Thursday, May 1, 2014

Brief Takes from Week's News: Oklahoma and "The Very Definition of Cruel and Unusual Punishment"

Brief takes from commentary in the past several days on the horrifying botched execution in Oklahoma:

This horrific scene — the very definition of cruel and unusual punishment — should never have happened. The Oklahoma Supreme Court tried to stop it last week, concerned that the state refused to reveal the origin of the deadly cocktail. But several lawmakers threatened to impeach the justices, and Gov. Mary Fallin blindly ignored the warning signs and ordered the execution to proceed.

A lawyer said Lockett had effectively been "tortured to death" . . . . Lockett died 43 minutes after the first executions drugs were administered.

A new study finds that about one in twenty-five people sentenced to death in the United States has likely been convicted erroneously, meaning it is "all but certain" that American corrections departments have executed "several" innocent defendants since 1973. 

The murder rate is far higher in America than in the European Union, which has no death penalty. It is also higher in American states that carry out executions than in states that do not.

I have always been pro-life, and I am glad that the pendulum is finally swinging back to common sense on this vital issue. 

And so it goes in the nation with the soul of a church, this May day morning in the year of Our Lord 2014.

The graphic is a photo of British artist Paul Fryer's "Pieta" from the Constructing Jesus blog site.

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