Mostly rational politics, with occasional rants about how a few crazy Republicans are ruining the country.
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Tuesday, August 16, 2005
With the death penalty, later is not better than never
The Georgia Board of Pardons and Paroles is planning to announce the posthumous pardon of Lena Baker, a black woman executed in the electric chair 60 years ago after being convicted, by an all white-male jury, of killing the white man she was hired to take care of, after he alledgedly held her against her will and raised a metal bar to strike her. The board now says that denying her clemency was a "grievous error".
You see folks, this is the problem with the death penalty: the saying "Better late than never" just doesn't apply, because death is different. Incarceration can be ended, and while time cannot be given back, some semblance of restitution can be made for wrongful imprisonment. Death, on the other hand, can never be reversed or made up for. And the nature of human beings will always include a margin of error. Therefore, we should never exact a punishment that is absolutely final.