Patterico's Pontifications


There should be a Supreme Court rule that requires every brief on a death penalty case to begin with the facts of this case from LA

Filed under: General — WLS @ 12:16 pm

From today’s LA Daily News :

A judge sentenced Julian Beltran to death for slitting the throats of his girlfriend and two young daughters.

The estranged boyfriend and father had slain each family member in a fit of rage at their Sun Valley home in 2002. He then fled from the nearly decapitated remains, dialed 911 in a cry of remorse and begged to end his life in a “suicide by cop.”

It was on Jan. 23, 2002, that 200-pound Beltran, upset over the breakup of his family, returned home after a three-month separation.

Prosecutors argued that he’d bought a knife, beat Barahona and slashed her throat as she watched TV, nearly cutting off her head. Then, they said, he marched into the bedroom to kill his daughters.

Marissa, who was awake, suffered 14 knife wounds and four 9-inch cuts to her neck.

Her 22-pound sister likely died in her sleep, her throat sliced from ear to ear, two weeks before her 2nd birthday.

A bloody handprint, left by Marissa, hung on the wall above her bed.

Deputy District Attorney Andrea Thompson said it was because of the heinous stabbing of the children that Beltran deserved the death penalty.

“Nothing can overcome what that child went through, nothing,” co-prosecutor Rose de Mattia told the judge. “The kid fought for her life against her father – the man who loved her, who was supposed to protect her.

“He murdered her, and she knew it.”

And the Court is obsessing over whether defendants feel “pain” as part of the lethal injection process.

You think it is like Marissa’s?

69 Responses to “There should be a Supreme Court rule that requires every brief on a death penalty case to begin with the facts of this case from LA”

  1. I know you’re being rhetorical… but it would be a bit silly to talk about the pain inflicted on other victims when there are actual victims of the current murderer to discuss. Yes, I agree the pain the defendant feels is irrelevant.

    My preferred solution is to choose several historically practiced methods: hanging, gas chamber, electric chair, lethal injection, firing squad, beheading…

    … and let the criminal choose. Seriously, give him a deadline (if not, it reverts to an automatic default method set by statute) and otherwise, the criminal gets to pick. No method of dying is pleasant but whoop-de-doo. The criminal gets to pick the most appealing one to them.

    Christoph (92b8f7)

  2. I think they should have to spin a big wheel like on “Wheel of Fortune” as the enter the chamber.

    WLS (bafbcb)

  3. Why should there be such a ruling? And since when is sensationalism/activism in the Supreme Court a desirable thing in the eyes of the conservative populace?

    Leviticus (3c2c59)

  4. Can’t they just give people lethal injections of morphine? I doubt that could be considered painful. Unless the prick of the needle is the ‘pain’ part they are trying to avoid…

    Kevin (4890ef)

  5. Leviticus:

    “Rhetorical”: Concerned primarily with style or effect.

    “Substantive”: “Not imaginative; actual; in existence.”

    Which one do you think I intended by my comment?

    WLS (bafbcb)

  6. Kevin, I had a woman who had used heroin explain to me how some people love it, and become addicts, and some people don’t like it at all, it makes them sick or whatever. And God knows you can’t make a mass-murderer child killer sick because that’s inhumane. I think my suggestion made on a previous thread about a 10 guage shot gun shell at 4 inches would get the job done with minimal pain, short lived at that.

    Christoph (92b8f7)

  7. Part of the death penalty is to acknowledge that it is appropriate recompense for crimes committed.

    The person who committed those crimes is subject to the law; he is a moral being who knows the difference between right and wrong. The penalty must at once recognize his moral standing and be appropriate to make amends for his moral transgression.

    To treat him as little more than an animal would invalidate the standing the state has to extract the appropriate recompense. Not to be heartless, but it is his moral standing, and not any claims of the victim, for instance, that is of paramount importance.

