection for our innocent children.  Either opinion is defendable, and immaterial.  The important thing — and the frightening thing — about the ruling is that it continues the court's march toward a "living Constitution" and away from original intent.

Those poor, poor perverts.  I can nearly, but not quite, understand why some people object to capital punishment. … What I can't begin to fathom are the people who seem to have the same tender feelings for sexual predators that the rest of us have for our pets.  Unfortunately, these aren't the same mushy-headed simpletons holding candlelight vigils outside San Quentin.  Instead, they're judges and legislators.

Evolving Standards of Decency.  William Kristol sarcastically thanks the US Supreme Court for its recent decision saving the life of Christopher Simmons, the youthful sadist who murdered Shirley Crook for the fun of it in 1993.  In seven paragraphs of well-tempered fury, Kristol contrasts the judicial sensitivity to "evolving standards of decency" that spared Simmons from the death penalty because of his age with the absence of any such sensitivity when it came to Terri Schiavo.

Scalia Slams Juvenile Death Penalty Ruling.  Justice Antonin Scalia criticized the Supreme Court's recent decision to strike down the juvenile death penalty, calling it the latest example of politics on the court that has made judicial nominations an increasingly bitter process.

Judicial supremacists and the despotic branch.  Justice Antonin Scalia, a dependable constitutional constructionist, protested on behalf of the dissenters that capital punishment should, rightly in accordance with constitutional federalism, be determined by individual states. … "To invoke alien law when it agrees with one's own thinking, and ignore it otherwise, is not reasoned decision-making, but sophistry."

Forgetting Facts While Making Law.  In our system of limited government, with its separation of powers, we depend upon our unelected lifetime-tenured judges to restrain themselves from implementing their own moral, social and political values when they are unsupported by a plain understanding of the Constitution and at odds with the choices we make through the democratic process.

On the Supreme Court's definition of cruelty:  In this case, a majority of the court ruled that the execution of someone who was 17 at the time of the crime violates the 8th Amendment, which prohibits "cruel and unusual punishments."  It reached this conclusion just 16 years after deciding that the execution of a 17-year-old did not violate the 8th Amendment.  What changed was not the 8th Amendment, which reads exactly as it did then.  What changed, in the court's opinion, were the "evolving standards of decency that mark the progress of a maturing society."

U.S. Constitution:  Made in Jamaica?  In Roper v. Simmons, the Supreme Court reached out and gave America a good old-fashioned smack-upside-the-head when it abolished capital punishment for juvenile offenders. … The Court declared that the death penalty was now unconstitutional for minors due to a supposed "emerging national consensus" that the death penalty was wrong.  The last time we checked, the Supreme Court was supposed to use the Constitution as its guide.  If anyone's to take notice of an "emerging national consensus," it's the legislature.

The new age Supreme Court.  In its 5-4 decision on March 1, the Court decreed that "Juveniles are less mature than adults and, no matter how heinous their crimes, they are not among 'the worst offenders' who deserve to die."  While I certainly respect that opinion, I strongly object to the United States Supreme Court presuming to impose it on our entire society as if it is the final arbiter not just of the law, but our moral standards.

The Supreme Court's vexing elitism.  In my last column, I discussed the Supreme Court's abominable decision outlawing the death penalty for murderers under the age of 18.  I have a few more complaints.  First, much of the Court's analytical emphasis considers the plight of the offenders.  Conspicuously lost in the equation are concerns for the victims and society at large, for whom the Court demonstrates a stunning disregard.

 The Editor's Opinion:   (1) I've never even seen the inside of a law school, but even I can tell you that the Tenth Amendment says this is an issue which should be decided by each of the 50 states for themselves, not by the Supreme Court.  (2) In the Jewish culture, a 13-year-old boy has a bar mitzvah ceremony, in which he declares, "Today, I am a Man," and is then considered an adult.  (3) If you are a drug dealer and a murderer and a recalcitrant felon, you should get the electric chair if you are at least 13 years of age.

Debating the death penalty:  With conservative ideas sinking new roots across American culture, conservatives have new reason to test their own thinking.

California to Execute Inmate in 1981 Slayings.  It would be the first execution in California since January 2002 and only the 11th since the state reinstated the death penalty in 1977.  More than 600 men are on the state's death row. … The last execution in California came on Jan. 29, 2002, when Stephen Wayne Anderson was put to death for shooting an 81-year-old woman in 1980.

More innocents die when we don't have capital punishment:  Murderers who are not executed have murdered innocent people — usually fellow prisoners.  And the very real possibility of escape from prison means that murderers threaten far more innocent lives than capital punishment does.

Vermont Has its First Capital Trial in 50 Years.  A man convicted of helping to fatally beat a grandmother as she prayed for her life was formally sentenced to death Friday [6/16/2006], Vermont's first death sentence in almost half a century.

Executing "children," and other death-penalty myths:  The age issue is a red herring.  No state allows the death sentence for anyone younger than 16, and no one younger than 23 has been executed in modern times.  The truth is that capital punishment in America is the most accurate and carefully administered criminal sanction in the world, and the public has good reason to support it.

Controversial Study Says Executions Save LivesThree economists at Emory University are stirring the pot with a new study that concludes an average of 18 lives are saved each time a criminal is executed.

Murdering the bell curve:  After hearing the (overwhelming) evidence against him, a jury sentenced Atkins to death.  Last week, the Supreme Court overturned that sentence.  The court ruled that the Constitution makes Atkins ineligible for the death penalty if he can prove he is "retarded."  In other words, Atkins avoids his capital sentence if he is at least smart enough to know how to fail an IQ test.

Accountable, Yet Not Accountable:  A "Retarded" Supreme Court Decision:  The Supreme court recently released its decision in Atkins v. Virginia, regarding the propriety of executing the mentally retarded.

Retardation and capital punishment:  The Supreme Court, in its decision, said that persons deemed retarded -- with an IQ of 70 or less (why not 71?)-- and judged guilty of a capital crime, cannot be executed.  In so ruling, the court majority moved from the intention of the Founders, which was to make execution more humane, to focusing on the status of the guilty, which appears not to have entered the Founders' minds while crafting the Eighth Amendment.

Execution of the mentally retarded:  What next for HB 236 opponents after Supreme Court's ruling?

Deal keeps Penry imprisoned for life.  The long saga of convicted murderer Johnny Paul Penry, whose case helped push mental retardation into the national debate over capital punishment, ended Friday [2/15/2008] with a plea agreement to a life sentence.  Penry, one of Texas' best-known death row inmates, agreed to three life sentences and to a stipulation that he was not mentally retarded, in spite of what his lawyers have asserted for almost three decades.

How would the court fare on an IQ test?  In Atkins vs. Virginia, handed down last week, the Unites States Supreme Court substituted the judgment of six justices for that of 20 state legislatures.

Texas jurors send killer to his death 'because the Bible told them to'.  A Texas man is due to be executed next month despite admissions by jurors that they consulted biblical passages advocating death as a punishment to help to decide his fate. ... During the trial, the jurors were instructed by the judge not to refer to anything that was not presented as evidence in the courtroom.

The Editor says...
When the judge demands that they not "refer to anything", does that include the jurors' common sense, morality and individual experiences?  If the judge instructed the jurors to find the defendant not guilty, would they be so obligated?  I don't know about you, but I don't think I'd pay much attention to orders of that sort.

Will the death penalty meet its maker?  (Numerous links to death penalty articles.)



News and timely commentary about crime and punishment in general:

Chicago court: 'Making a Murderer' defendant's confession stands.  A federal appeals court in Chicago narrowly overturned a ruling Friday that could have freed a Wisconsin inmate featured in the "Making a Murderer" series from prison, though one dissenting judge called the case "a profound miscarriage of justice."  The full 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals reviewed Brendan Dassey's claims that investigators tricked him into confessing that he took part in raping and killing photographer Teresa Halbach in 2005.  Dassey was sentenced to life in prison in 2007 after telling detectives he helped his uncle, Steven Avery, rape and kill Halbach.

Philadelphia Committee Passes Bill Forcing Store Owners to Remove Bullet-Proof Glass Because it's Offensive.  What's more important, protecting the dignity of customers who shop in local liquor stores, or the innocent employees and store owners who come in every day, knowing that the only thing that ensures they will go home alive, is the bullet-proof glass between them and the criminal element who enters their store?  Well, according to one Philadelphia councilwoman, it's the dignity of the customers.  Philadelphia's Public Health and Human Services Committee passed a bill Monday [12/4/2017] to ban shop owners from protecting themselves with bulletproof plexiglass.

Portland police reportedly scrap gang database over fear of labels.  Authorities in Portland, Ore., are reportedly scrapping their database of suspected gang members out of fear that these labels will most negatively affect minorities.  Portland police, next month, will end its two-decade-old practice of designating people as gang members or associates following the pressure from the community, The Oregonian reported.  Activists have been trying to abolish the database and gang designations for years, claiming they disproportionately affect minority communities.

If there was ever a candidate for capital punishment, it was this guy:
Charles Manson Dies At 83.  Manson was born into and raised in true dysfunction.  A reason for his depravity but never an excuse.  Good people have come out of far worse.  I can't help but realize Charles Manson was older than my living grandmother.  He also lived to be older than my maternal grandfather and paternal grandmother.  This is a travesty and a shame.  Better people deserved Manson's longevity.

Charles Manson dead at 83.  Manson incurred more than 100 rules violations since 1971, when he and other members of his so-called family were convicted of killing pregnant actress Sharon Tate and six other people during a bloody rampage in the Los Angeles area during two August nights in 1969.  Over the years, he was cited for assault, repeated possession of a weapon, threatening staff, and possessing a cellphone.  Officials have said over the years that he spat in guards' faces, threw hot coffee at a prison staffer, started fights, tried to cause a flood and set his mattress ablaze.

Confused NYPD cops afraid of 'stopping anyone' under new stop-and-frisk policies.  NYPD cops are terrified of "stopping anyone" under new stop-and-frisk policies, fearing that the brass "won't have our backs," a court-appointed monitor reported.  Attorney Peter Zimroth, who is tasked with implementing court-ordered reforms to the NYPD's controversial stop-and-frisk program, said officers have been telling trainers that they are unsure "what's expected" of them.  "Officers have said, 'The law is confusing.  I don't know what's expected of me anymore,'" Zimroth wrote in a memo to Manhattan federal Judge Analisa Torres, outlining focus-group feedback ahead of new training procedures.

Good News:  Many Liberal Cities Are Providing Free Legal Help To Illegal Aliens.  So, they're getting some sweet, sweet taxpayer cash to protect people who shouldn't be in the country to start with, which means less cash to deal with things like cleaning streets.  Or dealing with all the violence, especially in places like Atlanta, Baltimore, and Chicago.  According to Neigborhood Scout, Baltimore ranks a 2, with 100 being the safest.  Surprisingly, Chicago is an 11 (it's very big, and the reported crime is confined within small areas).  Atlanta is a 2.  The other cities aren't exactly great, either, excepting Santa Ana, which is a 24.  That means that 76% of cities are safer.  Some are more about property crime, some are more about violent crime, some are both.  Anyhow, this adds to the money already being appropriated by many cities to provide legal council to illegal aliens, meaning less money for law abiding/legal citizens.

Cook County Jail in Chicago is out of control.  The forces of law and order no longer control the streets of Chicago.  [Indeed], they can't even control inmates in the jail.  Civil order is collapsing in Chicago.  We learn that once incarcerated, the inmates are controlling the Cook County Jail, and engaging mass behavior so vile that public defenders are refusing to enter and meet their clients.  What follows is so disgusting that readers are cautioned to proceed only if psychologically able to face repulsive information. [...] But this is a problem that money can't solve.  Inmates have lost all respect for civil society and all fear of punishment, and that is part of the larger problem of the breakdown in civil order in Chicago, on its way to becoming America's first Third World City.

Paroled killer goes back to prison after fourth murder.  A Missouri man who served time for a triple homicide nearly 50 years ago before being paroled was sent back to prison after pleading guilty to his fourth murder.  Torrance Epps, 79, pleaded guilty Monday to a reduced charge of second-degree murder for fatally shooting Tiandra Johnson, 32, while he rolled his wheelchair through a senior housing complex where he lived on Jan. 19, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported.  Epps told St. Louis Circuit Judge Dennis Schaumann that he shot Johnson because he thought she entered his apartment with a backup key from the complex's office to steal from him.  Johnson was later found dead in a hallway at the Lafayette Towne senior housing complex.

79-year-old man going back to prison for another homicide.  A 79-year-old St. Louis man who spent several years in prison for killing three people is going back to prison after pleading guilty in another killing.

Mark Zuckerberg and liberals seek to weaken bail system that keeps us safe.  For any liberal to entertain winning the Democratic nomination for president these days, there are some important boxes to be checked, including taking on America's system of law and order.  Now Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has begun checking the boxes.  Zuckerberg has hired Hillary Clinton's pollster.  He's hired Barack Obama's campaign manager.  He's even visited the first presidential caucus state of Iowa.  And he's pandering to the left's machine by funding a campaign that aims to get rid of our nation's bail system.

Judge won't cut prison term of man who pleads obesity.  A claim of obesity won't shave time off a Tampa man's prison sentence.  U.S. District Judge Steven D. Merryday on Friday [12/20/2017] declined to reduce the 76-month term he imposed Oct. 12 on Stephen Donaldson Sr., 72, for peddling an illegal offshore tax shelter.  On Monday, Donaldson's attorney suggested his client, at 5-foot-9 and 273 pounds, was too fat for his prison sentence, given the likely effect of weight on his health and longevity.

Police-focused NFL protests overlook rising, disproportionate black homicide rate.  Lost in the uproar over the NFL sideline protests against police brutality are newly released statistics showing that the threat to black men is skyrocketing — not from trigger-happy or racist cops, but from crime.  More than any other demographic group, black men are paying the price with their lives with a surging violent crime rate over the past two years, including a 20 percent jump in the overall homicide rate, even as the number of blacks killed by police declines.  Using homicide figures from the 2016 FBI Uniform Crime Report released Sept. 25, Manhattan Institute fellow Heather Mac Donald found that the number of black homicide victims has jumped by nearly 900 per year since the Black Lives Matter movement took root in 2014.  "The majority of victims of that homicide surge have been black," Ms. Mac Donald said in an email.  "They were killed overwhelmingly by black criminals, not by the police and not by whites."

How the private prison industry came to California, Part 1.  On March 5, 2012, Tom Weil, City Manager of California City, California, signed a letter to a lawyer from Fort Lauderdale.  "Speaking from over 12 years of experience," he wrote, "you will not find a better partner in the business world."  The partner was Corrections Corporation of America (CCA), the most successful for-profit prison company in the United States.  Well-established in dozens of jurisdictions but perpetually battling public distaste, CCA, like any dynamic business, is ever-exploring new opportunities, and there seemed one to be had in rural Southwest Ranches, Florida.  The letter was among a collection of documents recently released by the City of California City.

