More Capital Punishment News

The ACS blog highlights this article by Alabama attorney Bryan Stevenson:

One day, the fog of fear and anger will lift enough in America for capital punishment to be abolished. Perhaps on this clearer day, we’ll reconcile our rhetoric about human rights and compassion with mass incarceration, torture and excessive punishment. Maybe we will reject the arrogance that justifies executions simply because our government believes it has the power to kill. Most likely, an improved climate will expose the bizarre bureaucracy of state-sanctioned killing as an unreliable, inaccurate and profoundly unfair system that is simply too costly and burdensome to continue. However the day comes—and it will come—I hope we get there soon. The longer we tolerate the mistakes, discrimination and abuse of power that characterize the modern death penalty, the more we sustain a legacy of indecent brutality that compromises the evolution of human rights in this country and around the world.

He makes valid points, but I also think he overstates his case. I disagree, for example, with his statement that “Killing someone to prove that killing is wrong is the illogical, ill-conceived response of people who have power but no vision.” I have no qualms with the principle of penalizing death with death. Some crimes are so heinous that the only appropriate response is death, and it if anyone is “illogical” it is the person who invokes platitudes about human dignity in order to save a person who has just demonstrated the ultimate contempt for human dignity by committing murder. Sorry, you can’t have it both ways.

That said, if all I knew about the death penalty was that Bryan Stevenson opposed it and Troy King supported it, I would be in the prohibition camp.

Explore posts in the same categories: Capital Punishment

3 Comments on “More Capital Punishment News”

  1. Willie Says:

    This issue is a tough one for me. I know that much of the civilized world stopped capital punishment years ago. An eye for an eye policy of punishment makes us look backward. But, and there is always a but, we in what we like to call the richest and most powerful country in the world have citizens who have no problem walking into a small store, executing all the workers for a couple of hundred dollars. Other countries, particularly in Europe, do not have this problem. I think it has something to do with our values, maybe lack of culture. I continue to be stumped in trying to figure this out.

  2. Susan Says:

    Yes, yes. It’s a cultural problem that will take generations to mend, and that’s with good leadership.

    This debate is all well and good, but when do we get to see more pictures of your little ones (or the babies even?)

  3. wheeler Says:

    i’ve got a ton of pics to put up. it will be this weekend. maybe even two posts worth.

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