Friday, March 13, 2009

The Death Penalty Makes Itself Unconstitutional?

The Supreme Court denied the appeal of a convicted murderer who argued that the 32 year delay in his execution constituted cruel and unusual punishment. According to the Christian Science Monitorliberal justices John Paul Stevens and Stephen Breyer have been pushing this theory. Here's Stevens:
"Today, condemned inmates await execution for an average of nearly 13 years," Stevens said in his written statement on the Thompson case. "This figure underscores the fundamental inhumanity and unworkability of the death penalty as it is administered in the United States."
So let me see if I've got this straight. Because our legal system allows so many appeals, and those appeals take a huge amount of time, therefore the punishment itself becomes inhumane. Yeah, that's makes a lot of sense. Fortunately the majority of the court had the sense to reject such illogic.  Here's Justice Thomas:
"It makes a mockery of our system of justice ... for a convicted murderer, who, through his own interminable efforts of delay ... has secured the almost indefinite postponement of his sentence, to then claim that the almost-indefinite postponement renders his sentence unconstitutional," Thomas wrote. "It is incongruous to arm capital defendants with an arsenal of 'constitutional' claims with which they may delay their executions, and simultaneously to complain when executions are inevitably delayed."
It's pretty sad that he has to state the obvious to people who are too clueless to recognize it.  And what about the criminal who brought this appeal?
Thompson and another man, Rocco Surace, beat, sexually abused, and tortured a young woman to death in a Miami motel room in 1976. They did it in front of a witness.
Thompson and his accomplice should be dead. They should have been executed long ago. The reason they weren't is because of people like Stevens and Breyer, who have done everything possible to protect criminals and delay executions. Now they have the unbelievable nerve to maintain that the very types of delays which they support render the death penalty unworkable and inhumane. 

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