Thursday, April 17, 2008

Gentlemen, Start Your... Needles

Warm up the death penalty machine because as of today we learn from the Associated Press that

U.S. executions are all but sure to resume soon after a nationwide halt, cleared Wednesday by a splintered Supreme Court that approved the most widely used method of lethal injection.

Virginia immediately lifted its moratorium; Oklahoma and Mississippi said they would seek execution dates for convicted murderers, and other states were ready to follow after nearly seven months without an execution in the United States.

Voting 7-2, the conservative court led by Chief Justice John Roberts rebuffed the latest assault on capital punishment, this time by foes focusing on methods rather than on the legality of the death penalty itself. Justice John Paul Stevens voted with the majority on the question of lethal injections but said for the first time that he now believes the death penalty is unconstitutional.

That's a hell of a way to show your dissent Justice Stevens.

Did you know that a majority of those executed since the reinstatement of the death penalty in 1982 are from the state of Texas? Of those, did you know that the majority of them are from Harris County? Which means Houston. So you know that they're all fired up on this end and ready to get the party started.

Buoyed by the U.S. Supreme Court decision upholding lethal injection's constitutionality, Harris County prosecutors pledged Wednesday to move forward in seeking execution dates for six local killers.

And Gov. Rick Perry of course got his political
tough guy points in, saying that

"Texas is a law-and-order state, and I stand by the majority of Texans who support the death penalty as it is written in Texas law. It is an appropriate response for the most violent crimes against our fellow human beings."

Well, I'm not a proponent of the death penalty. And yes, I know that some cases are so heinous, so horrible, that people think the only solution is killing the killers. But what about "thou shalt not kill" or "vengeance is mine sayeth the Lord?" Are those just throwaway lines in the Bible that can be discarded when they don't fit the political agenda?

Regardless, some crimes might well be worthy of the death penalty, but as usual, application is the problem. More specifically equal application. Its the same old story; Blacks are more likely to get the death penalty than Whites; the poor more likely than the rich, etc., etc. Not to mention the fact of
mistaken prosecutions of innocent people, some of whom have been executed for crimes they didn't commit.

So with all of that in mind, no, I guess I'm not that happy that the moratorium has been lifted. What about you?


ShAĆ© - ShAĆ© said...

I hate to say it but... I'm glad it's coming back. People have let loose and are acting a complete fool. Crime are becoming more & more violent, people have no remorse, they think it's cute to just beat people down or shoot them over nothing. People commit mass murders, kill pregnant women, it's like a free for all... let's gas a few, send out the needles and electrocute their a**es and see if that curbs the crime just a wee bit. Then we'll put the motion back on the table in the next decade.

DP said...

Shae-Shae - I hear ya, but the fact is that crimes rates have been dropping for quite a while, and there's no evidence at all that the death penalty deters others from committing crimes. Just this week another innocent man was released from prison here in Texas. Unless you can guarantee 100% accuracy in identification (which you can't) I cannot support the death penalty, even though some people definitely deserve it.