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Texas Gov. Rick Perry points at himself.
Not known for his dedication to the rule of law.
Um, I'm gonna go with "yes" on this one. Prove me wrong, pal, prove me wrong.
Will Rick Perry Execute A Mentally Disabled Man Tonight?
Rick Perry would execute a basket of kittens so long as you put the paperwork in front of him; he doesn't spend a lot of time pondering these things. And neither does the entire state of Texas, which is how we find ourselves in a position where Texas is going to execute a man who, by supposed rule of law, may not be executed.
“It is an outrage that the State of Texas itself has worked to frustrate Mr. Campbell’s attempts to obtain any fair consideration of evidence of his intellectual disability,” said Robert C. Owen, an attorney for Mr. Campbell. “State officials affirmatively misled Mr. Campbell’s lawyers when they said they had no records of IQ testing of Mr. Campbell from his time on death row. That was a lie. They had such test results, and those results placed Mr. Campbell squarely in the range for a diagnosis of mental retardation. Mr. Campbell now faces execution as a direct result of such shameful gamesmanship.”
State prosecutors didn't disclose that Campbell was severely mentally handicapped, despite at least three separate tests demonstrating it. The Texas Court of Criminal Appeals didn't give a crap when it was discovered, because when it comes to capital punishment each of the various states has bent over backwards of late in order to skirt whatever scant limits the law supposedly imposes (see: Oklahoma, etc.) The Fifth Circuit doesn't give a crap, though we presume if the defense suddenly discovered that their client was a corporation they would get right on that. And as for Rick Perry, the presidential contender who got applause for executing more of his state's citizens than anyone else? The odds that Rick Perry is going to voice his concerns for the rule of law seem rather scant.

And so that is why, yet again, it looks like America will execute a man with obvious mental impairments. Partly because many people don't see a particular problem with that, despite the Supreme Court saying that technically you are not allowed to, but mostly because following those bits of the law when executing someone would be, for the supposed law-and-order crowd, too damn inconvenient for the state to bother with. (This is also why Texas, like other states, is refusing to disclose how it even obtained the drugs to be used to put Campbell to death.)

Jeebus, people, at least pretend to not be barbarians. The whole premise of the capital punishment fetish is an obsession with maximal revenge under color of law; dodging the law in order to better exact that revenge is a sentiment not very far afield from the original crimes themselves.

2:11 PM PT: Amazingly, the Fifth Circuit has granted a stay of execution.

Originally posted to Hunter on Tue May 13, 2014 at 12:46 PM PDT.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Perry hits wrong switch, shoots coyote (15+ / 0-)
    “It is an outrage that the State of Texas itself has worked to frustrate Mr. Campbell’s attempts to obtain any fair consideration of evidence of his intellectual disability,”
    The future politician did not distinguish himself much in the classroom. While he later became a student leader, he had to get out of academic probation to do so. He rarely earned anything above a C in his courses — earning a C in U.S. History, a D in Shakespeare, and a D in the principles of economics. Perry got a C in gym.
    Perry also did poorly on classes within his animal science major. In fall semester 1970, he received a D in veterinary anatomy, a F in a second course on organic chemistry and a C in animal breeding. He did get an A in world military systems and “Improv. of Learning” — his only two As while at A&M.
    “A&M wasn’t exactly Harvard on the Brazos River,” recalled a Perry classmate in an interview with The Huffington Post. “This was not the brightest guy around. We always kind of laughed. He was always kind of a joke.”

    Warning - some snark may be above‽ (-9.50; -7.03)‽ eState4Column5©2013 "If we appear to seek the unattainable, then let it be known that we do so to avoid the unimaginable." (@eState4Column5)

    by annieli on Tue May 13, 2014 at 12:59:47 PM PDT

  •  There's votes in it... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ichibon

    Executing kitties, that is.  If killing kitties gets votes, then what's the big problem?

    “If the misery of the poor be caused not by the laws of nature, but by our institutions, great is our sin.” Charles Darwin

    by ivorybill on Tue May 13, 2014 at 01:00:54 PM PDT

    •  Well, (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      ichibon, gffish

      the guy in question is far from a harmless kitty, but I don't want him killed anyway.

      Life in prison with no chance of parole is punishment enough.

      I just wish they would stop putting non violent criminals in jail.  There are other methods of punishment for those types.  Then there would be more room for all the rapists and murders to serve out their lengthy sentences.

      •  depends how you define non-violent. (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Lost Left Coaster, AlexDrew

        I think crimes where the threat of violence is implicit, or where the obvious societal impact is violent, can't be seen as markedly more benign than crimes where actual violence is used.  I'm sure plenty of nonviolent crime would be left even under this standard, but perhaps not as much as people imagine.

        It's not the side effects of the cocaine/I'm thinking that it must be love

        by Rich in PA on Tue May 13, 2014 at 01:16:47 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Legally speaking... (5+ / 0-)

          There are clear definitions of violent and non-violent crimes.  

          Violent crimes are crimes against persons and include assaults where violence is threatened, implied or anticipated but maybe not actually committed.

          Some states by statute will include certain property crimes as crimes of violence.  

          But when people talk about non-violent crimes and criminals the vast majority are drug offenders; the vast majority of those are people who are charged with possession, not sale.  They are legally considered non-violent crimes in that they are not subject to special elevated penalties that are usually written into criminal codes for violent crimes.

          And as a public defender I believe strongly that decriminalization would save money and produce better outcomes for both individuals and society.  Prohibitionism doesn't work any better for drugs than it did for alcohol.

          They who would give up an essential liberty for temporary security, deserve neither liberty or security. ~Benjamin Franklin

          by TehWondahkitty on Tue May 13, 2014 at 01:28:16 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  I guess the point is that guilt, innocence (0+ / 0-)

        or severity of crime matters little.  Governors, such as Governor Perry, are primarily involved in executions because they derive political benefit from them.

        I don't think Perry spends a lot of time thinking about the anguish that the victim went through or the justice of terminating the murderer's life.  This is a routine matter and the main consideration is a political one. In the same way, killing kittens would not be a big deal if there was public outrage and hate at kittens, and if dead kittens demonstrated that the person who ordered their demise was tough on crime.

