The Politics of Pain: Florida Legislator Seeks To Bring Back Electric Chairs and Firing Squads For Executions

Rep. Brad Drake (R., Eucheeanna) wants to put the pain back into executions. The Florida Republican has filed a bill to require the use of electrocution or firing squads to execute people — saying that lethal injection is simply too easy a way out for convicted murderers.

Saying that the convicted should not “get off that easy” with lethal injection, Drake wants to see people fried or shot instead. He said the idea came to him at a Waffle House in talking to a constituent. He said that the electric chair or firing squad would make inmates more scared and think about their punishment “every morning.”

He helpfully put this idea into perspective: “I think if you ask a hundred people, not even talking to criminals, how would you like to die, if you were drowned, if you were shot, and if you say you were put to sleep, 90 percent of some of the people would say I want to be put to sleep. Let’s put our pants back on the right way.”

I previously wrote about the increasing use of politicized piety and now we have politicized pain as a draw for voters.

Well, if we are putting our pants on, perhaps we should not stop with electric chairs. As discussed in this column, we used to cook people in a “brazen bull.” The Romans punished parricide (murder of a parent) by putting the condemned into a sack with a dog, a rooster, a viper and an ape — then throwing the sack into the water. Now that would keep guys up at night.

Drake may want to visit Iran where Sharia judges mete out punishment on the same theory from pouring acid into eyes to throwing people in bags down hills with sharp rocks.

When politicians start to run on the promise of pain for convicted persons, we have finally de-evolved into an unrecognizable state. Of course, promising to terrify inmates and hurt them is probably preferred to dealing with social programs being shutdown and unemployment rising in the state. What is left is the promise of gratuitous pain to satisfy some deep need. Then again, maybe it was the waffles.

Source: MSNBC

49 thoughts on “The Politics of Pain: Florida Legislator Seeks To Bring Back Electric Chairs and Firing Squads For Executions

  1. These are the same guys who want to sterilize poor women, yet not let them have access to an abortion.

    TeaBagger logic.

    ::

  2. From his linked website:

    Education (in order)

    University of Florida, B.S., Economics, 1993-2000, Alpha Gamma Rho, Chaplain, 1999,

    Affiliations (In order)

    First Baptist Church of DeFuniak Springs, member
    Hearts of Hope Ministries, Board member
    *others*
    —–

    As far as being a Christian goes, he’s just plain doin’ it wrong.

    What a wanker.

  3. Lotta:

    I find his plethora of religious affiliations, political connections, and NRA membership perfectly compatible with his high-handed and blood thirsty approach to punishment. If one views another person as subhuman in God’s as well as man’s eyes, well, all things are possible aren’t they? Boy of privilege imbued with delusion and an exaggerated sense of right and wrong permeated with a black and white take on the world and its problems. Not particularly novel in the Sunshine State or the Lone Star State or the Palmetto State, and sadly — though not as prominently — in the Old Dominion, as we’ve seen.

  4. Possible thought process of Brad and his ilk: Pain, punish, scream, hurt, pain, punish, punish, punish, Pain, Punish, PAIN, PUNISH, AHHHH….. ORGASM.

  5. not that this is what the guy is thinking but the possibility of a brutal execution may make the prospect of a death penalty less likely?

    I know if I was on a jury and could vote the death penalty using a lethal injection I might be more inclined to vote for death. If the method of execution were electrocution or firing squad I would be more inclined toward life in prison except for some really heinous crime.

  6. Counter proposal;

    Said legislator may have her wish, however, for every innocent death-row inmate acquitted just-in-time or historically, she must nominate a family member to be executed in that innocent person’s place.

    This has the added advantage of every family member wondering when they’ll be selected for execution. It sharpens the mind.

    It’s the only logic these people understand.

  7. Mespo: “If one views another person as subhuman in God’s as well as man’s eyes, well, all things are possible aren’t they?”
    —-

    They are indeed. As the Professor observed “When politicians start to run on the promise of pain for convicted persons, we have finally de-evolved into an unrecognizable state.”

