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Thursday, June 29, 2006

Cultural swing away from capital punishment?

Slate has an interesting discussion on the recent 5-4 Supreme Court decision upholding Kansas' death penalty statute. An excerpt from their analysis of Souter's dissent:

No, this case has nothing to do with factual innocence, but it has a lot to do with a big cultural swing away from capital punishment—a swing we saw in last week's two death-penalty cases, which tacitly acknowledged that death is different. Souter is saying that as the American public and members of the court discover how deeply flawed the capital punishment machine really is, the inclination to just go on killing people, mistakes and all, is slightly nauseating. He's saying that it's immoral to blow off the mounting evidence that mistakes are made with platitudes like, "No system is perfect." If the system is broken, smugly funneling yet more people into it is sick.

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