Re: Cryo-suspension for death row

From: zeb haradon (zebharadon@hotmail.com)
Date: Fri Oct 06 2000 - 19:28:06 MDT


>From: "Randy Smith" <randysmith101@hotmail.com>
>Reply-To: extropians@extropy.org
>To: extropians@extropy.org
>Subject: Re: Cryo-suspension for death row
>Date: Fri, 06 Oct 2000 19:03:05 CDT
>
>
>
>
>>From: Max More <max@maxmore.com>
>>Reply-To: extropians@extropy.org
>>To: extropians@extropy.org
>>CC: max@maxmore.com
>>Subject: Cryo-suspension for death row
>>Date: Fri, 06 Oct 2000 15:12:25 -0700
>>
>>I just heard this news item while driving, but missed the name of the
>>governor (I think it was a governor) proposing the idea. I'm hoping
>>someone
>>can fill in the details. The governor of whichever state was seriously
>>proposing to deal with the problem of possible mistakes in administering
>>the death penalty by putting those executed into cryonic suspension.
>>According to the report, the governor was completely serious and simply
>>"thinking outside the box" (his words).
>>
>>I'd *really* like to find out who he is and in which state, as well as
>>monitor the responses. Whether you are for or against the death penalty,
>>as
>>administered by the government, I think this is a positive thing--it sends
>>the message that an "official" sees cryonic suspension as holding out real
>>hope.
>>
>>Updated October 6, 2000, 4:51 a.m. ET
>
>Yes, if this idea were implemented, it would probably "make" cryonics.
>
>Here's an excerpt from the news story:
>
>Mayor suggests cryogenically freezing death row inmates

I hate when they call it "cryogenics" instead of "cryonics".

>
>GREENSBORO, N.C. (AP) To the growing death penalty debate, a mayor
>submitted this suggestion: put inmates on ice literally.
>
>During a city council meeting, Mayor Keith Holliday said Tuesday that the
>worry over executing innocent people could be resolved by cryogenically
>freezing death row inmates, then reversing the process if later evidence
>clears them of crimes.
>
>Several council members laughed.
>
>But Holliday said he wasn't joking. He said the technology had been the
>subject of a television talk show he had watched.
>
>"I'm just trying to think outside the box," he said.
>
>....
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Do you have a link for the whole article (or is it only in print)?
I do not think this will be implemented. Nevertheless, I recommend that
those of us who are of the highest social standing (certainly not me) get in
touch with this Mayor, encourage him, congradulate him, move to Greensboro
NC and vote for him, and maybe get him signed up for cryonics.
If it were implemented then I see a huge potential for backlash - capital
punishment protesters saying that it will never work and the government is
just trying to assuage their guilt over killing innocent people - and they'd
be mostly right, we all know cryonics is risky at best (I speak as someone
who is signed up), and it would be mainly a propoganda tool. It would be
recognized as such and attacked, and the attack could spread to the concept
of cryonics itself.
I had an interesting idea a while ago relating to this - what if a
(admittedly guilty) death row prisoner signed up for cryonics? Would the
government allow him to do so? Would they take care in executing him to
damage his brain as little as possible, and let Alcor in quickly to do the
work? Would Alcor even take this case? In a few centuries or decades, would
he be allowed to be revived? Would the family of the victim sue Alcor at any
point along the way?
Here's another thing, imagine that a (claiming to be innocent) death row
inmate signs up for cryonics, is not allowed to, but takes it to court and
wins, using the same argument as Mayor Holliday? This introduces cryonics to
anti-death penalty activists and makes it an anti-death penalty cause (who
wants to write Mumia and offer to pay for his suspension?). Then, suppose
that after execution, he turns out to actually be proven innocent - this
places a perceived (by the public) moral burden on the government to come up
with some way to revive the executed individual, especially if it becomes a
widespread thing with a lot of people in suspension.
But I worry a lot about more publicity for cryonics in today's climate.
Would anyone really be surprised to hear tommorow that Janet Reno is
ordering the dismantling of all cryonics institutions and the thawing and
"proper burial" of all the "Defrauded victims of this scam"? And would the
general public take a rebuttal seriously?
Here is a sci-fi Machiavellian ploy I just though of and not to be taken as
a serious proposal: let's get three of us together who are terminally ill
(or just have death wishes). The first one will kill the second, and frame
the third. The third will go along with it, hire a hack lawyer, be declared
guilty, and get the death penalty (do it in Texas and make sure participant
number one is black and participants number two is a cop). He'll sign up for
cryonics and win a lawsuit. After he is frozen, the actual killer comes
forward to confess to the murder, and there we have a known innocent death
penalty victim frozen, and a cause celebre for cryonics.

---------------------------------------------------
Zeb Haradon (zebharadon@hotmail.com)
My personal webpage:
http://www.inconnect.com/~zharadon/ubunix
A movie I'm directing:
http://www.elevatormovie.com

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