Disarranging Mine

June 24, 2002

5:06 p.m.

What punishment is the death penalty?

The U.S. Supreme Court today made a ruling that it is unconstitutional for a judge, as opposed to a jury, to impose a death sentence. What this means is that about 150 people on death row will have their cases reviewed in some way so that a new sentence can be imposed. This comes on the heels of, last week, the Supreme Court ruling that the mentally retarded cannot be sentenced to death.

Here's the breakdown, in alphabetical order, of who's on the Court and how they got there:

  • Steven Breyer was born in 1938. He was appointed to the Court by President William Jefferson Clinton in 1994. At age 64, he's going to stick around a while longer.
  • Ruth Bader Ginsberg was born in 1933. She was appointed to the Court in 1993 by President William Jefferson Clinton. She's 69 and has faced health problems, but will not retire anytime soon.
  • Anthony Kennedy was born in 1936. He got his law degree from Stanford in 1958. He was appointed to the Court President Ronald Reagan in 1988. At 66 he could retire, but won't.
  • Sandra Day O'Connor was born in 1930. She got her law degree from Stanford in 1952. She was appointed to the Court in 1981 by President Ronald Reagan (Republican). She's had some health problems, including cancer. At age 72, she's ready for retirement, but will she retire? Doubtful.
  • The current chief justice, William H. Rehnquist, was born in 1924. He got his law degree from Stanford Law School in 1952. He was appointed to the Court in 1971 by President Richard M. Nixon (Republican). He is the only sitting justice who was on the original Roe v. Wade court (1973). Rehnquist is 78 and well past retirement age. But, will he retire? Highly doubtful.
  • Antonin Scalia was born in 1936. He got his degree from Harvard Law in 1960. He was appointed to the Court by President Ronald Reagan (Republican) in 1986. At age 66 he could retire, but he won't.
  • David Souter was born in 1939. Another Harvard Law graduate. He was appointed to the Court by President George Herbert Walker Bush in 1990. At age 63 there's no way will he retire anytime soon.
  • John Paul Stevens was born in 1920. He got his law degree from Northwestern in 1947. He was appointed to the Court by President Gerald R. Ford (Republican) in 1975. He's 82 years old. Will he retire? Possibly.
  • Clarence Thomas was born in 1948. I think just about everyone remembers the process he went through to get seated on the Court. In 1991 he was appointed to the Court by President George Herbert Walker Bush. At age 54, he's here to stay.

What? No appointments by President Jimmy Carter? I guess not.

Anyway, it'll be interesting to see if any of these judges retire in the next three years and President George Walker Bush gets to appoint another conservative to the Court.

I don't think the death penalty should be liberal or conservator issue. And, it's interesting to note that the Court agrees. I think it's good what the Court is doing with the death penalty. It's progress. Perhaps someday we'll see no death penalty in the United States.

For more information, see: Infoplease.com: Members of the Supreme Court of the United States.

10:40 p.m.

Tonight I established a database folder on my web server (I think, I hope) as the next step to installing MovableType. Okay, okay! That's all for that topic today.

Today's Ha`aretz has an article about Ted Turner's Middle East comments. According to the article:

All Turner essentially said was "both sides use terror," making a comparison between the attributes of military occupation and Palestinian terrorism.

Well, yeah. And, then it goes on to say:

Ted Turner apologized, CNN's executives were quick to disassociate themselves from him and to announce he has no influence over the content of the broadcasts, and Eason Jordan, news director for the network, hurried to fly over to Israel and offer "compensation" - a series of reports on the victims of terrorism.

Here's a screenshot of CNN's web page from this morning.

Two points. One, since when is news coverage to be considered compensation? And, two, uh, CNN is in the entertainment business. Don't take anything they say too seriously. Don't even take Ted too seriously.

Naming things. Cookies. Browser cookies, in particular. If it was the beginning of the Internet and I was naming things, I would have named them Cooties instead.

Numbering things. Or rather, renumbering things. U.S. telephone area codes. Recall sometime ago when the phone companies announced that they would have to create new area codes to accommodate all the new phone numbers because of beepers, cell phones, etc.? From the very first time I heard that I knew it would be problematic. What they should have done was increase the phone numbers from seven digits to eight or nine and kept the area codes the same. At one time not so long ago, all of Chicago and the suburbs and even beyond the suburbs was area code 312. At one time, just this year in fact, all of Nevada was area code 703 (I think). Now Nevada is being broken up into different area codes. Where will this madness end? Some day they're going to run out of area codes.

last updated: when everybody who couldn't give it away on seventh avenue went "chitter-chatter, chitter-chatter, chitter-chatter 'bout shmatta, shmatta, shmatta" at the same time

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L.M. Carnes 2002.

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