The Corner

Death Penalty

Nobody has access to the evidence to make the case for the innocence of people who have been executed? That certainly hasn’t stopped the death-penalty abolitionists from trying to make the case. Two grand old men of the movement, Hugo Adam Bedau and Michael Radelet, tried to make that case in law-review articles in the ’80s. Stephen Markman and Paul Cassell replied, and to my mind won the argument: Bedau and Radelet had not proven that a single innocent man had been executed in the 20th century. But the abolitionists have not given up making the Bedau-Radelet case. They have not heretofore complained that there was no evidence for them to make their case.

Ramesh Ponnuru is a senior editor for National Review, a columnist for Bloomberg Opinion, a visiting fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, and a senior fellow at the National Review Institute.

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