Thursday, February 05, 2004

Human error in capital punishment
The only way to prevent the execution of innocent people is not to execute anyone, says this Findlaw column. Scott Turow basically says the same thing in his new book Ultimate Punishment. Read Observer's review of the book:

There will always be cases that cry out for ultimate punishment, but that is not the true issue. The pivotal question is whether a system of justice can be constructed that reaches only the rare, right cases without also occasionally condemning the innocent or underserving. Let Gacy live to save the Hernandezes and Thomases. Let justice be roughly done to save our politicians from posturing, pusillanimity and vote-grabbing. Let there be no more death by state decree.

I wonder how our politicians can countenance the death penalty and trumpet its deterrent effect when all studies conclude that such deterrent effect is a chimera. On a related note, does approving executions amount to a personal sin on the part of the president, a sin that needs to be confessed ? GMA in hell is simply too disturbing. I must remember to ask a priest.

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