Injected with Love: The Death Penalty Thread

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Injected with Love: The Death Penalty Thread

Post by Rat Patrol » 30 Apr 2014, 11:38am

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/04/30/us/ok ... tions.html

Any experienced buyer will tell you you're supposed to shoot a small sample of it first to see if it's pure before closing the sale. Jesus, Oklahoma, you wouldn't last 48 hours in a freebase state...though one of these days the guy you strapped to the gurney might. X(
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Re: Injected with Love: The Death Penalty Thread

Post by Dr. Medulla » 30 Apr 2014, 11:50am

A sampling of comments around the Interwebs suggests that somehow this guy got off easy. I imagined those people full-throated cheering in the theatre during The Green Mile.
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Re: Injected with Love: The Death Penalty Thread

Post by Rat Patrol » 30 Apr 2014, 12:33pm

And here's one reporter's tweet feed of the event: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/04/2 ... 36704.html.


Really, outside of newspaper comments there's not a lot of cheering for this. That's why for all the Teabaggers overrunning state governments that it's only the same handful of "league leader" executing states at all trying to push the envelope here. The states that haven't executed in awhile don't suddenly start wanting to when they elect Old Testament crazies to the Legislature and Gov.'s mansion. It's too hard to sustain without a shitload of pre-existing inertia of motion because of just how much bureaucracy it takes to cover your ass through this process, and when they fuck up it ends up getting abolished. Oklahoma, perversely, can sustain this kind of 'error rate' because it's invested enough in its death row supply chain. And in Texas the scale of it all is so extreme it actually generates political capital for the Governor. But the energy all that takes to build up and sustain is just too extreme for other states, and it ends up creating its own class of haves and have-nots.

Literally..."Too big to fail." You won't see the numbers of total executions in the U.S. decline, but it'll consolidate into an oligopoly of 5 or 6 states over time as everyone else with active but dormant or sparingly-used death penalties throws in the towel because they simply can't afford to compete on that stage. The free market...works? A lot of Randian Jesus psychopaths are going to have a hard time swallowing that fact, but here is a case where it is true: a big, artificial government overreach can't sustain itself without increasing the government overreach. Watch a room full of libertarians dissolve into a free-for-all brawl trying to wrap brain around that one.



FWIW...I did the evolution of the death penalty in America as senior thesis for my Sociology degree 14 years ago, and am feeling a little "Told you so" at no one in particular this morning for how clockwork this is unfolding. To give you the short version, the middle of the beginning of the end for the DP starts with these fuck-ups. And big money (in this case, pharmaceutical companies) pulling their support and forcing the true believers to take ever-bigger risks. The shock will induce a couple more states with unused DP's to to do a liability assessment then close their loopholes shut, like Maryland did last year with its formal abolition and Connecticut did in 2012. Then it all evolves through pressure, time, regional isolation...and, finally, boycotts and economic sanctions. Probably a 2+ decades more process, but that unhinged Governor OK has doesn't even realize what an assist she gave to that effort by rushing through these 2 executions this month without quality control on their 'secret sauce' injection cocktail as a midterm elections primary GOTV effort. It's a message to every other unused-statute red state to go more risk-averse for their political hides.
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Re: Injected with Love: The Death Penalty Thread

Post by Spiff » 30 Apr 2014, 4:22pm

I hate my country.

Or, more accurately, I hate large parts of it and the dipsticks who live in those parts.
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Re: Injected with Love: The Death Penalty Thread

Post by JennyB » 30 Apr 2014, 9:44pm

Spiff wrote:I hate my country.

Or, more accurately, I hate large parts of it and the dipsticks who live in those parts.
I agree with this post.
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Re: Injected with Love: The Death Penalty Thread

Post by 101Walterton » 30 Apr 2014, 11:51pm

The most worrying aspect is that those involved with this despicable debacle don't give a fuck what you, or I, or any sane person thinks as they believe that what they are doing is right.

