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Old 09-02-2011, 11:17 AM
osmium osmium is offline
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: new yorkistan
Posts: 708
Default Re: Booze and Money (Tim Fernholz & Megan McArdle)

Originally Posted by sugarkang View Post
Did he really say that? Yeah, that's just... off. Just in terms of money it costs a huge amount in due process to execute a person.
In all fairness, I'm hyperbolizing. They got to talking about the question of whether or not Texas executed an innocent man, re: that guy who was convicted for arson. The argument came down to something about how a writer for the New Yorker might not be trusted by people from Texas. Kevin said he trusted the courts that the guy was guilty. Tim said "You have a lot of faith in government as long as it's on your side."

(I made a link to it, but I put it on that contest thing, and I don't know how to find it again.)

I read that New Yorker article, and it really made it sound like you should doubt forensic evidence having to do with arson. The writer asked an arson investigator from Texas (I think the one who had studied this case) what percentage of cases turned out to be arson, and he said all of them. It was quite unnerving.

The amateur psychology you can play with people's political opinions is sometimes too seductive. Kevin was indeed saying all kinds of "less government" type things, until it came to the government doing something tough, like executing people. Then it was doing a good job.
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