I’m not really a “grind the death penalty axe” type… I am vehemently anti-death penalty, but I just have enough axes to grind. Scott Greenfield has a good post on the Baze v. Rees decision here.
John Paul Stevens wrote, in his concurring opinion to Baze v. Rees:
I have relied on my own experience in reaching the conclusion that the imposition of the death penalty represents ‘the pointless and needless extinction of life with only marginal contributions to any discernible social or public purposes. A penalty with such negligible returns to the state (is) patently excessive and cruel and unusual punishment violative of the Eighth Amendment.'”
This sounds more like a dissenting opinion, doesn’t it?
I can accept the death penalty — maybe. However, I do believe that each execution should be public. Not only public, but it should be televised and should pre-empt every single other program on TV, cable, satellite, and even radio.
Why? Because when the state executes someone, WE execute that person. They die in our name, for after all, we are the state. I imagine that every backward-assed red state that still has the death penalty would rise up in arms if the NASCAR race done got pre-empted to bring the viewers a public execution.