Wednesday, December 26, 2007

What is it About Texas?

Michael Richard, executed despite moratotoium and Judge Sharon Keller, the executor
Texas’ enthusiasm for the death penalty in a land with so many devout Christians speaks for itself regarding the blatant Jesus paradox we have in this country.

Of the 42 executions carried out in the United States, in the last year, 26 were in Texas...that's over 60%! The rate of sentencing people to die is not over the top in Texas but apparently Texans don't waste any time doing the deed.

“Execution dates here, uniquely, are set by individual district attorneys,” Professor Dow said. “In no other state would the fact that a district attorney strongly supports the death penalty immediately translate into more executions.”
It comes as no surprise that Texas lacks interest in the lethal injection debate sweeping the rest of the country at this time. Texas' history of evading Supreme Court rulings regarding capital cases is notorious.

The last time the Supreme Court issued a de facto moratorium on an execution in Texas, it ended up with the presiding Judge Sharon Keller refusing an appeal because it came in a few minutes after 5PM...closing time. The inmate, Michael Richard, was executed that evening.

Judge Sharon Keller acknowledged that she had the authority to keep the court's clerk's office open but blamed Mr. Richard's lawyers for not finding another Judge. In her defense I'm sure she was running late for a hair appointment or perhaps she was meeting Barbara Bush to discuss the possibility of eliminating death row entirely and executing anyone convicted of a capital offense right there in the court room before the clock strikes five.

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