You really have to love the New York Times editorial page.
Yesterday, the Times editorialized against what it views as the promiscuous use of life without parole. It notes that:
...use of the sentence has gone far beyond death penalty cases, even as violent crime rates have declined....In the last decade in Georgia, one of the few states with good data on the sentence, about 60 percent of offenders sentenced to life without parole were convicted of murder. The other 40 percent were convicted of kidnapping, armed robbery, sex crimes, drug crimes and other crimes including shoplifting.
The editorial ends with this:
A fair-minded society should revisit life sentences and decide whether an offender deserves to remain in prison or be released on parole. And a fair-minded society should not sentence anyone to life without parole except as an alternative to the death penalty.
Can you spot the razzle-dazzle?
Actually, it's in several places. The Times says that LWOP has "gone far beyond death penalty cases, even as violent crime rates have declined," apparently unaware that, as considerable research has shown, more severe sentences have in significant measure caused the crime rate to decline.
Then it says, conspicuously without fencing off capital cases, that a "fair minded society" should "revisit life sentences and decide whether an offender deserves to remain in prison or be released on parole," even while elsewhere seeming to accept the idea that LWOP is a justifiable alternative to the death penalty.
That serves to tee up the real kicker, which lurks in the closing line. The Times maintains (emphasis added) that "a fair-minded society should not sentence anyone to life without parole except as an alternative to the death penalty."
Hello!!! Is this not the same New York Times that crusades against the death penalty under any cricumstances? Of course if, as the Times would have it, the death penalty simply did not exist in the law, then it would be nonsensical to refer to "an alternative to the death penalty." And that directly implies -- guess what -- that a "fair minded society" could not sentence anyone to LWOP either!
Translation: When abolitionists solemnly tell us that we can drop the death penalty because we'll be just as safe with LWOP, they're saying it with their fingers crossed. It's not just a shake-and-jive; it's a bait-and-switch. They have absolutely no intention of supporting LWOP, as the Times's editorial usefully, if unintentionally, makes clear.
Don't be conned. The ink won't even be dry on the death penalty repealer bill when its sponsors -- the same ones who were touting LWOP as the "safe" alternative -- will launch the campaign to repeal LWOP too, it being, dontcha know, "merely a slow-motion death sentence," barbaric, a violation of human rights, a denial of the possibility of redemption, etc., et al.
Since deceit is the only way abolitionists can win, there is, of course, no particular reason to expect it to be limited to the moratorium with no ending date or the dozens of "innocents" who've been executed. Thanks to the NYT, abolitionist deceit has yet another sterling illustration.