The European Union thinks Texas should consider halting executions before reaching the 400th killing by the state. In a BBC article, we learn that Robert Black, a spokesman for the Texas governor, said: “Two hundred and thirty years ago, our forefathers fought a war to throw off the yoke of a European monarch and gain the freedom of self-determination.” How many fallacies are contained in this response? Well, it certainly has nothing to do with the death penalty, so it is missing the point or a red herring or something along those lines. It raises the specter of nationalism (I want to say “jingoism”), so it is flag waving (if it were directed at an individual, it would be an ad hominem attack).
It doesn’t really matter. The real point is that the response from Texas ignores the primary arguments against the death penalty, which the EU stated clearly: 1. The death penalty is not a deterrent and 2. It is impossible to rectify a miscarriage of justice. According to the Innocence Project, 206 individuals convicted of capital crimes have been exonerated. We can only speculate as to how many more innocent people have been convicted and killed.
Our leaders feel no hesitation to comment on the actions of other countries’ decisions. In the sense of fair play, we might expect Texas leaders at least attempt to defend the use of what appears to me to be an unjust practice rather than merely issuing proclamations that Texas does what Texas (or it’s governor, anyway) wants.