no. (roses_rejoice) wrote,

Death and Nino.

The boss recommended to me an extensive article on Scalia, in a magazine I don't normally read touch with a ten-foot pole except when it has a darn good true murder story innit. The Scalia article was pretty good but didn't contain anything surprising. Like, I can totally see him being special buddies with Ruth Bader Ginsburg. Two garrulous ethnic self-secure extremists, even if diametrically opposed. And I can equally totally see him not having too much to say to SOC, patrician politician that she is. I also find it amusing that as big of a Catholic as ol' Nino sets himself up to be, he completely rejects church teachings on the death penalty, thus making himself into just as much of a picky-choosy sort as the rest of everybody who rejects the Church's teachings on birth control or abortion or sex or gays or married clergy or you name it. I guess the only reason why I find him amusing rather than appalling is that he has enough of a sense of humor to remind me of about 14,000 other old ethnic Catholic geezers I've known, including several of my own uncles; maybe even of my own mom on a bad day. When they start to rant and rave on something doofy, you just go, Yeah, yeah, whatever, and go about your business, and pretty soon they're back to joking and acting all charming.

I did find one point interesting, though---some statement that American Christians/Catholics have an easier time with the death penalty than "secular Europeans" because the Christians/Catholics believe strongly in punishment for sins and do not see death as such a big deal due to belief in an afterlife. I don't understand defining "secular Europeans" as almost a new species, given that I meet just as many "secular Americans" (I assume the distinction from Europe is part of ye olde don't-give-in-to-the-international agenda), but I can totally see the punishment part, and the idea of death as not final. I have often found myself wondering, in the back of my mind, what is the big fat hairy deal about the isolated execution of someone who is clearly a "bad"/defective/broken/dangerous person---i.e. not the "hard cases", but a confessed serial murderer like Ross, or someone who is pretty much clearly guilty of heinous crime like that dude who burned some lady alive after she tried to loan him jumper cables in the mall parking lot. When I say that, I am not taking the responsibility of putting someone to death lightly; it's an awesome and difficult responsibility, and I absolutely believe there are cases where the death penalty is wrongly imposed due to a defective system, and I'm generally not happy with the haphazard state of our laws on the matter, although it's probably an improvement over the pre-Warren Court situation. But where the system works pretty much "as it should", I've never felt the kind of moral horror at putting someone to death that I know some other people, even some other lawyers, do. I think it's because I too fail to see it as final.
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