The Other I

March 11, 2011

Can the state murder where the individual cannot not?

Filed under: Two sides of the question — theotheri @ 2:55 pm

This week, Illinois outlawed death penalty in the state.  Capital punishment is now illegal in 16 states:

Michigan since 1846

Wisconsin since 1853

Maine since 1887

Minnesota since 1911

Hawaii since 1948

Alaska since 1957

Vermont since 1964

Iowa since 1965

West Virginia since 1965

North Dakota since 1973

Rhode Island since 1984

Massachusetts since 1984

New Jersey since 2007

New York since 2007

New Mexico since 2009

Illinois since 2011

and the District of Columbia since 1981

I had no idea places like Michigan, Wisconsin, and Maine had managed to remain civilized for more than a century without the aid of state-mandated killing.

Still, research does suggest that the implementation of the death penalty does not reduce the crime rate.  It’s that self-justifying need for vengeance, I think, that keeps the death penalty on the books.

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