Please Stay Alive, We Are Supposed to Kill You

[Update 9/22/10:  You can take action to stop the execution of Brandon Rhode]

Brandon Rhode was rushed to the hospital today to prevent him from dying following his attempt at suicide. This afternoon, the Georgia Department of Corrections announced a delay in his scheduled execution, vaguely referring to an “incident”. Rhodes did not get strapped to the gurney tonight, but the state may try to kill him Thursday instead.

It is the irregular situation like this one that magnifies the cruelty of the death penalty. Clearly, the thought of being executed was terrifying to Rhode, as it must be for every individual facing the pre-ordained and publicly announced time, date and method by which their life is to be ended. What will it be like for him between now and Thursday as his body and mind recuperates from his failed suicide attempt, and as he contemplates the moment when he will be strapped to a gurney and killed?

Those who believe the death penalty is not cruel are focused on the acts of those who commit murder and the belief that retribution is a legitimate means to justice. The idea of human rights, however, is that society sets a standard based on what is cruel and inhuman period, not what is cruel and inhuman in comparison to the worst things an individual may have done to others. Somehow, we get that it would be disgusting to rape someone convicted of rape and we don’t burn down the property of arsonists, but killing those who commit murder seems to be fair game, at least in the minority of nations left using the death penalty.

Retributive justice may feel satisfying to a primitive part of the brain or to a society that wants a simple and loud outlet to relieve a base level of outrage. But retribution is a dangerous place to take justified feelings of anger about the injustice of violent crime. The attempt by Mr. Rhode to violently end his life breaks the façade of the sterile, hospital room-looking, “civilized” execution chamber. Homicides are performed on the gurney in that room in the name of the citizens of the state, dragging us all into a new crime. And we pour millions into this system rather than ask ourselves what went wrong in Mr, Rhodes’ life that led him to do what he did (and a lot did!) and how could we prevent future violent crimes? How could we give law enforcement more tools to effectively tackle crime? They know the death penalty is not a deterrent and doesn’t make our streets safer. What are the needs of the loved ones who survive the victims of violent crime? So many things we could do with our energy (and money) besides resuscitating prisoners only to then kill them.

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46 thoughts on “Please Stay Alive, We Are Supposed to Kill You

  1. PLEASE PRAY FOR BRANDON AND MY FAMILY. I PRAY THAT GOD WATCHES OVER US THROUGH THIS HORRIBLE, TERRIFIED TIME IN OUR LIVES. I LOVE U BRANDON. LOVE AUNT NIL

  2. I think one factor in how kosher we are as a society with the death penalty is how very removed we are from death and dying. People mostly die in hospitals now with the switching off of a button. Maybe if we were forced to see actual death on a regular basis (or at all) we would be a little slower to hand it out as punishment for a crime.

  3. Clearly this individual does not value their life if they attempted suicide. If the thought of dying was so terrifying, why would one voluntarily shorten their own life? A counter point would be this individual was attempting to deny the state the act of ending his life.
    The rate of suicides for death row inmates is only slightly higher than that for other incarcerated inmates: 113 per 100,000 as opposed to 107 per 100,000.

  4. PLEASE PRAY FOR BRANDON AND MY FAMILY. I PRAY THAT GOD WATCHES OVER US THROUGH THIS HORRIBLE, TERRIFIED TIME IN OUR LIVES. I LOVE U BRANDON. LOVE AUNT NIL

  5. Fact…The U.S have an appetite for war & death. They love the exposure of how they are tough guys on crime,when in fact they are the major cause of crime.

  6. I think one factor in how kosher we are as a society with the death penalty is how very removed we are from death and dying. People mostly die in hospitals now with the switching off of a button. Maybe if we were forced to see actual death on a regular basis (or at all) we would be a little slower to hand it out as punishment for a crime.

  7. Clearly this individual does not value their life if they attempted suicide. If the thought of dying was so terrifying, why would one voluntarily shorten their own life? A counter point would be this individual was attempting to deny the state the act of ending his life.
    The rate of suicides for death row inmates is only slightly higher than that for other incarcerated inmates: 113 per 100,000 as opposed to 107 per 100,000.

  8. As a society we need to combat evil with love, compassion, mercy and forgiveness, not more evil.

  9. Fact…The U.S have an appetite for war & death. They love the exposure of how they are tough guys on crime,when in fact they are the major cause of crime.

