Doesn’t that just ultimately accomplish the original goal?

In the last few weeks, Leeland Mark Braley and Timothy Pruitt, both on Georgia’s death row, took their lives. The 105 remaining prisoners are so upset about this, so distraught about their situation, that they have decided to show the State of Georgia they mean business.

They are going to starve themselves.

I applaud this kind of forward thinking as it will greatly expedite the wheels of justice. You peeps on death row: show us you really mean business!

57 comments

  1. Just going by the article you posted, it appears the issue is that this may not have been a suicide. People more familiar with the situation than you or I seem to suspect another inmate of homicide here, and apparently have issues with the security situation.

    Also, the prison apparently responded to this incident by restricting visitation… which strikes me as even more retarded than the “you can’t have anything in your lap during the last hour of a flight” response that the TSA braintrust recently came up with.

    Hunger strikes have historically been an effective means to draw attention to issues of injustice. As Pete points out, they obviously don’t accomplish any goal directly. However, they tend to provoke the conscience (in those members of society who have one) and draw a spotlight which can indirectly bring about policy changes for the better.

  2. travis fain says:

    The article doesn’t say they’re going to starve themselves. It quotes Sara Totonchi as saying support for a hunger strike is growing.

  3. Rick Day says:

    I had to come over here just to see who penned this…story.

    Pete.

    Are you the new “Erratic Eric” wing nut ‘hater’ persona for PP now that EE has been promoted to the Main Stream™?

    Are you Pro Life™? or are you Kinda-Sorta-Part-Pro Life™?

  4. John Konop says:

    I am not trying to be cold but this story is bizarre! You have a death row inmate who finds a fiancée after being convicted for raping and killing a 10 year old. And she is the material witness that her inmate future husband is sane? And the other death row inmates are on a hunger strike to protest the treatment of a fellow inmate convicted of heinous crimes while facing the death penalty. Am I missing anything? Not to be cold but I have very little sympathy for this guy or the other inmates. With that said the justice system should be served over gangs.

    ……Pruitt, 43, was sentenced to death for the 1992 rape and murder of Wendy Vincent, a 10-year-old Lumpkin County girl.

    His fiancee told the AJC she is convinced that Pruitt was killed by another death row inmate — a theory widely shared, Totonchi said.
    “He was excited for the holiday weekend,” said Kari Ohland, who talked to Pruitt just hours before he was found on the floor of his cell with a bed sheet noose wrapped around his neck. Pruitt was hospitalized more than two weeks before dying of injuries sustained in the hanging.

    “I have a letter he was writing to me when they found him,” said Ohland, who began corresponding with Pruitt five years ago. They were engaged in 2005. “He was analyzing a dream I had. There was nothing to indicate he was suicidal.”…..

  5. John – I caught that whole getting engaged while in the big house thing as well. They must have had something pretty special, huh? When, I wonder, were they planning on getting married? While he’s laying on the table about to be lethally injected?

    I say we should all go on a hunger strike to bring attention to the number of people that are on death row waiting to receive justice that our tax dollars are keeping alive. If they’re spending 23 hours a day in a cell, surely they’re not being productive making license plates, growing food to feed the prison population or anything else, right?

    Or better yet, a hunger strike to draw attention to the number of people that are in prison for only marijuana related offenses. Why are we spending so much money keeping pot heads off their couches and instead keeping them in various lock-up facilities?

  6. The Comma Guy says:

    Anyone think that there might have been other factors at play here? Did either of them lose a final appeal or some other set-back in their attempt to overturn their conviction?

  7. B Balz says:

    Sympathy for convicted death row felons is slender at best, and certainly not flowing from this writer. However sympathy and calling for death row inmates to ‘off’ themselves are diametrically opposite positions.

    No doubt, generating page views is at stake here, the issue is moot.

    BTW, to those folks comfortable in their ‘formal bathrobes’ think of the fact that more than one death row inmate has been EXONERATED using DNA evidence.

