Monday, January 4, 2010

Classic good news / bad news

Apparently there has been one reputable organization fighting for the death penalty in America.  I've stated my opposition.  So I first viewed this news as unequivocal good news.  That organization, the American Law Institute, has formally dropped its advocacy of capital punishment.


Read a little deeper, though, and the reason for this change is quite disturbing.  The ALI is made up of about 4,000 judges, lawyers and law professors.  Their decision is due to their collective opinion that the criminal justice system is so broken that it can no longer be trusted to decide matters of life and death.

Let that sink in for a second.  4,000 judges, lawyers, and law professors who used to be the sole advocate of the death penalty in America now believe that the criminal justice system is too broken to entrust with that power.

That's bad.

The New York Times has the full story.

I expect this to signal the beginning of the end of the death penalty in America.  I am glad for that.  And I am glad that those in power have the honesty to say that the system is broken and work to remove this power before it is more grievously abused.  But I wish that the legal system were not that broken.

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