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Re: Injected with Love: The Death Penalty Thread

Post by Rat Patrol » 01 May 2014, 8:02am

101Walterton wrote:The most worrying aspect is that those involved with this despicable debacle don't give a fuck what you, or I, or any sane person thinks as they believe that what they are doing is right.
Bullseye.

http://www.esquire.com/blogs/politics/o ... ons-043014


The absolutely perverse thing is that ever since the pharmaceutical companies stopped selling the component drugs and the EU banned export of them to the U.S., the states have turned to legally-sanctioned drug running to smuggle the stuff around and turned to unqualified people to reverse-engineer the cocktail. The fire-breathers have LITERALLY become drug dealers to keep this practice going. Or alchemists, if you will, given that these are such anti-science luddites they can't even aspire to do Breaking Bad correctly (hey, if one of the drugs in the cocktail kills 'em that's fine with us, even if it's the wrong one!). Even in the states that haven't done an execution in years, because they legally cannot maintain a death row without supply of the drugs.


This is how it's going to work against DP proponents. More exposure's going to get shone on the non- or seldom-executing states with active statutes. Like California, which hasn't done any since 2006 despite having a death row nearly twice as large as the next-longest state. The fact that they ACTUALLY are participating in the drug-running scheme is enough to unleash a storm of protest. And it's extremely easy to get a citizens' ballot initiative up for election there. Overwhelmingly blue state with Democrat Gov. and Democratic supermajorities in both houses of the legislature...Oklahoma's actions and the taint that comes from the drug-running can absolutely tip the scales to close their loophole. In as short as 2 years (might be too late for a ballot initiative this year). In fact, I wouldn't be surprised at all if abolition in California was a 2016 campaign issue nearly as high-profile as the Prop 8/gay marriage fight. Because it's quite unlikely Oklahoma and the others playing amateur alchemist have made their last fuck-up this year. We might get another in 2 weeks if a court injunction doesn't stay that other guy's execution longer.

So abolishing it is not going to come from taming the sadists. It's going to come from the sadists exposing themselves as the basest barbarians in the world. And then everybody else with an unused statute closing their loopholes from shame, pressure, and (in the cases of the drug runners) scandal...because they can no longer be all things to all people twisting themselves in legal knots. You can no longer be both tough on crime by keeping a statute on the books and maintaining a death row...but still be seen as humane because you never apply it. Engaging in active drug dealing and torture blasts right through that wall of cognitive dissonance. The political liability and legal liability is no longer going to be worth it, and I wouldn't be surprised if a couple more states move in the next 6 months to pull the Maryland and Connecticut moves to just tidy up loose ends and make de facto abolition a full legal abolition.



This is actually one of the few policy areas that is on an irrevocable swing, despite this country's descent into the moral sewer and the sadists being more brazen than ever about it. That whole academic year in '99-00 I put in with my study group for my senior thesis...that's exactly how the reams of evidence said it was going to play out.

-- It's got elements of the gay marriage issue in that the momentum was tilted in one direction for years...but the polls and legal action were slow to catch up...and when they did catch up it started happening suddenly with the holdouts ideologically and regionally painting themselves into a corner. And it did so because the free market decided it wouldn't bankroll barbarism. The self-imposed ban by Big Pharma is a 100% business decision; too many foreign countries won't buy from them if their drugs are used in a lethal injection cocktail with the company's consent, and it's proven bad for business. The market has spoken, and so have the EU's bankers. That ship's sailed. Much like it did when big biz decided gay marriage was not only too risky to fight, but actually good for business. Shit started happening fast from there on. And that's what we have here. I would not be surprised if Virginia, the #3 executor in the country (almost a tie with Oklahoma in executions, but with significantly smaller death row), became the big battleground for economic sanctions. They're almost wholly dependent on Washington D.C.'s political-industrial complex. If they start getting spurned by big business (esp. Big Pharma) that can set up shop across the border in abolitionist Maryland, West Virginia, or D.C...if they start losing out on government contracts...it's going to start tipping the scales in a hurry. Especially in a state that's rapidly going blue and probably doesn't have more than 1 or 2 more election cycles left in it of being any sort of swing state. Think Arizona with the 1988 Martin Luther King Day business boycotts, or this year with the protests against their racial profiling bill. Only it won't be citizen unrest, it'll be CEO's not taking their money there because it's bad for business and the state's politicians freaking the fuck out.

