The Administration: Negating the Absolute

"When the state itself kills," said Attorney General Ramsey Clark, "the. mandate 'Thou shalt not kill' loses the force of the absolute." Giving the Administration's backing for abolition of the federal death penalty, Clark told a Senate Judiciary subcommittee that "state-inflicted death chiefly serves to remind us how close we remain to the jungle." In failing to abolish the death penalty nationwide, the U.S. lags behind 73 foreign countries as well as 13 of its own states,* which have abolished the death sentence.

It is unlikely that the bill will reach the Senate...