    If he had no moral standing, was, in fact, criminally insane, or otherwise not responsible for his actions, then we would not have standing to end his life under color of law; he would be confined to a hospital or otherwise “treated”.

    The death penalty must be applied with the highest degree of seriousness and with grave respect if it is to have any moral meaning whatsoever. It is only as a man qua man that we can extract the ultimate payment for his crimes against society.

    Fritz (d62210)

  8. Why is his feeling of pain relevant? I’m sure most people do not enjoy being executed. Most are probably scared, in pain, etc. Since when is that the legal test of cruel and unusual?

    Patricia (4117a9)

  9. Personally, I think they should die in a manner similar to how their victim died…

    Crushed under a car? Get the hydraulic press ready…

    Shot 5 times in the back? Lock and load.

    Raped, tortured, and then left to starve/die of dehydration? Go prep the rack…

    It’s not, in my eyes, cruel or unusual if it’s the method they used…

    Scott Jacobs (425810)

  10. Scott Jacobs,

    I would think that under your regime it would be more about revenge and not punishment. Revenge has no place in the death penalty, or in any punishment levied by the state. Revenge itself is a morally suspect notion, in so far as we always overestimate the graveness of the ill done to us, and underestimate the ill we do to others.

    The death penalty is the ultimate recognition by the state of the punished’s humanity.

    Fritz (d62210)

  11. “Revenge itself is a morally suspect notion, in so far as we always overestimate the graveness of the ill done to us, and underestimate the ill we do to others.

    Fuck off.

    Christoph (92b8f7)

  12. So how, exactly, does strangling someone who stranged his rape victim cause for overestimation?

    Die by the method you used…

    I see nothing wrong with that.

    And “under my regime” would be a place you’d likely not want to be.

    Scott Jacobs (425810)

  13. Scott,

    It lacks respect for his underlying humanity. The state is punishing him because he treated a person as if they were an object. Only by respecting him in turn as a person does his punishment have any meaning. Cruelty is, at its core, an expression of disrespect or disregard for another person’s humanity. Is strangling (or any of the other methods of death you mentioned) cruel? I think so. I think most people would also think so. It’s the cruelty and is disregard for another’s humanity which is the underlying issue.

    The state, and by extension the death penalty, is an instrument of justice, not a torturer. I loath to think of the executioner who enjoys his job under your regime. What becomes of their humanity? Cruel acts in revenge are no less cruel, and no less morally objectionable, than the cruelty which engendered them and made them necessary.

    Do you want the criminal to suffer what he inflicted from some sense of vicarious pleasure? I hope not.

    Fritz (d62210)

  14. I like the oubliette. Or a similar version. Just lock them in a cell deep in the prison and don’t give them food or water. For extra poignancy, lock several of them in together.

    nk (7d4710)

  15. Fritz, I agree with you the state should not torture people. But your statement, the one about which I swore at you, is offensive and wrong.

    One, if I’m around to have an opinion on it, I guess I haven’t been murdered and the death penalty isn’t warranted.

    But as far as vengeance goes, it’s often on behalf of a family member… and when someone rapes, tortures, murders a little boy or girl… or a spouse or brother, sister, or parent… or a stranger… the graveness of the ill done to them is extreme. One always doesn’t “always” overestimate the harm done to the criminal.

    So I repeat. FO.

    Christoph (92b8f7)

  16. Christoph,

    It’s a paraphrase of John Locke. You’re angry with him.


    For the end of civil society being to avoid and remedy those inconveniencies of the state of Nature which necessarily follow from every man’s being judge in his own case; by setting up a known authority to which every one of that society may appeal upon any injury received, or controversy that may arise, and which every one of the society ought to obey.


    …it is unreasonable for men to be judges in their own cases, that self-love will make men partial to themselves and their friends: and on the other side, that ill nature, passion and revenge will carry them too far in punishing others; and hence nothing but confusion and disorder will follow, and that therefore God hath certainly appointed government to restrain the partiality and violence of men.

