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August 9, 2005

Stevens, Roberts, Gonzales and the death penalty

Returning after a full day of guidelines talk at the NASC Conference in DC, I returned to my computer to discover that Justice Stevens' comments about the death penalty over the weekend at the ABA Annual Meeting has brought new attention to capital sentencing issues.  And that attention is finding its way to discussions over SCOTUS nominee John Roberts and discussions by AG Alberto Gonzales.

This AP article suggests that Justice Stevens' comments have "steered the debate over President Bush's nominee to a new subject over the weekend — capital punishment."  TalkLeft is already talking up this issue in posts about the capital views of Roberts and his wife.  (On the Roberts front more generally, this Wall Street Journal article reviews Roberts' limited criminal justice record, and I have prior posts thoroughly covering Roberts on capital punishment and other criminal justice issues.) 

Also getting drawn into the capital conversation is AG Gonzales.  According to this report, today at the ABA Annual Meeting in Chicago Gonzales conceded "that the system can stand some improving."  Here's a snippet from the article:

Questioned by reporters, Attorney General Gonzalez would not agree that the system is flawed, or as former Illinois Governor George Ryan once described it, "broken," but Gonzalez said he and President Bush think it can be changed. “We ought to take advantage of changing technology such as DNA to ensure the fact that only the guilty are punished," Gonzalez said.

August 9, 2005 at 12:12 AM | Permalink


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