CATEGORY: State Execution, Mobility, Death Van
DIVISION: Modern Evil
EDITORIAL: While it doesn't equal the excitement of a jingle-jangling ice cream truck, China's death van is a wonderful mobile business that delivers convenience and peace of mind. Death row curbside service includes a power-driven metal stretcher, tasty lethal cocktails and out-of-sight disposal. The 2010 models will upgrade gallery viewing to a 16' driver-side public window, with sun awning as an available option.
China Makes Ultimate Punishment Mobile
By Calum MacLeod, USA TODAY
CHONGQING, China — Zhang Shiqiang, known as the Nine-Fingered Devil, first tasted justice at 13. His father caught him stealing and cut off one of Zhang's fingers.
Twenty-five years later, in 2004, Zhang met retribution once more, after his conviction for double murder and rape. He was one of the first people put to death in China's new fleet of mobile execution chambers.
The country that executed more than four times as many convicts as the rest of the world combined last year is slowly phasing out public executions by firing squad in favor of lethal injections. Unlike the United States and Singapore, the only two other countries where death is administered by injection, China metes out capital punishment from specially equipped "death vans" that shuttle from town to town.
Makers of the death vans say the vehicles and injections are a civilized alternative to the firing squad, ending the life of the condemned more quickly, clinically and safely. The switch from gunshots to injections is a sign that China "promotes human rights now," says Kang Zhongwen, who designed the Jinguan Automobile death van in which "Devil" Zhang took his final ride.
For years, foreign human rights groups have accused China of arbitrary executions and cruelty in its use of capital punishment. The exact number of convicts put to death is a state secret. Amnesty International estimates there were at least 1,770 executions in China in 2005 — vs. 60 in the United States, but the group says on its website that the toll could be as high as 8,000 prisoners.
The "majority are still by gunshot," says Liu Renwen, death penalty researcher at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, a think tank in Beijing. "But the use of injections has grown in recent years, and may have reached 40%."
China's critics contend that the transition from firing squads to injections in death vans facilitates an illegal trade in prisoners' organs.
Injections leave the whole body intact and require participation of doctors. Organs can "be extracted in a speedier and more effective way than if the prisoner is shot," says Mark Allison, East Asia researcher at Amnesty International in Hong Kong. "We have gathered strong evidence suggesting the involvement of (Chinese) police, courts and hospitals in the organ trade."
Executions in death vans are recorded on video and audio that is played live to local law enforcement authorities — a measure intended to ensure they are carried out legally.
China's refusal to give outsiders access to the bodies of executed prisoners has added to suspicions about what happens afterward: Corpses are typically driven to a crematorium and burned before relatives or independent witnesses can view them.
Chinese authorities are sensitive to allegations that they are complicit in the organ trade. In March, the Ministry of Health issued regulations explicitly banning the sale of organs and tightening approval standards for transplants.
Even so, Amnesty International said in a report in April that huge profits from the sale of prisoners' organs might be part of why China refuses to consider doing away with the death penalty.
"Given the high commercial value of organs, it is doubtful the new regulations will have an effect," Allison says.
Makers of death vans say they save money for poor localities that would otherwise have to pay to construct execution facilities in prisons or court buildings. The vans ensure that prisoners sentenced to death can be executed locally, closer to communities where they broke the law.
That "deters others from committing crime and has more impact" than executions carried out elsewhere, Kang says.
Jinguan — "Golden Champion" in Chinese — lies an hour's drive from Chongqing in southwestern China, below the green slopes of Cliff Mountain. Along with the death vans, the company also makes bulletproof limousines for the country's rich and armored trucks for banks. Jinguan's glossy death van brochure is printed in both Chinese and English.
From the outside, the vans resemble the police vehicles seen daily on China's roads. A look inside reveals their function.
"I'm most proud of the bed. It's very humane, like an ambulance," Kang says. He points to the power-driven metal stretcher that glides out at an incline. "It's too brutal to haul a person aboard," he says. "This makes it convenient for the criminal and the guards."
The lethal cocktail used in the injections is mixed only in Beijing, something that has prompted complaints from local courts.
"Some places can't afford the cost of sending a person to Beijing — perhaps $250 — plus $125 more for the drug," says Qiu Xingsheng, a former judge working as a lawyer in Chongqing. Death-by-gunshot requires "very little expense," he says.
Qiu has attended executions by firing squad where the kneeling prisoner is shot in the back of the head. The guards "ask the prisoner to open his mouth, so the bullet can pass out of the mouth and leave the face intact," he says.
