Well, not only is the death penalty irretrievably broken, it is inherently broken. Four decades after the Furman decision, this is as clear as ever. Had the death penalty been a product, it would have been judged as shoddy, defective and unreliable.
Given the zeitgeist about the death penalty and the execution of innocent people from the Troy Davis Case -- and the presidential campaign of Texas Gov. Rick Perry -- the timing couldn't be better for the release of the documentary, Incendiary: The Willingham Case.
Incendiary: The Willingham Case has become an essential part of the canon of journalism devoted to the trial and execution of Cameron Todd Willingham. For those who advocate against the death penalty, it depicts their nightmare realized.
We are a society that locks people into cages for decades, then selects a tiny handful to pull out in the middle of the night and kill. That's who we are. And the horror of that is what sickens me, even more than the fact that Troy Davis might have been innocent.
Rick Perry's record number of executions drew applause at last week's GOP debate. Among the 234 -- make that 235 as of today -- killed under Perry was Cameron Todd Willingham, who received the death penalty for killing his three daughters by arson.
I was disappointed that Brian Williams, faced with the golden opportunity to specifically cite the Cameron Todd Willingham case in his debate interrogation of Rick Perry, instead opted for a more generic set of questions on the death penalty.