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December 13, 2008

More headlines showing the continuing death of the death penalty

It is hard to read the newspapers (on-line, of course) without seeing more and more headlines showing how the death penalty is continuing to die a slow death.  Here are the headlines of note just from today's papers:

What is especially notable about these stories is the diverse set of institutional players all migrating away from the punishment of death.  The AP story reports on a jury unable to return a death sentence in a high-profile state case.  The Times reports on the US Attorney General deciding not to pursue a death sentence in a high-profile federal case.  And the Post reports on a Maryland Commission urging that state's legislature to abolish the death penalty.

December 13, 2008 at 11:34 AM | Permalink


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I am curious about the race and gender of the three holdouts for life in Atlanta. In my last several capital trials I am seeing a growing reluctance or outright refusal of black females to impose death, usually on religious grounds. I think it is growing to the proportion that it is implicating the Sixth Amendment right of a fair cross section of the community. In my opinion, death qualification of the jury is a culling of the venire, not the petit jury, and therefore the fair cross section right applies.

Bruce Cunningham

Posted by: | Dec 13, 2008 10:56:55 PM

That sounds nice, Bruce, but the prosecution is entitled to a jury that would follow the law and not be prejudiced.

Posted by: | Dec 14, 2008 11:06:50 AM

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