The Corner


I don’t agree with Krauthammer’s opening paragraphs. He thinks the death penalty should be used, sparingly, when only it can “bring[] moral order to the universe.” I think that bringing moral order to the universe is too tall an order for the government, and that the death penalty should be used only when it is the only way to prevent a murderer from killing again–which means that in modern America, it should never be used. But I think Krauthammer is exactly right about everything else: Leaving aside the question of whether we should have a death penalty, a vote against its imposition here could be justified by his relative insignificance. It can’t be justified by his rotten childhood.

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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