Thursday, December 3, 2009

Supreme Court Asks, "When Is The Best Time To Kill Someone?"

Oh that Clarence Thomas! Working hard every day to ensure that the state's right to impose suffering on subjects is not impeded by silly, liberal, humane Stevens.

What's that I hear? Crickets? No church standing up for the sanctity of life? No doctors protesting the mental and physical abuse? Or the method of torture used? Oh, that's right. INNOCENT life is sacred. Glad God's allowed to be the judge of that one.

Stevens said he remained “steadfast” in his view that execution after such delay is unacceptably cruel because it subjects death row inmates to decades of severe, dehumanizing conditions of confinement. Delaying an execution, he added, also does not further the public purposes of retribution and deterrence.

Justice Clarence Thomas, in a spirited response, said Johnson spent 29 years challenging his conviction and sentence and “now contends that the very proceedings he used to contest his sentence should prohibit the state from carrying it out.”

Thomas said Stevens first proposed his “novel” Eighth Amendment argument 14 years ago. There was no support for the argument then and there is no support now, wrote Thomas.

Noting Stevens’ dissent and his criticism last week of states executing inmates before their appeals process has concluded, Thomas added, “In Justice Stevens’ view, it seems the state can never get the timing just right.” The reason, he said, is that Stevens believes the death penalty is wrong.

“But that is where he deviates from the Constitution and where proponents of his view are forced to find their support in precedent from the `European Court of Human Rights, the Supreme Court of Zimbabwe, the Supreme Court of India, or the Privy Council.’”

There are alternatives to current procedural safeguards, added Thomas. As Blackstone observed, he said, the principle that punishment should follow the crime as early as possible was expressed in an English statute decreeing that “in case of murder, the judge shall in his sentence direct execution to be performed, on the next day but one after sentence passed.”

Thomas wrote, “I have no doubt that such a system would avoid the diminishing justification problem Justice Stevens identifies, but I am equally confident that such a system would find little support from this Court.”

via HarryAllen on twitter.

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