Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Another one bites the dust!

We may not have gotten very far with the repeal of the death penalty in Kansas, but New Mexico has done it. Gov. Bill Richardson today signed the repeal into law.

I've heard it argued that by abolishing the death penalty, we would be devaluing life. We show how cheaply we hold life if we don't kill people. I'm still trying to puzzle through exactly how that works.

The argument that worked to convince Gov. Bill Richardson to sign the bill was apparently that our criminal justice system cannot be trusted, as evidenced by the 130 exonerations among out nation's death row inmates. (That and the contacts from his constituents were about 3-1 in favor of repeal.) In Kansas, the proponents of the repeal relied on the cost argument, that it costs so much more to pursue an execution than to put an offender in prison for life. I don't particularly care what argument works to convince people to abolish the death penalty as long as we get there. I would love it if we could get everyone on board with the idea that it's just wrong to kill, but I'm not picky. I'll take a repeal bill any way I can get it.

So tonight, we've got one more down. 35 to go.

1 comment:

mikeb302000 said...

Yes,it's wonderful news. I'm starting to open my mind to the idea you expressed: that there's no wrong reason to abolish the death penalty.

I've always been stuck on the moral question of right and wrong. But it seems Gov. Richardson is a good example of someone who disagrees with my moral conclusion yet agrees with abolition for other reasons.

Fascinating and wonderful!

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