The Big Myth About Dirty Jobs, Minimum Wage, and Illegal Immigration.  I have a friend who's a United States marshal, and one of his duties is to work with people in the federal Witness Protection Program.  Over and over again, the protected witness gets a new location, a new house, a new identity, and then spends the first couple of years going to a community college or some other training program to develop a skill — since their prior skills might have been either bank robbery or serving as a punching bag for a Mafia husband — and then when it's time for the final step, nobody will hire them.  The marshal is required by law to tell the potential employer that the new hire is a protected witness with a fake identity — and most bosses say, "No, thanks."  But believe it or not, those are easier placements than the typical ex-convict recently out of state prison on, say, an aggravated assault charge.  One of the cruelest things we do to prisoners is pump them up with the idea that, if they educate themselves in prison and learn a trade, they will be able to work when they get out.  This is a lie.  They probably won't be able to work, because, aside from typical job-interview demerits like too many nasty facial tattoos, that felony conviction automatically eliminates them on most application forms.

Vicious Street Thug Cries Like a Baby When Sentenced.  The man being sentenced murdered somebody.  During his trial, the perpetrator smiled, gestured and cursed at the family. during the trial.  These are behaviors that might do well on the street; however the judge showed complete disdain for his theatrics.  The man's behavior impacted the judge's view, and thus her decision.  This criminal showed no remorse for murdering somebody.  Regardless of the circumstances of the murder, the man should at least find some humanity for those who were impacted.

FBI releases shocking new data on murder rates hidden by Obama administration.  The FBI report adjusts and corrects numbers released for 2015 during the Obama administration. [...] The FBI report showed that black Americans are more frequently the victims of murder than whites or Hispanics.  Of the 16,964 murder victims registered, 6576 victims were white, 7881 were black, and 2367 were identified as Hispanic in ethnicity.  As for offenders, there were a total 16,914.  Of these offenders, 5004 were indentified as white, 6095 were black; of unknown race there were 5574, other races were 291, while those of Hispanic ethnicity totaled 1553.

Detroit police chief:  FBI is wrong.  Detroit is not most violent city in U.S..  Newly released FBI statistics paint Detroit as the most dangerous big city in America.  One former FBI chief suspects other cities cooked their numbers to rank better.  Police Chief James Craig says the FBI data is flat wrong.  "I reject it," Craig said of the FBI report on Monday [9/25/2017], saying his own data using a new software system shows violent crime in Detroit went down 5% in 2016, and has been trending downward since 2013.

Detroit is again the most violent city in the USA.  Detroit regained the title as the most violent big city in America in 2016, witnessing more murders last year than Los Angeles, which has four times as many people, according to new FBI crime figures released Monday [9/25/2017].  But Detroit Police Chief James Craig disputed the FBI's numbers, stating:  "Just because it's coming out of the FBI" doesn't mean it's accurate.  "I reject it," Craig said of the FBI report, saying his own data using a new software system shows violent crime went down 5% in 2016, and, has been trending downward since 2013.

Teen accused of shooting Yonkers officer got probation last week on gun charge.  While Yonkers Police Officer Kayla Maher recovered from a bullet to the face, PIX11 News learned on Tuesday that one of the teenagers charged in the shooting, and who was shot himself in the exchange, had been released by a Bronx judge last week in another weapons case that involved a semi-automatic gun, hundreds of rounds of ammunition and a machete.  Frank Valencia, 18, of New Rochelle, received probation and youthful offender status when he was sentenced by Judge George Villegas of Bronx Supreme Court on Sept. 20.  The light sentence was meted out over the objections of prosecutors representing the Bronx District Attorney Darcel Clark.

Violent crime rising throughout US, FBI says.  The report says increases in violent crime were happening in suburban areas and cities of all sizes, ranging from those with populations below 10,000 to those with populations of more than 250,000.  It added that rapes, robberies and aggravated assaults all showed an uptick in 2016.

Teen who shot cop was loose thanks to judge's slap on the wrist.  The Yonkers cop who was shot in the face during an ambush Monday [9/25/2017] left the hospital to the cheers of fellow officers — as it emerged Tuesday that the teen who allegedly blasted her was free thanks to a Bronx judge's leniency.

Teen who punched principal in face gets sweet deal from judge.  A hot-headed teen got a slap on the wrist Friday for slugging a Manhattan principal who told him to turn down his music.  Judge Edwina Richardson-Mendelson granted Luis Penzo, 19, youthful offender status and sentenced him to a conditional discharge — as long as he stays out of trouble for three years he'll dodge prison and a criminal record.  "You made us very proud," the judge said of the surly teen's compliance with a family therapy program.  Penzo, who sauntered into Manhattan Supreme Court Friday [9/22/2017] wearing a white T-shirt and red gym shorts, offered no apology for the October 2016 beatdown of Principal Matthew Tossman.

Sub-Chicago and America's Real Crime Rate.  The NYU School of Law's Brennan Center for Justice, in its annual report on crime, finds that the murder rate in America's 30 largest cities rose 13.1 percent in 2016 — an alarming figure, especially considering last year's identical increase.  Striking a calming note, the Brennan Center's press release accompanying the report begins by reminding us that "Americans are safer today than they have been at almost any time in the past 25 years."  But downplaying the recent uptick in the homicide rate distracts from the fact that there is more than one America when it comes to violent crime:  indeed, 51 percent of all U.S. murders are committed in just 2 percent of the nation's counties, according to the Crime Prevention Research Center.  No city more starkly illustrates this disparity than Chicago.

Are Sex Offender Registries Unconstitutional?  A ruling coming out of a federal court in Denver this week could lead to a significant change in how the country deals with convicted sex offenders.  Judge Richard Matsch heard a case involving three convicted sex offenders who were protesting having all of their personal information published on a public sex offender registry.  Rather than ruling on whether or not the three could have their details removed (which was all that was requested), Matsch ruled that the entire registry was unconstitutional.  This one is going to be appealed and if it makes it to the Supreme Court it could impact the laws in pretty much every state in the union.

Houston police catch 14 armed robbers and looters amid flood emergency.  Houston Police Chief Art Acevedo said he is not going to tolerate criminals taking advantage of people in the community during such a devastating time.  He said his officers arrested 14 alleged looters since Sunday [8/27/2017].  Those arrested will face stiffer punishments under a Texas law providing heftier penalties during a crisis, prosecutors announced Tuesday [8/29/2017].

In Chicago, people get away with murder.  In some years in the 1960s, the police solved murder cases at a rate of higher than 90 percent.  But high murder clearance rates are just a memory.  Since Jan. 1 of this year, more than four out of every five murders in Chicago have gone unsolved.  That's a shockingly low number, perhaps even a historic low.  On what grading curve is 20 percent anything but utter failure?  Since 2006, the city's murder clearance rate has dropped steadily, with just a couple of notable bumps up.  Fewer arrests mean more killers on the streets.  More killers on the streets mean nobody is quite as safe.  And when killers are not caught, others are less afraid to kill.

Women Push Back Against Crossdressing Men in Female Prisons.  Surprise, surprise.  Women, whose interests liberals loudly claim to represent, don't like it that perverted men who dress in women's clothes have been forced upon them in prisons in order to advance the liberal agenda.

Hospitals Grapple With $6B Issue: Inmates Ingesting Foreign Objects.  American medical professionals are weighing an issue that costs taxpayers about $6 billion a year: prison inmates intentionally swallowing foreign objects like forks, steak knives, razor blades, paperclips and pens.  Medical ethicist Brendan Parent came across the problem in early 2016 while making rounds at NYU Langone Medical Center facilities.  He found that certain inmates from Rikers Island had been admitted to NYU facilities five, six or seven times after voluntarily ingesting foreign objects on separate occasions.  Though swallowing objects is a common form of smuggling contraband into prisons, Parent said that was not an issue with the cases he came across.  He instead questioned the conditions at Rikers, a New York City facility with a history of inhumane treatment and living conditions.  He suggested in a recent interview that inmates are ingesting objects to momentarily escape, even if the hospital visit is only a two- to four-day stay.

Google Women.  Why aren't there more women criminals?!  Men in jail outnumber women by a ratio of 14-to-1.  We male stutterers outnumber women, too.  This isn't fair!  We need more affirmative action!  These disparities must be caused by sex discrimination because everyone knows there are no real differences between genders.

Immigrants are 22 percent of federal prison population.  A stunning 22 percent of the federal prison population is immigrants who have either already been deemed to be in the country illegally or who the government is looking to put in deportation proceedings, the administration said Tuesday [8/1/2017]. [...] The 22 percent is much higher than the population of foreign-born in the U.S. as a whole, which is about 13.5 percent.  All told, the government counted more than 42,000 aliens in federal prisons as of June 24.  About 47 percent already face final deportation orders, making them illegal immigrants, and 3 percent are currently in immigration courts facing deportation proceedings.

FOIA still doesn't apply to private prisons.  What right to privacy do for-profit prisons have?  Should it be closer to those of a company like Hilton Hotels or Lockheed Martin, or closer to that of the governments alongside which they provide their incarceration services?  Through the Freedom of Information Act and equivalent state laws, the operations and artifacts of the government's activities are made available to citizens and businesses.  This level of openness, though, severely flawed as it is in practice, often doesn't extend to the private businesses, contractors, non-profits, and other entities with whom government agents share their work.  Among these are major prison companies, like GEO Group and CoreCivic, and a slowly-shrinking group of lesser known businesses focused on managing lock-ups at a cost they claim is less than that these agencies would otherwise be paying.  Since their inception, this built-in barrier to accountability has bothered opponents of prison privatizations.

Five heartbreaking examples of why the bail bonds industry is badly in need of reform.  One man put down his car as collateral for a $1,420 bond to get his brother out of jail.  Shortly after, he then learned that ICE had put a detainer on his brother, and he would be deported, rendering the need for bail moot, since bail doesn't apply in those cases.  Did the bail bond company promptly release his car?

Mississippi man freed after 11 years in jail without a trial.  A Mississippi man who has been in jail for 11 years without a trial for the alleged murder of his father soon will be released.  Police say Steven Jessie Harris was arrested in October 2005 for the murder of his father, Malichi Randle.  He was indicted with 11 different counts including murder in 2006, but a later ruling declared him incompetent to stand trial after he was diagnosed with schizophrenia.  Clay County Sheriff Eddie Scott says Harris at the time went on a crime spree shooting his father and cars.  He also allegedly carjacked and stabbed a driver.  Deputies pursued Harris and the spree ended in a shootout with police injuring three deputies, according to police.

The Editor says...
Obviously the man needs to be locked up, but not without due process.

Car thief found dead in O.C. jail cell he shared with suspected double-murderer.  A car thief killed earlier this month at Orange County Jail shared a cell with a suspected psychotic double-murderer, leading the victim's attorney to question why two men with such different criminal histories were housed together.

Drug dealer arrested after calling police to report stolen cocaine.  David Blackmon probably won't go down in history as a criminal mastermind, at least judging by the ridiculous reason for his arrest.  The 32-year-old "self-proclaimed drug dealer" stunned police in Florida when he called 911 to report his cocaine had been stolen, along with some cash.

Chicago To Make Bail More Affordable.  On Monday [7/17/2017], the Circuit Court of Cook County, Ill. issued an order stating that judges are prohibited from setting bails higher than a defendant can afford.  For felony defendants, this will begin Sept. 18, but those facing misdemeanor cases will have to wait until January.  "I think people who are arrested will be given the full recognition that they are presumed innocent," Cook County Chief Judge Timothy Evans, who signed the order for the new policy, told the Chicago Tribune.

The Editor says...
If they are presumed innocent, why were they arrested?  If you commit a crime, you are guilty.

Illegal Immigrants Face Criminal Charges for First Offenses.  Migrants who are caught crossing the border illegally for the first time are now facing criminal charges in federal court in Arizona as the Trump administration steps up efforts to deter illegal immigration.

For Many of Us, the War on Drugs Is Not Real.  For instance, did you know that America spends over $51 billion per year on this war against drugs?  Did you know that about 1.25 million Americans are arrested annually for drug possession?  That 643,000 of them were only in possession of marijuana?  That since 2006, over 100,000 people have been killed in Mexico's drug war?  You probably did know that, more or less.  These are facts — we know about "mass incarceration," for instance — and I do not dispute them.  But there are different ways to know something, distinctions that make all the difference.

Police officer deaths on duty have jumped nearly 20 percent in 2017.  The ambush shooting that killed a New York City police officer in the Bronx marked the latest in a growing number of officer deaths in 2017, up 18 percent from this time last year.  A total of 67 officers have died so far this year, according to the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund.  It found there were 57 officer deaths between January 1 and July 5, 2016.  In addition, gun-related deaths have risen by 9 percent, from 22 to 24 for 2017, the researchers say.  The figures suggest a grim trend; 2016 was the deadliest year for police in 5 years.  A total of 135 officers died last year.

Who Is Keeping Score On Obama's Failed Pardons?  As expected, the black beneficiaries of Obama's mass pardon/commutations are already returning to whence they came.  As reported by myself and others over the last few years [...], Obama commuted the sentences of a whopping 1715 federal inmates and outright pardoned another 212.  These pardons were heavily weighted to black drug offenders.  The reason he gave was a belief that the justice system was rigged against his fellow African-Americans.  It seems that Carole Denise Richardson[,] one of his fellows who needed a second chance, is back in custody for theft and according to authorities, "Richardson violated five separate terms of her release including failing to report that she was arrested, that she'd been terminated from a job for failing to show up and that she had changed her address."

Arkansas inmate recaptured 32 years after escape.  Arkansas authorites said Sunday [6/25/2017] that they had apprehended an inmate who had been on the run for more than three decades. [...] Dishman escaped from the Cummins unit in rural Lincoln County on May 28, 1985 while serving a 7-year sentence for theft of property and burglary convictions in Washington County.

Texas woman freed from life sentence by President Obama is back in prison.  A Texas woman who was freed from a life sentence last year after President Obama granted her clemency is behind bars again.  According to the Houston Chronicle, Carol Denise Richardson, 49, was arrested for theft in Pasadena, a Houston suburb, and violated other conditions imposed when she was released from prison.  "This defendant was literally given a second chance to become a productive member of society and has wasted it," Assistant U.S. Attorney Ted Imperato said in a statement released by his office.

The Editor says...
Like it or not, there are people who should stay in prison forever because they think like criminals, act like criminals, and will always be criminals.

Alabama man jailed for a decade without trial awaits decision from judge.  An Alabama man who has been jailed on a murder charge for the last 10 years without a trial could soon learn his fate.  Houston County Circuit Judge Kevin Moulton heard arguments in a case involving Kharon Davis on Tuesday [6/6/2017] in Dothan.  Davis was arrested and charged for the murder of Pete Reaves in June 2007 at an apartment in Dothan, the Dothan Eagle reported.  Davis' attorney Thomas Goggans argued his case should be dismissed because he was previously represented by a lawyer with a possible conflict of interest in the case.  His previous attorney, Ben Meredith, had a son who was going to testify as a witness for the prosecution.

Immigrant Deaths in Private Prisons Explode Under Trump.  Men and women held by Immigrations and Customs Enforcement are on pace to die at double the rate of those who died in ICE custody last year, a Daily Beast review of ICE records found.  And most will die in privately run facilities.  Eight people have died in ICE custody in the 2017 fiscal year, which began on Oct. 1, 2016.  That's almost as many as the 10 who died in the entire 2016 fiscal year.  All but one of the deaths this year, and all but two last year, occurred in privately run prisons.  Nine of the 18 deaths occurred at facilities run by GEO Group, the nation's second-largest private prison company.

