The Corner

Death Penalty Clarification

From a reader (speaking for a few):

Jonah,

Are you making arguments about legislative enactments on the death penalty as opposed to federal court rulings that effectively outlaw it?  I’m personally pretty open to persuasion about whether the death penalty is right/desirable/justified because of the deterrence it provides/etc., but I certainly don’t think it’s a matter for the federal courts or any other branch of the federal government to get involved in (excepting of course  the UCMJ, federal murder statutes for people committing murder on federal reservations, etc.) on constitutional grounds. 

If you are arguing in defense of the recent SC decision on the child rape case, I think you’re way off the conservative reservation overall and certainly are from a federalist perspective. 

 Loved LF; what’s the next book topic?

Me: Oh, no. Let me be clear. I think the death penalty is constitutional. The Supreme Court has no business saying otherwise. I was speaking solely to the merits of the DP as a public policy. I do think there are plenty of ways to abolish the death penalty consistent with the constitution. There just aren’t any available to the US Supreme Court.  

 

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