Conditions in California’s overcrowded prisons are so bad that they violate the Eighth Amendment’s ban on cruel and unusual punishment, the Supreme Court ruled on Monday, ordering the state to reduce its prison population by more than 30,000 inmates. [more inside]
"August is the cruelest month," is what Eliot must have meant and Edna O’Brien wrote a novel called August Is a Wicked Month, and indeed, it has proved historically to be a month of dramas and crises, especially sociopolitically. Leo is a fixed, intransigent sign and can create stubborn stances in the world and it is a notorious month for coups, bombings and revolution. The late rock writer Al Aronowitz penned the line, "August is the month when wars start." Both the first and second world wars broke out in August. The first atomic bombs were dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki in August 1945. There were significant cold war crises in August. The Berlin wall was built in August 1961. The Tonkin Gulf crisis marked a serious escalation of the Vietnam War in August 1964. Russia invaded Czechoslovakia and ended the Prague Spring in August 1968. Gorbachev was ousted for being too liberal by communist hardliners in August 1991. Iraq invaded Kuwait in August 1990. Russia invaded Georgia last August. (slightly corrected paragraph via)
Pug Fight — An animated short that explores the unbelievably cruel but really adorable world of underground pug fighting.
Panel Suggests Using Inmates in Drug Trials PHILADELPHIA, Aug. 7 An influential federal panel of medical advisers has recommended that the government loosen regulations that severely limit the testing of pharmaceuticals on prison inmates, a practice that was all but stopped three decades ago after revelations of abuse. Cruel and unusual punishment?
Is forcing a prisoner on death row to take antipsychotic medication to make him sane enough to execute cruel and unusual punishment? (NYT link) A federal appeals court ruled that officials in Arkansas can force a prisoner on death row to take antipsychotic medication to make him sane enough to execute. The problem is that the American Medical Association's ethical guidelines prohibits precisely that. To make the case more surreal, a representative of the Arkansas attorney general's office who argued for the state later said: "The ethical decisions involving doctors are difficult ones, but they are not ones for the courts". Does this mean that COs -Correction Officers- are to figure out for themselves which medication to administer? Do they also call the shots when deciding if the "waiting" patient is sane enough???
Cruel and unusual? "Expert witnesses testified that the brief delays give the body time to recover and increase the chance the person will feel pain." What a crock... I wonder if the 3 year old baby he killed and dismembered felt any pain? The punishment should fit the crime. Although the death penalty doesn't deter crime, if we punished those in the same manner that they commited the murder, then maybe criminals would think twice... then again, maybe not.