In his first display of humanity, Samuel Alito’s first vote as a Supreme Court Justice went against the conservative grain; denying the state recommended lifting of a stay of execution for a death row inmate who charged that lethal injection comprises “cruel and unusual punishment.”
It was a safe play by Alito, and… come on… — its the 21st century and the majority of clearheaded individuals around the world find the death sentence old-fashioned, if not obscene and extreme.
Missouri death row inmate ichael Taylor, was scheduled for execution at midnight. He had testified to killing a 15-year old while under the influence of crack cocaine. It seems somewhoat significant that Alito sided with the justices voting to lift the stay — many pols and scholars made Alito out to be more of a bloodsucker than an interventionist — and it was the supreme court’s appeal that denied the stay of execution.
Truth be told, theh death penalty is nothing to be shaken up by — its ludicrous, but it certainly says something that Alito made his first move against it, in spite of Roberts, Scalia and Thomas. Almost sounds Rovian that this would be his first vote, people will like him, and then somehow the public will accept it when Sammy pulls his presidential privilege looney tunes down the road.
I’m thinkning of this as a tribute to Sandra Day O’Connor – she was the glue… lets hold it to Alito to become the monkey in the middle.
I’m taking this as a precedent from Alito, and in this case, there was only time for the “gut” judgment. From the Wash Post:
Alito, handling his first case, sided with inmate Michael Taylor, who had won a stay from an appeals court earlier in the evening. Chief Justice John Roberts and Justices Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas supported lifting the stay, but Alito joined the remaining five members in turning down Missouri’s last-minute request to allow a midnight execution.
Perhaps Alito was playing it safe by refusing to lift the stay, or… as some suggest… maybe he’s not as Conservative as he’s made out to be.