Friday, September 28, 2007

Ron Paul at PBS Debate: Against Federal Death Penalty

I was delighted to hear Ron Paul say at the Republican Presidential debate on PBS that he is opposed to the Federal death penalty. He indicated that this was one of the few positions he changed his views about over the years - at one time, he supported the Federal death penalty - and his reason was that DNA evidence has shown too many innocent people found guilty.

My position, all of my life, has been against death penalties on all levels. Even before DNA evidence, it seemed to me that juries are fallible, they are capable of error, and putting a person to death on the basis of a wrong jury decision was one of the very worst things a civilized society could ever do. Life in prison without parole was a strong enough punishment, and one which allowed reversal in the event that new evidence came to light or old evidence proved faulty.

As on so many other issues, Ron Paul's libertarian distrust of government, and his sheer logic, have led him to an enlightened, humanitarian position. My only disagreement with Ron Paul on this issue is that I would like to see capital punishment outlawed on a state level, too. (I wonder if he would support an amendment to the Constitution that outlawed the death penalty.)

Meanwhile, it's also worth noting about this PBS Republican debate that Giuliani, McCain, Romney, and Fred Thompson didn't bother to show. Apparently Tavis Smiley's African-American moderation of the debate was not to their GOP liking.

No real matter. Nothing any of the four might have had to say would have stacked up to what Ron Paul said tonight.
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