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A Depressing Hearing
March 13, 2008 - Joe Gorman
It is hard to be uplifted when people are arguing about lethal injection, yet there I was Thursday, in the courtroom of Judge R. Scott Krichbaum for the second day in a row, as lawyers tried to argue that lethal injection is cruel and unusual punishment.
The defendant is Bennie Adams, who was arrested in October for the murder of a YSU student in 1985. And as one of his lawyers described the combination of chemicals that are used in executions, I glanced out at the brillant blue sky and thought, ``couldn't we be talking about something else?'
The motion is a common one in capital cases as the U.S. Supreme Court tries to decide if lethal injection is cruel and unusual. A ruling is expected later this year, perhaps in the summer.
I love how lawyers argue. They can stretch any argument any way, and make it sound plausible. It was not hard to tell how Krichbaum would rule; he is tough and fair but he denied the motion. It could be moot if Adams is found innocent or if he is guilty but a jury opts not to recommend the death penalty.
One thing the judge said that is striking is that by keeping the death penalty specifications, they actually strengthen the defense's case. In capital cases there are more safeguards, such as more challenges for potential jurors.
So, being eligible for death may be better for Adams' case in the long run. Talk about twisted.
But sometimes, that's the law.
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