Saturday, April 03, 2004


John Kerry is the first major-party presidential candidate in more than 15 years to take such a strong stand against capital punishment.

The skinny highlights:

Kerry a firm foe of death penalty

Sen. John Kerry opposes the death penalty almost without exception, making him the first major-party presidential candidate in more than 15 years to take such a strong stand against capital punishment.

"I know something about killing," he sometimes says when asked about it, a reference to his months in Vietnam as a swift-boat commander. "I don't like killing. That's just a personal belief I have."

He did, however, slightly amend his view in the aftermath of the September 11 attacks. Before then he had opposed the death penalty, even for terrorists, but he now says he supports it, in limited cases, for foreign terrorists.

The reason Mr. Kerry opposes the death penalty in most cases is because he believes it is unfairly applied by the U.S. criminal justice system.

...Not since the candidacy of Michael S. Dukakis, who served as Massachusetts governor while Mr. Kerry was lieutenant governor, has a major-party candidate run for president who was opposed to the death penalty.

...It's been nearly 25 years since a sitting president was against the death penalty. President Carter generally opposed it, though as governor he signed legislation reinstating Georgia's death penalty.

...This year's White House race pits two extremes on this issue against one another. Mr. Bush's home state of Texas has executed more murderers than any other state, while Mr. Kerry's Massachusetts is among only 12 states that still bans the death penalty.

Changing the dose in Nebraska...


Neb. Changes Electrocution Procedure

By KEVIN O'HANLON, Associated Press Writer

LINCOLN, Neb. - Nebraska has changed the way it uses the electric chair to head off legal challenges asserting that the procedure is cruel and unusual.

Instead of using four jolts of electricity, prison officials will now administer a single dose 15 seconds long, Department of Corrections spokesman Steve King said Thursday.

The change was implemented March 15 in anticipation of court arguments later this month involving three men convicted in the slayings of five people inside a Norfolk bank in 2002. The inmates believe the chair amounts to cruel and unusual punishment.

Lawmakers have been debating whether to eliminate the chair and use only lethal injection. Nebraska is the only state with electrocution as its sole means of execution.

The state adopted the four-jolts procedure after problems marred several executions in Florida, including one in 1990 in which flames shot out of an inmate's head.

But some experts have said the uninterrupted current of electricity has its risks, including problems like fires and severe burning of the prisoner.

All three people put to death in Nebraska since executions were resumed in 1994 were given multiple jolts of electricity.

I have always wanted to link a story from the Tehran I have.

Texas Snubs World Court on Execution Decision

HOUSTON (Reuters) -- Texas snubbed the World Court on Wednesday, saying the international tribunal's order to review the cases of 51 Mexicans on death row in the United States did not apply in the nation's busiest death penalty state.

The International Court of Justice, also known as the World Court, on Wednesday ordered the United States to review the convictions and sentences of 51 Mexican defendants.

The court sided with Mexico in finding that the condemned men, held in 10 different states, were not apprised of their right under the 1963 Vienna Convention on Consular Relations to seek help from the Mexican consulate after their arrests.

Texas Gov. Rick Perry's office said the decision would have no effect on the 16 affected cases in his state.

"Gov. Perry certainly respects the right of the World Court to have an opinion, however, they have no standing and no authority in the state of Texas," Perry spokesman Robert Black said.

"There is due process in this state and in this country and unless we're ordered otherwise by the federal government, this opinion has no effect in the state of Texas," he said.

The U.S. Ambassador to the Netherlands, Clifford Sobel, said the decision was being reviewed. In the past, the United States has rebuffed such rulings as an infringement on its sovereign rights.

Texas, once an independent nation, has long resisted external interference in its affairs and has a history of ignoring pleas for clemency in its no-nonsense justice system.


A few of the articles from the in-box clutter, some almost a year old...


Cost Cutters Slash Prison Food Budgets
ST. PAUL, Minn., May 14, 2003

Around the country, budget-cutting state officials are looking behind bars for savings - keeping prison buildings unoccupied, double-bunking inmates or laying off employees.

Even the prison mess halls aren't exempt.

Minnesota is considering following Virginia's lead in serving only two meals per day on weekends, calling one of them "brunch." Texas prisons have been ordered to cut inmates' daily calories.

