Thursday, September 8, 2011

"No sir, I've never struggled with that at all."

I'm sure nobody out there in schlubland wants to hear your humble correspondent sound off on the death penalty. (Actually, unlike most of my other liberal opinions I'm for it in principle. Against it in practice.)

But whether you're for it or against it, there was something absolutely ghoulish in Rick Perry's answer to last night's death penalty question -- and the deafening applause when the number of the executed (234) was trotted out.

If the death penalty is necessary, it should be a grim business. A necessary evil. And we should never applaud its use.

Moreover, the fact that Rick Perry didn't lose a wink of sleep over this is just disgusting. Two years ago, the New Yorker took great pains to show that at least one of these men was probably innocent.

If you haven't read it yet, the story of Cameron Todd Willingham makes you want to shout at Perry, "Why the hell not?"