Author: has written 5302 posts for this blog.

Jill began blogging for Feministe in 2005. She has since written as a weekly columnist for the Guardian newspaper and in April 2014 she was appointed as senior political writer for Cosmopolitan magazine.
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4 Responses

  1. Nomie
    Nomie June 19, 2006 at 7:13 am |

    I think a lot of the people still clinging to the idea of the death penalty are those who identify closely with conservative Christian ideals. If you believe in heaven and hell, then surely a convicted prisoner on death row must be going to hell. And that’s a greater punishment than any human could ever dish out. If on the other hand you don’t believe in hell, or an afterlife, or if you don’t believe in the infallibility of the justice system, or if you aren’t sure that all death row inmates are necessarily going to hell… it’s stickier. After all, the only person Christ guaranteed a place in heaven was the convicted thief crucified next to him.

    (Disclaimer: all speculation and conjecture, includes sweeping generalizations, and I’m incredibly jetlagged and sleepy. Just wanted to get this down before I forgot my point.)

  2. Anne
    Anne June 19, 2006 at 9:46 am |

    I’d have to say I agree with you, Jill, and I was glad you mentioned the state-sanctioned killing.

    At the same time, however, I’m not 100% against a death penalty under certain circumstances. I believe some crimes go against society in ways that show certain individuals cannot (or should not?) function in a social setting. I think there are individuals who cannot be rehabilitated and I also think prison can do more harm than any good. To make it that much more difficult for me, I feel that a lot of crimes have roots in society’s own fucked-upedness.

    I think our judicial system is fucked in its own right and we need to do a major revamping of the entire system itself.

    You’ve dealt more with law than I have, Jill, so I’m wondering what your thoughts are on alternatives (to the death penalty and the current system).

  3. Richard Aubrey
    Richard Aubrey June 19, 2006 at 10:43 am |

    The death penalty guarantees the perp will never kill again.

    One of the 1993 WTC terrorists–having a life without parole sentence, stabbed a guard in the eye with a homemade knife. The guard suffered permanent brain damage. Just one example to make the point that swapping the death penalty for long terms is not without cost. It’s just that we don’t know who will pay the cost, nor when. It’s easy to push the cost off onto people we don’t know. Not so easy to make the guilty–who’s had considerably more ink than the victim, and probably more sympathetic coverage than the vic who is a dratted inconvenience–who is a known individual pay the price. But, of the two, who should? Somebody will.

  4. Michele
    Michele June 19, 2006 at 12:50 pm |

    I have my own issues with the death penalty, and though I don’t believe in theory that it is wrong/immoral/etc., I don’t believe that it can ever be justly administered. However, as a former prosecutor I take serious issue with this claim.

    “In 98 percent of the cases, however, in 49 out of 50, there were appalling violations of legal principles: prosecutors struck jurors based on their race; the police hid or manufactured evidence; prosecutors reached secret deals with jailhouse snitches; lab analysts misrepresented forensic results.”

    Even in the worst, most corrupt district this claim by the author is pure folly. There is absolutely no chance that this is true. This author has clearly fallen to his own messed up issues with the whole system being a conspiracy against him and his former clients. These kinds of percentages would suggest a system wide evil that wouldn’t even be possible if it was intended, given the total lack of coherent policy in any gov’t office.

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