Abortion, the death penalty, and selective prosecution.
If you seriously believe that killing a late-term fetus is infanticide, you should be outraged at the legal immunity guaranteed to purchasers of this crime under "pro-life" legislation. But regardless of your views on abortion, Virginia's double standard is plainly unjust. A state can't criminalize late-term abortion as infanticide, systematically prosecute the doctor but not the woman, and then execute a woman but not her triggermen for an arranged murder. It doesn't add up.
Ordinarily, this kind of inconsistency can be addressed in the course of time. But Lewis has no time. Is killing by proxy a noncrime or a capital offense? Gov. McDonnell, you have three days to sort this out.
(For complete coverage of the Lewis case, see these articles by Frank Green of the Richmond Times Dispatch, Laurence Hammack of the Roanoke Times, Dena Potter of the Associated Press, and Maria Glod of the Washington Post.) Like Slate on Facebook. Follow us on Twitter. William Saletan's latest short takes on the news, via Twitter:
Will Saletan covers science, technology, and politics for Slate and says a lot of things that get him in trouble.
Photograph of Bob McDonnell by Mark Wilson/Getty Images.