        “If the misery of the poor be caused not by the laws of nature, but by our institutions, great is our sin.” Charles Darwin

        by ivorybill on Tue May 13, 2014 at 01:31:29 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  During the primary season (0+ / 0-)

          in 2012, when Perry was running, not long after the Willingham execution, a woman was asked what she would say about him if she knew he had ordered the execution of an innocent man. She replied that she thought it showed strength.

          We need a world in which we ask "What's happened to you?" more and "What's wrong with you?" less. (From a comment by Kossack nerafinator)

          by ramara on Tue May 13, 2014 at 05:14:02 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  to be more precise... (5+ / 0-)

    a mentally disabled black man.

  •  Yeah, doesn't sound too severely handicapped to me (9+ / 0-)

    He raped her in a field, and then when he was finished, told her to run. That's when he shot her in the back and left her body.

    Sounds like someone capable of fully understanding what he was doing

    Look, I tried to be reasonable...

    by campionrules on Tue May 13, 2014 at 01:04:01 PM PDT

    •  Yet another (5+ / 0-)

      cruel rapist and cold blooded murderer I'm told to wring my hands and shed tears over.

      Manufacturing outrage; the only manufacturing jobs Republicans won't outsource.

      by get the red out on Tue May 13, 2014 at 01:06:46 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Why don't you wring your hands (10+ / 0-)

        over the State of Texas ignoring the US Constitution? The Supreme Court has ruled that executing the mentally handicapped is unconstitutional. If there is evidence that he is mentally handicapped, then it must be heard. But this isn't happening. Just a couple of weeks after what happened in Oklahoma, the US is poised to have yet another unconstitutional execution. This should concern us all.

        "As the madmen play on words, and make us all dance to their song / to the tune of starving millions, to make a better kind of gun..." -- Iron Maiden

        by Lost Left Coaster on Tue May 13, 2014 at 01:19:54 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  It's not that simple. (4+ / 0-)

          For someone to be classed as “intellectually disabled:, one must demonstrate "significant limitations" in intellectual functioning (usually taken to mean an IQ of 70 or below) and in adaptive behavior – such as problems with literacy, social skills and the ability to handle money. These deficits must also have been present before the age of 18.  The fact that Mr Campbell has an IQ within the margin of error for 70 is not dispositive unless he also demonstrates such limitations.  I am pretty sure that the Appellate Court took this into account.

          Of course, the fact that Campbell kidnapped Alexandra Rendon, drove her to a desolate area, robbed her of her money and jewelry and then raped her, marched her at gunpoint to a field and then told her to run, shot at her head and missed and then shot her in the back and left her to die may also have had something to do with that finding.

          I have no problem with the sentence being carried out.

          If you get confused, listen to the music play - R. Hunter

          by SpamNunn on Tue May 13, 2014 at 01:47:33 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  here's the problem (4+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            kfunk937, ramara, schnecke21, Mokurai

            1. This issue hasn't been litigated because the government/state hid this issue even when asked for it.

            2. Thus, we do not know whether or not Atkins applies to him.  If the State had done the right thing, we'd have had this litigated out and if your points were valid, the state would have prevailed, and he'd be dead.

            3. These things are never solely about the current accused but all accused.  We don't look at how heinous the crime or how much we dislike the criminal in deciding whether or not we are going to apply basic Constitutional principles.

            so yes, it's actually pretty simple.  The Government hid evidence of mental retardation.  Now, we have to, at the last-minute, do the right thing and have an adversarial hearing to determine whether or not he qualifies.  If he doesn't, he'll be dead soon enough.  If he does, then he will spend the rest of his days in prison.  The process being properly followed, and most importantly the State having clean hands is critical here.

            •  There is evidence that the state hid (0+ / 0-)

              There HAD been mental competence testing, and the State of Texas told his lawyers there was none.  AND the testing showed an IQ of 69, reportedly.  Goes against the SC finding.  Oh, and maybe cause for a mistrial or retrial?

              IANAL, but I know a little about procedure and justice.

              I'm part of the "bedwetting bunch of website Democrat base people (DKos)." - Rush Limbaugh, 10/16/2012 Torture is Wrong! We live near W so you don't have to. Send love.

              by tom 47 on Tue May 13, 2014 at 03:02:07 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

    •  I wondered about that. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Rich in PA

      Legal gamesmanship can certainly go the other way - that is, specious complaints of lack of mental competence in order to avoid capital punishment, or to mitigate sentencing.

      Do you have links?  Not that I doubt you, I'd just like to read what you read.

      All that said, cheating the law is still cheating the law.  Is it really "cheating" if the other side cheated first (i.e. a false claim of mental disability)?  I don't know, but I kind of tend to say yes - especially as it relates to capital punishment.

      I don't think it's really healthy that we have to have those dialogues in the first place.

      Not all people are human; not all humans are people.

      by Jon Sitzman on Tue May 13, 2014 at 01:08:57 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Here you go (3+ / 0-)

        http://www.kwtx.com/...

        Rendon was kidnapped from in January 1991 from a Chevron station and driven to an isolated area where Lewis and his co-defendant took her jewelry, and then raped her, records show.

        Then the men forced Rendon at gunpoint to walk into a field where Campbell told her to run.

        Campbell fired once at her and missed and then shot her in the back and left her to die, records show.

        http://news.google.com/...

        Look, I tried to be reasonable...

        by campionrules on Tue May 13, 2014 at 01:11:23 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Thanks, Campion. (0+ / 0-)

          Will read later, but that does sound pretty awful.

          I still can't say I support CP, no offense.  That's more to my general character than specific to this issue.

          Not all people are human; not all humans are people.

          by Jon Sitzman on Tue May 13, 2014 at 03:00:29 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Interesting; first I've heard of a co-defendant (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          kfunk937

          The story in your link makes only passing mention of a "Lewis."

          Poking around online, I find that Leroy Lewis is mentioned as Campbell's accomplice in the 2007 appellate opinion, but it doesn't go into Lewis' trial, if any. There are also a couple of evidentiary disputes that the court unanimously ruled in favor of the state, holding that even if the jury had been told about the state's problems in handling (or mishandling) the evidence against Campbell, they would still have sentenced him to death. The police lab responsible for the evidence was shut down in 2002.

