A Matter of Life or Death

If critics of the U.S. death penalty needed any more ammunition to prove that the system is unjust, flawed and unreliable, they got plenty last Friday. Five days before Timothy McVeigh was scheduled to die for a 1995 bombing that killed 168 people, the U.S. Justice Department postponed his execution until June 11. Reason: the fbi discovered thousands of pages of interview reports and other documents that were, inexplicably, never turned over to McVeigh's lawyers before his trial. While there was no indication that the documents would have changed the outcome — the defendant has confessed to the bombing — his...

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