Murder- rapist chooses electric chair over lethal injection. Good or bad idea?

Discussion in 'Politics' started by hapaboy, Jul 21, 2006.

  1. Killer gets electric-chair death wish

    Condemned man chose electrocution over injection

    Friday, July 21, 2006; Posted: 6:10 a.m. EDT (10:10 GMT)

    RICHMOND, Virginia (AP) -- A man convicted of raping and murdering a 23-year-old woman was executed Thursday, becoming the first person in the United States to die in the electric chair in more than two years.

    Brandon Hedrick, 27, was pronounced dead at the Greensville Correctional Center at 9:12 p.m. after the Supreme Court rejected his appeals and Gov. Timothy M. Kaine denied his request for clemency.

    "I pray for the people that are unsaved," Hedrick said in his final words. "I'm ready to go and be free."

    Virginia inmates have the option of dying by injection or electrocution. Hedrick chose the electric chair because he was apparently unnerved by the prospect of lethal injection.

    Earl Bramblett, convicted of murdering a Roanoke couple and their two young daughters, was the last U.S. inmate to die in the electric chair. He was executed in Virginia in 2003.

    Hedrick was condemned to die for the 1997 murder of Lisa Crider, who was abducted, robbed, raped and killed with a shotgun blast to the face.

    Virginia's death row inmates are given the option of dying by injection or electrocution. Three other Virginia inmates have opted for the electric chair over injection since the state began giving inmates the choice in 1995.

    Last week, several guards showed up at Hedrick's cell late at night to present him with a form on which he was told to choose his execution method, Hedrick's attorney Robert Lee said.

    The guards "begin talking about lethal injection -- talking about being strapped down to the table, being made to wait long periods of time, the difficulty sometimes in finding a vein," Lee said. "That information coupled with general frustration produced this result."

    Lethal injection was adopted by many states in recent decades after it was portrayed as more humane than other methods of execution. But defense attorneys in recent months have argued around the country that the combination of drugs can in some cases cause excruciating pain. Last month, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled unanimously that death row inmates can challenge lethal injection as a civil rights issue.

    Hedrick did not say the officers discussed reports of pain caused by the chemicals, Lee said. However, Hedrick "had some awareness of the concerns that have been raised in other litigation -- the idea that you're anesthetized, but maybe you don't remain unconscious," Lee said.

    The defense attorney said he did not believe Hedrick was manipulated into choosing the electric chair, but added: "Clearly, that stuff spooked him."

    Virginia Corrections Department spokesman Larry Traylor said he is confident the officers handled their task properly.

    Virginia has had a few problems with electrocutions in the nearly 25 years since the state resumed use of the chair, which was built out of oak in 1909. In 1990, blood was seen streaming from a condemned man's mask. The following year, an inmate needed extra jolts to kill him after he survived the first round.

    According to the Death Penalty Information Center, nine states allow some or all condemned inmates to choose between injection and another method. Ten states have the electric chair; only one of them -- Nebraska -- uses it exclusively.

    Hedrick's attorneys asked the U.S. Supreme Court and Gov. Timothy M. Kaine to stop the execution, arguing among other things that he might be mentally retarded.

    In 2002, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled it unconstitutional to execute the retarded. In Virginia, those who score 70 or below on an IQ test before they turn 18 generally are considered retarded.

    Hedrick's IQ was measured at 76 during his trial, but his attorneys argued that the margin of error and the passage of time may mean his IQ is actually below 70.


    I understand it's debateable, but seems to me the chair would be more painful than the injection.

    I still don't understand why they don't just shoot the condemned anymore. Isn't that the fastest, and thus the most merciful?
  2. there's no free will, imo. no one should be executed or be made to suffer for punishment purposes. however, if HE wants to end his life, that should be allowed.
  3. You could also argue that because he has no free will, that he can not be rehabilitated as well. If this is the case, we can't have a monster running around in the streets. More reason to execute. The people who decide that he should die do not have free will either. What compels them? Is their decision wrong then?
  4. Pabst


    The guy must have still had a childish fear of needles........

    Good riddance.

    And BTW: The press doesn't like to mention this fact because it rebuts CW, but the victim was African-American and the executed killer was white. So much for death penalty bias.
  5. any time you experience anything, it changes you without you even having to think about it. i disagree that because there is no free will a person can not be rehabilitated. also, i admit some people may be "too fucked up" to be rehabilitated. even still, these people should not be tortured, punished, or hated.

    btw, i think it's fair to dislike an action someone does, but if you say you dislike a person, what you're really saying is you dislike their genes + their life experience. since they were not in control of these things why should someone be hated for them?

    i completely agree that we can't have people running around the streets that will murder people. they must be separated from the public for sure. however, we should not demonize them, or put them in some tiny cell for 50 years to punish them.