          It seems Leroy Lewis got to the cops first, and copped a plea in exchange for a 35-year sentence.  I wonder did Lewis manipulate Campbell into committing the crime, then put the hat on him to avoid a death sentence of his own?

          But this is undoubtedly all water under the bridge, and Texas should protect its society even more with yet another execution.

          •  The low IQ (0+ / 0-)

            or conditions like fetal alcohol spectrum disorders often lead to being the one left holding the gun.

            I would imagine that he wasn't the mastermind of this horrible crime.

            We need a world in which we ask "What's happened to you?" more and "What's wrong with you?" less. (From a comment by Kossack nerafinator)

            by ramara on Tue May 13, 2014 at 05:20:40 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

      •  We have a thoroughly perverse system. (0+ / 0-)

        The incentives are all for spurious or irrelevant claims (an IQ point here or there, knowing who manufactured your poison...really, who makes this shit up?), rather than for claims of actual innocence or diminished responsibility because of social deprivation.  

        It's not the side effects of the cocaine/I'm thinking that it must be love

        by Rich in PA on Tue May 13, 2014 at 01:22:03 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  We do have a perverse system, (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          pittie70, Jon Sitzman, kfunk937

          But not for the reasons you think we do. "An IQ point here or there" Okay so if they're at freakin' 10 let's still off them. "Knowing who manufactured your poison" we want to know that so we can know the track record of the company making the chemicals. So that they don't screw up and cause an excruciatingly painful death. And so that if they do screw up and cause that, the company can be dealt with accordingly.

          Neither of those is in any way irrelevant. The mental capacity of defendants has always been a central part of law and it always will be. The Supreme Court has ruled on it. You can dislike it all you want, but it'll take a constitutional amendment to change it. And I highly doubt you can reach the threshhold for an amendment that says "You can now execute the mentally handicapped."

    •  You know it's funny (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Matt Z

      You didn't quite prove the convicted is of sound mind.

      I mean, I'm just saying.

      Almost everything you do will seem insignificant, but it is most important that you do it.

      by The Termite on Tue May 13, 2014 at 01:27:14 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  That's really not the point. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      The Termite, kfunk937

      Any murder is awful. Try telling the family of a victim that the murder of their loved one wasn't so bad and the plea bargain that allowed the murderer to live is just fine with you, because that's what happens most of the time. So what we have is a situation where a few people are executed for murder and the vast majority are not. In my book, you either execute all murderers or none. In 2011, there were over 1000 murders in Texas. So Texas should be executing about 20 people per week. It doesn't. Why? The answer is that the death penalty is a kind of lottery in which a very small number of murderers get the ultimate penalty. This is analogous to being pulled over for speeding and, instead of a fine like 95% of everyone else, you get 5 years in jail. You would likely protest that this was grossly unfair. That's all I am saying. Everyone guilty of the same crime should get the same punishment. That's called justice and the death penalty clearly isn't, no matter what you think of an individual case.

      Voting is the means by which the public is distracted from the realities of power and its exercise.

      by Anne Elk on Tue May 13, 2014 at 01:28:58 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I do beg your pardon, Hunter... (5+ / 0-)
    The whole premise of the capital punishment fetish is an obsession with maximal revenge under color of law; dodging the law in order to better exact that revenge is a sentiment not very far afield from the original crimes themselves.
    I'd say it's not afield at all, but directly of a piece.

    Not all people are human; not all humans are people.

    by Jon Sitzman on Tue May 13, 2014 at 01:05:43 PM PDT

    •  When they admit the GOP is a death cult? (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      old mule

      Seriously, there is clearly ONE REASON and one reason only that the GOP is obsessed with killing people in this and so many other ways: THEY LIKE KILLING PEOPLE.

      They are a death-obsessed cult of psychopaths who would, if given half a chance, slaughter 90% of all life on earth.

      And NO this is not hyperbole. Stop taking each of these events as if it were a stand alone occurrence and look at the history, whether it's conservatives who love the death penalty, love torture, love dropping bombs on defenseless innocents, love to shoot people as part of an army, love to slaughter defenseless animals for "fun," and love to fantasize about how they are going to use ALL of their guns all at once to kill, kill, and triple kill anyone who dares to violate their personal space.

      Conservatives are death cultists. They encourage death, engage in death sports, fantasize about death, and kill as often as the law allows or they can get away with. They even commit perjury and fraud in order to kill as state actors.

      It's a death cult.

      •  Frogbert, What about Bill Clinton and (0+ / 0-)

        Ricky Ray Rector?

        New Republic: So are the left-wing blogs as bad as the Tea Party ones in this case? -------------------------Chuck Schumer: Left-wing blogs are the mirror image. They just have less credibility and less clout.

        by AlexDrew on Tue May 13, 2014 at 02:17:37 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Valid point (0+ / 0-)

          I'm not suggesting that there aren't sickos in the Democratic party either.

          But the GOP is a continual love fest of death. Being a death cultist is pretty much required to be a GOPer. Whereas the majority of the left is opposed to the death penalty, war, torture, senseless bloodshed, and all the other death obsessions of the right.

          The left is genuinely pro-life, the right is pathologically pro-death and suffering in all its forms.

  •  Who is it? (8+ / 0-)

    "Texas to execute mentally disabled man", is it Rick Perry?

  •  This diary should have a poll (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    leftist vegetarian patriot

    about whether is is more or less egregious than executing an innocent person.

    You know, for those amongst us who care to rank this type of thing . ..

    •  Ruben Bolling has drawn several cartoons (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      kfunk937

      that touch on this in his Tom the Dancing Bug series.

      Here's one.

      I oppose the use of the death penalty in our "justice" system, period, in all circumstances. The fact that those who support it usually make exceptions (at least theoretically) for mental incapacity proves only that for them, capital punishment is not about or for anything but retribution and punishment of people able to understand what is happening to them. The criminal justice system certainly is not designed to rehabilitate criminals. Nor is it designed to protect the rest of society from them. It also certainly isn't designed to be cheap for taxpayers. It isn't even designed to be just (as incredibly disparate sentencing for comparable crimes shows). It is a money-driven system enabled both by apathy and by power fantasies of control and retribution against "bad" people we fear.

