Remarks From Remarksman

April 18, 2008

Interesting Day on MojoBlog

Filed under: Uncategorized — BrianB @ 11:08 pm
Tags: , , , ,

The Mother Jones magazine blog MojoBlog has a couple of interesting entries today.

First the bad news (actually from yesterday): The Supreme Court rejected a death row prisoner’s argument that lethal injection can cause excessive pain and suffering. MojoBlog points out that the Catholic-heavy Supreme Court justices were all missing from the Pope’s appearance at the White House because they were…

busy at the courthouse paving the way for states to kill a few more prison inmates, in a decision that won’t be washed away by a lifetime of Hail Marys.

I’ve always been of mixed feelings about the death penalty. On one hand, there are some truly horrible crimes committed by people who are very unlikely to reform. Life imprisonment is an expensive burden on tax-payers. Thus, it seems to make some sense to kill certain prisoners from, essentially, a value position.

On the other hand, several states in this union have killed people who were almost certainly not guilty. The number of people on death row who have been exonerated on later review is chilling. As usual with bureaucracy, mistakes will be made. Especially when District Attorneys can get elected on “get tough” platforms.

What I have never understood is why lethal injection is done the way it is. First the sedative, then the paralyzer, then the heart-stopping stuff. This is where the plaintiffs argued that things can go horribly wrong. If the sedative dose is insufficient, the paralyzer will still be effective, making the victim a prisoner of his mind — unable to speak or move as the final injection, which apparently causes excruciating pain, is given. If the state is going to kill people, why not just an ever-increasing morphine drip? At least have the grace to let someone you are killing leave life painlessly.

Now for a bit of good news/humor: Oregon Senator Ron Wyden has a new advertisement on health care insurance portability. Video available at the MojoBlog, where they accurately point out that

The truly funny and risky political ad is a rare beast.

We just watched Michael Moore’s Sicko last night. I agree with Moore that the real solution to all our health care problems and expenses would be to have a single-payer, universal, government-sponsored system. Just like other successful democracies.

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