Topic: Letter of The Law /
cruel and unusual?
There is no question that the capital punishment system is broken… especially here in California. I’ll let others argue about the pros and cons of the death penalty itself; for now it is the law of the land and the will of the people. The question, therefore, is what it will take to fix it.
I think the first thing is to reexamine our Constitution and to start questioning the morphed definitions used by both the opponents to the death penalty and by many of the members of our judicial system. Our founding fathers used the term “cruel and unusual”. They did not say “pain free” or intend that punishment should always be painless. Very few individuals would condone excessive amounts of inflicted pain or torture as being an acceptable part of the exercise of capital punishment; and that, I believe, is what the drafters of the Constitution wanted to guard against. However, to say that any imposition of capital punishment, or any other kind of punishment, for that matter, must be 100% pain free is to use convoluted semantics to defeat both the intent and the letter of the law.
The courts have made a similar mistake in failing to understand the distinction between “religion” and “God”. Our Constitution demands that organized religion cannot be comingled with the state; and except for those who believes in a theocracy, the benefits of keeping state and religion separate are obvious. But neither the founding fathers nor the Constitution ever intended to banish God from our private or public lives.
The second thing necessary to fix, not only our broken capital punishment system, but the entire judicial system, is for the courts to realize that there is no such thing as a “right” unless there is an equal and corresponding “responsibility”. If that was a predominant consideration by the courts during deliberation of these never ending appeals, many of the technicalities and loopholes would cease to exist, and the exercise of justice, rather than mere legalities, would be reinstated into our courtrooms.
But that’s just my opinion, and what would I know… I’m just a dumb cop.