-- Likewise, the religious right wresting full ownership of the barbarism away from what used to be a centrist coalition is going to accelerate its decline. Because there is little consensus from Christian sect to Christian sect on capital punishment, and amping up the frothing intensity is just going to expose those fissures. Yeah, the real Old Testament kool-aid drinkers amongst Southern Baptists are all for it. But the reason so many northern states abolished it early is because the Catholics are vehemently against it. And the Mormons are in their own universe with the Mountain West states maintaining more archaic execution options like the electric chair and firing squad, but giving the inmate the choice. A way...by their logic...to enforce scarcity and sober choices of who to execute through some contradictory combo of public brutality and limited freedom for the prisoner to choose his method of repentance. Despite having plenty of blood on their hands (esp. in Nevada), the Mormons are not allies with the Pentecostal yahoos in the deep South on raw bloodlust. And throw in the drug trafficking part...it'll split supporters in the West who see that as a moral abdication. I would expect some more loophole-tightening (if not outright abolition) in Utah, Idaho, Montana...and a political battleground in execution-happy Nevada, especially since it's swinging much bluer. Split the Mormons by going too far, and then this starts getting a lot more regionally isolated to the Old Confederacy. And melting-pot Nevada becomes the next post-Virginia target for the Freeeeeeeeeee Market to have its say, with Vegas being in the crosshairs.

-- And third...immigration. It's abolished in Mexico, every Central American country except Guatemala, and most of South America. What's the predominant religion of all of Latin America: Catholicism. Whitey's going to be on the wrong side of this numbers game...soon. And on this issue Southern racists are completely consistent with every other issue in freaking the fuck out and self-immolating over it.



So, in my relatively informed (if somewhat dated) academic opinion this isn't wishful thinking. And we are indeed somewhere well into the Beginning of The End. Unfortunately, you're talking at least 20 more years of barbarism and probably no intervention from the Supreme Court to stop it (this isn't 1976...even if there weren't so many conservative turds on SCOTUS, 40 years of pronounced States Rights lean makes the precedent hard). But the silent majority is going to disappear out from under them as the non-practicing states get scared away, the religious coalitions splinter because not everyone can sustain such tortured logic, and...most importantly...the 1% keep deciding it's a business liability and buy their politicians accordingly. 2030 maybe it'll be isolated enough to a half-dozen big body count Southern states where the pressure is withering enough to put them in a vice grip of business sanctions and federal action and wrestle them to the ground. But I wouldn't expect the annual body count to decline that much until then. Texas, Oklahoma, Moranjortsistan, Alabama...they're going to double-down on it. Progress is going to come from the non-practicing states closing their loopholes, then some high-profile battlegrounds like Virginia, Florida, and Nevada. The national body count will be the last thing to reflect the trend towards abolition, but that doesn't mean the trend isn't well underway.
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Re: Injected with Love: The Death Penalty Thread

Post by Dr. Medulla » 01 May 2014, 9:12am

I'll just add an actuarial component in that the Boomers are dying off (slowly, but still), and that they, more than any other generation, promote these kinds of Old Testament solutions. As they fade from political importance, a little less blood-soaked policy becomes more feasible. I hope. (Xers came of age during the conservative ascendency, but don't have as much stomach for crusades. So it's a bit of a toss-up.)
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Re: Injected with Love: The Death Penalty Thread

Post by Rat Patrol » 01 May 2014, 9:57am

Dr. Medulla wrote:I'll just add an actuarial component in that the Boomers are dying off (slowly, but still), and that they, more than any other generation, promote these kinds of Old Testament solutions. As they fade from political importance, a little less blood-soaked policy becomes more feasible. I hope. (Xers came of age during the conservative ascendency, but don't have as much stomach for crusades. So it's a bit of a toss-up.)
Well, of course. Plus a whole littany of other things like advances in DNA evidence exonerating such an outsized % of death row inmates, and the race bias that's even worse than the general prison population (note: this point was the crux of the research I had to do for my thesis).

