Light week for links. I've been toying with the idea of writing a scree on why Donald Trump absolutely can not become the GOP nominee, but it appears his poor debate performance this week may have taken him pretty much out of the running.
Richard Glossip is probably innocent, but will die anyways
This week, Oklahoma granted a two-week stay of execution to a man who is probably innocent. The stay is a relief, of course, but highlights yet again that the death penalty ought to be ruled unconstitutional.
There are any number of arguments about the death penalty from an economic (it's cheaper to incarcerate for life than execute) and moral standpoint. All of those arguments are subjective, and account for why the issue is divisive. What's not subjective is this: the Constitution protects every American's right to life. The state does not have the right to deprive innocent people of their lives, and needs to err on the side of protection. Executing a single innocent person is not acceptable in order to execute people who may be guilty of capital crimes. It's time to remove the death penalty as an option in America.
The black family in the age of mass incarceration
There's a theme to this week's links. Ta-Nehisi Coates just absolutely kills it in The Atlantic this week with a piece (the longest they've ever run) on the impact of American anti-crime politics and policies, and their disproportionate effect on the black community. Most of these policies (war on poverty, war on drugs, etc.) are flawed inherently, but Coates makes a compelling argument that they become even more dangerous in application, since they affect blacks much more than whites. Whether you agree or not with the thesis that the high number of black incarcerations are a root cause of challenges in the black community or not, you can not argue that incarceration in America is out of control, and that the effect on communities of color is beyond unfair.