Cabarrus lawmaker calls for public hangings

Posted January 26, 2012

A Cabarrus County lawmaker wants to bring back public hangings in North Carolina as a deterrent to crime, and he says doctors who perform abortions should be in the line to the gallows.

Republican Rep. Larry Pittman, who was appointed to the District 82 House seat in October, expressed his views in an email sent Wednesday to every member of the General Assembly.

Pittman said he was disgusted by the actions of death row inmate Danny Robbie Hembree Jr., who recently sent a letter to The Gaston Gazette bragging about how easy life is in prison and that appeals would stall his execution for years.

"We need to make the death penalty a real deterrent again by actually carrying it out. Every appeal that can be made should have to be made at one time, not in a serial manner," Pittman wrote in the email. "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."

He confirmed to WRAL News on Thursday that he wrote the email but said he had intended to send it only to Rep. Tim Moore, R-Cleveland, and not to every lawmaker. He said he was tired and accidentally hit "Reply All" on an email that Moore had sent to the General Assembly about Hembree.

"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.

Pittman's biography on the legislative website lists his profession as "pastor, shipping worker, company chaplain."


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  • PoBoy Feb 1, 2012

    I was about to say LARRY for PRESIDENT until he "apoligized". Just another lame politician that is scared to announce his true feelings!

  • billfarrell Jan 29, 2012

    I think that when Pittman says "deterrent" he really means revenge. Public executions have never deterred crime nor have they satisfied blood lust. I would suggest that "pastor" Pittman spend a few weeks in retreat to search out the sickness in his soul.

    Failing that, come on down to Texas where I'm sure Gov. Perry will give you, and your family, a ring-side seat to our executions. Of course, lethal injection is not nearly as dramatic as the neck-snapping, leg-twitching excitement of a hanging, but I'm sure your family, especially your kids, will enjoy the event. We'll even provide popcorn. When you advocated "public executions" you did include your wife and children, yes? Wouldn't want to deprive the little tikes of a state-sponsored death, would we?

    Pittman, I think you owe the American people a public apology for your thoughtless and counterproductive comment. You should be ashamed of your monstrous desire for revenge, at least for the sake of your children.

  • wralnc Jan 29, 2012

    "He confirmed to WRAL News on Thursday that he wrote the email but said he had intended to send it only to Rep. Tim Moore, R-Cleveland, and not to every lawmaker."

    He's not sorry that he wants to use his legal authority to compel the State to execute abortion doctors, he's sorry that he told everybody about it this early in the game. For a Christian minister, he ought to read the Old Testament and see what it has to say about the penalty for rapists. The State of North Carolina sure could use the shekels.

    "He said he was tired and accidentally hit "Reply All" on an email that Moore had sent to the General Assembly about Hembree."

    This joke of a legislator can't control his OWN EMAIL and yet he wants to re-make the judicial system to his own tastes?! Frightening.

  • jrwagner7 Jan 29, 2012

    ...additionally, before abortion was legal (before Roe vs. Wade) abortion in most states wasn't even allowed in cases of incest, rape, or when the mother's life was in danger. Why would we want to live in a world where a raped woman no longer has the opportunity allotted to her rapist (assuming he never gets caught)? Or when an option of 2 lives dying is better than just 1 life dying? Obviously along the spectrum of pregnancy there becomes a time when that child's life is viable and should be protected... however, to view the entire spectrum in the same light is ignorant to the process that an egg, zygote, embryo, then fetus takes before it becomes a baby. And no one is an "abortion ACTIVIST". It is the last choice that a woman makes in horrible circumstances.

  • quikdraw2 Jan 28, 2012

    Greaaaaaaaaat..... thank you for once again putting NC in a negative light for the world to see. As a native NC'er - I do not appreciate being labeled as a state that wants to revert to the 1800's. Hmmmmm - hey - what ever happened to "Thou shalt not kill?. Hmmmmmmmmm

  • vjnovachild Jan 28, 2012

    If God wants the Christians to be 'Pro-Life,' they don't have a very good example to follow. The following passages from the Bible should clear up this whole matter.

    Hosea 9:11-16
    Numbers 5:11-21
    Numbers 31:17
    Hosea 13:16
    I Kings 16:34
    2 Kings 2:23-24
    2 Kings 15:16 1 Samuel 15:11-18 Psalms 135:8 & 136:10 Psalms 137:8-9 Leviticus 20:9 Judges 11:30-40 Deuteronomy 21:18-21 Judges 19:24-29 Exodus 12:29 Exodus 20:9-10 Leviticus 26:30 Isaiah 13:15-18 Jeremiah 11:22-23 Jeremiah 19:7-9 Lamentations 2:20-22 Mark 7:9

  • pnacinfo Jan 28, 2012

    Like this page - NC Representative Larry Pittman Must Resign Now

  • elmer Jan 28, 2012

    the laws need to be changed to fit the crime. its sad when someone can murder a person and get less time than someone that robs a bank. need to change the laws and stick to them. read where a man robbed a bank and recieved probation for 5 years and had robbed bank and several other things in the past and only got probation. sad when crimminals have more rights than the victem

  • lanedaveb Jan 27, 2012

    This man should be being praised. Criminals deserving of the death penalty, should be executed after one appeal is exhausted. And Abortion is the killing of life...period. Just because baby hat-ers, got it legalized, does not make it right.

    I believe that until and unless someone can establish that the unborn child is not a living human
    being, then that child is already protected by the Constitution, which guarantees life, liberty, and
    the pursuit of happiness to all of us. - Ronald Reagan

    Abortion activists have helped murder approximately 53,000,000 unborn, innocent, defenseless babies since 1973 (Roe vs. Wade decision).
    SO....Abortion activists have murdered more victims than the Nazi's. - Dlane

  • josephlawrence43 Jan 27, 2012

    Hey--it works..Of course we could revert back to the Old Testament practice of stoning people to death..