Thursday, November 19, 2015
Erwin Chemerinsky on the Death Penalty
Erwin Chemerinsky, who is the dean of UC Irvine's law school, writes a column for the Orange County Register every Thursday. Typically, Chemerinsky, a liberal, takes an issue and argues that the liberal side of the argument is the constitutional side while the opposing viewpoint is, naturally, unconstitutional.
Since Chemerinsky is opposed to the death penalty, he tries to argue that it must be unconstitutional (at least in California), which would come as a surprise to the framers of the Constitution.
Here is today's edition of Thursdays with Erwin.
Admittedly, it takes a lawyer to get around Chemerinsky's rather tortured reasoning, and a lawyer I am not. I do know that California has the longest appeal process in the nation for death penalty cases. Chemerinsky tries to downplay the role defense attorneys and their endless appeals play in this process, but it is hardly the fault of the prosecution side that the process takes so long. And Chemerinsky thinks this constitutes "cruel and inhuman punishment"?
And just who is this Earnest Dewayne Jones who Chemerinsky is taking sides with? Let's take a look.
This was not mentioned in Chemerinsky's article, nor was the name of Jones' victim, Julia Miller.
I don't have a problem with an appeals process, especially in capital cases. After all, we do want to get it right. California's absurd process only exists because the powers that be don't want executions in California at all though the citizens disagree. Claiming cruel and inhuman punishment after you tie up the process for so long is like the convicted murderer (no pun intended) of his parents asking for mercy on the grounds that he is an orphan.
Come to think of it, however, I guess the framers of the Constitution never heard of California, did they?