“The system is inherently defective”

Statement by Governor Bill Richardson of New Mexico on signing into law an Act repealing the death penalty and substituting life imprisonment without parole for capital offenses:

“Regardless of my personal opinion about the death penalty, I do not have confidence in the criminal justice system as it currently operates to be the final arbiter when it comes to who lives and who dies for their crime. If the State is going to undertake this awesome responsibility, the system to impose this ultimate penalty must be perfect and can never be wrong. But the reality is the system is not perfect — far from it. The system is inherently defective. DNA testing has proved that. Innocent people have been put on death row all across the country. Even with advances in DNA and other forensic evidence technologies, we can’t be 100-per cent sure that only the truly guilty are convicted of capital crimes. Evidence, including DNA evidence, can be manipulated. Prosecutors can still abuse their powers. We cannot ensure competent defense counsel for all defendants”

Bill Richardson, a former advocate of capital punishment, was later interviewed at length by Rachel Maddow, and you can see the interview here. New Mexico is the first state to repeal the death penalty since New Jersey in 2007.

These are great days..

A phone for PE teachers? Seriously?

Okay, I wouldn’t normally say anything about an ad, particularly a very stupid ad made by a company that doesn’t even sell into my country, but this is getting very annoying.

Most weekdays I pick up the Keith Olbermann and Rachel Maddow shows from MSNBC’s website. They’re running on what is known in the trade as interstitial ads, so if you want to watch a segment first you have to watch a 30-second ad.  Fine.

For a week or so now, however, the Rachel Maddow show has been intrusively interspersed with a particularly obnoxious ad.

The premise is “What if delivery people ran the world?”  Well obviously the world would be horrible if that were the case, but what the ad actually shows is people who look like rather dense PE teachers running around shouting into telephones and annoying the children.

It’s annoying enough to watch once–the stupid, brutal, mindless yelling idiot with the telephone, his slack-jawed henchmen and women importing an unwanted and very disturbing air of somnambulence and automatism to teaching.

But this is the problem: the stupid thing is 30 seconds long and is broadcast between every single segment of Rachel Maddow’s show.

Please, MSNBC, stop.  Find an advertiser prepared to make ads that don’t make people want to stab their own eyes out with pencils.

Keith Olbermann on proposition 8

I urge everybody who supported California Proposition 8 to watch this comment by Keith Olbermann of MSNBC.  It says all that needs to be said, in Keith’s fine baritone.

Keith Olberman’s special comment on Proposition 8