Residential Space A creative outlet during residency, turned ongoing virtual soap box

Posted on Friday, June 23rd, 2006 at 10:11 am. About News and Politics.

The “Death Penalty Experiment” – failed from the start

Austin told me once that when she receives her Newsweek each week, she looks at the table of contents, then flips to the final page to see if Anna Quindlen is the columnist closing out the issue. When she reads a column by Quindlan, she realizes she is not alone, and says a quiet “Amen” to herself. Regardless of the topic, Quindlan’s words seem to reasonate with reasonable people everywhere.

This week is no exception. Quindlen’s column, featured on the MSNBC website prior to its official release in Newsweek, examines the consistent arguments before the Supreme Court regarding various aspects to how the death penalty is carried out. Is it more humane to use lethal injection rather than electrocution? Is pain actually experienced during the lethal injection? If so, what does that mean? Should we execute mentally retarded people? Criminals who commit murder before the age of 18? Quindlen basically writes – here’s an idea. The death penalty is wrong. We kill people to demonstrate how wrong killing is.

We are one of four nations in the entire world (alongside Iran, China, and Saudi Arabia) who carry out the vast majority of executions. The thought that Iraq may have been more civilized in some respects than the United States is more than disturbing. Or maybe our supply of right-wing fundies believe we are the more enlightened society because the Old Testament condones executions, despite Jesus’s negation of Hammurabi’s code and his plea to love one’s enemies.


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