Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Death penalty for the deserving

Mexican-born Texas death row inmate Jose Medellín is set to die today:

Medellín faced lethal injection for participating in the gang rape, beating and strangling of Elizabeth Pena, 16, and Jennifer Ertman, 14. He and five fellow gang members attacked the girls as they were walking home on a June night in 1993, raped and tortured them for an hour, then kicked and stomped them before using a belt and shoelaces to strangle them.

Their remains were found four days later. By then, Medellín already had bragged to friends about the killings.

The "World Court" in The Hague and Amnesty International are busy attempting last minute interference with the Texas decision.

Update (Aug 6th): The U.S. Supreme Court, in a 5-4 split decision, rejected last minute appeals. Medellin was executed at 9:57 PM, Aug 5th. Finally, after 15 years. Good riddance.

Generally, I’m against the death penalty. It’s not out of squeamishness or that I think putting down murderers immoral. It’s because the risk of killing innocents is too high. There are too many cases which have proven the justice system too flawed to trust getting it right sufficiently reliably.

However, there are clear exceptions which justify keeping the death penalty on the books. Medellin is one.

Here are two more:

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