Ever wonder what it's like to kill people for a living? Have you ever considered the fact that your tax dollars go to pay a person to kill people in your name?
In this week's Village Voice there is an interesting story about Dow B. Hover, New York States executioner who killed people in the 50s and 60s and actually killed the last person on death row in New York State in 1963. Hover executed 44 people between 1954 and 1963 for $150.00 a piece plus expenses.
Hover, like other executioners, wound up eventually killing himself.
Executing people is a dirty business and makes the state no better than the killer they are killing. George Pataki, New York State's Governor, campaigned on restoring the death penalty when he was running for election against Mario Cuomo who had vetoed death penalty legislation annually for many years. Pataki finally signed it in 1995 but it has yet to be used, and last year was ruled unconstitutional.
Interestingly, for all the brouhaha about the death penalty being a deterrent, there is no evidence that it is and in fact the states with the death penalty have higher homicide rates than states that don't.
It is interesting that our god fearing President and his brother, Jeb, the governor of Florida, have presided over more executions as governors, George in Texas, and Jeb in Florida than most other governors.
Killing people with state power has become sanitized. It's like taking a shot and going to sleep, but make no mistake, it is a barbaric practice that the United States, alone, of all civilized first world countries continues. So much for claims about enlightened freedom, liberty, and democracy that President Bush thinks the US should bring to the rest of the world. Many European countries look at the US in disdain because of our capital punishment practices which includes the executing of mentally disabled people and adolescents. They fail to cooperate with us extraditing offenders, etc.
It is interesting how distorted our top governmental leaders views are of the regard the United States is held in by the rest of the world.
It is pathetic that we can get people to legally, premeditatively kill other people for $150.00. Of course, they are desperate to keep their identities secret because of the shame and guilt involved. They often suffer symptoms of depression and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. Several have ended their lives by suicide.
In appears that such a career is not conducive to developing and/or maintaining one's mental health.
If you are interested in Dow Hover, New York's last executioner, the Village Voice article is worth a read. Click on the link below.
Link: village voice > news > The Last Executioner by Jennifer Gonnerman.