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The 'sound' of executions - audio from The Execution Tapes is an hour-long public radio special hosted by Ray Suarez featuring excerpts of recordings made in Georgia's death house during state electrocutions. You can find it here. Many thanks to the gentleman from Nova Scotia whose assistance to my site has been invaluable.





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Sunday, 6 February 2005
Justice Alice Robie Resnick - DUI

It doesn't really matter anymore who has a DUI. Everyone seems to have one. It's almost as if it's part of life. And like with most things that are ubiquitous it's not the offense any longer that draws attention but the response to it. Justice Alice Robie Resnick, of the Ohio Supreme Court and the only remaining democrat on that body got herself pulled over on suspicion of drunk driving. In Ohio. And we know that police cars these days have video cameras on them. And microphones. So the whole exchange was as they say 'caught on tape.' Ha. Well, wonders of wonders. She asks repeatedly to be let go, and informs the officer that she often rules in the favor of police in such cases. And she refuses the breathalizer. And so her license is suspended for a year. Tipsy Justice

Death-row inmate
(Ambrose Harris) denied bid to avoid execution for murder

I get more emails about this person than most any other death row inmate. Ambrose Harris, while on death row in New Jersey, killed another death row inmate. He was acquitted of that murder, the killing of Robert "Mudman" Simon. People ask me 'what happened to him now?' The answer is that he is still on death row in New Jersey and that the latest news is that his latest appeal has been denied. The other pertinent information about the death penalty in New Jersey is that there are still about a dozen inmates there and there have been no death sentences carried out since New Jersey reinstated the death penalty in 1982.
New Jersey Statutory information about death penalty procedures is here.

Great News for Constitutionality

Now Playing:Dashboard Confessionals- This Ruined Puzzle and Wallflowers-One Headlight.

Great News for Constitutionality

All kinds of good news from the Supreme Court which comes on the heels of the recent (bad) Hiibel decision (which allows the states to stop you and require you give your name-beyond the Terry Stop rules). There is the MISSOURI v. SEIBERT decision which said that the Miranda warning decision is still quite valid. Police must inform you of your rights to remain silent and that anything you say can and will be held against you. The 'work around' employed by police increasingly has been to question a person, then mirandize them, then question them again and then using the first interrogation to work the confession, information they are looking for. No no no said Justice Souter, joined by Justice Stevens, Justice Ginsburg, and Justice Breyer-with Justice Kennedy in concurrence. By saying no to this strategy, the police can no longer use it as a interrogation technique.

HAMDI et al. v. RUMSFELD,- Yaser Esam Hamdi, an American citizen was in Afghanistan when Northern Alliance people caught him. When the US figured out that he was American, he was taken to the US and has been in the Brig for the duration. He had been labeled as a 'enemy combatant' which would give him, according to the government, no rights at all and in fact this designation would make him eligable to be kept in jail, without lawyers and without contact -Indefinitely. Justice O’Connor, joined by The Chief Justice, Justice Kennedy, and Justice Breyer, concluded that although Congress authorized the detention of combatants in the narrow circumstances alleged in this case, due process demands that a citizen held in the United States as an enemy combatant be given a meaningful opportunity to contest the factual basis for that detention before a neutral decisionmaker. The court said that you can't just throw someone in a hole and forget about them, theoretically, he gets his day in court. We know that it takes an interminal amount of time to get your day in court even if there is no question about your right to be there. This guy, perhaps a bad guy, has spent that time in a cell and he is still in a cell. Logically, constitutionally, by every idea of what is supposed to be good about America, you cannot be tossed into a cell indefinitely, this brings to mind the horror stories about the Man in the Iron Mask, -the sorts of things that happen in historically distant times or in third world dictatorships. We could feel superior in the knowledge that we are protected by a constitution and those idiots in other countries weren't. Instead, we are forced to sit here for years and hope that the Supreme Court does the right thing for the constitution and the country.
Having said that, if the government has a case then they should bring it, and if they don't then let him go.

RASUL et al. v. BUSH- Do the Guantanamo Bay people have any rights at all? Again, they've been there for years now with the US government saying of course these folks have no rights and we could keep them detained indefinitely. No review of their detention, of their incarceration, of their situation. Well of course, it's not like they are americans after all with rights, like say, umm, Hamdi? Padilla? Oops, never mind bad argument. Again, late but the Supreme Court does the right thing, Held: United States courts have jurisdiction to consider challenges to the legality of the detention of foreign nationals captured abroad in connection with hostilities and incarcerated at Guantanamo Bay.

RUMSFELD V. PADILLA- Let's see, oops guys, wrong district, please refile again.

more here