Friday, December 14, 2007
New Jersey has scrapped the death penalty, the first state to do so since the reinstatement of capital punishment by the Supreme Court in 1976. I have always been intuitively against the death penalty. But, I reasoned, this was little more than a visceral reaction and the Americans in particular have their reasons and their traditions. I became much less sympathetic after reviewing Scott Turow's excellent book on the subject. Basically, he showed, executions don't work and they distort the whole judicial system. Individuals may live by absolutes, but states cannot. New Jersey is wise to have grasped this.
Posted by Bryan Appleyard at 11:29 am