Live Coverage From John Muhammad Execution

Update: John Muhammad died at 9:11 p.m. He said no final words.

Bump and Update: Larry King Live will provide live coverage of Virginia's execution of John Allen Muhammad.

Larry King will broadcast the DC Sniper execution live at the prison with eye-witness accounts from the victims' families. The broadcast will be on Larry King's show at 9pm ET on CNN.

I hope he also covers the protesters.


VA. Gov. Kaine Denies Clemency to D.C. Sniper John Muhammad

Virginia Governor Tim Kaine has denied clemency to D.C. sniper John Muhammad. He is scheduled to die today. More from the New York Times. From his statement: [More...]

“I find no compelling reason to set aside the sentence that was recommended by the jury and then imposed and affirmed by the courts. Accordingly, I decline to intervene.”

Yesterday, the Supreme Court declined to intervene.

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    I Fear (5.00 / 1) (#2)
    by CDN Ctzn on Tue Nov 10, 2009 at 01:40:43 PM EST
    We're only a few steps away from revisiting executions in the public square. How "Third World" of us.

    Indeed, we're just THIS close (none / 0) (#3)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Tue Nov 10, 2009 at 01:50:19 PM EST
    to public stonings for adultry and chopping off hands with swords for theft...

    nah ... (5.00 / 2) (#6)
    by nyrias on Tue Nov 10, 2009 at 02:18:24 PM EST
    this country is all for adultery.

    Shooting people randomly -> death penalty
    Adultery -> go on Oprah, becomes famous and get a book deal.


    On CNN, I heard a clergyman (5.00 / 2) (#12)
    by lucky leftie on Tue Nov 10, 2009 at 03:31:47 PM EST
    who knows Muhammed and his family describe him as a classic example of "untreated mental illness."  I suspect this is the truth of the matter.  We should not be executing the mentally ill under any circumstances, IMO.  But I suppose that's easy for me to say, I didn't know the victims.      

    Sad to say (5.00 / 2) (#33)
    by gyrfalcon on Tue Nov 10, 2009 at 11:35:49 PM EST
    killing him won't make them feel any better.  It never does.

    how do you know? (none / 0) (#36)
    by nyrias on Wed Nov 11, 2009 at 12:59:47 AM EST
    May be they are feeling an elation of vengeance right now.

    And NOT killing him will make them feel better?


    I wonder (none / 0) (#53)
    by lucky leftie on Wed Nov 11, 2009 at 11:35:42 AM EST
    what becomes of the ones who choose to witness the execution.  Does it really result in closure or healing?  Is it helpful in the long run?  I'd be curious to know.

    It is .. (none / 0) (#55)
    by nyrias on Wed Nov 11, 2009 at 02:48:27 PM EST
    to some extent, an empirical question.

    You really need some formal psychology research to answer the question.

    I would also argue the same research should be conducted on different segment of the population (including the victims & their families) to find out what the real effects are.


    And you dont have to worry (none / 0) (#13)
    by jondee on Tue Nov 10, 2009 at 03:38:45 PM EST
    about losing your place if you choose not to grandstand and pander to the mob.

    Well (none / 0) (#15)
    by Watermark on Tue Nov 10, 2009 at 04:01:55 PM EST
    should whether or not someone gets the death penalty depend on how merciful the victims family is?

    watch V and DWTS instead (5.00 / 1) (#21)
    by Jeralyn on Tue Nov 10, 2009 at 07:45:53 PM EST
    I am.

    His imminent execution (5.00 / 2) (#24)
    by domer5000 on Tue Nov 10, 2009 at 09:11:05 PM EST
    clearly deterred Mr. Hasan.

    Really (none / 0) (#35)
    by gyrfalcon on Tue Nov 10, 2009 at 11:37:56 PM EST
    Horrifying. (5.00 / 1) (#25)
    by Cream City on Tue Nov 10, 2009 at 09:40:51 PM EST
    "Reality tv" is abominable, but this is a new low.

    I'm thinking of parallels in history, and how this will look in the history books about this era.

    I'm with Phil Donahue on this (none / 0) (#34)
    by gyrfalcon on Tue Nov 10, 2009 at 11:37:28 PM EST
    If we're going to execute people, it should be done publicly on live TV.  We should have to watch people being put to death.

    Larry King type coverage, OTOH, is just porn.


