Prof. Eric Freedman Comments on Morality Issues Regarding Capital Punishment

Eric M. Freedman, Maurice A. Deane Distinguished Professor of Constitutional Law

Analysis: The Death Penalty and the Politics of 2011

By Gabe Pressman

NBC New York

October 4, 2011



Eric Freedman, a professor at Hofstra Law School and an expert on the death penalty, told me that in the overwhelming majority of cases, people on death row are guilty. “But the basic question, he added, is: “Are we gods? Is it right for us to determine whether some subset of human beings deserves to be killed?”

It’s clear, Freedman said, that “white, middle class people have a higher certainty of lesser punishment in capital cases that the segment of the population heavily skewed by race, poverty and mental illness.” He also pointed out that the lawyers who defend death row inmates are often inferior, that white defendants get better representation.

Freedman notes that the American Law Institute says the death penalty can not be administered in a fair way. But, he thinks that “the death penalty is bound to gradually wither away.”

Read the full article at nbcnewyork.com.