Saturday, December 20, 2003


The ole hangman ended the year 0-for-5 when James Reid of Virginia got a stay from the Supremes. That wraps up this year in dining, but not the work of the elves at the workshop of They are putting the final touches, glitter and such, on their 2003 Death Row Dining guide. This 11 page .pdf file will have all the last meals and last words of the 65 folk that paid the ultimate price this year, plus much, much more.

And, the best news! It will be available tomorrow! In plenty of time for Xmas stockings across the globe. Check back tomorrow and made sure you have the Adobe Acrobat Reader on your complete. If you don't, go to and get the be free!

Wednesday, December 17, 2003


Democrats shift on death penalty
By Brian C. Mooney, Globe Staff, 12/7/2003

The highlights:
Soft on crime. Through the 1970s and '80s, Republicans flogged their Democratic opponents with those three words. George S. McGovern, Jimmy Carter, Walter F. Mondale, and Michael S. Dukakis all opposed the death penalty.

In 1988, Dukakis's stock crashed after he was asked whether he would favor the death penalty if his wife was raped and murdered. He replied with detachment: "I don't see any evidence that it's a deterrent, and I think there are better and more effective ways to deal with violent crime. We've done so in my own state."

He went on to lose 40 states to George H. W. Bush.

In 1992, party orthodoxy shifted. A self-styled "new Democrat," Governor Bill Clinton of Arkansas not only favored capital punishment, he also returned to Little Rock during the campaign to sign execution papers for a convicted murderer.

In 2000, Al Gore and Bill Bradley, the Democrats vying to succeed Clinton, favored capital punishment. And the trend basically continues in this presidential campaign cycle.

All six upper-tier candidates are on record as supporting at least some application of the death penalty. Moreover, four were opponents who have modified their views -- Howard Dean, John F. Kerry, Joseph I. Lieberman, and John Edwards. Richard A. Gephardt has been a consistent death penalty supporter, and Wesley K. Clark initially said after joining the race in September that he backed a moratorium on executions, but has voiced support of capital punishment as a punishment option for "the most heinous crimes."

The three Democrats who steadfastly oppose the death penalty are all lower-tier candidates in the polls -- Dennis J. Kucinich, Carol Moseley Braun, and the Rev. Al Sharpton. All three have said they would seek to abolish capital punishment.


Angelique from Hickville, KY--whatever you can scrape off the road and some pork rinds dessert: moms pie


unknown from unknown....One McDonald's Happy Meal, no toy please, 4 packets of ketchup,
two White Castle hamburgers, Burger King extra large fries, one slice of Chicago Style deep dish pizza, one pint of Ben & Jerry's Chunky Monkey ice
cream, one slice of Baker's Square bananna cream pie and a bottle of Johannasburg Reisling wine.


B.L. S. of Hell,Michigan...Two boxes of Kraft macarony and cheese with real butter and half and half used in the sauce in place of milk, 4 bottles of Faygo red pop.


Dave W. from Vancouver,BC - CANADA--Baked lasagna, garlic bread, caesar salad and a one litre bottle of vanilla coke.


Tricia J. in San Diego--Bacon cheeseburger w/ fried onions and lots of mayo, onion rings, 2 beef tacos, beans and rice, filet mingon (med. rare), lobster tail, sm. cheese pizza, sauerkraut spareribs and an extra large chocolate malt.


This is from a NYTimes column from Dec. 5, about the professor and his students that helped free some innocent folk from death row.

The part that caught my eye....

In an interview, Professor Protess said he initially was surprised by the number of cases he and his students encountered in which the prisoners were innocent. "I'd always thought that miscarriages of justice were an aberration and that our justice system, overwhelmingly, worked well," he said. "But I was seeing error rates of 10 to 15 percent. I was very struck by how pervasive the problem was."

I asked if he thought any innocent people had actually been executed.

"Oh, absolutely," he said. "There's just no question."

I also believe, from my own reporting, that innocent people have been put to death. Proof, however, is difficult to obtain because people are unwilling to do an extensive investigation after someone has been executed.

"You have to triage the cases," said Mr. Protess. "Do you want to investigate the case of somebody who's alive on death row who may be innocent, or somebody who's already been put to death?"

Now here is our advice. Find the one. It is easy to say innocent people have been executed without having to name one. Find the one. Put a name to a face. Show us the person that was plucked off the street and whose life was brutally ended. Who is it that will never see another day because of the excesses of the state? I know I would look at the situation with new eyes if you could say without a doubt and with ample proof "John Brown was wrongly executed and can't be brought back." Surely there are anti-penalty foundations that would fund this search for "The One."

The fact is, not one of the nearly 900 people executed post Gary Gilmore, has found to be retroactively innocent. Or, I should say, the fact as of now.

My prediction: Find "The One" and the percentage of people that support the death penalty (currently in 60's) would completely flip-flop overnight. The whole debate would change.

The past weeks have been nuts-to-butts busy. So we will take today to play catch-up. Just a note: The last reservation for the year is slated for tomorrow. That means sometime this weekend you will be able to get the year-end "Death Row Dining 2003" with every execution, all the last meals, all the last words and the food breakdown in .pdf format. The perfect stocking stuffer.