If you can stomach it, listen
(mp3) to PBS' News Hour segment on the Supreme Court hearing about executions
Here's the problem.
- The issue is if the current 3-drug protocol amounts to cruel and unusual punishment. In other words, is the punishment cruel (i.e. unnecessarily painful).
- Scalia first characterizes opponents of the 3-drug protocol as wanting to "choos[e] the least painful method possible", which was not what they were arguing. As the NYTimes put it, he's a fan of cruelty.
- When told that the issue is torture, Scalia then redefined torture as "the intentional infliction of pain", which it isn't. Torture is torture, no matter what the intentions are of the correctional officials.
- Scalia also objects to sending the case back to the lower courts for clarification, because it would mean "a national cessation of executions. We're looking at years. We wouldn't want that to happen." He wants executions, even if further study would show the present system to be unconstitutional.
This post isn't about the death penalty. It's about Scalia's dishonest argumentation to further an outcome he prefers. That's the problem.
Simply put, and right on the money. Scalia is as dishonest a scumbag as ever sat on the bench anywhere. And as a bonus, he appears to be bat-shit crazy as well.