February 26th, 2008
05:04 PM ET

Last Word: Trial and Error

Yesterday, I mentioned that Charles Manson didn’t get the death penalty. To which, a couple of you pointed out that Manson’s jury did recommend death.


And you’re right. But before Manson could be executed the Supreme Court threw out the death penalty in California and everywhere else, sending the state legislators back to the drawing board to fashion capital punishment laws consistent with the Constitution.

So like I said, Charles Manson did not ultimately get the death penalty. And this semantic distinction misses the point, anyway. The point is that capital punishment is constitutionally problematic. That’s why, this term, the U.S. Supreme Court is yet again considering whether we can kill people, this time by lethal injection.

The three-drug cocktail is preferred in most states and the only option for Bobby Cutts if he’s sentenced to death. We’ve tried hanging, firing squad, and of course, “Old Sparky,” the electric chair. Lethal injection is supposed to be more humane. But maybe, after all this trial and error, we should ask ourselves whether there’s any way to kill a person that is consistent with our values as Americans. That’s the real question.

And the Last Word.

–Jami Floyd, In Session anchor

Filed under: In Session • Jami Floyd
soundoff (No Responses)

Comments are closed.