Thursday, April 24, 2008

April 20, 2008

Dear Sis~
As you've surely heard, the US Supreme Court recently handed down its decision in the Baze case, re the constitutionality of the lethal injection procedures and protocols utilized by the various states. The decision was actually more nuanced than the media reports implied, and it was a plurality opinion, not a majority, which has certain legal implications. Still, it definitely allows the states to resume executions which most will likely do, especially Texas and Virginia (here in Virginia we have 3 guys lined up ready to go). Mildly interesting is that Justice Stevens, in the Baze decision, stated that capital punishment in its entirety should be junked. Historically, every 7-10 years one of the Justices will throw in the towel and declare that he no longer believes in the death penalty, but he invariably takes this position just after retirement, or as he's going out the door. At his age, Stevens has one foot out the door already. Just once, I'd like one of these Justices take a strong anti-death penalty stance at a time when it counts. Anyway, reading this Baze decision is disconcerting and depressing when you realize that what are supposed to be the nation's finest legal minds are arguing over the best way to kill people ...
I don't recall if I told you that one of my short stories (an older one which I submitted on a whim) won third place in the 2008 PEN American Prison Writing Contest. I have not written any new fiction in several years, having gotten burned out and discouraged, combined with being especially busy with legal work. But I intend to get back to writing again this year; I've still got some good work left inside of me...
Well, the news is coming on so I'll sign off for now. Give the doggies a hug for me!
Love, Bill

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