Oh, Sure, Now He Supports the Death Penalty
Some of the smartest and most wise people I know are staunch, principled opponents of the death penalty, so I try not to poke at this sore spot with them. But I think a lot of folks who loudly proclaim how much they oppose the death penalty really just mean that they oppose the death penalty for crimes that don't affect them. Once a heinous crime hits home, they can crave an eye for an eye with the best and worst of us.
I suppose I shouldn't needle these folks too much; they're shifting toward my position -- if you commit cold-blooded murder, and a jury finds you guilty after a fair trial, the rest of us have the right to punch your ticket. But sudden about-faces leave you wondering if a person's previous staunch opposition to the ultimate penalty merely reflected a perspective that was too detached, too clinical, too intellectual and theoretical to grasp why some victims' families want to see a murderer's life end.
Boston Mayor Tom Menino, suddenly a supporter of the death penalty:
BOSTON (CBS) – When the clock read 2:50 p.m. Monday, for some it was an undeniable flashback.
For others it was silence, peaceful silence.
And after the moment of silence, Mayor Tom Menino, in an uncharacteristic turn, called for the death penalty for Dzhokhar Tsarnaev.
"I have never supported the death penalty but I will say in this one I might think it's time this individual serves his time with the death penalty," Menino said.
The statement came after Menino sat with a crowd in little Martin Richard's neighborhood, alongside Sen. Elizabeth Warren, saluting the lives lost one week later.
"A Conservative is a Liberal who has been mugged."