The Press – Friend and Foe
I woke up this morning to get ready to go to court – just have one matter and I will be done in court for the day. I was going through my morning routine, which includes reading the news, getting my breakfast ready, picking out the clothes I am going to wear, when I came across this LA Times Article “Judge Halts Execution of Rapist and Murder”. I am an opponent of the death penalty so this article piqued my interest, and especially the way the article was titled.
But if you read the article, it’s about the legality of the method in which a person is put to death in California. It reveals that recent inmates who have been executed in California may have not been completely anesthetized and may have suffered extreme pain from the cocktail of injections they received. The way I read it, it suggest that the method in California may be cruel and unusual punishment, which is unconstitutional in our great nation.
It’s not about a judge “saving” a murderer or rapist. The title is the first thing you read – it’s the theme that you carry with you while you read the article. Will the average reader be able to read that article objectively? Is the title just meant to grab the readers’ attention? Or is it meant to create fear that our justice system is getting soft and we need to toughen up on crime? Because I can tell you, from working the front lines, a criminal defense attorneys’ job just gets harder and harder.
In my mind, I’ve always framed the death penalty issue as a human rights issue, and an issue for humanity. I am sure that there are philosophers out there who can put it more eloquently than I will ever be able to express, so I will simply say that I oppose the death penalty.
The Press can be a friend to a cause as well – take for example, Jose Antonio Vargas and his series on the AIDS epidemic in Washington DC. His work has inspired the documentary “The Other City”, a powerful film chronicling the real life experiences of those suffering from HIV/AIDS in our nations’ capital.
I don’t think the LA Times article does anything helpful for the anti-death penalty cause, and I have no idea if that was even the point. I saw the title, was interested, and then immediately annoyed. That title was there to get me to click on it. Thoughts?
- Executions in the U.S. delayed by shortage of lethal drug (calgaryherald.com)
- Shortage of lethal injection drug halts US executions (telegraph.co.uk)
- Honor homicide victims – oppose death penalty (sfgate.com)