The prison food proposals are among many cuts being considered as states struggle to balance their budgets. Thirty-four states have overspent their budgets for fiscal 2003, the National Conference of State Legislatures said last month, and 27 still have deficits to close before July 1. At least 19 are responding with plans to reduce prison budgets - and many are starting with the food tray.

For many state lawmakers, complaints about prison food don't elicit much sympathy when they're considering cuts that could leave people without health insurance or mean fewer police and firefighters.

"We have to make sure the rapists and murderers sacrifice like everyone else," said Minnesota state Rep. Marty Seifert, author of the state's "brunch" bill.

But his experience also proves the difficulty in legislating prisoner diets.

Seifert first proposed cutting desserts for prisoners, only to be thwarted when the Department of Corrections said it would cost a half-million dollars more per year to withhold the dessert. Turns out Jell-O is a cheaper way to get prisoners the calories called for under voluntary national dietary standards than, for example, fruit.

Texas prisons have been ordered to cut inmates' daily calories from 2,700 per day to 2,500 in response to budget cuts, said Larry Todd, spokesman for the Texas Department of Criminal Justice. Though a budget plan being considered by the Legislature could mean still more food-budget reductions, he said prisoners will continue to get nutritious meals.

Helga Dill, of Dallas, said her inmate husband's diet is largely composed of one item. "He says he's served hot dogs, hot dogs, hot dogs," said Dill, whose husband, Charles, is serving a 20-year sex crime sentence in the Estelle Unit, near Huntsville, Texas.

Todd said there's nothing wrong with hot dogs, which he said come from beef cattle raised on prison farms and make up a small part of prisoners' diets.

At Iowa's Newton Correctional Facility, food changes mean inmates get only one dessert now instead of two, and they drink a vitamin-enhanced orange-flavored liquid instead of genuine orange juice. Other prisons in the state are putting more macaroni and less meat in the goulash.

Nevada lawmakers also considered cutting the food budget for prisons - a move opposed by Gov. Kenny Guinn, who said the state already pays more to feed the wild horses under state control than to feed its prisoners.

In New York, prison managers are trying to find savings by cracking down on unnecessary use of plastic foam cups, paper plates and plastic tableware.

Charles Sullivan, of the Washington-based prisoner advocacy group Citizens United for Rehabilitation of Errants, said states could quickly find themselves with major medical bills if prisoners get sicker because of poor nutrition.

"It's something that sounds good politically but in the long run is going to be more costly," Sullivan said.

Nonsense, answer state correction officials, who say prison meals are nutritious if not always delicious, and that limiting second helpings is likely to make prisoners more healthy, not less.

Still, Todd doesn't blame prisoners for griping. "If I were in prison," he says, "I'd complain, too."


Joyce C. from parts unknown...

4-12 inch Subway subs, 4 orders of cheesy bread from dominoes, 1 pound of crawfish, 2 large orders of hot wings, 4 orders of TGI Fridays Motzarella sticks, Full Rack of Barbecue ribs, 2 double quarter pounders, 1 pound of egg rolls, Box of Slim Jims, Quart of A-1 sauce, Bottle of candy sprinkles, 1 pound of skittles, fried potatoes & 12 ounce can of Diet Dr. Pepper


a second (?) Joyce C. or maybe a few Joyce C. additions or someone pretending to be Joyce C...anyway...

3 Grilled Stuft Burritos, 2 Double Beef Burrito Supremes, 2 Mexican Pizzas, Little Debbie Brownie, And 3 french vanilla cappuchinos


Rebecca S., from Sayville, New York

4 Mozarella Sticks, Buffalo Chicken Hero (breaded, fried chicken fingers, smothered in hot sauce and tons of mozarella and baked in the hero roll until crispy), Broiled Scallops, Cantalope, Snapple Peach Tea, Strawberry Shortcake, 1 Slice Pecan Pie & 1 Pack Camel Lights.


Carmen B, From Bayboro, North Carolina...

