death panels for the disabled

Georgia Just Following George W. Bush and Bill Clinton’s Bipartisan Example In Executing Retarded Man

Come on, you can see he's guiltySo Georgia is going to kill a mentally retarded man dead next week, despite the Supreme Court having, in an unexpected moment of not being dicks, outlawed that. But Georgia’s come up with a novel way to get around the ban on executing mentally retarded people, and that is by saying “how you gonna prooooove it, huh?” like, even when their own panel found the dude was mentally retarded. It is called the Rule of Law, people, and Georgia has figured out how to catch 22 of them!

What’s the problem, liberal whiners?

Oh you don’t like that “one of George W. Bush’s first acts, as governor of Texas, in January 1995, was to reject a request for clemency for Mario Marquez, who suffered from severe brain damage and had an I.Q. of 60 and the skills of a 7-year-old. Mr. Marquez was executed on the evening of Mr. Bush’s inauguration for the murder of his niece.”

Yeah, that sucks. But what if we told you good ol’ Bubba Clinton did just exactly the same thing?

In the highly publicized case of Ricky Ray Rector, the Arkansas inmate executed while Bill Clinton was governor but running for president, Mr. Rector’s lawyers argued that he was so mentally impaired that he did not even know he was about to be executed. But Mr. Rector’s condition was not considered mental retardation because it did not reach back to his childhood. It was caused when he shot away part of his brain at the time of his arrest.

Sponsored Video

Yeah, so it’s totally cool that Bill Clinton suspended his campaign to go execute that dude — you know, the one who told his guards before his execution he would save his pecan pie “for later.”

Totally fine.

[Gawker/DeathPenaltyInfo]

Related

About the author

Rebecca is the editor and publisher of Wonkette. She is the author of Commie Girl in the O.C., a collection of her OC Weekly columns, and the former editor of LA CityBeat. Go visit her Commie Girl Collective, and follow her on the Twitter!

View all articles by Rebecca Schoenkopf

Hola wonkerados.

To improve site performance, we did a thing. It could be up to three minutes before your comment appears. DON'T KEEP RETRYING, OKAY?

Also, if you are a new commenter, your comment may never appear. This is probably because we hate you.

112 comments

  1. sezme

    it may in fact be impossible for a mentally difficient government to diagnose mental issues in others. (It may in fact also be difficult to comment on this story due to certain word filters, but I like a challenge!)

    1. sullivanst

      This is one of those cases where U+0430, Cyrillic Small Letter A ("а") comes in handy. Censorbot does not know Unicode, and besides since а and a are from different alphabets, I don't know that they should ever compare equal.

  2. Schmannnity

    "suffered from severe brain damage and had an I.Q. of 60 and the skills of a 7-year-old," or, as I refer to them, my base. Heh heh heh.

  3. smashedinhat

    One can only hope that the supplier of the death drugs reneges on the agreement, as it were.

  4. SaintRond

    Here in Georgia we got a lil' blue electric chair for the lil' boys an' a lil' pink electric chair for the lil' girls and paintings on the wall of rocking horses an' squirrels with ribbons in their hair an' a rainbow an' even a unicorn or two an' we gonna make that 'tard as comfy as can be 'fore we fry his ass.

    So blow me: we is nice.

      1. SaintRond

        Actually, I plagiarized a bit. Remember when Leroy the handyman was needling little Rhoda in the Bad Seed? He's the one who talked about the little blue chairs and the little pink chairs. I can't get it out of my head, like Rhoda's mom's tits. Fun film, very Southern.

  5. Texan_Bulldog

    No snark–just sadness & seething anger at an unjust capital punishment/justice system where color & money tip the scales of justice.

  6. BigSkullF*ckingDog

    Come on. A whole article about the R-word and I'm not allowed to use the R-word in my comment? This shit is R-ed.

  7. GregComlish

    ok, look, you can't use the phrase "mentally retar.ded" in the lead and then go auto-deleting my comments based upon my similarly appropriate usage. This is completely unconstitutional.

      1. ShreditorsDesk

        That's only allowed for 'Neotards', 'Teatards' and 'Tarduplicans'. Also: 'leotards' but that's gay.

    1. BigSkullF*ckingDog

      Idiot, imbicile and moron were once used as medical terms. I believe they have not been banned … yet.

      1. BerkeleyBear

        Actually, the r word is not only still a medical term (albeit on the wane in use) it is the legal term of choice – the courts don't like fancy new terms screwing them up.

      2. sullivanst

        Interestingly, of those, the one that is used most casually ("idiot") was in fact the one used to describe the lowest level of mental ability.

    2. Mojopo

      I believe they still allow rahtarded, which is kind of how people who live in Northern Virginia say it. "Omaigad, this smoothie is rahtarded! I love it!" Anyway, wasn't this about killing the mentally handicapped? Because that's rrrretar- wrong.

  8. Monsieur_Grumpe

    And yet if you mention death panels to these idiots they starting foaming at the mouth while rubbing their naughty bits against the closest constitution.

