Friday, January 17, 2003

This is just utterly twisted.

Stewardship. Genesis tells us that we are created in God's image and that with that gift comes the responsibility for "...every living thing that moves upon the earth" (1:27-28). It follows that, as moral agents, women have the God-given responsibility to make decisions about the course of action that seems to them most responsible in cases of unwelcome pregnancy.
The SCOTUS upholds the constitutionality of "double jeopardy" death sentence.

The Constitution guarantees that no one will be "subject for the same offense to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb." That means that once acquitted of a crime, someone cannot be tried again.

Double jeopardy protection does not apply in Sattazahn's case, because the first jury did not acquit him but merely disagreed whether he deserved to die, Justice Antonin Scalia wrote for the court majority. He was joined by Chief Justice William H. Rehnquist and Justices Sandra Day O'Connor, Anthony M. Kennedy and Clarence Thomas.

Without having actually read the decision, I suppose the majority was correct insofar as the "double jeopardy" principle applies to convictions and not sentences. Still though...

Wednesday, January 15, 2003

I get the distinct impression that Pat Buchanan thinks the death penalty needs to be regularly imposed in this country.

Again and again, in Illinois and across America, people have voted to retain this ultimate sanction for the most vicious and vile killers among us. Our Constitution provides for a death penalty. For centuries, it has been a part of our criminal justice system. When Illinoisans elected [George] Ryan [governor], they were voting to retain it. Every killer on death row is there because a jury, after hearing all the evidence, voted unanimously to put him there.

Tuesday, January 14, 2003

Students in Mass. who were suspended for passing out candy canes with Bible verses on them have filed a lawsuit.

Eerily enough, a similar situation occurred last month at a high school in Reno, NV. However, after yours truly sent the school district a sternly worded demand letter, the decision to prohibit the candy cane distribution was reversed. They were smart; the school in Mass. wasn't.
More California cities decide to ban Jesus Christ from city council invocations.

The Superior Court of Los Angeles County ruled that such sectarian invocations violate the Constitution's separation of church and state. The appellate court upheld that ruling in September 2002. The Burbank council has not formally decided to appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court yet, but Mayor David Laurell said it's only a matter of time.

"I think we need to take this ruling to the highest court of the land," Laurell said. "It has already had statewide impact and could have nationwide impact."

Monday, January 13, 2003

Will you people in South Dakota please make Tom Daschle go away.
Justice Scalia publicly voices complaint on how the courts have gone too far in separating church from state.

As an example, he pointed to an appeals court decision in California that barred students from saying the Pledge of Allegiance with the phrase "one nation under God."

That ruling is on hold pending further consideration by the same court, but the Supreme Court could eventually be asked to review the case.