AMERICAN NOTES: Life in California

No one has been executed in the U.S. for 41 years, a sort of moral moratorium during which the courts and legislatures have struggled with the dilemma of capital punishment. At a time of so much violence in the nation and world, some men, at least, pause to consider whether society can justify taking lives under the law. If so. for what purpose? Vengeance? To deter further crime? Some time during its current term, the U.S. Supreme Court will decide whether the death penalty is constitutional (TIME Essay, Jan. 24). Last week...

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