  9. Goonemeritus

    Well I guess Obama better get on the stick and fry a couple libertarians if he is going to match the record of his predecessors.

  10. GregComlish

    No comparison. Clinton's mentally challenged guy was not mentally challenged at the time the crime was commissioned. He was cognizant of his actions at the time. The fact that he suffered brain damage while being apprehended does not excuse his earlier behavior.

    1. actor212

      Well, I lean in your direction but riddle me this: how was he expected to materially participate in his own defense if, you know, he was incompetent to do so? That is the sine qua non of our justice system if we presume his innocence at trial.

    2. BerkeleyBear

      That's a factual distinction but whether it should matter to the ability to impose the death penalty is suspect. The argument against the death penalty for mentally impaired people is not tied to their inability to understand their acts were bad or appreciate their consequences at the time of commission – if that could be shown, it would amount to a complete defense for want of mens rea. It is tied to their inability to appreciate what is happening to them in the prison system (i.e. it is cruel to kill someone who can't understand they are being killed. Sorta odd to me, since knowing you are going to die might be worse than not knowing from a mental anguish point of view, but still).

      1. Biel_ze_Bubba

        That does get to the heart of the matter: If the man has no clue what's happening to him, it's impossible to "punish" him with a death sentence… unless you think having him sit there, strapped to the Chair, wondering what the silly hat is for, is "punishment". What this case does is to fully expose what's important in Georgia — which is that Georgia's good ole boys feel good about executing the guy. "That'll teach him! Har, har!" So long as that standard is met, everything is just, well, peachy.

      2. sullivanst

        I'm absolutely certain that I don't believe it should have any bearing on the ability to impose the death penalty. The death penalty is cruel in all cases, and by the standards of the developed world, it's also highly unusual in that the US is the only developed nation still barbaric enough to sponsor premeditated, coldblooded, ritualized killing, and backwards enough to believe that somehow the knowledge that it's sometimes "right" to kill will reduce the amount of killing that goes on.

        No wonder we have such a high murder rate. It's exceptional!

  11. Mittens Howell, III

    " …And heading today'stop news stories, the awful truth about Miley Lohan-Spears and her exposed ass crack as she went on a Meth fueled shopping spree."

    "That's it. Nothing else to see here, folks. Go back to sleep."

    "Hang on! Breaking news!!! Chipmunk on a snowboard you guys!!!

    Wheeee!!!"

  12. UnholyMoses

    Shorter Georgia: "Screw the Supreme Court. Two total 'tards killed two other 'tards so we'll kill 'tards, too!"

    It all seems so very … stupid.

    1. ph7

      For the most part, we are one of the better countries at giving those in the margins a voice. The problem is that a large part of the electorate is quite content to respond to that voice by saying "who cares, loser?" and resume yelling at the world with O'Reilly.

  13. SorosBot

    According to the Gawker article, Georgia law states that "a prisoner appealing a death sentence on grounds of mental [word that got this post deleted] must prove 'beyond a reasonable doubt' that he is in fact [word that got this post deleted]. " Which is the exact opposite of where the "beyond a reasonable doubt" standard normally lies.

    Fuck the retrograde state would probably get rid of the whole presumption of innocence and right to a fair trial if it could, at least for black and brown defendants.

    1. gullywompr

      These filters have got to go. I've tried three times to reply to this using the exact same words as the original story. How can we discuss the topic of the post without discussing it?

      The mental disability that dare not speak it's name…

    2. BerkeleyBear

      Affirmative defenses often put the burden of proof on the defendant Soros. You know that. Still, I agree that is one messed up standard – that's up there with "actual innocence" (you know, that thing Scalia doesn't think matters).

      1. Biel_ze_Bubba

        Soros' point is that having to prove an affirmative defense "beyond a reasonable doubt" is a thoroughly perverse use of that standard. In particular, how do you prove "beyond a reasonable doubt" that someone is re†arded? Or that someone acted in a moment of passion? It's a standard that vitiates the very defenses it's applied to.

        It's a measure of how fucked-up in the head Scalia is, that he'd see a man die solely for the sake of his goddamned textualism. [Insert usual special-place-in-Hell comment.]

      2. sullivanst

        It's particularly perverse in this case, what with the state's courts having already found on the preponderance of the evidence that he is retаrded, thus bringing the case even closer to Scalia's "actual innocence".

        Am I right in the belief that Georgia's "beyond a reasonable doubt" standard predates Atkins and has not until now been challenged in light of that case?

  14. actor212

    I note that Georgia re-scheduled his execution from tomorrow night until next Monday, not for humanitarian reasons or out of a sense of "give him every chance possible" but because they found a new way to kill people.

  15. BarackMyWorld

    Not only do we execute those diagnosed with M.R., but we also include many of their test scores when we calculate school progress…which would be fine if academic researchers weren't also using those same scores to compare our academic standards to other countries who do not test everyone…

  16. CthuNHu

    The state's major source of revenue probably comes from holding a lottery to decide who gets to pull the tri-…, uh, who gets to flip the switch. And melt the snowflake.