    Not too long ago (none / 0) (#4)
    by Steve M on Tue Nov 10, 2009 at 02:06:45 PM EST
    Tim Kaine was attacked during his gubernatorial campaign as the guy who wouldn't even give Hitler the death penalty.

    Kaine also has said repeatedly that, (5.00 / 1) (#5)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Tue Nov 10, 2009 at 02:09:02 PM EST
    Kaine also has said repeatedly that, despite his religous beliefs, he would carry out the death penalty if elected governor. The issue has become the main focus of TV ads by both candidates.

    Which is something I both agree with and respect (none / 0) (#8)
    by Socraticsilence on Tue Nov 10, 2009 at 02:48:56 PM EST
    despite not liking the outcome in this particular case- Elected Executive Branch officials shouldn't change things according to their own religious beliefs.

    And probably (none / 0) (#9)
    by jbindc on Tue Nov 10, 2009 at 02:56:13 PM EST
    A decision you won't find too many people around here (even the bleeding hearts) disagree with.  This man terrorized the region for 3 weeks.

    LWOP (5.00 / 2) (#11)
    by jondee on Tue Nov 10, 2009 at 03:08:33 PM EST
    Would also keep him from terrorizing the region.

    and so is his execution. (5.00 / 1) (#43)
    by nyrias on Wed Nov 11, 2009 at 09:36:46 AM EST
    Based on the need to deter him from killing, the two choices are the same.

    Sure, as long as LWOP is done effectively. (none / 0) (#54)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Wed Nov 11, 2009 at 12:02:31 PM EST
    Heck, if that's the only thing that matters, then I guess house arrest would also keep him from terrorizing the region, as long as it's done effectively...

    Does he deserve it? (5.00 / 8) (#17)
    by kdog on Tue Nov 10, 2009 at 05:47:34 PM EST
    Yeah...or worse.

    Should we do it?  Hell no.


    You're making me think, you sum beatch. (5.00 / 1) (#27)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Tue Nov 10, 2009 at 10:54:59 PM EST
    But I'm still not convinced.

    He clearly is someone who is likely to take another life if he has the opportunity. Despite any protestations to the contrary, I'm not convinced that LWOP will ever prevent 100% the opportunity for a LWOPer to kill again.

    This ain't no Hollywood movie, the consequences of violent actions include strictures designed to prevent similar additional actions. It's not thought police, it's common sense to protect the innocent citizens from others who are likely to do them serious harm.

    The #1 priority of any government is to protect it's citizenry.

    A dead serial murderer can't and therefore won't murder again.

    I certainly don't feel any joy in what happened tonight, but I do feel it was the right thing.

    I spent an amazing full hour, all by myself, no TV, games or books, with my 7 & 10 y/o tonight before their bed time talking about life stuff...

    If you find a dollar bill blowing down the street, what do you do with it?

    If you find a dollar bill on the floor of your classroom, what do you do with it?

    Man, the line between right and wrong, knowing the right thing to do, seems so easy when you're dealing with stuff that happens at that age...


    Bravo to you (5.00 / 1) (#31)
    by gyrfalcon on Tue Nov 10, 2009 at 11:34:22 PM EST
    for thinking so hard about what and how you teach your child about these things.

    But in re the death penalty, the weakness of the bureaucracy to make LWOP mean what it says in some cases is NOT a good excuse for killing people.  Make them tighten it up.  Otherwise, it's like supervisors who throw up their hands and blame civil service rules for their inability to follow sensible procedure and properly fire people who need to be fired.

    I shed no tears for this guy, but I think it's bad, bad, bad for us as a society to kill people-- especially, btw, as in this case, deranged people.


    Only fair.... (none / 0) (#38)
    by kdog on Wed Nov 11, 2009 at 08:22:42 AM EST
    for all the times you've made me think...and hard:)

    100% shots are hard to find in this world my brother...this is one of those very rare cases where guilt is virtually 100% assured, thats not always the case with death row convicts....and thats the 100% that concerns me the most on this stuff...we can never be 100% sure we won't kill an innocent.  But I can respect your opinion, as well as those who object on strictly moral "thou shall not kill grounds".

    Like you so eloquently put it...straight bold never-fail lines are not as common as we would like, and the older you get the blurrier they can get.


    Who are "we"? (none / 0) (#42)
    by nyrias on Wed Nov 11, 2009 at 09:35:59 AM EST
    Technically, he is killed by an executioner who flipped a switch.

