Here's something we never thought we'd hear in 2012: A lawmaker in Cabarrus County, North Carolina, wants to bring back public hangings as a "deterrent to crime" - and that's not even the worst part. He also says that "doctors who perform abortions should be in the line to the gallows." Yes, this man holds public office.

Republican representative Larry Pittman, pictured above, suggested all of this in an e-mail sent out to members of the North Carolina General Assembly. According to local news site WRAL, Pittman wrote, "We need to make the death penalty a real deterrent again by actually carrying it out. Every appeal that can be made should have to be made at one time, not in a serial manner. If murderers (and I would include abortionists, rapists, and kidnappers, as well) are actually executed, it will at least have the deterrent effect upon them. For my money, we should go back to public hangings, which would be more of a deterrent to others, as well."

Apparently, Pittman only meant to send the e-mail to one person, but like a plot-twist from some bad TV movie, he sent it to everyone instead. He claims that he was tired and angry about a letter that a death row inmate had written about his "easy" life in prison, and felt the need to "vent" his frustration through e-mail. "In the process," he said, "I got a bit carried away and overstated my case. I am sure I am not the only one who has ever done that."

[via WRAL]