      This man's mental incapacity makes him no less dangerous or guilty of the crime he was convicted of committing than a person who committed similar crimes as an Ivy League graduate. If I supported capital punishment, his lack of reasoning ability would be, for me, no bar to executing him. However, the law prohibiting his execution on grounds of incapacity would be, as I am usually a fairly law-abiding type, even when the laws are ones with which I disagree. As for the exceptions to that "usually", well, it's not as if you can call executing people the law says you cannot acts of civil disobedience.

      Then again, to be such a person in the first place I'd almost have to be vengeful enough to overlook the error rate in convictions in capital cases and the higher cost to society of capital sentences and perhaps I would be the sort of criminal who breaks the law he is supposedly attempting to uphold.

      My country, right or wrong; if right, to be kept right; and if wrong, to be set right.
      --Carl Schurz, remarks in the Senate, February 29, 1872

      by leftist vegetarian patriot on Tue May 13, 2014 at 01:59:52 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Can't the Lawyers (0+ / 0-)

    at least petition the Supreme Court for a stay?

  •  Shame on those responsible for this (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    gffish, Aquarius40, old mule, kfunk937, rbird

    in the United States.  This brings shame upon our country.  Like Torture it is an abominable act and it must be ended.  Once again, the US is singular among advanced developed nations in coing this barbarism.

    Maybe the Holy Father will speak out against this too.

  •  I saw the headline and the image and thought... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    gffish, k9disc

    oh damn, their going to execute Rick Perry?

    It would be revealing if Perry found that Christian spirit he pretends to have and showed a little forgiveness, empathy and compassion for this man.  Please Perry, show us that you are what you say.

    The most un-convincable man is the one whose paycheck depends on remaining unconvinced. -- H. L. Mencken

    by kharma on Tue May 13, 2014 at 01:12:11 PM PDT

    •  I don't think that is reasonable. (0+ / 0-)

      I think it's a bridge too far to ask us to have any forgiveness, empathy, or compassion for Campbell.  If that's the choice put to society-- those things, or execution-- then execution will win and as far as I'm concerned it's just dueling depravities.  The only interesting question is whether it's in society's interests to put him to death. he has no claim on anyone's good feelings.

      It's not the side effects of the cocaine/I'm thinking that it must be love

      by Rich in PA on Tue May 13, 2014 at 01:19:30 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  You don't need compassion (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        leftist vegetarian patriot

        to ensure that the law of the land is followed, and in this case, the law of the land is that he cannot be executed, per the US Supreme Court, if he is mentally disabled. This is a question that the courts have not satisfactorily answered in his case yet, and yet the execution may proceed. This is horrifying. Not because we feel bad for him, but because we want to uphold the rule of law when it comes to dispensing that most ultimate of punishments.

        "As the madmen play on words, and make us all dance to their song / to the tune of starving millions, to make a better kind of gun..." -- Iron Maiden

        by Lost Left Coaster on Tue May 13, 2014 at 01:24:47 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I know- I'm saying that the previous comment (0+ / 0-)

          ...muddies the waters by identifying anti-DP advocacy with sentiments that I would never, ever, ever endorse.  Compassion, empathy, and forgiveness have absolutely no place in the discussion as far as I'm concerned.

          It's not the side effects of the cocaine/I'm thinking that it must be love

          by Rich in PA on Tue May 13, 2014 at 01:28:42 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Many anti-DP people are Catholics (2+ / 0-)

            And their religion makes a pretty big deal about compassion, empathy, and forgiveness.

            However, I'm not religious, and I see what you're saying -- I am all for practicing compassion, empathy, and forgiveness, including with many criminals, but regarding the worst of the worst, the murderers and rapists, society must be protected, and some crimes are indeed unforgivable. But I am still strongly anti-death penalty, in 100% of cases, for many other reasons. Life without parole is the best sentence for the worst offenders. To be humane is for our sake, not for them.

            "As the madmen play on words, and make us all dance to their song / to the tune of starving millions, to make a better kind of gun..." -- Iron Maiden

            by Lost Left Coaster on Tue May 13, 2014 at 01:36:25 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

      •  Compassion for Campbell (0+ / 0-)

        in the Buddhist sense would not mean letting him out. It means trying to see how to help him become a less disastrous person, to himself as well as to others.

        Practicing empathy for the evil does not mean agreeing with them. It should mean being able to see how they got that way well enough to work on preventing it in others.

        I'll let Christians weigh in on forgiveness. I know that their God is supposed to forgive the sins of the truly repentant. I haven't heard that Campbell ever repented.

        There was a mass murderer named Angulimala who did repent, and turned Buddhist monk, in the time of Shakyamuni Buddha. You can read up on his case if you like. He did not ask for forgiveness, but accepted the consequences of his previous karma.

        Back off, man. I'm a logician.—GOPBusters™

        by Mokurai on Tue May 13, 2014 at 06:43:08 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  You know what they say... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    puakev, BenderRodriguez

    ...Bad people make bad law.  And this is a seriously bad person, for whom there's no plausible case that low IQ makes him any less bad.  While I admire the (so to speak) suicide mission of people who want to make this case an example of the badness of capital punishment, surely there are cases where the absolute or even relative guilt of the condemned person is in doubt.  I'd go with those cases.

    It's not the side effects of the cocaine/I'm thinking that it must be love

    by Rich in PA on Tue May 13, 2014 at 01:14:27 PM PDT

    •  It's not so much the "badness of capital (2+ / 0-)

      punishment", but evidence of the willingness of those who tout the rule of law to then flout that rule of law to get what they want. In this case, they think it is worthwhile to hide evidence (not exculpatory, but evidence that the punishment is inappropriate), lie to all involved, and the very courts who should be correcting this behavior are complicit in it.

      •  I don't accept the claim, though. (3+ / 0-)

        There's overwhelming evidence that Campbell understood that killing was wrong, that death is final, and that he controlled his own actions, which are the only three relevant issues when it comes to criminal responsibility.  If the state had covered up anything about those things, I'd be concerned.  

