Could Sharon Keller’s action in the Michael Richard case endanger the death penalty itself? Maybe one day her action will be cited to the U.S. Supreme Court as an example of why the death penalty is unconstitutional.
The Boston Globe notes in an editorial today entitled “Always Cruel and Unusual” that Michael Richard
was executed Sept. 25 – the very day the Supreme Court decided to hear the lethal injection arguments – because the Texas court had closed for business.
The haphazard, capricious way the legal system decides who lives or dies violates fundamental American principles of fair and equal justice. The Supreme Court already has said that “evolving standards of decency” will guide its thinking in capital punishment cases. Lethal injection, and the death penalty itself, both fail the test of decency.