Monday, June 26, 2006

Scalia, Bastard

The Court just decided that, in capital cases where aggravating and mitigating factors are equal, it is not wrong to require death. It's exciting to know, of course, that the top five countries in terms of executions include such luminaries as China, Iran, North Korea, Saudi Arabia, and the United States.

But worse was Scalia's concurrence. He said,

The American people have determined that the good to be derived from capital punishment — in deterrence, and perhaps most of all in the meting out of condign justice for horrible crimes — outweighs the risk of error.

Um. No. This shouldn't be a risk-balancing test. You have a constitutional right not to be executed for a crime you didn't commit. The American people do not have a similar constitutional right to subject you to that risk for the purpose of retribution ("meting out of condign justice") or deterrence.

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