But you don't even have to hedge on those factors, or account for a spread of opinions from glass-half-full to glass-all-empty about people's intentions when 3 truisms act as reliable predictors backed by near-bulletproof data:

1) Big Business' profit motives assert themselves over government policy. And Big Business has more or less taken its stance here (i.e. the most consequential money has already or is starting to vote with its feet, and vested interests like the private prison industry and ideologue CEO's like the Kochs are not enough to counteract the industries that have or will take a stand against).

2) Religious coalitions have limits to their binding energy before radical factionalism starts to unglue them. There is no monolithic Religious Right, and where they are a driving bloc it's as a coalition in detente (i.e. they hate each other but for the issues where they have to stick together). The death penalty is much more polarized between sects than other common causes where there's more religious conservative unity, and the Southern Baptists' overreach on this issue is fraying the coalition. They're already doing it without the Catholics, who are probably the most loudly abolitionist of any large denomination. And already doing it without the Jews or the usual Zionist lobby, because it's been illegal in Israel for all but war crimes against Jews since '54 (Eichmann himself was their last execution), and even that is de facto sunset with the extinction by natural causes of the last of the Nazis. Other minor denominations have likewise split, and others are teetering. As I said, if the zealots lose the Mormons from the coalition they lose all the Mountain West states and get bottled up inside the Old Confederacy.

3) Immigration demographics. 95% or greater of the Latin American population influx is from countries that have abolished...or only maintain decades-unused legacy statute for warcrimes/crimes-during-wartime like Brazil, Chile, Peru (all of which have it abolished in the civil penal system, and which haven't used it in military capacity for decades since--ironically--their U.S.-backed dictators fell). And religious ID tilts overwhelmingly to denominations strongly against the death penalty, like Catholicism. To the extent that these demographics are not yet regular voters...religious ID is a motivator for those naturalized as citizens to bring out the vote. (Big implications for California here if a ballot initiative comes up.)


None of these 3 are open to much interpretation. Not even amongst the true believers, who have to contend with #2 every political day of their lives as they chafe with "heretics" over common issues, and whose very radicalism is fueled by being scared shitless by their acknowledgment of #3. And given the way political power is structured today, and trending in the future, #1 is probably the biggest influence of all. This whole Oklahoma spectacle is the direct result of Big Pharma taking its stand, and squeezing its government contractors on the issue. There is no stopping the 1% when they want what they want, and this is an issue where Wall St. has gone against its normally libertarian political leanings. In large part because of globalization and the risk to profits abroad by condoning or ignoring this. You can't win when the 1% has made up their minds. They've made up their minds.


These 3 factors almost render the next wave of factors irrelevant...or, more accurately, supporting instead of leading factors. So from a predictive standpoint, these are the only ones that truly matter. And they break solidly against the death penalty. The only thing to speculate on is how fast it's going to fall outside the Old Confederacy (incl. being toppled in the swing states like Florida, Virginia, and possibly North Carolina where #1 and #3 trump #2 by much wider margins). And how far the nullies are willing to go kicking and screaming once the active executioners get boxed in to just them and the withering sanctions take hold. But that's a larger question of re-fighting the Civil War around a whole bunch of reactionary issues. So it's too soon to speculate when it'll be extinct. But we can reliably predict that 15 years or so we'll be into the Beginning of the End. And much like the seismic shift on gay marriage the dominoes are going to start falling FAST after a certain tipping point, so the inertia to-date in the legal-but-non-practicing states is not indicative of where we'll be in 5-10 years.

Unfortunately that means we're still open-ended at how long the U.S. is going to be a goddamn worldwide embarrassment with its body count. But we're not all that far away from the perpetrators being THOROUGHLY marginalized to just a bloc of dead-ender states. Basically, the Confederacy + a couple Midwest outliers and - a couple swing states in their ranks.
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Re: Injected with Love: The Death Penalty Thread

Post by Purple Hayes » 01 May 2014, 10:26am

I'm in no way a supporter of the death penalty and never will be but I always thought that if we HAD to have it why not hand the worst monsters over to government run and owned pharmaceutical companies to experiment on in the hope of finding cures for cancer/aids etc this would at least serve some kind of purpose, and save the lives of many furry little creatures...?

