Tuesday, March 07, 2006

 

activists shouldn't inject lethal cocktail into organizing...

it's phenomenological really if you think about it ... the sudden and rapid increase in the attention that lethal injection is receiving in the courts and in the media ... in fact legal battles are ongoing in california, florida, indiana, kentucky, louisiana, maryland, missouri, new jersey, north carolina, ohio, oklahoma, texas, virginia, and tennessee ...

WOW! seems natural to rush over to this attention getting issue and jump right in as activists - right???

WRONG ... dead wrong ... lethal injection as "cruel and unusual" because it causes pain is a losing argument in the general public ... there are even people who oppose the death penalty and yet don't care if a "killer suffers for a few minutes..."

therefore it is just as likely that such a tactic will create public backlash from the people we actually need to be communicating with in order to mount serious challenges to an ineffective and wasteful public policy ...

this is one for the lawyers to run with inside the judicial system, not for organizers to proactively attach themselves to just because it appears to be the "flavor of the day..."

for now, the supreme court is dealing with only a technical part of the fight, whether inmates can bring last-minute civil rights challenges to lethal injection ... the court has a chance to broaden its review to address a contention that the drug cocktail used in most states causes pain that amounts to cruel and unusual punishment ... a florida case that may in fact already be acted on raises that issue, and a second one, from here in tennessee, the case of abu-ali abdur'rahman, comes up for a vote this spring ... the ruling in the california case of michael morales has resulted in a de facto moratorium and could result in a lengthy delay for any and all of the state's approximately 650 death row inmates ...

...so let's wish our legal allies the best of luck as they pursue this avenue of challenge up and down the legal system but for public education and policy change, we are best sticking to all of our messages that we already know work better -- about the many flaws in the system from innocence to bias to the diversion of resources ...

peace out - <3
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