Friday, September 28, 2007

Is Houston Chronicle moving towards abolition position?

The Houston Chronicle wrote an editorial this week that contains several sentences that seem to be moving the paper's position more into the end the death penalty camp. The editorial endorsed suspending executions pending the outcome of the U.S. Supreme Court decision in Baze, but it seemed to have larger concerns as well. Earlier this year, the Dallas Morning News changed its policy and endorsed abolishing the death penalty. The Houston Chronicle has not done that yet, but a close reading of their latest editorial on the subject could lead someone to think they are trying out some abolition arguments.

"There are several good reasons to give every death row inmate an indefinite reprieve. This week the U.S. Supreme Court found another."

That sentence seems to imply that the lethal injection method is not the only reason to support a moratorium on executions.

"Particularly in Texas, the nation's execution leader, the criminal justice system is prone to mistakes and abuse. The system is too unreliable in its assessment of guilt to justify exacting the ultimate, irrevocable penalty."

Those two sentences are clearly abolitionist in sentiment.

Maybe sometime in the near future the Chronicle will stop dancing around the issue and say exactly what it means.

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