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March 9, 2022

Some notable headlines about the state and possible fate of capital punishment in the US

I have seen an array of notable news and commentary concerning the administration of the death penalty this week, enough to justify this round up:

From The Atlantic, "A Good Man, At One Time: How a Mississippi inmate became an advocate for his own execution"

From CommonWealth, "Tsarnaev again faces death penalty, but support for capital punishment dropping"

From the Death Penalty Information Center, "Tennessee Sets Three Execution Dates for Most-in-Nation 5 Pending Executions in 2022"

From The Hill, "Reinstatement of marathon bomber's death sentence exposes Democrats' need to hide radicalism"

From The Intercept, "RUSH TO JUDGMENT: Is Texas Sending Melissa Lucio to Die for a Crime That Never Happened?"

From the Ohio Capital Journal, "Ohio gets closer to abolishing death penalty"

From the New York Times, "This Sedative Is Now a Go-To Drug for Executions. But Does It Work?"

From Verdict, "As Oklahoma Goes, So Goes America’s Death Penalty?"

From Vox, "Why some Republicans are turning against the death penalty"

March 9, 2022 at 05:06 PM | Permalink


I haven't read any but one of the articles but several things struck me right off the bat. First, for the "RUSH TO JUDGMENT" piece, the murder occurred 15 years ago and the trial 14 years ago. There may be many things going on in that case, but a "rush" is not one of them.

Second, the Vox article titled, "Why some Republicans are turning against the death penalty" is a retread of the same or quite similar titles for the same or quite similar pieces going back to the last century. I'm still waiting for the Vox article titled, "Why the Supreme Court is warming up to the death penalty," which would at least have the virtue of recency.

Third, the CommonWealth piece arguing that "support for capital punishment is dropping" is inconsistent with the polling data. Support was dropping for a long time, starting in the late Ninties, but according to Gallup has been stable at 54% since 2017.

Posted by: Bill Otis | Mar 9, 2022 9:13:09 PM

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