The Death Penalty in America, Evidence or Emotion?

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Jury decisions are supposed to be based on evidence, but in the liberal San Francisco suburb of Redwood City, a jury recommended capital punishment for Scott Peterson, even though the case was entirely circumstantial. Nobody knows how his pregnant wife Laci was killed or what the motive might have been. Jurors say they voted for the death penalty because the convicted murderer showed no remorse or any emotion at all. With the national trend moving away from death sentences, why was the Peterson case different? Will it set a precedent for other cases? Should defendants take acting lessons? We hear several opinions from experts on criminal law, capital punishment, and politics and the media, as well as advocates and opponents of the death penalty.
  • Making News: Missile Interceptor Fails to Launch in Test
    President Bush promised to put a missile-defense system in place before the end of this year, but it won-t happen. Early today, a target-missile was launched from Kodiak, Alaska, but the interceptor based in the Pacific failed to take off. Warren Ferster, deputy editor of Space News in Washington, explains what went wrong, what it will take to fix it and how politics complicates the project.
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Missile Defense Agency on today's test flight

Capital punishment statistics from the Justice Department

Augusto Pinochet, George Washington University archives on

Operation Condor



Warren Olney