The Corner

Death Penalty & Scott Peterson

Whenever we get a murder case like this — yes, yes, alleged murder case — I can’t help but think about how abstract anti-death penalty arguments are. The pro-death penalty people get to say “I think this guy should die.” They have to say “the State shouldn’t blah, blah, blah.” They have to stipulate the actual facts of specific crimes, they have to stipulate that if he did the crime he’s evil and maybe he does deserve to die, they have to stipulate everything so they can argue abstractions. I like abstractions, but arguments completely untethered to the facts on the ground are almost never satisfactory. It’s like the anti-war arguments. The anti-war crowd would have to stipulate vasts swaths of factual territory in order to debate abstract and often bizarre formulations.

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