Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Somehow unworthy of a civilized society

In Kansas v. Marsh, the Supreme Court decided that in a death-penalty case, when aggravating and mitigating factors are even, it’s okay to just go ahead and kill the guy. There were long dueling arguments in the opinions about something actually irrelevant to this case, the likelihood of innocent people being executed, which Fat Tony Scalia wrote (pdf, Scalia’s concurring opinion starts on p.22)
“has been reduced to an insignificant minimum” (insignificant!), although “it is easy as pie to identify plainly guilty murderers who have been set free.” For the hell of it, Fat Tony even refers to Sacco and Vanzetti as “supposed innocents.” Scalia also complained that the dissent would give aid and comfort to “sanctimonious criticism [by foreigners] of America’s death penalty, as somehow unworthy of a civilized society” and would be “trumpeted abroad as vindication of these criticisms.”

Speaking of civilized societies, Somalia’s new Islamic rulers have announced their first executions-by-stoning.

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