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Randomness from a 2005 graduate of The Moritz College of Law at The Ohio State University

 

Tuesday, December 14, 2004

So Scott Peterson got the death penalty. I'm not shocked at all, but I think this case really points out that proponents of the death penalty really ought to be arguing that it is underutilized. I so often hear people say they approve of the death penalty, but "only in the worst cases." But I bet if you ask most of those people, they will say that Peterson deserves the death penalty. And yet, he is so clearly not one of the "worst cases." According to the jury's verdict he killed his pregnant wife. Horrible, but not really that unusual. He isn't a serial killer; he didn't chop his wife's body up and all her parents had to bury was an arm; he didn't torture her for weeks before killing her. Basically, this was a run of the mill murder. Horrible and deserving of punishment, but not a worst case. Publicity made it somehow seem worse I suppose. His "lack of emotion" and "remorse" during the trial made it seem worse I suppose. But he was maintaining his innocence, so what do people expect? Maybe this is just the ultimate case of victim valuation. Whatever the explanation, anyone who truly believes Scott Peterson deserves to die for murdering his pregnant wife should be advocating that every other convicted murderer die, too. Inequity in application is one of the many reasons I oppose the death penalty, but it's not a point I like to argue because "fixing" that problem could only increase the number of executions. |
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