A Large Lobster with Butter. A salad with honey mustard, and four hot rolls. Half a Cheesecake, with carmel sauce. Two nutty buddies. A six dollar burger, and a large moose tracks milk shake. A kiss from the judge and some french fries. Large Coca cola.


jersey jeff, scottsdale , az!!!

first off a pack of marlboro lgts , liter of cherry pepsi , 5 slimjims ----just for the day

dinner - chicken parm meal w/ gaaarlic bread , mashed potatoes , corn< extra butter >, asparagus , kit kat bar , pint of choco milk , and at the end of it all , a beautiful blonde hooker snuck in for the guard i payed 100,000 to.....36b , 24 , 26 size !!! when she is all done...then i'm ready to become cryogenically frozen for 100 years before awakening that it was not worth the shrinkage when i could have burnt toast 100 yrs ago !!!


Ray from parts unknown...

6 blue point oysters on the half (Johnnie Red and Club) , Bowl of Shrimp and Corn Chowder (Poulliy-Fuisse), 6 Barbecued Shrimp(Champagne), 10 oz Black Angus Filet steak, Asparagus, Butter-roasted Yukon Gold Potatoes, Sautéed Shiitake Mushrooms, (older Red Bordeaux), Stilton Cheese (Vintage Port), One scoop Breyers Chocolate Ice cream, Cognac & a
Macanudo (HRH Prince Phillip Cafe).

Thursday, April 01, 2004

March 31, 2004

...a suggestion for the young people...never, ever become a convenience store clerk...

Last Meal: Orbe requested a last meal of fried chicken breasts, French fries, green beans, and a plain chocolate brownie.

The skinny: Dennis M. Orbe was executed for fatally shooting a convenience store clerk during a robbery.

Orbe murdered during a 10-day crime rampage between that also included assaults, shootings, break-ins and thefts in three counties. He was captured after a high-speed chase ended in a crash.

More skinny: A surveillance camera at the store showed that Orbe walked in about 3:38 a.m., went to the counter and pointed a gun at the victim. After the man opened the cash register, Orbe shot him in the chest. Orbe then went around the counter and grabbed money from the cash register. Orbe expressed remorse for the killing and said the shooting was unintentional.

A psychologist who examined Orbe said he had a drinking problem and an "impulse control dysfunction," court records show.

Legal machinations: In final appeals and a petition for a reprieve filed with Gov. Mark R. Warner Orbe's attorneys unsuccessfully argued that Virginia's method of lethal injection should be declared unconstitutional. They contended that the method Virginia uses to carry out executions could cause unnecessary pain because the first chemical, a fast-acting sedative, could wear off before two other chemicals are administered. Orbe's legal team did not ask Warner to grant him clemency but asked only to delay the execution until the state changes its procedure for administering lethal injections. They stressed that the American Veterinary Medical Association finds similar methods unacceptable for animal euthanasia.

Last words and such: Orbe declined to make a final statement. Orbe was accompanied into the death chamber by his spiritual adviser, a Catholic nun who placed a small wooden cross holding a green plastic Jesus to Orbe's lips before she joined witnesses in the witness booth.

Factoids: Death row inmates in Virginia are asked to choose between lethal injection and the electric chair at least 15 days before their execution date. If they decline to choose, as Orbe did, the state chooses lethal injection.

Orbe was the...
22nd murderer executed in U.S. in 2004
907th murderer executed in U.S. since 1976
2nd murderer executed in Virginia in 2004
91st murderer executed in Virginia since 1976

Wednesday, March 31, 2004

March 30, 2004

...his supervisor at a prison slaughterhouse praised his butchering work as exceptional....
plus, butter pecan ice cream is quickly becoming the official deadmaneating ice cream flavor of 2004...

Last Meal: An eight-ounce filet mignon, medium rare; potato salad; six rolls with butter; fresh strawberries over shortcake; and butter pecan ice cream. He also received four packs of Pall Mall cigarettes and six cans of pop, including three of Mountain Dew.

The steak came from the prison kitchen. The other ingredients were bought at a local store for $11.66.

The skinny: Wickline was executed for strangling an unconscious woman with a rope in 1982 after slitting her husband's throat over a drug debt. The only witness said the former prison slaughterhouse worker cut up the bodies, which were never found.

Wickline was also charged with a murder in West Virginia, in which the victim was beheaded. That body was found on a bed and his head on a nearby nightstand.

