Saturday, August 25, 2007



As much as I like to think of myself as someone who knows where he is politically, I do admit that there are one or two issues where I'm fuzzy. One of those is the death penalty. If implemented in a truly unbiased, 100% accurate fashion, I don't know if I would hate it or not. But I can tell you right now that the death penalty is decidedly not 100% accurate, which is why I take a moderate stance against it, with the idea that hopefully, someone will reform the system.

Which, of course, makes the latest bit of clusterfuckery out of our administration all the more frightening:

WASHINGTON — The Justice Department is putting the final touches on regulations that could give Atty. Gen. Alberto R. Gonzales important new sway over death penalty cases in California and other states, including the power to shorten the time that death row inmates have to appeal convictions to federal courts.

The rules implement a little-noticed provision in last year's reauthorization of the Patriot Act that gives the attorney general the power to decide whether individual states are providing adequate counsel for defendants in death penalty cases. The authority has been held by federal judges.

Under the rules now being prepared, if a state requested it and Gonzales agreed, prosecutors could use "fast track" procedures that could shave years off the time that a death row inmate has to appeal to the federal courts after conviction in a state court.

Now, it's not like I'm arguing that fucks like Richard Ramirez or Charles Ng have any benefit of the doubt left. But there have been cases all across America where people have been freed from death row upon the discovery of new evidence... or where the evidence turned up only after the supposed criminal was executed. And now we're supposed to trust the guy who apparently can't remember anything about the past six months when talking to Congress to handle a program that cuts down on the chance of actual justice being done in a competent manner.

Talk about judge, jury, and executioner.

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