The emerging debate on the death penalty -- is lethal injection really so humane as supposed -- occupies John Brummett today, along with the larger question:
At its core, the issue seems to be what we might call overkill, literally.
Actually, that's not the core issue at all. The core issue is whether it's right for the state to take human life, period.
Our constant struggle with the fairness, equity and humanity of the death penalty suggests that we may not have the stomach for it that we think we do. It may be that we're re-evolving to the notion that killing as punishment without exercising unusual cruelty is a hopeless contradiction in terms.