    Fritz (d62210)

  17. We have, from the Teri Schiavo case, testimony that dying of dehydration is painless.

    LarryD (feb78b)

  18. I agree with you about the justice system and not letting victims run it.

    However, it’s offensive to say, “we always overestimate the graveness of the ill done to us, and underestimate the ill we do to others.”

    That simply isn’t true. If someone’s family member is brutally murdered, often proceeded by either horrendous assaults, how do we “overestimate” that and if we use a swift method of execution to punish the offender, how do we “underestimate” the ill done to them.

    Let me be even clearer. If I or the court kills a man, he’s dead. I understand that. Once was living. Now he ain’t.

    In what sense have I underestimated anything?

    Christoph (92b8f7)

  19. either = other

    Christoph (92b8f7)

  20. We have, from the Teri Schiavo case, testimony that dying of dehydration is painless.

    Indeed. We could humanely starve and dehydrate death row prisoners. Humanely because liberals assure us this is painless. Brilliant.

    Christoph (92b8f7)

  21. For good measure, we could put in a feeding tube and withdraw it several times before their deaths. In the interests of humanity.

    Christoph (92b8f7)

  22. From The Ultimate Punishment: A Defense, by Ernest van den Haag (1986):

    Punishment–regardless of the motivation–is not intended to revenge, offset, or compensate for the victim’s suffering, or to be measured by it. Punishment is to vindicate the law and the social order undermined by the crime. This is why a kidnapper’s penal confinement is not limited to the period for which he imprisoned his victim; nor is a burglar’s confinement meant merely to offset the suffering or the harm he caused his victim; nor is it meant only to offset the advantage he gained. (pg. 1667)

    The death penalty is our harshest punishment. it is irrevocable: it end the existence of those punished, instead of temporarily imprisoning them. Further, although not intended to cause physical pain, execution is the only corporal punishment still applied to adults. (pg. 1662)

    Fritz (d62210)

  23. Yeah, I understand the theory and have often made the same argument myself to my disbelieving friends who think the justice system exists primarily to avenge the victim.

    My point, which you’ve ignored, is no one is “overestimating” the suffering of the victims and “underestimating” the suffering of the killers.

    And the suffering of the innocent is of far more importance than that if the guilty anyway, IMHO.

    Christoph (92b8f7)

  24. “It lacks respect for his underlying humanity.”


    At what point, after what action, does someone forfeit his right to be part of humanity? IMHO, it’s when he has committed an offense that is so depraved, so egregious, so bereft of human emotional connection, so outside the boundaries of rational human understanding. I first decided this long ago after reading about a man in California who had taken a young girl, abused her, then cut off her arms midway up the forearm, and dumped her in the desert to die. She didn’t. That was the first time that I thought that there are some who no longer deserve to live, as they have deprived another of that right, in some demented & tortuous way.

    ColoComment (c3175c)

  25. For me it was reading about children that had been kidnapped and used as sex slaves in Belgium, some died through starvation, and others were rescued by Belgium’s police.

    At that time I had a very strong flash of clarity that men with guns are required in this world.

    Christoph (92b8f7)

  26. At that time I had a very strong flash of clarity that men with guns are required in this world.

    Or as George Orwell put it, “People sleep peaceably in their beds at night only because rough men stand ready to do violence in their behalf.”

    Stu707 (adbb5a)

  27. The Death Penalty Alternative:

    In lieu of execution, the condemed individual is placed on a guarded island (hey, why not?) with the best medical care, health care, food, etc…However, he is tissue typed, and whenever an organ is needed by a citizen, if our convict matches, out comes the organ. If this results in “death”, the body is placed on life support so other organs can be harvested over time. We would use everything but the “I’m not guilty assertion”.

    In short, he is punished, albeit over time, & restitution is “payed forward” – something the current death penalty doesn’t accomplish – nor does a life sentence.

