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Should We Abolish The Death Penalty?

After this week's execution of Kelly Gissendaner, and the planned execution of Richard Glossip (now stayed), many are calling for the end of the death penalty. With 17 death row inmates exonerated since 2011, is it time to end this medieval practice?

a full 100% of writers and pundits say yes
see all 14 opinions below


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Should We Abolish The Death Penalty?  

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The biggest reason to abolish the death penalty is that we sometimes end up executing the wrong person!
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Writers and pundits who say or about the topic, "Should We Abolish The Death Penalty?"
last 24 hours | theweek
The rise of the anti-death penalty conservative - The Week Magazine
"...This is particularly true because of recent high-profile capital punishment cases, like the ongoing saga of Richard Glossip, who is on death row in Oklahoma. Glossip's case has attracted significant attention and multiple stays of execution thanks to the dubious evidence and circumstances surrounding his conviction and sentencing, as well as the state's intent to kill him with a lethal injection containing midazolam, which in previous executions has produced agonizing deaths lasting as long as two hours...." see full article


1162 days ago | newsobserver
It's time state lawmakers listened to Pope Francis on death penalty - News & Observer
"...But the pope made his point. If life is sacred inside the womb to those who oppose abortion, then why do some of those same people believe it can be taken outside the womb at the government's hand?A Republican member of the N.C. General Assembly made the same point during a news conference, staking out a position not popular among his colleagues. Also, most Republicans profess to be pro-life, and I think some conservatives are wondering whether being pro-life and supporting the death penalty is consistent, said Rep. Jon Hardister of Greensboro.Read more here: http://www.newsobserver.com/news/local/community/smithfield-herald/sh-opinion/article37312728.html#storylink=cpy..." see full article


1169 days ago | newsobserver
Time for a serious death penalty talk - News & Observer
"...Coash said he first started to oppose the death penalty when he attended an execution at the state penitentiary as a college student. Those who wanted the convict to die partied in the parking lot, with a barbecue and a band. They counted down the execution as if they were counting down on New Year's Eve. And it was a sight that stuck with me, Coash said. And I said to myself at the time, This isn't the way it's supposed to be. We're not supposed to be celebrating death in this way.' To believe in the death penalty is to trust the government is going to get it right, Coash said. The death penalty just tipped us over the edge, he said. That was just too much power. Ernie Pearson, a Raleigh attorney and founding member of Conservatives Concerned About the Death Penalty in North Carolina, brought the conversation back to Christianity. He said he led a prison Bible study and has seen criminals with lengthy sentences make very sincere changes in their lives.Read more here: http://www.newsobserver.com/opinion/op-ed/article37237821.html#storylink=cpy..." see full article


1170 days ago | latimes
Three days, three planned executions, three wrong calls
"...Barring last-minute eruptions of common sense, three different states this week will put to death three different people in cases that point up why the death penalty is so absurd, and astonishingly immoral.In Georgia, the state Board of Pardons and Paroles just rejected a final clemency bid by Kelly Gissendaner, who is under a death sentence for plotting the murder of her husband in 1997. Her lover, and the man who committed the murder, received a sentence of life without parole.Why? Because he pleaded guilty and testified against her; Gissendaner went to trial and was convicted...." see full article


sites with the most articles that say
1170 days ago | washingtonpost
The U.S. has six executions scheduled over the next nine days

"...The executions scheduled over the next nine days seem to offer a microcosm of the death penalty as it currently exists in the United States. These cases touch on a wide range of the issues that surround capital punishment, including lethal injection drugs, mental health and possible racial biases. They are also a reminder that while executions are occurring less frequently than they have in two decades and do not take place in much of the country, a handful of states remain bastions of the death penalty...." see full article


or articles over time
1170 days ago | nymag
Is Oklahoma About to Execute an Innocent Man?
"...It's the biggest burst of executions in the U.S. in more than two years, and there are many legal and moral issues surrounding the cases. Early on Wednesday morning, Georgia executed Kelly Renee Gissendaner for conspiring to kill her husband, though he was stabbed to death by her lover and she went on to become a model prisoner. This afternoon Oklahoma is set to execute another inmate who wasn't even present when the murder in question was committed  and in this case, there are serious doubts about whether he had any involvement in the crime...." see full article


1170 days ago | gawker
Supreme Court Declines to Stay Oklahoma Execution of Richard Glossip, a Man Who Might Be Innocent
"...Sneed is currently serving a life sentence in an Oklahoma prison, and two men who spent time with him there believe that he fabricated his allegations against Glossip. Joseph Tapley, who once shared a cell with Sneed, has said that he believes Sneed killed Van Treese on his own, for the money (Sneed admitted to taking $4,000 from the hotelier's car after the killing); and Michael Scott, who had the cell across the hall, claims that Sneed openly bragged about framing Glossip in order to escape the death penalty himself.In February, the Supreme Court postponed Glossip's execution amid questions about Oklahoma's lethal injection procedure. This afternoon, minutes before the scheduled execution, the Court declined an appeal from Glossip's legal team to stay the execution so that a case might be made for his innocence. Only Justice Breyer dissented. Glossip's attorneys also appealed to the Oklahoma Court of Appeals, which declined to rehear Glossip's case, and to Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin, who has previously stated that lawyers have no credible evidence of Richard Glossip's innocence. ..." see full article


