The last legal public hanging in America took place in 1936 in Owensboro, Kentucky. The “event” attracted 20,000 people and turned into such a sickening spectacle that many credit it with ending the practice in the U.S.
But one North Carolina Republican believes that as a country we’ve grown soft since banning public hangings and is calling for them to reinstated as a deterrent to crime. If Rep. Larry Pittman had his way, “abortionists, rapists, and kidnappers” would be first in line for the gallows:
Republican Rep. Larry Pittman, who was appointed to the District 82 House seat in October, expressed his views in an email sent Wednesday to every member of the General Assembly. […]
“We need to make the death penalty a real deterrent again by actually carrying it out. Every appeal that can be made should have to be made at one time, not in a serial manner,” Pittman wrote in the email. “If murderers (and I would include abortionists, rapists, and kidnappers, as well) are actually executed, it will at least have the deterrent effect upon them. For my money, we should go back to public hangings, which would be more of a deterrent to others, as well.”
As ThinkProgress reported, last year Republicans in South Carolina, Nebraska, and Iowa pushed legislation that would essentially legalize the murder of abortion providers. Such radical sentiments have been echoed by prominent conservatives like Sen. Tom Coburn (R-OK), who said during his 2004 campaign, “I favor the death penalty for abortionists.”