J and D's Corner

From the Letters Archive

I do indeed have "contempt of court" where California's uber-liberal Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals is concerned, but even so in retrospect this one comes across as perhaps a bit too viperous.  Perhaps my underwear was a little too tight or something.

The newspaper liked it though, printing it in a nice single-column layout.


To:  AV Press
Date: 5/4/2012
Re:  The Death Penalty

As many other commentators on the status of California’s death penalty have noted, the hypocrisy of our Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in dealing with the law is beyond belief. 

The demonstrated position of these supposedly dedicated guardians of the law is that neither the democratic will of the public nor the objectives or validity of the laws themselves are of any consequence whatsoever.  In their view, they are totally free to rule in any way that furthers their personal objectives.  The fact that the US Supreme Court historically reverses or vacates a majority of the Ninth Circuit decisions they examine (76% in the last session) shows how pervasive their disregard of enacted law is.

A perfect example is their Alice in Wonderland delaying tactic that hinges upon the supposition that lethal injection might be somehow painful to the condemned.  How ludicrous can you get?  Millions upon millions of people have successfully been rendered unconscious to what would otherwise be extremely painful medical procedures and wake up without the slightest memory of discomfort.   The argument should have been dismissed out of hand.

Our Constitution bans “cruel and unusual” punishment.  The death penalty is obviously not “unusual” as a punishment in the global sense, having been around since society began, and the US Supreme Court has ruled that the death penalty is not inherently cruel and is in fact appropriate as “an extreme sanction, suitable to the most extreme of crimes".   

The Ninth Circuit obviously disagrees with both the US Supreme Court and the law of the land, apparently collectively holding the personal opinion that quietly putting someone into a state of permanent sleep is cruel, whereas locking that same someone alive and conscious in a cell for the rest of their life is not.  Or maybe their ultimate objective is to declare that ALL punishment of criminals is impermissibly cruel and are just working in that direction one step at a time.

John Wilson