    As to cost, prosecuted a death penalty case is more costly than keeping a prisoner in prison for life without the possibilty of parole.

    Finally, the ethical disparity of a political Party being pro-life and pro-death is lost on ‘everyman’. I have had this discussion with quite a few rational, intelligent conservatives and was left unable to connect make a logical conclusion for advocating both positions.

    If nothing changes, the clear disparity between these two positions will continue to make GOP candidates who loudly espouse both to appear ridiculous.

      • B Balz says:

        Thank you.

        I was as pro-death penalty as one could be earlier in life. Bragged I’d even pull the switch. What changed for me?

        DNA exonerations – Just one and capital punishment is wrong,
        Capital cases are costly – Courthouse Killer,
        Short cuts in due process are documented in cases prosecuted for political gain,
        “Thou shalt not kill” doesn’t have an asterisk following it.
        No deterent value for criminals.

        Most folks just want the perp is off the streets forever with no chance of parole.

        • ieee says:

          I agree. That was a good post and your reasons for not supporting the death penalty are very sensible and humanistic. I suppose you probably aren’t a d-bag after all, as I had assumed.

          I will add another very important item to the list of why we should not have the death penalty – we convict innocent people way too often (in cases where DNA cannot exonerate them). Understand that I believe a good 95+% of the people in prison did commit crimes but even if it were 99.9999%, we just can’t be complacent about convicting innocent people and we certainly can’t sentence them to death.

          The biggest problem with our justice system is the “jury of your peers”. The vast majority of Americans are not qualified to determine if someone is guilty or not. Have you ever seen juries interviewed after a trial? Holy batsh*t!! They’ll say things like “I could tell he was lying because his eyebrow was twitching and he wouldn’t look anyone in the eye.” Most of them don’t know the difference between facts and how they feel (see also – the “Sex Offender” laws). They don’t have the capability to judge facts. And if we are going to put people to death, it’s just not enough to “very sure” that the person almost certainly committed the crime. We better damn well PROVE it. So many people don’t even know the difference.

          Seems like a decent solution might be to have professional jurists. I don’t know the pros and cons of it but at least they could be trained to differentiate between facts and feelings.

          • B Balz says:

            I have been called worse, d bag.

            To me the marvel of US juris prudis is the jury system. Professional jurors is an interesting concept, but I’d rather have a good trial lawyer pick a great jury.

    • GOPGeorgia says:

      I am just speaking for myself, But I think I can explain the dichotomy you perceive.

      Some people think that life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness are protected until someone has those rights removed by being convicted of an especially heinous crime.

      I’m sure you would agree that life imprisonment would equal a revocation of the right to liberty. Therefore, killing a 10 year old girl might justify the right to life being removed by a court.

      Babies haven’t been convicted of a crime and are unable to represent themselves in court when someone is trying to kill them; ergo: Pro-life and pro-death penalty at the same time.

      Do you understand now? If not go back, and read this slower.

      • GOPGeorgia says:

        BTW,

        I am fine with a reasonable amount of time to appeal a conviction. Without doing research, I would guess five years should be adequate. Convicting someone in 1992 and them dying by whatever means in 2010 seems like way too long for the wheels of justice to turn. I might even compromise and say no death penalties unless convicted by overwhelming evidence, perhaps requiring the inclusion DNA, but not solely based on that.

        • Mozart says:

          Right. Wheels of justice (and money for the justice system that legislators love to cut back on) are to be relied upon for someone to have the time to do research and file an appeal.

          Yeah.

          • Mozart says:

            Not every problem requires a government solution. Some problems are unsolvable and just a product of the human condition.

            Or, did you miss that memo issued on the subject of how to be a “conservative” by not inventing laws that take care of every perceived problem out there?

