Rush Limbaugh on Crime

Conservative Talk-show Host


Only thing cruel about death penalty is last-minute stays

Liberal opponents of capital punishment glibly argue that the death penalty provides no deterrent to the commission of capital crimes. Well, how on earth would we ever know? Only if we have swift and certain justice will we ever have an opportunity to test the deterrent effect of the death penalty.

Now, let’s talk about cruel and unusual punishment. The opponents of the death penalty who always try to obtain these last-minute stays of execution will probably say: Hey, we’re just trying to save this guy’s life. [In the case of Robert Alton Harris in California], this guy was led into the gas chamber and strapped into the chair twice in a period of six hours, and then a stay granted. One time the telephone call came one minute before he was to die. He had six hours to ponder all this. He was in and out of there. The witnesses were brought in and out. It was an absolute circus. You could hardly think of anything more cruel to do if you deliberately wanted to torture him.

Source: The Way Things Ought To Be, p.178-79 , Jul 2, 1992

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