This Man Should Not Be Executed

Lincoln Caplan at The American Scholar:

Last June, I interviewed Wardlow at a maximum-security prison called the Polunsky Unit, located 80 miles northeast of Houston, where he is waiting for his execution on death row. He has been incarcerated for a quarter of a century, but the state has now set a date for his death: April 29, 2020. His lawyers, Richard Burr and Mandy Welch, having gotten to know him well in the 23 years that they have represented him, told me they are convinced that time has shown the jury to have been wrong in determining Wardlow posed a future danger. The more I have read about his case and his life, the more I think they are right. Wardlow stands out as someone the legal system has wronged repeatedly, especially in deciding his punishment.

In 1972, the Supreme Court struck down the death penalty as states then applied it because juries were imposing it arbitrarily and unpredictably, for crimes such as robbery as well as for murder. In 1976, when the Court reinstated the penalty, it upheld new state laws said to address those defects.

more here.