        It's not the side effects of the cocaine/I'm thinking that it must be love

        by Rich in PA on Tue May 13, 2014 at 01:24:32 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Whether you accept it or not, (4+ / 0-)
          The execution of mentally retarded defendants violates the Eighth Amendment's ban on cruel and unusual punishment.
          Atkins V. Virginia. It's illegal and unconstitutional to execute him when on THREE SEPARATE TESTS he was proven to be mentally retarded.

          It isn't okay to tell the Supreme Court to fuck themselves and do what you want anyway. We have the system we have for a reason, to put constraints on various parts of government.

        •  Those are not the issues (0+ / 0-)

          when it comes to the punishment meted out for those crimes, though. No one is contesting his guilt; he did it. However, he does not meet the criteria for a person to be executed, and the state of Texas hid that fact so that they could execute him in defiance of their beloved "rule of law" (which apparently does not apply to them).

    •  The fact is that the SCOTUS is clear on this issue (5+ / 0-)

      And just because he is a bad guy does not mean that we just let a potentially unconstitutional execution slide.

      We don't sit around, letting people die in contravention of the Constitution, waiting for our perfect posterchild for the anti-capital punishment movement.

      And there is nothing wrong with pointing out that the State of Texas's zeal to execute could be leading it to directly contravene a US Supreme Court ruling. What in the hell is the point of having an anti-capital punishment movement if we don't speak up now? It isn't about letting this guy off the hook. My hope is that he would have his sentence commuted to life with no parole.

      "As the madmen play on words, and make us all dance to their song / to the tune of starving millions, to make a better kind of gun..." -- Iron Maiden

      by Lost Left Coaster on Tue May 13, 2014 at 01:22:53 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I am confused. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        BlackSheep1

        So you'd imprison a mentally retarded man for life, would you?  Sounds pretty cruel and unusual to me.  In the end this is, of course, about letting someone off the hook in that we're sparing them something that they clearly don't want.  

        It's not the side effects of the cocaine/I'm thinking that it must be love

        by Rich in PA on Tue May 13, 2014 at 01:26:34 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  It isn't considered (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Lost Left Coaster

          Cruel and Unusual by the Supreme Court/Constitution to imprison them for life. So-called constitutional conservatives trampling the constitution is a massive issue. It's hypocrisy at its finest.

        •  I'm confused as well (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          leftist vegetarian patriot

          So now you're concerned for his well-being and think he would be better off being executed?

          Life imprisonment is pretty hard on anyone and it should only be reserved for the worst offenders. But the Supreme Court has ruled that mentally disabled offenders cannot be executed. If he is mentally disabled, then he cannot be executed, and I think that in his case this question hasn't been sufficiently addressed by the courts. Once again Perry and the Texas "justice" system are trying to speed a condemned man past the point of no return as quickly as they can.

          "As the madmen play on words, and make us all dance to their song / to the tune of starving millions, to make a better kind of gun..." -- Iron Maiden

          by Lost Left Coaster on Tue May 13, 2014 at 01:41:04 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  No, the purported legal maxim is (0+ / 0-)
      Hard cases make bad law.
      often misquoted as
      Bad cases make bad law.
      It has, in fact, no legal force whatsoever. Its only use has been to argue that the law is the law, no matter what circumstances it applies to, and therefore judges should provide no equitable relief; or that a judge should make some unwarranted exception to the law having nothing to do with either law or equity.

      If you have law or equity on your side, you argue them. And if not, you appeal to emotion.

      And if it were what you claim, Rick Perry and others like him would be the bad people making the laws, or as in this case asserting their right to break them.

      Back off, man. I'm a logician.—GOPBusters™

      by Mokurai on Tue May 13, 2014 at 06:54:15 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Irony (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    furrfu, stevemb

    The article is laid out so that Gov. Perry's photo appears just below the heading "Texas to execute mentally disabled man."  For all too brief a moment, I experienced the thrill of hope.

  •  The man about to be executed (6+ / 0-)

    and his accomplice kidnapped a woman, Alexandra Rendon, he then drove her to a field where he and his accomplice raped her, and then made her run and shot her in the back.  Then he bragged about it to his friends.

    On another occasion, he kidnapped a woman and her 8-year old son, raping the woman, and was about to kill both but fortunately that time his accomplice talked him out of it.

    http://www.houstonchronicle.com/...

    I can understand if this guy had down syndrome or something.  But whatever his IQ, he sure sounded like he knew exactly what he was doing.

    If you oppose the death penalty, this guy definitely shouldn't be your poster boy.  

    "Those who have wrought great changes in the world never succeeded by gaining over chiefs; but always by exciting the multitude." - Martin Van Buren

    by puakev on Tue May 13, 2014 at 01:24:19 PM PDT

    •  Yes but this is about rule of law (3+ / 0-)

      and respect for the SCOTUS and the Constitution. Texas is trying to speed him to death when his execution may well be unconstitutional. This is the concern here.

      I am anti-death penalty in 100% of cases, but I am not opposed to punishing someone like him who has committed such horrendous crimes. He should be in prison for life.

      "As the madmen play on words, and make us all dance to their song / to the tune of starving millions, to make a better kind of gun..." -- Iron Maiden

      by Lost Left Coaster on Tue May 13, 2014 at 01:42:38 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  The Governor of Texas cannot commute a (0+ / 0-)

    sentence, only stay an execution. Not that they often do even that.

    SPES MEA IN DEO EST.

    by commonmass on Tue May 13, 2014 at 01:27:31 PM PDT

  •  I'm disappointed to see so many Kossacks (9+ / 0-)

    in favor of state sanctioned murder and Old Testament vengeance.

    Is imprisonment for life not enough for some of you, in some of the most brutal conditions in the civilized world enough for you, or must you have blood, too?

    SPES MEA IN DEO EST.

    by commonmass on Tue May 13, 2014 at 01:31:15 PM PDT

    •  Yes, in some cases, I want an eye for an eye. (0+ / 0-)

      He treated her like an animal. Fuck him!!!!

