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Baze v. Rees Oral Argument Preview:
Just in case you can't wait until tomorrow morning's argument in Baze v. Rees, C-SPAN has this preview discussion (RealPlayer required) featuring Roy Englert (who will argue the case for Kentucky) and Ty Alper (who authored an amicus brief in the case in favor of the inmates).
SupremacyClaus (mail) (www):
The Rent Seeking Theory of Appellate Decisions predicts, the 5-4 decision will favor this execution method. If the Court stops the death penalty, lawyers will lose jobs.
1.6.2008 10:44pm
alias:
The "Supremes Grant Certiorari Twice as Often to Reverse as to Affirm" Theory predicts that the 5-4 decision will oppose this execution method.

The Rent Seeking Corollary predicts: (1) they won't stop the death penalty outright, and (2) if 30+ states have to revise their execution protocols in light of a nebulous standard, there'll be more work for everyone--(a) Baze can be a stepping stone to challenges to lots of other things, including prison uniforms that could tear at inappropriate times, causing humiliation, (b) lots of lawyers will charge lots of money to suggest new protocols to states, and (c) there'll be a new protocol to challenge.

The Roy Englert is the Man Theory, however, predicts a 9-0 affirmance in a 6-page opinion applying precedent in a straightforward manner, doing little to further muddy the waters regarding the Eighth Amendment, and somehow not provoking much of a response from the press.
1.7.2008 1:55am
Ken Mitchell (mail):
Count me among those who believe that capital punishment should be EXCRUCIATINGLY painful; as painful as the crime was to the victim. The Constitution does not guarantee an easy or peaceful death; it forbids "cruel or unusual" punishments. Was not hanging the "usual" method of execution in the Colonial period?
1.7.2008 9:46pm