December 14, 2004
Yes, I’m writing about Scott Peterson
By Stacie Whitacre
So, it has been maybe 18 hours -- are you sick of the Scott Peterson Death Penalty Media Circus yet? (Yes, I know, I’m participating in it too.)
His sentencing was a sideshow, with people who didn’t even know Laci cheering outside the courthouse when it was announced the jury had decided he should die. Total strangers lusting for blood, for vengeance against a man they’d never met, who’d been convicted of killing someone they’d also never known. I find it hard to believe that these people were cheering because of simple human empathy.
I am 100 percent opposed to the death penalty (yes, even for Hitler), and this is why -- it's not about paying the price. It’s about the spectacle and the thirst for blood and TV ratings and the fact that the San Francisco Examiner was able to sell a special afternoon edition within hours of the verdict.
I have always appreciated that Wisconsin does not have a death penalty -- it seems to give us, at least in my mind, a bit more humanity. However, during nearly every legislative session in recent memory, somebody introduces a bill to re-introduce the death penalty here. Thankfully, the bills never get very far. I do wonder, with the Republicans retaining their control of the Legislature, and the scary wingnut contingent commanding more power, what will happen this time around.
Will we keep our humanity? Or will bloodlust and flashy news headlines win? We will see.
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