er, even these are incapable of overcomingnthe problem of definition; tonone who defines the fetus as a person,npragmatic considerations no more justifynabortion than they justify infanticide.nTo one who defines the fetus asnnonhuman, no moral justification isnneeded. Incidentally, it is not true thatnlegalization of abortion would be lessncomplicated if only those intimatelyninvolved — i.e., women — were to decidenthe issue. The overwhelmingnnumber of surveys on abortion indicateneither that men favor legalization more,nor that there is no statistical differencenin the attitudes of the sexes. Indeed,nthis is what one would expect if one isnguided by observation, rather than ideology;nwhen an unmarried woman getsnpregnant, more often it is her sexualnpartner who wants her to get an abortion.nBut even if women did favornabortion more strongly, this would benirrelevant to the validity of any argumentnor position.nOne wishes that science could helpnsolve the moral and legal questions.nBut it is in the nature of science and ofnmoral and legal questions that sciencencannot help here. Science can (to annextent) determine the empirical propertiesnof the fetus: at what age brainnactivity begins, at what point sentiencenbecomes possible, when the fetus cannsurvive if removed from the pregnantnwoman, and the like. But science cannotncomment on whether any givennproperty meets the (inherently subjective)ndefinition of person. If one personnbelieves that being a “person” begins atnconception, another when brain activitynbegins, a third at the point ofnsentience, and a fourth with the capabilitynof independent survival, of whatnuse is scientific evidence?nNo one likes the fact that the mostnimportant of all moral issues is unsolvable.nBut whatever one might like orndislike, all moral questions are, like thisnone, unsolvable once one has clearednaway all fallacy and error, exposing thenroot subjective disagreement of emotionsnand values and the difference ofndefinition they generate. The questionnof abortion cannot be solved. It cannmerely be settled, by force or by its’nmodern equivalent — democratic vote.nSteven Goldberg is a professor ofnphilosophy at City College,.New York.n52/CHRONICLESnLAWnCrime and CapitalnPunishmentnby Betsy ClarkenMniinissouri doesn’t have a deathnpenalty,” a former prosecutornremarked to me last Christmas. Henwas wrong, as he well knew. ThenRevised Statutes of Missouri specificallynallow for capital punishment. But as anpractical matter, the man was right. Atnthe time he spoke, Missouri had not putna person to death since 1965, evennthough around 65 persons reside on thenstate’s death row. In January, however,nGeorge “Tiny” Mercer came to rest atnlast on a gurney in the nondescriptnsurroundings of a Jefferson City prison.nHe was the first person this state hasnexecuted by lethal injection, and thenfirst person Missouri has executed innON PUNISHMENTnLIBERAL ARTSnAs he went through Cold-Bath Fields he sawna solitary cell;nAnd the Devil was pleased, for it gave him a hintnfor improving his prisons in Helln— Samuel Taylor Coleridgenmore than 20 years. Mercer had survivednon death row for almost a decade.nPrison officials had prepared to executencertain inmates four other times betweennOctober and January, to no avail;nthe rest of the condemned have managednto stay alive with strategically filednappeals, writs, motions, and so forth.nPro-death penalty forces may reasonablynwonder what the point is of botheringnwith death penalty statutes. Executionnis too infrequent to be a deterrentnto others, and too distant from the crimenitself to seem retributive or principled.nOnly 11 criminals were executed inn1988, though more than two thousandnare condemned to death. Furthermore,nUS Supreme Court decisions indicatenthe situation will not change.nNonetheless, these statutes have benefitsnthat are often overlooked —nbenefits that even anti-death penaltynpartisans should acknowledge. Thesenstatutes streamline the administration ofnjustice and keep dangerous criminals offnthe streets longer than would be likelynwithout them. The reason? Death statutesnencourage guilty pleas and otherndeals. Though casual with the lives ofnothers, murderers have a great fear forntheir own. Therefore, they sometimesnplead guilty to the most serious chargesnto save their lives. Just recentiy, RobertnBerdella, a homosexual mass murderernin Kansas City, pleaded guilty to sixnhomicides in exchange for his life. Henwill never be paroled. Another Missouriannpleaded guilty to two murders tonavoid his execution, and received life innprison without parole as well. Both pleanbargains were reached under the specternMen are not hang’d for stealing horses, but that horses may notnbe stolen. Whenever a knave is not punished, an honest man isnlaughed at. „ ,.^n— Halifaxnnn