Texas reached a ghoulish landmark this week, executing its 500th inmate since the Supreme Court legalized the death penalty in 1976 and the state began its murder spree in 1982.
Kimberly McCarthy, 52, was put to death for the murder of her 71-year-old neighbor back in 1997, when she was addicted to crack.
McCarthy was the first woman executed in the U.S. in nearly three years.
As Maurie Levin, McCarthy's attorney, said, "500 is 500 too many."
He added: "I look forward to the day when we recognize that this pointless and barbaric practice, imposed almost exclusively on those who are poor and disproportionately on people of color, has no place in a civilized society."
I'm with Maurie Levin on this one, and with Kirk Bloodsworth.
Twenty years ago tomorrow, Bloodsworth became the first man ever to be exonerated while on death row.
There are 141 others, like Bloodsworth, who've since been exonerated and spared the death penalty for a crime they didn't commit.
But even if someone like McCarthy did commit a heinous crime, the death penalty is not the answer.
It is pointless.
It is barbaric.
As Bloodsworth says, "We must put the death penalty to death."
Some day soon, I hope the people of Texas and the justices on the U.S. Supreme Court will come to this realization.
If you liked this story by Matthew Rothschild, the editor of The Progressive magazine, check out his story A Shameful Supreme Court Ruling on Voting Rights.
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