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View Diary: New Mexico Abolishes Death Penalty (207 comments)

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  •  Unfortunately even Obama doesn't seem to get it (7+ / 0-)

    I know he worked to overhaul the DP system in Illinois. But he did NOT work to outlaw it. In fact, just recently he complained about a SC decision that struck down the death penalty in rape cases. For real... Obama thinks that, in certain rape cases at least, the DP is fine.

    "Any dictator would admire the uniformity and obedience of the U.S. media." -- Noam Chomsky

    by ratmach on Wed Mar 18, 2009 at 05:45:30 PM PDT

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    •  President Obama is a consumate politician (7+ / 0-)

      The death penalty polls well. National politicians rarely oppose the death penalty because they don't want to pay the political price.

      "It's the planet, stupid."

      by FishOutofWater on Wed Mar 18, 2009 at 05:51:02 PM PDT

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      •  it's also why he went from supporting gay marriag (9+ / 0-)

        e (as a candidate for state senate) to opposing it (as a candidate for the presidency).

      •  Still, though, it's far less of an issue (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        WisVoter, greeseyparrot, ratmach

        Kerry was opposed to the death penalty, but it barely even made a ripple in 2004, as opposed to 1988. My theory is that early in the campaign, they tried to ambush Kerry the way Dukakis was ambused, by trying to make him look like a pussy for opposing the death penalty. But, Kerry saw it coming from a mile away and managed to look tough in his answer, while still maintaining his anti-death penalty stance.

      •  It doesn't poll that well anymore (5+ / 0-)

        The country is split 50/50.

        It will continue to get less popular as Americans continue to move away from Religion (and honestly, depending on who replaces Pope Ratzo, it will help if the Vatican returns to JPII's views on it).

        "Callin' it your job sure don't make it Right, but if you want me to I'll say a prayer for your soul tonight" John Mellencamp ~ Scarecrow

        by JesseCW on Wed Mar 18, 2009 at 08:44:20 PM PDT

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        •  I know some christian types... (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Pd, greeseyparrot, Jacob Bartle

          ... who think the DP is just wonderful ("an eye for an eye"). But I also know some who think the DP is pure evil. And they all read the same Bible, and worship the same "god". I guess I'm just fortunate that I'm an atheist.

          "Any dictator would admire the uniformity and obedience of the U.S. media." -- Noam Chomsky

          by ratmach on Wed Mar 18, 2009 at 08:53:20 PM PDT

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          •  I know plenty of athiests (0+ / 0-)

            Who are bloodthirsty assholes. While religion causes plenty of crap policy, I'm not sure we can pin the death penalty on them - China kills more folk than any other nation in the world.

            •  China ain't that relevant (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              aufklaerer, ratmach

              It's no accident that the States that have gotten rid of the death penalty in the last decade have

              1. A very high rate of "No Religion" (which isn't the same as 'Atheist', although they overlap)

              and/or

              1. Lots of Catholics

              Demographically, that's how you get there, in the US.

              "Callin' it your job sure don't make it Right, but if you want me to I'll say a prayer for your soul tonight" John Mellencamp ~ Scarecrow

              by JesseCW on Thu Mar 19, 2009 at 12:15:14 AM PDT

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          •  If one god condones (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            JesseCW

            state-sanctioned murder, and another tells you it's a sin,

            I'd say those aren't the same gods, regardless of the surface sheen.

    •  No, you misread his statement (0+ / 0-)

      Obama was very clever in the way he phrased that statement - read it again.  He says that those cases are as bad as murder, and deserve the same punishment; he essentially says that if one deserves capital punishment, so does the other.  Even though I am strongly against the death penalty, I actually agree with this logic.  Some child rape cases ARE just as bad as murder, and deserve the same punishment; however, since I also believe the death penalty is wrong and counterproductive for a myriad of reasons, I think both crimes require life in prison.  However, due to the fact that so many in this country (rightfully) feel that sex crimes against children are often underprosecuted in this country, there is a political benefit to speaking to that sentiment, and it essentially buys "tough on crime" credibility among many death penalty supporters, which has the effect of providing cover should one ever wish to argue against the death penalty in the future.

      Obama's statements on the death penalty itself, the most notable from a passage of Audacity of Hope, are also purposefully ambiguous.  He says that in certain cases the community has the right to hand down the ultimate judgement, but essentially that we cannot execute if there is any chance we are making an error.

      When Obama writes this, he is no fool - he knows quite well what the evidence says, that the margin of error can never disappear, and there will thus always be at least some murder done in the name of the state as long as the death penalty stands.

      However, stating his viewpoint in these terms is less controversial than stating loud opposition, so that's what he did.  Until recently, after all, the death penalty was supported often by double digit margins by the public; the fact that we're now looking at an even split is very heartening, and hopefully a harbinger of further change.

      What do you mean it's four months after the election and I haven't changed my sig yet?

      by ShadowSD on Thu Mar 19, 2009 at 05:25:22 AM PDT

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