    Alternatively, if the thought of being an involuntary organ donor is too harsh, the convict can choose immediate execution with no appeal permitted. His call.

    Downside – the entitlement mentality pervading this country will demand that more crimes get the harvesting penalty.

    Horatio (a549f7)

  28. “Which one do you think I intended by my comment?”


    What makes you think I was talking about your comment? I was referring to the title of the post.

    Christoph: You’d lower yourself to the level of a vicious murderer (in terms of deliberate cruelty inflicted) just to satiate your own twisted sense of karmic justice? You wouldn’t simply execute capital punishment as the duty of a given State to protect its people… you’d make it as cruel as possible?

    You’re a sick motherfucker, and I’m getting tired of reading self-righteous accusations of “evil” coupled with these bloodthirsty fantasy-rants.

    Leviticus (43095b)

  29. You’re a moron, Leviticus.

    The suffering of a guilty murderer is not important. The suffering of his or her innocent victim is.

    That said, I oppose cruel and unusual punishment as I’ve stated elsewhere. Comments 20 and 21 were sarcasm and along with comment 17 by LarryD, highlight the bloodthirsty behaviour of the leftists who killed that truly innocent woman, Terry Schiavo, by starvation and dehydration.

    Yes, Leviticus, like it or not (and off topic on this thread) those who kill babies, including their own, are committing evil acts. Those who punish murderers with capital punishment are not.

    Christoph (92b8f7)

  30. If they disallow lethal injections, I think I could go for locking them in a 4×4 room without food or water for ‘life’ 😉

    These discussions (comments) are usually meaningless, you have the pro-humane people that think you have to be above ‘everything’ when you kill someone that was sentenced to die and you have the pro-justice ones that simply want them dead.

    As long as they meet their maker, I’m not picky on the how.

    Lord Nazh© (899dce)

  31. Exactly, Lord Nazh©. Although Leviticus dislikes me in particular, despite others (who I argued with) making appeals for vengeance to equal the manner in which the criminal killed his victims…

    … because I am consistent in calling abortionists and those who kill their children evil.

    I wonder if Leviticus has a personal reason to be so offended? Struck close to home?

    Christoph (92b8f7)

  32. I like George Carlin’s solution to the sociopath.

    Take them all (1-2% statistical population represntation) and place them in Utah (fenced like the Tortilla curtain) and let them run amok. Let the fittest survive the rampaging fun-hogs and their merry men. Live feeds on CCTV could carry the hijinks to every living room (Pay Per View could help offset the costs of feedings air-dropped on the hapless partyers)

    Death Penalty be damned. I wanna see some real torture, not some pansy waterboarding.

    Let’s get real about our blood lust for revenge and retribution. Have some balls about it.

    Semanticleo (4741c2)

  33. It has always seemed to me that the “cruel and unusual” punishment injunction in the Constitution is not really intended to protect the condemned. Instead, it is intended to prevent the state from being corrupted by the cruel nature of its own methods.

    Hanging, firing squad, decaptitation – all seem like quick and straightforward ways to end the life of the condemned – although the latter two can be particularly messy. LI has the advantage of no mess, and seems only to lack our contemplation about it being too easy for the state, not too hard on the guilty.

    No, the thirst for revenge that fuels the need for “cruel and unusual” punishments is what the Constitution is helping protect against.

    Cristoph and company – in order to exact the retribution you desire, men will be created that love inflicting these awful deaths as much as the guilty they are executing. That is an escalation of evil we do not need in this world.

    JSinAZ (e71b0b)

  34. JSinAZ, I agree with you. If you read more carefully, you’d understand that. Start with comment 15 if you like, and if that’s not enough, head over here. And other comments on that thread including here.

    Christoph (92b8f7)

  35. How about a C4 high colonic?

    With a detonation speed of something like 8000 meters per second it would all be over long before any part of the central nervous system could even generate a response. So absolutely painless, even if a bit messy.

