I can think of at least three arguable, intellectually coherent reasons for being against the death penalty; I do not share that position, but I can do a death penalty opponent the elementary courtesy of treating his or her opinion with respect. So I don’t get upset when somebody says No death penalty, even for scumbags – and means it.
I do get upset when a politician abandons principle for raw political expediency. Like, say, Boston mayor (and Democrat) Tom Menino.
…Mayor Tom Menino, in an uncharacteristic turn, called for the death penalty for Dzhokhar Tsarnaev.
“I have never supported the death penalty but I will say in this one I might think it’s time this individual serves his time with the death penalty,” Menino said.
Via AoSHQ. That’s just obscene: if you don’t believe in the death penalty, then don’t believe in the death penalty. But don’t switch your beliefs just because it’s suddenly politically expedient. It’s cowardly (in a tough-guy way), hypocritical, cynical, and – depending on how you read Article I, Section 10’s prohibition of ex post facto laws – actually unconstitutional, to boot.