Heroin dealers deserve prison, not sympathy.  The deadly poison that is heroin made its way to your small town from Mexico, where it was grown and processed, later to be trafficked to your neighborhood where its target customers were someone's children, parents, brothers and sisters.  But right now, when you open the newspaper or turn on the television, you learn that the person that brought the drugs into your neighborhood, which ultimately made their way to your child, is considered by many in both the media and the public to be a "non-violent, low-level drug offender."

DC sniper Lee Boyd Malvo's life sentence thrown out.  A federal district court judge has overturned the sentence of Lee Boyd Malvo, one of the two people convicted in D.C.-area Beltway sniper attacks nearly 15 years ago, according to a ruling released Friday [5/26/2017].  Malvo was sentenced to life in prison without parole for the sniper-style attacks committed around the region in October 2002 along with John Allen Muhammad.  Ten people were killed and three others were shot during a three-week period.

The Democrats' Second Secession & America's New Civil War.  [Scroll down]  Similarly, the animus behind Democratic assaults on Republicans and their support for law and order as "racist" is the direct consequence of viewing all social disparities through the distorted lens of oppression politics.  Thus, the "over-representation" of African-Americans in the prison system is not because of systemic racism.  Police forces have been integrated for decades, along with the entire criminal justice system.  African-Americans are "overrepresented" in the prison population because they are "over-represented" in the commission of actual crimes.  Democrats' embrace of the Black Lives Matter movement and its efforts to cast career criminals as civil rights victims and law enforcement officials as villains is an inevitable consequence of ignoring the specific circumstances of the incidents under review, and forcing them into the melodramatic framework of "racism" and "oppression."

Longer prison sentences: Good for the crime rate, bad for the criminal.  Getting tough on serious crime was a central focus of the Trump campaign, and so far Jeff Sessions, the new Attorney General, has not disappointed.  His latest action, a memorandum to all federal prosecutors amending the Obama policy of going easy on serious offenders, orders federal prosecutors to charge criminals with the most serious offense that is readily provable — that is, charge with the crime that carries the most severe sentence — including a mandatory minimum sentence. [...] By directing federal prosecutors to "charge and pursue the most serious, readily provable offense" in felony cases, as Attorney General Jeff Sessions did last week, he is fulfilling the government's primary responsibility:  protect American citizens from harm, and provide them with a safe environment.

Murder Isn't a Nationwide Problem.  The vast majority of murders in the United States occur in just a tiny percentage of counties.  In fact, the country can be divided up into three types of places:  those where there are no murders; those where there are a few murders; and those where murders are very common.  In 2014, the most recent year that a county level breakdown is available, 54 percent of counties (with 11 percent of the population) had no murders.  69 percent of counties had no more than one murder, and about 20 percent of the population and only 4 percent of all murders in the country.  The worst 1 percent of counties have 19 percent of the population and 37 percent of the murders in 2014.  The worst 2 percent of counties contain 47 percent of the population and accounted for 51 percent of the murders.  68 percent of the murders occurred in only 5 percent of counties.

Police arrests are plummeting across California, fueling alarm and questions.  In 2013, something changed on the streets of Los Angeles.  Police officers began making fewer arrests.  The following year, the Los Angeles Police Department's arrest numbers dipped even lower and continued to fall, dropping by 25% from 2013 to 2015.  The Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department and the San Diego Police Department also saw significant drops in arrests during that period.

California has fewer arrests, but not necessarily less crime.  The number of arrests by police in California has plunged in recent years, but that doesn't necessarily represent good news on crime, according to an analysis published Saturday [4/1/2017].

They're Not Federal Prisons, They're Factories With Fences.  It is immoral, not to mention economically self-defeating, to permit into U.S. markets goods made by prison labor overseas.  So why isn't it just as immoral and just as self-defeating to flood the marketplace with products made by prison labor here in America?

1st sex reassignment inmate says women's prison is 'torture'.  The first U.S. inmate to have taxpayer-funded sex reassignment surgery says she's been mistreated since being transferred to a California women's prison, where she now has a beard and mustache because officials have denied her a razor.

The judges & others who left alleged EMT killer walking free.  Just what does it take to get a ticking-time-bomb thug off the streets?  That searing question is prompted by news that the man charged with the murder of an EMT last week had no business walking free — yet officials failed to rein him in.  At just 25, José Gonzalez already had 31 arrests, including violent incidents, before his fatal run-in with EMT Yadira Arroyo.  Reports also say he was a Bloods gang member.  Yet a Mayor de Blasio-tapped rookie judge, David Kirschner, still gave him a free pass — just three weeks before the fatal encounter.

Why wasn't this man permanently locked up?
Bronx EMT Yadira Arroyo's killer is a Bloods gang member with 31 prior arrests.  The man arrested for running over FDNY emergency medical technician Yadira Arroyo and killing her after stealing her ambulance in the Bronx has a long arrest record and a history of mental illness, sources said.  Jose Gonzalez, 25, who goes by the nickname "Breezy Blood" and is a Bloods gang member, has 31 past arrests — plus six other contacts with cops related to mental illness or injury, according to police sources.  He lives in Fordham Heights in the Bronx.

Beloved mother-of-three beaten to death with a wine bottle by a parolee robber at the liquor store she owned.  A mother-of-three liquor store owner was bludgeoned to death with a wine bottle at her store on Thursday [3/2/2017], during a robbery carried out by a parolee.  Police were called to Char's South Ave Wine and Liquor around 5pm and found owner Charlotte Lahr suffering from severe trauma to the upper body.  Police and firefighters tried to revive the mother-of-three at the scene but she died.  Parolee Kevin Quander, 59, was arrested the next day for her murder and for robbing the store.

The Illusion of Freedom:  The Police State Is Alive and Well.  [Scroll down]  In fact, the American police state has continued to advance at the same costly, intrusive, privacy-sapping, Constitution-defying, relentless pace under President Trump as it did under President Obama. [...] For-profit private prisons haven't stopped locking up Americans and immigrants alike at taxpayer expense.  States continue to outsource prison management to private corporations out to make a profit at taxpayer expense.  And how do you make a profit in the prison industry?  Have the legislatures pass laws that impose harsh penalties for the slightest noncompliance in order keep the prison cells full and corporate investors happy.

The revolving door at the prison is a problem for all of us.
Gang member accused of killing Whittier cop had cycled in and out of jail, records show.  The gang member accused of killing a Whittier police officer Monday [2/20/2017] has cycled in and out of jail for repeatedly violating the terms of his release, records show.  L.A. County sheriff's homicide Capt. Steve Katz on Tuesday identified the suspect as Michael C. Mejia, 26, a career criminal with a history of drugs and violence.  Mejia has a "history of control problems," Katz said.  Mejia is suspected of killing Whittier Police Officer Keith Boyer and wounding another officer in a shootout following a crash involving a stolen vehicle.

Face-tattooed gangster shot LA cop dead in murderous rampage after he was released from prison early.  The first picture has emerged of the face tattooed gangster who killed a Los Angeles cop and wounded his colleague when they found him in a crashed, stolen car after allegedly murdering his cousin.  Michael Mejia, 26, shot dead veteran police officer Keith Boyer, 54, on Monday morning when he approached him at the scene of a crash in Whittier, around 23 miles south east of central Los Angeles.

Here's A Rundown of All the Looting and Robbery Incidents That Occurred During the Oroville Evacuation.  There's a lot to worry about when a disaster strikes your community.  You have to make sure that your friends and neighbors are going to be okay.  You have to make sure that you have plenty of food, water, and medical supplies.  You may even have to prepare to evacuate your home and leave most of your valuables behind.  And while you're focused on making sure that you and your loved ones are prepared to ride out that disaster, you can rest assured that there will always be some predatory person in your community who is preparing to take advantage of your situation.  That's the ugly truth about disasters, natural and man-made, that everyone needs to understand.  When everyone else is panicking or gathering supplies or hunkering down or running away, there's always someone watching the chaos and thinking "there's an opportunity for me here."

Michigan prisoners face harsh penalties for throwing bodily fluids at guards.  Inmates at Michigan jails will soon be seeing a new sign around their facilities warning them that throwing bodily fluids at working guards is a felony punishable by an additional five years behind bars.  The Officer Dignity Initiative will take effect this month and will add five years to the sentence of any inmate that throws food, urine, blood, feces, spit or other bodily fluids at a guard.

Just like Stalag 13:
Inmates have been sneaking in and out of Atlanta prison for years.  Inmates trying to break out of prison is nothing new.  But inmates breaking out, then breaking right back in?  It's apparently been happening for years at a federal facility in Atlanta.  Back in January 2013, the Atlanta Police Department started investigating inmates "temporarily escaping" from the medium-security US Penitentiary in the city, according to court documents filed in what appears to be the latest unapproved furlough.  Cops believe the inmates escaped through holes cut in the prison fence.  Officers first noticed a car parked near the prison fence line.  The people inside wore ski masks and jumpsuits.  When cops approached, the suspects climbed the fence and ran back onto prison grounds, court records show.

Muggers share their secrets on who they target and why.  Muggers often don't care how old their victims are or if they're robbing a man or a woman.  They're also not concerned about being seen on surveillance cameras.  Those revelations are some of the results of a survey of convicted robbers conducted by NBCNewYork.com.

Man freed early from life sentence by Obama back in jail.  A San Antonio man who was freed from life in prison by President Barack Obama is back behind bars after allegedly crashing his vehicle into another motorist and undercover police cars while fleeing from a drug deal Thursday [2/2/2017].

Man freed early from life sentence by Obama back in jail.  A San Antonio man who was freed from life in prison by President Barack Obama is back behind bars after allegedly crashing his vehicle into another motorist and undercover police cars while fleeing from a drug deal Thursday [2/2/2017].  Robert M. Gill, 68, whose life sentence for cocaine and heroin distribution conspiracy was commuted by Obama and expired in 2015, was profiled last year in the Express-News about his readjustment to life on the outside.

How Donald Trump and Friends Can Crush the Great Crime Wave.  [Scroll down]  Under Chief Justice Earl Warren, the magnification of technicalities went into overdrive.  With Mapp v.  Ohio (1961), the Warren Court extended the exclusionary rule to state prosecutions, and with Miranda v.  Arizona (1966), it added to the right of a suspect to remain silent a right not to be questioned and a right to receive helpful legal advice from detectives whose true job is to solve crimes.  Decided on a 5-4 vote and perhaps the most controversial ruling of Warren's tenure, Miranda provoked three bitter dissents, which make interesting reading for anyone of Roosevelt's or Cardozo's bent of mind.  And then there is the interdiction of the death penalty, a series of rulings starting with Trop v.  Dulles (1954) that traduced the original meaning of the Eighth Amendment and, through its multifarious restrictions and requirements, has made the condign punishment of capital crimes virtually impossible.

Convicted killer first U.S. inmate to get state-funded sex-reassignment surgery.  A 57-year-old convicted killer serving a life sentence in California became the first U.S. inmate to receive state-funded sex-reassignment surgery, the prisoner's attorneys confirmed Friday [1/6/2017].

Willie Horton:  A Fake News Story That Refuses to Die.  To merit his life in prison, Horton robbed a 17-year-old gas station attendant, fatally stabbed him 19 times, and dumped him in a trash can to die.  Twelve years later, despite a life term without parole, Horton received a weekend furlough, during which he knifed, blinded, and gagged a man in Maryland, raped his fiancée, and stole their car.  Dukakis supported the furlough program even after this incident.  So perversely liberal was the idea that Al Gore cited the Horton incident in his primary campaign against Dukakis.  The Bush campaign did not show or name Willie Horton in the ad it produced on this subject.  The ad showed prisoners passing through a revolving door while telling how liberal Massachusetts governor Michael Dukakis had supported this program.

Land of the Free, Home of the 33,000 Violent Street Gangs.  The FBI says that altogether, the United States is now home to about 33,000 violent street gangs, with a presence in all 50 states.  There are an estimated 1,350 gangs in Los Angeles alone. [...] There are a total of 1.4 million criminally active gang members across the country.  That means for every two sworn law enforcement officers in America, there are three gang members.  The number of violent gang members today is 40 percent higher than in 2009, and 25 times higher than in 1975.  And the figure keeps growing each year.

1 in 5 D.C. Killers Were Set Free by "Sentencing Reform".  Sentencing reform, a euphemism that the pro-crime lobby uses to mean going soft on criminals, is championed by the left and by some elements on the right.  [A recent] Washington Post story shows the terrible effects of sentencing reform on the victims of criminals freed to rape and kill. [...] The mythical "kid just locked up for smoking pot once" touted by sentencing reform advocates is just that.  A myth.  The system is full of repeat offenders who take advantage of every loophole thanks to their lawyers and then continue committing more crimes, going in and out of the system.

Five terrifying truths about our criminal justice system.  [#1] The Constitution may not apply:  Ironically, once a person has been taken into the custody of the state, a whole swath of that Supreme Law of the Land may not apply.  There's no definite verdict yet on how much an inmate is allowed to express under the First Amendment, though it's pretty clear that censorship is permitted of both the materials he or she receives and reads and is allowed to send.  Fourth Amendment protections against search and seizure don't apply in your cell or even in your home when on probation, where a search can be conducted by a probation officer without a warrant.  And multiple state prison systems themselves have been deemed in violation of Eighth Amendment guarantees against cruel and unusual punishment by virtue of their terrible medical offerings.  Package that up with explicit prisoner carve-outs in the Thirteenth Amendment for slavery and in the Fourteenth Amendment permitting their denial of the vote, and you've got a situation in a majority of the country where to be in prison is to effectively be in political exile.

The 7 Ugliest Propositions on the California Ballot.  [For example,] Prop. 57 — Jerry Brown's "Let's Put Violent Criminals Back On The Street" Act is a terrible measure.  Don't be fooled by the false and misleading ballot title and summary that leftist Attorney General Kamala Harris put on this one — it will reduce prison sentences for many, many violent criminals and put them back on the streets.  Worst of all — the sentencing "reforms" in it are retroactive — so victims of violent crimes trying to recapture some dignity and meaning in their lives will be re-victimized because of this cruel and dangerous ballot measure.

The Clinton Record.  [Scroll down]  Consider some highly noteworthy facts:  In 1990, when there were about 1,149,000 prisoners in penitentiaries nationwide, there were 1,820,130 violent crimes committed that year, including 23,440 murders.  In 2014, when there were 2,208,000 inmates in penitentiaries nationwide, a total of 1,197,987 violent crimes were committed that year, including 14,249 murders.  So, even as the population of the United States grew by 28% between 1990 and 2014, the incidence of violent crimes declined by 46%, and the incidence of murders fell by 39%.  These numbers suggest that putting more criminals in prison has helped to spare at least a million people per year from being victimized by violent crimes, and to save at least 9,000 people per year from being murdered.  If we look at the numbers from this perspective, incarceration suddenly doesn't look like such a bad thing, does it?

Arrest Numbers Reflect Growing Pot Tolerance.  FBI statistics released last week show that the number of marijuana arrests in the United States, after rising slightly in 2014, fell by 8 percent last year, reaching the lowest level in two decades.  The total was nevertheless more than twice the number in 1991, before a nationwide cannabis crackdown that peaked in 2007.  The number of marijuana arrests has fallen more or less steadily since then, reflecting a growing consensus that cannabis consumers should not be treated as criminals.

