Uncategorized

Death Knell for the Death Penalty

The American Law Institute, the organization that provided the framework for our current capital punishment system, has washed its hands of the whole sorry mess. Abandoning the death penalty was necessary “‘in light of the current intractable institutional and structural obstacles to ensuring a minimally adequate system for administering capital punishment.'” In other words, we don’t have a fair system, and we’re not ever gonna get one. Better to stick a fork in it than to keep pretending it will ever be workable.

Of course, this doesn’t mean everyone is going to suddenly do the right thing and end the death penalty in the United States for good. But it does mean those who want to maintain our patently unjust and immoral system won’t have an intellectual leg to stand on anymore. Something tells me that won’t bother a lot of capital punishment supporters, but it should worry those who actually carry it out.

A study commissioned by the institute said that decades of experience had proved that the system could not reconcile the twin goals of individualized decisions about who should be executed and systemic fairness. It added that capital punishment was plagued by racial disparities; was enormously expensive even as many defense lawyers were underpaid and some were incompetent; risked executing innocent people; and was undermined by the politics that come with judicial elections. …

‘It’s very bad news for the continued legitimacy of the death penalty,’ Professor Zimring said. ‘But it’s the kind of bad news that has many more implications for the long term than for next week or the next term of the Supreme Court.'”

It may take awhile, but here’s to another nail in the coffin of this brutal practice that degrades us all.

Check Also

The drug war wins again

Mayor McFarlane made some good points in her ...

Top Stories from NCPW

  • News
  • Commentary

With just a few hours left until the crossover deadline, the state of North Carolina’s environment i [...]

On Monday morning, there was only one way left to save the Court of Appeals and a few hours with whi [...]

The political compromise that repealed HB2 was enough for the NCAA and ACC, both of which have retur [...]

Conference comes a day after new report lauds benefits of same-day registration The new line-up for [...]

How many times do we have to say it? Well, it’s worth repeating – especially in the aftermath of rec [...]

As the national pundits weigh in on President Trump’s first 100 days in office and the General Assem [...]

How the General Assembly is spending “crossover week” and what it ought to be doing The last week of [...]

To casual observers, the recent controversy surrounding public school class-size mandates in grades [...]

Featured | Special Projects

Trump + North Carolina
In dozens of vitally important areas, policy decisions of the Trump administration are dramatically affecting and altering the lives of North Carolinians. This growing collection of stories summarizes and critiques many of the most important decisions and their impacts.
Read more


HB2 - The continuing controversy
Policy Watch’s comprehensive coverage of North Carolina’s sweeping anti-LGBT law.
Read more