In the United States, some death row inmates and death penalty opponents want the Supreme Court to declare lethal injections cruel and unusual. A recent lawsuit claimed inmates suffer excruciating pain during executions because they do not get enough anesthetic.
There is no such debate in China, which uses the same three-drug cocktail as the U.S. federal government and most U.S. states: sodium thiopental to make the condemned unconscious, pancuronium bromide to stop breathing, potassium chloride to stop the heart.
People's Daily and other state media describe the mix as a "non-virulent drug," bringing about "immediate clinical death while inflicting no physiological pain."
"It doesn't matter what method you use," Qiu says. "If someone is convicted of a capital crime, they should be executed."
Chinese prisoners condemned to death are not offered a choice of injection over gunshot, but Qiu and others suspect wealth and connections can buy the newer method.
"It is a real phenomenon that gangsters and corrupt officials are killed by injection more than gunshot, so their bodies are intact, and death is less painful," Liu says. "But I doubt it is government policy. These criminals are usually held in cities, where the injection is used. Common criminals are held in county-level facilities, where shooting is more common."
Tycoon Yuan Baojing was executed in March in a death van, in northeast China's Liaoyang city. He had been convicted of arranging the murder of a man trying to blackmail him for attempting to assassinate a business partner.
Sixty-eight different crimes — more than half non-violent offenses such as tax evasion and drug smuggling — are punishable by death in China. That means the death vans are likely to keep rolling.
"If we abolish the death penalty, then crime will grow," Kang says.
DEATH VAN SPECS
Cost: $37,500 to $75,000, depending on vehicle's size
Length: 20 to 26 feet
Top speed: 65 to 80 mph
Execution chamber: in the back, with blacked-out windows; seats beside the stretcher for a court doctor and guards; sterilizer for injection equipment; wash basin
Observation area: in the middle, with a glass window separating it from execution area; can accommodate six people; official-in-charge oversees the execution through monitors connected to the prisoner and gives instruction via walkie-talkie.
Production to date: at least 40 vehicles, made by Jinguan and two other companies in Jiangsu and Shandong provinces
FROM THE OFFICE OF THE PRESIDENT:
~ Dr. Archibald T. Staph, Ph.D, President
CATEGORY: State Execution, Mobility, Death Van
CATEGORY: Robbery, Vigilantes, Shapeshifting
DIVISION: Modern Evil
COMMENT: If you think about it, a goat may be the most ingenious disguise to use in rural crime. The only drawback is when the crime attempted is grand-theft auto, given that most goats don't drive cars. But because local police and the BBC don't believe in shapeshifting, turning into a goat is a truly brilliant getaway plan.
Nigeria Police Hold 'Robber' Goat
from the BBC
Police in Nigeria are holding a goat handed to them by a vigilante group, which said it was a car thief who had used witchcraft to change shape.
A police spokesman in Kwara State has been quoted as saying that the "armed robbery suspect" would remain in custody until investigations were over.
But another police spokesman told the BBC the goat was being held in case its owner claimed it.
The belief in witchcraft and the power to change shapes is common in Nigeria.
Police reform activists have condemned the "arrest", saying it highlights the low education levels of many Nigerian police officers.
Nigeria's Vanguard newspaper has a picture of the goat and reports that police paraded it in front of journalists in the Kwara state capital Ilorin on Thursday.
But this was denied by national police spokesman Emmanuel Ojukwu.
"The vigilante group arrested the goat and took it to the police, then they told the media."
The next morning journalists turned up demanding to see the goat, he said.
"But of course goats can't commit crime."
The BBC's Andrew Walker in Abuja says communities often rely on ill-educated and badly prepared vigilante squads to fill the gaps where the police will not patrol at night.
Innocent Chukwuma of the justice reform group the Cleen Foundation, told the BBC that many Nigerian police officers were poorly educated.
"There are officers who don't even have a secondary school education, and the police have a big job to do in finding these people and getting rid of them."
He said in the past political leaders had allowed the police to be filled with incompetent and in some cases criminal officers so they could be easily bought to protect their own criminal activities.
Police have also been unable to stop vigilante squads from lynching suspects before they could investigate, he said.
CATEGORY: Economic Downturn, Demand, Adult Industry
DIVISION: Modern Evil
COMMENT: When times are tight, we turn the to the time-honored and trusted stand-bys that never fail us - Porn! And thank God for the Adult Industry. Because who else is willing to pay $5000 for a day in your 4-bedroom Burbank home with an 8-person hot tub?
Porn Shoots Sought by Los Angeles Homeowners Hit by Slump
By Nadja Brandt and Daniel Taub
Jayshree Gupta reclined on an English-style sofa in her Beverly Hills penthouse as crews buzzed around taping protective paper over the hardwood floors and wheeling in crates of camera gear.
