George Will: America should do away with the death penalty

Without being aware of it, Vernon Madison might become a footnote in constitutional law because he is barely aware of anything. For more than 30 years, Alabama, with a tenacity that deserves a better cause, has been trying to execute him for the crime he certainly committed, the 1985 murder of a police officer. Twice the state convicted him unconstitutionally (first excluding blacks from the jury, then insinuating inadmissible evidence into the record). In a third trial the judge, who during his time on the bench overrode more life sentences (six) than any other Alabama judge, disregarded the jury’s recommended sentence of life imprisonment and imposed the death penalty.

Continue reading…