Wednesday, March 23, 2005

A few things on Terri:

  • I have read the 11th Circuit court's opinion and dissent and find the dissent much more persuasive, but then I'm biased, right? (opinion also here) Anyway, one of the most disingenuous points made by the two person majority can be found in footnote 1:
    Our dissenting colleague says that “the denial of Plaintiffs’ request for an injunction frustrates Congress’s intent, which is to maintain the status quo.” Dissenting Op. at __. The status quo is that Mrs. Schiavo is not receiving nutrition and hydration....
  • While the Federal District Court Judge James D. Whittemore was a Clinton appointee, Ed Carnes one of the two judges on the Court of Appeals was a Bush I appointee (and blocked by the Democrats, initially, see here). The dissent was authored by Charles Wilson, a Notre Dame grad and Clinton appointee. The other Circuit Court Judge, (Ms.) Frank M. Hall, was a Clinton appointee.
  • I recommend reading the special guardian ad litem's ("GAL") report, which can be found here. For those of us who support Terri's life, it is not favorable, but it does provide good solid background.
  • Read "My Last Visit with Terri Schiavo" by Barbara Weller, an attorney who represents Terri's parents, Bob and Mary Schindler.
  • Other worthy reading NRO interview with Prof. George;
Finally, doesn't death by starvation seem really, really cruel? And, umm, unusual? I mean why not just give her a lethal injection and be done with it? Mr. Bradley addresses the active/inactive fiction that the cult(ure) of death advocates are using to wash their hands and keep their conscience clean.

You wouldn't treat a dog like this...

Tuesday, March 22, 2005

Heh. (via Captain Yip).
I dissent. Think of me as the nine and three-quarters justice:

BROWN V. PAYTON (03-1039)
346 F.3d 1204, reversed.

At the beginning of this month, the court in a clear case of judicial overreach, struck down all death sentences imposed on minors. Roper v. Simmons. Apparently wanting to show that he was not a cheese-eating surrender monkey (audio), Justice Kennedy, of Rubicon fame, upheld a sentence of death after the prosecutor repeatedly lied to the jurors about what could and could not be considered as mitigation in the penalty phase of the case.

Specifically, as Kennedy himself notes,

In his closing, the prosecutor offered jurors his opinion that factor (k) did not allow them to consider anything that happened “after the [crime] or later.” Id., at 68. The parties do not now dispute that this was a misstatement of law.
One must see the dissenting opinion by Justice Souter to see how persistent and egregious this "misstatement of law" was. See § II.

It could be that the jury could have come back with the exact same sentence, even if the prosecutor hadn't lied to the jury, but we will never know. For the Court today has held that a prosecutor, the agent of the state, can mislead a jury in a capital case and allow him to trick that jury into thinking it must disregard all mitigating behavior following the crime.

What is surprising is that he didn't cite to well-settled law in places such as Cuba, North Korea, Saudi Arabia and Vietnam.

Ahh, the sweet mysteries of life.