What’s the Latest Development?
Connecticut will soon become the 17th state without capital punishment and the fifth state in as many years to ban the practice. “Connecticut is part of a growing movement against capital punishment, with repeal measures now proposed in California, Florida, Georgia, Kansas, Kentucky and Washington. Other states like Ohio, Oregon and Pennsylvania are reviewing their death penalty laws.” Even death penalty defenders are now questioning its financial costs. California, for example, has spent $4 billion dollars to execute 13 people since 1978.
What’s the Big Idea?
The death penalty is unjust. It is applied unfairly along racial and financial lines. Studies show that “minority defendants with white victims are much more likely to be sentenced to death than others,” and that “the problem of inadequate counsel permeates the system, with many indigent defendants sentenced to death after major blunders by court-assigned lawyers.” After studying decades of executions, the American Law Institute has concluded that the system cannot be fixed. Based on overwhelming evidence, capital punishment should be abolished throughout the nation.
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