Thursday, October 16, 2008

What the hell--fry him.

The right wingers like to hold themselves out as "pro-life", and when they go to appoint judges they pretend they are appointing people who will be pro-life. (Of course, that's when they're pretending, as McCain did tonight, that they don't consider ideology, but just competence.
Anyway, when you dig a little deeper, you realize that pro-life, in their parlance, doesn't actually mean supportive of life at all, does it?

Here's another example of what I'm talking about. Ever since the death penalty was reinstated, one pretty basic assumption has been that there's something slightly wrong with the idea of executing someone who didn't actually commit the crime. Sorry, I know that may be going way out on a limb for some people, but I happen to believe that: even if we are going to execute people, we should only be executing people who have done something wrong.

Apparently, those of us who think that way have it all wrong. At least, that's according to the Supreme Court.

Here's the situation: Troy Anthony Davis was convicted of killing a police officer back in 1989, primarily based on eyewitness testimony. Contrary to popular opinion, eyewitness testimony is actually the least reliable form of testimony, but it's admissible, and it can get people sent away for it.

In this case, though, since the trial, all but two of the prosecution witnesses who had linked Davis to the killing have recanted their testimony, claiming police coercion or questionable interrogation tactics. Five newly discovered witnesses have said that another man committed the crime.

He's been convicted, all his appeals are done, but he still had a shot at the Supreme Court. Almost all the cases the Supreme Court handles are discretionary, and they reach the Court through the process called a petition for a writ of certiorari. It's purely a matter of discretion whether the Court will take the case or not, and it takes four votes to accept the case. The votes aren't recorded, there is no written opinion issued, just a one-liner that the petition for a writ of certiorari is denied.

So I just ask you: what the hell is wrong with these people, that they can't be bothered to decide a case when a man who apparently didn't commit any crime may be about to be executed?

Oh yeah, but they're pro-life.

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