Dispatches > Quotables

Quotables

Issue: "Question of Faith," April 5, 1997

They better not do it in the state of Florida because we may have a problem with our electric chair.

BOB BUTTERWORTH, Florida's attorney general, commenting on the potential deterrent effect of the execution of murderer Pedro Medina, whose head caught fire after the fatal jolt of electricity. Witnesses of the execution gasped as a maintenance supervisor wearing electrical gloves patted out the flames and another official opened a window to let out the smoke.

The last thing we want to do is generate sympathy for these killers.

Lt. Gov. Buddy MacKay, suggesting Florida should change its mode of execution.

That's probably the dumbest motive I've ever heard.

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Detective Sgt. Emilio Yannacone, a 22-year veteran policeman in Key West, Fla., who was investigating the murder of a busboy who was shot apparently as the result of an argument over how to put silverware into the dishwasher. The suspect, Jose Antonio Borrell, told Reyes Blas Morales that he wasn't putting the flatware into the proper containers to be washed. The two argued, then Mr. Borrell left and returned 45 minutes later with a 9 mm semiautomatic.

When I did second-trimester abortions, I did them late in the day, and when I'd get home, my wife would say, `You did one today, didn't you?' It would be all over my face.

New York City abortionist RICHARD HAUSKNECHT in The New York Times.

101 Donations.

Comedian Billy Crystal, host of the Academy Awards, joking about a movie that could have starred President Clinton.

When you are arguing a bail situation, one of the things the court wants to look at is whether there are sufficient contacts with the United States, in order to demonstrate to the court that someone is not going to run. We thought the fact that he was invited to have dinner with the president was significant.

Lawyer THOMAS R. SPENCER, explaining why he mentioned his client's invitation to a fundraising dinner with President Clinton at a swank Washington hotel. Mr. Spencer's client, Foutanga Dit Babani Sissoko, was arrested in Europe on a United States warrant and charged with trying to smuggle two Vietnam-era military helicopters out of Miami to Africa and offering a $30,000 bribe to a U.S. Customs agent.

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