(Un)Happy Birthday, Death Penalty!


How time flies when you’re killing people. Today marks the 30th anniversary of the United States Supreme Court’s lifting of the ban on capital punishment. And to celebrate, we’ve got ten executions scheduled for this month alone! Most of those, as usual, are in Southern states. In fact, as the Death Penalty Information Center reminds, the South has carried out 80 percent of all executions since 1976 – and yet still has the highest murder rate in the nation. The death penalty: deterrent, or just dumb?

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  • Vince Beiser, a former Mother Jones senior editor, has reported from more than 30 countries—on troop training in Iraq, natural disasters in Haiti, and prison conditions in California.