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Debating the death penalty

Earlier this week, in Kennedy v. Louisiana, the Supreme Court held that the Eighth Amendment bars Louisiana from imposing the death penalty for the rape of a child. With attention once again focused on the death penalty, readers may find this online debate, hosted by the Federalist Society, of interest. One of the particpants is my friend Bill Otis, an occasional Power Line contributor.

John and I reflected on the debate about the death penalty in this post from 2003, and in this exchange from the first months of Power Line. Our debate, if it rose to that level, was over whether judgments about capital punishment are ethical or aesthetic. Either way, as Scott has said, the existence of a legitimate basis for the Court’s authority to render the judgment it did in cases such as Kennedy is doubtful.

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