In today’s (Sept 25,2011) there is an editorial in the New York Times that speaks to the death penalty. It points out that across the nation: “….Many defendants in capital cases are too poor to afford legal counsel. Many of the lawyers assigned to represent them are poorly equipped for the job. A major study done for the Senate Judiciary Committee found that “egregiously incompetent defense lawyering” accounted for about two-fifths of the errors in capital cases…….” and then go on to point out “……So far, under this horrifying system, 17 innocent people sentenced to death have been and released based on DNA evidence, and 117 other people based on other evidence….” Then there was the case in Florida where a Mr. Smith was executed by the state and it was later determined with DNA evidence he was innocent.
You have to ask yourself: If this true in capital cases where the state is willing and empowered to take a life-what is the situation in non-capital cases where there is no emphasis on the taking of a life but just putting someone in jail?
Finally, think in terms of the young mother that gets jammed up by the law and is treated in a rather cavalier and heavy handed fashion. You may say it is not a capital case and no one will be executed so the bar of excellence is lowered. I will rebut it with the point that indeed it is a capital case because the baby lost in the shuffle is all to apt to be relegated to a lifetime of suffering.
For the full article see: An Indefensible Punishment
For those interested, here is a biblical viewpoint of the death penalty:What does THOU SHALL NOT KILL in the Ten Commandments MEAN?