      New Republic: So are the left-wing blogs as bad as the Tea Party ones in this case? -------------------------Chuck Schumer: Left-wing blogs are the mirror image. They just have less credibility and less clout.

      by AlexDrew on Tue May 13, 2014 at 02:21:05 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  So, you'd follow the Bible, and (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        commonmass

        not the US Constitution, Supreme Court finding, and rule of law?

        Just asking.

        I'm part of the "bedwetting bunch of website Democrat base people (DKos)." - Rush Limbaugh, 10/16/2012 Torture is Wrong! We live near W so you don't have to. Send love.

        by tom 47 on Tue May 13, 2014 at 03:06:48 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  A combo, which is sorta what we have. (0+ / 0-)

          Why choose?

          New Republic: So are the left-wing blogs as bad as the Tea Party ones in this case? -------------------------Chuck Schumer: Left-wing blogs are the mirror image. They just have less credibility and less clout.

          by AlexDrew on Tue May 13, 2014 at 03:10:47 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  An eye for an eye was a limitation (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        commonmass

        not a command - and Old Testament

        And Jesus limited it even more ...

        And we don't need the Bible or Koran or anything else...

        Capital punishment is state sanctioned murder ...decent human beings do not kill people ...

        The penal system should rehabilitate the criminal and protect society ... capital punishment does neither

        and executing people who lack full mental capabilities is a crime against human decency

        Give your heart a real workout! Love your enemies!

        by moonbatlulu on Tue May 13, 2014 at 04:37:24 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  When I saw the headline, "Texas to execute (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    k9disc, Matt Z, stevemb

    mentally disabled man," and immediately beneath it saw a picture of Rick Perry, my first thought was that such punishment was rather harsh for that reactionary, not-too-bright, teabagger governor.  Then I read the article.

  •  They are going to execute Rick Perry? nt (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Matt Z

    Democracy - 1 person 1 vote. Free Markets - More dollars more power.

    by k9disc on Tue May 13, 2014 at 01:35:27 PM PDT

  •  God seemed quite clear ... (0+ / 0-)

    "Thou shalt not kill", then the lawyer types started to chime in and began to equivocate what God meant; kill, murder, self defense, war, punishment, sacrifice ....Oy vey!


    I’m not a big fan of vegetable gardens. Like my chickens, I prefer my salads to be cage free.

    by glb3 on Tue May 13, 2014 at 01:39:56 PM PDT

    •  God was a little confused in the story (0+ / 0-)

      Right after Thou shalt not kill came the order to go into Canaan and kill men, women, children, and even animals, which Joshua then bragged about doing in horrific detail.

      Back off, man. I'm a logician.—GOPBusters™

      by Mokurai on Tue May 13, 2014 at 07:02:56 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  When I read the headline (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    stevemb

    Then saw Rick Perry's picture, my first thought was that he was the person Texas was gonna execute...

    Just another day in Oceania.

    by drshatterhand on Tue May 13, 2014 at 01:40:27 PM PDT

  •  Someone very near to me was murdered (2+ / 0-)

    most brutally some years back.   I dreamed of and thirsted for revenge...but at the personal level...me to him.   Having the state sanctioned to kill the killer would not evoke any feelings of satisfaction in my mind and heart.

    State sanctioned killing be it via war or to captive prisoners....demeans all of humanity.  For all that our species is sometimes brilliant we are in the main a tribal backwards species.

    "When wealth rules, democracy dies." Me

    by leema on Tue May 13, 2014 at 01:44:42 PM PDT

  •  Why don't we just go back to stoning? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    old mule

    Heck, it's in the Bible, it's free, and there's plenty of rocks in Texas.

    I see you drivin' 'round town with the girl I love / And I'm like / Please proceed, Governor. - Dave Itzkoff

    by Jensequitur on Tue May 13, 2014 at 01:48:27 PM PDT

    •  I say we stick to lethal injections. (0+ / 0-)

      New Republic: So are the left-wing blogs as bad as the Tea Party ones in this case? -------------------------Chuck Schumer: Left-wing blogs are the mirror image. They just have less credibility and less clout.

      by AlexDrew on Tue May 13, 2014 at 02:22:13 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Well of course. Because Rick Perry. (0+ / 0-)

    And also too, Texas.

    Our government is not yet small enough to drown in a bathtub. That doesn't mean it can't be waterboarded.

    by furrfu on Tue May 13, 2014 at 01:48:52 PM PDT

  •  Well, since the SCOTUS (2+ / 0-)

    said it's against the Constitution to execute a retarded individual...

    ...therefore to do so while deliberately withholding his disabled status from evidence is murder.
    ...And in Texas, well... what do they do with murderers?

    "Much of movement conservatism is a con and the base is the marks." -- Chris Hayes

    by raptavio on Tue May 13, 2014 at 01:49:45 PM PDT

  •  Rachel had a long segment about... (0+ / 0-)

    this impending execution last night... sounds like the drug concoction may lead to another botch like Oklahoma...

    "Really nice, but also very serious about his job." Jackie Evancho on President Obama 6/7/12

    by BarackStarObama on Tue May 13, 2014 at 01:53:14 PM PDT

    •  Nah- Texas is very efficient at killing people (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      AlexDrew, kfunk937

      Lot's of practice during Perry's reign as Governor for Life.

      More than any other place in the United States, Huntsville is the capital of capital punishment. All of the 515 men and women Texas has executed since 1982 by lethal injection and all of the 361 inmates it electrocuted from 1924 to 1964 were killed here in the same prison in the same town, at the red-brick Walls Unit. Texas accounts for nearly 40 percent of the nation’s executions.
      http://www.nytimes.com/...

      Good thing we've still got politics in Texas -- finest form of free entertainment ever invented.- Molly Ivins

      by loblolly on Tue May 13, 2014 at 01:57:48 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Ever seen "The Seventh Sign"? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    kfunk937

    There was just such an execution in it that was supposedly one of the signs of the End Times. Though, I suspect that wouldn't do much to dissuade the RWNJ's... they seem intent on bringing about the apocalypse. So they can all be raptored to Zion or some such.

    I'll believe corporations are people when one comes home from Afghanistan in a body bag.

    by mojo11 on Tue May 13, 2014 at 02:00:42 PM PDT

  •  When I saw the diary title and then saw (0+ / 0-)

    the photo below, I thought: "Finally, Texas is going to get rid of that dimwit of a Governor they have!"