  17. JustPixelz

    I truly don't understand how conservatives are so passionate about restraining the power of government, yet they enthusiastically support giving that government the legal power to kill us. (Same basic observation about their support for lady parts regulation.)

    And I truly don't understand how Christians can support executions. Jesus was against the death penalty … especially toward the end.

    1. actor212

      Not really. He often mentions Mosaic law and Mosaic law is pretty clear that there are capital sins like adultery. The only time the issue was broached directly was with the whore and "Let he who is without sin…" but a case could be made that she should not die alone, that the man she slept with must also be put to death at the same time, and without that, you can't kill her.

      There's no real clear guidance in the New Testament itself about execution, while there's plenty in the Old Testament about what is a death crime (the Ten Commandments).

      1. Fare la Volpe

        there's plenty in the Old Testament about what is a death crime (the Ten Commandments)

        Eating shrimp, wearing clothes, being gay, getting haircuts, looking sexy, turning left, etc.

      2. sullivanst

        More narrowly, the Catholic Church is quite clear that it is opposed to the death penalty, but a lot of Catholics like Rick Santorum feel free to diametrically oppose their Church on that point while at the same time claiming that anyone who differs an iota from the official line on abortion, contraception or homophobia is automatically not a "real" Catholic.

    1. WhatTheHeck

      Cro-Magnon man?
      They looked down on Neanderthal man. Too hairy. Too ugly. Too swarthy.

    2. Negropolis

      Not my Michigan, which has been execution-free (save for a federal execution, damn the Feds), since 1837.

  18. supernoun

    So another item to add to my pages-long list: Reasons Georgia is Absolutely, Certainly and Definitively At Least The Third Worst State In The United States, Also Fuck Arizona, Alabama, and Florida.

  19. lunchbox360

    OK. So they print the word that starts with R and ends with etarded a billion times in this article but the comments using that same word are deleted by the administrator? Fuck you and the starts with R and ends with etarded horse you rode in on jackass.

  20. sullivanst

    In Bill Clinton's case, it becomes important to understand why the ban on capital punishment for the mentally disabled was instituted. There are three parts to the argument.

    One is that a national consensus emerged between 1989 (when the Court upheld the death penalty for mentally handicapped murder convicts) and 2002 (when it struck it down). 1992 is of course quite early in that period, and most states had not yet legislated against such sentences. "Everybody else is doing" is of course a lame excuse, so nuts to Bill on that one even so.

    The next reason is that this a subpopulation that is not really capable of the kind of reasoning that is necessary for any conception of the theory of deterrence to apply, and therefore executing them serves no deterrent purpose. Nuts to Bill on that one also.

    Finally, the most severe punishments should only apply to the most heinous crimes, and the way the courts see it (correctly) is that when a defendant has an impaired ability to understand the consequences of his or her actions and to determine right from wrong, the crime cannot be considered amongst the "most heinous". In Ricky Ray's case, at the time of the crime he had yet to inflict upon himself the injury that stripped him of that comprehension, so this argument does not apply. It's possible, then, that even post-Atkins, his execution would've been OK with the Supremes. In this case, it's not just nuts to Bill, it's fuck all the bloodthirsty cocksuckers in this country clamoring for killing whenever they can get it.

  21. SpeedoFart

    "Yeah, so it’s totally cool that Bill Clinton suspended his campaign to go execute that dude — you know, the one who told his guards before his execution he would save his pecan pie “for later.”

    Totally fine."

    I have no snark for this at all.
    I do have tears, though.

  22. HarryButtle

    Ronald Reagan was an authoritarian cocksucker. George HW is an authoritarian cocksucker. Bill Clinton is an authoritarian cocksucker. George Dubya is an authoritarian cocksucker. Barack Obama is no fucking better. Funny how the only thing the two Parties can agree on is incarcerating or killing Americans.

    Bipartisanship FTW!

  23. BlueStateLibel

    It's funny how the "what would Jesus do" thinking always deserts the Christian Taliban when it gets down to the bone like this. "Jesus, who's that?"

  24. ttommyunger

    Since nothing is fair or just about the way punishment is meted out in America's "Justice" System, I can have no meaningful comment about this and certainly no snark.

  25. iburl

    The Catholic church does take a Christian and principled stand against the Death Penalty, too bad that their other "activities" undercut that all. Well, that and all the loudmouth wannabe-protestant Catholics like Santorum.

  26. fuflans

    i wonder if this country will ever grow up. the national mental equivalence of angry adolescence isn't attractive when you're over 225 years old.

  27. Negropolis

    I wonder when America will be tired of violence of all varities? It's one of the central reasons why I could never buy into the "greatest country in the world" bullshit. All of the shootings (both planned and accidental) and stabbings and rapes and executions. Even our "safe" cities rank high in violence when compared to similar cities in the Western World.

    There is a lot I want to see for this nation, but if we could just bring the violence down it'd be so much easier to address our other issues. We always hear about these plans to "fix" schools and our health and such, but none of that is even possible until we take a DEEP breath and chill. the. fuck. out. for. real.

Comments are closed.