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CAPITAL CASES: The Beginning of the End For Capital Punishment
By Diann Rust-Tierney
shift of the debate around capital punishment is palpable. I have the
sensation of watching a wrecking ball hitting a building at precisely
the right angle and spot. At first, one wonders what the impact of one
blow can be, and then the concrete shifts and the mortar cracks.
Finally, the entire building crashes down, caving in on itself, leaving
behind only an eerie memory of what existed moments before.
So it is with the U.S. death penalty. In this case
the wrecking ball is the intractable risk of executing the innocent. The
death penalty “building” shakes and crumbles upon impact of the
wrongful convictions’ “wrecking ball” every time more death row
prisoners are found to be innocent, weakening a structure built on a
foundation of fallacies regarding executions’ effectiveness in
preventing homicides. Each death row exoneration and each harrowing tale
of escape from an unjust punishment take its toll on a death penalty
structure that looks shabbier and s
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