Tag Archives: death penalty

Gay History- June 6, 1671: Hear Ye! Hear Ye! Plymouth Colony Makes Gay Sex Punishable By Death

On June 6, 1667, the General Court of Plymouth, Massachusetts added several capital crimes to those listed in the previous years.. One of these laws was the “sodomy” statute stating that those who commit sodomy shall be put to death, but with a caveat making persons under fourteen and the party of forced sodomy not punishable by death. The further qualification, that “all other sodomitical filthiness” shall be punished according to its nature, may have meant that anal penetration was necessary for the death penalty, and that other types of non-penetrative, “sodomitical” (sodomy-like) acts, such as mutual or public masturbation, were not as  punished so severely.

The sixteen crimes punishable by death in the Plymouth law of 1671 were listed as: (1) “Idolatry,” (2) “Blasphemy,” (3) “Treason,” (4) “Conspiring against this Juristiction” (attempted invasion, insurrection, or rebellion), (5) “Willful murder,” (6) “Sudden Murder in Passion,” (7) “Murder by Guile or Poisoning,” (8) “Witchcraft,” (9) “Bestiality,” (10) “Sodomy,” (11) “False-witness,” (12) “Man-stealing,” (13) “Cursing or Smiting Father or Mother,” (14) “The Rebellious Son,” (15) “Rape,” (16) “Willful burning of Houses, Ships, etc.”

The provision, whose margin referred to “sodomy” reads:  “If any Man lyeth with Mankind, as he lyeth with a Woman, both of them have committed Abomination; they both shall surely be put to Death, unless the one party were forced, or be under fourteen years of Age: And all other Sodomitical filthiness, shall be surely punished according to the nature of it.:

This Plymouth law was revised when Plymouth was united with Massachusetts in 1697.

But make no mistake sodomy was still punished by death in the early 1600’s.  Just not “legally”.

According to Raymond Paternoster’s Capital Punishment in America (1991), during the 1600s there were a total of five documented death sentences in the colonies for same‑sex sodomy during the 1600s, two each in Connecticut and New York, and one in Virginia. In addition, there was another prosecution in New York in which the records do not show disposition of the case. There were a total of 162 known death sentences carried out in all the colonies during the century, making the five known for same-sex sodomy about 3% of the total. The number of executions does not, of course, indicate the impact and effect of such executions.

According to the online Executions in the U.S. 1608-1987: The Espy File (s) there were 10 known executions for sodomy or buggery (same-sex or different sex, human-human or human-beast, or act type unspecified) in the colonies between 1625 and 1674. One of those executions was in Virginia, two in New York, three in Massachusetts, and four in Connecticut. Between 1757 and 1801 there were five executions for sodomy or buggery. Three were in New Jersey, one in Pennsylvania, and one under Spanish law in California.

In 1642, Edward Preston was sentenced to be publicly whipped at both Plymouth and Barnstable “for his lewd practices tending to sodomy with Edward Mitchell, and pressing John Keene thereunto (if he would have yielded).” Keene, who had reported the crime, was required to watch the punishment because he was suspected of “not being without fault himself.” No death penalty here, since the actions of Preston and Mitchell only “tended toward sodomy.”

Cryptkeeper Pat Robertson: The Death Penalty Is "Absolutely Biblical"

Evangelical Cryptkeeper Pat Robertson: The Death Penalty Is “Absolutely Biblical”

Pat Robertson on the 700 Club:

Are you kidding? Read the Bible. Read the Old Testament. I tell you, if a son is ungovernable and will not listen to his parents, the parents can bring the son before the authorities and the son will be executed. Jesus said, you know, I don’t condemn you, neither should anybody else condemn you.

But I think the whole idea of forgiveness is absolutely there, but in terms of — the Apostle Paul said, ‘He that wields the sword wields it not in vein but he’s a minister of God to execute judgment on the unbeliever’ — on those who are disobedient. He’s a minister of God wielding judgment.

And I do think the death penalty — you got Charles Manson! Why should the state have to pay hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of millions of dollars to incarcerate a stone-cold killer? I mean, the death penalty is certainly biblical. Absolutely biblical!

The death penalty may be biblical but so is slavery. And slaughtering children, incest. and genocide.

Oh, and also feeding Christians to lions.

#JustSaying

Ohio Set to Execute Killer in Brutal Cincinnati Gay Murder Case

Ohio Set to Execute Killer in Brutal Cincinnati Gay Murder Case

The state of Ohio is preparing for its first execution in many years of convicted murderer Robert Van Hook on Wednesday more than 30 years after he viciously stabbed a gay man to death and mutilated his body in his Hyde Park apartment.

David Self was 25, when he was found stabbed to death and disemboweled by his neighbor in Feb. 1985.

Authorities say Van Hook met Self at the Subway Bar in downtown Cincinnati on Feb. 18, 1985. After a couple of hours, they went to Self’s apartment where Van Hook strangled the 25-year-old Self to unconsciousness, stabbed him multiple times in the neck and then cut his abdomen open and stabbed his internal organs, according to court records. Van Hook stole a leather jacket and necklaces before fleeing, and smeared his own bloody fingerprints to hide his identity from police,

 Previous attorneys representing Van Hook attempted a “homosexual panic” claim in his defense, or the idea that self-revulsion over sexual identity confusion contributed to a violent outburst. Van Hook’s current lawyers say that was misguided, and overlooked his diagnoses of borderline personality disorder and post-traumatic stress disorder from his childhood..

Prosecutors dismissed the idea as nonsense, saying Van Hook made a practice of luring gay men to apartments to rob them and made note to mention that Van Hook has an extensive history of violence while incarcerated, including stabbing a fellow death row inmate in November.

Self’s family support the execution, telling the parole board last month that their slain loved one is missed every day. Self’s sister, Janet Self, said her brother had been reduced over the years to “a gay man in a bar,” when he in fact he was so much more.

While separate federal courts have ruled in favor of a retrial for Van Hook, the U.S. Supreme Court upheld his conviction and death sentence in 2009.

In May, the Ohio Parole Board voted against clemency for Van Hook, now 58.

Ohio Gov. John Kasich also rejected his request for clemency without comment.