I note that today the Supreme Court of the United States has ruled that Kentucky’s use of the three drug cocktail (sedate, paralyze, end life) is not unconstitutional, and executions in many states are gearing up to resume.
The New York Times article (no subscription should be needed to read) on the decision has many interesting facts about the decision, including the oddity that Justice Stevens concurred with the 7-2 decision, but that he “now believed capital punishment itself is unconstitutional.” It’s hard to see how you could rationally hold such a stance while voting for the constitutionality of Kentucky’s procedure (e.g., is he saying Kentucky has a constitutional method of performing an unconstitutional act?), but the minutia and nitty gritty of court can sometimes allow for such an odd mix of details.
The article seems to indicate that interpretations of the impact of the decision are all over the map, and perhaps everyone is looking to get out of the decision what they wish to get out of it. The number of opinions written, concurring and dissenting, may play into this.
On a related note, I wrote a commentary for our Tomorrow’s World website that was related to these deliberations. It was titled “Criminals, children, and twisted priorities” and it generated a few interesting e-mails. The essay was not really concerned with taking a stand on state executions as much as it was focused on what such court cases reveal when we consider, additionally, our nation’s treatment of children in the womb and the issue of abortion. That commentary, as well as many other commentaries, can be found here in our commentary library.
[FYI: I think the current commentary by Mr. Davy Crockett is excellent. It can be read here. And anyone can subscribe to our commentaries by clicking on the “Click here to subscribe” link provided in the bottom left corner of the Tomorrow’s World homepage.]