The Nation: They Shoot Horses, Don't They?

Governor Ronald Reagan last week signed a bill imposing a mandatory death penalty on those convicted of eleven specific kinds of murder. The California law, which will take effect Jan. 1, is designed to get around the Supreme Court's objections to the arbitrary and capricious use of capital punishment. If the bill passes constitutional muster, California will again use the gas chamber. Reagan, however, was not entirely comfortable about that method of execution or indeed any of the methods in use around the world, ranging from the noose to the firing squad and...

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