    As a novice negotiator 40 years ago my first formal class in the matter used a very simple formula for teaching us what to emphasize and secure as we evolved as an organization. Using Mazlow’s table clarified for a business setting we aligned our ‘want’ list of proposals with the corresponding level of need in the table and considered where, in our organization’s life-cycle we were. A young organization could envision a negotiation that would center on the lower order of needs while a more mature organization could generally concentrate on gains farther up in the table of needs.

    Lower order needs were often the most difficult to achieve because both parties had the same needs and perceived the first negotiations as crucial for establishing a relationship going forward in time. First you work on sick leave; a gym open to employees instead of just executives, without cost, was a higher level need and not something to be overly concerned about too early on. The difference between security and (organizational) self actualization.

    We were also advised to read the times and health of the organization. Organizations, just like individuals, become less altruistic and outwardly directed when times are hard. Simple guidelines. And things went very well because among other things the times were pretty flush and the future looked bright for years ahead.

    Brad Drake is a sign of the times and the people that elect him and his ilk are unhappy, insecure and can’t be bothered with the niceties. The times won’t let them and they don’t have the will or the desire to fight the tide any longer. Some are predisposed to the coarsening of our public discourse and policies and there are too few breaks on them to motivate them to at least keep up appearances. There is no brightness in their future. The de-evolution of our public life is predictable and played out publicly with a lack of self-consciousness that I find shocking.

    I wonder where it will lead if it can’t or isn’t turned around? History has shown us that as you say “all things are possible” and there are places I would rather we not return to.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maslow's_hierarchy_of_needs

  8. Brad Drake is a baptist who probably believes in an “eye for an eye”. Lynchings were fine with them, too.

  9. “I think if you ask a hundred people, not even talking to criminals, how would you like to die, if you were drowned, if you were shot, and if you say you were put to sleep, 90 percent of some of the people would say I want to be put to sleep. Let’s put our pants back on the right way.”
    —————————————————————————
    Wow, so the conversation has turned to ‘how’…..not ‘should we?’…..that’s an ominous portent .

    Also strange is the logic stream when the very *act* of capital punishment has the least amount of support in the minds and hearts of the general public than it has ever had. Capital punishment is no longer seen as anything but detrimental to a civil and just society….especially with the advent of enlightenment of how mis-applied it has been in the not so distant past.

    Could this verbal sewage be a real reflection of legitimate thought or is it just a tool….?

    ps: “I think if you ask a hundred people, not even talking to criminals, how would you like to die,…….” is a really dangerous game in politics…..someone will not be intelligent enough to see the fallacy of the statement and may become empowered by it.

  10. SM, you are very likely correct about Drake though occasionally I feel an affinity for a good lynching. My likely targets would probably be far different than Mr. Drake’s tho. :-)

  11. Zvyozdochka (@Zvyozdochka)1, October 14, 2011 at 8:43 am

    Counter proposal;

    Said legislator may have her wish, however, for every innocent death-row inmate acquitted just-in-time or historically, she must nominate a family member to be executed in that innocent person’s place.

    This has the added advantage of every family member wondering when they’ll be selected for execution. It sharpens the mind.

    It’s the only logic these people understand.
    ————————————————————
    Wow, is this a law-blog or a mobster cafe?

    you know, there are a lot of dyslexic mobsters out there ……

    to them, if you say “could you please get me a cup of coffee”….they’ll shoot the coffee pot……..or the barista!

    another reason to be very very careful not just what we say, but *how* we say it! ( and to know who you are saying it to….)

  12. mespo7272721, October 14, 2011 at 8:12 am
    ———————————————————-
    you should be in office.
    we need more intelligent compassion in the halls of power…….

  13. Making any change to the punishment for a crime in the name of exacting pain or revenge is obscene to any sane person. The idea that we should torture a person to death to satisfy some sick legislator’s fantasies is outrageous. It is also counter to the constitution. He took an oath to uphold the constitution. His suggestion makes him in violation of his oath and should cause him to be impeached.

    I am in favor of the death penalty but do believe it should be used exclusively in capital punishment crimes where there is zero question as to the person’s guilt such as the Fort Hood shooter. If there is the slightest possible chance the person is innocent than the death penalty should be off the table.

