The American Law Institute has decided to pull its model death penalty statute, as recounted in this New York Times article. As Kent Scheidegger points out in this detailed post, the action was not intended to be a statement by the ALI that the death penalty should be abolished. Nonetheless, that appears to be the spin being put on the action by death penalty opponents.
I found particularly interesting Berkeley Law Professor Franklin Zimring’s statement in the New York Times article that they ALI “were the only intellectually respectable support for the death penalty system in the United States.” Apparently now if you support the death penalty in this country (as most Americans do), then you are not “intectually respectable.”
Professor Doug Berman has an interesting take on the issue over at his Sentencing Blog.