          • GOPGeorgia says:

            “Not every problem requires a government solution. ” I agree with that 100%. However, what’s your solution to cases that might involve a death penalty case? Have the victims bypass the government and shoot criminals their self? (if found in the commission of a crime where a life maybe in danger from the criminal, I am on board with this.) But what do you suggest hapen after they are in police custody?

            You’ve made a flippant claim: “Wheels of justice (and money for the justice system that legislators love to cut back on) are to be relied upon for someone to have the time to do research and file an appeal”

            Now I am asking you to give a serious explanation to your statement or offer a better solution than I have. If you can’t, it’s OK. Lot’s of people type without thinking.

          • Mozart says:

            And, those cases where they’ve discovered the death-row inmate was NOT the guilty party 10+ years after the fact and he was freed?

            It’s happened many more times than once, and that’s enough for me to know that the system we have in place is flawed on all sides, from the prosecution process where not all evidence nor witnesses are reliable, to the sitting-on-death-row for a long time, but society has not come crashing down as a result of it.

            In short, DON’T try to “fix” something you’re not entirely sure that, on the balance, is broken.

      • B Balz says:

        You appear ridiculous, but I appreciate your response.

        Neither of us will be able to change the mind of the other, so from a pol standpoint: Each politicians ‘dicotomy’ will change based their constituency. Pro-Death in San Fran won’t get you elected, nor will Pro-Life. Ergo: It is wrong. Ethics are not sensitive to pol boundaries.

        “Therefore, killing a 10 year old girl might justify the right to life being removed by a court.” When taking the life of another, the words ‘might justify’ don’t impress me much. “Eye for an eye?” Sh’ria Law? C’mon!

        “Babies?” I understand the sanctity of life concept, and we are speaking of the rights of a gooey mass, not babies.

        Jenny? Jenny? Jenny?

        • Joshua Morris says:

          What’s so hard to understand? He’s pro-life for those innocent of murder and pro-death penalty for those who are guilty of murder.

          BTW, the ‘eye for an eye’ thing doesn’t work here. If you’re referring to the Bible, the context of that statement relates to one-on-one relationships and is condemned. Governmental authority is dealt with in different contexts.

          • B Balz says:

            Thanks, Joshua. We’ll have to agree to disagree.

            Could argue this forever, but to many, supporting a return to illegal abortion is an implied murder sentence. Killing convicts may be easier to justify, but no less the taking of life.

            The medical implications of labelling the gooey mass a ‘baby’ is staggering, and I fear abrogates the rights of those in critical need of lifesaving medical research.

            SB169 needs to die before it kills someone.

        • GOPGeorgia says:

          “Might justify” would be used to consider the means of killing the 10 year old girl in question. I don’t know if it was a traffic accident where his driving may have been impaired, or if we are looking a kidnap, rape, torture, kill, mutilate, and mail the parts back to her family situation.

          In your book does gooey mass = third trimester abortions? Specifically, where it would be just as easy to delivery the baby as killing it?

          Some elected officials may not fit in your mold of politicians. They may hold core values and legislate that way even if it costs them their elected job.

          • B Balz says:

            I believe abortion is an abomination, at ANY stage of life. I also believe that a young woman, pregnant and scared, ought to have legal means to make a horrible decision. Promotion of open adoption, sex ed, condoms, etc. are far better solutions than abortion.

            Abortion cannot be stopped by government. We tried the other way, it did not work.

            I guess I will never be a redstate front page poster .

          • GOPGeorgia says:

            I noticed that you didn’t answer my question: In your book does gooey mass = third trimester abortions? Specifically, where it would be just as easy to delivery the baby as killing it?

            It’s obvious that you are pro-choice. It’s obvious I think it’s a child and not a choice.

            What I am trying to find out is if you can move your position, or clarify your position, on cases where the baby could survive outside the womb instead of being aborted?

          • ByteMe says:

            Third trimester abortions are already very rare and predominantly initiated by the doctor because of a health problem with either the fetus or the mom. THAT is not the core argument of anti-abortionists, because if it was, then there wouldn’t be a good fight between the two sides.

