How Statistics Doomed Washington State’s Death Penalty

https://www.theatlantic.com/ideas/archive/2018/10/how-statistics-doomed-washington-states-death-penalty/572968/

«The logic Powell applied to the death penalty is the same logic Philip Morris employed while he served on its board. Numbers on paper don’t prove a thing.

The death-penalty lawyer Anthony Amsterdam has called McCleskey “the Dred Scott decision of our time”—the moral equivalent of the 1857 opinion denying black Americans any chance of citizenship. After his retirement, Powell told his biographer that he would change his vote in McCleskey if he could.

But it was too late. The Supreme Court was committed to cigarette-maker logic.

Last week, the Washington Supreme Court, in a fairly pointed opinion, declared that, at least in its jurisdiction, numbers have real meaning. And to those who have eyes to see, numbers make clear the truth about death-sentencing: It is arbitrary and racist in its application.»

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.