Friendship is born at that moment when one person says to another: What! You too? I thought I was the only one.

-C.S. Lewis

Tuesday, June 14, 2005

Death Penalty

Surprise, surprise. A miscarraige of justice in death row cases? Couldn't be. Racial bias contributing to the execution of black prisoners? Impossible. Cleaning out this fridge seems to have uncovered a big tupperware bowl full of old grimy stank, not that we hadn't been smelling it for a while. In a shocking turn of events, the Supreme Court found that actual injustice was taking place in the Texas criminal justice system, leading them to commute an inmate's death sentence. Since what they were ruling on is pretty much a standard practice, it's not too much of a stretch to say that other inmates, perhaps even some of those already put to death, are probably in the same boat. Of course, I think we all know who was happily putting prisoner after prisoner to death during most of the 1990s. Again, not sure if any of those guys maybe got a raw deal, but I'll leave you to be the judge of that.

I'm not too educated on the subject, but it seems to me that peremptory challenges should be eliminated altogether. As the Tribune article indicates, the late Chief Justice Marshall favored banning them too, so I don't feel too bad about throwing in with him. Legislation to that end would, of course, actually be a step foward for civil rights, in contrast to the lip-service that the recent apology for failure to enact anti-lynching laws represents. Personally, I could care less if they're sorry or not. If they're not going to address any actual issues, I don't want to hear it.

P.S. Note that it was the long-gone 5th Circuit Court of Appeals that repeatedly rejected the defendant's claims. Welcome aboard, Priscilla Owen. Assholes.

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