The Editor says...
The article immediately above is slightly misleading, in my opinion.  The number of arrests is down, but that's because in Texas, possession of small amounts of marijuana is a misdemeanor that is handled like jaywalking:  A citation is issued and eventually the defendant pays a fine.  And in other states, like Alaska, Oregon and Washington (for example), mere possession is no longer illegal.  The statistics have nothing to do with tolerance.

Heather Mac Donald Fact-Checks Hillary Clinton on Systemic Bias and Stop-and-Frisk.  Outside of academia, the legal profession is second to none in its leftward bent and racialist worldview; and its conservative members believe in equal protection under the law.  Participants in the system, particularly the judiciary, would not tolerate a situation in which black defendants were, as Clinton alleges, being given more severe sentences than white defendants for the same criminal conduct.  Federal sentences (and sentences in most states) are computed under race-neutral guidelines that factor in both offense conduct and criminal history.  The more crimes one commits, the heavier the sentence for any one crime.  This is a recidivism thing, not a race thing.

Obama Admin Slows Immigration Prosecutions, Increases Weapons Charges.  The number of new federal criminal prosecutions have hit their lowest level in nearly a decade, helped by declines in white collar and immigration prosecutions.  That's according to Justice Department data recently analyzed by the Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse at Syracuse University.  As TRAC details, the 9,118 federal criminal prosecutions the government undertook in July are the fewest since July 2007.  The July 2016 tally represented a 15.5 percent decline from June and continued this fiscal year's ongoing downward trend.

Presidential Pardons, Not Just for Low-Level Offenders Anymore.  On Tuesday [8/30/2016], the Obama administration granted presidential commutations to 111 federal inmates — including Oakland's Darryl Lamar Reed, a.k.a.  "Lil D."  So Reed stands out as the rare Californian to win a commutation, as well as an exception to the criteria for Obama's 2014 Clemency Initiative.  Then-Deputy U.S. Attorney General James M. Cole explained that inmates applying for a sentence reduction should be "nonviolent, low-level offenders without significant ties to large-scale criminal organizations, gangs or cartels."  Former Alameda County prosecutor Russ Giuntini was appalled to see Reed's name on a commutation list.  "This is not a guy that got caught up in the draconian federal sentencing guidelines," Giuntini wrote in an email.  Lil D is the kind of guy "the guidelines were made for.  He headed the largest dope organization in Oakland," which was responsible for a lot of carnage, was caught "red handed" processing some 20 kilograms of cocaine into crack — and thus landed in the federal pen.

One California city is paying people not to commit crimes.  A San Francisco suburb is testing a controversial strategy to combat the gun violence that's plagued the community — paying people not to commit crimes.  The experiment known as "Advance Peace" is being conducted in Richmond, Calif., and works like this:  The 18-month fellowship hires convicted felons to "court" troubled youth — who so far have avoided arrest due to lack of evidence — with offers of cash and out-of-town vacations if they mend their ways.  If, after six months, a "fellow" in the voluntary program begins to achieve specific goals, they can earn up to $1,000 a month.

Ramen noodles replacing cigarettes as US prison currency, study finds.  The level of care inside America's prisons, and particularly the quality of the food, has fallen so far prisoners are using ramen noodles as their preferred form of money for buying and selling goods and other favours, a new study has found.  The emergence of ramen noodles as a sort of cell-block currency in place of cigarettes is evidence of what Michael Gibson-Light, a doctoral candidate at the University of Arizona, calls the new "punitive frugality" that has taken hold in a prison system that is intent on cutting costs.

The Editor says...
Here is some free advice:  Prison is bad.  Perhaps you should do whatever is necessary to avoid incarceration.

Justice Department Says Poor Can't Be Held When They Can't Afford Bail.  Holding defendants in jail because they can't afford to make bail is unconstitutional, the Justice Department said in a court filing late Thursday — the first time the government has taken such a position before a federal appeals court.  It's the latest step by the Obama administration in encouraging state courts to move away from imposing fixed cash bail amounts and jailing those who can't pay.

US announces end of private prison use.  The US Justice Department has announced its intention to stop using private prisons, after a recent audit concluded that private facilities are both less safe and less effective than government ones.  US Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates circulated a memo instructing officials to either stop renewing contracts for private prison operators, or to "substantially reduce" the contracts' scope.  The goal, Yates wrote, is "reducing — and ultimately ending — our use of privately operated prisons."  "They simply do not provide the same level of correctional services, programs, and resources; they do not save substantially on costs; and as noted in a recent report by the Department's Office of Inspector General, they do not maintain the same level of safety and security," Yates added.

Obama administration to end use of private prisons.  The Justice Department says it's phasing out its relationships with private prisons after a recent audit found the private facilities have more safety and security problems than ones run by the government.

More than 100,000 defective combat helmets made by federal inmates put soldiers' lives at risk — and cost the government $19 Million.  Defective combat helmets made by federal inmates in Texas put soldiers' lives at risk.  The poorly-manufactured helmets were produced for the US military using prison labor and later failed ballistics tests, the Justice Department's Inspector General said Wednesday [8/17/2016] in a report.  Nearly 150,000 of the helmets were manufactured between 2006 and 2009, when the White House ordered 'surges' in combat troop levels in Iraq and Afghanistan.  Poorly supervised inmates also used dangerous, improvised tools such as makeshift hatchets, which could easily have become weapons.

Women in jails are the fastest growing incarcerated population, study says.  The majority of those women entering jail are black and Hispanic, mirroring demographic trends that cross gender lines.  Women, however, tend to enter jails in more vulnerable situations than men, as a higher percentage of women in jail were using drugs, unemployed or receiving public assistance at the time they were arrested.

The Editor says...
If the intent of this article was to make me feel sorry for the women in prison, it didn't work.

'Irish travelers' federally indicted in sweeping fraud probe.  Twenty-two Augusta area residents, many known as "Irish travelers," were named Tuesday in a 45-count federal indictment on charges of racketeering and other criminal activity related to the group's alleged scams.  According to allegations in the indictment, the defendants operated out of Murphy Village, near North Augusta in Aiken County, and committed a number of fraudulent schemes to obtain life insurance benefits, food stamps, Medicaid funds and fraud involving vehicle financing.  The travelers, which founded Murphy Village, self-identify as roving laborers and salesmen who offer an array of door-to-door services, according to the indictment.

These Gun Owners Are Least Likely Criminals, Report Finds.  Concealed-carry permit holders are nearly the most law-abiding demographic of Americans, a new report by the Crime Prevention Research Center says — comparing the permit holders foremost with police.  "Indeed, it is impossible to think of any other group in the U.S. that is anywhere near as law-abiding," says the report, titled "Concealed Carry Permit Holders Across the United States 2016."  From 2007 through 2015, permits issued by state and local governments increased by 215 percent, to more than 14 million Americans, according to the data.

Crack Dealer Freed Early Under Obama Plan Murders Woman, 2 Kids.  This week a grand jury in Franklin County returned a 10-count, death-penalty indictment against the ex-con, 35-year-old Wendell Callahan, for the triple murders.  Callahan broke into his ex-girlfriend's apartment and stabbed the three victims, according to a statement issued by Franklin County Prosecutor Ron O'Brien announcing the indictment.  The bloody crime scene was discovered by the woman's current boyfriend, who subsequently engaged in a fight with Callahan before he fled. [...] Callahan should have been in jail when the crimes occurred, but he was released four years early because federal sentencing guidelines for crack dealers got reduced.  The change is part of President Obama's effort to reform the nation's justice system as a way of ending racial discrimination.

For some people, being in prison isn't that bad.
FBI: Woman robbed Wyoming bank to return to prison.  A woman who was recently released from prison in Oregon robbed a bank in Wyoming only to throw the cash up in the air outside the building and sit down to wait for police, authorities said Friday [7/29/2016].

Unfair to the jury:
Judge rules Neo Nazi can cover up his white supremacist face tattoos to hide them from the jury in his armed robbery trial.  A white supremacist is being allowed to cover up his Neo Nazi face tattoos as he goes on trial for armed robbery.  Bayzle Morgan is accused of stealing a man's motorcycle at gunpoint in Las Vegas, Nevada, in May 2013.  But prosecutors are concerned that jurors will not give the 24-year-old a fair hearing when they see his numerous Nazi-themed face tattoos, Review Journal reports.

The Editor says...
Apparently the definition of "a fair hearing" is a hearing most likely to result in a positive outcome for the defendant.

Inside the Deadly World of Private Prisoner Transport.  Every year, tens of thousands of fugitives and suspects — many of whom have not been convicted of a crime — are entrusted to a handful of small private companies that specialize in state and local extraditions.  A Marshall Project review of thousands of court documents, federal records and local news articles and interviews with more than 50 current or former guards and executives reveals a pattern of prisoner abuse and neglect in an industry that operates with almost no oversight.  Since 2012, at least four people, including [Steven] Galack, have died on private extradition vans, all of them run by the Tennessee-based Prisoner Transportation Services.  In one case, a Mississippi man complained of pain for a day and a half before dying from an ulcer.  In another, a Kentucky woman suffered a fatal withdrawal from anti-anxiety medication.  And in another, guards mocked a prisoner's pain before he, too, died from a perforated ulcer.

Violent Felons Are Trying to Get Their Gun Rights Back in Virginia.  As congressional Democrats spent the week pressing for the passage of new gun control legislation, violent felons in Virginia were able to take steps towards having their right to own a firearm restored thanks to action taken by the state's Democratic Gov.  Terry McAuliffe.  When McAuliffe restored the voting rights for 206,000 felons in a move critics say was politically motivated, he also opened the door for those felons to have their right to own a firearm restored.  Previously, felons would individually have to petition the executive branch to have their civil rights restored.  Petitioners would have to fill out an application to the secretary of the commonwealth and submit a letter to the governor explaining why they deserve to have their rights restored.

The Editor says...
I can see where a state might restore a convicted felon's rights after a period of 15 or 20 years of good behavior, post-incarceration, but to forgive and forget as soon as his prison sentence is completed is reckless and highly premature.  The lasting stigma of a felony conviction is supposed to be part of its value as a deterrent.

U.S. Spends More on Medical Care for Inmates than Seniors, Veterans, Military Personnel.  President Obama has repeatedly demonstrated that there's an extra special place in his heart for incarcerated criminals, but this is a bit much.  The administration spends a lot more money on the medical care of jailed convicts than retired seniors on Medicare, active U.S. military personnel or veterans, including an extra $100 million in one year alone, according to a federal audit released this month.  The Federal Bureau of Prisons (BOP) consistently pays outside doctors and hospitals more to treat inmates than Medicare or other federal agencies would pay for the same services, according to the report which is the result of a Department of Justice (DOJ) Inspector General investigation.

'Ferguson Effect' is a plausible reason for spike in violent US crime, study says.  A new justice department-funded study concludes that a version of the so-called "Ferguson Effect" is a "plausible" explanation for the spike in violent crime seen in most of the country's largest cities in 2015, but cautions that more research is still needed.  The study, released by the National Institute of Justice on Wednesday, suggests three possible drivers for the more than 16% spike in homicide from 2014 to 2015 in 56 of the nation's largest cities.  But based on the timing of the increase, University of Missouri St Louis criminologist Richard Rosenfeld concluded, there is "stronger support" for some version of the Ferguson Effect hypothesis than its alternatives.

Man vows to continue to stalk TV reporter when sentence expires.  A man who was being sentenced for stalking a Philadelphia news reporter vowed Wednesday [5/25/2016] to continue to stalk the woman once his 15-year term ends.  Christopher Nilan, 32, made the promise after he received his sentence for stalking a female KYW-TV reporter, The Delaware County Daily Times reported.

The Editor says...
This is the sort of person who should be locked up indefinitely.  He has made his criminal intents known, and the state can either keep him in custody or try to follow him around wherever he goes.

Gunman Who Killed Auburn Officer Had Attacked Police Before.  State officials said 35-year-old Jorge Zambrano had been released from the Souza-Baranowski Correctional Center in Shirley, a maximum-security prison, on Nov. 1, 2013, after serving time on a list of charges, including cocaine trafficking, two counts of assault and battery on a police officer, two counts of resisting arrest, and selling, using or possessing a firearm silencer. [...] "When you have an Incorrigible criminal, someone who just doesn't cooperate whether they're in jail or out of jail, the criminal justice system doesn't know what to do with them to be honest with you," [Former Boston Police Commissioner Ed] Davis said.

Fundamentally Transformed: City after City Seeing Rising Crime Rates.  [T]his phenomenon is simply the most important development in police work since the advent of data-driven police work some 25 years ago.  In 1990 there were 2,245 murders in New York City; in 2014 there were 328.  In Los Angeles, there were 1,092 murders in 1992; in 2014 there were 260.  More than any other factor, it was data-driven police work, carried out by well-trained, well-informed, and well-motivated cops that brought these grim numbers to their currently more tolerable levels.  But now it's all being undone, and in city after city the trend is once again pointing toward higher crime.  America's police officers are today just as well trained and informed, but they are less motivated to do the proactive police work that keeps criminals in check.

Obama To Decriminalize Criminals.  [Scroll down]  Rather than blame the system they set up or the criminals themselves, Obama blames the criminal justice system.  In a speech last July at the NAACP convention our president, the "social justice warrior," said that our criminal justice system was neither smart enough nor fair enough.  "It's not keeping us as safe as it should be.  It is not as fair as it should be.  Mass incarceration makes our country worse off, and we need to do something about it," Obama declared.  Really?  How "smart" does it need to be.  The legislature passes laws, the president signs them at the justice system does what it is told to do — dispense justice.  It's neither fair nor unfair.  It's impartial, or supposed to be.  You break the law — you go to jail.

The 10 Most Dangerous Lies About Criminal Justice "Reform".  Myth #5:  We have a big government culture of over-criminalization that threatens liberty.  Fact:  Absolutely.  There are plenty of frivolous regulatory crimes on the books.  And none of that is addressed in this legislation or in any of the ongoing "bipartisan" negotiations.  This is all about promoting the ACLU's agenda for hardened criminals.  As it relates to our culture of violent crime, witnessed by the recent spike in crime across the nation, we do not do enough to combat it.  Ordered liberty is built upon government doing a few things well, one of which is law enforcement.  Returning to pre-Reagan crime levels where people are restricted in their movements and activities due to the paralysis we are now seeing in places like Baltimore, represents the highest level of tyranny.  Crime, lawlessness, and fiscal dependency policies undermine liberty in the inner cities, not sentencing and incarceration.

Obama doesn't think rapists, armed robbers, drug dealers are 'criminals'.  It's only May, but I think I've found the euphemism of the year:  According to Team Obama, criminals should now be declared "justice-involved individuals."  The neo-Orwellianism comes to us from the bizarre flurry of last-minute diktats, regulations and bone-chilling threats collectively known to fanboys as Obama's Gorgeous Goodbye.  In another of those smiley-faced, but deeply sinister, "Dear Colleague" letters sent to universities and college this week, Obama's Education Secretary John King discouraged colleges from asking applicants whether they were convicted criminals.

Obama: Our criminal justice system imprisons too many criminals.  [President Obama's weekly remarks]  Today, there are some 2.2 million people behind bars in America.  Millions more are on parole or probation.  All told, we spend $80 billion taxpayer dollars each year to keep people locked up.  Many are serving unnecessarily long sentences for non-violent crimes.  Almost 60 percent have mental health problems.  Almost 70 percent were regular drug users.  And as a whole, our prison population is disproportionately black and Latino.

