SC Executed Convicted Killer by Electric Chair, first time since 2004
SC Executed Convicted Killer by Electric Chair, first time since 2004 Media Credit gangsorus.com
COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) - The Corrections Department announced that James Earl Reed was executed at 11:27pm Friday.
The execution comes after the South Carolina 4th Circuit Court of Appeals granted the Corrections Department permission to proceed with the execution.
Just minutes before his previously scheduled 6pm execution, Reed was granted a stay of execution by US District Court Judge Henry Floyd.
According to the order from the US District Court, Attorney Diana Holt wrote that the execution violated Reed's right to have an attorney at trial, his right to be free of cruel and unusual punishment and his right to due process.
Reed was the first inmate executed by the electric chair since 2004.
Reed had been on death row since 1996, when he was convicted for murdering Joseph and Barbara Lafayette, his ex-girlfriend's parents
South Carolina is not an Electric Chair Only State. This man had an option to die by lethal Injection. He chose to Die by South Carolinas Electric Chair. The last state to have Electric Chair only was Nebraska. Nebraska Ended its Electric Chair only rule in Feb 2008.
Last state’s electric chair-only execution ended
The Supreme Court of Nebraska — the last state to allow the death penalty to be carried out only by electrocution — on Friday struck down that method, relying on the state’s constitution. The 6-1 ruling, because it is based solely on state law, would not be reviewed by the U.S. Supreme Court.
The state court’s 69-page majority opinion and 17-page dissent can be found at this link. The decision came in the case of State v. Mata (S-05-1268).
Lets take a look at capital punishment in the United States. The death penalty - arguments against capital punishment
Death Penalty Opponents
To many people this trend toward more executions is a step backward. Death penalty opponents passionately argue that the death penalty is wrong for a number of reasons.
* The death penalty is morally wrong. Many death penalty opponents believe that by legalizing executions, society puts itself on the same low level as those it executes, and may even increase violence in society by making it more acceptable.
"If a community wants to stop killing . . .," says former U.S. Senator Harold Hughes, "it had best begin by [stopping] killing on its own part. Respect for life is best taught by the observance of life."
In too many cases, say Hughes and others, the wrong people have been executed. The Stanford University Law Review says that between 1900 and 1985, at least 23 people later found to be innocent were executed in the United States.
The death penalty - arguments for capital punishment
Supporters of the death penalty just don't buy these arguments. To them the death penalty is neither immoral nor cruel nor unusual.
* The death penalty is morally right, not wrong. Death penalty supporters say that society has the moral right - and duty - to take the lives of those who kill others. Many point to the Bible, which calls for punishment in the form of life for life, eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand . . ."
* The death penalty is not unconstitutional. Death penalty supporters also strongly dispute the claim that the death penalty is unconstitutional. They point out that the framers of the Constitution specifically refused to prohibit capital punishment in the Constitution and even referred to the death penalty in writing the Fifth Amendment.
* The death penalty does deter crime. just the knowledge that the death penalty exists, say death penalty supporters, may stop someone from pulling a trigger or grabbing a knife.
What statistics don't show, say death penalty supporters, is the number of people who decided not to kill because of the death penalty.
* The death penalty protects society If dangerous criminals are executed, say death penalty supporters, they are no longer on the streets.
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Other Articles for or against Capital Punishment
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