Quote of the Day, 4/17/08

April 17, 2008, 7:00 am; posted by
Filed under Quotes  | 3 Comments

“In the face of Justice Stevens\’ experience, the experience of all others is, it appears, of little consequence. The experience of the state legislatures and the Congress ”” who retain the death penalty as a form of punishment ”” is dismissed as ‘the product of habit and inattention rather than an acceptable deliberative process.’ The experience of social scientists whose studies indicate that the death penalty deters crime is relegated to a footnote. The experience of fellow citizens who support the death penalty is described, with only the most thinly veiled condemnation, as stemming from a ‘thirst for vengeance.’ It is Justice Stevens\’ experience that reigns over all.” — the Honorable A. Scalia, concurring, in Baze v Rees


3 Comments to “Quote of the Day, 4/17/08”

  1. job on April 17th, 2008 11:10 pm


  2. Steve on April 17th, 2008 11:55 pm

    What’s ridiculous? Context would be helpful, I guess. Scalia’s opinion doesn’t defend the death penalty as a policy choice — all he says is that it’s not the Supreme Court’s business to get involved, as opposed to Stevens, who basically wants the Court to be an unelected super-legislature where nine old lawyers use the Constitution as a disguise to inflict their personal preferences on the country.

  3. Steve on April 17th, 2008 11:56 pm

    He closes: “I take no position on the desirability of the death penalty, except to say that its value is eminently debatable and the subject of deeply, indeed passionately, held views—which means, to me, that it is preeminently not a matter to be resolved here. And especially not when it is explicitly permitted by the Constitution.”

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