  10. As a society we need to combat evil with love, compassion, mercy and forgiveness, not more evil.

  11. So awful! TRULY, TRULY AWFUL! Both Virginia's new governor and the U.S. Supreme Court have denied Teresa Lewis' plea for clemency! And now Virginia is about to kill her tomorrow in spite of her being close to mental retardation and the fact that she was manipulated by Matthew Shallenberger into killing her husband and stepson, both bits of evidence that Virginia and America have TOTALLY ignored, because they STILL claim that Teresa is "an evil mastermind who deserves to be executed and to burn in hell for her brutality"! Virginia has already violated its own Atkins v. Virginia law that forbids executing the mentally disabled along with Texas and Kentucky, and I'm sad that Virginia is about to violate the same law again! At least her stepdaughter has forgiven her for her crime, but I'm afraid that Teresa has lost her will to stop her own execution. I will continue to pray for Teresa and her stepdaughter and for the safety of Teresa's soul. May God comfort her in her final moments and in her hour of death. :cry: http://www.nydailynews.com/news/national/2010/09/

  12. So awful! TRULY, TRULY AWFUL! Both Virginia's new governor and the U.S. Supreme Court have denied Teresa Lewis' plea for clemency! And now Virginia is about to kill her tomorrow in spite of her being close to mental retardation and the fact that she was manipulated by Matthew Shallenberger into killing her husband and stepson, both bits of evidence that Virginia and America have TOTALLY ignored, because they STILL claim that Teresa is "an evil mastermind who deserves to be executed and to burn in hell for her brutality"! Virginia has already violated its own Atkins v. Virginia law that forbids executing the mentally disabled along with Texas and Kentucky, and I'm sad that Virginia is about to violate the same law again! At least her stepdaughter has forgiven her for her crime, but I'm afraid that Teresa has lost her will to stop her own execution. I will continue to pray for Teresa and her stepdaughter and for the safety of Teresa's soul. May God comfort her in her final moments and in her hour of death. :cry: http://www.nydailynews.com/news/national/2010/09/

  13. So awful! TRULY, TRULY AWFUL! Both Virginia's new governor and the U.S. Supreme Court have denied Teresa Lewis' plea for clemency! And now Virginia is about to kill her tomorrow in spite of her being close to mental retardation and the fact that she was manipulated by Matthew Shallenberger into killing her husband and stepson, both bits of evidence that Virginia and America have TOTALLY ignored, because they STILL claim that Teresa is "an evil mastermind who deserves to be executed and to burn in hell for her brutality"! Virginia has already violated its own Atkins v. Virginia law that forbids executing the mentally disabled along with Texas and Kentucky, and I'm sad that Virginia is about to violate the same law again! At least her stepdaughter has forgiven her for her crime, but I'm afraid that Teresa has lost her will to stop her own execution. I will continue to pray for Teresa and her stepdaughter and for the safety of Teresa's soul. May God comfort her in her final moments and in her hour of death. :cry: http://www.nydailynews.com/news/national/2010/09/

  14. I meant to say that "Virginia has already violated its own Atkins v. Virginia law that forbids executing the mentally disabled along with Texas and Alabama!" :(

  15. So awful! TRULY, TRULY AWFUL! Both Virginia’s new governor and the U.S. Supreme Court have denied Teresa Lewis’ plea for clemency! And now Virginia is about to kill her tomorrow in spite of her being close to mental retardation and the fact that she was manipulated by Matthew Shallenberger into killing her husband and stepson, both bits of evidence that Virginia and America have TOTALLY ignored, because they STILL claim that Teresa is “an evil mastermind who deserves to be executed and to burn in hell for her brutality”! Virginia has already violated its own Atkins v. Virginia law that forbids executing the mentally disabled along with Texas and Kentucky, and I’m sad that Virginia is about to violate the same law again! At least her stepdaughter has forgiven her for her crime, but I’m afraid that Teresa has lost her will to stop her own execution. I will continue to pray for Teresa and her stepdaughter and for the safety of Teresa’s soul. May God comfort her in her final moments and in her hour of death. :cry: http://www.nydailynews.com/news/national/2010/09/22/2010-09-22_supreme_court_denies_stay_of_execution_for_virginias_teresa_lewis.html

  16. I agree with what Mark Hough said. As Americans, we love to show how tough we are. In cases like this, those praising the executions are not tough they are cruel and heartless.

    I have emailed Governor McDonnell numerous times but I might as well email Elvis. I would get the same response. If the execution happens, I hope she haunts Governor McDonnell everyday for the rest of his life.

  17. I meant to say that “Virginia has already violated its own Atkins v. Virginia law that forbids executing the mentally disabled along with Texas and Alabama!” :(

  18. I agree with what Mark Hough said. As Americans, we love to show how tough we are. In cases like this, those praising the executions are not tough they are cruel and heartless.

