the execution of l.c.

an early electric chair

The 8 March 2015, Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie prompt was the term “ktenology.” Yves wrote that the word “has quite a sinister meaning . . . .[ i]t is the science of putting people to death.”

I pondered this prompt for a long time. Capital punishment is a controversial subject. Should it be “an eye for an eye” or life in prison with no hope of parole? With advances in DNA testing, and the investigation of the methods used to extract confessions, the chances of killing an innocent person decrease. Yet, the chance still exists. There is an incredible backlog of evidence to be tested, and juries expect that forensics a la the CSI and NCSI franchises. That’s television, but people mistake it for reality.

There is also the issue of how the executions are carried out. Recent botched lethal injections have led to calls to reinstate the electric chair and gas chamber. There is a current shortage of the two drugs used. Utah just passed a law that if the drugs are not available, the execution will go ahead as planned – by firing squad! Hanging is cheaper and once was a spectator sport.

So, I offer the letter below as a serious and satirical/ironic view of capital punishment. Not trying to raise controversy. Just get folks to consider ktenology and what means.

Glennville Prison
Anystate, USA

March 24, 2015

Mrs. B.
92487 Anyavenue
Yourstate, USA

Dear Mrs. B.

It is with great pleasure that I can report the successful fulfillment of the death sentence of L.C. It is unfortunate that you and your family were unable to attend. In case you preferred not to watch the end of L.C’s life via the various media available, I am also pleased to provide you with a detailed description leading up to the actual execution.

You will be happy to know that the event was well attended. Ticket sales alone topped $900,000. My p.r. department reports there wasn’t an empty seat in the house. Thus concession, projectiles,  and souvenir stands did an incredible business. Pay-per-view, a trial project, exceeded all expectations, and was viewed in over 200 countries.

The weather was perfect. A beautiful spring day with temperatures in the mid-50s. Death sentences are best carried out in temperatures between 55 and 65. As you know, this will slow decay.

The crowd roared when the prisoner appeared, shackled hand and foot. The bright sun, after the darkness of the dungeon, burned the condemned’s eyes. Within seconds, plastic water bottles, Big Macs, kale, and older Apple smart-phones were hurled. While most missed, there were some direct hits. One gentlemen, interviewed by Fox, said he had been practicing his throw since learning that all appeals were forbidden by the Supreme Court. He proudly showed off his sons ages 5, 9, and 13. All 3 stated that this had been better than last year’s trip to Disney Land.

I will save you the actual details of the death. It might bring back too many memories. However, I am enclosing a blood-stained piece of the prison uniform, signed by myself and the executioners, and tastefully framed to suit any wall or mantle.

I should add the Blu-ray and streaming video will be available, generating additional monies. With this large infusion of cash, we can keep the prison functioning  until August. The next execution is scheduled for early July.

Thank you again for your patience. I realize that five months is a long time to wait. We do apologize. Now that new laws are in place, no family need suffer like yours.
If there is any thing I can do to be of assistance, please don’t hesitate to call me. We now have a 1-800 number: 1-800-555-5555.

Warden and Event Planner
Glennville Prison

PS: We do not endorse any of the images appearing on YouTube.


5 thoughts on “the execution of l.c.

  1. mindlovemisery March 24, 2015 / 8:20 am

    My God this really demonstrates the barbarity of such legal systems. There is so little effort in rehabilitation


    • phylor March 24, 2015 / 12:20 pm

      Yes, I didn’t get into what happens when you get life without parole, or the chance for parole given the violence of the crime. Some prisons (many now are privately owned and run like a business) that are more forward thinking are teaching inmates things like coding, web design. Their computers don’t connect to outside contact, making it a “safe” way to learn.
      American jails are so overcrowded — the war of drugs pulled in folks with minuscule amounts of dope. So there they sit, no rehabilitation offered. If an inmate is lucky, they will learn to read, learn to be a lawyer, and other skills often on their own.
      Then there is the way that society treats these inmates when they are released. Sorry this is one of my sore points. When I worked for social services, I knew men out of prison — trained either before or during unable to get job higher than dish washer. No wonder they turn around a commit crimes. I did know some guys who, thought the Sally Ann (Salvation Army) made it out of the cycle of crime and dope. Many get hooked in jail because dope is always available.
      I’ve probably told you more about the penal system than you expected, so I’ll stop here. Some of these guys hold a soft spot in my heart.

      Liked by 1 person

      • mindlovemisery March 24, 2015 / 12:30 pm

        The Swedish system is quite different than the American system (they are closing prisons right and left because there aren’t enough inmates) but I don’t claim to be an expert on either. So many times prisoners are unable to live on the outside, I mean how do you reintegrate after having been removed from society for 20 years? If you are only in for a short time then you are put right back into the same negative/miserable/possibly even dangerous environment. Like you say once you have a prison record you can’t get a decent job so it is really hard to start over even if you have obtained the skills.


        • phylor March 24, 2015 / 12:38 pm

          Certainly in movies and on tv , long term prisoners wan to return to prison where they have spent all their adult life. I think, as you say, this is quite likely.
          I’m no expert either, but lately NPR radio has been focusing on prison issues, capital punishment so I’ve been absorbing some of the information. There are so many levels of courts and prisons, it is mind-boggling. It’s great that Sweden lacks prisioners and is closing jails. What are the repurposing of the buildings? In Toronto, Ontario, Canada, the old city jail was turned into a youth hostel. The building was saved, and served a good, rather than bad, servicel


          • mindlovemisery March 24, 2015 / 1:01 pm

            That is great to hear! I am not sure actually but I am certain they are being used


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