Monday, November 21, 2011

Turkeys

Cruel and Unusual: A President’s ‘Pardon’ as Dark Parody (New York Times)
By JUSTIN E. H. SMITH
     … To riff on Dostoyevsky’s famous line about prisoners: you can tell what a nation is like by the way it treats its turkeys. Obama’s pardoning of one randomly selected bird at Thanksgiving not only carries with it an implicit validation of the slaughtering of millions of other turkeys. It also involves an implicit validation of the parallel practice for human beings, in which the occasional death-row inmate is pardoned, or given a stay by the hidden reasoning of an increasingly capricious Supreme Court, even as the majority of condemned prisoners are not so lucky. In this respect, the Thanksgiving pardon is an acknowledgment of the arbitrariness of the system of capital punishment….


The Willingham case: providing yet another reason to contemn Governor Perry

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