Death Penalty sabotaged by the system
Susan Estrich's intellectually dishonest inability to examine why the death penalty has become an ineffective remedy is emblematic of the blindness of the professoriat and the political class toward the logical outcomes of their policies. The reason that death penalty appeals take years to litigate while consuming millions of taxpayer dollars is that leftist hacks appointed to the bench by politicians create litigable "rights" out of thin air that a lawyer representing the particular murderer or rapist in the case at hand must pursue, at taxpayer cost, lest the attorney be found to have provided the murderer or rapist with ineffective legal assistance.
Each and every element of each and every new "right" conferred by leftist judges on the criminal class becomes its own cottage industry of specialty litigation, with the result that more years and more expert witness fees are extracted from the public.
Once the left has sabotaged the system, the issue of whether the death penalty serves as a deterrent is moot. No penalty that can easily be deferred for decades because professors, judges and lawyers have gamed the system can have any hope of serving as a deterrent.
Arguing that "life without parole" is a legitimate substitute for the death penalty is disingenuous. Freed of the need to oppose the emotionally compelling argument regarding the finality of the death penalty, the criminal defense bar and the law school professoriat will find that undermining a "life without parole" system will be child's play.
Jeffrey Meyer, Tampa
(source: Letter to the Editor, Tampa Bay Times)