13 January 2006


California's oldest death row inmate _ a 75-year-old who is legally blind and nearly deaf _ is asking the U.S. Supreme Court to do something it has never done before: block an execution because of the condemned man's advanced age and infirmity.

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"The spectacle of Mr. Allen being wheeled into the death chamber, unable to walk and unable to see those who have come to witness his execution, violates all standards of decency and would amount to nothing more than the purposeless and needless imposition of pain and suffering prohibited by the Eighth Amendment," said Annette Carnegie, one of Allen's attorneys.

The logic behind this appeal fails me. That his execution has taken 23 years to proceed might be better grounds for 'cruel and unusual' but the extensively drawn out nature of the appeals process, especially in California, doesn't seem to bother capital punishment foes.

(note to the L.A. Times: this is a California story, I should feel free to link to your take on the story. But you didn't send your own reporter, you just picked up the AP report on this. So if I'm going to link to the same damn AP piece, I'm going to link to the version that doesn't hide behind a paid subscription service after a few weeks, AND has the added benefit of tracking back to this post automatically. Just food for thought. Adapt or die)

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