Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on June 9th, 2008 4:37 am by HL
A columnist for the Wichita Eagle compares recent homicide prosecutions and reasonably concludes that the haphazard application of the death penalty makes it unfair in any particular case, no matter how ugly the facts.
With all of the variants, including where and how a murder occurs, who gets killed and the makeup of the jury, the death penalty forces society into the ridiculous practice of comparing tragedies and assigning a sliding scale of value to victims' lives.
Is killing a child as heinous as killing a law officer, or more so? Should we kill rapists? Does the victim's race or the killer's race matter? All of these factors, which we like to pretend don't matter, give the death penalty a capriciousness that ought to make us sick. …
Our state hasn't executed anyone since 1965, and we simply can't execute anyone anymore without inviting a million moral and ethical questions about the system's fairness.