Support for Death Penalty Waning

Just a quick one because I'm totes snowed under with work just now, but this put a happy smile on my face: American Law Institute drops support for capital punishment.

It's about time the US joined the rest of the Western democracies in dropping this barbaric practice from its justice system, and brought a little more justice into the system. It has far too long been used against society's marginalized people, in the US most notably black Americans and Americans with cognitive impairments and/or mental health issues. Illinois' governor imposed a moratorium on further executions in his state because he had come to believe there were insufficient safeguards to ensure an innocent person wasn't subjected to this irrevocable and most cruel punishment. It's good to see important legal bodies coming to the same conclusion.

My own opposition comes from this simple axiom: "It is better that ten guilty persons should go free, than that a single innocent should be falsely convicted." It seems to me this can only be more true for a punishment which can never be revoked, by its very nature. Until we achieve perfect wisdom, I cannot see how we can ever feel certain enough that a given human has done what they are accused of having done to impose a penalty which can never be undone. Bad enough to jail someone; inadequate though it is, compensation can be offered for a false imprisonment. How much blood money will we have to pay when we find out irrefutably that a person has been killed who simply did not do the crime?

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