    I have emailed Governor McDonnell numerous times but I might as well email Elvis. I would get the same response. If the execution happens, I hope she haunts Governor McDonnell everyday for the rest of his life.

  19. I do not think anyone should be put to death it's Gods timeing on takeing a life the state's are trying to act like a god are something takeing a life and it to me is that anyone that can lay a man are women and strap them to a bed and end there lifes with a injection well the are going to get what's coming to them to from God himself cause they are no better then the one that done the crimes them self I will pray for all of the Rohode family in the day's ahead I pray God be with all of you!

  20. Hmm. "Maybe if we were forced to see actual death on a regular basis (or at all) we would be a little slower to" hand it out to the owner of a trucking company, his 11 year old son and 15 year old daughter during a burglary, as Brandon Rhode did. give me a fucking break. this man killed 3 people. im sure they were just as terrified of dieing as he is. i don't see why the violation of rhode's human rights should overshadow the fact that he violated the rights of 3 humans in 1998. while i see the argument against wasting resources trying to both preserve his life and subsequently end it, wouldn't we also be wasting resources and jail space by allowing this man to live? think of it this way; what's the cost of a bullet in comparison. and for the record, i believe that people convicted of rape should be raped right back. people should be fed the shit that they dish out.

  21. I do not think anyone should be put to death it’s Gods timeing on takeing a life the state’s are trying to act like a god are something takeing a life and it to me is that anyone that can lay a man are women and strap them to a bed and end there lifes with a injection well the are going to get what’s coming to them to from God himself cause they are no better then the one that done the crimes them self I will pray for all of the Rohode family in the day’s ahead I pray God be with all of you!

  22. Does crime happen in a void ?

    Is there no conditioning of a person by a society born through violence & perpetuating violence through endless wars of aggression abroad ?

    Is there no conditioning TOWARDS antisocial behavior for a person who sees political / gender / racial / class / religious warfare in the social environment all round her or him on a daily, hourly, & mass basis ?

    Or are some people still part of the lynch mob mentality that has characterised american history from its inception, & shout for instant justice ?

    Why then have courts ?

    Why waste time or resources on deliberation, if the matter at hand calls only for a vulgar, mechanical reaction ?

    And if such automatic, automaton-ic response is all you advocate, do you think you are going to escape the cost ?

  23. Enough of this. Time's up.
    On a global scale, we've indebted ourselved to the point of no return and will soon face the 'reset' that must occur to purge the system. The austerity calls you are seeing around the world are just the start. It's going to get very ugly. There are plenty from the upper crust out there who have robbed the masses blind and deserve the same swing on the rope as the criminal who would kill you for your watch.
    This is not about human rights. Individuals who intend to do you harm through either physical violence or fraud and theft (think: the banking cartels) are out for the same thing: themselves. They do not care about their victims. Now, you either have a moral center that guides you or you do not. If you do, you do not _prey_ upon others. So here's the question for all: Do you want to live on this planet with people who would eat you alive, or do you want to live with people who would just as soon sacrifice their life to save yours?

  24. Hmm. “Maybe if we were forced to see actual death on a regular basis (or at all) we would be a little slower to” hand it out to the owner of a trucking company, his 11 year old son and 15 year old daughter during a burglary, as Brandon Rhode did. give me a fucking break. this man killed 3 people. im sure they were just as terrified of dieing as he is. i don’t see why the violation of rhode’s human rights should overshadow the fact that he violated the rights of 3 humans in 1998. while i see the argument against wasting resources trying to both preserve his life and subsequently end it, wouldn’t we also be wasting resources and jail space by allowing this man to live? think of it this way; what’s the cost of a bullet in comparison. and for the record, i believe that people convicted of rape should be raped right back. people should be fed the shit that they dish out.

  25. i hate to break it to you, but violence is a part of human nature. as is retribution for violent acts. we have not been conditioned towards violence, but towards a, in this case perverse, morality. to quote John Locke, "[a murderer] hath by the unjust Violence and Slaughter he hath committed upon one, declared War against all Mankind, and therefore may be destroyed as a Lyon or a Tyger, one of those wild Savage Beasts, with whom Men can have no Society nor Security." this is one of the principles on which our government was founded. so yes i would say, in a void there is crime, and there probably has been since the dawn of time. now if you can give me a reasonable argument as to why this man should be permitted to have what he willingly took (or at least aided and abbeted in the taking of) from 3 others in the name of greed, i will fight my nature as a human being, and force myself to feel compassion for someone who would end my life for the contents of my wallet. "why then have courts?" well lets think about this. he went to court, was proven guilty beyond reasonable doubt to a jury of his peers, and was convicted of murder and sentenced to death. why waste time and resources on deliberation? why waste a lifetime's worth of resources keeping this man alive? and if so much time is spent on deliberation as you say, then the death sentence is obviously not an automatic response. and as a side anecdote, come friday this man will be dead, and you and everyone who shares your twisted notions of justice will be choking down a nice big cup of shut the fuck up.

