Friday, January 27, 2012

Another Month with No Killing

They won't be killing Michael Webb next month.  In fact, they won't be killing anyone.
Mike DeWine, Ohio's Attorney General, personally told Judge Frost that the state wouldn't object to Webb's motion.
Frankly, it's hard to imagine that he had much choice (except to let a flunky do it for him; good for DeWine to suck it up and do it himself).  I mean, it's not like anything's changed in the two weeks since the 6th Circuit upheld the injunction against killing Charles Lorraine
because the State cannot be trusted.
And since nothing's changed, well then, you gotta figure that Frost was gonna grant the injunction and the 6th would uphold it no matter what.
Of course, DeWine's trying to get the the Lorraine stay lifted by the berobed one's in the nations capital.  On Friday he submitted an application to vacate that stay to the former Generalissima, Elena Kagan, who's the Justice assigned to the 6th Circuit.  Lorraine's lawyers have until Tuesday to respond.  But even if they get the stay lifted, that won't get Lorraine killed.  Given the current schedule of killings, he's probably got until sometime in 2014 at a minimum.  (Though March and May of this year are still open, for reasons that never seemed clear.)  More to the immediate point, the uncertainty and the near certainty that Webb would get a stay and it would stand up at least for a bit - well, enough.
Besides, as Alan Johnson wrote in the Columbus Dispatch, DeWine won't settle for half measures.
“We felt we had no choice,” DeWine said in an interview. “We’re not going to carry out another execution without it being perfect.”

He said the Department of Rehabilitation and Correction has made “great progress” in refining lethal injection procedures, “but we’re not quite done with that.” 
I mean, I guess we know they're not done aiming for perfection because they just abandoned their carefully worked out and (according to Judge Frost) perfectly constitutional protocol in mid-stream while killing Reginald Brooks.  You know, so they could do it better.
DeWine, of course, still claims that the protocol is constitutional.  And presumably he still has the judge's agreement.  Maybe now he understands that there's also a constitutional mandate to follow the protocol.  But I doubt it, since his claim remains that while they keep adjusting the protocol on the fly, in mid-murder as it were, they're doing that to make a terrific protocol into a perfect one and gee, the only question is whether the one they ignore is constitutional, which it is.
Yes, I know that's confusing.  So is their position.
But the bottom line is clear.  No murder in February.  Webb gets his stay.
Because there's the Rule of Law.  And even if DeWine just thinks it's a Law of Judicial Rule, he's willing to obey.

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