Dear Bill Clinton: Last week three prisoners were executed in Arkansas. How can the US President lecture the rest of the world about human rights, a British MP wonders

Chris Mullin
Sunday 07 August 1994 23:02

Congratulations. A triple execution in your home state. And on your birthday, too. Or was it the day after? Never mind, it's the thought that counts. Obviously you left the old death machine in Arkansas in good hands.

Seriously, though, Bill, you must be proud to be an American. Nearly 3,000 people waiting to be injected, gassed, hanged or roasted alive in the electric chair. And the pace is hotting up. There is even talk of televised executions.

Maybe they'll invite you to push the button, or whatever it is they push. That should do wonders for your ratings.

I know you'll tell me that it's nothing to do with you. I realise some credit is due to the state governors and their underlings. But don't be modest, Bill. After all, you are the President. At this rate, you'll go down as the one who presided over more executions than any other this century. Now that's gonna be something to boast about. Pity about the gun-control laws, though.

I hope you won't think me a softie, but I do have a couple of teeny-weeny reservations. Do you think you should be putting juveniles on death row? Yes, I know Saddam does it, and I know they do it in Pakistan and the Sudan, but is this really the company you would like to be seen in? And yes, I know you keep them waiting until they're old enough to fry, but some folk might think that's a mite devious.

One other thing, Bill. Don't you think it's a shade hypocritical to keep lecturing the rest of the world about human rights? I know you guys don't get embarrassed easily. I know America doesn't execute as many of its citizens as China (yet). But at least in China the condemned aren't kept hanging around (if you'll pardon the expression) for up to 15 years while the legal system plays with their lives.

Americans could learn a lot from China. None of that namby-pamby nonsense about the rights of the accused. No bleeding heart liberal whingeing on about cruel and unusual punishments. Just a bullet behind the earhole and that's that. Now that's what I call real justice. That would go down a treat in Texas and Arkansas. Why, with that in your manifesto, you might even take Florida next time round.

By the ways, Bill, how's the homicide rate? Oh, I'm sorry to hear that. It's just that I thought that with all that gassing, hanging, injecting and roasting going on, the results would be showing through by now.


Chris Mullin

PS. What does Hillary think of it? I have heard she's getting a little squeamish about the death camps in Florida and Texas. Just a rumour, but one I think you ought to quash as soon as possible.

(Photograph omitted)

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