1170 days ago | reason
Oklahoma Moving Forward With Execution of Man For Murder He Didnt Commit
"...While Glossip's execution is particularly disturbing, the practice of permitting a criminal to turn state's evidence in order to lower his sentence while increasing the sentence of an alleged accomplice is not unique, and can lead to situations where the person committing the actual crime gets a lighter sentence than the person that criminal accused as an accomplice or boss...." see full article


1170 days ago | thinkprogress
The Case Against This Man Has Fallen Apart. The Supreme Court Says He Can Be Executed Anyway
"...Glossip was convicted largely based on testimony from Justin Sneed, who has since bragged to fellow inmates that he set Glossip up in order to save his own life. Glossip was accused of hiring Sneed, who actually committed the murder at issue in this case, to beat their mutual boss to death with a baseball bat.Other parts of the state's case against Glossip have also developed holes. A dealer who sold drugs to Sneed testified that he was addicted to meth and frequently broke into motel rooms to steal money in order to support his habit a pattern that is consistent with the events leading up to the murder in this case. A recording also shows Sneed bargaining with a detective for a reduced sentence in return for fingering Glossip...." see full article


1170 days ago | vice
Oklahoma Plans to Execute Richard Glossip Today Despite Doubts About His Guilt
"...Of course, looking guilty and actually commissioning a hit are not the same thing. And even if you think Glossip should be put to death, one of the drugs Oklahoma will pump into his body the sedative Midazolam apparently doesn't result in pain-free deaths. An Oklahoma inmate executed with the drug in January said "My body is on fire." Clayton D. Lockett, another Oklahoma inmate killed with the drug in April 2014, regained consciousness during the provedure and seemed to be in immense pain. But the Supreme Court ruled in June that the drug is fair game after Glossip and other inmates tried to block it from being used on them, understandably terrified of its effects...." see full article


1170 days ago | bbc
In US, murder masterminds are put to death while killers live
"...But critics say these cases speak to inherent problems in how the death penalty is meted out. Each state has individual laws about what types of murder are eligible for the death penalty - and within those states, similar crimes might be treated much differently depending on the prosecutor."The death sentence is considered to be the maximum, the harshest sentence society can impose. If that's going to be justifiable it can only be in circumstances where the person on the receiving end of that punishment is justifiably classified as the worst of the worst," says Keir Weyble, associate clinical professor and director of death penalty litigation at Cornell University Law School...." see full article


1170 days ago | latimes
Richard Glossip's execution postponed: See how he landed on death row
"...Glossip's case is at the center of a larger debate about the drugs used to kill death row inmates in the U.S. After a series of botched executions left inmates gasping for air and writhing in pain in Oklahoma, Arizona and Ohio last year, the U.S. Supreme Court decided to hear Glossip vs. Gross, a challenge to the use of the sedative midazolam, which was used in each of those cases.Some states switched to midazolam in recent years after foreign pharmaceutical companies began restricting access to pentobarbital, which was often used in lethal injection cocktails. Foreign companies began cutting back on sales because they morally objected to the use of the drug in executions...." see full article


1170 days ago | motherjones
Oklahoma Governor Halts Execution of Potentially Innocent Death Row Inmate

"...Glossip, who had no criminal record before landing on death row at the age of 33, never killed anyone. He was convicted of hiring another man to murder his boss, Barry Van Treese, at a seedy Oklahoma City motel in 1997. There was no physical evidence tying Glossip to the crime. He was convicted almost solely on the testimony of Justin Sneed, who confessed to bludgeoning Van Treese to death with a baseball bat. During Sneed's interrogation, the police told him he could escape a death sentence if he would implicate and testify against Glossip giving him a big incentive to lie.Glossip has always maintained his innocence, and he repeatedly turned down offers from prosecutors to plead guilty to second-degree murder, a move that would have saved his life. Glossip's lawyers, some of the top death penalty attorneys in the country who are working pro bono, have asserted that Sneed was an IV meth addict and have questioned the reliability of his testimony. Indeed, Sneed's story has changed repeatedly over the years...." see full article


1170 days ago | newyorker
Richard Glossip and the End of the Death Penalty - The New Yorker

"...The Glossip case doesn't illustrate all of these reasons, but it provides a case study in the unreliability of the application of the death sentence. Glossip's current lawyers have raised serious doubts about his guilt, which make his conviction dubious and his death sentence unjust. His counsel in his first trial was reprehensibly bad. His counsel in his second trial exceeded the very low standard for ineffective counsel, but did a poor cross-examination of Sneed, the main witness against Glossip. From the decision to charge Glossip with a capital crime to some unsavory tactical moves in the second trial, the prosecution was overzealous and may have crossed the line into misconduct...." see full article



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