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May 2018
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Aerden [userpic]
Texas State Legislation

State Legislation: Yes, I know. I must be ill if I'm writing about legislation in my journal! But I'm rather pleased with my state legislature, today. They have approved three items:

  • A juror pay raise--the first since about 1964, to $40/day after the first day of service.
  • Making it impossible for registered sex offenders to receive Viagra as a Medicaid benefit.
  • Creating a sentence of 'life in prison without chance of parole' for capital crimes.

The first two of these items are no-brainers, in my opinion. But I am particularly glad to see the third item getting approval. I have two reasons for wanting that bit of legislation passed. First off, many people have a moral objection to sentencing a criminal to death. They feel this for religious or other personal reasons, or they simply feel that, if murder is wrong for one person, it is wrong for all, and the difference between taking someone's life as a criminal act is little different from taking someone's life as an act of justice.

I hope that, by allowing this option, people who might otherwise shy away from convicting a person of a capital crime if the only choice is the death penalty, might be more willing to consider a conviction if they have a less lethal sentencing option that they can choose.

This also has the potential to lower certain costs to the state. A sentence of death brings with it the need to adjudicate mandatory appeals, which can drag on for years and cost a large amount of money. This way, at least, appeals will not be mandatory, but up to the discretion of the defendant and his/her lawyer.

The Eye Update: I saw Dr. Garcia, my cataract surgeon, today, and he has decided to taper me off of the Pred Forte to see whether the inflammation returns. He's trying to see whether I have phacogenic glaucoma in the right eye or phacolytic uveitis. Fun! As I told Mark when I came out of his office, "He's doing that Dr. House thing--you know, take the patient off the medication, to see if he dies."

Tonight, I think I'll use the excuse of needing to pick up a Pred Forte refill to buy another Bearclaw Coffee Cake, like the one I brought to a co-worker's going-away party today but didn't get to eat any of. (g) It smelled so good!


Hey Chantal -- Meant to comment to your last post, the eye thing sounds QUITE uncomfortable. Yeouch! I hope your eye doctor is able to figure it out and resolve the problem.

I, too, was glad to see those legislations pass. However, I have a hard time patting the good old boys (and girls) on the back for correcting something so stupid as to be criminal. I heard about the Medicaid paying for Viagra for sex offenders, and nearly came unglued. I mean... geez! So yeah, I'm glad they passed the law, but it makes me sad for our country that they had to pass a law to make people in the beauocracy use their brains!

As for the live without parole. Glad about that for the same reasons.

Hi, Rosemary! My eye is feeling better now, with the medication, but I suspect it'll flare up again sometime during the tapering off process. We'll see. For now, though, I'm fine.

I couldn't believe the Viagra thing, either! But I doubt Medicaid personnel have time to go through and check to see which of their patients are sex offenders. They'll have to start doing criminal checks now, though.

One thing that bothers me is that the way this law appears to be written, it applies only to registered sex offenders. What about those who don't register themselves? Is it possible for Medicaid to do background checks on all enrollees? Because that's what they'll have to do, if they want this law to really be effective. Even though only 200 out of 40,000 registrants have received the drug--and I wish I knew how they were able to track that--Does Medicaid actually ask its enrollees whether they are sex offenders? And if they do ask, do they really expect (and get) honest answers?