Somewhere over the heartland of this country, there are porcine aviators fluttering in the sky. The state that has more state executions than the rest now thinks it might be a bad idea? Maybe Texas really is moving towards disavowing George Bush.
Wow. The Dallas Morning News looks at some high profile death penalty cases in Texas and realizes that the system is irrevocably broken.
And that uncomfortable truth has led this editorial board to re-examine its century-old stance on the death penalty. This board has lost confidence that the state of Texas can guarantee that every inmate it executes is truly guilty of murder. We do not believe that any legal system devised by inherently flawed human beings can determine with moral certainty the guilt of every defendant convicted of murder.
That is why we believe the state of Texas should abandon the death penalty - because we cannot reconcile the fact that it is both imperfect and irreversible.[..]
Powerful stuff, especially considering the source. As you know, I am not philosophically opposed to the death penalty. I have always believed that for some crimes, and for some criminals, it's the only appropriate response. But it's also been clear for a long time that the system has many cracks in it, and that too many people have fallen through them. From prosecutorial misconduct to bad eyewitness identifications to incompetent defense attorneys to an impenetrable appeals process that is completely indifferent to questions of innocence, we have lost any right to say that the death penalty is applied in a fair and impartial manner, assuming we were ever able to say that.