Patterico's Pontifications

2/22/2006

There Are Alternatives to Lethal Injection

Filed under: Crime — Patterico @ 6:44 pm

Convicted killer Michael Morales has had his execution delayed because a judge didn’t want him to feel any pain from lethal injection. Dafydd ab Hugh, who has followed the controversy carefully, says:

Let us set up a gallows and have done with him.

My question: could the state legally do this?

I have been knocked off the Internet at home and can’t adequately research the issue. Is our method of execution set by statute, or simply a matter of administrative regulation? Could we simply set up a gallows or a firing squad?

After all, the jurors who sentenced Morales to death didn’t set the method of execution. They just wanted him to die for his horrific crime. If lethal injection is too painful (a ridiculous complaint), there are other methods. Can we lawfully carry out this sentence?

P.S. I don’t know enough about the case to know whether I agree with the death sentence. I have previously blogged that the trial judge’s position in favor of clemency gives me pause. But clemency has been denied, and the reason for the current delay is silly. If Morales has a valid argument why he should not legally be sentenced to death, that’s one thing. But if he doesn’t, I really don’t care if he feels a little pain in the process — nor does that sound like a valid constitutional claim.

UPDATE: I have found the answer. It’s in the Penal Code, here. The choices are lethal gas or lethal injection. Ultraliberal Bay Area federal judge Marilyn Hall Patel ruled the gas chamber cruel and unusual in 1994, and the Ninth Circus upheld the decision in 1996. So, thanks to the federal judicary, lethal injection is currently the only authorized option we have left — and the federal judicary has (for now) eliminated that option too.

AP Misses the Boat on Story About Scalia Heckler

Filed under: Judiciary,Media Bias — Patterico @ 6:02 am

How is it that this blogger is able to figure out that a heckler at a Scalia speech is a LaRouche Youth member — but the AP seems to have no idea? (Via Instapundit.)

Or does the AP know and refuse to tell you?

And which would be worse?


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