    "We", at most, are agreeing for someone to kill him for us. Psychologically, that is very different that "we" actually commit the act ourselves.


    We... (none / 0) (#48)
    by kdog on Wed Nov 11, 2009 at 09:46:37 AM EST
    meaning the state, or the collective, that pays the executioner to bloody his hands on our behalf.

    Well, I live in ... (none / 0) (#50)
    by nyrias on Wed Nov 11, 2009 at 09:54:58 AM EST
    CA, not virginia. My tax dollars are not used to pay the executioner. Ditto for most Americans.

    The state of Virginia certainly DID kill the person. And may be you can construe that the executioner killed on behalf of all Americans, but certainly not all of us PAY for it.


    I'm sure some federal money... (none / 0) (#51)
    by kdog on Wed Nov 11, 2009 at 09:58:00 AM EST
    trickles down to Virginia D.O.C....and we all pay the salaries of the Supremes.

    That prob is true ... (none / 0) (#52)
    by nyrias on Wed Nov 11, 2009 at 10:00:22 AM EST
    I guess i pay for a minute part of it.

    Oh well ...


    Well (none / 0) (#16)
    by Watermark on Tue Nov 10, 2009 at 04:41:06 PM EST
    He said that it was God's choice who was going to die, not ours, in response to the Hitler question.  The right exaggerated the response immensely.

    The written denial of clemency was the most understated thing in the world.  He basically said "the courts imposed this sentence, and I decline to intervene".  He didn't really agree with it, but he had promised to carry out all death sentences, and he would be a liar if he didn't do that.  It would be OK if he had campaigned and bluntly stated that he would provide clemency for death row inmates, but that's not what happened.


    Pontius Pilate (none / 0) (#39)
    by Dadler on Wed Nov 11, 2009 at 08:58:31 AM EST
    And a barbarian ... (none / 0) (#7)
    by nyrias on Tue Nov 10, 2009 at 02:22:03 PM EST
    will be receiving his barbaric reckoning. Wouldn't that be poetic?

    Apparently, the governor, the courts, jury and very likely public opinion do NOT agree that "it is FAR better that Mr. Muhammed be put away somewhere for life".

    Isn't the will of THE people a beautiful thing?

    Meh (5.00 / 1) (#14)
    by Watermark on Tue Nov 10, 2009 at 04:00:02 PM EST
    We should abolish the death penalty regardless of public opinion.

    Dictatorship sits well with you? (none / 0) (#44)
    by nyrias on Wed Nov 11, 2009 at 09:40:25 AM EST
    You cannot throw out the baby with the bath water.

    Either you can have a totalitarian government and impose whatever you want on the people, or you let majority rule (abate indirectly in this country) and takes the consequences.


    Majority rule... (none / 0) (#47)
    by kdog on Wed Nov 11, 2009 at 09:44:39 AM EST
    with strong respect and protections for the rights of the indivudual...including the right not to be killed by the state.

    Poetic (none / 0) (#10)
    by jondee on Tue Nov 10, 2009 at 03:02:15 PM EST
    If that's poetic, then the authors of the Iraq invasion all getting rectal cancer would be a new dispensation.

    Muhammeds mistake was in not waiting for the oppurtunity to murder the RIGHT (goverment sanctioned), innocent people.


    I think it was snark (none / 0) (#29)
    by gyrfalcon on Tue Nov 10, 2009 at 11:28:37 PM EST
    I think.

    Not really .... (none / 0) (#46)
    by nyrias on Wed Nov 11, 2009 at 09:44:06 AM EST
    "An eye for an eye renders both parties blind."

    Japan attacked us in WW2. How many Americans did they kill? How many japanese did we kill?

    Al Qaeta attacked us in 911. How many Americans did they kill? How many Al Qaeta and their allies did we kill? We brought down WHOLE governmentS.

    Obviously "an eye for an eye" does not result in symmetric results. The side with more power make the other side "blind" MORE.


    Did the same (none / 0) (#26)
    by Cream City on Tue Nov 10, 2009 at 09:42:59 PM EST
    tonight, stopping by our local Blockbuster, which is going out of business.  Some great deals there on teevee as it used to be . . . in ancient times a few years ago, before live executions on the toob.

