That's the title of a profile of Kent Scheidegger at National Journal, written by Nora Caplan-Bricker. It's subtitled, "Meet capital punishment's chief defender."
On almost all other hot-button issues in U.S. politics—abortion, gay marriage, immigration, tax policy, affirmative action, foreign policy—many heartfelt voices can be found on all sides of the debate. Capital punishment is an odd exception. "With most people that would say they're in favor, it's just sort of a reflexive opinion," says John Blume of Cornell Law School's Death Penalty Project. "You don't meet a lot of people who wake up in the morning and say, 'OK, let's go get some people executed.' "
But that doesn't mean there's no one to argue for capital punishment. Blume and Dieter both start their short list of death-penalty champions with the same person: a scholar named Kent Scheidegger, the top lawyer at the Criminal Justice Legal Foundation, a small think tank in Sacramento, California. For nearly 30 years, Scheidegger has dedicated his professional life to defending the death penalty. And he's often the go-to wonk for his side of the debate. When California's death penalty was ruled unconstitutional in July, it was Scheidegger who provided outlets from The New York Times to the Los Angeles Times to NPR with their sole quote decrying the judge's decision. Page back through years of similar coverage, and his name pops up again and again. "I think even for supporters of the death penalty, if you had them rank what they care about the most, it wouldn't be high on their list," Blume argues. In that respect, he says, Scheidegger is "a lone wolf."