    O.K. maybe a charge placed at the base of the skull would be a little less spectacular…

    ThomasD (21cdd1)

  36. I was thinking 4 small 1 oz. shaped charges spread at roughly equal intervals along the circumference of the skull.

    No pain (certainly none that lasts more than a millisecond) and 100% effectiveness. Humaneness defined.

    Although my actual suggestion is here.

    Christoph (92b8f7)

  37. The whole concept that execution is NOT revenge is fairly new. It didn’t really gain ground until the 1700’s in France. I personally do not want executions to be acts of revenge, but rather vengeance and an acknowledgment that some acts are not forgivable by society. I think the only requirements be that the death by quick and not a form of entertainment (Think the worst days of the French revolution)

    Dr T (b1f404)

  38. by= be
    can’t spell

    Dr T (b1f404)

  39. Dr T, the guillotine is one interesting choice. I think if I was being executed, that’s the one I’d choose.

    Yes, painful as, but then you get a few last seconds of consciousness as the electrical signals shut down in your brain. According to some reports, you should be able to control your eyelids, which might give you another look around depending on how you fell.

    Certainly it would give you a new perspective on things.

    Christoph (92b8f7)

  40. Christoph, I read comment 15. It seems that you don’t advocate the state acting as torturer – you merely wish aloud that you could act as one when your blood is up?

    I am not a lawyer, but as I understand it the state prosecutes on behalf of the victim. You could say that the state acts on behalf of the victim by executing a murderer.

    But the state is not acting on behalf of the victims’ family, not even for their loss. If such were the case, what should be the punishment for the murder of an orphan? Doesn’t that mean the popular would need more retribution than the despised?

    No, we do not need to spread the idea that our personal sense of aggrievement should directly effect the punishment of those who act against us. That’s a poison for society, and it’s not much of a jump from revenge to vendetta.

    JSinAZ (e2c10c)

  41. If the victim was a member of my family, yes, I would wish to act as one.

    Which is precisely why the state should carry out the punishment.

    Christoph (92b8f7)

  42. … further… in a sense, it’s protecting the family members of the victim from themselves.

    Also I see you didn’t read my other comments where I made your points.

    Christoph (92b8f7)

  43. I think the only requirements be that the death by quick and not a form of entertainment.

    I agree with this as far as entertainment. What I don’t agree with is doing so behind closed doors. (I’m not implying that this is what Dr T is saying.)

    For the death penalty to have meaning as a function of law it has to be open and accessible to the public just as any other court proceeding is (except under special circumstances). It has to be a societal function, not a bureaucratic one.

    Hanging should be done in the public square. Pass some laws to prevent hawking t-shirts etc, but leave it to the public as to whether they attend.

    Just Passing Through (ff997a)

  44. Well, I will admit to reading your entries less carefully after the “fuck off” comment to Fritz, above.

    JSinAZ (e2c10c)

  45. Hear, hear, Just Passing Through.

    Christoph (92b8f7)

  46. If you’d read Fritz’ comment in detail, the parts I bolded, you’d see what provoked it. I could have torn it apart on its merits, but it was too offensive on its face to bother. Generally, we do not overestimate the victim’s suffering and underestimate the criminal’s suffering. And if we do, who cares?

    One caused the other, the other was innocent and caused nothing. That makes all the difference in the world.

    Christoph (92b8f7)

  47. I did read Fritz’ comment. It seemed like a reasonable statement of a first principle.

    In my opinion, you should have addressed it on its merits. Pretty much anybody can stoop to the “FO” rejoinder without breaking a sweat, and my hackles go up when any commenter can’t muster anything more well-reasoned than that.

    JSinAZ (e2c10c)

  48. Get your hackles up all you want. FO isn’t a reasoned position. It’s an epithet — something with a long history in English language.

    If you must have the reasoned position, I was expressing to Fritz how offended I am that he maintains people “always” overestimate the ill done to them and overestimate the ill done to others.

