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The Arkansas Execution Set for Thursday

Arkansas has two executions set for tonight (I understand that the first has now taken place).  It also has one set for Thursday.  I read for the first time a short summary of the facts in that case, and the killer, Kenneth Williams.  The New York Times reports them as follows:

Mr. Williams killed a cheerleader at the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff in December 1998 but escaped from a maximum-security prison after a jury sentenced him to life the next year. A few miles from the prison, he fatally shot Cecil Boren, a farmer who was working in the yard while his wife was at church, and stole his truck. Mr. Williams led the police into Missouri in a high-speed chase before he crashed into a car, killing the driver. In 2005, he confessed to killing a 36-year-old man the same day he shot the cheerleader.

That would make four murders we know about, including two after he had been sentenced to life in maximum security.

Williams by himself shows not merely the error but the absurdity of the proposition that capital punishment is never warranted.  Abolitionist arguments to the contrary depend, not on different value judgments, but on whiting out reality.

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