UPDATE: 9-3 FOR DEATH
UPDATE: ASA Reid Ruben quotes Julius Caesar to jury: "The fault (dear Brutus) lies not in our stars, but in ourselves."
He stole that from us.
And we stole it from Felix Unger on an Odd Couple episode. The benefits of a classical education.
The evidence has been presented by both sides. Closing arguments in the penalty phase of State v. Lebron today at 10:00 am on the fourth floor before Judge Will Thomas.
Who shall live and who shall die?
Our prediction, which is nothing shocking, is that the jury will overwhelmingly recommend a death sentence and Judge Thomas will in fact sentence the defendant to die by lethal injection. Then Judge Thomas will warmly wish that the lord have mercy on his soul before Lebron is hauled off to an 8 X10 foot cell at Starke, at which point "The Machinery of death" that Justice Blackmun so aptly described in Callins v. Collins 510 U.S. 1141 (1994) will slowly crank into motion.
Justice Blackmun's words, so prophetic, are worth another read:
"Bruce Edwin Callins will be executed [tomorrow] by the state of Texas. Intravenous tubes attached to his arms will carry the instrument of death, a toxic fluid designed specifically for the purpose of killing human beings... Within days, or perhaps hours, the memory of Callins will begin to fade. The wheels of justice will churn again, and somewhere, another jury or another judge will have the...task of determining whether some human being is to live or die. (Rumpole notes: that "someday" is today on the fourth floor of the REGJB).
We hope...that the defendant whose life is at risk will be represented by...someone who is inspired by the awareness that a less-than-vigorous defense...could have fatal consequences for the defendant. We hope that the attorney will investigate all aspects of the case, follow all evidentiary and procedural rules, and appear before a judge...committed to the protection of defendants' rights...
Rather than continue to coddle the court's delusion that the desired level of fairness has been achieved...I feel...obligated simply to concede that the death penalty experiment has failed. It is virtually self-evident to me now that no combination of procedural rules or substantive regulations ever can save the death penalty from its inherent constitutional deficiencies.. ... Perhaps one day this court will develop procedural rules or verbal formulas that actually will provide consistency, fairness and reliability in a capital-sentencing scheme. I am not optimistic that such a day will come. I am more optimistic, though, that this court eventually will conclude that the effort to eliminate arbitrariness while preserving fairness 'in the infliction of [death] is so plainly doomed to failure that it and the death penalty must be abandoned altogether. I may not live to see that day, but I have faith that eventually it will arrive. The path the court has chosen lessen us all."
Wise words indeed.