The executioner’s return

The United States stands alone among Western democracies in retaining the death penalty. In 2012 the states executed 43 persons and sentenced another 77 to death. But from time to time unexpected individuals and institutions flirt with its abolition. At a 2000 conference in Williamsburg, Virginia, I heard Pat Robertson issue a much-publicized call for a moratorium on capital punishment. He did not mobilize many of his evangelical followers on the issue.

 

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