The NY Times reports that the American Law Institute, a body made up of about 4,000 judges, lawyers and law professors and mostly dealing with creating structural legal directives to keep the different jurisdictional layers of the American legal system congruent, and also the body
which created the intellectual framework for the modern capital justice system almost 50 years ago, pronounced its project a failure and walked away from it.
Why? According to the NYT they didn’t quite say no to capital punishment as such, but they apparently did say that the American implementation is irretrievably broken –
A study commissioned by the institute said that decades of experience had proved that the system could not reconcile the twin goals of individualized decisions about who should be executed and systemic fairness. It added that capital punishment was plagued by racial disparities; was enormously expensive even as many defense lawyers were underpaid and some were incompetent; risked executing innocent people; and was undermined by the politics that come with judicial elections.