There’s something about a public hanging that strikes me as very oh, I don’t know, “cruel and unusual” and offensive to every last bit of human decency. Not so for North Carolina Republican Larry Pittman. In fact, Pittman thinks bringing back public hangings would be a great deterrent for “abortionists, rapists, and kidnappers.”
Pittman expressed this view in an email to every member of the North Carolina General Assembly. From Pittman’s email: “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.”
Criminalizing abortion is of course the very goal of the right, so it is no surprise to hear that a conservative lawmaker would view abortion providers as criminals. What is more telling is that Pittman’s position is quickly becoming the “center” for the right on the abortion issue. Last year alone Republicans in Nebraska, Iowa and South Carolina all pushed legislation that would essentially criminalize abortion and 2012 promises even more such measures.
And the harder to the right Republicans go on the abortion issue, the more violent their rhetoric. The more violent their rhetoric the more violent their actions. To call Pittman lumping abortion providers in with murderers and rapists as those who are first in line for a public hanging irresponsible would be generous.
Health care providers are not criminals, and it’s time conservatives get a grip and stop trying to treat them as such.
Photo from sjorford via flickr.