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Thursday, June 12, 2008

DMN News Explains Anti-Death Penalty Stance

The Dallas Morning News yesterday explained again their position favoring abolishing the death penalty in an Ask the Editor post:

For more than a century, this newspaper favored the death penalty. Beginning in 2003 – but, more earnestly, in 2006 -- the Editorial Board began to have misgivings. What with DNA technological advances, it was becoming clear that the death penalty wasn't flawless. That's why last year – after much debate and soul searching and after Texas authorized the alternative death sentence of prison without parole – we decided to revise our thinking. We simply couldn't reconcile the fact that the death penalty is both imperfect and irreversible.

Perhaps this reader missed the fuller explanation of our thinking and the process by which we got to our new position. We published a special Points section on April 15, 2007, addressing this change of heart. And we published two additional editorials – "Life without parole should be new standard" and "Texas' next step" – the next day. This package of editorials – plus a dissenting column from one of our Editorial Board members and a variety of reader reactions, both pro and con – all appeared during these two days. We made clear we'd carefully considered dissenting views. All of these essays – plus the transcript of an online chat I did at the time – are collected at dallasnews.com/deathnomore.

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