And it isn’t the only one. But I present it here as a microcosm of a justice system that has failed by factors of infinity.
At the Pacific Standard’s newspaper: The Fight for Disability Rights Must Extend to Death Row
This article isn’t only about the wrongful execution of Ledell Lee, which they carried out April 20th, 2017. It’s also about executing people with mental disabilities. I think it’s also about the failure of the justice system to label defendants properly when it comes to their ability to assist in their own defense. Ledell Lee couldn’t assist. He couldn’t even get a new public defender when asked.
Lee’s case wasn’t just that he was mentally disabled. It was a hideous example of a corrupt legal system.
- Lee’s lawyer was a drunk who babbled during court proceedings.
- The judge and the prosecutor were having an affair and later married.
- The “science” used to link a hair to Lee was unsound.
- Lee’s ability to assist in his own defense was never examined and tested.
- The state of Arkansas doesn’t use valid scientific testing. In essence, they are anti-science.
- The courts in Arkansas and D.C. refused the ACLU and The Innocence Project’s request for a mental disability examination.
The state of Texas doesn’t use scientific analyses and psychiatric examinations to determine if a defendant is mentally disabled. They use, instead, a stupid and insane “test” by comparing a mentally disabled defendant to that of a **literary character**. Specifically, John Steinbeck’s Lennie character in “Of Mice and Men”.
What. The. Fuck.
What is it about certain states’ irrational and unlawful methods of so-called jurisprudence that compels them to act with such blatant corruption and legal malfeasance? Further, why in the hell don’t the people of these states stand up and scream for a better execution (if you’ll pardon the term) of their legal systems?
Due to the flagrant mishandling, identification, and so-called respect for “State’s Rights”, the “conservative” element of political views infects all jurisprudence in a state’s ability to carry out justice. Meaning: If a state is run by “liberal” ideology, then conservatives in higher courts of law (and Congress, which is supposed to have no say) will say that the state has to conform to “federal” (i.e., Congress) orders. If a state is run by “conservative” ideology, then the cry is “State’s Rights”, which means that they alone will conduct their affairs as they see fit and the federal government has no say.
Most of the time, “State’s Rights” is a code word for “We’re a bunch of racist, misogynists, and corrupt politicians who refuse to follow the rules of law set down by the Supreme Court and other federal seats.”
Their position is duplicitous, self-serving, and hypocritical. How? Marijuana legislation. According to the DEA, pot is a schedule 1 drug. This is bullshit. It isn’t comparable to heroin, cocaine, or other narcotics. You can’t overdose on it. You *can* get a bad batch, or a badly made strain, but you still can’t overdose on it. Point is, this is a State’s Rights matter, not a DEA one, but because it’s pot, suddenly conservatives and irrational zealots like Jeff Sessions claim that State’s Rights don’t supersede the federal government.
So, if you want to execute people how you see fit and ignore an individual’s rights to a competent defense, then your State’s Rights can’t be interfered with. If you’re a circuit court or a Supreme Court and you order a state to obey its rulings, it will only abide by the law if that state decides it will.
On the one hand, this is anarchy. On the other, it’s “State’s Rights”, good or bad.
So who gets to decide to execute a mental disabled man whose legal defense was incompetent, the prosecution and judge corrupt, and the legislature refuses to behave in a competent manner?
The State. And according to new junior, neo-conservative Supreme Court Justice Neil Gorsuch, fuck the new evidence, fuck the corruption, the state can murder a retard.
When the state executes an innocent and/or mentally disabled person, all legal actions taken prior to that execution must be halted, deemed corrupt and illegitimate, and new trials, examinations, along with legal appointments and elections, must be carried out along with a restructuring of criminal law. When this is not done, the murder of innocent and disabled persons will continue. It is up to We The People to put a stop to it.