SB 509: Voluntary death penalty

Senate Bill 509 Death penalty. Senator Waterman. Allows incarcerated convicts who have been sentenced to at least 200 years imprisonment, an executed sentence of life imprisonment, or life imprisonment without parole to request the imposition of a death sentence. Provides protections to prevent mentally ill individuals from making the election. Allows the convict to chicken out. Allows the convict to make such an election only once.

[tags]SB509-2007, criminal law[/tags]


  1. Brenda says

    Wow, isn’t this an interesting one to sit around and debate. Since it is “elective” how is it different from “doctor-assisted suicide?” Is this considered a “humane” option? Interesting concept that life in prison is seen as being worse than dying a slow and painful death.

  2. Branden Robinson says

    In seemingly unrelated news, I support the right of state legislators to bring firearms into the State House even when the plebes, er, citizens, can’t.

    Any time one of these jackasses wants to volunteer for the death penalty á la R. Budd Dwyer in the well of the state senate, I support them. I’ll even support a tax to pay for the painter’s plastic they can drape over the carpet and furniture to make cleaning up the mess easier.

    Seriously, how about we cut down on the expense of filing appellee’s briefs in death penalty cases by — oh, I don’t know, repealing the death penalty?

    Sen. Waterman: CONTEMPTIBLE

  3. lawgeekgurl says

    how would this not violate SCOTUS’ constitutional interpretation that only juries can impose the death penalty (after considering mitigating and aggravating factors)? They’d have to say it’s akin to entering a guilty plea and waiving a jury trial, right? Perhaps I have misunderstood the issue; I’m only hitting 60% of my Con law practice MBE questions at the moment, anyway. Freaking MBE. Also, and only tangentially related to the topic at had, Waterman is a tool.

  4. says

    I don’t think it’s anything more or less than assisted suicide. I support an individual’s right to die — provided they are mentally competent to make the decision. I don’t see any particular merit to forcing someone to stay alive if it’s only to live in a cage. On the other hand, I really wouldn’t want to be the judge who had to sign off on this sort of thing.

    If this was going to move forward, I would suggest a requirement that the individual have executed at least 5 years of his sentence. The enormity of a life sentence is probably pretty overwhelming. After 5 years, I’d think a person would have a pretty good idea of what he or she was in for and could make an informed decision.

  5. Branden Robinson says


    Hence Doug’s point about it being assisted suicide — with the assistance provided by the state.

    I don’t see how one can both support this bill and condemn Jack Kevorkian, but I don’t imagine that will stop some folks.

  6. says

    Branden- Never mind the tax, I’ll volunteer my services. I’m pretty handy that way, and I can make a decent soup for the clean-up crew.

    Yep, there’s going to be a whole lot of hypocrisy evident in the votes. It’s going to be fun to keep score.

  7. says

    Boy! I’m sure glad we have all of the other Hoosier problems worked out already that we can move on to this!

    Ridiculous waste of time. I’m pretty sure that the terminally incarcerated have found other ways to get themselves killed while in prison if they really want to do it so badly.

  8. says

    I do think that everyone has the right to kill themselves. Especially when they are convicted for life imprisonment without parole. It only makes sense. I’d rather die instantly than suffer life imprisonment.

    I do think it will also be fun to stay tune on this one for the same reason Mike Kole stated above.

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