Thursday, January 19, 2006

Absolute Power Corrupts Absolutely

Supreme Court Justice Souter, the Republican appointee who undermined Americans' property rights illustrates Lord Acton's famous observation. He also considers that aged quadruple murderers should be spared the death penalty. We must hope that Roberts and Alito reamin uncorrupted by abolute power.
On Monday the U.S. Supreme Court denied a stay of execution to Clarence Ray Allen, who, as notes, murdered 17-year-old Mary Sue Kitts, 27-year-old Byron Schletewitz, 17-year-old Josephine Rocha and 18-year-old Douglas White...

Justice Stephen Breyer dissented from the court's order denying the stay (arguing):

"Petitioner is 76 years old, blind, suffers from diabetes, is confined to a wheelchair, and has been on death row for 23 years. I believe that in the circumstances he raises a significant question as to whether his execution would constitute "cruel and unusual punishment."

Still, only 3 of the 7 Republican appointed members of SCOTUS have turned liberal after their lifetime appointment, so there's hope that Roberts and Alito will stay uncorrupted.