After all, in a world without the death penalty, Davis probably wouldn’t have been retried or exonerated. His appeals would still have been denied, he would have spent the rest of his life in prison, and far fewer people would have known or cared about his fate.And it gets worse:
Simply throwing up our hands and eliminating executions entirely, by contrast, could prove to be a form of moral evasion — a way to console ourselves with the knowledge that no innocents are ever executed, even as more pervasive abuses go unchecked.If Douthat is a "conservative intellectual," it shows how shallow that pool is. The rest of the column gets even worse.
Beyond my thoughts, a libertarian columnist, Thomas Lucente has a good take. He includes noting how elected prosecutors and judges will, for political reasons, have a pro-death penalty bias.