Opponents of the death penalty have just gained a powerful new ally. Yesterday, the Dallas Morning News changed its editorial opinion and came out against the death penalty. This is important because the Morning News is not only one of the largest newspapers in the state, its editorial board is generally regarded as one of the most conservative.
The DMN points out that at least 13 innocent people have been released from Texas prisons in the recent past. They also point to the case of Carlos De Luna, who was executed even though the evidence now shows he was probably innocent.
The DMN believes (as I do) that the state has the obligation to protect its citizens from violent offenders - especially those who may re-offend in a violent way. But since the passage of "life without parole", we now have an option other than the death penalty.
No one should forget the victims of violent crime when we debate the morality and effectiveness of the death penalty. But the imprisonment and execution of men and women innocent of the crimes they are accused of is an injustice in two senses, in that someone pays for a crime they didn't commit, and the guilty party goes free. It's past time to re-evaluate the death penalty in Texas, and I'm glad to see that the editors of the DMN agree.