random quotes ... to amuse, inspire, enrage:
  But in general, the press kept to the official picture of a centrist government unable to constrain right-wing death squads' or soldiers out of control, with responsibility for the killings shared by left and right. The press generally mirrors the U.S. government, which is "incapable of grasping [a charitable interpretation] that in El Salvador, as in Nicaragua before it, the centrist forces which the United States perceives as its natural allies have joined with the very forces which the United States perceives as its natural enemy -- the radical Left" (William M. LeoGrande and Carla Anne Robbins, "Oligarchs and Offices: the Crisis in El Salvador," Foreign Affairs, Summer 1980).

  —Noam Chomsky, from The Chomsky Reader / p. 463 (Notes for pages 342-343) .. 19. ... (El Salvador press coverage) .

that wacky 5th circuit

Tuesday, December 14th, 2004 10:07 am


At times the federal appeals court has been unfathomable to its critics. Last December, for instance, it considered the last-minute appeal of Billy Frank Vickers, scheduled to die for the killing of a grocer in 1993. With the inmate already given his last meal, the judges deliberated until 9 p.m. and announced they were leaving, with no decision. Bewildered state prison officials allowed the death warrant to expire, granting Mr. Vickers a delay. He was executed six weeks later.

In October, a Houston federal judge granted a last-minute stay to Dominique Green, but the state appealed. The Fifth Circuit then gave defense lawyers less than half an hour to file their response, Professor Dow said. A rushed brief was e-mailed to the court and turned down. The Supreme Court also rejected a stay, and Mr. Green was executed that night.

— Adam Liptak & Ralph Blumenthal, Death Sentences in Texas Cases Try Supreme Court’s Patience [NYT 12/5]

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