    However, in those cases where the truth is absolute, the death penalty should be exacted within a very very short period of time. 30-90 days at the most. It is ridiculous that people spend decades on death row, costing the state millions of dollars and often dying of old age instead of their execution. But again, while the execution would be fast-tracked it would also be reserved exclusively to those cases where there is zero doubt.

  14. The population of the US as a whole, is trained for violence and blood lust. It is why we cheer war and killings conducted by the president, and love execution and pain. This is very deeply entwined in American society.

    What an evil man.

  15. Woosty = ^..^ poll: deeply disturbing gets my vote. Which is interesting on a couple of levels.

    “Mespo7272721 you should be in office.”
    Yep.

  16. Jill1, October 14, 2011 at 10:04 am

    The population of the US as a whole, is trained for violence and blood lust. It is why we cheer war and killings conducted by the president, and love execution and pain.
    ———————————–
    I completely disagree.
    The reason war, theft, violence and lawlessness exacts protest is the norm. If the populace were privy to the same information that the *leaders* were privy to, they mayt see that they were being misled sooner rather than later in many instances. I think we see that shift happening now and many protests happen very quickly……if anyone needs trained it is the representatives who need to better discern how easily they are brought into conflict by *vested* interests.

    that’s all for me….no more *coffee* today….I need chocolate!

  17. Here are a couple of additional choice quotes on the subject from Herr Drake:

    “Every time there is a warranted execution that is about to take place, some man or woman is standing on a corner holding a sign, yelling and screaming for humane treatment.”

    “I am so tired of being humane to inhumane people,” he said.

    “I am sick and tired of this sensitivity movement for criminals,”

    My first response to this story was to expect nothing less than a complete lack sensitivity to human beings coming from a conservative. That’s the only explanation for their affinity for greed and their need to exert power and repressive authority over others. Then I thought about it a bit further and found a sort of agreement with der dumkopf.

    Once the state decides it’s willing to inflict capital punishment on it’s citizenry via state-sponsored murder for revenge, the state and its citizens have abandonned any precept of humane behavior and given up its humanity. At that point, the idea of a “humane” method is a joke. It only mildly salves the guilt of this indecent act, but in reality it makes little difference what method of state murder is used.

    Does the death penalty work as a deterent? Obviously not. How about as an economic measure to minimize the number of days the state must house a death row inmate? Well, it does do that, but death row inmates number in the hundreds each year nationwide. That hardly mitigates the enormous expense of feeding and housing the vast majority of inmates, so the mitigation is quite minimal. Therefore, we’re left with state sponsored murder for revenge. We’re so outraged by the murder of someone and the devastating impact on the victim’s family that we can’t wait to inflict that same pain on another person and yet another family for no other reason than Biblical. That’s some real 7th century thinking quite akin to Sharia Law and that’s about as far as conservatives’ thinking has advanced.

  18. Rep. Drake is a person who in an attempt to gain favor with Teapublican voters wants alleged and convicted felons to suffer more pain has actually outed himself as someone without a brain cell in his head and without a scintilla of understanding of the Bible or the Constitution. Is this guy related to Gov. Scott? They seem to be on the same wavelength.

  19. I’m voting “b” on Woosty’s Poll but I’m going to add to it for Rep. Brad Drake reminded me of a recent part of our history that people don’t particularly want to discuss.

    Does anyone recall the history of Eugenics here in the U.S. back in the ’20-’30s? …”the use of practices aimed at improving the genetic composition of a human population”

    Yep, our fellow countrymen were enchanted with the practice and sterilized/murdered thousand and thousands of citizens.

    By the end of World War II Eugenics had been largely abandoned thanks to its association with Nazi Germany but … before then we were happily sterilizing and euthanize thousands of Americans.

    The American Eugenics Society even set up pavilions and “Fitter Families Contest” to popularize eugenics at state fairs.

