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Saturday, December 16, 2006

Something for Congress to Fix

There is something I'd like to see the Congress fix, or more appropriately, define, for the judges in our country. That something can be found in the 8th Amendment to the US Constitution.

You see, two states, Florida and California are currently halting all executions by lethal injection, wondering if they are using a method that is "cruel and unusual" as punishment.

Florida's ban came about because the person administering the needle missed the vein and put the drugs into the convicted killers flesh.

In California, a judge has declared that because it takes too long to die, and inflict unconstitutional amounts of pain, again on a convicted killer.

Congress, for well over 200 years, has been lax in it's job to define what "cruel and unusual punishment", as written in the 8th Amendment really is. Instead, they've left it up to each state to come up with it's own definition, or worse, allowed judges to divine what they think it is.

Specifically in the case of the death penalty, where the murderers probably didn't care that their method of killing violated the same standards the judges have been setting for executions. The rights of the victim aren't much of a concern to judges who think that it's mean to use a small needle and some drugs that might take a few minutes to kill you, after an anesthetic to knock you out.

I'm personally of the Attilla the Hun camp, and believe convicted murderers should be put to death in the same way they killed their victims. However, I am pragmatic enough to know that such a law would never pass muster.

We've seen whiny judges take away the electric chair, gas chamber, hanging, and now lethal injection, because someone who didn't give a rats ass about another human being might have to face some pain. Since they didn't seem to mind inflicting some, I'm still trying to see the problem with those methods. Yes, occassionally mistakes have happened, and guys heads have gone up in flames when the chair malfunctioned, but is that really that bad, he/she was a KILLER.

So, Congress, get off your asses, and pass a law defining cruel and unusual punishment, only wait until real conservatives have taken the chamber over, because I'm afraid of how a Pelosi, Reid congress would define it.

Scrappleface has the other part of the story.

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Blogger shoprat said...

The Constitution refers to the death penalty and does not seem to consider it cruel or unusual.

Actually I sometimes feel that that particular amendment is somewhat of a problem as it does not define cruel and unusual. Besides a cruel or unusual punishment might be a more effective punishment. I don't want to see hands amputated but I wouldn't have to many problems with stocks or whipping post.

9:31 AM  

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