A Strange, Sad Tale

I have no opinion on the legal issues in Summerlin v. Stewart [*]. I would, however, like to know who owns the movie rights.

It’s the strangest tale you will encounter this month. Note, in particular, the view of the defense lawyer in the case that her drunken sexual encounter with the prosecutor constituted a conflict of interest for herself but not for him.

Having read the opinions, I find it hard to escape two reflections:

(1) The Arizona court system is seriously fouled up. Executing someone after such a farcical process doesn’t pass the smell test.

(2) Putting Mr. Summerlin out of his misery doesn’t sound like a bad idea at all, from his perspective or ours. It really isn’t his fault that he’s incapable of controlling his homicidal rage, but as long as he has the use of his hands he will pose a mortal threat to the people around him.

Author: Mark Kleiman

Professor of Public Policy at the NYU Marron Institute for Urban Management and editor of the Journal of Drug Policy Analysis. Teaches about the methods of policy analysis about drug abuse control and crime control policy, working out the implications of two principles: that swift and certain sanctions don't have to be severe to be effective, and that well-designed threats usually don't have to be carried out. Books: Drugs and Drug Policy: What Everyone Needs to Know (with Jonathan Caulkins and Angela Hawken) When Brute Force Fails: How to Have Less Crime and Less Punishment (Princeton, 2009; named one of the "books of the year" by The Economist Against Excess: Drug Policy for Results (Basic, 1993) Marijuana: Costs of Abuse, Costs of Control (Greenwood, 1989) UCLA Homepage Curriculum Vitae Contact: Markarkleiman-at-gmail.com