That's the title of a Boulder Daily Camera editorial subtitled, "Would execution do any good, even in this case?" It's written by Erika Stutzman for the Daily Camera editorial board.
We lend our voices to the national minority -- an outnumbered group that nonetheless is growing -- that is opposed to the death penalty, even in the worst capital cases.
There are so many opportunities to do so. There is the alarming racial disparity in death rows nationwide. There is mounting evidence, aided by recent DNA innovations, that many of those who are sentenced to death were not guilty of the capital crimes for which they were convicted.
And then there's the idea of what a justice system in a civilized country is supposed to do: Punish the guilty, provide some sort of restitution to victims, serve as a deterrent to criminals.
The moral issue -- the probability that some states are most certainly executing people who may be innocent -- is reason enough to oppose the death penalty. The crimes that Holmes is accused of make it an unpopular position to have: But in the absence of a perfect justice system, a life sentence without parole should replace the death penalty in Colorado.
Tribune Media syndicated columnist Jonah Goldberg writes, "Death penalty foes fall silent." It's via the Amarillo Globe-News.
I favor the death penalty. I don’t support killing insane or mentally disabled people who truly are not responsible for their actions, but I don’t believe that committing an “act of madness” necessarily makes you a madman. But committing an act of wanton evil makes you an evil man.
Evil and madness are not synonyms. Societies that cannot distinguish between the two are destined to get more of both.
If the death penalty is always wrong, let us have an argument about James Holmes, a man many Americans are aware of, informed about and interested in. Let us hear why the inequities of the criminal justice system require his life be spared. Fight the death penalty battle on this battlefield.
That won’t happen. It won’t happen in part because nobody on the Sunday talk shows wants to debate the death penalty when the case for it is strong. They like cases that “raise troubling questions about the legitimacy of the death penalty,” not cases that affirm the legitimacy of the death penalty.
Earlier commentary from Colorado begins at the link