Matthew Mangino: Hopelessly out of touch
Ex-Lawrence County District Attorney Matthew Mangino took death penalty opponents to task in an op-ed in today's Patriot News.
Death penalty opponents have gone to great lengths to attack the death penalty from every direction, but straight on. Why? A majority of Americans do support capital punishment.
As usual, Mangino fails to note one other important polling number. Every year since 2000, polling data has shown the nation split 50-50 on the death penalty when life without parole is available, as it is in Pennsylvania and every other death penalty state except New Mexico.
Mangino also overblows the impact of the positive DNA test of Roger Coleman.
Coleman's case could not have turned out worse for the anti-death penalty movement. Not only did Coleman not provide the "death nail" that the movement hoped for, he provided death penalty supporters with a "poster-child" for execution.
The positive DNA test proved that we executed yet another guilty murderer. That's not news.
Then there's this misinformation.
Richard Dieter of the Death Penalty Information Center, an anti-death penalty group, suggested to USA Today that finding the execution of an innocent man would put a final nail through the pro-death penalty movement. Dieter's claim puts death penalty opponents in the unenviable position of actually hoping for what they are trying to prevent, the execution of an innocent person.
We are not hoping for the execution of an innocent person. We know that innocent people have already been executed. All we're looking for is definitive proof (see: Executed on a Technicality by David R. Dow).
Mangino should crawl back into whatever cave he came from. He's obviously missed the news. Executions are down. Death sentences are down. Death row is shrinking. The death penalty is whithering on the vine.