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January 30, 2007

Capital news and notes

Capital Defense Weekly here collects lots of interesting news covering a busy death penalty Monday, and How Appealing has posts here and here with some of Tuesday's capital headlines from Florida and Texas.

In addition, this post at Abolish the Death Penalty spotlights "Death penalty demagoguery among Democrats" thanks to this notable passage from an op-ed in the Baltimore Sun:

When he was running for president in 1992, Clinton slipped back to Arkansas just long enough to oversee the execution of a brain-damaged killer named Rickey Ray Rector. It was the third execution during his tenure as Arkansas governor. Clinton scraped away the moral questions to score points with a public that might have regarded him as soft on crime....  In 1992, other so-called liberals, Paul Tsongas and Bob Kerrey, embraced the death penalty, hoping such a position would pull the Democratic Party to the political middle and win back voters who had marched off to join the Reagan Revolution in the previous 3 presidential elections.

The death penalty has been used for political gain across the land.  Mike Miller, the Maryland Senate president and for way too long now a leading Democrat in this blue state, said this in 2004: "If there's a gallows, I'll pull the lever.  If there's a gas chamber, I'll turn the valve. If it's lethal injection, I'll insert the needle." 

In the hands of politicians, the death penalty has been used in this way -- to earn tough-on-crime bona fides -- or as an object of demagoguery.

January 30, 2007 at 09:18 AM | Permalink

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