Killing the Insane

Killing the Insane WASHINGTON POST

Wednesday, February 20, 2002
Page A14

Killing the Insane


IF THE STATE of Georgia has its way, Alexander Williams IV will soon be dead. Mr. Williams raped and murdered a teenage girl in 1986; his guilt is not seriously in doubt. Yet his execution would be barbarous. The reason is not just that Mr. Williams was 17 at the time of his crime, though the juvenile death penalty is a blight that should be ended. Mr. Williams also, in the words of prison doctors, suffers from "chronic paranoid schizophrenia,"

Fixing the Death Penalty

Fixing the Death Penalty CHICAGO TRIBUNE December 29, 2000
Page 1A

Fixing the Death Penalty


Nearly 1 year ago, Gov. George Ryan took a hard look at capital punishment in Illinois and was deeply unnerved by what he saw. His decision last January to declare an indefinite moratorium on the death penalty stands as one of the most courageous acts taken by an Illinois governor, in part because Ryan spent his political career ardently supporting capital punishment.

The moratorium followed a startling series of death row exonerations,

New Attitudes: Death Penalty Reflects Poorly on our Society

New Attitudes: Death penalty reflects poorly on our society Atlanta Journal Constitution

September 11, 2000

New Attitudes: Death penalty reflects poorly on our society

By MICHELLE LE, For the Journal-Constitution

Many Americans insist that capital punishment is the key to deterring crime, compensating for the loss of an innocent life and upholding justice in a free society.

Their arguments are justified, to an extent. If someone kills another human being, he or she deserves nothing less than death itself, the argument


End-Running the Bill of Rights

End-Running the Bill of Rights
Washington Post
Friday, November 16, 2001; Page A46

After the attacks of Sept. 11, many predicted that the demands of domestic security would eventually clash with traditional American reverence for civil liberties. Few predicted that the clash would come so soon and so starkly, or that the government would come down so decisively on the anti-liberty side as would be permitted under President Bush's new executive order on military justice. The order allows the president to

Death Penalty Dilemma

Death penalty dilemma USA TODAY USA Today, June 7, 2001

Death penalty dilemma

Within minutes of losing their argument Wednesday that next week's execution of Timothy McVeigh should be delayed because the FBI withheld evidence, his lawyers were outside on the federal district courthouse steps, vowing an appeal. An official for the 10th Circuit, which would hear that argument, says a ruling there could be reached within hours. Regardless of how that goes, one side or the other is likely to appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court.

Arizona Should End Death Penalty

AR-NVeditorial Arizona Republic

July 28, 2002

Arizona should end death penalty
Old arguments for execution won't stand up against evidence of mistakes


The constitutional defect the U.S. Supreme Court found in Arizona's death penalty last month is easily fixed.

Currently, judges decide whether there are aggravating circumstances that warrant, weighed against mitigating factors, death rather than life in prison.

Arizona law spells out the aggravating circumstances to be considered,

Supreme Court Intervenes in Death Penalty Cases

Supreme Court Intervenes in Death Penalty Cases

Editorial, Miami Herald, editorial
Feb. 7, 2002

On the weighty question of whether an execution passes constitutional muster, both advocates and foes of the death penalty are in rare agreement: Let the courts decide.

Thus Gov. Jeb Bush halted today's scheduled execution of Robert Trease shortly after the U.S. Supreme Court stopped the execution of another Florida inmate, Linroy Bottoson.

Both the Supreme Court and the governor made the right call. Gov. Bush, a strong supporter of capital punishment, said he made


In recent years, many national and local newspapers have published editorials on the death penalty. Some have called for reform based on particular problems, others have called for an end to capital punishment. The quotes below represent a small sample of those statements from newspapers around the country. For additional editorials, see:

Editorials Current Year