    Agreed (none / 0) (#28)
    by gyrfalcon on Tue Nov 10, 2009 at 11:27:36 PM EST
    And on a purely practical level, the one way to at least partly not undo but compensate for the harm would be to have a chance for psychologists and profilers, etc., to study people like him to learn more about what makes them tick and possibly how to at least sometimes recognize them and intervene before they go berserk.  Same thing with Timothy McVeigh.  He will forever remain a mystery.

    I picked up the movie 'Up' tonight (none / 0) (#30)
    by Militarytracy on Tue Nov 10, 2009 at 11:32:13 PM EST
    but nobody is going to watch it until tomorrow.  I got Joshua a PSP too tonight when I got the movie.  I had a very short parent teacher conference tonight.  He is in the top 10% on his SATs in math, language, reading comprehension.  Strangely though, he's smoking in all departments except grammar.  He is only coming in the top end of his grade level in grammar.  Where could he have come by a fricken failing like that?  The famous doctor took it personally when I told him on Monday that we would wait till later, until some pain showed up, before we took amputation seriously.  I told him it was Joshua's decision if and when to do this too and the doctor wasn't wild about that either.  Doctor told me that the earlier this is done the better the child learns to use a prosthesis.  We could have gone round and round all day though, and I don't care how world famous you are.......it isn't personal.  Frickin brainy men and their GIANT yet fragile egos.  I'm trying to raise a whole person though, not just someone who can run better tomorrow than he could yesterday.

    Oops, put this in wrong thread (none / 0) (#32)
    by Militarytracy on Tue Nov 10, 2009 at 11:35:18 PM EST
    Sorry.....belongs in open thread.

    LIved through the fear (none / 0) (#37)
    by Carolyn in Baltimore on Wed Nov 11, 2009 at 07:59:19 AM EST
    I was teaching at a Baltimore County middle school when the sniper was active. Our school was in total lockdown for several weeks and fear was pervasive even though the odds that the sniper would venture so far north was very unlikely.
    They were horrifying crimes and paralyzed an entire region.
    But I still fail to see how killing the mentally ill helps society or us in any way.

    Except now we are the criminals.

    Yet it will not be a detter another shooting (none / 0) (#40)
    by Saul on Wed Nov 11, 2009 at 09:06:37 AM EST
    Capital punishment does not work as a deterrent.  Which was the main reason for capital punishment.  As we can see since 2002 many other horrific shooting have occurred to include the Ft. Hood incident.  

    So why keep capital punishment?  Moreover why do some state governments want to sink to the level of the criminal and execute someone.  Never understood this warped rationale.

    You don't understand ... (none / 0) (#41)
    by nyrias on Wed Nov 11, 2009 at 09:33:19 AM EST
    because you are trying to find a RATIONAL reason as opposed to understand human psychology and evolutionary instincts.

    State governments do it because it is demanded by a majority of the voters. A majority voters want it because it is what "feels right".

    Plus, there is no downside. Killing a sociopath makes everyone (or almost everyone, obviously NOT including some people here) feels better .. or relief.

    It is probably true that LWOP will achieve the same effect in terms of stopping him from killing again. But execution do the same. It is NOT a worse option with respect to the consequences.


    Because (none / 0) (#45)
    by jbindc on Wed Nov 11, 2009 at 09:44:03 AM EST
    The voters (through their legislatures) have decided for certain crimes, it's not only deterrent that they want - they want punishment and retribution.

    I admit - I am a fence-sitter on capital punishment.  Intellectually, I know that I should feel we have moved beyond this, but frankly, I just can't get myself worked up about it in a situation like this - where we are 100% certain who did it.  

    Sometimes, some people are just truly evil. There is no other explanation, no matter how many (very) late motions a defense team files.


    You are absolutely right. (none / 0) (#49)
    by nyrias on Wed Nov 11, 2009 at 09:48:53 AM EST
    I am a CP supporter but i do not any illusion that deterrent is the ONLY reason. And its effect is arguable except of course the person being executed will never harm society again.

    Punishment & retribution are very human things. There are evolutionary reasons why we develop the psychological needs for them.

    I would question why we need to move beyond it. There is no fundamental intellectual argument to deny a strong psychological need, when the consequences are not detrimental (in fact, i would argue the CP is NOT worse than LWOP, with respect to deterrent).

    This guy is a clean cut case. So there is no issue of executing an innocent person. So the sole debate/discussion should focus on what we should be doing with the truly evil people.