Pick Wayne's Brain

May 29, 2014

How Fine Is The Line Between OK To Kill And Not OK To Kill?

Filed under: Commentary — Tags: , , — Wayne A. Schneider @ 10:14 PM

When the Supreme Court ruled in Ford v. Wainwright (1986) that it was a violation of the Eighth Amendment ban on “cruel and unusual punishment” to execute the insane, it was because it was felt a person who does not understand right from wrong, and would not understand their punishment or the purpose of it, should be exempt from execution. In the case of Atkins v. Virginia (2001) the SCOTUS ruled that it was unconstitutional to execute a mentally retarded person. From the link, “Moreover, the Court concluded that there was serious concern whether either justification underpinning the death penalty – retribution and deterrence of capital crimes – applies to mentally retarded offenders, due to their lessened culpability.”

I am an avowed (more…)

May 4, 2013

Can We Execute the Death Penalty By Not Using it?

Filed under: Commentary — Tags: , , — Wayne A. Schneider @ 2:09 AM

Let’s not beat around the bush. Let’s just admit it right up front before we continue. I am adamantly, totally, unequivocally 100% against the use of capital punishment. If I were the victim of a horrible murder, no matter how gruesome, nor matter how sickening, no matter how inhuman my murder may be (and let’s not get any ideas out there, okay?), I do NOT want my government to execute my killer in my name. I’d want that bastard to spend the rest of his natural life in prison (especially if he were young at the time he killed me) rather than face execution. And if you’re the type who says, “I don’t want my tax dollars to be spent on keeping this kind of scum alive,” then you should be thanking me, because I will personally be saving you a fortune from the great beyond. You see, when someone is sentenced to death, (more…)

April 25, 2008

The Supremes Blow It Again

Filed under: Commentary — Tags: , , , — Wayne A. Schneider @ 1:02 AM

The Supreme Court recently ruled that execution by lethal injection does not constitute “cruel and unusual punishment”. (Side note, would it not have been “unusual” the first time it was done and, to the uninitiated, a tad “cruel”, too?). Oddly enough, while they felt that Kentucky’s Strap-Right-Up-Get-Yer-Three-Shot-Monte Lethal Injection system of capital punishment was constitutional, “a majority could not agree on the proper standard with which to judge execution practices.” But whatever that standard was, they felt Kentucky had met it.

Before continuing, I’ll cut to the chase and state up front that I oppose the use of capital punishment for reasons on which I shall elaborate later. And, yes, I do agree that the Constitution’s specific mention of terms such as “capital offense” clearly and undeniably proves (yes, “proves”) that the Framers found no problem with the use of capital punishment per se. So, no, it is not, in and of itself, unconstitutional. I shall stipulate all of that up front, so there is no need to rehash any of it. Capital punishment is, in and of itself, constitutional. (There, I said it and I’m mad.)

What I feel is unconstitutional is the way in which the sentence has been administered, and upon whom, throughout our justice system. Let’s face facts, (more…)

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