Filed by Steve Barrett
I was momentarily relieved to learn during a meeting today with Tommy Wells, who is expected to be the next president of the American Bar Association, that the organization of lawyers takes no position on whether the death penalty is good or bad in itself.
Then he got to the fine print.
The ABA has established a set of 79 criteria that it believes every state and the federal government should meet before administering the death penalty.
Hmm. How many states meet those criteria and thus have the ABA OK to carry out executions, I asked.
None, Mr. Wells said. Zilch. Nor do the federal government’s safeguards measure up.
So to summarize, the ABA isn’t necessarily against capital punishment, but it does advocate a ban on executions in all 50 states plus by the federal government until they meet the ABA’s standards.
In other words, the organization does, for all practical purposes, oppose the death penalty. It would just rather not say so.
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