The Atlantic – How Evolution Explains the Conflicted Death-Penalty Debate

The electric chair at New York’s Auburn State Prison in about 1908 (Library of Congress)

The botched execution of Clayton Lockett in Oklahoma last week generated many predictable responses—some more productive than others. There were those who said the convicted murderer got off easy compared to his victim, whether he was tortured or not before he died. There were those who said the execution proved again the immorality of capital punishment. And there were those, like my colleague Conor Friedersdorf, who suggested that part of the problem is that executions in America are hidden from public view. Bring back the guillotine! he urged.