Shame that the US still hasn't abolished the death penalty as any civilized society has done. But it is their choice to have this kind of punishment, although there is no rationale for it.
Maybe if your family had been tortured and murdered, you may think differently.
But I agree. I am against death penalty. Whether I would be if I lost a family member in brutal circumstances, I don’t know.
That is why you have a legal and justice system, to prevent in effect mob rule.
While the examples quoted for this thread handily have two extreme right wing killers, (including McVeigh of course), the majority of state sponsored murders in the US are not from that group.
There have been numerous cases of the accused having terrible legal representation, some lawyer often having no experience in this sort of case.
As well as plenty where the evidence was subsequently found to be very questionable, usually after the prisoner was dead.
No such thing as 100% certainty either, DNA for example while a huge advance (especially in more 'cold cases'), it is an advance like fingerprints once were. Evidence can be planted, manipulated.
Given what we have seen in recent years, with the conduct of too many cops and Grand Juries, trusting some of those with cases in states that still have the death penalty is very problematic.
It was ended in the UK in 1965, not least due to a rash of very controversial executions in the 15 years prior to that.
Timothy Evans was executed for murdering his wife and infant child.
It was subsequently found that his landlord, Reginald Christie, had killed them (and several other women, including his wife). He was hanged Evans was given a pardon, after his death. Evans was of very low intelligence, at his trial Christie gave evidence against him and was far more convincing to a jury. Two years later, the truth was out, too late for Evans.
Bentley and Craig, in 1952 two teenagers caught robbing a warehouse were cornered of the roof by police. Craig, younger with a history of criminality shot and killed a policeman. Bentley, of very low intelligence (see a pattern here?), easily led, was unarmed, he said in response to police officers ordering Craig to hand over his gun he was waving around, said 'let him have it Chris'.
Craig fired. Craig however at 17 was too young to be executed. Bentley however, despite him having the intelligence of a child, was at 18. He was executed. Craig only served a few years in prison, the kid who fired the shot.
This coincided with one of those tedious 'law and order' crackdowns that our press and some politicians engage in, the Home Secretary took a break from his anti homosexual Witchfinding to ensure the execution, ignoring extensive calls for clemency from across the political divide. No, he wanted to look 'tough on crime'.
Ruth Ellis, the last woman to be executed in Britain in 1954. She had shot her lover, a wealthy playboy / racing driver. Ellis, from the wrong side of the tracks though with a son (who himself committed suicide in 1982 aged 37 after a miserable life), was as a hostess in nightclubs entered the world of her lover. Who beat her, one time so badly she miscarried their child.
We now know she may have been encouraged, in her post miscarriage mental state, to kill her lover by a rival for her affections, he may have even supplied the gun.
When executioner Albert Pierrepoint put the noose on Ellis's neck, she smiled. (Free at last perhaps?)
Again, much disquiet at the conduct of the trial, the very selective police evidence, the sheer swiftness of it.
One positive, it did bring in a law with took account of the mental state of someone accused of a serious crime like this.
She would not have been executed had that law been in place then.
Pierrepoint also did the Nazi War Criminals under British control, basically that meant the guards and staff at Belsen.
The UK were somewhat appalled by the hanging by strangulation that the US seemed to use, as well as their electric chairs and to the present day, often botched lethal injections.
Pierrepoint could get them out of the cells, noose and hood on, trapdoor opened, with the prisoner's weight calculated to ensure instant severing of the spinal cord and death, all within 8 seconds.
In later life, Pierrepoint reflected that he had not deterred any crimes.
I mention Belsen, since that was part of the endgame of WW2.
They were in my view, the last morally legitimate state executions the UK carried out.
Not a part of civil society, peacetime law and order after all.
Then we have Ricky Ray Rector, a lobotimised prisoner, who to help in his campaign for running for President, Gov. Clinton ensured was executed. How did Rector react? When called to his death he left a bit of his last meal, some dessert, to have when he came back to his cell.
Gotta have that political momentum haven't we? What's a mentally disordered and now semi functional prisoner to that?
And there we have it, state sponsored murder as a political prop.
Evans, Bentley, Ellis arguably, Rector, almost something out of the T4 programme in Germany, guess when?