    Tell that to the victim-survivors of child rape. I’d say this rather depends on the circumstances.

    Christoph (92b8f7)

  49. Christoph – let’s see… what would be an appropriate term for one who uses an epithets instead of reason?



    No – asshole. You sir, are an asshole. Good Day!

    JSinAZ (e2c10c)

  50. You’ve gotta be a super-sensitive chick, JSinAZ. Not even Fritz responded that way.

    Christoph (92b8f7)

  51. I said good day!

    JSinAZ (e2c10c)

  52. My advice to those contemplating a murder-suicide.

    Consider a suicide-murder instead.

    I have no problem with the general concept. It’s the order I object to.

    Patterico (bad89b)

  53. Oh, and guys? Calm down.

    Patterico (bad89b)

  54. Hmmm .. I normally advocate a rifle shot to the temple, but this guy … how about “pressing”?

    Slitting his throat while he struggles would seem about right.

    And I also think executions should be televised, following a explanation of the crime and the basic evidence.

    Kevin Murphy (0b2493)

  55. lol… and “I’m” the brutal one. The one who advocates friendly traditional methods like hanging, beheading, and the gas chamber, with perhaps the innovative brain suddenly exploding method… whereas you all advocate the really harsh stuff.

    But no one calls you on it. Sniff sniff.

    Christoph (92b8f7)

  56. this horrible crime reminds me of why i support the death penalty.

    assistant devil's advocate (285238)

  57. Let’s cut the BS. What is the debate on the Death Penalty REALLY about?

    It’s about the power of elites to enforce their own morality and specifically deny the survivors of murder victims any justice. To celebrate the murders and murderers and stick it most visibly to the average person.

    See: Tookie, OJ, Mumia, Jack Henry Abbott, etc. Mailer thought he deserved to be let out again because Abbott had “talent” and the bartender he stabbed to death wasn’t “special.”

    That’s basically it — to stick it to the average person. One more “punishment” meted out by hostile elites who hate America.

    Jim Rockford (e09923)

  58. I’ve often wondered just who it is that remembers any significant pain associated with being “put to sleep” via general anesthesia, not to mention any discomfort during the ensuing surgery – maybe excepting the relatively few cases where the anesthesia is seen to be too “light” during the surgery.

    J. Peden (0f4bd8)

  59. The lower courts have made the same error in questioning whether the murderer suffers any pain during the lethel injection which is the failure to insist on a “Daulbert” like standard for any evidence of pain. The claim of pain with LI protocol is junk science. The possibility of any pain recognition is less that .01% – Clearly less than any possible cruel and unusual punishment standard.

    joe - dallas (138e46)

  60. I have a simple question about the constitutional “cruel and unusual” argument. That says cruel and unusual, not cruel or unusual. The constitution was pretty carefully written, so it seems to me that the intention was not to prevent any suffering on the part of the convicted, but to prevent courts from giving exceedingly harsh penalties by societal standards. For example, cutting the hands off a thief would be both cruel and unusual in our society.

    I’ve never heard or read anyone even discuss this line of reasoning before, but it completely nullifies all of the arguments against the death penalty based solely on the cruelty aspect (feeling pain during the injection). Am I just crazy here?

    Justin (ac5fc4)

  61. ColoComment, #24:

    Remember the fellow whose hand was trapped by the boulder and he had to cut it off using his pocket knife? Would we say that the boulder was morally responsible for the hand being cut off?

    Punishment only makes sense in so far as it is a person being punished. Does responsibility inhere if the thing isn’t a person?

    The purpose of the death penalty is to permanently end the existence of a person who is morally culpable for a criminal action. Pain and suffering are gratuitous. What did James Ellroy say? Something like, “Closure is a fatuous notion.” The condemned can only die once, we have to live with the outcome of the crime our whole lives. It makes no sense to denigrate your humanity for what is, in essence, a desire which is impossible to satisfy.

