In Lockdown America

The corruption of capital punishment

I finish this review in the shadow of Timothy McVeigh’s execution. But while America’s most notorious mass murderer is dead, and while the pundits continue to argue the merits and meaning of his execution, news about capital punishment just keeps coming. Next after McVeigh on the federal death list is Juan Raul Garza, but because of the dramatic racial and geographic disparities in federal death sentences, religious and civil rights leaders are using Garza’s case—he is a Mexican-American convicted in Texas—to press for a moratorium on federal executions. Recently the Supreme Court overturned the death sentences of Texans Mark Robertson and Johnny Paul Penry, the latter on the grounds that his jury should have received better instructions on how it should take into account his mental retardation and frightful childhood. And here in Ohio, the state prepares to execute Jay D.


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