Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Yet Another Reason the Death Penalty Should Forever Die

I have occasionally written on my blog about the death penalty and my strong conviction that it should be forever expunged from American life. I have also written here and in one of my books about why I think so many Americans still support this anachronistic and flawed system of the past, arguably relating among other things to our obsession with violent redemption as the dominant visual metaphor for justice itself. The arguments against the continued used of this cruel and unusual punishment are many including 1. It costs substantially more than interning a murderer for life, 2. That cruel and unusual argument I just made, backed by recent research that further solidifies this argument, 3. The reality that innocent people have been convicted and even put to death by the system, 4. The distrust of government should make us seriously distrust its ability to determine who should live and die, 5. If murder is wrong, why is the state-sanctioned variety okay? and 6. The simple argument that it is not a deterrent to murder, and has never been proven to be one empirically.

Now we can add another, thanks to this fascinating article from firedoglake. It recounts the jury selection process and how important it is in a capital trial. And given the details included and the fundamental argument that a trial is largely decided before it even begins, one has to wonder if the resources of the state against the usually poor, and often black, men facing these trials doesn’t put the final nail in the coffin of this barbaric practice?

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