In an e-mail, North Carolina Rep. Larry Pittman (R), who, according to his official bio, is also a Pastor, Shipping Worker, and Company Chaplain, stated he wanted public hanging brought back for abortionists, as well as others he deemed as murderers. The Times News reported that "Pittman wrote lawmakers the need to make the death penalty a deterrent and suggested abortion providers, rapists and kidnappers be among those facing execution."
Pittman did not return phone calls by the Associated Press but did say he got a little carried away with his anger towards Danny Robbie Hembree Jr., a man awaiting execution in a North Carolina prison, and that email was supposed to go to only one member in the House, Rep. Tim Moore, R-Cleveland. However, the e-mail apparently ended up going to every member in the House.
According to Raw Story, the e-mail read:
“We need to make the death penalty a real deterrent again by actually carrying it out,” Pittman wrote. “Every appeal that can be made should have to be made at one time, not in a serial manner. 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.”
According to NPR, the last legal hanging was in Kentucky in 1936. Since then, the U.S. has not used hanging as form of corporal punishment.
According to WRAL, Pittman admitted frustration and anger concerning Hembree, who murdered a woman. In his defense, Pittman used the excuse of hitting “reply all”, by accident and his response, which was only suppose to go to Moore, went to all members of the House.
"I was filled with anger, disgust, and frustration, as well as a profound sense of grief for the family of the young woman he killed," Pittman said of Hembree. "I felt a need to 'vent' some of these feelings and intended to do so to him alone. In the process, I got a bit carried away and overstated my case. I am sure I am not the only one who has ever done that."
He said he doesn't want his email turned into "a sideshow for political purposes" and said what Hembree said was more outrageous than his comments.
"What I regret is that something I wrote as a personal note to a fellow member of the House has had the effect of taking the focus off of where it should be, which is the victim and her family and the need to provide them with justice," he said.
A writer for Democratic Underground responded by saying, Republicans want to illegalize abortion, adding that the more to the right the Republicans go with abortion, the more violent their rhetoric, the more violent their rhetoric, and the more violent their rhetoric, the more violent they become.
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.