Edited on Wed Feb-01-06 09:38 PM by superconnected
WASHINGTON - Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito dealt Wednesday with his first case, a Missouri death row appeal, then pledged during a White House ceremony to fairly administer justice on the high court.
At his second swearing-in ceremony in two days, this time in the ornate East Room of the White House, Alito received hearty applause from lawmakers and fellow Supreme Court justices. He was lauded by President Bush as a man of "steady demeanor, careful judgment and complete integrity."
After being sworn by Chief Justice John Roberts, Alito said, "I don't think that anyone can become a justice of the Supreme Court of the United States without feeling a tremendous weight of responsibility and a tremendous sense of humility."
Alito's first vote was straightforward. He and other justices refused to give Missouri permission to speed up plans to execute a man who killed a teenage honor student.
New Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito split with the court's conservative Wednesday night, refusing to let Missouri execute a death-row inmate contesting lethal injection.
Alito, handling his first case, sided with inmate Michael Taylor, who had won a stay from an appeals court earlier in the evening. Chief Justice John Roberts and Justices Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas supported lifting the stay, but Alito joined the remaining five members in turning down Missouri's last-minute request to allow a midnight execution
Given that the death penalty does indeed exist... What form of execution would be less cruel than lethal injection? Seems to me to be a more 'humane' method than hanging, electric chair, gas chamber or firing squad...
37. I was having this discussion with my partner the other night...
...and we came up with the following scenario:
The inmate is started on strong doses of narcotic pain medications an hour before the execution is scheduled. This would ensure that the inmate is feeling no pain and is in a euphoric state by the appointed execution time, so that the psychological terror of the situation is lessened. If the inmate happens to be allergic to opium-derived narcotics, synthetics (like Dilaudid or Fentanyl) could be used, and vice-versa.
At the scheduled time, the inmate is strapped to a soft, comfortable table. Then an IV is started. A steady but slow drip of the same powerful narcotic is started again. The inmate begins to feel drowsy, and soon slips off to sleep. After the inmate is deeply asleep, the attendants steadily increase the dosage of the narcotic until the condemned person's breathing slowly stops, and the heart stops beating.
That seems like the most humane method of execution we could think of. However, we are still absolutely opposed to the death penalty itself.
77. I am aware of the details of lethal injection.
And if the medications are not administered in a foolproof manner *every* time, in proper order, it could potentially be an agonizing and horrific way to die. We all know how good the government is at being mistake-proof.
The first injection is supposed to be a lethal dose of phenobarbitol (causes unconsciousness), the second a fatal dose of a paralyzing agent (like succinyl monocholine chloride) and the third a fatal dose of potassium chloride (which stops the heart). But what if someone mixes up the injections? Or if some sadistic prison employee purposefully and maliciously mislabels the vials?
If someone got the succinyl first instead of the phenobarbitol, they'd be lying there perfectly conscious but unable to breathe or move a single muscle--an onlooker would not be able to tell that the inmate is conscious. If they got the potassium chloride before they became unconscious, it would be nothing short of torture. Potassium chloride is commonly used in hospitals, for patients who are severely ill and dangerously hypokalemic (have low blood potassium). When it must be given via IV, it is ALWAYS heavily diluted, because even relatively small amounts burn like acid in your veins. When my mother developed low blood potassium as a result of her chemotherapy treatments for leukemia, they had to give her potassium chloride via IV. She was literally screaming in agony, and that was after they diluted it *and* dosed her up on morphine. Of all the terrible pain she went through due to the disease and the chemo treatments, she still swears that was the worst pain by far.
When they give that to lethal injection victims, they don't dilute it *at all*. If it's agonizing when it's watered down, imagine how it must feel hitting a vein undiluted.
Not all states use potassium chloride. Some states use only phenobarbitol and a paralyzing agent. The fact that they even *use* a paralyzing agent when they're supposedly giving the condemned people enough phenobarbitol to kill a horse makes me suspect. Pheno is used during surgical procedures to put people under general anesthesia, and they give a MUCH larger dose to condemned inmates than surgical patients get. It should be enough to knock them right out and kill them within minutes, without any other drugs being needed. Why should they also have to be paralyzed? Unless the government is purposefully trying to mask any evidence of inmates who are not being given the medications in the proper order.
