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Friday, June 5, 2015

Nino's no-no

February 22, 1994:

Callins v. Collins, 510 U.S. 1141 (1994; emphasis added):
JUSTICE SCALIA, dissenting:  
Justice Blackmun begins his statement by describing with poignancy the death of a convicted murderer by lethal injection. He chooses, as the case in which to make that statement, one of the less brutal of the murders that regularly come before us — the murder of a man ripped by a bullet suddenly and unexpectedly, with no opportunity to prepare himself and his affairs, and left to bleed to death on the floor of a tavern. The death-by-injection which Justice Blackmun describes looks pretty desirable next to that. It looks even better next to some of the other cases currently before us which JUSTICE BLACKMUN did not select as the vehicle for his announcement that the death penalty is always unconstitutional — for example, the case of the 11-year-old girl raped by four men and then killed by stuffing her panties down her throat. See McCollum v. North Carolina, cert. pending, No. 93-7200. How enviable a quiet death by lethal injection compared with that! If the people conclude that such more brutal deaths may be deterred by capital punishment; indeed, if they merely conclude that justice requires such brutal deaths to be avenged by capital punishment; the creation of false, untextual, and unhistorical contradictions within "the Court's Eighth Amendment jurisprudence" should not prevent them.
June 4, 2015:

Gov. Pat McCrory on Thursday issued the first two pardons of inmates in North Carolina who were on death row, legally absolving a pair of men whom a judge last year exonerated of murder. The half-brothers had spent three decades in prison.
Death penalty opponents immediately called for a halt to capital punishment in North Carolina, saying the case proves again that innocent people are on death row.
The men are half-brothers who have mental disabilities and who, as teenagers, were coerced into confessing to the rape and murder of 11-year-old Sabrina Buie in Robeson County in 1983. Both men were sentenced to death, but Brown was later re-sentenced to life in prison.
Last year, a Superior Court judge threw out their convictions and declared them innocent, with the support of the local district attorney, Johnson Britt. Britt and defense lawyers agreed that DNA evidence surfaced linking someone else to the crimes.
“This has been a comprehensive and thoughtful process during the past nine months,” McCrory said, reading from a prepared statement at a news conference in Raleigh. “Based on the available evidence I’ve reviewed, I am granting pardons of innocence to Henry McCollum and Leon Brown. It’s the right thing to do.”

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