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The Medellin Case


Lyle Denniston writes up the oral argument. The Washington Post comes down where I did. So does Dahlia Lithwick, after a generous amount of attitudinizing: “One team consists of the Imperial President and the unrepentant rapist; the other is Texas, a state that has never met a death-row candidate it can kill fast enough.”

I wish the Texas legislature would abolish the death penalty. That’s primarily for moral reasons. But one subsidiary argument for abolition is that our use of the death penalty is too slow and rare to be serious. We think of Texas as a state that executes a lot of people quickly. But more people in Texas are hit by lightning every year than are executed. And it has been fourteen years since Medellin participated in the gang-rape and murder of two teenage girls.


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