Cruel and unusual punishment
I could be referring to Indosat who have sent me yet another bill
for phone calls I have not made on a handphone I have not got.
But I'm not.
I could be referring to the repairs done to the wall of the house next door which have left my roof drainage system clogged with debris. The result is a massive new leak onto my book shelves.
But I'm not.
I could be referring to the new busway routes which have caused some almighty traffic jams, but I'm not because I'm optimistic that they will eventually reduce the number of motorists in town once the full system is operational.
I could be referring to my visa trip to Singapore on Thursday on a flight which leaves at 6.30 am. But I'm not, even though leaving home at 4am is certainly cruel.
This is mainly because I'll have sufficient time to do some shopping and still be able to have a ploughman's lunch at Brewerkz
at Clarke Quay. (If there are any Singapore bloggers who want to swap blogging tales, why not join me around 1pm? As I don't have a handphone, perhaps you could email me
before 8pm on Wednesday to say you expect to be there.)
No, my life's vicissitudes pale into significance with the news that the Terminator
, currently strutting his pectorals as Governor of California, has lived up to his role in rejecting calls for a stay of execution of a 76-year-old blind wheelchair-user who was also almost deaf.
Clarence Ray Allen was sentenced to death in 1982 for ordering the murder of a witness to his murder of his son's 17-year-old girlfriend, who he had killed to stop her telling police about his robbery of a grocery store.
Allen was in jail for her murder when the subsequent killings took place. The hit-man killed the witness and two bystanders.
Okay. Allen was a monster, yet he was sentenced to death for a murder he did not actually commit.Allen's lawyers argued that execution in his frail state violated the US constitution's prohibition of cruel and unusual punishment, as did the 23 years he spent on death row for the killings.
What is more, Annette Carnegie, one of Allen's lawyers, argued that his frail state was the result of his imprisonment. "These infirmities are not simply the result of the passage of time or of old age, as some would suggest, but result from prison authorities' deliberate neglect of his medical needs while in the state's custody," she said.
23 years on death row. Blind, almost deaf and frail because of a lack of medical treatment. If that wasn't enough, Allen's heart stopped in September, but doctors revived him and returned him to death row.
I live in a country which still seeks the death penalty for certain crimes, such as drug smuggling, and regularly carries out extra-judicial killings to protect the big fish, as Indcoup reports today
Singapore offers a more transparent system of justice than here, yet Jakartass will always be implacably opposed to state sanctioned killings, everywhere.
The punishment meted out to Clarence Allen today demonstrated just how callous states can be.
Just? I don't think so.