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January 26, 2007

Amazing times for the death penalty

For anyone categorically opposed to the death penalty, the past week has to be a cause for celebration.  As DPIC is now spotlighting on its home page, "seven executions in three states were stayed for various reasons between January 19 and the 25th."   In addition, some recent posts at Capital Defense Weekly and Ohio Death Penalty Information report on developments I could not have imagined even six months ago.  Here are some notable headlines:

I am becoming more and more confident about the soundness of my decision not to work on a Death Penalty casebook.  It seems that, perhaps except in Texas and maybe a few other states, the death penalty really could become a matter of legal history.  (Then again, that's how things must have looked in the late 1960s before Furman and the state backlash produced our modern death penalty era.)

January 26, 2007 at 04:07 PM | Permalink


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The courts frustrating the will of the people with garbage rulings. Isn't it grand sacrificing self-government for murderers?

I think the reports of the death of the death penalty are greatly exaggerated.

Posted by: federalist | Jan 26, 2007 5:17:07 PM

I have too much respect for the law to actually kill the people who I think deserve it, so I rely on the machinery of the state to do it. Plus this way I don't have to worry about staining my suits.

Posted by: federalist | Jan 26, 2007 6:23:29 PM

I'm no federalist fan, although he does express ideas (and emotions) that have currency. That said, the second post here seems to be a case of identity theft. fed'ist wasn't responding to anything and it looks really sketchy. Is that you, fed?

Posted by: rothmatisseko | Jan 26, 2007 10:31:25 PM

As Eddie Murphy said, "It wasn't me."

Posted by: federalist | Jan 26, 2007 10:34:28 PM

I don't know why the imposter couldn't have just made the same points in the[ir own] first person. Lame.

That said, you're wrong again, apologist federalist. These aren't garbage rulings. In fact, any decent judge would have ruled the same way. The MD and NC cases go directly to the State having control over executions, rather than the Dept of Corrections - the state made laws re: how to execute people, and these judges followed the law. Note that these judges are no abolitionists (one is a former AG in the Capital Litigation Unit). In fact, none of the judges I've seen, ever, would even countenance allowing an execution to go forward that's not in strict accordance with what's clearly the law. A lot of garbarge arguments get tossed pretty quickly when the docket's full.

If you're advocating for lawless executions, that really doesn't have anything to do with federalism and actually cuts against your running argument that executions are a legitimate exercise of state power. Your argument would allow a lynch mob in the name of "self-government."

Posted by: rothmatisseko | Jan 27, 2007 3:31:55 PM

Another point: The States are the ones "delaying" executions at this point. This shit isn't that hard to figure out, and instead of waiting for guys to challenge the procedures (which is inevitable, considering every state copied OK's procedure via TX, sending reps to learn TX's procedure, watch executions, etc.), and hoping the condemned be dismissed, the States could just go through an open and professional process for making an execution procedure. But nobody wants to do that, for various reasons I guess.

Posted by: rothmatisseko | Jan 27, 2007 3:36:20 PM

It's a garbage ruling. The physician is still present.

By the way, the state should simply pass a law immunizing doctors from these bogus ethics busybodies with respect to executions.

Posted by: federalist | Jan 27, 2007 4:20:23 PM

The Washington Post, January 27, 2007:

Va. Death Penalty Expansion Approved

Posted by: A Reader | Jan 27, 2007 5:14:39 PM

well, it seems pretty clear which direction the standards of decency are evolving toward. looks like it's time for another furman!

Posted by: anjuli f. | Jan 29, 2007 3:31:12 AM

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