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1.22.2004

 

Now which ones are the activist judges?


Ran across this disturbing article in salon from the wires about High Court clashes over Death Row appeals. In the article
Eric Freedman, a professor at Hofstra Law School, said under an 80-year tradition at the Supreme Court it takes the votes of four justices to hear someone's appeal, but five to stop an execution.

For part of that time, the court had a gentleman's agreement that if four justices wanted to hear an inmate's appeal, a fifth justice would provide the crucial fifth vote. He said the latest series of 5-4 votes shows a problem in the system.
Now, however it seems they've stopped doing that based on some recent cases that have gone on to appeal.

It strikes me as disturbing, that with people's lives at stake, and with so many mistakes having been made, as the amnesty in Illinois remarkably showed, that people wouldn't want to tend to err on the side of caution when it comes to putting people to death.

But the thing that struck me most pointedly about the article was the illusion to "cruel and unusual punishment." It seems that lethal injection and the electric chair have been deemed to be cruel and unusual. So, if it's premediated, as it always is with the state, is it ever appropriate for the state to kill someone in such a premeditated fashion? Isn't that in and of itself cruel and unusual?


1.21.2004

 

and ... and ...


... what the hell's wrong with those horrible, horrible, hateful people in Ohio? State-legislated intolerance has never been a strong suit. It only makes people look back 50 years from now and shake their heads slowly wondering what the hell was wrong with those people that they could be so stupid, insensitive, narrow-minded, shallow and yet so judgmental.

I was under the somehow under the impression that it was the role of the goverment to protect the rights of minorities and to not have them succumb to the tyranny of the majority. The Netherlands haven't imploded. God's not smote Belgium. Vermont's still here and producing a mighty fine Presidential specimen.

What the hell do people think will happen?


1.20.2004

 

Sober


Yikes. Not first, not second, but third. Dean-o, what happened?

Frankly I'm glad Dean didn't win Iowa. It doesn't have the best track record for determining the eventual nominee, so I don't see it as all that great of a loss for HD.
Gep, on the other hand, yes. Being from the state due South and having won the state before in '88, should have been able to do a little better. And! he had the chance to audition for this in his role as House Speaker, and he blew it. He never stood up for anything, it seemed.

In other news, Newsom, our new Golden-Boy mayor appointed a four-time loser to fill his seat on the Board of Supervisors. This woman ran for Secretary of State twice and lost as well as twice for Congress here in California. What I don't get, is what is it about people appointing to losers to positions of prominence? The voters spoke. No one wanted her, and now we're stuck with her. It's just like John Ashcroft being nominated for Attorney General after losing his home-state Senate race to a dead guy. C'mon, once you lose a race to a dead guy you should be permanently disqualified from ever holding public office.


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