Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Jump-starting the Death Machine.

You know, I started out the day on a natural high. I mean, a high. All the hard work of our local teachers’ union paid off, as we helped to get our school budget proposal passed by a huge margin, the first budget to pass in three years. We helped elect two solid, teacher-friendly, education-friendly school board members. I was juiced.

Then I saw this when I got home:

WASHINGTON (AP) April 16 - The Supreme Court upheld the most common method of lethal injections executions Wednesday, clearing the way for states to resume executions that have been on hold for nearly 7 months.

The justices, by a 7-2 vote, turned back a constitutional challenge to the procedures in place in Kentucky, which uses three drugs to sedate, paralyze and kill inmates. Similar methods are used by roughly three dozen states.

The governor of Virginia lifted his state’s moratorium on executions two hours after the high court issued its ruling.

“We … agree that petitioners have not carried their burden of showing that the risk of pain from maladministration of a concededly humane lethal injection protocol, and the failure to adopt untried and untested alternatives, constitute cruel and unusual punishment,” Chief Justice John Roberts said in an opinion that garnered only three votes. Four other justices, however, agreed with the outcome.

Roberts’ opinion did leave open subsequent challenges to lethal injection practices if a state refused to adopt an alternative method that significantly reduced the risk of severe pain.

Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg and David Souter dissented…

The rest here.

We actually got it right here in New Jersey earlier this year when, after years of work, abolitionists got the death penalty outlawed, for good.

Now we have to go back to work, on the rest of you folks.

And this ruling came down at almost the exact time as our president was meeting in public with the Pope, talking about how all life is “sacred.”

“In a world where some treat life as something to be debased and discarded, we need your message that all human life is sacred and that each of us is willed, each of us is loved, and each of us is necessary,” the president said, drawing sustained applause.

Right. All life is sacred. Let’s think on that one, shall we?