Politics, open government, and safe streets. And the constant incursion of cycling.

Kevin Green Is Dead

Per the Virginian Pilot:

Kevin Green, 31, was pronounced dead at 10:05 at Greensville Correctional Center in Jarratt. He died by injection for the August 1998 slaying of Patricia Vaughan, who operated the store with her husband.

Green shot the couple and fled with about $9,000.

Green’s execution was scheduled to begin at 9 p.m. but was delayed for about an hour when his attorneys attempted to get a federal judge to step in at the last minute. Once the judge declined, the execution proceeded.

May that rest upon all of our consciences.


Overnight Music: I’m Your Man




  1. MB

    The next time I see Tim Kaine in person, I’m going to ask him how this rests upon him.

  2. MHz

    I am right in the middle of reading the novel “the chamber” by John Grisham and am having a hard time finding any kind of human behavior in the act of execution, part of that is of course the fact that I come from a country that hasn’t been practising death penalty for lots and lots of years (Sweden) and I’m disturbed about this excekution – not only because of the question wheater the convicted killer was a retard or not, but also by the fact that the most powerful country in the world still practice such a cruel way of justice.
    I’m sorry if my english is hard to get a grip on – It’s not every day I leave comments on foreign blog-sites! ;)
    Regards/MHz, Sweden

  3. MHz

    Wow, This is off-topic, but I just watched some of your photos – many of them are great! I’m a dedicated hobby-photographer myself and I shure liked your pictures!

  4. Peej

    You noted that absolute opposition is not a universally shared opinion and I agree with you. I do see, among my acquaintances, that those who’ve lived in more than one place (I’m thinking country, but sometimes even dfferent cities is applicable) growing up, tend to lean toward the absolute end of the spectrum. Not a scientific observation, but it’s holding up pretty consistently in folk I’ve run across the years.

    The sad part is the only people whose conscience this is really going to rest on is the people who’d wanted to prevent it. Everyone else will go on to get their good night’s sleep.

  5. MB

    Thanks for stopping by, MHz. I think that there’s a very human behavior at the core of executions – bloodthirst and the need for revenge. What’s lacking, I think, is civilisation. Or pretty much any other human qualities besides our basest and most dangerous.


    I wonder what it is about that, Peej. Perhaps a greater appreciation for the fluidity of things? If there’s another way to reach folks on this issue, I’d like to figure it out.

    While I believe there can be real disagreement about the theoretical morality of state sanctioned killing, I don’t think any person who takes the time to understand the practical application of the death penalty in the US (or anywhere, really) could make an honest and moral case for it.

  6. Joy

    I just can’t understand how anyone could support the death penalty knowing that sometimes the justice system is wrong. Nevermind all the other issues, the fact that we could kill someone who is not actually guilty is what makes me come down unequivocally on the anti-death penalty side.

    I also think it is a much worse punishment to be imprisoned for life.

  7. Peej

    Argh, the internet ate my post. Let’s see if I can recreate…

    Your argument is a valid one, Joy. I think, though, that arguments like that divert and deflect attention [completely unintentionally] from what I think the focus of the death penalty debate should come down to: whether it is morally right to premeditatively take a life? I throw the word premidtatively in there not to give other situations where a life is taken a wide berth or a pass–those deserve their own debate–but to simplify the debate to its very basic moral core: is it right for the death penalty to be performed and take a life? No additional what if circumstances, no comparisons to other, preferred methods of punishment, just a simple yes or no question. Which, like most just yes and no questions is the hardest to answer if your answer depends on other things. But, to answer MB’s question in an earlier comment, I am wondering if the KISS principle may be the best way to reach out to people on this issue. Or maybe I am kiding myself and just being stupidly maive myself, thinking that way.

  8. Joy

    I can see why that could, possibly should, be the core moral question. I guess for me, the reason I posted my answer above is that I’m not sure my answer to your question is no. Maybe because it gets too close to the abortion issue for me?

    Honestly, I’m not sure I’d be completely morally opposed if we could be 100% certain of our justice system. Which, let me tell you, shocks me as I write this. I don’t know. The things that have always compelled me have been more of a sense that you can’t do irrevocable things if you don’t know that you are sure, and my own belief that there is nothing after death, so killing someone means they aren’t around to regret/suffer for their crime. Which is pretty revenge-y of me, no?

  9. Peej

    No, I don’t see that as revenge-y, actually I read that as you believing that there is the possibility of either redemption or remorse, that the sentenced person can, at some level, distinguish and understand that life imprisonment is punishment for their act. Which is pretty humane of you.

    Interesting point about how taking this to a simple, core moral question could then cause repercussions for the stand/argument for or against abortion. My own answer is that since I do not consider abortion as taking a life, but purely as a surgical procedure, it pretty much stops any overrun of one argument into the other.

    (I don’t *really* think of abortion as merely a surgical procedure and know first hand of the emotional internal debates that definitely put it on a different level than, say, getting your tonsils removed or appendix taken out. But the emotional side of it is something inherently personal and psychological and no matter how I feel, it doesn’t change my definition of living being when talking/aruging about the right to abortion)
    It’s hard writing about these things in a limited space (and I am sure MB is wishing I’d stop or go hog my own bandwidth or something). I think we all need to take a road trip and meet somewhere and discuss this in person. (Well, and talk about lighter matters as well.) Why don’t any of you live close by?!

  10. MB

    Well, in the KISS approach, I think arguing the uncertainty of getting it right in applying the death penalty is the way to go. Because that’s a *much* easier argument, I think, than convincing someone that killing is always wrong.

    What’s one of the first things anyone defending the death penalty says? “Well, how would you feel if someone raped and killed your mother or sister?” People feel how they feel about that example, and I can’t imagine any amount of argument that’s going to change it. But how we *feel* isn’t really the question. It’s what we can reasonable expect the state to do. And it’s not very hard, I think, to separate those things for people. And once those are separated, it’s not a very long walk to agreeing that the state will never get it 100% right.


    I would encourage you to take as much bandwidth as you’d like, Peej. Unless it involves Berlin videos.

    And speaking of road trips, I may be up your way next week to cover the Philly week races. Not yet sure on that, though.

  11. Joy

    Thanks for the generous interpretation of what I said, Peej! I get what you mean about the extension to abortion. For me, I think it is only potential life until at least some high likelihood of viability. But I still think it is killing the fetus. It is just that I think the actual life of the mother carries precedence over the potential life of the fetus through most of the pregnancy, especially because carrying a fetus to term is a physical/medical/risky burden. So that’s why the core moral question would get me hung up for that issue. For people who think of a embryo/fetus as a baby right away, of course, the moral argument is applied from the moment of conception (which is always why I get frustrated with pro-life people who are also pro-death penalty; gah I hate inconsistency).

    I used to live closer! Wish we could hang out sometime too.

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