  26. Does crime happen in a void ?

    Is there no conditioning of a person by a society born through violence & perpetuating violence through endless wars of aggression abroad ?

    Is there no conditioning TOWARDS antisocial behavior for a person who sees political / gender / racial / class / religious warfare in the social environment all round her or him on a daily, hourly, & mass basis ?

    Or are some people still part of the lynch mob mentality that has characterised american history from its inception, & shout for instant justice ?

    Why then have courts ?

    Why waste time or resources on deliberation, if the matter at hand calls only for a vulgar, mechanical reaction ?

    And if such automatic, automaton-ic response is all you advocate, do you think you are going to escape the cost ?

  27. Enough of this. Time’s up.
    On a global scale, we’ve indebted ourselved to the point of no return and will soon face the ‘reset’ that must occur to purge the system. The austerity calls you are seeing around the world are just the start. It’s going to get very ugly. There are plenty from the upper crust out there who have robbed the masses blind and deserve the same swing on the rope as the criminal who would kill you for your watch.
    This is not about human rights. Individuals who intend to do you harm through either physical violence or fraud and theft (think: the banking cartels) are out for the same thing: themselves. They do not care about their victims. Now, you either have a moral center that guides you or you do not. If you do, you do not _prey_ upon others. So here’s the question for all: Do you want to live on this planet with people who would eat you alive, or do you want to live with people who would just as soon sacrifice their life to save yours?

  28. i hate to break it to you, but violence is a part of human nature. as is retribution for violent acts. we have not been conditioned towards violence, but towards a, in this case perverse, morality. to quote John Locke, “[a murderer] hath by the unjust Violence and Slaughter he hath committed upon one, declared War against all Mankind, and therefore may be destroyed as a Lyon or a Tyger, one of those wild Savage Beasts, with whom Men can have no Society nor Security.” this is one of the principles on which our government was founded. so yes i would say, in a void there is crime, and there probably has been since the dawn of time. now if you can give me a reasonable argument as to why this man should be permitted to have what he willingly took (or at least aided and abbeted in the taking of) from 3 others in the name of greed, i will fight my nature as a human being, and force myself to feel compassion for someone who would end my life for the contents of my wallet. “why then have courts?” well lets think about this. he went to court, was proven guilty beyond reasonable doubt to a jury of his peers, and was convicted of murder and sentenced to death. why waste time and resources on deliberation? why waste a lifetime’s worth of resources keeping this man alive? and if so much time is spent on deliberation as you say, then the death sentence is obviously not an automatic response. and as a side anecdote, come friday this man will be dead, and you and everyone who shares your twisted notions of justice will be choking down a nice big cup of shut the fuck up.

  29. What a sad day in Virginia, which has violated the Atkins v. Virginia law (that is supposed to prohibit the execution of the mentally disabled) twice. This time it has killed Teresa Lewis for the murder of her husband and stepson in spite of her bordering on mental retardation and of the fact that she was not the mastermind that Virginia STILL claims her to be, even after her death! TRULY AWFUL AND HORRIBLE! First Holly Wood (Alabama), and now Teresa! I feel that justice was TRULY lost, raped and gone because Virginia’s governor Bob McDonnell and the U.S. Supreme court denied her clemency! I’ll bet that Virginia is now thanking and saluting its governor for “a job well done in sending another cruel monster and mastermind to hell”, which is total idiocy! People may STILL claim that “through the fires of hell justice is served,” but I say that justice is still languishing in the fires of hell! Still, no matter what, we will NEVER give up hope in abolishing the death penalty. At least Teresa’s stepdaughter forgave her of her crime, and I truly hope Teresa made her peace with God before she died. May she and her husband and stepson rest in the justice and peace that had long been denied for them on earth. :cry:

  30. What a sad day in Virginia, which has violated the Atkins v. Virginia law (that is supposed to prohibit the execution of the mentally disabled) twice. This time it has killed Teresa Lewis for the murder of her husband and stepson in spite of her bordering on mental retardation and of the fact that she was not the mastermind that Virginia STILL claims her to be, even after her death! TRULY AWFUL AND HORRIBLE! First Holly Wood (Alabama), and now Teresa! I feel that justice was TRULY lost, raped and gone because Virginia’s governor Bob McDonnell and the U.S. Supreme court denied her clemency! I’ll bet that Virginia is now thanking and saluting its governor for “a job well done in sending another cruel monster and mastermind to hell”, which is total idiocy! People may STILL claim that “through the fires of hell justice is served,” but I say that justice is still languishing in the fires of hell! Still, no matter what, we will NEVER give up hope in abolishing the death penalty. At least Teresa’s stepdaughter forgave her of her crime, and I truly hope Teresa made her peace with God before she died. May she and her husband and stepson rest in the justice and peace that had long been denied for them on earth. :cry:

