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June 13, 2002

More on Death Penalty

Biz had some thoughtful comments:

Largely guilty maybe Nathan, but I live in Illinois. 12 Executions 13 reversals. I too "use" the death penalty to justify my (former) support of Nader and the greens. Illinois was going for Gore. The Illinois Death penalty system is a disgrace and the only reason we know is because of the Innocence Project. I agree with your comments about small time drug crimes, but can you really envision an America that has an enlightened harm reduction approach to drug crimes but still has the death penalty? Cart before the horse methinks. Posted by Biz at June 12, 2002

First, anyone in Illinois where the death penalty system has collapsed has more reason than most for single issue emotion on the issue.

Second, I was originally very supportive of the "Ivins rule" (named for writer Molly Ivins) that called for Nader votes in overwhelmingly pro-Bush or pro-Gore states. What pissed me off about Nader is that he spent the last few weeks of the campaign in swing states rather than those states. I think it backfired since a lot of people, including myself in Connecticut, where I would have voted for him otherwise, ended up refusing to vote for him. So his vote collapsed to 3% (just the wrong 3% extended to Florida).

As far as a state that's pro-death penalty but moving to treating drugs as a health problem, not a criminal problem, just look at California. In the last few elections, medical marijuana won at the ballot a few years ago, then alternative treatment for minor drug charges won 61% at the ballot in 2000. See this update on the effectiveness of Prop 36. And this is not restricted to California, states like Arizona and other communities are increasingly supporting alternatives to the failed drug war that has destroyed the lives of nonviolet drug users. Which is not inconsistent with those same voters wanting to see violent murderers continue to be executed.
...I just don't buy the idea that the death penalty is some "canary in the mine" issue that must be addressed before other abuses of the criminal justice system can be fought. In fact, I think the attachment of liberals to anti-death penalty crusades may just alienate potential allies for simpler, less emotional reforms.

Posted by Nathan at June 13, 2002 08:46 AM


Does anyone know of any pro-death penalty lobby groups... or any websites where i can find info about them
... NOT that i want to join... it's for a project!

please respond ASAP!
*thank you

Posted by: Nathalie at October 27, 2002 08:36 PM

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