blogadmin | 17 October, 2008 17:03
By Elizabeth Ann Stein, Producer
Airing live on Texas execution days 6-7 pm CDT
Streaming live at http://executionwatch.org, http://www.kpft.org/
HUNTSVILLE, Texas -- With the holiday season five weeks away, early birds are counting shopping days.
Texas is counting execution days.
Between now and Nov. 20, the busiest death chamber in the United States will give to 10 men. During one three-day period, a prisoner will be executed each day.
The state of Texas began warming up the death chamber this week by executing two prisoners. The head start will bring the anticipated pre-holiday string of carnage to an even dozen, a level of efficiency that hardly approaches that of Birkenau yet brings it to mind.
In contrast, the Death House will be as peaceful as a snowy manger while the rest of the country celebrates
Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s. Not until mid-January will it
resume its grisly business.
“I suppose they’re afraid it might harm their humanitarian image to keep the death machine humming during the holidays,” ex-convict and civil rights activist Ray Hill observed trenchantly.
Hill is host and co-founder of EXECUTION WATCH, a radio show at KPFT FM Houston that streams on http:www.kpft.org and http://executionwatch.org with live coverage and commentary whenever the Lone Star state executes someone.
The Christmas break is just one of many traditions Texas observes in carrying out the death penalty, most of them incomprehensible, said show producer and co-founder Elizabeth Ann Stein.
“Texas is the undisputed capital of mong industrialized Western nations,” she said. “Why stop during the birthday of the world’s most famous death-penalty victim?”
The spate of pre-holiday executions continues Tuesday, Oct. 21, when Joseph Ries is slated to die by lethal injection just after 6 p.m. CDT. Ries was sentenced to death for the 1999 murder and robbery of Robert Ratliff, who was shot as he slept in his home in Cumby, Texas. Live coverage and discussion will be streamed by EXECUTION WATCH at http:www.kpft.org and http://executionwatch.org
Elizabeth Ann Stein produces EXECUTION WATCH on KPFT FM Houston 90.1, HD-2 and www.executionwatch.org. The program, hosted by Ray Hill, airs at 6 p.m. Central Time any day Texas executes someone. It is designed to counteract the virtual news blackout in the mainstream media when prisoners are executed. She has worked as a political reporter for United Press International, police reporter at a daily newspaper, and an editor for PC Week.