The Editor says...
By and large, the people in prison are there for good reasons.  It may be true that a wholesale marijuana distributor or a serial burglar may be "non-violent" criminals, but there are minimum-security facilities and halfway houses for people like that.  Talk to someone who works as a prison guard, and you will quickly learn that there are thousands of people in this country who are behind bars because they need to be.

What's Next?  Voting Absentee from Prison?  [Scroll down]  Supporters of the plan like to talk about how these individuals have "paid their debt to society," only in this instance these 44,000 are still making payments in the form of probation or parole.  This is like allowing a layaway customer to take possession of the Xbox before he's made the last payment.  Come to think of it, some of these future Democrat votes may be on probation or parole because they took the Xbox without making any payments.  [Governor Larry] Hogan originally vetoed the bill because he harbors quaint notions about the need for consequences to follow when someone breaks the law.  He felt that no one put a gun to the criminal's head and made them take up a life of crime.  On the contrary the people with the guns to their heads were the law-abiding.  Forfeiting the right to vote until they paid their entire debt to society was only right and proper.

Prosecutors have too much power.  Juries should rein them in..  If there's strong evidence that you've committed a crime, there's still hope.  Despite the evidence, those responsible for convicting you may choose to let you go, if they think that sending you to jail would result in an injustice.  That can happen through what's called "prosecutorial discretion," where a prosecutor decides not to bring or pursue charges against you because doing so would be unfair, even though the evidence is strong.  Or it can happen through "jury nullification," where a jury thinks that the evidence supports conviction but then decides to issue a "not guilty" verdict because it feels that a conviction would be unjust.  Strangely, the former is much less controversial than the latter.

Jurors need to take the law into their own hands.  Nationally, most of the people locked up for drug crimes are African American, in spite of studies that demonstrate blacks don't use or sell drugs more than any other group.  We make up 13 percent of the country's population but nearly 60 percent of the people doing time for drug offenses.  And an endless series of videos have shown how black people get policed:  the mailman arrested in Brooklyn for yelling at the cops who almost ran him down; the teenage girl tackled by the cop at a pool party in McKinney, Tex.; Eric Garner, arrested for selling a cigarette in Staten Island and then put in a chokehold that killed him.  Like a lot of African Americans, I am sick and tired of being sick and tired.  I encourage any juror who thinks the police or prosecutors have crossed the line in a particular case to refuse to convict.

The Editor says...
The Editor does not necessarily agree with all of the opinions expressed in the article immediately above.  Some of them, perhaps, but not all of them.

Potential Supreme Court Candidate Defended Pipe Bomber, Child Murderer.  Judge Jane Kelly, who was appointed to the 8th Circuit Court of Appeals in 2013, is reportedly on President Obama's short list for the Supreme Court vacancy left by Justice Antonin Scalia.  Before becoming a judge, Kelly worked for years as a public defender in Iowa.  In 2005, Kelly was the appointed attorney for a 26-year-old man named Casey Frederiksen, who was charged with possession of child pornography.  Although Frederiksen had previously been convicted of sexual assault involving a minor, Kelly urged the judge to grant him leniency, arguing that he was not a danger to others and should be released and allowed to live with his father.  Frederiksen was sentenced to 14 years in prison in the case.  A decade later, Frederiksen was convicted of murder and sexual assault in the 2005 cold case killing of 5-year-old Evelyn Celeste Miller.

Obama's prisoner clemency plan faltering as cases pile up.  In April 2014, the administration of President Barack Obama announced the most ambitious clemency program in 40 years, inviting thousands of jailed drug offenders and other convicts to seek early release and urging lawyers across the country to take on their cases.  Nearly two years later the program is struggling under a deluge of unprocessed cases, sparking concern within the administration and among justice reform advocates over the fate of what was meant to be legacy-defining achievement for Obama.

Police: Man charged in North Bergen crash that killed 2 teens driving at 'outrageous' speed.  Shock and sorrow overflowed among relatives and friends who gathered in mourning on Monday [3/7/2016] at the site where two teenagers were killed by a speeding car in North Bergen over the weekend, as more details emerged about the motorist who is charged in their deaths.  Eric Patterson, 23, of Jersey City had tallied a long list of motor vehicle violations and had racked up 23 license suspensions.  He had last driven legally in September 2014.  Law enforcement officials on Monday [3/7/2016] said he may have been traveling at 74 mph on the 25-mph roadway just before the deadly crash occurred.

The Editor says...
This young man is 23 years old, and has had his license suspended 23 times, prior to September 2014, which was 18 months ago.  If he started driving when he was 16, that means he got his license suspended 23 times in 5½ to 6 years, or about every 90 days.  It would be interesting to read the court transcript from the day his license was suspended for the 21st time.  Surely something was said along the lines of, "We'll give you just one more chance, and then you're really in trouble!"  But no, for whatever reason, the State of New Jersey is determined to keep a license in this guy's pocket -- even though he would probably drive around without one.  To me it appears that the judges in New Jersey don't care what you do, or how many times you fail to learn your lesson, as long as you hire a lawyer and pay the fine promptly.  Even for the 22nd time.  It's no wonder there's so much crime in this country.  Punishment is hit-and-miss, at best.

A Million People Were In Prison Before We Called It Mass Incarceration.  October's cover of The Atlantic carries a headline that, even a decade ago, you probably never would've seen:  "The Black Family in the Age of Mass Incarceration."  The 20,000-word article attached to it, by Ta-Nehisi Coates, covers the remarkable growth in the United States' prison population and its outsize impact on black individuals, families and communities.  That Coates's piece employs the phrase "mass incarceration" 17 times is telling.  The term has become ubiquitous in conversations about prison in the United States.  But 10 years ago, barely anybody put the two words next to each other to talk about what the phrase has come to represent for many:  everything that's wrong with the American justice system.

Crack Dealer Freed Early Under Obama Plan Murders Woman, 2 Kids.  A convicted crack dealer who left prison early as part of the Obama administration's mass release of federal inmates has been indicted by a grand jury for fatally stabbing his ex-girlfriend and her two kids in Columbus, Ohio.  The gory crime drew national attention because the children, ages 7 and 10, were murdered to eliminate them as witnesses in the brutal massacre of their 32-year-old mother.  This week a grand jury in Franklin County returned a 10-count, death-penalty indictment against the ex-con, 35-year-old Wendell Callahan, for the triple murders.

Minor offenses in Manhattan will no longer result in arrests.  Under the terms of a new initiative that takes effect March 7, low-level criminal offenses such as public consumption of alcohol and taking up two seats on the subway for offenders won't result in arrests or prosecutions — just summonses.  "The Manhattan District Attorney's Office will no longer prosecute most violations or infractions, and the NYPD will no longer arrest individuals who commit these offenses — such as littering, public consumption of alcohol, or taking up two seats on the subway — unless there is a demonstrated public safety reason to do so," the agencies said in a joint release with City Hall.

The New California Crime Wave.  Something amazing has happened in California.  First, a brief background:  Crime rates across the state, after a long period of steady decline, had reached fifty-year lows in 2014.  Then, that November, a 60 percent majority of California voters — presumably incapable of accepting such good news without a measure of collective guilt — decided that it would be a really enlightened idea to pass Proposition 47, a ballot initiative bearing the cheery name "The Safe Neighborhoods and Schools Act."  The purpose of this measure was to downgrade many types of drug possession and property crimes from felonies (punishable by more than a year in prison) to misdemeanors (which often entail no prison time at all).  For the benefit of squeamish skeptics, the self-assured proponents of Prop 47 condescended to explain that these reduced penalties would not only alleviate prison overcrowding, but would also make California's streets safer by placing drug offenders into warm-and-fuzzy treatment and counseling programs, rather than into disagreeable prison cells.  If you think this sounds like a familiar old tune, you're quite correct.  It was #1 on the left-wing hit parade throughout the 1960s, when it became the theme song of skyrocketing crime rates across the United States.  And now the Golden Oldie is back, in the Golden State.  The tangible results of Prop 47 were both immediate and breathtaking.  Within a year, there were some 14,000 fewer inmates in California's state prisons and local jails, just as the Proposition's backers had promised.  But the other half of their promise — improved public safety — somehow failed to materialize.

California's "unprecedented mass forgiveness" of convicts raises more than a few questions.  In case you hadn't heard, California's governor has been on something of a binge in terms of releasing convicts from prison and reforming the system to be more fair to everyone.  Prison reform and rehabilitation vs isolation is all the rage these days it seems.  The Washington Post ran a feature this week on how wonderfully this has been going and it certainly makes a grade A effort to paint a happy face on these proposals.

Reverse shakedown:
Washington D.C. council passes proposal to give residents up to $9,000 in cash not to commit crime.  They say crime doesn't pay, but that might not be entirely true in the U.S. capital as lawmakers look for ways to discourage people from becoming repeat offenders.  The D.C. Council voted unanimously Tuesday [2/2/2016] to approve a bill that includes a proposal to pay residents a stipend if they don't commit any crimes.  It's based on a program in Richmond, California, that advocates say has contributed to reductions in crime there.

Lunch Money Surrendered.  The Council of the District of Columbia approved legislation Tuesday [2/2/2016] that would pay residents in the nation's capital for not committing crimes. [...] The experiment in Richmond, on which the above is based, involved "sifting through police records to determine the 50 [or so] residents most likely to shoot someone."  And then "approaching them and [offering] a stipend [of up to $1000 a month] to turn their lives around, and a mentor to help."  After four years of being subsidised for not being caught committing any further violent crimes, 65 of the 68 "fellows" enrolled in the programme were "still alive," although "one had survived a shooting and three had died."  This was deemed "promising."

Escaped California inmate was ordered deported in 1998, but never left.  One of the three violent convicts who escaped from a Southern California jail Friday [1/22/2016] had been ordered deported to his native Vietnam in 1998, but was able to remain in the U.S. and rack up more criminal convictions.  Immigration and Customs Enforcement said Tuesday [1/26/2016] that Bac Duong, 43, came to the United States legally in 1991 but was ordered removed seven years later after he served time in state prison for a 1997 burglary conviction.  However, the Orange County Register reported that Vietnam routinely refused requests from the U.S. to accept Duong and other deportees.

Supreme Court justices extend bar on automatic life terms for teenagers.  The Supreme Court ruled Monday [1/25/2016] that people serving life terms for murders they committed as teenagers must have a chance to seek their freedom, a decision that could affect more than 1,000 inmates.

Judge ignored warnings, freed 'slasher'.  The career criminal charged with slashing a woman on her way to work in Chelsea was on the streets because a judge ignored warnings that he's a "high risk" defendant and sprung him without bail on an earlier assault, The [New York] Post has learned.  Kari Bazemore is also suspected in yet another attack on a Bronx woman after Manhattan Judge Laurie Peterson set him free on Dec. 31.

Murder suspect in Washington had been released from prison early, officials say.  Officials announced last week that as many as 3,200 prisoners had been mistakenly released since 2002 because of problems calculating sentences.  So far, more than two dozen offenders who need to serve additional time are back in custody, and the Department of Corrections is reviewing additional releases.

Study: Smaller Counties Driving US Jail Population Growth.  While big-city jails get most of the attention, lockups in small and medium-sized counties have actually driven the overall explosion in the U.S. inmate population, according to a new analysis of 45 years of jail statistics.

Burglary suspect hides in Florida lake, where gator eats him.  A suspected burglar jumped in a Florida lake apparently hiding from law enforcement before an 11-foot alligator killed him, investigators said Monday [12/7/2015].  His hand and foot reportedly turned up inside the animal's stomach.  Brevard County Sheriff's Maj. Tod Goodyear says 22-year-old Matthew Riggins told his girlfriend he would be in Barefoot Bay to commit burglaries with another suspect.

Cruz: Most violent criminals are Democrats.  Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) said late Monday that most violent criminals also identify as Democrats.  "Here is the simple and undeniable fact — the overwhelming majority of violent criminals are Democrats," he said on "The Hugh Hewitt Show" that evening.  "There is a reason why for years the Democrats have been viewed as soft on crime," Cruz continued.  "They go in and appoint to the bench judges who release violent criminals.

Agency to Remove Art by Native American Activist Prisoner.  The paintings were done in prison by Leonard Peltier, 71, a Native American activist who is serving two consecutive life sentences in the deaths of two FBI agents during a 1975 standoff on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in South Dakota.

In some countries, the justice system moves with lightning speed:
Kill on the spot': Poll shows most Israelis support immediate execution for Palestinian attackers.  Over 50 percent of Israelis think that Palestinians suspected of carrying out terror activities "should be killed on the spot," says a new think-tank poll.  The hardening stance comes as 6 more Israelis were injured and 2 attackers killed over the weekend.

Obama Wants You To Refer To Juvenile Delinquents As 'Justice-Involved Youth' Now.  It's time to update your politically-correct jargon, America, because the Obama administration is no longer referring to juvenile delinquents as "juvenile delinquents."  Instead, the new, preferred and totally different term for kids who commit crimes is "justice-involved youth."  Attorney General Loretta Lynch rolled out the term earlier this week in a press release obtained by the Media Research Center.  "The Department of Justice is committed to giving justice-involved youth the tools they need to become productive members of society," Lynch explained.

Juvenile Delinquents Are Now 'Justice-Involved Youth'.  They used to be called juvenile delinquents.  But not any more.  The new term is "justice-involved youth," a non-disparaging, government-speak phrase that fits with the Obama administration's recent push to give people with criminal convictions a second chance to become productive citizens.  "The Department of Justice is committed to giving justice-involved youth the tools they need to become productive members of society," Attorney General Loretta Lynch said in a news release on Monday [11/2/2015].  Lynch said the Justice Department and the Department of Housing and Urban Development are launching a $1.7-million initiative to help Public Housing Authorities and legal assistance groups "reduce barriers for justice-involved youth."

Obama: Too many folks in our prisons.  [Quoting Barack H. Obama:]  ["]Today, there are 2.2 million people behind bars in America and millions more on parole or probation.  Every year, we spend $80 billion in taxpayer dollars to keep people incarcerated.  Many are non-violent offenders serving unnecessarily long sentences.["]

The Editor says...
Really, Mr. President?  Name one "non-violent offender" currently living in a state penitentiary.

Judge orders risk review of sex offenders in civil program.  Judge Donovan Frank laid out what he says must be done to fix problems with indefinite detentions that he ruled unconstitutional earlier this year.

States Struggle With What to Do With Sex Offenders After Prison.  Behind razor wire and locked metal doors, hundreds of men waited on a recent morning to be counted, part of the daily routine inside a remote facility here that was built based on a design for a prison.  But this is not a prison, and most of these men — rapists, child abusers and other sex offenders — have completed their sentences.  They are being held here indefinitely under a policy known as civil commitment, having been deemed "sexually dangerous" or "sexual psychopathic personalities" by courts.  The intent, the authorities say, is to provide treatment to the most dangerous sex offenders until it is safe for the public for them to go home.

Drone carrying drugs, hacksaw blades crashes at Oklahoma prison.  A drone carrying mobile phones, drugs, hacksaw blades and other material dangling in a bundle from a fishing line crashed at the Oklahoma State Penitentiary in McAlester before inmates could grab the contraband, prison officials said on Tuesday [10/27/2015].

