Thursday, 28 October 2010

Drugs, babies and head stomps


The above is Jeffrey Landigran who was no doubt not a nice person. He was convicted of strangling a man named Chester Dyer in Arizona a year later during an armed burglary and was sentenced to death. He had previously escaped from prison in Oklahoma while serving a sentence for second degree murder. Now the rabbit is opposed to the death penalty and has blogged on the topic before, notably here where I wrote among other things 'like anyone who has ever had to go though the autopsy photos of murder victims, I have no illusions as to the nature of violent crime. No doubt the great majority of these guys were guilty. I am against executing the guiltiest of them'.

Landigran's execution is in the news because there may be a British dimension to it. Capital punishment for murder was abolished here in 1968. There is no serious prospect of it being brought back and is contrary to the European Convention in any event. The UK promised in 2008 to lead efforts to strengthen EU controls on death penalty and torture equipment.

Sodium thiopental is an anaesthetic which is used used to knock out the condemned man before two other drugs that kill him are administered. Amnesty International has previously documented how lethal injection executions in the United States and elsewhere have caused excruciating pain and extreme mental suffering before death, with prisoners trapped in a 'chemical straitjacket' when the cocktail of three drugs is administered.There is apparently a shortage of sodium thiopental in the USA which is interfering with execution scheduling. So where did the sodium thiopental used to execute Landrigtan last Tuesday come from? The finger of suspicion points to the UK.

Archimedes Pharma UK, based in Reading, the only British firm to make the drug, denied knowingly providing it for use prior to the lethal injection. It says in terms that it has no control over the end use. The state of Arizona will not say where their supplies came from save that they came from the UK. The use by date on California's last batch expired in September but both California and nearby Arizona have new supplies with a use-by date of 2014. California states that their supplies came 'lawfully from within the US' but the only US manufacturer, Hospira in Illinois, has said that it did not supply California with the drug.

All very fishy. No doubt states such as Arizona and California will do as they see fit. The only thing that can be done here is to see that they are not facilitated in so doing (which is probably a criminal offence under European law). Some serious tightening up would seem in order



On a more cheerful note, the list of top UK babies' names has just been published and Jack has after years and years at number one been knocked off its
perch by Oliver. Strangely, its female equivalent, Olivia, tops the girls list. Here and without further comment is the top UK 100 boys and girls names. The rabbit notes with some consternation that Andrew has dropped out of the top 100 altogether.



The rabbit has previously mentioned Rand Paul, Republican US Senate candidate in Kentucky and in particular of his association with a group of physicians who hold the unusual belief that Obama won the Presidential election by mass hypnosis of the electors. Above is a clip of how his supporters dealt with a female protestor. Comment is superfluous. The rabbit also saw an amusing piece on Channel 4 News last night in which their intrepid reporter attempted to ask some questions of Christine O'Donnell. Not liking the turn the questioning was taking, her minders asked exactly who the questioner was. 'Channel 4 News, British TV' replied the reporter. At this point Christine was hustled off. The rabbit could not help noticing that she has a very big bum, a fact that had previously escaped his attention. Repeated requests for an interview met with no reply.

22 comments:

B.E. Earl said...

AND that head-stomping dude wanted an apology from the stomped-on woman for the way SHE acted. It's almost funny. Almost.

JoJo said...

I checked out the list of names and I don't think that "Isabel, Isabella and Isabelle" all deserve their own entries. Nor does "Sophia and Sofia" or "Holly and Hollie". Same names w/ different spellings shouldn't count separately. IMHO.

I've always been wishy washy on the death penalty. If one of my loved ones was murdered, I'd want an eye for an eye. On the other hand, do we kill people to show that killing people is wrong? On the other hand (foot?), prisoners have way too many perks in prison now. We watched a lot of those "Locked Up" documentaries and it shocks me how much personal property the prisoners are allowed. I say put 'em in solitary confinement with no access to anything and let them suffer that way.

Laci the Chinese Crested said...

W.R., don't be so wet. Nothing like slowly torturing a convict to death in the old Hanging, drawing and quartering. Burning them is also good. Although, the lethal injection is nearly as barbaric: I understand that veterinarians aren't allowed to use those drugs to euthanise people's pets. Remember, It's that deterrence effect of the death penalty since we all know how effective the bloody code was.

Seriously, I don't get capital punishment other than there is this huge vindictive streak in the US psyche and it saves money on housing the convict for the rest of their natural life. Nevermind that savings by shortening the life by execution is probably rendered negligable by all the appeals which come with sentencing someone to death.

Thuggery in US politics dates back to prior to the War for Independence. In fact, this crowd likes to make known its spiritual (at least) connection to the same crowd who would beat or tar and feather those who made it clear they didn't support the independence movement.

Which takes us back to the bloody code: where did they transport convicts prior to the establishment of the Botany Bay "Colony"? Why the North American Colonies.

Does that explain the thuggery?

Badger said...

Can't wait till next week when the Republicans get hold of congress and start executing Democrats.

savannah said...

such a wide variety of topics, sugar! i'm not sure where to begin because this is surely not one of those begin at the beginning and when you get to the end stop, sort of conversations .xoxox

Catch Her in the Wry said...

Violence in varying degrees has always been a part of politics and it comes from zealots on every side. This is nothing new.

My name isn't on the 100 list either - a rather surprising fact when only 13 years have passed since a popular royal figure, with a similar name as mine, died.

MITM said...

