The Champion

April 2011 , Page 55 

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CAPITAL CASES: The Beginning of the End For Capital Punishment

By Diann Rust-Tierney

The shift of the debate around capital punishment is palpable. I have the sensation of watching a wrecking ball hitting a building at precisely the right angle and spot. At first, one wonders what the impact of one blow can be, and then the concrete shifts and the mortar cracks. Finally, the entire building crashes down, caving in on itself, leaving behind only an eerie memory of what existed moments before.

So it is with the U.S. death penalty. In this case the wrecking ball is the intractable risk of executing the innocent. The death penalty “building” shakes and crumbles upon impact of the wrongful convictions’ “wrecking ball” every time more death row prisoners are found to be innocent, weakening a structure built on a foundation of fallacies regarding executions’ effectiveness in preventing homicides. Each death row exoneration and each harrowing tale of escape from an unjust punishment take its toll on a death penalty structure that looks shabbier and s
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