Monday, October 29, 2007

Death takes a holiday

The American Bar Association has released a report saying that the use of the death penalty "is deeply flawed" and that "every state with the death penalty should review its execution procedures before putting anyone else to death."

The coffee has been smelled.

The report highlights the following issues:

- Spotty collection and preservation of DNA evidence, which has been used to exonerate more than 200 inmates
- Misidentification by eyewitnesses
- False confessions from defendants
- Persistent racial disparities that make death sentences more likely when victims are white

Is anyone remotely surprised by any of this? Especially the last point?

"After carefully studying the way states across the spectrum handle executions, it has become crystal clear that the process is deeply flawed," said Stephen F. Hanlon, chairman of the ABA Death Penalty Moratorium Implementation Project. "The death penalty system is rife with irregularity."

Of course pro-death penalty folks are complaining that the study is biased because many of the folks involved were death penalty opponents. Me? I'd guess that some of them might have been either proponents or undecided, but subsequently had a change of heart in light of the evidence.

Hopefully this will result in a freeze on executions nationwide. Maybe we can finally join the other enlightened nations of the world and stop killing people. There are too many opportunities for mistakes, too much racial bias, and, I believe the most important reason, once inflicted, it is irreversible. There are too many stupid people in this world to have the fate of anyone hanging on their memory or word.

So shut down the death houses and then look for the resultant rise in unemployment in Texas.

Riding the lightning with:

Terminal Sound System - Watcher
(open and bottomless)

Mad Professor - Anti-Racist Dub Broadcast
(fight dem crazy baldheads)

Meat Beat Manifesto - Original Fire
(rare gems from Jack)

Bing Crosby- The Best Of The War Years
(vox like butta)

Coldworker - The Contaminated Void
(roar to the floor)


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