Tuesday, June 07, 2005

Logic and the Death Penalty

Steve Ford and the editorialists at the N&O are about 5 years late in tagging onto one of the most inane arguments about the death penalty, and in the same editorial today they fall for an even older political trick.

Ford claims that we should put a moratorium on the death penalty (a measure under consideration by the N.C. legislature) because we might execute someone who we later find out is innocent.

Well using that logic, we should ban the death penalty, not impose a moratorium. We will never be 100% sure that every person who is executed was guilty. It is important to have safeguards in place and an effective appeal process, but if you want to eliminate the death penalty just come out and say it rather than hiding behind a moratorium. And I challenge anyone to provide evidence of somone who has been executed in the U.S. in the last 20 years and later been found to be innocent.

The N&O also tries to allow the Dems who run the state General Assembly to pull an old political trick. In this deception the Dems introduce a bill proposing a moratorium, thereby pleasing the liberals who support such a move. But then the party leadership, realizing that the moratorium will be unpopular with most voters, claims they "don't have the votes" to pass the bill.

Now in N.C. both houses are controlled by Dems. They can pass what they want, and they rolled a number of Dems easily on issues like the lottery. So if they really wanted this moratorium to pass it is a done deal, but the N&O provides the political cover to allow them to have it both ways.