Thursday, September 29, 2016

New Mexico revisiting capital punishment moral hazard

Despite the astronomical legal costs of prosecuting capital offenses, the grisly death of an Albuquerque girl and shooting death of a Hatch cop has prompted calls from small-government Republicans in New Mexico to resurrect the death penalty for certain crimes.

Earth hater Governor Susana Martinez has called a special legislative session to address budget shortfalls and lobby for reinstatement of state-sponsored killing.
Legislators and then-Gov. Bill Richardson repealed the death penalty in 2009. Though Martinez called to reinstate capital punishment when she took office in 2011, subsequent bills to bring back the death penalty languished early in her first term. [Santa Fe New Mexican]
A Nebraska study showed that that state spends about $14.6 million per year on the death penalty: a price New Mexico simply cannot afford to pay.

Senators in the single-chamber Nebraska Legislature voted 30-19 to override the veto of GOP Governor Pete Ricketts who supports the death penalty. Ricketts has retaliated by vowing to execute people on death row anyway after ordering drugs illegally from outside the United States.

Montana is grappling with capital punishment.
The ACLU says Attorney General Tim Fox has some explaining to do. Confronted with a challenge to the state's lethal injection cocktail, the Department of Justice leaned on a controversial medical expert last year to argue the sedative it planned to use to kill two death row inmates would work as quickly as Montana law requires. But Auburn School of Pharmacy Dean Lee Evans didn't say what state attorneys needed him to—at least not initially. [Missoula Independent]
South Dakota enjoys killing and has built an economy around death but Nebraska's move has stirred hopes in South Dakota that its legislature could follow suit. When he was in the legislature Republican Representative Steve Hickey said 46% of the state oppose the death penalty.
Conservatives who voted for the repeal cited their own personal principles, such bureaucratic overreach and fiscal recklessness involved in the process. So, in some ways, this has become a philosophical alignment, in which both conservative and liberal philosophies have melded together. ["]Do we want a government so big, so powerful, they can decide life and death?” stated District 18 Sen. Bernie Hunhoff (D) of Yankton in an Associated Press report. [editorial, Yankton Press & Dakotan]
Justice delayed is justice denied. No family should have to wait years, if not decades, to learn the fate of someone convicted of a capital crime.

Suicide by cop is commonplace. This November Colorado will vote for an end of life option.

The litigation costs of trying a capital crime persuaded Nebraska to abandon state-sponsored killing: how are the prices and the human costs of putting people to death against their will either conservative or sustainable?

Personally? This blog believes persons convicted of capital crimes should have the right to decide his or her punishment whether it be death or living a life of Hell in a prison cell.

The state-ordered death penalty looks far more like vengeance than justice: it's not self-reliance; it's moral hazard.

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