Texas carries out the death penalty more than any other state. And a very large majority of Texans support continued use of the death penalty.

Texas carries out the death penalty more than any other state. And a very large majority of Texans support continued use of the death penalty. Here’s a Texas poll from 2012: Strongly support:          42% Somewhat support:       31% Somewhat oppose:        11% Strongly oppose:           10% Don’t know:                    5% SOURCE: University of Texas/Texas Tribune Poll, May 2012 But we know several things: * the death penalty is far more expensive than life imprisonment without parole; * the death penalty is not a deterrent to crime; * the death penalty is implemented in a racially unbalanced manner; * the death penalty has been carried out on innocent victims. If you don’t think those things are true, you can easily look it up to prove it to yourself. Given that the above statements are true, why do we still have capital punishment in Texas? What justification is there – beyond simple blood-lust vengeance – for capital punishment? Is vengeance an adequate reason for the state to kill people, even if sometimes we kill someone who is innocent? Check out this last table: 4,000+Officially not released. 314+ 129+ 79+ 43 28+ 19+ 14 9 7 6+ 6+ 6 6 5+ 3+ 2 1 1 1 1 Does the company the US keeps by retaining the death penalty cause you to question our continuing to perform executions? What’s your opinion? Should Texas, and should the US, continue to carry out executions? Yes, I know I’ve painted a completely one-sided picture of the death penalty. I haven’t, for example, provided descriptions of crimes committed that have led to executions. I haven’t provided statements from family members of murder victims. I haven’t done several things I could have done to make this a “fair” presentation. I decided not to do that because a) given that we live in Texas, I didn’t think I needed to present that side of the picture, and b) I thought some of you might not know some of those things and might not look them up before responding. You’ll find that in this class I regularly do not give both sides of the story. My goal is to make you think — to question your assumptions. Hopefully when I present a one-sided story you’ll take the time to investigate the other side. There’s ALWAYS another side! do NOT assume you know what I think about this or any other issue based on the way I ask the question or based on what data I present. And do NOT EVER tailor your answer based on what you think I want to hear. I promise you that you do not know what I want to hear, or even if I “want to hear” anything at all. The only other rules about your responses to this and all the discussion boards are that you a) stay on topic, and b) remain respectful toward your classmates. Disrespectful posts will be deleted.

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