Shawna Forde Sentenced To Death by Lethal Injection for the Murder of 9 Year Old Brisenia Flores

Brisenia Flores will be no less dead, no less robbed of the chance to know anything of the fullness of life beyond the eyes of a child, no matter how the mandatory appeal of the death sentence turns out. Raul "Junior" Flores will never see his own 30th birthday, or attend his daughter's 10th birthday party.  They will never happen. ...more

Stoning for Adultery: When Women Act Like Men, the Punishment Can Be Severe

The Huffington Post reported that Sakineh Mohammadie Ashtiani, a 42-year-old woman in Iran, may be executed “at any minute.” Her crime? Adultery. The method of execution: stoning. Prior to being sentenced to death, she was subjected to 99 lashes.* This is not the only recent case in which a woman who has committed what is essentially a social crime has been punished far more harshly than would a man who committed a similar offense, if it was even considered an offense at all. ...more

By virtue of simple luck, I was not born in a country that treats women quite this horrifyingly. ...more

Ronnie Lee Gardner: If We Are Not Our Brother's Keeper, at Least Let Us Not Be His Executioner

Many years ago, many many years ago, long before some of you were probably born, he was born. I'm told that his own childhood was not that of lollipops and sunshine, but one of violence and abuse and drugs and incarceration. Mental institutions and juvenile detention employed as places to keep him safe from his own relatives. ...more

Throughout our exchange I have not implied or stated that your stance was outlandish. That ...more

Pro-death Penalty Legal Group Abandons Capital Punishment Work

For nearly 50 years, legal theorists, policy makers and law school educators have referred to the American Legal Institute in articulating and clarifying the case for capital punishment. As the New York Times reported yesterday, the ALI has abandoned its work on the issue. The development may accelerate the trend of states and juries backing away from imposing capital punishment, and it may also affect the way lawyers are educated. ...more

Thank you, Kim, for another thoughtful and timely piece. You may remember I wrote in when ...more

John Allen Muhammad, "Beltway Sniper" and Gulf War Veteran, Is Executed

UPDATE 9/25 PM: The Washington Post reports that John Allen Muhammad was executed by lethal injection tonight as family members of his victims watched. He maintained his innocence until the end. ...more

Thank you Kim for sharing part of my story!

I believe strongly in the power of ...more

Spanking: Screw It

Despite my liberal Democrat ways, I'm not violently opposed to spanking. (No pun intended. Or maybe it was.) I think there's quite a difference between "spanking" and "beating to a pulp," and when parents object too stridently to spanking, we're opening ourselves up to arguments over semantics rather than arguments over disciplinary styles. It's not just that I don't want to send a message that violence is the way of the world, or that I don't want to be a hypocrite and spank my child to teach her that hitting is wrong, although I don't want to do either of those things. There are a thousand arguments against spanking, but the strongest is still this: It doesn't work. ...more

I spank and will admit it to anyone. I was spanked and even once had to pick my own switch. ...more

When You Happen to Find a Picture of Witch Burnings in the Children's Reading Area: Explaining Capital Punishment to Kids

This week while driving to work I’ve been listening to Notes from Underground, by Fyodor Dostoevsky. He lived and wrote in the 19th century. I can't believe I'm mentioning him, but one thing he wrote stopped me almost literally: “Capital punishment is better than nothing.” What a thought-provoking statement: Usually we think of “better than nothing” as being one step up, rather than all-or-nothing. But despite it being a good sentence, is it a true statement? ...more

I just listened to the book on CD again, and he said corporal punishment, not capital ...more