Mark Essig

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When the Supreme Court last week granted a stay of execution for a murderer in Mississippi, it imposed a de facto moratorium on capital punishment in the United States. With prosecutors in Texas and other states now saying they will stop seeking execution dates, that moratorium is likely to last at least until the court issues a ruling on another death penalty case, Baze v. Rees, probably in June.

Some foes of capital punishment are celebrating this as a sign of a shift in the national debate. They’re mistaken.

Yes, in one sense, Baze v. Rees is a departure. For the first time since 1878, when the Supreme Court gave its approval to Utah’s firing squad, it will rule on the constitutionality of a particular method of capital punishment.…  Seguir leyendo »