Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Oh, Stop Screaming - the Pain's Not "Severe"

Disclaimer: I am not a lawyer. But I don't believe you have to be an expert in Constitutional Law to understand what "cruel and unusual" means and to see the logical consequences of judicially approving the infliction of pain.

Today's Supreme Court decision upholding Kentucky's lethal-injection death penalty does far more than put state executions back on track.

It confirms the idea that there's an acceptable level of pain that American officials can inflict on prisoners without fear of violating Constitutional principles.

This is a philosophy of justification that owes far more to Abu Graib than to Madison and Hamilton.

Patriotic Americans still hoping to establish through the courts that the torture and denial of habeas corpus practiced at Guantanamo are un-Constitutional depravities unbecoming a Democracy should despair at this decision.

Seven of the nine Supreme Court Justices have just announced that American officials inflicting on prisoners pain that falls just short of "severe" is perfectly fine with them.

That Roberts, Alito, Scalia and Thomas align themselves with the evil depravity of Smirky-Darth is no surprise, but for Kennedy to join them is a disappointment. And the concurrence of Breyer and say-it-ain't-so! John Paul Stephens is devastating. Only Ginsberg and Souter dared to defy the torture-loving perverts among their Brethren.

I'm not saying that lethal injection constitutes torture. I'm saying that when the Supreme Court starts pronouncing on levels of acceptable pain, their justification of torture can't be far down the road.

Cross-posted at BlueGrassRoots.