Interesting chain of comments. The histrionics employed by Laci - "thuggery in US politics" - as a backdrop to explaining why capital punishment remains a possible sentence for the crime of murder in the United States, is a dead end useless argument. History, whether here in the United States or in the UK, can easily be dredged out to illustrate barbarism and thuggery. I'm sure if you examine, even briefly, the history of British Colonialism and the defense of the British Empire, you'll find enough thuggery to rival, or even exceed, that of the historical U.S. And any serious conversations with the descendants of colonial populations will reveal deaths, maiming and other stories of woe at the wrong end of the Empire. Therefore, using your reasoning, there are likely a large number of descendants from British thuggery that would be prone to keep capital punishment alive and well in the UK. Fortunately, it is not. So, by the British example, we can throw out historical thuggery as a root cause for capital punishment.

I'd like to return to White Rabbit's comment - 'like anyone who has ever had to go though the autopsy photos of murder victims, I have no illusions as to the nature of violent crime. No doubt the great majority of these guys were guilty. I am against executing the guiltiest of them.' This, to me, is more germane to examining the reality of deciding for or against capital punishment - a personal and thoughtful response. As an American whose family has been visited by violence from the violence of armed racist to the violence of inner-city drug trade, I always hoped that I would never accept violence as an answer. Then fate threw me in situations, here in the United States, in Africa and the Middle East, where I witnessed human beings perpetrating heinous crimes for the joy of killing. I'm not talking about witnessed on the evening news - I'm talking about witnessed as in I wish I had never seen it. I have philosophically arrived at the point - and please note nothing to do with historical thuggery or religion - where, yes, some people don't deserve to continue to breath amongst us. Now, having said that, I am not a proponent of exercising capital punishment in a light or cavalier fashion. This is my biggest complaint as to it's exercise here in the U.S. I am, unfortunately, not able to rule it out.

Findon said...

Gutted. My name is not on the list.

tony said...

"She Once Had A Big Bum But It's All Behind Her Now" A Spokesman Said.

The Dental Maven said...

The Maven is against the death penalty for the typical reasons that others state. Additionally, it is expensive and The Maven is inclined to frugality. The idea that murderers have to spend their time contemplating their crime appeals to Her dark side as well.

Laci the Chinese Crested said...

Catchy--Your name is Diana Spencer?

sybil law said...

This would all be a moot point if they'd just let me do my sniper program! I fully believe that the people who commit crimes against children SHOULD suffer before dying.

I can be extremely bloodthirsty sometimes.

And yet, overall, the whole death penalty thing is so hypocritical.

Christine has a big bum, huh? Haha

white rabbit said...

Thanks to all for thoughtful comments on death penalty. A few rolled up comments...

I think the core argument is that self-defence/defence of another can be the only argument for taking a life. The death penalty does not correspond to this description. It could be argued that it is a collective form of self-defence but such argument lacks - and always has lacked - any firm foundation. Of course there ares econdary points as regards the irreversibility of executing the innocent, the failure to find a 'clean' way to execute. Laci - two of the rabbit's papist ancestors were hung, drawn and quartered under Elizabeth I so he takes a dim view of that kind of thing. And burning people at the stake is downright impolite. I take JoJo's point and if anyone did harm to my loved ones what I would do in hot blood would not make a pretty sight. But capital punishment is not done in hot blood. It is a killing in cold blood.And - not that I would advocate speedy executions - often so long after the event that the executed person has become transformed as against the person who committed the crime. I do know exactly what the Maven means - some people deserve to be sentenced to live...

Oh and MITM - welciome to my humble blog. It's at something of a tangent but there is a school of revisionist historians here who argue that the British Empire was not actually too bad a thing and nothing to be ashamed about. I think they have half a point.It was far from universally unpopular among the colonised - including the non-white colonised and - well - put it this way, would you rather have been a C19 native American in the US or Canada?

Laci the Chinese Crested said...

My point was that execution is pretty barbaric: attempts to find "humane" methods (e.g., the guillotine) usually end up being just as bad. Lethal injection is so cruel they don't do it to pets, but humans...

P.S. my ancestors put up a fight before being beheaded.

white rabbit said...

Names and Christine's bum...

Earl - I didn't know Mr Head Stomper wanted an apology. I suppose I shouldn't be surprised.

JoJo - Interesting point as regards spelling - in fact (try this as a dog whistle for paranoics) if the different spellings of Mohammed were added together, Mohammed and not Oliver would be top UK boys' name. Some - Jack, Alfie (yuck) aren't even proper names but diminutives.

Catchy/Findon - that makes 3 of us not on the list. As far as I remember, there never was a rash of little Dianas in imitation of D. Spencer, which I suppose is a little odd.

Tony - Are you Basil Brush in disguise? Sybil - It's a whopper! :-0

Laci - I know Catchy's real name but my lips are sealed...

Laci the Chinese Crested said...

I prefer Diana Spencer! I wish she were still around--the Royals have gotten too boring.

You wouldn't have been referring to John Keogh when you were referring to one of the more barbaric methods of execution there?

Isn't humane execution an oxymoron anyway?

white rabbit said...

Laci - Nope. never heard of him until now to be honest. Plus it seems the name was usually spelled the other way. And yes humane execution is an oxymoron.

MITM said...

White Rabbit

Glad to visit your humble blog. Looks like we have the beginning of a new TV game show: "British and American atrocities for 200 John!"

I hope one day Savannah and I have the pleasure of pulling a cork with you in London and discussing our mutual histories.

Mahal said...

British and American histories. What about what happened in Iraq under Bush and Blair in our lifetimes?

Melbourne Lawyer said...

Like you, I am opposed to the capital punishment. Sure, there are those who took innocent lives, but who are we to take the lives of these murderers? I read the comment of Laci the Chinese Crested... come to think of it, you do have a point. Although, I sure hope that is not the real reason why there are those lobbying for the capital punishment.

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