Musings from Southern New Mexico

Month: February 2016

Jeb! Campaign Achieves “Acceptance” Level(!)

Jubal Early Bush (I assume that’s what “J.E.B.” stands for, and I’m far too lazy to look it up) has exceeded expectations of all observers. In realizing the inevitable, that is. The slightly less stupid of the impressively stupid Bush Clan wastrel generation has affirmed what those around him have been telling him for years: Bush Jr. not only burned the crops yet to be sewn in the Bush Family farm, but also salted the soil. And probably seeded it with various heavy metals. George P. Bush is destined for the blue blood equivalent* of shoe-shine boy.

Good riddance.

*a six-figure job defecating clearly unqualified political opinions onto a heavily subsidized money-losing online rag.

Blackstone’s Formulation and Scalia

In his work “Commentaries on the Law of England,” Sir William Blackstone proffered that the law should err in favor of the defendant, lest it wrongfully punish the innocent (1765):

All presumptive evidence of felony should be admitted cautiously; for the law holds it better that ten guilty persons escape, than that one innocent party suffer

In contrast, Reagan-nominated Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia claimed that the defendant’s only right was to a fair trial, subsequent evidence of innocence notwithstanding (2009):

This Court has never held that
the Constitution forbids the execution of a convicted defendant
who has had a full and fair trial but is later able
to convince a habeas court that he is “actually” innocent.
Quite to the contrary, we have repeatedly left that question
unresolved, while expressing considerable doubt that
any claim based on alleged “actual innocence” is constitutionally

For people of Scalia’s ilk, the satisfaction of having punished someone is its own reward. I take no joy from the death even of such demonstrably bad people as Scalia. But it is certainly better for the nation and better for the world, that one fewer medievalist jurist is around to poison modernity with opinions influenced by “The Malleus Maleficarum.”

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