Friday, December 16, 2011

Pre-Holiday Presents and Other News Items

I could write about how death sentences are down.
I could write about how Judge Faye D'Opal of Marin County Superior Court said that California's six-year effort to revise its execution process resulted in an invalid procedure and the whole thing needs to be restartedJudge D'Opal explained.
The Initial Statement of Reasons (ISOR) and the Final Statement of Reasons (FSOR) each substantially failed to comply with the APA requirements by not considering and describing alternative methods to the three-drug protocol; by failing to provide a sufficient rationale for rejecting these alternatives; and by failing to explain, with supporting documentation, why a one-drug alternative would not be as effective or better than the adopted three-drug procedure, in violation of § 11346.2(b)(3)(A) and § 11346.9(a)(4).
“If an agency adopts a regulation without complying with the APA requirements it is deemed an ‘underground regulation’ (Cal. Code Regs., tit. 1, § 250) and is invalid. [Citation.].” (Naturist Action Committee v. California State Dept. of Parks & Recreation (2009) 175 Cal.App.4th 1244, 1250.)
I could write about how the feds have finally figured out that Sheriff Joe doesn't much like people of Hispanic descent.  Shame on him, they say. 
Per Marc Lacey in the NY Times.
“We have peeled the onion to its core,” said Thomas E. Perez, the assistant attorney general for civil rights, noting during a conference call with reporters on Thursday morning that more than 400 inmates, deputies and others had been interviewed as part of the review, including Sheriff Arpaio and his command staff. Mr. Perez said the inquiry, which included jail visits and reviews of thousands of pages of internal documents, raised the question of whether Latinos were receiving “second-class policing services” in Maricopa County.
Mr. Perez said he hoped Sheriff Arpaio would cooperate with the federal government in turning the department around. Should he refuse to enter into a court-approved settlement agreement, Mr. Perez said, the government will file a lawsuit and the department could lose millions of dollars in federal money. 
I could write about how President Obama decided that revisions to the defense authorization bill satisfied his concerns so he won't have to veto the bill.  This, of course, is the bill that, as Charlie Savage put it in the Times, authorizes
the government to detain, without trial, suspected members of Al Qaeda or its allies — or those who “substantially supported” them.
Former constitutional law professor Obama's concern, of course, wasn't that eternal detention of US citizens in military prisons simply because they are suspects might violate the Constitiution.  Pish tosh.  No, his concern was that the FBI would be hamstrung in its efforts to interrogate those folks.  The FBI still thinks it will, but his Barakness is no longer worried.
Those things and more could be the subject of this post.  And one or another might have been.
Except that the Ohio Supreme Court, bringing holiday cheer early (albeit slowly) to the prosecutors of Summit and Preble Counties, this morning granted their motions to kill.
  • Ronald Phillips is to be killed by the State of Ohio on November 14, 2013.
  • Dennis McGuire is to be killed January 16, 2014.
Presumably, neither Phillips nor McGuire will cherish this holiday gift.  Regardless, Ohio has now got murders planned more than two years into the future.
Justice Pfeifer, who on Wednesday explained that his personal opposition to the death penalty wouldn't prevent him from signing off on executions signed off on both murders.  
And there's still two weeks left to the year.

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