          • GOPGeorgia says:

            Byte,

            Let B Balz answer. I know you are trying to answer for him so he doesn’t have to back peddle on the gooey mass doesn’t equal a baby idea. I know that third trimester abortions are very rare, but I’m looking for either perceived common ground or to show he’s not in touch with reality.

          • B Balz says:

            @GA GOP

            I chose these words to answer your question about abortion rather carefully: “I believe abortion is an abomination, at ANY stage of life.”

            In my personal opinion, abortion is always wrong, making it illegal, again, is more wrong.

            Clearly, folks bent on making their anti-abortion argument stridently stout, include the ‘red herring’ of third trimester abortion. Anyone who has looked at fetal images recognizes that the ‘gooey-mass’ materializes into a little human in a few weeks.

            I believe the GOP is seen as seriously out of touch among the 30-49 year demographic because of the default third trimester argument.

            GA GOP, I could have a Coke or a beer and discuss this with you easily, and I admire a lot of what you say, even if others do not. On this issue you mischaracterize me as being Pro-Life. I am pro-status quo.

            The litmus test was stale ten years ago, now it is brittle and bitter to those who are cold, sick, hungry, and broke. Some folks look toward embryonic stem cell research (ESC) as the brightest star in their black world of frightful medical diagnoses.

            The biggest issues the GOP faces among younger, conservative voters, IMHO, are:

            a.) Be gone from my bedroom,
            b.) Be gone from my medical decisions,
            c.) Be different from ‘tax and spend’ Dems,
            d.) Be able to ‘walk the walk’ and not be gross,
            e.) Be able to recognize that life is not about absolutes.

            I advocate for those who cannot, my reasons for coming here are to promote or fight legislation that affects those who may benefit from leading edge science, including ESC.

            Science is good for the People, economy and welfare of Georgia.

            PS My wife might agree with you about being out of touch with reality, though.

          • Fawkes says:

            How many Republican Presidents who claimed to be Pro-Life had a Republican majority in Congress? Abortion will not be made illegal. The Bush Administration (staunchly pro-life) had 6 years to pass the law. Did it get passed? And don’t say it’s because of Roe v. Wade b/c there hasn’t been a challenge to the Supreme Court’s ruling by a President that made any headway.

            I view the life argument as important, but it is sadly moot. I don’t see any political party getting anywhere with this issue. It so splits the electorate that it’s nearly impossible to get 51% of the vote.

          • Icarus says:

            You can ask the same question about Georgia Fawkes, as I have here in the past.

            When we achieved a pro-life majority, on a topic most Republicans believe is a state issue, did we make abortion illegal? No, we did not, and have not.

            Instead, we had Georgia Right To Life agree to move the goal posts. So instead of getting a bill that limits abortion with three exceptions (which, despite the pledges and pro-life endorsements, would still have been uphill), GRTL changed their scorecard to a single exception.

            It’s much better to keep the issue alive to some, and have a postion of power to annoint those they deem “pure” or “just”, than it is to actually do something that would make abortions more rare.

          • Mozart says:

            addendum to B Balz’s list:

            f.) Let me make my own decision on whether to buy a bottle of wine from Publix on a Sunday to enjoy with friends at an impromptu cookout. (Because, believe it or not, God really wants people to enjoy themselves and not spend all of their days either working 6 days per week or worshipping all day on a Sabbath. Unless, of course, you are a member of the Georgia Taliban.)

          • GOPGeorgia says:

            @Icarus

            Rep Martin Scott has introduced the human life amendment and Speaker Richardson did not like it. We will find out how Speaker Ralston likes it soon enough. I’m betting he will like it more than Richardson did, but not sure if that will be enough. Sonny could say ‘no.“ However Georgia did pass a few laws that the GRTL liked, including the sonogram legislation.

