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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 May 9, 2013/ 29 Iyar, 5773

Dzokhar Tsarnaev and the death penalty

By Jeff Jacoby

Jeff Jacoby




http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | According to a Washington Post-ABC poll released last week, 70 percent of Americans want Dzhokhar Tsarnaev put to death if he is convicted of the Boston Marathon bombing. Support for execution was higher among some respondents (conservatives, the elderly, whites) and lower among others (liberals, young adults, blacks). But no matter how the results were sorted, within every demographic subgroup there was majority support for the death penalty in this case.

That is no anomaly. It is a reminder that despite the well-funded efforts of death-penalty abolitionists, the true level of approval for the death penalty in America remains very high.

If you take your cues from the headlines, you could be forgiven for thinking otherwise.

Maryland last week became the 18th state without capital punishment when Governor Martin O’Malley, a longtime opponent, signed repeal legislation before a crowd of applauding allies. That came about a year after similar action in Connecticut, where Governor Dannel P. Malloy signed a bill banning executions in April 2012.

Foes of capital punishment like to point to such developments as proof of America’s ineluctable retreat from the death penalty. News accounts of declining public support for executing murderers have become something of a yearly tradition. Anti-execution activists regularly forecast the coming demise of death row.

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“I don’t know exactly what the timing is, but over the longer arc of history I think you’ll see more and more states repeal the death penalty,” O’Malley told reporters after signing the Maryland repeal. Law professor Jamin Raskin, a Maryland state senator, echoed that sentiment. “The trend lines are clear,” he said. “There’s nobody who’s adding the death penalty to their state laws. Everybody is taking it away.”

Everybody? It would be more accurate to say that some willful politicians have taken it away by flouting voters’ wishes. The Washington Post reported in February that a majority of Marylanders opposed O’Malley; 60 percent wanted the state to retain the death penalty as an option for especially heinous killings, while only 36 percent believed life without parole should be Maryland’s harshest penalty.

In Connecticut, too, ending capital punishment meant riding roughshod over public opinion. A Quinnipiac University poll conducted as Connecticut’s abolition bill awaited Malloy’s signature found that 62 percent of the state’s voters supported the death penalty, and that 6 out of 10 said the legislature’s abolition decision was a “bad idea.”

Elected lawmakers disregarding their constituents? Shocking, I know. Yet the death penalty for murder has commanded majority support for decades, rising to a record high of 80 percent in the 1990s. In no state, not even the bluest, has the death penalty been successfully repealed by referendum. Last November, as Californians were voting to reelect President Obama, they were simultaneously defeating a ballot measure that would have abolished execution as the ultimate penalty for murder. Opposition to capital punishment enjoys plenty of support among media and political elites, and Americans are routinely reminded that most modern democracies have outlawed it. Yet whenever the question is put to voters directly — repeal or retain? — they choose to retain it.

Of course no reasonable person suggests that every homicide should get the death penalty. What the great majority of Americans do believe is that for the most egregious or cold-blooded killers, execution should be a possibility. Most opinion surveys merely ask some version of the question Gallup routinely poses: “Are you in favor of the death penalty for a person convicted of murder?” But that understates the true level of support. Yes, there is an influential minority of Americans that opposes capital punishment, period. But the overwhelming majority of us believe that it should be available in at least some cases — the “worst of the worst.”

Just where that line should be drawn — which aggravating factors should be required to make a crime death-eligible — is a legitimate subject for debate. But sometimes debate is superfluous.

The horror Tsarnaev is accused of is practically a textbook example of aggravating factors: multiple murder, murder of a child, murder of a police officer, bombing in a public place, wanton cruelty, substantial premeditation, intention to terrorize. In such a case, should the judge and jury have the option of imposing the death penalty if they decide that’s what justice requires? Seven out of 10 Americans say yes. Which is another way of saying that 7 out of 10 Americans are pro-capital punishment.

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Jeff Jacoby is a Boston Globe columnist. Comment by clicking here.

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