November 7, 2005
A bit of death in the afternoon
Two interesting items relating to capital punishment have me in Hemmingway mood as I consider the "art" of our modern death penalty. (As an aside, I find reading the first chapter of "Death in the Afternoon" while thinking about the death penalty, rather than bullfighting, to be an interesting and enlightening experience.) Consider these competing developments on two noteworthy capital canvases:
- The Eighth Circuit today, in US v. Purkey, No. 04-1337 (8th Cir. Nov. 7, 2005) (available here), upheld a death sentence imposed under the Federal Death Penalty Act against an array of broad and narrow constitutional and statutory challenges.
- The Birmingham News, as explained here, has had a "death penalty conversion" (hat tip: TalkLeft). Here are the essential details of the conversion:
After decades of supporting the death penalty, the editorial board no longer can do so. Today and over the next five days, we will explain our change of mind and heart.... Why? Because we have come to believe Alabama's capital punishment system is broken. And because, first and foremost, this newspaper's editorial board is committed to a culture of life.
Put simply, supporting the death penalty is inconsistent with our convictions about the value of life, convictions that are evident in our editorial positions opposing abortion, embryonic stem-cell research and euthanasia. We believe all life is sacred. And in embracing a culture of life, we cannot make distinctions between those we deem "innocents" and those flawed humans who populate Death Row.
November 7, 2005 at 02:13 PM | Permalink
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