Monday, May 18, 2015

OPINION - Shields and Brooks 5/15/2015

"Shields and Brooks on the Senate’s trade battle, train safety funding" PBS NewsHour 5/15/2015


SUMMARY:  Syndicated columnist Mark Shields and New York Times columnist David Brooks join Judy Woodruff to discuss the week’s news, including a death sentence for Boston bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, an Amtrak funding and safety debate after the deadly derailment, the Senate fight over the possible Asia trade deal and questions for Jeb Bush on shifting support for the Iraq war.

JUDY WOODRUFF (NewsHour):  So, I want to ask you first, though, both about the Boston verdict, sentencing verdict.

Mark, you’re from Boston.  This is the death sentence, unanimous death sentence.

MARK SHIELDS, Syndicated columnist:  It is, Judy.

And the one just outstanding image I have is that of Bill and Denise Richard, the parents of little Martin, the little angel 8-year-old who was blown up in front of their eyes while their daughter, Jane, lost her leg, and their request to give life without parole.  Otherwise, they said, the death sentence, we will relive this.  Every appeal that is made, we will relive the worst day of our life.

It is an aspect that — and a perspective, I think, that appealed to me, given my feelings on the death penalty.  But as pointed out by the prosecution, he put — he put the bomb four feet away from a row of children.  It was a horrific, horrific, inhuman act.  So, you know, my heart goes out to the Richard family and to everybody else who was touched and remains pained.

JUDY WOODRUFF:  But the jury went in the other direction.

DAVID BROOKS, York Times columnist:  Yes.  And some of the other families wanted this outcome.  I think there was division among them.

I’m — personally, I am skeptical of the death penalty in cases where we don’t know, we’re not certain.  There have been so many wrongful convictions, and so I’m not a fan of the death penalty.  Nonetheless, I thought what Loretta Lynch, the new attorney general, said today was that this was truly the most horrendous crime imaginable, and for the most horrendous crime, the ultimate penalty is fitting.

I have some sympathy.  And this is not a case where we really have too much doubt about who did it.  We know this guy did it.  It killed those children, and then killed the cop a couple of days later.  And so if there’s ever going to be a death penalty, I guess I think this is the case.  Whether he will actually ever get executed, I’m a little dubious.  I don’t [think] he ever will.  A lot of the federal cases, they rarely actually execute the people, because the appeals take so long.  But I guess it’s fitting in this case.

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