The Death Penalty, Abortion, and Costly Mistakes

As a death penalty opponent, when I make arguments like this to supporters I’m trying to do two things: first I’m hoping that they’ll agree that that killing an innocent person is so terrible that even a small risk of it gives us reason to abolish capital punishment. I’m hoping to convince them that even if it was good to kill the worst criminals, it’s not worth killing the innocent to achieve it. But I’m also trying to do something a bit less straightforward. By inviting the person I’m talking to to think about the irreversibility, the terrible finality of death in the case of an innocent person, I’m hoping to make them less comfortable about imposing the death penalty even on the guilty.

The Abortion Rights Campaign and ‘Fatal Foetal Abnormality’

On 28 June 2017, we made the same search they did on Wiley Online Library.As of that date, a search for ‘fatal fetal abnormality’ (using no quotation marks) yielded 10,009 results, which included 8,345 journals, 1,188 books and 411 reference works. But it’s by using a very simple search tool that we get the real picture of how often ‘fatal foetal abnormality’ is used on Wiley, and that tool is the quotation mark. As one website puts it, ‘When you use quotation marks around a phrase, you are telling the search engine to only bring back pages that include these search terms exactly how you typed them in order, proximity, etc’ . This isn’t a pro-life trick or a crafty legalistic loophole: it’s a well-known method of filtering out irrelevant results on the Internet.