Killer spared from death hours before execution

Samuel David Crow “killed store manager Joseph Pala during a robbery at the lumber company in Douglas County, west of Atlanta. Crowe, who had previously worked at the store, shot Pala three times with a pistol, beat him with a crowbar and a pot of paint.”

There seems to be no doubt about his guilt or about the severity of his crime. Crowe pled guilty. In May, 2008, he was about to be strapped in and given a lethal injection. But the parole board gave him a break, commuting his sentence to life in prison.

Why did he get off? “….. his lawyers presented a dossier of evidence attesting to his remorse and good behavior in jail … The lawyers also said he was suffering from withdrawal symptoms from a cocaine addiction at the time of the crime.” Poor baby.

I’m thinking his being a white guy helped, what do you think? Maybe not. Who knows. Just sayin’

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How to be against the death penalty and keep the kids off the lawn at the same time

People need to realize it is natural to want someone to die for a horrible deed they have done, just like it is natural to want to Rule the World or to get a Pony, but then also live with the fact that you don’t get the pony, world domination, or to snuff out a life because that life frightens or annoys you.

Ideally one might avoid the hateful emotion to begin with, but without the appropriate affective pathologies in place, or years of training, that’s rather difficult.

I often think of what Mike Dukakis should have said when asked what he would do if Kitty was raped and murdered by Willie Horton. He should have said “I’d want to kill the guy. But long before I had the chance the Criminal Justice System would kick in and there’d be due process.”

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Thanks to Ruth Gaul Schleissmann for suggesting I change “OK” to “natural” … a natural substitution that is quite OK.

Day of Justice, Day of Shame: The killing of Troy Davis

I do not know for certain that Troy Anthony Davis is not guilty of killing Mark MacPhail, a Savannah Georgia cop. But I do firmly believe that there is more than reasonable doubt of his culpability to say he is legally not guilty, and I am not alone in thinking this. The other people who think this include Desmond Tutu, Jimmy Carter, dozens of members of congress, more than 500,000 petition signers, and … perhaps most significantly … seven of the nine witnesses who testified against him who have now changed their stories, and three of the original jurors who voted guilty. The case was based primarily on eye witness testimony, and if even one of the jurors at the time felt he was not guilty he would not have been convicted. (more…)