Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Death to Fairness

Michigan was the first state to ban capital punishment. The Bush administration is ignoring this prohibition by seeking to impose death sentences in federal court. Not only does this situation reverse the usual conservative mantra of states' rights, but the use of the death penalty is clearly designed to appeal to right-wing voters.

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A trend that I predicted appears to have emerged. Just as more drug cases were shifted to the feds in the 80s and 90s, now death penalty cases appear to be moving in the same direction. First, we learned that several U.S. Attorneys were dismissed because they were not aggressively pursuing capital cases. Now we see that the Bush administration is seeking death sentences in states that prohibit executions. Taken with the fact that conservatives tend to favor capital punishment more than moderates and liberals, I believe we have the basis for a case that politics are at play.

Conservatives usually support the issue of states' rights. Apparently, philosophy only goes so far.

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