Saturday, September 02, 2006

where have you gone thurgood marshall...

every so often in the game of symbolism we call capital punishment a person decides that he/she has had enough and waives their appeals giving the state carte blanche to kill em' up good...usually this person has a long history of diagnosed mental illness and occasionally they were mentally competent when they arrived on death row but have become "a little looney" after having spent years waiting for death to come knocking on their door...

in no instance should we refer to this as state assisted suicide...this is a case of prisoner assisted homicide because such an occurrence is only speeding up what the state has planned for this individual all along...

in tennessee we just missed such an execution in the person of the severely mentally ill paul dennis reid...amnesty international put out the following action (see below) for elijah page...when i come across these instances of state assisted homicide i yearn for the wisdom of the late justice thurgood marshall...

"A defendant's voluntary submission to a barbaric punishment does not ameliorate the harm that imposing such a punishment causes to our basic societal values and to the integrity of our system of justice. Certainly a defendant's consent to being drawn and quartered or burned at the stake would not license the State to exact such punishments.Whitmore v Arkansas, US Supreme Court, Justice Marshall dissenting, 1990.

elijah page, age 24, was scheduled to be south dakota's first execution since 1947 on august 28...he is the 7th inmate this year to waive his appeals or "volunteer"...he was only 18 at the time of the crime, and a co-defendant received life imprisonment...sentencing him to death, the judge acknowledged mr. page's childhood of deprivation and abuse, saying "your early years must have been a living hell...most people treat their pets better than your parents treated their kids."to learn more about so-called volunteers for execution click here...

fortunately south dakota gov. mike rounds stopped this execution so that the state of s. dakota could review its lethal injection protocol...

perhaps people do live on through the remembrance of the good works of others...thank you justice marshall...

peace out... <3