In this Response, I first engage with McLeod’s article, summarizing its key claims and endorsing its call for legislative action, while disagreeing at times with the analytical moves it makes along the way. I then turn to two questions that the article inspired. One stems from comments in the constitutional, academic, and public discourse calling for indifference to the way we treat the condemned in light of the way they treated their victims. Given the depravity of the crimes the condemned have committed, why should we care about the conditions under which they are housed on death row? The other stems from McLeod’s description of death row as originally intended to facilitate redemption of the soul in preparation for destruction of the body. For those who still care about redemption of the soul—and religion runs deep in arguments for the death penalty and against it—how do the conditions of death row impact the opportunity for redemption, and how might the answer to that question contribute to the death penalty discourse today? A good article asks important questions. A great article inspires questions of its own. Does the Death Penalty Require Death Row? is a great article.
Response or Comment
Corinna Barrett Lain, Response, Death Row, Calls for Indifference, and Redemption of the Soul, 7 Ohio St. L.J. Furthermore 105 (2016).