02 June 2009

Rick Perry has somehow killed more Texans than his predecessor George W. Bush

That's impressive, if you find state-sanctioned killing to be, you know, impressive.

How many of them were innocent?  Hard to say.  How many of the executions violated international law?  One that we know of:  

[L]ast summer Perry declined to grant a stay of execution in the case of José Medellin, a Mexican national who was sent to death row when he was 18 on rape and murder charges. Medellin, who was jailed in 1993, was kept ignorant of his right to talk to a consular official at the time of his arrest -- a right bestowed on him by the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations.

According to Amnesty International, "because of this treaty violation, José Medellín was deprived of the extensive assistance that Mexico provides for the defense of its citizens facing capital charges in the USA. The Mexican Consulate did not learn about the case until nearly four years after José Medellín’s arrest, by which time his trial and the initial appeal affirming his conviction and death sentence had already concluded."

Aside from becoming a major diplomatic flap between the U.S. and Mexico, the Medellin case eventually reached the U.S. Supreme Court, which ruled in March 2008 that the United States was obligated by international law to comply with an International Court of Justice decision that the U.S. provide judicial "review and reconsideration” of the convictions of some 50 Mexican nationals on death row in the United States. This did little to help Medellin however.

"Even President Bush, who signed scores of death warrants as Texas governor, concurred some time ago that the United States must honor its international obligations in this case," Amnesty International’s Larry Cox said in the run-up to Medellin’s execution. "There will be no clearer sign that Texas will have gone beyond the pale than if José Medellin's execution goes forward." Not surprisingly, Texas did just that, killing Medellin on Aug. 5, 2008.

It really is a different world down there in Texas.  

Maybe we should cut 'em loose.  They're not doing much for the other 49 states...

But then again, is it really just a Texan problem?  Or is this just another indicator of the divide that's turning the GOP into a regional party and the South into a banana republic unto itself?

"Executions in the U.S. have become largely a Southern practice," says Scott Cobb. "Last year, 95 percent of all executions were in the South. It is the legacy of the Old South and its history of slavery, lynchings and segregation that is the reason why the South executes so many people compared to other parts of the U.S.

Mmhmm.  The very Southern writer of this blog is oh-so-very surprised (My Dear!) that we're dealing with a distinctly Southern refusal to grow the hell up and catch up with the rest of the civilized world.  

Related:  For the eleventieth time, where the hell is Molly Ivins?  Dear Lord:  We need her back, plz.



  1. Medellin gave a verbal and written confession to gang rape and murder of a 16 year old girl and snapped her neck with his own foot. Why do you feel sorry for this vile man? He confessed to the crime!!! Liberals feel more compassion for the guilty than for innocent babies. You can keep your idea of "civilized" behavior. I have a long and growing list of things I love about The South!

  2. I believe you missed the point entirely.

    I don't understand why conservatives can't seem to grasp that disagreeing with a violation of international law, or disagreeing with state-sanctioned killing, doesn't amount to a support for the killer.

    It's sad, because I'm not making an argument that's difficult to understand.

    Put simply: There are laws. One is that, when a foreign national commits a crime, they are entitled to representation from their home country. Texas seems to think it's above the law, because Texas is always a bit worried about the size of its penis, relative to the other ones it sees in the locker room, because, in reality, Texas isn't the biggest ANYTHING in the US.

    As far as "civilized behavior," I think it's interesting that the United States is the only developed country in the world that still has the death penalty, but it's, as I noted, becoming a regional thing. The states of our union that most resemble Muslim theocracies keep the death penalty around, because they need to satisfy their bloodlust, I suppose.

  3. Rereading your comment...again, it's amazing to me that someone could in anyway interpret my post as "feeling sorry" for the killer. It's too absurd to even respond to, really.

  4. I realize that liberals have to compete to be the most intelligent and most compassionate person in every room they enter but there is no need to feel that I missed your point. I just had one of my own to make. This is a fundamental difference between liberals and conservatives.... Conservatives understand where liberals are coming from. Liberals believe that anyone who disagrees with them is somehow an idiot.
    Speaking of educating ourselves, How can say that your own neighbors and friends are filled with "bloodlust"? Maybe the long biased list of "stuff you read" is contributing to your inability to appreciate the beliefs of many of your fellow citizens.

  5. If you didn't miss the point, then how did you justify arguing that I had "sympathy" for the killer? That's called a strawman argument, and it's usually used when people are unwilling or unable to address an argument on its own merits.

    This is actually not about compassion at all. This is about respecting international law. And no, many conservatives have NO IDEA where liberals are coming from -- if you rely on Sean Hannity, Rush Limbaugh, or Bill O to tell you what liberals think, then you're clueless. Likewise, many liberals have no idea where conservatives are coming from, but THIS liberal makes a point of reading all sides of issues.

    So...back to the original point: Do you believe that the US has an obligation to live up to international law that we've already signed on to? Or do you believe the US is so special that we're above the law? Consider what your reaction would be if it were another nation failing to give due process to an American citizen.

    My bloodlust comment came from the fact that you immediately threw up the strawman argument, trying to deflect attention from the actual point, and went immediately to "BUT IT'S A KILLER BAD BAD BAD KILL IT BACK!"

    Which is, at heart, just a desire for revenge, a desire to do the same thing to the perpetrator that he did to someone else.

    Also bear in mind that my opposition to the death penalty is entirely separate from my support for the US following the law in situations like this.

    Oh, and why are we commenting anonymously?

  6. Oh ...and are you really committed to reading conservative sites/papers/editorials? Where are the non-liberal extremist blogs on your list?

  7. Did you really just use the phrase "liberal extremist"?

    Funny. Because, you know, the things liberals support are actually supported by, oh, a solid majority of Americans, for the most part.

    Anyway, though. Want to know how committed I am to reading the other side? The Corner @ National Review Online is in my blogroll.

    Yes, I read the verbal vomit of the K-Load (Jonah and Kathryn together), Victor Davis Hanson, Maggie Gallagher, Mark Steyn, and all those other buffoons, and I read them on a regular basis. I also read Clown Hall, and before he got sent away, I read Bill Kristol's column in the Times...he went a whole year without getting a fact right, and it was impressive, by God!

    Let's see, what else do I read...Well, Putz over at Instapundit, that's always fun...how that man is tenured is beyond me, but then again, it's a 4th tier law school in the South, so whatever. Fun watching he and Dr. Mrs. Putz "Go Galt," considering the fact that his salary is funded by taxpayers...

    More? I have more.

    For nutcase crazy anti-gay crap, I read the best nutter of all, Pastor Swank, the second best nutter, Peter LaBarbera (and his boyfriend Matt Barber)...

    Oh, and those people are not blogrolled on the side because I blogroll people who I RECOMMEND, not people I monitor and mock as needed.

  8. Edit: the Corner @ National Review is in my Google Reader, not my blogroll. There's all sorts of fun in my Google Reader.