    The belief was that genetic stock deteriorates over time producing undesirable humans. Poverty, feeble-mindedness-including manic depression, schizophrenia, alcoholism, rebelliousness, criminality, nomadness, and prostitution were singled out and the belief that charity and welfare only treated the symptoms whereas eugenic sought to eliminate the disease entirely through sterilization (no more children conceived carrying bad genes) or euthanasia.

    From the 1927 Buck v. Bell trial. Supreme Court Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes wrote, “It is better for all the world, if instead of waiting to execute degenerate offspring for crime, or to let them starve for their imbecility, society can prevent those who are manifestly unfit from continuing their kind . . . Three generations of imbeciles are enough.”

    http://www.commondreams.org/views/072100-106.htm

  20. Jill,

    “The population of the US as a whole, is trained for violence and blood lust. It is why we cheer war and killings conducted by the president, and love execution and pain. This is very deeply entwined in American society.”

    I believe there are many of us who do not cheer war and killings. People who spoke out against going to war with Iraq were shouted down by warmongers. Even some members of the media seemed to cheer lead for that preemptive war. Those who supported war were called patriots. Those who were anti-war in the Bush administration were silenced. Many war protests were not even covered by the corporate media. And too many Democrats were afraid to stand up for their principles for fear of being called unpatriotic or weak.

  21. “And too many Democrats were afraid to stand up for their principles for fear of being called unpatriotic or weak.” (Elaine)

    You make many wise observations and this is definitely one of them.

  22. Rick L:

    “What the crap are they putting in those waffles for someone to come up with this line of rationalization?”

    *************

    Always check the powdered sugar first.

  23. hahahahaha! Elaine…..so instead of “Let them eat cake…it’s….. Let them eat waffles!!!!!!”

    hahahaha!

  24. Why not…if its good enough for the military….Its good enough for them….Police State…right?…Due Process….right…

  25. What–no option to be hanged or stoned to death? How about beheading?
    Let’s execute people in the public square. We could charge admission. That would be one way to raise money for the state.

  26. Hey!!! All this execution stuff could cut into my “Scarlet Letters-R-Us” business. And I just finished a gross of “EPs” (Evil Politicians)

  27. Dredd: “He would probably withdraw the legislation if they would let him push the button a time or two.”
    :-)

    Yea, I’m suspicion’n’ there’s a bit of that too. I would not want this man in office or near my family.

  28. Elaine M.
    1, October 14, 2011 at 5:09 pm
    What–no option to be hanged or stoned to death?
    ====================================================
    it’s my understanding that it’s not possible to smoke that much.

    that’s what i hear anyway.

  29. otototot

    The Fourth Amendment just isn’t getting the respect it should:

    “Judge: Police need permission for cellphone data
    Ruling says judge’s OK needed to obtain suspect’s data, but not a warrant”

    “WASHINGTON — A federal judge says police need a judge’s permission, but not a warrant, to get cellphone companies to turn over data showing where a suspect used his cellphone.

    The order came down earlier this month from Royce Lamberth, chief judge of the U.S. District Court in Washington, D.C.

    A lower court judge had ruled earlier that police needed a warrant before forcing a cellphone carrier to turn over records showing where a bank robbery suspect had used his phone. Cellphone carriers keep records of where cellphones are used by tracking the towers used to transmit signals.

    Lamberth ruled that police did not need a warrant. However, he did say police have to explain to a judge why that information is relevant to their investigation.”

    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/44908876/ns/technology_and_science-security/?ocid=twitter#.TpnoN5w__Yw

  30. I completely agree with bringing the Chair back. You have a family member who is kidnapped, tortured, raped, TORTURED to their death. And then to have him raped her dead body, and chop her into pieces. Yea, this man deserves to be ‘put to sleep’ peacefully. BS. It’s made too easy for these serial, sick people who get the death penalty. When they’ve fully been shown to be the predator. Now, I’m speaking of the cases where it has been facted that the prisoner is the correct predator. Going to sleep? I think not. Light him up!!!!!

  31. Hello there! This post could not be written much better! Reading through this post reminds me of my previous roommate!
    He continually kept preaching about this. I will send this post to him.
    Fairly certain he’ll have a great read. Thank you for sharing!

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