In common parlance, “getting away with murder” is a metaphor for doing something wrong without suffering deserved adverse consequences. Getting away with actual murder has meant that the killer did not get caught, or else he avoided conviction or appropriate punishment thanks to a good lawyer (often taking advantage of judge-concocted rules favoring guilty defendants).
Because some occupations are hazardous, risking injury and death, Congress enacted the 1970 Occupational Safety and Health Act to protect workers. While no sane person would advocate avoidable unsafe working conditions for the law-abiding, this sensible view has been grotesquely perverted into an illustration of Justice Benjamin Cardozo’s famous reminder (51) of “the tendency of a principle to expand itself to the limit of its logic.”
In making the case for judicial review, Chief Justice John Marshall pointed out that judges take a sworn oath to uphold the laws of the United States. Until last month, it would have been unnecessary to stress that he was obviously referring to actual laws, not the unfulfilled fantasies of a lone member of Congress. Nevertheless, on July 7, in a case largely ignored by the media, dissenting Justices Breyer, Ginsburg, Sotomayor and Kagan carried judicial activism to new heights by advocating a stay of execution on the basis of an imaginary law.
THE MODERN ELITE RULING CLASS NOTION OF JUSTICE Cruel and Unusual Punishment of Victims By Lester Jackson, Ph.D. DOWNLOAD FULL ARTICLE
In a vitriolic column employing the very style for which she attacks Justice Anonin Scalia, Linda Greenhouse repeats the old banal “bad-boy” narrative of a long hostile media. This unanswered charge is misleading in the extreme.
What Greenhouse Wants Readers To Believe
Greenhouse asserts Scalia utterly lacks “pragmatism,” is “angry,” “enraged,” “furious,” “inflammatory,” “bomb-throwing,” “intemperate,” “self-indulgen[t],” “bullying,” and prone to “insults,” “put-downs,” “lashing out,” publicly “thrashing…a junior colleague” and, indeed, “undermin[ing] the court’s … legitimacy.”
Last April’s retirement announcement by Justice John Paul Stevens occasioned an outpouring of adulation: Champion of the Powerless. The Greatest Justice, etc. His absence from the new Supreme Court term renewed the love fest, evoking honor and award for his “open mind.” Liberal judicial activists depict him as an authoritative hero and saint (most recently: 60 Minutes’ Scott Pelley and The New York Times’ Adam Liptak).
Make no mistake. If the death penalty is “impossible in some jurisdictions,” it is almost impossible everywhere, including “bloodthirsty” Texas. Homicide does not entail anywhere near the same risk for murderers as for victims. This shocking fact is largely unknown: Between 1972 and 2008, there were 723,000 murders , more than the combined total of battle deaths in all our wars. [2-p43] As of the end of 2009, this resulted in 1,188 lawful executions (0.165%) . Texas had 446 executions for 66,337 murders (0.67%) .
This is not simply a matter of different state court judges.
THE VITAL IMPORTANCE OF A JUSTICE’S VALUES
Retiring Justice John Paul Stevens has long been the object of adulation. In 2005, President Ford said he was prepared for his presidency to be judged “exclusively” upon Stevens’ 30-year record. In the dominant media narrative, Stevens is just an old-fashioned and modest conventional Midwestern Republican, as was Ford. If he moved left at all, he is still “in the mainstream.” Jeffrey Toobin reverentially suggests he is “the last” moderate Republican on the Court and in the tradition of Harding and Coolidge.
“Recidivism among murderers does occasionally happen … the only way to prevent all … recidivism is to execute every convicted murderer – a policy no one seriously advocates … Governments that respect … justice and … human dignity… do not use premeditated, violent homicide as an instrument of social policy”
— American Civil Liberties Union
“Governor Huckabee “seemed genuinely surprised that he was held responsible for the criminal acts committed by those whose sentences he had commuted …. The notion … seemed as foreign to him as the idea that he should refuse all leniency.”
— former Huckabee campaign official
AN ERSATZ ISSUE
Serious implications for the capital punishment struggle arise from the hypocrisy of those who demand absolute perfection for convicted murderers but expect, excuse and shrug off imperfections resulting in preventable brutalization of the law-abiding.
The Inanity and Hypocrisy of Perfection
The premise is that irrefutably proving just one wrongful execution would justify, indeed require, abolition of capital punishment. For example, in finally deciding it was always unconstitutional, Justice Blackmun believed (n8) that courts “are unable to prevent human error from condemning the innocent.” The New Mexico and New Jersey Governors signed death penalty repeals partly on the stated ground that it is not “100-percent … perfect…never  wrong … foolproof.”
Fact suppression and the subversion of
what death penalty foes on the supreme court and in the media do not want the public to know
Lester Jackson, Ph.D.
The Federalist Society: Sotomayor Debate Comments Posted July 23, 2009
[Lester Jackson, Ph.D.] I was very disappointed that the Sotomayor hearings and debates almost totally ignored how activist justices have eviscerated the death penalty. There are few areas with so many concrete and easy-to-understand examples of how activism has harmed ordinary law-abiding citizens. I have written a detailed list of questions* based on actual specific egregious Supreme Court decisions that would shock a substantial majority if ever adequately reported (or even mentioned) by the media. No one should expect the questions to be answered honestly by any activist nominee. The main point is that they be asked repeatedly, now and in the future. Just doing so would raise public awareness of the damage caused by activist justices (including more murder victims).
Death Penalty Questions for Sotomayor
…and the Senators who vote to confirm her
By Lester Jackson Ph.D.
TCS Daily 16 July 2009
NOTE: Numbers in parentheses are pages and footnotes in the detailed paper downloadable here.
The death penalty has received little attention in the Sotomayor debate. However, when a massive 707,000 homicides in 36 years (one every 27 minutes) result in 1,136 executions (0.16%), capital punishment has been all but abolished (42-43). What remains is a costly, agonizing farce, dragging out cases for decades (48).
What they lack in popular support, death penalty opponents more than make up in tenacity, skill – and success. When a one-per-27 minutes, 36-year, 707,000 homicide holocaust results in 1,136 executions (0.16%), capital punishment has been all but abolished. What remains is a costly and agonizing farce, with a token few murderers served up to fool the public. The United States Supreme Court and other courts have played a major role, enormously aided by the media in suppressing critical information.
“The State of California may be about to execute an innocent man.”
— Judge William A. Fletcher, quoted with approval, NY Times, Aug. 14, 2009
“This Man Might Be Innocent. This Man Is Due to Die.”
— Time cover, May 18, 1992
“Virginia Executes Inmate Despite Claim of Innocence”
— New York Times headline, May 21, 1992
“The execution of a person who can show that he is innocent comes perilously close to simple murder.”
— Justice Harry Blackmun, Jan. 1993, citing Virginia execution as example
Death penalty supporters have long been frustrated by the brazen deceit of opponents on the courts and in the media. An Aug. 14 New York Times front-page putative news report featuring a May 11 decision provides what nowadays would be termed an illustrative “teaching moment.” This 1,117-word story uses just 40 perfunctory words contrary to its agenda after complaining that an order upholding Kevin Cooper’s death sentence was only 80 words.