Saturday, March 01, 2008

Painless death mandated by Constitution?

ABA Journal, March 2008, at 4.

Regarding “Tinkering with Lethal Injection,” January: I think Thomas Goldstein’s statement that the current round of litigation over the death penalty—dealing with the constitutionality of lethal injection as administered—“doesn’t advance the goal of abolition one inch,” is at best naive. One of the main arguments for doing away with the death penalty is the cost associated with it. The cost has nothing to do with the actual administration, i.e., serving the three-drug cocktail, and has everything to do with dragging the process out and therefore raising the cost of litigation. In that sense, this round has everything to do with abolishing the death penalty.

Furthermore, to those advancing this cause, every delay is seen as a victory. The ultimate goal is to frustrate the proponents of the death penalty into submission, declaring such nonsense that we “shall no longer tinker with the machinery of death.”