North Carolina's newly appointed Representative Larry Pittman suggests, in an email to colleagues, that the state bring back public hangings to carry out the death penalty. He also suggests "abortionists" be among those executed.
Apparently Pittman doesn't see the irony, along with the cruelty in his proposals, since abortion is legal, and killing doctors is a crime punishable by death.
Pittman hails from Concord near Rowan County, where the last legal public hanging in 1895 created such a sickening spectacle, the practice ended there for good. By 1909 the state outlawed public hanging altogether. Apparently Pittman would now have us revisit these cruel spectacles and include among its victims doctors who provide care to women.
Pittman told WRAL News that he was only venting in response to a letter death row inmate Danny Hembree had published recently about how easy prison life was. Pittman says his comments are not as outrageous as Hembree's. We disagree.
TELL PITTMAN TO RESIGN!
We, the undersigned, believe that lawmakers should honor the law.
We also believe they should be guided by compassion and respect for human rights.
We believe your private statements about bringing back public hangings, limiting civil rights of those convicted of crimes, and worst of all, suggesting that doctors who perform legal abortions be executed, reflect your true feelings on these issues and would certainly affect your influence on state laws.
We do not agree that statements made by a death-row prisoner, under extreme stress, whose son says is suffering from brain damage and mental illness, are more outrageous than yours, a politician, certainly enjoying some degree of comfort and privilege.
Statements like those you made, even suggesting our state return to the cruel spectacle of public hangings or even hinting that doctors who perform abortions should be executed are completely unacceptable.
We believe you should resign.