(866) 635-2689 for Personal Injury or (866) 635-9402 for Criminal Defense
Find a Local Lawyer
Divorce (866) 635-6190
Personal Injury (866) 635-2689
Criminal Defense (866) 635-9402
Courts, legislatures, and the death penalty
Thanks to Michael P. for posting the Times article on states' reluctance to "lead change on executions." To the extent the article is (additional) evidence that state legislatures have grown so used to federal-court supervision of state and local policies relating to crime, punishment, public morals, etc., that they are now too infantilized, or cowardly, to actually revisit their policies and take account of changing views and circumstances . . . well, that's bad. (If states are reluctant to "lead change" because, at the end of the day, the people to whom state legislatures are accountable don't really want "change", that's a different matter, it seems to me.)
Now, to be clear, and in response to Michael: The reason why I want the death penalty to be abolished legislatively, and not by federal courts, is because I am confident that the Constitution does not require the abolition of the death penalty, and so any federal-court decision abolishing the death penalty would be, in my view, an anti-democratic overreach. If I thought -- as, I gather, Michael does? -- that the death penalty is unconstitutional, my preference for legislatively driven abolition over abolition-by-judicial-decision would be, like Michael's, much less strong.
From Mirror of Justice posted 2008-01-03.