The Banana Republic of America.  The American justice system is not without its flaws as we've seen all too many times.  A grievous crime is committed and the perpetrator is never discovered.  Sometimes there is a suspect who seems to be the perfect candidate but a grand jury doesn't find sufficient evidence for the prosecutors to move forward.  And in other cases, even if you get them to trial a jury doesn't see things the same way as the public.  (O.J anyone?)  In very rare cases a pardon can be issued and the system seems to have been short sheeted.  (Democrats will always cite Nixon for that one.)  But all of these scenarios have one thing in common:  the rule of law was followed, the accused were given their fair shot at defending themselves and the republic managed to stumble along on its way.

The Myth of Criminal-Justice Racism.  As President Barack Obama said in July in Philadelphia:  "The real reason our prison population is so high" is that we have "locked up more and more nonviolent drug offenders than ever before, for longer than ever before."  In popular understanding, prisons and jails are filled with harmless pot smokers.  The most poisonous claim in the dominant narrative is that our criminal justice system is a product and a source of racial inequity.  The drug war in particular is said to be infected by racial bias.  "Mass incarceration" is allegedly destroying black communities by taking fathers away from their families and imposing crippling criminal records on released convicts.  Finally, prison is condemned as a huge waste of resources.  Nothing in this dominant narrative is true.  Prison remains a lifetime achievement award for persistence in criminal offending.  Drug enforcement is not the driving factor in the prison system, violent crime is.

Obama's Tragic Let 'em Out Fantasy.  It takes a lot more than marijuana or cocaine use to end up in federal prison.  But the truth didn't matter.  Mr. Obama's prison tour came amid the biggest delegitimation of law enforcement in recent memory.  Activists, politicians and the media have spent the past year broadcasting a daily message that the criminal-justice system is biased against blacks and insanely draconian.  The immediate trigger for this movement, known as Black Lives Matter, was a series of highly publicized deaths of black males at the hands of the police.  But the movement also builds on a long-standing discourse from the academic left about "mass incarceration," policing and race.

A Life Sentence for James Holmes, Aurora Theater Gunman Who Killed 12.  In a decision that surprised many in this community, a jury sentenced James E. Holmes on Friday [8/7/2015] to life in prison with no chance of parole, rejecting the death penalty for the man who carried out a 2012 shooting rampage that killed 12 people in a Colorado movie theater.

California man who held 26 kids, bus driver captive in underground trailer gets parole.  The governor of California on Thursday [7/30/2015] allowed parole for one of three men convicted in the 1976 kidnapping of 26 children and their school bus driver who were held captive in a buried trailer.

Youngest children ever tried for first-degree murder set to be released from prison.  Curtis Jones was 12 and Catherine Jones was 13 when the siblings killed their father's girlfriend, Nicole Speights, 16 years ago.  They eventually pleaded to second-degree murder and were given 18-year sentences.  Curtis and Catherine will be on probation for the rest of their lives.

The Editor says...
Unless the penitentiary system works a lot better than I believe it does, I predict they'll both be back in prison within a year.

Obama and Over-Criminalization.  Obama recently told Americans that we are locking up too many people.  He meant, by that, that Americans are sending to prison people who are guilty only of drug offenses and pose no threat to public safety.  There is a kernel of truth in what he says.  People who use drugs, like people who drink too much, are not a threat to us unless they are on the highway or are committing other crimes while under the influence.  There is a predictable flaw in this leftist logic.  Look closer at the criminal records of these "non-violent" offenders and, almost always, if they are in prison, they have a history of violent offenses, or there is a lesser included violent crime in the underlying sentence, or the offense has been plea-bargained so that the violent nature of the underlying criminal act is watered down.

Inmate was nearly cut in two, missing organs after California prison riot.  Homicides are distressingly common in California prisons.  More than 160 inmates have been killed in the last 15 years, and the state has one of the nation's highest inmate homicide rates.

12 prison staffers suspended after convicted killers escape.  State prison officials announced a major shake-up Tuesday [6/30/2015] at the maximum-security slammer where two convicted killers broke out and led authorities on a 23-day manhunt.  A "new leadership team" is being installed at the Clinton Correctional Facility in Dannemora, with three top-ranking officials and nine security staffers suspended, according to a statement from the Department of Corrections and Community Service.

FBI investigating possible corruption at New York prison.  What started as an investigation into how two convicted murderers managed to break out of a maximum-security prison in upstate New York has now sparked an FBI investigation into possible broader corruption and drug trafficking at the facility.  Prison employees have told investigators about heroin use among inmates at the Clinton Correctional Facility, and the role of employees in the drug trade, law enforcement officials briefed on the probe told CNN on Monday [6/29/2015].

Cops livid over proposed 'police reform' measures.  Rank-and-file cops are fuming over several "police reform" measures [New York] City Council members plan to review this week, including bills that would force cops to get suspects' consent for searches, imprison police for using chokeholds, and require cops to give out the Civilian Complaint Review Board's phone number.  "These pieces of legislation have been proposed by individuals who have neither the expertise nor the experience to establish policy in the dangerous business of fighting crime," PBA President Patrick Lynch said in a statement Sunday [6/28/2015].

Across US, over 130 prison escapees on the loose.  Somewhere out there are an admitted killer who crawled through a Texas prison's ventilation ducts, a murderer who apparently escaped from an Indiana institution in a garbage truck, and a Florida convict who got other inmates to put him in a crate at the prison furniture shop and had himself delivered to freedom by truck.

Murder map shows where in the world you are most likely to be a victim of homicide.  A Brazilian think tank has released a macabre interactive map, which exposes the nations where people are most likely to be murdered — with Latin American nations coming top.  The Homicide Map, compiled using the most recently available date from 2012, lays bare how a third of the world's 450,000 murders were against victims in Central America, South America and the Caribbean, despite the fact that less than a tenth of the world's population lives in this region.

Free the Baltimore Six.  [Scroll down]  From the days of Sacco and Vanzetti on, leftists had invested a great deal of emotional capital in claiming the guilty innocent.  They particularly liked to declare groups of guilty people innocent — the "Jena Six," the "Chicago Seven (or Eight)," the "Catonsville Nine."  Beginning with the Zimmerman case, they switched tactics and began to insist the innocent were guilty, a darker turn altogether.  Now America has a genuine collective of the unjustly accused, the six officers that the New York Daily News casually describes as the "suspected killers" of Freddie Gray, the Baltimore Six.  But now leftists are the ones doing the accusing.

Three Observations About Hillary's Speech on Criminal Justice Reform.  I have read Hillary Clinton's speech on criminal justice reform and have three observations I would like to make.  First, Hillary gave the speech at Columbia University under the auspices of the David Dinkins Leadership and Policy Forum. Hillary said that Dinkins "leadership helped lay the foundation for the dramatic drop in crime in the years that followed."  Those would be the years that Rudy Giuliani was mayor.  Let me put this way.  Would Hillary have walked through Times Square while Dinkins was mayor?

Citing Baltimore unrest, Hillary Clinton calls for police body cameras and an end to mass incarceration.  Amid continuing unrest in Baltimore over the death of a young black man in police custody, Hillary Clinton on Wednesday [4/29/2015] called for widespread use of police body cameras and an end to mass incarceration during her first major policy speech since launching her presidential campaign.

The Editor says...
There is no mass incarceration.  Every defendant gets his own trial.  Incarceration will stop when crime stops, unless there is some monetary incentive to keep the prisons full.  The judges and court reporters can find jobs elsewhere.

More Prisoners, Less Crime.  For many reasons, including better policing and more incarceration, Americans feel, and are, safer.  The New York Times has not recently repeated such amusing headlines as "Crime Keeps on Falling, But Prisons Keep on Filling" (1997), "Prison Population Growing Although Crime Rate Drops" (1998), "Number in Prison Grows Despite Crime Reduction" (2000) and "More Inmates, Despite Slight Drop in Crime" (2003). [...] Last July [2007], Obama said that "more young black men languish in prison than attend colleges and universities."  Actually, there are more than twice as many black men ages 18 to 24 in college as there are in jail.

Rioters
Baltimore proves the need for 'Broken Windows' policing.  Here's hoping Mayor Bill de Blasio isn't too busy playing political games and barnstorming the country to absorb the right lessons from the Baltimore riots.  If he's paying attention, he'll learn a thing or two about policing and that the bloody price of failed leadership is paid by innocent families and businesses.  The disgraceful orders for cops to disappear or stand by and watch as rioters, looters and arsonists had their way should never be repeated anywhere again.  Nor should any mayor talk, as Baltimore's foolishly did, about giving "those who wished to destroy space to do that."


The perilous new push to excuse lawlessness.  Announcing his presidential bid this month, Sen. Rand Paul said he wants to repeal "any law that disproportionately incarcerates people of color."  Fulfilling this promise would require gutting murder statutes, and most other criminal laws, given the disproportionate black crime rate.  But whether or not Paul reaches the White House, a wide-ranging movement is already under way to transform the criminal justice system in order to avoid a disparate impact on blacks.  This push will jeopardize the country's two-decade-long crime drop.

Unexpectedly: Crime Rates Begin to Rise in Los Angeles.  I bring you shocking news, gentle readers.  If you take thousands of incarcerated felons and turn them loose on society, and you then allow the federal government and cultural elites to demoralize the police officers charged with keeping these liberated hoodlums in line, you end up with higher crime.  Who would have dared imagine it?  This is the state of affairs in California, where a succession of imprudent decisions by judges, lawmakers, and the electorate have combined to throw open the prison gates to swarms of men who in a sane world would have remained locked away at a safe remove from the law-abiding public.

Ankle monitors are no substitute for the incarceration of violent criminals.
D.A. says teen in alleged assault of pizza deliverer wore monitor.  A 17-year-old boy charged as an adult in connection with the alleged kidnapping, sexual assault and robbery of a woman delivering Domino's Pizza in Antioch was wearing a GPS ankle monitor, prosecutors said Wednesday [2/11/2015].  Darrion Miles Jr., 17, appeared in Contra Costa County Superior Court in Martinez on Wednesday on felony charges of forcible rape, sodomy, oral copulation, digital penetration, kidnapping, robbery and making criminal threats.  He did not enter a plea and was held at juvenile hall in lieu of the $6.4 million bail.  Authorities would not say why Miles had been outfitted with an ankle monitor, but Miles referred to his "po," or probation officer, on his Facebook page, which is peppered with derogatory references to women.

How to Make Sense of an Incoherent America.  [Scroll down]  Lots of college campuses are in so-called dangerous neighborhoods.  East Palo Alto is not far from the Stanford campus.  New Haven can still be a perilous place for Yale students.  Many of the Cal State campuses are in iffy neighborhoods.  Women alone walking to cars or apartments in these environs can often be targeted by criminals.  Why, then, is there not a greater campus awareness campaign about the dangers of the street, or at least more attention to insist that felons and convicted rapists are not released early in college neighborhoods?  Instead, more emphases recently have been focused on date rape and other college students.

Senator Leahy on Justice Dep't.: Incarcerating Criminals Doesn't Make Us Safer.  During a hearing on the nomination of Loretta Lynch to serve as Attorney General to the United States, Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), ranking member, Senate Judiciary Committee seemed to suggest that the Justice Department spends too much money on incarcerating criminals and that such incarcerations don't keep Americans safer.  "Nearly one-third of its budget goes to the Bureau of Prisons, draining vital resources from nearly all other public safety priorities," said Senator Leahy.  "A significant factor leading to this budget imbalance is the unnecessary creation of more and more mandatory minimum sentences."

Which Criminals Can Be Rehabilitated?  Imprisoning convicted criminals serves two primary purposes:  (1) to increase the safety of the public by quarantining unlawful offenders, and (2) to rehabilitate those who are incarcerated through punishment.  Point 1 is fairly straightforward, but point 2 may be food for thought.  Recidivism rates in America have been trending upward, from around 63% in 1983 to around 77% now.  This presents a peculiar contrast to the 40% decrease since 1983 in overall crime.

California Voters to Decide on Sending Fewer Criminals to Prison.  California voters appear poised to scale back the heavy reliance on incarceration they once embraced, with a measure that would transform several lower-level, nonviolent felonies into misdemeanors punishable by brief jail stays, if that, rather than time in a state penitentiary.  The referendum on Nov. 4 is part of a national reappraisal of mass incarceration.

Federal inmate dies after attack at prison.  A federal inmate serving a 40-year sentence for child-related sex offenses has died after being attacked at a southern Kentucky prison.

California Releases Thousands of 'Lifers' from Prison.  California continues to stretch the imaginations of non-liberals.  One unthinkable policy is Governor Brown's policy by which thousands of presumably dangerous prisoners originally sentenced by juries to life sentences in the slammer are being set free.  A Friday [8/8/2014] radio segment on the California Report was downright cheery about cons being released into local communities. [...] In other words, don't be scared, little citizens — the murderers and rapists have been taught techniques in anger management.

13 Ways The American Police State Squanders Your Tax Dollars.  [#8]  $6.4 billion a year for the Bureau of Prisons and $30,000 a year to house an inmate.  There are over 3,000 people in America serving life sentences for non-violent crimes.  These include theft of a jacket, siphoning gasoline from a truck, stealing tools, and attempting to cash a stolen check.  Most of the non-violent offenses that triggered life sentences were drug crimes involving trace amounts of heroin and cocaine.  One person imprisoned for life was merely a go-between for an undercover officer buying ten dollars' worth of marijuana.  California has more money devoted to its prison system than its system of education.  State spending on incarceration is the fastest growing budget item besides Medicaid.

Our Unwillingness to Defend Ourselves.  The U.S. Justice Department's Bureau of Justice Statistics reports that 2012 losses because of personal identity theft totaled $24.7 billion.  The money losses from identity theft pale in comparison with the costs of paperwork, time and inconvenience imposed on the larger society in an effort to protect ourselves.  According to LifeLock, while the laws against identity theft have gotten tougher, identity theft criminal prosecution is relatively rare.  Unless we develop a low tolerance and a willingness to impose harsh sentences, identity thieves will continue to impose billions of dollars of costs on society.

Facing legal heat, Texas prison system tries new cooling devices to ease oppressive temps.  The nation's most populous prison system, facing legal actions and criticism about inmates having to endure oppressive Texas summer heat, is looking to make conditions a bit more bearable at seven state lockups by installing cooling systems similar to those seen on the sidelines of early-season football games.

Prison: The Benefits are Great!.  Some of you may recall that back in 2002 there was a fair amount of controversy surrounding the California Department of Corrections' (DoC) decision to allow a life-saving, million dollar heart transplant for an inmate serving 14 years for armed robbery.  The DoC reasoned that not doing so would violate the 1976 Supreme Court ruling that states it's "'cruel and unusual punishment' to withhold necessary medical care from inmates."  The decision by the DoC raised an important question:  Should prisoners get transplants ahead of law-abiding citizens?

Court affirms Mass. murderer's right to get sex change in prison.  A federal appeals court on Friday [1/17/2014] upheld a judge's ruling granting a taxpayer-funded sex change operation for a transgender inmate serving a life sentence for a murder conviction, saying receiving medically necessary treatment is a constitutional right that must be protected "even if that treatment strikes some as odd or unorthodox."

Alabama Lawmaker Re-Introduces Castration Bill For Sex Offenders.  An Alabama legislator has re-introduced a bill to legalize castration of convicted child molesters if their victims were under the age of 12 — and make them pay for the procedure.  The Florence Times Daily reports that Rep. Steve Hurst (R-Munford) is proposing the bill for the 2014 legislative session, which begins in January. Hurst attempted to push this bill during the 2013 session, but it did not make it out of committee.

