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The Federal Appeals Court, for the 9th Circuit upheld California’s death penalty statute. This appeal was undertaken because a federal Judge (Cormac Carney a former UCLA football player and Republican Presidential appointee) found the California death penalty statute un-constitutional due to the long wait between sentence to death and the eventual carrying out of the sentence. The appeal was mainly on technical grounds and did not answer the proverbial $64,000 question of is the death penalty unconstitutional?

The trial court found that death row inmates have been transformed from one of death, to one of grave uncertainty and torture. The Appellate court fund this had no basis in legal precedent or logic. The trial court found that the death penalty system was arbitrary and plagued by delays. Does the delay in carrying out a death sentence not serve retribution for society or provide a deterrent effect on society? The appellate panel suggested that the California Supreme Court rule on the issue of delay in imposition of a death sentence undermines the deterrent effect on society.

Meanwhile on the death penalty front of imposition of the ultimate sentence, the State of California has come up with one chemical to impose the sentence. This is in contrast to the old electric chair (“fire up old sparky”) from the movie “The Green Mile” and/or the cocktail of chemicals that were previously used. In light of the delays based on funding, race, court congestion, etc. Should we be proceeding down this path at all? Should we wait for the judiciary to further clarify the death penalty delays before we arrive at the imposition of sentence? Is the death penalty meted out along racial and/or economic lines?

The United States Supreme court will hear arguments on a TX anti-abortion statute this term. The statute (if implemented) would close 75% of the abortion clinics in the State. The statute requires all doctors at the clinics to have hospital privileges at nearby hospitals and meet the same standards at those imposed on outpatient surgical centers. The question here is the rationale and interpretation of these statutes. Do they serve a legitimate health concern, or, are they prohibiting abortion under the guise of health regulations?

In 1992, the court found that states may regulate abortion as long as they did not place an “undue burden” on women seeking to end a pregnancy. Is this statute this type of burden? The abortion clinics (if the statute is fully implemented) will foreclose abortion clinics outside of the five major cities inTX. Is this the type of backdoor social engineering in the guise of religion that we want? Four major medical groups including the American Medical Association and the American college of Obstetricians and Gynecologists have opined that the TXlaw could do nothing to protect the health and safety of women. Taking this case, the court split on a 5-4 vote with three of the four justices dissenting being very conservative (Scalia, Thomas, Alioto and Kennedy). This will again provide the court with an opportunity to further clarify or eliminate the right to abortion and do away with Roe v. Wade.

In the continuing evolution of society, the judiciary is faced with the right to life versus the taking of it, and the right to access to fundamental rights of those who have broken no law.

What say you?