November 14, 2012
California votes to keep the death penalty
There was some good news (e.g., the vote in Massachusetts to reject legalized euthanasia) on the pro-life front, but -- in my view -- the news was mostly very bad. (I'm not among those who think that Pres. Obama's administration and policies are helpfully characterized as "pro-life.)"
One piece of bad news that has gone relatively unnoticed is the vote in California to retain the death penalty. My sense is that the Democratic Party, which certainly does not suffer for lack of influence in California's politics, did little to try to secure abolition in California, which would have been huge. But, of course, with few exceptions (like Sen. Feingold), Democrats have, even when in control of government (see, e.g., 2008-2010 at the national level) have done little to try to move the ball on capital punishment, while at the same time benefitting from the arguments of the "neither party is really pro-life; the GOP is anti-abortion but the Democrats oppose capital punishment" variety.
I oppose capital punishment, but also believe its use is constitutional, and that it should not be abolished (overtly or gradually) by federal courts. It should be abolished through politics. So, the California decision is a disappointment. It would be nice if the party in power in that state took steps to abolish it.
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