North Carolina Representative: Let's Bring Back Public Hangings
Republican Representative Larry Pittman of Cabarrus County, NC thinks, sort of like Newt Gingrich did back in the '90s, that capital punishment is the only way to scare people like "abortionists, rapists and kidnappers" (what, no murderers?) into being better citizens (and more conservative). But Pittman goes a step further than Newt: he thinks we should bring back public hanging. It's the only way, etc. Well, about every 36 seconds a Republican calls for the return of some barbaric practice or another, so big deal. But Pittman had a funny way of expressing his views: not boldly or proudly, in front of his fellow lawmakers or at the very least, atop a milk crate in some park, but in an e-mail that he accidentally sent to every member of the General Assembly of North Carolina. Ah, well.
Pittman, like Taco Man before him, is using the excuse that he was just in a bad mood. Apparently Pittman's lightbulb of an idea was generated by the pompous e-mail that murderer inmate Danny Robbie Hembree Jr. recently sent to North Carolina's Gaston Gazette bragging about how wonderful life in prison is and how he'll never be executed thanks to endless appeals.
Pittman apparently thinks that if we could just hang Hembree, everything would be fine. So presumably just get rid of the court system as well. Have angry mobs vote over whether someone committed a crime and then have them gather in the town courtyard to watch the suckers die. Pittman's e-mail:
We need to make the death penalty a real deterrent again by actually carrying it out. Every appeal that can be made should have to be made at one time, not in a serial manner," Pittman wrote in the email. "If murderers (and I would include abortionists, rapists, and kidnappers, as well) are actually executed, it will at least have the deterrent effect upon them. For my money, we should go back to public hangings, which would be more of a deterrent to others, as well.
And then, somewhat swiftly, the apology:
I was filled with anger, disgust, and frustration, as well as a profound sense of grief for the family of the young woman he killed. I felt a need to 'vent' some of these feelings and intended to do so to him alone. In the process, I got a bit carried away and overstated my case. I am sure I am not the only one who has ever done that.
No, sir, you are not even the only person (Republican) to have done it this week. Get in line! [WRAL]