She was hosting a television-commercial shoot. It meant allowing dozens of strangers and 400-pound klieg lights into her home for a full day, and it was worth every minute, Gupta said.
“I am doing it because I need money to maintain my lifestyle,” she said, perched near a portrait of herself painted by her friend Barbara Carrera, the Bond girl in 1983’s “Never Say Never Again.” “A lot of my money is either gone or tied up. Right now I am hurting.”
Gupta, a clothing and jewelry designer, is among an increasing number of recession-pinched Los Angeles homeowners turning to Hollywood for help, offering their houses as sets for feature films, commercials and even adult movies.
“We are getting a lot of calls,” said Joseph Darrell, whose Los Angeles-based Joe Darrell Location Service represents Gupta. “They say, ‘Can you help me to bring a production to my home, because I have trouble making my payments.’”
The daily fee paid for the sort of work done at Gupta’s 3,000-square-foot condo in the city’s signature 90210 ZIP code is usually $2,000 to $3,000, Darrell said. That would cover about half of her monthly household bills, including maid service.
“I am praying, praying, for more productions to come in,” Gupta said. “I thought it was a brilliant idea to help myself.”
She declined to say how much she was paid, and wouldn’t give her age. “Not in this town,” Gupta said with a chuckle.
At Los Angeles-based Plan A Locations, more than a dozen calls are coming in each week, up from about two a week a year ago, said owner Marylin Bitner.
“We’re getting all sorts of houses,” Bitner said. “From small homes where owners are hoping production money will save their house to very large mansions where owners hope to avoid having to dig into their savings or having to sell stocks.”
>> Read Full Article
CATEGORY: Virginity, Auction, Opportunity
DIVISION: Modern Evil
EDITORIAL: We're not surprised that a woman is auctioning off her virginity. And, no, we're not surprised that current bids are in the millions. What we are surprised at is the elephant in the room on this one - that there is an obvious demand for an online virgin auction.
The Modern Evil Company proudly announces its new recession-proof online venture: DeFlowerBay - the eBay for Virginity.
Student Auctions Off Virginity For Offers Of More Than £2.5 Million
Natalie Dylan, 22, claims her offer of a one-night stand has persuaded 10,000 men to bid for sex with her.
Last September, when her auction came to light, she had received bids up to £162,000 ($243,000) but since then interest in her has rocketed.
The student who has a degree in Women's Studies insisted she was not demeaning herself.
Miss Dylan, from San Diego, California, USA, said she was persuaded to offer herself to the highest bidder after her sister Avia, 23, paid for her own degree after working as a prostitute for three weeks.
She said she had had a lot of attention from a wide range of men, including "weirdos", "those who get really graphically sexual about what they want to do to me" and "lots of polite requests from rich businessmen".
Miss Dylan said she did not think it was particularly significant to be willing to sell your virginity and insisted that she was happy to undergo medical tests for any doubters.
She said: "I get some men who are obviously looking for a girlfriend but I try and make it clear that this is a one-night-only offer.
"I know that a lot of people will condemn me for this because it's so taboo but I really don't have a problem with that.
"My study is completely authentic in that I truly am auctioning my virginity but I am not being sold into this. I'm not being taken advantage of in any way.
"I think me and the person I do it with will both profit greatly from the deal."
She added: "It's shocking that men will pay so much for someone's virginity, which isn't even prized so highly anymore."
CATEGORY: Cross-Dressing, Refrigerator, Cannibal
DIVISION: Modern Evil
NOTE: Just because you like watching war movies and dressing up in women's clothing, it does not mean you are a cannibal. Eating human flesh is a taste acquired through practice and careful preparation. The better recipes are here and here.
China Girl Found Dead In Fridge
A man has been arrested after the body of a four-year-old girl was found in a refrigerator in his flat in Guangzhou, southern China, state media report.
The discovery was made after the man's neighbour - the girl's grandmother - spotted traces of blood outside his door, the Guangzhou Daily reported.
Liu Lingli went missing on Friday, prompting a police search.
The newspaper quoted another local resident as saying the man had once described human flesh as "delicious".
The man, who was identified by his nickname A He, is said to be a migrant worker who is thought to be mentally ill.
He was described as a recluse who sometimes wore women's clothing and enjoyed watching war films.
The newspaper quoted his neighbour as saying that on one occasion, while watching a film of people being killed in battle, A He commented that "human meat was in fact delicious".
Police and security officials did not immediately confirm the arrest.