Thursday, August 08, 2019

The Erickson Report, Page 7: Two Weeks of Stupid: Clowns and Outrages [the Outrages]

The Erickson Report, Page 7: Two Weeks of Stupid: Clowns and Outrages [the Outrages]

Turning to the Outrages, we have first the fact that the Tweetie-pie administration has announced plans to resume executing federal prisoners, ending a 16-year moratorium on the practice.

Attorney General William Barr ordered the Bureau of Prisons to schedule executions for five inmates on death row, bringing back the grim reaper with a vengeance, as the government has carried out just three executions since the federal death penalty statute was expanded in 1994 and the last of those was in 2003.

The bloodlust flies in the face of the trend in the nation as a whole. There were just 25 executions in the whole country in all of 2018, a quarter of the number of 20 years earlier.

New Hampshire abolished the death penalty in May, making it the 21st state to do so. In some of the other states where it remains the law, the death penalty is effectively frozen, including by governor-issued moratoriums in California and Pennsylvania and a court order in North Carolina, and in yet others the penalty simply isn't invoked.

Popular support for capital punishment is also down, dropping from around 80% in the mid-1990s when fear of crime and actual crime rates were much higher to a bare majority of 54% now, according to the Pew Research Center.

Amnesty International called the decision to resume sanctioned murder "outrageous" and "the latest indication of this administration’s disdain for human rights."

Which I would say is the least you can call it. The fact is, despite the lack of any evidence that the death penalty reduces the murder rate, despite the demonstrated racist bias in imposition of the death penalty, despite the cold reality of the execution of innocent people, despite dropping crime and dropping support, this remnant of barbarity persists. It is and will remain a moral outrage.


This will just be a quick note because I'm out of time and this is something I will definitely be talking more about soon.

On August 2, the US formally withdrew from the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty, the INF, which was signed by Ronald Reagan and Mikhail Gorbachev in 1987.

We now face the prospect of a new nuclear arms race.

The killing of the pact comes just three days before the 56th anniversary of the signing of the Limited Test Ban Treaty, one of the earliest treaties on nuclear weapons, that one atmospheric testing, and just four days before the 74th anniversary of the atomic bombing of Hiroshima.

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