Two black columnists plead against the death penalty for the DC snipers today, leaving clues that they believe there’s a dose of racism in their prosecution.
In the Washington Post, Metro section columnist Courtland Milloy attacks the death penalty as “outrageous, vile and inhumane,” even when applied to John Allen Muhammad:
“This is merely fear masquerading as justice, which does nothing to reduce fear but has been known to result in travesties of justice. Muhammad is 42. With two life sentences, there would be no way he’d ever see the light of day again. Charles Manson, Sirhan Sirhan, the so-called Green River serial killer — who recently admitted to killing 48 women — all got life behind bars. And they are not getting out. But that conniving ole Muhammad — he’d find a way and come kill us all.”
Milloy is unsubtly suggesting that only Muhammad will fry because he’s the wrong shade.
Chicago Tribune columnist Clarence Page takes up a pen for Lee Boyd Malvo, suggesting he’s far too young for the death penalty, even though he wasn’t too young to pick off a lady coming out of a Home Depot and joke about it. First, Page somehow merges him with Michael Jackson (?) and then cites the case of Lionel Tate, a black boy with a bad problem
distinguishing the difference between TV and reality. Page writes “when it comes to holding underaged youths accountable for serious crimes, a lot of us don’t just cross that line, we trample all over it.” To put it mildly, Tate is a much better poster boy than Malvo for a case against “excessive” sentencing.