We were glad to learn that the Missouri Senate is considering a study of capital punishment from a cost perspective, but it reminded us that most examinations of the death penalty concede too much legitimacy to the practice. For example, last year the Missouri Supreme Court put on hold the executions of six men on death row over concerns that the sedative to be administered to them amounts to "cruel and unusual punishment."
According to The Wall Street Journal,
Rick Sindel, a lawyer for some of the inmates involved in the lawsuit, said the court’s ruling on Tuesday “gives us the time to put before the court the evidence we think is necessary to make a decision about whether this protocol is constitutional.”
Mr. Sindel said the drug propofol “has a fairly significant history of causing pretty bad pain upon injection.” The drug was made famous for its role in the death of Michael Jackson in 2009.
Arguments about propofol are likely legal shenanigans put forth by those opposed to capital punishment regardless of how the sentence is administered. This is a shame, because in the interim they concede the larger argument in order to quibble over details. With all due respect to Missouri Senators seeking to consider its cost effectiveness—it misses the point.
This column has argued repeatedly that most arguments in opposition to capital punishment are completely facile. The practice is constitutional, neither cruel nor unusual, does not conflict with individual repentance and is applied sparingly. It is also wrong.
Opponents to the death penalty ought to own up to their principled views and lay aside the small potato arguments they make on each issue. As we wrote in January 2010,
The problem with capital punishment is that it is one more event in which the state places its prerogatives over the rights of an individual.
If conservatives believe government should be trusted with the power to kill us, how can they credibly argue against government power in significantly lesser matters such as health care and taxation?
Conservatives are completely comfortable arguing that the individual right to life is inviolable regardless of cost, utility, health or stage. Their argument only gains strength by recognizing that the right is also protected against one's own crimes.
1/25/2013 9:23:28 AM
Answering individual aggression with government aggression will not lead us to the society we desire.
The St. Louis Post-Dispatch is wrong when it says that Kansas is going to fall of a fiscal cliff with its pro-growth tax reforms, and that Missouri will do the same if it follows the same path.
Randy Georges Sr. moved to the U.S. to obtain a good education; now, he may have to move across town so his kids can have the same opportunity. This is a sad state, especially when alternatives, such as giving families private school options, exist.
Missouri has at least two chances to win the Border War.
The state’s foundation formula for K-12 education is currently underfunded. Some are calling for more spending, but freedom, not money, is the answer to our problem.
Should Missouri and other states accept an offer of “free money” from Uncle Sam to expand the Medicaid program in their states? Instead of acting as enablers of fiscal profligacy, Missouri and other states should say “no.”
Conservatives ought to consider these items before ceding state power to the federal government.
Proposition B might have brought some much-needed funding for education, but voters turned down the measure. The “no” vote may actually turn out to be a blessing in disguise if legislators act on the need to address school funding issues.
Letters regarding Jacob Turk's race for Congress.
Missouri and Kansas have maintained a steady rivalry for decades, but Kansas' latest tax reforms have changed the competitive landscape between the two states — decidedly in Kansas' favor.
The state board of education voted to grant provisional accreditation to the Saint Louis Public School District, which is the correct decision, but this distinction will mean very little to schools or students.
Subsidies to Ballpark Village and other big-city sports complexes are a gift to some of our wealthiest citizens — sports team owners — that provide little or no broader economic benefit.
Strong teachers’ unions in large public school districts with multiple failing schools will do everything possible to maintain their jobs and benefits. If it is to happen, major reform must come from outside the existing system — through increased competition and choice.
Taxpayer-funded lobbying for local government entities likely will not be banned so it is time to create transparency so citizens can see how their money is being spent.
Despite a final judgment in the school transfer case, the issue remains unresolved and neither taxpayers nor students will benefit.