Monday, September 26, 2011

Conservatives, Like Scott Jensen, Could Change The Death Penalty Debate

The Washington Post's E. J. Dionne has an interesting commentary about how pro-life conservatives could make a compelling case against the death penalty.

When I wrote a series about capital punishment for the Journal Sentinel, I remember that then-State Rep. and Assembly leader Scott Jensen was one of those opponents.

Here's a link  - - I can't copy and paste the text, as it's a basically a page photo - - to the jump page that contained his remarks. That installment ran in the middle of an eight-day series.

I have no idea what the former Town of Brookfield Republican representative thinks about the issue now.

The execution of Troy Davis last week puts the matter back in the news; Eugene Kane wrote about it Sunday, I weighed in a couple of times, too and I suspect we'll eventually see a bill from hard-edged conservatives in the Legislature to re-instate capital punishment in Wisconsin a century-and-a-half after its abolition.

I hope not. It has no place here, or elsewhere.and


enoughalready said...

I believe they tried re-instatement in Massachusetts not long ago, but found that with a death penalty it is often harder to convince a jury to convict. As a consequence, if I am not mistaken, the death penalty was once again rejected in that state.

James Rowen said...

Cost is a factor, too, as death penalty cases cost the state large sums of money - - special cells, monitoring, 'apparatus,' legal and appeals costs, etc. I believe the figure is up to $2 million per case.

xoff said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
xoff said...

You may recall that 56% of the voters in Wisconsin voted for the death penalty in an advisory referendum in 2006. State Sen, Alan Lasee, the sponsor, didn't push because Dems controlled the State Senate and Jim Doyle was the governor and would have vetoed it even if it passed. Now we have a whole new ball game.

James Rowen said...

Walker has said he'd sign a bill with DNA safeguards, but for defendants, it'll still be a lottery where the rich get the breaks and the poor (read: minorities) will get the death penalty in disproportionate numbers.

And for taxpayers, a financial burden.