    To be great is to be misunderstood

    by LordFairfax on Tue May 13, 2014 at 02:07:53 PM PDT

  •  It's not about a poster boy (3+ / 0-)

    It's about rule of law and what kind of a society we want to be.

    In a murder case, it is The State versus The Defendant.  It is not The Victim versus The Defendant or even The Family of The Victim versus The Defendant.

    It's The State who prosecutes because what is being litigated is a violation of the laws of The State.  From the pettiest public intoxication charge, right on up to murder, what is at issue is a violation of the law.

    Law.  Not morality.

    The State is not a moral actor, and thank fucking god! Because The State would be as bad at it as a corporation is.  Individual humans are capable of exercising, debating and caring about ethics and morality, but The State is not and should not.

    What we hope for is that The State will be a rational actor.  The State is an organization that We The People create to provide structure which allows us all to live in liberty and pursue happiness together.  That means that some of your liberty is curtailed, specifically at the point where you step upon my rights to life and liberty and property.

    You can't take my stuff, you can't imprison me and you can't kill me, even though it's a free country and it might make you really happy to, you can't.  Your liberty ends where my rights begin.

    We have chosen to allow the state to curtail our liberties generally, with laws, and specifically, with penalties for breaking those laws, in order that we can form a society that  ideally puts nearly everyone in a position to live and have stuff and be happy.

    Criminal sentences are not moral judgments.  They are just that: criminal sentences.  They are an enforcement mechanism because laws without penalties are just suggestions - like reserved parking without a "violators will be towed" sign, they would be ignored without penalties.  The primary rational purpose for criminal penalties is to keep people from breaking the law.

    The death penalty, however, flies in the face of all of that.  The death penalty is not rational.  It does not have a deterrent effect.  Obviously it does not rehabilitate and it does not really punish any more than incarceration does (assuming that we're civilized enough to agree that deliberately torturing a man to death is not what the death penalty is meant to be).  Beyond that it costs more money than lifetime incarceration and places us in pretty terrible company world-wide.

    It is not rational for the state to impose the death penalty, so that only leaves one reason for the death penalty to be imposed: vengeance.  We have chosen, paradoxically, irrationally, to have the state act out out our violent, murderous, vengeful instincts upon select criminals.  Not even all murderers get the death penalty, as has been pointed out above.  It is arbitrary who dies and who lives.  

    So, why?  Why choose a handful of people to murder in retaliation for their crimes and let others live?  We have chosen to have the state indulge a violent, irrational, and terrible part of ourselves for no other reason than some think, in theory, it would make us feel better if we were the victim (spoiler: it doesn't).

    Innocent or guilty, mentally competent or not, the problem with executing Campbell or any other person is that it turns us all into killers.  Bloodthirsty, vengeance-minded, primitive killers; killing for no other reason than because we were wronged.

    They who would give up an essential liberty for temporary security, deserve neither liberty or security. ~Benjamin Franklin

    by TehWondahkitty on Tue May 13, 2014 at 02:11:49 PM PDT

  •  Executions (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Homer177

    Are ghoulish. Barbaric. Oklahoma's recent horror show sickened me. Texas and Florida are two other states that need a remedial course in what it means to be part of the Union. If they can't civilize themselves, maybe we ought to let them secede. Rick Perry is one of the the most vacant, stupid people ever in politics. He's is a product of .... wait for it ... KARL ROVE.

    •  About that being a part of the Union stuff (0+ / 0-)

      Hard to make the case that this Union of ours is civilized, especially vis-a-vis the issue of capital punishment.

      Lots of states pushing to execute people not simply the two you mention.

      But I share your revulsion of executions.

      Welcome to Daily Kos. If you have any questions about how to participate here, you can learn more at the Community Guidelines, the Knowledge Base, and the Site Resource Diaries. Diaries labeled "Open Thread" are also great places to ask. We look forward to your contributions.
      ~~ from the DK Partners & Mentors Team.

      Words can sometimes, in moments of grace, attain the quality of deeds. --Elie Wiesel

      by a gilas girl on Wed May 14, 2014 at 04:47:26 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Not this guy, but all capital punishment (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    leftist vegetarian patriot

    The crime was horrific.  One perp got 35 years and the other the death penalty.  Who deserved what? Do you know?  Does anyone know?

    I do know what we the public deserve-- we the public deserve to be protected from people like this.  I also know that we don't have to kill anyone to be protected.  

    I also  know that we need to behave less like barbarians ourselves.  The issue here is not whether any one individual should be executed. The issue is whether our society is so sure of itself that it has the moral high ground and can fairly determine who should die for what.  

    I want to execute every investment banker who caused a suicide dUring the recession?  

    In term of the good to our society, it is a no-brainer.  Hang  the investment banker with his own alligator braces or the disabled person damaged for life.  Which makes our society safer?  Not gonna happen.

    The folly of mistaking a paradox for a discovery, a metaphor for a proof, a torrent of verbiage for a spring of capital truths, and oneself for an oracle is inborn in us." Paul Valery, French poet, essayist, philosopher, and curmudgeon, 1895

    by ATexican on Tue May 13, 2014 at 02:22:01 PM PDT

  •  That is amazing. The fifth circuit usually wants (0+ / 0-)

    to administer the coup-de-grace.

    Ted Cruz president? Pardon my Vietnamese, but Ngo Pho King Way.

    by ZedMont on Tue May 13, 2014 at 02:49:45 PM PDT

    •  5th Circuit issues stay (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      New Dawning, kfunk937, flumptytail

      http://www.dallasnews.com/...

      Dallas News:

      5th Circuit stays today's Texas execution
      The Associated Press
      Published: 13 May 2014 03:04 PM
      Updated: 13 May 2014 04:39 PM

      HUNTSVILLE -- A federal appeals court halted the scheduled execution of a convicted killer in Texas on Tuesday so his attorneys can pursue appeals he is mentally impaired and ineligible for the death penalty.

      Robert James Campbell, 41, would have been the first U.S. inmate executed since a botched execution in Oklahoma two weeks ago. His two appeals challenged the state's plan to use a drug for which it will not reveal the source, as was the case with drugs used in Oklahoma, and claims of mental impairment.