    AND.. for those arguing that these punishments deter others from doing a crime, why should someone sit in jail to scare other people out of doing crimes? the other people have nothing to do with him.

    correct, the people who say he should die do not have free will either. their life experience has led them to their opinion. i would say their opinion is wrong if they're beliefs are based upon an incorrect idea of how the universe works. people who do not understand what is going on should not be in the position to make important decisions like this.

    everything i've said in this post isn't necessarily an opinion based on how i WANT things to be. instead, according to my beliefs about how the universe works, this is how i SHOULD think on issues like this ..otherise i'd be living inconsistent with my beliefs.
  6. pattersb

    pattersb Guest

    if people have no free will, why do some choose to rape/murder people while others don't?

    The rapists and murderers were predestined to commit such acts?

    I understand this is an age-old philosophical argument, I stand on the side of free-will (at least to a higher degree). It must be hell to stand on the other side...
  7. it's not a nice thought, but yes..

    look at what einstein said:

    Schopenhauer's saying, that a human can very well do what he wants, but can not will what he wants, accompanies me in all of life's circumstances and reconciles me with the actions of humans, even when they are truly distressing.
    — Albert Einstein, Address to the German League for Human Rights, November 1928. Credo

    einstein was obviously aware that humans will do distressing things, but knowing how the universe is working, he could reconcile with it. this is how i am too.
  8. aradiel


    Even though I dont necessarily agree with everything of what GG is saying, I perfectly understand all of his rationale.

    For example, using GGs model, what essentially differentiates the rapist and the right civilian is not the fact that the rapist committed rape and the later not. No. The crucial aspect here is the fact that the rapist desires to commit rape while the normal people does not. Think about it: it is easy for us, sane humans, to not rape people because we just dont want to. But what about those born with sick brains, those who have little voices inside their heads telling them to commit the crime. They wake up, go outside, see a girl walking alone and their mind start sending signals: do it, do it. Their minds literally tortures them with those thoughts.

    That is the difference between sane people and rapists. Normal people just doesn't get tempted with horrendous thoughts and wishes - we don't even realize the possibility, or the opportunity of the crime -, while rapists do. And it is important point out that sick-in-the-brain people didn't decide to be like that, they were basically born that way.

    It is normal to the brain to passionately desire things. Normal people have that deep need for affection, for example. But what if a subtle but important birth defect makes, in addition to exterior variables, an individual to start desiring violence in the place of affection when he hits puberty? The poor criminal in potential didn't want it that way, so when he rapes he is a slave of genetics, a product of a formation that went wrong. Should the society blame him?


    Now, just because we supposedly don't have effective free-will does it mean we shouldn't punish people? Not at all. Punishment, if done properly, is a cause that provides good effects.

    Firstly, we must protect the society from the rapist. But you may think "oh but essentially what you have been writing is that it is not his fault"; yes, perhaps it is not his fault. But if we have two solutions for a case here: one that makes one people pay for it, while the other is makakes potentially millions of people pay it. The right alterniative is obvious. Too bad medicine still didn't figure out how to effectively treat insane people.

    Secondly, the rapist example is an extreme one, most of the social interactions are made of much less black-and-white and more grey situations. Punishment is good to give to the already-inclined people the right incentives to not fulfill what they have in mind. And, despite the polar cases, I believe that is possible to have a significant degree of control not only over you actions, but upon the little voices inside our heads too.
  9. pattersb

    pattersb Guest

    Einstein also said, "We will never know the true nature of things..."

    I've heard it said: "We can get what we want, but we can't want what we want."

    I don't believe everything is predetermined, I believe these guys where sick thugs that should be punished.

    People can choose to act upon their wants. Are you suggesting these guys lacked the free will necessary to refrain from raping/murdering their victims?

    hogwash ..
  10. Cesko


    To me, the interesting thing is that quite often you hear about women killing kids, husbands etc. but I don't remember single one of them being executed. They are always found suffering from insanity, deppresion or whatever else. Considering feminist constant bitching about equal abilities etc., why aren't they held up to the same standard?
    Women being discriminated is one of the biggest scams of system called Western democracy(not my words).
    #10     Jul 21, 2006