Notes: The debate over the death penalty intensified this week with a shift in the American public's feelings about it so that many are questioning it for the first time. Both the Chicago Tribune and the New York Times had pieces on the subject, and also about executions in Texas during the term of Gov. George W. Bush. Additionally, Amnesty International issued a report on the death penalty naming the United States as one of the countries most frequently using it. A true sentence of life in prison without the chance of parole is a severe punishment -- arguably worse than the death sentence in condemning a person to a life without hope. It also is far easier to implement than the death penalty which has many legal safeguards because once done it can't be undone. Still a life sentence would give an innocent person wrongly imprisoned the chance to be freed, for example, if a confession or DNA evidence showed him to be innocent. 06.16.00

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