            @ B Balz,

            So does a gooey mass equal a baby a baby or not? Yes or no?
            Is a baby in the womb one day from birth a baby or not? Yes or no?

            Abortion is NOT my number one issue. That doesn’t mean I don’t discuss it when it comes up. However, you still haven’t told me if we have common ground that a baby one day away from birth is a baby or a gooey mass.

            If you are pro status quo, does that mean you are favor of the sonogram legislation? If you are status quo, does that mean you are happy with the current level of stem cell research and funding or do you want more?

            You said that you advocate for those who cannot, but still won’t say where you stand on a baby that could be born. Either you do or you don’t.

            I fall into the 30-49 demographic and I agree with all of these:

            a.) Be gone from my bedroom,
            b.) Be gone from my medical decisions,
            c.) Be different from ‘tax and spend’ Dems,
            d.) Be able to ‘walk the walk’
            e.) Be able to recognize that life is not about absolutes.

            & @motzat
            f.) Let me make my own decision on whether to buy a bottle of wine from Publix on a Sunday to enjoy with friends at an impromptu cookout.

            Let me add a few issues that I think were missed:
            g.) stop using the tax code to promote societal change and rewarding those who fit in certain categories. ( I prefer a flat or a fair tax , but realize the difficulty of getting either passed.)
            h.) Set up an economic environment that:
            1.) lets me keep a job
            2.) does not punish me for doing well or better than others
            3.) does not give handout to those who do not need them
            4.)is fair and protects consumers
            5.) fosters growth
            i.) respect the constitution
            j.) keep a well trained military and police and uses them accordingly.
            k.) educate our children
            l.) have better trade agreements with foreign countries and end laws that gives incentives to sending our jobs overseas.
            m.) have a better plan to deal with illegal immigrants (that does NOT mean make them legal)
            n.) have laws that most people can agree on concerning abortions, such as banning third trimester abortions unless the life of the mother is at risk (or other equally reasonable exceptions).
            o.) have a justice system that is fair and doesn’t legislate laws from the bench. This includes truth in sentencing (including death penalty cases) and tort reform.

            There are more issues, but I think that enough for now.

            @ fakes
            When the GOP had the votes in congress and the Presidency, they wouldn’t try to pass a law, not because it would be struck down as unconstitutional, but mostly because a Republican in the NE is not as conservative as a Republican in the South.. For many in congress, it’s a state issue. 50%+1 won’t be gained on this single issue, but it can be gained in connection with many of these other issues.

          • B Balz says:

            Rep. Martin Scott introduced HR 5, Paramount Right to Life:

            http://www.legis.state.ga.us/legis/2009_10/fulltext/hr5.htm

            HR5 seeks to allow the State to impose capital punishment for anyone convicted of committing an abortion. To wit: “Nothing in this Paragraph shall be construed to limit the right of the State of Georgia to use capital punishment to enforce the laws of this state.

            Abortion stays legal, we just kill the Doctors?

            Sonogram legislation? Is that where a woman is legally compelled to watch a sonogram of the fetus she is about to abort? If so, that is charmingly sadistic in a “I am from the government and here to help” sort of way.

            I find these measures to be invasive and repugnant and I repudiate them wholeheartedly. Admittedly, my ‘gooey mass’ comment is prickly and calculated.

            Embryonic Stem Cell (ESC) funding and research are two separate issues. Not allowing public (Federal or State) funding for ESC is one thing.

            By making public funding illegal, you DO NOT kill research by private sector competition. Making ESC research illegal is final and it stifles one of the most promising growth sectors.

            The question GAGOP asks is simple: “Does the miracle of life begin at conception?” The absolute answer is not knowable, sir.

            I do know tens of thousands of Georgians are diagnosed with diseases that these gooey-masses show huge HOPE in curing. I can say the gooey-mass is not a baby, and repeating same shan’t make it so.

