I understand many of you "pro state-rs" are inherently against giving any type of additional power to the federal government or further limiting the power of states, but having state by state variance on an issue like this does not make sense. As a country, we're united completely in the realm of common law. All court procedures that are similar to past cases must take the precedent in the past case and apply it to the present one. In effect, all the states are bound to uniformity under common law. State variance on the death penalty would, in effect, disrupt the uniformity of common law proceedings.
For example, imagine that California outlawed the death penalty and Texas didn't. If the Texas court was trying to decide a punishment in a murder trial very similar to a previous murder trial in California, the Texas court would not be able to use the precedent set in the California case due to variance in capital punishment between the states. Uniformity among states, in terms of remedies for crimes, is needed to ensure that common law is upheld. Therefore, it should be within the federal government's power to determine whether or not the death penalty should be nationally outlawed or remain intact. This is not a state issue.
You could make this argument about any law. Why have states at all. We could just dissolve all state borders and make all laws in DC.
This is such a non-starter. There were also slaves at the time the Constitution was written, and guns were a musket that had to be reloaded after every shot. Times change. If the Constitution cannot change with them, we're screwed as a nation.
It can change, in fact they built it to be changed.
Baltimore now, but born and raised on the south side of Chicago.
Originally Posted by Labgrownmangoat
I also think it's morally wrong, however I've found that pure morality arguments don't persuade many people. Demonstrating the unfairness of the penalty is, in my opinion, more likely to result in its repeal than arguing on purely moral grounds. I think both these statements are true, but one is more persuasive:
1. The death penalty is morally wrong, and our country should not engage in morally wrong behavior. I cannot count the number of times I have made this argument in regards to various things our country does.
2. The death penalty as applied by our country is demonstrably biased along racial lines. Unless and until it can be fairly applied, we should not apply it at all.
It seems to me that the first argument can only persuade those who already agree with it. The second points to some facts that a person can hang onto and defend if they change their minds.
Arguing with people across the political devide doesn't persuede people either.
Originally Posted by MrPoon
man with hair like fire can destroy souls with a twitch of his thighs.