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Pretzel Logic

Tom Tomorrow
© Tom Tomorrow

If Scalia weren’t bad enough, we have his sidekick “Scalito”. It might have been overshadowed by other decisions, but yes, the Supreme Court did rule that capital executions could move forward, even though three recent executions resulted in long and apparently excruciatingly painful death, “the chemical equivalent of being burned alive”. Silly me, I thought the eighth amendment prohibited “cruel and unusual punishments”.

Rebecca Hendin
© Rebecca Hendin



  1. Michael wrote:

    While this didn’t make it into the decision, I found some peculiar and disturbing questioning and comments from a Justice (perhaps Roberts, I can’t remember…) that seems to have influenced the logic. The statement was that the 8th only prohibits punishments that are BOTH cruel AND unusual. So if a punishment is arguably cruel but not unusual (such as the widespread use of faulty drugs like midazolam), then it does not violate the 8th.

    Wednesday, July 8, 2015 at 1:15 am | Permalink
  2. Yudith wrote:

    Yes, too bad the drugs were not prohibited. The States that still use capital punishment would have had to find a less painful alternative, like hanging.

    Wednesday, July 8, 2015 at 4:51 am | Permalink
  3. Hmm wrote:

    So the unintended consequences of a purportedly painless lethal drug causing pain and anguish is not unusual?

    How Supreme.

    Wednesday, July 8, 2015 at 4:36 pm | Permalink
  4. John wrote:

    Michael is technically correct, as is the SCOTUS. It isn’t unusual if everybody does it. Cruel, yes; unusual, no.

    Friday, July 10, 2015 at 1:17 pm | Permalink