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Why We Have the Death Penalty, Part Three Trillion


The first of the two defendants in the Connecticut home invasion/arson/rape/triple murder case was convicted this morning.  His sentence has yet to be determined.  The prosecutors, to their credit, turned down an offer to plead guilty in exchange for a life sentence.

The story is here.

I'm not going into the facts of the case because many readers will already know them.  You have to read it to believe that someone could be this sadistic and cruel to another human being.

I hope the abolitionists will have the courage of their convictions and start in on why a prison sentence represents justice in this case.  What's more likely is that they'll hunker down, as they did in the McVeigh case, or sulk among themselves on the Huffington Post or TalkLeft or whatever it is they tune into.  Of course I'm under no illusion that sulking is going to be their only response.  I'm sure we'll see the usual batch of, "This is a tragedy, but our real focus should be on..........," followed by pages roughly reading, "America stinks, and thus has no standing to execute anyone."  The actual facts of the case will be left, as ever, on the editing room floor.


Clear cut case demanding the ultimate sanction....and there is no racial angle for the left to be conflicted about.

The smarter abolitionists tend to argue that cases like these are outliers and that we shouldn't base death penalty policy on them.


The problem with the abolitionist argument that this case is an outlier is that the DP itself is an outlier. There are, what, 17,000 murders a year, and maybe 60 executions.

Put another way, abolitionism suffers from the defects of its virtues. Its virtue, viewed from a certain perspective, is that it's pure. Its defect is that it's absolute. If they would admit that there are grotesque cases, like this one, where it should be allowed, they would have a stronger position -- but, then, they wouldn't be abolitionists.


My prediction is they'll hunker down and refuse to discuss it.

"There are, what, 17,000 murders a year, and maybe 60 executions."

There ought to be a lot more.

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