Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Morales Gets a Few More Days

I'm not going to detail the facts of the impending execution of Michael Morales. But if you want some relevant sources, here they are : SF Chronicle story, 9th Cir. Opinion 1, 9th Cir. Opinion 2, Fogel, J., Order 1, and Fogel, J., Order 2.

Recently the SCOTUS took up two cases challenging the application of lethal injection in carrying out a sentence of death under the Eighth Amendment's bar against cruel and unusual punishment. It is in that vein, that Judge Fogel issued his order to Morales' habeas petition. Not too long ago, California considered it humane to watch a prisoner choke to death and take several minutes (up to 15 to 20) to die. See, Fierro v. Gomez, 77 F.3d 301 (9th Cir. 1996). The time has come to recognize the same for injecting a lethal dose of poison when the condemned is potentially conscious.

Any other thoughts on this are welcome, esp. in light of Judge Fogel's equitable remedy requiring the presence of anesthesioligists to ACTIVELY monitor the process and administer sedatives if Morales emerges from consciousness.

General Hat Tip to Sentencing Law and Policy.

7 Comments:

Blogger Subcomandante Bob said...

More on California's next move in the death penalty case involving Michael Morales.

2/22/2006 11:20 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Interpretive legal issues aside, an important moral question for 8th amendment pushers in regard to Morales is if their efforts in protecting the rights of someone who so brutally violated those of another are appropriate. Does an individual who saw fit to inflict horribly cruel and unusual punishment on his victim deserve such efforts toward the protection of his own rights against the same? If Morales saw it morally fit to sledgehammer and mutilate a woman to death, after of course beating and raping her, what makes safeguarding him against pain in death such a profound moral concern?

2/22/2006 2:10 PM  
Blogger Armen said...

With moral philosophers like you, we'd be about as civilized as the jackal. To answer your deep questions, YES. I'll pull a trick from the conservative handbook, show me where in the Bill of Rights it says that only the innocent are protected from tar and feathering.

2/22/2006 2:51 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Likewise, with future lawyers like you (shudder), we'll continue fighting for the legal rights of society's most despicable. Find a more worthy cause, like wage-labor rights, not the 8th amendment rights of a convicted death row killer.

2/22/2006 3:09 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Who the hell are these posters and where do they come from?!

2/22/2006 9:47 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

To a certain extent, I have to say I agree with the vindictive anonymous above. We live in a world of limited resources and limited man-hours for attorneys to do good. Sure, it would probably be best to execute murderers in a completely painless manner, but in the mean time a bunch of people in the US who haven't killed anyone are leading miserable lives being homeless on the streets, or living as victims of domestic violence or child abuse, or a host of other things that could benefit from legal attention, probably incurring much more pain on a daily basis. This kind of seems like a waste of resources to me.

2/24/2006 2:22 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You want waste of resources? How about the death penalty itself? As long as you keep even the minimal safeguards (almost) everyone things are needed, it's way more expensive than keeping people in jail for life without the possibility of parole. Why bother? I'm not even convinced that death is a worse punishment than sitting in a cage for the rest of your life (even if the injection is painful). Then there's that other thing about how sick it seems that the state is killing people in the name of justice. Can't we find a more civilized way of dealing with this?

2/25/2006 4:09 PM  

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