My own opposition to the death penalty is principally because of the grotesque circus that the whole execution process has become.
It has the effect of elevating the murderer and diminishing the victim – the solemn recording of the last words of condemned men, the details of the final meal, the letters received from women around the world (a schoolfriend of mine from Stockport writes to a Death Row inmate in Texas).
I wonder, too, whether all this just makes the agony of victims’ relatives more acute. The actor Alec Baldwin used the Davis case to attack the MacPhails, stating on Twitter: “Wonder if the McPhail [sic] family will seek death penalty for US leaders who killed thousands of US soldiers and countless innocent Iraqis.”…
If anything, the moral superiority of so many pontificating about Davis and the presumption of Europeans telling Americans how to run their justice system makes it more rather than less likely that executions will remain part of the American way.