  31. Damien, would you please consider taking Anger Management? I am more concerned about YOU being a free and possibly armed citizen than I am about Brandon Rhode spending life in prison. Chill out a little bit, OK?

  32. A State with no conscience is a state without a GOD. My veiws have always been the same on the death penalty no matter where it is carried out. My God tells me an eye for eye and a tooth for a tooth. So what does this mean. Well my true christians it mean this..No one has the right to kill or murder anyone, and God our maker will be the judge of this. (get it?) No Court or human being has the authority to take anyones life no matter what the circumstances may be. The fact remains there will be human beings who will kill and kill again, and will answer to god come judgement day. If the penalty is to be used for punishment within mans system of justice, then the state should leave it up to the living members of the vicitims family to go into the death chamber and push the buttons that take the life away of that person who took there family member. The State should take no part in this part of the punishment. I assure you If this were the case I do not think we would have a death penalty that is so cruel an ungodly.

  33. Damien, would you please consider taking Anger Management? I am more concerned about YOU being a free and possibly armed citizen than I am about Brandon Rhode spending life in prison. Chill out a little bit, OK?

  34. mojosdad, find one angry word in anything that i said, then get back to me. regardless, you have nothing to fear from a law abiding man such as myself. if everyone in the world had the same respect for the the life, liberty and property of an innocent human being that i do, we would have nothing to fear from our fellow humams.

  35. A State with no conscience is a state without a GOD. My veiws have always been the same on the death penalty no matter where it is carried out. My God tells me an eye for eye and a tooth for a tooth. So what does this mean. Well my true christians it mean this..No one has the right to kill or murder anyone, and God our maker will be the judge of this. (get it?) No Court or human being has the authority to take anyones life no matter what the circumstances may be. The fact remains there will be human beings who will kill and kill again, and will answer to god come judgement day. If the penalty is to be used for punishment within mans system of justice, then the state should leave it up to the living members of the vicitims family to go into the death chamber and push the buttons that take the life away of that person who took there family member. The State should take no part in this part of the punishment. I assure you If this were the case I do not think we would have a death penalty that is so cruel an ungodly.

  36. For all of you praying for Rhodes and his family…. please don't forget to love and pray for the victims family and for the children he murdered in cold blood. If I recall they were an 11 year old boy, who just walked in on Rhodes….I understand Rhodes and his buddy shot the boy in the head five times.

    What has this organization done (if anything) for the family of the victims?

    One thing is for sure, after today Brian Rhodes will not kill again. Not a correctional officer, not a civilian, not another inmate.

  37. mojosdad, find one angry word in anything that i said, then get back to me. regardless, you have nothing to fear from a law abiding man such as myself. if everyone in the world had the same respect for the the life, liberty and property of an innocent human being that i do, we would have nothing to fear from our fellow humams.

  38. For all of you praying for Rhodes and his family…. please don’t forget to love and pray for the victims family and for the children he murdered in cold blood. If I recall they were an 11 year old boy, who just walked in on Rhodes….I understand Rhodes and his buddy shot the boy in the head five times.

    What has this organization done (if anything) for the family of the victims?

    One thing is for sure, after today Brian Rhodes will not kill again. Not a correctional officer, not a civilian, not another inmate.

  39. I repeat my question to all those rambling about prayer for those who have been convicted for murder, forgetting about the DEAD victims of the crime:

    Do you want to live on this planet with people who would eat you alive, or do you want to live with people who would just as soon sacrifice their life to save yours?

    For all those who wish to live with the cannibals, please send your names and addresses to the nearest correctional facility so they will know where to send the inmates when the jails are overflowing. I'm sure you will make them comfortable and their bellies full.

  40. I repeat my question to all those rambling about prayer for those who have been convicted for murder, forgetting about the DEAD victims of the crime:

    Do you want to live on this planet with people who would eat you alive, or do you want to live with people who would just as soon sacrifice their life to save yours?

    For all those who wish to live with the cannibals, please send your names and addresses to the nearest correctional facility so they will know where to send the inmates when the jails are overflowing. I’m sure you will make them comfortable and their bellies full.