Sunday, June 26, 2011

The Most Important Second

In modern America there can be no more significant moment than the one in which a law enforcement officer points a weapon at an individual. In a society that purports to respect the sanctity of life, the judicial process and the theory of presumption of innocence, this second can be instant death or the beginning of a long and convoluted process of incredible expense. This Los Angeles Times story highlights one of the truly bizarre features of the US legal system.

But it's not really bizarre. It's actually another feature of a statist welfare system, the recipients being appeals attorneys, prison guards and judges instead of unmotivated losers. With the average time spent on death row in California being over 25 years and no one at all being executed since 2006, the death penalty has become an expensive and ineffectual scam that can only be administered instantaneously by a deputy sheriff or patrolman.

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