World 9/2-11 12:12

Student activist sells tickets to Texas execution

Lethal injection
Photo: Wikimedia Commons (California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation)
A lethal injection room at San Quentin Prison in California, similar to the one where five members of the public will watch Travis Runnels die
University of Copenhagen student will auction five tickets to Texas lethal-injection execution, to provoke a debate about death penalty

On death row in Huntsville, Texas, Travis Runnels awaits a death sentence for a lethal stabbing. Now, a Copenhagen law student is selling five seats to watch the execution.

This is according to Politiken.dk.

As of today, Wednesday, USD 1,100 is the top bid for a front-row ticket to see a man die. On the aptly-named auction website Curtainfall.com, law student and activist Martin Martensen-Larsen is auctioning off tickets to the macabre event.

People should see how their taxes are used

Martensen-Larsen will keep ten per cent of the profits for administration costs. But he is not in it for the money, he says.

By ‘selling death’ in this way he wants to provoke a debate about why executions are usually closed to the public.

»People should be able to see what they vote for, and what their taxes are being used for,« he says in an interview with Eb.dk.

He also highlights the commercial interests involved in capital punishment.

»The entire prison system and the people who produce the lethal injections all make money on this type of punishment,« he says.

Money back guarantee

The date of the execution has not yet been set, but if the prisoner survives death-row, or dies early, buyers will get most of their money back.

»In case our client should be granted clemency, if his death occurs before execution or any other event that would prohibit the execution taking place, the buyer will pay an administration fee of 25 per cent of the bid,« according to the Curtainfall website.

Grave advertising

Previously, Martensen-Larsen has explored the idea of commercialising death with the project »Work in Peace« in 2009, where he sold advertising space on gravestones.

A video company bought three month’s advertising on Martensen-Larsen’s own grave stone.

luci@adm.ku.dk

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Is it OK to sell tickets to executions?

Comments

How come murdering is ok?

By Sanna Hellstrom Kall on 20. December 2013, 20:41.

As I´m reading this I´m thinking "how is it possibly that the law has made it ok to kill someone?"

The law is making it legal to kill the person who (may have) killed another person.

So should we kill the legal rights?

I don´t know how to express this, but I´m sure you´re following.

Really, really weird!

Stockholm, December 20, 2013

Sanna Hellström

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