Sunday, April 20, 2008

Supreme Court and Death Penalty

How do you make a decision? By the rules, but your intuition and experience? What constitutes "good judgement." What if you have to enforce something you personally think is wrong? We face these situations in our lives. If you face one of these as a Supreme Court Justice, how you feel and how you make the decision can have massive consequences for many people.

From "Courting Disaster" by Jonah Goldberg:

The court ruled that the state of Kentucky may continue to use lethal
injections when administering the death penalty. But that's not what's shocking. Nor was it surprising that for the first time Justice John Paul Stevens admitted he thinks the death penalty is unconstitutional.

What is staggering, or at least should be, is that Stevens freely
admits that he no longer considers "objective evidence" or even the plain text of the Constitution determinative of what is or isn't constitutional: "I have relied on my own experience in reaching the conclusion that the imposition of the death penalty" is unconstitutional.

Justice Antonin Scalia, in a blistering response, justifiably exclaimed
that, "Purer expression cannot be found of the principle of rule by judicial fiat."

It sounds like Stevens has decided it is "just plain wrong" ... and yet his job is to enforce the constitution. Send me your thoughts on this one - .

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