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April 21, 2014

Andrew Silow-Carroll: Passoverkill? Suggestions to make next year's seders even more culturally sensitive

Sara Israelsen Hartley: Seeking the Divine: An ancient connection in a new context

Christine M. Flowers: Priest's execution in Syria should be call to action

Courtnie Erickson: How to help kids accept the poor decisions of others

Lizette Borreli: A Glass Of Milk A Day Keeps Knee Arthritis At Bay

Lizette Borreli: 5 Health Conditions Your Breath Knows Before You Do

The Kosher Gourmet by Betty Rosbottom Coconut Walnut Bars' golden brown morsels are a beautifully balanced delectable delight

April 18, 2014

Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology

Caroline B. Glick: The disappearance of US will

Megan Wallgren: 10 things I've learned from my teenagers

Lizette Borreli: Green Tea Boosts Brain Power, May Help Treat Dementia

John Ericson: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain

The Kosher Gourmet by Julie Rothman Almondy, flourless torta del re (Italian king's cake), has royal roots, is simple to make, . . . but devour it because it's simply delicious

April 14, 2014

Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time

Greg Crosby: Passing Over Religion

Eric Schulzke: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic

Georgia Lee: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships

Cameron Huddleston: Freebies for Your Lawn and Garden

Gordon Pape: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin

Dana Dovey: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate

Justin Caba: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure

The Kosher Gourmet by Joshua E. London and Lou Marmon Don't dare pass over these Pesach picks for Manischewitz!

April 11, 2014

Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden

Caroline B. Glick: Forgetting freedom at Passover

Susan Swann: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Financial Tasks You Should Tackle Right Now

Sandra Block and Lisa Gerstner: How to Profit From Your Passion

Susan Scutti: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer

Chris Weller: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You

The Kosher Gourmet by Diane Rossen Worthington Whitefish Terrine: A French take on gefilte fish

April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review Feb. 8, 2013/ 28 Shevat, 5773

The death penalty, what it used to be

By Wesley Pruden




http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | A national movement to abolish capital punishment is growing, state by state. Maryland is expected to soon become the 18th state to repeal death-penalty laws. Nevertheless, taking a life for taking a life still seems like a good idea for millions of Americans.

But capital punishment is not what it used to be, when the gallows was a scene of commerce and merriment. Seventeenth-century England, whence comes so much of our law and culture, hanged evil-doers with the enthusiasm of modern Texas. There's the story of the shipwrecked sailor of the time who was washed up on a distant shore after a storm at sea. He opened his eyes the next morning and the first thing he saw, on a hill far away, was a gallows.

"Thank G0D!" he cried. "I'm in a Christian country." Executions in civilized places are no longer public spectacles. Old Sparky, as death-row inmates once called the electric chair, has been put in the closet. "Riding the needle," as death-row inmates grimly call the lethal injection that replaced the rope and the electric chair, isn't thought to be as painless and humane as we were once so confidently told it was.

The leader of the modern movement to abolish death row is a man who spent nearly a decade waiting for execution for a crime he did not commit. Kirk Noble Bloodworth - his very name is something that Charles Dickens might have bestowed on one of his characters - was convicted on flimsy evidence of raping and killing a 9-year-old girl. He was eventually cleared by DNA evidence, but not before the state fiercely resisted him at every step of the way. Since he walked free, he has campaigned to abolish the death penalty in every state where it is still prescribed.

Mr. Bloodworth, once a Marine, was arrested when a neighbor saw a police sketch of the man suspected of the crime and thought it looked like him. She called the cops, who were under great public pressure to find a killer, and they arrested Mr. Bloodworth. A quick trial followed and he was soon on death row.

Mr. Bloodworth does not appear to be bitter over his ordeal. "Nobody knew what DNA was," he told the New York Times the other day, as he campaigned in support of Maryland abolition, "it was sort of shaman science, a 'get out of jail free' card." But challenging judicial bungling is no board game; the courts have no monopoly on justice.

Eventually, under pressure from the efforts of Mr. Bloodworth and his friends, the authorities put the DNA collected at the crime scene through a database of suspects and found the man who had in fact raped and the killed the little girl. He is serving a life sentence.

DNA, no longer regarded as "shaman science," has changed the debate over capital punishment. The Death Penalty Information Center in Washington counts 18 death-row prisoners freed by newly discovered DNA evidence. Many in the movement to abolish the death penalty are still driven by moral concerns, the belief that the state infringes G0D's prerogatives when it takes a life, but now the abolitionists mostly argue that the death penalty is wrong because it risks killing the innocent.

Enthusiasm for the death penalty is clearly declining because so many people, including the politicians who prize "leading from behind," now acknowledge doubts about the courts always getting it right. Five states have abolished the death penalty since 2007; 43 prisoners were executed last year, down from 98 in 1999. DNA is widely believed to the single most compelling factor.

The emotional arguments over the death penalty have subsided, but haven't gone away. Sometimes the crime, particularly against a child, are so heinous that mere accusation is enough to be mistaken for evidence. There's scant evidence that the death penalty deters murder, and considerable evidence that it doesn't.

Several years ago, a governor of Illinois commuted the death sentences of every prisoner on death row when he discovered, through DNA analysis, innocent men awaiting for execution. When I wrote in praise of the governor's courage, I was inundated with angry letters. One man wrote that he agreed that an innocent man might rarely be executed, but he thought it "an acceptable price to pay." I offered to forward his letter to the governor, as a volunteer to pay the acceptable price if the governor ever needed one. He was not amused.

Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.

JWR contributor Wesley Pruden is editor emeritus of The Washington Times. Comment by clicking here.

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