12.02.2010

Daaaaaaamn: Justice Stevens goes bezerk

Old school Ice Cube says "Damn, Justice Stevens. Daaaaaammmmmn."



I know in this day and age of pea-brained Tea-baggers that it sometimes gets obscured that you can be both liberal and a patriot and still serve your country. Case in point, Justice John Paul Stevens. World War II veteran. Devout patriot. Raging lefty. Supreme Court Justice for over three decades.

Among Justice Stevens' many recent contributions to the rule of law in America are his scathing criticisms of an Executive Branch gone amok, deploring the politicization of the Bench, the influence of money into electoral politics (his dissent in Citizens United will stand the test of time in terms of both correctness and rhetorical skill), defending an organic notion of Constitutional interpretation, and absolute defense of habeas corpus, The Great Writ.



Lesbian Vampire Killers give Justice Stevens two Fangs Up for his vociferous critique of Bush v. Gore.


Add to the list of things Justice Stevens has now begun to champion: The death penalty, as applied in 21st Century America, is unconstitutional per the 8th (and presumably 5th and 14th) Amendment. The New York Times previews an excellent essay forthcoming by Justice Stevens on December 23rd, in the most recent Sunday online edition.

You will need to go check the entire substantive story out (and it is very well worth your read), but here are some excerpts



Justice Stevens defended the promise of the Supreme Court’s 1976 decisions reinstating the death penalty even as he detailed the ways in which he said that promise had been betrayed. 

With the right procedural safeguards, Justice Stevens wrote, it would be possible to isolate the extremely serious crimes for which death is warranted. But he said the Supreme Court had instead systematically dismantled those safeguards.


Justice Stevens said the court took wrong turns in deciding how juries in death penalty cases are chosen and what evidence they may hear, in not looking closely enough at racial disparities in the capital justice system, and in failing to police the role politics can play in decisions to seek and impose the death penalty.


Amen, JP. Amen.



Food for thought, people.



-d.s.

2 comments:

  1. It occurred to me that many of you may be A) atheists, B) Jews, C) 15 y.o. "satanists" or D) Romans, in which case the above has very little, if any, relevance.

    No disrespect was intended to any class of the above (of which I include myself in at least one category) as it appears I have accidentally omitted shock value relevant to your sensibilities.

    I am accepting suggestions, however: Perhaps Carl Sagan being crucified in space? Maimonides being crushed in a vat of barbecue ribs?

    The point remains; both mine and Justice Stevens': 21st Century American executions are still often the product of prejudices, stereotypes and the worst sort of politicization.

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