9/21/11

Why you shouldn't vote for Rick Perry: Part Three


he doesn't have a conscience.


i've been thinking a lot about the death penalty ever since the CNN debate where rick perry said that he doesn't lose sleep over the possibility that some of the 234 execution orders he signed as governor of texas could have been for innocent people. the audience cheered. perry went off on some junk about how he had faith in the justice system.

justice experts say that while perry has been governor at least one innocent person, cameron todd willingham, was executed. in that case perry actively interfered with state investigations and rejected the scientific evidence presented by over 20 scientists saying that the fire which killed willingham's children was not man-made. in other cases he has denied inmates rights guaranteed by the vienna convention and ignored the rights of foreign nationals in criminal proceedings.

the whole death penalty issue makes me sick. in fact it is one of the things that makes me want to move back to canada. (please mike? but then i might have to live without target--which would also be a colossal tragedy so the jury is still out on where we'll end up) (and yes i realize like what a jerk i look like for making that comment).

it isn't that i don't have faith in the justice system--but mistakes do happen--and it just seems like the risk of the harm caused by executing an innocent person isn't worth it. take for instance the execution of troy davis which occurred today. he was convicted primarily on the basis of eye witness accounts. 7 of the 9 eye witnesses have since recanted, saying they were coached by detectives working on the case. there is no physical (DNA) evidence linking davis to the crime. while he may still have committed the crime--the doubt--the possibility that he didn't seems to be to be reason enough to at a minimum stay the execution. but that is a moral argument and i can understand how not everyone is going to agree with me.

so how about we get really pragmatic? with the economic downturn, most states are facing budgetary deficits. It costs a state $2.2 million to execute someone. Most of these costs are legal fees. On the other hand it costs $400,000 to keep an inmate in prison for life. When states are faced with hard choices about where to cut spending--why not just commute the sentences of all death row inmates to life in prison?

in texas rick perry could have saved his state $20 million dollars. money that perhaps could be spent on education, health care, hell even using the money to pay for HPV vaccines would be better than this crap.

ok i promise not to post anything more about rick perry. unless he does something really stupid, in which case i won't be able to help myself.

4 comments:

Bonnie White said...

First off, Target is COMING to Calgary. All those used to be Zeller stores will soon be red dot heaven.

You may not know but Harper's government is introducing some laws to reform the penal system. As I listened to Toews speak yesterday, I could see that just like education and immigration reform, there are no easy answers. Dad knows a man from the reserve who will do some crime in the fall to ensure a warm bed in the winter. No kidding.

And I pretty much expect a Perry Part 4 as you seem to have a visceral reaction to this man.

Bonnie White said...

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/politics/sweeping-crime-legislation-only-the-beginning-of-justice-reform-harper-government/article2173915/

Your opinion?

Char said...

These are such interesting posts. I read the globe and mail article Bonnie mentioned.
I volunteered at the women's prison here in Edmonton a few years ago. What I saw seemed like a pretty cushy situation to me. Everyone in there seemed bored and angry. My sister and I started a choir there. We had a little group going and were looking forward to the Christmas concert we had planned to put on. Unfortunately, half of our choir got into a violent fight with some of the other inmates and got transferred to a higher security prison. Like I said, bored and angry.

Mercedes said...

mom thanks for the article. i actually like the idea of making harsher punishments for sexually based offenses. as for drugs....

well i'm just not that interested in putting someone in jail for having a kilo of pot. it just seems like a waste of money. why haven't we just legalized drugs yet? i mean i'm certainly not a drug advocate but so many of the problems that are associated with drugs would be eliminated if they weren't illegal.

Char: i noticed similar things when i went to an elizabeth fry society christmas party for the girls in juvie in edmonton. i'm not sure how to resolve the bored and angry problem though. any ideas?