Same Lies, Different Day.  By focusing on the gun, and not the user, the left does not have to address the failure of the criminal justice system to consistently punish illegal gun use.  They can ignore, for example, that prior gun charges against the Navy Yard shooter were not pursued in a liberal criminal justice system that coddles criminals and ignores gun crimes.  Prosecutors in liberal jurisdictions, and perhaps in many jurisdictions, are much more interested in obtaining convictions than actually punishing gun crimes.  For the sake of their stats, they will accept guilty pleas to one of many lesser included charges, perhaps a second degree assault or a disorderly conduct, and dismiss the gun charges.

Aaron Alexis and The War On Standards.  We often hear from the left that our criminal justice system is broken.  Part of what the left, including our Attorney General, means by this is that too many people are in jail, especially too many Blacks.  I take no position in this post about that claim.  But in the case of Aaron Alexis — the Navy Yard mass murderer — it looks like the criminal justice system's breakdown consists of its failure to incarcerate.

Leftists Just Can't Help But Ruin the World.  From the 1960s well into the 1980s, laws regarding criminal justice and self-defense were stacked heavily against law-abiding Americans.  Liberal judges routinely handed down minimal sentences after criminals had been convicted of heinous crimes.  Americans who had defended themselves against criminals using force, often in their own homes, faced severe prosecution for exercising their natural right to defend their loved ones, their homes and their property.  Crime rates soared and outrage built up as the legal system allowed criminal after criminal to walk free while acting in self-defense could ruin a law-abiding American's life.  Liberals did all of this in the name of "social justice," on a theory that the system is inherently racist, poverty causes crime, and society is ultimately to blame for criminals.

Confession deal backfires and serial killer goes free.  Nolan Ray George, then in his mid-20s and working for the City of Pontiac, eventually confessed to three strangulations, two of them fatal, and went to prison for one.  Through plea deals with police and prosecutors, and fortuitous appellate court decisions, he served only 12 years in a Michigan prison.  Once released, he fatally strangled another woman in Ohio and was the prime suspect in a second strangulation.  He served only 10 years there.

Revisiting Crime and Punishment.  [Scroll down slowly]  That our prison population has quadrupled over the last few decades is proof that some measure of the sanity on the issue of crime and punishment that had been lost during the heady days of the 1960's has been restored.  But the paradigm of "rehabilitation" that rose to dominance during that time has not lost its hegemony, for our prisoners are supplied access to a variety of goods that well exceed the necessaries of life and that have nothing at all to do with punishment.

Sometimes Life in Prison Really Means Life.  The United States is now housing a large and permanent population of prisoners who will die of old age behind bars.

RFID Compliance Monitoring as a Condition of Federal Supervised Release.  Some states have moved to chemically castrating certain types of sex offenders, while others have considered implementing lifetime GPS monitoring.  And, for the better part of two years, the chipping of convicted sex offenders has lingered in the minds of concerned citizens and government officials alike, mutually frustrated with the serious inadequacies of existing sex offender punishment and registration regimes.

A Legal System Only a Mother Could Love.  Why ... do we go so far out of our way to protect criminals?  It's as if we're playing a game and all the rules are in their favor.  For instance, why should a cop making an arrest have to pause to read the perp his rights?  Why shouldn't jurors be made aware of the defendant's criminal history?  Why should a cop's honest mistake work to the felon's advantage?  One final question: When is a bloody axe not a murder weapon?  Easy answer:  When it's spotted in the back seat of a car that's been stopped because of a malfunctioning brake light, and not because the driver was suspected of whacking off his wife's head.

Obama:  Tilting at Racial Windmills.  Simply put, black offenders do not receive stiffer penalties than white offenders for equivalent crimes — not today, and not at any time in recent decades.  The most exhaustive, best designed study of this matter — a three-year analysis of more than 11,000 convicted criminals in California — found that the severity of offenders' sentences depended heavily on such factors as prior criminal records, the seriousness of the crimes, and whether guns were used in the commission of those crimes.  Race was found to have no effect whatsoever.

The Costs of Crime:  For more than two centuries, the political left has been preoccupied with the fate of criminals, often while ignoring or downplaying the fate of the victims of those criminals. … Britain has gone much further down the road that the New York Times is urging us to follow.  In the process, Britain has gone from being one of the most law-abiding nations on earth to overtaking the United States in most categories of crime.

1 in every 136 U.S. residents is behind bars.  Prisons and jails added more than 1,000 inmates each week for a year, putting almost 2.2 million people, or one in every 136 U.S. residents, behind bars by last summer.

The Editor says...
The article above, since it was written by an Associated Press writer, is apparently based on the liberal perspective that too many people are incarcerated in the U.S., and most of them don't deserve to be there, and they're only in jail because they're not white, etc.  Of course this is nonsense.  So many people are in jail because this country is full of criminals!  Many more have been or should be in prison.

Releasing Inmates Early Has a Costly Human Toll.  A shortage of jail beds puts career criminals back on the streets, where they often commit new offenses.

Skewed views of crime:  It does no good to point out that soaring crime rates in the United States began to turn down only after the declining rate of imprisonment was halted and reversed, leading to a rising prison population much deplored by liberals.  It does no good to point out Singapore's imprisonment rate is more than double that of Canada — and its crime rate less than one-tenth the Canadian crime rate.

Crime and Rhetoric:  Having declined for decades on end, the murder rate suddenly doubled between 1961 and 1974.  The rate at which citizens became victims of violent crimes in general tripled.  Such trends began at different times in different countries but the patterns remained very similar.  As the rates of imprisonment declined, crime rates soared — whether in England, Australia, New Zealand, or the United States.

New High In U.S. Prison Numbers.  More than one in 100 adults in the United States is in jail or prison, an all-time high that is costing state governments nearly $50 billion a year and the federal government $5 billion more, according to a report released yesterday [2/28/2008].

The Editor says...
That's money well spent.  As long as there is plenty of extra prison space, criminals will think twice about the consequences of their actions.

'Laxachusetts':  Where criminals get coddled.  Does it come as a surprise to anyone that Leeland Eisenberg — the disturbed man who allegedly strapped road flares to his chest and took five people hostage at Hillary Clinton's campaign headquarters Friday [11/30/2007] in New Hampshire — is a convicted rapist released from a Massachusetts prison?

Headbutting Police Dogs – A 'PC' Step Too Far.  You really couldn't make it up... a Welsh police force is training its dogs to headbutt criminals rather than bite them, because politically correct – 'PC' – bosses are afraid that allowing the dogs to bite criminals will infringe their human rights!

When good people fight back:  A guy came in with a knife, a threat and a demand for money. … But this time someone fought back.  Someone who didn't get the memo or pay attention in the training class.  Someone up on the mezzanine saw the guy and the knife — and saw a chair, up on the mezzanine.  A big chair.  And this somebody picked up the chair and heaved it down.  It clocked the wannabe robber and knocked him down.  He stood up, demonstrated that he knew several ways to use the f-word, and ran out the door with his tail between his legs.

A Land Fit for Criminals, Part I.  The general mindset of the political left is similar from country to country and even from century to century.  The softness toward dangerous criminals found in such 18th century writers as William Godwin and Condorcet has its echo today among those who hold protest vigils at the executions of murderers and who complain that we are not being nice enough to the cutthroats imprisoned at Guantanamo.

A Land Fit for Criminals, Part II.  Where the dominance of the left is greatest — in the media and in academia, for example — facts to the contrary are seldom heard.  The futility of imprisonment, for example, is a dogma on the left. … It does no good to point out that Singapore's imprisonment rate is more than double that of Canada — and its crime rate less than one-tenth the Canadian crime rate.

In Canada...
Criminals have all the rights.  Researching a column last week … I came across a revealing government document. … You only have to read a few pages to realize how, over the decades, our ruling class' obsession with the "rights" of criminals has reduced their victims to afterthoughts.  Not only have we scrapped capital punishment, gutted the meaning of "life" imprisonment and allowed violent criminals to apply for unescorted day passes from prison after serving one-sixth of their sentence and full parole after one-third.  Today, the very language of government when it speaks of prisoners' rights is reverential.

Inmates asking court to decide if nutraloaf is meal or punishment.  When shooting suspect Christopher Williams acted up in prison, he was given nutraloaf — a mixture of cubed whole wheat bread, nondairy cheese, raw carrots, spinach, seedless raisins, beans, vegetable oil, tomato paste, powdered milk and dehydrated potato flakes.  Prison officials call it a complete meal.  Inmates say it's so awful they'd rather go hungry.

Prison blues:  States slimming down inmate meals.  The recession is hitting home for inmates, too:  Some cash-strapped states are taking aim at prison menus.  Georgia prisoners already didn't get lunch on the weekends, and the Department of Corrections recently eliminated the midday meal on Fridays, too.  Ohio may drop weekend breakfasts and offer brunch instead.  Other states are cutting back on milk and fresh fruit.

Alabama sheriffs feed inmates on $1.75 a day.  Back in the day of chain gangs, Alabama passed a law that gave sheriffs $1.75 a day to feed each prisoner in their jails, and the sheriffs got to pocket anything that was left over.  More than 80 years later, most Alabama counties still operate under this system, with the same $1.75-a-day allowance, and some sheriffs are actually making money on top of their salaries.

Prison Staff Forced to Address Every Inmate as 'Mister'.  A British prison is forcing its staff to prove they treat inmates decently as part of the Prison Service's national "decency agenda," which includes addressing all inmates, including sex offenders and violent criminals, as "Mr.," the Telegraph reported Wednesday [10/1/2008].

Notes on Michigan criminal procedure:  Michigan sentences may not exceed two-thirds of the maximum.  A crime that is on the books as 12 years, for example, means a maximum sentence of 8-12 years with eight years being the effective maximum.  How much of that will be served?  The judges say that defendants usually get out after serving about 80 percent of the minimum.  In this case, that would be a little less than six and a half years.  Much of that time would not be served in prison, but in halfway houses.

Do the time, lower the crime.  In the last 10 years, the effect of prison on crime rates has been studied by many scholars.  The Pew report doesn't mention any of them. … A high risk of punishment reduces crime.  Deterrence works.  But so does putting people in prison.  The typical criminal commits from 12 to 16 crimes a year (not counting drug offenses).  Locking him up spares society those crimes.  Several scholars have separately estimated that the increase in the size of our prison population has driven down crime rates by 25%.

Who freed the cop-killers?  The only thing that would've prevented this homicide was the one thing politicians, judges, prison officials in Philadelphia don't want to address.  Warner, Cain and Floyd should have been behind bars at the time they were committing the robbery.

He's been held in 44 offenses — and he's 17.  Since age 10, Travis Hylton has been in and out of the Pima County juvenile court system, having been arrested on 44 criminal offenses in seven years.  All but six of those charges have been dismissed based on the fact that doctors deemed Hylton — now 17 — incompetent to stand trial and unable to assist in his defense.  Now Hylton sits in jail on three counts of attempted murder.

States May Free Inmates to Save Millions.  Lawmakers from California to Kentucky are trying to save money with a drastic and potentially dangerous budget-cutting proposal:  releasing tens of thousands of convicts from prison, including drug addicts, thieves and even violent criminals.

More Prisoners, Less Crime.  Last July, Obama said that "more young black men languish in prison than attend colleges and universities."  Actually, there are more than twice as many black men ages 18 to 24 in college as there are in jail.  Last September he said, "We have a system that locks away too many young, first-time, nonviolent offenders for the better part of their lives."  But Heather Mac Donald of the Manhattan Institute, writing in the institute's City Journal, notes that from 1999 to 2004, violent offenders accounted for all of the increase in the prison population.

When dealing with punks, there's no time to be a liberal.  In my humble opinion — shared with all those with some elementary understanding of the art of policing — the leading cause of anti-social behaviour is permission.  People, and young punks especially, will do things that even they know are malicious because no one will stop them.  The worst possible conditions exist, as today, when the surrounding society is befogged with idiotic, decadent notions, such as the idea that the punks are themselves "victims" of some material deprivation, when what they have in fact been deprived of is the iron fist of the law.

Idiot Compassion:  Idiot compassion invents Miranda rights to protect criminals from prosecution rather than allowing police powers to protect innocent citizens. ... Idiot compassion is so fearful that one innocent man might be imprisoned that it helps enact laws that insure freedom to thousands of certainly guilty ones, by disallowing evidence obtained against them.

Shocking crimes of the 65 killers released under Labour to strike again.  Murderers freed from life sentences under Labour have committed a string of rapes and killings.  Ministers last night admitted the full scale of reoffending by so-called lifers.  After their release, the 65 killers committed at least three further murders, one attempted murder and three rapes.  They were also responsible for crimes such as a paedophile attack, two woundings causing grievous bodily harm and three offences of kidnapping, false imprisonment or abduction.

Judges tentatively order California inmates released.  A special panel of federal judges tentatively ruled Monday that California must release tens of thousands of inmates to relieve overcrowding.  The judges said no other solution will improve conditions so poor that inmates die regularly of suicides or lack of proper care.  The panel said it wanted the state to present a plan to trim the population in two to three years.

The Editor says...
Yes, prisons are unpleasant.  That's why the threat of imprisonment is a deterrent.  Here's a sure way to relieve overcrowding:  Build more prisons.

Bailiff's mistake leads to mistrial in Harris murder.  The Harris County jury returned a guilty verdict after deliberating 45 minutes in a murder case, but the judge realized he had a real problem.  Sitting in the jury box were 13 citizens.  Instead of sentencing Charles Mapps to prison in the shooting death of his girlfriend, state District Judge Mark Kent Ellis on Tuesday declared a mistrial.

D.C.'s money-saving plan:  Free inmates.  Mayor Adrian M. Fenty wants to help balance the District's recession-squeezed budget by allowing as many as 80 percent of the city's inmates to qualify for early release, borrowing a tactic that has stirred controversy elsewhere in the nation.  The city hopes to save $4.4 million in fiscal 2010 under the plan, which would reduce the prison population by 2 percent from its current daily average of 3,000 inmates.

The Editor says...
Hmmm... two percent of 3,000 inmates.  That's only 60 inmates set free, and yet it will save $4.4 million, which means that it costs over $73,000 per year to keep each inmate locked up.

One in 25 adult Ohioans is in prison, in jail, on parole or on probation, study finds.  One in every 25 adult Ohioans is in prison, jail or on parole or probation, a study by the Pew Center on the States shows.  While the national average is one in 31 U.S. adults, the numbers are more dramatic for Hispanics (one in 27), men (one in 18), and blacks (one in 11), according to One in 31:  The Long Reach of American Corrections, released today.  Ohio's one-in-25 rate was sixth among the states.  Georgia had the highest at one in 13, and New Hampshire the lowest at one in 88.

The Editor says...
If the people in prison are genuinely guilty of violent crimes, and they've all had fair trials and adequate legal representation, then statistics like those above are not alarming at all.  On the contrary, it should be very reassuring to know that dangerous criminals are locked up!

Remember the Golden Oldies, Dr. Emanuel.  How humane, how civilized, liberal values have made America.  We've gotten rid of the death penalty, and all other cruel and unusual punishments.  So Charles Manson — murderer of nine people — and hundreds of other murderers can live out their lives in relative comfort, not having to worry about where their next meal is coming from, or freezing in the winter, or having to do hard labor, or miss their weight-lifting routines or basketball games.