            Do we allow the cultivation of ESC for the of medical research? I say “Oh, Heck NO!”

            Do we allow the use of existing ESC for medical research? Even if those uses are unproven? Or there are perhaps alternatives of equal efficacy, also called pluripotentcy? (Do adult stem cells have the same promise as ESC’s?)

            You see, this area is not absolute, though fellow Georgians will argue their faith makes absolutes knowable. Many of those diagnosed with terrible diseases also know ESC’s offer huge hope and is worth having.

            If you ask me, my PERSONAL OPINION the ‘gooey- mass’ ought not be wasted. As I understand it, GA Law allows you to adopt your very own gooey-mass and call it “Benedict”. That’s great. If they are all adopted, so be it.

            If not, do we throw them away? Or are they used for valid, carefully governed, legitimate science to explore unknown frontiers?

            Easy question, tough answers. God Bless America and our men and women far away who protect the very process we thusly engage in.

          • GOPGeorgia says:

            I don’t know how many times I have to ask these questions, but I will ask again. Please save your tap dancing for a wii game.

            So does a gooey mass equal a baby a baby or not? Yes or no?
            Is a baby in the womb one day from birth a baby or not? Yes or no?

            The question I am asking you is not if life begins at conception, but does life begin at viability outside the womb? That is a different question altogether.

            I am not advocating killing doctors, unless they murder their wives or some other equally heinous crime already on the books.

            By your response to the sonogram legislation I mentioned, your are NOT in favor of the STATUS QUO and are PRO-CHOICE. That’s OK. Don’t hide what you are. Be proud of it. If you can.

            Praising the troops doesn’t make you any less pro-choice. I like them too.

          • B Balz says:

            Read S-L-O-W-L-Y

            “I can say the gooey-mass is not a baby, and repeating same shan’t make it so.”

            Your lack of intellectual honesty is a moot point this Session, since SB169 and HR5 may both be trumped by the Great Budget Debate.

          • GOPGeorgia says:

            You can read fast or slow, it’s your choice:

            The question I am asking you is not if life begins at conception, but does life begin at viability outside the womb?

          • GOPGeorgia says:

            I want to see you type a gooey mass one day away from birth is not a baby. If you can’t, now who is intellectually dishonest?

          • B Balz says:

            Digging the GA GOP into political irrelevancy one post at a time.

            Please stop while you are behind. The reason you get all those red thingies is because you don’t listen.

          • GOPGeorgia says:

            At least, I have the guts to stand up for what I believe. YOU CHOOSE NOT TO.

            I want to see you type a gooey mass one day away from birth is not a baby. I DARE YOU TO STAND UP SAY THAT’S THE CASE AND YOU ARE PROUD OF IT.

            I’m not mad or angry with you, I just want you to tell everyone what you really think. Come On, you big BABY (pun intended)

          • Provocateur says:

            GOPGeorgia,

            You had a point “k.) educate our children”. I submit to you that that should no longer be a government function. From the federal government to the state to the county, when government gets involved, the vast majority of children get educated up to the level of mediocrity. Enough of “government solutions” to the education issue. They fail on all counts.

          • GOPGeorgia says:

            I have nothing against home schooling and I have friends who were home schooled. However, I see education as a legitimate function of the state and county. Just my opinion, doesn’t make me right.

  8. B Balz says:

    @Byte Expansion was not the issue…. (;>),
    @Mozart I like it, but then I am going straight to H*ll,
    @Guy Fawkes Practical and pragmatic political insight. Goes to what Icarus states about power.

    • GOPGeorgia says:

      You are right. I shouldn’t have argued with you. I have pointed out that you are scared and won’t admit how you really feel. I think we are done. Feel free to abort this conversation.

  9. Mad Dog says:

    Yeah, I had to get in on the third trimester comment, aka partial birth abortion.

    You’all need to read up on this ‘procedure’ and learn what’s going on….

Comments are closed.