cross posted from The Dream Antilles
Mississippi has long supported the death penalty. So it is remarkable when a Mississippi Supreme Court Justice writes a dissenting opinion in a death penalty case that calls for the abolition of the death penalty. In Doss v. State (pdf), Justice Oliver Diaz, Jr., did just that, he called for the end of the death penalty.
The Sun Herald reports:
Outgoing Supreme Court Justice Oliver Diaz Jr.’s impassioned call for an end to the death penalty has drawn both criticism and praise.
In what was likely his departing dissent as his tenure on Mississippi’s highest court ends, Diaz says society finally must recognize that “even as murderers commit the most cruel and unusual crime, so too do executioners render cruel and unusual punishment.”
Jimmy Robertson, a Jackson attorney who served on the state Supreme Court from 1983 to 1992, said Diaz laid out a number of points, including that the death penalty is not a deterrent to murder, that were “pretty close to being irrefutable to anybody that’s objective on the question.”
The criticism in the Sun Herald article was provided not by Mississippians but instead solely by Kent Scheidegger, legal director for the pro-death penalty Criminal Justice Legal Foundation of Sacramento, a right wing, pro death penalty organization, who provided the usual shop worn generalities.