Monday, May 4, 2009

California tries to re-institute the death penalty

Cross-posted by Gary Fouse

The Guillotine

No muss, no fuss
No pain, certainly no gain

The state of California (surprisingly perhaps) is trying to re-institute its death penalty, which has been in limbo over arguments that it violates the concept of "cruel and inhuman" punishment since the lethal injection may cause pain to the executed.

Only in California.

This issue was brought to the fore when attorneys for Michael Morales (49) convinced Federal Judge Jeremy Fogel in San Jose to stay the execution for Morales, who in 1981, raped and murdered 17-year-old Terri Winchell. As a result, a moratorium on the death penalty was initiated. Fogel had found that the lethal injection process violated cruel and inhuman punishment and "cited clear evidence" that the condemned inmates were at risk of "severe, unnecessary" pain. More specifically, "Dr" Fogel found that if the initial (anesthetizing) drug failed, the poor condemned murderer would be incapable of expressing pain from the third and final drug, which stops the heart.

Got it? Judge Fogel apparently never considered the pain Terri Winchell may have experienced as she was being raped and murdered by Morales.

But that's not all that Judge Fogel was concerned about. He also cited poorly-trained staff acting without clear instructions, incomplete records, improper storage of drugs and little supervision in a DIMLY-LIT CHAMBER.

So now, the state is going through a two-step process in attempting to get the lethal injection method approved.

First, California has posted its new lethal injection protocol, which now begins a 60-day "public comment period", which is mandated by California's Administrative Procedures Act. Then, on June 30, a public hearing will be conducted.

Terri Winchell would be 45 years old had she not been murdered by Morales, who Judge Fogel fears would experience pain upon his execution.

Claerly, this is not about pain or "cruel or inhuman" punishment. This is about activists trying to throw out the death penalty. Lethal injection was devised in an effort to find a humane and civilized manner in which to administer the death penalty. Now the defenders of the Michael Morales' of the world have come up with an inventive way to abolish all forms of capital punishment and have found a friendly judge in Jeremy Fogel, who doubles as a physician in his off-time.

In 1981, Michael Morales raped and murdered a 17-year-old girl named Terri Winchell.

That was as cruel and inhuman as it gets, Judge Fogel.

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