Wednesday, August 14, 2002
Cruel and unusual...lawyers: Texas executed a Mexican-national cop-killer earlier today. The following line in the Associated Press story caught my eye.
Besides raising claims about the treaty violations in their appeal to the Supreme Court, Suarez's lawyers said his 14 execution dates since his 1989 conviction amounted to unconstitutional cruel and unusual punishment.
Why has there been 14 execution dates? Maybe because lawyers keep on appealing the conviction on sometimes spurious grounds. It's a good thing that the judicial system doesn't buy this claim, otherwise all a lawyer would have to do is file papers (like they already do) to continue to put off the execution -- eventually negating the death penalty.
I don't begrudge lawyers for death row inmates using every legal maneuver they can to delay their execution -- I think that the legal hoops and long delay are what have made it so that we have not executed an innocent person in the last few decades in this country. While some death penalty opponents claim that we execute so many people that we must have killed an innocent person -- yet they have yet to provide us with the name of a single innocent.
The system works as it should.