A narcotic-based execution would be far more humane. It has the added benefit of being euphoria-inducing (so as to ease the terror) and you can be absolutely assured that there will be no pain involved. Just a peaceful, humane death.
29. Once confirmed, SC justices are more or less bulletproof
So he could make all the horrendously controversial rulings he wanted and there wouldn't be much they could do about it, unless they caught him in bed with a twelve-year-old girl or a chicken or something along those lines. So for good or for ill, we're stuck with him until he retires or keels over.
I'd rather see not-Alito than Alito on the bench from some of the things that I've read; on the other hand, credit where credit is due. At least for this decision, I think he was on the right side.
39. It's happened before--Kennedy and Souter ain't goose-stepping, either.
It occurs to me that if Roberts and Scalito both turn out to be moderates, they could wind up canceling out Scalia and Thomas in some cases. If Scalito alone is a moderate, that's still a net loss of one asshole.
Come to think of it, that would be par for the course for the Bush Administration: starting with three conservative judges, promising to add more, having one die, and winding up with none. Nobody should expect good things from the Worst President Ever, not even the knuckle-draggers.
Alito Splits Conservatives on Inmate Vote - By GINA HOLLAND, Associated Press Writer Wednesday, February 1, 2006
(02-01) 19:24 PST WASHINGTON, (AP) --
New Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito split with the court's conservatives Wednesday night, refusing to let Missouri execute a death-row inmate contesting lethal injection.
Alito, handling his first case, sided with inmate Michael Taylor, who had won a stay from an appeals court earlier in the evening. Chief Justice John Roberts and Justices Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas supported lifting the stay, but Alito joined the remaining five members in turning down Missouri's last-minute request to allow a midnight execution.
Earlier in the day, Alito was sworn in for a second time in a White House ceremony, where he was lauded by President Bush as a man of "steady demeanor, careful judgment and complete integrity."
He was also was given his assignment for handling emergency appeals: Arkansas, Iowa, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota and South Dakota. As a result, Missouri filed with Alito its request for the high court to void a stay and allow Taylor's execution.
33. Imagine what will happen if Alito takes a sharp turn to the center...
Remember all those ads about Justice Alito "deserv an up or down vote"? If Alito does take that sharp turn, won't they be eating their words -- which means we can remind them every time they whine that Alito was THEIR choice, so quitcherbitchin and shutcherpiehole.
50. yes he sided with the lower court. And how was that bad?
Edited on Thu Feb-02-06 06:51 AM by onenote
The lower court granted a stay of execution. The state appealed to the SCOTUS. The court had two choices: override the lower court stay, which would result in the immediate execution with no further chance for the defendant to argue before the lower court or uphold the lower court, giving the defendant one last chance to present an argument to the lower court. Scalia, Thomas, and Roberts would have reversed the lower court and sent this guy to the executioner without a further hearing. Alito, according to the report, voted to uphold the stay, giving the defendant his last shot at an argument.
Given the choices, why is the one chosen by Alito not the "liberal" choice?
on edit: I'm not claiming that this one vote suddenly means Alito will be a "Souter". But it does indicate that, at least in this instance, he departed from the conservative bloc on the court.
It looks like Alito is joining the 6-3 split on the side of the moderates, as opposed to the Scalia, Roberts, Thomas coalition. This 6-3 split is the same one that existed on the earlier civil liberties cases (Guantanamo, etc.) that have come before the Supreme Court. I think it's kind of funny that Roberts, who seemed so pleasant & reasonable, has actually turned out to be the rabid right-winger. While Alito, who seemed so reactionary & unforthcoming, might turn out to be the reasonable one.
Powered by DCForum+ Version 1.1 Copyright 1997-2002 DCScripts.com
Software has been extensively modified by the DU administrators
Important Notices: By participating on this discussion
board, visitors agree to abide by the rules outlined on our Rules
page. Messages posted on the Democratic Underground Discussion Forums are the
opinions of the individuals who post them, and do not necessarily represent
the opinions of Democratic Underground, LLC.