Archive for March 7th, 2009

Less Compassionate Than Bush

I didn’t think that was even possible:

If Sharon Keller, the presiding judge of Texas’ highest criminal court, has ever doubted her judgment, she has not shown it.

In 1998, Judge Keller wrote the opinion rejecting a new trial for Roy Criner, a mentally retarded man convicted of rape and murder, even though DNA tests after his trial showed that it was not his semen in the victim.

“We can’t give new trials to everyone who establishes, after conviction, that they might be innocent,” she later told the television news program “Frontline.” “We would have no finality in the criminal justice system, and finality is important.”

Oh, God forbid we should give people new trials just because they might be innocent.  What a horrible travesty of justice that would be.

Gov. George W. Bush eventually pardoned Mr. Criner.

Look, when even Dubya, the guy who mocked a condemned woman, is more merciful than you are, it’s time to take a good, long look at yourself.

But wait, there’s more:

Seventeen months ago, lawyers for a man facing execution sought extra time to file a last-minute appeal. Judge Keller refused to delay the closing of her clerk’s office past 5 p.m., even though late filings are common on the day of a scheduled execution. The man, Michael Richard, was put to death by lethal injection a few hours later.

Based on that case, the State Commission on Judicial Conduct last month charged Judge Keller with incompetence, violating her duties and casting public discredit on the judiciary. Judge Keller, who has been the chief judge of the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals since 2000, faces a public trial and could be forced off the bench.

Her lawyer insists that she did nothing wrong and that she was being blamed for the mistakes of the defendant’s lawyers and court staff.

Tell me again about the Republican “culture of life”?  This woman is as pro-death as it gets.

1 comment March 7th, 2009 at 08:29pm Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Bush,Judiciary,Quotes,Republicans,Wankers

Wall Street To The Rescue!

Don't worry, I'm coming!

(From Married To The Sea)

March 7th, 2009 at 04:04pm Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Comics,Corruption/Cronyism,Economy

Jurassic Chicken

What could possibly go wrong?

Some of the world’s leading paleontologists are attempting to recreate a dinosaur — or something a lot like a dinosaur — by starting with a chicken embryo and working backward to engineer a “chickenosaurus” or “dinochicken,” project leader Jack Horner told Discovery News.

(…)

“Birds are dinosaurs, so technically we’re making a dinosaur out of a dinosaur,” said Horner, a professor of paleontology at Montana State University and curator of paleontology at the Museum of the Rockies.

(…)

“A number of people in a number of different places are moving forward with the project slowly and carefully,” he said.

One such researcher is Hans Laarson of McGill University in Montreal. Laarson and his team are analyzing the genes involved in tail development and researching ways of manipulating chicken embryos in order to “awaken the dinosaur within.”

(…)

Other medical breakthroughs could also occur, he said, since “genomes made of genes made of switches” function similarly in all animals, including humans.

There is no danger of the proposed dinochicken escaping and populating the world with dinosaurs, Horner said, since only the chicken’s development, and not its genome, would have been affected. If the creature did somehow escape and could mate, the result would just be a regular chicken.

(…)

Kevin Padian, a professor of integrative biology at the University of California at Berkeley and a curator at the UC Museum of Paleontology, told Discovery News he supports the project.

“The important thing that Jack and Jim are saying here is that there is a lot of information stored in our genes that we don’t use — genes that determine features that evolution has suppressed, for various reasons,” Padian said.

“We now have the tools to ‘reverse-engineer’ some of those constraints and produce traits that look a bit more like those ancient features,” he added. “This tells us how genetics, development and evolution are related, so it’s tremendously important.”

When and if the dinochicken is created, Horner looks forward to bringing it out on a leash during lectures.

So how long before someone tries this with other animals, or even people?  The bioethicists will have a field day.

March 7th, 2009 at 01:12pm Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Coolness,Science,Weirdness


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