Thursday, March 03, 2005

To Die For..........

the supremes have spoken. no more executing humans younger than 18. while i applaud the outcome i think the majority opinion strays from the constitution in its citation of public opinion in our country and of european penal practice. why is it more "cruel and unusual" to kill kids than adults? how much better would it have been if we hadn't relied on "activist judges" to decide that killing minors is a bad thing? surely a public decision by voters and legislatures would be much more satisfactory.

i have no qualms about the death penalty in principle. Richard Speck? Jeffrey Dahmer? Give me that lever. I'll pull it. Most cases are not so easy. Judges, juries, witnesses, and detectives are not always right, as we have found out lately through the exoneration of several death row inmates with the help of DNA testing. Fingerprint "experts" have also been found to be rather subjective in their identification of suspects. Some police and prosecuting attorneys have been revealed as ethically challenged or even outright liars. Defense attorneys are not always competent or properly diligent or even sometimes even awake during trial.

In light of these very real and difficult problems of fairness and justice i think we should stop using the death penalty now for anyone of any age.