Death Penalty Roundup

Worth noting:

• Following a nationwide trend, death sentences have been declining in North Carolina over the past ten years. Only one North Carolina defendant was sentenced to death in 2008, the smallest number since the Supreme Court reinstated capital punishment. The jury rejected death in eleven of the state's twelve capital trials.

• An 18-year-old who set fire to a house in Youngstown, killing two women and four children, was sentenced to life without parole after a jury rejected the death penalty.

The Boston Globe chastises New Hampshire for imposing its first death sentence since 1939.

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• Margaret Levy makes the case for abolishing the Connecticut death penalty -- not only to avoid the risk of executing the innocent, but because it is wrong to punish by killing. Period.

• Linda Greene argues that the death penalty is arbitrary, racist, elitist, expensive, error-prone, and wrong for Indiana.

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    does new hampshire (none / 0) (#1)
    by cpinva on Mon Dec 29, 2008 at 03:19:03 AM EST
    even have the physical means to actually execute someone? not to mention, qualified (wow, that's a stupid term, how qualified do you need to be to murder someone?) personel to properly carry the procedure out?

    i hope not. perhaps, by the time they put all that together, they'll have had time to reconsider the sentence.

    the crimes that usually result in death sentences tend to be rather heinous, no question about it. those perpetrating them tend to be rather less than sympathetic characters, with rare exceptions.

    all that said, state sanctioned murder is still, well, murder. if conservatives are truly concerned (which i firmly doubt) about the coarsening of society, they might start by supporting the abolition of capital punishment. if that isn't a contributing factor, then nothing is.

    Qualification (none / 0) (#2)
    by phat on Mon Dec 29, 2008 at 03:56:37 AM EST
    Being qualified to carry out an execution is not something that, as far as I know, has been defined by any state's law.

    How exactly do you define the qualifications?

    The medical professions have definitions as to who is capable of dealing with "putting someone under" and such. The rules among medical professionals do not include lethal injection, as they aren't allowed to devise those types of rules. And nobody who actually carries out death sentences is trained in any of the various skills that the medical community may teach them to do the job. If they are trained to do the job, their training tells them that they shouldn't do that job.

    If someone is well trained and is doing the job, they have violated the oath that is the foundation of their training. If they haven't been asked to take that oath, they aren't trained.

    We actually create more victims by asking people to be executioners without giving them any training or education. Making it seem more like a medical procedure just makes this situation worse.


    Nationwide Trend (none / 0) (#3)
    by A Voice of Sanity on Tue Dec 30, 2008 at 02:16:20 AM EST
    Following a nationwide trend, death sentences have been declining in North Carolina over the past ten years.

    Many have put that down to a lack of certainty caused by so many cases being reversed long after conviction.

    One could also take the view that the high failure rates of medical personnel in hospitals is a factor. After all, given the choice between saving one person's life and executing someone else few would choose the execution. In a hospital everyone there on the medical staff is dedicated to healing and yet the failure rates are very high indeed. So if humans can't be accurate enough to save life, how can they be accurate enough to take it?