Nebraska's rather astonishing decision last week to repeal its death penalty law means that capital punishment is a dead duck in this country.
This Time Magazine piece offers good reasons for the demise of this barbaric practice that, even while it shames us, picks our pockets big time to pay for its abhorrent processes and results.
So today I'm not going to go back over all the reasons the death penalty is a repugnant system that deserves to die. Instead, I want to give you time to digest the Time piece, which is fairly lengthy, as well as this disturbing Atlantic cover story, which I read last week in the print edition.
Twenty years or so ago I was saying that I never in my lifetime expected to see our culture turn around enough on LGBTQ issues to allow same-sex marriage. Happily, I was wrong about that. And until just a few years ago, I never expected to see America's love of capital punishment fall away so that today the end of the death penalty is in sight. I was wrong about that, too, thank goodness.
But can't we just end it all now? Why wait until someone in the near future has to be the last person ever executed in the U.S.?
(I found the NBC News photo here today of Nebraska's unicameral legislature debating the death penalty at this site.)
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AN OLD RELIGION MAKING A COMEBACK
The small but ancient religion of Zoroastrianism seems to be on the rise again in Iraqi Kurdistan. It's pretty remarkable. You can read about it in this Daily Beast piece. In India, where I spent part of my boyhood, adherents of Zoroastrianism are called Parsis.
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P.S.: The arrival of June is a reminder that you need a great gift for Father's Day. Give him my latest book, Woodstock: A Story of Middle Americans, so he knows what the people who followed the so-called Greatest Generation contributed to what's good and not so good about our nation. E-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I'll tell you the least expensive ways to get an autographed copy of the print version. The e-version is available at Amazon for very little money.