Heads up: Teresa Kemp says she's been unable to sleep soundly for 22 years, still haunted by the image of her lover holding a man's severed head in his hand. ``Do you know I still walk into a bathroom sometimes and smell blood?'' Kemp wrote last month to the Ohio Parole Board. Trembling on the witness stand, Kemp provided the chief evidence that sent William D. Wickline to death row. She testified that he killed a Columbus couple over a $6,000 drug debt, butchered their bodies and recruited a friend to help throw the remains in trash bins.

The days before: Wickline slept about five hours Monday night and visited with his brothers early Tuesday. Wickline showered and shaved, and had two cups of coffee and Rice Krispies cereal. He then read the Bible and prayed.

Last words and such: Wickline's final statement was, "May tomorrow see the courts shaped by more wisdom and less politics."

Factoids... In 1978, his supervisor at a prison slaughterhouse praised Wickline's butchering work as exceptional.

Wickline was the...
21st murderer executed in U.S. in 2004
906th murderer executed in U.S. since 1976
3rd murderer executed in Ohio in 2004
11th murderer executed in Ohio since 1976

Powered by audblogaudio post powered by audblog

The final meal request of Dennis Mitchell Orbe, Virginia, March 31, 2004

Orbe requested a last meal of fried chicken breasts, French fries, green beans, and a plain chocolate brownie.

A complete summary will follow shortly.

Tuesday, March 30, 2004

March 26, 2004

..."It was for the kicks of it, I guess".....

Last Meal: A grilled cheeseburger with onions, pickle and tomatoes, french fries, 3 slices of cheese-and-pepperoni pizza, 3 pints of vanilla, chocolate and chocolate chip ice cream, water, a 20-ounce Coke, a 20-ounce Pepsi and fruit, including an apple, banana and orange.

The skinny: Lawrence Colwell Jr. was executed by lethal injection for the "thrill killing" of an elderly tourist in Las Vegas at the Tropicana.

More skinny: The victim, a New York widower who had retired to the Fort Lauderdale area, was vacationing in Las Vegas when Colwell's girlfriend lured him to his hotel room and summoned Colwell. Colwell strangled the retired Brooklyn furrier with a belt, took $91 in cash and the man's credit cards, but missed $300 the victim had hidden in a sock. Afterward, prosecutors said, Colwell and Merrilee Paul returned to their motel "and had sex and breakfast." Paul later pleaded guilty to murder and was sentenced to life in prison.

Colwell went to his death voluntarily, having waived his appeals. He could have stopped the execution at any time before the lethal drugs entered his system.

At his sentencing hearing in 1995, he asked a three-judge panel to sentence him to death for killing Rosenstock. "I took his life for no reason. No reason at all. It wasn't for the money. It was for the kicks of it, I guess. "It was like taking a walk in the park, taking a drive down the street," he said. "The act itself was committed that easily, and it was uncalled for."

Last words and such: Department of Corrections Director Jackie Crawford, speaking outside the prison gates after Nevada's 10th execution since 1979, said Colwell had no last words. "We asked him, did he want to say anything, and he said, `Absolutely not,' " Crawford said. Colwell took no sedative prior to his execution, she said. "But he did smoke a lot of cigarettes," Crawford said.

Factoids: Voluntary executions are the norm in Nevada. Nine of the 10 men executed since October 1979 have chosen death rather than pursue legal appeals.

Executions are held in the prison's gas chamber, though lethal gas hasn't been used since convicted killer Jesse Bishop was executed in 1979.

Colwell was the...

20th murderer executed in U.S. in 2004
905th murderer executed in U.S. since 1976
1st murderer executed in Nevada in 2004
10th murderer executed in Nevada since 1976

Powered by audblogaudio post powered by audblog

The final meal request of William Wickline, Ohio, March 30, 2004

Wickline was served his "special meal" of an eight-ounce filet mignon, medium rare; potato salad; six rolls with butter; fresh strawberries with shortcake; and butter pecan ice cream.

The steak came from the prison kitchen. The other ingredients were bought at a local store for $11.66.

He also received four packs of Pall Mall cigarettes and six cans of pop, including three of Mountain Dew.

A complete summary will follow shortly.