Justice Delayed

Think of how terrible it must be to fear needles and know that you’re scheduled for a shot.  To make it worse, the doctor tricked Ronald Phillips by examining the poor fellow to locate a good vein during a checkup.  That’s what happened – at least if we believe Phillips – whose lawyers questioned him for an hour while Judge Gregory Frost looked on by video hookup.  No matter that Phillips raped and killed 3-year old Sheila Marie Evans twenty years ago.  Now is now.

And so the abolitionists play their latest game:  Attack the drugs, boycott the source, attack the execution protocols.  As AP Legal Affairs Writer Andrew Welsh-Huggins reports, this scene plays out in Ohio, where the “Department of Rehabilitation and Correction” – how’s that for Newspeak, punishment anyone? – prepares to execute this child rapist/murderer.

And it plays out in Missouri, where racist Joseph Franklin who admits to murdering at least 15 people – because they were black or Jewish – awaits his date with the needle.  Again, the suppliers of the anesthetic balked.  But now states have done the obvious – mix their own drugs from the basic ingredients.  So the abolitionists attack these “compounding pharmacies” as untested.

All these silly, superficial arguments obscure the underlying controversy:  Can death be appropriate punishment?  Can anybody deserve to die?  Can we define, detect, prosecute and punish without racial bias?  Every minute the worst of the worst continue to live, to enjoy life counts as a victory of sorts for those opposed to the death penalty.  Delay, delay, delay.   In some states, their prayers are answered.

Give us this day our daily day.