Yin [Iowa]: Does Death for Scott Peterson Cheapen the Death Penalty? Commentary
Yin [Iowa]: Does Death for Scott Peterson Cheapen the Death Penalty?

Tung Yin, University of Iowa College of Law:

"Not surprisingly, the jury has recommended death for Scott Peterson, convicted of murdering his pregnant wife and unborn son:

In arguing for death, prosecutors called Peterson "the worst kind of monster" and said he was undeserving of sympathy. The defense begged jurors to "go back there and please spare his life."

Obviously, anyone who is absolutely opposed to the death penalty will decry this result. But for those who are open to the idea of executing convicted murderers, I have to wonder whether this is an appropriate case for invoking the death penalty.  To be sure, the jury found that Peterson premeditated the murder of his wife, and while that finding may be overturned on appeal, for now, I'll take it true. But what makes Peterson more deserving of the death penalty than any other murderer?  Certainly not in volume of killing, or manner of killing.  It's just that the victim happened to be photogenic and to have a family that spoke passionately about its loss.

Considering that the death penalty costs more to seek than life imprisonment (perhaps a biased site, but one consistent with other studies I've seen),  you have to wonder, are the people of California really better off having gotten the death penalty against Peterson?" [December 13, 2004; YinBlog has the post]

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