Let the Boston Bomber Live

"Why I oppose the death penalty, even for Dzhokhar Tsarnaev."

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Aaron Blumer's picture


Looks like the same old arguments here. But other than a bit of misapplied theology, they are really problems with implementation of the death penalty, not with the penalty itself. As a case against how we carry it out in the US, there are solid points here.

But it's a bit like looking at how badly I ice skate and concluding that ice skating is an ugly, awkward activity that sensible people should ban.

Bert Perry's picture

Building on Aaron's comment, I hope, it strikes me that a lot of death penalty opponents are railing against the visible portion of the iceberg--wrongful convictions in which the death penalty was the sentence--but missing a much bigger portion of wrongful conviction/police misconduct affecting people not given the death penalty.  I have a hunch that there is a fairly significant population of prosecutors and police officers that really deserve the Mike Nifong treatment.  

I would be glad to be wrong, but if we're exonerating a lot of people in capital cases, often for egregious errors and misrepresentation of evidence (even fabrication thereof), it stands to reason that other cases, these errors and misrepresentations are worse because people aren't scrutinizing them as heavily.

Example I saw recently in a case from North Dakota where written notes in a book were analyzed by a "handwriting expert" whose only qualification was passing an online course.  Thankfully the defense lawyer didn't allow the prosecution to get away with that one, but it is telling that the prosecution apparently thought it would slip by.  If they were used to a vigorous examination of evidence, they'd never have tried that one.

Aspiring to be a stick in the mud.