    Jesus commanded us to forgive those who sin against us. He also said that we should give to Caesar what is Ceasar’s. Thus, from the Christian perspective, the family and other victims of crimes should refrain from demanding vengeance, and the state should maintain the social contract by leveling appropriate punishment for its violation.

    Fritz (d62210)

  62. Here’s what Ellroy said, in full:

    Closure is a preposterous, facile, fatuous notion, the sort of thing exemplified by the worst aspects of American daytime television.

    Fritz (d62210)

  63. I’m perfectly willing for the executed to feel no pain, and if that would require, say, that they get huge doses of narcotics — oral, nasal, rectal, for all I care — ahead of the needle, that’s fine with me.

    There is simply no punishment conceivable, much less Constitutional, that’s cruel enough to inflict on the likes of Julian Beltran, or Khalid Sheikh Muhammed, in the interest of properly avenging their victims. But that’s not the purpose — the purpose of the death penalty is to turn these living, evil people into dead ones, and as long as it’s done, doing it painlessly is just fine.

    IMHO, of course.

    Joel Rosenberg (677e59)

  64. I’m perfectly willing for the executed to feel no pain, and if that would require, say, that they get huge doses of narcotics — oral, nasal, rectal, for all I care — ahead of the needle, that’s fine with me.

    Uh, they do. They are offered a tranquilizer during the day for anxiety. The execution procedure is to give them 5x the lethal dosage of sodium thiopental. That is why this argument about LI being cruel is b.s.

    dave (2e8be5)

  65. Wait — are you arguing that the starting of the IVs is too painful and is cruel? Tough. Because narcotics lower blood pressure, it is not a good idea to give them anything prior to starting the IVs. Need to keep those veins pumped up.

    dave (2e8be5)

  66. dave — I’m basically arguing “whatever.”

    If somebody wants to claim that the pinprick for the IV is too painful for the condemned to suffer, and/or that the temporary (as in “until it kills him”) effects of the drugs used are too cruel, rather than argue about it, I’d just as soon the condemned get looped enough on morphine (or whatever) not to feel it, even if that means that there’s going to have to be more jabbing.

    I can speak from personal experience — some surgery, as a patient, and the recovery therefrom — that with enough morphine in the system, things that are a LOT more painful than a few pinpricks aren’t even mildly annoying, much less painful.

    Yeah, I know: the DP opponents really aren’t concerned about the pinprick, and/or the discomfort and/or pain from the drugs. What they’re looking for is something to argue about in front of a court to delay an execution.

    Fine; let them argue about something else.

    Joel Rosenberg (677e59)

  67. You know, I’d argue for something a little less homey or familiar than merely sending the condemned off in a gentle sleep.

    Somehow, it does not present the finality that an execution should have, and worrying about that tiny pin-prick for the IV really has reduced the entire exercise of the ending of a life to a set of the most trivial considerations.

    The sudden finality of hanging or the firing squad, and the knowledge of all involved that the process is not the same as drifting off the way my faithful dog did in the last moments of her life – the death penalty ought to be a stark, awful and brief thing that does not provide reassurance for anyone involved. Just an end to the son-or-daughter-of-a-bitch that deserves to die.

    JSinAZ (9e2136)

  68. Cruel and unusual punishment…

    With the U.S. Supreme Court ready to weigh in (yet again) on the latest challenge to the death penalty, one of the guys at Patterico’s blog says that every appellate brief on a capital case should begin with the facts……

    Out on a limb at Mike (0d19bc)

  69. […] Horatio wrote a fantastic post today on “Comment on There should be a Supreme Court rule that requires …”Here’s ONLY a quick extractThe Death Penalty Alternative:. In lieu of execution, the condemed individual is placed on a guarded island (hey, why not?) with the best medical care, health care, food, etc…However, he is tissue typed, and whenever an organ is needed … […] » Comment on There should be a Supreme Court rule that requires … (1b83fe)

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