Tucson Shooting: Turning Point In Death Penalty Debate?


The cold and apparently calculated shootings in Arizona by Jared Loughner, who formally pleaded not guilty yesterday, may feed into a broader debate about the death penalty, which has faced increasing scrutiny by the courts, legislators, and the American people in the last decade, says the Christian Science Monitor.

Public opinion and some state legislatures have shown increasing discomfort with the death penalty, but the Tucson episode “might be a turning point [] where it offers a pretty good argument that some crimes are just so heinous that they deserve that kind of penalty,” says University of Buffalo professor David Schmid, author of “Natural Born Celebrities: Serial killers in American culture.” McClatchy Newspapers quoted David Bruck of the Virginia Capital Case Clearinghouse as saying that, “”It is very rare for someone to be acquitted by reason of insanity, but it is extremely common for people to avoid the death penalty because of their mental illness.”

Link: http://www.csmonitor.com/USA/Justice/2011/0124/Jared-Lee-Loughner-case-Does-Tucson-shooting-deserve-the-death-penalty

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