      I'm part of the "bedwetting bunch of website Democrat base people (DKos)." - Rush Limbaugh, 10/16/2012 Torture is Wrong! We live near W so you don't have to. Send love.

      by tom 47 on Tue May 13, 2014 at 02:52:06 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  This is how conservatives prove themselves... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    moonbatlulu

    ..."tough" to their fellows. And their "ladies" just eat it up (they think, anyway).

    I wouldn't put Rick to death, however humanely, is he was as guilty of wanton murder as Ted Bundy or, more appropriately, Hitler.

    But I'm, like, a human being, while Rick is a monster-in-progress.

  •  Damn. I was hoping it was the guy in the picture. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Road to1 Escondido, stevemb
  •  maybe Perry (0+ / 0-)

    should consider that he should be executed as well, considering he is a very shady person to begin with. Never mind the fact that he is also mentally impaired.

  •  He probably watches (0+ / 0-)

    From closed circuit TV in his living room.  Seems as if the right enjoys punishing people with death without any guilt.  Dubya,Perry(who are distant cousins) are in the same row boat of eternal stupid people who are in power.  Something is definitely genetically wrong with this family tree.  Probably should start testing the Texans.

  •  At what point. (0+ / 0-)

    Does execution become torture?

    Only if they live, and survive the state's attempt to execute them?  Really, what kind of society do we want to live in?  We condemn the Nazis for what they did in Auschwitz, but the Republican audience cheered Perry who bragged about the number of executions he had ordered.

    It makes you wonder!

    Voters should select people to represent them in their government. People in government should not select people who may vote!

    by NM Ray on Tue May 13, 2014 at 08:47:01 PM PDT

    •  "At what point does execution become torture?" (0+ / 0-)

      At the point of burning at the stake, disembowelment or drawing and quartering. The Founders understood this very well, and that was why they adopted the Eight Amendment. Punishments that deliberately prolong the dying process to inflict the maximum amount of pain and terror are justly banned.

      It is hard to see how in any of these well-publicized "botched" executions, the condemned suffered more than thousands of innocent persons who die every day from conditions such as heart disease. As long as we have capital punishment, we should dispatch the condemned as quickly and painlessly as feasible. We are not under any obligation to make death a pleasant experience, a la Edward G. Robinson in "Soylent Green."

      There is one and only one reason to oppose capital punishment, and that is the possibility of a miscarriage of justice. All the other reasons given fail to stand up to critical analysis.

  •  You know, the 5th C stayed this; but in truth (0+ / 0-)

    this repeat rapist, this convicted murderer, represents a continuing danger.

    He is like a dog with rabies.

    It is a principle of public health that rabid animals are put down -- if only to shorten the suffering attending their fatal disease.

    LBJ, Van Cliburn, Ike, Wendy Davis, Lady Bird, Ann Richards, Barbara Jordan, Molly Ivins, Sully Sullenburger, Drew Brees: Texas is NO Bush League!

    by BlackSheep1 on Tue May 13, 2014 at 10:18:18 PM PDT

    •  You're keen on euthanasia, then? (0+ / 0-)

      Rabid dogs are killed because they're infectious. The analogy would be with stray dogs. Interesting that you see mentally disabled people as equivalent to dogs.

      If he's a danger, lock him up and treat him. Texas spends more than enough on prisons. But that kind of thing would eat into profits too much, I guess.

      •  it's not the IQ number I see as equivalent (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Adolf Verloc

        to rabies. It's the rape and murder. Look at the case records.

        No, I'm not speaking to his IQ test results.
        I'm speaking to his record of rape and murder and attempts to repeat. Infectious indeed.

        Lock him up and treat him. Where, and how securely, and with what money? Answer those practical questions, please.

        It is a cold hard fact that no sexual predator has ever been "cured."

        LBJ, Van Cliburn, Ike, Wendy Davis, Lady Bird, Ann Richards, Barbara Jordan, Molly Ivins, Sully Sullenburger, Drew Brees: Texas is NO Bush League!

        by BlackSheep1 on Wed May 14, 2014 at 07:18:15 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Don't mess with Texas (0+ / 0-)

    it's enough of a mess already.

    The thing I'm wondering is when corporate execution will be permitted. Executions by corporations, not of them, I mean. States are allowed to murder people once the legal niceties are in place (ish), so it would seem a bit unfair that corporations aren't. (Low income foreigners aren't people, of course, unlike corporations, so no problem there.)

    Certainly, they can kill and allow to be killed with a certain amount of impunity. But it's not officially sanctioned (except when under contract, of course). I shouldn't worry. I'm sure corporate lawyers and think-tank denizens are working right now to correct this inequity.

  •  There is one and only one reason that I oppose (0+ / 0-)

    capital punishment, and that is the possibility of executing the wrong person. For that reason alone, I strongly oppose the practice.

    As far as I am concerned, all other reasons, especially those brought up in Campbell's case, are utter bilge. He is going to be executed with a drug cocktail, the provenance of which is not clear? Tough titty. I can pretty much guarantee that his death will be no more painful or unpleasant than the natural deaths of thousands of innocent persons every day.

    As far as the question of IQ is concerned, his one-point deficit on a test that he knew could be a matter of life or death to him does not impress me. Most murderers are not "Napoleons of crime," but the vast majority of people with mental disabilities lead decent and upright lives. Campbell committed a vicious crime, and there is no suggestion that "mental disease or defect" was a factor in his evil decision.

    Once again, I strongly oppose the death penalty out of concern for a miscarriage of justice. I have felt this way for many years. But many of the arguments against capital punishment are specious and need to be called out.

  •  Worth mentioning (0+ / 0-)

    The first time Bill Clinton was elected, I voted for Ralph Nader precisely because during the election Clinton flew back to Arkansas to preside over the execution of a man so mentally disabled he put part of his last supper away "to eat later."

    It's important to pay attention to our hypocrisies.


    A beggar on horseback lashes a beggar on foot. The beggars change places, but the lash goes on. --WB Yeats

    by kestrel sparhawk on Wed May 14, 2014 at 12:24:08 PM PDT

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