Getting away with murder is the norm in Detroit.  At least 7 in 10 people who committed murder in this city last year have gotten away with it.  The most generous interpretation of 2008 homicide warrants and convictions supplied by local law enforcement officials shows that in more than 70 percent of homicide cases no suspect has been identified, arrested, charged or convicted of a killing.

APF and Hardin Constitution Violations.  A Livingston state representative is questioning whether Hardin officials and American Police Force have violated the Montana constitution.  Representative Robert Ebinger says he became aware of the situation after Cascade and Park County law enforcement officials came to him asking questions about APF. ... "No armed person or persons or body of men shall be brought into the state for the presentation of the peace or the suppression of domestic violence unless the application of the legislature or of the governor when the legislature cannot be convened," said Ebinger while reading the constitution word for word.

California jail entrepreneur has checkered past.  Michael Hilton showed up in Hardin, Mont., last week, presenting himself as an economic savior, the man who would take over the town's $27 million jail — empty since it was built as a development project in 2007 — and provide 200 new jobs in the process.  He wore a military style uniform, and as a gesture to local law enforcement offered up the use of three Mercedes SUVs.

Leftwing Pseudo-science Threatens Freedom.  America's Constitution is based on the Enlightenment view that Man has volition and Reason.  Because of this, he is perfectible and can determine how to live his own life.  He therefore has no need of a government's telling him what to do.  Because we choose our own actions, we are responsible for them.  In being responsible for them, we necessarily become deserving of rewards or punishments according to whether our actions victimize others.

At least someone in prison can't rob you.  Yesterday [10/6/2009], the Prison Governors' Association voted to abolish all prison sentences of under 12 months.  Short sentences, they believe, don't work and cost too much. ... [But] when criminals are in jail, they can't break into your house or attack people in the street.

Seattle's teenage Jesse James.  Victims call him a one-man crime wave who ought to be in prison.  Fans say he's a misunderstood folk hero in the grand tradition of Robin Hood, Huckleberry Finn, and Jesse James.  To police near Seattle, who are once more on his elusive tail, Colton Harris-Moore can be summed up in two words:  most wanted.

Leftwing Pseudo-science Threatens Freedom.  If the reader is ever accepted for jury duty, do not believe doctors' "genetic" or "mental illness" excuses.  Those are designed to make you disregard the defendant's responsibleness.  Those charlatans will hide behind the prestige of science.  Human conduct is not their legitimate field, for that is the field of volition, Reason and ethics.

Inmate released early is arrested in rape attempt.  One of the inmates the Sacramento County Sheriff's Department released early as part of an effort to reduce the state's prison population was arrested Tuesday [2/2/2010] on suspicion of attempted rape, less than 24 hours after getting out of jail, The Bee has learned.

Confessed child murderer spends days in downtown Lauderdale park.  Gary Kerpan confessed years ago to snatching a 12-year-old girl, raping her, stabbing her and killing her.  Now that he's out of prison, he hangs out in Fort Lauderdale's Stranahan Park.  He is one of Fort Lauderdale's homeless.

Muslims Exempt from Death Penalty in U.S.?  Last October there was another in the growing number of Islamic honor killings in the United States when a Muslim in Peoria, Arizona, Faleh Almaleki, got into his Jeep Cherokee and ran down his twenty-year-old daughter Noor, as well as her boyfriend's mother, Amal Khalaf.  Noor died not long thereafter, and Faleh Almaleki was charged with first-degree murder, aggravated assault and two counts of leaving the scene of a serious accident.  But prosecutors announced this week that he will not face the death penalty — it wouldn't be multicultural.

California prison case goes to Supreme Court.  Agreeing to hear an appeal from Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, the U.S. Supreme Court said Monday [6/14/2010] it will decide whether the state can be forced to release 46,000 inmates — more than one-fourth of its prison population — to relieve overcrowding.  The justices said they would hear the case in the fall and rule early next year.

Change Club Med Environment at Club Fed.  Unleashing criminals from American jails onto American streets is determinately criminal.  But still, the debate on American incarceration continues to flare up due to tough economic times and because our country spends roughly $50 billion annually to incarcerate public nuisances and dangerous thugs.  Shockingly, the annual cost per prisoner in California is $50,000.  No wonder there has been a violent push for the privatization of prisons and the revamping of the American legal system.

Penny-Wise on Crime.  For more than 200 years, the political left has been coming up with reasons why criminals should not be punished as much, or at all.  The latest gambit in Missouri is providing judges with the costs of incarcerating the criminals they sentence.

The Myth that High Unemployment Means a High Crime Rate.  Crime and unemployment:  everyone knows that they go together.  Right?  Unemployed people, desperate for enough money to pay their bills, buy groceries, and get medical care (since those heartless Republicans think "don't get sick" is a health care plan), must turn to crime.  At the very least, disheartened men sitting at home are going to lose their tempers, get into fights, and shoot their spouses.  Like most conventional wisdom among the elites, it turns out not to be true.

Anger at flat-screen TV prison order.  The Scottish Prison Service is ordering hundreds of flat-screen televisions for inmates in order to meet energy efficiency targets, it has emerged.

East End store owners fighting back.  On Saturday morning [12/18/2010], police said, a man identified by police as the owner of Shew Food Market, in the 7500 block of Canal, shot a robber who was fleeing, along with an accomplice, after taking a bag containing a substantial sum of money.

A Predictable Tragedy in Arizona.  A 2007 study by the U.S. Justice Department found that 56% of state prisoners, 45% of federal prisoners, and 64% of local jail inmates suffer from mental illnesses.  A 2008 study out of the University of Pennsylvania that examined murders committed in Indiana between 1990 and 2002 found that approximately 10% of the murders were committed by individuals with serious mental illnesses.  There are about 16,000 homicides a year in this country.  Using the Indiana study as a guide, roughly 1,600 of them are likely committed by people with serious mental illnesses. ... State governments have been very effective in emptying the hospitals in an effort to save money but remarkably ineffective in providing treatment for seriously mentally ill individuals living in the community.

Keen Graphs of the Obvious.  Not to put too fine a point on it:  liberals have been wrong about almost everything, and conservatives have been right about almost everything, at least in my lifetime (half a century).  That goes not only for the economy, the role of government, and climate change, but also for many "social issues" as well.
 ·  The death penalty seems to actually deter murder.
 ·  Higher rates of handgun ownership do not appear to cause more crime.
 ·  Putting more people in prison seems to reduce crime.
 ·  Increased concealed carry of handguns by law-abiding citizens coincides with reduced homicide rates.

Urgent new protection for felons' feelings.  Imagine, if you can, the shock and pain that denizens of the nation's capital feel as they return from prison only to discover that the office tasked with helping them is called the "Office on Ex-Offender Affairs."  Such a pejorative welcome must surely harm the tender psyches of those perps.  And, frankly, to discover that society attaches a stigma to felons must be quite the shock.  Worry not, because the stalwart D.C. government has a plan to stanch the suffering.

Inmates reap rewards of $35M settlement.  [New York City] has started doling out $1,000 checks to 26,131 former jailbirds who won a $35.7 million class-action settlement for illegal strip searches — and recipients who are back in jail are throwing their newfound weight and windfall around.  "I own you!" inmates are bragging to jailers on Rikers Island, according to Correction insiders.

No More Smoking For Florida Prisoners.  In an effort to reduce healthcare costs at state prisons the Florida Department of Corrections is moving to make sure their facilities are smoke-free by September. ... "Inmate smoking and second-hand smoking is costing millions in healthcare costs each year," said Florida Department of Corrections Secretary Edwin Buss.

The Editor says...
It's only a matter of time before this smoking ban faces a court challenge based on the Eighth Amendment.  But in the meantime, it's a step in the right direction, as far as I'm concerned -- not because I'm opposed to other people smoking, but because prisons should be made as uncomfortable as legally possible, so the threat of prison time will act as a deterrent to crime.

Where does California put 33,000 released inmates?  Hasn't California suffered enough?  Apparently not, according to the U.S. Supreme Court.  In the name of reducing prison overcrowding and preserving a "standard of decency," the high court this week handed down a decision that could set the stage for something indecent:  the release of tens of thousands of prisoners back into society.

In lieu of prison, bring back the lash.  Suggest adding the whipping post to America's system of criminal justice and most people recoil in horror.  But offer a choice between five years in prison or 10 lashes and almost everybody picks the lash.  What does that say about prison?

The Right TV: 12 most conservative TV shows ever.  [#5]  Dragnet (1951-59, 1967-70):  Dragnet was based on a simple, conservative premise:  Cops are good, criminals are bad, and crime must be punished.  Los Angeles detective Sgt. Joe Friday (Jack Webb) was the hard-nosed and efficient policeman tracking down the bad guys.  The show never got its due for its realistic portrayals of crime and detective work.  Every show ended with the perpetrator caught and sentenced.  The remake of the show from 1967 to 1970 was decidedly conservative as well, standing up against the hippie idiocy of the period.

Throw away the key!
Paroled lifers pose high risk of new crimes.  More than a third of the most serious criminal offenders paroled in Massachusetts over the past five years were returned to prison for committing new crimes or violating the conditions of their release, a Globe review has found, raising questions about the public risk posed by granting early release to scores of convicted murderers, as well as the state's ability to supervise violent criminals on parole.

More than 150 rapists freed early from prison went on to rape again.  More than 150 convicted rapists have gone on to attack again in the last five years.  Ministry of Justice statistics revealed last night the shocking extent to which sexual predators are re-offending, many after being freed from prison early.

Inmate sues state over lack of porn in jail.  A Macomb County inmate is suing Gov. Rick Snyder and the state, claiming he is being subjected to cruel and unusual punishment because jail rules ban pornographic materials.  Kyle Richards, 21, of Fraser filed the five-page handwritten lawsuit June 10 in U.S. District Court in Detroit.  He wants a judge to let inmates possess erotic/pornographic materials along with personal televisions, video game consoles and radios.

The Editor says...
I'm sure he would also like to have a leather recliner, a keg of beer, and a home theater system.  That's the whole idea about jail time:  It's not supposed to be fun.

Black men survive longer in prison than out: study.  Black men are half as likely to die at any given time if they're in prison than if they aren't, suggests a new study of North Carolina inmates.

Crime Is Easy.  Maybe there is a simple explanation for the riots.  In Great-Britain crime is easy and almost risk-free.

Convicted hammer killer carried out 11 armed raids while on day release.  A convicted hammer killer carried out 11 armed raids on bookmakers while he was on day release from prison.  Joseph Williams was allowed temporary leave from his 'open' prison in preparation for permanent release from his life sentence for murder.  But the 52-year-old gambling addict took advantage of lax supervision to go on a robbery spree to pay for his habit.

California's Prison Release Program.  Yes, it's expensive to keep people in prison, but Californians may one day rediscover that it's even more expensive to let them out.

Prisoners watch pay-TV movies in Victoria's jails.  Prisoners are watching pay-TV movies in their cells, at a cost to taxpayers of tens of thousands of dollars.  Pay-TV packages for Victoria's jails cost thousands of dollars a month, data obtained under Freedom of Information reveals.

The Editor says...
Personally, I don't have a problem with prisoners wasting their lives away, as well as their minds, by watching television.  That's better than having them riot and kill each other, or trying to escape, or working out in the weight room.  Television is a cheap tranquilizer.  Even so, the prisons would be more of a deterrent if they were more miserable places to live.

The scandalous state of our prison system.  The state of our prisons has become something of a scandal.  We have more prisoners today than we have soldiers, and more prison guards than Marines.  Our prisons have become boot camps for criminals.  That's one reason why I'm sympathetic to Peter Moskos' idea to bring back flogging.

Poverty Doesn't Make Thieves — Liberalism Does.  During the Great Depression, levels of crime actually dropped.  During the 1920s, when life was free and easy, so was crime.  During the 1930s, when the entire American economy fell into a government-owned alligator moat, crime was nearly non-existent.  During the 1950s and 1960s, when the economy was excellent, crime rose again.  In Britain, where the social safety net is more like a social swaddling cloth, crime rates other than murder are significantly higher than in the United States.

In England:
Thousands serving community sentences commit violent and sexual crimes.  Fifty people a day suffer a violent or sexual attack by a convict spared jail in the 'soft' justice system.  Victims include young children assaulted by paedophiles, figures released by the Government show.  They reveal that every year more than 18,000 convicts given a community punishment commit a sexual or violent crime within 12 months of being sentenced.

Top Fresno auto thief Robert Wollert released.  Robert Frederick Wollert, dubbed Fresno's top auto thief last year by police, won't serve a day in prison for his crime spree — thanks to a new state policy that sends non-violent convicts to local jails instead of state prisons.

NY inmate guilty of seeking $890M in tax refunds.  Prosecutors say the man filed the bogus returns from 2006 to 2010 while at various state prisons.

Soy diet prompts prisoners' lawsuit.  Prison grub never had a high culinary reputation, but now some inmates say it's not just the taste they don't like.  Illinois convicts have gone to court, claiming that too much soy in their diets has left them with severe health problems, including heart issues and thyroid damage, along with allergic reactions and gastrointestinal distress.

How State Budget Battles Could Mean More Criminals Back on the Streets.  In an article, "What's Behind America's Falling Crime Rate?," Time magazine reported, "In his book Why Crime Rates Fell, Tufts University sociologist John Conklin concluded that up to half of the improvement was due to a single factor:  more people in prison.  The U.S. prison population grew by more than half a million during the 1990s and continued to grow, although more slowly, in the next decade.  Go back half a century:  as sentencing became more lenient in the 1960s and '70s, the crime rate started to rise.  When lawmakers responded to the crime wave by building prisons and mandating tough sentences, the number of prisoners increased and the number of crimes fell."  But the budget battles in the states could change all of this, putting crime reduction in jeopardy.

Hundreds Kept Imprisoned in Georgia Despite Serving Their Sentences.  Georgia penitentiaries continue to feed, clothe, and pay medical expenses for hundreds of inmates who were approved for parole but cannot be released because they have nowhere to live.  About two-thirds are convicted sex offenders.  About one-third require mental illness treatment but are otherwise not considered a threat to public safety. [...] Having nowhere to go means inmates approved for parole have no family able or willing to take them and no publicly supported housing facility willing to accept them.  One of the challenges of Georgia corrections reform is where released inmates are to go when they leave prisons.

Top five cliches that liberals use to avoid real arguments.  [#5]  'Better 10 guilty men go free...'  As a truism, it's a laudable and correct sentiment that no reasonable person can find fault with.  But that's the problem:  No reasonable person disagrees with it.  There's nothing wrong with saying it, but it's not an argument — it's an uncontroversial declarative statement.  And yet people say it as if it settles arguments.  It doesn't do anything of the sort.  The hard thinking comes when you have to deal with the "and therefore what?" part.  Where do we draw the lines?  If it were an absolute principle, we wouldn't put anyone in prison, lest we punish an innocent in the process.

Crime and Punishment in a Free Society.  In England, the early kings recognized that the administration of justice could be a cash cow.  So they grabbed on and never let go.  As a result, the emphasis shifted to punishment (fines and imprisonment) and away from restitution (making victims or their heirs as whole as possible).  Liberty-minded people should regret this change.

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Updated December 9, 2017.

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