"And what does the LORD require of you But to do justice, to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God"
-- Micah 6:8

"The duty of the prosecutor is to seek justice, not merely to convict."
-- American Bar Association Standard 3-1.2(c)

"There may be a legitimate diversity of opinion even among Catholics about waging war and applying the death penalty, but not however with regard to abortion and euthanasia."
--Pope Benedict XVI, June 2004

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

The Cost of Frivolity

As noted in some of my prior postings, one of the latest pitches of the DP abolitionist movement is to complain about the presumably exorbitant costs of litigating these cases.

Yet whence do these extra costs arise?

Could part of the answer be multiple filings that have no merit, like this THIRD state Post-Conviction Relief Act motion filed on behalf of convicted cop-killer Black Panther member Wesley Cook, aka, Mumia Abu-Jamal?

The Supreme Court of Pennsylvania, the Commonwealth's attorneys, and other staff had to spend many hours of work to conclude that this filing had no merit; and in fact, that it was trying to supplant an earlier, also meritless, second PCRA filing. In cases where the state is picking up the defense lawyer's bill, tack on those costs also to these kinds of frivolous filings.

Cut down on the frivolous motions and reduce much of the cost of these cases, especially one like this, where guilt was decisively established and appeal after appeal has found no error.

If indeed there is grossly more money being spent on DP cases, the scatter-shot, multiple, and usually frivolous filings by the condemned are often the source. Yet in many if not most death cases, there is little to no doubt about guilt, and the ordinary mechanisms of appellate review and one habeas review ought to resolve any lingering issues of trial error.

So if too much money is being spent, the abolitionists themselves can solve the problem, coupled with more Court oversight to curtail such dilatory and frivolous pleadings.

Don't hold your breath.

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