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Re: Injected with Love: The Death Penalty Thread

Post by Rat Patrol » 01 May 2014, 10:43am

Purple Hayes wrote:I'm in no way a supporter of the death penalty and never will be but I always thought that if we HAD to have it why not hand the worst monsters over to government run and owned pharmaceutical companies to experiment on in the hope of finding cures for cancer/aids etc this would at least serve some kind of purpose, and save the lives of many furry little creatures...?

"Well, Mr Ripper that's your cancer now cured, now slide over here and lets see how you get on with Alzheimers..."
Well...ironically, they are required to provide free health care to all inmates on death row right up until the exact moment of execution. So that wouldn't fly, and would be unconstitutional. There IS a lot of Supreme Court-reaffirmed precedent that you can't force someone to take life-extending meds against their will, governed by the Cruel & Unusual Punishment clause. It covers damn near everything EXCEPT lethal injections and assisted suicide (still illegal most states and at the fed level).

In this Oklahoma case, the second the execution was declared botched and the curtains closed on the observers they had to begin CPR on the guy and make every effort to save his life. Try to rationalize that...the mental gymnastics at work is enough to blow a hamstring. Not that the penal system is all that humane at providing health care, but they are liable for damages for willfully withholding medical care. Ironically, the running board meme about the serial killer who shares my real name ( :shifty: ) involved a case of politics over whether his execution could proceed over health issues. Because the wait on death row is frequently so damn long these guys are rarely in good health by the time their date with the needle gets announced. The cost alone for keeping 'em healthy enough for the state to kill 'em is batshit. Genuine small-gov't libertarians...you know, the unicorns that don't actually exist in real numbers, not the Randian Jesus types who call themselves libertarians...generally are against the death penalty because of the extreme cost and bureaucracy involved in maintaining such an artificial system.
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Re: Injected with Love: The Death Penalty Thread

Post by Flex » 01 May 2014, 10:45am

Rat Patrol wrote:Ironically, the running board meme about the serial killer who shares my real name ( :shifty: ) involved a case of politics over whether his execution could proceed over health issues.
Your name is Aileen Wuornos? :shifty:
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Re: Injected with Love: The Death Penalty Thread

Post by Dr. Medulla » 01 May 2014, 11:16am

Flex wrote:
Rat Patrol wrote:Ironically, the running board meme about the serial killer who shares my real name ( :shifty: ) involved a case of politics over whether his execution could proceed over health issues.
Your name is Aileen Wuornos? :shifty:
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Re: Injected with Love: The Death Penalty Thread

Post by Rat Patrol » 01 May 2014, 11:28am

BTW...here is the map of DP statutes:

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-- DP was reinstated in 1976 after a Supreme Court moratorium iced it for several years. That's the officialsplit between the modern era and early American history as far as the death penalty goes.

-- Red states + the federal gov't are the ones with death penalty statutes who have executed since '76. Note: some of those haven't done an execution in many years and aren't likely to do so soon...so this probably would work better if the map did shades of red for # of executions to delineate worst offenders. The feds have only done 3 since '76: Oklahoma City bomber Tim McVeigh ('01), some drug cartel guy ('01), and a rapist-murder ('03). Yeah...Bill Clinton was a bit of a shithead. That last one was so controversial the Bush Admin. shelved any future plans to proceed with more executions from the fed death row. And if his goons were too risk-averse for it, chances are anyone elected Prez. is going to abide by that precedent. So unlikely another one of the 59 on fed row is going to get his number called anytime soon, and we're back to the 1976-2001 non-practicing era. Besides, it's easier to do a drone strike and skip that whole pesky jurisprudence thing...so it's no big loss to them to let the statute collect mold ( :shifty: ).

