Columbus discovering America? Or an artist's rendition of a sojourner to the REGJB espying a parking spot?
Christopher Columbus has his own day.
Rumor has it that the State Attorneys Office celebrates Columbus day by inviting all their employees in for eight hours of reflection on the importance of this day.
We'll Take Your Case- Hope you Don't Die First:
The NY Times REPORTS TODAY on what has been an open secret among those who labor against the death penalty in this country: That while it takes Four Supreme Court Justices to grant a writ to review a case, it takes Five Justices to vote for a stay of execution.
Thus, the situation occurs where the Supreme Court votes to hear an appeal from a death row inmate, while the State still makes all due preparations to kill the inmate before the appeal can be heard.
Chief Justice John Roberts was asked about this situation at his confirmation hearing by Senator Leahy:
Do you feel, as chief, you should do the courtesy,” Senator Patrick J. Leahy,
Democrat of Vermont, asked, “and kick in the fifth one?”
“I don’t want to commit to pursue a particular practice,” Judge Roberts said. “But it obviously makes great sense... You don’t want to moot the case by not staying the sentence,” he added.
It may have made "great sense" to man trying to get 51 votes to become the nation's next chief justice, but it doesn't make sense to this particular chief justice now that he has the job.
Luther J Williams was executed by Alabama (motto: "get ready to die y'all" ) on August 23 of this year. Previously, four justices had voted to hear his appeal challenging the use of lethal injections. Upon his execution the clerk of the US Supreme Court added this entry to the docket for Mr. Williams "The Petition is dismissed as moot." (not withstanding the chief justice's testimony to the senate that "you don't want to moot the case by not staying the sentence")
Here was the reaction of Mr. William's lawyer:
“They knew they were going to consider the issue and let a man die,” Joel L. Sogol, who represented Mr. Williams, said of the justices. “May he haunt their nights for the rest of their lives.”
There is some positive news here: At least one politician- The Governor of Virginia -has more common sense in his pinkie than five (can you guess the five?) Supreme Court Justices:
From the NY Times Article:
Last Monday, Justice John Paul Stevens issued an unusual statement in the case of Christopher S. Emmett. The court had been set to consider Mr. Emmett’s appeal on Sept. 24 after returning from its summer break. “Nevertheless,” Justice Stevens wrote, “Virginia set an execution date of June 13.”
Four justices voted in favor of a last-minute stay of execution,
but that was not enough. Two hours before Mr. Emmett was to die, Virginia’s governor, Tim Kaine, a Democrat, stepped in to do what the court would not.
“Basic fairness demands that condemned inmates be allowed the opportunity to complete legal appeals prior to execution,” Mr. Kaine said in a statement. “The irreversibility of an execution and the fact that four justices of the court believe a stay is needed to consider the appeal warrant my intervention in this case.”
Finally, a man with courage and common sense steps forward!!! Can you imagine what Bush and his cohorts would have said about Saddam Hussein- when he was still in power, and they were spoiling for a reason to go to war- if it was reported that Hussein thwarted the legal process by executing prisoners before their appeals were heard?
This is the United States of America, and today we proudly celebrate the man who discovered our country. And we execute our citizens before the courts can dispose of all issues in their case. For shame.
See You In Court Tomorrow.