West Virginia hasn't executed anybody since murderer Elmer Brunner went to "Old Sparky" in 1959, but quite a few people want that to change after the horrific murder of a 9-month-old baby. Benjamin Taylor is accused of raping and killing his girlfriend's daughter, and a petition to have him publicly hanged received more than 50,000 signatures on the White House website before it was removed, KTLA reports. President Obama would have been required to respond if the petition gained more than 100,000 signatures over 30 days. West Virginia abolished the death penalty in 1965.
"When it's an open and shut case such as this, let us hang these creatures publicly. Let us make examples of them, and allow the American people to attend these hangings so that the accused may be ridiculed, as they should be," read the petition, which the White House "We the People" website says was pulled for violating the "terms of participation." Taylor, 32, was charged with sexual assault Monday and a first-degree murder charge was added on Friday, the AP reports. He was arrested after Emmaleigh Barringer was found naked and covered and blood in the basement of her mother's home early Monday. She died from her injuries on Wednesday. (Read more West Virginia stories.)