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« Obama Weighs in Again on Telecom Amnesty... | Main | British Government to Introduce Legislation to Outlaw Age Discrimination »

June 26, 2008



oh brother this guy is a real champion of democratic values, alright.

I also oppose the death penalty in all cases for many reasons and agree with the 5 justices on the winning side of this issue if there is a "winner" in this decision. I guess this is Obama's attempt at going after the "working class" vote because God knows "they all" believe in the death penalty (ya sure ya betcha). And then there are civil rights and the FISA bill. Obama is incredibly calculating trying to be all things to all people for everyone. He is going to get hammered in November - just like McGovern. Because he loses people in drips as he flips and flops and he won't even see the loss coming.


Personally, I've taken a long and slow path toward opposing the death penalty. I still don't have a deep moral/deontological objection to the death penalty. But I don't see it as a moral good, either. The bottom line is that the death penalty is not a deterrent to crime, it damages our reputation as a nation, it costs more to execute someone than to imprison them for life, and there's the unconscionable risk of executing an innocent person.

What you're left with is a need for vengeance and a desire to make the punishment "fit the crime" in some sense. Of course, if those were our only guides, we could justify death by torture, something an overwhelming majority of people would find repulsive. So those ideas constitute a terribly weak justification for the death penalty.

All of that said, I'd have a very hard time arguing that Adolf Eichmann should not have been executed. But just because I can justify the most easily justified example in history of the use of the death penalty, doesn't mean it should be a widely applied state policy.


Sadly, this fits in Obama's FISA strategy of "clearing the battlefield" of any distraction issues, so that he can clobber McCain on the economy and the war. It might be a good general election strategy, but it doesn't make me happy to hear these sorts of tacking-to-the-center comments.

The bottom line is that we're not going to see federal action on the death penalty in the next four years. The only impact a president Obama will have on this issue is appointing the replacements for Stevens and Ginsburg. No matter what he says about this particular ruling, the overwhelming weight of his statements on issues of constitutional law point toward the appointment of judges who would fit on the left wing of the current court.

So I'm not terribly worried by this. Disappointed, sure, but not worried. Unlike his FISA (in)action, which has real consequences, this is basically just standard general election maneuvering.


Your right, this topic can't be discussed rationally. There is a passionate feeling that a parent gets when their child is raped, and it is irrational, but in some minds completely justified.

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