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Fates Worse Than Death
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24 November 2003

Kill the state of Virginia

"As we said from the get-go, the death penalty is reserved for the worst of the worst," prosecutor Paul Ebert said.

It's always sad to see one go, but the state of Virginia is about to kill its 90th person in a 21-year killing spree. That makes it the second most prolific serial killer in the U.S. It's time for Virginia to go, for it's among the worst of the worst.

Why are we the only Western democracy that still has state-sanctioned killing? Children of age 16 years can still be executed in 16 states. Twenty-six states allowed mentally retarded people to be executed until the recent Atkins vs. Virginia decision by the U.S. Supreme Court [full text of opinion].

So even if you don't think it's inherently wrong for a government to kill its citizens: what's the benefit of capital punishment? It's not a deterrent. A person is not a threat to public safety if he or she's in prison for life without the possibility of parole, and that method is cheaper anyway. It's impossible for a new trial to be held should new evidence arise or new technologies emerge to provide insight into a case, as in the situation of this guy.

posted at 1:32 PM by Joe


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