-- Green-yellow states haven't attempted any executions since '76, but DO have active death rows. Kansas is probably itching to get back into the game, but the 1 guy on New Hampshire's DR won't ever (and they know they're headed to abolition eventually so they probably won't sentence anyone else). I seriously doubt American Samoa has anyone on DR or will ever try to put one on it...it's obsolescence without closing the loophole. U.S. Military retains the right for treason or war crimes, but is as reluctant as the feds to exercise it. Their statute is more or less equivalent to the countries who ban it for everything but war crimes, so it gets rationed accordingly. Also...drone strikes and conveniently friendly fire ( :shifty: ).

-- Striped red/blue states are the recent abolishments. Connecticut voted by legislative majority to abolish after a disastrous re-animation of its long-unused statute in ('06?), so their status was directly the cause of the intensely negative reaction of doing their first one in decades in a state where attitutes changed during the dormancy. Still has an active death with 11 people who can still be executed, although the Gov. is reviewing those cases and will probably commute them all. New Mexico also abolished for new cases, but has 2 existing death row inmates grandfathered. Vanishingly unlikely those 2 will ever proceed; they'll either commute, or put it on official sunset by letting 'em die of natural causes without further action.

-- Blue states, territories, and Washington D.C. are abolished, and no longer have death rows. Puerto Rico is almost certainly going to present abolition in its draft state constitution with a formal application for statehood.

-- Orange striped states (New York and Massachusetts) were abolitished by State Supreme Court rulings instead of legislative/voter actions, haven't executed anyone since '76, and haven't attempted to modify their statutes to get around the court order. I'm not even sure the court orders can be tweaked around, even if they tried, so both really should be considered blue states.



Red states that probably wont execute again:
-- North Carolina - State medical board barred physicians from participating in executions, and state law requires that physicians administer executions. Catch-22, no way around it unless the med board reverses course (possible because the extremist Republicans are in charge, but not likely). They're rocketing up the list of swing states likely to close their loopholes in the next decade.
-- California - Under court-ordered moratorium (since '06) to fix the flaws in its DP, and can't as of this moment proceed with any. Thank the Governator's reckless Admin. for being sloppy with its last executions and getting slapped by the courts. Though it wouldn't take much to fix it, extremely unlikely that'll ever proceed and extremely likely a ballot initiative is going to close the loophole within 4 years. Of course, they still have to stock the drug to legally maintain a DR in case it gets reinstated tomorrow, so nothing's preventing them with embarrassing themselves with these bumbling drug-running schemes.
-- Oregon - Under Governor-ordered moratorium (since '11) to fix flaws in its DP, can't proceed with any executions until fixed. Very unlikely they'll attempt it, probably looking at a formal abolition within 5 years.
-- Kentucky - Under court-ordered moratorium (since '09) until they fix their lethal injection procedures. Which of course just got a hell of a lot harder with the drug embargo. Kentucky's not lockstep with the Deep South, so iffy if there's enough support for them to even try (another case where Oklahoma's zeal and propensity for fuck-ups does the opposition favors). Probably won't close the loophole anytime soon, not because of lack of support but because it's too difficult to write a statute that'll get the drugs.

Other:
-- Arkansas - Lethal injection rules unconstitutional by State Supreme Court ('12). 13th most prolific executor now on ice. They'll probably try to bring back Ol' Sparky rather than deal with the lethal injection supply legalities, but if successful that'll SEVERELY crimp the # of people they can feasibly execute. Probably by 90% or more. Barring a miracle turnaround, one of the Old Confederacy killin' giants has pretty much been slayed...even if they don't stop entirely.
-- Nevada - Has ONLY executed 11 DR inmates who voluntarily opted for execution (that weird Mormon thing about giving them "choices" about the punishment), but has been gun-shy about forcing it involuntarily. Since it's a swing state trending more liberal, they're a prime case for outright abolition in the next 15 years. Plus, abolishing it would take away more rights from prisoners! Everyone wins!
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Re: Injected with Love: The Death Penalty Thread

Post by Rat Patrol » 01 May 2014, 11:32am

Dr. Medulla wrote:
Flex wrote:
Rat Patrol wrote:Ironically, the running board meme about the serial killer who shares my real name ( :shifty: ) involved a case of politics over whether his execution could proceed over health issues.
Your name is Aileen Wuornos? :shifty:
I want this to be true more than I want world peace.
:shifty:


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