aTypical Joe: a gay New Yorker living in the rural South
Saturday, September 22, 2007
The McDade standard
The AJC’s special report on the death penalty in Georgia looked at 1,315 murder cases from 1995 through 2004 that could have been prosecuted for death. Prosecutors pursued a death sentence for one in four:
“It would make as much sense just to execute every 10th or every 100th murderer [as] it would be to figure out the rhyme or reason for why we’re picking the ones to get the death penalty,” said Atlanta defense attorney Jack Martin. [...]
Georgia’s 49 DAs use their own standards and values to decide whether to pursue death. They assess the strength of the case, the character of the victim, the wishes of the victim’s family and, sometimes, their gut.
“You know it when you see it,” Douglas County District Attorney David McDade said.
For more on McDade, see From “activist judges” to taking on “willfull prosecutorsÃ¢â‚¬Â�
Major AJC series: the Death Penalty in Georgia
From the introduction to day one of a four-day AJC series on the death penalty in Georgia:
Getting the death penalty in Georgia is as predictable as a lightning strike. Thirty-five years ago, the U.S. Supreme Court threw out the death penalty nationwide after finding it was arbitrary and capricious in Georgia.
It still is. Reforms that persuaded the high court to reinstate the death penalty have fallen far short of the state’s promises, the Journal-Constitution has found.
• Horrible murders are sometimes treated more leniently than lesser crimes. Reginald Acres, for instance, avoided death for viciously stabbing and killing his wife, infant daughter and a pregnant relative. But David Aaron Perkins is on death row for stabbing a drinking buddy and crushing his skull with a whiskey bottle.
• For 25 years, Georgia’s Supreme Court has flubbed a critical duty, repeatedly citing cases that had been overturned on appeal to justify other death sentences. (Day Four of this series will explore this issue in depth.)
• More prosecutors and juries are rejecting lethal injection in favor of life without parole. Since 2000, juries have decided against death in two of every three sentencing trials. The trend makes each remaining death sentence more out of step with punishment for similar crimes.
The newspaper’s investigation explored the darkest depths of human behavior. Court records told tales of torture, mutilation, child murder - the kinds of cases that give cops and jurors nightmares. They were also, the newspaper found, the kinds that often didn’t get the death penalty.
The Republican campaign against children and families
Political Insider has this latest example. The State Children’s Health Insurance Program (SCHIP) now insures 6.6 million low-income children:
The Good News: House and Senate negotiators struck a deal on PeachCare’s parent program Friday that would expand the program by $35 billion.
The Bad News: President Bush already announced he’d veto it.
Why? It would extend coverage to 4 million more kids by 2012.
As I reported last month, Tucker Carlson’s ratings are a sinkhole that is dragging down the whole of MSNBC’s schedule. I wondered when MSNBC’s programmers might come out of their nepotism-induced coma and drop the ax on Tucker. There are days when his numbers are barely half of either his lead-in, his lead-out, or both.
It would stand to reason that the network honchos would want to jettison the biggest loser on their team so that they might actually make some money during that time period. Certainly the programs adjacent to Tucker would be love to see him go as he is hurting their performance as well. Last June, in an apparent effort to staunch the bleeding, one of the two daily hours allotted to Tucker was replaced by a straight newscast. But half of Tucker is still a whole flop.
So what will MSNBC do now? I don’t know. But I do know that rumors a year ago that Tucker had been fired elicited this impassioned protest from cable’s fortunate son:“It’s bullshit. It’s total bullshit. I talked to Abrams last night. I’ve got another year on my contract. That’s my comment: Bullshit.”
If I’m not mistaken, I would conclude that he viewed the rumors of his demise as some sort of “bullshit,” but I could be wrong. However, I’m fairly sure that I’m correct in calculating that a year has transpired since his blustery declaration that he had another year on his contract. The expiration would come next month, to be precise.
Rudy & Hillary: Only one or THE only one
Media Matters has noted a JustHillary.com headline falsely labeling Clinton as the only Dem not to condemn MoveOn’s ad:
The JustHillary.com headline read in full: “BETRAYAL: Giuliani blasts Hillary for being only Dem not to condemn MoveOn's ad and linked to a September 21 article by Glenn Thrush and Craig Gordon posted on Newsday.com that reported that “Clinton was the only one of 25 senators, all Democrats, who opposed Texas Republican Sen. John Cornyn's [R-TX] amendment to 'strongly condemn' MoveOn.Org for running newspaper ads referring to the general as 'Betray Us.' “
A version of Thrush and Gordon's article, which correctly noted that Clinton was “only one of 25 senators” to vote against the Cornyn amendment, rather than ”the only one of 25 senators,” was posted by baltimoresun.com.
Meanwhile, it turns out that Mitt Romney is not THE only leading Republican Presidential candidate to completely change positions on gay rights AND abortion AND gun control in a pathetic attempt to pander to conservative voters. Rudy’s flipped on guns:
“I’d like us to respect each other; I think we have very, very legitimate and mostly similar views,” Giuliani told NRA members, who clapped politely a dozen times during his 20-minute speech.
This is hysterical. I worked at Handgun Control, Inc. during the 90s. There were few elected officials who were as supportive of gun control as Rudy Giuliani. Here are a couple posts I’ve written about Rudy and guns over the past few months. I’ll be doing more:
I bet Rudy forgot to mention his support for national handgun licensing at the NRA today, too.
The hysterical thing will be if Wayne LaPierre and his crew at the NRA fall for Rudy’s “conversion.”
If I were a conservative I’d be offended by the condescension in these obvious attempts to snooker me.
LATER: Steve Benen on Rudy’s NRA pander:
Asked to explain the shift, a campaign spokesperson said Giuliani was “making a point that personal rights such as the 2nd Amendment are even more critical in a post-September 11th world.”
It’s hard to believe a serious presidential campaign could offer such a foolish rationale for obvious nonsense, and yet, here we are.