Thursday, December 15, 2005

A Very Good Article On Granting Clemency To Death Row Inmates

A simple question must be asked: Why? Why should a prisoner, granted due process of law, be given the opportunity to plead his case before a political actor? If our system of law is designed to be impartial, why make it openly political by granting interest groups the opportunity to lobby an executive who might be beholden to them? Would Schwarzenegger have hesitated about signing off on the execution of a white man convicted of killing a black family? Would he have pondered the ins and outs of a criminal conviction if Hollywood stars like Jamie Foxx and cultural figures like Sister Helen Prejean had not stepped forward to defend Tookie? Would Schwarzenegger have glanced at the clemency petition without the glare of the media spotlight?


Gov. Mark Warner (D-Va.) commutes the death sentence of convicted murderer Robin Lovitt. Lovitt, who stabbed Clayton Dicks to death with a scissors in 1988, saw his death sentence become a life sentence after Warner, who has presidential aspirations, sought to avoid rubberstamping the 1,000th execution in the United States since the re-institution of the death penalty in 1977. Were Lovitt number 999, he would likely be dead right now. Were he innocent, Warner should have pardoned him, not commuted his sentence.

The whole article is worth checking out. By the way North Carolina has the honor of the 1,000th execution in the United States since capital punishment was restored nearly 30 years ago. Kenneth Lee Boyd, 57, was sentenced to death for the killing of his estranged wife and father-in-law in Rockingham County. His execution took place December 2, 2005 at 2am.

posted by David at 12:58 AM :: Permalink ::

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