Thursday, January 5, 2012

Letter to Seattle Times on the Death Penalty, 9/23/11

The company we keep

What do these countries have in common: China, Iran, North Korea, Yemen and the United States?

Well, excepting the U.S., you might guess authoritarian government is the common factor. But these are the top five countries for execution by death penalty for 2010. Meanwhile, our neighbors to the north and south and all of Europe have long abolished capital punishment.
With the recent executions of Troy Davis and Lawrence Russell Brewer, we are reminded that the U.S. remains on the wrong side of history, if we conceive that the future will be more civilized than the past.

Since 1964, we have had expanding definitions of what constitutes a hate crime. Yet it seems to me that the death penalty itself constitutes a hate crime, though one legitimized through government. For how much longer?

— Colin Wright, Seattle
Also, a shortened version made the Sunday print edition.

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