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April 17, 2008

Some interesting sites about exeuction videos

John Ruiz-Bueno sent along these notable links as a follow-up to our discussion of videotaping executions:

April 17, 2008 in Class reflections | Permalink

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One thing that really stood out as I read the article was the decision that the video was ultimately redundant because it added nothing new to the body of evidence concerning the execution itself that had already been established by the execution witnesses.

I do not think that recording executions offers anything new in terms of ensuring a process that is neither cruel nor inhumane. Witnesses have effectively communicated when things have gone wrong at executions. Whether or not legislatures act upon that knowledge is a separate matter. Although the constantly evolving means of execution would seem to indicate that legislatures are trying to find less cruel and unusual means of execution.

Posted by: TNittle | Apr 18, 2008 11:04:05 AM

http://www.nytimes.com/2008/04/22/washington/21cnd-scotus.html?hp

This article is about 11 Death Row Appeals that have been turned down. From what we discussed in class, these inmates had bad luck that the case the Supreme Court took was one from Kentucky. One of the inmates turned down was from Ohio, but no one from Florida yet.

Posted by: AVD | Apr 21, 2008 3:14:49 PM

http://www.nytimes.com/2008/04/22/washington/21cnd-scotus.html?hp

This article is about 11 Death Row Appeals that have been turned down. From what we discussed in class, these inmates had bad luck that the case the Supreme Court took was one from Kentucky. One of the inmates turned down was from Ohio, but no one from Florida yet.

Posted by: AVD | Apr 21, 2008 3:14:53 PM

I think the different motives out there for videotaping executions are interesting. The petition above wants to prevent mistakes and problems that occur during executions. In the movie Starship Troopers, they air executions live on TV. In the other article above, they destoryed the videotape becasue it didn't add to the body of evidence concerning the exectution.

Personally I think that the recording is a good measure to prevent problems that may occur during executions. It seems a little morbid and I would never want to air them on TV, however I think it might be an interesting way to test the deterrent affect of punishment on crime.

Posted by: AndyFuchs | Apr 22, 2008 1:57:42 PM

I agree with Mike's comment from class that this type of thing may lead to a TV show like the one in The Running Man. There is a fine line between filming executions for evidence or some other "legitimate" purpose and it becoming entertainment.
I remember a website called something like "bumwars.com." The site filmed two homeless people brutally fighting. The runners of the site would give the winner food. This is the type of thing that I would be worried about happening with taping executions. A site like this already shows that society is being numbed to outrageous, brutal, and unnecessary violence. Thankfully, the site was shut down, but this was 4 or 5 years ago.

Posted by: Adam | Apr 22, 2008 7:28:16 PM

I agree with Adam's post above. I had never seen bumwars and am not sure if it's the same thing, but bumfights.com seems to be similar to his previously mentioned website with the same basic goal of putting those individuals in harm's way for the entertainment of others. That website is also off the air now, but you can still see some of the videos through a youtube search.
Furthermore, this issue of taping executions reminds me vividly of the controversies and media coverage that arose out of Saddam Hussein's execution video and the almost disturbing satisfaction it gave people to watch. It seems to be of no societal use to have these executions taped with those tapes then available to many, especially since these digital recordings are easily converted into a format that can be broadcast over the internet, with very little regulation once that point is reached.

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