Sunday, April 3, 2011

Structural unemployment and the death penalty

Illinois Workers Find That a Death Penalty Ban Abolishes Their Jobs, Too -
The day after the death penalty was abolished in Illinois in early March, Wendi Liss received a call from one of her clients, who was facing trial for murder and the prospect of being executed if found guilty.

He was calling not to celebrate, but to express concern for her career.

“He said, ‘I know this is what you guys wanted and I know this is good
for us, but I don’t want you to be out of a job,’ ” recounted Ms. Liss,
one of dozens of employees at the Office of the State Appellate Defender
who specialize in death penalty cases.

It was indeed a bittersweet moment — some of the very people who pushed
and prayed most fervently to end capital punishment in the state found
that the triumph came with a termination notice.

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