Newest piece at National Review: "The Shaky Case against the Death Penalty"
After the recent mishandled execution in Oklahoma, in which the murderer ended up dying from a heart attack, death-penalty opponents pounced.
Not surprisingly, the Sunday-morning talk shows focused on whether we should keep the death penalty. ABC News’s This Week was hardly a balanced panel, with four members wanting to abolish the death penalty and the fifth wanting “maybe a halfway point between eliminating it” and what we currently have.
Let’s analyze the three main arguments made on ABC against the death penalty.
1. “Support for the death penalty has fallen from 80 percent in 1993 [actually 1994] to 60 percent in 2013.”
Has support for the death penalty fallen since 1994? Sure, but what ABC News didn’t explain was that the years chosen were carefully cherry-picked. Support for the death penalty in 1994 was the highest ever recorded, according to Gallup. But consider instead all the 43 surveys from 1936 to 2012. Those surveys showed that an average of 63.8 percent of Americans supported the death penalty. Sixty percent in 2013 is down slightly from the average over the preceding 76 years, but it was hardly an earth-shattering change. . . .